Tuesday, December 01, 2009

brian schneider era is over.

brian schneider era is over. schneider will take it one day at a time with the phillies.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Transplanted ex-Mets Update: Ed Hearn

Mets Police lets us know that the New York Times has an article on the whereabouts of former Mets Catcher Ed Hearn.   Ed Hearn sticks out in my mind primarily as being the subject of a David Letterman joke following the 1986 World Series.  Dave was talking about the hype and hysteria surrounding the World Champs and held up a prop, a book called Ed! The Untold Story of the 1986 World Champion Mets Back-Up Catcher.  I remember thinking I would like to read that book.  Check out Mets Police and the article at:
 
 
Ed Hearn's website says that Ed is the first and only current or former athlete from our country's top professional sports league to recieve the coveted (his words) C.S.P. designation (Certified Speaking Professional) from the National Speakers Association.
 
View the irony-free video: Ed Hearn: An Inspirational Champion at http://www.edhearn.com/newvideo.html
 

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Newsday: Mets to cut 2010 ticket prices 10-20 percent

According to an article posted on Newsday.com, the Mets announced today that some seating locations at CitiField will have cuts or more than 20 percent. All season tickets will go down in price.
 

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Bobby V Is Back!

Neil Best passes along the news that ESPN has hired former Mets manager Bobby Valentine: 
 
Bobby V will serve as a "Baseball Tonight" analyst beginning with the league championship series next month.  Next season he will be a regular contributor, as well as work for 1050 ESPN radio and the soon-to-be-launched Web site ESPNNewyork.com.
 

Next season he will be a regular contributor, as well as work for 1050 ESPN radio and the soon-to-be-launched Web site ESPNNewyork.com.

 

Valentine did not dispute the assumption he would like to return to managing in the majors, but he added, "At this time I'm totally committed in thinking about trying to be as good as I can be for the team that showed interest."

 

The "team" he meant is ESPN.

 

ESPN executive Norby Williamson said he assumed Valentine will be with the network at least through 2010.

 

Valentine said it was difficult to follow American baseball closely while managing in Japan, but he offered this when asked about the 2009 Mets:

 

"I followed it from afar and I have some friends there that I've shared tears with, because I think it's been a tragedy.

 

"It's been disappointment after disappointment, and I don't think anybody could have fixed it as the season was going on. As soon as it seemed like things were getting better, they seemed to get worse.

 

"I was kind of a fan that was really disappointed and upset by the outcome."

 

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Transplanted ex-Mets Update: Mike Hampton out for 2010

37 Year Old Mike Hampton, on the disabled list since August 18th, will have surgery on his pitching shoulder and both knees.  He may miss the entire 2010 season.  Hampton's infamous 8 year, $121M contract that he signed with the Rockies after helping the Mets reach the World Series in 2000, runs out after this season and he will be a free agent. For some reason his MRI results are in the hands of Mets' Dr. David Altchek.   No idea why anyone would approach anyone on the Mets medical staff for medical advice!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Maybe you shouldn't take financial advice from Lenny Dykstra

The Mets were officially eliminated from playoff contention last night, at the hands of Pedro Martinez and the Phillies.  As if the season couldn't have been bad enough, this just put a rotten cherry on the worst sundae I've ever eaten.  The offseason officially begins for Mets fans, though we still have a couple more weeks of rooting against the Phillies and Yankees.

Earlier this season, I posted a link to ex-Mets OF Lenny Dykstra's financial column for The Street.  Sports Illustrated has posted word that Lenny is broke, and is auctioning off his 1986 World Series ring to raise money.  So much for limiting downside risk, dude.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Worst Player Acquisitions in Mets Recent History

On February 3, 2009, Oliver PĂ©rez signed a three-year, $36 million deal to return to the Mets. Could this shape up to be the worst contract the Mets have ever committed themselves to? There's some stiff competition for that title. Here's some other bad Mets acquisitions:

Roger Cedeno
The deal: In December 2001, Steve Phillips signed Roger Cedeno to a four-year, $18-million contract. He hit .260 in 2002 and .267 in 2003, with a combined 39 stolen bases, in a tenure also marked by sloppy defense. Tom Glavine was caught on camera rolling his eyes after one botched Cedeno play.

Some lowlights: In June 2002, Cedeno got into a fight with Roberto Alomar in the Mets clubhouse. In November 2002 Cedeno was arrested and charged with driving under influence. In July 2003 Art Howe said Cedeno could steal more bases if he slimmed down. In December 2003 Jeff Cirillo rejected a trade to New York for Roger Cedeno.

The exit: Finally, in April 2004 Cedeno was traded to the St Louis Cardinals for future Hall of Famers catcher Chris Widger and shortstop Wilson Delgado.

Bobby Bonilla II
In 1999, the New York Mets acquired Bonilla from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for Mel Rojas.
Lowlights: During Game Six of the 1999 NLCS where the Mets were eliminated by the Braves in a gut-wrenching eleven inning game, Bonilla reportedly sat in the clubhouse playing cards with teammate Rickey Henderson.

The exit: When the New York Mets placed Bonilla on unconditional waivers in 2000, they agreed to pay out the remainder of his contract by deferring the remaining $5.9 million. Instead of paying him upfront for that money they came to an agreement where the Mets would pay him 25 equal payments of $1,193,248.20 every July 1 from 2011 until 2035. Bobby Bonilla essentially lent the Mets six million dollars at an interest rate over 20%.

Mo Vaughn
In December 2001 the Mets traded pitcher Kevin Appier to the California Angels of Los Angeles for first baseman Mo Vaughn, committing $42 Million for the next 4 years, to a player that had missed the entire previous season to a biceps injury.

Lowlights: In April 2002 Mo Vaughn was sidelined with a broken right hand just one week into his Mets career. That year, he hit .259 with 26 home runs, 72 runs batted in and 145 strikeouts in 487 at-bats. He also made 18 errors. In the first month of 2003, he hit .190 with 3 homers and 15 RBIs and 22 K's.

The exit: In May 2003, Mo Vaughn went on the disabled list with an arthritic left knee and never played baseball again.

Tom Glavine
The deal: In 2003, the Mets signed Glavine to signing a four-year, $42.5 million deal.
2003 Record: 9-14 4.52 ERA
2004 Record: 11-14 3.60 ERA
2005: 13-13, 3.53 ERA
2006: 15-7, 3.82 ERA

The Mets stupidly signed Glavine to another one year deal in 2007, when he couldn't get one from the Braves. That year he went on to pitch in one of the worst games in Mets history. Needing a win to either win the division or force a play-off game with the Phillies for the division, Glavine allowed 8 runs while recording only one out. Afterwards, he was incredulous as to the notion that the loss was devastating.


