The Eddie Kranepool Society

Monday, October 20, 2003

World Series Game 2 Yankees 6 Marlins 1 Series is tied 1 game apiece AN-DY PETT-ITTE��AN-DY PETT-ITTE�� That was the chant in the 8th inning last night at Yankee Stadium as Andy Pettite accomplished again what he has done since 1996, pitched another strong post season game for the Yankees. As fans we wonder what�s the big deal about pitching on 3 days rest, well what we need to remember is that athletes are creatures of habit. They fall into routine and when that routine is altered it throws some of them into a tizzy. Before last night�s game, Pettitte was in a lather wondering how he will be able to perform with a day�s less rest. It wasn�t until Roger Clemens sat down with Pettitte before the start of the game to reassure him that �He�s the Man� and calmed Pettittte down to go out and give another classic performance. It took Pettitte an inning to get comfortable and get his cutter over for strikes. After that he was in a zone similar to what we have seen the last 7 years in the post season. It was mentioned in the NY Daily News today and I thought the same thing, why didn�t Jack McKeon come out and argue the call against Miguel Cabrera in the 7th inning? Replays clearly showed that Cabrera fouled the ball off his leg. But the home plate ump called it a fair ball as it traveled down to 3rd base and Aaron Boone tossed it to Soriano who then threw down to 1st base to complete the double play. At some point McKeon had to come out and argue as Cabrera and Pudge looked stunned about the call. Tomorrow night�s game 3 is the game that will tell us which way the wind is blowing in this series. Josh Beckett has been not only overpowering but he has been one cool customer in this post season. If the Fish can beat Mussina, we have a series, if not well..I don�t want to think about that. NFL WEEK 7 PICKS Ravens -3 over BENGALS BENGALS 34 Ravens 26 Kyle Boller threw for 15 of 27 for 302 yards and 1 TD. Jamal Lewis ran 19 times for 101 yds. Travis Taylor caught 4 passes for 138 yds and 2 TD�s and the Ravens still lost. How you ask? Well, Boller turned the ball over 3 times (2 INT�S & 1 Fumble) that accounted for 24 Bengal points. It doesn�t help the Rav�s either that they were flagged for 13 penalties for 113 yds. Bucs -3 over 49ERS 49ERS 24 Bucs 7 So much for the ferocious Tampa �D�. Although the Bucs are decimated by injuries, that�s no excuse for the sloppy way they played this game. Between 4 turnovers and poor tackling plus the fact the Bucs could not stop the NINERS running game (Garrison Hearst 20 rushes 117 yds 1 TD & Kevin Barlow 15 rushes for 75 yds) and then by using 8 men in the box to stop the run, it freed up Terrell Owens for 6 receptions for 152 yds and a TD. SEAHAWKS -10 over Bears SEAHAWKS 24 Bears 17 Seahawks were up 17-6 at the end of 3 quarters. Bears get the ball and go 14 plays and 52 yds and a Paul Edinger 40 yd FG to make the score 17-9. Bears get it right back and storm down the field in a 67 yd-13 play drive that ends with a Stanley Pritchard 1 yd TD run and Chandler�s 2 pt conversion run that ties the game at 17. Then with 58 seconds left in the 4th, Shaun Alexander takes it to the house on a 25 yd jaunt for the game winning TD. �Hawks win put do not cover, so I take a hat trick 0 for 3 UGH! WEEK 7 0-3 YTD 10-9-2 <

Sunday, October 19, 2003

John Heyman of Newsday gives his view of Minaya/Duke combo plus some more baseball stuff. Billy Wagner of the 'Stros could be available humm.............. <

METS NEWS: Mets look to Omar Minaya to join the Duke in dual front office position. It seem like this could be done and announced by the middle of this week. On paper it sounds great but I have a few questions. First, Will these two getlemen be able to work together? Minaya would be the "baseball man" overseeing who and what goes on in the field and throughout the minor leagues. The Duke would be the adminstrator, the guy who speaks with the agents and GM's and goes to Sr. and Jr. for cash. Like I say on paper it should work, but then again it's the Mets. Second, where does this leave my man Artie from Flushing? Neither Minaya or The Duke should be comfortable with him. Artie makes Grady Little look like Joe McCarthy for Christ sake!. The first executive action should be is to reassing Artie to a post other than manager and promote a guy like John Sterns to manager or go get Wally Backman form the White Sox and give him the helm. <

World Series Game 1 Marlins 3 Yankees 2 Marlins lead the World Series 1 game to none Yo Yankee fans, WAKE UP!!!!. Get off your cell phones and make some noise will ya! Are you people so jaded that you think you just have to show up and expect your team to win? Don't sell the Fish short. They couldn't give a rats ass about mystic and aura and the hollow ground of Yankee Stadium. They look at the Stadium as just an other city owned property in the South Bronx. They have no curses following them. They pitch and play defense and run and run and run... Tonight will be the best test there is. Andy Pettite has the best move in baseball to 1st base. He's going to need it against Juan Pierre and Luis(soon to be a free agent Mets fans)Castillo. Two things from a Marlins standpoint that stood out to me last night were, Brad Penny toughing out his start and Dontrell Willis showing no signs of awe and pitching 2 1/3 innings of stellar relief. Penny's performance was no Picasso but he did show some bulldog in getting out of jams. Yes it helps that the Yankees are not very good hitting with runners on base. Then there's the D-Train would looked like he was pitching on a sand lot in Oakland. See on some teams your allowed to have fun. On the Yankee side, this is their 3rd series and the 3rd time they lost the 1st game, so you could say the Yanks have the Fish right where they want them. The difference here is the Marlins manufacture runs where as the Yankees are used to the AL style of waiting for the 3 run HR. What the Yankees need to do is get a big lead early and let the Fish play catch up. But that may be a tall task for the Yankees with players they count on like Soriano and Giambi swing limp bats. This series may be much more interesting than most Yankee fans thought it would be. How fast did Aaron Boone go from the Penthouse to the outhouse? Sure even though he cut off Matsui throw from LF, he should have known to look toward home to see where Encarnacion was headed, but did Wells have to throw a little tantrum after the play. It's actions like those that make Boomer so disliked in the Yankee clubhouse. <

Saturday, October 18, 2003

NFL PICKS WEEK 7 I just have the picks without my explantion why I like these teams due to my son having a huge soccer game today for 1st place so I'm off to Miller Field for that contest. so here are my picks: SEAHAWKS -10 over Bears Ravens -3 over BENGALS Bucs -3 over 49ERS <

Whew! Baseball fans have yet to catch their breath and now the World Series is upon us. I have tried to digest some the stuff in the papers today and on the web, but the problem I have trying to handicap this series is we do not know the pitching rotation. I heard Joe Torre on a radio interview yesterday and he said he may have to go to Jeff Weaver for a start! Can you believe that?. The Marlins are so loose they as well be from Santa Barbara than FLA. Is there a better picture of confidence than Jack McKeon smoking a big stogie and soaking up the adulation of winning the NL Pennant? However, he also has some pitching decision that have to made. Does he he stay with Pavano in the rotation and add the D-Train to the pen where he can come in a maybe he can catch lightning in a bottle. The Yankees may still be hungover from Thursday night and David Wells is no spring chicken so Game 1 may be advantage Marlins. The other advantage the Marlins will have is Juan Encarnarcion will play all the games at Yankee Stadium. So in those games you have the great table setters in Pierre & Castilo followed by Pudge, Lowell, Cabrea, Conine and Encarnarcion is very impressive. The Yankee starters may be at the end of the tank, and Torre's nightmare is going to guys like Weaver, White, Heredia. If you see those guys in the game you know it's trouble for the Yankees. Torre is looking for 6 innings from the starters then Contreas then Mo. I don't think he'll get that this series. The DH factor goes against the Yankees as well. Wht does Torre do when the games are at Pro Player? Does Nick Johnson stay at 1st base or does the Giambino go back to the field. What about the srong rumors of Giambi's knee being so bad he cannot take the field? We'll find out in Game 3. So what's my prediction for the 100th World Series. I like the Fightin' Fish in 6 <

Friday, October 17, 2003

ALCS Game 7 Yankees 6 Red Sox 5 Yankees win the series 4 games to 3 to become the 2003 American league Champions There will be books written about this series and you could even make one of those great HBO/Black Canyon documentaries too. Yesterday I wrote that it was the end of "Mystique and Aura" boy was I wrong. I was right about having the guys who have the jewerlry showing up and putting this team on it's shoulders. The 8th innings proved that. Jeter's double, Bernie Williams big hit, Posada a big hit and then there was the performance of Mariano Rivera. They might as well make his plaque for Cooperstown because last night cemented Rivera's status as the greatest reliever in the history of baseball, after his 3 innings of relief after Roger Clemens and David Wells just could not do the job. You also have to throw a big bouquet to Mike Mussina for his 3 innings of hold the fort relief and proving to guys like me, he has the onions and stepped up big time. In 8 innings of relief the Yankee pen allowed 1 run and that was a solo HR by David Ortiz off Daivid Wells. Now on to Grady Little. If you go to the mound and you ask a pitcher, a pitcher who is arguably the best pitcher in baseball the past 10 years, and ask him if he wants out. What the F do you think he's going to say, Oh thank God you came out here Grady, get me outta here? No, he's going to say " I've got enough to get these guys". This was the time for Little to step up and be the leader of the team. Go to the bullpen, Grady, GO GET EMBREE TO PITCH TO MATSUI!!! The reason your team got this far, besides bad A's baserunning, is your bullpen. You had to go to the pen there. Pedro gave you all he had. He was at 115 pitches when Grady went to the mound. And another thing, if your not going to use Embree, why is he warming up in the pen? This loss will haunt the Red Sox Nation for a long, long, time and to make things worse the Farmers Almanac is predicting lot's of snow this winter in New England so spring is just a rumor. It's amazing that a miserable old bastard like George Steinbrenner has such good luck. All you Yankee fans you worship this old buffoon, would have a very different opinion of him if you had to work for him. Believe me, I know enough people who work for the Yankees and heard all the horror stories to form this opinion of him. Of all the guys to hit that HR, Aaron Boone may have been my last choice. I would have listed Jeter 1, and Bernie 1a to do the deed. But Aaron Boone? I know it's such a cliche` and people hate when baseball fans wax poeitic about the game but you can not tell me that baseball is not the greatest sport ever invented. It's not a knock against any other sport but really what is better than post season baseball? Not only that go to Baseball News Blog and see all those blogs on just about every team in baseball and you can see the passion that runs through baseball fans that is hard to match. <

