Friday, July 30, 2010

"A Happy Recap"

R.A. Dickey isn't one of the kids by any stretch.  But he is one of the New Jacks.  I was one of the first to ridicule Omar Minaya for signing him to a minor league contract.  I laid it on pretty heavily too.  The guy has only gone 7-4 for us and came up just shy of a complete game this afternoon.  Where would we be without him?

But Ike!  He's a Kid.  And he's been clutch.  He may only be hitting .250 or so, but all his hits have counted.  He hit another home run today, a three run bomb, and has a bucket full of rbi over his last few games.  He had a very clutch rbi single coming off the bench as a pinch hitter the other night also.  He is now officially a Rookie of the Year candidate.

Ike Davis for Prince Fielder? ~ Like I've heard lately?  Uh....I don't think so.

Mets won their first series since June when the beat the Twins in a series during Inter-League games.  The Mets took two out of three against the Cardinals with this afternoon's win.  Good ol' home cooking I guess.

The goal is to get some separation from the .500 mark in a positive direction during this home stand.  This was a good start.  Now we need to get some pay back against the D-Backs coming off that last road trip.

Let's see what happens.  There's no need to get freaked out today.  My issues with this team have not changed.  But I am resigned to thinking this team can not improve during this looming trade deadline.  In that case it makes it easier for me to cope.  I do not think this team can get through three rounds of playoffs.

So what happens now? I got to enjoy the game today instead of analyzing it. ~ Quite refreshing I must say.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

SAFE !! And Finally HOME

New York Mets
Chief Operating Officer
or as I prefer
Baby Jeff over at Mets~R~Us:


Through his puppet, Omar Minaya, pseudo GM of the Mets,

 handed down his directive concerning the coaching staff and status of the manager.

The Mets have announced there are no plans to fire the manager or Manuel's coaching staff.
Howard Johnson, who has come under intense scrutiny this season, and Dan Warthen, whom many will say isn't nearly as effective as the last pitching coach the Mets fired ~ Rick Peterson are still on the payroll.

(Jerry shows press what he might have contemplated
had the Mets fired him after the Left Coast trip)

For now.

My opinion?

I'll surprise you and say I agree with the decision.  It's too late to make that decision now (actually not really ~ any time is a good time).  Even Jeff Wilpon admitted earlier in the year last off-season would have been the ideal time to make changes.  But the Mets decided to maintain the status-quo.  And trust me, I am in no rush to see Bob Melvin in the dugout as a Mets manager. 

But I agree with not doing anything now either.  Omar Minaya should not be allowed to make another managerial hire.  That would be his third.  Omar and Jerry should be and I think are joined at the hip.  When Jerry goes, Omar will have a bus ticket out of town also. 
But that's just me talking.

Ultimately, Omar's hands have been tied behind his back by the Wilpon's Super Secret plan to hide their alleged financially unstable situation.  It's the Wilpons themselves who have not been truthful with the fan base this year.  A little more forth-rightness on their part might go a long way towards garnering some empathy from us and quieting the derisive chatter coming out of all parts of Metropolis this season.

But as hard as it may seem to believe, even to myself, I am defending the Mets' decision to retain the manager and coaching staff.  They really blew it last time they faced this situation with Randolph.  I think they are just trying to be a little more prudent right now.
(Without going into a digression...but doesn't that still sound like making decisions for the wrong reasons?  Just a thought.)

We fired Willie Randoph.  We fired Rick Peterson.  We can have a separate debate as to whether or not they deserved it.  But it was clear then, the Mets totally mishandled Randolph's release, to the point of embarrassment.  Rick Peterson was made unemployed for the wrong reasons.  Like Milt Thompson, the Phila Phils batting coach,  getting fired in Philadelphia was a shot across the bow by Rubin Amaro Jr and a totally symbolic gesture, so too was firing Rick Peterson from his post.  And today we can not say his replacement, Dan Warthen is doing a better job, much less as good a job as Peterson did; especially as it pertained to Oliver Perez (but there will be no digression about Ollie here!).

A concern of mine is the potential of Jerry Manuel to over work and effectively burn out Bobby Parnell out of the bullpen....AGAIN!  It's my claim Jerry burnt out Fernando Nieve with overuse earlier in the season and now he's been designated for assignment.  Last year Bobby Parnell set the Mets Rookie record for most appearances.  Parnell was over used and was still not fully recovered this past spring training.  Today he is popping the gun at 99 mph and I'd keep an eye on Manuel's usage of my guy; our kid...Bobby Parnell.

So....Yea; Jerry Manuel, Howard Johnson and Dan Warthen are all still employed today by the Metropolitans.  After that disastrous West Coast trip that was a 2 win - 9 loss nightmare, most people expected the worse for them this afternoon, especially after hearing there was a Mets meeting of the minds...i.e.; Omar and Jeff, yesterday on the Mets' off day.

It's time to hold the players accountable in this one.  The coaching can only do so much.  They don't throw from 60 feet 6 inches away and they don't stand in the batter's box.

Yea, Jerry isn't the greatest tactician around Baseball. 
But I would hire Famous Amos to manage the Mets
before I want Bob Melvin at the helm.

