FLUSHING (TOILET), NY – July 4th has come and gone. On the East Coast, we’ve had about 10 days of summer so far because of buckets of rain. On the plus side of that, I’ve got a plethora of cilantro growing (aka – Angry Ward’s ‘vile weed’) like mad. In fact, the only thing that’s growing locally more rampantly certain New Yorker’s distaste for Jerry Manuel’s “managing”. Personally, I don’t share that disdain as my Yanks are doing well and now tied for first with the Sawx. But I can certainly relate.
As for that silly All-Star game, really.. the AL should MURDER the NL. Let’s be honest, unless Puljos can carry the entire offense, we should expect nothing but mucho fanning from the NL sqaud -but we’ll just have to wait and see. That game itself is just silly anyway. I much prefer the Home Run Derby. What I really like about the Derby is that you get to see the players having fun. Moreover, it’s the only thing I can give ESPN a big hand for in terms of coverage. They manage to get some good camera shots of players off the field yucking it up. I like that – it gives you that feel-good-feeling about baseball that we tend to lose somewhere around July 4th.
Speaking of All-Stars, I have to tell you the story behind the craziest All-Star roster I’ve ever seen. It came about when I decided to get myself over to Shea… Um, I mean CitiField, and ask Jerry Manuel what the heck was going on with his Metropolitans. After waiting for nearly an hour for Jerry, he finally showed up at our appointed meeting spot, the NY Mets’ Locker Room.
COOKIE: Mr. Manuel, I’m glad you could make it. Everything OK? You’re a little bit late meeting me here in this lovely and new Mets’ locker room
JERRY: Oh.. yeah. THIS is the locker room??? I had a little trouble finding it. But hey, it’s pretty nice in here. It doesn’t smell as bad as Beltran said it did. And I see that Wright finally got that nice t-ball stand up in here he’s been wanting.
COOKIE: No. No, Mr. Manuel – it certainly doesn’t smell bad at all. People would have to sweat for that to happen. But yes, that t-ball stand is nice. My 3-year-old has one just like it. So, Jerry… I work for a fine site/show called MeetTheMatts.com. Two guys named Matt run it and the name is a take-off on the Met anthem – Meet The Mets.
(Jerry looks a little puzzled, so I have to clarify by singing the ditty.)
COOKIE: Jerry… You know the song. Meet the Mets. Meet the Mets. Step right up and..
JERRY: …BEAT the Mets! Yeah, I know that one!!!
COOKIE: Uh… Well, not exactly – but we’ll go with it. Anyway, JM… I wanted to ask you about your team. They’re not doing so well.
JERRY: Well, I’m not worried about them. The Nationals will always be worse, which will mean we’re not last in our division. And David Wright is an ALL-STAR! Skipitty-doo-wah-wah!!! I LOVE Jazz!!!
COOKIE: That’s nice, Jerry. Yes he is… But back to your team.
JERRY: Can’t we just talk about things we really want?? Like an All-Star Team??
Seeing this interview wasn’t going anywhere, I went along with Jerry’s wish to give me his fantasy roster – Jerry’s All-Star Team, if you will. What I got was nothing short of incredible. While I didn’t ask him to do this, he gave me the following All-Star roster., with selection reasoning in parentheses. I must say, that being a celeb reporter, getting something this good from an MLB Manager was beyond my WILDEST dreams. Here goes:
PITCHER: Tom Cruise (NO ONE can pitch a fit like Mr. Cruise.
“You’re GLIB Matt, you’re GLIB!”
CATCHER: Angelina Jolie (Stats show she’s catching pretty well.)
1ST BASE: Kelly Clarkson (She’s fat and where else could she play?!)
2ND BASE: Billy “The Whore” Crystal (He thinks he can play anyway – so let’s put him somewhere he can get hit by a ball.)
3RD BASE: A-Rod (If he wasn’t there, he’d throw a fit. Besides, now he can be close to Kate on and off the field.)
SHORT STOP: Kate Hudson (Jerry said he’s heard she’s REALLY good at catching balls.)
LEFT FIELD: Senator Al Franken
CENTER FIELD: John Fogerty (If for no other reason than the song, Centerfield.)
RIGHT FIELD: Michael Jackson (It can be kinda dead out there, soooo…)
There you have it. After Jerry gave me this line up, we were navigating our way back to his office (via a bread crumb trail he left) to get a new roster card filled out. Imagine his chagrin when I told him that, indeed, this could NOT be his new team! He hung his head, turned and walked away. A sad sight really – but not quite as sad as that of Beltran. He was in the Met Laundry Room, working furiously on one of those ground-in grass stains. It’s still a mystery how he got it.