Win A Copy of KNUCKLEBALL The Movie on DVD !

The outstanding documentary “Knuckleball” will be released on DVD on April 2nd and the good folks at MPI/Film buff have offered me the chance to give away 3 DVD’s of this great documentary that follows Tim Wakefield, Charlie Hough, Phil Neikro and of course R.A. Dickey as they talk about how the most baffling pitch in baseball, the Knuckleball.

This DVD is a MUST HAVE for all baseball fans and having seen the movie I cannot recommend this film enough.   So when I was asked by the people at MPI/Film to participate in the giveaway of the Knuckleball DVD, I jumped at the chance.

So what we’ll do is starting on Friday March 15th during the day on my Twitter account @kranepool I will ask a trivia question and the person with the  first correct answer that is Tweeted back to me will win a copy of the Knuckleball DVD.

So brush up on your knuckleball trivia and follow my twitter account. One DVD per person and this contest is open to residents of the Continental USA only. Good luck.

 

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It Was The Best Of Nights, The Worst Of Night’s At Citi Field

The photo was from Mets Merized Online and taken by Clayton Collier who also has a great write up of the Q & A the Mets Bloggers conducted with Phil Niekro, R.A. Dickey and Tim Wakefield

It was another Mets blogger-rattzi day at Citi Field yesterday and it was almost the best bloggers day ever. I say almost because there was an unfortunate incident late in the game that put a damper on the events of the day. Josh Edgin and Andres Torres with his ability to kill a rally with a signal ground ball, played the sad clowns. So instead of all of us heading home with the wonderful memory of chatting with 86er Barry Lyons, Hall of Famer Phil Niekro, R.A. Dickey and Tim Wakefield along with an outstanding performance by the 2012 winner of the Clff Floyd Light At The End Of The Tunnel Award Matt Harvey, the lasting image of the day was a Ryan Howard 2 run home run off closer of the day Edgin.

The day started with Terry Collins and his daily FEMA update on his club. Collins is the definition of a ‘fox hole guy”, as bad as this team is, as inept as they are at the basic fundamentals of baseball, as dismal as the outlook for next season appears, Collins still talks about his players being talented and how they are playing out the season to the fullest and those of us in the conference room feel our pant legs getting drenched from being pissed on but being told it’s just condensation from the air conditioning unit.

So after a few eye roles we head out to the field to watch and schmooze while our heroes stretch and take BP. After a few minutes of observing and kibitzing, the blogger group was introduced to former Mets catcher Barry Lyons.  We spent a good 20 minutes with Lyons talking about everything from his days as an 86er, to Davey Johnson to catchers calling pitchers other than the pitching coach and how the 1986 Mets would have fared in the new social media world.

Lyons spoke of the special bond he and his 1986 Mets teammates have and how winning a championship builds that special bond forever. Lyons was wearing his Mets Alumni golf shirt and mentioned how even though he played for other teams (Dodgers, Angels, and White Sox) he will always be a Met. In fact, Lyons even spoke of maybe getting back on the field as a manager in the Mets minor league system. I told Lyons that if he needed an advocate for him to take over the helm in Brooklyn I would be honored to head the campaign. Hopefully the Mets front office acknowledges that Lyons is interested in getting back to coaching to managing in the organization as gives him strong consideration for a job.   

From our session with Barry Lyons, we headed over to meet the stars of the movie KNUCKLEBALL , which I can’t stress enough is a must see for all baseball fans, Hall of Fame pitcher Phil Niekro, our own R.A. Dickey and Tim Wakefield. We first spoke with Niekro and Wakefield, and then R.A. Dickey joined the group. It was nice to see the camaraderie between these three men who belong to a special fraternity or as Niekro said “the freaky group”. We then talked about who are the next knuckleballers on the horizon. Dickey talked about Frank Viola’s son, who Dickey worked with a bit in spring training, who was trying to learn the pitch and another young many name Steven Wright. I asked Dickey whether the Mets or any other organization seeing the success that has had with the pitch, would work with pitchers who have fallen from prospect status to just organization fillers to become an asset to the big league club. His answer was all it takes is one organization to take a chance and be bold enough to take on that initiative, to which both Niekro and Wakefield nodded in approval.

