Archive for Met-Lovin’ Big Shots

Put It In The Books

mbtn-cover1Quick reminder that the all-new, totally updated METS BY THE NUMBERS hits physical and virtual bookstores any day now, and we’re kicking off the festivities officially on Tuesday, June 14 with a reading, Q&A and book signing at Word Books, conveniently located near MBTN Headquarters in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Word is located at the corner of Franklin & Milton streets — a short walk from the Greenpoint Ave. stop on the G train.

The event starts at 7 p.m. NBC Sports and Rotoworld’s D.J. Short will host, and guests include yours truly along with Greg Prince, author of the magnificent Faith & Fear in Flushing blog and the newly published fan chronicle of the 2015 season, AMAZIN AGAIN. We’ll have beer and Crackerjacks on hand and plans to head to a local watering hole to catch the Mets on TV afterward.

MBTN the book, again with contributions from Matthew Silverman, has been completely updated from the first edition which published in 2008, with details and history of more than 300 new players, all new photos, stats and sidebars including a history of the Mets uniform. Order now and get it in time for Father’s Day. Order extra ones in case it rains.

Facebook events page here.

16Hey, how about a big hand for returning hero Eric Campbell, who got the “lucky dog” promo for today’s double-dip in Pittsburgh? No? How about congratulating Rene Rivera for seemingly wrestling the No. 1 catching duties from struggling (again) Kevin Plawecki? New third baseman Wilmer Flores? New center field stud Alejando De Aza? Summer’s getting warm.

 

  • Twitter
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo Buzz
  • StumbleUpon

Right Back Atcha, Banny

  • Twitter
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo Buzz
  • StumbleUpon

And Another Thing

Well, the Internet debut of “New York Mets” (aka ‘We Want a Hit’) as posted below has made a small splash that we hope was heard out in Flushing but you never know with these Mets. In the story recounted at UniWatch, I was in the process of making a kind of Internet mix tape at the wonderful streaming site Rdio.com featuring artists who were also Mets fans.

Probably my favorite of these are the Hoodoo Gurus, the zany garage-pop rockers from Australia. As described in this interview by Zisk Magazine, Dave Faulkner, the Gurus’ singer, founder and songwriter, is a big fan of the orange-and-blue, having lived for a time in New York in the mid-1980s, where the energy and success of the Mets must have been a major source of inspiration for someone who’s talent was rocking. Posted below is the video for “What’s My Scene” from the Gurus’ 1987 album Blow Your Cool. Faulkner has remarked this is one of his favorite compositions “because it has two choruses when only one is necessary.” I like the video for the costume change at 2:47 and how it gets me pumped up from the very start. Thanks, Gurus, for being on our side.

By the way, be sure to check out the recent post on UniWatch revealing the first wearer of the Mets jersey: Don Zimmer.

  • Twitter
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo Buzz
  • StumbleUpon

We Want a Hit

I keep getting delayed in my attempt to write a season preview, a book review and a few other things but I dropped everything today when I heard this song for the first time. The artist is The Duke of Iron, also a new name to me, but apparently not to New York area Calypso fans in the 1940s, 50s and 60s. In celebrating we fans’ love of the team in spite of its foibles, I thought the Duke aka Cecil Anderson, who died in 1968) captured the spirit perfectly, as does the sound.

I was so inspired to share, I downloaded the song tonight and whipped up the accompanying video from stuff I had lying around. Enjoy!

  • Twitter
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo Buzz
  • StumbleUpon

Coming Soon to a Theater Near You

You wanted to see me Sir?

 

Yes, come on in. We got to do a sports movie and I was wondering what you can get out of this. (tosses book onto the desk)

 

Faith and Fear in Flushing, by Greg W. Prince?

 

That’s the one.

 

Terrific book, sir, I’ve read it myself. And I…

 

They say it’s like ‘Fever Pitch’

 

That’s a fine comparison, Sir. Hornby and Prince are both outstanding writers whose works examine how a passion for a sports team becomes an inextricable part of who we are.

 

Hornby? Who the hell is Hornby? I’m talking about Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Kimmel.

 

Jimmy Fallon, Sir.

 

Whatever. Can we get Ben Affleck to play the lead?

 

Of Greg? I get more of a Paul Gamatti vibe…

 

We’re not going for Academy Awards here, son. We’re making a sports movie. And get Matt Damon to play his sidekick, Jason. ‘Lethal Weapon’ meets ‘Bull Durham’ I like it.

 

Well, boss, this is more of a love story.

 

Then get Drew Barrymore to play the girl.

 

I’ll call her agent.

 

And write in a little more drama. Have him have to win her from a Yankee fan. Or maybe from the Matt Damon guy. That’s the kind of spice this picture needs.

 

But Sir, you don’t understand. It was love at first sight between these two. In some ways, it mirrors the burgeoning relationship between the boy and his team, one that continues to this day.

 

She doesn’t have to compete for his love with the team?

