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.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

WHO NEEDS 2? NY METS SINGLE GAME TIX GO ON SALE MARCH 5TH

 

News from the Mets today as single game tickets for all games at Citi Field will go on sale Monday March 5th at 10AM on Mets.com and at (718) 507-TIXX.

Tomorrow the Mets will put on sale three news ticket packages at 10AM on Mets.com and at (718) 507-TIXX.  Here are the details of these packages:

6-Game Marquee Flex Pack

Fans can secure tickets to Opening Day (April 5) or one of the Subway Series games at Citi Field (June 22-24) before individual game tickets go on sale.  Choose Opening Day or one of the Subway Series games at the regular price, then select five other games at a savings off the established box office price.

6-Game Value Flex Pack

The price of a ticket in this pack starts at $9 per game or $54 per pack for any six games other than Opening Day or the Subway Series. Quantities are limited with availability in select sections of Baseline Box, Caesars Box, and Promenade Reserved seating categories.

Mr. Met Dash Pack

For three or more Mr. Met Dash games, every regularly priced adult ticket purchased through this special pack can add up to three children 12 and under for $10 each per game.  Kids can run the bases after the game during the Mr. Met Dash on the following Sundays: April 22, May 6, June 17, July 8, August 12, and August 26.

Last week, the Mets launched the Banner Day Pack to mark the return of the longtime Mets tradition on Sunday, May 27 against the San Diego Padres.  The five-game pack starts at $50 and also includes games against the San Francisco Giants (Saturday, April 21), Cincinnati Reds (Friday, June 15) and Miami Marlins (Thursday, August 9 and Friday, September 21).

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

IF JON NIESE IS TRADED OR STAYS IT’S STILL A PLUS FOR THE METS

For everyone who says “why would Sandy Alderson even think about trading Jon Niese”? You got your answer yesterday when the San Diego Padres traded Matt Latos to the Cincinnati Reds for a cache of prime prospects.

The Reds see 2012 as their shot at winning the NL Central and putting together a pitching rotation that would stand up to the post season test so they took the big leap and dealt off four prize prospects,  Yonder Alonso, Edinson Volquez, Yasmani Grandal, and Brad Boxberger to add a pitcher they feel will put them thismuchcloser to being a pennant winner.

This brings us to Jon Niese and to Gio Gonzalez. Billy Beane saw the trend as did Sandy Alderson but Josh Byrnes was the first to act on it. We’ve been looking for the next undervalued commodity in baseball and we’ve found it, the twenty-something pitcher whose contract is under team control.  Beane and Alderson are in the same boat so to speak, they both can’t compete with the top teams in their division as presently put together and both have owners with money issues, although Beane is in a bit better spot than Alderson as his team with the help of the strong armed Bud Selig, could get their wish and get permission to move the A’s from the Black Hole of the Coliseum to San Jose, thats’ if the Giants show them the way (the Giants own the territorial rights so they do know the way to San Jose, a multi-million dollar check to waive those rights) any way back to Alderson and the Mets.

From hearing all the talk of Gonzalez being on the trade stroll and so many teams with large pockets and plentiful prospects to trade, Alderson and his staff decided to put Jon Niese’ name on the stroll as well. One ridiculous rumor was the Mets sending Niese to Colorado for 29 year old outfielder Seth Smith, please, that’s an Al Harazin kind of move and one I’m sure was let out after a few whiskeys and ryes by a guy who thinks he’s a cowboy, no if Alderson is going to trade Niese he’s going to get players who fill many of the voids the Mets have.

Alderson made it plain that the Mets catching situation is in dire need of an overhaul, not just at the major league level but organization wide. The club also needs help in adding prospects to its minor league system to accelerate the rebuilding (yes I used the “R” word) of the franchise into a contending team once again.

I can’t fault Mets fans when they get jumpy when they hear of a 25 year old pitcher being shopped as we have seen so many Mets GM’s get fleeced in the past but I’m pretty confident that if Niese is dealt it will be to a contending team or one just on the cusp and views Niese as a missing piece and is willing to pay a big premium to get to the promised land.

It’s a win-win for the Mets, Niese is dealt to fill multiple spots or he stays and becomes a solid major league pitcher. It’s not often I used the phrase Win-Win when discussing the Mets.

