Win A Copy of KNUCKLEBALL The Movie on DVD !

The outstanding documentary “Knuckleball” will be released on DVD on April 2nd and the good folks at MPI/Film buff have offered me the chance to give away 3 DVD’s of this great documentary that follows Tim Wakefield, Charlie Hough, Phil Neikro and of course R.A. Dickey as they talk about how the most baffling pitch in baseball, the Knuckleball.

This DVD is a MUST HAVE for all baseball fans and having seen the movie I cannot recommend this film enough.   So when I was asked by the people at MPI/Film to participate in the giveaway of the Knuckleball DVD, I jumped at the chance.

So what we’ll do is starting on Friday March 15th during the day on my Twitter account @kranepool I will ask a trivia question and the person with the  first correct answer that is Tweeted back to me will win a copy of the Knuckleball DVD.

So brush up on your knuckleball trivia and follow my twitter account. One DVD per person and this contest is open to residents of the Continental USA only. Good luck.

 

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R.A. Dickey at the DREAM Charter School in Harlem

Yesterday I was fortunate to be invited to the DREAM Charter School in Harlem where there was a school assembly to celebrate National Family Literacy Month. As part of the festivities, R.A. Dickey was there to speak to the kids and distribute over 1,200 new books to the school and to the students themselves to bring home and start their own personal library.  This was all done with the help of Capital One Bank and The Heart of America Foundation.

It was a thrill to watch Dickey interact with the children and how taken they were to him. I can see Dickey running a school like DREAM after his retirement as he not only has a gift on the pitcher’s mound with his extraordinary knuckleball l but he also exceptional way with kids as well. R.A. stressed to the children that they should strive to be whatever they aspire to do in life and not let the “dream busters” deter them from their goals.

Check out The Heart of America and Capital One’s Book by Book program for more information about the good deeds these two organizations are doing for kids and children’s literacy.

After Dickey finished speaking to the kindergarten class at DREAM, he was able to give myself and the media members a few minutes for a Q & A session, which you can listen to by clicking here.

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Hip! Hip! R.A. !

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Congratulations to R.A. Dickey on his winning the 2012 NL Cy Young Award. Here is a clip from the film Knuckleballwhere Dickey shows his craft

 

In a perfect world, R.A. Dickey would be a Met 4 Life. For an organization run as bad as a Guy Fieri restaurant that also suffers from public mocking like no other team in town that doesn’t have a bench warming Christian QB, through all that muck and mire there has been one beacon of enlightenment for Mets fans. His name is Robert Allen Dickey.

Dickey’s rough road traveled in his life and baseball career has been rewarded with his being named the 2012 recipient of the NL Cy Young Award. This award does not just legitimize the pitch that made him a star, the knuckleball, but it goes to show how sweat equity in a craft and a belief in one’s self pay off.

You would think the announcement of Dickey winning the Cy Young would set off a huge celebration in the Land of Orange and Blue. Mets fans should be making sure they secure a ticket for April 1st 2013, opening day of the baseball season at Citi Field. Mets fans should have a smile and warm feeling during this off season just thinking about hearing Mets P.A. announcer Alex Anthony make the following proclamation:

“Ladies and Gentlemen….boys and girls ….please direct your attention to the area in front of the pitchers mound where Commissioner Bud Selig has special presentation…..”

At that point the sellout crowd rises as one with a ghost of Shea Stadium roar as Selig with Cy Young plaque in hand presents it to today’s starting pitcher, R.A. Dickey. Dickey tries to say a few words to the fans, a fan base that has fallen in love with not just the pitcher but the man and his life story and his rebirth as a husband, father and baseball player, but he can’t as the crowd of 40,000 Mets fans are serenading him with chants of “R.A DICK-EY, clap clap…clap, clap..clap R.A. DICK-EY, clap, clap….clap, clap, clap…… “What a scene….what pride in being a Mets fan….what…..may…..never….happen…..

