From Dominic Fifeld, Nils Pratley and Matt Scott in Thursday’s Guardian.
The Glazer family’s first visit to Old Trafford ended in ugly and violent scenes last night as police clashed with supporters who had effectively barricaded Manchester United’s new owners inside the stadium.
Malcolm Glazer’s three sons, Joel, Avi and Bryan, were given first-hand experience of the vitriol generated by their controversial takeover as they had to be smuggled down the players’ tunnel and out of the ground in two police tactical aid vans for their own safety.
United fans then sat in the road, forcing the vehicles to stop. When some of the 400 supporters started hammering on the vans and pelting them with stones, police officers used dogs and batons to clear a path.
It provided a farcical if troubling finale to a chaotic day at Old Trafford. United officials had initially indicated that the Glazers – unaccompanied by their father – would not be visiting the stadium following their talks on Tuesday with the sports minister Richard Caborn and officials from the Premier League and the Football Association.
That proved to be little more than a smokescreen and, with confirmation that the three brothers, the chief executive David Gill and the commercial director Andy Anson had arrived at the ground in three silver people carriers at around 6.15 last night, disgruntled fans began gathering.
Their presence prompted a huge security operation. The club employed their own new 8ft high steel gates to keep the increasingly frustrated crowds away from the directors’ entrance, though the fans wasted little time in building their own makeshift barriers across roads, effectively laying the new owners under siege.
Supporters launched angry chants of “Die, die Glazer” and “We’ll be running round Old Trafford with his head” while the Glazers themselves enjoyed a stroll around the pitch and met various members of staff.
Writes ESPN’s Darren Rovell, “Something tells me things will calm down when they see that Glazer wants the team to do well so he can make the most money.”
Rovell ought to remember that Glazer didn’t use his own cash on hand to purchase United. He’s borrowed heavily to increase his stake and there are legit reasons for fans to worry about how that debt will be paid down.
After Keith Foulke was smacked around by the Indians in Boston’s 12-8 loss Tuesday evening, Red Sox manager Terry Francona opted to use Mike Timlin in Wednesday’s 9th inning. The New Hampshire Union-Leader’s Alex Speier says this was only a temporary measure.
One night after Foulke (above) transformed an 8-5 advantage into a crushing 12-8 defeat, Timlin steered through a scoreless ninth. Although he yielded a pair of hits, he preserved the 5-2 score that he inherited as the 39-year-old recorded his third save in 171 appearances in his three years with the Sox.
While Timlin’s successful outing will surely pique interest from a Foulke-flaying fandom, however, it did not represent an affront to the embattled pitcher’s job security. Timlin pitched the ninth only because Foulke was unavailable after logging 47 pitches on Tuesday.
“We don’t need a quarterback controversy,” pronounced Francona. “You set up your ballclub where you think they can be most successful. . . . Getting to the ninth isn’t easy either. Sometimes those innings are maybe more important than the ninth. So if you start plugging one perceived hole then you create maybe a bigger one somewhere else. So we need to keep that in mind.”
That belief all but signals the death knell of any challenges to Foulke’s ninth-inning duties. Francona believes in track records and history suggests that no member of the Red Sox bullpen could provide certainty at the back end of the game.
As yesterday confirmed, Timlin represents a fine stopgap measure when Foulke is fatigued. Still, in three different cities (Toronto, Seattle, Baltimore), he got bounced as a finisher after each club determined that he was constitutionally better suited for a setup role.
Moreover, his difficulty against lefties this year (who pounded him for a .328 mark entering yesterday) suggests someone better deployed against particular stretches of the lineup.
If change to the ineffective Sox bullpen is to come, it would have to arrive from outside the big-league roster. That may happen, but given the paucity of established closers on the market (or, for that matter, in the team’s farm system), Foulke’s job does not appear to face any imminent jeopardy.
