Mets Fans Shouldn’t Boo Chipper Jones, They Should Boo The Skill Sets Instead

Chipper Jones makes his last appearance as a major league baseball player in NYC this weekend. The Mets, like other teams around the league, will honor Jones as he sails off into retirement. Most of you will boo and kill the organization for honoring a player who was a thorn in the Mets side for the last 19 years. Your anger towards Jones is ill advised, your anger should be towards the Skill Sets for not heading the lesson that Jones was teaching the Mets whenever they were the Braves opponent, that lesson was “you need me to be a Met”.

Think about it, Jones owned the Mets, not just with his lifetime .314/.410/.553 splits against them or the 49 home runs he hit against them either, what Jones tried to show the Mets was, you need to act and think like a winner as to become one. When Jones would come to NY he played the stage better than any Tony award winning actor. We chanted “LAAAAAARRRRRYYYYYY, LAAAAAAARRRRRYYYYYYY” and he ate it up. He loved the fact that Mets fans had a passion, fire, and desire that matched his. For a guy born in the South, he had a New York mentality and I think a want to play here as well.

Why didn’t the Mets ever make a strong move on Jones when he was a free agent?  You would have thought an owner whose team was owned by a superstar player who had that balls to the wall, win at all cost mentality,  would say “hell if I can’t beat him then I want to join him”.

As much as Jones loved the Braves, Atlanta and playing in the South, I have to think is the Mets made an offer above and beyond like they did to land Pedro Martinez and Carlos Beltran, Jones would have had a difficult time turning them down. We know his love for the city and Shea Stadium was so strong he named one of his sons Shea.   Back in 2000, Jones signed a 6 yr/$90mil deal with Atlanta but when that deal was up, he re-signed for 3yrs at $40 mil, this was in the days of the Mets swimming in Madoff bucks so the thought that Freddy Skill Sets couldn’t have raised the stakes for Jones is ridiculous. I don’t remember if there was talk of the Mets making a pitch for Jones back in 2000 or even in 2006, I doubt there was but in hind sight there should have been. It could be that the Skill Sets felt that going after Jones and even signing Jones would have led to fans revolting that a despised opponent would join their beloved Mets.  Well, I guess we see what happens when you give in to the lunatic fringe of your fan base.

This is why, as much as I loathe the Highlanders and old Boss George, he knew players like Darryl Strawberry, Doc Gooden and David Cone were the kind of players he needed to win championships. You think he cared that they were former Mets? Hell, he signed Wade Boggs to play 3rd base who played for a team and organization he hated with a passion.

Think about Chipper as a Met. Imagine him with a kid like Jordany Vladespin ? Remember he called out Jason Heywood who came up as one of the hottest prospects in baseball for not playing due to fatigue. Jones went right at Heywood and made the Braves right fielder grow up fast.  I can’t say the Mets would have won a World Series championship with Jones on the team but I could guarantee he would have had no problem stepping up and holding his teammates accountable for their play.  I’m also sure he would have gone down as one of the greatest Mets players of all time.

So when Chipper Jones comes up to bat for the first time on Friday night, what Mets fans should do is turn towards the owner’s box at Citi Field and give the Skill Sets a rousing standing boo not just for never pursuing Jones when he was a free agent but for not having the smarts to understand the lesson Chipper was teaching.

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The Bronx Sure Ain’t Burning With Highlander Fever

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Listen to internet radio with Mike Silva Media on Blog Talk Radio

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Check out last nights Sports Media Watchdogs Podcast where Mike Silva and I talk about my day  at Highlander Stadium, Mike’s bet with Michale Kay, The Giants season preview and a look at the NHL Lockout.

I haven’t had much time to post this weekend as the last holiday of the summer has been a whirlwind between having a big barbeque at my house, the up early to get to Highlander Stadium (more on the in a minute) and now today off to Coney Island to see and root for the Brooklyn Cyclones as they try to get the NY-Penn League Wild Card spot.

Yesterday I was at Highlander Stadium for an event where the NY Highlanders were honoring young men who had achieved the status of Eagle Scout in the past year. So with my son and nephew achieving this we were all invited to the game between the Highlander and Orioles.

