Please Support the Fund Raiser for Shannon Forde

 

Last week at our monthly Met Bloggers night at Citi Field the friendly face I always look for was right there in the conference room where you see Terry Collins before and after every game. Shannon Forde, the Mets Senior Director of Media Relations came over to give me and the other bloggers a big welcome.

Shannon and Danielle Parilleo the Mets Director of Communications are the Mets bloggers den mothers. They take us into the places we’ve all dreamed about being in, the managers press conference, on the field for batting practice, arranging players for us to interview and assuring Jay Horowitz that we are not bad people. It’s people in the organization like Shannon and Danielle that make me root harder for this team to win because they work so hard they deserve a World Series ring as much as any player.

While watching BP last week at Citi Field myself and Ed Marcus went over to say hi to Shannon and tell her how much we missed her at the last bloggers meet up. Shannon has that personality that just makes you want to hang out with her to the point where she is much more interesting to talk to than any of the players, the same players by the way who seem to have much love and admiration for her since they know firsthand how hard she works at her craft. Her work at Citi Field is just a part of what she does as she is a mom and a wife and handles all those responsibility flawlessly and with her trademark smile.

It was while we were hanging out by the Mets dugout that Shannon told Ed and me that she was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer. At that point both of our knees kind of buckled. But leave it to Shannon to stay positive and tell us she’s going to fight this and beat it and with the great support group she has both with the Mets and within her family, I have no doubt that she will beat this insidious disease and continue to be one of the best and most important members of the NY Mets and continue to lead a bunch of nomad bloggers around Citi Field.

To support and give back to Shannon for all she has done for so many, her friends have organized a fund raiser for her at the Westmount Country Club in Woodland Park NJ on Thursday night November 1st for 7PM to 11PM. Tickets for the dinner are $100 and that includes dinner dancing a cocktail hour and open bar. From 7:30PM to 9:00PM that evening, there will be an autograph session featuring Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, John Franco, Bobby Ojeda, Edgardo Alfonzo, Al Leiter, Ed Charles and Eddie Kranepool. For $250 you get to meet with these members of Mets Royalty and get an autograph as well.

If you cannot make it to the dinner you can still make a donation. All the information is at Hope Shines For Shannon.  

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“WILPON’S FOLLY” A MUST READ FOR METS FANS

 

 

Lots of Mets news today to look at and I want get to it quick so I can read Howard Megdal’s new book “Wilpon’s Folly. Megdal has done what no other journalist s has attempted, he has conducted a full investigation into Wilpon’s involvement with Bernie Madoff and how December 11, 2008, the day Madoff was shown to be a world class thief and the worst day of Fred Wilpon’s life could rival the June 15, 1977 as the worst day in NY Mets history. After I finish reading “Wilpon’s Folly” I’ll have more on the book but if you are a Mets fan and want to know the TRUTH about Madoff and what the Wilpon’s knew and when they knew it and where all this will leave our beloved Mets, you really need to get this book.

Sandy Alderson has been named to International Talent Committee that was formed to study if MLB should institute a draft of International players. Just one step closer to the Commissioner’s office for Alderson

What’s this? The Mets are looking at dealing for Gio Gonzalez? It would be a feather in Alderson’s cap to pull this one off and if he feels parting with Jon Niese, Ike Davis and a minor leaguer or two is worth it, it still may not be enough to land Gonzalez.

Wayne Hagin, we hardly knew ye. Looks like Hagin’s days as Mets radio man are over. Hagin never clicked with the fan base because we Mets fans are very provincial when it comes to announcers.  I’ve met Hagin a few times on the 7 train going back to the city after a Mets game and found him not only a gentleman but a great storyteller as well, but all that just didn’t translate into the radio booth during games. A great hire to join Howie Rose in the radio booth would be Boog Sciambi.

I’m a little late with this and I apologize as you need to check out Ed Marcus and Kerel Cooper’s video’s of Tuesdays Mets Christmas Party and the Q & A’s with Sandy Alderson, Justin Turner, Daniel Murphy and Jon Niese. Yes that’s me asking Alderson about the catching situation.

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NOT A METS FAN? I FEEL SORRY FOR YOU

Some people just don’t get it. You can’t really explain it to them because their capacity to comprehend is inadequate. No matter how much detail you go into and try to show the beauty, the hurt, the unpredictability, the euphoria, and the heartbreak, they just don’t get it. What am I talking about? What makes a Mets fan, a Mets fan?

