Sunday, December 11, 2011

Strawberry Says '86 Mets Were Better Than '98 Yankees

The Straw-man was interviewed on Fox 5 Sports Extra in New York last week. The show aired on December 4, with the highlight being when Strawberry was asked which team was better, the '86 Mets or '98 Yankees. Darryl won rings with both teams but he showed no hesitation in saying the '86 Mets were the better group....
The '86 Mets were a lot different than what the '98 Yankees were. The '98 Yankees were a very exciting team and it was a different time, but in that era of the '86 Mets, I think we were much better. I think the pitching staff, if you look all around, we had a tremendous pitching staff. But I think the kind of players that we had, we dominated during the course of the season, but when you look at the playoffs and when it got down to the real crunch time, you know, it was definitely a battle. But the '98 Yankees were a little different, we pretty much ran away with that whole thing and nobody was close, so, I always believe that that '86 Mets team, it would have been hard to beat us because we never quit.
And he's right. As I've always said, the '86 Mets were the last REAL, great baseball team, which is something the Yankees have never produced.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Beltran SelfLESS?

On Monday, Carlos Beltran walked into manager Terry Collins' spring training office and told him he was ready to make the defensive switch to rightfield.

Beltran is being lauded for this move by most accounts I have heard or read. Beltran said, "I believe the best decision is for me to play rightfield. It's going to be less active, and I am looking forward to saving my knees for the long run."

Here's the thing. This is a selfish move by Beltran. Yes, I believe the Mets are a better team with Beltran in RF, potentially saving his knees and helping his offense. However, Beltran is only doing this to save his career and potentially cash in again next off-season. Beltran made this move on his terms. I think Carlos' ego wasn't going to be able to handle struggling for a whole season in centerfield and potentially being moved by the manager to RF. So Carlos did it himself.

The Mets were too sheepish to come out and just make the decision on their own. Luckily for Collins, Beltran realized he needed to do this for himself.

Another issue I see with this is, Beltran's not healthy. If Carlos was healthy, he wouldn't be moving himself to RF. Basically, he's saying, "I'm hurt, I can't play CF properly." Moving to RF didn't fix his knee, it's just an attempt to hide the problem.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Summer of '86 Review

Yikes. What was that pile of shit that I watched last night? How is it possible to take the story of the 1986 New York Mets and ruin it? MSG pulled it off with Part I of the Summer of '86.

First, this whole thing turned into some kind of scam to get us all to watch the Knicks post-game show. The Summer of '86 was supposed to start at 10pm, but didn't actually air until sometime around 10:45. This post-game show consisted of a bunch of terrible interviews and bogus "analysis" from Kelly Tripucka. The only thing worse than NBA basketball is people talking about NBA basketball.

Moving on to the actual show, I must start by reminding everyone how awesome the '86 Mets were. They were the last REAL baseball team. They drank, did coke, brawled with opponents, picked up women, and won the World Series.

There has not been a team in America that has since come close to having as much character and talent as Davey Johnson's boys. The '93 Phillies were close and the '04 Red Sox were closer, but not quite.

So I was excited for this new show on the best team of all-time. I wanted to hear about the Scum Bunch. I wanted new stories about bar sluts and Colombian cocaine. I wanted to know how many punches landed on Tom Niedenfuer's face.

Or, as one Mets-Thing insider described to me last night by text, "I will only watch if Doug Sisk is interviewed with his voice garbled and his identity protected".

We want the real shit, not more of the same lame-ass baseball cliche talk about how Keith Hernandez was a manager on the field.

But that's what we got. It was 15 minutes (the other 15 minutes were all commercials and self-promotion) of fodder. Everybody in New York knows who the players were and who the manager was. MSG did not need to rehash all that nonsense.

The narrator sucked too.

The highlight of the show was everything and anything Davey Johnson said, telling the team "we're going to dominate" in spring training. Nice.

Part II will be airing tonight at 10:30pm.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Daniel Murphy Sighting

While browsing around an Orioles blog (don't ask), I found this clip of Felix Pie making a fool of himself in the Dominican League. I think it's from this winter.