All three men stated that they would do all they could to help any pitcher who had the patience, the competiveness and the work ethic needed to master the pitch. If anyone does get to work with these gentlemen and with Charlie Hough or Tom Candiotti, they should consider themselves fortunate.  

With the pre-game Q & A’s over, we went up to the Champions Club to enjoy the ambiance and watch Matt Harvey’s 2012 Farewell Tour. After getting some food and a beverage, myself, Ed Marcus, Matt Falkenbury and Randy Medina sat down to discuss this lost season and what is on the horizon for the off season and 2013. In a room with, I’ll say roughly 100 people milling around the bar area and food stations, the four of us were the only one’s talking Mets baseball or anything remotely  close to baseball talk and even in a fine establishment like the Champions Club, you still get douchenozzels walking around in Highlanders garb.  The lack of etiquette is appalling.

Matt Harvey was on the bump as we made our way to the seats, first batter Jimmy Rollins home run just over the orange line on the right field wall. UGHHHH!!!! , but then Harvey gets the next three batters , 86 year old Juan Pierre, Life Alert spokesman Chase Utley and the ghost of Ryan Howard to end the inning on a high note. From innings 2 to 5, Harvey faced just 12 batters and was in full Ace mode. But of course the Mets being the Mets and being at Citi Field all they could muster was a run to tie the game until David Wright hit a baseball over an outfield wall for a go ahead home run. A Festivus miracle I tell you.     

So going into the 9th inning we have the Mets, at home, with a lead, Josh Edgin filling in as closer with Frank Frisco nursing a right elbow riddled with tendonitis, 2 up 2 down, open the book as we are ready to put this baby……..in…….ah…………shit…………..!

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Knuckleball ! Tough To Throw But Enjoyable To Watch !

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Had a great time last night  at the World Financial Plaza enjoying the premiere of Knuckleball!, at the Tribeca Film Festival’s Drive-In Theatre.  Before the movie there was plenty of activity on the plaza on what turned out to be a nice comfortable, rain free evening downtown. There were tents set up with different activities and free popcorn for movie goers but the area that had the biggest swarm of folks was the make shit bullpen where fans could line up and enter and get free instruction on how to throw a knuckleball.

As we stood off to the side (I was joined by my son and Mike Silva of NY Baseball Digest for the evening’s movie viewing we also met up with Tayrn Cooper and her husband Ed Leyro as well as having a fine chat with Shaun Clancy the proprietor of Foley’s NY) we were witness to a grand entrance by the Four Horseman of Knuckleballing, Jim Bouton, Charlie Hough, Tim Wakefield and our own R.A. Dickey. The four headed to the make shift pen where a line snaked around the plaza for the opportunity to learn the secrets of throwing a knuckleball. Bouton, Hough and Wakefield were going in and out of the pen but Dickey stayed there for the full hour showing kids and some adults, the grip and release of the mysterious pitch, and seemed to be having a great time doing so.

The movie itself was very, very good. Even if you are not a baseball fan, you could still appreciate the stories of these players who with the exception of Phil Neikro, took on learning the knuckleball a last ditch effort to make it in the big leagues, so you get all the baseball footage and story line to keep the baseball junkie like me interested but you also get the human interest story for the non-fan. That is great movie making.

Tim Wakefield and R.A. Dickey are feature most prominently in the film, with great footage of Wakefield as a Pittsburgh Pirates as a minor league first baseman and R.A. Dickey as a Tennessee Volunteer but my favorite scene in the film was a golf outing with Niekro, Dickey, Wakefield and Hough and the sit down they have afterwards discussing how each pitcher was introduced to the knuckleball.

The film will be showing during the Tribeca Film Festival and it will be out in DVD form as well, I know this because I was approached by someone from the film who was looking to get some material to add as extra footage for the DVD, so I was filmed talking about the knuckleball and R.A. Dickey and what he has meant to the Mets (the film crew loved my Mr. Mets cap) so hopefully I’ll make the director’s cut of Knuckleball!