Last night would make for a great visual into why we as Mets fans love this team. Yesterday afternoon if Mike Baxter rang my door bell and introduced himself, I’d close the door on him like he was trying to convert me to Jehovah Witness, after last night, I want to hang out in Whitestone with the Baxter family. Are you kidding me? Kid grows up a Mets fan in Queens, leads Archbishop Molloy to a championship, bangs around the minors for seven seasons, put on waivers and picked up by the hometown team , first game hit a double (generous scoring sure) in front of family and friends who cannot contain their excitement , what a story. That’s what rooting for the NY Mets is about, there is always a story.

Of course there are not just non-believers out there but those who feel it’s cool to mock us and the team we root for. The latest in this line of unimaginative assholes is Jim Luttrell of the NY Times, who doesn’t understand why Mets fans would go to any more games this season at Citi Field. In a post at Faith and Fear in Flushing, Jason Fry gives those of Luttrell’s ilk a lesson on why we root for this team. I hope someone reads this article to Luttrell even though he won’t understand it.

http://www.faithandfearinflushing.com/2011/08/09/mets-1-new-york-times-0/comment-page-1

Ed Marcus (a/k/a Rusty Jr ) makes the case over at The Real Dirty Mets blog that Terry Collins should receive a contract extension. Collins has just next year left on his deal and I would be shocked if he wasn’t awarded a one year extension this off season.   He’s earned it. http://sportspyder.com/teams/new-york-mets/articles/4522980

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COME ON NOW, WAIT A SECOND GUESS!

 

The Mets have lost their share of games this season that would have you sit an ponder for a few minutes before you get on with  your life outside being a Mets fans , but last night’s game , some 12 hours later is still bothering me.  I was lucky enough to have Ed Marcus (rusty Jr.) of The Real Dirty Mets on with me last night after the game on my THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN podcast and we disscused the game plus a lot of other Mets news and views, but back to last night’s game.

Last night Terry Collins managed more with his heart than his head, when he left R.A. Dickey in the game in the 8th inning. I’m not going to kill Collins on the move but I won’t argue with fans who feel  he  left Dickey in too long. Where I take Collins to task is, and not to go all Tim McCarver on you, why do you have Izzy warming up in the pen, and then you don’t use him? Sure Collins brought  Izzy in after Neal  Walker’s  two-run single up the middle to break a 1-1 tie, but the formula all season has been Izzy in the 8th and Frankie Rodz in the 9th which has worked great for most of the season, so why re-write the strategy now?  Well, it seems Collins got caught up in the moment as did all the fans at Citi Field.

R.A. Dickey not only showed guts pitching in pain with his plantar fascia injury that has left him unable to run and walking with a bit of a limp but that did not affect his ability to toss a knuckleball that sashayed better than any contestant on Dancing With The Stars. Maybe it was the warm humid night or just that Dickey got his mojo back but he was vintage Dickster last night.

Every time Dickey came up to bat he was greeted with an ovation that was Seaver-Godden-ess and deservedly so.  Problem for R.A. was the lineup that Terry Collins used last night made a journeyman pitcher like James McDonald look like Dock Ellis, minus the hallucinogenics  of course. I will give McDonald props on curve ball that was just a nasty 12 to 6 hook.

It seemed that Collins was ready to let Dickey pitch a complete game hopefully with a shutout added to the back of his baseball card. Dickey had retired 12 in a row until the 8th inning. After a Ronny Cedeno’ leadoff single, Dickey got two quick outs, then hit a batter and let young James Harrison get another hit off him bringing up Neal Walker who hits much better from the left side than right, so maybe bringing  in Brydak or O’Connor would be the move here.  Collins didn’t think so, it was Dickey’s game to win or lose.

Now Dickey got two quick strikes on Walker but a combination of Dickey letting a knuckler float in the middle of the plate and Walker using good hitting technique and shorting up his swing with two strikes, sent the pitch right up the middle for a two run single which was like a swift kick in the nuts.

If Dickey strikes out Walker there, R.A. and Collins are heroes instead it’s become a second guesser’s paradise. That’s baseball Suzyn.

