Monday, July 30, 2007

Looie Love

People will paint the Luis Castillo trade as the Mets responding to the Braves' trade for Mark Teixeira, and attempt at Octavio Dotel. And that's silly because I'm sure Omar Minaya was working on this long before those deals went down. It's not like Omar was watching ESPNEWS and saw that little box that said "Braves Trade For Teixeira Pending, Omar Had Better Get to Work", and all of a sudden brushed the cookie crumbs off of his Aquaman pajamas and rushed to the phone.

But knowing that the Braves were hot on the Tex trail meant the Mets had to do something...but they were going to do something anyway. And Castillo is just what they needed. I've wanted Castillo for years. Don't believe me? Comb through my blog. You will find plenty of evidence of my man crush on Castillo. I work with a Twins fan. When the Twins initially got Castillo, I cursed that guy out. He didn't deserve it, as it was a classic case of transference. But that's how much I wanted Luis Castillo.

Remember, this isn't merely an upgrade at second base. If it was solely about second base, then Ruben Gotay would hit eighth for the rest of our natural lives and we'd be finished. But this trade was about the two hole. Paul Lo Duca wasn't given a chance to be the regular two-hole hitter, and for the life of me I couldn't understand it. Lo Duca isn't the same hitter this season as he was last season, but in part I think it's because of his changed role in the lineup. Instead, Jose Reyes has had a revolving door behind him, and it's been no small coincidence that you would see Reyes stranded at third base every first inning. Castillo ends the revolving door once and for all, and once everybody gets healthy (I'm talking to you, Mr. Abdominal Strain), that lineup becomes as stable as the Rock of Gibraltar, or any old rock you want to name, for the first time since last season.

The move also strengthens the bench without trading for a bench guy, as Gotay provides versatility along with Damion Easley. And Jose Valentin can even play some outfield along with second base when he gets back. Anybody who thinks that these guys aren't going to play a big part with the Mets down the stretch just hasn't looked at the team's medical reports lately.

It may not be the last move the Mets make until tomorrow at 4PM (perhaps there's some bullpen help coming as Tampa's Al Reyes is a possibility), but it will probably be the biggest move the Mets make. And while it isn't as big as the Teixeira deal, it's big in that it may have just as much of a ripple effect on the Mets lineup as Tex will have on Atlanta's lineup. So game on.

A First For The Hall Of Hate

As announced on Sunday, exclusively on Free the Fan Radio, deceased sports columnist Dick Young and former Mets closer turned Cardinals starter Braden Looper are your two newest inductees into the Metstradamus Hall of Hate.

Here's how stupid I am...I failed to realize the irony of making the announcement on the same day as Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken were inducted into the actual Hall of Fame until the next day. But here's what wasn't lost on me: Young is the first ever member of both baseball's hall of fame (was recognized with the J.G. Taylor Spink award in 1978, where he was booed lustily by Met fans), and my hall of hate. There will be others one day, but there will only be one first one...and that is Dick Young. High honor if you ask me.

Of course, it was made possible by the efforts of Greg at Faith and Fear, who's well timed internet campaign brought Young from about 7-10 votes out of the second spot behind the All-Star Home Field Rule (which, I must admit, was really meant to be just a throw-in...if I knew it would get so much support, I wouldn't have played that card), to the top spot in a matter of 24 hours.

So don't forget to listen to the exclusive announcement here, which was followed by a very interesting blogging pageant which came down to the wire due in part to my very fair judging.

The Final Vote:

Dick Young 193
Braden Looper 180
The All-Star Home Field Rule 141

Albert Pujols 104
Joe Torre 77
Pete Rose 76
Mel Rojas 65
Jeff Torborg 55
John Thomson 54
Richie Hebner 34
Eddie Murray 29
Tony Fernandez 18

We're Losing Too Many Coaches

For those who missed it, Bill Robinson, the hitting coach for the 1986 Mets passed away unexpectedly yesterday at the age of 64. Robinson made famous the two fingered salute after base hits, which Howard Johnson uses today in tribute. He also went after Rick Rhoden during that '86 season for scuffing baseballs (what a team that was...even the coaches fought!) But Robby was a damn fine hitting coach who was also the hitting coach for the '03 Marlins. His association with those two World Championship teams (along with being on the 1979 "We Are Family" Pirates, the first World Series I ever watched on television) was no accident.

Bill Robinson can now give Vern Hoscheit the two fingered salute in heaven. R.I.P.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

I'll Have A Side Order Of Life With My Angel Of Death

It's weird to be typing about Saturday at the same time that a game is happening on Sunday. But I've been like a school delinquent lately. Late to the night game on Saturday night (didn't show up until the third inning), then when it came time to come home and do my homework, I zonked out. I was almost hoping that the impending thunderstorms would wipe today out, which would have been the equivalent of the professor not showing up, giving me an extra few hours to do my homework, but alas no. So here I am in the fifth inning of Sunday's good news, frantically doing my homework assignment from Saturday.

Mike Pelfrey and I aren't compatible. My first Pelfrey start in 2007 was the Milwaukee debacle, so it wasn't like I was anxious to watch him pitch. Maybe...subconsciously...I wanted to show up to Shea late, which would have been the equivalent of Curt Schilling on the bench during the 1993 World Series covering his eyes every time Mitch Williams pitched.

No, he waited for my arrival to make a 1-0 game into a 3-0 game. I guess he showed angel of death.

But on the heels of Saturday's daytime victory, Saturday night's game was nothing if not entertaining, and probably a bit baffling for the Elias Sports crew, trying to figure out if Saturday night's game was the first time that three-fifths of a starting rotation made appearances in the same game, and if it was the first time that a Duke pinch ran for a Duke.

When Pelfrey was brought up between games of the doubleheader for Anderson Hernandez, we knew deep down that a scenario in which Tom Glavine would pinch hit in the ninth inning could happen. But I'm not going to put myself in the camp of blaming Willie Randolph for that. When Paul Lo Duca hurt his hammy, Castro was on deck to pinch hit. But the injury necessitated Castro to go in for Lo Duca. So instead of making a double switch which would have put the pitchers spot up seventh (you would have needed a pinch hitter there anyway), that's when Hernandez ran for Lo Duca, and Marlon Anderson pinch hit. Either way, both players would have been burned. The only issue that I have with that is that it probably would have been better served to let Castro pinch hit against the lefty Ray King, and then burn Marlon Anderson in the eighth against righty Jon Rauch. And perhaps you could argue that Damion Easley was burned too soon. But that's splitting hairs.

It does, however, underscore a need for a stronger bench, and perhaps Omar Minaya is thinking about somebody like Jeff Conine to come in at little cost to him. Conine would be a great addition to the bench and would come highly endorsed by me, despite having a nickname of "Mr. Marlin", which would just be weird. But I'll throw another name at you. He's out there, but nobody has talked about his potential arrival at Shea Stadium. Ready?

How about Mike Piazza?

