The folks at Kiners Korner have been putting out some quality podcasts on their Kult of Mets Personalities show with great guests. Last night they had Nolan Ryan as a guest and few weeks ago they had Kris Benson on as well.
A daily account of the trials and tribulations of the New York Mets. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The folks at Kiners Korner have been putting out some quality podcasts on their Kult of Mets Personalities show with great guests. Last night they had Nolan Ryan as a guest and few weeks ago they had Kris Benson on as well.
My friends over at Kiner’s Korner will have a their guest tonight on their Kult of Mets Personalitities Podcast on Blog Talk Radio, former Met, Baseball Hall of Famer and President of the Texas Rangers Nolan Ryan.
The podcast goes live at 8:30PM ET you do not want to miss this.
For some reason, I have centerfielders on my mind
All’s quiet in Flushing and according to Adam Rubin, it will stay quiet until the team meets in Port St. Lonsome. Seems the Mets are close to reaching their budget ceiling of $90Mil
The only thing that has me thinking the signing of Yu Darvish is a good move is that Nolan Ryan is running the Rangers and if he didn’t think Darvish was worth it, the Rangers would never have bid over $50 mil to obtain his rights. Imagine having $50 mil to throw around just for a bid on a player? SIGH! I miss those big market days
Happy Birthday to David Wright who is 29 years old today and still a Met. Rumor is he wanted a strawberry shortcake birthday cake but got a cherry filled cake instead #BlameBeltran
Mets Police has his released his Airing of Grievances today after giving out his awards for 2011 (The Mazzilli’s)
Frank Fransisco is officially a Mets after passing his physical two weeks after agreeing to a deal. The hold up was the club was trying to scrape together the co-pay.
The Arizona Diamondbacks signed Jason Kubel to a 2yr/$15 mil contract yesterday. This relegates Gerardo Parra, the 2011 Gold Glove winner, to fourth outfielder status. If I’m the GM of the Mets ( I just play a GM here on the internet) I am on the phone right now with Kevin Towers trying to find a way get Parra to the Mets to play center field.
Finally Happy Hanukkah to all those who celebrate the holiday
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.
On Tuesday June 14th at 12 Noon, The Irish-American Baseball Hall of Fame will induct Nolan Ryan, John McGraw, Big Ed Walsh, Gene Monahan, Steve Donohue and Terry Cashman at Foley’s NY (18 W 33rd St) Here are the bio’s for the newest inductees:
Among the most dominating right handers in Major League history and known as the “Ryan Express,” Nolan Ryan is baseball’s all-time strikeout king (5,714). He holds numerous records including seasons played (27), no hitters (7), and strikeouts in a season (383). During his storied career, Ryan recorded 324 wins for the Mets, Angels, Astros and Rangers. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 1999 and was a member of MLB’s “All-Century Team.” Ryan played a key role for the 1969 New York Mets by recording a 2 1/3 inning save in Game 3 of the World Series. He is currently part owner and team president of the Texas Rangers.
One of the top pitchers of the early 20th century, Big Ed Walsh is baseball’s all-time ERA leader (1.82). In 1908, he had one of the greatest seasons in history, winning 40 games and posting an ERA of 1.42. Born in Plains Township, PA, Walsh had four 20-win seasons, six sub-2.00 ERA seasons, and was a World Series champion with the Chicago White Sox in 1906. He owns the second-best WHIP (1.00) in Major League history, compiled a win–loss record of 195–126, and recorded 1,735 strikeouts primarily for the White Sox. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 1946. A meteoric star of the “Dead Ball” era, Big Ed Walsh is the quintessential great but overlooked Irish American in the game of baseball.
3. John McGraw (Hall of Famers and Legends)
With his 2,763 managerial victories, John McGraw ranks second only to the legendary Connie Mack in Major League history. A dominant figure in early baseball, he led the New York Giants for 31 years, winning 10 pennants and three World Series. McGraw managed in both the first World Series and the inaugural All Star Game in 1933. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 1947. John McGraw was also an exceptional player who hit .334 lifetime and stole 436 bases.
