Mets Merized Online » celebration http://metsmerizedonline.com Thu, 24 Apr 2014 22:00:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 Lies, Lies and More Damned Lies http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/lies-lies-and-more-damned-lies.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/lies-lies-and-more-damned-lies.html/#comments Mon, 03 Feb 2014 16:25:59 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=146847 wilpon katz

1. It’s All In The Rearview Mirror

“It’s all in the rearview mirror,” Wilpon said about past financial woes last year as the 2013 spring training started, “The family is in great shape. The family really is in great shape. There’s no one in my family — there’s the Katz family, the Wilpon family, kids has any personal bank debt. Zero. Everything has been paid. We don’t owe a dollar to anybody. We have mortgages on buildings and stuff like that, but we don’t owe a dollar.”

The vast majority of people who Madoff scammed were financially devastated by his crimes, and didn’t get off as well. They lost retirement accounts, houses, everything. Some who lost the most were very close personal friends of the Wilpons, who they introduced to Madoff. Sandy Koufax, for one.

Here’s the rub. Wilpon will cry Madoff when convenient but leaves out the part that they have virtually shielded themselves from any Madoff effect by passing through the debt away from them personally when it also suits them. Wilpon also conveniently leaves out the part about taking $700 million in allegedly fraudulent transfers of principal from his Madoff accounts to help secure this personal burden.

Then there’s the $300 million in allegedly fictitious profits that kept the Mets afloat. Say what you will about clawbacks and what not, and dance around the fact that the Wilpons agreed to pay a small portion of that back, but the court records apparently showed the entirety of these withdrawals and payments were in fact made. Where did it all go? I don’t know about you, but I am relieved his family is totally debt free. Helps me sleep better at night. That is, when I’m not worrying about paying my own bills. The Mets, not so much. There is nothing but mountains of debt up ahead.

wilpon

2. Because We Can Do It

“Everything that was in the past — you guys saw the pain we went through — is gone,” Wilpon said in February 2013, “the payroll will be commensurate with anything we’ve ever done, because we can do it.”

Well, except for the part that he had signed away his control over expanding the payroll to the banks, which is entirely despicable by itself. At any rate, no such payroll increase has yet to materialize, just a kind of con man’s math. Take away, put back less, and call it a net gain. But I feel his pain. Yes, I do.

3. Make Sure That The Banks Got Paid Off All Of The Debt

It wasn’t as people had written, the reason,” Wilpon said last year, denying that the reason payroll was slashed was because of the Madoff situation. “It was a balance there. Because we had to make sure that the banks got paid off all of the debt.”

Really? Banks all paid off? Then why the lockstep celebration by some Mets fans that you just got re-financing on old debt that you were unable to pay? Here’s the reality. The franchise remains leveraged to the brink of critical mass. This new restructuring only pushed the balloon payment out 7 years. There’s several hundred million dollars of debt still attached to the club, plus the refinancing of the SNY network — said to be in excess of $700 million — and the hundreds of millions of dollars in debt on Citi Field. Even the bonds issued to finance the stadium have been rated “junk status” by Standard & Poor’s.

There are those analysts who think when you factor the net present value of those payments as debt, there is no equity value left in the Mets.

alg-wilpon-selig-jpg

4. I’ll Take Them At Their Word

Commissioner Selig in 2012, showing that he’s pretty skilled at double talk and enabling himself, when asked after an owner’s meeting about the financial situation of the Mets and whether the Mets had the resources to field a competitive team, revealed this:

“They (the Wilpons) said they do and I think they do. It just depends. It’s interesting how you rebuild or how you do things. Spending money doesn’t guarantee anybody anything. I want to be very careful here. As far as the Mets are concerned, I know they’re very comfortable where they are and they’re very optimistic. I’ll take them at their word.”

Why not? They’re pretty up front and transparent kind of guys, after all. Here’s the thing, though, and Selig knew this was true at the time he gave his blessings. Rarely enforced and easily manipulated, MLB has a rule that prohibits teams from operating at debt levels greater than ten times operating income. Selig already knew that the Mets and their debt-to-value ratio of 60% not only exceeded the standard, but put it in a more tenuous position than the Dodgers at the time who had a 54% debt-to-value ratio.

Like McCourt in LA who ransacked the Dodgers and depleted revenue from the operating capital for his own gain at the detriment of the LA Dodgers, how is what Wilpon has done with his debt any different? Before anyone cries that teams are not a public trust, and therefore can do anything they want with the team’s revenue, think about what happened to McCourt.

McCourt was run out of baseball by the commissioner, another Wilpon buddy from the old days, who relies on owners to back his initiatives and, well, pay his salary. New owners stepped in, who actually had the financial resources required to run a major league team, and McCourt, who had treated the team as his own piggy bank and brought it to its knees (sound familiar?) then makes a fortune in the sale. You can just hear McCourt gloating about the financial solvency of his family, can’t you? Why hasn’t the commissioner stepped in here and for the sake of the game put an end to the ownership of this franchise who can’t legitimately operate a major market baseball team — in fact, never has been able to run this team without leveraging the fraudulent activities of Madoff and his fairy tale returns almost from the start? Asked and answered.

wilpon alderson

5. He Does Not Have Restrictions

“He’ll have all the opportunity in the world to bring anybody he wants in,” team COO Jeff Wilpon said on 2011, referring to Sandy Alderson and his payroll, “The way for him to do that is to bring the ideas to us and we’ll talk about it. But he does not have restrictions. We’ll deal with everything on a case-by-case basis.”

