East Coast Cardinal Survives by the Shovel

For those who don’t know, forgot, or don’t care, I pledge to be the only Arizona Cardinals fan on the East Coast. Even after that amazing win over the Packers—the second such agony and ecstasy OT playoff win over the Packers in the last six years, Saturday Night Live host Adam Driver, whose entrance was delayed almost an hour due to the late run of the game, came out and said “Congratulations to the Arizona Cardinals.” And about three people clapped. Obviously they were from out of town.

But so what? I am a Mets fan, so I know what it is like to be ignored. And as long as you keep winning, you get to laugh while others yawn and stare at their phones. I will not forget this game. Allowing two Hail Marys on one drive, on fourth-and-20, and essentially, fourth-and-45 is mind-boggling. Having a coin flip that does not count is something I have never seen. And a shovel pass from Carson Palmer to Larry Fitzgerald, the guy who just went 75 yards and the other team has to be covering for the winning touchdown. Thats incredible.

For the second time in their 95 year NFL History, they will go the NFC Championship Game. (They did play in a couple of NFL Championship Games; even won an NFL title in 1947, but all anyone cares about the Super Bowl.) I actually missed the first half of the game, going with friends to see Brooklyn, the movie, not the borough—and if I could say Saoirse Ronan I would say she’s superb. And Megan Draper (Jessica Pare) excels as well. The movie was good, but the game will linger. No matter what happens next. Though I recall thinking something like that last October.

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Oh, and if I don’t get back on the site before next week, let me proudly say I’ll be on the book panel at the third annual Queens Baseball Convention on Saturday, January 23. By the fans, for the fans, because the Mets don’t want to do one. The lack of official team hype and BS is what makes QBC great. Do not miss it! QBC 16 will be at a new location: O’Neill’s Restaurant at 64-21 53rd Drive in Maspeth. It starts at 11:30 a.m. I go on with the panel hosted by Jason Fry at 3:30 p.m.

Fame, Thy Name Is Piazza

This is a test. If Mike Piazza is elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and you do not post an article commenting on it within a significant amount of time, you do not have what can be deemed a functioning Mets site. I have been preoccupied working on a few books and actually had to make late changes to the night of his announcement to reflect the Mets doubling their Hall of Fame representation, and, wait and see, doubling their retired player numbers as well. They have set the bar purposely high in this area.

It has been a pretty darned good year in Metsland. Sure, George Steinbrenner might classify losing the World Series as a failure, but if Mets fans thought that way they’d never be happy. Not that losing to the Royals didn’t hurt. It still hurts. With two rounds needed to win a pennant, the odds of returning to the World Series are not good. It is possible. And you can even win the second time around. Just ask the Royals. But screw them. I’m still mad and hurt. I am pretty excited about Mike Piazza getting into the Hall of Fame, though. And going in as a Met.

Piazza’s arrival in 1998 was a Keith Hernandez kind of change. It was worth the $21 for box seats and taking my three-month-old daughter to her first game and later making it one of my earliest posts on this site. The Mets went from pretty good to really good after getting him, while the post-Mex Mets started from a lower low and reached a higher high. Piazza was the focus of the offense. And I remain convinced that another year with Edgardo Alfonzo-John Olerud-Piazza middle of the order and they win a World Series. And if they hadn’t played the Yankees in 2000…

Piazza had gotten painfully close to the Hall of Fame and then blasted through this time around. All the steroids era players will probably get in one day, just like the guys who exploded offenses in the 1930s one day stopped being punished. People say, “Who cares?  everyone was doing it.” Because if everyone was jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge, everyone else would follow behind. And be handed millions of dollars for the risk. If there was any.

I like the comment made by Roy Halladay: “When you use PEDs you admit your not good enough to compete fairly! Our nations past time should have higher standards! No Clemens no Bonds!” Roger threw a bat at Roy’s s head or something, but I wish a player had said that 20 years ago. The players caused this problem. The owners exacerbated it. And the writers, the low men on the prestige and pay totem polls are the ones left to administer it. Funny thing is, Halladay, who is not eligible for the Hall until 2019, may get in before Clemens does.

The Hall of Fame is a great place. I have friends who work there. I have a Hall of Fame club member T-shirt that is almost as old as Steven Matz. It is funny how this little town in upstate New York has so many quaking in their boots. What should be bothering them is their conscience.

I believe Mikey P. is clean. I just wish we knew and that someone did something about it when they could. It’s baseball. In football Peyton Manning has serious allegations leveled against him regarding HGH and barely an eye is batted. Think that will keep him out of his Hall of Fame?

But Cooperstown is what matters as is the fact that Mike Piazza is there in a Mets hat. Mets ownership went out of its way after his retirement to make it clear that they thought of him as their guy. This time the owners were right. And this time the writers were right.