Monday, August 31, 2009

These Prices Are Insaaaaaaannnne!!!!!

Mets tickets on Stubhub finally seem to be hitting rock bottom. The Marlins are in town next weekend. For Tuesday night's game, there are already 19 tickets available for $3 or less. And over 100 more available for $5.

Ticket plan holders are losing lots of money. I predict a huge drop in sales for next season.

[9/3 Update - there are now over 40 tickets available for $2 each.]

Friday, August 28, 2009

Ya Gotta Believe...

or at least hope and pray and wish that the Wilpons really are so broke that they'll sell the team.

Fox Business:

"You can quote me," [author of new Madoff book] said of a possible sale of the Mets. "It's a matter of when. It could be as soon as next year."

Kiss My Arse

Shit's getting trife out there. Summer is lurching to a close. The Mets are down to 1/5th of their rotation. $ for Clunkers. Health Care. All kinds of shiznit, you know the deal. I think Redd Foxx would agree, time to get in where you fit in.

And for those who are down, a big tilt in the early going as Arsenal is away this Saturday to Man United. A true test to see if the Arse-youth are ascendant or if a prettyboy-less United can survive and thrive. 12:15 Eastern on Fox Soccer Channel. The Sports Herb approves.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Future Generations Will Be Amazed By This Mets Roster

Lance Broadway
Elmer Dessens
Pedro Feliciano
Nelson Figueroa
Sean Green
Pat Misch
Bobby Parnell
Mike Pelfrey
Tim Redding
Francisco Rodriguez
Brian Stokes
Ken Takahashi
Omir Santos
Brian Schneider
Luis Castillo
Anderson Hernandez
Daniel Murphy
Fernando Tatis
Wilson Valdez
Nick Evans
Jeff Francoeur
Angel Pagan
Jeremy Reed
Gary Sheffield
Cory Sullivan

Someone needs to plug this team in a simulator like Diamond Mind and see who would win a series between this team and the '62 Mets.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

When it Rains

Joel Sherman always has a way of making the life of a Mets fan that much more depressing. In his Hardball column today, he discusses why the Yanks were savvy in not pulling the trigger for Johan, and how the Mets made a dumb roster move in trying to make space for Nelson Figueroa involving Rule 5 mysteries that only Cannatar can understand.

At least Johan isn't gone for 2010!!!


For those still paying attention to the Mets season, Billy Wagner's agent is named Bean Stringfellow.

Would any Met-maniac have believed, before the season, that on August 25th the two healthiest Met stars would be K-Rod and B-Wagz? Is there a point to playing "major league" games with the team that is left? Can the rest of the string be played out in Port St. Lucie?

Monday, August 24, 2009

John Smoltz

I'm probably only thinking about John Smoltz because his ups and downs have been a part of my fantasy team, but I love the pickup by the Cardinals. The Red Sox were in a tight race and couldn't afford to let Smoltz cost them even one more game. The Cards, on the other hand, are a virtual lock to win the NL Central, so Smoltz is a gamble worth taking. 9 strikeouts in 5 innings is impressive, even if it's against the Padres.

Will Carroll (subscr. required) wrote that the biggest issue in regards to Smoltz is his recovery time between starts - he may not be able to get up to full velocity on only 4-5 days rest. If that's the case, it wouldn't be that hard for the Cards to get creative with the expanded September roster and just have Smoltz pitch once a week the rest of the way. And if that turns him back into a solid starter, he could be an effective weapon as a sort of well-rested 4th/spot starter in the playoffs, where there are lots of off-days.

The Cards have 3 very good starters for the playoffs - Carpenter (2.16 ERA, 4.8 K/BB ratio), Wainwright (2.61, 2.8, and an excellent track record in the 9th inning of deciding playoff games), and surprising Joel Pineiro (3.15, 4.4).
No improvement needed there, but replacing Kyle Lohse and his 4.67 ERA with a well-rested Smoltz would give the Cards four strong pitchers and make them tough to beat in October.

Friday, August 21, 2009

If I had wings, I would fly...let me contemplate...

"Even tho what we do is wrong...oh....even tho what we do is wrong...oh.....
Sunn you gotta get your soul clean.....before they blow them horns like Coltrane..."

