Fare Thee Well R. A. Dickey

Sorry for the lack of posting the last week but I had tons of work to handle and when I did find time to sit down and compose some thoughts on the New York Mets the news from Newtown Connecticut of the mass killings of little children and teachers at the Sandy Hook Elementary School unfolded and suddenly whatever Mets news that was out there was of no interest to me at all, which is why this past Saturday was just the kind of day I needed.

When I found out that Greg Prince who along with Jason Fry co-author the great Mets blog Faith and Fear in Flushing was having a get together at Foley’s NY to celebrate his joining the half century club (the more cranky middle aged Mets fans the better) and his new book The Happiest Recap I replied immediately that I would attend. Not only was it the great tonic to keep my mind off the tragedy in Newtown but it reaffirmed my love for the NY Mets by being in a room jammed back with people of my faith, real honest to goodness die hard Mets fans. How devoted were the fans in attendance?  We saluted our beloved Mets and pledged our allegiance to the Orange and Blue by singing a rousing rendition of Meet the Mets, the complete version of Meet the Mets, with butcher, the baker and the people on the street.  I get goose bumps just typing that. No doubt though, Mets fans are the most underappreciate fan base in sports.

Did you really think the break up between the Mets and R.A. Dickey was going to amicable? Let me just put my cards on the table right here, if you have been a frequent visitor to this site you know how much I respect and admire R.A. Dickey. I have been fortunate to meet Dickey and to interview him and I’ve found to be fascinating and a man of class and intellect that made spending time with him a fabulous experience.  But as much of a fan as I am of Dickey’s, this trade that sends him and Josh Thole and a prospect  to Toronto for Travis d’Arnuad , Noah Syndergaard, John Buck and a prospect is one that was absolutely necessary in the getting the Mets back to relevancy .

Sandy Alderson does not act on emotion; he acts on facts, on research from both statistical analytical and scouting departments. He is here to rebuild the NY Mets organization that when he arrived was a shambles in all departments but especially from a player development side. This will be the second time in his three years as Mets GM that he outlasted a desperate rival to pluck a top prospect for a player on the back nine of his career but one that could be the missing piece to their prosperity. Both R.A. Dickey and Carlos Beltran, who as older players are much more useful to teams in contention than one under renovation (sounds better than rebuilding don’t you think?)  were flipped for two of the top prospects in all of baseball in Zack Wheeler and Travis d’Arnaud.  We now have a future.

Back to the nastiness that has surfaced since this deal was deemed all but complete. Mets management, as has been a tradition around here since the days of M.Donald Scumbag, have found ways to try to embarrass players who are leaving but end up embarrassing themselves.  I have no doubt that there was jealousy amongst those who locker with Dickey in the Mets clubhouse. I’ve been told by people I trust that was the case. To me it says more about the people who are doing the bad mouthing than it does about Dickey. Think about the typical ballplayer in a locker room. Most of them are into playing video games, hunting, golf, and playing loud hip-hop music while sitting naked pursuing the latest edition of Swank.  Then you have the anti-Neanderthal ballplayer in R.A. Dickey, who not only reads books but writes them, a best seller no less. He also raises awareness to causes like sexual abuse of children of which he was a victim, going into schools to read and donate books to underprivileged kids. Having a role in a movie that documents his journey from a #1 draft pick who struggled through the system and then reinvented himself and persevered when he was told time and time again to give it up but never gave in to the naysayers and worked harder every time he was doubted to become one of the very best of his craft, to the point where he was honored with the highest award a pitcher can received, the CY Young. Oh and guess where Dickey will be right after Christmas? In India with his two daughters to make and distribute friendship bracelets for children who are abuse victims. Where did I learn this? At the Mets holiday party because unlike Ken Davidoff, I WAS THERE!!!!! And heard Dickey talk of his holiday plan. While I’m on the topic of that holiday party, let me set the record straight. Both Dickey and Ike Davis were helpers to John Franco who played Santa Claus. The media was closed off from the party proceedings by a black fabric partition. When Dickey and Ike were done entertaining the kids, they were brought in to the media area. No children were harmed during the interview process and I doubt any of them cared about hearing about contract extensions as they enjoyed eating hot dogs and opening up presents.  Dickey was asked about the stalemate in negotiations and spoke candidly if the press and media can’t handle that then they deserve to be locked in a room with Jon Niese.  

