Wednesday, July 29, 2009

They're buyers

Trade deadline is approaching. The Mets have said that they're buyers. They may be paying with skeeball tickets, but they're buyers.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Only bleach can wipe away this stain

I won't bore you with a recap of what Tony Bernazard allegedly did to get himself investigated by the Human Resources department of the New York Mets. That's been well covered. I found it interesting that HR was investigating him before any news reports came out accusing him of some pretty heinous behavior. I do wonder if the Mets were going to sweep this under the rug had Adam Rubin not played whistleblower (and to be fair, if Tony B. is getting into it in public, you don't really need a whistleblower).

Tony Bernazard lost his job on Monday. Joel Sherman in the Post explains why. This explanation came out before the press conference. Tony B. would be a distraction to the on-field product (had he remained) and if something else were to be reported, it just makes everyone look bad. Dismissing him closes the investigation (who wants to beat that dead horse by trying to find more dirt on someone who already lost his job from said dirt?). Without saying so, they're saying that these allegations are true.

Listen to the entire press conference at

The more Omar talked, the worse he seemed to sound. He repeated himself a few times (especially about the internal investigation and Adam Rubin). Really on the defensive over having to fire Tony Bernazard. He had to be asked the same question a few times because Omar was evading some answers. Keep your statements and answers simple. The more you talk, the more your foot goes in the mouth. I've been there myself. He also let the reporters control the show by allowing way too many questions (and not just about Adam Rubin, which seemed like a small part of the show now that I've listened to it).

It could have all been left at that. Then things got strange. SNY has the video of the strange part of the press conference, because frankly, you need to see it to believe it. Neil Best covering the Sports Media for Newsday looks at SNY's coverage of the bizzare press conference.
Nice job by SNY doing a split screen of Rubin's shocked reaction as Minaya spoke

One thing that's a shame is that Tony Bernazard was fired for some stupid things and not for failing to do his job successfully. It's also a shame that it took a public outing of Tony Bernazard misconduct to get him fired when I seriously have my doubts that anything would have happened had it stayed under wraps. That's how dysfunctional I think the Mets franchise is right now. Tony B. should have been fired earlier this season for not developing the farm system enough to (even with Omar's vote of confidence at the press conference).

Even before the Adam Rubin sparring, Omar Minaya really didn't look too good as the head of the Mets baseball operations.

SNY has some reactions to this in the form of video:

After listening to what appeared on SNY on Monday afternoon, both during the press conference and after, and hearing some of what Tony Bernazard did, Tony looks bad. And Omar looks bad. Omar looks really bad by calling out a reporter for something that doesn't seem to be true or even within the realm of possibility. Brooklyn Met Fan says Omar has jumped the shark. It really is the beginning of the end for Omar. Let's see how long it takes Fred & Jeff Wilpon to make the move.

One thing that I thought as I'm reading the live blogging on, is this going to be a problem for Adam Rubin covering the club, and could there be some legal action against Omar Minaya and/or the Mets over what was said (either libel or slander, I forget which).

But wait, there's more. Omar Minaya apologized, which you can listen to courtesy of This aired just before first pitch (delayed on Monday night by a few minutes because of rain). Jeff Wilpon was there, taking charge finally. Omar sounded even more flustered. Omar apologized for the "forum" in which his calling out Adam Rubin was conducted. But never for what was said. He even said he never regretted saying it in the first place. Someone during that last press conference said that Rubin could have some serious job issues (in a real stern voice). I hope this doesn't spin into a legal matter or a job "issue" for Adam Rubin. He's just trying to do his job in reporting on facts, and some private conversations about casual inquiries turned public.

Jeff Wilpon had to come back to the table today, seen on SNY, with some "reflection" and apologies all around. It is good to see Jeff Wilpon taking charge. I really wonder if this will lead to Omar's dismissal (or resignation).

Now the fallout...

In the end, Tony Bernazard lost his job, this could lead to a few other jobs being lost or changed, and it's an embarrasment to the Mets organization for the way that Tony B. conducted himself on the job and for the way Omar Minaya conducted himself during the press conference.

I am thinking that this is a real low point in the franchise's history, right down there with the bleach spraying incident, which coincidently, Monday was the 16th anniversary (thanks to Mets Fans Forver for that reminder.

New Poll

While I'm at work and still want to pick through the video/audio from the press conferences and some of the reaction (part informative for a post, part for the entertainment value), I pose this question to the readers...

Which off the field incident is a bigger stain on Mets history?
* the whole Tony B and Adam Rubin thing (sorry Adam, it's not your problem necessarily)
* the firecrackers and bleach incidents of 1993
* something else (please explain)

In the meantime, if you haven't already, please become a fan and follower of my blog on Facebook.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Bare with me

I'm still trying to process everything that went down at Citi Field this afternoon, but sitcoms and food shopping have distracted me a bit. I intend to read all the evidence and weigh my opionions carefully before I come up with something profound to say. I'll even check in on the game later.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Who said this?

