Month: April 2014

The Milquetoast Mets’ Daytime Dilemma

Matt_Harvey_finger You know what?  I’m just gonna come right out and say it: I like Matt Harvey.

I like his attitude.  I like his arrogance.  You know why?  Because he has the goods to back it up.

And I have to laugh when I hear other fans complain about how other players aren’t “fun” and are “boring.”  Because they revere alumni like Tom Seaver, who is universally known as a douchebag.

(But he’s our douche, so it’s all good)

But what’s more is that ever since 1986, the Mets front office has been intent on dismantling any team that has any semblance of a personality.  Anyone who is not milquetoast, the more boring and “family friendly” you are, the better.

Forget if they’re actually, you know, *good* and help the team win.  If they stray from the party line (which is: be bland, always), they’re automatically trouble.

Take the 1986 Mets.  They won a world championship, for crying out loud.  They drank, they did drugs, some even got arrested.  Let me reiterate: THEY WON A CHAMPIONSHIP.  No one micromanaged them.  They did what they had to do.

When Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz wormed their way into Nelson Doubleday’s majority stake in the team after the World Series, all of a sudden, the bad ass personality was a “problem,” and let’s get bland boring “Jay-oh-bee” treating baseball players like Kevin McReynolds.

Perhaps if the PR and image people were less concerned with OMG WHAT WILL WE TELL THE CHILDREN, instead they let players be themselves.  I saw the Matt Harvey instagram where he posted about his surgery, which happened six months ago.  He’s a young guy.  His skyrocketing career came to a screeching halt because (and this is just my opinion), his conditioning by the team of Dr. Death Rey Ramirez led to him getting Tommy John Surgery.  I thought the photo was funny.  My next thought was….Oh, Jay Horwitz isn’t gonna like THIS one.

And what happens?  Harvey is asked to delete his post, and he just deletes his Twitter account instead.

Harvey didn’t apologize for potentially “offending” anyone.

Breaking News: Dick Young is STILL dead, Mets fans

Breaking News: Dick Young is STILL dead, Mets fans

I mean, seriously, what’s next?  Are the Mets going to exhume Dick Young to write a scandalous slam piece on how Matt Harvey’s girlfriend is jealous of Zack Wheeler’s girlfriend, and Harvey demands a trade before a weekday day game start, which will forever be known in Mets lexicon as “The Daytime Dilemma?”

#PTMD

The fact is, this team hasn’t had anyone with a goddamn personality for YEARS.  You want Wonder Bread David Wright?  You got him!  Any flashy players who show an iota of a personality are kicked the curb and chased out of town.

Look at Ike Davis, and he started his career with a bang in Pittsburgh.  Yes, I know it’s a small sample set.  But a change of scenery looks to be helping his Valley Fever or whatever the hell was ailing him.

The truth is, perhaps Davis was suffering what a lot of former Mets players who are kicked the curb or given the slam treatment after leaving town: Walter Mittyitis. And if we’re not careful, that’s exactly what’s gonna happen to Matt Harvey. The Mets are intent on driving away the only talented guy they have on the team, for fear that OMG WHAT WILL WE TELL THE CHILDREN actually matters.

Look at other teams.  Ryan Braun returned to the Brewers with little to no fanfare after a suspension.

His teammate instigated a bench clearing BRAWL, and no one gives a shit.  Except for maybe the “purity of the game” sanctimonious pricks.

And soon, I think Alex Rodriguez will finish his career and people will quiet down about him too.

When you stop having fun, it’s time to quit.  And good for Harvey for recognizing it.  Yet, the same people who forced him into a corner are also the same folks who are trying to make players more accessible and personable to fans.  Something that has been missing for years, decades even.  You can’t have it both ways.  Otherwise, I’m gonna see David Wright and Daniel Murphy sharing cookies and milk and playing checkers instead of the players having fun.

I’ll be talking about this and a lot more on the Mets Lounge podcast tonight at 4 pm ET.  I had to bump the start time a bit earlier, so I could drink at the cocktail hour at the Mets game social hour I’m attending.  I definitely want to be sober for my rants.

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CitiField Memories With Coop and Rich – TONIGHT! TICKET GIVEAWAY!

Coop_rich No Mets games tonight, and none till Friday **night**??? Whatever shall we do???

Have no fear, the Coop is here!

Hang out in the Mets Lounge tonight, with good friend Rich Sparago, twitter personality and Rising Apple contributor, at 9 pm ET tonight!

Grab a martini, a beer, or a margarita (like me) and listen to us as we discuss happy days at CitiField.  Yes, there have been a few.  But also a reminder that good days will be here again.

Here is an incentive…come hang in the chat room, and ask us questions…or better yet DIAL IN!  Share your CitiField memories.

I have TWO Caesar GOLD tickets for next Tuesday 4/22 game against the Cardinals.  So yes, I am bribing you to dial in tonight to talk to us.