While I actually watched the replay to see if Pie was actually out on the play, I noticed the first baseman, who sold a brilliant sliding tag, was Daniel Murphy.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

DePodesta's Baseball Reform

This is a presentation that Paul DePodesta gave in 2003 called The Genesis, Implementation, and Management of New Systems. It is an awesome read about his time in Cleveland and Oakland and should be interesting for all Mets fans to see how their new head of Player Development and Amateur Scouting thinks. So give it the proper 15 minutes it takes to read.

Thanks to Dave Studeman at The Hardball Times for finding this.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Front Office Dream

Gone, is the creepshow that was Omar Minaya. Gone, is his "I'm a baseball guy, so I know more than you" nonsense. Gone, is his guesswork.

In, is some brains with a plan. In, are some guys who HAVE tools, not guys who ARE tools. In, is a modern, intelligent approach to baseball.

Watching the Mets bring in Alderson, Ricciardi, and DePodesta is like a dream come true. These are the guys that changed the way everyone looked at baseball just 10 years ago. They found a cheap way to build a first-place team. Hopefully, they can keep evolving and find a new way to do it, again.

To me, the structure of the front office looks like this.... Alderson is the GM, the CEO, the owner (hell, the Wilpons probably should just hand over the team to him), while Ricciardi and DePodesta are the assistants that actually do all the work. They'll choose the players, come up with trades and run the system. Alderson will smoothly pull off the transactions. It's all in place.

However, my fear is this.... the Mets are 10 years too late. These guys had their run. They had their glory. They took advantage of a broken system. Everyone caught on and they've lost their edge. Once the rest of the league figured out what they were doing, they followed their path. Ricciardi and DePodesta both failed as GMs, and maybe this was the reason. Everyone is playing their game.

Still, this has to be exciting for us Mets fans. Proven winners have been inserted while a proven jackass is gone.

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Myth of the Yankees "Lean Years"

Why is it that Yankees fans insist on trying to tell me that they suffered through the "lean years"? When I ask them about when exactly these "lean years" took place, I hear grumbling about the 80's and usually a comment about Matt Nokes.

For me (Mets fan obviously) and most of my Yankee friends who were born around 1975, the first things we remember about baseball, or anything else for that matter, was in the early 80's. So I looked back, and what do you know, in 1980 the Yankees won 103 games and finished in 1st place, and the following year they played in the World Series. So those can't be the "lean years".

1982 was actually a down year. But from 1983 to 1988 the Yankees finished with a winning record each season, a stint that included three 90-win seasons (97 wins in 1985!). The Yankees actually finished the decade of the 80's with more wins that any other team in MLB. So the 80's can't be the 'lean years'. But I was just told by a Yankees fan that "The Yankees were TERRIBLE.... in the 80's". Really? I don't know why he wants to remember it that way.

The true "lean years" were from 1989 to 1992. In those four seasons the Yankees were terrible. They finished last once, 5th twice, and 4th once. So out of the last 30 years, including 1982, the Yankees have had only five losing seasons. Five. Out of 30. Five. Maybe today's Yankees fans are like those who win the lottery, yet fall into a deep depression because they feel they didn't "earn" the money. Is that what the Yankees fans are feeling? They need to justify their fandom.

Since 1993, the Yankees lowest winning percentage in any given year is .540. And in that year (2000), they finished in 1st place and actually won the World Series. I think the last 20 years have more than made up for the four "lean years".

I actually had someone say this on Facebook the other day, "those born in the late 70s lived through the Mets winning a WS, lived through the NY media LOVING the Mets and only covering the Yankees because of Steinbrenner's antics.... I used to listen to WFAN and hope they would spend a few minutes on the Yankees, it was that bad." Hilarious. So not only do Yankees fans need to have a good team, but they also need to get all the attention.

Basically, here's the point Yankees fan.... if you want to talk about your championships, fine, but don't try and give me some sob story to go with it. Listening to a Yankee fan attempt to get you to feel bad for them is like listening to your 110LB girlfriend try and tell you she's fat. Meanwhile, her much hotter 125LB friend is thinking, "I hate that titless bitch". Meaning, yeah, the Yankees are like a girl with no tits and the rest of the league are her friends with the nice racks. Who wants a girl with no tits? So, if you're a Yankee fan, just continue to be an arrogant prick, and give up the "lean years" sob story.