Who were these quotes talking about - Fred Wilpon or Walter O'Malley?

"the fact that the press thought it was good, that the fans thought it was good, that meant a lot to him."

"the place was gorgeous. he built the stadium of his dreams. and he built something that was better than anybody else had."

Thursday, July 23, 2009

This is a wrench in the Spring Training schedule

I saw this item in my RSS reader from earlier today from JOEL SHERMAN in the New York Post.

The Orioles are moving out of Fort Lauderdale (which is on the east coast, about 90 miles south of Port St. Lucie) over to Sarasota (on the west coast of Florida, about 150 miles due west of Port St. Lucie, on the other end of state road 70). To be fair, Fort Lauderdale Stadium was in more need of renovation and improvement than Shea Stadium was.

The O's replace the Reds who trained at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota from 1998-2009, with the Reds moving to a new complex in Arizona that they'll share with the Indians (another Grapefruit League refugee).

So, what does this mean?.
It means no more road trips to Ft. Lauderdale. It likely means losing 6 Spring Training games off the schedule against the Orioles (since no team is moving in to replace them) to be replaced by teams playing in the eastern two thirds of Florida, and it means the Mets will have only 3 teams within 100 miles to play games against (thanks Joel Sherman for doing the math on that one - 2 teams train in Jupiter which is like a second home to me on my Spring Training trips, and the Nats in Viera, about an hour north).

It probably means another bus trip each to Disney to play the Braves, Kissimmee to play the Astros (about 2 hours each), and Lakeland (to play the Tigers, probably 2 1/2 away), or more exhibition games against closer division rivals Florida and Washington. It could even mean a bus trip all the way to the Gulf Coast to visit the O's, Pirates, Rays, Red Sox, Twins, Yankees, Phillies, or Blue Jays. It means more long bus trips for the players, or less games if they won't get on the bus.

It means one fewer option for the fans to take a road trip (like I ever considered going Ft. Lauderdale if the Mets weren't playing there, and have passed on it even when they were).

Combine this with the movement from last year when the Dodgers left Vero Beach empty and the Indians left Winter Haven, both in favor of new complexes in Arizona, and it means a lot more long bus rides for players and a lot less options for fans for 2010 when compared to the 2008 Spring Training.

For all the latest news on Spring Training sites, and some early Spring Training schedules (usually sometime in late October), visit SpringTraining Online.

I have nothing to say and you can read it on Facebook

Well, where do I begin. I don't report game-to-game on the Mets, so I need to think of something to write or let stories fall in my lap. I've posted comments on the very weird Tony Bernazard story on a few other blogs over the past couple days.

About Tony B - he should be fired. Not just because of the allegations of his rough play with others. He's in charge of the minor leagues, and our top 2 minor league teams are in worse shape than the Mets top team is. Just like people think Omar Minaya should be fired because the Mets seemingly have no depth, Tony B should be fired for failing to do his job. But if any of these allegations are shown to be true, he should be fired just for that.

But knowing the dysfunctional Mets (and these incidents alone don't make the Mets dysfunctional), this matter will either be "under investigation" until we all forget about it, or they'll find no wrong doing on Tony B's part because Tony B is in tight with Jeff Wilpon, wannabe full-fledged Mets owner, and the crazy son of the silent owner gets his way.

On the field, I read on one of the great blogs an idea that the Mets start bringing up minor league prospects. It certainly can't hurt, but they'd have to make room on the roster. Oh but wait, don't we have minor leaguers on the roster? Time will tell, and the Mets will probably continue to fight, and fight poorly until September when the rosters expand.

Mets 2012: rejuvinated at 50.

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Auction - conclusion

I went to the auction. It was good to be reconnected to some Mets history. I have a very very small part of it in my bedroom (in the form of signs) and my living room (Shea seats), but aside from that, I haven't felt that much (Mets) history or connection at any of the 6 trips I've made to Citi Field.

I got to talk to a few people, trying to figure out the source of tension at the auction and what's wrong with the Mets. I got quoted in the New York Times.

It's very sad to think that there were so many items that belong in Citi Field were sold or auctioned. I also think that today's auction was, in part, necessary because of the overpricing of the items when they were initially removed from Shea and sold. But I do like knowing that so many pieces of Shea have a home in someone's home and not in a scrap pile.

And I got to see some of the pieces of Shea Stadium probably for the final time. Certainly the final time I'd see it all together. This comes on the heels of the Mets dissing their history and Old Timer's Day (again). MetsPolice has that covered.

