From Niese-ly Done to Matt-tastic Harvey

 

Some observations after last night’s Mets 2-1 win over the NY Highlanders:

I was quite perturbed that there wasn’t a pre-game show on SNY.  As the day went on yesterday I was really getting revved up for this game. But I switched on SNY at 6PM looking forward to Chris (Uncle Fester) Carlin and my main man, Bobby Ojeda to hit me up with some knowledge before the game.  Instead I got the insufferable Beer Money. Total failure by SNY to not have a pre-game show even with the telecast on PIX-11. Speaking of PIX-11

Since Ch 11 was televising the game it seems they were given the opportunity to have a pre-game show on WPIX but instead of a pre-game show Mets fans were treated to a television train wreck. There was some guy named Mario Diaz who was teamed up with Art Shamsky, who by the way has been pushing this book of his for what seems like an eternity. Really Art, enough already, that damn tome is sitting on a shelf down at the Dollar Tree give it a rest. So now this Diaz guy throws it to another guy I never heard (and if I’m lucky will never hear of him again) Dyrol Joyner. Joyner was so tongue tied and unprepared that I went from mocking him from my living room to actually feeling sorry for the dude. It was bad enough calling Mariano Rivera “Mario” but he kept stumbling and bumbling over his words, it was quite an embarrassment. Then they went to some young lady who must have just re located here to the NY area because she was reading traffic and transit report right off a script and never lifted her eyes to look into the camera. There was an on field interview with Jeremy Heftner that focus on his family during the Oklahoma tornado which happen last week, the same time Hefner addressed the effect on his family, and an interview with Matt Harvey where he was asked if he ever met Julia Roberts since she stared in Mystic Pizza filmed in the town where Harvey is from.  Oh and good news, Mr. Diaz said they will all be back on Thursday from the Bronx. Someone in the Mets organization needs to put a stop to that.

It’s amazing how Mets fans are such creatures of habit as soon as it was realized that Gary Cohen was off and Kevin Burkhardt was handling the play by play, Mets Twitter was in a dither. It wasn’t the smoothest broadcast of all time that’s for sure. First off, Keith Hernadez had a major brain fart calling Daniel Murphy’s broken bat a “dead solider” on Memorial Day no less and there was way too much Highlander love and way, way, way too many shots of Pee Wee Cashman sitting in the stands. You have to know your audience is made up of not just die hard Mets fans but also die hard Highlander haters.

There is no two ways around it, those camo unis suck and if I never see them again that would be swell. Although John Buck, Bobby Parnell and John Niese looked like they could wear the camo’s every day.

I don’t know why people get their panties in a bunch over the attendance numbers at ball parks. What the Mets and the rest of professional sports have to understand is with the advent of high definition televisions and the high ticket, parking and concessions prices, fans are finding that staying home in the living room or den with their big screen TV with full fridges of food and their favorite beverage of choice is winning out over fighting traffic, long lines to eat and pee and  watching a bad product on the field. The NFL realizes this and is trying to figure out how to make fans want to leave home and experience football in a live environment rather than staying home and watching on TV.

Great start from Jon Niese as he had total command of his especially an effective cut fastball.  This is exactly what is expected and needed from Niese 6-7 solid innings each start.

After getting robbed of a 2 run homer by Brett Gardner, Daniel (#ImWith28) Murphy comes up big with a clutch single to center to score JV1 with what proved to be the winning run.

How about Ruben Tejada in that 8th inning ? Every time he puts the ball in play recently it’s in the air for a can of corn out, yesterday when the Mets needed a fly ball to get Mike Baxter home from first, he hits it on the ground and Baxter was out at the plate. Total frustration.

Speaking of frustration, Lucas Duda with RISP has hit (can you really call it that) a buck twenty-five with ZERO home runs and a paltry 6 Rib Eye Steaks .

