Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Life Imitating Life Imitating Art

"The Duke led the league in hit batsmen...he even threw at his own kid in a father-son game!" -Harry Doyle, from "Major League"

What was once a concept thought so far out of the realm that it could be written as a punch line for a movie about the Cleveland Indians, is now reality. Everyone's favorite psychopath pitched batting practice to Astros minor leaguers this morning in Kissimmee. One of those minor leaguers hit a home run off of said psychopath. Now we all know what happens when somebody has success off of Roger Clemens.

And sure enough, Clemens got revenge, brushing back the latest who dared go deep off him...his son.

His own son.

At least Roger Clemens is consistant...and yes, he loves his children. (Didn't John Wayne Gacy love kids too?) He loves his children so much he started all of their names with the same initial as his most famous baseball accomplishment, the K. How sweet.

Maybe their initials should have been H.B.P.


On a side note, Victor Zambrano has named his kids using the same principle as Clemens did. His kids' names are Billy Bob, Bobby Brian, Barney Brent, Brian Ben, and Borden Bond. (He also has a girl named Barbara Bell Zambrano.)


Shawn Estes also threw BP to the Astros minor leaguers today, and missed Koby Clemens' hip by three feet.

Monday, February 27, 2006

The Anti-O

Very encouraging article in Sunday's Daily News, featuring Jose Reyes' willingness to speak English, his second language, in a media setting.

If you're looking for another reason to be excited about the future, read the article. Realize how difficult it is for somebody who doesn't speak English to not only learn the language, but speak it in public for the whole city to hear. Put yourself in Reyes' shoes for a second, and I'm not talking about getting one of those CD ROM's that teaches you how to say "Donde esta el bano?" I'm talking about learning another language well enough to not have to worry about having every syllable and every twist of the dialect and every hint of an accent judged by an entire population. Realize how scary it is for a latin player to pull that off. Notice how Reyes has not only pulled it off, but has done so with a smile as wide as a Mike Vanderjagt field goal attempt.

And then think back to Rey Ordonez learning the language, yet conveniently throwing out a "no hablo Ingles" after bad games (and most good ones). Legend has it at the end of a particularly brutal season, a reporter saw Ordonez leaving the stadium and asked him when he was going to learn to speak English, and Ordonez replied "maybe next season".

Then mastering the language in time to call Met fans stupid.

Now click your heels three times and tell yourself that there's no time like the present. Put the Rey-O days behind you and continue to make Jose Reyes one of your favorites.

"I can't use the word hate because it's too strong a word...but think of the greatest rivalries in sports. It's a little bit above that, and just short of hate." -Sweden forward Daniel Alfredsson, on the Sweden/Finland hockey rivalry.
Don't get me wrong, I'm pleased as punch that Ranger goalie Henrik Lundqvist is a gold medal winner as Sweden beat Finland this morning on the strength of Lundqvist's goaltending, 3-2. But there's a part of me that feels a little bit for Finland, who is that matchups version of the New York Mets while Sweden would the rivalry's version of the Yankees. Little brother trying to knock off big brother.

Sure, Finland has beaten Sweden in big spots before, the 1995 World Championships, and the 1998 Olympic quarters. Just like the Mets having beat the Yankees before in key regular season games and Mayor's Trophy games (that's right I brought up the Mayor's Trophy games...and I typed those words with a straight face thank you very much). But you don't get many chances to beat your "big brother" in an Olympic gold medal game...just like you don't get a lot of chances to beat the more successful franchise in your city in a World Series, as we all know. And now, Finland hockey fans will have to live with the scarlet letter of losing to big brother on a stage as grand as it gets for at least four years.

"And then you look down and you see Sweden celebrating the gold. It's hockey, it's sports, but it sucks." -Finn forward Saku Koivu
Don't I know it Saku...don't I know it.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Lineup By Shakespeare

To be, or not to be: that is the question...

'Tis nobler in the mind to bat Paul Lo Duca second?

As the potential lineups are tossed around and those smarter than me discuss, the first thought to my mind is..."not this again". We went through it all last season, and now the lineup question rages when there is an easy solution that exists. After a half a season of waiting for David Wright to hit fifth, now the question how to get Wright to hit third...of which the simple answer is to move Carlos Beltran to the two hole in the lineup.