One G walks free, another one heads into the Big P.

Michael Vick should never have served the time for the crime he committed. I wouldn't go as far in Vick's defense as Frownie, because if you are able to set aside the fact that we slaughter animals under insane conditions to produce the food most of us eat every day, society does have a genuine interest in preventing cruelty to animals. Still, Vick's sentence was harsh.

Just like the plea bargain Plaxico just accepted. Espn's Lester Munson put the situation into better words than I can. Poor Plax was fucked the minute King Bloomberg spit his rant about throwing the book at him. Bloomberg's unprecedented vitriol was the typical bluster of a man unwilling and unable to speak up when it truly matters. E-z for Bloomberg to talk tuff on Plax, not so e-z on matters that truly matter to the city on issues I won't step on soapbox here for. Suffice it to say that the proverbial book should be saved to be thrown at the kind of man who would subvert the will of the people to get himself a third term in the name of the public interest. That's some ill smoof 1984 shit right there.

Anyhoo, perhaps what's most galling about the Plax case is the fact that Puff still walks the streets a free man. Shyne's due for release this October after serving nearly 8 years

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Rooting For The Laundry

Over at The Great Baseball Blog, Bryan is three parts into an infinite-part series on his thoughts on being a Red Sox fan.

He's covering a lot of ground, but I think the series also hits on the general question of what it means to be a fan. At some point it's natural to question why the heck you care so much about one random group of 25 baseball players. What are you rooting for exactly? Is it the owner? The manager? The players? The truth is it's none of those things. As my fellow SH blogger has said, "we root for the laundry."

Not only do we root for the laundry, we're so sure we're right to do so that we scoff at anyone who has the nerve to say they root for both the Mets and the Yankees. Anyone who switches allegiances any time between childhood and death is derisively labeled as a "front runner," something that is considered the exact opposite of a "real" sports fan. But on the surface, it's perfectly logical to root for the Marlins because Hanley Ramirez is your favorite player, or the Dodgers because Joe Torre is your favorite manager, or the A's because Billy Beane is your favorite GM. And it's perfectly reasonable to have equal pride as a New Yorker in all the teams that play here. What isn't logical is rooting for the Mets your entire life because that's who you chose to root for when you were 7-years old, based on little more than a whim.

Despite all that logic, almost everyone still agrees that a serious sports fan picks a team and sticks with it for a lifetime. A real fan roots for the laundry. Why?

Obviously there must be more to it than just the laundry. What exactly ties us to our team? For a lot of people, there's the geographical connection. Rooting for your team is attached to rooting for your city – it’s about civic pride. And if you leave the city, that may be magnified even more. If you’re from Cleveland, rooting for the Tribe (and Browns and Cavs) keeps you linked to your roots even if you're no longer physically there.

There's also often a family connection - a parent or other relative took you to games as a kid and some day you'll take your kids to the game. Rooting for a particular team can link multiple generations of a family together in a way that other cultural interests can't. Recently, a transplant from Cincinnati told me about his plan to go to a Bengals game with his family while he's home for Christmas. Watching your team every Sunday at the same time the rest of your family does wherever they are helps you feel close to them even if you’re geographically far, and being able to associate it with a future family get-together helps even more.

There's also a general sense of community with other fans of the team. This gets somewhat tied into geography for most people (less so in New York, where we have so many teams and so many transplants), but is also relevant on another level. Say, you come to New York from Alabama and don't know anyone. Maybe they exist, but I'm not aware of any general "people from Alabama" get-togethers. But, every Saturday during football season, you can go to a bar filled with U. of Alabama fans, or to a bar filled with Auburn fans. You chant together, exchange high-fives, and constantly answer the question, “where [in Alabama] are you from?”

Sometimes the connections can be more subtle. Whether it's giving a high five to the random dude sitting next to you at the game or the bar, or having something to talk about with your boss, the common bond of being a Mets fan often allows you to connect with someone who you might have trouble bonding with otherwise due to differences in age, socioeconomic status, cultural background, etc. Whatever other differences we may have, we share the common experience of being Mets fans. We’ve had the same moments of joy and pain over the years. We remember Robin Ventura’s “grand slam” in game 5 of the NLCS and Kenny Rogers walking in the winning run in game 6.

