Saturday, June 2, 2012

Santana No-Hitter One of Those Good Moments For a Mets Fan

By Rich Mancuso

There I was, night off from the ballpark, listening and watching my favorite alternative rock band “Weezer” in Atlantic City New Jersey in the Bogata Hotel showroom. It was planned, the birthday gift from three weeks ago. What wasn’t in the plan was Johan Santana throwing a no-hitter at Citi Field on the first day of June.

A Friday evening at Citi Field where, I would usually be situated, upstairs in my
perch in the comfortable press box, but the first no-no in New York Mets history,
50-years of futility and I was not there to see it.

Yes, frustration. And moments after Mets SNY Television voice Gary Cohen said after being questioned, ‘did he ever think it would happen, his response, ‘No, but now it has’ Weezer would finish their last number.

That number, “Say it Ain’t So.”

But it is true. After 8,020 games, Mets radio voice Howie Rose, and fans of the
second baseball team in New York, can now say, the New York Mets have made
baseball history. They are no longer one of two teams to not have a pitcher throw
the illustrious no-hitter.

It is so, and the San Diego Padres have that lone distinction.

Mike Baxter, the kid from Queens, crashed into the center field wall on the
warning track to keep the suspense going. The Carlos Beltran ball that hit the
chalk beyond third base appeared to be an extra base hit. The umpire, according
to replays may have got it wrong.

To Mets’ fans, and to Santana, the call went their way. The no-hitter is in the
record books and well deserved for a pitcher who many said was finished.

It was back in late March. Santana was not supposed to come north with the
team at the end of spring training. The comeback from shoulder surgery, which
shut Santana down all last year, was slow and cautious. However, it was soon,
according to Santana, working according to the plan.

That plan, which was heard since his opening day start in early April, was continue to make adjustments as this Mets team had trouble scoring runs, but staying competitive. Then the last three starts you sensed the plan was ahead of

Santana was throwing more pitches, going deeper into games. The changeup was
effective, so was the slider. The fastball was getting close to his velocity, clocked
close to 90, or more.

The manager, Terry Collins was more concerned about the pitch count. Last
Saturday, at Citi field, Santana threw 94 pitches, the complete game shutout over
the San Diego Padres. Collins let him continue, as he did Friday night with a career
high 134 pitches, concerned about the shoulder.

After that sixth inning, Collins asked Santana, “How do you feel?” The ace,
who said afterwards, he came to New York “to win a championship for the
organization and fans,” told his manager, ‘I feel good, let me continue.’

It was a momentous occasion for a franchise that has been troubled with financial
issues .And nothing has seemed to go right since that last game of 2006, when
Beltran struck out with runners on base, at Shea Stadium, in game seven of the
National League Championship Series.

That was against the same St. Louis Cardinals who go in the record book as
victims of the Santana no-hitter.

It was the first and real significant moment at Citi Field for Mets baseball. Santana
erased the close calls of Tom Seaver, the last Mets pitcher to take a no-hitter into
the ninth inning. The first one, of three close calls, a perfect game broke up by
Jimmy Qualls of the Chicago Cubs in 1969.

It will be remembered what Johan Santana did Friday night. The umpire, Adrian
Johnson, at third base, may have missed that Beltran call in the sixth inning. But
that does not matter now. Johan Santana may have put the New York Mets back
on the map with that outing on the mound at Citi Field.

Just hope “Weezer” does not get in the way again for another possible and maybe
another no-hitter in New York Mets baseball history, or perhaps another first, a
perfect game as they go into game number 8,021.

E-mail Rich Mancuso:

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

12 Questions with Brodie Lee

Pro Wrestling Illustrated recently conducted an interview with indy star (and potential future WWE star) Brodie Lee. Their set up was somewhat awkward. Here is the synopsis for their out of the box questions.

"You're at the airport. You see your favorite wrestler relaxing in one of the terminals. You rush up to him/her as questions fill your excited mind. There are certain things you just have to know about this person. Well, these are the 12 questions you'd never think to ask:"

1 - What man-scaping advice would you like to give our readers?

