The Eddie Kranepool Society

Sunday, November 30, 2003

I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving-well Yankee fans and turkeys(same species)didn't we know that. The Red Sox gave their fans an early holiday present with the acquisition of Curtis Montague Schilling to their rotation. As for us Mets fans, well we're waiting for the Mets to release their 2004 schedule so we can see when Pokey Reese Do-Rag Day will be. Joel Sherman has his take on who the Mets should be targeting with free agent cash. Let�s look at some of the names on his list. A middle defense with Cameron, Matsui and Jose Reyes would be so good that it would be like making an investment in pitching, as well. After the recent misery of dropped balls and plodding play, Met fans would certainly appreciate the glove work/athleticism of that trio. Mike Cameron has been the flavor of the month for some time now with the NY media. Sherman stated in his column that Cameron is �Andruw Jones-esque in CF� WHEW! some pretty high praise their. Is Cameron a supierior CF? Yes. But I always think of Wille Mays who said that CF at Shea was the toughest in all of baseball to play. As we all know the Say-Hey Kid was THE GREATEST CF of all time! Ok back to Camereon, here are some of his offensive numbers from the last three years: 2001 .267/.353./.480 25 HR 110 RBI 29 Win Shares 2002 .239/.340/.442 25 HR 80 RBI 19 Win Shares 2003 .253/.344/.431 18 HR 76 RBI 21 Win Shares Well it seems the bulk of his All Star caliber Win Share rating comes from his defense, since his offensive totals are not really in that class. What really stands out is his strikeout numbers, which are Rob Deer-esque: 2001: 155 K 2002 176 K 2003 137 K So the question is who is bidding on this guy besides the Mets? The Mariners would love to have him back, The A�s would love to have him patrolling the vast CF of Al Davis Stadium and the Padres, who will be rolling in the dough this season at their new home, all have an interest in Cameron. So how much will it cost? Well, Cameron, who is 31 years old, made $7 mil last year on the end of a 3 yr. $15.5 mil deal. Is he worth more than a 3 yr. $21 mil dollar contract? Maybe to the Mets he is, since the weakest link in the farm system is OF, and especially CF, since Jeff Duncan seems to translate into a 4th outfielder at best. If I�m the Duke I offer 3 yrs. $20.5. I do not go over 3 years with Cameron and I nudge maybe to $21.5 and that�s a strong maybe. I don�t think the M�s, A�s or Pods will contend that. <

Friday, November 28, 2003

WEEK 13 NFL PICKS Patriots +4 over COLTS Any time I can get the Patriots PLUS points, I�m getting froggy. Pats QB Tom Brady is back to his Super Bowl form and is as confident and productive as any QB right now in the NFL. Tony Dungy is the master of the Cover-2 Defense but a Brady will hit his receivers right off the line with passes and get valuable yards-after-catch (YAC). With Ted Washington back clogging the middle and with Peyton Manning, who has never done well against the Patriots, with an iffy wing, the Pats should squeak this one out. Attention Messers Mara and Tisch Please hire Patriot Defensive Coordinator Romeo Crennel as the New York Football Giants next Head Coach. RAVENS -3 over 49ers The Niners defensive and offensive are banged up badly, so with Jamal Lewis running for the Ravens and the fired up Ravens D lead by Ray Lewis and add in the Niners are 0-5 on the road, while the Ravens are 4-1 at home this looks like a long day for the Red & Gold. One bright spot for the 49ers is the return of QB Jef Garcia who claims he�s healed and rested from his ankle injury. Great for him, after this game on Sunday he will have a fresh batch of black and blues. Chiefs -7 over CHARGERS The Chargers have given up on the season and maybe even the on the City of San Diego. Alex Spanos the Chargers owner, is trying very hard to get out of his lease at Quallacom Stadium. He�s doing this in order to hold the city hostage as he plays the �Move to a New City Card� by holding a move to LA over the city leaders of SD�s head, for a more lucrative payout for the San Diego city fathers. Spanos figures he wants to strike first before the Ursays of Indy do. Oh as for the game, the Chargers have lost 16 of their last 20 games as Marty (my coaching career is Shott)enheimer turns to 57 year old Doug Fluite to try and put at least one in the win column. That won�t happen on Sunday. The only thing �Tears on my Pillow� Vermile has to worry about in this one is boredom. <

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

MIKE PIAZZA'S HOLIDAY MESSAGE TO THE METS AND THEIR FANS: "I LIKE YOU, I REALLY LIKE YOU" In an interview with the Newark-Star Ledger, Mike Piazza says there is no truth to the rumors that (a) He wants off the Mets and (b) He has a problem playing 1st base. Here are some spin...err I mean quotes from Piazza: "I don't want to be traded," Piazza told The Star-Ledger in a casual, matter-of-fact tone by phone yesterday from his L.A. home. "I signed on for seven years. I made a seven-year commitment and I plan to stick to it. I don't know where all this came from, but it didn't come from me. What hurts me is that the fans are confused, and they shouldn't be. It's kind of embarrassing. It shouldn't be about me. It should be about making the team better." Translation: "There is no market for a 35 year old catcher with diminishing skills who is coming off a serious injury and is owed $30 mil over the next 2 years. That is, there is no market where I would like to go, that would pay my contract. Where? Arlington Texas? Are you kidding? Sure, I want to catch in 100 degrees in the middle of August with a team that's 20 games out of 1st place." "I'm just trying to be accommodating, to help the team. I think we should have open lines of communication and we should be adults about it. They shouldn't be afraid to come talk to me about anything. I'll do whatever they want me to do. My agent was quoted saying I'm willing to play first base. I've said it over and over again. What do I have to do, go to the top of a mountain at high noon and sign it in blood?" Translation: "Artie if you have something to say to me, then SAY IT TO ME, DAMNIT!. Don't go to MSG or WFAN or the Oxygen Channel, SEE ME FIRST! "Mistakes were made," he said, "but there wasn't irreparable damage. I'm not sitting around stewing over it. When I signed with the Mets, I looked at it as a marriage -- through good and bad, sickness and in health, for richer or poorer. You don't just bail out because of a couple of things." Translation:Artie, If you go to the press again about playing me at 1st base before talking to me, your going to get a size 12 Nike in your ass" So, why didn't he call a press conference, issue a statement, hire a public relations firm and make a rebuttal when the recent media furor grew and grew? "I didn't think it was necessary," he said. "It was so silly I didn't want to give any credence to it. I mean, if I was going to say something, I would say it. I wouldn't leak it out or whatever. I'm a pretty straightforward guy." Translation: "Now if the said I was gay and wouldn't play 1st base then I would have went on Larry King to set the record straight" <

So Sr. and Jr. Skill Sets went to the Flushing Savings Bank to cash in that 3 yr CD they had so they could make an offer to 2nd baseman Luis Castillo. It was a tough decision because the bank officer threw a monkey wrench into the works by offering the Skill Sets a George Foreman Grill and the Westclock AM/FM Clock Radio if they rolled over the CD. The Duke says the Mets offer to Castillo is simmlar to what the Fish offered, which is 3 yrs $15.5 mill, and I don't think either team will go much higher than that. Castillo would be a marked improvement to anyone the Mets have had a 2nd base since Fonzie went to SF. With Reyes and Castillo at the top of the order you finally have two top table setters, now with Prince Mikey and Cliff Floyd at 3 and 4 followed by Phillips, Mike Cameron(?) and Reggie Sanders(?) and Wiggy in the 8th spot, we Mets fans may not have to renew our anti depressants. Hopefully, the Skill Sets have a couple of more CD's that are due. <

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

�CASSSSHMAAAAAAN.. GET IN HERE!!!!!!!!!!!! So bellowed Georgie Porgie when the news came out that Curt Schilling, upon agreeing to a contract extension, would join the Boston Red Sox. The Old Towne Team may have finally got one over on the Evil Empire. And the man with the biggest smile on his face? That would be Andy Pettite. Pettite can just sit back and see his price go up like the meter in a NYC Taxi stuck in Mid-Town traffic. Not just Pettite should be smiling either, Bartolo Colon, Gary Sheffield, and Kaz Matsui have finally found the team to be the free agent pace car. Those with frowns on their face would be Nick Johnson and Soriano, due to the fact both men will need to take French lessons as either one or both of them will be headed to Montreal for Javier Vasquez and Jose Vidro. Meanwhile on 126 Street and Roosevelt Ave, the Skill Set family is waiting for the 3 yr CD to come to due at the Flushing Saving Bank before they go free agent shopping. �Spahn and Sain and pray for rain� Warren Spahn the winningest left handed pitcher in baseball history, passed away at the age of 82. Not only was Spahn one of the great pitchers of all time, he was also a World World II hero, earning a battlefield commission and awarded the Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. Spahn had a solid repertoire of pitches. His strength was being able to throw his fastball, breaking ball and change all with the same motion. His uncanny ability to hit the black of the plate and have batters chase pitches out of the strike zone was his claim to fame. Just click here to see his career accomplishments from the good folks at baseball-reference .com as I did and marvel at this man�s career. The first one that stands out is 13 season of 20 wins or better and how about 16 season of over 260 IP 7 of those seasons Spahn pitched 290 innings or more. Spahn was at the end of his career when he joined the Mets and his first big league manager Casey Stengel. In fact, Spahn became the highest paid Met at $70,000 for the 1965 season. <

