If The Mets and Highlanders Are Both Going To Play in NYC On Opening Day Why Play Each Other ?

For some strange reason MLB has decided to have the Mets and Highlanders open the 2013 season at home on the same day and at the same time.  Ridiculous!  Can you imagine the scene at Grand Central Station with fans crisscrossing to the 4 and 7 trains?  Not to mention the added personnel the City of New York will have to put on in the form of police, EMT’s and traffic agents along with the MTA who will have to keep folks on overtime to work the platforms and dispatch. Both teams playing at 1 PM on April 1st was the ultimate Aprils Fool’s joke perpetrated by MLB on NYC baseball fans.

What infuriates me more about this scheduling faux pas is there was an obvious solution; the Mets and Highlanders should have opened the 2013 season against each other.

I’m not a fan of Inter-League play but starting this season, with the Astros exiled to the American League West, MLB now consists of two balanced leagues of 15 team’s apiece. That means every day, there will be an inter-league game played. No more two fortnights of strictly inter-league play, nope, everyday you’ll see AL vs. NL; in fact the Cincinnati Reds will open up at home on April 1st against the LA Angels.  So much for the “traditional” baseball season opener.

From the looks of the attendance figures I seem to be in the minority when it comes to the annual Mets-Highlanders contests, I’ve felt the novelty has worn off and it’s mostly the casual” I got tickets from my uncles-neighbors-cousin who works for JP Morgan Chase-kind of crowd but I think a Mets-Highlanders opening season series would be fabulous .

Think about an opening day Mets-Highlanders tangle for a moment. Both sets of fans have been hibernating during this stormy fall and winter. Both fan bases stare at their WRIGHT 5 jersey’s and JETER 2 jerseys while putting on long underwear as they head out to shovel snow?  Think about the buildup to this opening day to the point that $63 bucks for Promenade seats would be swooped up in minutes.  You wouldn’t as a Mets fan, venture up to the South Bronx for an opening day showdown with the Highlanders then head back to Citi Field for a Mets opening day? Two opening days in one season? Oh Hell yeah!!!!!

In fact since every day is an Inter-League game is the law of the land, every year should be Mets-Highlanders on opening day. Alternate the opening day game each year between Flushing and the South Bronx. Two games at Citi then two games at Highlanders Stadium and vice versa.  Fold into that fan friendly attractions for both sets of fans around the city to celebrate the return of baseball which is also the return of spring and warm weather, a total rebirth of the spirit of fans and all New Yorkers.

Sure you could have a snow storm on April 1 but you could also have a 75 degree day as well. April weather in NYC is a crap shoot. The average temps are 61 degrees for a high and 44 degrees for a low, which makes night games in April nuts. But four day games spilt between Citi Field and Highlanders Stadium to start the season is perfect.

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I Know It’s Early But…………

 

I had hoped to post this earlier this morning but I was having some computer issues, so now that that’s fixed I figured let me throw this up tonight since there’s no Mets to watch  

 

When I saw the lineup that Terry Collins cobbled together last night it left me speechless.  Vinny Rottino batting 5th? Ginger Tuner 6th Rob Johnson in a big league game?  I then proclaimed this as a no can do game for the Mets to win in fact if they did I felt it would be an instant Mets Classic.

Well, cut off my legs and call me Eddie Gadell, the Mets not only won the game and swept the three games series but if watched the game with someone who never watched baseball before which team do you think they would say was the favorite to win the NL East?  The Mets looked like the team to beat and the Phucks ? Like a bunch of broken down old men.  As enjoyable as it was to see the Mets make another late inning push to the finish line, how much did you enjoy the Phuck Phace Phans storming out of CBP after the Mets top of the 8th   like there was a free government cheese giveaway on Broad Street.

Of course it’s too early to gloat but for all the doom and gloom that surrounded the Mets all winter and into spring training (anyone still upset by the club’s shitty Grapefruit League record ?) having this team (18-13) just 2 games off the pace of the best record in the NL (Dodgers  and Cardinals are at 20-11) and 2.5 games away from the best record in all of MLB (Rangers at 20-10) is something to be proud of. But Terry Collins won’t ever show that side of him, sure he’s happy with the wins and how the team has played but he also knows there is such a small margin for error with this club and the fan base is one 3 game losing streak from turning on them so he keeps his emotions to himself and his players have taken his queue as well, hopefully sometime in October all the emotion can be released.

