CONGRATULATIONS TO JOHN FRANCO BUT IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN US

Yesterday the New York Mets announced that John Franco will be indicted into the team’s Hall of Fame this coming season with the pomp and circumstance commencing on June 3rd.

There has been much speculation this winter on who would be selected as the next honoree to the Mets HOF, some folks feel Mike Piazza should have been named and of course he should but it looks like the Mets are waiting for his enshrinement into the Baseball Hall of Fame so they can throw a really big shindig with Mets HOF honors and a number retiring ceremony as well.

Franco gets the honor this season for many reasons, he played 14 seasons with the Mets, holds the record for most saves in franchise history and most importantly he’s a Wilpon loyalist. Franco holds a job with the club sort of like the Mets Ambassador to Public Functions, in which he’s perfectly suited for. Late season, he volunteered his services to mentor Bobby Parnell in finding his way to the craft of closing baseball games, which if I were the pitching coach I would have strongly voiced my opposition to but it seems the front office didn’t have a problem with since it seems the GM really has no use for Parnell as we see with the addition of Jon Rauch and Frank Francisco which relegates to Parnell to fighting for a bullpen job.    

As I say, I really don’t want to piss in the punch here on Franco’s honor of Mets Hall of Famer but in my opinion, this year’s Mets Hall of Fame honoree should have been us, the New York Mets Fan.  How great a ceremony would it be to honor the long suffering Mets fan? The team could have selected the longest tenure season ticket holder to accept the award in our behalf and then commission a plaque with a nice mosaic of Mets fans who may be the most diverse of all sports teams in this town.  What better way to celebrate 50 years of Mets baseball than honoring the folks who really are the heart and soul of the organization, the Mets fan. Without us there is no NY Mets and in this upcoming season of apparent discontent, what better way to show how much we mean to this organization but to honor is with a plaque in the Hall of Fame.

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READ ABOUT THE ROBERTO ALOMAR WE NEVER SAW

Chris Jaffe over at The Hardball Times has another stellar article up at that site this time chronicling the career of Roberto Alomar who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this weekend.

The highlights of the article are Alomar’s halcyon days as a Blue Jay and the dramatic fall his career took when he came to the Mets from the Indians.

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AND TO THROW OUT THE FIRST PITCH AT CITI FIELD, PLEASE WELCOME RALPH KINER

If the hot start by the NY Mets isn’t enough to get you to the Citi Field on Friday for opening day, maybe the chance to cheer for the last of the original Mets broadcasting team, and Hall of Fame player, Ralph Kiner as he throws out the first pitch before the Mets-Nats game.

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YOUR MOMENT OF ALDERSON ZEN

I think we all need to take a big deep breath. This Skill Sets Cash Call has gotten the fan base acting like a bunch of blue and orange Chicken Little’s.  The skies of Flushing may look dark and ominous but it’s not falling. This may in fact, be the best thing that could happen to the Mets.

There seems to be a misunderstanding in the fan base that thinks spending lots of money equals championships, if that’s the case, how come there are only two World Series trophy’s on display at the Mets Hall of Fame? No one was better at pissing away the Skill Sets cash than Omar Minaya but his administration had no structure or foresight  or the balls to tell Jeffey stay out the baseball operations way. The minor league system, the life blood of any organization, has been run about as well as Mayor Bloomberg’s snow removal system. The biggest indictment of the failure of the Mets system is the image still burned in my memory of Fernando Martinez in his first day as a major leaguer, failing to run out a ball hit in front of home plate. At that point, F-Mart should have been taken to La Guardia Airport and sent back to Buffalo and then the whole minor league system should have been bulldozed and built back from the ground up. It didn’t because there was no one in charge with balls or brains to fix it. Until now.

The best move in the last couple of days by the Mets (besides signing R.A. Dickey and Angel Pagan clearing the arbitration eligible list) was hearing Sandy Alderson in his straight shooter way, talk to us like intelligent adults. There was no spin or sleight of hand like we’re used to, there was a right between the eyes shot of reality (Adam Rubin’ transcript of the Alderson conference call is required reading for the Mets masses)

“First of all, I want to emphasize that the plan that we have pursued the last couple of months was limited by only one fact, and that was the level of the existing payroll. Our payroll going into the season will be somewhere between $140 million and $150 million. I think that is significantly higher than we’d like to be on an annual basis — a product of adding some additional players that we felt the roster needed as well as some existing commitments. The plan and the approach that I’ve taken over the last two months has not been affected at all by any other outside factors.

