It Was The Best Of Nights, The Worst Of Night’s At Citi Field

The photo was from Mets Merized Online and taken by Clayton Collier who also has a great write up of the Q & A the Mets Bloggers conducted with Phil Niekro, R.A. Dickey and Tim Wakefield

It was another Mets blogger-rattzi day at Citi Field yesterday and it was almost the best bloggers day ever. I say almost because there was an unfortunate incident late in the game that put a damper on the events of the day. Josh Edgin and Andres Torres with his ability to kill a rally with a signal ground ball, played the sad clowns. So instead of all of us heading home with the wonderful memory of chatting with 86er Barry Lyons, Hall of Famer Phil Niekro, R.A. Dickey and Tim Wakefield along with an outstanding performance by the 2012 winner of the Clff Floyd Light At The End Of The Tunnel Award Matt Harvey, the lasting image of the day was a Ryan Howard 2 run home run off closer of the day Edgin.

The day started with Terry Collins and his daily FEMA update on his club. Collins is the definition of a ‘fox hole guy”, as bad as this team is, as inept as they are at the basic fundamentals of baseball, as dismal as the outlook for next season appears, Collins still talks about his players being talented and how they are playing out the season to the fullest and those of us in the conference room feel our pant legs getting drenched from being pissed on but being told it’s just condensation from the air conditioning unit.

So after a few eye roles we head out to the field to watch and schmooze while our heroes stretch and take BP. After a few minutes of observing and kibitzing, the blogger group was introduced to former Mets catcher Barry Lyons.  We spent a good 20 minutes with Lyons talking about everything from his days as an 86er, to Davey Johnson to catchers calling pitchers other than the pitching coach and how the 1986 Mets would have fared in the new social media world.

Lyons spoke of the special bond he and his 1986 Mets teammates have and how winning a championship builds that special bond forever. Lyons was wearing his Mets Alumni golf shirt and mentioned how even though he played for other teams (Dodgers, Angels, and White Sox) he will always be a Met. In fact, Lyons even spoke of maybe getting back on the field as a manager in the Mets minor league system. I told Lyons that if he needed an advocate for him to take over the helm in Brooklyn I would be honored to head the campaign. Hopefully the Mets front office acknowledges that Lyons is interested in getting back to coaching to managing in the organization as gives him strong consideration for a job.   

From our session with Barry Lyons, we headed over to meet the stars of the movie KNUCKLEBALL , which I can’t stress enough is a must see for all baseball fans, Hall of Fame pitcher Phil Niekro, our own R.A. Dickey and Tim Wakefield. We first spoke with Niekro and Wakefield, and then R.A. Dickey joined the group. It was nice to see the camaraderie between these three men who belong to a special fraternity or as Niekro said “the freaky group”. We then talked about who are the next knuckleballers on the horizon. Dickey talked about Frank Viola’s son, who Dickey worked with a bit in spring training, who was trying to learn the pitch and another young many name Steven Wright. I asked Dickey whether the Mets or any other organization seeing the success that has had with the pitch, would work with pitchers who have fallen from prospect status to just organization fillers to become an asset to the big league club. His answer was all it takes is one organization to take a chance and be bold enough to take on that initiative, to which both Niekro and Wakefield nodded in approval.

All three men stated that they would do all they could to help any pitcher who had the patience, the competiveness and the work ethic needed to master the pitch. If anyone does get to work with these gentlemen and with Charlie Hough or Tom Candiotti, they should consider themselves fortunate.  

With the pre-game Q & A’s over, we went up to the Champions Club to enjoy the ambiance and watch Matt Harvey’s 2012 Farewell Tour. After getting some food and a beverage, myself, Ed Marcus, Matt Falkenbury and Randy Medina sat down to discuss this lost season and what is on the horizon for the off season and 2013. In a room with, I’ll say roughly 100 people milling around the bar area and food stations, the four of us were the only one’s talking Mets baseball or anything remotely  close to baseball talk and even in a fine establishment like the Champions Club, you still get douchenozzels walking around in Highlanders garb.  The lack of etiquette is appalling.

Matt Harvey was on the bump as we made our way to the seats, first batter Jimmy Rollins home run just over the orange line on the right field wall. UGHHHH!!!! , but then Harvey gets the next three batters , 86 year old Juan Pierre, Life Alert spokesman Chase Utley and the ghost of Ryan Howard to end the inning on a high note. From innings 2 to 5, Harvey faced just 12 batters and was in full Ace mode. But of course the Mets being the Mets and being at Citi Field all they could muster was a run to tie the game until David Wright hit a baseball over an outfield wall for a go ahead home run. A Festivus miracle I tell you.     

So going into the 9th inning we have the Mets, at home, with a lead, Josh Edgin filling in as closer with Frank Frisco nursing a right elbow riddled with tendonitis, 2 up 2 down, open the book as we are ready to put this baby……..in…….ah…………shit…………..!

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ENJOY IT, SUMMER DOESN’T LAST FOREVER

 

 

 

I must admit, I didn’t watch much of the Mets-Giants game last night and from the looks of things I didn’t miss much. One thing I did notice and I kind of noticed this on Saturday, $iti Field is not exactly packed and jammed.