Vince Coleman:
The deal: Before the 1991 season, the Mets signed Coleman to a four year deal worth $12 Million
Lowlights:
In 235 games over three seasons, Coleman hit .270 with a .336 on base percentage and just 99 stolen bases. Coleman was one of three Mets named in a complaint of rape filed by a 31
year old woman in Florida, though prosecutors did not pursue the charges. In April 1993, Coleman injured Dwight Gooden's arm by swinging a golf club in the clubhouse. In July 2003, Coleman threw a lit firecracker into a crowd of fans outside Dodger Stadium, injuring three children. He was put on "administrative leave" for the rest of the season.

The exit: At the end of the season, the Mets traded him, with cash, to the Kansas City Royals for Kevin McReynolds.

Art Howe:
The deal: When the Mets couldn't land Lou Pinella, they instead hired Art Howe to a four year, $9.4 Million deal to be their manager. Howe's tenure lasted just two years, when the club went a combined 137-186.
The exit: In a fittingly mis-managed manner, in mid-September 2004 word leaked to the media that the Mets had fired manager Art Howe. Still, the club elected to keep him on as a lame-duck for the final 2½ weeks of the season.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Mets Guy In Michigan in Chicago

My brother in-law recently transplanted from Brooklyn to central Illinois.  The Mets are in Chicago this weekend, but he opted not to make the trek.  Can't say I blame him, though Wrigley Field is the true mecca of baseball.  The White Sox have a stadium, too, of course, and I've been lucky enough to have visited it twice, as I've also done with aforementioned Wrigley.  Mets Guy in Michigan was also in Chicago recently, and visited Comiskey Park.  Check out his blog for his review.  Seems there are other teams besides the Mets in MLB who have contempt for their fans.

http://metsguyinmichigan.blogspot.com/2009/08/separate-and-not-quite-equal-at-us.html


Friday, August 21, 2009

Well Said, Eddie Kranepool

Steve Keane nails it once again, with his take on the Sheffield drama. Although most fans are quick to call Sheff a baby, it's actually hard not to sympathize with his side when you think about it.

...all he did was be the consummate pro. He played through hurting legs when the team was short of sluggers he went out and played a better than average left field. Sheffield produced more than anyone could have hope for. So with the Mets clearly out of contention the logical move would be to put him on waivers, see who bites and if someone does, make a deal. General Managing 101.
I have to say, I too would be annoyed if I were in Gary's shoes. The Mets don't want to trade me to a contender, and they won't discuss a contract extension for 2010. Wonder how Dwight Gooden feels about this?

Then again, Adam Rubin makes a compelling argument as well!

If you sign up to play for a team, and that team decides to keep you for the entire season, how exactly can you have any legitimate gripe?

The Mets could have saved about one-sixth of Sheffield's $400,000 salary by letting him go to the team that claimed him. And then what? Don't the Mets have to field a competitive team for the rest of the year? (Or whatever you'd label what they are right now.)

And while Sheffield shouldn't be begrudged for requesting a 2010 contract, when it was spurned, how about going back out on the field that night and proving you merit it?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Livan Hernandez Era Is Over

OK, one last time:
 
Livan wears his war wound like a crown.  He'll have to sell cartoon ballons in town, because he's not a Met anymore.  While Livan Hernandez surprised us all by winning the 5th starter position out of Sping Training, and was probably our best pitcher in April, Livan has finally run out of gas for us, and had to be released to make way for...  Billy Wagner.  Billyball is back in New York, sports fans, at least for now. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Transplanted ex-Mets update: Tom Seaver on Joba Chamberlain

Mets Police passes along a link to an article where Tom Seaver essentially says that the Joba Rules could be detrimental to Joba Chamberlain's long term career. There's probably something about wine in there too, but I don't know for sure, I didn't read the link.

Transplanted ex-Mets update: Bobby Bonilla

Nice catch by Andrew Vazzano to pass along word from Twitter that one-time Mets nemesis, and twice-Mets headache Bobby Bonilla will start collecting paychecks from the Mets in 2011, as part of the buyout agreement when they released him in the Bobby Valentine era of 2000.

 
 

Sent to you by Mike via Google Reader:

 
 

via The 'Ropolitans | NY Mets Baseball Blog by Andrew Vazzano on 8/18/09

Bobby BonillaJoe Foriello of DisgruntledMetsFan.com just tweeted something that I had completely forgotten about.

Here's his tweet:

Does anyone realize that starting in 2011, the New York Mets will pay Bobby Bonilla $1.2 mil / year for 25 years? What an organization!

That's right.  Starting July 1, 2011, and on every July 1 until 2035, the Mets will send a check  to Bobby Bonilla worth $1,193,248.20.

When the Mets released Bonilla in January of 2000, instead of picking up the $5.9 million owed to him for that year, they agreed to pay him nearly $1.2 million over the course of 25 years.  That's almost $30 million.

Yikes.

Might as well bring him back as a coach somewhere for that much money.  Or have him cut the grass at Citi Field.

Or maybe he can play left field.


 
 

Things you can do from here:

 
 

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Transplanted ex-Mets update: Todd Pratt

Wondering whatever happened to 1999 NLDS hero, ex-Mets catcher Todd Pratt?  He's a coach for the Douglasville Bulls, of the Metro-Atlanta based independent Sunbelt League.  

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The Mets are hexed. It's

The Mets are hexed. It's the only explanation at this point. Castillo yesterday and the sausage man today. Unreal.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Transplanted ex-Mets update: Pedro Martinez

Pedro Martinez allowed five runs and three hits in five innings tonight for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the Philadelphia Phillies' AAA affiliate.  The Yahoo! Sports report stated that Pedro reached 93 on teh radar gun with his fastball, and his changeup was "effective."

'Ropolitans: Wally Backman is axed

Andrew Vazzano passes along word that transplanted ex-Mets 2B, and 1986 World Series champ, Wally Backman has been fired as manager of the Joliet JackHammers of the Northern League.  Andrew wonders if this opens the door for a return to the Mets, but I sincerely doubt the Jackhammer job has been the biggest obstacle to a reuinion in Queens. 

Thursday, July 30, 2009

It's Dancey Dance Time For The Mets

Despite all the front office hoopla, and despite half the roster being on the DL, or unavailable due to electrolyte deficiency, the Mets have won four in a row and are trying to convince us not to write them off for October baseball.  Can this hot streak be sustained long enough to put the Mets into contention, and then can the return of key players propel them into the playoffs?  That remains to be seen, of course, but in the meantime we can't go a day without some silliness.  New York Post Page Six section alleges Jose Reyes was spotted dancing his but off at a New York City club the other night, even though he's supposed to be rehabbing his hamstring, or knee, or ankle, or whatever.  The New York Mets flatly discredit the reports (is Richard Johnson after the Mets Shortstop position?), but that doesn't mean it's not worth posting about.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

So Where's All The Mets Stuff At Citi Field?

As the current homestand approached, I kept hearing about the unveiling of more Mets-ness at the Mets new home. Certainly that story was obscured by Rubingate, but watching today's broadcast, Citi Field looks exactly the same as when I went in April. Can someone out there give me an update on how Citi Field has been Metsmerized? I see the outfield walls are still black.


















