HAPPY BIRTHDAY ED KRANEPOOL

Today is holiday here at The Eddie Kranepool Society as we celebrate the birthday of Edward Emil Kranepool our favorite Mets player of all time.

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MAGIC WON’T CURE JOHAN

Two more days left of my vacation and another day at the Magic Kingdom, where I swear our family are the only Americans visiting Orlando this summer. The Brits seem to be the leading European visitors here with “Name Any Spanish Speaking Country Here” as the runner up.

I guess it’s good news that Johan Santana has “only” a fatigued shoulder and will be shut down for a while to build up strength. The question it seems is “what’s the rush”? Does it matter at this point if Santana pitches a game for the Mets this season? Hopefully, this latest set back shows that it’s better to look forward to February 2012 for Johan.

Speaking of pitching, Howard Megdal has a great piece today on Jon Niese and his strong season.

The Mets are having a luncheon today at Citi Field to honor Military vets of the Iraqi and Afghanistan wars. The Mets Alumni will be there including Tom Seaver, Ralph Kiner Ed Kranepool, Bud Harrelson, Ed Charles and Joe Pignatano. The Mets organization has really stepped up big time when it comes to honoring our military heroes and also involving the Mets Alumni this season. Great job.

That’s it for now, the next post will be from the Kranepool Society headquarters in Staten Island

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WHO’S #1 IN THE TOP METS METS OF ALL TIME? WHO ELSE BUT…..

The Greatest!!!!!!!

This off season Ed Marcus (a/k/a RustyJr) of Real Dirty Mets took on the project of asking his readers to send in their list of the Top 50 NY Mets of All-Time. What’s great about the list that Ed tabulated as we enter the 50th season of Mets baseball, there are three generation Mets fans, the oldtimers (my crowd) who have lived through the best and worst of this franchise, the early to mid 40’s Mets fan who aligns very close with the old timer but didn’t witness the ’69 Championship but reveled in ’86. Then there is the young guns of the Mets fandom, the 20-30 something’s who are sick and tired of the previous generations (especially the old-timers) talking about the halcyon days of the franchise.

When I look at the list (Ed has the list of the top 50 posted today but you should look in the archive of that site to read the essay he put together on each player which are well researched and well written especially for you neophyte Mets fans who need a history lesson) there were some pleasant surprises and a few head shakers as well.

At the last game at Shea Stadium, Felix Millian(#50) was introduced and fans my age were clapping and imitating Millian batting stance complete with choking up half way up on our makeshift Mets magazine/bat. More surprising to me was Little Al Jackson coming in at  #35 who has been in the organization as a player/coach/instructor from day 1. Robin Ventura was a shocker at #9 as he played only three seasons with the Mets with 1999 his best, the other two were so-so although like I told Ed I still have my “Mojo Risin’” t-shirt from the 1999 post season.

Of course I feel Ed Kranepool should have placed higher but that’s my personal bias. I can see Mike Piazza at #2 even though I’m not a big Piazza fan (Jerry Grote is still the best catcher in Mets history with Gary Carter close second) and of course the #1 choice will always be the #1 choice as he is then, now and forever THE FRANCHISE, George Thomas Seaver

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I GUESS CIVIL SERVICE JOBS PAY BETTER IN CONNECTICUT THAN IN NEW YORK

So Bobby Valentine is trying to put together a group to buy the Mets or at least a minority share. I doubt that BV has the coin to pull this off but he what he does have is the “it” factor and the ability to front the franchise in a positive way unlike Freddy, Jeffey and Uncle Saul who infuriated the fan base. If he can get some deep pocketed investors to join him and let him be the out front guy, it could be interesting

 With the passing of Duke Snider yesterday, lost in the days news was the untimely passing of former Met Greg Goosen. Last night the Mets 1965 Yearbook played on SNY and there was Goosen shown as one of the up and coming young stars of the Mets along with “Robust” Ron Swoboda, Johnny Lewis and Ed Kranepool. Goosen was also a key figure in Jim Bouton’ classic book,  BALL FOUR. One story, when Goosen was a teammate of Bouton’s on the 1969 Seattle Pilots on a bus ride passing an old building  that had an inscription” Erected in 1883″, to that Goosen replied “that’s some long errection. R.I.P. Greg.”

