REMEMBERING GARY CARTER

What a great touch last night by SNY to show Gary Carter’s first game as a Met ( a game I attended), opening day 1985. That game brought back a flood of memories about the era in Mets history and Carter’s legacy as a NY Met.

I was at Madison Square Garden on the night of December 10th , 1984 watching the NY Rangers play the LA Kings,  between periods I strolled down to the concourse to grab a beer (my drinking days) and call Sports Phone  (once upon a time this great new service came out called SportsPhone known by its great jingle  “get all the sports scores in-stan-leeee dial 976-1313) to get some out of town NHL and NBA scores (this was also my gambling days, oh and along with the beer in my hand and the phone receiver to my ear there was a cigarette dangling from the corner of my mouth, yes I’d indulged in all sorts of vice back in the day, that why I loved the 1970’s and 80’s) came a voice on the other end of the line telling me that the New York Mets have acquired Gary Carter from the Montreal Expos for Hubie Brooks, Mike Fitzgerald, Herm Winningham and Floyd Youmans. HOLLLLLLYYYYY SHIT!

As I made my way back up to Section 432, it seemed all the other degenerates checking scores and their bets, heard the Mets news as well as the Garden was buzzing. There was great debate amongst myself and my friends over this deal. At the time it looked like Frank Cashen gave up a King’s ransom for Carter. Brooks was coming off a nice season with 16HR and 73 RBI, Fitzgerald, Wininngham and Youmans were top prospects in what was at the time a fruitful Mets farm system, but hey we got Gary Carter, add him to Keith Hernandez and the two kids, Gooden and Strawberry and god damn, the Mets are going to kick some serious ass in 1984, and they did, going from 68-94 in 1983 to 90-72 in 1984 finishing 6 ½ games back of the division champion Chicago Cubs (somewhere in my basement is my florescent yellow CUBS BUSTERS t-shirt that had the bear cub in a circle with a red line through it, yeah baby THE MAGIC WAS BACK AT SHEA)

So many on the field memories, pop into my head when thinking of Gary Carter but so do many off the field ones as well.

I got married in 1986 (same year I dropped two bad habits, gambling and smoking, drinking would come ten years later) the last of four kids to leave the nice secure nest my parent had made for us. Most weeknights, I’d come from work have dinner with my parents (dinner always on the table when I got home, told you it tough leaving my happy habitat) and afterwards, head to the living room with my dad to watch Mets baseball.  My mother, a woman surrounded by sons, nephews and cousins who were sports fanatics, a woman who washed more uniforms than any clubhouse person, never cared for sports, that is until I move out of the house. The sight of my old man sitting with no one to talk about the games with, she decided it was time to take up watching sports particularly Mets baseball.  Not only did she start watching Mets games, she now wanted to go to Mets games, WHAT? “Ma, you want to go to Shea”  “Oh yes, I want to go see Gary Carter” So we took her to see “her guy” Gary Carter.

I thought about that all the way on my commute home last night, then I listened to all the tributes for Carter and I really felt overwhelmed, Gary Carter was much more than a baseball player, he was as inspirational as anyone who has ever hit this city. To hear Keith Hernandez weep when talking about Carter was heartbreaking. Listening to Ron Darling speak of Carter you could tell he held him in such high regard. Then I heard Doc Gooden, who told the story of how Carter would come to the Smithers Institute where he was residing to combat his drug and alcohol addiction, on Sunday’s after home games to make sure Gooden was okay. Strawberry may have given Carter the best compliment anyone can give to another human being when he said that Carter “lived his life the way I wish I could have”.

Carter was at times mocked for his goody-goody ways, which some felt were phony but as they got to know him they found out his love of family, baseball and God was genuine. I found it stunning that those four players who played hard and partied even harder in their youth and would ridicule Carter for his clean living ways back then, now in their middle age wish they could have had the life that Gary Carter had. Don’t you wish we all could be remembered that way?

