Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Pea-Nut Gallery on Johan

So, I've decided to come up with a new fan club or exclusive membership club or something. I'm gonna call it the "Pea-Nut Gallery." This of course has a double-entendre. It's a culmination of peeps, really, who I might post their views from time to time. Voila - comments from the "Peanut gallery."

I am also making a club for those of us who want Omar to extend Oh Pea NOW, as opposed to later...or at least make an attempt to, even though the rumor is that Pea would rather play somewhere on the West Coast or down in the Southwest. (I don't have a link but several sources have verified that for me). If you are on Facebook, join the Omar, Re-Sign Ollie to a 4-Year extension NOW forum.

That said - we are all "Pea Nuts." The PEA-NUT GALLERY EVERYONE!!! w00t!

Anyhoo...

In case you missed it...here, there, here, there, and pretty much everywhere...

Johan Santana is thisclosetobeing a Met.

Now, I know that Yankee fans must be pissed off...because this is the reaction I get...this nonchalant kind of response like...Well, at least he's not in the AL anymore.

You guys can have him.

Best pitcher around? I disagree.

I'm done with Cashman.

Red Sox fans have felt that they didn't need him anyway...just glad the Yankees didn't get him.

Now for Mets fans...as good as this could potentially be, I still get some negative nellies out there.

This wasn't all Omar's doing was my favorite response.

To that I respond...WHAT THE FUCK?!?!?!? No, little fairies orchestrated this dance. Please.

Next is...I hope he didn't gut the farm.

Well, that was pretty much my assessment too...before I found out the deal. Keeping Pelf AND F-Mart...that makes the Coop very very tingly.

My home away from home, Flushing University, has some great threads here and here on the deal. Should be hopping for next 48 hours.

In fact, I got yelled at for writing something to the effect tha I was waiting for the press conference...I immediately got a phone call.

WHEN!?!?!?!?!?!?

Ummm...I know as much as you do?

Harumph.

Check out Blondies Jake's radio show, There it is, and today's show which featured our buddy Brooklyn Met Fan. (Good job guys)

Will be back when there is more news to report. Until then...leave your thoughts on whether you would be down to a Miami trip for the Mets road opener. Sassdawg and I were thinking of arranging something.

PS For my #2 fact about The Coop, the towns are Hoboken and FREEHOLD. Bruce's music roots are in Asbury...he grew up in Freehold. Metsgrrl will back me up on this. So will Mr. E, who used to hang out with him.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

It's Always Darkest Before Dawn

As a lifelong Mets fan, certain things stay with you. Battle scars, if you will, when you experience them together, at the time, it's terrible...but in the long run, it helps build character and strengthens bonds.

If you go back through the history of the Mets, there is a certain time or place that you identify with as a generation of fans. For my dad's and Uncle Gene's generation, it's the Tom Seaver trade, or the "Midnight Massacre" as it's called. The Seaver was absolved by a few things, but several years later...by the Wilpon and Doubleday team buying the team in 1980, hiring Frank Cashen who in turn made the Mets a force to be reckoned with. That and the bad ass team winning the World Series in 1986.

My generation though, we are unique in our bonds. Many of us were too young to fully appreciate the World Champion 1986 Mets and were gifted with not having to go through the truly bad times like Mr. E and Uncle Gene did. We had a World Championship but then...Kevin Mitchell was traded. World Series hero Gary Carter had knee injuries. Dwight Gooden went into rehab. Multiple times. Darryl Strawberry decided to pick fights with Keith Hernandez.

But we had another exciting run under Bobby Valentine and Mike Piazza in the late 90s. But then came the Robbie Alomar, Mo Vaughn and Jeromy Burnitz years. The Art Howe error. Still, the team was boring, not rip-your-heart-out-of-your-ass terrible.

Our hope was represented in young fireball thrower Scott Kazmir. Then that hope was ripped out of our ass. "Black Friday" would go down in history as one of the worst days in Met history. Not to mention, it ranked up there with my generation of Mets fans as our "Midnight Massacre." Finally, something to bond us with the old farts.

Everyone was playing CYA from Wilpon on down to the clubhouse manager. Jim Duquette was the ring leader of the then Big Pussy's Posse, but...something magical occurred. Fred Wilpon finally grew a sack and brought us one Omar Minaya.

Omar Minaya had the purported "full autonomy" that we fans wished the Sterling Equities Group would have given anyone.