Look, I'm not a big fan of making moves out of sentimentality. Show me a general manager who's making moves for the sake of tugging at a few heartstrings and I'll show you either a team that's in fourth place, or a general manager who should probably be fired. Sure, Piazza wearing a Met uniform again would have sentimental value. But with Willie Randolph liking three catchers on the roster, and with the bench requiring some pop (and especially if Lo Duca's hamstring injury lingers a little longer than desired), trading for Mike Piazza would also be a solid baseball move. And as long as Oakland wants to get rid of him, and as long as it's for a cheap price, why not? Mike can pinch hit with ferocity, catch a couple of times a week, even play first base against a tough lefthan...

I'm kidding Mike, I'm kidding. Put down the bat.

With Piazza in the fold, you avoid a situation like you had on Saturday night where Glavine was part of the triad that went down meekly against Chad Cordero (hey, let's trade for that guy too, it'll be fun!) And the electricity you bring to the park during a key late inning at-bat just may be enough to rattle an opposing pitcher. Will it happen? We'll find out soon enough as Monday is an off day, and you know that inactivity is the devil's handiwork. So Omar isn't going to get any sleep from here to there.

Hold your collective breaths, ladies and gentlemen.

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Sighting Of A Mythic Figure

Moises is a figure in North American folklore said to inhabit remote ballparks, mainly in the United States and the Canadian province of Quebec. Moises is one of the more famous examples of cryptoballogy, a subject that mainstream researchers tend to dismiss as pseudoscience because of unreliable eyewitness accounts and a lack of solid physical evidence. Most experts on the matter consider the Moises legend to be a combination of folklore and hoaxes, but there are a number of authors and researchers who do believe that the stories could be true.

According to most accounts, Moises is a powerfully built left fielder creature between 5 and 7 feet tall, and covered on top of his head in dark brown hair. The head seems to sit directly on the shoulders, with no apparent healthy muscles. Alleged witnesses have described a number 18, a .318 batting average in 2007, and a large tendency to hit left handed pitchers; Moises has been said to have a .330 lifetime average against lefties.

Moises is one of the more famous creatures in cryptoballogy. But mainstream scientists generally dismiss the phenomena due to a lack of representative specimens. They attribute the numerous sightings to folklore, mythology, hoaxes, and the misidentification of healthy left fielders.

Mainstream scientists and baseball analysts overwhelmingly "discount the existence of Moises because the evidence supporting belief in the survival of a 40-year-old left fielder is scant". In addition to the lack of evidence, they cite the fact that while Moises is alleged to live in regions unusual for an old hitter, all other recognized left fielders are found in places like Cincinnati, Houston, and Colorado.

Although most managers find current evidence of Moises unpersuasive, a number of prominent experts have offered sympathetic opinions on the subject. In a 2002 interview on ESPN, Felipe Alou first publicly expressed his views on Moises, by remarking, "Well now, you'll be amazed when I tell you that I'm sure that he exists...I've talked to so many managers who all describe the same sounds, and my wife who has seen him."

There are times when a Moises sighting or footprint is a hoax. Willie Randolph argues that the "Brooklyn" affair, involving a rehab stint for the Cyclones was a hoax. Citing research by Edgar Alfonzo, who found that several contemporary New York newspapers regarded the boxscore as very dubious, Alfonzo notes that the New York Post wrote, "Absurdity is written on the face of it".

Alledged Moises sightings:
  • 1992: An account by a Montreal hunter who claimed seeing Moises make his major league debut was printed in the Sporting News on July 26, 1992.
  • 1994: An account by Tony Gwynn was aired on "The Baseball Network". Gwynn related a story which was told to him by "a beaten old pitcher, named Bere" living in Chicago, where Bere was beaten in the tenth inning of an All-Star Game.
  • 1997: Jose Mesa and 24 friends claimed to have been attacked by Moises in Cleveland and Florida in October 1997 (this is the only known sighting of Moises in Florida). The Indians claimed that Moises steals world titles, and scattering his remains on his hands, had a strong smell.
  • On October 14, 2003, a TV film crew from FOX pulled into Wrigley Field and filmed what they claimed to be Moises battling with an inferior creature near the ivy for a spherical stitched object. Moises was said to be jumping so hard after losing the battle for the object that he damaged his hamstrings.
  • On November 20, 2006, Omar Minaya claimed that he saw and captured the broken down creature near the side of the Grand Central Parkway. Several men from the city drove down to the area and found footprints, which they tracked through the snow. They found a tuft of pine tar and took photographs of the tracks.
  • On July 27th, 2007, Moises was seen in the high grass of Shea Stadium in the first Moises sighting in over two months. Witnesses claim they saw Moises angrily chuck a spherical object towards another mythic creature...a woolly mammoth known simply as Meat Hook, who has been known to have foot races with a Sasquatch named Castro which were timed with sundials.

(Editors note: Any similarities between this piece and Wikipedia's Bigfoot page were intended by the author. Just as any similarities between Mike Bacsik and an ex-Met who comes back to haunt the Mets is completely intended and mandatory...because what fun would it be if ex-Mets just laid down and rolled over as they were supposed to?)

Mardi Blah

Perhaps Thursday's demotion of Joe Smith is a thinly veiled attempt to get the lad a short vacation. Perhaps, he's not going to New Orleans at all. Perhaps he's really going to Cancun or something to spend a week in the sun.

Because if he's hit a wall, as we all believe, then what will pitching in New Orleans solve exactly? The guy needs to be resting in New Orleans.

(Now may not be a great time to bring this up, but Jose Lima is 13-4 in the Mexican league.)

Speaking of hitting walls, Oliver Perez hit his in the sixth inning today, with weapons ranging from broken bat hits, infield hits, sacrifice bunts thrown to Scarsdale (at least Ollie's control to home plate isn't as bad as his control to first base), to hard hit balls off of David Wright's kneecap and long home runs by ex-Yankees. A smorgasbord of disaster for Perez, who's own error made the five runs he gave up unearned. (Mike DeJean thinks that Nady's line drive should have been and error on David Wright.)

But it was Smith that concerned the Mets brass enough that they took the completely unexpected step of sending Smith to New Orleans after yesterday's 8-4 loss to the Pirates. It started against San Diego, as he got rocked in two games at Petco. But Smith's meltdown today against the heart of the Pirates order, where the trademark movement on Smith's pitches was not there, was apparently the last straw...for now. I'm wondering how people are feeling this morning about the fact that Smith is in the minor leagues while Aaron Sele still has a job. Then again, Sele pitches once a month so if there's any arm that isn't dead, it's Sele's.

So we welcome the Jon Adkins Experience, which is kind of like those rides where you go straight down at 100 mph, except instead of down, you're going up...up...and over the left field wall. Hey, that's what we should do with Shea after the Mets move...make it an amusement park, slingshot fans from home plate over the outfield wall, and call it the Jon Adkins Experience. Or the Donne Wall Experience. Or whoever will sponsor it.

(It could be the Armando Benitez Experience, especially after what happened to him on Thursday.)

