— Days Without Shea —

by Kingman on January 30 at 1:05PM
The New York Times today confirmed the death last Monday of Jane Jarvis.

A sad day for Met fans. Jane Jarvis was a class act who touched millions of Met fans with her musical gift, and her often witty choice of between-inning tunes.

Jane Jarvis was 94.

The Mets did a somewhat lousy job paying tribute to her during Shea Stadium's last year. Jane pulled back the numbers on the Shea countdown wall at Billy Wagner Bobblehead Day in 2008 but really, she deserved an entire day.

Of course, she was also impacted by the awful crane tragedy in March 2008, when a construction crane collapsed into a residential building.

You can read the obituary here from today's NY Times.

In honor of Jane Jarvis, here is a beautiful clip of her and her good friend Benny Powell playing a sweet rendition of "The Nearness Of You." Take care, Jane Jarvis. You were a treasure and a true Met icon:

[January 30, 2010 2:46 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Paul said

Little by little parts of our childhood are being taken away. Who could forget that beautiful sound as we were comming up the ramp, headed to our seats. I've found this video that features Jane's music and the last game at Shea....God, I wish they were both STILL HERE...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YN9bpdz3iag

[February 3, 2010 8:09 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Ernie Johnson said

A very nice musical tribute. I knew Jane as a Mets fan. Her organ playing at Shea enhanced the ballgame with her wit and talent. My early Met memories would be incomplete without Jane Jarvis. The Mets should have had a Jane Jarvis night before closing Shea. Jane should also be in the Mets Hall Of Fame...hopefully Mets management can get this no brainer right.I always felt they should paint a picture of an organ with the initials JJ in it next to all of the retired numbers. She should be there as she meant so much to the franchise.Thank you Jane for enhancing my childhood experience !! R.I.P


[May 28, 2011 10:22 AM]  |  link  |  reply
Fred Winther said

The Mexican Hat Dance on CD? Would love to have it Thanks, Fred

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Filed under: Baseball | Mets
by Kingman on January 28 at 8:45AM
Ron Hunt sent along this column from Ken Rosenthal.

Entitled "Mets problems go deeper than Minaya," Rosenthal provides a good State of the Mets. His basic point - the Mets should fire Minaya but that won't fix much. Without naming names, he all but says the problems are the owners.

Commenters are far less reticent. I'd say 60 percent of the posts plead for the Wilpons to sell the team. Fat chance.

So how long until the Mets pull the lever on Omar? You would think he couldn't survive another PR fiasco but apparently, he can criticize one of our stars while the player is still groggy from surgery and get a pass.

I think ownership can tolerate that, but if we're out of it in June, Omar doesn't see July as GM.

Here be the article:

One day, maybe soon, the Mets will fire general manager Omar Minaya.

Frankly, they should fire him right now rather than continue treating him as a glorified puppet. But while Minaya's exit cannot come quickly enough for many fans, little will change for the Mets until they  change the way they operate -- from ownership on down.

The Mets, multiple industry sources say, do not function like most clubs. Their unique style would be fine if they were building championship teams. Instead, they're coming off a 70-win season and losing out on free agent after free agent -- except for one, left fielder Jason Bay, who seemingly lacked a better option.

Ownership, rather than giving Minaya a set budget, weighs the finances of each acquisition separately, forcing the team to run down its priority list one move at a time. The paint-by-numbers approach, which inhibits multitasking and creativity, would work against any GM.

Mets officials say that they are operating no differently from the past, that few criticized their decision-making when the team was more successful, that last year's injury-riddled, fourth-place club was an aberration.

Yet, even in an offseason in which the Mets signed Bay to a four-year, $66 million contract, their front office has committed one misstep after another, from its squabble with center fielder Carlos Beltran over his knee surgery to its botched courtship of free-agent catcher Bengie Molina to its failure to address the team's biggest area of need -- starting pitching.