As for Ike Davis, just a hat trick last night 3K’s in 3AB’s

Prediction for tonight 3 hit complete game shutout for Matt Harvey #HappyHarveyDay      

 

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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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Observations From Opening Day at Citi Field

Observations from opening day at Citi Field:

I’ve been going to Mets games for 48 years, I was 6 years old in 1964 when I went to see Bob Gibson beat the Mets  on May 9 th, and as excited as I was back then I was just as excited yesterday to be at Citi Field for opening day.

Outside the ball park before the game there was a great positive energy that non-Mets fans just do not understand. I stood near the SNY broadcast area where Bobby Ojeda, Chris Carlin and the iconic Ralph Kiner conducted the pre-game show. There is a segment of younger generation Mets fans who really don’t appreciate Kiner and what he means to charter member Mets fans like me. Ralph, Bob Murphy and Lindsey Nelson were a constant summer time companion on TV and radio. Nelson left in 1978 and that was shocking, but we still had Ralph and Murph. Murph left in 2003 and that was sad but through it all Ralph Kiner remained, albeit on a limited basis but Ralph always knew when to show up when you needed that boost of Mets elixir because when you’re a middle aged Mets fan the sight and sound of Ralph Kiner brings back memories of a simpler and great time of your life.

Lots and lots of CARTER 8 jersey’s and t-shirts on display yesterday along with signs and banners praising Carter and mourning the loss of Gary Carter. The Mets held a wonderful pre-game ceremony starting with the players, coaches and manager all wearing their warm up jerseys with CARTER 8 on the back and having Carter’ jersey hanging  up in the dugout.  It was also touching to see Darryl Strawberry, Keith Hernandez, Bobby Ojeda and Mookie Wilson catch the first pitch from Carter’s wife and children along with the unveiling of the KID 8 patch on the outfield wall and video of Carters Mets career that would make even the most cynical Mets fan dab their eyes.

Seems the only people who are obsessed by the Mets attendance are the Mets Media Haters and Highlander fans.  The Mets Media Haters harp on this due to their lack of talent and originality, I mean how much talent does it take to answer a telephone for five hours a day while reading a newspaper and sucking down soda after soda or sit at a laptop staring lovingly at your Derek Jeter gift baskets while writing what a great GM Pee Wee Cashman is because he is so brilliant in having a $200 mil payroll to cover up his fuck ups. The Highlander fan knows that the first time the Mets show any success the Highlander reign of attention in this city will be over.

Citi Field was jammed packed yesterday, the line at the Shake Shack was a couple a hundred deep, the fans lined the Shea Bridge soaking up the sunshine which could explain for some of the empty seats you’ve seen. The crowd responded well to the player introductions, sure some folks felt it was a good time to boo Mike Pelfrey and Jason Bay but for most part the Mets faithful was happy to see their beloved team back in action.

I didn’t see any of the usual Highlander fan jerk offs who come to Citi Field wearing their Jeter jerseys and caps which is encouraging.

The Mets have made an upgrade on the main scoreboard to where it’s  setup like Gameday on MLB.com a virtual scorecard showing not only what the player has done in previous at bats but also showing you the location of balls put in play in those AB’s. The pitchers line as well as pitch count, pitch selection and pitch count are there as well as both lineups, the player at bat’s season stats and career numbers as well.

I have never bitched and moaned about the prices at the concession stands but $6.80 for a Nathans Hot Dog is ridiculous. Compare that to $11.50 for a turkey with mozzarella and gravy on a semolina hero at Mama’s of Corona, why would you go for the hot dog?

Nothing better than watching Johan Santana work. Frist two innings he had a bit of a command issue, which is to be expected as I’m sure his adrenaline was flowing like Niagara Falls but it was the 5th inning that really sent the message as to what a competitor he is and why Santana is one the best starting pitchers in baseball. He wanted badly to get 5 innings in today as his pitch count was limited to 80-85 so he knew this was his last frame of the day. Getting Freddy Freeman out on strikes to start the inning was big because Santana killer Matt Diaz doubled to left and you could see the finish line of this start was near.

