Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Hypnotized by Baseball's Unwritten Hypocrisy

What? The Mets haven't acquired Johan Santana yet? Clearly, someone must be fired over this.

No, I haven't jumped off a tall building. I've been watching some things online to try to cheer me up. In fact, I've been watching them over and over again...helps to self medicate. You could probably use some self-medicating yourself.

But I've been also watching the playoffs. Yes, despite the plethora of reasons not to watch, I can't stay away. I guess the fact that my defenses have been down, and that I've been staring into space like a deer in the headlights for the better part of the past week has made me more susceptible to being hypnotized by Dane Cook.

(You must watch because there is only one October. Now come down from the tree.)

Heck, I hardly reacted when Kaz Matsui hit a grand slam during Game 2 against the Phillies, and sparked their series sweep two nights later. I've become so numb to it all. I mean, it figures...right? Of course Kaz Matsui is in the NLCS the same year we blow a seven game lead with seventeen to play...the same year Scott Kazmir led the American League in strikeouts. Makes perfect sense to me.

I've been like the two guys that parodied Omar Minaya and Willie Randolph on SNL this past week when asked by Amy Poehler why they choked, they just kind of made random noises and shrugged their shoulders (you know you made a major collapse when you've been parodied by the guy from "Goodburger".)

Yes, that's been me.

I have just one request for the 2008 season: Can somebody please make clear to me the rules about celebrations and handshakes? Because I was led to believe that the Mets irritated everybody because their celebrations were not only choreographed, but they were in the on-deck circle instead of the dugout, where it's apparently safe for Miguel Cabrera to throw around Alfredo Amezaga like they were Torvill and Dean.

But did you see that little thing that Johnny Damon and Melky Cabrera did in the on-deck circle on Sunday night? That thing looked like it was choreographed to me, no?

So why didn't that infuriate the Indians? How come Casey Blake didn't come out and say "F**k the Yankees! F**k everyone on that team! I'll play with two broken arms and a bloody stump for Game four?"

Are the rules different in the playoffs? Are the rules different during tight games? Or are the rules, as always, different for the Yankees?

Or are the rules different because the Marlins got mad? And that it was Lastings Milledge that did the dancing? For those of you that are all po'd that Milledge got the Marlins all riled up to beat Tom Glavine and knock the Mets the next day, that the Marlins were motivated, I counter with this: It shouldn't have mattered! The Mets motivation should have trumped the Marlins motivation!

Except for one thing: they weren't motivated. As Carlos Delgado said, sometimes, they got bored.

(Oh, and the small detail that we stunk for two and a half weeks might have had something to do with it.)

Get mad at Lastings for not hustling after that Dontrelle Willis triple...I'll accept that. For dancing in the on-deck circle? I'll pass, thanks. Silly? During a 5-12 run yes. Motivating the Marlins? They're ones to talk.

But would somebody please write this unwritten rule down so we can all be clear on it? I understand the balk rule more than I understand this.


Jaap said...

I don't begrudge Kaz Matsui his success. Not after all the mileage we got out of Eli Marrero in return.

6 hits in 25 games is nothing to sneeze at. He even hit two homers for us last season, 5 RBIs. What more can you ask, really? HIs .182 average at the plate was probably what pushed the Mets to the top of the NL East last season. I mean look what they did this year without him.

Lastly, no matter how good a postseason Kaz has, he's still got to keep looking over his shoulder for Corey Wimberly. And if I had to look over my shoulder, Corey Wimberly is the last person I'd want to have to see.

upstate met fan said...

As I wachted some postseason baseball I noticed that the celebrations were minimal. this woulb be a mute point if we played with some hustle and would be in the postseason. When we win no one will care about the belly dancing and such. With that said, even when we were winning I was getting annoyed with the broadway productions, espcially when they meant nothing. I think this was touched on by Keith and Ronnie several times.

Oh yeah, Carlos Delgado is an IDIOT for saying they got bored. You can tell right there this team had no motivation. They thought they could just show up and the Nationals and Marlins were going to roll over for them. Again, no hustle.

The interesting thing is that the debacle occurred while Pedro Martinez was with the team.. a shot of over-confidence?

It's nice to see that you didn't jump of the high chair, Metstra.

Ceetar said...

There are no unwritten rules in baseball. That's my firm belief. Dancing, Flipping Bats, fist pumps, yelling at infields. It's all bogus.

It's all whining. Does anyone whine about how the Tampa Bay Devil Rays play baseball? No! If you win, people will find a reason to want to take you down. And if you win, it doesn't matter.

Unser said...

I hear ya . . . thought the same thing.

However, I will say that Milledge, Reyes and Co.'s grandstanding does seem to be a bit more dramatic and frequent. I think you once said, aptly, that all that's missing is the Eddie Van Halen solo.

Here's my take: hit a game tying homer in the 7th or 8th, I say go nuts. Hit a homer in the 4th or 5th increasing your lead to 8-0, skim some high fives and take a seat.

