All We Have Is Hope

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My pessimism for the upcoming season of my beloved Mets intensified a bit because one of our cats woke me up before I wanted to rise and shine for a bit of breakfast.  So after filling the bowls with leftover grilled chicken breast, I went to the living room with the intent of browsing Netflix for a movie. But first I took a tour of the 1763 channels on my FiOS system and lo and behold I stumble on to The Last Play at Shea on The Movie Channel.  I was going to turn the channel quick so as not get involved in this film but then the face of an old friend, the late Dana Brand came on my screen and that made me sit up straight with a touch of sadness. Then another blogger buddy was present on the TV, Greg Prince sitting in a seat at the our old house, Shea Stadium talking about all the great times we had at that place and more sadness fell over me. I started to think out loud and staring at Mittens our cat and shouting to him “Where did we go wrong”???? Mittens looked up for a second and went back to cleaning himself off after his satisfying breakfast.

Where did we go wrong? When did this organization make the turn from Ya Gotta Believe Boulevard to Embarrassment Lane?   I’m watching the film and seeing the Mets of the 80’s I just stared and drifted off into the Way Back Machine of my mind. Everyone hated us back then.  As a Met fan of that era we all had a “Do you know who the fuck we are” attitude that rubbed off on the fan base from our beloved team.  Keith Hernandez was that guy who rolled the cigarette pack in his sleeve, Darryl Strawberry was a physical specimen who hit baseballs liked they owed him money,  Ray Knight would smack the shit out you because he could,  Gary Carter was the definition of don’t mistake kindness for weakness.  Dwight Gooden had guys coming down with the flu on days he took the mound and they were led by the chip on his shoulder skipper Davey Johnson. The New York Mets were MLB’s Bad Ass’s

Today the Mets are the kick ass’s as in they have been on the receiving end of the ass kicking they use to hand out. Not to mention a team that plays in a tidy baseball McMansion, Citi Field as the old Mets with bad attitudes played in a tenement called William Shea Housing Project.  As much as I try to accept Citi as the new home of the Mets and try hard to let the past of Shea go, when I see movies like Last Play at Shea, I wonder if we are cursed. Is there a Curse of Shea Stadium?

Think about it the Mets haven’t been the same since the move to Citi. The owners were taken in by a flim flam man named Madoff, real fans have been moved out to outfield stands while the areas around 1st base, 3rd base and home plate have been surrounded by cement and security guards stationed to make sure no real fans try to sneak into the plethora of empty padded seats vacated by the swells who would rather sit in air conditioned luxury of a club while drinking expensive wine and eating gourmet foods.  Back at Shea the food sucked but the baseball was good, I’ll take winning baseball with an over cooked hot dog, half thawed pretzel washed down with watered down Bud any day.

There is hope, hope that the tide is turning. Where the everyday eight are not much to look at, the pitching staff has some talent and charisma. Matt Harvey looks like he could have anchored a staff in the 70’s or 80’s. Zack Wheeler and Travis d”Arnud should make a solid contribution once they are freed from Super Two purgatory.  Other than that and few wet behind the ears minor leaguers, there is much to be optimistic about with this 2013 edition of the NY Mets.

I hope I’m wrong.  I hope Lucas Duda visits the Wizzard of Baseball Oz to  get some baseball confidence. I hope I’m right about Colin Cowgill that he is the surprise of the season. I hope Ike Davis has the breakout season he and Mets fans have been waiting for. I hope David Wright finds some support in the lineup, I hope Freddy Skill Sets is not pissing on our legs and does have money to allow Sandy Alderson to bring in a big league bat with power. I hope the bullpen doesn’t suck like last year. I hope Citi Field is full of METS FANS in September making noise and rooting for a team that plays hard and wins baseball games. I hope I’m not setting myself up for disappointment.

