End of the Line in The South Bronx ?

I miss good ol’ Stump

As a baseball fan you can’t ask for more that this first round division series has given us. Four series all going five games is a baseball fans nirvana especially for those of us who detest the NY Highlanders. It’s a good thing I have unlimited texting in my phone plan since my Highlander fan pals were relentless in their venting to me even though they know I’m rooting hard for the Orioles.

All season my Highlander buddies spoke about how the power display their team put on this season was good for plenty of oooo’s and ahhhhhhh’s but come the post season they will have to be able to manufacture some runs. Now me as a Mets fan rooting for a team that has the power of a 10 watt bulb, andwith the distain I look at customers at the bank who complain that the teller gave them all $100’s and $50’s when cashing a check,  just wants to say why you no good greedy bastards.  But what do you know; the Highlanders have had a world of trouble pushing a run across the plate with good old fashion small ball. The long ball though has saved their season and when you get past the dramatic way Raul Ibanez went about tying and winning Game 3, if not for those two knocks, the fish wraps and social media would be in a three alarm tizzy over the demise of the Highlanders.     

Even if the Bronx Bastards win today and I think they will as CC Sabathia is only second to Derek Jeter on this team to show up when needed (sorry Ibanez still has a Philadelphia  size horse shoe up his ass) and I think both of them will find a way to win this game, it safe to say those of the Highlander persuasion need to reflect on this series and if they are honest and clear thinking which is hard to find in that demographic , they will admit the days of champagne baths and championships the next few years will be few and far between. I have news for those of you in denial Highlander fans, the team you love to mock; the NY Mets are in better shape organizational wise than your Highlanders and that’s counting our broke ass ownership.

Hal Steinbrenner is no chip off the block, where Daddy George would spend to mask mistakes and take on contracts no matter what; Prince Hal has one goal in mind, to bring the payroll down to where he’s no longer paying into the MLB welfare system known as revenue sharing.  With a minor league system barren of talent what will the Highlanders do? Does ownership have confidence in Pee Wee Cashman that he can rebuild the talent base a la Stick Michael and Buck Showalter? Why do I give a shit? Well, until this post season is done with, the Mets won’t be making moves so I guess I have nothing better to do but to eavesdrop on my neighbors who I thought had it all and find out they just might have less than me.

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The Acceptance of Failure

Ladies and Gentlemen I give you the FACE of the Mets Franchise!

The Mets ended another losing season yesterday in Miami with a surprising win, only the 28th in the last 76 games that the team has played. For the fourth season in a row the Mets have been relegated to second division status, for the fourth season in a row the Mets have played embarrassing bad and losing baseball in the second half of the season. You, me and Greg Prince are having a tough time accepting this losing season after losing season but with the exception of SNY’s Bobby Ojeda the New York Mets organization has accept failure and its’ this acceptance of this losing culture that is the most damming and frustrating part of an ownership, front office, and manger that not only tolerates this mess but goes out its way to be like a soccer mom to the underachieving  players they employ, offering orange slices and juice boxes after uninspiring  loss after uninspiring loss instead of some good old fashion tough love and a kick in their double knit pants.

If listening to Terry Collins, who is slowly starting to irk me with his “the sun will come out tomorrow” press conferences after each and every uninspiring game this second half, tell me of how his team played hard and never let up wasn’t enough to make me puke, it was this Tweet from Justin Turner utility player and all important pie thrower that put me over the edge.

Of course the lemmings of our fan base were agreeing with Turner which meant I had to go and spoil it all by doing the job that Fred or Jeff Wilpon, Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins should have done, given Turner a dose of New York City reality. I would have left it at one nasty tweet but when Turner tweeted he couldn’t wait to get to spring training, I was apoplectic, and why does Justin Turner think he deserves to be a NY Met in 2013? Is throwing pies a dying art form like a blacksmith or a shoe cobbler? Again the fact that Turner is so damn happy about the events of the 2012 baseball season and to say he’ll be back in 2013 with the Mets in St. Lonesome is all the evidence I need to make my case that this organization has accepted failure.

