When Matt Harvey Pitches You Better Wear Shades

Isn’t it amazing how we feel as Mets fans after a Matt Harvey start? Have you noticed how the other fan bases around baseball look at us now that we have Matt Harvey? 

Matt Harvey’ performance hides alot of the Mets imperfections, like Ike Davis playing first base like its’ 3:45 AM or Capt Kirk getting bad jump on a fly ball in centerfield or holding our breath on a ground ball to Ruben Tejada, when you’re down about the Mets play at times all you have to say is, Is Matt Harvey a stud or what? It makes it all better.

Harvey was large and in charge again last night at a library quiet Citizen Bank Ball Park as he sliced and diced the Dirty Old Phuck Phaces with a Frisbee like slider and fast ball after fastball. Sure Harvey had a bit of an issue with command but he still was never in any danger in this game, unlike the once great Roy Halladay who turned into an old man in front of our eyes. Ron Darling even went into an old pitchers stick together soliloquy over the demise of Doc Halladay but then realized he was working this game for SNY and not TBS and stopped in mid-sentence to realize his Mets fan audience was enjoying their team stepping on Halladay’s throat.

As you all know I am a fin of Collin Cowgill but when I see him with that flat brim on his cap it drives me up a wall. I hate flat brims on baseball cap with a passion BEND THAT BRIM COLLIN!!!!!!!

I’m not worried about Ike Davis at the plate but I am stunned at how bad a first base he’s been playing. Last few games, he’s been a mess in the field.

I like the blue uni top the Mets wear at home but I’m not a fan of the blue road top. I’m ok with the snow whites but they wear them too damn much. There is nothing better than watching the Mets when they are in their pinnies in fact I’d love them even better without the names on the back. The all blue cap is the best cap in baseball. The new blue and orange caps would be better if the “ny” was all orange. I LOVE, LOVE ,LOVE the Mr. Met cap but then again I have always had a strong affection for Mr.Met.

Last night David Wright went after a pop up in foul territory. A Phuck Phace fan tried to interfere with Wright as he caught the pop up and then had the balls to ask Wright for the baseball. Wright shot this shit head a “Are you fucking me” look that was straight out of Bensonhurst.

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Optimism, Thy Name Is Matt Harvey

Yeah, I’m excited when Big Hoss’ takes the mound!

Could it be? Four wins in a row? Hell yeah! What makes the wins even sweeter, the last two were against the Phuck Phaces with Jon Niese on the mound for the sweep, yeah that’s right THE SWEEP!!!  

Back on August 5th Matt Harvey threw a lot of breaking balls in his start against the Padres. I’ll take a wild guess that Dan Warthen ordered him to go with that many breaking balls. Harvey lasted 5 innings and gave up 5 runs in what became a 7-3 Padres win.

Something good came of that loss; Matt Harvey went back to being what he is, a power pitcher. No more following the Warthen Doctrine of nibble the corners and pitch passively. From watching the last 2-3 Harvey starts, there is nothing passive about him and it seems the message has been sent to the Mets pitching coach, leave Harvey alone. Of Harvey’s 98 pitches last night, 63 were fastballs that averaged 95 mph, that’s power pitching.

Is it a coincidence that the Mets have won 4 in a row and the bullpen has been solid? The pen has not allowed a run in its last 13.1 innings pitched, spanning over 5 games and is 7 for 7 in saves for the month of August. The Mets relievers have even improved bit in stranding inherited runners as they are up to 70 % LOB up from the mid 60 % range they have been at most of the season.

There has been lots of talk about the way Terry Collins has used Josh (Everyday) Edgin lately but the fact is Edgin has been a bullpen revelation.  Edgin has stranded 11 of the 14 runners he’s inherited as well as striking out 24 batters in 19.1 innings pitched. I can see the concern about going to the whip to often with Edgin especially getting him up multiple times during a game to warm-up , that’s where the wear and tear takes its toll, so it may be a good idea for Collins to take his foot off the gas a bit the last month of the season with Edgin.

Jon Niese is pitching with an extra days rest today. When Niese has an extra day off he is 6-3 with a 2.29 ERA as this covers 15 starts.

One thing to watch for today at the launching pad known as Citizen Bank Park, Niese has given up the long ball a lot this season, a career high 20 home run so far this season.

Niese has a better day time record than night. He’s 4-1 with a 2.85 ERA in 10 starts in the sunshine and in 15 starts under the lights he’s 6-6 with a 3.98 ERA.

 

 

 

 

 

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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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NY Rangers-NY Mets Daily Double

I’m having a tough time putting my thoughts into words this morning after spending my night at Madison Square Garden and witnessing one of those great sports moments   that will talked about for years and years.