In the Mets' first game upon returning from that dreadful road trip, against the Cardinals tonight
Frankie Rodriguez just closed out an 8-2 victory.  The Mets took the pesky approach against St. Louis pitcher, Adam Wainwright, who surrendered a 3 run Home Run to Jeff Francoeur.  The Mets banged out 9 hits and Jose Reyes also homered tonight.

Maybe there is something to this Citi Field phenomenon and the Mets.
They can win at Citi in bunches but are completely inept on the road.  I do believe they are still in the single digits in road wins with 9.  Don't quote me on that.

So they're home again. 
Dan Warthen is safe and John Niese gets a well deserved win tonight.
Howard Johnson is safe and Francoeur and Reyes homer; Mets pound out 9 hits and 8 runs.
Jerry Manuel is safe and is home again where the Mets can potentially have a good home stand and distance themselves from the .500 mark again and hopefully gain a little ground on Atlanta.

This is it folks.  I don't believe the Mets will be serious players at the trade dead line.  So it looks like this is what we're going with.  I can't say I am happy because you know about my want for a complete rebuild.  I am not totally down on them or the season because....there's always hope...and that's why we root.  We always root.  So why hide it in spite of my issues with this team.

See?!  I can be somewhat positive. 
And it's not just because they won tonight.  You know me...that has nothing to do with it.  I just think Jeff Wilpon has a very precarious situation on his hands and for a day, I agree with him taking a more patient approach with the coaching staff and manager.  I think even Jeff realizes they are not the entire or glaring problem here.

And before I forget, Jerry Manuel served his one game suspension tonight;
the one he earned out in L.A.  All I can say is good for him!  I like the spunk.

Now beat it!


Monday, July 26, 2010

Player Formally Known as Alex Rodriguez

The player formerly known as
is about to hit Home Run number


And I Don't Really Care!!

This would have meant a lot to me....once.
ALL of Baseball is responsible for my apathy right now.

To bad for me I guess.


**image ~

Kyle Farnsworth? Really?

This morning I'm hearing rumors of a proposed trade of Jeff Francoeur for Kyle Farnsworth. Kyle Farnsworth? Really?

Last night I heard very loose rumors the Mets were looking into a trade that would send Oliver Perez to K.C. for Gil Mesch? ~ A trade for each other's head ache? They both make the same money, almost have identical stats and are equally horrible. Both teams are at their wits end with these pitchers.

This is what my team is plotting? This is their big move heading into the dead line? This is the plan to improve the team and this season?

These moves are designed to do WHAT?

C'mon! Really?

Brace for impact!! Iceberg dead ahead!!


Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Hawk ~ Andre Dawson ~ HOF'er

438 Home Runs
1591 RBI
1373 Runs
314 Stolen Bases
2774 Hits
503 Doubles

This is the way I always remember "The Hawk".

1977 Rookie of the Year
1987 Most Valuable Player
8 Gold Gloves

A Hall of Fame election
well deserved.


*image ~

Saturday, July 24, 2010

John Maine ~ Butter him; He's Toast

The New York Metropolitan Baseball club shed 200 lbs. of dead weight.  John Maine is going for season ending surgery.  Injury and unemployment are nothing to laugh at.  But there is insurance and medical attention for all that.  Thus, as a Met fan ~ Sorry John, you don't have to leave but you just can't stay here.

*image ~

One roster spot reclaimed in the name of SANITY! 

Let us move onward! 
There are more roster spots to wrestle back from the deadbeat clutches of
apathy and futility.

Dear Mets,
Uh...don't offer him arbitration next year, OK?


Friday, July 23, 2010

Another Arm Burnt Out by Jerry Manuel

Fernando Nieve has been designated for assignment by the Metropolitans. 

Nieve was ridden like a mule up and down a Grand Canyon path.  Jerry Manuel is squarely to blame for the ruination of Fernando Nieve.  Of course this is just all my opinion.  Past practice?  Yep!  Bobby Parnell.  He abused Bobby Parnell in 2009 to the point that he could not make the team this year out of spring training.  Bobby Parnell's arm strength only now seems to be fully recovered.  Ruination may be knocking on Parnell's door next...again.  Jerry Manuel is a desperate man right now making judgements in an effort to save his job.  Sometimes that is not always in the best interest of the player or the club.  Sometimes; not always.

Two relievers in two years Jerry Manuel conscripted to hard labor; the record is written.

Be afraid Bobby.  Be very afraid.


Kansas City Royals ~ MIKE AVILES

is happy to welcome back
New York City Native
Kansas City Royal's Infielder


In town for a series against the Yankees.

NYC is always behind you!


We the People?

Willoughby Street


Two Minutes To Midnight

Two minutes to midnight?  Well...not exactly.  It's actually 1:22a.m. and I'm still trying to formulate words that describe this Left Coast trip.  After tonight's loss to the Dodgers and yet another shut-out to ponder, the Mets are now losers of 7 out of 8 games on this swing.  If were not for The Umpire that Giveth and Taketh and Whatever'th...Mr. Cuzzi, we'd be win-less.  Remember the gift he gave the Mets in San Francisco by blowing the call at home?  We then went to Arizona and got dusted there.  In L.A. things are starting out status-quo.  The Mets coming out of the All*Star break, are misfiring on all pistons.  But the Mets were failing before the break also.  They are losers of something like 12 of 15 lately.

