The World According to Keitho

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Posts Tagged ‘New York Mets’

World Series Memories: 1986

Posted by keithosaunders on October 26, 2017

Haley’s comet reached its closest point to earth, the U.S. traded arms for hostages with Iran, and a 20 year old Mike Tyson became the youngest heavyweight champion in history.

1986!

Alcoa presents: Keitho’s World Series Memories!

If one team personified the cocaine-infused, go-go 80s it was the New York Mets! Led by Keith Hernandez, Gary Carter, Daryl Strawberry, and Doc Gooden, they went through the regular season like Pablo Sandoval at an all you can eat buffet, polished off the Houston Mike Scott’s in 6 games, and advanced to a date with destiny with the Boston Redsox.

Game 6 found the Mets down 3 games to 2 in the Series and me ensconced at my best friend, Jeff’s house in the Bronx.

Most people think it was Ray Knight’s clutch hit and Mookie Wilson’s grounder through the legs of Bill Buckner that completed the most improbable comeback of all time, but I know what really happened.

At last it can be told.

You see, it came down to Jeff’s Yankee souvenir watch and Pez dispenser from hell. Little did poor, hapless Calvin Schiraldi realize that his implosion on the Shea mound was the result of Jeff having dangled the Yankee watch in front of the TV (alternating with the Pez dispenser) while shouting, “Callllvinnnn!”

It was the jinx, you see. The jinx.

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Baseball’s one percent

Posted by keithosaunders on August 19, 2017

Anyone who doubted that baseball, in its current form, is a soulless affair I offer you exhibit A:  The Los Angeles Dodgers.  Here is a team, arguably having their greatest regular season in their 134 year history, that felt the need, with 6 weeks remaining in the season, to add Curtis Granderson to their already stacked roster.

Exhibit B is the New York Mets, a team not two years removed from a World Series appearance, who are now in fire-sale mode.

Baseball as it exists today is a microcosm of our capitalist society. The best talent congeals to form super-teams such as the Dodgers, Redsox, Yankees, and Golden State Warriors.  Money begets money.  The rest of the league – the have-nots – can be content with playoff appearances and the occasional Cinderella season, to be followed by the inevitable selloff once their young talent reaches free-agent eligibility.

Enjoy.

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Mr Met goes rogue

Posted by keithosaunders on June 5, 2017

 

Metsno1

Last week Mr Met, himself, lost his composure.  After a particularly tough Mets home loss, some of the fans began riding Mr Met as he was making his way to the mascot’s clubhouse.  Not only did the fans insult the bulbous-headed mascot, but his mother as well.  Let me tell you something, nobody insults Mr Met’s Mom and gets away with it.  I was impressed that even though Mr Met only has four fingers he still managed to shoot the hecklers a substantial bird.

My photoshopping buddy then combined my love of the Mets with the Stanley Kubrick classic, 2001 a Space Odyssey, to create a work of art.  Enjoy.  And let’s go Mets!

 

 

Mets2001

 

 

Posted in baseball, Mets | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Let the intentional walking begin

Posted by keithosaunders on April 2, 2017

Baseball games are really going to fly by now.  Forget the fact that every single close play at first base warrants a three minutes review, intentional walks are now automatic!  Now that’s progress.

This year, rather than a normal baseball prediction post, I’m going to present a baseball soulful (wishful thinking) prediction post.

In the NL East the Mets, flush with pitching, Cespedes, and just enough hitting, will dominate and cruise to their third ever World Series victory.

In the NL Central the Cubs will revert to form and miss the playoffs – the first of 110 more years without a championship. The Pittsburgh Pirates will win the division with the Brewers taking the wild card.

In the NL West, having lost track of whether or not they’re supposed to win in an odd year, the Giants will begin 166 straight years of last place finishes.  The Dodgers will win the west, losing to the Mets in the NLCS.

Moving along to the junior circuit, in the AL West we have my dark horse prediction:  My East Bay homies, the Oakland As will shock the world!  You read it here first.

In the AL Central the Detroit Tigers will win the division, as well as the pennant before losing to the Mets in a 6 game World Series.

In the Al East the Yankees will go 6-156.  The Bluejays will win the division and Joey Batista will set an MLB record with double digit bat flips.  Baltimore gets the wild card.

There you have it:  Major League Baseball according to Keitho.

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Go time for the Mets

Posted by keithosaunders on October 5, 2016

In many ways this year’s Mets team has overacheived more than last season’s pennant winners. In the middle of August, when they lost the first two games of a series in San Francisco, they were buried in the divisional standings and had four teams ahead of them in the wild card standings.

Then the improbably happened.  With 3/5 of their vaunted pitching staff injured and a lineup with as much punch as the 1969 Seattle Pilots they turned it around, playing .600 baseball for the remaining six weeks and clinching the top wild card spot the day before the season ended.