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Yesterday started out as one of the great days of the year. First off, it's my day off. I work a compressed week and Wednesday is my designated off day. So I take my son to school and go and get my newspapers and get ready for Yankees-Red Sox game 6 and Cubs-Marlins game 7. As it gets around 3:30-quarter to 4 my wife and kids go to the store to get some stuff for dinner. Andy Pettite is on my TV, it�s a brisk and windy New York autumn day. The kind of day that reminds you of the 40's and 50's we all read about Yankees-Dodgers, or Yankees-Giants. It doesn't get much better than this. Then my phone rang. My mom is frantic, She says "do you have the news on"? Of course I tell her no, baseballs on. She tells me "there has been a terrible accident on the Staten Island Ferry" I hang up with her and switch on NY1 news channel. There I see one side of the Andrew J Barberi, a boat I have been on numerous times, sliced open for front to back. I was numb. What the F happened? I live 4 blocks from SI University Hospital. My block runs directly into the ER, all I could see and hear were ambulances and fire trucks racing down my street. Then I see neighbors of mine you work in the hospital running down the street in their nurses uniforms, to help out in the disaster. Needless to say my TV viewing changed from baseball to watching this disaster and praying no one I know was hurt or god forbid kill in this tragedy. I see the talking heads on TV talking about the wind, since the gust were up to 50 mph. I'm like "no way in hell the wind did this". I've been on the ferry during Nor'easters and the boat never swayed. Then I see the dock that it hit and I think either someone hijacked this boat or the captain had a heart attack because the ferry never docks at the landing where it crashed. I won't give you the details of the way some of the deceased perished but from people I know who are ferry workers and emergency workers is was similar to the scene on 9/11. I just want to thank Bobb, a regular e-mailer and Mets fan and Dave Eisenberg from Eisenberg Sports for their e-mails and their concern. I am deeply touched by your kindness. ALCS Game 6 Red Sox 9 Yankees 6 This was the game that the Red Sox had no chance to win. Andy Pettite vs. John Burkett. This was the equivalent of the '62 Mets sending Bob Miller against Warren Spahn. The problem was Andy Pettite did not have it today. Sometimes you go to the well too many times it runs dry. But Father Joe had his new best friend Jose Contreas ready in the bullpen for the 6th inning. Contreas may be Cuban but he's no El Duque. He got out of the 6th but then came the 7th and the ball game. Nomar tripled and Matsui threw the ball to Ft.Lee and Nomar scored. David Ortiz singled off the 1st base bag and Manny scored. Then it gets interesting. Father Joe brings in Felix Heredia. Heredia has a history of wildness. So Torre has him intentionaly walk Varitek to pitch to Dammon with the bases loaded. WTF? Dammon is the most patient of the Red Sox batters and there is no place to put him. You have a pitcher , who has a history of wildness pitching to him. And oh by the way, there are 2 outs. Why not just go after Varitek? Strange. Well Heredia walks Dammon, Ortiz scores and there's your game. Then comes the underbelly of the pen, Nelson and Gabe White to give up some insurance runs to get us to game 7. For the Yankees to win either Jeter, Posada, or Bernie will have to step up and win it. They along with Clemens, Wells, Pettite and Mo are the only players with a winning pedigree. As we are seeing the "mystque and aura" of the pinstripes is another myth. Who can predict what will happen in this game? Just sit back and enjoy this game like a night at the theater. NLCS Game 7 Ah ol' Dust-aroo you can lead your horses to water but you have a problem making them drink. Maybe we were lucky Mets fans that Dusty did get to manage the Mets because he may lead his team off the field but as a strategist he's Mike Dukakis. What were you waiting for Dusty to take Wood out of the game? it's obvious he had nothing last night. You had Clement or even Zambrano anybody for God sake to bring in. You had to do something, not just sit there. And one more thing, can you leave your kid home once in awhile. How annoying was that kid of his in the post game press conference? You'd a thunk it? The Fightin' Fish and Jack "Connie Mack" McKeon in the World Series. Josh Beckett coming in to pitch in the 5th inning will go down as one of the great performances in post season history. 4 innings 1 hit 1 run 0 walks 3 K's was the line of the year. Speaking of annoying people, David Samson the step son of Marlins owner Jeff Lorria was in the locker room after the game and was decked out in a championship shirt and hat and screaming like a school girl about the win. Like he had something to do with it. Disgusting. <

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

NLCS Game 6 Marlins 8 Cubs 3 Series tied at 3 games apiece. �A 26-year-old wearing a Cubs hat prevented Alou from catching 's ball. Given a last-gasp chance, the Marlins broke loose. That's about when security decided to escort the fan out. He threw a jacket over his face for protection, but not before other fans hurled beers in his direction. ``You cost us the World Series!'' one fan yelled at him. Alou said: ``Hopefully, he won't have to regret it for the rest of his life.'' You have to feel bad for that poor shemdrik who tried to catch that foul ball. The Cubs players and fans are giving this geek too much of the blame of which there is plenty to go around. I hate to laugh, but the pictures of those Cubs fans sitting in disbelief at Wrigley was histerical. Kind of the way Red Sox fans felt after game 6 of the �86 World Series. They went from champagne to Alka Seltzer in minutes. A couple of things that led to this collapse of historic purportion had me scratching my head. Why is it the fan in the stands gets all the hell and fury but Cubs shortstop Alex Gonzalez gets by unscathed? His error in the 8th was THE play of the game. It was a potential double play, maybe but it would have been a sure out at second. The ball hit him square in the glove on his backhand, if he caught it he would have been in perfect position for at least the force at 2nd base. But that misplay set up Derek Lee�s two run double for the Fightin� Fish. The other problem I had, and Bobby Valentine stated it on SportsCenter, why do you bring in Farnsworth to throw an intentional walk Mike Lowell. That is so unfair to Farnsworth, who is throwing hard in the bullpen and you bring him to throw four balls. Why not let Prior throw the free pass, then bring in Farnsworth to pitch to Jeff Conine. Dusty leaves me scratching my head alot. Prior was throwing breaking balls last night that resembled those radio controlled model airplanes. The movement on those pitches was just incredible. This whole series has been incredible and as much as Yankee and Red Sox fans feel slighted that the ALCS has been moved to opening act status, FOX did the right thing here putting Cubs-Marlins on in prime time. ALCS Game 5 Yankees 4 Red Sox 2 Yankees lead this series 3 games to 2 I think I�m through trying to predict the outcome of this series. I wrote that I felt the Red Sox were finished after Saturday�s game 3 melt down. So I what do they do? They get to Mike Mussina and Tim Wakefield severs up a knuckle sandwich. So today for today�s game 6 everything is pointing in the Yankees favor. So in this topsey turvey series that must mean tomorrow we will see Clemens and Pedro in game 7. If you do not have a rooting interest in this series this is the match up your dreaming of. How great will it be two games 7�s? ``I live for this time,'' the 40-year-old left-hander said. ``I live for being the guy to go out there and be the one on the mound, try to make things happen, try to shut the other team down because I'm not afraid to fail.'' When they talk about players who a clutch performers or �money players� David Wells will have to be at or near the top of that list. He came through again yesterday for the Yankees, with a solid 7 innings. After the 7th, Torre went right to Mariano for another 2 inning save. So going into game 6 Torre has Andy Pettite, a solid post season performer, going against John Burkett, who is 0-6 lifetime against the Yankees, at a chilly and very windy(gusts of up to 40 mph expected) Yankee Stadium that will be inhabited by over 56,000 blood thirsty fans. So I don�t know why,but I feel the Sox will win today and play tomorrow in a game 7 <

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Game 4 ALCS Red Sox 3 Yankees 2 Series tied at 2 games apiece Whew! Where to start in dissecting this game, let�s break it down to the three basics: Pitching Mike Mussina had awesome command of his pitches, especially his knuckle -curve. He had the Sox batters diving in to try to get a piece of the ball on each of those pitches. Not only that but Mussina was really great at hitting corners and seem to be in command of this game. That is until he decided to throw two nice fat fastballs, right down the pike to Todd Walker and Trot Nixon who quickly deposited both pitches over the wall for HR�s. Now not only was this poor pitch selection by Mussina, but look who he decides to challenge, the two hottest hitters on the Sox. Then to make matters worse after the game here is a quote from Moose: �I can only control 60 feet, six inches, that�s the best I can do. That�s about as good as I got. The other stuff has to be attended to by other people� From all reports this typical Moose. He is a very distant and tough person to get close to. He�s not exactly a foxhole guy. This quote just cements that theory. Tim Wakefield did mix in a few fastballs with his knuckler just to keep the Yankees honest. As much as it seems that Wakefield has the Yankees number and most likely will be primed and ready in Game 6 if John Burkett falters, the spotlight should be on the Red Sox bullpen. The only run the pen has given up was Scott Williamson gopher ball to Ruben Sierra. By stepping up their game big time it gives Grady (Great Caesar�s Ghost) Little no hesitation to go to the pen in a tight spot. Hitting It�s time for Father Joe to put down the green tea and shake up this line up. Soriano has no patient leading off. So why not move Jeter up to the 1 hole and a struggling Nick Johnson up to 2. Move Sori down to 7 behind Matsui so maybe you could jump-start the offense. While Torre is at how much worse can Enrique Wilson be than Aaron Boone. Boone has struck out 3 times in 9 AB�s. I don�t know who has had a worse series him or his brother Brett in the TV booth. Aaron Boone has been so bad, Drew Henson advised him to apply for the NFL Draft. The Yankee 7th was a microcosm of their problems. Dellucci leads off and swings at the first pitch and pops out. Sori is up next and swings at the first pitch, grounds out. Jeter up next did a little better, he took a pitch then made the third out on the second pitch of the at bat. Why couldn�t they do that back in the 2000 World Series? Sometimes you have to show some onions. Grady Little had them in the 7th when he had Nixon and Varitek going on a double steal. Sure Nixon was called out in a rundown but you what sometimes you sit and wait for breaks that never come. And sometime you have to make your own breaks. That�s why Willie Randolph should have sent Sori on the fly ball caught by Johnny Damon in CF. Sure it was a bit shallow but you have to know who�s catching the ball. Damon has no arm and Sori has speed and you are leaving runners on base at a 1 for 9 clip, take a chance it! Defense I think the �Soriano should stay at 2nd base� contingent is getting their concession speech ready. Sori, you have to take the throw from the second base side of the bag and PUT SOME MUSTARD ON THE THROW! One of the best plays of the night was by Matsui in LF. He must have seen some old films of Yaz playing the Green Monster, because he played Trot Nixon�s double perfectly. He gave a deke like he was under the ball and would catch it. He then turned and took a few steps forward and played the ball perfectly off the Wall. That move held Kevin Millar at third base and saved a run. On the media end of this series. The MSG post game show is superior to the MESS on YES. Why would YES keep Michael Kay in their studio and not use his reporting skills at the game site? Instead we are subjected to Baghdad Babette, (Suzan Waldman) who just can�t stop SCREAMING! Where is Jim Kaat? The guy is a great analyst why is he not on this show? That�s way the MSG production is better. How can you beat the insight of Keith Hernandez and �The King� Jim Leyritz? Leyritz has been there; he knows what is going on in that Yankee locker room and Hernandez can break down the X�s and O�s of baseball as well as anyone. Can someone please put Bret Boone out of his misery? The last place this guy want to be is in that booth. I�ve been critical of our very own Senator Al Leiter but I have to say he has been a pleasure to listen to on the NLCS telecast. I love the technical talk. I love the way he shows the differences in grips of different pitches and explains in what situation certain pitches should be thrown. I guess it �s why I get giddy when Hernandez and Tom Seaver do a game together. I love that inside baseball stuff. NLCS I don�t think it matters who Jack McKeon pitches today, the Cubs with Mark Prior should win tonight at The Friendly Confines and head to the World Series. The Vegas sports books have the Cubs as an 11-13 favorite. The world�s biggest block should begin 11:00 pm CST tonight. BBBBBUUUUDDDDYYYY,�.. BBBBBUUUUDDYYYY,��COME OUT, COME OUT, WHEREVER YOU ARE!!!!!!!!!! The Used Car Salesman�s worst nightmare, a Worlds Series in two of the biggest in America. At least he can ride his Buick to the Windy City and he�d be cool with that, but he may have to come to his least favorite place in the world NYC. OH NO! You just know he�ll find a way to F up all the goodness of this post season. <

