“All The Little Chicks With The Crimson Lips Go, Cleveland Rocks Cleveland Rocks……………..”

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 In honor of the Mets playing the Indians this weekend

 

I was all pumped up for last night’s Ravens-Broncos game, even with the usually silly bullshit pre-game hoopla that the NFL loves that probably says more about the American viewing public that the league and the NFL (give the people what they want, I guess) itself. So after the insufferable Ryan Seacrest came on the field, I was begging, PLEASE, PLEASE  LET”S HAVE THE KICK OFF!!!!!!! Next thing you know Al (I’ve got the horse right here, his name is Paul Revere…) Michaels tells me there is a weather delay due to lighting in the area. “Sigh”, something’s telling me check my At Bat app and watch some baseball.

I tuned into the Yankees-Red Sox and let me just give a few observations on that experience:

Michael Kay is not a good baseball play by play man. I’m not trying to be nasty here, after listening to him for a few innings he doesn’t have the voice or the right style or cadence you need to announce baseball games.

Where were all the Yankee fans? Lots of empty seats and the big ball orchard in the South Bronx. Just goes to show, there is no such thing as a diehard Yankee fan.

The Yankees sure could use a catcher.

With the exception of Robinson Cano, there is no everyday Yankee I’d take over the Mets starting 8.

It’s painful to watch Nora Desmond Derek Jeter play shortstop

Just looking at the Red Sox with those scraggly beards makes me itchy.

Joba Chamberlain sucks

I switched back and forth from Ravens-Broncos to Yankees-Red Sox, when the Yankees started to make a game out this in the 7th inning; I abandoned the football game and stuck with baseball. For all the hype the first game of the NFL had and I bought into the hype, it took Yankees-Red Sox to show me that baseball is still KING!  

Scott Kazmir will match up with Zack Wheeler tonight in Cleveland in a game of Mets Phenoms’ past and present.  I found the post I wrote after the Kazmir-Victor Zambrano trade from 9 years ago WOW!

I’m starting to be swayed by Lucas Duda as the 2014 Mets first baseman. I think the front office might be leaning in that direction as well. A tandem of Duda/Josh Satin in 2014 at 1st base may not be too bad. It is amazing how comfortable and more confident Duda is when playing 1st base. Duda reacts to playing left field the way I do when my wife asks me to clean out the garage.

I don’t understand some Mets fans upset that the club hasn’t called up Ruben Tejada to take over for Omar Quintanila. Do you think Sandy Alderson is enjoying watching Q or Justin Turner play shortstop instead of the 23 year old Tejada? Don’t you think with all the holes Alderson has to fill this off season, he wishes shortstop wasn’t one of them? Don’t you think the reason that Ruben Tejada is not up with the big club is Ruben Tejada? Alderson let the fan base know in a non-sugar coated way that Tejada’s work ethic sucks and his time in the bushes is for him to reflect if he really wants to be a big leaguer and if he does, he needs to work and work harder to make it. This is nothing new with Tejada, Terry Collins has had a red ass over Tejada, the last two seasons, not because he dislikes Ruben but because he sees a talent being wasted by a piss poor attitude and work ethic. You want to be angry about Q starting at short every game? Direct that anger where it belongs, at Ruben Tejada.

I’d love to see Hunter Pence in right field for the 2014 Mets

How about taking a run at obtaining Jose Bautista? You have to figure with the Jays ownership can’t be happy with the way this season has gone after investing money and trading for players they felt would lead them to the post season.

Joey Bats will make $14 mil next season and in 2015, with a team option in 2016 for $14 mil or a $1 mil buyout. Bats solves your power problem and left field problem as well .

Oh by the way, the Blue Jays play the Twins tonight. So what? The pitching matchup is R.A. Dickey vs. Mike Pelfrey.  

The Irish will kick some Blue and Maze ass tomorrow night.

 

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WAYNE HAGIN OUT, JOSH LEWIN IN ?

Metsblog has a link from Neil Best of Newsday stating that former Texas Rangers and current San Diego Chargers radio play by play man Josh Lewin, is the favorite to replace Wayne Hagin in Mets radio booth.

Hagin just never clicked with Mets fans, myself amongst them, as he had that generic radio announcers voice and always seemed to be a second or two behind the action on the field. The Hagin/ Howie Rose partnership just never seemed like it meshed with Howie being “one of us” and Hagin not having a Mets or NYC connection.

Lewin is a curious choice as it seems he left the Rangers due to his other commitments of doing baseball on FOX Saturday Baseball and his gig with the Chargers. Lewin enjoys tossing out a lot pop culture quotes during broadcasts to the point it becomes forced and a distraction. Being that Lewin was born in Rochester NY and grew up in the Boston area, he has knowledge of what the East Coast/NY fan is looking for in a sports broadcast so this could be a very interesting hire by the Mets.