4. Gene Monahan/Steve Donohue (Trainers)
Long time New York Yankee trainers Gene Monahan and Steve Donohue have attended to numerous World Series teams. They were named MLB’s best trainers by the Professional Athletic Trainer Society in 2010. Monahan, who is proud of his Irish roots, is a throat cancer survivor and is one of three employees to span the entire length of George Steinbrenner’s ownership. Earlier this year, he announced his retirement at the end of the 2011 baseball season. Donohue, whose ancestors hailed from Cork and Wexford, has been part of Yankees’ training staff since 1986.
5. Terry Cashman (Entertainers)
Terry Cashman is best known for his hit song Talkin’ Baseball, which was inspired by a photograph he saw of 1950s icons Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle and Duke Snider. The song struck a chord with fans during the 1981 baseball strike and has grown in popularity ever since. Over the years, Cashman has revised the lyrics of Talkin’ Baseball to accommodate every Major League team’s history. Now widely known as “The Balladeer of Baseball,” Cashman played for the Detroit Tiger organization during the early 1960s. Born Dennis Minogue in New York City, Terry Cashman’s Irish roots are in Co. Clare.
What better day to announce the nominees for the Irish-Amercian Baseball Hall of Fame than St. Patrick’s Day.The Hall and the ceromonies are held at one of my favorite places in all of the city, Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant (run by Shaun Clancy and his dad John, two great men of County Cavan) 18 W 33 St across from the Empire State Building. SO if you are at the parade today stop by Foley’s as I’m sure the joint will be jumpin’ for sure.
Here are the nominees :
HALL OF FAMERS and LEGENDS
Big Ed Walsh – Baseball’s All-Time ERA Leader
Wee Willie Keeler – A .341 lifetime hitter who shares the longest ever NL hitting streak (44 games) with Pete Rose
Mighty Casey of the “Mudville Nine” – Character in Ernest Thayer’s famous poem
CURRENT LIVING EX-PLAYERS
Nolan Ryan – Baseball’s All-Time Strikeout Leader, now president of the Texas Rangers
“Super Joe” McEwing – Popular versatile player, now a White Sox minor league manager
Jeff Nelson – Four-time World Series champion, now a broadcaster with MLB Network
John McGraw – Legendary New York Giants manager
Tom Kelly – Minnesota Twins two-time World Series champion manager
“Walpole Joe” Morgan – Former Boston Red Sox manager
Gene Monahan/Steve Donohue – Longtime New York Yankees trainers
Mike Kindle – President of Baseball Ireland (Dublin)
John Fogerty – Writer/Singer of “Centerfield”
Terry Cashman – Writer/Singer of “Talking Baseball” (30th anniversary this year)
John Fitzgerald – Filmmaker of “The Emerald Diamond”
“The nominating committee has come up with some intriguing names this year,” said Shaun Clancy, owner of Foley’s, which features one of the country’s most extensive public displays of baseball memorabilia outside of Cooperstown. “We believe it is significant that baseball’s all-time strikeout king and its all-time ERA leader are both of Irish descent and have New York connections. So do the legendary manager John McGraw, players Wee Willie Keeler, Joe McEwing and Jeff Nelson, Yankees trainers Gene Monahan and Steve Donohue, and songwriter Terry Cashman.”
With the blessing of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Foley’s, a popular destination among baseball players, executives, umpires and fans, created the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame to recognize players, managers, executives, journalists, and entertainers of Irish descent. Inductees are chosen based on a combination of factors, including impact on the game, popularity on and off the field, contributions to society, connections to the Irish community, and, of course, ancestry.
The game of baseball has welcomed immigrants from its earliest days, when an estimated 30 percent of players claimed Irish heritage. Many of the game’s biggest stars at the turn of the 20th century were Irish immigrants or their descendants, including Michael “King” Kelly, Roger Connor (the home run king before Babe Ruth), Eddie Collins, Big Ed Walsh and managers Connie Mack and John McGraw. Today, major league teams regularly sign players born in Latin America, Japan, Canada, and elsewhere.
