Mets Fans Find Respect Away From Home

 

This past weekend a cadre of Mets fans led by Darren Meenan of The 7 Line converged on Wrigley Field for a fine weekend of baseball. Shannon from The Mets Police was there as well and today he has a post on his site that is a must read for not only every Mets fan but for Mets management as well.

Shannon writes about the wonderful experience he had at the Friendly Confines. As someone who has been to Wrigley Field I am not surprised at all. A day at Wrigley Field is unlike any at Citi Field. In fact a day at any other ball park is unlike a day at Citi Field.

A few years ago I went to Chicago with a bunch of guys, mostly cops and firemen for a weekend series of Mets and Cubs. We had spilt the group up where five of us would sit in field level seats for the Friday game and five would sit in the bleachers for the Saturday game.  My group of five sat in field level for the Friday game. An usher greeted us as we entered and saw that we were dressed in all our splendor in Mets gear. He said welcome to Wrigley Field “youes guys” and laughed. So did we. He showed us to our seats, wiped them down told us to enjoy the game. We handed the guy a 20 dollar bill and he gave us a big smile back and said, “That’s why I like you New York guys, you know how to take care of people”. Yes sir we do as long as you are nice and pleasant we take care of you. If you’re nasty and surly and act like you hate your job as the ushers at Citi Field seem to, we give you our ass to kiss.

As we sat, we were taking pictures of the field and the ball park when a guy with the game day staff at Wrigley saw us taking pictures came over and took a group shot of us. When he took the picture, we thanked him and he said “No, thank you guys for coming to Wrigley Field” you could have knocked us over with a feather.  

It’s not just Wrigley Field game day personnel that treat people the way people should be treated. First time I went to Camden Yards, my son was three years old so we still used a stroller to get around. As we entered the ball park my son was fussing so I took him out of the stroller and carried him, my wife took the stroller along with a backpack we had with food for him, jacket, toys all stuff you need to bring when you have a toddler. An usher came right over to us and said “please let we give you a hand” he looked at the tickets, which were just down the left field line and took the stroller and said “follow me please” walked us to our seats and got us situated. After saying to us “enjoy the game” I went to give him a tip the usher looked at me and said “oh no sir we do not accept gratuities, put thank you.  WHOA!

Every Mets fan who has traveled to another ball park to follow the Mets have the same kind of stories, whether it be Wrigley Field, Camden Yards, PNC Park, AT&T or even CBP , Mets fans have a better game day experience away from Citi Field that at our own home park.  

There is no reason whatsoever that a fan coming to park early to watch batting practice has to be held back by a big hairy arm telling you if you don’t have a ticket you can’t go down there. Same thing if you want to visit someone in another section. How many times has a friend been at a game you get a text “hey I’m in section 207 come down and we’ll meet up” you go to the section see your buddy and make an attempt to go to the seat when your stopped and interrogated to see a ticket?  That’s why the Shea Bridge area of the ballpark is popular it’s the Guantanamo Bay of Citi Field.

Mets fans don’t want t-shirts, bobble heads, lunch pails or other gimmicks to lure us to the ball park. Just give us a competitive team and show us the respect we deserve when we enter the ball park. Kindness goes along way with Mets fans.

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Must Read of the Day Ron Darling Guest Column of Shannon Forde

 

Ron Darling has a guest column in today’s NY Daily News about Mets Sr. Director of Media Relations Shannon Forde and her fight with Stage IV breast cancer and information on the fund raiser on her behalf. Check out Hope Shines For Shannon for all the details of this great event

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Please Support the Fund Raiser for Shannon Forde

 

Last week at our monthly Met Bloggers night at Citi Field the friendly face I always look for was right there in the conference room where you see Terry Collins before and after every game. Shannon Forde, the Mets Senior Director of Media Relations came over to give me and the other bloggers a big welcome.

Shannon and Danielle Parilleo the Mets Director of Communications are the Mets bloggers den mothers. They take us into the places we’ve all dreamed about being in, the managers press conference, on the field for batting practice, arranging players for us to interview and assuring Jay Horowitz that we are not bad people. It’s people in the organization like Shannon and Danielle that make me root harder for this team to win because they work so hard they deserve a World Series ring as much as any player.

While watching BP last week at Citi Field myself and Ed Marcus went over to say hi to Shannon and tell her how much we missed her at the last bloggers meet up. Shannon has that personality that just makes you want to hang out with her to the point where she is much more interesting to talk to than any of the players, the same players by the way who seem to have much love and admiration for her since they know firsthand how hard she works at her craft. Her work at Citi Field is just a part of what she does as she is a mom and a wife and handles all those responsibility flawlessly and with her trademark smile.

