Monday, April 12, 2010

King Cranky

Johan Santana losses are like twice the size of a normal loss. That's the burden that Santana carries on this team, much like the burden that Henrik Lundqvist perpetually carries for the New York Rangers. As a goalie for a team that is scoring challenged, chances are that if King Henrik isn't spectacular, the Rangers lose. Unfortunately there are too many nights where King Henrik is spectacular, but the Rangers still lose. Sunday's winner take all for the playoffs, unfortunately, was a prime example.

For Johan Santana, it might be worse. At lease Lundqvist can start 85% of his team's games and win 35 games a year. If Johan could win 35 games a year maybe Met fans wouldn't worry so much. But he can't. And now that he's suffered a strange loss against the Washington Nationals, we know that we aren't going to see him again until Friday or Saturday. And coming off a loss heading into a series against a playoff team on the road and throwing John Maine, Jon Niese, and Mike Pelfrey at the Rockies, Sunday's loss hurts more.

Santana wasn't spectacular on Sunday. The surprise wasn't that Johan gave up a long ball, the surprise was the road to that homer, which was a triple to Nyjer Morgan and two walks. Santana is prone to the long ball early in the season, but usually they're solo shots. Though I suppose that if Felix Hernandez can hit a grand slam off Santana then Josh Willingham certainly can.

But when Santana isn't spectacular, and certainly when he shorts out in the first inning, it had to deflate the team. On the one hand, it could be correct to say that Santana could have had one of those Lundqvist games today where he was spectacular and they still would have lost because the Mets couldn't get a good shot at Livan Hernandez. But is it? Could Johan's freaky first have deflated the Mets to the point where the entire lineup pressed at the plate against Livan's slow pitch softball stuff?

And that brings me to another point, if Snoop Manuel was right in saying that the team was "unprepared" to hit Livan Hernandez, a guy that most of this lineup played with last season, then that's on Snoop and his coaches. If, however, Bob Ojeda was correct on the postgame show in saying that the Mets were in fact prepared but were simply pressing too much against Livan, who was clearly taking advantage of that, then that begs the following question: What the hell game is Snoop watching???

The Rangers?

And for the lack of a segue that works, let me say this: If Willie Harris wants to flatter himself and think that Frankie Rodriguez plunked him in the ninth inning because he made a game saving catch on Saturday, then let him do so. But if he's going to bark at Frankie for a pitch that hit his arm in an area that was just off the inner half, then he deserves whatever he gets.

Yes, I'm crawling back into "Baseball needs to be more like it was in the 80's" mode, so pay close attention: If I'm Frankie, I go one step further than simply saying "f**k you" to Harris a couple of times, and put one right in Nyjer Morgan's back after that. Willie wants to bitch and moan? Give him something to bitch and moan about. Now, I know what you're going to say: "Oh Metstradamus that's extreme! Nyjer Morgan didn't do anything!" Or: "What if Morgan charges the mound and Frankie hurts his arm?" Or: "What if the Nats retaliate and David Wright gets hit in the head again?" Valid points. I'm not Frankie Rodriguez. I don't have to be concerned with my long term health put in the hands of doctors who will probably have their recommendations squashed by ownership. All of your responses are logical, and I'm not.

But screw it. I'm sick and tired of players like Willie Harris thinking that they have latitude to hang over the plate and then be big mouths when they get hit because they're on the right side of the scoreboard. I'm tired of the "he dominated you, get over it" mentality. There are idiots on either side of the scoreboard. And maybe if Willie Harris sees Morgan take a fastball in the middle of the number one on his back, maybe he isn't going to be so quick to open his mouth when the moment doesn't call for it like Brian Bruney did (that Jacobs home run, couldn't have happened to a nicer guy ... Maybe the mere sight of Bruney was the thing that sparked Frankie to react the way he did.) What's the worst that can happen? Teams hate the Mets? Like that isn't already the case. Or Frankie Rodriguez gets suspended for the next three games? So what? Like he's going to get a save chance in Colorado anyway at this rate.