But there seems to be a hesitance to put The Merchant of Houston, the man making $119 million in anything other than the third hole. And while I'm not necessarily against Paul Lo Duca (the correct spelling having a space between the LO and the DUCA, it was confirmed), there are many reasons to move Beltran up. The obvious reason is that Beltran has better stats in the two hole...but the key thing is to realize why this is. Beltran, to me, has been quiet with his bat in hostile situations...such as when he returned to Houston for the first time as a Met (prompting a gutless blogger to call him a scaredy cat). Now call me spoiled, but your number three hitter has to be your leader...someone who is willing to grab the rest of the team by the neck and spit in the face of hostility with a simple "f*** you!" That was Keith Hernandez. Carlos Beltran, personality wise, is no Keith Hernandez. And that precludes him from being a three hole hitter.

Is there a prototypical Keith Hernandez/alpha male type personality on the 2006 version of the Mets? Probably not, but Wright is quickly emerging as the face of the franchise...with the talent to match. And when you have a special talent like Wright emerging as the corner stone of your club, not to mention its best hitter during 2005, you let him grow. And I believe in giving employees a chance to grow based on performance in all walks of life, not just baseball. So why not David Wright in the three hole?

And there is another thing at play here. If Willie sets the front half of the lineup as Reyes, Lo Duca, Beltran, Delgado, and Wright, do you risk alienating Cliff Floyd this season by batting him sixth? Yes, Floyd has responded to adversity positively in his Met career...channeling his energy into baseball, and not into sulking, which he easily could have done after last off-season's trade rumors. Now while I don't think the Mets dangled him for Sammy Sosa (talk about the best deals being the ones you don't make) to motivate him, they're very lucky that Floyd responded with, in his word, fury. So instead of cracking the whip again and risking a "lame duck" type response from Floyd who very well might be entering his last season in Queens, it's time to dangle the carrot and keep Floyd in the five hole instead of dropping him two slots to six. (It's one thing to drop him behind Carlos Delgado, it's another thing to drop him behind Paul Lo Duca). It's time to reward him for playing the last half of 2003 on one leg, and reward him for being as close as any Met to being the rock of the team in '05. And it's time to cut Floyd some slack after trading his close friend Mike Cameron.

The fault lies not in our stars, but in our lineup cards. But will the fault ultimately lie with Willie Randolph?

Friday, February 24, 2006

Kaz Takes Billy To Swanee River

The interesting development (at least for me) out of today's spring training outing was that Billy Wagner only gave up a couple of hits during his simulated BP session today. However, both hits were long home runs to one Kazuo Matsui (seen here considering a career change at the NFL combine).

Country Time noted afterwards that he is historically horrible in spring training...which is basically another way of saying that when Kaz is exiled to another team and has to face Wagner with a regular season game on the line, Kazuo has no shot.

Now if Wagner is historically horrible in spring training, and this World Baseball Uniform Sale/Tournament (WBUST) takes place during spring training, well now gee that would tell me to put my money on the Netherlands Antilles. Which is fine because I don't want Billy Wagner saving games for Jeter, Damon, Clemens, and this guy anyway. I'd rather he save his saves for April-October.

And why should it take a 36 year old bottle blonde to light a fire under Kaz Matsui? Noooooooow he wants to jack dingers off of a 95+ lefty fastball. Oh no Kaz, it's been too long and we're on to your wicked plot. Because you can name all the popular songs you want when you're up in the apartment at 3 in the morning and Mrs. Manicotti is prepping you...when the chips are down and it's time for the big show, the only answer Kaz Matsui will provide is "hamina hamina hamina...uuuuuh, Ed Norton?"

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Calm Before The Storm

It's day seven of spring training, and Pedro's toe hasn't exploded on impact thus far.

Rickey Henderson hasn't taught Jose Reyes to refer to himself in the third person yet.

Victor Zambrano hasn't sent a crowd of people scattering with an errant pitch so far.

Carlos Delgado hasn't made a guest appearance on "Larry King Live" to discuss his thoughts on Vieques and "God Bless America" in the past week.

It's quiet...too quiet. And that's a great thing.