Now that I reflect on it, rooting for the same team over the years also keeps us closer to ourselves. We change a lot during a lifetime and the world around us changes even more. Family members die, friends come and go, things that seem important at one time seem irrelevant a few years later. Rooting for the same team, year after year, in a religious-like manner gives us a constant in our lives and helps link the 8-year-old version of ourselves with the 80-year-old version.

“Laundry” means more than just the uniform, it means the sense of connection with our family, our city, and all the random people who make up our fan community.

Let's Go Mets!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

News Flash! Knicks' Future Aint 2 Bright.

ESPN's Chad Ford broke wind last week with completely unsurprising news concerning the Knicks "rebuilding plan."

Here's a sample of his insights, "[a]s we get closer and closer to the summer of 2010, the undertaking seems aptly named. The salary cap is shrinking, the Knicks' top free agents are demanding huge contracts, and they are still without a solid talent base to lure top free agents next summer. So the Knicks' championship-contending restoration appears to be on shaky ground."

When was the plan ever on solid earf? Donnie Walsh's Plan A was to cash in on a decent but not great run in Indiana. Plan B was sign LeG.O.D.D., Plan C was sign LeG.O.D.D., Plan D was sign LeG.O.D.D., Plan E was to sign one of the fake members of the LeBron family from those mildly amusing Nike commercials. Plan F was to sign Dwayne Wade. Plan G was to sign Chris Bosh. Plan H was to quit smokin' Kools.

At least Plan H has worked out.

Now, he's done a decent job of clearing out pricey contracts. Hasn't translated to lower ticket prices or a lower cable bill.

And trading pricey contracts for nothing in return isn't exactly rocket-scientific-mapp. Rebuilding means actually rebuilding. It means seeking out extra draft picks. It means scouring Europe for young players that have sound backs. It means trading for or signing scrappy young players that may not be stars but perform actual basketball tasks besides chucking up 3's. It means being patient.

Rebuilding does not mean pinning your hopes on signing one free agent and wasting two years in the process. Buildings are built by digging into the earf, establishing a foundation and building up from there, not by half-heartedly jamming a bunch of sticks together in quicksand, then buying the best load-bearing beam in the world from Cleveland and stuffing it in there.

Thankfully, potential deals for Grant Hill and Jason Kidd fizzled this summer. I'd rather see the team bottom out and get high draft picks than tread the path of borderline playoff competitveness. I'd rather see the team lose with Wilson Chandler, Chris Duhon and David Lee and wait for other youngsters to join the squidad then see Dwayne Wade be the latest to make a mockery of John Starks' number. No offense to Flashy, but those knees will be shakier than Barbaro's by 2011.

Time and time again, the media and N.Y. G.M.'s would have the rest of the country believe that New Yorkers are not patient, that they will not tolerate a rebuilding club. Yet non-Yankee NY sports fans have had to endure more shiznit than almost any fan base in the country. The greater NY area has 10 teams in the 5 major team sports (Yanks, Mets, Gints, Jets, Knicks, Nets, 'Gers, Devs, Isles, and the Red Bulls, bro). Of those 10 teams, 2.5 are consistent winners/seem to have a clue as to what they're doing (the Yanks and Devs and sometimes the Gints). The rest have all at one time or another ignored building ground-up success in favor of the buy-the-ageing-star route.

If anything, New York sports fans have more patience then Slash stroking his snake in a roomful of whores. Give peace, and Patrick Ewing, Jr., a chance.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Penny-Wise, Pound-Foolish

According to Baseball America, the Mets spent less money on the first 10 rounds of the draft than every other team in baseball. I realize that the Mets lacked a first-round pick, but that doesn't fully explain the paltry sum.

The Mets spent a total of $1.9 million on signing 7 of the 9 players they drafted in rounds 2-10.