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SECOND WILD CARD? WHY NOT US?

There is a very interesting post on NY Baseball Digest today by Joseph Del Grippo on Johan Santana and his comeback from shoulder surgery. I find myself becoming obsessed with Santana’s comeback for many reasons, his impact on the Mets winning baseball games by anchoring the starting pitching staff, coming back from a surgery that takes a much longer time to rehab from and one that other pitchers have failed to comeback from and how does he prevent his arm/shoulder from being injured again.

DelGrippo touches on Santana’s mechanics and how from watching video he sees no change in the way Santana delivers a pitch, thus his feeling is Santana’s injury problem comes from the way he delivers the ball and if he doesn’t tweak that he will hurt himself again .  Mechanics are the bedrock of pitching or I should say the ability to be consistent with repeating ones mechanic.     

What conflicts me with this is, the way Santana delivers the ball has made him a huge success and even though DelGrippo may be right that by altering his pitching motion, Santana could stay in good health but would he be effective plus at this stage of his career it may not be the easiest task for Johan to alter his delivery style.

Looks like MLB will add a second Wild Card team starting this coming season, something I have no problem with especially since it gives the Mets a little more of a chance for a post season berth. For 2012, it will still be a bit unfair as the inter-league schedule and unbalanced schedule tilts the scales in favor of some teams over others but it does validate and makes winning the division much more important and rewarding. With the Houston Astros going to the AL West next season it would make sense that a balance schedule will be implemented as with 15 teams in each league there will be an inter-league game every day.  As much as I’m not of fan of inter-league play, I’ll live with it for an extra playoff spot.

Howard Megdal touches on the Mets catching situation and his hope that the Mets would bring back Ramon Castro with the extra fins that Freddy Skill Sets has in his shallow pockets. I always like Shriek when he was here and he would be an improvement over Mike Nickeas, who it seems Mets fans are trying hard to convince themselves can contribute as Josh Thole’ backup, but the truth of the matter is Sandy Alderson doesn’t have much faith in Thole/Nickeas or any backstop in the Mets system. That’s why names like Castro and Pudge keep coming up.

I’m starting to lose faith in Reese Havens

October 4th 2012 Cincinnati Reds @ NY Mets in the Wild Card Knock Out Game at Citi Field!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Who’s with me?     

 

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YOU KNOW, SOMETIMES YOU JUST HAVE TO TAKE A STAND

If it weren’t for the idiocy of Major League Baseball, all the talk last night and this morning would have been about the emotional and beautifully choreographed pre-game ceremony at Citi Field to honor the memory of the attack of September 11th and the first responders that gave their lives and the others who risked theirs to help others.

I was brought to tears seeing Mike Piazza lead a parade of heroes from the right field side of Citi Field and John Franco doing the same on the left field side.  Then having the ball park lights dim for a moment of silence followed by a spine tingling rendition of the Star Spangled Banner by Marc Anthony. Franco and Piazza then took center stage in their snow white Mets uni tops with the words “9-11-01 we will never forget” embroidered on the sleeve just like it was 10 years ago, to deliver the first pitch of the game. In an eerie silence, Franco, a “Noo Yawk” guy through and through tossed a perfect strike to Piazza, the man who made the Mets relevant again. In fact  what struck me about last night was how sad it was for two reasons, the first was what the commemoration of the evening was for of course, the other, it reminded me when the last time the Mets were a big deal in this town, that choked me up as well.

The Mets wore the same snow whites that they had on 9-21-11, the first sports event in NYC since the demise of the Twin Towers, but on their heads that night were the caps of the FDNY, NYPD, and PAPD the three groups the club had become very close to due to their working side by side during the awful aftermath of the attack. At the time MLB said the Mets couldn’t wear those caps during a major league game and the Mets in turn led by Bobby Valentine told MLB to kiss their New York City ass, we’re wearing them.  What did MLB do? Nothing, just like every other bully that is stood up to. The Mets wore the first responder caps and celebrated in those caps when Mike Piazza, he of the NYPD batting helmet as well, hit his home run that put a smile on faces that thought they’d never smile again. It was not just a classic NY moment or one the best moments in Mets history it showed that baseball, just like during all of the countries dark times, came through once again, it always does, its what makes baseball the great pastime it is.