It's Jan. 27. The Mets' rotation ranked 12th in the NL last season with a 4.77 ERA. But free-agent targets Randy Wolf, Joel Pineiro and Ben Sheets signed with other teams, and the Mets never even figured in trade discussions for Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Javier Vazquez.

The Mets again figure to field a top-five payroll, but some in the industry believe they are short on cash, pointing to the team's desire to hold down salaries in 2010; Bay, for example, will receive $7.5 million this season and $19.5 million in '11, including portions of his signing bonus. The Mets, however, have structured other contracts similarly in the past, seeking short-term flexibility.

Perhaps the greater reason for the team's newfound caution is ownership's apparent loss of faith in Minaya.

Early in his tenure with the Mets, Minaya was the confident, aggressive GM who signed Pedro Martinez and Beltran as free agents.

He no longer is that guy.

Minaya seems almost like a pitcher who has lost his fastball, more tentative, less bold. These days, he draws more attention for his flops -- second baseman Luis Castillo, left-hander Oliver Perez -- than his successes. His firings of manager Willie Randolph and assistant GM Tony Bernazard became tabloid dramas. His lack of attention to detail remains perhaps his greatest weakness.

Chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon remains supportive of Minaya, but the team's actions speak louder than words. Wilpon has taken a greater role in contract negotiations, sources say. The Mets also are shifting some of Minaya's media responsibilities to assistant GM John Ricco.

If Minaya is no longer the undisupted head of baseball operations, then why is he still GM?

The Mets' inability to sign Pineiro perhaps best summed up the paralysis that often afflicts their organization. Pineiro identified the Mets as his No. 1 choice, but instead signed a two-year, $16
million contract with the Angels. He got tired of waiting for the Mets to sort through their other pursuits, tired of waiting for them to raise their initial offer, sources say.

As negotiations intensified, the Mets were prepared to match and perhaps top the Angels' offer for Pineiro. But by the time they turned aggressive, it was too late.

As recently as last offseason, the Mets seemed relatively nimble, acting decisively at the winter meetings to sign free-agent closer Francisco Rodriguez and complete a three-team trade for setup man J.J. Putz.

But now, the team's chain of command appears in flux; it's as if everyone is in charge and no one is in charge. The Mets are not playing at the proper game speed. They were blindsided on both Pineiro and Molina. They might have lost Bay, too, if another suitor had emerged.

To the Mets, the solution is simple: Win. Win and the questions will go away.

Well, lots of luck.

The Mets have yet to address their chemistry issues and questions about their medical staff, not to mention their rotation. They also play in the same division as the two-time defending NL champion Phillies, who spent the offseason adding pitcher Roy Halladay, third baseman Placido Polanco and several lesser parts while signing a number of their own players long-term.

The Mets suffer as well in comparisons to their crosstown rivals, the World Series champion Yankees, who have become ruthlessly efficient under GM Brian Cashman. Minaya is not going to be the Mets' Cashman.

Kevin Towers and other hot GM candidates will not want to work without a defined budget and greater control. Ricco, in time, could be the next Cashman, but not in the present structure.

Minaya looms as the obvious fall guy, but Minaya is only part of the problem. The Mets need to start over -- completely over. They need to depart their parallel universe and rejoin the rest of the baseball world.

[January 28, 2010 9:39 AM]  |  link  |  reply
Greek Bumble Bee said

As you all know, I have been saying that unless the Wimpons sell this team we will never see another championship again. I have been saying this since they started dismantling the 1986 squad by getting rid of Nails and Kevin Mitchel and picking up heartless losers like Juan Samuel and my choice for worst Met ever, Kevin MACreynolds. Please sell this team or our kids will suffer the same pain we are going through for the past 23 years.

[January 28, 2010 12:18 PM]  |  link  |  reply
oktoday said

The Mets signed Bay, and if the team comes back from most of the injuries, that should be fine. Other FA were available but they also was coming off of injuries, or just not good enough, yet they just seemed to want way more then they deserved.

Ranked 12 in pitching when there starters are coming off of injuries does make sense. But if they do come back strong, then they would have been picked near the top as they started the season last year.