I understand that discussing trading Dickey is an option. As you and I think with our hearts, Sandy Alderson thinks with his head and is trying to obtain players who will help turn this team around but who would you get back in trade that would push the Mets to that level and is better than having R.A. Dickey on this team? It’s not like Dickey is looking for a big time deal either, a 3yr/$25-$27 mil deal would be more than suffice for him.  Instead of dealing away a guy like Dickey the Mets need more players like Dickey.

Here is a player who in 2010 played with a plantar fasciitis injury and took pain killer injections on his day to pitch. Last season he played with a torn stomach muscle that he waited until the season was over to get surgery on.  You can’t put a price tag on a will like that.

The Mets love to monitor social media and I’m sure they were all over Twitter and Facebook last night so that means they saw the reaction of the fan base to the announcement of Dickey winning the Cy Young. The Mets brass was in attendance for the last game of the 2011 season at Citi Field when Mets fans skipped school and work and any other responsibilities they had in life to come see a second division team close out another lack luster season that featured the now annual second half collapse only because R.A. Dickey was pitching for his 20th win. Those new to the organization BS (Before Shea) were stunned by the support and the atmosphere Mets fan displayed that day. If the organization wants to keep that fan feeling and want to give as David Howard calls them “the dormant Mets fan” a reason to buy a ticket to a game at Citi Field, they will extend Dickey’s deal and reap the benefits.  Unless Alderson can get back Mike Trout the best move is to not move R.A. Dickey.  

 

 

 

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KNUCKLEBALL! The Movie Will Be Released On Video On Demand On 9-18-12

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The movie KNUCKLEBALL!! will be released on September 18th on Video on Demand and also on September 20th the film will be shown at the IFC at 323 6th Ave & W 3 St in Manhattan as a charity event as price of your ticket allows kids from The Bronx Charter School for Excellence, Children’s Aid Society, Harlem RBI, and New York Cares to attended the screening. The film will be screening all week at the IFC Center with regular show times as well.
I got to see the film at a screening at the Tribeca Film Festival and I can’t wait to see it again besides being a must see for Mets fans as our own R.A. Dickey stars in the film it’s just a great story of perseverance and determination

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I’m Still Mad R.A. Dickey Is Not Starting The All Star Game And I’m Not To Affraid To Say It

I got myself in a bit of a Twitter pissing match today over the news that R.A. Dickey was not picked by Tony LaRussa to start the All Star Game tomorrow night. I, like the majority of Mets fans, are totally piss off that Dickey is not starting the game. I made it known on Twitter how pissed I am and how wrong it is that Dickley will not be on the bump for the bottom of the first inning tomorrow night.

I’m not a fan of Tony LaRussa who I’ve always felt is a self-important prick and his decision to start Matt Cain over Dickey just solidified that opinion of the so called genius. I have many reasons why I feel so strongly about Dickey starting the game tomorrow night, he’s earned it with a tremendous first half, his story is one of the most compelling in sports and is a lesson in perseverance and verifying that hard work pays off and he plays for the NY Mets.

Part of the nastiness of my Twit fit was being called out for getting too emotional about Dickey not getting the start and then I was hit with the always clever “who gives a shit who starts the game” I do. I care for the reasons I mention and the fact that he is a NY Met, the baseball team I live and die with. I don’t give a rats ass about any other player who was snubed by not being named to the team or the fact that Matt Cain has pitched well this season, all I care about is a guy writing one of the best rags to riches story is not in the spotlight because of a retired manager who had to have his final “look at me moment” didn’t do the right thing by giving the All Star Game,  a game most baseball fans have grown tired of, a reason to tune in to see the best that the American League has to offer try to hit that mysterious of pitches, the knuckleball and not just any knuckleball but an Angry Knuckleball.

The same folks who took me to task about my “emotional outburst” over Dickey not getting the start are folks I’ve had a bit of trouble understanding most recently.   I’ve tried to explain that the word fan comes from fanatic and when it comes to the teams I root for especially the NY Mets I am proud to say I’m a fanatic, and when I feel the Mets or a Mets player is unjustly treated I react and I’ll never apologize for that.

