Thursday, July 31, 2008

Mets Activity At The Trade Deadline

Thankfully, the deadline for the Phillies and the Marlins looked about the same, as Manny will not be wearing teal but will be wearing blue (I for one would rather deal with Manny for a seven game series rather than 60 or so as a Marlin). But somehow, according to Steve Phillips, the Mets are the losers of the trade deadline. As such, the Mets have forfeited the rest of the season in shame. Because you know Steve Phillips ... and Steve Phillips knows baseball.

Fishy Business

It hasn't been a great night all around for the Mets, who lost to the Fish on Wednesday, dropped to series, and dropped to second place in the division. Tomorrow, an off day, has the potential to be a whole lot worse.

Look, I'm into free thinking, and I'm not into telling you how to think. I'm not Big Brother. But I'm here to give you some friendly, free advice that you would be wise to heed. This Manny to the Marlins rumor that's getting way too close to reality? You do not want that to happen. No, seriously ... you don't want Manny to be a Marlin. Look at the Manny Fish. Look directly at it. You are getting sleepy. Your eyes are getting heavy. When you wake up and I snap my fingers, you will hope and pray that after 4:00 ET on Thursday, Manny Ramirez will still be wearing "Red Sox", and not teal socks.

Go ahead and tell me about "Manny being Manny". Go ahead and bring up the goofy fielding. Talk to me until you're blue in the face about the six seconds it regularly takes for Manny to get down the first base line on a grounder to third. You can tell me all of that. But at the end of the day, if you add a future hall of famer to a lineup that has more home runs than anyone in baseball, that spells disaster for the Mets.

Because that future hall of famer ... for two months ... is going to be the most motivated baseball player on Planet Earth. In his quest to stick it to the Red Sox, he's going to stick it to the Mets ... and they'll be fighting for the wild card. Of course after that, Manny will revert to being Manny once he gets that contract. But for two months, it's on.

I'd suggest that the Mets intervene and get Ramirez for themselves to join forces with Pedro Martinez (another player Manny claims was mistreated by the Red Sox), but that's not happening for a myriad of reasons. This trade being discussed now is way too far along in the process. Mets ownership can't even handle Paul Lo Duca being controversial, there's no way the Wilpons would except Manny urinating in the visitors bullpen during a pitching change. And most importantly, the Mets don't have that right mix of young players and prospects that the Marlins do ... it's an advantage Florida has by being bad all these years, selling off their parts, and then being good all at once. The Mets, meanwhile, will tell us that their trading deadline acquisition came during the winter when all their chips were placed on Johan Santana. It will be the easy and legitimate bouquet of flowers to present to Mets fans when the Marlins are getting Manny Ramirez and the Mets respond by bringing back Jay Payton and adding Arthur Rhodes.

So don't expect the Mets to be anywhere near Manny Ramirez this season. I don't expect it ... and I accept it. But you don't want him anywhere near the Marlins either. It's the difference between the trading deadline passing peacefully, and the trading deadline hitting you upside the head with a frying pan. So light another one of those candles leftover from Billy Wagner's injury, and light it for a reconciliation between Manny and the Sox. And if that doesn't work, then you mind as well light your hair on fire instead.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Some of you have been offended by the puking pumpkins and the ugly fish. Never let it be said that I don't listen to your concerns. So to find the picture that truly speaks 1,000 words about the Mets 4-1 victory over the Marlins, which included a key hit by Carlos Beltran, another gutsy ... if not crisp ... outing by Oliver Perez, and a huge cushiony home run by Carlos Delgado, one must go to what they know. And that win was tasty.

Better than puking pumpkins, eh? I mean, who doesn't like cheeseburgers?

Oh, right ... vegetarians. Don't worry, I have something for you too.

Whichever way you want to order, this win was appetizing ... mouthwatering even. And before you start thinking "you know, Metstradamus is reaching here with the food references. There's no way that food can be relative to Tuesday night's victory, can it?"

Well, food is relevant not just to be pleasing to your eyes, but it plays on the words that Chris Russo gave us on Tuesday during his ... "show". I paraphrase:
"You know, when a team like the Marlins plays for its dinner, they can be dangerous."
But when a team like the Mets play for their dinner, children go hungry? What does that mean?

It's simply more of the same negative slant that our friends at WFAN drive time deliver. When the Mets win a game the tone is "Yeah, good win, let's not get crazy." Marlins win, it's "Oh, they're scrappy and hungry and they like food. Shame on the Mets for not liking food. The Mets don't care about starving children."

(Come to think of it, that sounds like some of our esteemed commenters. Hmmmmmm.)

Next, Mad Dog will tell you that Oliver Perez must hate food because he hadn't won a game in a month before Tuesday night. He must stink. No wonder he's so skinny.


They say that John Maine has a mild strain in his rotator cuff. I guess that's good news since he may go on Sunday. But I tend to think that where rotator cuffs are concerned, no strain is mild.


The final nine games against Atlanta will be Teixeira-less, as the great Atlanta sell-off has begun. How are your World Series picks looking?

Teixeira can now channel his energy towards beating the Yankees in the playoffs.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Killer Fish

Yeah, this fish is ugly ... ain't it? Kinda like last night's game, with those fish.

Well good morning to you too. Now that you're awake ...

I didn't have a real good feeling going into that eighth inning ... as sloppy a defensive team as the Marlins are, they do have a habit of pulling through in late innings. I didn't expect the eighth inning to be quite as ugly as it was ... but that's what happens when Scott Schoeneweis comes into the game and faces more righties than expected. Three of 'em got hits. The other one was Hanley Ramirez. That's still no way to convince the brass you shouldn't be traded for Marcus Thames.

(But seriously, don't trade Scott Schoeneweis for Marcus Thames.)

But really, you could see this coming when John Maine was taken out of the game in the fifth with "shoulder stiffness", in what was at the time the strangest injury ever ... with Maine telling Jerry Manuel he was fine during John Baker's at bat, and then giving up a dinger to Baker on the next pitch, and then being lifted after the next hitter. Maine was pissed. He had that "Mike Piazza going after Guillermo Mota" look in his eye. But he finally did admit he was hurting. It's either not a good sign ... or it's an explanation of his latest struggles. In any event, that makes two injury riddled starters out of five. Which means those hoping or expecting the Mets to use their latest run as a springboard towards an easy pennant race should probably temper their expectation a wee bit.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Before Those Inevitable "Manny To The Mets" Rumors Start Up Again...

I say the Red Sox just trade Manny Ramirez to the Packers for Brett Favre.

We've been down this road with Manny before ... and we know where that went. And we know where it should have went.

So since Manny to the Mets before the trade deadline has zero chance of happening, let's give two stories one ending, and force SportsCenter to cut their 6PM show back to thirty minutes since there would be nothing more to talk about ... ever.

Besides, I hear Brett's VORP is huuuuuuuge!

Sprinkles On That Snow Cone? (Alternate Title: The One Where Kyle Lohse Finally Turns Into A Pumpkin)

Little did anybody know there was greatness afoot while Gary Cohen was busy comparing Argenis Reyes to Baba Looey (which apparently makes Jose Reyes Quick Draw McGraw). But during that discussion a sure home run was taken away from Ryan Ludwick by Carlos Beltran, jumping over the wall on the dead run to make a snow cone catch for the ages.

