Mets Fans Find Respect Away From Home

 

This past weekend a cadre of Mets fans led by Darren Meenan of The 7 Line converged on Wrigley Field for a fine weekend of baseball. Shannon from The Mets Police was there as well and today he has a post on his site that is a must read for not only every Mets fan but for Mets management as well.

Shannon writes about the wonderful experience he had at the Friendly Confines. As someone who has been to Wrigley Field I am not surprised at all. A day at Wrigley Field is unlike any at Citi Field. In fact a day at any other ball park is unlike a day at Citi Field.

A few years ago I went to Chicago with a bunch of guys, mostly cops and firemen for a weekend series of Mets and Cubs. We had spilt the group up where five of us would sit in field level seats for the Friday game and five would sit in the bleachers for the Saturday game.  My group of five sat in field level for the Friday game. An usher greeted us as we entered and saw that we were dressed in all our splendor in Mets gear. He said welcome to Wrigley Field “youes guys” and laughed. So did we. He showed us to our seats, wiped them down told us to enjoy the game. We handed the guy a 20 dollar bill and he gave us a big smile back and said, “That’s why I like you New York guys, you know how to take care of people”. Yes sir we do as long as you are nice and pleasant we take care of you. If you’re nasty and surly and act like you hate your job as the ushers at Citi Field seem to, we give you our ass to kiss.

As we sat, we were taking pictures of the field and the ball park when a guy with the game day staff at Wrigley saw us taking pictures came over and took a group shot of us. When he took the picture, we thanked him and he said “No, thank you guys for coming to Wrigley Field” you could have knocked us over with a feather.  

It’s not just Wrigley Field game day personnel that treat people the way people should be treated. First time I went to Camden Yards, my son was three years old so we still used a stroller to get around. As we entered the ball park my son was fussing so I took him out of the stroller and carried him, my wife took the stroller along with a backpack we had with food for him, jacket, toys all stuff you need to bring when you have a toddler. An usher came right over to us and said “please let we give you a hand” he looked at the tickets, which were just down the left field line and took the stroller and said “follow me please” walked us to our seats and got us situated. After saying to us “enjoy the game” I went to give him a tip the usher looked at me and said “oh no sir we do not accept gratuities, put thank you.  WHOA!

Every Mets fan who has traveled to another ball park to follow the Mets have the same kind of stories, whether it be Wrigley Field, Camden Yards, PNC Park, AT&T or even CBP , Mets fans have a better game day experience away from Citi Field that at our own home park.  

There is no reason whatsoever that a fan coming to park early to watch batting practice has to be held back by a big hairy arm telling you if you don’t have a ticket you can’t go down there. Same thing if you want to visit someone in another section. How many times has a friend been at a game you get a text “hey I’m in section 207 come down and we’ll meet up” you go to the section see your buddy and make an attempt to go to the seat when your stopped and interrogated to see a ticket?  That’s why the Shea Bridge area of the ballpark is popular it’s the Guantanamo Bay of Citi Field.

Mets fans don’t want t-shirts, bobble heads, lunch pails or other gimmicks to lure us to the ball park. Just give us a competitive team and show us the respect we deserve when we enter the ball park. Kindness goes along way with Mets fans.

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BOB MURPHY NOMINATED FOR THE IRISH AMERICAN BASEBALL HALL OF FAME

One of my favortite places to eat and watch sports is FOLEY’S NY PUB & RESTAURANT, 18 w33st in the shadow on the Empire State Building, has released the names of this years nominees for the IRISH AMERICAN BASEBALL HALL OF FAME:

Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame Announces Nominations for 2010 Induction Class

 

Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant Recognizes Players, Executives, Journalists and Entertainers of Irish Descent

 

New York, NY (March 15, 2010) –  Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant (18 W. 33rd St.) today announced the nominations for 2010 induction into the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame (IABHOF).  Voters include past inductees into the IABHOF and a panel of baseball historians.  Results will be announced in April 2010.

