And A Great Time Was Had By All At The NY Mets 50th Anniversary Conference

What a terrific day it was yesterday at the New York Mets 50th Anniversary Conference at Hofstra University. A big tip of my Mets cap goes to Greg Prince who work very hard to make the 3 day conference a huge success, and in the words of Yogi Berra, “made this day necessary” Dana Brand would be so proud of the conference and of you Greg.

I came away with this thought on the way home from Hofstra last night, the Skill Sets may hold the papers to the team, but it’s Mets fan who are the real owners and for that the whole Mets organization should be thankful.

It’s always fun to meet up with the Mets Blogger-ratzi at events like this especially my blogger panel teammates, John Coppinger and Taryn Cooper, as well as Shannon, Kerel, Michael, and the Mathews Callan and Artus . Let’s Go Mets!!!!!

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Double Trouble

The Mets dropping a duce last night against the Giants gave me a Willie McCovey flashback and also made me think of my dad. My dad was a big, big Giants fan, even followed them when they left for SF but as many Giants and Dodger fans did, he switched to the Mets when they were born, but early in his Metsfandom he still had a soft spot for his Giants. It wasn’t until McCovey, my dad pronounced his name “McCoooovey” in his Irish brogue  , started to hammer Mets pitching that my dad became a full fledged Mets fan as he would call out after Stretch socked another home run over the Shea Stadium wall, “Ah fer Christ sake, that damn McCoooovey, he owns the Mets”   

 

Losing both games of a double header is bad, but losing both games of a double header on a day that’s grey, cold and damp makes close to unbearable. I give my fellow Mets fans a big tip of my Mets cap for going out to Citi Field yesterday for the rain out aided double dip and if you stayed for both games, then the Mets owe you a ticket for another game this season (preferably one in July or August when hand warmers and blankets aren’t needed) and a medal, something like the victors of the two games in one day San Francisco Giants used to give fans at Candle Stick Park, the Croix de Candlestick.    

Where to begin in the dissection of last night, well for one it seems Miguel Batista needs to become a full time author  and he can start with penning a mystery as to why he was brought back to the Mets in the first place. The game he pitched against the Reds on the last day of the season has become folklore. What’s forgotten is the weather for that game was worse than last nights, both teams were ready to go home from the time they reported to the ballpark (some more than others , Hey it’s Jose, here’s your hat, what’s your hurry?) especially the visiting Redlegs   but it was that game that garnered Batista a contract for 2012.

It’s tough to win games when your 4-5-6 hitters can’t drive home a run to save their lives. Ike Davis (.148 4/27 w/RISP) Jason Bay (.071 1/14) and Lucas Duda (.077 1/13) are stone cold rally killers. There’s not much that can be done with Bay, to quote the great Mike Francesa “Bay is Bay” and Duda’s has stated to show some signs of life of late but how do you solve a problem like Ike Davis?  His ankle is not the cause and it doesn’t seem his Valley Fever is to blame either for his anemic bat so what is it that has Ike off his game?  Talking heads Keith Hernandez (who has a sweeter gig than Mex ? He worked just the first game of the doubleheader leaving Gary Cohen and Ron Darling to man the TV booth for a 7 hour day. Keith is the Paulie Walnuts of SNY, he shows up takes a seat and pulls out his sun reflector and works on his tan) and Bobby Ojeda have talked about the way Davis has lowered his hand (almost Roy White-ish ) and is late in getting the bat head out in front of the ball. That explains why when he’s not striking out; Davis is hitting ground balls to 2nd base.  I’m sure Ike and Dave Hudgens sit down every afternoon and go over at bat after at bat on the video screen but does it get to the point with Ike, that maybe a trip to Buffalo is needed to work out his problems ? Before you go all ape shit on me, this thought crossed my mind this morning when I read that the Atlanta Braves sent Jair Jurrjens  to Triple A, isn’t Ike the hitting equivalent of Jurrgens ?  I’m not advocating sending Ike down today but if this trend of bad AB’s continues for the next 25-30 plate appearances, it should become an option.

On the bright side, Bobby Parnell seems to have found his niche as a late inning but not the closer, reliever.

I’m pretty sure the uproar over the video tribute the Mets have planned for Jose Reyes tonight will last longer than the tribute itself.  It’s still confusing to me that many of the same folks that paraded around Citi Field screaming “Don’t Trade Reyes” are the ones outraged over the Mets tip of the hat to the former shortstop.  To those still kicking up a tantrum over this issue, look at it like getting a shot at the doctor’s office, it will hurt for a second and in a minute it will all be over, and if you don’t cry you may get a lollipop.

