Nov 30, 2016

Former Mets Pitcher: Juan Berenguer (1978-1980)

Juan Batista Berenguer was born November 30th 1954 in Aguadulce, Cocle, Panama. The five foot eleven, right handed pitcher was signed by the New York Mets as an amateur free agent in 1975.

Berenguer had a high nineties fastball which earned him the nickname "el gasolino" & "senor smoke". He also was known as "pancho villa" with his menacing looks of long hair & moustache on the mound.

He put up big strike out numbers in the Mets minors going from A ball Lynchburg to AA Jackson & then AAA Tidewater in three quick seasons. Unfortunately he was having major control issues & was walking almost as many batters as he struck out. By 1978 he was 10-7 with a 3.67 ERA & 130 Ks at Tidewater when he got the big league call up to a Mets team looking for something.


He debuted on August 17th, getting his first start, but gave up five runs on four hits to the San Diego Padres earning a loss. He returned as a September call up taking another loss on September 4th, as the Pirates roughed him up for five more runs at Pittsburgh. He ended the year at 0-2 with an 8.31 ERA.

He got another September call up appearing in five games going 1-1 with a solid 2.93 ERA. In his last start on September 29th he pitched 7.1 innings beating the St. Louis Cardinals 6-2 for his first career win. In 1980 another September call up resulted in a 0-1 record, with a 5.79 ERA in six games. In his three seasons with the Mets he struck out 40 batters but walked 33 in 53 innings of work. The Mets did not like his control issues & traded him to the Kansas City Royals for Marvell Wynne.

Trivia: He appears on two different Mets Rookie Prospects cards- 1979 & 1981. The 1981 card features Mets future hero; Mookie Wilson.

In the strike shortened 1981 season, he led the AL in losses (13) between the Royals & Toronto Blue Jays. He would end up on the Detroit Tigers pitching four seasons there, winning a World Series with them in 1984 while going 11-10 with a 3.48 ERA.

He spent one year with the San Francisco Giants before going to the Minnesota Twins (1987-1990) where he had much success. In the Twins 1987 Championship year he was 8-1 with four saves and a 3.94 ERA.

Post Season: He appeared in four of the five ALCS games against the Detroit Tigers, earning a save in Game #1. He pitched in three games of the 1987 World Series, taking a loss in Game #3 after blowing a 7th inning 1-0 lead, as Vince Coleman & Ozzie Smith both drove in runs.

Berenguer then moved on to the Atlanta Braves (1991-1992) going 3-4 in 77 games as a reliever, as the team got to the World Series in 1991. He missed out on playing as he had a freak accident breaking his arm, at home while wrestling with his kids. He ended his career getting traded to the Kansas City Royals in July of 1992.

In a 15 year career he was 67-62 with 32 saves in 490 games, 95 starts. He struck out 975 batters walking 604 in 1205 innings of work.

Post Playing Career: After his playing days he worked for a Minnesota television station.

He has been at ceremonies honoring the Twins & Tigers Championship teams.

His son Chris played hockey in the US Hockey League.


Nov 29, 2016

Cespedes Remains A Met!!

Yoenis Cespedes & the Mets have agreed to a four year $110 million deal! That means the Mets are series & ready to avenge their NL Championship title from two seasons ago & take it to the next level, a long awaited championship.

Cespedes has more than proven his worth as a Met, I have been saying this for the past two contract negotiations, it's a no brainer.

He is a proven All Star, he has proven that he can play in New York. He has proven he can hit for power, drive in runs & throw out almost any one with his arm. He is good in the club house & the fans love him. He has taken the Mets to the playoffs both seasons he has been on the roster, including a World Series.

And in case anyone forgot, had the greatest performance any player has ever had in a pennant race two seasons ago, with an incredible August.

Looking forward to a great 2017 with Cespedes a crowded talented outfield, solid defense up the middle, a good bench & a healthy pitching staff with lots of talent fighting for spots as well. Lets Go Mets!!

Former Mets Hitting Coach: Dave Engle (2001-2002)

Ralph David Engle was born on November 30th, 1956 in San Diego California. The six foot three, right hand hitting Engle began his career as an outfielder but was converted over to a catcher. 

