Wednesday, September 30, 2009

To Be Continued

Apologies for the short post tonight. I don't even know what to say except that when the first two runners got on off Frankie in the ninth, my thought was "how are we going to lose this one?" Sure enough ...

I got to witness it all ... six rows from the Mets dugout. And they heard plenty of me by the time they retreated to the dugout. The words: "back up the truck" were prevalent.

It was misplaced frustration. I probably shouldn't have yelled at the players, some of whom put their signature on a baseball for me before the game. You should know that none of those players who were nice enough to provide signatures were responsible for what happened on Wednesday. For the rest of you ... well, back up the truck. Since I can't yell at Snoop, or Omar, or the Wilpons, the players had to feel the brunt of that.

But Frankie, hows about a strike once in a while? Is that a lot to ask?

And Wilson, I thought you were some sort of defensive wizard. Isn't that the only reason you're in the majors? Oh that's right, I forgot about the 34 tears that Jose Reyes has in his hamstring. There's that. (Way to go, medical staff.)

Oh, and even though the only person I should blame for all of this is myself for wanting to travel all the way to Washington, DC to see the Mets lose two meaningless games in spectacularly horrendous fashion, I want my money back. I want a refund for Tuesday's and Wednesday's tickets, my one night in the hotel, my round trip bus tickets, the 3 Musketeers bar I bought at the vending machine, everything. The invoice is in the mail, headed to 126-01 Roosevelt Ave. Send my refund to Metstradamus at Wysteria Lane.

See you at our own Fan Appreciation Day. Oh wait ...

To be continued.

Baseball's Antarctica

Kristina Horner is one of a handful of bloggers who have entered a contest to be able to blog from Antarctica. Certainly, it's a unique and interesting experience, as although people are stationed there at various times, only "cold-adapted plants and animals survive there."

I don't need to enter a contest to enter a desolate region. Definitely not tonight, for at this very moment, I'm in Washington, DC. Where the locals distract themselves from the latest foible from their beloved Redskins in many ways ... beer, politics, talking politics over a beer, stalking Alex Ovechkin, and the like. For a few, brave souls, they forget about a loss to the Lions by turning to baseball in the beltway ... the Washington Nationals ... as they combine with the New York Mets to form a rivalry with a long history, fierce competition, and 193 losses combined. There may or may not be more losses in the building then there are actual fans. But for the Nationals' faithful who've arrived, they do so because they love their baseball, and they know that a bright future is just around the corner.

For the Mets' faithful who've come all the way from New York City, they do so because they need acute mental observation. Nevertheless, I'm here ... nine innings, 193 losses, one deranged blogger.

This ...

is Baseball's Antarctica. Only broken hearts and long festering angst can survive there.

Tuesday's game featured all of the broken hearts and long festering angst you're used to seeing live, except with gray uniforms. It really was a microcosm of the season: Mets have a chance to break the game open in the first inning with bases loaded and one out but only score one run instead of the three or four they should have scored. Mike Pelfrey has his bad inning. Mets have a chance to take the lead back with, again, bases loaded and nobody out in the seventh, but score nothing. ("Ooh, we have the bases loaded, who's up? Brian Schneider! Oh, let's get on that Five Guys line.") Stellar defense featuring Anderson Hernandez and Luis Castillo (and by "stellar", I mean "stellar is to abominable as Gold Glove is to Anderson Hernandez and Luis Castillo". And these are the defensive specialists, no?

Then top it off with a heartbreaking ending in which Elijah Dukes (who's defense is also "stellar" at times), makes a spectacular wall crashing catch on a ball which, if it had ten, maybe fifteen more feet on it, would have been in my lap. Seriously ... I'm the guy in the Mets jersey in the front row standing up and stopping my camera because I think this projectile his headed right for me. Seeing that a Metropolitan hit it, I should know better ... I probably would have had the youtube video of the year. Instead, I have a drunk guy in a suit putting his arm around me screaming "Meeeeeeeeets Loooooooose!!!" after saying nothing for nine innings. Awesome.

Oh, and the pointless "Let's put Frankie in down by one" move by our fearless leader which only served to keep the game close so that Dukes can win the game right in front of my nose. Rub it in, why don't ya.

The expedition continues on Wednesday.


Some other oddities:

A Topps lineup? Where have we seen that before?

A helmet garbage can, where have we seen that before? (I'm guessing we ripped them off on that one.)

Hey, Ray Knight! Where have we seen him before? (I'm guessing they ripped us off on that one.)

The Mets aren't the only team to honor other franchises. Never you mind that the Nationals have only been around five years.

Hey, he hasn't even played for the Nationals! Then again, Tommy Lasorda never played for the Mets yet they honored him with his own day, so what do I know?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Five Going On 27, And One Going On Forever

How do you know you're not having a good September? How about when you're on the verge of losing your fifth game in a row, and already you're being tangentially compared to Anthony Young by the announce crew?

The good news is that with most of his future already in the past, most likely he isn't going to get a chance to get near 27. But that's the way the cookie crumbles when you're Nelson Figueroa, it's 2009, and David Wright is continuing to have horrible at-bats with men on base, and making fielding errors left and right. No wonder Met fans can't wait for the season to end ... they're just taking a cue from their leader, who seemingly can't wait for this week to end either.

Last season, we didn't want to end. But it did ... and with it came the end of the road for our home, Shea Stadium. Yesterday passed the one year anniversary of the final game ever at Shea. If there's one thing we've all learned as we look back with some distance between us and Shea, I hope it's this: The talk about leaving all those curses behind at Shea, that it was somehow the park's fault, that it was Shea that held all those evil ghosts in it that caused the Mets to lose in horrible, horrible ways, and that tearing it down would fix everything, and cleanse everyone of the dark chi that had enveloped us all? All crap. All of it. By that logic, there's about ten parks that need to be bulldozed if every ghost will indeed be eliminated.

