Devastation

How much ranting and raving can I do? I left a good amount of anger on Twitter last night as the NY Mets added another chapter in this embarrassing season.

When asked if his team has quit, Terry Collins refused to let his inner thoughts public. After a pause, he told Kevin Burkhardt to go ask the players that question. Of course that statement alone says that Collins believes there are some on the team that have thrown in the towel. He even mentioned something about conduct in the dugout and then held up Juan Pierre as the guy who should be the Mets players role model as a guy “who plays the game the right way”.

The 2012 NY Mets do not play the game the right way, they are not a motivated bunch who maybe in their hearts want to win but their actions on the field say they don’t  or maybe a better way of saying it is, they can’t. You could be the biggest rah-rah, run through a brick wall player but if you lack major league talent all the hustle and heart doesn’t mean a damn thing and this Mets team suffers from a serious deficiency in talent.

I don’t know how Terry Collins and this coaching staff escape this disaster without termination or re-assignment.  I’m starting to think my prediction of Collins getting re-assigned to a job in the front office in the minor league or scouting department will come to fruition.  Collins has tried to protect his players and in my opinion to a fault, where I start to question his credibility. I’m a Terry Collins fan and I feel any organization that has him in their baseball ops is a plus but he just could not get this team to play motivated or fundamental baseball. It’s a shame but there really is no way to justify brining Collins and this staff back in 2013.

Same for David Wright, it’s time for the Mets and Wright to go their separate ways. It’s not Wright’s fault he has gone above and beyond what any player in the history of the Mets has done for this organization. He is a gentleman and a fine baseball player but the best thing for him career wise and the Mets organizational wise is to move on. Sure the fangirls will weep and the lunatic fringe will go ape shit stupid but it makes baseball and business sense to trade Wright and allow him to pursue that World Series ring he craves. It won’t happen here in NY. I would have no problem with Wright getting dealt to our arch rivals Braves or Phillies but would rather see him go to either the Dodgers, Angels or Blue Jays because this organization is so devoid of immediate talent that you have to have to throw emotion out the window and make the best deal possible with the highest percentage of return. Sandy Alderson and his front office have a huge job in front of them this winter to not just make the 2013 Mets competitive but he has to fortify the upper levels of the minor league system so injuries or ineffective play is not a death knell as it was this season.

In a perfect world the Wilpon’s would sell the team and live happily ever after in a beach cabana at Del Boca Vista Phase II but the sad part of their reign as owners, they  have made myself and the majority of Mets fans root for them to fail financially.  As much as I detest their stewardship of the team I love, I hate that they put me in a position where I want them to go broke to force a sale of the team.  Since Nelson Doubleday was bought out of his share of the club, the Wilpon/Sterling Equities leadership has been an unmitigated disaster. If the Mets were a publicly held company, the shareholders would have run Fred, Jeff and Saul out of town on a rail. Bottom line, if Fred Wilpon really loves the Mets, he’d sell them to an ownership group that has the capital and vision to make the Mets the first class organization this fan base deserves.

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The Dog Days Of July ?

 

Remember back about a month ago when the Mets were proving the critics wrong by playing hard nose balls to the wall baseball that translated into winning games and had the beaten down fan base thinking of crisp cool evenings in October at Citi Field ? What happen?
It’s hard to pinpoint but this Mets team that looked to be tougher and more resilient that in the past has lost its mojo. Or has it? Are the Mets like water and have found their level?
The level of frustration with the Mets is not just relegated to the fan base. The more I see Ron Darling on SNY the more frustration with this team I see. Keith Hernandez is almost there but Darling, he’s arrived. It started with watching the Mets relievers just kill the enthusiasm of the season with poor performance and poor performance. It intensified when Andres Torres with a chance to pay back Roger Bernadina for spiking Ruben Tejada bailed out, a play Darling called Torres out on and a few days later was still pissed about the nonpayment by Torres.
My frustration is with Terry Collins and his nightly “we have to give Jason Bay at bats to get him going” Terry, Please stop! My leg is full of piss! I don’t know whose call it is that Bay stays in the lineup, but someone in authority has to say stop already, and I’ll tell you this, Bay has not gotten anything close to venom spewed on Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez by the Mets fan base. What he gets booed? Big deal! Yes, I know Bay is a swell guy and is loved by all who meet him, and I’m not advocating the fan base go all asshole on him but I’m just pointing out the criticism of Bay is tame to what other non-performers in Flushing have endured.
Ike Davis knocks three baseballs out of the park and the Mets still loses. I’m speechless!