He attended the University of Southern California & won championships on the baseball & football teams in his junior year. In 1978 he was selected as a third round pick of the California Angels.

In 1979 Engle was sent to the Minnesota Twins along with Ken Landreaux in exchange for Hall of Famer; Rod Carew. With the Twins he was a team mate of his brother in law; Tom Brunansky. By 1981 he was an outfielder for the Twins hitting .258 with 5 Hrs 14 doubles & 32 RBIs. He came in fifth in the AL Rookie of the Year voting. 

 In 1982 he was the first player to hit a HR in the new Metro Dome Stadium. Two years later in 1983, Engle was fully transformed into a catcher, he played in a career high 120 games, hitting a career best .305 with 8 HRs 22 doubles & 43 RBIs. In 1984 he made the AL All Star team, although he did not finish with as good a season as he did the previous year-  .266 average.

By 1985 he was moved over into a DH role due to a strange psychological arm throwing issue.He was then was traded to the Detroit Tigers. He spent 1986 with the Tigers then signed on with the Montreal Expos for two seasons as a reserve player.

 In his first at bat in Montreal he hit a pinch hit HR & filled in the spot of Tim Raines as he remained unsigned. He ended his playing career in 1989 with the Milwaukee Brewers. In a nine year career, he hit .262 with 431 hits 31 HRs 88 doubles & a .311 on base %.

Retirement: After his playing days he began as a minor league coach from 1995-1997. He then coached at the big league level with Houston Astros in 1998. 

In 200 he joined the Mets organization, coaching for the A Ball St. Lucie Mets in 2000. The next year; 2001 he joined Bobby Valentines staff as Mets hitting coach replacing Tom Robson. 

As the Mets team struggled batting a collective .249 with 147 HRs in 2001 (both 15th in the league) they made some big off season moves. The Mets acquired Roberto Alomar, Mo Vaughn & Jeromy Burnitz for 2002, but nothing worked out well & the Mets finished fifth.

Engle was released from his coaching role & replanted in the minor league system. He was replaced by Chris Chambliss. Engel is currently a scout for the Baltimore Orioles.

The Legend of New York Giants Outfielder: Moonlight Grahm (1905)

Archibald "Moonlight" Graham was born on  November 12th, 1877 in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Graham made one appearance in a major league game.

On June 29th, 1905 he was placed in right field, but never got a turn at bat for John McGraw's 1905 World Champion New York Giants.
It was not on the field but in fiction where Graham became famous.

In 1975 author W.P. Kinsella, had taken notice of Graham's statistic in the Baseball Encyclopedia. He used the character in his novel; Shoeless Joe which the movie Field of Dreams was based on. In the movie Kevin Costner & James Earl Jones are sent to Fenway Park in Boston by the voice that tells them "If you build it he will come." And "Ease his pain".

At the game the Graham stat is seen only by them on the scoreboard.  The voice tells them, "Go the distance..." as the two soon drive off to Chisholm, Minnesota, to find out what they can about the man and his mysterious MLB career.

In the movie Graham as an older man was portrayed by Burt Lancaster & Frank Whaley as a younger man. The film also gives the message that during that era, many of the minor league teams, such as the ones Graham had played for,  may have been as good as the major league teams. Some of the actual dates were changed for the films purposes.

As for the real life Moonlight Graham, he attended the University of North Carolina where his brother was president of the School. He later became a United States Senator. Moonlight played baseball in college & then moved onto the minor leagues in New England.

In 1905 he played in the New York State League where his contract was purchased by the New York Giants. On June 29th, 1905 he was inserted in right field in the 8th inning, at Washington Park in Brooklyn, in a game against the Brooklyn Superbas. In the 9th inning he was the next batter when the final out was made, so he never got a chance to hit.

He went back to the New York Penn. League, where he missed winning the batting title in 1906 by just four points. Graham was considered one of the fastest players on the base paths in his league as well.

Graham finished medical school & gave up baseball to become a medical doctor. He was known as Doc Graham & worked in schools in the Chisholm, Minnesota area. He would have used glasses sent to his office & on weekends, he checked the eyes of children who's fathers worked in the Iron Range & distributed them as needed, free of charge. The Graham Scholarship is still given to this day, in Chisholm schools, named in his honor.

