Enjoyed a nice trip up to Milwaukee last night, where we saw a few Mets fans, a nice park, a whole bunch of grilling out in the parking lot. Thanks to the Mets for actually winning when I go to see them, 2-1 over the Brew Crew.
And we got to see a Jose Reyes triple that knocked in the go-ahead runs, a comeback against the Brewers’ bullpen, a fairly clean save by Francisco Rodriguez with help from Jason Isringhausen. A good road trip for sure.
Three photos from Miller Park below the fold.
Two things from last night’s game against a Dodgers, a close 5-4 win made a little more hairy by Francisco Rodriguez’ closing style. It was a fun game but Oliver Perez’ line was…
But his hair was perfect! And Mets fans were trying to make #OliverPerez a trending item. We failed.
First, the hair:
And then video of Daniel Murphy’s adventurous put-out at first. Hat tip to the ‘Ropolitans:
Too many pitches by Santana, José! José! started things off with a hit and a stolen base, Luis Castillo got a hit, and DANIEL MURPHY with the 2 RBI… plus crisp performances from JJ Putz and Francisco Rodriguez… it’s a good beginning for the 2009 Mets. I can’t regard a Phillies/ Braves game as opening day – this is true opening day.
One down, 161 to go.
Concerns about how Citi is using US Federal bailout money is prompting Citigroup to reconsider the naming rights deal, valued at over $400 million over 20 years.
The Mets deal was attacked last week as an example of misplaced spending by financial institutions that needed bailout funds, according to the paper.
A Citigroup spokesman in New York told Reuters on Tuesday that “no TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) capital will be used for Citi Field or for marketing purposes.”
Members of the U.S. House of Representatives Dennis Kucinich and Ted Poe wrote to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner last Wednesday, asking him to push Citigroup to dissolve the Mets deal, the paper said.
Most of me says “aw, crap. A visible team in NYC and a naming rights deal? Certainly, the deal has been signed, but the government can find ways of helping Citi nullify the deal, which would be bad press all around for a time.. But if AIG can blow cash on a resort trip, why can’t Citi halp out a baseball franchise… boy, the logic isn’t strong on this one, huh.
The naming rights deal is still valuable, and the Mets franchise is in the public eye; someone else will pony up for some (less rich, dammit) naming rights. But this waffling, and likely breaking of the deal is a tough blow for the Mets’ owner Fred Wilpon, who has already had a tough loss from Bernie Madoff’s financial scheme. According to the Metsblog, Wilpon might even have to sell a minority interest in the team.
Maybe “Jackie Robinson Field” is the most viable naming idea out there, until the Mets can get some corporation to slap their name on the outside of the rotunda.
Linx: Terrible Towel for Good, Hewitt too Pricey to Fire, Citigroup Naming Rights, Super Bowl, Puppy Bowl and More
It’s Chinese Lunar New Year! Underwater dragon, anyone? Folks still have confidence in Obama, and that’s good, he was sworn in less than 2 weeks ago! Illinois Governor is now Former Governor Blagojevich, after his eventful last day in office; new Governor Pat (Hallelujah) Quinn promises to “fumigate state government.” Some curious comments on The American Institute for Economic Research’s Cost of Living Guide.
US Airways Flight 1549 (the one famously waylaid by geese) passengers will get a year of free “elite status” upgrades; Wall Street Journal commenters think they’re greedy because of one guy’s comment saying it doesn’t go far enough. I think, like those people are going to be flying any more than they need to in the next year? Hells no. Speaking of the flight, Addicting Games is staying classy with a flight simulator game – just prevent the plane from crashing into the Hudson! I’ve been giggling all week about this article on East Breast, Penistone, and other embarassing names of British towns from the NY Times… and Tumbledown Dick Road. It never stops making me laugh.
I am such a sucker that I am going to be watching the Puppy Bowl this Sunday as well as the Superbowl… enjoy the puppy starting lineup. My wife’s big on Mercy (pictured below, photo courtesy of Animal Planet).
+ Those damned socialists in Congress (Kucinich and Republican Ted Poe are quoted) want Citigroup to ditch the $400 million deal for naming rights at the new Mets Stadium/ CitiField.
+ John Maine avoids arbitration and will make 2.6 million next year.
+ In college basketball, an auto-bid watch from Storming the Floor.
+ USA Today finds the recent college firings “disturbing“, and name-check Gary Williams, St. John’s Norm Roberts, and Ernie Kent. Addendum: an article on Ernie Kent and the new Matthew Knight arena opening in 2011. And why would Jeff Capel leave Oklahoma for Georgia, anyway?
+ Paul Hewitt, safe at Georgia Tech… in part because they can’t afford to fire Hewitt:
If that weren’t enough, there’s this: Hewitt’s contract renders him almost fireproof.
His deal was reworked in April 2004 after he led Tech to the NCAA title game. Dave Braine, the AD who hired Hewitt in 2000 and had seen his vision realized, rewarded his coach with a six-year contract that rolls over automatically and that provides a buyout in full for each remaining season if he’s fired “without cause” (meaning, just for losing).
Hewitt is making $1.9 million this season — $1.3 million in salary, $250,000 for radio/TV shows, $200,000 in speaking fees and $150,000 in deferred compensation. Were Tech to dismiss Hewitt today, it would owe him $9.5 million.
By way of contrast, Tech was compelled to pay Chan Gailey $4 million when it fired him as football coach, and Georgia is on the hook for $1.5 million after canning Dennis Felton.
