WELCOME TO OPENING DAY, LET THE SCREAMING BEGIN

Turned on my computer this morning to check my e-mail and lo and behold there was a message from Mets manager Terry Collins. What? You got one too? And you? You mean you all got an e-mail from the Mets skipper? Shit, I thought I was special.

The crux of the letter was that after years of awful baseball played in Queens, the Mets will now play the game the right way. In a roundabout way, Collins is letting us now that after his years as minor league coordinator his suggestions fell on deaf ears, that the organization was run by a bunch of clueless dolts who were fundamentally bad at teaching the fundamentals of baseball.

But now the time to talk about the season is done, it’s time to put up and show Mets fans that this is the dawning of the age of good baseball, the kind of baseball we, as paying customers don’t mind being priced gouged over (The Mets still don’t understand that the prices they charge for tickets and concession are, as Jimmy Macmillan would say, “TOO DAMN HIGH” you want to build goodwill with the Mets fans, you should have lowered your ticket prices by 50 %  and allow families to buy kids meals at the food stands at a discount) if the team does all the things that TC said in his opening day missive, the fans will come back. The problems the last few years in Flushing was the fans cared more than the players did about the team but it’s time to put all the horse shit of the past behind us, new front office, new manager, new attitude? I hope so. LET’S GO METS!!!!!!

I’ve always felt NY Ranger fans were the most passionate of all New York Sports Fans (I don’t want to get into the late season swoon by the Blue Shirts as I’m trying to have a positive day even though the Rangers are going into the tank and as I walked from the Subway to my office this morning, I had to deal with ice cold rain hitting my face, so far, so shitty) but I think the Mets fans have taken over the top spot. Yesterday afternoon, the Mets announced their opening day lineup:

Jose Reyes, ss

Willie Harris, lf

David Wright, 3b

Carlos Beltran, rf

Angel Pagan, cf

Ike Davis, 1b

Brad Emaus, 2b

Josh Thole, c

Mike Pelfrey, rhp

With the sight of Harris in the 2 hole and Thole in the 8 spot, a little bit of holy hell broke out on Twitter over this slotting. What other fan base is that passionate that they look at the opening day line up on the eve of the opener and go into shit storm mode? Had they waited to hear Collins reasoning maybe they wouldn’t be popping blood pressure pills today:

“Not only will Willie Harris start on Opening Day in left field in place of injured Jason Bay (left rib-cage strain). Harris also will bat second in Terry Collins’ first lineup as Mets manager.

The reason: Harris is hitting .267 with one homer, two RBIs and seven walks in 22 career plate appearances against Marlins ace Josh Johnson — good for a .500 on-base percentage.

“Strictly numbers,” Collins said about selecting Harris over Lucas Duda or Scott Hairston. “We talked about the importance of getting out of the gate. This guy [Johnson] is one of the best in the league, one of the best in baseball. And if you’ve got a guy who hits this guy, it would seem to me you should get him in there.”

Duda has never faced Josh Johnson, and Scott Hairston is 0 for 5 with a walk and two strikeouts vs. Johnson. If Jason Bay was healthy, all this fan angst would have been avoided as Angel Pagan would have been in the #2 spot and Bay in the 5 spot and Harris on the bench. By the way, to make things worse, Bay is 4 for 9 with a home run vs. Josh Johnson. Can’t we just enjoy the day, Mets fans?

Another stain on the Minaya/Manuel resume, Big Pelf pitched in pain last year.

Hopefully the Mets will be so good this season that Gary, Keith, Ron and Kevin Burkhardt won’t have to discuss the Skill Sets/Madoff financial fiasco. By the way, yesterday at work I listened to the Highlanders-Tigers game on WCBS. I don’t know how Highlander fans do it, listening to Suzyn Waldman made me want to punch someone in the face; the screeching of her voice was making my skin crawl. I thought she was just there to read commercial spots and give out of town scores? Yesterday, she wouldn’t shut up, even as I begged her through the radio (please you annoying yenta SHUT THE FUCK UPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP) which kept my co-workers in a jolly mood. Sterling doesn’t bother me that much. Sure he is the worst play by play man in the history of sports broadcasting but for some strange reason I get a kick out him. Even his schmaltzy home run calls make me chuckle (“you’re on the Mark, Texiera” or “The Grandy Man Can” are so lame their hysterical) the TV side is no better as the male version of Waldman, Michael Applegate, is as much a shill as Sterling but nowhere near as entertaining. Mr. Applegate is in fact down right annoying and what pisses me off more is I have no choice if I decide to take in a Highlander game on TV I have to watch YUCK as MLB Extra Innings blocks the feed from the out of town team. Plus I’m spoiled as Gary, Keith, Ron and Kevin are the Gold Standard of baseball broadcasting.

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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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