The Sweet Success of Opening Day

 

So far so good, the New York Mets are undefeated in 2013. Matt Harvey tries to keep the line moving tomorrow night. Here are some observations on yesterday’s opening day win:

I wasn’t in attendance at Citi Field yesterday due to my son coming back from a two week trip to Italy and Switzerland. At 17 years old he’s already been to Europe and hiked the New Mexico desert. When I was 17 I was happy to just spend time going to Coney Island and playing stick ball.

I watched all the festivities on SNY. The pre-game show started at 11:30 AM and right away the chemistry between Bobby Valentine and Bobby Ojeda was a hit. I can guarantee the spread sheet contingent of baseball fans would disagree with everything Valentine and Ojeda have to say about baseball which makes what Valentine and Ojeda say more valid.

Gary Cohen, Ron Darling, Keith Hernandez and Kevin Burkhardt were in mid-season form yesterday. Hernandez had the line of the day. After KB interviewed the stunning Emily Rossum and threw it back to the booth, Hernandez mentioned that there are times he envies Kevin and the job that he has. Welcome to the dirty old man club Keith.

I still can’t understand why SNY has a 90 minute pre-game show but still has to interrupt game action with pre-recorded interviews?

What did I tell you about Collin Cowgill? As fabulous as his Grand Slam was in the 7th I was more impressed by the hustle double he hit in the 4th that normally would have been a single to center but Cowgill was thinking double right out of the box. Love that!

The worst outfield in baseball went 4 for 12 with 2 BB 3RS and 6 RBI (4 RBI from Cowgill and 2 from Byrd)

SNY put a camera on Jon Niese after the 6th inning where Terry Collins was coming over to tell him his day was over and a let him know “Job well done” Niese was very animated in making his case to stay in the game. There was a meeting between Collins, Dan Warthen and John Buck along with Niese pleading his case to stay in for the 7th inning. It was decided to let Niese go back out to start the 7th. It seems there was caveats that as soon as Niese was to throw his 100th pitch, he was done for the day. Even though Niese got 2 quick outs, Collins brought Brandon Lyon in the game to get the last out. SNY then aimed their camera at Collins giving an explanation to Niese on why he took him out. When the lecture was over  Niese had a big smile on his face and Collins go this message across.

I’ve mention about meeting Jon Niese and finding him as dull as dish water, yesterday between seeing him interact with John Buck and with Collins and Warthen, it looks like Niese has a new and improved personality which I feel goes hand in hand with the confidence he has that now knows he is a top flight big league pitcher.

Speaking of John Buck, how great is it to see a bon fide big league catcher handling the Mets staff.  You can see that Buck is a future ML manager. SNY showed inning after inning, Buck sitting with Niese and it seemed that they were going over their game plan. After the game, Buck was praising Niese saying he would the ace of any staff he pitched for. Whether you or I believe that, you have to love Buck pumping up his teammate like that.

Got to feel for poor Ike Davis, while everyone in the lineup made a contribution, Ike took the Golden Sombrero.

Got to feel great for Scott Rice and a great gesture by Terry Collins to give the 14 year career minor leaguer the ball in his first ML opening day.

Scott Achinson looks like a guy who just competed in a fantasy camp, he’s the oldest looking 37 year old I’ve ever seen.

No Mets game today but tonight R.A. Dickey will make his Blue Jay debut. I’ll be watching that one and rooting for R.A.

 

 

 

 

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Devastation

How much ranting and raving can I do? I left a good amount of anger on Twitter last night as the NY Mets added another chapter in this embarrassing season.

When asked if his team has quit, Terry Collins refused to let his inner thoughts public. After a pause, he told Kevin Burkhardt to go ask the players that question. Of course that statement alone says that Collins believes there are some on the team that have thrown in the towel. He even mentioned something about conduct in the dugout and then held up Juan Pierre as the guy who should be the Mets players role model as a guy “who plays the game the right way”.

