Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson was quite caustic about the fact that David Wright, who is having an MVP-type season to this point, was runner-up in the fan voting to be the National League’s starting third baseman at the All-Star Game, held in Kansas City Tuesday night. Alderson wrote on his Twitter account, “A city of 800,000 outvoted a city of 8 million people,” after San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who in fairness is having a very good season, was declared the winner.
Some of Wright’s teammates wondered aloud if some technically savvy Giants fans who work in nearby Silicon Valley might have found a way to electronically stuff the ballot box. I asked Alderson, who used to work in the Bay Area when he served as general manager of the Oakland A’s, if he thought that San Francisco Giants CEO Laurence Baer might have some buddies at one of the Cupertino tech firms who could have done him a favor.
“I have a clever response to that question but I had better keep it to myself,” he quipped.
I doubt that the Justice Department will be investigating this matter.
The fact that Wright could not muster enough All-Star votes may be indicative of the Mets’ disappointing attendance this year. The team has performed far better than expected but has been hard-pressed to draw 30,000 for most games. The park did sell out last Tuesday but that was because it was a fireworks promotion, and many Phillies fans came up to cheer for their team from Philadelphia, Bucks County, and southern New Jersey.
There is definitely a “show me” attitude amongst potential Mets ticket buyers. To paraphrase Mets CEO Fred Wilpon, they want to see meaningful games in August, if not September. Cynical Mets fans are still upset that their team dropped five of six games to the Yankees. Fair or not, the Subway Series is a referendum to many Mets fans as to the true state of the team. The poor performance against their Bronx rivals had to have hurt grassroots mobilization efforts for Wright, in addition to having a negative effect on Citi Field attendance.
During last Sunday’s dreary 7-0 loss to the Cubs, Alderson expressed his admiration for the fine catching work of both Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas, even if their offensive prowess has been below par. Thole was gratified for his GM’s support, but added “I have to drive in more runs in the second half of the season,” following the game.
Movie star, Jackson Heights native and huge Mets fan John Leguizamo made a promotional appearance at Citi Field last Friday night on behalf of “Continental Drift,” the latest installment of the popular animated “Ice Age” film series. Leguizamo is the voice of Sid the Sloth. Forest Hills native Ray Romano and former South Ozone Park resident Nicki Minaj also lend their voices to the film.
ESPN had some nerve showing the annual July 4 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest on a three-hour tape delay in order to show tennis matches from Wimbledon. Where is the Worldwide Sports Leader’s sense of patriotism on Independence Day when millions of us want to cheer on Joey Chestnut, who is one of the greatest living Americans, according to the contest’s promoters, Shea Communications?! My guess is that Shea is going to have to bury the hatchet with longtime Mustard Belt champ Takeru Kobayashi in order to get ESPN to show the Coney Island event live again.
It is fitting that the Mets placed relief pitcher Pedro Beato’s locker next to that of outfielder and Whitestone native Mike Baxter. Beato, who grew up in Ozone Park, is thrilled to be back in his family home after rehabilitating his injured shoulder at the Mets’ Florida complex in Port St. Lucie and then pitching for the team’s Triple-A farm club, the Buffalo Bisons.
Baxter is recuperating from shoulder woes of his own after valiantly catching Yadier Molina’s line drive smash and crashing into the left field wall to preserve Johan Santana’s June 1 no-hitter. Mike was honored at Citi Field with proclamations last week from both state Sen. Tony Avella and Councilman Dan Halloran.
Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy, who had regained his hitting stroke after growing a mustache and now a beard, is debating whether to start the second half of the season clean-shaven.
File this under the banner of “I heard it through the grapevine”: According to the California Raisin Board, a scientific survey shows that raisins can lower blood pressure.
Similarly cinnamon has been proven to reduce cholesterol. General Mills has just introduced Apple Cinnamon Chex, which has the added benefits of being gluten-free as well as rich in fiber. Kellogg’s has also jumped on the cinnamon bandwagon with Cinnamon Almond Raisin Bran.