10/31/2003 11:54:00 PM
One more Item then I have to get some sleep.
Iguchi Will Ask to be Posted Thursday
According to Chunichi Sports, Daiei Hawks second baseman Tadahito Iguchi will ask team officials this Thursday to post him. The Fukuoka team's front office is expected to approve the request. Iguchi hit .340 with 26 homers and 109 RBIs and seized his second steals title with 42 in a career best campaign. Both Boston and the Mets are thought to be very interested and he would be a spectacular add for the Cubs should the Chicago outfit be looking Japanward. Iguchi can play short as well.
Iguchi, for the first few years of his career, was a righthanded pull hitter who racked up strikeouts and a mediocre batting average, a kind of infield version of Tsuyoshi Shinjo with a more aggressive attitude vis a vis stolen bases. However, in 2003, Iguchi, much like Brett Boone when he rejoined the Mariners three years ago, worked on hitting the ball back up through the middle and cutting his strikeouts down and had a breakthrough tour of duty, radically raising his average with runners in scoring position to .361.
One benefit of an MLB getting Iguchi now is that he is hitting his prime and since he has had only one true superstar season at the plate, he would be relatively cheap. In other words, it would be like getting a Boone in his present form for a fifth or maybe even a tenth of Brett's salary. Mind you, Iguchi will probably never hit 30 homers in the big leagues unless he plays at Coors or Wrigley. But there is no reason he can't hit .300 and steal 50-60 bases a season while being a Gold Glove candidate.
Iguchi has had a couple of surgeries, the most recent one just last season on his shoulder, so his durability in the longer MLB schedule is something of a question mark. But with all the focus on Kazuo Matsui this offseason, Iguchi could sneak in under the radar and be a nice surprise for someone next year. For those in the Cubs and Red Sox organizations who read this column, you need to get this guy, since he would both solve your needs for a leadoff or number two hitter and he will give you a few instant 1-0 leads during the year in addition to the airtight defense he would provide.
10/31/2003 11:25:00 PM
I�M TURNING JAPANESE, I THINK I�M TURNING JAPANESE, I REALLY THINK SO��..
Proving there is no off season in baseball anymore, the papers are full of stories on the Mets making their move to the Far West with either shortstop Kaz Matsui or 2nd baseman Tadahito Iguchi. For more information of the highest quality click here for The Raindrops which is owned and operated by Kranepool Society friend Avkash.
What I don �t understand who is feeding the sharks�err I mean the press with some of this information. Kaz Matsui has been a fixture at shortstop for Seibu Lions. Reports say the Mets are looking at him to either play 2nd base or move Jose Reyes to 2nd and putting Matsui at short. Typical Mets, they can move every other player around the diamond but lack the onions to tell Piazza �your our 1st basement�. Why move Reyes? He has shown that not only can he hit and bring vigor to a team as lifeless as it�s manager, he also is a fabulous fielder. If they want to take a flyer on Iguchi that looks like the better move, but as Avkash states in his blog, at what price? I think it will take at least a 3-year deal or maybe 2 years with an option. Both players are nearing their prime, with Iguchi at age 28 and Matsui at 27 years old. Last year was the breakout year for Iguchi. He hit .340/.443/.573, which were career highs. He also fits the Mets plans as he is labeled as a very good defender and he has speed. The big plus in favor of pursing Iguchi is by signing him there is no draft pick compensation and with the Mets drafting so high in the �04 amateur draft (the draft 3rd each round) I may be throwing my endorsement to signing Iguchi but not for more that 3 yrs.
You know what the great thing is about living in New York City? Everyday is Halloween. The freaks come out every night.
This Sunday the Giants and Jets will meet at Giants Stadium for the first time in 4 years in a regular season game. I mention it because as a fan of The New York Football Giants, I don�t have the same hatred for Jets fans that I have for Yankee fans and Islander fans. I would probably hate NJ Devils fans too, if they had any. Even though you can�t get at ticket for a Jets and Giants game unless you visit your neighborhood scalper, the passion that this city has for baseball does not carry over to football. I don�t know why? There are tons of football fans and the ratings for Giants games and Jets games go through the roof each week, but there is not the intense animosity that Yankee and Mets fans have toward each other in the Giants and Jets. If anything when the Knickerbockers are playing well, they can rival the Yankees and Mets for intensity and for fan involvement. It has me stumped.
10/31/2003 11:24:00 PM
NFL PICKS WEEK 9
(Home Team in CAPS)
Panthers -6 � over TEXANS
Texans Coach Dom Capers gets an up close and personal look at the team he led in their infancy. Capers has done a nice job in Houston, but with David Carr out and Tony Banks in and the offensive line a bit shaky, it would take a court order to stop the Panther DL�s from running roughshod over the Texans offense. Houston�s D will have fits trying to stop Stephen Davis as he tries to break the 1,000 yard mark (he needs 161 yds) in his 8th game of the year. The only caveat I have in this game is if the Panthers lighten up at some point during the game and start looking ahead to their big showdown with the Buccaneers next week at home.
