— Days Without Shea —

by Kingman on April 22 at 2:00PM
Had a great time at the game last night, as the Mets won 9-1. David Wright launched a home run to break an 0-20 streak and Chris Capuano pitched a gem.

Best of all, my son and I had a tremendous time. We got to the stadium at 4:30 and got to see Mets batting practice. Not a single player came over to give autographs or interact with fans. Pedro Felliciano, you are missed.

We checked out the museum and gift shop, then sat in our seats at 6:10, waiting for the game. Ron Hunt came before the first pitch and we hung out all night. If you're cynical about the Mets, just bring a six-year-old to the game. He doesn't care how bad the Mets are...a day at the park is still a Day at the Park.

Before the gates opened, I showed my son where Shea Stadium used to be. He loved running the bases and marveled that he was standing where Wright and Reyes once played. If you haven't taken the trip, it is worth walking over to the valet parking area to see the mini-monuments to Shea's bases. Here are some photos:


I chopped off a bit of home plate in this photo but here 'tis anyway:


[April 24, 2011 7:33 AM]  |  link  |  reply
Paul said

Ah....To be 6 again....For me, first year of Shea, Worlds Fair right across the street. Catching that blue and white 7 train....
Enjoying a "SUNDEW", with paper straw, in the Upper Deck in the free seats with the Borden's Milk Coupons. Something I'll NEVER FORGET...
I'd like to wish ALL Loge 13ers

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Filed under: Baseball | CitiField | Mets
by Kingman on April 21 at 11:39AM
The NY Post writes today that a 4th bidder for the Mets may be emerging.

Former commodity trader Ray Bartoszek, teamed with private investor Anthony Lanza, whose late father founded L-3 Communications and grew it into a $15 billion New York City defense company, have met with the Mets' owners in the last few days, according to two sources.

Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz since last fall have been seeking a minority partner to inject $200 million in badly-needed operating cash into the team. Recently just three groups were believed to be in the final mix.

The addition of a fourth group is good news for the team's owners, who appear to be on pace this year to lose roughly $60 million compared to $50 million last year.

The three existing bidders are: hedge fund honcho Steve Cohen; a bidding group of Steve Starker and Ken Dichter; and a group consisting of Anthony Scaramucci and 1-800-Flowers.com founder James McCann.

Bartoszek was a managing director at Glencore International, which is reportedly is planning a $10 billion initial public offering.

Meanwhile, Bill Madden of the NY Daily News has an interesting item about MLB's takeover of the Dodgers, speculating if the Mets could be next.

The big issue, of course, is just how does Selig's action with the financially distressed Dodgers affect the likewise financially distressed Mets? The answer to that undoubtedly lies in the Mets owners' efforts to find an investor to pump some $200 million into the operation, which presumably will enable them to refinance and start paying down the estimated $300 million team debt, make their stadium bond payments and cover all their operating costs, most notably payroll.

Selig's action with the Dodgers was precipitated by a $30 million personal loan Dodger owner Frank McCourt arranged with Fox, the team's television partner, last week, purportedly to make payroll. In order to secure the loan, McCourt had to use as collateral the settlement he got in an unrelated lawsuit in Boston, after Selig denied his request to use the team as collateral for a $200 million loan from Fox.

Wednesday night, McCourt enlisted Sullivan & Cromwell, a longstanding, prominent New York law firm, to sue MLB and Selig. A veteran sports attorney speculated that McCourt will base his case on the fact that he never asked MLB for a loan, unlike Mets owner Fred WilponTexas Rangers owner Tom Hicks. MLB did not move to take over the Mets or Rangers when they came into similar financial distress. and former

Not surprisingly, McCourt's estranged wife, Jamie, checked in with a statement, saying she "welcomed and supported the commissioner's actions to provide the necessary transparency, guidance and direction" for the Dodgers.

Because of the Mets' massive team debt (much of it believed to be accrued from their buyout of Nelson Doubleday's 50% of the team in August of 2002 for $135million), the club's owners have also had payroll issues - as recently as last November they received a $25million loan from MLB to cover operating expenses. Before that, they were able to tap into their accounts with convicted Ponzi-schemer Bernie Madoff. But, as has been well-documented, those accounts are all gone now.