Part 1 - the items
Part 2 - the setup
Part 3 - the problems

The auction - part 3

Part 1 - the items
Part 2 - the setup

Once things got started (it started late because the auctioneer and his crew were late arriving), there was some confusion as we went around the warehouse. The auctioneer needed a description of each lot as it was put up, and Barry Meisel of MeiGray wasn't always right there to help (he had to move around and answer some questions or look at something, even though he had his staff there). The auctioneer was a bit snappy about getting a name and money without delay from each winning bidder.

It was also time consuming to have to unroll some of the vinyl prints that weren't out on display when it was time to bid on them (think ahead folks). As we moved around the warehouse, the auctioneer had to step down from his ladder, his crew would move it, and he'd get back up. I'm sure neither of those are the case in an auction house. Barry Meisel up front estimated 6 hours to complete, so if we could speed things up it was good and if they slowed things down and weren't ready, it was bad.

There was a bit of confusion with this crowd over the bundling of items in a single lot. I can certainly see that someone would want to bid of a photo of Gil Hodges and leave behind the Kevin McReynolds photo, or at least pay a different price for it (there wasn't a real bundle of the two, but I'm using it for illustration). At the same time, I can't see how people would want a whole lot of 3 wide ramp signs when they're hard to put on display (one of the reasons why the smaller ones sold out and the larger ones were still there). One such sign would suffice. But it was bundled in 3s. That concept wasn't clear to some people, and wasn't real fair to some.

For some items - those that had enough to go around, like Ramp signs, bricks, section signs, outfield pads, box seat rail elbows, and foul poll pices - do a reverse bidding. Start at a price, anyone who wants any at that price can take it, for any number of the item, and then bring the price down until another person bites, then whoever wants at that price in order to clear the item out. Continue until a bottom price or the set is sold out.

To that end, when we got to the box section elbows, they started bidding at $1 and it got to $6. The lots were sets of maybe 40 or 50. $6 was the winning bid, and that person got to take however many they wanted and we moved on. The rest were left. That's kind of dumb.

I think there were some issues people had with the bundling of the items. Some people didn't understand it. I think MeiGray started bending the process at one point to accomodate that. Bid on a lot of 5 items, then buy 1 at that price and leave the rest and move on. To be fair, if we bid on every item, it would have continued all day and all night.

There was some tension growing between the auctioneer and Barry Meisel. I'm not real sure why. Maybe over the lots. Maybe over the speed people came up with their deposits (the lady with the credit card machine wasn't always there) or the speed of saying their name to be recorded. Maybe over the speed by which some items had to be unrolled. It was hot and humid in there (fans helped). I'm not real sure.

We ended up taking a break of about 30 minutes. The auctioneer stepped away for a bit after we continued and one of his crew. I don't know if it was tension or a personal matter (he was on his cellphone for a bit). He did resume his role, but it was getting very contentious. I think the backup auctioneer was ready to step away after one person argued that he saw bidding go up with only one person bidding. It was really getting sloppy, and unfortunately, it was getting also getting late for me.


The auction - part 2

Part 1 - the items
Part 3 - the problems

Now on to the day itself. I talked to 2 newspaper reporters. I don't know who else was there from the media. I know the New York Times and Courier News (Central NJ) covered the event. I was quoted in the Times.

The auction:
There were about 100 people there. A few families with kids came to look, some collectors, and some fans. When I asked if there were any smaller signs from Shea, Barry Meisel told me that the smaller signs sold out mostly (he thinks) because of their size - smaller is easier to store/hand and easier to transport - rather than the price. I'm sure price was part of it too (though both answers were correct in my case when I bought my small ramp sign).

Since we were there all afternoon and during the morning, MeiGray set up one of the Roosevelt Ave Pub carts for cold drinks and hot dogs ($1.00 and $2.00 respectively).

The setup:
Most items were laid out around the warehouse open for people to see and inspect. Obviously, there were no problems with people taking pictures. Most items were grouped together, but some of the photos and banners weren't (the banners were spread out along the walls).

The group (auctioneer up on a ladder with a microphone) just kept moving around the warehouse to try to follow the numerical order of the lots. Up one row, right turn, down the back, right turn, down the side, etc.

I've never been to an auction, but the rule here was deposits in $100 increments after a winning bid, and you need to tell the auctioneer your name for the record. Book keeping was done later. Cash was appreciated.

There were about 600 lots. Some lots were a single item (a single photo), and others were a set of 2 or 3 or 5 or 6 of the same type of item (6 photos together, for example, or 3 ramp signs together). Bidding was on the price to pay for each item, having to purchase all of the items. Some of the things they had many of were just in piles of 6 or 20 or 40, considered a single lot, and there were 5 or 6 lots of similar piles (for instance, 200 box seat rail elbows broken into 10 lots of 50 pieces). The lots of multiple photos weren't exactly photos of the same theme (for instance, a Gil Hodges photo and a Kevin McReynolds photo together). Get the idea? I eventually got it.