During the A’s-Rangers telecast yesterday, A’s play by play man Glen Kuiper spoke about his pre-game talk with A’s reliever Ryan Cook who had come on to pitch in five straight games as the A’s completed the unbelievable job of ousting the Rangers from first place for the first time all season to become the AL West Champs. Kuiper said he asked Cook if he was feeling any fatigue with his workload so heavy the last week or so, Cook told him, “no one on this club is tired we have all winter to rest we are on a mission to win a championship”. Cook is 25 years old. Ruben Tejada is 21 years old and according to his manager needed some time off as the rigors of the season were wearing him down. That is the difference between a team fighting to win and a team accepting failure.

It has nothing to do with money it has to do with will, the will and mind set to win.  The Mets are severely lacking in the intestinal fortitude it takes to win a championship. The can discover oil under Citi Field making old Freddy a billionaire, it won’t matter until someone of authority steps up and starts ridding this team of the complacent  losers that permeate the Mets clubhouse,  if not, enjoy a few more years of 77-85 baseball

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Sunday Mets-cellaneous

As this Mets season drags on, it’s not the wins and losses that matter but individual performances are the focus as the front office and fans try to determine who on this year’s team is worth keeping around to draw the franchise out of the loses abyss they’ve been swallowed up in. Last night Jon Niese put on a pitching display that shows he’s a solution and not a problem.

Niese had outstanding command of his cutter last night, his most effective pitch, to strike out seven Nats and not walk anyone. Not only that but more importantly Niese went 7 1/3 innings to bring his innings pitched for the season to 152, just 5.1 innings off his total for 2011 and 21.2 innings off his mark in 2010. If Niese has a flaw in his game its consistency and stamina so his outings are now must see as the Mets need Niese to this season strong.

I would think the prudent decision to make on Johan Santana is to shut him down for the rest of the season. Is he hurt or just fatigued or just good old fashion infective? I have no idea but I do know sending him out for more starts makes no sense at all.  For all the paralysis by analysis, maybe the problem is Santana is just out of gas? Have the Mets doctors sign him off as having fatigue and place him on the 60 DL, this way you free a spot for RHP Collin McHugh, who certainly deserves a call up and would be a more interesting watch that seeing Jeremy Hefner again.

By the way, Santana has no trade value whatsoever between uncharted territory with his type of shoulder surgery and the $31 million price tag that he drags around with him. Scouts saying that Santana could be taken in a deal are just taking Andy Martino for the fool that he is.

Mike Baxter is definitely part of the solution and not the problem. Baxter is what he is, a solid fourth outfielder and a terrific lefty bat off the bench. A gamer as I like to say.

Justin Turner gets another start today at second base and I am very puzzled about the love Terry Collins has for Turner of late.

Do the Mets have a rep around the league as soft? First we had R.A. Dickey and his bracelet troubles that should have gotten Terry Collins thrown out of the game, because as soon as Jim Joyce said there was an edict from the Commissioner’s office about bracelets, jewelry any other minutia that were against the rules, Collins should have told Joyce to stick his hand up his ass and pull out the memo. Add to that any Mets opponent that wears anything other than a baseball uniform, Collins needs to call time and have the object removed.

Then the other night, Davey Johnson pulled a ball breaker move by having Umps check Santana’s glove and have a gold emblem removed or blocked out on his glove. I’d have told Davey “no problem but tell your boy Zimmerman he’s getting the first pitch if his next at bat right in the ribs”. At some point, the have to stop being the games mud room.

 

 

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Hey Dan Warthen, Babe Ruth’s Dead

You figured Matt Harvey would have a rough start here or there as he adjusts to life in the big leagues where unlike Triple A mistakes end up over an outfield fence. But Harvey, who is seen as a bit of a pitching savant, should be able to make the adjustments, if the mixed messages he hears don’t make him crazy.

For some strange reason Dan Warthen and Terry Collins love the breaking ball which is ok unless you forget all pitchers are not alike. Bobby Ojeda on the pre-game show on SNY yesterday seemed to send a cryptic message that Warthen’ approach is not the best for Harvey. Ojeda repeated that manta that Harvey is a power pitcher and he should stay working as a power pitcher and not worry about throwing off speed  and breaking pitches so much. Ojeda seemed to hint that the Harvey is a bit of a revelation as a good old fashion hard throwing starting pitcher.

