baseball

Mets legendary catcher Gary Carter dies

RIP Gary Carter, Mets legend

Former Mets catcher and Hall-of-Famer Gary “The Kid” Carter died today from brain cancer at the age of 57.

As a lifelong Mets fan, Gary Carter was a legend. If he wasn’t the Mets catcher in 1986, it’s likely the Mets wouldn’t have won the World Series. Even in the years before and after the ’86 World Series, he brought great contributions to the team and always seemed to respect the fans.

Mets fans have already been dealing with losing Gary Carter, ever since his diagnosis with cancer. Seeing how much Mets fans cared about how Carter was doing really showed me how important a player — and a person — he was to all of us.

His contributions to the Mets — and to the game of baseball — can never be fully repaid. I just wish that the Mets had retired his #8 way before this day. His importance to the team cannot be understated and it’s really shocking to me that the Mets haven’t retired Carter’s number yet.

I was so excited when Gary Carter resurfaced a few years ago as the manager of the Long Island Ducks. It was just so exciting having such a baseball presence back at the ballfield.

Thanks for everything, Kid. You will be missed. And you will never be forgotten.

An interview with three-brother rock band Council, playing Citi Field September 27th

Council, the three-brother rock band, will be appearing at Citi Field for a pre-game concert on September 27th, when the Mets take on the Cincinnati Reds.

I recently had a chance to sit down for an interview with Doug, Pat, and Andy Reeves to discuss the band, their plans, and how they got the opportunity to play at Citi Field.

ANTHONY CANTIELLO, METSTALK.COMTell us a little about yourselves… Who is Council? When and how did you guys get started and how would you describe your sound?

DOUG REEVES: Council is made up of myself, my twin brother Pat, and my year younger brother, Andy.

We are farmers on our family farm and just looking to find a way out. It is a fruit and vegetable farm. We have everything from strawberries, sweet corn, peppers, squash, tomatoes, to gourmet peppers, pumpkins, gords and blueberries.

PAT REEVES: Such a tragic life we lead [Joking and referring to Doug’s answer]

DOUG: Our band was formed in the same manner as the way we write music and do anything else together, arguing. Pat picked up Andy’s guitar that wasn’t being used and decided to learn to play some chords. Andy didn’t like Pat using his guitar, so he decided he was going to learn to play guitar.

ANDY REEVES: And we’re all lucky I did.

DOUG: Pat would have to settle for the bass. However, he was quick to claim lead singer after losing out for guitarist.

PAT: And we’re lucky I did.

DOUG: I was never interested in either, I always liked the drums, so I just bought sticks and played on pillows till I could afford a set. Even though we all decided to play instruments, it wouldn’t be for some time before we would all agree to be in a band together. We had no other options anyway, but no one wanted to give in too quickly.

Whenever answering the question, “How would you describe your sound”, your inevitably going to fall short in some aspect. The simple answer is driving bass and drums with big melodic guitars.

METSTALK.COMYou’ll be playing at Citi Field on September 27th before the Mets take on the Cincinnati Reds. How did the band get the chance to play there and at what other venues and with what other bands have you played?

PAT: Well it’s really Lori Martini that gave us this chance. We met her at our Sullivan Hall show in March and realized very quickly we were all huge New York Mets fans. She proposed the idea of our band making a rock version of her song, “Believe.” [–Editor’s Note: Mets fans may recognize that song as one of Justin Turner’s walk-up songs.]

We thought it was a great idea and that got the ball rolling for us to be playing at Citi Field.

ANDY: We have played most of the club staples in New York City like Kenny’s Castaway and Sullivan Hall among others.

DOUG: We also played Trash bar in Brooklyn and The Annex. And we played a lot of shows in Hawaii including, the Pipeline Café, with The All American Rejects, The Kooks, The Toadies and The Presidents Of The United States.

METSTALK.COM: Okay, before we go any further, are any of you guys actually Mets fans? Is so, who are your favorite Mets players of all-time? And God help you if you reveal yourselves to be Yankees fans or worse — Phillies fans — coming to play Citi Field!

PAT, DOUG, & ANDY: Absolutely, we are Mets fans! They’ve been our favorite team in any sport since we were kids.

DOUG: My favorite Mets player of all time…I would say it’s a tie between Nolan Ryan and the 1986 New York Mets team. I just loved the whole team and probably couldn’t narrow it down.

PAT: For me it would have to be Gary Carter. Number 8. I started out as a catcher in baseball because of him and really loved watching him and his Mets teammates.

ANDY: Gary Carter and Nolan Ryan, yes… But without sounding too diplomatic, I think I can say truthfully all Mets players past, present, and future mean a lot to us.

METSTALK.COMAs a New York-based rock band, do you guys view being able to play at a major metropolitan area venue like the Mets’ Citi Field as a special opportunity?

