Well, at least I picked a very slow news time to be back. Only one semi-major story broke while we were out, but at any rate, it’s good to be back. The thing is, I am in the midst of possibly changing blogging software, and I had to make a change to my server. This should have taken 24-48 hours. It wound up taking five days. Needless to say, I was very frustrated by the end of the week, but at the end of the day, we’re back in business, and that’s all that matters, right?
And that semi-major story? Mike Piazza signed with the Padres. I guess that was the least offensive choice he could have wound up with, and it makes sense. The Padres had nobody good to play catcher. Mike can go back out West, where he started his career, and most importantly, he’s not going to be a Yankee. The only reason he would have wound up a Yankee would be to screw with the Mets anyway, so unless George is that spiteful a bastard, that didn’t really have much of a chance at happening. And, the good thing is, the Padres’ spring training home is in Arizona. What does that have to do with the Mets? Well, nothing, but I’m going to be in Arizona for ten days in March attending Spring Training, so now I have an autograph target while I’m out there. We’ll see how that goes, since my attempt at getting an All-Japanese ball started and ended with Shingu Takatsu, and we saw how that worked out…
Pedro Martinez made some waves last week with some comments. First, he called A-Rod out for not playing for the Dominican in the World Baseball Classic. I’m kind of pissed about that too, but more because it probably cost David Wright the starting third base job for Team USA. Screw you, A-Rod, I could have watched D-Wright at the World Baseball Classic (against South Africa, no less!) but now I have to look at your dumb purple lips instead.
In other Pedro news, this news infinitely more important to Mets fans, Pedro’s toe is still bothering him, and they are sizing a special shoe for him to wear this season. You know, whenever they have to create technology for you to wear to help you play baseball because you have an injury…I don’t take that as a good sign. Not at all. But, Pedro is saying he’ll be fine, and that he should be able to play in the World Baseball Classic. I kind of hope he doesn’t, and I don’t think there’s a single Met fan who disagrees. Yeah, I’m sure it would be nice for him to have this one opportunity to represent his country in international play, but Omar kind of traded away the Mets’ rotation depth, so they kinda need you to stay healthy. Maybe if Jae Seo and/or Kris Benson were still around, it’d be one thing, but they’ve got nothing if you get hurt.
In other international-type news, Carlos Delgado and Carlos Beltran both think Roberto Clemente should get the “retired number by every team” treatment. I see both sides on this issue, but I’ve got to come out in favor of this. I don’t think it dilutes Jackie Robinson’s number being retired at all. I think it has to be a very special player, and I don’t think I’d retire any other numbers but Robinson’s and Clemente’s. Ever since I read a book about Clemente in 4th grade for a book report, I’ve always liked him. He was about the most selfless man to ever play the game. The way he died, delivering food to earthquake survivors in Nicaragua, spoke about what kind of man Roberto Clemente was. With baseball’s growing Latino influence, it would definitely speak highly of Clemente to do something of that magnitude. Much like Jackie Robinson, his great play on the baseball diamond only signifies a tiny part of the reason as to why he deserves this honor.
And finally, SI.com’s Alex Belth writes a thoughtful piece on the new Mets network SportsNet New York. He even includes quotes from blog owners, including Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog.com who is a friend of this site. But yeah, it talks about the programming, and how their focus is not so much to be a copy of the YES Network, in terms of being a network that caters exclusively to Yankee fans, and more of a “ESPN for New York.” I’m not sure how that particular approach will work. I mean, we already have a pretty good ESPN that services the whole country, and that is established viewing for most people.
What are they going to do, a Pardon The Interruption or Around the Horn style show with New York beat writers? I don’t think that would work, and I think it’s overdone. If they tried a call-in show, it would initially have stiff competition from an established program like Mike and the Mad Dog (I almost typed Mike in the Mad Dog by accident. I’m just going to stop right there before I get sued). Now, don’t get me wrong, I’d love for somebody to bring down Mike and the Mad Dog. I’ve pretty well established that I am not a fan of their’s. But they are so entrenched in New York, that SNY would have to have a dynamic host, somebody who could really step in and make an impact and grab viewers right off the bat, somebody who already has an established name that people associate with greatness, and I don’t think that person exists. I do think there are people who could put on a better, more informative show than Russo and Francesa that would attract these two eyeballs, but I’m one person.
Additionally, a lot of the initial content that will be taken for SNY will come from the various Comcast SportsNets that already exist throughout the country in markets like Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Chicago. From what I’ve seen, their nightly programming, both content wise and production wise, lags way behind that of ESPN. Why would somebody want to watch a low-budget version of ESPN? They won’t. That’s why I don’t think programming the network to be a ESPN of New York will be successful.
I do agree with what Greg Prince of Faith and Fear in Flushing says in this article, and that is that SNY should be a greater version of YES. Yeah, the Mets history sucks. So what? Embrace it. That’s what Mets fans want. All they have right now is the Mets and some Jets pregame crap. Show it all. Somewhere in a vault, I know they have every episode of Kiner’s Korner that ever existed. Show them. We want to see Ralph Kiner’s awful jackets, dammit. Minor league games should be a staple. Every night that there isn’t a Mets game on between the months of April and October, there should be some sort of minor league game on. If there’s a minor league day game going on the same day as a Mets night game, show it.
Mets fans love baseball. Mets fans love following minor leaguers, even if they will eventually become Florida Marlins or Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Mets fans know the history, don’t care that it’s all negative, and want to see more. I want to see profiles of Marv Throneberry. I want to see profiles of Casey Stengel. Of Ed Kranepool. Of Danny Heap (who I voted for in the poll linked to the SI article). We know all that their history is colorful, is not always successful, but is always fun. I want special one hour episodes of New York Mets Behind The Dugout (SNY, you can keep that one free of charge) about Cootersgate. Of Ray Knight f’ing Eric Davis up. Of Get Metsmerised.
Give the diehards something, and people will watch. The Mets fans can go anywhere to get their sports news, from the television to the radio to the big one, the internet. People watch TV to be entertained. Entertain us by embracing the history of being a Mets fan. That’s what Mets fans want out of SportsNet New York.
And on an aside, I wish I had thought of all of that when I wrote my mediocre article on what I’d like to see on SNY. Oh well. Anyway, glad to be back, and hopefully we’ll have more for you tomorrow.