NY Mets Notes for 4-1-13

A few Opening Day notes form the NY Mets:

Last Met to hit a leadoff home run on opening day was Kaz Matsui on 4-6-04 at Turner Field

In the history of MLB the NY Mets have the best opening day winning percentage of all time at .647 (33-18)

David Wright has had at least one hit in every opening day game he’s played in for the Mets since his debut in 2005

There has been only one Mets Grand Slam hit on opening day and that was by Todd Hundley in Colorado on 4-26-1995

Happy Birthday to Daniel Murphy (#Imwith28 who turns 28) and Rusty Staub (Le Grand Orange) who turns 69 years old and will throw out the first pitch of today’s game.

The Mets will honor the first responders who did outstanding work during Hurricane Sandy.

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Ike Davis Gets A Vote of Confidence From Terry Collins

 

I’m trying to process the words of Terry Collins earlier today as he has declared Ike Davis will stay a big leaguer for the time being. Is this the best thing for the Mets? Is this the best thing for Ike?

Yesterday during our Mets bloggers conference call with Rusty Staub, Staub thought that Ike would benefit from a trip to Triple A and not look at it as a demotion but a way to get his game right (big time tip of the Mets cap to Mathew Artus of Amazin’ Avenue for putting together the transcript of the Staub conference call) :

Mike Branda (Mets Merized Online): My question is actually currently in regards to what we’ve seen with Ike Davis lately. Every hitter is obviously going to see a tough time at the plate. There’s going to be maybe a month where you’re just not going to see the ball right. You’re just not getting the hits, the swing, anything. What are things that a hitting coach or has done to just help you through a tough time at the plate?

 

Rusty Staub: Well, the most important thing you have to understand is yourself, okay? I don’t know what’s happening; I’m not privy to anything that’s being said down in that dugout. I don’t have an idea what the hitting instructor is talking to Ike Davis about. But, Ike Davis came up as a very good young prospect as a hitter and he had very good talent. And right now he’s so messed up in his head, it’s beyond comprehension.

 I’ve watched the Mets on TV quite a bit and I mean he’s had the bat in different positions. He’s pumping that thing up and down. I don’t think he’s giving himself much of a chance. I think he’s got to slow it down and be quieter and not have so much… especially if your hands start moving down when that ball is coming, you’re not getting there. He does that a lot.

He’s going to get out of this thing. Whether he’s got to go to the minors and get himself together… I had to do that once myself in my career. What Ike has to start doing is starting himself in knowing why he’s doing well what he’s doing well and have an idea. Every pitcher has a strength and a weakness. Some of them don’t have as many weaknesses as others, but you can’t go up there hoping. You have to go up there with an idea of what you want to do against that pitcher and you try to execute that. Right now, I think he’s so confused. I’m not too sure getting a little time to get his act together wouldn’t be the best thing in the world for the young man, as terrible as that sounds. Ike will be back. It’s just not easy to hit the type of long-term injury he had in the previous year and come back automatically swinging the bat great.

 

With the season ending injury last year and the bout of Valley Fever this year, you’d figure that Davis would take a little time to get his offensive game on track but no one thought he’d struggle like he has so far. Maybe it’s effecting his defense as he has not been as crisp at 1st base as we are used to seeing. Rusty mentions Ike’s hands as Keith Hernandez has as well on Mets telecasts, it seems Ike has developed this bad habit of dropping his hands and brings them back up then down again when he’s ready to turn on a ball; this seems like a habit he can’t break.

On the other hand, Ike seems genuinely touched that Terry Collins is showing faith in him to get back on track and I understand Collins making the statement he did today as he hopes it stops all the is Ike going to Buffalo talk for a while but with news that Jason Bay is ready to start playing DH in rehab games in extended spring training, if Ike is still on the Interstate when Bay is ready to rejoin the team, the Mets will have no choice but to send him to Buffalo.

So all Collins vote of confidence does is but Ike some time to get right on offense and maybe stop all the third degree from the media about his inevitable re-assignment.

It’s now up to Ike to back up his managers words.

 

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NY Mets Bloggers Conference Call with Rusty Staub

Just about an hour ago (took a look around which way the wind blows) I had the privilege to be on a conference call with fellow Mets bloggers to talk to Rusty Staub. Rusty is in town for a big weekend, first on Saturday the first 25,000  Mets fan attending the 1:10PM game against the San Diego Padres will receive a Rusty Staub bobble head and then on Sunday, Rusty will be a judge for the big Banner Day presentation.

