Friday, October 9, 2015



In October 2006, in the living room of a friend of mine not into baseball at all, I watched Endy Chavez make an incredible catch...and subsequently Aaron Heilman, Carlos Beltran, and a nasty curveball that absolutely pissed me off.

In September 2007, my friend Ted, a huge Phillies fan I've discussed on here before (in fact, first) texted me something I can vaguely remember now, but my response might have straight up been, "What are you talking about?"

To which he responded...

"Do you know what's going on?"

He had snapped me out of a season-long credit-card-max-out-inducing vinyl disc binge I had been going on, and I got back just in time to watch the 1st inning (or 1/3 of...) of Tom Gl%£¥ne's non-devastating 7 run performance. I vowed to never NOT follow the Mets daily again.

In September 2008, in a White Plains bar, I watched the bullpen put a bow on a very exciting yet uneven, odd and bittersweet last season of Shea Stadium baseball. About a week before that, I watched on the SNY Plaza monitor Daniel Murphy, who led off with a triple, get stranded on 3rd in the 9th inning against the Cubs. A disgruntled fan, with as thick of a New York accent as you can imagine, walked away, exclaiming, "Dey Stink!" Luis Alaya blew it right thereafter. I shook my head at Lee Mazzilli.

I got myself to Shea Stadium the next night, my last time ever in the building, and the Mets walked off on the Cubs in what everybody knew was an evening too late.

In October 2009, after the worst season, still to this day, I ever experienced as a baseball fan, I watched the Yankees take on the Phillies. I rooted for the Phillies...eesh.

October 2010, I watched Sandy Alderson introduce himself.

October 2011...

October 2012...




In August, I found out that the friend whose house I watched 2006's Game 7 at, whom I hadn't really seen since 2009, overdosed back in April and passed away. Besides being the first person my age (30) to die that I once spent a lot of time with, he died, unbeknownst to me till August, while I was in the middle of writing the 1st draft of a screenplay that takes place during the time I knew him. 

Now, I don't mention this to bring the mood down, but my point is how long 9 years really is. A lot can change in that matter of time. And I, and we, have been through a lot as Mets fans in that time.

I thought about my former fandom some as I watched the Yankees and their fans go down in 1 game. I have an interesting perspective as having been raised in the Yankees world in my initial baseball years, then coming of age and becoming a Mets fan as an adult (the way I see it, I was born again, and now have been thoroughly raised in Mets fandom.) While Mets fans can sit in their anxieties that the other shoe will eventually drop, Yankee fans are cocky about the ghosts eventually emerging and swinging things the navy pinstripes' way, or at least that was the attitude till 2004. 11 years of a different world where the Yankees no longer dominate the Red Sox and have only been to and won only 1 World Series might have quelled that inevitable feeling for those fans, but while watching that Wild Card game, I couldn't have felt farther removed from the Yankee fan mindset.

I stopped having fun in my Yankee fandom. I have, including during my time rooting first and foremost for the Yanks, never not had fun rooting for the Mets.

We New Yorkers are lucky.

Unlike other towns, where the only flags you see flapping are Phillies flags, or Indians flags, or Red Sox, or Cardinals, or Brewers, etc. you see not only the local baseball flavor worn here, but basically every other team in all of human sports accounted for, since New York is a domestic and global phenomenon. In the 4 major U.S. sports, we have 9 local sports teams to mix and match with.

And in baseball, over here, we choose the Mets. In reality though, the Mets chose us.

And it doesn't matter how shallow or deep our playoff run ends up being.

After 9 years, I am about to have the time of my life.


(Thanks to Greg Prince of FAFIF for the song selection. Only one that makes sense.)

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

We Finally Go to 12

I have just been driving through the night from Chicago to New York, so I am exhausted and ready for more than the hour I got at a rest area in Pennsylvania, but I had to chime in before I went to sleep about last night's game...

Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
I was on the road while listening, and when we went down 7-2, it didn't even occur to me that, once again, the potential for 12 games over .500 was in jeopardy, though the whole thing had been on my mind earlier in the day and after the last game in Colorado. It didn't cross my mind in the moment at all. I, in some ways, had forgotten of that fact. In FACT, I was at ease. I don't know whether I was at ease about the potential for a loss or at ease because I knew, or...echem...excuse me...BELIEVED...this team would come back. Maybe it was just the peacefulness of the road at sunset heading east, but whatever it was...

...isn't it a weird feeling?

