The Eddie Kranepool Society

Friday, March 31, 2006

TWEAK GOES THE HAMMY The Zambrano Project got lit up like Nick Nolte at Octoberfest and to top it it off he "tweaked" his hamstring. According the Ed (Grey Goose) Coleman on WFAN, Zambrano will miss at least one start and Brian Bannister will move up to pitch game 2 of the season. All Bannister needs is for Titan Tommy to wake up Monday with a case of the shits and he can grab Opening Day. It's what's being a Mets fan is all about kids. Just think if The Zambrano Project has to go on the DL where do the Mets turn? Jose Lima looks like choice number one as he has agreed to go to Norfolk after he told reporters he would not go to AAA as "he has nothing to prove down there". After Lima I guess the very ineffective Yusaku Iriki would be next followed by John Maine and Alay Soler. Gee you know what? After looking at that list of possible starters, I think I have the shits. AND NOW ANOTHER EPISODE OF THE DIRECTV/SNY BITCH AND MOAN CLUB Nothing has changed here just like movie Groundhog Day. I get to work I call DirecTV they tell me I'm on the preferred customer list. The rep and I have a nice talk kind of like Tony Soprano and Dr. Melfi. The DTV rep tells me they want to keep me and all the Mets fans who are subscribers happy and very badly want to flip the switch and give us SNY. I hang up and call SNY. The receptionist tells me "they are in negotiation" then switches me to Meggan Bossett who listens to my voice mail message, gives me the finger, and hits delete. And so it goes. But if you are lucky enough to have SNY in your home, you can tune tomorrow at 12:30 and see yours truly along with Matt of Metsblog, Andrew of Mets Geek and Greg of Faith and Fear doing our thing on the Bloggers Roundtable. <

Thursday, March 30, 2006

DIRECTV VS. SNY THE BATTLE CONTINUES I spoke to a customer service rep at DirecTV today and she told me that they are locked and loaded to give their subscribers SNY. The hold up is on the SNY side as they are trying to get DTV to pony up more money per subscriber than the cable companies have been charged. She also said this should be resovled shortly as DTV wants very much to air SNY. Now when you call SNY the receptionist is getting sick and tired of fielding the calls from DTV subscribers as she told me "I wish they would settle this already so the call volume drops" She then connected me to the one and only Meagan Bossett who must be sick of the calls as well as she let's here voice mail do all the work and has yet to master the art of the retrun phone call. I wish to hell I knew what was going on in Freddy Skill Sets head as his Sterling Entertainment is the majority owner of SNY and he's letting Time Warner and Comcast tell him what to do. <

HAPPY LOVING COUPLES MAKE IT LOOK SO EASY Shocking news tonight as Anna Benson has filed for divorce from hubby Kris. This story was first reported on Page Six...errr I mean (just a little humor Matt) So Anna just adds insult to injury to Kris' career first with public castration, then she helps get him run out of town, and then she dumps his sorry ass. Rumor has it, that after getting a glimpse of a middle aged, bare pate Mets blogger on a recent showing of Mets Weekly, Anna began to fantasize rubbing her fun bags on his shinny dome. <

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

I received a copy of Charles Euchner's new book THE LAST NINE INNINGS and I have to say it is quite a good read.

This is a book for the thinking baseball fan as Euchner looks at every facet of the game. From the on field aspect of hitting, pitching and defense. To the stratigic role of the manager. To the ever expanding world of sabermetrics and the globalization of baseball. and as if that was not enough for you to absorb all this is laid out to the reader with Game 7 of the 2001 World Series as a backdrop.

Just as I was reading the introduction alone I was struck by this passage that made me close the book for a moment and give this question some serious thought:

{If statistics are but cold indicators of performance, how can we move inward and understand the psyches of players? What inner traits do winners have? How do players like the Yankees' Paul O'Neil and Bernie Williams and the Diamondbacks Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling show about the psychology of elite performance?

At a time when so much of the game is reduced to scientific examination and action, I also wondered why the best players seemed to come from Latin America. If we have become a nation of superkids with superparents who hire supercoaches and use videos and stats ans scientific research to teach throwing, hitting, running and sliding to the privileged scions of the American dream, why do so many great and innovative players come from places where bats need to be carved out of tree trunks?}

I must have spent an hour thinking over that passage. It reminded me of something Bob Hurley the ledgendary basketball coach at St. Anthony's of Jersey City said about suburban ball players calling them "Driveway Warriors" these are kids who never go to the schoolyards to refine their game and to give them the necessary toughness to compete on the bigger stage and that's why Hurley never went for that kind of player.

As I said Euchner goes on and uncovers more of the game in this book than any other baseball book I've read.

If you really want to read about the debates in baseball pick up The Last Nine Innings. It's worth the investment.;_ylc=X3oDMTB1c21tcDhkBF9TAzk2NjMyOTA3BHNlYwNmZWVkBHNsawNib29rcw--


TONY TIJERINA STEPS IN FOR OBIE Norfolk manager Ken Oberkfell will need a little more time to recover from the blood clots that were removed from his leg so the Mets have named Tony Tijerina as the interim manager. A very interesting choice as HOJO is on the Norfolk staff and Johnson has managed in the organization (Brooklyn same as Tijerina) <

YOU CAN'T MAKE SHIT LIKE THIS UP Of course my money is on Little Jerry Seinfeld <

HOW DO YOU HANDLE A DISGRUNTLED EMPLOYEE? Jeff Keppinger is not very happy that he is on his way back to Norfolk. Kepp has a point here but what he has to remember is the Mets are looking for defense at 2nd base and when it comes down to that AHern wins that battle. While Kepp did give a bit of a sour answer when asked about going back to Norfolk he has to understand that other teams have seems him and maybe he gets shot some place else via trade: {Keppinger wasn't happy. He was asked if he believes he got a fair opportunity. "As far as starts-wise, probably not," Keppinger said. "At-bats-wise? Yeah, I got playing time." Hernandez is hitting .268 with two RBI in 56 at-bats over 20 games while Keppinger hit .279 with six RBI in 43 at-bats in 17 games. "I think I did a good job. I thought I was pretty solid," said Keppinger, who committed two errors to one for Hernandez. "I guess I'm not in the category they are looking for."} <

ESPN: METS FIRST RUNNER UP Alan Schwartz at thinks the Mets will battle the Astros for the Wild Card in the NL. Now before you call Schwartz all kind of names, he feels they have a good shot at landing in the World Series. Of course he likes the Braves to win the NL East. That's fine but all these experts who are picking the Braves to win the East all give the same reasons because the have won the division for the last 14 seasons. No one tells you it's because they are the class of the division, or because Bobby Cox is Miller Huggins in disguise. It doesn't take much to pick the Braves. <

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

GOTTA FEEL FOR HEILMAN Sure it makes the Mets bullpen better and as a good soldier Aaron Heilman will do as ordered and go to the bullpen, but you have to feel for him as he was a bit bamboozled by the Mets. After last years breakout season when Heilman excelled in the late innings as a reliever he asked the Mets if he could go back into the starting rotation and the Mets obliged him even telling Heilman to go to the D.R. and pitch in the Winter League to stretch out his arm in anticipation of going back to work as a starter. But a lot of things changed since, Jae Seo and Kris Benson were sent packing and Brian Bannister emerged as a bonafide big league starter. With Heilman going to the pen, it's a win win for the Mets. One thing Willie has to do this season which he refused to do last year is define the roles of the relievers. It very simplistic to say guys are paid to pitch and just be ready when called upon. The pitchers in the pen want to know what their function is, as it allows them to get mentally and physically ready when their number gets called. Wagner knows he's the closer. Willie should tell Heilman now that he is the main set up guy. The guy to get 4-6 outs if need be in the 7th and 8th inning and the guy to pitch the 9th when Wagner needs a blow. Chad Bradford looks to be the ROOGY. Dauner Sanchez could fill the 7th inning role with a lead of 2 runs or better. Jorge Julio could thrive in the less presureized long role. I would bet that Omar and Willie decided on 7 relievers. Darren Oliver or Pedro Feliciano could take a LOOGY spot with Heath Bell grabbing the other. If Lima or Iriki make the team over Heath Bell then that's a travesty. Maybe someday SNY will run the Heath Bell/Jeff Keppeniger Behind the Scenes to see why Omar and Willie hate them so much. So your Mets pitching staff could look like this: RHP Petey LHP Glavine RHP Trax RHP The Zambrano Project RHP Bannister LHP Wagner RHP Heilman RHP Sanchez RHP Bradford RHP Julio LHP LOOGY de Jour RHP Bell With only 3 off days in April and 6 night games at Ice Station Shea, 7 relievers will most likely be needed to start the season. Pardon the optimisim but it does look like a deep and talented bullpen. The starting staff is a question mark as one injury or God forbid multiple injuries could put a dagger in this team as starting pitching depth is nearly non-existent. The rest of the roster seems mostly what we thought all winter with the exception of Victor Diaz. It's amazing how people are jumping off the Diaz bandwagon. Diaz's main problem is he has no defensive position that he can call his own. That and his lack of versatility. That's what separates X Nady from Diaz. Diaz can hit and will hit where ever he goes but he looks like DH material and that's a shame. X can play all over the outfield and 1st and 3rd base. Even with his late slump this spring, the couple of times I've seen him play this spring he looked very comfortable in RF. Add to the fact the Diaz has an option left, look for Diaz to go to Norfolk (what a waste) and for Endy Chavez to claim the 4th outfiedler spot. The position players should look like this: Infield Delgado Hernandez Reyes Wright Franco Woodward Valentin Lot's of depth as Woody and Valentin can play just about anywhere. catchers LoDuca Castro I still think Castro is the better catcher and just as good a hitter as LoDuca. With all that Mets are pretty strong at this spot. Even if one of them goes down, Sandy Martinez looked very good this spring and will be in Norfolk just in case . Outfield Beltran Floyd Nady Chavez With Woody and Valentin on the bench and Chavez the superior defensive player and Lastings Milledge's coming out party this spring, that spells bye-bye for Victor Diaz. Victor D will go to Norfolk while Omar works the phones to deal him. All in all this is a pennant contending team. There is no doubt in my mind that baring a major injury to a starting pitcher or to Wright, Beltran or Delgado the Mets will win 95 games and the NL East by double digits over the second place Braves. <

