THE METS OF NEW YORK TOWN CIRCA 1962

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I don’t have many if any regrets in life but one I do have is that I never got to see a game at the Polo Grounds.

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IT MAY LOOK LIKE EBBETS FIELD BUT IT SOUNDS LIKE THE POLO GROUNDS

I didn’t watch last night’s game as it was turn to work Bingo at my daughter’s school (you get a credit on your tuition payment every Bingo you work but last night was a bit of a rough crowd. When I first started working these Bingo nights, it just a bunch of blue haired ladies now the crowd is getting younger and rowdier especially when they miss the Jackpot by one number. I don’t have to work it again until July, I may bring a night stick for that one) so I missed The Freak mowing down the Mets but from the tone of stories I’ve read this morning, it was just another night at Citi Field.  A descent starting pitching performance, inability to get a big hit in a big spot and oh yeah, a pitcher coming up with a sore arm.

Chris Capuano tossed ok, a quality start in this modern era I guess.  Ryota Igarashi was very good in an inning and two-thirds of work and Dillon Gee was wasted again for one inning of relief.

Big Plef is the matinee idol on the mound today for the 1:10PM start at Citi Field against LHP Jonathan Sanchez. With Sanchez going for the Giants, Ronnie Paulino gets to receive for Pelfrey and this could be quite the big start of Pelf. He loves throwing to a vet catcher who TELLS him what to throw which cuts down the amount of thinking Pelfrey has to do on the mound and the less he has to think the better Plefrey pitches. A strong start today will save Pelf’s ass from heading to Buffalo and will also give Paulino the job as Big Plef’s personal chauffer.

From what I did see and have heard, there has been a large contingent of SF Giants fans in attendance at Citi Field the last two nights. Back in the mid to late 60’s, a trip by the Giants and Dodgers were a HUGE attraction at Shea and MLB always seemed to schedule them for weekend series to boost the gate (Shea Stadium on a warm July or August Friday night with the Giants or Dodgers in town, was a happening. There would be a ragtime band that would stroll through the Field Level playing between innings, Mrs Payson in her box next to the Mets dugout, Homer the Beagle holding his Let’s Go Mets sign on a stick held in his mouth and of course, Karl Ehrhardt and his many signs. Good times.) I guess a World Series victory makes for new fans.

Well it looks like all the work Pedro Beato has had lately has taken a bit of a toll as he is has a 15 day stop order on his right elbow. Beato threw over 40 pitches in the 14 inning game which is a lot for a guy who was the set up to the set up man, pitching just one inning. From the looks of things it’s just soreness in the elbow and not that serious…………………….I hope

Jason Bay should be back in the lineup today after taking Paternity leave to celebrate his baby boy.

Angel Pagan played 9 innings last night for St. Lonesome hitting a triple and scoring a run in four AB’s. Pagan is eligible to come off the DL on Saturday hopefully replacing Willie Harris on the roster.

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RATS IN THE CELLAR

New York City blues
East side, west side blues
Throw me in the slam
A catch me if you can
Believe
That you’re wearing
Tearing me apart

Another day another dismal loss added on with poor play and some questionable managerial moves and non-moves. Welcome to Mets baseball 2011.

Two weeks into the season and the day after postmortems are getting tougher and tougher to write. Maybe those of us who saw blue and orange sugar plums this winter time to take a reality check here and admit this is not a very good baseball team and instead of patching the roof and the cracks in the foundation, maybe management should just tear the house down and rebuild it. The land underneath is much more valuable than the shack that sits on it.

Now it’s easy for me to sit here and say rebuild it because I’m not going anywhere, baseball fan wise that is. The best part of this swirly of a season is tickets for Mets home games are at Polo Grounds prices on the secondary market. Last night before I left work, I checked Stub Hub and you could get a ticket in the Promenade for 2 bucks an XL Dunkin Donuts coffee cost you more. Last night on THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN, Mike Steffanos and I talked about this and how going to Citi Field this summer could be like it was back in the mid and late 70’s, get a free ticket, go to the game, put you feet up on the seat in front of you, and extend both arms out to the seats on to your left and right. Talk about luxury seating?