I've been monitoring this whole 12 games over thing for a long time. I remember we had a chance against the Yankees in the Bronx in 2010, and lost 5-3.

The 2012 team didn't make it above 8, which they hit 2 days after the no-hitter on Sunday ESPN baseball in the black with a 6-1 win. Things felt pretty awesome that evening. The win put the Mets, Nats and Marlins in a 3-way tie for 1st. We lost the next day to the Cards 5-4.

We had a chance this year heading into Yankee Stadium to rake off 12 wins in a row, which at the time, would have brought us to 11 over. I didn't think about the correlation either last night, but deGrom got roughed up and we lost 6-1. Did something tell me it would be different this time? Maybe it was still the elation of Wright's comeback home run hanging in the air, giving it a free feeling of no worry. Or maybe it's because the 2015 New York Mets is the team that's supposed to turn the knob higher. There's no point in making 10 louder. The volume should always go to a greater plain of numbers.

At this point, though, the only number that matters is 5 1/2 games up. And whatever that number is at the end of the year, as long as it still involves the word "up" and not "back."

There is only one sentence "back" should be used in....
Alright, time for bed. Happy to be BACK in the City ⚾️

PUSH⚾️ PAST⚾️ 13⚾️

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Dawn

I headed into this morning, as I have done all the late nights I finish with work recently, tired and just wanting to go home as I gear up for vacation this weekend. I didn't want to write, and if I were to write about the Mets soon, it would be when I woke up near or an hour before midday, and write then, since they next play at 7 tonight. I'd even watch all I missed with my eyes that my ears picked up, to see what exactly happened in the almost calamitous 9th inning, digest it, go to sleep and write tomorrow.

But then I read Greg Prince Pledge Allegiance.

And I feel I don't need to write too much, and just let him speak for all of us.

 Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
It is strange that the last 2 posts I have written were inspired by the folks of Faith and Fear in Flushing, but Greg, in these wee pre-dawn hours, alerted me and us to the fact the 9th inning allowed for the "echoes" of history with a 5-3 win, the same score as the Mets 1st clinching World Series Victory. It didn't register with me the first time around, even if a lot of the talk on both the radio and TV was about the 1969 matchup between the two teams facing each other, the New York Metropolitans and the Baltimore Orioles. So, I appreciate Greg bringing it to my attention.

And I appreciate being on the dawn of the rest of this season. I have not written nearly as often as past years, especially my inaugural season of 2012, when I'm pretty sure I wrote every day. Greg's piece is short and sweet, and just what that game needed from Faith and Fear in Flushing's perspective. I'm sure Greg was tired when he published the article at 2:55am, but he still got it done. So, I thank you, Greg, for reminding me that it doesn't matter how much you write, just as long as you're writing everyday.

KEEP. ON. PUSHIN'. as I like to say these days...



Monday, August 3, 2015

This Converted One Seconds That, Jason Fry.

"I no longer remember the exact circumstances, but years ago there was a newspaper story featuring a Yankee fan who didn’t understand why any franchise would adopt “Ya Gotta Believe” (or one of its non-spontaneous, corporate-approved descendants) as a rallying cry. Terrible slogan, she snorted dismissively: “Believe? That’s lame. We know.”
That always struck me as a perfect way to describe the two New York fanbases, because strip away the condescension and that long-ago fan got it right.
Yankee fans expect dollars to flow and moves to be made to ensure a full calendar in October and a ticker-tape parade a month later; anything less than that is a failure, for which there will be consequences.
Mets fans? We love ticker tape as much as the next guy and gal, and we’ll take a wire-to-wire regular-season cruise that doesn’t require too much heavy breathing. But dismissing anything less than a World Series trophy as a failure? We don’t get that — it’s entitled hubris that sounds deeply and dreadfully boring.
Knowing? Where’s the fun in that? Give us wild hope and a stubborn belief that refuses to be extinguished, no matter what obstacles the baseball gods throw in our way. (Tug’s call to arms was as much battered defiance as it was optimism.) Those are the things that power our baseball dreams."
-Jason Fry, Faith And Fear In Flushing
It's remarkable to think, that come September, these two New York franchise's will most likely be playing each other during each's respective pennant races, capable of putting a thorn into the other's playoff plans. That's remarkable, it's unprecedented, and could be a preview for more interleague Subway Series games a few weeks later...

If you think I just jinxed it, I've decided to throw all caring of superstitions away. I DID say "COULD be" because that's all I know. WILL be won't be discussed here. That's where you're tempting the fates...

