A Must Listen For Mets Fans, The Kult of Mets Personalities Podcast with Special Guest Eddie Kranepool

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Stop whatever it is you’re doing and tune in to our Kult of Mets Personalities Podcast from last night. Our special guest was Mets great and my all time favorite player Ed Kranepool. Eddie did not hold back on his opinions and told some great stories of his days under Casey Stengel and of course Gil Hodges. Krane also talked about why he felt the Mets never were able to sustain their winning ways after winning in 1969

The best story of the podcast though is Kranepool telling us how he was thisclose to being a big part of a new ownership group who was ready to buy the club from Lorinda de Roulet and who his bombshell choice would have been to manage the Mets.

If you want to hear a no bullshit podcast from passionate Mets fans whose only agenda is rooting for the orange and blue, then Kult of Mets Personalities is the podcast for you

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Hey NY Mets, Someone Has To Care!

In the name of the Kranepool, The Seaver and the Holy Gil Hodges. Gil, this team, this organiztion is killing me. I’m so tired of not just the losing but the way this team has no fight in it. Remember when you came the manage the Mets in 1968 and you told your players the days of the loveable losers was over and that if you weren’t ready to dedicate yourself to being a winner then you couldn’t be a part of your team? What happened to that thinking Gil? It came back in the 80’s with Frank Cashen and Davey Johnson then it vanished again and made a bit of an appereance in the mid 2000’s. But Gil, we are back to the ways of old, players have given up, the manager once a bit of a spitfire has a beaten look to him, he has no answers and if he hasn’t lost his clubhouse he’s on the brink. My God Gil, how does this happen and why does it always happen to the Mets ? Please Gil you have to help us, send a message, you are still loved and revered by Mets fans that’s why I turn to you in our time of despair. In the name of the Kranepool, the Seaver and the Holy Gil Hodges Amen.

Out on the street 

Where I grew up

First thing they teach us

not to give a fuck

That kind of thinking can’t get you nowhere

Someone has to care.

-The Roots “How I got Over”

Leave it to the Mets to ruin a wonderful MLB debut by Collin McHugh and let Mike Francesa give them a thorough and well deserved ass reaming on his radio show after the game, although Francesa shitting on McHugh’s performance was uncalled for but everything else in his rant and rave was well deserved.

I’m at a loss for words with this latest collapse and I even more dazed and confused over Terry Collins proclamation that Daniel Murphy is “out of gas” and needs a couple of days off.  I’m stunned Colins would use the words “out of gas” and “fatigued” knowing that the fan base are like sharks off the coast of Cape Cod and are circling as they smell blood in the water. What did Collins and the Mets think the fan reaction to Murphy being out of gas would be, sure sit out a few games and rest up? Shit, not in this lifetime.

Am I pissed off about this??? You bet your dragging ass I am. I’m like everyone else, I drag my ass out of bed every morning to go to work and hope that (a) the assholes I work with won’t piss me off to the point I want to stab someone and (b) that there is some overtime to grab so I can provide a little more for my wife and kids. You want fatigue; try getting up at 5AM take a train, a boat and another train to get to work. Then work a twelve hour shift and repeat that commute to go home. Am I complaining?  Hell no! I will never complain about going to work and how I get there, you know why? Because my family depends on me, it keeps me motivated.

So when a baseball player, a baseball player I like very much, is sitting out games because he’s out of gas don’t expect me to accept that as an excuse.

As I said when I stated this rant and rave, I wish I know who went to who with this but either way it seems Terry Collins is getting to that “don’t give a fuck” stage with this team and that is very, very sad like the Roots song says in “How I Got Over” that type of thinking can’t get you nowhere, someone has to care and has to care right now.     

 

 

 

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THE 2012 NY METS SEASON WILL BE GOLDEN

It was quite the day at Citi Field today as the organization announced plans for the celebration of its 50th Anniversary.  I was fortunate to have been invited to the festivities of the day and as I left Citi Field I felt invigorated about being a Mets fan.