Moonlight Graham passed away in August 1965, at age 85.

Nov 26, 2016

Former Italian / American Player & Long Time Manager: Mike Sciosia

Michael Lorri Scioscia was born on November 27, 1958 in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. He went to high school in the Italian American neighborhood outside of Philadelphia where Tommy Lasorda had grown up. Lasorda was certainly involved in helping to recruit the young catcher.

In 1976 he was signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers as a first round draft pick (19th overall). The six foot two, two hundred pound cather batted left handed but threw right handed. After five minor league seasons, he made the Dodgers big league team by 1980. Scioscia made his MLB debut on April 20th 1980 in the 11th game of the season.

He would play in 54 games that year & in the Dodgers 1981 Championship season, he took over as the main catcher replacing veteran Steve Yeagar.

Quotes: Tommy Lasorda was quoted as saying: When I made Mike the No. 1 catcher, the writers came to me and said, Yeager said you made Scioscia the No. 1 catcher because he's Italian." I said, "That's a lie. I made him the No. 1 catcher because I'm Italian."

By 1981 Fernando Valenzuela had come on the scene causing "Fernandomania" in Southern California. Scioscia went out & learned Spanish so he could communicate better with the new rookie sensation pitcher. The 1981 Dodgers consisting of the new guys; Scioscia, Valenzuela, & Pedro Guerrero as well as the old long time Dodger core veterans, Steve Garvey, Ron Cey, Dave Lopes, & Bill Russell went on to win a long awaited Championship for Los Angeles, in that strike shortened season. In 93 games he hit .276 with 2 HRs & 29 RBIs.

Post Season: In the 1981 NLCS he hit a HR off Montreal’s Jeff Reardon in Game #1 helping the Dodgers to a 5-1 win. He hit .250 in the World Series playing in only three of the six games. In the post season overall he was he went 5-32 with two RBIs.

Although he was a decent hitter, Mike Scioscia was known for his great defense, and his incredible ability to block home plate. When blocking the plate he would be positioned on an angle down on both knees while making the tag with the ball in his catcher's glove, different from the most catchers style. He was also known for his durability, after tearing his rotator cuff in 1983, he would catch over 100 games for the Dodgers in each of the next ten seasons.

In 1985 he was knocked unconscious by the Giants Will Clark but still held onto the ball for the out. The next year he & the Giants Chili Davis were both knocked out cold, in another brutal home plate collision. That was the one Scioscia called the worst of his career.

He led the league in throwing out base runners caught stealing twice, (1988-1989). He would throw out over 40% of would be base stealers twice in his career with over 35% seven times. He led all catchers in put outs three times, assists & passed balls twice each. He also caught two no hitters in his career one from Fernando Valenzuela in 1990 & another thrown by Kevin Gross in 1992.

Scioscia went to two All Star Games, becoming the first Dodger catcher to start an All Star Game (1990) since Roy Campanella. He was a solid contact hitter, that did not strike out too much, averaging one strike out every 14 at bats during his career. In 1995 he batted a career best .296 with his second best average coming in 1981 when he hit .276. He was not much of a power hitter, hitting a career high 12 HRs in 1990. 


Post Season: Scioscia returned to the post season in 1985, batting .250 in a series loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.

But it was the 1988 NLCS that Met fans always remember. In Game #4 the Mets were leading 4-2 in the 9th inning & had a 2-1 Series advantage. Mets ace Dwight Gooden was on the mound & John Shelby drew a walk.  Mike Scioscia coming to bat as the tying run.

He blasted a game tying HR, silencing & stunning the Shea Stadium crowd. It was a nightmare as the Mets of that era did not make another post season. The Mets did not get to the playoffs for another 11 years.

The Dodgers would go on to win the game when Kirk Gibson hit his 12th inning HR off Roger McDowell. Although they took it to a Game seven, the Mets could never recover. A matter of fact it would be eleven years before they got to another post season.


Scioscia hit .364 in that Series as his team advanced, going on to shock the Bash Brothers & the Oakland A’s in the World Series. After a 13 year career, the lifelong Dodger had to retire due to injuries taking their toll on him by the age of 34.

