Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Where I've been...

I haven't written much lately. Since I found facebook as a tool for communication, I've been posting a lot of 1-liner statuses on Remembering Shea's facebook page (jokes and some commentary, along with some links including everything that I post here). But it's a lot of things that just seem like they're too small to post on the blog itself.

That being said, please head over there and "like" my page if you haven't already. I just saw something new on facebook where I can have a vanity URL for my page (I know they've had it for actual user accounts for a while).

So go visit me at http://www.facebook.com/RememberingShea. I do want to integrate the feed from the facebook page into the blog so that readers can see it all in one place.

Thanks for reading!


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Monday, August 23, 2010

2010: A Mets Odyssey

No time in my day to comment on what was written (maybe later), but there is a good recap of the 2010 Mets season from the point of view of their off-field problems, courtesy of ESPN's Adam Rubin, which you can read here. Be sure to read his follow up article tomorrow on the 2011 Mets. Get your season ticket deposits in soon!


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Friday, August 20, 2010

Kiner's Korner

There are rumors on the internet that our beloved show Kiner's Korner will return to public view beginning next Tuesday on SNY.TV under the name Kiner's Korner Revisited.

From Neil Best
Speaking of beloved New York sports figures, SNY is bringing back a baby boomer fixture with "Kiner’s Korner Revisited," set to debut Tuesday on SNY.TV.

The show will use surviving footage from Kiner's iconic postgame show as a starting point for discussions on past and present baseball topics with host Ted Berg.

Alas, little survives from the early years, but the nine episodes will feature interviews with Pete Rose, Bobby Valentine, Johnny Bench, Richie Ashburn, Ed Kranepool, Tommy Lasorda, Davey Johnson and Eric Davis.

I would print more, but I don't subscribe to Cablevision's IO TV service or Newsday newspaper. If anyone does and can help me out by copying and pasting the contents of that blog post to me, I would appreciate it.

I would guess see that old video tapes of Kiner's Korner would make up the content along with new discussions. I like this idea. And I vaguely remember a blogger (and I don't think it was me) suggesting that SNY should bring back Kiner's Korner. Well done to the idea man, and well done to SNY. Ralph won't be with us forever.

Another statement from another sports media columnist. Not really any more in terms of details, but I play fair. From Bob Raismann at the NY Daily News...

KINER'S KORNER CAUGHT IN WEB
Ralph Kiner has plenty more to give, especially when he's confined to "cameo" appearances on SportsNet New York's Mets telecasts.

So, starting Tuesday, Ralphie's invading the Internet. He's dusting off a classic, bringing "Kiner's Korner Revisted" to SNY.TV. Over the course of nine episodes, Kiner will ransack the Korner Vault withdrawing classic interviews (Pete Rose, Richie Ashburn, Davey Johnson, Ed Kranepool and others).

Kiner, and SNY.TV host Ted Berg, will also talk about current baseball issues - like Keith Hernandez's extremely heavy work load.


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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Francisco Rodriguez and the MLBPA vs. the New York Mets

As expected, the MLBPA (the union), filed a grievance against the Mets on behalf of disqualified Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez. Reading the report by Adam Rubin on ESPN New York.com, the contention is over WHEN and HOW K-Rod injured his thumb.
The Mets maintain Rodriguez tore a ligament in his right thumb during an altercation with his girlfriend's father at Citi Field last week. Chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon said Tuesday that Rodriguez confessed to a team trainer that the injury occurred as a result of the incident.

Rodriguez's agent, Paul Kinzer, and the union have been noncommittal about when the injury occurred. And a team source told ESPNNewYork.com on Wednesday that Rodriguez will claim he slipped, but not as a direct result of the incident.

Of course, both sides are saying that they believe that they are right (that's usually the case).

My message to all involved. Guys, don't fuck around. This is a legal case. I'm not a lawyer, and I don't always understand big words, but if this thing comes to trial, the injured thumb may come up as proof that K-Rod really did strike the grandfather of his children. In a court of law, and in probably just about everything else related to a legal case, the parties involved are sworn to tell the truth with sever consequences for lying. The truth will come out in court, and one of these sides will be very embarrassed. And before the stories start getting out of hand, there were supposedly witnesses. It's a bad spot to be in for a teammate or a teammate's family member. This grievance should sit in limbo until the legal matters are sorted out, and then we should see what really happened. Whichever side is found to be either lying or wrong about when/how the injury occurred is going to look mighty foolish once the truth comes out.


