From Niese-ly Done to Matt-tastic Harvey

 

Some observations after last night’s Mets 2-1 win over the NY Highlanders:

I was quite perturbed that there wasn’t a pre-game show on SNY.  As the day went on yesterday I was really getting revved up for this game. But I switched on SNY at 6PM looking forward to Chris (Uncle Fester) Carlin and my main man, Bobby Ojeda to hit me up with some knowledge before the game.  Instead I got the insufferable Beer Money. Total failure by SNY to not have a pre-game show even with the telecast on PIX-11. Speaking of PIX-11

Since Ch 11 was televising the game it seems they were given the opportunity to have a pre-game show on WPIX but instead of a pre-game show Mets fans were treated to a television train wreck. There was some guy named Mario Diaz who was teamed up with Art Shamsky, who by the way has been pushing this book of his for what seems like an eternity. Really Art, enough already, that damn tome is sitting on a shelf down at the Dollar Tree give it a rest. So now this Diaz guy throws it to another guy I never heard (and if I’m lucky will never hear of him again) Dyrol Joyner. Joyner was so tongue tied and unprepared that I went from mocking him from my living room to actually feeling sorry for the dude. It was bad enough calling Mariano Rivera “Mario” but he kept stumbling and bumbling over his words, it was quite an embarrassment. Then they went to some young lady who must have just re located here to the NY area because she was reading traffic and transit report right off a script and never lifted her eyes to look into the camera. There was an on field interview with Jeremy Heftner that focus on his family during the Oklahoma tornado which happen last week, the same time Hefner addressed the effect on his family, and an interview with Matt Harvey where he was asked if he ever met Julia Roberts since she stared in Mystic Pizza filmed in the town where Harvey is from.  Oh and good news, Mr. Diaz said they will all be back on Thursday from the Bronx. Someone in the Mets organization needs to put a stop to that.

It’s amazing how Mets fans are such creatures of habit as soon as it was realized that Gary Cohen was off and Kevin Burkhardt was handling the play by play, Mets Twitter was in a dither. It wasn’t the smoothest broadcast of all time that’s for sure. First off, Keith Hernadez had a major brain fart calling Daniel Murphy’s broken bat a “dead solider” on Memorial Day no less and there was way too much Highlander love and way, way, way too many shots of Pee Wee Cashman sitting in the stands. You have to know your audience is made up of not just die hard Mets fans but also die hard Highlander haters.

There is no two ways around it, those camo unis suck and if I never see them again that would be swell. Although John Buck, Bobby Parnell and John Niese looked like they could wear the camo’s every day.

I don’t know why people get their panties in a bunch over the attendance numbers at ball parks. What the Mets and the rest of professional sports have to understand is with the advent of high definition televisions and the high ticket, parking and concessions prices, fans are finding that staying home in the living room or den with their big screen TV with full fridges of food and their favorite beverage of choice is winning out over fighting traffic, long lines to eat and pee and  watching a bad product on the field. The NFL realizes this and is trying to figure out how to make fans want to leave home and experience football in a live environment rather than staying home and watching on TV.

Great start from Jon Niese as he had total command of his especially an effective cut fastball.  This is exactly what is expected and needed from Niese 6-7 solid innings each start.

After getting robbed of a 2 run homer by Brett Gardner, Daniel (#ImWith28) Murphy comes up big with a clutch single to center to score JV1 with what proved to be the winning run.

How about Ruben Tejada in that 8th inning ? Every time he puts the ball in play recently it’s in the air for a can of corn out, yesterday when the Mets needed a fly ball to get Mike Baxter home from first, he hits it on the ground and Baxter was out at the plate. Total frustration.

Speaking of frustration, Lucas Duda with RISP has hit (can you really call it that) a buck twenty-five with ZERO home runs and a paltry 6 Rib Eye Steaks .

As for Ike Davis, just a hat trick last night 3K’s in 3AB’s

Prediction for tonight 3 hit complete game shutout for Matt Harvey #HappyHarveyDay      

 

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When Matt Harvey Pitches You Better Wear Shades

Isn’t it amazing how we feel as Mets fans after a Matt Harvey start? Have you noticed how the other fan bases around baseball look at us now that we have Matt Harvey? 

Matt Harvey’ performance hides alot of the Mets imperfections, like Ike Davis playing first base like its’ 3:45 AM or Capt Kirk getting bad jump on a fly ball in centerfield or holding our breath on a ground ball to Ruben Tejada, when you’re down about the Mets play at times all you have to say is, Is Matt Harvey a stud or what? It makes it all better.

