“OK, DID ANYONE SEE WHAT HAPPENED HERE”?

WHEW!!!! Where to start? I feel like a detective arriving at a crime scene, who found the body? Any witnesses? Ok, start canvassing the area.

I hadn’t have time to post since Wednesday morning as I’ve had a whirl wind couple of days.

Wednesday I was granted a media credential. Yes you read that right, a MEDIA credential. Never in a million years did I ever think I would walk into Shea Stadium/Citi Field press entrance and say to the receptionist “Good afternoon, I’m Steve Keane of the Eddie Kranepool Society” and have her reply “Hi Mr. Keane here is your credential, the managers press conference will be starting in few minutes, go right in to the interview room”.

It was great to have a nice showing of the Mets Blogger-ratzi as Caryn Rose, Kerel Cooper, Ed Marcus, Mike Sliva, Joe Janish and Rob Castellano on Wednesday as we were welcome to attend Terry Collins pre game press conference. The only stipulation was we weren’t allowed to ask questions which was fine as the media assigned to cover this game does this for a living and have deadlines to meet, believe me it was a kick just having the main stream media looking at us with that “ there goes the neighborhood look.

After the quickie presser, we were led out to the field to watch batting practice. It was a bit awkward at times, I’m standing right in front of R.A. Dickey and I’m like should I say hello? Ask him how his cracked nail is? What are you reading these days?  We were allowed to go into the dugout so as I entered, standing at the bat rack is Daniel Murphy, again I have to restrain myself from going all fanboy there. From attending events over the winter at Citi Field, I’ve learn (a) don’t wear any Mets gear, which is tough when three quarters of your wardrobe has either Mets or and interlocking blue and orange NY and (b) be prepared with good questions. I’m not there to swoon; I’m there to get as much information as I can. I have to say, I let my guard down for a moment though, as Josh Thole was strolling to the dugout, I was standing right at the steps as he came right next to me and I blurted out “Hey Josh how’s it goin”? And Thole put his hand out for handshake and replied “doin’ great how are you”?  I kind of felt, oh no did I break protocol? Then I thought,” Well I’ll say I made a rookie mistake” on me not Thole.  I then composed myself and went back in to investigative mode and canvassed the area for info and I got some good stuff.

Many of the folks I talked to were very surprised of course by the awful start of the season the team has had but what they found more shocking was the venom spewed by some of the fan base. A lot of the talk was about, it’s fine to boo and be pissed off by the early play of the team but the level of nastiness towards the Mets by Mets fans is unprecedented.  A few people I talked to could not believe the hate coming from what Mets fans were in the Citi Field stands.  Look, no one would say any Mets fan is wrong for being angry and disillusioned by this awful start, but some of the remarks I’ve heard on opening day and talk radio and on Twitter and Facebook have been a bit outlandish.  There is no question that the Mets have found more ways to beat themselves and have given away too many games and this start of the season has sucked more than any of us imagined but what was your best case scenario for the team before opening day? I felt, give me 82-84 wins and be in the hunt for the Wild Card spot as my best possible. Did anyone think this team was better than the Phillies or Braves? I didn’t think so.

Again please don’t take this as any excuse for the horrendous play in the field by this Mets team.  This opening home stand has been a embarrassment and every single player on this team needs to step up his game and step up fast. I’d even include the manager in that as well. I feel for Terry Collins in the fact that from talking to guys who spent all of spring training covering this team in St. Lonesome, there was more hands on instruction done in that camp than the last two put together. Collins main goal was to tighten up the fundamentals that have been lacking with the big league team and in the minor league system for years. As pissed off as you are as a Mets fan over the recent piss poor play, it’s nothing like the angst the manager is going through.  So far TC has been composed and has his player’s backs but another few games of this bullshit and I’m sure Mount Collins will erupt.