He finished his career batting .259 with 68 HRs 198 doubles 446 RBIs & a .344 on base % with two World Series titles.

Behind the plate he caught in 1395 games (39th most all time). He made 8335 put outs (23rd all time ) with 737 assists (89th all time). He threw out 500 base runners trying to steal (64th all time) 34%.

Retirement: After his playing days he coached for the Dodgers organization until he was hired by the Los Angeles Angels f Anaheim as their manager during the 1999 season.

With Scioscia at the helm the Angels had their most successful period in their history, winning five AL West titles, & their first World Series title in 2002. Scioscia won the Manager of the Year Award that season becoming the 17th person to win a World Series as both Player & Manager.

He is the first manager to reach the post season in six of his first ten seasons, and has become the Angels all time leader in victories. In 2009 he won another Manager of the Year Award & had his contract extended through 2018.

On May 8, 2011 Scioscia became the 56th manager to win 1,000 or more games and just the 23rd to have all 1,000 or more victories with a single team
In 2012 Angels GM Jerry DiPoto fired his hitting coach & friend Mickey Hatcher. Dipoto & Scoscia did not get among well as tensions mounted over the next two seasons until DiPoto resigned.

In 2013 his team played under .500 but rebounded in 2014 as he came in second in the Manager of the Year Award. The Angels won 98 games (98-64) the third highest amount of wins in his career as manager.

After winning the AL West his team was upset in a three game sweep by the Kansas City Royals. Although the Angels won 85 games in 2015 they finished third not making the post season.

In 2016 Scioscia's team finished under .500 for just the fifth time in his 17 years as manager. He is the major league's longest tenured manager going into the 2017 season.

TV appearances: Scioscia has made two famous appearances on the Simpsons cartoon. He also is known in Southern California as a celebrity endorser for a Superstore Chain.

Family: He met his wife Anne while she was bringing him cookies at Dodger Stadium. Together they have two children & live in Westlake Village, California.

His son Matt Scioscia was drafted in the 45th round of the 2011 draft by the Angels. In 2014 he was traded to the Chicago Cubs organization for Trevor Gretzky son of Hockey legend; Wayne Gretzky.

Nov 25, 2016

Former Mets Third Baseman: "The Grave Digger" Richie Hebner (1979)

Richard Joseph Hebner was born November 26, 1947 in Boston Massachusetts. Hebner will forever be remembered as being a grave digger in the off season, as stated on the back of his 1974 baseball card. He made $35 for each grave he dug, working at a cemetery run by his family.

In high school he was one of the best young hockey players in Massachusetts history, but he was also a star baseball player. He chose the baseball career getting picked in the first round of the 1966 draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates. He batted .336 at AA Raleigh in 1967 after 78 games there that season. In 1968 he batted .276 at AAA Columbus with 6 HRs & 51 RBIs.  

He arrived in the big leagues at age 21 in 1969. This was at a time when the Pirates would dominate the NL East, with the exception of 1969 & 1973 when the Mets won the Eastern Divisional title. In Pittsburgh he made five post seasons appearances, winning a World Series in 1971.

He was their regular third baseman until 1977 when he signed with the Philadelphia Phillies as free agent. He won two more NL East titles there, making it to seven of ten NLCS in the seventies.  

Hebner earned a reputation as a ladies’ man who liked to party, known as one of baseballs most eligible bachelors in the seventies. He sometimes lacked concentration on the field which affected his fielding at third base. He got into two famous shouting matches with his Pirate manager Bill Virdon in 1973, which got him a reputation as a trouble maker, & even made some of the Pittsburgh fans heckle him.  

Hebner was a steady solid player hitting over .290 five times, hitting 15 or more HRs seven times, having 65 plus RBI seasons four times. He was a master at getting hit by pitches, usually among the tops in the league, getting on base 74 times in his career after being plunked. He was a sacrifice hitter as well with 44 sac hits & 77 sac flies in his career.  

Post Seasons: In 1971 he batted .271 with 17 HRs & 67 RBIs on the year.In the 1971 NLCS he hit .294 with two HRs & five RBIs. In Game #3 against the San Francisco Giants he hit an 8th inning game winning HR off Juan Marichal. In the World Series he hit a HR in Game #2 at Baltimore against the Orioles in the Pirates 11-3 loss. Overall he would only get two hits in the Pirates World Series Championship.  