SEAHAWKS -4 � over Steelers
Good God�.that�s�.that�s�.CHARLIE BATCH MUSIC!!!!!! Yup this one looks bad for Tommy Maddox. Either ineffective play or a big hit from Ken �The Hammer� Hamlin will knock Maddox out of this game. Maddox has been just awful this year throwing just 7 TD�s on top of 11 INT�s . Sure the offensive woes are not all his fault, with the running game in such disarray, but as we all know when things go bad, the blame goes to the QB. The Seahawks have had a strong season. Matt Haaselbeck has thrown for 11 TD�s on 7 INT�s and is backed up by the outstanding RB Shaun Alexander. A loss here and Sgt. Slaughter look alike Bill Cowher will need some flame retardant Jockey�s as the hot seat he is on now will burst into flames.
COWBOYS -4 over Redskins
�Skins coach Steve Spurrier is looking at more college brochures than a high school junior. It seems more than a foregone conclusion that Gator Steve will be back in the colligate ranks after this season. It�s tough when you are so used to being in control of everything from the offensive formation to the hemlines of the cheerleader�s skirts and then have to work for a guy like �Oh Danny Boy� Snyder the ultimate control freak. On the other sideline the Blonde Bombshell Bill the Tuna has the Cowboys thinking it�s the 70�s & 80�s all over again when the �Boys were America�s Team. The Cowpoke�s have topped everyone�s expectation this year. Tuna has put the carrot and stick in front of RB Troy Hammbrick this week by signing former Jet Adrian Murrel to a pro rated contract. This as veteran Tuna watchers know, is Parcells telling Hambrick � I can get a guy off the street to do a better job than you�.
Thursday, October 30, 2003
10/30/2003 09:40:00 PM
Alex Bleth has another of his great interviews on his fabulous Bronx Banter site. Alex is one the world class bloggers around even if he is Yankee fan ( just a joke Alex) His interview subject is author and former Braves farmhand Pat Jordan, He also has a posting on settling down for the winter with some great baseball books and especially anything by Roger Angel. just click and enjoy
10/30/2003 09:35:00 PM
The Mets organization is starting to come out of the dark ages. According to a report in the NY Daily News, the Mets yesterday completed a deal with Rick Peterson to become their pitching coach/coordinator. Peterson has aligned himself with Dr. James Andrews-who should some day merit Hall of Fame consideration with the advent of the famous �Tommy John Surgery� that has save careers-and has done extensive work with Dr. Andrews at his American Sports Institute in Birmingham Alabama.
This is one of the most significant signings in the Mets have made in about 10 years. Peterson�s whole pitching philosophy is cutting edge as you see here in this Q & A that Peterson did with Baseball Prospectus.
There have been reports that the Mets are looking for a Bill James /Paul DePodesta type for the front office as well.
The Kranepool Society is now the proud sponsor of the Bruce Boisclair page on baseball-reference.com. Now I know some of you young whippersnappers are saying Bruce who? Boisclair was a Met for his entire career. All 410 games. He started with the Mets in 1974 and lasted till 1979. Boisclair was a lanky type of guy who was primarily a right fielder. My picking Boisclair as a player to sponsor is because my guy, Ed Kranepool has been taken and because when I was in high school Boisclair was with the Mets and I always remember telling my father, �If this guy can play in the big leagues I KNOW I can� uh I was wrong. Click on the link and enjoy the career of Bruce Boisclair.
Wednesday, October 29, 2003
10/29/2003 01:03:00 PM
The way some folks are reacting or overreacting
may suit this better, you would think the 2004
baseball season was going to start in 6 days
instead of 6 months from now.
The NY media has been absolutely beating the crap
out of the Mets and especially the Skill Sets. I
guess everyone is worried that Jr. Skill Sets will
be just like Little Jimmy Dolan over at Madison
Square Garden. Little Jimmy has single handily
ruined two of the most storied franchises in
sports in the Knickerbockers and the Rangers. Not
to mention he was the guy that killed The Wiz
(Nobody beats The Wiz HA HA HA) He has also made
Madison Square Garden the place to avoid rather
than the place to be, as it�s always been.
Back to the Mets, everyone just has to take a deep
breath. It seems the plan of attack the Duke is
going to take is to see who will be the non
tendered free agents. These are players who are
arbitration eligible and stand to make a nice
piece of change through that system. Teams have to
decide if it�s worth their while to offer them
arbitration or go the nontendered route and allow
them to hit the free agent market. Teams have till
December 7 to decide which direction to go in. So
like I say be paitient.
There�s a report in todays NY Post that has the
Mets thinking of moving Jose Reyes to 2nd base and
signing Kaz Matsui to play shortstop. Here we go
again with more NY media bullshit. Why would the
Mets do this? Reyes has shown that not only will
he blossom into a productive hitter but he already
is one of the best defensive shortstops in
baseball. This make no sense at all, another
version of throw it on the wall and see if it
Tuesday, October 28, 2003
10/28/2003 11:33:00 PM
The Duke officially became the General Manger of the New York Mets this afternoon. He was given a 3-year deal with a club option on a 4th season. So let�s see what we learned form today�s press conference.
