Just ‘Cause We’re Not Tweeting Doesn’t Mean We’re Not Watching

 

Last night while watching the Mets-Nationals game-yes I’m still watching the Mets – I opened up my Twitter app and saw one of the Mets beat writers asking why #MetsTwitter was so quiet? If you are not hip to #MetsTwitter, it’s a number of Mets fans who comment while games are in progress. The tweets are as entertaining and as witty as the repartee that goes on in the Mets TV and radio booth.  So why was the Mets chatter on Twitter so sparse?

You could say that the first day of school played a part as those of use with kids know that the first day means covering books, sharpening pencils and signing forms, lots of forms. Add in a Monday Night Football game of major interest to us Giants fans, with the Eagles-Redskins locking up and those of us who missed the season premiere of Boardwalk Empire and further episodes of Ray Donovan (I told my wife if we ever hit Powerball, I’m hiring a Ray Donovan type to handle all my problems, like someone parking in my driveway or noisy neighbors or anyone who writes a negative comment on this sight) and The Newsroom. Lots of stuff happening on the peripheral of Mets baseball but I still watched the game but really didn’t have the energy to make comments on Twitter.

Really at this point what is there to comment on? This team is playing without its best everyday player, its Ace starting pitcher and it’s finally very effective closer. First base has become a collection of mismatched socks. The young shortstop slacker who should be playing shortstop is getting a mega dose of tough love from the ex-Marine GM who has shown this season to be an intelligent soft spoken gentleman who makes moves without any emotional attachment to the players in his organization, a major plus in my book. We have a manager who is or isn’t coming back and pitching coach who shouldn’t come back (there and some fans who have this ridiculous notion that Dan Warthen is responsible for the success of Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler and Bobby Parnell when the real credit for the young supple arms should go to Frank Viola, Glenn Abbott, Randy St. Claire and Jason Issringhausen, the Mets minor league pitching coaches who have gotten these and the other young arms in the org ready) That plus the unknown of whether the owners will spend money over the winter or not AS PROMISED!!!! has worn down this fan base considerably. Just because we’re not ranting on Twitter doesn’t mean we’re not watching, we’ve just run out of material that’s all.

You know the Mets are playing out the string when Gary Cohen and RonDarling spend an inning discussing the coaching career of Joe Pignatano. It’s too bad the Call the Booth segment wasn’t used last night as I could have chimed in with my own “Piggy” story.

My wife and I were on 18th Avenue in Brooklyn about 19 years ago. We had just moved to Staten Island but we still went shopping in Bensonhurst because that’s where the best Italian salumeria’s, pork stores and bakeries are, the three important staples of my existence. Anyway, we pass an Apple Bank on 67th street and I see a sign that was promoting an appearance by none of than “Former Dodger and NY Mets coach, Joe Pignatano”  shopping for provisions would have to wait , I want to say hi to Piggy. I remember most of the conversation, how he missed his buddy “Gilly” (Gil Hodges) how Tom Seaver was the greatest pitcher who ever lived and believe it or not the problem with kids not throwing enough to strengthen their arms, Piggy was as Old Testament baseball as anyone. At this point my wife had enough and left to finish shopping and I was about to leave as well until I asked the question that got the biggest rise of all from the old coach “So Joe, where on Staten Island do you live”

I had read that Pignatano and his wife had left Bay Ridge for Staten Island. At the time of our meeting we had just made the move from Brooklyn to Staten Island as well and were still in the culture shock of being transplant.  The answer to my question was not what I was expecting. “Oh hell, I don’t live there anymore, we moved back to Brooklyn”  WOW! When I asked how come? Pignatano answered with a question, “why are you here today”? I told him to do food shopping; he laughed and said “See? You can’t find this food on Staten Island and if you do they’re getting the stuff from Brooklyn”. He also ranted on how it was too quiet and no one is out during the day so there are no neighbors to talk to and any time he needed to go to the store he have to drive . After a year on the Island he convinced his wife to move back to Bay Ridge or back to “civilization” as Pignatnao said.  

We talked for so long that my wife finished shopping and stood outside the front of the bank. I shook hands with Pignatano and told him what a pleasure it was to meet him but I have to get back to Staten Island. “Better you than me” he said with a big laugh.