Monday, March 27, 2006

DIRECTV VIEWERS STILL IN THE DARK OVER SNY I spoke with with a gentleman over at DirecTV today. He asked that I not use his name but I could forward the info. It seems the big holdup with SNY getting on DirecTV is coming from Time Warner and Comcast two of the partners along with Sterling (Skill Sets) Entertainment. It seems DirecTV wants to put SNY on as soon as possible as the fellow told me "We (DirecTV) are all about programming, especially sports" but TW and Comcast are playing hardball hoping that we DirecTV customers in the NY Metro Area will panic and dump DirecTV for cable. DirecTV is in a similar battle with Sports Time Ohio which is run in conjunction with the Cleveland Indians and TW Cable. The DirecTV spokesman told me this could go right down to opening day but they hope to reach an agreement very shortly . Why do I get the feeling I'm going to get to Howie Rose, Tom McCarthy and Ed (Grey Goose) Coleman very well this summer.


Sunday, March 26, 2006

LOTS OF HAPPENINGS DOWN IN ST. LONESOME The big news of course is that Petey pitched great, 3IP 1BB 2K 0 runs in his spring debut. The real results will be tomorrow when we find out how that right toe responds. The other big story of the game was The Zambrano Project going a spectacular 6 innings. I was shocked when Willie let Zambrano hit for himself in the 7th and then in the 9th wilt Pedro Feliciano warming up, he and Professor Rick let Zambrano go out to finish the 8-0 ass kicking of Kris Benson and the Birds. But the juicy stories after the game come from Marty Noble's notebook, lets begin: AARON HEILMAN ACE RELIEVER WOW! It looks as though that last start yesterday by Brain Bannister where he didn't have his good stuff but showed ONIONS! on the mound seems to have sealed his spot in the rotation. According to a deep throat in the baseball operations the Mets feel a pen of Wagner, Heilman, Sanchez, Julio, Bradford and one of the lefties (I'll say either Feliciano or Ring) would be a lights out pen. Omar feels that none of the starters will go much more the 6 or 7 innings so the pen will we called on a lot and with Heilman showing the goods last season in the pen why ruin a good thing. Plus Bannister seems to have proves that AAA is a waste of time for him. AHERN WINS THE JOB Due to his defense. The question is who did Jeff Keppinger piss off that he has not even been given consideration? THE ROLE OF DAN WHEELER WILL BE PLAYED BY HEATH BELL Bell is another player who gets no love from Willie and Omar but other teams scouts sem to love him. Especially Tampa Bay. I watched some of the D-Rays-Highlanders game of Fox Sports Florida and Rays manager Joe Maddon gave an unbelievable interview with the broadcasts field reporter. He was so sure in his answers and very up beat. If Bell could get to the Rays he'd excel as their closer. <

Saturday, March 25, 2006

OPENING DAY JUST ABOUT A WEEK AWAY, WHERE'S MY SNY? From Neil Best column in NEWSDAY today: {SportsNet New York's debut on Cablevision Thursday gave the Mets' new outlet distribution from all three of the area's major cable companies, joining Time Warner and Comcast, part-owners of SNY.Now the focus will turn to the two major satellite distributors. An industry source said DirecTV almost certainly will sign on in time for the April 3 opener.} Forget that all this should have been handled already but I have to figure by Monday DirecTV will be on board here. I finally got to speak to Meggan Bossett at SNY (she sounds about 12 years old) and she told me they are just finalizing some details with DirecTV. But when I asked if I would have SNY on my DirecTV system by Monday or opening day the latest she said "I can not comment on the negotiations". Thanks a lot. Then she asked me if I contacted DirecTV myself.So of course I got sarcastic with her and said "WOW I never thought of that gee you think they would know more about this than you guys"? I guess it went over her head as she said "maybe". So I bid her good bye as I think she was late for her Girl Scout meeting. I've called DirecTV many times and they tell me the same thing, "We carry all the regional sports channels so we will most likely carry SNY as well" That's great everything tells you the same thing "we are in negotiations" "We are talking every day" "We are close" but no one can say what's the fuckin' hold up here. Between Beltran bunting and no SNY my aggravation meter is just about off the charts. All I need is for the Skill Sets to bring Art Howe back as an advisor and I'll be taking hostages.,0,4939505.story?coll=ny-sports-print <

PROOF POSITIVE THAT BELTRAN SHOULD BAT IN THE TWO HOLE Carlos Beltran, Willie Randolph and Carlos Delgado can spin this any way they want but stop insulting us by saying Carlos Beltran, batting 3rd in the order with Reyes on 2nd and LoDuca on 1st NO OUTS, laying down a bunt is good baseball. That's not just bad baseball but it's SCARED baseball. If your a bona fide number 3 hitter and you get up with no outs and runners and 1st and 2nd with the next three batters Delgado, Floyd and Wright, who should be salivating knowing that you are going to see nothing but fastballs. Your mindset has to be nothing less than a double to knock in Reyes easily and put LoDuca on 3rd setting up 2nd and 3rd no outs for the big guns. But that was not how Carlos Beltran approached this at bat. He sacrificed. I'm numb about this. How does Willie not blow a cork? How does he defend this? I really don't like making comparisons but the first thing I thought of was can you imagine Lou Pinnella managing the Mets and this happened. Holy shit! He would have either killed Beltran or had a stroke. But Willie has no problem with it. Let me give Willie and Beltran a little heads up here, you pull this move at Shea when the Braves are in town and Tim Hudson puts two guys on in the 1st and Beltran bunts, get some ear plugs because the boos, profanities, and screams of anguish will be deafening. This ain't KC or Houston we don't tolerate bad baseball here. As for Willie if you still think Beltran is a number 3 hitter, then your just not paying attention.,0,6388236.story?coll=ny-sports-print <

Friday, March 24, 2006

WITH 70 % OF THE PRECINCTS REPORTED, THE EDDIE KRANEPOOL SOCIETY IS PROJECTING ANDERSON HERNANDEZ THE WINNER OF THE 2ND BASE JOB. It just came down to defense. With a stationary 1st base man liked Delgado you need a guy with range. Although it would be interesting to see Keppinger's bat over a full season. It's obvious Omar does not embrace the power of OBP. I bet Billy Beane would find a place for Kepp. <

Stock up on those Rookie cards folks! <

HAVE YOU TRIED PICKLE BRINE? It seems Billy Wagner has tired everything but the old Gus Mauch remedy. <

What do you think? Proffesor Rick and Lyle Lovett seperated at birth.


Thursday, March 23, 2006

You can't beat those Visiting Nurses <

I CAN'T STAY LONG I feel like shit today as I'm fighting a respiratory problem for about a week now and I'm still no better. I'm popping antibiotics that are so large I think Man O' War was given these after the Belmont. But I got a few things on my very congested chest, so let me spew them out and then I'm hitting the couch to watch the tournament.

  • I am very happy that Cabelvision has reached a deal with SNY. In fact after I heard the news I immediately called SNY to beg for them to make a deal with DirecTV. The woman I spoke to (I didn't get her name as I called as soon as WFAN announced it I was working our communication desk dispatching inspectors to citizens complaints) told me to hold tight it could be soon. I asked her "when, when, when" she laughed and said very soon. Then some inspectors were calling in for hello so I had to hang up. But yesterday Verizon signed up and today Cablevision hopefully tomorrow DirecTV.

  • If there are two bigger dicks than Francessa and Russo in the media I've never met them. These two schmucks are killing Petey for answering the question about his starting on opening day with the truth. You know and I know and everyone involved with the Mets know that Titan Tommy will be the opening day starter. I don't mind the Mets getting criticzed when they deserve it but when these guys go out of their way to attack the organization by saying that Willie has no control over Pedro and that Pedro is calling the shots it just kills what little credibility they have. Even callers who identified themselves as non Mets fans told them they are very anti- Mets. It just a shame that WFAN is the only real local sports talk radio station in this town.