If Shea was indeed a living, breathing mechanism with a soul, it certainly would be having a nice laugh at all of our expenses up in ballpark heaven with the rest of the dearly departed.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Timing Is Everything, And Pat Misch Doesn't Wear A Watch

Nice day you picked to pitch a complete game shutout, Pat. On this Yom Kippur prelude where the revised schedule had the Mets, Yankees, Jets, Giants, and the Rangers all playing at the same time, it's quite possible that you could fit everyone who watched all or part of your gem in the Marlins locker room, with room to spare for everyone in the stands. Of course, when you gave up eight runs in eight minutes, there was nobody to take away your spotlight as it shone with the intensity of a thousand fires on you, and only you.

Game of your life? Get in line. You're fifth on the runway for takeoff. As we all know by now, such is life. But it's no reason not to have a party to celebrate the occasion. So scale your catch, debone it and fry it. Set a place for Hanley at the table while you're at it, and make reservations for him to complete next week's foursome since he'll need a tee time soon.

But don't wear your costumes to dinner. (Really? Ken Takahashi has to wear a costume for rookie hazing? He's a man! He's forty!!!)

Gangsta Depreciation

Thank heaven for Gary Cohen, proving that I'm not the only one yodeling in a canyon. Here's what he said on Saturday in not so many words: "Why the $%*& is Fernando Tatis starting at first base for a 66-88 team while Nick Evans is rotting on the bench? Have we gone to the Tony Bernazard school for developing players?"

So he didn't say exactly that, but he started the conversation out loud ... the same conversation rattling in my head between all of my personalities. I've never seen a manager manage like it's spring training from April-August, only to be eliminated in September ... and then manage to win the game. Doesn't it worry you that Snoop Gangstalicious got the vote of confidence from the Wilpons, and still fills out a lineup card as if he's going to lose his job tomorrow? And if that's true, doesn't it also worry you that he truly believes that the man who's going to save his job single-handedly is Fernando Tatis? This is what he's banking on? He might as well go to a roulette table and ask if he could put all his chips on 44 blue.

As you can probably surmise, I could care less that Tatis hit a two-run home run to tie the game. Did it help? No. The Mets still got it handed to them by the Marlins in a game where my psychic abilities came rushing back to me in one fell swoop. Jorge Cantu batting against John Maine and what comes to my head? "Cantu is going to hit it 500 miles." Meanwhile, in the real world, Cantu hits a screaming liner to left to give the Marlins the lead. Close enough. It was then that I left the room thinking "when I walk back in, I'm going to see an "8" next to "FLA". What do I see when I come back? A f*&%ing eight, that's what. Eight for them, three for the Mets. Show me what I've won, Gene!

"Absolutely nothing, Metstradamus!"

I'm never right when it comes to those stupid lottery numbers, am I? Noooooooooooooo! Instead, I have fishes and eights and Fernando Tatis dancing in my head while I'm stuck in this torture chamber of a season for another eight days waiting for Jose Reyes to play a minor league game which doesn't exist. Welcome to my world ... where the circus is in town, the common sense is optional, and it's always Fan Appreciation Day. Speaking of, don't miss Fan Appreciation Day this season as the Mets take on the Nationals on Wednesday ... too bad you have to go to Washington to be appreciated because the Mets don't seem to have a Fan Appreciation Day this season. Instead, check out Fan Depreciation Day.

Oh wait, that's every day for us. I guess that doesn't make is so special, does it ...

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Cory Sullivan strokes what will forever be known as the least fun game winning hit in major league history

I wish I could say that I could feel some satisfaction in potentially eliminating the Marlins from the playoffs after what happened the last two seasons. But sadly, there's none.

Alright, maybe a little. But with the Marlins' elimination number at four after Cory Sullivan knocked it down with a game winning two run single on Friday, there's pretty much zero chance that the Fish will be officially dead by the time the Mets go to Washington.

And even so, it's difficult to get over the fact that I've never seen a team have less fun than these New York Mets are having right now. And maybe that's a good thing ... how many people would be howling if they saw a Met laughing and yukking it up in the dugout? And I know most teams in their position would just be waiting for the season to end. But jeez, this team looks like Woody Harrelson is about to make them his Zombie Kill of the Week. I mean, there's some extreme lethargy going on here ... except for Sullivan. Oh, and Brian Schneider who alertly scored on a passed ball when David Wright refused to believe he missed the pitch, and Bill Hohn refused to signal anything even though it's his job to.

Speaking of Wright, hitters go through entire seasons without striking out after they've worked the count to 3-0. Wright did it in two straight at-bats. It's sad to see a man so mentally beaten to the point that he looks eerily like a man who isn't very good at baseball. But it's okay, because at least we know that David Wright is very good at business deals.

Sad that a great businessman plays for a team owned by alleged businessmen who have allowed themselves to be taken by a Ponzi scheme.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Show Is Not Over Yet

Hey, good news for you Mets fans: The 2009 season hasn't been a complete loss. Our very own Oliver Perez has reached the ultimate in athletic achievement: He's made the cover of a video game! It's Playstation's newest version of "MLB: The Show" due early next year, and the developers have installed some tweaks to the game to showcase Ollie's strengths:

It's simply the most realistic game out there, period. You can rehabilitate all your favorite players!

(Editor's note: A Jose Canseco arm bash goes to one of the regulars, James Allen, for providing the spark for this. Note to all commenters: I'm not above stealing your ideas. That "creative commons license" you see at the bottom of the page? That only applies to me. So there.)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Selling Synergy

Does anyone else find it strange that in a season where you could win free Mets tickets by pawning your gold, Lenny Dykstra's pawning off his World Series ring in Japan? It's like past and present coming together in front of your eyes, and asking you if you can spare a quarter.

I may be an extreme conspiracy theorist, but somehow Oliver Perez is to blame for all of this.

L > W: Snoop Knows Math

Snoop Manuel knows his math. And with this limited time offer, he'll teach it to you for the low low price of your soul!
"I think in evaluation of any manager, you go on wins and losses. And my losses were much greater than the wins." -Snoop Manuel, on his job performance in 2009
Sometime before the end of the season, Manuel hopes to recite the formula for earned run average without looking at flash cards. It's going to be an exciting day. Don't miss out!