Monday, November 24, 2003

RECAP OF WEEK 12 NFL PICKS Home team in CAPS PACKERS -4 � over 49ers PACKERS 20 49ers 10 With Brett Farve still hampered by a broken right thumb, The Pack, led by the Big Dwags on the OL, and the running of Ahman Green, ran rough shod over the 49 ers �D�. Packer running backs combined for 243 yards on the ground lead by Green�s 154 yards on 24 carries. Najeh (Dump) Davenport pinched out 62 yards as well. Farve threw only 15 passes completing 10 of them for 152 yards and 2 TD. But he also threw 3 INTS. The Pack still remains a game back of the Vikes who also won on Sunday for the NFC North lead. Put this one in the win column for me. Patriots -6 over TEXANS Patriots 23 Texans 20 (OT) The Pats out gained the Texans 473 yards to 169 yards but still need 14min and 40 seconds of OT to beat the up and coming Texans. Adam Vinatieri kicked a FG to start the 4th quarter to make the score 13-10 Pats. The Texas took the lead when QB Tony Banks hit TE Billy Miller with a 12-yard TD pass to put the Texans up 17-13. Kris Brown then added a 31 yd FG and it looked like the Texans had a nice upset win at 20-13. The Pats defense then played a big series holding the Texans in check and getting the ball back for Tom Brady and one last drive. Brady drove the P-Men 80 yards in 9 plays topped off by a Brady to Daniel Graham TD pass and Vineteri extra point to send the game into OT. After a Mike Vrable INT the Texans Special Teams made a huge play when Ramon Walker leaped over the pile and blocked Vinitrei�s FG attempt, the first blocked kick in Texans history. But Viniteri was vindicated in a back and forth OT, when he hit the game winning FG with 41 seconds left in the game. A great game to watch but a loss for me. Titans -7 over FLACONS Titans 38 Falcons 31 The Titans were down 21-0 by the end of the 1st quarter. Then Steve McNair brought the Titans back with 2 TD passes to Frank Wycheck to make the score 21-14 Dirty Birds. It seem the comeback would go by the wayside as McNair injured his right calf and came out the game being replaced by Billy Volek. WHO? Yes THE Billy Volek. Volek threw a TD pass to Justin McCareins but the biggest play of the game was McCareins 58 yd punt return for a TD that put the Titans in the lead 28-24, a lead they held on to the rest of the game. Great comeback win for Jeff Fishers boys but a push for me. Week 12 record 1-1-1 YTD 17-16-3 <

Sunday, November 23, 2003

ITEM: PENNIES SCREAM OUCH! AS THEY ARE PINCHED BY THE WILPON'S Larry Rocca in today's Newark-Star Ledger reports that that The Duke had a deal with the White Sox that would have sent David Weathers to the Sox for closer Billy Koch. It seems this deal was agreed upon by the Duke, Artie from Queens, and Professor Rick. The problem was Skill Sets Sr. vetoed the deal because it would have cost the Mets a little less that $3 mil. That 's the difference between Koch's '04 salary ($6.375 mil) and Weathers ($3.6 mil). Although I am on record as saying signing a closer and paying him big money is ridiculous for this team, if this report is true then it is very disturbing. When your three main baseball men come to you and say I have a deal that we feel will make us better but it will cost a little less that $3 mil to do and the owner says NO! That's beyond discouraging. Even though Rocca states in the piece that the Mets could still land Koch, it looks like the Skill Sets are becoming the Dolan's. Rocca also touches on the return of Prince Mikey in '04. He mentions how Piazza is distant form his teammates (no suprise there) and how he has no love loss for Senator Al. It goes to show that those rumors of Titan Tommy Glavine not wanting to pitch to Piazza were not so far off. As I've said many times Prince Mikey is a strange bird. I think the youth movement the Mets are going toward worries Piazza .Since the team won't contened for a few years and the fact that Piazza does not seem the type to mentor the younger players. I think it's safe to say the Piazza will not comeback to the Mets as a hitting coach when he retires. <

Saturday, November 22, 2003

ITEM: MO VAUGHN VOWS TO COME TO SPRING TRAINING Paris Hilton has a better shot of regaining her virginity than Mo has of playing another inning for the Mets . ITEM:MIKE PIAZZA WANTS TO STAY A MET AND PLAY 1st BASE Did Piazza say this himself? Well, not exactly. I heard this from my mothers cousin, who heard it from his next door neighbor, who it from his nephew who's a door man, who heard it from a mail man, who knows the super in the building where Piazza lives. <

Friday, November 21, 2003

J.J. Cooper at Baseball America conducted a chat sesion on their web site exclusivley on the NY Mets farm system. It seems the Chat lasted a record 3 hours! Some of the highlights from the chat: Mets have a MnL RHP named Ceslo Rondon who is a hard thrower. But the best thing about him, he's bulit like Rich "El Guapo" Garces Tyler Yates, Royce Ring, Koyle Stayhorn all have a shot at becoming the Mets closer. It seems the Mets MnL's have a plethora of hard throwing relievers. Cooper is very high on Jeremy Griffiths, as am I Scott Kazmir and David Wright project as ML All Stars. That's according to ML scouts :>) 18 year old RHP Yuserio Petit pitched lights out for Kingsport in the Appy League last year. He poseses a +FB and +Ch & Curve. His K/BB ratio was 85:10. GIDDY UP !!! <

NFL PICKS WEEK 12 Home team in CAPS PACKERS -4 � over 49ers This is a survivor game for both teams. One team will go up to 6-5 and stay in the playoff hunt and the other drops to 5-6 and starts looking at future draft picks. With this game being played at Lambeau Field, the tundra will not be frozen but it could be sloppy as a winter storm could invade Green Bay on Sunday. The strength of the Packers is their massive offensive line, which has sprung RB Ahman Green loose for an NFC best 1,172 yds and 10 TD�s. Green is also been the QB Bret Farve's favorite target by air to the tune of 48 receptions and 4 TD�s. Farve is still bother by a sore thumb on his right throwing hand so a cold and blustery day it could hamper his throwing. The Packers have incentive as the wheels are starting to falloff the Vikings wagon. The Pack could close the Vikings lead in the NFC North to 1 game. Patriots -6 over TEXANS The Pats have been one of the great stories this year in football. Even with injuries and the release of a popular player in Lawyer Miloy, Bill Belichick has kept this team on top of the AFC East and made them a Super Bowl contender. The Patriots are winning with defense and the �D� will be even stronger with NT Ted (BIG HOUSE) Washington and LD Ted Johnson back in the line up. Titans -7 over FALCONS After scoring 30 or more points for 6 straight games, the Titans offense took last week off against the Jags and still won the game (10-3). No way the most underated head coach in football, Jeff Fisher allows that 2 weeks in a row. QB Steve Mc Nair should add to his league leading 16 TD passes in this one and the Tennessee D even without �THE FREAK� Jervon Kearse should have no problem with a Michael Vick-less Dirt Bird offense. <

Thursday, November 20, 2003

ITEM: THE DUKE HAS ACCTIVATED THE PIAZZA ALERT SYSTEM Stop me if you�ve heard this one before, Piazza and his agent will meet with the Mets next week. At a charity function last night in Brooklyn, Senator Al Leiter (R-NY) was asked if he has spoken recently to Prince Mikey. The Good Senator said, �No, I haven�t talked to him. Mike�s kind of hard to get a hold of, even if you�re his teammate and even if you have all his numbers� So, Prince Mikey has the phone off the hook. What does this guy do with his time? He doesn�t have a wife handing him a �honey-do� list or kids to take from place to place. Is he that busy that he can�t pick up a phone and call his employer who pays him a handsome sum of $15 mil a year? Yes this bugs the shit out of me. ITEM: JOHN FRANCO'S AGENT HOPES NEGOTIONS WITH METS WON'T DRAG ON. HHHOOOOOOO HOOOOO HAHHHAHAHAHA OOOOOOOO man is that funny or what? When asked about the contract negotiations Franco�s agent Dan Horwits said, �I hope it would be quick. For John�s sake, I hope it wouldn�t drag on� I damn near wet my pants reading that. Where is Franco going? He played this the last time his contract was up. He claimed he was going to Baltimore or Philly. Yeah right. John, please don�t piss on my leg and tell me it�s raining, take the one year deal for a couple a million in base salary and add some incentives and move off the line please. ITEM: METS LOOK TO WOO KAZ MATSUI I really don�t know why it annoys me that the Mets would move Jose Reyes to 2nd base to bring in Little Matsui? From all indication Kaz is the real deal both offensively and defensively. He�s a switch-hitting, power hitting, and Gold Glove shortstop. I mean if the Yankees can talk about moving Soriano to the outfield, and he�s hit 40 HR�s, why can�t the Mets move Reyes to 2nd base? ITEM: IBANEZ SIGNS WITH MARINERS So now the Mariners have 4 player for 3 spots. Ibanez and Ichiro are locked in so that leaves the object of the Mets affection Mike Cammeron and Randy Winn as the odd man out. How would you like to be Camereon? You play out your contract and hit the free agent market and you know the Mets want you badly. But then comes a market correction in salary AND one your teammates becomes available and may be a better fit than you for the Amazin�s. Winn is arbitration eligible so if push comes to shove he could be a non-tendered come December 20. The way it looks the Mariners will non-tender him so the Mets could swoop in and offer him 3 yr deal for $15 mil. Where does that leave Camerron? The only teams you�ve heard that had any interest in him are the Mets or the Mariners? This one we have to watch closely. ITEM: 14 YEAR OLD SIGNS WITH D.C. UNITED OF THE MSL George Steinbrenner hit the ceiling yesterday when he heard about the signing of 14 year old Freddy Adu to a 6 yr contract with D.C. United of the MSL. Here is a transcript of a phone conversation between Georgie Porgrie and Pee Wee Cashman: GS: CASHMAN!!! WHY WEREN�T WE IN ON THIS KID A-DO DO, SCOOBY DO, DO BE DO BE DO? BC: Ah Boss the kids name is Freddy Adu and he�s a 14 year old soccer player. GS: I DON�T CARE. WE COULD HAVE SENT HIM TO TAMPA WITH BIILY (Connors) AND TEACH HIM TO PITCH. BC: But Boss�.. GS: WHAT ABOUT 2nd BASE WE COULD HAVE PUT HIM THEIR MOVE THAT DAMN SORIANO TO THE OUTFIELD BC: Boss the young man plays SOCCER�.. GS: I JUST KNOW THAT BASTARD LUCHINO HAD SOMETHING TO DO WITH THIS BC: Boss, please listen to me for a minute�. GS: LISTEN TO YOU? GOD DAMNIT CAHSMAN YOU LISTEN TO ME, IF THIS KID DOODY DOO WINS THE HOME RUN CROWN AND THE RED SOX WIN THE PENNANT WITH HIM, I�LL CAN YOUR SORRY ASS! <