 

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GARY CARTER INTERVIEW W/KULT OF METS PERSONALITIES

I remembered that the good folks at Kiners Korner did an interview with Gary Carter sometime last year their Blog Talk Radio podcast and lo and behold I get an e-mail for Nik Kolidas with a link to the interview and a note saying he thought I’d enjoy hearing it again. Not only did I enjoy it, I felt I had to share with you folks as well.

This seems to be the last live interview that Carter participated in

A big tip of my Mets cap to Nik, Matthew Fazelpoor, Taryn Cooper, Gene Anthony and Rob Z. on a job well done.

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IN ALDERSON WE TRUST I THINK?

I know we of the Blue and Orange persuasion are not patience but to get bent out of shape over the lack of moves made by Sandy Alderson so far this off season is really off base and this is coming from a guy who is not known as patient. To fillip your Mets cap over Jonathan Broxton signing with the KC Royals is very shortsighted and again this coming from a guy who wanted to see a back end of a bullpen of Broxton and Joe Nathan.  The Texas Rangers really over paid for Nathan and his Tommy John repaired elbow and his diminishing WAR at 2yr/$14 mil as did the Royals taking on Frenchy’s new BFF at a $4mil tab for the sore armed Broxton.   As much as I would have like to take a flyer on both Nathan and Broxton it wouldn’t be worth it at the price. Sandy Alderson felt the same way.

We all know that relievers are as unpredictable as a house full of Kardashians, that’s why instead of being so damn jumpy, Mets fans need to sit back a bit and let this off season play out. If I could give Alderson some advice I’d feel out the Royals about a deal for Greg Holland and talk to Texas about a deal for arbitration eligible reliever Mike Adams.  I’m sure Alderson will speak with Chisox about a deal for Matt Thornton who would fit nicely as well in Flushing pen. There are options out there for the Mets fans and Alderson and his staff know it and have a plan of attack.

Let’s just stay calm and let the man do his due diligence and if on reporting day at St. Lonesome this team is not improved on the overrated “paper”, then we can have a mass melt down, this is not pie in sky horseshit and I understand that the fan base is not in a positive frame of mind, and believe me I don’t fault you for that, but let’s just see what this front office has up its sleeve before we light the torches and converge on 126th St and Roosevelt Ave.

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“ALL THE FANS ARE TRUE TO THE ORANGE AND BLUE”

Tomorrow at Citi Field there will be a press conference to announce plans for the New York Mets 50th Anniversary celebration. There will be special days to commemorate past Mets players and moments in Mets history. The big news however is the 2012 Mets will look like Mets, dressed predominantly in blue and orange.

Of course this is a blue and orange letter day for The Mets Police who has fought the good fight for a years to bring back the traditional Mets home and road unis , even going as far to concede the use of the dreaded black tops on a limited basis to get the organization to stay strictly blue and orange.  

The Mets have gotten the message as the black tops and hopefully the black and the garish black and blue caps will be relics of the past.

More about this tomorrow as I’ve been invited along with other Mets bloggers to attend the presser to get a firsthand look at the new/old uni’s.    

I have been called a “Sandy Alderson apologist” by some but I have to hang my Mets cap on to something positive and Alderson’ track record says he can be successful with limited funding and his way of doing business, building the farm system and implementing a regiment throughout the Mets minor league system is exactly what I believe in. Ed “Rusty Jr.” Marcus writes about the Alderson honeymoon today at The Real Dirty Mets and how some Mets fans want a miracle but what is needed is patience.

If the balmy temperature’s here in NYC don’t have you thinking baseball, how about the release of the Mets 2012 spring training schedule then.  There is a bit of a twist for next spring as the Mets and Bronx Bastards will meet at the end of the exhibition season. The Mets and Highlanders used to meet regularly during spring but once Dave Kingman blasted two home runs off Catfish Hunter in a televised game back to NYC in March of 1975 (big build up for this one as it was Tom Seaver vs. Hunter who had signed the biggest free agent contract in baseball over the winter, New Years Day to be exact) Big Baby George said he had enough of the Mets. See the Mets used to rule the NYC baseball world.

Oh, and mark Wednesday March 7th on your calendar as that’s the day the Mets face ex-teammate Jose Reyes and his Flamboyant Fish for the first time in Jupiter.

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CHEAP GIVEAWAY, CLUELESS HIGHLANDER FANS,AND A LINE UP SHAKE UP

A tip of the BLUE Mets cap to The Mets Police for this pic of the offensive Seinfled cap

Observations from a busy weekend, and a happy belated Mother’s Day to all the mommies out there:

I went to the Mets-Dodgers games Saturday night as we live a in a time where you can go on your computer in the afternoon and buy and download tickets to a ball game that night in the comfort of your own home. I wish the atmosphere at the ball park could be as blissful as purchasing the tickets.

