Monday, April 09, 2007

Not Worth The Paper It's Printed On

I'm guessing we can all agree that the Washington Nationals are the worst team on paper, correct?

And according to Jimmy Rollins, the Philadelphia Phillies are the best team on paper. Right?

Well, I've picked up the paper. Guess what it says:

Nationals 1-6
Phillies 1-6

The Nationals win the tie-breaker and thus are listed on the higher line....Because as we know, the first division tie-breaker is not head to head record, but less errors by players who make silly predictions. Jimmy Rollins' error brought home the tying run for the Mets today in their home opener, and opened the floodgates for the Phillies bullpen to give up six thousand more runs as the Mets won by a score of 6,005-5.

All right it was only six runs in an 11-5 victory. For the Phillies, it only seemed like 6,000 runs. For the Mets, it didn't seem like enough.

Here's my startling admission of the night: I never hope for sweeps. Sweeps, to me, are a lot to hope for. I've got one of those friends who wants to go 162-0 every season. Tells me on the phone: "You know, if we can win 19 of the next 20..." as if that kind of thing happened all the time in baseball. I'm always the one reigning him in, trying to keep his expectations somewhat reasonable so that he doesn't give himself a coronary episode if heaven forbid the Mets only win 6 out of 10.

That being said, I've gotta tell you: I want two more from these guys. I want this team demoralized immediately. I want the entire city of Philadelphia getting out of their houses at 2AM wandering around Logan Square wondering what the hell happened to their team. I want people at Pat Gillick's door with bats and billy clubs waiting for answers. I want Pat's and Geno's to be so disgusted with the Phillies that they pack up and move to New York. I want the Phanatic to wear blue and orange. I the city of Philadelphia to know that the defending division champs are not to be trifled with via cheap motivational speeches.

Yes, I'm hoping for a sweep.

A word about The Amburglar, if you will. You may disagree with, check that: you will disagree with me. But I don't mind the decision to pitch to Ryan Howard in the sixth. Yes, there was a base open, but if you intentionally walk the struggling Howard, you bring up a Met killer with the bases loaded (a Met killer currently hitting .385, it should be noted). Damned if you do and damned if you don't...but Howard hadn't hit anything all season. And up until two strikes on Howard, Burgos proved that you can make him look silly.

But once Howard fouled off the first pitch after the second strike, I started to get a little nervous because Howard was starting to battle, and starting to time Burgos. Amburglar went to the well once too often, and there's no way that an off-speed pitch should have been anywhere near the strike was like he caught the Mota disease as he kept going to the junk instead of going upstairs with the heat, or throwing the splitter down by his ankles. Except that wasn't Scott Spiezio with his warning track power, that was Ryan Howard with his "I'm in a slump and if I get a pitch to hit it's going to the flippin' moon" power. So instead, we got what Keith Hernandez called "a helicopter slider" or some similar nonsense.

I was upset after the Burgos Bomb, and knew that it would be talked about for a while. But once the SNY crew was discussing the Gary Carter HR from Opening Day '85 I thought "you know what, it's the home opener. Deliciously evil things happen during home openers at Shea (unless it's 2003 and you're down 27-3)"...and I cheered up. And once Matt Smith took over for Wonderboy Cole Hamels, I cheered up some more.

And when Geoff Geary came in for Smith, the smile on my face grew wider than Sidney Ponson's pants size...because we all know the deeper you get into Philadelphia's bullpen, the better the odds that Charlie Manuel's face will turn beet red like his uniform (or those things the Braves wear on Sundays). It was fun to watch Geary walk a 78-year-old man, no? It was fun to watch Jimmy Rollins boot a Jose Reyes grounder to tie the game. And it was lotsa fun watching David Wright blast one off the top of the wall to put the game away in a grand eighth inning which bore seven runs of fruit for us.

And it will be just as much fun to pick up the paper tomorrow and see the best team on that paper in last place.


dykstraw said...

I don't mind the decision to pitch to Howard...if he gets him, and he nearly did, Amby would have really earned his stripes. And I really can't kill him for giving up a jack to Ryan Howard.

sean said...

The Amburglar. Genius. Perhaps your best Met nickname ever. Bravo. I actually laughed out loud.

(P.S.: The chants of "Jimmmmmmy Rollllllins" were delicious. I hope he went back to his motel room and cried, unable to wash away the incessant taste of foot from his mouth.)

Metstradamus said...


"The Amburglar" is not mine. I wish I could take credit for it but I am not that smart. The two names I came up with were as follows:

Muselix Burgos
Ambiorix "Blue Wave" Burgos

But "The Amburglar" is the winner. I think I remember who invented it but I don't want to risk giving false credit. So if someone wants to step up and grab it for the benefit of young Sean, please enlighten him.

kyle in newport news said...

