TIME FOR A MEDIA INTEGRITY TEST

I’m sure by now most of you have either heard or read the attack article by T.J. Simmers of the LA Times about Marcus Thames. There have been a whole lot of opinions on how Simmers went after Thames with the nastiest of attitudes, basically calling Thames are no talent bum and also calling out Don Matingly as being clueless on how to manage a big league team. If you have ever read Simmers columns before this one, you know he plays the Angry Old White Guy perfectly and he takes pride in being an asshole.  As much of an asshole as Simmers may be, I have to give him credit for being an accountable asshole.

Everything Simmers said about Thames and Matingly he said to their faces and both knew it doesn’t pay to argue with and asshole, especially an Angry Old White Asshole but again he wrote what he wrote and walked into the Dodger Clubhouse the next day to face the men he besmirched. Got give him credit for that.

Yesterday on Twitter, I got into a bit of a “Tweet debate” with Evan Roberts of WFAN. Roberts sent out this Tweet that I felt made him look like an ignoramus:

“ I’m certainly not a booer, but the guy I will be first to get on if he doesn’t perform would be Jason Bay…”

My response to Roberts was:

“why would you boo Bay? by the way have you ever been in a pro clubhouse or locker room to interview players?”

The reason for the second part of my question was, Roberts and his partner Joe Benigno love to rip players, managers/coaches , GM’s and owners on the air, which is fine but I never remember either of them ever saying they have been in a locker room or clubhouse of the area teams to confront the folks they’ve blasted. I felt the statement that Roberts made was unbelievably stupid.

The Tweets went back and forth with Roberts refusing to answer my question of facing the guys he criticizes but when he finally answered, I felt bad for him:

  @kranepool You think higher of me and my co workers then I do…most of these players don’t know or care who I am..   

My Tweet before that was about Roberts doing a mid morning show on a 50K watt NYC radio station, and doesn’t think the players know who he is? I call bullshit. I think Roberts is either scared or intimidated by the folks he goes after.  Roberts loves to tell listeners that he buys his own tickets to Mets and Nets games and would rather watch the game in the stands than in a press box. Nothing wrong with that. But why not go into the clubhouse after a game and talk to the players or manager/coaches about the game or team’s performance? If Roberts put as much time and effort into his craft as he did in his Twitter baseball games, maybe the players would know who he is.

I think the reason I was so stunned by Roberts’ comments is the fact that the Mets have been gracious in granting Mets bloggers access to players, Terry Collins and Sandy Alderson and I’m not going to lie any time I can talk to someone affiliated with the Mets, I jump at it.

I’m very critical of the ownership of the Mets but believe me I would love to sit down with Fred, Jeff and Dave Howard for an interview.  If they wanted to rip me for sucky writing and poor grammar that would be fine with me, hell they could tell me to hit the gym and drop a few pounds, I’d be glad to take it because if you dish it out, you have to take it, but seriously a sit down between myself and management would allow them to see where I’m coming from as a long time Mets fan who just wants to see the team he roots for given more respect,  work on building a winner, and treating the Mets fans better that they do.  No screaming or yelling just conversation and debate.  I can act like adult when I have to.

I all come back to accountability, I stand by whatever I write and I have no problem going into the clubhouse and talking to whoever I have a beef with.

How the media tide has turned, it’s the bloggers now who are now the most responsible reporters of news.

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I HATE TO WISH TIME AWAY, BUT I CAN’T WAIT FOR OPENING DAY!

The Brooklyn Met Fan says we should not rush to judgment on Dwight Gooden’s latest arrest for DWI, BMF says that the story of what really happened will come out but Gooden is listening to attorney’s and not making a statement as of yet. As I posted in the comments section of BMF’s site, as most readers here know, I’m a big Gooden fan and having met him a few times he was just a great guy but when you drive while intoxicated I have a huge problem with you.

In much better news, Jose Reyes is back in St. Lonesome and it seems just his presences in the locker room has amped up the team. What Jerry Manuel has to watch for is Reyes trying to get two weeks of lost time into two days. Reyes is adamant about being in the Opening Day lineup, we all hope he is.

Mike Silva has posted a story on the old Mayor’s Trophy games between the Mets and Yankees which I never remember being a big deal.

Josh Levitt of Jorge Says No fame has started up another site, MLBfreeagency.com the site as you’d imagine will focus on current and up coming free agents and all around good baseball talk. It’s well worth your while to check it out and bookmark the site.

Johnny Maestro, one of he great Rock and Rollers of the 60’s first with The Crest’s (16 Candles) and then with the Brooklyn Bridge (The Worst That Could Happen “Girl, I heard your getting married/heard your getting married/you know that’s not my scene” )

Whose music was a stable of NYC, especially Brooklyn, died yesterday at the age of 70. R.I.P. Johnny

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YOU CAN BUY PITCHING AND HITTING, BUT CAN YOU BUY HEART AND DESIRE?