And with the "full autonomy" came Pedro. Carlos Beltran. Ballsy trades. A new generation of Mets. The "New" Mets, as Beltran called it. Couple that with the new hopes of the Mets, Jose Reyes and David Wright, and finally, though they didn't make the postseason in 2005, we had a new hope. A reason to go to Shea Stadium and not be lulled asleep.

Excitement. Then came 2006.

And then came 2007.

But if you look back in Mets history, you will see a recurring theme. That the ties the bind us, the very things that make us Mets fans -- the pain, the suffering, the knowing of both, then joy of winning and the agony of defeat -- all get washed away eventually. There is something that will say -- well if the bad times didn't happen, I wouldn't have gotten to the good times.

Tom Seaver came back to the Mets in 1983 and retired a Met...forever. Dwight Gooden came up through the ranks shortly after Seaver's last Mets stint along with Darryl Strawberry and made the Mets a powerhouse.

Scott Kazmir was traded. But it was addition by subtraction. Omar Minaya came to the Mets.

Everyone said we couldn't get Pedro.

We did.

No one believed Carlos Beltran would sign with the Mets after his stupendous postseason in 2004.

He did.

After the collapse of 2007, something monumental needed to happen. I didn't know what. I was fully willing to go into 2008 with the team we have and hope upon hope they'd get their collective heads out of their ass.

But...oh boy. I can't hold it in any longer. Ladies and gentleman, I present to you...

Johan Santana, ace of the 2008 Mets pitching staff. And hopefully, beyond.

Because when you are a Mets fan, if nothing else you have to believe.

And after the collapse, Mr E, Uncle Gene, Metsgrrl and her TBF, Zoe, SNK, Dykstraw...all of us didn't know how to feel.

Now, our generations have that tie that bind us. Can it be washed away by Santana? Absolutely!
Now I just have to wait to see him in his Mets jersey in the press conference at Shea. And in 15 days, when P's and C's report, Santana will be there, with his goofy grin and soulful eyes, ready to throw some strikes.

I had lost hope. But I believe again.

Ya gotta believe. And somewhere, Tug McGraw is smiling.

TOMORROW: Comments from the Peanut Gallery on the Johan Santana Trade. By the way, did I mention he will be a MET this year?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?????!!!!!!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Coop's Eight Random Things

OK, I got tagged as it seems by My Summer Family buddy, Toasty Joe, about posting eight random facts about myself. Well, I was having a hard time coming up with random things about me, since I am pretty open about everything here. And apparently, I need to flag eight "victims" myself.

Well, I thought long and hard and thought of a few. Let me throw some shit to the walls here, see if it sticks.

1.) In pics, most of you have seen that the Coop is blonde. However, I have not seen my real hair color in over 17 years.

2.) Most readers know The Coop is a lifelong Jersey resident. However, she has lived in two towns of the most influential music icons from the Garden State. See if you can guess who. (HINT: Not Jon Bon Blow-me)

3.) Quite possibly, the Coop's favorite food is chocolate -- chocolate cake, chocolate chip cookies, candy bars, etc. However, Coop hates chocolate ice cream. Well, not hate. I just prefer vanilla. And I hate Cold Stone, Marble Slab and those new found ice cream "bakeries" and "confectionaries." Gimme a Mr Softee soft vanilla cone any day, any week, any time.

4.) The Coop had LASIK surgery in 2002, after being pretty hazy in vision since middle school. She now sees better than 20 / 20.

5.) The Coop has seven tattoos, in case you have not read that here and here. My dream tattoo, however, is to get a likeness of Bono (of U2, folks, not Sonny) somewhere on my arms. It is also a well-documented fact that if I were to ever meet Paul David Hewson (aka Bono) in person, I would promptly get on my knees and kiss his feet. (PS Metsgrrl knows this fact already)

6.) The Coop's favorite book: The Great Gatsby. Coincidentally, the author F. Scott Fitzgerald is also from Jersey.

7.) The Coop isn't afraid to go to movies alone. In fact, why anyone needs a companion to a film is beyond me. You can't exactly talk in the theaters or socialize. But I almost prefer to go by myself and don't care if people think I'm a crazy lady for laughing at Superbad by myself.

8.) The Coop played the flute in her high school band (and grade school band). I also used to take singing lessons but now am completely tone deaf (just ask Zoe about karaoke).

Bonus Fact: I have never attended Spring Training before. I have plans and tickets to go this year with Zoe as well. SNK will be there too. Which leads me to...

My next victims...Tag, you're it!

