Redemption Weekend

The mantra of Terry Collins the second half of this dismal season has been “this is the time for some guys to show they belong here’ here being in the big leagues. So far the vast majority of Mets players have not measure up to that test. What should infuriate Mets fans even more is that the wild card race has become a wide open affair in the National League.

For most of the season it looked as though the Braves and Pirates would be playing in the one game knockout tournament. The Dodgers then went out and made the deal of the millennium and the Giants lost Melkey Cabrea to doping charges. It seemed like the Giants would drop out and the Dodgers would take over the NL West.  The opposite occurred with the Giants players bonding in the wake of the Cabrea suspension and the fact that the Melk Man wasn’t man enough to face his teammates to apologize for abandoning them. It seems that back turn by Cabrera has been a rallying cry for the Giants. The Dodgers on the other hand have stopped scoring runs (sound familiar?) and the Pirates returned to form losing 15 of their last 20 games, same for the Cardinals who have dropped 12 of last 20 while the Braves have tread water at 10-10. While those teams hit the skids the left for dead Phillies and Brewers have both gone on 15-5 streaks to get them back in the thick of wild card contention.  Have you noticed I’ve failed to mention our beloved NY Mets in this conversation? Why is it that some teams like the Phillies and Brewers can go into slumps but then not give up the season and fight for a spot? How is it that team’s like the Pirates, Dodgers and Cardinals are now in slumps, at the worst time of the season to do so, but are still fighting to stay in the hunt while the New York Eeyores just plod along?  

This should be the message that Terry Collins sends his players in his pre-game talk with them. Let them know that these three games with the Brewers are a test, a test to see if they have the heart and guts to compete with a team that rose from the ranks that the Mets have made permanent residence in, the also ran’s, to a team in contention.  Let them know that this is their time to have an impact on the season to help alter the course of the post season race. To me this is a real test of Collins and his players to show that they actually give a shit about winning.  If this team can’t find it in itself to show some competiveness and some pride in this series and Terry Collins comes out in the post-game and says he saw some good things and that guys tried, I’m going to sue the Mets for the price of a 55” Samsung TV because I will throw the remote control through my television if that happens.

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THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN RADIO SHOW TONIGHT AT 10PM ET ON BLOG TALK RADIO

Join me tonight at 10PM ET for THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN Radio Show on Blog Talk Radio . My guest will be Julian Levine writer of the San Francisco Giants site, Splashing Pumpkin. Julian and I will be talking about the Giants run to the post season and their great weekend in San Diego as well as the race in the NL West between the Giants, Padres and Rockies. We will also be monitoring the Giants-Dodgers game tonight as well.

If you can’t join us live you can always listen to the podcast right here at Kranepool Society (lower left side bar) or at the show page at Blog Talk Radio and also as a download on iTunes

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GO GET THE SYM-PHONY THEY’RE PLAYING FOR A CHAMPIONSHIP IN BROOKLYN

I’m about fried with this Walter Reed no show debate but it just shows how badly the Mets need a PR firm to come in and do a much needed makeover on how this organization does things and how to get a POSITIVE message not turn into a negative one . When an event like a trip to meet with injured soldier’s turns into a frenzy of negativity something is definitely wrong and it’s time refocus and reinvent how your franchise is viewed by your fans and throughout baseball.

One way would to bottle or just promote the folks running the Brooklyn Cyclones who do a great job on Coney Island year after year with game day promotions and making the overall atmosphere at MCU Park very enjoyable. It doesn’t hurt to put a talented, hustling team on the field either.

The Cyclones took game 3 of the NY-PENN League Semi-Finals and will now move on to meet the Tri-City Valley Cats, a Houston Astros farm team, in the Championship best of 3 series. Darrell Ceciliani has bounced back from knee injury to get back to his hitting ways and C Blake Forsythe (who has not impressed me at all at bat and most definitely behind the plate) had a big 2run HR over the center field wall that is 412 ft from home plate and has not been cleared too often.     