So who would have a problem with people wanting to celebrate a man who has fought so much adversity and rose to the top of his profession? Maybe a bunch of players who fade every August, September and October for the last four seasons. There are not a lot of players with intestinal fortitude in that Mets clubhouse. It could be that some of those who fail to rise up and contribute dislike Dickey because he makes them look bad. How would you feel if you were sitting the bench due to fatigue, while a 38 year old takes the mound with a torn stomach muscle that would need off season surgery and fights his way to lead his team to victory?

I do have hope that this trade will start a spiral of ridding the team of petulant posers,  pie throwers and the charter members of the bitch and moan club. The Mets are losing a stand-up guy in R.A. Dickey but that doesn’t mean we have to stop rooting for him. The Blue Jays come to the South Bronx for a four game set from April 25-April 28, how it would be great for Mets fans to show up if Dickey gets a start to express our appreciation for all he’s done as a Met on and off the field. Oh and it will piss off the Highlanders and their fans as well.

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Foley’s NY To Host a Fundraiser on Nov 15th For Victims of Huricane Sandy w/David Cone as guest bartender

 

On Thursday November 15th Foley’s NY Pub and Restaurant will host a fund raiser to assist the victims of Hurricane Sandy. From 6PM to 9PM former Mets and Yankees pitcher David Cone will be behind the bar serving up drinks to all.

From 6PM to midnight on the 15th, Foleys will donate 100 % of all its sales and Cone will donate all of his “tips” to the victims whose lives were turned upside down by Hurricane Sandy   

A big tip of my Mets cap to Foley’s and owner Shaun Clancy and his dad John for holding this event and for the generosity.

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Knuckleball ! Tough To Throw But Enjoyable To Watch !

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Had a great time last night  at the World Financial Plaza enjoying the premiere of Knuckleball!, at the Tribeca Film Festival’s Drive-In Theatre.  Before the movie there was plenty of activity on the plaza on what turned out to be a nice comfortable, rain free evening downtown. There were tents set up with different activities and free popcorn for movie goers but the area that had the biggest swarm of folks was the make shit bullpen where fans could line up and enter and get free instruction on how to throw a knuckleball.

As we stood off to the side (I was joined by my son and Mike Silva of NY Baseball Digest for the evening’s movie viewing we also met up with Tayrn Cooper and her husband Ed Leyro as well as having a fine chat with Shaun Clancy the proprietor of Foley’s NY) we were witness to a grand entrance by the Four Horseman of Knuckleballing, Jim Bouton, Charlie Hough, Tim Wakefield and our own R.A. Dickey. The four headed to the make shift pen where a line snaked around the plaza for the opportunity to learn the secrets of throwing a knuckleball. Bouton, Hough and Wakefield were going in and out of the pen but Dickey stayed there for the full hour showing kids and some adults, the grip and release of the mysterious pitch, and seemed to be having a great time doing so.

The movie itself was very, very good. Even if you are not a baseball fan, you could still appreciate the stories of these players who with the exception of Phil Neikro, took on learning the knuckleball a last ditch effort to make it in the big leagues, so you get all the baseball footage and story line to keep the baseball junkie like me interested but you also get the human interest story for the non-fan. That is great movie making.

Tim Wakefield and R.A. Dickey are feature most prominently in the film, with great footage of Wakefield as a Pittsburgh Pirates as a minor league first baseman and R.A. Dickey as a Tennessee Volunteer but my favorite scene in the film was a golf outing with Niekro, Dickey, Wakefield and Hough and the sit down they have afterwards discussing how each pitcher was introduced to the knuckleball.

