The Eddie Kranepool Society

Sunday, February 29, 2004

THE "SORI" THAT WON'T GO AWAY The Alfonso Sorriano to the Mets for (fill in the prospect) just keeps growing legs. Jon Heyman of NEWSDAY and Bob Klapisch of the Bergen Record are reporting today, that the Texas Rangers have set their sites on Scott Kazmir as the gotten gains for Lil' Sori. But wasn't it just the other day that Freddy Skill Sets proclaimed that Kazmir was as close to an untouchable as there is in the organization? Wilpon watched Kazmir throw live batting practice yesterday and said, "He's not going anywhere." I know all the pluses on Lil' Sori. The power and speed and his placement in the batting order at the 3 or 5 spot and the protection that Piazza would have is very very inticing and intriguing, but I do not want to loses Kazmir. I admit I have never seen Kazmir pitched ( I missed seeing him at Brooklyn by a day) but the reports that I have read make it impossible for me to believe the Mets would let this him go. John Sickels in his 2004 Prospect Book rates Kazmir an A-. Sickles also states he believes Kazmir to be the best LHP prospect in baseball. So far Kazmir has shown a FB that is close to unhitable and a slider that�s as nasty as Courtney Love. Sickels also states that the only thing that could derail Kazmir's career is injury, and you could say that about any player. However, with Rick Peterson as the CEO of Pitching, I'm sure his "Preabilataion program" will cut down the risk of that. Looks to me the Rangers are desperate to unload Sorriano. The Duke has to play this like a savvy card shark. Tell Hicks and Hart no on Kazmir and take it from there. I have no problem going after Soriano but let's get him on OUR terms. No Reyes and No Kazmir. <

A MAINSTREAM DISCOVERY It's time for us bloggers to stand proud today. Peter Abraham of Gannett Journal News of Westchester has an article today on the world of baseball bloggers (of which yours truly was interviewed for and is mentioned) If your a regular to this site, you know the names in the story and I'm sure you have clicked on the links to read there fine work. If your a newcomer to this site after reading Peter's story, Welcome, look around, get comfortable, and please do not hesitate to ask questions. <

Saturday, February 28, 2004

"HELLO? IS IT ME YOU LOOKING FOR?" I think it may be time for The Giambino and his personal trainer Bob Alejo to go house hunting in New Paltz. I hear they have a fabulous Bed Bath and Beyond there <

OLD TIMERS DAY AT PT. ST. LONESOME Al Goldis and Bill Livesey, the Mets two "Super Scouts" are the subject of a terrific story in today's NY Times. Goldis and Livesey have a combined 80 years of experience beating the bushes and sandlots looking for talent. Both men have impressive resume in that area. More and more it seems the Mets front office is getting it's act together. First we see they have blended the old-Goldis & Livesey-with the new- stat man Ben Baumer-along with some good planning by The Duke on the path he wants the organization to follow, pitching and defense. This quote from Livesey is one that should be etched in stone and given to Freddy and Jeffy Skill Sets with a note saying, LIVE IT, LEARN IT, LOVE IT: "I learned there that in this day and age, you have to have a core group of your own players," said Livesey, who was hired by the Mets after Bill Singer was fired for making racially insensitive comments to a Los Angeles Dodgers executive. "We don't just want to build a championship team, because that can go away. We want to build a championship organization. That's the job here." That says it all. As a Mets fan do you want to win one World Series every 20 years or do you want to build an organization where your a major contender every year? Then also have the depth to reach down to your farm system and grab a player to step in when one of regulars go down? That seems to be the philosophy that just might invigorate the Mets. Look at all the great stories so far this spring, of Matsui & Reyes working together. Piazza hagin' with Jason Phillips and Vance Wilson plus lockering next to Justin Huber and Mike Jacobs. That's the leadership we have been looking for from Mike. The old heads of the pitching staff seem to have taken a shine to Professor Rick. The Mets players just seem to have done a 180 degree turnaround with their attiutdes toward going out and winning. My God, even Artie form Queens looks down right managerial. <

Money, get back I'm all right Jack keep your hands off of my stack Money, it's a hit Don't give me that do goody good bullshit I'm in the high-fidelity first class traveling set And I think I need a Lear jet Welcome to the links section Dugout Dollars. Where you get the low down on where all the Bling-Bling is in MLB <

Friday, February 27, 2004

WE'RE #22 ! WE'RE #22! ESPN.COM has released their pre season power ratings. Looks like the Amazin's have some ground to make up here. <

"THERE'S A VILLAGE SOMEWHERE THAT HAS LOST IT'S IDIOT" So Jeff Kent can apply. You remember Kent when he was a Met, don't you? As the great philosopher Bugs Bunny would say "What a Marooon"! Kent ranks right up there with Richie Hebner, Bobby Bo, and Vince Coleman as Mets we would love to forget about, but after reading his quotes in the Houston Chronicle, this was too good to pass up. Kent wonders why fans and the media are clamoring about today's players and the questions of who is and who isn't taking performance enhancing drugs. Kent wants to know why we don't question whether Babe Ruth or Lou Gehrig were on the "juice". Here's a quote: "Babe Ruth didn't do steroids?" he said. "How do you know? How do you (expletive) know? People are saying Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth. How do you know those guys didn't do steroids? So all of a sudden, you've got guys doing steroids now in the 20th century, 21st century? Come on. Of course the Bambino was not on 'roids, everyone knows he was on hot dogs and Knickerbocker Beer. It's a shame the Kent has not fully recovered from the head injury he suffered when he fell "washing his truck" last year wink!wink! Kent was not done with the 'dis job on the Bambino: "They were shooting horses with steroids in those days, and that's the same kind of steroids they're putting into human bodies right now," he said. "So we don't know. Am I right? Babe Ruth was huge. He was fat, couldn't even run around the bases. He had knee problems, the same problems that happen to guys taking steroids right now. He was an alcoholic. WHOA Jeffy why the hatred toward the Babe? Sure ole George Herman Ruth was a drinker and a carouser, but he is also the greatest player to ever play baseball. Sure the Babe was a drunk and you Jeff, your a a-hole. Hey I guess everyone has their demons. Then by some miracle Kent makes sense when he questions the lifestyle of the players from the era of Ruth and Cobb: "Well, back in the day when the game was invented (and) with Babe Ruth, we had guys doing the same things. They had drug and alcohol problems then, and they had questionable attitudes then, too. Like the broken clock that's right twice a day, Kent makes an excellent point here. Every book you read about that era in baseball is full of stories of players drunk or hungover. Alcoholisms was the biggest factor to missing games than pulled muscles. <

