I’M BACK, BACK IN THE NEW YORK GROVE

THIS IS A PICTURE FROM TEN MILE RIVER CAMP SITE AND THAT IS THE SAME TYPE OF TENT I SLEPT IN THAT LAST WEEK

It’s good to be back especially with the concrete beneath my feet. A week in the wilds of Sullivan County is fine but for the life of me, I don’t get why anyone would want to live up there, especially in the winter, it’s the classic nice place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live here. So with a good wiff of the stink of the NYC Subway and a 1970’s like NYC heat wave in full swing, it’s time to look at our favorite baseball. This could be a rocky ride so as always fasten your seat belts.

All jokes aside, MLB has to be embarrassed by the umpiring crew in yesterday’s Mets-Giants game. Phil Cuzi really embarrassed himself behind the plate with his ameba strike zone and his overall unprofessionalism. His calling out Travis Ishikawa was bad but the call on Aubrey Huff’ worm killer in front of the plate that was clearly a fair ball, but 3rd base ump Mike Easterbrook said it hit Huff’s foot. Not even close, and by the way, when did this trend of base umpires start overruling home plate umps on plays that are clearly the man behind the plates call? It’s an awful trend and Mike Port the man in charge of these inept arbiters needs to fix and fix it fast as MLB can not have another disaster of post season when it comes to its officials like it did last year.

As I stated in a Tweet last night, I am fully convinced that the role of “closer” is the most overrated position in all of sports. Unless you’re the Highlanders, paying a guy tens of millions dollars to pitch one inning is fucking ridiculous. The only difference right now between Frankie Rodriguez as a Met and Armando Benitez’ days of Metsdom is Rodriguez doesn’t run and hide after his hideous performance. As much as we scream and yell about the contracts of Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez, the Rodriguez deal is just as rancid. Frankie Rodz will make $11.5 mil in 2011 but the killer is in 2012 where Rodriguez has a $17.5 mil option ($3.5 mil buyout). The option kicks in if Rodriguez finishes 55 games in 2011 or 100 games combined in 2010 and 2011 or doctors declare him healthy in 2011. That’s $17.5 MILLION FUCKING DOLLARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! For agita.

Did you ever think that the return of Luis Castillo from injury would be good news? Ruben Tejada is a nice player but he is showing he’s not ready for an everyday spot and Alex Cora shouldn’t even be in the big leagues but if he’s on the field once or twice a week tops is all he’s good for. Amazing, Castillo is now an upgrade in the lineup and in the field.

I want the Mets to win and make the playoffs but a part of me wants Oliver Perez to pick up right where he left off with the Mets so he can force the hand of Jeffey Skill Sets to finally prove to the fan base if the team is broke or not? If the team is not in monetary dire straits then when OP shits the bed, cut him and force him to go to the minors. You know and I know that Perez will still suck when he returns so why go on with this farce.

So much for Prevention and Recovery when it comes to injuries especially when Jose Reyes is concerened. Reyes will start tonight in Phoenix and I just hope he’s ready to play and this isn’t one of the Mets rush jobs we all are to familiar with.

Sure Jeff Francouer is a fabulous right fielder but instead of wondering how Jerry Manuel is going to get him at bats, it would be a better move would be to release him. I know all about the “chemistry” issues but how could you be a clear thinking Mets fan and not want Angel Pagan in the lineup everyday? The Mets can’t afford to carry Frenchy’s impotent bat as the team ranks in the bottom third of every offensive category in the National League. The only reason the team is still in shouting distance of the Braves is due to the pitching staff, but with the way this offense is stalled, Francouer’s right arm is a luxury the Mets can afford.  

It’s 11PM and I’m laying in a tent in the middle of the woods hoping that no bears or coyotes come into the camp site and rip me apart and I realize the Mets are in San Francisco. I pray my little bullshit AM/FM radio can pick up the 50, 000 watts of WFAN so I can listen to the game and keep my mind off of being becoming some savage animals midnight snack. I hit the on button and the game comes in loud and clear but there is a bit of a problem, No Howie Rose. There is Wayne Hagin and then I hear Ed (Grey Goose) Coleman but where the hell is Howie? I admit I don’t listen to many Mets games on the radio but when I do, I tolerate Hagin as I know Howie is right there for my listening pleasure. I don’t begrudge Rose of taking a bit of a vacation as he works Icelander games and folds right into Mets games but there needs to be a different voice in the booth when Howie’s not there. You can’t team up Hagin and Coleman together it doesn’t work. It’s not Sterling/Waldman bad as that is the worst tandem in the history of speaking but Hagin and Coleman are very close to unlistenable. Why can’t Kevin Burkhardt step in for Howie or Hagin when either is not available? I’m sure there is some SNY, WFAN mumbo-jumbo contract bullshit that forbids this from happening but some times the forces in charge need to think of the listener because if I’m switching off the radio then I’m not listening  to the endless ads on the broadcast and I’m sure the sponsors won’t want to here that.

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IF WERE IN CHARGE OF $ITI FEILD CONCESSIONS, YOU BETTER BELIEVE THERE WOULD BE A WHITE CASTLE

Camp Happiness is in full swing as Warlord Jerry gave his loyal soldiers a unity speech and from the quotes afterwards it was a success:

 

 “I thought it was definitely the best pre-spring training meeting I’ve ever been part of,” said new set-up man J.J. Putz, who came over from the Mariners in December.

 

David Wright agreed, saying the message hit home even more because of Manuel’s popularity in the clubhouse.

 

“You get kind of the best of both worlds with Jerry,” Wright said. “He’s a tremendous players’ manager, where you feel you can talk to him about anything, and he’s a tremendous motivator who will push you.”

 

So early in Season of Redemption, J-Man is stressing it’s all about “we” and I think the Wright quote is the most damning indictment on Willie Randolph’s managerial reign and now that Manuel is entering into his first spring training and his first season as head man in charges of on field performance he is putting his stamp on the team early.

 

Big news out of camp is that Johnny Franco is back in the good graces of the Skill Sets and is back working for the Mets in a host of jobs which tells me they have no clue of what to do with him but they need someone around to tell Jeffey how handsome he is. As long as Franco has no say in personnel decisions then I’m cool with the move. 

 

Matt Cerrone is at Pt St. Lonesome and is relaying some fantastic post from the team workouts and yes I am extremely jealous.

 

I’m reading this list of eating places at $iti Field and not one of them excites me in fact it proves my assumption that real Mets fans were the last people the Mets thought about when putting this ball park amenities together. From everything I’ve heard, $iti Field is going to be a an outstanding place to watch a ball game and just from the pictures I’ve seen of the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, I believe it, but the food choices just stink of yuppie. Where is the concession that will serve deli sandwiches? No corned beef, pastrami, or brisket? Or NY centric items like egg creams, pizza -and not the new age downtown bullshit goat cheese, endive, truffle uneatable slop, but real NY Bari oven corner pizzeria pizza with calzones, garlic knots, zepoles and Italian ices. You want Shake Shack? Give me White Castle. You want Blue Smoke? How about a Ghetto Chinese stand for some chicken wings and fries and it has to be surrounded by bullet proof glass of course, for that authentic feeling. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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