 

“From my standpoint, when I took this position, when I interviewed and took this position, I was of course aware of the pre-existing involvement of the Wilpons and the Mets with Bernie Madoff. I wasn’t privy to all of the detail, nor am I or most of us at this point privy to all that detail. And I wouldn’t expect to be. At the same time, none of that has affected what I have done over the last two months. I don’t expect that it will have any impact on what I do over the next several months, including into the 2012 offseason.”

Gone are the days of wasting money on has beens and underachievers as bench players just because they are your friends or are good at playing Hearts. Why give a 35 year old utility infielder $2mil when you can use a minor leaguer for $450K or a journeyman for a make good deal where performance equals a pay raise? We’re not used to such competence around here and I guess it takes time to understand, there is spending money and there is spending money wisely.

Alderson also showed his leadership qualities by turning negative news into a positive when asked if he was worried about having the cash resources going forward:

No. I mean, obviously there’s a certain level of ambiguity surrounding this news. But from my standpoint, the facts are as they currently exist. And to some extent the decision to find a minority partner or some other source of recapitalizing the franchise is positive news from my standpoint. If there was an initial problem before, that can only be positive from my standpoint.”

There seems to be a panic by a small group of Mets fans about the future of Jose Reyes and his tenure with the Mets. From hearing Alderson address this it will be Reyes performance and his contract demands that will dictate if he stays a Met for years to come. Ken Davidoff of Newsday has said of Pee Wee Cashman, that he is “a stone cold killer” in the way he deal s with players as we’ve seen with Derek Jeter and the Rafael Soriano signing. I would say Alderson is a more of a calculated assassin.  Alderson will do what’s best for the Mets not Reyes and for that Mets should be grateful.  Alderson is not going to make the Mets a small market team he is going to make then a more efficient organization when it comes to handing out long term deals.  Anyone have a problem with that?

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TRACKING DOWN HATERS AND THE JOHN T. BRUSH STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN

There  has  been a lot of chatter over a piece that Jeff Pearlman wrote for CNN about tracking down a couple of guys who sent him some hate e-mail over a blog post he made about Jeff Bagwell not being Hall of Fame worthy. One of the e-mails was cloaked in deception as a civil response to Pealrman’s anti- Bagwell post but when Peralman opened the link he was struck with a pornographic image instead. What made it worse was he was sitting with his 7 year old daughter when he opened it.

Pearlman’ naiveté of opening a link sent by a stranger can be debated but what can’t be denied is that Pearlman went  all George Costanza on his ass. Remember when George was driving  Danny Tartabull to a PBS fund raiser when he thought another driver had given him and Tartabull the finger and chased the guy all the way upstate NY only to find the guys’ finger was in a cast? Well, that sort of what Pearlman did.

Pearlman doesn’t reveal how he tracked these vile critics down but he did and when he confronted them on the phone, they were shocked and I guess a bit scared that their cloak of anonymity was lifted.

When you write a blog you have to expect nasty and vile comments. On this site, I’ve had commentators who have left some awful comments about me personally and some of my posts. If they are funny or creative I let them stand, but if they are about someone else either a subject I’ve written about or another commentator I delete them. I can’t tell you how many racists and homophobic comments I’ve had to delete over the last few years. I won’t ever allow that here.

Now I wouldn’t go to the extreme that Pearlman did unless someone made a personal threat against me, if that happened I’d probably got to the police with it as my ass kicking days are over. By the way Pearlman is all wrong about Bagwell, the guys belongs in the Hall of Fame. If Jeff or anyone else thinks I’m wrong you know where to find me. I ain’t hiding.

The San Francisco Giants brought the 2010 World Series trophy to NYC this weekend. Greg Prince and Caryn Rose both got to lay eyes on the great baseball prize. As many long time readers here know, my dad was a huge NY Giants fan and even when they left town he still rooted for them until 1962 when the Mets were born. Not only because it was a new NL team (There was never ever a thought of my dad becoming a Highlanders fan. You had a better chance of him saying the Queen of England was a pretty good gal than have him say anything nice about the Bronx Bastards)but by playing in the Polo Grounds, he could now get back to his old stomping grounds.   So for all sons and daughters of old NY Giants fans I’d like to tip my Mets cap to Bill Neukom for not forgetting the franchises roots.

