Hey NY Highlander Fans, You Think This Post Season Is Bad, You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet

I’ve always felt that once you sign on to be a fan of a sports team, you’re a fan for life. Like a marriage, good times and bad, and till death do us part.  Fan support has been a big topic this weekend as for the first that I can remember a professional post season sporting event in NYC was played before a lot of empty seats, and in all places, Highlanders Stadium.

I was very surprised to see so many tickets available for Games 1 and 2 of the ALCS games in the Bronx. The tickets that were available on Stub Hub were way under face value as well so what the hell happened?

Myself and Mike Silva discussed this last night on our Sports Media Watchdog Podcast going over many different reasons from cost of tickets, commuting, and traffic all play a part but the feeling I get is many Highlanders fans just have no faith at all in their team and with Derek Jeter done for the remainder of the post season, it seems the fans have packed it in for the year just like the Highlanders offense.

It was discussed a lot during the season as the Bronx Bastards were hitting home run after home run many fans and media types had concern that this club was not built for the post season where most game runs are at a premium.  The Highlanders look at playing small ball like it’s an affront on their manhood, but a bunt here, a stolen base there, a little hit and run might be how they have to go after the Tigers. The Highlander pitching has been superb to the point where I feel C.C. Sabathia is underrated as a pitcher and big game performer and you cannot say enough about the job Hiroki Kuroda did on 3 days’ rest. Problem is I can’t find a Highlander fan who shares my feelings, all they see is an impotent offense and their Captain lying prone on the infield dirt.

The Highlander fans have really turned to heels when it comes to their team, the players, especially Nick Swisher are having a tough time accepting the taunts and cat calls from a fan base that has “if we don’t win the World Series the season is a failure” mentality that management and the teams PR department has branded into their heads.  This is what happens when you promote ad nausea that you are the 27 Time World Champions, and put up billboards like this around the city and sell obnoxious t –shirts and generally act like no other team in baseball is worthy of being in the same league as you. Even your fans stop buying that bullshit.

Problem for the Highlanders is their fan base is not prepared for failure. The Highlander fan of my generation who remembers when attendance figures of 3,000 or less at the REAL Highlander Stadium were the norm and how the Mets were the darlings of New York, knows that as great as the winning feels, the cycle does bring you to hard times as well, but you stick with your team thick or thin. The new Generation of Highlander fan that jumped on the bandwagon the last 20 to 25 years doesn’t have the heart to support a losing team.  Let’s face it with the combination of age, Hal Steinbrenner looking to cut payroll, a barren farm system and the teams in their division not only getting better but they also smell Highlander blood in the water knowing that the once mighty New York Highlanders are no longer feared.

It happens; the great Core players that led the Highlanders to championships are gone. Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera are the Four Horsemen of the great Highlander run. Rivera and Jeter will be back but they are both will be coming off severe injury and an age where players decline rather than improve. There could be tough times ahead for the Highlanders but just think fans you have a whole lot of Highlander Classics and Highlander-ograhpy’s  to watch on YUCK until the next cycle of winning comes along hopefully that won’t come around for a long long time.

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End of the Line in The South Bronx ?

I miss good ol’ Stump

As a baseball fan you can’t ask for more that this first round division series has given us. Four series all going five games is a baseball fans nirvana especially for those of us who detest the NY Highlanders. It’s a good thing I have unlimited texting in my phone plan since my Highlander fan pals were relentless in their venting to me even though they know I’m rooting hard for the Orioles.

All season my Highlander buddies spoke about how the power display their team put on this season was good for plenty of oooo’s and ahhhhhhh’s but come the post season they will have to be able to manufacture some runs. Now me as a Mets fan rooting for a team that has the power of a 10 watt bulb, andwith the distain I look at customers at the bank who complain that the teller gave them all $100’s and $50’s when cashing a check,  just wants to say why you no good greedy bastards.  But what do you know; the Highlanders have had a world of trouble pushing a run across the plate with good old fashion small ball. The long ball though has saved their season and when you get past the dramatic way Raul Ibanez went about tying and winning Game 3, if not for those two knocks, the fish wraps and social media would be in a three alarm tizzy over the demise of the Highlanders.     