The other ride could be the Fluff Castro Experience, where you could attempt to slide into second base. But the area around it isn't dirt, but filled with a mix of quicksand and oatmeal. (Riders would actually have to make it to second base to win a prize.)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Hulking Up

Did anybody catch the top of the first? I'm not talking of the key double play where Tom Glavine got former Met Xavier Nady to ground into and keep the first inning from being a Brandon Phillips type disaster. No, I'm talking about immediately after the double play, when Glavine let out a whoop, and seemed to flex his arms like Hulk Hogan after he pins a poor hapless Barry Horowitz* en route to another victory in Saturday Night's Main Event.

(*I would have used Andre the Giant for this reference, but this the poor Pirates have become the Barry Horowitz of major league baseball.)

But Glavine had to feel good after not being able to get out of the third inning in his last start with a 6-0 lead against Los Angeles. So by all rights and purposes, this really should have been win number 300. Instead, it's merely 299 as the Mets defeated Pittsburgh 6-3 thanks to Glavine and Paul Lo Duca's four RBI's. Glavine's first shot at 300 will come on Tuesday against Milwaukee at Miller Park. And a concerned reader of mind brought up an interesting point which you should keep in the back of your collective heads:
"Glavine goes for win #300 on Tuesday v. the Brewers ... does Barry break the record on the same night and steal our boy's thunder?"
It could happen. Barry Bonds, who's now holding steady at 753 home runs, could steal Tommy Two Teeth's thunder on Tuesday. And wouldn't that be a kick in our heads.


Speaking of kicking people in their heads, you know that the voting for the Hall of Hate inductions recently ended, and I'm proud to announce the results:

This Sunday.

That's right, we're making this a big deal. If you've been paying attention you probably already know who won. But for those who are not sure...and even for those who are sure but just appreciate pageantry and pomp, I have decided that I'm going to make the announcement of this year's Hall of Hate inductees live on Mike Silva's Free the Fan radio show this Sunday from 9-11 PM. Because if you can put the major league baseball draft on television, then we can certainly have a Hall of Hate announcement on the radio. So we're going to create a little suspense like the ESPY's. Hey, if the major league baseball draft can be televised, then certainly there's room on America's airwaves for this.

So join me on Mike's show on Sunday night which you can find live here (click on the "listen live" button), or later on in the evening here . In addition to the announcement, I will be guest judging the talent portion of a "Battle of the Blogs" between the fine folks of Do Me Wright, and the Yankees Chick. This is apparently a grudge match, and I'm kind of hoping it ends up in a tie...rumor has it that the tie-breaker is a round of paintball in the Poconos.

Can't wait until then? Go out and buy the 1986 World Series DVD set and keep yourselves busy.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I'm Home

Never before have two little words held so much meaning.

Those of you who have been to a country or countries in the eastern hemisphere can imagine how much of a shock it is to the system to go back and forth between the two, not only in terms of a culture shock, but a shock to the internal clock. For example: as you can tell from my posts, I don't go to bed until about 4AM or later on some nights. So what time did I wake up the first morning after arriving back home?

4AM, of course.

Yes, I'm home...if not quite in the pocket. So I trust that you will forgive me if you're reading this and thinking that I'm a little all over the place. (You would be all over the place too if you took a flight from Barcelona thinking that you were landing at Newark airport...only to be diverted to an Air Force base in Poughkeepsie because you don't have enough gas to remain in a holding pattern for thirty minutes...then get gas as if you were at the Dolly Madison rest stop and go up in the sky again for a half an hour to go from Poughkeepsie to Newark in a 757 airbus. And did I mention that we did all this in the rain with visibility at a mile and a quarter? All that was left to happen was for me to see Mel Rojas on the wing of the plane and I was ready to go into crash position right then and there.)

But I'm home...and after those harrowing plane rides, plus the taxi ride afterwards (I'm not going into that, but let's just say the Newark TLC got a phone call from me today), the words "I'm home" aren't just time fillers. They're pure emotion. ("I'm exhausted" could count as pure emotion as well...for the first time in a long time, I was happy that the Mets had a day off. I couldn't stay awake past 10PM last night...and that's not the blogger you know and love).

It was an amazing trip. Spain? Italy? France? The Principality of Monaco? Yes, I hit all of these places (along with Poughkeepsie), and as a result I have European culture dripping out of my pores (I plan to see a doctor about this right away). But yes, I've learned many things. Even visited the Roman Colosseum. It was a pitchers park, for sure. I learned that the park factor slanted the advantage even more in favor of the Lions over the Christians than even we thought. The Colosseum gets loads of visitors every many in fact, that they say the place hadn't seen so much action since 79 B.C. when Emperor Aase gave up a home run to Augustus, and then subsequently was eaten by a Lion named Schottzie.

(The official Roman mascot back in those times was called the "Pompeii Phanatic". Our tour guide told us so.)

Also saw a young boy in a "Totti" jersey get a gas face from one of the local waiters in Rome, which is funny since this Totti character is on the Italian national soccer team, and has even played his entire career in the city of Rome. So why would a guy in Rome wince at the sight of his jersey? That's when I learned from our tour guide that the English translation of "Totti" is actually "Schoeneweis". Who knew?

You know what else I learned? Our American dollar sucks. One euro is worth about $1.44 right now. How are we a country so prosperous that we have wifi compatibility in McDonald's, but can't produce currency worth a damn? Perhaps we should put Ronald McDonald on the dollar bill and put good ol' George to rest. We're complaining about $7.00 beers at Shea? I went to the bar in our Barcelona hotel and ordered two Coca-Colas. Not the 16 ounce bottles we're used to...more like little eight ounce thimbles. For two little Cokes? Nine euros...which is like 14 bucks.

You heard right: $7.00 Cokes at eight ounces a pop. I could get wine for a piece of string, but needed to put down a mortgage for a Coke and a Coke Light (that's lingo for Diet Coke). Now Barcelona is a beautiful city but mamma mia, seven dollars for a mouthful of Coke?

I'm home. And do you know who else is home? Check out the following quote:

"I asked God, if I don't come to Atlanta, I might as well pack it up. I wouldn't go anywhere else, because at my stage and age, if I go anywhere, guys don't know how to use me and they don't know me as well as this organization.
I'm home."
-Julio Franco, upon re-signing with Atlanta
Forgive me if I'm not breaking out my kleenex for you and your egg whites, Julio.

Let me tell you why this bothers me, and if you're a Braves fan visiting my blog, it should bother you too. It bothers me because I can't remember the last time someone came to the Mets and proclaimed "I'm home". People always have to be convinced when it comes to the Mets. Then they leave to go "home". Franco had to be convinced about the Mets when it came to giving him the extra season on his contract, without which he would have never been here in the first place.