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If Not Matt Harvey, Then Who ?

Looks like the Sandy Alderson regime has come to face its first real crisis of its reign with what looks like the season ending shoulder surgery that Dillon Gee will undergo. I call this a crisis because Gee’s ailment came out of nowhere and starting pitcher was not on Alderson’s shopping list.
So what’s a GM to do? It seems the last thing the Mets want to do is promote Matt Harvey to the big leagues because they would love to see some more consistency out him and the fact that he has a tendency to leave his fastballs up in the strike zone and in the big leagues that’s a batting practice pitch. Emotionally Harvey is ready and quite frankly he’d fit right into this Mets team as he is young and confident and an ex-teammate of many of the young Mets and besides what are the other options?
Alderson is on record as saying he will not trade a top prospect at the deadline so to getting Matt Garza or Ryan Dempster is out as that would be cost prohibitive in terms of players. Do pitchers like Paul Malholm or Kevin Millwood excite you? Didn’t think so.
It’s great that the Mets want to try to solve this unexpected problem without disrupting the development of a top prospect but sometimes you have no choice. Miguel Batista is clearly not the answer and Jeremy Heftner is like a dounut spare tire, he’s good once in a while for an emergency start or two but more than that you run a great risk of serious damage.
I would love to hear the talk going on in meetings today the Mets brass will have in Atlanta before that start of the second half starts tomorrow night, just to hear who is pro-Harvey and who’s not.

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Coming Up On The 4th of July and We Are In A Pennant Race

 

Looks like the Mets roller-coaster season is rising to the top again with last night’s 3-2 win over the Hollywood Bums.  So far as we near the completion of the first half of the season, Mets fans emotions and view of this team has spun around like a weather vane in a tornado, they put together a nice little win streak and we feel this could the one of those season where the club can grab what looks like a wide open NL East and win the division. Then there are the losing streaks and we’re ready to slump our shoulders and look at each other with that “ I knew it was too good to be true” expression we’ve worn since Mike Vail looked like the second coming of Mickey Mantle until a shattered ankle ended that dream.

But here we are, at the end of June and the Mets are but a mere 3 ½ games out of 1st place. I think most of us are still stunned by that as all winter the number of wins predicted for this Mets team hovered between 75 and 81 with everyone who bleeds blue and orange saying a .500 season would be a dream come true. Has this first half changed your view of that dream?

This is what the summer should be about, your team in contention for a pennant where you’re not just following your team but every team in the division, that’s where we stand now with the Mets especially this weekend. With the Mets and Dodgers playing at 10PM, it sets up perfect for us to follow the Phillies at the Fish and the Nats at the Braves right into Mets (with the Dickster on the bump) Dodgers. Its weekends like this that I pity those who aren’t baseball fans.

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Critics Are Way Off Base On The Strawberry-Seaver Exchange at All Time Mets Presentation

I was at the taping of the All Time Mets team at the 92nd St Y on Sunday but the show ran kind of long and with work the next day (a 5AM wake up) and a ferry to catch on the other side of Manhattan, I left as soon as the All Time team was announced so I missed the Q and A portion of the program.

I finally got a chance to watch it and I’m still trying to figure out all the hubbub over the exchange between Darryl Strawberry and Tom Seaver. It seems a lot of folks, Mets fans included are taking Seaver to task for his comment to Straw. Strawberry was asked the question “who would win in a game where it was Seaver vs. Gooden, a tough, tough question to answer. Darryl tried to be diplomatic and praised both pitchers then like a good politician he side stepped the question and jokingly bantered with Seaver on how he would have loved to bat against him to which Seaver responded “do you have handcuffs on”. It’s that comment that has some folks up in arms and I feel it’s a real over reaction.

