Sunday, November 29, 2009

Please help me out

I'm trying out a couple of new things on my blog, some of which are transparent and some aren't. Google has a new blog post editor. I don't know what's so special about it other than maybe the fonts and colors.

But I installed a new commenting section software (IntenseDebate), and I'd like to have people try it out. I've been having trouble with the Google/ comment section software on this and other blogs, so I decided it was time to make a change. Usually, I like the banter on either the comments section or the facebook page, but for this, I'd like you to come on and post a comment (even if you just say "hi") on the website itself to see how well this works.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Sorry seems to be the hardest word

A few days ago, the Mets send out a press release detailing some changes to Citi Field for 2010. They're "Metsing-up" the place, giving us what we've been asking for, what we've been missing in Citi Field. It's quite possible that this will be the first time in a long time that the Mets do something right. It's also possible that this is another example of the Mets trying to do something good and them simply doing it wrong. Not once in there did the Mets appologize for doing it wrong in the first place.

Let me break some of this press release down and share why I think the latter will be true.

RENAMING OF AREAS IN BALLPARK The Mets will rename and visually theme Citi Field's VIP entrances and outfield bridge after individuals who made an indelible mark on the club. First Base VIP will be named after Hodges to honor the manager who led the Mets to their first World Championship in 1969. Third Base VIP will honor Seaver, the Hall of Fame pitcher and Mets leader in wins, earned run average and strikeouts. Left Field VIP will be named after Stengel, the first manager in Mets history. The outfield bridge will be dedicated as Shea Bridge, honoring the legacy of the man who was the driving force to bring National League baseball back to New York after the departure of the Dodgers and Giants.

The VIP entrances are getting named the "Gil Hodges [First Base] VIP entrance", the "Tom Seaver [Third Base] VIP entrance", and "Casey Stengel [Left Field] VIP entrance". I think they forgot the "Marv Thronberry [Left Field] common man entrance" and the "George Theodore [Right Field] common man entrance". I don't know what good it is to have these entrances themed by some of the most elite Mets and yet most fans won't be allowed to see it since we're nothing more than P's, and hardly "Important", let alone "Very Important" in the Mets' eyes.

And they'll name the bullpen bridge the "Shea Bridge". This we'll see and we'll walk all over many times at the ballpark. If the Mets were really listening to the fans, they would have gone with the name "Gil Hodges Bridge" that we've been using all season. I think that one came from Howie Rose.

I would have kept the Gil Hodges name on the bridge, attached Casey Stengel's name to the plaza behind home plate on the Promenade level (Casey Stengel Plaza, same as I remember on a street designation outside Shea), made the "Shea entrance" at the Rotunda, and named the LF entrance after Tom Seaver. Having to pick another name for the RF entrance is tough - Koosman (i.e. Seaver and Koosman), Piazza, Gooden, Strawberry, etc.

METS HALL OF FAME & MUSEUM & HALL OF FAME COMMITTEE The centerpiece for Mets memorabilia will be the Mets Hall of Fame & Museum, located adjacent to the Jackie Robinson Rotunda and accessible from both inside and outside the ballpark. A re-formed Mets Hall of Fame Committee will evaluate potential inductees, and is comprised of a combination of media members with a long-standing connection to the club and Mets front office staff.

This is good. I can see in my mind a real museum setting looking at a long wall with a timeline of the Mets. Something that has lots of space for future entries. Mookie's bat from the famous at-bat would be on display. Doc's uniform pants worn by Darryl Strawberry on Opening Day 1987 would be on display. Lenny Dykstra's 1986 World Series ring. Jerry Koosman's 1969 Mets and 2009 prison uniforms would be on display. The second base that Robin Ventura never touched. Jesse Orosco's glove from the championship toss. Eddie Kranepool. You get the idea. Maybe the timeline portion of the exhibit could be made up of the different Mets pocket schedules. Maybe we get to see the Mets yearbook covers. A corner dedicated to the 1964 All-Star game, and another for the "Shea Goodbye" event. I could go on and on.

