Traid Ike ??????

If you are in the Financial district of Manhattan today head on over to the Citi Bank branch at 120 Broadway where you can meet Mets great Mookie Wilson. Mookie will be meeting and greeting Mets fans and signing autographs from 12 Noon to 1:30 Pm at the Citi Bank Branch.

One thing you can say about Mets fans, they are damn entertaining. They bitch and moan about the suckitude of the team but when a player is mentioned as trade bait they filp out. The latest outrage is now word that the club will explore moving Ike Davis in the off season. The reaction from the lunatic fringe of Mets fans was predictable.  

Adam Rubin in his post on ESPN.com wrote that the Mets are playing Lucas Duda at 1st base against lefties because they are looking at using Davis as trade bait to fill one of the numerous holes this team has. Nothing wrong with that. Rubin then mentions that the organization is not happy with Davis’ stubbornness in taking direction from the coaching staff and his nocturnal habits.  Davis’ pig headedness when it comes to listening to coaching direction is not a new murmur, the night time high life is.

Davis has battled a lot of adversity the last two seasons, between his ankle injury costing him a season and his bout with Valley Fever and his awful first half of 2012 season to his credit Davis has bounced back in the second half to the point that he could be a valuable trade chip this winter. Another thing to remember, Sandy Alderson and his baseball operation staff are not emotionally invested in the majority of the players on the Major League level of the organization and would have no problem dealing them off to improve the team. That’s why I feel the Mets will be one of the most active teams in trades this off season because there is no way you can bring back the bulk of this team in 2013 and win.

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Observations From Opening Day at Citi Field

Observations from opening day at Citi Field:

I’ve been going to Mets games for 48 years, I was 6 years old in 1964 when I went to see Bob Gibson beat the Mets  on May 9 th, and as excited as I was back then I was just as excited yesterday to be at Citi Field for opening day.

Outside the ball park before the game there was a great positive energy that non-Mets fans just do not understand. I stood near the SNY broadcast area where Bobby Ojeda, Chris Carlin and the iconic Ralph Kiner conducted the pre-game show. There is a segment of younger generation Mets fans who really don’t appreciate Kiner and what he means to charter member Mets fans like me. Ralph, Bob Murphy and Lindsey Nelson were a constant summer time companion on TV and radio. Nelson left in 1978 and that was shocking, but we still had Ralph and Murph. Murph left in 2003 and that was sad but through it all Ralph Kiner remained, albeit on a limited basis but Ralph always knew when to show up when you needed that boost of Mets elixir because when you’re a middle aged Mets fan the sight and sound of Ralph Kiner brings back memories of a simpler and great time of your life.

Lots and lots of CARTER 8 jersey’s and t-shirts on display yesterday along with signs and banners praising Carter and mourning the loss of Gary Carter. The Mets held a wonderful pre-game ceremony starting with the players, coaches and manager all wearing their warm up jerseys with CARTER 8 on the back and having Carter’ jersey hanging  up in the dugout.  It was also touching to see Darryl Strawberry, Keith Hernandez, Bobby Ojeda and Mookie Wilson catch the first pitch from Carter’s wife and children along with the unveiling of the KID 8 patch on the outfield wall and video of Carters Mets career that would make even the most cynical Mets fan dab their eyes.

Seems the only people who are obsessed by the Mets attendance are the Mets Media Haters and Highlander fans.  The Mets Media Haters harp on this due to their lack of talent and originality, I mean how much talent does it take to answer a telephone for five hours a day while reading a newspaper and sucking down soda after soda or sit at a laptop staring lovingly at your Derek Jeter gift baskets while writing what a great GM Pee Wee Cashman is because he is so brilliant in having a $200 mil payroll to cover up his fuck ups. The Highlander fan knows that the first time the Mets show any success the Highlander reign of attention in this city will be over.

Citi Field was jammed packed yesterday, the line at the Shake Shack was a couple a hundred deep, the fans lined the Shea Bridge soaking up the sunshine which could explain for some of the empty seats you’ve seen. The crowd responded well to the player introductions, sure some folks felt it was a good time to boo Mike Pelfrey and Jason Bay but for most part the Mets faithful was happy to see their beloved team back in action.

I didn’t see any of the usual Highlander fan jerk offs who come to Citi Field wearing their Jeter jerseys and caps which is encouraging.

