Terry Collins Post Game Press Conference

Terry Collins speaks to the media after the Mets 5-3 win on Tuesday over the Atlanta Braves. Zach Wheeler pitched 6 2/3 strong innings for the win, while Marlon Byrd and Ike Davis homered. Travis d’Arnaud had his first Major League hit.

Posted under Atlanta Braves, Audio Mp3, First Major League, Game Press, Mets, New York Mets, Sounds of the Game, Top Story

This post was written by Joe McDonald on August 21, 2013

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Sports Beat “The Mets Could Use a Buck Showalter”

The American League Division Series mirrored the regular season because in the end the Yankees were a game better than the Orioles.

The fact that the Bronx Bombers won the American League East yet again in 2012 wasn’t unexpected. What was surprising story was how the Baltimore Orioles, long a laughingstock, gave the Yankees a run for the money in both the regular season and in the first round of the playoffs.

After years of looking for quick fixes compiled with a failure to develop young talent, the  O’s farm system finally started to bear a lot of fruit. Talent is one part of the story. The real reason for their success is that their manager, the taciturn Buck Showalter, who longtime Yankees fans remember as the man who preceded Joe Torre as manager, has changed the culture around the Chesapeake River. Losing, which was routinely accepted  by the Orioles organization, would never be tolerated by Showalter. Buck had even complained about the Orioles baseball cap because it bore the face of a smiling bird, which in his mind, is a wimpy mascot.

Mets fans have to understandably be envious of the Orioles. Terry Collins has been managing the Mets longer than Showalter has had the Orioles job. Like Buck, Collins has a no-nonsense personality. He says the right things in his pre and post-game press conferences but I don’t sense even the slightest shift in culture at Citi Field on the part of the players nor ownership since he became the Mets manager two years ago. Frankly, I think that many players tuned him out as they endured their annual post-All Star Game descent in the standings.

From what I hear, Orioles general manager Dan Duquette solicits input from Showalter on player personnel and doesn’t dare make a trade without consulting him. Buck is not reticent about approaching Duquette with a list of needs and expecting them to be addressed. I can’t picture Terry Collins doing the same with Mets general manager Sandy Alderson .

Raul Ibanez has long been one of the best clutch hitters in baseball. Last year the Phillies let him walk when he became a free agent and Yankees general manager Brian Cashman quickly signed him. That’s one reason why the Yankees got to play October baseball and the Phils didn’t  this year.

Ibanez’s two home runs in the pivotal Game 3 of the ALDS made him the toast of New York. That was the nice part of the story. The unpleasant side was how the media seemed to openly celebrate the failures of the man Ibanez pinch hit for, Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod’s career may be in decline but he doesn’t deserve that kind of enmity.

These are heady times for the Brooklyn Nets. Point guard  Deron Williams graces the cover of the current issue of Sports Illustrated while the team will be followed this season on NBA-TV’s  “The Association,” pro hoops answer to HBO’s behind-the-scenes look at the NFL “Hard Knocks,” and the Showtime’s similar treatment of the baseball word few get to witness, “The Franchise.”

The just held New York Comic Con has quietly overtaken its non-related San Diego namesake as the most attended costumed geek fest in America. While it does remain a comic book trade show open to the public as the name implies, it has become a key stop for companies from all over the entertainment spectrum to showcase their wares. CBS brought in key cast members from its sophomore hit, “Person of Interest,” for a panel while ABC and the CW did the same thing for their new fall shows,  “666 Park Avenue” and “Arrow,” respectively.  Fox may have been the smartest TV network at the Javits Center last week as they brought in the cast from “The Following,” a show that will not debut until February. Advance buzz is crucial for films but it’s even more important for a new television show.

Wrestlers have always been live action cartoonish characters and they have always generated long lines of autograph seekers at comic book conventions such as this one. Among the former World Wrestling Entertainment stars who came to New York Comic Con last weekend were Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake, Tito Santana,  Greg “The Hammer” Valentine, and Booker T Huffman who was promoting his autobiography, “From Prison to Promise.” (Medallion Books).

Alex Karras, who passed away last week at the age off 77, was a pioneer in what has now become commonplace–professional athletes becoming entertainers. Michael Strahan owes a large debt to Karras.

Boomer Esiason is a man who never rests. He co-hosts with Craig Carton the very successful WFAN morning drive show;  he is one of the panelists on CBS’s Sunday NFL pre and post-game shows; and he is the radio analyst of Westwood  One’s “Monday Night Football” broadcasts. As if he’s not ubiquitous enough, Esiason has lent his name to the upscale restaurant at Bowlmor, the Times Square bowling and entertainment center. Be sure to try the lamb chops and grilled chicken there.

Speaking of Boomer, I mistakenly gave him one more job in my last column as I said that he was a spokesman for Eight O’Clock Coffee. A PR rep for the company told me that while he enthusiastically discusses Eight O’Clock on his morning show during their live commercial spots, he is not a spokesman for the brand.