The 2012 NY Mets do not play the game the right way, they are not a motivated bunch who maybe in their hearts want to win but their actions on the field say they don’t  or maybe a better way of saying it is, they can’t. You could be the biggest rah-rah, run through a brick wall player but if you lack major league talent all the hustle and heart doesn’t mean a damn thing and this Mets team suffers from a serious deficiency in talent.

I don’t know how Terry Collins and this coaching staff escape this disaster without termination or re-assignment.  I’m starting to think my prediction of Collins getting re-assigned to a job in the front office in the minor league or scouting department will come to fruition.  Collins has tried to protect his players and in my opinion to a fault, where I start to question his credibility. I’m a Terry Collins fan and I feel any organization that has him in their baseball ops is a plus but he just could not get this team to play motivated or fundamental baseball. It’s a shame but there really is no way to justify brining Collins and this staff back in 2013.

Same for David Wright, it’s time for the Mets and Wright to go their separate ways. It’s not Wright’s fault he has gone above and beyond what any player in the history of the Mets has done for this organization. He is a gentleman and a fine baseball player but the best thing for him career wise and the Mets organizational wise is to move on. Sure the fangirls will weep and the lunatic fringe will go ape shit stupid but it makes baseball and business sense to trade Wright and allow him to pursue that World Series ring he craves. It won’t happen here in NY. I would have no problem with Wright getting dealt to our arch rivals Braves or Phillies but would rather see him go to either the Dodgers, Angels or Blue Jays because this organization is so devoid of immediate talent that you have to have to throw emotion out the window and make the best deal possible with the highest percentage of return. Sandy Alderson and his front office have a huge job in front of them this winter to not just make the 2013 Mets competitive but he has to fortify the upper levels of the minor league system so injuries or ineffective play is not a death knell as it was this season.

In a perfect world the Wilpon’s would sell the team and live happily ever after in a beach cabana at Del Boca Vista Phase II but the sad part of their reign as owners, they  have made myself and the majority of Mets fans root for them to fail financially.  As much as I detest their stewardship of the team I love, I hate that they put me in a position where I want them to go broke to force a sale of the team.  Since Nelson Doubleday was bought out of his share of the club, the Wilpon/Sterling Equities leadership has been an unmitigated disaster. If the Mets were a publicly held company, the shareholders would have run Fred, Jeff and Saul out of town on a rail. Bottom line, if Fred Wilpon really loves the Mets, he’d sell them to an ownership group that has the capital and vision to make the Mets the first class organization this fan base deserves.

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My Recap of The NY Mets All-Time Team Annoucement Show

Last night I attended the naming of the All Time Mets team at the 92nd St Y. The venue was terrific as was the host for the evening, Kevin Burkhardt  Mets voices Gary Cohen and Howie Rose who joined Burkhardt on stage to talk about voting for the team and to greet and interview the honorees who attended the event.

Although the show was announced as a sellout, there were many seats in the first three or five rows that were empty. Since this show was being recorded to be shown on SNY this Thursday night, a frantic SNY director was offering seat upgrades galore so there would not be any empty seats shown on TV. The Mets should implement this exercise at Citi Field.

For the most part the results of the voting went the way you’d expect, so let’s look at the nominees and the winners:

First Base nominees :

Ed Kranepool, Keith Hernandez, John Olerud, Dave Kingman

Of course my heart says Kranepool and Olerud was a great all around player but a short tenure as a Met and Kingman? I’d rather have seen Willie Montanez nominated. The winner of course was Keith Hernandez, who came on stage and as you might suspect, was quite engaging. His story on coming to Mets and why he stayed are classic. I won’t spoil the show for you folks so I won’t relay any of the stories but I’ll tell you this it’s a must see program.

2nd Base nominees:

Edgardo Alfonzo, Felix Milian, Doug Flynn, Wally Backman

No secret I love Howie and Gary not only because they are great announcers but they are also my contemporaries as a Mets fan.  After the nominees were announced, Howie mentioned Ron Hunt and how he was as worthy of being on that list with the other nominees. Gary then spoke about watching Milian and how he held the Mets record for hits in a season for the longest time. The winner here was no surprise, Fonzi.

