Archives for the month of: September, 2009

guinness.JPG

On Tuesday, Danny Frisella was traded for a Guinness.

Thing about Two Boots hosting Amazin’ Tuesdays is that owner Phil Hartman offers you a free beer if you bring in a Mets baseball card.  Greg Prince of Faith And Fear In Flushing kindly brought in one of his four (four, Mr. Prince?  Really?) Danny Frisellas and cashed it in, in honor of my birthday.

I am now fully ensconced in my late twenties, so beer has more cache than birthday cake, especially considering the day I’d had, and the day that was to come. 

Forget the fact that I’m 0-for-6 on the year when it comes to Mets events outside of the ball park; forget the extended crime that was last night’s ninth inning (vs. Braves, L; 6-5)–and on that note, let’s have Frankie Rodriguez pitch occasionally in game situations, just to see if he can plunk and give up hits during the fifth or sixth inning; I’m talking about struggling with a camera not more than six months old, a computer not more than three months old, and a cable box that won’t cooperate when all I want to do is catch up on It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia before the premiere.

Come on, karma.  The Mets are guaranteed a losing season this year.  Haven’t I had enough?

The Mercury-in-retrograde-style hangups (The Wife is a big believer in that planet causing electronics to go goofy bananas) gave me time to think on some of what was said down on Grand Street the other night; make no mistake: the evening was packed with flavor.

phil hartman.JPGThat’s Mr. Hartman, above, extolling the virtues of an odd cocktail, shown below:

the kosher kid.JPGUnlike others I overheard during the evening, I’m avoiding any comment on the ethnic implications of Italian liqueur floating on top of Irish liqueur.  But take that comment to mean the comments were made.

On that note–reporting that things were said while not reporting WHAT was said–I give you Mr. Jeff Pearlman, who spoke third on Tuesday:

jeff pearlman speaks.JPGThat’s Mr. Pearlman (yessir: Mister; sorry that caught you off-guard, but better safe than sorry), standing, with Mr. Prince on the far left, in orange.  In case you’re unaware who Mr. Pearlman is and why he’s talking to a room full of Mets fans, here’s his Wikipedia entry, his website (which holds a link to his blog), and the article on John Rocker that everyone who loves sports and reads must’ve seen at least once.

There you are.  Context.

jeff pearlman and john rocker.JPGMr. Pearlman loves what he does, and that makes him a remarkably engaging speaker.  I like his prep style, too: the man was jotting notes to himself on a bar napkin minutes before he was to address the crowd (he sat to my left).  He’s off-the-cuff, he’s excitable, and he has a penchant for deep tangents that somehow doesn’t get in the way of him finishing a train of thought.

Tangents included:

  • “Always pay for lunch.”

  • Kevin Mitchell and Doc Gooden got into it about the cat incident, and he (Pearlman) watched the discussion unfold.  Actually, you can read all about it at that link.  Never thought I would link to Snopes.com, but there you are.

  • Jay Horwitz is a sweetheart of a guy.

  • The Mets are the ones putting the kibosh on any movie based on The Bad Guys Won, a move I find unfortunate.  It would be tremendous for business.  There’s such a fear of putting out anything that would make the Mets look bad, but we’re in an age where bad isn’t necessarily good, but humanizing, and thus interesting.  There’s a way to do that movie and leave feeling genuinely and positively proud to be a Mets fan.  Just requires a touch of finesse and imagination.

  • The guys who aren’t superstars are the guys with the best stories.

There were some other tangents, too, and that’s how we get out of my own tangent. 

Mr. Pearlman has more on John Rocker, if you can believe it.  Stuff that Rocker asked be off the record, stuff that came to him after the story came out.  Stuff you so badly wish you’d been at Two Boots to hear, because it’s deliciously excellent.  One story in particular which I will be redressing in order to use it as a joke in a screenplay; it’s too perfect.

Another Mets fan and writer, present at the event, wanted to ask why Mr. Pearlman would discuss these off-the-record happenings in an open forum, knowing full well that there are writers present.  He (Mets fan and writer) and I discussed this at length; I thought about it quite a bit more while alternately wondering how it could possibly be so packed at Pacific Standard on a Tuesday night.  Here’s what I came up with:

I don’t know that Pearlman’s mentioning that the stories were off the record when they were told means that they should be off-record when told to a room of folks eating slices of a pizza called “The Pig,” underneath a giant poster of Hubie Brooks. 

I know that while anything involving John Rocker’s ridiculous opinions is funny to me, it may not be funny to others. 

Additionally, I know his nonsense occurred about ten years ago, and whatever Neanderthal ideas he holds close to his heart may be fueled by ire toward the Mets but weren’t crafted by the Mets.  In other words, it’s not like the guy came running out of the bullpen, heard the boos, and thought, “You know what?  I’m gonna become a spitting-mad bigot.”  That’s screwing with the chronology a bit.  But to put it another way, he’s old news.  And not even Mets old news, really.  Just old news.

So it’s funny, like hearing a “Priest, Minister, and Rabbi” joke that ends with no one in that mix looking particularly good.  But I’m not ready to repeat said joke, and I’m not looking to cast aspersions on the guy who told it.  You should be sorry you missed it, though.  Oh, man… classic.

I have a lot more to say on Mr. Pearlman; his notes on what he does and how he does it were of great interest, and again, he was a presence before the crowd.  But I think best to keep that business in my back pocket.  I’ve gone on enough about him, and
I’m not even halfway done here.

jon springer and number 6.JPGJon Springer (above) gave the crowd his compilation of the best Mets to wear the number 6.  A full list can be found at his site, here.  (UPDATE: read the whole piece posted at his Mets By The Numbers site by clicking here.)

I don’t remember that he made the list (why would he), but I have zero recollection of Manny Alexander.  This is important because I took a minor hiatus from baseball in 1996, and came back with an artificial dedication in 1997.  I remember Lance Johnson leaving, and Turk Wendell coming.  My mind is a complete blank on Manny Alexander. 

This should teach the kids out there that if your mind won’t let you think about anything other than a woman who may become your future wife, you should probably just let it run its course.  That I spent any time thinking about some guy I wouldn’t remember at all twelve years later… though I do remember the first Zero bar I ever had.  Funny what sticks and what doesn’t.

metstradamus.JPGIf you don’t know John Coppinger’s work as Metstradamus, you should.  In fact, I’ll be adding his blog to the link list after I’m done with this epic.  He’s the gentleman presiding over the free-wheeling discussion on the 2010 iteration of the Mets in his Todd Zeile pinstripes.  Getting to that discussion means we’re halfway through.  Thanks for sticking around.

discussing the mets.JPGIf the level of discourse held on Tuesday is the level of discourse being held about the Mets in the majority of bars and living rooms, then the Mets as an organization are in fine shape.  I had a meta-moment sitting behind the crowd, realizing just how smart and hard everyone was thinking about a thing that’s that horribly wonderful hybrid between a game and a business.  It was said by Mr. Coppinger and I wholeheartedly agree: the Mets have one of the smartest fan bases in all of sport. 

