Gary McDonald - Random Thoughts

As I sit in New York writing this, a blizzard is all around me.  With a foot of snow on the ground it is hard to believe that the Mets are just a blink of an eye from starting Spring Training.  But there are players in camp already, the equipment truck has completed its long journey from Citi Field to the Port St. Lucie complex, and soon we will see which automobile Yoenis Cespedes arrives in daily. I cannot wait.

 I am old enough to remember the first spring training of the New York Mets. It was so much different then as it is now.  Back then, the coverage was very  limited.  Somewhere, there is a black and white video of Ralph Kiner, Lindsay Nelson, and Bob Murphy introducing New York  to the Mets and an interview with Casey Stengel. Spring Training in those days, had activities such as sliding drills and bunting practice, two arts that are missing in today’s game.  We were very fortunate if there was  a blurb on the evening news  to find out what was going on in Tampa- St. Pete. Now,it’s all so different.  With cable tv stations, and a sports talk radio, there is literally wall to wall coverage of not only the Mets but of all MLB teams.  SNY, the Mets cable home, will have reports nightly, a weekly show, as well as some Spring Training games.  WOR radio will broadcast a ton of Spring games, back in the day, we were lucky to get a game once a week or one every two weeks.  Oh, the age we live in!

All that be said it is a wonderful time to be alive, especially for a baseball junkie. so, as you sit in below freezing weather this weekend, sipping on a hot chocolate, put the TV on and catch the boys of summer in sunny Florida, starting the journey to the 2017 MLB season.

Four New York Mets will be participating in this year’s World Baseball Classic.  The four are Jeurys Familia, Jose Reyes, TJ Rivera, and Seth Lugo. Familia and Reyes will play for the Dominican Republic, Rivera and Lugo will play for Puerto Rico, Ty Kelly will play for Israel, but the Mets designated him for assignment to make room on the 40 man roster, and Asdrubal Cabrera was to suit up for Venezuela however, he was left off the roster.  I have to admit that I was not a big fan of the World Baseball Classic in years past, but, after attending a game in the mini tournament held in Brooklyn last season, and watching the rest of the tournament online, I have a new outlook. The games were pretty well played, Pakistan, which is new to the sport, fielded a weak team but, it was interesting to see the game being learned and played by yet, another country in the world. Also, to see the spirit of the crowds was very contagious, and made for a very fun experience.  So, come March I will be sure to catch the action and pray that none of our Mets get injured and have great series.

Mets beat writer, Adam Rubin, announced that he was leaving ESPN.com and journalism and taking a job in public relations.  I enjoyed reading his reports and wish him good luck in his future endeavors.


Mack Ade said...

Gary -

Great post!

Welcome back to Mack's Mets

Gary Mack said...

Thank You

Mack Ade said...

Mack -

I was there in 1962 when the 'Big 3' announcers started.

I also had a tryout with the Mets at the end of 1962 that Casey Stengel invited all coaches to send their best players for an pen tryout. I didn't play high school ball because both my parents were dead by then and I had to work after school. I also graduated at 16 years old in 1963 so I was considered underage. Still, I managed to wiggle my way in and failed miserably... but it is a memory I cherish.

Note: 2 kids were signed out of 400-500 tryouts... a first baseman named Rick Herscher (sp?) and a catcher out of John Adams HS

Reese Kaplan said...

I was a failure with a bat in my hands at a much younger age, Mack. The only time I did well was one year when the Little League cutoff was in August and I am a September baby so I was bigger than everyone else and for one season batted like an All-Star.

Hobie said...

Wow! Rick Herrscher made it to the Show that year! Played a bunch of positions, none very well & couldn't hit either. Otherwise...

Tom Brennan said...

Good memories. My Dad was a long time Yanks fan.m. In 1961, I picked Maris. In 1962, Dad asked if I wanted to root for the new team in town. Still liked the Yanks, but the Mets somehow became my team.

Unknown said...

Ahhh the old days. I was a Dodger fan slash Koufax fan before the Amazin's came to be but how could you not fall in love with this new NL club warts and all and by the way who are the Yankees? LOL. Also if you were lucky enough and old enough to be a Met fan in that era or should I say error it was so awesome to watch us go from awful to WS champs BEFORE the dreaded free agent period began when it was about baseball NOT salaries. Oh well that's my story and thanks Gary for that post.

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