Apparently deceitful double talk is genetic. We now know for a fact that there were payroll restrictions, a bank induced salary cap. When the news just broke that the Wilpons had restructured $250 million in debt and that, this time, the loan didn’t include payroll restrictions included in the agreement, even the hardened and the cynical had to be shocked.

Anything goes, I guess, especially when you are drowning in debt. Even if it meant running the organization into the ground, which it has. And so began the Wilpon’s convenient embrace of lowering payrolls as a testament to baseball purity, and farm system team building worship — with Sandy Alderson playing the part of the hometown sheriff coming to clean up the wild west. Only problem, who are the bad guys, and who are the good guys?

It’s one thing to have the Mets organization not be able to sustain itself because of bad contracts and when lack of winning causes revenues to drop to where it impacts the actual operation of the team. This austerity and payroll reducing and refocusing on the farm system because that’s a more pure and fundamentally sound way to build a baseball team has been nothing more than a deliberate charade to cover up the ultimate distribution of the money — back into the Wilpon’s teetering empire. Its nothing more than a pickpocket’s diversion. But, hey, have a heart. Whose going to gentrify Willet’s Point if the Wilpon’s don’t?

In the financial world, people go to prison based on the truthfulness of what they say, or don’t say publicly — especially when financial gain is tied in, or manipulation for financial gain is the intent (sort of like pumping up the team with lies to sell more tickets … to pay more debt down that has nothing whatsoever to do with the baseball team itself, which is not illegal in this case, just slimy).

While many losing teams have been turned into winners in less than three years, the GM can be patient and detached as he ‘rebuilds’ the farm system with high school players, because fielding a competitive major league baseball team befitting a major market isn’t even the primary goal. Anyone who thinks that this ownership will be able to potentially pay Harvey (assuming a return to glory) a contract in line with the $215 million paid to Kershaw, which is what it will take and which will happen before this just restructured balloon payment of $250 million comes due, is in need of longterm psychiatric therapy.

mmo

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A Relieved D’Arnaud Says Last Night’s Walk-off Hit Was Indescribable http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/a-relieved-darnaud-says-last-nights-walk-off-hit-was-indescribable.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/a-relieved-darnaud-says-last-nights-walk-off-hit-was-indescribable.html/#comments Mon, 16 Sep 2013 15:38:03 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=129397 travis d'arnaud single

It honestly felt like no one on the roster needed that walk-off yesterday more than Travis d’Arnaud. I do not need to sit here and highlight the fact that our young backstop has been struggling recently — considering it’s already been brought up over and over on talk radio, Mets Twitter and what have you.

The problem, of course, is that a healthy d’Arnaud was supposed to help anchor us offensively — but the actual results have made him out to be less effective than Anthony Recker so far. There are a lot of factors that are at play here, however, from his general rookie status to the fact that he’s rusty working his way back from that freak injury. The most important thing down the line for D’Arnaud, I believed, was for him to demonstrate that he could just stay healthy with the MLB club and get to know his pitchers. It’s impossible to have a statistical impact on the game while injured, so finishing the season without any injuries and going into 2014 with a clean bill of health would put him on the right path.

There are a lot of things to like about d’Arnaud — intangibles being one of them that seldom get discussed. I am bringing them up for a reason, however, because of something I noticed while at the game yesterday.

travis d'arnaud

At first glance, I thought d’Arnaud didn’t smile or anything during the whole over-the-top celebration, because he looked so uncomfortable throughout the whole thing in person. I even commented to Stephanie S. that he looked like he was trying to get as far away from them as possible. Upon watching the replay of the whole thing, I did see that he cracked a smile with his teammates and seemed genuinely happy about winning the game — but he did still look like he was actively trying to get away from the whole carnival atmosphere.

What furthered this for me was his entirely serious demeanor in the post-game interview — and he looked pretty ticked off after being pied in the face. If I had to venture a guess at his feelings, I think they’re on par with what a lot of Mets fans felt after the win yesterday. It was a good feeling, no doubt, but they barely managed to squeak by a Miami Marlins team that had shut them out for 11 innings prior — and they almost stranded the bases loaded in that inning itself! A win is a win, but we’re still what, 20 games back? If his serious demeanor was a result of feeling like we were going overboard and wasn’t just because he secretly dislikes Martino too, then I think I respect him a little more for that.

Thoughts from Joe D.

Satish, you weren’t the only one who noticed that. It was clear that D’Arnaud seemed uncomfortable with the raucous celebration that took place after his single put the remaining 1,000 fans at Citi Field out of their misery and leaving with a smile.

I had recap duties last night while many of our MMO writers were at the game and it was very terse and to the point. Not the usual for me. I thought the way the Mets were celebrating was too extreme and inappropriate, especially in light of an insignificant win in the battle for the worst team in the National League. Two teams that could not score one single run between them for nearly twelve innings and four hours. Pathetic actually…

Then on top of that, here comes Justin Turner and his pies… Man do I hate that crap… Sometimes I just wish he’d go away…

Getting back to d’Arnaud, I was happy for him. He admitted that he had been pressing lately and it was great to see him finally snap his 0-for-17 streak with runners in scoring position.