Shaun Clancy, an amateur baseball historian, created the Hall after learning about the rich heritage of Irish Americans in the sport dating from its infancy – a legacy overshadowed in recent years by other ethnicities. He decided to celebrate his roots and those who helped make the game great by creating a shrine to Irish Americans in baseball in 2008.
McGraw has to be a lock to be named to the Hall. I will always have soft spot for McGraw for if it wasn’t for him I might be a Highlander fan today. When my father and one of my uncle’s decided to leave Boston after a living there a year when they arrived from County Sligo, they both had jobs laying gas pipes in Canarsie for Brooklyn Union Gas. On a day off they both decided to take a trip to the Bronx to see Babe Ruth and the Highlanders. When they got the Stadium, there were surprised by the lack of people around. That was because the Highlanders were on the road they were told by the cop on the beat. The cop told them if they wanted to see a baseball game, take a walk over the bridge to the Polo Grounds and go watch the Giants. So off they went.
As they took their seats they noticed a guy barking orders at players, they asked who he was, a fan told them “That’s McGraw, he runs the team” They looked at each ‘What ? An Irishman is the boss?” That was it my dad and uncle became die hard NY Giants fans, even though they lived in Brooklyn and stayed in Brooklyn to raise families in the heart of Dodger country. When the Giants left town both of them and the Mets were born they became Mets fans as did my brothers and my cousins. Things happen for a reason who knows, if the Highlanders were home that day, this site might have been The Tom Tresh Society. I hope Mugsy gets elected to the Hall with a landslide vote.
Someday, when that someday will be I don’t know, but someday a big league manager is going to have the brains and the confidence to do away with the role of the closer. Maybe that day will be when Mariano Rivera retires, which may not be for another ten years but I hope that whoever is hired by the Mets makes on of his first command decisions that the day of saving your best arm for just the ninth inning is over. The only team that can still say they have a legitimate pitcher to finish a game are the Highlanders and until mangers like Texas’ Ron Washington, get this though their thick skulls, they just might win more baseball games than they lose.
If Nolan Ryan is going to be the new tough guy in the Rangers front office when he claims that it’s time to re-evaluate the way bullpens are used and develop starting pitchers who should be conditioned to pitch deep into their starts, he might like to have a little sit down with Washington today before game two and let him know, when the game is on the line and you feel you’ve gotten all you can out of your starter, bring in the best arm you have in the pen.
I’m not looking to kill Ron Washington here as he managed the way every big league manager would have in that eighth inning, plus Darren Oliver and Darren O’Day needed to step up and how in the world does Ian Kinsler have a brain fart in the eighth getting picked off?
The Rangers had the Highlanders on the ropes and bleeding but they lacked that killer instinct, that solid knockout punch, hopefully they can turn the page and go out today and tattoo Phil Hughes, if not, the who gives a shit what Cliff Lee does in Game 3?
While I sit and wait for the Skill Sets to pick a new baseball czar, there is post season baseball to revel in starting today with a triple header on TBS. As viewers, we can be thankful that this year we won’t get “fisted” while watching the coverage but he have to hope that Ernie Johnson knows the difference between a suicide squeeze and a pick and roll. On to my predictions:
Phuck Phaces vs. Cincin-NATTA Red Stockings
Let’s be truthful here the Phuck Phaces have the best three man rotation in the playoffs with Halladay, Oswalt and the Girlie Man so this is a tough assignment for ol’ Dust-aroo and his Queen City Rollers. If Edison Volquez can beat Doc Halladay in game 1 we could have the makings of a great upset but that’s asking a lot but if the Reds can win game 1 and then have Mike Francesa Boy Toy, Bronson Arroyo going in game 2 then their will a ton o’ pressure on Cholly Chuckles boys. I want to say Reds in 4 but it ain’t gonna happen. Phuck Phaces in 4
Small Cox vs The Fuck Yeahs
Has word gotten to Braves fans that their team is in the post season? Maybe a couple of them would like to go to a game or two ? My rooting interest is with the San Francisco By Way of W 155 St & 8th Avenue Giants. It’s part nostalgia and part that I’m a Tim Lincecum fanboy and part I find the Braves and the city of Atlanta revolting. The Bochy Boys have too much pitching to lose here in fact I’m calling this one Giants in 3.