It was while we were hanging out by the Mets dugout that Shannon told Ed and me that she was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer. At that point both of our knees kind of buckled. But leave it to Shannon to stay positive and tell us she’s going to fight this and beat it and with the great support group she has both with the Mets and within her family, I have no doubt that she will beat this insidious disease and continue to be one of the best and most important members of the NY Mets and continue to lead a bunch of nomad bloggers around Citi Field.

To support and give back to Shannon for all she has done for so many, her friends have organized a fund raiser for her at the Westmount Country Club in Woodland Park NJ on Thursday night November 1st for 7PM to 11PM. Tickets for the dinner are $100 and that includes dinner dancing a cocktail hour and open bar. From 7:30PM to 9:00PM that evening, there will be an autograph session featuring Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, John Franco, Bobby Ojeda, Edgardo Alfonzo, Al Leiter, Ed Charles and Eddie Kranepool. For $250 you get to meet with these members of Mets Royalty and get an autograph as well.

If you cannot make it to the dinner you can still make a donation. All the information is at Hope Shines For Shannon.  

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And A Great Time Was Had By All At The NY Mets 50th Anniversary Conference

What a terrific day it was yesterday at the New York Mets 50th Anniversary Conference at Hofstra University. A big tip of my Mets cap goes to Greg Prince who work very hard to make the 3 day conference a huge success, and in the words of Yogi Berra, “made this day necessary” Dana Brand would be so proud of the conference and of you Greg.

I came away with this thought on the way home from Hofstra last night, the Skill Sets may hold the papers to the team, but it’s Mets fan who are the real owners and for that the whole Mets organization should be thankful.

It’s always fun to meet up with the Mets Blogger-ratzi at events like this especially my blogger panel teammates, John Coppinger and Taryn Cooper, as well as Shannon, Kerel, Michael, and the Mathews Callan and Artus . Let’s Go Mets!!!!!

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It Must Be Raindrops, So Many Raindrops

I have to agree 1,000 % with two prestigious members of the Mets blogger-ari, Greg Prince of Faith and Fear in Flushing and Shannon of The Mets Police as they took the NY Mets to the wood shed for the spanking their deserved  on the teams handling of yesterday’s rain out.

Yesterday’s game was no run of the mill April game, it was Tome Seaver Bobblehead Day. Seaver is now and ever shall be THE FRANCHISE , so when the date was announced that his head and famous delivery would be honored with plaster and a springy thing in his neck, many Mets fans jumped on that date to buy tickets, in fact I bet for most it would be their first outing to Citi Field for the season and in this time of trying extra hard to sell tickets, yesterday would have been the day to put out the good dishes and make sure everyone had a smile on their face to sell the Citi Field experience. Instead, the Mets are left with a lot of disgruntled customers who may feel it’s not worth the effort to head to Citi Field.

This is why I hate to buy tickets in advance because when I do and you have a weather situation like yesterday it makes for a tension convention of a day. You wake up early and it’s raining your family peppers you with question if the game is still on like it’s my call. Nothing is worse than fighting the traffic on the Gowanus and BQE to go to Flushing and pay $20 to park a car and then find out no game today. So add that $20 to the toll I have to pay to cross Verrazano-City Government Extortion Bridge and with gas at over $4 a gallon and the aggravation of driving back home with no plan B for the day, sometimes it better to not buy tickets in advance but just wait until day of game to buy them and print them out at home and go on your merry way.

Mets management has to do a better job of calling games early enough as to not inconvenience fans/customers because its days like yesterday that will keep fans away more than the play on the field.

The thing I love about Twitter is the way some folks on their take shit so seriously. While I’m waiting for my assignment for the day, I see this tweet and felt I just had to answer it in a way to stir some shit up. I love the response but even better was this response, so of course I had to counter that. This is like my new life’s work anyone dissing the Mets who is not a member of the Church of Blue and Orange gets called out.  Yeah I’m a little bit out of my mind.

 

 

 

 

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MY CONVERSATION WITH NEW METS HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE JOHN FRANCO

I had the opportunity to sit down with the newest inductee to the New York Mets Hall of Fame, John Franco, before his appearance at the Citi Bank branch at Madison Ave and 42 Street in Manhattan. Franco was there to promote the Citi Mets ticket pre-sale which is available to all Citi credit and debit card holders. The pre-sale is ongoing until 11:59 PM tomorrow.

I’d like to that Marc Sausa of Citi bank and Danielle Parrillo and Shannon Forde of the Mets for setting me up with the opportunity to speak with Franco

Click here for my conversation with John Franco.

