Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Carter's Feelings Hurt



Former Met and current Hall Of Fame catcher, Gary Carter, feels he was 'snubbed' by the Mets

While interviewed on the Boomer & Carton program on WFAN, Carter in addressing if he was upset that Mike Piazza caught Seaver's ceremonial final pitch at Shea ,said, "Yeah, a little bit. I was a little surprised at the closing of Shea last year. I don't understand it.''

Carter thinks that when he turned down the Mets offer to manage at the AA level, thinks the Mets might have gotten fed-up with him: "When I turned it down, it's almost like they turned their backs to me,'' he said, adding that catching the final pitch at Shea or first at Citi "would have been very special.''

Never a fan of Carter's, and I was there when he was making his debut as Mets catcher in 1985, where he hit the game winning HR in the 10th against the Cardinals on opening day, he does have a point. Carter is an idiot, and a self promoting narcissist, but he does have a point. He was an integral part of the great Mets teams of the mid to late 1980's.

The problem is, Carter still doesn't realize his mistake of campaigning for Willie Randolph's job while Randolph was still employed by the Mets.

To hear the Carter interview on WFAN: Gary Carter On WFAN

Gary Carter On WFAN

Source: Source: Neil Best - Newsday


2009 Mets 25 Man Roster


For now, Nick Evans is on the team. That isn't expected to last long. Once the Mets activate Livan Hernandez, who was named the Mets #5 starter, Evans will be reassigned to AAA Buffalo. Bobby Kielty, who had a decent Spring was assigned to AAA.

As of this posting, here is the 25 man roster:

Catchers

Ramon Castro
Brian Schneider

Pitchers

Johan Santana
Mike Pelfrey
John Maine
Oliver Perez
J.J. Putz
Francisco Rodriguez
Sean Green
Pedro Feliciano
Bobby Parnell
Brian Stokes
Darren O’Day

Infielders

David Wright
Jose Reyes
Luis Castillo
Carlos Delgado
Alex Cora
Nick Evans
Marlon Anderson

Outfielders

Ryan Church
Dan Murphy
Carolos Beltran
Fernando Tatis
Jeremy Reed


Source: Ben Shpigel - NY Times

Tigers Release Gary Sheffield, Phillies show interest

In a surprise move earlier today ,the Detroit Tigers released veteran Gary Sheffield. Sheff is owed 14 M this season and is 1 homer away from 500

In a report over at MLB.com the Phillies are showing interest in the Slugger. They have released Geoff Jenkins. The Phillies are looking to bring Sheff to play in the bandbox in Philly since they could use another righty hitter.

Sheffield has not been the same in the outfield since a collision he had back in 2007. Sheffield seems to disrupt any team he is a part of but the Phillies could have him for the major league minimum.

So Long To The Stache



Today the Mets released Jose Valentin, Tony Armas Jr,and Junior Spivey from their Minor League Camp.


Valentin, who will always be remembered for his unexpected contributions to the 2006 Mets will sorely be missed. Although he was never expected to make this years roster, it was hoped and expected he would hone his new skills as a player coach, and someday manager.


I know for myself and Long Island Met Fan, we will miss the leadership of the Stache.


Source: Brian Costa - The Star Ledger


Who Would You Choose?


The Mets haven’t yet disclosed who will be honored with throwing out the first pitch at Gil Hodges Memorial Park.

Many have believed it will be the tandem of Seaver to Piazza.
Nicholas Hirshon - NY Daily News wrote how two former pitchers, Stephen Dillon, 66, and Bill Wakefield, 67, hope to take the mound one last time to honor the Mets' oft-overlooked first few seasons, as the team slowly evolved from lovable losers into formidable competitors." These two men pitched in the first night game at Shea Stadium in 1964.

I have a different idea. As I wrote about
Jack Fisher back on January 29th, Fisher was the first Mets pitcher to toe the rubber at Shea. This article by Hirshon goes into a subject that I have chronicled on many occasions; the Mets don’t respect their history, unless it is 1969. The Mets were the nation’s lovable losers until that miraculous season of 1969, and those who are still living from those teams should be respected. They are as much, if not more, of Mets history than the teams that followed.

Said former Met Art Shamsky of the idea of having Wakefield and Dillon throw out the first pitch, "That would be a nice tribute. I love those touching things. They make the game of baseball special. That's what separates the game from the other sports."

Both Dillon and Wakefield, who pitched the first night game at Shea Stadium on May 6, 1964, would love to be apart of the opening of GHMP. According to the article, “A Mets official said then that the team is still hashing out first-pitch plans for the season. When asked again recently, the team officials said plans were still fluid, even as Amazins' alumni endorsed the on-field salute to the longtime ballpark's first evening affair.”

Metsfan73 would throws my endorsement behind Jack Fisher, the first Mets pitcher to pitch at Shea Stadium, back on April 17, 1964.

Who do you think should throw out the ceremonial first pitch?

My take on Citi Field/Shea Nu. Like to see some minor tweeks.


If you plan on touring the park this weekend before the Red Sox vs Mets exhibition games make sure you give yourself enough time. It could take you 1-2 hours to tour the entire park

If you need the latest Mets garb and viewing the JRR it might take you 30-45 minutes to just get through the Rotunda, take pics by the huge blue 42 and stand in line to get in the New Mets “mega store” .

First off the Wilpons did a awesome job with the park. Over at the
Daily News you can read Fred comments which include “There were thousands and thousands of people in the (Jackie Robinson) Rotunda taking pictures of the No. 42. It was really heartwarming.”