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WHOA! IT LOOKS LIKE RAIN!

Justin Turner had a great night, a two run double that continued to keep his bat blazing hot and he caught a 6 lb Bass right near 3rd base.  Add me in with the rest of the fan base who were siting dry and cozy at home trying to figure out how last night’s game wasn’t called due to monsoon?

Jon Niese had a strong game in the less than ideal conditions that should help to toughen him up.  In fact if  were any team other than the anemic Nationals I’d be talking how maybe Niese turned the corner with this start and that this could be a springboard to launching a great rest of the season for Niese, but like I said, it was against the Nationals a team that swings balsa wood bats.

The Mets have made a big time effort to have their players go into the community for a number of charitable events. Yesterday Matt Falkenbury of The Daily Stache caught up with Jason Pridie and Scott Hairston at Middle School 111 in the Bronx yesterday as the help the kids at the school work on their softball skills.

Ed Marcus (a/k/a Rusty Jr.) writes about the “Ironic” Mets season.

Angel Pagan had a walk and a home run for St. Lonesome last night in a rehab start. I bet we see Pagan this weekend in the South Bronx.

Who is Chris Schwinden ? Don’t look in any prospects books because you won’t find his name. Toby Hyde has the skinny on Schwinden who may be the next pitcher called up to Flushing.

Terry Collins may make you scratch your head sometimes with his strategic moves but you have to give him a ton of credit for keeping this team playing hard and producing in the wake of injuries. Add in that he has proven to have his player’s backs and he has been handling the press like he’s been here for years, his managerial tenure so far is a big success. Last year with these kinds of injuries, the club would have lay down and died, not this year. Good job by TC to change the culture in the clubhouse.   

I feel badly for not posting about the death of Harmon Killebrew earlier. No way could I recap the career of “Killer” better than Joe Posnanski did so I’ll let you read his great column on Killebrew and also check out this classic episode of Home Run Derby contest between Killebrew and Mickey Mantle. R.I.P. Harmon.

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“OK, DID ANYONE SEE WHAT HAPPENED HERE”?

WHEW!!!! Where to start? I feel like a detective arriving at a crime scene, who found the body? Any witnesses? Ok, start canvassing the area.

I hadn’t have time to post since Wednesday morning as I’ve had a whirl wind couple of days.

Wednesday I was granted a media credential. Yes you read that right, a MEDIA credential. Never in a million years did I ever think I would walk into Shea Stadium/Citi Field press entrance and say to the receptionist “Good afternoon, I’m Steve Keane of the Eddie Kranepool Society” and have her reply “Hi Mr. Keane here is your credential, the managers press conference will be starting in few minutes, go right in to the interview room”.

It was great to have a nice showing of the Mets Blogger-ratzi as Caryn Rose, Kerel Cooper, Ed Marcus, Mike Sliva, Joe Janish and Rob Castellano on Wednesday as we were welcome to attend Terry Collins pre game press conference. The only stipulation was we weren’t allowed to ask questions which was fine as the media assigned to cover this game does this for a living and have deadlines to meet, believe me it was a kick just having the main stream media looking at us with that “ there goes the neighborhood look.

After the quickie presser, we were led out to the field to watch batting practice. It was a bit awkward at times, I’m standing right in front of R.A. Dickey and I’m like should I say hello? Ask him how his cracked nail is? What are you reading these days?  We were allowed to go into the dugout so as I entered, standing at the bat rack is Daniel Murphy, again I have to restrain myself from going all fanboy there. From attending events over the winter at Citi Field, I’ve learn (a) don’t wear any Mets gear, which is tough when three quarters of your wardrobe has either Mets or and interlocking blue and orange NY and (b) be prepared with good questions. I’m not there to swoon; I’m there to get as much information as I can. I have to say, I let my guard down for a moment though, as Josh Thole was strolling to the dugout, I was standing right at the steps as he came right next to me and I blurted out “Hey Josh how’s it goin”? And Thole put his hand out for handshake and replied “doin’ great how are you”?  I kind of felt, oh no did I break protocol? Then I thought,” Well I’ll say I made a rookie mistake” on me not Thole.  I then composed myself and went back in to investigative mode and canvassed the area for info and I got some good stuff.