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Win VIP Seat and Autographed Movie Poster for the Film KNUCKLEBALL ! at The Tribeca Film Festival

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One of the great events in New York City is the Tribeca Film Festival and this year is no exception, in fact there will be a film shown at the festival that is perfect for us baseball and Mets fans. The film Knuckleball! will be shown this Saturday at 8:15 PM  at the Tribeca Drive-In at The World Financial Center Plaza, which is located at West Street between Vesey and Liberty Streets.

He is a synopsis of the film Knuckleball! and a rundown of the festivities for the evening:

The baseball documentary Knuckleball! will be premiering for free to the public on April 21st as a part of the Tribeca Drive-in at the Tribeca Film Festival.  This classic sports story recounts the 2011 journey of the last professional knuckleball pitchers: Tim Wakefield, a 17-year Red Sox veteran, and Mets up-and-comer R.A. Dickey. Together with just four other living knuckleballers, they shine a light on their remarkable brotherhood and the shared pursuit of honor and craftsmanship.

The Tribeca Drive-in will open at 6:00 pm and include live music, giveaways, baseball trivia contests and pitching clinics with pro knuckleballers R.A. Dickey; Tim Wakefield, formerly of the Boston Red Sox; Charlie Hough, formerly of the Dodgers and Rangers; and former New York Yankee Jim Bouton.  The world premiere of Knuckleball! will follow at 8:15 pm . 

As you can see there is a lot to entice you to come out for the premiere, live music and giveaways would be enough I’m sure, but the chance to meet R.A. Dickey and his fellow knuckleballers, Tim Wakefield and Charlie Hough (if you’ve read Dickey’s book “Wherever I Wind Up” -published by Blue Rider Press-you know how influential Wakefield and Hough were in helping R.A. turn himself into the solid starting knuckleball pitcher he is today) and free admission? Are ya’ kidding? But wait there’s more.

I am offering one lucky Eddie Kranepool Society reader, the chance to score a seat in the VIP Section of the Tribeca Drive-In to view Knuckleball!, and also receive a poster from the movie autographed by Dickey, Wakefield, Hough and Bouton.

In order to win this prize package, you need to be the first reader to e-mail me (please put Knuckleball ! Movie in the subject line please)  at sinymets@aol.com with the correct answer to this trivia question:

In 2006, R.A. Dickey made one start for the Texas Rangers. Not only did Dickey lose the game he also tied a modern day MLB record. What was that record?

First correct answer via e-mail wins the seat and the autograph poster. Good Luck.

 

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R.A. DICKEY TO RECEIVE THURMAN MUNSON AWARD

R.A. Dickey will be awarded the Thurman Munson Award for his charitable works at the annual Thurman Munson Dinner on January 31st at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Manhattan . Here are some details about the dinner and write up about the good deeds of R.A. Dickey:

New York Mets standout pitcher R.A. Dickey joins New York Yankees and Mets beloved Hall of Fame catcher Yogi Berra, Yankees star first baseman Mark Teixeira, and newly-inducted Basketball Hall of Famer and former St. John’s and N.B.A. star guard Chris Mullin as the honorees at the 32nd Annual Thurman Munson Awards Dinner on Tuesday night, January 31, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City, it was announced today.  The gala, which remembers the late, great Yankees catcher and captain, benefits AHRC-New York City Foundation. Berra will receive the Munson Legend Award in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the 1962 World Champion Yankees, and Dickey, Teixeira and Mullin will each receive “Thurmans.” For tickets and information on the Munson Awards Dinner call 212-249-6188.

About R.A.Dickey
R. A. Dickey, the right-handed knuckleballer for the New York Mets, has become a mainstay in the starting rotation with his cagey performances in the past two seasons. The veteran hurler is a leader and refreshing presence in the locker room. He has also pitched for the Rangers, Mariners, Twins and Brewers., Minnesota Twins and Milwaukee Brewers organizations. In recent years, Dickey has since made the transition to becoming a knuckleball pitcher, and is one of just two knuckleballers on active rosters, the other being Tim Wakefield of the Boston Red Sox.

Dickey was an English Literature major at the University of Tennessee, where he earned a 3.35 GPA and was named Academic All-American.