The Mets of 2011 asked MLB if they could have permission to wear the hats of the first responders again as they did 10 years ago. MLB said no, just like they did 10 years ago. This time though the Mets rolled over, scared to take a stand. There was no Valentine, or Franco, or Ventura, or Zeile on the team to tell MLB to take their no cap memo and shove it up their tight ass’s. The players thought about ignoring the order but claimed the organization would have been severely punished if they did. If the Mets banded together and wore the caps, what was MLB going to do? Absolutely nothing.  Again to beat the bully you need to stand up to the bully.

I don’t know if I’ve told this story here but if I did I apologize but I think it should be told here.  As I’ve mention on numerous occasions, I manage a 14-15 year old Babe Ruth Team on Staten Island.  During the heat wave of the summer, a day that was 97 degrees, I had scheduled a practice. We try to have at least one practice a week during the season to work on some deficiencies and to go over the pitching rotation for the upcoming games. We also take a round of infield/outfield drills and batting practice, in all it runs about two hours. The place we like to practice is Miller Field in the New Dorp section as it was a one time air base during WWII and has plenty of fields to choose from. Now because of the heat I was ready to cancel practice and let the boys enjoy their pools or whatever they were doing to stay cool. Every kid that I called said, “ah coach it ain’t that hot we can practice” my son told me he was getting texts from some players asking him to convince me to hold practice. What could I do? They want to play, fine let’s go practice. So with the equipment and a case of water, off to Miller Field we go. We were the only people in the park. Acres of land at our disposal. As we were half way through batting practice a federal parks department employee pulls up to the field asking “who is in charge here”? “ Well, that would be me”, “do you have a permit to play here” Ms. Fed asks. “A permit? For what? To play baseball”? “Yes” she said, “Ah no” I say “Well, she says then you will have to leave”.

After I stopped laughing I ask here to clear her cart from the pitcher’s mound so we could continue to play. Again she ask me if this was an organized team and where was our permit and on and on really annoying the living shit out of me. I told her the organization we played for and that we had permits to play games here but being a programed bureaucrat all she knew was I didn’t have permit for the field and I had to leave. At this point I asked her what her title was and she rattled off some administrative rank, I then told her to call someone with authority to make me leave, like the Federal Park Police, and while I wait for the police to come, we will continue to play baseball.

Well, instead of calling the police, she called her supervisor who in turn called the league president who had to come down to the park to make me leave the park.  So while I’m being screamed at with threats, I told my assistant coach, to continue with the practice this way I’ll go argue with these women long enough for all the players get their batting practice swings.   For a good half hour, we argued back in forth about the lack of common sense being applied here, which was enough time for the team to finish practice. When the coach told me practice was over, I thanked the ladies and said “yeah you know what, your right we don’t belong here, we’ll leave”.

I didn’t give a shit about the two Federal Flunkies but the woman who ran the league was so mad at me she stopped talking to me. It didn’t bother me in the least, you know why? She couldn’t do anything to me, what could she do, tell me I can’t manage the team anymore? No. Luckily I had all the parents of the kids behind me 100 %. That’s why I took the stand. I knew there was nothing anyone was going to do to me to make me regret my decision.

As I told the Feds, this will make a great story in the Staten Island Advance “Youth Coach and kids Thrown out of Park For Playing Ball” or maybe one of the local TV stations would love to expose the story, I had me some bullets in my gun.  Sometimes you have to take a stand.

That is what has me pissed off at the Mets, especially David Wright. If Wright led the way and wore the NYPD cap he wore in the dugout on the field what was MLB going to do? NOTHING! If the whole Mets team would have worn the caps on the field what was MLB going to do? NOTHING!

The bad publicity from this should be a huge embarrassment to MLB and I can’t believe no one in the P.R. department didn’t beg Bud Selig or Clueless Joe Torre, who by the way showed is true colors as a big time phony,  to let the Mets wear the caps.

You know what in the long run maybe MLB was right did it really matter if the Mets wore the first responder caps? No one was watching anyway, especially with the Jets-Cowboys game on NBC.

Enjoy those single digit post season ratings in the post season Bud, you douchebag.

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COSTAS/MICHAELS OR COHEN/DARLING ?

I guess I missed the vote to have Al Michaels and Bob Costas call the 4th and 5th innings of tonight’s Mets-Giants game on SNY, while Gary Cohen and Ron Darling go over to the MLB Network to call the innings in their broadcast booth.  I don’t mind Michaels who is more associated with the NFL( and the 1980 USA hockey team as well) than he is with baseball even though he was a top notch baseball play by play man early in his career. I could do without Costas who is way too pretentious for me. I subscribe to the if it ”ain’t broke don’t fix it” school of thought especially when it comes to watching the Mets.      

