“Ya Gotta Remember” The 1973 NL Pennant Winners the NY Mets

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I haven’t seen nor heard anything pertaining to the NY Mets having a day/night to honor the 1973 NL Pennant winners.   I really hope that there is something in the works to bring back the surviving members of that team for a celebratory remembrance.   It would an awful shame to let this 40th Anniversary of the “Ya Gotta Believe” Mets   go unnoticed by the organization the ’73 team’s season for its comeback ability should be given be revered and honored just like the ’69 and ’86 champions as the Ya Gotta Believe mantra of Tug McGraw was no showboat move it was what had this team come together to have one of the great runs not just in Mets history but baseball history as well.

The ’73 Mets were awful from May to July winning 32 games and losing 49 with the low make of the season coming on July 4th when the Mets found themselves 12.5 games behind the first place Chicago Cubs in the NL East. July was still a bad month for the team as they put up a dismal 12-18 record but from August on the Mets went 49-22 while all the other NL East teams went into the dumper no team hit the skids worse than the Cubs who went an astonishing awful 30-52 during that stretch.

This team was no offensive juggernaut that’s for sure with Rusty Staub the leading hitter driving in 76 runs on 12 HR and a .781 OPS. John “The Hammer” Milner lead the team with 23 HR and 72 RBI and surprisingly Wayne Garrett hit 16 HR as well. The club was in the bottom third of every offensive statistic in the league that year except for Walks where they had the 6th best rate in the NL.

What ran this Mets team in ’73 was the pitching especially a solid stable of left-handed pitching plus The Franchise. Jerry Koosman, Jon Matlack and George Stone supported the Ace Tom Seaver in the rotation , one of the best in baseball that year, along with swing man and veteran pitcher Ray Sadecki and of course their Fireman (that’s what the closer was known as back then) Tug McGraw.

1973 was also the swan song or Willie Mays who after a few embarrassing missteps in centerfield knew it was “time to say good bye to America”.

How great would a day at Citi Field be to honor this Pennant winning Mets team by having Willie Mays, Yogi Berra, Rusty Staub, Jerry Grote, Wayne Garrett , Ed Kranepool and of course The Franchise, Tom Seaver  etc. on the field for a pre-game ceremony?

Please, please, please we cannot let this anniversary go without a day of remembrance. It’s already a big disappointment that a Salute to ’73 day is not on the season calendar already.

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The Ghosts of Coogan’s Bluff Are Smiling

The Marco Scutaro Fairy Tale continues as he is not only headed to the World Series with his NL Pennant winning SF Giants teammates but he’s bringing the NLCS MVP Trophy along with him. WOW!! Simply WOW!!

As I said yesterday I’ll be rooting for the Giants to beat the Tigers who as Greg Prince eloquently posted on Faith and Fear in Flushing will be meeting for the first time ever in a World Series which is astonishing since both teams have been around for well over 100 years.  I could not help but sit and stare at the TV watching 45,000+ sing and dance in a monsoon of a rain storm with a smile on my face as I dreamed about the day when I can feel that exaltation again about the NY Mets.  For those too young to have experienced the mid 80’s Mets and that championship season of 1986, that crowd at ATT Park was us back in the day but ramped up more than 1,000 decibels or more.  We made enough of a racket and disruption to make Shea Stadium literally rock and roll and then add in the anarchist behavior of the 80’s as we ran rough shod on Pete Flynn’s landscaped lawn to grab a souvenir slice of sod hoping that the rent a cops didn’t yank me by my pony tail.

When I watched the scene in San Francisco last night it just reinforced why I love baseball and of course the Mets, I’ve been in the middle of the celebratory scrum and I’d love to be in the middle of another one al least I won’t have to worry about getting pulled by the pony tail.

I have no problem what so ever about the club bring back Mike Pelfrey on an incentive laden contract for 2013. I know many Mets fans have jump off the Big Pelf bandwagon but I think he can be a contributor out of the pen if not the 5th starter on the team next season.

