R.A. Dickey is Dominant, Wanna Bet?

 

Back in the day I used to place a dollar or two wagers on sporting events. In 1985 Dwight Gooden was having one of the greatest pitching seasons in the history of baseball going 24-4 for the new day is dawning NY Mets. Not only was I caught up in the jubilation of Doc as a Mets fan, I was cashing in as an investor in Gooden’s pitching performances as well.  Gooden’s season that year helped me take some chances with investments on underdogs since if I lost some money on a longshot I always had Doc as my U.S. Steel.

On August 25 of 1985, Dwight Gooden was going for his 20th win of the season and I was down a couple a three hundred bucks. The Mets were playing the Padres at Shea and I was not missing this game for anything, but before going to the game, I called my “investment banker” to make a substantial investment in this game as it had break even or better written all over it. The call went something like this:

Me: “Yo what’s up?  it’s me, Irish” (We were the only Irish family in the heavily Italian /Jewish area of Boro Park)

Investment Banker (IB) “Hey how’s it hangin’

Me: “A little to the left HA! HA! (Brooklyn humor) wadda ya got on Mets-Padres

IB: 4

Me: 4? 4 what?

IB: 4 runs

Me: what da fuck is 4 runs?

IB: da line on da game. Mets is favored by 4 runs

Me: since when do you make a line with runs?

IB: Since Gooden started winning every fuckin’ start and costin’ me money

Me: but the Daily News has a line of 11-12 (the line there would be if you bet the Mets you would have to bet 11 bucks to win 5, if you bet the Pads you would bet 5 to win 12 really $5.50 the $.50 the vigorish)

IB: Then call da fuckin’ Daily News and bet wit dem. Ya lucky I’m takin’ any bets on dis game, only my regulars are getting a line everybody else its off da board so you should feel special you fuckin’ ingrate.

Me: OHHHH Whad da fuck ? Fine gimee da Mets 100 times

So what I did was bet $550 that the Mets behind Doc Gooden would not only beat the Padres but they would beat them by more the 4 runs.  The Mets won 9-3 but it took 4 runs in the 7th and 1 in the 8th to seal my winning bet WHEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!

I thought about this game and some other games I’d bet on while watching R.A. Dickey pitch last night for the Mets. When was the last time the Mets had such a dominant pitcher in the rotation?  Pedro Martinez in 2005 was great but not dominant as Dickey. You have to go back to Dwight Gooden to find a Mets pitcher who was as good as R.A. Dickey has been this year for the Mets. Could you find two pitchers who are more opposite? I’ve haven’t looked a pitching betting line in a while, next time The Dickster starts I may have to peak. I wonder where that investment bankers number is and if he’ still in business?

 

 

 

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Baseball Is Fundamental

If you’re going to lose three straight in the South Bronx, at least get blown out in all three so it doesn’t hurt Mets fans so much. Friday night was easier to take than the last two losses as we can expect Johan Santana to bounce back and pitch well but in the Saturday and Sunday losses to the Highlanders the two big deficiencies of this Mets team were highlighted for all to see, the inability to execute the fundamentals of baseball and a bullpen that doesn’t know how to pitch.

The lack of “fundi’s” were on full display yesterday. I know Andy Pettite has been gone for a year but everyone knows he has one of the greatest move to first base in the history of baseball. The Mets who are now a station to station base running team decide yesterday was the day to get aggressive on the base paths and it bit them in the ass as David Wright and Scott Hariston were picked off, with Hairston looking like deer on back road upset in the dead of winter look as Petitte ran right at him to get him out.

Then there were the errors. Wright was charged with a throwing error which was followed by the first Russell Martin homer to cut the Mets lead to 3-2 and before that Omar Quintanilla’s error allowed Jeter to go to second and that opened the flood gates for Bobby Parnell because no one in that Mets bullpen ever picks up a teammate.  So from a 3-0 lead the Mets are now down 4-3 heading to the 9th inning. Lucas Duda and Ike (That’s Right) Davis hits a game tying double and the Met tie the game at 4. Now’s the time to get that go ahead run over to 3rd base with Quintanilla with a sac bunt but of course he doesn’t execute the bunt because just like last year no one on the Mets can lay down a bunt, Q then hits a bullshit roller to short and Jayson Nix throws to 3rd to get Ike who runs like he’s pulling a frost free refrigerator, again poor execution.  Murph hits for Valdespin and gets a base hit with would have scored Ike had he stayed a 2nd base, so now it’s Q on 3rd 1 out and contact hitter Josh Thole up. A base hit would be great but fly ball to one of those noodle armed Highlander outfielders would suffice.  Thole works the count to 3-2 and leaves the bat on his shoulder to take a called third strike, then has the balls to argue the call with home plate Mike Muchlinski, are you kidding? SWING THE BAT!!!!!

So the Mets fight back to tie the score at 4 and in comes Jon Rau………………………game over 5-4 Highlanders on a Russell Martin home run.

Off to Tampa. Ya Gotta Believe!!!

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HOW ABOUT OLLIE PEREZ TO THE CARDINALS?

Adam Wainwright looks to be headed for Tommy John surgery so now would be the time for Sandy Alderson to put the hard sell on Cardinals GM John Mozeliak taking Oliver Perez off the Mets hands. Think about it, Alderson just has gush about having the Genius and the greatest pitching coach in the history of baseball take on the biggest bust in baseball. Who but the great Dave Duncan could rehabilitate the wayward Ollie and turn him in a serviceable ML arm.

