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Monday, August 3rd, 2009

Looking For a Sign

Mets Rumors & News

While watching the Mets this past weekend, I spent every game looking for a sign from God – well, maybe not God, but at least from Tug McGraw. I was looking for anything – no matter how little – to show me that there may be a miracle coming the last two months of the season for the Metsies. I looked on the field, in the batter’s box, on the pitcher’s mound, in the dugout, under my TV – everywhere and anywhere.

And on Friday, I thought I had it. After Angel Berroa grounded out on the first pitch he saw pinch-hitting with the bases loaded (I think the ball actually bounced in the dirt – it was a good pitch to hit if he were playing cricket) and Sean Green’s wild pitch cancelled out Daniel Murphy’s slick double play, Arizona third baseman Mark Reynolds dropped an easy pop-up with one out in the bottom of the ninth. That was it! The Mets are going to …

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

The Mets Fire Bernazard (and Still Blow It)

Mets Rumors & News

Couldn’t the Mets have just sent out a press release stating that they fired VP of Player Development Tony Bernazard? Maybe they could have marched out Jay Horwitz to read it. No questions, please. Or Ron Swoboda could have held court, regaling the media with stories of the ’69 Mets and finished with: “Oh, by the way, the Mets have fired Tony Bernazard.” Even having Mr. Met come out with cue cards (THE METS . . . HAVE FIRED . . . TONY BERNAZARD) followed by the Pepsi Party Patrol shooting T-shirts into the rows of reporters would have been better than what happened. Haven’t Fred and Jeff Wilpon seen Omar Minaya speak in front of an audience before?

The Mets can’t even make something as routine as a press conference routine. Who holds a press conference announcing  a behind-the-scenes executive’s firing anyway? A GM’s? Yes. A manager’s? Yes. But VP of Player Development? No. When Minaya started attacking the Daily News’ Adam Rubin, I wanted to jump into …

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

It’s Time to Clean House in Flushing

Mets Rumors & News

The time is just about right for a murder/suicide in Mets Land. I’m not saying things are so bad that somebody should actually be killed (though watching the Mets offense these days is putting me in a coma, and I’ve signed the appropriate papers for my wife to pull the plug if need be); I’m speaking figuratively here. The Wilpons should fire everybody (and I mean everybody), and then sell the team. There’s your murder/suicide.

It hasn’t been a smooth ride for Fred Wilpon – and now son Jeff (why does Fred’s son have to take after Fredo Corleone? Couldn’t he have had a Michael or Sonny instead? Or should we go with a Sheriff Buford T. Justice/Junior analogy here?) – since he took full control of the Mets and bought out Nelson Doubleday. Did the wrong owner leave? The Wilpons listen to the wrong people, hire the wrong people, sign the wrong people and meddle in the wrong places. In the last 10 years (well, maybe …

Saturday, July 11th, 2009
Mets Rumors & News

Jeff Francoeur is a Met. I’m not sure I like the sound of that, but I guess I’ll have to get used to it. It’s the latest in a long line of Braves who became Mets, some good, some bad (that means you, Tom Glavine): Warren Spahn, Jim Beauchamp, Felix Millan, George Stone, Joe Torre, Willie Montanez, Brett Butler, Greg McMichael, Julio Franco, Jorge Sosa, Gary Sheffield. Who’s next? A 40-year-old Chipper Jones? This is one of those change-of-scenery deals, but will it change Francoeur’s knowledge of the strike zone? The Mets needed to do something, and this may just be the beginning (or is this it?). Ryan Church had trouble staying on the field, and even when healthy wasn’t highly thought of by the Mets hierarchy for whatever reason. Here are five things to like about the deal and five things not to like:

Positives

1. Francoeur is five-and-a-half years younger than Church. He’s younger than David Wright and Jose Reyes. He may be a …

Monday, July 6th, 2009

Q&A With Thurman Munson Biographer Marty Appel

Yankees Rumors & News

Marty Appel is the behind-the-scenes Mr. Yankee. He was the PR guru for the Yankees back in the 1970s, and you’ve seen him in Yankeeographies and anywhere else a Yankee expert is needed. He was around the team for Thurman Munson’s whole career, and, to coincide with the 30th anniversary of Munson’s tragic death, he’s just written a book about the former Yankee catcher, Munson: The Life and Death of a Yankee Captain (Doubleday), which will be released on July 7th. Appel was friends with Munson, and his insights into the grouchy, yet lovable Yankee are far-reaching and detailed, and include a minute-by-minute account of the Captain’s fateful last flight. He interviewed Munson’s siblings and former teammates, and Appel was there himself as a first-hand witness to the Munson era. After his PR days with the Yanks ended, Appel moved on to produce Yankee broadcasts on WPIX, started his own PR firm, has written countless books, including having co-written Munson’s autobiography in the late ’70s, and was …

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

The Mets Are Driving Me Crazy

Mets Rumors & News

The Mets took three out of four from a quality Cardinals team last week, and then followed that up by losing five out of six to the Yankees and Milwaukee. They gut out wins, and then at the drop of a hat absolutely fall apart and look like a T-ball team doing it. Their up-and-down play is driving me so crazy I’m having arguments with myself. I almost beat myself up on the way to work this morning with this conversation I had while walking up 8th Avenue.

Me: With all that’s happened to the Mets this year, they’re still only two games out of first place. Ya gotta believe.