MORE SORI TO METS It seems the Texas Rangers will not take no for answer when it comes to sending Alfonso Soriano to the Mets. Knowing that Reyes and Scott Kazmir are off limits, it seems they are enamored with the Mets rich crop of pitching prospects. Mets Analyst has posted an interesting proposal of Matt Peterson and Victor Diaz and or Justin Huber or Mike Jacobs for Sorriano. That is quite enticing. The big question is will Sorriano resign himself to playing RF? He was adamant about playing 2nd base in Arlington as he would tell anyone who would question him about moving to the outfield that he is a "2 time All Star 2nd baseman". Is it worth trading a potenial 2 or 3 starter like Peterson? I don't think The Duke is ready to pull the trigger by this quote: We've never had a plan that combined a core of veteran guys with a core of signed-and-developed guys in our system," Duquette said yesterday. "Not since the '80s anyway. "Now we've got guys coming through the system who are growing up together, learning to win together. I think that's important." This is what has me on the fence with this type of acquisition. We have a core of young guys who have grown together and have won at the minor league level. That's how you build a winning atmosphere in your organization. While I straddle the fence, I'm leaning more and more to no deal! <

Thursday, February 26, 2004

�..SO MY THERAPIST SAID I MUST CONFRONT MY FEARS� So it seems that Artie from Queens had lots of time on his hands yesterday as the skies opened up at Pt. St. Lonesome as he named Titan Tommy Glavine the Mets Opening Day starter. Hopefully, Titan Tommy has gotten over his fear of his former team as the Mets open the 2004 season at The Field Named After an Eccentric Yachtsman. You have to figure he cannot do any worse than he did last year. TT was just dreadful last year, but he was particularly awful against the Bravos. He was 0-4 with a 10.35 ERA that includes going 0-2 15.26 ERA at the Ted. It would have been worse but TT said �no mas� when his number came up during the Mets last trip to �Hotlanta. I guess knowing that Gary Sheffield, Javy Lopez and Vinny Castila are employed elsewhere have help Titan Tommy overcome his fears. �IT�S FUN TO STAY AT THE Y.M.C.A� �EAST IS EAST AND WEST IS WEST BUT THE CENTRAL DIVSIONS ARE NOT AS GOOD� Mark Hale has and interesting piece in today�s NY Post on collective record of the 6 divisions of MLB. Here is the breakdown� NL EAST 427-382 .528 AL WEST 337-311 .520 AL EAST 416-394 .514 NL WEST 407-402 .503 NL CENT 472-500 .486 AL CENT 370-440 .457 Another interesting fact in the story is from the Elias Sports Bureau which came up with the stat that no divison since division play began in 1969 have had all of it�s teams finish above the .500 mark. The closest any division has come to do this was the 1991 AL West when Angels came up a game short by finishing 81-81. You�d have to expect the AL East to be the best division in baseball this year with the improvement of the Blue Jays, Orioles and D-Rays. �IS TURK WENDELL A PLAYA HATA OR IS BARRY BONDS JUST A HATED PLAYER?� Circle these dates on your calendar baseball fans, May 28, 29, and 30 Rockies at Giants at SBC Park. It was not just Wendell but also Denny Neagle tossed a grenade toward Jason Giambi stating, �I don�t know what Giambi looked like in his early days but I know he wasn�t as big as he is now�. But it was Turk who came out swing against Bonds: �If my personal trainer, me, Turk Wendell, got indicted for that, there�s no one in the world who wouldn�t think I was taking steroids. I mean, what, because he�s Barry Bonds, no one�s going to say that? I mean obviously he did it� Wendell just said what everyone has thought but I guess maybe the threat of a slander suit has kept that quiet. One thing here, Bonds has made his own licensing deal which means he has divorced himself form the MLBPA�s agreement where by all the money from licensed merchandise is spilt amongst the players. So I�m sure his fellow players are not very happy with Bonds and that may explain the silence coming form the two-headed monster known as Fehr-Orza. On the other hand, NEWSDAY columnist Jon Heyman challenged Gary Sheffield to give a urine sample in a �pee cup� and have it tested for steroids. In fact, Sheff had agreed to go with Heyman to a lab in Tampa but they found out that a note signed by a doctor was needed to go ahead with the test. So they decided to do it the next day. Well it seems Fehr-Orza found out about this break in the ranks and pulled a little intimidation on Sheffield ala the juror in Uncle Juniors racketeering trial. In fact when Heyman came to Sheffield�s locker the next morning, Sheff was hardly cordial. He told Heyman if he did not leave and drop this whole testing thing he would not talk to him the rest of the season. What ya gonna do when Fehr-Orza comes after you? �METS WILL DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT WITH GRASS THIS YEAR� No, Grant Roberts has nothing to do with this story. The Mets have decided to buzz cut the outfield grass after the players have complained about the grass holding back hits into the gap. Also, the outfielders say it�s easier to play the carom off the LF and RF walls as the ball picks up speed on the short lawn. It seems as well that the pride of Co. Roscommon, Ireland Pete Flynn will be replaced. �CALL KOFI ANNAN METS DROP ITALIANS, GERMANS, AND POLISH� While perusing the Mets schedule, I noticed that during International Week at Shea the Mets have dropped Italian, German and Polish Nights. When you operate in a city with the diverse population like NYC, you could honor a different group every game, and I would have absolutely no problem with that. But, what did the Italians, Germans and Polish do that got them bounced form the International Week? <

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

"Oh let the sun beat down upon my face, stars to fill my dream I am a traveler of both time and space, to be where I have been To sit with elders of the gentle race, this world has seldom seen They talk of days for which they sit and wait and all will be revealed" The crown jewel of the farm system is Scott Kazmir. John Harper has a story on the Mets taking baby steps with Kazmir in his development. The set backs of the Gen K trio of Wilson, Pulsipher and Isringhausen still haunts this organization. Hopefully under the direction of Professor Rick and of former major league pitcher jerry Reuss handling the staff in Binghampton, Kazmir, and Matt Peterson will flourish. What helps as well is, The Duke was in the org during the crash and burn of Gen K and he sites fatigue as one of the problems the trio had. So the trip that the young arms took with Peterson to the lab at ASMI should help in that respect. I also remember how Senator Al and John Franco were livid when Bill Pulsipher took the afternoon of when Sandy Koufax was visiting camp and wanted to meet with the pitchers to share his insights on pitching. Pulsipher felt he was above that. That's why Pulsipher is beating around as a stumble bum looking to make a ML roster <

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO ME! Today marks the 1st anniversary of the Kranepool Society. I must say I am deeply fortunate to have had guys like Alex Bleth of Bronx Banter and Sean of Purgatory Online and the great guys over at Elephants in Oakland helped me when I decided to start up this site. I am also very appreciative of everyone who comes by here to read what's on my mind. When I put in the site meter I was just hoping it moved from 1 to 2, so you could imagine how I felt when it went past the 26,000 mark. Again, my heartfelt thanks to those you helped me and to those who enjoy reading my rants. <