I’ll exclude myself from that assessment; I don’t wish to toot my own horn, and while I love the game and love the players and fans, I don’t have a head for stats and whenever the Mets make me feel like jumping off a bridge, I take a break.  I think if I were smarter about the Mets, I’d either jump off that bridge, or not even want to jump in the first place.

You know, depending on the height of the bridge, jumping might classify me as a die hard.  But I’m afraid of heights.

That went a little Mitch Hedberg.  I’m sorry.  Someone please feed me a leaf.

But they’re smart.  Smart and opinionated.  Smart and opinionated and mad as all get out.  Goddamn.  Fewer heads were called for at the Bastille.  Turns out I was mad, too; here are my notes, taken on or after I shouted something about mercilessly heckling Gregor Blanco (Mr. Blanco, I sense a meme developing at your expense…)

The organization is incompetent? Without a plan? Reality time: This is a multimillion dollar operation, with a multinational presence. If you think they don’t have “a plan,” then you’re out of your mind. (Stress the ridiculousness of this “rudderless” assessment.)
 
The problem, manufactured or not, is communication. The plan, as it’s called; the injuries; the Bernazard.
 
How much communication is the fan base owed?
 
How much is this locked down by the organization to create family friendly and accessible fare?

Allow me to explain: it was my birthday and I was on my third beer.  Sure, I’d eaten.  But Tommy Hanson was running a clinic down in Atlanta and people were shouting and using the F-word.  How could one NOT get excited?

But allow me to explain further.

springer discusses.JPGSome advocated the ouster of General Manager Omar Minaya, and some went as far to suggest that if Jerry Manuel got the axe, Minaya would be Dead Man Walking.  As a simple “if –> then” premise, I have to agree, and would even go so far as to make it a bi-conditional: if Mr. Minaya goes, Mr. Manuel goes with.

…Here’s my tangent: if you’re talking about somebody’s job security, the least you can do is use a formal prefix.

But if the general manager is let go, who’s to say another GM wouldn’t want their own guy coaching the men on the field, and have their own opinion of the farm system, and make their own changes and have their own plan?  If Mr. Minaya gets the boot in 2010, are the Mets in for another few seasons or more in the tall grass?  Who’s so crazy as to come in after the past three seasons (four if you count 2006) and make any declaration of imminent success?

This was the argument made on Tuesday, not necessarily in favor of keeping the current regime, but in worry that the organization would suffer a far worse fate if it wasn’t kept.

By the way, just because Jon Springer and Jeff Pearlman are featured in this photo doesn’t mean they were arguing this point.  It’s just an action shot.

I have to believe, though, that an organization this large, employing this many people across so many states and in so many countries, with this extensive a public presence, has a plan.  The plan my not be good; it may not be sound as you see it.  Jeff Wilpon may be buying lottery tickets.  I highly doubt he is, though that Mega Millions jackpot a few weeks ago was a doozy.

The problem is not, “The Mets don’t have a plan.”  The problem is actually, “The Mets don’t appear to have a plan; not knowing that plan is infuriating.”

I don’t know what to do about that. 

I’ve mouthed off separately on how poorly I believe the string of injuries to key Mets players was communicated; there, too, I’m sure there was a plan but it was kept close to the vest–not necessarily to keep trade value up, because everybody has to pass a physical–because the goal was not to start a panic.  Frustration is panic’s kissing cousin, and that’s what we got.  The team looked bizarrely inept, and the suggested “crazy like a fox” stance appeared less and less plausible.  Some biting of the bullet and strength in the face of potential panic would’ve gone a long way there.

I think things like Mr. Bernazard’s pulling a Randy Marsh (cartoon, not umpire) would be better handled when the team isn’t falling apart at the joints, but when things snowball, they REALLY snowball.

But I don’t know what to do about a lack of communication about a plan.  This thing is a business, and the same is true throughout baseball: newspaper titans; gum manufacturers; phone companies; rea
l estate barons.  They don’t have to tell us what they intend to do about the lack of a true left fielder, though one can easily assume they think, at the least, that it would be nice to have one.  I’m sure they think, perhaps correctly, that no one would be clamoring about “hearing what the plan is” if the team were cranking out seven- and ten-game winning streaks.

Additionally, I don’t think you can reasonably legitimize what went down at Two Boots by slapping a Mets logo on it and holding regular salons at the Caesar’s Club, or some other sort of thing.  They’d be mobbed, or would cost an arm and a leg to get into and STILL be sort of mobbed, on the thought that any Johnny Crackpot or Sally Gottaplan could wield some influence. 

the crowd at two boots.JPGNo, there must be a level of accountability there that begins with the organization paying employees for their input and hard work.  The product of that relationship shows on the field and in the press.  We know what’s happened on the field, to an extent.  We don’t know why what’s happened in the press has happened in the press, aside from what was relayed; again I’m citing communication of injuries and the Bernazard incident, but also continued questions of lack of “grit.”  And that, reasonably, has colored what we’ve seen on the field.

Again, success is the fastest way to cure dissatisfaction; evincing a belief in imminent success is not enough because of the old “fool me once” trap.  But besides offering the usual bread and circuses: batting helmets brought to you by Harrah’s; awful music videos by teen pop stars; “Everybody Clap Your Hands!”–how does one satisfy a rabid fan base that demands answers to questions one doesn’t want to answer?

…That’s not a rhetorical question.  I’m actually asking it.

If I had the reins, I think I would start by thinking about what I could do to re-frame the questions, so that they’d be ones I WOULD want to answer.  That’s if I cared.  I don’t do the sacred work of the Mets, but in my little bit of the earth I get plenty of questions that are the wrong questions to ask, and spend much of my day re-framing the debate, and educating.

That, and staring at databases.  Seems I do a lot of database work these days.  Not what I signed up for, let me tell you.

I would urge ownership to care about the questions coming up at events like these, if they do not currently.  I wouldn’t urge them to release private data, or put the whammy on their behind-the-scenes moves by telling us how great that Carl Crawford guy is, or some other such thing.  But I would urge some sort of education: not condescension, not lip service; an actual explanation of how the business operates, why it operates in the way that it does, and what questions they think we should be asking.