 

 

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Curtis Martin Gives a Moving Speech at HOF Induction

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If you have not seen or heard former Patriot and Jets RB Curtis Martin’ acceptance speech last night in Canton, do yourself a a favor a click on the video and watch this very inspirational speech. By the way, what an embarrassment to the NFL HOF voters that Bill Parcells has not been inducted and also Jerry Kramer of the great Lombardi Packers. Disgraceful

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Gotta Clean Up The Slop

 

 

Let’s face it, when Terry Collins rolls out his majority right handed hitting lineup the opposition isn’t exactly quaking in their cleats. So add the righty lineup with sloppy base running and defense (besides bullpen help and a right handed power bat, Sandy Alderson really needs to put getting a defensive catcher high on his things to do over the all star break list, really enough of Mike Nickeas already!) and Clayton Kershaw you get an 8-2 Mets loss but this game was more the Mets losing it than the Dodgers winning it.

A 3-1 Mets lead disintegrated  again by poor defense (I’ve been a supporter of Lucas Duda and the job he’s done in RF but lately he’s been regressing out there and I’m getting a little worried)  which seems to happen every time I think the Mets are ready to run off a big win streak (My daughter and I were in a t-shirt store in Hyannis  yesterday when the clerk saw my Mets cap and t-shirt, he said “wow the Mets are doing really well this year what are they like 5 games out of 1st place”? and in my “no you asshole “voice I told him the Mets were 2.5 games out of 1st  at which point my daughter walk slowly out of the store full of embarrassment) but still the Mets have had three winning months in a row and have not been below .500 all season so with that and the fact they are a mere 3.5 games back of the Nationals for first place in the NL East it’s been a great first half of the season.

And you want to know why I think so highly of Sandy Alderson, the truth hurts doesn’t it Mets fans

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CHEAP GIVEAWAY, CLUELESS HIGHLANDER FANS,AND A LINE UP SHAKE UP

A tip of the BLUE Mets cap to The Mets Police for this pic of the offensive Seinfled cap

Observations from a busy weekend, and a happy belated Mother’s Day to all the mommies out there:

I went to the Mets-Dodgers games Saturday night as we live a in a time where you can go on your computer in the afternoon and buy and download tickets to a ball game that night in the comfort of your own home. I wish the atmosphere at the ball park could be as blissful as purchasing the tickets.

The Mets gave out caps on Saturday sponsored by Seinfeld, now I am a great fan of Jerry Seinfeld, but those caps that were given out were an embarrassment.  My wife told to stop complaining as what were you expecting for free, a New Era cap? No, not at all but they could have spent an extra dollar to make the cap something I’d wear instead of a one that felt and looked like it was made from scrap paper. Then to top it off it was BLACK. Maybe if they went with blue I wouldn’t have been this upset but really that cap was a piece of shit.

We sat in the Pepsi Porch which is my favorite spot of Citi Field but on Saturday, I felt like I was watching the game on the corner of 42 St and Broadway, people getting up during play and then trying to get to seat 17 by going through the first 16 seats of the row in the middle of an inning. I wouldn’t bitch so much if it was once or twice but this went on all game long.  The Mets need to do what the Garden and Prudential Center enforce, keep ushers near the section entrances and hold people up until an at bat is done then let them get back to their seats. And another thing, is it so hard to know where you’re sitting? How many times do you see some clueless asshole holding four beers standing on the steps of the section with a stupid look on his or her face not knowing where they sit? All you have to do is remember three things Section, Row, and seat.  How do these people function in everyday life?

I tried the Keith Burger on Saturday night and I wasn’t impressed at all, in fact in my opinion the only food that’s any good at Citi Field is Mama’s of Corona, Blue Smoke, or Sausage and Peppers hero, the rest of the food, even the highly vaunted Shake Shack, is overrated.

If there is anyone of the Highlander persuasion reading this site (Michael maybe you can explain this phenomenon that I’m about to address and please remember you are excluded from the group I’m about to call out) can you explain why Highlander fans come to Citi Field dressed like they are going to a Highlanders game and root for the Mets opponent of the day? Do you know what kind of dick heads you people are? I can’t even get angry at these morons; I’m just stunned by their stupidity. I go to Highlander Stadium but I never wear my “colors” when I go (unless it’s Mets-Highlanders) I always wear my “civvies” and I just sit and enjoy the game and the company as I couldn’t give two shits if the Highlanders win or lose the game. It’s not like it just of few of these simpletons that come to Mets games, there’s so many that we Mets fans look at each other with that puzzled “what the fuck”? look when they stroll around our park.

