When it comes to being a New York Mets fan, there really isn’t too much to be proud of. Since becoming a franchise in 62′, the Mets have only won 2 World Series, one of which the Boston Red Sox let roll through their legs. With the lack of accomplishments, Mets fans cherish every moment of greatness they have more than most people normally would. I mean Mets fans still talk about making the 2000 World Series, in which they lost, more than Yankees fans talk about it and they won. Whenever the Mets have a player that is of the Hall of Fame caliber, they become an idol to every one of their fans. Mike Piazza is arguably the greatest Mets player of all time as well as the greatest hitting catcher in MLB history. Piazza’s latest snub from the Hall of Fame is a travesty that has every Mets fan in the world up in arms.
Let’s start with Piazza’s career stats. Mike was the 1,390th pick of the 1988 MLB draft and was originally a First Baseman. His first coach, Tommy Lasorda, told him to learn to play catcher if he planned on ever making it in the Big Leagues. It was a good choice as Mike went on to hit more Home Runs than any other catcher in the history of the game. On top of his HR’s, Piazza won the 1993 Rookie of the Year award and went on a 10 season run from his rookie year to 2002 where he was named to the All-Star team and won the Silver Slugger all 10 years. That alone should have been enough to put him in the HOF. He did make it to another 2 All-Star games giving him a total of 12 and he was named the MVP of it in 1996. Mike had a career batting average of .308, 427 Home Runs and 1,335 RBI’s. How the hell has he been overlooked for two straight years now.
In his first HOF eligible year, Piazza only received 57.8% of the votes and that number was raised this year when he got 62.2%. Unfortunately, you need 75% of the votes to make it into the Hall of Fame. Even though everyone and their mothers know that this overlook is bullshit, Piazza still played the roll of the bigger man when he gave props to the 3 people who did make it this year. After the announcement he tweeted, “Big Congrats to Mad Dog, Tommy and Big Hurt! Well deserved Guys!” He was referring to Greg Maddox, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas, all deserving might I add. Classy move from Mike but I’m sure he would have liked to tweet some other things to the voters who have their heads up their asses.
In a statement released by the Mets, COO Jeff Wilpon called Piazza “a true Hall of Famer…We proudly display his plaque in the Mets Hall of Fame, and we’re hopeful that he’ll soon have one hanging in Cooperstown.” All Mets fans agree Wilpon!
There is some speculation that the reason Piazza had so many people not vote for him was because of his supposed use of PED’s. This is what really pisses me off. Piazza has never tested positive for any illegal drug use and the fact that he has been accused because of the era he played in is complete horse shit. If that is in fact the case, shouldn’t Frank Thomas be given that exact same treatment? In Piazza’s book he even goes on to say that he never used any PED’s, so what are we basing these suspicions on?
Whatever the case may be, the 571 voters better get their shit together next year because the Hall of Fame will lose all credibility by letting obvious inductees like Piazza slip through the cracks.
A few days ago, I wrote about how much I enjoyed the Major League Baseball All-Star game. Seeing the greatest ball players in the world battle it out first in the Home Run Derby, and then the game itself has always been something I’ve found special. Players who don’t often play each other compete while other players who are used to competing with each other team up for one night. In the American League dugout you’ll find rivals like Derek Jeter and David Ortiz playing and cheering on their team for the same purpose. It has always been a lot of fun to watch for me, an avid baseball fan. However, this All-Star game did not live up to my expectations what so ever. In fact, I’ll go even further to say that it absolutely sucked and I had a hard time sitting through and watching the action (even though I saw damn near every pitch).
First of all, the All-Star game itself was boring as hell. Justin Verlander came in and gave up five damn runs in the first inning and the game was pretty much over. All the life was taken out of the game at that point. As a Yankee fan, the fact that my team may finish with the best record in baseball but not get home field in the World Series thanks to Mr. Verlander is a fucking joke. Bud Selig really shit the bed when he made that rule up a few years ago following the infamous tie in 2002. At least if the Tigers make the World Series and don’t get home field, they can look at their own player as a main reason why. However, if any other team like the Yanks, Angels or Rangers make it through to the Fall Classic, how does it make any sense that they won’t get to host the deciding Game 7 in their building. Just look at last year as an example, as the Texas Rangers had to play Game 7 at St. Louis in the World Series and lost to the Cardinals on the road as a result of an exhibition game result. The fact that it was a blow out, and a first inning blow out makes the result even harder to swallow. Major League Baseball, you better check into this and fix it.