LETS LOOK AT THE HEADLINES: Mets say �NO� to Sorriano For Jose Reyes that is. After further review I still think the Mets made the right choice. It�s funny, when Mo and the Diva were stinkin� up the joint, the cry from Mets fans was �PLAY THE KIDS� �THE KIDS PLAY WITH PASSION� YADA YADA YADA! So The Duke charts the course of the team by building a foundation on defense and pitching. With Scott Kazmir, Matt Peterson, Bob Kepel and the like waiting in the pitching wings and players who seem to have passion and talent like Matsui and Reyes, and the always popular �hard-nosed� player (known in hockey circles as grit) in Wiggy, Jason Philips and Vance Wilson, some in Mets fandom want to scrap the plan. Folks, you can�t have it both ways. I know patients is not a sports fans virtue but let�s just take a deep breath and let the Duke do his job. I have a little more bad news for you; I don�t think we are winning the World Series this year. I�m just looking to be mediocre. A .500 season or better is the best you can hope for. Let�s look at this season as something to build on. THE FOLLOWING POST WAS PAID FOR BY FRIENDS OF SENATOR AL LEITER The good Senator from Flushing was on the stump yesterday in Pt. St. Lonesome and he seem a bit agitated by all the question about our neighbors to the North, the Highlanders: "Guys in here absolutely better not be thinking about what's going on across town. It doesn't matter. Who cares? So they're getting the back page? That's not our problem. If talk-radio is talking about us in a negative way - we deserved it the way we played last year. "It's a concern for the organization, for marketing and all that. But as players, we've got a nice new core of players and we've got to go out and make pitches, win games. We do that and people will get excited about our club again. Nothing else will do it." Senator Al wants to leave the bitching and moaning to professionals like me. Good for the Senator. The message is out there loud and clear, pay attention to your job and don�t worry about the other guys. I would tell the little splinter group of Mets fans in the �Woe is We� collation to pay heed to the senators words as well. THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING 1ST BASEMAN Kate Moss���.errrrr I mean Jason Giambi reported to Highlander camp yesterday. I think it was Giambi, I mean there was a picture in the paper of a guy who looked more like Lance Bass than the Giambino, but the caption said is was Jason Giambi. Maybe the papers will print a retraction to tomorrow. NEW ERA CAP CO. RUNS OUT OF WOOL MAKING A CAP FOR BARRY BONDS BALCO client Barry bonds arrived in Scottsdale Az showing no signs of any weight reduction. In fact he look his super human self. Bonds still maintains that he does not take any performance enhancing drugs even though his childhood friend and personal trainer/lackey Greg Anderson is under indictment in the BALCO scandal. UNION OFFICALS ESCAPE INJURIES CROSSING MIDTOWN STREET MLBPA officials Don Fehr and Gene Orza escaped serious injury yesterday when they did not see an on coming car as they crossed Park Avenue. Fehr and Orza claim the blinders both men were wearing made impossible to see the on coming vehicle. NON-BASEBALL DADA DADA DADA DA�.DADA DADA DADA DA�.DA DA DA DA �THE RANGERS SUCK! There has to be a way that the Hockey Hall of Fame can recall the induction of Glen Sather in it�s hallowed hall. When is �Slats� going to step up and resign as coach/gm/president of the Blueshirts? And Little Jimmy Dolan, can you get head out of Isaiah Thomas�s ass and look at the fall of the Ranger Empire. When is the Weasel Betman going to step in and order Dolan to get his icehouse in order? Sorry Kansas City Scout and Icelander fans, when the Rangers are bad like this no one gives a rat�s ass about hockey. That�s what makes this the worst time in NYR history; Ranger fans have gone from anger to who gives a shit. When it gets to the who gives a shit stage, your organization is in very serious trouble. <

Monday, February 23, 2004

A must read is The Shea Hot Corner explaining the wave of "metrosexuals" on the Highlanders. The Hot Corner hits this one "way,way back seeeeee ya" out of the park. Damn good stuff <

IT DON�T COME EASY�YOU KNOW IT DON�T COME EA-SAAAAAAY��� I was enjoying all the feel good stories coming out of Pt. St. Lonesome. Senator Al and Titan Tom Glavine in shape and ready to take on the NL. Mike Piazza, healthy and raring to go either at catcher or 1st baseball, doesn�t matter as Mikey says what�s good for the team is good by me. Then Lee Jenkins of NY Times had a piece on the THREE RECLOMATION PROJECTS, Scott Erickson, Ricky Bottalico and James Baldwin. The NY Post with a little blurb that 2nd baseman Victor Diaz, coming off a strong Winter League season, is 20 lbs lighter and getting in some work at 3rd base. That would lead one to believe that Diaz will be given a chance to make the 25 man roster as a backup infielder and a right handed bat off the bench. Then I see Kevin Kernan�s column also in the NY Post on Kaz Matsui and Jose Reyes clicking like Fred and Ginger and all of a sudden I�m envisioning a team that could be much better than most folks think they will be. I start staring at the schedule for the up coming season thinking,�hummm the Phillies May 25 & 26 at Shea, maybe I should get tickets for those games and how about September 10,11 and 12 Mets-Phillies at Shea will those games be B-I-G games?� Then I leaf through NEWSDAY and there it is �SORIANO-REYES DEAL?� Can�t I enjoy one day of Spring Training? Now the whole morning I am tossing this scenario in my head. Soriano-power, speed, All Star-established major leaguer, can�t field for shit. Reyes-potential for power and batting championships, blazing speed, home grown talent, off the charts defense, not yet proven, which way do you go? I�m a fan of Lil� Sori but his World Series failure has made his stock take a bit of a dive. Then add to the fact that he aged 2 years in a matter of months-went from 26 years old to 28 years old-but just thinking of him in the line up of Piazza-Floyd-Soriano has me light headed. But then I look at Reyes and I see Gold Gloves, batting titles, stolen base titles, highlight film plays in the hole, and you know what I get a FRIGGIN� HEADACHE!!!! As I write this My Big Fat Obnoxious Talk Show Host (Mike Francessa) and his sidekick Gilbert Gottfried�err I mean Chris Russo have announced that Sr. Skill Sets has said �On the issue of trading Jose Reyes for Alfonso Soriano NO WAY, JOSE Now WFAN Mets reporter Ed (make mine vanilla) Coleman comes on to talk about what Freddy Skill Sets thinks of these rumors. As Coleman tries to explain to Obnoxious Mike and the Shrieking Russo that the Mets would still listen to a deal for Lil Sori but Reyes would not be in the package, Mike and Chris are shouting incoherently as Coleman tries to make a point on why he would not make the deal. As Coleman tries to explain that he has been wahtching Matsui and Reyes make plays that show him they could be the best DP duo in baseball,. Francessa all but calls him an asshole. This is not an easy call but I have to agree with Freddy Skill Sets. Even though Sori is an All Star, I think the Highlanders would have moved him even if the A-Rod trade did not come up. The Highlanders seemed to have soured on Sori but his digits are still very very enticing. The Mets have a plan in place (are you sick of me writing that phrase yet) and pitching and defense is the benchmark of this plan. From all the early accounts from Pt. St. Lonesome the Matsui-Reyes entry, will something to build on. Plus the strikeout numbers from Sori make me a jumpy. Mike Camereon is a triple digit wiffer as is Wiggy, so to add a third windmill is tough to do. <