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The Mets have handled K-Rod correctly

Here's my take on the developing K-Rod saga...

First a few facts (and I know that I'm leaving out the word allegedly)...
  • Last Wednesday after the game, in view of some players/families/children, he punched his father-in-law (or the father or his fiance or the father of his girlfriend, I'm not really sure what their relationship is). The man was removed via ambulance and K-Rod was held in custody at Citi Field until his arraignment the next day. I don't actually know how he pleaded. A court date is scheduled for September 14 (about 4 weeks later).
  • The Mets suspended him for 2 games, without pay, allowing time for the legal matters to sort out and allowing the Mets to replace him on the roster.
  • He returned to the club and clubhouse on Saturday, and was brought in to pitch the 9th with the Mets losing.
  • He complained of a problem in his thumb on Sunday and was examined on Monday. It turns out that he tore a ligament in his pitching/punching hand during the altercation. Surgery was recommended, and given the time to recover and where the Mets were in the season, it meant he would be out for the season.
  • K-Rod had the surgery on Tuesday.
  • On Tuesday, the Mets also placed K-Rod on the Disqualified List, where he will not receive pay or MLB service time until he is reinstated.
  • Word on the street is that the Mets are going to try to void or renegotiate the remainder of K-Rod's contract with the Mets because of this (which I'll get into my thoughts on it in a bit) and that the MLB Players Association will try to contest some of this (which I will also blast later).

For the most part, I actually think that the Mets have handled this correctly, save for Jerry Manuel not realizing that K-Rod would be inactive on the day in which he appeared in court, and for Omar to say anything.

You're looking at a couple of things. First, there is an unsettled legal matter. Second, there is an injury directly related to this incident (a claim which nobody has disputed). The injury is probably evidence, which makes it harder to defend K-Rod in the legal sense. Some of what will eventually happen with K-Rod will depend on how things go in court.

The Mets have every right to a) not pay him for time missed this season and b) renegotiate his contract after he is allowed to return. First off, it is hard to punish him for more than the 2 games from last week for being arrested. He did need time to get legal matters sorted out, and it's very justified that K-Rod could be suspended while that took place. After the trial, when the verdict is handed down, the Mets could act much more swiftly.

Now throw in the injury. K-Rod has made himself physically unable to play due to what's essentially committing a crime against another person. The result of the injury is that he won't be able to pitch again this season. In a way, the Mets catch a break with this because it means removing the distractions by fans and media that would have been caused by having him active with all this crap pending. Based on this, there is no reason why K-Rod should be paid for the time spent on the DL since it was a non-baseball (and illegal) activity that resulted in his inability to play. And I really don't see what the MLBPA could do about it without coming off looking like they condone his behavior.

As for the future...like I said earlier, some of it will depend on the outcome of the legal case against him. But something like this could take a mental toll on a person (aren't all players people?). He could come back from the injury and not be himself. He could go to prison for a period of time (and I guess if that happened, and dragged into next season, he wouldn't be reinstated until he is a free man). All of these are very just reasons why the Mets can and should either void or renegotiate his contract for next season (and why they shouldn't say anything else about his status for next season). Would you want the financial commitment to a player who can no longer perform his job after an injury sustained while committing a possible crime? I'm sure that the Mets wouldn't (and this isn't a knock at them being cheap for once), and they should do everything in their power to get out of such a situation.

A number of fans have been saying that they want the Mets to get rid of Oliver Perez and/or Luis Castillo (among others), crying that they can get rid of K-Rod. The two things are entirely different matters. If Ollie Perez broke a knee cap stealing a car next week, then we can talk about him.


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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Giants win the Pennant

R.I.P. Bobby Thomson. Let me share a quick story about him.

My father grew up in the the '50s as a New York Giants fan in Passaic, New Jersey. Mostly a Willie Mays fan, he was a fan of the entire team and took joy in their victories, especially 1951 when he was 9 years old (not dissimilar to myself with the 1986 Mets).