Instead, the current and future closer of the Red Sox will surely face more taunts from “Johnny from Burger King” and the rest of the booing legions at Fenway. In sickness and in health, the Sox will entrust their fate to Foulke.
Over time, I’ve talked a lot of shit about MLB.TV’s webcast scheme, but being able to watch last night’s Braves/Marlins game on demand is a very good thing.
From the Palm Beach Post’s Joe Capozzi.
Slugging right fielder Gary Sheffield would return to the Marlins in a proposed deal that would send right-hander A.J. Burnett and right fielder Juan Encarnacion to the New York Yankees, according to a National League source.
An American League source confirmed that the Yankees are interested in Burnett and Encarnacion and have talked to the Marlins about them. But that source also said connecting Sheffield to the discussions “might be premature.”
Burnett, who was sought by the Yankees in December, also has attracted interest this week from the Baltimore Orioles.
Burnett is a free agent after the season and is not expected to re-sign. But if the Marlins remain in contention, they might be content to keep Burnett all year and then lose him to free agency, as the team did with Carl Pavano last season, in exchange for a first-round draft pick.
The Marlin probably will have a surplus of starters soon. Right-hander Josh Beckett is expected to be activated from the disabled list today, injured right-hander Ismael Valdez is due back after the All-Star break and rookie left-hander Scott Olsen has been impressive.
Lovers of free expression and godly behavior alike will be thrilled to know that the Post is now publishing Todd Jones’ blog.
Mets 5, Phillies 1 (top of the 5th)
I’m sure there are more surprises to come as the 2005 season unfolds, but no matter else happens this afternoon, it will be hard to top the eye-rubbing provoked by Cliff Floyd bunting for a base hit, then stealing 2nd. The same Cliff Floyd whom contemplated early retirement last autumn, was a defensive liability for much of last year and whose sour disposition seemed contagious.
I’m already petitioning Bobby Valentine to name him to the All-Star Team.
For a guy who has spent a lot of time in Manhattan, Keith Hernandez seemed particularly troubled by a beer vendor’s tattoos. “Why would you want to do that to yourself?” wondered Mex. I dunno, why would you want to smoke cigarettes, snort cocaine or dye your hair? Less of the lifestyle advice from the finest fielding 1B of his generation, please.
Fran Healy reports that ex-Met Todd Pratt was tossed by home plate ump Alfonso Marquez for uttering “uncomfortable words”. My guess is, it was either “recalcitrant” or “motherfucker” that did the trick.
Jae Seo struck out 9 Mud Hens yesterday, winning his 6th game for the Mets’ Norfolk affiliate. Seo, shown above in one of the ugliest caps in the history of organized baseball, had his photo taken while watching highlights of Kaz Ishii’s outing last night.
The Daily News’ Sam Borden reports that relievers Paul Quantril and Mike Stanton will be sent packing by the New York Yankees.
One Yankee insider wasn’t certain what method the Yanks might use to cut ties with Stanton and Quantrill, but indicated the Bombers were looking to get younger in their bullpen. Earlier yesterday, reliever Jason Anderson was called up from Triple-A Columbus; he joins Scott Proctor (above), a hard throwing righthander who was also promoted recently.
Adds the New York Times’ Tyner Keppner,
Quantrill and Stanton shook hands and exchanged hugs with teammates and club personnel after Wednesday night’s rainout at Camden Yards. Quantrill would not comment after leaving the clubhouse, and Stanton said, “You can read between the lines.”
I certainly can. Those Yankees are very affectionate.
Aspiring New Jersey talent scout Jon Solomon graciously calls our attention to Melodic Warrior, sadly not the website marking the long awaited Jim Hellwig/Michael Quercio collaboration, but rather the guh-guh-gushy vocal stylings of Mr. Niko Papasideris (above).
I’m not a religious person but between this and news of the Smashing Pumpkins reunion, I am begining to suspect there is a Higher Power after all. And He or She is punishing us.
