Tag:Tom Glavine
Posted on: June 3, 2008 4:38 pm

On Randolph: Something Interesting to Consider...

So I'm reading this post on Dana Brand's blog at http://metsfanbook.com/blog/; and I was intrigued about his post on Willie Randolph. I thought it was an excellent article, a must read; and so, I thought I'd post it here for all the "Willie Haters" out there who also call themselves Mets fans. Here it goes, and by the way Dana Brand, good job!!!

Obviously, Willie should not have said what he said. 

You’d have to be naïve to believe that racism doesn’t play a part, for some people, in the anger and bitterness that has been directed at Willie Randolph lately.  But you’d have to be terribly unfair to think that it’s a prominent reason.  Mets fans, after the historic choke of last season and the mediocre beginning of this one, have a sense that their team lacks fire and direction.   In a situation like this, it’s perfectly plausible to blame the man who is supposed to lead and set the tone for the team.  Any manager with a laid back manner and a controversial managerial style is going to get crap from the fans in a situation like this.  Ask Art Howe.   Race is not the main issue. 

And what is this with SNY?  Sure they put the camera on him when something bad happens.  That’s the way news coverage and sports coverage works.  He knows that.  And Gary, Keith, and Ron are wonderfully respectful towards Willie.  How would he like it if Tim McCarver was back in our booth second-guessing all his moves?

And how about this timing?  Finally the air is cleared after the Mets have a meeting and decide not to be distracted by off-the-field stuff.  Finally they get their heads together to play up to their potential and clobber the Yankees.  All attention is on our opportunity to beat the Braves right after beating the Yankees.  And then before you can blink, we’re all back in the media stew.  We’re not in the glorious green world of the ballpark.  We’re in the jam on the LIE, listening to Mike and the Mad Dog in an endless loop.  What a complete and total bummer.

Willie must have known that this was not the time to say what he said.  Why would someone who hates off-the-field distractions want to go out and create a big one at the wrongest moment imaginable?  There’s only one answer to this question.

Willie must have meant it. 

You know how sometimes you’re having a fight with someone and everybody’s finally calmed down and things are all right and then you just can’t help but say something that shows how hurt you were that the other person said what they said before things calmed down?  I think this happened here.  I don’t think that Willie thinks that racism is the big issue.  But my guess is that he can’t help but feel as if it is.  I think that like most African-Americans, Willie has had to deal all his life with people who just don’t like him for some reason and don’t want to give him a chance.  And I think that when you’ve had to deal with crap like that, it is sometimes hard to put things in perspective when you are suddenly the object of so much intense hostility, when you’ve been doing your job with a pretty fair amount of success for three years.  If you’ve looked at the Internet boards and if you’ve listened to the radio, you know how over-the-top the blame-Willie, we-hate-Willie stuff has been.   I know this stuff is not necessarily racist.  I know it just bubbles up out of the angst of being a Mets fan at this particular moment.  But what may be happening is that Willie is mistaking one kind of unfair hostility towards him with another.  That may not be fair of him, but I can certainly understand why he feels this way.

The problem, coincidentally, is the same problem Tom Glavine identified at the end of last year in a statement he certainly should not have made.  When he said that he was disappointed and not devastated (as we were) to lose the last game of the season in the first inning, he was trying to tell us to back off, to understand that baseball is only a game.  This comment was foolish.  Tom should have known how much that last game meant to Mets fans, and he should have been devastated, and not merely disappointed.  But I can understand where people like Tom and Willie are coming from.  They must wonder: how can all of these strangers be so emotionally involved in what happens as I try my best to do my job?  Why, if I look as if I’m screwing up, do they actually go so far as to hate me?  It’s a reasonable question, but it’s also kind of a dumb question.  That’s what this thing is.  Baseball is something a baseball fan is passionate about.  Sometimes our passion will come after you guys and sometimes it will look like some of the worst things in the world.  At other times our passion will lift you to the heavens. 

Everybody’s going to be talking for the next couple of days about how unfair and unwise Willie’s comments were.  The game I’m watching right now is not going well, so it’s not going to save us.  What I’d really like is if in addition to talking about how unfair Willie was, we also recognize something about the anguish that would have prompted him to say what he shouldn’t have said.  It must not be easy for these guys, no matter how much money they make or glory they get.  Yeah, they should put up with it, yeah, heat, kitchen all that stuff.  Yeah, and they’re human beings too. 

We should treat them with some understanding.  And they should understand where we’re coming from.  It is true that baseball is just a game, that it isn’t real.  But that’s like saying American Idol isn’t real, or Harry Potter.  The statement is true, in the most obvious and literal way.  But it ‘s not true. 

Posted on: January 28, 2008 5:33 pm

Spin, Spin, Spin....

So, the Winter Meetings have come and gone, a new year has begun and now we're two and a half weeks away from pitchers and catchers. Are we as Mets fans two and half weeks closer to seeing Johan Santana suited up in royal blue and orange though? Last week, I blogged a bit (and got a nice little response in my view; thanks to all who read it) on Johan possibly coming to Queens, and the prevailing thought at the time was that it was very likely. Ryan Church, Aaron Heilman, Kevin Mulvey or Philip Humber and Deolis Guerra, were said to be going to Minnesota for Santana. That's what was said anyway. This week, I've discovered that Fernando Martinez has  (that viewpoint has been altered over and over again) to be in the deal; and that within 10 days, Johan will..... I repeat WILL be traded. And get this: The Mets are still the frontrunners!

At this point, I'm a bit skeptical about it all. I mean, I would love to have Johan Santana at the front of the Mets' rotation come Opening Day. It'll be different to see someone other than either Tom Glavine ('07) or Pedro Martinez ('05 and '06) start Opening Day for the Amazins; nevertheless is it worth all the headache reading contradicting source after contradicting source? Who really knows what's going on between Bill Smith, Minnesota GM, Theo Epstein, The Bosses Steinbrenner + Cashman and Omar Minaya? Will the credible source please stand up and tell me what in the world is going on in these trade talks; and give me a definitive answer as to where this guy is actually going to pitch in 2008?

If the Mets are just pawns in all this, just let Minaya know so we can go ahead and sign Livan Hernandez. While that's probably a move that costs us a championship in '08, at least we'll still have a farm system! I swear if this deal is made, the Mets may as well have open tryouts for the New Orleans Zephyrs! I want you to know, I'll be first in line because if the Mets prospects are as overrated as they say, anyone....including me could make their squad. Just think, that team actually competed last year for the PCL Championship last summer. Go figure. Anyway, I have to give credit to the Matt Cerrone and his guys at Metsblog.com and Tim Dierkes at mlbtraderumors.com. They keep me sane with all the Johan talk and their opinions and sources are great; but I think they're getting a bit overwhelmed with all the drama too.

So, my head is getting dizzy, Mr. Bill Smith, Minnesota Twins GM. Quit creating all the 'spin' and deal Johan somewhere! If he ends up in Flushing, great. If not, trade him somewhere so you can finally get your boatload of prospects, because that's all he'll bring you in return. Philip Hughes and Ian Kennedy are apparently out of the question as is Jacoby Ellsbury, and Jon Lester. Either way, I just want some baseball to be played....with or without Johan. Let's go Mets!    

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com