INTERVIEWS WITH R.A DICKEY, DANIEL MURPHY AND CARLOS DELGADO AT THE THURMAN MUNSON DINNER

Last night I attended the media hour before the Thurman Munson Dinner to benefit AHRC of New York. Among the many guest invited to the event were Mets Daniel Murphy and R.A. Dickey and a surprise guest that I chatted with, former Met Carlos Delgado.

In talking to Murphy he has to be the most optimistic person of Irish ancestry I’ve ever met.  As you can hear in this clip, Murphy feels the Mets can contend in the NL East and beyond.  He also speaks of the work he has to do in order to play 2nd base this season and the fact that he has been working out with the cooperation of the fine weather in his hometown of Jacksonville Florida .

After Murphy, R.A. Dickey was made available to us for a Q & A session and of course R.A. was in fine form with thoughtful answers about his climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro, his hope that Johan Santana can come back and reclaim his spot as Ace of the pitching staff and his pragmatic view of the upcoming season for the Mets in a very tough NL East as you can here is this clip and this clip.

After talking to both Dickey and Murphy, I thought about all the angst and anger of Mets fans over this off season towards ownership of the team. I thought about all those who say they won’t come out to Citi Field as they feel it’s a show of support of the Wilpon’s.  To those fans I say, I feel sorry for you. While talking to Dickey and to Murphy , the thought came to me that I can’t wait for the season to begin because I can’t wait to root for both these guys as they are more than worthy of positive support.

Murph is the guy who blocks out the negativity. When the media scrum dispersed from the group Q & A, I was lucky enough to hang around and got to talk to him one on one (I turned off the recorder because I just wanted to have casual conversation) and one topic we discussed was the negativity of the organization from a segment of the media and the fan base and does that negativity ever creep into the clubhouse. He told me it doesn’t because the manager, who I believe Murph has tremendous respect for, would never allow it and he also felt that the guys in the clubhouse are united in such a way that “woes is us” would never make it past the outside clubhouse door.

From Dickey I get a guy who is very confident in his ability and seems to have grown as a big league pitcher but the days of struggle are always in the forefront of his mind. Where Murph seems to be the half full guy, I wouldn’t say that Dickey is a glass half empty guy but more of a realist who has been around a while and knows the score.

A pleasant surprise of the evening was running into Carlos Delgado who looks in great shape (dare I say The best shape of his life?) and was quite gracious in giving me a portions of his time to talk about the Mets of the present and his experience as a Met and playing in New York in this clip.

When I was done talking to Murphy and Dickey I went over to the refreshment table to grab a bottle of water, it was there I met up with legendary  St. John’s coach Lou Carnesecca, who was on hand to present an award to Chris Mullin at the dinner. Again I didn’t have my recorder on as my conversation with the Coach was more a casual deal than an interview.  He told me about having dinner with John Franco on Monday night and how happy he was that the Mets will honor him on June 3 with induction into the Mets Hall of Fame. It was easy to see the love and pride Carnesecca has for Franco, the coach then asked me if I thought Franco would get into Cooperstown, I was as diplomatic as could be in saying it would be very tough. I went on to tell the coach about my wedding day and how happy I was there was a TV in the limousine, as I’m seen and heard in our wedding video wanting to watch St. Johns-Auburn second round NCAA Tournament game.  Carnesecca laughed and then said “Jesus, you remember that game”? He then asked me to sit down with him and talk about basketball. That was quite an honor.

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R.A. DICKEY REACHES THE TOP OF MT. KILIMANJARO

I hope you all have been following R.A. Dickey’s climb up Mt Kilimanjaro via his blog post on the NY Times. Dickey and his group which contain Mets bullpen catcher Dave Racaniello and pitcher Kevin Slowey, were successful in reaching the summit of the mountain which is chronicled wonderfully by Dickey in his latest post.

Dickey has a book coming out in March and I must say after meeting Dickey and reading his dispatches from Mt. Kilimanjaro, this book will not only be a best seller but I bet it will be one of those must have in your library kind of book as well.

 

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FRED WILPON, THE EDITH BEALE OF BASEBALL

While other teams add players and their fans converse in real baseball talk, we Mets fans are stuck in a Mets minutia malaise. Such as the club sending R.A. Dickey a cease and desist letter about his climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro for charity.  There is no doubt in my mind that Dickey’s reason for doing this is true and from the heart as he is raising money and awareness to teen sex slave trade in third world countries. The problem the Mets have is they have to cover their ass and asset by informing Dickey that if he injures himself and cannot perform is pitching duties; the Mets will void his contract as they have every right to do. It’s always easy to rip the Mets organization but in this case they are just doing this as protection. I am sure they wish Dickey waited until he was retired to climb Kilimanjaro and R.A. knows the consequences he will suffer if he’s injured or worse on this trip but he feels that the conviction of doing what’s right and that the plight of young people used as sex slaves against their will is worth the risk.   

I just hope all’s well that ends well with this venture, Dickey scales the mountain and his goal is met and that he returns home in one piece and ready to report to Pt. St. Lonesome on time.

It’s just a matter of time that Citi Field turns into MLB’s version of Grey Gardens. Bloomberg reports that Standard and Poor’s has dropped their rating of bonds issued for the building of Citi Field to negative.  I have visions of walking the concourse of Citi Field next season and seeing Freddy Skill Sets and Uncle Saul in tattered blue blazers, shirts with frayed collars and power ties with soup stains on them stammering like Elmer Fudd saying “I’m Fred Wilpon I own a baseball team and a yacht”

Hopefully by next week we can get back to analyzing bargain basement players signing with the Mets and try to convince ourselves that 2012 will be a really good season for the Mets.

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METS BLOGGERS INTERVIEW WITH R.A. DICKEY

Here is the audio of the Mets Bloggers interview session we held with R.A. Dickey the past Friday night at Citi Field. As always, Dickey’s answers are well thought out and thought provoking. I asked R.A. about him having any preconceived notions about playing and living in NYC and how he was preparing for his climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro

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