Monday, October 13, 2003

Can we stop the charade and just name The Duke GM of the Mets and get started contacting agents for prospetive free agents and get the ship sailling in the right direction. Hunsicker, like Billy Beane did last year when he flirted with the Red Sox, is getting in touch with his femine side. He just wants the Astros owner Drayton (Ping, Ping, Ping....Richocet Rabbit) Mc Lane to show him how musch he loves him and appreciates him. Please! <

NFL Picks Week 6 COWBOYS pk em over Eagles Cowboys 23 Eagles 21 How about those Texas Tunas? They are in 1st place in the NFC East with a 2 game cushion in the loss column on the Eagles, Giants and Redskins. Andy Reid tried an on side kick on the opening kick off. The Cowboys, Randal Williams recovers the kick and runs it in for a TD. The play took 3 seconds and the Cowboys are up 7-0. This trick work two years ago when the were Dave Campo's Cowboys. Reid should be ashamed of himself thinking the he was going to pull this one off against Team Tuna. You have a better shot of getting a Krispy Kreme past Parcels than a trick play like that. The Cowboys were in control for most of the game, with a 20-14 lead early in the 4th quarter, until Correl Buckhalter ran in a 20 yard TD to put the Iggles up 21-20. The Cowboys regrouped and drove down field and Billy Cundiff connected on a 28 yd FG to ice the game for the Cowboys. TITANS -10 over Texans Titans 38 Texans 17 Air McNair put on a show for the ages yesterday in Nashville. McNair hooked up with his favorite receiver Derek Mason for 3 TD's. McNair finished the day 18-27-0 for 421 yards passing. The only blemish for the Titans would be that Eddie George had another ineffective game rushing 19 times for only 60 yards. Dolphins -3 over JAGUARS Dolphins 24 Jaguars 10 Randy Mc Michael the best TE you never heard of, picked up a fumble and rumbled and stumbled into the end zone for a go ahead TD. Sam Madison added the clincher with a 29 yard interception for a TD of rookie Byron Leftwich. Week 6 record 3-0 YTD record 10-6-2 <

ALCS Game 4 Rained Out Whew! You think the dust had settled in this series? Think again. The Jets won their first game of the season yesterday and the Giants played the most god-awful game you could ever seen. But what's the topic in NYC today? Yankees-Red Sox. This series will be talked about even when there is 10 inches of snow on the ground. There is a story in the NEWSDAY today that David Wells hurt his groin running out of the dugout to join Saturday's rummble. Think about this Yankee fans, Jeff Weaver was on call to pitch game 4 last night. AY CRUMBA! New York Mayor Money Bags Mike said if Pedro would have slammed Zim to the ground at Yankee Stadium he would have been arrested. I thinka Mayor who raises the property taxes of middle class working people to 18.25 % should be arrested. Thats a far bigger crime. Tomorrow's game 5 will be played at 4:00 PM. I hope between now and Tuesday 4:00PM the New York City Transit Authority finds a way to get AM radio recipetion on a subway train . <

NLCS Game 5 Marlins 4 Cubs 0 Cubs lead the series 3 games to 2 If your the Cubs are you a little concerned about winning games not pitched by Mark Prior or Kerry Wood? Victor Zambrano is wound way too tight. All the screaming and jumping around has to sap some of his energy. Energy better suited for bearing down on Marlins batters. Like I said yesterday, The Marlins will not go down without a fight. You can talk about all this Red Sox "Cowboy-up" crap but the Marlins are the real Cowboy up team. Especially Pudge who has more leadership qualities than the whole Red Sox organization. Josh Beckett pitched the game of his life yesterday, in what may be his coming out party. Beckett has always shown the potential to be the lights out Ace of a staff, but injuries and blisters have always been his bump in the road. With all the talk about the extra curricular crap in the ALCS, the great story of the Marlins is getting lost. <

Sunday, October 12, 2003

When it comes to tabloid newspapers NYC takes a back seat to no one check out todays: New York Daily News New York Post Newsday <

Avkash Patel who has been a friend to the Kranepool Society from the start has opened a brand new Mets blog called The Raindrops. Check out the good stuff that Avkash has on his site, and as always tell him The Eddie Kranepool Society sent ya! <

"I don't believe in damn curses. Why don't we just wake up the Bambino, and I'll have him face me, and maybe I'll drill him in the ass" Pedro Martinez, 2001 Game 3 ALCS Yankees 4 Red Sox 3 Yankees lead the series 2 games to 1 Attention Red Sox Nation, you can go right ahead and add another notch on that ol' "Belt of Futility" because this series is over. Yup, stick a big Pinstriped fork in the Red Sox they're done. You can thank Pedro for that. This was the game that Pedro need to stand up and lead his team. Instead he put them squarely behind the 8-ball. All he did by hitting Karim Garcia was wake up the Yankees. Then to top it off he throws Yoda to ground in a vicious attack on a senior citizen. The Gray Panthers and AARP will have protestors outside Fenway this afternoon. In fairness to Pedro, what the hell was the Gerbil thinking? He ran at Pedro with fists up like he was Jet Li, Pedro just put out his hands and pushed him over. Then what was that a-hole Red Sox grounds keeper thinking when he decided it was time to root for the Old Towne Team in the Yankee bullpen. Forget pressing charges against the Yankees Jeff Nelson and Karim Garcia, in the Court of Public Opinion this Carl Spackler wanna-bee got what he deserved. With the smokescreen of violence a few things were lost in the translation of this game. The Yankees have done what they have done in the past and that's shorten the game to 7 innings. Jose Contreas and Mariano Rivera have been untouchable. Derek Jeter will most likely have surgery on his shoulder after the post season and he also has a balky wrist but he did get 2 hits yesterday one of which was a big home run and drove in a run and scored a run while Nomar is dreaming of his nuptials to Mia Hamm. I stand by what I said a few months ago , if I'm starting a team today my first pick would Jeter. Limited range and all. Give credit to Johnny Damon coming off the headbangers ball with Damian Jackson he collected 3 hits in 4 AB's for the Sox. I just watched Sports of the Roundtable on WCBS here in NY and saw it is raining in Boston as it is here in NYC. You know all Red Sox fans are praying for a rainout today with John Burkett taking the mound against Daivd Wells. NLCS Game 4 Cubs 8 Marlins 3 Cubs lead the series 3 games to 1 I still think the Marlins will take this to 7 games. Although the Cubs are just pounding the crap out of Marlins pitching, the Marlins are battlers and have a good shot of winning today with Josh Beckett going against Victor Zambrano. The need to get to Zambrano early and not let him get confidence on the mound. He has shown he can get rattled when hit early and often. I thought home plate umpire Mike Everitt was squeezing Dontrelle Willis in that 1st inning. Wills looked as if was hitting the inside corner on the right handed hitters at the knee. But those pitches were called balls. At some point either pitching coach Wayne Rosenthal or Jack McKeon has to come out and get tossed from the game. They needed to step up for the rookie. Memo to Cubs fans: If the Cubs win and face the Yankees in the World Series, your little "let's follow the Cubies on the road" trip will be over. It would take a court order for you guys to get into Yankee Stadium. <

Saturday, October 11, 2003

A couple of quick hits before I get my Saturday chores finished early. I want to be front and center in front of the Ol' TV for Pedro-Rocket at 4PM. Mets News: Boss tells Cashman go to Mets I have a better shot of sharing a bubble bath with Catherine Zeta-Jones than Georgie Porgie letting Brian Cashman become the GM of the Mets. However, from my moles up at 161 St & River Ave have told me, do not be shock that at the end of the season, you see Cashman leave the Yankees. It seems he has reached the Popeye stage of his relationship with Georgie. You know, "I's can only stands so much, that I can't stands no more" Gerry Hunsicker has interviewed with the Skill Sets and according to reports the Mets will not announce a GM till after the World Series. Could be that if they hire Hunsicker, he would be the administrator and possibly the Duke would handle the baseball end. Stay tuned. NLCS Game 3 Cubs 5 Marlins 4 11 innings Cubs lead series 2 games to 1 This series has the feel of a college World Series game. Especially the way the Marlins all stand up on the railing of their dugout and talk trash and yell encouragement to teammates. Great stuff. When you lose a game due to Doug Glanville getting the winning hit, you just chalk it up to bad luck. Glanville makes Timo Perez look like Willie Mays. Game 4 is a must win for the Fish. What a match up , two pitchers who were traded for each other in Matt Clement and Dontrelle Willis. If The Marlins can win today and tie the series at 2, they get to face Carlos Zambrano tomorrow in game 5 and really lay down the hammer. The Cubs are 5-0 when Wood and Prior start the game, 0-3 with the other starters. <

Friday, October 10, 2003

If the Treasury Dept wants to change the look of the 'ol double sawbuck that's fine with me. Just don't mess with the picture of Peter Gammons on the bill <

NFL PICKS WEEK 6 (Home team in CAPS) COWBOYS pick �em over Eagles The Cowpokes have bought into the Tao of Tuna hook, line and sinker. You can see the maturation of QB Quincy Carter grow each week. With the Iggles secondary banged up as it is, Carter should be able to hook up with Joey Galloway, Terry Glen and Antonio Bryant for big gains. As with all Parcells teams the Cowboys love to control the clock by running the ball as much as possible. The key to the game will be the ability of Troy Hambrick to run between the tackles and Richie Anderson doing his all-purpose best. Watch the turnovers in this game as the game could turn on them. The Cowboys are a +3 in the turnover/takeaway table. The Iggles are a disappointing -6. TITANS -10 over Texans After a tough loss to the Pats of New England, I like the Titans to bounce back with a big win this week. Eddie George has had a difficult time getting going this season; so facing the soft run defense of the Texans should get him on track. The Texans D gives up an average of 4.18 yrds per game. Look for that figure to increase due to the NT Seth Payne being out with a knee injury. Steve McNair comes into this game with a 64 % completion percentage and 8 TD�s and only 2 INT�s. McNair and Derek Mason will hook up often in this game. Dolphins -3 over JAGUARS Although the Jags D gives up a paltry 3.02 yds per rush, they have not had to tango with the likes of Rickey Williams (LaDamien Tomlinson of the Chargers had only 10 carries last week for SD) The Dolphin D will be the star of this game, as they cover the one aerial threat the Jags have in WR Jimmy Smiths. This will make for a long afternoon, as rookie southpaw Byron Leftwich will need to find second and third targets to throw to. The Dolphin D in the Red Zone is the best in the NFL. In 12 opponents Red Zone possessions the Dolphins have given up just 1 TD and 5 FG�s. The Jaguars D in the Red Zone is the 4th worst in the NFL. In 13 offensive Reed Zone possessions, the Jags D has given up 9 TD�s and 3 FG�s. <

