FREDDY WILPON SPPPPIIIINNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!

Well, Freddy Skill Sets came pretty close to being truthful with the fan base when he was interviewed by Brain Costa of the WSJ. Fred was in Arizona (wow Bolt goes to Phoenix?) for the quarterly owners meeting.  When asked about his financial struggle and the toll it is taking on him, the Mets organization and its fan base, Freddy Sez:

“How could anybody deny that it’s been a challenging time?” Wilpon said. “But I came from nothing. I meet the challenges. So does Saul and Jeff and our whole family. We’re meeting the challenges and I think we’ll be fine.”

“I think we’ll be fine”? Really?  How so Freddy ? What’ch ya keepin’ on the down low from us? The new minority shares are a band aid on a gaping wound but you know what, maybe the Skill Sets luck is changing as his Guardian Angel, Bud Selig is staying on for 2 more years as baseball czar and Wilpon enabler and as always has Freddy’s back:

“He’s been a great owner,” Selig said. “Loves his team. He’s everything you’d want in a local owner. He’s had some economic problems, not caused by himself, and I have a lot of faith in him that he’s working his way through them.”

And he’s oh, so good,

And he’s oh, so fine,

And he’s oh, so healthy,

In his body and his mind.

He’s a well respected man about town,

Doing the best things so conservatively.

Then Freddy was asked about Jose Reyes and his thoughts on Reyes:

“Reyes was 17 years old when I met him,” Wilpon said. “He spoke pretty good English at that time, too. He said to me, ‘Can you give me some advice?’ I said, ‘Yeah, never wipe that smile off your face.’”

Humm, “never wipe that smile off your face” looks like Freddy eats at Wo Hop like I do. Thankfully for Reyes’ sake Freddy didn’t hit him up with “Kid, I know a guy who can make you rich beyond belief”

Here is a nice picture on a rainy, windy, cold New York afternoon

Years before we would get to the 50th Anniversary of the NY Mets, Dana Brand was all pumped up about putting together a symposium at Hofstra University where he taught, on the history of the Mets. As you all know Dana passed away last year but his dream of having a conference at Hofstra will become a reality on April 26-28. Please check out all the details here and hopefully we can all meet up at Hofstra that weekend and celebrate not just the legacy of the NY Mets but of Dana Brand as well.

Steve Popper, the Mets beat writer for the Bergen Record is leaving the Mets beat and will become the Records man at MSG following the NY Knickerbockers. Not only is this a big loss for Mets fans but a huge loss for Mets bloggers like myself and other bloggers who have had the privilege of meeting Steve at various team functions. Many of the beat writers and media folk won’t even give us a response to a hello but Popper (as well as Adam Rubin and Kevin Kernan ) has always been friendly to us and has been gracious in sharing his thoughts with us about the Mets. Good luck Steve and thanks.

 

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CRICKETS, CRICKETS, CRICKETS………………….

Remember this? Mex’s power nap!

I don’t know if it’s the calm before the storm or a sign that the Mets will remain dormant in winter time news but there is absolutely  nothing baseball wise coming out a of Flushing. I can get pushing the new uni and all the pomp and circumstance for this season 50th Anniversary but for the love of Casey Stengel is there any baseball news of substance coming from the front office?

Here’s what we’re stuck with today as “Mets news”

Lenny Dykstra fucked up his life and now is in rehab and when he gets out he will be a new man and yada yada yada. You know what, Frank Cashen should be given more credit than he ever has for when you look back at the Mets of the 80’s for all their on field success there were a lot of them who couldn’t handle the fame, fortune and everything that goes with it (I thank you all-Freddie Mercury) . With all the celebrations of the ’86 Mets maybe we should reflect more on this bunch as failures, who if they had any kind of self-control would have won multiple championships.

Adam Rubin writes about the Skill Sets asking for a non-jury trial when their case against the Madoff trustees goes to trial next March.  The judge in the case however ruled in favor of Piccard so the case will be heard by a jury. I agree with Michael Kline who feels the Skill Sets will be hurt by a jury trial as this case is complex and a jury of 12 laypeople may not get the whole understanding of the facts to make a fair judgment.  A jury trial will hurt the Skill Sets for sure.

Please Sandy gives us something to chew on, a bone, anything………………………..

