Tim Byrdak Takes Time To Talk To The Mets Bloggers

Before last nights game at Citi Field, myself and fellow Mets bloggers had the opportunity to spend some time with Tim Byrdak click here to listen 

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BATS IN THE PELFREY

As I sat and watched last nights game and another Mike Pelfrey melt down I wondered if Mike Pelfrey still had minor league options and would the Mets make a move to send him to Buffalo? I was set to tweet this to find an answer  and just as I was about to type, Gary Cohen (belated Happy Birthday to Gary by the way) answered my question for me, yes Pelf has options and Cohen took it a step further and asked would the Mets send him to Buffalo? Cohen and Ron Darling thought that might be the move to make but Keith Hernandez was not in favor. If you ask me, if you can option Pelfrey to Triple A then you have to do it for his sake, the teams sake, and maybe the least, for the fans.

It’s to the point where watching Pelfrey pitch has become very uncomfortable. The hand licking thing is really, really annoying, it’s like a nervous twitch.  I always get the feeling we are one hit or walk or balk away from Pelfrey  curling up on the mound in the fetal position and sucking his thumb. Especially in Philadelphia where he routinely melts down.

The 4th inning last night was a prime example. You knew as soon as Ryan Howard hit that home run, Pelfrey was done for the night. That home run would stay in his head for the rest of the start. There is no “turn the page” in the Mike Pelfrey Playbook.  After the home run, next batter Ben Francisco gets a base hit and steals second because Pelfrey is still thinking about the home run and Josh Thole is still a green horn behind the plate and that’s a problem as well. Pelfrey needs a veteran catcher to call the game for him. He’s stated this as the less he has to think the better he is, that’s why he loved pitching to Henry Blanco, and to an extent pitched his best game of the year throwing to Mike Nickeas. If the front office feels they want to keep Pelfrey up here then they should make Pelf become Ronnie Paulino’s pet project and have him become his pitching chauffer.

The decision on what to do with Pelfrey becomes even dicier with Dillion Gee still here. It’s clear, if the Mets are not going to put Gee in the rotation then they need to send him to Buffalo and let him pitch every fifth day. It’s not fair to him. His mind set is as a starting pitcher and I felt Terry Collins (who did an awful managerial job last night, how do you walk Brain Schneider intentionally with two out and the pitcher up next?) did Gee a real disservice by bringing him in relief like he did. Collins wanted to start Gee last night to give Pelfrey a couple of more days to get over the flu bug that wore him out. Collins let Pelf talk him into giving him the ball. I hope TC learned always go  with your first instinct next time.

So my patience is up with Pelfrey and a shuffle up to Buffalo or a trip to Dr. Phil’ couch look to be in order. As for Pelfrey being the ace of the staff, that was some made up main stream media mumbo jumbo bullshit. As Bobby Valentine says, the ace of your staff is that day starting pitcher. Amen!

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METS MOTION SICKNESS

I’m exhausted. After sitting through last nights game, then heading home and getting to bed about four hours before I needed to get up to go to work, I’m going to need three XL Dunkin’ Dounts coffee’s to get through the work day.

My day at Citi Field started out with a great surprise. As we were walking from the car to the front of the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, I had the great pleasure of meeting up with Ed Kranepool. Yes, THE Ed Kranepool, my FME (Favorite Met Ever). He was with a bunch of people and was busy distributing tickets to them when I went over to say hello. I reminded him that we met at a luncheon at Gallagher’s for the 69 Champs and that I run this blog named after him, he started laughing and said “Oh now I remember you” we just chatted for a minute or two before we shook hands and bid each other well.  That was my “Let It Be” moment as a Mets fan. Just when I wonder is all this worth it, as I get more and more aggravated with the ownership, front office and manager and question why I actually give a shit about this team, I hear that song in my head:

When I find myself in times of trouble,

Eddie Kranepool comes to me,

Speaking words of wisdom,

Let it be, let it be.

