Mets Fans Shouldn’t Boo Chipper Jones, They Should Boo The Skill Sets Instead

Chipper Jones makes his last appearance as a major league baseball player in NYC this weekend. The Mets, like other teams around the league, will honor Jones as he sails off into retirement. Most of you will boo and kill the organization for honoring a player who was a thorn in the Mets side for the last 19 years. Your anger towards Jones is ill advised, your anger should be towards the Skill Sets for not heading the lesson that Jones was teaching the Mets whenever they were the Braves opponent, that lesson was “you need me to be a Met”.

Think about it, Jones owned the Mets, not just with his lifetime .314/.410/.553 splits against them or the 49 home runs he hit against them either, what Jones tried to show the Mets was, you need to act and think like a winner as to become one. When Jones would come to NY he played the stage better than any Tony award winning actor. We chanted “LAAAAAARRRRRYYYYYY, LAAAAAAARRRRRYYYYYYY” and he ate it up. He loved the fact that Mets fans had a passion, fire, and desire that matched his. For a guy born in the South, he had a New York mentality and I think a want to play here as well.

Why didn’t the Mets ever make a strong move on Jones when he was a free agent?  You would have thought an owner whose team was owned by a superstar player who had that balls to the wall, win at all cost mentality,  would say “hell if I can’t beat him then I want to join him”.

As much as Jones loved the Braves, Atlanta and playing in the South, I have to think is the Mets made an offer above and beyond like they did to land Pedro Martinez and Carlos Beltran, Jones would have had a difficult time turning them down. We know his love for the city and Shea Stadium was so strong he named one of his sons Shea.   Back in 2000, Jones signed a 6 yr/$90mil deal with Atlanta but when that deal was up, he re-signed for 3yrs at $40 mil, this was in the days of the Mets swimming in Madoff bucks so the thought that Freddy Skill Sets couldn’t have raised the stakes for Jones is ridiculous. I don’t remember if there was talk of the Mets making a pitch for Jones back in 2000 or even in 2006, I doubt there was but in hind sight there should have been. It could be that the Skill Sets felt that going after Jones and even signing Jones would have led to fans revolting that a despised opponent would join their beloved Mets.  Well, I guess we see what happens when you give in to the lunatic fringe of your fan base.

This is why, as much as I loathe the Highlanders and old Boss George, he knew players like Darryl Strawberry, Doc Gooden and David Cone were the kind of players he needed to win championships. You think he cared that they were former Mets? Hell, he signed Wade Boggs to play 3rd base who played for a team and organization he hated with a passion.

Think about Chipper as a Met. Imagine him with a kid like Jordany Vladespin ? Remember he called out Jason Heywood who came up as one of the hottest prospects in baseball for not playing due to fatigue. Jones went right at Heywood and made the Braves right fielder grow up fast.  I can’t say the Mets would have won a World Series championship with Jones on the team but I could guarantee he would have had no problem stepping up and holding his teammates accountable for their play.  I’m also sure he would have gone down as one of the greatest Mets players of all time.

So when Chipper Jones comes up to bat for the first time on Friday night, what Mets fans should do is turn towards the owner’s box at Citi Field and give the Skill Sets a rousing standing boo not just for never pursuing Jones when he was a free agent but for not having the smarts to understand the lesson Chipper was teaching.

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HIT? NO, I’LL FOLD

“Perception is reality in our game and the perception I have right now is we’ve folded it up,” Collins said in a passionate postgame news conference. “You want to see intenseness? You want to see me be intense? You guys are going to see it. I won’t play that game. You come and play the game right. I don’t care what the situation is. I don’t care about anything but playing the game correctly. That’s all I care about. Our fans should be upset. I don’t blame them one bit.”

Those are the words of Mets manager Terry Collins, who kind of erupted after the Mets latest loss yesterday. The Washington Nationals, a team that could become a big thorn in the Mets side the next few years, came into Citi Field with nothing to play for except that they are a professional baseball team that gets paid a lot of money to compete and they are managed by Davey Johnson, who actually won a championship in blue and orange clothing and was raised in Baltimore under Earl Weaver during the halcyon days of the Orioles of the 1970’s

As I was getting ready to do this post I read Mike Silva’s NY Baseball Digest and he hits on all the same points I was ready to lay out here so thank you Mike you’ve saved me from another 1,000 post on the demise of the Mets. Silva’s analysis of David Wright is 100 % spot on:

Although David wants to win and tries hard, he continues to allow his surroundings to get the better of him. When the team goes bad he doesn’t rise above it; he becomes part of the problem instead of the solution. He needs to realize that behavior gets him the same treatment as the other 24 players; $14 million dollar salary and All Star resume be damned. I wouldn’t trade Wright coming off this type of season, but he needs to be told that 2012 is his last chance to turn his Mets career around and show the organization he is closer to the player we saw from 2005-2008.”