Sometime in the late 1980s, after he had gotten me into baseball and collecting baseball cards (which was a fun hobby that I can tell you about another time), we went to a baseball card show, which we did lots of over the few years that I was collecting. And Bobby Thomson was signing. I don't know if we (and I mean my dad) knew this going in, or if it was a nice surprise for him. And we stood in his line, my dad paid whatever the fee was for his autograph (I'm assuming there was a fee - I was oblivious to some of these things), and the time came for "our" autograph.

My dad will probably deny what I'm about to say, saying that he was teaching me a little bit about baseball history by having me be the one to receive the autograph of someone who brought him great joy, but I'll say it - my dad used me to get an autograph of someone who hit an important home run from when he was my age (which seemed like it was 100 years earlier). I certainly did learn a bit of baseball history that day. I don't remember if I had heard about it prior (not everything sticks with you when you're 8 or 9 years old), but I certainly learned about Bobby Thomson, the New York Giants (a team before the Mets), and The Shot Heard 'Round the World that day.

I sort of remember Bobby himself, just being the nice humble man that he's always been made out to be. The autograph itself was on a gigantic posterized black and white photograph of the home run with the ball circled and an arrow pointing to it (it wasn't too easy to see without it as they didn't have 10 megapixles or color back in 1951). My autographed copy of it still exists somewhere. I don't remember throwing it out after moving out of my parents' house, but I have no idea where it is.

R.I.P. Bobby Thomson, one of the great former players around.


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Monday, August 16, 2010

Oh this can't be good

According to MetsBlog.com, the Mets' troubled closer (TKO-Rod, K-Fraud, or simply K-Rod) tore a ligament in his thumb during an altercation last Wednesday night, surgery has been recommended, and he would then be out for the remainder of the season.

I guess this is actually now evidence in the assault case against him. But maybe, just maybe, the Mets can use this to cut ties with him after the season (and after his trial). He committed what I guess is considered a crime against another person, and at the same time, made himself physically unable to perform his job (aside from a possible prison term). Don't forget he's innocent until proven guilty. But he's committed acts that have hurt the team (remember they fired Tony Bernazard, K-Rod's old sparing partner, last year for what was essentially bad conduct). Now, voiding K-Rod's contract or suspending him without pay, cutting him, or other type of punishment against K-Rod (and placing him on the DL does not count) would need to be cleared by the MLBPA.

But if Freddy Coupon & Son really want to be cheap, they can open up a lot of room in their self-imposed salary cap (let's not argue on that point) by cutting ties with their troubled closer. It also shows that they're really paying attention and have some balls. So what if what they attempt to do gets blocked or goes into litigation. Don't be afraid. Just do it. Wake up. Just don't pin this on Adam Rubin like Omar Minaya did last year.


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Sunday, August 15, 2010

2010 Mets Hall of Fame on SNY Spotlight

This is a programming note courtesy of a commercial seen on SNY:

SNY Spotlight has a show featuring the 2010 Mets Hall of Fame this Thursday at 7pm. Runtime is 30 minutes. It will replay next Sunday at 5:30pm and the following night at 6:30pm as well as a week from Wednesday (8/25) at 1:30pm.


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Friday, August 13, 2010

Embarassing question

a new poll - vote here, on the "Polls" tab, or on facebook.





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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Oliver Perez and Giving Up

I read today on MetsBlog.com that Oliver Perez might start Saturday night's game. Of course I have a ticket for that game, but that's besides the point. This is what I read into that decision, if indeed it is made:

Oliver Perez is the pitcher exiled to the back of the bullpen (any farther back, he'd have to buy a ticket to enter Citi Field). The last resort. He wouldn't go to the minor leagues to work things out, and the Mets faked his injury just get him off the roster for a relatively brief time. No helping him.

So what does it say about the Mets' willingness to reach into the minor leagues if they do indeed choose Oliver Perez to start? Dillon Gee and Pat Misch are much better candidates. Are they afraid of making a roster move in the bullpen? I could name about 10 of them that I'd make just to solve the Saturday starter problem. This one doesn't even make sense.

So what does it say about the Mets' realistic hopes for the season if they are willing to consider the ultimate last resort as the spot-starter for the game on Saturday? I can see it. Most fans started giving up about 10 days ago.