In 1972 he batted .300 with 19 HRs 24 doubles & 72 RBIs, posting a .372 on base %. In the NLCS he batted just .188 (3-16) with an RBI in the series loss to the Cincinnati Reds. In the 1973 season he had career highs in HRs (25) RBIs (74) doubles (28) & games played (144) but the Pirates finished second to the Mets on the final days of the season. The consistent Hebner batted .2291 with 18 HRs 21 doubles & 68 RBIs in 1974 as the Pirates won the NL East again.

In the 1974 NLCS he & Willie Stargell both hit HRs in Game #3 the only Pirate win against the Dodgers. In the series he was 3-13 with four RBIs batting .231. In the 1975 season his average fell off to a career low .246.

In the 1975 NLCS he hit .333 against the Big Red Machine as his Pirates were swept in three games. He struggled again in 1976 batting just .249 with 8 HRs & 51 RBIs in 132 games played. Hebner signed as a free agent with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1977, replacing Dick Allen as the teams first baseman & Phil Garner replaced him in Pittsburgh. He regained his form in Philly, batting .285 with 18 HRs 17 doubles & 62 RBIs scoring 67 runs on a Phillies team that won 101 games.

He hit .357 in the 1977 NLCS against the eventual World Campion Los Angeles Dodgers (5-14) with two runs scored. In 1978 his numbers remained in the same ballpark for Hebner; 17 HRs 71 RBIs & a .283 average. In the 1978 NLCS he went 1-9 with an RBI in the Dodgers three game sweep over the Phillies. Overall Hebner hit .270 in the post season with 4 HRs 7 doubles & 16 RBIs in 30 games played.  



 

In Spring Training 1979 the Phillies signed Pete Rose & Hebner was expendable. He was traded to the New York Mets in exchange for pitcher Nino Espinosa. He was devastated going from one of the best teams to one of the worst teams. He would only spend one season in New York and he hated it. He didn’t like the city or playing for the dismal ’79 Mets losing team.  


The Mets still hadn't found a steady third baseman since Wayne Garrett had left & in 1979 Hebner got the position. He had been playing first base the past two seasons & his transition back to third base didn't go well. He made 22 errors (5th most in the league) with a .940 fielding%. Hebner struggled at the plate early on causing the Mets fans to boo him right away. With all that said, he was still one of the better players on that team, usually batting in the cleanup spot.

On Opening Day he had four hits, including two doubles, a HR & four RBIs in the Mets 10-6 win at Wrigley Field in Chicago. In mid May he drove in 13 runs with 13 hits in five straight games, raising his average above .300. On May 20th he drove in five runs in a game against the St. Louis Cardinals, incuding a three run 10th inning HR which tied up a game the Mets had fallen behind in. They would win it on Frank Taveras' walk off base hit. The next day he drove in three runs in a 4-2 win over the Chicago Cubs.  

In June he drove in runs in four straight games with a three RBI day on June 13th against the Cincinnati Reds. He kept the average above .300 but it went down from there on & he rarely had any memorable highlights. He did have a hot September having his biggest month of the year, recording an 11 game hit steak, while driving in 21 runs during the month. On September 22nd he hit two HRs driving in all three Mets runs in a 6-3 loss in the first game of a twin bill against the St. Louis Cardinals.

On September 26th he hit a two run HR, in the first inning off The Cubs Donnie Moore. He later doubled home two more runs, driving in four of the Mets eight runs in a 8-3 win. In his last six games he drove in eight runs, hitting safely in 12 of 13 games. He finished the year leading the '79 team in RBIs (79) hit by pitches (8) and sac flies (8). He hit ten HRs with 25 doubles while batting .268, the second lowest average of his career to that point. That year the Mets finished 6th 63-79. thirty five games out of first place.  

During the end of the season, Mets GM Joe McDonald told the Sporting News "Richie hates crowds & traffic, he's only been to Manhattan once since he's been here". Hebner & New York never worked out.