Dickey first signed a minor league contract with the Mets in 2010, was assigned to Buffalo, but joined the big league club in May. He has pitched well ever since. His second start was a 8-0 shutout of the Phillies, going seven innings and striking out seven. He also flirted with a non hitter with against the Phillies later that season, on August 13, throwing a complete game one-hit shutout, the only hit a single by pitcher Cole Hamels. He finished the 2010 season with a very strong ERA of 2.84, which was 7th best in the National League and 10th in all of baseball. In  2011, he continued to flourish with a 3.28 ERA that ranked 12th in the NL while posting career bests with 32 starts, 208.2 innings and 134 strikeouts.

Dickey and his wife Anne have two daughters, Maria Gabriel and Lila Anne, and a son, Van.  A born-again Christian, he helps operate the Ocala, Florida-based Honoring the Father Ministries which provides medical supplies, powdered milk and baseball equipment to the impoverished in Latin America.

This January, Dickey will scale Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise awareness and funds for the Red Light District Outreach Mumbai, which combats human trafficking in India.  He got his inspiration to climb the mountain from Ernest Hemingway’s “The Snows of Kilimanjaro,” which he read in eighth grade.  Makes numerous appearances at hospitals to cheer up children.

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“NO, IT AIN’T SO NEAT TO ADMIT DEFEAT, THEY CAN SEE NO REASON, ‘CAUSE THERE ARE NO REASONS, WHAT REASON DO YOU NEED TO BE SHOWN”

 

Tell me why?
I don’t like Mondays.
Tell me why?
I don’t like Mondays.
Tell me why?
I don’t like Mondays.
I want to shoot
The whole day down.

 

 

 

 

First the Giants spit the bit, then this morning the 6:40 AM Staten Island Ferry was canceled so my usual Monday morning foul mood is intensified today. The Giants better hope that the new stadium they are building has some kind of wind baffle built in it because for all his heroics, Eli Manning turns into Tim Wakefield when the wind gets to 20 mph or more. Oh and thank you Plaxico Buress for letting down your teammates, fans and the whole Giants organization for your stupidity. Next time you want to shoot yourself, aim the gun a little fucking higher.

 

I’ll be rooting hard for the Cardinals on Sunday especially for my favorite Irish-American wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

 

Count me as a huge Joe Posnanski fan. On his blog he has a great post on Adam Dunn and Willie Bloomquist.    I wanted Bloomquist on the Mets but he signed with the Royals where he will get a lot of playing time but Posnanski shows the difference between Dunn fans and Bloomquist fans and his analysis is right on the money I am most definitely a BLOOMQUIST FAN.

 

Today is Hall of Fame day and the one guy we know for sure who is getting in is Rickey Henderson and the reason there is an MLB Network is just for Rickey’s acceptance speech which I have no doubt will be right there with FDR and JFK Inaugural speeches in fact I would love for Rickey to write Barrack Obama’ speech for his inauguration:

 

                       “The only thing we need to fear, is an opponent with an inside straight”

 

If I had a vote (that’ll be the day) here is how my ballot would look:

 

Rickey Henderson

Bert Blyleven

Jim Rice

Tim Raines

 

Rickey is a no brainer. Blyleven was a strike out machine and I also feel that longevity in the game is a plus and not a detriment (or as Mike Francesa would say “he’s a compylah” to me that’s not a knock) The thing with Rice, when you look at straight numbers you could make a case that Dewey Evans was as good as Rice but I always remember that Rice was feared by the opposition but I don’t remember Evans in that way. Rock Raines was the total package of hitting/speed/defense.    

 

On the same subject, Mike Silva had Darren Viola (a/k/Repoz) of BBTF fame on his NY Baseball Digest show last night, discussing the HOF ballot for this year. First Mickey Rouke on Letterman and now Repoz on with Silva W-O-W!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is best interview/guest pairing sense Joe Franklin and Dee Dee Ramone!

 

I don’t know if this is old news or not but the Mets are intreseted in Derek Lowe and or Oliver Perez. In fact the Mets are hoping Lowe PAYS the Mets for the right to play for them.

 

   

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Tickets

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