But who KNOWS what those FATES have in store, because after the last week, week and a half, after the last few years and the last 10 years since I joined the Metsian River midstream, I couldn't have seen ANY of that rollercoaster we just experienced coming, and none of you saw it either. The full payoff hasn't been reached yet, but it felt GREAT to finally get to THIS point after so long.

Believing is beautiful, and it's what I lost in the Yankees. I stopped believing in them once I became an adult. I saw that childlike joy lost in me as I settled into Yankee Fandom semi-adulthood, then full-fledged adulthood, or at least as what's determined by puberty and the American Law. I accepted my baseball identity at the age of 20, realizing it had been there the entire time. I am of the New York National League faith.

I wasn't able to go to any games this weekend, because I work at night, and the "stooges of ESPN" as Howie referred to them moved the game to national last night. BUT I appreciate that the Mets were able to sweep the nationals on the national stage. We're patriotic here in New York, but we aren't Nationals. We're METROPOLITANS.

Speaking of ESPN, though, they do a TERRIBLE job with their production and direction. It's always interesting to hear what the national broadcasters think of the Mets, like Curt Shilling, Aaron Boone, and what not, but the main guy isn't that good at calling, and the camera work and cut-to's are horrendous. Where was the foul pole look at Duda's home run? Why are you cutting to Bryce looking up? Don't you get access to all of SNY's good looks? WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?!

It's nights like that you really appreciate how great of a job SNY does with these games. At least Howie and Josh got to call the craziness of the 3rd inning, but definitely missed what Gary, Keith and Ron would have done with 3 home runs in 5 pitches.

So, first, it was the Wilmer Flores Appreciation Night on Friday.

Then it was All the Du-da Night.

Last night, the whole thing was an ENTIRE METSIAN effort. Curtis, Noah, Murph, Cespedes, Duda, Clippard, etc...

Greg Prince, of Faith and Fear in Flushing as well, might have thought he was Born Again back during the 11-game hitting streak, but it seems the entire Metropolitan fanbase was born again this weekend, and Citi Field would appear to be FINALLY christened.

That's as far as the regular season is concerned...

There's still a lot more work to do to keep the christenings coming.



Saturday, August 1, 2015

The Violent Metsian Pendulum

I fell off my bike this morning.

I was biking down 8th Avenue, heading home from work. Well, I first wanted to stop by the Apple Store at 59th and 5th, because for the longest time, I have been listening to Mets games and talking to people with only the right ear in, as I had lost my left rubber ear bud. Someone please immediately start a band called My Left Rubber Ear Bud.

Anyway, I was kind of amped up.

I wonder why.

On top of it being a fantastic night at Two Boots Hell's Kitchen (44th and 9th, stop by) the Mets finished the July end of the season with a ridiculous back and forth swing of the emotional Metsian pendulum, one which swung more violently in one 7-10 day span than I can ever remember in my 10 years of full-fledged Mets fandom, my 25-27 year awareness of the Mets, or my 20 years living in New York City. 

They sent us off into August on an unbelievable high, 2 games back in the division heading into the last 2 months of the season with another new and exciting player on his way into town to reinforce a roster who has hung on tight but desperately needs the help.

And there I was, ready to get home after the long night, write about it and the way I experienced the moment Wilmer Flores hit that home run.

And then I lost my footing on the pedals crossing 48th.

I tried to recover, but it was too late, and I skidded to the ground in front of a couple going home, or where ever they may have been going.

I hopped up immediately, the folks certainly concerned and immediately coming to my aid. My right forearm, on the bone side, was bleeding, and modestly. I asked the folks if they had any napkins, at which point a man pulling a hot dog cart across the street offered me napkins and squeezed hand sanitizer into my wound, which I would later find out is deeper than I thought (probably a couple centimeters.) It burned, but I enjoyed it. I felt alive, and already on the way to recovery while shaking my head at the turn of events.

I love this town.

"You can get band-aids there," the man said, pointing to Duane Reade on the northwest corner of 48th and 8th, a perfect place to crash if you can take care of everything yourself without an ambulance involved. I parked the bike, after thanking the folks who stopped to help, went into the place and bought big band-aids, Bacitracin and a spray-bottle of hydrogen peroxide. And a bottle of water. I grabbed some napkins, went back outside, took care of business and got back on my bike after sealing the wound.

Apple was kind enough to give me replacement rubber ear bud covers for free, after which I kept biking on 59th Street over the bridge and onto the Long Island that houses Queens and Brooklyn. I biked home to Carroll between Franklin and Washington, around the corner from where some Bums used to play baseball.