Image Source: http://nomas-nyc.com

UPDATE: Citi may not yet have been Metsmerized. On WFAN yesterday afternoon, Evan Roberts was talking about expecting to see improvements to Citi Field to make it more Mets-centric when he attended last night's game, and I never heard a follow up. However, the only reference I could find online was this article in Newsday where the Mets will now show live action on the replay boards for those with obstructed views, and a vague reference to long term plans for displays of Mets memories. So much for that.

Conflict Of Interest?

WFAN's morning show host Craig Carton talked out of both sides of his mouth this morning - he said that Adam Rubin absolutely crossed the line this morning as a beat reporter, but then admitted that he used to go out drinking with players on the teams he covered as a beat reporter. 
 
Adam Rubin is a beat reporter.  From where I sit, he's supposed to get chummy with the Mets players and brass, so he can give us a behind-the-scenes description of the day to day activities of the Mets.  It seems to me like he's been pretty fair with his coverage.  However, it is of course IMPOSSIBLE for Adam not to have a personal bias one way or another about the people he's covering.  Unless all he puts down are facts, i.e. this is the lineup, this was the score, and translates box scores into sentences and gives transcriptions of post-game interviews given by other reporters, there is NO WAY for him not to have a personal bias influence his writing.  And that's fine.  The only way sports reporting can be even remotely interesting is for there to be some opinions, which are, by definition, personally biased.  And I think most of us, as readers, get it.  We can't stand Wallace Matthews because we think he has an anti-Mets bias, but we do read his columns, because his columns are entertaining, which is why we read columnists.  This isn't national politics, for crying out loud, it's baseball!
 
In the case of Tony Bernazard, Adam Rubin broke a real news story, about how a member of the Mets front office was behaving innapropriately.  Actual journalism!  And apparently the Mets didn't like that.  For years we've made fun of Fred Wilpon's assessment of Steve Phillips's qualifications for the GM job, saying Steve had the "Skill Sets" for the job.  We had no idea what that meant, until now.  Clearly, Omar does not have the skill sets necessary to talk to the media and the public.  For all the boneheaded moves Steve Phillips made as GM, he was at least better than Omar at spinning to the public the Mets asinine agenda.  Yesterday's smear job on Adam Rubin was ludicrous.
 
Omar announces Tony was fired, and then, for some God-unknown reason, mentions that Adam Rubin has been lobbying the Mets for a job in player development. 
 
Even if that were true, and take it to the extreme, that Adam Rubin was actually telling the Mets that he should replace Tony B as VP of player development, how exactly is that relevant to the Mets decision to fire Tony?   Either Tony deserved to be fired, or he didn't.  If Adam Rubin's reporting was bogus, then Tony should not have been fired.  But clearly, the reporting was spot-on, and that's why the Mets axed Tony from Princeton.
 
Later in the day, Jeff Wilpon implied he didn't think Adam's inquiries about how one gets a job in player development were unethical.  Omar said he regretted bringing up Adam Rubin's name in the press conference because it was not the right forum.  Exactly what forum would be appropriate for this nonsense?
 
This is so crazy.  Adam Rubin is paid by the Daily News to cover the Mets, and I assume his paychecks for appearing on Daily News Live come from the Daily News as well, not SNY.  Where is he being compensated by the Mets to call into the question of ethics?  Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez, Ron Darling and everyone on SNY who supposedly cover the Mets in an unbiased fashion, all collect paychecks from the Mets.  Mike Francesca is paid by the Yankees (YES Network).  There are conflicts of interest all over the place!  If Adam Rubin did get hired by the Mets, I would expect he would cease to cover the Mets as a beat reporter because there would be an actual conflict of interest.  But unless he is being compensated by the Mets in ways we don't know about, I don't see anything unethical, regardless of his future career aspirations.
 
Full disclosure: I have no relationship with Adam Rubin, other than my appreciation for the one time he printed my finding that the Mets were putting less urinals per man in Citi Field than there were in Shea Stadium

List Of Jobs With The Mets I'm Not After

Just to set the record straight, last week when I asked "How exactly does anyone in the Mets medical department still have a job?" I was not lobying for a position in the Mets Medical Department.
 
Further, when I suggested the Mets get a partial refund from HOK for designing a stadium with so many obstructed views, I was not lobbying for a job with the Mets in Stadium Development.
 
And when I said that the Mets should Fire Omar, Tony, and Jerry, I was not lobbying for a job as GM, VP of Player Development, or as manager of the Mets.  I did, however, suggest that Bobby Valentine would be a good candidate for any of those jobs and other than meeting Bobby V at his restaurant in Willets Point a few years back, I have no conflict of interest there either.
 
In the effort of full disclosure, however, I must admit I was once offered a job by the Mets:  This past offseason, the Mets called me to sell me season tickets.  When I declined, explaining that being a transplanted Mets fan there was no way I would be able to make it to that many games, the Mets salesperson suggested I sell any tickets I didn't want on the secondary market.  I declined the offer to be a ticket broker for the Mets.  And, looking at the prices on StubHub recently, I think I did the right thing. 

Monday, July 27, 2009

Hey Mets: It's Bobby Valentine Time

According to the Daily News, transplanted ex-Mets Manager Bobby Valentine is leaving Japan's Chiba Lotte Marines.

Hope The Mets Brought Back Some Orange Juice With Them!

The Mets bats came alive this weekend - apparently they really like hitting in Houston's Minute Maid Park.  I wonder how the Astros fans feel about the corporate naming rights of their stadium?  After ENRON FIELD, anything is an improvement, but I would love to know how many fans were just hoping their team could play in the Astronondome after the Enron debacle.  Still, it seems like when the corporate naming rights goes to a tangible consumer product, there is considerably less outrage than when it's a telecom company or a bank.  If the Citi naming rights ever implodes (perhaps less inevitable than we all thought), the Wilpons would be wise to solicit a more fan friendly way to sell out:
 
Some suggestions:
 
Pepsi Field
Subway Stadium
Sharp Park
 
or, my personal recommendation, for continuity and integrity: CITY FIELD
 
 

Friday, July 24, 2009

FAFIF: Transplanted Mets Fan's Guide to Petco Park

Jason, from Faith and Fear in Flushing, is in San Diego this week, so decided to take in a game at Petco Park.  If you're a Mets fan who is looking to transplant to another city, San Diego is a fine choice.  I've been to a Petco game myself, and got to see Mike Cameron and Mike Piazza in their San Diego days, and think it's a great place to see a ballgame.  You should take a moment to check out Jason's review here.

Breaking News: John Maine may be done for season

I logged on to Newsday.com this morning so I could see how badly it still looks, when I saw that they have a report that states John Maine may be on the shelf for the rest of 2009:
 
Mets pitcher John Maine will seek a second opinion on his injured right shoulder, multiple sources confirmed Thursday. Maine, who went on the disabled list June 12 with a pinched nerve in the shoulder, is expected to visit Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., in the next few days, sources said, indicating that his season may be in jeopardy.
 