Sunday, February 22, 2004


LOST IN TRANSLATION That's how I feel after trying to purchase Mets tickets on line. Once you get hooked in to the Mets web site and click on the game you want, you are thrust into this black hole called "The Virtual Waiting Room". It's sort of like a purgatory for ticket buyers. Well after sitting there for an hour, I decide enough was enough. I headed over to e-Bay were I bought 2 tickets for opening day April 12th. I won't even print how much I paid for the tickets, but they are box seats in the Upper Deck (My favorite level by the way) behind home plate. By the way there were loads of listings on e-bay for THE openning day in Atlanta. I was very tempted to click on those as well. It looks as all the games at Shea versus the Highlanders are sold out. The bad part is lots of Highlander fans have purchased those tix. I guess it's the convient parking that brings them out. <

The NY Times and NY Daily News had great stories today on the young arms in the Mets organization. One of the lessons the organization has learned is not to spout off over minor league prospects. Former GM's Joe McIllvaine and Steve Phillips were the worst offenders of that practice. McIllvaine waxed poetic about Gregg Jefferies that Mets fans thought he was the second coming of Ty Cobb. Instead he turned out to be the second coming of Don Bosch. Phillips went ga-ga over Generation K-Paul Wilson, Jason Isringhausen and Bill Pulshiper-and all three-well maybe not Izzy-were busts. The Duke is more low key on the farm hands. Having been in the organization as long as he has, he 's seen first hand that the big build up helps no one, especially the players. But as we have seen the Mets minor leagues are turning out some very good prospects. <

Saturday, February 21, 2004

MIKEY'S IN DA HOUSE!!!!!!! Mike Piazza hit Port St Lonesome yesterday and put on a show for folks at camp. This birds eye view from Mark Hale of the NY Post: {Piazza began the drills after doing some catching work and putting on a thunderous power display in his first batting practice, wrapping up his session with a booming drive off the blue-netted Monster in center field. Just for reference sake, the fence is 410 feet away from home, and the shot spiked off the net, some 30 feet up in the air.} After that he headed over to another field to put in some work at 1st base. It seems Mikey is ready, willing and able to play 1st base. I had a great chat with Joe MacDonald the head honcho over at MOFO SPORTS, I asked him how many games he thought Piazza would play at 1st. He broke it down this way: 1st base-50 games Catcher- 90 games DH-9 Sounds like the right break down to me. If Artie form Queens and The Duke presented that to Mikey, I think he sign on for that. Mikey seems primed and ready for the season from these quotes in Kevin Kiernan' column in the Post: "No matter what happens in these next two years, I think it's important for me to get over there at first, and you know what, it is going to help my career," said Piazza, who worked three weeks over the winter to begin to learn the new position. "It is going to help me play into my 40s if I want to do that. "And that's what, for me, I think is important to realize." Mikey also touched on the failure to communicate that seems to be one of the aspects of managing that Artie from Queens needs to improve on: Piazza admitted yesterday that Howe's actions stung him last season, but maintained the two now have a positive relationship. "My rules and sort of ideas about being a man are very simple: You come to me, tell me what you think," Piazza said about the Mets' handling of his move. "You may not like what they say, but at least you have to respect someone when they talk to you about it. Just the fact that it wasn't really done as far as talking to me face-to-face and there was a little bit behind-the-scenes thing, that's always a little bit of a turnoff for me. "But I just want to do what's best for the ballclub. It wasn't like it was a catastrophic event. It was just one of those things. In any relationship, you have sometimes a little bit of a miscommunication. "It's important for myself and the organization to turn the page, and I'm very positive. For myself, personally, I think it's an interesting next phase, or whatever phase of my career I'm in, to show that I can do that and be more versatile as a player." If Artie and The Duke would have went to Mikey and laid out their plan for him to play some 1st base last season, a whole lot of bullshit could have been avoided. Live and learn guys, live and learn. <

Friday, February 20, 2004

The previous years, our expectations were - and we came out publicly and said it - the playoffs," Duquette said. "I think that's a little bit unrealistic. I think [playing] meaningful games is a much more realistic goal until we are able to make a trade or two to get us over the hump." And with that quote The Duke has set some Mets fans in a tizzy and I can't figure out why. If he said "Well we should be in line to win the World Series" we'd all think he was nuts. He gave an honest and forthright opinion on what he and the Skill Sets think they can accomplish this season. What exactly are you looking for in the 2004 Mets? For me, I'm looking at the development of the younger players. Can Aaron Heilman make a positive contribution to this team? Can Jason Phillips continue to improve (by the way, I am leading to Avkash's line up projection with Phillips batting 3rd) Can Piazza play healthy all season and make the adjustment to 1st base? Will Wiggy improve both at the plate and on "D"? Is Jae Seo the real deal? Do the geezers of the bullpen have anything left? Is Scott Kazmir ready for the bright lights of the big city? Can Titan Tom Glavine recapture the glory days? Is David Wright the best prospect the you have not heard of? If the Mets were to win 85 games this year would you be disappointed? I wouldn't. That's a 19 game improvement. Plus, that would mean they would be in contention for at least a Wild Card berth. As much as I ridicule and criticzie the Skill Sets, I really believe they want to win very very badly. The problem is they have gone about it the wrong way. The Duke may have gotten through to them by taking the emphasis off winning the back pages of the tabloids. I've also come to the conclusion that most Mets fans, if not the majority of sports fans, get their news and views from The NY Daily News, the NY Post and talk radio. There is a definite lack of thought that goes into the negativity that has taken over these Mets fans. If some of them would bother to read any of the Mets bloggers, or Baseball America they might see the light that the Mets are building an organization that should blossom. <