Here's a comparison: the Red Sox had a first round pick and spent $1.1 million on him. After that, they picked a few spots after the Mets for the rest of the draft. They spent a total of $4.6 million in rounds 2-10, signing 8 of 9 players.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Hypothetical Scenario

As you may be aware, the National League Wild Card race is tight. The Colorado Rockies, San Francisco Giants and Florida Marlins could go neck and neck all year right to the bitter end. It wouldn't be farfetched to assume it could even come down to a game or two.

The Giants, prior to Saturday's game, had struggled against the Mets, going 1-4 while getting pummeled by David Wright to the tune of a 1.340 OPS. Matt Cain, a fine pitcher in his own right -though overshadowed by Tim Lincecum of course- must have simply twitched or slipped when throwing a four seam fastball, because it fired straight towards Wright's batting helmet, knocking him down cold. The Mets, already missing three of their top five players had now lost another, and while they mounted an exciting rally to tie the game in the eighth inning, ultimately ran out of gas and lost 5-4. So what if the Giants win the next two games in the series against a team fielding Daniel Murphy, Anderson Hernandez and Fernando Tatis in the infield and the likes of Corey Sullivan in the outfield? Those two games could be the difference in the race, and if they are, I hope the Giants perform one of their classic postseason gag jobs - hey it could give Chris 'Mad Dog' Russo another chance for a classic tirade.

On that note, while Johan Santana's attempt at knocking Giants' third baseman Pablo Sandoval on his feet was admirable, it invariably turned into another embarrassing moment for the Mets, as Johan laid a spicy meatball right over the middle of the plate that landed over the newly placed pennants in left field. It's going to be really difficult putting up with Santana's declining stuff over the next five years, isn't it? How do you give up four straight hits to the Giants lineup anyway?

EDIT: All rendered meaningless by LUIS' COMET (second year in a row I witness one in person) and a Murphy frozen rope -good things happen when you can pull the ball hard!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Why Didn't Youkilis Appeal the Suspension?

With only a half game lead in the Wild Card race, this weekend's Red Sox-Rangers series seems like a bad time to be without one of the team's best hitters.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Better Late Than Never

per Adam Rubin:

"The Mets have begun installation of photographic imagery of famous players and historic moments in team history on the Field and Promenade Levels as well as the display of team championship banners on the left-field wall."

I've said all along that a lot of the problems with CitiField can be easily solved, so I'm glad to hear there's some effort underway to do so.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The More Things Change...

The infamous Adam Rubin reported today that John Ricco is the most likely successor to Omar Minaya. Matt Cerrone said the same thing yesterday.

I admit that I know very little about John Ricco, but this is a horrible idea. As I feared, it sounds like the Mets are planning on Jim Duquette v2 (or Al Harazin v3). Ricco's lack of scouting experience will give Jeff Wilpon all the more reason to rely on the committee-approach to decision making.

Rubin's article says that the Wilpons like the idea of promoting from within "because much of the front office and other staff can remain intact if Ricco ascends to the role, avoiding the type of costly overhaul that could ensue if a new general manager is hired from outside the organization and wants to replace 12 front-office members, plus dismiss the on-field staff."

The Mets need a costly overhaul! They need to replace prominent front-office members! The last thing they need is to keep the front office intact. I'm not an Omar fan, but it's clear that the problems with the Mets organization run too deep to be solved by replacing one man. The Mets desperately need to bring in an outsider from a well-run organization, and give that outsider full autonomy to restructure everything, top to bottom. Firing Omar and promoting Ricco will just result in a front office with all the flaws of the Omar era, but lacking Omar's one strength: his ability and courage to pull the trigger on big moves. Do we really believe that a Ricco-led committee could have pulled off the Johan trade?

I Ch-Ch-Ch-Chooz...Who?

Waaaay back in New Yawk in the 1990's, when the Gints and Jets sucked hard, the joke was that Charlie Ward was the best quarterback in town. It was funny cuz it was true. He also ranks 7th all time on the Knicks assist list.

Those days ended once Kerry Collins and Vinny turned around each teams' fortunes. Then Eli came to town and not only became the best QB but the cutest of the pies too. Not without some serious comp from Chad.