Shortstop nominees:

Bud Harrelson, Raphael Santana, Rey Ordonez, Jose Reyes

Reyes is the winner but Gary told the audience how Harrelson was his favorite Mets player of all time and it took all his resolve to vote with his head and no his heart. By the way the voters were Howie and Gary along with Mike Vaccaro of the NY Post, Mike Lupica of the Daily News and Marty Noble of MLB.com

3rd base nominees:

Charley Smith, Roy Staiger, Lenny Randle, Felix Mantila

Do I really have to tell you who won this one?

Catcher nominees:

Jerry Grote, Gary Carter, Todd Hundley, Mike Piazza

This is where my middle aged head and heart becomes very stubborn.  I am a Jerry Grote fan then, now and always, so if I was on the voting committee I’d vote Grote and then leave the room. The winner was Mike Piazza who should be the next Mets player enshrined on Cooperstown. Now all of the players named to the Mets All-Time team were present at the event except for the one’s still active that sent their thanks and humble acceptance via video message, the only no show in person or on video was Piazza. I’ve not seen or heard a reason why Piazza didn’t show or at least send a video but as many of you know I am not a Mike Piazza fan and its things like this (and other’s) as to why I’m not.

Left Field nominees:

Cleon Jones, George Foster, Kevin McReynolds, Cliff Floyd

The winner was Cleon Jones. As I posted on Saturday, I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with Cleon this past Friday night at Citi Field so I was very happy he was named to the Mets All Time Team as the left fielder. Gary Cohen spoke of McReynolds as one of the most talented players to ever wear a Mets uni but his personality convened a guy who wished he was someplace else. Cohen was 100 % on point. The baseball cliché of the “5 Tool Player” fits McReynolds to a tee, but K-Mac had two huge flaws, he played the game like it was a job he didn’t enjoy and he hated NYC. That was a real shame as if he had a bit of passion for the game and opened his mind to what the city and region had to offer he may have been one of the best players in Mets history.

Center Field nominees:

Tommy Agee, Mookie Wilson, Lenny Dysktra, Carlos Beltran

If Beltran never signed with the Mets, this would have been a very interesting category as I bet they would have nominated Lee Mazzilli at which point I’d have gotten violently ill. Thank you Carlos. By the way, Beltran sent a video thanking the voters and fans for this great honor and he also wished he could have been healthier during his Mets career. Beltran is one of those players who won’t be recognized for his contributions until he retires . He’s kind of a Phil Simms of the Mets

Right Field nominees:

Ron Swoboda, Rusty Staub, Bobby Bonilla, Darryl Strawberry

Mets fans are not shy about showing their emotions. When Bonilla’s name was announced there was a loud grown of disgust from the crowd. It got me to think, who is the most hated Met of all time? Bonilla is right there along with Jeff Kent who was also a  world class asshole, Richie Hebner or Armando Beneitez  and I guess I’d put McReynolds on that list as well. Oh yeah Straw was the pick.

Right Handed Reliever:

Skip Lockwood, Neil Allen, Armando Benitez, Roger McDowell

I think Kevin Burkhardt was slightly embarrassed when he read Benitez’ name as I thought the crowd was going to burst into a BULLSHIT chant. Gary Cohen represented for us old guys when he spoke of how good a reliever Lockwood was but then he spoiled it by trying to justify Benitez on the list. The winner was McDowell who sent a nice video acceptance but no hot foot.

Left Handed Reliever nominees:

John Franco, Tug McGraw, Jesse Orossco, Randy Myers

When I saw the nominees I was hoping for either Tug or Jesse but I thought this was going to go to Franco. I was pleasantly surprised when it was announced that Tug McGraw was the winner. Tim McGraw sent a video of thanks and Tug’s son Mark and his brother Hank were both there to accept in Tug’s behave and Hank’s stories was outstanding.

