Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

The Flushing circus goes on without Hudgens & Valverde

Jose Valverde (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Jose Valverde’s time with the New York Mets came to an end Monday after he took the loss in the team’s 5-3 defeat by the Pittsburgh Pirates on Memorial Day (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

The circus of the damned continues in Flushing, Queens, but it will go on without deposed hitting coach Dave Hudgens and ex-closer Jose Valverde, who were both dismissed after a disheartening Memorial Day loss.

On his way out, Hudgens blamed the relatively small number of fans who still come to the games for the Mets’ struggles at home.

“I think the fans are really tough on the guys at home. How can you boo Curtis Granderson? They have no idea how hard this guy works and how he goes about doing his business, doing his job. He gets off to a slow start and they’re booing him? Come on,” Hudgens told MLB.com “It’s tougher at home to play than it is on the road, there’s no doubt about it. And they’re trying really hard at home.”

I don’t advocate booing your own players unless they show a clear lack of effort or otherwise disrespect the fans, but Hudgens sounds clueless. How can you boo Curtis Granderson? Well, he made an awful first impression. In 25 games in April, Granderson had a .136 / .252 / .216 slash line with one home run and seven RBI. And you can’t expect fans to look at his track record without remembering that Granderson used to be a New York Yankee and played a lot better for the Mets’ crosstown neighbors.

It’s wonderful that the Mets players are “trying really hard” at home, but in the real world, effort is only rewarded in relation to the tangible results that are produced by it. The results in May have not been pretty: 17 losses and just 7 wins.

Continue reading “The Flushing circus goes on without Hudgens & Valverde”

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Photos from Mets Banner Day 2013

Well, the less said about this weekend’s Mets games, the better. But I do want to share photos of some of my favorite Banner Day entries:

Winning Banner

This was the winning entry in the Banner Day contest. It’s a simple, well-crafted and well-executed idea – the home run apple even raises and lowers – but I thought that the other finalists (and some that didn’t make it to that stage) showed more cleverness.

Continue reading “Photos from Mets Banner Day 2013”

Posted in Autographs, Uncategorized

Odds & ends: Portland Sea Dogs pics and an Adam Greenberg autograph

Autographed Adam Greenberg 2013 Topps baseball card from my collection
Autographed Adam Greenberg 2013 Topps baseball card from my collection

I’m still around, but when I’ve had the time to write, I haven’t had much of an inclination.

Aside from Matt Harvey and David Wright, there’s precious little reason to watch the Mets these days. Sure, they’ll surprise you in a good way every so often – but they will find new ways to frustrate more often than not. Even Mother Nature doesn’t seem to want to see them play.

I have not added any new Mets autographs to my collection lately, though I will be able to add the card Andrew Brown signed for me via mail during spring training to my Mets binder now. But I have picked up a few more signed cards at various non-major league games. One of the highlights was getting Adam Greenberg to sign his 2013 Topps baseball card last week.

And I had fun in Trenton last weekend watching the Portland Sea Dogs beat the Trenton Thunder with my friend Bart. I’d have to double check my scorecards, but I think it was the first time I ever saw the Sea Dogs win.

Here are some photos from the game:

Boston Red Sox prospect Xander Bogaerts is out at second base on the front end of a double play (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Boston Red Sox prospect Xander Bogaerts is out at second base on the front end of a double play (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Continue reading “Odds & ends: Portland Sea Dogs pics and an Adam Greenberg autograph”

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Banner Day, The Beard, and the Mets outfield

I’ve been sick for most of this week, so I’m probably a bit grumpier than usual today. (Or maybe it’s just because I’m a Mets fan dealing with yet another uninspired off-season.)

100_1312Earlier this week, ESPN released its preliminary schedule for Sunday Night Baseball. Surprisingly, the Mets will be making an appearance (mainly because the network wants to showcase the Atlanta Braves, I’m sure.) The date? May 26th, which is an issue because that’s when the Mets had scheduled Banner Day.

Certain bloggers have proclaimed that this will be the death knell for the recently-revived tradition.

I get it: no one likes going to 8:10 p.m. games, and you’re not going to plan a family outing to a game that starts that late if you have to get kids to school the next day. Except May 27th is Memorial Day – no school, and many adults will have the day off from work.

It would probably be a good idea for the Mets to move the promotion to a different afternoon. Very young kids aren’t going to be able to stay awake that late regardless of the calendar. (Though I doubt parents were going to be able to get two- and three-year-olds through the Banner Day festivities and a full nine inning game no matter when it started.)

I think it would be fun if the team worked something out to move the  Binghamton Mets vs. Portland Sea Dogs game from NYSEG Stadium to Citi Field to turn the day into a twi-night doubleheader with Banner Day held between the games. (If the pitching rotations worked out, how great would it be if Noah Syndergaard got to make his first big impression on the New York media and fans at Citi Field on Banner Day?)

But the Mets aren’t showing any indication that they’re going to reschedule Banner Day and moving minor league games costs money, so I don’t really expect the team to do either.

Of far more concern is Sandy Alderson‘s apparent lack of interest in the 2013 Mets team. Less than two weeks ago, Jon Heyman reported that the “mets have quite a bit of $ to spend.” So far, all Alderson has done is look at players and express interest in some of them. Continue reading “Banner Day, The Beard, and the Mets outfield”

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Photos from Banner Day in 1963

My favorite part of blogging is getting to interact with other baseball fans. This week, Laurence Carnahan sent me some photos taken on the first New York Mets Banner Day in 1963.

Both my brother, James and I made banners for the 1963 contest.  I won in the one-person category, there were three categories:  one, two and four-person banners.)  I received a general admission season pass for two to the opening year at Shea.

Continue reading “Photos from Banner Day in 1963”

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Your memories of Banner Day, part 2

Last month, I wrote about Banner Day and a few of you decided to share your memories of the longtime Mets tradition.

Yesterday, that post got a new comment from Laurence Carnahan. I don’t know how many people are still checking the comments on the older post, so I’m going to reshare it here:

My Memory of the 1963 Banner Day Contest- I was thirteen at the time and entered the contest in the one-man banner category and WON! I had taken a large cardboard box and painted it to resemble a rectangular Mr. Met. We got to parade around the Polo Grounds running path. It must have between games of a doubleheader. I won a season grandstand general admission pass for two for the opening season at Shea and went to over 35 games that year. I had to go through the Press Gate to get in and met Mrs. Payson one time getting out of her Bentley. It was the best year of my life at the time. My family were huge fans from the beginning and went to many games at the Polo Grounds and then Shea. We attended all of the 1969 World Series games at Shea and took grass home. Grandstand tickets cost $1.30 then.

That sounds like a really great experience.

I’m looking forward to this year’s Banner Day revival. I will be at the game, though I haven’t decided whether I’m going to make a banner yet. (I think I’ll leave that until the Mets announce the logistics of it all.)