I’m Still With 28

So Daniel Murphy has a rough couple of games and some so called Mets fans have turned on him. There are times, and this in one of those times, that this fan base deserved to treated like shit by the likes of Bobby Bonnila, Jeff Kent and the immortal Richie Hebner.  

Murph had a bad game last night; for sure in fact he said it himself after the game as he faced the media. There is no run and hide in Murphy he acknowledged his bad play at 2nd base last night and addressed the fielding problems the Mets have had most of the season and he took the first shot at himself:

“You don’t have to look any farther than this locker here where to start with some of our poor play the last couple of days. It starts right here.”

Before last night, the jackals were quiet but with a two error game coming on the heels of an 0-14 offensive bump in the road, the Murphy detractors have come out in full force, none more prominent than the wanna-be Mike Francesa’s Mark Malusis and Sal Licata two of the many uniformed and untalented talking shit heads on SNY.

Before last night, there was no one taking Murphy to task about his fielding, in fact Keith Hernandez who may be a bit more qualified that a stooge like Licata, has praised the work Murph has put in with Tim Teufel to make himself into a serviceable second baseman.  It’s more sad than funny how the Murphy bashers go on and on about his defensive deficiencies but never talk about the hours of hard work Murph puts in to make himself better, see in order to observe this, you would have to get out to the ball park early and watch Murph take ground ball after ground ball but of course that would take commitment to your craft which many TV and sports talk radio nimrods in this town lack in spades.  Maybe if Licatta worked as hard at his job like Murph does he’d still be employed at WFAN.

We all know that Murphy can hit, in fact his bat with RISP has been a solid .333/.369/.433 so far this year and when its 2outs/RISP Murph raises his game to .391/.440/.522 and is one of the main reasons the Mets have played above many expectations.

Maybe it’s good that many so called Mets fans can forget the malcontents and lazy asses that paraded on the Shea Stadium field back in the 90’s.  For all you so called Mets enthusiast who are calling for the Mets to deal Murph I have a better idea one that would make us both very happy, GO ROOT FOR ANOTHER TEAM!

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LET’S RAISE A GLASS TO THE ’86 METS

Man, 25 years ago. So where was I 25 years ago tonight when the most famous ground ball in baseball history went through the wickets of Bill Buckner?

I wasn’t at the game, I was home watching with my wife as we were in month seven of our marriage. The only game of the series I attend was Game 1, the game that turned on a ball getting through the legs of Tim Teufel, a play that gets lost in the Buckner Blunder, ruining a beautifully pitched game by Ron Darling with help from Roger McDowell.  

One of the issues with watching Mets games on TV back in ’86 was Bay Ridge Brooklyn was NOT wired for cable television back then. There was a whole quagmire with franchise rights by the cable companies, if you wanted the lucrative Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights account you had to take the less desirable East New York, Flatbush area as well. So after all the graft and bribes were dished out, I think it wasn’t until 1988 when we Bay Ridgeites  got  hooked up to Time-Warner Cable, so back in ’86 I spent most of my time in the numerous bars of Bay Ridge that were equipped with these enormous satellite dishes on their roofs to watch Mets game televised on SportsChannel.  So when games were on “free TV” I’d give my wallet and liver a break and stay home.

Game 6 was on a Saturday night, I remember we went for an unusually early dinner (my kids have a hard time believing that the same couple who fall asleep on the couch at 9PM used to go out until 4 or 5 the next morning on a regular basis. It’s the same way their stare at our wedding picture in which I have this incredible crop of curly brown hair. The tilt their heads from side to side like it’s some abstract painting in a gallery trying to figure out who the guy is with their mom. Lovely.) and then came home. Before getting home I stopped at the deli on 5th Ave to pick up some Molson Golden for my game libation. My wife sat with me for the first few innings (she is not big on watching Baseball or any sport on TV, she’ll go a games in person and enjoy it but to sit and watch on TV? Ain’t happening) then decided she go to the bedroom and watch something else. Of course she fell asleep, so it was just me, Vin Scully (Mets fans were very upset with Scully’s critiques of the Mets during this series)  Joe Garagiola and my six bottles of Molson.