How stuff sold:
Most stuff did sell. A few items had a real bidding war. For instance...
  • Most of the photo-based items started bidding at $25, went down to $10 before someone bit, and at best got up to $50 (in most cases). A few didn't sell.

  • The ramp signs started at $100, went down to $25, and most sold for well under $100 each (these were packaged in lots of 3 signs).

  • One piece of the foul poll sold for $500 and another for $1000.

  • From the vinyl banners, most didn't break $100. Nobody bid on the one of Benitez. There was a nice 12' x 10' Doc Gooden banner (circa 1993) sold for $185. Even the prints of the artist's rendition of Citi Field sold (one lot for $12.50).

  • At least one food cart went for $900.

  • Lockers went for about $50 each, for the first few, then no interest. Maybe 25 total, less than 10 sold.

  • The Nolan Ryan locker went for $1900 and the Tom Seaver locker went for $2600.

  • Unfortunately, I didn't stick around to see the outfield wall sell or the big 2000 NL Championship flag sell.

A lesson on Old Timer's Day

"I've always thought as a player...Bring in your stars of the past. It's important for the present players to see the tradition, the legacy, the tide from...grandfather to the father to the son. It's a good thing. It's healthy."

Al Leiter on YES talking about Old Timer's Day

Hear that Fred Wilpon, Jeff Wilpon, and Dave Howard?

Read what was written yesterday in the NY Daily News.

The auction - part 1

I spend about 6 hours at the MeiGray Shea Memorabilia Warehouse in Bridgewater, NJ, yesterday for the live auction of Shea Stadium's leftover memorabilia. Unfortunately, I had to leave a little before 4pm, and the auction probably ran past 6pm.

I'll break this down into several posts. First I break down the items that were available. I am including my photo album from looking around at the memorabilia. I did learn that some of what was made available since September came out of storage at Shea, so these were non-recent items that maybe you didn't recognize. There were also a lot of things from the hidden levels (like the press level) that most people didn't see. Some of the photos were very recent (last season).

The items:
There were lots of pictures. Some smaller prints (in frames), some larger ones. A few that were large black and whites, and other that were smaller, with most in color. There were even some older photos that really really pre-date the Mets (I'm not real sure who these were, but I thought that the Hall of Fame should have them more than any fan/collector). There were "photos" printed on wooden board, kind of like a photo being printed right on the frame. There were large reprints of some of the old year book covers. A few photos of Shea, and a lot of players posing or action shots. There were some gigantic prints of some big moments/players in Mets history.

There were vinyl hanging banners of players/moments in Mets history. Some were prints of photographs, and some were the promotional banners. Not all of them were out on display for us to see, even though we were bidding on them. There were even more in a back room. Some that were out were probably 12' x 10' tall/wide. There were some flags, including (one of the) 2000 NL Champions flag from the CF flagpole at Shea. A few boxes of old American flags and old football flags from the Jets days at Shea.

Tucked away on a shelf on the far side were the large Topps baseball cards that we saw announcing the lineup above the RF ticket window at Shea. Piles of them. I wasn't around for their bidding. There were also large cardboard-like prints that looked like they were part of the RF/LF and press box facade murals of Mets history, except they weren't the right shape/size.

They had a few of the carts that scorecards and yearbooks were sold from. There were maybe half a dozen of the rolling Roosevelt Ave. Pub food carts. In the back, and I don't know if/when those were sold/auctioned, there were several hand-held Nathan's Hot Dog carts and even some of the grills and holding trays from the concession stands.

There was a display of about 2 dozen lockers - both Mets and Visitors. Some were labeled as having belonged to certain player(s), and some were not. There were many many bricks - some individually wrapped and boxed, and others out for us to touch that were different shapes and sizes, some crumbling.

They had lots of foul poll. At least four different 25' sections. Plus a bunch of cut up 1' and 2' sections. They had one foul poll screen in tact (ready to be reattached to the foul poll itself) and the other foul poll screen loose and rolled up on the floor. There were a few of the railings from the Loge, Mezzanine, and Upper Decks and a couple hundered of the "elbow" pieces from the Field Level boxes.

There were about 100 of the wide ramp signs that hung down from the exit ramps at Shea (one side points to whichever level you're entering and the other is Mr. Met saying goodbye). There were also about 100 cut section signs. At one point, the signs were sold whole (I bought one in September). For some time, they've been auctioned/sold in "cut" form to be easier to transport and store.