Just to closeout my Highlander fan rant, last week Highlander fans were ready to run Derek Jeter out of town. If it were up to Highlander fans, “El Capitan” would be lucky to get a paving stone in Monument Park forget a deserving tribute to his career.  Fans felt that Jeter was done, finished, a detriment to the team. Fuck those 3,000 hits and 5 World Series rings and that first ballot Hall of Fame sitting with his name on it, Jeter has to go. But wait, yesterday he went 4 for 6 with 2 HR’s and 3 RBI, so now he’s back in the pantheon of Highlanders, that is until he goes 0 for his next 15 at bats, then he’s back to a bum.

The more I watch Dillon Gee pitch, the more impressed I am with him.  Gee was called on in an emergency as Chris Young is on the DL with shoulder trouble and what made his start impressive in my eyes was the way he worked out of tough situations. Gee looks on the mound like a guy who knows exactly what he wants to do and tries to translate what’s in his head to his arm and more times than not he succeeds. He may not be an Ace but Gee will be around the big leagues a long time as long as he stays healthy.

Give Sandy Alderson credit for honesty when he says, “After Dillon Gee, there isn’t much left” as far as pitchers to called up to step into the rotation if need be. Just the fact that Pat Misch was recalled made that statement real. Really Pat Misch ? I’m sick of seeing him and Willie Harris as well and while I’m at it throw in Chin-lu Hu too. How in good conscious can Terry Collins send Hu up to pinch hit? I’d use R.A. Dickey or Big Pelf as a PH’er before Hu.

Keith Hernandez shocked me a bit yesterday when he said during David Wright’s at bat in the 9th inning against Vicente Padillia that Wright’s bat speed looked like a guy late in his career who can’t get around on a fastball. Hernandez was shocked that Wright could not get around on Padilia’s fastball as he was the tying run at the plate. Wright has been bad at the plate so far this season but with RISP he’s been horrendous. It’s time for Terry Collins to drop Wright in the batting order and I guess the only thing stopping that move is Jason Bay not hitting. I’d like to see Collins us a lineup of:

Reyes

Murph

Beltran

Ike/Bay (depending on if it’s a LHP or RHP

Ike/Bay

Wright

Pridie

Thole

Pitcher

On days that Paulino catchers place him 7th and Pridie 8th. Hey it’s couldn’t hurt this lineup needs a shakeup.

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THE LAST HONEST MAN IN FLUSHING, ROBERT ALLEN DICKEY

Finally, someone has stepped up and given the NY Mets the kick in the ass they need, not the pats on the back they have been getting from Father Flanagan Terry Collins, what R.A. Dickey said last night should have come from the manager or from Sandy Alderson but leave it to Dickey to put it eloquently that his teammates suck and need to realize the level of suck they have attained and until the team comes to the grips that the way they have played is an embarrassment and the reason they have been so bad so far this season is that they suck:

“It starts with me,” said R. A. Dickey, who generally pitched well but gave up three runs in the second inning and the decisive home run to Hunter Pence in the eighth. “We have to find a way to be honest with ourselves about what kind of team we are. We can’t keep telling ourselves, ‘Oh, we’re a better team than this.’ We may not be.

 

“We’ve got to be honest about that and identify what we’re doing wrong and do it better.”

In other words, you are what your record says you are. When you have the worst record in baseball, then you are the worst team in baseball. The problem the last few years in Flushing , the delusion in the clubhouse has clashed with the stark reality that the talent on 25 man roster is just not very good.

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DO THE SKILL SETS HAVE ANY SHAME?

