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Chunky Bits of Tid

NostraDennisTuesday, November 28, 2006
By NostraDennis

Editor's Note: Dennis McCarthy (aka NostraDennis) has been leaving terrific (if slightly deranged) comments on this site for a while. This is his inaugural full length effort. - M.S.

I can make a good steak, too. But it's getting a little nippy outside, so how about a nice hot hearty bowl of whatever's laying around the kitchen?

Speaking of creative cooking, I can't wait to see what Chef Boy-O-Mar Minaya has cooking on the hot stove this winter. Remember how we all scratched our heads and wondered just what he was thinking with all the spare parts he picked up at other teams' garage sales? That turned out pretty well, and I suspect we'll be pleasantly surprised with this winter meetings' results...Step right up, Mets fans, and shake hands with Mois(tn)es(s) Alou. Um, thanks; a pat on the back will do for now...The only thing I'm worried about with Alou in one corner of the Mets' outfield and Shawn Green in the other is this: how can Carlos Beltran play two steps to left and two steps to right at the same time?...

Don't worry too much, though, about all those seasoned citizens the Mets are taking on. The last time I said, "Why did they sign that old dude for?", that old dude proceeded to become the oldest player ever to hit a home run/pinch-hit a home run/hit a grand slam/be a pinch-runner. I'm content to be Homer Simpson on the sidelines, saying, "Wait...let's see where he's going with this"...I've done my fact-checking, and it seems the rumor is untrue. In Paul Simon's 1972 hit, "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard", that was not Julio Franco. He'd graduated high school by then...

They can call it CitiPark, Jackie Robinson Stadium, or Lindsay Nelson's Plaid Jacket Memorial Field. I'm still calling it Shea until I'm corrected the first five hundred times...Scanning over the Mets' current pitching staff (the guys who aren't still comparing apples to peaches, that is), for the first time in a long time, no single name jumps out as the guy most likely to thrown the first no-hitter in Mets history. For the longest time, Sid Fernandez was my odds-on favorite to be that guy. And I had even money on whether he'd win or lose that game...There's a Shakespeare revival going on right now in the Glavine home. Call it "Tomlet". "To be...a Brave, or not to be...a Met. That is the question." Can you see Tommy G now, holding up a skull with a Braves cap perched atop it. "Alas, poor Maddux. I knew him well"...

While it hurts to lose a good coach, I'm happy for Manny Acta and his new opportunity to avoid losing 100 games a season with the Nationals. Let's wish him well, with the exceptions of April 13-15, April 27-29, and four other three-day spans next summer...Have you checked out the website for the Mets' new Triple-A team, the New Orleans Zephyrs? That woodchuck-looking thing with orange teeth scares me. It looks a little rabid...Actually, it might not be a woodchuck, and it might just be a coincidence, but the Zephyrs' owner is names Don Beaver...While the Tidewater/Norfolk Tides will be missed, it's just as well they haven't brought the name with them to NOLA. The Bayou's had a hard time with Tides recently...Might just need to take a road trip this summer to see the Zephyrs on Weenie Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday, or Zatarains Zaturday. Hey, maybe Friday, July 27th...there'll be fireworks, and it's "SE La Parish Night". Wonder if that stands for Lance or Larry...

On a mostly non-Mets related topic, let me ask you all to help me root for my kids' school, Lake Brantley High School in Altamonte Springs, Florida. The Patriots play Boone High School in the state 6A football semifinals Friday night at 7:30. And why, you might ask, should we root for a team we don't even know? One reason only: Boone's nickname is the Braves. 'Nuff said?...

I haven't yet honored Mike's request for a picture to accompany my byline; still looking for one that doesn't make me fat. However, you can catch my ugly mug over at our neighbors' site, Faith and Fear in Flushing, in the "Recent Photos" column. I'm the one who's not rolling my eyes at Greg's captions.

About Dennis McCarthy: I was born in the Bronx in 1960, but moved to Long Island four years later. I became a Mets fan in '69, thanks to my Aunt Ellen, who still lived in the Bronx.

Got in trouble with Mrs. Kozak in 8th grade in 1973 for sneaking a transistor radio into her English class so I could listen to the Mets.

My mom wrote a note of apology, promising that my attention to English would improve - just as soon as the season was over.

Met my buddy Ray (Metphistopheles) that year as well. While he's now way up near the Canadian border, and I'm down in America's wang, we remain friends via blog.

Lost interest in baseball in general and the Mets in particular when I gained interest in girls, but rejoined the fold in time to root for Hubie Brooks and not much else in the early 80's.

My college buddies at Adelphi University all turned out to be Mets fans. That says something about my judgment of character. We all bought into the Saturday season ticket package in '85, just in time to enjoy the playoffs and Series the following year. Sat in the far right field upper deck for Game 4 of the NLCS and Games 1 and 7 of the Series.

Got married to Sharon in '85, and started a career in radio - behind the scenes, not on the air - that continues to this day. We've got two daughters, Virginia, 20, and Denise, 15.

Got mad at major league baseball after the '95 lockout, and moved to Orlando, Florida that same year (those facts are unrelated). I decided to spend my money on minor league baseball for several years, patronizing the Myrtle Beach Blue Jays, the Tidewater Tides, the PawSox, the Wilmington (N.C.) Waves, and the Orlando Cubs.

Forgave MLB in '98, and traveled to St. Louis to see McGwire get thrown out of Saturday's game. In the first inning. Arguing balls and strikes. Fortunately, I had a ticket to Sunday's game, so I got to see him hit #55 against Dennis Martinez of the Braves.

The following year, met my college buddy Mike in Chicago, and watched Sammy Sosa hit #60 on Saturday and #61 on Sunday. I was back. What can I say? Dudes love the long ball.

Sat in a recliner in Wilmington, North Carolina in October 2000 with my dad to watch the Subway Series, and learned for the first time that he was a Yankee fan as a kid. My folks divorced when I was six or seven, and Dad and I never talked sports. He died of lung cancer spread to the brain the following summer.

Met my new best Mets friend, Johnni Gunnz, at the radio stations for whom I currently work. Talking Mets sure makes the day a pleasure. Got turned on to Mike's Mets and FAFIF by Ray, who survives the lack of Mets info up in the wilderness between Buffalo and Rochester with his own blog.

My unfulfilled dream job (but don't tell my current boss): baseball PA announcer. My current dream job (though it's definitely NOT a job): guest blogger at Mike's Mets.

Comments (3)

Best notes column since Young Ideas.

Thanks, Greg, for comparing me to that bastard. Truth be told, though, that bastard could write, so I'll take it as high praise.

Now, where's Seaver, so I can run him out of town again?

He's out in his vinyard.

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