I took the comment and I’d bet Strawberry took it as well, as Seaver saying “are you handcuffed? No ? The grab a bat and let’s go”. Some folks are saying the Seaver made an insensitive comment since Strawberry has had many run- ins with the law and has been arrested a few times in his tumultuous life. That is really a reach. Watching that video at no time did it seem that Seaver was being malicious or nasty to Straw in fact as I’ve said a few time since attending the show live, I have never seen Seaver so engaging and jovial in a long, long time. Don’t make this something it isn’t and please stop trying to make Seaver into a villain because that is just ridiculous.

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My Recap of The NY Mets All-Time Team Annoucement Show

Last night I attended the naming of the All Time Mets team at the 92nd St Y. The venue was terrific as was the host for the evening, Kevin Burkhardt  Mets voices Gary Cohen and Howie Rose who joined Burkhardt on stage to talk about voting for the team and to greet and interview the honorees who attended the event.

Although the show was announced as a sellout, there were many seats in the first three or five rows that were empty. Since this show was being recorded to be shown on SNY this Thursday night, a frantic SNY director was offering seat upgrades galore so there would not be any empty seats shown on TV. The Mets should implement this exercise at Citi Field.

For the most part the results of the voting went the way you’d expect, so let’s look at the nominees and the winners:

First Base nominees :

Ed Kranepool, Keith Hernandez, John Olerud, Dave Kingman

Of course my heart says Kranepool and Olerud was a great all around player but a short tenure as a Met and Kingman? I’d rather have seen Willie Montanez nominated. The winner of course was Keith Hernandez, who came on stage and as you might suspect, was quite engaging. His story on coming to Mets and why he stayed are classic. I won’t spoil the show for you folks so I won’t relay any of the stories but I’ll tell you this it’s a must see program.

2nd Base nominees:

Edgardo Alfonzo, Felix Milian, Doug Flynn, Wally Backman

No secret I love Howie and Gary not only because they are great announcers but they are also my contemporaries as a Mets fan.  After the nominees were announced, Howie mentioned Ron Hunt and how he was as worthy of being on that list with the other nominees. Gary then spoke about watching Milian and how he held the Mets record for hits in a season for the longest time. The winner here was no surprise, Fonzi.

Shortstop nominees:

Bud Harrelson, Raphael Santana, Rey Ordonez, Jose Reyes

Reyes is the winner but Gary told the audience how Harrelson was his favorite Mets player of all time and it took all his resolve to vote with his head and no his heart. By the way the voters were Howie and Gary along with Mike Vaccaro of the NY Post, Mike Lupica of the Daily News and Marty Noble of MLB.com

3rd base nominees:

Charley Smith, Roy Staiger, Lenny Randle, Felix Mantila

Do I really have to tell you who won this one?

Catcher nominees:

Jerry Grote, Gary Carter, Todd Hundley, Mike Piazza

This is where my middle aged head and heart becomes very stubborn.  I am a Jerry Grote fan then, now and always, so if I was on the voting committee I’d vote Grote and then leave the room. The winner was Mike Piazza who should be the next Mets player enshrined on Cooperstown. Now all of the players named to the Mets All-Time team were present at the event except for the one’s still active that sent their thanks and humble acceptance via video message, the only no show in person or on video was Piazza. I’ve not seen or heard a reason why Piazza didn’t show or at least send a video but as many of you know I am not a Mike Piazza fan and its things like this (and other’s) as to why I’m not.

Left Field nominees:

Cleon Jones, George Foster, Kevin McReynolds, Cliff Floyd

The winner was Cleon Jones. As I posted on Saturday, I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with Cleon this past Friday night at Citi Field so I was very happy he was named to the Mets All Time Team as the left fielder. Gary Cohen spoke of McReynolds as one of the most talented players to ever wear a Mets uni but his personality convened a guy who wished he was someplace else. Cohen was 100 % on point. The baseball cliché of the “5 Tool Player” fits McReynolds to a tee, but K-Mac had two huge flaws, he played the game like it was a job he didn’t enjoy and he hated NYC. That was a real shame as if he had a bit of passion for the game and opened his mind to what the city and region had to offer he may have been one of the best players in Mets history.