What a tragedy last night in Arlington, where Josh Hamilton went to flip a ball to a fan after the third out of the inning and the fan leaning over to catch it, fell 20 ft landed on his head and died. The fan a 39 year old fireman was at the game with his son who was reported to be 8 or 9 years old. This is heartbreaking for the family but also for Hamilton who was reported to be distraught over the event.  I’m not one to be a reactionary type when freak accidents occur but I think it’s time to stop the ball toss in the stands. I’ve written here many times how I hate the bullshit Pepsi Patrol t-shirt launches into the stands. People turn into total assholes when some two dollar t shirt is blasted into the stands. It’s totally ridiculous. The same with foul balls. I have never caught a foul ball at a game and I could care less if I ever do. I have five full buckets of baseballs in my garage it doesn’t matter to me if it’s a ball from a Major League game. I’d rather keep all my bones and extremities intact than have a ball with Bud Selig’s name on it.

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THE METS MANAGERS LIST IS TRIMING ITSELF

Before we get on to anything here today, I must convey my most heartfelt condolence to Sandy Alderson and his family on the passing of his father John, who was killed by a car Saturday night in St. Petersburg while crossing a street. From all the stories I’ve read John Alderson was a ‘young” 87 years old and to be taken from his family like this is a tragedy.  

I guess Clint Hurdle went for the sure thing instead of playing the longshot by taking the Pirates job. Or maybe Hurdle knows something we don’t on who the next Mets manager will be. By the way, if Wally Backman was such a slam dunk as a major league manager how come no other major league team looking for a manager requested Backman come in for an interview? I’m just asking?

(UPDATE: Now I see why Hurdle took the Bucs job and I think you’ll agree with me I hope he’s a success in the Steel City)

So it looks like a two man race between Terry Collins and Bob Melvin and I agree neither guy stirs my passions but I’m willing to let this play out and see if it works. It also looks as if Chip Hale and Tim Teufel  could get coaching spots with the Mets with Backman taking over the helm at Bingo or Buffalo.

Can we just trade F-Mart for a bunch of bats, uniforms and helmets that seem to have gone missing the last few years in Flushing? The one time phenom  was to start yesterday in a Dominican League game but missed his start due to car troubles. No bullshit. CAR TROUBLES!!!! After the news got out about this the team and F-Mart tried to cover his ass by saying there was a miscommunication about his reporting date. Yeah right. I guess Omar Minaya has found a job in the DR running a team as this kind of cover up stinks of the Omar regime.

Speaking of Charlie Samuels, as bad as it is for him to get fired by the Mets and to be looking at criminal charges being filed against him, the worst part could be if convicted and sentenced to do time, Charlie would have to wear orange every day. Maybe Samuels could share a cell with Bernie Madoff in the Crimes Against The Skill Sets wing of prison

Adam Rubin has a long Q & A with David Wright getting his take on the past and present of the club.

I wish the Mets had a guy like Amare Stoudemire the last few years who would call out his underachieving teammates like Amare did last night. Could be Stoudemire is pissed that LeBron and D-Wade picked Chris Bosh over him to a BFF?

NON-METS: I see where the Fishsticks have fired coach Scott Gordon as the team is doing a swirlie of their season with a 10 game losing streak. Gordon should be relieved to be relieved of his coaching duties. Isn’t it time Gary Betmann and the hierarchy of the NHL seriously think about contracting the Icelanders and a few other teams from the league? The Icelanders play in a dump of an arena (the place is filthy and many of the seats are broken and ripped) and only sell tickets when the regal Rangers come to Uniondale. Take the Isles, Blue Jackets, Panthers, Coyotes, Lighting, Predators and Thrashers and either contract them or merge them a la the Minnesota North Stars/Cleveland Barrons in 1978 and make two teams and put one in Winnipeg and the other in Quebec City.

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NY METS : NUMBER 1.5 WITH A BULLET

I figure sooner or later the bill on R.A. Dickey’s career resurgence will come due, so until then let’s just enjoy his knuckler and the fact that he’s been rock solid in his five starts, the anti-Ollie so to speak.

Rod Barajas had a tough night behind the plate trying to catch those floaters by Dickey saying as much after the game as he claimed it was his toughest night as a catcher but as bad as it looks on Barajas’ stat sheet it looks better for Dickey as it means his knuckler was getting’ jiggy with it all night.