How exactly does anyone in the Mets medical department still have a job? 

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Day One of New Newsday.com Format: Thumbs Down

Newsday.com has redesigned (again), in the next step in their effort to generate revenue through their online presence.  Well, it's only been a day, but I have to give it a hearty thumbs down so far.  The site is slower, clumsier, ugly, difficult to navigate, and archaic:  the blogs are not even RSS functional, nor even have comment section set-up.  And you expect us to pay for this? 

In April, Newsday announced that they "plan to end the distribution of free Web content and make our newsgathering capabilities a service to our customers."   Poor first step, folks.   Who would pay for this?

Head To Citi Field and see a winning Mets ballcub.

I've seen the Mets play three times this season (twice at Citi and once in D.C), and the Mets are 0-3 in those games.  If you want to be guaranteed to see a winning Mets team this season, head to Citi Field on Saturday, August 22, when the 1969 Mets will make an appearance.  Tom Seaver will be there, so if you're watching the game at home I am sure can tune in to the TV broadcast at some point to hear about his winery.  But I'm excited to hear about Nolan Ryan's planned appearance.  As everyone knows, the Mets franchise is bitten by the Nolan Ryan curse.  In 1971 they traded a young Nolan Ryan, for Jim Fregosi.   Nolan would go on to pitch seven no-hitters across his major league career (which lasted a mind boggling 27 seasons).  And of course, the Mets as a franchise have never had a pitcher throw a no-hitter.  Thus, the Nolan Ryan curse.  Can the Mets Reverse The Curse by inviting their 1969 star to Citi Field?  Wait and see, wait and see...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

End It Now

This has been a season of one embarrassment after another. Opening a $800 million ballpark with obstructed views named after a bankrupt bank, with the first pitch caught by a former player under the glare of steroid allegations, and the bigwigs more concerned about Dwight Gooden's illegal autograph than the fact that the team had no depth, and even worse, no heart. And that was all just the first week of the season.

Now that Tony from Princeton has finally exposed himself as the ass that he is, and Omar has failed to make the postseason for the third straight season, the time is now for a regime change. Jerry Manuel has got to go as well. He told Schmuck Francesca today that biggest drag on teh Mets clubhouse has been waiting for the stars to get back. Why are they waiting for the stars to come back, Jerry? Aren't these all major league players Jerry? I any one of them being paid less than a half million dollars a year to play baseball? How about telling tehse guys that they have the ability to win games without burden of the injured players that choked the last two seasons?

Fire Bernazard, Fire Omar, Fire Jerry, bring in a Moneyball GM like the Red Socks have, bring in Rob Neyer as a special advisor, HIRE BOBBY VALENTINE, install Carlos Baerga as first base coach, and start building a fun ballclub - baseball like it oughta be.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Have the Mets given up?

I know injuries are the most obvious and logical reason for the Mets losing ways this season, but I also think it's a convenient excuse.  I think Jerry Manuel's message of "let's tread water until our big guys get back" has been a detriment to the team.  The 1997 Mets, led by Bobby Valentine, were a lot more competitive, and the most talented player on that team was Todd Hundley.  2009 may be a lost season for the Mets, but Omar shouldn't rest this offseason - this team needs to be rebuilt. Start by shipping out Jerry Manuel, and re-hiring Bobby V.  Then, say "see you later" to Carlos Delgado, Luis Castillo, Brian Schneider, and start building anew.  I also think teh time is now to say "bye bye" to Mr. Beltran.  Trade him while his value is still high.  Build the team around David Wright, Jose Reyes and Johan Santana and K-Rod.  Everyone else is disposable.  We need some fun at Citi Field, and that means players with some personality and passion.  We watch sports for entertainment, and the way these guys lose (and even the way they win), just is not entertaining.       

Friday, July 17, 2009

All Star Break is over

Second verse, same as the first. I've been pretty bogged down with work and school lately, so it's been hard to keep up with posting, but I figured I should at least post my thoughts on the Ryan Church Era being over. I received the news via text message from my cousin, while I was visiting my dad in Florida. I about drove off the road. Not because they traded Church, who you had to figure wasn't long for the team, but because Omar imported a guy with abolutely none of what the Mets offense have been missing: power. It was a weird move actually: a swap of guys who had fallen out of favor with managemnet, but not necessarily the fans. Both guys have the potential to be fan favorites, and come back to bite the other team, but neither guy really has the potential to be a difference maker.

I'm looking forward to watching some baseball this weekend, in between studying for a midterm and finishing up the next part of my project. Can anyone out there help me with Equity Valuation or Weighted Average Cost of Capital?

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Mets Confessions via Text Messages

My friend Bob* and I had a text message conversation yesterday morning, while I was commuting into the city for a business meeting.  I forgot to bring a newspaper, so he kept me entertained.  We both vented about our frustration with this team.
 
ME: Good Morning to you and how you be?

BOB:   Not bad.  Yourself

ME: Fine.  on the train to nyc.

BOB: When is our Mets game?  How much do I owe you?

ME: september 6. 30 bucks.  they should be in last place by then.  Bobby V would do better with this crew

BOB: Totally, I'm tiring of the Manuel Schtick

ME: the 97 mets had less talent and won more.

BOB: More heart and a better manager.  Also more clubhouse leaders.

ME: and more Baergas

BOB: Sorely missed

ME: At least myheinousanusreyes is back.

BOB: Nobody worth rooting for besides Johan and K-Rod.  Even Wright is a loser

ME: k-rod couldn't get mariano rivera out.  johan has thrown more teammates under the bus than Cindy Brady would... at least he's a man though.

BOB: He's a man.  He's a man.

ME: to hell with all these guys

BOB: I've never been so disconnected before.  Minus them sucking, I think some of it is getting older and being distracted by kids.

ME: yeah me too.  but also these guys just aren't that likeable.  even in 2007, before september, i wasn't digging on this group.

BOB: It's the personalities.  Nobody has a good one.  We need another Ventura.

ME: yeah he was great and so was leiter, turk wendell and even derek bell

BOB: Yep on all those guys - these guys are dull...dull quotes...dull looks on their faces.  We'd be better off with Manuel as a player.

ME: bunch of spoiled millionares

BOB: Yep.   Even the Yanks have Damon and Swisher, who are fun guys.

ME: a caller to mike francesca proposed ryan church for nick swisher.  i thought that was a good deal for both teams.

BOB: I would do it.  I like Church, but he is SUCH a dud.

ME: yeah and swisher has more power, which we need too.  You know who's another guy the Mets miss?  Cliff Floyd.

BOB: BIG time

ME: ok, getting off the train now.  Get back to work!
 
*name has been changed to protect the innocent

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Transplanted ex-Mets update: Orlando El Duque Hernandez

Hey hey hey, El Duque isn't done yet. Former Mets pitcher and younger/older half-brother of Livan Hernandez, Orlando Hernandez has signed a minor league deal with the Texas Rangers.