AHHHHHH SPRING WHEN A YOUNG MAN'S FANCY TURNS TO PITCHERS AND CATCHERS. There is nothing that warms me more than the byline in the papers from Port St. Lonesome. That plus the fact that individual game tickets go on sale Sunday at Shea. In the past I've made the trek to the Flushing Projects for my tickets but last year I decided to make my ticket purchase from the comfort of the Kranepool Society headquarters. The biggest problem with that method was, the server was jammed by people with the same idea. Maybe this Sunday it will be different, between the fact that the Mets are hooked to a better high speed server and that all the crybaby wussies who have vowed to never set foot in Skill Sets Stadium ever again, they will be enough tickets for us die hards to scoop up. The one thing that could get to go to Shea on Sunday is, that my Lord and Savior Eddie Kranepool will be in attendance signing autographs. That and the free Dunkin' Dounuts. HERE IS SOMETHING WE HAVE NOT SEEN IN A WHILE, AN A-ROD STORY! The Stepford reporters really need to be re-programmed. Instead of asking about the bullpen competition or the need to acquire another infielder to come off the bench or if Artie from Queens remembers what he ate for lunch today, they have more A-Rod questions. Hopefully Jr. Skill Sets (who is IN CHARGE) set then straight with this quote: "I don't think A-Rod wanted to come here," Wilpon said as he hopelessly tried to steer the conversation to the renaming of the Mets' spring-training stadium, Tradition Field. "... The reports we had were that he wanted to go to the Yankees or the Red Sox and that was it. Those are the only two teams they (the Rangers) were authorized to talk to. That's what we know." I give Jr and The Duke credit for one thing, they have much more patience than I would with media. If I were in their shoes, I would tell them "If I get one more A-Rod question I going to lock all of you in the clubhouse with a naked Jay Horowitz ". That'll stop em' TIME TO END THE TIMO PEREZ ERA A report in today's NY Daily News, says The Duke will not release Roger Cedeno and eat the $10 mil on the remaining two years of his contract. If they could find a trading partner, I'm sure the Mets would swap Cedeno for a couple of jock straps, if they would take his contract as is. But in the economic climate that baseball is in these days, I don't see that happening. So it looks like Timo Perez will be either given his walking papers or trade. I was never a Timo fan. I always felt he was mentally challenged when it came to baseball sense and his inability to hit lefties make him a liability. I guess ole Jolly Roger will be a very expensive bench player this season. <

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

MR. SPEAKER, I RELINQUISH THE REST OF MY TIME TO THE SENATOR FROM FLUSHING. Senator Al has commented on the A-Rod to the Evil Empire. He takes a shot at the MLBPA of which he serves on the executive board: "I don't see how it's a financial gain for a player to get a (hotel) suite on the road," said Leiter, a member of the executive board of the players association, which approved this deal but not the one with the Red Sox. Leiter was referring to how A-Rod will get a hotel suite on the road and also will have his Web site linked to the Yankees site." It's no secret that VP of the MLBPA Gene Orza is a huge Highlander fan. I know for a fact that Orza was dancing a jig in a private suite inside Sodom and Gomorrah Stadium the night Aaron F'in Boone hit the HR to beat the Olde Town Team. In fact Orza is a frequent guest of the Evil Empire during the season. Leiter also added this quote: First of all, the Mets are definitely on the right track, going for younger, more athletic players," he began. "But whatever our failure was not to sign him -- and we've been reminded of that over and over again -- at least before he was buried away down in Texas. Now he's just a few miles away across the river in the Bronx, and we get to hear about his exploits all the time. "I don't think salt in the wound describes it enough. It's more like rubbing salt, and then pouring hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol and rust in there at the same time." Maybe, just maybe this is the carrot that could motivate the Amazin's this season. How long do you allow yourself to kicked in the ass, when you finally take that "Kick Me" sign off our back. You know what will show me if the Mets have onions? The first game of the Mets-Yankees inter-league series,(June 25th at Sodom and Gomorrah) someone puts a pitch right under A-Rod's chin. <

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Eric McErlain of the entertaining and informative Off Wing Opinion, has joined myself and Avkash in the No Whine Zone of Mets fans. Sidebar: I forgot to bring my music CD's to work today so I listened to some sports talk radio here in NYC. There was more and more so called Mets fans whining again especially to My Big Fat Obnoxious Talk Show Host aka Mike Francessa, about how bad the Mets will be this season. When the Mets are in the hunt for the Wild Card in September all of you can kiss my Royal Irish arse! Sorry about that. Back to the subject at hand. Eric has a truly brilliant post on his site about the Mets pedigree. We are the legacy left by John McGraw and of Jackie Robinson and we should always celebrate our National League roots. I also agree with Eric about the Mets uni's. Go back to the original Mets uniform with blue and orange as our colors and no names on the back. It's a classic. But the most important part is go back to the philosophy that was the most successful, Pitching and Defense. <

HEY, JOEL: F YOU! I figured all the papers today would be wall-to-wall A-Rod and the NY fish wraps did not disappoint. But, just when I thought I�d seen it all, I read Joel Sherman�s column in today�s NY Post. If I were the editor of the Post, after reading Sherman�s column today I�d demand he be drug tested. It�s bad enough that he was given the assignment to write the obligatory �Mets Suck� column for the Post (that job at the Times goes to Murray Chass, Fillip Bondy does the honors at the Daily News, John Heyman holds that position for Newsday, and Bob Klapish takes care of anti-Metsism in suburbia for the Bergen Record) Sherman starts off with telling the Mets to go after Alfonso Sorriano and put him in RF. Which of course makes perfect sense, since Soriano has never played the OF before (PUUULEEZE) then came the part that had me scream WTF? out loud on a Queens bound R train this morning: �Mets GM Jim Duquette needs to be on the phone with counterpart John Hart today to say native Texan Scott Kazmir is available. The lefty is viewed among the major�s 20 best prospects. It�s a great start of a trade. Throw in Aaron Heilman and Royce Ring and it�s darn attractive� WHEW!!!!! Read that paragraph again and tell me that Sherman has not become the Jerome form Manhattan of print media. Hey, why not include Jose Reyes and Lastings Milledge as well. What makes it worse is that I always enjoy reading Sherman�s columns but now I have to read him with a jaded eye. Here�s a bulletin for the Joel Sherman�s of the world, The Duke has a plan and it may take 2 season for it to take fruition and Scott Kazmir is a major part of the plan. Here is more manure from Sherman, who must have been listing to �Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds� while writing this: �Would Kazmir be tough to lose? Of course. But he is 20 and pitched in A ball last year. He has a questionable makeup, according to an executive from another team, and the kind of delivery that raises worry about injury. �High risk, great reward� the executive said.� First off the �nameless executive� seems to have a bad case of the sour grapes. Where was it ever reported that Kazmir had a �questionable� makeup? Remember, the teams that drafted ahead of the Mets bypassed Kazmir because they were afraid of his signing demands. So the Mets ignored that and picked him and signed him quickly and got his career started on the fast track. But because the Mets made a move that was positive it was glossed over. Second, has Sherman heard about the Mets signing Rick Peterson as their pitching coach? Does he read his own newspaper, where colleague Kevin Kiernan did a piece on Professor Rick taking the Mets top pitching prospect to ASMI for a complete evaluation? As we all know Professor Rick�s philosophy is �Pre-Hab instead of Re-Hab� As I�ve said, there are a plethora of events that Mets management have done that have set my blood pressure to 200 but when you read columns like Joel Sherman�s it makes you appreciate the baseball bloggers who are out there. George Vecsey has aterrific column today on Lawrence Ritter and of the monthly luncheons he presided over with some of the great baseball writers in NYC. I know a few members of The New York Giants Historical Society attended these monthly gatherings as Ritter was a great NY Giants fan and latter gravitated toward the Mets. But if it weren�t for Evelyn Bagley there would not have been these terrific get togethers. Ms. Bagley is a major force in SABR and in the Casey Stengel Chapter of NYC. She was able to turn Ritter away from his recluse lifestyle to meet with the members of the NY baseball community. <