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PUTTING A BOW ON YESTERDAY PRESSER AT CITI FIELD

 

 

Just a few loose ends from yesterday’s press conference:

The date for Banner Day will be announced shortly. It will not be between games of a double header (I guess that’s too old school) but after the completion of a game most likely a weekend game.

There is a website dedicated to the 50th Anniversary of the Mets, Mets50.com, where you can enter a contest to win Mets season tickets by submitting your Mets memories

Old Timers Day as we know it will not be on the schedule instead the Mets Alumni will be out in full force throughout the season. If you have ever attended a game and came in through the Jackie Robinson Rotunda while members of the Alumni were on hand you know how special it is to meet and greet the former Mets.

The team is putting together a 5 for 50 ticket plan where you can buy a ticket for 5 games for $50 bucks. Get it? $50 for 5 tickets for the 50th Anniversary

Big thank you to Danielle and Shannon for inviting me to yesterday’s festivities, it was nice to see Shannon running around on her healed up ankle but the sight of the day was Ike Davis pushing Jay Horowitz around in his wheelchair as he recovers from a broken ankle.

I have a ton of real work to get to today so this post will be it for now. Enjoy my soft and fuzzy side for today. Tomorrow I’ll get to real baseball stuff with the Mets which means my snarl should be back.

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THE 2012 NY METS SEASON WILL BE GOLDEN

It was quite the day at Citi Field today as the organization announced plans for the celebration of its 50th Anniversary.  I was fortunate to have been invited to the festivities of the day and as I left Citi Field I felt invigorated about being a Mets fan.

I’ve all but given up trying to explain to non-Mets fans why it is I love this team so much. It’s like looking at one of those pictures where if you stare at it a 3D figure pops off the page or when you look at a cloud formation and see a horse or George Washington’s face and the person with you says they don’t see a thing, when I see a Mets uniform or a collage of events like the video we saw at today’s press conference it’s makes you want to shout I SEE IT!  I SEE IT! I BELIEVE! I BELIEVE!

Hard to imagine it is 50 years since Joan Payson brought National League baseball back to NYC. What’s even harder for me to believe that I’ve been attending Mets games for the past 47 of those years.  When  I saw David Wright come out in the retro home uni,  ivory colored with blue pinstripes and Mets in blue with orange trim and WRIGHT 5 on his back and Lucas Duda standing tall in the classy road gray with NEW YORK in old English style letters  (Ike Davis wore the snow-white uni with the same blue and orange Mets and NO BLACK SHADOW!!!!!!) all I could think of was Jack Fisher handing me a peach between games of a double header in 1965, weekend series at Shea when the Dodgers and Giants would come to town with Koufax and Mays, listening to my father talk about “this Seaver kid” in 1967, relatives and family friends who were Brooklyn Dodger s fans happy in 1968 that Gil Hodges was coming back to the Mets to be their manager, being 10 years old and shocked to find out that Yogi Berra played for the Yankees???? WOW! Crying when Jimmy Quals broke up Tom Seaver’s perfect game and brought to tears again nine years later when Seaver was shipped out to Cincinnati, the euphoria of 1969 and 1986 and the heartbreak of the 2000 World Series and 2007 NLCS. The Mets are a microcosm of life, great times, tough times, and puzzling times.

As I said Mets bloggers were invited to the presser and I was pleased to sit with Ed Marcus, Greg Prince and Matt Cerrone but there was one blogger at event today who in the words of Yogi “made this day necessary” and that’s Shannon of The Mets Police. Shannon through his site pushed management to bring back Banner Day and to drop the black jerseys and caps (I am thrilled to report that the black cap with the blue bill is gone for good) and for that we Traditionalist Mets fans are forever grateful.

With so much gloom and doom coming from the fan base so far this offseason it was nice to be a part of a positive Mets day.

Now for the hold on to your Mets cap part of the post, I got to meet David Howard today and it was a very pleasant experience (no, I’m not going soft here I’m just being honest) we shook hands and spoke  and had a few laughs and we even talked about our kids, see on the kick off of the Mets Golden Anniversary it’s all good.