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CONFIDENCE OR LACK THEREOFF WILL DETERMINE THIS NY METS SEASON

I know we fans of the New York Mets have a reputation of “oh woe is me” and have morphed into a village of Chicken Little’s but I would hope those of that ilk would just emerge from their fall out shelters to look around the New York sports landscape for a moment and see if they can try to see what has transpired over the three months.

Fans of the NY Football Giants were ready to scream for John Mara to blow this team up and start over from the head coach to the defensive secondary, everyone must go the fans demanded. What happened? The head coach closed ranks with his team and the players stopped listening to the fans, an extremely smart move by the way, and a Salsa dancing wide receiver and an Elite QB hooked up for a 99 yard TD pass/catch  TD against their loud mouth co-tenants, that to a man in the Giants organization say is what catapulted them to winning the Super Bowl. That play, that game gave the Giants confidence.

The NY Rangers are playing some of the best hockey Rangers fans have seen in many a year. They are led by many great players, but one player stands out on this team as he is the last line of defense, goaltender, Henrik Lundqvist. There is no goaltender on the planet that is better than the King and in every interview he gives he just oozes confidence and he never forgets to reinforce to the interviewer the confidence he has in his teammates. Right now the confidence of the NY Rangers and Rangers fans is flowing like tap water.

Here is the best example of how confidence in oneself can bring a whole team together for greater good. I don’t think there is a New Yorker breathing air that doesn’t know who Jeremy Lin is. The story of Lin is as inspiring as any we’ve seen around here in ages, Lin went to Harvard, not drafted, signed with his hometown team the Golden State Warriors who in turn waived him. He was then claimed by the Houston Rockets who also put him on waivers and then he landed with the Knicks who claimed him out of desperation of having no one to run the point. What I wonder, went through Lin’s mind after two teams released him and the third team he’d joined in a month let him sit at the end of the bench only looking to use him if something catastrophic were to occur like two of the teams superstars being out of the lineup for a length of time or the team losing and playing like they have no clue how to play team basketball or a coach in fear of getting fired figuring I have one last attempt here to save my ass and my teams season . All these scenarios occurred and Lin got his chance and we all know how that has turned out. Would you say that Lin’s confidence in himself and his ability to play basketball never waned as others refused to believe in him as he believed in himself? No one plays at the level Lin is playing at now who does not possess supreme confidence in themselves.

That brings me to the Mets and a portion of the fan base. Many fans are so focused on the financial situation of the Skill Sets and I won’t lie I’m intrigued about it to, to a point. The players are starting to migrate to Pt. St. Lonesome to begin spring training and to get ready for the 2012 season. As far as I’m concerned my worries over Fred and Uncle Saul’s money woes now take a back seat (once the court case is heard and verdict comes down I’ll worry about it) it’s time to concentrate on pitching, hitting, defense and confidence.

My hope is that what Daniel Murphy said to me last month at the Thurman Munson Dinner is true, that the negativity of the media and fan base does not permeate through the clubhouse door. I have to hope that Terry Collins, in his second year as Mets manager, has a good read on his team and can instill confidence in them.   I mentioned in a previous post, that I felt Collins knows he can’t bullshit his team, t the NL East is going to be difficult but what Collins has to do is instill the confidence in his players that (a) they are major league baseball players, just like the ones who play for the Phillies, Braves, Nationals and Marlins and (b) all the people who say you can’t win (fans and media) are clueless assholes who never had the balls to compete in anything. This is a huge test for Collins but what he has going for him is most of players in this camp know him and vice versa so he should know how to motivate them and make sure their confidence level stays high.

Again it all goes back to confidence if David Wright and Jason Bay can gain their confidence back at the plate with the help of more hitting favorable field dimensions, if Lucas Duda can become confident in his ability and accept that he belongs in the big leagues, if Jon Niese can make that leap from what can he be too he’s arrived, if Daniel Murphy shows self-confidence at second base and if Big Plef, the guy who needs a mega dose of self-assurance can finally get his talent to translate to what it was that made him a number one draft pick then the Mets could add themselves a chapter to the this great New York Sports season.