What I’d take the manger to task over and this is not earth shattering as it’s seems to be the overwhelming consensus, is not walking Troy Tulowitzki with 1st base open and 2 outs.  In hind sight, I think Collins would love a mulligan there. What has me the most annoyed is that Tulo was never made uncomfortable in the batters box at any time in this four game series. I don’t say throw at his head but for Christ sake couldn’t someone on the pitching staff step up and dust him? This bothers me because when I first met Collins over the winter my first question was will you change the culture of this team letting the opposition come into your home ball park and do whatever they want with you. I gave him my opinion that the past couple of years the Mets have a rep for being soft and when punched they never punched back. Collins told me I wasn’t wrong in my assessment and it was something he said he would change. He even pointed out that if he had been the manager when Chase Utley took out Ruben Tejada last year, he would have led the charge out of the dugout to confront Utley.   First at bat tonight I’d like to see Larry Jones eat some Georgia clay just to send a message.

Someone in the Mets P.R. department needs to tell Collins to cease and desist with the we played hard or how proud he is that the team battled back those replies have to stop like yesterday. We have heard the Rich Kotie/Art Howe/Willie Randolph refrain more time than we ever need to hear again. When Sandy Alderson took over and hired Collins for the job, the mantra was that honesty and transparency would be  the bedrock of the new management team, well it’s time to live up to the new company motto and stop with the we battled back, tried hard line of horseshit because playing hard shouldn’t be rewarded it’s to be expected.  

Another topic of conversation around the dugout was what will be of Jose Reyes? Will he be traded mid-season if the team is out of contention? If he stays, will the Mets sign him to a long term deal? How is long is too long and how much money is too much money for the Mets? Of a bunch of us discussing this no one had a definitive answer or solution. Many of us feel, the lack of money will be a bullshit excuse. If the Skill Sets plead lack of funds then that is a flat out lie. If it’s years on the contract that would be more of a reasonable topic of debate.

As far as the Skill Sets legal woes go, word on the street is the players couldn’t give a shit about their problems as long as there are sufficient funds to cash their checks. The day the bank shouts out “insufficient funds” then they’ll care.

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HOW DID WE EVER SURVIVE THE MINAYA REIGN OF ERROR

 

On this date in Mets historyin 1974, the Mets traded Tug McGraw, Don Hahn and Dave Schneck to the Philadelphia Phillies for Del Unser, John Stearns and the immortal Mac Scarce.

Off season? What off season, there is more baseball news on this 32 degree morning in NYC than any other sports news.  Giants-Redskins? a murmur and some asshole comments. Jets-Pats? For such a big game the main topic is Tom Brady’s hair line. Knicks? Who gives a fuck.  Coach DiAntoni’s view of defense is when the opposition misses a shot.  NY Rangers, second only to the Mets in my fan affection but even with Gaborik’s hat trick and the fact the beat the lowly Fishsticks, not much buzz about the Blueshirts today. The big sports news in NYC, Baseball, Baseball and more Baseball:

The Mets non-tendered went as planned except for the curve ball Sandy Alderson tossed in by releasing Chris Carter.  As much as I like The Animal, and lobbied for more playing time for him last year, this is a very smart move by the Mets. According to Adam Rubin, Carter would have been given a minor league deal and would have been paid $200K but the real reason is Carter has no position on defense in fact you’d be better off signing Jack Cust than Carter.

Looks like the game plan on acquiring pitching will be of the low risk/high reward variety as reports are the Mets are looking to make a deal with injury prone LHP Jeff Francis and former Padre Chris Young. If both can stay healthy (a big IF) they are definitely worth t shot of signing to incentive laden deals.  Young would thrive in Citi Field as he is an extreme fly ball pitcher and to that fact I hope the Mets are looking at RHP Joel Peralta another fly ball pitcher for the bullpen and George Sherrill for the LOOGY spot if Perpetual Pedro proves to expensive.

WOW LMillz may be a LI Duck or a Lancaster Barnstormer  or an Orix Buffalo or maybe a KC Royal ?

Under the prior regime I’d say Joe Janish’s post aboutmoving Francisco Rodriguez to the White Sox would be a pipe dream. Under the Alderson reign, this post makes absolute sense and I could definitely see it happen.

Back in the day, I couldn’t stand Ron Santo especially back in 1969 when Santo would jump up and click his heels after a Cubs victory against the Mets. But I’m still sad to hear of his passing

So when will LeBron and the Heat go to Cleveland? Wait? What? It was last night? Shit. Who knew!