Harvey was large and in charge again last night at a library quiet Citizen Bank Ball Park as he sliced and diced the Dirty Old Phuck Phaces with a Frisbee like slider and fast ball after fastball. Sure Harvey had a bit of an issue with command but he still was never in any danger in this game, unlike the once great Roy Halladay who turned into an old man in front of our eyes. Ron Darling even went into an old pitchers stick together soliloquy over the demise of Doc Halladay but then realized he was working this game for SNY and not TBS and stopped in mid-sentence to realize his Mets fan audience was enjoying their team stepping on Halladay’s throat.

As you all know I am a fin of Collin Cowgill but when I see him with that flat brim on his cap it drives me up a wall. I hate flat brims on baseball cap with a passion BEND THAT BRIM COLLIN!!!!!!!

I’m not worried about Ike Davis at the plate but I am stunned at how bad a first base he’s been playing. Last few games, he’s been a mess in the field.

I like the blue uni top the Mets wear at home but I’m not a fan of the blue road top. I’m ok with the snow whites but they wear them too damn much. There is nothing better than watching the Mets when they are in their pinnies in fact I’d love them even better without the names on the back. The all blue cap is the best cap in baseball. The new blue and orange caps would be better if the “ny” was all orange. I LOVE, LOVE ,LOVE the Mr. Met cap but then again I have always had a strong affection for Mr.Met.

Last night David Wright went after a pop up in foul territory. A Phuck Phace fan tried to interfere with Wright as he caught the pop up and then had the balls to ask Wright for the baseball. Wright shot this shit head a “Are you fucking me” look that was straight out of Bensonhurst.

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Hey Jordany, Smarten Up!

Yes it was an ugly loss last night but not ugly enough to throw up your hands just yet Mets fans.  I will say though, it would be a huge boost to the Mets and the fan base if they take the next two from the Fish. Some more about last night:

Hats off to Jeremy Hefner as he continued with the parade of solid starting pitching the Mets have gotten so far this week. Hefner showed nice command of his fastball and slider, keeping the ball down in the zone as well. He threw a lot of pitches in the 2nd and 3rd innings (49 total) but all he gave up was solo home run to Greg Dobbs.

Jordany Valdespin will drive us crazy all year. As good an offensive player as he is JV1 has absolutely no baseball instincts.  The 3rd inning brought it all into perspective. From be too far off the bag at 1st on Daniel Murphy’s soft liner to short that the throw to pick him at first base caught his bicep to then getting picked off at first with David Wright up and before a pitch could be thrown to Wright. MY GOD!

SNY cameras caught a great scene in the dugout after JV1 got picked off. He retreated to the corner of the dugout both to stay out of ear shot of Terry Collins and because is arm was hurting. That didn’t stop John Buck from coming over to him to give some “advice”. The funniest part of the exchange was Buck cornered Valdespin so there was no place for him to go until Buck was done “talking” to him.

I don’t know what you expect from Lucas Duda in left field. He’s not an outfielder; he’s a first baseman/DH and at some point Sandy Alderson is going to have a make a decision on what to do with Duda.

Don’t panic about Ike

As you know I’m not a fan of Ruben Tejada and with the scuttlebutt that it was thisclose as to who went to Vegas him or Omar Ouintanilla, I agree with what Bobby Ojeda said on the post-game show  as much as you can play your way on to a team, you can play your way off a team. The only way Tejada keeps his job is with his bat and his glove and range at short are subpar.

Not a great night for Greg Burke, Scott Rice and LaTroy Hawkins to say the least.  

Got to take the next two from the Fish. Got to

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Is There More To the David Howard Departure from the Mets Than Meets The Eye?

With the ominous dark cloud of injuries and lack of overall pizazz that engulfs the 2013 version of the NY Mets, I should be concerned with the product that I and all Mets fans will be observing for better or worse this season but the thing that has me most intrigued about the New York Mets is why did David Howard leave the organization to head Madison Square Garden Sports?