1. The baseball operations from the scouting director down to the regional scouts will be revamped. The Duke will be placing calls to GM�s for permission to talk to veteran front office men like Bill Lajoie, Al Goldis, Fred Ferreira, Lee Thomas, Ron Schueler, and Bill Livesey. These are men who have been around the game for ages and have held top jobs for several organizations. Sr. Skill Sets made it known that the by not replacing Omar Minaya, Dave Wallace and Carmen Fusco when these men left the organization, was a major mistake.
2. It finally dawned on the front office that this team has to be built on pitching and defense. It looks like they found out you build your team for your home park.
3. Forget about seeing Vladimir Guereero in a Mets uniform. When Sr. Skill Sets was asked in a round about way about Sir Vlady, he said �You have to be careful about players who have played their career in places like Milwaukee or San Diego if they can survive here in NYC� I also think the Mets are a bit skittish about Sir Vlady�s balky back as well.
4. Whoever the Mets do set their sites on; they will do a tougher background check on them. You can tell form the tone of The Duke and Wilpon that they do not want to get burned again a la Mo Vaughn.
5. I got the feeling form the Duke, that the turnaround will take a little time. It seems that the Mets will be relying heavily on the farm system for remaking the team back into contention. He also put emphasis on looking at non-tendered and lower profile free agents.
6. Mike Piazza and Jason Phillips will split time between 1st base and catcher with the emphasis on Piazza becoming the everyday 1st baseman. According to the Duke, Piazza is on board with this.
7. Sr. Skill Sets said that even though Pat Gillick was bad mouthing the Mets and telling the press that the putting up with Jr. Skill Sets was not worth taking the job, two of Gillicks closest friends told Sr. Skill Sets that Gillick would jump at the chance to be the GM of the team.
8. Is there a bigger blow hard in the NY media than Mike Francessa? He really embarrassed himself when he and Russo were interviewing the Duke. Obviously the Duke cannot mention any names of free agents since all free agents are in that 15-day window where their teams have exclusive negotiation rights. Francessa was berating the Duke about the talent level of the team. It would help alot if Francessa picked up a copy of Baseball America and looked it over because he is absolutely clueless about the Mets minor league system. Francessa came off as an ignorant bully.
9. This will be a very interesting winter that we know for sure.
10/27/2003 07:58:00 PM
NFL PICKS FROM WEEK 8
(Home team in CAPS)
Panthers +2 over SAINTS
Panthers 23 SAINTS 20(OT) W
John Carney hit a 42-yard FG for the Saints with just 36 seconds left in the game to tie the score at 20-20. That was the only points the Saints scored in the second half. The Saints won the OT coin toss and received the ball first. Michael Lewis took the kick off to the Panthers 43 yard line. The Saints moved the ball down to the Panther 37 yard line where they were faced with a 4th and 1. Jim Haslett had a tough choice; do you go for a 50 yd FG or try for the yard and move the ball closer? Twice Haslett had gone for it on 4th down, the second time was a 4th and 10 that the Saints made that set up Carney�s game tying FG. But, the third time was not a charm, as Aaron Brooks gave the ball to Duce McAllister who tried to run off right tackle but was pushed back by Julius Peppers. Peppers knocked the ball away from Duce and the Panthers recovered it. Stephen Davis then took off on a 34yard jaunt to add to his Panthers team record of 178 yards and set up a John Kasay 31 yd game winning FG. The Panthers have a 3-0 road record.
Titans 30 JAGUARS 17 W
Steve McNair added another chapter in his MVP season with a 21-27 187 yards and 1TD and 1 INT to lead the Titans. Eddie George showed some life is still left in him with 27 carries for 88 yards and 2 TD�s. The Titans held the ball in a 4th quarter drive for 11:14 that resulted in a Gary Andersen FG. Jags head coach Jack Del Rio will be bringing chain saw to the next practice.
PATRIOTS 9 Browns 3 W
ZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz oh oh ��is the game over?��..damn I must have passed out from the boredom. 3 Adam Vinatieri FG�s were all I need for a three game sweep. SWEET!
WEEK 8 3-0
10/27/2003 07:49:00 PM
PRESS CONFERENCE TOMORROW AT SHEA, JR SKILL SETS IS OUT BUYING THE COLD CUTS.
The Duke gets his button tomorrow and will be a made man. Good for him. He's worked his way up the ladder and by trading off some of the unproductive dead wood and saving money, he has endeared himself to the Skill Sets.
Just one little warning there Duke, you better hope that Marco Scutaro does not become the A's everyday 2nd baseman and produces like I think he can. If he does, I will be on you like white on rice brother.
10/27/2003 07:44:00 PM
OMAR MINAYA SAYS �HASTA LA VISTA BABY� TO THE METS
The bottom line here is Minaya loves being called GM. He feels that even though the Mets offered him more money and an opportunity to �come home�, he did not want to be a co-GM. So with the Reds job off the table and the Mariner job not an option for him, Malaya goes back North of the border in a dead end job.
The Mets are better off with Minaya turning them down. It seems though if the Mets made his title General Manager he would have taken the job. But that would not be fair to the Duke who has more than earned the job and the title. The Skill Sets will now go out and find an �old head� to work with the Duke in a scouting/advisory capacity.
I�m more concerned with the Mets signing Rick Peterson now that Billy Beane has given his blessing to leave the A�s. Hopefully they will hold a press conference this week to announce the Duke and Petersen�s positions.