“I was just waiting for a pitch I can handle, put a good swing on it and fortunately it went through,” he said. “Extra innings, bases loaded. To get that hit, it’s an indescribable feeling.”

D’Arnaud looked a bit confused at the celebration that ensued on the field and wasn’t hopping and screaming for joy like many of his teammates. I wondered if he thought, like me, that the Mets had just beaten the Marlins in the battle for the NL East cellar and nothing more than that.

I wonder if this kid was pulling a Rusty Staub, who after a game-winning hit once said, “We won the game, that’s nice. I wish we’d have won the division instead. Next question.”

It would be cool to have that kind of winning attitude in that clubhouse moving forward.

By the way, I’s well aware that SNY’s Andy Martino is one of the least liked beat writers the Mets have had over the last decade. The amount of hate he gets on Twitter is unreal. That SNY would choose him to fill in for Kevin Burkhardt shows how everything they do is so questionable and second rate.

But that said, what was the deal with a player planting a pie to his face in the middle of performing an interview?

Again, what are these players thinking? Whose idea was it? Was there a message attached to it?

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Why Don’t The Host Team’s Broadcasters Call The All-Star Game? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/why-dont-the-host-teams-broadcasters-call-the-all-star-game.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/why-dont-the-host-teams-broadcasters-call-the-all-star-game.html/#comments Thu, 18 Jul 2013 11:30:20 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=125242 Photo By Clayton Collier

Photo By Clayton Collier

When a team is chosen to host the MLB All-Star Game, it means not only the greatest baseball has to offer converging on a specific location, but the celebration of both the host city and team. In the past week we witnessed the All-Star Game in Flushing for the first time since 1964, and Major League Baseball, the Mets, and the City of New York did a fantastic job of putting it all together. Citi Field was dressed to the nines and plenty of Mets greats were honored throughout the ceremonies, however something felt missing.

Despite all the glamour of the mid-summer classic, one aspect of the All-Star Game has always bothered me. If a club is hosting the All-Star Game, why not use the home team’s broadcasting crew for the festivities?

This is not by any means meant to be a knock on FOX or the Emmy-Award Winning broadcast tandem of Joe Buck and Tim McCarver who have covered the game for a number of years with great success. My take is that, if you are trying to incorporate the true heart and soul of a team into the festivities, why not make the voice of the ballclub you are honoring into part of the ceremonies.

gary keith ron

Mets fans are blessed with one of the game’s best broadcasting teams on both TV and radio, yet none of them were involved in All-Star week. Surely they enjoyed having some time at home, however a game at Citi Field does not have that home team-vibe that the All-Star Game tries to incorporate without Gary Cohen welcoming you to a “pleasant good evening”, Kevin Burkhardt’s fascinating reports, Keith, Ron and Josh’s analysis or Howie Rose capping it off with a “Put It In The Books!”. 

kevin burkhardt

Every since inter-league play began, the allure of the National and American League taking on one another has diminished significantly. Clayton Kershaw can take on Miguel Cabrera in the regular season, Bryce Harper can try to throw out Mike Trout at home. That magic of seeing the two leagues face off has lost its luster to the point that for the past nine years, MLB has placed meaning on the game in an attempt to draw interest once again, for the most part unsuccessfully so.

Being able to hear the voices of Major League Baseball would be a simple yet entertaining addition to the All-Star Game that gives fans something they can’t see on a given day. Fans outside of southern California can only hear the legendary voice of Vin Scully in sound bytes of in highlight reels on MLB Network.

For the most part, we can only witness these golden voices of the game if we are physically in the region for which they cover. These men tell the story of the game we all know and love, and to hear the voice of each city come mid-July would add to the experience of indulging in the host team for the All-Star Game.

Photo By Clayton Collier

Photo By Clayton Collier

 

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Happy Independence Day From MMO! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/happy-independence-day-from-mmo.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/happy-independence-day-from-mmo.html/#comments Thu, 04 Jul 2013 13:04:15 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=123796 4th-of-july-fireworks-nyc

It’s that time of the year again when we celebrate the birth of an ideal and of the greatest nation in the world. While we enjoy all the grilling and all the fireworks with our friends and families today, let’s take a moment to remember all the sacrifices that were made to make this celebration of freedom possible.

fireworks Citi Field

We also want to thank all the service men and women who keep freedom ringing for all of us both at home and abroad. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness doesn’t come cheap…

Happy Birthday, America!

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Sandy Alderson Fires Back At Bob Costas http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/06/sandy-alderson-fires-back-at-bob-costas-after-double-header-win.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/06/sandy-alderson-fires-back-at-bob-costas-after-double-header-win.html/#comments Thu, 20 Jun 2013 13:30:24 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=122603 Sandy Alderson

Last Sunday, it seemed the Mets were destined to continue their trek down a road they were all too familiar with. After eight innings of unimpressive play, the Mets were about to add to their losing streak. They had dropped their four previous match-ups and the offensively lacking team was two outs away from making it five.

That’s when the recently recalled Kirk Nieuwenhuis gave the Mets the perfect Father’s Day gift. Down two runs, the 25-year old hit a three run blast to end the game in walk-off fashion.