What’s makes the, I don’t want to say attack as that’s a bit strong but the nasty tone of the tweets is one of the tweeters who claims to be a big NY Rangers fan but felt it would be a shame if Martin Broduer left the NJ Devils. I tweeted back” fuck Marty Broduer, the Devils and Newark NJ”. I mean if you are a true Blue Rangers fan why would you give a rat’s ass if Broduer left Newark for say Toronto or Montreal? Fuck ‘em. Henrik Lundqvist is better any way.

This would be like saying it would be a shame if Jimmy Rollins went to an American League team, are you fucking kidding?

R.A. Dickey is too classy to rip the Genius for not starting him and he doesn’t have to , as R.A. has enough Mets fanatics to handle this injustice for him.

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Check Out Kult of Mets Personalities Podcast With Charlie Hough and Phil Neikro

 

Oh how the knuckleball has come back in style and what two better guys to talk about by Charlie Hough and Phil Neikro, who have both mentored R.A. Dickey. On a hot humid day, sit back, relax, crack open a cold Rheingold and enjoy the show.  

 

 

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United CardinalsBloggers-NY Mets Bloggers Progressive Game Blog for Mets vs. Cards 6/2/12

This post is part of a progressive game blog as a joint venture between members of the St. Louis Cardinals chapter of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance and the NY Mets chapter of the BBA. Members of both chapters have been assigned an inning to write about on their blogs with your’s truly asked to write a Mets prospective  post game wrap up of today’s game. At the bottom of this post are the links to the other Cardinals/Mets bloggers involved in this endeavor

 

To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the New York Mets, the organization has brought back many of the fans favorite things such as blue and orange as the team’s primary colors, the pinstripe uni and blue cap, blue outfield walls, Banner Day and last but not least, winning baseball.

The only way R.A. Dickey would have been able to top the historic no hitter tossed by Johan Santana last night would have been to pitch a perfect game. You know what? He came damn close.

Dickey scattered seven hits in a complete game shutout win over the St. Louis Cardinals by a score of 5-0. Dickey has taken his game to another level this season. With the win today he is 8-1 with a 2.69 ERA and a head spinning 70 K in 73.2 IP, this from a pitcher who today threw his knuckleball at a Bugs Bunny- like 54 mph.

The Mets were led on offense by whom else? David Wright. The Mets have had a lot of firsts between last year and this year, the dearly departed Jose Reyes won the first (tainted) batting title ever by a Mets player last year and of course Johan Santana with the first no hitter in franchise history last night, so maybe we are looking at the first NL MVP award ever won by a Met with David Wright? The way this season is going never say never.

Cardinals starting pitcher Lance Lynn, will be staring at the ceiling of his hotel room tonight, trying to figure out how the hell he gave up three runs in the Mets half of the second inning. Ike Davis led with the only solid hit of the inning, a single to right field. Fourth string shortstop Omar Quintanilla was hit on the left wrist with a pitch to make it first and second for the Mets, no one out. The faster than your average catcher, Josh Thole reached on an infield single and the Mets had the bags juiced with no one out.

When you look back after the Thole hit, Lynn should have been out of the inning and if he did escape unscathed and unscored upon this could have been a whole different ball game, alas the defensively changed Matt Adams botched a play on an R.A. Dickey ground ball hit by not catching a toss from second baseman Daniel Descalsco allowing Davis to score. Lynn got Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Andres Torres to ground out but instead of being down 1-0, runs scored on both outs leaving the Mets with a 3-0 lead and Lynn and the Cards trying to figure out what just happened.

The Mets tacked on two more runs on a wild pitch and a David Wright new Citi Field dimension home run.

