July 2008

Hello again!

Wow, when did summer get so busy? I’ve got a couple weeks to catch up on. We’ve had some tough losses and some exciting wins. We got our first complete game in almost two years with Johan Santana heroically taking the ball for 9 innings vs. the Cardinals. Bottom line is that we’re still in first, which is a thrill. Can you imagine two months ago, when we were all watching the games with our hands over our faces…what’s done it? Jerry Manuel? His looser clubhouse? Carlos Delgado? Pelfrey and Perez? Or all of the above? Whatever’s happened, the Mets are absolutely fun to watch again.

But then, they’ve pretty much always been fun to blog about, even when we were banging our heads against the walls ;-)

Tonight’s rubber game vs. the Marlins is an important one, especially with the Phils off playing the “Let’s lose again” Nats. But given all we’ve seen in the past month or so, it’s not a crucial game. Not a must-win. So we can watch with a mixture of excitement and concern, but without that constant, gut-churning anxiety that marked much of our team’s first half.

But enough chitchat. I’ve got pics to share. July 22 was the one game we lost–and oh, how painfully we lost it!!–against the Phils. But it was also the second GaryKeithandRon.com day, and GKR fans had a blast nonetheless mingling with Gary, Keith, Ron, Lynn, and all the fans.

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See that adorable, cuddly bear with me, Mike Silva, and Lynn Cohen? It’s one of the latest items over at GKR. Go grab one!

zoe adam schein.jpgEven with the crushing loss (followed by two thrilling wins to take the series!), the night featured many highlights, including: 1) Seeing sweetheart Loud Mouth Adam Schein again, who was at the SNY suite with his proud parents (aww!), 2) Getting a fist-bump from Mr. Met, who nodded when I asked “So, you recognize me now?” and 3) Seeing the adorable Matt Yallof at Gate A doing the post-game show along with Mazz and Harold Reynolds. We reminisced briefly about our fun times hanging out at spring training. I heart Matt Yallof.

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Stay tuned for further pics from Shea outings coming soon, as well as the Mets moments we love to relive here.

Time to beat the Fish. Let’s Go Mets!!

TV’s Ted Berg

Remember when I began my campaign to get SNY.tv’s Ted Berg on the air? That was fast! The online Mets world’s own Teddy Berg made his debut as a SportsNite talking head last night, Thursday, which you can see here. Here’s what TV’s Ted Berg looks like. He looks much like Regular Ted Berg, except in a nicer shirt.

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See? How can you want to keep that baby face off TV. But seriously, cap tip to Ted, who’s always got a nugget of info and solid opinion to share. Great job, buddy!

I’ve been gone for the equivalent of a blog century! This is because work and social life have been crazy busy, but also because I’ve been using my Mets blogging time toward this new venture I’ve been hinting at…which will debut any moment now…involving some friends you’ve seen here before…

Just know I’ll be back tomorrow with such fun pics and stories to share from recent time at Shea, starring some more of your SNY favorites.

And I’m going to go out on a limb and say that when I come back tomorrow, our boys will STILL BE IN FIRST PLACE!

Let’s just bring out this vintage foam finger salute to our first place Metsies, shall we?

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LET’S GO METS!

LET’S go PELFrey!!!!!

Sunday was the most excited I’ve seen the crowd at Shea since opening day. I tried to capture even a piece of it.
This account of Pelfrey’s reaction to his first curtain call? Warms the heart.

9 in a row!! This has been–statistically–one of the best streaks in Mets franchise history.
Dear All-Star break: Don’t screw it up!!

If I seem scarce in the next couple of days, it’s because I’m working on an awesome new venture…a surprise you will surely enjoy…involving some of our local favorites…Stay tuned!

For now, let’s Go D-Wright! And Wags! And the National League!

I’ll be watching the game with a Red Sox fan who usually roots for the Mets. Not this time! What do we think are our chances of pulling off the first All-Star win in 11 years? Help a National League fan out, players, mmmkay?

Wheee! Keep it up boys!!

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I hope Pedro’s shoulder isn’t anything to worry about–he came out of the game with what they’re calling “tightness.” Originally, though, the broadcast reported that the problem was a slight groin strain.

Fox’s Ken Rosenthal stated, matter of factly, “I just kind of exchanged looks with Pedro, and he pointed to his groin area.” If I needed proof that part of me is still 12? I gave a “hee hee.

I’m at the game tomorrow night, so I’m hoping for some continued magic to watch on that field!

GaryKeithandRon.com day!

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If you’ve been reading this blog for the past couple months, you know I’ve been doing all I can to help promote Lynn Cohen’s awesome t-shirts-for-charity venture, GaryKeithandRon.com. As if we need last names with our guys, right?!
Well, know that Lynn has been taking care of the entire mini-empire herself, from orders to customer service (she even took a customer service call during the game!!), to design ideas, to organizing a great day at Shea open to anyone who’d purchased a tee. AND to three groups of kids from worthy charities, some of whom had never been able to go to a ball game before. (See, Lynn? I told you I’d get a good candid of you! Looking very efficient and put-together there.)