It was only the final El Kabong on a day full of them, as David Wright, Fernando Tatis, and Fluff Castro El Kabonged Kyle Lohse and his 12-2 record to smithereens with certified bombs. I mean, it would have been a little embarrassing to have Kyle Lohse, the guy who nobody signed until March, outduel Johan Santana, the guy who the Mets traded the farm for (in which there was nothing left to use to bring home Xavier Nady, bring back Casey Blake, or seemingly nothing in which to acquire the likes of Victor Diaz, Pete Incaviglia, or even Butch Huskey).

But Santana's newfound run support wouldn't let that happen today ... and neither would Santana, who was brilliant in going nine innings just like we said he had to do as we were leaving last night's debacle. Brilliant at the plate as well with two hits and a ribbie, even while losing his majestic fly ball in the lights and having to settle for a 337 foot single which would have been an out off the wall had Albert Pujols been covering first base (somehow, Jose Reyes will be blamed for this ... he's blamed for everything.)
"He was very adamant about going back out ... He wanted a complete game, and it was good." -Snoop Manuel
Not just good, it was El Kabong good.

You know, in the NFL, a helmet to helmet hit is a suspension. Just sayin'.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Anger Mismanagement

A lot of things bothered me about the Mets 14 inning, 10-8 loss to the Cardinals on Saturday.

Very few of these things happened on the field.

I mean, yeah the Mets left too many on the basepaths even though they scored eight runs ... and yeah, there were too many double switches in the sixth inning which I knew would come back and bite them if the game went into extra innings (which it did, with Country Time having to go two innings and Aaron Heilman having to go three, which against Albert Pujols is tempting fate waaaaaaaaaay too much.) But it doesn't get much more satisfying than Brandon Knight (The lost New Kid On The Block) bouncing back from a disastrous first inning to pitch five acceptable innings on the whole ... or more exciting than Carlos Delgado hitting two home runs (both of which were called by my Shea Stadium companion for the evening: "The Artist Formerly Known As Jinx" ... or more thrilling than Fernando Tatis jacking one to center field to tie the game in the ninth. I mean, the win would have been great, but I'm not going to waste my energy complaining about a game that probably would have ended 8-2 Cardinals if this was April or May.

No, I'm here to complain about what happened in the stands tonight. And please allow me to get right to the point:

You people who insist on standing at the bottom of the section having your friends take pictures of you while the game is going on in the background should never be allowed into a sporting event again.

Look, I know this is the last season of Shea Stadium. Fine. You want to preserve your memories. Fine. You want a picture of yourself in the House That Kranepool Built. Fine. But it's bad enough you stand at the entrance of the section between innings and block everyone from getting to the bathroom or the snack line before it fills up. Tonight, you took to standing at the entrance of the section while the play was going on and blocking our view of the game!

And believe me, I'm not writing this because of one bad apple ... or two, or three even. There were no less than 30 people who, either at the entrance of the section, or the top of the bar around row F which lied in between sections, had their pictures taken by their friends during play! DURING PLAY!

You know what's worse ... this wasn't happening from innings one to four while we're barely paying attention. This was happening in the fifth inning. The sixth! The seventh! This was happening in the BOTTOM OF THE NINTH INNING WITH THE SCORE TIED AT 8-8!!!

And not just one picture, mind you ... people were doing this in groups of seven or eight, one or two at a time! "Okay, let's take a picture with you on the right and me on the left ... all right, now switch places and let's take a picture this way ... all right now let's give the camera our bootylicious pose ..."


I mean really, does anybody come to a baseball game to ... pray tell ... watch a damn baseball game anymore? I swear to you, during the bottom of the ninth while the family photoshoot was going on, there was a couple in the tunnel within eyeshot of the game making out. 8-8 in the ninth, and they're making out. What drove me insane was that when the ninth inning ended, the couple then left the tunnel and went back into the concourse like "oh, now it's safe to leave ... we won't miss anything." Unlike all the action they caught while they were playing tonsil hockey.

All right, I see that I need to lay down some new rules to live by. Here they are:
  • If you came to a baseball game to get rip-roaring drunk, there are these hot new places that are especially made for you to do that. I don't know if you've heard of them, they're called bars. Check your local yellow pages for those.
  • If you came to a baseball game to make out, you should know that for the money that the Mets are charging for tickets these days, you can probably take that money and get an hourly rate at the Lincoln Motor Inn. This way, you can make out in private and even grope each other if you'd like ... beds are much more comfortable than plastic seats. You can even use the television to have the Mets game on in the background. I say this as a public service.
  • If you came to a baseball game to have family photo time while the game is going on so that you can capture the best of your family and the action of the ballgame at the same time ... there's a place for you too. Got a pen? Here goes: JCPenney! I'm sure if you ask, they'll key in a nice photo of Shea Stadium behind you. You could probably have JCPenney key in the Buckner play too so you can tell your friends you were there.
  • And the most important rule to live by ... as always ... sit down and watch the game!!!
The sad part is this: While this was the first time I've noticed this run rampant ... it's only going to get worse as the games left at Shea count down until the end. And at the new field: With only season tickets and day of game tickets being sold at lord knows what price, this new contingent of spectator will only spread like wildfire. But this is what Fred Wilpon wants ... this is what Bud Selig wants ... this is what Roger Goodell wants ... this is what Woody Johnson wants with his PSL's that are designed to drive out the fan who chants for his team at key moments in the game, and bring in the spectator who chants when the scoreboard tells him to ("Everybody clap your hands!" Screw you and don't give me orders!!! I'll clap on my own time, thank you.)

And if this is who is going to be surrounding me at the ballpark or at the stadium or at the arena, then I will gladly take my ticket money and put it towards a 43" flat LCD screen and watch my sporting events from the comfort of my living room, while I'm blogging about the next thing that bothers me.

(Editor's note: My friend says I have anger management issues. I wonder if he figured that out when I was yelling at these people to sit down, or during the 11th inning when I yelled at Aaron Miles to go back to his treehouse and make me some cookies. I'm not sure.)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Alternate Reality

I don't know when it happened, or why it happened, but I think we went through the keyhole into a parallel universe. Think about it for a couple of seconds:
  • Mike Pelfrey has won seven straight?
  • Xavier Nady is a Yankee?
  • Jimmy Rollins is getting benched for not hustling and showing up late?
  • Oliver Perez is hardly walking anybody?
  • Aaron Heilman is getting huge outs while Filthy Sanchez isn't getting anybody out?

I mean, what's next, the last game at Shea Stadium is televised around the world while ESPN drops the Yankee Stadium finale?

Where the hell is this hole in the universe, and how can we switch John Maine with his better version?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Cecil Wiggins: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Xavier Nady is a Yankee.

The right handed bat that the Mets needed, once had, and probably wasn't going to get back anyway, went to ... of all places ... the Yankees.

All because Cecil Wiggins is a drunk.

(Another day, another shirt I have to burn.)

If Oliver Perez, the last remnant of that drinking induced trade, signs with the Yankees in the off season, I'm hunting Wiggins down.

(So I can teach him how to throw a curve ball and hit lefthanders ... because you know, he'll owe the Mets some innings and some at-bats.)

Put A Jersey On

Ooh, Jose Reyes raised a finger too long. Quick, get Goose Gossage on the phone so he can weigh in with his expert Hall of Fame opinion!