 

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Blown (Save) Away

Happy 87th Birthday to Yogi Berra, if you haven’t read Harvey Araton’s book Driving Mr. Yogi, you should it’s a terrific read    

 

 

Nothing pisses off a fan base more than a blown save that cost their team a win. As we witnessed in Miami last night, the Met s again unleashed their version of “5 O’clock Lightning” coming from behind again to turn a 3-2 deficit into a 5-3 lead as Mike Baxter has channeled his inner Smokey Burgess to become a potent late inning pinch hitter, drove in two runs with a double while batting for the offensively challenge Mike Nickeas.

I listened to latter part of this game in the car, enjoying the duo of Howie Rose and his partner Josh Lewin, who by the way has become a great listen and has blended in quite nicely with Howie making for such a pleasurable listen that even when I’m home I’ll tune in to hear a few innings, especially today when the game is on FOX, the sound on the TV goes mute and radio is turned up, but I digress.

When Baxter hit that double to score Captain Kirk and Ike to take the lead, the excitement in Howie’s voice was as jubilant a call I’ve heard from the radio booth in a long time. A 5-3 lead with six outs to go and the way the pen has been going it looked like you could start “putting this one in the books” but wait………..

Of all the players in the infield the last guy I’d predict making a crucial late inning error would be Ike Davis, I mean, no matter how awful a batting slump Ike has been in, he never brings that out to the field on defense so his costly error in the 8th that gave the Fish life was a bit of a shocker.

Give hat tips to Bobby Parnell and Tim Brydak who set up the save for Frank Francisco. All Frankie Frisco had to do was get three outs. Instead Greg Dobbs single gave the Fish their 4th walk off win of the year and their 9th win in 10 games.

That’s what makes this Frankie Frisco’ blown save hurt more, the Fish are red hot and here come the “5 O’Clock Lighting” Mets doing their come from behind magic again buoyed by another solid performance by their Ace Johan Santana (after a tough 1st inning Santana was masterful mixing mostly fastballs and slider but not many change ups to keep the Fish in check from innings 2-6 ) and looking to add to their dominant record against the NL East (now 13-6 after last night loss) but instead of killing Francisco maybe we have to credit Dobbs for hitting a pretty good pitch, a 94 mph fastball that was just inside the strike zone.

If we’ve learned anything about the 2012 Mets, this early in the season a loss like last nights doesn’t linger long with them, they’ll turn the page quickly.

I see where Rony Cedeno is at shortstop again today so my question is why is Jordany Valdespin here? If Terry Collins feels Cedeno is his guy until Ruben Tejada gets back that’s fine but if that’s the case maybe keeping Vinny Rottino around would have been the better move and let Valdespin play every day in Buffalo.  Rottino has played catcher so with two weak hitting catchers on the roster a guy like Rottino would be valuable.

 

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HANG IN THERE METS FANS, METS-SANITY IS ON THE WAY

Really not much Mets stuff to talk about, we’ve already covered Johan Santana and his left arm, the new dimensions of the outfield walls at Citi Field and Daniel Murphy playing 2nd base.

We’ve discussed Sandy Alderson on Twitter (@MetsGM), the schedule for Mets bobble head days (no Kranepool bobbler though, sad!) We talked about the pessimistic/optimistic Mets fan, ticket packages, Ike Davis ankle, David Wright’s back and Lucas Duda outfield prowess.

We’ve learned that Josh Lewin will be Howie Rose’s tag team partner in the Mets radio booth, and that John Franco (not Edgardo Alfonzo) will be inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame. The new/old uniforms are back, that’s been discussed and of course the financial state of the Skill Sets and the club has been expounded upon by experts and those who have trouble making change for a dollar.

Just think we’ve discussed, debated and beaten to death these and other subjects about our beloved Metsies even while Super Bowls were won, hockey team looking like Cup Champs and a kid from Harvard has stolen the heart of hoops fans of NYC.

The manager, coaches and many players are in camp. Dispatches with the address Pt. St. Lucie are now showing up on the fish wraps, soon SNY will transmit pictures and sounds of our heroes in action and not a moment too soon as me thinks some of the fan base needs a baseball fix badddddddly.

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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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“WILPON’S FOLLY” A MUST READ FOR METS FANS

 

 

Lots of Mets news today to look at and I want get to it quick so I can read Howard Megdal’s new book “Wilpon’s Folly. Megdal has done what no other journalist s has attempted, he has conducted a full investigation into Wilpon’s involvement with Bernie Madoff and how December 11, 2008, the day Madoff was shown to be a world class thief and the worst day of Fred Wilpon’s life could rival the June 15, 1977 as the worst day in NY Mets history. After I finish reading “Wilpon’s Folly” I’ll have more on the book but if you are a Mets fan and want to know the TRUTH about Madoff and what the Wilpon’s knew and when they knew it and where all this will leave our beloved Mets, you really need to get this book.