What the hell is man-scaping? is kicking people in the face considered man-scaping? I only shower on Tuesdays to get the stank of Bessy off me.

2 - You may have the most effective boot to the face in the business. How did you develop your kicking power?

Helping my friend Grizzly Redwood topple timber in the forest.

3 - What band have you seen in concert the most times?

Hank Williams III

4 - Be honest now: Was your move from traditional wrestling singlet to jeans and T-shirts brought about entirely by a desire to reduce your dry-cleaning costs?

Who uses dry-cleaning? Most wrestlers don't even wash their gear...just ask Cloudy. Also, beer and pizza stains look better on a wife beater.

5 - Brodie Lee is asked to prepare a dish for a swanky dinner party. What does he prepare?

A bag of premium wood-smoked beef jerky from the truck stop, a six-pack of Genny Cream Ale, and a jug of Jesco's finest moonshine.

6 - What famous finishing move do you wish you invented?

I already invented The Big Boot...what else do you want from me?

7 - Excluding Bruiser Brody, which is your favorite fellow Brodie: Brodie, the wiseacre from Mallrats, Sheriff Brody from Jaws, or reality TV personality Brody Jenner?

The Little Rig" - Brodie Richard Lee Jr., my son. Also, how dare you put Brody Jenner's name among other great Brodies? I want to boot him and his family's faces off, and now yours!

8 - You've been called "The Big Rig" and you've traveled all the highways and byways. What diner, drive-in, or dive have you discovered that stands above the rest?

Cheeseburger Cheeseburger in Rochester, New York.

9 - What would be the title of your autobiography?

Lincoln, Lot Lizards, & Liquor: All The Gravel In My Travel On The Road Back Home To Nebraska.

10 - What has been the single most surreal moment of your career so far?

Drinking beers with Kevin Nash till 7am, then booting him in the face hours later.

11 - When was the last time you felt intimidated?

When my wife dips into the moonshine and wants to make another baby...a.k.a. Tuesday nights.

12 - Complete the following sentence: One thing about Brodie lee that very few people know is...

Apparently, it's not well known that I hate to be asked stupid questions.

Are You Pleased With The Ring of Honor Shift From HDNet To Sinclair?

*From PWI*

When it was announced that Sinclair Broadcasting had purchased Ring of Honor in 2011, reaction was varied. Some of the fans expected major changes with the television network investing in the company to help improve production values and promotion. Others were cautiously optimistic, hoping that Sinclair wouldn't meddle with the promotion or make drastic creative changes.

Almost a year into the Sinclair agreement, wrestling fans are split as to whether the move from HDNet to Sinclair has been beneficial to the company. Some say they are grateful for the opportunity to see ROH programming for the first time, while others do not have access to Sinclair. The Sinclair format dedicates more time to fewer competitors, allowing more time for storylines to build and for matches to be more meaningful. The company still has sub-par lighting, erratic camera work and uneven audio, which at times gives the show a slightly low-rent feel.

What is your opinion? Post your comments and opinions.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Mets Bullpen Blows, Carrasco Assigned

New York – Tuesday evening New York Mets right hander D.J. Carrasco was involved in a controversial pitch that was thrown to Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers. In the eighth inning at Citi Field Wednesday night a home run ball sent him packing and designated for assignment.

The Mets lost the opening of a brief two-game series to the Cincinnati Reds, 6-3, and the second home run of the night from Todd Frazier, part of a four-run inning, did not help matters.

Carrasco, signed to a two-year deal by general manager Sandy Alderson has not lived up to expectations since coming to New York. He began the season on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained right ankle and since May 6th has compiled an earned run average of 7.71.

He entered the game with two runners on and two outs and the Mets were trailing by a run in the eighth. Jon Rauch came of the pen and gave u three straight hits to put the Reds ahead. The three-run homer by Frazier was the difference and Carrasco will either be optioned down or, because of his contract he can decline and free to sign with another team.

“Nobody wants that bump in the road,” he said after giving up his second home run in two nights. “I feel horrible about it. I want to justify the contract he gave me,” said Carrasco referring to the opportunity of being signed again by Alderson.