From the AP :
Japan said Thursday it has tentatively agreed to take part in the inaugural 16-country World Baseball Classic subject to the approval of the Japanese baseball players’ association.
Japanese baseball officials were responding to an end-of-the-month deadline set by Major League Baseball for Japanese owners and players to decide on whether to take part in the World-Cup style tournament set for March, 2006.
The Japanese players’ association will hold a meeting on July 22 to decide whether to take part.
Major League Baseball and its players association have already approved the tournament.
MLB officials and union travelled to Japan earlier this month and set an end-of-the-month deadline for Japan to reach a decision. MLB wants to make an announcement about the tournament on July 11, the day before the all-star game in Detroit.
Masashi Tsunoda, an official with the Softbank Hawks of Japan’s Pacific League, told reporters that a letter sent to the MLB included a counterproposal from Japan’s players on when to hold the tournament.
Players in Japan have proposed holding the qualifying games in March and the finals in July, during the all-star break.
Though I can’t imagine MLB accepting said proposal, the final round(s) of such a tournament would be far more compelling TV than the All-Star Game, Home Run Derby, etc.
Was there a more questionable decision Tuesday night than Toronto’s selection of UConn’s Charlie Villanueva with the 7th overall pick? Other than Stephen A. Smith being allowed to make like an uninformed hoops version of Mel Kiper Jr., that is. The Toronto Star’s Dave Feschuk on the Raptors’ latest gaffe.
As the ESPN analysts vociferously panned the Raptors’ choice ” “Absolutely shocked!” hollered the usually rah-rah Dick Vitale ” the crowd cheered in agreement. When Villanueva took the podium in New York’s Madison Square Garden for his first interview as a Raptor, Toronto’s fans, saddened via satellite, filled the Air Canada Centre with boos.
“There’s gotta be a trade,” said one distraught fan. “Gotta be,” said another.
But there was no trade brewing behind the scenes, no secret swap to explain the unexpected. A year after defying expectations and selecting the disastrous Rafael Araujo in the No. 8 slot, Raptors general manager Rob Babcock had dropped another out-of-nowhere name.
You’ve heard of out-of-the-box thinking, but this ” going with a frequently maligned 20-year-old few experts figured worthy of the top 10 ” was out-on-a-limb thinking. And, if it doesn’t pan out the way the Raptors are hoping, it could be, for Babcock, out-of-a-job thinking.
Taking Villanueva (above) was unconventional if you’re being generous, inexcusable if you’re not. Not only does he play the same position as the club’s best young player, Chris Bosh, Villanueva has also compiled a checkered record of blasÃ© performances during his two-year stint at the University of Connecticut.
“The average fan isn’t studying the draft and all the players like we do,” said Babcock.
I heard one explanation on the radio earlier today ; the Raptors had Villenuva work out and “fell in love with him”. In that case, invite Charlie to a Viletones reunion gig. If things go ok, you can both visit Tim Horton’s Donuts in the morning. But for the love of god, don’t draft him at number seven!
MSNBC on the Rangers’ Kenny Rogers and his troubles with those pesky TV cameras.
Texas Rangers pitcher Kenny Rogers shoved two cameramen Wednesday, sending one to the hospital in a videotaped tirade that included throwing a camera to the ground and threatening to break more. ESPN reported that the man, Larry Rodriguez, filed a police report, claiming assault.
The report also said that police went to interview Rodriguez at about 9 p.m. ET at the Medical Center of Arlington where the cameraman was being examined for possible injuries. Detectives plan to interview Rogers on Thursday.
Rogers, who missed his last start with a broken pinkie he suffered during an outburst earlier this month, erupted at the cameramen as they filmed him walking to the field for pregame stretching before Wednesday night™s game against the Los Angeles Angels.
The 40-year-old left-hander first shoved Fox Sports Net Southwest photographer David Mammeli, telling him: œI told you to get those cameras out of my face.