As is tradition, he was greeted at the plate by a frenzied mass of ecstatic teammates. They gathered together for the much needed celebration of his accomplishment, and more importantly, their win.

It was this simple act that caused Bob Costas to spew his pompous take on the days events, claiming it was “another indication of the ongoing decline of western civilization.”

Unsurprisingly, his comments were met with resentment from fans and critics alike. Nieuwenhuis’ blast ended the teams four game losing streak and essentially forced a breath of life back into a slowly suffocating team and their dejected fans.

The Mets weren’t just celebrating for themselves, they were celebrating for everyone who has stuck diligently beside them through this dismal season. We needed it.

Yesterday afternoon, Alderson tweeted his response to the opinionated jab that the silver-tongued Costas felt he needed to proclaim.

And while Sandy Alderson may not be the most popular member of the Mets staff, he valiantly stood up for his boys.

Thank you Mr. Alderson. You eloquently said what most Met fans were thinking. You put Costas in his place while maintaining your integrity and giving us a good laugh. Something we all desperately needed.

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Bob Costas Can Kiss Our Collective Orange and Blue Asses http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/06/bob-costas-can-kiss-our-collective-orange-and-blue-asses.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/06/bob-costas-can-kiss-our-collective-orange-and-blue-asses.html/#comments Mon, 17 Jun 2013 04:09:10 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=122250 bob costas

Is it me or has veteran broadcaster and baseball historian Bob Costas gone from beloved to just plain old bewildering over the last few years? He always seems to embroil himself in every controversy that comes around and not in a good way either… Sometimes he even likes to stir up his own controversies,,,

During a sports update on NBC this evening, they showed video of the Mets comeback 4-3 comeback win and the celebration that ensued at home plate following Kirk Nieuwenhuis’ walk-off homer at Citi Field. That prompted Costas to say the following:

“The Mets with four in the bottom of the ninth to win it, 4-3, and a team fourteen games under .500 celebrates as if it just won the seventh game of the World Series. Another indication of the ongoing decline of western civilization.”

Some Mets players took to Twitter to respond to Costas:

Jeremy Hefner: Hey Mr. Costas.. We will enjoy our wins!

David Aardsma: I love Bob Costas but are we supposed to roll over and die on the season? Or should we celebrate the excitement of a huge comeback?

Jim Malone: I respect Bob Costas as a broadcaster, but his comments today are a classic example of a non athlete not “getting it”

Costas’ snide remark also led to an official edict from Mets media guru Jay Horwitz:

Even retired Braves third baseman Chipper Jones chimed in and said:

“I’m thinking Mets fans will let Costas know about that little comment.”

I think Costas has lost that reverence he once held and has gotten too caught up in his own celebrity. He now spends hours with a makeup crew before each broadcast, who try desperately to make him look like hes still 30 when he’s actually 60.

Hey Bob, don’t tread on my Mets…

By the way, I’m well aware that many of us, including me, have had Chipper Jones on our Top 10 Most Hated Player list for almost two decades. But for the last 3-4 months, he has really gone out of his way to support the Mets as a team, or one of our players every chance he gets via social media.

I thought some of the things he said about Matt Harvey this season were very cool, and I thought it was classy of him to personally congratulate Zack Wheeler on Twitter last week when it was announced he was going to debut on Tuesday.

Maybe he’s not such a bad guy after all… Just a really, really, great player who used to kick our butts all the time while wearing an Atlanta Braves uniform…

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Murphy Drives In Go-Ahead Run In Mets 2-1 Victory Over Yankees http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/murphy-drives-in-go-ahead-run-in-mets-2-1-victory-over-yankees.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/murphy-drives-in-go-ahead-run-in-mets-2-1-victory-over-yankees.html/#comments Tue, 28 May 2013 02:03:12 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=120030 jon niese

Jon Niese started and despite not having his best stuff, he cruised through five scoreless innings. But then in the top of the sixth, centerfielder Brett Gardner tagged him for a leadoff triple and came around to score when Jayson Nix singled him home in the next at-bat for the first run of the game.

After Niese’s second single of the game, Brett Garner made a great leaping catch to rob Daniel Murphy of a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth. A shocked Murphy smashed his helmet in disgust as he was trotting to second base.

The Yankees got back to back, one-out singles off of Niese in the seventh, but the Met lefty was able to get out of the inning without any damage. The final line on Niese was one earned run on eight hits and a walk in 7.0 innings pitched with five strikeouts.

In the bottom of the seventh, third baseman David Wright led off the inning and walloped a tremendous solo home run to tie the game at one.

Brandon Lyon pitched a scoreless eighth after allowing a single to Nix and then inducing a doubleplay by Robinson Cano to end the inning.

With one out in the eighth, Mike Baxter laced a ground rule double to bring up pinch hitter Jordany Valdespin who had a great at-bat and worked out a walk. A passed ball with Ruben Tejada at the plate put runners on second and third. Tejada then hit a grounder to Cano who fired home to nail Baxter at the plate for the second out. That set things up for the hot-hitting Murphy who came through with a hard single to drive home Valdespin with the go-ahead run. Wright was up next and he took a pitch to the elbow to load the bases and bring up Lucas Duda who went down swinging for the final out. But not before the Mets took the 2-1 lead.

