Sunday, September 28, 2008

Cosolation Packs

"A Tale of Two Mets Seasons"
It was the worst of seasons
IT WAS THE WORST OF SEASONS!

My Mets did it to me again this year. I still love 'em though. I'll probably do a 2008 retrospective later in the year (When Sportscenter is filled with nothing but football and hockey. Ugh!). For now, I will console myself and maybe my friends at Dinged Corners with a few packs of baseball cards.3 packs of Retail wax featuring Yankees on the front!
(2 even have Yankee Stadium cards inside. Why no Shea Stadium Legacy?)

Baseball Heroes
Mattingly, Winfield, R.Jackson - 2 Yankee HOFers and a Yankee Fave.
F.Thomas - Future HOFer.
Glavine - Future HOFer who reminds me of the 2007 collapse of the New York Mets.
Beltran - MET! Another solid year for Carlos in NY. Too bad he can't pitch the 8th and 9th.
Griffey, Clemente, Vlad, And Joe D (Charcoal flavored) - Nice set of players. But I would rather have a single card of any of these 4 than 1 card with all of them.
Bowman Chrome
Helton - Disappointing season for the Rocks the year
Kai Liu - 1 of 2 Chinese players to sign w/ MLB teams. Liu saw no action in any league this season.
Sizemore - Another solid effort in his 4th full season of big league baseball. He is an MVP in waiting.
Not a great deal for $3 but I did get this David Wright card free!!!!Goudey
J.Morris - I remember that 10-inning shutout against the Braves in the World Series. That makes me feel a lot better!
Markakis - Great young player on a bad team.
Mazeroski - I love the old players in this set. Maz made the Hall with his glove and some timely postseason hitting.
Billingsley - He is the ace of my simulation baseball league this year. I am in the playoffs!
H.Matsui - Godzilla had a tough year with injuries.
P.Fielder - He is as hot as they come as of late. The Brewers made the right moves down the stretch and deserve the playoffs. The Mets do not. Again.
M.Young - His contract might haunt the Rangers for quite a few years.
J.Reyes (B&W SP) - It has a bent corner but it is a nice end to these 3 packs and to the Mets season.
Hey Carlos, David, and Jose! I'll be cheering for you next year!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Goodbye Shea (and Yankee Stadium, too)!

Two weeks ago, I took a trip to the big city to bid farewell to the home ballparks of my Mets and that other team in New York. Here we are, sans my brother (he took the picture and is prohibited from appearing here until he contributes to this blog), at old Shea and new Citi Field. We were excited about the upcoming 7 hours of Mets v. Braves BASEBALLDAMONIUM!!!!!!!
The Mets wall of retired numbers is not the most impressive such wall in New York:SHEA - Lawyer who helped bring Senior Circuit baseball back to New York. Ehh!
37 - Casey Stengel - First manager of the Mets, Great manager for the Yankees. Not as Ehh!
14 - Gil Hodges - Played his final 2 seasons w/ the Mets, Managed the Mets to their first World Series in 1969. Warmer!
41 - Tom Seaver - The only great Met until Piazza. YES!
42 - Jackie - Brooklyn Great. The Mets tanked it last year because their is no more room in Right Field for any new banners. Surely there will be room for more at Citi Field. Just maybe not for a 2008 banner. GO METS!
Proof that the Mets won 2 World Series: The 1986 World Series Champions Trophy. You can even see the 1969 version right behind it. In the same display case, there was a bust of Mookie Wilson. (Remember when there was a Mookie joke in every David Letterman Top-10 List. Too bad Joey Buttafuoco and Jeff Gillooly ruined Mookie's time in the limelight.)
The homerun apple is tiny. I almost picked it up and ate it but there is little to no running water at Shea so I couldn't rinse it off.

How can you make a bad stadium from the 60's less classy?Put neon-lighted baseball players on it.

Soon, Shea will be put to bed and the Mets will enjoy the friendly confines of Citi-Field:WOW! That is a gorgeous stadium. It is going to be fantastic. Check out how much it looks like Ebbets Field.Johan pitched a great game 1, only to have the bullpen give away the game. The bats were no help either as the Braves won game 3-2. The bats woke up for game 2 as Wright, Reyes, and Beltran homered while rookie pitcher Niese picked up his first career win. Mets win 5-0.

A whole day of baseball wore us out. We trudged down the back-and-forth walkways of Shea, got on a bus (which I believe actually picked ALL the fans at once), and headed to the hotel for the night. My friend David held Snorefest 2008 in the bed next to mine so sleep was fitful at best. (On a positive note, his wife now only needs 2 more miracles to be considered for Sainthood. She must be a good woman.)

The next day we were off to the House that Ruth Built, or some 70's abomination of the Babe's old crib.
They let about 7 people into monument park 3 hours before the game. It gave us non-snoring, non-Yankee fans even more reason to hate the Blankees.I must admit that their wall of retired numbers is ridiculous: Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle... Casey Stengel is there too. He managed the Yanks to 7 World Series Titles. Bernie isn't on the wall but they haven't used his number since he "retired" a few years back.ARod hit a grand slam after the first 3 Yankees reached base to lead off the game. Jeter tied Gehrig's record for most hits in Stadium history. He had 9 hits in 3 games to tie the record just for us. The Yankees won the battle but the Rays are winning the War! (Don't you hate when people liken sports to war? Me too.)New Yankee Stadium looks good too. Not as good as Citi Field but I look forward to seeing a new version of the original stadium. I can only assume the New York Post will christen this one "The House that Cap'n Jetes Built."

The trip was loads of fun. The five of us often broke the New York City rule of not talking on the subway but managed to avoid buying any bootleg dvd's or knock-off handbags. This year I'll be saving up the pennies for a trip to Europe next summer. I might be up for a day trip to see the Nationals and their new park. (The only stadium worse than Shea or Yankee Stadium is RFK!)