Center Field nominees:

Tommy Agee, Mookie Wilson, Lenny Dysktra, Carlos Beltran

If Beltran never signed with the Mets, this would have been a very interesting category as I bet they would have nominated Lee Mazzilli at which point I’d have gotten violently ill. Thank you Carlos. By the way, Beltran sent a video thanking the voters and fans for this great honor and he also wished he could have been healthier during his Mets career. Beltran is one of those players who won’t be recognized for his contributions until he retires . He’s kind of a Phil Simms of the Mets

Right Field nominees:

Ron Swoboda, Rusty Staub, Bobby Bonilla, Darryl Strawberry

Mets fans are not shy about showing their emotions. When Bonilla’s name was announced there was a loud grown of disgust from the crowd. It got me to think, who is the most hated Met of all time? Bonilla is right there along with Jeff Kent who was also a  world class asshole, Richie Hebner or Armando Beneitez  and I guess I’d put McReynolds on that list as well. Oh yeah Straw was the pick.

Right Handed Reliever:

Skip Lockwood, Neil Allen, Armando Benitez, Roger McDowell

I think Kevin Burkhardt was slightly embarrassed when he read Benitez’ name as I thought the crowd was going to burst into a BULLSHIT chant. Gary Cohen represented for us old guys when he spoke of how good a reliever Lockwood was but then he spoiled it by trying to justify Benitez on the list. The winner was McDowell who sent a nice video acceptance but no hot foot.

Left Handed Reliever nominees:

John Franco, Tug McGraw, Jesse Orossco, Randy Myers

When I saw the nominees I was hoping for either Tug or Jesse but I thought this was going to go to Franco. I was pleasantly surprised when it was announced that Tug McGraw was the winner. Tim McGraw sent a video of thanks and Tug’s son Mark and his brother Hank were both there to accept in Tug’s behave and Hank’s stories was outstanding.

Left Handed Starting Pitcher nominees:

Jerry Koosman, Jon Matlack, Sid Fernandez, Al Leiter

Had to be Koos.  Matlack, El Sid and Leiter were worthy Mets but Koos was as strong and as tough as any pitcher of his era as a Met. Koos was also a guy who earned the rep as a big game pitcher

Right Handed Starting Pitcher nominees:

Tom Seaver, Dwight Gooden, Ron Darling, David Cone

He was then, he is now, and he will always be THE FRANCHISE. It’s a shame they didn’t just do this as the All-Time Mets pitching rotation so Doc could have gotten the acclaim he deserves but it’s hard when you are in the same category as THE FRANCHISE! Seaver was in excellent form, as funny and animated as I’ve seen him in a long time. Seaver knows he was great and he knows he is still the greatest player in the history of this franchise and as he gets older he has taken on that role with a lot of pride. I know how much he loves taking care of his vineyard and how he loves to be home on the West Coast but I just wish he come around Citi Field more often like how Ralph Kiner is doing now. I can’t tell you how fortunate I feel knowing I watched Seaver pitch, same with Doc when both pitchers took the mound, it was a special event.

Manager nominees:

Casey Stengel, Gill Hodges, Davey Johnson, Bobby Valentine

How the hell did they get this wrong? Believe me I love Davey and I will never have a bad word to say about him but how could you not name Gil Hodges as the All-Time Mets Manager? When Seaver came out on stage his jovial mood changed when he started speaking about Hodges. Seaver was choked with emotion and said he knew he start crying once he started talking about Hodges and when he said how he wished “Gil was here with me right now” I have to say my eyes were a bit runny as well. It’s tough enough dealing with the disrespect Hodges gets from the Baseball Hall of Fame voters but to be snub like this for a Mets voting committee is even more disturbing.