You know, we all killed Freddy Skill Sets when he said that Wright was a good kid and a good ballplayer but not a guy who carries the team, and guess what? Freddy was on target. Wright is a good baseball player who would thrive on a team that has outstanding players. He’s more a supporting actor than a leading man. Quite frankly, I don’t know what value he has in the trade market over the winter but I would think Sandy Alderson will find out.

Speaking of the GM, he’s been mighty quiet during this tailspin, is that a good thing or a bad thing? Is he sitting back taking notes of who has “folded up” to decide who stays and who goes?  Most likely.

So tonight let’s see if the manager is serious or just giving lip service.  I’d sit Wright and Pagan and if Bay can’t go please, enough of Willie Harris all he’s good at is preparing whip cream pies, put Nick Evans in LF and let Josh Satin play 1B. I know there isn’t much to choose from but the mangers best friend is the bench when he wants to get his message across.

 

 

 

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HEY, I KNOW WHERE I’M NOT WANTED

Lot’s of news today about the new and improved ticket prices the Mets have announced. Yesterday afternoon, Dave The Shyster held a conference call with Mets bloggers to explain what a great deal the Mets were laying out for their fans as far as ticket prices go for 2011. As usual, yours truly was not invited to this event as I have found out from some very good sources that I have as much chance of being invited to a bloggers event at Citi Field as Keith Olbermann has of being the keynote speaker at the Tea Party Convention. From what I hear, the ownership hates the tone of this site and my way of expressing my opinions of the way the team is operated. When I heard this I was beaming with pride. Throughout the years that I have been posting opinion on this site, nine years now, I have been approached by numerous entities asking me to join their websites and to have The Eddie Kranepool Society join a more established network. But there was also a provision that I’d have to have each post reviewed and edited and in no way could I use any profanity. How can you write about the Mets the last few years and not use the word “Fuck”? Any way, I’ve always declined the invites. 

I write this blog out of love of the NY Mets and of baseball, the same way I love doing THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN and now as a host of BASEBALL BLOGGERS ALLIANCE BASEBALL TALK on Blog Talk Radio. As for an empty suit like David Howard, it’s probably better we never meet up as I might pull a  Muhammad Ali  and do to him what Ali did to Ernie Terrell in 1967 when he kept landing body blows and said “What’s my blog fool, what’s my blog”?

Believe me when I tell you, I’m writing this post to answer all the e-mails and phone calls I get asking me why I don’t get invited to this events. Whether I get invited or not at least I know that the Skill Sets know who I am and I’m a thorn in their side and I wear that as a badge of honor.

I find it quite amusing that the Mets are announcing these new and improved ticket prices, what other choice did they have? The team played in front of ten’s of thousands of empty seats and during the month of September, closed the concession stands in the Promenade Level.  The team still has not admitted (nor the Highlanders as well) the short sight ness of making the seats behind home plate, Club Seats for folks who could not give a shit about the Mets. Guys in suits and chicks named Buffy don’t root, root root for the home team. I’m far from envious of these people by the way as I had access to a suite at Shea and (are you sitting down for this one) and at Highlander Stadium (are you still sitting? I also was a guest in the Late Bronx Robber Barons suite and office as one of my brothers did business with the Highlanders. The only way he’d let me go with him was on the condition that I wear no Mets clothing and I don’t cheer the opposition. If I did the penalty would be a severe ass kicking. My brother I’m scared of. David Howard ? Uhhhh not so much! )  and I hated watching games from that venue. My wife got tickets this year for a game on my birthday in the Caesar Club. The only time I went in the Club was to enter my seats and to go home. I still miss my Upper Deck Box seats in Section 701 at Shea but now I look for tickets in Section 513 of the Promenade Reserved Infield. There is nothing better than sitting in the sun at baseball game in your shorts, t-shirt and flip flops not in a suit and tie.

There is a reason places like Citizens Bank Park, AT&T and the holy shrines of Fenway and Wrigley, Camden Yards and most of the new ballparks are outstanding places to watch baseball games, there are no club seats behind home plate.

If you want to make a splash and make a real improvement at your ball park, tear out the Club Seats and put real honest to goodness baseball seats there and open them up to real fans and lo and behold you got yourself a real honest to goodness home field advantage.

I know myself and Dave Howard and The Skill Sets will never be pals and that’s cool as I’m not here to be their friend, I’m here to help them turn the experience of going to see the baseball team I love, into one that makes people excited to make a return trip. I guess the lowering of ticket prices is a start, maybe a retraining of the ushers and concession workers to get them to drop the Correction Officer attitude they portray, would work well too and last but not least, give Mets fans a team they can be proud to root for. Do that and maybe the Skill Sets and me will go for a beer after the World Series parade. Now that would be a great summit meeting.

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