SassDawg
SNK
BMF
Joe D from Metsmerized
Debmc
Uncle Johnny
JP from Blastings! Thrilledge
Ken Dynamo

Sunday, January 13, 2008

I Really Have Nothing To Root For Now

OK so I root for three New York teams - The Mets are number one, Rangers second, then Jets are a pretty distant third. I lack such emotional investment in them, if they win -- cool. If not, whatev.

Now I can honestly say that I don't hate the Giants...but I will never root for them. Even today, surrounded by a bunch of them.

But I can say this...I do have a ginormous crush on Peyton Manning of Indianapolis. I was thrilled last year in the Super Bowl that I actually had a reason to watch.

Now that his team was eliminated...Well, Eli is not a close or distant second. I might as well stab my eyes out.

Anyway, I'll watch the Bowl this year, like I normally do. But once again, I'll probably be paying attention to the food, the commercials and any cute boys who may be single and at the same party I am at.

BUT -- there is a happy note here. Sort of.
As many of you remember, I made a pact at the beginning of the season with friends at Brooklyn Met Fan, that if the Mets won the World Series this year, a bunch of us would ink our loyalty on our bodies forever with some kind of Mets logo.

Well, I couldn't do that this year...but that doesn't mean I can't get #7.

Check out my new ink - it means OM, like the yoga chant. Now, if only baseball season would start soon...Go Rangers till then.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Miscellaneous Shiznit

It's been pretty boring to be a Mets fan. It could be worse...you could like hockey more than baseball. I made the mistake of going to the Rangers / Flyers game last night...with a big Philly sports fan. Actually, he was not a big hockey fan and even was wearing a freebie Ranger cap we got. But I was surrounded by lots of action in the stands so I was entertained to say the least.

But of course this is a Mets fan site, so I'll keep it brief. After all, if I hear one more damned Johan Santana rumor, I'm gonna flip. I'm not gonna bore you with my details but I will say that my buddy Brooklyn Met Fan puts it into perspective here. I basically agree with everything he writes. I'm sorry, I don't care if God herself is coming over by trading away basically the entire farm, I don't trade these guys for Santana. My issue is this -- what IF Santana gets hurt? Seriously. There is no Plan B, Plan C or Plan X. We are putting all our eggs in Santana's basket basically and it's not gonna work. In fact, I see this becoming Mike Hampton Part II, where we trade away a bunch of guys for a dude who's gonna leave for the "better schools" in Colorado.

Enough.

Don't get me wrong. I heart Johan. Love him to be a Met. But let's wait. If he's serious about playing in New York AND in the National League, he'll be in orange and blue in no time.

Now for you naysayers who say we need more pitching, or a formidable I say HOGWASH. For one, do I have to say there are no true aces out these days? Shit, if the best we can do is Joe Blanton, I'd rather make do with what we have.

We had not one but TWO aces on the team last year and mark my words, they are going to get BETTER. And notice no one is exactly picking up Livan or Bartolo or any of those other guys who basically are glorified jock strap carriers...I heard Bartolo was looked at and basically turned away by the Mets due to arm issues. We will have two Hernandezes on the team come Opening Day. And they'll have the same father. Or some shit.

So other news...Dirty Sanchez signs a one-year deal. Who didn't see that one coming? I mean, we need the BP arms, Dirty owes us, this was a no-brainer. The word is that Dirty is back and dirtier than ever. We'll see for ourselves once the season starts...I'm not too concerned about this move. Whatever.

Now some other grumblings in the offseason of healing have to do with Fat Ass Delgado. I mean Carlos Delgado. Actually, did you know Delgado means "Skinny?" Hat tip to my buddy Eddie in Section 10. But I digress. I was never 100% for Delgado being traded here but it turned out to be the right move at the right time and I was happy by 2007 that he was on the team.

Of course that all changed last year when he forgot how to fucking hit. But the problem wasn't his batting average...that's stayed relatively level over the years. Let's talk about his fucking RBIs. I know, I'm ancient because I still pay attention to that shit. But when there is a 20+ RBI drop off from 2006 to 2007, guess what? All those games we lost by 1 run, all those RISPs, grounding weakly into a double play...that had a huge effect.

I would dare say, Carlos Delgado is the deal maker or breaker in 2008.

He better be up for the challenge.

I have nothing else for now...I'll be up and running at Flushing University again soon. I've just been so uninspired lately. But I'm starting to get pissed off again. So that should spur some good art.

In the meantime, you should visit some friends of Coop!