Two minutes to midnight means they are two games above the .500 mark now.  That is an 800 lbs. gorilla placed squarely on Jerry Manuel's shoulders.  Suck it up Dude!  Just like your GM said today in passing as he viewed you getting grilled by the media earlier in the morning...He said, "Welcome to New York".  Of course he said it in jest and as he was running away with his briefcase in hand.  This was Jerry's media time and I guess Omar didn't want to take away from that.  Jerry was good with the jokes earlier today in the reporters circle.  I wonder if he needs a good scolding of the likes Alex Cora gave Big Pelfry and some of the beat writers the other night for laughing too much after another loss.

Jerry shook up the line-up tonight.  He's trying what he can with what he has.  Omar was captured a short time later and endorsed Manuel very plainly.  Omar said he is happy with the job Jerry is doing and he's the manager.  Well the manager could have put the line-up in a blender tonight but even that wouldn't have been enough to shake the Mets out of this offensive funk.  The Mets offense has score like 4 runs in their last 1,000 innings or something.  They've been wasting quality starts that we've been fortunate to get.

Two minutes to midnight refers to the dreaded Left Coast Vote of Confidence.  Remember how the Mets fired Willie Randolph out there under the cover of NYC darkness?  I'm not saying Manuel is getting fired; any time soon.  But his clock is set at two minutes to midnight.  There is only one bright spot I can find for the Mets and Jerry right now.  That silver lining is that this road trip WILL end.  That's it.  That's all I can say.  They can't stay on the Left Side for ever.  I don't know if the results will change once they leave but at least we can't pick on them while they're there.  We'll just have to do that when they get back!

That piano falling out of the sky has a Mets logo on it.  Look out!


Wednesday, July 21, 2010


An e-mail I sent in to Bill Daughtry's show on 1050ESPN Radio:

Let's get right to the heart of Met Matters and WILPONIANISM shall we?

Are the Mets going to make a genuine effort to sign Cliff Lee this winter?   Are they willing to do what other clubs won't?   Will they do enough to convince him to pitch here?

ANSWER ~ I'm leaning towards no; They won't.

The time is coming soon when the Mets need to decide whether WRIGHT and REYES are going to anchor this team before they're up for big money.   If the Mets don't commit in theory one way or another now,  we'll just continue to spin our tires in the mud when it gets to that.   If they know they are not committed to them long term for big money, Trade Them.  If they are committed in theory, hurry up and continue the re-build process we started (started out of desperation and we are still deciding whether it worked out by design or accident!).   MY OPINION?   I have no idea what the Wilpons think anymore.

So what exactly is the plan here Bill?   Have the Mets thought about these things?   I say no because they are practiced at the art of Band-aids.   They're still a reactive ownership.

The Wilpons themselves represent the biggest problem for the Mets' fan base.   They have NEVER been forthright, truthful, open...about the financial health of the club.   Additionally is the Mets Medical Staff that inept to still be getting (injuries in general) Reyes' oblique injury somewhat wrong OR are the dictates of the Wilpons at work in such matters?

In business, CORRECTIONS hurt.   All business' go through corrections.   The Mets need a correction Bill. If the Mets do not impose a correction upon themselves they will forever chase their tails in a circle.   The time is now.   It was started already.   They just need to recognize, follow through and finish the job.  Remember how the Rangers recognized they needed a correction because of the ARod contract?   Remember how Colorado recognized they had a problem on their hands with the Mike Hampton contract?  Corrections.   Look at Colorado and Texas in today's standings after a rebuilding process and a painful correction.

Joe McDonald did it with the Mets in the 60's.  Much of his work had a tremendous (if indirect) effect on the 1986 Mets also (after all, Hubie Brooks, Mookie, Orosco, Backman, Mazzilli and the trade return of Ron Darling...etc) .  The 80's Mets built by Frank Cashen were the next example of harnessing a group of young players, seeing who is going to work out and building around them.  Joe McLvaine tried it also in the 90's.  It didn't work out but we were all on board with the plan.

These kids saved Manuel's job.   They saved Omar's credibility.   They kept this team in the mix.   The kids changed the whole atmosphere around the team.   The kids changed the fan's whole perception about the Flushing Ballclub.

The Yankees used to have AURA and MYSTIQUE appearing nightly once.   Now that the Met regulars are back together again, our version ~ ANGST and ANXIETY start their summer tour through mediocrity.

The CORRECTION I speak of, of course is Beltran, Castillo, Maine, Perez, Barajas, and Francoeur.  Beltran, Castillo, Maine and Ollie need to be corrected post haste!   Find a way to rid the roster of these players or minimize their playing time and/or impact.   The money is spent!   That's part of a correction. Within two years there's a lot of money coming off their (Mets) books.   Those players are the OLD GUARD.   This ship needs to sail.   We need to move on.   The correction needs to be made.

If the Mets are not committed players at the trade deadline (and for what I have no idea), if they are not serious players for Lee this winter, if they are not thinking about Wright and Reyes with regards to the future.....what are they doing?  What exactly is the plan here?