Left Handed Starting Pitcher nominees:

Jerry Koosman, Jon Matlack, Sid Fernandez, Al Leiter

Had to be Koos.  Matlack, El Sid and Leiter were worthy Mets but Koos was as strong and as tough as any pitcher of his era as a Met. Koos was also a guy who earned the rep as a big game pitcher

Right Handed Starting Pitcher nominees:

Tom Seaver, Dwight Gooden, Ron Darling, David Cone

He was then, he is now, and he will always be THE FRANCHISE. It’s a shame they didn’t just do this as the All-Time Mets pitching rotation so Doc could have gotten the acclaim he deserves but it’s hard when you are in the same category as THE FRANCHISE! Seaver was in excellent form, as funny and animated as I’ve seen him in a long time. Seaver knows he was great and he knows he is still the greatest player in the history of this franchise and as he gets older he has taken on that role with a lot of pride. I know how much he loves taking care of his vineyard and how he loves to be home on the West Coast but I just wish he come around Citi Field more often like how Ralph Kiner is doing now. I can’t tell you how fortunate I feel knowing I watched Seaver pitch, same with Doc when both pitchers took the mound, it was a special event.

Manager nominees:

Casey Stengel, Gill Hodges, Davey Johnson, Bobby Valentine

How the hell did they get this wrong? Believe me I love Davey and I will never have a bad word to say about him but how could you not name Gil Hodges as the All-Time Mets Manager? When Seaver came out on stage his jovial mood changed when he started speaking about Hodges. Seaver was choked with emotion and said he knew he start crying once he started talking about Hodges and when he said how he wished “Gil was here with me right now” I have to say my eyes were a bit runny as well. It’s tough enough dealing with the disrespect Hodges gets from the Baseball Hall of Fame voters but to be snub like this for a Mets voting committee is even more disturbing.

 

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A DAY IN THE LIFE

I read the news today oh boy
About a lucky man who made the grade
And though the news was rather sad
Well I just had to laugh

You know what I want for Christmas? Just one day of positive stories about the Mets. I just want to read that they are in final negotiation with a player that has potential to be the missing piece to making the team a serious pennant contender or that if you are thinking of going to a Mets game at Citi Field you better get your tickets now as it looks like every Mets game this summer will be a must see or that Baseball America has rated the New York Mets their Organization of the Year or that Kevin Burkhardt has been named as Howie Rose’ partner on the Mets games on WFAN More on that below). Just something I can smile about. PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Every morning I turn on my computer and say out loud, “Can’t wait to see what happy horseshit the Mets are up to today” it’s become my morning mantra. Well, today if Mets horseshit were dollar bills the Wilpon’s worries would be over.

First there was the story in the NY Times about what you get as a $20 mil minority investor in the NY Mets. I have to say after reading some of these “perks” I’m not rushing out to sell a kidney to raise cash to get these lucrative advantages of ownership:

Access to Mr. Met, the team mascot, although the degree of access is not entirely spelled out. It definitely means you, as a part-owner, can schmooze with Mr. Met at Citi Field. It’s less clear whether you could get him to come to your child’s birthday party without a fee.

I love Mr. Met but to tell you the truth he’s not a great conversationalist, he never has anything to say, kinda like Ed Coleman’s Mets Reports on WFAN

A formal business card, complete with the prominent designation: “Owner”.

Only if I can get a business card with a picture of me and Jeffey that says “I’m With Stupid”

And if you are a wealthy doctor, commodities trader or real estate mogul who wants to try to swat the ball over the newly pulled-in outfield fences at Citi Field on a Mets day off, you are entitled to attend what appears to be an exclusive kind of fantasy camp: “Owners’ workout day.”

Yeah great idea so I hit a ball out over the right center field fence and David Wright drops down in the fetal position sobbing and sucking his thumb

Parking will not be a problem for new owners, the document makes clear. A single spot at the ballpark is reserved for anyone who signs on for $20 million. The chance to throw out a game’s first pitch will be an annual privilege. Every minority owner will be assigned a team executive, who will be charged with tending to an array of possible needs, season tickets for family members among them. The document suggests, however, that those tickets will cost money beyond the $20 million investment.

Parking is not problem for me now, the 7 train “parks” at the Willets Pt station and then picks me up at the same place after the game, for $4.50 round trip, such a bargain. An assigned team exec? No way, I want my own usher, in fact I want the fat usher with the long greasy hair in a ponytail in the field level who was telling everyone to leave after the final out of last game of the season just so I can fire the fucker. By the way as a minority owner can I fire and hire people? Forget throwing out the first pitch you can keep all the perks just give me that privilege and you have a deal.

