Is Terry Collins On A Short Leash ?

 

 

So let me start out by welcoming everyone back to the newly redesigned Eddie Kranepool Society and to wish you all a very happy and healthy 2013 and to give a big thanks to Joe McDonald for this fantastic new layout of the blog. I haven’t posted here in a few days as the holidays were very hectic in a good way by spending a lot of time with family and friends, so it was good to step away from the keyboard for a while.  

I didn’t step away from reading all the sports news though, even while we were getting set to head out for some New Year’s Eve revelry in the Pocono Mountains (it’s as far from the madding crowds of Time Square as you can get. I still don’t understand why people love to stand in the freezing cold to watch that ball drop, in fact I don’t know any native New Yorker who has ever ventured out there, but I digress) as my iPad was burning up with stories of 7 NFL coaches given their pink slips.  Some like Andy Reid in Philly and Lovie Smith in Chicago were very successful but they’re message was growing stale and it was time in the eyes of ownership to get a new voice and a new way of doing business in to run their teams.

Just a week before the Brooklyn Nets fired their head coach Avery Johnson, who just came off winning Coach of the Month honors. As puzzling as that is, how about Mike Brown of the Lakers getting the boot after 5 games this season? WHOA! Some owners mean business. Here is what Prokhorov had to say when he canned Johnson:  

“I think we have very talented players but they are capable of much more than what we have seen in the recent weeks,” Prokhorov said. “I respect Avery and really I wish him well, but sometimes chemistry just isn’t right. It happens.

“I think the main question is why we were unable to bounce back and to play like champions.”

I bring all these coaching changes up because as I sat in the sauna over the weekend (some sight eh?) I thought about Terry Collins and wondered just how long does he have to keep his job as Mets manager in 2013?

Oh I know what your muttering to yourself about my sanity and what an asshole I am (for some that was even before reading this post) I totally understand that the talent level of the Mets entering the 2013 season is not pennant race quality but before you flame away on me ask yourself this, “Has Terry Collins made a positive impact on this team” Sadly I say NO!

I have been a proponent of Collins from the day he was hired. I felt then and still do that Collins is an outstanding baseball instructor and he would make the Mets better fundamentally and more professional. I still think he is a top notch instructor but I feel he’s failed on the other two skill sets I felt he was bringing to the job. Not only that, it seems to me the Mets clubhouse is lacking in discipline as we have seen the last two seasons under Collins leadership the team has folded it’s tent after the All Star break.  The 2009 and 2010 version of the NY Mets gave up in the second halves of the seasons as well, and Jerry Manuel was run out of town, justifiably so. So what’s the difference between Terry Collins and Jerry Manuel?

Collins came to the Mets manager’s job with a soiled reputation as a non-communicator in his past three managerial jobs.  The stories out of Anaheim were about player revolt and in Houston; Collins Astros teams were involved in a civil war between hitters and pitchers. There have been rumblings about the Mets relievers feeling a disconnect between the manager, pitching coach and themselves.  

Collins lost me the night of September 20 th of last season when the Mets were destroyed by the Phillies at Citi Field by a score of 16-1 and visibly upset Collins sat for his post-game presser ready to explode, and when asked by Kevin Burkhardt if the team had quit, Collins deservedly threw them under the bus by telling Burkhart to go ask them. Word was many players were upset with the manager for hinting that the team had packed it in and instead of Collins challenging his detractors, he apologized. I took that as a sign of insecurity by the Mets skipper and he should have stuck to his guns as the team did respond to being called out by actually playing its best baseball of the second half in winning 7 of the next 8 games.

With every second half sleep walk defeat by the Mets, Collins would go into Rick Kotite mode in his post-game pow-wow to the point that it was offensive to me as a Mets fan. I was so tired of hearing that the team played hard and that Collins had seen some positives, all he did was make me think he still had Anaheim on his mind and was afraid to speak out and show anger thinking that media and fans would say he was melting down again.  

