Monday, December 31, 2007
Rick Peterson says don't drink and drive on New Year's Eve ... that means YOU, Cecil.
Monday, December 24, 2007
Thanks to IMFM for the inspiration, and the picture.
Thanks to all of you for stopping by, and please have a very happy and safe holiday season.
And most of all, thanks to Derek Bell for being Derek Bell, for waiting until after the 2000 season to go into "Operation Shutdown", and for taking such an awesome picture.
Put me in coach
I'm ready to play ... today
Put me in coach
I'm ready to play, today ...
Look at me
I could be
-Bastardized version of John Fogerty's Centerfield, sung by myself and my brother on the way home from Opening Day 2000, where Derek Bell was nice enough to hit a home run against San Diego.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
I tried to forget about it by watching that Kevin Costner movie: JFK, but instead I was more obsessed with conspiracy theories and what not, that frantically after watching the movie, I pored through old game tapes to look for something ... anything ... that could explain what happened. Swing hitches, flawed deliveries, boxes in the dugout marked HGH ... hours and hours of nothing.
Then finally, I stumbled upon something that shed some new light. But I couldn't have seen what I thought I saw, did I? Over, and over, and over again I re-racked the tape, and it was there every time. I still can't believe it, and you're not going to either. Ready? Look below:
Jessica Simpson! I knew it!
It makes perfect sense when placed upon the backdrop of what happened to Tony Romo last week. But wanting to make sure it wasn't a one time thing, I had the crack staff go through the archives, and you're not going to believe what they found:
Holy jumpin' ... I was at that game!
I know, I was skeptical too. But I haven't even gotten to the most damning evidence yet! Check this out, before she was Tony Romo's jinx, she ruined another career:
Steroids? No ... turns out it was Jessica all along. (Rumor has it she was seen at the Mets clubhouse store last July ordering a "SANCHEZ 50" jersey.)
That's right, the last game. There she was. How else could a future hall-of-famer give up seven runs in a third of an inning?
I guess it all started with that Sports Illustrated cover:
Oh, and that Yadier Molina home run? Turns out Aaron Heilman was a touch distracted.
No, I don't know how she got in front of the fence either ... nor do I know how she got that whipped cream past Shea's tight security. It must be part of her evil plan.
(Editor's Disclaimer: The preceding post is a commentary on the ridiculousness of the media's insane amount of coverage of Terrell Owens' off-handed comments regarding Jessica Simpson and Tony Romo. Any implication of Jessica Simpson as this planet's bad luck charm is unintended by the author.)
Friday, December 21, 2007
"I still hear that, unless the names Wright and Reyes enter the picture (and I doubt they will), the Mets have no shot. The word at the winter meetings was that the Mets kept their name involved for PR purposes."Yeah. Relations between the Mets and the public are at an all time high right now ... only bound to get better with this revelation.
Now we shouldn't all go half-cocked and assume this is true out of hand. But the fact of the matter is this: the Mets have done this before. Anyone out there old enough to remember when Vladimir Guerrero was a free agent who had back issues? Well, if you're like ... eight years old then I guess you're old enough to remember, yeah. But in 2003 the Mets ... after weeks of saying "we're not interested" repeatedly hoping that they would believe it themselves ... came into the bidding like leeches when it was clear that nobody else was willing to take a chance on him with a silly, incentive laden contract as if Guerrero was some sort of has-been.
If they didn't want Guerrero because of his back issues, they should have just said so. Going after him later when the market was low not only made them look like bottom feeders, but the absurdity of the offer made bottom feeders laugh at them. And it only served to make me angry. Because nothing says "hey, we tried our best, but I guess our best wasn't good enough" like the thin veil of an incentive laden contract that had no chance of getting signed.
If this new chatter is true, then it's just proof that less has changed from 2004 until now than we originally thought. If the Mets think that Johan Santana costs too much in prospects and money, then as much as fans aren't going to like it ... they shouldn't do it. Go sign Kyle Lohse and Mark Prior and freakin' Rick Ownbey and get it over with. But feigning interest in Johan Santana to make people feel better about a huge September collapse combined with ... dare I say ... a 20% increase in ticket prices, to me is reprehensible. Telling your fans that you're going after one of the best pitchers of our generation simply to get their hopes up only serves to make them feel like it's September, 2007 all over again when you don't get him.
Of course, I qualify that with the phrase: "if this is true". Because no, I don't believe everything I read. But I believe in learning from history, which the Mets have been dubious perpetrators of lately.