The last time Mets fans saw El Duque he was due back any day now from a foot injury in 2007, but he missed all of 2008 when he injured his toe while rehabbing his foot. I'm pretty sure Suzyn Waldman blames the foot injury on El Duque being sad about Elian Gonzalez.

Another ex-Mets pitcher, Pedro Martinez, is reportedly in talks with the Tampa Ray Devil Bays to join the club, pending the results of an upcoming workout. Metsblog notes that the Rays will face the Mets at Citi Field for a three game set next weekend.
Meanwhile, in Japan, former Mets manager Bobby Valentine's Chiba Lotte Marines scored 15 runs in one inning against the Hiroshima Carp as part of a 23-2 win on Thursday.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Photos of Nationals Park (Mets V. Expos)



Alright, time to get one last post out of the way about my trip to Nationals Park, before the Mets kick off their big series with the Phillies (weather permitting).

All in all, I was very impressed with Nationals Park. What may be most impressive is that the Mets and Nationals both started work on their stadiums at roughly the same time in 2006, but the Washington, D.C. park opened a full year before Citi Field. I can't explain why it took the Mets longer, because both stadiums were designed by HOK. Maybe someone out there has a guess?















We took the DC Metro to the Park, which sits at the Navy Yards stop on the Green Line. Luckily I had my cousin with me to figure out how to buy a Metro Card - I have to admit I was totally baffled by the vending machines at the train station! One thing to note when riding teh DC Metro: you have to swipe your card both when you enter and exit the stations - it's kinda like the Jersey Turnpike tolls where you pay depending on how far you travel and what time of day, rather than a flat per-ride price.

When you depart the train you walk into the park down this main corridor where they are building condos and luxury apartment buildings. How great would it be to be able to watch the game from your apartment? I wonder how rents with ballpark views will compare to those with views of The Capitol?





MASN was broadcasting their pre-game show from the ballpark courtyard. I thought it was really cool to see a player from the 1986 Mets at the game. How could you top that? You can buy day of game grandstand seats for $5.00 each, but we opted for upper deck seats behind the plate for $20. I thought that was a pretty good deal. Here was our view:



















There is a huge analog clock next to the giant HDTV scoreboard in centerfield. I am not sure if this is intentional, going back to rickety RFK days or what, but there is something wrong with the clock. At gametime it was about 10 minutes slow, and by the end of teh game (2 hrs. later) it was almost a full hour behind. And another thing, and I am sure I am not the first to note this, but someone should inform Walgreens that the baseball team stole their logo.


The TV announcers may complain about their high perch, but there is not an obstructed view in all of Nationals park. And I checked. You can watch teh game while walking around the entire park, almost at every level, with great views of the action. Wherever you go. There is phenomenal food choices (I did have a tasty W shaped pretzel), and overall a very fine atmosphere. Credit for this must go to thw aforementioned all-star ushers. Very friendly for out of town fans!






Here are some more pics for your perusal. Overall, I rate this ballpark an A






.
































Monday, June 08, 2009

Meeting Doc Gooden

So here is the story of how I met transplanted ex-Mets superstar pitcher Dwight "Doctor K" Gooden:
 
I give a ton of credit to my cousin who has been a Mets fan for over 30 years, despite growing up in Western, PA where most baseball fans would grow up rooting for the Pirates, or maybe even the Indians or something.  But he stuck with the Mets through the lean times and even though he now lives in the Washington DC area, we try to meet up at least once a year for a Mets game.  The first autograph I ever got was Dwight Gooden.  I don't know how young I was, but it used to be that if you showed up early at Shea you could hang out at the field level and often times the players would come over to the railings and sign things.  I was fortunate enough to get Dwight Gooden's autograph on a baseball, and then I asked for a second autograph for my cousin.  Everyone in the crowd snickered, yeah sure for your cousin, but Doc obliged and I sent the artifact out to my cousin in PA. 
 
So this weekend my very understanding wife and my son and I drove down to southern Maryland to meet up with my cousin and his wife and their two kids.  Saturday night my cousin and I took the DC Metro into the game. My cousin's got this old shirt, I mean like 20 years old or something, that he wears to most Mets games.  It's a grey Dwight Gooden T-Shirt with an illustration of Doc on it and METS written across the top.    I wish I had a picture of this shirt, because no written description could do it justice.  But anyway, like I said my cousin wears it to almost all Mets games he goes to, and says they almost never lose when he wears it.  When we showed up at his house my wife asked where the Gooden shirt was.
 
So he's got the shirt on and we're walking around Nationals Park in between innings, and this dude at a memorabilia kiosk calls us over.  He wants to know about the shirt my cousin's got on, and where he got it.  It's an old shirt, my cousin says.  The guy at the kiosk says he has been getting requests for T-shirts featuring Negro League stars, and the one my cousin has on is great because it says Mets on it!  The guy was serious!  So my cousin just says it's an old shirt that he's had for years.  The guy says, "Well it fits you great - it's probably your best shirt!"  We just walked away laughing and of course made jokes for the rest of the game about Negro League superstar Dwight Gooden, and remember that time he faced Satchel Paige and that kind of thing.  
 
My cousin was very patient as I took about a thousand pictures of the ballpark.  The great thing about the park is that it's got open views of the field from practically every level, so you can walk around and watch the game from every angle.  Which is what we did once the game was out of hand.  We started way up on top and circled around, and as you'll see when I post pictures, I have photos from about a dozen different of angles.  So by the time the top of the ninth rolled around, we were at the lowest level, right at home plate.  I'm taking shots from where I thought was a good view, when an usher invited me to go even closer.  So I got separated from my cousin to walk down the ramp and take a few shots.  I got some closer pictures of Castillo and Beltran as they batted and then since it was 2 outs in the ninth I figured I should get back up to my cousin before we got separated when the game ended.  I turned around to walk up the ramp when a different usher calls back to me, "Hey! You know who's here? Dwight Gooden!"  I guess he spotted my Mets hat, and knew Dwight Gooden from his post-Negro League days? 
 
"Where?," I asked. 
 
"Go that way and ask the usher - his name is Howard."
 
I found Howard, and asked him if Doc Gooden was sitting nearby, right as Beltran made the last out of the game. "He's right there - standing up right now to leave." 
 
I asked the usher he would take our picture.  The Nationals my not have many wins, but they lead the league in my favorte ushers.  Dwight was with a young boy (his son?) but obliged for the photo anyway - he even smiled!  I thanked Doc for the 1980's memories, and ran back to my cousin.  "You are not going to believe this," as I showed him my camera.
 
My cousin laughed in astonishment.  "I was just about to say that the luck in this shirt had run out!"