They had piles and piles of the outfield and barrier walls. The blue padding. Some with parts of an advertisement. There was one complete OF wall section (6 panels) that was just one advertisement (not even any blue). There were also light pods and LED pods from the Shea scoreboard.

They had a couple sets of seats from the Citi Field Preview Center that was in Shea last season. A few cushioned "suite seats" and a couple pairs of the regular seats. There were a couple sets of seats from the Shea press level too. There were even a few prints and banners that depicted an artists's rendition of Citi Field that we probably saw at Shea.

There were a few other things. Look through my photos and you'll get the idea. More to come later as a I review the how the bidding went and some of the problems that came up as well as my thoughts.

Part 2 - the setup
Part 3 - the problems

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Going Once, Going Twice, Gone!

While I recover from today (being on my feet walking around the warehouse for 6 hours is exhausting), download my photos, and gather my 4 pages of notes, I'll say this about today's Shea Stadium Memorabilia auction:

No sign of Fred or Jeff Wilpon buying back anything that belongs in Citi Field. So anything that goes to the new park will be brand new. I would have felt a little better knowing that artifacts of Mets history at Citi Field actually came from Shea, but I'll be happy with anything.

It also would have been really cool if MeiGray (the group that did the sale/auction for the memorabilia) also did the sale of the Shea seats. Then we all could have sat down in the Shea seats to do the Shea memorabilia auction.

It was long, it was interesting, and there were a couple of reporters there. I'll have to look for the write-up in the New York Times (I think the reporter was also a fan).

Thursday, July 16, 2009

In Case of Rain

In case of rain, either of the first two Paul McCartney concerts will be made up as part of a day-night doubleheader on Tuesday, with the first show starting at 12 noon, and fans can come to the field level for Band Practice (BP) starting at 9:30am. The stadium will open for the second show at 6:30pm for BP in that case.

A Numbers Game

I'll point to this post on this morning as inspiration on a topic that I've seen come up from time to time this season.

Retired Numbers

The Mets have retired 3 of their uniform numbers (I say it like that because they also retired the name "Shea" for the old beloved Stadium, and every team retired the Dodgers 42 for Jackie Robinson) - Casey Stengel, the original manager; Gil Hodges, an original player and the manager of the Miracle Mets of 40 years ago; Tom Seaver, "The Franchise", Hall of Fame pitcher from the Miracle Mets and the Ya Gotta Believe Mets of 1973.

But the Mets have had many great players that are worthy of having their numbers retired, haven't they?

In no particular order, Keith Hernandez, Gary Carter, Jerry Koosman, Darryl Strawberry, Doc Gooden, Mike Piazza, Bud Harrelson, and others.

Should they have their numbers retired? Who should be first on that list? Who else belongs on that list? Who's on that list that doesn't belong? All good questions.

There seems to be a fine line that the Mets have always walked around retiring numbers for the highest elite, and retiring numbers for any "star" from the club's history. The Mets have always been on the left side of that line. That's actually not a knock on the Wilpon regime (though there wasn't much history before Wilpon & Doubleday came on board in 1980). I think in this time of alienation, it may be a really good idea if they had a few of those numbers retired. That big outfield wall can support them all.

Thoughts? Everyone seems to have their own unique opinion on this topic.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A crazy way to fix the All Star Game

This whole idea of having the All Star Game, an exhibition game in the schedule, determine home field advantage for the World Series has been ridiculous since day 1. Thank you Bud Selig.

The game needs to go back to being just an exhibition. This much is true. Something also needs to be done about the National League's 13 game losing streak. If the game is going to mean something, it needs to be more balanced.

Do away with the current structure. This idea kind of plays on Bud Selig's sense of logic. No more National League vs. American League. No more winner gets something. Play it gym class-style. Have one ballot, pooling all the potential starters into one vote (that is, one vote for each position). Vote for 2 Catchers, 2 Shortstops, etc. Get your 2 winners at each position (6 outfielders), the best of the rest, the best pitchers, and whatever it takes to get a player/pitcher from each of the 30 teams, into a 64 player pool (I believe the current rosters are 32 players on each team). Then have the managers split the pool into 2 arbitrary teams.

It won't have the same NL vs. AL theme, or something like the NHL's experiment of North America vs. the World (same thing done at the Future Stars game). It'll be purely a random exhibition seeing the best players split evenly. The result shouldn't matter, why should the teams.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Gary Cohen, Hockey Announcer

During the All-Star break, I'm going to go down a different path. Today I have a closer look at everyone's favorite Mets TV Play-by-play man Gary Cohen.