 

Remember back when the plans for $iti came out and it was announced that the seating capacity would be about 15,000 less than Shea and the outcry that fans would be shut out of games? Now there are tickets a plenty even in the beginning of the season the secondary markets were awash in Mets tickets. I’ve been to 10 games so far this season and I plan on going to at least 5 more. Sure it bothers me that the team is awful but what bothers me even more is winter. As bad as the Mets are right now, just think what it’s like in the middle of January with the snow, wind and cold and you have to wear three layers of clothes and a coat, hat and gloves. I can’t get enough days at the ball park to suit me. Besides the way the team is constructed right now, it has a nostalgic feel to going to a Mets game, very 1975-ish.

 

Is there a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel? First, the team started to listen to the fan base and has made improvements to $iti Field. The video screen in the RF corner came in handy on Saturday and the montage of Gooden, Straw and Hernandez looked great along with the banners on the outfield wall and even the cow in the promenade was cute. The place had a Mets feel to it, finally.

 

Then there were the Throwback uni’s paying tribute to the our NL heritage that the Skill Sets are finally embracing and maybe, just maybe the organization is realizing that blue and orange are our colors and the uniform we all grew up with is what we want. I’ll go out on a limb here and say that after this season the dreaded black uniforms will be no more.

 

But last night was the topper in this starting to feel better about my team. The Skill Sets actually went over slot money to sign their top draft pick RHP Steven Matz, by close to 400K. Now we’re talking here, let me give Jeffey and Freddy an ‘Atta Boy for that. See it’s not hard fellas.

 

Let me send out my hopes for a speedy recovery to Alex Cora who is having both thumbs operated on and is down for the season. The Mets should have let Cora take one more at bat so the fans could give him the ovation he deserves. Cora should have had his thumb surgery back in June but put it off due to the dearth of infielders to step up and play. Alex Cora is a gamer.

 

To fill Cora’s spot on the roster the Mets have resigned Teddy Martinez

 

At this point in the season, it isn’t really worth getting worked up over, but enough of Livan Hernandez already.

 

The Mets fan version of the Weather Underground will meet again a week from tonight at Two Boots Tavern 384 Grand St on the glorious Lower East Side. Come one come all we all need the therapy.

 

Highlander fans are starting to bloom in all their glorious doucheness over their teams recent run of good fortune. As I stated to my colleague who sits next to me at work, you can break balls all you want right now Highlander fans, but keep this in the back of your small minds, if you want to belittle the Mets and Mets fans and stick out your chests and walk around like it’s a foregone conclusion that World Series title 27 will come this late October you better hope it does, because if your Bronx Bastards fall short this post season. I WILL MAKE YOUR LIVES A LIVING HELL!!!!! Believe me it is very tough for me to hold my tongue when I wear my Mets shirts, shorts, cap, watch, and sling bag and get a bunch of shit from Highlander fans so you know I’m just waiting to attack and when I do it won’t be pretty. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

 

Memo to Adam “The Bull”

 

You can kill the Mets all you want but remember your place at WFAN, you’re a benchwarmer . Come September you’ll be back in your proper place taking phone calls from Jerome in Manhattan at 2 AM.

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SO DOES THIS MEAN YOU WANT MANNY?

  

With 21 days until pitchers and catchers open the gates at St. Lonesome, FINALLY, there is some Mets news:

 

Last night on Pro Baseball Central Joe McDonald and I got into a spirited conversation that started out as a positions by position comparison of the Mets and Phillies and then morphed into a debate of whether Carlos Delgado is a Hall of Famer. Joe says “Yes of course” and I say “No way”

 

Am I the only one reading the words of Jeffey Skill Sets as a cryptic message that Manny could be a Met? I’ve seen where Omar has soured on Manny about how he acted in Boston last year but I have to think that Scott Boras is on the phone right now with Omar to talk Manny.  Am I just getting my hopes up? Am I just so delusional that I’m holding out hope? Maybe but unlike when Cliff Floyd played under the Art Howe reign of error I think I see a light at the end of the tunnel.

 

I’m happy with the Freddy Garcia signing and I hope he makes his $9mil which he would get if he meets all the incentives in his minor league deal.

 

Great story on D Wright in the NY Daily News and I like this statement by Wright:

 

Wright is ready to be more vocal in team meetings – he says he started to feel right about speaking up only last year – and active in uniting the factions of a diverse clubhouse.

 

“I try to reach out to the free agents we sign, and the players we trade for,” he says. “When young players come up, I will try to steer them toward doing things the proper way. . . . I grew up in a military town, where there is a ton of diversity, so I’m used to talking to different people. I’m getting more confident in that as the years go by.”

 

It’s time for Wright to take over the team, there is no need to name him Captain-it should be accepted already in the clubhouse- but J-Man should just let it known that Wright is THE MAN. This is why I’m still holding out hope on Manny as a Met because Wright has made it known he is on board with Manny.

 

Then there was this little nugget that needs some clarification:

 

While he worked, Wright was the subject of much scrutiny and criticism. He says that none of the post-collapse chatter affected him as much as his own disgust.

 

“Nobody enjoys hearing they should be traded,” he says, shrugging. “You never want to be disliked, but I understand that with the position I’m in, in the market I’m in, it’s not going to be happy-go-lucky all the time, like it was it ’06. You have to take the bad with the good.”

 

 

I know of no Mets fan that ever said D-Wright should be traded and I know some of the Shea disdidents have booed Wright which is ignorant but Wright has to know that the only person in this town that even utter the word trade with Wright’s name was the mid day blow hard in Astoria and no one gives a rats ass about his opinion when it comes to the Mets.

 

Are the Phillies serious about this?

 

The site Amazin’ Avenue has a great post of Mets on the cover of Sports Illustrated from 1962-1985. WOW brings back memories.

 

 

 

 

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