Here's why I'm a soothsayer: I knew this was coming. Knew it. Of course, anytime Jose Reyes does something uniquely celebratory he gets called on the carpet for it (Chris Russo once chastised him for clapping at his mom's birthday party), so it wasn't that hard to figure out. Little did I know that when I thought someone would bring it, it had already been brought.

Here's why I'm not going to get too crazy over this latest hypocrisy of Larry Andersen wanting to put one in Jose Reyes' neck, while Shane Victorino can run around being baseball's Theo Fleury with no criticism: Larry Andersen is a homer. All these baseball announcers are homers to some degree. Even Keith Hernandez slips once in a while and says "we" when he means "they", while Gary Cohen lets his Yankee disgust subtly seep through every once in a blue moon. But trust me on this, it gets worse when you get away from New York and move towards, say, Chicago. Try sitting through a White Sox game one day. I dare you.

Of course, Larry Andersen is going to say something stupid like that, while the trio of Gary, Keith and Ron are focusing more on the play than they are focusing on Theo Victorino standing on the plate and clapping at the Mets dugout. It's just the way it is. Of course, when supposedly neutral national pundits commit the same hypocrisy, that's when my blood boils. Because they're supposed to be above that garbage when they're obviously not. The bottom line is this: The deck is stacked against you and I. The Mets will always get fingers wagged at them while players wearing other uniforms will be celebrated doing the exact same thing. So I'm choosing another battle. It's pointless to fight because nobody listens to me anyway.

And about putting one in Reyes' neck? As I've said before: Don't sing it, bring it. You want to do something, do it. The Phillies had been doing a mighty fine job of pitching inside all series (although their targets ... Damion Easley and Johan Santana ... were interesting choices), and I wish the Mets would do more of that. Unfortunately, a guy like John Maine, who had chances to make Theo dance while Brett Myers was on the other side getting in everyone's kitchen, has proven time and again that he's not that kind of pitcher ... and it's a shame. With everyone taking shots at the Mets it's time somebody throw some haymakers back with no regard for the outcome.

And no, I'm not saying that the Mets should go out and "put one in someone's neck", but there are instances where throwing inside is appropriate. Hell, even if it's not appropriate, why the hell are the Mets worried about winning hearts and minds around the country? It's not happening. We're the bad guys. That's never going to change. Maybe it's time to start acting more the part.

And if Larry Andersen, a guy who hit 17 batters in 17 years in the majors, wants someone to put one in Reyes' neck, then maybe he, or whichever other Phillies announcer wants to be brave, should take Warren Sapp's advice, put a jersey on, and do it himself. I'm sure if Andersen ever had a fastball that could break a pane of glass or cut through a wind gust without being blown away like a kite, he'd try.

Penthouse View

Yeah, I could get used to this.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


"I can't believe we're happy to see Billy Wagner in the ninth" -overheard at Shea Stadium Wednesday night.

It really was a funny scene at Shea on Wednesday. Now Billy usually hears the cheers when he enters with the help of Sandman. But they're usually of the "we love you but don't screw this up" kind of cheers. After Tuesday night's debacle, the cheers sounded eerily like "thank you Billy ... don't you ever leave us again". Kinda like when the one guy in sales that knows what he's doing goes on vacation for a week and all the accounts are shot to hell and then the competent one comes back and everybody in the office tells him "you're not allowed to go on vacation, ever."

That's how Mets fans greeted Billy Wagner. Please, please, please don't ever leave us in the hands of Filthy Sanchez again. Really, we love you. We can't live without you.

It almost never came to that as the Mets had trouble putting Brett Myers away (we hate you too, Brett) ... where one well-placed hit could have sent Myers back to the minors, the Mets continued to leave a ton of runners on the bases against the man who threw as many balls as strikes tonight. Heck, the Mets scored their first two runs on the "strength" of no hits.

But the good part is that for once in their feeble little lives, the Mets actually scored runs against the Phillies bullpen. Joy! And it was Jose Reyes that did the deed with a three run dinger against Ryan Madson in the sixth, giving the Mets their three run lead that they would ... this time ... hold on to thanks to Country Time. Now the only thing to wait for is certain radio personalities to complain that Reyes had his finger up almost all the way to second base on the home run.


Hey, the price for Xavier Nady has apparently come down. After two straight nights of Marlon Anderson turning fly balls into circus acts in left field and being late on fastballs, I say "huzzah!" (Whatever the heck "huzzah" means.)


If you're the religious type, say a prayer for Petey this morning.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Crowbar To The Knee

I don't think they've ever made a movie about that whole Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan situation. But if they ever did, you could easily cast So Taguchi as Jeff Gillooly. Playing the part of Kerrigan would be me in the fetal position screaming "Whyyyyyyyyyyyyy! Whyyyyyyyyyyyyy!" Because that's basically what I do every time So Gillooly picks up a bat. Or is that a crowbar that he takes to the knees and ankles of Met fans?

(Playing Tonya Harding in my Lifetime movie of the week would have to be that pain in the ass Shane Victorino ... only instead of a wedding video, Victorino would just dress up in a t-shirt that says "F-the Mets" with a Hawaiian grass skirt and he'd just do the hula ... or maybe that "I'm safe" dance he did at second base ... on the Shea Stadium mound all night.)

I mean, you have to be kidding me. Victorino, Taguchi, and Jimmy Rollins in the same six-run ninth inning rally? I'm shocked that Larry Jones wasn't instantly traded to the Phillies so he could have followed Rollins to the plate and put an end to the Mets franchise right then and there. And maybe Yadier Molina, Brian Jordan, and Terry Pendleton could have all come out wearing Phillies uniforms with crowbars in a conga line while taking their hacks at the pinata that is the Mets bullpen.

Not for nothing, but f**k!

Of course, people will be asking themselves if Johan Santana should have pitched the ninth inning. First off, Snoop Manuel gave an informed reason as to why he didn't trot Santana out, that he's very rarely gone past 100 pitches. Fine. And for those of you who scream at me hoping for a return to the old days where pitchers went nine innings, forget it. Outside of Roy Halladay, those days are dead and buried forever. Tony "I'm a genius" La Russa blew up the baseball landscape, it's time to move on.

But the most important reason to not bother complaining about that is that it doesn't matter who pitched the ninth inning because ...

wait for it ...

protecting a three run lead with three outs to go shouldn't be that hard!!!

Should it?

That's why Gary Cohen giving us the "this bullpen, thrust into unfamiliar roles ..." made me a little crazy (as if the bullpen didn't make me crazy enough to throw my shoe). No! No! No! Your role is to win the game!

You play ...

to win ...

the game!!!

Three outs, three run lead. At that point, is it really necessary to be a "ninth inning guy" to get three outs? One run lead, yes. There's definitely a difference between a set-up guy in the role of closer ... and a closer. Three run lead? Stop. Get three outs.


Think about it. Have you ever seen So Taguchi and Jeff Gillooly in the same place at the same time?

And Luis Aguayo, I'm on to you. Endy Chavez doesn't get thrown out at home plate twice in one game unless he has help. You ran Jesse Orosco out of town with your season killing home run, and now you're back to finish the job like you were the villain in some awful sequel starring Steven Seagal. Now that Tom Glavine is gone the agency had to infiltrate the premises with another spy. And despite Jose Reyes' dopey decision to try to beat Victorino to second base instead of throwing out a slow-footed catcher (a move that would have had Hugh Fullerton circling his scorecard if it was 1919) my ... first ... guess ... is ... you.

