Heyman : Mets Fans “Abysmal”

Posted in Baseball at 9:52 am by

Newsday’s Jon Heyman bravely directs his sights towards those Mets fans who aren’t packing Shea Stadium…neglecting to mention, of course, how many major league ballgames he’s paid his own money to see recently.

This is a contending Mets team, one that has as good a chance as anyone of winning the National League wild card.

Ya Gotta Believe, no?

Maybe if the team makes the playoffs, it will sell out then.

Maybe not.

The only games that fill Shea Stadium lately are the ones that guarantee the merengue, the Latin appreciation nights. How about some plain ol’ baseball appreciation nights? Maybe the better business model is to 86 the baseball and salsa their way through September.

If something doesn’t change, the Mets’ September will be filled with meaningful yet rarely seen games.

They returned from a hugely successful 5-2 trip, after finally proving they can win away from Shea and put a nice streak together, to face the wild-card-leading Phillies and a too-empty house. I wonder which was more demoralizing, the unoccupied seats or the first-inning home runs by Phillies Kenny Lofton and Pat Burrell.

No matter, the Mets bounced back from both, erasing a 4-1 deficit to win, 6-4.

“I think they’re missing something if they don’t come. This is a very exciting team they should be proud to come see,” manager Willie Randolph said. “I don’t know who’s here and who isn’t, as long as there’s a few.”

The players’ performance was typically enthralling last night. The fans’ performance was abysmal. The announced crowd was 36,505. That’s 20,864 less than it should have been.

“The weather didn’t help us tonight. I would be more upset if the weather was perfect,” Mets COO Jeff Wilpon said. “The weather’s been threatening all day. There’s a hurricane out there.”

Wilpon was talking 15 minutes before game time, and Shea was mostly empty. There were a decent number of late arrivers. Yet, even after everyone filed in, the green mezzanine section was nearly half empty and the red upper-deck section was half empty.

This team isn’t a mirage. The fans need to stop treating it like one. This team deserves your attention, your patronage, your respect.

Sure, Mets fans are skeptical after enduring the Mo Vaughn Era, which partly coincided with the Art Howe Error. That’s understandable.

But 130 games have been played. It’s time, Mets fans.

It’s time to forget the past, to embrace the present, and to realize the Mets are worth your time.

Mike Cameron made it to the ballpark yesterday. If Cameron, who broke his face diving and colliding for a liner, can make it to Shea, you can make it, too.

George Will made it to the park, and he brought family members. Davey Johnson made it to the ballpark to promote the Viagra Comeback Player of the Year award. What, you were expecting Rafael Palmeiro?

Much as I appreciate Heyman’s acknowledging that the Mets are a legit contender, this is much ado about zilch. Mike Cameron, George Will and Davey Johnson have far nicer walk-up seating options than the average Mets fan. OK, maybe not Davey, but you get the idea. Heyman wonders why the Cyclones can sell out but not the Mets, yet the capacity and ambience of the respective ballparks answer that question for him, if not the ticket prices. And 36K on a Tuesday isn’t that embarasing. Were the Mets to sell that many tickets every game, their annual attendence would be just shy of 3 million. Not the rarified air of the Yankees, but a more than acceptable sum for a club that hasn’t won anything in 5 years.

Either The Mets Just Came Back To Beat The Phillies…

Posted in Baseball at 9:33 am by

….or King’s X tickets have gone on sale. Writes David Roth,

Not that we’re terribly likely to be seeing him again this year, but here’s a Piazza photo to keep handy in case you need it. Like in case he embarrasses himself at a Soulfly concert or something.

As for last night: awesome, an absolute me-high-fiving-my-girlfriend Mets moment. I think you’re right on in your post, but while it’s hard to imagine Castro staying on this sort of pace, a month-long emergence of just one bottom of the order hitter — Jacobs may not be it, but Castro or Diaz could easily be, and my dark-horse is Matsui (admittedly a very, very dark horse) — changes the whole equation. Good times, for the time being.

Thanks, David. Though for the record, it should be stressed that Milton Bradley says he was just high-fiving his wife, too.

Ramon Beats On Ugie The Brat, Mets Inch Closer To W.C. Lead

Posted in Baseball at 12:44 am by

(Mike Cameron, recovering from the laundry list of injuries suffered in his face to face collision with Carlos Beltran last month in San Diego, congratulates Ramon Castro)

At yesterday’s close of play there were 4 National League clubs with a total of 62 losses, each flawed in one way or another. Of those playoff hopefuls, the New York Mets’ resilience since the loss of their everyday right-fielder and catcher has been astonishing. Ramon Castro provided the heroics Tuesday night, hitting a 3 run HR off Philly’s Ugueth Urbina, to give New York a 6-4 win at Shea. Jae Seo, who came back to earth slightly sooner than Shawn Chacon, allowed first inning HR’s to Kenny Lofton and Met-killer Pat Burrell, but Carlos Beltran (described by Keith Hernandez as “tentative” early in the broadcast) would reply with a first inning solo HR, a subsequent RBI single and a crucial outfield assist, gunning down Lofton trying to score in the visitors’ 5th.