After getting Jason Heyward to fly out to Bay, all Santana needed was one more out but he struggled against Tyler Pastornicky and Tommy Hanson walking both of them to load the bases for leadoff hitter Michael Bourn.  This was the at bat of the game. Santana fell behind Bourn 2-0 giving the crowd of Mets fans an uneasy feeling since it was September of 2010 when we last witnessed Santana pitch we forgot how much heart this man has on the mound. He got Bourn to hit a comebacker to him and with what adrenaline was left nearly threw the ball over Ike Davis head but Ike caught it stepped on first inning over with no Braves crossing home plate. Welcome back Johan.

Andres Torres pulled up lame in the 7th on Pastornick’s triple and while I hate to see anyone get hurt, I hope Torres takes all the time he needs to get that calf 100 % so we can get a good look at Kirk Nieuwenhuis as the everyday center fielder. Hopefully when Torres comes back it will be as the 4th outfielder,

Daniel Murphy 2 for 4 yup #ImWith28

 

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ED KRANEPOOL TO BE IN STUDIO FOR METS PRE GAME SHOW ON WPIX CH 11

 

Ed Kranepool will join Lolita Lopez this Saturday and Sunday on WPIX 11 here in NYC for the pre game show at 12:30PM before the Mets and Highlanders meet in the South Bronx

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YUCK AND SNY LET US DOWN

Why isn’t there a pre game show on SNY? Of all days Mets fans needed our guys to give us the info on Frankie Rodriguez calling out Brian Bruney in the South Bronx today.

So with no Mets pre gamer I turned to YUCK and Suzyn Waldman’s baby sister Kim Jones comes on to give us details of Frankie and Bruney ready to rock and roll but all we got was a brief video of the Mets holding back Frankie and no site of any High Priced Highlanders 

Waldman lite told us that Rodriguez went over to Bruney and asked him if “he had something to say to him” and Bruney said “no” Bruney then went to the clubhouse to change his soiled pinstriped underwear.

Two things, what a piss poor job out of SNY with no pre game show and how lucky is Joe Giradi that the Bronx Robber Baron is incapicated?  Boss George would have given  Giradi an ultimatum to win today or be fired.

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SUPER BOWL-SUPER BONG-SUPER MAN AND SUPER AGENT

Observations on last nights Super Bowl:

 

I am so happy I didn’t waste a minute of my time watching the pre game show, it’s bad enough I turn the game on at 6PM to get more Bob Costas than my daily requirement of self-important blow hards. Someday a head of a TV network will realize what a waste of money these pre game shows are in this day and age of instant information just like FOX figured out the money they save on Aqua Net for Jeanie Zelasko could be put to better use like getting Doofus Joe Buck a personality.

 

By the time the fourth quarter rolled around and the game looking like a Steelers lock, and the continued parade of commercial after commercial just killing the flow of the game I was ready to call Michael Phelps to come over with his Aqua Lung Bong. How about poor old Flipper getting outed while going one toke over the line? My God what’s’ next? Sully doing an “8-ball”?

 

Hey Rodney Harrison, I just spoke to David Tyree; he sends his regards and wants to know how his ass tastes.

 

WOHA! When did Brenda Warner get the Hollywood makeover? Da-am-n!!!!

 

Besides the Steelers and the Rooney family last night’s biggest winners were Al Michaels and John Madden, especially Madden who was totally on his game last night and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band who made me for the first time ever watching Super Bowls wanting halftime to last longer.

 

Rumors are running rampant through the ‘net that Scott Boras is in NYC to meet with the Omar about OP and Manny. There is no substance to these rumors but it looks like OP names on a contract is a foregone conclusion and with Manny still out there, there is still a scintilla of hope that maybe a package deal of OP/Manny could come to fruition. But don’t hold your breath.

 

Outstanding find by UGOT2B-LIEVE is this video of Bobby Valentine telling a wonderful story on his mustache in the dugout appearance. This is classic.