Give me all the kids I can have if the Mets do nothing by the deadline.   I want Thole full time.   I want F-Mart and Tejada playing.   There's a whole list of names I want involved on the big club between now and Opening Day next year Bill.   The rest of Baseball and the respective GM's out there may not like our prospects but there are a handful I do like and want to see them now.   This is where the team is.   We are not a serious playoff contender.   Period.   Rebuild it now.   Complete what you started Jeff.   Do it!   So much of it has been done already.   Just finish the job.   We can then trade and use free agency to supplement, compliment and augment as needed.   Build a core and do it now.   There are players in this organization that can be somebody.

If you want to help this club right now...package Francoeur and a prospect for a right field upgrade and some bullpen help.   Oh yea...get another starter too; anyone at this point. Just do not overpay for something average if that will make Met fans happy.  Me?  I'm not interested in an average pitcher.  I'd rather give a kid a chance in our present context.

The OLD GUARD is back and so is the Met fan's angst and anxiety.   Is it me Bill?   Do I just not get it? You know for three years I've been screaming for this.   And for three years all I've heard is people complain about the Mets and how bad this, and how bad that.....and they don't this, and they don't that crap.   And I was told I couldn't have been anymore wrong than I was in 2007.   Oh Yea...I was called lost and lacking baseball acumen back then by someone.  Really Bill?   Really?   I'll blow this horn till I die or get what I want (win or lose...just give us the chance to have a clean slate).

Bill...after all this, I can still go on about how the Johan Santana window is closing...and the "then what" scenario; ~ About needing to replace K-Rod after next year (Parnell has stuff to be a closer). Those are more MET opportunities for applying Band-aids in the Wilponian world we live in. When will this vicious cycle end?

After that know where my head is at. What kind of club does Jeff want his POP's team to be? It's all on him.

Gee I wish we had more forthright ownership.



window art


Ralph Houk; Former NY Yankees Manager Passes Away

The first manager George Steinbrenner ever fired;
Manager of the Bronx Bombers and the M & M Boys 
for two World Championships in the early 1960's..

Has passed away tonight.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My GUY !!

MY GUY ~ Josh Thole
just hit his first Major League Home Run tonight at approximately 11:37p.m. EST
versus Arizona against D-Back's pitcher Barry Enright.


Hey Jeff ~ Feel the Breeze

On June 25th, I posted with glee the Mets were starting 7 home grown players out of nine for that night's game.  A short time after that the Mets set an organizational record for the most consecutive games played with the most home grown players in the line-up.

Everyone knows by now how much I've been snivelling about how my ship has sailed regarding this team's old guard.  Ollie, Maine, Beltran, Castillo, and Barajas and Francoeur too; I'm DONE, and have been and you all know this!  I've been screaming about all of this since I moved into the Hood over the winter...haven't I?

If the Wilpons will not permit a quality deadline transaction to improve our pitching, I don't want the old guard wasting my time anymore.  I realize I am alone on an island with my thinking.  Just remember I kept reminding everyone how badly I wanted this team broken up in 2007.  I also realize that my wishes and the Mets' reality are in conflict.  These players I mentioned have contracts that just don't disappear.  I get all that.  I guess I'm just killing myself over a philosophical debate here.  But having said that, finally, three years later after me asking for the team to be gutted, the Mets embarked on transitioning this team to it's young farm hands (I think it came about through desperation but we can argue whether the Mets did it by design or got here by accident).

What do the Mets need right now to make a playoff push?  We know.  They need a top flight number two pitcher and a slugger better than Jeff Francoeur.  Francoeur can be packaged so he doesn't bother me too much right now.  Pitching?  There's a large price to pay for that.  I am not willing to pay a whole lot for anyone right now considering Lee is off the market.  Oswalt?  The Astros will want too much I believe.  What will the price be and how many of my kids do they want?  And I just don't trust Oswalt in a Met uniform in a year two or three scenario.  I will just not do it.  Oswalt to me represents another expensive Met band-aid.  If the Mets want to get Lilly on the cheap or something like that?...Whatever!  Really.

I am saying I am willing to let the chips on 2010 fall where they may.  I do not want this front office to do anything short-sighted.  I am not interested in a three month fix.

Here's my dream of Opening Day 2011:
catcher ~ JOSH THOLE
1st base ~ IKE DAVIS
shortstop ~ JOSE REYES ~ (see 2nd base candidates), FLORES
3rd base ~ DAVID WRIGHT
left field ~ Jason Bay...we have no choice.  I was warm at best over his signing.
center field ~ ANGEL PAGAN

Starter ~ Johan
Starter ~ JON NIESE
Starter ~ (AAA) DYLAN OWEN
Starter ~ (AAA) DILLON GEE

bullpen ~ EDDIE KUNZ

Now, will these names I mentioned win me a Championship?  C'mon...I don't think so.  But you assemble them together and see what you have.  See if there is a core worth building around.  Do I think we have some players like that?  Yes.  Put them together and see if they can gel.  See which ones work well together.  Keep shaking the pieces and watch them fall into slots.  Then..., I say we take the steps necessary through astute trades and using free agency to compliment, augment and supplement that core of young, joyful, gamely, hungry players.