As I was perusing the latest issue of Baseball America, (issue 0322 with Branden Webb on the cover) I came across this little tidbit on page 34 in the Prospect Pulse article. A scout gave this review of Mets 2nd base prospect Victor Diaz:
�I don�t like him at all� the scout said. �He can hit and he�ll probably get his share of AB�s at the major league level, but he absolutely has no position. It�s kind of a joke to play him at second base. I haven�t seen him at third base and don�t know why he�s not there. He�s really wide and overweight. If I saw good makeup, I�d say he�s going to work, develop and lose weight, but I don�t trust his makeup. Pitchers who can really pitch can make him look bad. He can�t handle up-and-in at all. He�s bailing out.�
Even with all that, Diaz has proven he can hit, so maybe a move to the outfield is in order. This is not the first time that Diaz�s attitude has been in question. From what I�ve read about him, he seems to be a second coming of Ryan Thompson, who also carried a big chip on his shoulder.
Sunday, October 26, 2003
10/26/2003 10:49:00 AM
Have you ever seen the movie "MOONSTRUCK"? If you did, you know the scene at the end in the kitchen when the grandfather starts crying while everyone is happy? His daughter asks him, "Pop, why are you crying"? and the old man responds "I'm a so confused". Well that's how I feel about what's going on with the Mets front office moves.
Yesterday David Lennon in NEWSDAY reported that Omar Minaya was ready tojoin the MEts with The Duke as the front office wonder kids. Now today in the New York Times Rafel Hermoso reports that Minaya had turned down the Mets and will go back North of the Border to the Liitle Sisters of the Poor aka the Expos.
Hopefully all this will sort itself out this week and the front office can get down to bussines of "04.
10/26/2003 09:56:00 AM
World Series Game 6
Marlins 2 Yankees 0
The Florida Marlins win the World Series 4 games to 2 and are the World Champions of baseball
Mystique and Aura......SEEEEE YA!!!!
Hello Santini Brothers Movers? This is the BOSS! No... not Bruce Springsteen you moron, THE BOSS! Steinbrener. I'm going to need a bunch of boxes and about two trucks up here at 161 st & River Ave The Bronx. I have a lot of crap I have to move.
The 2003 baseball season is over and who the hell would have thought that the Florida Marlins would be the World Series champs? No one! All the talk here in NYC is about what the Yankees did not do-hit with men on base and in scoring position, and not pitch effectively in middle relief-but no one is giving credit to the Marlins and National League baseball.
Let's hear it for "Little Ball" and I don't mean Grady. Speed, defense, moving runners, hitting behind runners and of course pitching. Somewhere the White Rat Whitey Herzog is smiling and enjoying this win by the Marlins.
The whole Yankee organization is a tense as a tight rope. I know all about the history and prestige of the Yankees. I probably know Yankee history better than most Yankee fans, but it has to suck to play under the conditions the Yankee players, coaches and management have to everyday. Working for a miserable lout like Steinbrenner has to be bad for ones' health.
Don Zimmer annouced last night that he will not be back with the Yankees next season. Exactly what is Zimmer's function anyway beside being Joe Torre' toady?
Josh Beckett came into game 6 last night with a "don't give a shit attitude" that I haven't seen since the '86 Mets. His curve ball is not one of those classic 12 to 6 curves, it's more of a hard curve that the Yankees hitter just could not figure out. Becketts fastball was in the upper 90's but when the Yankees had baserunners, Beckett nailed them with that curve to stop any threat. It was a pleasure watching Beckett pitch this post season. We Mets fans can only dream that Scott Kazmir will be in the same spot as the Mets ace one day.
Hummm 3 days rest, you think this idea might catch on?
Enough about the Highlanders. IT's time to focus on the 2044 NEW YORK METS!!!!!!!!!!!
Saturday, October 25, 2003
10/25/2003 09:24:00 AM
NEWS ITEM : CALL THE CATERER! LOOKS LIKE A BIG PRESS CONFERENCE NEXT WEEK AT SHEA
According to NEWSDAY, It looks like Omar Minaya and The Duke will form the two-headed bosses of a front office overhaul that should get the Mets back in contention.
Also Billy Beane has kissed Rick Peterson on the cheek and gave his blessing to come home and rebuild the Mets organizational approach to pitching. I can see Billy Beane like Paul Cicero in the movie "GoodFellas" when he sent Henry Hill away
Beane: Rick you were a good boy, put now I have to turn my back on you"
Peterson "Ah Billy it don't have to be this way...(Beane now puts a few bucks into Petersons hand probability about 4 bucks)
Peterson "Ah Billy"
Hey Rick don't worry about Billy, he'll get over it. What you have to concentrate on now is Aaron Heilman and Scott Kazmir.
Game 6 tonight and Jack McKeon is being taken to task about starting Josh Beckett on 3 days rest. Look, McKeon is not a by the book manager. He's a hunch guy. His hunch is they can get to Pettitte and that Beckett with his overpowering fastball and fantastic command will shut down a Yankee team that has not hit in the clutch all year not just in the post season. I guess when your McKeon age you can throw caution to the wind.