But we're in the SportsCenter/Baseball Tonight world, and that's why these guys react like this. Anything for some air time.

metsgrrl said...

Here's the rules as defined by, say, the people calling in to WFAN:

If you are white, do whatever you want. If David Wright was having those celebrations, he would be lauded for his leadership.

If you are Latino, you have to tone it down. Otherwise all you hear is about the International Latino Baseball Conspiracy.

If you are an African-American, you cannot show any personality whatsoever.

I was arguing about this somewhere else, when someone said HOW DARE REYES SMILE IN THE DUGOUT WHEN THEY ARE LOSING? Um, what was he supposed to do? The place already resembled a funeral home. Being morose wasn't going to help ANYBODY. And I think that's why the home run celebrations seemed so exaggerated, because they were just trying to pump themselves up and bring the rest of the team out of the black hole.

Does that do it for you?

Anonymous said...

Here's my take on the unwritten rules of celebrations decorum:

Do whatever the f*** you like, but you better win. If you lose, noodleheads who can't dissect what actually happened on the field will write stories about "motivation".

Metstradamus said...


katherine said...

Thanks, Metstradamus for daring to question the assumption that the dances and celebrations are bad. I have secretly felt guilty all season, like I must be a bad baseball fan, or a bad person, because I REALLY enjoy them. I love the ones where they jump up and bump hips, but my favorites are the complicated, though unhygienic handshakes where they spit on their hands.
I understand the appeal of the Damion Easely/Jeff Conine approach - the "aw shucks, it warn't nothing, ma'am" attitude after getting a big hit, and I like the Shawn Green mournful expression that doesn't change, whether he hits into a game-ending double play or a walk-off homer.
But the critics of the fun celebrations just sound like crabby old fogeys to me - "tsk, tsk, Kids today, things aren't like they used to be". And I agree with metsgrrl, there is a really unpleasant undercurrent of racism and xenophobia in the criticism.
I highly enjoyed the videos - especially the 86 one which I hadn't seen in years - made me want to cry, they seemed so innocent. And seeing young, happy, healthy Doc and Darryl was sad.

Craig said...



Lets Go Mets 2008

Charity said...

Metsgirl you couldn't have said it better. I was talking about that at work today because someone (Down here in REDS country was talking bad about the Mets) Its just stupid because I really don't care what they do in the dugout as long as they win! Doesn't matter what size, shape, color, or age I just want them to win.

Anonymous said...

I almost gagged during the last game of the season, listening to Keith and Ron basically blaming the defeat on the fact that we "woke up" the Marlins. I would hope that even an enraged group of Marlins, could be defeated by what should have been the best team in the National League playing for their playoff lives.

If I wanted to watch a passionless team of underachievers, why would I not just be a Yankee's fan to begin with?

Almost Useless Mets NLDS Home Game #2 tickets...... E*Bay Item number: 170157200971

kjs said...

The '86 team did what they had to do. They also had each other's backs. Brush-backs. Chuck a fastball in an opponent's back if he was a pain. Hell, I almost favor getting a hot-headed Scott Olson-type (hic!) over an ace for this spineless team. The 2008 Mets better not be "bored and passive," (2008 marketing sell quote?)or that monstrosity they're building for 1950's Brooklynites will be a morgue. 2007: Worst. Choke. Ever. And a sfans, we have to live with this...

Yankees Chick said...

no mocking of "goodburger" allowed.... "all that" was a GREAT tv show and i will not accept any arguments otherwise.

now that that is off my chest, allow me to say that although I'm not a mets fan, I've got to assume that you guys were/are absolutely sickened by Delgado's comments. I was, just as a fan of baseball in general. Maybe he was joking or just being sarcastic? I dunno. Whatever his intention, it is a huge disappointment to hear things like that.

Also, just a sidenote: Metstradamus is my numero uno fave non-yanks blog :) keep up the good work!!

katherine said...

kjs, I looked up Scott Olsen on wikipedia and had a highly enjoyable interlude reading the long paragraph entitled, "Suspensions, Confrontations, and Legal Problems". We probably don't need that kind of excitement. Especially if we have Paul LoDuca and his lurid not-so-private life, his bug-eyed rants at umpires and ill-advised postgame comments. I hope he'll be back, but it's not looking good.

Anonymous said...

There is a simple solution that can address all the Mets' offseason roster question marks:


kjs said...

Katherine: I know Olson's history and dugout run-ins. I know he's a risk. But he has passion and skill. He'll open his mouth if Reyes forgets where 2nd Base is or if Delgado is just feeling a tad bored and just can't bend his knees to field a ball because that's just too boring. IOW, we need an asskicker and a guy who can throw a nice brushback. few on the 2007 had any guts--hence, no glory. As for LoDuca, he made the dumbest arguments, especially over the strike zone when it could have benefited the Mets awful-in-the-end ex-Bravo. If we can steal Olson for a few prospects, I think he's worth the risk.

KingmanFan said...

Did a met throw a brushback pich this year? Or last?