METS INJURIES SPRED TO FRONT OFFICE, PODCASTS, PODCASTS AND MORE PODCASTS AND 9-11-11 GAS BAGS ON PARADE

Before I get started here let me first send out best wishes and speedy recovery to Mets VP of Media Relations, Jay Horowitz and to Director of Media Relations, Shannon Forde who are both hobbling around on injured ankles. Jay seems to have it the worst as he scheduled to have surgery Monday on his broken ankle, so hopefully both Jay and Shannon get better soon.

Time for a little self- promotion, first for all you who are football fans reading this site, I co-host a football podcast on Blog Talk Radio called NY FOOTBALL BLOGS LIVE with Frankie “The Sports Guy” Maniscalo. Last night we had running back Chris Ogbonnaya  of the Houston Texans as a guest. Tonight I will be co- hosting another episode of NY FOOTBALL BLOGS LIVE at 9PM ET with Anthony DiMoro of SportsRantz.com. Our guest will be Green Bay Packers blogger, J.C. Lombardi of PackerBackerBlog.com.

Last night, I was also a guest on Baseball Bloggers Alliance President, Daniel Shoptaw’ Cardinal 70 podcast. Daniel and I spoke about the Mets and the upcoming 10th Anniversary of September 11th and about how I became a Mets fan.

Also on the podcast front, the folks over at Mets Kult of Personality had the pleasure of interviewing former Mets pitcher Gary Gentry last night on their show.  Gentry in his rookie season of 1969, got the win in Game 3 of the NLCS and a win in Game 3 of the World Series. Both games were saved by Nolan Ryan and the World Series win was a nice tidy 5-0 shutout where Gentry and Ryan out dueled Jim Palmer.

I’m already overwhelmed with the coverage of the 10th Anniversary of the attack of September 11th 2001, maybe its because every day for me is a remembrance of 9-11, since I work four blocks from Ground Zero. I also see the U.S. Coast Guard ships equipped with machine guns escorting the SI Ferry I ride to and from work, and the NYPD Hercules Task Force, decked out in their full fighting regalia guarding the Subway stations. I see the Angel’s Corner in the Grasmere section of Staten Island just off Hylan Blvd where the residents of Staten Island who were murdered that day are memorialized.  I see the people who have moved downtown and in Tribeca, young people, young couples with young children who give me hope that maybe this city, this part of town, after ten years is back and as vibrant as ever.   There is nothing better than walking down Greenwich St on a late summer afternoon with the restaurants busy and kids from Stuyvesant High School and Manhattan Community College filling the streets laughing and enjoying each other’s company.

Sunday will be a very solemn day in NYC as the people who lost friends and loved ones will meet at the sight of their murder but instead of having their time to reflect and mourn, they will be inundated by gas bag politicians who will give speeches and make sad faces and make believe they actually give a shit about them and those they lost. In the days after the attack, the country pulled together and showed the pride and guts that makes the United States the great country it is, but ten years later, that’s all gone.  It’s all about prepackaged, over made up, and uniformed media whores going on every cable news channel to tell you that they are the person to lead this country to glory when all they are style without  substance.

Think about it, in the ten years since the attacks, the U.S. Government has spent trillions on two wars we should have never had been involved in nor could win and even if we did win what was the prize, while schools are still underfunded, a health care system that would ensure all Americans the right to have medical coverage is mocked and torn apart which wouldn’t be so bad if the critics had a another plan, which they don’t, we’re told that Social Security is a bad thing as is raising taxes on the richest 1 % of Americans. But it is still ok to fuck over the working class American who does more in an hour than some ass hat Congressman or Senator does in a full term of office.

Yes they will all be here downtown on Sunday in their dark suits with speeches in hand, especially the Dwarf Emperor of NYC who defied the law that said all you get is two terms in office and you move on but that law did not pertain to a man with billions. He will praise the FDNY, the same FDNY that he wanted to close the firehouses they work in and are at the ready to leave at a moments notice into situations most would run away from. He will then talk about the heroism of the NYPD the same NYPD that he decided had too many member’s and needed to be cut.    

Yes they will all be there, gas bags of every size, shape and political party trying to outdo each other in the grief and outrage of the day. Me? I’ll go get a slice a pizza and hang out on  Greenwich St and marvel at the people of NYC who deal with terrorist attacks and threats, earthquakes, hurricanes, blizzards, heat waves and phony do nothing politicians by never giving up and never backing down. That’s the American way.