Metsgrrl has her ticket manifesto up. It's pretty brilliant. Kudos girl (or grrrl)!

Ken Dynamo over at Go Mets Die Braves goes off on a Phillies blog.

Uncle Addy at Metsmerized discusses how slow the offseason is and his ideas for endorsements. The Coop chimes in with her endorsements for Carlos Beltran's massengill and Jose Reyes for ritalin.

See you in a couple days...Peace and love y'all.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New Years Metsolutions

So I think if there is one thing Mets fans can agree upon about 2007...

It sucked ass.

But it wasn't always so bad. We seem to forget the Mets were two wins away from taking the division and going to the playoffs. There were some other highlights as well -- buddy Joe Janish over at Mets Today does a fine job illustrating that.

So those of us in the real world, waiting for pitchers and catchers to report (44 days as of today), we are making New Years Resolutions. Based on how the Mets turned out in 2007, after raising our expectations from 2006, they need to come through on a few resolutions themselves.

Most of us say we will lose weight, become better people, eat right, save money. The Mets need to do the following to get back in their fans good graces.

1.) Carlos Delgado needs to find his bat. I have a milk carton....with a picture of Carlos Delgado's bat. Where did it go? I would go so far to say one of the major reasons the Mets didn't come through in the clutch or at all was the missing bat of Delgado. Delgado's bats need to become less afraid, offer some rum and a cigar to Jobu...and maybe, just maybe, he can start paying attention to his notes in his black composition notebook.

2.) Jose Reyes needs to get his head out of his ass. We have the point/counterpoint argument about who is infintely more valuable to the team: David Wright (.325/.416/.546) or Jose Reyes (.280/.354/.421)? On paper, Wright is the overall better player - he hi 30 HRs, drove in 107 runs, and was a Gold Glove winner (though that is up for debate, but I'll take it). Jose Jose Jose, though...he is the catalyst. There is a saying -- as Jose goes, so goes the Mets. When Jose slumped at the end of the season, he took the team's initiative and success with him. There's a reason -- Jose is that good. And that's power. We need him to get better and play like he did pre-All Star Break. And to run out all ground balls. I think Willie should invoke the Willie "Mays" Hayes action on his ass.

3.) Ollie and Maine need to anchor the staff. Back in the days of Seaver and Koosman, the Mets had a formidable 1-2 punch. Bruce Hurst and Roider Clemens were the 1-2 punch of the 86 Red Sox. The Mets had four of those that year. Lookin at now -- many pitching staffs in MLB lack an ace, let alone two. Pea and Johnny had 15 wins each, and one of them I feel can easily replace Glavine's missing production. We need to coddle them and expect more. They can do it.

4.) Mo' bullpen help, please. The difference between the Mets of 2006 and 2007 was the BP. Losing Darren Oliver, Chad Bradford and Heath Bell managed to bite the team in the ass all season as Oliver and Bradford performed formidably and Bell found a second chance in his hometown of San Diego. The Mets also goofed by keeping Guillermo Mota and offering Scott "Just Forfeit" Schoeneweis the contract Bradford should have gotten, furthermore, misusing Pedro Feliciano and Aaron Sele more than once. So this offseason, Schoeneweis aint going anywhere, but getting rid of Mota was addition by subtraction. Minaya, once again, is getting reclamation projects with the likes of Andy Cavazos and Matt Wise. The best news yet: we still don't have Mota. Do I need to bring this up again?

5.) Health. Jose Reyes had a piece in the New York Times about his conditioning in his hometown in Dominican Republic. Pedro Martinez was injured 5/6 of the season last year and seems to be hungry for revenge. The most powerful man on the Mets, Duaner Sanchez, needs to get back and get dirty. Carlos Beltran needs to keep his quads healthy. Luis Castillo, Moises Alou...guys who need to eat their Wheaties early and often. We have a healthy year, we have a healthy year in more ways than one. The End.

6.) Omar needs to get his full autonomy back. Trading Lastings Milledge was not a move Omar Minaya would have made without some kind of "encouragement." If Omar has any balls, he needs to tell the Wilpons to shove it. Sign the checks, Fred. Sign the checks. Stay out of the transaction end.

This seems to be a formidable and actionable list for the Mets to follow through on. And I am not one of those fans who thinks Omar Minaya needs to make a big splash but by regaining his full autonomy, I think we will see a good team out there this year. I have hope. I am a Mets fan. I believe.

Fuck 2007. Bring on 2008.