My big concern with Harvey is that Dan Warthen is going to try to make him something he isn’t, a finesse pitcher.  It’s the biggest knock on Warthen, he has made this Mets staff into a bunch of nibblers instead of going with a more aggressive approach. When was the last time a Mets pitcher threw up an in on a hitter?  That approach is fine if you have a stable of Glavine-Maddox-esque pitchers but the Mets have some very hard throwers who should have better results than they do, especially in the bullpen.

Parnell hits 100 mph on the radar gun and sits at a consistent 95 mph. Josh Edgin hits 95 as does Frank Frank and Manny Acosta.sSo with electric arms such as these why is the Mets bullpen so bad? Could it be the approach taught by Dan Warthen? I think so. The Mets bullpen has a 4.26 BB/9IP rate which is only second to worst to the Cubs who have a close to 5 walks per 9IP rate. Why with a pen of hard throwers do Mets relievers have such a high walk rate, I’d have to say it’s the approach set by Warthen of nibble, nibble, nibble instead of attack, attack, attack.

Pitching is deception trying to keep the batter off balance.  I don’t think Warthen’s approach to pitching is effective in doing that. When was the last time we’ve seen a Mets pitcher go up the ladder on a hitter? How many times have you screamed at your TV set when the 7-8-9 batters reach base on a walk on off speed and breaking pitches  that miss the outside of the plate when challenging the batter should be the plan?

Terry Collins has been a loyal supporter of Dan Warthen and his teachings but I know I’m not alone wondering how Warthen was kept on staff after the purge of personnel of the Minaya era. With the ineffectiveness of the bullpen and the very valuable arms coming through the Mets farm system, it is paramount of Sandy Alderson to find a pitching coach who not only can relate and help the growth of these young arms but he also needs a pitching coach to change the mindset of many on this staff to pitch aggressively. The approach that is in play now is not working and needs to be eradicated.

 

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Bunch of Bull-Pen

Raise your hand if you remember when relievers were escorted to the pitchers mound by the bullpen cart?

 

Loses are never good, and loses that cost you winning a series, which would have been the third straight series the Mets  had taken from the Phuck Phaces ,are awful but when you have a lead and the bullpen blows a win, that is downright  intolerable.

If I weren’t a Mets fan, I’d be doubled over laughing at the fan bases response to games the Mets bullpen blow. Nothing sets this fan base off like a good old fashion late inning bullpen melt down and last night was no different.  The only issue I have with the overreaction by some of the fan base is the back end of the pen that imploded last night hasn’t been that bad of late.  I will say as a whole the bullpen has a problem with inherited runners scoring and with the exception of Bobby Parnell and Frank Francisco, there isn’t a reliever who can come in and get the big strikeout when it’s needed.

I would have like to see Terry Collins leave Dillon Gee in finish the 7th inning. Gee has pitched so well his last three starts and the double he gave up it seems should have been played better by Andres Torres. Collins is going to have to have faith in his starters going deeper into games, especially with R.A. Dickey, who I feel he yanks too early in starts where he’s breezing along.

The Ramon Ramirez 3 run jack to J-Roll was the back breaker but then Chris Schwinden  to finish out the inning but all he did was add to the carnage. What the hell is it with Schwinden ? Talk about the poster boy for the AAAA player?

 

Update: I just wrote a whole addendum to this post and deleted by accident so I’ll abbreviate it. RHP Elvin Ramirez will be on the roster tomorrow to help out the bullpen and Jenry Mejia and Chris Young are not far behind to replace the trio of Schwinden, Heftner (maybe?) and Egbert.

Josh Thole will be activated tomorrow as well which meand the Mets have to chose between Mike Nickeas and Rob Johnson as Tholes understudy. I’ll say they keep Johnson.

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News and Views

 

 

 

NEWS: Mariano Rivera tears his ACL

UH OH! First let me say I feel very badly for Mariano as he is the greatest closer of all time and from all you read and hear he’s a first class guy and I won’t criticize him or the Highlanders for allowing him to shag fly balls in batting practice since he has been doing this his whole career but as a Mets fan I have to say if this were Johan Santana or R.A. Dickey who suffer this freak injury the Mets would be eviscerated from every keyboard and microphone in the NY sports media universe.

It’s the same as the Bronx Bastards keeping Nick Swisher on the active roster with bad hammy, remember how the Mets and Omar Minaya were smacked upside down for actions like this but Pee Wee Cashman never gets hammered for any of his bone head moves in this town. NYC sports media is Shillsville.