The only thing to watch with Beckett is he is now a loyal member of the "I HATE THE YANKEES CLUB" and maybe too pumped up for the start. Watching him being interviewd at his locker yesterday he looked like he was ready to scream F the Yankees. He feels no one is crediting the Fish for beating the Yanks, it's more, what's wrong with the Yanks.
Friday, October 24, 2003
10/24/2003 05:56:00 PM
NFL WEEK 8 PICKS
(Home team in CAPS)
Last Weeks record 0-3
YTD Record 10-9-2
Can you believe the NFL season is at the half way
PATRIOTS -5 1/2 over Browns
Browns offense is in disarray as Butch Davis has
to pick a QB he either goes with Sodom( Kelly
Holmcomb) or Gomorra (Tim Couch). With a win over
the Dolphins last week, The Men of Belichick,
although swamped by injuries are proving each week
to be well prepared. Look for Tom Brady to enjoy
some success vs. the Browns pass D as it has given
up a pass percentage of 58 % to it�s opponents.
The key match up will be Browns DE Courtney Brown
vs. RT Tom Ashworth. Brown has been a very good
pass rusher this year and the neophyte Ashworth
will have his hands full here. Pats are a +7 in
takeaways and the Browns are a -2 in that
category. Romeo Crennel, the Pats Defensive
Coordinator will be a head coach (Giants?) next
Panthers +2 over SAINTS
These teams last met just 3 weeks ago at Erricson
Stadium where the Panthers beat the Saints 19-13.
The Panthers have won 5 of the last 7 meetings.
Jake Delhomme always circles these games against
his ex-mates. A good battle of RB�s as the Saints
run Duce Mc ALlister and the Panthers go with top
flight back Stephen Davis. Panthers outstanding DL
must keep Aaron Brooks in the pocket where he does
less damage than if he rolls out or scrambles.
After a set back by the Titans last week John Fox
gets the fellas back on track against Norlins�.
Titans -3 1/2 over JAGS
Soon to be league MVP Steve Mc Nair leads the
Titan charges into Alltel Stadium to ax the Jags.
Big pluses for Titans in this one is their
excellent Red Zone Defense and their + 5 in the
Take/Give category. What you wants to see in this
game is if the torch at RB is being passed from
Eddie George to Robert Holcombe. George at 30
years of age has hit a wall that seems in possible
for him to break through.
10/24/2003 12:11:00 PM
WORLD SERIES GAME 5
Marlins 6 Yankees 4
Marlins lead the series 3 game to 2
If your a Yankee fan then you may have thought
about the words of that great Lower East side
philosopher, Mugs McGunises who at one time said
�Deese are some revoltin� developments� WOW! Where
Memo to David Wells: Be careful what you say at
World Series press conferences, it may come back
to bite you in your big fat ass. Wells before the
game was so jovial at the pre game press
conference, reveling in the way he never exercises
and just so happy in the fact that he�s a big fat
slob. It seems he was even taking a shot at Roger
Clemens for being such a fitness buff and saying
that even though he does not work out he has a
rubber arm and is still pitching effectively at 40
years of age. So what happens, he goes just one
inning last night because of back spasms. Jolly
ol� David could not answer the bell for the
Yankees and put Joe Torre and the team behind one
huge 8 ball. Jose Contreras had to come into the
game. If you could read Contreras mind it would
have said �jodete y aprieta el culo�. Even though
he was told about Well�s balky back and was also
told to be on call early, Contreas was clearly
uncomfortable coming in the game so early. His
bread and butter pitches, the slider and the
forkball, were all up in the strike zone. His
pitches were up enough for his opponent Brad Penny
to bang out a 2 run single. Contreas lasted 3
innings and allowed 4 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks,
That brings to Jason Giambi. Now the story is
Torre saw him limping around the batting cage and
said he did not like what he saw and was taking
him out of the lineup. Unless that knee is so bad
that a doctor says �if you play on it you will
inflict more damage� You tell your manager there
is no way I�m sitting. Giambi did not do that.
Basically, Giambi baled on his team. If he did not
pinch hit-an homer by the way-I would not be
ripping him, but he can say he felt he was a
liability in the field all he wants, circumstances
warranted that he play. With Wells telling the
team he was hurting and Torre benching Soriano
(more on that in a sec)Giambi has to suck it up
and play. Jeter is wrapped from his shoulder to
his elbow in ice after every game, how does Giambi
have the onions to look Jeter in the eye. There�s
a reason that the A�s do not miss Giambi.
Joe Torre listened to the fans and the talk radio
over reactors and benched Soriano. A little advise
to Father Joe courtesy of Bob Knight. �When you
start listing to the people in the stands, you end
up joining them�. I have never seen a guy go from
sugar to shit as fast as Sori has. This guy was
the toast of the town. 40-40 man. The best player
in baseball. Can do it all. But now that he is
slumping, Yankee management and fans have kicked
him to the curb. If the Yankees are looking to
move Sori, but him on the 7 train to the Willetts
Pt/Shea Stadium stop and I�ll meet him there and
carry his bags to the clubhouse for him.