Staub was a two term Met (1972-1975 and then 1981-1985) and is one of the more popular Mets of all time. When my turn came up to ask a question, I wanted to focus on the adjustments he had to make when he was traded to the Detroit Tigers of the American League. Staub was a 13 year National Leaguer and back then, pride in the league you played in was a major characteristic of big league players. I asked Staub about what it was like to learn the American League style of play which was more a power league and of course the league with the designated hitter. Staub explained he was not a fan of the DH and he made it known to his manager Ralph Houk. The Tigers had traded Willie Horton to the Texas Rangers and Houk named Staub his DH for the season. Staub said he wanted no part of DH’ing and put The Major on notice that he would do it for one season. It ended up Staub was the Tigers primary DH for 1977 and ’78 putting up some very impressive numbers but Staub was clear he was not very happy being a full time DH.

I also inquired about playing in the All Star games back in the 1970’s when the game was a very big deal. I remember reading about NL President Chub Feeney going into the NL clubhouse to give “his” team a pep talk same as Lee MacPhail with his American Leaguers. Staub spoke on no matter which All Star team he played on winning the game was paramount in the minds of all the players.

When talking about switching leagues, Staub touched on Albert Pujols and his struggles so far as an Angel. Rusty said it takes time for any player even one the caliber of Pujols to learn the pitchers and get comfortable with his new team. He emphasized that learning about pitchers you have never faced before as a big obstacle as it seems all hitters keep a “book” on pitchers they face so when switching leagues it means a whole new tome.

It was quite a thrill to get to speak to Rusty who was one of the most productive and popular players in the team’s history and very much worthy of a bobble head day and to be a judge for Sunday’s Banner Day  Parade.

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NEW YORK METS RELEASE THEIR 2012 PROMOTIONAL SCHEDULE

The New York Mets have released their Promotional Schedule for the 2012 Season:

April 5   Magnetic Schedule (SNY)             ATL         1:10 p.m.

April 7   Texting Gloves (Verizon)              ATL         1:10 p.m.

April 21 Shopping Bag (Natural Balance) SF           1:10 p.m.

April 22 Tom Seaver Bobblehead (Citi)    SF           1:10 p.m.

April 22 Mr. Met Dash    SF           1:10 p.m.

April 25 Mr. Met Window Cling (Xerox)  MIA       7:10 p.m.

May 4    Collector’s Cup (Premio)               ARZ        7:10 p.m.

May 6    Drawstring Bag (MLB Network) ARZ        1:10 p.m.

May 6    Mr. Met Dash    ARZ        1:10 p.m.

May 26 Rusty Staub Bobblehead (GEICO)             SD           1:10 p.m.

May 27 Banner Day         SD           1:10 p.m.

June 2   Visor (Nathan’s)               STL         4:10 p.m.

June 3   Hall of Fame Induction + Cap (Citi)            STL         1:10 p.m.

June 4   Senior Stroll        STL         1:10 p.m.

June 17 Keith Hernandez Bobblehead (Gold’s Horseradish)          CIN         1:10 p.m.

June 17 Mr. Met Dash    CIN         1:10 p.m.

June 22 Cap trade (Chevrolet)* NYY        7:10 p.m.

June 23 Cap trade (Chevrolet)* NYY        7:15 p.m.

June 24 Cap trade (Chevrolet)* NYY        1:10 p.m.

July 7     Mini-bat (GEICO)             CHC        4:10 p.m.

July 8     Mr. Met Poster (Xerox)                CHC        1:10 p.m.

July 8     Mr. Met Dash    CHC        1:10 p.m.

July 21   Edgardo Alfonzo Bobblehead (Verizon) LAD        1:10 p.m.

July 22   T-shirt (Subway)               LAD        1:10 p.m.

July 24   Gift Card (Dunkin’ Donuts)           WSH      7:10 p.m.

August 11            Travel Case (Delta Air Lines)        ATL         7:10 p.m.

August 12            Tote Bag (Toyota)            ATL         1:10 p.m.

August 12            Mr. Met Dash    ATL         1:10 p.m.

August 25            Mike Piazza Bobblehead               HOU      1:10 p.m.

August 26            Mr. Met Dash    HOU      1:10 p.m.