Rogers then approached a second cameraman. He wrestled the camera from Rodriguez of Dallas-Fort Worth television station KDFW, threw it to the ground and kicked it.
The 6-foot-1, 210-pound pitcher saw two other cameramen who were recording from the Rangers™ dugout and walked toward them. He did not make contact with the men, who were backing away.
œI™ll break every … one of them, Rogers said before he was escorted to the clubhouse by catcher Rod Barajas.
Rogers’ attack can be viewed here (windows media player required).
Albert Belle and Sean Penn were unavailable for comment. Or, more accurately, I don’t have their phone numbers.
From the New York Times’ Tyner Kepner.
Brian Cashman has little flexibility to deal from the major league roster, partly because several players have no-trade clauses. Gary Sheffield, Hideki Matsui and Jorge Posada do not have such clauses in their contracts, but Sheffield would essentially create one if the Yankees tried to move him.
“I’m not going anywhere,” said Sheffield, who is signed through 2006. “If I have to go somewhere, I won’t go. If they said, ‘Wouldn’t you want to get paid?’ I’d say, ‘I’ve got plenty of money.’ I’m not playing nowhere else. I can promise you that.”
Speaking with MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, the Yankee right fielder struck a somewhat different tone.
Sheffield, who is reportedly being dangled by the Yankees in a deal with the Mets that would land Mike Cameron in the Bronx, said that if he is traded, his new team better be prepared to extend his contract and give him more money — and whatever else he can think of to make it pay for taking the pinstripes off his uniform.
“It was my first choice to come here,” Sheffield said. “I made a lot of concessions to come here, and I’ll make it very clear. If I have to go somewhere else, a lot of things are going to have to be changed or you’re going to have an unhappy player.
“I’ll ask for everything. Period. You want to inconvenience me, I’m going to inconvenience every situation there is,” he added. “The only reason I’m playing is that I wanted to play for the Yankees. If I don’t get that opportunity, things change.”
Hey, if its concessions Gary wants, no problem. In the Pedro era, the Mets are all about coddling their superstars. Among the special stipulations Omar Minaya should be prepared to add to Sheffield’s contract are the following :
1) a promise from the entire roster that no one will try to steal Gary’s chef.
2) use of the Wilpon private jet so Gary can spend his days off with Roger Clemens’ family
3) all recordings by R. Kelly, Aaliyah, Ronnie Isley or Dave Chappelle parodying R. Kelly, banned from the clubhouse
4) full use of Shea facilities when the inevitable Subway sequel commercials (co-starring Jason Giambi) are ready to shoot.
If nothing else, it was a heck of a way for Byung-Hyun Kim to make it to the Hall Of Fame.
I don’t mean to diminish Biggio’s achievement, but craigslist is packed with individuals who have taken just as many balls to the face, and few of them have their own websites.
The above charming headline comes courtesy of Ben Schwartz, on today’s clarification from Virgina Congressman Tom Davis, who now denies that he’ll seek legislative redress were MLB to sell the Nationals to billionaire Bush-basher George Soros.
It™s not a real political discussion unless someone gets compared to a Nazi, even MLB, as The Washington Post’s Sally Jenkins just has to bring up baseball™s ugly Nazi past. Uh, well, Marge Schott™s anyway: ”It was all right for Schott, the racist collector of Nazi memorabilia, to own a baseball team for years, but it’s not for Soros, the billion-dollar philanthropist and Nobel Prize nominee?”
From the LA Times’ Mike Bresnahan.
The Lakers are strongly considering waiving Brian Grant, using a clause in the NBA’s new collective bargaining agreement that would allow them to release the high-salaried forward acquired last summer in the Shaquille O’Neal trade.
The one-time exemption allows teams that pay the luxury tax to waive one player and erase his salary from their luxury-tax figure. The Lakers would still have to pay Grant’s salary, which would continue to count against the salary cap and keep the Lakers cap-strapped until the summer of 2007.