The Mets have had a loud off-season with all of their acquisitions. The best way to match a loud off-season is with a quiet spring training. There's an old saying about three possible things that happen when you throw a pass in the NFL...and two of them are bad. Well I feel that way about spring training. Most things that can happen in spring training are bad. Mookie getting hit in the eye during a rundown. Fights on picture day. Rape allegations.

Meanwhile, the most notable thing to happen during this spring is the shocking revelation that Paul LoDuca is willing to carry boxes for rookies. Not exactly the kind of stuff that's going to end up in "Inside Edition".

Of course, the spectre of disaster always looms...after all, these are the Mets we're talking about. There is the toe. There is Rickey. There is Victor. There is the World Baseball Tournament threatening to pull a ligament or shatter a femur or rotate a cuff. And will Jose Lima be a problem in the clubhouse because MLB denied his request to wear number 42?


Speaking of disaster, I've figured it out. Have you ever seen the commercial where the boss comes in to some poor schlub's office and fires him...but he doesn't leave because his cereal is crunching so loud he can't hear him? And before you know it, this guy is getting his own corner office, a raise, and is the employee of the month...all after he was banished from his place of work?

Or maybe you've seen the episode of Seinfeld where George Costanza gets fired on Friday, but he shows up to work on Monday and hopes nobody notices.

Now you understand how Dae Sung Sisk actually got to return to the Mets this spring.

Well I can't think of a better explanation than that.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Perhaps Bill Buckner Can Leave His House Now...

It's sad to attach a scathing commentary to a young, fresh faced, 20 year old woman...a baby, if you will.

But for Lindsey Jacobellis, I quote Robert DeNiro in "Cop Land":

For those not watching the 2006 Winter Olympiad from Turin, Italy (and judging by the ratings, you're all watching American Idol anyway), Lindsey Jacobellis, competing in "Snowboard Cross", which has been called NASCAR on Snowboards, was leading the final race by about a mile, when she decided on the last jump to perform a little twisty move and grab her board...a move equivalent to the Leon Lett showboat in Super Bowl XXVII which cost him a touchdown...except that Jacobellis fell before the finish line, and was passed by a Swiss racer and Jacobellis had to settle for a silver medal.

Lindsey may very well turn out to be the sympathetic figure of Turin, but she'll get no sympathy from me. Lindsey, you're a dope!

You blew it!

Jacobellis will be compared to Lett, Buckner, Fred Merkle, and the like. But this is much, much worse.

She's the Rickey Henderson of snowboarding.

Now Rickey never lost anything more than a base with his hot dogging after an apparent home run, or my favorite: the "snatch catch" in left field. But take Rickey Henderson...put him in the World Series, load the bases with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, add a routine fly ball to Henderson, with a dash of snatch catch. Now imagine, as I frequently have, the ball squirting out of Rickey's glove at that very moment.

You have Lindsey Jacobellis.

And I don't want to hear this garbage about "oh, but it's the snowboarding culture to be a showman and to put a little flair in your routine."

Stop it!

The sad part is that people like Jacobellis and this Bode Miller character, will probably have fame beyond their wildest dreams because they have rocks in their heads...while the home folks that do win medals will be forgotten about three seconds after you hear their names during SportsCenter or read about them in the paper.

The sadder part is that Rickey Henderson is a Mets coach in 2006...and he's probably waiting to teach Jose Reyes that "snatch catch" so he can be poisoned into being the next Jacobellis during the 2006 World Series. Maybe then, Lindsey can leave her house again.

For now though, we'll have to settle for the emergence of Buckner from his front door...for the sports world has a new champion of chump.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Metstradamus' Salute To Baseball

I have to be honest here...in the effort of full disclosure. I never heard of Jonathan Schwartz. Never heard of the word raconteur. I was horrid at French in junior high. Never listened to WNYC FM. Sports junkie? Yes. Renaissance man? Not on your life.

But when I heard that Schwartz's annual Salute To Baseball was preempted this year, something moved me. Many things change...too many things if you ask me. And they change too fast. People deserve their old standards wherever they can get them.

So today, as the sun rises in Port St. Lucie and the equiptment boxes are broken open, and the intermittent pops of catchers mitts replaces the silence of an otherwise sleepy town, I salute baseball.

I salute cheap tickets to spring training games in the warm tundra of Florida. I salute easy access to major league stars on small fields...although certain teams can stand to make life a little easier for the paying customers.