The film will be showing during the Tribeca Film Festival and it will be out in DVD form as well, I know this because I was approached by someone from the film who was looking to get some material to add as extra footage for the DVD, so I was filmed talking about the knuckleball and R.A. Dickey and what he has meant to the Mets (the film crew loved my Mr. Mets cap) so hopefully I’ll make the director’s cut of Knuckleball!

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LET’S DRINK TO JOSE REYES AT FOLEY’S NY

So what do you do with that REYES 7 you won’t be wearing to Citi Field anymore? Well, you can bring it to Foley’s NY and exchange it for a beer or an appetizer (or champagne if your happy he’s gone) Here is the info :

Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant (18 W. 33rdSt.) offers New York Mets fans the opportunity to bid adios to former shortstop Jose Reyes, who has signed with the Miami Marlins.   The popular baseball bar will allow customers to exchange their Mets #7 Reyes jerseys for a free beer (to drown their sorrows), champagne (to celebrate his departure) or free appetizer (for fans who do not drink).

 

 “New York baseball is feeling a swirl of emotions as Jose Reyes heads south this winter,  We’re giving Mets fans a chance to drown their sorrows — or celebrate — and bid adios to Jose, one of the best and most popular Mets players ever,” said Shaun Clancy, owner of Foley’s, which features 2,500 autographed balls, bats and other baseball memorabilia.  “By doing this, we can have a little fun and donate to clothing drives for people who are less fortunate.”

 

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GARY COHEN & RON DARLING WILL BE TENDING BAR AT FOLEY’S NY TOMORROW NIGHT FOR CHARITY

Gary Cohen and Ron Darling will team up tomorrow night to bartend at the fabulous Foley’s NY all in the name of charity, specifically the Pitch In For Good Cause, that Gary’s wife Lynn is the head of :

WHAT:           Gary Cohen and Ron Darling guest bartend at Foley’s during the Mets-Yankees “Subway Series” game to raise money to help victims of domestic abuse.

WHO:              Gary Cohen, Mets Broadcaster

Ron Darling, 1986 WS Champion, Mets Broadcaster

 

WHEN:           Saturday, May 21, 2011

                        6:30 – 9:30 p.m.

 

WHERE:         Foley’s NY Pub and Restaurant

18 W. 33rd Street (near 5th Ave, across from Empire State Bldg)

 

WHY:              All proceeds go toward building a safe house for victims of domestic abuse and their families.

For more info, visit www.pitchinforagoodcause.org/index.php/get-to-know.html

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THIS SKILL SETS MESS IS ONLY GOING TO GET WORSE

My old man had a saying for times like these “Sometimes the Divil (devil) ya know, is better than the Divil ya don’t know”

While some of us in the Mets flock are rejoicing in the sudden financial troubles of the Skill Sets, and from reading various stories this morning it looks as though this 25 % sell off could turn out to be a lock, stock and barrel affair. You gets control of the team could either be a boon or our worst nightmare. If Irving Picard can prove all of alliagations in court about what the Skill Sets and Uncle Saul knew and when they knew it, then there will be an under new management sign out on the Citi Field concourse.

I’ll get into who would be good and bad candidates later as right now I’m off to Foley’s for SABR DAY

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BOB MURPHY ELECTED TO IRISH-AMERICAN BASEBALL HALL OF FAME

 

 

Bob Murphy, Tim McCarver, Brian Cashman, Bill James, and Mike “King” Kelly to Be Inducted in Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame on Friday, Aug. 6, 2010

 

Housed in Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant Recognizes Players, Executives, Journalists and Entertainers of Irish Descent

 

New York, NY (July 1, 2010) – The Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame (www.irishbaseballhall.com) today announced its inductees for 2010: New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman, veteran TV analyst and former player Tim McCarver, longtime New York Mets announcer Bob Murphy, famed statistician and Boston Red Sox executive Bill James, and Mike “King” Kelly, baseball’s first superstar.

