Sunday, September 30, 2007


There are countless observations to be made and questions to be answered stemming from what is now officially the worst collapse in regular season baseball history, but maybe the most important one is also one of the simplest:


Before I try to figure out what kind of half-life the aftermath of this disaster will have, I want to share a few observations I had made during and immediately after the final implosion. I did happen to be at Shea as part of the "sold out" crowd of around 45,000 strong, but I was gone as soon as the 5th inning came to an end, so I will have no insight into the very bitter end at the scene of the crime, but as for everything else:

-"Sold out" This was not a joke on my part. As you pulled into the parking lots every booth had a "Game is Sold Out" sign. All that the signs meant to me was that 3/4 of all the people like me who had tickets to this game in advance would not show up, and devoted fans scurried to buy the remaining tickets as soon as it looked like this game would mean something. From the looks of the crowd I feel like I was very close.

-"Bullpen Willie?" No one sitting around me could understand it, no one could explain it, but there it was. Tom Glavine was clearly having a melt down and yet hit after hit there was no action in the Mets bullpen for what seemed like an eternity. Sosa was finally brought in and was able to limit the damage to two more runs, and then went on to strike out the side the next inning. Of course you would then lift your long man after 1 2/3 innings work since you just HAVE to pinch hit Sandy Alomar Jr. in that spot. Really Willie? But it's OK, you still have El Duque, right? Wrong. Now you can't blame Randolph for pinch hitting for Hernandez with the bases loaded the very next inning but you can blame him for putting himself in a position where he would end up burning his two best long men in the span of just two innings. Then again who needs long men when your starter gives you 1/3 quality innings.

-"Pop the Clutch" Face it Met fans, there is not a single clutch offensive player on this team and you know it. There were eight men left on base after the first three innings, and the biggest threat the Mets ever had was Lo Duca's Willie Mays Hayes check swing ground out with the bases loaded. After that they never threatened again.

-"Media Blackout" One of the most inexcusable aspects of yesterday's debacle was the fact that SNY, the network that prides itself of being the source for ALL New York sports did not have a single minute of post game/season/collapse coverage and instead went right on with their regular programming. Yes I know the game was on CW11 but SNY produces those games as well, but even if they didn't how could any "All NY Sports" network not cover one of the biggest NY sports stories of all time? **Correction** Thanks to Neil Best's Watchdog I now know that SNY finally DID air a post game interview with Willie Randolph, albeit over an hour after the game had ended. Thanks Neil!

-"Seeya Next Year" What the Mets were lacking on their TV network they made up for on their website, only not in a positive way. Before the body was even cold on '07 already had a banner up thanking the 3,850,000 fans for setting an attendance record for the second straight year, which is certainly an appropriate gesture only it serves to drive home just how high expectations had been all along. What wasn't such an appropriate gesture however was that directly below the thank you was a link to make 2008 ticket deposits. 2008???? I know I was the guy in the back of the room shouting "TOO SOON!!!" I will also add that while the Mets have offered information on how to take more of your money, there is not a single piece of information on the entire website on how/when playoff ticket money will be refunded.

So what now? The construction site beyond left field is the only reminder needed of just how little time the Mets have to fix this thing and get back on track. The Mets have just one season on the field and two winters spent on the phones to turn this year's disaster into a team worthy of stepping onto the grandest stage in the team's history. If they are to fall short and allow the bad karma of this melt down to carry over to their new home they risk alienating their fan base and returning to the laughing stock of the league. Do I think it will happen, no. But this year has certainly made it a possibility when over the last several years it had been unthinkable.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

That's No Moon...

Not even the most dedicated, die hard Yankee fans saw this coming.

None of the columnists, beat reporters or talking heads saw it coming either.

The Red Sox might have seen it coming and maybe that's why they traded for Eric Gagne, to be prepared. Look how that's worked out.

But one way or another the Yankees have arrived as a shoe in for the wild card and are now an unthinkable 1 1/2 games out of first place in the division. And with Dice-K and Okajima now both suffering from OHST Syndrome, (One Hundred Sixty Two) Coco's sore back, Youkilis' sore wrist and Manny being Manny, the once universally left for dead Bombers are certain to make the stretch run in the Bronx every bit as interesting as the one in Queens, but for all the right reasons.

There isn't too much in the way of great come from behind stories in the the long history of the Yankee franchise, and given all the talent dressed in pinstripes it's tough to call these guys underdogs with a straight face. But let's be fair here, 14 1/2 games is off the charts and deserving of all the superlatives we can throw at it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Maine, I mean Jane, Stop this Crazy Thing

In the words of the immortal Micheal (yes, Micheal) Ray Richardson: "This ship be sinkin'."

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

They Never Prosper, Huh?

It wouldn't be too crazy to think that in today's world of never ending steroid accusations and suspicions of cheating that the controversy surrounding Bill Belichick and the Patriots might have gone over just a little smoother. What am I saying, it'd be plenty crazy.

Even with the topic of steroids popping up in every single conversation pertaining to just about every sport held around every water cooler, on every television and every radio day after day, doping has not yet come to define cheating as a whole. In fact when you stop and think about all the ingenuity and technology that has gone into increasing the performance of performance enhancers and making them harder to detect, it makes cheating the old fashioned way seem like a complete insult to our intelligence. Seriously, players are peeing in cups while lab technicians are fighting to thaw out the cups they peed in 10 years ago while the public is fighting for blood tests, and here the Patriots are in broad daylight using some jerk with a camcorder. I know it's all about cheating, but where's the effort New England?

Come on Bill, it's been over a half century since Bobby Thompson and the Giants used the infamous spyglass to help win the pennant, win the pennant, win the pennant, win the pennant, and they didn't even go on to win the World Series that year. By contrast New England has won 3 of the last 6 SuperBowls and you'd have to be naive to think that they never used any trick photography on the way to or during their championship victories. I mean really, if they used the cameras in a season opener then when wouldn't they use them?