I salute high numbers worn by prospective major leagues with no names on the back. For every Dwight Gooden worn 64, there is a 76 worn by David Lamb.

I salute the silliness of spring training. I salute the fans who sat down the right field line during a 1986 spring game who, en masse, waved white towels after noted contact hitter Bruce Berenyi slapped three foul balls in succession at the same area of the stands.

I salute Rick Dempsey dressing up as Babe Ruth during a rain delay and sliding across the tarp. I salute the three Chicago Cubs, Jody Davis being one, who did the same thing, even thought they knew that Cub management frowned upon it. I salute Robin Ventura, who pulled the same act in Mike Piazza's jersey with a penciled in mustache.

I salute Rickey Henderson. Dammit, that senior citizen isn't going to give up, is he? Would you give up if a contemporary of yours was still active?

I salute ushers. Well...I salute the usher that spent the first inning and a half of the Phillies/Mets game on May 5th telling me about some goaltender in Sweden and how he was about to set the hockey world on fire (you might have heard of Henrik Lundqvist). And I salute the usher that told the first usher that he talks too much...then had his own conversation with me in the seventh inning.

I salute the schedule maker. Who else but the author of the 2006 major league baseball schedule would have the conviction to schedule the Rockies at home in early April...in Denver...where it's cold...outdoors. Weathermen rarely get forecasts right for the following week. But lucky for baseball, they have a schedule maker that can forecast the weather months in advance. For that, this soothsayer salutes you.

I salute grapefruits. I don't eat them, but I salute the big acid juice sphere. Did you know: Grapefruits can have a negative effect on medication and the Seville orange may interact the same way with some medicines. So if you are taking medicines replace these fruits by other citrus. Clementines for instance.

I salute the hidden ball trick. Did you know that there are 231 known successful executions of the hidden ball trick? (234 if you count my softball career at first base...had it nailed down pat.)

I salute catchers. I tried to catch a full game a few years ago (because nobody else wanted to do it), and realized what a hard job it is. Your knees take a beating, your back gets wrenched, you have to deal with flaky pitchers, and not to mention those collisions at the plate. (P.S. I struck out twice. Lefty pitcher...nasty stuff.)

I salute the tweeners. We muse a lot about the Mets we love. We muse a lot more about the ones we hate. But how about the ones that might not command universal love, but stick in our conscious like a sesame seed to our teeth? Dave Magadan? Hubie Brooks? Gary Rajsich? John Pacella? Rico Brogna? Steve Henderson? Shawon Dunston? Lance Johnson? I salute them and those like them.

I salute whoever played the 1986 "Let's Go Mets" video on the Diamondvision last season. I felt old, yet I felt warm and fuzzy. Thank you.

I salute Gary Cohen. The pantheon of Mets announcers is exclusive: Kiner, Murphy, and Nelson are the only members. In fact, it's hard to start out as an announcer in this day and age to be synonymous with one franchise. But Gary Cohen, with his promotion to full time TV duty, is well on his way. And while most mourn the loss of Cohen on the radio, it's a move I completely endorse and welcome (not to mention salute). And while we're at it, I salute Howie Rose...for not only being a solid announcer, but being a solid announcer for a team he lived and died with growing up.

I salute baseball cards.

Even this one. (Does anyone remember that he once played the game?)

I salute Leo Mazzone. Finally, he leaves. (Can you salute someone and wish good riddance at the same time?)

I salute the left field picnic area, Eutaw street, the sausage and peppers stand on the other side of the green monster, the apple, Alice Cooper's restaurant, Keyspan Park, ivy covered walls, McCovey Cove, the fountains in Kansas City, the swimming pool in Arizona, the exploding scoreboard, and the Crawford boxes.

I salute Scully, Harwell, Hamilton, Brennaman, Castiglione (the elder), Miller, and the rest of the voices that teach us about the game, tell the tales of yesteryear as if it was happening before our eyes, and put the emotion of the fan into the words we wish we were smart enough to say.

I salute the bloggers. Because before blogging, there were so many smart, talented people who deserved a platform to be a voice of the game (and somehow, a dumb guy snuck in to the smart, talented group).

