Monday, May 19, 2008

Small Miracles

I gotta be honest with all of you: I fully expected the Mets to lose this game tonight ... the pitching matchup didn't seem to be in the Mets favor, and it's just like the Mets to follow up a stirring win with a heartbreaking loss. But these two games against the Yankees ... especially an 11-2 win in the second and final game of this series, goes to prove how maddening this team could be.

That not only a team, but a pitcher like Ollie Perez can be capable of what he did tonight, could be the same team and pitcher capable of a whole bunch of stinkers like the ones they put forth this season is positively looney. I look for things in this team ... patterns ... they like this, they don't like that ... it's mid-May and I can't figure them out to save my life.

I certainly didn't think they would win after the fourth inning when the three blind mice (meaning the three umps not named Reilly) reversed Carlos Delgado's home run call into a foul ball ... the three umps that were in worse position than the one that actually made the right call.

I've seen games like this before: Mets have a chance to win/sweep series, Mets go on a roll in final game, Mets get screwed by a bad call, Mets use that as an excuse go in the tank, Team B wins. Inevitable. And when Hideki Matsui (I don't ever want to see him get an official at bat in a big spot ever again) hit that fourth inning home run to close the gap to 4-2, my doom fearing mind saw that "Yankees 5 Mets 4" final that of course was going to turn that Delgado home run ball with the black scuff mark on it into the most famous scuffed baseball since Mike Scott roamed these parts.

(Side note: For those who think that instant replay would slow the game down: In the time it took for the umpires to huddle and screw the call up, for Willie Randolph to argue the call, for Jerry Manuel to argue the call some more and get kicked out, somebody down the third base line with a video monitor could have watched the damn play, signaled home run, and we all would have been on our merry way at 6-0. Besides, if baseball was truly worried about slowing the game down, there would be pictures of Steve Trachsel at every ballpark with a red line through his face reading "Do Not Admit" underneath.)

But a remarkable thing happened: The Mets hit. And hit some more. And hit even more. Ryan Church went to the right of the black seats. They batted around in the eighth. Jose Reyes went yard again. And for a brief time, the Mets we all knew and loved ... and so desperately want to love again ... came back to us. They knocked at our door, flowers in hand (or was that the head of Ross Ohlendorf) and implored upon us not to give up on them.

And since we're suckers for gifts (like when your cat gives you a dead bird), we invite them in for coffee. Heck, what else are we going to do?

Speaking of cats and dead birds, there are certain times when I wish for a cat to take it's claws and puncture my eardrums out. Watching Sunday Night Baseball is one of those times. For fear of going all Fire Joe Morgan on you, this is for those of you who attended the game: I swear our friend Joe Morgan uttered this exact phrase during an iso replay of Jose Reyes' home run:
"You know what I like about that? He ran around the bases. He hit it, and he proceeded to go around the bases."
Yeah, I hate when batters decide to stop at first base after a home run and wave the hot dog vendor over. Bud Selig oughta invent a rule against that when he's not so busy not implementing instant replay.

(Editor's note: This was followed by some nonsense about how Derek Jeter is like a fullback and Jose Reyes is a halfback and they both must know how to dance because they're shortstops ... and Morgan remembering a Shea Stadium/Yankee Stadium doubleheader last year where the second game was rained out ... except it was two years ago and it was the playoffs so the Mets and Yankees weren't even playing each other.)

I really have to turn the sound down on these Sunday Night games and blast my iPod. The song lyrics have a better chance of matching up with the play on the field.


E said...

Jon Miller isn't any better than Morgan. They went on and on about how they could understand the umpires making a mistake because the foul pole is in the wrong place - like they suddenly discovered this huge flaw in the 85 year old Yankee Stadium. Their confusion was caused by one of the camera angles that was used to show the foul pole and the white foul line on the fence. Innings later, when they realized (after a camera shot straight down the foul line) that the foul pole was actually where it belonged, they started nattering about things like "Curvature of the earth". Yeesh.

But - let's be positive after last night's game. Go METS!

Anonymous said...

I was also surprised by the victory, but beleive me, I enjoyed every second of it.

And I agree watching games on ESPN (and Fox) are pure punishment. It'll take a lot more therapy before I can stop believing I deserve that as a Met fan. Then maybe I'll be able to turn down the sound.

Where's Seaver when you need him?

Anonymous said...

I heard Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon synchs up with the 4th inning of last night's game...

Melvin said...

How about the comment from Joe: Ah, David Wright didn't leave early, his body left, but his legs didn't?

katherine said...

I saw the most amazing thing in the subway on the way home from the game!

Shortly after the train left 161st street, a Mets fan, a tall beautiful brown haired woman, who looked like Xena the Warrior, got into a shouting match with a big bald middle aged Yankee fan who reminded me of the evil character in Popeye - what was his name, Bruto ?

They both shouted at each other nonstop, right in each other's face til she got off at 59th. She was almost chanting, "You lost two, We got Santana, Your pitchers are on steroids and they're STILL bad", over and over. He taunted her with the dreaded "7 and 17", and, in a reference to her youth, "You've never even seen your team win a world series", the last of which actually did seem to really bother her.