In a more simpler posting of mine...that's it; That's my plan as of today.  It hasn't really differed.  I'm still pursuing the same things I wanted in April; the same things I wanted over the winter and the same things I've been looking to take place since July of 2007.

Do I think the Wilpons are going to blow this for me?  Absolutely!!

I don't think they realize what they started and where they are right now.  Take a look.  Since the All*Star Game, the Mets are 1-4 (as of 7/21 they are 1-5 since the break; and have lost 11 of their last 15).  Beltran made his return and that lone victory we have since the break is when Beltran did not start.  For the first time this season, last night against Arizona, we fielded our Type-A Line-up.  Beltran, Reyes, Castillo and the rest of the starting cast finally played in a game together.  So what happened?  The D-Backs blew us out.  We left a lot more than our hearts in San Francisco when we got shut-out twice there.  Now we haven't been able to win a game in the dessert yet.

I guess what is OLD is NEW again.  We've reassembled the cast of regulars and the chaos is back as well.
The Mets are already being appeasers with Beltran.  Instead of making him fit into the new context of this re-invented line-up, the Mets have acquiesced to Beltran by allowing him to play CF over Pagan because he's "more comfortable" there.  He's wearing a brace the size of a milk crate and he's already back telling the team what's good for him.  THAT'S why I have no more use for the old guard folks.  That's why my ship has sailed.  The return of Castillo and Beltran have already caused ripples in the water and disruptions with positive efforts the young lings put forward to help keep us with-in sight of first place.  The other guys are back and we've stumbled out of the gate entering this 2nd half.

Is there a correlation?  Who cares.  It still doesn't get me what I want.

Yea...the Wilpons are going to get this wrong; very very wrong.  They have no plan.  Omar MIGHT have one but it's clear Jeff Wilpon is pulling all the strings and their end of the business is in bad and worsening shape...or so we hear.  That means the Wilpons are in somewhat in survival mode and people do desperate things when in that situation.  The lack of a plan and desperation is a horrible mix for me to fathom as it pertains to my team.

In 2011 we have expiring contracts and flexibility on the way.  Maybe the best thing the Mets can do at the trade deadline is...Nothing.(?)  That wouldn't bother me.  Don't do anything stupid JEFF.  Don't over pay for Oswalt.  If there is another guy who will eat up innings and make a game of things in the 4th slot.......fine.  There's a couple of names out there to chose from (who don't impress me at all!)

The kids of this organization have saved Jerry Manuel's job this season.  They also helped Omar save face.  The kids of this organization have given the fan base a whole new perspective.

Don't blow this for us JEFF!  What is in your best interest right now is to start weaning yourself off the money siphoning players we have, cutting ties with the dead weight, promoting the players from within and signing Cliff Lee this winter.

Jeff promised us last Fall, his Father's company was in good shape, the Mets were healthy, we would be active with trades and seeking free agents, and that payroll would not be a restrictive issue.  Oh yea, he also told us Omar is free to run this team as he sees fit.

Here's the answer to that.  The Wilpons have never been forthright about their financial troubles.  I believe the only reason they signed Jason Bay was for appearances and fan perception.  Why? ~ Because they do things like that.  Oh yea, we got joined at the hip with Ollie Perez and Omar got lucky with R.A. Dickey.  Payroll?  Again...the Wilpons say one thing and behave a different way.  And it's clear Omar can't do anything unless Jeff approves it. tell me Jeff...!?  This is all up to you buddy.  Your season ticket holder's faith lies in the balance.  Me?  The wind is picking up and I'm ready to sail Dude.  Everything is coming together.  Are we going to go full-blown re-build or what?  Most of it is here already.  Just finish the job and don't blow it.  Feeling the Breeze Jeff?


Good grief!

The Mets, for the first time this season are fielding their A line-up tonight versus Arizona.  Castillo, Beltran, Reyes, along with Wright and Bay, Francoeur etc., are in the same line-up together.  The Mets are getting bombed 6-1in the 6th innings as I watch this game.  The Mets are also 1-3 since Carlos Beltran's return.  The lone win during that time was when Beltran did not start.

What's old is new again.  Good Grief!  I know my vision of the Met future is slightly at conflict with reality.  I will say over and over, if I have my way right now and next year, Jason Bay would be the only non-home grown player on the field.  It's not a fetish I have with the homers and I'm not so fixated with them that I only see through Mets goggles.  It's just something I feel needs to be done.  Then you work to compliment, augment or supplement from there.

This team is so there.  Where?  Here:

Catcher ~ Josh Thole (tasting MLB-AAA)
1st base ~ Ike Davis
2nd base ~ Jonathan Malo (AA), Reese Havens (AA), Ruben Tejada
Shortstop ~ Jose Reyes (see 2nd base)
3rd base ~ David Wright
Left Field ~ Jason Bay the Free Agent acquisition.
Center Field ~ Angel Pagan
Right field ~ Fernando Martinez (AAA)

(Johan), Pelfrey, Niese, Dylan Owen (AAA), Dillon Gee (AAA), Bobby Parnell,  Nieve, 
Hennry Mejia (AAA) and a couple of others round out this entire list.

That's where I'd like to be.  Then I'll make my alterations from there.