When I heard that Howard was leaving the Mets to run the Garden sports properties I was taken by surprise to say the least. Howard has been a Mets exec for 20 years and in the last few years since the Madoff debacle, he has been the public face of the Mets Ivory Tower. Howard was outstanding at being the top talking head of ownership but then again following the awful displays of public speaking from Omar Minaya, Jeffy Wilpon and the rants of Freddy Skill Sets, those are not tough acts to follow, But Howard was the perfect front man for the club as he’s intelligent, articulate and able to spin the Mets angel better than any Capitol Hill spokesman.

I could be taking this whole departure way out of context; Howard could be leaving for a better position and more money. He could be leaving the Mets just because 20 years in one spot is a long time and he could want a new challenge.  But this being the Wilpon Mets, I always have the hint of disaster in the back of my mind.

Does Dave Howard know something is around the corner that could cripple the franchise again?  Does he see that Freddy Skill Sets crowing about all the cash he will have at his disposal after Michael Bourn signed with the Cleveland Indians as a heap of horseshit being that there is debt on the team, ballpark and a re-finance of SNY that could take a large chunk out of the organization’s ass?  Could it be he’s tired of going public about the ridiculous ticket and concession prices the Mets charge and just can’t put a happy face on a team that has a load of opening day tickets still available?  On a bit of a side note about ticket prices and concessions, the Boston Red Sox, one of the best baseball franchises in MLB, will see their 793 home sellout streak end the first week of the season. To counter that the Red Sox, THE BOSTON RED SOX!!!! Will cut the concession prices on food (buy 1 hot dog get 1 free) drink (5 bucks for a beer , 2 bucks for a hot chocolate ) and start 11 of the first 17 home games before 7PM so the cranks of Fenway don’t freeze their arses off in the April chill. Hello?????? Anyone home in the Flushing home office??????

Back to Dave Howard leaving, I wouldn’t question Howard leaving for MSG as nothing more than a corporate transfer going from one board room to another for a loftier title and higher pay but after reading that at least three other front office honchos will take over Howard’s tasks, it makes me think the club was caught off guard. Being that Howard was a 20 year employee of the organization wouldn’t you think that he would have gone to the Skill Sets and explain to them that he needed a new challenge a fresh start and the opportunity to run all the functions of the Gardens sports properties except for drafting, trading and constructing team rosters was too good to pass up, but before I leave I will help any way I can with finding my successor and showing he or she the ropes. That didn’t happen. We have a group of executives from different units reporting to, and this is where I come close to soiling myself, Jeffy Skill Sets. That is what has me the most frightened.

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Freddy Says He’s Flush But are Mets Fans Buying It ?

Poor Freddy Skill Sets, whenever he speaks Mets fans shout “BULLSHIT”. Every spring, Freddy usually with his sidekick/brother in law Uncle Saul Katz, putz around on a golf cart and stop long enough to tell the main stream media that covers the Mets that everything surrounding the team is sunshine and fucking lollipops. This spring is no exception except for Freddy tag team partner Uncle Saul not in attendance.

There is nothing more side splitting funny than following along on my Twitter timeline when Freddy gives his State of the Mets Spring Speech. You know the old expression “If bullshit were electricity you’d be a powerhouse”? Well, if I had a buck for every time the word “bullshit” came up in Tweets on my timeline, I’d have enough money to buy a ML outfield and donate it to the Freddy’s club.

Freddy told the masses today at Port St. Lonesome that he and his family are flush with cash, thank you very much for asking. Between the real estate businesses and his stock holdings rebounding and the success of SNY (which puzzles the living shit out me because other than Mets games what the hell is there to watch on the network? Beer Money???? Loudmouths???? Suckitude TV) has helped the Skill Sets Empire to rise again. In fact, Freddy says that times are so good, we Mets fans could see the payroll rise to the heights it was at during the Minaya administration, when Ex-GM Omar Minaya was handing out overinflated contracts like he ran Haliburton. And to that the Mets fan base rises as one and replies “BULLSHIT”

Poor Freddy not matter how he tries to convince Mets fan that he has enough Dead Presidents to sign players that will make major contributions to his team and make Septembers in Flushing meaningful again, no one believes him. It’s got to suck to be Freddy.

Maybe Freddy is telling the truth, maybe there is cash to be spent. It seems the Mets were willing to give Michael Bourn 4 years and $48 million dollars to be a Met but when Bourn and his agent wanted that 5th year vested option that it seems would be easy to attain, Sandy Alderson pulled the plug on the negotiation leaving the Cleveland Indians to get bamboozled into give giving Bourn/Boras what they wanted. Can’t say I blame Alderson for not going 5 years on Bourn.