 

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Another Great Mets Bloggers Night at Citi Field

Yes that’s Cleon Jones sharing some pizza and great stories from back in the day with Mets Bloggers. Thanks to Shannon Forde and Danielle Parillo for the picture and the great hospitality they shows us last night at Citi Field, The pizza by the way is called the Cleon (patra) Jones from Two Boots it was delicious 

I had a great day/night out a Citi Field last night which the Mets held another of the Mets blogger nights and it was a busy one for sure. I have some audio I’ll be downloading in a few days and I’ll have more to post as well as I’m pressed for time this weekend between baseball games today and tomorrow and Monday and some family stuff to do tonight and of course tomorrow and add in I’ll be at the 92nd Street Y for the announcing of the All Time Mets team to coincide with the 50th Anniversary season.

I’ll just add a few things that I’ll have more to talk about as the week goes on.

I had the pleasure to chat with Sandy Alderson during batting practice and to observe the teams two top draft picks, SS Gavin Cecchini and C Kevin Plawecki . Alderson is very happy that both players were available to the Mets at their turn especially Cecchini who the GM was their #1 target as the not only love his on field ability but he has as the GM put it “off the charts makeup”

I spoke to Plawecki’ parents at the press conference and told them I was excited that their son would play for the Brooklyn Cyclones. I also told his mom and dad, who are staying in town to watch his debut on Monday in Brooklyn, to have Kevin take then to Gargulio’s for dinner and spend some of that bonus money.

If you would have told me back in 1969 when I was an 11 year old watching Cleon Jones catch Davey Johnson’s fly ball for the final out of the World Series that sealed the Mets as World Champions that 43 years later I’d be hangin’ with Cleon and eating pizza at Mets game with him I’d have thought you were on strong narcotics. Well, there we were me, Cleon Jones and Two Boots pizza. WOW!!! Or as Greg Prince said to me “that’s Cleon Freakin’ Jones “

If you were at the game last night and you booed Jason Bay as he came off the field with what we now know is a concussion, you need to stop calling yourself a Mets and you need to take stock of what a low class asshole you are. Bay has been a major disappointment since he signed with the Mets and I understand the frustration fans have as he is the last remnant of the old regime that ran the baseball ops but to boo a guy who gave his body to make a play and a guy who gives 100 % and goes head first into the wall with his history of concussions, is totally classless and you should be ashamed of booing him but then you knuckle draggers have no shame.

I didn’t stay for the Reo Speedwagon concert and if it were 30 years ago I still wouldn’t have stayed for the concert .

 

I am still with 28 (#ImWith28) but I have to say, Daniel Murphy needs a couple of days off. Terry Collins would like to have him stay out of the batting cage as well but that goes against Murph’s work ethic. Collins made mention on how Murph is non-stop at working on his stance and hitting in the cage and viewing video and as much as TC and Dave Hudgens tell him to take it easy a bit that just makes him work even harder. With Justin Turner back from the DL you could see Turner and Jordany Vladespin  give Murph a needed break from 2nd base for a couple of games.

 

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I Love The NY Mets, Sorry If That Offends You

 

Sometimes I just don’t get the anger that spews from what I hope is a minority of the Mets fan base. Yes it sucked to lose three in the South Bronx this past weekend and yes the defense and the bullpen along with zero production from Ike Davis and Jason Bay when he’s healthy have led to a nasty slide, but has it gotten to the point where some of our Mets brethren have lost their ever lovin’ minds?

If you took to Twitter yesterday and you are a follower of Jon Rauch you got to see the worst and thankfully the best in Mets fans.  Some of the angry mob attacked Rauch in such a way that it made me blush, not an easy thing to do. There were calls for Rauch to just go on the DL and never be heard from again and others who feel if it weren’t for him the Mets would be 1st place by a wide margin and there were some you called Rauch names in a screen that never in a million years would ever say to his face. In fact I tweeted to Rauch that the same “fans” who say you suck and that you’re a big pussy are the same ones who hang out by the player’s entrance at Citi Field begging for your autograph.  I know the club has lost a lot of games of late but have we all lost our minds as well?

Jon Rauch will be the first to tell you he’s “pitching like horseshit” as he said after giving up the game winning HR to Russell Martin. He gave no excuses and stood at his locker and showed his emotions on how it sucked for the team and him to give up that shot. That kind of accountably had been lost in the Mets clubhouse but not anymore. That’s a big step forward. No one on this team hides in the trainer’s room after a loss, no one  says “no comment” to any question, which is why this is an easy Mets team to root for, they’re stand up guys.