The Mets bullpen, one that had been a part of their success the first five weeks of the season blew its ninth save giving away a 3-2 lead in the eighth inning. The team entered the game tied for third in the majors in blown saves.

Before the runs given up by Carrasco, Jon Rauch could not preserve a lead for Johan Santana. Rauch (3-2) blew his third save of the season allowing three runs.

Santana had his fifth consecutive quality start, 6.2 innings of two-run ball. He gave up the first home run to Frazier in the seventh and threw 107 pitches.

“Once I do my job it’s out of my control,” he said about the bullpen failing to get him a win. “I just hope and watch and hope they get it done. “ Santana did say he was content with his outing, but once again failed to get him a win.
“If we can add some runs it will take some heat off the bullpen,” added Mets manager Terry Collins.

NOTES: Ike Davis snapped a 0-for-16 skid dating to his last at bat on May 11th… Mets were 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position and 3-for-20 in their last three games…

Catcher Josh Thole on the 7-day concussion disabled list was cleared to begin non baseball exercises meaning he is close to returning to the lineup… Shortstop Ruben Tejada out with a strain of the right quad is working his way back at the Mets training complex down in Port St. Lucie Florida…

The 2013 Major League Baseball All-Star game has officially been awarded to the Mets and will be played at Citi Field on July 13th. The announcement was made earlier in the day at City Hall in Manhattan with Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Mets Chief Executive Officer Fred Wilpon. It is the second game hosted by the Mets with the first one played at Shea Stadium in 1964.

The series with The Reds concludes Thursday afternoon. R.A. Dickey (5-1) gets the start for New York. The Reds will stay in New York and play a three-game inter league series with the Yankees beginning Friday evening in the Bronx…
Pitcher Aroldis Chapman of the Reds has the longest active scoreless streak in the majors extending to 19.1 innings with a perfect eighth inning.

E-Mail Rich Mancuso: Ring

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Pitch & Game Get Away In Mets Loss To Brews

New York – Terry Collins said the game of baseball has unwritten rules when it comes to a retaliation pitch. Tuesday night, at Citi Field, the New York Mets manager said he would not risk David Wright from getting hurt because of a pitch that may have been intended for his leading hitter.

He lifted Wright in the seventh inning with the Mets trailing 8-0, which was the final score. Collins was protecting his player saying there could be a retaliation pitch coming from the Milwaukee Brewers side. The situation stemmed from a ball thrown by D.J Carrasco in the top of the inning that hit Ryan Braun. Plate umpire Gary Darling immediately ejected Carrasco.

Ricky Weeks homered to left off Carrasco before Braun came to bat that gave the Brewers a comfortable 8-0 lead. Wright was seen in the Mets dugout pleading his case with Collins.

“In my opinion he wasn’t getting hurt,” said Collins about not letting Wright come to bat. The Mets third baseman was 2-for-2 and batting .408, more importantly off to one of the best starts of his career.

But Wright, the unofficial captain of a young Mets team, that came into the game five games over .500 was making his plea to the manager. “He said, ‘if anyone is going to get hit its going to be me.’” said Collins.

Collins inserted rookie Jordany Valdespin to bat. In the same inning he also lifted Daniel Murphy, second to Wright in hits, for Justin Turner. It may have been a protective situation for Collins, but it did make for interesting baseball theatre in Flushing.

“I’m not accusing them of anything,” said Collins about his moves to protect Wright and maybe Murphy.” I just know of what might have taken place.” He said Wright was not mad which appeared to be the situation when a camera shot from the dugout showed what looked like a contentious situation with the player and manager.

“Wright said, ‘if someone is going to get hit let it be me. I said, ‘you are not hitting,’” commented Collins about the discussion that ultimately became an issue of a rare game that New York has not been in this season. They were shutout for the second time.

Zack Greinke (4-1) extended his scoreless streak to 15 consecutive innings and threw five-hit ball for seven innings. He was helped by three Brewers home runs, two from Travis Ishikawa and a career high five runs batted in.

But it was all about that supposed retaliation pitch and why Wright was not allowed to hit.