Mets News : The Mets have been given permission by the Houston Astros to talk with Gerry Hunsicker about the GM�s position. This comes on the heels of a report that Omar Minaya has also been interviewed for the position. This is a major occurrence in the Gm hunt as Hunsicker was a former Mets vice president of operations, so he knows the organization very well and the important thing is he knows the Wilpon�s very well. The Mets have also flirted with former Mariners GM Pat Gilick and current Giants GM Brian Sabean. To the dismay of the ink stained wretches in the mainstream media, the job as GM of the New York Mets is a covented position not just in baseball but also in pro sports. If the Mets go in the direction of the experienced GM what happens to the Duke? Does he stay in the organization or does he leave? Who knows he might a deal set with the Wilpon�s already, stay tuned. If you read the papers in NYC you�d think the Mets were The D-Rays or the Tigers. Hey do I kill the team and the organization? You bet I do, because I give a damn and have been a fan of this team since 1964. But we are not in as bad shape as most non-Mets fans or the media think we are. Remember, the Yankees and their fans can say all the want that the Red Sox are their big rivals but the team and organization their fear the most are The New York Mets. Look it�s easy to root for your team when they are on top and winning and all that. But the true test of the kind of fan you are and the kind of character you have, as a person is if you root for your team when they are down and out. Not a day goes buy where I do not have some article of clothing or jewelry that is not Mets related. I get the same reaction form most non-Mets fans � How could you root for that team?� That is the Yankee fan mentality. I garanutee you when the tables turn as it did in the mid-80�s all the fair weather fans who are showing up at Yankee stadium with their Yankee hats and shirts, will be trying to get a ticket to Shea when the Mets are back on top. In your hearts Yankee fans, you know I�m right. Game 2 ALCS Yankees 6 Red Sox 2 Series is tied at 1 game apiece Memo to Georgie Porgie: You should have signed Andy Pettite to a contract extension before the season. As it stands now, the price tag for Pettite is moving up like the tally board at a telethon. Not only that you better make nice-nice with Mel Stottlemyer and hope and pray he does not retire after this post season and gives you at least another year. The Red Sox had Pettite on the ropes in the 1st and 2nd innings when Pettite was too strong and over throwing. All the Sox could show for their 6 hits in 2 innings was 1 run. The pitchers best friend the Double Play did them in. But unlike Mike Mussina, Pettite did not let his mind play tricks on him or make excuses. Instead he sat between innings with Stottlemyer and discussed what his problem was. With two extra days of rest, Pettite was over throwning. But after he figured out how to relax himself and get back to what he does best, throwing the cut fastball for strike, it was vintage Andy Pettite. With the win Pettite improved his post-season record to Cooperstown like 12-7. Look at all the great runs the Yankees have been on in this run since the mid-90�s ands it�s Andy Pettitte who has been from and center in their success. Get ready to pay Georgie! One more thing for the Red Sox Nation to worry about. Jose Contreas has become the perfect compliment to Mariano Rivera as the set up man. This now narrows the games to 7 innings. So it behooves the Red Sox to strike early and often in the remaining games if they want to advance to the World Series. Last night has to be a lesson to them about squandering opportunities early. Game 3 shapes up as one those all time game. Pedro and Rocket. Talk about your must see TV. If Yankee batters go back a review tapes of the �98-2000 Yankees and see the plate discipline those Yankee hitters had and apply that tomorrow against Pedro, it would be a recipe for success. By the way what is the over and under on batters hitting the deck tomorrow? <

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Read it and weep Mets fans. Marco Scutaro and Matt Watson have been claimed off waivers by the Oakland A's. I guess Billy Beane sees in Scutaro what lot's of Mets fans saw. High OBA in AAA, pretty good glove a little pop. You know I will have a Scutaro Report next year. An a side to all the Billy Beane bashers (Mike Francessa and the Yankee mascot Suzyn Waldman) What does a philosophy of building a ball club have in common with bone headed baserunning? That's right NOTHING!. Were Beanes comments after losing to the Red Sox dopey? (give me another $50 mil and we'll see if the outcome is different) absolutely. But it is more frustration and disappointment than anything. I find it amazing that people love to see the A's and especially Beane, fail. I also love all theses pundits who bash the book "Moneyball" but never read it. You people are just embarrassing yourselves. <

NLCS Game 2 Cubs 12 Marlins 3 Series tied at 1 game apiece First the good news for the Marlins. They got a spilt in Wrigley and now the get to go home to 65,000 Marlin Fans at Pro Player. Now the bad news. Their pitching staff has given up 20 runs in 2 games and Sammy Sosa is alive and kicking. One of the knocks on the Marlin pitching staff, Josh Beckett and Brad Penny, in particular is that they get a little caught up in trying to muscle the ball over the plate and begin to over throw. That gets them behind in the count and then BINGO! Bombs away. I did not see much of this game because either the geniuses at FOX or the nit wits at MLB decided both LCS games should be played at 8:00 PM. Look we know that the Commissioners Office is a vacant space but someone with any kind of authority should have put their foot down and said play one game a 4PM and the other at 8PM. So I ended up switching from the Cubs-Marlins on FX to Yankees-Red Sox on FOX. First thing about the coverage. Thank you to the make up people for finally combing Jeanne Zelasko�s hair away from her face. The woman has the smallest face I�ve ever seen. I don�t know if that�s her real hair or the best extensions this side of 125 St & 8 Ave but the woman has too much hair in front of her face and it bothers me, so there. Second, while FOX hit a home run with Senator Al as an analyst on the NLCS, who the hell picked Brett Boone? MY GOD! Let me give this disclaimer, I despise wearing a shirt and tie. I absolutely hate it! But, when I have to, I wear it. Why didn�t someone in the wardrobe department tell Boone, the Donny Osmond look is a no go. That�s not the worst of it. Boone was either half asleep or on medication. Joe Buck and Tim McCarver could not get anything out of this guy. It was embarrassing. Boone is there to give analysis as an active player who has played both these teams and has a brother on the Yankees. But he brought nothing to the table. NOTHING. The kicker to this whole mess is according to Michael Kay on his ESPN RADIO show today, the guy who was supposed to have that analyst role was Curt Schilling. The reason Schilling did not get role was, he demanded to be flown by private jet. The FOX suits said they don�t do that for any of their talent and they would not do it for him. Schilling turned down the job. And I thought the Mets should go after him in a trade. I think I�ll take that one back, thank you. ALCS Game 1 Red Sox 5 Yankees 2 You knew it was not going to be the Yankees night, when Derek Jeter and Jason Giambi nearly were decapitated by the pigeon pumped up on steroids, Challenger. It seems the Air Force Bomber planes that flew extremely low over Yankee Stadium spooked the bird. Mike Mussina is the baseball version of Rain Man. Remember Dustin Hoffman�s charetcer when he had to watch �People�s Court� �ten-minutes to Wolpner, ten-minutes to Judge Wolpner. That�s Mussina, only he chants � Every fifth day, I can only pitch every fifth day� It seems the Moose claims that the 7 days in between his last start and last night was too much and could not get comfortable on the mound. OY VAY!!!. Is this guy that complex and inflexible that he can�t make this adjustment? I know pro athletes are creatures of habit, but this is too much. Today is the 7th anniversary of that little weasel Jeffery Maier sticking out his grubby little hand and turning a Derek Jeter double in to a HR. Thank God his 15 minutes of fame ran out in 10. So to commemorate this stain on Yankee lore, Yankee fan Josh Mandelbaum (I wonder if he is related to the Mandelbaum�s of Del Boca Vista, Fla) either stuck his hand out to defend himself or tampered with a HR by Todd Walker of the Red Sox. Now Angel Hernandez was the RF umpire. He watched the flight of the ball and made the �foul ball sign� the Sox argued that it should have been a HR and then Tim McClellan (Umpire of Controversy) reversed the call and said �HR�. Joe Torre mildly argued but from the replay, it looked like the ball was headed for the foul pole, so that�s a HR. Mandlebaum had to leave his seats and find refuge from the media who he claimed swarmed on him to question him about the interference. Too bad his Grandpa Iizzy wasn�t there to fend off the heard for him. If you�re a Red Sox fan, you have to be pleased that you won game 1 and you won it with your third best starting pitching. You have Derek Lowe tonight v. Andy Pettite and Pedro to take on the Rocket twice, if it goes to 7 games. If you�re the Yankees, your hanging your hat on the great work of Jose Contreras. Contreras was filthy last night with one the best splitters this side of the Rocket. The question for Joe Torre is, with the failure of Jeff Nelson last night, do you put Contreras in that 8th inning set up role or do you bring him in early if one of your starter gets in jam early? I think Torre goes with Contreras as the set up man to Mariano. This way you have Jeff (Let�s beat the traffic) Weaver for the long relief role. <

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

NLCS Game 1 Marlins 9 Cubs 8 (11 innings) Marlins lead the series 1 game to 0 The Marlins had the Cubs just where they wanted them. After coming form behind 3 times against the Giants, it's clear the Fish love to give the opponent a head start. What's funny even when they were down 4-0, you still had faith in the Marlins that they were not out this game. I can't remember the last time I thought about the Mets that way, maybe in '99. They have just a fun bunch of guys to watch. Juan Pierre and Luis Castillio are always on base. Cabrea will be the next big thing in baseball and the important thing they don't panic. The Marlins just ooze confidence. Speaking of oozing confidence. How about senator Al last night on the FOX telecast. I think Thom Brennaman is in love. In the top of the 9th with Marlins on 1st and 2nd, Luis Castillo hit a grounder to 2nd baseman Mark Grundzielanek. Grundzielanek bobbled the ball as he tried to tag Pierre and throw to first for the DP the umpire called eveybody safe. Psycho Lyons said "he had possession, he dropped it makes the transfer to throw" Senator Al said "NO WAY! He never had possession of the ball, the ump made the right call. Brennaman chimes in "Your right Al" WOW Psycho got jilted. After looking at the replay Lyons had to agree with the good Senator from NY and Two-Timing Thom. ALCS Yankees v. Red Sox OK I have no rooting interest in this series. I despise the Yankees, but I respect them. The Red Sox well being a Mets fan all I can say is forget the Curse of the Bambino, you guys were christening with Flushing Holy Water back in '86 and there is no cure. I will be rooting for the Sox though, because I do not want to see another ticker tape parade or hear the obnoxious slobs that are Yankee fans crowing about their team. But, I can't see it happening. The Red Sox just do not have the arms to compete with the Yankees. The only hop the Sox have is to get to the starters early in the game and have Joe Torre maneuver his bull pen. If the Sox can get Torre to use Jeff Weaver or even Jose Contreas then it will be an interesting series. Grady Little get tons of heat form Red Sox fans and Boston press but this guy is trying to hold his pitching staff together with spit and paper clips. If the Sox have to rely on Derek Lowe to be Orel Hershiser circa 1988 they are in deep doody. As a baseball fan all you can ask for is game 7 Pedro vs. Clemens at Yankee Stadium. Even the Used Car salesman would show up for that one. <