Many of the folks I talked to were very surprised of course by the awful start of the season the team has had but what they found more shocking was the venom spewed by some of the fan base. A lot of the talk was about, it’s fine to boo and be pissed off by the early play of the team but the level of nastiness towards the Mets by Mets fans is unprecedented.  A few people I talked to could not believe the hate coming from what Mets fans were in the Citi Field stands.  Look, no one would say any Mets fan is wrong for being angry and disillusioned by this awful start, but some of the remarks I’ve heard on opening day and talk radio and on Twitter and Facebook have been a bit outlandish.  There is no question that the Mets have found more ways to beat themselves and have given away too many games and this start of the season has sucked more than any of us imagined but what was your best case scenario for the team before opening day? I felt, give me 82-84 wins and be in the hunt for the Wild Card spot as my best possible. Did anyone think this team was better than the Phillies or Braves? I didn’t think so.

Again please don’t take this as any excuse for the horrendous play in the field by this Mets team.  This opening home stand has been a embarrassment and every single player on this team needs to step up his game and step up fast. I’d even include the manager in that as well. I feel for Terry Collins in the fact that from talking to guys who spent all of spring training covering this team in St. Lonesome, there was more hands on instruction done in that camp than the last two put together. Collins main goal was to tighten up the fundamentals that have been lacking with the big league team and in the minor league system for years. As pissed off as you are as a Mets fan over the recent piss poor play, it’s nothing like the angst the manager is going through.  So far TC has been composed and has his player’s backs but another few games of this bullshit and I’m sure Mount Collins will erupt.

What I’d take the manger to task over and this is not earth shattering as it’s seems to be the overwhelming consensus, is not walking Troy Tulowitzki with 1st base open and 2 outs.  In hind sight, I think Collins would love a mulligan there. What has me the most annoyed is that Tulo was never made uncomfortable in the batters box at any time in this four game series. I don’t say throw at his head but for Christ sake couldn’t someone on the pitching staff step up and dust him? This bothers me because when I first met Collins over the winter my first question was will you change the culture of this team letting the opposition come into your home ball park and do whatever they want with you. I gave him my opinion that the past couple of years the Mets have a rep for being soft and when punched they never punched back. Collins told me I wasn’t wrong in my assessment and it was something he said he would change. He even pointed out that if he had been the manager when Chase Utley took out Ruben Tejada last year, he would have led the charge out of the dugout to confront Utley.   First at bat tonight I’d like to see Larry Jones eat some Georgia clay just to send a message.

Someone in the Mets P.R. department needs to tell Collins to cease and desist with the we played hard or how proud he is that the team battled back those replies have to stop like yesterday. We have heard the Rich Kotie/Art Howe/Willie Randolph refrain more time than we ever need to hear again. When Sandy Alderson took over and hired Collins for the job, the mantra was that honesty and transparency would be  the bedrock of the new management team, well it’s time to live up to the new company motto and stop with the we battled back, tried hard line of horseshit because playing hard shouldn’t be rewarded it’s to be expected.  

Another topic of conversation around the dugout was what will be of Jose Reyes? Will he be traded mid-season if the team is out of contention? If he stays, will the Mets sign him to a long term deal? How is long is too long and how much money is too much money for the Mets? Of a bunch of us discussing this no one had a definitive answer or solution. Many of us feel, the lack of money will be a bullshit excuse. If the Skill Sets plead lack of funds then that is a flat out lie. If it’s years on the contract that would be more of a reasonable topic of debate.

As far as the Skill Sets legal woes go, word on the street is the players couldn’t give a shit about their problems as long as there are sufficient funds to cash their checks. The day the bank shouts out “insufficient funds” then they’ll care.

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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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THE LAST TEMPTATION OF OLLIE

If reports are true, Ollie Perez is pitching for his Mets life this afternoon against the St. Louis Cardinals in St. Lonesome. Terry Collins is saying that this isn’t true that Ollie will pitch again after this start, but if he has a typical OP start, command issues, lack of zip on fastball, tons of walks then what’s the sense of giving him another start ? At some point you have to stop wasting your time with OP.

The Mets money woes may not be as dire as we think. The Skill Sets spent $15K on dirt. DIRT!!! But it seems like $15K spent wisely.