  • That's it I'm out. I think of calling Visting Nurse Service to come over and take care of me. (wink,wink)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

MOMA TOLD ME NOT TO COME As I was reading the account of yesterday's Mets Orioles game I started to feel a bit light headed. In the game story, Kris Benson pitched against The Zambrano Project with the Zambrano Project out pitching Benson for 5 innings. In the stands was Anna Benson and Bill Parcells (now there's a wet T-shirt contest eh?) then to top it off Rickey Henderson is camp as an instructor (Boys, never hit on 15 or more. Put the pressure on the dealer) I felt like I just polished off a bottle of Wild Irish Rose and a chaluppa at 2 AM. IS JESUS OUR SAVIOR? Omar has a 16 year old Venezuelan kid named Jesus Montero in camp to show him what life is like with the Mets. It seems young Jesus can not sign until July and leave it to Omar to get the jump on everyone else. The kid must have some skills as it looks it will take well over a million bucks to get him signed.


Tuffy Rhodes announced his retirement from baseball. Who is Tuffy Rhodes? Why he only nailed Dwight Gooden for THREE HOME RUNS on opening day 1994 in Wrigley Field.

Rhodes didn't do much more in the ML but he did make his mark in Japan where he hit a Japanese record 55 HR's in a season.


BOY, TAKE A DAY OFF AROUND HERE AND YOU FALL BEHIND I have been up to my ears in processing air and noise violation for the DEP court docket (most of them noise summons due to the warm late January and February when bar and nite club owners kept their doors open and allowed loud music to permeate the dwellings of NYC citizens. That's a no-no.) so while I was processing my work, I was listening to the Philistines of Sports Radio (WFAN) and after a 10 hour work day add in traveling the NYC Transit System, I arrived home in comatose state. But after a good nights rest and a day off today I'm ready to look at some Mets goings on: SORIANO TO THE METS I could not believe the amount of misinformation that was floating from the radio yesterday between the dolts who call thenselves talk show hosts and the people who like staying on hold for over an hour to be called an idiot on Alfonso Soriano and his being traded to the Mets. Folks here it is in a nutshell. Sori makes $10mil for this season. KazMat makes $8mi for this year. KazMat is un-tradeable as the Nats don't want him as they already have a shortstop who sucks in Christian Guzman for a quarter of the price. Now even if you could obtain Sori for a box of baseballs do you think the Skill Sets would pay $18 million for TWO 2nd baseman, one of which will ride the pine for the bulk of the season? They'd rather give SNY away for free before the so this. Here is a link to Adam Rubin's story in today's Daily News that cover all the bases on why I can say Sori but no Sori WAGNER GIVES METS THE FINGER Billy Wagner is experiencing pain in the middle finger (near the knuckle) of his right hand. Wagner says it's no big deal but the headline of "Mets Shut Down Wagner" put a big skid mark in my boxer shorts. Wagner says he'll be fine to pitch Saturday as he has had this before (MRI show no structural damage to ligaments or cartilage) and no one in the Mets brain trust seems worried. So why do keep fearing that Wagner will announce his retirement on opening day?,0,5540851.story?coll=ny-sports-print MEGAN BOSSET WHY WON'T YOU CALL ME I've been happily married for 20 years so I'm not used to waiting by the phone for a woman to call me but Megan Bosset of SNY has not reutrned any of my numerous calls to her. Pleas Megan call I can be very charming. Anyway, still no SNY on DirecTV or Cablevision and still no explaination on why? (UPDATE: SNY has signed a deal with Verizon Fibos and it's TV division. Maybe this is the first of carriage deals that needs to get done before DirecTV and Dolanvision fall into place) <

Monday, March 20, 2006

JUST A FORTNIGHT TILL THE REAL FIRST DAY OF SPRING. Sure today�s the first day of spring, although in NYC you wouldn�t know it by how cold it is but two weeks from today my ass will be in a seat at Shea and I can�t wait. I just hope the temperature is at least 10-15 degrees higher that the 40 degrees it was this afternoon. But before we can enjoy opening day, there are issues and what would the New York Mets be without issues. ISSUE 1 THE PITCHING STAFF Yep, Jorge Julio scares that living shit out of me. And Professor Rick can make all the analogies about losing weight and being a Navy Seal to pitching the last innings for the Mets I�m not buying. Julio has a fabulous arm but there are plenty of guys with big arms but don�t have the head or the belly to handle the late innings of a ball game. I look at Julio and I see Doug Sisk, Mel Rojas and Armando Benitez. If that doesn�t make you shit your pants, then your colon is made of Kevlar. So what to do? With the emergence of Brain Bannister as a bona fide option for the rotation maybe it is time to put Aaron Heilman back in the pen. I was for Heilman going into the rotation but looking at the big picture, a late inning troika of Heilman, Dauner Sanchez, and Billy Wagner could be the best close out trio in baseball. Here is how the staff could look come April 3: Petey Galvine Trax Zambrano Project Bannister Petey doesn�t think it�s a big deal if he starts the first game of the season or the third or fourth. But in the same way FDR was never shown sitting in his wheel chair, it�s to the Mets advantage that Petey starts opening day. Just giving the Mets 5 innings and turning over to the bullpen would be a boost. Image is everything you know. The last thing I want to see is a replay of last opening day. Glavine looks very strong and could be ready for his best season as a Met. Even though his heart looks to still be in Atlanta. Trax is Trax a middle of the rotation guy that keeps you in games. We are now into the second full season of The Zambrano Project and I just wonder if someone on the coaching staff whispered in his ear when he got back from the WBC �pisst, see that kid over there (Mike Pelfry) that�s your competition. If you continue to suck, this kid will be here in a Manhattan minute to take your spot� This is the shit or get off the pot season for The Zambrano Project. Brain Bannister has projected throughout his minor league career for the spot he looks very comfortable in, back end starter. From his minor league performances and his stellar spring the worst he could be is league average and that�s good for the 5th spot in the rotation. BULLPEN The question is does Willie Randolph go with six or seven relievers to start the season? With KazMat on the DL and Petey� toe trouble, I can see Willie going with seven relievers to start the season. (The bench of Castro, Woody, Franco, Diaz, Jose Valentin is adequate or better. Woody and Valentin are versatile enough for Willie to prove he has mastered the double switch.) So which seven? Wagner, Sanchez, Heilman are locks. As is Julio and Chad Bradford. That leaves two spots. Rumblings are the Omar likes Lima Time and may keep him for the month of April. Mitch Wylie is a Rule 5 guy and would have to be offered back to the Giants or the Mets could work a deal and put him in Norfolk. Darren Oliver has shown to be a descent LOOGY. Then you have Yishii Iriki who up until his last appearance looked pretty good. Everybody�s favorite reliever Heath Bell will likely go to Norfolk to be the best relief pitcher in minor league baseball. And back from the injured list the mysterious Bart Fortunato. My guess? Lima Time makes the staff for a month; if he is sucking then he goes bye-bye when KazMat is ready to come off the DL. ISSUE 2: I OWN A TELEVISION BUT I CAN�T SEE THE METS I�m more puzzled by this than angry, although if it�s April 3 and I still don�t have SNY on my DirecTV system I could go postal. I call DirecTV and they tell me what great customer I am and how they want me to remain happy. The customer service reps are clueless but I don�t blame them, I blame DirecTV management. No one can give you a straight answer about the availability and what the sticking point is in getting SNY. You call SNY you get switched to a young lady named Meagan Bosset (not sure of the spelling of her name) with whom I left two messages to call me. So far, no call back. I just want someone to let me know what the issues are that is blocking DirecTV from carrying SNY. To me the fault lies with SNY. From the time I spoke to customer service reps at DirecTV who were on the ball, they all say the same thing, �We love to add programming� and I believe that. So again, what�s the hold up? Could it be the fee paid to SNY? You�d think both SNY and DirecTV would reach a consensus to the price, I mean how far off can they be? At least with the YES/Cablevision war (which DirecTV benifitted from with new subscribers in Long Island) we knew it was over money, the SNY-DirecTV stalemate is a mystery. ISSUE 3: TAKE YOUR NEW BALL PARK AND STICK IT UP YOUR MIDDLE AGED ASS. The venom that�s has been spewed from the young radical wing of Mets Nation over the design of the new �Shea� is freighting. I have read comments on various message boards and web sites that trash the Skill Sets for trying to bring back the look and feel of Ebbets Field. I�ve read comments where the young guns are sick and tired of the Freddy�s nostalgic look back at his Brooklyn roots and that the ballpark looks too much like Camden Yards. And what�s wrong with that? It�s clear anyone who feels it�s an insult to have a ballpark that looks like Ebbets Field with the amenities of Camden Yards is fucking clueless. I�ve never been to Ebbets Field (or the Polo Grounds for that matter) but I�ve been to Camden Yards and to the brand new Shea Stadium. As I�ve said on numerous occasions, as much as feel Shea is way past its usefulness, I will cry like a baby when it comes down. I saw my first baseball game there on the first weekend it was opened in 1964. I saw a kid name Seaver give the team stature. I saw Gil Hodges turn a bunch of lovable losers into the most popular winners in NYC. I�ve felt the field level stands shake like an earthquake during the 1986 World Series. I�ve had raw sewage just miss me as pipe exploded in the mezzanine back in 1976. I�ve see rats running around the upper deck as the crowds (ha!) could count in the hundreds. It�s time! It�s time for Shea Stadium to be put down and if the Skill Sets build a Camden Yards style ballpark all the better. Oh and another thing, be a little more respectful you little piss heads, you�ll be an old angry bastard soon yourselves. <