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

I found something very intersting while surfing through various web sites I like. One of them a Red Sox site called the Sons of Sam Horn had a posting on it's message board on Peter Gammons giving a talk at Harvard Law School. There is some extremly intersting points posted here. Such as: A-Rod to Boston for Manny is heating up. A-Rod wants to be a Red Sox very badly. In fact he told Buck and John Hart that both of them would lose thier jobs if this deal is not done. Andy Pettite is leaning toward the Astros but wants top dollar. Jeter asked Gammons how does Manny and Pedro get away with not talking to the media. Bartolo Colon will be pitching for the Evil Empire come April. <

I meant to link to this story yesterday. Tadahito Iguchi will NOT be headed toward the U.S. He has decide to stay in Japan and play 2nd base for the Daiei Hawks. So cross his name off the Mets list for a 2nd baseman. Alos cross of Adam Kennedy's name as it looks like he wil re-sign with the Angels. Marco, Marco wherefore art thou Marco? Tom Seaver now has an offical web site. I was so excited when I first entered into it becuase you hear some great monents from The Franchise's career. But the rest of the site leaves alot to be desired. I could do without the schilling of Seaver memrobillia. What makes that part worse is Seaver is just awful about signing autogrphs for fans. I got lucky when my brother met Tom Terrific at a dinner and got him to sign a baseball for me. As much as I love Seaver, I'm not paying $125 for his autograph. <

Bill Singer was given the pink slip by the Mets. You can't tell me this is the first time he's been stewed and made racists comments. The Duke needs to tighten up on the background checks on the new employees. <

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

TAKE YOUR PICK: The NY Daily News says: NAY ROD- MVP OPEN TO TRADE, BUT METS SAY DON�T CALL US The NY Post says: METS WANT A-ROD-SOURCE: AMAZIN�S TO MAKE PITCH FOR AL MVP The Kranepool Society says: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! Enough A-Rod already please I�m beggin� here. Why would the Mets want to go down this road again? All these stories today prove one thing, like the blind squirrel finding the acorn; Swarmy Steve Phillips was right about Rodriquez being a �24 and 1 guy� The guy wins his first MVP Award and all his press conference is about is his desire to be traded. He claims that the Rangers approached him about moving on, but here are a couple of items about Rodriquez you need to know. First, he has not returned any phone calls from manager Buck Showalter. It seems he�s pissed of at Buck for firing some gopher that worked in the Ranger clubhouse. He�s also mad because Buck gave him a day off last year and interrupted his consecutive games streak at a whopping 546. Who said money can buy happiness? Is he a great baseball player? Absolutely. He�s a phenomenal talent both offensively and defensively. But when he left Seattle, the next season the Mariners won116 games, a 25 games increase from the previous season, and the Rangers finished last. In fact, the Rangers have finished last the 3 seasons that Rodriquez has been there. A-Rod does not turn the Mets into a winning team. So why waste our time. Then you have his obscene contract. He is owed $21 mil for the �04 season and $179 mil for the seven years left on the deal. To add to this, he has incentive clauses in his contract. You see making $20 mil a year is not incentive enough, Rodriquez needs more. All he is is a pig at a trough. Take a look: 1st in MVP Voting-$500K All-Star Team-$100K Gold Glove-$100K Silver Slugger-$100K Baseball America Player of the Year-$100K The Sporting News Player of the Year-$100K The Sporting News All-Star Team-$100K Total=$1 mil Now I know he did not put a gun at Tom Hicks� head. But when you make that kind of scratch you need to shut your mouth about being traded. You should be out front and center to contributing making your team better. As great a talent as he is, A-Rod does not make his team better. The Skill Sets have gotten a bad rap as being cheap. I think they found out buying Trophy Players does not equate to winning. His contract cripples your team. Don�t you think Mets ticket prices are high enough? Do you want to pay $80.00 for a box seat? How about Upper Deck Reserve for $40.00? And for what, to watch some guy compile stats? I sure don�t. The agent for Mike Piazza held a s�ance yesterday and Mike�s sprit said �Mike has no problem playing 1st base next season and wants to remain a Met� Barry Bonds has notified the MLBPA that he does not want to be part of the unions licensing agreement. He and his �advisors� are going out and striking his own marketing deal. So, the younger players and journeymen who enjoy a nice stipend from the licensing deal will have to do without Bond sharing his likeness and name to. He�s an 800 and 1 guy. When he is inducted into the Hall of Fame, they can hold the ceremony in a phone booth. <

Monday, November 17, 2003

Doris from Rego Park was laid to rest yesterday. I saw this story from the Journal News on her just a little while ago. Of all the times I heard Doris on the radio I never knew her favorite Mets player of all time was Eddie Kranepool. Well, the woman had great taste. <

NFL WEEK 11 (Home team in CAPS) PANTHERS -6 over Redskins PANTHERS 20 Redskins 17 Stephen Davis was a little too hyped up for this payback game against his former team. He did settle down though to make two huge plays in the 4th quarter. The Panthers were down 17-13 and faced with a 4th and 1 at their own 38. QB Jake Delhomme pitched it to Davis who followed some outstanding lead blocking, to scamper down the sideline for 25 yards. 1st and 10 and the Panthers were rolling. Delhomme, who is growing in leaps and bounds each week at QB, threw a dart to WR Steve Smith for a 30 yard gain to the �Skins 7. 1st and goal Panthers. Now, you could see Davis� leg twitching just wanting to run the ball into the end zone for the game winner. Delhomme hands off to Davis who breaks a tackle but falls short a yard from the goal line. The Panthers go back to their bread and butter play and give the ball to Davis up the gut and he breaks the plane of the goal line for the winning TD. John Kasay missed to FG attempts-47 yds and 54 yds-up I�m not upset. What I�m upset about is that John Fox is the Panthers coach and not the coach of the Giants. TITANS -10 over Jaguars TITANS 10 Jaguars 3 Did you see the TD catch by Titans WR Justin McCariens? McCariens caught a pass in the end zone on his back and tipped the ball about 4 times before he grabbed possesion of it for the game winner. The Jags did make a valiant comeback. After a FG cut the Titan lead to 10-3, the Jags stopped the Titans in the next possesion and forced them to punt. The Jags got the ball back and marched down the field to establish a 1st and goal at the Titan 3 yard line. Jags QB Byron Leftwich handed off to FB Chirs Fuamatu-Ma�afala twice and he lost yards both times. A delay of game penalty pushed the Jags back to the Panther 10. Leftwich then hit Coretz Hankton with a pass at the Panther 2 yard line. So with 4th and goal, Leftwich tried an end zone pass to that bad Muther, Ma� afala but it was just out his fingertips. The Titans win but I lose game number 2. BENGALS +6 over Chiefs BENGALS 24 Chiefs 19 Bengal WR Chad Johnson talked the talked, but it was WR Peter Warwick who walked the walk. Warwick had a game to remember yesterday. He had 6 receptions for 114 yards. One of those receptions went for a 77 yard TD and he also had a dynamic 68-yard punt return for a TD. Chad Johnson was no slouch either with 7 receptions for 74 yards. The Bengals ran rings around the previously unbeaten Chiefs to the tune of 200 yards. The Phenom, Rudi Johnson ran for 165 of those yards. Marvin Lewis had his Bengals well prepared for this game. The two things the Bengals needed to do they did. They held return specialist Dante Hall in check and limited RB Priest Holmes to 62 yards on the ground. Pinch yourself; the Bengals at 5-5 are tied with the Ravens for first place in the AFC North. Week 2 1-2-0 YTD 16-15-2 <

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Finally some good Mets news to report. Future Mets 3rd baseman David Wright, had a exceptional season at St Lucie this past season and he contiuned his fine play in the AFL. This is why I would sign Fernado Vina for one year and put Wright at 3rd on '05 and move Wggy to 2nd. Also RHP Matt Peterson continue to raise his stock along with LHP Lenny DiNardo. Di Nardo showed his strength as a strikeout pitcher. <