As for Andres Torres, what’s the decision he has got to go. If Torres is retained for 2013 I will be highly pissed off. Even if a deal can’t made for a center fielder, either Kirk Nieuwenhuis or Matt den Dekker would be a solid upgrade over Torres. I can’t believe this even a discussion amongst the Mets decision makers.

 

This is a picture of the NY Giants of 1888 who defeated the St. Louis Browns of the American Association in the exhibiton known as the World Series. The man in the middle is Giants manager Big Jim Murrite. When you’re named Big Jim odds are you don’t tolorate too much bullshit!   

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RE-MARCO-ABLE !

With a big workload staring back at me today I thought I’d just drop a short post and get to work. I took Friday off to head to the mountains of Pennsylvania, Resica Falls Scout camp to be precise, for a weekend camping trip (kids complained of a 7AM wakeup call on Sunday, “Why do we have to get up so early”? “Because the Giants-Redskins kick off at 1PM that’s why”)so of course there is a ton of work to be processed on my desk that I have to tackle this morning but I have a couple of points to put out there:

After seeing how the NY Highlanders are now kicking themselves in their pinstriped ass over the 5 years $117M+ owed to the fading fast Alex Rodriguez, has that changed your view on the Mets signing David Wright to a long term deal? Obliviously Wright is a more important part of the Mets organization than Rodriguez is to the Highlanders as an on field leader and off field wonderful spokesman for the team but he is hitting that magic baseball age of 30 that is the fork in the road of a baseball career. The majority of Mets fans want Wright to retire a Met and the organization feels the same way but anything more than 5 years for Wright could change that whole dynamic.  A deal of 5/$110M with team option on 6th year should be more than enough to keep Wright in orange and blue.

When I first started doing this blogger thingy over ten years ago, Marco Scutaro was a favorite of the small group of Mets fans on the internet who were blogging or commenting on message boards. Many fans started a FREE MARCO movement back in the 2002 season exalting to Art (Lights Up A Room) Howe to give Scutaro more playing time and sit the fading superstar Roberto Alomar. Seems like eons ago that Scutaro was a Met. Now here he is 9 years later as one of the most valuable cogs in the SF Giants great comeback to be one win away from a NL Pennant and a trip to the World Series. RE-MARCO-ABLE!

Speaking of flashbacks, did you see Jeffery “Penitentiary Face” Leonard throw out the first pitch last night?

Who doesn’t love a Game 7? No matter the sport, Game 7 is always a must see and be. It would be even better if it was at Citi Field tonight. I’m rooting for the Giants tonight to win and go on to win the World Series since I am the off spring of a John McGraw NY Giants fanatic. I always think about what would’ve have been if the Giants and Dodgers never left town and the Mets would never have been, you would most likely be reading the Sid Gordon Society right now.

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Some Showed Class Some Showed Crass

Well now that Chipper Jones has bid adieu to Flushing, it leaves Mets fans with not much to discuss until the off season. I have to admit, I watched maybe 5 minutes of yesterday’s game as the first Sunday of NFL action had me mesmerized for most of the day( NFL Red Zone on FiOs GREATEST….THING….EVER). It was encourage seeing that the majority of Mets fans in attendance at Citi Field showed how classy Mets fans can be by giving Jones a standing ovation. I know a few of the backwards cap wearing, beer swilling, longtime fans since 1999, and feel that the fans who acknowledge Jones for his fine Hall of Fame career should have their Mets fan card revoked but all that does is display their lack of Mets and New York baseball education.  Stan Musial’ “The Man” nickname came from Brooklyn Dodgers fans. Willie Stargell killed the Mets a la Jones but whenever the Pirates came to town Stargell was always given a warm reception as his talents as a player and team leader were respectfully acknowledged.    

As much as I admire Jones, I’m glad he’s gone off into the sunset so some of us can concentrate on watching Matt Harvey, Jeurys Familila  Jenrry Mejia and tonight’s starter Collin McHugh pitch to determine if they are part of the solution to get the Mets back to contending for a NL Pennant, the rest can get back to figuring out how many empty beer cups they can balance on their heads.