I think I owe my cousin and his shirt a few beers for the karma.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Quick Review: Nationals Park

Still recovering from the long drive up from DC. I'll post a full review soon, hopefully tomorrow, but in the meantime here are some quick reactions about my trip to see the Mets play at Nationals Park:

  • I want to know if HOK (the designers of Citi Field) also did this park because whoever did, did a much better job.
  • Access to the park is super easy from the DC Metro.
  • 360 degrees of the field from ALL levels.
  • No obstructed views.
  • Fantastic food options.
  • A great value - I scored upper deck seats day of game for $20 each. There are also grandstand seats for $5, available day of game only, but we bought our seats from the kiosk and I think you have to talk to a live person to get the $5 seats?
  • Something is crazy with the big analog clock in right field, it was 15 minutes slow at game time, but by the end of the game it was almost a full hour behind!
  • Someone needs to tell Walgreens that the Nationals stole their logo.
  • How do 8 runs get scored in a baseball game that only lasts two hours?
  • I am officially a jinx for the 2009 Mets - I am 0 for 3 seeing the in person this year!
  • TONS of Mets fans at the park.
  • I will have to post this separately, as it is too long and crazy story to bury it here, but I managed to get my picture taken with Dwight Gooden, who was in attendance at the game!
  • Brag all you want, Washington fans, but until your team finishes above .500 for the season, they are still the Expos!
That's all for now - I'll post more pics, comments and stories later this week!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Transplanted ex-Mets update: Tom Glavine

Metsblog passes along word from FOX Sports that the Braves have released Tom Glavine, who was in the midst of rehabbing from an injury and seemed to be progressing well. Money seemed to be a factor for the Braves.  I wonder if Glavine is devastated by the news.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

I hate agreeing with Wallace Matthews, but I do

I usually take umbrage with the way Wallace Matthews takes any opportunity to slam the Mets, but I begrudgingly admit that I often agree with his rants.  Today is one of those times - his column discusses the surprisingly low attendance at Mets and Yankees games.  The owners will want to blame the economy, but that's only half the story.  This season will likely be the fewest games I've gone to in about 15 years, and for three of those years I lived in North Carolina!  I haven't directly been impacted by the economy, but the way the Mets have structured the price of a ticket, plus the hidden surcharges, plus the price of parking, and the way they built the damn ballpark so that only those who pay triple-figures can actually get a good view, I am less than enthusiastic about making the trek to a game.  Shea was a dump, for sure, but at least those in the upper tank could see the whole field for under $15 a seat.  Mezzanine and Loge seats behind the plate were great views for less than $40 most nights.  Citi Field is just one big rip-off. 

The Ramon Castro Era Is Over

I am very happy today, as the Mets won an 11 inning thriller with a game winning hit by Omir Santos, as well as because the Ramon Castro Era is over. I have never been a fan, and am glad that we will see more of Omir. It occurred to me, with news that the Mets have acquired minor league outfielder Emil Brown, that the Mets must surely lead the league in players whose first names have just four letters:

Omir
Ryan
Alex
Gary
Jose
Sean
Mike

Remember, as tempting as it is, NO GLOATING about injuries to competing team's players!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Transplanted ex-Mets Outfielder Clint Hurdle Fired as manager of The Rockies

Two-time Mets Utility Player Clint Hurdle was fired today as manager of the Colorado Rockies. 

Hurdle had three stints as a Met, but appeared in just 59 games over three seasons (1983, 1985 and 1987) in the mid eighties.  He hit .195 as a Met.

Before moving on to the Rockies organization, Hurdle managed the Mets A, AA, and AAA farm teams.


Ex-Mets Manager Joe Torre Is Full Of Balogna

Joe Torre says that Manny Ramirez should decline an invitation to the All Star Game if selected.

“To me, I think the significance of the All-Star Game is to reward players who have a good first half,” Torre said. “We don’t always do that, because it’s a popularity vote, for the most part. If you want to include the fans, that’s how it’s got to be.”

Really, Joe? It's to reward players who had a great first half? Is that why you selected seven Yankees to the 2001 squad when none were voted in by the fans?

METS BOOK REVIEW: Faith And Fear In Flushing: The Book

If you're a fan of Faith And Fear In Flushing: The Blog you've likely already picked up Faith And Fear In Flushing: The Book. Greg and Jason's blogsite has long been called "The Blog For Mets Fans Who Like To Read" so I guess it's only natural for the blog to become a book! The site's postings consistently articulate what Mets fans collectively are feeling at any given time. If you're a Mets fans you leave the site feeling validated and with a sense of camaraderie in your emotions. Greg Prince's book does exactly the same thing. Sometimes as Mets fans we feel like we're constantly having to explain our fandom. Some folks think we just choose to be contrarian. Yankees fans sometimes malign us for sticking with a faux-underdog. They don't get it. We're Mets Fans because we're Mets Fans, and I could spend a thousand pages trying to explain it but instead I'll just direct you to Greg's fine book for what must be the best articulation of what it's like to be a Mets fan between two hard covers.

The well-deserved positive reviews are pouring in, and if you haven't been convinced enough yet to purchase this tome, I'd like to list just a few of my favorite things about Faith and Fear in Flushing: An Intense Personal History of the New York Mets

I finally have a mnemonic device to remember the name of the blog! I have a brain freeze when it comes to remembering the name of the site, and I all too often type it or remember it as "Fear And Faith In Flushing." Thankfully, the cover of the book gives me an associative device to remember it. Ray Knight is on the top half of the cover (Faith) and Aaron Heilman is on the bottom half (Fear). It is officially ingrained!

It's written by a blogger! If you're a blogger you can't help but feel like we were all published along with Greg Prince. Don't you just feel totally validated? And hey, if your significant other can't fathom why you would want to spend countless hours on the computer barking blogging at the moon, it is especially helpful to be able to hold up a real live book published by a real live publisher and say "See here, this book was written by a blogger! That could be me someday!" Or at least, "Hey, look here in the acknowledgments! This guy Dave Murray is a Mets blogger too! I could be named in an acknowledgments section someday!"

There's an entire chapter devoted to the 1997 Mets. 1997 was one of the most fun seasons for me as a fan of the Mets. Carlos Baerga, John Olerud, Matt Franco, Edgardo Alfonzo, and my all-time favorite manager Bobby Valentine made for one of the most gratifying seasons as a season can be without winning a damn thing, and I'm not the only one who remembers it as such!

The Afterword with Gary Cohen. Greg transcribes a conversation with Gary Cohen, and they talk about the closing of Shea Stadium, and if you didn't already believe that Gary was one of us, these few pages assert that we're all in this together. And that for me is what this book is all about. That sense of community among Mets fans, simultaneously optimistic and bitter, and always believing.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Out Of Sight, Out Of My Mind

Can the Mets make it any harder to stay enthused about the team?  The only good thing about teh last four days is that they are playing in California, at gametimes too late for those of us with day jobs to stay up and endure the beatings.
 
Condolences to transplanted ex-Mets reliever Scott Schoeneweis,  who is mourning the sudden death of his wife.
 
