Saturday, September 10, 2005

The Four Fingers Of Fluff

Is Stephen King writing these scripts now?

This is how the season has to end? Jae Seo pitches his heart out as "Firestarter", the lineup can only score two runs as in the clutch they become "The Dead Zone", and then the Larry Walker HR turns what should have been a better fate...into "Misery".

Forget Stephen King...the sequence where Fluff Castro kept putting down four fingers...four fingers...four fingers...and Seo kept shaking him off but finally relented and threw what turned into Walker hitting the clock for the winning run...that was straight out of "Bull Durham". Castro turned Jae Seo into Nuke Laloosh.

I frankly didn't know that four fingers was the sign for "meatball".

Then of course, you had John Hughes put his two cents in, as Jason "Generation Smash My Hand Against the Wall and Break my Finger" Isringhausen gets the Meek Mets out 1-2-3 as the soundtrack of my mind starts blaring "Don't you...forget about you get that saaaaaave..."

"Laaaaaa la la la laaaaaaa"

So what horror show will it be tomorrow? Perhaps we can get tickets for Art Howe, Shane Spencer, Wilson Delgado, Ricky Guiterrez, and Orber Moreno and they could re-create "I Know What You Did Last Summer".

Because they're doing it again to us this summer.


"He's my closer. He's been my closer. He's got the most saves of anybody on my team. So right now he's my closer." -Willie Randolph, on Braden Looper

Willie...can you make more no sense?

Check back here at the beginning of the off season...the answer to that same question will turn into this...

"Braden Looper is our closer. But we'd be silly if we didn't explore all of our options when it comes to upgrading the club at all positions, not just at closer. We have a number of places we need to be better at, and if an opportunity arises to upgrade the ball club, I'm sure Mr. Minaya will not hesitate to do so...but right now, Braden Looper is our closer."

Then, at the beginning of spring training, it will be this:

We think Braden Looper can definitely be an asset to the New York Mets. Yeah, B.J. Ryan is here, but there's no reason that there can't be two closers. I mean, Braden got more saves for me than anyone last year, so right now he's my closer. I think it's nice to have a righty/lefty combination in there...just like McDowell and Orosco back in the 80's. But we'll see how it goes in the spring.

And finally on May 1st, Willie will respond:

Braden who?

This is something I'll probably go more into at a later date...

...but how about Paul Konerko at first base next season?


Whenever you want to complain about a pitching change that Willie Randolph has made, or maybe about David Wright's slot in the batting order, take heart...because Willie Randolph has never lost to the Ohio Bobcats. Dave Wannstedt however, has.

After Ohio's 16-10 win over Pittsburgh (oh sorry, they're back to being "Pitt", aren't they) tonight, is it finally safe to call Pitt head coach Wannstedt the worst head coach in the history of anything?


Pitt didn't lose to Ohio State, oh no. They lost to Ohio. The Bobcats. The same Bobcats that have a record of 240-321-14 since 1950. The same Bobcats that have had 2 winning seasons since 1982. Meanwhile, Pitt are the defending Big East Champions. And the Mustache comes in and not only loses...but they don't score a touchdown since the opening kickoff!

This is Randolph's first season as a head coach...Wannstedt has been a head football coach for eleven years!

And he lost to the Bobcats.

So remember Mets fans, it's not all bad.


Kyle in Newport News said...

I'm not complaining, because it always makes me smile, but why do we call Castro "Fluff"?

Kyle in Newport News said...

Brilliant use of an instructional picture book, by the way. Your writing is the major draw here, but your always appropriate but rarely predictable pictures add a good bit to the appeal of the enterprise.

Metstradamus said...

It's admittedly a reach but...

Tiger Woods once had a caddie named Fluff.

Ramon Castro, at least at the beginning of the season, caught whenever Pedro Martinez pitched...thus making him Pedro's caddie.

Hence, Ramon = Fluff (for the purposes of this blog)

I'm sad it never caught on past this site...but then again, I get sad over ripped jeans, so what do I know.

Metstradamus said...

My wife, who knows nothing of baseball, loves the pictures.

So do small children...or so I'm told.

Kyle in Newport News said...

Well, the man does seem like a gentle soul, and "Fluff Castro" just has a wonderful ring to it. Then again, when the alternative is "Hippo Face," the bar isn't set very high. Because of its frightening accuracy, that name is equal parts appealing and appalling. I like names that I can holler from the stands, so for the series at RFK I might try "Fluff." It will depend on who's sitting near me.