Also, why the hell is Tony La Russa managing the NL team? First of all, he is a miserable looking man, with a face that not even his own mother could really love. I understand his team won the World Series last year and that the World Series managers get the privilege the following year, but he retired! Why should he be allowed to call the shots when he doesn’t really have a dog in the fight? Now I know that he won the game but imagine he had to make a decision at the end of the game that would cost a rival of his the ability to play Game 7 at home? What if La Russa had an opportunity to screw over the Brewers or Cubs? Since he has nothing to really gain from any managing decision, there is no reason he should be pressing the buttons in this game. If MLB is going to make the game actually mean something, then they need to be consistent and treat it like it does. La Russa retired from baseball and should have watched the game on his couch like all the other ex managers did.
One of La Russa’s decisions that pissed me off, though ultimately didn’t effect the game too much was not starting R.A. Dickey. Now I am not a Mets fan, but as a fan of baseball, how could anyone not enjoy the year and story that Dickey has put together? Even if La Russa thinks that starter Matt Cain is a better pitcher, he has to understand that everyone wanted to see Dickey come in and throw his knuckleball out of the gate. R.A. got into the game in the middle innings, but by then it was already decided and the anticipation and excitement wasn’t there. Dickey’s numbers dictate that he should have 100% been the starter, as his ERA, WHIP, wins, K’s per 9 innings and hits per 9 innings are all superior to Matt Cain. Awful job by La Russa to not only disallow the best and most deserving pitcher an All-Star start, but by ruining the greatest story in baseball to come around in a long time.
As for the Home Run derby, how the hell can Kansas City Royal fans boo Robinson Cano during the entire competition? Actually, allow me to correct myself. They cheered when he made outs. Robinson, as the AL Derby captain didn’t pick Kansas City Royal Billy Butler to participate in the competition. I understand that fans can be disappointed, but to show the lack of class they did during the Derby is a travesty. Robinson Cano has never said or done anything offensive to anyone. He is a fun loving player who happens to be one of the top 5 in the world. For the Royal fans to boo him to the extent they did during an All-Star game competition which is supposed to be fun is bull shit. Cano tried to play it off like it didn’t bother him, but how could it not? Yesterday at the actual game, Royal fans continued to heckle Cano, even messing with his family in the stands. Now I know that the Royals won’t make the World Series (probably ever in my lifetime), but shouldn’t they be rooting for the American League? Also, it is never acceptable to go after a player’s family for any reason. If the reason is over Billy Butler however, it makes the Royal fans the biggest bunch of morons I have ever witnessed. Billy fucking Butler! Butler’s career high in HR’s is 21! Also, Cano’s American League picks ended up winning the competition so it looks like Robinson made some good decisions. Kansas City Royal fans showed they are the type of fans who breed losing baseball. Is there any wonder that as soon as any Royal player gets good and enters their contract year, they run the hell out of there as fast as possible. If George Brett was a Yankee he wouldn’t even be in their all time top 10. Your team is a joke and so are you.
With that all said, I’m ready for the second half of baseball to kick off. I hope Robinson Cano gets fueled by the haters and explodes in the next few weeks, which I totally expect. I hope the American League World Series representative destroys whoever comes out of the weak National League. I hope R.A. Dickey continues to pitch better than Matt Cain. I hope Tony La Russa finds something else to do with his spare time. I hope Bud Selig grows a brain. But mostly, I hope that Billy Butler and the Kansas City Royals don’t win another game for the rest of their year. Their fans 100% deserve it!
Tonight will be the Midsummer Classic where the best players in the first half of the season from both the American and National League’s face off. Or so we thought. The voting system for the All Star game has been criticized every season because of snubs and undeserving popular players making it through. This season’s voting took the system’s shortfalls to a whole new level of ridiculousness. One city absolutely took advantage of the unlimited fan voting option and completely fucked up what could have been an amazingly competitive game being played by deserving players. The San Francisco Giants organization and fans had nothing better to do this season then stuff the ballots so their sub-par and undeserving players can make the National League starting rotation.
Now I have never had a reason to have beef with San Francisco because my parents lived there and it’s the city where my brother was born, but after this appalling display of over-voting I now consider the city pathetic. The Giants are only two years removed from winning the World Series and after a disappointing 2011 campaign and an average start to the 2012 season, where they trail the Dodgers by a half game in arguably the worst division in baseball, their fans and organization decided to stuff the ballots with their players names so they can represent their team in the All Star game. The Giants have 4 players starting the All Star game tonight, which is more than any other team, and only one of them have the stats to justify their placement.