We have some exciting news here at the Kranepool Society. The good folks at MOFO SPORTS are now syndicating the Eddie Kranepool Society on their fine web site. If your a fan of any of the New York teams or a fan of great writing, go on over to MOFO SPORTS and check out the stories, message boards, and outstanding links. <

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Game 5 ALDS Red Sox 4 Athletics 4 Red Sox win the series 3 games to 2 How about those cowboys! Seeing a Bostonian in a Stetson is as common as seeing an Eskimo in a Speedo, but this will change this week in The Hub. The Red Sox �Cowboy upped� last night especially Derek Lowe. Pedro was not exactly Sandy Koufax last night but he kept the Sox ahead until he wilted down the stretch. The Sox and Pedro got away with it last night, but Pedro has to step up his game against the Yankees if the Red Sox want to advance to the World Series. A couple of notes about the Red Sox. First Grady Little-who by the way resembles the editor of the Daily Planet, Perry White-pulled out all stops with his bullpen maneuvers. Obviously ByungYung Kim, which is Korean for Calvin Schraldi, won�t be closing games any time soon. However, with the way Derek Lowe has performed in the pen, how crazy would it be for Little to start Kim in Lowe�s spot? Kim did go from reliever to starter with the D�Backs so why not either start him or slot him as the long man in the pen. What�s worse Kim starting or Jeff Suppan? What Little and Dave Wallace do with this bullpen will be the difference between winning and losing the series against the Yankees. Do you leave Lowe in the rotation or do you have him close? He has started all year but has been a closer, but can he make another transition in this short of time? What was going through Ken Maca�s head with those moves he made in the 9th inning. How the hell do you pinch-hit Adam Melhuse for Jermaine Dye? That�s taking the lefty/righty thing to the extreme. You have to have a feel for what your doing as a manager and obliviously Maca didn�t last night. I could here Melhuse�s knees knocking from 3,000 miles away. What was T-Long waiting for a pitch over the plate? Lowe got Long on the same pitch he got Melhuse. A breaking ball with an extremely late break that hit the middle of the plate. Swing the bat T, swing the bat. This post season has more curses than a Santaria priest. The Cubs have the Curse of the Goat, The BoSox have the famous Curse of the Bambino, and the A�s have the Curse of Not Being Able to Close Out a Series. What Billy Beane needs is for Paul DePodesta to look in that laptop of his and find a formula for putting the hammer to these teams when they have them on the ropes. I� ll have a prediction on the Yankee-Red Sox series tomorrow. And now a few words from Ayatollah Steinbrenner: (With the Battle Hymn of the Republic playing in the background) �Georgie, Georgie, Halleluiah�Georgie, Georgie, Halleluiah������� �The win against Minnesota demonstrates the sprit of the Yankees. We were treated beautifully by Minnesota, but our team had the mental toughness that only the Yankees can show. New Yorkers are battlers and so are we. [�Georgie, Georgie, Hajlialuiea] The victory was great for New York and for our fans, and I am proud of our guys. I am anxiously awaiting the winner of the Oakland and Boston game.� �New Yorkers support our team with their hard earned dollars and I want our team to understand what we owe them by the way we dress and how we play on the field (What the F ?) One thing that we hold dearly is that quitters never win and winners never quit (also a stitch in time saves nine, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, and it�s not the size of the ship but the motion of the ocean) For us, winning isn�t the only thing, it�s second to breathing (I�m F�in dizzy) As MacArthur said Victory is essential. (�His Truth is marching on�) More tapioca Mr. Steinbrenner? NLCS Cubs v. Marlins Abner Doubleday would be proud of his former classmate Jack McKeon for the way he took this Marlin team from outhouse to penthouse. Safe to say the Fish are playing with house money. Who thought they�d get this far? The pressure now is on the Cubbies. The Cub fans are extremely stoked about getting to and winning a World Series. If they lose to the Marlins, Prozac sales will go through the roof as the yuppie South Siders go into a collective state of depression. Key to the series for the Cubs is getting Zambrano and Clement to step up and be accounted for. Woods and Prior are a given, if Zambrano and Clement step up their game it will be the Cubs in the World Series. Cubs in 6! Has anyone seen that putz of a Commissioner, H.Allen Selig? Would it kill him to show up at a game in the post season? If he is not at Wrigley Field tonight and at Yankee Stadium tomorrow, it�s a damn disgrace. Look, I know he would rather stick a hot poker in his eye than come to NYC, but for Christ sake, Chicago is just a couple of hours car ride from the Giles Custard Stand. MAKE THE TRIP!!! How could he not be at these series? He should be on talk shows and ESPN and any other outlet that will give him time to promote baseball. Imagine that actually promoting baseball. <

Monday, October 06, 2003

What do you guys think about Jeane Zelasko' new 'do? It's kind of like Jenifer Anison meets Cousin It. <

Game 4 ALDS Yankees 8 Twins 1 Yankees win the series 3 games to 1 David Wells is an uncouth slob who is more suited for a trailer park lifestyle than a Manhattan way of living. He is also a guy you can count on in a big game. In seven postseason starts for the Yankees, he�s lost only one time. His walks to strike out ratio is better than 7 to 1. He thrives in these situations and by adding him to the mix of Clemens, Pettite and Mussina it gives the Yankees depth and experience that is unmatched. If you�re the Yankees, you have to be rooting for the A�s to win tonight. An ALCS against the A�s will be a short one. If it�s the Red Sox, then the Yankee middle relief may come into the equation and that has been a plus so far that Joe Torre has not has to tap into that resource. Game 4 ALDS Red Sox 5 A�s 4 Series is tied at 2-2 Call it �The Curse of the Big Lead�. The A�s are behind the 8-ball here coming into game 5. Tim Hudson could not pitch past the 2nd inning with an oblique muscle strain. Add that to Mark Mulder out with his hip injury, it will be a real scramble for the A�s even if they win tonight. Speaking of tonight, this could be the game that puts Pedro in the stratsophe of Gibson, Seaver, Walter Johnson and that ilk. Pitch count be damned tonight. This has the makings of one of those historic nights in baseball. All I hope is that the game is not decided on an umpires call. Please let the players decide this one. Game 5 NLDS Cubs 5 Braves 1 Cubs win the series 3 games to 2 The outcome of this game may have put a jolt into the NL East for years to come. This may be the end of the line for the Braves as we have known them for the past 12 years. GM John Shurholtz has said he will have to trade off players and also not tender contracts to free agents. The Wilpon�s would not be doing their due diligence (who made the phrase famous�..Swarmy Steve Phillips of course) if they did not approach the Braves about the status of Shurholtz. What�s the worst thing that could happen? The Braves denied you permission to talk to him? Same thing with the Marlins. Win or lose they have to cut payroll. The first player up for bid will be Mike Lowell. How would the Mets infield look with Lowell at 3rd, Reyes at short, Wiggy at 2nd and the two-headed platoon of Piazza/Phillips at 1st? Pretty formable huh? With The Giants losing they messed up the great story line of the post season, Dusty and his Cubs against his old team from SF. Week 5 NFL Picks (HOME TEAM IN CAPS) Seahawks + 2 � over PACKERS Packers 35 Seahawks 13 Man, after looking at the results of my picks this week, I feel like J.T. Snow lying at home plate on Saturday. Someone forgot to tell Ken �The Hammer� Hamlin not to tug on Superman�s cape. Seems Hamlin was talking a barge of trash to Brett Farve yesterday and Farve took out his frustration on the Seahawks to the tune of 5 straight drives that resulted in touchdowns. With Ahman Green rushing for 118 yards on 27 carries that opened up Farve to the passing game to post a very impressive Packer win. STEELERS -7 over Browns Browns 33 Steelers 13 First it was my proclamation that Jake Plumber sucks, and he has made me look stupid. Then I took Tim Couch to tasks about his ability and he showed me a thing or two or three. Even Rush Limbaugh said� the bloging world has been very desirous that a middle aged white guy pick some winners� So Tommy Maddox went back to his Giants way as he turned the ball over 3 times and Tim Couch showed me up throwing 2 TD passes and running in one. 49 ERS -7 over Lions 49ers 24 Lions 17 Welcome Back Coach Mooch! Don�t let the door hit ya on the way out. So much for the homecoming. The Niner offense had a steamroller like performance against the Lions. The 49ers ran the football 39 times with 5 different backs for 142 yards. All-Pro hemorrhoid Terrell Owens had 5 receptions for 79 yards and a TD to pacify him for a week. This one was a push because former NY Giants kicker Owen F �in Pochman missed a 37 yard field goal. Week 5 record 0-2-1 YTD-7-6-2 <

Sunday, October 05, 2003

Game 3 ALDS Yankees 3 Twins 1 Yankees lead series 2 games to 1 The demise of Mariano Rivera has been greatly exaggerated. Father Joe called on Rivera for another 2 inning throw back save and Rivera did what he usually does in the post season, he came through. That�s what the will put on his Hall of Fame plaque �He comes through in the clutch�. All this talk about Roger Clemens retiring and is this his last game and on and on and on...No way! Sure Clemens wants to play in the Olympics and he will most likely fulfill that dream. If he comes out of the Olympics with a gold medal and a sound arm, he will join the Yankees for the September stretch drive next season. You have to like the Yankees chances to wrap up this series today. The Twins struggle with lefties and as long as Rocco Graziosa is not lurking around in the Twin Cities, Boomer Wells should make the start today and move the Yankees to the ALCS. Game 3 ALDS Red Sox 3 Athletics 1 Athletics lead series 2 games to 1 �When you assume, you make an ass out of u and me� Felix Unger Eric Byrnes and Miggy Tejada did lot�s of assuming and it cost the A�s the game and maybe the series. Two things you learn as a wee lad when you first play baseball. 1. Run everything out. Don�t stop running until you see or hear and umpire call time. 2. When running home, if the ump does not make a call, tag home plate by any means necessary. Byrnes should have realized since home plate ump Paul Emmel never made a call, he had to go back and tag home. By the time he got himself together Jason Varetik came back with the ball and tagged him out. That was one run lost. Tejda also had a brain fart on the obstruction play. Because this was judgment call, in 3rd base ump�s Bill Welke�s judgment because Tejda gave up near home plate the impediment at third base was not the cause of him being out at home. If Tejada ran as hard as he could and was then thrown out, Welke would have given him home plate. So the A�s ran themselves out of 2 runs. Amazing! Game 4 NLDS Braves 6 Cubs 2 Series tied at 2 I am no fan of Larry Jones. Truth be known, as a Mets fans I dispise Larry Jones. However there is one thing I have to admit. Larry Jones is a winner. No Sheffield, win and go to game 5 or lose and go home, Jones stepped up big time and added to a lock Hall of Fame career with 2 home runs. As a baseball fan you can�t ask for a better game 5 Kerry Wood v. Mike Hampton winner take all. Game 4 NLDS Marlins 7 Giants 6 Marlins win the series 3 games to 1 Who would have thought this? Who would have ever predicted that finish? Who would have ever thought the Marlins in the NLCS? What a finish. Pudge Rodriquez put his name in baseball lore with this series. Both behind the plate and at the bat. Back and forth game Marlins up, Giants come back, Marlins come back. What intrigue. The question will be could Jason Schmidt have pitched this game? Only he and Felipe Alou know the real story. <