Monday, February 16, 2004

Lost in all the Highlander and A-Rod minutia was the passing of Lawrence Ritter. Ritter was the author of arguably the greatest baseball book ever written "The Glory of Their Times". He went around the country with a reel to reel tape recorder interviewing ball players from the early 20's and 30's. Ritter was also a fixture on the New York City literary scene and held monthly luncheons with top baseball writers in the city. <

Sunday, February 15, 2004

IF THERE IS ANYTHING I HATE MORE THAN BLOW HARD HIGHLANDER FANS, IT'S WHINING METS FANS Please if your the type of so-called Mets fan that is stamping your feet over A-Rod going to the Evil Empire and your rehashing the Rodriguez to the Mets and your getting your boxers in a bunch and crying "I'm not going any games at Shea WAHHHH!!!!, WAHHHHH! WAHHHHH!, then go buy a little Highlanders cap and a pennant and NEVER COME TO THIS SITE AGAIN! Do the Skill Sets piss me off? YES. Do I think the expiration date on Artie from Queens has passed? YES Will I ever stop going to Shea Stadium and ever not root for the Mets to win? NEVER IN A MILLION F"IN YEARS. Stop worrying about what the Evil Empire is doing. That's one of the characteristics I like about The Duke. He doesn't give a rats ass what the Highlanders are doing. They are not our competition. He has tried to get that message through to Freddy and Jr. Skill Sets, "forget about winning the backpage of the newspaper and lets' win the NL East" is what The Duke has told them. He knows the keeping up the Georgie Porgies' is counterproductive. Leave that up to the Olde Town Team to deal with. One thing on the A-Rod, he is not the key to the Yankee season. The key is Kevin Brown staying healthy and the ability of Jose Contreas and John Lieber to be productive in the 4 and 5 slots. Add in the health of Mariano Rivera and Flash Gordon in the pen, that will be the difference between winning a World Series and coming up short again. <

Saturday, February 14, 2004

ATTENTION FELLOW EVIL EMPIRE HATERS: FOLLOW ME TO THE VOMITORIUM Looks like they've done it again. John Heyman and Ken Davidoff are reporting in NEWSDAY that the Texas Rangers and New York Highlanders have agreed in principal to a deal that would send Alex Rodriguez to NY for Alfonso Soriano and a minor league pitcher to be named. There also seems to be some money issues to work out before the deal can be officially announced. It's crazy to say but this is great deal for both teams. The Rangers get out of the ridiculous contract of A-Rods and now John Hart and Buck Showalter can concentrated on getting some badly need pitching. The Evil Empire gets to stick it up the Olde Town Team's wazoo again. The Highlanders and the Red Sox are the baseball equivalent to the Road Runner and Wily Coyote. Every time the Sox think they have made progress "KABOOOOM" their plans blow up in their faces. Young Theo, trashed his hotel room when he was beaten to the punch for Jose Contreas, I think tonight someone may have to hide his belt and shoe laces. More on this story tomorrow. <

I have been doing a little catching up with my links section (some day I am going to really organize it, but if you have seen the "Sloppy Joe's" commercial with Joe's Theisman, Frazier and Piscopo, well my wife says it's too bad my name is not Joe because I would have fit in perfect with those fella's) but I have added not one, not two, but FOUR Mets links to the section. They are: Betty's No Good Clothes and Pancake House-This is a long overdue link, A thousand pardons! Amazinz-The Sunday Report is appointment reading Mets Freak-A new member of the Wilpon Wards The Shea Hot Corner-Also a new member of the Legion of Skill Sets Please check them out and as always tell em' KRANEPOOL SENT ME! <

SEND LAWYERS, GUNS, AND MONEY......THE SHIT HAS HIT THE FAN........ I would think Don Fehr and Gene Orza are strapping on the Depends as the BALCO scandal has reached the indictment stage. Sports fans will tolerate a lot, but they draw the line when they doubt whether a game or an athletes performance is legit. What has to have the MLBPA shaking is that the Feds are now getting involved in this investigation. It's one thing dealing with The Used Car salesman-Alan H. Selig-but it's a whole new ballgame dealing with Attorney General John Ashcroft. You also have to figure, one of the defendants either BALCO capo Victor Conte or even Barry Bonds personnel trainer and best friend Graig Anderson will flip like a dolphin at Sea World if given the choice of jail or probation. The question that I have is, what does the MLBPA do now? What I can never figure out about baseball players is why do the let the PA leaders dictate to them how the should go about their business. The vast majority of players want the DH abolished, but the PA tells them it will never happen. A player like Alex Rodriguez is willing to pay money to relocate to a better work environment to be happy and the union says "No, you stay in Arlington and be miserable at $20 mil a year"! Now you have the performance enhancing drug scandal and the vast majority of players see this as something that could spell doom for the game and want something done. Most players are using common sense ,since 90% are "clean" ,but they are painted with the broad drug tainted brush of the minority of their brethren. It's no different when a cop is arrestted for being a rouge and the rest of the force is portrayed the same way by the public. Attorneys as well , for every shyster that's out there, there are many more layers who are looking to help people who are in need of important legal representation . It's time for the MLBPA to step up to the plate and give in to steroid and performance enhancing drug testing. When you start planting seeds of doubt in peoples minds as to whether a game or an athletes performance is on the up and up you have a serious problem. Sometime you have to what's right for "The Game". <

