The Sweet Success of Opening Day

 

So far so good, the New York Mets are undefeated in 2013. Matt Harvey tries to keep the line moving tomorrow night. Here are some observations on yesterday’s opening day win:

I wasn’t in attendance at Citi Field yesterday due to my son coming back from a two week trip to Italy and Switzerland. At 17 years old he’s already been to Europe and hiked the New Mexico desert. When I was 17 I was happy to just spend time going to Coney Island and playing stick ball.

I watched all the festivities on SNY. The pre-game show started at 11:30 AM and right away the chemistry between Bobby Valentine and Bobby Ojeda was a hit. I can guarantee the spread sheet contingent of baseball fans would disagree with everything Valentine and Ojeda have to say about baseball which makes what Valentine and Ojeda say more valid.

Gary Cohen, Ron Darling, Keith Hernandez and Kevin Burkhardt were in mid-season form yesterday. Hernandez had the line of the day. After KB interviewed the stunning Emily Rossum and threw it back to the booth, Hernandez mentioned that there are times he envies Kevin and the job that he has. Welcome to the dirty old man club Keith.

I still can’t understand why SNY has a 90 minute pre-game show but still has to interrupt game action with pre-recorded interviews?

What did I tell you about Collin Cowgill? As fabulous as his Grand Slam was in the 7th I was more impressed by the hustle double he hit in the 4th that normally would have been a single to center but Cowgill was thinking double right out of the box. Love that!

The worst outfield in baseball went 4 for 12 with 2 BB 3RS and 6 RBI (4 RBI from Cowgill and 2 from Byrd)

SNY put a camera on Jon Niese after the 6th inning where Terry Collins was coming over to tell him his day was over and a let him know “Job well done” Niese was very animated in making his case to stay in the game. There was a meeting between Collins, Dan Warthen and John Buck along with Niese pleading his case to stay in for the 7th inning. It was decided to let Niese go back out to start the 7th. It seems there was caveats that as soon as Niese was to throw his 100th pitch, he was done for the day. Even though Niese got 2 quick outs, Collins brought Brandon Lyon in the game to get the last out. SNY then aimed their camera at Collins giving an explanation to Niese on why he took him out. When the lecture was over  Niese had a big smile on his face and Collins go this message across.

I’ve mention about meeting Jon Niese and finding him as dull as dish water, yesterday between seeing him interact with John Buck and with Collins and Warthen, it looks like Niese has a new and improved personality which I feel goes hand in hand with the confidence he has that now knows he is a top flight big league pitcher.

Speaking of John Buck, how great is it to see a bon fide big league catcher handling the Mets staff.  You can see that Buck is a future ML manager. SNY showed inning after inning, Buck sitting with Niese and it seemed that they were going over their game plan. After the game, Buck was praising Niese saying he would the ace of any staff he pitched for. Whether you or I believe that, you have to love Buck pumping up his teammate like that.

Got to feel for poor Ike Davis, while everyone in the lineup made a contribution, Ike took the Golden Sombrero.

Got to feel great for Scott Rice and a great gesture by Terry Collins to give the 14 year career minor leaguer the ball in his first ML opening day.

Scott Achinson looks like a guy who just competed in a fantasy camp, he’s the oldest looking 37 year old I’ve ever seen.

No Mets game today but tonight R.A. Dickey will make his Blue Jay debut. I’ll be watching that one and rooting for R.A.

 

 

 

 

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NY Mets Notes for 4-1-13

A few Opening Day notes form the NY Mets:

Last Met to hit a leadoff home run on opening day was Kaz Matsui on 4-6-04 at Turner Field

In the history of MLB the NY Mets have the best opening day winning percentage of all time at .647 (33-18)

David Wright has had at least one hit in every opening day game he’s played in for the Mets since his debut in 2005

There has been only one Mets Grand Slam hit on opening day and that was by Todd Hundley in Colorado on 4-26-1995

Happy Birthday to Daniel Murphy (#Imwith28 who turns 28) and Rusty Staub (Le Grand Orange) who turns 69 years old and will throw out the first pitch of today’s game.

The Mets will honor the first responders who did outstanding work during Hurricane Sandy.

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On Vacation Which Means More Baseball To Watch

 

Greetings from Cape Cod where I will be vacationing for the next week. Before heading to the Cape last we went to the Brooklyn Cyclones Aberdeen Ironbirds game a Cyclones 6-2 win that was capped off by Brando Nimmo’s Grand Slam to break up a 2-2 tie.

When I got to the hotel I got a couple of text from friends altering me that David Wright had made the All Star team but will not start as he lost the vote to Pablo Sandoval. I can understand the outrage but for me I’ll save my ranting and raving for the end of the season when Wright gets robbed of the NL MVP.

I’m happy for Wright as it’s a well deserved berth to the All Star team but the two Mets I’m ecstatic over making the team are R.A. Dickey and Terry Collins both men have re-invented themselves and now get their just reward.