Who’s on second for the Mets in 2011? My guess? Daniel Murphy and a defensive infielder (Joaquin Arias or Luis Hernandez) start the season. Reese Havens if we can stay healthy, gets about 200 AB’s in the minors, and takes over the position, moving Murph to a super sub role.   

I’ll watch Mets-Phillies tonight because Jenry Mejia is getting another start in a match up with Roy Halladay but come 9PM I’m switching over to what has become must see TV, the NL West pennant race. The Rockies are on a roll with 7 straight in the win column and then at 10PM it’s Giants-Padres from Petco Pk. The only way this night gets screwed up is if the game is not on CSN Bay Area and I don’t get to here my second favorite announcers Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow. The way the Mets are going, I’m starting to sway back to my roots with the Giants since I have the MLB Extra Innings, I’ve enjoyed these late night romps with Kruk & Kuip .

 Check out my NFL WEEK 1 picks at NY Football Blog and don’t forget I will be joining Frankie Maniscalco on NY Football Blog LIVE on Blog Tak Radio Sunday Night at 9PM ET to talk Giants-Jets and the Buffalo Bills football  

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“CLOWNS TO THE LEFT OF ME, JOKERS TO THE RIGHT, HERE I AM, STUCK IN THE MIDDLE WITH YOU “

22 days until pitchers and catchers

As a Mets fan, I’m starting to feel like a weary traveler standing at the airport luggage carrousel waiting for my bags, and my bags have gotten lost.

Pitchers have gone around the free agent carrousel and the Mets just stand there waiting and waiting and waiting to the point where they are the lone team standing around with nothing to show.

Ben Sheets for $10 mil is a very steep price to pay but give the A’s and Billy Beane credit for taking a chance with Sheets. Beane is taking a shot that of the three things that can happen with Sheets, if  two of the scenarios work in the A’s favor, Beane and the A’s come out a winner.  He can stay healthy and become the Ace of a very young and potentially strong starting rotation and the A’s can be big time contenders in the NL West, or he can stay healthy and the rest of the team not play up to expectation and fall out the race where by Beane can flip Sheets for a couple of top prospects, or the worst case scenario, Sheets breaks down like a ’76 Pinto and the A’s are stuck with an expensive invalid.

But then again, Beane and the A’s management are competent and have watched Sheets throw and checked his medical reports and have given him a full medical by doctors who have cleared Sheets good to go, so with the odds in his favor Beane decides to spend Lew Wolf’s money and go for a post season berth.

Jeffey Skill Sets on the other hand, will take the money saved on buying much cheaper baseball labor to build an extension of his Hamptons mansion.

At some point one of our fine beat reporters in this town should really try to get through the Wall of Horowitz and get a sit down interview with Jeffey Skill Sets to get answers on how he feels that the baseball team he runs is the laughingstock of the industry.  The Mets have gone from an organization where every player agent made sure that the Mets were involved with their client during free agency to an organization that has become Plan Z (welcome Jason Bay) The Mets wanted John Lackey but John Lackey wanted no part of the Mets.  A pitcher coming from the American League refused to even talk to a team in the NL, that plays in a pitchers ball park, in the greatest city in the world, for a team with a big income. Stunning.

Jason Marquis begged the Mets to sign him but the Mets treated him like he had cooties. Bengi Molina? He’s a Met the MSM told us, it’s just a matter of finding a pen with ink in it. Molina is back with the Giants.  Randy Wolf? Never called Flushing.  “Mr. Minaya, Joel Piniero on line 1” WHO? Responds Omar. Jon Garland? No! Chone Figgins? No! Orlando Hudson? No! Aroldis Chapman? No! If he were 45 years old then YES! Russell Branyan? No! and on and on and on…………………………

This perception of the Mets is not a figment of Mets fans imaginations, it’s real, the baseball world shakes its head and says “How the fuck?” We can rant all day and night about Omar Minaya and Fire Omar, and Omar this and Omar that. Get over your Omar hate, this is beyond Omar. Omar Minaya is a bit player in the Mets moves these days.  If Omar were the baseball boss, Molina and Piniero would be Mets and Carlos Delgado would have a 5 year deal. But nothing gets done until Jeffey Poo says it’s done. That’s why we’re fucked.

