BEAUTY OF .500 IS IN THE EYE OF THE METS FAN

 

You can look at the Mets reaching the .500 mark as nothing to celebrate, as .500 means you’ve reached a level of mediocrity. But if you look at the overall standings of the National League, that .500 mark is much more impressive, especially in the light of injuries and starting pitching rotation led by two neophytes, a philosopher, a reclamation project and a schizophrenic.  

Taking the Phuck Phaces out of the equation, and their NL and MLB leading 43-26 record, the Mets are a mere 5 games back of the SF Giants (39-29) for the second best record in the league. For those who feel it’s never too early to follow the NL Wild Card standings, the Mets are 3.5 games behind the Cardinals for the NL Wild Card spot.

All this without the two corner infielders who provide power, the Ace of the starting rotation and the Left Fielder (although 2 hits and an SB for Jason Bay maybe just maybe it’s the start of his renaissance) an emotional baseball mess, it’s quite impressive that the Mets are in the race for a post season berth. If anything comes as a positive so far this season is the culture of failure has been eradicated on the field and in the clubhouse. Maybe it will move to the owners level as well but that would take a giving the blind sight kind of miracle that doesn’t happen too often.   Like Rome, Flushing was built in a day.

Scott Kazmir has been released by the Angels, he can be picked up for the major league minimum. I don’t think a Mets reunion will happen but I could see the Highlanders signing him and assigning him to Scranton/Wilkes Barre because they are DES-PER-ATE for starting pitching.   

I wish the Mets would announce that the next time Johan Santana will pitch for the team in February 2012 in St. Lonesome.

Last night I had the honor of being a guest on the Seamheads Podcasting Network’s Fantasy Baseball Show on Blog Talk Radio it was a fast paced hour of great baseball talk a very worthy listen. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/seamheads/2011/06/16/highlight-reelseamheads-fantasy-baseball-show

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TONIGHT AT 10PM ET JOIN ME FOR BBA BASEBALL TALK ON BLOG TALK RADIO

Tonight at 10PM ET I will be hosting theBaseball Bloggers Alliance(BBA) Baseball Talk Podcast on BlogTalk Radio. Tonight I will be talking Cleveland Indians baseball with Nino Colla of The Tribe Daily and Steve Kubitza of Deep Left Field.

In the second half hour, my guest will be D.J. Short of Hard Ball Talk and Rotoworld, D.J. and I will talk some fantasy baseball and we will try to squeeze in some Mets talk as well.

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BLOOMBERG SPORTS FRONT OFFICE 2011 IS A MUST FOR FANTASY BASEBALL PLAYER AND FAN ALIKE

This past Saturday I spent the afternoon at Bloomberg Headquarters watching a demonstration of the Bloomberg Sports launch of Front Office 2011. There are two forms of Front Office, one for the fan/fantasy player and the Pro application that is becoming a staple in MLB front offices for its “leave no pitch or hit behind” usage of the application. Before we look at the Pro version of Front Office, let’s look what this application has for the fantasy baseball owner’.

The Draft Kit

With the Draft Kit gives you the ability to draft the strongest possible fantasy team by using what Bloomberg Sports calls its “B-Rank” which is a statistical secret sauce that ranks players based on the scoring system used by your league. You set up your draft list by best players available, by position or by more intense, players you should be targeting and the one’s you need to pass by.

There is also a Fantasy Factor section that list pros and cons of all players to help to make the right choice for your team. Target Round gives you Bloomberg’s take on what round players in your draft should go. This again is based on your leagues scoring system.  

What Front Office does as well is, it integrates your fantasy league (Yahoo, MLB, ESPN, CBS etc.) into the application.

So now your draft is over and you look over the team you’ve assembled and you’re not happy, you shorted yourself on pitching or a day after the draft you read the middle infielder you draft has a torn ACL and is gone for the season, what do you do, besides bang your head against the wall? You go to Front Office Free Agent finder and you look for the middle infielders  still out there who can give you some power numbers you need or if stolen bases are used as a scoring category, you can find that as a specific stat as well. You can also find that diamond in the rough you’ve read about and no one in your league pounced on yet.

Front Office also has a Lineup Manager to help with suggestions on who to start and who needs to grab some pine. Whether it’s a starting pitcher on his off day or the outfielder that is slumping, Lineup Manager gives the statistical information you need to make the lineup switch to up your league point total. You can also match your lineup with your opponents and Front Office will compare the two as your league can be synched into Front Office.

Front Office 2011 goes on sale in a week for $19.95 for the season. Besides all the stats and graphs you get baseball news on your favorite team and players on your fantasy team as well. It’s your one stop for all you baseball news and needs.

As impressive as the Fantasy version of Front Office 2011 is, the Pro version was close to jaw dropping. One of the informative and entertaining portions of the presentation was when former Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson, now a consultant of Bloomberg Sports as well as his own 3Psports pitching site, gave a mesmerizing demonstration on the use of the pitch f/x of the Pro Front Office. One of the pitchers that Peterson used was John Axford who Peterson mentored as pitching coach of the Milwaukee Brewers last season.