The Lakers would, however, save almost $30 million in luxury taxes over the next two seasons. Grant, who averaged 3.8 points and 3.7 rebounds last season and was bothered by knee and shoulder problems, will make $14.3 million next season and $15.4 million in 2006-07.
A decision on Grant, 33, would be strictly economic and would be made by Laker owner Jerry Buss, who has paid the luxury tax the last two seasons but could avoid a considerable hit for a player of limited value.
The LA Times’ Steve Dilbeck is amongst those puzzled by the Lakers’ selection of center Andrew Bynum with the 10th pick in yesterday’s NBA Draft.
A team needier than a teenage girl, and it uses its first-round pick on a player they all admit will make minor impact next season.
Well, of course.
Mitch Kupchak’s “unlikely” scenario became reality when the Lakers selected Andrew Bynum — who’s had a driver’s license for a whole month now — with the 10th overall pick of the draft.
Bynum is 17 years old. His last game was for St. Joseph High School in Metuchen, N.J.
He’s also a 7-foot, 285-pound center who plays with his back to the basket, has a nice touch and apparently oozes with potential.
“We thought it was an opportunity we could not pass up,” Kupchak said.
A team that a year ago still had the best center of his generation in Shaquille O’Neal is now hoping to find his replacement in a kid too young to vote.
It’s a gutsy pick by Kupchak, who risked further criticism over his drafting expertise and general managerial skills by gambling so much on such a great unknown.
Simple, logical, predictable — it’s all so unlike those zany Lakers.
Jackson, back home on the ranch, is expected to fulfill the three years on his contract and then call it a career. He needs help now. Needs a big man now. Could use a big ballhandler now.
And his top pick is a project.
“Certainly at 17, he has a long ways to go,” Kupchak said. “But at 7 feet, and with the reach of almost 7-6, and his athletic ability … ‘ ”
How could they say no?
Easily, really, what with several highly regarded players still on the board. Fran Vazquez, Sean May, Antoine Wright, Danny Granger, Hakim Warrick and Jarrett Jack were all still available with the 10th selection.
Though rebuilding isn’t Phil’s forte, was there really anyone left at number 10 (or available via trade) that would elevate LA to contender status?
As the buy/sell debate continues to swirl around the NY Mets — winners last night against the Phillies, 8-3, despite the best efforts of Danny Graves, the NY Daily News’ Bill Madden opines on ownership’s optimism.
In the final analysis, it comes down to perspective. Steinbrenner looks at his third-place ballclub, floundering and fluctuating above, below and at .500, some six games back of the Red Sox in the loss column and asks: “Why?” Wilpon looks at his last-place ballclub and then at the four equally flawed teams ahead of it and asks: “Why not?”
Indeed, for all the unsettling aspects about this Mets team – Braden Looper’s psyche, Mike Piazza’s faded skills, the offensive black hole at first base, Jose Reyes’ .287 on-base percentage out of the leadoff spot – there is no reason why it shouldn’t be able to remain competitive in the anyone-can-win-it National League East. Of course, it sure would help to have a productive farm system.
Here’s how one scout who has been following the NL East for the past few weeks assessed the division: “The difference between the Mets and the Braves is that the Braves reach down to their system for help and bring up real prospects. The Mets reach down and bring up Gerald Williams, Jose Offerman and Brian Daubach. To me, that says it all about their system and it figures be an even bigger impediment for them when they want to make deals at the end of the month. Otherwise, the Marlins have their problems that may be deeper than we think, the Phillies can’t seem to make the adjustment on the road from their little ballpark and the Nationals are eventually going to realize their lack of depth, especially when they get hit with injuries.”
It’s hard to argue with that. Who’d have imagined the Braves suddenly playing their best baseball of the season at a time when their best player, Chipper Jones, and three of their top four starting pitchers, Tim Hudson, Mike Hampton and John Thomson, are all on the disabled list? The same scout went on to say: “If the Braves somehow wind up winning the division again this year, Bobby Cox should be allowed to report directly to the Hall of Fame without having to wait until he retires.”