Now there are some items I think it would be nice to see the Mets address starting with the darkness you feel when you leave the rotunda and make your way in the concourse in the field level . Gone is the view you get from behind the plate that I grew to love at Shea. That was a perspective that I loved . Now the field level view behind the plate is gone since you need access to the Ebbets field club seats to see it. The concourse is very dimly lit and the ugly weather we had on Sunday did not help.

Ken Takahashi,lefty reliever signed to Minor league deal

In a deal that some might scream desparate the Mets have signed Japanese lefthander Ken Takahashi to a minor-league contract as perAdam Rubin .

The 39-year-old lefthander was mostly a starter last year when he went 8-5 with a 3.50 ERA in 21 games for the Hiroshima Carp . He was hurt in first spring-training game with the Blue Jays. He was released Monday.

I guess the Mets see him as a back up to Pedro Feliciano since el Pedro is the only lefty out of the bullpen . The Mets had Ron Villone in camp but released him.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Ollie Perez shines in start against Orioles


With his start completed Oliver Perez quieted naysayers with what had transpired up to this point with the WBC and his first start back against the tigers.

Perez pitched 6 and 2/3 innings tonight and gave up only 1 run on a couple of hits . He still has some work to do with his arm strength since he topped out at 91mph and was mostly around 89-90 mph. Perez still had some issues finding the plate at times tonight but kept his walks down.

Perez pitched 95 pitches and then was relieved by J J Putz. Perez will pitch saturday against the Red Sox.

The Mets are winning 2-1 . The Mets scored there run by a home run by Daniel Murphy and a triple by Tatis who scored on a throwing error.

Citi Field draws comparison to parks in Ciny and Pittsburgh.

In the unofficial opening yesterday the Mets new park drew rave reviews. As noted in his story over at the NY Post Mark Hale talks to John Franco who threw out the ceremonial first pitch to a crowd that was mostly interested in touring the ball park then watching the game.

Franco compares the Mets new park "I think a little bit of Pittsburgh and Cincinnati,"


I myself have not seen the parks in Pitts or Cincy but have seen the park in Philly last year. That park does have some comparisons to the Mets new park but certainly we hope not the way it plays. Philly has a huge centerfield area like the Mets and the fact you can be in the outfield behind the seats and stand where there is a ledge to place your drinks and food is something the mets do not have on the field level but do have on the excelsior level.

My esteemed colleague Metfan73 might agree with it being compared to Pittsburgh since he has been to that park .He will give you his opinion after he ventures to the park this weekend.

The one park you can not mistake it for is Shea.

Tom Seaver and Mike Piazza to make return engagement

According to the Daily News Mets greats Seaver and Piazza who through the last pitch at Shea back on the 28th of September will re team on April 13th and be the battery for throwing out the first pitch 2 weeks from today at the Citi Field official home opener.

This home opener will also be special in the fact that it will be a night game. Most home openers have been day games.

Fans will love the new park if that will be the first time they get to see it cause it is going to be a great place to see a game with all the crazy wall heights and bounces off the walls we should see. Jose Reyes will be hitting triple after triple in the new park which opened yesterday to rave reviews by many a Met fan

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Citi Field pictures from today. Going to be a great place to see the Mets







The weather was not great to spend a day at the park but that did not matter because the weather really did not hold many people back from taking there first peek at the Mets new park. All I can say WOW!!! This place is going to be great to watch our Mets go for the playoffs this coming year. Everyone I think thought comparing this park to Shea is apple to oranges.

I did not take alot of pics due to the weather but you can view My citi field pics

There are still some things that need to be completed,like the retired numbers need to be placed and also the banners from the championship seasons, but the minute you walk in the rotunda and just look around you know your in for something special. They have 2 large flat screen tvs up top playing clips form Jackie Robinson's career as well the big blue 42 behind the stair cases.

When you take the escalators up to the field level you can really see how impressive the rotunda is looking down.


It was something to remember knowing you were one of the first people ever to see the New Park . When you walk around you notice the concourses are huge. The site lines are impressive. The food was just mostly basic today. Every stand had a limited menu and from what I was told that should all change for fridays game. Every where you looked people were talking in the concourse and there was still room. There are so many places to socialize. The outfield area is great and you get such a great view from the bridge in center field.

Also it is very easy to heckle the opposing team in the bullpen. It was great seeing the apple and also the Mets skyline. The kids will have a ball in Mr Mets field that has batting cages and a dunk tank for use in the summer.

The excelsior level had the Caesar club open for everyone to see and alot of people were lounging in there saying out of the cold damp weather. The level has 2 bars out in the concourse that you can just sit around and grab a beer away from the crowd if you want.


This will be an exciting summer to watch the Mets in there new park and I can not wait to get back there next weekend .


The seats we had were alone the right field line and were directed in towards home plate. More leg room for us taller people !!!

The Deal That Never Was?


Jon Paul Morosi - Detriot Free Press reports that the Mets and Tigers were close to a trade that would have sent Met reliever Brian Stokes to the Tigers for IF/OF Ryan Raburn. Raburn's talent seem to be more fitted for the NL due to his versatility.


It is believed that the trade fell through due to Stokes apparently making the Mets opening day roster.

Stokes, who was a big surprise last year for the Mets, will be vital to the Mets bull pen this year. Hopefully this idea was nothing more than rumor. If this was the deal, the Mets, on the surface, would seem to give up more than they would receive. If the Mets have learned anything over the last three years, is that relief pitching is key, and Stokes has earned the right to be a member of the 2009 Mets.