The Mets lost to the Braves for the 405th straight time on Wednesday after Bobby Cox announced he was only going to manage the Braves for one more season. When the Mets basically made the same announcement regarding Manuel, the Mets responded by losing four straight, and 22 of their next 30.

Obviously, the Mets could use a break ... and Snoop conceded that a lot of players could use some time off. Don't worry, there's a whole lot of it coming in just a week and a half.
"I definitely need a break, a chance to clear my head and come back next year ready to go. I think any way you look at it, I’ve had a bad year. I’ll try to learn from it and come back next year and set even higher goals than I’ve had this year. And hopefully, I can achieve them." Mike Pelfrey, on how the offseason can't arrive fast enough.
Mike's had a bad year when judged on the Manuel equation: L > W. Of course it's a derivative of the more complicated equation:
Got all that? Good. Tomorrow, we'll identify objects.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Frenchy's Two Cents

There's a knock at the door to Omar Minaya's office after the Braves kick the Mets' heads in again ...

OM: Come in.

JF: Hey Omar, it's Frenchy. Say, I've been hearing some rumors that you're going to sign me long term. That's really great!

OM: You should know not to read the papers, Jeff ... especially that Adam Rubin fellow.

JF: But I've been great for you this season. I've been raking ... three hits a game, every game.

OM: What happened tonight?

JF: Oh, please. Who can hit Jair Jurrjens these days?

OM: And your leadership is a question mark.

JF: Question mark? Are you kidding? I smile, I slam coolers after tough losses, I've befriended everyone in the clubhouse, I'm the soul of your club right now!

OM: Yeah, well when everyone was growing beards until the club got to .500, you jumped ship and shaved. What kind of leadership is that?

JF: Omar, if we had stuck to that, we'd all have disease ridden beards right now. And with the swine flu going around, the trainers would have had to give our beards Purell baths every day. And if you had let Tim Redding stop trimming that animal on his face, it would have been down to his feet, and he would have tripped over it and torn his MCL and ACL by now. Do you want that on your conscience?

OM: I guess sometimes leadership is subjective.

JF: And practical.

OM: Well I have a lot of problems to worry about for next season before I worry about you.

JF: Well that's another reason I'm here. I know of someone who really wants to be a Met next year, and he'll solve all your problems.

OM: Is his name Koufax?

JF: No ...

OM: Pujols?

JF: No, (chuckles) it's Jason Marquis!

OM: Marquis? Is that French, like Marquis de Sade?

JF: I think so.

OM: I don't employ French players.

JF: But you traded for me, and I've got to have French in me ... Francoeur???

OM: Skip was desperate to get rid of Church. And honestly, I thought you were from Samoa.

JF: C'mon Omar, you knew my nickname was "Frenchy" ...

OM: I thought it was ironic.

JF: And why don't you have French night? It's always Latin night, putting "Los" Mets on the jerseys. How come we never se "Le Mets"?

OM: That has nothing to do with any Latin night.

JF: What do you mean?

OM: It's supposed to say "Loser" The jerseys are supposed to read "Loser Mets".

JF: Huh?

OM: Look, I can't explain ... but I'm not signing Marquis.

JF: Why not?

OM: Well, look at him. He looks too much like Fred Savage on steroids. I can't have a steroid scandal here in Flushing, Frenchy.

JF: Come on, Omar. Sign him ... he's my buddy!

OM: Look, you can't just waltz in here after three months telling me how to do my job and getting me to hire your friends. That never works anyway.

JF: But look at the season he's had ...

OM: Jeff do you know what it takes to be a GM, and think hard before you answer that ... because to be a great GM you have to start thinking about 2010 in 2006. I have a specific plan that will make sense to everybody after it's been put into practice. Just trust me and worry about your on base percentage.

JF: Care to fill me in?

OM: Yeah, I'm going to sign LeBron James.

JF: Huh?

OM: He's the best 2010 free agent out there.

JF: Umm, that's not ... even the same ... uh, sport ...

OM: Now, are there any other questions, Frenchy?

JF: Yeah, how do I get into player development?

Record Holders

In an attempt to find a left fielder tall enough to rob home runs over the 16 ft. high Citi Field fence, the Mets recruited Sultan Kosen, the newest Guinness Book of World Record holder for tallest man on earth at eight feet, one inch.

Unfortunately, not even Kosen could reach Larry Jones' home run off of Pat Misch which sealed the deal on an 11-3 Mets loss in the second inning. Jones, along with Garret Anderson and Matt Diaz, reached the seats at Citi Cave, proving that maybe it's not the park after all. Meanwhile, Daniel Murphy hit his team leading 11th home run of the season.

That's team leading ... eleventh home run.

In case you were wondering, the team record for lowest home run total to lead the Mets is 12 in 1977 ... another banner season in Mets history. Level swings, boys ... time to make the record books just like Sultan.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Playin' Games

I would have been on board with getting Milton Bradley last winter.

Hard to believe that would come from a guy who flipped a lid when the Mets signed Gary Sheffield. But to get a bat for the lineup from a guy who was still in the prime of his career rather than a guy steaming away from 40 would have been a more solid option. Bradley in left field would have been interesting ... admittedly in more ways than one. But that's a big difference to me.

So now that Bradley's been suspended for the rest of the season by the Cubs for detrimental conduct, the conversations are starting as to whether the Mets should offer Oliver Perez for Uncle Milty. I reply to this by saying: How dare you toy with my emotions ... whispering the sweet nothings of Ollie being gone from this team to pull me on board for this? Do I look that easy to you?

Alright, maybe I am. But I can't see Milton Bradley as a viable option on this team next season. Although I've always thought Bradley's clubhouse rants were a bit overblown, you can't ignore them. That's not to say Bradley in New York would automatically be a complete disaster ... after all, Latrell Sprewell of all people had a positive experience here. But that was when the Knicks weren't a completely dysfunctional organization (they were still about five seasons from Stephon, mind you.) And since nobody really knows how fragile an ecosystem lies in that Met clubhouse, who knows the effect Bradley would have.