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

I'm sure all of you fine folks are aware of the Curt Schilling//David Pinto/Sons of Sam Horn controversy. If not, in a nutshell, Schilling loves to post on the SOSH message board and in a recent posting he took on Rob Neyer and his baseball through statistics look of baseball. David Pinto, who is not just a great blogger but a gifted writer and a man who was a great help to me when I was launching this site almost 1 year ago, quoted Schilling from that board and Schilling got his onions in a uproar over it. Schilling claims that what he posts on SOSH are "off the record" quotes. Schilling is either very naive or an idiot. Schilling then had the stones to question David's integrity. Well this set off an eruption led by the Will Carrol of Baseball Prospectus and his own blog. What I'm posting here is an e-mail that I sent to Will in response to his letter sent to myself and other baseball bloggers" From what I can see with the Schiling/Pinto/SOSH mess, count me in on your suggestion to band together as a IBBWA. Schilling has a lot to learn about posting in public forums. He also needs to learn that it's not all about him. I remember Michael Kay the Yankee announcer saying on his radio show during the post season that Schilling was to do color commentary on the ALCS. When he insisted on having access to a private jet, the FOX brass told take care, don't let the door hit you. The boys at the SOSH have to get a grip as well. They have this Sally Field (he likes us, he really likes us!) infatuation with Schilling. Are we (bloggers) writing honest opinion of the teams we root for or do we want to be jock sniffers? Let SOSH give out passwords to their members and let them have their own little circle jerk with Schilling. To question the integrity of David Pinto is ludicrous. There is no more stand up guy around than David. He runs the best site on baseball there is. Take care Will, sign me up and I'm waiting on delivery of STP. All the Best Steve Keane The Eddie Kranepool Society <

IN GOD WE TRUST, ALL OTHERS MUST HAVE DATA" Rick Peterson And with that quote the Mets have entered the cutting edge of technology. Professor Rick took along 10 of the creme`de la creme` of the Mets pitching prospects" down to the American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham Alabama. Arron Heilman, Scott Kazmir, Tyler Yates,the closer of today Brandon Looper and the closer of tomorrow Royce Ring, to name a few were hooked up to electrodes and video imaging to study their pitching mechanics. Mets fans again I can not stress how big the signing of Peterson to the Mets was the BIGGEST off season acquisition. Pitchers do not get injured from throwing 100 pitches or more, it's the mechanics stupid! Peterson with the blessing of Jr. Skill Sets will have a mini-lab at Shea with video and computer equipment that is state of the art. One of the most encouraging views of this trip was form the much maligned Aaron Heilman: ""But is Peterson really the remedy for Heilman, who struggled through 2003 with a 2-7 record and 6.75 E.R.A.? "This won't make me a better pitcher; it will make me a better thrower," Heilman said. "The mental stuff, the pitching, knowing when to throw the right pitch, that's more up to me." Eureka!!! I think we have a breakthrough here! Heilman finally realizes that it's what between his ears that has set him back. I'm not looking to pick on Heilman, in fact I 'm rooting hard for him to beat out all the broken down suitcases that The Duke is bring into camp. (I bet Erickson and Bottalico have handicap plates on their cars.) After reading all the stories about Professor Rick's trip to Birmingham, I may have to re-think my position on where the Amazin's may finish this season. I can not wait for spring training. <

Monday, February 09, 2004

THE DUKE GOES DUMPSTER DIVING Ricky Bottalico and James Baldwin were offered contracts today by the Mets. It's too bad ol' Pete Gray, the one-armed outfielder is no longer with us, because he would probalbly get a minor league deal and be thrown in the RF mix. Don't we already have Bottalico's evil twin pitching for us in David Weathers? Whoever thought the we could sign Scott Erickson AND James Baldwin? YA HOO!! I am starting to rethink some of the "young arms" in the Mets system. Jason Anderson, Grant Roberts, Dan Wheeler, Royce Ring, Jeremy Griffiths, Tyler Yates, and so on and so forth. If they can't beat out a couple of broken down plow horses like Bottalico and Baldwin, we are in for another lllllooooooong season. <

Sunday, February 08, 2004

WHO DID THOMAS J. WHITE PISS OFF? Mark Hale of the NY Post has a story on the new and improved spring training home of the Mets in Port St Lonesome. The facility will also be used by the FSL St. Lonesome Mets. The stadium formerly know as Thomas J. White Stadium is now called Mets Stadium ( how original) until the Skill Sets can bilked some shumck for dough for naming rights. So the FSL team has a fabulous facility, the NY-Penn Brooklyn Cyclones play in a gem of a ball park in Coney Island and the parent team the New York Mets play in a hell hole. This is the 41st season of Shea Stadium. It's a great place if you like standing in ankle deep sewage when you go to the men's room, or the smell of grease from the sausage stand, and the stench of stale beer that has seeped into the concrete on the concourse levels. The place has gone beyond eyesore status. But, say this for Mets fans, they are true baseball fans and do show up in the millions to watch their Amazin's. Why else would you go to Shea? There are no restaurants in the stadium, unless your part of the elite clientel who dines in the Diamond Club. Casey's and the Bullpen Lounge make Popeye's and White Castle Le Cirque and 21. Is it too much to ask for a clean restroom,(God rest Leon Hess soul) a decent place to eat, and a place your not embarrassed to bring an out of town guest to? You would think a man of Freddy Skill Sets stature could bring together the movers and shakers of the real estate world he flourishes in to come up with a plan for a new ball park. Not a multi-purpose stadium. Not a place with a retractable roof. Not a place for anything else but baseball. For GOD SAKE WE ARE IN NYC!. There has to be a way to build a ball park without fleecing the working people of this city. I mean the Nets, THE NETS are getting a brand place to play over the METS!!! There are about 7,000 Nets fans in the tri-state area ( and I'm being generous here) there are millions and millions of Mets fans. We deserve a decent ball park. <

Saturday, February 07, 2004

JAY HOROWITZ: AIR MARSHALL Can you picture Horowitz in his S.W.A.T. uni protecting Air Skill Sets? Kaz Matsui hitched a ride on Air Skill Sets yesterday to get to Port St. Lonsome aw fast as he could. Matsui was working out in a tent in Manhattan that was owned by a Japanese tennis squad. Now I'm sure the Shea has an indoor facility where he could have worked out, I mean working out in a tent UGH!!! So gauche! Maybe Kaz can stay with Helen and Morty Seinfeld at Del Boca Vista. I sure Jack Klompus would love to let Kaz use his astronaut pen for autographs. <