But here's your good news of the day:
"They have a good mix here of experience and promising young guys. I'm going to get tape of all the starters so I can get something on paper, especially on guys we'll facing in our division." -Brian Schneider on the MetsYeah, Schneider can't hit. And the Mets got him in a somewhat dubious, somewhat unpopular trade. But he's willing to do homework to hone his craft. The Mets could do worse.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
"Wise, 32, went 3-2 with a 4.19 earned run average in 56 relief appearances for Milwaukee in 2007. But his season turned sour July 25, when he hit Cincinnati’s Pedro López in the jaw with a pitch, and then went 0-1 with a 10.45 E.R.A. in his final 16 games. Opponents hit .466 against him in that span."I see the Mets have acquired an afterschool special for the bullpen. Matt Wise ... the pitcher who cared so much that he dared not hurt anybody ever again. "Don't worry Matty, you'll find your inner soul ... as soon as you find your inner half." Ralph Macchio would be so all over this role. Might even put his career back on the map.
.466? Did batters face him with aluminum bats?
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
A: To prove he had better aim than Shawn Estes.
I'm sorry. That's, like, the worst joke ever. Look, it's almost four in the morning and I'm trying to keep my mind off the fact that Kris Benson is probably going to pitch a no-hitter against the Mets this season after he signs with the Nationals. I'm in need of some cough syrup and some Tums, thus my jokes remain simplistic, one-dimensional, and not very good. Not to mention cheap at the expense of Shawn Estes. I'm just bitter that there's no Shawn Estes jerseys on eBay for the Christmas season. Please forgive me. I'm a mere product of society.
Monday, December 17, 2007
But if she does it for me, then I guess then she would have to provide a massage for everyone else in the stands. And boy would her arms be tired ... especially when the house is packed on, say, Merengue Night.
But if she can't get to everybody, then how about at the very least she gets help from those "Deal or No Deal" girls?
On second thought, bad idea. The vegetable oil will probably have me baste like a chicken during those day games in July. Not to mention that while I'm face down enjoying magic fingers, Jeff Wilpon will probably steal my wallet to help pay for Livan Hernandez's inevitable contract.
Enjoy my blood money. Auf Wiedersehen.
Friday, December 14, 2007
"I have started to notice a pretty distinctive pattern in this world. If you are negative, it will breed more negativity around you, and then that negativity comes back. It bounces back at you eventually, over time, and you are the one who is effected. The same is also true with being positive by the way. If you try to remain positive in your life, and work, it comes back to you. It’s pretty simple. Negative people hang with negative people. Positive people, hang with positivity. And negative people more often than not, tend to be counterproductive." -Tom GreenIn this space would normally be more whining about how the Mets are once again losing their chances of grabbing an ace, with Dan Haren going to the Diamondbacks. (Six prospects? How do you kids say it ... OMG? WTF?)
But it's come to my attention that I've been too negative. A buzzkill. A Negative Nancy, if you will. With this in mind, I'm going to be positive. Here's what's right in the Mets' world:
- The Mets still have David Wright, last I checked.
- No player has been involved in a late night accident in a taxi cab in the last year.
- Raul Casanova is not only a Met, but he's younger than Sandy Alomar Jr.
- Lastings Milledge has zero career walk-off hits against the Mets.
- Citi Field is ahead of schedule, and will have a Fish Shack in 2010.
- Ryan Church hasn't released a rap album.
- Guillermo Mota is no longer employed in Flushing.
- Scott Kazmir hasn't pitched a no-hitter yet.
- Jose Reyes is still pretty fast.
- There's no truth to the rumor that John Maine left the team holiday party rubbing his shoulder muttering "boy, that feels weird."
- Steven Register has not shown up on the Mitchell Report.
Speaking of the Mitchell Report: Now that it has come out, and it's two guys known the world over as Yankees that are taking the brunt of the bad press, isn't it about time for Wallace Matthews to write something for the express purpose of riling up the Mets fans? I can read it now:
Yeah, Mets fans. Laugh it up. Laugh it up now that your greatest enemy has been fingered in the Mitchell Report as the biggest name mentioned. But just remember: A Mets clubhouse guy started all this. And my sources tell me that he invented steroids. That's right Met fans, a Met invented Deca-Durabolin, among other performance enhancers. Don't blame the gritty, gutty Roger Clemens for taking steroids during the season where his team beat you. Blame your team for not beating the all-mighty Yankees who, despite a payroll of a billion dollars, still scrap for everything they get. While your team is a bunch of steroid inventing monsters. It just means the Yankees were smart enough to take steroids and get that gritty, gutty edge that they need, because that's what champions do. If Mike Piazza was on the juice, maybe he would have been quick enough to have gotten out of the way of that beanball. Now it's time for all you Met fans to accept Andy Pettitte as your savior and repent once and for all.(Editor's note: Here's what Wally actually wrote).