After my Kranepool encounter, we then took a stroll through the Mets Museum. This was just my third trip to Citi Field this season (now that my baseball season has come to a close with a second round ousting in the playoffs, I hope to make a few more trips this summer to Flushing) but the first time I had the time to go a look around the Hall of Fame. I must say, I was thoroughly impressed. I love the fact that the two World Series trophies are on displayed for us, the great unwashed, to look at and enjoy instead of the days at Shea when the swells in the suites and Diamond Club, the folks who have zero attachment to them, had them in plain view. I also like how the plaques are made just like the one’s in Cooperstown. The display of Mets uniforms of the past is a treat as well and the baseballs from the first and last games at the Polo Grounds and Shea Stadium scream of our history. I don’t say this too many times but bravo Mets management on putting together a great place for Mets fans to relive and learn Mets history.

A few thoughts on last night’s game:

This team is madding. How does Johan Santana go from throwing batting practice in the first inning to morphing back into an Ace from innings 2-5?    

We sat in seats last night that allowed us access to the Caesars Club, as my wife said we needed to splurge since it was my birthday. Our seats were great, section 326 between third and home, but I’m just not cut out to be among the people who frequent that area. We may have been the only ones in the section actually watching the action on the field.  I was not impressed with the surroundings of the Cesar’s Club either. The furnishings look like the came off the set of Mad Men, with the couches and coffee tables that looked just like the furniture in my living room when I celebrated my 6th birthday in 1964. One very nice feature though was the air conditioning which was welcome relief on a stifling night.

I also grew weary of telling all the “Johnny Come Lately” Mets fans that life story of Mike Hessman.

I’m sure Jerry Manuel has all sorts of facts and figures in his binder that he keeps in the dugout. I am also sure that on one of those pages there shows Pedro Feliciano gets pounded by right handed hitters to the tune of .333/.446/.405 and that Raul Valdes, even though he’s a lefty, has success versus righties  .206/.322/.284 so why was Feliciano left to face El Hombre? I can accept not walking Pujols but why not go with Valdes? It’s your nightly “Gangsta’ Jerry’s Head Scratcher of the Game”.

I have really, really REALLY had enough of Luis Castillo.

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“COME WATCH CRAZY JERRY MANUEL HIS IN GAME DECSION ARE IN-SAAAAAAAA-NE

Unfortunately last night, Doug Glanville had a family emergency to tend to and had to cancel his appearance with me on This Call To The Bullpen but we are both working on finding another day for Doug to come on the program to talk about his book The Game From Where I Stand (Henry Holt/Times Books) and we hope to have that hashed out in a few days. So I had to decide, cancel the show or just go on and rant for an hour and the hour rant won out. So if you want to hear me talk about Jerry Manuel, playing games that count in Puerto Rico, Bobby Valentine and Wally Backman, then check out last nights This Call To The Bullpen.

don’t forget to check out the THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN shop at Cafe Press

It’s game like last night that stirs the demons of my Mets soul. I want nothing more than to stand on Broadway decked out in every piece of Met clothing I own and celebrate the ticker tape parade that no other city in the world gives to his championship sports teams. What has me conflicted is, if that happens, then Jerry Manuel will be the Mets manager for a minimum of three more years. Last nights game showed just about ever deficiency in Manuel’ game. Stephen Hanks of Mets Merized Online lays each and every flaw (save maybe for number one and the author agrees that my be picking at nits as well) from not running for Rod Barajas and even the pinch hitting for Ruben Tejeda but the big one for me was using Frankie Rodriguez in the 8th inning last which goes with Manuel’ “throw a reliever against the wall and see what sticks” bullpen management.

We are starting to get inundated with Cliff Lee rumors, not just every day but just about every hour. I don’t think there is a Mets fan out there who doesn’t want Lee on the team, as his presence alone will make the Phuck Phaces and Squaws go “GULP”. But at what price would you pay for this rental Ace? At this point there is no way you can trade Angel Pagan. Saying that, when Carlos Beltran does come back, Beltran is THE CENTERFIELDER and he is the centerfielder until he shows he physically can’t play the position any longer. However, Beltran will not be out there day after day so Pagan gets say two days a week in CF, then another couple in the corners with more time in RF. Beltran is not a corner outfield and there is a huge difference between playing CF from playing a corner outfield spot as we saw with the horrific collision between Mike Cameron and Carlos Beltran back in San Diego a few years ago. Pagan has played corner outfield so the transition is easier for him.

The price on Roy Oswalt may not be too high but Drayton McClain is an Al Davis clone. He wants to shed payroll but he hates to part with his good ol’ boys like Oswalt and Lance Berkman, even when both player say it’s best for the organization to trade both of them.