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ROBBIE, WE HARDLY KNEW YE

Roberto Alomar had one of the more bizarre tenures as a NY Met. How did a now Hall of Fame player, go from hitting .336/.415/.541 with 30 stolen bases and 100 RBI along with 113 runs scored topped off with 66 xbh along with an All Star appearance, Gold Glove Award and a fourth place finish in the MVP vote in 2001, become a underachieving malingering  pariah as a NY Met in 2002?

Talk about your unsolved mysteries. Alomar just could not find comfort in Queens. He never fit in with the Mets. Maybe it was going from a first place Indians team to a losing situation with the Mets? Maybe all the baggage that Alomar checked in with at Shea Stadium, the Hrishbeck spitting saga which weighed on him considerably and the constant meddling of fans and media about his sexual preference led to his down fall with the Mets, I don’t know but I do know that he was one of the most hated Mets of all time.

When the deal was made though, we Mets fans were a giddy bunch even praising Smarmy Steve Phillips for obtaining a talent of Alomar’s caliber but we didn’t get the 2001 Roberto Alomar, instead we received a cheap knock off. It sure was a bad time to come to Mets as a “savior” or a difference maker and not produce and also come off as a malcontent. The club came off a great 2000 by winning the NL Penannt but losing to the Highlanders in the World Series. In 2001 the Mets got off to an awful start but rebounded in the second half of the season with a 44-29 recorded but the club faltered down the stretch and most folks didn’t care at that point as we all dealt with the attack on September 11th.  So on December 11th of 2001 when it was announced that the Mets had made a deal with the Indians for Alomar, it brought hope to Mets fans that this move would get the team back into a post season berth. No need for revisionist history of the failure all around the organization during this time but Roberto Alomar was the guy who took the bulk of the beating from Mets fans, venting their frustration with boos and cat calls until he was mercifully dealt to the Chicago White Sox in 2003.

In a story in the NY Times the day after he was dealt to the White Sox, some evidence of Alomar’s unhappiness came out:

Exactly why Alomar was not himself in 222 games with the Mets will seemingly remain a mystery. Alomar said in a conference call with reporters yesterday that he liked New York, and he made sure to add that he had great teammates.

He did not sound as if he could cope with the malaise that came from losing, and the Mets lost 20 more games than they won while he was here.

”The team, maybe, I didn’t really feel comfortable with the situation,” said Alomar, who batted .265 with the Mets, far below his career average of .302. ”Sometimes, teams don’t work for you. I think the New York Mets weren’t the right team for me.”    

When Alomar went to the South Side of Chicago, guess who greeted him as skipper of the Pale Hose, the Gangsta’ himself:

There was not much doubt even at the start of the regular season that Alomar would be the Mets’ second baseman, but the team began to founder, and Alomar became a target of the fans, who thought he was not playing hard enough.

 ”I’ve seen a lot of players have a tough time in New York,” Jerry Manuel, the manager of the White Sox, said in Chicago last night before his team beat Minnesota. ”New York is a tough place to play.”

Tough place to play, tough place to be a manager too.

I’ll say this for Alomar with all the scandal that has followed him since leaving New York; his induction speech should be riveting.

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JOIN ME TONIGHT FOR BBA BASEBALL TALK ON BLOG TALK RADIO

Join me tonight at 11PM ET as I host Baseball Bloggers Alliance- Baseball Talk on Blog Talk Radio. My guest will be Bill Baer of Crashburn Alley. Bill and I will discuss the Philadelphia Phillies off season and look at who will be the Phillies chief competition in the NL East.

We will also discuss the upcoming results of the Hall of Fame voting as we talk about who we voted and did not vote for in the latest BBA Hall of Fame Election.

If you can’t join is live, then check out the podcast on our show page on Blog Talk Radio.

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SATURDAY MUSINGS

Well the honeymoon between me and the Mets have hit its first rocky spot.  I don’t know whose ideas this was but it was beyond bad.  Instead of making lame video’s mocking BREAKING NEWS on SNY (please Kevin Burkhardt, tell me there was a rifle pointed at you as the reason you agreed to do this commercial) how about lowering the price of tickets and making some different ticket packages with decent discounts as a way to sell tickets. Oh even better , show a video of construction workers taking out the seats behind the plate that no one sits in and replacing them with a nice hard plastic seat, the kind YOUR REAL FAN BASE likes to park it’s ass in.

2yrs/$8mil for Pedro Feliciano? Congrats to you Perpetual Pedro for committing that heist.  Pee Wee Cashman has been exposed so far this off season, proving his can only strength as a GM is throwing stupid money at players. If I’m Andy Petitte, I ask for $30 Mil and a private plane that brings me home after my start and back again a day before my next one , odds are Pee Wee will give in.

