And A Great Time Was Had By All At The NY Mets 50th Anniversary Conference

What a terrific day it was yesterday at the New York Mets 50th Anniversary Conference at Hofstra University. A big tip of my Mets cap goes to Greg Prince who work very hard to make the 3 day conference a huge success, and in the words of Yogi Berra, “made this day necessary” Dana Brand would be so proud of the conference and of you Greg.

I came away with this thought on the way home from Hofstra last night, the Skill Sets may hold the papers to the team, but it’s Mets fan who are the real owners and for that the whole Mets organization should be thankful.

It’s always fun to meet up with the Mets Blogger-ratzi at events like this especially my blogger panel teammates, John Coppinger and Taryn Cooper, as well as Shannon, Kerel, Michael, and the Mathews Callan and Artus . Let’s Go Mets!!!!!

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“WILPON’S FOLLY” A MUST READ FOR METS FANS

 

 

Lots of Mets news today to look at and I want get to it quick so I can read Howard Megdal’s new book “Wilpon’s Folly. Megdal has done what no other journalist s has attempted, he has conducted a full investigation into Wilpon’s involvement with Bernie Madoff and how December 11, 2008, the day Madoff was shown to be a world class thief and the worst day of Fred Wilpon’s life could rival the June 15, 1977 as the worst day in NY Mets history. After I finish reading “Wilpon’s Folly” I’ll have more on the book but if you are a Mets fan and want to know the TRUTH about Madoff and what the Wilpon’s knew and when they knew it and where all this will leave our beloved Mets, you really need to get this book.

Sandy Alderson has been named to International Talent Committee that was formed to study if MLB should institute a draft of International players. Just one step closer to the Commissioner’s office for Alderson

What’s this? The Mets are looking at dealing for Gio Gonzalez? It would be a feather in Alderson’s cap to pull this one off and if he feels parting with Jon Niese, Ike Davis and a minor leaguer or two is worth it, it still may not be enough to land Gonzalez.

Wayne Hagin, we hardly knew ye. Looks like Hagin’s days as Mets radio man are over. Hagin never clicked with the fan base because we Mets fans are very provincial when it comes to announcers.  I’ve met Hagin a few times on the 7 train going back to the city after a Mets game and found him not only a gentleman but a great storyteller as well, but all that just didn’t translate into the radio booth during games. A great hire to join Howie Rose in the radio booth would be Boog Sciambi.

I’m a little late with this and I apologize as you need to check out Ed Marcus and Kerel Cooper’s video’s of Tuesdays Mets Christmas Party and the Q & A’s with Sandy Alderson, Justin Turner, Daniel Murphy and Jon Niese. Yes that’s me asking Alderson about the catching situation.

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“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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OPENING DAY AT CITI FIELD IN A WORD, UNCOMFORTABLE!

I think that’s the proper word to describe yesterday’s Mets home opener. The weather turned from not bad to uncomfortable rather quickly.  I know there have been reports of empty seats and there were pockets of them through the ball park but you have to understand that Citi Field was built for those who like to stroll and for those who like to remain inside.  I’m sure all the ritzy clubs were filled with sissy fans and folks at the game that could not care less that the Mets went 0 for 10 with RISP. Then there is the Shea Bridge, which has become the meeting spot for fans to meet with friends at the game. Yesterday I met up with Ed “Rusty Jr.” Marcus, Kerel Cooper, Taryn Cooper, Ed Leyro and Shannon for a pre game summit that should have been covered by SNY. That’s what SNY is missing, a Meet the Press type show with Mets bloggers in a round table setting. I bet it would beat any show on the network in ratings.

Citi Field is starting to grow on me.  There were a few issues.  I went to get a hot dog on the Concourse to enjoy while watching batting practice. The concession stand is one of the self service ones that reminds me of a rest stop on the NJ Turnpike. I get my hot dog, pay for it and then head over to the toppings island. There is a  woman stationed there who puts the onions and sauerkraut on for you. I can not believe this is the woman’s sole function. I mean, how much do you pay a person to be a condiments distributor? Is there special training needed to execute this task? Next time I have a bar-b-que at my house, I think I’m going to offer the job of condiment distributor to one of my kids,  next time I go to Citi Field I’ll ask the woman how much she makes so I know where to start my salary negotiations. By the way, by the time I put on the mustard and the fine condiment lady lathered my hot dog in onions, the frankfurter was cold. UGH!

They have added a Hot Pastrami station on the Concourse where you can get a kinish as well. I never understood why the team never put a full deli concession in the Worlds Fare Market to go along with Mama’s of Corona. Suhi. YUCK!!!