Even if the Bronx Bastards win today and I think they will as CC Sabathia is only second to Derek Jeter on this team to show up when needed (sorry Ibanez still has a Philadelphia  size horse shoe up his ass) and I think both of them will find a way to win this game, it safe to say those of the Highlander persuasion need to reflect on this series and if they are honest and clear thinking which is hard to find in that demographic , they will admit the days of champagne baths and championships the next few years will be few and far between. I have news for those of you in denial Highlander fans, the team you love to mock; the NY Mets are in better shape organizational wise than your Highlanders and that’s counting our broke ass ownership.

Hal Steinbrenner is no chip off the block, where Daddy George would spend to mask mistakes and take on contracts no matter what; Prince Hal has one goal in mind, to bring the payroll down to where he’s no longer paying into the MLB welfare system known as revenue sharing.  With a minor league system barren of talent what will the Highlanders do? Does ownership have confidence in Pee Wee Cashman that he can rebuild the talent base a la Stick Michael and Buck Showalter? Why do I give a shit? Well, until this post season is done with, the Mets won’t be making moves so I guess I have nothing better to do but to eavesdrop on my neighbors who I thought had it all and find out they just might have less than me.

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NOT HEADLESS BODY IN TOPLESS CLUB, BUT CLOSE

 

Just when you think newspapers are obsolete comes today’s front page of the New York Post. As I got off the subway this morning I went to pick up the Daily News and NY Post (sorry old habits are hard to break) when I saw the front page of the Post I nearly pissed my pants. Especially the bottom of the page.

Meanwhile I bet the gunman is more a Jay-Z fan than Highlander fan.

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BETTING ON A LONGSHOT, MORE F-MART PLEASE, AND SHOWING OFF MY DICKEY

After getting sick and tired of having a co-worker tell me how great the Highlanders are and how bad the Mets are, right before the season I decided to make a bet that the Mets would have a better record than the Highlanders at the seasons end. The winner takes the loser to Katz’s Deli for lunch and the loser has to wear a t-shirt or jersey of the winner’s team. After I shook on this bet, I got a bit queasy, not over the prospect of paying for pastrami and knish but the idea of wearing any type of Highlander clothing makes my skin crawl.

When I told people of this wager, Mets fan and Highlander fan alike, they gave a look like I was a bit off in the head or more off than usual, and believe me I doubt what I did as well, but a glance at the standings this morning,  shows all is not lost:

Highlanders 20-15

Mets  17-20

The next 13 games for the Highlanders are against the Red Sox, Rays, Orioles, Mets and Blue Jays so I’m rooting for a nice 3-10 slide for the Bronx Bastards. I’m feeling Pretttttty, Prettttty, Prettttty good about my wager so far. I may not win the bet but I want to make my wagering  partner sweat a bit.

Speaking of the Highlanders, I bet Pee Wee Cashman has the Mets bullpen over the arsonists he has in his.

If Lucas Duda wasn’t suffering from a back injury he would have been the choice to replace Ike Davis at first base and some are calling for Josh Satin to get make the jump from Bingo to Flushing but Satin is not on the 40 man and with Nick Evans not hitting, it came down to bringing up Fernando “ $10 Co-Pay “ Martinez instead.  Seems Terry Collins will just give F-Mart a spot start here and there and some pinch hitting duty during his hopefully short stay while Ike recuperates from his ankle woes . To me this makes no sense since Jason Bay has done nothing at the plate why not platoon the two in LF until Ike gets back and if Martinez is playing well then leave it be. If Bay doesn’t like this idea, with all due respect, tough shit. Send a message hot bats stay in the line up limp lumber hits the bench.

By the way, why is Chin-ling Hu still here?

Nice right up in the Daily News on Darren Meenan of The 7 Line. I wear my In Dickey We Trust t-shirt proudly

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WHO REMEMBERS WHAT HAPPENED ON APRIL 22,1970?

Ask me where I left my cell phone or a family members birthday or where I put my glasses and I stand and stare like a dumbass trying to remember, but ask me where I was on April 22nd 1970 and I can remember vividly.

