Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Maine Up!

All right, first things first ... as in the first pitch of Tuesday night's victory from John Maine that nailed Felipe Lopez in the leg. Statement? Maybe, maybe not. But Maine has been in the middle of controversy before ... twice last season he had chances to dust guys. First, it was after Hong-Chih Kuo's bat flip after the third home run in three pitches. Then, it was during the Mets/Marlins brawl ... but that was while Maine was pitching a no-hitter.

Tonight, after the Nationals chanted and danced like "softball girls" (says the man who's now a minor leaguer) the previous night, John Maine coincidentally hits the first batter of the game. Well played, Bangor. He gets the controversy over and done with right off the bat so the two teams can go about their business of playing baseball instead of letting it linger and waiting for ... say, Elijah Dukes to come up so he can hit him. Should John Maine have waited and hit the man who was seemingly most responsible for the chants?

(Maine is a man, but he's not crazy. You see how big Elijah Dukes is?)

But I love what Maine did. I love that he sent a message to protect the honor of his teammate. Whether Nelson Figueroa was justified in what he said, or whether he needs to suck it up and ignore the Romper Room in the third base dugout, Maine stood up for his guy. It's not a pre-requisite that everybody in the room has to like each other off the field ... but it does help when teammates stick up for each other between the lines. Maine did that. And he did it in such a way that the Nationals backed down and didn't escalate the fray by retaliating.

Sit, stay.


Looks like Figueroa and Sosa got the boot on the Mets very own reality series. Figueroa was designated for assignment after the Nationals Cheer Squad tried to get in his head Monday night. Also on Monday night, Jorge Sosa was so bad that he actually forced the Mets do to the sane thing (something they try to avoid at all costs) and DFA him instead of sending down Joe Smith. You've got to be a special kind of awful to make the Mets do something right. So the Mets will now try to trade Sosa for what they hope will be a highly flavorful ham sandwich.


MetFanMac said...

Call me mad.

Call me crazy.

But in spite of everything, I find myself actually thinking: :This just might work.

It started right about when Carlos Beltran officially became Carlos Beltran again after that 5-RBI game. It continued with the continued ascendancy of Church and the surprisingness of Schneider and Ollie stealing second and Alou stealing home and Beltran banging out some more RBIs.

We actually migt really be the Team To Beat.

So we lost to Kuo (again) and to Arroyo (again) and to Perez. But for the last few days, when I watch the Mets play I get to thinking "We can win this."

This is important.

It used to be that I would just sit on the edge of my seat, dreading what would happen next, because whatever it was, it would be bad (and, usually, did happen). Now?

Now I find myself a bit more defiant of the circumstances. "Yeah, so if this guy walks then Griffey's up with the bases loaded. Bring it on."

Gone is the lackluster. Gone is the foreboding.

Instead we get hitting in the late innings and hitting with men on base and hitting with two outs and competent pitching.

It's a feeling in my chest that I haven't felt for almost exactly a year.

A feeling that translates into: Throw what you want at us. We're up next.

Call me mad.

Call me crazy.

But your 2008 Mets have arrived.

Unser said...

Omar is trying to trade Sosa, although he'd "like him to stay in the Mets system"?!? Why, pray tell? I can think of at least 4 pitchers in the system I'd rather have on the mound than Sosa.

I don't know. I just have not warmed up to this team yet. They're boring even when they win. Not sure if I was expecting too much, or maybe things will get exciting when Reyes (or someone other than Ryan Church) finally gets it going, but I find myself falling asleep during these games.

Ceetar said...

one of the best parts of it is that Maine feels confident putting the leadoff guy on base.

Jaap said...

Maine is our best pitcher right now. Plunking the leadoff hitter (if Perez had done it you'd have just figured it was the normal loss of control)was a cool move for the team. It's about time the Mets showed some spunk.

Still need at least a 4th and 5th starter - not convinced on Pelfrey and certainly Vargas is short term at best - wonder why we don't hear more about signing Fat Freddy Garcia.

katherine said...

I am generally a very pacifistic person, but I cheered like crazy when John hit the leadoff batter.

It has been amazing to see his evolution from a shy introvert doing his puzzles alone in the clubhouse, to a muy macho enforcer sticking up for his teammates, and participating in the celebratory hip bumps during the post-win ritual.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure mets fans didn't demand the state arrest maine for assault and battery, then ask elijah dukes about his 'feelings' and how he should sue for emotional distress.

where is your precious 'rule of law' now, hypocrites?

MP said...

"You've got to be a special kind of awful to make the Mets do something right."

Wow - this is perfect. Great line.

Metstradamus said...

Sounds like somebody spent their economic stimulus check on mind-altering drugs while reading some Thomas Paine pamphlets. Good for you.

Quick, how many fingers?

Charity said...

Before you even write anything for tonights game...

Heilman is a BUM.

Right now I would trade him for a piece of toilet paper to wipe my baby soft tushy with...even if it was one ply.