So Brad Emaus was fired after 40 odd appearances at the plate to be replaced by Ginger Turner who looked as shaky as the Skill Sets finances at 2nd base last night. It looks like Turner and Daniel Murphy will form a platoon at 2nd base and hopefully Murphy has removed his head from his ass and has gotten the message that players play and managers manage. To me, Emaus while not at all impressive, got a raw deal here. That is a very small sample to give a guy who you anointed just a month ago as your 2nd baseman, to really know his truth worth. If you dump Emaus for his poor play this early then how do you justify keeping the dreadful Scott Hairston on this team. I thought Hairston would be a good 5th outfielder but right now he’s just a lazy over the hill stumble bum who needs to go like yesterday!

I can see where there is angst among some in the fan base not happy that Terry Collins didn’t rip 2nd base ump Doug Eddings a new asshole after his awful call against José Reyes. Some feel the manager needed to go out there and take his frustration out on the clueless ump as it would make them feel good to see someone act like a lunatic like them selves. Quite frankly I don’t think this group would have cared. I’m not saying they don’t care about winning and losing no I don’t think that at all but Collins acting a fool on the field is not going to turn Bobby Parnell into Goose Gossage or Mike Pelfrey into Dave Stewart or Ginger Turner into Jeff Kent. As we witnessed in the Rockies series when Troy Tulowitzki dug his spikes into the batters box and Mets pitchers were polite enough to let him get comfortable, this is a very nice group of young men who are a bit shy when it comes to confrontation.

Bobby Parnell has numbness in his middle finger, Mike Pelfrey has numbness in his skull and collectively Mets fans have become comfortably numb.

If I were Terry Collins I’d have thrown the whole righty/lefty thing out the window in 7th when he had Chin-lung Hu bat for Pedro Beato.  With 1st and 2nd 2 outs how do you let the weak hitting Hu pinch hit? I’d have gone with Murphy or Willie Harris in that spot. Both players have a better chance of getting a hit with the bat hanging out of their ass than Hu does with it in his hands.

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CONGRATULATIONS TO THE SAN FRANSISCO GIANTS OF UPPER MANHATTAN FOR WINNING THE 2010 WORLD SERIES

If my beloved New York Mets can’t win the World Series then I’m glad my dads beloved Giants won. My father came to America from Ireland in 1929 and landed with four of his brothers in Salem MA to live with their aunt. In 1930 my dad and one brother took off for NYC and never went back. He and my uncle wanted to see Babe Ruth play as they heard all these stories about the great baseball slugger. So off to Yankee Stadium they go but one problem, the Yankees were on the road. A cop walking the beat around the ball park told them if they wanted to see a baseball game today go over the bridge into Manhattan as the Giants were playing that day.

The legend as my father told me time and time again was ,when they got to the Polo Grounds, John McGraw was barking orders to his players. My dad asked who he was and a guy next to him said “That’s McGraw he runs this team”. With that my father looked at my uncle and said, “They let an Irishman run a baseball team”? They were both flabbergasted. Remember this was back in the day of businesses putting up signs “NO IRSH NEED APPLY and “ALL DOGS AND IRSH KEEP OFF THE GRASS” so to see a man who traced his ancestry back to the Motherland in a position of authority was extraordinary.

So from that day on, my father’ baseball devotion was to the NY Giants and to Little Napoleon. My dad would tell me it was heartbreaking when the Giants moved West (I’d tell him, you couldn’t have been that broken up since I was born in 1958 eighteen years after my sister) but then in 1962 the Mets were born and he had another team to root for.

But I always remember as a kid, when the Giants and Dodgers came to Shea, it seem like it was always a weekend series, and we always went to the games when the Giants came to town. Even though his new allegiance was to the Mets, my dad always remembered the Giants were his first baseball love. I’m sure he would have loved to see this years Giants celebrate wining the World Series, not as much as if it were the Mets but I know he would light up a cigar and say “At least it’s not those god damn Yankees”

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R.I.P. BOBBY THOMSON

Just heard the sad news that former NY Giant,and the man who hit the most famous home run in baseball history, Bobby Thomson has passed away.

I had the great pleasure of meeting Thomson and if you didn’t better, you’d never know he was not just an ex-baseball player but a player who hit the Shot Heard Around The World. He was very soft spoken and awfully polite when I met hm at an event to commemorate the 1951 season (my dad was a die-hard Giants fan and Thomson and Carl Hubbell were his two favorite Giants of all time)  but when the name of Sal Yvars was brought up, it brought out the Scottsman’ temper. Yvars was the player who claimed he gave Thomson and other Giants tip offs on what pitches were coming by stealing the opposing catchers signs using a telescope while Yvars was perched by a window in centerfield of the Polo Grounds.

