Nov 23

Open those wallets.

Do you remember a few weeks ago Commissioner Bud Selig asked the sports’ owners and general managers to be fiscally responsible as to be sensitive to the public during these tough economic times?

As unemployment spirals and prices rise, will the public be receptive to the sport’s shopping season?

Selig wasn’t telling teams not to indulge in the free agent market, but be cognizant and feeling to a public struggling to survive. He couldn’t tell teams not to spend because, after all, that’s collusion and the Players Association already won that battle.

Then the Yankees offered $140 million to CC Sabathia and talk about signing anybody not nailed down. But, this isn’t a Yankees’ rant, as they are only the poster child for the economics of the sport.

Mediocre players – read Oliver Perez – are about to make untold millions, and over the next few weeks teams will announce ticket prices for the 2009 season. Care to guess how many of the 30 teams will lower prices?

It’s not hard.

It’s easy to be cynical of Selig’s plea because he’s always talking about keeping salaries down, but he’s not about to throw his “best interest in baseball weight” around, because baseball’s best interest, at least to the short term thinkers in the sport, is today’s bottom line.

How nice it would be for the sport to place a moratorium on ticket and concession prices for next season, perhaps cut them five percent. That would be a gift to the public who always gives to the game, in both heart and wallet.

That won’t happen, because he can’t order a team to set prices. It won’t happen because he knows the players won’t take less.

It doesn’t work that way. Players are under pressure from the Players Association to take the best deal because it helps other players.

Sabathia, for instance was offered $100 million to stay in Milwaukee, but even if he were giddy happy there, he won’t re-sign and leave $40 million on the table. It’s easy to say, “how much is enough?” But, you’re not the one leaving money on the table, and the truth is, if in the same position you’d do the same.

It’s never enough.

Baseball doesn’t know the meaning of enough as it expands overseas with the reach of a poker player leaning across the table to pull in his chips. The players will get their millions because teams can afford it, and they can afford it because you always foot the bill. Whether it be tickets, or T-shirts, or watching on TV, the public always pays.

And, does so willingly.

Sep 27

Mets Chat Room: Santana defines greatness.

Santana: An afternoon of greatness keeps the Mets alive.

Santana: An afternoon of greatness keeps the Mets alive.

Johan Santana came to New York with as much pressure on him as any other coming to this city. Santana more than did his job this afternoon, coming back on three days rest to throw 117 pitches in a 2-0 victory over the Florida Marlins to keep alive the Mets’ season for at least another day.

“I made up my mind I was going to do it,” Santana said of the complete-game shutout. He said the chanting of his name by the crowd motivated him and he was as proud of this effort as any in his career.

As to why he wanted the ball, he said, “there was no tomorrow.”

Well, thanks to Santana, there is for the Mets. If you were at Shea today, tell us what you saw. If you watched on TV, tell us what you thought.

Sep 13

Mets Chat Room: Let’s Play Two

Mets and Braves playing a doubleheader at Shea today. Rain in the forecast for tonight. First game at 4 p.m., the second about a half-hour later. Late start courtesy of TV.

Johan Santana against Mike Hampton in the first game; Jon Niese and Jo-Jo Reyes in the second game.

Brian Schneider catches Santana and will catch Oliver Perez tomorrow. Robinson Cancel will catch Niese in the second game.

Jerry Manuel tried to be coy before the game, saying he didn’t know the club’s magic number is 14. Don’t believe him. I think he’s aware of all those things. He’s too sharp not to know.

Speaking of which, I think it would be appropriate to announce an extension for him and his interim coaches.

Sep 09

Your first Shea memory

We are down to 12 games for Shea; a dozen opportunities to create a memory, and for some, a first memory.

Many of you have said your last good-bye to the park. Some will do so in the coming weeks.

For now, I’d like for you to tell us about your first memory of Shea. Not the most dramatic. Not the most spectacular, but your first. Was it with your dad? Maybe the Mets lost that day, who cares? Was it just going to see the park you saw on TV?

Get mushy if you want.

Sep 05

Sept. 5.08: Mets Chat Room: Talking about your Mets.

Hi folks. For those who know me, please bear with me. For those who don’t, please understand I always wanted the concept of my blog, and the in-game Chat Room, to be like watching on TV with your friends. Plenty of give-and-take, commentary and questions.

I hope we can recapture that here.

I’m hoping you guys take over tonight and enjoy yourselves. Thanks again for all your support and looking forward to a lot of fun for the rest of the season and beyond.

By the way, I’m already looking into postseason credentials. Hope I get to use them.