But that's just me......just sayin'.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Caught in the "ACT"

Television production in Williamsburg.

Television production on Prospect Park West.

...and Cut!


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Standings Around the Metropolitan Loop


Freedom Division:
first half division winner ~ record 40-30   .571 pct.

Liberty Division:
first half division winner ~ record 41-29   .586 pct.


McNamara Division:
17-10   .630 pct.             first place
14-11   .560 pct.    2 games back


N.L. East:
48-40   .545 pct.    2nd Place.....4 games back


A.L. East:
56-32    .636 pct.     1st Place


Left Coast METrospection

Jose Reyes was a late scratch for tonight's game; again.  What do I mean by that?  Well, I just can't help but pick on the Met's medical staff again.  What did they detect today that they or Reyes didn't speak of before tonight's game?  If he indeed hurt himself in San Juan versus the Marlins like the story goes, he would be coming of the disabled list right about now, healthy from his oblique problem.  Problem?  Yes there's a problem.  It seems this is the same chasing the tail of the dog diagnosing that's been a real problem for this team for three years now.  Is the guy hurt or isn't he?  Does he need medical attention or surgery or doesn't he?  Does he need to be DL'd or doesn't he?  What has changed about injuries that the Mets' staff is so confused about?

Carlos Delgado, Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, Ryan Church, John Maine, Johan Santana...just to start, have all received indecisive, questionable, vague and sometimes plain wrong diagnosis in the recent past.

Ah yes...Carlos Beltran; He's back.  He makes his first appearance and start of the 2010 season tonight in San Francisco.  Met fans haven't seen this guy since forever, it seems.  Will he serve as the biggest positional player "acquisition" by a NL team so far this season?  Do stories like that usually turn out well for Met fans?  Hmmm.  I have made my opinions about Beltran and his return known.  Now that he's back I'll just watch how it plays itself out.  What I know is this; Angel Pagan must play every day.  Figure that out Jerry.  That's your job.  Make it happen.

Someone tell Luis Castillo not to rush getting back.

Met fans want a pitcher, myself included.  I'm only asking at what price?  I preferred to wait and try to buy Lee in the winter in order to keep Thole, Niese, F-Mart, Dylan Owen, Dillon Gee, Mejia, Havens, Malo and some others.  I guess I got what I wanted thanks to Texas.  I still feel that way about any Oswalt deal or Lilly for that matter.  The more I think about it, the more I want our kids to take over this club.  My boy Josh Thole is making another start tonight.

I know we are close.  I know we need a pitcher.  I know.  It's just that I have a vision for this club and I'm glued to it.  I know this team is on the precipice.  That's why I want to do this right!  This is the Wilpons we're talking about.

I know there's a limited amount of wins in Dickey's arm.  We've gotten lucky in our 4 and 5 spot in the rotation.

If you're old enough...think 1984.  That's where I am.  That's where I see this team in 2011.  There's just 4 or 5 more players we need off the books for my vision to gain even more focus.

What are we willing to give up for Oswalt's services; or Haren?  Maybe as a Mets fan it's better for you that I'm not in charge.  I'm not willing to give up a whole lot.  I also have zero interest in Lilly.  Does this wreak of my dumping on 2010?  I would say no even though I realize it looks that way.  I'm thinking emotionally.  I admit it.  What I want and what's good (or not) for the Mets is possibly in conflict in my current thinking.

I just hope the Wilpons realize what they have right now.  I just hope they don't blow it.  They can do that in a number of different ways.  And I think that's what we're all afraid of.


....just as I was about to publish, Carlos Beltran tried stealing second after a clean single.  He was thrown out by the way with a PEA; a laser from Giants' catcher Posey.  I am only asking WHY?  Why push it in your first game back when as recently as a week ago you were still limping?  Ponderous.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Believe me when I tell you I have tried to write this post over and over; again and again.  I have failed every attempt to keep myself from digressing and straying way off course.  George is that complicated for me.  Almost anything you want to say about the man could very well be fair game.  He's all of it; Good, Bad and Ugly.

I was 10 years old when I attended that 1976 ALCS Game 5 Chris Chambliss moment.  As a native New Yorker and the right age range, I think I can safely say I've seen George's entire (just about) body of work.

I have good opinions about George.  I also have bad opinions about George.  In my previous attempts to post I kept delving into the minutia of Baseball.  I kept clouding my judgement with my own stubborn ideals concerning the Game.  That's why I failed miserably.

I would gladly debate anyone on his record.  That's fun and that's Baseball.  And that would be a hell of a debate indeed which is a testament to George's impact and complexity.

I might have given you very different opinions about George 10 years ago, 20 and 30 years ago.  And it occurred to me none of the preconceived notions I have of the man have any relevance, much less importance to me now.  As a matter of fact nothing regarding Baseball as it concerns George preoccupies my thoughts like the overwhelming sense that I lost one of my own.  George is all I've ever known on the other side of town.  But you's not the Baseball.  One of my own and being one of us has everything to do with being a New Yorker and nothing about Baseball.

The Mets fan in me has skewed thoughts about the owner across town.  The New Yorker in me embraces with both arms the native Ohio'an and Tampa resident like he was "ONE of Us".  He was.  We gave him that cred years ago.  He was one of those people OF the Town whom you always heard from, saw, read about and talked about.

