NEWS & VIEWS: Amway, J-Bay, Greg Burke, the Mets First Albino Outfielder, and a Little Hoop Talk



So, Jimmy, on Friday I happen to be in the neighborhood of Citi Field and I decided to break the winter blahs with a walk around the place. I parked over by McFaddens and was walking around to the Apple and home plate from Shea. And I see all these Amway people heading into a new Amway storefront across from all of the beautiful auto shops. I kind of chuckled but otherwise didn’t even think about it. I guess that shows why I am not a reporter.


Yeah, some folks are worked up about it. But how do you not do business with crooks in today’s world? I’ve got my life insurance with AIG, my checking account with Bank of America, and I’m pretty sure the mechanic at the Toyota Dealership isn’t trying to screw me. Amway? Whatever, I surrender. Heck, the place is called Citi Field. The team is owned by the Wilpons. We’re going to draw the line with Amway?


Jason Bay goes yard in his first at-bat in a Mariner uniform. You miss him yet?


burke--300x300No, I’m relieved he’s no longer seen as an imaginary solution to a real problem. I have to tell you, I’m enjoying these spring training games. It’s a pleasure to actually see these guys, several for the first time. Burke looks interesting. He’ll get by for a while on the strangeness of his delivery, but I’m not sure if his stuff is particularly nasty. In RF, I saw a big guy lumbering in the direction of a high fly ball — it hung forever, but he didn’t get there — and knew I spotted Andrew Brown. It wasn’t exactly a blur.


I saw Brown hit a squibbler down the third base line and get thrown out the other night. I’m sure you knew who I thought of Jesse Gonder.


Jamie Hoffman, the Mets first albino outfielder.

Jamie Hoffmann, the Mets first albino outfielder.

Fortunately, Brown strikes out a lot, so the lack of speed shouldn’t be a problem (or: the problem) on the offensive side. Over in LF, I laid my eyes on 28-year-old prospect Jamie Hoffmann. So, he exists. A pale duplicate of Lucas Duda — and I do mean pale. Hopefully he’s got plenty of sunscreen. Slather it on thick, Jamie! I kind of hope the Mets bring him north just so he doesn’t get skin cancer. Besides, I’ve already seen far too much of Marlon Byrd. A lot of these position players don’t look promising to me. You like anybody?


So far I like that Cowgill is at least as advertised. He has hustled, and played smart. But I am already worn out with the “More Cowgill” jokes. I asked folks on Twitter what the over/under will be for those tweets.


He should use “Don’t Fear the Reaper” as his walk-up song, the opening three seconds on a loop. Knuckleheads are going to start bringing cowbells to Citi, mark my words. I could see this guy being our full-time CF. But I’ll put $5 on under 500,000 “More Cowgill” tweets. All the witty kids are on Tumblr these days. Terry Collins should tape his own version of this: see below. You know, get the exact same jacket and shades, and they should show it on the Jumbotron every AB. Just an idea!


I still want the over.

Well, Jimmy, Soon the WBC starts and guys will be leaving camp to go play for their countries. As a fan I will watch the WBC a little, it’s baseball, but there really is no good time to play it. If we had a contending team I wouldn’t want any Mets starting pitchers involved, and that tells me something.


It’s all you need to know. You get a shrug from me. Say, Mike, you know my wife is a hoops junkie — she played in college, coached high school, AAU, biddy girls, and so on. From what I gather, she has a crush on Tom Izzo. That’s her favorite team this year. Crazy season with no dominant teams. You have a favorite?


I’m very impressed with a team from Michigan too, but it’s the Wolverines. Frankly it is a great year for the Big Ten, they are loaded. Also, and this is painful for me as a St. John’s fan, but watch out for Georgetown. They can dominate a game just with defense.


I’m in ‘cuse country up here — everyone wears orange, with warm memories of Pearl Washington — but this doesn’t look like Boeheim’s year.


yodaSo, yes, basketball is a spring thing. Here’s another. If you bring in a new veteran catcher, before long there will be stories about how savvy he is with pitchers. I call it the spring training “Yoda Syndrome.” Sure enough the drumbeats have begun about John Buck in this regard.


I don’t think he crossed the Mendoza line last year. The Blue Jays are glad to not have to write $6 million in checks. But hey, he’s got power and somebody has to catch these pitchers.


I’m fine with Buck, I like my bad-hitting catchers to have pop. And he shouldn’t be starting long anyway, or else something bad has happened.


No complaints from me. After last season, Buck looks like Johnny Bench back there.



By the way, Mike, I have to say that was a poignant image of you wandering around Citi Field in late February, like a little boy lost. Did you have a brown bag in your hand, singing “How Dry I Am?” Were you mumbling about how Randy Myers was still warming in the bullpen? Don’t worry, our team will come north again. Hang in there, pal. I know it’s been a rough stretch.


It is something I do a few times every year, since the 1970’s. It is a way to remind myself that winters come to an end, I totally hate winter. I’m a ritual and tradition guy. I will tell you it was really empty around there. Reminded me of the last three Septembers.

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  1. “Brown strikes out a lot, so the lack of speed shouldn’t be a problem.”
    Great line.
    You know, John Buck might just be the best MLB player ever born in Kemmerer, WY, so that’s something. I’m guessing it happened on the side of the road near a truck-stop.

    • Michael Geus says:

      We’ve got Nimmo in the pipeline too, so we are dominating the fertile Wyoming baseball system. I have no information yet on where Brandon might have been conceived but if I get it I promise to share it right away with our loyal readers.

  2. ZAP says:

    “Sources claim Bobby Bonilla was spotted setting up a booth at Citifield selling AMWAY products”

  3. Ken H. says:

    Every day, Mike Francesa continues to assert that Marlon Byrd is the Mets’ best OF option going into 2013. Sounds like Marlon disagrees. Earlier today, Marlon Byrd said “I kind of look at it as a last chance. If I don’t make this team, I don’t see many other chances in baseball.”

    More Cowgill! Are we at 500,000 yet?

  4. Michael Geus says:

    I’m already checking the Amway catalogue for how I can spend my winnings.

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