 

Nope. It’s about devotion in good times and bad. It’s about what it feel like to be uplifted in 1986 and to bear witness to 1993, on 15 separate occasions.

 

Well then who’s the bad guy?

 

Oh, there’s lot of them, Sir. There’s Cesar Cedeno, M. Donald Grant, Benji Molina, Joe Grahe, Keith Lockhart … Page 157 is full of villains from the 1988 postseason alone and it pointedly doesn’t even include Mike Scioscia.

 

So this Scioscia fellow is innocent?

 

No, guilty as sin, Sir. It’s just one of many instances in this book where even hard-core fans will be reminded of how much more there were to the stories we all experienced than what may remain in popular memory. This is the testimony of a writer who has seen much, and forgotten little. Quite remarkable.

 

Yes, yes. But these bad guys? They all get it during the Big Game at the end, don’t they?

No sir. This is a story of the Mets. They’ve won the Big Game quite infrequently, as a matter of fact.

So it’s a tearjerker?

Certainly, some is. It reminds us that baseball, like life, often is a hard thing to endure. We might see ourselves as the awkward child who humiliates himself in a chance meeting with his hero — or the awkward adult whose Mets gear draws idiotic responses in the supermarket. And the story of a loved one with whom we’ve had complicated relationship dying of a terrible disease? Yeah, that one just might hit home. Thanks to the Mets, we all know what it feels like to look at a called strike 3.

Maudlin don’t sell popcorn, kid. Punch it up some.

Don’t need to Sir. It’s actually quite funny throughout. I particularly enjoyed the lighthearted but vicious gutting of Yankee fans in Chapter 23. I’ve taken it upon myself to contact the agent for Stuttering John Melendez.

I see. So how does it end?

They lose the Big Game – and for the third year in a row. Only, and I believe this is the central point, we don’t have to feel bad about ourselves because of it. And we needn’t be ashamed, because that’s what being a fan is all about. This is a story about loving the endings, some happier than others. It’s about being a Met fan. It’s about us.

(Summer 2010)

BEN AFFLECK DREW BARRYMORE PRINCE OF FLUSHING MATT DAMON PAUL GAMATTI and JOHN MELENDEZ as ‘THE UNCLEVER TOOL’ BASED ON THE MEMOIR ‘FAITH & FEAR IN FLUSHING’ BY GREG W. PRINCE

  • Twitter
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo Buzz
  • StumbleUpon

Would You Buy a Book from this Man?

That’s a request, not a rhetorical question. As many of the readers here know, Greg W. Prince, who co-authors the outstanding Mets blog Faith & Fear in Flushing, has come out with a new book, also called Faith & Fear in Flushing and aptly subtitled An Intense Personal History of the Mets.

I will contribute a full reveiw when I’m finished reading it (I’m up to 1987 now, congratulations on meeting your wife, Greg) but thought now would be a good time to replay my explosive two-part interview with Greg that ran in this space last year. I was way out ahead of the market in declaring Greg a Big Shot then.

I had a fair amount of self-interest in doing this: In addition to pushing my own book, I was also hoping to understand how the heck he does it. The answer: He just does.

Here’s Part 1

Here’s Part 2

Enjoy!

* * *

I consider it good news that Freddy Garcia has agreed to extended spring training and/or a minor league assignment. He obviously wasn’t pitching up to his standards, but perhaps at some point he will, and with the kinds of starts the Mets pitchers have been turning in lately, depth is going to be an issue over the course of a long season. Valerio de los Santos was released and Rule 5er Rocky Cherry — I was rooting for that guy — went and signed with Boston.

* * *

Thanks to those who showed up my chat last night in Roslyn; and to Victor and Rosemary for helping to set it up; and to my sister Jennifer for putting me in touch with them.

  • Twitter
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo Buzz
  • StumbleUpon

Who Do You Love

Welcome back, Ryan Church. The brain-damaged Mets right fielder returned Friday after a lengthy absense while superfluous catcher Robinson Cancel was sent back down to AAA. A more difficult, Obama-picks-a-running-mate type question faces the Mets on Saturday, when unpopular second baseman Luis Castillo is expected to return from an extended break during which he was barely missed.

To be honest the solution ought to be clear if painful —Argenis Reyes for all his good press isn’t the kind of hitter you couldn’t do without for a few days and to my knowledge only plays second base, so Castillo is probably an upgrade. Castillo in fact makes fewer outs than either Reyes or Damion Easley, and if actually and finally healthy, then he’s the player they probably ought to have out there. A strong offensive showing out of the gate is essential though.

If Reyes won’t go down you wonder how seriously they’re ready to consider Duaner Sanchez who clearly isn’t the same as he once was, while Luis Ayala is (what he was once but wasn’t recently).

Met-Lovin’ Big Shot George Thorogood is a guest on this week’s episode of Mets Weekly on SNY, airing at 12:30 p.m. Saturday. The SNY people pursued Lonesome George as a profile subject after seeing the interview published here.

  • Twitter
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo Buzz
  • StumbleUpon