 

Moving on, it looks like the reports of the Mets shutting down their Rookie League Kingsport team was erroneous; it’s the Gulf Coast Mets who play on the back fields of St. Lonesome that will be axed. Either way this is not good news and just proves that full blown bankruptcy for the Skill Sets is on the horizon as they nickel and dime their way as owners of NYC’s National League baseball team.  When you can’t afford to run a minor league team at the lowest level of pro ball it’s really a cry for help.

Pretty soon all they will close all the concession stands at Citi Field and every game will feature a Pot Luck Dinner. Bring your own plates and eating utensils too.

Word on the street is Wayne Hagin will not be back in Mets radio booth next season. Hagin is a nice guy but I won’t miss him and I doubt many other Mets fans will either, he just did not click with the fan base, a fan base I might add that is spoiled due to the great announcers of Mets games over the years (no not you Lorne Brown or you Steve Zabriski) the names being mentioned to replace Hagin are Sirrus/XM’s and former Mets GM Jim Duquette who is terrific on MLB Radio, Ed Coleman (thumbs down) Chris Carlin (no thank you) and Billy Sample ( no Mets or NY ties so no way)   but the man I nominate to work side by side with Howie Rose is Kevin Burkhardt. Burkhardt is currently the radio play by play voice of the Dallas Cowboys and has been with SNY covering the Mets as an in game reporter, studio host and play by play man as well.  With all due respect the gentlemen mention in the NY Post article for the job, Burkhardt’s name should be at the top of the list.

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COM’ON JOSE SIGN WITH THE FISH ALREADY SO WE CAN GET ON WITH OUR OFF SEASON

Photo from Bleacher Report

 

From watching Sandy Alderson with Kevin Burkhardt  on Mets Hot Stove, I come to the conclusion that when he took the job last year and looked over the landscape of the organization , he couldn’t believe the mess it was in. One of the things he spoke about last year that had me singing his praise was putting together a uniform system of teaching the Mets farm hands the right way to play baseball. One of the glaring weaknesses we saw last year from the major league team was the lack of understanding baseball fundamentals and baseball instinct.   Alderson realized that the way the Mets were conducting player development was so deficient that a major changes had to be made.

Fast forward to this off season.  Alderson has just finished his first season as the Mets baseball boss and what he saw up close and personal is what shapes his thinking for this off season. He saw a team that when hit by injury was deficient in depth at the Triple A level, sure some of the call ups played above and beyond and the team for the majority of the season was known as hard working and never giving up, a testament to the manager (who lit into his team when they slacked off, again something we haven’t seen here in years), but Alderson saw that there is no New York quick fix here, this rebuilding of the Mets will take some time.

Yes, this is a rebuild, from the way the organization is viewed by outsiders (if Alderson could just get the Skill Sets to go underground for say the next 10 years that would be major plus in rebuilding the brand)and the way it’s looked at by other players and front office types throughout baseball.  The later has improved a lot under Alderson, the former, well, that will take more time.

When Burkhardt asked about signing Reyes, and the fact that the majority of Mets fans are clamoring for him to be resign by any means necessary, Alderson explained how this is not going to happen, a six year deal for Reyes would be a disaster for the organization. I loved Burkhardt’s  follow up question where he brought up that Alderson mentioned that the release of Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo had to do somewhat with fan sentiment, Alderson explained, while the voice of the people played a bit of a part, it was more the poor performance of both players that led to them becoming ex-Mets.

Now Reyes not returning will not be due to poor performance by him but by poor performance of the team and the fact that the Mets are at least two seasons away from being a pennant winning factor.  You don’t need someone to tell you that Mets fans, in your heart of hearts you know it. So to give Reyes a long term deal and tie up money that will be better spent on getting the part or parts needed to put the club over the top in 2013 or 2014 is a better investment. I agree 100 %.