I’m in the middle of reading a terrific book about the careers of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson called ‘When The Game Was Ours” that was written with Jackie Mac Mullan, the book chronicles the careers of Magic and Bird as they rejuvenated the game of basketball as both collegiate  and pro players.

The book explores just how similar both players were not just in talent but in mindset, that the team comes first.   One of my favorite parts of the book is the great Celtics-Lakers rivalry that Bird and Magic revived from the days of Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain. As with Russell and Chamberlain, Bird and Magic both held each other in high regard as men and as basketball players. But when it was game time, the friendship was put on hold and it was all about winning and about the team. A couple of quotes in the book really stood out to me. The first one was from Kevin McHale, the Hall of Fame forward who when asked about his days as a Celtic in the 80’s he said:

“It was the best time of my life”.

“Of all the things we did, what stands out is how naturally we gave of ourselves to the team. No person was bigger than the rest of us”

What struck me about that quote was, here was a team that not only had All-Stars in its lineup, but three Hall of Famers as well. What they all had in common was they bought in to the Celtic way and played for the front of the jersey not the back. All three had the talent to go off and do their own thing but Bird was the leader and lead by example.

Magic Johnson was the same way with the Lakers. His mission was to make everyone around him better and to put up championship banners. He also had the motivation of Larry Bird and vice versa as both men thrived off each others performance.

The other quote that got me thinking was this one by Mychal Thompson who was traded from the San Antonio Spurs to the Lakers and was taken aback by the intensity of the Lakers locker room before a Celtic-Lakers regular season game:

“You couldn’t cut the tension with a chain saw”, Thompson said. The jovial big man, who hammed it up with Magic many time before, was surprised to see that even Johnson was grimfaced. Thompson asked Byron Scott, “So why is everyone so serious around here”? “Because we hate the Celtics”, Scott replied.

I bring all this up as a long segue into what the Mets really need to do this off season, beside getting some decent pitching and a big bat, they need to find out who gives a shit and who doesn’t. Not just players but front office people the manage, coaches fans broadcasters everyone associated with this team. Do you think anyone in the Mets clubhouse when asked about playing the Phillies would say they’d want to beat them because they hate them? Are you kidding most players on this Mets team need double doses of Imodium AD when they hit Philly.

The Mets are in dire need of a guy whether he be a front office type, or manager, who just doesn’t give a fuck who gets mad at him to work at getting this team to play not only good smart fundamental baseball but to be a team. The best place for it to come would be from the players side but who on this roster right now has that ability to step up and lead?

The only name that pops into my head is Johan Santana, he has that Magic-Bird mentality but he is not an everyday player and that hinders his ability a bit to be “the guy”. Guys like Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes like to talk the talk but they don’t back it up. They are like me when I say I’m going to drop 10 pounds then I go and eat a half of Entermanns Crumb Cake and wash it down worth a couple of Yoo-Hoo’s.  Its one thing to say what you’re going to do it’s another to go out and do it.

David Wright should be “the guy” and the Mets should have made it know by now the he “is the guy” but the problem with Wright is he is not a Type –A personality guy. I’m not mad at Wright for the season he had, it was good by most standards except for his low HR total, what I’m sad about is that Wright quit on the team. Yes that play where he failed to score before Jeff Francouer was thrown out at 2nd base for the third out in a game against the Marlins in September. Wright is the face of the franchise he is the guy on all the adds and who makes all the appearances he is the METS. So here it is two months after that blunder and I’m still steaming from that. Sure, Jerry Manuel called him out and benched him the next day but what does that say when the guy who is your franchise player quits? What message does that send to the other 24 players? We saw it with Fernando Martinez when he failed to run out a pop up, not to mention the awful baseball judgment by Angel Pagan, there is a reason why not only the major league team are a bunch of losers but the top two farm teams are losers as well.

Here it is the hot stove season and a lot of the talk is about who will take over for Jerry Manuel when this team hits the skids again. The Mets are run worse than the Knicks, or Nets in fact they’re more like the Fucking LA Clippers.

With all this talk about free agents and all, the best money the Mets could have spent this off season would have been paying off Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel and revamp the whole philosophy of how this franchise does business.  The Mets are said to be going abck to the old style Mets uniform with the cream color and thin pinstripe, they need to go back to the no name on the back of the jersey as well. Nothing will change in Flushing until someone in that clubhouse steps up and challeges his teammates or a manager is brought in to hold players accountable. Hopefully Jerry Manuel will look a this spring training as a way to get that message across. What has J-Man got to lose? He is on the tissue thin ice so if it were me I’d make it known to the players don’t be making to many plans to socialize this spring as they will be working until exhaustion hits.  Let the players know now that this is the policy and if you don’t like or feel you’re up to let us know and we will send you some place else, no matter who you are or how much you make” Time for some tough love.