 

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WHERE HAVE YOU GONE NELLY D, METS FANS TURN THEIR LOSING EYES TO YOU

Rumors were flying again yesterday that Jose Reyes signed with the Flamboyant Fish but those rumors seem premature but it looks like the Mets are going forward in the post-Reyes era by letting it known that #Imwith28 will be given the 2nd base job and team with Ruben Tejeda to secure the middle infield. In the name of the father…… The major problem with #Imwith28 is his two best spots on defense are filled by I Like Ike at 1B and D-Wright at 3rd. Too bad #Imwith28 wasn’t a catcher, hummmmm there’s an idea.

Chris Jaffe informs us this morning that today is the 25th Anniversary of Freddy Skill Sets becoming the sole owner of the New York Mets buying the rest of Nelson (make mine a) Doubleday controlling interest. In his column, Jaffe, informs us that the Mets have played just a tad over .500 ball since Freddy’s takeover (2,017-1,962 1962? Oh the irony) but have an overall losing record since 1989. Enjoy your Monday.

You load sixteen tons,  what do you get?

 Another day older and deeper in debt

  Saint Peter don’t you call me cause I can’t go

   I owe my soul to the company store

 

Look, I’m a fan of the New York Football Giants and you’re a fan of the NY Jets and we’re both upset today after how our teams fared yesterday but my question to you today is would you be surprised if the Patriots won the Super Bowl? I wouldn’t unless of course their played the Giants in the big game ‘cause the G-Men got the Pats number. Oh and how about BB HC of NEP telling the J-E-T-S defense to felaite him? Oh my!

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NY METS ANNOUNCE EXPANSION OF CITI FIELD FANWALK FOR 2012

The Mets have announced today that they are expanding the Fanwalk where you can purchase a brick with this years 50th Anniversary patch on it. I have a brick from when the Mets first offered them for the Fanwalk, in fact when you purchase a Fanwalk brick you get one on either the first or third base side outside of Citi Field and you get one for your home, mine is on the mantle of the fireplace in my dining room so when family and friends who are Highlander fans they must stare at it while having dinner.

Here is the release put out by the Mets on how who can purchase your Fanwalk Brick:

METS EXPAND CITI FIELD FANWALK FOR 2012 SEASON

 

“Citi Field Fanwalk: Mets 50th Anniversary” Bricks Are On Sale Now

 

Purchase Includes Brick Replica, Net Proceeds to Benefit Mets Foundation;

Mets 2011 Season Ticket and Plan Holders to Receive 15% Discount

 

FLUSHING, N.Y., November 2 – The New York Mets today announced the expansion of the Citi Field Fanwalk to include a new offering of bricks in honor of the franchise’s 50th anniversary to be installed for the 2012 season along the first and third base sides of the ballpark outside the Hodges VIP and Seaver VIP entrances. Citi Field Fanwalk: Mets 50th Anniversary commemorative bricks will provide fans the opportunity to recognize their families, friends, and favorite Mets memories since the franchise first began play in 1962.

 

Bricks are on sale now at Mets.com/Fanwalk or by phone at 877-NYM-WALK (696-9255).

 

The first two editions of Citi Field Fanwalk bricks sold out with fans purchasing more than 24,000 bricks.  The first offering of bricks directly outside the Jackie Robinson Rotunda was installed prior to the inaugural season at the new Mets home in 2009.  The Fanwalk was extended down the first base and third base lines the following year with Citi Field Fanwalk: Amazin’ Moments bricks commemorating great moments in Mets history.

 

Fans will be able to purchase bricks in three sizes:

  • 8” x 8” brick engraved with the Mets 50th anniversary logo or Mets script logo and four lines of text for $395
  • 8” x 8” brick with six lines of text for $340
  • 4” x 8” brick with three lines of text for $195

 

Each Citi Field Fanwalk: Mets 50th Anniversary brick includes a complimentary replica, with additional copies and display cases available for purchase.  All brick engravings will be text only, and each proposed message is subject to the approval of the Mets.  Corporate logos and slogans are not permitted.

 

Mets 2011 Season Ticket and Plan Holders will receive a 15% discount on Fanwalk bricks.

 

A portion of each brick purchase is tax deductible and net proceeds will be donated to the Mets Foundation, which will distribute the funds to area charities.  A registered 501(c) 3 charity, the Mets Foundation takes no portion of the funds raised to offset internal costs. The Mets pay 100% of the Foundation’s overhead to ensure that the entirety of a donation is directed toward helping others.