After convincingly defeating the 49ers in San Francisco, 26-3, I guess that it’s safe to say that Giants head coach Tom Coughlin is making sure that his team is not resting on its Super Bowl laurels.

The Jets had a great Sunday as well as disappointing running back Shonn Greene finally had a big game racking up 161 rushing yards helping Gang Green dispense of the Colts 35-9.

Jets conrnerback Antonio Cromartie prevented Colts receiver, and long one of the NFL’s best, Reggie Wayne, from having a big day but he was flagged by the refs for four  pass interference calls. Antonio is going to be facing each opposing team’s best wideout in light of Darrelle Revis’s season-ending ACL injury. Jets head coach Rex Ryan answered affirmatively when I asked him during his post-game press briefing whether Cromartie’s pass interference calls is a cost of doing business. Cromartie said that he can prevent those calls although he added with a smile that the referees may have been a bit overzealous at times.

Fox Sports replaced the man of a thousand voices, Frank Caliendo, with another funny guy, Rob Riggle, who hosted this year’s ESPY Awards. ESPN just signed Caliendo to strengthen their Sunday NFL preview show that competes with those of CBS, FOX, and the NFL Network.

If you are looking for golf resorts where you can play beautiful courses at bargain prices, be sure to visit South Carolina from Thanksgiving right through  February when off-season winter hotel rates and green fees kick in at both Hilton Head Island and Kiawah Island. Barring a strong cold snap, you can reasonably expect temperatures there to be in the 60s in late November and early December.

Like many, I am not a fan of electronic greeting cards. A website, www.sincerely.com has created Ink Cards that allows a sender to use their computer to create a physical greeting card that is actually mailed out “old school” with a stamp to the recipient.

In a world of high tech gizmos such as Apple’s Iphone 5 and Samsung’s  Galaxy Note II it’s nice to know that someone can still invent a delightfully simple but very much needed product. A company called Cleanlogic which makes various soaps, lotions, loofas, and exfoliating cloths, has come up with Fresh Drop. The company promises that if you place a drop of this liquid product into your toilet beforehand, it will eliminate all subsequent odors. This is indeed a great country!

Posted under Baseball Cap, Chesapeake, Dan Duquette, Game Descent, Game Press, Lloyd Carroll, Mets Fans, New York Mets, Orioles Baseball, Quick Fixes, Real Reason, Sandy Alderson, Taciturn, Top Story, Wimpy

Baseball Reacts To The Death of Bin Laden

PHILADELPHIA – There was the chant from the 45,000 fans, Sunday night at Citizens Bank Ballpark in Philadelphia. They repeated “U-S-A! U-S-A!, as the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies continued to play a baseball game on a Sunday evening in early May. The game on national television, ESPN, at this point in the season meant more for the Mets who were trying to snap another brief but significant three-game losing streak.

We got word in the press box, through the technology of social media, and the on the press box televisions, that Osama bin Laden had been killed as the Mets were at bat in the top of the ninth inning. Fans checked their phones, and media in the press box went to the CNN and Fox News web sites to verify what was going on.

It was that type of night in Philadelphia, and another memorable one for the Mets as it pertained to the events of September 11, 2001.  “Probably a night I will never forget,” said Mets’ pitcher Chris Young who was back in the training room after pitching seven strong innings.

“I got chills hearing that crowd,” he said, as once again, baseball and the New York Mets were a part of history. “It’s a historic night and a great victory for the United States,” said Young. He wasn’t on the Mets team, neither were any members of the current roster when baseball returned at Shea Stadium 10 days later after the attacks of September 11.

However, as news reverberated around the stadium, and into the ears of the players, coaches, and manager, the events of that night of September 21, 2001 were recalled. Once again baseball was being played but the events taking place were more important.  The Mets and Phillies, rivals in the National league east, just like the Mets and Braves in that game when baseball returned 10 years ago, were no longer rivals.

“This is a good win for us and obviously a huge win for America tonight,” said Mets manager Terry Collins in his post- game press conference with the media. Collins did not immediately talk about the game. The Mets would win in 14-innings, maybe not as dramatic to the Mike Piazza home run at Shea Stadium that beat the Braves that night, when baseball became the healing process for New York City and all of America.

Collins heard the chants. “You almost want to stop the game,” he said. “You almost want to just stop the game and have that girl come and sing another beautiful rendition of ‘God Bless America,’” he said. But the game did not stop. And up in the press box, the media continued to monitor how it all unfolded.

They, too, got caught up in what was now more than reporting about a baseball game. It was news again, historic, as America finally got retribution and took down the most sought after mass murderer of this era. Baseball was still being played but those who lost their lives in New York City, Washington D.C. and in Pennsylvania, the brave military and uniform service personnel, and all who have been a part of this mission, they, were the story this evening.

Baseball was being played as scheduled. The military mission to end this 10-year hunt of searching, capturing, or killing bin Laden on the same night was a coincidence. And the Mets happened to be around this story again, the New York impact where the events of September 11, 2001 were mostly captured.