And that's why it should bother you Braves fans. Oh sure, you rolled out the red carpet for him with your "Ju-li-o" chants and made him feel welcome in his first game back. "Ooh, he loves us, he came home for us." No, he came home because he was hitting .200 with the Mets, and he had no real choice. Funny how when the last time Ju-li-o did have a choice at the beginning of 2006 about whether to return "home", or whether to take an extra season's contract with the arch-rivals, your beloved Ju-li-o left "home" for the money. But now, with nowhere else to turn, he goes the kid who drops out of college and needs money for food so he moves back home for all the chicken and homemade brownies he can eat. Must make you Braves fans feel good.

Of course, the first thing he does with the Braves is pull a baseball for a two run single. He hasn't gotten a hit since, which mean his next one will be against the Mets in a key spot, against the team that is paying the rest of his salary. I can feel it.

But I'm home. And the Mets returned home a day after me. They were 6-3 in my absence, which is probably a good reason to have customs keep me out of the country. But I'm happy to be back...back to reasonably priced soda, sporting events that I'm familiar with (the Hard Rock Cafe in Barcelona had on their big screen, of all things, the Formula One race...won by Fernando Alonso if you must know) and soap that doesn't smell like bacon (don't ask). Back to the wonder that is John Maine, pitching well and smacking one over the wall in a single bound, and Lastings Milledge throwing in a two run bomb as if to say "Franco Schmanco". Maine, Milledge, and those like them are going to have to carry me during this period of blogging rehab for me, because after a week plus away, I'm rusty. My computer is rusty. And Julio Franco has gone home, which means my old man jokes are rusty. But as long as Moises Alou and I rehab together, then things are going to end up being just fine.

Fine indeed...because I'm home.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Third Annual Hall of Hate Vote

Are you looking to take out some frustration after Friday night's 8-4 loss to the Reds? Why of course you are. Lucky for you, it's time for the third annual "Metstradamus Hall of Hate" vote, where you get to add another deserving candidate to the most hallowed of hated ground.

Some background for the unfamiliar: Soon after starting this blog, I created a daily hate list...five people, places, or things that put a burr in my saddle for that particular calendar day. Mostly baseball players, but many times I would go off the board. From there, due to overwhelming positive response, it evolved into a more permanent and lasting "Hall of Hate", of which the original 25 members were chosen by me, here. It was meant to be a list that encompassed the biggest "enemies" in Mets history, the ones who the mere mention of their names makes one want to drink a bottle of ipecac just so you can puke all over your dog.

Not being enough to satiate the appetite of you, the hating fan, I opened balloting up for additional members, and so far you have voted in five candidates (most of them deserving) in 2005, and then to three more in 2006 to join the original 25. The balloting would coincide with whatever vacation time I was taking.

Well, boys and girls, it's that time again. Metstradamus leaves you for the time being...but leaves you with a fun procedure to undertake for the next ten days. You, the people, get to vote on the next members of the Hall of Hate via the poll in the sidebar.

Here's the deal, you get one vote per computer. Amongst the list, you can vote for multiple candidates...anyone you feel deserve induction (so you can check off as many boxes you want, but you can only click "vote" once). You have until 11:59PM on Tuesday, July 24th to cast your vote. The top two vote-getters gain induction into the Hall of Hate, which is a departure from past years because we want to make this vote mean a little something more (and we're running out of guys). Future seasons will see one player voted in per year.

Here now are your candidates for the Hall of Hate (no, you will not find Brandon Phillips on here despite his six RBI's on Friday night):

Pete Rose: Picked a fight with a man half his size because his team was getting it's Big Red Tails kicked in during the 1973 NLCS. Received 116 votes in 2006 and was seventh in the voting. (But a recent poll for "Most Hated Met" during a broadcast saw Rose easily outdistance Hall of Hate original members such as John Rocker, Chipper Jones, and Roger Clemens with 43% of the vote. So you Rose haters are out there, I know you are.)

John Thomson: A new nominee for his recent trashing of Paul Lo Duca as a reason for not signing with the Mets. Thomson is now unemployed because he stinks (I'm told by our friend Greg at Faith and Fear that Thomson is actually a Kansas City Royal, so now he has a prefix to "Pain in the Ass"). Also, pitched like a wet dishrag in his prior stint for the Mets in 2002.

Dick Young: The New York Post columnist who basically ran Tom Seaver out of town while writing for the Daily News. With one column, Young destroyed an agreement between Seaver and the Mets, causing Seaver to be traded as part of the "Midnight Massacre" on June 15th, 1977. Received 145 votes as part of the general voting in 2006 and finished fourth, with more votes than anyone who did not make it in 2006.

Jeff Torborg: Managed the 1993 Mets, who exposed him as a managing fraud. (Also managed the 2003 World Champion Marlins, but only during the beginning of that season when they stunk.) Received 117 votes and was sixth in last year's voting.

Mel Rojas: Was traded to the Mets as part of the Turk Wendell deal. The reason it's called the Turk Wendell deal is because Rojas was about as useful as Manute Bol on ice skates. Rojas gave up a home run to Paul O'Neill in 1997 that finally landed in 2002. Rojas' greatest transgression was his final act as a Met, which was bringing back Bobby Bonilla in a trade. Rojas garnered 111 votes and finished eighth in the 2006 balloting.

Joe Torre: From "Clueless Joe" as a Met, to a hall of famer (and Roger Clemens apologist) as a Yankee. Was ninth in 2006 with 108 votes.

Richie Hebner: Wanted no part of the Mets, and played like it at third base. If I'm correct, he set the standard for giving baseball fans the finger. Received 65 votes in 2006 and was tenth in the voting.

Eddie Murray: The first baseman of the worst team money could buy, the 1993 Mets. Is it really a compliment when you're the leader of misfits? Eddie was 11th in last year's voting with 30 votes.

Tony Fernandez: Was successful at every major league stop he made, except Shea Stadium, where he had maybe three hits in half a season, and blamed gallstones. Tony received 27 votes in 2006 and finished 12th in the voting.

Braden Looper: Making his debut on the ballot for multiple meltdowns as a Met, combined with his gleeful mocking of the Jose Reyes chant after Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS. Looper was a tough add for me because in the annals of hate, Armando Benitez is so above and beyond Looper in terms of the rage it summons in me. But I kind of want to see how he would do despite having, in my opinion, more deserving candidates on the list.

Albert Pujols: Also making his debut on the list for his not-so-subtle digging into Tom Glavine after Game 1 of the NLCS, combined with being on the trainers table receiving "treatment" during the ninth inning of the 2007 All-Star Game, possibly costing the Mets a shot at home field advantage in the '07 World Series (Hey, Trevor Hoffman incurred my wrath briefly for blowing the '06 All-Star Game, but at least he wasn't on the damn trainers table). Speaking of which:

The All-Star Game Winner Getting World Series Home Field Rule: It's just that stupid that it needed to be included.

And as always, you may write in a vote here in the comments section. If someone gets enough write-in votes, then yes, I'll put him in (unless it's an obvious attempt by a rogue group of Yankee fans that want to experiment and see if they can get somebody like Tom Seaver or Gary Carter on the list just by creating computer systems that will write the same name hundreds of times. So don't even bother). And in terms of write-ins, if you write in a vote please make it easy for this old man and put the name in bold or something like that. (But please, before you come out with a comment like "Where's Bobby Bonilla" or "What about Chipper Jones", please refer to the original induction list along with the additions via fan balloting).