Sandy Alderson has been named to International Talent Committee that was formed to study if MLB should institute a draft of International players. Just one step closer to the Commissioner’s office for Alderson

What’s this? The Mets are looking at dealing for Gio Gonzalez? It would be a feather in Alderson’s cap to pull this one off and if he feels parting with Jon Niese, Ike Davis and a minor leaguer or two is worth it, it still may not be enough to land Gonzalez.

Wayne Hagin, we hardly knew ye. Looks like Hagin’s days as Mets radio man are over. Hagin never clicked with the fan base because we Mets fans are very provincial when it comes to announcers.  I’ve met Hagin a few times on the 7 train going back to the city after a Mets game and found him not only a gentleman but a great storyteller as well, but all that just didn’t translate into the radio booth during games. A great hire to join Howie Rose in the radio booth would be Boog Sciambi.

I’m a little late with this and I apologize as you need to check out Ed Marcus and Kerel Cooper’s video’s of Tuesdays Mets Christmas Party and the Q & A’s with Sandy Alderson, Justin Turner, Daniel Murphy and Jon Niese. Yes that’s me asking Alderson about the catching situation.

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GET YOUR HAT AND COAT IT’S OPENING DAY!!!!!!

 

 

 

I’m still trying to figure how the Gary Sheffield signing is this catastrophic moment in Mets history? Sheffield is not coming in here and bogarting a spot in the line up he has to earn it and the one guy who is impacted by Sheffield being here is Ryan Church  not Dan Murphy (we covered this already I know)  No one shakes their head at the Mets moves more than me but I can’t even fathom Omar Minaya promising anything to Sheffield other than an opportunity to show he can still play. If he can’t then he’s gone, it’s that simple.

 

A major tip of the Mets Cap to The Mets Police, for this link to this story on Jerry Koosman and how the Mets started the five man pitching rotation under Rube Walker. The wildest thing about seeing this story about Koos was I was thinking of Koosman last night last night I was watching MLBN and there were previewing the SF Giants and how the Giants are one of the team in baseball that does not forget it’s former players or it’s franchises history. They put up a graphic that showed Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Orlando Cepeda and Felipe Alou as former Giants who still work for the organization and who are around the current Giants all through spring training and at times during the season. This has been one of my major gripes with Mets management. Even though it’s nice that Sandy Koufax comes to St. Lonesome every spring to talk to the pitchers it would be even better if Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman were there as spring instructors. Same thing with guys like Jerry Grote, Rusty Stub, and Felix Milan. Management is starting to embrace the old Mets some by of course having them in the TV booth (why isn’t there an analyst in the radio booth? Let Howie do the play by play and have John Franco do color commentary? I’m sorry Wayne Hagin does nothing for me. Besides he talks funny) My hope for opening day at $ti Field is that the pre game festivities would include as many former Mets the team could find and have them walk on to the field from the outfield gates and greet the current team.

 

As far as prediction for the season go let me do it this way:

 

The NL East will be a four team race to start with the Nats looking up at the pack but they will be pains in the ass’s all season. I’m as concerned with the Braves as I am with the Phillies in fact I hope the Phucking Phillis keep up this “look at us we’re beautiful” bullshit celebration of winning the World Series going. Better put the party hats away assholes.

 

The NL Central is the Cubs, Cards, Brewers and maybe the Reds. The Astros and Pirates are there to get fat on.

 

The consensus in the NL West is that the Dodger and D’Backs will fight it out but DO NOT OVERLOOK THE SF GIANTS. Every year I try to find a team I like to follow as I feel they’re taken for granted and the Giants are that team for me this year

 

What makes the AL East so much fun is the Highlanders could win 90 games and not make the post season and yes that’s what I’m rooting for. I still can’t understand why the Tampa Rays get no respect THEY’RE NOT GOING AWAY FOLKS!!!!!! Add in the Old Town Team and this is the best division in baseball. Sorry Jays and O’s fans

 

The AL Central is the most competitive division in baseball and any one of the teams here can win the division title, yes even the Royals and Tigers.

 

The weakest division in the game is the AL West only the Mariners are on the outside looking in as far as a division crown goes.

 

Mets Grrl is in Cincy for opening day and has pics and stories from the town that takes opening day seriously  

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Tickets

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