 

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

NEWS AND VIEWS

 

As we wait for Sandy Alderson and his Front Office Posse to check  into the Motel 6 Hilton Anatole in Dallas so they can get some much needed work done to reshape the 2012 Mets, let’s look at a few news items from that last few days:

ITEM: JOSE REYES STILL A FREE AGENT

I would love to hear the conversations between Reyes and his agent on their free agency game plan. So far all we’ve heard is a rumor of an imminent deal with the Fish and nothing more, just a lot of speculation, in fact we’ve heard about this deal for about three weeks now.  As I’ve mentioned before, I love how Alderson is playing is hand here, especially how he told the Mets beat writers all he knows about Reyes right now is what he reads in the papers. This guy is good, very good. If by some chance Reyes comes back to the Mets he may end up paying them to play here.

By the way check out this post from Coop on the Reyes free agent saga at Kiner’s Korner a well worthy read.

ITEM: OMAR MINAYA HIRED BY THE SAN DIEGO PADRES TO WORK IN THE FRONT OFFICE

Congrats to Omar as he was named the SR. VP of Baseball Ops for the San Diego Padres. As a GM and the front office face of a franchise, Minaya was miscast, his perfect role is that of scout and amateur talent evaluator. Safe to say Minaya will never be a big league GM again same as Willie Randolph will never be a big league manager again, the jobs were just too big for both of them.

ITEM: DODGERS SIGN CHRIS CAPUANO TO A 2YR/$10 MIL DEAL

And you want to know why the Dodgers are bankrupt? Thank the baseball gods that Nick Colletti is not the Mets GM.

ITEM: PEDRO MARTINEZ ANNOUCES HIS RETIREMENT FROM BASEBALL

No doubt about it, Pedro is a first ballot Hall Of Famer. I’ve never hide my man crush for Pedro and who could forget his first start with the Mets, Opening Day April 4, 2005 in Cincinnati where he gave up 3 runs in the first inning then settled down to K 12 Red Legs before giving way to the bullpen and suckitude closer Braden Looper losing the game. Then a week later at opening day at Shea Stadium, the fans cheering every time Pedro was shown on the Jumbotron or walked on the field, talk about electric. It’s sad his Mets career wasn’t very fruitful but still Pedro was the man.

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

FADE THE BLACK

Blogging will be a bit spotty here next week as I’ll be heading down to Florida for a week of R & R, unlike the week I spent upstate in the woods camping this is a real vacation.

Lots of positives for the Mets organization last night as the club swept a four game series from the Red Legs for the first time ever, Johan Santana pitched in a rehab game in St Lonesome and his arm did not fall off, and Daniel Murphy is now 3rd in the NL Batting race behind Ryan Braun and Jose Reyes. No Mets player has ever won a Batting Crown and the way Reyes is playing this season there is a very good shot that he will be the first. Who knows after that, maybe Zack Wheeler could be the first Mets pitcher to throw a no-hitter in 2013.

Speaking of Mets pitching phenoms, Matt Harvey was on the mound last night for Bingo against Harrisburg and Nats phenom, Bryce Harper. Harvey had a very strong showing and K’d the much hyped Bryce twice but the B-Mets went down in defeat 2-1 in 14 innings. Harvey went 7 innings and K’d 10 and walked only 2.

Sad news about Hideki Irabu taking his own life yesterday in California. As Mike Silva points out, Irabu’s downfall in coming to the U.S. to pitch was his insistence to pitch for the Highlanders. The San Diego Padres held his rights and after a contentious back and forth with Padres ownership, Irabu forced a  trade Irabu to the Bronx where the pitcher thought it would be just like in the movies. He soon found out the myth of the Bronx Bastards failed to mirror the reality of playing for an overheated blow hard  self-promoting owner, who didn’t give a shit about anyone but himself.  Maybe Irabu life would have been different if he stayed in San Diego or Japan. We’ll never know but playing for the Highlanders did not improve his quality of life.    

Lost in the euphoria of the Mets four game sweep of the Red Legs and the fact they have been road warriors all season, is that the dreaded black uniform top and cap has been making many more appearance the last month or so than it did during the early part of the season.  I’ll never understand this fixation with the black jersey and hat when the Mets road greys are one of the best looking uniforms in all of baseball. Now that Sandy Alderson has put this organization in his vice-grip hands, I am begging him to order all the black uniforms gathered up for an end of the season bon fire at Citi Field. I sure this guy will bring the gasoline and matches.   