And in case you were wondering, Cole Hamels almost made this list. I opted against it because he's too young, and he might pitch for us one day. But Cole should definitely know that we're constantly monitoring his situation.

So get out there and do your civic duty and vote vote vote. Meanwhile, I'm off to far away lands to scout for pitching. I will return with a post on the 23rd. (Maybe the 24th if the jet lag is really bad.) Hopefully by then we'll still be at the top of the standings.

(P.S. I have it on good authority that Howard Johnson was chosen over Rickey Henderson as hitting coach because it is an odd numbered year. HoJo, as you know, was a much better hitter in odd numbered years. In 2008, Johnson will be demoted back to first base coach in favor of Rickey, only to get that post back in 2009.)


Quick update before I go on the plane: Because some obviously refuse to read the directions and click links, here are the members that are ALREADY IN the HALL OF HATE (Please refer to this list before you wonder about their absence):

Mike Scioscia-Charter Member
Jeff Kent-Charter Member
Robby Alomar-Charter Member
Rey Ordonez-Charter Member
Larry Jones-Charter Member
Bobby Bonilla-Charter Member
Vince Coleman-Charter Member
Ken Griffey Jr.-Charter Member
Roger Clemens-Charter Member
Mike Hampton-Charter Member
Mike Scott-Charter Member
John Tudor-Charter Member
David Wells-Charter Member
Armando Benitez-Charter Member
John Rocker-Charter Member

Donne Wall-Charter Member
Mike Stanton-Charter Member
Mike DeJean-Charter Member
Brian Jordan-Charter Member
Eddie Perez-Charter Member
Pat Burrell-Charter Member
Terry Pendleton-Charter Member
Jose Vizciano-Charter Member
Pedro Guerrero-Charter Member
Juan Gonzalez-Charter Member
Whitey Herzog-Charter Member
Art Howe-Charter Member
Dallas Green-Charter Member
Al Harazin-Charter Member
The 1993 Home Uniforms-Charter Member
Kenny Rogers-Voted in 2005
Derek Jeter-Voted in 2005
Mo Vaughn-Voted in 2005
Joe Randa-Voted in 2005
M. Donald Grant-Voted in 2005
Mike Francesa- Voted in 2006
Jim Duquette- Voted in 2006
Steve Phillips- Voted in 2006

Just so we're clear.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Addition By Fire

It wasn't so long ago where Lastings Milledge was the brash rookie on the cusp of blowing up at the media for their unfair portrayal of him, and it was the wily veteran pulling him aside and keeping him from the harsh spotlight, while explaining to him how things worked, giving the young man lessons in humility and selflessness.

Not even a year later, it's the same young man pushing the wily vet, now painted in some circles as the selfish one, out the door.

The many moves of Omar Minaya and company over the last 24 hours all had purpose...just maybe not the ones you might think. Julio Franco could always balance out his diminishing skills with his positive clubhouse influence and with a sprinkled in hit every now and again...that is, until the hits stopped coming, and the positive clubhouse influence came into question. Was he selfish? Did he think more about his playing time than about where he fit into the team's overall plans...or even his place in the universe?

Silly me for thinking that Franco had a little existentialist in him. In fact, Franco acted like the jilted lover who tried to paint it as if he was going to dump the Mets before the Mets dumped him. A 48-year-old with the same thought patterns as a 16-year-old...if not necessarily the same bat speed.

But if Franco was surprised that it was the Mets who cut the cord and not Franco, then think of how surprised the rest of us were. By the time 2006 ended, Franco had already started showing signs of being the waste of an out that he is at this point. But the Mets had understood that the only reason Franco chose the Mets was because of the second season that they gave the Mets became Warren Beatty in "Heaven Can Wait" in that boardroom when he talked about going to the Super Bowl, and when we get there, let's already have won. It was a rant about doing things the right way, and not being ruthless. The problem was that the Mets weren't going to any Super Bowl or World Series by doing the right thing. The Mets had done their part and more by Julio. But it was time to cut the cord. Omar isn't running a retirement home here. And I hate to say this, but doing the sentimental thing for an aging ballplayer is for the fourth and fifth place teams that have no other reason for the paying customer to come see them (see: Todd Zeile putting the tools of ignorance on for one last game in 2004).

And as for Rick Down? Hey, the Mets had become complacent. It used to be the Mets who would have slower than dirt players steal bases against sleeping teams, or just simply making the smart play. Over the last month or so, it was the opponents who would turn that around on the Mets. Teams like that need a shakeup...and benching Jose Reyes for an inning in a game that you're losing by four runs isn't quite enough. Once you eliminate all of the coaches that would make no sense to fire, all you had left was Down. No matter what you feel about the job he did, and he probably wasn't as bad as 2005 and 2007 made him look and certainly not as good as 2006 made him seem, you have to admit that it made the most sense to let him go as your shakeup scapegoat.

Of course, firing Rick Down didn't buy the Mets a run with a runners on second and third and nobody out in the eighth inning, but you have Milledge scoring the winning run on a single to center field...from first base. Try that with Julio Franco.

You have Jose Reyes turning a single to center into a double by hustling...a far away concept just a week ago...and you have Orlando Hernandez stealing a base...just like old times (emphasis on "old").

You also have Reyes and Ruben Gotay with a Mets first: back to back jacks to start the game. Making history is a good thing. Being in the lineup to make history because Jose Valentin was sporting a team colored gauze pad because he tried to break up a bar fight? That's just like old times Cooter's in 1986 old. (Reports that Rick Aguilera was somehow involved are not, I repeat, not confirmed.)

And you have Reyes cleverly throwing to third base to nail a runner in the ninth inning, as he didn't do when the Mets were in their funk.

Now add it all together, and then add Rickey Henderson. Imagine the comedic possibilities, and enjoy the second half.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Don't Hate The Player, Hate The Rule

Will you add Billy Wagner to the "Hate List" now that he has blown an All-Star game like the NL players on your list? The dinger he gave up ended up being the difference in the game. IF the Mets make the World Series and don't have the home field advantage, you won't have Trevor Hoffman to pick on. -Anonymous commenter
Well, that's a mighty cheery sentiment.

The answer, quite frankly is no.

First off, and I've said this many times before, this World Series home field advantage rule is stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid. If Billy Wagner's ill fated gopher ball costs the Mets home field advantage in the World Series, then it simply means that the team that actually makes the World Series is responsible for its own fate. In this era of stupid rules, I can deal with that. What I can't deal with is not having a Mets/Tigers World Series Game One in Shea Stadium because Trevor Hoffman gave up a triple to Michael Young, and Miguel Cabrera wouldn't dive for a ground ball...and last I checked, none of the three played for the Mets, or the Tigers.