Metstradamus said...

Spread the word...and don't get beat up.

"Hippo face" is a direct descendant of former Met John Candeleria's nickname: "Horse Face".

erik love said...

Gotta agree with Kyle, the picture's here are pretty crunk.

Dude, Moreno's still in the organization. You'll probably see him next year.

Why do you still watch the games?

Jaap said...

Hippo Face, I like that one. Better even than Infidel Castro or, "Hey, douchebag!", none of which of course, are nearly as evocative or as accurate.

Metsra, I believe you've just saved me countless hours over the next month with your formulaic, fill-in-the-blanks idea on how to report on Mets games.

No matter what happens the rest of the way though, at least we don't have Art Howe to kick around any more.

I think we should do away with Mr Met and replace him with a sort of Follies Bergere collective of dancing, half-clad women to entertain the fans after the sixth inning when things start to fall apart.

Metstradamus said...

How about a production of "Zumanity" during the seventh inning stretch instead of the "not pre-shrunk t-shirt toss"?

Tommy Calzone said...

Yeah I have to agree in regards to the pics. The best is the standings with Todd Zeile. Is the pic next to the Braves also a Zeile photo?

Keep up the amazin work Metstra...

jdon said...

I know that Randolph has made some puzzling, some stupid, some bullheaded moves this year. I also know that he will probably never be a very good or a great manager. So what. And there is something to be said for the theory that in game moves are just a small part of what a manager does. But if Willie lets this team fall thru the trap door in September he should be fired, plain and simple. If they do not rally themselves back to some degree of repsectability before season's end he should be gone. This is where managers prove their worth. The Mets were competitive for parts of the previous two seasons under Howe before the bottom fell out. I don't care if they are better this year. If the bottom falls out again, it is a symptom of a deeper malady in the organization. Willie has done nothing to try to reverse the downward spiral. He just keeps inking in the same failures in the same spots. They keep coming out with the same stoop shouldered look. The argument for Willie has been his communication and motivational skills make up for his inability to handle the X's and O's. Well, this is it.

I always wanted Oberkfell anyway

Anonymous said...

Those scrappy Ohio Bobcats are now coached by UNebraska washout Frank Solich. They are still expected to be one of the very bad teams in the MAC, but the have a pedigreed coach.

Metstradamus said...


Good eye. The Braves photo is actually Sid Bream with a deer.


I'm not ready to throw Willie off the plank yet, but Rick Down can go far, FAR away as far as I'm concerned. One of the worst mistakes they made in the offseason was getting rid of Don Baylor as hitting coach.

And I heard Oberkfell's name in conjunction with the Pirates opening.

And yes, Solich is a good coach...still regarded in Nebraska. And Ohio has a good run defense. They deserve all the credit in the world for what they did last night.

But Dave Wannstedt is clueless.

jdon said...

Well, I think Oberkfell will be a good manager--he would be a fool to get into that Pittsburgh hellhole. I mean, if the great LLoyd McLendon couldn't get it done there who could? And I hope they do come around and Willie is back, but if they do another swan dive I want him gone.
To digress (or is it a digression?) The mets (intentionally not capitalized) went out and signed some good free agents this year but they still do not have an everyday player who will grab someone by the ears and shake him when he needs it. Instead they brought in the Cheshire Cat (Beltran). They need a serious personality transplant in the dugout. A Keith Hernandez type if you will. Any ideas? I don't care as much about chemistry as I do about accountability.

Metstradamus said...

The problem is that the Mets don't have a history of going out and getting those players. Heck, Hernandez tried to shake them up in 2002 when he said on the air that they "quit" on Valentine. The team whined and cried and the Wilpons nudged Hernandez into apologizing. The Mets don't want that strong personality.

I think Floyd COULD have been that guy...which is why I wrote my pitch for him to be Superman...but it's hard to be that strong personality in the lockerroom when you're slumping, and also when you can't even speak your mind to the press without being skewered for it (the "no light at the end of the tunnel" quote, if you remember).

Then again, who needs personality when you have a monster bat in the middle of the order...which the Mets don't have.

Kyle in Newport News said...

0-0 game until the bottom of the 7th in Toledo tonight. Then Angel Hernandez let a groundball go through his legs and then made a wild throw to third after he picked it up.