Looks like those cut throats running the Bronx Bastards will let El Capi-Tan save some face and juice up their contract offer today. No matter what happens, for now on Derek Jeter is Randy Levine’s bitch.

Good luck to Hisanori Takahashi on his signing with the Angels. A two-year deal for a 35 year old who can only pitch an inning of relief as the second time through the lineup he gets plastered may work in Anaheim but it sure doesn’t in Flushing .

Happy 62nd Birthday to the Prince of Darkeness. Hope you have bloody good fuckin’ birthday Ozzy!!!!!!!!!   

An Ike Davis Hanukkah, OH……MY…….GOD!!!!!!!

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TAKE A CYBER MONDAY BREAK FOR SOME METS MUSSINGS

 

On this date in 1966, the Mets traded Jim Hickman and Ron Hunt to the Dodgers for the pride of Boy’s High in Brooklyn, Tommy Davis. Davis lasted one season with the Mets as he was delt along with Jack Fisher to the White Sox for Tommie Agee and Al Weis .

I think we can now stop with all the questions of Terry Collins about the 1999 Angels and his eight year old DUI. I give Collins a lot of credit and it shows he has patients as I would have told the media to go fuck off by now.  Collins has also shown he won’t throw players under the bus as in all the stories you hear about that Angels team, the main culprit in the uprising was Mo Vaughn, one of the biggest fucking quitters in baseball history.  

Nice to see Ollie Perez is the Tom Seaver of the Mexican Winter League. Maybe Sandy Alderson can work out a deal with any team in the Mexican League for Perez. I’d take a couple of roosters (for cock fighting purposes, of course) two cases of Bohemia Beer and an enchilada to be named later.

Ed Ryan makes the case that Carlos Beltran’s contract might not be so prohibited that he could be dealt. The way Ed puts it out there, with the Mets picking up $5mil of the deferred dough in the deal that would live Beltran owed $13 mil for the season.   Would Theo Epstein be an interested buyer?

I wouldn’t be looking for John Maine Bobble Head Day on the 2011 promotional schedule.

R.I.P. Frank Drebin and don’t call me Shirley.

Joe Janish brings up a name from the past RHP Pedro Beato, that at one time had my blood boil. Beato pitched for Xaverian H.S. in Bay Ridge and was drafted by the Mets, who due to their lock step way with the Used Car Salesman, were talked out of going over slot to sign him. Beato went back into the draft the next year, and was drafted by the Orioles who had no problem going over slot to give the right handed putcher the same $1mil bonus the Mets were told they couldn’t give out. Well, Beato could be a Rule 5’er and maybe an interesting pitcher to place in the Mets bullpen for 2011.

Who has December 1 in the “When will Pat Riley take over as coach of the Heat”?

Finally an athlete figures out that God doesn’t give a shit about a sporting event.

Javier Vasquez signs a one year deal with the Fish for $7mil with a no trade clause (duh!) and a provision that the Fish cannot offer Vasquez arbitration. Not bad for a suck ass pitcher.

Tom Brady is the NFL MVP and the best QB in the game and one of the three best of all time (Johnny Unitas, Joe Montana, then Brady who is ready to move past Montana) if you want to argue this, talk to the hand.

Joe Posnanski hits another blog post out of the park, this time taking on the “closer”. I’m really, really hoping that the new Mets brain trust thinks like Posnanski and uses Frankie Rodriguez (if he’s still with the team) in the 7th and or 8th inning.

Tonight is hockey night as I’m headed to MSG for Rangers-Penguins. If you are not of the hockey fan persuasion, the NY Rangers are what we could hope the Mets will be in 2011. They have a lot of young, talent and dedicated players, who while learning the ropes of the NHL, grind out game after game. They have two superstars in Henrik Lundqvist  and Marian Gaborik and two young players in Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan, who are having break out seasons on the ice and in the locker room as the new leaders of this team. The team also sticks up for one and other (something that has not been seen with the Rangers in years) and are becoming a tough team to play. Cindy Crosby better have some vagina protection on tonight.

