Yesterday was the day that always has the Mets PR department breakout in a cold sweat, the day the Three Schmendricks show up at St. Lonesome. For the past three springs, I’ve pleaded with Freddy, Jeffey and Uncle Saul to PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE refrain from giving a state of the organization address because it always ends badly.

Freddy Skill Sets has turned into the uncle we fear will fuck up a family function.  When asked about his finances, Freddy reaches into his pockets to show he has a fin or two to his name and proclaims himself solvent. He then proclaims “Yeah get used to me I’m gonna be here awhile” and with that the phones in the Mets ticket office at Citi Field go silent.

If Freddy’s presser wasn’t depressing enough, along came the word that Jeffey Skill Sets had gotten in touch with his inner Vera Wang and fancied himself as a t shirt designer with his Underdog t-shirt. Now I’m not against t-shirts for a cause but the one that Jeffey came up was a disgrace, cheap and childish but it did match his footy pj’s.

My idea for t-shirt for the team would be a fist holding Phillies, Marlins, Nationals and Braves players in it with the word BEWARE in blue underneath it, a nice macho, more testosterone than Ryan Braun’ urine, manly t-shirt. Not some bullshit cartoon superhero that would have gotten his ass kicked by Crusader Rabbit, Mighty Mouse and Courageous Cat, all superior cartoon animal super heroes.   

I asked the question yesterday on Twitter , which player would have the balls to step up and call bullshit on that shirt? I’m proud to say David Wright showed cojones to voice his displeasure with the whole underdog label.

Speaking of t-shirts this is the kind of t-shirt I love and thinking of getting one.


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Click right now on this link to Gary’s 7th Inning  Sketch site as this guy has a great combination of being a talented artist and having knowing the pulse of the sports world.

I love this cartoon of Reyes and Freddy Skill Sets that would make a great t-shirt

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As I mentioned yesterday, I took a trip to the South Bronx to watch the Highlanders-Indians game which was my first visit to the new Highlander Stadium, so I’d figure I’d give you  some of my observations of the ball park.

It’s big, very big much bigger than Citi Field and because of that you are much further away from the field than at Citi.

As soon as you head down the stairs of the 4 train you know you’re at HIGHLANDER STADIUM because the Highlander brand just suffocates you. Maybe suffocates is too strong or maybe as a Mets fan I wish Citi Field was as Mets-centric as Highlander Stadium. Hell, even the hot dog stand is named Highlander hot dogs. Every single inch of the place is decorated in Highlander colors and there is no mention of the old Baltimore Orioles , who became the Highlanders and then the Yankees. No its’ Yankees, Yankees and more Yankees.

They sell t-shirts for just about every member of the team and of course all the retired stars. I was very, very tempted to buy a MARTIN 1 t-shirt as I always admired Bill Martin and his style of managing. His off the field way left a lot to be desired for sure but as a manager Martin was as good if not better than anyone who ever ran a baseball team.

For me to get to Highlander Stadium is a breeze. I took the 10:30 AM ferry out of Staten Island, then walked up to Bowling Green to get the 4 train and I was in front of the ball park by 11:45. It takes me that long to get from my house to the Gowanus /BQE merge going to Citi Field.

There are no ushers at Highlander Stadium. There are security people and the Highlanders post a number you can text to report a problem in your section. I sat in Section 420B yesterday and while everything was fine there was this one young lady who kept getting up looking for friends of hers and blocked the view of some fans. One of the blocked fans must have texted the number given as a security guard with ear piece came to the section and went right to the row where this gal was and asked if everything was ok here. Pretty impressive.

The Stadium itself (it’s not a ballpark it’s a STADIUM) has no charm. As you walk in the concourse level is just like entering a high end shopping mall. There are many, many workers who hold up signs “How May I Help You” and whatever you’re looking for at the Stadium they can tell you where it is. Unfortunately that doesn’t happen at Citi Field.     

The food choices were ok I guess, there wasn’t a concession that I said I have to have that. The garlic fires looked enticing but the smell of the garlic was so overpowering I passed. There was a Boar’s Head deli which I guess is very good but I can have a Boar’s Head deli sandwich any time I want. Johnny Rocket’s? There’s one in the SI Mall. Brother Jimmy’s BBQ? I have that before NY Rangers games. Hard Rock Café? If there was ever an organization that was the antithesis of Rock n Roll it’s the Highlanders   So I settled for my favorite sausage and peppers hero.