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A PUBLIC DISPLAY OF OWNERSHIP?

So neither Mayor Moneybags or Jerry Seinfled are interested in buying the Mets. That’s fine by me because I am very much interested in buying the Mets

 (first thing I’d do is redesign Citi Field and make it like Cameron Indoor Stadium where all the seats in the field level of the stadium would be for Mets fans only and by fans I mean in order to sit there you would have to take a 10 question quiz on Mets history. For every question you get right I deduct a dollar off the already low 20 bucks I’d charge for the seat. Then I’d move all the club seats holders to the Promenade and make up the difference in my new ticket price plan on them. Oh and I enclose the whole promenade as so not to disturb the high rollers with our screaming and yelling of LET’S GO METS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)   

Except I lack the one thing that would make that happen. MONEY, but both Bloomy and Seinfeld are filthy rich so if they front me the cash, I would be happy to take ownership over from the Skill Sets.

Alex Remington on FanGraphs puts out the theory of the Mets going with a public sale of stock in the team as a way to raise capital and keep control of the franchise. If this happened I would definitely buy in. Remington mentions the Boston Celtics in his piece as a team that stock was available in back in the mid late 90’s. Being a Celtics fan, I bought 100 shares of Celtics stock for 8 buck a share. When the current management took over control of the team they wanted make them private, so they offered the shareholders $35 a share so my $800 investment brought me back $3500 and the right to say I once was a part owner of the Boston Celtics.  

Ed Marcus’ Top 50 Mets of all time checks today with #27 Jesse Orosco. Of course we can never forget Orosco on the mound for the NLCS and World Series clinchers and of course coming to the Mets from the Twins for Jerry Koosman but the game that stands out to me is July 22, 1986 in a 6-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds. Davey Johnson had both Orosco and his tag team partner Roger McDowell stay in the game by rotating them from the outfield to the pitcher’s mound.

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LET’S START THE SPRING OFF RIGHT, AND CUT OLLIE PEREZ AND LUIS CASTILLO

Most jobs are not that much different from sports teams when it comes to problem players/workers. There are always coaches/supervisors who feel they can take someone else’s problem or malcontent and turn them into a productive member of the organization.  But then there are exceptions and if this case with the Mets that exception is Oliver Perez.

In today’s NY Post, Kevin Kernan writes about OP not joining the early campers club in St Lonesome. So here we are on the eve of the official opening of camp and Oliver Perez is the lead in a Mets story and of course it’s of a negative nature. Everything  is of a negative nature when it comes to Perez.

It all started on July 30,2006. The Mets had just finished a sweep of the Atlanta Braves on the road to bring their record to 63-41 and a hard to believe 13 ½ game lead in the NL East. Mets management and fans had visions of the post season and of parades and tons of World Series memorabilia for us to waste our discretionary income on.  Man, we Mets fans were living the high baseball life until Duaner Sanchez decided he just HAD to have some rice and beans when he hit Miami, so he hopped in a cab with some friends and a drunk driver crashed into the cab and Dirty Duaner wrecked his shoulder and the Mets season. With the trade deadline that day, Omar Minaya in a state of panic dealt of productive Xavier Nady to the Pirates for Roberto Hernandez who would fill nicely in the bullpen. In order to get Hernandez though, the Mets had to take Perez as well.

Perez had his good moments like game 4 of the 2006 NLCS and was very good in 2007 but injuries and ineffectiveness took it’s toll on Perez’ velocity on his fastball and the bad Ollie from Pittsburgh came back to haunt the Mets.  The big debate after the 2008 season was should the Mets re-sign Perez or go for Derek Lowe.  Another deal gone wrong.

Perez, as well as Luis Castillo, are the remains of the failure of Omar Minaya. The more Mets fans see both these players the more they are reminded of the failures of the last administration.  If the Alderson regime is serious about a change in philosophy and in restoring responsibility and accountability back to the franchise, they need to give both Perez and Castillo their release. Both players are untradeable and there is no way in the world either player is making this team.

