Wednesday, May 10, 2006

A Touching Tribute

First off, I have to say that I was touched tonight by Pedro Martinez's tribute to the fallen Victor Zambrano.

Did you see it?

Then you must have gotten to the television late. Well allow me to explain how Petey honored Zambrano, the pitcher that Pedro claims pitched through excessive media pressure...

He walked two batters in the first inning.

I admit, although it wasn't quite Bo Kimble shooting the first free throw of every game left-handed, I dabbed a tear or two from my eye.

If tonight's game was any indication, this new found rivalry with Philadelphia is going to be fun. There was a certain electricity that was palpable tonight, even through the television...with all the Met fans that travel to Philly on a yearly basis, and all the Philadelphians (Philadelphites? Philadelphers? Drunks?) that come to Shea, tonight sounded like it was the most fun a Philly/New York crowd has had in Philadelphia since the Phillies swept the Mets in 1986 to keep the Mets from clinching the division for three days. And maybe, the most fun ever.

Think of how fun Mets/Phillies games will be now that Billy Wagner has jumped from one rival to the other, and it looks like both teams are going to be in the hunt. Think of all of those Phillies fans that will make their pilgrimage to Shea to create a fun atmosphere for the whole family...on second thought, don't bring the family when Phillies fans are in town. It will be like Yankees/Red Sox games in the stands, only bloodier (not that I'm advocating violence or anything like that). It's a lethal yet fun mix that can't be provided by Braves fans.

As for the game tonight, I ask again: Why are there so many blind umpires, but no deaf ones? Tonight's winner of the Angel Hernandez award is Doug Eddings...who called Kaz Matsui out on a chest high curve ball, and then has the gall to toss Mr. Egg Whites from the on deck circle before he had a chance to come into the game. Yeah Doug, you're the show. You show up in the standings between the Mets and the Phillies...they all came to see you. The vendors make a nice business selling Doug Eddings tee shirts and replica jerseys. Nice job.

You knew that Carlos Delgado was going yard on Flash Gordon didn't you? You knew it when you learned from Gary Cohen that Delgado was 2 for 30 against Gordon lifetime. Kiss of death...or more accurately, the kiss of life.

And the ninth inning rally that culminated in Delgado's home run was great for two reasons. The first reason is that a trademark of Mets teams, especially the good ones but sometimes the bad ones too, was that there was never a ninth inning where the Mets were down that went quietly. Even if it didn't end with a Mets win, they were always in the game. And this team is carrying that torch that was only interrupted in the early nineties, when the guys that wore those uniforms weren't fit to wear clown suits (and Jeff Kent even flat out refused to wear one).

The second reason the rally was great was that this Flash Gordon dominance nonsense had to stop. Gordon's opponents batting average against lefties was around .084, and against righties, it was freakin' zero. Or maybe it was the other way around, I'm not sure. But Gordon was Philadelphia's booby prize for losing Country Time...Flash Gordon dominant at age 38 and an overworked arm while Billy Wagner has three blown saves is rather creepy. It freaked me out, and I'm glad it's over. I hope Flash sees Carlos Delgado in his nightmares for the rest of the series.

But instead of Country Time raising the proverbial middle finger to the city of Philadelphia with three strikeouts in the bottom of the ninth, the Mets fell shorter than David Blaine with a freakish two out rally which culminated in an Aaron Heilman throwing error which drowned the Mets once and for all. But the Mets live another day...and another opportunity to stage Wagner's Family Reunion.


shade said...

I couldn't agree more about Edding's behavior.He blew the call on Matsui;hence Franco got bounced.And earlier in the game (the third inning,I think,the 2nd base umpire managed to screw up two calls on Reyes.What made the loss even tougher was Heilmann.I recall several times last year when he was ahead in the count and hit the batter with a two strike pitch.And then you knew he'd find a way to lose the game-clearly,that was LoDuca's play on the swinging bunt.I'm not sure he's reconciled to the bullpen yet.Maybe he should be the starter for now.

Anonymous said...

I don't really see anything bad come out of that loss. If Braves don't shape up this could be the make up of the new main rivalry of the NL east. The Phillies and the Mets both don't roll over and die like they used to you. I'm just happy that the Mets went down fighting. Errors like that wont happen often.

mr. met said...

The umps are driving me nuts lately. Let's not forget that Reyes was safe when he got picked off and that killed a potential rally where Meyers was off.

We've got some calls this year so it is hard to complain, but the umps have been so bad lately it is disturbing. These guys are supposed to be the best? There are a bunch of Minor League umps looking for jobs so there is a large talent pool to draw from, but something had to be done. I know they are human, but c'mon.

jabair said...


Angel in trouble?

The Mets believe umpire Angel Hernandez's antagonistic comments during Sunday's game were inappropriate and now Major League Baseball may discipline him as a result. Hernandez allegedly told catcher Paul Lo Duca that Jose Lima would not get strikes called on pitches "three or four inches off the plate because he's not John Smoltz." That came to light after the Braves crushed the Mets, 13-3, and Lo Duca, who was ejected for arguing a play at the plate, fumed to the media.

A baseball official said yesterday that the league plans to investigate Hernandez's behavior in Sunday's game and that a suspension is not unprecedented.

In addition to Lo Duca's griping about Hernandez, Cliff Floyd also mentioned his past run-ins with the umpire, and manager Willie Randolph seemed annoyed with the situation.

"It always bothers you when someone makes a statement like that," Randolph said yesterday, "because it shouldn't have come out of an umpire's mouth."


J. Mark English said...

You can wipe those tears away now...unless they are tears of joy as we are up 12-4 :-)