Putz On Somers


Yesterday afternoon, WFAN personality, Steve Somers had newAdd Image Mets set-up man JJ Putz as a guest. I have noted many times ( here, here, and here )that NY is going to love Putz. He is so cool He doesn't seem in the least bit concerned about NY nor the fans. He has this arrogance about him that seems to challenge anyone to try and beat him. He is not flashy like new Mets closer, Francisco Rodriguez, but is an intimidating prescence on the mound.

Putz discusses the great time he had participating in the WBC, his views on why the WBC isn't accecpt in the US like it is in other countries, and pitching for the Mets.

To listen to Putz: JJ Putz With Steve Somers

K-Rod Ready To Klose For His New Klub


Mets new closer, Francisco Rodriguez, is getting antsy. He wants the season to start. Says Rodriguez, "I've got my expectations really high right now. I just can't wait for the season to start so I can earn the respect from Mets fans, earn respect from the front office, from my teammates. I just need to go out there and play the way they expect me to do, make sure I get my job done."

In addressing the the climate of the fans of NY, K-Rod offered, "Their expectations for me are really high. It's definitely going to be a different environment [from Anaheim]. I'm totally prepared. I know it's not going to be easy at all. But I think mentally I'm prepared for that challenge, and we'll see what's going to happen."

K-Rod is still looking for a home, and is expected to reside in the city. When told that he will be recognized on the streets of NY, Rodriguez appeared to be excited.

Rodriguez has already started to take heat for his 'histrionics' on the field, most notably by Mets nemesis, Bob Klapisch. If Rodriguez produces, the fans will love him. It's refreshing to see someone who truly wants to be here, and can't wait to get started. From the onset, K-Rod has shown that he is excited about being a Met, and can't wait to show the fans why the Mets courted him during the Winter.

Source: Jim Baumbach - Newsday

Mets Tickets To Be Made Available



For those of you who might have wanted season tickets to Mets games at the newly constructed Gil Hodges Memorial Park (for those reading this blog for the first time should know that I refuse to call the Mets new digs by its corporate sponsored name), there is hope.

Recently convicted Bernard Madoff, he of the Ponzi scheme that bilked billions from people, most notably Mets owner Fred Wilpon, will be made available.

Madoff's tickets, which were the first or second row behind home plate should be made available according to David Howard, Mets executive vice president. The seats were sold to Madoff's company for $40,095 per seat, an average of $495 per game.

Mere chump change. Are you interested?

Source: Philadelphia Enquirer

What to look for at Citi Field/Shea Nu- The day has finally come


Well I kind of woke up this morning and had my mind racing abut all the things I need to do before I start the trek to flushing to see the new stadium. After 800+ days of construction and many updates via pictures on many websites and including some I personally took, the day to actually walk in the Mets new park has arrived.

Of course now we have to deal with the weather and that is fine. As Mets fans we seem to thrive on some type of adversity to make things either difficult or unusual.

The New park I am sure will be fantastic place to watch our team play. Over at Newsday.com they have the 5 top items that fans will love it and also the 5 top things to look for on the first visit. I have to tell the state of the art video board and sound system is not one of them. To me it has to be just walking out from the concourse and seeing the field for the first time is #1. I still remember what it was like seeing the field for the first time in '74. I could not believe how huge it was. It was like a cathedral.

#2 Will be the Jackie Robinson rotunda. I mean the fact that it suppose to be a look back on the way Ebbets field rotunda was . Ii was not born yet so I never saw it. I have seen phtographs of it but just how they will have the large #42 and the words of inspiration to tribute a great man around the rotunda walls. I am sure it will make people hold there breath in awe the first time. I know I will. I loved Shea but as we know Shea was just a structure it was great in its own way but did not have something like the rotunda.

#3 The old parts of Shea brought into Citi Field. I can not wait to get a picture by the old apple The Mets could charge $5.00 a head for the opportunity to take a picture with the apple and give the $$ to charity and I know that it would still rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars! Also to see the city skyline above one of the restaurants in the outfield concourse. I heard they will have some sort of Mets hall of fame interactive. To see our Shea tied into the new field I think is a great touch. So parents whose kids were to young to visit or remember Shea will have something tangible to grab on to when they talk about games they saw at Shea. Priceless.

I think for the moment it stopped raining.... Will there be a window to play a college game so 42,000 + fans can marvel at there teams new home? Keeping fingers crossed
Picture source Tom Kaminsky cbs radio

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Could This Be The Missing Piece?

Scouring the web, I found a site that might very well have the answer to the Mets problems in making and winning in the post season, let alone the World Series.

The site,
The Wrightstache, wraps it up in this video:




Great job by gang at The Wrightstache.com

Today's Spring Training Line-Up Vs. Marlins



Dillon Gee will get on more start this Spring. He is slated to start against the Marlins while Livan Hernandez will start a Minor League game.



Today's Line-Up courtesy of Adam Rubin - Surfing The Mets:

Reyes, ss
Murphy, lf
Wright, 3b
Delgado, 1b
Beltran, cf
Church, rf
Malo, 2b
Santos, c
Gee, rhp

Johan is ready Parnell looks like a lock

With Johan Santana having a great start last night where he mostly dominated the Nationals minus Adam Dunn we can safely say that Johan is ready for opening day.

Over at Amazing Stories Santana was quoted as saying "I'm feeling good, I knew from the beginning what I had to do to get myself ready. We had a little set back but we were able to make some adjustments and to put ourselves back into it. I'm doing all the things I have to do to do my job and get ready for opening day"

He finished off the Nationals with a 75-pitch, 7-inning effort which he allowed just four hits and one run, striking out six without a walk. His strikes to balls ratio at one point in the game was 44 strikes to 9 balls. The man looks ready to have an incredible season. He even had K Rod pitch after him and after allowing the first 2 men on shut the door on the Nationals in the 8th.