Condolences to the Thomson family

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OF COURSE I’M HAPPY, CAN’T YOU TELL?

Obviously I’m extremely happy with the win last night especially with Livan Hernandez pitching like a prehistoric pitcher actually finishing a game, who does he thinks he is Roy Halliday? But we all need to remember that the opponent was one of the worst baseball teams to call it’s self a major league team since the Mets played in the Polo Grounds. I really didn’t want to piss on the parade here as I really enjoyed watching Livan Hernandez pitch as he couldn’t break a pane of glass with his fastball but his breaking ball had so much movement it looked like the ball was made of J-ELLO so it was a real pleasure watching that performance but it was the Nationals.

Hard to rate the first appearance of Fernando Martinez as the kid went from Buffalo to a plane trip to NYC to $iti Field in a matter of hours so you can just imagine the type of out of body experience he was going through but at least we know that he will be stationed in right field for at least the next two weeks so we can gauge him better by then.

From what I ‘ve read about Wilson Valdez he is all glove no stick which is fine as the Mets need to shore up the middle of the infield and all he cost was money. Being that it’s Johan against the Nationals tonight does Valdez get the start over Ramon Martinez tonight? I’d say so.

I better see Daniel Murphy at first base tonight. The kid can’t get out of his slump sitting on the bench.

Ollie Perez did nothing in Buffalo last night that would rush his return back to Flushing. The one thing in OP’s favor is that Tim Redding has been underwhelming to say the least .Interesting that the Mets have not announced the starting pitcher for Sunday game in Florida as with the day off Thursday they could skip Redding and go with Livan.

Great post by Ken Davidoff on his evaluation of Omar Minaya. I don’t want to say Minaya is an enigma but my mood on him changes almost weekly. Omar handling the DL infuriates me. Omar the talent evaluator is a plus in my book. Omar the public speaker makes my ears bleed. Omar the dumpster diver is without peer. When it comes time to seal the big deal, even the most anti Omar detractors will agree he has always closed the deal which brings me back to Daniel Murphy.

I really like Murphy and I want him to show what’s in that bat of his and the fact that he looks so comfortable at first base has me hoping he will break out with some big hits . J-Man and Omar need to sit down and decide to either let Murphy play everyday at first for the next two three weeks and then decide if he stays at the big league level or goes to Buffalo. As I say I like Murphy a lot but this is the big leagues and if it’s a question of the league having caught up to Murphy or the fact that he has been scared by playing left field then the brain trust has to make the determination if Murphy is THE GUY for first base or if he’s not and go out and make a deal for a big bat.

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“CATCH ME NOW I’M FALLING, I’M IN YOUR HANDS IT’S UP TO YOU, CATCH ME NOW I’M FALLING”

 

 

 

 

The one bright spot in Daniel Murphy’s error yesterday was it verified my rant to every Little Leaguer I’ve ever coached “CATCH THE BALL WITH TWO HANDS”!!!!!!!

 

Murphy the outfielder is a work in progress and if you just read the headline you’d think Johan Santana was looking to jack up Murphy for costing him and the Mets a win but after you read the quotes, Santana came off showing leadership qualities instead of being a finger pointer:

 

 “It’s one mistake that he made. It cost us the whole ballgame, but its part of the game,” Santana said of Murphy’s gaffe. “I know he’s in a learning process. This is not going to be the first time. I don’t think it’s going to be the last one, either. The only thing is we learn from our mistakes. That’s all I can say. I’m pretty sure he’ll be back and try to do better.”

 

“We cannot afford to make a lot of mistakes,” he continued. “We were out by one game last year. Every game is very important. We have to do the routine plays, and I’m pretty sure (Murphy) was trying his best there and it didn’t work out.”

 

I have no problem with want Santana said as it’s true. Its basic baseball, don’t give the opposition more than 3 outs. When you do, you lose and Murphy’s error was negligence. I still love you Danny Boy but next time “TWO HANDS”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Do you get the feeling that if J-Man could have one wish it would be to have someone other than Gimp Castillo playing 2nd base?