Bobby Parnell came in to preserve the lead in the ninth and after getting the first out he issued a four-pitch walk to Ichiro Suzuki. But he retired the next two batters to earn his ninth save of the season.

So the Mets take round one with a solid win… The series continues tomorrow at Citi Field at 7:10 PM with the Real Deal Matt Harvey on the mound. Lets Go Mets!

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Those Who Contribute the Least Shouldn’t Be Made the Story http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/those-who-contribute-the-least-shouldnt-be-made-the-story.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/those-who-contribute-the-least-shouldnt-be-made-the-story.html/#comments Mon, 13 May 2013 14:00:08 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=118607 Mets historians will recall how former GM Frank Cashen declared, ““those who contribute the least spray the most champagne” after being doused by reliever Randy Niemann during the 1986 NLCS championship celebration. I think it’s time to take that mantra when it comes to Jordany Valdespin, except those that contribute the least shouldn’t be made the story.

With Twitter, Facebook and blogs – both mainstream and otherwise – available throughout the 24/7/365 news cycle, it’s impossible to not transfer that meme to those that cover and watch sports.  On Saturday, Jordany Valdespin took one to the forearm a day after he embarrassingly celebrated a home run during a Pirates blowout win.  What resulted was talk about the validity of Pittsburgh’s Bryan Morris‘ actions, and how the Valdespin’s teammates reacted. Instead of continuing this news “filler,” let me set everyone straight as to what the deal is with Valdespin.

First, Jordany Valdespin is nothing more than a backup player. He isn’t the future, nor is he a clone of Jose Reyes, the answer in the outfield or infield, or some sort of energizer for a slumping offense. He possesses poor plate discipline and is an average defender, at best, at any position. His career MILB on-base percentage was .330. In the big leagues he’s shown even less of a penchant to get on-base with his .287 clip. Even worse, he doesn’t come across as a hard worker or someone that possesses a big league baseball IQ. There is nothing with Valdespin’s process that screams big league starter, much less star. I have my doubts he will stick around since he seems unable to endear himself to any clubhouse throughout his career.

This is not about race. The players dislike Valdespin because of who he is. Think it’s just his current teammates? After a game-winning grand-slam against the Dodgers, former B-Mets reliever Erik Turgeon took to Twitter and shared these nuggets:

“Valdespin with a walk off home run. If you need me I will be in the bathroom throwing up! I have Zero respect for that piece of s***”

“If your shocked that, then you don’t kno bout all that! Happy for the mets wish someone deserving got the hit like Lagares!”

“Tough for me to get Valdespin out when I’m on the same team as him don’t ya think?”

“Evidence ask your favorite guy in the organization who there least favorite guy is”

jordany valdespinWho cares what a retired minor league reliever says, right? What about his current teammates, none who seemed upset or enraged that he was plunked on Saturday. There was furor about how John Buck conducted the pie celebration after that very same grand slam. When I asked Buck about it last week his response with a coy smile was telling: “A big walk-off home run deserves a big pie to the face.”

Read from that what you will, but contrite, at least in my opinion, is not the word to use when describing Buck’s comments. Remember, this is the same guy that was suspended in the minors for an undisclosed incident (some speculation is that it was for a Ruben Rivera-type action, read into that what you will), and again this past offseason during winter ball. There is too much smoke around Valdespin’s fire.

On a good team Valdespin provides speed and power off the bench. Those are characteristics that do make him valuable. His clownish behavior is probably overshadowing that right now, making the story more about him than the team. This will be tolerated when someone like R.A. Dickey is winning Cy Young Awards, but rarely so with a borderline big league player. Valdespin embarrassed the Mets this weekend. Take those blue and orange sunglasses off and see what the opponents do to another bad team celebrating a meaningless home run. It reminds me of how the Nationals used to be when they had Anderson Hernandez, Lastings Milledge and Elijah Dukes: Bad attitude, clownish behavior and, worst of all, a lot of losses.

The shame of it all is Valdespin does have some raw talent. If he took the time to learn from those around him, and put the effort into improving, perhaps there would be hope for better days ahead. Right now, you can’t even get him to take extra batting practice. He consistently never shows up to such events, which is almost sacrilegious on a team that is hitting so poorly; even more damning for a wet behind the ears rookie.

If I were the Mets I would move on from Valdespin ASAP. You probably don’t want to release him as he is too good to be put on the waiver wire. Perhaps there is a minor deal that Alderson can spring for an outfielder. Not a starter or star, but someone that is a bench player, but is a starter on this team due to circumstances. Maybe another team looks at Valdespin’s talent and thinks they can “steal” a future contributor. You never know what you can get if you ask.

Sandy Alderson needs to set the tone and show the club that professionalism and behavior matters to this organization. Ridding the clubhouse of Valdespin won’t turnaround this lost season, but it will be addition by subtraction. You are not losing anything on the field as those late-game home runs are bound to run dry as he makes his way around the league.

I am sure this opinion will stir up debate, however I doubt it’s worth the time.

Those that contribute the least spray the most champagne; they also take up the most space when it comes to the news.

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Gooden: If I Had Died After Mets Won Series, I Could Have Saved Many People A Lot Of Grief http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/gooden-if-i-had-died-after-mets-won-series-i-could-have-saved-many-people-a-lot-of-grief.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/gooden-if-i-had-died-after-mets-won-series-i-could-have-saved-many-people-a-lot-of-grief.html/#comments Fri, 10 May 2013 17:11:32 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=118256 doc a memoir goodenMarc Raimondi of the NY Post writes about Dwight Gooden who has a soon to be released biography entitled, “Doc: A Memoir.