Snoop Manuel would probably relish the chance to try to reign him in and play more of the facilitator than Lou Piniella is comfortable with. But if you put a sensitive superstar in that clubhouse, isn't it the exact opposite of what this clubhouse needs at this point? If you believe that this team is in dire need of a kick in the butt, a Piniella clone if you will, to take over this team, or at the very least a new attitude, then wouldn't getting Bradley be another step away from that?

Besides, if Snoop dares put Bradley in the same doghouse that he put Ryan Church in, Manuel may wind up in traction at the end of the day.

But more importantly, if the Mets had a clubhouse that could keep him grounded, and were one player away, Bradley might be your man. I stress might because Bradley isn't the type of player the Mets should be looking for anyway. He's hitting home runs this season at about the same rate as Francoeur is hitting them in his time with the Mets ... but when you consider where each player plays, that doesn't speak well for Bradley. Not to mention that Frenchy's slugging pct. with the Mets is .490, while Bradley's with the Cubs is .397 (Francoeur has more doubles with the Mets alone than Bradley has all season with Chicago.)

Point being that the Mets are, in addition to being nowhere near one player away, in the need for a dangerous bat ... a bat you fear, even in Citi Field, to play left. Bradley isn't that guy. He gets on base and walks more than his share, but the Mets have enough singles hitters.

And the final reason why Bradley shouldn't be in New York:
"It's just not a positive environment. I need a stable, healthy, enjoyable environment ... it's just negativity." -Milton Bradley on playing in Chicago
And you want to put him on this franchise? The petry dish of negativity? If he's looking for a stable, healthy, enjoyable environment, he should seriously think about playing in some city where there's no media, or playing in Japan, or having Bill Gates adopt him. He wants stable and healthy? Well, don't we all.


Everyone 'round these parts are excited over a certain rookie quarterback. And why not? Mark Sanchez stared down Tom Brady, called his bluff, and came away with the pot (not the pot you're thinking of.) It was a day where 80,000 answered the call from their head coach (quite literally) and for their efforts, get to figure out how to split a game ball 80,000 ways (I call laces).

While Sanchez sent the Jets to the top of the AFC East on the wings of a Rex Ryan phone call, all John Maine did was help clinch fourth place with five shutout innings, without the help of a pre-recorded phone call from Snoop Manuel. (Well, that's if you don't count that drunk dial he made where he tried to convince me that Kate Gosselin was the victim in all this ... sorry, I've said too much.) But it was hard to tell the two apart as Mets announcers talked as much about football on Sunday as they did about baseball, with Gary Cohen giving constant Jets updates, as well as Carolina Panthers updates to keep Keith Hernandez in the loop as to whether he was going to win his pool whether they can beat the Falcons for some strange reason. While Sanchez was gunslinging a mere 20 miles away, Maine made throws that were, in the long run, every bit as important as Sanchez has in the short run.

If for nothing else, he stands a better chance of being gainfully employed next season. With reports ranging from "The Mets are standing pat" to "The Mets are going to consult Rachael Ray's Forty Dollar a Day show for help on payroll", Maine presents a viable, inexpensive option so long as he can prove to the team and to himself that he can still crank it up if need be.

Maine isn't the franchise, nor does he need to be. Only players that are traded for the 17th pick in the draft carry such lofty expectations. Maine was traded for Jorge Julio Kris Benson (how quickly I forget), which means that if his arm doesn't fall off it's a winnable end game, still. But these five shutout innings will give me at least 1/80,000th of the excitement as say, getting awarded a game ball does.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Other Than That, I'm Peachy!

Did Willie Harris really have to lay down a bunt to break up Tim Redding's no-hitter? I know it was only the fourth inning. I know the Nationals got more hits later. I know it's only Tim Redding. I know it's a meaningless game. But it's Willie Harris. He's the fly in the ointment of eternity. And after a six game losing streak, I'm automatically in complain mode. And Willie Harris is good at getting me to complain. So dude, really?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Plans Laid Bare

"No glove, and we win the game." -Jeff Francoeur
Damn Doug Allison and his buckskin mittens.

Francoeur announced after his latest frustrating final at-bat that he was leaving the Mets to join the Newtown Sandy Hook Vintage Base Ball Club, where they don't wear gloves. Frenchy hopes the move will help raise his on base percentage by about 300 points.

Your bare hands are no match for my stick of death!

Friday, September 18, 2009

While Others Spoil, The Mets Are Sweeteners

Nice of the Mets to improve everybody else's playoff hopes since they really haven't had any since Shea still stood. Thursday night's embarrassing effort helped the Braves out as they completed their sweep of the orange, black and blue (in that order) putting them four and a half behind the wild card leaders, and dropping the Mets all the way back to 1965.

The big news came before the game when Gangsta General indeed pulled Bobby Parnell from the starting rotation and put him in the bullpen for the last two weeks of the season, while still holding fast to plans to have him start games in winter ball. Makes perfect sense to me, because as you know long term plans are for suckers. Winning games is the ultimate goal, a goal that the Mets have executed veeeeeeery weeeeeeell in September.

And don't you find it funny that now, now, when the season is out the window, we're worried about putting the best team on the field to win games, as opposed to worrying about getting Gary Sheffield and Fernando Tatis at bats. Nothing backwards about that at all.

Snoop then went on to continue citing injuries as the reason that the Mets can't seem to spoil anybody else's September, even though everybody else seems to spoil Flushing Septembers when injuries aren't a factor.

But the best news/speculation came of the night came courtesy of these guys:
"Andrew Marchand of ESPN 1050 NY radio just tweeted that an associate of the Wilpons says they might not spend at all this off-season. He went on to say that his source said that the only way to get the Wilpons to spend will be public pressure."
Oh great. Way to formulate a plan and stick to it ... unless of course the press is bad. Maybe with all the extra money they save perhaps the Wilpons can buy themselves a spine. And maybe they'll have some left over to splurge on a clue for Manuel.

Public pressure? Oh please let this be true ... because this is the most hysterical thing I've heard. And it fits, doesn't it? The only way the Mets put a picture of Ed Kranepool up in the hallway was because everybody bitched and moaned about it. But somehow I think it's going to take more than me typing "spend spend spend spend spend" on this blog over and over again to get the Wilpons to put money into the product. No, I'm thinking about ten thousand of you showing up at Citi Field in November carrying pitchforks and torches, dressed as bankers.