At least I bought the ticket at the box office and didn't have to pay any fees.


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Friday, August 6, 2010

This and That

A few observations while I enjoy being home and not being jet-lagged for the first time in a month.
  • the Braves are inducting Tom Glavine into the club's Hall of Fame. Let's put aside feelings towards him from his days as a Met and his last appearance in 2007. Let me make this observation. The Braves are also retiring his number 47. The Mets have inducted many former players, among others, into their Hall of Fame. How many of them have had numbers retired? I'm just saying...
  • SNY does a great job showing the old Mets Yearbooks as time fillers. But here's a new idea to throw into the mix (as an hour-long program). Replay old Mets pregame ceremonies. Wouldn't it be cool to see Tom Seaver's jersey retirement ceremony, the 40th Anniversary celebration, Bob Murphy Appreciation night, and so on? Shea Goodbye and the 1987 Opening Day ceremony with the world championship rings would be like the sweeps week specials.
  • I don't know when the new season of SNY's Beer Money will air. I don't know if I made the cut. I was filmed and won some money before a game in June.
  • I've decided on going to 2 more Mets game this year - next Saturday night (Aug 14) and the GKR Main Event (Oct 2). 6 games is enough for me with this club. I'll see them again in Spring Training.
  • Is it me, or are the new Mets commercials now sponsored? They're really good, but they look like they're sponsored by Citi. And I saw one for Xerox with Mr. Met.


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Thursday, August 5, 2010

The 4/6 Report - A .500 Season

I was thinking of what to write for the 4/6 Report (or 2/3 for those that don't know the math), so I decided to look back at first 3 1/6th of the season reports.

After 27 games, the Mets were 15-12, 1/2 game back.
After 54 games, the Mets were 27-27, 5 games back.
After 81 games, the Mets were 45-36, 3 games back.
And after 108 games, the Mets are 54-54, 7.5 games back of Atlanta in the NL East and 8 games back in the Wild Card.

I was thinking how quickly they've fallen in the past 27 games since the half-way mark (3/6) when they were 9 games over .500 to where they are now at .500. But then I saw that 54 games ago, after 1/3 of the season (or 2/6), they were also .500. Just as much as they rose, the fell. Those last 54 games have been a bit of a roller coaster. These last 27 games have been the downward slope, with the Mets falling fast.

With various activities going on for me over the last 27 games, I can't say that I've seen much of this happen live. I was told that Carlos Beltran came back after the All-Star Break. I think that disrupted the rhythm of the lineup and outfield from what had been working well. Luis Castillo came back at some point, aging the lineup in front of our eyes. Jason Bay ran into a wall in Los Angeles (I think during a game), and getting on the airplane to come home, the injury became a concussion. OK, that helped balance things out in the outfield with Beltran and Pagan, although I think Pagan should be the CF over Beltran right now. Some of the "ace" starting pitchers have hit a wall.

But I think the team has lost focus. Jerry Manuel may be managing like he knows that he's a lame duck manager. Maybe that's not the case, and he's just bad at managing. But he's lost the players. And the players are starting to lose the fans. I joked when I came up with the moniker "DyHrdMET" in 1997 that I'm a die hard Mets fan, and I have died hard with the club over the years. Imagine what I've seen in 13 1/2 years since then. I see it again.

While I was in Florida for Spring Training back in March, I came up with the number 75 for my prediction for the number of Mets wins. For a while, I thought I was way off. I'm starting to wonder. I won't consider myself wrong until the Mets hit 80 wins or 90 losses. 21-33 over the last third of the season is probably too low for this club, but if they give up, you never know, but 26-28 isn't.


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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

6 years ago today, we lost our voice

I'm just re-posting what I wrote a year ago today about the 5 year anniversary of the passing of Bob Murphy, forever the voice of the Mets.

In addition to the posts that I linked to a year ago, Mets Gazette wrote about him today.


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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Frank Cashen, GM

On Mets Hall of Fame Induction Day, I go back into the Remembering Shea archives from this past January to a post that I wrote this winter...We Need Another Frank Cashen...I actually talk about a great article from the local newspaper in Port St. Lucie, Florida about Frank Cashen.

Must re-read.


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