Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Crazy Keith's Corner: And the Oscar Goes To...

As I sat yelling in joy at my TV at 11:01 p.m. last night, I couldn't help but think what Keith would have said seeing this picture:

Boy, these walkoffs are fun. And fun to dissect.
On the Keith beat today, Jerry Crasnick has an interesting column about baseball players and their turns in front of the camera. Of course, our hero's guest shot on Seinfeld ranks rather high.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Crazy Keith's Corner: I Wish They All Could Be Florida Games

Keith Hernandez + Florida = Fun, Fun Fun. I really thought Gary Cohen was going to fall off his chair a couple of times. To wit:

--Friday night Gary and Keith mentioned the hot tub in Dolphin Stadium, to which Keith exclaimed: "Hey, If they had pools by the bullpen while I was playing, I would have wanted to be a reliever instead of an everyday player." Then they showed a shot of the pool area, it was a bunch of 14 year-olds in bikinis. Um, watch out for Mr. Hernandez, parents in South Florida.

--Saturday night Keith somehow had a pair of Thunderstix and he was hitting Gary in the head with them. Then just to makes sure no one got the idea to bring them back North, Keith said, "Mr. Wilpon, please don't have these at Shea. You can play the music as loud as you want, just don't have these things." Gary chimed in, "Mr. Wilpon, tear down the Thunderstix."

--And Sunday the Marlins players had their eyeblack drawn down the side of their cheeks...
Keith: "I never could wear that, I could always see it because I have high cheekbones."
Gary: "It's that model's face that you have."
Keith: "Oh yes, thank you, partner."

Alas, Keith is off until the series against the Phillies next week. Maybe Ron Darling can up his craziness for us.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Crazy Keith's Corner: I'm Lost

I only caught flashes of tonight's game in between watching the season final of Lost. If the Mets season ends as good as the show's did, the team will sweep through the playoffs and World Series. I head Keith say a couple of things, but I was so blown away by the quality of the two hour episode that I couldn't even write anything down.

And now that Lost and 24 will both be coming back in January, I can watch nothing but baseball for the next five months. Sweet.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Crazy Keith's Corner: It's Labor Allright

"He's in labor here." --Keith on Jorge Sosa in the bottom of the the third.

Oh yeah, Sosa was laboring (and screwing up my fantasy team since I needed a pitcher to replace my 4 pitchers went on the DL the past 10 days). It wasn't pretty. I got so disgusted with this 5th loss in 7th games to the f-ing Braves that I forgot to take notes. Only two Keith comments stuck in my brain:

--At one point Ron Darling brought up the story of Albert Belle taking out Fernando Vina at second base, Keith recalled when he tried to do that in 1988 to a second baseman and ended up hurting his leg. When he returned, Keith said, "I lost four steps of my blazing speed."

--And just like me, Keith didn't want to focus on the task at hand once we reached the top of the 5th inning. Gary read the AFLAC trivia question, which asked who holds the Mets single season strikeout record...
Keith: "Well, it used to be Barry Bonds."
Gary: "Um, it's the Mets record."
Keith: "Oh, I'm not paying attention."

Dammit, they better win these next two at Turner field.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Three is a Messy Number

Our frequent Zisk commentator Theresa noted how the guys in the booth last night discussed how weird post rain delay games can be:

"They talked a lot about the weirdness of post-rain delay play, and the different atmosphere brought by a few, big-mouthed, die-hard fans in the stands. Ron remembered, "You can see who's yelling at you! So I was like, 'I'm trying, you know!? Give me a second!'"

As someone who made it through the three-hour delay last night, I can vouch for the amazing amount of heckling that started once the Mets took the lead. Variations of "Yankees Suck! Jeter Swallows" were common as was making fun of the two idiots wearing Yankee shirts amongst the crowd of 2500 hundred or so die hard Mets fans. Two guys ragged on Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramírez the entire game with every insult in the book and more, and there was no way he couldn't hear exactly what they were saying.

Besides the three hour rain delay, everything was coming up threes last night:

--This was my third game in six days.

--My friend Brian scored tickets on the third base line

--Only three of us stayed until the game started

--Before leaving the guy who ended up splitting, Dave S., let out three antibiotic-powered farts that almost killed us...even though we were outside.

--It was the third time Damion Easley hit a home run at a game I attended this season.

--And I got home exactly at 3 a.m.