And one other thing: if the Mets have to play Games 3, 4, and 5 of the World Series at Shea Stadium because Billy Wagner gave up a home run ball to Victor Martinez, then that still means that we're in the World Series! Would you rather Billy Wagner gives up a home run to So Taguchi in the NLCS? Or Brian McCann in September? Or Pat Burrell in...

Strike that.

Besides, have you checked the Mets road record? It's not bad.

(Editor's note: Metstradamus reserves the right to continue to pick on Trevor Hoffman, who had the bases empty and two men out with a two run lead in the 2006 World Series. This is non-negotiable. Metstradamus also reserves the right to pick on Chris Young, giving up a home run to a man half his size...then again, most men are half his size.)

Monday, July 09, 2007

Grey Dawn

After a seventeen inning game, while throwing a pitcher making his first start back from injury, not much could have really been expected, so the All-Star break comes at a wonderful time for the Mets to rest their old bones.

Old bones which seemingly are getting older at an exponential rate.

If you missed it: Ricky Ledee was designated for assignment to make room for Dave Williams, who was the sacrificial lamb on Sunday for the Mets (although when you walk the opposing pitcher and giving up a dinger to a .228 hitter, most likely, you are sacrificing your own lamb). While Ledee may not be any great shakes, the man who got a reprieve on the roster is yet another quadragenarian, Sandy Alomar Jr, a catcher who supposedly gives the Mets more flexibility on the bench.

But only when full containers of Icy Hot are applied.

It's probably going to be a non-issue when guys like Lastings Milledge, Jorge Sosa, and Oliver Perez come back (and heck, maybe if we're good boys and girls, even Moises Alou will take a trip down the chimney to give all of us orange and blue boys and girls an early Christmas gift...although Moises will probably tear a labrum while handing the gifts out). But does it bother anyone else that Julio Franco (forget his weight, the guy is lucky that he's hitting his age) is taking up a roster spot that is probably better served by going to Ledee, who at least can pull the ball and can move around?

And most likely, nobody is going to pick up Ricky Ledee from under our noses, but what if someone does? What if the Royals, still stinging from not getting Milton Bradley, decide that Ledee is the answer to their problems? Maybe that's the scenario of a habitual weed smoker, but stranger things have happened, right? What if we lose Ledee? I mean, they'll survive, but what will it have been for? To get Sandy Alomar Jr. one last hurrah to be a battery mate with a minor league teammate that he never actually caught? Is that what it's come to? Have the Mets become the home of the farewell tour? Is Cher playing Shea Stadium next week? Since when have the Mets become Robin Williams in that movie about the kid that aged like 10 years every 12 months?

And Julio, for Pete Schourek's sake, hang it up! Look, I'm all for athletes hanging it up on their own terms as long as it remains fun. But Julio, you're Jake Taylor in Major League II, except nobody has the guts to pull you into a room and tell you that you'd be more useful as a coach than a player because it not only might alienate the locker room, but they're afraid that God will smite them for pushing an old man out the door before his contract was up. Who knows, as a coach you might have to take over for Willie Randolph before the end of the season, just like Taylor had to take over for Lou Brown. Randolph is undergoing shoulder surgery...what if there's complications? What if they find Bill Pulsipher's bone chips and Victor Zambrano's frayed ligaments and Randolph has to be locked up in a hospital room until Christmas for his own protection? Then what?

Now that Mark Buehrle is off the market, the moves that Omar Minaya may be relegated to are the ones to shore up the back end of the team...the bench and the middle relief. Maybe a guy like Jeff Conine, who needs to be rescued from the Reds who are currently rotting from the inside out, is Omar's best option for the bench. But he can't, because he's afraid that you, Julio, will sneak into his office and put rubber bands where his paper clips should be. Nobody should live their lives in fear. But that's what's happening, because you want to be Minnie Minoso on a pennant contender.

Look, hard times call for hard words. Julio, you deserve a World Series ring. You deserve credit for turning Carlos Beltran's New York career around in '06, along with saving Pedro Martinez's life from the bat-wielding Jose Guillen. But you've become like the kids in the playground playing five-on-five baseball and only using half the field...but you're using the wrong half of the field. If you were that kid, you'd keep hitting foul balls all day and the game would never end. Instead, you make games end too quick by grounding to second base.

Dude, you're older than dirt, stone tablets, and Howard Johnson!

Chip Ambres is sticking pins in your doll!

When you were a rookie, Transformers was a television show. Now it's a movie, and you're still playing...although not in your Optimus Prime. So please, show us the person you are and consider what I'm saying...and make us see more than your .200 average. Show us you're more than meets the eye.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Hands Across Houston

So many little sleep.

There was no way the Mets could lose after a catch like Carlos Beltran's catch on Saturday, could they?

Well, yeah...see: Chavez, Endy for reference.)

Yes, they have become proficient for losing games which contain a "catch of the year" candidate. And with the Houston Astros putting two, three, heck seemingly five runners on base per inning, there was ample opportunity to lose this game...especially when entrusted into such normally undependable hands such as Guillermo Motas hands, Scott Schoeneweis' hands, and Aaron Sele's hands.

Of course, it would have never gotten that far if the same Carlos Beltran as seen in the fourteenth inning would have done a little better than 0 for 6 prior.

It may not have gotten that far if Paul Lo Duca didn't try to take third base with two outs in the ninth, proving that one only needs the brain of an ostrich to feel he has the speed of a gazelle.

It may not have gotten that far if Tony Randazzo had given Tom Glavine a third strike against Morgan Ensberg.

It may not have gotten that far if the Mets hadn't made Woody Williams look like Walter Johnson, or the rest of the Astros bullpen look like the Four Horsemen of Notre Dame.

But you're glad it went that far, aren't you? You're glad you witnessed that incredible in the fourteenth, where Carlos Beltran ran up Tal's Hill and cradled the Luke Scott certain game winning blast into his glove as if he was John Stallworth gathering in a touchdown with his fingertips in the enemy end zone of the old Municipal Stadium, and subsequently getting pelted with dog biscuits by the Browns faithful. What could they have thrown at Beltran in Houston? Pulled pork? Nachos? Aggie fans?

(Editor's note: Football reference works here, since Tom Glavine's revelation on Saturday that wearing the Earl Campbell helmet in the clubhouse was the lucky helmet that gave the Mets their winning runs in the seventeenth. See that, Astros fans? You can't even depend on your native son to bring you luck. What's next, Jose Valentin breaks out of his slump while wearing Clyde Drexler's wristbands?)

And how many times do you see it: A guy makes a great catch to end an extra inning, and who comes up...three innings later to win the game in the seventeenth, but that same guy? Uncanny, isn't it? Well actually you never see if you stayed up for it, you're glad you did.