 

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MY TOP 50 NY METS OF ALL TIME

As I posted here the other day, Ed Marcus a/k/a lagranderusty is looking for readers to post a list of top 50 Mets of all time. What follows is my 50 All Time Mets, some are no-brainers and some are “are you kidding” the names are in no particualr order:

Ed Kranepool

Tom Seaver

Jerry Grote

Jerry Koosman

Tug McGraw

Ron Hunt

Al Jackson

Bud Harrleson

Rusty Staub

Tommie Agee

Cleon Jones

Felix Milan

Jon Matlack

Dwight Gooden

Ron Darling

Sid Fernandez

Keith Hernandez

Gary Carter

Darryl Strawberry

Nolan Ryan

John Olerud

Edgado Alfonzo

Rey Ordonez

Robin Ventura

David Wright

Jose Reyes

Mike Piazza

Randy Myers

Jesse Orosco

Roger McDowell

Al Leiter

John Stearns

Todd Hundley

Craig Swan

Ron Swoboda

Frank Viola

George Theodore

John Milner

Ken Boswell

Wayne Garrett

Turk Wendell

Carlos Beltran

Lenny Dykstra

Wally Backman

Bob Ojeda

Mookie Wilson

Kevin Mc Renyolds

Cliff Floyd

Bernard Gilkey

Richie Ashburn

 

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WALLY BACKMAN, STILL PART OF THE FAMILY

As expected, Wally Backman will remain in the Mets organization as manager of the Binghamton Mets. Although there was an outcry in the some parts Metsville on Backman getting the big league job as skipper, a jump from managing short season team to a Double A team is very impressive.

Nothing sparks debate better than a list of all time players and Mike Silva has stoked the fire of Mets fans hearts with his Top 50 All Time Mets list. I will be quite curious to read the comments on Mike site over this list as I found out with Kerrel Copper writing about retiring Ed Kranepool’s #7, there is a bit of a generation gap between the guys of my generation and the 20-30 something Mets fans. 2011 will be the 25th Anniversary of the 1986 World Champs, that means the twenty something’s have never witnessed a Mets parade down the Canyon of Heroes (my old ass has seen both Mets parades) and the thirty something’s  have a vague memory of the festive day on Broadway. I don’t blame the younger Mets fans for getting tired of old farts like myself waxing poetic about the Mets of yesteryear but then again don’t discount the players of the era either.  

By the way, I e-mailed Mike with my displeasure of John Franco being ranked higher that Ed Kranepool on his list.  Same with Johan Santana at #20, a bit high. Tug McGraw and Rusty Staub should definitely be ranked higher than Santana.  Jerry Grote at #30?  Com’on way tooooooooo low and by the way all you kids better get off my lawn. What about George Theodore, Joel Youngblood, Ron Swoboda, Ron Hunt and Dennis Ribant, okay Ribant is a reach.          

The best part about the end of the holidays is that the Mets front office should be open for business next week and maybe we can start seeing some signings or trades for pitchers. Yeah I’m beyond antsy.

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“HEY JEFF, WE NEED A 4 DOZEN WRIGHT 5 T-SHIRTS ON THE FLOOR ON THE DOUBLE”

I’m here today to praise the Skill Sets not burry them especially Freddy and Uncle Saul who I feel are the ones that have finally figured out that Little Jeffey needs a timeout and it’s time to let the smart guys run this franchise. Listen, Jeffey doesn’t need to be totally out of the picture, he can still do inventory at the Team Store, or help cut up the peppers and onions for the sausage concession as long as he is out of the baseball ops I’m a happy Mets fan.

With all this new found happiness with the new and improved front office will Mets fans be happy with whoever is chosen to be the Mets manager? It seems Wally Backman is the fans favorite but if all the reports are true, it looks like Terry Collins could be the leader in the clubhouse with his ties to DePo and Sandy Koufax but maybe Backman would be given the choice to be third base or bench coach? Same with Chip Hale.  What about Old School Werthen? Maybe a return of The Jacket? Stay tuned!

Rusty Staub has been named on the Hall of Fame ballot to be voted on by the Veterans Committee which has Ed Marcus leading the charge for enshrinement for Le Grand Orange.

I agree 100 % that as soon as the Justice League of Flushing finds a field manager, the next move is to boot Ray Ramirez and his staff and hire some real honest to goodness physical trainers.  Now that Omar (Rub A Little Dirt On It ) Minaya is gone and that scoundrel Charlie (Blackie) Samuels has been shunned, how is that Ramirez and his voodoo gets to stay?  