HALL OF FAMERS and LEGENDS

Big Ed Walsh – Baseball’s All-Time ERA Leader

Michael “King” Kelly – Baseball’s First Superstar

“Mighty Casey” of the Mudville Nine by Ernest Thayer

CURRENT LIVING EX-PLAYERS

Dale Murphy, Long-time Atlanta Brave, two-time NL MVP

Joe McEwing – “Super Joe,” now a manager in the White Sox minor league system

MANAGERS

John McGraw – Legendary manager of the NY Giants

Tom Kelly – Minnesota Twins two-time World Series winning manager

BROADCASTERS

Tim McCarver – Network TV analyst

Bob Murphy – Longtime Mets Broadcaster

EXECUTIVES

Brian Cashman – GM, NY Yankees

Bill James – Stastician, Red Sox Consultant

ENTERTAINERS

John Fogerty – Writer/Singer of “Centerfield”

Bill Murray – Cubs Fan, “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” singer at Wrigley Field

John Cusack – Star of “Eight Men Out”

Rosie O’Donnell – Co-star of “A League of Their Own”

“It’s a strong and deserving class of nominees for the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame this year.  All of these men — and one woman — have made significant contributions to the game,” said Shaun Clancy, owner of Foley’s, which features one of the country’s most extensive public displays of baseball memorabilia outside of Cooperstown. 

With the blessing of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Foley’s, a popular destination among baseball players, executives, umpires and fans, created the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame to recognize players, managers, executives, journalists, and entertainers of Irish descent.  Inductees are chosen based on a combination of factors, including impact on the game, popularity on and off the field, contributions to society, connections to the Irish community, and, of course, ancestry. 

The game of baseball has long welcomed immigrants from its earliest days, when an estimated 30 percent of players claimed Irish heritage.  Many of the game’s biggest stars at the turn of the 20th century were Irish immigrants or their descendants, including Michael “King” Kelly, Roger Connor (the home run king before Babe Ruth), Eddie Collins, and NY Giants manager John McGraw.  Today, major league teams regularly sign players born in Latin America, Japan, Canada, and elsewhere.

Shaun Clancy, an amateur baseball historian, created the Hall after learning about the rich heritage of Irish Americans in the sport dating from its infancy – a legacy that has been overshadowed in recent years by other ethnicities.  He decided to celebrate his roots and those who helped make the game great by creating a shrine to Irish Americans in baseball in 2008.

“Starting Nine”

The “Starting Nine” inductees were: the late Mets and Phillies reliever Tug McGraw, Yankee announcer John Flaherty, sportswriter Jeff Horrigan, NY Mets groundskeeper Pete Flynn, retired sluggers Mark McGwire and Sean “The Mayor” Casey, Kevin Costner, star of Field of Dreams and Bull Durham, legendary owner-manager Connie Mack, and longtime official scorer and sports columnist Red Foley

The 2009 inductees were: longtime Brooklyn and LA Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley, sluggers Steve Garvey and Paul O’Neill, longtime umpire Jim Joyce, veteran sportscaster Vin Scully, and Ed Lucas, a blind reporter who has covered the Yankees and Mets for more than 40 years.

About Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant

A popular destination among baseball players, executives, umpires and fans, Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant is located at 18 W. 33rd St., across from the  Empire  State  Building .  The “Irish Bar with a Baseball Attitude” features walls adorned with 2,000 autographed baseballs, hundreds of bobbleheads, game-worn jerseys, stadium seats and other artifacts that make Foley’s the best baseball bar in New York and one of the best sports bars in America. Foley’s is home of the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame and features one of the country’s most extensive public displays of baseball memorabilia outside of Cooperstown.  For more information, call (212) 290-0080 or visit www.foleysny.com or www.facebook.com/FoleysNYPub.

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ON AUGUST 30TH 1964 THE METS PLAYED THE CUBS AT WRIGLEY FIELD JUST LIKE TODAY BUT WHICH METS LINEUP WAS BETTER ?

Here is the lineup Jerry Manuel wil send out against the Cubs today:

Pagan, cf
Castillo, 2b
Murphy, 1b
Francoeur, rf
Reed, lf
Tatis, 3b
Schneider, c
Hernandez, ss
Figueroa, rhp

Here is the lineup that Casey Stengel used on this date in 1964:

Bobby Klaus 3B

Ron Hunt 2B

Ed Kranepool 1B

George Altman LF

Joe Christopher RF

Chris Cannizaro C

Roy McMillian SS

Denis Ribant P

At 1B Murphy or Krane? I’m a big Murphy fan but really who where my alliances lies here,

2B-Ron Hunt was THE MAN back then. The first Mets All Star when All Star meant something his numbers in ’64 .303/.357/.406  and was as tough as they come

3B- Tatis big over Klauss

SS-Roy McMillan couldn’t hit but had a great glove. AHern can’t hit and used to have a great glove. Roy Mac for me.