The Mets gave out caps on Saturday sponsored by Seinfeld, now I am a great fan of Jerry Seinfeld, but those caps that were given out were an embarrassment.  My wife told to stop complaining as what were you expecting for free, a New Era cap? No, not at all but they could have spent an extra dollar to make the cap something I’d wear instead of a one that felt and looked like it was made from scrap paper. Then to top it off it was BLACK. Maybe if they went with blue I wouldn’t have been this upset but really that cap was a piece of shit.

We sat in the Pepsi Porch which is my favorite spot of Citi Field but on Saturday, I felt like I was watching the game on the corner of 42 St and Broadway, people getting up during play and then trying to get to seat 17 by going through the first 16 seats of the row in the middle of an inning. I wouldn’t bitch so much if it was once or twice but this went on all game long.  The Mets need to do what the Garden and Prudential Center enforce, keep ushers near the section entrances and hold people up until an at bat is done then let them get back to their seats. And another thing, is it so hard to know where you’re sitting? How many times do you see some clueless asshole holding four beers standing on the steps of the section with a stupid look on his or her face not knowing where they sit? All you have to do is remember three things Section, Row, and seat.  How do these people function in everyday life?

I tried the Keith Burger on Saturday night and I wasn’t impressed at all, in fact in my opinion the only food that’s any good at Citi Field is Mama’s of Corona, Blue Smoke, or Sausage and Peppers hero, the rest of the food, even the highly vaunted Shake Shack, is overrated.

If there is anyone of the Highlander persuasion reading this site (Michael maybe you can explain this phenomenon that I’m about to address and please remember you are excluded from the group I’m about to call out) can you explain why Highlander fans come to Citi Field dressed like they are going to a Highlanders game and root for the Mets opponent of the day? Do you know what kind of dick heads you people are? I can’t even get angry at these morons; I’m just stunned by their stupidity. I go to Highlander Stadium but I never wear my “colors” when I go (unless it’s Mets-Highlanders) I always wear my “civvies” and I just sit and enjoy the game and the company as I couldn’t give two shits if the Highlanders win or lose the game. It’s not like it just of few of these simpletons that come to Mets games, there’s so many that we Mets fans look at each other with that puzzled “what the fuck”? look when they stroll around our park.

Just to closeout my Highlander fan rant, last week Highlander fans were ready to run Derek Jeter out of town. If it were up to Highlander fans, “El Capitan” would be lucky to get a paving stone in Monument Park forget a deserving tribute to his career.  Fans felt that Jeter was done, finished, a detriment to the team. Fuck those 3,000 hits and 5 World Series rings and that first ballot Hall of Fame sitting with his name on it, Jeter has to go. But wait, yesterday he went 4 for 6 with 2 HR’s and 3 RBI, so now he’s back in the pantheon of Highlanders, that is until he goes 0 for his next 15 at bats, then he’s back to a bum.

The more I watch Dillon Gee pitch, the more impressed I am with him.  Gee was called on in an emergency as Chris Young is on the DL with shoulder trouble and what made his start impressive in my eyes was the way he worked out of tough situations. Gee looks on the mound like a guy who knows exactly what he wants to do and tries to translate what’s in his head to his arm and more times than not he succeeds. He may not be an Ace but Gee will be around the big leagues a long time as long as he stays healthy.

Give Sandy Alderson credit for honesty when he says, “After Dillon Gee, there isn’t much left” as far as pitchers to called up to step into the rotation if need be. Just the fact that Pat Misch was recalled made that statement real. Really Pat Misch ? I’m sick of seeing him and Willie Harris as well and while I’m at it throw in Chin-lu Hu too. How in good conscious can Terry Collins send Hu up to pinch hit? I’d use R.A. Dickey or Big Pelf as a PH’er before Hu.

Keith Hernandez shocked me a bit yesterday when he said during David Wright’s at bat in the 9th inning against Vicente Padillia that Wright’s bat speed looked like a guy late in his career who can’t get around on a fastball. Hernandez was shocked that Wright could not get around on Padilia’s fastball as he was the tying run at the plate. Wright has been bad at the plate so far this season but with RISP he’s been horrendous. It’s time for Terry Collins to drop Wright in the batting order and I guess the only thing stopping that move is Jason Bay not hitting. I’d like to see Collins us a lineup of:

Reyes

Murph

Beltran

Ike/Bay (depending on if it’s a LHP or RHP

Ike/Bay

Wright

Pridie

Thole

Pitcher

On days that Paulino catchers place him 7th and Pridie 8th. Hey it’s couldn’t hurt this lineup needs a shakeup.