What a wonderful time we all had! I got to the ballpark an hour early, but caught only the end of the meet-and-greet with Gary and Ron (Keith’s on vacation of course! :-) ). Seeing Gary happily pose with any fan who wanted a pic, and watching Ronnie smile as he signed autographs–what a good feeling it gave to see them so enthusiastic about the event. They hadn’t even changed into their SNY polo shirts yet, and so for that moment, they felt like just a part of the gang.

Picture 010gkr.jpgAnd the gang was a ton of fun. Here with the lovely Lynn is Gary’s beautiful mother, Joyce–a devout Mets fan since the beginning. Gary’s got some good genes there! We were also lucky enough to have Rachel Burkhardt, wife of Kevin and mother of awww-inducing Logan (if you’d seen pics of him lately, you’d see how tall the cutie’s gotten!). Oh, what a doll she is. We already knew our Kevin was the sweetest guy in the stands at any ballpark, but his wife might even be a smidge sweeter.
I was thrilled to hear that this blog entry (which includes a pic of little Logan a la Keith Hernandez) made it into Logan’s baby scrapbook. Awww!

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Kevin came by when not hard at work to spend time with the GKR crew and his college sweetheart/wonderful wife. As did Mr Met himself! If only for a brief moment. Mr. Met, we’re fun times–you missed out by taking off so fast. Add in Dana Brand and the Mathematically Alive duo Kathy and Joe to the mix–plus all the happy GKR fans and many, many exuberant kids–and the day was bound to personify exactly what baseball was made for, no matter the outcome of the game. And then the team goes and pulls off the sweep!

Hear that? Sweeeeep! And no, I ain’t talkin’ about Ambien with a lisp there!

Since the hours in the pounding sun have left me somewhat loopy-headed, I’ll let you see for yourself all the super fans who came out to support a great cause, hang with some special folks, and help us all remember that it’s not only about what happens on the field. Although when what happens on the field rocks, it’s totally okay to scream about it.

Here’s the GKR.com crew on the SNY broadcast.

What you don’t see me and Lynn?

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How could you miss us? Lower left hand corner, of course :-)

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The Pelfinator. And Ted Berg!

I love this quote from our boy Mike Pelfrey after his more than impressive shut-out performance (with no walks!) last night. (I’ve removed most of Pelf’s signature “you knows” and slight stammering):

John Maine and I have been–we have a lot of talks and you know he kind
of fills me in on life and baseball and stuff, and that’s one thing
that I talked to him about. I said early in the year, like, I felt like
when I was losing, I felt more like in order to fit
in you have to feel like you can help these guys. And I feel like I can
help this team win, which makes me feel a little more a part of it now.

With that one answer, Mike told us so much. 1) John Maine seems to have taken on a leadership role among the younger pitchers. He’s doing it in his own quiet way, but I think he’s helped guys like Pelfrey and Joe Smith cope with the non-baseball aspects of the game. With the “life” part, as Mike says. John sets a great example for the young guys, especially off the field. He’s like the pitching David Wright! If perhaps a bit less eager. 2) Pelfrey finally feels like he fits in. He’s a member of the team. He’s got his confidence. It took two years, but Pelfrey’s told us he’s finally a Met in all respects. That’s huge. 3) “I can help this team win.” If we didn’t hear anything else from Big Pelf, that’s all we would need. Yes, kid, you can help this team win.

Which is not to ignore the offense. Keep it up bats!! The boys are finally where they need to be hitting-wise, and although we know it probably can’t last the whole rest of the season, let’s hope the team takes full advantage of its hitting streak and racks up a nice pile of wins to pad the numbers for the rest of the year and take some of the pressure off our guys’ shoulders.

ted.jpgBut now onto another crucial matter.

Do you know Ted Berg? If you don’t, make sure you take a look at these hilarious and fun-filled Matt and Ted adventure clips from SNY.tv: At the Sports Museum of America, Phillies Road Trip Part 1 (a must see!), and Part 2.

What have you learned? That Ted is truly hilarious. If you scan his Flushing Fussing column, you’ll see that he’s also a great baseball commentator who keeps a keen eye on anything that could help the team, from players in the farm system, to possible trade ideas. So here we have an SNY employee with impressive Mets insight and a likeable, humor-filled personality. That’s our Ted Berg!

What’s more? SNY knows their demographic better than anyone. Trust me, I know. There are no commercials for women on that channel. Thanks, Giuseppe Franco, but my hair grows just fine. I have to imagine that the young male demographic makes up much of SNY’s viewership. So why not give them one of their own? Ted’s in his 20’s, and SNY doesn’t have any on-air talent that young. Let him represent that particular segment of the Mets fan population.