There are still some of us among the Mets faithful that want to spend and spend and spend. First, it’s hard to spend what you don’t have.  The ownership is doesn’t have the money to throw around as in years past and that may be the best piece of news this off season. I guess once the Mets season ends some of you stop watching baseball because if you did you’d realize that you can win with a $90-$100 mil payroll, you just have to know how to spend your money wisely. Alderson does and he will but it won’t happen overnight. Just stay patience and let him and his staff do its work, the man’s track record shows this could work in positive way.

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METS TEAM WITH THE NFCA AND R.O.C.K. LONG ISLAND TO HOST CELIAC DISEASE AWARENESS NIGHT THIS FRIDAY AT CITI FIELD

I recived this press release from the Mets and I’m very happy to pass it on to you guys:

 

FLUSHING, N.Y., May 25, 2011 – The New York Mets,
the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) and Raising Our Celiac Kids
(R.O.C.K.) Long Island have teamed to host Celiac Disease Awareness Night this Friday,
May 27 at Citi Field when the Mets take on the Philadelphia Phillies at 7:10 p.m.

Fans will be treated
to pre-game activities in the Left Field Landing designed to raise awareness of
celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder triggered by the protein gluten found in
wheat, barley and rye.  Along with a
visit by Mr. Met and a menu of gluten-free food and beverages, SNY Field
Reporter Kevin Burkhardt, who suffers from celiac disease, will be on hand to
host a silent auction of sports memorabilia and special packages, including an
opportunity to shadow Burkhardt pre-game at a Mets home game and a chance to
watch the Mets take batting practice from the field.

The Mets have gluten
free options available at every game at the Kozy Shack Gluten Free Stand,
located in the Taste of the City on Field Level in Right Field, which offers a
variety of Kozy Shack puddings and gels, sausage and peppers, hot dogs,
hamburgers, buns and Redbridge beer. These options will also be available in
the Left Field Landing on this special night.

The View’s ElisabethHasselbeck, who also suffers from the disease, will be honored before the game
for her contributions in the Celiac community. Hasselbeck has written a best-selling
book “The G Free Diet” about the disease and started her own line of gluten
free protein bars called nogii.

Celiac disease affectsone in every 100 Americans.  Cases of
celiac disease have increased fourfold since the 1950’s, yet 90% of those
affected by the ailment live undiagnosed.
Left untreated, celiac disease can lead to further complications such as
autoimmune diseases, osteoporosis, thyroid disease and some cancers.  Currently, the only known treatment for
celiac disease is a complete gluten-free diet.
Citi Field offers several gluten-free concessions stands for fans all
season long.

Tickets for Celiac
Disease Awareness Night can be purchased through Mets.com/celiac or by calling (718)
507-TIXX.  Net proceeds from the night
will go towards celiac education and awareness programs through the NFCA and
R.O.C.K. Long Island.  Fans purchasing tickets through this offer will receive a Mets ticket holder and a
lanyard.

About the National
Foundation for Celiac Awareness:

The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness of celiac disease in order to gain prompt and accurate diagnoses for those suffering, supporting the health and wellbeing of those with the disease, and facilitating research that will better understand the disorder and find a cure. For more information, visit www.celiaccentral.org.

About Raising Our
Celiac Kids Long Island:

Raising Our Celiac
Kids (R.O.C.K.) Long Island is a free support group for parents, families and
friends of kids on a gluten-free diet. R.O.C.K.
Long Island is raising funds to benefit the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia
University which is the premier Center in the United States that provides
comprehensive medical care, including nutrition, for adult and pediatric
patients with celiac disease.  The Center is diagnosing and treating more
than 2,800 patients annually from around the world.  For more information, visit www.rockli.com.

 

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WELCOME BACK R.A. DICKEY

A few observations on last night Mets win over the NY Highlanders:

Reports of the demise of R.A. Dickey and his knuckleball have been greatly exaggerated. The Dickster was spot on with his Dance of the Sphere With 108 Stitches, that floated through the Bronx night. The Highlanders got to R.A. for one run, on a home run by Mark Texiera that just nudge itself over the right field wall of Cheap Knock Off Stadium.  At Citi Field, Ruben Tejada gets a P4 in the score book on that bloop.