Gary's radio style allowed for him to clearly and correctly announce lots of detail in a short amount of time. Never this was more true than in broadcasting Hockey on the radio. Gary was selected to be the radio play-by-play voice for hockey at 3 different Winter Olympics games in the 1990s (1992 Albertville, 1994 Lillehammer, and 1998 Nagano).

Good stuff. I'll leave you with this - what every happened to Gary Cohen, Hockey announcer?
The sound bytes came directly from my walkman into my computer live as the games were being played as broadcast on WFAN radio. The broadcasts are probably copyright 1998, Westwood One, the U.S. Olympic Committee, and the International Olympic Committee.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Banner Day

On the heels of my post about Old Timer's Day comes this piece from the New York Times about Banner Day.

It's actually not bad news. But it's not what we wanted either. It's a virtual Banner Day being run by the New York Times.
Have a thought, maybe humorous, that sums up the 2009 Mets? Post it here. Better yet, design your own banner and send [the NY Times] an image (JPG files only). [The NY Times will] publish the best suggestions in the comments section below and publish the best five user submitted images on Friday, July 17.

There are no ground rules for this Bedsheet Blog, except good taste. The Times’s own Elena Gustines suggests, “Don’t Count Your Pop-Ups Until They’re Catched.’’

Friday, July 10, 2009

This sickens me more than any other

Of all the "lack of Mets history" rants that I've gone on this year with the setup of Chez Amazin', this one sickens me more than any other.

From comes this paragraph
This afternoon on WFAN, co-host Evan Roberts said, according to people he has talked to in the organization, the Mets do not have an Old-Timer’s Game, ‘because it’s too much work.’

What a poor excuse! But then again, the Wilpons are poor excuses for baseball owners. "too much work" just makes me sick.

So what if every living able-bodied former Mets player and coach descended on the site of the former Shea Stadium all at once and decided to play a pick-up baseball game using the base markings that are nicely laid out in the parking lot? You think the Wilpons would have them banished from the site? Or would the invite fans and charge admission to see it first-hand?

It's also good to know that the Mets Police are on this one too. Maybe can get a letter writing campaign going.

Shea for Sale

I saw this over at MetsPolice.

Update: July 13 The release is also on with an updated inventory list.

MeiGray is going to hold a live auction on the Mets memorabilia next Saturday morning at their Bridgewater, NJ warehouse. I'll be there to check it out and take more pictures.

The MeiGray Group
Thursday, July 9, 2009





2E Chimney Rock Road, Bridgewater, NJ 08807 (Off Route 22 East)

Directions: Route 287 to Exit 13B (Somerville). Make right at Chimney Rock Road

Want a piece of Shea? Section Signs, Outfield Wall Panels, Turnstiles, Original Clubhouse Lockers from Mets and Visiting Players, Mounted Photos, Ramp Signs with Mr. Met, Suite Furniture, American Flags that flew atop Shea, Team Flags that flew atop Shea, Blue Suite Seats, Citi Field Preview Center Seats, Bullpen Bench, Concession Signs, Hot Dog Grillers, In-Seat Service Carriers, Clubhouse Furniture, General Manager's Desk, Manager's Desk, File Cabinets, Office Furniture, Golf Carts, Scoreboard Sections, Original Stadium Bricks, Outfield Wall Bricks, Field Level Section Plaques, Clubhouse Whirlpools and Massage Tables, Gate Banners, Player Banners, Oversized Starting Lineup Placards, Parking Lot Banners, Program Stands, Foul Pole Sections and Much, Much more.



Terms: Cash, credit cards, bank checks.


For more information, phone MeiGray toll-free at 888-463-4472

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Coors Light FreezeCam

If replays in a game broadcast are sponsored by a beer (such as the Coors Light FreezeCam on SNY), do the replays look fuzzy late in the game?

A new poll

By asking the question, I'm not saying that NOW is the time for a move. It's more of a case of WHEN.

Who would you like to see go first?
* Jerry Manuel
* Dan Warthen
* Howard Johnson
* Omar Minaya
* Tony Bernazard
* Jeff & Fred Wilpon (they're really a package deal)
* Leave it alone (nobody needs to go)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

An idea for a Mets fans' Mutiny

Watch this clip. After watching it, I found double meaning. I just wanted to post it because a 3 second piece of it was used in a video at Shea (I'll swear it goes back to the early '90s at Shea unchanged to the final day) prompting fans to make some noise and chant "LET'S GO METS".

After seeing the clip, it probably covers our feelings as fans right now and could make for a great mutiny (something I was jokingly thinking about last week). It looks weird seeing that 3 second clip in the context of a movie.

Thanks to Michael Ganci from The Daily Stache for providing the quote. I was actually trying to remember it so I could find the video. The video is from a movie called "Network" from 1976.

A pattern of bad behavior

I just want to elaborate on an opinion that I've shared with a few bloggers in the form of comments on posts. It's completely my opinion.