The most intriguing move would be to get Carlos Zambrano as the Cubs would move the high strung Z and take players non grata, Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo. The problem is when all the contracts change hands it could cost the Mets $18 mil for Z . Ted Lilly is attractive as well after pitching a great game last night so there are some options for the Mets (Jeffey Skill Sets and John Ricco that is I still say Ricco is running the baseball ops with Jeffey and Omar has been relegated to high paid scout)

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STILL HURTING FROM LAST NIGHT

I know our Mets are playing great baseball right now and as much as I’ve had enough of inter-league play, this weekends Mets-Highlanders series should be terrific especially with Big Pelf going tomorrow and Johan going Sunday along with D-Wright and the Mets offense locked in, it should a great three days of baseball but I need to vent here a bit about last nights Game 7 and the demise of my Celtics in the 4th quarter last night so if you’re here for the baseball only, try back later but if you want to here a grown man bare his soul about his team failing in a Game 7 and the realization that this team of PP, KG and Jesus Shuttlesworth has made it’s last run together, then read on:

I had a bad feeling about Game 6 not just because the game was in LA but I felt this was the Celtics Game 7 for the simple reason, I  never felt the C’s were built to go seven games due to age. Age. It has been the key subject all season when talking about the Celtics. When Danny Ainge went out and got KG from the T-Wolves and added Ray Allen, he said there was a three year window to win an NBA Title. They did it in the first year. Many of us feel, if not for Garnett going down last year it would have been a repeat. This season the dynamic of the team change. Leon Powe was let go and the fat tub of goo by the name of Rasheed Wallace was signed. The old guys were tired of hearing complaints from the young guys (Rondo, Perk and Baby) about how they wanted to do things and in the middle of it all was Doc Rivers trying not to let the clubhouse turn into OZ. This weighed on Rivers so much that he let it be known he’d love to take Doug Collins’ newly vacated spot with Marv Albert on TNT next season (where I believe he’s going) This team played awful in the second half of the season to where they were barely over .500 I attribute that to age, complacency and playing in the worst division on sports, the NBA Atlantic. So how did all this negativity turn around in the post season?

Well, first Doc Rivers (so underrated as a coach) finally got the two factions of old and young together and had a sit down. In 2008 the Celtics embraced “UBUNTU” the African word for family and Doc told them how they have gotten away from that. He then gave the geezers the smack in the face they needed when he told them that this is “Rondo’s Team”. I’m not sure the old guys embraced this altogether as I observed when Paul Pierce was cutting his eyes at Rondo during the Finals when he wasn’t getting the ball, but publicly they went with it as KG said in a post game interview after a game where Rondo had one of his many triple doubles, that it was “Rondo’s Team”.

When the playoff’s started the one thing the C’s had going for them was pride, Celtics Pride. You can’t get away from it. It’s one thing that separates the Celtics from any team in pro sports, just about every night there are a few legends in the building to watch the team play. Tommy Heinsohn is there every night doing color commentary on TV. Cornbread Maxwell is on the radio side. Bob Cousy shows up most nights in the stands with some time on TV. When they are called to duty, the legends all show up, Havlicek, Cowens, Sam Jones and of the King of the Celtics, the greatest player in the history of basketball, Bill Russell. These great Celtics in the tradition of Red Auerbach, let this team know they are not the Orlando Magic or the Cleveland Cavilers but they are the Boston Celtics, Basketball Royalty. When you take to the parquet floor you not only represent the Celtics but you represent us and we do not like to lose or be embarrassed.

Between the Old Guard’ words and the motivational ways of Doc Rivers letting them know the Ubuntu was missing and that a second title from this group will put them in the Celtics Pantheon. It almost worked.

Back to last night, it’s been awhile since I watch a game on the edge of my seat and the last minutes standing up (Super Bowl 42 Giants over Pats) but I was pacing the floor pleading with Ray Allen to find some legs on offense to make a shot, for Rondo to do his Rondo act and charge to the basket with his reverse lay up, for KG to grab an offensive rebound and go up strong and slam it down and take the foul then scream FFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK into ABC’s camera’s, for Paul Pierce to burry a 3 and put a dagger into the Lakers heart (and give Jack Nicholson a heart attack) I wanted 2008 to happen one more time. Just…..one…..more….time…………………….