Saturday, March 18, 2006

THE HOUSE THE SKILL SETS BUILT The Daily News has a picture of the new Casa de Wilpon and it looks fabulous. Here are just someof th emenities: {According to a plan submitted to the Empire State Development Corp., the exterior will be reddish-brown brick and limestone, with concrete arches and exposed steel included to resemble bridges. The stadium would open to provide a view of the northern end of Willets Point. A restaurant in left field, enclosed with glass, will be available for season-ticket holders, while a second restaurant will be located in the upper level behind home plate. Plans also call for the three-deck stadium to include suites behind home plate, below the main concourse. Among the other features touted by the Mets: Wider seats angled toward the infield, and more leg room. A main concourse that encircles the stadium. A rotunda at the entrance reminiscent of Ebbets Field, the home of the Brooklyn Dodgers.} There is a small pic of the ballpark I'm trying to find a larger version as the this pic doesn't to the ballpark the justice as the bigger one does in the paper. The only drawback with the new park is we won't be able to afford the new ticket prices. <

Friday, March 17, 2006

WHAT�S THE FREQUENCY FREDDY PART DEUX So it seems SNY had some technical difficulties yesterday on its maiden voyage. I guess these things happen. It�s not that big a deal. What is a big deal is me getting this channel on DirecTV. Focus Jon Litner, focus!!!!!! Has he lost his mind Can he see or is he blind Can he walk at all Or if he moves will he fall Nobody wants him They just turn their heads Nobody helps him Now he has his revenge Here we go again with Kaz Matsui. Last night he sprained the MCL in his right knee sliding into second base. KazMat did stay in the game but came out after a couple of innings and had the knee placed in a soft air cast. Now when asked when he�d be ready for action KazMat had this to say: {�I�m not going to rush myself back onto the field�, he said. �I just want to get it fixed. Any injury is a setback whether I was playing well or not�} So unless he�s 100 % Matsui will not get back into action. He feels this is serious enough to where it will take him some time to get back to full strength. Well, it seems Willie Randolph sees it differently: {�I�m not concerned. He should be OK in a day or two. He just banged his knee and you want to be cautious in spring training.�} I get the feeling that Randolph has visions of Tony Graffanino dancing in his head.,0,1931778.story?coll=ny-sports-print UPDATE: Kaz Mat will be out at least 3 weeks: {An MRI administered on Friday confirmed and quantified the injury Matsui suffered Thursday night in an awkward slide into second base: a Grade 2 sprain of the right knee (a Grade 4 being the worst). The Mets said Matsui was restricted -- no real baseball activities -- for three weeks, a timeline that reaches into the first week of the regular season and, as Willie Randolph said, "Probably will put him back where he has to start over." } Hopefully Omar has unlimited weekends on his cell phone. THE PAIN AND SUFFERING OF BUD SELIG How would you like to be Alan H. Bud Selig today? His great idea of a World Baseball Championship will be remembered for Bob Davidson�s sucky umpiring and Team USA spiting the bit , not making the semi�s. He is also being given some very bad advice on conducting an investigation to see if Barry Bonds took steroids. What�s next a probe into seeing if Anna Benson likes sex? Did Bonds take steroids? Yes. Did it amp up his home run stats? Yes. Is he a prick with ears? Yes. Should he suspended? NO. For what? At the time BB was shooting up like Ratso Rizzo, there was no steroid testing or program in effect. So what exactly can Bonds be suspended for? Back in 1999 when Bonds� blew up like a Thanksgiving Day float that was when some action should have been taken. But since Giants owner Peter McGowan was paying off a big nut on the �Ball Park that Changes it�s Name Every Season,� and the place was packed 81 times a summer, so Bud looked the other way. Now with books coming out that show �gasp� that Bonds was juiced, Bud has decided to become Law and Order Selig. Too late now Buddy. It seems Bud did confront Bonds a few years back and asked him straight out if he was on steroids and supposedly Bonds told him no. OK Bonds is a liar. He�s lied to his wives and he�s lied to his goomada, he�s lied to the press, he�s lied to the fans. Are you starting to see a pattern here? Bud, will just have to count himself as one more person who has had his heartbroken by Bonds. Get over it. The Toxic Twins (Fehr and Oraza) will fight a suspension of Bonds tooth and nail and as we all know that is always a mismatch. <

Thursday, March 16, 2006

testing <

WHAT'S THE FREQUENCY FREDDY? So SNY is on the air, I guess. I have DirecTV so I wouldn't know. From all the reports I read and from calling SNY and DirecTV I get the same song and dance, "We're very close to an agreement". Well, ain't that fucking swell. Why does is take last minute screaming and yelling to get these negotiations completed? Time Warner and Comcast have Cablevision by the short hairs I would think by withholding renewing MSG and FSNY or even moving both of them to the high end of the cable food chain. Cablevision has nothing to fight here as right after the hockey season both MSG and FSNY will have nothing but infomercials to run. So you would think Cablevision would play ball here. What I don't get with DirecTV (beside SNY) is they carry every other Regional Sports Network so why not just get together here and sign up SNY. In fact a customer service rep at DirecTV said it takes no time at all to get the channel on the system and it should not cost any extra money for the subscribers since it will be on a the special sports package they have. Then there is SNY. It seems for the last three years all we heard about is this channel so you would have thought they would have had all the cable and satellite providers on board on launch day. But no. Again everyone you talk to either at SNY or DirecTV tell you it will either any day now or by opening day. It should have be done yesterday. Matt Cerrone over at MetsBlog has covered the SNY situation better than anyone not just in the blogesphere but his investigative work should have the main stream media types embarrassed. One of the papers in town would be smart to grab Matt and put him on the payroll. It's time for the Bill Madden's and Vic Zeigel's of the sportswriting world to step aside and let young guys like Cerrone take over. Matt was at the opening festivities at SNY and sounds like a cross between VH1's "Flava of Love" and "The Sureal Life" . Here Matt was standing around minding his own business and who does he find standing next to him none other than Freddy Skill Sets himself. Also loser extraordinarie, Mark Gasttineu was there as well as Ron Darling. Quite the eclectic collection I'd say. I will be in Manhattan on Saturday, so I'm going to take a walk over to 51st and 6th to check out the SNY studio myself. If you have Time Warner or Comcast and watched the game tonight or watch any programming on SNY drop me an e mail or leave a note in the comments section. Thanks <

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

WHERE OH WHERE IS MY SNY? At lunch today I was listening to Joe (Bada Bing Bada Boom) Benigno on WFAN and his guest was Richard Sandomir of the New York Times and the bulk of the interview was where SNY will be shown. Joe B is a DirecTV subscriber as myself and he asked Sandomir when he thought SNY will be on this system. Sandomir had not heard much about the negoigations but he figured that by opening day SNY will be on DirecTV. What sucks about all this is why is it taking this long to get the channel on DirecTV and the other cable systems around theTri-State region. As it stands now, SNY will be on only Time Warner and Comcast systems. There is some dispute if Cablevision will air SNY tomorrow or not, so if your hooked up to a Cablevision system, you may have to channel surf at 5PM tomorrow to see it it's on your system. This should have been done long before tomorrows launch. I guess the only thing fans without SNY can do is annoy the shit out of our cable systems or satellite provider and SNY until we get it. <

JON STEWART A METS FAN? WHO KNEW? Well, I did. I had the pleasure of meeting Jon Stewart this past December at the Bronx Zoo(not the ballpark put the place with the other wild animals) As my kids were waiting to go on the carousel, Stewart, his wife and baby were posing for pictures with some of the staff. Of course the wise ass as I am, I yelled over to him and said "Yo , Jon move it along" He came over to me and said, "I was ready to tell you off, but I saw your Mets jacket and since we both like the same team I let you slide" All the while he was laughing. While we waited for the kids to ride the carousel, I got to talk to him and found him a really nice guy. He has been a Mets fan his whole life and has enjoyed going to Shea since he was a kid. I told him how much I love The Daily Show and he told me he had another big gig coming up but couldn't talk about it (a couple of weeks later he was named to host the Oscars) He was looking forward to the Mets season. Now I know why. Stewart is in a new commercial for the Mets. Check it out.


Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Busted again.

Dwight Gooden was arrested today for violation of his probation. He admited to his probation officer that he used cocaine. A test proved positive and Gooden was taken to jail.

How long before we see the stories of Gooden taking his own life?