I don’t know about you but I’m tired of supporting a team that doesn’t give a shit. I know the players don’t take the losses as hard as the fans but Jesus H Christ can’t you act like you actually give a shit? I’ve said the difference between Mets fans and Highlander fans is we root for the team they root for the Championships. But what we also root for is hustle and desire as well.

Maybe Larry Bird and Magic Johnson would like to run a MLB team?

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HAS JERRY MANUEL THROWN IN TOWEL ?

On March 1, 2000 Rick Pitino then the coach of the Boston Celtics after a loss to the Toronto Raptors that let Celtic fans in a state of despair and booed and jeered the C’s with gusto, came out with one of the classic rants in the history of sports:

 

  “Larry Bird is not walking through that door, fans. Kevin McHale is not walking through that door, and Robert Parish is not walking through that door. And if you expect them to walk through that door, they’re going to be gray and old. What we are is young, exciting, hard-working, and we’re going to improve. People don’t realize that, and as soon as they realize those three guys are not coming through that door, the better this town will be for all of us because there are young guys in that (locker) room playing their asses off. I wish we had $90 million under the salary cap. I wish we could buy the world. We can’t; the only thing we can do is work hard, and all the negativity that’s in this town sucks. I’ve been around when Jim Rice was booed. I’ve been around when Yastrzemski was booed. And it stinks. It makes the greatest town, greatest city in the world, lousy. The only thing that will turn this around is being upbeat and positive like we are in that locker room… and if you think I’m going to succumb to negativity, you’re wrong. You’ve got the wrong guy leading this team.”

 

This is the kind of Rant I want out of my Manager of the Mets the self pro-claimed GANGSTA’ I want him to tell everyone that “Darryl Strawberry, Keith Hernandez and Gary Carter are not walking through that door”. I want him to tell the media, fans and his players to shut the fuck up about who isn’t here and worry about who is here. I want him to order his players on the field today in Milwaukee to take infield as I don’t give a rats ass what time they got into town after last night’s embarrassment. I want him to call out which ever sniveling veteran it was who went crying to the papers whining that “A deal would send the message they want to win and will do what it takes to helps us” and let him know the he and the rest of the 25 man roster needs to grow some balls and get their heads out of their ass on defense. You want to give teams 5 and 6 outs and inning? Babe Ruth couldn’t saved your sorry ass.

 

Does this team need a slugger DUH!? But if you think by obtaining Adam Dunn, Adam LaRoche, Nick Johnson or the new flavor of the week Mark Teahen is going to make a difference then you’re blinded by the J-Man smoke screen. This team’ piss poor play is a direct reflection of the manager in the words of the great Bobby Valentine, “Proper preparation prevents piss poor performance” and this latest piss poor weekend is on Jerry Manuel.

 

J-Man is starting to show cracks in his amour. He moans and groans about the team keeping its head above water, and trying to stay in it until the injured get back it seems it had got D-Wright to get his back up when he said he didn’t know about treading water that he plays every game to win. You have Gary Sheffield saying “Management is going to take care of what they think we need, people shouldn’t think we come in here and do double takes at the lineup every day. We should have what it takes to win and we should be doing better, if they got a bat it would be great and everyone would applaud it. That doesn’t mean it should be necessary”

 

Exactly that goes back to players not coming through the door.

 

Maybe Omar should take some time from burning cell phone minutes to go straighten out his manager and let him know if he can’t handle this adversity there’s a guy in Japan who thrives on it.

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STRIKE A POSE AND WELCOME BACK THE INTERN FROM VOGUE

Former Ranger and antagonist of Fat Marty of Newark, Sean Avery returns to MSG tonight with his new team, the Big and Bright Stars from Dallas and from the missives out of 33rd St and 7 Ave there isn’t much love lost in the Blueshirt locker room over the departure of Avery. It will be intriguing to hear the Garden Faithful reaction to one of the biggest fan favorites not named Fotiu or Domi.

On MSG’s Hockey Night Live Saturday night Ken Danyko stated the he had heard from some Rangers that team was glad that Avery was not re-signed for as much as he added on the ice he was an irritant off it for the club. All I know is as a fan he was a top notch pain in the ass to the opposition especially to the Devils and Fat Marty and when he was out with an elbow injury he sat in the Blue Seats and bought Heinken’s for the fans.  How do you not cheer for a guy like that?

Maybe Avery was a clubhouse lawyer but I think a lot of this team unity is more of #68 being gone than losing Avery.

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