“If they are going to retaliate they are going to hit David Wright,” said Collins. “I understand the perception. David Wright is not in a position to get hurt He’s a pro, why I love him. He’s not getting hit on my watch.

When asked about the ensuing discussion in the dugout with Collins, said Wright, “Terry is the manager he has to make the move that he believes is best for the team. I respect that. “

He added, “You get caught up in the moment. Terry and I have no issue in this. He told me before the inning, I was coming out of the game anyway. But in that situation, my thinking of the time, Ryan gets hit, I go up there I’m going to get hit.”

Meaning Wright was willing to take one for the team, but Collins would not take the risk. “There is a zero issue…there really is,” said Wright.

Carrasco said the pitch was a sinker that went in. “I was there to throw a few innings out of the bullpen,” said Carrasco in his defense of the pitch. He told Darling he wasn’t trying to throw at Braun in a seven-run game.
It was a rare two-game series before the Reds come to town for a two-game series Wednesday evening (The Reds will have a night off in New York and on Friday begin a three-game series with the Yankees in the Bronx).

So there will be no room for further theatre unless the Brewers make an issue when the Mets visit Milwaukee in mid September.

Email Rich Mancuso: Ring

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Yanks Home Run Ball Beats Tampa With No Mo

Home cooking is what the New York Yankees needed, even if it is five weeks into the season and a new closer is in the Bronx. Behind three home runs, two from Raul Ibanez and one off the bat of Curtis Grandeson, New York defeated Tampa Bay 5-3 in the first of a three-game series Tuesday night in the Bronx.

Ivan Nova (4-1) got the win in his fifth start of the season. He was coming off a loss to Baltimore last week that snapped a 15-game winning streak that dated back to last June. Nova pitched seven innings, gave up six hits and two runs.

In the sixth inning Nova gave up a solo home run to Jose Molina, and in the seventh inning Luke Scott rounded the bases accounting for the two runs that narrowed the Yankees lead to 3-2.

Mark Teixeira had an RBI double in the eighth inning that paved the way for Yankees manager Joe Girardi to use his new closer, David Robertson, with Mariano Rivera no longer available to close games.

Rivera, baseball’s all-time saves leader is done for the season, awaiting surgery for a torn ACL of the right knee which was injured shagging fly balls in the outfield at Kaufman Stadium in Kansas City last week.

“Not to write Mo’s name on the top, because I do it in a certain order, was strange to me,” said Girardi after the Yankees win. “So that was kind of like OK, he’s not coming out of the bullpen.

It was not the tune of “Sandman” that was played when Robertson trotted out of the pen to the mound. What was left of the 37,066 in attendance on a soggy night in the Bronx heard a new tune, “Sweet Home Alabama” for the entrance of Robertson.

Robertson, now the apparent closer came on in the ninth for his first save of the season, after Rafael Soriano worked the eighth and gave up a run enabling New York to snap a seven-game losing streak to the Rays. Tampa Bay swept three games from the Yankees last month down in Tampa to open the season.

Robertson would load the bases and struck out Carlos Pena to earn his fourth career save. It was a struggle, but like Rivera got the job done.

“Tonight, I was thinking,” said Robertson. It was life now after Mariano Rivera. “Geez better not blow your first one,” he said, “Better not blow your first opportunity or Mo might come in here and smack me around.”

James Shields (5-1) got his first loss of the season allowing three runs, four hits in six innings. He gave up six runs to the Yankees on opening day when Rivera blew the save. Pena, who has hit 23 home runs against the Yankees, over the last eight years, seven more than any other player in baseball went 0-for-4 and was a victim of three strikeouts from Nova.

For now though, it is Robertson and “Alabama” In the Bronx and not “Sandman” and Mariano Rivera.

This post is provided in part by Hudson County Exterminator & Promotional Items Corporate Gifts

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

"He's Up In Canada" - WFAN Fans Remember Rich Mancuso and Jody McDonald on the Graveyard Shift

posted 09-03-2009 02:04 PM

Does anyone remember the wrestling segment on WFAN in New York. It was on really late, I think 3 to 5 am on Saturday night.