But best of all? Ted’s so much less obnoxious than some of the commentators/screamers they’ve got on there now. I won’t name names. But I’ve already told you I enjoy Adam Schein, so I don’t mean him.

Come on, SNY, let’s get Teddy on TV. And I don’t mean like this: his adorable “oopsies” debut on the post-game show seen here. Aww, Teddy.

Finally, a reminder: make sure to vote for David Wright!! Every vote counts!

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Duuuuuuude.

To follow up my last post? About the final game in this series against the Phils? My buddy (if he remembers me from spring training) Matt Yallof could not have captured it more perfectly. And we know he’s only half-joking:

I can’t take it anymore! Can Mets fans please get one day–one night–where they don’t have to sit at the end of the couch with their shrink’s phone number in one hand and their favorite beverage in the other? What is going on?!”

Matty, you got what we were all thinking, so I won’t bother adding much more except–thank goodness. The win. The win.

*Exhales*

Big, big game. With Good Pedro, please. Oh pretty please.

When Tatis gets to the ball park today, he’ll find this note in his locker:

billythanksjpeg.jpgI was at my folks’ house yesterday in Brooklyn, watching the game with my mom, and there we were (again!!) with a relatively comfortable 2-run lead in the 9th, one tiny strike away from victory. I was feeling so good about it! I started composing my blog entry in my head. It was going something like this:

Our Mets have given us two strong wins in a row. During arguably their most important series so far this season. Well, we need three. It’s down to the final game vs. the Phils. Do we still have a .500 team? Or are they starting to battle past that roadblock? This series could be a microcosm for the season. Never before has 2 out of 4 seemed so many light years away from 3 out of 4. If we can only…

Oh. Holy. Crap.

And yes, that part–in my head–would be when I watched Jayson Werth make contact with Billy Wagner’s ball and send it flying into the stands at Citizens Bank Park.

You can imagine how my thoughts changed at that moment. But thank goodness the team stayed in the game, didn’t give up, and fought for that 12th inning victory. Kudos to Fernando Tatis for coming through in the clutch, and to Joe Smith for going longer than he’s used to and giving us one helluva job.

But, well, we’re back at the importance of tonight’s game now. We just plain need to win it. Not only that, but we need to see many, many more positives than negatives in Pedro’s performance.

Keep fighting, boys. Take this series past .500.
And ya know, if given the chance Wags, feel free to make it much less interesting.

Thoughts for the 4th of July

july4.jpegYou know what our founding fathers wanted for this country 230ish years ago? When they were sitting around in their powdery wigs writing the Declaration of Independence? All hot and sweaty, cursing the Philadelphia summer humidity? Thomas Jefferson was forced to ex-out his favorite line in that hallowed document, the little known 11th amendment in the Bill of Rights:

The New York Metropolitans shall, at some moment in excess of two centuries and a score from this date, decimate the team known as the Philadelphia Phillies. They shall play with heart and at the height of their talent, eschewing any defense of sloppy ilk. Their bats shall make constant contact with the ball, and their multitude of hits shall subsequently make it home. The Mets shall dominate.

And so how better to salute our independence than to watch Lady Liberty lift her torch and proudly finish the job started ages ago. To our fair statue I say, Go crack that Liberty Bell wide open.

Or, as Thomas Jefferson might have put it:
 
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Come on, Metsies. Do us proud.

A nice win for the SNY viewing party

Picture 007.jpgLast night a group of Mets fans gathered at the Village Pourhouse in the East Village (and four and a half blocks from my apt!)–sponsored by SNY–to watch what would become a healthy win against the Cards. We saw Tony Armas Jr. battle out of early trouble in his first start as a Met, and our boys’ bats came alive, especially David Wright’s, who went 3 for 4 including his 16th home run of the season. Nice! Delgado, too, proved once again that salt-and-pepper goatee = hits, while dyed black goatee = not so much.

Now let’s see…two in a row? Dare we dream?

Here are some snaps from the fun gig, guest-starring Matty, Ted, Coop, CrazyMetGirl, SNK, Corey, and Dykstraw. With a special (super short!) appearance by Mr. Met. By now, we’re getting to be old friends he and I.

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Two notes!
1) I’m wearing my awesome GaryKeithandRon.com tank top, which isn’t yet available by regular order on the site. BUT if you order whichever design you like in a t-shirt, there will be a box for notes and just specify that you want it in tank top form, in what size, and it’s yours!

2) Awww, Matty! Our good buddy Matt Cerrone followed this fine evening by stubbing-slash-mutilating his toe, breaking it and facing at least two weeks walking on crutches. Heal fast, Matt! We know you love the team, but you don’t gotta support the Alous and El Duques of the world by suffering an injury that turns out to be much worse than it could have been!

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