The organization is having a tough time business wise. Even without the Wilponzi scandal, the Mets would have a tough time selling tickets and finding people to believe the organization is moving forward.  The Mets can come up with exotic ticket plans but the bottom line is if you want the fans believe that winning is paramount and that is not business as usual when it comes to player development and competing for jobs, send them a sign, tell Ollie and Luis to stay home and let them know check is in the mail.

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EVERYBODY WAS KUNG FU FIGHTING, THOSE CATS WERE FAST AS LIGHTING

Excellent post by Mathew Cerrone of MetsBlog on how the Mets need Sandy Alderson even though Rick Hahn would be a fantastic hire as well. If the Mets were an expansion team or a team in a small market then Hahn would be the pick, put for the Mets who need to change the way they are perceived by other teams, the media and especially their own fans (a/k/a paying customers) then Sandy Alderson is the clear choice for GM.

On Tuesday’s THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN Radio Show, I spoke with Julian Levine of Splashing Pumpkins about the Giants-Phillies NLCS and how I wanted Bochy to put the Kung Fu Panda back in the lineup. He did and the Panda delivered. The Giants are one game away from the World Series. Part of me is hoping the Highlanders make a miraculous comeback and play the Giants in the World Series. If they do I’d make the trip to the South Bronx to root for the Gigantics while wearing my Johnny Antonelli throw back jersey.    

By the way, I give props to Ol’ Cholly for going with Roy Oswalt in 9th as he was the best pitcher available in the pen at that time. He was only going to use him for an inning any way and it still left Brad Lidge to close out the game. Where I do take some issue with Manuel is they way he used Jose Contreas for just one batter but hey I’m not complaining about the outcome that’s for sure.

The only part of the Rangers that worries me that they could suffer a Highlander collapse is their bullpen which is quite shaky.

I’ll just say I’m really looking forward to tonight’s Game 5 NLCS match up between The Freak and Doc Halliday and that’s all I’ll say. I feel like I jinxed yesterdays Game 5 of the ALCS so I’ll lay low with the wise ass remarks for now.

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STILL IN LIMBO

So I’m still a man without a home, a work home that is as the renovation of my office is taking on a rebuilding of London after WWII feel to it, but I figured give a little bit of an opinion of the last few days as per the Mets GM search and the post season:

It looks like Sandy Alderson is very much interested in running the Mets baseball ops and I as giddy as a character on GLEE if he gets the job. The fact that John Ricco was retained by the Skill Sets bodes well for Alderson coming on board and grooming Ricco to learn the GM the right way.  

Look I’m not happy with the Phuck Phaces domination of the Reds and Halladay’s no hitter, but I have to give him his due, that was one of the greatest pitched games I have ever seen from a guy not named Seaver.

Is it worse to not make the playoffs where at least you know your team needs to make some big changes or is it better to win your division but get your ass kicked in three games like the Twins? Just once I’d like to see the Twins step up in a post season match up vs. the Highlanders.

Same with the Rays, this is not the way to get folks to come out and support you

My boy Tim Lincecum was down right nasty last night as he dominated the Tomahawkers. Anyone for a NLCS Lincecum v. Halladay? Fuck Yeah!!!!

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WELCOME TO STORYTIME WITH GARY, KEITH AND RON

 

As stated here and on other sites, the repartee of Gary Cohen, Ron Darling, Keith Hernandez and Kevin Burkhardt have helped take the edge off another unfulfilling season by the NY Mets. Last night was no exception.

Just as I was ready to switch over to the Rays-Jays game, Gary Cohen brought up the comments by Wally Backman about the Mets managerial job. Wally kind of hinted that some of the moves that Jerry Manuel has made this season are not particularly the same ones he would have made as Mets manager. No one is better than setting up his partners like Cohen and this subject got Hernandez and Darling going and we were off to the drag races.

Darling seemed offended by Wally’ statement saying there should be some sort of code of conduct between mangers. Hernandez then added it wasn’t such a bad thing like when Gary Carter practically put his thump and pinky to his ear during an interview and mouthed ‘Call me Jeff” into the camera. Darling agreed and you can just tell that back in the day, Kid Carter was a handful in the clubhouse. Hernandez then went on to let us know that Wally likes to talk. He mentioned that when the Mets were to play the Astros in Game 5 of the 1986 NLCS Backman was crowing in the clubhouse how the Mets were going to win that game. Hernandez said he went over to Backman and told him to keep quiet, and reminded him that Nolan Ryan was pitching (against Dwight Gooden in one of the great post season match ups as Ryan K’d 12 and walked just 1 in 9 inns while Doc pitched 10 innings and got a ton of ground ball outs as the Mets won the game in 12 innings on a Gary Carter single scoring guess who? Wally Backman) to which Backman replied in his Wally Way “Who gives a fuck”!