 

How about this, on this day in 1962 the New York Mets had their inaugural home opener at the Polo Grounds losing to the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3. The “crowd” that day was 12, 447 which will be the same amount standing in the cue at the Shake Shack concession stand tonight at the Grand Opening of $iti Field.

 

Wouldn’t have been a nice idea to incorporate the first ever home game for the Mets with the first game at the Shea and $iti? You could introduce the starting lineups from each Mets team (or a surviving member of the players family) and how about this, Shea opened on April 17th 1964 also against the Pirates and the Pirates won that one 4-3 as well. If MLB had used their heads and made the Pirates the Mets opponent in this first series then maybe Opening Day at $iti would have been in the day time?

 

Check out Adam Rubin’s Mets-Padres preview and to all you are headed to $ti tonight, ENJOY!!!!!!!  

  

 

 

 

 

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2009 METS ANNUAL FROM MAPLE STREET PRESS

Every spring there are loads of baseball annuals at the newsstand but if you are a die hard Mets fan you need to pick up the 2009 Mets Annual published by Maple Street Press.

The Annual is chock full of information for every Mets fans taste. You like numbers? There are your basic stats and there are in depth numbers like pitch selection and hit placement all from the Inside Edge scouting service. There are articles on Shea Staduim and our birthplace the Polo Grounds.  There are stories on the 40th annivseray of the 1969 Amazin’s (by Greg Prince) and a great article by Howard Megdal on the Mets uncanny ability to finish in second place (that says it all about Mets fandom WE’RE #2!!!!)

Greg Spira and Matt Silveman have but the best sports annual out there so look for it at newsstands, bookstores or at the Maple Street Press web site  

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DON’T “FALL” DOWN

So here we stand on the first of September with our Mets and Mets fans getting through a spring and summer that saw injuries, an upheaval in the managers office, an as advertised Ace pitcher, the emergence of a young Ace pitcher that gives fans a warming feeling of the late sixties, mid eighties when the Mets had a dominant 1-2 punch in the rotation, the unexpected performance of Danny Murphy, Nick Evans and Fernando Tatis, the crap shoot bullpen, and the thought that starting next season that we will be priced out of our new home as the Skill Sets seem to rather have a wine and caviar crowd than the Bud and Nathans crowd that have given it’s tears and cheers to the organization since the days of the Polo Grounds. And with all that the Mets are a first place team today as the home stretch begins in Milwaukee. Sweet.

 

I’m very anxious about watching Jon Niese go tomorrow night but I’m also concerned with the Mets starting three lefties in a row espically against the  Brewskis as they pound lefties like they were Pabst Blue Ribbon

 

The big addition to the team will be RHP Al Reyes who could be the missing link in the command challenged bullpen. Reyes if healthy and on his game his a big strikeout pitcher so with Brian Stokes pitching well (thank you Tampa for making up a bit for the Kazmir heist) and Luis Ayala doing better than the rest maybe, just maybe we can have less angst watching Mets games plus the Mets organization has done well with players named Reyes.

 

33 years ago today I was a 17 year old sitting in Shea Stadium watching The Franchise strike out Manny Sanguillen for his 200 K and the 8 the straight season he had reached that mark a record. That was the last meaningful game at Shea that season as the Mets fell out of the division race.

 

The first thought that popped into my head when I heard about the death of Killer Kowalski was the Sunnyside Gardens in Queens. It was second only to MSG as the Wrestling Mecca of the city. Roller Derby too.

 

Of course the first thing I said when I saw John McCain’s running mate Sarah Palin was Now that’s a middle aged hottie, the second thing I thought was why doesn’t McCain just call it a forfeit and let the Obama/Biden administration get ready to take over. Talk about pandering the only reason Ms. Palin is on the ticket is because she is a Ms. No way McCain picks a man with the limited qualifications than Ms Alaska has. The other question I have is this woman has five kids and one a baby with Down Syndrome, you would think she would have her hands full at home, what would happen if McCain kicks the bucket (was Palin on his Bucket List, Pick a Hot MILF for a running mate) and person with no experience at all has to run this country. Don’t give me she was the Mayor of town and the Governor of Alaska there are almost as many people on Staten Island than there are in Alaska and if SI Boro President James Molinaro had to run this country, I’d be moving to me Grand da’ house in Sligo.  

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Tickets

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