It would also help if some of the fan base adjusted their attitudes as well, so step up, those you need a pat on the ass line up to the left, ones who need a kick in the ass, to the right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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OH HOW I LOVE A PARADE

At halftime of last night’s Super Bowl, the Mets/Giants fan contingent at the party I was at huddled in a corner worried as all hell that Tom Brady and the Patriots had turned the momentum of this game around and had taken total control. The biggest complaint was that the pass rush of the Giants wasn’t putting enough pressure on the Pats OL and thus giving Brady way too much time in the pocket.

The Highlander/Giants fan section just looked at us and laughed. “Hey, fuck Tom Brady, Wes Welker and that cripple Gronk” but “don’t you guys see this momentum swing”? To that they reply, “Have you seen Eli in the 4th quarter” then came the kick to the Mets fans nuts “He ain’t David Wright you know” it wasn’t the knock on Wright that hurt but the laughter that came with it.

The Highlander/Giants fans look at Eli now as they do Derek Jeter. Eli is now New York Sports royalty. Two Super Bowl trophies and two Super Bowl MVP’s, have moved him to the front of the line with the likes of DiMaggio, Mantle, Jeter, even I dare say Messier close to Willis Reed right there with fellow Giants immortal Lawrence Taylor. It’s one thing to be a one-time champ in this town but when you get not only multiple titles but the MVP both times, you are in the rarefied air of NYC sports icons.

Again I never saw this coming, and I doubt any Giants fan did either. The story line here is on December 19th the word on the NY sports street was Coughlin’s got to go, Jerry Reese too, in fact clean house altogether. The defense, the corner stone of the Giants franchise, was one of the worst in the league statistically but as the injured returned and the pass rush led by neophyte All World DT JPP and Justin Tuck taking the heat off the secondary was key for this Giants resurgence.

Now the coach, GM and QB are Teflon, no more criticisms, no more second guessing of this group after two championships in four years, a fan can get used to this.

Maybe this and the NY Rangers resurgence is a good omen for the Mets. Both teams’ foundations are built on home grown players that were drafted or signed and traded for using comprehensive scouting. Mets fans have to hope the front office can find a baseball equivalent of Victor Cruz an undrafted free agent. Or make a deal that brings back a Ryan McDonagh type that has the great confluence of youth, toughness and talent.

I’m livin’ La Vida Loco of my sports fan life right now, one of my teams of rooting interest will be parading downtown tomorrow morning , right by my office and my favorite hockey team is not only leading the leading their conference but they are the toughest bunch of Rangers to skate the MSG ice and my beloved Celtics, who all the experts claim are too old to make a run not just relying on the Big 3 but on a deep bench that makes major contributions of late, especially the maturation of Avery Bradley and the rookie Boilermakers, JaJuan Johnson and E’Twan Moore (ok sorry about the Celtics tangent)

Maybe Terry Collins will use this Giants victory a physiological tool for his team, which the majority of those who follow baseball believe this coming season to be a train wreck. Collins should tell his team that the same Mets nay-sayers buried the Giants too and drive home the no one loves and respects us but ourselves. Then show them the Canyon of Heroes parade and the fact the champions eat and drink free in NYC.  

 

 

 

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METS NEWS AT A MINIMUM

Not much going on in Mets Land these days. In fact I’m more concerned about the NY Rangers heading to the West Coast of Canada for a four game swing before they get to come home to an under renovation Madison Square Garden.  I’m far from panic mode with the Blueshirts as I follow the Freddy “The Fog “ Shero philosophy of waiting until New Year’s Day to evaluate where the team is and what moves need to be made, but I do hope I see some piss and vinegar out of Torts Boys tonight.

The NY Daily News has a book out on commemorating the 50 th Anniversary of the New York Mets and Ed “Rusty Jr.” Marcus has a positive review of the book in his post this morning. As I tweeted to Ed, any book with the Andy Martino a/k/a Lupica Lite listed as author makes it a pass for me.  As much as I am excited for the 50th Anniversary celebration of the Mets this coming season, knowing that Dana Brand won’t be a part of really really hurts.