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RANDOM ACT OF RANTING

Time for some random samplings when complete thoughts just won’t do:

I’m surprised President Obama hasn’t announced that Jim Joyce will be given the Medal of Honor for showing such bravery for fucking up Aramando Galaraga’ perfect game. Sure it’s great that Joyce admitted to this major screw up and it’s admirable that Galaraga gave Joyce some love at home plate, I wonder if the organist at Comerica Park played “Why Can’t We Be Friends” as they had their tender moment. Lost in all this is the fact that a major overhaul of the umpiring system in MLB is needed and needed fast. But we all know the Used Car Salesman will call his Blue Ribbon Committee together (pick out you best bow tie there George Will) they’ll look over the situation and do nothing. It’s the Bud Selig way.

There is enough technology now that using replay in baseball for plays other than home runs should be discussed. However, if MLB did more to train its umpires better and weeded out the suck ass ones (I’m looking at you Joe West, Angel Hernandez and Lance Barksdale) you wouldn’t have the fans clamoring for replays as you do now. Most of it is just knee jerk reaction that has become the American way.

It absolutely sucks that Daniel Murphy injured his knee again in Buffalo as he was taken out on a slide and is done for the year. In a post on Mets Today, Joe Janish puts the blame for Murphy’s injury on the way the Mets Baseball Ops do business:

The Mets’ lack of foresight and reactionary, force-feeding decision-making process are not new — they’ve marked the Omar Minaya era. Is there any logical reason why, when Murphy was in Port St. Lucie, he was officially banned from taking ground balls at any position other than first base? Wouldn’t it have made sense to have him work with someone like Sandy Alomar, Sr., Wally Backman, or Kevin Morgan, on footwork and other techniques around the bag, in a non-competitive situation, while he was down there? If they were serious about making him a “utilityman” and teaching him second base in particular, wouldn’t it have made more sense to keep him in Florida, working intensely and regularly with one of the aforementioned coaches — or an external, short-term hire like Roberto Alomar, Jose Valentin, or a similarly adept and experienced former MLB second baseman? Such an expense is a smart investment for a club with a $140M+ payroll, that is also desperate to develop “trade bait”.

 

That has been the story of Daniel Murphy and the failure of the organization that they have switched him from 3rd base to 2nd base to 1st base to left field and back to 2nd base all without the proper instruction that he needed. I’ve watched Razor Shines hit fly balls to him time and again at Citi Field but has anyone worked with him on technique like proper use of the drop step and picking up fly balls ? Same with 1st base, the team finally asked Keith Hernandez to help him out and Murphy was more that conscientious student. Murphy has done everything the organization has asked of him but what has the organization done for Murphy? NOTHING!!!!

Stephen Strasburg beat the Buffalo Bison yesterday, just a prelude to what we are in store for the next 10 years when he joins the Nationals next week.

If Oliver Perez refuses to go to the bushes again today therefore blocking the activation of Jon Niese, I have a way of getting him to go

Last night Kevin Garnett looked old and broken down. Rajon Rondo, maybe his fear of not making free throws, refused to drive to rack-passing up going strong to the basket and passing off to Big Baby for jump shot is beyond wrong it’s almost criminal-Ray Allen was taken out the game by the only officials worse than MLB Umpires, NBA Thieves Refs. But, one thing I’ve learned about these Celtics, just when you think they are a bunch of old broken down hoopsters and your ready to throw dirt on them, they bounce back. I expect a full recovery on Sunday.

Prayers and good thoughts to The Coach

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A CARLOS DELGADO DOING THE HIPPY-HIPPY-SHAKE

 

If you saw the back page of the Daily News this morning you’d think “oh shit” but then when you read the story you say “what’s the big deal”?:

 

And asked if he could be certain that he’ll return to the Mets at some point during the 2009 season, Delgado said: “I can’t guarantee that. But it looks that that’s going to be the case. The most important thing is to get better, get healthy, that you can perform effectively, and that’s our goal.

 

“I think that’s going to happen sometime this year, but I can’t guarantee nothing.”

 

 

So he feels he can get back this year but who knows what set backs he could endure during his rehab. Makes sense no?

