Sunday, June 28, 2009

I wonder if this is an omen

I was at a wedding today, where the band played "I'm a Believer" by The Monkees - our sing-along song for most of last season. Naturally, I think back to the final sing-along at Shea at the Santana game singing along from the bleachers with 1200 other die hards with the GaryKeithAndRon group (there was no sing-along in the finale because they were losing in the middle of the 8th). "I'm A Believer" was a good song for a sing-along, but doesn't have much meaning with Mets fans after that 2nd collapse.

Anyway, I wonder if it was an omen that later the band played "Twist And Shout", which was one of the choices for the new sing-along. Maybe that will end up winning. Maybe it was just coincidence since it was the song I suggested for the list.

And "Sweet Caroline" was played later in the party. Nobody booed (the groom is somehow a Red Sox fan).

It's time to fire up the radio and find the TV's mute button - time for Sunday Night Baseball.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Tickets please

I saw this article in the NY Times today, talking about season ticket holders of both the Mets and Yankees.

I predict record number drop-offs in season ticket and partial plan renewals for both clubs for 2010.

Time to vote

Go to to vote for the 8th inning sing-along song. Scroll to the bottom of the homepage to vote.

Thanks to Neil Best for the tip that voting is on. Thanks probably to among others for pushing this.

If the Mets are reading, since one of my suggestions is on the list ("Twist and Shout" from the Beatles), Hi guys.

How many freekin' bloggers were there?

I have a busy day for this, the last day of my vacation week. Too busy until tonight to write about 3 games in the past 7 at Chez Amazin'. But I heard it was the largest crowd in Citi Field history. I need to process that one. I was sunburned, and maybe some of it seeped into my brain.

But from reading, the record crowd had at least 4 or 5 other bloggers in attendance. Guys (and gals), we need to coordinate this. Next time, let's meet under the Tom Seaver statue in, wait, um. Let's meet by the Casey Stengel, um. Damn. OK. Let's meet by the championship banners. Ya, that'll work (if it's not closed off for a private party).

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Albert Pujols is a God

I was at the game last night (Monday night), and caught some of Albert Pujols' BP session. Some have said that the Mets HR production is down because of the dimensions at Citi Field. I know this is BP and not a game situation, but still. Pujols was hitting the second deck in LF a lot. Even towards CF and half way up. I was standing there for his last round. Then he hit one over my head into the 3rd deck.

3rd deck!

I went up there to find my seat (coincidence) and talked to an usher who said it reached the concourse at section 536. Think about that.

Pujols reached the concourse of the 3rd deck in LF at Citi Field in BP last night. He is a God.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Tickets still available for the Yankees

RememberingShea has learned that individual game tickets are available to the general public for this weekend's Subway Series against the Yankees. After trying to sell out the ballpark using the traditional ticket lottery, a la carte packages, as well as other fan ticket venues (StubHub and GaryKeithAndRon), there are still seats available.

Before you get your hopes up, I could not find a ticket for under $100 on for Friday night's any game. Everything pushed me to the LF and RF corners on either Field Level or Excelsior/Caesar's Club.

There's a lot of parallels

I don't think the immediate future is good. Do you remember the 2000 season, the team got to the World Series? That was good, and maybe they should have won (or at least got back to Yankee Stadium to get finished off there). They really really should have won game 1, but found ways to blow it. After that series, they had a couple of down years instead of working from the momentum, like they had done going from 1999 to 2000 (and even building into '99). That game 1 loss was a game that they, as a franchise, just needed a couple of years to get over.

And those couple years were some down years (2001-2004). Some bad trades. Some bad players. And eventually, the players, coaches, and management from the 2000 team were all gone. Omar Minaya came in to run the baseball operations after the 2004 season, Willie Randolph was named manager, Carlos Beltran and Pedro Martinez came in as free agents, and we had some good prospects. The Mets were getting built for the future.

And the future came with a good team in 2005, and a team that was made to win it all in 2006. But that didn't work out. They blew their chance in game 7 of the NLCS that year after Endy's catch, and I've said for 2 1/2 years that the franchise hasn't recovered from it yet. This is why I brought up the 2000 team and aftermath. There's a lot of parallels between the two, and some differences too. After 2000, it took into a 5th year before things got pointed in the right direction. After 2006, we had a let down too. A different way of letting down though. We had leads and blew them late, missing the playoffs by 1 game in each of the past 2 seasons. I think we're still on our downslide following that game 7 loss almost 3 years ago. The current team is starting to show signs of slippage.