And mind you that Jeff Wilpon, who'll only do stuff if enough people complain, is the guy who wants to make more of the day-to-day decisions. But if the payroll really is frozen, he's just going to make the same decision over and over again:
Nope, can't afford him. See if Hernandez is available.

Which one?

Does it matter?
Ooooooh, I can't wait for the off-season! Giddy!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Put That In Your Notebook

It would be easy to blame this on Daniel Murphy.

It would be really easy to blame this on Daniel Murphy.

You know what? I blame Daniel Murphy.

The ball down the line that started the Braves winning rally in the ninth off of Frankie? He's gotta dive. And the last ball that he booted after the game was tied? He can't play that like a damn bullfighter. Ole!

Not to mention that with a chance to put the serious screws on Derek Lowe in the second inning with the bases loaded and two outs, Murph spit the bit and grounded out. That's been a team-wide epidemic all season long (aren't they batting about .205 in that situation?) But tonight was a bad night to have every single calamity befall the man that people have been demanding I lay off. Can't do it tonight. Sorry.

But I have to say this, and this is why our fearless manager drives me nuts: He's wondering after the game why Murphy didn't get in front of that ball. Here's a clue, maybe he's not being coached correctly? You mean to tell me that you didn't know that this would be on the job training with Murphy? Seriously? Especially with the season having been down the tubes since July?

Oh I'm sorry, I forgot we're still trying to win games. That's why we needed to see Ken Takahashi in the fourth inning when Bobby Parnell was facing a tough situation after only 83 pitches. Yeah, let's pull Parnell from the rotation with two weeks to go and send him to the bullpen where he can rot for a week, and then pitch two innings every day the final week of the season for no good reason. Then we can trade Parnell and Murphy for a swine-flu infested towel now when their value hits rock bottom. All so that Snoop Manuel can win 70 games instead of 65. That's like writing a hundred page extra credit paper on the pros and cons of techno vs. hip hop music at parties after you've already failed the damn class. A blind man has a better chance of finding a chocolate chip in a silo full of marshmallow fluff than Snoop has of getting anything positive out of this team with his inconsistent messages and goals.

Actually, I'll take inconsistent at this point ... I don't even know what the message is. Joe Morgan must know, since he was saying how he noticed that this team doesn't give up on Sunday. Add Wednesday to the list of games we can send to Morgan on DVD to watch since we know he spends his off time watching golf and the NBA Finals rather than the sport he allegedly covers.

Point being, tonight makes Murphy look bad. This whole season has made Manuel look bad ... injuries or not. He can throw Murphy under the bus all he wants (despite saying he would "rather get the message across in more discreet ways rather than "show up" the player" ... while we're on the subject of inconsistent messages). He can blame the players for their bad baserunning. But when it's been happening all season long, I point the finger to the gangster in charge.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

You Can't Turn Away

It was the first game of the rest of our 2009 lives.

It would have been easy to turn away, to not care. And I had the perfect excuse, being at Two Boots Tavern for pizza, beer, and lotsa fun courtesy of Messrs Prince, Springer and Pearlman. I spoke at the end ... and regardless, everyone had a good time.

And yet, the lure of Mets vs. Braves was too much to resist at certain points, even with pizza and beer surrounding all of us, and the fact it meant less than nothing from a wins and losses standpoint, yet more than everything to, say, Josh Thole. With Tommy Hanson on the mound, we had to make sure that the Mets weren't going to be no-hit ... a possibility with the way Hanson has been pitching lately, and more of a possibility considering the way the Mets had been hitting lately. The answer to the eternal question: "What else can go wrong this season?" A no-hitter is the last answer left. So at certain points, everyone was still glued to their television screens. Thanks in large part to Daniel Murphy's two hits (and Thole's one), the almost inevitable was staved off for another day, and all we had to endure on the big screens was another ho-hum loss at the hands of Hanson and Adam LaRoche.

And that brings me to my tip of the day: When you're in public, whatever you do, don't even hint about making a joke at Daniel Murphy's expense. Just take the Volvo and drive the other way ... because people love themselves some Daniel Murphy and will fight to the death for him. Coincidentally, this lesson comes after a long discussion on a certain WFAN drive time show about the fascination that Mets fans have for Murphy, which must have put everyone on edge. All I did was mention the notebook after his second hit and people wanted to throw pepperoni at me. Stupid move on my part. (Mental note: stick to Bobby Bonilla jokes.)

The good news: The Mets now have 17 games left in 2009. And I can pretty much guarantee they're not blowing a damn thing.


Meanwhile, 2010: Road to Hell has been released (alternate title: next season's schedule). Get ready to buy your tickets as if you were buying airline tickets, except the food's better.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Pizza, Beer, And Baseball (In That Order)

Don't forget boys and girls, tonight at Two Boots Tavern is the final installment of Amazin Tuesdays where Jon Springer, Greg Prince, Jeff Pearlman, and some hack who has no business being a part of that group (me) will guide you through what is sure to be another Mets loss. But don't let the fact that the Mets have been mathematically eliminated get you down. Instead, let's celebrate all that is ... Mets baseball. That is, let's celebrate the fact that no longer do we as Mets fans have to stress out over how far back we are from a playoff spot. Because as Tripper Harrison says, it just doesn't matter. Besides, who needs to deal with pesky playoff invoices anyway? So let's have ourselves an elimination party and drink 'til we eat 'til we drink, 'til we eat some more, uh ... let's party!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Play 'Em Off, Petey

I can't think of a more fitting ending to this stupid season.

The Mets' official elimination from the playoffs was not a matter of if ... only a matter of when, and how. Would the official death of the 2009 Mets be laid at the feet of another missed base? Another dropped pop-up? Another unassisted triple play? For any other franchise, it would have been bizarre. For the Mets? Cliche.