There are still many amongst the ranks of Mets fans that have not seen the light with the 2012 Mets. These are not your “Willie Randolph, Jerry Manuel we couldn’t care less Mets” there is finally accountability and an esprit de corps in the Mets clubhouse led by field manager Terry Collins.  The toughest thing for a manager to do is getting his players to buy in to what he’s selling and in his second year at the managerial helm, the Mets are buying in big time. Eat your heart out Mark Zuckeneberg.

For those new to watching Mets baseball in 2012, you got a good view of the new Mets under Terry Collins on Friday night especially if you saw Collins post-game presser as he tried hard to hold his emotions in check when talking about the historic night.

Many of you Cardinals fans reading this post are Missourians hailing form the Show Me State. Well when it comes to the Mets, Mets fans are from the Prove It To Me State so far the proof is on the playing field.

During the off season Mets Executive Vice President David Howard met with few of the Mets Bloggers to discuss the season ahead and the festivities for the 50th anniversary season.  We talked about the low attendance numbers at Citi Field and Howard made a very interesting statement. He said there are a whole lot of Mets fans out there, millions of them but many of them are dormant Mets fans. What he was getting at is there are Mets out there who still root for the team but when they’re losing  they find it hard to come out to the ball park or watch on TV but when the team starts winning they come out of hibernation. After Santana’s no hitter Twitter blew up with so many Mets tweets that the top ten trending topics on Twitter were Mets related. Glad to see the dormant Mets fans come out of the cave.

Pre game United Cardinals Bloggers

1st inn Pitchers Hit Eighth/Subway Squawkers

2nd inn Cards N’ Stuff

3rd inn I 70 Baseball/Mets Fans Four Life

4th inn Rally Birds/STL Sports 360

5th inn Fungoes/Metsrospectus

6th inn On The Outside Corner

7th inn Aaron Miles’ Fastball/Mets Public Record

8th inn Cards Tied For First/Saint Louis Sports

9th inn Balls & Strikes/Mets News Now

Game Recap C70 At The Bat

 

 

 

 

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Last Night’s Loss Still Stings

Photo of great catch by Capt. Kirk from the NY Daily News

There are days the Mets fan base annoys and puzzles me and then there are days I can see they get it, today they get. From reading through my Twitter timeline it seems the majority of Mets fans agree, last night’s loss was the toughest of the season to take.

What has made my day is that Mets blogger extraordinaire, Metstradamus wrote a post on last night’s game that is exactly how I feel, so like a hobo hoping on box car for free ride, if you read Metstradamus post twice, you will get his take and mine on last night’s game.

I will add it was nice to see the maturation of Jon Niese on the mound last night. Niese tried to muscle the ball the first three innings going heavily with his fastball and not keeping the ball down. In the 4th he started to get a good feel for his curve ball and cutter and then pitched more effectively.

I really wish Terry Collins would stop talking about Andres Torres getting the centerfield job back when he returns from the DL. Torres is not even a league average player, so TC and the Mets have to stop acting like there are brining Willie Mays back, Torres had one solid year, he’s 33 years old and he’s not the future of the NY Mets, Kirk Nieuwenhuis is.  The young core of this team is what gives me hope that the future is bright for the Mets. I don’t expect Nieuwenhuis to keep hitting at a .371 clip but I’d rather he’d stay up here go through a dry spell at the plate and learn how to battle through in the big leagues.

It’s easy to dump on Jason Bay for striking out in a big spot but as per the Pitch f/x of his 10th inning at bat against Clay Hensley, the real villain of that AB was home plate ump Kerwin Danley.

Don’t forget tonight is the World Premier of Knuckleball! At the Tribeca Film Festival with a free showing of the film at the Tribeca Drive-In  (World Financial Center Plaza, West Street between Vesey and Liberty Streets) the festivities kick off at 6PM with the film showing at 8PM

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R.A. Dickey Profile In Courage

Of all the things that have happened to me since I started blogging about my beloved NY Mets, the club reaching out to myself and fellow bloggers, granting us access to the team and front office folks has to be the best and most rewarding part of covering the team. If you’ve read my posts from the times I’ve been out to Citi or to any other baseball event where I’ve had the honor of speaking to R.A. Dickey, you know my respect and awe for the man, well if the excerpts of his new book “Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity and the Perfect Knuckleball are any indication how the rest of the book will read, my admiration for Dickey will be off the charts.