The problem that plagued the Celtics all season, holding a 4th quarter lead was a problem again last night. When you look at the rebounding totals it’s easy to say the C’s got out worked and in a way they did but when you are in your mid 30’s as the Big 3 are as well as ‘Sheed, your legs are as shot as the shocks on an old Buick, there is only so much lift you’re going to get. As the team played lock down defense in Game 7, it cost them on the offensive end, especially Ray Allen and ‘Sheed who were spent. There are no Jamie Moyers in the NBA.

So now what ? Well I think Doc will move on to TV for awhile and wait for Stan Van Gundy to get fired and then take over the Magic. I’d bet that Danny Ainge hires his pal and former Celtic great, Kevin McHale as coach. Ray Allen will not be resigned and hopefully Rasheed Wallace retires as he stated after the game last night. I haven’t looked at the salary cap situation but knowing that the Celtic ownership, it is committed to winning, it make take a year or two of retooling but I’m confident the Celtics will get back to the Finals sooner than later. Thank you Celtics for a great post season and to Pau Gasol, Take a Bath you skeevy looking fuck.

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STOOD UP, BROKEN HEARTED, AGAIN

There are losses and there are losses but then again THERE ARE LOSSES and last night was one of those LOSSES.

You will read and hear a lot today about last nights Mets 11-5 loss to the Phillies some will say it’s much to early to worry and losing a series in the beginning of May is not the end of the world and Johan Santana himself said “it was just one those games” but to me and many Mets fans it wasn’t just one of those games, quite frankly it was a major embarrassment.

It all started when the lineup was posted, the Mets Twitter Nation was up in arms over seeing GMJ and Fernando Tatis, two players who could not play on any other major league team, playing instead of Angel Pagan and Ike Davis. Supposedly the numbers that Tatis and GMJ have against Jamie Moyer favored the move but I would hope that the manager would have thought, “I have a chance to take the series from my top rival that is reeling a bit, I have my Ace pitcher going so I need to play my best eight guys today” But Jerry Manuel decided he could play his best six and win and after the first inning he looked like a prophet. To be honest this loss had nothing to do with GMJ and Tatis in the line up (even though it is very interesting that the Mariners cut Eric Byrnes after their game yesterday but GMJ keeps on keepin’ on with the Mets even as Chris Carter is more deserving of his spot, by the way when was the last time Omar Minaya made an in season trade to help the team? Don’t say Ryan Church for Frenchy as Minaya stated that John Rico was responsible for that move) it was more of Johan Santana not stepping up in the first big spot of the season.

I don’t want to kill Santana because I really like and admired him. He proved his mettle in the next to last game in 2008 against the Marlins but I am so disappointed over last nights game that anything I write here will be pure emotion, but as I watched the Santana come up small a few things whirled around in my head.

When reporters ask you who the best pitcher is in the NL East, I would hope Johan Santana now knows to shut the fuck up. Just say, “it’s not for me to say who’s the best and all that, let the records speak for themselves”. Roy Halliday said nothing in spring training but on Saturday, I don’t care how big a Mets fan your are or how big a Phillies hater you are, Halliday made his statement on Saturday on who is the best in the NL East.

The 4th inning was one of the worst innings I have endured in a long time but the big picture here is what happened in the bottom of the 1st. David Wright just gave Santana a 3-0 cushion and Mets Twitter-verse were popping champagne corks. But Santana broke a cardinal sin of pitching, when your team puts up a crooked number in your half of the inning, you need to pitch a scoreless inning in the oppositions half inning, Santana failed that. There were some stupid Tweets about if the game was at “Citi Field those wouldn’t be home runs” bottom line Santana needed a 1-2-3 inning there and he failed.

The other thoughts I had after this disaster was about Tom Seaver and Doc Gooden and Jerry Koosman  those three guys would not have lost that game yesterday, in fact all three  would have stepped off the mound and adjusted there cups to show the Phillie fans just what they thought of them.  I even thought of Frank “Sweet Music “ Viola or Rosalita Leiter and Petey, they would not only not walk Jamie Moyer, they would have attacked Carlos Ruiz. Neither would have Sid Fernandez or Craig Swan. Or Ron Darling or Bobby Ojeda. Or John Matlack or David Cone. Or Orel Hershiser or even T-t-t-t-o-m G-g-g-g-lavine (God forgive me!)