From there the SNY camera got a glimpse of Roger McDowell on the Braves bench and Hernandez had us all gather around the 50’’ Sony HD TV to hear the how Roger McDowell hated Gregg Jefferies guts. Keith brought up, as he has a many occasion (you get the feeling that Richie Hebner would be given a warmer welcome into the Mets Alumni than Gregg Jefferies ) how Jefferies was the only player on the team to have his own private bag for his bats, and Keith blamed Charlie Samuels for that as Darling added “you blame Charlie for everything” and the trio of announcers had a good laugh. Hernandez continued on how this burned the other players ass’s and McDowell had had enough of this little prima donna getting preferential treatment and proceeded to take  Jeffries bats and tossed them from the bag out into the parking lot at Shea. That yarn brought back memories of when Soldier of Fortune aficionado Randy Myers and McDowell took Jefferies bats and sawed them in half. I have mentioned here a few times  when John Franco joined the Mets in 1990 he tried very hard to get Jefferies to understand he needs to be more of a “we” guy than the me guy he was and to that end Franco invited Jeffieries for a night on the town in Bay Ridge Brooklyn. Franco was an acquaintance of a few of my friends so I’ve gotten to meet him on a few occasion so when he walked into the club where my buddies and I were hanging out, with Jefferies, we thought we were set for a pretty good night of partying. Well, after just about an hour at the club (The Penthouse for all you old disco types from Brooklyn out there) Jefferies was hitting on every woman in the place and nearly got the living shit kick out of him for it. Lucky for him the bouncers at the club were teammates of ours from our Staten Island Touch Tackle League team (Someday I’ll tell the story of when I ran down former Notre Dame and Pittsburgh Steelers QB Terry Hannraty  for a sack, the highlight of my journeyman athletic career) so Jefferies was spared a Bay Ridge beat down. Also that was the last time Franco ever invited Jefferies out for even a cup of coffee. When I was managing teams in Staten Island Little League, Franco’ son JJ was in the league and John would come watch him play when he could, When I saw him one evening at the complex I went to say hi and he said “Geez I see you everywhere around the Island (Franco lived just a few block from me on Staten Island) I laughed and then I asked him if he still kept in touch with Jefferies, Franco looked at me and said “Holy shit your were there too”?

Wow talk about making a short story long, anyway, Hernandez went on about the last game of the 1989 season when McDowell then a Phillie, and Jefferies fought as the last out of the game and season was recorded. The story in the NY Times paints a very ugly picture of that season and gives us a glimpse of the turmoil that the 90’s would bring. This quote from Phillies manager Nick Leyva sums up the feeling for Gregg Jeffries around baseball:

Nick Leyva, Philadelphia’s manager, defended McDowell by saying that Jefferies is not popular among his own teammates, then Leyva said, ”There were 30 guys on our side rooting for Roger and 20 guys on their side rooting for Roger.”

As a Mets fan, the one thing you should be rooting for right now is tonight’s game is a blow out early, maybe story time with Keith and Ron will talk about the nights at Rusty Staub’ restaurant on the East Side, that will be better than Taxi Cab Confessions.

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HOT CHILD IN THE $ITI

Oh those gritty, gutsy Mets. Did you ever think those words would be used to describe our favorite baseball team? Me either but yesterday’s 3-2 win over Cardinals a game Tony LaRussa managed the 8th inning like it was Game 7 of the NLCS (but it paid off for the stinking genius) was close to baseball as it ought to be. A few observations from the day at $iti Field:

 

Johan Santana had a very difficult time in the first three innings finding the strike zone as he had neither command of his fastball or change up in the first three innings whether this was due to his mechanics or the ineptitude of home plate ump Ron Kulpa  I’m not sure but after giving up a walk to Chris Carpenter in the 4th Santana all of a sudden got locked in and took control of the game. The mark of a great pitcher is when he can’t get his best pitches over for strikes he still finds a way to stay on top of his game and work his way through until he figures out how to get those pitches working or has a plan B and gets that to work. No panic, no fear that’s Johan Santana.