It was Easter vacation and I spent my time off where I spent all my time off at my favorite resort, the school yard of P.S. 105 on 59th St off 10 Ave in Brooklyn playing baseball. While we played we listened to the Mets-Padres game from Shea on a transistor radio because Tom Seaver was on the mound for the Mets.  What’s better than no school, playing ball and listening to Lindsay Nelson, Bob Murphy and Ralph Kiner call a Mets game with Seaver pitching?

Now this is the beginning of the Mets first season as reigning World Series Champions, and the Highlanders were a few years removed from their glory days (although the Highlanders got off to a slow start the did rally to win 93 games in 1970 but they still finished 15 games behind Earl Weaver’s Orioles who won 108 games and the World Series that year) now, as juvenile as I am at 52 years old just think what a little asshole I was at 12 years old (Moiser (Bobby Murcer)? Wadda ya snififn’ glue or somethin’?  fuckin’ Tommy Agee’s ahundred fuckin’ times betta ‘dan Moiser.  Get the fuck outta here!) so I berated all my Highlander fan friends (believe me they have given it back to me in spades over the years) to the fact that my team the Mets, were the best team in baseball.

It was a typical Seaver game, pitch lights out and get no run support but this was the San Diego Padres, give Seaver one run and this game would be over.

After 6 innings Seaver had K’d 10 and the Mets held a slim 2-1 lead, the only Padre run, a solo home run from Brooklyn born and raised Al Ferrara. In the top of the 7th Seaver sent Nate Colbert, the Padres top hitter, Dave Campbell (yes THAT Dave Campbell) and future Met Jerry Morales down on strikes.   Come the top of the 8th and same thing 3 up and 3 down all on strikeouts. That’s 16 K’s in 8 innings for Tom Terrific. Now Seaver has all our attention. We leave whoever was in the dugout, in charge of letting the rest of us know when it was the top of the 9th inning. When we here “the Padres are up” we all run to the radio to hear the finish of this remarkable game.

BANG-BANG-BANG, the last punch-out was Seaver’s 19th and the 10th batter in a row to go down on strikes, a new all time record for strike outs in a game (since topped by Roger Clemens) and the most consecutive batters struck out, a record that still stands (by the way, Ike Davis’ dad Ron K’d 8 batters in a row for the Highlanders on May 4th, 1981). Al Ferrara played a major part in this game, he hit the solo home run for San Diego’s lone run and he was the first and tenth strike victim of the streak.

Wow, what an unbelievable game, I remember it like it was yesterday…….. Hey, anybody see my keys?

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NAME YOUR TOP 50 METS PLAYERS OF ALL TIME

A couple of quick hits before I settle in to watch the Jets-Colts game. I’ve got no dog in this fight but I guess I’ll root for the Jets since their name ends in “ets”

Great post by Amazin’ Avenue showing pics of celebs in Mets attire. The first pic though is of Adam Sandler who is a Highlander fan. Kevin James, Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, Baba Booey, Tim Robbins and Jon Stewart I know are die hard Mets fans. I met Stewart at of all places the Bronx Zoo a few years ago when the zoo had a Holiday Lights Festival. He was waiting like me to put his kids on the Merry-Go-Round. I recognized him right away and before I could say hi to him, he approached me and commented about my Mets jacket and cap. As our kids rode the Merry Go Round we talked Mets baseball. Yes that was a cool, very cool.

Jason Robotham of Metszila found a great article about Chris Young that was written in Men’s Journal. I know there has been talk that Alderson will not go past $1.5 mil for another starting pitcher so it would be nice to sign a pitcher like Young to an incentive laden deal for one year with an option kicking in as one of those incentives .

Ed Marcus (a/k/a Rusty Jr.) of The Real Dirt Mets blog wants to know who you feel are the Top 50 Mets players of all time. I’m going to file my top 50 in the comments section of Ed’s post and I have to warn you there is no big research or statistical analysis with my list.