No, this needed not the bizarre, but something spectacular that was in the stars all along. It had to be Pedro. It had to be Pedro reaching back to his Expo days, throwing eight blank frames in 130 pitches, completing a doubleheader sweep. It was something he hadn't done in eight years. It had to be Pedro, Met hat still on his head as you refreshed the Yahoo boxscore to show you that a guy wearing a Met hat was pitching to another guy in another Met hat.

The Mets have been bum rushed by just about everybody this season, from Ryan Howard to Joel Pineiro to Rodrigo Lopez, and everyone in between. But with the Mets at their last breath, and a throng of thugs ready to deliver the final punch, they all stepped aside to let the former associate do the final deed. Take the gun, Petey ... do the honors.

While I will not sit here and tell you that this game was proof that the Mets should have signed Petey this season, it is the perfect cherry to top this torturous sundae of a season ... listening to Philadelphia Phillie fans chant "Let's Go Pedro". My hope is that the owners of this team, who are probably off toasting their new ballpark at a swanky lounge at this hour just as they foolishly bragged about their new ballpark mere hours after the Mets were eliminated in 2008, are locked in a room and made to watch this broadcast over and over again until their eyes bleed.

And the sound has to be up. They have to listen to those Phillie fans. They have to listen to Joe Morgan morph into Nipsey Russell with his stupid poetry. And they have to hear Steve Phillips wonder if Pedro was going to come out for the ninth inning after a pinch hitter was already announced. Eyes open, ears open ... for the entire three hours. Multiple times a day, until their sufficiently tortured, or at least as tortured as I am at this hour.

The only hope now for the Mets to get themselves a World Series trophy is to have Kanye West storm the October podium and steal it.

There's nothing left to do but play 'em off. Oh, Keyboard Cat ...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Heroics In A Vacuum

Had it meant anything, it would have been an instant classic. Then maybe somebody from Philadelphia staying in New York for the weekend would have to endure an airing of Saturday's game on SNY over the Christmas holiday as a InstaMet Classic, just like I have to endure repeats of the Phillies pasting the Mets whenever I go to Atlantic City.

Instead, we'll just have to deal with the consolation that David Wright's two home runs, the last one being the two-out, two-run top of the ninth shot to give them a 10-9 win, put him right at the team lead in dingers with Gary Sheffield. Surely, flashbulbs will be going off in the stands with every David Wright swing from here on in anticipating David taking over the club lead ... an important milestone in Met history.

Too bad Mike Pelfrey missed all of it, as after his horrible outing in which he coughed up a four run first inning lead, he changed into his running gear, left the clubhouse, ran around the Citizens Bank Park parking lot seventeen times, beat up five Phillies fans, ran up the Rocky steps, beat up the Rocky statue, ran to Geno's to pick up cheesesteaks for the team, beat up Geno, ran to the Liberty Bell, rang the bell, beat up the bell, then ran back to the clubhouse, ate all the cheesesteaks, then beat up Ken Takahashi when he found out he missed everything including Frankie's knee buckling pitch to Jayson Werth. Then he beat up Frankie Rodriguez.

Anger management is a bitch, isn't it?

In an unrelated story, Brian Schneider says he doesn't expect to return to the Mets in 2010. He came to this conclusion when he found out that his locker at Citi Field was donated to a youth baseball league, and that he had to use Jerry Seinfeld's mold infested suite to dress and store his catching gear. That, and every time he falls asleep on the team bus, he wakes up at a Motel 6 in Kansas City ... and they don't even leave the light on for him.

Oh, and the only batting helmets left for him are those Gazoo helmets that Wright doesn't use anymore. The signs don't get clearer than that.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Quest For A Championship Continues, Can't Ya Tell?

During the Mets 4-2 loss to the Phillies, Angel Pagan went 0-for-4, snapping his streak of ten games with a stupid baserunning play.

Angel hopes to start a new streak against Jamie Moyer, today on FOX. The Mets will continue to stick to Snoop Manuel's plan to stay concentrated on what’s ahead and continue that quest for a championship. Pagan, meanwhile, will continue his own quest to find the fifth base. Luis Castillo keeps telling him there's a fifth base, much like the fifth Beatle he swears he unlocked in Beatles Rock Band.

The bad news is that the fifth Beatle looks a lot like Steve Phillips. It's a fixable glitch, unlike the Mets lineup.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Silent September

As your favorite team wanders through the wilderness of a fruitless September, hurdling towards an October which will be filled with baseball being played by everybody you hate, you wonder what your team will do to use the remaining time productively while making that clock run just a little bit faster ...

Oh yeah, let's have a closed door meeting! That'll be just great!
"It was about not giving up and using these last games. Don’t let that creep in. These last few weeks of the season, the four months before spring training, this is the time that we can get ready. We look around here and if we’re healthy we can win next year." -Gary Sheffield
This is the same Gary Sheffield who was told that he wasn't part of the plans next season, isn't it? And isn't this the same Gary Sheffield who struck out meekly as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning of a game he threatened to miss completely? This leading by example stuff is confusing.

But it must have worked. I mean, even though the Mets helped to complete the sweep by the Marlins, Angel Pagan was so inspired and so eager to get to next year he tried to run all the way there in one day. Unfortunately, he was doubled off second and had to go all the way back to February.

Yes, Pagan has to do the 2009 season over again as punishment. Sad. But the good news is that making his major league debut on Thursday as the best pitcher of the night against the Marlins (not that it's saying a whole lot) was Tobi Stoner. And at that moment, somewhere in a small town in Maryland, Tony Tarasco felt a pang of wanting ... and he wasn't sure why.


This being a day to remember, let's not forget why we live in the greatest city in the world.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

No Fights (Or Fight) On Picture Day

You want the Mets to acknowledge their history? Then we should have had Keith Hernandez and Darryl Strawberry go at it on picture day. Not like they haven't done it before, right? It's the 20th anniversary, for heaven's sake! They could have worn big oversized boxing gloves or something, or they could have played Wii Resort or something.

Instead, we live in a kinder, gentler time where Keith is preparing for a broadcast with Ron Darling and without Gary Cohen. And the only consternation happening on picture day these days is Jose Reyes complaining about people who think he's dogging it in his rehab. You know, they don't make photo day controversies like they did twenty years ago.