The honorees will be inducted on Friday, August 6 at Noon, when their plaques will be unveiled at a ceremony held at Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant ( 18 W. 33rd St. ), which houses the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame.  Voters include past inductees and a panel of baseball historians. 

“This deserving group includes successful executives, a beloved voice of the New York Mets, a four-decade player and Emmy-winning broadcaster, and an early legend that time has nearly forgotten,” said Shaun Clancy, president of Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame and owner of Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant, which features one of the country’s most extensive public displays of baseball memorabilia. 

With a blessing from Cooperstown, Foley’s, a popular destination among baseball players, executives, umpires, media and fans, created the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame to recognize players, managers, executives, journalists, and entertainers.  Inductees are chosen based on a combination of four factors: impact on the game, popularity on and off the field, contributions to society, and ancestry/connections to the Irish community.  The 2010 honorees are:

1.     Tim McCarver (Former Player/Broadcaster)

Born in Memphis , TN , Tim McCarver signed with the St. Louis Cardinals right out of Christian Brothers High School and was a two-time All-Star selection (1966, 1967) and World Series champion (1964, 1967).  During a career that spanned from 1959 until 1980, McCarver also played for the Phillies, Expos and Red Sox.  He was the favorite catcher for two Hall of Fame pitchers: Bob Gibson and Steve Carlton. 

After retiring as a player, McCarver became a six-time Emmy-winning broadcaster.  He has called games for the Phillies (1980-82), Mets (1983-98), Yankees (1999-2001), and Giants (2002).  Beginning with the 1985 Fall Classic, Tim McCarver has provided color commentary for more World Series games on TV than any other announcer in history.  He is frequently paired with Joe Buck as the lead team on FOX network broadcasts and also hosts The Tim McCarver Show, a nationally syndicated interview program now in its ninth season.

2.     Brian Cashman (Executive)

A native of Rockville Center , NY , Brian Cashman began his career with the New York Yankees as an intern in 1986.  He moved up the ranks and eventually succeeded Bob Watson as General Manager in 1998.  During Cashman’s tenure as GM, the Yankees have won six AL pennants and four World Series championships (1998-2000 and 2009).  Brian Cashman graduated from Georgetown Prep in 1985 and The Catholic University of America in 1989.  He lives in Connecticut with his wife and two children.  

3.     Bill James (Executive)

Born in Holton , KS , Bill James has authored more than two dozen books on baseball history and statistics.  He coined the term “sabermetrics” for his innovative statistical analysis of player performances.  James’ statistical measures gained widespread acceptance when Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane applied sabermetric principles in running his low-budget, small market team (chronicled in Michael Lewis’ bestseller Moneyball).  In 2003, James became a senior advisor for the Boston Red Sox and is credited with advocating moves such as the team’s emphasis on on-base percentage.  Bill James is a Viet Nam era veteran, a graduate of the University of Kansas , and was one of TIME magazine’s “Time 100” most influential people in 2006.  He is proud of his predominantly Irish heritage with grandparents named Burks, Yates, McCool and James.

4.     Bob Murphy, (Broadcaster)

A transplanted Oklahoman, Bob Murphy was a TV and radio announcer for the New York Mets from their inception until his retirement in 2003.  Beloved for his sunny disposition and “happy recaps” of Mets’ victories, he and colleagues Lindsey Nelson and Ralph Kiner described both the ineptitude of the 1962 Amazin’s and the ecstasy of the 1969 World Series.  From 1978 onward, Murphy served primarily as the Mets’ radio voice.  He welcomed fans to the team’s first game and called the thrilling post-season wins in ‘69 and ‘86.  Bob Murphy received the prestigious Ford C. Frick Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame and is a member of the New York Mets Hall of Fame.  He died of lung cancer in 2004. 