The black and white of the box scores says Rangers 3 Capitals 2 but that in no way describes how this game was played.  This NY Ranger team is simply one of the best teams in the history of my sports fandom.  It hasn’t much to do with the winning but more with the amazing work ethic and the fact when I was ready to write them off they dug down deeper than me and many other Rangers fans could ever imagine. Funny thing is as I watched the pre-game warm ups, I thought about how many games I’ve witnessed in this building and how times have changed over the years.  For some wild reason images of John Fergurson, Phil Esposito, Ron Greschner and my favorite whipping boy Willie Huber were entering my head.  I looked around the Blue Seats and thought about Nick Fotiu throwing pucks to “his people” in the upper reaches of the 400 section after warm-ups. I thought of the day Bryan Trottier was named coach of the Rangers (that’s when my hatred for Glen Sather began) as the day I was ready to turn in my Broadway Blueshirt and of course the  euphoria of 1994 Stanley Cup winning team.

I don’t know where this playoff season is going for the NY Rangers but as nerve wracking as the ride is, I’m riding with a lot of Ranger fan pride. Time to close this series out boys tomorrow night!

I had no idea what was going on between the Mets and Phuck Phaces until my phone buzzed with a text telling me the Mets had won 5-2. When I got home I went searching for Rangers highlights to find out how the hell Broadway Brad Richards got that puck by Braden Holtby and to relive the resurrection of Marc Staal, I stopped on ESPN as Baseball Tonight was queuing up highlights of the Mets win (by the way, what’s up with John Kruk? He’s sitting behind a desk all hunched up like someone was lobbing hand grenades over his head. Why so tense Krukie? )  and I know there is this whole controversy over hitting batters for no reason but because they are young and talented and many times fans go overboard on wanting their pitcher to take off someone on the oppositions head with a pitch but to me if Shane Victorino doesn’t hit the dirt on his first at bat tonight I will be very angry. Victorino’s take out try on Justin Turner was an out and out dirty play and a scumbag like Victorino will continue to make that kind of play until someone sends him a message.  I don’t want Miguel Batista (YIKES!!!!) to drill Victorino in the noggin but I do want to see a pitch just under his chin.

 How do you figure out Jordany  Valdespin ? I’ve heard a few stories on how he is immature and was such a problem he was read the riot act by a few folks in the Mets minor league system. So far he seems to be exuberant as a young man should be in the big leagues and a player his teammates have embraced. Maybe it’s the fact that Terry Collins can handle a young guy feeling his oats and the fact that the team has solid mature veteran players unlike the cranky red asses who gave rookies a hard time in the clubhouse in years past. Hopefully with a little success in the big leagues, Valdespin will see what it takes to stay up here and matures before our eyes.

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NY Mets Had A Good Weekend, But It Could Have Been A Great Weekend

The good news is the Mets are 6-3 and took 2 of 3 from the Phuck Phaces in Filthadelphia. Should they have swept?  It not only would have been very sweet but I would have had a much better vibe about this team than I do this morning if they did. Do not get me wrong, I am very happy with this start and any time you can go to Filthadelphia and win a series is a solid positive but again the Mets allowed a team to get 4 or 5 outs in an inning will be the difference between the club staying in playoff contention or dropping to the second division.  The Mets are just not good enough to make a lot of mistakes.

Mike Pelfrey had another solid start yesterday, sure that WHIP of 1.80 is not good at all and he does leave pitches up in the zones that get smashed but yesterday after the first inning that looked like the beginning of a disastrous start, Pelf made adjustments and relied a lot on his sinker, a 90+MPH sinker I might add, and got ground ball out after ground ball out. Nice job out of Pelf.

I know Mike Nickeas is here for his defense but I don’t see how he is this solid defensive receiver.  Throwing out Juan Pierre at third was more on Pierre being an idiot making the third out at third base, than Nickeas being Jerry Grote. I’ll give Nickeas a bit of a hat tip as he seems to call a decent game but his backhanding of balls in the dirt and inability to keep balls in front of him has me turned off a bit.

Teams that have 2-1 leads going into the 7th inning have to get those last 9 outs and the ones that do are the teams that are pennant contenders. So far the bullpen has done a great job (Bobby Parnell, Jon Rauch and Frank Francisco) but yesterday when the frontline relievers weren’t used and the second tier arms came in the game, the results were a disaster. It wasn’t all Ramon Ramirez, Miguel Batista and Manny Acosta’ fault as Ruben Tejada made a bad throwing error and Scott Hairston played left field like he had marbles instead of spike on his shoes but again this team has a super model thin margin of error.