Everyone knows about the bottom of the 10th inning of this game but the inning that gets lost in history is the bottom of the 8th where the Mets were down a run. Former Met, Calvin Schiraldi comes in for the Red Sox to help preserve the lead and bridge to Bob Stanley, the Boston closer. After a Lee Mazzilli (pinch hitting for Jesse Orosco) leadoff single, Davey Johnson went against the Earl Weaver book he was weaned on, to play small ball. Lenny Dykstra comes up (by the way after six Molson on top of the cocktails I had at dinner, I’m now talking to the TV like I’m sitting with Scully and Garagiola. I wish there was Twitter back then, my drunked Tweets would have been memorable) and lays down a sac bunt that he beats out, so now the Mets have 1st and 2nd no outs.  Wally Backman comes up and he lays down a sac bunt that moves Maz to 3rd and Nails to 2nd after an Intentional Walk to Keith Hernandez to set up a double play at any base, up stepped Gary Carter.

Here is why Mets fans love Gary Carter, nobody loves a pressure situation and came through in those situations like Kid.  That’s why when you sit in Citi Field and the Get Well Soon video comes on the screen, everyone stops and watches. That’s why when I see Ron Darling in the Stand Up For Cancer PSA, with his I Stand Up For My Catcher sign, I get a lump in my throat. Gary Carter was a great Met, retire his #8 PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I digress, Kid comes though with a Sac Fly scoring Maz and we are tied at 3.

After the top of the 10th where Rick Aguilera gave up 2 runs, all I need is a hand gun as I’ve turned into Elvis Presley , looking to shoot my TV. After two quick outs in the bottom of the 10th I am one ornery intoxicated Mets fan, with my TV remote in my hand I was ready to turn off the set as there was no way I was watching the Red Sox celebrate this World Series (the pain of 1973 was flashing through my mind) but then, he comes that man again, Gary Carter with the base hit but here I was pissed at Kid for that hit. Please put me out of my misery already but my misery turned to ecstasy.

“HONEY, WAKE UP! WAKE UP! THEY WON!!! THEY WON!!! THE METS WON!!!! YYYYYYEEEEAAAAHHHHHH!!!! GAME FUCKIN’SEVEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!WWWWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO”

My wife thought I’d lost my mind, I told get up and get dressed we got to go out. She looked at me like I was nuts but then she heard all the commotion coming from 5th Ave and then the phone started ringing as friends and family wanting to talk about the most improbable win in Mets history. There was no sleep that night/early mornings, bars and clubs of Bay Ridge were hoppin’ till sunrise and so was I.

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COACH ‘EM UP, COACHES OUT

Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

One of the worst kept secrets surrounding the Mets was the fact that Chip Hale was ready to head back home to Northern California to join his buddy Bob Melvin as bench coach for the A’s. What was surprising was the domino effect Hale’s departure had on the rest of the coaching staff.

Mookie Wilson was let go with the old “we’ll reassign you in the organization” which is like when a cop sucks at fighting crime, the NYPD sticks them in the property clerk’s office. But where does Mookie get reassigned to?  Word is he didn’t work well with Lucas Duada in getting him acclimated to right field and he wasn’t very good at positioning the outfielders or working with base runners  during games. Wilson also hasn’t fared too well as a minor league manager and since he had trouble coaching the outfield with the big club, roving minor league instructor seems out as well. What’s left?

Jon DeBus got the boot from the bullpen it seems because he was a catcher and the club would rather have Buffalo pitching coach Rickey Bones, a former pitcher, in the pen to work with the relievers. DeBus was also in charge of working with Josh Thole and Ronnie Paulino and supposedly wasn’t helping Thole with his defense and was negligent in getting Paulino to show a better work ethic.

It’s a shame that Ken Oberkfell got the ax as Obie did what he was assigned to do, be the yin to Terry Collins’ yang. Obie was brought in the be Collins bench coach because he was calm, cool and collected a contrast to Collins “makes coffee nervous” persona. Obie is one of those good solid baseball men who did everything he was asked by the organization and now is shown the door. I hope he lands with a team that makes the post season and gets to cash one of the nice winner’s checks.

Tim Teufel gets the prize job as 3rd base coach/obligatory 1986 World Champ for 2012. Gotta meet that quota of 86ers ya know.

The job for Collins’ consigliore it seems is between Larry Bowa and Jim Ringgleman. Both are close confidants of Collins but I will be really pissed off if Riggleman gets the job as the Mets should be looking to stay away from quitters.