No one - except the Mets owners themselves - knows how close they are to being in the same precarious situation as McCourt. At least they are able to sell a substantial part of the team to secure the necessary capital to continue operating the Mets while they fight the $1 billion lawsuit leveled against them by Madoff trustee Irving Picard. With the ownership of the Dodgers entangled in the divorce case, McCourt can't even do that - which presumably is what makes the Dodgers' situation more imminently critical for Selig.

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I am taking my six-year-old to Shea Field tonight. Does that make me a bad parent?

He is very excited and wants to buy baseball cards and eat a hot dog. I also promised to bring him to the Mets Museum and the whiffle ball field. Most important, I will do my best to make sure he sees as little of the game as possible. Kids are so impressionable at this age; I don't want to break his little heart.

The Mets continue to play like six-year-olds. Wright is 0-19 and every base runner is a likely candidate to do something stupid. Last night, Pagan jogged into third base in the 8th inning, instead of watching his coach or where the ball was. If he had been paying attention, he could have scored as the Astros bobbled the ball around the infield. Pagan tried to make up for it by charging home on a weak wild pitch and getting easily called out. Did he forget that Reyes and his three hits were on deck?

Jose would get a 4th hit to lead off the 9th but didn't last long at first, getting picked off after Thole bunted a pop-up.

Tonight Jason Bay returns to the lineup. See ya there?

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Thumbnail image for Lenny.jpg
These are bad days for ex-Met players too.

Lenny Dykstra was officially arrested and charged with bankruptcy fraud today. According to reports, Lenny:

"Was charged with bankruptcy fraud for allegedly selling items from his $18 million mansion, the Department of Justice said on Friday. Dykstra, who filed for bankruptcy in July 2009, allegedly removed, destroyed and sold property that was part of the bankruptcy estate without the permission of the trustee, according to the DoJ."

Back in September, 2009, after Nails had filed for bankruptcy, his creditors accused him of stealingitems out of his own house. As we posted back then:

Ex-Mets star Lenny Dykstra, after declaring bankruptcy, swiped and sold property from his $18 million California mansion to cover his living expenses, one of his creditors charged.

The 46-year-old ex-center fielder was "in the process of stripping furnishings, fixtures and equipment" from the sprawling home, according to court papers filed by Index Investors LLC.

The company is trying to foreclose on the Thousand Oaks, Calif., mansion previously owned by hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky.

The legal papers alleged that Dykstra was selling the property - including a $40,000 imported La Cornue stove - "doubtlessly to fuel his lifestyle at the expense of creditors."

Guess we might not be seeing Nails at the 1986 Mets 25th anniversary parties this year.

[April 20, 2011 4:47 AM]  |  link  |  reply
Paul said

On a different note, You can't tell me the Mets are NOT dumping tickets on Stub Hub.


Who else in their right mind would buy all 24 seats in the row to a game and the sell them for $35 off face value???

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Filed under: Baseball | CitiField | Mets
by Kingman on April 15 at 2:57PM
Nine days ago I lovingly mocked that April 6th might be the high point of the Mets 2011 season.

At that time, our boys were 3-1 and tied for first place in the NL East. Things were looking up indeed. That was before we came home and lost six out of the last seven games, including a four game sweep by the Rockies in Citi Field.

So who are the 2011 Mets? The 3-1 wonder boys who stoked our hopes down in FLA? Or the 1-8 stumblers who now reside in last place of the NL East?
One is the magic number here. The Mets have lost three of the past four games by one run. Things could have easily swung the other way in these games. Lets hope things start swinging the other way fast.

The fans are not pleased. According to reports, only a few hundred folks stuck around for game 2 of yesterday's disappointing double-header. And apparently they were only there to boo and chant "Sell the team!" during the final innings. It's already getting ugly. But I know at least fan will be happy to be at a game next week. I'm taking my six-year-old son Thursday night. He'll have a good time no matter what the score.

Meanwhile, check out the enthusiasm of these fans. This is the National Anthem at the home opener of the Portland Timbers, an expansion soccer team. SOCCER. This is what Shea once sounded like years ago. 

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