The Mets have made an upgrade on the main scoreboard to where it’s  setup like Gameday on MLB.com a virtual scorecard showing not only what the player has done in previous at bats but also showing you the location of balls put in play in those AB’s. The pitchers line as well as pitch count, pitch selection and pitch count are there as well as both lineups, the player at bat’s season stats and career numbers as well.

I have never bitched and moaned about the prices at the concession stands but $6.80 for a Nathans Hot Dog is ridiculous. Compare that to $11.50 for a turkey with mozzarella and gravy on a semolina hero at Mama’s of Corona, why would you go for the hot dog?

Nothing better than watching Johan Santana work. Frist two innings he had a bit of a command issue, which is to be expected as I’m sure his adrenaline was flowing like Niagara Falls but it was the 5th inning that really sent the message as to what a competitor he is and why Santana is one the best starting pitchers in baseball. He wanted badly to get 5 innings in today as his pitch count was limited to 80-85 so he knew this was his last frame of the day. Getting Freddy Freeman out on strikes to start the inning was big because Santana killer Matt Diaz doubled to left and you could see the finish line of this start was near.

After getting Jason Heyward to fly out to Bay, all Santana needed was one more out but he struggled against Tyler Pastornicky and Tommy Hanson walking both of them to load the bases for leadoff hitter Michael Bourn.  This was the at bat of the game. Santana fell behind Bourn 2-0 giving the crowd of Mets fans an uneasy feeling since it was September of 2010 when we last witnessed Santana pitch we forgot how much heart this man has on the mound. He got Bourn to hit a comebacker to him and with what adrenaline was left nearly threw the ball over Ike Davis head but Ike caught it stepped on first inning over with no Braves crossing home plate. Welcome back Johan.

Andres Torres pulled up lame in the 7th on Pastornick’s triple and while I hate to see anyone get hurt, I hope Torres takes all the time he needs to get that calf 100 % so we can get a good look at Kirk Nieuwenhuis as the everyday center fielder. Hopefully when Torres comes back it will be as the 4th outfielder,

Daniel Murphy 2 for 4 yup #ImWith28

 

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COACH ‘EM UP, COACHES OUT

Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

One of the worst kept secrets surrounding the Mets was the fact that Chip Hale was ready to head back home to Northern California to join his buddy Bob Melvin as bench coach for the A’s. What was surprising was the domino effect Hale’s departure had on the rest of the coaching staff.

Mookie Wilson was let go with the old “we’ll reassign you in the organization” which is like when a cop sucks at fighting crime, the NYPD sticks them in the property clerk’s office. But where does Mookie get reassigned to?  Word is he didn’t work well with Lucas Duada in getting him acclimated to right field and he wasn’t very good at positioning the outfielders or working with base runners  during games. Wilson also hasn’t fared too well as a minor league manager and since he had trouble coaching the outfield with the big club, roving minor league instructor seems out as well. What’s left?

Jon DeBus got the boot from the bullpen it seems because he was a catcher and the club would rather have Buffalo pitching coach Rickey Bones, a former pitcher, in the pen to work with the relievers. DeBus was also in charge of working with Josh Thole and Ronnie Paulino and supposedly wasn’t helping Thole with his defense and was negligent in getting Paulino to show a better work ethic.

It’s a shame that Ken Oberkfell got the ax as Obie did what he was assigned to do, be the yin to Terry Collins’ yang. Obie was brought in the be Collins bench coach because he was calm, cool and collected a contrast to Collins “makes coffee nervous” persona. Obie is one of those good solid baseball men who did everything he was asked by the organization and now is shown the door. I hope he lands with a team that makes the post season and gets to cash one of the nice winner’s checks.

Tim Teufel gets the prize job as 3rd base coach/obligatory 1986 World Champ for 2012. Gotta meet that quota of 86ers ya know.

The job for Collins’ consigliore it seems is between Larry Bowa and Jim Ringgleman. Both are close confidants of Collins but I will be really pissed off if Riggleman gets the job as the Mets should be looking to stay away from quitters.

Once upon a time, Murray Chass was one of the best baseball writers around. His coverage of baseball labor disputes was unparalleled due to his close relationship with former MLBPA President Don Fehr and his mouthpiece Gene Orza but after Chass was let go by the NY Times he became a bitter nasty old man and started a website (he’s refused to call himself what he really is, a blogger) where he could spout his bitter nasty old man bullshit. Today he posted about Jeffey Skill Sets and how he is known around baseball as the most disliked executive in baseball. Of course, Old Man Murray rails for most of the post about the Mets blocking the Highlanders Triple A team from playing in Newark next year (oh yeah I forgot, Chass is an unabashed Highlander ball licker an older version of Ian O’Connor) but at the end of his piece he stated something that I have heard as well so that’s why I’ve included it in my post:

Sandy Alderson, Minaya’s successor, is completing his first season in the job, and I have already heard that he is growing tired of Wilpon’s suffocating presence.