 

Joe Janish hits a home run in his post at Mets Today on Fernando Martinez and the lazy ass culture of the Mets. I went over this last night with Joe McDonald on PRO BASEBALL CENTRAL. Larry Brooks in a story in yesterday Post said the same thing that the Mets are known for non-hustle and I agree. Delgado has been a culprit as has Beltran at times, Reyes has not hustled on numerous occasions and the fan fav Mike Piazza dogged it regularly (Yeah Joe Mac Piazza dogged it!!) Now most of this non ass busting is not to maligners but down right laziness. The more I think of young Martinez not busting it the other day the more pissed off I am at him and at J-Man for not taking him off the field. As I said last night, I’m trying not to rush to judgment on F-Mart as it’s just two games but do far I don’t see what the big fuss is about this kid and maybe it would have been more beneficial to him to leave him in Buffalo for the whole season.

 

Mets Grrl in her continuing endeavor to make $iti Field a better place for Mets fans and to help straighten out this clueless ownership has a third installment of her letter writing campaign this time to have the Skill Sets acknowledge the history of the NY Mets in $iti Field. This prove how pathetic the Skill Sets are when it comes to knowing it’s fan base that you actually have to pressure them to celebrate the franchise history.

 

You may have read the Tyler Kepner piece in the Times the other day where he reports on Nolan Ryan and Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux are going back to old school tactics with the Rangers pitchers throughout the organization to go deeper into games and not be a slave to pitch counts. All I can say is HALLE-FUCKING-LUJAH!!!!!! I would hope the Mets would get in on this retro trend as well. It has to start in the low minors as it’s time pitchers learned how to pitch and how to pitch out of trouble. Too many guys stand on that mound when they are in a jam ready to shit themselves while looking toward the bullpen for help. I couldn’t give a rat’s ass about the minor league teams records and winning the fucking Sally League Championship, how about teaching not only pitchers but all players in the organization the proper way to play baseball. You can shove the NY-PENN League Championship Banners up Jeffey’s ass.

 

For a much calmer look at pitch counts check out Mike Silva’s NYBD and his thoughts on this.

 

 

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HOW COULD OLLIE PASS UP THESE INCENTIVES?

While we wait for the Mets to make a counter offer to Ollie Perez (3yr/$30mil, plus unlimited White Castle burgers after every home start,  20 free oil changes in one of the auto repair shops next to $iti Field, use of the Oscar Myer Weiner car from the 1964 World Fair on weekends, 10 free hair cuts at Hiram’s House of Hair Styling in Corona and the right to pick the in-flight movie on flights to Pittsburgh) and due to the fact that have to do some real work here a few links that are well worth your while..

 

A big Happy Birthday to Mike Silva of New York Baseball Digest, check out his great Q&A with Dr. Mike Marshall.

 

Mike Steffanos of Mike’s Mets has the first part of an interview with Joe Janish of Mets Today up on his site for your entertainment

 

This Joe Torre tell all is a bit over blown but in these tough times when it’s tough to spend $25 bucks on a book (There is no greater place on earth than the New York Public Library) you have to admire the publisher to get the word spreading like a five alarm fire through the media for this book.  I love Tom Verducci and I’m sure this book will be well worth the read so I may drop some of my limited discretionary funds on this tome.

 

I always wondered why Wes Westrum never wrote a book about what a pain in the ass Jack Hamilton was or the how Kevin Collins used to stalk Ken Boyer

 

 

 

 

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THE SKILL SETS: FIRST I LOOK AT THE PURSE

Some fellas like the way they walk
The way they swing and sway
Some fellas like the way they talk
Dig the things they say.
I don’t care if they wobble like a…
or talk with a lisp
I still think I’m a good lover
if the dollar bills are crisp
First I look at the purse!

Outstanding post this morning by Joe Janish at Met Today on how the Mets off season started like a house on fire but as soon as the Madoff bombshell hit Freddie, Jeffey and Uncle Saul hid all the bank books from Omar Minaya

Joe points out how it’s mind boggling that a team with a strong fan base, a TV network, new ball park and more government money to float it’s bonds are now operating like they are WIC recipients.

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