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

WHO REMEMBERS WHAT HAPPENED ON APRIL 22,1970?

Ask me where I left my cell phone or a family members birthday or where I put my glasses and I stand and stare like a dumbass trying to remember, but ask me where I was on April 22nd 1970 and I can remember vividly.

It was Easter vacation and I spent my time off where I spent all my time off at my favorite resort, the school yard of P.S. 105 on 59th St off 10 Ave in Brooklyn playing baseball. While we played we listened to the Mets-Padres game from Shea on a transistor radio because Tom Seaver was on the mound for the Mets.  What’s better than no school, playing ball and listening to Lindsay Nelson, Bob Murphy and Ralph Kiner call a Mets game with Seaver pitching?

Now this is the beginning of the Mets first season as reigning World Series Champions, and the Highlanders were a few years removed from their glory days (although the Highlanders got off to a slow start the did rally to win 93 games in 1970 but they still finished 15 games behind Earl Weaver’s Orioles who won 108 games and the World Series that year) now, as juvenile as I am at 52 years old just think what a little asshole I was at 12 years old (Moiser (Bobby Murcer)? Wadda ya snififn’ glue or somethin’?  fuckin’ Tommy Agee’s ahundred fuckin’ times betta ‘dan Moiser.  Get the fuck outta here!) so I berated all my Highlander fan friends (believe me they have given it back to me in spades over the years) to the fact that my team the Mets, were the best team in baseball.

It was a typical Seaver game, pitch lights out and get no run support but this was the San Diego Padres, give Seaver one run and this game would be over.

After 6 innings Seaver had K’d 10 and the Mets held a slim 2-1 lead, the only Padre run, a solo home run from Brooklyn born and raised Al Ferrara. In the top of the 7th Seaver sent Nate Colbert, the Padres top hitter, Dave Campbell (yes THAT Dave Campbell) and future Met Jerry Morales down on strikes.   Come the top of the 8th and same thing 3 up and 3 down all on strikeouts. That’s 16 K’s in 8 innings for Tom Terrific. Now Seaver has all our attention. We leave whoever was in the dugout, in charge of letting the rest of us know when it was the top of the 9th inning. When we here “the Padres are up” we all run to the radio to hear the finish of this remarkable game.

BANG-BANG-BANG, the last punch-out was Seaver’s 19th and the 10th batter in a row to go down on strikes, a new all time record for strike outs in a game (since topped by Roger Clemens) and the most consecutive batters struck out, a record that still stands (by the way, Ike Davis’ dad Ron K’d 8 batters in a row for the Highlanders on May 4th, 1981). Al Ferrara played a major part in this game, he hit the solo home run for San Diego’s lone run and he was the first and tenth strike victim of the streak.

Wow, what an unbelievable game, I remember it like it was yesterday…….. Hey, anybody see my keys?

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

AHHHHHHHHHHHH THE SUMMER OF’69………….

 

 

I was one miserable little 11 year old back on the weekend of August 16th 1969. I watched all the 20 something’s from my neighborhood pack up and head upstate NY for a music festival and knowing that there wasn’t a shot in hell I could ever go, pissed me off.

 

It was right around that time I was getting an appreciation for rock music. Sure I saw The Beatles on Ed Sullivan when I was six but that didn’t stir me like Woodstock. Right around this time FM radio with it’s free form rock play lists were on the scene and the days of listening to MusicRadio 77 WABC and Cousin Brucie and Top 40 hits, were replaced with Scott Muni and the Night Bird Allison Steele on WNEW-FM  playing full albums by the Rolling Stones, The Kinks and The Doors.

 

After watching the footage from Max Yasgur’s farm I decided at 11 years old, no more hair cuts, no more listening to the man,  I was going to be the world’s youngest revolutionary. That lasted about three days when my father laid down the law and gave me a real good attitude adjustment.

 

So here it is 40 years later and I still listen to rock music, I still don’t take orders well and I always question authority. The biggest difference is I get what’s left of my hair buzzed every two weeks. Three out of four ain’t bad!

 

I wish Ed (Grey Goose) Coleman gave his Mets reports as well as he writes his blog on WFAN. This entry on Easy Ed going to Woodstock is a must read. 