Collins enters 2013 without a contract extension and quite frankly I feel he’s only back for this coming season because the Skill Sets don’t want to pay two guys for the same job. When the season ended in 2012, I thought there was a chance that Collins would be re-assigned to either a front office position or back to where his strength is, working with minor leaguers, but Sandy Alderson has kept him on board for the coming season but for how much of the season?  Personnel aside, if the Mets start off badly and show the same listless way of playing baseball as they did in the last couple of second halves of the season, many Mets fans will get their wish of seeing Wally Backman manger the Mets . As Prokhorov said, “sometimes the chemistry just isn’t right, it happens”

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The Eddie Kranepool Society Congratulates David Wright on Becoming the NY Mets All-Time Hits Leader

I’m not going to lie, it was always cool to look at the section of the NY Mets media guide that houses the all-time Mets records and see Ed Kranepool’ name in the top spot as the Mets all-time hits leader. After last night though Steady Eddie has been relegated to the second all-time spot surpassed by David Wright and his squib single in the 3rd inning last night.

Kranepool has been coming to the games of this recent home stand to see Wright take his spot and according to Wright Eddie has been his biggest supporter:

  “Eddie came and saw me before the game, wished me luck, and reiterated the fact that he’s happy for me and excited for me, and that meant a lot to me,” Wright said. “I’m very proud and humbled at the same time.”

 So with that let offer my heartiest congratulations to David Wright on the occasion of earning the title the NY Mets All-Time Hits Leader.

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Guess The Met and Win 2 Tickets to Thursday’s Mets-Reds Game

 

Attention my fellow Mets fans, I have a pair of Field Level seats for this Thursday’s 1PM Mets-Reds game and I want one of you loyal readers of The Eddie Kranepool Society to have them, so the first person to identify the player in the picture above by Tweeting me, will win the ducats.

3 hints:

He was born in Renton WA

He made his ML debut on September 6th 1982

He saved 15 games for the Mets in 1984

So if go to Twitter right now and  Tweet me with this players name, the first person to do so will win the Field Box tickets and the opportunity to see R.A. Dickey pitch the first no hitter in NY Mets history.

 All you need to do is go to the Will Call window at Citi Field with a valid photo ID to claim the tickets. So you get an R.A. Dickey start (vs. Matt Lattos) a sunny 75 degree day and free tickets. What’s not to like!

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Win VIP Seat and Autographed Movie Poster for the Film KNUCKLEBALL ! at The Tribeca Film Festival

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One of the great events in New York City is the Tribeca Film Festival and this year is no exception, in fact there will be a film shown at the festival that is perfect for us baseball and Mets fans. The film Knuckleball! will be shown this Saturday at 8:15 PM  at the Tribeca Drive-In at The World Financial Center Plaza, which is located at West Street between Vesey and Liberty Streets.

He is a synopsis of the film Knuckleball! and a rundown of the festivities for the evening:

The baseball documentary Knuckleball! will be premiering for free to the public on April 21st as a part of the Tribeca Drive-in at the Tribeca Film Festival.  This classic sports story recounts the 2011 journey of the last professional knuckleball pitchers: Tim Wakefield, a 17-year Red Sox veteran, and Mets up-and-comer R.A. Dickey. Together with just four other living knuckleballers, they shine a light on their remarkable brotherhood and the shared pursuit of honor and craftsmanship.

The Tribeca Drive-in will open at 6:00 pm and include live music, giveaways, baseball trivia contests and pitching clinics with pro knuckleballers R.A. Dickey; Tim Wakefield, formerly of the Boston Red Sox; Charlie Hough, formerly of the Dodgers and Rangers; and former New York Yankee Jim Bouton.  The world premiere of Knuckleball! will follow at 8:15 pm . 

As you can see there is a lot to entice you to come out for the premiere, live music and giveaways would be enough I’m sure, but the chance to meet R.A. Dickey and his fellow knuckleballers, Tim Wakefield and Charlie Hough (if you’ve read Dickey’s book “Wherever I Wind Up” -published by Blue Rider Press-you know how influential Wakefield and Hough were in helping R.A. turn himself into the solid starting knuckleball pitcher he is today) and free admission? Are ya’ kidding? But wait there’s more.