The nick-names are known and aren't exclusive to our usage as silly as you can envision such a notion.  My point is he existed here as the one name entity; George.  There was no mistaking when the name George was mentioned who it was being spoken in reference to.  There was only one George in this town; and it was that guy in the Bronx.

You know I'm a Mets fan and I have admitted to you I say I hate the Yanks more than I really do.  That just comes with the territory.  Another thing is I generally think public figures are pretty full of $hiite when they address the public.  Somehow when George, say after winning a Series, says he's happy for the people of New York City, I have absolutely no reason to respond to such a comment.  But I believe him.  I genuinely believe he feels that.  And like I said there's no reason for me to  even address that.

But why do I then?  Because everything bad you can say about him you can say bad about New York City back in the 70's.  It was bad, violent, crime-ridden, dirty, dangerous (you get the Warriors!)  (anyway)....So was George.  When the famed "BRONX was literally BURNING" on national TV during the World Series, when South Bronx became more dangerous than a Vietnamese jungle in 1973, when the city went dark in the Blackout of '77 for three days and turned the city into a looted, torn city, ripped apart to it's skivvies, GEORGE had every opportunity to run and turn his back on South Bronx, NYC and New York State.  He threatened city officials here and there with a move to Jersey.  He never meant it.  I believe GEORGE had a tremendous sense of guilt hanging over his head concerning any movement of the Yankees away from 161 Street and River Ave.

This city was tough back then, and he got tough right with it.  He set a model  for business in a dark time and forced a standard of accountability and preached a stead-fastness; stay the course; stay tough and gut it out mentality when everyone was trying to flee the city as fast as they could pack their things into a moving truck.

GEORGE STAYED!! ~ Because he had more gumption and intestinal fortitude than the fleas who deserted this town like the dried up dog they called us.  In those days after President Ford told NYC to drop dead,  we almost did.  But as close to death as this city came, George kept fighting, sometimes against Billy and Reggie or both, but he like no other fought like hell and fought for this city till his very end when so many turned their backs on us.  He gave not only Yankee fans but all NY'ers SOMETHING when it seemed like everything was gone, dead or ruined in 1977.  Just like when Detroit was burning down and the Tigers and Willie Horton and that big freakin Special D meant things had to get better ~ This could  not be the norm could it?  We can't let it can we?  Baseball as much as anything help Detroit COOL-OUT for a sec back in '68.  George is also a symbol of such a calamity of society and one who didn't turn his back.  George ran towards the fire and loved it.  Get in your time machine and ask anyone alive in the 70's and early 80's if such a thing as the New Yankee Stadium in all it's grandeur was possible in South Bronx EVER?...if you do not get laughed off or beat up first!

As far as happier days in NYC like the ones we currently enjoy, George is as much responsible for the over-all feel good as ANYONE ~ !

George may be many things to me as a Baseball fan and not all of them good.  But as a MAN of this city I appreciated every friggin second he walked our city streets.  Because!  Because the guy had guts and that's what you needed here.  Yankee Stadium lay center mass of every blight that comes with urban decay and ruin.  George never blinked.  George never flinched.  George engaged in a game of chicken allied with the willing against everything wrong in this city back in the day....fought the long fight....and won.

That's why I have his back!  Because he freakin stayed.  The Dodgers thought things got bad in their neighborhood and eloped with the Giants because this town wasn't good enough for them anymore.  Times changed.  It wasn't the good old days anymore.  Things got ten times worse for George in his neighborhood than things ever got in theirs.  George had the Baseballs to stick it out in this town when so many chose to tuck theirs between their legs and scatter like roaches when the lights go on.

To hell with anything negative I think about him regarding Baseball.  Be well my friend!


Sunday, July 11, 2010

"Clear, Concise and Correct"

To be "Clear, Concise and Correct" is what Bob Sheppard set out to be every game behind the PA microphone at Yankee Stadium since 1951. 

If I had to describe it, his voice was the color Blue; so soothing, so calming and reassuring.  It didn't pierce you or overwhelm you.  His voice passed by like a cool summer breeze.  The more Baseball changed around me throughout the years, the more he stayed the same.  He kept me, Baseball and my frame of mind in a different place; a place less complicated than today's game.  The greatness with which he performed his craft was not imparted to me like an heirloom.  I learned Bob Sheppard.  I grew with the Bob Sheppard style.  I learned as a young Baseball fan it was Bob Sheppard who set the standard.  Visiting different parks through the years and listening to the different announcers, I can remember so many times saying to myself, "That's not Bob Sheppard".

Who didn't feel a sense of guilt when he addressed unruly fan behavior over the PA?  Who wanted to get out of line after that?  Who willfully disrespects their grandfather whom they love so much?  The voice from the sky was speaking to you and you listened attentively.  His voice, tone and demeanor commanded it.

As a native New Yorker, he's one of those thing where, it's all I've ever known.  For 40+ years of my life he is as responsible as anyone for painting the beautiful picture I have of Baseball.

He's the voice of a different crowd now.  Be well my friend.  Rest in Peace.