The Mets are in a bit of a tailspin, and I'm not surprised by it. This fits into a loose pattern, and I can only go by what I lived through as a fan starting with the 1987 season.

  • After the Mets lost in the 1988 NLCS to the Dodgers, the team started to slide the next season. It was a series they should have won, and after it, things got really bad for a few seasons. It really wasn't until Bobby Valentine was hired as manager and Steve Phillips came in as GM before things turned around.

  • After the Mets lost Game 1 of the 2000 World Series to the Yankees, the team started to slide the next season. They shouldn't have won the series, but they shouldn't have lost that first game either. They really really had a chance to win and let it get away. Then things got bad. It wasn't until Omar Minaya and Willie Randolph came in to save the franchise that things turned around.

  • After the Mets lost Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS to the Cardinals, the team started to slide. We all remember the 7 game lead with 17 to play in 2007, and the bullpen collapse of 2008. This season is just the next paragraph in that story. Next season probably will be too, unless the Wilpons get smart and fire Omar and Jerry and their staffs in (or before) the off season.

You can pinpoint moments in 1988 (Kirk Gibson in game 4 of the NLCS), 2000 (mental mistakes that I have partially blocked out of my consciousness in game 1 of the WS), and 2006 (not scoring after the Chavez catch in game 7 of the NLCS).

You can see the parallels and patterns - sliding from 1989 to the "world team money could buy" in 1992 and rebounding around 1995/1996; sliding from 2001 to the Art Howe era ending in 2004 and rebounding in 2005; sliding from September 2007 into 2008 and falling in 2009.

It ain't pretty. I can see why Fred & Jeff Wilpon want to ignore this history, but they're doomed to repeat it.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Under the Microscope

I've been coming to a conclusion in my first season both as a blogger and frequent reader of blogs that this Mets team is under a far greater microscope than I can ever remember in the past. I'm sure it's a combination of my awareness of the opinions of others and an increasing number of those opinions in posts and comments on many many blogs.

To that end, in a post on today, Matt Cerrone writes that a very large number of fans are angry right now, citing an article from Bob Klapisch in the Bergen Record. Matt's Fan Confidence Rating is also at a pre-Minaya low.

Should be an interesting 3 months to finish the season.

Update: I found this article at from earlier today that shows a bit of the microscope effect fitting in with my theme here.


This comes from Keith Olbermann's blog.
Two great questions batted around Yankee Stadium Sunday which you can chew on for a few days.

One of them is fully vetted - the other, not quite.

  1. When Rickey Henderson is inducted, he'll become the fourteenth Hall of Famer who once wore a Mets' uniform. Name the other thirteen, and note the construction of the question. They are indeed, not all players.

  2. How many Hall of Famers retired immediately after playing on a World Series winning team? How many of them did so immediately after playing on a losing team? Looks like four or five winners and about ten losers, but I'm still double-checking.

Update: July 8 - Keith has provided the answer to the first question about Mets Hall of Famers.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Is the season half full or half empty? The mid-season report

81 games down, 81 games to go. The Mets are 39-42, tied for 3rd place (with Atlanta), 4 games back of the Phillies. 22-17 at "home", and 17-25 on the road. They were 22-19 after 41 games (1/4 of the season).

The team is in a bit of a tailspin right now. A good team would have shown signs of competition in the recent series in Philadelphia. The Mets didn't.

It's easy to blame problems on the injuries. And it's easy to blame the injuries on the WBC and a clueless training staff. But every team suffers injuries (though not at the rate that it's hit the Mets this year), and even the best team must overcome injuries. The roster isn't really a 25 man roster. It may be a 50 man roster, with 25 in uniform and ready to play on any given game. The Mets are showing a lack of depth in their roster. I've used the joke that the organization is only 20 players deep, and 25 of them were on the Opening Day roster. They need depth in order to sustain the injuries. Even after the first couple, the Mets showed a lack of depth.

It's easy to blame problems on bad decisions. Decisions to rest a player for a couple days on the active roster while everyone with a clue knew that the player needed a 2 week vacation (to the DL). The bigger kicker is that most of those players still haven't returned. Decisions to play a player out of position to fill a gap rather than find someone who knows how to play that position. Remember, that's what the AAA team is for. Decisions to play player that just aren't big league ready, mostly because there is no other option.

It's easy to blame problems on the new stadium that we now call home. Its dimensions are supposedly vastly different that it's a place where home runs go to die. But that's just an excuse, and they need to play 81 games on the road, where they've played very poorly this year.