I am offering one lucky Eddie Kranepool Society reader, the chance to score a seat in the VIP Section of the Tribeca Drive-In to view Knuckleball!, and also receive a poster from the movie autographed by Dickey, Wakefield, Hough and Bouton.

In order to win this prize package, you need to be the first reader to e-mail me (please put Knuckleball ! Movie in the subject line please)  at sinymets@aol.com with the correct answer to this trivia question:

In 2006, R.A. Dickey made one start for the Texas Rangers. Not only did Dickey lose the game he also tied a modern day MLB record. What was that record?

First correct answer via e-mail wins the seat and the autograph poster. Good Luck.

 

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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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BACK WITH MORE TOMORROW

With the Eddie Kranepool Society World Headquarters (my basement) under some renovations (nothing better than waking up on your day off to the sounds of jackhammers attacking your basement floor) and some family issues that have come up the last couple of days, I haven’t had time to post on the site, I hope to have some stuff up tomorrow

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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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HEY, I KNOW WHERE I’M NOT WANTED

Lot’s of news today about the new and improved ticket prices the Mets have announced. Yesterday afternoon, Dave The Shyster held a conference call with Mets bloggers to explain what a great deal the Mets were laying out for their fans as far as ticket prices go for 2011. As usual, yours truly was not invited to this event as I have found out from some very good sources that I have as much chance of being invited to a bloggers event at Citi Field as Keith Olbermann has of being the keynote speaker at the Tea Party Convention. From what I hear, the ownership hates the tone of this site and my way of expressing my opinions of the way the team is operated. When I heard this I was beaming with pride. Throughout the years that I have been posting opinion on this site, nine years now, I have been approached by numerous entities asking me to join their websites and to have The Eddie Kranepool Society join a more established network. But there was also a provision that I’d have to have each post reviewed and edited and in no way could I use any profanity. How can you write about the Mets the last few years and not use the word “Fuck”? Any way, I’ve always declined the invites. 

I write this blog out of love of the NY Mets and of baseball, the same way I love doing THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN and now as a host of BASEBALL BLOGGERS ALLIANCE BASEBALL TALK on Blog Talk Radio. As for an empty suit like David Howard, it’s probably better we never meet up as I might pull a  Muhammad Ali  and do to him what Ali did to Ernie Terrell in 1967 when he kept landing body blows and said “What’s my blog fool, what’s my blog”?

Believe me when I tell you, I’m writing this post to answer all the e-mails and phone calls I get asking me why I don’t get invited to this events. Whether I get invited or not at least I know that the Skill Sets know who I am and I’m a thorn in their side and I wear that as a badge of honor.

I find it quite amusing that the Mets are announcing these new and improved ticket prices, what other choice did they have? The team played in front of ten’s of thousands of empty seats and during the month of September, closed the concession stands in the Promenade Level.  The team still has not admitted (nor the Highlanders as well) the short sight ness of making the seats behind home plate, Club Seats for folks who could not give a shit about the Mets. Guys in suits and chicks named Buffy don’t root, root root for the home team. I’m far from envious of these people by the way as I had access to a suite at Shea and (are you sitting down for this one) and at Highlander Stadium (are you still sitting? I also was a guest in the Late Bronx Robber Barons suite and office as one of my brothers did business with the Highlanders. The only way he’d let me go with him was on the condition that I wear no Mets clothing and I don’t cheer the opposition. If I did the penalty would be a severe ass kicking. My brother I’m scared of. David Howard ? Uhhhh not so much! )  and I hated watching games from that venue. My wife got tickets this year for a game on my birthday in the Caesar Club. The only time I went in the Club was to enter my seats and to go home. I still miss my Upper Deck Box seats in Section 701 at Shea but now I look for tickets in Section 513 of the Promenade Reserved Infield. There is nothing better than sitting in the sun at baseball game in your shorts, t-shirt and flip flops not in a suit and tie.