Alderson was very forthcoming with Pope Mikey I when he stated that they miscalculated on the dealing with Scott Hairston. It seems from listening to Alderson, Justin Upton was his number one target to trade for and he thought he had enough trade chips to make a deal but it seems Kevin Towers insisted on either Zack Wheeler or Matt Harvey as headliners in any deal for Upton, which of course killed that dialog. So Plan B was go after Bourn but that draft pick, slot money and vested option became a major road block and that went south as well. During all this Hairston signed with the Cubs and as Alderson said letting Hairston go wasn’t due to contract reasons but playing times issues as it seems the Mets GM was sure of landing either Upton or Bourn and instead he has neither.

Now for this next part, you will have to put on your Freddy Says Decoder Ring because I’m pretty sure Freddy is speaking on code or in tongues, I’m not sure:

“I think we would anticipate being big investors if that were appropriate,” Wilpon said. “That depends on what the market is. If the market is such that that’s where we have to be to be competitive and winners, yeah.

Let’s see the Mets need better players and since many of the better players in the organization are barely old enough to shave I’d say yeah to be competitive you will have to invested in some proven major league talent and that will cost money, but if Freddy is on the level, he claims he has the cash to make that dash.

“This is, to me, a breakeven business. I always strive to break even. I’m not looking to make any money. I strive to break even. So if [fans] don’t show up, that’s hard. So you have to balance it. We fed it pretty good the last five or six years. I think if the market was such, yes, the payroll could go up, but not to just have payroll go up so you can write headlines — if that, in fact, improves the team.

OK now this is Bullshit.  When did the New York Mets become a no-profit organization? What did you feed that last five or six years? Your attorney’s? CRG Partners to access the damage of the Madoff mess? Sure wasn’t invested in baseball players.

“I don’t know what the market will be at that point. But the payroll will be commensurate with anything we’ve ever done because we can do it. Remember, the people have to come to the ballpark obviously. If you have a competitive team, they will. Everything that was in the past, that you guys saw the pain that we went through, is gone. It’s gone.

Freddy, Freddy, Freddy there are only a few of us diehards left who support your team in good times and bad. You have lost a whole generation of fans to the Bronx Bastards. If you have the financial wherewithal you claim now would be a good time to show it off. The amount of diehard fans for any sports franchise in this town is much less than the bandwagon “I love a New York event “crowd. If what you are telling us is correct and you are ready to go back to being Big Bad Freddy and make an investment in quality Major League players that will have your team in contention for a pennant and GULP!!! A World Championship, Citi Field will be overflowing with customers on a nightly basis. Remember the 80”s Fred? Remember 3 million customers making the Shea Stadium turnstiles wiz like a carousel of cash ? Remember the television ratings that boosted a thrid rate TV station called SportsChannel into a must buy for FOX Sports? Break even? Freddy if you do this right and you are being honest with us, you and Uncle Saul will be farting through silk boxers my friend. JUST DON”T BULLSHIT US AGAIN!!!!!

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Mets Management Should Show R.A. Dickey More Respect

Yesterday on SNY I watched the coronation of David Wright as The Franchise II (Wright would have to win a couple of MVP’s and some World Series Championships before I’d even consider him as The Franchise) Everyone was yucking it up on the SNY set about Wright having a “Burger and a Beer” with Jeffey Skill Sets in Miami after the last game of the most recent second half collapse to end a season. Between Jonas Schwartz and Ed Coleman you would think that was the equivalent of Camp David Accords of 1978. Sure it’s nice that Jeffy wants to be BFF’s with Wright and as we know from our long time Jeffey viewing, he acts like a teenybopper at a Justin Bieber concert when he’s around ball players. So it makes me wonder, why Jeffey not only hasn’t invited R.A. Dickey out for a little nosh but seems be a hard ass with the knuckleballing CY Young Winner.

Take a gander at this quote from The Little Emperor about Dickey’s status with the Mets:

 

At Wednesday’s news conference at the Opryland Hotel to announce David Wright’s eight-year contract extension, chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon reiterated earlier comments that the Mets were willing to allow Dickey to simply play out next season on the pre-existing $5 million club option, and become a free agent.

“We’re in the process now,” Wilpon said. “It’s a negotiation. They want more than we’re willing to give right now. We want to do it for less than they want to accept right now. Somewhere in between there’s probably a deal to be done. If not, he’ll be a great bargain at $5 million playing out next season for us.”