Sniff, Snifff what kind of smoke is that, that Chipper Jones is blowing up the Mets ass? Hickory? Mesquite?

On my last visit to Citi Field, I wrote about Josh Thole being a good guy and helping me get access onto the media scrum by moving a chair and taking my backpack for me now if that weren’t enough to endear Thole to me it was announced that he will be the Mets union rep this year. So now Thole and I are Union brothers in arms. Sorry all you wanna be union busters!!!!!!!!

How in the world could anyone watch the Academy Awards when the Knicks-Heat game was on at same time? I’m not even a Knicks fan but I was glued to that game. As a basketball fan it’s good to see the Knicks and St Johns back on the right track and have the city talking basketball again.

Oliver Perez still sucks.

Mets and Nats today in St Lonesome. Big Pelf makes spring debut, Dan Murphy plays 3rd base, F-Mart DH, Castillo gets another start at 2nd Base

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STEADY EDDIE AS HE GOES

Ed ”RustyJr” Marcus posts to day that Ed Kranepool has finished in his Top 50 Mets of All Time Series. While Ed is my top Mets player of all time I knew he wouldn’t crack the top 5 but I was hoping for a top 10 finish.

Kranepool still leads the club all time in games played as a Met (1853) At Bats (5436) Hits (1418) and Total Bases (2047) and many Mets fans today have either never seen him play or really know who he is so I guess a 13th place finish is quite good for an original Met who played his whole career in blue and orange.

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WALLY BACKMAN, STILL PART OF THE FAMILY

As expected, Wally Backman will remain in the Mets organization as manager of the Binghamton Mets. Although there was an outcry in the some parts Metsville on Backman getting the big league job as skipper, a jump from managing short season team to a Double A team is very impressive.

Nothing sparks debate better than a list of all time players and Mike Silva has stoked the fire of Mets fans hearts with his Top 50 All Time Mets list. I will be quite curious to read the comments on Mike site over this list as I found out with Kerrel Copper writing about retiring Ed Kranepool’s #7, there is a bit of a generation gap between the guys of my generation and the 20-30 something Mets fans. 2011 will be the 25th Anniversary of the 1986 World Champs, that means the twenty something’s have never witnessed a Mets parade down the Canyon of Heroes (my old ass has seen both Mets parades) and the thirty something’s  have a vague memory of the festive day on Broadway. I don’t blame the younger Mets fans for getting tired of old farts like myself waxing poetic about the Mets of yesteryear but then again don’t discount the players of the era either.  

By the way, I e-mailed Mike with my displeasure of John Franco being ranked higher that Ed Kranepool on his list.  Same with Johan Santana at #20, a bit high. Tug McGraw and Rusty Staub should definitely be ranked higher than Santana.  Jerry Grote at #30?  Com’on way tooooooooo low and by the way all you kids better get off my lawn. What about George Theodore, Joel Youngblood, Ron Swoboda, Ron Hunt and Dennis Ribant, okay Ribant is a reach.          

The best part about the end of the holidays is that the Mets front office should be open for business next week and maybe we can start seeing some signings or trades for pitchers. Yeah I’m beyond antsy.

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HERE! HERE! ON THE BLACK SAYS REITRE KRANEPOOL’ 7

Kerel Cooper of On The Black feels it’s time to retire Ed Kranepool’s #7 and of course, yours truly is on board on this crusade.

Kerel was kind enough to ask me about my feelings on retiring #7 in honor of Steady Eddie and he added my sentiments in his post.

It would be a great gesture by the organization to honor Kranepool by retiring his number with the 50th Anniversary of the franchise a year away

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WE HAVEN’T HAD THIS DIS-SPRIT HERE SINCE 1979

I didn’t watch one pitch of yesterday’s Mets-Phillies game. With opening Sunday of the NFL in full swing and the New York Football Giants on Ch. 5 and Tom Brady and the Pats on Ch. 2, there was no reason to move the dial any further. Oh I didn’t blow off baseball altogether, by 4PM I was ready for the Giants-Padres game and the match up of Tim Lincecum and Matt Latos, in fact my baseball viewing from today on will include watching the Giants, Padres, Rockies, Rays, and the on the downward spiraling Highlanders.

It hit me around 7PM last night when I didn’t even know that the  Mets lost to the Phillies 3-0, that the NY Mets franchise has collectively climbed in the Mr. Peabody and Sherman’s Way Back machine and have arrived at 1979.

