from the Los Angeles Dodgers in Citi Field Tuesday,
On the morning of April 28, 2010
when you wake up, the Mets will be in first place by a half game
over the Phillies who lost in San Francisco.
hey Met fans...Who Wudda Thunk it?! See?! Ya Gotta Believe!
"We'll be right back with the Happy Re-cap."
~ the Late Great Bob Murphy
David Wright collected his 1000th hit of his Met career!
A/O April 28th:
The Mets completed a sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers this afternoon. As a matter of fact they completed a rather remarkable home stand. They recorded 9 wins versus 1 loss. They haven't had a series like this at home since 1988 and 1969 before that. Incidentally, those were two years we won 100 games in the season. Easy there everybody...easy. John Maine put forth what appears to be his best effort this season. His ball danced quite a bit and he wound up striking out his season high 9 batters versus 3 walks in 6 innings.
I'm taking this homestand in stride and not getting too giddy about
a turn around from a 4-8 motley crew to a 13-9 team.
After a day off they'll be in South Philly for what amounts to
a battle for first place.
Let's Go Mets!
Like I always say, all this research has been done already. I am just showing you around. So.., anyone care for another trip back to Green-Wood?
( View from a Green Wood hill top. Click...Empire St. Bldg is center mass of pic)
I've found myself talking out loud to the stones. I can't help but express aloud what we all feel when I've visited these sights; "Thank You Sir! Thank You for this great game of Baseball." Two pats and a rub of the stone has become my new custom when I leave them and they return to their eternal slumbers.
Before there was a Cooperstown HOF, there was Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn.
Today we visit Duncan Curry, the first President of the Knickerbocker Baseball Club of New York.
The Knickerbockers of the early 1840's were already formed into a local athletic club participating in and promoting outdoor athletics on Manhattan's east side Murray Hill neighborhood. But in 1846, Duncan Curry said in response to a debate as to whether he or Henry Chadwick was the "Father of Baseball", - "Thomas Fiddlesticks.[Chadwick] had no more to do with the original rules (of Baseball) than you had. William Wheaton, William H. Tucker and I drew up the first set of rules and the game was developed by the people who played it and were connected with it."
The rules Duncan Curry speaks of are those so famously drafted in the east side Knickerbocker Club House 164 years ago and define our Pastime today. They are the rules that accompanied the team to Hoboken and the Elysian Fields of play. It was in Hoboken, N.J. where the first organized game of baseball was played by the first officially chartered Baseball team ever formed* under rules of "the New York Game". That's the way we understand it...right folks?
Duncan Curry served as club President in 1845 and 1846. He remained with the club as a player and later followed other baseball related endeavours as well.
Both Henry Chadwick and Duncan Curry are deserving of respect for inspiring the game and fathering Baseball. There are others however. We all have an understanding Baseball was more a creation of evolution than just one man's invention. Town Ball and Rounders were contemporaries of our game. Many people and circumstances contributed to the resilient game that won our hearts. Let us pay respects to one of those individuals. Ladies and gentlemen, one of the Fathers of Baseball, Duncan Curry.
a/o April 23
Reyes is saying the right things and displaying the right attitude with regards to batting third...Now. He's let his feelings about batting 3rd be known in the past. This is not a criticism. But Reyes does seem to be back and if I didn't know any better, I dare say he is stepping up as a leader and elder statesman of this team in attitude and deeds. There's a sense this team is rallying around their manager because of the grumblings in METropolis this early in April. A 26 yr old Reyes is behaving a little differently that the 23 or 24 year old Reyes did. Maturity? Injury's way of reminding one of their mortality? Whatever it is, this Reyes will be better for it.
a/o April 24
You can't win pennants in April, but you can loose them. You can blame '07 on a September choke. I blame it on a poor first half. Getting to .500 showed some gumption by this team. And I dare say they are rallying around their manager. It's nice to see and who are we to be kill-joys right now. With 6 days left in the month, the Mets can actually polish this month to a shine. Let's Go Mets.?!
a/o April 25
And the Mets not only gained the elusive .500 mark, they're a game above it now. Just as things seemed to be getting mighty ugly awfully early around here, it seems the Mets are riding the other side of extreme right now. That's right. I'm not going to get crazy because this is what inconsistent teams do. But I'm not going to be a kill-joy today. So here are some thoughts at face value.
Jose Reyes ~ Re-capping what I said the other day....His demeanor is different since he's back. If I didn't know any better, I'd say he's growing into himself now and he's recognizing he needs to take his rightful place as a Mets elder statesman now. He's 26 this year. I have noticed a different Reyes so far. It may be simply because Reyes is not the 22 or 23 year old we sometimes chided for too many theatrics. The reason could be he realized his mortality after loosing two almost complete seasons to leg injuries which book-end his career. Maturity and injury have a way of shaping a players perspective. It looks like Jose will be better off for it. He is saying all the right things with regard to batting third and it seems as if he has taken the lead in rallying around Jerry Manuel. Other players like Jeff Francueor and Pagan are echoing sentiments about their manager. Reyes is clearly having a quick effect on the Mets.