Congrats to Mets Fan Rich for sending in the correct answer to yesterday’s trivia question (R.A. Dickey gave up 6 HR’s in a game tying a modern MLB record) and winning the VIP tickets to the Tribeca Film Festival showing of Knuckleball! On Saturday April 21 at 8PM. This event is open to the public for FREE. So come on down and get a chance to meet R.A. Dickey, Charlie Hough, Tim Wakefield and Jim Bouton.

 

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The Mets Won Last Night, So Why Am I So Angry ?

 

 Jason Bay hit a home run last night. No, seriously Bay hit a home run last night. Yes, Jason Bay of the NY Mets


Oh well, my positive spinning of the Mets was good while it lasted. As great as last night’s win was over the Phuck Phaces and as enjoyable as it was watching The Dickster , Bobby Parnell and Frankie Firsco dominate. I have some issues with Terry Collins and more importantly a couple of players who I am very fond of.

First the manager, TC can spin it as much as he wants that he felt batting Justin Turner third was a the correct move as to not disrupt the rest of the lineup but let’s be real here, Turner is no 3 hole hitter. I understand the premise of not bunching lefty bats against Cliff Lee but Turner replacing Wright in the 3 spot? That’s a Jerry Manuel move. If TC had put Jason Bay in the third spot of the lineup I’d have defended that move. But Justin Turner? Please!

Look I am now and forever a proud member of the #IMWITH28 Club (I have the t-shirt to prove it) but for Christ sake Murph you have to make the routine play and 2nd base. That was the second time this week that a routine ground ball went under Danny Boys glove and it has to be the last.

Speaking of Murphy, TC and Sandy Alderson cannot put Murphy at 3rd base if (when?) David Wright goes on the DL with his fractured pinky (speaking of DW’s pinkie, there were some on Twitter questioning Wright and his threshold of pain for not playing last night and looking at the DL until he recovers. If you are questioning Wright’s toughness or his fight to get back on the field, then you’re an idiot) I agree 100 % with Toby Hyde that Zach Lutz should be promoted from Buffalo and planted at 3rd base until Wright gets back. For better or worse, Murphy is the 2012 2nd baseman and if the TC/Alderson go back on that, it shows real indecisiveness on their part and doesn’t help Murphy with his comfort level at 2nd. DW, if he hits the DL, will most likely be out just the minimum 15 days, so moving Murph makes no sense.

Its plays like Josh Thole made on the bases last night that infuriates the living shit out of me. Since the Mets won last night everyone can chuckle at that bone head base running blunder by Thole, put its plays like that, that this team cannot afford to make. Between Murphy’ ground ball through the legs and Thole getting duped by Jimmy Rollins, (and by the way Jon Niese better put a fast ball under J-Rolls fucking chin in his first at bat just to send him a message) that can sink this team as the Mets are not good enough to fuck up like that.

Just think the Mets won the game last night and are 5-2 after the first seven games and I’m still agitated. Just look at it as some tough love.

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GOTTA GO GET SOME ROCK SALT

First off congratualtions to the St Lousi Cardinals for winning their 11th World Series in franchise history. Some folks on Twitter can’t understand why I was rooting for the Cards to win this Series. With the exception of 2008 and 2009 when I just couldn’t bring myself to rally for the Phuck Phaces (in 2009 I abstained from rooting as much as I hate the Phuck Phaces, rooting for the Bronx Bastards would be a mortal sin) I always support the NL and I’ll say this the Senior Circuit has won the last 4 of 6 World Series.

Now that the World Series is over and we are getting out our snow shovels (WHAT?) it’s time for the Hot Stove to rev up and of course the first order of business will be the signing or non-signing of Jose Reyes. Sandy Alderson will handle the negotiation with the team coming first and the fan base second. For those of you who clamor for Reyes back at any price, haven’t we gone down that road of destruction too many times in Flushing ? The days of winning the tabloid back pages in the winter are over. Of course I want to see Reyes back as the Mets shortstop but not at a ridiculous price. I’m more concerned about the years than I am the money. Four years, I’m fine with five would have to be an option with incentives; six would be thank you for your years of service Jose.

The Highlanders were smart to sign a 1 year extension with WCBS 880 for the rights to broadcast their games on radio. The Met deal on WFAN is up after this season and I’d bet anything that WFAN wants those Highlander games badly.  That’s fine by me as that would then conclude me from being a WFAN listener ever again. As it is now, I turn on the station out of boredom or just tired of listening to music at work.