It takes a certain kind of courage to come out and bare your soul to the masses as Dickey has done in the excerpts he read yesterday.  If a positive comes out of Dickey’s revelation of sexual abuse as a child and thoughts of suicide as an adult, is the Mets follow through with the promise they made last year of coming out with a PSA on bullying and teen aged suicides. No team in sports has a better spokesperson than R.A. Dickey, the organization shouldn’t pass up this great opportunity to educate the masses.

The blogger-ratzi was invited to Citi Field this past Monday night for a noshing on the newest food offerings at the ball park this season ( I was invited but had to decline the invite since this nasty head cold I have has now made its way to my chest making me more miserable than a normal day, a trip to the doctor is on tap for this afternoon) you can read the reviews from Faith and Fear in Flushing, Mets Police, On The Black, Optimistic Mets Fan  and top Mets foodie Ted Berg .

Great news by the Mets that the family of Gary Carter will be throwing out the first pitch next Thursday at opening day. Shannon of Mets Police has an interesting thought on a surprise that could happen on Thursday.

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COME ON NOW, WAIT A SECOND GUESS!

 

The Mets have lost their share of games this season that would have you sit an ponder for a few minutes before you get on with  your life outside being a Mets fans , but last night’s game , some 12 hours later is still bothering me.  I was lucky enough to have Ed Marcus (rusty Jr.) of The Real Dirty Mets on with me last night after the game on my THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN podcast and we disscused the game plus a lot of other Mets news and views, but back to last night’s game.

Last night Terry Collins managed more with his heart than his head, when he left R.A. Dickey in the game in the 8th inning. I’m not going to kill Collins on the move but I won’t argue with fans who feel  he  left Dickey in too long. Where I take Collins to task is, and not to go all Tim McCarver on you, why do you have Izzy warming up in the pen, and then you don’t use him? Sure Collins brought  Izzy in after Neal  Walker’s  two-run single up the middle to break a 1-1 tie, but the formula all season has been Izzy in the 8th and Frankie Rodz in the 9th which has worked great for most of the season, so why re-write the strategy now?  Well, it seems Collins got caught up in the moment as did all the fans at Citi Field.

R.A. Dickey not only showed guts pitching in pain with his plantar fascia injury that has left him unable to run and walking with a bit of a limp but that did not affect his ability to toss a knuckleball that sashayed better than any contestant on Dancing With The Stars. Maybe it was the warm humid night or just that Dickey got his mojo back but he was vintage Dickster last night.

Every time Dickey came up to bat he was greeted with an ovation that was Seaver-Godden-ess and deservedly so.  Problem for R.A. was the lineup that Terry Collins used last night made a journeyman pitcher like James McDonald look like Dock Ellis, minus the hallucinogenics  of course. I will give McDonald props on curve ball that was just a nasty 12 to 6 hook.

It seemed that Collins was ready to let Dickey pitch a complete game hopefully with a shutout added to the back of his baseball card. Dickey had retired 12 in a row until the 8th inning. After a Ronny Cedeno’ leadoff single, Dickey got two quick outs, then hit a batter and let young James Harrison get another hit off him bringing up Neal Walker who hits much better from the left side than right, so maybe bringing  in Brydak or O’Connor would be the move here.  Collins didn’t think so, it was Dickey’s game to win or lose.

Now Dickey got two quick strikes on Walker but a combination of Dickey letting a knuckler float in the middle of the plate and Walker using good hitting technique and shorting up his swing with two strikes, sent the pitch right up the middle for a two run single which was like a swift kick in the nuts.

If Dickey strikes out Walker there, R.A. and Collins are heroes instead it’s become a second guesser’s paradise. That’s baseball Suzyn.

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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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