Mike Silva posts again about what kind of deals are out there if the Mets look to trade David Wright. I love these posts because Silva looks at moving Wright as it pertains to making the Mets better and the fan reaction of all the Wright-aholics who curse folks like Silva and me for even bringing up the idea of trading the so called face of the franchise is priceless.

This upcoming World Series has a lot of potential to be a very good boarding on classic. Both teams are evenly matched and both teams have starting pitching that’s running on fumes. The bullpens, as we’ve seen all post season, will be the difference between winning and losing. The managers will also be on display as The Genius may be more hands on than usual and Ron Washington will give us a few “what the fuck” moments. On offense can Nelson Cruz and David Freese continue their hot hitting and will the Rangers be able to use their running game to their advantage against Yadier Molina? Good stuff. Got to root for the Cards as they are the NL reps but I’m looking at seven games and a better Texas bullpen leading the way to the Rangers first ever World Championship.

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HEY METS FANS, WE’VE GOT OUR SUMMER BASEBALL BACK!

 

ITEM: Mets Win and Hit 2 GRAND SLAMS!!!!

I’ll tell you what? I really like this team. Sure that’s easy to say after a though ass kicking of the Detroit Tigers but I’ve had this feeling for a month or so now. First off everything Terry Collins said in the winter about the team playing hard and leaving everything they have on field has become  fact and if he sees any slacking off he addresses it as he did in Pittsburgh about a month ago. Last night, Justin Turner made a nonchalant throw to Lucas Duda at first on a routine ground ball that Miguel Cabrera hit an dogged it down  the first base line ( I bet if there was a bottle of Johnny Walker Black on the bag he’s have busted his ass) that pulled Duda off the bag rendering Cabrera safe. You can be sure that in the giddiness of the winning clubhouse, Turner was pulled to the side by his manager and told to never take a play off  and you can bet Turner won’t do that again.

My biggest problem with the Mets on the field the last couple of years was that players went through the motions and had a “who gives a shit” attitude, well that’s in the past. This team not only cares and competes; it believes that they are one of the better teams in baseball. The one thing they don’t seem to care about is the opinion of fans and media who love to harp on the negatives, another good reason to be proud of this team.

Last night Mike Silva was my guest on This Call To The Bullpen Podcast and I said to Mike that this team reminds me a bit like the 1994 NY Rangers for the fact that their team motto was “Heave-Ho” that they all pulled the rope the same way in the tug o’ war of the hockey season. Right now this team is all up on the rope and pulling it together, their 35-26 record since the awful 5-13 start proves it.

ITEM: R.A. Dickey Tells Media “Don’t Talk to Me”

Having had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing R.A. Dickey his comment last night after the Mets win doesn’t surprise me in the least:

“What you guys are doing here is a little bit ridiculous,” he said. “You guys need to be interviewing Bay and Reyes, make the night about them. If I’m even mentioned in an article, I’m going to boycott.”

When Dickey was asked during the winter about pitching to Josh Thole, he praised Thole to the heaven’s teling me “ Oh Josh, bless his soul works so darn hard and just gets better and better behind the plate every time out, I can’t wait to hook up with him this season”

That is not Dickey blowing smoke either as he is as straightforward a guy you’ll meet. He said last season the club wasn’t prepared for the second half of the season and stressed that it was as much the players fault as it was the managers. He also was candid in saying that you don’t have to be friends with all your teammates as everyone has different likes, dislikes and lifestyles but you have to have your teammates back and always support them. That is where Dickey excels as he spoke up for Jason Bay:

about Bay. “He is so steadfast in his pursuit to get better,” Dickey said. “The guy is a tireless worker. He never complains about a dadgum thing, so it’s nice to see him get a payoff for all the hard work.”

Robert Allan Dickey is a good man, teammate and a terrific pitcher.