 

More video wonderment this one from Michael Leggett of the great Random Fandom Red Sox NYC site as he took video this past weekend of the rubble that is Shea Stadium. With all the pics and video of the rubble left of Shea I find myself in a quandary. I loved Shea and even at “Fitty” years old whenever I’d go to Shea no matter the opponent I had the same enthusiasm as I had as a six year old, in 1964, the first time I walked into Shea. I have tons of memories in there not just of games and events I’ve seen there but with the people I went those games and events with. Some are gone some are older and the first time I went to Shea with my son and daughter was very emotional for me and now that they are full fledged Mets fan I’m just glad they were able to experience Shea Stadium. But then there are the days I went to Shea where the sewers were backing up and the corridors were so jammed you couldn’t walk and the lines for the bathrooms made you miss the action on the field and the pipes leaking from the mezzanine to the lodge section with a liquid substance that wasn’t water and the cramp seats and I say yeah it’s time for a new place. The one big problem I have with $iti Field is its’ name and the corporate greed that goes with it and my biggest fear that the true Mets fan will be kept out of the place in favor of the stuffed shirts who are there for “the event” and have not put their heart and soul into the team like you and me. If all my Upper Deck brethren get into to $iti then it will be a success if the it becomes just a place for the know nothing corporate hacks then it will be the end of the Mets as we know them. I fear this because the Skill Sets have no feel for their fan base, because if they did I’d be wearing a RAMIREZ 24 jersey today.

 

This has nothing to do with the Mets or baseball but I got a kick out it. Kulas Korner is a great hockey site and they have a video up of yesterdays Bruins-Canadians game where Alex Henry of the Habs and Shawn Thornton of the Bruins went toe to toe in a slobberknocker . B’s play by play man Jack Edwards goes off on Henry who is what we used to call back in the 70’s a Goon, very funny stuff but not as funny as the awful looking throwbacks the Habs wore yesterday that reminded me of a barber pole.

 

Happy Birthday Leo “Bananas” Foster 

  

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CONCLUSION OF WORLD SERIES GAME 5 TONIGHT: DOES ANYONE CARE?

I’ll watch it and you may watch as well but really other than Phillies fans and Rays fans does anyone care about the World Series anymore? Has MLB under the bumbling Used Car Salesman and the worst television network on earth FOX destroyed what was once the crown jewel of  American sports?

 

Forget about whether kids are watching or care about the Series an unscientific poll of my 13 year old and his friends will tell you they not only haven’t watched a single pitch they are more concerned about their up coming basketball season and the Friday Halloween Dance. It’s not that they are not baseball fans as out of 15 boys in my sons class 12 play organized baseball and they are all die-hard Mets or Highlander fans but when you have homework and practice for whatever sport is in season but the time 8:45 or 9:00pm rolls around your looking at some serious sleep time.

 

I not a big fan of Bob Raisman but he did lay out today in the NY Daily News all that is wrong with MLB taking Rupert Murdoch’s billions and selling it s soul to FOX. There is no reason in the world that the World Series shouldn’t begin at 7:30pm East Coast Time. First off, no network should put on a pre game show for any sport. In this day and age by the time first pitch, kick off, tip off or face off comes around fans are well versed in what’s in store for that nights game. Do you think I rely on Jeanie Zelasko for my baseball information HA! HA!

 

It not just kids who are not following the World Series it’s adults as well. Every morning when I come in to work my co-workers ask me who won and what were the highlights as out six or seven guys that want to know none of them have watched one pitch of this series. Most of it is no Mets or Highlanders but even without the locals in it they all tell me the same thing, the game is on too late and they’re not staying up until midnight to watch it.

 

You would have to think that someone in MLB has to have at least a sliver of common sense and is reading and listening to the fans (have you heard  anyone say the y LIKE the late starts and early morning finishes of these games? I didn’t think so) and bring it to the attention of the Used Car Salesman. If the Mets were to announce that all night home games were going to start at 8:45 PM how many games would you go to? Figure three hours minimum for a game so you’d get out of the ball park at quarter to midnight, then by the time you get out the parking lot and home you would have enough time to take a nap and go to work  so of course the Mets or any team would not be stupid enough to schedule games at that time but for the championship of MLB they do and then wonder why no one is watching.  

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