On Halloween 1979, one week before he was to get married & settle down from his bachelor life, the Mets traded him to the Detroit Tigers for Jerry Morales & Phil Mankowski. In 1980 at Detroit he was revived, his average rose to .290 with a career high 82 RBIs. He hit 12 HRs with 10 doubles & a .360 on base %. He was the Tigers first baseman for two seasons before going back to the Pirates in 1982 & 1983 as a back up to Bill Madlock. Hebner then went to the Chicago Cubs for his two final seasons 1983 & 1984.

He retired in 1985 after 18 seasons with 1694 hits 203 HRs 890 RBIs 203 doubles 57 triples & a .276 batting average while posting a .385 on base percentage.
   
Retirement: Hebner has been a long time minor league coach & manager, more recently with the Baltimore Orioles organization with the Norfolk Tides in 2010.

Nov 23, 2016

Concert Review: Evanescence at Wellmont Theater, Montclair New Jersey

Last night I finally got to see Amy Lee & Evanescence for the first time. I wanted to see them so badly a few years ago, on their last tour, but couldn't make it happen.

Since that last tour, Amy Lee has had a baby, done a musical score, wrote a children's album & made some more band member changes in Evanescence. Despite not having a new album to promote, she surprised fans like myself, & decided to take Evanescence on the road for a Fall Tour. So Pie & I were off to Jersey...........





All I can say, is that she is everything I was hoping for & much much more. Amy Lee is no doubt, the current reigning Queen of Rock. All music for that matter. She is absolutely incredible & the best female rock performer in the world right now. She has reached the upper status of the legendary front woman of rock-the bests ever- Stevie Nicks & Ann Wilson. There was Janis, Grace Slick, Debbie Harry, Joan Jett & for this era it is Amy Lee. 

The two sides of Amy Lee as an artist take versatility to the extreme. First she is full of energy, belting out her hard rock songs with an incredibly powerful voice. She owns the stage & the crowd, it's all about her as she does take us to that special place.

She then does a 360 & makes a complete transition. Lee is a classically trained piano player, the show includes stage hands wheeling out a piano on stage twice during the night. Lee beautifully plays the piano in a classical Mozart inspired style. Then you hear one of the most beautiful voices you've ever heard,singing. Her angelic voice starts out softly, then soars to intense high notes, with a powerful emotion that burns right into your soul.

It must be noted the talented Lee also jumps to keyboards at various times during the show as well.


Lee writes the songs, is the front woman & designs her own clothes. She does not believe is selling herself as a sex object, but rather wears modest yet certainly rock & roll outfits.

Last night she wore her usual black boots, with a long black shirt over tight turquoise blue & black striped pants. Above her upper arms she wore a long flowing material of a matching blue turquoise. No need to exploit her sex, since Amy Lee is right out beautiful with her cat like eyes & long silky dark hair.

The show was at an old refurbished theater in Montclair, New Jersey. The Wellmont Theater, is another in the trend of bringing back old theaters in a small towns, outside of Manhattan. There is a sense of nostalgia &  lower costs to put on these concerts.

It brings revenues to these small towns downtown area, as it did to the eclectic dining choices of Montclair. The crowd were certainly mixed, with many young people but lots of scattered veteran rock concert goers as myself.

Amy Lee is certainly the rock goddess to look up to for these younger female fans. All fans, especially us older seasoned rock veterans, certainly admire & respect her musicianship & amazing voice.






In the small theater, there was general admission standing on the floor area, then the upper balconies with seats. I paid extra to get a second row lodge seat, right above the stage looking down on the action.

There were no video screens, nor any special props, it was all about the music. And this band was incredibly tight, the sound in the small theater exceptional. It's hard to believe this line up is touring together for the first time as a unit.


Jen Majura
The latest line up includes female German guitarist  Jen Majura. Majura who had previously played with the German folk Metal band, Equilibrium, is a great guitar player who looked like she was having lots fun on stage. Lots of smiles & high fives with her bandmates, especially Lee who seems to have found a intense musical connection with her.

Bassist Tim McCord is now the longest tenured member beside Lee, he has been with the band since 2006. Will Hunt was spectacular on drums, he has been playing live with them since 2007 although he did not become a full time member until 2011. Veteran metal Guitarist, Troy McLawhorn is also one of the latest to collaborate with Amy Lee & joined the band officially last year.