Once upon a time, Murray Chass was one of the best baseball writers around. His coverage of baseball labor disputes was unparalleled due to his close relationship with former MLBPA President Don Fehr and his mouthpiece Gene Orza but after Chass was let go by the NY Times he became a bitter nasty old man and started a website (he’s refused to call himself what he really is, a blogger) where he could spout his bitter nasty old man bullshit. Today he posted about Jeffey Skill Sets and how he is known around baseball as the most disliked executive in baseball. Of course, Old Man Murray rails for most of the post about the Mets blocking the Highlanders Triple A team from playing in Newark next year (oh yeah I forgot, Chass is an unabashed Highlander ball licker an older version of Ian O’Connor) but at the end of his piece he stated something that I have heard as well so that’s why I’ve included it in my post:

Sandy Alderson, Minaya’s successor, is completing his first season in the job, and I have already heard that he is growing tired of Wilpon’s suffocating presence.

Now if this was just Murray being Murray I’d laugh it off but I have heard the same thing from folks whose take on things around the club I respect and stories they have told me have turned out very reliable. I’ve always said I’m a Mets fan for life but I’ll tell you this, If Sandy Alderson leaves the Mets because of dealing with Jeffey is getting in the way of his work then I’d have to seriously think of stopping my support of the team until a new owner takes over.    

 

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THE METS MANAGERS LIST IS TRIMING ITSELF

Before we get on to anything here today, I must convey my most heartfelt condolence to Sandy Alderson and his family on the passing of his father John, who was killed by a car Saturday night in St. Petersburg while crossing a street. From all the stories I’ve read John Alderson was a ‘young” 87 years old and to be taken from his family like this is a tragedy.  

I guess Clint Hurdle went for the sure thing instead of playing the longshot by taking the Pirates job. Or maybe Hurdle knows something we don’t on who the next Mets manager will be. By the way, if Wally Backman was such a slam dunk as a major league manager how come no other major league team looking for a manager requested Backman come in for an interview? I’m just asking?

(UPDATE: Now I see why Hurdle took the Bucs job and I think you’ll agree with me I hope he’s a success in the Steel City)

So it looks like a two man race between Terry Collins and Bob Melvin and I agree neither guy stirs my passions but I’m willing to let this play out and see if it works. It also looks as if Chip Hale and Tim Teufel  could get coaching spots with the Mets with Backman taking over the helm at Bingo or Buffalo.

Can we just trade F-Mart for a bunch of bats, uniforms and helmets that seem to have gone missing the last few years in Flushing? The one time phenom  was to start yesterday in a Dominican League game but missed his start due to car troubles. No bullshit. CAR TROUBLES!!!! After the news got out about this the team and F-Mart tried to cover his ass by saying there was a miscommunication about his reporting date. Yeah right. I guess Omar Minaya has found a job in the DR running a team as this kind of cover up stinks of the Omar regime.

Speaking of Charlie Samuels, as bad as it is for him to get fired by the Mets and to be looking at criminal charges being filed against him, the worst part could be if convicted and sentenced to do time, Charlie would have to wear orange every day. Maybe Samuels could share a cell with Bernie Madoff in the Crimes Against The Skill Sets wing of prison

Adam Rubin has a long Q & A with David Wright getting his take on the past and present of the club.

I wish the Mets had a guy like Amare Stoudemire the last few years who would call out his underachieving teammates like Amare did last night. Could be Stoudemire is pissed that LeBron and D-Wade picked Chris Bosh over him to a BFF?

NON-METS: I see where the Fishsticks have fired coach Scott Gordon as the team is doing a swirlie of their season with a 10 game losing streak. Gordon should be relieved to be relieved of his coaching duties. Isn’t it time Gary Betmann and the hierarchy of the NHL seriously think about contracting the Icelanders and a few other teams from the league? The Icelanders play in a dump of an arena (the place is filthy and many of the seats are broken and ripped) and only sell tickets when the regal Rangers come to Uniondale. Take the Isles, Blue Jackets, Panthers, Coyotes, Lighting, Predators and Thrashers and either contract them or merge them a la the Minnesota North Stars/Cleveland Barrons in 1978 and make two teams and put one in Winnipeg and the other in Quebec City.

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