The truth is out there, Aguayo.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Watching The World Go By

Watching the world go by
Under a sunny sky
Strolling 'round the park on a (Saturday Night)
Oh how the moments fly
Watching the world go by

-Dean Martin

This was exactly what I was afraid of.

Bullpen? Yeah, it was bull-something. But with Johan Santana's short outing and John Maine's continued struggles starting out the second half of the season, Aaron Heilman has already been forced into three straight appearances to come out of the break. Granted, Mike Pelfrey has been pitching lights out. But now the Mets have put the pressure on him for Sunday to try to keep the bullpen somewhat fresh going into the Phillies series.

Of course, it doesn't help matters when Carlos Beltran is watching baseballs go by him in center field to help those Cincinnati runners along, much in the same way that he and his buddy Sugar Pants watched Mike Lincoln pitches go by in the seventh with the bases loaded. Those missed opportunities are an all-too familiar recipe for disaster that reared its ugly head once again.


While you may say that it wasn't Oliver Perez's best outing, I'll say that if Ollie's struggles amount to two earned runs in six innings, I'll take struggling every time. Hey, let's not be quick to forget the days when Ollie struggling meant ten runs in one and 1/3 innings.

Ollie merely okay? I for one am thrilled.


SNY, I'm willing to concede that it's not good business to use team battle lines when it comes to selling advertising, if you're willing to concede that showing a Derek Jeter Ford commercial for the millionth time right after a Met loss becomes official isn't the greatest idea in the world.

"Mets lose a tough one, we'll wrap it up after the break."

"Jeter's got an edge!"

"Bleep you."

Friday, July 18, 2008

All Good Things ...

Ten was beautiful.
Eleven? Not so much.
Stupid Bronson Arroyo ruining a beautiful thing like he always does.

10 (Cue Bolero)

Your season looks a whole lot more beautiful doesn't it? Throw in a 10, a lot of things will seem more beautiful.

So, those of you who were complaining that David Wright and Billy Wagner were less than overwhelming* during the All-Star Game ... would you rather they pulled that tonight against Cincinnati? Would you rather David Wright's game tying blast off of Frankie Cordero had come against the American League? Would you rather Billy Wagner had gotten Evan Longoria out instead of the 6-7-8 hitters of the Cincinnati Reds?

What do you like better, home field advantage in the World Series ... or first place?

Yeah, I would have liked both too. But I guarantee you when Wright blasted that dinger off of Cordero that nobody was saying "damn, I wish he had done that on Tuesday." I'm the grumpiest Met fan on earth and I was dancing on the table. If I was dancing on the table, I guarantee you were too.
"It's now the first day that I can say without fear of backlash that you're going to have a tough time convincing me that both this team and this season aren't a complete waste of time." -Metstradamus/July 4th, 2008
Umm, yeah. Ten straight wins has convinced me.

It was an outcome that didn't seem too possible when Johan Santana got bludgeoned with a five run fourth inning and was lifted. It didn't seem possible when Javier Valentin crushed the Mets again with a sacks clearing double to make it 8-6. And it sure as heck didn't seem possible when Ken Griffey Jr. turned Fernando Tatis around with a screamer in the eighth, and you could clearly see my brother in the front row of the outfield stands bow his head in disgust.**

But then came the all-stars. First Wright with his poke off of Cordero to tie the game. Then, Carlos Delgado doing his Kosuke Fukudome impression*** with the bat to give the Mets the lead with a nice little single to left center. Then came the other all-star ... Country Time. 1-2-3. Count it off all the way to 10.

*That was a good pitch Evan Longoria hit in the all star game. I can't "Kill Bill" for that.

**Actually, my brother bowed his head because he dropped his cell phone. What you read was Hollywood license.

***Somebody I know thinks that Carlos Delgado should alter his swing to be more like Kosuke Fukudome. Whenever I try to wrap my head around that line of thinking, I get cramps so severe that I have to call out sick. It's worth noting that on April 30th, Fukudome was hitting .327, while Delgado was hitting .198. Now, Delgado's at .254, and the Chicago cult hero is at .276. I'm not sure what exactly that signifies, other than that I'm starting to get those cramps in my brain.


Oh, by the way ... you, as a Met fan, have to appreciate the irony of the announcement of Pedro Martinez's start being pushed back by injury coming on the same day that Orlando Hernandez injured himself on the first batter of his rehab stint in Binghamton. But this also comes on the same day that the Phillies made their deal for that big pitcher they've been waiting for. And it's the 5-12 booed out of Oakland Joe Blanton. While I feel the Mets dodged a bullet that the Phillies dealt for Blanton instead of A.J. Burnett or Matt Cain, it only means that Blanton will go 3-0 with a 1.12 ERA against the Mets down the stretch.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Trade Derby

You want to make the home run derby even more interesting?

Invite the slugging outfielders who are rumored to be going to the Mets in a trade. You can still do four from each league:

National League:

  • Adam Dunn
  • Matt Holliday
  • Jason Bay
  • Xavier Nady
American League:
  • Raul Ibanez
  • Casey Blake
  • Juan Rivera
  • Jose Guillen
Trade value determined by performance in the derby.


The Mets have won nine straight games. Feel free to bask in that for three days.

I was basking as well, until ESPN's Jon Miller reminded us that the last time the Mets reached ten in a row was the not the Miracle Mets of '69, not the bad guys who won in '86, or even 1988.

It was the immortal bunch from 1991.

The ten game streak in '91 also went into the All Star break, and like the streak we're in now, also included three wins in Philadelphia.

So how did a team that had a ten game win streak blow it? Losing seven in a row and ten in a row in a span of 19 games will do it. Having Vince Coleman on your team doesn't help either.

Thankfully this team doesn't have Vince Coleman, Gary Coleman, or Dabney Coleman. Instead, this team has Mike Pelfrey ... who's given up one run in his last three starts, won his last six with 52 runs to work with, and had his last two starts end in 7-0 wins where both Carloses homered.

But I think the more important thing is to be thankful that after all that's happened to the Mets this season, a season that could have been lost before it was found, the Mets are only .5 out of first place.

And more importantly than that, screw Vince Coleman. And screw Jon Miller for reminding me of Vince Coleman and giving me flashbacks.

And screw John Rocker. For no good reason.

But while on the topic, if Rocker indeed fights Vai Sikahema in one of those sports celebrity boxing matches after Sikahema knocked Jose Canseco's lights out on Saturday, can we please ... please ... please hold it at Shea Stadium? I mean, if the Mets don't end Shea Stadium's run with a World Series championship, what better way is there to close out the barn than by seeing John Rocker taking some left hooks and falling flat on his back?

Vince Coleman can be on the undercard.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

One Hit Wonders

That was the greatest pitched game by five pitchers in Mets history.

A one hitter? This bullpen? Picking up for Pedro Martinez after his shoulder got stiff? This is the same Pedro Martinez that would have been 23-2 in 2005 had it not been for Braden Looper ... and he's getting bullpen help?