With Lewin having Sports talk radio show experience as well maybe he could add working Mets Extra and taking phone calls or who knows him and Howie could take phone calls during games.

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USING TWITTER TO SET PEOPLE STRAIGHT

Last night while watching the Mets-Cards game and enjoying the return of Jose Reyes and short timer Carlos Beltran, I went back to a bad habit that I thought I had overcome, going on Twitter while watching the Mets. I tried breaking this habit because I couldn’t take the fill in the player’s name “You Suck” and then when said player comes through the same Tweeters comeback with fill in the player’s name “I<3 you”. It get tiring. Well last night I guess I’d had enough as Jose Reyes made his second great play at short. Bases loaded 1 out and Albert Pujols  at bat against Bobby Parnell and the Mets holding a 2 run lead. Pujols hits a ground ball at the 2nd base bag Reyes snares hit and touches the bag while trying to avoid getting wiped out by the runner gets a laser beam throw off to Lucas Duda for the double play. An outstanding play if there ever was one.

 

Now the play by play of than call by Gary Cohen was as usual perfect. Well to everyone but 1050 ESPN’s Don LeGreca. When I read that Tweet I was ready to scream, this guy works with arguably the worst play by play man in baseball in Michael Kay (John Sterling sucks as well, I know but at least Sterling is entertaining, Kay makes homicidal thought run through your mind) so I had to take matters into my own fingers and tweet back to Mr. LeGreca. He in turn tweets back that he is a big fan of Gary’s (don’t give that first name basis bullshit you just ripped the guy for an over the top call when in fact it was a great call and you look like a horses ass) and that wasn’t the point of the Tweet. Then what was the point? Saying the DP started by Reyes was routine? That makes you ignorant. Saying that Cohen’ call was “over the top” that just makes you look jealous and petty.

 

I think I’ll Tweet LeGreca back (before he blocks me) about he felt about his boss Kay and the way he not only ruined the Derek Jeter 3,000 hit call with his constant” listen to me try to make the moment mine” diatribe when Jeter homered and then how he went on to felate The Captain the rest of the game.

See that is the glory of Twiter, you say stupid shit and then your set straight. Let’s see who pisses me off tonight.

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COSTAS/MICHAELS OR COHEN/DARLING ?

I guess I missed the vote to have Al Michaels and Bob Costas call the 4th and 5th innings of tonight’s Mets-Giants game on SNY, while Gary Cohen and Ron Darling go over to the MLB Network to call the innings in their broadcast booth.  I don’t mind Michaels who is more associated with the NFL( and the 1980 USA hockey team as well) than he is with baseball even though he was a top notch baseball play by play man early in his career. I could do without Costas who is way too pretentious for me. I subscribe to the if it ”ain’t broke don’t fix it” school of thought especially when it comes to watching the Mets.      

What a tragedy last night in Arlington, where Josh Hamilton went to flip a ball to a fan after the third out of the inning and the fan leaning over to catch it, fell 20 ft landed on his head and died. The fan a 39 year old fireman was at the game with his son who was reported to be 8 or 9 years old. This is heartbreaking for the family but also for Hamilton who was reported to be distraught over the event.  I’m not one to be a reactionary type when freak accidents occur but I think it’s time to stop the ball toss in the stands. I’ve written here many times how I hate the bullshit Pepsi Patrol t-shirt launches into the stands. People turn into total assholes when some two dollar t shirt is blasted into the stands. It’s totally ridiculous. The same with foul balls. I have never caught a foul ball at a game and I could care less if I ever do. I have five full buckets of baseballs in my garage it doesn’t matter to me if it’s a ball from a Major League game. I’d rather keep all my bones and extremities intact than have a ball with Bud Selig’s name on it.

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IF THE SKILL SETS NEED TO EMBRACE THE FAN BASE, MAKE US YOUR PARTNER

As a guy who has trouble balancing a check book, all this financial talk of the Skill Sets and the financial stability of the franchise has my head aching. What The Skill Sets knew and when they knew it about the Madoff Ponzi scheme is still not known and if an out of court settlement comes about, we may never know but what we do know is the brand of the New York Mets has been tainted.

Maybe this is why the organization has embraced the Mets blogging community, why not go to the folks whose love for the team is undying and let them be involved in events that we never dreamed we’d be a part of. I am very much appreciative of the organization for the opportunity they have given me with access to Sandy Alderson, Terry Collins and various players but the folks the organization really needs to reach out to you guys who read this site and other Mets blogs and buy the tickets and watch SNY and buy team merchandise because you are the life blood of the franchise.