Jerry Manuel ~ No one is screaming for his job today. I stress today. I've already expressed my position on the manager of the Mets. I'll say this much about him; he's pro-active. If he's going down, he's going down managing. He's making logistical decisions about his players and taking chances. These decisions and chances might be born from desperation, but again, I am not pooh-poohing the day today. Manuel was never a consideration long term for me. He was a good and logical choice to replace Randolph. I thought we'd have moved on over the winter. Having said that, I am in no hasty rush to replace him with Valentine. I think you all know my concerns weigh heavier when speaking of the GM and my front office.
David Wright? Howard Johnson?
This is the third stance in three years for David Wright. Each one has resulted in worsening results. His strikeouts the last 3 years are through the roof and climbing like a bean-stalk. In his earlier years he was striking out to the tune of 115 per 600+/- at-bats. The last three years he's averaging about 50 less at-bats and striking out at a 150 per clip. He's gone 12 consecutive games with at least one strike out. He's not just striking out. He's going 0-2, 1-2 in the count regularly! His legs are like boiled spaghetti at the sight of a curve ball. He's missing fastballs right down the middle by huge margins. He's swinging at worm killers and guessing wrong on almost every pitch. He is completely out of his mind right now. He's got IT real bad.
For this one particular player, Howard Johnson the Met's hitting coach, has to be working against what is right for David Wright. These two guys need to clean the slate and start over with a new plan. Trying to scape-goat Hojo is foolish but obviously what he and David are doing is clearly not even close to being effective. And maybe, just maybe, getting beaned in the head is still fresh in David Wright's memory. Something like that can haunt a player. If you watch him jelly-leg the curve balls, it's fair to think.
THE WEATHER BOYZ!!!
The WeatherBoyz? I hear-by release every and all Mets starters from their weather related nooses I kept around their necks. ALL EXCEPT, Mr. RAIN. Yep. He's taking the term "April Showers" to new heights. John Maine and his Rain Act are enough to make Noah and the animals say "Oi Vey!" Jon Neise and Big Mike Pelfrey have been doing well and Better. Pelfrey has been nothing short of great so far. Niese has been a hard luck starter been has been very very effective. Johan is always the battler and needs little words on my part.
Snow, Sleet and YES HAIL TOO!! You are hereby released from your cumulonimbus bearing duties. Oliver Perez's efforts, like Niese's could reflect better in the win/loss totals. But his 3.50 (rounded) era is OK with me and it's good enough to warrant some respect.
There!....A post about my Mets with almost a complete lack of negativity. See? It's possible.
But now the truth...I have not wavered from the way I feel about the changes I want from this organization. I still, as I always will, stand by my criticisms of this organization.
After taking the series from the Cubs, and finishing off the Braves yesterday, tonight's opening game of the Dodgers series was rained out. Tomorrow will be a truely classic Twi-Night DoubleHeader at Citi Field.
There will be no day/night nonsense. Tomorrow is strictly two for the price of one starting at 4:30pm. Good Job Mr.Wilpon!! Good job indeed.
This concludes my METroSpections for the home stand thus far.
Not only have the WeatherBoyz been pitching better than most expected and to my surprise, in spite of untimely hitting by the bats, I finally had my first real Feel Good Moment of the year.
I can't help but feel better about my team's situation whenever I gaze into the visitors dugout this series and see the biggest collection of paycheck pirates and cheddar bandits this side of the Great Lakes disgrace a baseball uniform the way these Field of Green Jihadists do every time they kill innocent blades of grass with every depraved step they take. This country fought a revolution over a 6% tax on tea....
...If Cub fans had any gumption in their spineless-jelly fish existence, Chicago's North Side would be burning. But because Steve Bartman made a better attempt at a fly ball than Alfonso Soriano will ever make, I feel so much more GOODER about my own MET tribulations. If I lived on WaveLess Avenue I would have "friggin" German Shepherds "with Friggin lasers in their heads" chasing all you off my property. When the world's biggest social disease clinic lets out after another day time Cub Dropping, my dogs will make you rue the day you ever thought of P'ing on my lawn. Snausaages!!
The CUBS. Easer of my pain. My laxative for METstapation.
Mayor Richard Daley needs to get out here with his little baggie or pooper scooper, or his budget ledger, and clean up all the droppings his wandering four-legged flea hostels are leaving all over Citi Field.
NJ was be-Deviled by a Flyer team that was never able to play at full strength this series. This Flyer team came strong since the first drop of the puck in game one and pushed the Devs around. The Devils were completely man-handled and dismantled this series.
I've been watching the Bruins/Sabres series and the winner of that series will fall in the next round. Boucher is hot enough to get Phila into the semi's. PITT and/or WASH will skate cirlcles around Phila though.
The Devils are eliminated from the playoffs for the fifth consecutive year with having only played a couple of token games before April expires. The Eastern Conf. Number Two Seed is done in 2010.
A very inconsistent Flyers team for most of this season was predicted to win the Eastern Conference this year. Tonight and through-out this series, they played up to that expectation.