I don’t know maybe I think a little differently than some folks. If me and my family were embroiled in a fight to save everything we’ve worked for and the embarrassment we’ve faced due to either stupidity, nativity or out right lying and I owned a baseball team in the biggest media market in the world, I’d kind of lay low for a while and not want to have to answer questions about an on going court case that I really can’t answer or baseball questions that I don’t know how to answer. I’d stay out of the public eye. Unfortunately Jeffey Skill Sets doesn’t think like that.  Here was Jeffey in all his glory and bad hair cut meeting the media at St. Lonesome.

Wouldn’t it be in the best interest of the organization to not have a side show on the day pitchers and catchers report? Especially when you are having a tough time selling tickets? Wouldn’t be in the best interest of the organization to just let Sandy Alderson do the talking this spring and season as well?

Just when I’m getting stoked for Mets baseball and decided to purchase a flex pack ticket plan, I see this video and think hummmmmmmmmm is buying a ticket plan a wise choice? I’m sure I’m not they only one who is thinking this way as well.

Besides Jeffey being there do I have to hear about our domestic violence abuser having his Lamborghini shipped down on a flat bed truck to spring training?  Then hear how great it was that he spoke to the media and a couple of day time yackers on radio? Why is it the guys I want to hear from the least I hear from the most?

The beat guy at the Daily Lupica likes to break Mets fans balls with some stupid Tweets. During last season I guess I tweeted him to many times telling him what a hack he was and how he seemed upset he wasn’t covering the Phillies anymore so he blocked me from his Twitter account which is no big deal to me but I would think it would be a big deal to his bosses at the Daily Lupica since I stopped buying the paper and I never link a story from their site. From the tweets I’ve read today it seems this beat guy has taken to calling Jose Reyes (Michael our resident Highlander fan, you better sit down for this one) a “future Yankee”. Mets tweeters have been outraged and have started a campaign on Twitter to unfollow him. That’s great but take it a step further, don’t link any stories of his or anything in the Daily Lupica on your sites or on Twitter. I ‘m sure Daily Lupica Sports Editor Teri Thompson will not be happy about that.

Ed Marcus/Rusty Jr. has number 21 in his list of the Top 50 Mets of All Time and this one is a bit of a controversial choice as he didn’t spend many years with the Mets and the years he did while showing flashes of brilliance from time to time didn’t exactly make a great contribution. But when he left he was legendary.

I had a great time conversing with Joe Demayo of  PSL to Flushing on the THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN podcast today. Check it out here or on iTunes

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In the eyes of a ranger, The unsuspected stranger Had better know the truth of wrong from right, ’cause the eyes of a ranger are upon you,

Happy Highlander Elimination Day to ya! I can’t wait to see Michael Kay’s head explode on the YUCK post game show if Bronx Bastards lose game five. I hope Joe Girardi studied that binder of his and found the page where it says, “when a suck ass pitcher like AJ Burnett gives you five innings, take it an run”

No Mets news today except for Frankie Rodriguez getting a mere $3mil deduction from his personal worth for his altercation and embarrassment of himself and of the Mets organization. Hopefully who ever takes the reigns of the baseball operations let’s K-Rod know his days as a Mets closer are done. Welcome to a setup role K-Rod.

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…..AND THAT CONCLUDES ANOTHER NY METS BASEBALL SEASON

It was a move long overdue. In fact give John Ricco credit for getting a live body for Jeff Francoeur  but the organization shouldn’t have stopped there. It’s quite clear that again for the third season in a row the Mets have rolled over and died. How Jerry Manuel gets to fill out a lineup card today for the Mets is a smack in our Mets fan faces. Sure it doesn’t matter anymore this season but by firing Manuel and Omar Minaya today would send a message that a tidal wave of changes are coming. But I have absolutely no confidence that inept bullshit ownership has the balls to do this.