Just to show how fair and balanced I am when it comes to the New York Highlanders, I received a copy of Marty Appel’s new book   Pinstriped Empire: The New York Yankees from Before the Babe to after the Boss (Published by Bloomsbury USA) and I cannot wait to read it. I have had the pleasure of meeting Marty and various SABR events and have read all his books so I know Pinstriped Empire will be a winner.

NEWS: Mets Need A 5th Starter……

And it won’t be Matt Harvey. Or Jeurys  Familia or Zack Wheeler so says Sandy Alderson and of course that’s the correct course of action. Right now there are three choices to fill Big Pelf’s spot (did you ever think at any time in your Metsfandom life you say to yourself “WOW I miss Mike Pelfrey”? ) Miguel Batisita is one of the choices and quite frankly I’ve seen enough of Batisita and his total ineffectiveness so why not send up Jeremy Hafner and give him the next shot or even better how about Alderson doing some good old fashion GM’ing and make a deal for a pitcher as I said yesterday Jason Marquis would be a great fit.

NEWS: NY Knickerbockers go down 0-3 to the Miami Heat

As many of you know I am not a Knicks fan, my allegiance is to the Boston Celtics. Since my C’s didn’t play last night I watched the Knicks-Heat game and my question to Knicks fans is how do you root for Carmelo Anthony ? My God, how overrated is this guy ? Again being a fan of the Celtics I’m spoiled watching Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen drag their old bones up and down the court for one last run at Banner 18 but the hype for Carmelo Anthony just escapes me.    

 

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DOES JERRY MANUEL MAKE IT BACK TO FLUSHING ?

Yesterday’s Mets-Dodgers game was so bad in so many ways. Besides the fact that David Wright is standing so far off the plate that he needs a canoe paddle to hit the ball and that he desperately needs a day off, and that Jerry Manuel has some form of Antention Decifict Disorder when it comes to writing a lineup (Luis Castillo MUST BAT 8TH GOD DAMN IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) plus watching Manuel and St. Joseph of Torre match wits with the bullpen is like watching a four hour promo of the movie Schmucks For Dinner. Then to top off the whole afternoon of suck, the game was televised on FOX. Kenny Albert is not built for baseball. He kind of drifts off like he’s so fucking bored wishing it was winter so he can call football and hockey games. When Albert works both of those sports he’s solid but  on baseball he’s god awful. Eric Karros is a moron. Plain and simple, a moron. He makes no sense at all with any of his analysis especially when he thought pitching to Andre Either with first base open and one out with the winning run on thrird was a good move. Then there is Ken Rosenthal who I ask very nicely on Twitter, to shut the fuck up. For an “information guy” he brings you nothing except for some good old fashion Mets bashing. Yes we’re spoiled as we have the finest TV crew in baseball to enjoy almost every night, but at least if I’m going to sit through Jerry Manuel botching games and some pretty bas baseball this last month, I want to be entertained somewhat and only Gary, Keith and Ron can do that for Mets fans.

I’ll be shocked, SHOCKED if Jerry Manuel is the manager of the Mets come Tuesday night. If he is still the manager, then you know for sure the Skill Sets don’t care anymore. 71/2 back will soon be 10 games back and all out attention will be on Jets and Giants camp.

It’s so easy to kill Toxic Ollie for yesterday but Ollie is what he is. The only thing I can take out Manuel bringing in Perez was this was Manuel being insubordinate. It makes me think that Manuel told management he wanted no part of Ollie on this team and management told him to shut up and sit down as we are paying this balooka a ton of dough and Manuel said well then no problem I’ll make sure he comes into a tight situation and fucks it up. Manuel has managed this road trip like a guy is tired of his job and needs a change so the Skill Sets should do the right thing for him and the team and relive him of his duty.

The kicker today will be if the Mets are up or down by a lot today and Frankie Rodriguez pitches and after the game Manuel says “Frankie hasn’t pitched in awhile so he needed the work”

Jerry Manuel didn’t get on John Maine because he was John Maine. No Jerry Manuel got on John Maine because John Maine was pitching as John Maine right shoulder needed to be surgically repaired. Jerry Manuel liked John Maine but was mad because John Maine wouldn’t tell Jerry Manuel that John Maine was hurt. John Maine wanted the ball and tried to fight off John Maine’s sore shoulder. It didn’t work out for John Maine here as John Maine’ season ending surgery is likely to be the end of John Maine’ Mets career. So now Jerry Manuel has to find another John Maine to treat like shit like he did to John Maine.