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WE’RE CLOSE REEEEAAAALLLL CLOSE TO REAL BASEBALL

I had the honor of being invited to a bloggers conference call with Mets manager Terry Collins last night. Collins is upbeat , excited and quite confident about his team. I posed the question to Collins on how will he keep this club together when adversity hits, as it always does in a 162 game baseball season. Thanks to Michael Baron, here is my question and a full transcript of the conference call. I tip my Mets cap to Michael for doing this transcript under adverse conditions as there was a load of background noise during the call:

Steve Keane: This Spring, camp has been upbeat, although there have been a few bumps in the road. It seems the players have fed off your enthusiasm. Over the course of the season, there will be losing streaks, and in the past, those spread and festered. The Mets, over the past few years, haven’t been known to be mentally and physically tough. How do you combat that?

Terry Collins:   Not everyone has the answer. People think there is a process we go through to get through it. In a losing streak, a lot of guys get concerned with individual stats, and we need to combat that. Its all about communication, and making sure they continue to believe in themselves. Not sitting back, and waiting for things to happen.

The toughest part of managing or coaching is getting your players to buy in to what preaching, getting them to put team ahead of self and so far this spring from the quotes and stories from Mets players, they seem to be buying what TC is selling.

Caryn (Metsgrrl) Rose had a great question for Collins about him being a players manager and I think this was a real honest and revealing answer from TC:

I think it means a lot – in the past, I was probably not a players manager. Through the years, I have realized the importance of constant communication, and never taking anything for granted. That is done with experience – from my first few years, I was worried about only managing the game, and thinking everyone was on board with it. I look at it as a compliment.

Keeping the lines of communication open is KEY for a manager. When the players have to guess what you’re thinking or feel you’re playing head games, you are destine to lose that player and your team.  I would say TC learned that lesson in Anaheim and will not make that mistake again.

Izzy has agreed to stay in extended spring training for two weeks as the Mets try to fit this bullpen. It worked out as well as Sandy Alderson could have hoped as he gets to keep two or the three relievers he had to decide on.

The more these stories keep coming out about the Skill Sets shaky financial status, it seems the only conclusion I can see is the Skill Sets selling the team.  Freddy Skill Sets has his heart set on keeping the team in the family for generations to come but I doubt if his wish will come true.

As I was typing up this post, word came down that Luis Castillo has been cut by the Phuck Phaces. Andy Martino is getting ready to file a discrimination lawsuit against the Phuck Phaces on behalf of Castillo.

GET METS-MERIZED! GET METS-MERIZED! Cheesy? you bet Sharp Cheddar Baby!

The everyday menu at Foley’s NY is always first rate but with the start of the 2011 Baseball Season, they have added a bunch of specials to commemorate the season openers:

Appetizers

Francona’s Terry-Yaki Steak Skewers: $5.00

Thai (Cobb) Chicken Skewers: $5.00

Dustin Pedroia’s Buffalo Shrimp: $5.50

Miguel Cabrera’s Loaded Fries: $5.00

Welkes’ Wings (Bucket = three orders): $12.50

Entrees

Cliff’s Phil-Lee Cheesesteak Sandwich: $5.95

Justin Morneau’s French Dip $5.95

Sean Casey’s Irish Burger $6.50

Coursi’s Chicken Club Wrap $5.50

Additionally, Foley’s has named a menu item for every team in the major leagues:

NL

Mets: David Wright Sandwich

Phillies: Philly Cheesesteak Wrap

Braves: Fried Chicken Dinner

Marlins: Fried Fish Sandwich

Nats: Washington Apple Pie

Brewers: Bratwurst

Cardinals: Toasted Ravioli

Pirates: Pittsburgh Steak Salad

Cubs: Chicago Dog

Astros: Texas Sirloin Steak

Reds: “Reds Hot” Chili

Dodgers: LA Pizza

Padres: Fish Tacos

Rockies: Beer Battered Onion Rings

Arizona: Chicken Southwest

Giants: French Dip

AL

Yankees: “Swish” & Chips

Red Sox: Shrimp & Scallops

Toronto: Poutine (French fries topped by cheese curds and gravy)

Orioles: Maryland Crab Cake Sliders

Rays: Cuban Sandwich

Tigers: Mini Chili Dogs

White Sox: Chicago Dog

Twins: “Juicy Lucy” Burger

Royals: KC Burger

Indians: Cleveland Carrot Cake

Rangers: Texas T Bone

Angels: Artie’s Nachos

Mariners: Chicken Eggrolls

A’s:  Garlic Wings

Looks like tomorrow or Friday will be a long lunch day for me to sneak over to Foley’s

Don’t forget to check out the THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN Podcast from last night with my guest Matthew Silverman author of 50 AMAZIN’ SEASON . You can listen here at Kranepool Society (lower right side bar) or at the show page or as a download on iTunes.