Tuesday, July 06, 2010

PIGS ~ The Baseball Elixir

Last week sucked!

I just deleted and replaced three paragraphs and saved 4 minutes of your time with three words. 
How stellar.

Work had me taxed last week.  I was beat.  If I wasn't running 24 hours I was out late just the same.  In itself that's fine because it all pay$ off in the end if you get my drift.  But I hate falling out of flow from reading up on every one's content and making my own posts.  Oh yea...I had to work Saturday also.  Yeah...I was a little cranky about that.  But the real source of frustration for me was my car.

I was at a point where I wanted to decide whether to spend money on this one to get it back up to snuff or trading it in for a new one.  I chose to pump-up my baby with a cash infusion and I bought her some tender loving care.  I like her.  And I don't feel like payments again. 
She just needed some things to get her like new again.

My frustration came from arguing with the mechanic about what he recommended and what I wanted.  They were two very different ideas.  What he wanted to do was going to earn me a visit right back to the shop in 6 months.  My plan was to never see him or him see my car ever again.

A third source of my frustration this year is in my lack of having attended hardly any games this season.  Yea...I'm just a little more than #$*@!;! upset over that one.  It's just been that kind of a year for me at work and what has suffered most is me attending games.

Then there was the matter of ..uh...Argentina getting pounded by the Germans.   : o

What was I to do? I channeled all my sources of annoyance last week into action and did what must have been done in that situation.  That's right; ROAD TRIP!

But before I get to that, there was the matter of a Hot Dog Eating Contest on Sunday which took place a few minutes from my house.  I had planned on being there this year because I really didn't make any plans to leave the city.  I went Saturday morning and snapped a few pictures at Nathan's as they prepared the sight for the next day's festivities.  Not only was I not there Sunday, I didn't even watch it on TV.

But...I'd like to wish everyone a belated Happy Fourth of July. 
I hope America's Birthday was a blast for everyone.

So what happened? I got my car back and she felt Nice!  I was done with work Saturday by 3:30pm.  My son is hanging out on the Jersey Shore this week.  There was just me and my wife left pondering the next 2 1/2 days.  More in anger than anything else I said I was getting in the car and I was going to drive far away and find a baseball game somewhere.  Of course that meant her too.  But when I get like that she knows I'm serious and she just asked where did I have in mind.

I said Pawtucket because I haven't been there yet.  She said Baltimore (her favorite).  I said keep it within 100 miles for this trip.  I said Binghampton.  She said...uh No!  She said Connecticut.  I said for that I'm going straight through to Pawtucket.  She said...OK Fine!  I said~Fine!

I looked at the schedules and guess what?  Pawtucket was away Sunday.  But guess what?  They were in Allentown PENN, playing the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs!  We both looked at each other and said ALLENTOWN?

Oink   Oink  Oink

You guessed it!  Allentown here we come!

I checked for tickets on the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs website. 
Main seating was sold out but I got a pair of general admission tickets.

That meant little to me because I usually find myself roaming around if I'm in a new place anyway.  I like checking out every nook and cranny of a new park and I take a picture of everything.

A couple of minutes later I booked a room for 2 nights on Expedia.
We left the house 10:30pm Saturday night and were in Allentown by midnight without a hint of traffic anywhere.

Let me wrap this up with the short version.  I wanted to give the car a good driving.  I did just that.  I'm happy.  I felt all of my V8 again.  Saturday night we still managed to get some crab cakes at 1a.m. across from the hotel.  My wife was thrilled with that.  Like I said no traffic what so ever.  The next morning breakfast was outstanding.  Blah blah...We drove out to the Outlets and did some shopping.  We ate lunch.  Back at the hotel we took a nap and we were at the park by 5:30pm.  It was a sizzling 97 degrees at game time but without any humidity to speak of, I never broke a sweat once all day.

The game between the Pawtucket Red Sox and Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (AAA ~ Phillies) featured a rehab start by J.A. Happ (PHILA) for Lehigh Valley and numerous sons of former big leaguers making their way through their respective systems.  The game was very enjoyable and entertaining, the weather was tolerable, my wife and I were having a good time, The Forth of July Fireworks Show was a smash, we got ourselves a good night's sleep after a long day, we were in the car heading home Monday morning by 10:30 and arrived home by noon without so much as a hint of traffic again......
All of which made for, I dare say, a perfect way to end the Holiday Weekend
(as perfect goes).

Road Trips; the Baseball Elixir
"fixer of frustrations"

Enjoy the pics of the game:
AAA Minor League Baseball
Pawtucket Red Sox @ Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs
Coca-Cola Park
Lehigh Valley/Allentown, Pennsylvania
Sunday  JULY 4, 2010

Front view, Coca-Cola Park

East Gate

Game Program

Adam Mills warms-up for his Pawtucket start.

Iron Pigs pre-game warm-up.

Pre-game meeting at home plate.


Iron Pig starter JA Happ makes his first pitch.

different views

Iron Pigs have a meeting on the mound.

Dusk; time for the bullpens to start getting busy.

Night falls over Lehigh Valley

One final look around and...
Pawtucket down to their last pitch...

...and this game went final.


Jerseys at the game.

By the time the sun set on Monday my world was a much happier place.