The news of the Skill Sets cash call could not come at a worse time. Season ticket sales are down and there doesn’t seem to be a big demand for single game tickets either, those go on sale in March. The biggest argument and it is a very fair criticism, is that the ticket prices are way to high. Now add in the news that the Skill Sets are strapped for cash most fans will feel that by buying a ticket to a Mets game will be paying for the Skill Sets Defense Fund. I’m not saying it is but that’s the perception.

A couple of pluses could come out of this firestorm. Yesterday I attended SABR DAY at Foleys Bar in Manhattan an event that was put together by SABR and Baseball Prospectus. It was a great afternoon of baseball talk with baseball fans and writers. Two of the panelists were Mets play by play man, Gary Cohen and Newsday baseball writer, Ken Davidoff. When the Q & A session began the Skill Sets money woes came up. Cohen didn’t have much to say on the topic and with good reason I guess, but Davidoff claimed that as far as the baseball operation goes it may be good for the team. It seems this had been brewing for some time and Davidoff confirmed what I’ve been told for years and what I’ve written about here, that Jeffey Skill Sets is a big part of the problem. Between Jeffey and Omar they wanted to be friends with everyone from players to front office people and anytime a tough decision had to be made neither man could pull the trigger. The Tony Bernazzard firing is a prime example, the team had to be humiliated by the media before they’d let Bernazard go as he was friends with both Jeffey and Omar. Davidoff stated this will not happen under Sandy Alderson as he will not tolerate it. The panel consensus was by putting Alderson in charge it takes Jeffey out of the baseball ops decision making except on money issues. So if there is a plus out of this fiasco it’s muzzling Jeffey. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard folks who cover the team say “Now there is an adult in charge” well, you’d be looking at a 25 % owner of the Mets.

The Mets will have to really work hard on marketing this team for 2011 and beyond. The best way to start is by ripping out those club seats behind home plate and replace them with seats that honest to goodness baseball fans can purchase. Not only would be good business but it go a long away to getting some positive baseball atmosphere in Citi Field. Every time you tune into a Mets game on TV, those seats are empty because the ticket holders for those seats couldn’t care less about the game going on as long as the free booze and food are flowing in the Delta Club. The organization lowered some ticket prices but they are still ridiculous. The Skill Sets have taken a massive hit on their credibility, if they want to win the fans back they have a lot of wooing to do. This is year three of Citi Field and the place still has no identity. Is it a playground for the well to do? Is it a food court with a ball park attached? How games have you sat in your seats watching a game a looked out toward centerfield marveling at the line of people who stand on line waiting to buy a hamburger? When people would rather wait on a line for a half hour to forty-five minutes for a burger than watch your team, you have a problem.

It’s time Mets ownership comes to the realization that in order to make this franchise great again it has to embrace the working stiff Mets fan. One thing you know about us working stiffs, we are loyal to the team and we show up and support the club in good times and in bad. Not like some rich thieving scumbag who but a knife in the Skill Sets back.  You want to sell 25 % of the club? Just make the real true blue and orange Mets fan feel like you actually care about them and make the Citi Field experience that wants fans to  come back rather than say good riddance and I guarantee you’ll see so much success that this cash call will be just a bad dream.

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ISSUES? OH BOY DO I HAVE ISSUES!!!!!!!!!!!

Again it’s one of those days where the minutia in my head is overflowing so the floodgates are now open:

As any Mets fan I am concerned for the health of Jose Reyes but I’m trying to get a handled on the hysteria over the revelation of Reyes having an overactive thyroid . I guess it’s due to the fact that my wife has had problems with her thyroid for years and takes Synthroid for an under active thyroid and it hasn’t been a huge hindrance to her so that leads  me to think Reyes will be fine. You want something to worry about, worry about the bullpen.

I’m getting worried that the manger and the front office are going to screw up on Jenry Mejia big time. Yesterday Mejia gave the team a dominant performance in relief and with the bunch of  JAG’s (just another guys) roaming the pen, how much temptation is there for Jerry Manuel, with April now a job/career saving month,  to put pressure on the front office to bring the 20 year neophyte north at the end of spring training ?

Am I in the minority about this air traffic controller at Kennedy Airport letting his kid talk to the pilots? I know he just told the kid what to say and if this was little air field in the Midwest, I wouldn’t give a shit but to do this at one of the busiest airport in world, to me is the height of irresponsibility. I don’t want to see the controller lose his job but a suspension and fine seems to be in order here and maybe a rule like NO KIDS IN THE FUCKING TOWER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sometime Marty Noble can come off as big fat windbag but in his Noble Thoughts column today he has some good nuggets like Frenchy breaking Ike Davis’ balls over an error he made at 1st base and then turning the tables on himself by proclaiming he will take three base on balls today and maybe win the leadoff spot in the bullpen. Also Frank Catalanotto and Jason Pridie are making heads turn early in camp.

