HEY METS FANS, SANDY DOESN’T CARE WHAT YOU WANT AND THAT’S A GOOD THING

Sandy Alderson could not care less what you think.  He knows if it were up to Mets fans, not only would Wally Backman be the manger of the team but everyone associated with the 1986 Mets, with the exception of Tim McCarver and Steve Zabriskie, would have some kind of meaningful job in the organization. Alderson knows how much we all worship our last conquering heroes and he couldn’t give a rats ass. That’s what I like about Sandy Alderson and it’s clear he’s the right man to run the Mets.

There is no other fan base in this town that is as sentimental about their past than Mets fan.  We savor and love to reminisce about seasons past, not just the good but the bad as well. As the years go by, the great seasons become immortalized and the bad seasons start to have redeeming qualities, it’s just how we are; we can’t help it, we’re an emotional bunch. That’s why we are in no position to say who the next manager of the Mets should be.

It looks as though Wally Backman will not be considered for the Mets manager’s job. There will be outrage about this in the Land of Orange and Blue as how dare Sandy Alderson not give us the man we want.  Make no mistake I love Wally as much as you and that’s the problem.

Last year going to Brooklyn Cyclones game was better than any of the previous seasons going to the ball park on Coney Island because I was so pumped up about Backman being the manager. I bored my son to tears with stories about Wally and how he and Lenny Dykstra were the one-two punch at the top of the order that set up a kick ass middle of the lineup of Hernandez-Carter-Strawberry and how Backman never had a clean uniform and would anything on the field to win. It’s this kind fanboy admiration that makes me recues myself on picking the next Mets manager.  Of course my heart says Wally Backman but my head says let a guy with no ties to the organization and a guy who has succeed in this job before pick the manager that he sees will fit to carry out his plan.

There are some in the younger demographics of Mets fans who are anti-Backman and who are tired of hearing about the 86’ers. I can see their point. It’s similar to my late mother who one day when friends of hers and my father had come to visit and part of the conversation swung to the “good old days”. Nothing got my mother’ ire up when the “old biddies” pined for the ‘good old days” when bread was three cents and milk was a nickel.  My mother would tell them “yeah and when you got the flu it killed you” which was followed with an eye roll and then a lecture later that those biddies were horse’s arse’s.  But  while the those Mets teams of the mid 80’s should have won more than they did, I can’t forget that going to Shea Stadium back in the day was like celebrating New Years Eve, Spring Break and Madi Grais every night , it was THE place to be. Maybe $iti Field will be that way someday instead of being the catering hall/shopping mall it is now. But I digress……

Whoever Sandy Alderson and his All Star Band of front office folks pick to manage the Mets there will be outrage by this passionate of all passionate fan bases.  If it were up to the fans, Backman would be manager, Doc Gooden the pitching coach, Darryl Strawberry the hitting coach and Lenny Dykstra the 3rd base coach and Mazz as Wally’s bench coach. That’s thinking with your heart and with unbridled emotion. Alderson is thinking with his head and is taking his time to make his decision because (a) it doesn’t look like any other manager hires are in the works (if you want to count the Pirates job fine) and (b) the manager right now is not important because the Mets will not be signing any big ticket free agents  this off season.

All I can say is let’s put some faith in Alderson, a man with a winning track record that he’ll make the right choice of manager . Of course the first time the Mets go on a five game losing streak all bets are off.

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LET THE MANGERIAL BEAUTY PAGENT BEGIN

Now that the Mets have a GM in place and ready to roll, the next step seems to be hiring a manager (although Sandy Alderson seems to want his Cabinet in place first as we hear his wish list of Lieutenants include J.P. Riccardi, Paul DiPodesta and Grady Fuson all outstanding candidates) and from looking around the Mets blogisphere there is great discussion on who that hire should be.

There are Wally Backman supporters as well as Backman detractors. There are folks pushing a Chip Hale regime (which I’m starting to sway over to) and there are Lee Mazzilli fans as well (which I can not fathom) then there is a candidate that we can agree on none of us want (Bob Melvin) and one the majority of us want (Bobby Valentine) but that won’t happen either.

So who do you support as the next field boss of the NY Mets? Alderson said all the right things on Friday about finding a man to fit this job. He acknowledged that a guy like Art Howe is totally wrong for this team and this city. He likes the fiery kick ass type (don’t we all?) but at the same time he has to be on board with the organizational philosophy and be that philosophy’s messenger. The manger must have the savvy to handle the pressure of the day in day out media, which I feel will be a huge issue in the interview process as Alderson saw first hand the amount of media that covers baseball in this town on Friday. With all that, the manager must have the respect and attention of his players and the ability to keep an even personality through goods times and bad and to instill confidence in his team. That to me was Jerry Manuel’s biggest failure as Mets manager. The stars of this team have a low level of self esteem and were too high after wins and too dejected after losses, so the next manger has to be a part-time psychologists as well. It’s not a job for a rank amateur.