I’ve all but given up trying to explain to non-Mets fans why it is I love this team so much. It’s like looking at one of those pictures where if you stare at it a 3D figure pops off the page or when you look at a cloud formation and see a horse or George Washington’s face and the person with you says they don’t see a thing, when I see a Mets uniform or a collage of events like the video we saw at today’s press conference it’s makes you want to shout I SEE IT!  I SEE IT! I BELIEVE! I BELIEVE!

Hard to imagine it is 50 years since Joan Payson brought National League baseball back to NYC. What’s even harder for me to believe that I’ve been attending Mets games for the past 47 of those years.  When  I saw David Wright come out in the retro home uni,  ivory colored with blue pinstripes and Mets in blue with orange trim and WRIGHT 5 on his back and Lucas Duda standing tall in the classy road gray with NEW YORK in old English style letters  (Ike Davis wore the snow-white uni with the same blue and orange Mets and NO BLACK SHADOW!!!!!!) all I could think of was Jack Fisher handing me a peach between games of a double header in 1965, weekend series at Shea when the Dodgers and Giants would come to town with Koufax and Mays, listening to my father talk about “this Seaver kid” in 1967, relatives and family friends who were Brooklyn Dodger s fans happy in 1968 that Gil Hodges was coming back to the Mets to be their manager, being 10 years old and shocked to find out that Yogi Berra played for the Yankees???? WOW! Crying when Jimmy Quals broke up Tom Seaver’s perfect game and brought to tears again nine years later when Seaver was shipped out to Cincinnati, the euphoria of 1969 and 1986 and the heartbreak of the 2000 World Series and 2007 NLCS. The Mets are a microcosm of life, great times, tough times, and puzzling times.

As I said Mets bloggers were invited to the presser and I was pleased to sit with Ed Marcus, Greg Prince and Matt Cerrone but there was one blogger at event today who in the words of Yogi “made this day necessary” and that’s Shannon of The Mets Police. Shannon through his site pushed management to bring back Banner Day and to drop the black jerseys and caps (I am thrilled to report that the black cap with the blue bill is gone for good) and for that we Traditionalist Mets fans are forever grateful.

With so much gloom and doom coming from the fan base so far this offseason it was nice to be a part of a positive Mets day.

Now for the hold on to your Mets cap part of the post, I got to meet David Howard today and it was a very pleasant experience (no, I’m not going soft here I’m just being honest) we shook hands and spoke  and had a few laughs and we even talked about our kids, see on the kick off of the Mets Golden Anniversary it’s all good.

 

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HERE THEY ARE YOUR 1962 NEW YORK METS

 

On this  date in 1961, the National League held it expansion draft as it welcomed two teams into the league for the first time in 70 years, the New York Metropolitan Baseball Club (Mets) and the Houston Colt .45’s (who became the Astros )

Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times takes a look at how both teams went about putting together their inaugural teams.  The Mets were run by former Highlander GM George Weis and went more for players with New York baseball roots, like Gil Hodges, Duke Snider and Don Zimmer whereas the Colt .45’s under Paul Richards, took a Moneyball approach looking for undervalued commodities especially in the pitching department in the later rounds of the draft.

A lot of stories this weekend were about the Big 3 getting bounced out of the postseason.  The Highlanders and Red Sox are strapped with bloated contracts that can’t be moved and the Phillies are stuck with payroll restrictions and an older lineup with not much farm help in sight. This is why it won’t be the devastating blow that many Mets fans think it will be if Jose Reyes signs elsewhere.  If Reyes is up for a 4yr/$80-$90 million deal with the Mets, that would be perfect, any more years than that, then take care Jose. Remember all that talk about Reyes getting a Carl Crawford like contract? There is no way Sandy Alderson would ever do that; even if the Skill Sets still had Bernie Madoff money he wouldn’t do it. I still say Alderson hopes there is the one dumb owner out there who will go six years  for Reyes so he can bow out of the bidding. As we see this post season you can have all the bling, bit it don’t mean a thing.