 

The Mets did very well on this weekend back in ’69, sweeping the expansion San Diego Padres in back to back doubleheaders. Seaver, Koosman, Gary Gentry and Don Cardwell got the wins with Koos getting a complete game win and Ron Taylor collecting two saves and young Tug McGraw the other.

 

Last night on Pro Baseball Central we discussed whether Omar and Jerry Manuel will be back next year and the possibility of the Skill Sets selling a part of the team due to the Madoff fall out. Listen to podcast here by clicking out the icon on top or at our Pro Baseball Central site.

 

For more of the Skill Sets money woes, checkout the chat that Post beat man Bart Hubbuch conducted yesterday. Get ready for a payroll lower than $100 mil next season.

 

I can’t understand how Daniel Murphy went from a guy we all rooted for to someone folks are ready to kick to the curb. 

 

John Sickels has a late season update on the Mets top prospects. It seems any one who is worth anything in the system is Latin and 18 years old.

 

I still have a big problem with Michael Vick not just for the cruelty he committed on those dogs but also in my opinion before this I felt he was very overrated. I don’t get all the hoopla over where he will play and now that he is with the Iggels as a Giants fan am I supposed to be impressed? Well, I’m not.

 

I’m going to $iti Field tomorrow and I guess I’ll bring the camera to see the additions of Mets Memories that supposedly have been added and the Throwback’s the boys will be wearing. My question is, I’m guessing they will wear matching cream color pants but what about the caps? I will laugh my ass of if Charlie Samuels sends them out with the awful black/blue billed caps. If you’re going to Throwback, throwback all the way!

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

R.I.P. Les Paul

THE LEDGEND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

HEY-HEY, HO-HO OPENING NIGHT HAS GOT TO GO HEY-HEY, HO-HO

The Mets Police (they are inside of my head) has come up with a campaign that we should all get behind whether we are fortunate enough to have ticket or will watch on TV ,The Mets, MLB, ESPN and the San Diego Padres need to agree to switch the opening of game at $iti Field to a 1:05 start instead of the 7:05 PM  it is scheduled for right now. Mets Police has links to all the people you need to contact to voice your outrage and he makes a great point that MLB and ESPN (which is getting it’s ass kicked by the MLB Network as the place to go for your baseball news) have no problem disrupting your life to move games from day to night so they can’t use the excuse that they can’t make the switch. As for the Padres not being able to play after playing a day game Sunday then flying cross country and playing a day game Monday, why play Monday? Play it Tuesday when there is an off day.

 

There is no reason for this game to be a night game and as much as I can’t wait to get to $iti Field, my first time at $iti Field I want romance I want to take my time and stroll all around the park and caress every corner and be dazzled. I can’t do that if my McNuggets are freezing, no I need to do so it in the sunshine.

 

Even if the game was a Shea,  it’s Opening DAY!!!! It’s a holiday (I’ve tried to get excused absence from work due to religious beliefs but that hasn’t worked. I have to give Norman Siegel at the ACLU a call to see if my civil rights have been violatoted ) KEEP THIS DAY HOLY!!!!!!!!!!  

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

R.I.P. DOCK ELLIS

HGH? Steroids? HA, that’s for pussies, try pitching after dropping a tab of acid and tell me how your performance was enhanced. That’s what Dock Ellis did against the San Diego Padres back in 1970 and in one of the most incredible performance in baseball history, pitched a no hitter.

Not only could Dock pitch whale trippin’ he had a kick ass attitude when it came to taking no shit from the opposition like when it came to the Big Red Machine:

 

{Perhaps Ellis’ most startling act occurred on May 1, 1974, when he tied a major league record by hitting three batters in a row. In spring training that year, Ellis sensed the Pirates had lost the aggressiveness that drove them to three straight division titles from 1970 to 1972. Furthermore, the team now seemed intimidated by Cincinnati’s “Big Red Machine.” “Cincinnati will bullshit with us and kick our ass and laugh at us,” Ellis said. “They’re the only team that talk about us like a dog.” Ellis single-handedly decided to break the Pirates out of their emotional slump, announcing that “We gonna get down. We gonna do the do. I’m going to hit these motherfuckers.” True to his word, in the first inning of the first regular-season game he pitched against the Reds, Ellis hit leadoff batter Pete Rose in the ribs, then plunked Joe Morgan in the kidney, and loaded the bases by hitting Dan Driessen in the back. Tony Perez, batting cleanup, dodged a succession of Ellis’ pitches to walk and force in a run. The next hitter was Johnny Bench. “I tried to deck him twice,” Ellis recalled. “I threw at his jaw, and he moved. I threw at the back of his head, and he moved.” At this point, Pittsburgh manager Danny Murtaugh removed Ellis from the game. But his strategy worked: the Pirates snapped out of their lethargy to win a division title in 1974, while the Reds failed to win their division for the first time in three years.}

 

and the man had the balls to wear hair curlers 

Ellis did time with the Mets back in 1979 when he was at the end of his career, too bad as his attitude would be a breath of fresh air in Flushing these days. 