 

The Mets will reveal the design for their 50th anniversary logo and plans for the season-long celebration in the coming weeks.

 

 

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PITCH AND CATCH

So Jose Reyes is nominated for the Hank Aaron Award which honors the best offensive player in both leagues. To vote for Reyes go here and remember if Reyes wins it means more leverage in his contract talk with the Mets. You’ve been warned!

MLB Trade Rumors has a list of players slated for free agency due to injury or plain old ineffectiveness. Two names on the list have future Mets written all over them, RHP Jonathan (Guns Of) Broxton  and RHP Joel Zumaya.

Toby Hyde has a detailed look at the Catcher position in the Mets farm system and as you can see, it’s slim pickins’ not only at the minor league level but with the big team as well. Josh Thole may be pretty good with a bat but his quite inadequate behind the plate. Ronnie Paulino I think looks better defensively than he really is because of how bad Thole is. So what to do? Trying to find a good receiving backstop is very tough and trading for one will be difficult, a guy like Chris Iannetta would look nice in a Mets retro 50th Anniversary uniform but are the Rockies willing to deal him away? Hell I’d even go for Braves backup David Ross at this point. Omar Santos anyone?

The more I watch these post season games the more I side with letting Jose Reyes go elsewhere and invest in pitching, pitching and even more pitching.

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METS INJURIES SPRED TO FRONT OFFICE, PODCASTS, PODCASTS AND MORE PODCASTS AND 9-11-11 GAS BAGS ON PARADE

Before I get started here let me first send out best wishes and speedy recovery to Mets VP of Media Relations, Jay Horowitz and to Director of Media Relations, Shannon Forde who are both hobbling around on injured ankles. Jay seems to have it the worst as he scheduled to have surgery Monday on his broken ankle, so hopefully both Jay and Shannon get better soon.

Time for a little self- promotion, first for all you who are football fans reading this site, I co-host a football podcast on Blog Talk Radio called NY FOOTBALL BLOGS LIVE with Frankie “The Sports Guy” Maniscalo. Last night we had running back Chris Ogbonnaya  of the Houston Texans as a guest. Tonight I will be co- hosting another episode of NY FOOTBALL BLOGS LIVE at 9PM ET with Anthony DiMoro of SportsRantz.com. Our guest will be Green Bay Packers blogger, J.C. Lombardi of PackerBackerBlog.com.

Last night, I was also a guest on Baseball Bloggers Alliance President, Daniel Shoptaw’ Cardinal 70 podcast. Daniel and I spoke about the Mets and the upcoming 10th Anniversary of September 11th and about how I became a Mets fan.

Also on the podcast front, the folks over at Mets Kult of Personality had the pleasure of interviewing former Mets pitcher Gary Gentry last night on their show.  Gentry in his rookie season of 1969, got the win in Game 3 of the NLCS and a win in Game 3 of the World Series. Both games were saved by Nolan Ryan and the World Series win was a nice tidy 5-0 shutout where Gentry and Ryan out dueled Jim Palmer.

I’m already overwhelmed with the coverage of the 10th Anniversary of the attack of September 11th 2001, maybe its because every day for me is a remembrance of 9-11, since I work four blocks from Ground Zero. I also see the U.S. Coast Guard ships equipped with machine guns escorting the SI Ferry I ride to and from work, and the NYPD Hercules Task Force, decked out in their full fighting regalia guarding the Subway stations. I see the Angel’s Corner in the Grasmere section of Staten Island just off Hylan Blvd where the residents of Staten Island who were murdered that day are memorialized.  I see the people who have moved downtown and in Tribeca, young people, young couples with young children who give me hope that maybe this city, this part of town, after ten years is back and as vibrant as ever.   There is nothing better than walking down Greenwich St on a late summer afternoon with the restaurants busy and kids from Stuyvesant High School and Manhattan Community College filling the streets laughing and enjoying each other’s company.

Sunday will be a very solemn day in NYC as the people who lost friends and loved ones will meet at the sight of their murder but instead of having their time to reflect and mourn, they will be inundated by gas bag politicians who will give speeches and make sad faces and make believe they actually give a shit about them and those they lost. In the days after the attack, the country pulled together and showed the pride and guts that makes the United States the great country it is, but ten years later, that’s all gone.  It’s all about prepackaged, over made up, and uniformed media whores going on every cable news channel to tell you that they are the person to lead this country to glory when all they are style without  substance.