I guess one of these days we will actually hear from Mike Piazza himself about wether he's want to stay or go. He's turning into Greta Garbo. <

It looks like Bill Singer will have one of the shorts employments in Mets history. And to think this schmuck was hired for his ties to the Japanese leagues. <

Saturday, November 15, 2003

We are hearing form everyone from Piazza's parents to newspaper columists to the Mets faithful. The one person we want to hear from is incomunicato, Piazza himself. What's the dealio Mikey? Speak up son, let's hear it from the horeses mouth. Show some onions, make a statement damn it! <

Reports this morning in the NY Daily News and the LA Times have Mets asst to GM Bill Singer being drunk and making racially insensitive remarks to Dodgers asst GM Kin Ng at a hotel bar during the GM meetings in Phoenix. See ya Bill, don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. The Duke has got to be steaming over this incident and I'll be shocked if Singer still has a job by the end of the weekend. Just for the stupid remarks alone he should be booted. By adding being drunk just ices it for me to boot his ass out of here. These guys never get it. When your out in public your the face of the organization you work for. Just look at the accounts in the papers. It's not Bill Singer made racially insensitive remarks.....It's "Mets superscout Bill Singer..... Here's part of his attack on NC: According to witnesses, Singer approached Ng in the bar of the hotel where the meetings occurred. After asking Ng, the highest-ranking Asian American in the major leagues, questions about her background in a sarcastic tone, Singer began speaking nonsensically in mock Chinese before eventually leaving Two officials within earshot described the exchange. Singer: What are you doing here? Ng: I'm working. Singer: What are you doing here? Ng: I'm working. I'm the Dodger assistant general manager. Singer: Where are you from? Ng: I was born in Indiana and grew up in New York. Singer: Where are you from? Ng: My family's from China. Singer: (Nonsensically mock Chinese). What country in China? This should be an easy call for the Mets. Singer has made a statement of apology to Ng: "I'm embarrassed by what I said when I met Ms. Ng on Tuesday evening," the statement read. "My comments were totally inappropriate and I'm truly sorry. I have apologized to her and hope that she will forgive me." Drunk, belligerent, and racist That's enough for me to can Singer's ass. <

Friday, November 14, 2003

NFL PICKS WEEK 11 Home team in CAPS BENGALS +6 over Chiefs I wasn�t going to touch this one, but a couple of things got me going with the Bengals. First, Marvin Lewis has done something in Cincy that no one thought could be done, these guys really believe that they�re good. They�re a game behind the Ravens and are looking at a December 7th show down in the Charm City in what could be a game for the division championship. Think that over for a minute, the Bengals could be playing for a division championship. WHEW!. QB John Kittna runs hot and cold but over all he completes 61 % of his passes and has a TD/INT rate of 18/9. Rudi Johnson has pushed Corey Dillon to the curb as the go to RB and Corey Johnson is emerging as a top flight WR, giving his cousin Keyshawn a run for his money as the top WR in the Johnson family. The key to the Bengals winning is containing KR extrodinaire Dante Hall and His Holiness RB Priest Holmes in check. Something no opponent has done against the Chiefs so far this season. I�m sure when Chiefs Head Coach Dick Vermeil got his copy of SI this week with his team on the cover he went to pieces. The SI Cover Jinx will claim another victim this weekend. TITANS -10 over Jaguars 10 points is a lot of wood these days in the NFL to lay, but when you have the leading candidate for MVP,Steve McNair running the offense against and a defense Viagra couldn�t get a rise out of you feel confident. I love watching McNair. He reminds me of a more talented Joe Kapp. I used to love watching Kapp as he would hurdle over defenders and throw on the run. anything to win a game. That�s how McNair is, there�s nothing he can�t do on the field. PANTHERS -6 over Redskins I�ve been on the Panther bandwagon form the start of the season so I have a good seat. Steve Spurrier cast off, RB Stephen Davis, brings his 992 yards rushing into the game against his ex-mates. With DE Mike Rucker (11 sacks) and DE Julius Peppers line up against the tissue thin Redskins OL, it looks like QB Patrick Ramsey will be a human pinata for another week <

NEWS ITEM: 5-7 % OF MLB PLAYERS TEST POSITIVE FOR STEROIDS First the baseballs were juiced, then the bats now the players. What, you thought Barry Bonds was going through a late puberty? You thought is natural that his baseball cap is the size of a soup tureen? Com�om. The 5-7 % is of over 1400 players tested. SO we�re talking about 70 players here. Without naming names I think we can guess a few of the players who tested positive, in fact, it may be the first test some of these guys ever passed. So what does it all mean? Well considering that the players all know they were going to be tested, the 70 who were busted either are idiots, or did not have the right masking agent for their urine sample. Even though I�m not suprised by this, but it does piss me off some. I mean when we see all the home run records being not just broken but annihilated, that would have been the time for a massive investigation. The major problem you is the union and management have such distrust for one and other. If they had a better relationship, you would think they could sit down and say not only is bad for the game but it�s deadly for the players. Do you think it�s a coincidence that pro wrestlers are dropping dead at such young ages? When Orioles pitcher Steve Blecher died from use of ephedra you would think the union would have stepped in for the membership and tell them they can�t fight the drug testing ban anymore? They won�t because everything is about not giving the owners an inch. One of three things will have to happen to end the steroid use. Either someone has to go to jail for trafficking this stuff, lose their endorsements because of use of performance drugs, or god forbid some super star player has to drop dead from complications of steroid use. <

NEWS ITEM: MIKE PIAZZA TO WANTS TO BE TRADED According to NEWSDAY, Mike Piazza wants to end his relationship with the NY Mets. YAWN! There�s no suprise here. Everyone knows my stance on Mike. If your not part of the solution, your part of the problem. Piazza does not want to be a 1st baseman. He want to catch and be a DH. So that leaves AL teams as trading partners. Piazza is also owed $30mil over the next 2 seasons. That narrows the field substantially. It says in the story that Piazza would like to go the Baltimore. It�s close to his family home in Norristwon PA and it�s a great hitters park. What has me scratching my head is Piazza wants to leave the Mets because he does not like the direction the teams is heading. HUH? The Mets are trying to get younger and more aggressive. The Duke is trying rebuild the team with pitching and defense, the two staples of any success this franchise has had. And Mikey�s not down with that. He has no desire to be a 1st baseman. In fact you would need a court order to get to play there. This just justifies my opinion that Piazza is inflicted with �The Disease of Me� It�s Mike�s world we�re just privileged to be in it. I don�t want this to become a Piazza bashing post. Believe it or not I�m a Piazza fan. I was at Shea the night the Mets made the deal with the Marlins on May 22, 1998. The Mets were dying on the vine. They had no juice and were just an awful team. According to most people in the know, it was Nelly D who told Steve Phillips go get him. In fact after that �98 season, Nelly told Phillips �Here�s a blank check, get on a plane and sign him�. It was one of the greatest signings in Mets history. But it looks as though the bloom is off the rose so to speak. I�ve written that I did not think Mike was a very happy guy playing here and this paragraph for the NEWSDAY article seems to back that up. He never seemed comfortable either playing or discussing first base, and he didn't seem particularly happy the past two seasons, when the Mets finished last. In addition to the losing and the positional switch, Mets pitcher Al Leiter has been outspoken about the team's need to improve its defense up the middle, an implied shot at Piazza. I hate bring this up again but a lot of Mike�s disenchantment I believe goes back to the Clemens beaning. That whole Mets bench should have charged en mass to get Clemens and beat his ass to an inch of his life. But no one did. I�ve always felt that sent a message to Piazza that your not well liked. Mike Hampton hated his guts and that�s not a secret. Most of the pitching staff hated throwing to him but never let in known. Just the fact that it took what 2 season for someone to retaliate-Shawn Estes feeble attempt-speaks volumes. So it my be time to file for divorce. One of those no-frills kind. The problem now is what happens if they can�t move him? He does have a big nut to pay and his choices my be limited. In fact what do the Meets get back in return for him and how much of his contract to they pay off? Just what we need one more distraction for this team. <

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Irina Paley has a fantastic blog that is hip, happenin' and it's uptown at West 116 St. I do caution my devotees of the Blue and Orange, The lovely Irina does lean toward the Pinstripe side. Please check out her site and enjoy. Maybe we can convert her from the dark side to the Amazin' Side <