Mud Hens 1, Tides 0.

In the top of the 8th, Eric Valent had a big AB where he went 3-2 and fouled off several before drawing a walk.

In the same inning, Nye (?) is having the same sort of AB, 3-2 then foul, foul... "a ground ball to Dawkins the shortstop... it squirts through his legs! Runner scores and this is tied 1-1!"

After Nye, Calloway draws a full count and then hits a base hit to RF. "The Tides take the lead!"

"What an inning this would be if Hernandez had not been thrown out trying to steal."

Not his night, it seems. When was the last time a team had two guys named Angel?

Mud Hens used 4 pitchers in the top 8th.

Now for the important part:

The Mud Hen fans use a "Let's go Hens!" chant akin to the "Let's go Mets!" I can't blame them, for I adore the "Let's go Mets!" chant. They could use a "Let's go Mud Hens!" chant, but that would make them like the fans of so many other teams (e.g. the Yankees) who use a two-syllable name chant. I pity these teams, for the two-syllable name chant is of such diluted intensity compared to the one-syllable name chant. Consider:

1. Emphasis: Emphasis in the 1-syll is 100% on the name of the team, as in "let's go METS!" The chant is an anapestic foot.
Emphasis in the 2-syll is only 25% on the name of the team, as in "LET'S go YAN-kees!" The "Let's" gets equal emphasis as the "Yan," which is itself only half of the team name. This chant is trochaic dimeter.

2. Building intensity: The 1-syll invites building intensity, as each iteration of the chant follows the other immediately: "let's go METS! let's go METS! let's go METS!"
The 2-syll, in contrast, invites that damn "CLAP CLAP, CLAP CLAP CLAP!" in between each iteration, which just kills the momentum of the chant itself. "LET'S go YAN-kees! CLAP CLAP, CLAP CLAP CLAP! LET'S go YAN-kees! CLAP...etc."

3. Heartfelt pleading vs. entitled demanding: 1 and 2 come together to make the 1-syll sound like an increasingly heartfelt plea, and the 2-syll sound like an obnoxious shout. Here's the accompanying thought experiment: If you had to sit in a small room with a drunk and passionate fan of another team and listen to him chant "Let's go BRAVES!" or "LET'S go BREW-ers!" 100 times in succession, which would you prefer? Even though you hate the Braves?

So their chant is another reason I love the Mets.

NOW THE SCORE is 2-2 and Royce Ring comes in with two out and two men on to set down the batter on three pitches, including a called third strike.

9th inning coming up. I'll let you know if anything exciting happens.

Kyle in Newport News said...

Liden (?) gets a single with men on first and second in his first AAA AB. Joe Hepatitis (pronounced "Hippus," so I guess we'll be calling him "Hippus Face") is out at home.

Brian Daubach's up with 2 out and 2 on and he's been 2-for-4 tonight, after going something like 0-for-20 in previous games.

Daubach takes a close pitch with a 1-2 count. Now it's a 2-2 count.

"Daubach wearing his black Tides shirt and his gray pants..."

Daubach hits a ball "just fair down the RF line in the corner" -- it's an RBI double! Hernandez scores! Two singles and a doubles tonight, oh wow, what a streaker! Tides lead 3-2.

"Dae Sung Koo warming up..."

Bottom of 9th coming up...

Kyle in Newport News said...

It's another ground ball past Hernandez. Men on 1st and 2nd. Ring fields a comebacker to the mound, throws to first for the out. Men on 2nd and 3rd. Obie comes to the mound and summons RHP Tim Levine (University of Virginia, but before my time) to face the right-hander in his playoff debut.

The Hens bring in a left-handed batter to face Levine.

"Strike one, on the inside corner."

Daubach fields the ball, tags first, throws the ball to second, the tag out is in time, double play, the runner from third does NOT score! Mud Hen players are having to be separated from the umpires. Larry Parish (Mud Hens manager?) can't believe it! Tides win! Tides win! Tides come back to Norfolk tomorrow night for Game 5! Jose Santiago starts.

Kyle in Newport News said...

Correction: The finale is in Toledo, not Norfolk.

Metstradamus said...


Thanks for the Tides update...and for a lesson in chanting rythmns. You truly do learn something every day.

And keep Dae Sung Sisk out of Game 5!