All the Scouts were brought on to the field for a pre-game ceremony and they too a group shot that was shown on the giant TV screen in centerfield but no player joined them to take a picture or shake their hands, oh well. We were given seats in the terrace section of left field which is just below the upper deck. Problem with that section is you can’t’ see left field or left/center field, so I missed Mark Reynolds two home runs which made my delayed cheering a bit awkward, oh yeah I was rooting for Buck’s Birds yesterday for sure.

The stadium is massive, so big that to see everything there is from food and stores would take you all game to see. If you sit up in the upper reaches of the stadium and would like to go all the way to the field level where they have a food court, you’re going to miss at least two innings getting down there another inning getting food and another couple of innings getting back upstairs.  Not really worth it.

The seats, especially the bleachers are so far back from the action that even when fans make noise they’re not a factor in making a difference. I’ve heard louder fan noise at Shea/Citi Field after a 2 hour rain delay when maybe 1,500-2,000 fans were still in the park. It could be the weekend crowd in the Bronx is different than the weeknight crowd as the upstate contingent of Highlander fans show up regularly on the weekend for day games (leaving the parking lot it’s funny to see the Major Deegan northbound bumper to bumper and the southbound entrance to the FDR south a breeze) but the stadium was monastery quiet most of the game and for a game that was crucial to the Highlanders it was a bit of a shock to me.

Ok time to watch Collin McHugh take on the Cards for a few innings then head to Coney Island

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CARLOS BELTRAN HAS LEFT, BUT THE METS HAVE ARRIVED

The sad part of the Mets career of Carlos Beltran was just when he was enjoying being a NY Met and having the fan base sing praise and glory to his name, it was time to go. Just when he felt secure that the front office and the field manager were 100 % behind him and treated him with the respect he deserved, it was time to go.  With all the retrospect of Beltran’s career as a Met and with all the high (and deserved) praise that Beltran has received this season the bottom line is, it was time to go.  

Beltran lived up to the hype and money of his 7 year deal. I love the irony displayed by many in the fan base, the same ones who vilified Beltran for taking a third strike in the 2006 NLCS (forgetting he hit .296/.387/.667 with 3 home runs against the Cardinals in that series) and labeled him soft even after the horrific collision he had with Mike Cameron in San Diego on August 11th 2005 and returned to action on August  17th , just missing six games.

Beltran was not betrayed just by the fans but by ownership and the previous front office as well. When it came to handling the serious knee injuries he suffered, the training staff, GM and owner botched things so badly that Beltran felt he had to go and get his knees worked on his own. When he found a doctor who told him he needed surgery and he needed it now, Beltran and his agent Scott Boras went through all the proper channels to get medical clearance from the Mets doctors (who get wrongfully maligned) and the trainer and GM to get the right insurance papers signed, it was the GM (who has always been portrayed as a standup guy but really wasn’t) that tried to spin it as Beltran going rogue.

I’ve always felt that Beltran had this reserved way about him due to his mistrust and mistreatment by the former GM, managers and the owner. It wasn’t until Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins showed him the veteran respect he had earned that he felt more like a vital part of the team. In return, Beltran was able to be as productive as he was as he knew the days of bullshit artists running the team were over.  

Alderson and Collins saw just how hard Beltran worked to get back in shape to get back on the playing field. Collins saw Beltran strap on that knee brace game after game and fighting the manager whenever he wanted to give him a day off. It’s a simple situation, when players see a manager have their back, they will run through hot coals for him or in Beltran’s case thank him for his trust and belief in him by being the star baseball player that he is.

Sandy Alderson did what he had to do, at the age of 34, on the last year of his deal and with a knee that will never get better and a team while playing good and inspired baseball that will not be a post season participant, trading Beltran to a team in the post season hunt made tons of sense. The fact that Alderson got back exactly what he wanted in Zack Wheeler, a top pitching prospect, makes it all the better.

We will all miss Beltran and his familiar “El Esta Aqui” walk up song but don’t feel sorry for Beltran. He joins a team on which he will make a difference and a team that has strong pitching that is built for the post season. Hopefully the Giants repeat and Beltran gets a World Series ring.