They also don't make first basemen like they did 20 years ago. With Keith in the broadcast booth, it was up to Daniel Murphy to man the area. He didn't fight anybody, but he also didn't catch David Wright's questionable throw to complete a double play and end the first inning. Instead, a 1-0 deficit turned into a 4-0 hole as Cody Ross hit a three run jack to make Wright, Murphy, and Pat Misch all pay for their individual indiscretions.

And since then, the baseball was kinda flat as the Mets slept through a 6-3 loss to the Marlins, which probably caused more indigestion than the free hot dogs that the Mets gave out on Wednesday. Bobby Ojeda wondered after the game why the Mets weren't motivated to beat the Marlins who knocked them out of the playoffs the last two seasons? The answer is probably the same as the one to the question "Why weren't the Mets motivated to beat the Marlins and keep them from knocking the Mets out of the playoffs?" That answer being, "How the &%$# do I know?" Hell, if I knew that I'd be the GM of this nonsense. Yeah, some of the players have returned from those last two collapses, but a lot of the players weren't even around for '07 and '08. If the players that were around aren't going to be that motivated, how can we expect Elmer Dessens to be motivated?

Funny thing is, Dessens has been the fantastic one this series, saving a run on a botched throw home by backing up the plate, and he pitched two scoreless innings. Maybe he is the motivated one.

(Editor's note: Keith and Ron minus Gary was very good tonight. I'm kinda diggin' these new combinations they're trying out while they continue to give us reasons to hold our interest. Keith and Ron without Gary is like having peanut butter and jelly without the bread. You can eat peanut butter and jelly with your fingers, and it will still taste very good. The bread holds the two together and makes the eating experience not only tasty, but neat. But I kinda like eating with my fingers too.)

Maybe they'll try some new things in the booth going forward this season. They've tried all their existing combinations. Perhaps next they can have me team with Gary Cohen for a broadcast ... Oh, sorry. The object is to hold their interest, not drive them away. If me talking about the Mets seems like a good idea to you, then you should seek help. But also, come to Amazin Tuesday at Two Boots Tavern this coming Tuesday where I'll be part of a star studded panel which will include accomplished authors such as Jon Springer, Greg Prince, and Jeff Pearlman. They'll probably perform readings from their critically acclaimed books. I'll be holding up photoshopped images of Mike Pelfrey as a Peanuts character. Yeah, I'm bringing a lot to the table. But come anyway, because despite my appearance, this event is going to rock the house. And the pizza will be tasty.

(By the way, did you realize that going into Wednesday, which was 09-09-09, that the Mets "tragic number" of losses and Phillies wins which would total elimination was nine? Yeah, very funny, baseball gods.)

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Get Up

Well this becomes an ironic picture, doesn't it?

Here's why Carlos Beltran returning for meaningless games in September makes a difference: Sure, the Mets aren't going anywhere. Sure, Beltran could get hurt again. And I could walk out of my apartment and get hit by a truck (although getting hit by a truck in a hallway would be a feat). But look at all the players who are out for the season ... Delgado, Putz, Reyes, Sheffield, Perez, Niese, Santana, Cora ... and the list goes on. With this many players not being able to see action until Spring Training 2010 (which is really an extension of Spring Training 2009, which is still going on), every player that can remove a question mark from their own psyche should be able to do so. Because if you give credence to the theory that this is a mentally fragile team, any stabilization of that is more than welcome.

And if Beltran were to get hurt before this season is done, well then it probably would have happened anyway. Better it happen now and the Mets can go into next season with that on the checklist than it happen in April of '10 and another season goes down the tubes.

So it was good to see Beltran back, if for that only. But Beltran being back also brought back a small thing that's been missing in my life. You see, I have a little vocal tick whenever a Met hits a high fly ball. It's a quick little "get up". I used to yell "get out", but multiple people took it the wrong way, so "get out" turned to "get up." And I realized when Beltran was up with the sacks full in the seventh that I can't remember the last time I yelled "get up". I never even realized that I don't even yell "get up" anymore. I mean sure, the Mets have hit a few home runs but not many ... and not in any situations that would call for a primal yell. Then Beltran hit one near the wall ...

"GET UP!!!"

Nope, didn't work. But it was nice to get a whiff of June in a dreary September. And that's why Carlos Beltran makes a difference.


Tuesday showed why the SNY announce team of Gary, Keith, and Ron, are the best in the business. When the ten-year-old announcer wasn't bringing out the best in them (not to mention the kid was pretty good too. He even has the sarcasm thing down: "The Mets finally get a hit". I like him already), they were talking about Keith's fondness for manicures landing him a reality show on Bravo.

And yet ... and forgive me for sounding a touch blasphemous, a part of me enjoyed the "silent sixth", where there were no announcers in the booth. For someone like me who doesn't get to go to as many games as he used to, it was nice to feel like I was there. Even the loon who screamed "Leeeeeeeeeeeeet's goooooooooooooooo Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar-liiiiiiiiiiiiiiins" amused me. A little bit of the experience of being in the ballgame never hurts. I only wish that I knew about this sooner ... I would have had a non-working escalator installed in the house so I could really feel like I was in the park.

(Editor's note: no truth to the rumor that the announcers weren't in the booth for an inning because they were all in for major surgery.)

And now tomorrow is going to be just Keith and Ron in the booth? Something tells me that the game they did alone in the spring is going to be a mere warm-up to the lunacy you'll see and hear tomorrow. Get your Tootsie Pops ready ... and watch what happens.


And P.S., sometime after the game I make my weekly appearance on SportsTalkNY Live to talk Mets (the entire show is between 9:00-11:00) ... but this isn't going to be just any appearance. No, this will be an appearance where I will make a special announcement (pig latin for "plugging a personal appearance"), so be sure not to miss it.

Monday, September 07, 2009

The Metseidon Adventure

The Mets' 4-2 victory over the Cubs was marred by yet another incident of another incident involving another water leak that turned into a tidal wave in the locker room. John Maine, who made his return to the clubhouse recently from injury, never had a chance.

Maine, unfortunately, drowned as a result of the latest mishap. He's day to day. The damage to the state of the art locker room will be around a little longer.