HEY JOEL, JUST MAKE THE CHECK OUT TO THE EDDIE KRANEPOOL SOCIETY In his recent article, Joel Sherman say just about all the same things I did yesterday about Kaz Matsui and the Mets 2nd base job in general. <

From The Boston Herald on the status of 2nd basemanTony Graffanino: {Under major league rules, Graffanino is guaranteed one-sixth of his salary, about $341,667, through tomorrow. Unless Graffanino is released before the end of the day, the guaranteed portion of his contract will increase to one-fourth, or $512,500. Graffanino�s contract would not become fully guaranteed until March 29, the date any club can ask for release waivers before being obligated to pay the entire contract. While Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein indicated the team was not currently close to any deals, the issue for the club is now obvious. If the Sox hold onto Graffanino but fail to deal him before March 29, they will incur an additional cost of roughly $170,000 to keep the player for another two weeks. As things stand, a number of clubs appear to have interest in the second baseman, including the New York Mets and Chicago Cubs. But given that Graffanino will start costing the Sox more with each passing day in camp, neither club might be willing to part with the talent necessary to make a trade. } And acording to ESPN's Buster Onley, the Red Sox are looking to add either David Wells, Matt Clement or Bronson Aroyo in deal. Think that may pique Omar's interest? <

CAN YOU FIRE A MANAGER DURING THE WBC After losing last night to Korea 7-3 (by the way, how does MLB and ESPN justify not showing this game live last night? You the hell wants to watch the over the hill Andre Aggasi play tennis? You could have put this game on ESPN Classic instead of some college basketball game from the early 90's. If Bud Selig were alive this would never happen) are you like me, waiting for Buck Martinez to be removed from the Team USA bench and replaced by the bloviator, Tommy Lasorda. Not that last night was Buck-aroos fault, its just that there is something missing from the USA that maybe old pasta breath can give them. Like a heart beat. <

Juan Padilla got some bad news yesterday when a second opinion seconded the motion for him to have Tommy John surgery. Padilla had a good chance to make the club after a strong showing last year and his ability to get lefites out. Hopefully he will bounce back next season with a speedy recovery. <

I was working in the lab late one night When my eyes beheld an eerie sight For my monster from his slab began to rise And suddenly to my surprise Professor Rick was working with his pals from American Sports Medicine Institute and using the Phenom Mike Pelfry as a prototype. Pelfry it seems is down with the program: {"I've never been exposed to anything close to something like that, it was pretty neat," Pelfrey said. "Even if it doesn't help me, if it helps one pitcher in the organization fix a flaw that might lead to an injury down the road, it's well worth it. "I think all the guys who did it are looking forward to seeing the results." } <

Monday, March 13, 2006

IF IT'S MONDAY, IT'S MARTY'S MAILBAG More answers to your Mets questions from Mets savant Marty Noble: {Any chance Kaz Matsui lands in Triple-A given his display of talent the last two years and this spring so far?-- Jay Z., Hamden, Conn. Yes, zero chance. } Best chance for a landing spot for KazMat? The Pine Barrens of New Jersey. <

WILLIE RANDOLPH THREADING ON SOME SHAKY GROUND I'm reading the NY Times this morning and get to the article on Jeff Keppinger and how it seems he has no chance of grabbing not only the 2nd base job but a bench job as well. Now as much as that has me scratching my head a bit, it this quote from Willie Ranolph that had me sit up straight: {And though Randolph did not declare the competition over, he added this: "Keppinger really wasn't in the mix. Keppinger was kind of a long shot, and he's still kind of a long shot, but he's there." } WHOA! At the start of spring training Randolph said the 2nd base job was wide open. Then when Jose Reyes left to play for the D.R. in the WBC, instead of giving the bulk of the shortstop work to Corey Ragsdale, Randolph decided to move Anderson Hernandez from 2nd base to short. So now Woody, KazMat and Keppinger saw much of the 2nd base action. Look at these numbers and tell me who deserves to get the boot: KazMat 28 AB .143/.172/.250 2xbh AHern 27AB .296/.321/.296 0 xbh Woody 20AB .300/.375/.350 1 xbh Keppinger 19AB .316/.316/.526 4xbh So the guy with the best numbers Keppinger, has no shot at making the squad but the guy with the worst numbers looks like a lock? So did Randolph lie to us at the begining of camp or is this the Skill Sets saying "we don't care how much Matsui sucks we are playing him" Willie has to be careful if he's taking a bullet for management because the next one they fire my be at him. <

UGLY AMERICANS I don't care how big a flag waver you are, Team USA was given a win on silver platter yesterday against Japan. When Akinori Iwanura hit a fly ball to LF it looked as though the Japanese would take a 4-3 lead with Tsuyoshi Nishioka tagging up at third and scoring easily as Randy Winn made an awful throw. Now here's where it gets good. As Nishioka crosses the plate, stumble bum ump (a Richie Phillips Kool Aid drinker) Bob Davidson called him safe and Japan was up 4-3. But wait, the incompetence level just went up a noch as Buck Martinez comes out of the dugout and claims that Nishioka left early. So catcher Brian Schneider throws down to Larry Jones who steps on third and Knight makes the safe call and that's that. Martinez still not satisfied asks Davidson to over rule Knight and call Nishioka out and that's what Davidson unbelievably does. That was just wrong. First off Davidson had called Nishioka safe. If he thought he left early he wouldn't even make a call. But as the replay show, Nishioka left right when the ball was caught. Plus the throw by Winn was so bad there was no way he was ever going to catch Nishioka. The one thought the went through my mind was the next game Davidson will proabaly work will be either a Little League game or a beer league softball game as he was not asked back by MLB after the Phillips fiasco and maybe he just wanted to teach young Mr. Knight a minor league ump who still has a shot at a ML job a lesson. But instead Davidson showed that former MLB VP Sandy Alderson made the right choice in not rehiring him.,0,7748307.story?coll=ny-sports-print <

Sunday, March 12, 2006

LIMA ALMOST OUT OF TIME From today's New York Times on Jose Lima: {Lima, who went 5-16 for Kansas City last season, made his debut in a Mets uniform Saturday against a lineup of Marlins with little or no major league experience. It was a lineup that any pitcher with major league aspirations would be expected to handle, and the 33-year-old Lima did so for three innings, allowing no hits and two base runners. In the fourth, the Marlins put together a four-run rally against him. Mets Manager Willie Randolph, General Manager Omar Minaya and the pitching coach Rick Peterson all praised Lima's efforts. But Lima remains a long shot to take the fifth starter's job from Aaron Heilman.} HUH? Forget longshot for the 5th starters spot, Lima's a longshot to make this team. He pitched against a bunch of bushers yesterday and sure he did well in 3 innings before the roof caved in. As much fun as it would be to have Lima Time around he won't get a spot. How about this from David Wright: {"As a hitter, you hate seeing that Electric Slide move after he strikes somebody out," Mets third baseman David Wright said. "But as a fielder, it fires you up. On the bench, sometimes you want to quiet him up a little bit. But he brings a lot of energy, and it rubs off on a lot of guys. He's the complete opposite of a prototypical starting pitcher. Most guys sit in their space and don't say anything. He gets in your face and talks about whatever he talks about. And he wants feedback." } How savvy is out boy Wright? He's telling us that Lima's antics are very annoying but as long as he with the Mets it's all good. You can tell from Wright's comments that on a hot day in August playing the last series of long road trip, that someone on the team may crack Lima with a Louisville Slugger if he serenades them on the bench. <

Saturday, March 11, 2006

LOVE ME TWO TIMES I'M GOING AWAY So Titan Tom Glavine signed a contract with the Mets and then sat down with his ex, the Braves and John Schuerholtz in paticular, and tired to reconcile. I'm not shocked since Glavine never wanted to leave the Braves in the first place but wanted to paid like a number 1 pitcher and the way he performed for the Mets the first two years of his deal you could tell he was miserable. But last year he seemed to finally get comfortable with playing for the Mets and playing in NYC. But you can still se his heart is still in Atlanta: "{No, not for me," Glavine said. "I don't know if it does for [Schuerholz]. I'm not really worried about that right now. I've put all my attention on trying to have a good year and then I'll deal with where, not so much where I'm at, but where my family is at when the year is over. ... That's the way I'm going to leave it. No one person or no one thing is going to influence that. "I'm not going to say anything bad. I'm not going to burn any bridges. That's not my style. It never has been. Like I said, all I can tell you is I've never denied it was a hard choice for me, but I've enjoyed the heck out of playing here." } Obviously his heart is still in Atlanta but if the John Schuerholz didn't want Glavine at his price 3 years ago why would he want him in '07? And if he went back to the Braves, well you know the old saying "You can't go home again". The biggest plus for Glavine staying a Met is he's comfortable. I think the fans are comfortable with him too. When he signed with the Mets I was pissed because he was a Brave and I was embarrassed as a Mets fan that they had to wine and dine him then over pay him to come here. But I have to say Galvine has grown on me as in a prior post I said I see him winning 17 games and being a serious Cy Young candidate. It's gotten to the point where now I hope he wins his 300th game as a Met and never thought I'd ever say that. <

DOCTOR, DOCTOR GIVE ME THE NEWS So the list of the walking wounded in St. Lonesome has been updated. Paul LoDuca's right hand is better and he has resumed playing. Petey seems to be back on track, although I can't figure out what's up with these "personal days" he takes every week. Hopefully he will throw some breaking balls off the mound today and face live batters in a game enviroment on Monday or Tuesday. X Man had a tight hammy but that seems to be OK as his .471/.526/.647 and outstanding outfield play show. Cliff Floyd will have to monitor his situation all season but he says he feels great and his ready to go. That brings us to Carlos Delgado who flew in from Puetro Rico to see the Mets doctors in St. Lonesome. He was given treatment for the tendinits in his elbow and he still hasn't played in theWBC and has not hit a ball in anger since March 3 but he and Omar tells us not to worry he'll be fine by April 3. You know what happened to "Don't Worry"? He's doing 10-15 years at Attica (what do you think counselor? Don't worry we have this case won). The only thing with Delgado is he had this condition last year and it did not hurt his production so maybe, just maybe he's taking extra precuations here. The Zambrano Project had some soreness to his back and he came into camp to get checked and was given a clean bill of health. In fact he threw in the bullpen for his main man Professor Rick who said he was outstanding. Juan Padilla who look good in th epen last year seems headed for Tommy John surgery. See ya next year Juan. So it just seems like these are not very serious problems (excpet for Padilla and Floyd's could be) but just enough to keep Mets fans up at night. <