ITEM: It’s Time To Give Nick Evans Another Shot At The Big Leagues

Nick Evans is hotter than 5th Avenue asphalt on an August afternoon. As the Buffalo Bison continue to swoon, Evans has found his hitting stoke and would make a wonderful compliment to Lucas Duda at first base. It’s time to send Jason Pridie upstate and bring back Nick Evans to Flushing. A productive right handed bat is a terrible thing to waste.

 

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AND HE’S GOT BIG BALLS AND SHE’S GOT BIG BALLS…….

But The New York Rangers have the biggest, BALLS OF THEM ALL!!!

I am totally drained and hoarse from attending last night’s remarkable NY Rangers-Boston Bruins game at MSG. I haven’t been this exhausted from screaming at a sporting event since Johan Santana beat the Marlins on 9/27/08 to keep the Mets to keep their post season hopes alive.

The Rangers looked like the rigors of this playoff push combined with another back to back game would take its toll on the Blueshirts. When the score got to 3-0 Bruins, many of the MSG customers turned on the team with boos. I was very disappointed in the play of the team but I’m not a boo’er, I’m more of a sulker when things go bad and just slump in my seat. So there I slumped looking at my watch trying to figure what ferry to get to get me home in time to catch most of the UCONN-Butler game (from what I’ve read this morning, I didn’t miss much as both teams lived up to their canine nicknames) when Vinny Prospal scored for the Rangers to make it 3-1. I figured, if the Bruins score again to make it 4-1, I’ll head for the 1 train to South Ferry, but 7 minutes later Prospal scored again to cut the Boston lead to 1 goal.

Now all this time, in the row in front of us are four Bruins fans, three of them were respectful but one was just an out and out asshole, who stood after each Bruins goal with a beer in each hand proclaiming the Rangers wouldn’t make the post season. Now it’s one thing to come into enemy territory and root for your team, it’s another to act like an asshole and inflame the home team rooters, especially in the Blue Seats of MSG. As the Rangers started to score goal after goal, the Bruin fans slumped lower and lower into their seats. When the Brandon Dubinsky tied the score with three minutes and change left in the 3rd period, the Garden exploded and after the Gooooo-aaaaaa-llllll song was sung, the section pointed at Mr. Bruin and gave him the ASSSSSSSSSSSSSS-HHHHHHHHHOOOOOLLLLLLLLEEEEEEEEEEE salute. When Michael Sauer scored the 4th and game winning goal, well, all hell broke loose.

Two guys about 6’4 by 6’4 come running into the row I’m in and start screaming at the obnoxious Bruin fan whose beer muscles seemed have been deflated, Mr. Bruin then turned around and told the Ranger fan to fuck off, next you know fists were flying and Garden Security pounced on both guys. When order was finally restored, I turned to my son and told him, “Welcome to 1979”

John Tortorella said it in his post-game presser, “this team has balls” not just balls but big brass balls.

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HAPPY HOCKEY DAY IN AMERICA

NY Ranger Royalty

Today for some reason is called Hockey Day in America and NBC is airing three early afternoon games and Versus gets the Heritage Classic, an outdoor games between the Montreal Canadians and the Calgary Flames  in Calgary (wait, Hockey Day in AMERICA and the headline game is being played in CALGARY, ALBERTA CANADA?) so to make my contribution to the day, I’m off to MSG for what could be a old time slobberknocker between the NY Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers. I will also stop into the Tim Horton’s in Penn Station for an apple fritter and coffee eh?

Alright all together now, “Oh the good old hockey game, is the best game you can name, and the best game you can name is  the good old hockey game”…………….everybody “oh the good old hockey game……………

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I FOUND IT! MY 1965 JOE CHRISTOPHER BASEBALL CARD!