Tonight they will face the even-year, fru-fru, techie-infused San Francisco Giants in a one game do or die contest. This is baseball’s answer to the tedium that is perpetual pitching changes, interminable booth review delays, and batters that take 5 minutes to adjust their sanitary cups. This is the wildcard game, or as I refer to it, The Gimmick Game.

You can’t even brag about winning it, crapshoot that it is, and at least in the Mets case, I can’t feel too bad about losing it.  Let’s face it folks, this team can only go so far with this rag tag bunch.

But how sweet it would be to beat the hated Giants with redneck Bumgarner on the mound and send all of their front-running fans home crying.  Is that too negative?  Who cares?

GO METS

 

mets

Posted in baseball, Mets, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

My first night in New York

Posted by keithosaunders on July 11, 2016

I arrived at JFK airports in New York City on April 10th, 1984.  I took the subway from the airport – read express A train to Manhattan –  but when it came time to change trains I discovered that the uptown IRT was out of service.  I emerged from the subway and immediately discovered the reason why:  a rain storm of biblical proportions. This was my introduction to the charm of New York weather.

I tried to hail a cab but this proved to be no easy task in midtown Manhattan during rush hour in the middle of a subway outage.  Finally I was able to share a cab with a couple of strangers and I was able to travel the mile and a half to 74th st and West End Ave in a mere 45 minutes.

My cousin, who I would be staying with until I found a place of my own, lived in the old Hotel Esplinade. I arrived, dropped my bags off and went in search of dinner. I walked a few blocks up Broadway until I came to The Pizza Joint.  There I ordered the best meatball hero I had ever tasted.  Of course this could have been me, fresh off the boat,  over-romanticizing New York.  Over the years, however, I would return to the Pizza Joint, as well as its cousin, The Burger Joint, and I’ll be damned if they didn’t make some of the best meatball heroes and burgers ever.

I returned to the Esplinade and my cousin still wasn’t home from work.  With nothing to do I sequestered myself in his bedroom and turned on his clock radio hoping to find a baseball game.  The Yankees had just finished and the Mets were off that night (Monday) so I was out of luck there.  Turning the dial I stumbled upon a Rangers/Islanders playoff game that was in overtime.  What luck!  Ten minutes later the game came to an end on an Islander goal.  All of a sudden, out of one of the adjoining bedrooms I heard this blood-curdling scream.  If I hadn’t have been listening to the game I’m sure I would have thought somebody was committing murder.  Later I would discover it was my cousin’s sullen roommate, Rothstein.

And that was my first of 9,490 nights in New York City.

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Warriors no more

Posted by keithosaunders on June 21, 2016

The Golden State Warriors won a record 73 games in the 2015-16 season but will be remembered for being the first team to blow a 3-1 lead in games in the NBA finals.  That’s the way it goes in sports.  The Cleveland Cavaliers were the better team and deserve the title.  A spate of injuries, Steph Curry’s shooting slump,  LeBron James’ greatness, and the one game Draymond Green suspension were fatal to the Warriors.

All that said, LeBron is hard to take.  What is he, faking an injury in the last minute of game 7?  With seconds to go in the game he’s writhing around on the floor seemingly in pain, yet after the game buzzer sounded  he’s pounding the ground in joy with the same hand!  Then he’s crying tears of joy?  For the city of Cleveland?  That’s the same city he said screw you to 6 years ago when he took his talents to South Beach.  And it’s the same city he’s libel to say screw you to this off season.

In his post game comments James didn’t even bother to mention the Warriors.  You would think he would note the fact that they were a great team, or congratulate them on a great season, but no.  Everything was self-directed:  “I competed, I looked inside of myself, I did this, I did that…”  Enough already.  We don’t need LeBron to tell us he’s great –  we know that already.  And if that wasn’t enough, James rubbed salt in the wound by wearing an Ultimate Warrior shirt as he disembarked from the team plane in Cleveland.  Stay classy.

But that is the society we live in now.  This is a cynical, dog eat dog, Darwinian world.  Athletes, as well as media stars and politicians have taken their cue from the nasty, smarmy tone of reality TV.  The age of classy winners is in the rear view mirror.

We turn the page.  Time for the baseball season and a little team called The New York Mets!   On the other hand, maybe I’ll read a book instead.

 

Posted in basketball, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

The dawn of the baseball season

Posted by keithosaunders on April 1, 2016

And so, after a long cold winter, or in the case of the Bay Area, a wet winter, the baseball season begins again this Sunday.  This year, instead of the traditional opening night game, there will be three Sunday games:  The Cardinals vs the Pirates, the Blue Jays vs the Rays, and my Mets will visit the reigning World Series champion Royals.