A real owner who owned this close to one BILLION dollar company would go into that clubhouse and rip the living shit out of this team. But that won’t happen.  The only passion comes from the fan base. It’s not just a matter of screaming and yelling in fact screaming and yelling wouldn’t have any effect on this team anyway. If the owner would just go into that clubhouse and tell this team the truth that they are an embarrassment and what has him baffled is they don’t seem to mind that they are saddled with this label. The owner would also be of the right to let them know that this little Country Club mentality that has infected the clubhouse will be dismantled. The owner should then go on about how there will be a new GM and manager next year and if this new management team says to me that (pointing at players) you, you or you need to go, then you got to go. The owner should also stress that his office is closed to any player who has a baseball related issue, all of those inquires must go through chain of command from manager to general manager. If you have a personal or family issue as the owner, he should let them know he will help him as best he can.

As fans we can talk about who to cut, who to trade for, who to sign as a free agent but all that talk is a waste of words and oxygen unless ownership either cleans out the front office and makes a concerted effort to change the perception that the organization is clueless, leaderless and headed on the fast track to nowhere.

By a show of hands, how many of you Mets fans out there are still wearing your Mets gear in public?  Not many I see. I can’t blame you as it wears you down to wear your WRIGHT 5 or REYES 7 and have to answer inane question after inane question about the team. I don’t know about you but I’m worn out from answering question after question about why this organization is so bad and can’t get out of its own way.  All I can tell them is “Blogging about the Mets ain’t easy “

All you need to know about the player’s view of the team is in this Tweet from Steve Popper. First Rod Barajas now Francoeur, if the players don’t want to be here then why should I buy a ticket or watch SNY or wear drape myself in Mets regalia? Why do I feel the chasm between the team and fan base exists because the Mets fans take this much more personally than the players do? Did you see the smile on Francoeur’ face last night when he spoke to the media about being sent to Arlington? When was the last you smiled as a Mets fan?

I’ve seen some of the Tweets of Mets fan who are actually upset that Jeff Francoeur was dealt to the Texas, are you fucking kidding me?

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STOOD UP, BROKEN HEARTED, AGAIN

There are losses and there are losses but then again THERE ARE LOSSES and last night was one of those LOSSES.

You will read and hear a lot today about last nights Mets 11-5 loss to the Phillies some will say it’s much to early to worry and losing a series in the beginning of May is not the end of the world and Johan Santana himself said “it was just one those games” but to me and many Mets fans it wasn’t just one of those games, quite frankly it was a major embarrassment.

It all started when the lineup was posted, the Mets Twitter Nation was up in arms over seeing GMJ and Fernando Tatis, two players who could not play on any other major league team, playing instead of Angel Pagan and Ike Davis. Supposedly the numbers that Tatis and GMJ have against Jamie Moyer favored the move but I would hope that the manager would have thought, “I have a chance to take the series from my top rival that is reeling a bit, I have my Ace pitcher going so I need to play my best eight guys today” But Jerry Manuel decided he could play his best six and win and after the first inning he looked like a prophet. To be honest this loss had nothing to do with GMJ and Tatis in the line up (even though it is very interesting that the Mariners cut Eric Byrnes after their game yesterday but GMJ keeps on keepin’ on with the Mets even as Chris Carter is more deserving of his spot, by the way when was the last time Omar Minaya made an in season trade to help the team? Don’t say Ryan Church for Frenchy as Minaya stated that John Rico was responsible for that move) it was more of Johan Santana not stepping up in the first big spot of the season.

I don’t want to kill Santana because I really like and admired him. He proved his mettle in the next to last game in 2008 against the Marlins but I am so disappointed over last nights game that anything I write here will be pure emotion, but as I watched the Santana come up small a few things whirled around in my head.

When reporters ask you who the best pitcher is in the NL East, I would hope Johan Santana now knows to shut the fuck up. Just say, “it’s not for me to say who’s the best and all that, let the records speak for themselves”. Roy Halliday said nothing in spring training but on Saturday, I don’t care how big a Mets fan your are or how big a Phillies hater you are, Halliday made his statement on Saturday on who is the best in the NL East.

