Check out last night’s Sports Media Watchdog podcast as Mike Silva and I discuss Tony LaRussa’s new book “One Last Strike.” They review the Tom Coughlin documentary on the NFL Network, the journey of R.A. Dickey and bias announcers.
A daily account of the trials and tribulations of the New York Mets. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out last night’s Sports Media Watchdog podcast as Mike Silva and I discuss Tony LaRussa’s new book “One Last Strike.” They review the Tom Coughlin documentary on the NFL Network, the journey of R.A. Dickey and bias announcers.
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Listen to the Sports Media Watchdog Podcast from Sunday September 16th as Mike Silva and me discuss Mike Francesa’s on air siesta, Chris Russo and his Mad Dog Radio channel on Sirius/XM and a rant by former Miami U player and now radio talks show host Dan Sileo calling out players on the The U’s football team
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Check out last nights Sports Media Watchdogs Podcast where Mike Silva and I talk about my day at Highlander Stadium, Mike’s bet with Michale Kay, The Giants season preview and a look at the NHL Lockout.
I haven’t had much time to post this weekend as the last holiday of the summer has been a whirlwind between having a big barbeque at my house, the up early to get to Highlander Stadium (more on the in a minute) and now today off to Coney Island to see and root for the Brooklyn Cyclones as they try to get the NY-Penn League Wild Card spot.
Yesterday I was at Highlander Stadium for an event where the NY Highlanders were honoring young men who had achieved the status of Eagle Scout in the past year. So with my son and nephew achieving this we were all invited to the game between the Highlander and Orioles.
All the Scouts were brought on to the field for a pre-game ceremony and they too a group shot that was shown on the giant TV screen in centerfield but no player joined them to take a picture or shake their hands, oh well. We were given seats in the terrace section of left field which is just below the upper deck. Problem with that section is you can’t’ see left field or left/center field, so I missed Mark Reynolds two home runs which made my delayed cheering a bit awkward, oh yeah I was rooting for Buck’s Birds yesterday for sure.
The stadium is massive, so big that to see everything there is from food and stores would take you all game to see. If you sit up in the upper reaches of the stadium and would like to go all the way to the field level where they have a food court, you’re going to miss at least two innings getting down there another inning getting food and another couple of innings getting back upstairs. Not really worth it.
The seats, especially the bleachers are so far back from the action that even when fans make noise they’re not a factor in making a difference. I’ve heard louder fan noise at Shea/Citi Field after a 2 hour rain delay when maybe 1,500-2,000 fans were still in the park. It could be the weekend crowd in the Bronx is different than the weeknight crowd as the upstate contingent of Highlander fans show up regularly on the weekend for day games (leaving the parking lot it’s funny to see the Major Deegan northbound bumper to bumper and the southbound entrance to the FDR south a breeze) but the stadium was monastery quiet most of the game and for a game that was crucial to the Highlanders it was a bit of a shock to me.
Ok time to watch Collin McHugh take on the Cards for a few innings then head to Coney Island
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Mike Silva and me talked about the book PATERNO, The Red Sox-Dodgers blockbuster trade, Roger Clemens return to baseball, and the lunacy that is Skip Bayless.
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I hope you will check out this inaugural podcast of The Sports Media Watchdogs that Mike Silva and myself will be doing live each Sunday night on Blog Talk Radio from 10PM to 11 PM ET. The podcast will cover all the NY sports teams and some national issues as well as a critique of the folks that cover the games.
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This isn’t the best commercial acting I’ve ever seen but you have to admit, it beats the hell out the SUBWAY ads with Joe Torre and Willie “But it’s toasted Joe “Randolph
Yesterday I was invited to an event at Highlander Stadium by Dunkin Donuts that featured an appearance by Highlander skipper Joe Girardi and our own Terry Collins. This was a much different experience than I’ve had at Citi Field when myself and other Mets bloggers have been invited to participate in the pre and post-game activities that the main stream sports media attend daily.