As we mentioned last the Mets made some cuts. According to Adam Rubin Jose Valentin was assigned to the Mets Triple A team but will be released if he can sign on with a major league club.

Bobby Parnell looks like a lock for the bullpen and the Mets now just have a couple of relievers vying for a spot .

With 2 spots left it is between Brian Stokes ,Darren O'Day, Elmer Dessens and Fernando Nieve
more then likely we will see Stokes and O'Day making the cut.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Mets Make Some Cuts


Pitchers Nelson Figueroa, Carlos Muniz (AAA), Rene Rivera, Corey Sullivan (AAA), and Andy Green were reassigned to the Minor Leagues.

Ron Villone, 39, the lefty reliever, was released. Pedro Feliciano will be the only lefty in the Mets bullpen. It also appears that Brian Stokes and Bobby Parnell will travel north with the club.

Jeremy Reed, it seems, has made the club as a fifth OF.

For more on Mets moves see Marty Noble - MLB.com

The Ever Changing Line-Ups Of General Manuel


Last week we reported here that Daniel Murphy will be the #2 batter for the Mets, and Luis Castillo would be positioned in the 8 hole.

So, to keep with his proclamation, Manuel has since batted Castillo almost exclusively in the #2 hole. When asked about his statement last week, and his contrary line-ups, Manuel said, "The lineup is something I mess with all the time, so it's never really that concrete."

If Castillo is in the second spot, chances are that Murphy will be in the #8 spot, and vice-versa. Even the three through five hitters might change. Chances are the only given will be DelGado in the #4 slot. Wright and Beltran may very well switch between third and fifth. Manuel considers Wright and Beltran 'interchangeable' . "But that does not mean that if we get one of those stretches, a period where things aren't going so well, that I won't change it up," Manuel said.

Ryan Church will most likely be batting sixth. Manuel has vascilated about his right fielder, but said, "He's looking to be the right fielder, for the most part."

Way to be decisive Jerry. I love how Manuel won't allow public opinion dictate how he manages the Mets, but I can see the players shaking their head daily with the posting of the starting line-up. If he can get his club to buy into his methodology, Jerry and the Mets might make some noise.

Source: Brian Costa - The Star Ledger

Mets on Deck Santana pitching and Darling and Hernandez at the mike.


With the Mets playing under the lights tonight there will be all sorts of entertainment.

The Mets will send Johan Santana to the mound tonight against the Nationals which most likely be his last full start before the season begins April 6th against the Reds. Next week to get him in line for his opening day start the Mets most likely will have him pitch but only a couple of innings. Santana pitched pretty well in his last start and seems ready for the season to start now except for maybe his arm strength.

Behind the mike tonight will be the 86 Mets with Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez with no Gary Cohen or Kevin Burkhardt between them which should make for an entertaining broadcast. Late last week Darling made some comments in regard to the upcoming telecast he will share with Keith that the 2 of them will make it like 2 buddies hanging at the bar talking about the Mets. It is almost that way when Keith is in the booth anyway.


David Wright should be in the line up tonight.

Citi Field A-Z of information

The new park will open in a little bit more then 48 hours from now when the Mets open the gates for a dry run with St Johns playing Georgetown. Of course this is now weather permitting with the threat of rain now forecast for sunday.

The Mets have finally installed a kind of Citi Field Directory A-Z about the ins and outs of the park along with dimensions, parking, tailgating info and other goodies . Below are some of the highlights.

Dimensions.

Playing Field Distances:
Left Field - 335 feet
Left Center - 379 feet
Center Field - 410 feet ( I thought it was suppose to be 408?)
Right Center - 383 feet
Right Field - 330 feet
Height of Walls (Change height 7 times):
Left Field foul pole - 12' rises to 15' 8½"
Center Field wall - 10'10" rises to 16'
Right Field under porch - 18' 6½"
Right Field foul pole - 8'


There are 5 clubs slash restaurants.

Delta Sky360 Club
is located directly behind home plate, on the Sterling Level.

Ebbets Club
Caesars Club
Acela Club Located on the Excelsior Level

Promenade Club Located on the Promenade Level

The outfield fan fest area which will be a hub of activity

The 2K Sports FanFest is located on the Concourse Level in center field, and is fun for the whole family. Centered around Mr. Met's Kiddie Field, a scale version of Citi Field, the 2K Sports FanFest features a batting cage, base running challenge, dunk tank, (who should be first in the tank?)video game kiosks, a live DJ and more! Mr. Met has also been known to make a daily appearance. Weather permitting, the 2K Sports FanFest will be open 2 ½ hours prior to ever every Mets home game, and will remain open until the 7th inning.

Please check the link above more info about Citi Field/Shea Nu. Can you believe no more Met dollars? What fun is a gift card!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

WBC A Mistake




Updated: 12:43 - March 26, 2009
Oliver Perez has taken exception to the comments made by Dan Warthen (below) about the shape Ollie is in.
Perez said, "If you want to run with me, we can run. I feel good. Maybe we were working different in the Classic. We didn't do [pitcher's fielding practice] and all the exercises we do here, but I feel good."
I have a feeling this issue isn't going to go away any time soon.
Update Source: David Lennon - Newsday
~ Metsfan73 ~
______________________________________________________________
The Mets are rightfully blaming the absurd World Baseball Classic for Oliver Perez’s woes.