But most of all, I salute the game. Though it's run by a borderline buffoon, its most hallowed records are being challenged by a curmudgeon, its poster boy is a cyborg, its threatened by designer drugs, its signature franchise cheats, its parks are as small as my shoeboxes, it comes up with the dumbest, most dangerous ideas, it loses mascots to other sports, and it might have been the indirect cause of the gathering of the worst group of people ever on the face of the earth, the game is self correcting. And the moments that make us smile make the other stuff bearable.

Hopefully, another of those moments come during the odyssey that starts today.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

My Brother The Recruiter

I have an autographed hat on my wall unit. My brother got if for me during a trip to the spacious Comerica Caverns of Detroit. After professing his love for the then-Detroit Tiger who signed the hat (okay, he told him he was a fan, but professing love is a more powerful adjective), he put his recruiting skills in motion:

"Hey you should come play for the Mets one day!"
The player laughed, but my brother was subsequently shooed away by security.

It took a few years, but the seed that my brother planted years ago has finally beared fruit, as indeed, Jose Lima is a New York Met. It's not exactly Omar Minaya flying to the Dominican Republic to break bread with Pedro Martinez, but hey...it takes a village, right?

So let's break this down okay? The first thing you have to know is that on the field, Jose Lima is a looney toon. Now that's not necessarily a bad thing...but he's a nut. He sings, he dances, and he screams bloody murder into his glove. Now sometimes, he screams into his glove because outfielders make errors. And sometimes, he has been known to scream at his outfielders in full view. Now, if Lima were to do that to, say Cliff Floyd, then Lima might wind up on the DL because Cliffy, on a good day, will stuff the looney toon into a locker...and not one of those spacious corner lockers either. So Lima better watch his step, because emotion can sink him to depths lower than low.

You should also know that the last time Lima sniffed the playoffs, he pitched a wondrous, emotional, complete game against the eventual NL champion Cardinals. And that is the positive side of emotion. If Jose Lima has his stuff, emotion will lift him to the highest of highs...kind of like when you eat nothing but chocolate covered potato chips and drink a Coke Zero per hour and you feel like you want to use your walls as big giant trampolines. That's Jose Lima.

But here's the other thing you should know: There is a definite message being sent to Victor Zambrano...and even though this was Valentine's Day, this message was not attached to a dozen roses. The message is that Victor Zambrano is not thought highly of in these parts.

Think about it...Kris Benson and Jae Seo get traded because they have some value...so that would seem to cement Zambrano in the rotation, right? Well, I submit to you that the only reason Zambrano isn't gone instead is because he has no value. And now, even though he has won a starting rotation spot by default, Minaya is still willing to bring in a thirty-three year old singing, dancing looney toon picked up off of the scrap heap known as the Kansas City Royals to push for that 5th spot. Now you tell me how Victor Zambrano is supposed to feel? Here's a guy once traded for Scott Kazmir...now it's understood that Jose Lima is a better option to pitch in the rotation than Victor.

What have I forgotten, oh yeah, Lima allegedly infected a woman with herpes while never telling the woman he had it. He is otherwise a pillar in the community (he was a candidate for the Roberto Clemente award), and his wife is an internet sensation. Melissa Lima will take over the roster spot once occupied by Anna Benson, hopefully sans political commentary and unsolicited baseball advice.

So what does it all mean in the end?

It means Victor Zambrano should hold off on his local real estate search, I have a Met autograph, and Omar Minaya owes my brother a finders fee.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Ellis Day

Some choose not to celebrate what February 14th represents.

Some have too many memories of broken promises and heart wrenching disappointments.

And thus a holiday was born: Valentine's Day.

Because what better icon to represent broken hearts and failed relationships than Ellis Valentine, who broke hearts and failed in his relationship with the New York Mets in 1981 and 1982?

You sacrifice and sacrifice and sacrifice, and get nothing in return. And that is Valentine's Day in a nutshell. Did you know that Ellis led the Mets with seven sacrifice flies in 1982? Ah, good times.

But believe it or not, Valentine's Day can also represent love. And Ellis Valentine loves kids.

So when you sit at home alone on this Valentine's Day, know that Ellis is there for you. Ellis loves you.

Happy Ellis Day.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Thanks For The Memories

So Captain Corporate has taken out a full page ad in the Boston Globe, thanking the city of Boston for his time there...probably in an effort to not have various projectiles thrown at him when he returns to Fenway.