Meanwhile, the Mets have won eight straight, and could actually hit the break in first place. What alternate universe did I step into, exactly?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Good Ol' Rick Must Have Left A Little Zen Behind

I was watching the Marlins game after Damion Easley beat the Rockies with another late home run, and the announcers for FOX Florida were having a discussion about whether coaches belong in baseball's Hall of Fame. You have managers, GM's, announcers ... why not coaches? Well, I'm not ready to put Dan Warthen in the Hall yet. But if he did something with Aaron Heilman which enabled him to toe the rubber with steel testicles and get out of jams like he did last night, then Warthen deserves something much better than the Hall of Fame. I'll nominate the man for a Nobel Peace Prize. How many angry mobs has Warthen potentially avoided in one fell swoop.

By the way, doesn't the picture scream "Courtship of Eddie's Father"? You know, "People let me tell ya 'bout my best friend" Trust me. Play the video, and look at the picture. If it doesn't bring a tear to your eye, then you're just not human.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Worldwide Teaser In Sports

Please allow me a short rant at game time:

I sat through 30 minutes of incessant Brett Favre coverage because ESPN teased the following at 5:57:
"Tim Kurkjian will be along to tell us how the Mets are to landing a superstar slugger ... "
All right, I'm hooked. Because if the Mets weren't close to anything, why would they tease it? Then at 6:00:
"Tim Kurkjian on how close are the Mets are to landing Matt Holliday!"
Now I didn't think the Mets had enough to get Holliday, but the World Wide leader in sports is actually pimpin' this, so: OMG! OMG! OMG! So I'm busy trolling the internet, googling Matt Holliday, looking up his home/road splits (Holliday's road numbers would be near the top of the Mets roster.)

So I sit through a half hour of Brett Favre this and Brett Favre that, because I want to hear about the Mets getting Matt Holliday, and where they are with that. 6:31, we get this:

"The Mets are not gonna get Matt Holliday. They just don't have what it takes in the minor league system to get him ... they are gonna look at a lower type player such as Xavier Nady of the Pirates but ... the Pirates are asking an awful lot for Xavier Nady so that doesn't seem logical, the more logical point is maybe Casey Blake ... "
In the words of Jeff Spicoli: "You dick!"

And I don't direct that at Kurkjian. I like Kurkjian. I direct that squarely at SportsCenter. Look, I know all about the concept of "teases" in television ... throwing a little nugget out there only to put it on near the end of the show to keep you watching. Fine. But usually, a newscast will tease a story, and then give you ... the story! SportsCenter teased: Matt Holliday. I did not get Matt Holliday. I did not get any hope of Matt Holliday. I got Casey Blake. I sat through a Brett Favre flogging for thirty minutes so that I could be told the answer to the question: How close are the Mets to getting Matt Holliday?" is a resounding: "Keep dreaming."

And before you ask the following: "C'mon, you didn't really think that the Mets had enough in the farm system to get Matt Holliday, did you?" No, of course I didn't think so ... until the worldwide leader in f***ing sports teased that it was a possibility! What would you have done?

Thirty minutes of my life ... GONE! For Casey Blake. Thanks a lot, SportsCenter. Oh, and by the way, would you mind not putting a big "Breaking News" panel on the screen at 6:58 only to repeat the news about Brett Favre that you gave us at 6:00? That's not "Breaking News". That's "Broken News"!

Thank you for indulging me. Be sure to read my next blog when I reveal just how close the earth is to getting hit by an asteroid!

What's My Name?

Dear Metstradamus,

From what
I read from you, you have little faith in me.

Well, did you hear them chanting my name today? "Ta-tis! Ta-tis!"

Heck, you were there Tuesday night. You were chanting with them in the bleachers. I heard you ... just like I heard you against the Dodgers when I
helped win that game.

You may think I'm better coming off the bench with limited work. I can't blame you for that. And I can't blame you for thinking that a guy who practically hasn't been in the majors for four seasons before this season is going to have his magic carpet ride end sooner rather than later.

But I worked hard to come back to the majors. And I promise you that I appreciate every at-bat more than you'll ever know. Even the bad ones.

But I like the good ones more, like the one I hit off of Tony Romo to put us in front today. (Or was that Enrique Romo?)

I will be looking forward to you being back in the bleachers to root me on and partake in the revival of FernandoMania. Say it with me: "Ta-tis! Ta-tis! Ta-tis! Ta-tis! Ta-tis!"



Thursday, July 10, 2008

Don't Stare Directly At Moises' Hamstring

The post was supposed to be all sunshine tonight. Johan Santana continued the newfound dominance of the starting staff. Fluff Castro gave Johan some runs, and finally got to raise that finger after hitting a home run (how long before the Florida Marlins complain about his hotdogging?) Even Aaron Heilman remained (gasp!) good, as the Mets win streak reached five and all is well in Flushing.

But the sunshine is blocked by yet another Moises Alou injury. This time, while rehabbing his calf in Binghamton, his hamstring cramped up.

When asked about the Alou injury, Billy Wagner reportedly said "f***ing shocker."

There's something incongruous about Brett Favre still making up his mind about whether to play or not and keeping an entire city on edge, while Alou ... who has done almost everything in this game ... would still ride buses at age 41 just to get back to the show to try to win a World Series. But he can't because the muscles in his legs are made out of Charleston Chews.

Meanwhile the Mets are faced with trying to win the division with Fernando Tatis and Endy Chavez as the regular corner outfielders.

Bring Xavier home.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Touchdown Jinx

Excellent. Sports Illustrated's jinx is alive and well.

It figures that the Mets would celebrate the return of the New York Jets by putting up a touchdown against the team formerly known as the New York Giants ... and more importantly, against starter Tim Lincecum.

There's probably something perverse about saying that this win might be just as important if not more so than the three wins against the Phillies. Tuesday night was a classic letdown game for the Mets, first home game after an important and/or successful road trip. To have this version of that game go against a pitcher such as Lincecum would normally spell double trouble. It's kind of like when a pitcher coming off injury would throw seven innings, but the real test is how he feels the next day.

This next day, the Mets felt fine. Mike Pelfrey felt more than fine (think how good he would be if Rick Peterson was fired last year). And coupled with another Phillies loss, the Mets are all of a sudden just three half games behind the division lead. Best part: Carlos Beltran (three run dinger in the first inning) is slowly simmering and looks like he could be at the starting gate of his latest hot streak. There's no better time for Carlos to rev up with Ryan Church on the DL again with persistent migraine headaches (sounds better than concussion symptoms, doesn't it?)

And speaking of which, this latest run has basically clinched what Omar Minaya is going to do the rest of the way ... he may not buy, but he's certainly not going to sell. There really isn't much that Omar can do going forward with the bulk of the AA and AAA prospects gone in the Santana deal. If Carlos Beltran stays hot, he may not have to get anybody. But if Omar really wants to up the ante with the Phillies, who were denied in their pursuit of CC Sabathia, then he has to at least kick the tires on somebody like Adam Dunn. Because if Omar really has learned from his previous ways, then he's not going to continue to trust that Moises Alou all of a sudden has a healthy streak in him.

But I digress, for now. For now, the Mets are hot, Tim Lincecum is not, and Chris Russo is crying tears. This is a man who said on Tuesday that he'd rather win one out of three from the Mets and have Lincecum be a dominant winner than win two of three and have Lincecum get tagged. Hopefully, he gets neither.