Before I get to the access I had to the managers, a little about how they do things media wise in the South Bronx. When I arrived at the stadium I headed for Gate 4, the press gate, as I entered there are two x-ray machines just like what you see at the airport. I had to put my knapsack on the conveyor belt so it could be scanned, I didn’t know if this was a routine for everyone or just anyone affiliated with the Mets that had to be screened in such a way, maybe my 50th Anniversary pin set off a red flag. From there I checked in and was told to wait for a member of the Highlander security force who would then escort me to the Audi Club.
As the Highlander constable along with a rep from Dunkin Donuts walked me to the club, the DD rep asked me if I was impressed with the way the suite numbers were named after Highlander players who wore that corresponding number, I just looked at her and said, “I’m here as a Mets blogger so I couldn’t care less” to which she started staring at the carpet like she lost a quarter and the Highlander constable started talking in his wrist. Still the long journey continued until finally we hit Yonkers where I believe the Audi club is located.
There I was surrounded by Dunkin Donuts coffees, both hot and cold and so many donuts that I thought of dialing 911 to alert Mayor Bloomberg of the felonious assault by calorie in progress at the Audi club. I grabbed an iced coffee and headed to the area where the presser was to be held. To my surprise, this wasn’t a bloggers/writers event; it was more of an owner/operator of a Dunkin Donuts event.
As Terry Collins and Joe Girardi are introduced, I see Girardi is wearing his Highlander home jersey, just the jersey not full uni and Collins is wearing his “business casual” sport coat slacks and open collar shirt as he said he knew that a Mets jersey is not a welcome site around here. That kind of pissed me off, I would have loved for him to come in in full uni or at least his Mets warm up and cap just to make a statement and stop giving in to the Mets are the step child bullshit that’s allowed to go unchallenged. It got my blood boiling enough to go on a bit of rant that I thought may have gotten myself an early exit from the event.
There weren’t any main stream media at this unveiling of Collins and Giraridi as spokesmen for Dunkin Donuts ice coffee it seems Girardi reps the iced caramel and Collins the ice moca, and the fact that the team that wins the Subway Series that manager will received a $25,000 donation to their favorite charity. When it was brought up that the teams could split the series 3-3, the DD execs looked confused and a bit embarrassed and gave the” we’ll come up with something” answer. How about giving both managers $25k a piece? For what they charge for a dozen donuts I’m sure it’s doable.
So after a lot of playful banter between the managers, the floor was open to questions. Myself and the few other bloggers (I didn’t see anyone I’ve met before but there was one other Mets blogger there or at least one other person asking Terry Collins questions besides me) were off to each side of Collins and Girardi but we had to fight for Q & A time with the fans in attendance so it was time to get aggressive.
I’ve mentioned a few times here that of all the people I’ve met and had a chance to talk to at Citi Field, Terry Collins is the only one who intimidates me, well after yesterday I think I’m over that. I think it was the location Highlander Stadium and the fact just about everyone in the room was a Highlander supporter, that I started to assert my Mets blogger self. While most of the questioners were raising their hands to ask questions I had enough and just called out to Collins and have him look my way so I can get some queries in. I ask about Jason Bay and his availability for last night’s game and Collins told me he’s be in the lineup he wouldn’t tell me where in the lineup as I guess he didn’t spring it on Bay that he was batting 8th , at 11 Am, I followed up with where will he play LF or DH and was told LF. I then continued my bogarting of the event by asking about Omar Quintanilla’ fractured finger and my new obsession, when Ruben Tejada will return as the everyday shortstop. Collins gave a look of “yo ixnay on the injuries-ay” and the rest of the attendees were like yeah enough with the Mets questions. Well too damn bad ! I don’t care about David Robinson or Brent Gardner on the DL or how many home runs Curtis Granderson will hit (Girardi is a baseball manger folks not a goddamn fortune teller) so have some fucking manners, let me get my Mets questions in and then you can go back to your inane Highlander inquires about the style of underwear Derek Jeter wears.
I asked Collins about David Wright and how it seems that now that he is the most tenured Mets player he has taken his leadership in the clubhouse up a notch. Collins agreed saying that his treatment of the young players is fantastic and when other players see his work ethic and preparation they follow suit. I then inquired about Ike Davis and if there was anything he has seen in his last few games that would lead him to believe that Davis is ready to break out of this horrendous start. Collins gave a politicians answer going on how Ike’s teammates are behind him and how he’s working so hard to get back to where the club feels he should be but nothing on if Collins thinks he’s ready to bust out. After watching Ike last night it’s going to be a very hard sell by the front office to keep him on the big league roster. Whatever it is, losing most of the last season to injury or the bout of Valley Fever, Ike’s not right and has become an almost automatic out at the plate.