Well for the second time in a week, a former Red Sock has thanked his former team's fans in a full page newspaper advertisement. You might remember him:

Mientkiewicz will not be returning to Shea in 2006 (that is until he's traded to the Braves to provide defensive stability after the Royals realize that signing marginal veterans are completely useless...and Mientkiewicz gets big hits against the Mets to knock them out of the playoff chase.)

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Is It A Coincidence?

We've recently witnessed what people have called the shadiest umpiring ever in a post-season.

Now, just months after that, we have questions about the refereeing in the Super Bowl.

And as we look for someone to blame, a scapegoat falls right in our lap:

Rick Tocchet.

Oh yeah, I went there. Like you weren't thinking it.

What else can we blame Tocchet for?

(Disclaimer: The jokes of the author in no way are meant to defame the reputation of the fine umpires and referees of MLB and the NFL, respectively. Nor are they meant to defame Mo Vaughn's cholesterol level, Rick Tocchet's alleged mob ties, and Erick Aybar's head. The author of this blog entry, and all blog entries, is a jackass. In the absence of Manny Ramirez trade rumors, Omar Minaya racial allegations, Pedro Martinez x-rays, winter league baseball, marijuana pipelines, Guillermo Mota beanballs, new Shea Stadium blueprints, Carlos Beltran grounders to second base, Braden Looper blown saves, and general obnoxiousness by members of Yankee biased media, the author feels that he must resort to cheap jokes about fixing the World Series and the Super Bowl...which obviously is not true...to keep his hit counter ticking. Umpires and referees are upstanding, hard working people who try their very best day in and day out. In addition, all jokes referring to Roberto Alomar are intentional. Any similarities between Roberto Alomar and a hall of famer are purely coincidental.)

Saturday, February 04, 2006

A Bowl By Any Other Name Still Holds Dip

I remember when the Super Bowl was about the Super Bowl. No need to attach sidebars or kickers or all of the other goofiness that comes along with it. You had Joe Montana. You had Emmitt Smith. You had Joe Greene. You had the Bills losing. What more could you want?

Now though, the single most watched sporting event in the world is more about the commercials (which have gotten lamer every year), the parties (which I can't get in), and the storylines than about the actual game. People seem to think that we as a society need Joey Porter vs. Jerramy Stevens to be able to enjoy the biggest game of the year. Heck even the oddsmakers, who are incredible for the most part when it comes to setting the betting line, have been seduced by the whole "Jerome Bettis winning his final game in his hometown" romance novel, and have made the Steelers a 4 point favorite. You can't help but think that if the number one seeded team that had the league MVP wore Steelers uniforms, they would be a gazillion point favorite.

Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy the Super Bowl. I just wish it wasn't so antiseptic. I remember last year's game down the stretch, and there was no buzz in the crowd. None. And that's due in no small part to the fact that ticket prices (which are wither $600 or $700 face value this year) price out the real fan, and the stadium is filled with corporate sponsors with no dog in the fight. And for a championship game, that shouldn't be.

I've been to a World Series game. I've been to Stanley Cup finals games. There was buzz and electricity at both events. But it seems to me that the only buzz and electricity around the Super Bowl these days are for everything except the game. And people think I'm nuts when I say this, but I have no desire to ever go to a Super Bowl game unless my team was playing in it. I would attend a World Series or Stanley Cup if there were two teams that I don't have a stake in. But a Super Bowl? I can safely say that I will never attend a Super Bowl in my life unless the Jets are actively participating in it.

That means I will probably never be in attendance for a Super Bowl.

Maybe Jason is right. Maybe the Super Bowl is nothing more than a benchmark to let baseball fans know that there's only a couple more weeks until spring training. One of the best contests I ever saw was on Major League Baseball's website a couple of years ago, where if you were spotted at the Super Bowl wearing a baseball cap, you won a prize like free tickets to opening day or something like that. It was brilliant.

So with nothing better to do, and no further motivation out of me. Here's a look at who some more prominent Mets would be compared to if they were Super Bowl legends:

David Wright=Tom Brady: David Wright is the Mets' golden boy. Perfect teeth, perfect hair, the right attitude...if the Mets to go on to win multiple championships, David Wright will be the man that fans of other teams will absolutely loathe, because he too will have it all.