After bringing up Axford’s pitch f/x numbers on the screen, Peterson then clicked on from the drop to show the type of pitches that Axford threw during the season, the location of the pitches, what pitches were balls, strikes taken and swinging. If that wasn’t enough info for you, you can click on the pitches and you get game video of the pitcher/hitter confrontation. Peterson also pointed out to us how he used the data and video from Front Office to fix a defect in Axford’s delivery. From watching his delivery, Peterson had Axford move slightly to the right of the pitching rubber as he saw his arm angle was not where it should be when his front foot lands. By going over this video with Axford he saw the problem, made the adjustment and was successful in getting Axford to be a very effective closer.  

As If that wasn’t enough to impress you there was a “but wait there’s more” moment when the demonstration turned to having the Front Office App on an iPad.

All game information can be downloaded into this program 20 minutes after the last out of a game.  So say the Mets have just finished a game at Citi Field and are enroute to St. Louis to face the Cardinals the next day. By the time the players have given post game comments, get showered and dressed and board the bus for LaGuardia, the next days starting pitcher can load his iPad with video of the Cardinals game that night and get a detailed statistical analysis of his history versus Cardinal hitters complete with video of the at bats. The same holds for the hitters. They can get analysis right at their fingertips as to how they hit the next days starting pitchers or how he got them out.

If you are a fantasy baseball player or even if you’re just an ordinary everyday baseball fan, this application is well worth the $19.95 investment. Take a brown bag lunch to work for a couple three days to defray the cost if you have to.

By the way, Sandy Alderson should be proud, the Mets bloggers were in full force at this event as I was honored to share a table with Kerel Cooper of On The Black (Kerel has video of Peterson’s presentation) Mike Silva of NY Baseball Digest, Jon Levin of Subway Squawkers, Mark Healy of Gotham Baseball. I also got to chat with Ted Berg and James Kannengieser of Amazin’ Avenue who heard my distinct Brooklynese over the speakers when I had the floor to ask Rick Peterson a question, and at the break located me  and said “I heard that voice and I knew who it was”  it was a fun and informative day at Bloomberg Sports.

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TODAY IS BASEBALL BLOGGERS ALLIANCE DAY

Today is Baseball Bloggers Alliance (BBA) Day, and as a member from the beginning of the Alliance and the NY NL Chapter President, I’d like to tell you about the BBA.

The BBA was founded in 2009 by Daniel Shoptaw, who blogs about the St. Louis Cardinals at his C70 at the Bat site. Daniel had e-mailed me about the BBA and asked if would like to join up and I immediately said yes. What I liked about the BBA was it was a place for someone like me who is passionate about my team to meet up with other passionate baseball fans who are also bloggers.  My membership in the BBA has been a tremendous help in doing my THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN radio show and in hosting the BASEBALL BLOGGERS ALLIANCE BASEBALL TALK SHOW on Blog Talk Radio, as I can always find a blogger to come on and talk about their team when they are facing the NY Mets, to give me a fans/bloggers eye view of ups and downs of their team, which helps myself and my listeners get a better idea of the opponent facing the Mets in that series.

Besides the BBA Talk Radio show, we also vote on season ending awards in the same fashion as the Baseball Writers of America, in fact they seem a bit worried about our views as they issued a cease and desist letter for the BBA not use the terms they use for their award. We wear that C & D as a badge of accomplishment.

The BBA is 230 members strong, with chapters which are history oriented, cover fantasy baseball, the analytical part of baseball and those who cover general baseball news and views. The majority of the membership though is of team specific sites and I am very proud to say that the New York Mets have the highest number of bloggers in the BBA at 19.

So I’d like for you to take a little time today and visit our BBA site and also check out our broadcasts on Blog Talk Radio.    

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SATURDAY MUSINGS

19 days until pitchers and catchers

I have been invited to attend  a presentation of Bloomberg Sports new baseball statistic and analytic tool that will be offered to fans and a more intense version to all 30 MLB teams.  I hope to be giving some updates at this event through TWITTER so check out my Twitter account during the day tomorrow if you’re interested and if you’re a fantasy baseball player this is looks like a product that will interest you very much.  Check out this article by Paul Greco of Baseball Digest Daily who got a look at the product at the winter meetings this past December.

Mario Lemieux has made an offer to buy the Pittsburgh Pirates. Could Mark Messier make an offer to buy the Mets (PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE!)

Over at Bugs & Cranks they want  to help find out if you have a “baseball problem” so they have seven events that you could watch instead of  watching  a Cincinnati Reds-Florida Marlins game at Golden Girls Stadium. Of the 7 questions, I answered Reds-Marlins to 5 of them. The only two events I chose over the baseball game were watching UConn- Tennessee  women’s basketball game (Gino Auriemma and Pat Summit are two of the greatest coaches in sports history) and Fulham @ Aston Vila in the EPL.  So I guess I have a serious baseball problem.