Back to the parallel, things didn't really get worked out for the Mets earlier this decade until the house was cleaned out and players and management who were part of that 2000 team were gone. I really think that's the same remedy we need here. Clean house. Rid ourselves of everyone who was part of the teams in 2006, 2007, and 2008, because those years collectively have a stink similar to the 2000 team.

It will take a few years to remake the club into a contender, and for us to try again. But I think it's the only way. Throwing new players at this thing just isn't going to make it better.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Birthday to Bill Shea

Today is Bill Shea's birthday. He would have been 102 years old.

Did you know that he is also responsible for the New York Islanders being at Nassau Coliseum.

Thanks to The Real Dirty Mets Blog for the tip.

It's so noisy here at Shea

Vin Scully once said (during game 7 of the 1986 World Series) "it's so noisy here at Shea you can hardly hear the airplanes".

Over at the The Daily Stache, Stache Writer Andrew Cavagnaro raises the point that maybe something was lost in the translation from noisy Shea Stadium to quiet Citi Field. It's a good read.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Going for Gold

I saw this article on today, and I think it's worth sharing because there are some real interesting items in here.

Baseball was an Olympic sport in the past 5 summer Olympics (1992-2008), and it has been dropped for the London games of 2012 (somehow, picturing baseball diamonds in England seems a bit weird). Baseball is trying to make a push for a comeback in the 2016 games. In order to sell the sport, they're pledging the best-of-the-best. Let me quote the article:
In a pitch for Olympic reinstatement on Monday, the worldwide baseball community pledged to the International Olympic Committee the participation of its best eligible players and a concerted marketing effort to raise the sport's global impact.

OK. Interesting. Are we talking about a WBC-like setup where players leave their pro teams to compete in order to make the tournament (hey, it's the Olympics) as good as it can be? That idea didn't work in Spring Training, and you could imagine fans (owners?, managers?) not being happy about going to games with, dare I say it, REPLACEMENT PLAYERS for the duration of the Olympic tournament.

Or will fans pay no attention BECAUSE the Olympics are on (that's a tough one)? They may have to. The article continues...
The formal presentation at IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, included a commitment by Major League Baseball not to broadcast of MLB games during 2016 Olympic baseball competition, to ensure full media focus on the Games.

Furthermore, MLB vowed not to play any games on the final "medal" day of the Olympic tournament.

If this proposition passes, and it comes in part from MLB, we may have a brief MLB blackout during the summer of 2016. It's one thing if Tokyo wins the games, and the Olympics are overnight and in the morning, but if Chicago wins the games, and the Olympic baseball competition is held at the same time as MLB games, that could prove to be either very effective, or prove to be a very bad idea (I don't see a middle ground there).

Other details from

  • Baseball will offer a five-day, eight-team tournament that will allow maximum participation of the top players from the countries that qualify for the Olympics. The qualifier for 2016 would be held during the 2015 offseason.

  • All four potential host cities for 2016 already have established baseball venues and domestic baseball programs in place.

  • The MLB offer not to broadcast any games in direct competition with the 2016 Olympic baseball schedule, or have any games on its schedule on the climactic day of Olympic medal play.

  • The participation of eligible "elite players" around the world; cited as examples were de Jong and Bryce Harper, the 16-year-old Las Vegas phenom recently featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

A five day tournament isn't even that much. Remember the WBC, which is baseball's big international showcase, takes place over 3 weeks (though critics say it has too much downtime). In five days, elite pitchers may not even pitch in 2 games. Pitchers will be warm in August (assuming that's the timing of the games, but imagine if somehow it were scheduled in September in Rio). Pitching is a big problem in the scheduling of the WBC that's unique to baseball. Would the Mets like Venezuela to pitch Johan Santana on short rest because they need him in a medal game in the Olympics (it's just an example, I don't think it will be the Mets' problem 7 years from now, but you get the idea). What type of training camp is there? Even a day or two together? How much time are you taking players away from their pro teams (and are they paid for that time away?) Donald Fehr from the Players' Union is part of this presentation group. I do wonder how the union as a whole would deal with this, and the players. Anyway, say Chicago wins the games. Time away from your pro team is less because there's relatively no travel (compared to Tokyo, Madrid, and Rio de Janerio). But what if Tokyo wins? Travel time and time difference could have players away for a longer time (compared to the short time of the tournament, half your time away isn't even playing). Or do you shut down MLB during that time? Do players from teams eliminated early return to their teams? It was one thing to have players trickle back in Spring Training from the WBC, but this is the integrity of the regular season.