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PAGAN BE GONE

 

If Angel Pagan is the Mets opening day center fielder I’m going to be pissed off.  A lot of my angst over Pagan has to do with his inconsistent play especially in the outfield and some of it has to do with what is perceived as a “me” attitude that looks as if it chaps the mangers ass as well. Terry Collins was miffed when Pagan took himself out of a game last year claiming he had a stomach virus and was dehydrated but never told the manger he was headed to the porcelain palace in the clubhouse as his turn to bat was up. Pagan also bitched and moaned about batting leadoff when Jose Reyes was out with his blown up hammy, solidifying his rep as a selfish player

Mike Silva wrote a piece on how Pagan may be the best of what’s out there as far as centerfielders go, but why do the Mets always have to settle?  If it’s going to cost at least $5mil to sign Pagan why not go a couple of million more and sign David DeJesus?

DeJesus would be a upgrade over Pagan in the outfield for sure and  an upgrade in the lineup as well as DeJesus has a better ability to get on base than that of Pagan.

Sandy Alderson has targeted the pitching staff, zeroing in on the bullpen, as job one this off season but he also needs to address the defense which was one of the worst in baseball last year.  The up the middle D was especially poor (Jose Reyes by the way was -11 in Runs Saved ) so if the organization can’t afford to go all out to get some decent arms then maybe an upgrade on the defensive side would help the arms the Mets have now?

I think this post by Shannon at  Mets Police says it all about being a Mets fan.

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MY HEADQUARTERS IS UNDER RENOVATION

Busy morning for me as I Have to finish empting out the contents of the Kranepool Society World Headquarters (a/k/a my basement) as renovation of the command center will take place next week. I need to get a lot done this morning so I can head downtown to St George to watch the Brooklyn Cyclones take on the Baby Highlanders. The Cyclones clinched the NY-PENN League wild card spot last night and will play the Baby Highlanders in the 1st round of the playoffs starting Tuesday.

Check out this great post that Shannon of The Mets Police has today about bringing back the traditional Banner Day celebration they many of us grew up with as Mets fans. This may be the pet project of the off season writing posts about what should be included in the 50th Anniversary celebration.  No matter what the Mets do the Mets blogging community needs to get together to let the Mets know, NO BANNER DAY, NO PEACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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A GREAT NIGHT OF FOOD TASTING AT CITI FIELD AND A SEAT IN THE PRESS BOX FOR DESERT

Quite the evening at Citi Field last night. This post may start to ramble for a while so if you want to stay for the full ride I suggest you make a trip to the rest room, grab some coffee and get a comfortable chair.

Last night was another installment of Mets Bloggers Gone Wild at Citi Field.  In this episode, which by the way, SNY is making a huge mistake not taping our blogger outings at Citi Field. The reaction of me and my fellow bloggers in arms when we gain access to areas of the ball park we never thought in a million years we’d enter is priceless.  I know for myself I feel like a 5 year old again and I’m at some old relatives home and my mother grabbing me by my arm imploring me to not to touch anything and mind my manners.  

At the last bloggers gathering, we were invited to listen to Terry Collins pre-game press conference and we were given access to be on the field during batting practice. As the main streamers sat in the Mets dugout, Shannon Forde, the Director of Media Relations (and all around sweetheart who sets up these events) told our group we could sit in the dugout as well. What? Say that again? So into the Mets dugout we went.  As hard as I tried to stay out of people’s way, I felt an arm on my shoulder and voice saying “excuse me” the arm belonged to Daniel Murphy, the shoulder was mine. I apologized for being in the way (“Oh sorry Daniel”) and Murph patted my back and said “not a problem”. So just when you think that was a best day ever, you have a day like yesterday.

My day at Citi Field started off with the bad news about David Wright and his stress fracture in his back. I arrived a bit earlier than expected and as I waited to get my credential, Shannon saw me and invited me to sit in on the Wright press conference. I told you she’s a sweetheart.  As Wright spoke about the MRI and then revealed he had a stress fracture in his back from the play in April involving Carlos Lee, I wanted to yell out “oh shit” and kick the chair in front of me but I had to remember that in these situations I can’t be a fanboy. It was interesting watching the media taking notes and asking questions nice and calm, while all Mets fans receiving this news were freaking out.    

As I waited for the rest of the blogger-ratzi to arrive, Caryn Rose, Kerel Cooper, Mike Silva, Matthew Artus, Rob Castellano and Ceetar,  I sat near Jay Horowitz who was on his phone spreading the word that Wright was going for a second opinion on his back and relaying the successful surgeries of pitchers Chris Young and Jenry Mejia . As Horowitz got off the phone, he let out a sigh and looked over at me with a smile and said hello. I almost did one of those look over the shoulders and then point at myself as to say “you talking to me” and with a “hiya Jay, busy day eh”? he replied shaking his head “that’s for sure”

When the other bloggers arrived, we were set to start out tour of the new food products available at Citi Field and of the clubs in the ballpark.

