Tagged: Kevin Burkhardt

Kevin Burkhardt on Chip Hale’s preparation

Despite the unfortunate outcome of Friday’s rubber game against the Marlins, I loved hearing Kevin Burkhardt’s insight about what goes into Mets third base coach Chip Hale’s preparation for both team defense and base running.

At the top of the broadcast, KB ran a clip showing how Hale uses the computer to evaluate both the Mets and the opposing team. Watching how he can pull up individual plays with a click of the mouse was fascinating, and Kevin later explained how these plays are connected to lists. But let’s let him explain it, with this transcript from the bottom of the 5th:
Chip Hale gets here at 1 oclock in the afternoon, and really one of the first things he does is go to the computer. He figures out how how this team is going to play defensively for the night. And how he does that, in this computer he can put in any split you can possibly imagine: left, right, how they’ve done the last month, anything you can imagine he puts it in. And not only that, they can pull up hit charts, and off those hit charts he can pull up highlights to see just about anything he wants to see to determine how he’s going to put together the defense. 

When he does that he then puts together a sheet that each player gets on their bench when they come in for the day, and on that sheet it tells the players where they’re going to play against each batter. It’ll also have little nuggets about, ‘this batter likes to bunt on one strike,’ ‘this batter likes to steal 3rd,’ little tidbits of information that are helpful to the fielder. And then what Chip will do next, he’ll stay on that computer, and he’ll look at the outfield arms of the other team. Of course as a 3rd base coach, you want to know who’s doing what…He looks at what they’ve done lately. He basically will pull up the last month on video, and he can see any throw that these guys have made. So he’ll pull one up and watch where the opposing team’s runner is as a guy is getting the ball. So let’s say Raul Ibanez is making a throw home to get somebody out. He’ll watch where the runner is on the base pass when Ibanez gets the ball. So if it was a good throw home and the guy’s out, Chip has an idea, kind of comparing speeds, ‘alright I have an idea if my runner is here, I may not send him the way Ibanez is throwing lately.’ That all goes into this.”

Very cool stuff, KB. As always, the SNY broadcast offers great viewing even if the outcome of the game is…let’s use the word frustrating

But last night was an impressive Pelfrey-led win, and who knows what tonight will bring? Let’s Go Mets!


SNY Travels to Brooklyn

P1110899.jpgAnd so did Howard and I to watch the Mets’ Single A team, the Cyclones, on Thursday. Howard Megdal, that is, who continues his campaign to be elected Mets General Manager over at Megdal for GM. But he’s also sticking to his day job, writing about baseball, which is what brought us to Coney Island on Angel Pagan Day and Wally Backman Jersey Day (I just missed the last jersey!) and Kevin Burkhardt and Bobby Ojeda Day.

Howard cares about the farm system. And about animals. And mascots.

Our Kevin Burkhardt was rocking the play-by-play for SNY that night. KB remains, in everyone’s estimation who has met him or worked with him–just the nicest, lowest ego guy ever. And since I was over there sayin’ hi, I couldn’t help but introduce myself to Bobby O and ask for a pic. Ojeda was perfectly genial and happy to comply.

P1110897.JPGJust to cap off the SNY-related tribute, notice the brand spanking new ’10 GKR design I’ve got on, available here. The Mets-friendly blue and longer length make for a sweet and chic homage to Gary Keith and Ron.

The Cyclones would dominate all game long, but the highlight of the evening for me was seeing Angel Pagan watch his Cyclones jersey number being retired. On his off-day, he was in Coney Island with us, throwing out first pitch and receiving what his expression told us he considered a great honor.

P1110816.JPGP1110811.JPGHoward was at the ballpark that day to interview Cory Vaughn, Mets 2010 draft pick, whom he seemed quite impressed by. I didn’t get my Backman jersey, but I got a pic of Wally being all managerial, and pics of Sandy the Seagull and the Cyclones cheerleaders and those racing hot dogs and Kyle Superbueno Peterson, the juggling unicycler.


It’s just plain hard not to have fun at a minor league game. With Howard as company, it was even better. Check out Howard’s latest campaign ad, in which he shamefully pimps out his ridiculously adorable baby daughter for votes. Now if that isn’t a politician, I don’t know what is!

At least one decent acquisition (we hope!)

I’m back! My blogging hiatus took a wee bit longer than I wanted it too. I was all set to come back raring for 2010, but then the whole Beltran fiasco happened. What a mess. But at least it healed the rift between team and front office and made the Mets seem like the awesomest organization for any free agent to join. Or the opposite of that. In truth, losing Beltran for the beginning of the season is a tough, tough blow. But I have high hopes for Angel Pagan, our Angel in the outfield. He’s surprised us before. Come on, Angel, save your inevitable injury for when Beltran’s back and healthy!

What made me excited for ’10 again wasn’t our player acquisitions–although Welcome, Jason Bay, I do look forward to watching you play, and hopefully you’ll keep Carlos B. on speed dial for fielding advice. No, what made me excited for Citi again was a commercial I saw during Hot Stove (how good is our KB doing in the studio? Great job!). Apparently McFadden’s is opening a bar in Citi Field. A real Mets bar. A place that hopefully will host parties for away games–I’d be surprised if Cerrone doesn’t partner with them for something, and they’re already sponsoring metsblog–and provide shelter during rain delays for us non-club ticket holders. Citi Field really needed a bar that everyone could access. Even that little bar outside the Caesar’s Club was Caesar-ticket only. It was infuriating. For non-beer drinkers like me, and for anyone who didn’t want to get wet during a rain delay, Citi Field kind of sucked in that arena.

So far, googling “McFadden’s Citi Field” brings up my own Twitter (I honestly can’t write “Tweet” without feeling like an idiot) about it only in 2nd place, and so I’m not sure there’s much info out there. But here’s what the helpful internet has led me to find:

The Citi Field McFadden’s should be on the LF side, and open to both those inside and outside the ball park. I wonder, though, if it will be like the team store, and so closed to the outside during home games.

Would I go to the McFadden’s in the city for anything non-Mets related? Well, no. But there have been some decent Metsblog parties there in the past, most notably in 2006. So let’s see how they do with a less…sure to win team. They just might sell more drinks!

I leave you with this from Omar Minaya, from the same Hot Stove episode that caught my eye with the McFadden’s commercial. I can’t help but laugh at how Omar’s trying to skirt the Beltran issue. My fave part is in italics. Good for KB for not letting it slide!

Kevin Burkhardt: “I think you need to tell us what happened with Carlos Beltran. Was there a miscommunication there?”

Omar Minaya: “I think the best thing to say about Carlos Beltran, I mean, um, first of all, Carlos Beltran, you know, it was report–Carlos Beltran had told me about that he was going to have that operation. We spoke about it. I talked to Carlos. Carlos, so we understand this, Carlos Beltran did not do nothing wrong.”

KB: So you knew he was having the surgery?

Omar: Oh yes. He called me and he told me. Carlos Beltran is very professional. Carlos Beltran can’t wait to go out and help his team. Carlos Beltran is a warrior. The other thing is, there was a problem. There was a problem in the process, as far as, and I say this, but not in the process of Carlos–not that Carlos Beltran was responsible for that process… I knew that he was having surgery the next day. I knew that he was going–he told me, uh,–and like with anything else, as long as the protocol goes through, we–the pro–the problem was in the process as how we got–went through the process.

Thanks for clearing that up, Omar. (At least he didn’t say it was Adam Rubin’s fault.)