The only negative thing I can say was the encore choice & I didn't get my favorite song, a true rock classic- Erase This! The set list did include one new song- Take Cover which they started playing last month.

I just look forward to seeing more from Evanescence in the near future as well as another tour, hopefully soon.  My only question is how is this band not headlining Madison Square Garden & the big arenas, especially when you look at some of the garbage that plays those venues??




 set list:
Everybody's Fool
What You Want
Going Under
The Other Side
Lithium
Even In Death
My Heart is Broken
Made of Stone
Weight of the World
The Change
Take Cover
Breathe No More
My Immortal
Your Star
Whisper
Disappear
Call Me When Your Sober
Imaginary
Bring Me to Life

encore- Dirty Diana




videos- not the best quality.......


Bring Me To Life:


Disappear:

Lithium:

My Immortal- original video



Nov 22, 2016

Former Mets Infielder: Justin Turner (2011-2012)

Justin Matthew Turner was born on November 23rd, 1984 in Long Beach California. The red headed six foot infielder attended California State University at Fullerton, getting named freshman All American by Baseball America. He was named to the 2003 College World Series All Tournament team as a short stop.

In 2005 he was drafted in the 25th round by the AL New York club but did not sign. He signed in 2006 with the Cincinnati Reds in the 6th round. Turner hit well in the minor leagues hitting .300 or better in five of six seasons.  

In December of 2008 he was traded to the Baltimore Orioles along with Ryan Freel in exchange for Ramon Hernandez. He hit .300 at AAA Norfolk & and earned himself a September call up, debuting in Boston going 0-2 in a 10-0 loss to the Red Sox. In 2010 he began the year with the Orioles but was hitless in five games, he was demoted & placed on waivers. On May 25th he was picked up by the New York Mets.

With the Mets he batted .333 in 78 games at AAA Buffalo making an impression on a team with a lot of openings at the big league level. At the start of the 2011 season, Terry Collins gave Brad Eamus the starting second base job out of Spring Training. After just 14 games he lost his position & was gone.

Justin Turner began the year at AAA Buffalo where he hit .300 in ten games and was brought up to the replace Eamus. He took over the spot & was the clubs main second baseman through the year, as Daniel Murphy took over at first base in place of the injured Ike Davis.

On May 7th Turner came in the 8th inning as a pinch hitter of a tie game with the bases loaded. He singled off the Los Angeles Dodgers Matt Guerrier putting the Mets ahead for the win. On May 15th in the middle of an eight game hit streak, Turner drove in five runs with a three run HR &two run double, leading the Mets to a 7-4 win over the Astros in Houston. On May 19th his fourth inning RBI single was the only run of the game as he helped Dillon Gee to a 1-0 victory.

The next day in the first matchup of the subway series with the cross town rivals, Turner drove in the first run of the game with a double off Freddy Garcia. Daniel Murphy would later hit a HR leading the Mets to a 2-1 win. Turners incredible month of May had him drive in runs in seven straight games that week & then another six games closing out the month. He set a Mets Rookie Record with seven consecutive games with an RBI. He was also named the May NL Rookie of the month.  

He stayed over the .300 mark into June before tailing off his hot hitting. On June 22nd, in an interleague game at Citi Field against the Oakland Athletics he singled in the 8th inning scoring Jose Reyes with the go ahead run. The A's tied it in the 9th but in the bottom of the inning Turner was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, which scored thw winning run. In the month he drove in eleven runs & then in July added a ten game hit streak. On August 6th Turner hit a pair of HRs driving in four runs against the Atlanta Braves in an 11-7 New York win.

A month later on September 9th, he won another game with a ground rule double against Sean Marshall to beat the Chicago Cubs. On September 22nd with the Mets down to the Cardinals 6-2 in the top of the 9th inning, Turner began a big Mets rally by walking with the bases loaded. He later came in to score the tying run on a Willie Harris base hit, as the Mets went on to an 8-6 win. On the year he played in 117 games batting .260 with four HRs 30 doubles 51 RBIs & a .334 on base %.  

In 2012 Turner played more of a utility role, as Daniel Murphy took back over at second base.