Now even with the revelation that the man who many consider(ed?) to be the game's greatest strategist has been breaking the rules to get ahead, to me the biggest surprise has been the response we've gotten so far from the league office. Sure losing draft picks can hurt most teams, but the Patriots are hardly most teams and only their first and second round picks from this year's draft made the roster. What about forfeiting week 1 to the Jets? What about suspending Bill? What about investigating past infractions? I'll give Goodell some more time before passing judgment, but I am clearly expecting more than a second and fifth rounder.

To me the bottom line here is real simple. People are sick and tired of all the cheating and now one of the biggest possible fish has not only been caught, but caught red handed and the people want to see an example made. So will Belichick and the Patriots suffer because we haven't been able to nail Barry yet? Maybe, but who cares? They all cheated right?

Shea will Sleep with the Fishes

Forgive me for writing about something that will not happen for just over a year, but with the Mets division lead back up to it's season high of 7 games it's looking like there won't be too much "A-Material" from the Mets until the post season rolls around.

Anyhow I just read over at ESPN that the Mets' final regular season game at Shea stadium will be played against--you guessed it-- the Florida Marlins. Now in the grand scheme of things this really isn't that big of a deal, for starters I'm sure the league doesn't plan around every stadium's farewell tour, and particularly since it's extremely likely that the final game at Shea stadium will be of the post season variety. There's also the fact that once ALL the baseball has been played in 2008, Shea will get a grand send off from Piano Man Billy Joel. You've really gotta give the Wilpons credit for that one, not only for wrestling him away from the Yankees clutches but for also booking the best possible music act for Shea (That isn't a Salsa Band) considering the Beatles are unavailable. But for what it's worth, I can't say I'm too thrilled with the way the schedule worked out, but admittedly for silly fan-ish reasons.

On the bright side, in the same way the Mets end this year at home against the Marlins hopefully it will provide an unneeded cushion for the post season.

Oh yeah, and apparently there's another baseball stadium in New York hosting it's final game next season. That one is against the Orioles.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Adam Rubin IN-STUDIO Tonight

Best Friend of the show Adam Rubin will be on LIVE and IN-STUDIO with us tonight for the entire 2 hour show taking Mets fans' calls. And, you know, you can always count on Adam for some real inside scoop.....

Since we're 100% commercial-free, there will be no interruptions whatsoever. And, we won't rush you off the phone either, so call in! And, please tell some friends. Lots and lots of friends.

The call-in number is 516-572-7440 and Adam will be on with us from 9PM to 11PM. You can find us on 90.3FM.

Adam is also the author of Pedro, Carlos, Carlos and Omar. We'd recommend the book, even if he wasn't joining us tonight.

David Hinckley was kind enough to give us a plug for the appearance. Marc Cerrone of also was very kind to us.

While we're not yet webcast, we will have the audio posted here and here, as soon as humanly possible.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Barry, The Babe and Barley

If you listen to WFAN or peruse the Letters to the Sports Editors in our local dailies, then you are no doubt familiar with the sports intellect of Jim Burns, aka "Jim on Long Island." Jim has been good enough to share his original prose with us. So, without further ado.....

"Barry, The Babe and Barley" by James H. Burns

Author's Note: The attempt by some in the media to equate Babe Ruth's beer drinking,during Prohibition, with Barry Bond's alledged use of steroids (and other artifical enhancements), struck me, at first, as ludicrous.

Hall of Famer Joe Morgan, ESPN's national baseball announcer, for example, attempted to explain that both pursuits were originally illegal, but "not against the rules of baseball." Beer, after all, might feel refreshing, but is essentially a depressant,while the various steroids regimes are designed not only to give you the ability to compete at a superior level, but to recover more quickly ,from the rigors of competition.

Bonds' breaking of Hank Aaron's home-run record, however, has prompted me--upon careful reflection, and with a certain degree of admitted shock--to see how many similarities may, in fact, exist, between the illegal aid, and ale....

You can buy beer from a tap, in a bottle, or by the six-pack.
Steroids can help give you a "six-pack."

With beer, it's often tough to have only one.
Steroids users often believe that anything's all right, as long as they've won.

Experienced beer drinkers know to avoid bad hops.
Fielders on steroids may be better at avoiding bad hops.

After a night of beer drinking, your eyes might not be clear.
After using steroids, you might want to use the medical masking agent, Clear.

Drunk drivers who have had too many beers, fear the police giving them a blood test.
Donald Fehr, head of the Players' Union, won't allow checking players for steroids, by blood test.

In recent years, a few beers from Mexico have become quite popular.
A few steroids regimes can only be obtained, illegally imported from Mexico.

Beer drinkers know the value of brewing with a fine grain.
Homer-hitters on steroids know the value of using bats, boned with a fine grain.

More beer is consumed in America's ballparks, than any other beverage.
More steroids have been consumed in the storied shrines of baseball, than in the stadiums of any other sport (except, of course, perhaps, for football....)

Some beer lovers like their booze topped with a nice, foamy head.
Certain steroid regimes can actually alter their users' tops, fomenting an enlarged head.

Bud-Light helped generate even more beer sales, for baseball stadiums and their owners.
"Bud-Light" is what many call the Baseball Commissioner who turned the other cheek to steroids allegations, when the 1990s home run explosion helped team-owners fuel vast ticket, and television rights, sales...

James H. Burns (James H. (Jim) Burns, a writer/actor living in Long Island, New York,has written features for such magazines as GENTLEMAN'S QUARTERLY, ESQUIRE and TWILIGHT ZONE. He can be heard frequently as a guest on radio talk shows, throughout the United States.