LF Jeremy Reed get a rare start from Manuel why this guy got burried with all the injuries is a story that should be told. I know the guy is no ball of fire but who  did he piss off to get burried as he has on this team. George Altman spent one year with the Mets. He was traded to the Mets from the Cardinals for Roger (Hum Baby) Graig. I’ll take Reed as a pity pick

CF Jim Hickman had some very good season with the Cubs once he left the Mets. Angel Pagan seems to have gotten the message that he needs to play ball to the wall baseball everyday if he wants to stick around that’s a credit to Jerry Manuel . I’ll take Pagan as this is Jim Hickman 1964 not Hickman 1970

RF-Joe Christopher and Frenchy Francouer. Believe it or not Christopher hit .300/.360/.466 with 16 HR and 76 RBI for the Mets in ’64. This was tough but I’ll take Christopher

C-Not even close Chris Cannazaro BIG over Schneider

P-Nelly Figs has done well and Dennis Ribant was just a rookie with a 1-5 W/L and a 5.15 ERA Go with Figgy

So my score card reads 5-4 1964 Mets

what do you think?


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I TOLD YOU GUYS BILLY JOEL SUCKS

This from the great Can’t Stop The Bleeding site:

In a bid to keep the peace at Citizens Bank Park, the Phillies wanted to cloak or replace the 16-by-16-foot Mets banner at the top of the set decoration at the Billy Joel/Elton John concerts tonight and Saturday.

Alas, they could not find anything suitable.

Joel will wear a Phillies jacket for at least part of the show and will make some sort of joking reference to the Mets and their 10-games-back status

My colleague Bob Ford and I hear that the Phillies had reached out to the “Face 2 Face” concert to express concern about Joel’s New York-theme set.

It’s not that the Phils are worried about any kind of baseball rivalry, we hear; they just don’t want some yahoo having too much to drink and throwing something at it or starting a fight. The Mets banner was visible at recent shows at Nationals Ballpark and Wrigley Field.

Perhaps Joel will sing “Philadelphia State of Mind,” as well.

My wife actually has Billy Joel albums but when I get home tonight they are going in the trash where they should have been in the first place.

Imagine this old broken down douche is going to wear a Phillies jacket? What a piece of shit! If you don’t any song played at $iti Field by this hack then you’re not a Mets fan

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GOOD JOHNNY, BAD JOHNNY?

The game of the day was not at $iti Field or the Park in the South Bronx but in Staten Island where our Babe Ruth team charged back from a 12-0 deficit to down  to 2 runs, 12-10 when the game was caused due to darkness. Our home field is just off the Green Belt and is stunning but we have an old time Wrigley Field scenario so when you start a game at 5:30 you better get it in in 2 hours or it’s a suspended game. It was the first time for the vast majority of the players to have to play by MLB rules and dimensions and at the start was a bit overwhelming for them and me, coaching 3rd base. But the boys showed a lot of heart and determination coming back like they did.

 

John Maine could use a bit of that determination himself after imploding in the 3rd inning last night. You knew as soon as Maine threw for straight balls to Henry Blanco and then you get ahead of the 8th batter in the lineup (Everth Cabrera) and you don’t finish him off? Basic god damn baseball, there is a reason those guys bat 7th and 8th go after them no bullshit get them out. UGHHHHHHHHHH!

 

If I’m J-Man I start Shrek at catcher for the next three games. He might pass out from the work load but right now he is a better choice both as a receiver and a hitter than Brian Schneider. I not saying Schneider is not banged up but I think it’s more J-Man is starting to loose faith in him.

 

The Skill Sets can not be happy with the amount of empty seats in the Stuffed Shirt Circle Jerk behind home plate. But it’s not just at $iti Field either. Every non-Mets game I watch on MLB Extra Innings is the same story, the upper reaches of the ball parks are full and the Aristocrats are MIA.