You're glad you saw that catch, and the subsequent RBI to turn a horrific 0-for-6 into the best 1-for-7 you've ever seen. You're glad you saw David Wright's four hits in eight at-bats, including his big tying HR in the seventh. You're glad you got through all those tense moments of Mota, Schoeneweis, and Sele...because baserunners or not, all moments involving those three seem to be tense. You're glad you saw a game that really should have been a playoff game, especially set against the backdrop of Houston, and 1986, and Mike Scott (who may or may not have had his "box of tricks" found by Woody Williams which would explain how a guy who had one swing and miss all of his last game struck out six Mets on Saturday), and the sixteen inning game against which all sixteen inning games are judged.

Saturday night may have set a standard for which all future seventeen inning games must match.

People may say that this is the potential turning point of the season, the point that brings this club closer together. More likely, this is the game that enabled the Mets to get their first good night's sleep in a while...however short it may be considering they have a game in less than eleven hours from now. But no matter what this game does for the team besides gain a game on our closest competitors, it certainly makes this blogger feel a whole lot better about things. Now, just maybe, I can get a good night's sleep.

Hopefully, you will too.

Saturday, July 07, 2007


Joseeeeee, Jose Jose Joseeeeee.



Song or not...if you don't run, you sit.

So let me put it another way, a way you might understand:

Run haaaard, run hard run hard run haaaard.

Run haaaard,

Run haaaard.

The crack staff (in hibernation over the last few months), has found exclusive video of the chat after the game between Reyes and manager Willie Randolph:

But Willie Randolph was only responsible for one player sitting down. Wandy Rodriguez did that to everyone else on the team, proving that the Mets struggle at sea level too.

Wandy Rodriguez. The former Eny Cabreja. I think for about a year, he went by this. That guy. Shutout.

Shameful? Maybe it was the rough trip they had from Denver catching up with them:

(Editors note: Family Guy videos embedded from you tube are this blogger's way of saying he's got nothing insightful or meaningful tonight. We stink, and that's it. And sometimes, that's enough.)

Friday, July 06, 2007

Agent Johnny

Do you know why I love Gilbert Arenas?

Because not only does the man they call "Agent Zero" go out and call his shots by predicting a 50 point game here and there, but he brings attention to himself in a humble, thoughtful way, and doesn't take himself too, too seriously.

But the man is driven. He calls his 50 point games against teams with coaches that snubbed him for the Olympic team. It's all in fun, but it's refreshing to see a professional athlete expose his motivation and have fun doing it. I don't really follow the NBA as much as I used to (partly because I'm a Celtic fan and there's only so many bad moves by Danny Ainge that I can take these days), but I know Gilbert Arenas because of his brash predictions, and because of his great blog.

In that spirit, I will say that John Maine needs to start a blog. He needs to come out and say that he is going to make it a personal mission to find out which coaches, and which players threw their votes to other pitchers for next week's all-star game with bigger names and less of a 2007 resume, and throw complete games and shutouts and no-hitters against these managers, players, and their teams for the rest of his career. And he should start a blog. He should start a blog to draw a little attention to himself. Heck, David Wright did it, and that's a guy who doesn't need the attention. John Maine, as evidenced by being shut out of the game for pitchers with more cache, obviously needs the attention. Because ten wins is obviously not going to do it.

Roy Oswalt made the all-star team in place of the injured John Smoltz, because Smoltz was a players' choice, and by rule if a players choice misses the game due to injury, the players with the next highest amount of players' votes goes in his place. You know Oswalt's stats, and you know Maine's stats. So obviously the players got it wrong. So where are the bushels of articles telling us how major league baseball players don't know how to pick an all-star team? I mean, every time the fans get one wrong because of the popularity of a player, everybody writes about how the fans should have their votes taken away, because baseball fans are an easy target. Well where are all these writers when the players obviously vote wrong, or vote for a more popular player rather than a player's body of work throughout the first half of the know, the supposed criteria for making the all-star team?

Perhaps I shouldn't complain. After all, one could say that the only reason David Wright is the all-star starter is because he has more fans and plays in a market with a more rabid fan base than the third baseman who has better batting numbers than Wright, which is Miguel Cabrera. (although Wright has closed the once wide gap considerably in the last six weeks, and he does lead in steals, 18-0). But at least the players and managers get a chance to right that wrong. Who gets to check on mistakes that the players and Tony La Russa make?

Oh sure. Maine, if asked, would probably come out and say that it doesn't matter to him, and that all that counts is the team and their success. Cool. Not gonna argue with that. But how much fun is that, really? If John Maine came out and said that he's going to stick it to any and all that snubbed him for an all-star berth to a reporter, it would be a big controversy. But if he did it in a blog, he'd be eccentric and fun loving, like Gilbert Arenas. Where else but in the blog community can you say off the wall things and not be put in the looney bin for them? How do you think I've lasted this long without a trip to Bellevue?

And maybe he actually did pitch near flawless baseball for seven and 2/3's on Thursday because having Oswalt in the opposing dugout gave him his motivation. Then again, perhaps not. But where's the fun in that? How about a high hard one thrown towards the heads of everyone in the National League, in the form of a blog entry? Think about it, Agent Johnny...a blog called "Maine Attraction".

What? It's already taken? "Maine Street" is taken too? All right, we'll work on something together. Have your people call mine.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Blood On My Hands

You don't know how hard it is to type right now, being that my eyes are bleeding from their sockets after gouging my eyes out with long needles during the bottom of the fifth inning.

But here's the bright side, when you combine the red of the blood with the blue of my mood spilled all over my white Mets jersey, you have the perfect color scheme for America's birthday. So at least it's festive.

This whole series brought back some bad AFC Championship memories.

It doesn't help that curveballs in that city act like helium balloons, as Orlando Hernandez's eephus pitch acted like to Todd Helton who was halfway to first base on his bases loaded walk in the fourth inning before the ball got halfway to home plate.

And you know we talk about how batted balls go farther, and how pitches stay up. How about throws from the infield? After the Helton walk made it 4-3 Rockies, Jose Reyes made shall we say, a bad decision going to first base on a backhander in the hole and two outs rather than going to third base. The ball took off in the mountain air and landed somewhere in Grand Junction to give the Rockies two more runs.

But all was not lost as the Mets pulled within 6-4 in the top of the fifth. But then all was lost as Hernandez had to leave the game due to incredibly high pitch count (some scientists put the number somewhere between 124 and infinity), paving the way for Guillermo Mota to enter the game to keep things close.

Instead, Mota gave six runs in two thirds of an inning causing some to wonder whether that was actually Mota, or Richard Todd throwing a touchdown to the guys in the wrong colored jersey.

And now, after a 17-7 loss, I'm blind.

But you know what gets my goat throughout this whole thing? It's the fact that for the first time ever, a team has swept the Yankees and the Mets during one regular season. And people who read that can't help but paint a picture in their minds of Yankee fans and Met fans commiserating together about the Rockies. That vision is inaccurate and grossly overstated. The conversation in the bar would actually go like this:

Yankee fan: "So you got swept by the Rockies too, huh? Too bad you don't have twenty six world championships that you can rest your head on at night."