Did you see the back page of the NY Daily News today? �YANKEES LISTEN AS ALOMAR BEGS FOR SECOND CHANCE�. Oh Man! How desperate is the Diva and his agent Jaime Torres. Obviously the Diva cannot get a sniff of an offer on the free agent market, so of course whenever you become a free agent you have to get the Yankees in the mix for a bid. So far with the first month of the off season half way through according to the ink stained wretches in the media the Yankees are trying to obtain: Curt Schilling Valdimir Guerrero Andy Pettite Bartolo Colon Jim Edmonds Luis Castillio Alex Rodriquez Kaz Matsui Todd Walker J.D. Drew Shigetoshi Hasegawa And of course the Diva. Now seriously think about that, what the hell would the Evil Empire want with a broken down valise like Alomar. He cannot hit right-handed and he has lost about 5 steps in the field. Not to mention that he bails out on the pivot to complete a 6-4-3 double play. The guy is a shell of what he was and the sheds tears when he�s criticized. How would he ever put up with Georgie Porgie? Who is going to be the exec that goes to Georgie and says, �I really like Alomar, let�s give a 2 year contract for $8 mil�? Unless Pee Wee Cashman wants to get some revenge he�ll sign him. As for the Mets, it just a rehash of all the articles, and rumors we�ve been hearing since the season ended. Again, nothing will be done until the middle of December, when the non-tenders are known. How about this little blurb form Adam Rubin�s Mets Notebook in the Daily News. That the Mets could bring back one or two of the dead wood that was moved out of here last season. Who out this these five putz�s would you want back? Robbie Alomar, Jeromy Burnitz, Graeme Lloyd, Rey Sanchez, and �GASP�! Armando Benitez? The only guy worth a look is Down Under Lloyd. But, with Franco and Stanton on the roster, the Mets have reached their quota on left-handed geezer relievers. The NY Times has a story today on Kazuo Matsui-aka-Little Matsui. Although his stolen base numbers were down last year and his K�s (124) were up it seems Kaz is the real deal. A reporter who covers the Japanese league calls him �Ichiro with power�. The key here with the Mets is where to play him. If he came to the Mets would he shift to 2nd base or do you move Reyes to 2nd base? As you see 2nd base is turning into the problem that 3rd has been for the past 42 years. <

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Art Carney With all my surfing for Mets stuff I completely forgot about mentioning the death of Art Carney. Carney was not just a great comedian and the co star of arguably the greatest television show of all time, The Honeymooners, he was also an claimed Broadway performer, staring as Felix Unger in Neil Simons play The Odd Couple. Carney, as Ed Norton he had some of the great lines of all time. Address the ball, "Hello ball" , The Hucklebuckle, The Chief of The Future, and on and on. The one thing I loved about Ed Norton was he was not only a NYC Civil servant like myself, but he was a sewer worker, so that meant he was employed by the NYC Dept of Environmental Protection(DEP) The same DEP I have toiled at for the past 19 years. Although I don't work in sewers, air and noise pollution is my gig. I do think the city should rename one of our sewer treatment plants-maybe Owl's Head or Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn-in honor of Art Carney/Ed Norton. The MTA named a bus depot in Sunset Park Brooklyn in honor of Jackie Gleason, so Art should get the same honor as well. <

The White Sox are shopping Maglio Ordonez around the majors and the Mets are one of teams interested. I looked over Ordonez's digits the last 3 years and he sure fits the bill as the RF the Mets would covet. Take a look: 2001 .305/.382/.533 40 2b 1 3b 31 HR 113 RBI 2002 .320/.381/.597 47 2b 1 3b 38 HR 135 RBI 2003 .317/.380/.546 46 2b 3 3b 29 HR 99 RBI Quite attractive I must say. defensively he's about average which is a tremendous step up from Roger Cedeno. His arm is average-and that's being kind-but he is durable having played 160, 153, and 160 games the last 3 season. BUT, and there always is a BUT, his paycheck for the 2004 season is $14 mil dollars. Now if the Mets are as interested in Billy Koch, as is reported, he would be cashing checks to the tune of $6.375 mil for the season. If the White Sox take back Cedeno and the final 2 years of his contract thats $10 mil saved there. So that leavesl another $10 mil left over. With the relief from Mo Vaughns contract this could be worth making the deal. <

More talk on the Kevin Millwood front. I am not crazy about signing Millwood. The Mets are desperate for a strikeout pitcher and Millwood is not a strikeout guy. The Duke should be trying to free Javier Vasquez form the Expos. Again, nothing will happen until the non tenders hit the open market. Then it will look like the opening bell at the Commodities Exchage. As Murph would say, "Fasten your seatbelts." <

Jose Reyes will be the shortstop next season. Mike Cameron will be signed to play CF. Billy Koch will be closing games for the 2004 Mets. Predictions? Nope. Fact. Yes. Why? Because Senator Al Leiter said so. <

When the baseball season was over with the Marlins defeat of the Evil Empire, I said to myself "I wonder what I can find to write about during the off season? Well, as I am finding out, there is plenty of material out there. First, let me say here in NYC, baseball is still front and center. I guess with two pro football teams looking to close shop early and the Knicks just a shell of the organization of what they were and until the NHL decides to bring pro hockey back to Manhattan, baseball is still on the front burner. There are lots of stories coming out of Arizona and the GM meetings. But there will be no movement until Decmeber 7th when the non tenders are known. This is the owners way of trying their hand at collusion once again. Required reading is a post by Alex Bleth at Bronx Banter of a reprinted story by Tim Marchman of the NY Sun on Frank Coonelly. Who is Frank Coonley? His official title is Chief Labor Counsel but he may be the guy who is setting the market price for free agents. Some where Charley O. Finley is laughing his ass off as his proposal of letting the players be free agents every year is not a pipe dream anymore. Finley knew the more players out there the more the demand is lessen. It's capitalism at it's best, supply and demand. <

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

The Mets have fallen in love with Billy Koch. Well not so much Koch, but the fact that he has one year left on his contract for $6.375 mil, and the opportunity to move Roger Cedeno and his dopey contract. Cedeno as we all know, is owed $10 mil over the next two years. So if the White Sox take him and spilit the difference in money with the Mets, then Koch will be the Mets close for '04. On the plus side, Koch can hit the Juggs at 100 mph and he did excel under Dr. Rick. The down side, he lost his closer job to Tom Gordon, who is on the free agent market, and Koch also has a tendency to give up the gopher ball. But, if you can get Koch for the year and move Cedeno, you have to make the deal. <

Remember when the NY Post printed a blind item on Page Six that a certain memeber of a NY baseball team was gay? And Mike Piazza had to hold a press conference to say he wasn't? Well I'm here today to tell you the Piazza is NOT a homosexual. No, he is a METROSEXUAL. You know the new phrase for a straight man who loves to get in touch with his femine side? Well that's Piazza. I have never seen a professional athlete act like such a little girl like Piazza has about this move to 1st base. It seems Piazza has retuned form a vacation in Italy and will sit down with his agent and The Duke next week about where he will play in '04. There seems to be a possibilty the Piazza will ask for a trade. Check out this quote form Agent Lozano: "He (Piazza) and I plan on sitting down and talking about the direction of the team [and] the potential of switching positions," said Lozano. On Sunday, Piazza returned from a vacation in Italy with his parents and will rest for a few days before meeting with Lozano. Among the topics to be discussed: whether Piazza wants to move to first base, and if so, would it be a permanent switch. Also, would Piazza rather be traded if the organization were going through a rebuilding mode. Lozano said he's unsure what Piazza wants at this point. "To ask me today," Lozano said, "it's a little premature." This is why I could never be the GM of a pro sports team. Who the F is Agent Lozano think he is that he has any say in what the Mets organization does? What the Duke should say is here's the plan, "Mike we are a better team and have a better chance of winning with you playing 1st base and Jason Phillips becoming the everyday catcher with Vance Wilson backing him up. Moving back and forth from 1st to catcher does not do you or the organization any good. We want you here and we are commited to winning and we feel this is the best plan. If you disagree, here are the phone numbers of the other 29 teams in ML feel free to call and make a deal." I really like Piazza, I do, but this guy is making this move to 1st base more than it really is. That's why I have to question his commitment to winning. What would he rather do make the team stronger or hold a record that is meaningless? He is already been called the greatest hitting catcher in history. He will be a lead pipe cinch to go into the Hall of Fame. What other personal marks does he need? <

As we Mets fans know, the organization is buying into the new ways of baseball in the 21st century and are looking to hire a sabermatician to look over numbers al la Bill James and Paul DePodesta. Eric Mc Erlain of the great blog Off Wing Opinion has sent a note to the Mets to think about hiring David Pinto who is the A-Rod of bloggers at Baseball Musings for the position. What's needed is for all of us Mets fans to sent a letter to the Duke in a effort to get David at least an interview. Click the links to Eric's blog and David's site for more on this story. If the Mets were to hire David, it would rank right there with the Rick Peterson hire. <

Monday, November 10, 2003

Sad News from Mets Land. As anyone who has listened to WFAN since it's inception in 1987 knows the name "Doris from Rego Park" and also knows that there was no bigger Mets fan than she. Doris passed away today at the age of 58. She had battled through many health difficulties and it seems she lost her battle with breast cancer. Mike Francessa read an obituary earlier this afternoon which mentioned how Doris had battles lots of health problems but the one thing that kept her going were the Mets. She always had great insight into the team and always made great points when she called the station. She will be missed. If I see any type of obit with info on a memorial I will to post it here. <

I forgot to post this story yesterday-the Giants game threw me for a loop-Bobby Valentine was given a heroes welcome when he arrived in Japan to begin his stint as manager of the Chiba Lotte Marines. But there was a paragraph in the story that was extremely interesting. It seems before taking this job and leaving for the Land of the Rising Sun, Valentine went to Sr. Skill Sets and The Duke and burry the hatchet. It seems he is keeping the lines of communications open with the Mets. It was noted that Bobby Valentine coming back to the Mets to manage is not far fetched. It seem the contract that Valentine signed has a lot of out clauses for him to come back to MLB to manage. Just like Lotto, Hey, you never know! <