I’ll make this prediction now; Joe Girardi doesn’t last the season in 2012 as Highlanders manager. I could see Lou Pinnella taking over as interim while grooming Jorge Posada to take over as skipper in 2013.

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REMEMBERING THE QUIET MAN

I for one, can not get enough of reading about Gil Hodges and after reading Taryn Cooper’ (a/k/a The COOP) posting on Mets Merized Online, It gave me time to reflect on this great player, manager and man.

  I always point to the death of Hodges on April 2,  1972 as one of the two darkest days (the other was June 15, 1977 and is you don’t know what happened on that date you are reading the wrong blog asshole) and the day the promise of the Mets organization died.

I also remember as an 8 year old Mets fan/Brooklyn gutter snipe, going to Hodges wake with my firends and our dads. We wore our baseball uniforms and walked past the resting Hodges and just cried like it was a family member, HELL he was a family member.

As Mets fans we bask in the fact that Hodges was not just the man that led the Mets from misfits to champions but he was also one of us, as he lived with his born and bred  Brooklynite wife Joan in Mill Basin, It’s a shame that Mets ownership doesn’t put together a campaign to get Gil Hodges into Cooperstown where he belongs.

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THE UNDEFEATED

Lot’s of posts on this site have been made taking Mets management to task but today I want to start this one with some praise and thanks.

My son and I were supposed to be at Citi Field yesterday enjoying Opening Day but due to the Easter weekend we could not lay my mother to rest until yesterday.  I offered my tickets to various friends but none wanted them under the circumstances and a more than one person told me to contact the Mets and tell them of my situation and see if they would exchange the tickets for another game.  So I called the Mets ticket office to see if they could help me out.

The seats were in the lower level and cost me $190 so I couldn’t just eat the cost, so it was worth a shot.

The ticket agent I spoke to offered me his condolences and then asked me  to hold so he could get a supervisor to help me. The supervisor came on and also offered a kind word and told me “no question, Mr. Keane we will refund your  ticket and credit your credit card for the full amount” and with that he said “On behalf of the New York Mets, we offer our condolences”

Thank you to the Mets ticket office and to the Mets organization for their help, understanding and kind words.

I didn’t get to see much of yesterday’s game but after seeing highlights and reading various sites, I figured I’d comment on a few items:

It looks as though the Mets have taken the fan base’ advice and Met-trifed Citi Field. Moving the Shea Stadium Home Run Apple was a tremendous move. Although I enjoyed sitting at the picnic tables in back of the bullpen with the Apple tucked away in the back, the Apple is now in a proper place out in the open.

I love that there is a Gil Hodges Entrance and a Tom Seaver Entrance as well. The Mets Hall of Fame looks like it’s a must see place and the player imagines on banners hanging from the lamp posts are a great touch as well. I can’t wait to see these things in person.

I got a letter from the Mets with the location of my brick on the Fan Walk. It’ s in the spot with the Game 6 of the 1986 World Series plaque and it reads METSFANS4EVER KEANE FAMILY STATEN ISLAND.  So please no spitting, or gum or cigarette butts on my brick. Thank You.

It’s safe to say no other fan base but the Mets fan would boo the training and strength and condition staff. In fact I don’t think any other fan would know the names of it’s training and strength and conditioning staff.

Hurray for the new guys as Jason Bay, Gary Mathews Jr and Rod Barajas had big days with the bat.

The Marlins looked very 2009 Mets-ish with their sloppy defense.

Not the best welcome back for Mike Jacobs with 2 K’s and being lifted for defensive purpose by Fernando Tatis.

One win down and nineteen more to go for Johan Santana. Santana pitched to the ballpark as we got ten outs via fly ball and five K’s with a nice mix of the fastball/changeup that kept the Fish batters off balance. The man knows how to pitch.