Tomorrow my daughter will celebrate her eleventh birthday so when I asked what would be the best present she could get on this eventful day her answer was “FOR YOU TO GET THOSE STUPID BASEBALL CARDS OUT OF MY CLOSET DADDY”.  Ah…. that disposition, she is surely daddy’s little girl. See, before she was born her bedroom was my little man cave. I had sports pictures on the walls, a desk, a tv all the essentials that a man like me needs to sustain life. Then came the day I was handed a couple of quarts of Benjamin Moore pink paint and a brush and told take down Tom Seaver’s picture and that huge team picture of the 1994 Stanley Cup Champion NY Rangers and those plaques of the ’69 and ’86 Mets and that poster of Lawrence Taylor and move it down to the basement (it wasn’t until I was banished underground that I started blogging so I guess I fit the stereotype of bloggers in the basement except I own the basement and I wear pants most days) and turn this room into Eloise’s suite at the Plaza.

So today I will be going through boxes and boxes of baseball cards and copies of old Street and Smith Baseball Yearbooks, Who’s Who in Baseball books and about forty years worth of Baseball Digests and not to mention the long ago “Baseball Stars of the 1960’s” books I bought a the book fairs every year while attending P.S. 105. There is also a  CB Radio in that closet along with a collection of baseball caps, jerseys, roller skates, hockey sticks and I think a pair of boxing gloves.  I know for a fact there is a storage bin in the back of this closet that holds such treasures as a copy of the NY Daily News from the first moon landing and the 1969 World Series edition.  If you are old enough to remember, the Daily News even ran a color front page in 1969 which was revolutionary technology back then, not for the moon landing but to honor the Mets.   I also think I will discover some Bat Day bats from Highlander Stadium and I mean the original seat behind a steel pillar, 76,000 seat, Fred Talbot pitching to Jake Gibbs, ride the Sea Beach to DeKalb Ave to catch the Brighton Line to Highlander Stadium, Bat Day bats.

Now all that memorabilia, a very poor man’s Barry Halper collection, will be relegated to my underground lair, replaced by three pairs of Ugg’s and clothing from Justice (a preteen girls Model’s if you will) and about 20 pairs of shoes, flip flops and sandals.

It will take me hours to complete this mission and I know there will be stern words directed to me as I will go over every card, every score card reliving the games they came from, and wondering what I could get for a Steve Whitaker Bat Day bat on eBay?

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TIME TO GIVE JON NIESE 200 DAYS REST UNTIL HIS NEXT START

Jon Niese has had a fine season, sure there needs to be improvement in areas as locating his pitches down to induce more ground balls and bring down that hits to innings pitched split (165.1 IP/177H) but all in all Niese looks like a guy who will gives you chance for a well pitched game at every start. But right now he’s tired. Niese has pitched 165.1 innings this season, a season where he had a little setback with hamstring trouble, the same hammy that ended his season early last year, so with that piece of history and the fact he’s hinting that he’s short arming the ball a bit and dropping arm angle, signs of fatigue that they are, why not shut him down for the season.  Give The Thief  Niese’ next start, which will be in Florida. Don’t worry no one will be there to notice.

Last year after the NY Football Giants last game of the season which ended a second half from hell, Giants owner John Mara was asked about the team finishing 8-8. Mara said there are good 8-8 seasons and bad 8-8 seasons and that was  a horrendous 8-8 and an  embarrassing 8-8.  I wouldn’t call the Mets road to finish .500 an embarrassment because from the winter on I didn’t have much faith the team would compete for a postseason berth but the way the team played in the first half of the season had me rethinking my position on that. But then right after the All-Star break the team showed its true colors and wallowed in the wading pool of mediocrity. So as this season winds down, the last few weeks are not as bad as last year where the team just dogged it and used injuries as a crutch, for the most part the team competes ever night.  But the fan base is tired and close to being burnt out. So for a needed break  I’ve been more concerned about the NY Rangers and happy that training camp is open just to see some of the young guns that Slats Sather is telling us will make this team. Ah youth, ain’t it grand.

That’s the one thing as a Mets fans that is keeping me going and anxious about what changes will be made in the front office and in the dugout.  You could sell me right now on a total youth movement.