As for the fans, I guess because it was a Sunday there were a lot of families mostly from NJ, Rockland and Orange County and beyond. Listening to some of the conversations, many were of the casual fan variety but the fan of the day had to be the woman in back of me decked out in here Rivera jersey, cap who cheered and cheered for Jeter and A-Rod who upon seeing a man walking down from the upper rows of the section with a Highlander jersey with the number 5 on it asked her the guy who was with her, “Who’s number 5” to make it worse the guy who was with her didn’t know. My son who was with me just stared ahead watching the action, shaking his head back and forth. That was the best part of the day.

Citi Field has a lot of warts, most of them brought on by ownership but the atmosphere at Citi is much better and more of a festive block party, hanging out in the back yard BALLPARK whereas Highlander STADIUM is a massive high rise apartment building  where no one knows your name and they like it that way.

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Saturday ramblings in no specific order:

While I applaud Jerry Manuel for yanking John Maine the other night and showing that if you don’t perform you’re gone, Manuel went a bit too much and it show how much he really can’t stand Maine when it was reported to Manuel that Maine said “he wanted to pitch so badly he’d go out and throw left handed” to which Manuel said with his Gangsta’ laugh “That’s not out of the question , he might have more stuff lefty” funny line but said at the wrong time. There’s nothing to joke about here with this team. The only fans buying tickets to Mets games at $iti Field are the opposing teams fans.  If you’re a Mets fan why would you want to sit in $iti Field and get ridiculed for three hours. Mets fans have been on an island the last few years, the players and management couldn’t care less that everyone who knows us as Mets fans repeatedly asks us the questions about the team failure and get the badgering for the failure of this team and organization. I don’t mind it from friends and family but it’s the front running douchebag Highlander fan who’s knowledge of the team goes as far as wearing a 2 JETER t-shirt and that the organization has won 27 World Series and if you’re a true Highlander fan that person should embarrass you as well.

David Wright has argued more third strikes this past month than he has his whole career combined. At some point the home plate umpire needs to tell Wright, “it’s not me, it’s you” The “hasn’t been good since the beaning” theory is starting too look spot on after each Wright at bat. Maybe it’s not Hojo’s fault but I just wonder if a different voice would help Wright at this point ? It’s just too easy to pitch to David right now. Start him off with an inside pitch and work your way outside, he won’t stride toward the outside at all. The ground out he hit against Rivera to finish the game was the pitch he used to go to right center with, now with this too long swing of his you get a little fart of a ground ball.

Benny Agbayani left the Chiba Lotte Marines because of the way the treated Bobby Valentine. Mike Hampton on WFAN yesterday said Valentine was the best manager he ever played for.  John Franco and Mike Piazza have said the same about Bobby V. You think any of the current Mets will have such loyalty to Jerry Manuel when he’s given his walking papers?

Let Bob Melvin or Terry Collins finish the season and then bring back Bobby V in 2011.

Kevin Russo ? Who the fuck is Kevin Russo? Now every year when this played out Mayor’s Trophy series is played we’ll have to read a Where Are They Now feature on Kevin Russo as he works as a valet parker at the Tropicana in Atlantic City.

Welcome back Uncle Elmer.

So Roy Oswalt has agreed to be traded, good for him, would he be a fit on the Mets?  Hummm  tough to say. At first glance you’d say of course but he’s 32 yrs old with a history of back trouble and his contract runs through 2012 with $15 mil for this year and $32 mil the next two years but there is a $2mil buyout in 2012. It’s not the money that would scare me off but the back issue would and the fact that Oswalt is a countryboy and played in a city that watches baseball until football training camp opens so that would be a concern as well but what would it take personnel wise to bag Oswalt ? Would the ‘Stros take a big bag of junk like Ollie Perez and Luis Castillo ? Or Perez and Fernando Martinez (can we all agree it just isn’t going to happen for this kid?)  and a low level busher?    Like I say the point is moot the Skill Sets won’t pay the money.