Jody MacDonald and Rich Mancuso were the hosts, but Mancuso was the expert.

Who was he?

He never seemed to be right about much. Was he guessing at what would happen?

Also, if he didnt know where someone was he always said they were "up in Canada".

I really enjoyed the show regardless of these problems.


posted 09-03-2009 03:45 PM

I don't remember that, I don't listen to WFAN at that early an hour, but I know that Evan Roberts talks wrestling sometimes.


JJ Bklyn42
posted 09-03-2009 04:12 PM

LOL. When I saw the thread title, my first impulse was to post "I think he's in Canada".

This goes back more than 20 years in FAN's beginnings, when Jody was doing weekend overnights.

I believe Rich was just a friend of Jody, who had a few contacts in the business, and filled an hour or so on Sunday morning talking about what was going on (or what he thought might be going on) in the wrestling biz (after Jody had spent an hour droning out the baseball boxscores for fantasy players). But sometimes they would get a phone interview with someone like Meltzer and get some real info.

I read somewhere (and I have no idea of its veracity) that Rich still writes the weekly "Slammer" column in the NY Daily News. For all we know, he lurks here for story ideas.


posted 09-03-2009 06:42 PM

So you think that Rich Mancuso is The Slammer?

Interesting. Your description of it is right on. I bet youre right..just a wrestling fan that knew Jody and had some connections.


posted 09-03-2009 07:10 PM

I wonder how much Mancuso gets paid if he is in fact "The Slammer"?
Anyone on this board could do a better job then he does in that column.

I can't find where I read the claim that Mancuso is the DN's "Slammer" (I may have heard it somewhere), but fwiw, Google tells me that his own byline has appeared in that paper a few times.


Pier 6er from NY
posted 09-03-2009 07:43 PM

Rich Mancuso is "The Slammer" in the NY Daily News (as Paul Heyman even said so on The John Arezzi Radio Show on another New York radio station). I enjoyed listening to Rich and Jody McDonald on WFAN, as this was the first time that I had access to "inside information" on pro wrestling. That show always had a call-in guest, as they would rotate each weekend between Dave Meltzer, Steve Beverly, and Wade Keller (as each of the three saw their newsletter readerships grow largely from appearing on WFAN).

While Mancuso did have some inside knowledge, he was hardly an expert (as I distinctly remember him mispronouncing Chris Benoit's name...pronouncing it like former NBA underachiever Benoit Benjamin).


posted 09-03-2009 08:03 PM

I remember that Mancuso denied being the Slammer, he insinuated that it was Black Jack Brown, which would make some sense. I recall Steve Beverly and Wade Keller being on the show but not Dave Meltzer.

Jody McDonald is the son of former Mets General Manager Joe McDonald , he wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer. At least three times, audience members wrote or called in and asked what happened to Tarzan Tyler and Joy Mac asked if he was related to the Red Booster- Terry Tyler(sic), he was reminded by Mancuso that The Red Rooster's name was Terry Taylor, not Tyler. He also was a big fan of The Rockers and Tito Santana, which makes him suspect in my book.

I was surprised by how many kids were up at 2 in the morning on a Sunday. A couple of them were British. I also recall a couple of teenagers calling themselves Bag O' Cheese who wrote and called in with inane questions.

I recall Beverly and Keller being on the show, not Dave Meltzer.

I recall him pronouncing Benoit last came correctly, the French way Ben-wa and taking flack from some idiot who wrote in and said it's not pronounced Ben-wa Benjamin or Joan-Ben-wa (a runner). Mancuso was somewhat flustered.


Pier 6er from NY
posted 09-03-2009 08:28 PM

Jody McDonald is the son of former Mets General Manager Joe McDonald , he wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer. At least three times, audience members wrote or called in and asked what happened to Tarzan Tyler and Joy Mac asked if he was related to the Red Booster- Terry Tyler(sic), he was reminded by Mancuso that The Red Rooster's name was Terry Taylor, not Tyler. He also was a big fan of The Rockers and Tito Santana, which makes him suspect in my book.