The best part of the Joe Torre news of his departure from the Dodger dugout, is the expression from Highlander fans with their beloved Donnie Baseball taking over as Bums skipper.  If you ran a poll of Highlander fans between the ages of 40-50 years old and asked, of the two Derek Jeter and Don Mattingly, who is your favorite Highlander, the results would surprise you. While the Mets were lighting up the town in the 80’s Mattingly was all the Highlander fans had.  I’m  sure most of the ones who watched Mattingly Era wish the news was Donnie Baseball was headed home to run the Bombers.

If Joe Torre becomes the Mets manager for a second go round, this site will morph into the Dick Dietz Society.

“Leave them alone and they’ll come home hitting home runs beside them.”

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WE HAVEN’T HAD THIS DIS-SPRIT HERE SINCE 1979

I didn’t watch one pitch of yesterday’s Mets-Phillies game. With opening Sunday of the NFL in full swing and the New York Football Giants on Ch. 5 and Tom Brady and the Pats on Ch. 2, there was no reason to move the dial any further. Oh I didn’t blow off baseball altogether, by 4PM I was ready for the Giants-Padres game and the match up of Tim Lincecum and Matt Latos, in fact my baseball viewing from today on will include watching the Giants, Padres, Rockies, Rays, and the on the downward spiraling Highlanders.

It hit me around 7PM last night when I didn’t even know that the  Mets lost to the Phillies 3-0, that the NY Mets franchise has collectively climbed in the Mr. Peabody and Sherman’s Way Back machine and have arrived at 1979.

What year 1979 was. I was 21 years old with more hair than I knew what to do with (give me a moment please………………………..sniff! sniff!……………..ok back to the post) hanging out at Max’s Kansas City and CBGB. Going to the Palladium to see The Clash and Graham Parker and the Rumor (The Palladium was a great venue, first time I ever saw Bruce Springsteen ad the E Street Band was there in 1976, YES I SAID 1976!) I spent my winters and spring watching the NY Rangers from Section 432 in my Blue Seat all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals where they lost to Les Habitants but at least the Blueshirts beat the Icelanders as that was the year that no good scumbag Denis Potvin took out Ulf Nilson and the POTVIN SUCKS Chant was born.

More to the point of this post though, 1979 was the year the NY Mets drew 788,905 live bodies to Shea Stadium, less than 10,000 a game (9,621 to be precise) and I can not remember if I were a part of that 788,905-details are very hazy-but I’m sure I was because it was Richie Hebner’s one and only season as a Met and I remember him giving Mets fans the finger. I also remember it was Ed Kranepool’s last year. I remember Bob Murphy telling the tale of Ed Glynn a relief pitcher who also hawked hot dogs at Shea as a youth. The one bright spot of ’79 was that miserable, no good, saboteur of the franchise; M. Donald Grant was no longer around, dumped by Lorinda de Roulet after the 1978 season. But the team still sucked.

Right after the season, de Roulet thankfully sold the team as she had no clue on how to run it, she sold it to the dynamic duo of Nelson Doubleday and Fred Wilpon and the rest as they say is history.

Myself and many Mets fans lived through 1979 and not only was it not fun but it was painful. Painful because of what could have been. What if Tom Seaver was never traded ? What if Joan Payson wasn’t sick and then dying during the advent of free agency with that asshole Grant advising her ? Remember Mrs. Payson had no problem spending money on her team, in fact when the Mets were born in 1962 she told Horace Stoneham that she wanted to buy the contract of Willie Mays and money was no object. What would have happened if Whitey Herzog would have been named manager after the death of Hodges instead of the overmatched Yogi Berra?

As much as I would to re-live 1979 all over again I wouldn’t want to relive the Mets season of that year as the Mets were so bad no one cared. At least we still care, we still have passion for this team, though it’s mostly negative, it’s still passion. Let’s hope the right moves are made for a new GM and manager and that deadwood and players who don’t like it here are sent off, no matter the cost monetarily. It’s time to restore some pride in this organization but I’m not optimistic the people in charge are intelligent enough to pull it off. All Jeffey Skill Sets needs to do is start collect batting practice baseballs, clean them and use them again and he’d be Linda de Roulet all over again.

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