This was no longer going to be a night when the Mets snapped their latest losing streak and not a story about the Mets avoiding a three-game sweep by the first place Phillies. It was about America, and all the victims, and heroes of that tragic day of September 11, 2001.

And when David Wright of the Mets scored on a double hit by Ronnie Paulino in the top of the 14th inning, for the go- ahead run, there probably weren’t that many still tuned into the game on ESPN. They were watching the network news feeds and determining where do we go from here?  Are the threats against America over?

Probably not we were saying up in the press box. We will still have to be scanned before going into the ballpark, and be conscious of threats to our security. The implications will always be a part of our lives due to that tragic day of 10-years ago.

And for one night again, baseball was a part of the story. Except this time we were not the victims and America stayed strong. Some of us at times wonder why at the ballpark, in particular every seventh inning stretch at Yankee Stadium, do we stand and sing the words, “God Bless America?”

It won’t be questioned again next week at Yankee Stadium, or this week at Citi Field. Baseball was significant for America 10-years ago and again Sunday night May 1, 2011. We cheered what was going on the playing field and more so for those who help keep us protected.

Most of all, we never forget the victims of September 11, 2011.

Email Rich Mancuso: Ring786@aol.com

 

Posted under Baseball Game, Chills, Citizens Bank Ballpark, Cnn, Fox News, Game Losing Streak, Game Press, Mets Team, National League East, National Television, New York Mets, Ninth Inning, Philadelphia Phillies, Phillies Baseball, Rich Mancuso, September 11 2001, Shea Stadium, Top Story

This post was written by Rich Mancuso on May 2, 2011

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Mets To Play Out String Without Johan

New York – Johan Santana is done again in September. It does not matter for the New York Mets now. They started to play out the string a month ago as their playoff chances continued to fade for one reason or another.

But once again, Santana, the ace will not finish the season. The two-time CY Young Award winner has been shut down after an MRI exam result showed a torn antenor on the front and bottom of his pitching shoulder. It was last September 1st when he was shut down to remove bone chips from his left elbow.

“I just hope to recover and hope this will be the end of it,” he said prior to the Mets 8-4 loss to the first place Phillies at Citi Field Friday night. “Get everything fixed,” he would say.  But this was not what the Mets envisioned when GM Omar Minaya signed him to a six-year $137.5 million dollar contract.

It is baseball, the aspects of injuries and a definite risk when signing players to the long term and lucrative deal. However there is that definite opinion that the Mets organization is beset with a hex and not a miracle. All based of course on a recurring string of injuries, last season and now.

Santana again, Jose Reyes more than once, John Maine shut down, and of course the concussion symptoms that may or may not have ended the season for Jason Bay.

In the case of Santana, blame medical personnel of the Mets organization? Perhaps, or it is the case of a pitcher who had thrown too many innings in Minnesota before coming to New York. Whatever the reason, Santana is done and the Mets once again move on to next year.

“I feel he will fulfill those next three years,” said Minaya about the contract. He observed Santana speaking to the media at the pre game press conference.  Again it is another dismal September for Minaya, the Mets and their fans at Citi Field.” Hopefully, we’ll have him back sooner than later,” said Minaya.

Santana will have surgery soon and hopes to recover by January. That may be pushing the button. He will get a second opinion from famed orthopedist Dr. James Andrews.  But we should have known that there was more trouble for the Mets ace when he was lifted after five innings in Atlanta last week because of stiffness.

The Mets said later it was a strained pectoral muscle and Santana would be listed as day-to-day.  Sounds familiar? Have we not heard and seen this before from Mets brass when it comes to the extent of an injury, more so to one of their high profiled players?

So in September again the Mets will show off their home grown talent on the field, and on the mound. In place of Santana is Dillon Gee who made his Major League debut down in Washington D.C. this week and flirted with a no-hitter.

Rookie pitcher Jenrry Mejia (0-4) failed once again to get his first Major League win Friday evening. He remains in the rotation, for the remainder of the string in the stretch of September. A lot to learn and minimal pressure without a pennant race to be concerned about.

Mets manager Jerry Manuel said he has no other options now that Santana has thrown his last pitch in 2010. “At this point we’ll see how he does,” he said about Mejia who observed there needs to be adjustments made when he faces a lineup the second time around.

And for the Mets, adjustments once again in September as they plan for next year with or without Santana on the mound.

e-mail Rich Mancuso: Ring786@aol.com

Posted under Antenor, Bone Chips, Citi, Concussion Symptoms, Cy Young, Cy Young Award, Cy Young Award Winner, Dollar Contract, Exam Result, Game Press, Jason Bay, Johan Santana, Jose Reyes, Last September, Lucrative Deal, Mri Exam, New York Mets, Omar Minaya, Phillies, Playoff Chances, Top Story

This post was written by Rich Mancuso on September 11, 2010