Think about it, in the ten years since the attacks, the U.S. Government has spent trillions on two wars we should have never had been involved in nor could win and even if we did win what was the prize, while schools are still underfunded, a health care system that would ensure all Americans the right to have medical coverage is mocked and torn apart which wouldn’t be so bad if the critics had a another plan, which they don’t, we’re told that Social Security is a bad thing as is raising taxes on the richest 1 % of Americans. But it is still ok to fuck over the working class American who does more in an hour than some ass hat Congressman or Senator does in a full term of office.

Yes they will all be here downtown on Sunday in their dark suits with speeches in hand, especially the Dwarf Emperor of NYC who defied the law that said all you get is two terms in office and you move on but that law did not pertain to a man with billions. He will praise the FDNY, the same FDNY that he wanted to close the firehouses they work in and are at the ready to leave at a moments notice into situations most would run away from. He will then talk about the heroism of the NYPD the same NYPD that he decided had too many member’s and needed to be cut.    

Yes they will all be there, gas bags of every size, shape and political party trying to outdo each other in the grief and outrage of the day. Me? I’ll go get a slice a pizza and hang out on  Greenwich St and marvel at the people of NYC who deal with terrorist attacks and threats, earthquakes, hurricanes, blizzards, heat waves and phony do nothing politicians by never giving up and never backing down. That’s the American way.

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A LITTLE OF THIS, A LITTLE OF THAT KIND OF POST TODAY

 

Here is today’s stream of (un) consciences in no particular order of importance or relevancy:

Why send Lucas Duda to the Instructional League to work on playing right field when he can just be left there for the next 45 games of the season.  While we’re at it, let Mike Baxter play some 1st base and even a little centerfield as well. I don’t know if you’ve heard but the Mets are not going to the post season….shhhhhhhhhh……keep it on the downlow…….

It’s been a pleasure watching the maturation of Jon Niese as a pitcher and a player this season. Niese seems to be over his problems of fatigue and injury. His BB is down as his K/BB ratio is up to 3:1. He’s kept the ball in the park as well with his HR rate lower than last year but his hits to innings pitched is still high. He has become one of the young leaders of this team as he handled the disappointment of a loss due to the two errors of neophyte shortstop Ruben Tejeda like a seasoned pro.

Terry Collins has stopped with giving pep talks and is focused on watching who gives all and who gives none down the stretch of the season. Good move, I’m going to do the same thing, no more rally cries for Mets fans to support this team. If you can’t see the positive change this season in this organization, you’re not worth preaching to anyway.

When it comes to the 10th Anniversary of the attack of September 11th, the last thing I’m concerned with is what time the Mets are playing and what kind of caps they’ll wear. Quite frankly, the day should be a day of remembrance and reflection on the tragic events of that day and how that day has changed our lives forever.  

The news that ESPN 710 in Los Angeles will be broadcast New York Jets games this season made we wonder if the Dodgers and Giants ever broadcast games back to New York when the left after the 1957 season?

Jerry Reese is lucky he’s not the GM of the Mets or Highlanders as the outcry of his non-moves and letting key Giants players leave would be off the charts hysterical. Can you imagine the screaming headlines if Sandy Alderson or Pee Wee Cashman, after two seasons of not making the playoffs and losing a game in embarrassing manner to your biggest arch rival, stood pat while big time free agents signed with other teams?  Football may be the number one sport in America but baseball still rules the roost in NYC.

If you are not following Giants VP of Communications, Pat Hanlon on Twitter (@giantspathanlon) you are missing out. Hanlon is the loyalist of loyal Mara employees and will take on all critics of Big Blue. Rex Ryan gets a lot of pub for his outlandish behavior but he’s a wallflower compared to Giants Pat.

By the way, all the Giants fans that are ready to leap off the George Washington Bridge thinking this season will be a disaster calm the fuck down. Let the season play out before you leap off the bridge.

Congrats to David Wright as he passed Ed Kranepool as the All-Time Mets leader in Total Bases. See, I can take the high road sometimes.

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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.

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