NFL PICKS WEEK 10 Colts -6 over JAGUARS JAGUARS 28 Colts 23 WOW! What a weekend! 0-3 for my picks ,OUCH! Everyone was ready to rub it in as well. I received an e-mail from Fred Wilpon who told me I did not have the skill sets to make NFL picks. Broncos QB Jake �The Snake� Plumber e-mailed me as well with this message,� Who sucks now? Even Artie from Flushing chimed in saying �You have the onions to criticise me?� Yep, the chickens have come home to roost. Fred Taylor vowed he�d get his revenge and he did. Colts DB Mike Doss humiliated the Jags RB back in week 3 during the Colts 23-13 win over the Jags. Doss it seems pushed Taylor�s head into the ground after he recovered a fumble. Taylor ran for 152 yards and 2 TD�s, one of which, a 32 yard TD run, was the game winner with 2:08 left in the game. Seahawks -3 over REDSKINS REDSKINS 27 Seahawks 20 Loss number 2. Things are so bad in D.C.; Steve Spurrier threw in his game plan and gave the playing calling duties to Offensive Coordinator Hue Jackson. This is like the time back in the 80�s when the Yankees were going so bad that Billy Martin picked his line up out of a hat. Same results, the Yankees won and yesterday the Redskins won. However, the two crucial calls of this game were called by Gator Steve. The first one was the Redskins had 4th and 1 on their OWN 25 with 6:13 left in the game with the score 20-20. Gator Steve said, �Let�s go� So the ball goes to Rock Cartwright-who was either on Bonanza or The Flintstones, I forget-and he bulls his way through for the 1st down. The second big call was the one that won the game. QB Patrick Ramsey took a couple of steps back after taking the snap from center. He then lateraled to WR Rod Gardner who found a wide open Trung Canidate for the TD. GIANTS -10 � over Falcons Falcons 27 Giants 7 Loss number 3. This one will go down in Giants history with the FUMBLE and the Flipper Anderson playoff loss, and the 49er playoff game last year. This will be the win that ends the Jim Fassel era and maybe it will put some heat on GM Ernie Accorsi ass. I�m not a Fassel fan, but if he loses his job after this season as I think he will Mr. Mara and Mr. Tisch might as well clear out the whole damn operation-except for OL coach Jim Mc nally-and start over. This was awful but you know something it was not surprising. As a long time Giants fans, I should have seen this coming. The Giants never go out and put an ass whippin� on any team. Everything�s an F�in struggle, and that points to Jim Fassel. However, there is ABSOLULTY NO ON FIELD LEADERS!. There are big mouths like MLB Michael Barrow and DE Michael Strahan, who do more BS ing than anything else. But no one called the team into a huddle to tell them to get their heads out of their asses but no one did. Kerry Collins showed why no one thinks of him as one of the better QB�s in the league and if Tiki Barber treated the ball like one those checks he gets from the 100 media spots he does, the team would be better off. What a shame. 78,000 fans show up every game, there is a waiting list with about another 78,000 names on it for tickets and this the way the players repay their fans. Pathetic. Week 10 Picks 0-3 YTD 15-13-2 <

Sunday, November 09, 2003

What a day! The New York Football Giants are about to go down to defeat to the Atlanta Dirty Birds and thus the Giants season is about to go down the ol' crapper. The New York Rangers lost again yesterday as Slats Sather plays Mark Messier like he's a 21 year old in an Oiler sweater. The Celtics are playing the Kings at the Vault tonight so I'll being viewing that contest but the C's if they make the playoffs, it will be by the skin of their teeth. They even switched to white sneakers instead of the black or green they've worn forever. Oh did I mention that it's about 40 degrees and it's going down to the upper 20's tonight in NYC. I can not wait to board the Staten Island Ferry tomorrow at 6:20 AM with wind chils in the teens. I need to vist Dr. Melfi. Some Mets news today. Mike Piazza will play 1st base in the '04 season. So says his agent and Artie from Flushing and The Duke and the beer vendor form section 28 in the mezzanie. The only guy I have yet to hear from is Mike Piazza . The stories today are on the Mets going after Keith Foulke to be their closer. Again I ask the question, what will he be closing? Why would you go out and spend big money on a guy who will not have to make a sinifigant save next year. Why not just have an open compition in the spring between Royce Ring, Ober Marino, Tyler Yates, Grant Roberts, David Weathers or John Franco? The most pressing need for the Mets is an outfielder who can catch and can hit with power. Since there is no on in the organization that fits this bill, The Duke and his Early Bird Special advisors should be on the look out for that type of talent. <

Saturday, November 08, 2003

Cogratulations to Lee Mazzilli on being named manager of the Baltimore Orioles. I'm a Mazzilli fan. Yes he's a Brooklyn guy and I'm a Brooklyn guy. I remember the day the Mets drafted him out of Lincoln High School in 1973 and then when came up with the Mets in 1975 when the organization was at it's lowest point. I always felt he was rushed up to the big leagues but he was the best player the Mets had at the time and he was from NYC and he was good looking and the Mets needed to sell some tickets. Maz was heartbroken when the Mets dealt him to Texas but the deal was one of the best the Mets ever made when the got Walt Terell and Ron Darling in return. It was great that the Mets brought him back in '86, where he was the pinch hitter deluxe for them down the stretch. He also got a World Series ring form '86 which made it sweeter. What I like also is he has 2 year deal with the O's with a team option for 2 more years. Maybe after two seasons with the Orioles he will come back to the Mets as their mgr. <

Friday, November 07, 2003

WEEK 10 NFL PICKS (Home team in CAPS) Colts -6 over JAGUARS These teams met in week 3 in Indy and the Colts won handily 23-13. It�s been a tough first year for Jags Head Coach Jack Del Rio. First, he was forced to start rookie QB Byron Leftwich, who is experiencing growing pains then there was that unfortunate accident when Del Rio was trying to make some kind of point by bringing in a tree stump and an ax to the locker room after a practice. Punter Chris Hanson trying to split the stump in half with the ax took out a chunk of his leg. He is of course known now as �Stumpy� Hanson in Central FLA. I see the Colts going away from their staple defense, the Cover-2, early in this game and going with an 8-man front to stop RB Fred Taylor. This will force Leftwich to beat the Colts with his arm. The Jags are playing with a banged up secondary, which for Peyton �Full Moon� Manning will be like shooting fish in a barrel. Seahawks -3 over REDSKINS Turmoil in D.C.! No not in the Congress. No worse than that, the tension convention is coming form Redskin Park. Little Danny Snyder has his Under-Roos in a bunch and the Coach is pining for the days of life in Gainesville as the �Fun & Gun� has proven that just like the �Run & Gun� of Mouse Davis, it is more suitable for college and recreation football. Yep, Coach Spurier is having a tough time running with the Big Dogs. You also have a problem where assistant coaches are now looking over their shoulders and Patrick Ramsey is becoming the Jerry Quarry of the NFL. Then we have the new and improved Seahawks. Talk about being in the right place at the right time. With LaVarr Arrington banged up and Jesse Armstead making Ernie Acorsi look like a genius for not signing him and Bruce Smith showing that the has hung around about 2 years too long, look for Shaun Alexander to have a fine afternoon in Landover. My man, safety Ken �The Hammer� Hamlin, who played very sparingly last week due to a foot injury, would have to have the foot fall off for him to miss this one. With a poureus OL and a shell shocked QB, I predict the Hammer will force a fumble from Ramsey, pick it up and rumble into the end zone for a TD. If Ramsey is knocked out or pulled from the game and Tim Hasselback comes in, it could be the first NFL game that pits brother vs. brother at QB as Matt Hasselbeck mans the position for the �Hawks. GIANTS -10 � over Falcons Usually for me to pick the New York Football Giants, I have to consume a large quantity of alcohol. To pick them as a double-digit favorite, I would have to add a strong narcotic as well. However with the Atlanta Dirty Birds coming to town neither will be needed. Here we have another team coming apart at the seams. Falcon owner, Home Depot Homey Arthur Blank, is another of the new breed of sports team owner, who is F�in clueless. Coach Dan Reeves was hoping to get Franchise player Michael Vick back pronto since an MRI of his broken wheel shows it has healed. However, Vick claims the leg still hurts and he is unable to make the cuts he needs to be effective. Owner Blank says �Take your time son and come back when your ready� which makes sense since this season has visited the plumbing department of Blanks famous hardware store a long time ago. Now Reeves has his headset twisted because he has this funny quirk about him, he wants to win! Reeves also knows his time may be limited in Hotlana� as he seems to be wearing out his welcome. There is also a report that a tape has surfaced in the Buckhead area of Reeves buying bathtub caulking at Lowe�s. The G-Men are poised and ready to make their move in what has become a wide open NFC. Reeves last week benched his entire secondary and this week he�ll need all hands on deck as Air Fassel will be ready for take off. Watch Jeremy Shockey this week he will have at least 2 TD�s. <

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Looks like The Duke is moving full steam ahead with the hiring of Bill Singer and Al Goldis." It seems that the third spot will go to either Fred Ferriera ( the favorite) or Bill Lajoie (the longshot). I'm hoping it's Ferriera since he has expertise in Latin American players. Wichever way it goes The Duke is cookin' with gas. Remember Billy Beane tried to pawn off T-Long in the deal for Rick Peterson and The Duke ended up giving up no compensation. Either The Duke was real shrewd or Beane has a conscious about foisting Artie from Flushing on the Mets. <