If I were the owner of a MLB team I’d be pissed with Bud Selig today as he stated the deadbeat Skill Sets have not paid off their $25 mil loan to MLB. I wonder what Frank McCourt has to say about that. Call it BuddyCare.

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SCHADENFREUDE SATURDAY

 

 

If we thought Thursday night was a great night with the Bronx Bastards season ending, Friday night was even better as the Phuck Phaces Phrom Philly went down in a heap to the Red Birds of St. Louis. Now believe me, I am no fan of The Genius but as Dick Channey once said “in order to beat the bad guys, you have to be a bad guy” and this instance, as Mets fans we had to root for the bad guy.

The fallout in Philly is great because the whole town woke up this morning realizing they are back to being a worthless sports town again. The Dream Team Iggles are a nightmare and the Flyers having shipped off half their team in the off season will be fighting for a playoff spot in the NHL Eastern Conference. The best news for Philly sports fans is the NBA lockout so they don’t have to subject themselves to the stink that is the 76ers.

A couple of items I read today stuck out to me, one is from our friend Metstradaums who not only reminded me about Gary Mathews Sr. “Mets are crybabies” line but also points out the Jimmy Rollins went silent after the game and then there is this quote from Jim Salisbury’ Phillies Insider column:

Long after the stadium had emptied, and after most of the players had dressed and left the clubhouse, Shane Victorino reached into his locker and pulled out a sheet of World Series tickets marked for games in Philadelphia. He looked at them wistfully then tore them in pieces and dropped them into the trash bin as he headed for the door and another cold winter.

Ha! Ha! Ha! Suck it Shane!

Over at The Real Dirty Mets Ed “RustyJr” Marcus has a terrific interview posted that he did with Howard Stern Show producer and longtime Mets fan, Gary Della’Abate

Tony Plush is taking a lot of heat for his choice of words following last night’s Brewers win over the D-Backs but really why even have a reporter on the field after a game like that? We all know what Sam Ryan was going ask Morgan anyway, “describe how you’re feeling”? “Describe that at bat”? Why do networks even bother? In fact, what we got from Nyjer Morgan was great, same as what we got from Tim Lincecum last year a big fat ‘FUCK YEAH”!!!! Between Morgan’s reaction and Prince Fielder blowing off Ryan and going over to Pedro Gomez of ESPN made it one of the best post games ever.  Let’s face it if the Mets ever win another World Series, I’ll be FUCK YEAH-ing people all winter.

Even worse was Craig Sager’ prolonged inane questions to Chris Carpenter, who just pitched the game of his life and as his body language showed he wasn’t happy to have to answer questions from a La Gage aux Folles castmember reject while his teammates were celebrating.

If the Brewers played in Citi Field, the Skill Sets money woes would be over, the place would be packed ever night, they have a lot of 86ers in them personality wise.

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“JUST WHEN I THOUGHT THEY WERE OUT, THEY PULL ME BACK IN”

Just when you thought the Mets would fold up the tents and head into the off season with the refrain of “Same Old Mets” from the Flushing Faithful, echoing in their ears,  they not only reverse course but do so in impressive fashion.

After dropping 4 in a row to the Brewski’s and Phuck Phaces, the fan base was going over their fall/winter plans just glancing at SNY or tuning in to Howie, Wayne and engineer extraordnaire,  Chirs Majkowski   but then something amazing happened, two of the most unlikely players, Nick Evans and Mike Pelfrey led the team to a win against the Phuck Phaces to save face since the Philly Phucks embarrassed the Mets in the first two games of the series.  After the off day, Chris Capuano gave SNY some winter programing by pitching the game of the year for the Mets.  If you don’t think this was the game of the year, find a clip of Howie Rose making the call of the final out as it was classic Howie, staying in professional mode but letting you know there is still a lot of Mets fan in him.

Then came the hurricane and the Bravos ran out of town and in came the Fish and a good ol’ twi-nighter at Citi Field. The first game was started by Mets fan fav R.A. Dickey who was stellar as usual but this time he got the WIN but personal wins are not what Robert Allen Dickey is about:

“Wins and losses are nice, but it’s not the metric that I measure my season by,” Dickey said. “If the team gets the win, I know it sounds cliche, but that’s what you want as a starting pitcher, to go out there, put up quality starts and the result be a win for your club. So that’s what I try to focus on. We’re playing pretty good ball right now.”

