The Eddie Kranepool Society

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

�HAIL, HEARTY AND HEILMAN� Last week I thought the back to back starts against the Fish was a detriment to Aaron Heilman and after last night I feel even stronger about that thought. Heilman stepped up and gave the Mets the start they needed and now with Petey vs. Smoltz tonight and Titan Tom Glavine vs. School Boy Hampton, even though it�s still April the Mets can make a huge statement the next two nights. I�ve been thinking all morning on how to describe the way Aaron Heilman has come up and made the contribution we all have been waiting for him to make. Then I read Lee Jenkins game story in the NY Times and his first three paragraphs sum it all up much better than I ever could: {All the stopwatches and radar guns in baseball could not get a proper reading on Aaron Heilman. All the talent scouts and personnel experts in the major leagues could not come up with a consensus evaluation. Depending on the day, Heilman is headed either to the bullpen or the minor leagues or the waiver wire. No longer can the Mets pretend to make any sense of Heilman, their former No. 1 draft choice. They can only hand him the ball every fifth day and enjoy the ride, even if it makes them dizzy sometimes. Pedro Mart�nez is undoubtedly the Mets' most entertaining starting pitcher, but Heilman has to be the most intriguing. Anyone who watches him pitch sees a masterpiece or a massacre.} Will the real Aaron Heilman please stand up? �CLIFF FLOYD: EN FUEGO� While fretting over the starting pitching and being mesmerized by Petey and Baby Manny, I�ve forgotten to mention the torrid start of Cliff Floyd. In his last eight games, Floyd has knocked in 9 runs and scored 8 times fueled by three homers. On top of that he has been very steady in left field. Could this be the year Floyd gets 450 AB�s? �MIKE MATTHEWS, WE HAVE SOME LOVELY PARTING GIFTS FOR YOU� Matthews takes his ineffective pitching to the dreaded �designated for assignment� list and LHP Royce Ring makes his way to Shea. First Heath Bell and now Royce Ring, can Blake McGinnley (bye bye Manny Aybar) be far behind. �NAILS ON THE JUICE? WANNA BET�? It seems a disgruntled former partner of Lenny �Nails� Dykstra is suing Dykstra for back money owed is going through on a smear campaign on Dykstra by accusing the former Mets and Phillies star took steroids and bet on baseball. Anyone you has seen Lenny Dykstra play for in the late 80�s and early 90�s is not shocked about the allegations of Nails being on the �roids. In fact when Dykstra came into camp in 1987, Wally Backman asked what he did in the off season to add the bulk he put on his physique, Nails said �Juice man, Juice�. In fact one of the biggest problems that Davey Johnson had with Dykstra was Lenny thought he could pop 20-25 homers a season. Johnson thought he was out of his mind to think that way and told him just concentrate on driving the ball in the gaps. Of course Lenny ignored Johnson and that set the wheels in place for his exile to Philadelphia and another of a long line of lousy Mets deals (Dykstra for Juan Samuel YUCK!!!!) As for the gambling charges it�s no secret that Dykstra was a big time card player and that he was in the hole for loads of dough. But betting on baseball? According to former baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent and former baseball bloodhound John Dowd, Dkystra was investigated for betting on baseball and other forms of gambling. Dowd says he found evidence of gambling but no evidence of betting on baseball: ["There was a lot of gambling, but no gambling on baseball," Dowd said. "We did the same kind of investigation we did on Pete. The only difference between Pete and Lenny was Lenny was honest with us. He didn't deny anything and told us about his troubles. We could not find any betting on baseball. It wasn't even close." ] �WELCOME TO THE DARK SIDE PINSTRIPE JOEL� Joel Sherman is kicking the Highlanders to the curb tonight to take in the Mets-Braves, Petey-Smotlz rematch at Shea. If he�s not careful the Bronx Robber Baron will take away his chicken tenders privileges in the press room with words like this: [I know most sequels do not live up to the original, but I do not want to miss this game. I bring my own prejudice. From a distance there have been no other pitchers I have adored watching like Smoltz and Martinez. You can feel their brains and hearts working in games as much as their blessed arms. Both have lost something off their fastballs, yet remain elite because their pitching IQs and competitive DNA are sprinkled on each pitch. Plus their fastballs are still better than most. They meet again tonight. Flushing is baseball Mecca. The big can't-miss game in town is at Shea.] Flushing baseball Mecca? Oh Pinstripes, you say the nicest things BLUSH, BLUSH. < |