I haven’t watched many Highlander games this season but after watching them last night, my question to Highlander fans is “do they always look this feeble”?

If you thought I was a Terry Collins fanboy, how about the Mets TV announcing team? Gary, Keith, Ron and Bobby O were gushing about the job that TC has done with this team. If you’re still not convinced that this team is in tune with the manager, then how about this. Last week after a Mets win, in his post game presser, Collins out of the blue singled out the struggling Josh Thole for a great job he did behind the plate and for some great at bats. Last night when Kevin Burkhardt spoke to Daniel Murphy after the game and wanted to know about the HR he hit that proved to be the game winner, all Murph wanted to talk about was the outstanding job Dickey and the bullpen did. The Mets are starting to take on the manager’s personality.

All this Rapture, end of the world talk we’ve been hearing is pure bullshit. Nothing will happen until Justin Turner says it happens.

After watching Jose Reyes last night all I kept think was the Skill Sets better sell whatever else the own to raise money to keep Jose. If that means selling all their homes, cars and boats and moving into the Queensbridge Houses, then so be it.

Frankie Rodriguez has been so good so far this season that I only eat two Tums and one teaspoon of Maalox when he comes into a game .

The one big drawback tonight is the game is on FOX

Felt bad for F-Mart and Ruben Tejada last night as they were disrespected   by home plate ump Tim Timmons last night. F-Mart motioned to Timmons for time as Freddy Garcia went into slow down mode in the 7th and his request was denied and a strike was called as Garcia threw a pitch after Martinez stepped out of the box. Timmons then called a third strike on Tejada in the 9th inning to halt the Mets attempt  to get an insurance run.

 

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AHHHHHHHHHHH BASEBALL

Observations from the first game of spring training and how nice it is to talk about on the field issues:

The best part of the game for me were the pitchers who worked yesterday. Collectively, the six pitchers used struck out 9 and walked 3. Of the three walks Jenry Meija walked 1 and Manny Acosta walked 2. In fact , Acosta  was the only pitcher used who had trouble throwing strikes (8/7 BB/K)

Meija  was not only effective with his breaking ball but he looked happy and relaxed.  It’s just one appearance and maybe it’s just my giddiness over seeing baseball for the first time this year but my fear that the past administration may have ruined Mejia has been somewhat relieved.

I had and still have no idea who John Lujan is.

Fernando  Martinez had a throwing error and ran into a railing in foul territory chasing a fly ball and looked like he banged his knee and was limping a bit. All I could think of is, will he ever make it in the big leagues and if in order to keep Pedro Beato or Brad Emaus in the organization is via trade then hopefully the Orioles or Blue Jays would take F-Mart. Then Martinez goes and cracks a two run home run to tie the game with the replay showing just a beautiful swing and I totally change my mind about him. This is what is so frustrating about F-Mart. I hope this kid stays healthy all year and gets 450-500 AB’s in Buffalo so we can finally find out if he’s  worth keeping or if he becomes a very valuable trading chip.

It’s spring training for the Mets announcers as well. It was wonderful to turn on the TV at 1PM yesterday and see Gary Cohen, Ron Darling, Keith Hernandez  and “SNY Celeb” Kevin Burkhardt but Cohen made the first faux pau of the season as he referred to Sandy Alderson as “Sandy Martinez” . Hernandez picked up where he left off last season with his marvelous comments, yesterday’s Mex-isim was calling  Braves catcher Brian McCann “portly.  Can’t wait until he gets a gander at Bartolo Colon.

Mets Twitterverse lit up when Willie Harris belted a 2 run HR to tie the game in the bottom of the 10th inning but the most impressive part of Harris day was when in the middle of being interviewed by Kevin Burkhardt , Harris just stopped as F-Mart hit his home run and started cheering and then went to congratulated him then he went back to the interview.

Nick Evans is not going down without a fight.

Scott Hairston is going to be a guy we talk about this season in a very positive way. Harriston is going to win a few game for the Mets this year. Hairston has pop in his bat and will be a very useful 4th outfielder.

