The Three Stooges Redux
My head nearly spun off it’s axis Monday listening to Jeff (Wilpon), Omar (Minaya), and David (Howard), aka, “The Three Stooges,” putting a spin on the worse season in franchise history over 50.000 Watts. One sounded like an idiot son, another should be fired for cronyism, and the third (what the heck was he doing there?) a bean counter.
(If Howard called the fans “customers” one more time, I was going to heave a live child at the TV. A customer is one who walks in interested in a purchase with the possibility of leaving on their own accord, and dignity in tact. A fan is someone that risks sky-high ticket prices, exorbitant concession costs, parking rip offs-which Howard was proud to say belonged to the Mets after many years going to the City, in hopes of seeing a professional baseball team in action.
Mets fans were fleeced all season. Many times the faithful paid top dollar only to see the understudy. Many times they had to buy junior a hot dog during a three-hour plus game, at six dollars a pop (in the press room it costs $1.50-hey get a media credential if you don’t like it). Moreover, $17 to park the car if you live outside the jurisdiction of the 7-train, for entertainment as scintillating as a root canal.
Jeff’s mistake was he was born into this mess, but has profited handsomely from that. Omar hired all his friends and obviously they helped run the organization into the ground. He also bought the groceries that mostly turned rancid. Howard, embarrassed himself with terms such as, “pockets of the ballpark,” aforementioned “customers,” and other business speak (I tuned him out, sorry).
But, they did fire Sandy Alomar. Rejoice!
I was only interested in Citi Field conversation if they were getting realistic about revamping the dimensions and lowering the Walls, as tall as China’s Great Wall. Howard showed his ignorance by proclaiming the new park’s dimensions about the same as the old park’s.
I know Shea has been closed for a long long time, but I recall the gaps were 396 feet from home plate. The Mets bullpen is located in the right-field expanse, 415 feet from the dish. I was not a math major, but that is a 19-feet disparity, and a lot of lost home runs (think David Wright) later.
The home bullpen is so far from home plate, Randy Neimann, the bullpen coach, needs the Hubble Telescope to spot the action, binoculars are useless.
Only the Mets could build a ballpark to tailor a team that strengths were purportedly speed, defense, and pitching. Not only did they negate their best hitter, but their best all-around performer, Carlos Beltran, had knee woes that certainly were attributed to roaming the vast outfield. Moreover, they lost their home-run hitter in the speed department, Jose Reyes in late May (but he is scheduled for surgery soon-be patient my friends, the wheels of medicine turn slowly).
Wright did swipe a bunch of bags, (but committed a bag full of errors) and Angel Pagan (11 triples, but shoddy base-running) and Luis Castillo (hit .300, with one infamous dropped pop-up) could run-how exciting, but how is speed going to translate into runs scored when no one on this team could hit a bull in the fanny with a bag of rice with two outs and RISP?
By the way, one leg injury wiped out that plan, regardless. Don’t get me started about the putrid pitching staff-it was Santana and pray for a Tsunami. The team ERA was so high it routinely bumped into the Goodyear Blimp. The pitchers walked more in one year than seemingly Nolan Ryan did in his long career.
However, the pitching coach survived the ax, but management nailed the first base coach to the cross. Rejoice, again!
Now, I don’t need a home run (or strikeout) to satiate my baseball desires, but too much small ball is overrated and the way the Mets ran the bases-station-to-station, with the third base coach having no clue, they required four hits per inning to plate a run.
Give me a bloop and a blast anytime. All the Mets got was poop and a pop-up this year, and yesterday Mo, Larry, and Curly, sans the laughs.
About the Author: Doug Branch
Doug has been sports writing since 1983. He first wrote about the Mets at spring training that year, and his first interviewee was surly catcher Ron Hodges. He currently writes for Mets Inside Pitch, among other magazines published by Scout Publishing-which is owned by Fox Sports. He began following the team during the Wes Westrum era, and redeemed many Borden milk coupons for free Saturday baseball. The night of Tom Seaver's imperfect game against the Cubs, he was in line to buy a ticket when the windows slammed shut and abject disappointment ensued.
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Last updated: 05/18/2013
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