Father’s Day is coming up, and since you already got Dear Old Dad the handy book version of Mets by the Numbers(you did, didn’t you?), and you know how much fun that was, don’t be stumped for a follow-up. My friend and co-author for that work, Matthew Silverman, is out with a fresh take on 100 Things Mets Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die (Triumph, 2010).
This revised and updated copy, which tells the story of the Mets in 100 bite-sized chunks, is loaded with fresh picks at the scabs of recent seasons (the Shea closing ceremony, a Molina vs. Scioscia debate) amid essential pieces on Met trivia, Met stories and Met activity, from Buckner to Benson (Anna, of course). You can find it your local bookstore, or on-line, or get a copy personally inscribed by the busiest Mets writer on the web at MetSilverman.com.
Had a great time over the weekend down in Baltimore where the Mets finally did what they’re supposed to do to a struggling team: Kick ’em while they’re down. The city was filthy with Met fans including a duo I spotted Sunday wearing jerseys bearing the names and numbers of Kelly Stinnett and Dave Telgheder. (In their 1995 versions: 33 and 40, respectively). I don’t know why I didn’t shoot a photo of these guys or at least say hi, but if you’re out there: I tip my hat to you.
Not that a team whose history would produce such fans ought to be taking pity on anyone, but it was kind of sad to see Baltimore so beaten down as a baseball town. I was a Marylander when that park opened and you couldn’t buy a seat weeks in advance: Here they were badly outnumbered by the enemy and the place was half-empty. If there was a franchise that cried out for the kind of jolt Bobby Valentine could provide, this is it. Then again, the Angelos-led organization fumbled away a previous great leader in Davey Johnson.
Got off the 7 train at Willets Point this evening just as they made the rainout announcement. Sucks, but I’d be lying if I said I was exactly up for a few hours of trying to stay dry and warm in Flushing on a cool rainy April evening. I’ll try again next month; the Mets in the meantime have an old-fashioned doubleheader on the schedule for Tuesday.
The doubleheader comes at an interesting time for the Mets, whose wild swings in momentum so far suggest they are still in the process of developing a character. I’d have to look this up to be sure but I’d guess the Mets have had a lousy time at doubleheaders in recent years, which like extra-inning games tend to be rough on the sloppy and unfocused. That said, I’ve been encouraged lately to see the Mets fundamentaling the living crap out of clubs like the Braves, Marlins and Cubs, and as a result I haven’t been surprised to see the breaks going their way too. The idea of taking two games isn’t outrageous, as long as they hit a little.
Mark your calendars now: Amazin’ Tuesday is returning to Two Boots Tavern on the Lower East Side on Tuesday, May 18. Come join me, along with Greg Prince (Faith & Fear in Flushing) and special guests Taryn Cooper (Met fan extraordinaire and author of the My Summer Family blog) and from Chicago, Josh Wilker, the author of the outstanding Cardboard Gods blog and new book of the same name. I will have more to say about the book at a future date but if you’re not familiar with Josh’s project yet you should know he uses baseball cards from his 1970s youth as a launching pad for ruminations on the game and life, it’s astonishingly great, and we’re lucky to be one of the few stops in New York on a tour for a new book that’s been universally lauded.
Two Boots (384 Grand Street) will provide pizza and drink specials; the Mets-Braves game from Atlanta on the big screen; and your first beer free in exchange for any Mets baseball card. Hope to see you there!
Help fight Lou Gehrig’s Disease: Join me the in the Walk to Defeat ALS May 15 or sponsor my team. Thanks!
When a friend asked today how I thought the Mets might do over the next 20 games — a so-called brutal stretch in the schedule during which we see the Rays, Cardinals, MFYankees, Brewers, Phillies and Dodgers, with a make-up game from the Pirates thrown in there — I flippantly suggested 19-1. The Pirates are still on the schedule, after all.
Yes, that’s probably going to go down as a wildly optimistic stab at the road ahead but I think I have a pretty good shot at nailing an underlying trend here: That is, we’re due. I’m thinking here that the horrifying events of the last week or so steel these guys, and they start to put together the kind of run I’d like to think they have in them.Church and Murphy and even Schnieder are starting to hit. We’re beginning at last to have what passes for a “regular” lineup while Reyesand Delgado sit.
Last year, at around this time, Jerry’s Kids started making their own move and, if you’ll again pardon the enthusiasm, I’d like to believe the dumb decisions and passive approaches of April and May manifest thesmelves as experience and self-awareness that will guide them through June, July and August.
I could be wrong through. But is 12-8 too much to ask? All teams will have a stretch of 12 out of 20 at some point, and I’m thinking this could be ours.
Thanks for the folks below confirming that Nick Evans indeed was in uniform No. 6 tonight and shown chatting with Ramon Martinez, who’s on the disabled list but may return in time to find his fourth uni number waiting for him (I’d already forgotten he spent an evening in No. 26 earlier this year, in addition to 6 this year, and 22 last year).
Thanks also to the friends new and old who showed up Thursday at Two Boots Tavern’s “Metstock” event. A good crowd heard a reading of a brillant chapter of Stanley Cohen’s A Magic Summer; several adventures in Faith and Fear; and a dorky guy talk about the unassailable Jeff McKnight. It was all fun till the 9th.
Please join me for pizza, beer and a one-of-a-kind discussion of the Mets next Thursday, June 18, as Two Boots Tavern on the Lower East Side hosts Metstock.
I’ll be discussing the Mets by the Numbers project and will have books on hand to sign and sell (I’ll even sign your pre-owned copy if you bring it along). Also scheduled to read will be Greg Prince, co-writer of the splendid Faith and Fear in Flushing blog and author of the fabulous new book of the same name, and Stanley Cohen, whose 1980s classic revisiting of the 1969 World Champions, A Magic Summer, was recently reprinted by Skyhorse Publishing.
I couldn’t recommend either of my co-presenters’ works any higher. Cohen’s book has long been a favorite of mine, and is updated with a new afterword by the author, commemorating the 40th anniversary of the 1969 World Champions. If you happened to have missed it the first time around, A Magic Summer tells the story of the ’69 Mets by way of the author’s visits with nearly all of the members of that historic team around the time of its 20-year anniversary. Faith and Fear in the meantime tells the “intense personal history” of the Met fan experience through the perspective of the ridiculously eloquent and perceptive Prince.
Two Boots specializes in Cajun-influenced pizza (the name refers to Lousiana and Italy, both boot-shaped) and its decor leaves little mystery as to the owner’s baseball loyalties. The big-screen TVs will be tuned to the Mets at Orioles game. Make your plans!
What: Metstock, 3 Hours of Pizza and Baseball
Where: Two Boots Tavern, 384 Grand St. near Norfolk, 212-228-8685
When: Thursday, June 18, 7-10 p.m.