The Mets have a huge number of promotions going for the 2013 season. It’s pretty obvious that they have to after several straight years of sagging attendance and below .500 teams. So it’s no surprise that the marketing team will appear somewhat desperate with near daily promotions going. We’re the benefactors, the hardcore fans that will go watch bad Mets teams play anyway.
The highlights of the schedule for this season are:
You would have thought the big news this week for the Mets were the interviews for the open managerial position to replace Jerry Manuel. Instead, the news got particularly ugly when well-liked clubhouse manager Charlie Samuels was implicated in an illegal sports gambling ring. Apparently, Samuels was caught on wiretaps with a mob-run gambling organization.
Samuels has been with the Mets for more than 30 years. It’s hard to believe that anyone with such a good job would jeopardize it by getting involved in an illegal sports gambling ring. I have to assume that Samuels is a gambling addict and couldn’t stop himself. It’s really sad that he would hit rock bottom and it looks like he’s going to lose his job over this.
Of course, most of us don’t know Samuels. But Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling bring his name up frequently on SNY broadcasts. They talk about him with such affection. It sounds like he’s a universally liked figure among Mets and former Mets players.
The news in the media is that Samuels admitted gambling on baseball to an MLB investigator. That’s something the Mets just can’t have in the locker room. I don’t think there’s any way Samuels can keep his job of that’s the case. I’m sure the authorities will be working hard to make a splash by getting Samuels to admit that he took bets from players on the team too. Hopefully, that isn’t the next scandal to hit the news.
Here’s a rundown of the news about Samuels:
The Mets suspended Samuels last week indefinitely without pay
Samuels admitted to an MLB investigator that he has bet on baseball games
It came out that K-Rod started living with Samuels after he was suspended for fighting with his girlfriends’ father
Samuels reportedly gave comped seats for Mets games to organized crime figures
Samuels may have misappropriated Mets funds for short periods of time before paying the accounts back
Jeff Francoeur gave Samuels a $50,000 gratuity before he was traded to the Rangers
Gary Cohen along with ex-Mets Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling form one of the best broadcast teams in Major League Baseball. Their stellar commentary earned them the #2 spot on GQ’s list of the best and worst television broadcast teams in the MLB. The team was second to only Vin Scully, the ageless solo act for the Dodgers’ broadcast. You can see the rankings for yourself here.
I really feel that only true Met fans understand the worth of these guys in the booth. Gary’s outstanding play-by-play combined with Keith and Ronny’s in-depth knowledge of the game make for 9 innings of enthralling baseball discussion night in and night out.
In my mind, Gary, Keith, and Ron cannot be considered “homers,” although their connection with the team is evident through their commentary. I think it’s safe to say that the three are all Met fans at heart but they honor their profession by calling it like they see it, something that several broadcast teams (cough cough, YES Network, cough) fail to do. Although their discussions may stray from the focus of the game at times, they always keep it interesting. Whether it’s Keith explaining his criteria for a good steak, Ron delving into different world cultures, or Gary talking about how horrible a head first slide into first base is three innings after it happens, our guys captivate baseball minds that are tuning in. I’m almost hesitant to attend games because I won’t get to listen to them (that is a lie, Citi Field is like my church).
Keith and Ron are such valuable assets from a fan standpoint because their baseball knowledge is really through the roof. Obviously both were staples of the ’86 Mets, and were winning players throughout their careers. Keith revolutionized the position he played and was an MVP. Ron possesses intellect pertaining to the mound that matches his Ivy League diploma.
As a fan base we are privileged to have these guys in our ear during most Met broadcasts. I consider them a part of Mets baseball and hope they remain a team for years to come.
I haven’t been posting too much daily stuff about the Mets recently but two stories caught my eye today. Ron Darling and Billy Wagner are both making big news.
First, SNY’s Darling owes $544,197 in back state and federal taxes according to the Detroit News. That’s a big number even for a guy that likely makes a nice living from SNY and TBS. He also made $17.9 million during his playing days.
Second, Billy Wagner says that he’s retiring at 385 saves instead of going for 400 next season. He’s a free agent and I’m sure somebody would pick him up on a one year deal to close. I think he’s just down after giving up 2 runs in .2 innings against the Angels in the ALDS.
Also SNY analyst Ron Darling talks to WFAN’s Joe & Evan about all things Mets. He does have some interesting things to say about the relationship between Willie Randolph and Carlos Delgado. They were talking about Delgado’s recent offensive success, and Darling says that there was a strained relationship between he and Randolph.