First of all:  Nice touch by baseball tweaking the opening day schedule.  It will be great to have the triple header to kick things off instead of the usual anti-climactic lone Sunday night game.  Plus, baseball feels better in the day, especially to open the season.  I don’t say this very often but…kudos to MLB!

Not only that, but we have three sexy match-ups.  I don’t know about you, but I loves me some NL Central division teams and the Pirates have long been one of my favorites.  So you have a classic match-up between two of the oldest teams followed by a game between two expansion teams.  The Blue Jays figure to be a lot of fun this year and they have earned their slot in the opening day spotlight.  Perhaps we’ll get a Joey Bautista bat flip which will insight another juicy Goose Gossage rant.

Finally we’ll have the Mets vs the Royals.  This is the first time in 30 years in which I’ve gone into the season expecting the Mets to win their division.  Usually the best I can hope for is for them not to embarrass themselves.  This year, with the signing of Cespedes, and the return of their young, stellar pitching staff, the immediate future looks bright.  By the way, when is the last time the two World Series teams from the previous season opened the season against each other?  Answer:  Never.  Yet another nice move by the schedule-maker: finding a clever new spin on a hackneyed inter-league format.

Play ball!metsbeagle

 

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The baseball card collector from hell

Posted by keithosaunders on November 5, 2015

frank howard

Like a lot of kids I collected baseball cards. I remember having most of the 68-70 Topps series. This was the era when the players largely resembled marines.  Frank Howard’s card comes to mind because it was kind of scary –  he was this behemoth who for some reason wore frame-less glasses.  He looked like a combination intellectual and ax-murderer.  In a few years the hippie culture would catch up to baseball at which point long hair and fancy beards and mustaches would abound.  But in 1969, even though the rest of the world was turning on and tuning out, the average baseball players look was that of a buttoned down nerd automaton.  Kind of like today’s Yankees.

Did I save the cards?  Yes, but – and you knew there would be a ‘but’ –  they are far from mint condition.  In fact, is there a category below ‘poor’?  Well below?

You see, way back in 1945 during the war…what do you mean what war?  THE BIG ONE.  WW DEUCE.  Now where was I?  OK, my Dad was quarantined for two weeks after returning from Japan. Since Al Gore would not invent the internet for another 50 years, my Dad had nothing to do. All he had was a few back issues of Stars and Stripes and a deck of playing cards.  What did he do?  Why he invented the greatest card baseball game in the history of card baseball games!

Now we fast forward a few decades to 1970 at which point Dad taught the game to me.  Picture the Lion King without actual singing or drama.  I instantly loved the game.  I took to it like Lucas Duda to a called third strike.

So:  I had a card baseball game and actual baseball cards. What to do…

Here’s 10 year old Keitho:

Say, I bet I can use my baseball cards as my lineup for the card game!  Hmm…I but I don’t have enough infielders in my Braves deck. Think, Keitho, think…I’VE GOT IT!  I’ll write 3B in ink on this Hank Aaron card and voila – hours of unbound fun!

Suffice it to say that 80% of my remaining cards have been horribly defaced.

For years I would play entire seasons (there were card football and basketball games as well) and I still have my folder containing all of the season stats.  For some reason I remember that one of my World Series was the Dodgers vs the Bluejays, and this was when the Jays had only been around a few years and were still bad.

So there you have it.  I collected comics and baseball cards and all I ended up with were these lousy memories.  Just kidding — the memories are actually pretty good.  Prettyyyyyyy, prettyyyyy, good!

larrydavid

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The second guessers

Posted by keithosaunders on November 2, 2015

I killed Matt Harvey back in September over the maxed-out innings controversy. I said he was gutless and that he was a pussy. Well I was wrong. He pitched his ass off in the post season leaving nothing on the table. Last night he was as dominating as a pitcher can be and showed no signs of weakening in the 8th inning.

Terry Collins showed guts in allowing Harvey to come out for the 9th. I don’t want to hear this BS about automatically going to the closer. Who are they going to? Mariano Rivera? Familia had a great season but by the time the Series came around he was used up meat and the Royals can hit him.

I can remember a delicate-genius manager, Tony La Russa, who went to his closer in the 9th inning.  This was a pitcher who would end his career with 390 saves and he probably would have had the most ever had he not been a starter the first 10 years. I bet Kirk Gibson remembers him.  If Dennis Eckersley can fail (and even the great Mariano couldn’t get it done in 2001) then it’s certainly not written in stone that Familia gets three easy 9th inning outs.

This is not a cookie cutter game.  Just because you have a closer doesn’t mean he will succeed every single time out, as evidenced by game one of this Series.  If you want to kill Collins how about this? He had two starters in his bullpen, both pitching effectively — Jon Niese & Bartolo Colon. How about sticking with them for more than an inning at a time?

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