So, in solidarity with her I waited for them each to take a breath, overcame my fear of confrontation, and interjected that I had seen the Mets win TWO World Series, at which point they started arguing over who looked older, him or me, which caused me to beat a hasty retreat.

Anyway, she is my hero, whoever she is.

Anonymous said...

Willie in today's press accuses Mets fans of being racists for booing him!

More bad press for the hated New york mutts and their fans. Now they are not only known as losers, but racists as well.

What a 'proud' organization you support.

Markuse said...

I just finished watching the relive on NASN Europe, or better: I followed the first 6 innings there then I got fed up with Morgan and Miller and waited for Sky Italy to show the last 3 innings after lunch.

What a game, I was glad I was able to stay awake and listen to it on the FAN until about 5 a.m. CET (even though I was out of my mind this morning as a consequence of that)

Demitri said...

Trade proposal:
Heilman for Farnsworth


Heilman and Sosa for Farnsworth and the thong.

Nick G said...

1. Given that I can't see the game and that I live in the black hole of radio, TV is my only option. I don't have a problem with Joe Morgan's "He ran around the bases," I understood what he was trying to say, that he ran, not trotted. I didn't hear the other Jon Miller thing about the earth shifting or the fowl pole in the wrong place, but yeah. The split stadium double header comment is a fiasco, but maybe I see the best in some people, and chalk it up to that Morgan has called...How many games?
2. Why the hell did Willie take Perez out? This is a blow out, give the bullpen some rest, let Perez pitch a complete game for fuck's sake. He's pitching a good game, he hadn't gotten into trouble in the eighth...Oh this is maddening some times.
3. To katherine: I would've absolutely loved to see what you saw on the subway. Mets fan warrior princess indeed...I can understand where she's coming from about the whole haven't lived to see a Mets world series (I'm turning 19 on June 4.) Here's hoping...

Anonymous said...


Bitter yankees fans are just jealous that their precious WANG went limp in the 4th inning.

Take some viagra, you gold chain wearing, iroc driving, pizza delivering Yankee lowlives!

Anonymous said...

I hate how the commish dismisses the use of intant replay becuase it makes the game longer. Frankly, if it means waiting 5 more minutes to get the right call on a play, who gives a schist?

Unser said...

Another Morgan-ism from last night: "Here's the thing about Pedro Martinez . . . he knows how to pitch". Brilliant insight Joe.

And what was that half-back/tail-back analogy with Jeter and Reyes? I think some Bud Lights made their way to the broadcast booth.

Two home runs have been taken away from us now. Sorry but the umps have to be better than that. They guy that's closest to the play has to make the call. Give credit to Damon and Jeter - it was clear to me the umps were persuaded by their acts of disbelief.

tim said...

Katherine there were two evil dudes in Popeye. The first incarnation was Bluto, from the black and whites (also known as when Popeye feverishly talked to himself) and Brutus from the color toons. Since they both were the same kind of bully and looked very similiar it is fitting to call them Bruto.

It's always been my belief that Met fans have a higher baseball IQ because simply because we have seen more bad baseball over time and have been able to form our thoughts and opinions about the game from that experience. Yankee fans don't really understand the game all that well becuase their team has been so successful. You can't really know the game unless you've seen it warts and all. In the eighties the Yankees were spendthrift and horrible, much like they are turning into before our eyes. In those days Yankee fans didn't know what to do so they became Met fans for a stretch. They can all say they didn't but save for a few true loyalists, they did. So the nect time you find yourself in an argument with a Yankee fan ask him next time they send us a manager make sure he knows how to double switch, I mean, the one we sent you had a handle on it and look how that turned out. They will look at you cross eyed and tell you Piazza sucks. You'll laugh and walk away.

All in all a good weekend for us, and here's to Wagner spitting fire when its needed, more than anything else I think we can all agree that the biggest difference between the last season and a half and 2006 was a sense of trepidation, a team questioning its heart and a fanbase wondering if they ever had one. Hopefully Wagner stepping up, the team huddling in the locker room and two well played ballgames can right this ship into Atlanta, because that's really where the season lies for us.

Mudville9 said...

A replay rule would have to get by the union. There is a solution though. Implement the rule like the NHL. Give the umpires another man per crew. That 5th umpire would be up in the press box with a tv and he would be the official scorer. That takes away those home town scoring rulings. If there's a question on a homerun he calls down to the field and says he's looking at it. If there's a clear call he makes it and if its not clear they let the ruling on the field stand. It shouldnt take any longer then it would for a pitcher to warm up and the union would like it because they get 15 more jobs, and they know one of theirs wont make them look that bad.

Anonymous said...

Poor bitter Joe Morgan...still burning 34 years after the Mets kicked the favored Reds arses in 1973. He probably has the Mets cap Pedro Bourbon bit in his cellar. Who knew that trauma would make him baseball's second-worse announcer after that really weird guy who bleats awful puns for the Yankees.