The ESPN team of Jon Miller and Joe Morgan are no more. I never had a problem with Miller although he is much better as a radio announcer than a TV head and Morgan I won’t disparage as he is one of the best baseball players I ever saw (not so good at analyzing on TV though) ESPN has a chance to put two guys that employed by the WWL that would be a must listen for any baseball fan, put John “Boog” Sciambi and Bobby Valentine together in the Sunday Night Booth. That would be downright entertaining.

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IT’S JUST ONE BIG DRIP HERE IN NYC

Sorry for the late post but sometimes work comes before blogging ( I know it shouldn’t but some times I have to give in to THE MAN)

 

The only baseball I watched last night was my Babe Ruth team back in action after three straight rain outs and the boys had some rust on them in this game. Too many graduation parties, school dances and time off to text, play video games and just get a bit lazy. All this rain (it is pouring as I type this and I’m trying to explain to a newly hired inspector that part of his initiation is to go get a veteran like myself his lunch when it’s raining)  not only has me looking at 5 games to make up but I haven’t got them out to practice either and it bit us last night as my  archenemies, walks and errors came back to haunt us, and was the prime reason we dropped a 13-4 decision to a team coached by a guy I can’t stand, umpired by a real dick head and played at a facility that is a shit hole. So how was your evening?

 

Looking at the box score and reading the game story it seems Tim Redding was well, Tim Redding , back to his sucky self.

 

 I was surprised that J-Man brought in Bobby Parnell in the 6th after he was ordained the set up man. 

 

J-Man can you please play Daniel Murphy play every day at first base? How is that Fernando Martinez who is clearly a not ready for prime time player but gets to play every day and Murphy who was all the rage coming into the season gets buried like he was Ryan Church’ twin brother?

 

Today is Dave Schneck’s birthday. Who is Dave Schneck? Schneck played outfield for the Mets back in the early to mid 70’s. He showed some excellent power in the minors but it never came together for him in the bigs. His claim to fame is batting clean up in his first major league game sandwiched between Willie Mays and Rusty Staub. But Schnecks greatest contribution was to the country as he severed in combat in Viet Nam. Happy and Healthy birthday to Dave Schneck.

 

The best part of this video from The Mets Police is the music. If I were the closer for the Mets this would be my entrance music.

 

No need for Omar to make a panic trade for as long as the Phillies continue to suck at home and now with Raul Ibanez out for 15 days due to a groin strain the Fucks From Filly are not going to get a big lead and 3 games out in June is nothing for Mets fans to get their balls in an uproar over.

 

If I’m Jose Reyes I’d be trying to get back as soon as I could because the “As Jose goes, so goes the Mets” is starting to become an urban myth. If I could only have one guy back from the long line of causalities on the DL it would be Carlos Delgado as his power and run producing has been the missing ingredient while Alex Cora has played a stellar short stop and his been getting on base at a better rate that Reyes.

I could never tell which one was Mlli and who Vanilli

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FEW AND CHOSEN: DEFINING METS GREATNESS ACROSS THE ERAS

 

 

 

 

 

I’m sure you have seen all the Few and Chosen books in this series at your local book store and now there is a Mets volume added to this great series in Few and Chosen: Defining Mets Greatness Across the Eras written by Rusty Staub with Phil Pepe , foreword by Keith Hernandez (published by Triumph Books)

Amazing as it seems but we are heading toward the 50th Anniversary of the first game in Mets history (April 2012, those awful black uni tops better be a bad memory by then) so it is a great time for this book to come out.

Staub and Pepe go position by position to name who they feel are the five best players ever at each ion in Mets history. There are a few surprises like Bud Harrelson rated over Jose Reyes as the best Mets shortstop ever and Bobby Bonila as the second best right fielder in Mets history (Staub left himself off the list which is foolish as he contributed in more in a week than Bonila did in all the years he stole money from the Mets) and Lee Mazzilli the third best center fielder over Tommy Agee and Lenny Dykstra ? NO WAY IN HELL!  In fact Lance Johnson was better than Boardwalk Lee sections like this are what make this book a great conversation starter.

It’s not just the inside of this book that is mesmerizing the cover is a thing of beauty as well with the traditional blue cap on it.  

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Tickets

The Mets are looking great this year and The Eddie Kranepool Society keeps you up to date on the good bad and the ugly. If you are looking for Mets Tickets, you must visit Coast To Coast Tickets for all your ticket needs. CTC carries MLB Tickets as well as some of the best priced Concert Tickets on the web and don't forget they also carry Yankees Tickets.

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