(as I write this post, Marshawn Lynch of the Seattle Seahawks just jaunted 60 yds for a TD to put the Seahawks up 41-30 over the defending champs New Orleans Saints. The Seahawks are a 10 pt underdog and have an 11 pt lead with 3 mins left in the game. Lynch broke six tackles during his run. Incredible)

Somewhere on my Top 50 list of Mets players I will put the name R.A. Dickey. In just one year Dickey has won the respect and admiration of Mets fans like I’ve not seen in a long time

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“THE STARS AT NIGHT ARE BIG AND BRIGHT (CLAP,CLAP,CLAP) DEEEEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS

This the look of a CHAMPION

This is the look of a DOUCHEBAG

If this Highlander fan were still alive, heds tell all his brothers in pinstripes to “hang in there”

“A-Rod blows”

Maybe “Dandy” might have made a difference. There are Highlanders fans asking themselves,”who the hell is Dandy” well you have all winter to  learn about the team history you’re a so-callled fan of

Season tickets for the 2011 NY Highlander season are now on sale,  your prompt payment is appreciated to we can go out and spend more to try to buy a championship

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A TALE OF TWO FANS

It seems Highlander fans have selective memory. Yesterday I went to the Brooklyn Cyclones-Little Highlanders game at the Richmond County Bank Ball Park in the Land That Urban Development forgot A/K/A Downtown Staten Island. Of course I was decked out in my Brooklyn attire because (a) the Cyclones are of course a Mets farm team and (b) I still consider myself from Brooklyn, I just happen to have a home in Staten Island and to tell you the truth I don’t know who Staten Islanders despise more Brooklynites who moved to the Island or Muslims but I digress. As I went into the ball park the Highlanders were leading the Mets 4-0 after a Mark Teixeira Granny against the suddenly ordinary Johan Santana. When the game ended the public address announcer comes on and asks for everyone’s attention. Now I’m thinking that since it was getting very dark and windy, looking as if a huge thunderstorm was on the way he’ll anounnce that  all the folks out in the open seating area should prepare to go to the concourse in case of severe weather, no that wasn’t the announcement. The big announcement was the Bronx Bastards beat the Mets 4-0 thus taking 2 of 3 from the Amazin’s.

Now a Highlander fan next me looks over and says “Well, now we know who the best team in NY is” so I say “We do? The season series  is now tied at 3 wins apiece” Mr.  Doodle Dandy (in his JETER 2 shirt of course. I swear to God, you can always tell the dumbest Highlander fan by what shirt the wear and it just seems like the biggest assholes wear JETER 2 shirts) looks at me and says “this is the only time they played each other this year” of course I say “Au contraire my simple minded friend, the Mets took 2 of 3 at Citi Field back in May” Then Mr. Doodle Dandy gave me the line of the day, week, month, year, decade and I’d add the century:

“I don’t pay that much attention to the team until October”    

STUNNING!!!!!  

By the way the SI Highlanders beat Backman’s Boys for the first time in this first three game series.

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GETTING MESSY AROUND HERE

Saturday ramblings in no specific order:

While I applaud Jerry Manuel for yanking John Maine the other night and showing that if you don’t perform you’re gone, Manuel went a bit too much and it show how much he really can’t stand Maine when it was reported to Manuel that Maine said “he wanted to pitch so badly he’d go out and throw left handed” to which Manuel said with his Gangsta’ laugh “That’s not out of the question , he might have more stuff lefty” funny line but said at the wrong time. There’s nothing to joke about here with this team. The only fans buying tickets to Mets games at $iti Field are the opposing teams fans.  If you’re a Mets fan why would you want to sit in $iti Field and get ridiculed for three hours. Mets fans have been on an island the last few years, the players and management couldn’t care less that everyone who knows us as Mets fans repeatedly asks us the questions about the team failure and get the badgering for the failure of this team and organization. I don’t mind it from friends and family but it’s the front running douchebag Highlander fan who’s knowledge of the team goes as far as wearing a 2 JETER t-shirt and that the organization has won 27 World Series and if you’re a true Highlander fan that person should embarrass you as well.

David Wright has argued more third strikes this past month than he has his whole career combined. At some point the home plate umpire needs to tell Wright, “it’s not me, it’s you” The “hasn’t been good since the beaning” theory is starting too look spot on after each Wright at bat. Maybe it’s not Hojo’s fault but I just wonder if a different voice would help Wright at this point ? It’s just too easy to pitch to David right now. Start him off with an inside pitch and work your way outside, he won’t stride toward the outside at all. The ground out he hit against Rivera to finish the game was the pitch he used to go to right center with, now with this too long swing of his you get a little fart of a ground ball.