I have seeing baseball dropped from the Olympics, but I just can't see how this pitch is good for MLB.

Catch Me If You Can

After the trip to Baltimore, the Mets are coming home for 10 games, including a rematch with the Yankees. I'll be at 3 of the first 7 games before the Yankees come to town. All in the Promenade, I'll be sitting along the RF line on Friday night against Tampa Bay, then somewhere in LF for Monday night and Thursday afternoon against St. Louis. I want to try different seats to get different perspectives on Chez Amazin, and my vacation week is a good time to do it. Come say "hi".

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The World's Coolest Yard Sale

Borrowing an idea I had back in January, ESPN sent Page 2 Uni Watch reporter Paul Lukas over to the MeiGray Shea Stadium Warehouse recently to file both a written report and video (embedded below). I invite you to both read and watch.

In the video, it looked like some of the banners and hangings were actually hanging on display (showing off for the cameras, I didn't see that when I was there). It looked like there were a lot of pieces of the blue outfield wall. I remember them being very dirty, otherwise I would have bought a small piece (I still might do that later on). Still lots of photos. I looked through some of them too - some were more like silkscreen on wood rather than a poster, giant photo paper, or a framed photo. There were still quite a few signs from around the ballpark sitting along the side wall behind the shelf. Not as many as they had 5 months ago, but still plenty to auction off or sell. I just laugh at the idea that someone would want a Nathan's hot dog cart. In this economy especially, how do those NOT move over to Citi Field (remember that the City took some of the fixtures and placed them in City parks)?

One note in the video from Barry Meisel was that the Mets did want Citi Field to be all new. The article itself links to a few photos from the demolition of Shea and from the warehouse. (I don't know exactly who to credit on the photo of Gil Hodges, so I'll just say that it was one of the photos linked from the article and hosted on flickr)

From the article, talking about the economy's effect:
The timing couldn't have been worse for Meigray, since the economy tanked almost exactly when it started marketing this material. But Meigray president Barry Meisel, who gave [Paul Lukas] a tour of the warehouse last week (see video at the top of this page), says sales have been good enough to cover the company's investment and then some, if not quite as brisk as he would have been before the stock market crashed. He estimates that he has sold about 75 percent of what was originally in the warehouse.
It continues to talk about the harder to sell items. That's worth reading, and photos linked from within the text.

I also wrote about my visit to MeiGray in early February. My opinion of the entire matter hasn't changed (much) since pieces of the ballpark went up for sale, and now on the auction block.

  • The items are over priced - this stuff would move a lot faster (I may even buy more) if prices were half of what they are, and you know it has to be hurting their profit margin to have these items sitting on shelves all summer instead of being sold

  • About half of the items should have a home in Citi Field, not in my apartment - that's been topics of other posts

  • Seeing this stuff out of context (not in Shea) looks very creepy, so does the life-sized cardboard cutout of Willie Randolph in front of the "manager's" locker that they show

Looking at the auction, how can this classy picture of Casey Stengel NOT be in the Mets home?

I would like to know why they even have this item, a Fenway Franks Hot Dog Vending Box.

Thanks to Mets Police for the tip, and challenging me to "nitpick" what was in the article and video.


Can someone please explain to me why Keith Hernandez came up as a suggested "friend" on my Facebook page? I thought Keith was very shy around fans. It's not a "fan" profile (like the 100 times I'm a "fan" of Stewie from Family Guy), it looks like an actual "friend" profile.

Monday, June 8, 2009

History of the Mets on the air

Over at NeverForget 69, I found a good (but sorry to say, slightly inaccurate) history of the Mets broadcasting, from Bob Murphy, Lindsay Nelson, and Ralph Kiner to the days of choosing between Gary, Keith, Ron, and Ralph and Howie and Wayne. You can get the abridged version on Wikipedia, but it's always better with stories and context.

For me (and this really only starts with the 1987 season), I always liked Gary Cohen, Howie Rose, Ted Robinson, and Bob Murphy. Three guys who grew up Mets fans around the same time period and the one who is forever the voice of the Mets. It got too confusing for a while in the early 2000s figuring out who would be on TV for any given game (between Howie Rose, Ted Robinson, Gary Thorne/Dave O'Brien, Tom Seaver, and Fran Healy).

  • Ted Robinson is a great Tennis broadcaster (actually, the best in the business).