If this were part of the original design, I would say the museum would be IN the Rotunda instead of next to it, but I won't go there now. I certainly can't ask that the Jackie Robinson exhibit be taken down. I do like that the museum would be available from both inside and outside. If memory serves me correctly, that space is occupied by a team store right now.

And we have the re-formation of a Hall of Fame committee. The press release goes on to say that Marty Noble, who's covered NY National League Baseball since the early 1900s, and Mets fans #1a Howie Rose and #1b Gary Cohen are on this committee (numbering them is no knock on them, rather a compliment for the fact that the biggest voices representing the Mets are two of the biggest fans). Dave Howard and Jay Horwitz, the other "voices" of the Mets, Tina Mannix, ex-Met Al Jackson, and little Jeffy Wilpon are also on the committee. I hope they're active. I read on one of the blogs a suggestion that they elect two Mets per season. I'm not even sure what I want here, but with Howie, Gary, and Marty there, I'm comfortable with it.

More details from the Mets will be coming at a later date. I hope this is ready for Opening Day. I also hope no one affiliated with team ownership is inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame (Joan Payson, the first owner, was the first inductee in 1981, which I do support).

IMAGERY & TEAM COLORS Next season, fans will be greeted by Mets colors as they approach Citi Field with full-color banners of Mets players on Mets Plaza in front of the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. Mets logos will be added on entry points to the parking areas and on the light poles in the parking lots. The addition of team colors will continue inside the ballpark with staircases painted with blue and orange and more Mets logos throughout the ballpark. Flowers in the gardens at Mets Plaza in front of the Jackie Robinson Rotunda will also be blue and orange.

I always though those staircases looked too boring in its brick-gray. I liked Shea's different levels being painted each in a single different color, matching the color of the seats from that level. That was something done earlier this decade. It kind of let you know where you were. I also remember from my visit to Philly that a lot of poles and beams were painted in the dark maroon color of the Phillies' color scheme. Orange and blue stair cases could be good.

More Mets logos will also be welcome. Let's hope this is done better than the imagery added to the ballpark last summer. Shea was beautiful with its bright colors shining through. Citi Field needs to be the same. In 2009, it was more grayscale.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

5 questions for an average New York Mets fan

Shannon over at posted a short survey the other day called "5 questions for an average New York Mets fan". He's gotten a few answers sent to him, but a few of my blogging friends have decided to post their answers on their own blogs.

1. When did you start following the Mets?

I'll say it was somewhere between Mookie's at bat in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series and Opening Day 1987. I've told the stories of Games 6 and 7 of the '86 Series before.

2. What is your favorite Mets memory?

That's a tough one. I have so many good ones. Just being at Shea. The "Santana game" in 2008 on the next-to-last-day of the season (with the Gary Keith and Ron group and walking on the field). Being at the 2006 Division clincher and the final game of the 1999 season when they clinched another day.

3. What is your worst Mets memory or experience?

Watching Glavine melt down on the final day of the 2007 season on TV. Watching the bullpen melt down on the final day of the 2008 season at Shea. Watching a piece of Shea come down on the final day of January 2009 in person. 2009 was a bad year all around. Fortunately, I don't remember much of 1992 and 1993, or at least didn't care how bad they were when I was 14 and 15.

4. If you could change one off-field thing about the franchise what
would it be?

That's a loaded question. I'd do many things to/at/with Citi Field, which I've blogged about (paint job, retired numbers, tickets, seating views, names of things). If I could go back in time, it would have been fixing a few things at Shea to make it sustainable for many years to come. I'd clean house in the front office and start from scratch with someone who would clean house on the field. Retire a few more numbers. Mets museum. How many is that?

5. If you owned the team starting tomorrow, what is the first thing
you would change?

see question 4.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Mets Announce Spring Training Schedule

It's official. The Mets will play baseball next March in Florida. 32 games, 18 in Port St. Lucie. Tickets on sale January 23, 10 am.

I'll see you there.

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Spring Training

Update 11/16 Good Old Adam Rubin has a full schedule

Pitchers and Catchers are about 4 months away (today is October 16). Spring Training schedules will be trickling out over the next 6 weeks. And I've heard a little bit about the 2010 Mets Spring Training schedule.