I'll leave you with a bit of hilarity from the streets of New York City. This little shop, which opened later that day, was called "99 cent Dreams." A dollar store in New York? Nope! Check out the small print: "Everything $1 and Up." Even dreams cost more these days!

I 'll be dreaming of a 2008 playoffs that includes my favorite team, the Mets.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Not Dead

No, I am not dead or lost in the BIG apple.

But my Mets may be.
They just lost again.
They stranded a runner on third 4 out of the last 5 innings. Ugh!

I am not giving up but I'm not brimming with confidence either.

More thrilling card posts soon. Maybe even a peek into my NY trip.

Friday, September 12, 2008

FREE BASEBALL!!!

The Mets/Braves game got rained out tonight. Since tomorrow's game (the one to which I am going) starts at 3:55, there will be a back-to-back doubleheader. Johan vs. Hampton.HECK YEA! (sorry for that foul language. I got a little carried away.)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Big Weekend

As you may know, I am a fan of the New York Metropolitans Baseball Club. I have visited Shea stadium once (I watched a high school championship game there until the tension between the opposing crowds got too scary.), but I've never seen the Mets play there. On that same trip to New York, I went to see Yankee Stadium but it was locked down tighter than a Steely Dan rhythm track.

These 2 two stadiums are shutting it down after this season. The Mets are currently constructing Citi Field just beyond Shea's centerfield wall. It is going to be gorgeous. The Yankees are building an exact replica of Yankee Stadium, complete with luxury boxes, super-luxury boxes, and super-duper-luxury boxes.

Me and four of my buddies are taking a whirlwind trip to pay our respects to these two hallowed grounds. (The Yankees have legends park and the Mets have that giant apple!) We fly in to NY Saturday morning and fly out Sunday night. Needless to say, I'll be a tired boy when I go in to teach my unsympathetic 8th graders on Monday.

Here's a little preview to make you all a little jealous:
Saturday: Atlanta Braves (JoJo Reyes) at New York Mets (Pedro)

The Braves are out of the NL East conversation but Larry and the boys are sure to be ready to ruin another playoff run for the Mets. Pedro is usually good for 5, which leaves 4 innings of uneasiness for us Mets fan as Heilman and the Wagnerless pen take over. Chipper didn't name his kid Shea for nothing. Let's hope he won't name his next son Citi.
Petey has the HOF credentials but he is being held together with scotch tape these days. (and not the kind you can't get off of toploaders)

Sunday: Tampa Bay Rays (Edwin Jackson) at New York Yankees (Carl Pavano)

Despite the weak pitching matchup, this one should be fun. Tampa is looking to hold off the surging Sox and the Yankees are, well, trying to avoid being booed off the field by their own fans. Since I live in Durham, NC, I pull for the Rays. Their AAA affiliate, the Durham Bulls, have been fun to watch the last few years.
Edwin pitches behind the likes of Kazmir, Shields, and Garza, but has been solid for the Rays all year. He doesn't match up with Pedro but he looks just fine against Carl Pavano.

The playoffs are on the line and I can't wait to see some Major League Baseball!

The early weather report says there's a chance of rain both days so wish us luck that we don't fly to NY just to hang out for 2 days.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

1985 Donruss Tribute: Googley Eyes?

Don't you just love GOOGLEY EYES? They make everything cuter. The sticker book I had as a kid had a special page just for stickers with them. For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, these are googley eyes:


Now what do googley eyes have to do with 1985 Donruss?


One day back in 1984, a strange man in dark slacks and a white shirt unleashed a swarm of those cute little eyes on Terry Francona and the unsuspecting Montreal Expos.


Did the googley eyes have any effect on the Expos or anyone else?
1. Francona went on to have the best season of his playing career, batting .346 in 58 games.
2. Gary Carter and Charlie Lea were the starting battery in the All-Star game.
4. Several Expos fans got a severe case of the googley bends, a rare side effect of staring directly into a googley eye. Kids can't get 'em, only lame adults with no inner child.
4. The Expos still finished in the cellar.
According to the back of this card, it's worth 10 cents. Here's some 10 cent Expo trivia:
The Expos only make the playoffs or finish first during strike shortened seaons. In 1981, the Expos finished first in the first half of the year thus making the playoffs in the wacky true birth of the wild card. They lost to the Dodgers in 5 games. In 1994, the Expos were well on their way to winning the East for the first time. The strike ended their run and management had to sell off all the young talent. I guess the current Expos, the Nationals, need a strike-shortened season rather than googley eyes if they ever hope to play in October.

Friday, September 5, 2008

1985 Donruss Tribute: The American Dream

I'm no wrestling aficionado, but doesn't Cap'n Bob look a whole lot like "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes?
In this picture, he didn't actually use his bat to hit the ball. He used his "bionic elbow.

Horner was the first pick in the 1978 draft, went directly to the majors and hit a home run off of Bert Blyleven in his very first game. 218 round-trippers in 10 seasons is a nice career. He hit 31 homers in Japan then left baseball after an injury at the age of 31.

Cap'n Bob lived the American Dream for 10 seasons and looked like the American Dream for just as many.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Pedroia and Big Brown?

This amused me so I thought I'd share.

'I never thought I was going to walk a !@#$% jockey,'' Guillen said of the 5-7 Pedroia, a player he actually admires. ''Walking a guy who just came from being on top of Big Brown. Right now, he's on a roll. This guy right now is on fire. No matter what you throw up there, he's going to get it. I can't believe you can change professions in one year, go from the Kentucky Derby to the Boston Red Sox ballpark.''
Ozzie Guillen is hilarious and Dustin Pedroia is a pretty good ball player.