And yet, I also tire of trying to convince people that the Mets need to return to some vigilante justice just once in their lives. It's a losing battle. Everyone is everyone's friend these days, and everybody just wants to run their mouths instead of charging the mound or sending a message like Bob Gibson used to do because nobody wants to be fined. It's the way of the world and I'll just have to be happy with Frankie throwing a couple of f-bombs instead of a beanball and go on my merry, cranky way.


Anonymous said...

Ron Darling thinks the Mets pitchers should knock some guys down. Old school. Gotta do it to earn respect.

Hazeleyes said...

the occasional solid intentional beaning keeps order.

this sissy business about fines is annoying. One thing if you hit a guy in the head, another if you just wing him on the arm.

Oh those days of Bob Gibson, they seem so long, long ago. Surely he thinks today's players are sissy wimps.

Unser said...

I don't want to see Gary Matthews Jr. start another game for this team.

And your last paragraph is right on. Did you see Frenchy and D Wright laughing it up with Adam Dunn after he was thrown out at the plate? This is the guy that bowled over Barajas in the first, and on the team that was about take 2 of 3 from you at home. You'd think they could save the buddy-buddy stuff until after the game.

Great throw by Frenchy, by the way.

Caryn said...

It is interesting how the Phillies have replaced the Braves as the #1 on my personal hate list, followed by the Marlins.

But how much can the Mets hate the Marlins when Hanley Ramirez is Reyes' kids' godfather?

I was happy to see Jose run on the field during warmups, but not so happy at all the hugging going on out there.

And seriously? The Nationals are going to smack talk the METS? And even worse, that we're going to let them? At least Frankie and Johan are guys who will plunk someone when plunking is needed. I am not sure we have that in anyone else.

Joe Cook said...

Whole team should've just gotten into a brawl. So a bunch of guys might get suspended for a bit. We're not winning in Colorado, so what's the difference? (and even Nationals players could've obliged us just so they could get suspended for their second round of beatdowns against the Phillies (Did anyone notice when the announcers said the Phillies didn't have a single swing and miss against John Lannan on opening day?)

I'd be much more content if this year's reason for having a lineup of nobodys and minor leaguers was because our whole roster was suspended, rather than the usual plethora of injuries.
(On the subject of injuries, I love the fact that the Mets' lineup and current batter up on the scoreboard at Citi Field are sponsored by the Hospital for Special Surgery... very appropriate)

FeceMcGee said...

best pitcher in the NL east, huh? Well someone threw a CG in his 2nd start of the season and he wasn't wearing a Mets uniform

mistermet said...

This team makes me want to stick my head an oven. Heck, I think Jerry Manuel does that on his own. I cannot stand this guy...he thinks he's so philosophical but quite honestly, it is all bullshit bullshit and more bullshit coming out of his mouth and it is plain as the light of day that the guy does not have a clue. I really don't see what makes him a good major league manager. is it because he was a former player? i'm sorry but he doesn't manage well in-game, doesn't manage well pre-game and doesn't manage well post-game. Batting Jacobs anywhere near a big league stadium (let alone cleanup between Wright and Bay) is inexcusable and his reasoning-to split up the righties-makes 0 sense. you get your best hitters the most at bats...not AAA DH's. Frenchy is raking and he gets slotted below Jacobs. I really wish they would've gone with Carter. the guy is young and hungry and that youth is sometimes the needed spark, especially with a guy like Carter who's been blocked for so long.

and don't get me started on Matthews. what is Manuel's infatuation with the guy? Pagan should be starting, end of story.

all I can say is that we are 4 losses closer to the end of this regime. My words of wisdom...

root for the team but against the process.

Trash Man said...

Remember this date and time: June 1st 3am. That will probably be the Mets first window of opportunity to fire Jerry Manuel. It's the Mets first West Coast trip of the season in San Diego. I'm sure Jerry's got that date marked on his calendar. He's fortunate there's no West Coast trips before then.

Anonymous said...

You know it's a lost season when Keith Hernandez starts talking about what a wonderful job the umpires are doing