The bio reveals some shocking and even sad details about his life in baseball and the toll that drug addiction took on his career and his life.

Gooden believes if he had died the moment the Mets won the World Series in 1986, he would have saved many people a great deal of grief – starting with himself.

The mercurial former ace’s downward spiral began just minutes after Jesse Orosco tossed his glove in the air to celebrate the Amazin’s comeback victory over the Red Sox, Gooden writes in his new autobiography “Doc: A Memoir.”

The first call Gooden made after becoming World Series champion was his father. The second was his drug dealer. That night, Gooden went on a cocaine and booze bender that ended up causing him to miss the Mets’ victory parade. Instead, he watched the celebration on television at his home – a moment he describes as the loneliest he has ever felt.

“As my teammates road through the Canyon of Heroes, I was alone in my bed in Roslyn, Long Island, with the curtains closed and the TV on, missing what should have been the greatest morning of my life,” Gooden wrote.

The book reportedly chronicles Gooden’s rise to become one of the best young pitchers in baseball history, his years with the Yankees and his complicated relationship with Darryl Strawberry.

People make mistakes, and Dwight has made a lot of them. But we have always been a forgiving people and we now know that drug addiction is a disease that can sometimes grip you and never let go.

I’m glad Gooden didn’t die and I’m even happier to see him continuing to fight through his addiction. It’s a never-ending battle.

I was talking about Gooden just last night and discussed how cool it is that this one-time mets pitching phenom is the one leading the charge and heading up the Matt Harvey Fan Club. He never misses one of his starts and he takes to Twitter every five days and joins the rest of us to cheer Harvey on.

Doc’s always had a good heart and many times I often wonder just how great his career could have been before the drugs took him down that dark path. To this day, his rookie season was one of the most thrilling and exciting times of my life as a Met fan. The World Series in 1986 was the cherry on top. I will always love Dwight Gooden for that.

Pre Order “Doc: A Memoir” Now!

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No Guts, No Glory: David Wright and a Wounded Combat Veteran Named Felix http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/03/no-guts-no-glory-david-wright-and-a-wounded-combat-veteran-named-felix.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/03/no-guts-no-glory-david-wright-and-a-wounded-combat-veteran-named-felix.html/#comments Fri, 08 Mar 2013 18:36:32 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=110253 In the following video you’ll find a touching story about the bond third baseman David Wright has forged with a disabled Iraqi war veteran named Felix, and how their relationship has grown over the years. The wheelchair bound veteran tells an inspiring story of what his United States flag means to him and the role it has played during his tours when he carried it in the deserts of Iraq and how it made its way into the clubhouse after Team USA pulled out a dramatic comeback to clinch a spot in the semi-final round during the 2009 WBC.

Mets third baseman David Wright drove in the game winning run in that game with a walk-off hit to clinch the victory for Team USA. After the game, combat veteran Felix, a die-hard Met fan, shared in the celebration as Team USA all signed his flag for him.

Hat tip to Kay for the link.

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Mets To Host Star Wars Night This Monday At Citi Field http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/07/mets-to-host-star-wars-night-this-monday-at-citi-field.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/07/mets-to-host-star-wars-night-this-monday-at-citi-field.html/#comments Wed, 18 Jul 2012 15:52:49 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=89208

METS TO HOST STAR WARS™ NIGHT

THIS MONDAY, JULY 23 AT CITI FIELD

Pre-Game Photo Ops with Characters and Costume Contest in Bullpen Plaza.

FLUSHING, N.Y., July 19, 2012 – The New York Mets today announced they are teaming up with Lucasfilm Ltd. to host the second annual Star Wars Night at Citi Field this Monday, July 23 when the Mets host the Washington Nationals at 7:10 p.m.

Tickets are available online at Mets.com/starwars and include an exclusive Mets/Darth Vader t-shirt (see attached) and a $5 donation to Stand Up To Cancer, a movement created to accelerate groundbreaking cancer research that will get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives.

Darth Vader, Jedi and Stormtroopers will be on hand for the night, and fans are encouraged to dress up as their favorite Star Warscharacters for a costume contest with a grand prize of a Four-Day Pass to Star Wars Celebration in Orlando, Florida, August 23-26.

The costume contest and character appearances begin at 6:00 p.m. in the Bullpen Plaza where there will be a table set up to pick up the exclusive t-shirts for those fans who bought tickets through Mets.com/starwars.

There will also be trivia during the game with Star Wars prizes compliments of Lucasfilm and other sponsors.

Star Wars fans throughout the ballpark will be invited to stand for the bottom of the second inning to raise awareness for Stand Up To Cancer and recognize that in the U.S., cancer claims the life of one person every minute of every day.  Major League Baseball is a lead donor of the organization 

About Star Wars Celebration

Star Wars fans! You’re invited to join the party this summer as Star Wars Celebration returns to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando this August 23rd through the 26th. Join fans from around the world and across the galaxy for four days of Star Warsfun for the whole family. Don’t miss STAR WARS CELEBRATION VI. Aug 23rd though the 26th!!  Tickets available now atwww.starwarscelebration.com/Mets. Mets fans receive a 20% discount!