Truly no idea how to present that conversation, but if they could do that, and do away with the Miley Cyrus music videos at the start of some home games, and turn off the canned noise for an inning a game, AND please the ya-yos by giving away something not branded by Aflac or Premio Sausage–

–That’s right; I called you ya-yos.  I’d prefer the end of ALL giveaways and a reduction in the price of tickets, and have that brought to me by Corporation, Inc.–

…then that’d please all manner of folks.

glee.JPGThis is not an endorsement of a show I find visually arresting but otherwise stultifyingly awful.  I just like to be artsy.

Anyway, more on that to come, I’m sure.  Otherwise, I’d like to offer my thanks again to Greg Prince, who along with his partner-in-crime, Jason Fry, put together these events.  An additional thanks to Mr. Prince for reading about his experience in 1977, and talking with me a bit about blogging, the upcoming off-season, and what Felix Millan brought to the ball club.

Word is Two Boots would like to do more of these in the off-season, and I imagine if that does happen, the discussion will be similar to what was held the other night.  Don’t miss it.  Unless the Mets begin hosting blogger-only press conferences with a rotating cast and a pre-determined subject of discussion, events such as these will be the only place you’ll get to hear intelligent wrangling, however ridiculous you may think the opinions to be.

Ridiculous or not, I’d be so much more worried if people stopped caring.

Ah, Mr. Noble.  Read here.

It’s at least the second time this season Marty Noble has written something about where his fan loyalties lie, and the second time he’s stated that he doesn’t have any, and that in fact it’s critical to his job that he remain unattached.

I wrote here about the first time I caught this (skip past the “Mets Poet” if you wish, but seek out his book–it’s worth having), and I’m tempted to write about it again, but I’m small potatoes and if the man’s found something that works for him, might as well just let him go for it.

The method he states he’s employing seems quite anhedonic, though.  And I do mean to couch that statement, because I don’t quite believe he’s without some sort of positive or negative bias. 

As to that bias, I’m inclined to believe that the Mets’ poor play and sad outcomes over the past few years has created something of a credibility gap for him re: them, in that he’ll need to see Luis Castillo have a 30/30 season and David Wright shoot lightning bolts from his fists in order to drop the “When will the other shoe drop?” cast that so many of his articles take.  I’m inclined to believe that more than that he’s a mole for the Yankees.  There are dozens upon dozens of his pieces that don’t mention the Yankees at all.  Reader bias assumes he’s comparing Met apples to Yankee apples.

And really, they’re apples and oranges.

I highlight the article only because I’d made prior mention, and it reminded me how strongly I still believe that one can be a fan of an entity and still write neutrally.  We should strive for objectivity and still keep our private joys and thus be better humans for it. 

Yes, Mr. Noble, we know you were old enough to visit Ebbets Field the Polo Grounds.  Yes, we know you’re not a kid anymore.  I’m not interested in that as defense for your work reading as moody and insolent, and I’m one of the readers your articles are meant to speak to. 

The information’s good, but the angle usually smells of fatalism, the quotes seem to be positioned to further that fatalism through analysis, and as such at least one member of your readership thinks YOU should do something about that.

I guess I should be glad, though, that you’ve not to date pulled a Jack Curry.  God, I still find that reprehensible.

Unless something substantial comes down the pike regarding Mr. Noble’s temperament, I think I’ve made whatever point was rattling around in my head.  But, if I may run the risk of torpedoing my point:

Mr. Noble, if for whatever reason you’re simply something of a misanthrope, and it’s gotten you to the point where you get to watch baseball for free and write about it for a living, then don’t let me stop you.  I’m not one to rock someone’s boat or tell them to stop feeling bad.  I may not read you much longer, but you’d never really know, and there are plenty of others who will. 

Some have asked for my email address in the post which mentions that I can now be emailed.  It’s there now, though I now fear spammers will inundate me.

In case you don’t wish to go the extra click, the address is omniality [at] gmail [dot] com.

I live life like Billy Crystal’s character in City Slickers.  6:40a today.

::Phone rings.::

Me: Hello.
My mother: Hi, nino.
Me: Hi, Mom.

My mother
: Tu sabes que paso hoy? (Forgive lack of upside-down question mark and Spanish.  Translation: You know what happened today?)
Me: I have a pretty good idea.

My mother
: Happy birthday, nino.
Me: Thank you.

My mother
: What are you doing today?
Me: Think I might shower and go to work.  Don’t know much besides that.

My mother
: Oh, okay.

Me
: See you tomorrow, Mom.
My mother: Bye, nino.  Have a good day.

I have a feeling the day will be just fine. 

Then again, I had a feeling last week that the night was going to be a good, good night. 

That turned out not to be true.

…Maybe if I can seek out some sort of pastry with a candle in it, I’ll make a wish.

I’ll be at Two Boots Tavern this evening because it’s the last Amazin’ Tuesday event, and because I’m stubborn: my record at non-ball park organized Mets events stands at 0-5, which is ridiculous given my outrageously good record at the park; I think I’ve seen twenty percent of the Mets wins at home this season.

The event is the brainchild of the folks over at Faith And Fear In Flushing; catch the details here.  Those who attend and wish to say hi may get a further invite to Pacific Standard in downtown Brooklyn, home of the $3 mid-week pint and a Star Trek: The Next Generation pinball machine, which is dutifully awaiting pwnage by me. 

That being the case, don’t feel obligated to say hi.  I may not be much of a conversationalist when the quarters drop in.

Coverage of the reading/discussion, and questions answered on my harebrained Mets Museum idea, to come tomorrow,

Let’s go Mets!

I may be setting myself up for punishment, but I’m no stranger to punishment.

So please note that my email address is now listed in the right sidebar, underneath the “Archives” section.

This should help those who might wish to leave a comment or question but don’t have a MLBlogs account, and thus can’t.

I look forward to reading good things.  I don’t look forward to reading bad things.  But I will kindly take either.

**

Fine, fine: the address is omniality [at] gmail [dot] com.  Come and get me, crazy Nigerian princes and chain letters.

My weekend was overtaken by Bostonians and Bostonians by way of deep abiding love (as well as by way of North Bennington, VT) and by a special kind of lethal cough syrup known, quite coincidentally, as Castillo Rum.  All this, and a poorly formatted poetry reading on Vanderbilt Avenue..
 