One of the story lines of the last month or so has been that this year’s Mets are very easy to root for and no one player personifies that trait like Chris Carter. Finally getting a chance to play a full game The Animal hit his first big league home run and look very pleased about it as were his teammates, the same teammates who respect the hell out him for his work ethic. I’d love to see The Animal get a few more starts.

Bingo (and NY Mets future) 2nd baseman Reese Havens had a bit of a set back as he was scratched from the Binghamton lineup for soreness. It could be an aggravation of an oblique injury Havens has been nagged with but I sure hope not as Havens is showing signs of being a power bat at 2nd base that would be a boon to the Mets

Jerry Manuel is nuts if he thinks the Mets will activate Carlos Beltran next week so he can use him as a DH in Highlander Park. De-Facto GM John Ricco said as much when informed by the Daily News of Manuel’ thinking out loud scheme.  The most optimistic view of when we will see Beltran in a big league game, August 1st is my guess.

Anyone have a 2013 calendar?

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IT’S JUST ONE BIG DRIP HERE IN NYC

Sorry for the late post but sometimes work comes before blogging ( I know it shouldn’t but some times I have to give in to THE MAN)

 

The only baseball I watched last night was my Babe Ruth team back in action after three straight rain outs and the boys had some rust on them in this game. Too many graduation parties, school dances and time off to text, play video games and just get a bit lazy. All this rain (it is pouring as I type this and I’m trying to explain to a newly hired inspector that part of his initiation is to go get a veteran like myself his lunch when it’s raining)  not only has me looking at 5 games to make up but I haven’t got them out to practice either and it bit us last night as my  archenemies, walks and errors came back to haunt us, and was the prime reason we dropped a 13-4 decision to a team coached by a guy I can’t stand, umpired by a real dick head and played at a facility that is a shit hole. So how was your evening?

 

Looking at the box score and reading the game story it seems Tim Redding was well, Tim Redding , back to his sucky self.

 

 I was surprised that J-Man brought in Bobby Parnell in the 6th after he was ordained the set up man. 

 

J-Man can you please play Daniel Murphy play every day at first base? How is that Fernando Martinez who is clearly a not ready for prime time player but gets to play every day and Murphy who was all the rage coming into the season gets buried like he was Ryan Church’ twin brother?

 

Today is Dave Schneck’s birthday. Who is Dave Schneck? Schneck played outfield for the Mets back in the early to mid 70’s. He showed some excellent power in the minors but it never came together for him in the bigs. His claim to fame is batting clean up in his first major league game sandwiched between Willie Mays and Rusty Staub. But Schnecks greatest contribution was to the country as he severed in combat in Viet Nam. Happy and Healthy birthday to Dave Schneck.

 

The best part of this video from The Mets Police is the music. If I were the closer for the Mets this would be my entrance music.

 

No need for Omar to make a panic trade for as long as the Phillies continue to suck at home and now with Raul Ibanez out for 15 days due to a groin strain the Fucks From Filly are not going to get a big lead and 3 games out in June is nothing for Mets fans to get their balls in an uproar over.

 

If I’m Jose Reyes I’d be trying to get back as soon as I could because the “As Jose goes, so goes the Mets” is starting to become an urban myth. If I could only have one guy back from the long line of causalities on the DL it would be Carlos Delgado as his power and run producing has been the missing ingredient while Alex Cora has played a stellar short stop and his been getting on base at a better rate that Reyes.

I could never tell which one was Mlli and who Vanilli

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PARDON ME WHILE I RUIN YOUR WEEKEND

 

 

If you haven’t gagged on your bagel this morning then I guess you haven’t seen this from Adam Rubin’s Surffin’ The Mets blog:

 Johan Santana says doctors told him it’s the triceps tendon that is causing stiffness in his pitching elbow. With pitching coach Dan Warthen and manager Jerry Manuelalready on the bus for Lakeland, Fla., Santana said he’ll wait until Sunday to map out a plan for pitching. But it’s clear he won’t be in a Grapefruit League game for a while. Santana said he hopes to throw a light bullpen session on Sunday. He then wants to face hitters in a batting-practice-style setting two or three times before entering a game. With potentially two days rest in between each BP, we’re possibly talking two weeks before a game appearance.

<GULP!>

Yes, that is the Mets puke bucket making an early season appearance

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