Friday, March 10, 2006

NO JUST UG-LY BUT FUG-LY Today's 11-3 trouncing by the Cardinals today was the first time this spring the defense and pitching left something to be desired. The infield was very shaky as David Wright, KazMat, and Chris Woodward (playing shortstop have I told I hate the WBC?) commited errors. 6 of the 11 runs scored by the Cards were unearned. The pitching was not much better. Take a look at the pitching line: IP H R ER BB SO HR J Gonzalez (L,0-1) 3 5 3 1 0 0 0 M Pelfrey 3 3 3 0 1 3 0 B Wagner 1 2 2 2 2 0 0 C Bradford 1 2 1 1 0 0 0 H Owens 1 1 2 2 2 1 0 Of all the pitchers is looks as if Billy Wagner sufferd the most with 2 walks and no strike outs. Pelfry continues to impress with 3k's <

NO JUST UG-LY BUT FUG-LY Today's 11-3 trouncing by the Cardinals today was the first time this spring the defense and pitching left something to be desired. The infield was very shaky as David Wright, KazMat, and Chris Woodward (playing shortstop have I told I hate the WBC?) commited errors. 6 of the 11 runs scored by the Cards were unearned. The pitching was not much better. Take a look at the pitching line: IP H R ER BB SO HR J Gonzalez (L,0-1) 3 5 3 1 0 0 0 M Pelfrey 3 3 3 0 1 3 0 B Wagner 1 2 2 2 2 0 0 C Bradford 1 2 1 1 0 0 0 H Owens 1 1 2 2 2 1 0 Of all the pitchers is looks as if Billy Wagner sufferd the most with 2 walks and no strike outs. Pelfry continues to impress with 3k's <

Thursday, March 09, 2006

TV UPDATE I saw this little blurb in today's NEWSDAY: {SNY ISN'T WORRIED. One week before it is set to launch, SportsNet New York, the Mets' new regional sports network, has yet to announce deals with Cablevision or DirecTV. But fear not fans; people familiar with the talks insist both will be on board in time.Dish Network, which does not carry the Yankees' YES Network, likely won't carry SNY either.SNY will launch at 5 p.m. next Thursday. Its first show will be the debut of a roundtable featuring sportswriters as well as guests; Bob Knight is to appear for the inaugural show.The networks' local sports news program will debut at 6, followed by the pregame show for the Mets-Braves exhibition game. - NEIL BEST},0,3530999.story <

ITEM: PETEY SI` PETEY NO Is he or isn't he the opening day starter? When is it too late for Petey to go April 3? When will the final decsion be made? Only Petey knows: {"I think I'm still on track. I know you guys probably heard that Glavine is on track if I don't make it," Martinez said after a 62-pitch bullpen session yesterday. "That's the way it's going to be for the rest of the spring training, until I decide that I'm going to jump in - of course letting Glavine know ahead of time, because he deserves that."} That's mighty nice of Petey isn't it? With all that Petey had his best day of spring training yesterday: {But make no mistake: Martinez made significant strides during the session back at the Mets' complex in Port St. Lucie - increasing his pitch count by 27 over his last session Saturday, incorporating changeups and two-seam fastballs, and reducing the delay between pitches to more closely resemble a game's pace.} So more pitches but no breaking balls yet. Hopefully he'll throw some curveballs in the next bullpen session and Monday actually pitch in an exhibtion game. If he does go Monday, then Petey is still ontrack for opening day: {Insiders have said Martinez needs to get into a game-type setting by Monday in order to remain on track for the April 3 opener against Washington at Shea. Martinez, who has started eight straight Opening Days, said he would be unfazed if Glavine replaced him.} Is it important that Petey pitches opening day or is it just for the psyche of the team? Espically with the born again Tom Glavine, if Petey pitches the second game of the season or if he misses his turn in the roatation is the pitching staff that fragile that the Mets are doomed if he misses a start? <

ITEM: CLIFF FLOYD HAS KIDNEY CONCERNS This is scary stuff: {Floyd is scheduled for an ultrasound of his kidneys today after a team physical revealed above-normal creatinine and blood urea-nitrogen levels - two early indicators of renal failure. Floyd won't know the results until Wednesday, when he returns to see a local specialist. But he's already developed high blood pressure and high cholesterol, two more genetic markers from his father, and Floyd said there is blood in his urine. The doctor also warned him yesterday that it's time to make significant changes in his diet. } Hopefully Floyd can get this treated with medication and that is does not turn into something worse. Forget the baseball aspect, hopefully Cliff will get great care to live a long life.,0,4225544.story?coll=ny-sports-print <

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Adam Stern of the Red Sox by way of the Geat White North just hit an inside the park home run off Majewski. It's now 8-0 Canucks. I swear we in the lower 48 will be speaking Canadian very soon. Or Team USA will be saying merci beaucoup <

FYI Here is the mercy rule of the WBC: Is ahead by 10 or more runs when the opposing team has batted in at least seven innings; Is ahead by 15 or more runs when the opposing team has batted in at least five innings. Note: A game can be terminated in the middle of an inning if the team reaches the necessary number while at bat. The game will end immediately after that run is scored, unless it is because of a home run, in which case all runs score(similar to games won in a team's last turn at bat). If Team USA falls victim of the mercy rule, there better be some syringes ready for the next game. <

AN AMERICANS DILEMMA I have to admit I'm enjoying the end of the Panama-Cuba WBC game (Cuba is ahead 8-6 in the 12th inning) but the problem I have is when I switch over to ESPN to watch USA-Canada. The Canadians are up 5-0 in the 4th as USA starter Dontrelle Willis has just hit the 65 pitch mark and guess who the managerial challenged Buck Martinez bring in, the washed up Rosalita Leiter. That Leiter is even on this team is a joke and that he is even being used to just awful managing. Anyway here is my dilemma. I love America. I love being an American. But how the fuck can I root for a team that includes most of the players in baseball that make my skin crawl. The personality challenged Derek Jeter, the Transgendered Aleixs Rodriguez, the insufferable MF Clemens, the adulterous Larry Jones, the waaaayy over exposed Rosalita Leiter, and Benedict Arnold Dammon. Do you know how hard it is to root for Team USA with this bunch leading the way? What do I do, become Swiss. Shit. I'm perplexed.

(Update: Team USA is losing 7-0 to Canada in the 4th inning. It's so bad Dan O'Brien has even mentioned the mercy rule going into effect. Rosalita Leiter is fone from this one and Washington Nats relevier Gary Majewski is now on to pitch. Majewski gets out of the inning so USA is up in the bottom of the 4th down 7-0 W O W ) <

I meant to link this story yesterday after I read Ben Shipgel story on the Milledge family following young Lastings on his voyage to the big leauges. As long as Milledge's parents don't become the Jefferies or God forbid the Lindro's it's all good.

How about this little nugget about the closeness of Milledge and scott Kazmir:

{The Milledge menu does not include much chicken anymore, at least not since the Mets traded Scott Kazmir, their top pitching prospect. Kazmir and Milledge are close friends, and when they were together in the Mets' system, Kazmir would often hang out by the Milledge camper and stay for dinner.

"Kaz was the official chef," Tony Milledge said. "Whenever he said, 'Come and get it,' I came and got it."}

Oh Scotty, I just can't quit you.


MF CLEMMENS A MET? CONSIDER? Dan Lewis over at has posted this on his site about the Mets taking a shot at Clemens if Petey's toe becomes chronic. As I wrote to Dan, I would proably throw up in my mouth if Omar went and signed Clemens but you this would be something Omar would jump at. I don't think it could ever happen because if MF Clemens does play this year it would be in Houston so he could be close to his lover Andy Pettit and his K-K-K- kids. <

TRAX ON TRACK Nice to see Steve Trachsel bounce back from a bout with the shits and boredom of single life to put up 3 scorless ininnges yesterday against the 'Stros. Kaz-Ma-Taz had two hits in the game yesterday (triple and a single) along with 2 RBI as he shows guts and determination to take the 2nd base job (That's for you my annonymous sparing partner) and run with it. Chad Bradford also came back with better performence than his last going 2 innings with just a base knock against him. Then we have "Armando" Jorge Julio who got his tits lit against the D.R. in the Used Car Salesman Invitational. Julio gave up 4 hits (A homer to Adrian Beltre) 3 runs in 2/3 of an inning. <