Jose Offerman=Garo Yepremian: Yepremian almost blew the Super Bowl for the '72 Dolphins with his ill fated attempt at a pass which was returned for a Redskin touchdown. Offerman's retreat to first base on a single to center field this past season puts him in Garo's league.

Pedro Martinez=Joe Namath: How could you not compare a man who guaranteed a Super Bowl victory over the heavily favored Baltimore Colts to a man who once mused that if Babe Ruth were alive he would drill him in his ass?

Tug McGraw=Jim McMahon: If Tugger was a football player, he would be McMahon. Really, couldn't you see McGraw moon a helicopter as McMahon did during Super Bowl week 20 years ago? Couldn't you see McMahon attempt to smoke astroturf?

Gil Hodges=Tom Landry: Like Hodges, Landry was the picture of calmness, giving off the perception that he really wasn't doing much...but you knew he had every facet of the game he was coaching under control.

Bobby Bonilla=Leon Lett: Bonilla never blew a big moment in a championship game, and he was never arrested on drug charges. Lett never threatened to show a reporter the Bronx, and he never wore cotton in his ears to drown out boos. But you know what, they're both fat, and they're both equated with the word "embarrassment".

Cliff Floyd=Mean Joe Greene: Greene had that look in his eye...that look that said "you're not scoring on us today". Greene's look was matched by his intensity. Floyd's disregard for his body belies his intensity. Now if we can only get him to trade me his jersey for a Coke.

Julio Franco=George Blanda: This one isn't hard to figure out. Blanda played twenty-six seasons, and didn't retire until he was 49 years old. (Blanda is 79 years old today.) Franco...is also 79 years old today.

Mike Piazza=Dan Marino: If Piazza had stayed in Flushing, and the Mets carried him to the title this season, he would have been John Elway, who won two titles to end his career after endless questions about why he couldn't win the big one. But with Piazza in San Diego, I fear that Piazza's fate will match Marino's...monster statistics, no rings.

Bobby Valentine=Barry Switzer: I was reminded of Valentine's impersonation of a batter trying to hit a pitch while high on pot. Combine that with his other notable soundbites and his fake mustaches, and what other Super Bowl coach could you compare him with than Barry Switzer, who was once busted at an airport with a hand gun?

Kris Benson=Kurt Warner: Well actually, it's more like: Anna Benson=Brenda Warner.

Gary Carter=Michael Strahan: One of Carter's nicknames was "Camera", as he was accused of never meeting a camera he didn't like. Strahan, who played in Super Bowl 35, doesn't have to be accused of that. Because evidence of Strahan being a media whore is well documented.

Rickey Henderson=Terrell Owens: The way Rickey was banished from the Mets (not running hard on a single off the wall), is eerily similar to the way T.O. is going to be banished from the Eagles (suspended indefinitely after dogging Donovan McNabb). Both hall of fame calibre talents who let selfishness get in the way.

Armando Benitez=Scott Norwood: "Wide Right"..."Game One", same difference.

Keith Hernandez=Mike Singletary: Both defensive captains for teams that won a very memorable championship, and both should have won more championships with those franchises, but for some reason, didn't. Singletary's crazy eyes match Hernandez's instruction to Jesse Orosco before his duel with Kevin Bass during game 6 of the '86 NLCS: "If you throw one fastball I'll kill you".

Darryl Strawberry=Neil O'Donnell: Strawberry had a habit of missing the cutoff man by landslide like margins. But at least Strawberry's throws weren't picked off by Larry Brown.

Butch Benton=Vince Ferragamo: Nobody remembers Ferragamo either.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Groundhog Day Update

I can report to you that on this Groundhog Day, Grant Roberts left his home and saw his shadow.

You know what that means...

That's right, six more weeks of probation!


Carlos Beltran defeated Carlos Delgado 8-6 in a home run hitting contest to benefit for the scholarship fund of the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy and High School.

Delgado however, has said that the results were skewered in favor of Beltran since he had the unfair advantage of having Danny Graves pitch to him.


Breaking News: Bobby Bonilla has just emerged from his home and seen his shadow. That means six more weeks of hitting on a hard seventeen.


Donovan McNabb was interviewed on ESPN last night. He said, among other things, that the Mets would have made the playoffs last season with Brett Favre.