About Stand Up to Cancer

Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) — a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), a 501(c) (3) charitable organization — raises funds to accelerate the pace of groundbreaking translational research that can get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives. SU2C facilitates collaboration among the best and the brightest in the cancer research community. The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and a Scientific Advisory Committee led by Nobel Laureate Phillip A. Sharp, Ph.D., conduct rigorous, competitive review processes through which SU2C’s grantees are selected. By galvanizing the entertainment industry, SU2C generates awareness and builds grassroots support for this new approach to ending cancer. For general information, please visit www.su2c.org.

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From Left Field: Marlins Home Run Celebration Is Very Distracting http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/03/form-left-field-marlins-home-run-celebration-is-very-distracting.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/03/form-left-field-marlins-home-run-celebration-is-very-distracting.html/#comments Thu, 08 Mar 2012 15:42:41 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=74018 There’s been a lot of talk about the Miami Marlins all offseason, so I’ll keep the trend going.

Let me start off by saying, I downright love the “Home Run Apple.” Whether it’s the old one outside Citi Field or the new one inside the stadium, the Home Run Apple is a Mets and baseball icon.

In addition to bringing multiple high-profile free agents including Jose Reyes, the Marlins have made headlines with their brand new state-of-the-art ballpark built on the site of the old Orange Bowl.

The stadium will feature a swimming pool in left field, a retractable roof and even aquariums with live fish on either side of home plate.

But the thing you won’t be able to miss is the Marlins new version of the Home Run Apple.

A 50-plus foot structure in left center field lights up like Las Vegas each time a Marlins player hits a home run. Fake marlins, seagulls and flamingos all move around in every direction, and a central marlin on top does a 360-degree spin.

Check out this rendering below:

Many of the Marlins players have said this new structure is distracting. From a Mets fan’s perspective, this home run celebration is way too over-the-top, especially compared to the classic Home Run Apple.

I’ll admit, I’m looking forward to seeing the new Marlins ballpark. But hopefully when the Mets head to Miami, they can limit the amount of home runs surrendered so we don’t have to see that obnoxious home run celebration.

However, with Giancarlo Stanton (formerly known as “Mike”) crushing balls, it will be difficult to contain this Marlins’ lineup.

Though I don’t want any players hitting homers against us, seeing Reyes hit a few and show-boat around the bases while that structure is going off will be tough to watch. At least if he hits an inside-the-park home run, it will be go by much quicker.

Stay tuned because we will be hearing much more about this structure as the season nears.

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Tom Seaver To Appear On Studio 42 with Bob Costas http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/12/tom-seaver-to-appear-on-studio-42-with-bob-costas.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/12/tom-seaver-to-appear-on-studio-42-with-bob-costas.html/#comments Sun, 11 Dec 2011 21:41:53 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=67451 Hall of Famer and three-time Cy Young Award winner Tom Seaver discusses his legendary 20-year career in a new episode of MLB Network’s Studio 42 with Bob Costas:

Monday, December 12 at 9:00 PM ET

Seaver comments on being part of the 1969 World Champion New York Mets and his contract dispute with former Mets’ owner M. Donald Grant prior to being traded to the Cincinnati Reds in 1977. Here are a few highlights…

On Being Traded to the Reds in 1977

The ownership, Grant, after Gil Hodges died, it changed tremendously. Gil would not let that stuff happen. I was my player rep. I represented my team in the labor negotiations. M. Donald Grant came to me during this period of time, right before I got traded, and looked at me and said, “What are you, some kind of communist?” So, the love affair was a one-way street. As soon as he said that, and there were things before that, he said, “Who do you think you are joining the Greenwich Country Club?” I said, “Oh, that’s interesting, that’s pretty interesting.” So, it began to die. … It was time for me to go. It was time for me to go. … It was not pretty. When you give your heart to somebody and then they rip it back out of you. … It was a lie, it was false. It was a false love affair. Not with the fans, not with the teammates, not [with] the game. Three out of four is pretty good. It never affected me with my teammates and what I did for a living.

On Winning the 1969 World Series

We were in [the clubhouse] at the celebration. It was one of the best realizations of my life. We were in there [with] the champagne. This has got to be the ultimate and you know what? It wasn’t the ultimate. It’s the field that is the ultimate. We went back on the field. …. It isn’t the celebration. … It’s what’s on the field. That’s where the art form is. That’s where the competition is. That’s where the intellectual input as a team makes this happen: on the field. I went back to the mound. … I just went back and looked. … You want that to be your last image. … There was nobody in the stands and it was disheveled and grass was torn up and taken away. But it’s on the field. … It is the journey, not the destination.

On Today’s Pitchers Coming Out of Games Early

It is the economics running the game or somebody’s theory or system that now they look for reasons to take a pitcher out. … What are you doing to this pitcher? Why don’t you go to the mound and say, “You are throwing great. Put this to bed. Put it in the casket.” You’re trying to build these individuals mentally. … Leave them in there. Let them be stud muffins.

“Let them be stud muffins”. Terrific, Tom, Terrific.  :-)

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Let Freedom Ring! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/07/let-freedom-ring.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/07/let-freedom-ring.html/#comments Sun, 04 Jul 2010 16:03:18 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=30543

It’s that time of the year again where we celebrate the birth of an idea, an ideal, and the greatest nation in the world.