Have I beaten Newsday's all-time record for angry comments yet?
Mike Stanton, according to the report, bought HGH in 2003 while he was with the Mets ... and still went 2-7. He probably sprinkled the HGH on his cupcakes thinking they were chocolate chips.
Maybe Mike Stanton owes Met fans an apology?
And this isn't going to be a campaign to reverse the outcome of the 2000 World Series. Because then people in Houston will want '86 back. And people in Phoenix will want '99 back. And somebody who struck out against Josias Manzanillo and watched him run off the mound jumping and cavorting like a school girl will want that back. Those are memories I refuse to believe are tainted.
And no, I'm not starting the "Ban Roger Clemens From The Hall" movement. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Performance enhancers are not a Barry Bonds problem, and they're not a Roger Clemens problem. They are a baseball problem. Asterisks and banishment from baseball's Hall of Fame shift the blame on to the individual players, and it minimizes baseball's role in the so-called "steroids-era". The sport should be culpable most of all.
But I wonder: At this hour...at this very moment...with all of the history that Piazza has had with Clemens, the beaning in July of 2000, and the infamous bat throwing incident in that season's World Series...I wonder just what Mike Piazza is thinking at this hour. I wonder if he's thinking that he might have gotten out of the way of that pitch if it was just a little bit slower...which it might have been if Clemens was clean. Or is Piazza thinking that Clemens might not have thrown that bat if he wasn't on whatever he was on?
Those are some thoughts I'd pay a penny for.
In terms of the Mets that were involved, considering that it was a Mets clubbie that provided a lot of the information, the wreckage really isn't too bad in terms of the star quality of the players tagged in the report. The biggest one was probably Lenny Dykstra. The Mitchell Report talks of Dykstra's involvement in the early nineties. But anybody who was around in 1988 and saw the instant 20 pounds of muscle he had put on that winter because he wanted to be a power hitter had to have been thinking something wasn't quite natural there.
Todd Hundley? Nobody was going to say it and smear his name without any provocation. But the circumstancial evidence was all over the place. Forget the fact that he hit 41 home runs in '96 after hitting 15 the season before. But all of a sudden, he plays 153 games? He was a pinch hitter in 10 of those games, but continued as a catcher in seven of those. So there were 150 games when he put on the catcher's gear in 1996. Who does this?
And about this theory that the Mets stonewalled Lo Duca because of advance knowledge of this report? I don't buy it. There was knowledge of Lo Duca's use for years. Just check the report. The Dodgers knew:
"Steroids aren't being used anymore on him. Big part of this. Might have some value to trade . . . Florida might have interest. Got off the steroids . . . Took away a lot of hard line drives. Can get comparable value back would consider trading. If you do trade him, will get back on the stuff and try to show you he can have a good year. That’s his makeup. Comes to play. Last year of contract, playing for 05."If the Dodgers knew, I'd bet money that other teams knew ... way back when. And if I were to bet money, I sure as hell wouldn't write a check! So no, I think this was common knowledge among the baseball community years ago, before the Mets even traded for him.
Mo Vaughn? With the injury problems he's had with his knee, we shouldn't be surprised either. I was surprised, because I myself thought the only thing he was injecting was jelly doughnuts, but that's just me.
But honestly, nobody should be surprised. Because as flimsy as you might want to say this Mitchell report is, he got the bottom line absolutely 100% right: Baseball and its union were slow on the upkeep on this. Everybody was. Athletes will always find a way to get a competitive edge, and always will. The governing bodies have to be the ones to restore order ... you can't trust 100% of a group that includes 750 major leaguers and many more minor leaguers to police themselves and be on the up and up. They're everybody's heroes, but they're athletes who not only want to win, but also represent a cross-section of life. Many different personality types will react to life's questions in many different ways. These decisions must be made for them by the high priests of America's pastime. In the past, those decisions were just to let performance enhancing happen, and look where we are.
(Metstradamus packs up his soapbox and walks away. And...scene.)
