SPEAKING WITH THE ENEMY, MY INTERVIEW WITH CRASHBURN ALLEY

Over the weekend while looking while watching the shingels of my roof fly through the air with the greatest of ease, I did a Q & A with the talented author of Crashburn Alley, Bill Baer (and Baseball Prospectus and Baseball Digest Daily and ESPN The Sweet Spot) on our beloved Metsies. Bill is hoping the Mets are fit to fight this season so as to keep the flames of this new found rivalry stoked. Be careful what you wish for Bill, be very careful

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YOU CAN BUY PITCHING AND HITTING, BUT CAN YOU BUY HEART AND DESIRE?

I’m in the middle of reading a terrific book about the careers of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson called ‘When The Game Was Ours” that was written with Jackie Mac Mullan, the book chronicles the careers of Magic and Bird as they rejuvenated the game of basketball as both collegiate  and pro players.

The book explores just how similar both players were not just in talent but in mindset, that the team comes first.   One of my favorite parts of the book is the great Celtics-Lakers rivalry that Bird and Magic revived from the days of Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain. As with Russell and Chamberlain, Bird and Magic both held each other in high regard as men and as basketball players. But when it was game time, the friendship was put on hold and it was all about winning and about the team. A couple of quotes in the book really stood out to me. The first one was from Kevin McHale, the Hall of Fame forward who when asked about his days as a Celtic in the 80’s he said:

“It was the best time of my life”.

“Of all the things we did, what stands out is how naturally we gave of ourselves to the team. No person was bigger than the rest of us”

What struck me about that quote was, here was a team that not only had All-Stars in its lineup, but three Hall of Famers as well. What they all had in common was they bought in to the Celtic way and played for the front of the jersey not the back. All three had the talent to go off and do their own thing but Bird was the leader and lead by example.

Magic Johnson was the same way with the Lakers. His mission was to make everyone around him better and to put up championship banners. He also had the motivation of Larry Bird and vice versa as both men thrived off each others performance.

The other quote that got me thinking was this one by Mychal Thompson who was traded from the San Antonio Spurs to the Lakers and was taken aback by the intensity of the Lakers locker room before a Celtic-Lakers regular season game:

“You couldn’t cut the tension with a chain saw”, Thompson said. The jovial big man, who hammed it up with Magic many time before, was surprised to see that even Johnson was grimfaced. Thompson asked Byron Scott, “So why is everyone so serious around here”? “Because we hate the Celtics”, Scott replied.

I bring all this up as a long segue into what the Mets really need to do this off season, beside getting some decent pitching and a big bat, they need to find out who gives a shit and who doesn’t. Not just players but front office people the manage, coaches fans broadcasters everyone associated with this team. Do you think anyone in the Mets clubhouse when asked about playing the Phillies would say they’d want to beat them because they hate them? Are you kidding most players on this Mets team need double doses of Imodium AD when they hit Philly.

The Mets are in dire need of a guy whether he be a front office type, or manager, who just doesn’t give a fuck who gets mad at him to work at getting this team to play not only good smart fundamental baseball but to be a team. The best place for it to come would be from the players side but who on this roster right now has that ability to step up and lead?

The only name that pops into my head is Johan Santana, he has that Magic-Bird mentality but he is not an everyday player and that hinders his ability a bit to be “the guy”. Guys like Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes like to talk the talk but they don’t back it up. They are like me when I say I’m going to drop 10 pounds then I go and eat a half of Entermanns Crumb Cake and wash it down worth a couple of Yoo-Hoo’s.  Its one thing to say what you’re going to do it’s another to go out and do it.

David Wright should be “the guy” and the Mets should have made it know by now the he “is the guy” but the problem with Wright is he is not a Type –A personality guy. I’m not mad at Wright for the season he had, it was good by most standards except for his low HR total, what I’m sad about is that Wright quit on the team. Yes that play where he failed to score before Jeff Francouer was thrown out at 2nd base for the third out in a game against the Marlins in September. Wright is the face of the franchise he is the guy on all the adds and who makes all the appearances he is the METS. So here it is two months after that blunder and I’m still steaming from that. Sure, Jerry Manuel called him out and benched him the next day but what does that say when the guy who is your franchise player quits? What message does that send to the other 24 players? We saw it with Fernando Martinez when he failed to run out a pop up, not to mention the awful baseball judgment by Angel Pagan, there is a reason why not only the major league team are a bunch of losers but the top two farm teams are losers as well.

Here it is the hot stove season and a lot of the talk is about who will take over for Jerry Manuel when this team hits the skids again. The Mets are run worse than the Knicks, or Nets in fact they’re more like the Fucking LA Clippers.

With all this talk about free agents and all, the best money the Mets could have spent this off season would have been paying off Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel and revamp the whole philosophy of how this franchise does business.  The Mets are said to be going abck to the old style Mets uniform with the cream color and thin pinstripe, they need to go back to the no name on the back of the jersey as well. Nothing will change in Flushing until someone in that clubhouse steps up and challeges his teammates or a manager is brought in to hold players accountable. Hopefully Jerry Manuel will look a this spring training as a way to get that message across. What has J-Man got to lose? He is on the tissue thin ice so if it were me I’d make it known to the players don’t be making to many plans to socialize this spring as they will be working until exhaustion hits.  Let the players know now that this is the policy and if you don’t like or feel you’re up to let us know and we will send you some place else, no matter who you are or how much you make” Time for some tough love.