 

Pretty condescending comment if you ask me.  If the reports we are getting are correct, Dickey is not asking to break the bank, in fact his offer of 2yrs/$30mil is a somewhat low if you ask me. As much as Wright is the bright shinny face of The Franchise, Dickey is the team’s heart, soul and inspiration and the holder of a post season award, something Wright does not possess. So why the hard line and disrespect for Dickey?  I think if you caught Sandy Alderson in a candid moment he tell you he’d love to send Jeffey to Langley and let Saul Berenson handle him  CIA style as Jeffey doesn’t make his job any easier.

Alderson does not want to go into the season with Dickey as a lame duck, he either wants to deal him for a rewarding return or sign him to an extension. It serves the Mets no purpose to start the season with Dickey not under contract for more than the season, his trade value will never be higher than it is now. Logic says Alderson is waiting for Zack Greinke to sign somewhere, in hopes that the runner-ups panic and over pay for Dickey. If the return is not to his liking then I’m sure Alderson and Dickey’s people sit down and settle on a contract extension. This plan is not very difficult to decipher except of course for Jeffey.

Let’s face if Jeffey and Dickey sat down to talk it would be kind of awkward. Dickey reads books, Jeffey colors in books. Dickey is charismatic; Jeffey takes the air out of a room. Jeffey like to hang around with jocks he loves being one of the guys where Dickey would rather visit a museum than a country club. Jeffey doesn’t grasp what he has in R.A. Dickey, He doesn’t comprehend that Mets fans have not just embraced a baseball player but a man that they look up to and admire. I’ve always agreed with Charles Barkley when he said “I am not a role model” athletes shouldn’t be looked at that way as most have been given privileges and perks that other’s more worthy never get  but R.A. Dickey is THE exception to that. Dickey has fought and worked to reach this point in his baseball and personal life to where he not only can provide big for his family but to reach out to others with charity. That’s the part that seems to be lost on Jeffey Skill Sets.  

If Sandy Alderson deals Dickey and gets back some pieces that will be of value to the Mets and help curtail this endless spiral of losing and giving up then that’s fine but if Dickey plays out this season and walks because Jeffey Wilpon thinks a 2yr/$30 mil extension is too much for one of the most honorable men to ever don a Mets uniform, then it may be time for me to reflect if all this support I give to this team is worth it.

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The Acceptance of Failure

Ladies and Gentlemen I give you the FACE of the Mets Franchise!

The Mets ended another losing season yesterday in Miami with a surprising win, only the 28th in the last 76 games that the team has played. For the fourth season in a row the Mets have been relegated to second division status, for the fourth season in a row the Mets have played embarrassing bad and losing baseball in the second half of the season. You, me and Greg Prince are having a tough time accepting this losing season after losing season but with the exception of SNY’s Bobby Ojeda the New York Mets organization has accept failure and its’ this acceptance of this losing culture that is the most damming and frustrating part of an ownership, front office, and manger that not only tolerates this mess but goes out its way to be like a soccer mom to the underachieving  players they employ, offering orange slices and juice boxes after uninspiring  loss after uninspiring loss instead of some good old fashion tough love and a kick in their double knit pants.

If listening to Terry Collins, who is slowly starting to irk me with his “the sun will come out tomorrow” press conferences after each and every uninspiring game this second half, tell me of how his team played hard and never let up wasn’t enough to make me puke, it was this Tweet from Justin Turner utility player and all important pie thrower that put me over the edge.

Of course the lemmings of our fan base were agreeing with Turner which meant I had to go and spoil it all by doing the job that Fred or Jeff Wilpon, Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins should have done, given Turner a dose of New York City reality. I would have left it at one nasty tweet but when Turner tweeted he couldn’t wait to get to spring training, I was apoplectic, and why does Justin Turner think he deserves to be a NY Met in 2013? Is throwing pies a dying art form like a blacksmith or a shoe cobbler? Again the fact that Turner is so damn happy about the events of the 2012 baseball season and to say he’ll be back in 2013 with the Mets in St. Lonesome is all the evidence I need to make my case that this organization has accepted failure.