There is a reason places like Citizens Bank Park, AT&T and the holy shrines of Fenway and Wrigley, Camden Yards and most of the new ballparks are outstanding places to watch baseball games, there are no club seats behind home plate.

If you want to make a splash and make a real improvement at your ball park, tear out the Club Seats and put real honest to goodness baseball seats there and open them up to real fans and lo and behold you got yourself a real honest to goodness home field advantage.

I know myself and Dave Howard and The Skill Sets will never be pals and that’s cool as I’m not here to be their friend, I’m here to help them turn the experience of going to see the baseball team I love, into one that makes people excited to make a return trip. I guess the lowering of ticket prices is a start, maybe a retraining of the ushers and concession workers to get them to drop the Correction Officer attitude they portray, would work well too and last but not least, give Mets fans a team they can be proud to root for. Do that and maybe the Skill Sets and me will go for a beer after the World Series parade. Now that would be a great summit meeting.

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THE PEOPLE’S “CHERCE”: HOWARD MEGDAL FOR GENERAL MANAGER OF THE NY METS

The fans have spoken and the man they want to run the baseball operations for the New York Mets is Howard Megdal. Howard’s message of LOGIC, TRANSPARENCY  AND PASSION has stuck a cord in the heart of Mets fans. All three facets of Howard’s campaign is the bedrock of what being a Mets fan is all about.

Tomorrow evening at 6:15PM Howard will accept the Mets fans nomination for GM with an acceptance speech at Citi Field, Parking Lot E. After the speech, Howard will present his impressive resume to Jeff and Fred Wilpon and hopefully they will realize that there is only one man to lead this organization out of the malaise it is in that has injured the heart and soul of every Mets fan and that man is Howard Megdal.

Here is the press release detailing Howard’s primary sweep and I would like to thank the readers of The Eddie Kranepool Society for voting 82 % in favor of Megdal to be the next General Manager of the New York Mets.

After receiving thousands of votes over the course of 18 grueling primaries at blogs dedicated to the Mets around the Internet, Howard Megdal will graciously accept the nomination of New York Mets fans to be the next General Manager at 6:15 PM Thursday night in Parking Lot E at Citi Field.

Megdal won every primary he entered, with a vote share of 65 percent or greater in 17 of the 18 contests, and averaged a vote share of greater than 74 percent. Considering that Metsblog currently rates the fan confidence rating in the team at 9 percent, there can be no greater sign that Fred and Jeff Wilpon are listening to the wishes of the fans than by making Howard Megdal the next General Manager of the New York Mets.

“I have been honored and humbled to be chosen by so many fans, motivated by my pillars of LOGIC, TRANSPARENCY and PASSION as guideposts for this baseball team’s future in 2011 and beyond,” Megdal said. “I look forward to speaking with the Wilpons, earning the job that so many fans want me to have, and drying forever my daughter’s baseball-related tears.”

After Megdal concludes his speech detailing his vision for the future of the New York Mets, he will submit his resume to Fred and Jeff Wilpon. T-shirts will be available, and Megdal will answer questions from the press or fans before doing what he loves most—going to watch a Mets game with his wife and daughter.

Howard Megdal writes about and analyzes the team for SNY.tv and Capital New York, has covered it for The New York Observer, and knows the personnel and players, both on the field and off. He write three columns a week for New York Baseball Digest, four pieces for SB Nation New York, and a poem summarizing every single game for AmazinAvenue.com.  He also has a wider-range view of the league and a network of contacts, contributes columns to outlets like ESPN.com and The New York Times, and regularly writes for MLBTradeRumors.com. You can follow him on Twitter @howardmegdal.

He has lived and loved the Mets since he was six years old. When he was 13 years old, his school Principal forced Megdal to spend the day in his office, since the school had declared Phillies Hat Day, and he refused to remove his Starter pinstriped Mets cap. Had he agreed to remove the Mets hat, he would have been set free. But that was too high a price to pay.

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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.

Visit BangTheBook.Com for daily free MLB Mets Picks and gameday previews, also join the baseball handicapping discussion in the forum or track your plays in our sports monitor.