Does anyone think they'll actually get all three Subway Series games in this weekend?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Crazy Keith's Corner: A Man of the People

Even our hero couldn't keep this Cubs blowout interesting. After Scott Schoeneweis grooved a ball to Aramis Ramirez, I flipped on the VCR and caught up with last night's 24 as it seemed Keith was not is his usually wacky mode. Still, he did do a Lenny Dykstra impression; he talked about his weakness in geometry when Jose Reyes, David Wright and Endy Chavez former a triangle converging on a pop up; and that the signing he, Gary, Ron and Lee Mazilli are doing at the SNY studios Friday at 11:30 will be getting him out of bed early. Upon hearing that, Gary couldn't resist:

Gary: "You're a man of the people."
Keith: "Oh yeah, I always have been. (laughs from Gary and Ron) I'm a real blue collar guy."

In other news, congrats to Matt Cerrone from Metsblog for scoring some air time with Kevin Burkhardt and getting some kudos (and a mention an inning later) from Gary. My question is this--does this mean Mets blogging has reached the tipping point? Will the old school media start co-opting the ideas the bloggers unleash? I'd be interested to hear any thoughts folks have in the comments.

Crazy Keith's Corner: He's Everywhere!

So last week when I said I would be missing a lot of Keith I didn't realize the man wouldn't be in the booth for the series against the Brew Crew. However, that didn't stop him from making his presence known in my life.

I grabbed some last-minute tix for Friday night's game. It was my first time at Shea this season, and I about choked on the thin upper deck air when the first call to the bullpen was sponsored by Just For Men, with Keith's mug displayed on the left field scoreboard. And then the answer to the triva question was Keith. Writing this blog about Mex is getting a bit weird.

Other notes from the past week:
--Friday night's game was the first time my visiting-from-Virgina (and former co-Utica resident) Natalie had ever been to Shea, and she got to see a Mets triumph. Last night's game was the first baseball game ever for my Brooklyn-bred-and-recent-reconvert-to-the-borough friend Vanessa, and she got an early season classic. Since I was responsible for someone's first baseball memory, I decided to splurge for some field level seats...and they came with waiter service. I don't think I'll ever say this again: "I'll have two Budweisers, and the Blue and Orange cookie." And f the "Amazing Fan" photos--I'll never pay 20 bucks for a souviner. I just clicked printscreen and made a copy that we both can have on our computers.

--My friend Brian scored some freebies for tomorrow night's game, and with Thursday a daytime affair, this week there will only be a Keith report filed based upon tonight's game. The Subway Series affairs are too much for me to blog about in any form. Last year the first game of the series I just about had a meltdown...and that was when they were in a rain delay. (Let's place the blame on my own emotional shortcomings and watching it while seething over a new couple.) And since Saturday's game is on FOX and Sunday's is on ESPN, it seems like a perfect chance to spend some time with Howie Rose and Tom McCarthy.

--Lastly, check out my pals at Faith and Fear in Flushing for a preview of the Zisk # 14 cover. I swear, it'll be out by June 1st, holiday weekend be damned.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Crazy Keith's Corner: No Sampson Here

(Heard during the first inning of last night's not-so-hairy game)
Keith: Delilah, forget about it!
Gary: No Sampson's on this ball club!

What can you say about a game that featured most of the Mets with shaved heads and SNY reporter Kevin Burkhardt in a kayak? I laughed so hard most of the game I found it hard to take notes. I did catch Keith saying repeatedly that he would not have shaved off his hair, but that he would have "met them half-way and shaved off my moustache." Gary came up with the perfect follow-up question: when was the last time Keith shaved off the 'stache? Keith replied, "I shaved it once in '88 and I promptly grew it back. I shaved it off for some stupid reason. What a mistake."

And Burkhardt seems to be Keith's new whipping boy. Just check out this exchange when the kayak was out in McCovey Cove:
Keith: "Your wife called, she wants to make sure that you made sure she's the beneficiary of your life insurance policy."
Kevin: "Gee, thanks for the confidence in me brother."

We'll be going quiet again for a few days--I can't hear the game at work today; I have company in town Friday through Sunday and then I'm going to Monday's game, taking someone who's never been to a major league game, which ought to be a treat for both of us.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Crazy Keith's Corner: Welcome Back Matey!

Keith Hernandez stepped back in the booth last night after a weekend off for his youngest daughter's college graduation. The time off didn't do his voice any good, as he spent much of the time coughing and sounding as though he still hadn't finished puberty. A Giants blowout kept Keith from really going off the rails, but being back in his old hometown of San Francisco made Mex a bit nostalgic. At one point he said to Gary Cohen, "I guess the San Franciscan is coming out of me," to which Gary replied, "Out of every pore."

Other highlights from the first game of the Giants series:

--When director Bill Webb caught a boat of revelers in McCovey Cove holding up a bottle of champagne (I think it was) to the camera, Keith put on his best pirate voice and intoned, "Oh that's perfect, ahoy there matey!"