Anyone who needs a very quick refresher on Opening Day 2003 can read this:

Mike said...

Metstra - I'm totally with you on letting the Amburglar pitch to Howard in that spot. My reasons are laid out at Toasty Joe's (in excruciating detail), so I won't harass your readers with a rehashing here.

Anyway, the Phils have not only Howard but Rollins & Geary & Curly & Sneezy, so it ended up ok.

* * *

I don't like to brag (yeah, right), but since Metstra invited me to do so, I'll let fly: I "invented" The Amburglar over at Toasty Joe's about a month ago, in comments to the Burgos nickname post.

Toasty had some damn good ones (inlcuding Ambrose Burnsides), but being the dick I am, I had to throw mine into the (muselix) mix.

Obviously, I got very lucky.



Anonymous said...

why oh WHY kyle??????

I was in between my BS and MS degrees for a year so for once I would be home in NY for opening day. Soooo I freeze my arse off and wake up at 4am to take the LIRR to Shea to wait on line for what was to be Tom Glavine's debut. Wouldn't you know the Mets yanks tix I got were one of the many time Benitez blew it and the mets would lose in extras.

ANyway for the opener, I got my usual upper deck seats and wouldn't you know the windchill was about 15 up there. Then from summer of 03 till dec 04 I spent in Atlanta in grad school, watching the mets go 0-3 in my few courageous ventures to the ted. I live in philly now since april 2005 and boy did yesterday help make up for '03, at least in spirit I was there yesterday.

Toasty Joe said...

The Burgos v. Howard matchup was suicidal, especially with first base sitting there wide open. No one can convince me otherwise.

LIberals always concede said...

Only LIBERALS would want to concede and walk Ryan Howard. Liberals are always afraid to fight and want to make the 'safest' decision instead of standing up and fighting for what must be done!

That is why Baseball is a microcauzm of society and it shows how new york liberal elites want to trust the 'system' instead of the individual to strive for excellence. hahaha. typical libs.

Metstradamus said...

Mike, I thought it was you.

Toasty Joe said...

Interesting analogy. If Ryan Howard = terrorism and Ambiorix Burgos = G.W. Bush, I got news for you. We're screwed.

Mike said...

Thanks, Metstra. I'll bask in my one moment in the sun.


Ok, enough basking. I'd throw in on the "liberals walk Howard" nincompoopery, but Toasty seems to have handled it well enough.

Jeez, let's leave the baseball-as-politics, God bless America shit to Yankee fans. Ugh. Roland what's his face sings in the Bronx.

Anonymous said...

It's difficult to get politics out of sports blogs when you have necrophile phreaks at Shea putting on a Military-Recruitment Show for an invasion of choice that has bankrupted our nation financially and morally. I like baseball. I liked yesterday's result. I didn't need the "brave troops" B.S. nor the military jets polluting the stadium. Pablum! If the NY Mets want to pimp this Iraq fiasco, how about all the guys on the field under the age of Julio Franco's actually ENLISTING??? As none of them do--nor the Wilpon's youngsters--I must assume they have no honest concern for the "brave troops" (who are hostages to The Bush/Cheney Madness).

Unser said...

Hate the day-off after opening day.

And I can't stand Mike and the Mad Dog. Listening to the radio after the game, you'd have thought the Mets were 2 and 5, lost on opening day and the Yankees were undefeated.

Toasty Joe said...

No big surprise that Mike and Dog were playing the whole "the Phils lost the game, the Mets didn't win it" angle. What about Saturday's game, which the Mets gift-wrapped for the Braves?

Bush Rules over all Libs said...

anonymous fails to mention that IRaq is now free and bush is bringing freedom to the world!! how convenient!

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of last yr when ollie pitching near no hit ball got squeezed and offered up a sacrifice that Howard sent to the Gods...similar situation same result.

Love your post btw

Coop said...

My cousin also came up with the clever rally cry of "Robble Robble" for the Amburglar! '

Mike you are so the fucking man!

Mike said...

Well, if you insist . . .

KingmanFan said...

"I want the entire city of Philadelphia getting out of their houses at 2AM wandering around Logan Square wondering what the hell happened to their team."

That would imply that people in Filthadelphia actually give a shit about the Phillies. Judging by the dopey "E! A! G! L! E! S!" chants at their (much too nice for them) stadium, and the fact that we completely take over said stadium 9 or 10 times a year, the Phils are pretty low on their list of concerns.

By June, the Phils will be 15 games below .500 and their silly little pseudo-city will be consumed by Donovan McNabb's latest injury and Andy Reid's soap opera.