Me: The only reason they’re close is because the Phillies are struggling, but Raul Ibanez will be back and you know those guys will get themselves together. And even the Marlins have passed the Mets now. The Mets have been playing like buffoons all season. They’ve lost so many games that had nothing to do with injuries. The …

Monday, June 29th, 2009

New York Knicks Draft Grade

Knicks Rumors & News

Jordan Hill (Arizona-8th overall)- With Tyreke Evans, Ricky Rubio, Johnny Flynn and Stephen Curry all off the board the Knicks selected Hill. The 6’10” junior  forward averaged 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Wildcats last season. He played for three different coaches at Arizona but improved his scoring and rebounding each season. Donnie Walsh  was high on his athletiscm, ability to run the floor and block shots. Drafting Hill also provides insurance if the Knicks make a sign and trade with David Lee.

Toney Douglas (Florida State-29th overall)- The Knicks purchased this pick from the Lakers for $3 million dollars.  Douglas was a All-America Third Team selection and the ACC Defensive Player of the Year. The 6’2″ guard averaged 21. 8 points (led the ACC). The senior also guided the Seminoles to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in a decade and into the ACC Tournament championship game for the first time in school history. He also provides the Knicks insurance if they decide to make a sign and …

Sunday, June 14th, 2009

The Amazin’ World of a Mets Fan

Mets Rumors & News

It would be unbelievable if it wasn’t so believable. When Luis Castillo dropped that pop-up on Friday, I was as stunned as every other Met fan. And when Johan Santana got completely hammered today, I may have been just as stunned (well, not really – do we need to start worrying about him now?). And listening to Tim McCarver sing on Saturday may have been the most stunning moment of all. If you thought the Phillies series was bad, that was a walk in the park compared to this weekend.

But when you’re a Mets fan that’s what you signed up for – dropped pop-ups to lose a game, players missing bases to lose games – losing in any way that is remotely possible. It’s the Washington Nationals who are on pace to be the worst team in baseball history and the Chicago Cubs who’ve gone over 100 years without winning a World Series, but it’s the Mets who are the perceived laughingstock of the league. From Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game to …

Friday, June 12th, 2009
Mets Rumors & News

The Mets are 4-3 vs. the Phillies this season and 15-10 against them going back to last year. But it doesn’t really seem like it, does it? Why does it feel like the Phillies win every game against the Mets? Maybe it’s because the Mets have had the lead in just about every one of those contests.

The Mets won a thriller in the opening game of the series (as usual, all the games were nail-biters), but it turned out just to be a tease. The Mets are really, really good at teasing us, aren’t they? They blasted three home runs in the game, but that was just a tease also. Johan Santana wasn’t great, but boy was he tough. He drove in a run, started an impressive double play and picked up his eighth win of the year.

His attitude may even be catching on little by little. After Jimmy Rollins took out Alex Cora with a great slide, I thought if one of the sliding-challenged …

Friday, June 5th, 2009

Hot Stove Player of the Week: Jorge Posada

Yankees Rumors & News

The Yankees’ major league record of 18 straight errorless games came to an end this week. They also lost a game started by Carl Pavano, whose record of four straight years of stealing the Yankees’ money came to a halt this year (I haven’t seen somebody do less in that amount of time since the four years I spent in junior high school). There was a revolving door on the local teams’ pitching staffs the last few days: Chien-Ming Wang is back in the rotation (do they want a do-over on that decision?), with Phil Hughes heading out to the bullpen (he wasn’t demoted, though, he was just “relocated”); J.J. Putz, on the other hand, was demoted to the seventh inning (but now may be out for the season; who knew that the crown jewel of the Seattle trade would turn out to be Jeremy Reed?), and Bobby Parnell will work the eighth. And more roster moves were needed by the Mets, as the injuries continued to pile …

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

From the Scrapheap to the Top of the Heap

Mets Rumors & News

Livan Hernandez was signed to battle for the fifth starter slot. Gary Sheffield was signed to be a pinch-hitter. Omir Santos was signed probably because the Mets thought he was somebody else. But all three have been instrumental in keeping the Mets near the top of the division standings.

With Oliver Perez, Brian Schneider, Carlos Delgado, Alex Cora, Jose Reyes and Ryan Church (and don’t forget about Billy Wagner; well, maybe we should) all on the disabled list, and Carlos Beltran, Ramon Martinez (what a great job of fielding he’s been doing lately), J.J. Putz and Frankie Rodriguez battling one injury or another, the performances of Hernandez, Sheffield and Santos have been nothing short of a miracle for the Mets.

Hernandez threw the team’s first complete game last night, so forget about being the fifth starter, he may now be their second best starter. He’s 4-1 with a 4.28 ERA. The team has a 6-3 record in his nine starts this season, and he’s giving the Mets …

Monday, May 18th, 2009

Go-Go Mets Take 3 Out of 4 in San Fran

Mets Rumors & News

While I try to decide what I’d rather do than listen to the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball announcing team (repeatedly stab myself in the neck with a flathead screwdriver? Take a bubble bath with Rosie O’Donnell? Quit drinking?) – were they calling a baseball game or pyschoanalyzing Carlos Beltran (or is it Bel-TRAN?) – let’s looks at the things we liked over the four-game series and the things we didn’t like.

Things To Like: With the exception of last night, the offense exploded. You have to like that. They scored seven, eight and nine runs in the first three games. And the late-inning dramatics were a sight for sore eyes. Who do they think they are? The Phillies? David Wright was unstoppable, going 10 for 15 in the four games, with four walks, nine RBI’s and five stolen bases. And Beltran was seven for 16, with three ribbies and six runs scored. The aggressiveness on the base paths was another thing to like, and it was a smart aggressiveness, not a …

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