The last question of the session came from a Highlander blogger I believe (I’m kicking myself in the ass for not asking his name and who what site he wrote for) who asked Joe Girardi if he could do something to help the Highlander Bloggers get access to the team. Girardi had no idea what he was talking about he told the blogger he has no control over who what or where when it comes to media access. At that point I had to give the Mets props and tell the audience that the Mets have been very gracious in letting me and other bloggers have access to Collins and his players and how fortunate we are that they give us the opportunity. Up yours NY Highlanders brass!!!
When the Q & A broke up, the Highlander blogger came over to me and said how he wished the Highlander’s would follow the Mets line of working with the bloggers. I said to him “The Highlanders are run by a bunch stuffed shirt tight asses who have no use for social media” I guess I said that a bit too loud as the Highlander constable started to walk towards me, I just put up my hand and said “it’s fine, I’ll show myself out” with that I grabbed another free iced coffee and head for the downtown 4 train. My work there was done.
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NEWS: Mariano Rivera tears his ACL
UH OH! First let me say I feel very badly for Mariano as he is the greatest closer of all time and from all you read and hear he’s a first class guy and I won’t criticize him or the Highlanders for allowing him to shag fly balls in batting practice since he has been doing this his whole career but as a Mets fan I have to say if this were Johan Santana or R.A. Dickey who suffer this freak injury the Mets would be eviscerated from every keyboard and microphone in the NY sports media universe.
It’s the same as the Bronx Bastards keeping Nick Swisher on the active roster with bad hammy, remember how the Mets and Omar Minaya were smacked upside down for actions like this but Pee Wee Cashman never gets hammered for any of his bone head moves in this town. NYC sports media is Shillsville.
Just to show how fair and balanced I am when it comes to the New York Highlanders, I received a copy of Marty Appel’s new book Pinstriped Empire: The New York Yankees from Before the Babe to after the Boss (Published by Bloomsbury USA) and I cannot wait to read it. I have had the pleasure of meeting Marty and various SABR events and have read all his books so I know Pinstriped Empire will be a winner.
NEWS: Mets Need A 5th Starter……
And it won’t be Matt Harvey. Or Jeurys Familia or Zack Wheeler so says Sandy Alderson and of course that’s the correct course of action. Right now there are three choices to fill Big Pelf’s spot (did you ever think at any time in your Metsfandom life you say to yourself “WOW I miss Mike Pelfrey”? ) Miguel Batisita is one of the choices and quite frankly I’ve seen enough of Batisita and his total ineffectiveness so why not send up Jeremy Hafner and give him the next shot or even better how about Alderson doing some good old fashion GM’ing and make a deal for a pitcher as I said yesterday Jason Marquis would be a great fit.
NEWS: NY Knickerbockers go down 0-3 to the Miami Heat
As many of you know I am not a Knicks fan, my allegiance is to the Boston Celtics. Since my C’s didn’t play last night I watched the Knicks-Heat game and my question to Knicks fans is how do you root for Carmelo Anthony ? My God, how overrated is this guy ? Again being a fan of the Celtics I’m spoiled watching Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen drag their old bones up and down the court for one last run at Banner 18 but the hype for Carmelo Anthony just escapes me.
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A Friday spew:
Got to hand it to the Amazin’s they find more exotic ways to lose baseball games than any team ever has. Last night’s “twitch” by D.J. Stirrups was a first for me. I’ve seen HBP force the winning run home and of course a walk off walk (fuck you Kenny Rogers) but a walk off balk? Never! The balk was so blatant that Terry Collins never argued nor did Stirrups, he knew what he did and just walked off the field with a “what can you do” look on his face. The only way left for the Mets to lose a game is for an outfielder to throw his glove at a fly ball for a ground rule triple. Maybe will see that this weekend?