Outside the Worlds Fare Market they have added an area that makes frozen daiquiris. The drinks look very refreshing and would be great on an 85 degree day but when it’s 45 and damp, I’ll pass.

The opening day ceremonies were very good,  except for the booing of Mike Pelfrey and Frankie Rodriquez, Pelfrey gave a little smile which was good and Rodriquez stood stone faced which was good too as he must have known what to expect. M ookie Wilson got a great ovation but then again if Tim Corcoran was introduced he’d get a round of applause as well since he has a ’86 World Series ring  for the 7 at bats he had in helping the cause that season. Anyone associated with the 1986 Mets is an immortal.

(Update: What a schmuck I am for forgetting to mention Ralph Kiner tossing out the first pitch. Ralphie was a picture of sartorial splendor in his fur collared over coat. When Mets toast master general Georgie Jessel, Howie Rose announced  him to the crowd, a roar went up throughout the ballpark. Kiner then doffed the overcoat like a boxer does his robe at the start of a prize fight and headed to a spot near home plate, assisted by his daughter and son in law. He then tossed the first pitch to Mookie Wilson, who ran out to give Kiner a big hug. I guess I’m a Mets romantic because I love moments like this)

The shocker of the day for me was Alex Cora getting cheers and applause when he was introduced as a Nats bench warmer. So Mets fans boo Big Pelf and cheer Cora. Mets fans are fucked up.

So on to the game. Right away you could see R.A. Dickey was in distress after a 1-2-3 first inning. I thought it was the cold weather that was causing his grip on the knuckle ball to cause him problems, it wasn’t until after the game I found out about his split finger nail but I’ll tell you this, when the temperature is in the mid-40’s and it’s damp sitting at a game of deep counts and a tone of walks is not fun.

Jose Reyes made a spectacular play to get an inning ending double play to avert a big inning by the Nats but at the plate he was woeful.  I’m sure Sandy Alderson has that 7th inning AB etched into his mind. I can’t put all the blame on Reyes. Angel Pagan hasn’t hit and came up short in the 7th as well and Ike Davis, who I adore, really needs to stop contesting every strike call by the umpires. He’s going to get a bad rep and one of these days either Douche Bag Joe West or Incompetent Angel Hernandez will behind the plate  and either stick it to him with a phony strike call or toss him  from the game for just glancing over his shoulder.

I know Willie Harris has been hitting and playing real well in LF but I’d much rather see Lucas Duda out there every day until Jason Bay comes back. If you’re not playing Duda every day, then why is he here?

If I were Jason Issringhausen I’d be on the phone this morning asking to be promoted or released. As bad as the bullpen has been the starting pitching has been as bad as well. Bad pitching and the inability to drive runners in with less than two outs is a recipe for disaster.

I just wonder when does Sandy Alderson’ patients run out.  I’m not saying he needs to do anything now but after a month if the team is floundering does he shake it up with a blockbuster deal or a release of players or demotions to the minors. I guess this is what happens when you freeze your ass off at an opening day stinker  it leads your mind to Armageddon.

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CHECK OUT ME AND KEREL COOPER ON THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN PODCAST

I had the great pleasure of having Kerel Cooper of On The Black on THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN podcast which is up and ready on the show page or right here on Kranepool (lower right side bar) or on iTunes. Among the topics Kerel and I discussed:

Ollie Perez and Luis Castillo will not make 25 man roster they are in camp as showcase (boobie) prize.

The Skill Sets showing up at spring camp

outlook for season

tone of Camp Collins so far

TMI coming out of St. Lonesome.

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KEREL COOPER OF ON THE BLACK JOINS ME TONIGHT ON THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN

Tonight on THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN on BLOG TALK RADIO my guest will be Kerel Cooper, of On The Black. The podcast will be live at 11PM ET.

If you can’t join Kerel and me live tonight you can listen to the podcast right here at Kranepool Society or at the show homepage at Blog Talk or download it to you iPhone right from iTunes.   

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HERE! HERE! ON THE BLACK SAYS REITRE KRANEPOOL’ 7

Kerel Cooper of On The Black feels it’s time to retire Ed Kranepool’s #7 and of course, yours truly is on board on this crusade.

Kerel was kind enough to ask me about my feelings on retiring #7 in honor of Steady Eddie and he added my sentiments in his post.

It would be a great gesture by the organization to honor Kranepool by retiring his number with the 50th Anniversary of the franchise a year away

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Tickets

The Mets are looking great this year and The Eddie Kranepool Society keeps you up to date on the good bad and the ugly. If you are looking for Mets Tickets, you must visit Coast To Coast Tickets for all your ticket needs. CTC carries MLB Tickets as well as some of the best priced Concert Tickets on the web and don't forget they also carry Yankees Tickets.

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