What year 1979 was. I was 21 years old with more hair than I knew what to do with (give me a moment please………………………..sniff! sniff!……………..ok back to the post) hanging out at Max’s Kansas City and CBGB. Going to the Palladium to see The Clash and Graham Parker and the Rumor (The Palladium was a great venue, first time I ever saw Bruce Springsteen ad the E Street Band was there in 1976, YES I SAID 1976!) I spent my winters and spring watching the NY Rangers from Section 432 in my Blue Seat all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals where they lost to Les Habitants but at least the Blueshirts beat the Icelanders as that was the year that no good scumbag Denis Potvin took out Ulf Nilson and the POTVIN SUCKS Chant was born.

More to the point of this post though, 1979 was the year the NY Mets drew 788,905 live bodies to Shea Stadium, less than 10,000 a game (9,621 to be precise) and I can not remember if I were a part of that 788,905-details are very hazy-but I’m sure I was because it was Richie Hebner’s one and only season as a Met and I remember him giving Mets fans the finger. I also remember it was Ed Kranepool’s last year. I remember Bob Murphy telling the tale of Ed Glynn a relief pitcher who also hawked hot dogs at Shea as a youth. The one bright spot of ’79 was that miserable, no good, saboteur of the franchise; M. Donald Grant was no longer around, dumped by Lorinda de Roulet after the 1978 season. But the team still sucked.

Right after the season, de Roulet thankfully sold the team as she had no clue on how to run it, she sold it to the dynamic duo of Nelson Doubleday and Fred Wilpon and the rest as they say is history.

Myself and many Mets fans lived through 1979 and not only was it not fun but it was painful. Painful because of what could have been. What if Tom Seaver was never traded ? What if Joan Payson wasn’t sick and then dying during the advent of free agency with that asshole Grant advising her ? Remember Mrs. Payson had no problem spending money on her team, in fact when the Mets were born in 1962 she told Horace Stoneham that she wanted to buy the contract of Willie Mays and money was no object. What would have happened if Whitey Herzog would have been named manager after the death of Hodges instead of the overmatched Yogi Berra?

As much as I would to re-live 1979 all over again I wouldn’t want to relive the Mets season of that year as the Mets were so bad no one cared. At least we still care, we still have passion for this team, though it’s mostly negative, it’s still passion. Let’s hope the right moves are made for a new GM and manager and that deadwood and players who don’t like it here are sent off, no matter the cost monetarily. It’s time to restore some pride in this organization but I’m not optimistic the people in charge are intelligent enough to pull it off. All Jeffey Skill Sets needs to do is start collect batting practice baseballs, clean them and use them again and he’d be Linda de Roulet all over again.

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METS MOTION SICKNESS

I’m exhausted. After sitting through last nights game, then heading home and getting to bed about four hours before I needed to get up to go to work, I’m going to need three XL Dunkin’ Dounts coffee’s to get through the work day.

My day at Citi Field started out with a great surprise. As we were walking from the car to the front of the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, I had the great pleasure of meeting up with Ed Kranepool. Yes, THE Ed Kranepool, my FME (Favorite Met Ever). He was with a bunch of people and was busy distributing tickets to them when I went over to say hello. I reminded him that we met at a luncheon at Gallagher’s for the 69 Champs and that I run this blog named after him, he started laughing and said “Oh now I remember you” we just chatted for a minute or two before we shook hands and bid each other well.  That was my “Let It Be” moment as a Mets fan. Just when I wonder is all this worth it, as I get more and more aggravated with the ownership, front office and manager and question why I actually give a shit about this team, I hear that song in my head:

When I find myself in times of trouble,

Eddie Kranepool comes to me,

Speaking words of wisdom,

Let it be, let it be.

After my Kranepool encounter, we then took a stroll through the Mets Museum. This was just my third trip to Citi Field this season (now that my baseball season has come to a close with a second round ousting in the playoffs, I hope to make a few more trips this summer to Flushing) but the first time I had the time to go a look around the Hall of Fame. I must say, I was thoroughly impressed. I love the fact that the two World Series trophies are on displayed for us, the great unwashed, to look at and enjoy instead of the days at Shea when the swells in the suites and Diamond Club, the folks who have zero attachment to them, had them in plain view. I also like how the plaques are made just like the one’s in Cooperstown. The display of Mets uniforms of the past is a treat as well and the baseballs from the first and last games at the Polo Grounds and Shea Stadium scream of our history. I don’t say this too many times but bravo Mets management on putting together a great place for Mets fans to relive and learn Mets history.