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THE DOG SLED EDITION OF METS NEWS AND VIEWS

The only good thing about staying outside and shoveling snow for 4 hours yesterday was the baseball chatter between me and my neighbors. Your back and arms don’t hurt as much when your discussing the Mets and Highlanders starting rotation (there were four of us out there, two Mets fans, two Highlanders fans) the future of Derek Jeter (we all agree he needs to get off shortstop) and what teams announcers are the best (Highlander fans conceded this one early as the only guy the like is Paul O’Neil)    I guess the baseball talk keeps us sane as we look forward to pitchers/catchers in 17 days because I need something as I’m totally SNOWBLIND.

I had quite an interesting encounter this morning near my office. I’m standing on the corner of Thomas St and Church St headed up to Broadway. As I waited for the light to green so I could cross the street, a guy standing next to me is staring at me. Just as I was ready to ask him “What the fuck are you looking at” the guy says “oh a Mets fan uh”? Now I’m wearing a Mets jacket with my classic blue Mets cap so Sherlock Fucking Holmes has cracked the case.  As we both cross the street, this little hobit then says “You know I’m a season ticket holder. Maybe we can exchange e-mails and if you ever need tickets…..”? I turn to this cretin and tell him “Chief, the only way you’d get my e-mail address is if you morphed into Christina Hendricks in the next three seconds”   Of course he didn’t. What a douchebag.

Time for News and Views:

NEWS: Freddy Skill Sets wants Omar Minaya to stay with Mets

View:  What’s the fucking point? The biggest weakness the Skill Sets have is they never can say good-bye (no, no, no, now)Nothing against Minaya but for Christ sake man, you got canned as GM and all of your staff was given pink slips have some pride and walk away. Look if Freddy wants to give you a desk and a phone so you can stay in contact with folks around MLB to find employment that’s fine but com’on Freddy, I know breakin’ up is hard to do but stop making Omar you’re Calendar Girl. I don’t want to think of you as the King of Clowns.

NEWS: Freddy Skill Sets says he’ll cut your ass if you can’t play.

View: Now that’s how to walk like a man

NEWS: Mets Farm System is Rank

Views:  Seems the folks who are expert in minor league baseball feel the Mets crop of farm hands is not of fine vintage. It seems Sandy Alderson is of the same mind set as he has spoken about rebuilding the minor league system and doing so in a uniform fashion.  Last year we saw the near destruction of RHP Jenry Mejia but the mission failed so it seems, but Mejia is ranked #1 or #2 in just about every ranking survey (great job by Ed Ryan of Mets Fever by the way of posting the links) with Wilmer Flores right behind him and RHP Matt Harvey right behind them.  The Mets have two picks in the Top 50 picks of the 2011 First Draft, hopefully Sandy Alderson will not stir this draft with a slotted spoon.

NEWS: Strawberry to run in the Race To The Top of The Empire State Building   

VIEW: Outstanding!  I hope he wears Mets gear while running.

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MORE ON ALDERSON

Just  a few more comments on last nights conference call with Sandy Alderson, a doff of my Mets cap and a bow to the guys at Amazin’ Avenue for transcribing the entire call, thank you guys.

Last year at this time I was quite disgusted with the Mets front office, the manager, players and the owner. After listening to Alderson last night my attitude has done the ol’ 180 degree spin.  He took over an organization that had some huge cracks in its foundation and as any home owner knows cracks in the foundation spell disaster.  Alderson is not just going to patch the foundation of the Mets, he is going to rebuild it so it’s rock solid.

The Tea Party segment of the Mets fans base are clueless in their negativity on the direction of the team. For all of you dolts who are calling talk radio and ranting how you’re not going to buy tickets or Met merchandise, I guess you were happy with the past administration (for now on the past GM name will not appear on this site ever again) and maybe if the former GM get another job running a team (doubt it) you can switch your rooting interest.

Howard Megdal ran a campaign for GM this past summer on a platform of Logic, Transparency and Passion well we didn’t get Howard as Mets GM but Sandy Alderson has embraced those three characteristics very well.

So all you disgruntled so-called Mets it’s fine that you stay away from Citi Field but when the ship gets back on course don’t be a hypocrite and jump on the band wagon, use your heads and jump on now.

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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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