As for Mets fans, anyone who feels this team is not worthy of buying a ticket to watch at Citi Field or to follow on SNY and WFAN, just admit to yourself you’re not a Mets fan. How could you call yourself a Mets fan and not be thrilled with the play of this 2011 edition?  The last two seasons the cry from Metsaptania was “play the kids, play the kids, we want the kids” Well, the kids are here and the kids are all right. Sure not being in a pennant race sucks but when you have a team that plays hard, never quits, handles adversity great, you should be proud of that team. Stop listening and reading the NYC MSM who for some reason (ownership maybe?) tries to focus on the blemishes of this team. Those same media types will be jumping on the Mets bandwagon in the next year or two when the Mets are fighting for a post season berth. This Beltran deal hurts the MSM because it was a positive for the Mets and finally not since Frank Cashen and his bow tie ran this club has a GM made as much an impact as Sandy Alderson has on the Mets. Don’t forget Terry Collins as well, who has not only shown that a man can learn from his past failures but he has shut up the We Want Wally Backman Teabaggers as well. As much as I was a Backman fan, there is no way he could have done any better than Collins has done this year.

There is a bit of a 1984 feeling around Flushing these days and if next year has a 1985 feeling, well, all you folks not going to Citi Field will be shit out of luck next year when Citi Field will be THE place to be and your ass can’t find a seat to sit in.

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PUT IT IN THE BOOKS, FOR THE 5TH TIME IN A ROW

Another game another win, and the Tea Party Mets fans have quieted down as there isn’t anything to get hysterical about.

I’m not ready to block out the month of October yet on my calendar, as the caliber of opponent  has not been challenging during this win streak but again good teams put the bottom feeders away and it’s made this weekend’s games in Philly a must see.

Chris Young admitted after the game that his command was off but he hadn’t pitched in over two weeks and at 88 pitches he made the mark that club set for him. The home runs were a product of not being able to hit his spots but then again they were all solo shots.  The big test will be today for Young when he gets to the park. If he feels as good as he said he did last night after the game, then it’s a win and if he does feel fine to make his next start, then you’ll see Dillon Gee go back to Buffalo.

It also helps that the bullpen has settled in to a groove and Terry Collins has a reliever for every situation. The back end is set with Taylor Bucholz and Pedro Beato as 7th inning or 8th inning guys depending on the status of set up man deluxe Jason Issringhausen followed by closer for now Frankie Rodriguez.  You also have Tim Brydak and Ryota Igarashi as the LOOGY/ROOGY Yin-Yang and the Gee/Carrasco long man role. It’s always nice when relievers know their set roles. It’s a beautiful  thing.

I’m looking forward to Friday night’s game against the Phuck Phaces just to see who catches Big Plef.  Even with Joe Blanton going for the Phuck’s, I be surprised if Josh Thole is behind the plate. I could see Mike Nickeas or Ronnie Paulino getting the task to talk Pelfrey through his start. The Mets could activate Paulino and keep Nickeas up going with three catchers for this game only and sending Dillon Gee back to Buffalo. Then after the game send Nickeas to Buffalo as well and bring back DJ Carrasco to take up long man duty in the bullpen. If Nickeas catches Pelfrey then it would give Paulino a chance to work with Pelf between starts. Listen, if finding a personal catcher for Mike Pelfrey translates into quality starts then I’m all for it. Josh Thole shouldn’t be upset, it’s not personal it’s business.

I guess we won’t be hearing any of the stupid trade Ike talk anymore huh? How about Ike for MVP?

I’m ready to throw some batting practice today to my team so I have go out and re-stock the medicine cabinet with some Extra Strength Tylenol and some Icy-Hot patches. Later!

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YOU CAN’T RETIRE 16 AND 18 BEFORE 7, 17, 8, 31 OR 36

 

I have had the pleasure of meeting both Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry and both are delightful guys. Even with all the troubles they have had in their personnel lives, they are still embraced by Mets fans and they have both found renewed love for the franchise and it’s fans. A Doc Gooden start at Shea was a happening, a festival a celebration of Mets baseball that has not been matched since. The sight of Darryl Strawberry whipping that bat and hitting tape measure home runs reminds us of when the Mets were the toast of the town and I am so happy that both guys have come home again and have nuzzled in the Mets family bosoms but with all that I’m not ready to retire their numbers.

