Wednesday, August 23, 2006

What Up, Dawg!

August 22nd, 2006.

Mark it down as the day this dog got his swagger back.

Even with the Mets having won four in a row with an enormous lead in the N.L. east, everyone seemed to get their shovels out to bury the Mets when Tom Glavine was on his way to season ending blood clot surgery. But not only will Tommy be back sooner rather than later, and not only did Omar make the right play (what other play is there for Omar, really) in acquiring Shawn Green, but the Mets interrupted their methodical, quiet assault on the National League to return to the rollicking, historical, mind blowing way they won games earlier in the season.

Because there are some out there that needed a reminder of how this team butters its bread: a stingy bullpen, mixed with a lineup that isn't going to quit when down by say...six runs, with just a hint of late inning pixie dust.

Sure, Bangor Maine was off his game tonight. But he gave up seven runs to a decent team that did its homework on him after the first time through the lineup. He didn't walk the park home, and the main culprit was a guy named Pujols. Show me the shame.

But look who was there to bail him out, just as they've been all season long: the bullpen. Some of the names may was none other than Guillermo Mota, who used to be Public Enemy No. 1 at Shea depending on the wind shift at the time, who was the first to stop the bleeding...but the results are more or less the same. Whether it's Mota, Blueback, or Aaron Heilman, these guys more often than not get it done.

And then, the bats. Carlos Delgado must have had a heart to heart with Keith Hernandez on that train home from Philadelphia. Starting that day, he's been on fire with the bat and with the glove...scooping out various tweener hops from various infielders on various double plays. But that's not why Carlos was heisted from Florida. His power resume, which now stands at 400 home runs, is the reason. Four hundred was the ninth grannie of the year for the Mets and besides being an important retort to the Pujols grannie in the top of the fifth, it's interesting that it happened tonight...because SNY showed one of their montage commercials at the start of the telecast where they showed all eight grannies by the Mets this season, and ended the spot with the words: "When will number 9 come?" Thankfully, the New York City school system thought it important to teach us the concept of foreshadowing, or else I would never have put the two together.

And then, there's the other Carlos. Or should I say for Mets purposes: "Carlos: Original Recipe".

People are bound to ask if Beltran won the MVP award tonight. Of course, and I have to be honest here, such talk is foolish because...
  • It's August, and...
  • Albert Pujols, while not all by himself in his efforts, has little help in his lineup on most nights.
  • Meanwhile, the part of Beltran's resurgence that doesn't have to do with being healthy has plenty to do with Carlos Delgado hitting behind him...and that's not a knock on Carlos: Original Recipe, but a tip of the cap to Carlos: Extra Crispy.

But while a moment like this...a moment where Beltran brings the Mets from a run down to a run up with one swing of the bat...seemed impossible last season, its more than possible this season. It's moments like this, and not necessarily the gaudy statistics from post-season '04, that the Mets paid an exorbitant amount for.

Moments like that are valuable enough for me. And days like today are just as valuable.

Because the Mets will have Tommy back.

Carlos Delgado has his best friend back.

And our dog has its swagger back.

Woof, baby. Woof.


Anonymous said...

Woof indeed. Even the AL seems less scary now. Why does Green remind me of Kingman ... hopefully not his Ks.

Nice piece as always, bro.

Jaap said...

If only Lastings Milledge had been on that Amtrack train with Carlos...(or in the taxi with Duaner?)

Anonymous said...

Willie was quoted as saying that Green's "my rightfielder," but shouldn't Green be in left? Read an article on ESPN's site that Green's got no arm.

Toasty Joe said...

Green could play left, but not once Cliffy comes back.

Who's "Blueback"?

What makes Green a great move is that the Mets aren't relying on him to be the focal point of the offense. If they were, that would be a problem. He's just going to be another threat deep in the order, the same way Nady was.

Anonymous said...

MD - your hate list . . . explain.

Anonymous said...

Just figured out why Rusch is there. Don't worry MD, there'll be plenty of time for a magic number count down.

What will be the 2006 version of the magic number cartoon featuring Davey Johnson pulling a rabbit out of a hat - Willie in a tank above the Tower Bridge in London, ala David Blaine?

Anonymous said...

I'm back in the game.

You dumped your girlfriend?

Metstradamus said...

Toasty, "Blueback" is the name of a submarine. There's your hint.

Unser, August 23rd is the anniversary of a game that I wrote about in the sidebar. All on the hate list were involved in one way or another in that game (If you check that date last year you'll see the story that inolves Donne Wall).

Metstradamus said...

E-love, football picks? I hardly get baseball right. But I'll give it a whirl.

Anonymous said...

Is it just me, or does anyone else think that the Nady trade is at least partially to blame for Wright's slump?

Sure, it might be the Home Run Derby effect (see: Abreu in '05...but Ryan Howard seems to be doing fine, no?)...but right now, we have the likes of Chris Woodward batting behind him. Doesn't help things. I know Nady wasn't a huge game-changer or anything, but I think his impact is more noticeable in his absence.

Maybe that's where Green can give us a lift?