Friday, February 06, 2004

IT�S OFFICAL: ERICKSON�S A MET All you folks holding para-mutual tickets on Mr. Lisa Guerrero joining the Mets, head to the windows and cash them in. Erickson is the latest candidate to throw his banged up shoulder into the new game show �Who Wants To Be the 5th Starter?� as he has signed a minor league deal. The winter of close out shopping continues. What the hell, the more the merrier, I guess. I know some folks are not happy with the signing, but I don�t see the problem. I understand that Erickson will most likely be a shell of what he was, after missing about 2 years of playing, but it is the 5th spot in the rotation we�re talking about. To me it�s a no lose situation, if he can�t hack it, see ya! If he�s capable, it�s a coupe. CLIFF IS BACK AND THAT�S THAT The papers have stories today on Cliff Floyd and how he�s primed and ready for spring training. Floyd claims he�s close to 100 % although he has some soreness in the Achilles, he says that�s to be expected. Floyd seems to be a �Playa� Hatea�� when it comes to watching the Fish win the World Series: "Floyd admitted he was depressed by the Marlins' World Series win over the Yankees, since he spent parts of six seasons with Florida, most of them languishing in last place. "That was tough," he said. "I'm not going to lie - I was hating it big time." Yo Dog your hangin� with the Mets, now! Don�t be bringing up past relationships. Let�s put that energy towards getting yourself and the Mets fit to fight in �04. GAMMONS ROCKS!!!!!! Literally that is. Peter Gammons has a fundraiser in Boston every winter called �Hot Stove, Cool Music�. The proceeds of this event go to the Jimmy Fund for children with cancer. Also through this event Gammons has released a CD �Hot Stove, Cool Music Vol.1� Folks, this is one terrific CD. If you are a Rock & Roll fan you will go absolutely nuts for this. There are 18 tracks on the disk and one song is better than the next. You even get Gammons singing the Chuck Berry classic �Carol� with a voice that reminds me of John Hiat. The Dropkick Murphy�s along with Kate Hanley, do a kick ass rendition of �The Dirty Glass�, and The Allman Brothers �Desdemona� is worth the price of the CD by itself. The CD is $10 bucks and is well worth it. <

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

METS ON THE VERGE OF SIGNING MR. LISA GUERRERO Scott Erickson is ready to sign a minor league deal with the Metropolitans, and will vie for the 5th spot in the starting rotation. Erickson is coming off surgery on his right shoulder, but I guess The Duke saw a little somethin' somethin' during a workout two weeks ago in Florida. It's not a bad signing. Erickson before the injury was a workhorse pitcher. He keeps the ball in play and with the new and improved defense this could work. If he's sound. It's a minor league deal he's signing so the risk is low. Again it shows the low esteem that Mets coaches and front office have on Heilman, Griffiths, and Strange etc. <

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

As we move away from Janet Jackson and her right boob, all is quiet on Mets front. There are a couple of baseball items that are worth commenting on. PUDGE GOES FROM FIRST TO WORST When is enough money, enough money? The Marlins offered I-Rod 3 years/$24 mil. From the quotes I�ve read Rodriquez was insulted by the offer. Little Caesar (Tigers owner Mike Illich) made Pudge an offer he couldn�t refuse, 4yr/$40 mil. But the odd part of the contract is, the terms are similar to what the Mets had offered to Vlady Guerrero. Pudge has a congenital back injury. If he goes on the DL for 35 days or more due to the back injury in 2004 or 2005, the Tigers can void his contract and pay off Rodriguez with a $5mil buyout. When asked why he went for the bucks of Little Caesar over signing with the defending World Champions, Pudge said: �The owner showed me respect, and that�s the reason I�m here� Translation: Illich gave me more money. The Tigers have not had a winning record in 13 seasons. The odds are very good that they will make it 14 seasons after the �04 season. To me it�s just like Monopoly money, $8mil, $10 mil, what the hell. But, if I was able to play in the city where I live and I love to be and I�m coming off one of the most improbable World Series Championship why would I leave? Does Pudge lead such a lavish lifestyle that $8mil a year guaranteed for the next 3 years is not sufficient enough? It�s not like the team your going to is going to contend anytime soon, your also going to a home park in Comerica, that has drove hitters to tears. All for a couple of million a year? I�m sure that Pudge could have made up the difference in money with endorsement deals in South Florida. I can�t see any of those deals in the Motor City. DREW HENSON CALLS AN AUDIBLE AND GOES TO THE NFL The fallout from Henson�s baseball career goes beyond the wasted money given him. Yankee Senior Vice President of Operations, Mark Newman was the man who pushed for Henson�s signing. Georgie Porgie would rip Newman a new one on a regular basis over Henson�s failure to make progress. Then Columbus manager and new Yankee 3rd base coach Bucky Dent, wanted to stick Henson in the OF to hide his deficiencies. That led to Yankee exec Gordon Blakely and Columbus hitting coach Sal Rende to clash with Dent and caused much dissension among the Tampa section of the Yankee hierarchy and the Bronx satellite office. Henson will forfeit the remaining $12 mil on his contract (which he will make up about 5 fold when he signs an NFL contract) but gets to keep the $5mil or so of Georgie Porgies Highlander booty for kicking around the bushes for the past 6 seasons. <

Monday, February 02, 2004

SUPER BOWL XXXVIII PATRIOTS 32 PANTHERS 29 A funny thing happened at the Super Bowl last night, an Arena League game broke out. WOW talk about a complete turnaround. The first half was a fight for turf as both defenses dug in and stifled the offenses. I don�t know what happened near the end of the 1st half, if both D�s were tired or just some lapses in coverage that led to 24 points (Pats 14 Cats 10) in about 5 minutes of game time. Then after an interminable wait for the half time crapola show (more on that later) the second half was set to go. No scoring in the 3rd quarter then came the 4th quarter for the ages. First, Attention all NFL Head Coaches: SHRED THOSE 2 POINT CONVERSION CHARTS PLEASE! Phil Sims said it the best �now you are chasing points�. With 12 minutes and change left in the game and down 21-16, there was still plenty of football to play. That missed 2 pt conversion changed the complexion of the game. Second, John Kasay, what were you thinking about? KICK THE BALL DOWN THE MIDDLE!. That was the play of the game as it gave the Pats and Tom Brady new life, as Brady moved his team downfield for the game winning field goal. Here�s the question of the day. Who has had the better career so far Peyton Manning or Tom Brady? Manning has all the gaudy numbers but Brady has the bling-bling. I take Brady. One of the most striking stats from this Super Bowl for me is that the Pats ran 83 plays from scrimmage to 53 for the Panthers. Now to the Pre and Halftime show. The NFL has to decide if the Super Bowl is going to be a variety show or a championship football game. Who was the a-hole that decided to bring in Josh Groban to sing that maudlin ballad in honor of the Columbia astronauts who were killed one year ago? Both teams were primed and ready to play in a game that means everything to them and they have to stand on the sidelines all keyed up and listen to the awful song (By the way, Groban has something in common with Larry David, they both pee sitting down, only Groban does it out of necessity) and have half the audience looking for a ledge. Why not do the Columbia tribute about 2 hours before the game? There must be some competition between Brittney Spears, Madonna, and Janet Jackson. Kind of like celebrity poker. Brittney and Madonna call with the Sapphic kiss and Janet says I see your kiss and raise you one tittie. I love to kill Alan H.Selig any chance I can, but even he would never ever have his sport associated with the bullshit that went on at the Super Bowl. Paul Tagliabue should hang his head in shame. That�s enough football, pitcher and catchers in 2 weeks. <