Georgia’s athletics department is flush with cash. Tech’s is not. Tech is paying Gailey through 2011 not to coach, and it just handed Paul Johnson a 50 percent raise — to $2.4 million per season. Bottom line: Nobody is rooting harder for Hewitt than Radakovich.
+ Something awesome that I never knew about the Terrible Towel (I love my Terrible Towel!) – the proceeds go to a special needs school:
But the great part comes from what each of those towels does for people like Danny Cope, Myron’s son and Elizabeth’s older brother.
Myron Cope left behind something far more personal than a legacy of terrycloth, a battle flag for a city and its team. In 1996, he handed over the trademark to the Terrible Towel to the Allegheny Valley School. It is a network of campuses and group homes across Pennsylvania for people with severe intellectual and developmental disabilities. It receives almost all the profits from sales of the towels.
Danny Cope is one of the roughly 900 people the school serves. He has been a resident since 1982, when he was a teenager. He was diagnosed with severe mental retardation when he was 2. He is now 41.
+ The NFL is either losing money (according to the NFL Commissioner)… or flush with cash (according to the Players’ Association). Yes, there’s a Collective Bargaining Agreement that needs to be negotiated by both sides in the next couple of years.
+ Kurt Warner is not a Hall-of-Famer. Jason Whitlock apparently disagrees.
+ Brett Favre doesn’t return Aaron Rodgers’ calls. Hasn’t for a year.
And Barack Obama on the Super Bowl… he’s for Pittsburgh.
And 30 Rock is coming back this week – watch for Oprah and a fine actress named Tijuana Ricks on the flight behind Tina Fey and Oprah. Tina Fey gets to be known for more than her Sarah Palin impression.
* St. John’s didn’t get the coveted recruit, Jordan Williams. The Torrington High forward chose Maryland for the playing time and criminal justice program. Good luck to him; perhaps he’ll become like Sean May – a little earthbound but extrememly capable in the post.
* Big East media day notes include the coaches’ preseason poll, links to other Big East scribes and quotes from Justin Burrell from NYHoops.com, and more quotes from Burrell on knowing his role.
* Connecticut’s Nate Miles, after violating his restraining order, will go to the College of Southern Idaho, or CSI, to play ball for a year. Will he be back at U Conn? Will he go somewhere else, or even to the professional ranks?
* A note on the upcoming preseason NIT Tournament, based on a post from Storming the Floor.
* In case no one’s disabused you of the notion, public stadium financing doesn’t lead to strong local economic impact.
* Lute Olsen steps down as head coach of Arizona (the title of the post refers to how Bill Belichick stepped down from his day-long stint as the head coach of the New York Jets); this post is on how I think head coaches who quit suddenly aren’t practicing what they preach, and how Arizona’s future is still bright.
* Unfortunately, one of our favorite blogs, CardsHoops, seems to have hung up the keyboard.
* The Mets hired a coach with the awesome name Razor Shines. There is also a Moneyball movie coming out.
* Isiah Thomas may have overdosed on a few too many sleeping pills… but there will be more on this during the week.
Thank you for continuing to read the East Coast Bias. Spread the word! Or read via .rss feed.
* The Mets have a new third base coach with the amusing name “Razor Shines.” I keep think that’s a typo, but no. This from the coach who said, about Reyes’ demonstration of frustration this year,
“I told him next time he does that I’m going to get my blade out and cut him. I’m a gangster. You go gangster on me, I’m going to have to get you. You do that again, I’m going to cut you right on the field.”
* Fernando Tatis – your comeback player of the year from Sporting News.
* The Daily News’ Adam Rubin lets us know that former Met manager Willie Randolph is in consideration for the Brewers job, and a couple of bench coach positions.
* And non-Mets related: Michael Lewis’ Moneyball, on Billy Beane’s stewardship of the Oakland A’s under a tight budget, is being made into a movie.
From the Onion, Carlos Voltron!:
According to eyewitnesses, before the Mets players completed the complicated procedure, in which they fused their physical selves and combined their talents to form the 20,000-ton robot, manager Jerry Manuel called the team to the dugout, where he commanded them to prepare their interlock systems for activation, connect the appropriate dyna-therms, charge up the infra-cells to full capacity, engage the mega-thrusters, and give it their best out there…
Although the Mets’ fielding skills were excellent, they were not without flaws. Cubs manager Lou Piniella came out to the field to protest several times, complaining that his base runners injured themselves in the 10-foot deep trenches left behind from Carlos Voltron scooping up ground balls. Piniella also expressed frustration over his players suffering from collapsed rib cages, ruptured organs, and decapitations every time Voltron tagged them out.
Carlos Voltron’s solid and consistent defensive play was only upstaged in the fans’ eyes by his powerful hitting, with those in attendance claiming they suffered bad sunburns from the glare caused by the robot forming his blazing bat. Stepping up to the plate, he made almost perfect contact with the first pitch, belting the ball out of Shea and into the next solar system.
From the NY Daily News:
Mets closer Billy Wagner has a torn ligament in his left elbow and will have surgery this week, meaning he’ll miss the rest of this season and likely all of 2009, too.
The surgery will repair a torn MCL ligament and a torn flexor pronator, and has a recovery time of at least a year, the Mets announced Monday. Since Wagner is currently in the third year of a four-year, $43-million contract, it’s possible he has thrown his last pitch for the Mets, though the team holds a $8 million option on Wagner for the 2010 season or there is a $1 million buyout on the deal.