Those new cream colored pinstriped  uni’s should be the one and only home uniform.  How can anyone say the black uni tops and those disgusting black and blue hats look better ?

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BOOK REVIEW: EVALUATING BASEBALL’S MANAGERS-CHRIS JAFFE

 

In most sports, the person in charge of the team is called Coach. Coaches are a combination of motivator, evaluator and tactician. Football coaches run “Programs”, Basketball and Hockey coaches have “Systems” but what do Baseball Managers have? Well, they “manage”.

 

Baseball managers do more managing of personalities and keeping players happy than doing much tactical maneuvers. Sure they have to know when to go to the bullpen and when to go to the bench but it’s not like they are re-inventing the game or spending nights pouring over film to get an edge on their opponent. In baseball, your edge is your next days starting pitcher.

 

In his book “Evaluating Baseball’s Managers” (MacFarland) Chris Jaffe writes the ultimate book on the effect of baseball managers on their team’s success and failure. Jaffe uses a combination of statistics and in depth analysis to examine the role of mangers through out the history of baseball.

 

Jaffe takes each team in MLB and focuses on the role of managers who have worked in full seasons for their team. Jaffe was kind enough to send me an excerpt of the Mets managers in the book.

 

Jaffe makes the case for Casey Stengel never having players of talent until he was hired by the Yankees. Before his success in the Bronx, Stengel struggled in the NL with Brooklyn and Boston, to the point where he went to the Pacific League to run the Oakland Oaks to redeem himself.  Gil Hodges falls in a similar category as Stengel where he didn’t have much talent with the Washington Senators but was perfect for an up and coming young Mets team. Davey Johnson is portrayed as an underrated skipper and Bobby Valentine being the most active manager as it pertains to in game moves and the use of his 25 man roster. Jaffe makes the case that Art Howe and the Mets were not and should not have been a match as Howe was more suited to running a club of younger players and also suffered the stigma of being portrayed as a puppet of Billy Beane as seen through the pages of Moneyball.

 

Jaffe has taken on a subject that has not been fully represented. This book will appeal to both the stat head and the fan of the written word.

 

After reading the excerpt on the Mets managers, I look forward to picking up a copy of Evaluating Baseball Mangers just for the sections on Joe McCarthy, Connie Mack and the immortal John McGraw.

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OH WHAT A NIGHT…………….

Boy, did we ever need that? In what has become one of the worst season’s on and off the field in the history of the NY Mets, last night had to prove to the Skill Sets that, yes we have a history and an outstanding one at that.

I was 11 years old (same as Gary Cohen) when the Mets became World Champions. You see all the negativism and anger from this current Mets fans base? Well now picture the complete opposite of that and you have the feel for what it was like around here in 1969.

Think of this for the first time in the history of newspapers the NY Daily News ran a COLOR front page just for the Mets. The news also sold buttons with GO METS on them and every Sunday had portraits of Mets players as inserts in the paper. Channel 9 the TV home of the Mets showed just about every game and all the games were on radio (WJRZ 970 AM) and Lindsey Nelson, Bob Murphy and Ralph Kiner were the guys we brought into our homes for every game.

The Mets were not just the talk of NY but of the whole country they were truly America’s team. This was an organization that was looked at as loveable losers until the Quiet Man took over and put an end to that kind of thinking. It was Gil Hodges who set the tone for the club. As Mets fans we all know of the love and devotion that Tom Seaver had for Hodges, not an appearance goes by when The Franchise doesn’t invoke the name of Hodges his stories. But the most told story about Hodges and his team always is about him taking out Cleon Jones during a game against the Astros on July 30 1969 for lack of hustle.

During his time on the SNY broadcast, Jones told that the only Hodges and he knew what really happened that day. Jones went on to say how Hodges didn’t yell or scream or get in his face he just told Jones that we can’t play like this if were going to win  and Jones realized right there that is wasn’t business as usual for the Mets. Hodges meant what he said in spring training that the loser mentality stops here and now and Jones knew after getting lifted from that game that the team was destined to win.