When Coop and Rich get going on the Mets, there’s no telling where the conversation will take us.  So grab a brew, take a seat, and hang out with the cool kids tonight!

I Am The Warrior

ImageI haven’t watched pro-wrestling since the late ’80s, early ’90s maybe.  I remember as a kid, my cousin and I would play in our grandma’s backyard, and pretend to be our favorite wrestlers.  I forget who we were, but I was probably Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka and he might have been Hulk Hogan a few times.  We’d play our “entrance music,” slap “high fives” with the tree branches, and make our way to the “squared circle” (usually the trampoline).  We’d pretend to beat the crap out of each other (or sometimes, for real) as our wrestlers.  Then we’d play with our WWF action figures.

That’s how old school I am.  I used to watch the old World Wrestling Federation (now World Wrestling Entertainment, which was good for me as a change, since I was probably one of those geeks who got all excited then simultaneously disappointed when the WWF stood for “World Wildlife Foundation”).  This was right around the time Hulk Hogan got famous.  Then everyone got in on the party.  The Iron Sheik. Nikolai Volkoff (I think that’s how his name was spelled).  Old timers like Bruno Sammartino and Gorilla Monsoon.  Tony Atlas. Shawn Michaels before he was the Heartbreak Kid.  All Vince McMahon’s vision.

Before The Rock became a household name (even prior to being movie star Dwayne Johnson), there was another Rock known as a Blade Runner.  You may remember his tag team partner, Sting, who went to become one of the most famous wrestlers.  But Rock turned into the Dingo Warrior, and then ultimately “Warrior.”  The Ultimate Warrior.

Like The Rock after him, I think fans were getting antsy about being told who to “like” and who to “boo.”  The good guys, the bad guys.  There was always a defined role.  The Warrior was different.  Like his contemporary, Randy “Macho Man” Savage, they didn’t give a crap who cheered or booed them. 

Something about Warrior drew me to him.  I wouldn’t say I was his biggest fan, but I certainly remember his matches.  His infamous WrestleMania match with Hulk Hogan.  Him beating the Honky Tonk Man, whom I LOATHED. 

Then I guess I became too cool for school and stopped watching pro wrestling entirely.  I have to say, it was easy to keep up with the story lines, especially since that cousin I referred to earlier still followed it somewhat religiously.  I knew enough about the characters that one time I played “Shag, Marry or Throw off a cliff” my theme was pro wrestlers: Chris Jericho, The Rock, and Hulk Hogan, respectively. 

Clearly, something rang with Warrior, who embraced this persona to the nth power.  Fans, even if they didn’t love him, appreciated him and his value to the brand.  In his post-wrestling career, he gave inspirational talks.  He was a family man.  And like many pro wrestlers before him, left us all too soon. 

Image

It’s easy with Twitter and Facebook to follow the goings-on each Monday night or any Pay-Per-View spectacular like WrestleMania or Survivor Series (does that even exist anymore?). But what I did know that the last WWE Hall of Fame induction, Ultimate Warrior rose once again.  Then he made an appearance on RAW to give what was to be his last inspirational talk. 

Every man’s heart one day beats its final beat, his lungs breathe their final breath and if what that man did in his life makes the blood pulse through the body of others and makes them believe deeper in something larger than life, then his essence, his spirit will be immortalised.

James Brian Hellwig was Warrior’s birth name, but he legally changed it several years ago.  He was only 54 years old.  He was younger than my parents.

You don’t know where life will take us.  We can literally be here one minute, and gone the next.  This was true with Warrior, as he blew up Twitter several times this week, the last time what pretty much anyone who followed his career hoped to be a cruel hoax.

I can’t help but wonder, from my point of view where I worshipped these legends as a child, that someone, somewhere has failed them.  If we think about the late ’70s/early ’80s, and senseless substance abuse deaths like John Belushi or Douglas Kenney from National Lampoon, I feel as if in a way that pro wrestlers seem to take the fall. 

Like Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler, his only identity in being Randy “The Ram” Robinson gave him life, but also was his demise. 

I don’t know how Warrior died, but these men tend to leave us way too soon.  I wish I had paid closer attention to his last few appearances, but so goes life I suppose.  We are each one day closer to our last breath.  And his was just ironically too soon after we all saw whom many of us recalled as an old friend. 

Post-Traumatic Mets Disorder Therapy Session

How do Mets fans face their problems?  Head on, apparently.

Join me and Metstradamus (that pic below was just taken Monday), tune into the Mets Lounge podcast (where the cool kids hang out) at 9 pm ET tonight, and up your alcohol or Xanax intake as we discuss some of the most painful post-traumatic Mets disorder moments in our lifetime, and some beyond.  If you can’t listen to talk on 2006, 1988 or Black Friday, you might want to listen in installments.

The Mets make us drink...or do we drink because we're Mets fans?

The Mets make us drink…or do we drink because we’re Mets fans?