Now if this was just Murray being Murray I’d laugh it off but I have heard the same thing from folks whose take on things around the club I respect and stories they have told me have turned out very reliable. I’ve always said I’m a Mets fan for life but I’ll tell you this, If Sandy Alderson leaves the Mets because of dealing with Jeffey is getting in the way of his work then I’d have to seriously think of stopping my support of the team until a new owner takes over.    

 

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MY TOP 50 NY METS OF ALL TIME

As I posted here the other day, Ed Marcus a/k/a lagranderusty is looking for readers to post a list of top 50 Mets of all time. What follows is my 50 All Time Mets, some are no-brainers and some are “are you kidding” the names are in no particualr order:

Ed Kranepool

Tom Seaver

Jerry Grote

Jerry Koosman

Tug McGraw

Ron Hunt

Al Jackson

Bud Harrleson

Rusty Staub

Tommie Agee

Cleon Jones

Felix Milan

Jon Matlack

Dwight Gooden

Ron Darling

Sid Fernandez

Keith Hernandez

Gary Carter

Darryl Strawberry

Nolan Ryan

John Olerud

Edgado Alfonzo

Rey Ordonez

Robin Ventura

David Wright

Jose Reyes

Mike Piazza

Randy Myers

Jesse Orosco

Roger McDowell

Al Leiter

John Stearns

Todd Hundley

Craig Swan

Ron Swoboda

Frank Viola

George Theodore

John Milner

Ken Boswell

Wayne Garrett

Turk Wendell

Carlos Beltran

Lenny Dykstra

Wally Backman

Bob Ojeda

Mookie Wilson

Kevin Mc Renyolds

Cliff Floyd

Bernard Gilkey

Richie Ashburn

 

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COACH ‘EM UP FELLAS’

Its official the somewhat new and improved Mets coaching staff has been announced via press release.  The names are the ones we figured on.  Old School Dan Warthen and Chip Hale remain on staff at their positions. Obie becomes Terry Collins sounding board in the dugout. Mookie Wilson is back with the team as first base coach (and I’d bet outfield and base running coach as well)

Two names that were added are of hitting coach Dave Hudgens and bullpen coach Joe Debus, here are their bios:

Hudgens spent the last five years (2006-2010) as the Field Coordinator for the Cleveland Indians.  He is currently managing Caracas in the Venezuelan Winter League.  Hudgens was the hitting coach for the Oakland Athletics in 1999 and from 2003-2005.  He managed four years in Oakland’s minor league system from 1985-1988, including three years at Medford (A) of the Northwest League.  Hudgens, who was originally selected by the Mets in the first round of the January 1975 draft but did not sign, served as the Athletics’ Assistant Director of Player Development from 1996-1998 and 2000-2002.  He played six minor league seasons with the Athletics and Indians and appeared in six games with Oakland in 1983.

Debus was a professional scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2009-2010.  He served on the coaching staff of the Orix Buffaloes in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball League during Terry Collins’ tenure as Manager from 2007-2008.  He served as the minor league catching coordinator for the Dodgers from 2002-2004 and in 2005 he was the bullpen coach for the big league squad.  Debus began his coaching career in the Dodgers minor league system in 1990 and served as a coach or manager through the 1999 campaign.  In 2000 and 2001 Debus was the General Manager of the Elmira Pioneers of the Independent Northern League.  He played 10 seasons in the minor leagues, advancing as high as Triple-A.

This what you’d call a “grizzled” coaching staff

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TAKE A DEEP BREATH METS FANS

The way some Mets fans are acting toward the hiring of Terry Collins, you’d think he was taking over a contending team. Do you people realize that the NY Mets as constituted today are barely a .500 team?  I guess I have to be the myth buster around here, the Mets will not make the post season in 2011. Sorry for the smack in the face but some Mets fans need a dose of reality.

As I’ve written before there are times the Mets fan base just amazes me, Terry Collins hasn’t even put pen to contract yet and fans are ready to fire him. Can we wait at least one week into the regular season before we make up the Twitter account @FireTerryCollins?  