Unfortunately, I need to note that the night started out with a fumble, as "Jets Night" wound up as a small disaster. The "meet and greet" with former Jets players, which was to celebrate the Jets time at Shea Stadium, was due to start at 5:30. At 5:40, the line to get into the tent at the picnic area hadn't moved, and wouldn't move until about 5:45-5:50. The Jets then signed autographs until about 6:30, when they had to go to the field for their pre-game ceremonies ... introductions, the removal of the number, and the first pitch.

Here's where whoever was handling the event blew it: When the players left the tent in the picnic area, everyone still waiting on line were told (via megaphone) that the players would return after their on-field ceremonies to continue signing autographs. The wait lasted 45 minutes, but instead of the players returning, it was official looking people with stacks of stuff and a big jar full of pins.

Needless to say, people were pissed. And Jets fans are not the people you want to get pissed off at you. I kept asking the officials if it was "bad news" ... they gave me that look that said "yes it is ... we just can't verbalize it yet".

The Mets did their best to appease the people who waited the 45 minutes only to not get any autographs, by giving everyone four free tickets to a future Met game, and a pin. Okay, but they were giving them out in two different lines, and one of the guys tried to kick me out of the tent after getting my tickets because I wanted to go to the other line to get a pin, like I was going to keep going from line to line so I could get 60 tickets to this game and sell them on eBay and then get my own infomercial on how I got rich and you can too. I just wanted a freakin' pin!

They relented. I got my free pin to go with my free tickets. Would you believe the Mets had loads of these pins lying around for just such an occasion?

It's hard to say who exactly was to blame for this ... usually in these autograph situations, there are always some people near the end of the line who are going to go home unhappy. And four free tickets is a pretty decent way to say "we're sorry". I just wish there was more information on the Mets/Jets websites to begin with on when picnic area seating opened, and exactly what was going on and what time the thing was going to start (and it would have helped to have it start on time) instead of just saying that it was a "meet and greet". I wound up neither meeting, nor greeting, anybody. But I did get to sit in the Shea picnic area for the first (and probably last) time.

I'm only hoping that it isn't a sign of what the Jets' actual season is going to be like.

Former Super Bowl winning Jets John Schmitt and Emerson Boozer, who for some reason was wearing a Blair Thomas era jersey. Blair Thomas never played at Shea Stadium.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Yeah, Sorry If You See This Title On Every Mets Related Blog Tomorrow, But: "They Win The Damn Thing 10-9"

Multiple people wondered if I was still alive after the ninth inning. But to be honest with you, Mets losses lately have desensitised me to the point where I think I just would have laughed if Werth had hit a home run to complete the comeback. But yes, Virginia: they win the damn thing 10-9. Santa Claus lives ... and he's wearing a Pedro Martinez jersey. (Would you believe that Pedro's stellar pitching was eclipsed by the fact that his RBI to make the score 10-1 was the difference in the game?)

Not that tonight's 10-9 win held a lot of similarities to the 10-9 win in Philadelphia in 1990, when the Mets had a 10-3 lead in the ninth yet needed a line-out to Mario Diaz with the bases loaded to end the game. But in that game, the catcher for the Phillies was Tom Nieto. And he had three RBI's.

So if R.J. Swindle becomes the Mets pitching coach in 18 years and then gets fired mid-season, then you can cue the Twilight Zone music.

And yes, to reiterate: Tack-on runs = good. Thanks to Dan Iassogna being convinced by the other three umpires that he is ... in fact ... blind, the Mets needed every single one of those runs. Stupid lousy umpires.

You Are What I Eat

So I had a barbecue chicken sandwich from Boston Market today. It was delicious. But near the end of the first half of the sandwich, I got one of those pieces of chicken cartilage that must have gotten in there mistakenly ... and I gagged some of it up. Trudged on after a delay to get hungry again, I ate the second half of the sandwich. While being happy that I didn't gag on anything else, I was looking at the loose pieces of chicken that had fallen off the sandwich at some point, and among the rubble, I found a bone. So my chicken sandwich experience had a gag job, ended good, but could have been the demise of this blogger.

Sunday's Mets game was, on paper, that chicken sandwich.

Oliver Perez was the first part of the sandwich. Then there was the two hour and fifty minute rain delay. Billy Wagner (Mr. All-Star) provided the gag job (I wonder if Oliver thought that Country Time should have battled a little bit more). And then, Fernando Tatis and Joe Smith came through with the delicious ending which had all the potential to end in an extreme choke job (the bone) that might have ended me once and for all.

(Editor's note: The above isn't a made-up, alcohol induced analogy. All references to the chicken sandwich are not purely coincidental. And names have not been changed to protect Boston Market. The story you just read is real.)

And since we had the beginnings of a scintillating discussion about the "clutchness" of Carlos Beltran two posts ago, it's worth noting that without Beltran's RBI single in the ninth to give the Mets a 2-0 lead (and pick up the un-clutch in the ninth inning David Wright in the process), Jayson Werth's home run would have been the death blow, and these New York Mets would have been toast. So all praise due to Beltran for a clutch hit which turned out to be more important than we thought. I maintain though that a cleanup hitter in his prime should be doing that slightly more often. How much better would the Mets look today of Beltran could have only delivered in, say, two other spots this season when presented the opportunity (Friday night, for example)? Just two? But Beltran deserves a world of credit, along with your praise, this afternoon.

(I would also like to re-iterate the warmth my heart received due to the throwback relief job that Smith did in winning the game while pitching the last 2 and 1/3 innings, mostly without a net. Tug McGraw would have been proud.)

Despite losing the pitching mismatch of Johan Santana vs. J.A. Happ, if Pedro Martinez can somehow pull out a victory over noted Met killer Adam Eaton (I'm resigned to the fact that it's going to have to be a 1-0 win folks), then even I can't complain about taking three out of four in Philadelphia, even if it was the hard way. Nothing comes easy anyway ... not even a chicken sandwich, apparently.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

The Mentality Of Five Hundred

I think that sometimes this season ... especially this season ... people have a tendency to wonder which win "gets the ball rolling". Is this the win that gets it going? Is it this one? Or is it this one? I'm not going to expect this win to be "the one". If anybody on the 25 man roster expects this to be "the one" then guess what, it isn't going to be. It's part of the reason that this club could forever be trapped in the mentality of .500.

"All right, that was huge ... now we can relax", they'll say. "Hopefully, this will be the one that gets us going", they'll cliche. But cliche's range from the ones they'll throw out to keep from giving away too much to the media, and the ones they'll use to give themselves a soft landing. I don't know what's being thrown out there, but these 2008 Mets can't expect one win to turn into eight.

Last night was huge. Finally, the Mets steal victory from the jaws of defeat instead of the other way around against the Phillies bullpen. You mean that the Mets didn't have another defeat that resembles the climactic scene in Rambo where Shane Victorino or Tad Iguchi bursts through the door and shoot up the place? Yes, that's exactly what I'm telling you. It happened. And as a result, the Mets have managed to split two games with the Phillies in which Chris Aguila started in left field. Feels good. But how many times have the Mets had a good win and then been down 3-0 in the first inning the next day? And if momentum truly is the next day's starting pitcher, tell me who takes the hill for the Mets today ...

Damn right, uh-oh.

So if you're a Met and you want a win to feel good, then stop thinking about that win and go get another one. Saturday doesn't matter anymore, so maybe the best thing to do is try not to ride it like a magic carpet to that big run you've been expecting for a year and a half. It doesn't work that way.