I still say if these modern day Broad Street Bullies can't intimidate, hit and jar Sid the Kid or Alex the Great, they won't get by either one.
Devils? Marty? Too Old? He's going to be 38 yrs old. Too many games? Maybe...but then that's always been the complaint. He played well this series. Devils needed to score way more.
Devils? WTF happened to the defense? No Daneyko? No Stevens? No Cup! The Trap was ineffective because the Devils were just pushed out of the way.
They were punchless and floundering for goals this season. They went out and got Ilya K...But he did not "point" the Devils through a series win.
I didn't see any of the NJD neutral zone dominance, and thus , no turn-overs to capitalize on. The Devils were exposed. The Flyers didn't beat themselves. The Devils couldn't score and the Flyers stayed disciplined. That is be-Deviling!
Coach Jacque may not even survive this. Big Lou has some needs that need to be addressed post haste.
If this post seemed all over the place straying from thought to thought like NJ's play?
....the Devils made me do it.
of Professional Baseball
(rated comparative to AAA ball)
These guys are entering the League's 14th year.
The Atlantic League was established in 1996 here in the NorthEast bringing baseball to areas under-served by Major and Minor League Baseball. One of the main of many forces behind it's establishment was former Met Bud Harrelson. Buddy has been with one of the league's most successful franchises, the Long Island Ducks, who play roughly 50 miles outside the city limits.
It's an eight team league:
Newark (N.J.) Bears
Long Island (N.Y.) Ducks
Somerset (N.J.) Patriots
Camden (N.J.) RiverSharks
Bridgeport (Conn.) BlueFish
South Maryland BlueCrabs
York (Penn.) Revolution
Lancaster (Penn.) Barnstormers
Opening Day is Thursday April 22.
This league is a great opportunity to see former major leaguers manage and coach. Sparky Lyle is the manager of Somerset. Von Hayse was the manager of Lancaster when I visited last year. HOF'r Gary Carter managed the Long Island Ducks last year. Tommy John was managing Bridgeport. HOF'r Ricky Henderson was probably the biggest name to come through the league lately. He managed the Newark Bears a couple of years ago.
Many players who find themselves out of MLB for various reasons come here to work on their game or to gain some exposure in front of scouts for last chances to sign on with a big club. Some sign on for just pure love of the game. Carl Everette and Edgardo Alfonzo both former Mets spent time playing
for Long Island recently. If you remember pitcher John Halama, he just signed with Southern Maryland's Blue Crabs. Sidney Ponson? He's here too. That are a many more players with MLB experience here.
Then there are the kids.
Pete Rose Jr., Charlie Hustle's son, was a perennial batting champ
playing most of his career in the A.L. with Long Island.
The son of Craig Nettles plays as a big fan favorite in Somerset for the Patriots.
I root for the Newark Bears.
They do a great job of keeping the old Newark Eagles Negro League team's memory alive.
The Somerset Patriots are the consummate winners of the league winning five titles. In 2009 they captured their second consecutive championship.
I've driven to see all the teams and their parks with the exception of York and South Maryland. I plan on tacking on those stops to a couple of road trips I have planned for this season.
I average about ten A.L. games a year not including the playoffs.. Between going to see the Mets, going to Coney Island and seeing my Cyclones (A), Yankee games, road trippin' and my own softball season, I like to fill in the gaps in my season with Atlantic League games. Newark and Somerset are too easy for me to get to. It's just that much more baseball I have to keep me occupied all summer long. The price, intimacy, relative closeness and over all relaxation I get at these games is worth every cent. The every-so-often Big Name comes through and the opportunity to just be real and talk to these guys is one of the biggest unknown secrets of this league. If you just take things at face value and keep sensible expectations; and if you like getting a litter closer to the game on a humanistic level, this is a very cool way to do it.
This league's rosters are manned by players with minimum 6 years major and/or minor league experience. They operate in full compliance with the National Agreement and are mandated to provide fields of no less than AAA requirements.
Here's a list of prior Champions:
2004 Long Island
2000 Nashua Pride (currently play in Can/Am League)
1998 Atlantic City Surf (switched to Can/Am league, then folded)
I went downstairs to "the Vault" (my basement)! I pulled down a redFile marked Atlantic League and the date on the front was 2007. So here goes folks; a couple of things I have from the 2007 season
and some other stuff.
The above trophy is what they play for.
The parks are very nice also.
I happen to think Camden's park is pretty darn nice indeed.
It sits right at the base of the Ben Franklin Bridge. During night games Philadelphia's skyline lights reflect off the river over the left field fence and the Bridge dominates the center to left field view.
When I figure out what box those pictures are in I'll be sure to post them.
I have more shoe boxes than FootLocker with pictures in them and each box is numbered. Now that I want some pics I can't find the notebook I use to keep note of the contents there-in.
...hate when that happens.
While I dig those out, these pics of the Newark Bears' digs were in with the programs above.
Newark, N.J. folks.
After the game with zero traffic, I'm home in 25 minutes.
That's Manhattan in the background.
Newark's Baseball History
And that's all she wrote.
Consider yourself updated on the
Atlantic League of Professional Baseball...(for now).