I’m not sure if anyone has ever been nearly this excited to be staring at the U.S. Secretary of State, but as Steve Earle will tell you, there’s never been a Secretary Of State quite like Condoleeza Rice. (pic link courtesy Sam Frank)
(shown above : empty-skull mascot. And Mr. Met)
From the New York Post’s Joel Sherman :
Brian Cashman and Omar Minaya have engaged in preliminary talks about a blockbuster trade that would send Gary Sheffield to the Mets for a package headed by Mike Cameron, according to an executive from both an AL and NL club.
The two executives cautioned that talks are in their infancy and filled with major hurdles. After all, this would be the largest trade ever executed between the two New York teams, and neither wants to help the other make the playoffs and be endlessly ridiculed in the city. Nevertheless, the willingness to broach this deal shows the current thinking of both organizations.
The Mets have defined a late-inning reliever and a middle-of-the-order bat as their main needs, and have come to believe a quality bullpen arm at a reasonable return price may never become available. Sheffield, though, would be the run producer the Mets tried and just missed getting in the offseason with Carlos Delgado. Hitting between Carlos Beltran and Cliff Floyd, Sheffield (above) would give the Mets an elite middle of the order.
I know a few Mets fans who are freaking out over this deal, convinced that Sheffield is an aging, divisive force and that Cameron’s low salary makes him a far more valuable bargaining chip. But consider the following :
1) Sheff has already starred for such successful franchises as the Brewers, Padres, Marlins, Dodgers, Braves and Yankees — and he’s been a winner with most of ‘em! Would so many clubs be eager to employ Dwight Gooden’s nephew if he weren’t such a hot commodity?
2) Fringe benefits galore! Tasty meals prepared by his world class chef. Cutting-edge training techniques and guidance provided by a veteran leader who has worked with some of the biggest pioneers names in the fitness industry. And as recent incidents at Fenway and Yankee Stadium have shown, he’s a mature, cool-headed dude when the pressure is on. Just don’t mention the words “video” or “R. Kelly” in his presence and everything will be o.k.
Presumably, Durex have already exhausted their marketing budget. From Unibond.com :
Sellotape and QPR are delighted to announce a brand new commercial partnership.
This lucrative deal will see Sellotape™s famous logo on all the player™s shirts until at least the end of the 2006 / 7 season.
This is a first for the Sellotape Brand and a prospect that excites Sales Director Colin Gadd “ who says œ This will place our brand at the forefront of peoples minds and target the consumer on a regular basis, through a format they relate to.
œQPR is a respected club, with a loyal fanbase. They have competed well in their first year back in the Championship and we are looking forward to even greater progress together
QPR’s club shop are promising, by the way, that the new home shirts will be available this weekend with or without the Sellotape logo, which seems to contradict Mr. Gadd’s lofty ambitions.
From the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Tim Pannacio.
Jeremy Roenick said yesterday that audio/video “snippets” in which he said hockey fans can “kiss my [butt]” were taken out of context.
The Flyers center was quoted over the weekend at Mario Lemieux’s charity golf tournament outside Pittsburgh. His remarks about the fans made national headlines.
“Before I went into my rant, I was talking about the game of hockey, about getting it back on the ice, about what we have to do for the fans and telling people it’s not about who wins or loses, it’s about the game,” Roenick said.
“But the media picked out the negative stuff… . Don’t show snippets of the interview; show the whole interview, the whole message. My message during the interview was: How do we make the game more appealing to the fans?”
Roenick said his rant began when someone suggested the NHL lockout was the players’ fault.
“That got my gall,” he said. “We gave more back to the owners in this deal than any other sport has done. Before that question, I was talking about the game, how it was important to make it up to the fans and do something for them, and then that question came.”