A few thoughts on last night’s game:

This team is madding. How does Johan Santana go from throwing batting practice in the first inning to morphing back into an Ace from innings 2-5?    

We sat in seats last night that allowed us access to the Caesars Club, as my wife said we needed to splurge since it was my birthday. Our seats were great, section 326 between third and home, but I’m just not cut out to be among the people who frequent that area. We may have been the only ones in the section actually watching the action on the field.  I was not impressed with the surroundings of the Cesar’s Club either. The furnishings look like the came off the set of Mad Men, with the couches and coffee tables that looked just like the furniture in my living room when I celebrated my 6th birthday in 1964. One very nice feature though was the air conditioning which was welcome relief on a stifling night.

I also grew weary of telling all the “Johnny Come Lately” Mets fans that life story of Mike Hessman.

I’m sure Jerry Manuel has all sorts of facts and figures in his binder that he keeps in the dugout. I am also sure that on one of those pages there shows Pedro Feliciano gets pounded by right handed hitters to the tune of .333/.446/.405 and that Raul Valdes, even though he’s a lefty, has success versus righties  .206/.322/.284 so why was Feliciano left to face El Hombre? I can accept not walking Pujols but why not go with Valdes? It’s your nightly “Gangsta’ Jerry’s Head Scratcher of the Game”.

I have really, really REALLY had enough of Luis Castillo.

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AHHHHH THE GREAT OUTDOORS…SNIFF! SHIFF! IS THAT GARLIC I SMELL?

I ‘m getting ready to head for the hills A/K/A my annual week long camping trip with my sons Boy Scout Troop. Our camp may resemble the prison scene in Godfella’s as we’ve decided to cook all our meals this year. So we’ve packed up cans of crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, onions, peppers, chop meat and sauseeeege (Italian sausage to you out of towners.) so as the boys go off to earn their merit badges, the dads will be over a hot burner “makin’ the gravy”

The leaders office has computers and internet access so I should be able to put up a post or two during the week when I get a little time off from cooking, cutting wood and yelling at kids plus it’s the All-Star break so I won’t be missing much as I don’t revere the All Star game like I did when I was a kid so it might be a good time to go into the woods.

I haven’t read any game stories last from last night as I have a lot of last minute things to do before we leave so I’m still a little foggy on why Jose Reyes hit second last night and is schedule to hit in that spot again today. I’ve heard a theory that he is seeing a lot of sliders in the lead off spot so by flip floping Pagan and Reyes he may see more fastballs as Jose is still plagued by the sore oblique.  After watching Reyes slide back into second last night and coming up sore, I would think management would order him to forgo the All Star game and take the three days to rest his injury.

Hard to kill R A Dickey for last night as he continues to pitch great. If anything, the Mets half of the 6th inning is what did the team in. With Ike Davis on second and Jason Bay on first, no one out, up steps Josh Thole. Ike is not exactly fleet of foot in fact, and I say this will all due respect, Ike has Ed Kranepool speed, and Thole, a contact hitter up, how about a hit and run? Nope, Jerry Manuel decides to go with the bunt, and Bobby Cox, being the Hall of Fame manager that he is, smelled it from a mile away so he put on the wheel play (a Bobby Valentine favorite play as well) where 3rd baseman Omar Infante and 1st baseman Troy Glauss charge in and mentally challenged short stop Yunel Escobar covers 3rd and 2nd baseman mar-TEEEN Prado covering first. The play worked for the Braves beautifully. If Thole was a little bit more experienced he would have pull back the bunt and swung away. As Keith Hernandez said, “Thole might have been afraid of his manager yelling at him” if he did that. If Manuel chastised Thole for a heads up play like that, then he’d be a more clueless strategist  than I make him out to be.

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Tickets

The Mets are looking great this year and The Eddie Kranepool Society keeps you up to date on the good bad and the ugly. If you are looking for Mets Tickets, you must visit Coast To Coast Tickets for all your ticket needs. CTC carries MLB Tickets as well as some of the best priced Concert Tickets on the web and don't forget they also carry Yankees Tickets.

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