Say the Mets eat half of Perez’ $12 million ransom you would think with Wainwright (before you folks kill me more in no way am I saying Perez is a replacement of Wainwright as the only thing they have in common is they are both dues paying members of the MLBPA) out and Alderson having a past relationship with The Genius and the world’s greatest pitching coach, he could pursued  them to talk Mozeliak into taking OP on as a their greatest reclamation project ever, their very own Billy Ray Valentine.

If Alderson pulls this off I will forever refer to him as Jesus Alderson

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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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IT’S THE BIZZARO WORLD OF NYC BASEBALL

For the first time in the history of baseball in NYC fanatics of both the Mets and Highlanders will be rooting for each others team as The Used Car Salesman’ Carnival Show A/K/A Inter-League play is set to go this weekend. For the first time in my memory, Mets fans will be rooting for “A-Bombs from A-Rod” and some “Swish-o-licios” home runs, as the Highlanders take on the hated Cheese Steakers from Philly.

 

Highlander fans in turn will be rooting for the Amazin’s for the first time ever as Mets take on the Old Town Team and try to help the cross town rivals climb into first place. Don’t get to comfortable with this truce as it ends June 12th when Mets-Highlanders meet in the Carnival Series.

 

Oh yea, condolences to Derek Jeter for losing his standing as team leader. Seems the new kids on the block don’t go for that old time Highlander religion. Looks more like Alex Rodriguez is the man in charge now. When Mariano Rivera becomes the Supreme Court Justice of the Kangaroo Court you see he has aligned with the Wild Bunch as well. As for dick heads like Michael Kay look at your Highlander history books and see that for all your pride and tradition bullshit this edition of the Highlanders has a retro 70’s feel to it.

 

I neglected to mention this yesterday here and on Pro Baseball Central (check out last nights show as Joe and I debated the reasoning for sending Carlos Delgado cross country then DL’ ing him and how I feel the Skill Sets need to hire a customer service expert to better serve the fan base a/k/a paying customers) to check out the story in the NY Times about Bobby Valentine and how the management of the Lotte Marines have told him he will not be back next season as their manager. The Marines claim it’s a money issue but the fans feel it’s more of Valentine and management not seeing eye to eye on most matters. Mets Grrl has a link to the story plus a great link to a site that has a video of the Lotte fans with a tribute to Bobby V. I’ve never hid my feeling for Bobby V as I thought he is a gifted baseball man and my biggest fear is of him coming back to the states and managing in the Bronx.

 

I think we all need to take a deep breath and maybe a cold shower over Mark DeRosa. Sure he would be a fine addition to the Mets now that Alex Cora is done for a couple of months but there is no way in hell I’m giving up Jon Neise or any upper tier prospect for him. Folks, DeRosa is nice player but I’m not going to go into a panic to get him. Jose Reyes it seems it not seriously hurt and let’s give Daniel Murphy a chance to play 1st base and if Murphy is not the answer at first base then neither is DeRosa you have to get better than that.

 

I have no problem with the Mets bringing up Fernando Martinez but if you do he has to planted in LF and left there even if he hits .210 for three weeks. Don’t yo-yo this kid bring him up drop Jeremy Reed and play Sheffield in right spelling him with Church.

 

A must read today is Greg Prince’ post on naming the bridge in $iti Field centerfield the Willie Mays Bridge. I’m all for it.  While you’re there click on the link for his book and thank me later.

 

   

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BERT SUGAR’S BASEBALL HALL OF FAME, A Living History of America’s Greatest Game

 Bert Randolph Sugar is THE sports historian of our time and he has a new book out that is a comprehensive look at the Baseball Hall of Fame called Bert Sugars Baseball Hall of Fame, A Living History of America’s Greatest Game (published by Running Press) I have been to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown NY four times and each time I’ve been there I’ve seen an exhibit or artifact I’ve missed in my previous trip and now with this outstanding book that is full of great pictures and of course the writing of Bert Sugar  it puts it all the awe and beauty of the HOF in your hands.

There is a section on the great concessions and give aways by teams throughout the history of baseball. One of my favorite pictures is of the fans of the White Sox during the Bill Veck era where he gave the fans in the grandstand cue cards to decide managerial decisions.  There are of course stories and pictures of all the great players enshrined in the Hall that leaves you wanting to make a trip upstate.

This book is a must for the baseball fan that loves the games history and loves the photographs of players and teams from the beginning of the game to the present  Give it a spot  of honor on your coffee table.

 

  

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OMAR MINAYA CHARGED WITH GMDUI, GENERAL MANAGING UNDER THE INFLUENCE

 

 

 

 

Omar Minaya should heed the advice as to not overindulge in alcohol during the holiday’s as that has to be the reason for him to even contemplate trading for Andruw Jones. Sure it would have rid the Mets of Gimp Castillo, who the Mets couldn’t rid themselves of even with the promise of delivering him with a suitcase full of Mets Money, but as bad as Castillo is at least he has a position unlike the chubby Curacaoian who plays centerfield one of three position where the Mets need no upgrade. As for Jones playing right field,  didn’t we try that before playing two centerfielders with Beltran and Mike Cameron? How did that work out (OUCH!)

 

The Skill Sets need to cut the bullshit and give Omar the go ahead to sign Manny and Derek Lowe. Or better yet make the Andruw Jones deal this way I know that the Mets don’t give a shit about winning and I go on and enjoy my summer doing something else.

 

Did you hear the one about the two Cuban baseball players that defected?

 

Happy 73rd Birthday to the greatest left-handed pitcher in the history of baseball.

 

According to reports today, over 47 million tourists visited NYC this past year and every one of those fuckers rode the Staten Island Ferry every night at rush hour.

 

 

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Tickets

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