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
"... the Mets offered different packages of prospects that included either outfielder Carlos Gomez or outfield prospect Fernando Martinez but not both, declining to include the one extra prospect the Twins requested to clinch the deal according to people familiar with those talks." -Jon Heyman/SI.com, on a potential Johan Santana dealOf course, the Mets aren't willing to but both players in the deal. They're holding them back for five years from now when they make that inevitable Martinez for Mark Mulder (after his fifth rotator cuff surgery) deal to fill a hole in the bullpen, after trading Carlos Gomez for Jose Molina deal to fill that back-up catcher hole. That's called forward thinking, my friends.
There's going to be a large contingent of you that will say that after trading Lastings Milledge, to trade the other two outfield prospects in any deal ... whether it be for Johan Santana or Carlos Zambrano or Sandy Koufax stepping out of the time machine ... is insane, especially when you still have to sign Santana to a seven year, $800 gazillion deal. There will be others that say that the price for Santana is going to come down with each passing day. And there will be still more of you that will preach the virtue of patience. If you are in this large group, your reasoning is sound.
But let me ask you this:
If the Mets have a history of "over-hyping" their prospects, rushing them up the ladder too quickly or what have you, and you have an opportunity to turn these prospects into the best pitcher in baseball, then doesn't history teach you that you should do it? Have the Mets forgotten this quickly that Lastings Milledge was once a major chip to get Manny Ramirez or Roy Oswalt, and wound up getting them Brian Schneider and Ryan Church? Are we all going to be on this space five years from now sighing "you know, we could have had Johan Santana for Gomez and Martinez, and all we got in a trade was John Patterson, Ronnie Belliard, and Paul Lo Duca?" History tells us that this is exactly the predicament that we'll be in come 2013. So when will the Mets learn from history rather than be eternally doomed to repeat it?
Trading the two remaining outfield prospects would be a huge risk. Sure, the Mets can play it safe as they always do, and be that team that stands in the corner at the party eating chips all night, afraid to ask the homecoming queen to dance. Or, they can show their fans that they're interested being the mouthwash that rinses out the taste of disaster and bringing in (and paying for) the best pitcher of his time frame, while willing to take a big risk to improve the here and now...while actually making an effort to change the fortunes of the future by changing the way they draft and develop players (another rant for another time)? When will this franchise step off the carousel of safety and mediocrity and actually walk in a straight line towards that brass ring?
Food for thought. Disagree at will.
Friday, December 07, 2007
"Don't give up hope ... and if all else fails we could swing a deal to trade for an Orioles pitcher ... it'll probably be Victor Zambrano again though and not Bedard."Thanks for the attempt to cheer me up. But you see, that's not an option. And you'll love the reason why:
"Baltimore owner Peter Angelos is believed to be averse to trading Bedard to the Mets (assuming the O's can't sign him to an extension) because of the fleecing of John Maine and Jorge Julio for Kris Benson in their previous dealings."Oh, yeah right. We're the three card monty dealer on the corner who's just going around ripping everybody off. "Ooh, we can't deal with them, they're too smart for us...they're devious!"
Oh stop! This is why nobody goes to freakin' Orioles games any more. Peter Angelos is averse to trading Bedard to the Mets for the same reason he was averse to trading Miguel Tejada to the Orioles for the same reason that he's averse to building a halfway decent baseball franchise that has been run into the ground in the last ten years...because he doesn't have a clue!
Peter, once upon a time our devious underhanded organization was so devious and underhanded, that we traded Scott Kazmir for Victor Zambrano, and Lastings Milledge for a defensive catcher and a journeyman outfielder. But obviously those trades begin to reveal a grand master plan that will only be evident to everyone in about fifty years as we try to take over the world, right?
If we're this great savvy organization when it comes to trades, then you've got problems. Seems to me that you were the guys that misread John Maine's potential. Don't worry, it happens (again...Kazmir.) If we didn't get him, somebody else would have. You threw him in to the Julio deal because you didn't want to throw in Adam Loewen. Omar wanted Loewen, you threw in John Maine. Jim Duquette threw in John Maine...you know, the same guy that traded Kazmir. You hired him after that! And the guy you hired actually succeeded in somewhat returning the favor for the Kazmir trade by throwing in John Maine in the deal. The guy you hired chose to throw him in.
And we're the ones you don't want to deal with?
Is this the reason that "nobody likes the Mets prospects"? Maybe it's a rouse that all the owners in baseball are colluding on. Maybe, just maybe, everyone actually loves the Mets prospects but are so worried that each Mets trade is another brick in the wall of world domination that you're so worried about, that nobody will trade with us because Omar uses his super-secret mind power to trick guys into including middling starting pitchers in their deal only to have him become a star when the leave your team and come to the Mets. Yeah, that has to be...because it's been like that for years.