I'm sure some of you are Spring Training regulars. I am. And I'll be keeping this post updated with the Mets Spring schedule. You can find the link on the website on the right side under the greeting from Bob Murphy.

What I know so far...

Heard on some of the last broadcasts, we know the Mets will open up March 2 against Atlanta (I believe at home in Port St. Lucie), and I thought I heard there will be 2 trips over to Fort Myers. According to Mapquest, Fort Myers is about 140 miles and 2 hours 49 minutes via shortest (estimated) time from Port St. Lucie. Expect a few of these long bus rides each Spring Training until more teams move to the East coast of Florida.

NOTE: this is in no way final and there may be conflicts
25 games on 23 dates
Tue. March 2 - Mets vs Braves (Port St. Lucie)
Wed. March 3 - Mets @ Braves (Disney)
Thu. March 4 - Mets vs Cardinals (Port St. Lucie)
Fri. March 5 - Mets (SS) @ Cardinals (Jupiter)
Fri. March 5 - Mets (SS) vs Marlins (Port St. Lucie)
Sat. March 6 - Mets @ Nationals (Viera)
Sun. March 7 - Mets vs Nationals (Port St. Lucie)
Mon. March 8 - Mets @ Marlins (Jupiter)
Tue. March 9 - Mets vs Astros (Port St. Lucie)
Wed. March 10 - Mets @ Braves (Disney), 7:05 pm
Thu. March 11 - Mets vs Red Sox (Port St. Lucie)
Fri. March 12 - Mets @ Twins (Lee County)
Sat. March 13 - Mets vs Tigers (Port St. Lucie)
Sun. March 14 - Mets @ Marlins (Jupiter)
Mon. March 15 - Mets vs Cardinals (Port St. Lucie)
Tue. March 16 - OFF DAY
Wed. March 17 - Mets @ Red Sox (Fort Myers)
Thu. March 18 - Mets vs Marlins (Port St. Lucie)
Fri. March 19 - Mets vs Twins (Port St. Lucie)
Sat. March 20 - Mets @ Cardinals (Jupiter)
Sun. March 21 - Mets (SS) @ Astros (Kissimmee)
Sun. March 21 - Mets (SS) vs Univ. of Michigan (Port St. Lucie)
Mon. March 22 - Mets @ Nationals (Viera)
Tue. March 23 - Mets vs Braves (Port St. Lucie) 7:10pm
Wed. March 24 - Mets vs Astros (Port St. Lucie)
Thu. March 25 - Mets @ Cardinals (Jupiter)
Fri. March 26 - Mets @ Marlins (Jupiter)
Sat. March 27 - Mets vs Nationals (Port St. Lucie)
Sun. March 28 - Mets vs Cardinals (Port St. Lucie)
Mon. March 29 - Mets @ Marlins (Jupiter)
Tue. March 30 - Mets vs Cardinals (Port St. Lucie)
Wed. March 31 - Mets vs Marlins (Port St. Lucie)
Thu. April 1 - Mets vs Nationals (Port St. Lucie)
Fri. April 2 - Mets @ Rays (Tropicana Field)
Sat. April 3 - Mets @ Orioles (Sarasota)

Other schedules out (teams in the Grapefruit League not playing the Mets) include Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Toronto

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Mets TV

I saw this and thought it was worthy of posting. I've been behind for a couple days reading all the other blogs, so maybe someone else posted it too.

SNY will have a new series called "Mets Yearbook" that follows "Mets Hot Stove". "Mets Yearbook" has 27 half-hour season highlight films from 1962 to 1988 (mostly before my time, but it's always good to learn about Mets history before we're doomed to repeat it). I don't know what happened from 1989 through 2009. Pete Dougherty, Sports Media Columnist from the Albany Times Union (that's a newspaper) in his blog says "The films originally were produced as marketing tools shown at local schools, churches, scout groups, etc., and haven’t aired on TV, according to the network".

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Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Baseball Oddity

Did you know that Minor League Baseball's International League has only American teams while Major League Baseball's American League is international?

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