If Santana pitches like the Ace he says he is last night and the Mets win, I leave my house this morning without pants on as my arousal couldn’t be contained, instead I’m as flaccid as Johan Santana’ fastball.

Johan Santana has lost me right now, and I think he’s lost his teammates a bit as well. After the 4th inning the Mets bench was dead. Their top pitcher just got his ass handed to him and all the good cheer of the last homestand and the game on Friday went out the window. Of course the players won’t say so and all would deny it loudly, but actions speak louder than words. Forget Mets fans trust, Santana needs to regain his teammates trust more.

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WHAT ELSE WENT INTO DWIGHT FREENEY’S ANKEL ?

I have a quick question for the class. Last night Colts DL Dwight Freeney played with ligament damage in his ankle. All week the pundits and gamblers were so concerned about the status of Freeny as he is the Colts top pass rusher and one of the best D-Linemen in the game.

Now Freeney claims he rehabbed this injury all week and had it wrapped up tight to start the game. I’m sure it took more than a “tape job” to get him fit to fight in Super Bowl XLIV.

Why hasn’t any one in the MSM or any talking head raised the subject of what else did it take to get Dwight Freeny on the football field. Was he given an injection of a pain killer? Was he administered an anti inflammatory drug? Not just Freeny, but how many other players on the Saints and Colts were shot up with some sort of chemical/drug in order to perform in last nights game?

Personally, I couldn’t care less what these players were taking but I bring it up because baseball has supposedly become tainted due to performance enhancing drugs and a guy like Mark McGwire is treated like he has renounced his American citizenship and joined Al-Queda. Such hypocrisy!   

Wasn’t Freeny’s performance enhanced by whatever pharmaceutical was administered to him? But he is considered a warrior while baseball players are called to testify to Congress and are followed by Federal Keystone Kops, a huge waste of taxpayer cash. I guess they must the Feds are bigger NFL fans.

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“HEY BUDDY, HOW ABOUT THOSE METS”

After cooking breakfast and getting everyone off to merit badge class I finally get to take a shower and then go to the scout masters lodge to read my e mails and check out what calamities have befallen on the Mets.

Usually I go to the shower and no one says much but today I had on my BELTRAN 15 t-shirt, and my Mets Beach towel, along with my SANTANA 57 sling bag is I kind of put it out there that my allegiances lies with the Mets.

Now I love that I never know what has happen in Flushing until I hit the scout master lounge but today as I was shaving another scout leader comes in and sees my Mets regalia laid out on the bench and ruins my morning “Hey howa ’bout those Mets winning last night” UGGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!

I’m very happy the MEts won and that Ollie P is back to being Ollie P with all the walks and all the drama and again adding to the lore of his by beating a top team in the league. I’m also giddy that Danny Murphy got a start and not only hit two doubles but made an incredible play at 1st Base. Please tell me Keith said that he i simpressed with Murph at 1st? Maybe now J-Man will let 28 play everyday. But my one pleasure while I scratch my mosquito bites, being suprised on the results of last nights game was ruined.

I hope that guy is in a kyack on the lake later so I can tip him over.

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TRAINING DAY

I’m at an all day training class so I don’t have much time to post but a few things from last nights game:

You can’t pitch any better than Livan Hernandez last night unless of course you’re Joel Pinero.

The toughest hurrdle for the Mets now is they must play flawless defense and they can’t get down by 3 runs or more in any game. Murphy was kicking himself for the throwing error that led to the first run but when El Hombre knocked in two with his single 3 runs may as well been 13 runs with the way Pineiro was hurling ground ball out after ground ball out.

J-Man tried to take the bullet for Livan on his botched fake bunt/hit and run attempt as Hernandez said after the game he did it on his own and Manuel claimed he put the play on. The thing is on the surface it was a bad play as the bunt was in order but f he executed it then it would have been the Mets Turning Point of The Game.

I watched two games last night the Mets-Cards then I flipped over to the Giants-A’s to see Tim Lincicum and for the first time in I don’t know when I saw two starters pitch complete games. WOW what’ s next a revival of wool uniforms?       

Gotta run school is back in session.

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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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