As the narrative of this post changed in my head as I was immediately thrusted into wound-healing operations, I thought to myself that what I am going through, and anything I have gone through in my life, pales in comparison to what Yoenis Cespedes has gone through in his life, especially just to play Major League Baseball in America...or what Wilmer Flores has gone through over the last 72 hours alone. Or what the Mets franchise and its fans have gone through. 

They, and we, have gotten through that shit. 

I'll be fine.

As I basked in the glory that is the final trade we made for such a potential 2015 game-changer, I went through the Cuban man's short career, including every home run he hit in the Derby at Citi in 2013. Then I watched his throw from left in Anaheim when he was with the Athletics

Already, seeing him in those other uniforms looks weird. Watching him in the Orange and Blue, which we were afforded 2 years ago, looks just right. They are the colors he was meant to wear. And I can't wait for him to get started.


2 months left. 2 games back. And a MONSTER about to enter the lineup.

A pennant race beckons.
What fun this will be.
A Cespedes for the Mets of Us.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Round it Out With Reyes

It literally came out of nowhere. Completely from the blue.

There, in front of me, as I walked towards the Brooklyn Bridge after the MTA sucked again, and right before I got on the air with the Rising Apple Report (which you can scroll down to listen to once you're done with this post...)

BUT there I was with plenty of tweets that appeared to confirm that Troy Tulowitzki, the shortstop from the Rockies Region, had been traded to the Canadian Region, and the Blue Jays were going to have to pay a hefty sum of prospects and...

That guy? Who has been traded TWICE now since signing a non-no-trade-clause contract with the team you should NEVER do that with? Is going to man shortstop in the high-mile air of the Purple Mountains Majesty??

Something's not right here...there must be more than meets the eye...

Now, since it's only source-driven until teams announce it, we will see plenty of more details in the coming hours...

But that hasn't stopped #MetsTwitter from erupting in a frenzy. Compared to a normal early-Tuesday morning on Twitter. Plenty of people just can't sleep because they are dreaming of the #BringBackReyes possibilities...

Most people think Reyes is going to get flipped by Colorado, and I firmly believe that to be true. They want more pitching, because they've never really had it.

It was never supposed to be this way. He was supposed to be here forever. So now it's time to bring him home.

Get Michael Fulmer and/or Rafael Montero together...and Jon Niese if you must. Or whatever they seem to value in your system that seems to have a dearth of pitching they've drafted and cultivated, that have now accounted for two trades that created a MUCH better vibe than what was left on this blog last week and plenty of others who were just absolutely fed up with the Wilpons and Inaction.

But that has erupted as this push to the deadline continues.

First, news of Michael Conforto, and their Social Media accounts of his whereabouts that had me complaining about the contradictory and circus-like nature of the Wilpons and the way they could potentially be #WorseThanOMalley, on my Facebook page about Bedford & Sullivan (ShamelessPlug,AnHBOStyleTVSeriesAboutBrooklyn AndIt'sDodgers...)

THEN, secondly, almost right after I lambasted the owners, news broke out that the Mets had traded for Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson. The Mets lost 7-2, Conforto looked comfortable with his first RBI, but all eyes were immediately on the next day.

And the moves immediately took form.

After Kelly Johnson's heroic homering in the 15-2 romp, and Juan Uribe's heroics in the 3-2 10th inning win, along with Michael Conforto really showin' us somethin' over the weekend, the Mets went out and solidified their bullpen with Tyler Clippard's arrival via trade.

They got one more bat to go. Some, and I obviously wouldn't whine, want to see the Mets get one more slugger, which in reality they do need. And I would LOVE to see what Cepedes could do in a Mets uniform.

But the Mets need a leadoff hitter. AND a shortstop. Though Grandy HAS been admirable, hitting very well of late and being one of my favorite Mets on the field...what a move to bring Reyes home. It would be an ASTOUNDING PR Move and, as Howard Medgal says:

This makes so much sense for so many reasons since it makes a ton of sense that the Rockies, who are going into rebuild mode, would flip Reyes to someone who needs a shortstop.

Sure, he's in decline...and he's lost a step in decline...but he should have been in decline with US. Properly. In our WILDEST Metsian dreams.

Seems like a no-brainer, if you ask me.

Not that you were.

But I'm just sayin'.

Maybe I need to put it in the past...
Maybe it was another time....

Or maybe it's JUST what THIS TIME NEEDS.


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