I’ve been called a sellout, a stooge and an apologist because the Mets have been gracious in allowing me and my fellow bloggers access to the players, if that’s what you think that’s fine by me. I will gladly admit I have not posted many negative posts here as I’ve done in the past, that’s because I really like this team, the manager and the front office. Before I was invited to such events at Citi Field, I advocated hiring Sandy Alderson to run the organization and when the Mets not only hired Alderson but got Paul DePodesta and J.P. Riccardi on board it was in my opinion, one of the best days in Mets history. I still feel that way.

The only people who mock and can’t see the future of the Mets is on the upswing are the ignorant. Those who refuse to see the good work that is going on in the minor league system and in the front office. Of course there is plenty of work to be done, this team not only has to pitch and catch the ball better and they have to play smarter baseball as well, we know that, the team knows that.

Believe me there have been Mets teams in the past like the Jeff Torborg and Art Howe led teams, and the end of the Willie Randolph era teams and the Jerry Manuel teams that I have despised.  This team is the opposite of any of those lazy ass teams that embarrassed me as a Mets fans. This year’s team has me rooting harder for the Mets than I have in a long time.

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Baseball Is Fundamental

If you’re going to lose three straight in the South Bronx, at least get blown out in all three so it doesn’t hurt Mets fans so much. Friday night was easier to take than the last two losses as we can expect Johan Santana to bounce back and pitch well but in the Saturday and Sunday losses to the Highlanders the two big deficiencies of this Mets team were highlighted for all to see, the inability to execute the fundamentals of baseball and a bullpen that doesn’t know how to pitch.

The lack of “fundi’s” were on full display yesterday. I know Andy Pettite has been gone for a year but everyone knows he has one of the greatest move to first base in the history of baseball. The Mets who are now a station to station base running team decide yesterday was the day to get aggressive on the base paths and it bit them in the ass as David Wright and Scott Hariston were picked off, with Hairston looking like deer on back road upset in the dead of winter look as Petitte ran right at him to get him out.

Then there were the errors. Wright was charged with a throwing error which was followed by the first Russell Martin homer to cut the Mets lead to 3-2 and before that Omar Quintanilla’s error allowed Jeter to go to second and that opened the flood gates for Bobby Parnell because no one in that Mets bullpen ever picks up a teammate.  So from a 3-0 lead the Mets are now down 4-3 heading to the 9th inning. Lucas Duda and Ike (That’s Right) Davis hits a game tying double and the Met tie the game at 4. Now’s the time to get that go ahead run over to 3rd base with Quintanilla with a sac bunt but of course he doesn’t execute the bunt because just like last year no one on the Mets can lay down a bunt, Q then hits a bullshit roller to short and Jayson Nix throws to 3rd to get Ike who runs like he’s pulling a frost free refrigerator, again poor execution.  Murph hits for Valdespin and gets a base hit with would have scored Ike had he stayed a 2nd base, so now it’s Q on 3rd 1 out and contact hitter Josh Thole up. A base hit would be great but fly ball to one of those noodle armed Highlander outfielders would suffice.  Thole works the count to 3-2 and leaves the bat on his shoulder to take a called third strike, then has the balls to argue the call with home plate Mike Muchlinski, are you kidding? SWING THE BAT!!!!!

So the Mets fight back to tie the score at 4 and in comes Jon Rau………………………game over 5-4 Highlanders on a Russell Martin home run.

Off to Tampa. Ya Gotta Believe!!!

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The Error of Their Met Ways

 

I guess the less said about last night’s game the better but last night I was a guest on the Kult Of Mets Personality podcast with the gang from Kiner’s Korner and as we discussed Johan’s no-no I was gushing about this year’s Mets and how I thought the no hitter might be the ’69 black cat, ’73 Ya Gotta Believe moment for this 2012 Mets team.

So of course as soon as the podcast ended I put on the game just in time to see the Mets shit the bed.  Unreal!

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Tickets

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