IKE’S ALLRIGHT? OOOHHH VALENTINO, TRIPLE A BASEBALL ON SI?

Last night was one of those games that even the witty repartee of Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez couldn’t keep me interested.  I read the paper and trolled Twitter while waiting for my favorite pawn shop owners to come on at 9PM.  That doesn’t mean there isn’t meaningful Mets news (as opposed to meaningful games) to peruse.

Ike Davis is running, hitting and fielding, not pain free but feeling much better than he has since what is still the most ridiculous Mets injury I’ve ever seen.  Davis is trying very hard to stay away from the surgeon’s scalpel as he claims the ankle while not 100%, feels much better. Ike will stay with the team in Miami and then return with them to NY to see team doctors, at which time the decision will be made on whether surgery is needed. Again, how Davis has gone from what looked like a non-injury, to what now will be something that will affect Davis for the rest of his career is stunning.

Even with or without surgery, Davis claims his ankle will never be the same. He talked about it becoming arthritic but he feels it will not hurt his plate production. That remains to be seen. What about his defense? Davis was ready to blossom into a perennial Gold Glove first baseman who know how this affect his play around the bag, as first base is all about foot work. From what looked like an innocent trip and tumble on an infield fly has turn out to be maybe a career changer for Ike.

As much as my stomach churns watching Jason Bay’ at bats, I’m starting to really feel bad for him even with the knowledge that the team is on the hook for two more seasons and $35 mil. Bay has played a better left field than we all thought; he hustles (last night he ran out a ball that was clearly going into the first base stands foul) and from the scuttlebutt around Citi Field, he works to the point of being obsessive compulsive in finding his hitting stroke. You can see after every unproductive at bat, it is eating him up that he has not stepped up and provided the big veteran bat this team sorely needs. It would be best for both Bay and the Mets to part company but the $35 mil price tag hanging his toe makes moving to a new team almost impossible. ALMOST. Maybe I have too much faith in the power of Sandy Alderson since the trade of Frankie Rodriguez and his unsightly option that no one thought the Mets could get out from under.  Maybe there is a team out there (West Coast? SF, Seattle, Angels maybe) that sees Bay’s work ethic and thinks a change could do him good if the Mets eat half or little more of the deal? Never say never.

Welcome back to the big leagues Val Pascucci. Pascuicci’ 21 HR and 91 RBI at Buffalo earned him a promotion, perhaps for the last time, to the big leagues. Don’t think the promotion of Passcuicci will go unnoticed in the Mets clubhouse and throughout the Mets minor league system along with the call up of RHP Chris Schwinden, it shows that this front office will promote and reward players who produce. Not only that, with all the talk about the Mets money woes, all the players the Mets have added to the list of call ups have to be paid on a pro rated basis on the ML minimum. Schwinden looks like he will get to start one of the games of Thursday’s DH vs. the Braves, I bet Valentino gets a start in one of those games as well.

Mike Silva of NY Baseball Digest mentioned that the Highlanders Triple A team in Scranton/Wilkes Barre will need a place to play in 2012 as the ball park will be undergoing a big renovation project. One of the spots they are looking at is Staten Island, home of the Baby Highlanders. The move to SI makes sense as the Bronx Bastards own the stadium in St. George and the team, as well as owning the Wilkes/Barre team. The problem they will have besides getting the Mets to allow them to do this (like a scene out of Goodfella’s I can see Freddy Skill Sets and Uncle Saul listening to Randy Levine’s pitch for this project and Uncle Saul interrupting “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Fuck you pay me”) is finding a better management team to run the stadium that will have two tenants.

The SI Highlanders are very poorly run. The team has no sponsors and the majority of their tickets are sold to groups with the added attraction of all you can eat concessions. My wife bought tickets for every game SI played Brooklyn as a Fathers Day gift for me and those games draw the most fans, the majority rooting for the Cyclones. I’ve noticed that the fans that attend games on SI are there for social reasons, not many people pay attention to the game they are more involved in the all you can eat buffet and how unfair it is that they cannot grab a burger, hot dog and chicken sandwich all at the same time.  Staten Islanders are not fond of walking and taking stairs so to take just one item and then go back again is a huge crimp in their lifestyle.

There are ushers and security people employed by the team and it is a great job as you get to see a ball game, do absolutely nothing and get paid.  No one sits in his or her assigned seat. If there is a seat open behind home plate you can mosey on down and sit in it. If you see friend or neighbor at the game just go a sit in the seat next to them, no problem. “Oh wait, this is your seat? And what you wanna sit here?” “Uhh yeah” with that you get the eye roll and the nasty look.

If the SWB Highlanders were to call SI home for 2012 I would definitely  go to their games, especially when they play Buffalo but I don’t know how many Highlander fans would support the team, in fact I don’t think many Highlander fans know who the Triple A team is. If they do play here and want to draw fans just make sure you have an all you can eat plan and add delivery to your seat as an option, you’ll sell the place out every game.

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