Is there anything better than watching Georgie
Porgie getting all agitated watching last nights
game? If I�m FOX, I would put a camera on him all
night and show it on a Pay per View channel. I
swear they would make a boat load of dough on
that. In the 2nd inning when Contreas came into
the game, Georgie had a look on his face like
�WTF? I pictured Larry David doing his
Steinbrenner impersonation from Seinfeld �Oohh
what�s this oooo great jimmies I love jimmies on
my ice cream, ummm ummm good. Hey what�s this? Why
is my Cuban out there? Oh no did I fall asleep gee
whiz what the hell happen. What inning is it? the
2nd? Where�s Fat Boy? WHERE THE HELL IS FAT BOY?
Where�s the phone COSTANZAAAAAAAAAAA! Then FOX
showed Pee-Wee Herman...err I mean Brian Cashman
leave his seat and head out to the concourse. Spys
tell the Kranepool Society they over heard him
talking to himself while fiddling with his cell
Cashman: Shit! what�s that number? I thought I had
it in my address file....oh OK here it is, of
course 718-507-METS. Hello? Hello? Yes, Jeff
Wilpon please...yes tell him it�s Brian...thanks..
Jeff? Jeff? Hi... yes we are down a few runs
here..what? yes it�s warm..too damn warm in
fact...listen Let me ask you... Omar didn�t take
the job yet did he? no? ok..listen you got that
resume I sent you? you did! Great......
I�m having my fun now but you know how miserable
life will be if the Yankees come back and take 2
in Yankee Stadium. The worst part is, no one would
be shocked if that happened.
Thursday, October 23, 2003
10/23/2003 08:54:00 PM
World Series Game 4
Marlins 4 Yankees 3
Series is tied at 2 games apiece
I�ve always said that in game strategy is not Joe Torre�s strong suit, but I can�t see killing him on the decision to bring in Jeff Weaver to pitch in the 11th inning last night. Let�s take a look at the circumstances that lead to this decision shall we. First, the inability of the Yankee offense to hit with men on base has been a bugaboo all season. It is just more pronounced in this post season. But going 2 for 11 with men in scoring position and scoring a total of one run with the bases loaded twice, by the Yanks in a position that they had to rely on Weaver. If you want to hang this loss on someone, try Aaron Boone. I know it�s no consolation to Red Sox fans, but if it weren�t for that game 7 game winning homer, Boone would have been court marshaled by General Steingraber by now. As it is, Boone�s Yankee career will probaly last just another 2 or 3 games anyway. After Ruben Sierra tripled in the tying runs, Boone could not get him home as he grounded out to end the inning. Then in the 11th inning with the bags loaded he strikes out leaving it up to little used back up catcher John Flaherty to get the big hit. Flaherty popped out to 3rd base.
So that brings me back to Joe Torre and his decision to bring in Jeff Weaver. Who would you bring in the game from this list of relievers? Felix Heredia, Gabe White, and Chris Hammond, all lefties and Mo Rivera. The Fish go more to the right than Sean Hannity, so which one of those flawed lefties would you like Torre to bring in? Also, the pitchers spot just batted in the 11th so who ever you bring in would have to possibly pitch a few innings where those fore mentioned relievers could go 2 innings the most. Now Weaver pitched a fine 1-2-3 inning in the 11th and I know Yankee fans were grateful for that, but when they saw him take the hill for the 12th they were strapping on a pair of Depends. Well folks, welcome to the REAL WORLD which is must different than the REEL WORLD that Yankee fans live in. Sometimes Shit happens. Sometimes a 3rd baseman, who could not hit his way out of a paper bag, hits a home run that breaks the other teams heart. Then sometimes an 8th position hitting shortstop, who could not buy a hit, gets a game winning home run. Sometimes it�s good to be on the other side of misery Yankee fans, it will make you better people. This is not the 1996-2000 Yankees. These Yankees have flaws just like every other team in baseball. They have awful middle relief, they can�t hit with runners in scoring position and they are a terrible defensive team. But through the strength of the best starting pitching in baseball and top offensive players like the now hated Sorriano and the new flavor of the month Matsui and the possible MVP Jorge Possada and of course the help of a clueless manager of the Old Towne Team, they find themselves in the World Series.
It�s just their luck that they find themselves up against a team who in the words of Josh Beckett � Are to stupid to realize where they are�. It �s like when Billy Beane talks about the difference between himself and teammate Lenny Dykstra, in MONEYBALL, when both were Mets farm hands. Beane spent all his time thinking and worrying about his at bats and most of the time he failed to be a productive player. Where as Dykstra had that �Who gives a shit attitude� and he became the star. Those are the Marlins. Beckett�s attitude is similar to Dykstra�s. When Beckett was asked about seeing the monuments in Yankee Stadium and was asked about the aura about stadium he said � They're just monuments. None of them will be stepping into the batters box with a bat� If you�re a Yankee fan that kind of attitude should scare you.
I thought Roger Clemens got a bit shook after Miguel Cabrea hit the homer of him in the 1st. His first pitch to Cabrea was high and very tight. It was Clemens saying here you go you little whippersnapper try this in for size. You could see that Cabrea was quite pissed about that pitch, because he chased two bad pitches for strikes right after that. But then Cabrea again showed that he is a special player. He settled himself down and thought where and what he�s going to do now with a two-strike count. If there is anything we learned about Cabrera this post season it�s that he is an outstanding two-strike hitter. And he also can hit the ball the other way like a ten-year vet. So what does he do with Clemens�s 2-2 pitch? He hits it over the right field wall for a 3 run homer. It was a breathtaking at bat.