And so many of Omars doings was more or less like other GM did then why is his so bad, bad, bad.

Perhaps it is that they are short on $, but why pay for players that are not only trying to come back from injuries and or not worth the money.

It does make sense to see how the team and or each player does at the beginning of the season, before they make some big moves.

And you say "If Minaya is no longer the undisupted head of baseball operations, then why is he still GM?", then I say the word 'IF' when that may not even be true. And if what you say is true then the reason for that is because they own the club and any owner can make it any way that they want to make it.

And your hypothesis of "They might have lost Bay, too, if another suitor had emerged." is just a silly remark. For in almost all deals for any team that could be true.

[January 28, 2010 12:33 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Barbella said

Jeff Wilpon is a meddling kid, playing with his father's office supplies, secretary and state-of-the-art dictaphone.

Sombody's gotta remind the boss this is a place of business, not Daddy Daycare for spoild brats.

The Wilpon's greed and lack of foresight were the reasons they didn't hire Omar in the first place.

Jeff, not then puppet, Mets General Manager, Jim Duquette, was responsible for trading 100 MPH Lefty Pitching Prodogy, Scott Kazmir, away for two-time Tommy John Zambrano.

Of course, these are the same idiots that said no to Vladimir Guerrero's medical reports, but loved Mo Vaughn's x-rays?!

Go invest in another Ponzi Scheme. Build another ballpark. Maybe name it after another failed and bailed venture like "Goldman Sachs Field" or maybe bring back Enron?

But let the grown ups make the baseball decisions, so us fans can feel like kids again.

In other words, you suck Jeff!!! Fire yourself, before us fans fire the NY Mess you've created!!!

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Filed under: Baseball | Mets
by Kingman on January 27 at 10:07AM
Alot of noise was made about Johan Santana's early arrival to Port St. Lucie Tuesday. It is great to see him healthy and recovered from surgery.

We can count on Johan. The rest of the rotation is what will make the difference in 2010. And one of the biggest wild cards is Ollie Perez.

 Last spring, Ollie was lambasted for showing up overweight and uninspired after signing a big contract. Here is the 2009 spring Ollie:

And here is what Oliver Perez looked like in Pre-spring training: January 26, 2010: oliver_perez_springtraining2010.jpg

Gotta like the beard. makes him look even more psycho than he already was. Also good to see him forging a bond with Johan. If he can learn a few things about poise, Ollie may be able to channel his potential into a breakout year.

Yes I know it's only January.

[January 28, 2010 6:47 AM]  |  link  |  reply
Paul said

Have you guys seen this?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPmKrCvkEWI
The 2010 New York Met Fans:
We Believe In Setbacks...

On the 15 Game Ticket front, Called my ticket rep on Monday, she told me I can move to Caesars Club Bronze 329. I told her that was NOT between the bases and to call me back if something closer opened up. After I hung up the Gary Matthews Trade was announced and I figured I was screwed since the phones must be ringing off the hook.
Not to worry....Got a call back on Tuesday..."How does Caesars 328 sound?" Your getting warmer...but not good enough....This is turning into a "Soap Opera"
How about "As The 15 Game Ticket Plan Turns"?
I'll keep you informed...Paul

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From Loge 13'er Don Hahn Solo:

Drug pushers, touch football, taking kids to the forest, what's that spell? M-E-T-S!


How to make a Mets video with only one highlight:

[January 25, 2010 9:22 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Ron Hunt said

Just looked at this, horrible and scary! I don't remember ever seeing it either.

Nice find!

btw - there are two highlights - both Mookie catches.

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Filed under: Baseball | Mets
by Kingman on January 22 at 9:54PM
My youngest Kingboy is turning five years old Saturday.

His mom just spent all night making him the cake he wanted.

Take a look at these photos. Who is the coolest mom?

Happy birthday big fella!



[January 24, 2010 11:57 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Mike said

What a cool-looking cake! Hope he had a great birthday.

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