During the A’s-Rangers telecast yesterday, A’s play by play man Glen Kuiper spoke about his pre-game talk with A’s reliever Ryan Cook who had come on to pitch in five straight games as the A’s completed the unbelievable job of ousting the Rangers from first place for the first time all season to become the AL West Champs. Kuiper said he asked Cook if he was feeling any fatigue with his workload so heavy the last week or so, Cook told him, “no one on this club is tired we have all winter to rest we are on a mission to win a championship”. Cook is 25 years old. Ruben Tejada is 21 years old and according to his manager needed some time off as the rigors of the season were wearing him down. That is the difference between a team fighting to win and a team accepting failure.

It has nothing to do with money it has to do with will, the will and mind set to win.  The Mets are severely lacking in the intestinal fortitude it takes to win a championship. The can discover oil under Citi Field making old Freddy a billionaire, it won’t matter until someone of authority steps up and starts ridding this team of the complacent  losers that permeate the Mets clubhouse,  if not, enjoy a few more years of 77-85 baseball

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I’m Still With 28

So Daniel Murphy has a rough couple of games and some so called Mets fans have turned on him. There are times, and this in one of those times, that this fan base deserved to treated like shit by the likes of Bobby Bonnila, Jeff Kent and the immortal Richie Hebner.  

Murph had a bad game last night; for sure in fact he said it himself after the game as he faced the media. There is no run and hide in Murphy he acknowledged his bad play at 2nd base last night and addressed the fielding problems the Mets have had most of the season and he took the first shot at himself:

“You don’t have to look any farther than this locker here where to start with some of our poor play the last couple of days. It starts right here.”

Before last night, the jackals were quiet but with a two error game coming on the heels of an 0-14 offensive bump in the road, the Murphy detractors have come out in full force, none more prominent than the wanna-be Mike Francesa’s Mark Malusis and Sal Licata two of the many uniformed and untalented talking shit heads on SNY.

Before last night, there was no one taking Murphy to task about his fielding, in fact Keith Hernandez who may be a bit more qualified that a stooge like Licata, has praised the work Murph has put in with Tim Teufel to make himself into a serviceable second baseman.  It’s more sad than funny how the Murphy bashers go on and on about his defensive deficiencies but never talk about the hours of hard work Murph puts in to make himself better, see in order to observe this, you would have to get out to the ball park early and watch Murph take ground ball after ground ball but of course that would take commitment to your craft which many TV and sports talk radio nimrods in this town lack in spades.  Maybe if Licatta worked as hard at his job like Murph does he’d still be employed at WFAN.

We all know that Murphy can hit, in fact his bat with RISP has been a solid .333/.369/.433 so far this year and when its 2outs/RISP Murph raises his game to .391/.440/.522 and is one of the main reasons the Mets have played above many expectations.

Maybe it’s good that many so called Mets fans can forget the malcontents and lazy asses that paraded on the Shea Stadium field back in the 90’s.  For all you so called Mets enthusiast who are calling for the Mets to deal Murph I have a better idea one that would make us both very happy, GO ROOT FOR ANOTHER TEAM!

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Was Last Night’s No Hitter The Start Of Something Bigger ?

 

This post will be all over the place, so let me apologize in advance because I still can’t get my thoughts all in one place after watching Johan Santana’s no hitter last night. What has me all verklempt is this was more than just the first no hitter in the history of the NY Metropolitan Baseball Club, it was more a display of what this little thing of ours, being a Mets fan means. If the non-believers don’t grasp the concept of Mets fandom after last night, they never will and that’s their loss.

The look of determination on the face of Santana will stay with me for a long, long time as will the image of Terry Collins who was put in the worst spot of al,l worrying about the health of his Ace and the historical place this game was headed. Later we would learn that Santana would sing his own version of The Weight as he told Collins he was not coming out of this game taking the load off the manager and putting on him.

I thought of Josh Thole, just activated after suffering a concussion guiding Santana along. After a week- ten days of working out in a back field of Pt. St. Lonesome to this electrifying moment, I was hoping his head wasn’t hurting.

I thought about Mike Baxter who went above and beyond the call of duty crashing into the left field wall to make a catch that is now another in memorable catches in Mets history. Watching him come off the field with Ray Ramirez holding his arm, I thought the worst but then this morning I read Baxter quotes where he said “I’ll be ok, it’s not about me it’s Johan’s night”. Baxter typified the all for one, one for all attitude this team has taken on.