5.     Mike “King” Kelly (Hall of Famer/Legend)

Widely regarded as the game’s first superstar, Mike “King” Kelly was a colorful catcher, outfielder and manager.  Born in Troy , NY , to Famine immigrants and raised in Paterson , NJ , Kelly’s baseball skill and Irish charm made him one of America ‘s first sports celebrities.  He was the subject of a hit song, Slide Kelly, Slide, and a Vaudeville star.  A two-time batting champion and daring base runner, historians credit Kelly with developing the hit-and-run, the hook slide, and the catcher’s practice of backing up first base.  However, his greatest contribution was the popularity he brought to the game in the 1880s and ‘90s.  He was the first player to sign autographs, the first to publish his autobiography, and his trade from Chicago to Boston for $10,000 was one of the biggest deals in early baseball history (thus solidifying baseball as a business).  King Kelly was elected posthumously to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1945.

The game of baseball has long welcomed immigrants from its earliest days, when an estimated 30 percent of players claimed Irish heritage.  Many of the game’s biggest stars at the turn of the 20th century were Irish immigrants or their descendants, including Michael “King” Kelly, Roger Connor (the home run king before Babe Ruth), Eddie Collins, Big Ed Walsh and NY Giants manager John McGraw.  Today, major league teams regularly sign players born in Latin America, Japan , Canada , and elsewhere.

Shaun Clancy, an amateur baseball historian, created the Hall after learning about the rich heritage of Irish Americans in the sport dating from its infancy – a legacy that has been overshadowed in recent years by other ethnicities.  He decided to celebrate his roots and those who helped make the game great by creating a shrine to Irish Americans in baseball in 2008.

About Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant

A popular destination among baseball players, executives, umpires, fans, and media Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant is located at 18 W. 33rd St. , across from the  Empire  State  Building .  The “Irish Bar with a Baseball Attitude” is adorned with 2,100 autographed baseballs, hundreds of bobbleheads, game-worn jerseys, stadium seats and other artifacts.  Foley’s is home of the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame (www.irishbaseballhall.com) and is considered one of the best sports bars in America . 

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BOB MURPHY NOMINATED FOR THE IRISH AMERICAN BASEBALL HALL OF FAME

One of my favortite places to eat and watch sports is FOLEY’S NY PUB & RESTAURANT, 18 w33st in the shadow on the Empire State Building, has released the names of this years nominees for the IRISH AMERICAN BASEBALL HALL OF FAME:

Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame Announces Nominations for 2010 Induction Class

 

Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant Recognizes Players, Executives, Journalists and Entertainers of Irish Descent

 

New York, NY (March 15, 2010) –  Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant (18 W. 33rd St.) today announced the nominations for 2010 induction into the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame (IABHOF).  Voters include past inductees into the IABHOF and a panel of baseball historians.  Results will be announced in April 2010.

HALL OF FAMERS and LEGENDS

Big Ed Walsh – Baseball’s All-Time ERA Leader

Michael “King” Kelly – Baseball’s First Superstar

“Mighty Casey” of the Mudville Nine by Ernest Thayer

CURRENT LIVING EX-PLAYERS

Dale Murphy, Long-time Atlanta Brave, two-time NL MVP

Joe McEwing – “Super Joe,” now a manager in the White Sox minor league system

MANAGERS

John McGraw – Legendary manager of the NY Giants

Tom Kelly – Minnesota Twins two-time World Series winning manager

BROADCASTERS

Tim McCarver – Network TV analyst

Bob Murphy – Longtime Mets Broadcaster

EXECUTIVES

Brian Cashman – GM, NY Yankees

Bill James – Stastician, Red Sox Consultant

ENTERTAINERS

John Fogerty – Writer/Singer of “Centerfield”

Bill Murray – Cubs Fan, “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” singer at Wrigley Field

John Cusack – Star of “Eight Men Out”

Rosie O’Donnell – Co-star of “A League of Their Own”

“It’s a strong and deserving class of nominees for the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame this year.  All of these men — and one woman — have made significant contributions to the game,” said Shaun Clancy, owner of Foley’s, which features one of the country’s most extensive public displays of baseball memorabilia outside of Cooperstown. 