It may be ridiculous that the Highlanders have this ban on iPad’s and laptops by fans coming into The Mall on River Avenue and they are ridiculous with their law and order policies on what you can and can not bring into the park (I want to know how much of a kickback security gets from the bowling alley across the street for holding bags? What’s the number for NYC Consumer Affairs ?) but really why do you need to use a laptop or iPad as a fan during a game ? Sit back and watch the game don’t make a job out of it.

Time to finish things off on the parquet floor starting tonight, as pissed as I am over the Mets who cower under the bed when things get tough, I have to make a 180 degree move as a Celtics fan. The C’s are so confident they border on cocky but when Paul Pierce looks in the camera and tells Celtics fans that “we’re coming home to finish this off” and ends it with a wink , I believe him, I mean he is The Truth right? But what I love is the way the team leaders are not afraid to call out anyone on the team, I still laugh at Big Baby Davis after fouling in a bad spot in the game and getting called out from the bench by Kevin Garnett yelling “ I know , I know I fucked up, I fucked up”   Can I get David Wright to do that just once?

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Instead of ranting here on the Bad Ollie Experience of yesterday just listen to my rant on Pro Baseball Central from last night. I think I set a record for the most times using the phrase “consistency in the mechanics” Also Ben Kabak of River Ave Blues was on to talk Highlanders.


Of all people The Old Grumpy Man has a positive piece on Gary Sheffield joining the Mets.


Darren O’Day had a very tough day dealing with the death of Nick Adenhart. The LA Times also chronicles the long list of tragedies that have struck the Angels franchise.


You have got to go to the Gary, Keith and Ron site and purchase the new Ralph Kiner shirt. This t-shirt should be standard uniform for all Mets fans it’s absolutely stunning.


Thanks a lot David Lennon for now setting of a wide spread panic through out Mets Fandom.

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I don’t give a rats ass about the numbers and Hall of Fame credentials Pepsodent smile and all that, my favorite Mets catcher of all time is was and may forever be Jerry Grote. Not even close. Go ahead flame my ass about this I don’t give a fuck you hear me all you Piazza and Carter fans.  My guy Grote was the original Captain Red Ass.  Nobody fired a ball back to a pitcher (including The Franchise) with purpose like Grote did.  Add in the fact that he wore a wool baseballall cap with the bill turned up (no protective helmet for him) that my young whipper snappers readers was a man’s catcher.

So why the “Get off my lawn” diatribe you wonder? Well the good folks at The Hardball Time have an outstanding post on the comparison between Mike Piazza, Pudge Rodriguez and <head bowed> Johnny Bench that fired my middle aged ass up this morning

For all my love of Grote I also have a deep respect and admiration for JB. In fact last time I was up in Cooperstown I bought a Reds t-shirt with BENCH 5 on the back. Check out the posting as it breaks down all three’s offensive and defensive numbers   

Still, the guy I want behinf the plate for my team is Jerry Grote.  Now GET OFF MY LAWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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My son’s class is on a school trip to Philadelphia today. When the trip was formulated the school principal called the house to see if my wife would come on the trip as a chaperone. When she said she wasn’t sure if she would be free for the day I called out “Tell him I’ll go”, it seems the he knows of my Mets fanaticism and said “NO WAY DO WE WANT YOUR HUSBAND WITH US IN PHILLY” The same thing happen just this past weekend. My wife and her sister thought it would be fun for all of us to go away for the Thanksgiving weekend. Sounded good to me and I thought Lancaster PA would be great as we love the Willow Valley resort and we could do some Christmas shopping while the kids go to the pool and get involved in the other activities at the resort. My wife, sister in law and brother in law all looked at each other and said “Maybe we would do better going upstate” Okay I’ll go along with that. Then friends of ours from Harrisburg called and I said “hey maybe with the kids on Christmas vacation we will come up and visit you guys”  the response on the other end of the phone was “Uhhhhh Steve you know what, we’re coming down to Brooklyn so how about we come over to your place”? Sure any time you know that you guys are always welcome” Now I admit I’m not always the sharpest tool in the shed but after I got off the phone I confronted my wife “Why the hell won’t anyone let me go to Pennsylvania”?