Time to unpack and hit the pool before dinner, Cape Cod speaks fluent baseball, so I know where ever we go for dinner there will be a TV with Mets-Dodgers  plus I have to chart the week to see what Cape Cod League games I want to see and how many baseball scouts I can talk to. Busy week ahead. Let’s Go Mets!

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Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times: 50 Years From The Mets Junk Draw

Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times, has put together a 50 Years From The Mets Junk Draw column that looks at 50 of the best and most interesting moments in Mets history that are not the obvious choices, such as:

 May 2, 1963: Skipper Casey Stengel decides to do something different. He inserts catcher Choo Choo Coleman in the batting order’s leadoff slot. To this day, it’s still the only time any catcher has led off for the Mets. New York wins, 10-3

 WOW  who’da thunk that?  I would have bet either John Stearns or Mackey Sasser would have hit at the top of the order during their Mets career.   I bet Josh Thole hits in the leadoff spot at least once as a Met

Aug. 9, 1963: Jim Hickman hits a walk-off grand slam for the Mets, an achievement that’s extra special because it ends the 18-game losing streak of Roger Craig, the team’s best pitcher in their early horrible years.

Jim Hickman had terrific power and hit some home runs as a Met but the lure of obtaining Brooklyn born and bred (and Boys High baseball and basketball standout) Tommy Davis from the Dodgers was too strong so Hickman was shipped to LA for Davis. Davis by the way played one season for the Mets in 1967 and was dealt in the off season to the White Sox for Tommie Agee and Al Weiss.

Sept. 16, 1975: Since 1950, quite a few baseball games have ended on a walk-off walk, but none have happened as late as this one. The Mets top the Expos 4-3 when Montreal’s Don DeMola walks Del Unser with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 18th inning.

 

It has always seemed to me that the Mets have played more long extra innings games than any other team in baseball history

 

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THE SKY IS NOT REALLY FALLING

I’m already feeling Mets fatigue as the stories out of St Lonesome other than Santana’s healthy and Matt Harvey is a stud, all the other news has the stink of negativity to it. But is it really that bad or is it because it’s the Mets that it’s portrayed that way?

Sure the rash of pulled obliques is a concern but is it serious enough to where some fans are going off the deep end? Of all the pull muscles in the abdomen area that bother me it’s Kirk Nieuwenhuis’ because I thought he had a real shot of making the team but this will most likely stall his major league debut. Scott Hairston’ is somewhat disconcerting but he’s a 4th outfielder who can be replaced by a waiver pick up at end of spring. Lucas Duda’ back looks to be fine as his Grand Slam yesterday is testament to.

Tim Byrdak is having his knee operated on today and contrary to all the bridge jumpers he’ll be back by mid-April. Is there a fan base in baseball that would get all worked up about a LOOGY missing 4 weeks of action in spring, some Mets fans reacted like idiots over the news of Byrdak’s injured knee.

If you want to throw yourself on the ground and kick up a tantrum, then do so over David Wright’s sore side. That’s the injury to watch.

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MURPHY HOW COULD YOU?

The Murph givith, the Murph takith away. Looks like I missed another Adventures in Fielding with Daniel Murphy last night as he took a wee bit to long to throw to Ginger Turner covering 1st base to get Dwayne Wise over running the bag. The play set up Izzy pitching to Mike Stanton who in turn hit a grand slam to help the Fish to a 7-3 win.

There is no defending Murphy on that play, it is baseball fundamentals 101. Terry Collins you know is not happy with what Murph does on the field but he has his player’s back as he took Murphy to task but complimented him on how he never makes the same mistake twice. No, he usually moves on to the next mistake on the field.

As much as I love Murphy, something’s gotta give with his lack of baseball instincts as noble as it is for the manager to protect him in the media, there comes a time when that becomes insulting to the fans and the folks covering the team. You can protect a guy for so long then your creditability comes into play.

I see from The Mets PO-PO that Wayne Hagin has become a “we-be” as being a homer. If Howie Rose and Gary Cohen can stay above that as they are cut from the same orange and blue cloth as us, it would be in Hagin’s best interest to do the same. By the way where was Howie? Out voting to keep the Icelanders in Uniondale?

Speaking of the Icelanders, now what Mr. Wang? The voters have spoken and by the way, what a strange time to have a vote on such an important referendum, the first Monday in August when folks are on vacation and doing many summertime activities. So what becomes of the Icelanders? Wang has said he would be done with the team that he loses millions on each year without the new arena so are we looking at a reincarnation of the Brooklyn Americans?

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EVERYONE’ S TALKIN’ METS BASEBALL

First things first, Happy Mothers Day Let’s hope the Mets bring you a nice sweep of the Giants as a Mothers Day gift.

Nice to see Mike Piazza wants to go into the Hall of Fame as a Met and quite frankly he should. Even though I’m not a big Piazza fan (I’ll still take Jerry Grote over him forget the offense Grote was a real leader and was second only to Johnny Bench who I consider the greatest catcher ever, in his era) but it would be nice to see a Mets cap on his HOF plaque.