Let’s start with the biggest travesty. David Wright, of my New York Mets, is having an MVP caliber start to the season and is arguably the best third baseman the game has to offer right now. Somehow he is not in the starting lineup for the NL because of those douche bags in San Fran. The Giants fans got their third baseman, Pablo Sandoval, a.k.a Kung Fu Panda, entered as the starting 3B which is an absolute joke. Sure, Panda is a good player, but he does not deserve to be starting in the All Star game. Wright is batting .351 with 106 hits and 11 home runs and 59 RBI’s through the first half while Pablo has an incomparable .307 BA with only 59 hits, 8 home runs and 30 RBI’s. Yes, you read that correctly, David Wright has as many RBI’s as Panda has hits. What a joke.
Both Buster Posey and Melky Cabrera are also starting for the NL out of the San Francisco organization. I won’t argue for Melky because he actually deserves to be where his based on his stellar start to the season, although we all know it’s a fluke. As for Buster Posey, he probably shouldn’t even be on the NL roster at all this season. Carlos Ruiz, of the Philadelphia Phillies, is having one of the best hitting seasons for a catcher in recent memory. Ruiz has 13 bombs and is batting a remarkable .350. Somehow Ruiz will be watching the first pitch of the All Star game from the dugout while Posey will be the starter with his .289 BA. As a matter of fact, Ruiz leads Posey in every major offensive statistical category and has struck out 16 less times than Posey. So how did Posey get the starting nod over Ruiz? Because San Francisco fans have nothing better to do than fill out All Star ballots and continue on their hippie ways.
The fourth Giants starter for the National League was not a product of their fans shitty voting, but rather a blunder by one of the greatest coaches ever. Tony La Russa, the retired coach of last years World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals, decided to put Matt Cain as the man who will throw out the first pitch for the NL tonight. There is no denying Cain’s ability and I definitely thought he should be the third in rotation, but I and the rest of the world know who should be starting this game. R.A. Dickey has taken the baseball world by storm this season and has the best overall numbers out of any pitcher in baseball. He has the best stats and he has the best story and he plays in the best city, so why isn’t he starting? Because Tony spends most of his free time on the West coast and goes to a lot of Cain’s games. Sure Cain pitched a perfect game this season, but Dickey did something even more rare with back-to-back 1-hitters. Dickey took this decision very professionally but you can tell he was not thrilled about it.
“I’m not going to break down in tears over it, but at the same time I’m a competitor. I want to pitch. I want to start,” Dickey said Monday. “I feel like I had a good enough first half that I should be considered. But I’m not the boss. I don’t necessarily have to agree with him, but I have to respect it. That’s just the way it is.”
La Russa went on to say that the knuckleball is a difficult pitch to catch and Posey would have a hard time with it. So in some ways it is the Giants fans fault for stuffing the ballots with Posey’s name because if Ruiz was starting then La Russa wouldn’t have an excuse.
Regardless of the starters in tonight’s All Star game, I will still find myself cheering on my National League and when the deserving players on the bench make their way into the game I will applaud. As for the San Francisco Giants players in the game, I hope the American League starting pitcher, Justin Verlander, throws them some nasty chin music upwards of 100 MPH. I hope Bud Selig removes all voting privilege’s from the Giants fans for years to come because of the mockery they made of these year’s team.
The Home Run Derby will take place tonight at 8 p.m. from Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. It is one of the sporting events that people either love or hate. Personally, I am infatuated with the Derby. I was brought up in a generation in which we grew up loving the long ball. The longer, higher and farther the ball is hit, the better as far as I am concerned. I am one of those fans who enjoys getting to the park hours before to watch teams taking batting practice and tonight is a glorified, elongated version of that. The contestants are taking their practice cuts and the fans sitting in the outfield are oiling up their gloves. The other All-Stars who are not competing tonight are getting set to sit on the sidelines and watch their peers put on a show. MLB changed the format last year, making the derby a team competition and allowing a team captain to pick the contestants. The captains for this year’s team are Robinson Cano of the Yankees and Matt Kemp of the Dodgers. Each captain asked players around the league and the collection of power that will be on display tonight is fantastic.
