Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Renewed Rage

My day wasn't ruined by my lack of mouse functionality.

My day wasn't even ruined by today's constant rain.

My day...was Chris Russo.

I admit that I was kind of looking for something to be upset about...and with the Mets at 80 wins and counting near the end of August, finding that something is difficult. But when I saw the back page of the Post today I salivated. Not because another human being was hurt...but because surely, the same man who absolutely blasted Filthy Sanchez for getting in a taxi cab at 2am and becoming the innocent victim of a drunk driver, would no doubt murder Carl Pavano for not only cracking two ribs hydroplaning his Porsche into a truck, but for keeping it from his employer.

Instead, I got two hours of talk about Andre Agassi, Vince Spadea, and why Jimmy Connors was mean to Russo in 1984 at a charity event in Florida.

Two hours of tennis...Barely a mention of Pavano.

So let me get this straight, in the Gospel according to Mad Dog:

  • Getting into a cab at 2am for Dominican food? Not okay. Yet...
  • Doing a Travis Pastrana impression into a truck, cracking your ribs, and not mentioning it to the team paying you forty million dollars is perfectly fine.

To think I've had my values reversed all along.

You know what else bothers me? When Russo talked about the issue about what to name the new Shea Stadium (in between compelling analysis of Marcos Baghdatis' backhand...of course), I wanted so bad for him to be stupid...but I agree with him! Russo doesn't agree with George Vescey, who thinks that the Mets should name their new stadium after Jackie Robinson who, while an American hero, never played for the Mets.

While I can see both sides of this argument, I am more inclined to disagree with Vescey after his appearance with Russo on the strength of Vescey's response to Russo's assertion that Mets fans would rather see the stadium named after a Met than after Robinson:

Why does it have to be a Mets player?
And people wonder why I don't read the Times (besides the big words).

Yes, the Wilpons have been smart enough to fully turn over the reigns to Omar Minaya, and the Wilpons deserve a ton of credit for that. But when it comes time for them to make a decision on naming the ballpark, and the attractions in and around the ballpark, I gotta confide in you that I don't trust them. Not a bit.

We know that Fred Wilpon has a chubby for the Brooklyn Dodgers. He grew up with Sandy Koufax. We get that. And I don't have a problem with giving the stadium a touch of the past with a photo wall commemorating the Dodgers' time here (but if you do that, you have to have one for the Giants as well), or perhaps a kids playground dedicated to Robinson. The perfect compromise between tipping your hat to the past and acknowledging your own history (not to mention renewing hall of fame talk) would be to name the stadium in some capacity after Gil Hodges.

But after seeing Citizens Bank Park for the first time, I see way too many opportunities for the Wilpons to acknowledge Brooklyn Dodger history instead of his own. There should be statues of Seaver, Hodges, and the moment where Gary Carter leaps into Jesse Orosco's arms after the 1986 World Series. I fear we'll have Sandy Koufax, Don Newcombe, and Johnny Podres instead.

Rusty Staub should be serving ribs in the center field walkway named "Mookie's Way". Instead, we'll get Duke Snider cooking bratwursts in some alley named after Andy Pafko.

There should be a high end bar named after Keith Hernandez...not Ralph Branca's Meatball Eatery.

(Hernandez, by the way, admitted during the ninth inning of tonight's broadcast that he "may drink heavy"...and also that he would "never have a website", which is good because that's competition I can't handle...after all, he's Keith Hernandez.)

But for a team that has been noted to avoid their own history to name their ballpark after an old Dodger would be another move that would be a small P.R. disaster amongst their fan base. And to name your park after Jackie Robinson because Billie Jean King thinks it's a good idea is asinine. I'm all for honoring Jackie Robinson, but as a friend of mine noted today: It's not like Jackie Robinson hasn't been's not like he's flown under the radar since his retirement like, say, Larry Doby has. His uniform number will never be worn again! That's a pretty gosh darn significant note of his significance.

While Jackie Robinson may be deserving of the honor of having a ballpark named after him...but he doesn't need it.

Gil Hodges, however, deserves it...and needs it.

And Met fans deserve to have their history acknowledged.

(Although I will say this, and I meant to include this caveat: If the Wilpons decide to sell the naming rights to a big corporation...however cheesy and greedy it may seem to be...if naming rights help pass along the savings to the regular joe season ticket holder and keep him from shelling out a "personal seat license" fee, then I would be all for it.)