The Brooklyn Cyclones dropped game 2 of the NY-Penn League playoff series against the Hudson Valley Renegades to even the best of 3 series to 1 game apiece and the deciding game tonight in Wappinger’s Falls.  I have a lot of faith in tonight’s Brooklyn starter Luis Cesa as I saw his last start against Lowell where he went 8.2 innings for the win at Coney Island.     

 Last night I joined Mike Silva on his show at WGBB to talk about the relationship of late between reporters covering teams and how it has changed over the years and we also discussed the Chipper Jones farewell at Citi Field.

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WINNING UGLY, BETTER THAN LOSING PRETTY

Back in 1983, Tony LaRussa led a band of Chicago White Sox to the AL West Division title that were so disrespected, many opponents said of them they were Winning Ugly,  many of the East Coast sports writers felt if they played in the AL East they’d be a 2nd division club. In 2011, LaRussa is still managing and still winning and in taking the NL Pennant last night in Milwaukee, he still has his team Winning Ugly.  I’m not a fan of LaRussa as he comes off as believing the baseball Hall of Fame should have been built in his hometown of Tampa FL since it was he who invented baseball, but last night for the first time I really felt bad for him during this ugly Game 6. You could see the frustration on his face as he watched Edwin Jackson piss away a 5-1 lead in the second inning, and he had to go to his bullpen much sooner than he had hoped. If we learn anything from this post season it’s even the top echelon teams in baseball have woeful starting pitching so in order to win you need a well-stocked bullpen, something that Sandy Alderson has alluded to in his state of the Mets press conference at the end of this season.       

One more note on that 1983 White Sox team, Jerry Koosman was a stalwart of that pitching staff winning 11 games and saving 2. Many around that team felt the season turned around when GM Roland Hemond sent 2B Tony Bernazard (Yes THAT Tony Bernazard) to Seattle for 2B Julio Cruz.

Check out Mike Silva’s NY Baseball Digest as he has an interview he conducted with Bobby Valentine who is plugging a movie he was an executive producer on called “Peltotero” which follows tow Dominican teen agers as they pursue a career in the big leagues.  By the way, I agree with Mike’s thinking on Jose Reyes, and I bet that’s the path Alderson will take with Reyes’ contract negotiations as well. He will not get in a bidding war for the shortstop.

WOW now I know why I had such a great night sleep, Wally Backman has decided to stay in the Mets organization. A Festivius miracle I tell ya!

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BASEBALL FUTURERAMA

I guess I should be more sympathetic towards Highlander fans who have to sit in a cold nasty drizzle for opening day, but since I know not one of them would show us Mets fan any sympathy fuck ‘em let them freeze.

So as I wait for tomorrow night’s 7:05PM real opening day in South Florida, I guess this would be a good time to make my season predictions,

NL East

Chipper’s Chumps

Phuck Phaces

The Amazin’ New York Mets

Minnows

D.C. Follies

NL Central

Brewskies

Dusty’s Red Legs

Bird Brain Genius

Residents of the Friendly Confines

Bucos

McLane Gang

AL West

Height-Asbury Freaks and Beards

Hollywood Bums

Box O Rox

Friars Club

Snakes in the Sand

Wild Card

Phuck Phaces

NL Champs

Chippers Chumps

NL MVP

Ryan Braun

NL Cy Young

Tim Lincecum

NL Rookie of the Year

Freddy Freeman

NL Manager of the Year

Terry Collins

AL East

Team Dirty Water

Men of Maddon

Bronx Bastards

Ontario Audubon Society

Bucks O’s

AL Central

South Side Loco’s

Grady’s Gang

Motor City Cats

Midwest Monarchs

Woe is Wahoo

AL West

The Ghosts of Cornelius McGillicuddy

Ryan’s Express

Hello Halo’s

Space Needlers

Wild Card

Men of Maddon

NL Pennant

Team Dirty Water

AL MVP

Evan Longoria

AL Cy Young

Jon Lester

AL Manager of the Year

Joe Maddon

World Series Champs

Team Dirty Water

Check out THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN Podcast on Blog Talk Radio part of the Seamheads National Podcasting Network 

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HEY METS FANS, IT IS TIME FOR YOU TO STOP ALL OF YOUR SOBBING

The best part of the early morning release of Oliver Perez is not just the fact that the ineffective pitcher is mercifully gone but what has to have the Mets fan base giddy on this rainy cold morning is Sandy Alderson is running the baseball operations of the NY Mets. He is the man calling the shots; he put Baby Jeffy in the corner.