Saturday, October 04, 2003

It seems the Mets may have former Mets Asst' Gm and current 'Stros GM, Gerry Hunsicker on their radar. If the Mets were to approch Astors owner Drayton McClain for permission to speak with Hunsicker, it looks like he will give his blessing. From this quote from Hunsicker, it's possible he is interested in coming back to the Mets. As far as his own situation, Hunsicker said he doesn't think the Mets have asked the Astros for permission to interview him, but he would not say any more. "I'm just going to decline to comment," Hunsicker said several times. Nevertheless, The Post has learned that McLane would likely release Hunsicker from the final year of his contract if his GM made a passionate plea. So now Hunsicker looks like the only competion to the Duke for the job. It seems as well that Hunsicker could bring Billy Wagner with him to NY. Now if yo ucould bring Richard Hildalgo as well.....then let's talk. Oh and l have Hunsickers nickname ready for him "Gerry the Hun" <

Eric Simon has started a NY Mets blog named Saber Mets. As the family of Mets blogs grows, Eric's blog is another welcomed voice. Check out his site and tell him The Kranepool Society sent ya! <

NFL PICKS-WEEK 5 Last week 3-0-0 YTD-7-4-1 (Home Team in CAPS) Seahawks + 2 � over PACKERS I guess a lot of folks were impressed by the Packs victory over Da Bears Monday Night, as the line on this game has jump a point since Tuesday. Mike Holmgren, Defensive Coordinator Ray Rhodes and QB Matt Hasselbeck return to the soon to be frozen tundra. The Seahawks �D� has a new and improved attitude thanks the Rhodes. They have become an aggressive and hard-hitting bunch led by FS Ken �The Hammer� Hamlin. Just look at their league leading +12 Giveaway/Takeaway (1 giveaway/13 takeaways) This could play a huge part in this game as Bret Farve is prone to the interception. STEELERS -7 over Browns The collective groan you heard from Brown-Town was from hearing that Tim Couch will start at QB Sunday. The Browns defense has given up and average of 141 yds and game, so look for the Famous Amos Zeroue and The Bus to do some high steppin�. Add in the disadvantage the Browns have in the match up of CB�s Daylon McCutchen & Anthony Henry v. WR�s Hines Ward & Plaxico Burress. This one could be over by halftime. 49 ERS -7 over Lions I wanted so bad to pick the Lions in this one. Mooch coming back to against the team that tossed him aside like an old shoe. His new team rallying around him to �WIN ONE FOR THE MOOCH�. But looking at the cold hard facts, it ain�t gonna happen. The Lions have no running game whatsoever. They only average 85 yds a game while their D gives up an average of 125 a game. The Niner D will be coming after Joey Harrington like the landlord looking for back rent. The SF RB combo of Garrison Hearst and Kevin Barlow have averaged 132 yds a game. The only problem the 49 ers will have is making sure All Pro hemorrhoid Terrell Owens gets his hands on the football enough times to soothe his ego. <

�IT�S GONNA BE��THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT�.THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT�THEY�RE GOIN� CRAZY�..� Today is the anniversary of one of the greatest moments in baseball history. October 3, 1951, Bobby Thomson�s 3 run HR off Ralph Branca in game 3 of the NL tie breaker to win the NL Pennant THE SHOT HEARD AROUND THE WROLD! I was very fortunate to meet Bobby Thomson and I�ll tell you what, this great baseball feat could not have happened to a nicer man. NEWS ITEM: Mets in pursuit of A�s pitching coach Rick Peterson According to Adam Rubin in today�s NY Daily News the A�s may release Peterson from his contract to join the Mets coaching staff. It seems Peterson is a Jersey guy and is looking to get back home. You know this will cost the Mets a prospect. Dave Wallace the guy who the Mets had on the radar screen looks as if he will stay in Boston. Game 2 ALDS Yankees 4 Twins 1 Series tied 1-1 Com�on in off the ledge Yankee fans! We have a series. Andy Pettite was armed with a hellacious breaking ball and his best friend, the cut fastball. It was a throwback game for Pettite. Joe Torre wasted no time at all by bringing in Mo Rivera to seal up one of the biggest Yankee win in years, with a two inning save. If the Yankee had lost last night the panic in this city would have dwarfed any snowstorm or black out. Yankee fans amaze me. The go from �We suck� to �We�re great� mode at warp speed. The crane you saw outside 161 St & River Ave was there to lift the burden off Jason Giambi�s shoulders. The Giambino came through with a big 2 run single in the 7th. The Twins downfall came from two mistakes, Radke hitting Nick Johnson and LaTroy Hawkins throwing error. If I�m the Twins I want to get a win in Game 3 just for the fact that the Rotund Lefty goes for the Bombers in Game 4. The Twins are very vulnerable to lefties and by winning game 3 puts the pressure back on the Yankees. Game 2 ALDS Athletics 5 Red Sox 1 Athletics lead the series 2-0 Many Ramirez is so bad in the outfield Roger Cedeno has offered to help him. Manny, after his tiptoe play on Erubeil Durazo�s single in the 9th inning in game one, played Eric Byrnes double like he was blindfolded. You can sum up the Red Sox play in the first two game of this series as bad bullpen and bad defense. That said, you know the Red Sox will win games 3 and 4 at Fenway and break their fans heart in Game 5. <

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Item:Talk of new stadium for Mets tied with NYC Olympic bid. Boy am I torn on this one. Sure I want to see a new ball park for the Mets. But, I do not want to see NYC get the Olympics. The last thing this city needs is more traffic, more congestion, more people looking up in the air or trying to figure out thier street maps how the East Side beomes the West Side. But Shea Stadium is old and tired and needs to be put out of it's misery. It looks like the only way for the Mets will get a new home is if the City gets the 2012 Olympic games. That sucks! <

Item: Top GM's not interested in Mets job. Well one we know is Pat Gillick. That's no loss. Although if The Duke gets the job, a Pat Gillick type is who he'll need as a sounding board and as someone who canmake baseball sugestions. I don't think Brain Sabean will be leaving SF. The only guy I can see as getting GM job over the Duke is Gerry Hunsicker. If there was a way to get Hunsicker from the Astros, I think the Wilpon's would jump at the opportunity to bring Hunsicker back to the organization . The reason given for most of the top names not wanting the Mets job is dealing with Jr. Skil Sets. Seems Jeffy has a bit of a temper problem and likes to throw his weight around. I just pray we don't have another Jim Dolan on our hands. <

Item: Mets interested in Dave Wallace for pitching coach position Not shocking. The only reason he left the Mets was he hated Bobby V and the feeling was mutual. Although he took over in mid season for Tony Cloninger in Boston as Cloninger fights cancer, Wallace could be on the move after the season. The big reason he took the Red Sox job was he needed about a month in uniform to be vested in MLB pension. <

Game 2 NLDS Marlins 9 Giants 5 Series tied at 1-1 If the Marlins go on to �shock the world� and win this series, Carl Pavano�s performance in the 5th inning will be the turning point. Jack McKeon stayed with his game plan of walking Barry Bonds and daring Alfonso and Santiago to beat him. Pavano, a starter by trade, comes in with the bases loaded, 1 out to bail out Rick Helling, who came in to bail out Brad Penny. Fonzie and Santiago could have blown the game wide open. Instead they both popped out to keep the scored 5-4. Juan Encarnarcion led off the 6th against Joe Nathan with a homer and Juan Pierre doubled home (with the help of shaky defense by Jose Cruz) 2 more runs to bring the Fish back for the second time in the game 7-5. Florida added single runs in the 7th and 8th inning. Rumor has it the Giants have one of those new talking scales in their clubhouse. When Sidney Ponson stepped on it, supposedly the scales replied, �One at a time, please� If I have one criticism of Jack McKeon it�s that you can�t have Dontrelle Willis warm up, then sit down, then warm up again. It�s crap like that that got his predecessor canned. Game 2 NLDS Braves 5 Cubs 3 Even though John Smotlz told Bobby Cox he was ready to go 2 innings last night, I thought that putting Smoltz in for 2 innings was risky. Sure, he�s did not pitch game 1 and there is a day off today, but the rumors are still out there that Smoltz� elbow is not 100 %. The Cubs on the other hand have to be happy with the spilt. They go back to Wrigley with the place bursting at the seams and Mark Prior on the mound. The Braves send out Greg Maddux for game 3 who may pitch more than 6 innings in this game. What I want to see is if Javy Lopez catches. If Cox does not put Lopez in the lineup it will be a farce. Game 1 ALDS Athletics 5 Red Sox 4 (12 innings) When I went to bed in the 7th inning it was 4-3 Red Sox. I wanted desperately to watch the end of the game. But is was midnight and I had to get up at 5AM to go to work and I did not want to walk around with raccoon eyes all day, so I went to bed. I missed a great finish. So too did most of the working class of the East Coast. We�ve seen this game from the Sox all year long, that bullpen is atrocious. It�s so bad David Weathers, Mike Stanton, and John Franco say they suck. Between Pedro throwing 130 pitches and Grady Little having to break the glass on �In Case Of Emergency use a Starter� rally extinguisher in the bullpen, this game puts the Sox in a bind. NEWS ITEM-Rush Limbaugh quits NFL Countdown Rush Limbaugh talks out of his ass. He has been talking out of his ass for years on his syndicated radio show. So why is it that everyone is up in arms when Limbaugh talked out of his ass with his comment on Donavan Mc Nab? If you have watched Limbaugh on the NFL Countdown show, you�re already aware that he doesn�t know shit from sawdust about football. Someday leagues and networks will learn that bringing in Rush Limbaugh, Dennis Miller, and Jon Bon Jovi (excuse me while I purge), and shove these guys down the sports fans throat does not work. Please guys always remember the KISS system Keep It Simple Stupid. For Limbaugh to say that McNab is not a good QB and that the defense should get all the credit for the Eagles success shows he knows nothing about football. Plus the fact that he quit instead of daring the House of Mouse to fire him shows how gutless he is. But I guess with the news breaking that he�s got a jones for painkillers, he has more trouble than we could have imagined. <