I’ve been killing Evan Roberts of WFAN all week for his non-stop NJ Nets talk and going ga-ga over the Deron Williams deal (I would say the NJ Nets have the smallest fan base of any team in the NY metro area. The NY Red Bulls of the MLS have a bigger fan base than the Nets) but today I have to give him mad props for his interview with Sandy Alderson yesterday.

It was good to see Jason Bay get a base hit in his second and last at bat as he looked awful on his time up in the first inning. After the game he did say he felt rusty but he feels great.

Let’s hope like last year with the Dickey jokes that Mets fans get the Hu Who? Jokes out of their system by the end of spring training. Chen lu Hu looks like the best defensive player on the team. No joke.

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THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN, TONIGHT AT 10PM ET ON BLOG TALK RADIO

Join me tonight at 10PM ET for THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN on Blog Talk Radio. My guests will be Kevin Burkhardt of SNY TV and  Ben Kabak of the NY Yankees site River Ave Blues.

If you can’t join us live, you can always here the podcast right here at Kranepool Society (lower right sidebar) or at the show page on Blog Talk Radio or as a download on iTunes.

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SATURDAY OCT 2 2010 THE BEST DAY OF THE SEASON AT CITI FIELD

As sad as the season has been with another post season less autumn in store for Mets fans, yesterday was a glorious day at Citi Field.  It was Gary, Keith and Ron Day at the ballpark which is sponsored by Pitch in For A Good Cause, a charity endeavor run by Gary Cohen’ wife Lynn who by the way, would make a great GM of the Mets as she is the most organized and passionate about her work  more than any one currently involved in the Mets organization.   I got to meet and take pictures with Gary and Ron Darling (I’ll post them up sometime today) but I was most happy to meet Kevin Burkhardt who I’ve enjoyed trading Tweets with all season. Kevin is also a reader of this site and for that I must have thanked him a hundred times. As great as Kevin is on TV is an even nicer guy in person.

I was so happy to meet up with Kathy Foronjy and Joe Coburn who I first met about five years ago when they were starting to film their award winning documentary  on Mets fandom,  Mathematically Alive. Kathy and Joe and Stephen (sorry I never got your last name) were kind enough to follow myself and my family as we gathered to go on the outfield warning track for the National Anthem and I thank them for that.

It was a nice afternoon to commiserate with fellow Mets bloggers Dana Brand and Greg Prince, two gentlemen who should be on the search committee for the new baseball czar of the Mets.

Top that off with home runs by Chris Carter, Lucas Duda (a majestic blast that went about 15 rows up in the Pepsi Porch) and David Wright, who really Cadillaced around the bases after getting buzzed by Tyler Clippard, I was waiting for Wright to do the Willie Montanez stutter step at each base.

I watched Jerry Manuel make a strange move by bringing R.A. Dickey into the game in relief in the 8th inning. On the ride home listening to Mets Extra, Wayne Hagin felt the media was going overboard on their questioning of the move (Hagin is clueless and in fact I wouldn’t mind seeing him get a pink slip either) , as Manuel said he wanted to show whoever is here in the future, that Dickey could pitch on his bullpen throw day and to let Dickey get an ovation from the fans. From reading Dickey’s locker room response it doesn’t seem like he was totally in agreement with the move, but R.A. being the well spoken and savvy guy we have grown to love, handled it perfectly.

No matter how happy you are that there will be a change in the manger and GM for the Mets and make no mistake both Jerry Manuel and Omar Minaya should be fired, the way the Skill Sets are handling this is really bush league, but then again when it comes to comes to these difficult moves the Skill Sets have never been known for being classy.

In the next week, I’ll be posting my who should stay and who should go list but I’ll say one thing here about the next GM, he or she should come from outside the organization.  This organization needs a whole new set of front office personnel and if the Skill Sets want to keep Minaya on payroll then make him a scout and send him out on the road and let it be known he has absolutely no say in any personnel moves. If he wants to travel Latin America then by all means go but I really want the next person in charge  to be THE person in charge. With Jeffey Skill Sets still involved though that might be a pipe dream.

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