Just to let you know the Mets are the talk of the town once again. Yesterday before our Babe Ruth game there was more talk of the Barajas walk off than their was about who we were playing. !4 boys some Mets fans some Highlander fans all agreed on one thing, just once in their lives they’d love to hit a walk off homer, not a Little League homer but a real over the fence win the game homer. Same thing last night when I went to a father-daughter dinner-dance at my daughter’s school, the dads some Mets most Highlander were talking about the Mets back to back, catcher to catcher walk off home run wins.

Wayne Coffey has a great story on Highlander trainer Gene Monahan and his fight with throat cancer. Put your fan allegiance aside and pray for Geno.

Hank White takes a pie from Alex Cora after his walk off blast. Who will be the hero today (I Like Ike)

LMillz got caught again with his head down the other night thinking he had a home run when it hit off the wall. Milledge thought it was a grand slam his first in the bigs,  the Pirate and Cubs announcers thought is was gone, the guys who sets off the fireworks and play the music at PNC  Park thought it was gone, but as Milledge styled around second base Alfonso Soriano threw the ball in from left field to shortstop Ryan Thierot which stunned Milledge, as he ran back to 2nd base Thierot threw to Jeff Baker who tagged Millz out.

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………….AND WE’RE BACK………..

The site was having problems this morning and I’m blaming Jeffey Skill Sets and some Wilpon sabatogie for that but a big thanks to Sports Media Mogul Joe McDonald for fixing whatever it was that messed the place up.

 

As we approach the 24th hour since the M. Donald Minaya disgraceful presser the debate still rages on about the direction this team is going.  I’m not sure Minaya was working alone in his attack on Adam Rubin since Rubin stated he had spoke to Jeffey Skill Sets about getting into baseball and not Omar, it just smells of a set up to me.

 

In one way Omar was slick in calling out Rubin during the press conference as it took away the fact that Tony Bernazard would still have a job today if not for the daily stories on Bernazard’ behavior that were painting him as one nasty bastard and made the organization look bad.

 

What I don’t get is why the hell do the Mets ever let Minaya speak at these things? Listening to him stumble and stammer makes me so uncomfortable listening to him. If Minaya survives this off season and his contract extension kicks in, the Skill Sets should send Omar for some public speaking courses or bring in someone to work with him to help him speak in front of the cameras. The New York Mets for all their faults and ineptsness is still a billion dollar corporation and should not have as it’s spokesman a guy who has a problem putting a sentence together.

 

By the way the Mets won a game in big time fashion with Fernando Tatis hitting a grand slam on a 0-2 pitch that any other day would be the big story but as usual front office stupidity reigns again.

 

I’m going to the game tonight (as bad as the team is I love spending my birthday watching baseball) and I think I may go real early and call out Jeffey Skill Sets kind of like Steven Segal in Out For Justice as Det. Gino Felino went looking for Richie Madano in this scene. So if your at $ti Field tonight and you hear someone yelling “Yo Jeffey, Com’on out Jeffey” come by and say hi.

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NO PAIN AND WE GAIN

Now that’s the way to spend a day off as the Mets gain an other half a game on the Phlacid Phillies as the Aramis Ramirez launched a Grand Slam off Chad Durbin (“CLANK” go the cups of Old Style) to defeat Albino Manuel’s squad 6-4 and now the statically good Phillies bullpen is showing some cracks and Good Ol’ Cholly’s managerial moves are being question by the those famous front runners in the Philly and the press.

 

Seems like Gary Cohen wasn‘t the only one wondering why JC Romano was not in the game to face Carlos Del-GOD-o, JC is stilling wondering as well.  

 

 

 

David Lennon has a piece on the new “Steady As She Goes” attitude in the Mets clubhouse. Lennon shows that as we Mets fans clutched our chest in horror over Tuesday’s awful defeat, the Mets players took it in stride and that Warlord Jerry has loosen the reins of the clubhouse and is treating his men like men. No one will come out and say that the fact that Willie Randolph choked the life out of the team last season during the “collapse” and J-Man is more perceptive of what makes his team click.

 

First the NYPD roughed up a guy at Highlander Stadium for having the audacity to want to take a leak during the phony patriotism part of the 7th inning the other night, now we have to female Red Sox fans who it is reported were tossed from the Steinbrenner Slum for rooting too much for the Sawx. As we see in this clip, the first female was escorted down the upper deck stairs without incident, but her accompilis makes a very big mistake, fucking with an NYPD officer, not just any NYPD officer but a very large and very angry female cop.  The female cop is also African-American and one thing I love about African American women is when they get mad and do that finger thing, where they pull back their arm and point that finger to say “don’t you fuck with me” it’s something a white woman could never pull off. Same as a white guy trying to wear a red suit, we just can’t pull that fashion statement off. Meanwhile it took three cops to subdue the Amazon Blonde and all three officers had ample waist lines as well, that’s a lot of heft by the authorities so advantage Angry White Chick.

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