I’ve been a critic of some of the food stands and the emphasis that is put on what to eat at the ballpark, but after meeting Scott Kleckner, Resident District Manager, Sports & Entertainment for Aramark, I have to switch my position. The enthusiasm that Kleckner has for the food concessions and clubs reminds me of how Terry Collins talks about his team.  I still would rather sit in the stands at a ball game on a warm summer night with a hot dog and drink and from talking to Kelckner, he not only understands folks like me, he respects that fan mindset and wants you to be able to go to any concession stand and get the best hot dog and drink that you could possibly have.  He puts his degree in Hospitality and Management to excellent use. Kleckner is proud of the quality of the food and the amenities of the clubs at Citi Field, and he should be.

Kleckner and his staff brought us around to different concessions to try some of the new food items available at Citi Field. We first went to Catch of the Day stand to sample Popcorn Shrimp and Shrimp Po’Boy ‘s.  I’m not a big seafood eater but I loved the Popcorn Shrimp. The shrimp had a nice breading and wasn’t overly greasy (that was the one thing with the fried food we tried it never had a greasy taste) from there we moved to Keith’s Grill to sample the Mex Burger. This burger was put together by Keith Hernandez and consists of a Brooklyn Burger, cheddar and jack cheese, bacon, guacamole, chipotle aioli and jalapenos. That’s a spicy burger. I’m not much for spicy food so I favor the Gold Glove burger myself, which has cheese ,bacon lettuce, tomato, ketchup on one side of the roll and mustard on the other   . My one problem with Keith’s Grill is they make the burgers one at time which is great but they need to add another Keith’s Grill somewhere else in the ball park. During the last home stand, my wife waited 30 minutes on the line to get four burgers; on her behalf I field a protest with Mr. Kleckner.

We then went over to Cascarino’s Pizza.  This is my least favorite concession, the pizza is good (we sampled the thin Sicilian with fresh mozzarella) but I just have a tough time paying over 6 bucks for a slice.  We also tried a new fried chicken sandwich at Blue Smoke which was good but a little too much on the mayo but then again any mayo is too much for me. I hate mayonnaise.

We then went to what I feel is the best new concession to taste the Hot Pastrami. WOW!!! The meat is hand carved nice and thin and very tender and seasoned to perfection. The pastrami may move ahead of the turkey and mozzarella at Mama’s of Corona as my food at choice at Citi Field.

After stuffing ourselves at the concessions we moved on to the clubs. As I say I’m not one for the stadium clubs but again I loved Scott Kleckner’s enthusiasm and passion for the product the staff puts out.  Kleckner raved about the eggplant parmigiana hero in the Delta 360 Club. It was outstanding. The eggplant was just how I like it, sliced thin, seasoned and breaded nicely and not tough or stringy or mushy, and the tomato sauce had nice flavor not acidy, the roll was nice and crusty as well. You were right Scott that is a hell of a sandwich.

After all that noshing, we were set to watch the game. Shannon then informed us that we, the bloggers could sit in the press box. Yes you read that right, we, the bloggers were invited to sit in the Citi Field press box during a real live Major League game. Talk about an awkward feeling. It’s nowhere near Jackie Robinson breaking the color line I know, but never in my wildest imagination did I think I would go from a non-pants wearing , basement dwelling lunatic ranting about his favorite baseball team to having a seat in not just a Major League press box but the Citi Field press box.  We all handled ourselves correctly, no cheering in the press box and when we spoke to each other it was in hushed tones as people were working. We got a few stares but the box wasn’t very crowded. The best part for me were all the stat sheet  handouts they have, it reminded me of when Sal “Red Light” Messina did color on  NY Ranger games on radio, he’d always slip me the media notes for the game, class all the way was Red Light.

So the state of baseball reporting survived an invasion of Mets bloggers sitting in their Ivory Tower. The bedrock of Manhattan didn’t shift, the Atlantic Ocean didn’t erupt and flood Coney Island and Jay Horowitz didn’t suffer a nervous breakdown. Now if one of the beat writers would have come over and put his arm around us, like Pee Wee Reese did to Robinson, the night would have been complete.

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THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN TONIGHT AT 10PM ET ON BLOG TALK RADIO

Tonight at 10PM ET join me for This Call ToThe Bullpen Radio Show on Blog Talk Radio. My guest will be Shannon Shark of The Mets Police, we will be talking about the Jekyll and Hyde NY Mets and look at some of the Mets-centric improvements Mets management has made at Citi Field. We’ll also talk about Mets tradition and our love for all things Blue and Orange and why we despise the Black uni’s and hats.

So join us live tonight at 10PM ET on Blog Talk Radio

If you can’t join us live then you can listen to podcast at your leisure right here at Kranepool Society (check out the lower left sidebar) or on our show page at Blog Talk Radio  or download the show via iTunes.

 

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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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