And move that forgetfulness in both directions. Don't only forget the victory, but forget that you lost John Maine and Ryan Church to injuries. Maine had a cramp. Church had a migraine. Not Joe Magrane, and not another concussion (we hope). Migraine. He'll be there tomorrow (again, we hope).

It's a long season. To treat every at-bat of the season like it's the ninth inning of the seventh game of the NLCS is a little much to ask. I understand that. But I don't think it's much to ask to treat every at-bat over the next three games like it's the ninth inning of the seventh game of the NLCS. Because it's the Phillies. And because balls just don't roll ... they need to be pushed.

(Editor's note: Yes, he said three games ... two against the Phillies, and the first game at home against San Francisco just to avoid that "first game of the homestand" letdown that always bites them in the butt.)

Friday, July 04, 2008

This Fourth Firecracker Is A Dud

If somehow the Mets lose the fourth of July matchup with starts out as Johan Santana vs. J.A. Happ, I may never watch baseball again. -Metstradamus, yesterday
Did I just lose a retirement match? Do I need a parental control on my baseball package?

What's tonight's excuse? Pitchers with initials give you trouble?

So how did we know this one was over? Well outside of not hitting J.A. Happ for four innings and Chad Durbin for two and 1/3, for me it was when Carlos Beltran swung at ball four by his eyes with the bases loaded up 2-0 in the fifth. Beltran was 0 for 4 with two K's. I guess he needs more flippin' rest.

Or maybe just the pure ironic fact that Filthy Sanchez got through Ryan Howard and Pat Burrell in the ninth with no problem, but somehow not Pedro Feliz and Shane Victorino. But having said that, Victorino, a fast lefty with first base open, should have been walked. No doubt about it. Victorino is a pest who strikes out at a lower rate than Chris Coste, who was on deck, or anybody they could have pinch hit for him such as Greg Dobbs or Geoff Jenkins.

But why bother with even that little analysis. The Mets lost the one game in this series they had no business losing, after Johan Santana pitched a whale of a game. And of course, it's not only a loss, but a brutal loss ... because what other kinds of losses are we going to see in Philadelphia?

And since it's now July 4th, the magic day that people like to point to and say that teams in the lead on this day make the playoffs a certain amount of time, it's now the first day that I can say without fear of backlash that you're going to have a tough time convincing me that both this team and this season aren't a complete waste of time.

Don't Give This Sucker No Statue ... Give Him Guts!

All right, break it up you two.

Remember when Clubber Lang crashed the statue dedication for Rocky Balboa in Rocky III, and he let loose Mickey's secret that he was setting Rocky up with set-ups and bums to protect him? And Rocky didn't want to believe Clubber, but it was true?

That's what this Reyes/Hernandez tiff reminds me of.

When Hernandez (playing the role of Clubber) said on the air: "enough babying of Jose Reyes", he was right. When Jose Reyes (our Rocky Balboa) got pissed off, he was right too. So everybody's right and there's no need to take sides.

Look, Snoop Manuel came out and said that he wanted to Luis Castillo to be a more positive influence on Reyes. So some of the evidence of what Keith is saying is out there for us to see. And I'm willing to bet that Keith, as a broadcaster, sees other things behind the scenes with the team that we don't see ... it's that simple. And as a former player, he interprets things in a way that we have we have no chance of knowing. That's why he was hired, and that's why he's regarded as one of the best at what he does. Think about it: what do you think everyone has been talking about when Reyes slumped last season: "Oh, too bad Jose Valentin isn't around like last season", and other things to that effect. So, Keith basically spoke the truth ... just the same way he spoke the truth in '02 when he said that the team had quit. The team did quit! But Hernandez was made to apologize because Mike Piazza got all sensitive (it remains the one thing on Piazza's Met career I have an issue with). So Keith is absolutely right on this.

Besides, if Jose Reyes is indeed being babied, and I think there's enough evidence out there to prove he is to some extent, then you can't blame Hernandez, who lived through the Gregg Jefferies saga, for disagreeing with that tact. The Mets hired Keith to provide not only an ex-ballplayers' perspective, but his perspective. If people don't like that, then maybe we should get automatons to provide color commentary.

Jose Reyes? He's right too. Reyes should reject the notion of being treated like some sort of child who constantly needs a baby sitter or a mentor. He's 25 years old. And while 25 doesn't mean that you know everything (Look at me: I'm 37 and I know nothing), 25 with five seasons in baseball should mean that you have to be allowed to make your own mistakes and own up to them at some point. Reyes has generally done that. I don't mind Jose Reyes throwing tantrums. Reyes should be allowed to throw tantrums after plays like that, like most ballplayers have done at one time or another. I've thrown some doozies with a plastic bat and a metal chair, and again: note that I'm 37 years old. Here's the difference: I don't throw these tantrums in front of 57,000 like Reyes did against last Sunday ... I go to an office, shut the door, and have at it. When you don't wait until you go to the dugout or clubhouse to throw your tantrum, you give the New York media carte-blanche to make any assumptions they want ... and when you're a New York Metropolitan, the assumptions from the media are generally going to take the form of the worst one possible, like say the one about showing up Carlos Delgado.

Deserved? In some parts yes, because of what happened last year and so far this year. In some ways no, merely because even Mets deserve the benefit of the doubt until the facts come out, whether the team is in a winning streak or a losing streak. I don't subscribe to the Chris Russo school of "nothing you do is right unless you're winning ten in a row." (Can't Snoop Manuel be correct for going out and defending Carlos Beltran even though the Mets lost the game 11-0?) But that's the way it is in this city: When you're 10 games ahead, stories like this don't come out until years later as an anecdote to illustrate how intense Jose Reyes is. But when you're five games behind, stories like this make the front page that week and get talked about on ESPN round tables as fodder for the contrarians like Skip Bayless. It's just the way it works.

Oh by the way, playing the role of Mickey is Mets management, who are the ones that are taking great pains to make sure Reyes is comfortable. And you know as well as Keith does that babying and favoring fosters resentment. And that's the best reason not to baby a player: because resentment and division are exactly what the media hopes for to go and write the obituaries and win their Pulitzers.

I realize that by merely writing about this, I give the story more legs than it deserves (not that anyone actually reads this). But I truly believe that all parties are right on this and should continue to believe that they are. If anything, I would say that Jose needs to realize that Keith is merely doing his job, and would never be the announcer he is if he was worried about feelings or self censorship when it comes to team matters. And Keith probably needs to accept that in sports parlance, 22 years is a long time in baseball when you're talking about attitudes and mindsets of major league players. In other words: They don't make 'em like they used to. But I have a feeling that if Keith looks deep down that he'll realize that Jose Reyes, tantrums and all, is more like Keith Hernandez than we all think.

Enter Cliche Fireworks Reference Here

Yeah, like this was a picture you didn't see coming.

Before we get to what was good about last night's 11-1 thumping, don't you find it ironic that after seven innings of our announce crew (mostly Keith) fawning over how great Cardinals fans were, that it was a Mets fan in Busch II that brought nachos to the booth after Keith and Gary were pining for them? Think about it, a Met fan at home in New York had to call his friend in St. Louis (long distance), and tell him to go wait on line (and most likely miss a half inning on line) and buy nachos with money out of his own pocket ... and then somehow get into the booth and offer it to the men who talked about how great Cardinals fans were for eight innings (none of which, I may add, brought Keith Hernandez nachos last night).