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Twins 3 Yankees 1 I can't imagine how Yankee fans would react if this storied franchise had won 26 World Championships. My sides are hurting from laughing so hard just listing to all these Yankee fans rip this team. You'd think the Yankees were the Jets for Christ sake. Sure Bern-Baby-Bern looked very bad in CF but folks, doesn't he get a mulligan? He's not exactly Timo Perez out there. The scuttlebutt is that the Giambino is playing with a left knee that's so bad, he will need surgery after the season. I don't want to hear it. If he's out there he has to produced. No excuses. Giambi is under the micro scope right now. If his slump continues the fans will be on him like white on rice. Sori will be in the OF next year. That doesn�t help the Yankees this year. Let's give some credit here to the Twins. This is a team that not only had the best record in baseball in the second half, they are so sound fundamentally. You can still see the TK stamp on this team. And now for some words of wisdom from Paul O'Neil. St. Paulie says what most people think these are not the same ol' Bombers. O'Neil is right about one thing. Teams do not fear the Yankees anymore. Remember also what the strength of those Yankee teams was. They worked the count in their favor each and every at bat. The Yankee team you saw yesterday was extremely impatient with Santana. Even Posada, who is very patent at the plate was swing at the first and second pitch. Giants 2 Marlins 0 I don't blame Jack McKeon for walking Bonds and pitching to Fonzie. Although Fonz came on strong the second half of the season and knocked in 81 RBI he hit just .259 with an OBA of .334 and Slg pct of .391. These are not knee knocking numbers there. But, Alfonzo got the big hit so tip your cap to him. If the Fish can't beat a very beatable Sir Sidney Ponson, then get out the broom. Cubs 4 Braves 1 First off, who made the decision to put Thom Brennaman and the worst analyst in the history of televised sports Steve Lyons on this game last night? God they are awful. If your a member of the Atlanta Braves, how do you feel when you finally sell out a playoff game but there are about 20,000 Cubs fans in the ballpark? Awful. Kerry Wood was dominate both on the mound and at the bat. His double to drive in 2 runs was huge because the Cubbies had the bags loaded in the 3rd and could not score. Cubs are sitting pretty with Carlos Zambrano tonight and Mark Prior ready for Game 3 in Wrigley. <

News Item-Vern Rhule re-assigned by Mets Well someone had to get whacked. This may be more than Rhule's "failure to communicate" here. He is also very close to Artie form Flushing. So, this may be the Wilpon's way of sending a little message. It seems that Rick Waits and Randy Neiman are the front runners for the job, with Bob Ojeda the dark horse candidate. The guy the should be looking at is Dave "Smoke" Stewart. Stew would be perfect for what Sr. Skill Sets has said he is looking for a Pitching coordinator. If just a little of his intimidating ways could rub off on Aaron Heilman or Jeremy Griffiths it might make the diference between this guys being journeymen to top shelf pitchers. <

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

2003 NEW YORK METS FINAL REPORT CARD What an awful season. It was a season reminiscent of those of the late �70�s early �80�s. Mo Vaughn, Robbie Alomar, Tom Glavine were the second coming of Bobby Bonnila, Vince Coleman and Brett Saberhagen, minus the Bronx, M-80�s and bleach. The manager walks around with a stupid grin on his face as loss after loss piled up. All of the �young talent� we heard and read about, with the exception of Jose Reyes didn�t show didley squat. Mike Piazza showed just a little too much drama as he goes off like Faye Dunnaway in �Mommy Dearest�(NO MORE FIRST BASEMAN MITTS!!!!!!!). It all went to show how dysfunctional this organization is. Sr. Skill Sets brags that the Mets are a family run business. Yea right. The Duke has to ask Sr. Skill Sets, who has to consult with Jr. Skill Sets who has to talk to Dave the Lawyer before any decision can be made. All the while Artie from Flushing nods and grins. Very very corporate. Until the Skill Sets keep their beaks out of the baseball end of the operation, there will be no change around 126 St & Roosevelt Ave. On to the grades. Everyday Line Up 1st Base Jason Phillips .298/.373/.442 Grade: A What a surprise! Playing never looked like a chore to him like it does to the rest of his teammates. As the season went on and the AB�s added up he became a very selective hitter. He seemed to tire down the stretch. Never embarrassed himself at 1st base. Needs to pick up the power numbers. He�s a keeper. 2nd Base Roberto Alomar .262/.336/.357 Grade: F Rey Sanchez .207/.240/.236 Grade: F Joe McEwing .241/.309/.291 Grade: D Marco Scutaro .213/.333/.347 Grade: INC Danny Garcia .214/.274/.357 Grade: INC Anyone see a problem here? Alomar and Sanchez were dogs! The Wipon Ward played wwwwaaayyy to much. Scutaro played wwwwaaayyy to little. Garcia played his way back to Norfolk. Luis Castillo or former Met Fernando Vina could be the answer here. SS Jose Reyes .307/.334/.434 Grade: A All that and a bag of chips. The Crown Jewel of the farm system was starting to play himself into a Rookie of the Year award, when he injured his ankle. That injury sucked the life out of the team. Has great attitude. Mistakes do not get him down. JUST STAY HEALTHY!!!!! 3rd Base Ty Wiggington .255/.318/.396 Grade: C Was tossed to the curb by Swarmy Steve Phillips, he showed that hard work and perseverance pay off. Took ground ball after ground ball in spring training and turned into a more than adequate 3rd baseman. You have to root for guys likes Ty. He did get fatigued down the stretch and his power numbers dropped like the Dow Jones. Ty needs to cut down on the K�s (124) and be more patient at the plate. He did nail 36 doubles and drive in 71 runs and scored 74 runs. Remember, his natural position is 2nd base so he could move back there. C Mike Piazza .286/.377/.483 Grade: C Are we seeing the decline of Mikey P.? Last two years, his numbers have gone down and it�s still a mystery how he tore his groin so severely. The Piazza to 1st base soap opera has gotten extremely annoying. MIKE, JUST PLAY FIRST DAMIT!!!!. It is possible he could be moved over the winter. Pete the Shyster in Baltimore could be interested. C Vance Wilson .243/.293/.373 Grade: C Very good catcher but his bat turned anemic with all the work he received. Has a great take charge attitude and like most catchers we could make a very good manager some day. His no nonsense attitude is desperately needed on this team. I hope he�s still a Met next year. LF Cliff Floyd .290/.376/.518 Grade: A One free agent signing that worked out, yes he has been plagued by the injury bug but hopefully that�s behind him and next year he comes back strong. WE NEED HIM!!! LF Raul Gonzalez .230/.317/.332 Grade: F As a career minor leaguer who finally got a chance, Gonzalez was a major disappointment. Raul was the MVP of the International League last year, so you would think he would like to prove he�s not one of those �AAAA� players. He never took the bull by the horns to grab an everyday job in the outfield. His lack of hustle vs. the Pirates was the last straw. Enjoy the Atlantic League Raul. CF Timo Perez .269/.301/.364 Grade: D Please I�m Begging; I�ve seen enough of this guy. No more. Perez has not one once of baseball sense. One of the all time worst base runners. Perez and Gonzalez are perfect for the Newark Bears. CF Jeff Duncan .194/.291/.245 Grade: D I could have gone incomplete for Duncan but he played well when he was called up. He could�ve been a contender! But his bat sucks. Mets should ask Lenny Dykstra to work with him. It�s a shame because he plays a flawless CF. The clock is ticking on Duncan, he�s no kid. RF Roger Cedeno .267/.320/.378 Grade: D Give him credit, he gets booed every at bat but he hung in and had a pretty good 2nd half. But, he can not play the OF. If he were awful that would be an improvement. Cedeno has added too much bulk to his frame, so it has taken away from his base stealing talents. One of the worst signings of the Phillips regime. Would take a miracle to move him. Most likely back next year as a very expensive spare part. Bench Tony Clark .232/.300/.472 Grade: B You would think one of the contending teams would have jumped for this guy. 16 HR and 43 RBI as a pinch hitter. Wants to come back to Mets if he cannot find a full time gig. Why not? He has a real future in the TV booth. Jay Bell .181/.319/.190 Grade: INC. A waste of a roster space. He should have retired 2 years ago. Artie claims he was more of a coach than a player. Pitchers SP Al Leiter 15-9 3.99 ERA Grade: A Not my favorite guy but give the senator his due. When he got over his infatuation with Tom Glavine�s style of pitching, then laid off the Krispy Kreames he became one of the top pitchers in the NL. He finally discovered if you lose weight your knees feel better. Got back to his bread and butter pitch: the cutter. He stopped trying to be cute and trying to hit corners. The big question is can he do it again? SP Steve Trachsel 16-10 3.78 ERA Grade: A In his interviews he seems as dull as dishwater. But, give him loads of credit. Ever since he went down t Norfolk last year he has found his game. Big time. Doesn�t do one thing great, but gives a great effort in every start. SP Tom Glavine 9-14 3.82 ERA Grade: F Another Drama Queen. Blames Ques Tech. Still feels jilted by the Braves. He has to go a long way to get my respect back. He�s only with the Mets for the money. Now with all that said, I hope this guy takes stock of himself and comeback next year with a better attitude. I won�t say he�s finished. Not yet. But if he has the same type of season next year. LOOK OUT! SP Jae Weong Seo 9-12 3.82 ERA Grade: B What Seo showed in the last month and a half is what the Mets were hopping to see from Aaron Heilman. Seo was having an awful month and a half but he worked through it and finished up strong. That is an excellent sign. Remember, Seo is coming off shoulder surgery so when he hit the wall most people thought that was it. But Seo fought thru it and regained his fastball to go with his great breaking ball and was effective at the end of the year. Now that�s something to build on. SP Aaron Heilman 2-7 6.75 ERA Grade: F Major disappointment. Really needs to decide if he wants to be a big league pitcher. Shows zero emotion on the mound. 41 BB in 65 IP along with an almost 2 WHIP is not something to hang your hat on. Most scouts felt he was at best a 3 or 4 starter if he became that the Mets would be ecstatic. SP Jeremy Griffths 1-4 7.02 Grade: INC Trade bait. Mets have too many pitchers who do the same thing pitch to corners and throw breaking balls and off speed pitches. Where is the fireballer? (Scott Kazmir) Where is the guy you can come into the game with a 90-95+ fastball? RP John Franco 0-3 2.62 Grade : C Give the guy credit. He broke his ass and came back when most people doubted he could do it. Franco wants to pitch again next year, good for him. Just do it somewhere else. This bullpen needs a complete overhaul. With a ML worse 9-25 record you cannot bring these guys back next year but in some cases the Mets may have no choice. Good Luck John. RP David Weathers 1-6, 7 saves, 3.08 ERA Grade: D Artie used him so much early in the season; I thought he was a twin. Over work may have led to some of his trouble, but oh those base on balls were the bigger part of his downfall. He�s owed 3 mil for next season. Hey you never know, there may be a taker out there. RP Dan Wheeler 0-1, 3.71 ERA, 2 saves Grade : B Where did he come from? Pitched every situation a reliever can do. Whether it was as a long man, middle, or closer he did a decent job. Artie had loads of confidence in him and why not. In 51 IP he only gave up 17 BB Hard to believe he was a D-Ray. He�ll be back next year. If Weathers can be moved he be be a good set up man. RP Grant Roberts 0-3, 1 save, 3.79 ERA Grade: INC Came back after arm trouble and off the field trouble. Looks like he�s in the Mets plans for �04 RP Jamie Cerda 1-1, 5.85 ERA Grade: F What the hell happened to him? Cerda was a tough lefty last year. This year he had more BB�s than K�s (20-19) and was just not effective. RP Pedro Feliciano 0-0 3.35 ERA Grade: C Who did he piss off? Went from August 27 to September 19 without getting into a game. Why? Mgr. Art Howe 66-95 Grade: F Wrong man for the job. He�s overmatched here in NYC. He gets rattled by the media to the point he does not give you any kind of information about the team. Always has a goofy grin and is way to happy a guy with all the losing and inept play that was going on around him. His handling of the Piazza to first base was atrocious. The BIG THREE, Franco, Leiter and Piazza do not seem to care for his way of doing things. The Wilpons should bite the bullet and either let him go or reassign him in the organization. It�s inevitable he will be fired, so do it sooner rather than later. Hey just blame it on Swarmy Steve. <