I can’t believe I didn’t mention this week that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame finally got two things right. First, they finally voted Darlene Love into the Hall, an honor that was waaaaaaaaaayyyyyyy overdue, then they denied Bon Jovi induction honors. That dreck that Bon Jovi spews is NOT Rock and Roll.

R.I.P. Don Van Vilet a/k/a Captain Beefheart

Let’s hope that Ollie Perez keeps up his sucky ways and gets his overdue release.

Can we please close the chapter of the Omar Minaya era. There is no need to give him a job in the organization just cut the check. The new administration talks about not being hamstrung in releasing people who are owed money, so prove it Omar, OP and Castillo need to go.

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JOIN ME TONIGHT FOR BASEBALL BLOGGERS ALLIANCE BASEBALL TALK ON BLOG TALK RADIO

Tonight at 11PM ET on Blog Talk Radio, I will be hosting the BASEBALL BLOGGERS ALLIANCE BASEBALL TALK RADIO SHOW on Blog Talk Radio.

My guest will be Stephen Jordan of Past Time Post and Bill Ivie of I70 Baseball. We will be discussing the Vetrans Committe and the Hall of Fame vote and the out look for both the KC Royals and the St. Louis Cardinals

If you can’t join us live them check out our show page on Blog Talk Radio and also at the BBA site.

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HEY WILPON, HOW ABOUT SHOWING US YOU CARE!!!!

Doesn’t 2006 seem like eon’s ago? Think about it, just four years ago the NY Mets were the NL East Champs and we Mets fans felt this was the beginning of a long prosperous run. Boy, were we wrong. Somehow, someway the organization has lost its focus and in turn has lost the trust of the fan base. As much as I enjoyed watching the Mets Hall of Fame induction ceremonies yesterday and the fact that the HOF and museum at Citi Field is exceptional and no one loves the history of this franchise more than I do, but it’s time to put that energy of bringing back the past, and move it towards building a solid organization for the future.

Quite frankly, I couldn’t care less who the next Mets HOF inductee will be and whose number could or should be retired or what kind of promotional days should be added to the schedule. I want the focus of ownership to be on building a minor league system that is the envy of baseball. I want the ownership to prove to me their not destitute by going over slot on draft picks they believe are worthy of such a contract. I want ownership to bring in the best and brightest executives in baseball to run this team and turn it into a perennial pennant contender. I want ownership to get rid of the deadwood on the roster.

I’ll be back at Citi Field a few more times this summer because I’m an addicted to the Mets and to baseball (Wednesday I went to Mets-Cards, Friday I was at SI Highlanders-Connecticut Tigers, tonight I’m going to Brooklyn Cyclones-Hudson Valley Renegades, Wednesday morning I leave for 10 days on Cape Cod just in time for the Cape Cod League Playoffs. If the Red Sox were home there would be a side trip to Boston for a game at Fenway as well oh yeah this on top of coaching baseball from the end of March to the end of July ) but guys like me are few and far between. It’s time for the Skill Sets to get their house in order and change the culture of this organization fast, this will be the most important off season in Flushing since the Wilpon/Doubleday ownership take over. The Skill Sets have to see a change of philosophy is needed. They can’t be that ignorant can they? Can they?

James Kannengieser at Amazin Avenue has his Five Ways to Improve The Mets and I’m sure we all agree on these each of them. What I can’t understand is this, when it comes to Toxic Ollie and The Late Luis Castillo what is the justification from ownership for not cutting both of them loose? Isn’t there anyone in these organizational meeting with a pair of balls to stand up and tell Jeffey Skill Sets it’s time to put the team ahead of the ledger sheet? Does Jeffey understand how much respect he would gain from the fan base if he came out and did a mass release of Perez, Castillo, Francoeur and Cora? Then tell the fans this is just the beginning of the organizational purge. Ah who am I kidding Jeffey Skill Sets is fucking gutless.

The Mets Police is now The A’s Police. Back in the mid 70’s when the Mets were awful, I was infatuated with the Cincinnati Reds Big Red Machine. I even subscribed the Reds Alert which was a weekly fan mag. So now through the great MLB Extra Innings package, I’ve been watching the Reds as they fight the Cardinals for the top spot in the NL Central. Maybe I’ll change this site into the Ed Armbrister Society. 

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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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