Now that is a great fan ... and as far as I'm concerned, a great American. On July 4th, I think it's only fair that Keith tell the fans of the New York Mets what great Americans they are.

And as far as I'm concerned, Mike Pelfrey is a great American as well ... what with his seven innings and his six strikeouts and his hard sinker. The Mets can use more great Americans this weekend as the four game series with the Phillies looms. I'll say this: If somehow the Mets lose the fourth of July matchup with starts out as Johan Santana vs. J.A. Happ, I may never watch baseball again.

(Editor's note: Luis Castillo was placed on the DL, so to replace his spot on the roster, and the spot of Carlos Muniz, who was basically sent down by Troy Glaus, the Mets called up Argenis "I look like Carlos Beltran with the cool blonde frosting in my hair" Reyes, and Chris Aguila. Those hoping for hard hitting Val Pascucci to be called up, keep hoping. Our gangster manager has no idea who Val Pascucci is. All right, let's be honest: when I know more about a minor leaguer than Snoop Manuel, that's a terrible sign.)

(Oh, one more thing: I'm proud to say I attended Andy Phillips' only start as a New York Met. Phillips was picked back up by the Reds, making some of my Las Vegas vacations longer than Phillips' tenure as a Met. Oh, and Phillips had three hits last night for Cincinnati after gaining his Met independence. Great.)

Happy Fourth of July. Keep the M-80's away from the children, put some Peter Luger's steak sauce on that burger (just trust me), and buy a Gary, Keith, and Ron shirt (nachos sold separately).

Thursday, July 03, 2008

World Of Hurt

Hey, I don't want to be the grumpy one all the time. In fact, I'll go so far as to say that even though it took a rain delay to make Pedro Martinez seem whole again, I'll say that I saw enough out of Petey to believe that he does in fact have something left this season. Even though he stunk in the first inning as per usual (.407 BAA against in the first inning this season), and had his usual problems in the fifth (.520 in the fifth ... much better), I'll always be reluctant to bury Petey until he walks off the mound for the final time, cradling his rotator cuff in his glove hand.

(Editor's note: This blogger made the same mistake with Tom Glavine before he had two decent seasons at an older age than Pedro.)

And I do suppose that I was heartened by the Mets coming back from an early 4-0 hole to take a 7-5 lead in the seventh. Guts and fire ... great. But good teams show guts and fire, and then not give it back. The Mets haven't proved that they're anything above mediocre this season. And the disheartening thing about last night's disaster was that the big blow came off of a pitcher who has been one of the rocks of the 'pen in Pedro Feliciano. And a lefty batter at that ... albeit a lefty batter that has rocked him on a grander stage.

(Editor's note: Also seen in both last night's game and the 2006 NLCS: Carlos Beltran striking out looking in a big spot. Last night it was the top of the eighth with a runner on third and one out at 7-5 Mets. Beltran's next up in the "keep 'em fresh" day off rotation.)

But Chris Duncan's home run only tied the game. Then came the ninth. And admit it ... admit it right now: before SNY went to commercial after the top of the ninth, and you saw Carlos Muniz make his way out of the bullpen to face Albert Pujols, Rick Ankiel, and Troy Glaus, you got that sinking feeling in your stomach that Muniz was in the same position as all of those no-name ensigns on Star Trek that got killed on all those missions going out with Kirk, Bones, and Spock. Sure enough, Ankiel came within a few feet of winning the game before Glaus did the walk-off deed and sent Muniz back to New Orleans with not so good memories.

Ron Darling was asked after the game if the Mets would rather lose like last night than a 7-1 lifeless dud, and he said something to the effect of "no way ... they've had lifeless duds all season. Last night was much better." It's a non-aggravating way of saying "at least they battled". And that's what it has come down to.

But here's your perspective alert of the night: As much as we complain, take solace in the following:

  • The Mets are only 4.5 back in a mediocre division.
  • They have a four game set with the Phillies coming up.
  • At least the Mets aren't moving.
Don't take that last one lightly. They say if it could happen to us, it could happen to anybody. And before ground broke on the Brooklyn Dodgers Shrine (Ebbets Queens), I firmly believe it could have happened to us. Yes, there are nights like tonight I wish the Mets would have moved to Oklahoma City (many of those nights coming in the last ten months). And no, I have no first hand knowledge of any discussions the Mets might have had in the last ten years about possibly moving to another market. And despite my natural leanings towards conspiracy theories, those discussions probably never existed.

But no ... considering this city's history with franchises exiling to California, I assume nothing. So yes, I'm thankful that what happened to the Seattle Sonics has not happened to the New York Mets (despite what happened last night). So I leave you with this:

(Editor's note: What I really hoped to find was an old Mello Yello commercial which featured former Sonic Gus Williams. The above was the closest thing I could find. Sorry.)

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

In Yadier's Crosshairs

Not enough you break our hearts, Yadier ... now you try to kill us one by one?

Well, no use trying to figure out whether Tony Armas Jr. is going to be more Nelson Figueroa or more Alay Soler (actually, neither option is that good), but he was certainly a serviceable part Tuesday night, helping the Mets even their series with the Cardinals ... albeit with one very sore reliever who has a nice "National League" tattoo on the back of his leg courtesy of Yadier Molina.

The talk centered around Snoop Manuel playing Fluff Castro instead of Brian Schneider, Armas' batterymate from their Expos days. Castro responded by driving in three runs. That might be the best random button that Snoop has pushed since giving David Wright a rest (12 for 25 since).

Tonight is the rematch of one of those painful games from the last week of last season: Joel Pineiro vs. Pedro Martinez. And Pineiro hasn't won since April 29th. Just thought I'd point that out.

Damn you Yadier Molina.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Disaster Looms

In this atmosphere of former Yankees choke slamming GM's, and current superstars shoving traveling secretaries, my only question after tonight's comedy of errors is this:

When is that New York Mets clubhouse brawl coming?

Because you know that when the final piece of evidence that this team is a lifeless mess finally comes, it's not going to be something simple like a chokeslam or a shove. Oh no, the apocalypse of the '08 Mets is going to be on a grander scale because everything is done bigger in New York anyway. Oh, it may start with something small ... like Carlos Delgado reminding John Maine how to execute the perfect pickoff throw. Or Maine politely telling Luis Castillo that he shouldn't get his fielding fundamentals from the Ron Hextall Defensive Drills tape.

Or it might start with Snoop Manuel going "gangster" and actually cutting Jose Reyes. Or Reyes throwing his glove at Carlos Delgado's head. Or Tony Bernazard invading a players only meeting with nunchuks, wondering why nobody can hit Kyle Lohse (who it bears mentioning is 10 and freakin' 2). But when it happens, it's going to be huge. And make no mistake, when you pour an underachieving team into a pot and mix it with a bitter fan base and let a relentless media horde turn up the heat to about 450, it's going to happen. Only question is when. Maybe after this Cardinals series, which ... with Tony Armas Jr. starting tomorrow, and the unhittable albatross from last September Joel Piniero ... is already shaping up to be a disaster. But the explosion is coming.

(Editor's note: Any guesses on which blogger will play the part of the drunk at the :47 mark?)