Of the clubs contending for the NL Wild Card, Houston have the easiest remaining schedule….and it is very hard to imagine the Mets continuing to get as much mileage from the bottom half of their batting order as they have during their recent surge. But not nearly as hard to envision, however, Beltran, Cliff Floyd and David Wright fashioning a deadly 3-4-5 combination over the season’s final month.

Apparently, it would take more than leaving Chicago for Joe Borowski to morph into Mariano Rivera. More than a dye job for Curt Schilling to morph into Curt Schilling, too.

Rattled By The Rush, Pt. II : AFL’s Shell Loses His Shirt

Posted in Gridiron at 12:12 am by

From the Arizona Republic’s Senta Scarborough, Richard Obert and Josh Kelley : (link courtesy Kevin Murphy)

The head coach of the Arizona Rattlers arena football team admitted snorting cocaine behind a Mesa business early Tuesday and faces possible drug charges, police said.

Former 49ers linebacker Todd Shell was shirtless and sweating profusely when an officer found him pacing around his Land Cruiser about 1 a.m. behind a business near Ivy Street and Greenfield Road, Mesa police Detective Tim Gaffney said.

Shell told the officer he owned the business and kept looking north. When the officer asked why he was looking in that direction, Shell told him he was alone but said a “guy wearing camouflage is in the tree,” police said. The officer found no one else in the area.

At first, Shell, 43, of Mesa, said he found the bag in the parking lot but later admitted the substance, which he identified as cocaine, was his. He said he had an “eight ball,” or an eighth of an ounce.

Shell told the officer he went behind the business to use the cocaine, and told the officer he had only used cocaine three times and he had obtained the drug from a friend.


Putting The “Awk” In Rawk

Posted in Rock Und Roll at 7:41 pm by

Have you ever said to yourself, “classic tunes by AC/DC, and Black Sabbath would sound so much better if they were performed acappela by an aging dude with considerably less range than Bon Scott covered in dirt?” Me neither. But if you’re curious, the Rawker should sort you out (culled from WFMU’s Beware Of The Blog.)

Nuts To That : Indie Saints Cater To Peanut-Phobic

Posted in Baseball at 6:58 pm by

From KBLT.com :

The St. Paul Saints are adding “peanut-free” seating for Friday night’s game against Sioux City at Midway Stadium.

The Saints first tried in July to offer an area of seats where people with peanut and other food-related allergies could sit without worry. But that game against Gary was rained out.

The “peanut-free” seats are the top rows of Section K, a non-smoking area located behind first base. The reserved seats cost ten dollars.

To ensure the safety of those buying the seats, the Saints will leave a row of seats empty in front of the group.

The team has worked with the Food Allergy Support Group of Minnesota on the event.

Buehrle : Rangers Are Stealing Signs

Posted in Baseball at 6:27 pm by

From the AP :

Chicago White Sox left-hander Mark Buehrle called the Texas Rangers cheaters on Tuesday, claiming that the team signals pitches to batters through a high-tech light system in center field.

Buehrle suggested Monday night that the Rangers knew what he was throwing during Chicago’s 7-5 loss, and he repeated the accusation before Tuesday’s doubleheader.

“I’ve heard rumors, so it’s not just me saying this,” Buehrle said. “I’ve heard it from tons of people. It’s not just me saying this. … Something’s going on because they hit so good at home. The way they hit here, you’d have to raise an eyebrow to figure something’s going on. Look at the stats. I’m not just making this up.”

Texas entered Tuesday batting .285 with 125 homers at home, compared to .256 with 86 homers on the road.

The Rangers dismissed the allegations – in some cases with a chuckle.

“It’s crazy and it’s funny,” said Rangers home run leader Mark Teixeira (shown homering off Buehrle, above). “It’s an outrageous comment, an outrageous claim.”

Texas DH Phil Nevin jokingly asked Rangers manager Buck Showalter why the lights weren’t working when he went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts on Monday night.

Hopefully MLB will take these accusations seriously…and they’ll figure out what sort of high tech chicanery has been employed letting the visiting teams know actualy what pitches Texas’ hurlers are about to deliver.

Seriously, though, Buck’s sneaky ways are paying dividends again this evening, with the Rangers leading the White Sox, 8-6 through 7 innings in the front end of a double dip Mark Teixeira, clearly struggling with Jon Garland’s savvy pitch selection, already has 2 HR’s, a double and 6 RBI’s.