PAT: Of course we do. We would be crazy not to. Not many bands get this kind of opportunity. Being from New York and lifelong Mets fans, this will be a very special night for us.

METSTALK.COMNot to put any pressure on you guys, but since Citi Field opened in 2009, the stadium has hosted concerts by both Paul McCartney and Dave Matthews Band. Are you up to the challenge of being the next band to play there? Which songs will you be playing?

DOUG: When someone says, “Not to put any pressure on you,” usually that means there is a decent amount of pressure already. I was not aware that only two bands have played Citi Field since 2009. Having said that, yes our band is up to the challenge!

We will be playing, “Welcome The Change,” and “Believe.” It should be a high energy show.

ANDY: I think in some respects we play better with more people. The songs seem to translate better and we feed off the crowd.

METSTALK.COMMost Mets fans are probably wondering this, so it might as well be asked… Why Citi Field and not Yankee Stadium? Have you been to both and which one do you prefer?

PAT: We chose Citi Field because if our relationship with Lori Martini and the New York Mets.

We wouldn’t be opposed to playing Yankee Stadium. It just worked out that we get to play our favorite teams stadium.

DOUG: We have been to Shea Stadium but because of our other occupation, farming, it makes it hard for us to take time off to go to either stadium. If I had to choose to play either one I would chose Citi Field everyday of the week and twice on Sunday.

METSTALK.COMBesides being home to the Mets, Citi Field has quite the collection of culinary delights. Have you guys ever eaten there and what’s you favorite food at the stadium? If you haven’t, please allow me to recommend the BBQ ribs at the Blue Smoke stand!

ANDY: We have not been to the stadium so therefore we have not been lucky enough to taste the extraordinary food that is there. However, I will take your recommendation for BBQ ribs at Blue Smoke and definitely make sure to stop by and try them.

PAT: I do love ribs so I can guarantee I’ll be stopping by Blue Smoke.

METSTALK.COMHow can Mets fans — or anyone else who enjoys your Citi Field performance — listen to your music and find out about your upcoming shows?

DOUG: You can find us online at CouncilBand.com, follow us on our Facebook page, and at ReverbNation.com.

METSTALK.COM: Thanks for taking the time out to talk to Mets Talk today. What’s on the horizon for Council that fans can look forward to? Anything else you’d like to add?

PAT: We remade the song “Lithium” for a 20 year anniversary tribute album coming out in late September. It will span 5 continents and we are the only American band on the album, which is very humbling.

ANDY: We also have new songs we are finishing up in preparation to record this fall.

PAT: Our next goal for our band is to obtain a major label recording contract.

DOUG: Major MAJOR recording contract!

PAT: Hopefully drop farmer from our resume, at least temporarily. Thank you for the interview, it’s been a pleasure.

DOUG, ANDY: Yes, thank you very much.

Come see Council perform in a pre-game concert on Tuesday, September 27th at Citi Field. Arrive early before the Mets take on the visiting Cincinnati Reds to catch the performance.

Interviewing Council about their September 27th Citi Field appearance

The rock band Council will be appearing at Citi Field for a pre-game concert on September 27th, when the Mets take on the Cincinnati Reds.

Rock band Council

I will be doing an interview with the band that will appear on MetsTalk.com and BicoastalBaseball.com (as well as re-posted here) that should be up within the next few days.

I’m excited to find out more about the three-brother band and how they view their upcoming appearance at the stadium. Look for it to be published very soon!

[If any other Mets-related blogs are interested in republishing the article (with proper credit) please contact me through the comments or email me.]

Mets pitchers battle serious heat at FDNY Fire Academy (VIDEO)

Mets COO Jeff Wilpon and pitchers Mike Pelfrey, R.A. Dickey, Bobby Parnell, and Dillon Gee trained as firefighters at the FDNY Fire Academy training center on Randall’s Island on January 20.

Talk about battling some serious heat! The Mets players and C.O.O. strapped on firefighter gear to climb up FDNY ladders, battle a blaze, and rappel down the side of a building. Check it out:

And now some screenshots of the Metsies in action:

FDNY commissioner Sal Cassano with Mets pitchers R.A. Dickey, Mike Pelfrey, Dillon Gee, Bobby Parnell, and Mets COO Jeff Wilpon, who took part in the Firefighter For A Day Challenge

R.A. Dickey climbs up a ladder

"Firefighters" Bobby Parnell and Mike Pelfrey

R.A. Dickey rappels down a wall

R.A. Dickey and Big Pelf fight a car fire

FDNY Commissioner Sal Cassano talks with Mike Pelfrey

Looks like a cool team-building event for several Mets players, or as my girlfriend calls it, “Really smart thing to do right before spring training!”