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

OMAR SAYS, �WHAT ME WORRY? ABOUT INJURIES So let me get this straight. If Petey takes the mound next Monday in a game against the Nats, it�s a good bet he�ll make his opening day start on April 3. If he pitches in a bullpen session on Monday instead, then he MIGHT make his opening day start. If he doesn�t make either the start or bullpen session on Monday, the Mets are fucked, plain and simple. Petey will not make the opening day start and will miss a turn in the rotation. What does Omar think? {Am I worried? What�s today the sixth? Minaya asked, checking his watch for the date. �Not yet. I�m not worried about it. No. I think he�s going to be ready for Opening Day. That�s what I think today-that he will be ready for Opening Day�. �That being said, we�re not going to rush him just so he can pitch on Opening Day. We�re not rushing. We�re going to make sure when he goes to the field, he�s ready to go, whenever that time is�} You can �t get to bent out of shape here because we all knew sooner or later the drama would unfold. But if you�re the Mets you can�t tell me your not worried about Petey. I guess it�s just a coincidence that Mike Pelfry got to skip the bus ride to Vero Beach yesterday to pitch in the �B� game and got to stay in St. Lonesome against Team Puerto Rico. Then you get this quote from Willie Randolph about Pelfry: {For a kid getting his first taste, he�s handled himself pretty well, Randolph said. �Ideally those are the guys that may come quick.�} When was the last time you heard Willie toss a bouquet like that at a rookie? This is the same guy who thinks David Wright still needs to prove himself. From what the Mets brass has seen early in this spring it looks like the ETA for Pelfry to Flushing has moved up the charts. TENNIS ELBOW ANYONE? Guess who else has a boo-boo? Carlos Delgado. Seems he has tendonitis in his elbow but don�t worry it only hurts when he plays 1st base. Delgado�s elbow could have an effect on the Mets bullpen. How? Well if his elbow is still an issue on final cut down day, the Mets would have to go with 11 pitchers and keep Nady/Diaz on the roster so Nady can step in and play some 1st. Then we have Paul LoDuca who also has a bout of tendonitis in his hand and has not played yet this spring. LoDuca says he gets this every spring and by the end of spring training it�s fine. That�s good news. Hopefully it won�t affect his power numbers (3 home runs in �04 and 6 in �05 ooohh boy) In the 2006 Baseball Prospectus they don�t think too highly of LoDuca. {�The erstwhile heart, soul, and solar plexus of the Dodgers for whom the sun coast scribes still nurse giant unfulfilled man-crushes, turns out to be a run of the mill ballplayer when it comes to doing things like hitting and fielding, only the main parts of a ballplayers job�} <

Monday, March 06, 2006

EVERYONE GONE TO THE MOVIES NOW WE'RE ALONE AT LAST The marketing department for this this flick asked me to spread the word so consider it spread GAME 6 - OPENS IN THEATRES MARCH 10MICHAEL KEATON, ROBERT DOWNEY JR. STAR IN FILM SET AGAINST BACKDROP OF GAME6 OF '86 WORLD SERIES "Game 6" is a gritty, intense, articulate and witty tale of one man's encounter with his demons, his passions and his infatuation with failure. It is about playwright Nicky Rogan (Michael Keaton), a die-hard Red Sox fan who has lived his entire life in New York City. The movie takes place on October25, 1986, the day of the opening of Nicky 's new play on Broadway and that historic sporting event, "Game 6" of the 1986 World series between the RedSox and the New York Mets. From the outset of the fateful day, things begin to go wrong. His daughter(Ari Graynor) informs him that his wife (Catherine O' Hara) wants a divorce. His mistress (Bebe Neuwirth) tells him that his lead actor has a parasite in his brain and can't remember his lines and an old acquaintance (GriffinDunne) regales him with recent tales of Steven Schwimmer (Robert Downey,Jr.), the powerful critic so poisonous, so destructive, that the New York theatre community lives in terror of him.Though he won't admit it, Nicky is desperate for another success on Broadway and impulsively decides to skip opening night of his play to watch his beloved team. Maybe he can break his downward spiral if his "cursed" Red Sox can finally win the World Series.Watch the Game 6 trailer: <

I had planned to put up a post about Petey's toe, Delgado's elbow, Loduca's hand and the fact that Willie Randolph shows more respect to Mike Pelfry than he does to David Wright but I can't find it. I thought I sent it from work but it's not here, hopefully it's on the my documents at work so I can post it up tomorrow. Sad news out of Arizona on the passing of Hall of Famer Kriby Puckett. A real shame, the poor guy was only 44 years old but he was dealing with some health issues for some time with the loss of sight in one eye due to glaucoma. Puckett also had some legal troubles as well stemming from an alledged assault of a woman. Still Puckett was one of the most loved athletes in the Twin Cities leading the Twins to two World Series championships. Even with his bowling ball shaped body he was a helluva an all round baseball player. R I P Kirby. <

Sunday, March 05, 2006

AHERN STEPS UP Anderson Hernandez went 3 for 4 in yesterday's 5-4 win over the Nats. He also scoed 3 runs and stole a base. KazMat went 0 for 2 at 2nd base (AHern played short) and was replaced by Jeff Keppenger. X Man went 1 for 3 with a run scored and an RBI plus a stolen base. Victor Diaz countered with a 2 for 4 afternoon (a double and a single) and an RBI. Aaron Heilman and Brain Banister pitched the first 4 innings and were sharp but Mike Venafro got taged for 4 hits and a run in 1 inning of work. Royce Ring got the save. <

MUST SEE TV We get out first glance at the Amazin's today at 2:00PM as the Mets take on the Team Puerto Rico on ESPN. It looks like Mike Pelfry will get an inning of work and 17 year old Fernando Martinez who the Mets signed last year out the Dominican Repculic may make an apperance as well. <

Saturday, March 04, 2006

FROM KEN ROSENTHAL'S COLUMN: {Look for Mets third base coach Manny Acta, manager of the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic, to be one of the next hot managerial candidates. "It's only a matter of time before he gets a job," one rival executive says. "He's a gamer, yet under control. And he communicates well." If Willie Randolph flops, it's not out of the question that Acta could be the Mets' next manager .} As much as Willie makes me shake my head at times, I want him to succeed. In fact I want Willie to be the winningest manager in Mets history because I'm dying for a winning team, a playoff team and World Championship team. But what is interesting is the Mets have a few replacements around in case Willie and the team collapses. First off Ken Oberkfell is ready and able in Norfolk and seems to be a favorite with the Mets blogging community along with HOJO as his first lieutenant. Then you have Kid Carter who would walk from St. Lonesome to Queens for the job. Never discount Bobby Valentine either who would think hard if offered back his old job. And now we rumbling about Manny Acta as a ready replacement. If I were Willie I'd make damn sure this team gets out to a fast start. <

KAZMAT ON THIN ICE Kaz Matsui sure didn't help his cause last night by making an error on a chopper that allowed a run to score in the 3rd inning. You would think if this guy had any pride at all, he bust his ass to make plays and do things on the bases to send a message to Willie Randolph and Omar Minaya to take the trade talk and shove it up their ass's. But he doesn't have that in him and now the list of guys the Mets want at 2nd base keeps growing and growing. Add in Jose Vidro to the list of AHern, Keppinger, Woody, Soriano, Tony G and a few of St. Lonesome's best Little Leaguers. With all this where is Matsui's fire? I know that Asian players have a far different attitude than the American or the Latin player but does this guy have pulse. What does he need to get himself motivated? The manager and GM think you suck. In fact they think you suck so much, they are willing to beg the owners to eat your $8mil salary for the betterment of the team, and what do you do? Back up their view of you by making an error that scores a run. I can just see Omar telling Jeffy "see, see please Jeff please let me give him his release". You know what even if the Mets released him, I don't think anyone would take him for even a minimum salary. The Mets run the risk of keeping Matsui due to the money he's owed. The fans all know that. So if your the Skill Sets do you want on opening day of a season that great things are expected of you team, have everyone on your team introduced to 55,000 screams and cheering them except for one guy? Kaz Matsui is Roger Cedeno all over again.,0,2756128.story?coll=ny-sports-headlines <