I watched my Mets games late, but unfiltered by bloggitude. I don’t know that I even turned on my laptop once from Friday evening to Sunday evening.  My hands were busy with remotes and either food or drink. A football doubleheader and a baseball doubleheader on a single Sunday is, yes, a heady thing, and I’m kicking myself slightly for not grabbing a widescreen during the last sale bonanza–though, if I’m honest with myself, there’s no logical place to hang it.
 
In short, the Mets are now mathematically eliminated from the race for the National League East. I haven’t checked the wild card (and right now, my train is stuck between the 45th and 36th street stations in Brooklyn), but I’m fairly certain there’s no shot there, either.  The nails, however many there were, are now all present and at least in the coffin; getting to .500 won’t happen, either.
 
I’ve taken enough medicine this weekend. So I hereby give up all hope, as there’s no logic to support such a cause.

Shame. A damn shame, is what this garbage is.
 
But life’s too short to dwell, and I’m in the business of making reasonable suggestions, such as “Get rid of the spineless music played prior to game time,” or “intentional walks should be banned when the pitching rotation is decimated.”  Time to look forward.
 
I’ll offer team make-up thoughts in the weeks ahead.  But I’m delinquent on thoughts for a Mets museum, and as I wish there were such a beast there now as what I’m about to describe, I feel it’s appropriate to discuss.

So here’s my first draft, woefully lacking in some crucial research but, paradoxically, not hurt by the failing.

That was almost a sentence.
 
**

It begins with grit.
 
Jayson Stark’s article on ESPN about how to fix the Mets has been taken to task for a heavy reliance on anonymous sources, who can be cherry-picked to reflect whatever agenda the storyline demands.
 
I’m not accusing Stark of having an agenda; regardless of the book he’s written or how he made his bones before his DUI mugshot of a profile pic was taken (that’s a cheap hit, but it’s staying), he’s entitled to his opinion; he’s alowed to try and steer the conversation any way he wants to do it, and within the bounds of journalistic ethics, allowed to use whatever or however many anonymous sources he wants.
 
There’s nothing factual about what anyone said in that piece save for the reporting of signings and trades, salaries and stats. Past that, it’s opinion. I think he’s looking at the situation the wrong way, and thus many of his opinions are… if not wrong, then destructive rather than constructive.  Fortunately, Jayson Stark has just about as much experience running the New York Mets as any blogger writing presently (if Steve Phillips has a regular column, please include the man).
 
The danger is in taking Stark’s word as gospel. It’s not. I’m actually glad the sources were anonymous; he could have cherry-picked sources willing to go on the record, and I’d’ve had reason to be irritated at any number of baseball organizations. I have too many axes to grind to hate on those with whom he spoke, as well–
 
[And to that end, does anyone think he called the GM of the Kansas City Royals? If you’re Jayson Stark from ESPN looking for anonymous quotes about the Mets, aren’t you calling anyone you can from the NL East, anyone from the other division and wild card leaders, and scouts who have had or continue to have dealings with those clubs? In other words, in analyzing failure, wouldn’t you seek out sources of success?  I think this is a fair assumption; unlike other cases of anonymous citation, there is not a nearly-infinite pool of sources from which to choose.]
 
–so, yes, I’m glad they were anonymous. His opinions are easier to dismiss that way.
 
This includes, but does not remove irritation from, the idea that the Mets are packed with superstars and need, instead or in part, gritty role players who won’t… what? Dog it on the field? Stop playing when they’re injured?  Play like mercenaries?  Tell me: what?
 
Stats are the closest one can come to analyzing the performance of a player and project their impact on one’s organization. Watching Fernando Tatis play semi-regularly makes me believe that the Mets are all about this grit and passion (“grission,” a delightful portmanteau for which I give Amazin’ Avenue full credit) argument.  Same with Gary Sheffield, Alex Cora, Omir Santos… who else?

Daniel Murphy seems gritty to me.

Mike Pelfrey gets his grit out running laps.

Johan Santana is a man, damn it.

Sample size on grit re: John Maine is too small, and I hear rest would clear it out during the off season. 

So allow me to use a construction I loathe in registering my sarcasm: Oh. You meant gritty and GOOD players. My mistake.
 
Enough with the grit. The Mets have had gritty players throughout their history. They continue to have gritty players. That’s what makes them enjoyable to watch. In 2006, there were three games I went to in a row wherein knock-kneed Moises Alou hit meaningful home runs, in an effort to avoid having to run hard around the bases. After those three games, I was fully convinced he was Zeus come down from Mount Olympus. Endy Chavez, Damian Easley, Jose Valentin–there’s been recent grit. Shut your damn pie hole.
 
The legacy the Mets bring to baseball is precisely one of grit.  ’69, ’73, ’86, ’88, ’99, ’00, ’01, ’06: these are years etched in collective memory, despite only full success in two. Watching the Mets means learning to love the thrill of victory in what is often a vacuum of reasonable expectation of same.
 
What’s more, the Mets are a franchise that has always existed in the glow of media coverage: the Mets came after the advents of big-time radio, color film, television.  There exists footage–decent footage–of at least some parts of those early campaigns, and most (if not in some cases all) of the later.

Most of the marquee guys are still around, and lucid.  This is good.  Provided they’re not currently the president of another franchise, ostracized from the franchise, or awaiting assignment to federal prison–or hell, even if they are–they’re the perfect ambassadors.

So what’s to be done with all of this?  Make a museum. 

A Mets museum. 

A modern Mets museum.

Not just a Hall Of Fame.  A Hall Of Fame’s too limited.  A Hall Of Fame reeks of finality, and finality can be debated.  A Hall Of Fame gives one access to very tangible but very finite items: a game-worn Tom Seaver jersey; a lump of Lenny Dykstra’s chaw.  A Mets Hall Of Fame, specifically, is thin.  There’s no two ways around it.  Ed Kranepool holds stats that are the baseball superstar equivalent of exemplary, but not perfect, attendance.  Dwight Gooden won his Rookie Of The Year Award here, but didn’t pitch his no-hitter here.  So good for the Mets.  But not great for the Mets.

The Mets have memories: grand, crazy, amazing plays.  Remarkable runs of games.  Context within the game, from season to season, not flash in the pan like
the Expos or meta-statistical anomalies like the Yankees (when a team wins twenty-six championships over the course of a near-century, they’re not playing with the same deck).

The best example I can provide is that of The Catch, which is an absolutely thrilling thing to watch for Mets fans.  No, they didn’t win the game and go on to the 2006 World Series.  That did not happen.  But it’s still an outrageous thing to watch.  The athleticism.  The forward-thinking.  The hope which welled in all of us.