It is what it is. The Mets are a .500 club when healthy, and a few games less than that when not. They've performed poorly, especially in the last 41 games, and it shows. Their confidence has to be shaken. Anyone around the club for the past 4 years has been shaken. The new players and injury replacements are just a band aid on a broken leg. They're in a tailspin, and after the season is over, it's time to rebuild the farm system (depth), get better training and medical opinions (injuries), and bring in a whole new set of baseball minds who can bring in a whole new set of players. Just like we did after spinning down in 2001-2003. Just like we did after spinning down in 1992-1995.


The Dodgers are coming to Chez Amazin' this week for their first visit. I just want to remind everyone that the Dodgers are the visiting team, despite how things may appear both outside the ballpark and inside the team stores. No word on what old Dodgers are coming out for the confusion. It may be a really good time to dedicate that bridge for Gil Hodges.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

If Baseball used Tennis's replays

I like watching the big Tennis tournaments, so here's a thought with that in mind.

Imagine baseball's replay system (or even football's) if they used the technology and speed used for replays at Wimbledon & the US Open?

"A pop up down the line. Sheffield over. It falls in fair territory. Utley to second standing. And Sheffield raises his hands asking for a review. Let's take a look Keith."
(replay system shows the ball landing just outside from the line, in foul territory, calling it "FOUL".)
"It's called out, Gar. Good eyes by Sheffield out there in left."
"So they'll replay the pitch."
"Mets caught a break there, Gar. They didn't have that in my day."
"Ronnie, as a pitcher, how does that affect you?"
"Uh.... Just treat it like you would if it were called foul in the first place."

Update 7/9 Gary and Ronnie on SNY had a play in this night's game against the Dodgers at was a candidate for this type of replay. Without mentioning this blog, or the specific (joking) example noted here, they did bring up the idea of the tennis replay in passing before having the thought put to bed by the showing of their sponsored replay.

Random Thoughts

While I start to get ready to write my mid-season review after today's game, I will share a few random thoughts. Forgive me if I've said these before.

  • If you're into hamburgers or cheeseburgers, get the double Shack burger at the Shake Shack. The ribs from Blue Smoke are good too. I tried a Brooklyn burger. Nothing special.

  • Most seats at Citi Field have some obstruction. on Tuesday will post a few of my pics from the first game of the St. Louis series from 2 weeks ago. LF seats, those damn plexiglass barriers and the rails blocked the parts LF that I could see, and the mere fact that those seats are closer to the field caused me to lose the view of the back half of LF and CF. But I could see RF for the first time after sitting down the RF line for 3 games, so that was good. Even the seats I was in for the last game against St. Louis had a slight obstruction from the plexiglass 11 rows back just off home plate in the Upper Deck.

  • Those patriotic hats weren't well thought out. Mets don't (yet) had red as a color, but they had the red hats. And playing the Phillies, red a primary color, also had the red hats. There are reasons why one team wears home white and the other road gray, or at the very least, both aren't wearing the same colored alternate jerseys. Remember the '86 playoffs when the Astros had white road jerseys? This weeked has been just as confusing.
    But here's my solution for the hats (which I do see as a good idea if it were well thought out) -- Our country's colors are RED, WHITE, and BLUE! Find the color from that set that best matches the team's normal hat color, or at least an official team color, and use that as a base for the patriotic-looking team logo. Mets would wear a blue hat, and the Phillies would wear a red hat. Some teams would be a bit off color, but at least it wouldn't be the visual chaos that we saw in Philly.

  • I like Gary, Keith, and/or Ron, but I need to listen to Howie and Wayne more. Only on radio can he get away with a joke about having the Philly Phanatic smash ALL of the Mets black batting helmets after describing the Phanatic's usual antics.

  • (I think I've noted this before) Anyone think it's coincidence that last year's sing along "I'm A Believer" is missing this year? How many of you could say "I'm A Believer" when it comes to the Mets and not be kidding yourself?

Friday, July 3, 2009

Traveling circus

Good piece in the Star Ledger and about the Mets recent travels - 3 cities in 3 days - and all that comes with them on the trips. It makes the family car trip for 4th of July weekend and all the crap that kids need in a car nowadays seem simple. Last time I had to do that, it was a walkman, an audio casette tape holder, and lots of batteries for me.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Morning Programming

I usually turn off SNY/WPIX after the game. I do it even after wins because there's something on my DVR that I need to watch in order to make room for something else to record.

But after Wimbledon, I'm going to leave my cable box on SNY HD before I retire for the night. Not to watch highlightes (or "lowlightes") on SportsNite, not to watch a replay, but to watch if Willie Randolph Jerry Manuel was let go overnight.

If this keeps up, returning home next week should be real interesting to see if/when/how the fans' mutiny happens. This team is under such a microscope this year from the fans and media and us amateur bloggers that a mutiny may be on the scale of the Boston Tea Party.