Ed Marcus posts up #6 in his all time Mets list. He was baseball’s Marlboro Man and one of my favorite Mets of all time and now he entertains us on TV. Just be careful if he asks you to help him move.

Adam Rubin posted his idea of what the Mets 25 man roster will look like on opening day. He has both Perez and Castillo off the team which is fine by me. He has Taylor Buchholz in the pen but notes that Jason Isringhausen is still in the mix and could grab Buchholz spot. Nick Evans is not on Rubin’s roster either and that is upsetting as Evans has worked hard to get back to the big league level but he’d have to beat out Chin-lung Hu or Willie Harris for a spot and I don’t see him beating either players out. There has to be a team that could use a good righty bat who can play both corner infield positions?

Dwight Gooden’s life just gets sadder and sadder. He has now agreed to become a sideshow act for Dr. Drew’s Celebrity Rehab show on VH1. The show is like a junk yard for D list celeb’s that have their lives have swirled out of control. How in the world did Doc become a D-Lister? That is as crushing as his fight with drug and alcohol addiction.

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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO FREDDY SKILL SETS

Seems I have two allies in the Skill Sets Stay Home camp in Bob Klapish and Harvey Aarton. After that stellar performance by Jeffy Skill Sets yesterday, Freddy Skill Sets will address the media this morning at St. Lonesome.

Freddy will say that he was duped by Madoff and he is hurt by the betrayal and he never saw it coming and he will not sell the team and the team will be in the Skill Set family for generations (just like this blog, I want my grandchildren and great grandchildren to carry on my tradition of poor taste and over use of profanity) and this will not affect the team and by the way, did I tell you we have one of the highest payrolls in baseball? In other words there will be nothing of substance said at the sunrise sermon. Even more reason for Freddy and Jeffy to keep their ass’ home.

Ed Marcus/Rusty Jr comes out with a stunner at #20 in top 50 Mets of all time countdown.

With all my ranting on the Skill Sets setting up their circus tent in St Lonesome, I forgot to comment on the return of Izzy. Izzy flashed some talent when he was a Mets as part of the Generation K trio of Bill Pulsipher, Paul Wilson and Izzy but he was really immature. Now at 38 years old and success as a closer and a rebuilt Tommy John-ed elbow, who knows, maybe he finds what he left in St. Louis. Year after TJ surgery/past success/works  cheap this is the new undervalued commodity in this  Sandy Alderson Production.

By the way, Izzy was given #45. OUCH!!! Sorry Johnny.

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A PUBLIC DISPLAY OF OWNERSHIP?

So neither Mayor Moneybags or Jerry Seinfled are interested in buying the Mets. That’s fine by me because I am very much interested in buying the Mets

 (first thing I’d do is redesign Citi Field and make it like Cameron Indoor Stadium where all the seats in the field level of the stadium would be for Mets fans only and by fans I mean in order to sit there you would have to take a 10 question quiz on Mets history. For every question you get right I deduct a dollar off the already low 20 bucks I’d charge for the seat. Then I’d move all the club seats holders to the Promenade and make up the difference in my new ticket price plan on them. Oh and I enclose the whole promenade as so not to disturb the high rollers with our screaming and yelling of LET’S GO METS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)   

Except I lack the one thing that would make that happen. MONEY, but both Bloomy and Seinfeld are filthy rich so if they front me the cash, I would be happy to take ownership over from the Skill Sets.

Alex Remington on FanGraphs puts out the theory of the Mets going with a public sale of stock in the team as a way to raise capital and keep control of the franchise. If this happened I would definitely buy in. Remington mentions the Boston Celtics in his piece as a team that stock was available in back in the mid late 90’s. Being a Celtics fan, I bought 100 shares of Celtics stock for 8 buck a share. When the current management took over control of the team they wanted make them private, so they offered the shareholders $35 a share so my $800 investment brought me back $3500 and the right to say I once was a part owner of the Boston Celtics.  

Ed Marcus’ Top 50 Mets of all time checks today with #27 Jesse Orosco. Of course we can never forget Orosco on the mound for the NLCS and World Series clinchers and of course coming to the Mets from the Twins for Jerry Koosman but the game that stands out to me is July 22, 1986 in a 6-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds. Davey Johnson had both Orosco and his tag team partner Roger McDowell stay in the game by rotating them from the outfield to the pitcher’s mound.

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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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