Benny Agbayani left the Chiba Lotte Marines because of the way the treated Bobby Valentine. Mike Hampton on WFAN yesterday said Valentine was the best manager he ever played for.  John Franco and Mike Piazza have said the same about Bobby V. You think any of the current Mets will have such loyalty to Jerry Manuel when he’s given his walking papers?

Let Bob Melvin or Terry Collins finish the season and then bring back Bobby V in 2011.

Kevin Russo ? Who the fuck is Kevin Russo? Now every year when this played out Mayor’s Trophy series is played we’ll have to read a Where Are They Now feature on Kevin Russo as he works as a valet parker at the Tropicana in Atlantic City.

Welcome back Uncle Elmer.

So Roy Oswalt has agreed to be traded, good for him, would he be a fit on the Mets?  Hummm  tough to say. At first glance you’d say of course but he’s 32 yrs old with a history of back trouble and his contract runs through 2012 with $15 mil for this year and $32 mil the next two years but there is a $2mil buyout in 2012. It’s not the money that would scare me off but the back issue would and the fact that Oswalt is a countryboy and played in a city that watches baseball until football training camp opens so that would be a concern as well but what would it take personnel wise to bag Oswalt ? Would the ‘Stros take a big bag of junk like Ollie Perez and Luis Castillo ? Or Perez and Fernando Martinez (can we all agree it just isn’t going to happen for this kid?)  and a low level busher?    Like I say the point is moot the Skill Sets won’t pay the money.

It may be ridiculous that the Highlanders have this ban on iPad’s and laptops by fans coming into The Mall on River Avenue and they are ridiculous with their law and order policies on what you can and can not bring into the park (I want to know how much of a kickback security gets from the bowling alley across the street for holding bags? What’s the number for NYC Consumer Affairs ?) but really why do you need to use a laptop or iPad as a fan during a game ? Sit back and watch the game don’t make a job out of it.

Time to finish things off on the parquet floor starting tonight, as pissed as I am over the Mets who cower under the bed when things get tough, I have to make a 180 degree move as a Celtics fan. The C’s are so confident they border on cocky but when Paul Pierce looks in the camera and tells Celtics fans that “we’re coming home to finish this off” and ends it with a wink , I believe him, I mean he is The Truth right? But what I love is the way the team leaders are not afraid to call out anyone on the team, I still laugh at Big Baby Davis after fouling in a bad spot in the game and getting called out from the bench by Kevin Garnett yelling “ I know , I know I fucked up, I fucked up”   Can I get David Wright to do that just once?

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TONIGHT AT 10PM ET THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN ON BLOGTALK RADIO

Go to hit the road this morning for work as I have a training class to attended so I just want to send out a reminder that tonight at 10PM ET I’ll be hosting THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN on BLOG TALK RADIO.

My guests will be Dave Payne and Aviv Blasbalg of Sox vs. Pinstripes. Dave is the Red Sox fan/writer and Aviv the Highlander fan/writer. We’ll look at the season so far for both teams and the race in the AL East and look ahead to the weekend series at Fenway Park between the two teams.

As always, if you can’t join us live you can listen later from our show page on BLOG TALK RADIO or right here at Kranepool Society (click on the widget on the lower left side bar)

Quick hits:

That was one tough game to watch last night between no one in the ball park (announced attendance was 14,350. They must have counted 350 in the seats and 14,000 driving by the ball park), Ollie with his walks and the offense stagnant, by 9PM I bailed not just because the game was dragging but it was time for 24. Just for one day, I want to be like Jack Bauer, I mean what could be better than to grab someone you can’t stand by the neck and say “Do you know who I am” and have them shit themselves.

Big Pelf went for an MRI because he felt tightness in his shoulder.   The MRI came out fine and Pelf said nothing to worry about. I guess when he books a flight to Birmingham, then I’ll panic.

First it was booing Santa Claus, then it was cheering as Michael Irvin was laid out unconscious on the field, then it was a jail at the Vet, then it was fans vomiting on children and now cops using stun guns on fans. Welcome to Philadelphia America’s Most Uncivilized City.

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Tickets

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