With the blessing of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Foley’s, a popular destination among baseball players, executives, umpires and fans, created the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame to recognize players, managers, executives, journalists, and entertainers of Irish descent.  Inductees are chosen based on a combination of factors, including impact on the game, popularity on and off the field, contributions to society, connections to the Irish community, and, of course, ancestry. 

The game of baseball has long welcomed immigrants from its earliest days, when an estimated 30 percent of players claimed Irish heritage.  Many of the game’s biggest stars at the turn of the 20th century were Irish immigrants or their descendants, including Michael “King” Kelly, Roger Connor (the home run king before Babe Ruth), Eddie Collins, and NY Giants manager John McGraw.  Today, major league teams regularly sign players born in Latin America, Japan, Canada, and elsewhere.

Shaun Clancy, an amateur baseball historian, created the Hall after learning about the rich heritage of Irish Americans in the sport dating from its infancy – a legacy that has been overshadowed in recent years by other ethnicities.  He decided to celebrate his roots and those who helped make the game great by creating a shrine to Irish Americans in baseball in 2008.

“Starting Nine”

The “Starting Nine” inductees were: the late Mets and Phillies reliever Tug McGraw, Yankee announcer John Flaherty, sportswriter Jeff Horrigan, NY Mets groundskeeper Pete Flynn, retired sluggers Mark McGwire and Sean “The Mayor” Casey, Kevin Costner, star of Field of Dreams and Bull Durham, legendary owner-manager Connie Mack, and longtime official scorer and sports columnist Red Foley

The 2009 inductees were: longtime Brooklyn and LA Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley, sluggers Steve Garvey and Paul O’Neill, longtime umpire Jim Joyce, veteran sportscaster Vin Scully, and Ed Lucas, a blind reporter who has covered the Yankees and Mets for more than 40 years.

About Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant

A popular destination among baseball players, executives, umpires and fans, Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant is located at 18 W. 33rd St., across from the  Empire  State  Building .  The “Irish Bar with a Baseball Attitude” features walls adorned with 2,000 autographed baseballs, hundreds of bobbleheads, game-worn jerseys, stadium seats and other artifacts that make Foley’s the best baseball bar in New York and one of the best sports bars in America. Foley’s is home of the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame and features one of the country’s most extensive public displays of baseball memorabilia outside of Cooperstown.  For more information, call (212) 290-0080 or visit www.foleysny.com or www.facebook.com/FoleysNYPub.

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CHECK OUT FOLEY’S NY AND THEIR $19.69 “GIL HODGES MANAGER’S SPECIAL”

If you’re in the city and looking for a place for a great meal and watch a ball game then head on over to FOLEY’S NY at 18 W 33 St (across from the Empire State Building) as the celebrate the 1969 World Champion New York Mets with a  some special menu items :

New York, NY, August 14, 2009 — Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant, a popular destination for baseball players, team executives, and fans of the game, announced its menu available now through the end of August will honor of the 1969 Mets.  The “Gil Hodges Manager’s Special” offers soup or salad, an entrée and a glass of Bud or soda for fixed price of $19.69.

 

Foley’s will rename menu items after key members of the 1969 World Champions, including:

  • Grilled Chicken “Seaver” Salad,
  • Kranepool’s Krabcake Sandwich,
  • Tug McGraw’s Pulled Pork Po’ Boy,
  • Foley’s Burger with Tommy Agee’d Cheddar, and
  • Art Shamsky’s Pastrami on Rye. 

Desserts (not part of the $19.69 menu) include Wayne Garrett’s Carrot Cake and Ron Swoboda’s Ice Cream Soda

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