Victor Rojas has been named as the TV play by play man for the Angels thus his leaving MLB Network. On his blog, Rojas details his taking the Angels job, it’s a great read and I wish Victor all the best with the Angels. Oh and a Happy Brithday to Victor’s dad Cookie

It’s hard to imagine how corrupt and out of control the sate government of New York is right now. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican or Democrat an Upstater or Downstater as tax payers and residents of the state, the way we are treated by these bunch of bungling assholes in Albany is fucking disgrace. Should Governor Patterson resign? No, he should thrown in jail! along with every fucking member of the Metropolitan Transit Authority.

I am a fan of Bill Simmons and have been from as far back as his days at AOL as the Boston Sports Guy but his take on Tiger Woods coming back to golf and comparing it to Muhammad Ali’s comeback after being banned from boxing for not joining the military is so ridiculous that there is no way in hell you could defend that opinion. But of course Keith Olberman not only has to make the point that Simmons’ opinion is so off base but he has to attack him personally. That’s what Olberman does. I know first hand. When I started doing Kranepool Society, I had e mailed Olberman a few of my posts (I got his e-ail address for the SABR members list as I’m a member as well) just to see what he thought of my work. All I got back was a nasty e-mail from him stating how dare I send him these post and then commanded to never send him anything again. To say the least I was a bit upset. As time went on and I saw that Olberman has a problem in work and social settings so I didn’t feel so bad. So now that he ripped Simmons a new asshole, I feel like a little camaraderie with The Sports Guy. Olberman is not the Worst Person in the World just the biggest douche bag.

Ooops I’m late for my anger management class!

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THE STAIN ON MY NOTE BOOK, REMAIN ALL THATS LEFT, OF THE MEMORY OF LATE NIGHTS, AND COFFEE IN BED

I stayed up to watch the Phillies fall to the Friars (the Padres play by play man kept calling the Padres that all night so now it’s stuck in my head) as Mets fans are happy Brian Giles turned down a deal to the Red Sox as he drove in the late inning runs to lead the Friars to the win. I then turned over to see J.J. Hardy beat the Dodgers in 10 innings so by the time I got to sleep it was about 1:30AM. I didn’t get up this morning until 9:30 which is like slipping into a coma for me. So by the time I rolled out of bed, went for bagels and the papers (yes I’m a dinosaur that loves to read a hard copy newspaper) had my coffee it’s now like 20 to 1. My day is thrown off terribly. With no baseball games to coach I’m not used to weekend morinings with nothing to do. I had a bunch of stuff I wanted to write about but the late start to my day (even on my day off I’m up by 6 AM) I’ll just give a couple of quick hits:

Kudos to Petey for a great game last night. Maybe, just maybe he can stay healthy for the stretch run and have a few more like last night left in him. Pitching back to back starts against the same team is very difficult even to a second division team like the Bucs so that makes last night start more impressive.

Don’t kill Eddie Kunz for last night, either J-Man uses this kid like he is conditioned to, to close or pitch the 8th inning or just send him back to Bingo. As Kunz said last night after the game he is used to pitching everyday or every other day last night appearance was his first in a week. This kid has been conditioned to close since college, so he is what he is so either let him pitch late innings here or send him back to Bingo but whatever the Mets do stop dicking around with the kid.

With the news that Billy Wags is not ready to get back to action, Omar and J-Man have to sit down and figure out what will be done about the late innings. One thing is for sure this mix and match of releivers has got to go. I guess we won’t know until tomorrow when Wags gets yet another MRI on his forearm/elbow but one thing is for sure the Mets need a game plan and if it involves taking either John Maine or Big Pelf to the pen then lets do it already.

Omar aquired Luis Ayala from the Nats for Anderson Hernandez early today. I guess Mel Rojas didn’t return his call.

D-Wright gets a day off today and Damien Easley will play thrid and bat third.

Joel Sherman had a column today on how the Highlanders will have a decison to make on the direction of the franchise and what to do with Captain Craptastic. Can you imagine the aggony of Highlander fans if Capt Crap ever was traded? How about to the Dodgers and Mr. T? We can only pray it happens. Also Sherman snuck in a comment about will the Steinbrenners even own the Highlanders after 2010. As soon as The Bronx Robber Baron takes his last breath, Pack A Day Hank, and Horse Whisper Hal will put the For Sale sign up so fast it will make your inter-locking NY cap spin. Remember what Peter O’Malley did so don’t think this is far fetched.

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