It’s no secret that most of the MSM who cover sports pull most of their stories out of their ass and no one does it better than Jon Heyman (Joel “The Plagiarist” Sherman is a close second) who sent out this Tweet this morning about what a “competing baseball exc “ told him about how much money Jose Reyes can expect to get on the open market. There is no way to know if this is true or bullshit but since it’s Heyman I lean toward bullshit. In fact, another competing GM told me that Reyes will re-sign with the Mets by the All-Star break for a lifetime deal that includes VIP seating to David Einhorn’s new seminar “How To Fleece Clueless Sports Team Owners of Their Majority Share of Their Franchise”
If Brian Gordon was signed by the Mets the sports media in this town would be calling the Mets front office all the derogatory names their small minds could think of but since it was the desperate for pitching Highlanders who signed him, well…I’m sure he will the next subject on Yankeeography on YUCK. I’m not saying Gordon’ story is not a good one and I wish him all the success in the world as the guy has definitely paid his dues but I’m sure the Highlander media cheer leaders will overdose on this story.
As I watched the Mets come back from down 6-2 and take an 8-6 lead then have Frankie Rodriguez give up two runs in the 9th to tie the game all I could think of was July 4th 1985 and who was going to be the next Rick Camp for the Braves and who would be the next Danny Heep for the Mets
The Brooklyn Cyclones open the NY-Penn League season tonight on Staten Island (the only time the SI Highlanders get a crowd is when they play Brooklyn) then open up their home schedule tomorrow night on Coney Island. I will be spending Father’s Day on the Poor Man’s Riviera and taking in the Cyclones-Highlanders game at 5PM.
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The only team in baseball having a better October than the Mets are the SF Giants. The introductory press conference for Sandy Alderson proved a point on why the Highlander organization and fan base fear the Mets more than any team in baseball.
Highlander high strung manager, Joe Girardi was signed to a three year extension the other day and the reaction by the NY sports media was “that’s nice but did your hear? Sandy Alderson will hold a press conference on Friday”. To those too young to know this, there was a time around here that everyday was like yesterday, where folks walked around town with Mets hats and jackets and greeted one and other with “Hey, how ‘bout those Mets”. The Alderson era brings Mets fans hope and that has not been in abundance around here for a long time. Sandy Alderson also has a plan, another strategy missing in Queens as well, and most importantly he wants the same exact thing for the Mets franchise that we all want, respect and accountability.
Alderson knew just what to say yesterday. First when he talked about the NY Mets being an iconic franchise, my face was flush. I’ve gotten on my soap box time after time here about the Mets being the flagship team of the National League and how our lineage goes back to 1876 when the New York Mutuals played the first NL season and then of course in 1883 when our ancestors the New York Giants came to be. The NY Highlanders were not even a glint in Ban Johnson’s eye when NL ball was featured in NYC and for Sandy Alderson to acknowledge that made an outstanding first impression on me.
Alderson was asked about his choice for manager as Mets fans are nervous nellies because the reports and track record of Alderson’ is he goes for the weak silent type. After surviving the Dead Manger Era (Art Howe) and the Clueless Manger Era (Jeff Torborg) we waited to hear what our the new leader of free Mets world would say. When the words “I like a manager who kicks ass and takes names” rolled off his tongue, it was 1964 at the Ed Sullivan Theatre all over again. All I needed to hear was “and the Black uniforms and caps have already been shit canned” then I’d have had to been resuscitated. Alderson gets it. He knows that he not only has to build a winning team but he has to build an entertaining team and a team Mets fans want to embrace. Rooting for a losing team sucks but being a supporter of a team you can’t stand is heartbreaking.
Think about the dimension we are about to enter Mets fans. We have gone from a GM who had no time for statistical analysis of which he called “false hustle” which was really Omar Minaya verifying he was behind the times and quite frankly lazy as a GM, to a man who will use those numbers and a consensus from his staff and scouts on player evaluation for drafting, trading and free agent signing purposes. Welcome to the 21st Century Mets fans.
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Covering the New York Mets since 2003, The Eddie Kranepool Society gives daily coverage of the Amazins from a very irreverent perspective. Contact me at email@example.com