As we all know, Perez is the type of player that needs constant supervision and advisement. Pitching coach Dan Warthen met with Manuel after O.P.’s performance, and had this to say, "I was a little reticent when he left, and my worries have come to fruition. I think he needs the camaraderie of people that push him. So yes, I think he's a guy that needs to stay with the group and be hands on. Ollie's a guy that has to repeat his delivery time and time again, with a lot of volume delivery-wise. Yes, it set him back. He's set back probably at least 10 days."

Jerry Manuel’s opinion of the WBC might be changing. Manuel, who had always been a proponent of the WBC said, "That never entered my thoughts. Maybe it should have. But it didn't. I always thought the competition was the best thing for baseball. To be involved in that I thought was a good thing. We just got to pay close attention to him the rest of the way and make sure we get him back on track."

Warthen also intimated that Perez seems to be out of shape, and might need to drop some weight.

Source: David Lennon

A Promise Kept


Carlos Beltran made a promise when he became a professional ballplayer; to build a high school in his homeland of Puerto Rico. That promise will come true in 2010.

Beltran’s foundation will donate $10 million to open the English only high school, which will house grades 9-12. Beltran plans to have 120 students at the Carlos Beltran Academy in its first year. Beltran will donate $2 million of his own money.

Beltran’s objective is to produce more professional baseball players from Puerto Rico. For those not gifted enough, they will be better prepared for college. As it is now, there are only 29 professional baseball players who hail from Puerto Rico. Beltran wants to change that.

Says Beltran, "There are not a lot of kids in Puerto Rico that have the habit of practicing every day. They need to have a place where they can go and study, and at the same time they practice every day and have a good development program so they can become better ballplayers.

"Comparing Puerto Rico with the Dominican and Venezuela, we have to go through the draft; they don't have to go through the draft. So they sign 16-year-old kids and they put them in an academy and that kid can become a very successful player. But for us it's different. That's why I decided to build a high school specializing in baseball. At the same time, I want to create opportunities for the young kids not only about being a professional, but also about going to a good college and finding a scholarship, because all of them are not going to be able to make it to the big leagues."

Source:
Adam Rubin - NY Daily News

Citi Field Shea Nu updated pictures


If you are like me you can not wait until the Mets come north to start playing in the New Park with 2 games against the Red Sox April 3rd and 4th which is hard to believe next week.

The Mets will open the doors of the new park this Sunday. With the park opening
stadiumpage has some great new pics of the interior including the City Skyline that was in Shea and of the rotunda as well as the clubhouse. Check them out when you have time and realize that after 3 years of them building the park we finally can get in to see it first hand!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

RIP Arthur Richman


Former NY Mets Traveling Secretary, Arthur Richman, passed away this morning in his sleep - he was 83.

Richman, for us Mets fans, was always mentioned in the Mets yearbooks as Traveling Secretary. He was the one who bailed out Ron Darling, Bob Ojeda, Tim Teufel, and Rick Aguilera from jail, after they had been busted for fighting in a Houston club called Cooters.


Of the few articles I read, there are a multitude of stories about Mr. Richman.

He also worked for the cross-town Yankees, and is legend that he persuaded George Steinbrenner to hire Joe Torre.


My favorite story is from the NY Times where Richman, who was Jewish, got a Papal blessing for Jim Thome from Pope John Paul II on his Wedding.
For more on Richman, and some truly interesting anecdotes, please check out the following links: RIP Mr. Richman!

Ken Davidoff - Newsday

Jack Curry - NY Times

Mets Notes on Citi Field Parking/5 game pack


The Mets have had to deal with a little uproar with the offering of the 5 game pack they started selling that includes a ticket to opening day. Dave Howard Mets executive vice president of business operations was on WFAN late this afternoon to give people some info regarding this pack.

It seems people are upset that they had to buy a 15 game pack to obtain Opening day seats and now this 5 game pack comes along. The 5 game pack is not cheap. They are not offering cheap seats for this pack so it does come with a price. Also the 15 game pack offers holders the ability to get potential post game tickets as well as renewal of those seats next year.

Not sure what people have a problem with. I mean what do you expect . The Mets are in a business to sell seats that is the bottom line and there are times that buying early is not the smartest thing to do. Honestly though the 15 game pack makes more sense to me since it gives you games througout the summer while this 5 game pack is done in May. If you do not want all 15 sell some of them.I know opening day is a big draw but honestly there is always going to be a price to pay . Either you buy the 15 games or buy 5 games for more $$.

Also David annouced that pricing for parking has been bumped from $15.00 to $18.00 and that buy the time opening day hits on April day hits some of the parking might include part of the imprint of where Shea was. Eerie to say the least. Also heard there will be a dunk tank for the kids in Mr Met field!!

'Former' Met Signs With BoSox


Mets picked-up then released Rule V draft pick, Rocky Cherry, has signed a Minor League deal with Boston.

Cherry, he of adult film star name, was waived last week by the Mets (24 Hours...March 12th). The Mets had hoped he would clear through waivers so that they could sign him to a Minor League Deal. Since Cherry was a Rule V draft pick from the Baltimore organization, he had to stay on the roster for the entire year.

John Maine. Will he be able to regain what he was in 2007

Maine's worst enemy sometimes is himself. Back from the shoulder injury Dan Warthen noticed that he was not following through with his arm which he said is typical pf pitchers who have had surgery. Well the Mets claim now that Maine will be back. The question is will Maine analyze too much to let himself be the pitcher he was in 2007.

Maine was 15-10 in 2007 in 32 starts with an Era just under 4. The Mets would accept that if he could do it this year. He pitches Thursday night against the Cardinals. He said that teams usually do not get alot of hits off him. What will he do if the Cardinals get say 7-8 hits in the first 4 innings and he gets pummeled? What will the Mets start thinking? What will you the fan start thinking?