Some observation from last night’s ceremony:

I love how Eddie Yost came out and was still giving signs, and leave it to Howie Rose to remember that Lindsey Nelson would always say “and Eddie Yost, the sign man is coaching at third base…….”

Wayne Garret and Gary Gentry must have found the fountain of youth, both guys look like they could still play.

You know you’re an old time Mets fan, when you not only can recognize Duffy Dyer but your happy as hell to see him.

Here is the legacy of Yogi Berra, he is the only man other than the Pope who could get a standing ovation in both Highlander Stadium and $iti Field.

I loved how the music of 1969 was intertwined with the introduction of the players but I wish SNY would have left the cameras on the players instead of showing videos of them in their playing day. It’s called capture the moment fellas’

The biggest ovations of the night were for Bob Murphy’s widow and for Ralph Kiner and rightfully so.

I don’t I have ever seen Jerry Grote look so happy as he did last night. I wish he was with the Mets in some capacity as that is what the organization misses an Grote like mentality. I still can see him throwing back a ball to the pitcher at about 95 mph when he was pissed off at him for either crossing him up or not hitting his spot and non of the pitchers ever challenging him.

I’m glad Gary Cohen mentioned Ken Boswell not being there and not being acknowledged on the field. It seems Boswell had a falling out with the organization an declined the invitation to come. This is where the Skill Sets are absolutely clue less. With their track history, the Skill Sets are probably at fault here and should have made amends with Boswell to get him last nights ceremony. Boswell too should not be so cranky as to snub this reunion as I’m sure he feels hurt that the Mets treated him wrong (join the club Kenny) but he may regret it for a long time not being at $iti Field last night.

As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, Tom Seaver is THE FRANCHISE!!!!

There may be no more underrated sports performer in this town than Jerry Koosman. The chant back then was “We can’t loose with Seaver and Kooz”

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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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W.W.G.H.D. WHAT WOULD GIL HODGES DO?

 

 

Trying hard to put up a post today as I replay a tough loss over and over in my mind, no not the All Star Game, I gave up on that at 10PM when RESCUE ME came on, no I’m talking about my Babe Ruth team losing 8-0 to the top seed last night.

Don’t let the score fool you it was a closer game than that. We had one bad inning (the 3rd) letting in 4 runs on a couple of errors and a some solid base hits. But the biggest obstacle was the pitcher we were facing a 13 year old with a big time yellow hammer that buckled my guys knees. We could only muster two hits on the night and three base runners total (my son accounting for two of the base runners with a walk, reaching first on a strike out/passed ball and two stolen bases) and now we face an elimination game on Sunday. Not much to say to the kids but “Hang with ‘em.

After the game we went home to watch the All Star Game and the first thing my son told me was “Dad, let’s get all the when I was a kid stuff out early so we can just watch the game” I guess like how the All Star Game was played during the day and how the two leagues played the game like it was a World Series game and how the NL had all the stars and always won and because of that the AL couldn’t draw fans so they sullied the sport with the DH, and how I miss Curt Gowdy calling the big games and that’s when I get the hand and “that’s enough old timer” and I quiet down.

I was listening to Joe (Bada Bing Bada Boom) Beningno and Evan Roberts yesterday and I agree with Joe that there is so much baseball available for us to watch that the All Star Game is no big deal, as it used to be a chance for fans to see players they never get to see much but with the Extra Innings package and ESPN and MLB Network and Mets and Highlander games on every night there isn’t a team or a player I haven’t seen add in that there is no more rivalry between the NL and AL with so much player movement and the fact that both leagues are not run as separate entities (remember when there were League Presidents ?) That has made the All Star Game hum drum.

Admit it you were hoping that President Obama would have brought Artie Lang with him to the game to hang with Doofus Joe Buck. Now that would have been riveting TV.

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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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