For all the gloom and doom financial news about the Skill Sets, the head baseball man in charge went to them and said time to eat $18 mil in contract, and all the Skill Sets could do is stand at attention and say “Sir, yes sir” You can debate that this should have been done before spring training or earlier but the bottom line is the Faces of Failure of the Minaya regime are gone.

With the Phuck Phaces signing Luis Castillo to a minor league deal as insurance in case Chase Utley will not make it to opening day and beyond tells me the Phuck Phace’s may not be the lead pipe cinch to win the NL Pennant most thought they were this winter.

Adam Rubin has a great Ollie Perez retrospective. It wasn’t  always days of suckitude with OP but his Mets career did end badly for all sides.

The feel good story of spring, the return of Izzy, has his a bump as Isringhausen is taking anti-inflamitories  for his surgically repaired elbow

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EAT THE RICH

Eat the Rich: there’s only one thing they’re good for
Eat the Rich: take one bite now – come back for more
Eat the Rich: I gotta get this off my chest
Eat the Rich: take one bite now, spit out the rest

I love the outrage from Highlander fans that Mets fan and other non-believers in the Pinstripe religion have the gall to mock the former World Series champs as they went down in flames to a team from a football mad state. Maybe the Flock form the Bronx will now realize that there are 29 other fan bases out there all deserving of their slice of the World Series pie. Nah, those who don the “look at my 27 TIME WORLD CHAMPION jacket” or the my favorite the big gas guzzling SUV with the huge NY on the back window, a staple for Highlander fans from Staten Island, only care about winning, as rooting for the Highlanders makes up for some deficiency in their lives.  Now I’m not saying all Highlander fans are like that and not even the majority but mostly the younger 20-30 year old fans are that way. There whole grasp of Highlander history is the organization has won 27 World Series titles and that’s it. So maybe with their team out of the post season they could sit down and do some research on the history of their team ? Nah never happen all they want to here is Cliff Lee and Carl Crawford are signed for a quarter of a million dollars, because it’s not scouting or sabermetric analysis that fuels the Highlanders it’s dead presidents baby.

Congratulations to the SF Giants for winning the 2010 NL Pennant and for playing in one of the best baseball games I’ve seen a long time. I have to tip my Mets cap to Bruce Bochy, who I’ve never been a fan of, for bring in The Freak to pitch the 8th inning. What a concept, bringing in your best pitcher to win a game. Even though Lincecum got in trouble with two on and one out, Brain Wilson came in and did what he did a lot of this season, get a 5 out save.

As a Mets fan it’s tough to root for Cody Ross who as a Fishhead killed the Mets and rubbed their noses in it but to go from cast off to NLCS MVP is impressive.

How about Bengi Molina? No matter what he gets a World Series ring and a check.

The one thing that has me skittish about Sandy Alderson taking over as Mets GM, is his philosophy of hiring non-descript managers. Alderson like the guy in the white short sleeve dress shirt with the blue tie and tie clip. Mets fans are looking for more of an aggressive Carhartt wearing type of dock boss as field general. Maybe that’s why this process is dragging out and that Josh Byrnes is getting a call back interview. Could it be the guy who says, he’s cool with Wally Backman being the manager gets the job?

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AIN’T THAT THUMPING, K-ROD OUT FOR SEASON

Think about this for a minute, the Mets have lost their closer for the remainder of the season and maybe part of next season and instead of panic and angst, Mets fan are celebrating like the team just won the NL Pennant. Francisco Rodriguez has torn ligaments in his right thumb, HOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Any other season the scramble would be on to find someone to pitch the 9th inning, instead Mets fans are full of optimism that the team will void Rodriguez contract. Fans don’t even care if they can legally do this it’s more like the want to see Rodriguez suffer and maybe that the great legal mind of David Howard can take on the MLBPA and win, what could be the most important contest the Mets have been involved in two years. 