Do not forget to vote on the Maine poll we set up.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Doctor Dwight Gooden On Mlb Tonight.


If you have not seen in make sure you set your DVR to tape tonights MLB Tonight which has a nice in studio feature with Doctor K Dwight Gooden.


Gooden is interviewed by Matt Vasgersian and Harold Reynolds. It was a good interview that covered Docs entire career the good and the bad. From the days when he was a kid and did not even start in high school. He was a reliever behind Floyd Youmans. To his Mets good times and bad times and his no hitter. He also talked about coming back to Shea back in September.


Doc also mentioned how he learned alot from Mets pitcher of the time Mike Torrez on how to carry himself in the early days as a Met.


Then later he did a spot with Harold Reynolds about tipping pitches and mentioned how Rusty Staub told him in 85 what he was doing to tip his pitches. I am sure when he was throwing a 95 mph fastball it did not matter if he was tiping... Doc looked pretty good besides adding a couple of pounds to his mid section.


MLB tonight will be on again at 1AM

Mets offering opening day at Citi Field in a 5 game pack


If you have some extra cash make sure you go over to mets.com where the Mets are now offering you a chance to purchase tickets to the inaugural day/night game at Citi Field . Of course it comes with a catch. You need to purchase 4 other games in April or May.

The tickets offered look like field level seats and baseline seats down the lines. 2 seats to the 5 games could cost around $500.00 depending on the games you pick but at least you can get in on the first game being held April 13th.

Freddy Garcia stays with Mets and accepts minor league route for now

It is being reported that Freddy Garcia accepted a reassignment to the minor league complex, after talking with Omar Minaya this morning.

He will head to either Class AAA Buffalo or will remain in Port St. Lucie for an extended spring training assignment. I am glad he choose to stay with the Mets for now.

Let The Predictions Begin




DR Foster - NY Decider surmises this year’s Baseball Prospectus’ account of the 2009 NY Mets. The left side of the Mets infield, you know, the two players who were vilified as the ‘core’ of the choke artists, are now considered the best in the game. To quote, “The left side of the Mets infield, with Jose Reyes and David Wright, is quite easily the best in baseball.” Hmmm, not Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter (Yankees), not Pedro Feliz and Jimmy Rollins (Phillies), and not Evan Longoria and Jason Bartlett (Rays). David Wright and Jose Reyes.

Foster goes on to say that the biggest question mark for the Mets is their starting pitching. After Santana, Maine, Perez, and the #5 starter are big question marks.

On the upside, aside from the left side of the infield, the revamped bullpen of JJ Putz and Francisco Rodriguez will be a big help.

The article concludes by predicting the Mets will finish with 89 wins. The Phillies are predicted to win 93. Quoting Foster, …”that means the Mets will probably have to set their eyes on the Wild Card. But with Reyes and Wright on the uphill side of their primes and Santana, Putz, and Carlos Delgado on the downhill side of theirs, the Mets “will never have a better opportunity to win a World Series with their current core than they do now.”

Shea Nu. Another pitchers park?







With only 5 days before the gates open and we at least get to see the new park for the few of us who have not taken a tour yet I have attached a little graphic that the NY Times had earlier this year . This is a cool graphic that shows the home runs at Shea from 2008 and projects if they would be home runs in Shea Nu.






As the graphic indicates the wall heights will play into the flight of balls that might have been homers at Shea. Of course Wright and Delgado might be better off adjusting there swing to hit there homers down the line. What do you think?



Monday, March 23, 2009

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From The Tree

Metsfan73 is a proud pappa tonight. My 13 year old son was playing around and created this video clip.


I think he did an outstanding job, and I hope you enjoy:








video

Mets Catcher Schneider Meets Mets Hall of Famer.


So far the joruney that Mets catcher Brian Schneider has taken as a Met as not been a great one. When he was traded to the Mets everyone included Mets announcer Gary Cohen raved about his catching abilities. I always thought it was funny that Gary would mention this right before Brian would have a passed ball charged to him last year. I am not sure if the bright lights are a bit much for the Mets catcher but I thought this was a nice story on a day where there is not alot of news coming out of Mets camp.


In this story Schneider recalls vintage adventure that is told to Marty Noble it seems last year after he found out he was traded he was taken winery tours and HOF pitcher Don Sutton told Brian to check out the winery and asked for George Thomas. Of course it did not click with Brian that the George Thomas was Mets great and HOF Tom Seaver. Well I am sure they enjoyed the day with Seaver of course telling Brian how great he was. Anyway it seems that that could be the highlight of his Met tenure . Maybe I will be wrong.


Freddy Garcia Mph hits 88-89 but what where will he wind up?

The Mets feel that Livan Hernandez is going to be there 5th starter when they break camp at the end of next week. He pitched again today and gave up 1 run on 4 hits against some minor leaguers .

He then was relieved by Freddy Garcia who pitched 4 innings and gave up 3 runs and 8 hits in 71 pitches. That line is nothing special but what was encouraging was the fact he reached 88 to 89 mph on the radar gun.

Well now I am sure that the Mets would like to send him down to the minors to work a little bit more but Garcia has said in the past that he would probably refuse an assignment to the minors. Since Garcia wanted to play for a contender will he just become a free agent and sign with another team? If so who would be interested to give him a major league contract.

I would like to see him spend April in Buffalo to continue working because you never know when it comes to the pitchers health. We should find out soon since pitchers are being stretched out at this point and there will be less innings to be had in these games in the coming week.