 

But when the SNY cameras show the outfield stands, it looks like LaGuardia on the day before Thanksgiving.

 

With all the hand wringing about the economy and being priced out of sporting events the WWE had an outstanding weekend with its 25 Anniversary of Wrestle Mania (I’m proud to say I went to the Inaugural event at MSG I know it’s not a “real sport” but the sound of The Garden that day, it was Palm Sunday 1984, was Game 7 Stanley Cup Finals loud) Check out this story in today’s Daily News with the facts and figures showing Vince McMahon is a marketing genius.

 

The lack of Mets history at $iti Field has the war drums pounding as is what seems to be a majority of Mets fans wanting the team to go with Pinstripes at home and Grays on the road with the solid blue hat at all times. I’m totally on board with this and if the Skill Sets had any kind of clue they would be too.  

 

In honor of Willie Randolph’s return to Flushing tonight we have this little musical interlude.     

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“HOW ARE YOU FIXED FOR BLADES”?

If you are a fan of college football and are in favor of a playoff system instead of the ridiculous BCS bullshit rankings then you have two things going in your favor, the NHL Winter Classic and MLB Network because after what used to be college football’s showcase day New Years Day is dominated with news of the Blackhawks-Red Wings game at Wrigley Field and the launch of MLB Network.

The only drawback last night for the debut of MLBN was the mug of the Nutty Professor on the screen at 6PM. The 30 second countdown, a montage of players with the numbers 30 (Nolan Ryan) to 1 (Ozzie Smith) was great with the exception of number 3 (Evan Longoria) how could it not be the Bambino? The Hot Stove Show was terrific (even with Rosalita Leiter on the dais and a cameo by Jimmy Rollins) Harold Reynolds was close to Dickie V like in his enthusiasm and Victor Rojas (Cookie’s kid) looked very comfortable as a host. You can see that MLBN come spring training will be destination TV and every night during the season as the network has cameras at all 30 ball parks so post game interviews with players and a mangers will be plentiful. 

Watching the Larsen Perfect Game was a late Christmas/New Year’s treat but it took a bit to get used to. No centerfield camera in those days and no replays were the biggies for me. One part of the telecast that should still be implemented in today’s game telecast was the lack of crowd shots. The camera was focused on the field the whole game making for a more enjoyable watch.  Big contrast in pitching styles by Sal Maglie and Don Larsen. Maglie had that windmill windup that was popular back then but Larsen had more of a step and throw approach and no real wind up. Both teams seemed to have issues with home plate ump Babe Parrelli’s strike zone.  When 28 year old Vin Scully was on the screen the first thing I thought of was how he looked just like Conan O’Brien. No chatter between pitches by either Scully or Mel Allen. Talk about a game of inches, Sandy Amoros and Duke Snyder just missing home runs to right field could have altered history.  Also Mickey Mantle with a running catch in left center and notice the 457 sign in that gap at Old Highlander Stadium. Also the monuments in centerfield and the scoreboard on the left field wall.  For the most part, the batters stayed in the batter’s box between pitches but I thought Larsen was like the Steve Trachsel of his day in his very deliberate way he worked.

The interviews with Yogi and Larsen by Bob Costas were good although I think I’m Yogi-ed out by now with all his Yogi-isims and the fact that Berra has slowed down a lot and maybe it’s time he stopped giving interviews. Larsen seemed a little embarrassed when Costas went over the litany of Hall of Famers that were on hand that day as if to say if it weren’t for this perfecto Larsen would have drifted in to obscurity. It was surprising that Larsen admitted he didn’t realize he pitched a perfect game but then it was brought out that the last perfect game in baseball was over 30 years before this one.

I loved the ads and I nearly fell off the sofa when I saw that pocket size Baseball Encyclopedia that came with the Gillette razor because I have a copy of it. When my mother was moving and I was cleaning out her apartment I found it in a draw and I never knew whose it was or where it came from. After seeing the ad I have to figure it was my father’s as he always used a Gillette razor and blades. That makes the book even more special now.

MLBN is running the Larsen Perfect Game all day today but I guess starting next week there will be more diverse programming but either way MLBN is on my favorites list.

     

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