There is a plethora of Mets News to report today. Let�s look at each item of the day: RICK PETERSON NAMED PITCHING COACH. Finally. I can lay off the Maalox for awhile. According to Peterson it took a little longer than usual due to The Duke interviewing for his cabinet members. So it�s official. Not only will Peterson be the pitching coach, he will be the organization wide pitching coordinator. Rick Waits will work as his associate, instilling the Peterson philosophy of �Better Pitching Through Technology� throughout the minors. I remember from �Moneyball� how Peterson with the limted resources available to him, was able to work with the A�s video coordinator to review all the A�s pitchers. Now with the Mets state of the art video and computers set up this could be the biggest signing in years by the Mets. The big thing to look at here is how do the geezers react to Peterson. I would think that Senator Al and Titan Tommy would buy into the new philosophy. METS LOOK TO RE-SIGN JOHN FRANCO Looks as though this was a major topic of conversation at the St. Lucie summit. We all know that Johnny is part of the inner circle who has the ear of Sr. Skill Sets. I get the feeling, that The Duke would rather see Franco ride off into the sunset but that won�t happen anytime soon. From the reports I�m reading in the paper, Franco will sign a one-year deal for maybe $1-2 mil with loads of incentives. Now with Rick Waits looking over the minor league pitching staff, the Mets will have bullpen catcher Nelson Silverio handle the pen along with Franco. You could see Franco named as player/coach for this season. Franco does not have many options here. Where is he going other than the Mets? Yankees? Nah. Phillies? Possible. Orioles? Why? He knows he has a job with the Mets as long as the Wilpon name is on the lease. The only job I see for him is a middle innings guy. He can�t be a situational pitcher to get out lefties since his sinker and breaking ball is tougher on righties than lefties. In a perfect world he would just retire and take a coaching position, but the Mets world is far from perfect. SHAKE UP OF THE COACHING STAFF Bobby Floyd comes up from running the Norfolk Tides to coach 3rd base. Matt Galante goes to the dugout to be Artie from Flushing�s Zim. Galante will also be in charge of the infielders meaning he could be spending some quality time with Mike Piazza. Don Baylor will be the co-bench coach but he also has more important worries like battling cancer. One of the moves that could be something to file for the future is �The Dude� John Stearns being promoted from manager of the B-Mets to manager of the Tides. There should be a way to bring Wally Backman back to the organization now that he has been passed over by the White Sox for the big league managerial job. What do these changes mean? Not much since Artie from Flushing is still the captain of this ship. He has his pitching coach back with him and hopefully Floyd will be a more aggressive 3rd base coach that Matty for Staten Island. METS INTERVIEWING FOR SUPERSCOUTS. AL Goldis looks like a cinch for one of the jobs. Bill Singer, special assignment scout with the Pirates and Fred Ferreira of the Marlins also was interviews for a spot in The Dukes think tank. It seems the Mets would love to get Bill Lajoie form the BOSOX but it remains to seen if young Theo of the Fens will give permission. The more of these �old heads� the better as far as I�m concerned. If and when The Duke hires these super scouts it will take a little while to get everyone up to speed on the organization and what the course of action will be. It may take a little while to get the plan working but the good news is the Mets may finally have a plan that works. METS LOOKING FOR A CLOSER We have heard the name Keith Foulke bandied about now we are hearing about working a deal with the White Sox for Billy Koch. I think this is just a reporter throwing something out there to see if it sticks. Koch lost his closers job with the White Sox last year and is owed over $6 mil for the �04 season. Now the only way I would do this is if the White Sox take back Roger Cedeno as Mark Hale is reporting. Reuniting Koch with Rick Peterson, with whom he had his best season with in 2002, could be the antidote for his woes. It makes some sense due to the fact that Koch has a live arm and throws hard-in the high 90�s-and the big plus is it�s the last year of his contract. <

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

How about this from Lee Sinis: The Rockies are rumored to be interested in listening if teams want to discuss trading for 1B Todd Helton or CF Preston Wilson. Wilson is owed $9 mil for the 2004 season and $12 mil in 2005. Helton is owed-are you sitting down?-$125 mil over 9 years. AY CURUMBA! <

I'm suffering from an irritable bowl waiting for "official" annoucement that Rick Peterson is the pitching coach of the New York Mets. So while trolling for Mets news, I found this from Jorge Arangure Jr. of the Bergen Record: - After almost a month of negotiations, Rick Peterson finally agreed to become the Mets' pitching coach. Peterson, who was the Oakland A's pitching coach for the past six seasons, including five with now Mets manager Art Howe, met with team officials on Monday and the Mets will likely announce the signing today. I'm still swigging Maalox till it's official. Mark Hale in the New York Post is reporting that the Mets will meet with Marlins Director of International Operation Fred Ferreria today about the super scout position under The Duke. It looks as though Al Goldis currently with the Reds is a lock for one of the positions in the Mets front office. They also have put in a call to little Dexter Epstein for permission to speak to Bill Lajoie. Jose Reyes is rehabing from his sprained ankle down in St. Lucie. It looks form this report, his ankle was worse than we were to believe. <

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

As I'm sitting here having a Maalox moment over when will it be "official" that Rick Peterson becomes the Mets pitching coach, I see this in David Waldsteins report in the Newark Star-Ledger: The Mets will announce the signing of new pitching coach Rick Peterson and their re-shuffled coaching staff today or maybe tomorrow. With bench coach Don Baylor taking more time off for treatments for the multiple myeloma that he his fighting, third base coach Matt Galante will become the bench coach and Bobby Floyd will become the full-time third base coach. Baylor began treatments after the season ended. The Mets came to an agreement with Peterson last week, and refused to give him a raise from what he was earning in Oakland because they were negotiating under the premise that Peterson had only two choices, join the Mets, or stay in Oakland, and he had made it clear he wanted to be close to his family in New Brunswick. Do you F'in beleive this? They are nickle and diming the guy. Un-F'in-Beliveable! Acording to the article the Mets should also be adding both Al Goldis and Fred Ferrriea to the Dukes staff. Bith look like good solid baseball men. The more of those around the beter. <

PHILLIES PHIRE PHIRST SHOT OF OFF SEASON The Phills have wasted no time at all to make the first move of the off season by acquiring top flight closer Billy Wagner. I�m sure Mashugga Larry wishes this trade was made last July, but it is what it is and now he has one the best closers in baseball. Also there are rumblings that the CheeseSteakers are ready to go after Curt Schilling for a return engagement. So the Metropolitans have a some work to do and one of the moves they should make would help them immensely and could put a major hurtin� on the Evil Empire. Gerry Hunsicker is trying to drop as much payroll as he possibly can so he can take a run at Andy Pettite. Pettite lives just outside of Houston and with his soul brother Clemens riding off into the sunset, he could be coaxed to finish his career at home. One of the contracts the �Stros want to drop is that of RIGHT FIELDER Richard Hidalgo. Hidalgo is owed $12 mil for the 2004 season. For the 2005 season he is due $15 mil or a team buyout of $2mil. The major factor here is, it would not take much for the Mets to make the deal to get him. In fact the �Stros would probably take a few minor leaguers just to lose that contract. Let�s look at the digits that Hidlago has put up the last 3 years. 2001 .275/.356/.455 29(2b) 3(3b) 19(HR) 80(RBI) 2002 .235/.319/.415 17(2b) 4(3b) 15(HR) 48(RBI) 2003 .309/.385/.572 43(2b) 4(3b) 28(HR) 88(RBI) In 2002 Hidlago was slowed by a hip injury but bounced back to have a splendid 2003 season. In September during the pennant race was where Hidlago shined with .344/.438/.688. Add in the fact that he posses a strong arm, and is just 28 years old. This looks like a great fit for the Mets. The second player the Mets should look to sign is former Mets Fernado Vina. Let�s take a look at his digits shall we: 2001 .303/.357/.418 30(2b) 8(3b) 9(HR) 17(SB) 2002 .270/.333/.338 29(2b) 5(3b) 1(HR) 17(SB) 2003 .251/.309/.382 14(2b) 4(3b) 4(HR) 4(SB) VIna was limited to 259 AB�s in �03 due to injuries. The RedBirds bought out the last year of his contract for $1 mil. The Mets could offer him a one year deal for between $2.5-$3 mil. What this does is add a hard nosed vet who is an outstanding fielding 2nd baseman and also a good number 2 hitter to add to Reyes at the top of the order. Now if the Mets do go out and sign Mike Cameron to play CF, the up the middle defense becomes one of the best in baseball especially if Piazza is either traded or moved to 1st base. It also buys another year for David Wright to get more seasoning in the minors. Wright will most likely be the starting 3rd baseman for Binghamton next season. This sets up a scenario for �05 that has Wiggy moving to his natural position of 2nd base and Wright coming in as the 3rd baseman. Here is the scouting report on David Wright that was in Baseball America: With Jose Reyes already establishing himself at shortstop for the Mets, David Wright could be within two years of joining him as part of a formidable left side of the infield. Wright displays excellent plate discipline, and his 69 doubles in the last two seasons between low Class A Capital City and high Class A St. Lucie suggest plenty of long-ball potential. "He has big-field power and medium bat speed," another AL scout said. Wright operates with a pure, compact stroke with natural lift. He is also athletic with plus defensive tools. <