 

Ryan Church is lucky J-Man didn’t take out his blade and cut his ass after yesterday’s game. Manuel has put the challenge to Church by putting him the clean up spot while Sheffield recoups from his cortisone shot to his knee. So far the challenge not met by Church. With Daniel Murphy on second and Luis Castillo on first, D-Wright had an outstanding at bat. After looking at two called strikes, Wright bared down and then let two balls go out of the strike zone to even the count 2-2, the next pitch Wright just missed (a fastball I believe from Kyle McClellan) and then took the two more pitches for a base on balls. Outstanding at bat. Of course after that Tony LaRussa made yet another trip to the bullpen (and had me make a mess out of my score card) lefty Trever Miller to face Church.

 

Now here was Church’s time for redemption in the game as he misplayed a ball hit by Rick Ankiel in 6th as he broke in the tried to get back and the ball sailed over his head for a double and Ankiel eventually scored the Cards second run so with the bags drunk it was Ryan Church in the spotlight (“Church bells may ring, ding –dong-ding, church bells may ring, ding-dong-ding”)  time to show the manager, the fans and his teammates the he is ready to step up.

 

Miller seems to have a bit of the yips as he can’t find the strike zone and falls behind 3-0 to Church. Ok now Ryan take a strike here, atta boy. Ok now it’s on a platter for you 3-1 and the pitch………..A CALLED STRIKE!!!!!!!!! Ryan, you are batting in the coveted clean up spot, the bases are loaded, it’s the bot of the 8th and a 1 run game WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU TAKING ON 3 AND 1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AAAAAAAAGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

 

Now realizing he’s not up there to leave it up to Tatis, Church swings at the next pitch and fouls it off. Now Church is digging that back foot in the batters box determined to get a hit here but Miller just rears back and blows one by Church who took a huge swing and missed but at that point it didn’t matter this at bat was done at 3 balls 1 strike. Want to bet that Church sits tonight against Sabathia ? If he got a hit there lefty or no lefty he would have earned the start but after that at bat and the play in the 6th inning Church will sit tonight and it’s deserved.

 

The more I go to $iti Field the more I love the place (don’t worry we old timers will always have Shea in our hearts) how can you not. I know it has its faults (see Mets Police for those as he is the Elliot Ness of Mets fandom) and management (are you ready for this) seems to be listening to it’s fan base (S-H-O-C-K-I-N-G I know!) First thing I saw walking in I looked at the scoreboard in right/center and guess what? The lineups were posted ! YA-HOO!. Then in the 8th inning no Sweet Caroline (HURAYY!!) but Meet The Mets (HURRAH!) now I do have a little bone to pick, how about playing the whole Meet The Mets song? Why do the butcher and the baker and the people on the street always get the short end of the stick all the time?

 

I was no fan of Michael Jackson’ when he was alive so I’m not mourning his death today but I was shocked that he died just for the fact that he is the same age as me. I know it’s not polite to speak ill of the dead but the guy was a walking freak show which was not the worst of his sins, those he will pay for it he hasn’t already. I do feel sorry for him in that he didn’t really have much of a life which again proves my mother theory that even if you have a lot of money that doesn’t mean you’re rich and if that’s the case Jackson died broke in more ways than one.

 

Now someone I was a fan of was Farrah Fawsett as were many young men back in the 70’s. Show of hands how many of you fella’s had this poster in your room (my hand is up) and how many of us looked to date girls with that blonde hair in a flip (hand still up)

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SIX INNINGS-JAMES PRELLER

Jame Preller is a big time Mets fan and and an author  of children’s books.  His latest book is Six Innings which intertwines a Little League championship game with Game 6 of the 1986 NLCS. If you’re a parent, grandparent or aunt or uncle or if you are looking for a gift for a child this Christmas put down the video game and  buy them a book. They will be pissed off at first but later on they’ll thank you down the line  as there is no more important skill in life than reading and it is a shame that there are kids in this country that have reading problems or are apathetic to reading that it is a damn shame.  One book that would make a terrific gift this season would be Six Innings.

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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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