The Mets have dozens–many dozens, if not hundreds–of plays which run the gamut from: “Well, that’s really wonderful that they managed to pull off that grab,” to “OH-MY-GOD-THAT-WAS-THE-GREATEST-THING-I’VE-EVER-SEEN!”

Add to this players that have been with the club through the years, who may not have been career Metsies (see, kind of, aforementioned Gooden; add Nolan Ryan, Rickey Henderson, and on), whose profiling would be interesting for viewers but not necessarily Hall Of Fame material.

Add to this the rich histories of fans, and connection to New York history.

**

Museums as non-profit organizations require mission statements, and this one should be no different; just having “The Mets” as an organizing theme is not enough; “great plays in Mets history” still falls short. 

What this museum needs to be seen as is the Mets as teaching tool, both directly and by execution of the plan.  The Mets reach far and wide in baseball’s history during the latter half of the 20th century (I’m counting the move of the Dodgers and the Giants out west as part and parcel of that history), and figure to be a factor in the first half of this one.  Postwar through 9/11 and beyond, you can teach baseball and its impact on the American gestalt (meta-pun!) well by watching the Mets.  Whether the viewer is a fan of the team or not, there is great value there.  There’s uniqueness.

  • The Mets Museum should seek to teach baseball and represent takes on the game, in an effort to breed continued love of, and passion for, the game.

  • The Mets Museum should do this through a unique partnership with Major League Baseball and the owners of the various broadcasts, opening up the various Mets archives to persons who would develop these broadcasts for use as teaching tools.

  • These persons would include, but not be limited to: writers; producers; video editors; sound designers; voice-over artists; photographers; videographers; actors; statisticians; historians; reporters.

  • These persons should be students of high school/college age, showing specific aptitude in their field, love for and respect for the game, and a demonstrated drive/desire to be incisive in viewing the material.  

  • These persons should be mentored by a rotating cast of professionals in the various fields, who will guide them not just in the editing of available content, but in the creation of new content, such as player/fan/reporter interviews, and development of commentary that seeks to demonstrate reasoned and applied knowledge of the material.

  • These persons should work two-year contracts, with “upperclassmen” working in concert with “freshmen” to determine the editorial thrust for subsequent years, creating continuity of purpose.

  • The Mets Museum should seek to provide added incentive to these persons by partnering with municipal institutions such as the NYC Mayor’s Office Of Film, Theatre, And Broadcasting; the Museum Of The Moving Image; The Paley Center For Media, for the purposes of adding professional credentials, college credit, salary, or some combination of same.  The project should also be sponsored (SUBTLY) by corporations with a direct, vested interest in the methods, media, or manpower of the project [Nikon makes sense.  Sony makes sense.  Carvel makes no sense.]

  • The Mets Museum should be onsite at Citi Field, with entrance/egress from the exterior and an egress into the park, so it may be enjoyed on off-days as well as on game days.  On game days, it should be open two hours before game time and shut after a specific, proscribed time (say 8p during night games and 2p during day games) to ensure fans stay true to the enjoyment of live baseball.

  • The Mets Museum should be open during the off-season, with an expanded program.

  • The Mets Museum should seek, whenever/whenever possible, to connect with other ball clubs and local organizations and institutions to produce similar programs/concurrent materials for other clubs, thus fomenting both increased knowledge of and love/respect for the game.

That’s about all I have for a mission statement.

**

A museum such as this one is a living entity.  It dovetails with the Mets’ dedication to community affairs, which is almost always above reproach (I’m whistling past Vince Coleman).  Best of all, in brings in traffic at low design cost.  How?

Take either whatever this space is supposed to be:

construction.jpg
…out by center field and the chop shops–or else refit underperforming souvenir shops–and follow the art gallery model:

  • matte white walls;
  • separate viewing rooms with benches or seats for an appropriate number of folks (twenty is often a good number; any more and the ambient nose gets far too loud);
  • digital projectors wired into a media control room or space.

Hall Of Fame-worthy real materials (the jerseys; the bats; the balls) can be displayed, sure.  There won’t be–can’t be–too much of that.  As I’ve intimated, this isn’t the kind of club that builds specific superstars.  This is a club that, historically, puts together a team of talented individuals who–excuse the retread–win on grit.

Ten viewing rooms.  Pick a theme each month and produce ten segments based on that theme: “The Mets Salute Base-Stealing” or “The Mets Salute Monster Home Run Blasts.”  Each segment runs six minutes or less.  People can watch sequentially, or pop in for ten minutes, then pop back out.  These are just spitballed suggestions.

But imagine: over the course of a six-month season, sixty segments are produced.  Compile them over the off-season and create a viewing/lecture series.  Open up whatever concessions you’d like.  It’s a living library, sustained by its low cost and reliance on the student community as compensated labor.

Moreover, it soon cements the Mets historic dedication to great baseball, great involvement in community support, and through that, to the great fabric of the City of New York.

If we’re going to have a museum, let’s have that baby MEAN something, besides dust and faded glory.  Let’s celebrate the Mazzillis and McGraws and Mookies; the Chavezes and the Cliff Floyds and–why not; I’m sure he’s got five minutes of tape somewhere–the Coras; the Tom Seavers and Tim Teufels and Tommie Agees.

If we’re not going to generate much traffic by having a Tommie Agee bat on display, let’s see what showing video of that catch off Elrod Hendricks’s bat does.  Or Paul Blair.

That’s all I’ve got for right here.  I’m feeling more emphatic foot-stomp than rousing cheer, so excuse the lack of exclamation point when I say:

Let’s go Mets.

I’m not thinking about baseball today, which given the recent sweep of the Mets by the Marlins, is probably for the best.

Posts to come tomorrow; I have great friends coming in from Boston, but they’re now quite into each other.  Given lack of appropriate bed space, they’ll be in the master bedroom, and I’ll be on the couch. 

Because I’m cool like that. 

Also, that couch is damned comfortable.

Still means I’ll be up earlier than usual, with little to do but pontificate about a Mets Museum and, with any sort of luck, a victory over the Phillies.

But for today, call your parents or your children, or both if that’s the way you go, and just talk with them.  You won’t be sorry you did–believe me.

On Monday, I wrote the following:

“Greg Prince of Faith And Fear In Flushing wrote about the lack of Mets coverage in The New York Times.  His piece mentions Sunday’s paper, in a way that’s almost Fred Exley-esque. But Mr. Prince, if you’re reading this: they’ve been quite late in
posting material to the website, and this has been the case since at
least last week.  Usually game recaps post within two hours of a
victory.  All last week, they were coming in late morning/early
afternoon-ish. …”

Two things, as follow-up:

–Despite the return of the Mets’ star center-fielder, the Times idea of coverage of last night’s game is posting the AP wire story, filed at 10:32p.  It’s now a little under fifteen hours later.