I thought about Gary Cohen calling the game on SNY and Howie Rose calling the action on WFAN, they are not just the Mets play by play men, they are one of us. I feel even closer to them since we are all from the same generation who got into Mets Fandom on the ground floor. I’ve always wondered if our paths ever crossed way back when in the Upper Deck at Shea maybe during a Craig Swan start or cheering a Willie Montanez home run, complete with the stutter step home run trot. When the no hitter was “in the history books” as Howie noted, Ron Darling, who was extremely fired up in the late innings of this game, and Keith Hernandez, who was astonishing quiet maybe superstition took over, asked Gary if he thought the no hitter drought would ever be broken and without missing a beat Cohen said “NO” I got a bit misty in the eyes when Gary said that because I knew exactly where he was coming from.

I thought a lot about Johan Santana. I thought about all the hard work he put in to get back on a Major League mound and like Bobby Ojeda said on the post-game show pitching “on back fields in front of tumble weed and three legged dogs”. This is part of the professional athletes life that many fans either ignore or just don’t care about. The work that Santana put in after his shoulder surgery is what separates him as one of the top pitchers in MLB to the guy holding on or trying to get a roster spot. All pitchers at this level can throw a baseball, it’s the few who have the work ethic and the intelligence to make the climb to the top that stand out. When Santana went down with his shoulder injury that needed surgical repair he was one of the best pitchers in baseball. He worked his ass off in rehabilitating the shoulder and in getting himself back on his game right where he left off.  After last night’s performance all those days with the physical therapist and then on the back fields of the Mets minor league complex with the sweat dripping off him to the scrutiny of Dan Warthen and Terry Collins in spring training to the skepticism of the media and fan base, wondering which Johan Santana we would see, has paid off big time. What we’ve seen is one of the best pitchers in Mets history and a player with the heart of a lion.

Last night was not about the owner and how much money he has or doesn’t have  nor was it about whether this team is playing over their heads, no, it was about what it’s like when you sign on to become a Mets fan. There are good days and some bad days and then there are days like yesterday that wash away all the bad.  If you’ve decided not to support this team because of your disdain for the ownership, well you’re stupid. If you learned anything last night it’s not about the Skill Sets, it’s not about the Robinson Rotunda, it’s not about the outfield walls and it’s not about the Shake Shack, it’s about the 25 players and it’s about us and for all of you who have been avoiding Citi Field, you better hop back on the bandwagon and buy some tickets and come out to watch this team play because I don’t think they are done making history, the no hitter might just be the beginning of something very special.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Brad Mills Left The Bullpen Gate Open

Never in a millon years did I think I’d miss Giusspepe Franco on a continous loop on SNY. Between this commercial and the Jeter trying to sell me a car that he wouldn’t be caught dead in, I hope SNY makes enough money on them to give Bobby Ojeda a big raise.  

I’m still trying to figure out the thinking of Brad Mills last night with his Salute to Tony La Russa in the 7th and 8th inning last night. It isn’t like Mills is rolling out a bullpen like the Cincinnati Reds Nasty Boys of 1990, but then again with the Astros leaving the Senior Circuit for that other league in 2013, then again it could be Mills’ form of protest to the switching of leagues with an Occupy Bullpen movement.

For all those who feel I’ve been shilling for Sandy Alderson, let me put this out there. The signing of Frank Francisco looks to be a big time blunder. Last night Francisco was not available due to a hamstring  (dehydration ?) issue, earlier he had trouble with his knee then add in that he’s has been totally ineffective as a closer, it adds up so far to one in the minus column for Alderson.

Speaking of the bullpen, there could be a shakeup soon as Mets relievers are starting to show signs of wear, ranking third in innings pitched (71.2, the Brewers lead the league at 75.1 IP) and dead last in the NL in ERA at 5.02 add in the Mets penchant for playing close games, unless Manny Acosta and Miguel Batista have a pitching epiphany they could be replaced by the rehabbing DJ Carrasco and maybe an eye opening Josh Edgin. You also have Jenry Mejia coming back from TJ surgery and Armando Rodriguez pitching very effectively in Bingo. So there are options within the organization which makes the Francisco signing look worse.

I don’t know if it’s just the mindset of the fan base or the years of incompetent management that has Mets fan fearing Kirk Nieuwenhuis going to the bench or back to Buffalo when Jason Bay gets back. First forget Buffalo that’s not happening and as for grabbing some pine, that should be where Andres Torres winds up. When you carry around a .243/.318/.402 lifetime batting line after 8 years of major league employment, you should be happy you have a seat in a big league dugout.

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