Friday, March 03, 2006

WHERE TO BEGIN There is Mets news up the ying yang today but before I give some quick hits, I have been calling DirecTV and SportsNet NY trying to find out if and when SNY will be hurling through the galaxy, into my dish and on my TV. First, thanks to Matt Cerrone on Metsblog for linking the new SNY web site. It comes with names and phone numbers for every cable system on the east coast. That tells me that SNY is willing to make any deal it can with any cable or satellite provider. Back to my conversations. The folks at DirecTV had no info on SNY. The customer service rep that I spoke to must have been located in East Bubblefuck because he had no clue of what SNY was. But after a few minutes of conversation he said, "I would be surprised if we didn�t carry that station. We have all the other regional sports channels and as you say this is a NY sports channel and will carry all the Mets games, it wouldn�t make sense not to carry it". I thanked Ol� Goober for that and moved on to SNY. I called their office and was told they are negotiating with DirecTV and hopefully the will come to an agreement. I�m guessing that within a week, SNY will have a big press gala to announce that DirecTV, DISH and Cablevision have picked up the network. That�s just a guess and nothing more. Cablevision needs TW and Comcast to keep showing MSG and FSNY on their systems and DirecTV and DISH are not programmers so you�d figure they�d take in all the programing they can get their hands on. PETEY TERROR TOE RATING:1 With the Oscars coming up on Sunday (I usually skip awards shows except for the Golden Globes because that is a more relaxed setting with a lot of alcohol consumption kinda like every afternoon at Paula Abdul�s house. By the way, how blitzed was Paula last night on American Idol? And horny! She would bed all the male contestants on that show even little Chicken Little. Plus how badly does she want Simon? The producers need to put a drop cloth under her seat. What? Oh sorry yeah Petey�s toe) Petey gave an Academy Award performance in St. Lonesome: {"My heart is there, and they know I was trying to get there, but I justcan't," Martinez said. "At this point I haven't thrown to a batter yet. It'sreally difficult. I haven't even thrown a breaking ball here. I'm stillwondering about my toe. It's really difficult. There's no time. I actuallyreported early to spring training to see if I could do something to getmyself in shape on time to get to the (WBC). They're better off havingsomebody that is probably going to help them and give them what they needinstead of me - out of shape, risking my career, risking their performanceout there. It's going to be a tough competition. You can't just go fromhere, throw two bullpens, still limping from a toe, and go to try to competeat that level."} Just call him Petey Seymour Hoffman. THE BEAT GOES ON Bill Madden with Willie Randolph in today�s Daily News: {Willie Randolph was rushing out of the visitors' clubhouseat Roger Dean Stadium yesterday when he made an abrupt detour into thetrainer's room and grabbed himself a glove."Planning on thrusting yourself into the competition?" I asked him."You mean second base?" the Mets manager said, laughing. "Nah, not withthese knees. No player-manager stuff for me. Too bad, too. I'd come cheap.Only $2 million."} What Madden forgot to add was Willie also said "not like that overpaid piece of shit over there" SPEAKING OF 2ND BASE From the Boston Herald: {Graffanino, who is third on the Sox depth chart behind Mark Loretta andAlex Cora, was told by general manager Theo Epstein earlier in camp the teamwill attempt to trade him if it appears his playing time will be limited anda better opportunity arises. He was 0-for-3 in the Sox' 6-3 loss at HammondStadium. More than a dozen teams were represented by scouts at last night's game,including the New York Mets, who are on the lookout for an establishedsecond baseman following Bret Boone's sudden retirement Wednesday. "We've talked to Tony already, and we're going to make sure he playsenough," Sox manager Terry Francona said. "It's kind of a win-win situationif he plays well, and he's a good player. He could be with us, he couldpotentially be with somebody else. I think we all acknowledge that. Icertainly don't want him sitting. I wouldn't do that to him." } Tony,Toni,Tone Graffanino is ripe for the picking and I agree with Mike at The Metropolitans, a Victor Diaz for Tony G would not be a bad deal at all. Tony G is a local boy from the horror town of Amityville. Last year splitting time between KC ans Boston he hit .309/.366/.425 27xbh in 113 games total. He�s an excellent contact hitter who hardly K�s (369 K/2100 AB) he�s a little limited in his range at 2nd base but he�s a big improvement over Matsui, as he turns a swell DP. He just re-upped for a year at $2.05 mil so he looks to be a bargain. Stay tuned. NOT THE WRIGHT TIME David Wright�s agent went looking for a $77,500 raise for his client and was rebuffed by the Mets. So Wright�s contracted was renewed for the market adjusted raise of $47,500. I don�t make a big deal out of this even though Willy Taveras of the Astros who has less service time than Wright, got $400K. Look, Wright has the Mets by the short hairs here and they know they are just biding their time until the have to hand over the keys to the kingdom to him. Wright as usual took it all in stride: {The renewal process can come with negative connotations, but Wright said,"Nothing like that happened. There never was anything bad. We just didn'tagree." } <

Thursday, March 02, 2006

PUT IT IN THE BOOKS METS WIN !!!!!! METS WIN!!!!!! Hey it's a snow/sleeting/raining fucking miserable out today so if I want to celebrate today's Mets 12-7 win over the Cards I have every right to. X-Man went 4 for 4 with a Grany now it's Victor Diaz turn to show something. Trachsel felt like shit from the effects of the flu and pitched like it. The list of pitchers used in today's game is longer that credits for Gone With the Wind; Mitch Wylie Juan Perez-gave up a 3 run homer to Albert Puljos but the runs were unearned due to Todd Self's error Billy Wagner Heathe Bell Matt Perisho Tim Lavigne Chad Bradford All but Perez and Trax pitched shutout innings. <

W B C-YA LATER Major League baseball players are dropping out of the WBC faster than Dick Cheney�s hunting partners at a quail hunt, as the tournament gets under way tomorrow in Tokyo but two prominent Mets pitchers won�t be there. Manny Acta said today that Petey will not pitch for the D.R. and instead will stay in Mets camp and get ready for the season. Excellent choice. When the Mets gave Billy Wagner a contract similar to the national budget of a Latin American country I was a bit leery. I felt it was a lot of money for a closer when you could probably groom (Henry Owens) a homegrown pitcher or look around and buy low. But so far Wagner looks like he will be worth the money as his attitude is first rate. Wagner really wanted to play for Team America but he realized that he never has good springs and he really wanted to bond with his teammates and get himself comfortable in a new situation. Not many guys in toady�s pro sports put the team above themselves, so it is very refreshing to hear Wagner decline the invite to play in the WBC. WILLIE IS STILL NO KAZMAT FAN You would think that Kaz Matsui would have an edge in winning the 2nd base job now that Brett Boone has filed for his pension. That would be a false assumption. In fact, Willie Randolph seems he would rather active himself and play 2nd than see Matsui out there. According to Newsday, the Mets are looking for another candidate for the job: {With Tony Graffanino on the trading block in Boston, any slipups by Matsui could result in GM Omar Minaya pulling the trigger. The Mets asked the Red Sox about infielder Alex Cora during the off season, according to a major league official, but were told he was unavailable.} So now it�s a three man race between KazMat, Jeff Keppinger, and Anderson Hernandez. Keppinger has been hobbled by back spasms and could be just biding his time before he�s sent to minor league camp. AHern, if he can show some offense could be the choice of Willie Randolph as he loves his defense and has cracked a wide smile watching Hernandez working the double play with Jose Reyes. But it�s that $8mil owed to KazMat gives him the big edge here in keeping his job. Baring a deal for Graffanino, Vidro or Soriano, Matusi would have to make a ton of errors and hit like shit not to be in the opening day line up.,0,3116014.story?coll=ny-sports-print TAKE YOUR KIDS TO SEE OUR KIDS That was a slogan that Mets management used back in the late 70�s to sell tickets (it didn�t work well by the way) and they may be want to take it out of mothballs for this year or next. With David Wright and Jose Reyes entrenched in the infield hopefully for many years to come, there looks to be two more young studs on the horizon in Lastings Milledge and Mike Pelfry. These two seem to be the talk of camp, with Milledge going 3 for 3 one of the hits was a triple that Milledge rounded the base without breathing hard at all. Randolph has raved about his �quick hands� and his maturity. Pelfry, with Omar, Jeffy, Willie, Uncle Saul Katz and other management types crowding the backstop to watch in awe, put on a performance that had the front office drooling about what could be come June or July when instead of paying through the nose for a solid starting pitcher, Pelfry could fit the bill. Yes I know that Milledge and Pelfry may be the only major league ready players on the farm but if Milledge and Pelfry make the contributions we all think they can, added to Wright and Reyes that�s a very good young core. In fact it could be the best young core in the game. Then you look at the solid veterans on this team who seem to be genuinely concerned with the welfare and growth of these young guys, it seems to me the phrase �Same old Mets� can be buried for good.,0,1371792.story?coll=ny-sports-print <

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

YO, POCKET PROTECTOR CROWD, TRY WATCHING A GAME ONCE IN AWHILE Let me make this perfectly clear, I'm not anti-stats in fact I'm far from that as the amount of money I've spent on Bill James books, The Hardball Times Baseball Annual and Baseball Prospectus can attest to, but math was never one of favorite subjects in school. In fact most of my time in math class was fantasizing about what the girls in the class looked like naked. But baseball is a game of numbers and I do enjoy the work most sabermaticians do. The one place that does drive me up a wall is when it comes to their critiques of Jose Reyes. There seems to be a site that has some horse shit study on Reyes and this anal obsession with his On Base Pct. Yes we would all love Jose to get on base at a .400 clip but it just seems to me that some of the slide rule set just has not watched him play. Reyes, all of 22 years of age, is one of the most exciting players in baseball. As I noted in the Boone retirement post, his enthusiasm for the game is refreshing from the surly bastards like Gary Sheffield who can't seem to figure out that this is the best time of their lives. Reyes is an outstanding fielder and when he lays a ball down the line there is nothing better than watching him leg out a triple. When he's on first base it just gives the pitcher one more thing to worry about (which is why Beltran must 2nd-paid for by Fans of Beltran) I guess what I'm trying to say in too many words is "shut up and enjoy the show" . Some folks just think too much and lose their appreciation of the game itself.


AH BOONEY, WE HARDLY KNEW YE! Brett Boone has announced his retirement due to lack of desire. I'm glad Boone decided now was the best time to leave as he looked around camp and saw the unbridled enthusiasm of Jose Reyes: {Boone said a pivotal moment came when he watched 22-year-old shortstop Jose Reyes last week, gleefully coasting through drills even after four hours in the Florida sun. "He just kind of stared at me with that smile on his face," Boone said. "I said, 'That's what I remember.' Being a kid. He's got so much love right now for this game, and it's right on his sleeve. I know what he's feeling. "He can't wait to get to the ballpark and go to work, and that's awesome. That's what you need to be successful in this game, and if you don't have that, you're wasting everybody's time." } I know where Booney is coming from. It's like when I watch the twenty-something crowd going out for a night on the town and I miss those nights at Max's Kansas City and CBGB's topped off by a kinish and an egg cream at Dave's Lunchenonette. Ah the sweet fruits of my wayward youth. But I digress. This now leaves the competition to three at the second sack but I think Omar has a wayward eye toward Viera FL and on Alfonso Soriano. <