I give Johan Santana a ton of credit not just for showing up at the mini camp but for coming on WFAN with Joe Bada Bing and Tinkerbell and being positive and optimistic about this team. The right man in charge could play this “the whole world thinks you guys suck” as a rallying cry but the guy that would play that angle perfectly has to prove himself on Coney Island this summer, while Cool Breeze Jerry works on his lounge act in Flushing.

I swear to Henry Chadwick that I hope I’m wrong that Wright and Reyes explode with career years and Daniel Murphy hits like I believe he can and that Bay and Frenchy  prove to be “corner-stones”, and Beltran comes back like a track star that hits 30 HR’s  and Big Pelf pounds that strikezone like a blacksmith and this team is not just competitive but contends for the NL East crown.

As negative as I’ve been all winter and I’m sure other Mets fans will say the same thing, none of us wants to go through another summer like last year.  As I look down the line on the big decision makers though in this organization though, it is very hard to get enthused.  Jeffey is clueless and Omar is ball-less, and the manager couldn’t care less.

All I have is my ace pitcher preaching to me like Bob Marley, I hope he’s right. It’s hard to find Three Little Birds when it’s so damn cold outside

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BANG BANG

I’m moving to a new desk today (a nice corner spot) so I wanted to post some items before I get busy with the heavy lifting so here we go:

 

No one is a bigger fanboy of Petey than me but no way, no how does Omar bring him back. Thank you Petey and good luck. See you in Cooperstown.

 

Okay all you commentators who told me I was out of my mind about bringing Jason Varitek to the Mets, after further review you guys are right I’m nuts. It just that I am not impressed with Brian Schneider both with the stick and especially behind the plate.

 

Anthony (or as we say in Brooklyn ANT-NEE) has a post on Hot Foot on the culinary treats awaiting us at $iti Field. If I were on the concession planning committee I would add an old time New York candy store at the ballpark as well. Have penny candies, Pretzels, Mets periodicals and of course EGG CREAMS!!!! If Freddy Skill Sets doesn’t have a spot for an Egg Cream concession then he’s not as Brooklyn as I think he is.

 

Speaking of $iti Field, Maury Brown of the Biz of Baseball posts on how the name $iti Field will still be atop the ballpark even with the firm throwing 50,000 workers out into the street a month before Christmas.

 

 

Do you get the feeling that Francisco Rodriguez’ agent Paul Kinzer is in a bit over his head in negotiating a contract for his client? How do you not have the medical records from the Angles to show the Mets or any other team interested in K-Rod?

 

Happy Birthday Jay Hook. Also the late Cal Koonce was born on this day.

 

Omar better keep an eye on Brain Sabean as he is looking to grab all the fringe relievers on the market. I’m not a big fan of Sabean as I feel he is very overrated as a GM but the signing of Jeremy Affeldt was solid and the word is he is looking to lock up Joe Beimel and Juan Cruz as he sees the NL West as weak enough for the Giants to make a run at the division in ‘09

 

In this post by Joe Posnanski he writes about listening to football on the radio and how football in person is much tougher to watch than on TV as you need to see replays from three or four angles to appreciate what happened on every play. The best part of the post though is that Posnanski is writing a book on the 1975 Cincinnati Reds. I will be all over that book when it’s released. Back in those days, as much as I was a Mets fan the Mets were pretty bad and I just found the Big Red Machine fascinating.

 

WCBS880 has pics of $iti Field (with its grass in place) and the demo of Shea Stadium. I wish Shea was demoed already as watching these pics is torture. I hate watching Shea just waste away Please give the place the dignity it deserves.

 

I know hockey does not have the pizzazz of baseball or football in this town but Henrik Lundquist should be a much bigger deal in NYC than he is. Hopefully he and the Rangers will enjoy a Stanley Cup during his Ranger career as his goaltending will lead to his 30 to hang from the Garden rafters. 

 

Legendary basketball coach Pete Newell has passed away at 93 and big men everywhere are sad.

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Tickets

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