Congratulations to ex-Mets superstar Darryl Strawberry on the release of his latest autobiography.  I think this is like the eighth or ninth.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Transplanted Ex-Mets Update: Lastings Milledge has surgery on busted hand

Another game that proves nothing can be predicted in baseball:  Johan Santana finally got run support, and he needed all of it, as the Mets beat Randy Johnson and the San Franciscans in a game slightly less than a pitchers duel.  A Philly won the Preakness, and the Phillies beat the Expos, but the Expos' AAAllstar candidate Lastings Milledge had surgery on his broken ring finger. 

Mets go for the sweep today!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

What A Win! Mets on National TV today.

It was hard to find a Mets fan who was optimistic about their chances last night, sending Livan Hernandez up to the hill to face Tim Lincecum. And for sure, Livan did not have the stuff while the reigning Cy Young champ did. However, late inning heroics by the Mets sent them on to their second consecutive win against the San Francisco Treats.

Santana vs. Randy Johnson should give the FOX Network a nice ratings boost. A lot of sports fans will have their TV sets on today to watch the horse race, but apart from the three minutes around race time, I'm thinking baseball will dominate those sets. What do I know though. Eiter way, it's a good day to be a transplanted Mets fan, with our ace on National TV.

Lets Go Mets!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Transplanted Ex-Mets on the All Star Ballot

Voting for the All Star Game has started - so lets make sure we have enough transplanted ex-Mets on the field as possible in St. Louis this summer.
 
AL
1B Mike Jacobs
SS Marco Scutaro
3B Melvin Mora
OF Carlos Gomez, Xavier Nady, Jason Bay

Did I miss anyone in the AL?

For the NL, you may be inclined to vote all Mets, or all ex-Mets, but whatever you do you just HAVE to vote in Lastings Milledge, for the Natinals/Expos!
  
If you want to vote for some ex-Mets instead of some current Mets, here are your options:

2B Anderson Hernandez or Kaz Matsui
C Jesus Flores
OF Mike Cameron, Lastings Milledge

Did I miss anyone in the NL?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Don't Bury Me, I Ain't Dead Yet

I am back from a much needed North Carolina vacation - I transplanted myself back to where I had once been transplanted to, and the Mets didn't lose a game the whole time I was gone!  Apparently I am a jinx.  The Mets have lost both times I've seen them in person, at the home opener and again on April 19th.  My next scheduled visit with teh Mets is in Washington D.C. where I'll see them take on the Expos.  Remember, Natinals fans, until you finish over .500, you're still the Expos.  Or at least the Natinals.
 
For the record, I still have not heard back from mr. Dave Howard about my obstructed view from the Promenade, but my pal Tubby reports that TV sets have been installed at the food court above the Jackie Robinson rotunda. Hopefully the outfield walls color is the next modification.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Carlos Beltran

We have truly entered the Twilight Zone, Mets fans. Castillo is getting cheered and David Wright is getting booed. On the bright side, Johan Santana has two runs to support his pitching effort, thanks to the birthday boy and some shoddy Expos defense.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Comparing the Mets and Angels respective homes

If the Mets have an American League soulmate, surely it's the California Angels of Anaheim.  They're an expansion team that shares a media market with one of the most storied franchises in baseball... And maybe that's about it.  But as I sat in the club level of Angel Stadium on a gorgeous night' I couldn't help but compare and contrast the stadium with Citi Field.  This was my first visit to this stadium, but I've only been to Citi twice so it's as fair as I can be...

The first thing I noticed was all the green.  The seats were green, the walls were green, and the railings were green... Yet it didn't occur to me that I was sitting in a ballpark that could be the home field for any team other than the Angels.  A big part of this, of course, must be the fact that the place is called Angel Stadium! And when you approach the entrance to the stadium you know exactly what you're there to see - the giant A's caps leave no doubt.    Does anyone think there'd be nearly as much griping about black outfield walls or Dodgers Rotunda if Citi Field were named Mets Park?  Maybe.  But actually the biggest signal of all that I was at an Angels game was: the fans.  The green seats were awash in red.  Something about that color red that unifies fans - go to a Cardinals game or even a Rutgers game and the place will be filled with fans donning the same color.  (He other thing that's red are the ads.  Almost without exception, all the ads in the park are red.  Maybe if the schlubs who "designed" that Arpielle sign had incorporated some orange and blue - it would still be ugly, but at least it'd be Mets ugly.

We have the Pepsi Porch, the Angels have the Budweiser Patio.  In centerfield we have a giant apple, they have, a waterfall! They have open air bullpens as well, but there is no tarp blocking the view from or of above.  Parking cost eight bucks but the food inside wasn't cheap.  I did get a free banner as a giveaway, commemorating the fact that Vlad Guerrero and Lou Gherig are the only 2 players to have achieved some sort of esoteric offensive feat I neglected to take note of.

The crowd was into the game pretty well, and I felt some tremors that were either caused by fan frenzy, trucks on the nearby freeway, or maybe it was an earthquake?

It was a real nice experience, even though I saw the Mets blow the 4-0 lead I heard them achieve on the xm radio in the car, on the centerfield out of town scoreboard.  You can't have everything, you know.  

Live Video from the California Angels Of Anaheim game

video

This video was sent without the express written consent of the commissioner

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Reporting Live From Angel Stadium

I find myself in Anaheim today and managed to get into Angel Stadium for free thanks to a generous fan in the parking lot. Parking was $8.00 by the way, on a beautiful night for baseball

Can You Spot The Differences Between These Two Photos?



The first photo shows the view from section 522 Promenade at Citi Field, according to Mets.com. The second is the photo I snapped from my seat in section 522 on April 19th. Not even counting the giant heads in my way, the silver bar, black bar, and yes the plexiglass all blocked my view (never mind that what went on on the field that day weren't worth watching anyway). These were not sold to me as "obstructed view" but should qualify as such under Dave Howards declaration of the definition of an obstructed view on WFAN. I will let you know what the Mets response to me is.




Speaking of Dave Howard's appearance on WFAN, he was untruthful when he said there are TV's at every concession stand. That is absolutely false. In the food court above the Jackie Robinson Rotunda there is not one TV in the whole section. You can hear the audio, but there are no sets. It would be a perfect place to put a giant screen behind the seats, like they have in the centerfield food area, but alas there is nothing. Dave Howard needs to walk around his stadium a little more before he goes on the radio.




And while he may be playing a weird game of semantics when he says there is blue in the forest green colored seats, will he also try to say there is blue in the black outfield walls? These black walls need to be turned blue, pronto. Just erase the black like you want to do with Doc Gooden's signature!




Look, all in all it is a beautiful ballpark, but the Mets should get a partial refund from HOK, and I should get one as well for my obstructed view seat.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Friday, April 17, 2009

What is tendinitis? What does tendonitis look like in an MRI?