Am I 100% happy with the Collins hire? No not really, but I’m not screaming about it as a disaster waiting to happen either.  I look at the positives here, that Alderson and not Jeffey Skill  Sets  is making the baseball decisions. Collins was the minor league coordinator so he has knowledge of what’s worth keeping and what’s not in the Mets farm system. I watched Collins at a pre-season workout for the Brooklyn Cyclones this summer and he and Mookie Wilson were running from station to station working with players and conferring with Wally Backman, Benny DiStefano (hitting coach) and Rick Tomlin (pitching coach) so energy and instruction are definitely  Collins strong suit.     

Collins intensity can make some players uncomfortable, but isn’t that what has been sorely lacking in the Mets clubhouse? Haven’t the bunch of underachievers that reside in that room been living the high life for too long? Isn’t it about time somebody with authority dealt with these “woe is me” players and get them to man up and stop shitting in their snow white pants when the Phillies or Braves come up on the schedule?  Mets fans have been crying for a tough guy right? So here you are. Maybe for the first time in years, the players will be held accountable.

The biggest reservation I have with Collins is he quit as manager twice, with the Angels and in Japan. That scares me it’s as if the going gets tough; it seems Collins gets going, out the door. Of course Sandy Alderson brought this up during the interview session I’m sure and he was satisfied with the answer he got so I guess I should be too.  Collins has not run a team in ten years and that raises a red flag with me as well.

The Collins hire is not outrageous enough for to be well.. outraged. Sure it would have been nice to see BACKMAN 6 strutting to the plate on opening day with his first lineup card as a big league manager but that’s the Mets fan in me talking. The guy who is now in charge feels that Terry Collins gives him all that he’s looking for in a manager with an edge in personality. At this point in the Alderson Era who am I or you to question the move?   

What it tells me also is the Mets are going to get younger and there is a big premium going to be placed on home grown talent. Sandy Alderson on day one said the farm system he has inherited is in the middle of the pack and for a team like the Mets with its resources, that’s unacceptable. That’s what should be the focus of Mets fans, not who will be the manager for the next two seasons. Cliff Lee at 32 years of age with back trouble? Let the Highlanders over pay in years and money for him. Jayson Werth? Let the Tigers spend all that awful pizza money on him. If the Mets eat the Perez/Castillo dough then the off season is a success and you know now there is no way in hell either of those two slugs are coming back.

 Rejoice Mets fans that we  have guys with a clue and a plan running the baseball operations for our beloved Mets. I know it’s hard to optimistic with the all the horseshit we’ve endured the last few years but I think the new regime will get us out this mess and back on the road to winning.

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LET ME SHOW YOU SOME LOVE, YOU BIG LUG!

Let me join Ya Gotta Believe in saying I’m sorry to Carlos Delgado for wanting to run him out of town earlier this year. Who knew Del-GOD-o would turn around his season/career like he did? I didn’t that’s for sure but I got caught up in the rush hour a fellow starter to shower you with love and affection now you won’t look in my direction. But I want to make it up to CD how about after a game next week we hit the mobile taqueria on 108 St and have a little rice and beans and talk about our plans for October.

 

Word out of Flushing is that Mookie Wilson, Davey Johnson and Doc Godden have declined invites to the Last Day of Shea. I don’t care how pissed off these three are at the organization they should know that this day is not about the Skill Sets it’s about the Mets fans and the Mets players past and present. Sure Mookie is ticked off that he was not given a bigger role In the organization and that the Mets didn’t hold on to Preston Wilson or even bring him back to the team and the fact that fans like myself were angry with him about being decked out in Cardinal regalia during the 2006 post season, time burry the hatchet Mookie. Same with Davey the original bad ass has to realize he would be given a heroes welcome. And Doc, my god  with all the bullshit that he has been through in his life you would think he’s want to here the cheers from the crowd in the place where he made his name and fame? Maybe he loves the Highlanders so much because they are the biggest enablers around (see Martin, Billy former player/manager/violent alcoholic) and the Skill Sets tried in vain to get him on a straight path, whatever Gooden needs to be a Shea he heeds to feel the love from Mets fans Com’on Doc come home I’m not mad at ya.!  

 

As much as our bullpen makes us want to pull our hair out remember one thing, you will never here  “Now pitching for the New York Mets, Eric Gagne”  Gagne makes Aaron Heilman look like Cy Young

 

It is official the great exalted (and bloated ) Mike Francesa has pronounced the 2008 New York Highlanders dead!  To pay your respects, Suzyn Waldman will be sitting shiva in her home in Westchester.

 

 

 

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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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