Lone Stars vs Men in Plaid
This is a tough choice here as I love Nolan Ryan but I find Joe Maddon cute and goofy plus there is the Stu Sternberg Brooklyn/Mets fan factor so I’ll go with the Rays in 4. Of all the game 1 match ups today the Cliff Lee -David Price engagement is the best. It’s a shame that this game is not the prime time game but hey, it’s my day off so I’ll have ass in seat at 1:30 to watch it.
Bronx Bastards vs. Gardy’s Gang
It’s that time of year kids, time to get your Highlander Hate On. You know I’m going all out to root for the Men of the Land O Lakes and I think they will dispose of the Highlanders in 5 games, Just to make it even more painful for those who call themselves Disciples of the Bronx Robber Baron, let’s have Delmon Young hit a game tying homer of Joba and Jim Thome, the game winner off Mariano in game 5. By the way who wants to join me on Halloween to go egg the Robber Baron’s plaque in Monument To Douchebagery Park ?
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.
I hope Frankie Rodriguez can pick up a fork and knife this morning to eat his breakfast, I mean the guy had to come in to pitch in the 8th inning last night instead of his customary 9th inning to get a (GASP!!!!) 5 out save!!!!!! Rodriguez had to throw 25 pitches to complete this unbelievable test of endurance and I’m hopping the 6ft 200lbd K-Rod is not just totally exhausted from that heavy duty work load.
All sarcasm aside here, when did baseball lose its way when it comes to pitching? Sure we could throw this all on The Genius as he reinvented bullpen use with the A’s and Denis Eckersley in the late 80’s but why did the rest of the sport follow suit and turn TLR into the baseball version of L. Ron Hubbard? Why hasn’t any organization stepped up and denounced LaRussa-ology ? I know Nolan Ryan has as he is going about changing the mind set of the Texas Rangers organization into developing starting pitchers to go deep into there starts, but why are other organization so scared to follow The Express’ as an example?
As far as I know, TLR was a marginal journeyman player and as much as I can’t stand his hide behind his Foster Grants ass, he knows baseball. Just ask him he’ll tell you but when it comes to pitching if it comes down to TLR or even his top disciple Dave Duncan, or Nolan Ryan, I’m going with the Hall of Famer fireballer.
Watching Jerry Manuel work this bullpen drives me up a fucking wall. Fernando Nieve pitches in every game, as does Vitamin Pedro. Jenry Mejia, the kid who Manuel told management he needed desperately is being totally misused. Now that Ryota Igarhasi is on the DL look for Ruben Valdes to become an everyday pitcher.
Manuel manages his pen like he still in the American League, it’s excruciating to watch. But back to my original question, why does it have to be this way?
Yesterday I wrote about the 40th anniversary of Tom Seaver’ 19 K game against the SD Padres. That year the 25 year old Seaver threw a baseball in 290 innings. That’s almost two seasons worth of innings in today’s game. Seaver threw for the fourth most innings that season in the NL as Bob Gibson was third with 294 IP, Fergie Jenkins was second with 313 and Gaylord Perry led the league with 328.2 IP.
In 2009 Justin Verlander led MLB pitchers in innings pitched with 240. In 1970 that would have ranked him 29th overall (Dick Drago of the Royals threw 240 IP in 1970) Bronson Arroyo was10th overall in IP last year with 220.1 IP. In 1970 Rick Wise of the Phillies threw for 220.1 IP good for 40th overall.
One would think with the advancements today in the physical training and with all the computer and video that teams have they could come up with some kind of pitching program that would get more length and production out of starting pitchers. Instead of paying tens of millions of dollars to a guy to come in and work one inning and throw 15-20 pitches wouldn’t it make sense to spend those millions on cultivating an organizational pitching program to train pitchers go deeper into games they’ve started ? Call it Reverse-LaRussa-ology.
Covering the New York Mets since 2003, The Eddie Kranepool Society gives daily coverage of the Amazins from a very irreverent perspective. Contact me at email@example.com