I'm hearing that Bill Giles has bought the Phillies t-shirts with Simon Bar Sinister on them.
So Jeff Wilpon bought the Mets t-shirts with the Underdog "U" on them to remind them that they're ... duh, underdogs as if it hadn't been beaten into all of their heads already all damn winter. I bet he had to explain the reference to all of them since the show went off the air in 1973. Half of them probably thought it was a Colts logo, and the other half thought it was the horsehoe from Lucky Charms. Then by the time Wilpon explained it to the players (only Tim Byrdak was born in 1973 when the show stopped its syndication run), it probably ceased to be fun or motivating. It sure as hell rankled his golf buddy David Wright. Way to go, Jeffy.
"I don’t really like using the whole underdog thing. I don’t really like playing that card. I think it’s just a way to remind everybody in here that the outside expectations aren’t the expectations that we have for ourselves. But we in here kind of have to rally around that and get it going."
Sounds inspired, doesn't he? "Guess we have to kind of rally around it?" Boy, it's the kind of response that Wallace only could have hoped for in Braveheart.
I said it before when Jeffy ordered the destruction of a toolbox, and I'll say it again: owners and C.O.O.'s should stay out of the team bonding business. It's just creepy, I'm sorry. And before you ask, yes: there is a huge difference between team bonding exercises and t-shirts coming from inside the clubhouse whether it be from a player, coach, or manager (you know, somebody who's with the team every single day), and coming from a suit. It smacks of somebody who is trying to fulfill some sort of dream to be a part of a group that he can't join on merit but will join because he comes from money "Look Daddy, I'm one of the guys!!!"
I even think that Jeffy playing golf and making friendly bets with Wright is a little weird. But that's just me, and I can't really argue a potential downside to it. But you saw the movie "Major League", right? The team is supposed to be galvanized because of hatred of ownership. Not galvanized because of a t-shirt that the owner comes up with. The shirts would have been better coming from Byrdak.
Let's review: Tim Byrdak = Funny. Jeffy = Awkward. Sorry, there's a difference.
So as I let you know over the weekend, John Franco made some appearances in the city on Monday. I was lucky enough to snag an interview with him at the Mets clubhouse store.
No seriously, I did. It's not one of those fake interviews I like to do sometimes. And before you ask, yes ... I did bring up the picture that I snapped right in his eyes 22 years ago. If you want to hear his reaction to it (and the fact that I'm still able to type this should be a hint as to how he reacted), then check out this week's installment of SportsTalkNY Live tonight at 8:30. Other than picture-gate, Franco had some interesting things to say about the 2000 World Series and Bobby Parnell.
And as long as you're checking us out, be sure to check out some of the interviews that Mark and A.J. have done in the past, including Gary Carter from back in 2008, and last week's tribute to Kid with interviews with Howard Johnson and some of Gary's other teammates.