You don't want to trade Erik Bedard to the Mets, fine. See if I care. Nobody is trading an ace to the Mets these days anyway. But don't hide behind your own stupidity stemming from trading John Maine for Anna Benson. "Ooh, they fleeced us! Mommy!!!" Stop it! Just stop it!
Excuse me while my eyes roll so fast that I used them to bowl a 300 at the latest PBA event.
"The other news of the day is that the Mets picked up Tulsa Drillers closer Steven Register in the Rule 5 draft. Whoop-de-doo. Register had potential, but he wasn't the Rockies’ top prospect by any stretch. Evidently the Rockies weren't planning to use him in 2008, so we’ll see if he can stick with the Mets."Okay then, there go those hopes. So the winter meetings bore the fruit of a guy who inspires the mantra of "Whoop de do." Great.
So this is our winter meetings haul: Steven Register...who's not Johan Santana.
But on the bright side, he's not Guillermo Mota either.
There is a report that Andy Freed will come to the Mets from the
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Jon Heyman reports that Boston can top that offer if they include Clay Buchholz.
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
"We don’t feel like we have to do a deal for a pitcher..." -Omar MinayaSure, that's what he says. And if you're a fan hearing that, you're probably tearing your hair out right now. But believe this: As Omar Minaya looks repeatedly at the picture in his jacket of all the aces posing on his front door fading away because he's increasingly coming to the point where he can't acquire any of them, you can bet that he's running around the Opryland Hotel performing his best guitar solos to try to get these GM's to hand over their aces.
The problem is that it is harder than it seems. Dontrelle Willis has faded from the picture completely as he's gone to Detroit along with Miguel Cabrera for the Tigers entire minor league system. Johan Santana is pretty much out of the picture himself, Dan Haren is being pursued hard by the Diamondbacks for some good prospects, and Erik Bedard is being chased hard by the Dodgers, as they may have offered Matt Kemp and Jonathan Broxton for him. Now Omar's first guitar solo is reportedly in the form of an offer Aaron Heilman, Carlos Gomez, and Phil Humber...which would be a steal if that happened (Steve Phillips reports that, so the grains of salt come free with that information). But do you see the O's going for that instead of Kemp and Broxton?
"Officials of two clubs that have been in contact with the Mets used the same expression -- "in trouble" -- to describe their efforts to deal for a starting pitcher."Well now that doesn't sound promising. Now we'll find out just how regarded the Mets prospects are with this Gomez offer. I for one will be surprised (albeit pleasantly) if the O's take the Gomez deal instead of the deal for a power hitter like Kemp and a power pitcher like Broxton (although stranger things have happened, like when Peter Angelos decided at the last minute not to trade Miguel Cabrera and cost the Mets Roy Oswalt.)
(Editor's update: Gee what a surprise, the Orioles turned the deal down.)
Get strummin', Omar.
We're overdue for some good news. Is today the day? Forgive me if I don't hold my breath.
Monday, December 03, 2007
Mets general manager Omar Minaya always takes a high-energy approach, but it would be understandable if he was even more motivated this off-season.For all those that said that you would have rather kept Lastings Milledge if his stock was indeed as low as insiders tell us it was (and I'm in that camp), you may have your answer as to why Minaya decided to get what he can now...to keep the wolves away from his door. But come on, you'd have to be a real cynic to think that Omar would put his own interests in front of the team's interests, wouldn't you?
The pressure on him is growing. Minaya, signed through 2009, has been thwarted in his attempts to land a contract extension, according to major league sources.
His job, in the wake of the Mets' late-season collapse, is less secure than it was a year ago, when the team was coming off an appearance in the NL Championship Series.
His recent trade of outfielder Lastings Milledge, 22, for catcher Brian Schneider, 31, and outfielder Ryan Church, 29, reflected the Mets' desire to satisfy short-term goals.
(Editor's note: I am a cynic.)
Naah, Omar hasn't put his interests ahead of the team's interests...not at all. But at this point, his own interests and the team's interests may be riding side by side on a cross-country trip to hell. Or at least to Nashville.
We'll know a hell of a lot more at the end of the week, won't we? Here's my quick preview of the winter meetings:
Bartolo Colon or Livan Hernandez=I stick my head in the oven.
Sunday, December 02, 2007
The club hopes that this scheduling, along with losses by Missouri and West Virginia, will make them BCS eligible in 2008.
Appalachian State was not available for comment.