This great post season continues, I know I�m going to miss all this when it�s over.
Wednesday, October 22, 2003
10/22/2003 01:13:00 PM
World Series Game 3
Yankees 6 Marlins 1
Yankees lead the series 2 games to 1
It was a good game till the 8th inning. Well, you could say that the tide was turning after the 39 minute rain delay in the 5th. Beckett had masterful stuff. Just nasty. But as we saw when he returned to the mound after the delay, his velocity was down 3-4 mph. We also saw that middle relief for the Fish is non existent. The only viable lefty that McKeon has is Dontrelle Willis who has been a starter all season and now finds himself as the stop gap in the pen. Let's not kid ourselves, the Marlins HAD to win that game last night. And things looked good till it started raining. By the way, what was crew chief Randy Marsh waiting for the water to be up to his arse to call for the tarp? There were puddles forming on the infield when he decided to call time.
I thought HP ump Gary Darling was squeezing the strike zone on Beckett. In the 4th with the bases loaded and Posada up on the 2-2 pitch that look like a good inside fastball for a strike. And the 3-2 pitch that Posada took for ball 4 and let in the tying run, look too good to call it ball 4. I thought as well as Jack McKeon that is was at the knees and too close to take.
How do you say World series MVP in Japanese? Hideki Matsui.
The Series is over. I can't see the Marlins beating Clemens tonight and Wells tomorrow. You know what? Good. Get it over with and let the other 28 teams get down to bussienes in getting there teams ready for 2004. Let the Mets name their new GM and pitching coach. Let the players who are eligible file for free agency and lets get the off season going.
10/22/2003 12:25:00 PM
METS NEWS: METS TO NAME DUKE GM
According to Newsday, The Mets will drop the
interim title from The Duke and name him as the
full time GM of the team. They have also offered
the job of Vice President/Chief Talent Evaluator
to Omar Minaya.
Good for The Duke. He deserves to named to the GM
post and hopefully Omar will accept the position
that the Mets have offered him, so the Mets can
get ready for an off season that could be the
difference to the Mets contending in 1 or 2 years
or sliding off into also ran land.
Minaya has a big decision to make. The two jobs
that it seems he�s been offered besides the Mets
job is GM for the Reds and GM for the Mariners.
Let�s look at all three positions. First, the Reds
job to me is a nice title and would have him run
the whole show but Bananas Linder is a cheap
bastard. So if Omar takes that job he goes from
the desuetude Expos to the fixed income Reds. The
Mariners job is extremely attractive. Beautiful
ballpark. Beautiful part of the U.S.. Tremendous
revenues. But, Howard Lincoln and George Armstrong
are vicious bastards. As we have seen the last two
seasons, both Lincoln and especially Armstrong
will not spend any of the flow of revenue that
Safeco Field is producing to bring in that player
or players at the trade deadline that could but
the M�s over the top. Then you have the Mets job.
First the pros. Omar is a Queens guy, He grew up
here and attended Newtown High School. He knows
the Mets organization and although he may have
felt slighted that he was passed over when Swarmy
Steve Phillips was caught with his pants down and
was replaced temporarily by Frank Cashen, I think
he realized the Mets were in a state of shock at
the time and needed a experience baseball man to
keep the ship on course. The job he�s being
offered is consist of being the overseer of the
whole baseball operation. He will have control of
the scouting department and the minor league
system. While he scouts players and runs the on
field operation, The Duke would take care of
dealing with agents and all the day to day duties
that are involved in the administrative end of the
organization. The other intangibles working in the
Mets favor is he lives in New Jersey so he would
be home. He would get a substantial raise and if
he could lead a mid-80�s like resurgence of the
Mets he knows it would lead to bigger and better
things for him. To me I can�t see how Minaya turns
this down. But, he could because where do Jr.
Skill Sets and Dave the Lawyer fit in the
equation? The deal would have to be that both
these guys not butt in in the baseball end of this
job. Now I know that might be impossible but it
could be the deal breaker. If it is...I don�t even
want to think about that.
Also in the NY Post report and reported elsewhere,
it seem that Billy Beane has backed off on his
demand that the Mets take T-Long in letting Rick
Peterson join the Mets as their Pitching
Coach/Coordinator. But Michael Morrisey also
mentions in his report that the Mets will ask the
Braves for permission to speak to John Schuerholz.
I find that very hard to believe.