I was surprised by how many kids were up at 2 in the morning on a Sunday. A couple of them were British. I also recall a couple of teenagers calling themselves Bag O' Cheese who wrote and called in with inane questions.
With all due respect, perhaps you were not a regular listener if you do not recall hearing Dave Meltzer on that show? Meltzer, Beverly and Keller were on practically a 3-week rotation as call-in guests. Each would always be on the opening segments with breaking news stories, and in return they would advertise their respective newsletters (offering a sample issue or two at an introductory price for WFAN listeners). Dave Meltzer has often stated that appearing on WFAN enabled his readership to grow substantially (as this was obviously pre-internet era).

I always enjoyed listening to Jody Mac, as he sounds a lot like Jay Leno. I remember him being the son of ex-Mets and St. Louis Cardinals GM Joe McDonald, and I also remember him being a big fan of Tito Santana and The Rockers (so he obviously appreciated good in-ring wrestling ability). I never would have remembered "Bag o'Cheese", but I do remember a fan named "Martinez" who called the show every week. It was a great wrestling radio show back in the day, as they would close the show by mentioning upcoming local wrestling events in the NYC tri-state area.


Chuckerd58 from L.I.
posted 09-03-2009 11:01 PM

I listened religiously..and i have no idea why. They really never gave us any info that was accurate or really shocking.

Yet I never missed it.
I also tried to listen regularly (when I wasn't spending quality time with my then girlfriend at 3:00 AM). Not all their information was inaccurate, as that show was where I first heard that WWF was planning on having WWF World Champion Hulk Hogan wrestle Intercontinental Champion Ultimate Warrior as the upcoming main event at WrestleMania VI.


Pier 6er from NY
posted 09-03-2009 11:46 PM

Anyone on here remember Arezzi's radio show on Sunday mornings? It was on a small Long Island station,but it was pretty good. Don Liable was usually on every week,I enjoyed it.
I also enjoyed Arezzi's radio show, even though it was on a very weak Long Island station. Arezzi often put together bus trips to Philadelphia to see WCW's monthly cards at the Civic Center, as well as Joel Goodhart's Tri-State wrestling events.


JJ Bklyn42
posted 09-03-2009 11:57 PM

Was the Long Island wrestling radio show on at a better time? The time of the WFAN one was brutal. Way too late.


posted 09-04-2009 02:32 AM

i worte in letters every week the last few years the show was on the air. in my early teens that was the highlight of my life. i think Mancuso used to just read the news he got from the Observer and the weeks he had no news was when he did not get it in the mail yet. Meltzer was on plenty of times and that was where i first heard of the Observer. I doubt Mancuso is the slammer and i also always assumed (from Mancuso giving hints) that it was Blackjack Brown. i used to bust Jody's balls and call up to 8 years after the show was off the air during his "Jody Mac do me a favor" segment and ask him to bring back the wrestling hour. last time i looked up Mancuso he was working for some paper in florida i think. i still have some old tapes of it that i have been meaning to listen to. the indy guy who yelled at the fan i believe was Sean Waltman. greatest show ever was when Terry Funk yelled at the caller and told them he knew they were Dusty Rhodes and to go back to bed with Saphire. when i met Funk 15 years later (to the exact same day actually) i told him about the call (he did not remember) and he laughed his ass off.


Tony Meyers
posted 09-04-2009 05:17 AM

I would call in that show every single week and most of the time made the air. I was only 16 and it was an awesome place to find out where all the local independents were. "Jason from Jersey you are on The Fan." They did a real good job but it was too obvious he was reading word for word from The Observer half the time...


posted 09-04-2009 03:18 PM

I remember wrestler Jason Knight calling a couple of times and getting disconnected and hung up on.

I also remember when The Pearl of Orient(Ranger Ross) appeared on the Saturday Night Show, and a caller arguing with Mancuso that it was really The Great Muta because he did the same moves.


Andy from NY
posted 09-04-2009 09:25 PM

I remember Mancuso calling in from a payphone and they would say he was on doing something important out of town. He probably just ran out of subway tokens or something.

Ahhhh - The good ol' days!