All she said was “look in the mirror “. I did and I saw a long sleeve Mets t-shirt, a Mets watch on my wrist and a Mets cap on my head. My Mets socks soon to be joined by my Mets Reeboks and then my Mets jacket.  I then asked OK so what? She said look at what you’re wearing, all the Mets stuff.  All you wear is Mets stuff you even have a Mets tie for the once in a blue moon time you have to wear one” Then she explained that everyone who is relative or close friend  knows that me and my wardrobe plus the Phillies world series win and Phillies fans is not a very good mix. They also know that is it’s not Mets gear on me it would be Rangers or Giants apparel which would be a problem as well. So I asked my dear wife “what will it take for us to go to Pennsylvania”? She said “well, you would have to start dressing like an adult and no Mets, Giants or Rangers shirts, hats or jackets” So I guess I won’t be visiting the Keystone state any time soon. Just as well those Amish annoy the shit out of me anyway.


You know I was doing pretty good with this Citi Group contract that the Mets are reaping big benefits from, even though the thought of 50, 000 workers being let go and the government is now an owner of the firm angers the shit out of me.  My father worked for 46 years for Citi (back then it was known as First National City Bank) and my mother still reaps some nice benefits from his retirement package so I have a vested interest here. But I still hate corporate names on stadiums and arenas because not only does it look like shit on the facility marquee, these deals never last and every two three the names are changed and no one is innocent. But I ranted and raved but I was content that the ball park will be great and all the state of the art amenities will take the sting out of the $iti name on the façade. The same way I talked myself into saying that losing my hair is great as I save money on hair gel. But (always a but) my pal Jeffey had to go and open his big yap and now my balls are in an uproar all over again. Here are some of the quotes that have me hooked up to a blood pressure machine:


{We’re proud to be partners with Citi, ” Wilpon said. “They’ve received some money to help them through tough times. But if they do a good job of marketing, and we can help them bring eyeballs to help sell their brand, they’re going to come out of this and pay back the public.”}



What kind of positive marketing are we talking about? The managemennt of CitiGroup has run an institution that has been around over 100 years into the ground so how does naming rights solve incompetent management? How are the Mets going to “sell the brand”?  Are they going to up the money market interest rate for every game the Mets win?  If I open a checking account do I get a night in the Citi Corp suite? Do I show my Citi Group ATM card at the Shake Shack for a free burger? ‘Splain Jeffey “Splain.?


Then we have Eric Eve who must be a Skill Set relative as he also makes no sense when he speaks:


{ Eric Eve, Citigroup’s senior VP of global community relations, also addressed questions about how Citi can justify a $400 million naming-rights expenditure (over 20 years) while receiving $20 billion in taxpayer-funded bailout money.


“This is a smart business decision, and it’s a smart business decision we made two years ago, ” Eve said. “From a marketing platform, these games will be seen by a global audience, so it’s still a smart business decision by Citi and we stand by that decision.


“We recognize these are trying times for everyone. But coming here today, I see people working. I’m able to see all of the nonprofits that we’re going to be able to bring to this field and enjoy these games. Yes, it’s smart business, but it’s also smart and important for us to build and strengthen community relationships.”}



THIS DOES NOT COMPUTE!!!!!!!! If this business decision is so smart then why is the U.S. government bailing out the firm to the tune of $20 billion dollars? Who is the Citi Group CEO? Ralph Kramden?


Then we have this golden nugget from Jeffey-Poo:


 Wilpon stressed the idea that Citigroup needs to continue making money if it is to pay back its bailout money.


{“They have to be able to keep doing business, ” Wilpon said. “To protect the taxpayers’ money, they have to be a going concern. If they stop marketing, all of the other companies they’re competing against will zoom right past them, and they’ll never have a chance to catch up again.” }


Hummmmmmm Jeffey, they already got “ZOOMED” that’s why we the taxpayers are bailing them out? YESSSSSSSH!



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Why? as per Deadspin, Eyre was the Phillies pitcher would gave the greatest quote about the Used Car Salesman and his Commissionership when asked about Bud and the postponement of Game 5:

{“That fucking guy (Selig) I wouldn’t let him supervise one of my shits”}

Classic fucking line 


By the way check out the link at the bottom of that Deadspin post  of one nasty t shirt. If I see this guy in NYC I will slice his balls off

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