Still waiting on word on who will be the starter for the Mets on Sunday - it may be Nelson Figueroa, in which case I told my buddy Tubby that we have to sing, bugs Bunny opera-style Figaro! Figaro! Figaro!  Anyway, it could still be Mike Pelfrey who doesn't seem concerned about his diagnosis of tendinitis.  So what is tendonitis anyway?  I asked my cousin, who is an out-of-market Mets fan in the Washington, D.C. area who just happens to be a PT.  Here's what he said: 
 
"...looking at an MRI is very interesting because of the details.  They show everything from muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones in a black or white picture.  Problems usually show up in a brighter contrast, usually white.  Tendinitis is swelling in the tendon so you will usually see a bright white color around the affected tendon, or the tendon will appear enlarged."
 
So there you go!

 

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Citi Mets: Watch The Financial News Tomorrow

Citigroup will announce its first quarter earnings tomorrow.  They are expected to "post a small first-quarter loss."  Anything worse than that will make big news, and will undoubtedly renew attention on the naming rights of the Mets ballpark. 
 
 

Citi Field Revue Review

I made it to Opening Day! This post is a few days late but unfortunately there are just some things that take precedence over barking at the moon.

It was a tremendous experience to be able to be at the first home game at Citibank Field. It was really cool, yet very very surreal to be at a Mets home game in this brand new place. My friends and I just kept saying that over and over again. After going to Shea for so many years, it was just downright bizarre.

I took the old 7 train to the new ballpark, and got jitters the first time I saw the place from the windows of the subway car. The old whatchamacallit with the circular staircase is gone, and the new platform works just fine. SNY was broadcasting from the plaza in front of the promenade, and I am sure the Wilpons were just thrilled that the station the own was broadcasting from the stadium they built, and Bob Raissman was criticizing elements of the ballpark amplified so it was the first voice we heard when arriving "Who plays here, the New York Citis? Where's all the Mets stuff?"

It was a gorgeous evening for a ballgame, and when my friends arrived we hunted around the outside of the Jackie Robinson Rotunda for our bricks. I found mine really quickly and was thrilled at my purchase. Then, we shunned the masses and headed for the Endy Chavez Rotunda at Left Field to go into the ballpark. Thanks MetsGrrl, for the tip!

We mosied around the concourse to find something to eat - I was starving - but first decided to relieve ourselves in the new bathrooms. It was my first time with a waterless urinal - kind of like peeing into a shower drain, I guess is the best comparison I can give you. There were lots of food choices, as we've heard time and again. The line at Shake Shack was crazy an hour before first pitch, so we walked around for a different place to get a burger. Most of the concession stands are specialized - you can get hot dogs at one counter but no burgers. You can get chicken at another, but no hot dogs. So we had to walk around awhile to find the burger stand. Let me tell you, this was the most maddeningly sh*tty experience of the night. Apparently Aramark's claim that all their shortcomings were due to Shea's antiquated facilities were just bogus. They had no idea how to execute these burger transactions. You ordered your food at the counter and then paid at a separate register. There were some hot trays containing burgers that I guess you could self-serve, but none of the items were labeled so you didn't know what was a cheeseburger or what was a "drive-in burger" We stood there forever to give our order, and then even though there seemed to be plenty of food around, it actually took 20 minutes to get the food. They handed out burgers out of order, and no management stepped up to organize what could have been very easily managed into a quick and orderly process. Either this will get better or worse as Aramark either "works out the kinks" or ignores it as the focus shifts away and people just accept the crappy service as expected.

Our seats were out in left field, and yes, we had some blind spots in deep left, but I think people may be making too much of these "obstructed" views. I've only sat in one place so far, of course, and I didn't pay for my tickets, so I'll have to see how the experience plays out after a few more trips. Sunday night I'll get the Upper Deck, I mean Promenade experience and let you know what I think. It was strange to watch a Mets game from the outfield, but the best part was being so close to the giant apple (or tomato as my buddy Tubby called it) when David Wright hit his three run bomb.

Maybe the best part of the experience is if you don't like your seats you can walk around the park and get a better view elsewhere. We watched the last two innings over by the right field foul pole. Different sounds, different view. Mets games are a whole new experience!

What's really great about having the new stadium is, to be honest, is that it's no longer embarrassing! I mean, to take an out of towner to the place where your heart lives, and have it be, well, a dump, kind of hurts the experience. Shea had it's charm, but that charm was in it's history, not it's aesthetics.

Speaking of aesthetics, other than Aramark, the one criticism of the new stadium I have to agree on, is the lack of Mets-ness to the place. There are very few reminders that you're playing at the Mets home stadium! The green seats don't bother me at all, and I'll take Dave Howard at his word that there will be more Mets stuff "rolled out" in time. But the one thing that really annoys me is those black outfield walls. Having black and orange as the dominant backdrop just does not feel right, and I think it's an easy change for the Mets to make. I'm hoping we can get a bit of a groundswell of support going for this change.

All in all, it was a fun experience, even if the play on the field was frustrating. Ryan Church's error, Mike Pelfrey's balk, Duaner Sanchez and Heath Bell's performances, and the final score certainly did not add to the fun of the evening. But cold beer, a good friend, seeing Seaver and Piazza throw out the first pitch, and a freakin cat running on the field of our new home made for quite a fun night indeed.

Can't wait to get back!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Today, We All Become Transplanted Mets Fans

It was a tearful day last September when we left Shea for the last time.  It was torturous, all winter long, to see our home dismantled bit by bit.  It was a twist of the knife to see Citi in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.  And it was just plain surreal to see the videos of the old scoreboard being torn down and the last of Shea imploded.
 
Today, the surreal becomes real as we all become Transplanted Mets Fans.  We've moved.  And while it will take a long time for our house to feel like a home, we officially have a new permanent address starting tonight at 7-ish.  Sure, they already had those exhibition games, but since they didn't count in the standings we could watch the games on SNY and let our hearts fool us into thinking we were watching some weird road game.  The most startling difference were the colors.  The colors!  Gone is the backdrop of blue walls and orange seats, replaced by greens and reds - where are they playing anyway?  PetCo?  Fenway?  There will be no denying it after tonight, when the Mets will have a home record for 2009 without any games having been played at Shea.
 
I'll ride in on the 7 train, meet my buddy Tubby for a pregame tailgate and pour a little for our homie Mr Shea, go look for my brick, and settle in for the first home game of the post-Shea era.  I'll take plenty of photos for posterity and I'll even post a couple mobile ones too, but tonight is all about settling in and feeling what it's like to root for the Mets with a sell out crowd 13,000 people or so smaller than the last time I did so.  I'm very curious to see what it sounds like and feels like since I sorta already have an idea of what it looks like inside what must be the most photographed building ever.  We'll be seated behind the left field outfield wall, sorta where the old picnic area was at Shea.  That was the one place at Shea I never managed to sit, so it's a little ironic that we'll be in that spot in the ballpark tonight.  Hopefully we'll spot that GIANT apple popping out of the hat, er, I mean, concrete cylinder. 
 
Go Big Pelf!  Lets Go Mets!