For the American League, Jose Bautista, Prince Fielder, Mark Trumbo and Cano will be taking the hacks. Though Bautista, Fielder and Cano are the better known players in the AL, Trumbo is really the player to watch. Of all the competitors, Trumbo averages the longest homerun on the season as his 22 jacks have travelled an average of 419.5 feet. He has also managed to hit the longest homerun of the AL competitors, as he hit a blast 459 feet earlier this season. He is thought to be one of the best raw, young power hitters in the game and if he gets on a roll, watch out!
Last year Robinson Cano won the competition, edging Adrian Gonzalez in a classic final. It was a truly special moment for Cano since his father was throwing the pitches to his son. As a Yankee fan, I am more than aware that Cano is one of the best talents in the league and when he is on a good streak, he has the potential to be as good as anyone. I can easily see him taking this competition again, though I have to give Trumbo the edge because he has power that hasn’t been seen in the league since McGwire and Sosa were hitting 500 ft. shots (that were steroid induced) in the late 90’s.
The National League team will consist of Carlos Beltran, Carlos Gonzalez, Andrew McCutchen and Matt Kemp. Kemp jumped out to an early MVP campaign this year, but has been slowed for the past month and a half due to a hamstring issue. I am shocked that the Dodgers are going to let him compete in the competition, as he hasn’t been playing in any games for them in over a month. He is unquestionably a candidate to win the contest if he is healthy, but I don’t understand the risk involved. The player I am most excited to see is the Pirates youngster Andrew McCutchen. McCutchen is by far the smallest player in the field but he has such unbelievable power due to ridiculous fast twitch muscles that remind me of when Alfonso Soriano was in his prime in the early 2000’s for the Yankees. McCutchen is single-handedly leading the Pirates to a first place record, and his 18 homers are only a small part of his all around game. If the season ended today, he would have to be in the conversation of NL MVP, along with David Wright and the shocking Melky Cabrera. Though McCutchen excites me, I think the top NL performer will be Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies, as his 17 homers this year travel further than the other NL players, averaging 412.8 ft per shot, probably aided by Coors Field conditions.
WIth that said, I think the AL players will dominate tonight and I wouldn’t be expected if every AL player finished with higher totals than the NL’s best. Either way, I’ll be at the edge of my seat and though I am not certain about who is going to win, my official prediction will be Mark Trumbo, followed by Cano (though I will 100% be rooting for Robbie to prevail). With the said, I wouldn’t be shocked if any of the AL players took the trophy home tonight. I am so excited for the competition that I will watch it even though I am subjected to listening to Chris Berman utter the words “back, back, back, back, back…..gone!” 500 times. Even though Berman can be irritating during the broadcast, there is nothing else I don’t love about the Derby and I can’t wait to tune in tonight. Enjoy!
It will officially be announced Wednesday, May 16 at 11:30 am EST by New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg that the New York Mets will host the 2013 MLB All-Star game. There have been talks of the Mets hosting the game now for over half a decade. When the Mets and Yankees declared their plans to build new stadiums for their respective teams, there was an agreement that the Yankees would host the 2008 All-Star game as a tribute to the final year of old Yankee Stadium and that the Mets would host in their new stadium the following year. Although the Mets didn’t host the next year as planned, it looks like they are getting what was owed.
The Mets have not been the host to the All-Star festivities since 1964, Shea Stadiums first year of existence. That game was full of future legends like Whitey Ford, Harmon Killebrew, Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente, Sandy Koufax, Willie Mays and many more. The game was won in dramatic fashion with the American League leading 4-3 going into the bottom of the 9th. That’s when the National League rallied behind a lead off walk to Willie Mays. A few plays later, the Phillies Johnny Callison came to the plate with the game tied 4-4 and two men on base with two outs. And boom, Callison blasted a walk-off home run and was named the 1964 All-Star game MVP. In 1964, Shea Stadium was considered a state of the art building and the fans were mesmerized by its beauty. Little did they know that it would soon be considered one of the uglier stadiums in baseball and referred to by some as a giant blue and orange toilet bowl. Luckily the new Citifield is an absolutely gorgeous, state of the art stadium, and the Mets will finally get to show it off to the Baseball world.
There are some huge advantages for a team to host the All-Star game, with the biggest one being the revenue that is brought in. If anyone has been following the Mets since the Bernie Madoff trials then you would know of their financial troubles. To make a long story short, the Mets are broke and they need money more than ever with their star player David Wright becoming a free agent. I think this game will be great for the Mets and I hope that they have some formidable players to represent their team in their own stadium.