So then I go from five hours of tennis talk (there really wasn't anything on television today) to Kaz Matsui looking like Lou Brock tonight with two hits and two stolen bases by the fourth that he's in a Rockie uniform. Of course, that didn't cheer me up any. But upon hearing that not only did Kaz admit that his Flushing experience was "all his fault", but that the reason that the Rockies didn't call Kaz Matsui up a week earlier was because they didn't want him to be booed at Shea Stadium...well let me admit to you: that just filled my heart with unbridled glee! Because someone who has been exposed as being afraid of New York, is no longer in New York.

Yes's all your fault.

Well, maybe not all your fault. (Damn Japanese league scouts!)

And speaking of unbridled glee:

What if the Rockies get behind by a lot of runs in a game? Say they break out the non-humidor balls, you know what I'm saying? -Jeff Cirillo
Carlos Beltran hit his career high 39th home run tonight.

Jose Reyes hit an opposite field home run...left handed...tonight.

Does this mean that Byung Hyun Kim is the "Humidor Antidote"?

I spit on you and your humidor.

But don't tread on our current magic number...shared by a famous ballplayer/announcer, and a popular teenage magazine.


Anonymous said...

Name it for Hodges so that the ballpark can be affectionately known as "The Hodge".

Anonymous said...

Let's face it - Wilpon is not going to forego some serious coin just to name the park after a Met, a Dodger, a Mayor or even a Pope. Let's hope the sponsor is some decent company. I have a feeling Banco Popular is in the mix, as is Apple Computer (I heard they may want to name it the Big Apple).

How do you think Keith feels about umps calls on check swings? Has he beat that one to death or what?

Is that a real magazine cover, or did you use your vast photo shop talents yet again? Hysterical.

Ed in Westchester said...

That magazine cover was simply brilliant Metstra.

I agree on Russo. I asked for him to do that yesterday. Of course, he did not.
Punk is too scared of George.

Anonymous said...

Brad Hawpe made Roger Cedeno smile last night.

Metstradamus said...

I meant to include this...really I did...but there is a part of me that wouldn't mind Wilpon selling the naming rights...if only because if naming rights at all pass along the savings to the regular joe season ticket holder, then I would be all for it and say "Hooray Geico!"

Anonymous said...

Can I add a rant to your rant? I wake up this morning, put on Sports Center, and the lead story is . . . Barry Bonds' 2 homers?!? I'm so tired of ESPN's emphasis on individual stats in a TEAM sport, especially in the middle of late-season pennant races. By the end of the story, I had no idea who won the Braves-Giants game.

Then they cut straight to . . . pre-season football?!? Ridiculous.

Metstradamus said...

Yup, that sounds like SportsCenter.

wa2k99 said...

Great comments on the stadium. I completely agree. And the tennis quote was gold.

beezermess said...

I think that the name of the new ballpark in Flushing should be "Red Stripe Field" and everytime a Mets player hits a homerun, we can say "Hooray Beer"

Anonymous said...

Why don't the Wilpons name it:
The No-Smoking, No-Cursing, No-Baseball-Knowledge, $12 Beer, 10,000-Seat-Short Iowa-like Stadium-in-the-Big-Apple-Bank- Chase-Manhattan-Rudy-Giuliani-is-God-Now-Choke-Up-$50-for-a-Cheap-Seat, Sucker-Stadium-in-New-York"?

Anonymous said...

Name the park Casey Stengel Stadium. He played for all three NYC teams was the first Mets manager and single handedly created the Mets vibe.

The Metmaster said...

As the son of a die-hard NY Giants fan (my middle name is Carl after Carl Hubbell), I am so damn sick and tired of the current Mets/Dodger connection. My old man must be spinning in his grave.

Ed in Westchester said...

Gil Hodges Stadium.

Anonymous said...

Accepting the horror that is the corporate naming right, over the years I have become quite accustomed to (and developed rather an affinity for)...

Met Life Park

J. Mark English said...

Hey there,

Love the site...I linked your site to mine. Would you mind doing the same for me?

I look forward to reading yours from now on...

Thank you!

Take care,

Anonymous said...

Stengel Field gets my vote...

The Metmaster said...

Thumbs down on Stengel Field. While lovable old Casey was indeed the Mets first skipper, and he indeed played for all four New York baseball teams, he is and always will be associated with the dominant Yankee teams of the '50's. And the more I read about the guy the more I'm convinced that he was in many instances a classless jerk. In other words, a Yankee.

Metstradamus said...



Many thanks!

Anonymous said...

Honestly... as much as I don't really care for the Wilpons (don't hate 'em as much as some but don't love 'em either) I would definitely name the field after myself if I paid for it.

That be pretty cool to have the Mets ballpark (or any ballpark) named after you.

Of course, that's assuming I had already eliminated selling the naming rights as a possibility... that's a lotta dough.