At which point the Met fan would break their bottle over the Yankee fan's head and walk out of the bar with their heads held high...unlike the actual Mets, who leave Denver with their tails between their legs, Oliver Perez on the DL, and Sandy Alomar Jr. on the roster (a youth movement). Never have I been so happy to have the team in Houston in my life. At this point, anywhere but Denver.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

I Want A New Drug

Folks, I'm not making this up:

Do you have a really bad memory, or past heartache, that you would prefer to forget?

Researchers at Harvard and McGill University (in Montreal) are working on an amnesia drug that blocks or deletes bad memories. The technique seems to allow psychiatrists to disrupt the biochemical pathways that allow a memory to be recalled.

In a new study, published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, the drug propranolol is used along with therapy to "dampen" memories of trauma victims. They treated 19 accident or rape victims for ten days, during which the patients were asked to describe their memories of the traumatic event that had happened 10 years earlier. Some patients were given the drug, which is also used to treat amnesia, while others were given a placebo.

A week later, they found that patients given the drug showed fewer signs of stress when recalling their trauma.
Great! Give me one family size bottle full of that...I have a list of things that I would prefer to forget. Let's start with Tuesday night.

Yeah, let's start with the game that featured the first five hit game in the career of Kaz Matsui. Yes, that Kaz Matsui...who let loose with this gem after the game:
"It's all about New York," Matsui said of playing the Mets and Yankees, who the Rockies swept in a three-game series last month. "New York is center stage and the place everyone is aware of and watches."
Now he gets it. Great. Too bad he didn't figure that minor detail out when he actually played in a uniform that read "New York" across his chest. Thanks for figuring that out as soon as you got to Colorado so you get get five hits against the team from New York.

But really, shame on me for not seeing this coming...or seeing this coming and intentionally blocking it out of my mind. Is there a drug that will repress visions of former Mets haunting us with five-hit games in the future? When are the Montreal geniuses going to come up with that, eh? And if these guys are so smart, how come they couldn't come up with a drug that encouraged people to attend Expos games?

And maybe I did see the Jason Vargas disaster coming. And I was hoping against hope that I wouldn't come home, flip on the television, and have Vargas being lifted from the game the first thing I saw on my television screen. I mean, I didn't come home that much past the 8PM start time. But that's exactly what I saw. It was like paying $50 for a Mike Tyson fight on pay per view and getting up for a snack and missing the entire fight. I come home, wondering how Jason Vargas is doing, and I missed his entire outing! It's like Vargas was Michael Spinks...or Glass Joe!

This game was a lemon...and I want my money back. I want my money back so I can buy some of those drugs that will help me forget this game.

Maybe yesterday too.

And the first half of June.

And Adam Wainwright.

And the Kazmir trade.

And 1993.

And Don Aase.

You know, I'm going to need a second bottle of those pills...

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Get Me That Photo...And Shut Down The Mets While You're Out

See this picture? Nice picture, eh? Did you know that pictures like this are run from one part of the stadium to the other on game day by kids making next to nothing? Would you believe that one of these "kids" was on the hill Monday night making the Mets lineup look like Smuckers jelly?

Yes, that's right. Jason Hirsh, who came in at 3-7 and a 5.21 ERA made Jose Reyes look like Jose Cardenal. Paul Lo Duca look like Paul Lynde. Carlos Beltran look like Beltran Perez. Carlos Delgado look like...well he looks about the same.

Imagine that, a guy who actually currently holds an off-season job as a photo runner for the San Diego Chargers shut the Mets down in freakin' Coors Field. And he gets two hits tonight to boot! He had one all season! ONE! He even drove in two runs! Think of how much worse this would have been if Hirsh hadn't had to leave the game with a rolled ankle on the bases, forcing our friend Jorge Julio into the game.

Oh no, don't blame the humidor on this one (stupid lousy humidor).


People have talked about how some Omar Minaya trades haven't worked out. The problem with that is that one of them hasn't gotten a chance to work out yet.

Now it does, as Jason Vargas is set to go on Tuesday against the Rockies, and will most likely have a sustained opportunity with Oliver Perez on the DL. Sure, Matt Lindstrom and Henry Owens have held down major league jobs with the Marlins. But Owens has been oft injured, and Lindstrom is...well, he's okay. But Vargas hasn't had a chance to even out the trade a little bit (outside of starting the game against the Cubs which featured a five run ninth inning Met comeback). He will, starting on Tuesday.

That doesn't mean I'm not scared to death, especially after what the Rockies did to Tom Glavine during the third inning on Monday. Rick Peterson had better do some heavy duty counseling for this one (too bad he can't counsel the lineup).


Looks like The Paul Lo Duca Campaign is responding to reports that the wheels are in motion for Lo Duca to leave the team after the season in favor of Ronny Paulino. Even though the All-Star election is over, The Campaign would still appreciate the courtesy of your vote.

Please be aware that The Campaign will roll along with or without you. As you can see below, The Campaign has supporters from far and wide.

You are advised to join The Campaign. Shun it at your own risk.

(Editor's note: Ronny Paulino is on the Pirates. He beat us once. If this were an actual campaign, Lo Duca would never resort to smear tactics against an opponent such as Ronny Paulino. We here at Musings and Prophecies have no issue with Ronny Paulino besides the fact that he beat the Mets in September of 2006, and wish not to burn bridges with Mr. Paulino just in case these reports are true.)


And finally, by request, some special July analysis regarding the New York Rangers:

Oh heck yeah!

Now go get Shanny back and grab a defenseman and give me that tingly feeling all over.

How was that for analysis?

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Channeling The Wrong Spirits

Aaron Heilman can't even hold a seance the right way.

In his fervor to channel the spirit of Don Drysdale, instead he has let the aura of Doug Sisk waft through him. (Perhaps he failed to use the "rap once for yes, rap twice for no" system.) And because of which, the Mets dropped the final game of their four game series against Philadelphia, 5-3...with the difference being the two runs Heilman gave away in the seventh. One on a home run to a guy that's 180 lbs. with a piano on his back, and the other one on an Aaron Rowand liner that made Heilman look like Charlie Brown.

I will not kill Mike all rights and purposes, it was a hard luck "L" that was hung on him today with David Wright's error being the margin of loss for Pelfrey. I would, however, have hoped that Mike DiFelice would have taught him to be a little more economical with his pitches.

I can't even kill the Mets lineup for not putting the hammer down on a third rookie, this one being Kyle Kendrick...a better brand of rookie than those faced earlier. Although Carlos Beltran could have traveled a lot further towards that cause by not hitting into a double play in the first inning. But Kendrick made pitches when he had to.

Heilman though, does not get off easy this time. Guillermo Mota is struggling, and he had a scoreless inning today. Scott Schoeneweis? Mets fans want his head on a platter. And he pitched a scoreless frame today. Heilman, the meat in that sandwich, was undercooked. The pain is very raw. If you are going to channel a spirit, please let it be someone with more movement on their pitches.

(Editor's note: Doug Sisk is not dead...only his career.)