RELATED: FDNY training an eye-opener for Mets [mets.com]

[This post originally published at MetsTalk.com]

2010 MLB Division Series: Anthony’s Picks

Well baseball fans, it’s that time of the year again… the playoffs!

My Mets kind of collapsed right after the All-Star Break under the management of Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel. Luckily, Mets management has corrected that error, firing both of them and apologizing to their fans. Here’s to a brand new start in 2010!

The Yankees and Rays fought ever-so-hard to lose the AL East pennant… with the Yankees sending out a “We clinched the Wild Card” email after they lost one of their final games to lose the division. Talk about putting a positive spin on things!

The Rangers made the playoffs much more easily by cobbling together players from all over the league, making them a Frankenstein-parts-sewn-together type ballclub that also happens to be bankrupt. I honestly have no idea how the Twins made the playoffs, but it has to have something to do with Joe Mauer.

The Phillies are back to defend their NL Championship from last year after climbing back to first place, moving the Braves out of the way easily. Still can’t stand them and their maroon/baby blue uniforms. The Braves slid into the Wild Card at the last minute, eliminating the Padres from the playoffs, while trying to win it all for retiring All-Star Manager Bobby Cox.

The Reds used their offense from Joey Votto and others to ensure baseball fans could enjoy an Albert Pujols-free postseason, so we can thank them for that. Let’s see what they can do this postseason. The Giants got to the playoffs after the Padres collapsed and they’re bringing Tim Lincecum with them to give them an edge.

Of course, don’t forget to catch all my baseball postseason tweeting on Twitter at @citycynic!

And like every year CityCynic.com has been around, I’m back with my picks. So here we go…

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Braves vs. Giants - Giants in 4.

The Braves sure have a lot of motivation this postseason — to win one for outgoing manager Bobby Cox, their first appearance in the playoffs in a while, winning one for their injured face of the team Chipper Jones… It all comes down to how well their batting matches up against SF pitching.

And the Giants have proved they have the pitching to give them an edge in this series. Unless the bats of all-star rookie Heyward, etc can overcome, the Braves won’t make it very far for Bobby Cox’s curtain-call.

Reds vs. Phillies – Phillies in 3.

The Reds have shown they can put together a brilliant offensive team, but its going to take some awesome pitching to get past Rollins, Howard, and Utley on this Phillies team. The Reds will have to be perfect to beat the Phillies this postseason.

The Phillies managed to pick up what seems like the entire league’s best pitchers to compliment their offense, giving them the edge. Look for them to take the series as long as their pitching remains strong.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Rays vs. Rangers – Rangers in 4.

The Rays were certainly on a downtrend at the end of the season, possibly signaling fatigue amongst the team. While the young team has proved to be a contender over the past few seasons (since they dropped the Devil), they’ll have to have their offense come together to score enough runs to surpass the Rangers.

The Rangers have picked up just enough players to patch the holes in their team during the regular season. Making their first postseason birth since 1999, look for the excitement and grit of this team (under the ultimate guidance of Nolan Ryan) to get them through to the ALCS.

Yankees vs. Twins – Yankees in 4.

The Yankees plummeted into the Wild Card after faulty pitching from A.J. Burnett and others and their pitching rotation after the 1-2-3 pitchers is surely in question. Can Andy Pettite come back from injury to contribute to a Yankees success? Can Derek Jeter regain his previous postseason form? If it comes back together for the team, despite not having homefield advantage for the first time in years, then they’ll make it to the ALCS.

The Twins are really a team that has been good all season long, but without Justin Morneau, will Joe Mauer be enough to power through the Evil Empire? Can a small-market club make it past the first round of the playoffs? My guess is no, especially not against the team of a billion dollars, the Yankees.

WHO I’M ROOTING FOR

Like all my fellow Mets fans, I face the challenge of choosing a team or two to root for during this postseason, since the Mets are already off playing golf! I think I’m going to have to go with the Cincinnati Reds, who are definitely an underdog team. In that way, they remind me of the Mets. Plus, that Joey Votto is no joke! Believe me, I know that for the Reds to make it even to the NLCS, its gonna be quite a struggle, but I just CAN’T watch the Phillies make it to the World Series yet again! And I’m definitely no fan of the Giants or Braves, although to a lesser extent.

In the AL, I’m going to be rooting for the Texas Rangers. Besides the fact that they are owned by Nolan Ryan (don’t even get me started), they are operating under a specific strategy of patching up their weaknesses by trading, something I am STILL waiting for my Mets to do. This postseason is the perfect chance to see if their experiment will pay off. Plus, there’s no way I’m cheering on the Yankees to ANOTHER World Series! Especially one coming in as the Wild Card! The Rays don’t particularly inspire me to like them and I haven’t heard much about the Twins since Kirby Puckett.

Now let’s play some baseball!

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