–The Mets dedicated part of Citi Field to Jim Plummer.  The Times noted this with coverage by Jack Curry.  Here’s the post, on their Bats blog, in its entirety (as of September 8th, 9:21p):

The Mets dedicated the Plum Room in honor of Jim Plummer, a longtime
employee of the club, on Tuesday at Citi Field. Plum, who died last
year at age 57, worked for the Mets for 31 years. Instead of having a
Green Room for visitors to use, the Mets decided to have a Plum Room
that would honor Plummer.

This reads like a second-grader’s book report. 

It’s embarrassing. 

It took me all of ninety seconds to learn who Jim Plummer was and what he did for the Mets, and the story is inspiring. 

Given the negative spin on the Mets’ ownership’s/management’s dedication to the team’s history–in the blogosphere and the traditional press–and the ways (ham-fisted or not) that they’ve been working to turn that tide, I’d think it would be news that they continue to honor a man who was a member of their organization for DECADES.

It’s not like the Times has mentioned Mr. Plummer’s passing, or this room, before, and this post is just an addendum to prior coverage.  The day after Plummer’s death, the Mets were caught up in a drubbing by the Mariners and the exposed jerkitude of Brian Runge.  But no mention of Plummer.

Most recent mention of Jim Plummer I can find in the Times archives, before this waste of a post, is this article, from April 1987, that coincidentally speaks of potential boycotts of–and demonstrations against–the Yankees and Mets for not hiring enough minorities to fill front-office positions.

So in a total of three minutes, I’ve learned who Jim Plummer was, how important he was to the Mets, and found him in context of a larger debate on issues regarding affirmative action.  I haven’t even done a Google search yet.

You know, while at Bennington College, I had occasion to work with Rebecca Stickney, who passed away in August of 2008.  She’d graduated from the college and worked with them from 1948 until her death.  She was a remarkably warm and vibrant woman, who cared deeply about the work she pursued and was stronger than many I encountered there–especially me.  There’s ALWAYS time to honor that kind of service, and ALWAYS a way to do it intelligently, without looking like a parrot of the organization’s press.

So I don’t care if Jeter’s chasing of Gehrig has you busy; I don’t care if, somehow, you’re too tied up in the U.S. Open to write a full article.  If you’re going to write about a man with such a legacy, do it with some respect for the time he spent in service to an organization he must’ve loved; otherwise do me and my temper a favor, and don’t bother.

For Chrissakes, you’re a journalist, man.  It should’ve taken you all of ten to fifteen minutes to write.  No need to call for a quote–though I’m certain Jay Horwitz or someone in the Mets’ organization would’ve been more than happy to give you one.

Unbelieveable.

“Their season is over.”

“It’s not over.”

“What are you talking about?  They’re out of it.”

“They’re not out of it.”

“Paul, they’re out of it.”

“They haven’t been mathematically eliminated.”

“…Yes, that’s true…

deserted stands.jpg…they haven’t been mathematically eliminated.”

Whether due to the weather or the emptiness of the ball park or the fact that I rode home alone the whole way–7 train to N train to R train–I felt pretty damned surly all last night and into the wee hours today.  My usual Mets batterymate was also not in attendance.  So the balance was shifted towards Yankee fans, with his seat taken by the girlfriend of the third member of our usual party.

It’s either too early or I’m too disinterested in rehashing the thought to make that clear.  Suffice it to say I sat next to two people who could give a damn about the game, and so I felt like a third wheel most of the time.  I didn’t know one could spend $300 on six months’ worth of a fan experience and still feel like a third wheel.

Maybe I just needed a second set of ribs.

deserted shake shack.jpgI walked up to the Blue Smoke counter and ordered, and so was in and out of the center field concourse within two minutes.  This is dangerous; if Mets games are to be this poorly-attended from here on out, I’ll need to do my damnedest to fill up before the game and stick to the beer, which is considerably less expensive.  Speaking of:

t-shirts 01.jpgThat’s the one that just makes me look like a goob’.  THIS one:

t-shirts 02.jpgShould please The Wife no end.

“Please to note”: I don’t know any of their names.  I’m not even kidding.  I have no clue.  We’re all dressed alike; we all enjoy beer.  That’s all I need to know, really.

They have a Facebook page.  I don’t have a Facebook anything, so I can’t check this.

Last night’s game against the Marlins (L; 4-2) leaves five or six nails left for the coffin, depending on your perspective; either you nail the coffin in five and bury, or you seal the coffin with the sixth and burial is incidental.

What’s been running through my head, though, besides wild ideas of how the Mets can save themselves from a losing season (think their competition turning into reverse vampires that can’t play night games and thus have to forfeit), is some light calculus on just what kind of record makes, generally, a playoff-bound team.

Example of what I mean:

  • in one hundred sixty-two (162) games,
  • a team can alternate wins and losses for seventy-six (76) games,
  • earning them a record of 38-38,
  • then run off a ten-game winning streak,
  • earning them a record of 48-38,
  • then return to alternating wins and losses for seventy-six games,
  • coming out of the season with a record of 86-76.

The 2008 Mets had a ten-game winning streak and ended with a record of 89-73.  Look where that got them.

“Dominance,” at least of a division as currently woeful as the NL East, would be a record of 96-66.  Which would be like:

  • staring down the barrel of 162 games,
  • alternating wins and losses for 44 games (22-22),
  • breaking off a ten-game winning streak (32-22),
  • alternating again for 44 games (54-44),
  • managing another ten game winning streak (64-44),
  • alternating AGAIN for 44 games (86-66),
  • then wrapping up with a final ten-gamer (96-66).

My point with all this nonsense?  Baseball is MUCH harder than it looks. 

Take a ball most people can fit decently within the palm of their hand. 

Try and hit it with a wooden bat as it’s hurled at you really fast. 

Then, if you hit it, try and make it three hundred sixty feet back to where you started, without anyone taking that ball and tagging you with it, which is entirely possible unless you manage to whack that thing safely out of bounds, which, if you ask Angel Pagan after last night, must take something like nine offerings to Ba’al and a carton of smokes to whomever decides where the fences should be.

Now get nine guys together who can do this over the course of three hours, almost every day, for six months.

Make sure they don’t get hurt, or if they do, that you have someone good enough to replace them.

And do it well enough to win as much as you lose, except for those instances wherein you play a team so bad or so not on their game that you can manage to steal a few.  Have as many of those instances as you possibly can.