David Wright helps out Iraq war Veteran

Mets 3rd baseman David Wright seems to know when to do the right things but is not into brining attention to it. Well the NY Daily News has the story of Wright helping US Army Sgt Felix Perez and his parents make it to the WBC in Los Angeles by picking up the tab for the Sgt. all expenses paid. He had met Wright in Miami during the USA celebration they had when they beat Puerto Rico the other night.

Great job Mr Wright. I am sure Mr Perez thought it was cool when players from the US team met him on the field before the game in LA.

Murphy’s Lawn



Daniel Murphy, the much bally-hooed Mets LF, has been known, over his 131 professional AB’s, as strictly a hitter.

What should be realized, is that Murphy is not only a student of hitting, and a diligent worker, but he takes that diligence with him into the field. Murphy, who was drafted as a 3B, switched to LF on the pro level. The Mets had made late inning defensive replacements last year for Murphy, but this year is different.


Mets 3B coach Razor Shines has been working with Murphy on his fielding, and had this to say about his young pupil, “He’s the kind of a guy who understands the game of baseball, and he knows he’s got to get better defensively. He’s just a tireless worker. He’s different. You don’t have to tell him but once. The Mets might have stumbled on something really good.”


Murphy, showing more comprehension as to what he needs to do to be successful than many veterans, had this to offer, “You can’t just hit, you’ve got to play defense.”


To help his progression as a LF, this off-season Murphy took speed-training classes. This will help him get jumps on the ball, to cut off extra base hits, and possible putouts. Murphy, continuing to show his intelligence and understanding of the situation said, that he is trying to help Carlos Beltran, so that Beltran doesn’t have to cover more ground to compensate for Murphy’s inadequacies.


General Manuel’s take: “It’s going to be quite a challenge for him, but he’ll be up to the task.”


It is already paying off. Yesterday Murphy made a barehanded play off a ball hit by the Braves Clint Sammons. Sammons hit a ball off the wall. Murphy grabbed the ball barehanded, and made the throw to Jose Reyes. The relay barley missed getting Sammons out at second. A vast improvement from last year, and with this kids work ethic, I have no doubt he will be a quality professional left-fielder.


Source: Joe LaPointe - NY Times


Mets notes for Monday

As the Mets head into there final full week in St Lucie, they have technically an off day but there will be an intersquad game.

Some points of interest in Adam Rubins blog

We should see Carlos Delgado, Brian Schneider and Beltran to reenter the lineup Wednesday. Schneider plans to come to the complex during Monday’s off-day to run the bases for trainers.

Tim Redding is throwing on flat ground at 100 feet. Pitching coach Dan Warthen wants him to get to 180 feet before allowing him to step on a mound.

John Maine intends to report to the complex to work on his pitching mechanics. Scouts say he’s pushing the ball because he’s not fully extending his arm. They also say he’s telegraphing his changeup. Great news that he his healthy but his mechianics are a mess. He might have only 3 more chances to correct it before he starts the season against the Marlins.

The Mets might be interested in pitcher Shawn Hill who was released by the Nationals but the Blue Jays might be on the verge of signing him

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Another Milestone. With only 1 week to go before Shea Nu Opens.


Here we are still waiting for the warm weather to arrive and we have only 1 week before the Mets open Shea Nu/Gil Hodges Memorial park. To say this winter has been long would be an understatement.


With the lights almost ready to be shown on the Mets new field we just want to take a minute to thank all our readers here at 24 hours for reaching 20k in visits to our site!!


We here have been Met fans since the 70's and when we started this blog Day 1 back in June we knew this was a labor of love. We watched When the Mets fired willie only a week after we started this. The fact that we could express our views and have people comment about their thoughts it has just been fantastic.


Of course we are not like some other sights that might get 20,000 hits in a day/week but that is fine. We love what we do here and enjoyed when we wrote about 1 time Met Jerry Cram, and had his daughter email us to thank us for remembering him. Priceless if you ask me.


This can be tough to blog about sometimes, especially when your team lets you down AGAIN! A low point in all this for me was the Last game at Shea when the Mets fell to the Marlins on the last day and you had to sit there and watch the Marlins celebrate again by beating us.


Then of course in Feb of this year when we said RIP to Shea. To have Shea only in our memory now where most of spent our youth loving the game we grew up with.


Now next week we move over to SHEA NU or as Metfan73 calls it Gil Hodges Memorial park. To see updated pics click Recent Citi I mean Shea Nu pics


On behalf of MetFan73 and Jobu we here at 24 hours thank you for taking a minute as a Met fan and visiting our site. Us Met fan are a rare bird just like our Mets !!. Looking forward to the 09 season and our team in the playoffs and us chatting about it right here!!!!!!

Now Batting 2nd For The Mets...


Daniel Murphy. Jerry Manuel while speaking of his 2009 line-up indicated Murphy would bat behind Jose Reyes in the #2 position, and second baseman Luis Castillo would bat 8th.

Manuel has been impressed with Murphy's plate discipline, and his unwillingness to chase pitches out of the strike zone.

Explaining his batting approach, Murphy offered, "I'm confident that I can go out there and try to put a quality at-bat on them every time," Continued Murphy, "That's what my goal is. It's not numbers. It's not hits. It's not home runs. It's not doubles or RBI. It's quality at-bats."

Last year, after only 131 AB's, Murphy ranked #1 among rookies with a .397 OBP.

Being the gamer he is, Murphy said, "I hope over the course of a season this year I'm able to do things to help this team win."

Murphy, a la Carlos DelGado, has kept a journal of all of his at-bats. He believes this helps him at the plate.