On April 26th Turner came to bat in the bottom of the 9th inning with the Mets down to the Florida Marlins 2-1 facing Heath Bell. He drew a walk scoring David Wright with the tying run & the Mets won it on Kirk Nieuwenhuis' single. He got to see more playing time when Ruben Tejada went down with injury, as he played shortstop in rotation with Jordanny Valdespin. Then Turner missed a month of action going on the DL from late May into late June.

When Johan Santana threw the first no hitter in Mets history, it was Turner who gave Johan a pie in the face during the post game interview. It certainly did not seem the right time, after a history making moment to do something like that. Although the good natured fun loving Turner has always been the jokester in the Mets club house.  

In June he doubled driving in two runs in the subway series helping the Mets to a much needed 6-4 win. At the All Star break he was batting .289 as the Mets finished off a successful first half of the season.

Their second half was nowhere near as good as they fell to fourth place. On August 25th he hit his first HR of the year & hit his second a month later at Citi Field in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

In 94 games he batted .269 with 2 HRs 13 doubles & 19 RBIs. The versatile Turner played at second base (14 games) first base (11 games) third base (11 games) & short (10 games).

In 2013 Turner improved to a .280 batting average, 2 HRs 13 doubles & 16 RBIs while playing in 80 games, playing at all infield positions as well as one game in left field. Turner was certainly a favorite of Terry Collins & another in a fine history of good Mets utility players. But the Mets did not see a future with Turner & let him go to free agency where he signed with the LA Dodgers.

In Los Angeles, Turner matured into a fine everyday player. In his first year there he hit a walloping .340 (in 288 at bats) with 7 HRs 21 doubles & 43 RBIs in 109 games. He got into his first post season where he went 0-2 in the NLDS loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.

In 2015 Turner was the NL West Champion Dodgers main third baseman, he also played a few games at first, short & second base. He put up career highs in all offensive categories 16 HRs 26 doubles 60 RBIs 55 runs scored in 126 games with a .370 on base %. He batted .294 as well. 

He was salivating to get back at his old Mets team mates in the 2015 NLDS & he delivered. Turner led his Dodgers with ten hits in 19 at bats for a .526 average. He set an NLDS record with six doubles, hitting at least one in all but one game. 

In Game #2 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles he had a pair of doubles driving in a run in the Dodgers 5-2 win. In Game #4 at Citi Field in New York, he drove in two of the Dodgers three runs with another double. That night he & Clayton Kershaw led the team to victory forcing a Game #5. He came back in Game #5 with two more doubles & an RBI in the Mets 3-2 win.

After the Dodgers were eliminated he had surgery on his left knee. He also signed a one year $5.1 million deal to stay in L.A. & avoid arbitration.

In 2016 he returned as the Dodgers full time third baseman (144 games) while having his biggest season to date. He tied for the club leader with HRs (27) & RBIs (90) while coming in second in doubles (34). He batted .275 & scored 79 runs helping L.A. to a western divisional title. He also had eight sac flies (6th in the NL) & was hit by 13 pitches (also 6th in the league).

At third he also posted a .972 fielding % (4th best in the NL) making just nine errors.


2016 Post Season: In Game #1 of the NLDS against the Washington Nationals, turner hit a two run off Matt Scherzer putting his team up 4-0 in a game they would win 4-3. He got two more hits in Game #2 & drove in a run in Game #4. In the decisive Game #5 he tripled in the 7th inning bringing in two big runs as the Dodgers went on to beat the Nats 4-3 taking the series & advancing to the NLCS.

He continued to stay hot in the NLCS against the Chicago Cubs, in Game #3 he hit a solo HR off Cubs ace Jake Arrietta, as L.A took the game to take a 2-1 series lead.
In Game #4 he came to bat with the bases loaded in the 5th inning, and hit a shot that went off the pitchers glove and into left field scoring two runs.

In his eight year career, he is batting .282 with 58 HRs 138 doubles 176 walks & 282 RBIs in 704 games. He is set to cash in in the off season as he will be a highly sought after free agent.

Quotes on leaving New York: “I don’t know what happened but obviously my career has kind of taken a turn for the better once I put the Dodger uniform on,” said Turner