But now, well, it's a whole new battlefield. With each passing day Eli grows more and more into a Manning, and looking at the road ahead, well, that road looks fairly goofy judging by the punched-in faces of Peyton and Archie. Plus, the Jets just drafted a hunk of brahsomeness in Mark "Clean" Sanchez. A face carved out of the Santa Monica Mountains. Skin as soft as the Santa Ana wind. Curls as gnarly as the Malibu riptide. Chest as broad as the Valley. Trained in Board-Shortz-All-Day-and-Red-Dixie-Cup -Bro-ing-The-Fuck-Down-All-Nite by no less a brothority as Matt Leinart. YIKES! How's a gurl to chooz? But we must. Comments to decide. Eli or the 'Chez.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Thursday, August 06, 2009

The Last Word on this Eli Nonsense

Lots of bitching and moaning about the lucrative contract the New York Giants handed to their quarterback, Eli Manning. No, he's not as efficient as his brother Peyton or Tom Brady, nor is he a fantasy football numbers hanger like Drew Brees. But he's as capable as Ben Roethlisberger, civil sexual harassment suit notwithstanding, has also battled bouts of erratic play like Eli throughout his career.

Does he deserve to be the highest paid player in the NFL? Probably not. But is that 250 square foot studio in SoHo you're renting worth the ridiculous rent? What about the $40 entree at a nearby restaurant? New York City adds a premium to the cost of everything, and athletes' contracts are no different, much to the chagrin of some.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Go Play Inside

The Arena Football League is dead (Long Live the AFL2!!!). Amurricah loves football, but we are generally satisfied with college football on Saturdays and the NFL on Sundays. This is primarily why the many leagues that have come and gone over the years, such as the WFL, the USFL and the XFL, have failed. They tried to feed an over saturated market and tried to compete with the NFL on its own turf.

In fairness, indoor football was/is a decent idea. The AFL offered a product that was at once familiar and different. It brought football to smaller markets eager to watch a team of their own at prices families could afford. A few years ago I had the pleasure of meeting the AFL's commissioner, David Baker. Baker had presided over a period of major growth for the league, and at the time, 2006, it seemed like only better times laid ahead. He made the kinda forced analogy that AFL football was more like the football most people play in parks, I guess in his mind he thought those Brett Favre Wrangler ads were real. In any event, arena football wasn't the greatest, but judging by the decent crowds and decent ESPN ratings, it didn't deserve to fail.

Aside from Kurt Warner and Jon Bon Jovi gleaming teeth, the league leaves behind a treasure-trove of teams. Here are a few. Mourn them till u join them.

The common man does not appreciate the long days and tedious months that go into professional graphic design. The common man saunters into his local Modell's or Big 5 and demands a XXXXL shirt bearing the logo of his favorite squadron so that he may saunter around town flaunting his team affiliation. Meanwhile, an army of nearsighted, carpal tunnel syndrome affected, burrito-fed graphic designers hunch over their screen, squinting, using Microsoft Paint to painstakingly cut and paste the outline of Texas and curve the words "Dallas" and "Texans" around it. Actually, that's only half of this logo's story. Making the Texas state flag wave like that required bringing in Jet Propulsion Laboratory scientists and using NASA's backup servers. You have no idea how much processing power was needed to make that flag flutter just so. You ungrateful bastards.

This rare picture of Toucan Sam was taken after three days at Woodstock '94. Tripping balls on bad acid, raging on speed-cut cocaine and out-of-his-skull with euphoric rage after Primus' set.