Do all this well enough to do it over again when it starts to get really cold, except with more scrutiny, increased pressure to perform, and absurdly late start times (because it’s SO important to cater to people who would gladly watch at 7p or are upset that you’re preempting their programming anyway).

And do this with the expectation that, win or lose, if you got this far you’d better come back better, faster, and stronger, else some numbskull–raising my hand here–will label you forever a bum, who has no business doing any of the above.

I’m not saying it’s not worth it; I’m not saying these guys don’t get paid to do just this job.  I’m just saying, like one stops to really notice a bed of tulips on the first warm afternoon or really appreciates sleeping in their bed after a long day of work or really gets how good a perfectly charred burger tastes, it’s REALLY hard.

And that Carlos Beltran worked hard to get back to this life, in the face of not-yet-mathematically-impossible odds…

beltran in the lineup.jpg…that earns some REAL appreciation from me.

Even if he did go 1-for-4 with a strikeout.

betran prepping.jpgbeltran timing.jpg

beltran citi at the plate.jpg
Pictures of David Wright’s hitlessness are unavailable, due to the author’s desire not to screw up this stiff-upper-lip thing he’s got going on.  Hell, I’ve even got a sarcastic shot of Brian Stokes’s winning “Pitcher Of The Month,” but I’m not even in the mood.

I’m in the mood to watch Josh Thole stalk away from the plate in slow-motion after tagging out Dan Uggla.  I could watch that plenty.

Speaking of Uggla: in front of us last night sat a couple who seemed fairly even-tempered, until it was learned that the duo’s better half was combining her rabid hatred of Dan Uggla (which I enjoyed and stoked) with surreptitiously scrap-booking a Mets Program Guide and furiously doodling on a green-and-black Marlins cap (which I guess was promotional).

Now, Dan Uggla’s crimes against the National League are the stuff of legend: three errors, three strikeouts and a ground-into-double-play during an All-Star Game that the NL could’ve won if he’d’ve gotten his head together.  But it was as if she’d left an evil spirit after her departure.  The air felt colder in that seat.

Or, to quote and summarize from my friends, who were closer to her: “Yo, that girl was bats*** CRAZY.”  Fair enough.

I’ve little else to say, so I’ll leave with this:

a new board.jpg…which is the Mets Out-Of-Town Scoreboard.  Usually there’s some ad on the far left.  Last time I was there, it was an ad for MLB Network.  However:

a new board enhanced.jpgI believe this is the last of the game-action screens to go up.  Either that, or they’re planning for the next time a team scores twenty runs and the general board is not up to the task.  Either way, if it’s to someone’s benefit, I’m for it.

Next game for me is September 18th; I may try and stick a visit to the Bronx somewhere between that and October 2nd, versus the Astros, but I’ve been trying like hell to get out to Chicago all year, and if it’s between the Miracle Mile and River Avenue, I’m picking the Miracle Mile.

Adios, adieu, and away.

It was not my intention to post during the day; I had a full morning and my commute was taken up by working on a new screenplay (now you know: I work on screenplays), and I have a lot on my plate here at work.

But I’ve been working over the past week to get my organization in compliance with something called the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and to that end I’ve been investigating “whistle blower” services.  So if anyone here wants to narc on the organization or someone within the organization, they can do so without fear of reprisal.  Sure, it sounds like an unnecessary artifice at first, but if you want to complain about human resources and the vice president of the organization, and the vice president happens to run human resources, well… goddamn.

There are a number of better examples, but as you may have inferred, I’m writing this on the fly. 

Also, for those writers out there: having a straight job is remarkable for purposes of gathering material.  Don’t do it too long or your eyes’ll start to bleed and your face will stay that way.  But for awhile, it’s good.  Also helps to have skills to fall back on.

</rationalization of four-plus years in administrative service.>

Anyway, I place a call to get a quote on services, and I get an email with several attachments, including a brochure highlighting the organization’s shift into the compliance/whistleblowing business. 

The picture on the cover of that brochure?

compliance.jpgYes, that would be Shea’s mezzanine, looking out onto the field and loge levels.

I don’t know what this means, but I think I like it. 

I got a feeling that tonight’s gonna be a good night.  Yes, tonight’s gonna be a good, good night.

Labor Day is nearing its end.  Time to get back to work.

coney island.jpg

There’s a large part of Coney Island that can be called a hole, and that’s being charitable.  When my mother would take My Sister and I out to Astroland Park on too-warm summer weekdays, my father out working, I would try my best to enjoy it, but even then there was a seediness I could not abide.  The water in the flume ride reeked of oil; the bumper cars squealed and shrieked.  I couldn’t escape the feeling that the adults around were having a lot more fun than I was.  Maybe not so for my mother, who toted us about.  But the wacky ones on the dilapidated boardwalk: sure.
the dock.jpg
These days, there’s a patina of theme park on all the elements that make Coney Island a disagreeable, damned place. Feel the grime in the air as you use a restroom!  Chuckle at the locals, surly to the point of assault!  Wander through the urban desert which lies just beyond Surf Avenue!  And live to tell the tale!
This crystallized for me on Friday.  And it felt good to feel right about what opinion I’d formulated while being splattered with gear grease from the Cyclone.  The place is a dump.  Let people keep their homes, and don’t wreck the view of the ocean.  Besides that, take it down.  Raze it.  Salt the earth so nothing so obscene grows again.
Don’t know why I’m so belligerent about it; I had fun doing what I’d set out to do: drink beer, eat hot dogs, watch sailboats, and cheer on Carlos Beltran.  I guess I’m still not over that Jerry Koosman thing.  Ugh.  
I want to put my fist through a door every time I think about it.
No, I’m not drunk.  Last I was drunk, I was at a bar on the Lower East Side, watching a fifth NYU co-ed try to stay on a mechanical bull.  Add that place to the list of what should be scrubbed from history.  (By the by: there, no one knew who the hell Jerry Koosman was, either.  Pay your taxes, kids.)
All right, enough.  Carlos.