So far so good, things look like they are moving
in a positive direction for the Amazin�s
Tuesday, October 21, 2003
10/21/2003 08:43:00 PM
I was 10 years old back in 1968. It was the first year I really was really smitten with baseball. I had been going to games since I was 6, when Shea Stadium first opened but it was in that summer of �68 that I was playing everyday in the spring and summer and following the game daily on TV and in the newspapers. I remember watching Denny McClain win his 30 Th game on �The Game of the Week� with Dizzy Dean as the game analyst. Going to Shea to see the Giants with Willie Mays and Willie McCovey and the Phillies with Richie Allen. It was October of that year that really cemented in my mind how baseball and the World Series impacted people�s lives. It was game 1 of the �68 Series and I could not wait to get out of school because I lived just a block away from P.S. 105 and I figured I would only miss an inning of the game. I did not want to miss Bob Gibson make his start for the NL Champs St. Louis Cardinals. But then it hit me, I had to go for religious instructions after school till 4:00PM AH MAN! How could I get out of this? I could not go home and lie to my mother that I was sick because the only thing as bad a Jewish guilt is Irish-Catholic guilt. So off I went to St Francis De Chantal School praying that the Lord would make it rain in St. Louis just to delay the game. When I got to the school is when my view of baseballs grip was realized.
The priest who taught the religion class was Father. Kern. He comes into the classroom and we are as still as the statues that line the walls. He goes to the desk in the front of classroom to address us. �Class today as many of you know is the first game of the World Series. There is something you may not know. I was born and raised in Detroit Michigan. So as of right now with the first pitch about 15 minutes away, CLASS DISMISSED!.
HUH? You mean to say Father that we can go home? �Yes, go home and watch the game. WOW The World Series was bigger than learning about the Sacraments. WOW.
I bring this whole diatribe up because I�m a tad annoyed with some Yankee fans. Wait, you know what? I �m pissed off at a lot of Yankee fans. There is a segment of that sect that is treating the World Series like some kind of nuisance. If I hear one more Yankee fan say �That beating the Red Sox was our World Series� I�m going to put my foot up their pinstriped interlocking NY no name on the back�.of course, ass. How dare you ignorant slugs decide that the World Series is not important? The only other person who has that kind of view of the World Series is Alan H. Selig and he�s a moron.
These �fans� act like the World Series is some inconvenience. They feel the city should have had the ticker tape parade already, for the Yankees win over the Red Sox. Now I know it�s not all Yankee fans. The fans of my generation and older still have an appreciation for what it means to be the World Champions of baseball. It�s the new breed, the 25-35 year old who annoys the shit out of me. You know the type, he sits in the stands and calls his friends on his cell phone to tell them �Yo look-a me I�m on TV� and waves at the TV camera. It�s the same behavior you see at the zoo when you pass the baboon cages. They have no clue as to the history of their team or of baseball and they could care less about it as well. Then they have the gumption to call themselves �Die Hard Yankee Fans� What? What have you died hard from, the 2001 World Series? Please stop! You embarrass yourselves with your ignorance. They are also the same idiots who were calling talk radio after the first game loss to the Twins and were ready to disband the team. �Trade Bernie� �Trade Soriano� �Giambi Stinks� and on and on just embarrassing themselves. I guess they take their queue from the teams� owner Georgie Porgie who acts in a similar fashion. But the one way they show their true personalities is when I ask me �How can you root for the Mets�?
I get that question a lot from Yankee fans. Not from the Yankee fans who have been my friends for years, because they know the passion I have for the Mets. It�s mostly from that 20-30 year old group I mentioned before. I try to explain to them that when you choose to align yourself with a team, they�re your team for life. It�s why as pissed off as I am about how the Mets season went, I will be on line at Shea in February, freezing my ass off, when tickets for the 2004 season go on sale. The same way Red Sox fans, whose hearts have been broken more than J-Lo�s lovers will be at Fenway, buying the most expensive tickets in baseball. Somehow I cannot see this new breed of Yankee fan doing that if and when the Yankees take a tumble. It�s not in their make up to be like that. You know, their not what you�d call �foxhole guys�.
So Yankee fans watch tonight�s Game 3 to see if your guys can�t beat the Fightin� Fish and Josh Beckett. If the Fish win tonight, then we will have a series of at least 6 games. If the Yankees win then you can start getting your spot on Broadway for the parade. But remember, what your experiencing now with your team is a gift not a privilege.
Monday, October 20, 2003
10/20/2003 08:14:00 PM
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!
10/19/2003 12:22:00 PM
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.
10/19/2003 11:39:00 AM
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
10/18/2003 11:30:00 AM
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
10/18/2003 11:10:00 AM
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
10/17/2003 11:20:00 AM
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
10/16/2003 02:58:00 PM
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
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
Who can predict what will happen in this game?
Just sit back and enjoy this game like a night at
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
10/15/2003 12:24:00 PM
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
``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
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
10/14/2003 09:19:00 PM
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:
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.
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!
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.
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
10/13/2003 05:11:00 PM
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!
10/13/2003 04:37:00 PM
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
10/13/2003 11:29:00 AM
ALCS Game 4
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 .
10/13/2003 11:12:00 AM
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.
10/12/2003 12:43:00 PM
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!
10/12/2003 11:10:00 AM
"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
10/11/2003 09:59:00 AM
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.
10/10/2003 08:24:00 PM
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.
10/10/2003 08:19:00 PM
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
10/09/2003 11:33:00 PM
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.
10/09/2003 09:18:00 PM
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
10/08/2003 02:14:00 PM
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.
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.
10/08/2003 01:38:00 PM
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
10/07/2003 09:48:00 PM
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?
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.