  • Gary Cohen's style on radio is the best I've ever heard. I always loved when he would do what I called a "replay" of a play to fill in some blanks. He was a great hockey announcer who called 3 Olympic Hockey tournaments on the radio in the 1990s. Somewhere, I have some audio clips of that.

  • Howie Rose is the Mets historian.

  • Bob Murphy lived the history of the Mets from 1962 to 2003. A set of classic (or miscellaneous) Mets radio highlights isn't complete without at least a few Bob Murphy clips.

Who are the only 3 people to call a Mets local broadcast of a World Series game? And who from that list took part in more than 1 World Series?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Oh Boy!

I don't know where to begin. I've written about injuries already. I realized today listening to the pregame show when they mentioned Alex Cora being in the starting lineup that Jose Reyes has been out for so long, the guy who replaced him has already been to the DL and back. Not to mention that the guy who replaced the replacement has gone down too.

All I can think of with the injuries is this (and I've posted comments on other blogs over the last year, and even talked about injuries in a post using this as the title). You need to click play, it's in the first 60 seconds of the video.

J.J. Putz has a bum elbow and may need surgery soon, and Reyes has a tear in his hamstring. Even the beat writers are questioning the methods of treatment. Lots of fans are getting on the doctors. I haven't had faith in them for over a year.

Even Keith Olbermann is picking on the Mets injuries.

Update from MeiGray

I haven't heard anything from our friends at the MeiGray Group in a while about Shea Memorabilia, so I decided to go to their website and see what they said. They don't say much, you can see that here, but they do let you download their 2 spreadsheets (one of them is noted as being updated March 23, 2009) to see what's for sale.

As of 2 1/2 months ago, there seemed to still be a lot of overpriced Shea Stadium Memorabilia for sale. Some of it is on the auction block accessable from, with some items ending on June 11, and new items listed that end June 25.

I'm just laughing at these items that nobody has bid on them, either because it's over-priced or just plain old stupid to be selling and buying. With this economy, it doesn't surprise me that there's so much available. I really do hope they drop prices (a lot) to move this stuff out quicker so they don't have to pay to store it. Even things that 1 person bids on tell you that maybe it was priced too high, but it only needs one bid to make a sale (and don't forget the fine print about shipping prices - if you can get to Bridgewater NJ, go visit them in person to pick the item up).

It sickens me even more than the prices that some of these items up for auction and sale should have just been moved to the new ballpark and given a home there. I still say that when a family moves to a new home, they don't sell pictures of the kids, they bring them with them.

View from the seats

Watching these games in Pittsburgh, I had an Amazin' idea for a new ballpark (damn, I'm a few years too late to design a new ballpark).

Pittsburgh has a view across the river to see bridges (up close) and the city's skyline. I think a few others parks have this too.

Wouldn't it have been really really cool if one of the new ballparks in New York could have had an open view of the Manhattan skyline (or at least part of it)? You know, maybe that part of the skyline represented in the Mets logo to the right.

Sing-along idea

Paul McCartney is playing the first concert at our "beloved" new ballpark, and The Beatles, McCartney's former group, played the first outdoor concert at our beloved Shea Stadium.

Why not have our 8th inning sing-along to the music of the Beatles??? "Help" if we're tied/losing, or "Twist and Shout" if we're winning.

I'm just trying to help. I know some people are unhappy with Sweet Caroline and the Monkees "I'm A Believer" seems to have disappeared without a trace (and I wonder if they sentiment of the song's title has too).

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Notes from our favorite charity organization

I just found a note in my inbox from my favorite charity, Pitch In For A Good Cause, a.k.a. Gary Keith & Ron (I hope all of you are on their mailing list too).

They purchased 4 season tickets in the Pepsi Porch and are reselling them on a game-by-game basis. They have cool t-shirts. I now own 5.

I did purchase a ticket for their big "Main Event" on October 3. Why else would I pay $120 for a Mets ticket (in the outfield no less). I'm actually glad the t-shirt they sent me isn't one I already had. I know it can't top last year's Main Event in the penultimate game at Shea (you know, the "Santana game") with us walking on the field. But it should be fun (as long as the season doesn't end the same way as it did each of the past 2 seasons).

My video from last year (and an excuse to show/watch it again).

From the desk of The Onion

Paul McCartney to play first concert in Citi Field's brand new parking lot.

Former Beatle Paul McCartney will play historic the first concerts at New York's new Citi Field Parking Lot venue on July 17 and July 17. The stage will be located approximately 300 feet south of the building's left field side.

Seriously folks, you can read the real press release here.