A humorous conclusion: While signing up for transports up north, Murphy list that he would be available to offer rides in his “few year old” Honda Civic. He took some ribbing from his teammates who are driving Cadillac Escolades and BMW's. Murphy, who will earn $401,100 this year, is $1,000 above the MLB minimum, said, "I don't know,"when asked if he was going to get a new set of wheels.

Source: Adam Rubin - NY Daily News

Johan Santana looks ready to start the season.

While the Mets seem to have some concern with the way that John Maine is pitching which prompted a 10 min conversation between Mets positive spin manager Jerry Manuel and Omar Minaya, Johan Santana had no issues in his start today against the Braves.

Johan pitched 70+ pitches in 5 innings and struck out 7 and walked 2. He gave up a home run to Matt Diaz in his last inning . A solo shot and 1 other single in the 5th which were the only hits he gave up in the 5 innings he pitched today.

Watching Johan pitch you could just tell that he was already places his pitches exactly where he wanted to. The home run to Diaz was a high fastball that launched over the left field fence.

Johan had his breaking pitches dropping off the table and except for the 2 walks he gave up on 3-2 pitches Johan seemed to have most of the Braves looking fooled. In one at bat he was able to place a 3rd strike to a lefty,forgive me I don't remember who it was, right on the black of the left side of the plate. This guy is just exciting to watch. He even had a chance to field a bunt flawlessly.

If opening day was this week Johan looks ready to start. Maybe he just needs 1 more start to see his pitch count climb to 85 just to show that he can go is typical 7-8 innings he will be going in most starts in 09.

The Mets beat the Braves by the same score of there loss yesterday 12-1. Jeremy Reed who was a late addition since Beltran was scratched, had 4 hits as the Mets pummeled the Braves bullpen. Reed had 4 hits in the game has the Mets scored 9 times in the 7th inning. Only if it counted!

The Mets have a intersquad game tomorrow with Freddy Garcia pitching against Livan Hernandez.

Jose Q&A


Brian Costa - The Star Ledger had an intereseting Q&A with Jose Reyes. Among some of the interesting points:

What's the longest you've stayed upset about anything?

"What happened in 2007 and 2008. That stayed longer, because you have to go through the offseason, and the offseason is long. I had a lot of time to think about what happened. We had everything there, and we let it go. It's kind of hard to forget."

Why do you always look like you're having more fun than everybody else?

"I've always been like that. I don't know. When I was a kid, I liked to enjoy the game. I play good when I enjoy the game. If I get too serious in the game, I won't play the way I'm supposed to play. That's the way I am, always. I like to be happy, and I have a lot of energy. It's good. It keeps everybody loose here."

Jerry Manuel said he wants you to be more of a leader this year. Is that a goal for you?

"He asked me to take charge in the infield, try to go to the mound and talk to the pitcher, stuff like that. I need to do that. That's going to keep me more focused on the game, because sometimes it's hard to stay focused every day."

Now, take a look at he second question above. He enjoys the game. God Bless him. I wish all players had the child-like exuberance that Jose does. Check out Costa's link for the full Q&A.

Sunday Morning Snippets


The Mets have released lefty Tom Martin. Martin, who had already been reassigned to the minor league, had broken his right wrist, as well as injured his calf. According to Adam Rubin - Surfing The Mets, the Mets have many left handed relievers at their Buffalo AAA affiliate; Casey Fossum and Valerio de los Santos to name two. The Mets signed Martin as a free agent back on January 12th this year.

With Venezuela's 10-2 loss to Korea, the Mets will have their new closer, Francisco Rodriguez, returned to them. K-Rod is expected to return to the team on Tuesday since Monday is an off day. With Rodriguez' return, the two remaining MIA Mets are David Wright and JJ Putz of team USA. USA competes against Japan tonight in the WBC semi-final.

Lets hope Luis Sojo didn't over-use K-Rod too early in the season. Can you imagine if he goes down in July, due to being over used? At least this year they have JJ Putz who is a natural closer. Is this stupid WBC over yet?

Other Sources: Ultimate Mets Database

Saturday, March 21, 2009

WBC Is Still A Forced Competition Despite Hall Wanting Mementos


We all know how Metsfan73 feels about the WBC; I hate it. It is a ridiculous attempt to fabricate rivalries. If this event was played with amateurs, I would be more inclined to give a rats tail about it, but with the current set-up, it does nothing but take away from the present MLB season.

Already the US has been close to forfeiting a game due to a lack of a bench. Some of the notable players already injured are: Dustin Pedroia, Larry 'Chipper' Jones, Kevin Youkilis, Matt Lindstrom, and Ryan Braun. David Wright might be injured after splitting the nail on his big toe after fouling a pitch off his foot.

I'm sure teams will feel great when their star player(s), for whom they are paying big bucks to, can't start or miss playing time this season due to the WBC.

But, despite all this, the Hall Of Fame wants David Wright's bat. You know the bat that propelled the US to a ninth inning victory over Puerto Rico. Maybe it will be on display next to Mike Piazza's bat, the one which he broke the all time HR record for a catcher.

When will baseball decide that this stupid WBC, which is nothing more than competitive Spring Training, is not worth the price? Who cares who wins? You have millionaire ball players playing for pride? They should play for pride every day they don their uniform.

If the US wins this stupid WBC, I honestly won't care. If Wright or Putz, or some other player from my team costs the Mets the chance to make the post season due to an injury suffered at the hands of the WBC, who will really care? True baseball fans will be upset that the season they had high hopes for was jeopardized due to the World Exhibition, coined the World Baseball Classic.