John Gibbons saw that and removed his name from consideration. Bobby Valentine would be perfect for the job but there is just too much ego for him to succeed under this regime. I really hope that Alderson doesn’t ruin the honeymoon by even thinking about Bob Melvin, a younger version of Art Howe who would be eaten alive by the MSM, bloggers and this knee jerk fan base. So who does it leave?

I was a gung ho Backman guy but I can see the point to the anti-Backman crowd as to the overload of hero worship that goes toward anyone who played for the 1986 World Champion Mets. I’m as much to blame for that as anyone; it was great time to be a Mets fan. Al of us from that era thought this was beginning of a Mets Dynasty. It never happened. No need for revisionist history here. What makes us fans that are Ga-Ga over the 86ers is the fact that we want to relive the 80’s again especially my shoulder length hair (did I just type that out loud?) when the Mets were Kings and maybe we think a Backman managerial stewardship would do that? There is no job Backman wants more than the Mets managers job and it’s problems from his personal life that have kept him from a big league job but after watching him in Brooklyn last year it will be interesting to see how well he interviews for the job.

As I said I was a strong Backman supporter but lately I’m more and more intrigued by both Ken Oberfell and Chip Hale. Just like Backman these men have paid their dues in baseball. Both men have won at all levels of the game. Both are strong in the fundamentals department and have the respect of their players. Now do they have the ability to deal with the day to day bullshit that comes with the job, well unless Sandy Alderson would like to invite me to join him in the interview process, I don’t know.

Terry Collins is another candidate I’ve heard mentioned but he might be better suited for player development role. Clint Hurdle’s name has come up as well and he would fit the personality part of the job but he seems to be a long shot in my book.

The best part of this whole procedure of hiring a manager is that I have total confidence in the man doing the hiring. I haven’t had this much confidence in a Mets GM since Frank Cashen ran the club and wait didn’t he run the club in 1986?

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SHE’S THE QUEEN OF THE CURLERS

We pause our Mets coverage here at The Eddie Kranepool Society to focus on my new female crush. Ms. Cheryl  Bernard of Canada.  Not only is Ms. Bernardt a gorgeous female from the  Great White North  she is also a kick-ass Curler, unlike that choking American dog John Shuster, who found his sorry Curling ass on the pine yesterday as the U.S Men’s Curling team defeated France 4-3. But I digress back to the lovely Cheryl.

Ms. Bernard is the Skip of the Canadian team as in Skipper as in Main Babe in Charge and she takes her job very very seriously. Last night she was brilliant in leading her Canadian team to victory over the hotties from Denmark.  This match was so good and entertaining that I stayed with it while my Celtics were running roughshod over the Blazers.

I can’t  get enough Curling or of Cheryl Bernard (wink, wink)

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R.I.P. DOCK ELLIS

HGH? Steroids? HA, that’s for pussies, try pitching after dropping a tab of acid and tell me how your performance was enhanced. That’s what Dock Ellis did against the San Diego Padres back in 1970 and in one of the most incredible performance in baseball history, pitched a no hitter.

Not only could Dock pitch whale trippin’ he had a kick ass attitude when it came to taking no shit from the opposition like when it came to the Big Red Machine:

 

{Perhaps Ellis’ most startling act occurred on May 1, 1974, when he tied a major league record by hitting three batters in a row. In spring training that year, Ellis sensed the Pirates had lost the aggressiveness that drove them to three straight division titles from 1970 to 1972. Furthermore, the team now seemed intimidated by Cincinnati’s “Big Red Machine.” “Cincinnati will bullshit with us and kick our ass and laugh at us,” Ellis said. “They’re the only team that talk about us like a dog.” Ellis single-handedly decided to break the Pirates out of their emotional slump, announcing that “We gonna get down. We gonna do the do. I’m going to hit these motherfuckers.” True to his word, in the first inning of the first regular-season game he pitched against the Reds, Ellis hit leadoff batter Pete Rose in the ribs, then plunked Joe Morgan in the kidney, and loaded the bases by hitting Dan Driessen in the back. Tony Perez, batting cleanup, dodged a succession of Ellis’ pitches to walk and force in a run. The next hitter was Johnny Bench. “I tried to deck him twice,” Ellis recalled. “I threw at his jaw, and he moved. I threw at the back of his head, and he moved.” At this point, Pittsburgh manager Danny Murtaugh removed Ellis from the game. But his strategy worked: the Pirates snapped out of their lethargy to win a division title in 1974, while the Reds failed to win their division for the first time in three years.}

 

and the man had the balls to wear hair curlers 

Ellis did time with the Mets back in 1979 when he was at the end of his career, too bad as his attitude would be a breath of fresh air in Flushing these days. 

Big tip of the Blue and Orange Mets cap to BBTF for the fantastic link.  

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