While we enjoy all the grilling and all the fireworks with our friends and families today, let’s remember all the sacrifices that were made to make this celebration of freedom possible.

Thanks to all the service men and women who keep freedom ringing for all of us both at home and abroad.

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness doesn’t come cheap…

Happy 4th of July to everyone.

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Is There Such A Thing As Too Much Celebrating? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/05/is-there-such-a-thing-as-too-much-celebrating.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/05/is-there-such-a-thing-as-too-much-celebrating.html/#comments Sun, 30 May 2010 18:15:57 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=28089 On Saturday, after the the young first base Kendry Morales hit a game-ending grand slam in the 10th inning of the Angels’ 5-1 victory against Seattle, Morales had to be carted away from home plate and sent to the hospital. Morales broke his left leg after landing awkwardly at home plate. Followed by his team pummeling him in their celebration. Morales was throwing his arms in the air, trying to get his team to stop.

Morales wasn’t arguably the Angels’ best hitter. He was the Angels’ best hitter, forget any arguments. He was the only batter who carried menace with him into the batter’s box. He led them in batting average (.290), home runs (11) and RBIs (39). He built that on top of a foundation in 2009 in which he finished fifth in MVP balloting. He was an up-and-coming superstar and to see his career trajectory slowed by such an unnecessary mishap borders on tragic.

Looks like the Angels will be without their first baseman for another 10-12 weeks. Morales will also being going in for surgery today.

“All it takes is something like this to happen and make you take a second look,” general manager Tony Reagins said. “Hopefully, there are some adjustments in the celebrations.”

The Angels’ players went from throbbing in unison around the plate to staring in disbelief at their feet, Morales lying there in a heap, his foot bent in a direction feet aren’t meant to go. What was the mood at that point?

“Anytime you have a walk-off hit, everybody celebrates at home plate,” said starting pitcher Jered Weaver, who was icing his arm while watching the situation unfold on television. “It was just a fluke thing. You never want to see anything like that happen to a guy like that who’s having a great start to the season – or anybody for that matter. Hopefully it’s not as serious as we think, but we’re going to have to deal with it. Obviously, we’re going to have to change the way we go about celebrating something like that.”

So where does this lead the rest of the major league teams? Obviously a lot of teams will change the way they celebrate walk off homeruns. However, many teams will see it as a fluke and not bother to change anything.

What do you think? Should teams change the way they celebrate walk off home runs?

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Oh What A Night It Was! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/08/oh-what-a-night-it-was.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/08/oh-what-a-night-it-was.html/#comments Mon, 24 Aug 2009 15:21:17 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=11591 On Saturday night the Mets paid tribute to the 1969 Miracle Mets. While the 2009 Mets season will be a season we would like to forget, the Mets management did get one thing right, that was the fantastic, emotional and classy tribute given to these heroes of forty years ago.

I was out at CitiField Saturday night. I seated in the very last row of seats in the stadium, but the large scoreboard afforded everyone a great a view of the celebration. Here a re just a few of my thoughts.

Firstly, props to Howie Rose the on field emcee. I write a lot about the SNY guys, but Rose is about as great a broadcaster as there is. Is work on WFAN is solid. He knows the Mets inside and out. His love and respect for the Mets shows in his work. Howie always hands in a professional job, and Saturday night was no different. Keep in mind Rose grew up a Met fan, these were his boyhood heroes, and now he had the chance to emcee this event. He was great.

The Mets went to great lengths to bring back as many 1969 family members as possible. The image of Mrs. Payson on the scoreboard brought tears to my eyes, and the introduction of her daughter brought boos from the audience. Joy Murphy, the great Bob Murphy’s wife was there. Is was apparent by the applause she received that although Murph is gone he’s not forgotten. Gil Hodges who managed the 1969 was represented by his wife Joan and son Gil. Also drawing a large round of applause was Mr. Kiner and his wife.

While I’m too young to remember the 1969 Mets, I do remember watching some of these guys play with the Mets in 1970′s. Its always fun guessing who the next player to be introduced would be, and to my surprise I knew a great deal of them. Yogi Berra was a coach of the 1969 Mets and received a very warm welcome from the fans. Ron Swoboda also received a very warm welcome, but the largest welcome were reserved for three pitchers. Lefthander Jerry Koosman was greeted with cheers of KOOS, KOOS, KOOS. It was awesome for Nolan Ryan, The Ryan Express to come back home. The Hall of Famer received a large round of applause, and lets hope Ryan doesn’t stay for so long in the future. Of course the largest cheers were reserved for The Franchise. After his introduction, Tom Seaver addressed the Met fans. It was so typical of Seaver. Ever so humble and boyish. Expressing his admiration for Gil Hodges, and his appreciation of the Met fans.

The first pitch was thrown by Seaver, Ryan, and Koosman, to catchers Duffy Dyer, Jerry Grote and Yogi Berra. What an awesome moment. As hokey as it was the celebration ended with a recording of the 1969 Mets singing “You Gotta Have Heart” on the Ed Sullivan show.

Even though the Mets lost the game to Phillies, it was a great night at CitiField ( I still call it Shea). The highlight of the 2009 season for me.

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