aaaand Boom goes the dynamite. Butt seriously, simple always works best. Who wouldn't want this logo on the back of their teal Starter Jacket?
Not bad, not bad at all. Except, well, the logo already exists as that of the Shelby Cobra.
MATRIX: [reading about Boy George in a pop magazine] Why don't they just call him Girl George? It would cut down on the confusion.
JENNY: Oh, Dad, that is so old.
MATRIX: Ha Ha. You know when I was a boy and rock'n'roll came to East Germany, the communists said it was subversive.
[thinks and smiles]
MATRIX: Maybe they were right.
Hmmm? What's that? Oh, sorry, I was just trying to not let this piece of shit logo ruin my memory of an amazing movie.
"Haaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy. Yoo-hoo. Wanna play a little football sailor? You look like a natual tight end to me. Oooooo, are you wearing white after Labor Day? See ya later, alligator!"
Thankfully Drew Carey came along to set the record str8 on which Ohio town pumps KISS the loudest.
That would make a sick tattoo on my bicep...............bro.
(Sticky copies of Maxims litter the floor. P-Funks fill the ashtrays. The air hangs heavy with with the scent of Axe Body Spray. KTU blares loudly on the radio)."Bro, if you diss the Gladiatuhs one more time, I will gut you like the fuckin fish that you are."
"Eeeeeeeasy, bro, easy. Sip dis. Relax." (takes sip of Sparks). "You're right, I dunno why I tweaked. Let's go to the City and get laid."
I can't front on this one. It rules. It's the Fonz, in cat form, and he's stoned. I'd pay good money to watch a movie of this dude and the O.G., Heathcliff, go on a road trip and just chill the fuck out, discussing life in all of its intricacies in a droptop on the open road in between scenes of them throwing down in some honky-tonk saloon. It'd be the Y2K+9 "Easy Rider," or "Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man" 'cept a zillion times radder.

Thanks to Chris Creamer and for the logos.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Women's Tennis Superstars from Back in the Dizzay: Hot or Not?

Last week's most controversial Shea Hey discussion begets this entry. Marinate. I have combed the vaults, dug in the crates (D.I.T.C 4-eva) to bring you the Women's Tennis Superstars from back in the dizzay; to the innocent days when a classy product like Virginia Slims could endorse the biggest Non-Slam tourney at MSG. Now, no e-z task this, but....who is the hottest? And who--the nottest? Obvi, outside entries are ok.

UNNNNGGHH!!! Monica Seles. Frankly, the discussion should stop here. And clearly, time has been kind. She stole a young Coachie's heart at the Virginia Slims Finals back in 1991. Young S-Boomz was also thrrr, he led us on a successful mish from the 400s all the way down to the third row.
This here is Tracy Austin. A tad before my time. But a fave of D-F-Dubbs aka David Foster Wallace. Yowee! More tennis players should play in nighties.
The Shark knows you don't have to hunt in shallow waters. The hottest American?
A chameleon. Is it the, ummm, fierce competitor on the left? Or the creamsicle on the right? We'll call it Advantage: Agassi.

Is she daydreaming of Matthew Perry on the right?The Mza and Bryman both have their points. Basically she's a diesel Alyssa Milano. And while she had a fairly ruff patch in her life, she still got crazy paid at age 13, think about that the next time you consider artificial NBA and NFL age limits.
Mary Pierce. A forgotten queen. Formed one the more bizarre sporting couples with Roberto Alomar, especially in light of recent allegations. The O.G. candidate for Proactiv. But still, braydz for dayz.
Conundrum, Jodie Foster would be the obvi doppelganger to play Martina in her biopic (title? "Pleez Hammer, don't hurt 'em!" or "Iron Curtain Munching" (sorry)) but Jodie Foster is attractive. A riddle. But seriously, rispekt, she's still playing and kicking a lot of ass.
Hana Mandilkova. Nothing special. Nice Bad News Bears look here tho. And I think she may have screwed around with Bjorn Borg. And we know that only dipped his Swedish Meatballs in the finest.
The Swiss Miss. Paved the road for R-Fedz. Was I alone in my down-ness? Still down. Secretively saucy she-devil look to her.
Now here's a serious challenge. Gabriela Sabatini. It's crazy-bone-thugs that a babushka like Anna Kournakova was lionized when genuinely talented Amazonians like Sexy-Sabs were toeing the court. And she appears to have aged gracefully into Giada de Laurentiis, only the hottest chick in the saute game.

Finally, we have Arantxa Sanches-Vicario. I dunno. I'm strangely in the mood for a gyro tho.

Perhaps, in the interest of fair play, I will post a sequel featuring the starry racket-wielding studs of yesteryear. Personally, tho, I don't think there's much of a point. My mans Jimmy C has got that shit on lock:

If his rackets are on top of the bag, then what the hell is inside? Condoms? Coke? Champagne? The question, US Weekly style, is who rocked the bowl harder, Connors or Pete Rose?