My day wasn't even ruined by today's constant rain.
My day...was ruined...by Chris Russo.
I admit that I was kind of looking for something to be upset about...and with the Mets at 80 wins and counting near the end of August, finding that something is difficult. But when I saw the back page of the Post today I salivated. Not because another human being was hurt...but because surely, the same man who absolutely blasted Filthy Sanchez for getting in a taxi cab at 2am and becoming the innocent victim of a drunk driver, would no doubt murder Carl Pavano for not only cracking two ribs hydroplaning his Porsche into a truck, but for keeping it from his employer.
Instead, I got two hours of talk about Andre Agassi, Vince Spadea, and why Jimmy Connors was mean to Russo in 1984 at a charity event in Florida.
Two hours of tennis...Barely a mention of Pavano.
So let me get this straight, in the Gospel according to Mad Dog:
- Getting into a cab at 2am for Dominican food? Not okay. Yet...
- Doing a Travis Pastrana impression into a truck, cracking your ribs, and not mentioning it to the team paying you forty million dollars is perfectly fine.
To think I've had my values reversed all along.
You know what else bothers me? When Russo talked about the issue about what to name the new Shea Stadium (in between compelling analysis of Marcos Baghdatis' backhand...of course), I wanted so bad for him to be stupid...but I agree with him! Russo doesn't agree with George Vescey, who thinks that the Mets should name their new stadium after Jackie Robinson who, while an American hero, never played for the Mets.
While I can see both sides of this argument, I am more inclined to disagree with Vescey after his appearance with Russo on the strength of Vescey's response to Russo's assertion that Mets fans would rather see the stadium named after a Met than after Robinson:
Why does it have to be a Mets player?And people wonder why I don't read the Times (besides the big words).
Yes, the Wilpons have been smart enough to fully turn over the reigns to Omar Minaya, and the Wilpons deserve a ton of credit for that. But when it comes time for them to make a decision on naming the ballpark, and the attractions in and around the ballpark, I gotta confide in you that I don't trust them. Not a bit.
We know that Fred Wilpon has a chubby for the Brooklyn Dodgers. He grew up with Sandy Koufax. We get that. And I don't have a problem with giving the stadium a touch of the past with a photo wall commemorating the Dodgers' time here (but if you do that, you have to have one for the Giants as well), or perhaps a kids playground dedicated to Robinson. The perfect compromise between tipping your hat to the past and acknowledging your own history (not to mention renewing hall of fame talk) would be to name the stadium in some capacity after Gil Hodges.
But after seeing Citizens Bank Park for the first time, I see way too many opportunities for the Wilpons to acknowledge Brooklyn Dodger history instead of his own. There should be statues of Seaver, Hodges, and the moment where Gary Carter leaps into Jesse Orosco's arms after the 1986 World Series. I fear we'll have Sandy Koufax, Don Newcombe, and Johnny Podres instead.
Rusty Staub should be serving ribs in the center field walkway named "Mookie's Way". Instead, we'll get Duke Snider cooking bratwursts in some alley named after Andy Pafko.
There should be a high end bar named after Keith Hernandez...not Ralph Branca's Meatball Eatery.
(Hernandez, by the way, admitted during the ninth inning of tonight's broadcast that he "may drink heavy"...and also that he would "never have a website", which is good because that's competition I can't handle...after all, he's Keith Hernandez.)
But for a team that has been noted to avoid their own history to name their ballpark after an old Dodger would be another move that would be a small P.R. disaster amongst their fan base. And to name your park after Jackie Robinson because Billie Jean King thinks it's a good idea is asinine. I'm all for honoring Jackie Robinson, but as a friend of mine noted today: It's not like Jackie Robinson hasn't been honored...it's not like he's flown under the radar since his retirement like, say, Larry Doby has. His uniform number will never be worn again! That's a pretty gosh darn significant note of his significance.
While Jackie Robinson may be deserving of the honor of having a ballpark named after him...but he doesn't need it.
Gil Hodges, however, deserves it...and needs it.
And Met fans deserve to have their history acknowledged.
(Although I will say this, and I meant to include this caveat: If the Wilpons decide to sell the naming rights to a big corporation...however cheesy and greedy it may seem to be...if naming rights help pass along the savings to the regular joe season ticket holder and keep him from shelling out a "personal seat license" fee, then I would be all for it.)
So then I go from five hours of tennis talk (there really wasn't anything on television today) to Kaz Matsui looking like Lou Brock tonight with two hits and two stolen bases by the fourth inning...now that he's in a Rockie uniform. Of course, that didn't cheer me up any. But upon hearing that not only did Kaz admit that his Flushing experience was "all his fault", but that the reason that the Rockies didn't call Kaz Matsui up a week earlier was because they didn't want him to be booed at Shea Stadium...well let me admit to you: that just filled my heart with unbridled glee! Because someone who has been exposed as being afraid of New York, is no longer in New York.
Yes Kaz...it's all your fault.
Well, maybe not all your fault. (Damn Japanese league scouts!)
And speaking of unbridled glee:
What if the Rockies get behind by a lot of runs in a game? Say they break out the non-humidor balls, you know what I'm saying? -Jeff CirilloCarlos Beltran hit his career high 39th home run tonight.
Jose Reyes hit an opposite field home run...left handed...tonight.
Does this mean that Byung Hyun Kim is the "Humidor Antidote"?
I spit on you and your humidor.
But don't tread on our current magic number...shared by a famous ballplayer/announcer, and a popular teenage magazine.