The 4th inning was one of the worst innings I have endured in a long time but the big picture here is what happened in the bottom of the 1st. David Wright just gave Santana a 3-0 cushion and Mets Twitter-verse were popping champagne corks. But Santana broke a cardinal sin of pitching, when your team puts up a crooked number in your half of the inning, you need to pitch a scoreless inning in the oppositions half inning, Santana failed that. There were some stupid Tweets about if the game was at “Citi Field those wouldn’t be home runs” bottom line Santana needed a 1-2-3 inning there and he failed.

The other thoughts I had after this disaster was about Tom Seaver and Doc Gooden and Jerry Koosman  those three guys would not have lost that game yesterday, in fact all three  would have stepped off the mound and adjusted there cups to show the Phillie fans just what they thought of them.  I even thought of Frank “Sweet Music “ Viola or Rosalita Leiter and Petey, they would not only not walk Jamie Moyer, they would have attacked Carlos Ruiz. Neither would have Sid Fernandez or Craig Swan. Or Ron Darling or Bobby Ojeda. Or John Matlack or David Cone. Or Orel Hershiser or even T-t-t-t-o-m G-g-g-g-lavine (God forgive me!)

If Santana pitches like the Ace he says he is last night and the Mets win, I leave my house this morning without pants on as my arousal couldn’t be contained, instead I’m as flaccid as Johan Santana’ fastball.

Johan Santana has lost me right now, and I think he’s lost his teammates a bit as well. After the 4th inning the Mets bench was dead. Their top pitcher just got his ass handed to him and all the good cheer of the last homestand and the game on Friday went out the window. Of course the players won’t say so and all would deny it loudly, but actions speak louder than words. Forget Mets fans trust, Santana needs to regain his teammates trust more.

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SHOULD WE BE SUPRISED AT THE BELTRAN MESS ?

 

Still sifting through the fall out of the Beltran situation. I’m trying to figure out the who, what and where of this recent shit storm to hit the Mets:

Carlos Beltran

Beltran will turn 33 years old by the second week of the 2010 season and he has what looks like chronic osteoarthritis in his right knee. Hopefully the arthroscopic surgery performed on him will alleviate the pain and clean out loose cartilage that was floating around his knee. The post op outlook is Beltran will be out 12 weeks and then resume baseball activity. So earliest we will see Beltran in a Mets uniform is May.  There is no replacement for Beltran as 25-30 HR 100+ RBI and his coverage in CF can not be replaced. As it stands now, Angel Pagan will be the CF’er unless the Mets go out and sign Rick Ankiel or hope the Highlanders re-sign Johnny Damon and release Brett Gardner. In other words the Mets are fucked.

Mets Medical Staff

More embarrassment for this group. Obviously, Beltran has no faith in them as he went to his own doctor to have the surgery done. Now the team is circling the wagons by releasing a statement that Dr Altcheck, the Mets team doctor was consulted by Dr. Steadman, Beltran’ surgeon of choice, to show they are all on the same page, which is of course bullshit. The medical staff of the Mets should have been addressed after last season but the club decided to bring back the whole staff. Mets players show what they think of that decision by going outside the organization for medical treatment. What an endorsement.

Mets Front Office

Who is in charge? It’s not Omar that’s for sure. I will bet a dollar that David Howard is the voice behind the conference call today to wipe the egg off the teams face after this miscommunication. One thing we do know is,the organization had its pants pulled down on them in public again and it again calls for Freddy Skill Sets to step up and take is incompetent son out of the baseball loop. Put aside the on field problem with no Beltran, this episode again makes the Mets look like amateurs. Just when the fan base was feeling a tad optimistic with the signing of Jason Bay and the self control the front office has displayed with the overrated talent on the free agent front, this just wipes away any goodwill. It’s SOM Same Old Mets.

Hey don’t worry, Bengi Molina is on the way YAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I will have much more on the Beltran saga and other Mets news tonight on Pro Baseball Central at 9PM ET on Blogtalk Radio. My guest will be Joe Fiorello of Disgruntled Mets fan and a fellow member of the BBA. You can join in the conversation as well by calling in at (646) 595-4462.

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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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