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IT WAS NEVER ABOUT THE BABE-A BOOK BY JERRY GUTLON

 

As much as I love the Mets, I’ve always had a bit of a fascination with the Boston Red Sox. Part of that comes from Boston being the place my father settle in with his brothers and sister came to the U.S. from Ireland and that I have family there and I love spending summers on Cape Cod. As a kid whenever the Sox played on the Game of the Week or against the Highlanders I always made it my business to take in those games. In his new book It Was Never About The Babe,(published by Skyhorse Publishing) author Jerry M. Gutlon breaks the myths of curses and bad luck that have become folk law in Red Sox Nation.

Gutlon uncovers how misguided anti-Semitism by AL President Ban Johnson towards Harry Frazee (Frazee was not Jewish but Johnson believed he was) that forced Frazee to trade Babe Ruth to the Highlanders. The author also uncovers the racism and wild decisions made by Tom Yawkey under the influence of alcohol that were an embarrassment to the organization and set the franchise back decades.

Now under the guiding hands of Theo Epstein, Larry Luchino and John Henry the Red Sox have become the model franchise in baseball combing statistical work along with good old fashion bird dog scouting and using their vast revenues to build the team on the major league level and keep the farm system fertile.

Even if you are not a Red Sox fan, Gutlon’ book is a great read for any one interested in baseball history.

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AS MUCH AS I’D LOVE TO GLOAT, I JUST CAN’T

I should be enjoying some good old fashion schadenfreude over the A-Rod on ‘Roids story that broke this morning as it has all the elements that brings out the viciousness in me. There is Alex Rodriguez the biggest self-centered phony to hit this town in a long time, then there is Gene Orza who allegedly tip off Rodriguez that the piss cops were heading to his home which enhances Orza’ rep as a scummy weasel and then of course there are the New York Highlanders who can’t get enough bad news to satisfy my hate but there are a couple of things that keep me from dancing like an extra in Riverdance.

What this outing of Alex Rodriguez does is justify the village idiot, Jose Canseco as the voice of truth. Even though, he will forever be a rat bastard and a no good snitch, one thing he’s not is a liar. Everything he wrote in his two books (let that swirl around your head for a moment, Jose Canseco writing 2 books) has come out to be true. Canseco may be an idiot but he is an idiot savant when it comes to performance enhancing drugs and the ball players that use them.

The other reason that I take no joy in this news is it hurts baseball. For reasons I can’t explain, baseball is held to a higher standard than other sports.NFL players wind up on the police blotter weekly, NBA players produce more out of wedlock kids than that nutty woman in California hell, even Olympic swimmers hitting the chronic don’t face the scorn of baseball players who take PED’s.

A week before spring training starts I don’t want to hear about PED’s I want to hear about rookie phenoms and vets coming into camp healthy and fans thinking we have a chance for a big season and looking forward to summer and enjoying ourselves in our new home  ball park but no we can’t because of more fallout from drug use that happened six years ago. It takes all the fun out of being a hater.  

 

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HEY COLE HAMELS, DUH?

What I’m  supposed to get upset over Cole Hamels going on WFAN and calling the Mets “choke artists” ? Hey I’d love to sit here and call Hamels a no good cheesesteak eating douchebag from is depressing shithole of a city but it’s not doing any good for me or you or any other Mets fan to get pissed off about this awful label our beloved Metsies have been saddled with.

Non other than the fabulous Darryl Strawberry who was on with the Great Bloviator on WFAN this afternoon said as much when Hamels remarks we played. When asked by Mean Mike what would the 86ers have done with Hamels for making a remark like that about them he wasted no time in saying a fastball to ear and  good old fashion ass kicking would be the first order of business.

Unfournately the Mets have no one who would step up and  whizz  a fastball in anger at an oppenent so all we can hope for is that the next time Hamels in NYC he spits on the sidewalk or jay walks as he could find a radio antenna soved up his ass.

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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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