Then in the second game, Dillion Gee had a great bounce back game which is quite encouraging in such a young pitcher. Maybe it was having Jose Reyes back, or maybe the it was the BP Jersey’s the team wore or maybe Old School Dan Warthen threatened to send Gee into the Iron Triangle draped in a suit of pork chops to fight off the pit bulls (are people really surprised there are dogs roaming 126 Street chop shops? They ‘ve been there since Jack Fisher and Joe Christopher were Mets) whatever,  it’s stellar pitching and the mighty bats of The Dude and DFA Evans have the team back on track.

Another reason why you should be proud of your NY Mets. A kid was stuck between the eyes last night by a foul ball. Justin Turner saw the kid get hit and it made him sick to his stomach, he was so bad off he had to go confide with Nick Evans who also watched the flight of the ball strike the young man. Turner was still worried about the kid after the game that he tried to get info on how he was, and sent word on Twitter he was still waiting and hoping to hear from the boy’s family. Justin Turner is a good man.

The Mets are also ready to make a PSA for an Anti-Bullying Campaign:

 The New York Mets today announced the launch of an anti-bullying public service awareness campaign designed to educate and support our children about all forms of bullying. The PSAs will begin airing today, Monday, August 29, during games at Citi Field and on SNY to help deliver the message to the broadest audience.

 

 

 

Jason Bay, Chris Capuano, R.A. Dickey, Daniel Murphy and David Wright are among the players who participated in tapings for the segment.  The content was developed in conjunction with StopBullying.gov, an official U.S. Government Web Site managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Education.

The Mets place a high priority in supporting children in the community.  For 18 years, the organization has been a proud sponsor of the Student Athlete Leadership Conference Series, a mentoring program that includes an anti-bullying and civility message with particular attention paid to language and behavior that is derogatory and offensive based on racial, sexual and ethnic biases.  Over the years, thousands of high school athletes have been trained to promote positive activities to hundreds of thousands of elementary school students across Long Island.

This is another great job by Mets management and their outreach in the community. I would hope they would also add  “It Gets Better” video to help stop the attacks and homophobia that Gay and Lesbian teens face too many times in their everyday lives.

 

 

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WHEN JOSE COMES HOME, SO GOOD, HE’S THE PRIDE OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD

Take a bow Mets fans, you did it. You voted and voted until you couldn’t make up any more e mail address and got Jose Reyes the starting job at short stop in the All Star Game.

In years past I’d be totally pissed off after the Mets lost 2 of 3 to the Highlanders at home, but yesterday’s comeback win and the way it unfolded makes this years’ series  loss a little easier to take. This is not the same old Mets anymore.

Besides the fact that you can see this team actually hates to lose and I can write every clichés about toughness, the one thing that is clear is the reputation of the Mets being a bunch of losers has all been erased. Sure, they are not a championship team yet but they are creeping into “team we hate to play” status. Have you noticed there are no more “Replace-Met” stories or writing on and on about when the injured stars will be back? It sucks big time to lose 2 of 3 at home to the Highlanders but if the Bronx Bastards (along with the Phuck Phaces and the Sawx) are the gold standard of baseball, the Mets a close to silver status which is a pretty good jump from last year’s given up status.

The biggest fallacy written about Jose Reyes is that he is injury prone. In 2009 the organization was much to blame for his injuries as they tried to change his running style was bad but the inept strength and conditioning staff made it worse. Last season he missed the start of the season due to illness more than injury  but that doesn’t stop hacks like Joel Sherman to play up to the ignorance of his readership that Reyes is injury prone.   Here is the breakdown of games played by Reyes since 2005 which is when he took over as the everyday shortstop after the other great idea of converting him to 2nd base so the great bust of Tokyo Kaz Matsui could be the starting shortstop:

2005 161 g

2006 153 g

2007 160 g

2008 159 g

Even with the illness and injury from trying to come back to soon last season, Reyes played in 133 games. So far this year he’s played 80 games. He took off yesterday due to the tweak of his hammy (a grade 1 strain) and he may take the next few games off before the All-Star Game as well.

We do see that Sandy Alderson may be won over by Jose Reyes and from meeting him myself it’s hard not to be. Alderson seems ready to make a very competitive offer to Reyes (I think we can forget all the Don’t Trade Reyes angst he’s not getting dealt) as he sees the contribution Reyes makes on and off the field.

If this weekend becomes the turning point where the Mets gain respect throughout baseball for being a team to avoid and Sandy Alderson decides that Jose Reyes is worth fighting to keep, then losing 2 of 3 to the Highlanders ain’t to tough to take.

Last up certainly not least, I want to wish all of you a happy and safe 4th of July. I have a couple of more days here in the Pocono Mountains, surrounded by Phuckadelphians in there Phuck Phace shirts and jerseys. Makes me sick.

 

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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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