I don’t know about you but I’m tired of supporting a team that doesn’t give a shit. I know the players don’t take the losses as hard as the fans but Jesus H Christ can’t you act like you actually give a shit? I’ve said the difference between Mets fans and Highlander fans is we root for the team they root for the Championships. But what we also root for is hustle and desire as well.

Maybe Larry Bird and Magic Johnson would like to run a MLB team?

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I TOLD YOU GUYS BILLY JOEL SUCKS

This from the great Can’t Stop The Bleeding site:

In a bid to keep the peace at Citizens Bank Park, the Phillies wanted to cloak or replace the 16-by-16-foot Mets banner at the top of the set decoration at the Billy Joel/Elton John concerts tonight and Saturday.

Alas, they could not find anything suitable.

Joel will wear a Phillies jacket for at least part of the show and will make some sort of joking reference to the Mets and their 10-games-back status

My colleague Bob Ford and I hear that the Phillies had reached out to the “Face 2 Face” concert to express concern about Joel’s New York-theme set.

It’s not that the Phils are worried about any kind of baseball rivalry, we hear; they just don’t want some yahoo having too much to drink and throwing something at it or starting a fight. The Mets banner was visible at recent shows at Nationals Ballpark and Wrigley Field.

Perhaps Joel will sing “Philadelphia State of Mind,” as well.

My wife actually has Billy Joel albums but when I get home tonight they are going in the trash where they should have been in the first place.

Imagine this old broken down douche is going to wear a Phillies jacket? What a piece of shit! If you don’t any song played at $iti Field by this hack then you’re not a Mets fan

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W.W.G.H.D. WHAT WOULD GIL HODGES DO?

 

 

Trying hard to put up a post today as I replay a tough loss over and over in my mind, no not the All Star Game, I gave up on that at 10PM when RESCUE ME came on, no I’m talking about my Babe Ruth team losing 8-0 to the top seed last night.

Don’t let the score fool you it was a closer game than that. We had one bad inning (the 3rd) letting in 4 runs on a couple of errors and a some solid base hits. But the biggest obstacle was the pitcher we were facing a 13 year old with a big time yellow hammer that buckled my guys knees. We could only muster two hits on the night and three base runners total (my son accounting for two of the base runners with a walk, reaching first on a strike out/passed ball and two stolen bases) and now we face an elimination game on Sunday. Not much to say to the kids but “Hang with ‘em.

After the game we went home to watch the All Star Game and the first thing my son told me was “Dad, let’s get all the when I was a kid stuff out early so we can just watch the game” I guess like how the All Star Game was played during the day and how the two leagues played the game like it was a World Series game and how the NL had all the stars and always won and because of that the AL couldn’t draw fans so they sullied the sport with the DH, and how I miss Curt Gowdy calling the big games and that’s when I get the hand and “that’s enough old timer” and I quiet down.

I was listening to Joe (Bada Bing Bada Boom) Beningno and Evan Roberts yesterday and I agree with Joe that there is so much baseball available for us to watch that the All Star Game is no big deal, as it used to be a chance for fans to see players they never get to see much but with the Extra Innings package and ESPN and MLB Network and Mets and Highlander games on every night there isn’t a team or a player I haven’t seen add in that there is no more rivalry between the NL and AL with so much player movement and the fact that both leagues are not run as separate entities (remember when there were League Presidents ?) That has made the All Star Game hum drum.

Admit it you were hoping that President Obama would have brought Artie Lang with him to the game to hang with Doofus Joe Buck. Now that would have been riveting TV.

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BRING ON THOSE PHILLY PIGEONS

Different day some ol’ Mets news which means there is nothing to talk about. If not for the Rodriguez signing and the Putz trade this would be the worst off season since I started writing this blog which is going on seven years.

Derek Lowe is still on the ‘Ho Stroll, Petey wants to come back (I love you Petey but no, no ,no- time to move on with the Mets life and yours)  and there is still is a big need for a right handed corner outfielder but today and the next three days I am putting all that to the side as it’s time ot concentrate on football as the New York Football Giants get to defend their Super Bowl Championship with a play off game Sunday against the Philadelphia Pigeons.

Here’s is what we know about the Pigeons, they are Philly’s answer to the Mets as they never fulfill their fans desire with a Championship and know this too about Philadelphians They would trade 20 Phillies World Series Championships for One Pigeons Super Bowl Trophy. Philliy is a Pigeons Town first and foremost (with the Flyers second) but it’s too bad that Philly is running into the One NY team that has balls in the Football Giants.

Key to the game is Brandon Jacobs establishing his ball running prowess and the G-Men D-Line harassing the living shit out D-McMahon to the point he pukes (which he seems to do in big games)

This is a REAL NY-Philly rivalry and this time NY will come out on top

NY Football Giants 28

Philly Pigeons 17

GO BIG BLUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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