A partial video clip from TSN.ca shows Roenick talking very calmly about the game of hockey and even apologizing for its absence.
In the clip, Roenick talks about how much “the players have hurt” hockey and “might not have been right” in the lockout, a position that certainly won’t please the NHL Players’ Association.
Roenick says the new deal has to allow “the owners to make money.” He then says that “fans should realize how much the players gave up” before blaming them as being spoiled.
“We’re going to make the game better for the fans,” he says in the video clip. “If you don’t realize that, then don’t come.”
The next clip jumps to his rant. Roenick said yesterday the question that provoked him was whether fans should blame the players. Roenick also said he left several messages with ESPN yesterday demanding to know why the network didn’t show the full video clip of what preceded his rant.
I dunno, I liked the part where Roenick said “you guys are just jealous.” I can’t imagine why that didn’t make the public fall in love with hockey players.
Not this one.
Or this one.
But this one!
I’m gonna go out on a limb here and suggest that C Channing Frye (Arizona), a bona-fide shot blocking demon, is gonna have a more impressive NBA career than Frederic Weis.
ONE MORE TIME : The clock is ticking on your once in a lifetime opportunity to hobnob with the best and the brightest interweb patrons in the Tri-State Area. Tickets are shipping tomorrow morning. Details below :
I know, it™s hard to believe. There aren™t enough days on the calendar for the New York Mets to acknowledge every blog that routinely takes them to task for any number of crimes against baseball and the paying customer, let alone those that feature little to no original content.
(DISCLAIMER : The Mets haven™t actually proclaimed July 3 as CSTB Day. But I™m confident that once management gets wind of how many tickets we have set aside for this special afternoon, they™ll be rolling out the red carpet, if not asking David Roth to throw out the first pitch.)
Your attendence is requested at The First annual CSTB Salute To Silver Tier Ticket Pricing, when the Mets take on the Marlins at 1:30pm, Sunday, July 3 at Shea Stadium.
Tickets are $14 which entitles the bearer to :
a) an unobstructed view of the diamond from Sec. 5, row F of the upper reserved deck.
b) free use of Shea™s restroom facilities throughout the day
c) œAn antique pewter-styled Baseball Glove Key Chain (admittedly, this isn™t much of a sellng point)
d) if you™re one of the first 25,000 fans in attendance, a Mets Stars & Stripes cap, œsponsored by Delta Airlines”. There™s nothing more patriotic than an airline that lets you use your cell phone on the runway.
e) the opportunity to hurl vicious, xenophobic invective at Carlos Delgado when he refuses to show proper respect for the playing of œGod Bless America”.
If Danny Graves makes it into the game, you might be present for the longest home run ever hit. You don™t know for sure what™s going to happen.
If you™d like to atttend, please reply with the number of tickets you™d like, along with your shipping (UPS) address, to
The Management on behalf of The New CSTB.
From the Sporting News’ Ken Rosenthal :
The Mets were delusional last season, making ill-advised trades for pitchers Kris Benson and Victor Zambrano. A sell-off is highly unlikely under aggressive general manager Omar Minaya, but the Mets might be smart to stockpile young talent in deals for lefthander Tom Glavine, catcher Mike Piazza and a veteran outfielder, either Mike Cameron or Cliff Floyd.
Which contending team in either league is willing to give up young talent to acquire a 36 year old singles-hitting catcher with diminished defensive skills? Were Mike Piazza having the kind of season Cliff Floyd is thus far, such advice would make a little more sense.
The Mets have flaws aplenty, but they’re also only 4 1/2 games out of the wild card spot, with plenty of games remaining against the teams they’re chasing (most of which are in their own division). Carlos Beltran is closer to full strength, the multitude of guys on the DL won’t be there forever and Steve Trachsel should be available for the final two months. Rosenthal can at least wait until the All-Star break before dismissing the Mets’ chances.