Monday, September 29, 2003

NFL Week 4 picks TEXANS +3 over Jaguars Texans 24 Jaguars 20 ``You go on instincts,'' Capers said. ``If we don't make that, you guys are asking me about it for the next year. I had a gut feeling.'' So says Texans Head Coach Dom Capers about going for the win instead of the tie and overtime yesterday in Houston. I still think Capers made a mistake. In that situation you go for the tie and get ready for O.T. Sure he looks like he has onions as big as the state of Texas but he took three shot into the end zone and did not make it. So he call a QB keeper and David Carr makes it by a hair. Capers must have a horseshoe up his butt. Whatever, it�s a win for me. Colts -2 over SAINTS Colts 55 Saints 21 Jim Hasslet should be out of work shortly. The Saints were embarrassed by Peyton Manning and his 6, 6! TD�s WOW! Another one in the win column for me. PANTHERS -6 over Falcons Panthers 23 Falcons 3 Stephen Davis went for 153 on the Falcons as the Panthers gave them pay back big time yesterday. Panthers are now 3-0 with the Aints on deck for next week. There is still a few seats left on the Panther bandwagon but the should go fast. This gave me a 3-0 week. My season to date record is 7-4-1 <

It 's too bad the Tigers did not play with the kind of vim and vigor throughout the season as the did this past week as they tried to avooid the 120 loss mark. To watch he Tiger players celebrate was strange. What are you guys so happy about? What is the big deal! You guys lost 119 games! So fine you don't have the modern day record for losses. Hey there is always next year. So that's fine with me that the 1962 Amazin' Mets still hold the record fro losses. The names Hodges, Ashburn, Craig, Choo-Choo, Frank Thomas, Little Al Jackson and of course my man Ed Kranepool will always be remembered in baseball hsitory. No one will ever give a rat's ass about Carlos Pena, Shane Halter, Mike Maroth, Dimitir Young. <

The Mets season has mercifully come to an end. Either tomorrow or Wednesday I hope to post my final grades for the team and who stays and who goes. But today I want to look at the playoffs and give my post season picks. First let me go over my pre-season predictions. In the NL I picked the Phillies to win the East, The Cubs to win the Central, and the Giants to win the West. I picked the Astros to be the Wild Card team. Who ever thought the Marlins would be the Wild Card? The Phillies were never a factor in the NL East as the Braves pulled ahead and went wire to wire for the 12th straight year. The Cubs held their own against the Astros and Cards, as both those teams spit the bit down the stretch. The Giants were never challenge in the West and won the divison comfortably. In the AL I picked the Red Sox to win the East, mostly because I hate the Yankees. In the Central I picked the Twins, who took the ChiSox to the wood shed late in the season. I went with the A�s in the West due to fact I knew the Mariners would hold to form and not add a player down the stretch. So I missed on the Yankees, but the Red Sox made it as a wild card. I picked the Giants to win the NL Pennant and the A�s To win the AL with the A�s being crowned World Champion. So here are my picks for the post season. I like the Cubs over the Braves. For the first time that I can remember the Braves do not have the better pitching than their post season opppnent. Kerry Wood, Mark Prior, and Carlos Zambrano have and edge over Russ Ortiz, Gregg Maddux, and Mike Hampton. The big edge for the Cubs may be in the bullpen as John Smoltz will be under the micro scope if he has to pitch in back to back games. I like the Cubs in 4 The Giants are so confident about the post season that they blew off playing the Mets in a make up game that could have given them home field throughout the NL playoffs. I don�t think this series will be close, I like the Giants in 3 I make no effort to hide my hatred for the Yankees so this pick is more with my heart than with my head. I like the Twins in 4. I can see Johan Santana beating the Yankees tomorrow and the Twins winning 2 at the MetroDome. The Yankees and their fans are just a little too cocky right now. The Yankees just played one of the softest month on a schedule in the history of MLB. Hopefully they will take the Twins lightly and the Twins will slay the beast. Oh and by the way Yankee fans, stop whining about the Yankees playing in the daytime. Your team is not the story this post season, the Cubbies are! I will stick with the A�s even though I would like to see a Cubs-Red Sox World Series. But the Red Sox bullpen will bite the Sox in the butt as the A�s will win in 4 <

Sunday, September 28, 2003

"CAN'T ANYBODY HERE PLAY THIS GAME" PENNANT RACE '62 Mets 40-119 .252 '03 Tigers 42-119 .261 Tigers 9 Twins 8 ``We're not the worst team in baseball, no matter what,'' Carlos Pena said. ``We're going to have a better winning percentage than the Mets, and we won't beat their record. You've got to compare apples with apples, not apples with oranges, OK? They played 160 games and we'll play 162.'' WOW what come back! down 8 runs the Tigs comeback to beat a team that has bigger fish to fry. It's amazing what a comeback like this will do to a guy. Carlos Pena felt his onions with his quote. First of all Mr. Pena, you sir are an underachiver. Second, the Mets were made of of guys who were for all intented purpose were done with their careers. You and your teammates can't be has-beens because your a bunch of never-were.Third they were loveable losers. The '03 Tigers are just another example of an oraganization that is poorly run. Mets 2 Cubs 1 The Mets win there last game of the season at Wrigley. Bob Miller was the winner and Dick Elsworth took the L for the Cubbies <

"WE'VE FALLEN AND WE CAN'T GET UP" PENNANT RACE xPadres 64-97 .398 Mets 66-94 .413 The Pod's get the nod over the Amazin's in this pennant race of shame. I guarantee that the Padres will not be fightting for this title next season. I wish I could say the same about the Mets. I know the NY media is very much slanted toward the Yankees but the stuff I'm reading lately has me concerned. Joel Sherman posted a story on MSG website. When he asked Mike Piazza what the plan was for him to play 1st base, Piazza replied "I don't think there was a plan" That seems to be the motto for this organization. We all know the manager is a clueless twit and I know he has 3 years left on his contract but the Mets would show real onions if the let Artie go. Just say it was a mistake and move on from there. Whether you love him or hate him you know this is the kind of team Bobby V loves to manage. Lot's of young guys that he could work with. Earlier this year on Baseball Tonight, Karl Ravitch asked V why is it that infield drills, that were a staple during batting practice is no longer in vogue in the bigs. Valentine said "Well when you go into the clubhouse and announce time for infield, guys are either on their cell phones or reading the paper or laughing it up with the GM (shot to SP). What this team needs is a teacher and a motivator and that ain't Artie. What we have seen during this dismal season is, the young players we thought would be so good are either not ready for prime time or they are not as good as we thought. Aaron Heilman needs to visit a sports physiologist over the winter to straighten out his head. Dan Garcia needs to go apartment hunting in Norfolk because he needs another season in AAA. Maybe he can get Prentice Redman, Matt Watson, Jason Anderson, and Ober Moreno to chip in and get a big house, since all of them are destined for Norfolk. Then we have Bill Madden of the NY Daily News weighing in on the Piazza-Mets relationship. One caveat with Madden, he is also a Yankee butt boy, but he is a very good baseball writer but he has anti-Mets point of views. He writes today that the Mets should look to the Orioles to deal Piazza. This Piazza to 1st base fiasco just will not go away. I have never seen anything this mismanaged since David Dinkins was mayor of NY. There is more of enough blame to pass around. First Piazza should stop treating 1st base like there's land mines there. The guy can play there. Is he Wes Parker as a fielder? No. But he's not Mo Vaughn either. Now the question is if he does not want to play there, then it's time to go. Second, Artie of Flushing showed why he is not up for the job of manager of the Mets. Don't think other players are not watching this play out. Remember, Grady Little put a jump into the Red Sox season by benching Manny when he came back form his "illness". Artie should have put Piazza at 1st base a month ago and if Mike balked at the idea then tell him take a seat. Third, there are too many people that moves have to go thru before they're made. Duke has to go to Sr. Skill Sets who confers with Jr. Skill Sets who then turns to Dave the Lawyer to get feedback on ideas and moves. The problem with all this is of the four, only the Duke is a baseball man. This has got to stop. If not the organization will just be spinning it's wheels <

Friday, September 26, 2003

NFL PICKS WEEK 4 (Home team is in CAPS) TEXANS +3 over Jaguars Jags rookie Head Coach Jack Del Rio has made 9 personnel changes to his roster this week, so he is obviously not happy with his team. The one big change will be Byron Leftwich starting at QB over Mark Brunell, who is out with a bad elbow. The Jags rely on RB Fred Taylor for about 80 % of their offense, so look for Texans Head Coach Dom Capers and Def Coordinator Vic Fangio to stack the line of scrimmage and just key on Taylor and dare Leftwich to beat them. Colts -2 over SAINTS The Tao of Dungy is finally in vogue in Indy. The defense has gotten the gist of the �Cover-2� D and the Colts are 3-0 and rolling. The Saints are in trouble. Head Coach Jim Haslett will have his hands full as Aaron Brooks tries to make plays against the Colt D. The big blow for the Saints is the injury to their best CB Dale Carter. Peyton Manning to Marvin Harrison will be the highlight of this game. PANTHERS -6 over Falcons 41-0 and 30-0. Those are the scores the Falcons beat the Panthers last year. I�m sure Panthers Head Coach John Fox has that written on the blackboard in the locker room. The Falcons OL is having a rough go of it so far, so this is not a match up they are looking forward to. Best match-up in this game will be Falcons LT Bob Whitfield going against Panthers DE Julius Peppers. The Falcons have a tough time stopping the run and the Panthers average 146.5 yards rushing and give up a minuscule 67.5 on D <