--Speaking of Willie McCovey, Keith said that in between innings he was going to go down to the luxury box to his right where the Giants Hall of Famer sat and say "I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy."

--Keith criticized Benji Molina's catching during one half-inning, so during the next half-inning the SNY crew did a comparison of Molina and Paul LoDuca blocking balls.
Keith: "Molina doesn't move as well; he's a little more slothful."
Gary: (Laughs) "That's a great word; you win [the word contest they were having after midnight."

--And just before the game started, SNY ran a piece with Kevin Burkhardt riding the 7 train to Shea with rookie phenom Joe Smith. Gary asked Keith if he had ever ridden the 7 train to a game, which he had a couple of times. When Gary followed that up by asking if he was recognized more than Joe Smith was, Keith chuckled and said, "With a name like Joe Smith, who's gonna pay attention to him?"

Friday, May 04, 2007

Crazy Keith's Corner: The Things You Miss With Work and Headaches

So I missed the last two games (Wednesday we didn't have the sound up at work; last night I had a killer headache so I fell asleep listening to the FAN and had no idea if Keith was even on), which seems to be a trend in this month of May. Fortunately for me and Zisk readers everywhere, frequent commenter Theresa did catch Wednesday afternoon's contest with the Marlins, so I thought I would repost her comments in its own entry:

"Hey, did you see the get-away game Wednesday afternoon? Keith got all literary.

It came up because one of the Mets organizations' Good Works is supporting literacy, and sponsoring school reading groups. One of them was out in force at the game Wednesday, and Kevin Burkhart briefly spoke to the head of the program, a nice lady, classic school teacher, looked just like my Mom. ;)

Gary mentioned that with other goodies, the kids were getting an abridged version of "The Three Musketeers," and Keith perked right up. "Who are your favorite classic authors, Gary?" he demanded.

Gary said he preferred Kurt Vonnegut, and his favorite was "Slaughterhouse Five." Keith extolled Victor Hugo, and stipulated that his favorite was not "Les Miserables," but "Notre Dame de Paris" (the one known in English as "The Hunchback of Notre Dame"), and "Toilers of the Sea."

I wonder now if he read them in French. :P

The title of "Toilers" in French is "Les Travailleurs de la mer," harder to pronounce than "Notre Dame." Ron Darling could do it, though. :P

Keith went on to say that Kurt Vonnegut was his neighbor in Turtle Bay when he still lived in Manhattan, that saw him often and "chatted him up." Vonnegut was a "huge baseball fan."

Gosh, I wonder what those conversations could have been like?"

I agree totally--I would give anything to be a fly on the wall for that. And thanks again Theresa--please shoot me an email at the address on the top right sometime so I can add you to our mailing list.

Tonight's and Sunday's games will be summarized on Sunday night--Saturday's game will be lost due to the Derby Day festivities at the bar.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Crazy keith's Corner: RF(K)-Bombs

After a week without Keith, it was good to be able to hear him singing "what a difference a day makes" after David Wright got his third hit of the night.

Oh, wait, that was Gary Cohen. What in the name of Lindsey Nelson is going on here?

Keith's obviously picked up a cold since I heard him last; there were moments where his voice cracked so much I thought he was going through some mid-life puberty. That didn't stop this gem in the top of the first after David Wright had gotten a single:

Keith: "Athletes are fragile, including me."

Gary: "I never thought you were fragile."

Keith: "Oh trust me, I was. I was the biggest worry wort there was. I'm serious...partner."

Gary: "It seems you pulled yourself up by the bootstraps mighty well."

Keith: "That was a nice pitch there, as I change the subject." (laughs)

Ah, now everything seems like it's back to normal. Oh, and we found out Keith has a toy parrot that spews out curse words.

D.C. Tales: So my bi-annual trek to RFK to see the Mets play the Nationals was a great time. Alas, I missed a good chunk of Friday night's game because my damn flight got delayed to due to the storms moving up the Eastern seaboard. But Friday and Sunday's games were excellent overall--except for the Friday night loss. There was a huge pack of Mets fans at both games and the chants of "Let's Go Mets" kept popping up. On Sunday's game the scoreboard flashed "Let's Go Nats," and I heard people yelling "Mets" trying to drowning it out.

Two more things: One, RFK is the only stadium that makes Shea look a little bit better (my Sunday seat was wooden and had paint peeling off of it) and two, they also play "Sweet Caroline" in between innings, so I guess the Boston cliche has spread everywhere.

Many thanks to my friend (and Zisk contributor) Dr. Nancy Golden for setting up the tickets and allowing me to drink for 12 hours straight on Saturday in Baltimore.