Big tip of the Blue and Orange Mets cap to BBTF for the fantastic link.  

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

FRIDAY MORNING RANT FEST

It has got to be tough for the main streamers who cover baseball as this is a limbo period of the hot stove where it’s rumor after rumor (some of them made up just to fill up media space and time) because it will be one more week before teams can make contract offers to free agents. So while we wait the baseball owners to stimulate the economy there are some very interesting article on the web such as:

 

Paul Greco at Gotham Baseball has a great overview of Mets and Highlander prospect playing in the AFL. Reading the scouting reports on some of our prospects in the league there it looks more and more that the demise of the Mets farm system has been greatly exaggerated. I was upset over the thumbs down from the scouts that Eddie Kunz received as he has had an uneven performance so far in the AFL. I watch Kunz pitch in Brooklyn and his pedigree as a top collegiate closer made me think he’d emerge a lot faster as a viable pitcher in the bullpen especially with the fact that he throws a good sinking fastball that you’d think would translate into ground ball outs. I’m not ready to give up on Kunz yet and hopefully neither are the Mets. As we learn with Big Pelf, you need patients sometimes with young arms.

   

So far the Highlander will sign every single free agent on the market and will go into the season with a 1.4 trillion dollar payroll. Not only will they sign CC Sabathia to 10yr/$200mil contract but they will give Manny Ramirez 4 yr/$190 mil deal and then sign Derek Lowe, AJ Burnett and Ryan Dempster to $100 mil deals each. Then Pack A Day Hank will buy the San Diego Padres franchise just to get Jake Peavy. He will then sell the Padres to Mark Cuban (because he can’t buy the Cubs) at discount as Cuban agrees to let the YES Network televise  Dallas Mavericks  games so this way the NY/NJ/Brooklyn Nets can go to public access TV. Hank will then remove all of brother Hal’s vital organs to sell to pay for Mark Texiera’s 20 yr/$500 mil deal. And with all that the Highlander will finish no higher than third place in 2009.

 

Daniel Murphy is REAL and he is SPECTACULAR.

 

Murray Chass is a cranky old bastard who hates bloggers but I am trying to follow President-Elect Obama’s message of reaching over the aisle for unity (just like when I saw the Pope and had a feeling of calm and patients and understanding like I do now with the Obama Presidency this won’t last long because people will continue to piss me off like the assholes who walk along the subway platform with those ridiculous fucking backpacks on wheels that people trip over daily. What the fuck are you carrying around that you need a backpack on wheels? There’s something wrong with you mentally if you are toting around some much unwanted shit that you can’t carry it on your shoulder but have to wheel it around and to the woman who took exception to me kicking her wheelie-backpack this morning at the Staten Island Ferry terminal, I’ll be on that 7AM boat again on Monday so bring your husband, son, grand son and other person you like and make sure they bring their wheelie backpacks too so I can kick them all the way to Whitehall Terminal. Man did I take the long way to link this Murray Chass column sorry for that marathon rant.)    Chass writes about George W Bush wanting the Baseball Commissioners job badly but The Used Car Salesman, while denying it while he relocated the office from Manhattan to Milwaukee grab the job. One more reason to despise Bud.

 

I like that Omar is headstrong on adding pitching which is where his priority should be but do you get the same feeling I get that Omar is lying in the weeds when it comes to Manny Ramirez? I could see a scenario where Omar waits to see what the offers are and goes to the Skill Sets asking permission to match or better the offer. If its 4years or more Omar will pass but it it’s 3 yrs I could see him offering up 3yr/ close to 90mil with incentives and some creative bookkeeping. 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

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.

Visit BangTheBook.Com for daily free MLB Mets Picks and gameday previews, also join the baseball handicapping discussion in the forum or track your plays in our sports monitor.