I’m getting a little worried about my Boston Celtics. KG is not close to his top condition, Rasheed Wallace has no conscience at the 3 point line, and the corrupt NBA refs are all betting against the C’s in every game. At least no one has pull a piece in the clubhouse yet. Tomorrow is a big game as the Lakers ship off to Boston, if there are three NBA refs not on the take I hope the league assigns them to this game.

Hey Johnny Damon, shut the fuck up! You want to blame someone for the reason you’re not employed by the Bronx Bastards any longer? Look in the mirror caveman.

I don’t hide the fact that I’m a Daniel Murphy fan and I take a lot of shit for that. But it’s nothing compared to the abused I took for my support of Gregg Jeffries.  It wasn’t until I met Jefferies that I realized what an asshole he was. I’ve told the story before where John Franco brought Jeffries to a club in Brooklyn one night where my friends and I were at as well and Jeffries tried to pick up every girl in the place not caring who they were with. Not the wisest move to make at a club in Bay Ridge.  It’s good to see an older and wiser Jeffries as I read in this piece by Kevin Kernan in the Post. Best thing that ever happened to Jeffries was leaving the Mets.

We’ve always paid our gas bill to the Brooklyn Union Gas Co., in fact my dad’s first job in NYC was laying down gas pipe for the Brooklyn Union Gas Co. out in the wilds of Canarsie in the early 30’s. Then one day the gas bill came in with the name Keyspan on it, no more Brooklyn Union but Keyspan was the name of the new ball park in Coney Island so I was cool with Keyspan. Then one day the mailman delivered a bill from National Gird. What the hell is National Grid? National Grid is what Keyspan and Brooklyn Union were but now since there is no more Keyspan and I guess the folks at National Gird are not baseball fans, the name has to come off the ballpark in Coney Island and a new name is needed.

The Mets who own the stadium could do the right thing and name it after Gil Hodges or even rename it Shea Stadium but I doubt they will.

On Twitter yesterday I mention how a good ball park name would be Egg Cream Stadium or get Fox’s U-Bet Syrupto buy naming rights. In fact, why don’t’ the Cyclones (forget the Mets doing this as they can’t even put a deli in $iti Field where I can get a good pastrami or brisket sandwich and a Dr. Browns soda. I think a lot of my Mets anger would go away with a good brisket and a Dr. Browns Cream Soda at $iti Field) put in an Egg Cream Bar at the Coney Island ballpark?

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THE WAIT-ING IS THE HARDEST PART

Still a bit stunned after watching the Celtics lose to the Knicks last night at MSG. Memo to Al Harrington, I know last night was the highlight of your career but remember, come April you will be sitting on your couch while the C’s are deep into the playoffs so get your popcorn ready. I’m pretty sure that the Knicks will be raising banner on the 14th before the game with the Wiz to commemorate the victory over Boston.

 

So while we wait for Scott Boras/Derek Lowe to produce a counter offer to the Mets let me alert you to the fact that Pro Baseball Central will be back this week on the air this Thursday night at 9PM (EST) on Blog Talk Radio. So join Joe McDonald and yours truly for our first PBC of 2009.

 

Yesterday, in the Daily News they had a piece on Anthony Young and it was good to see Ol’ A.Y. is alive and well and to reflect on his 27 consecutive loses which was a hard to believe 16 years ago.

 

Over at NYBD Frank Maniscalco has a fantasy baseball column up and some details of a Fantasy League that Frank will be running. Also check out the NYBD show from last night on the Hot Stove with Mike Silva and Howard Megdal.

 

Mets Geek has an in-depth piece on RHP Sean Green who came over with J J Putz from the Mariners and will take over the Joe Smith role. Green could be a big part of the late inning Mets pen.

 

I love how the Mets Police has gone on the war path over the awful black Mets jerseys. Really,  with the new ball park opening this year it’s time to ditch the black. The Mets should stay with the pinstriped classic uni for home games with either the snow whites for Sunday games with the all blue cap, orange top button and NY on he front  and the road uni should be left alone but if you want to tweak that you could go with a gray top and pants with orange/blue stripe on the pant leg with the classic orange NY on the left breast. I’d even go with the old NY Giants all black cap with the orange NY for the road cap well. Anything is better than those awful looking black jersey’s. Wow all of a sudden I have the urge to listen to Peter Allen records.

 

Hopefully by the end of the week (Please Omar sign Lowe/Manny/ Orlando Hudson and trade Gimp Castillo on Thursday) there will be some movement on the free agent logjam or we will all need a good colon cleansing soon

 

 

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DO NOT DISTRUB

10:30 on a Saturday morning and I’m still sitting in my living room. No basketball games to run to. No ice skating lesson to go freeze my ass off at AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I could get used to this but I know it won’t last too much longer.

Not much Mets news either as but you should check out this post from Mike Silva on his NY Baseball Digest site on the Christmas Day article in the Daily News on Ryan Church. Silva had told me when Mike Francesa went on his Church hates NY rant that it was bullshit and now Church in this article backs that up. Also Silva is adding the lovely and talented Frank Maniscalco (A/K/A Frankie The Sports Guy) as his go to guy on Fantasy Baseball.

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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.