Oh, and that mold that grew in Jerry Seinfeld's suite? Yeah, it got a little out of control during the Cubs series.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Our Sun Be Sinking

It's meaningless late September losses to the Cubs that make me opine for the days of Craig Brazell.

Sad, isn't it?

Brazell was the guy who basically knocked the Cubs out of the playoffs in 2004 with his one and only major league home run. The Mets could have used him in the ninth inning today, as they went down to the Cubs 5-3 on Saturday. With the Cubs basically out of it, it wouldn't have been much fun to beat them anyway. But I still wonder about Brazell who, had he been given the chance, probably would have led the Mets in home runs this season. Then maybe it would have been called "Craig's Corner", and not "Utley's Corner".

Don't believe me? Brazell currently plays for the Hanshin Tigers in Japan, and earlier this week he had three home runs in two games, including two in one inning. (And yes, as much as Met fans have been crying through tissues this season, there actually exists a "Kleenex Stadium" in Japan. How unfortunately appropriate a sponsor that might have been for our house.)

Yeah, you remember Japan, right? It's where Derrek Lee's two home runs landed.

Alas, Brazell and his Quadruple A bat are a half a world away. In return is the young man you see above: Taiki Kawasaki ... step one in the restocking of the farm system. He's seventeen years old, has a high 80's fastball, and was trained at a school run by Julio Franco. Throw in Jesus Flores, a car dealership, and a poster of Orlando Hernandez and you have one hell of a joke you can tell to your friends. You just have to write it yourself.

Step two in the restocking of the farm system is a young man named Eddie Lora, the supposed completion of the Billy Wagner trade which was supposed to bring back two players, but because the Yankees put in a waiver claim on Chris Carter, now only brings back Lora. So Brian Cashman, in an effort to annoy the Red Sox, probably got them a bit more cash or perhaps another player since now Carter may have to come here in a second trade ... at least that's how it reads to me.

Everything's coming up roses, as always.

Friday, September 04, 2009

On Golden Parn

"Doesn't he remind you of Henry Fonda? If Henry Fonda was a pitcher, that's how he would talk" -Bob Ojeda, on Bobby Parnell's postgame comments regarding getting out of a seventh inning jam
You know, I was about to go into a whole rant about why Snoop Manuel would bother to tell us that Parnell would still be in the starting rotation "for now" despite his struggles ... that pulling him in favor of, say, Jose Lima would have prevented Parnell to experience the fruits of his education, getting out of a bases loaded nobody out jam in the 7th inning en route to a 6-2 win, the Mets' second straight victory.

But after that comment by Ojeda, I'm not going to do it. Because I give up. I can't say or think of anything more bizarre, tangential, and maniacally brilliant than that. Well played, Bobby O. You win this round.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Role Reversal

I've been on that other side, Rockies fans. Really ... I have. Because last season Jason Marquis was the fifth starter playing for the team that had nothing to play for, and he hit a grand slam and helped put a nail in the Mets coffin.

Now, Jason Marquis is the ace. And he's playing for the team that actually has something to play for. I wonder how much Rockie fans will rue the day they lost to fifth starter Pat Misch (who am I kidding, we have five fifth starters.) While Misch didn't hit a grand slam, he did shut down the Colorado lineup well enough for his first major league win in his 55th major league game. David Wright's three RBI without the space helmet didn't hurt either.

I wish we could really get a gauge as to how this latest embarrassment of pitching riches is going to affect the Mets thinking in terms of the rotation for next season. Has Misch or even Tim Redding proven enough to be considered for employment in 2010? I hope that nobody is fooled into thinking that bringing these guys back and giving them starting slots is an acceptable way to save money next year. But Misch is young enough, shown enough, and has just enough upside (not Scott Kazmir upside, but y'know ... Jason Marquis upside) to be considered to have some sort of role next season. But everybody needs to be a little careful.

But who knows. Heck, Misch may have to be the number two starter at some point next season. Why? Because one day, Mike Pelfrey's going to go for another run in the parking lot after a bad start and not come back ... ever!

And when Pelfrey was running around the parking lot, he passed by Kris and Anna Benson having "relations".

Speaking of 2010, we also saw Josh Thole today catch his first major league game and get a couple of hits in the process. Here's hoping, within reason because he's a catcher, that he gets enough playing time to get his feet truly wet at the major league level. And conversely that the Mets don't fall under the trap of giving Brian Schneider the bulk of the playing time because the Mets want to sell tickets.

Although they may need to sell extra tickets to help Jerry Koosman get out of debt with the IRS. Boy, not even the 1969 team gets through this season unscathed. Tax evasion? What's next, Tom Seaver gets two years for smuggling wine to Italy?

Purple Thong

Even the former Yankees resurface to laugh at us

What's that? A quality start from Tim Redding? Someone call the cops and block off the street it's party time!

Oh, never mind. The last block party we had included a pinata. And the Mets' lineup couldn't hit that anyway.

Jason Giambi could sure hit that pinata pretty well, can't he? Scared to death of another bases loaded walk in the eighth inning, Brian Stokes threw a pinata to Giambi with the first pitch in a tie game and Giambi, obviously wearing the infamous golden thong, smoked it into center field for another Mets loss.

The two most notable things to come out of this night are Carlos Beltran's rehab stint, a 1-for-3 outing in Brooklyn, where he'll play the field on Thursday. Beltran's rehabilitation is already ahead of Moises Alou's, who tried to come back in Binghamton and lasted about an inning. So this is good news.

The other news coming out of Wednesday is David Wright going from the one flap child tracker to the two flap model while pinch hitting, making him look more like the Great Gazoo than ever. But it was the extra precaution that concerned me. You see, the Mets are making every effort to ensure that Wright has no more problems, and the protective gear will not be limited to the batters box:

That's right, the Hospital for Special Surgery has recommended the Elizabethan Collar for Wright, making sure that he won't suffer another concussion, or lick near the spot where he's been fixed. He'll be wearing it the rest of the season, in the field, the dugout, and at autograph sessions:

Here, kitty kitty kitty.