Speaking for myself, I don’t care if the Mets have to pay K-Rod the rest of this year and next, although I’d think if the Mets could win a case against Rodriguez a ticker tape parade down Roosevelt Ave would be appropriate, I just want to see the front office show some fight and send a message that they actually give a shit about the team and are tired of being portrayed as bungling douche bags.

Maybe the tide is turning in Flushing, as the Mets not only signed their number one pick RHP Matt Harvey but they went over slot price as well.

As another Mets season goes down the shitter, what better time to worry about next years contract right? That’s what’s on the mind of Pedro Feliciano. Daily Pedro will be a free agent after this season and is looking to re-up with the Mets and raise up his salary from this years $2.9 mil. I’m sure Feliciano will be looking for a healthy bump in pay and years but at what point do the Mets say farewell as the price in both cash and time becomes prohibited? A LOOGY on a mediocre team is a luxury you don’t really need so it’s more the Mets missed the boat at the trading deadline by not dealing Feliciano. I’m pretty sure you can find a Quadruple A or league average player to play the LOOGY role for a fraction of the price of Daily Pedro.

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IT’S PRIMARY DAY FOR HOWARD MEGDAL FOR GM

Attention Mets Fans: Today is Primary Day for Howard Megdal’ run for General Manager of the NY Mets. This is an unprecedented run for office but then again no one of with the impeccable credentials of Howard Megdal has ever thrown his blue Mets cap into the ring.

Think of the some of the former GM’s of the Mets, George Weiss and Johnny “Grandma” Murphy have the taint of Highlander blood, Joe McDonald who lacked the guts to stand up to the Plantation owner M. Donald (HOCKKKKKK-TOOOOO) Grant when Tom Seaver was run out of town, Bing Devine who could have made us a contender but ran back to St. Louis like a homesick summer camper, the late Bob Sheffing, who was dead even when he was alive, Frank Cashen who couldn’t handle the Wild Mets of the 80’s as he got all bent out of shape when a little bit of champagne was spilled on a airplane ride back from winning the NL Pennant in Houston, Joe McIlvaine who was and still is a terrific scout but was never around when Freddy Skill Sets whistled (that may be a badge of honor instead of scorn) Al Harazin who I think sold aluminum siding for Bill-Ray before he was given the keys to the Mets castle, Hound Dog Steve Phillips who taste in trollops was as bad as his eye for ballplayers, Jim Duquette who didn’t fight hard enough to sign Vladimr Guerrero when the ex-Expo was laying out on a silver platter for him, and then of course we have the incumbent Omar Minaya who at the end of day, you know what I mean, has been pushed to photo copying and fax duty in the Mets front office as Jeffey Skill Sets and John Ricco run the baseball ops.

None of those men have put in the time, effort and passion into the New York Mets like Howard Megdal has. He has sat through the rain delays at Shea Stadium when it was just us, a few hundred fans (maybe a few homeless folks too) and the soothing sound of Jane Jarvis playing Rain Drops Keep Falling On My Head. He has eaten, Schickhaus, Kahn’s, Ball Park and Nathan’s Hot Dogs at Shea and Citi Field. He’s wash those dogs down with an RC Cola and Coke and now that swill that call Pepsi. His parents banked at Manufactures-Hanover and sat around deciding which Plymouth dealer to visit NY, NJ or Fairfield County? Howard wore a Lindsay Nelson style jacket for his Bar-Mitzvah. He went to Banner Day, Old Timers Day, and all the Sunday doubleheaders. He’s vacationed in the Catskills with Mr. Met, Lady Met and Baby Met.

The fact that a man like Howard Megdal has put aside his writing and broadcasting career to run for GM of the Mets to restore what is missing from this organization, which has lost it way. Do not let this recent run of prosperity sway your thinking. Howard will restore everything that has been missing for years in the Met front office, LOGIC, TRANSPARENCY, PASSION.

So vote today in the first primary which will be held at Amazin’ Avenue and NY Baseball Digest. Voting starts today and runs through this Friday.

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