beltran in the field.jpgbeltran throwing.jpg

beltran to the dugout.jpg
Watching major league players in rehab stints is relatively new to me.  I mentioned in an earlier post that I watched Angel Pagan play last year, but then I considered him a bench player, and quite young.  He’s still grade-A bench player material, and still quite young.  Beltran took it easy.  I didn’t see him sprint, really.  He jogged carefully to the dugout; he jogged carefully to the outfield.  Best thing he did during the game was move a runner over in the first.
beltran hits.jpg
That’s him running out from the box, stage right.  Beltran went 0-for-3 and the Cyclones lost, 8-2, victims of a seven-run seventh and a pre-game collective reading of Dr. Seuss’s Go, Dog. Go! 
I don’t know; that kind of thing would unman me prior to playing an adrenaline-fueled game.
keyspan board.jpg
Those with the means to take in a Cyclones game during their playoff run should do so; it’s a fun park and the team is not half-bad.  I’m slammed with work and the boys out in Flushing, myself, but now that I know they’ve done away with the nutso sound effects following every visitor gaffe (SPROING!!! CLUNK!!!), I no longer have to worry about lapsing into a decibel-heavy Thompson-esque hallucination.  They DID keep the hot dog race.
are those beans.jpg
Brought a colleague from work to the game, who wasn’t paying attention until roughly this moment, and asked, honestly: “Are those supposed to be beans?”
I’d like to point out the Lowell Spinners third baseman, Michael Almanzar, whose expression you can’t see but who must’ve had money on the gig, as his attention is obviously directed at the hot dog runners.  Ketchup was sucking hind Relish until a beat before the end, when somehow it found a burst of speed and took the race.  Fix.
beltran swings.jpg
Word is Beltran will be back for the game on Tuesday against the Marlins.  Same word has John Maine in action on Sunday in Philadelphia.  Roger Rubin (any relation to Adam?) reports Gary Sheffield and Carlos Delgado are probably done for the year.
beltran about to swing.jpg
I’m most concerned about Beltran.  It was fun to have Sheffield while it lasted; it’s sad to think I’ll most likely never see Carlos Delgado in a Mets uniform again.  
Maine is out to sea.  I’ve no idea what to make of shoulder pain, except that I imagine it hurts worse when trying to throw a ball at ninety miles an hour.  It hurt
s when I sleep on mine for nine hours.
Perhaps it’s not about the machismo, this business of Beltran coming back for increasingly irrelevant games in September.  What the press has reported him saying–he’s a baseball player; he has to play because he knows nothing else–may come closer to it.
I wonder if it’s about needing to get that sense of anticipation back, that instinct that doubtless takes over when the pitch is thrown and a millisecond of fear gives way to more milliseconds of action.  That’s what I always considered to be at the core of getting one’s “timing” back.  To an extent, perhaps all that is the same as the reason given: he’s a baseball player.  He has to play if he can play.  The alternative–NOT playing–can be counted on to extend that millisecond of fear.  It must worry a man like hell to have such a livelihood taken away.
So very well, Mr. Beltran.  You want to play baseball? I’ll keep my mouth shut and hope for the best.  Produce, though, man: stand tall in the batter’s box and swing at pitches you can hit.  Do NOT challenge that bone bruise for supremacy; it knows no logic, it seems, and in Citi Field, there be some damned dragons.
**
lounging.jpg
A grab-bag of notes (that image is the view I had from The Frying Pan on Friday; the end of baseball season means new shoes that I don’t have to worry about getting shelled, and I’m excited for that because these are starting to hurt like a mother):
  • David Wright ditched the Rawlings S100. He said it was an uncomfortable fit.  While some may ream him for this, I’m willing to take that at face value.  I watched the guy take hacks with it and it looked like it was sliding every which way.  
The helmet is supposed to make things safer for him; his protective gear rattling around on his melon doesn’t achieve that goal.
No excuse for getting the kinks worked out during the off-season, though.  I expect to see it and laugh all over again during Spring Training.
I miss the ’80s.  If Keith Hernandez had determined the better part of valor was to wear that helmet, and he got razzed hard for it, he’d’ve probably flipped some guys off.  I don’t see David doing that, nice guy that he is.
  • Greg Prince of Faith And Fear In Flushing wrote about the lack of Mets coverage in The New York Times.  His piece mentions Sunday’s paper, in a way that’s almost Fred Exley-esque.  But Mr. Prince, if you’re reading this: they’ve been quite late in posting material to the website, and this has been the case since at least last week.  Usually game recaps post within two hours of a victory.  All last week, they were coming in late morning/early afternoon-ish.  I would leave a comment on your site, but my browsers are wonkifying your comments module.  I would send you an email, but I’m afraid of what else lurks in that inbox.  My BlackBerry’s been blinking at me for days.
  • Speaking of the Faith And Fear folks: there’s another Amazin’ Tuesday event being held on September 15th at the Two Boots on Grand Street in Manhattan.  Though it’s my birthday and I’m winless at Mets events outside Flushing and my own living room and favorite bars, I’ve decided the Fates owe me one, so I will be there.  Jon Springer of Mets By The Numbers (see right blogroll for a link to his site) spilled the beans about who’s going to be there, and confirmation by Mr. Prince has only whetted my appetite.  I think it’s going to be a really fun night run by some quite engaging, and level-headed writers.  Plan to be there, if at all possible.  You are not obliged to say hello to me, or join me for post-game birthday karaoke.
  • Daniel Murphy was a double short of the cycle yesterday against the Cubs (W; 4-2).  He’s got nine home runs this season (eight + one: Subway sign-aided).  He’s committed, focused, and not a horrible embarrassment on the field.  If the Mets are destined to wander in the wilderness for a couple more years, and he maintains a level of competence, there’s no earthly reason to ship the man off.  Keep him within the organization.  At present, he’s at least deserving of a nickname more imaginative than Murph, and what we shout at him from the upper deck would be wildly inappropriate for consistent use.
  • I finished watching the first season of Commander In Chief.  Glad they changed the opening theme, which was bordering on plagiarism.  Shocked at the overuse of firing as plot device.  If the Mackenzie Allen Administration were a ball club, there’d be no NOBs on their uniforms.
  • There are some old posts that need some tweaking.  Less than a handful.  If you’ve found this blog and have been working to catch up, and notice an error, my bad.  They’ll be fixed Thursday night.
  • There’s this continued business of a Mets Hall Of Fame been discussed in and around the intertubes.  I had an idea from way back that, if time permits this week, I will attempt to explain cogently.  I’d planned to write about it in the off-season, but I feel inspired.
  • Nathan’s is delicious.  Mmm… nitrates.
nathan's.jpg
I will be at the park tomorrow for Mets-Marlins.  This game will be a Tim Redding joint, featuring more likely than not the return of Carlos Beltran, and hopefully the purchase of my very own Section Five Twenty-Eight T-shirt, which will be much appreciated, as I never washed my jersey after that last monsoon, and it reeks of urban rain and desperation.
Hope your Labor Day was fun and safe.  Time to kick it into gear for the stretch run.  Yes… the stretch run.
Let’s go Mets!