 

I agree 100 % that management needs to embrace its past more and the one knock I’ve heard about $iti Field is the lack of a presence of Mets history. I’m still waiting to here what the plans are the 40th Anniversary of one of the most famous teams in baseball history winning the World Series (and why no patch on the uni top sleeve for this anniversary?) . Not just that, in this the first season of $iti why couldn’t management bring back the old fan favorites like Banner Day or an Old Timers Day (I still like my idea of brining back every player who ever played for the Mets for the opening day ceremony to start a new era in Mets history and passing of the torch if you will)

 

Maybe someday the Skill Sets will re-connect with its fan base a fan base that is true Orange and Blue and gives way more to the organization than it ever gets in return.

 

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YOU DON’T NEED A WEATHERVANE TO KNOW WHICH WAY THE MANNY WIND BLOWS

 

 

 

 

17 days until pitchers and catchers but it’s just one more day until Pro Baseball Central so join Joe McDonald and me tomorrow night on Blog Talk Radio at 9PM to join in on the baseball chatter call in to the show at (646) 595-4462. More Pro Baseball Central news later.

 

J-Man is one cool dude, as he has taken up our fight for Manny by letting all parties involved know he’d love to pencil 24 RAMIREZ into his lineup card:

 “But that’s [general manager] Omar [Minaya], that’s the Wilpons, their thing,” Manuel said to a group of reporters yesterday at the Holy Apostle Soup Kitchen in Manhattan, where he was helping unload supplies for City Harvest, a group that provides supplies for the needy around the city. “I’m like the fans: If we get him, cool. If not, we’ll deal with it. We have a pretty good team.”

 

It pays to have job security, I wonder if J-Man would put the Manny burden on managements shoulders like that if he were in the last year of a contract instead of starting a new deal? Never the less it’s good to have J-Man on our side.

I also like how J-Man dealt with the most overrated question about Manny, how to deal with him in the clubhouse:

“If you’ve got a guy who performs on the field, you can handle the rest of that stuff. I don’t think it’s an issue. I don’t have a problem with the clubhouse. I’ve got an office that’s about so big,” Manuel said, holding his hands close together. “The clubhouse, I let them do what they do.”

 

Look I have never played in professional sports but I have played on teams throughout my life with guys I despised so much I wouldn’t pee on them if they were on fire but as long as we were teammates I had their back and they had mine, maybe it’s the long season and the time together that atmosphere in the pro clubhouse means a lot but I’m sure if Manny is hitting home runs and protecting D-Wright in the batting order and giving Carlos Delgado beaucoup RBI opps in his walk year,  Manny would be the Man of the Year in the Mets Cave.

 

More Manny, this comment from Matt Cerrone (hope you’re feeling better Matt) on Manny and the Mets:

also, i have a feeling the team may have miscalculated just how vocal their fans would be about manny… i

listened to WFAN last night from 3 am to 4 am, thanks to my asthma and a cold, and every single Mets call was about manny… over and over and over again… manny, manny, manny… i’m not saying this is a reason for the Mets to change course, not at all, they should do what they see fit, but they may want to consider how they are spinning this to the public, especially if there is any chance ramirez ends up signing a one-year deal with the Dodgers,because, if that happens, i suspect most fans are going to lose it…

 

If I have one major pet peeve with the Mets organization it is they are clueless about their fan base and I get the feeling they couldn’t give damn about us. If the Skill Sets showed one once the passion of its fan base the name “Mets” would be acknowledge with more respect instead of laughter.

 

According to reports the Mets have sold 25,000 per game so far as just about everyone who committed to buying season tickets has poinied up the dough. But guess which seats are not selling so fast? Yes those high priced club seats that hold the ample ass’ of those captains of industry that have thrown us into this recession. Don’t worry Skill Sets the working folks of NY won’t let you down.

 

      

 

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