Monday, November 03, 2003

Bobby V signed a three year deal with the Lotte Marines to be their manager once again. The reason as I see it for V going back to the Land of the Rising Sun is that the Japanese players love to practice the fundimentals of baseball. There is no better teacher of that than V. That was where is down fall with Mets began when Clubhouse Jester Swarmy Steve Phillips would hold court in the clubhouse before games and V would try to get the players on the field to practice infled and outfield play. Why should you listen to the manager when his boss the GM is busy teling you jokes. All the best Bobby and best of luck <

NFL PICKS WEEK 9 COWBOYS -4 over Redskins Cowboys 21 Redskins 14 (W) One of the strangest football games I �ve seen in a long time. Even though the Cowpoke�s won, Tuna will beat the onions off them this week at practice. The first half play by Tuna�s Helper�s was sloppy as hell. First Derek Ross runs the opening kick off for a TD but it�s called back due to a holding penalty. Two Quincy Carter INT�s and a Troy Hambrick fumble, which earned him some pine time, were just some of the examples of Dallas� shoddy play. But even with all that, they still held a 7-6 at halftime. The second half was when the wheels fell off the D.C. Native Americans wagon. The Cowpoke�s rushed for an amazing 208 yards and Quincy Carter added 200 more via the air. Add that to some ferocious play by the Cowboy D and the unmerciful ass kicking that Patrick Ramsey took yesterday, adds up to the Cowboys winning for the 12th time in the last 13 meetings against Team Snyder. Speaking of Little Danny Boy, I would not be shocked if he relived Steve �The Old College Try� Spurrier of his coaching duties this week. And you know what? I don�t think Spurrier would mind it at all. The �Skins look like a team in turmoil. Between Little Danny brining in guys like Joe Bugle to �act as a consultant� and the �firing� of OL coach Kim Helton, who was reinstated by Little Danny over Spurrier�s head, makes it look like a trip to the lawyers office is the works for Danny & Steve. But there is always a silver lining; I get one in the win column. SEAHAWKS -4 � over Steelers SEAHAWKS 23 Steelers 16 (W) For the first 3 quarters of this game it was a battle of FG�s as Seahawks K Josh Brown bested Steelers K Jeff Reed 9-6. Then comes the 4th quarter and the �Hawks go on a 13 play 74 yard in 6:26 drive topped off by a 14 yard Hasslebeck to Darrell Jackson TD reception to make the score 16-6 RainMen. Then here come the Men of Rooney and Tommy Maddox hit Hines Ward with 2 yd TD pass to make the score 16-13. But the Steeler D could not stop Hasselbeck and the Seahawk offense as Shaun Alexander capped off a 5 play 65 yard drive with a 1 yard plunge into the end-zone to make it 23-12 Seahawks with about half a 4th quarter left. The Steelers then drove down the field and on 3rd down and goal, Maddox called for a timing route and was looking to hit Hines Ward but there were two receivers in the area and the pass fell short. Maddox was not very happy leaving the field after that one. The Steelers kick a FG to cut the lead to 7 (23-16 �Hawks) but failed to get the ball back as they dropped their 5th straight game. Panthers -6 � over TEXANS The one thing I was worried about happened. The Panthers took their foot off the gas pedal in the second half and let the Texans stay in the game and win the game with thoughts of the Chucky in their heads. After taking the opening kick off and driving down the field 68 yards in 12 plays and eating up over 7 minutes of the first quarter when Jake Delhomme hit Steve Smith with a 24 yd TD pass. Foxy�s Men out gained the Texans by over 100 total yards (367 to 267) and out rushed Capers� Crew 174 yards to 118 yards with Stephen Davis toting the ball 30 times for 153 yards. Give credit to Tony Banks, 0 turnovers he hit TE Billy Miller with a 20 yd game winning TD pass to give the Houston a 14-10 win and blemish my record for the week. Record for Week 9 2-1 YTD-15-10-2 <

Sunday, November 02, 2003

I don't know how many of you folks know who Jerome from Manhattan is but if you don't, he's a typical Yankee fan who calls very radio and tv talk show and spews nosense about the Yankees. He' also a very excitable boy as you will hear when he called into the Mac & Sid radio show on WFAN <

The Duke saysthe Mets are interested in Maels Rodriquez. Let the bidding begin <

Bob Klapisch has a some good stuff on the Duke and his dealings with Jr. Skill Sets. Klapisch also puts together the the Mets winter moves. The one's I find interesting are looking at Trot Nixon and adding Jeff Nelson and Mike Cameron very intersting. Also it seem stheonly one who wants John Franco back is Sr. Skill Sets so that baers watching. Then ther is this about what to do with Piazza: The Mets also could be confronted with a doomsday scenario with Mike Piazza, assuming he refuses to play first base, and as a 10-year veteran uses his right to refuse any attempt by the Mets to trade him. If Piazza's offensive decline continues in 2004, and he's become a mere .275 hitter, then, as one major league executive put it, "They're stuck with him for good." The Mets intend to speak with Piazza face to face this winter, gauging whether his professed willingness to become a first baseman is outweighed by a desire to become a DH for, say, the Orioles. Fred Wilpon is devoted to the idea of keeping Piazza at Shea for the rest of his career. But the owner is alone in that sentiment I don't know about you, but I'm sick and tired of management kissing Piazza's ass. Enough already. The Duke has to take the bull by the horns and TELL Mike he is the first baseman. If he protests, just tell him he has the Mets permission to talk to any team that would like to trade for him. Maybe it's time to pull a Manny on Mike and put him on waviers just to see who would be interested in him and his contract. <

Saturday, November 01, 2003

I WANT TO BE IN AMERICA..WHERE YOU ARE FREE IN AMERICA.... Males Rodriquez a right handed stud of a starting pitcher, has defected from Cuba. Before an injury, Rodriquez was hitting 100 mph on the radar gun and he says he will prove to scouts, he's healthy and can bang out a C-Note on the Juggs once again. This could be one of the great bidding wars in baseball history if this guy is sound. Freddie Skill Sets and Georgie Porgie will make those guys on the World Series of Poker look like their pitching pennies <

Ome of my favorite e-mailer's Bobb, sent me a copy of an e-mail he received from the Duke. Bobb's family have been season ticket holders for over 14 years. I was impressed by the Duke taking this inititive to inform the paying customers of his plan of action. He is also sending a message to the season ticket holders, PLEASE, PLEASE, PRETTY PLEASE RENEW YOUR TICKETS! The only thing missing in this e-mail is the Duke telling us "and by the way Art Howe has been reassingned to Pete Flynn's grounds crew". > Dear Mets Fan, > > I wanted to write you a note as one of my first > official acts as General Manager of the New York Mets. > Your support is vitally important to our organization. > We greatly appreciate the dedication you have shown > over the years, particularly as we have struggled > these past two seasons. I want to share with you some > of my ideas and strategies for getting our team back > into contention. > > First, we are already hard at work to continue the > process we started in the middle of last season, > recasting our team by focusing on pitching and > defense, with a healthy mix of athletic, young players > and effective veteran stars. Although we have a lot > of work to do, we can take a lot of positives from the > disappointing season that just ended. Those positives > give me reasons for hope in 2004 and beyond. > > The trades we made in July added depth to our farm > system and allowed us to add a blend of young, > energetic, athletic players to our Major League team, > which showed a lot of promise. Ty Wigginton, Jason > Phillips, Jose Reyes, and Jae Seo all had very > productive rookie years. In fact, this may have been > the first time in Mets history that four rookies made > such substantial contributions in the same season. We > see these and other young players blending well with > our core of veterans: Steve Trachsel, Al Leiter, Tom > Glavine, Mike Stanton, Cliff Floyd, and Mike Piazza. > This blend of talented rookies and solid veterans came > together to produce an exciting and entertaining brand > of baseball this past August. Of course, losing Cliff > Floyd to surgery and Jose Reyes to an ankle injury > hurt us in September. But we can recapture that > August success and build on it for 2004. With this > foundation, I am extremely optimistic that your Mets > will be playing meaningful games in September of 2004. > > Further cause for hope is provided by the quality in > our Player Development system, which will begin > helping us next year and even more significantly in > 2005 and beyond. I expect players like Tyler Yates, > Royce Ring, Bob Keppel, Matt Peterson, Scott Kazmir, > David Wright, Justin Huber, Victor Diaz, Danny Garcia > and Jeff Duncan will soon make a positive impact at > the Major League level. > > As we engineer our return to contention, my focus will > be on pitching and defense, especially up the middle, > and overall team speed. We will be active in the free > agent market, the trade market and the non-tender > market, trying to acquire players with solid make-up > who can handle playing and living in the City of New > York. > > We also will return to the Front Office model that we > had in 1999 and 2000. I plan to add a couple of > experienced baseball talent evaluators as Super Scouts > to help in the planning process at the Major League > level. We have already started the process and hope > to finish it in short order. > > In closing, I would like to share one of the last > conversations I had with my dad, who passed away on > Opening Day of 2002. At the time, the GM position in > Boston had just opened up. Growing up in > Massachusetts, the Red Sox were my family's favorite > team. When my father heard I was a candidate for the > position in Boston he asked me which position I would > choose, if I had the choice between becoming the > General Manager of the Red Sox or the Mets. I told > him I would choose the Mets. He agreed it was the > right choice. Receiving his approval has validated > everything that has happened to date. I want you to > know that this is my dream job, and I will do > everything I can to improve our team and make you > prouder than ever to be a Mets fan. > > Sincerely yours, > > Jim Duquette > General Manager > New York Mets > <