Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trick Or Treat From The New York Mets

Nobody has accumulated more treats than these guys. Trust me, they've been wearing masks since the beginning of the month.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Get Your Free 2008 Stuff

First off, I want to congratulate Dave Magadan and the Boston Red Sox for winning the World Championship, their second in four seasons. The Sox were the best team all season, and certainly had this coming to them. Congrats, boys!

By now, you probably are aware of what this title means that because of a promotion by Jordan's furniture, Sox fans who bought their furniture during a two week stretch in April now have that furniture for free thanks to Boston's world championship.

To that end, the New York Mets are being creative for some of their promotions next season:
  • is offering a promotion where you can play all you want in the month of April. If the Mets hire Rickey Henderson or Bobby Bonilla as coaches, all your losses during the month are covered.
  • Along the same lines, Nathan's has a promotion where if Henderson, the world's biggest hot dog, returns to active duty with the Mets and steals a base, everyone in America will get a free hot dog! (But only if you go to Nathan's between 4 and 5 AM on December 25th, 2008.
  • The courthouse in Kew Gardens is running an interesting promotion: If Willie Randolph is ejected from a game in 2008, your pending court cases in October will be, you guessed it, thrown out!
  • Hey, seniors! Your AARP dues for 2008 will be waived if the Mets bring back Julio Franco (as a player, or a coach.)
  • And finally, if the Mets choke away a bigger lead in '08 than they did in '07, just visit your neighborhood Kentucky Fried Chicken and get all the free chicken you can eat during the month of October (boneless, for your protection.)

So you see, with all the time off they've had this past month, the Mets have spent that time wisely to come up with some exciting promotions to enhance your enjoyment of the upcoming season. I for one can't wait.

Friday, October 26, 2007

They Sure Showed Me

What do I get for challenging Karma?

My computer gets zapped.

Karma truly is a bitch.

I've spent my time away from this blog productively. I looked under various rocks to see where the Mets organization might be hiding. I tried to crack nuclear physics. I held Kenny Lofton at third base in Boston. You know, fun stuff.

What I learned, among other things, is that 2008 might not be that much easier than 2007 was. Consider this recent development:

National crosschecker Chuck LaMar left the Nationals to become director of professional scouting with the Phillies on Thursday. LaMar will also work with director of Major League scouting Gordon Lakey and provide input on trades
for Phillies general manager Pat Gillick.

According to baseball sources, LaMar left Washington to take a better position and because of some philosophical differences with some members of the Nationals organization. LaMar, who was not available for comment, joined the Nationals last November.

LaMar is best remembered for being the general manager of the Devil Rays for 11 seasons.

No, Chuck LaMar is best remembered for ripping off a clueless organization of a top prospect.

Great, Chuck LaMar with the damn Phillies. Speaking of which, Jim Duquette is currently without a job. Maybe he can join the Phillies too so he and LaMar can take long scouting trips together in the middle of Wyoming while laughing their heads off at the Mets. Oh, I can picture it now...Lamar and Duquette practicing trades with each other:

"Ok Jim, I'll give you Pat Burrell, Tom Gordon, and a ham sandwich for Cole Hamels..."


"No Jim, no. Let's try it again. I'll give you Wes Helms for..."


"Jim, you're supposed to wait until I finished."

"Deal! Deal! Deal! Wait, I don't have to ask anyone's permission, right?"

Yes, they can talk about the old times, while resuming their tradition of driving back and forth over the Canadian border where the mounties repeatedly ask them if they have any firearms in the car.

Duquette always says yes to that one...but bless his heart he's working on it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

At Least There's Someone Who Can't Wait Until Next Year...

Your 21st century blogger is in the process of acquiring a 22nd century computer (the 21st century computer needs to be retired to "Safe Mode Stud"), so forgive me if you don't hear from me for a little while. Hopefully, I will make a grand return to blogging sometime in the middle of the World Series. Until then, and because there's been enough heartache in our lives, here's a reminder that it's all about the children:

As you can plainly see, she's more ready for 2008 than me. Zoe's got all the speed of her numbersake: Jose Reyes...without a pesky slump to hamper her. (Trust me on the speed part. She can be impossible to catch when she wants to be...or when she's not bored like Carlos Delgado.)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

All Over October

Because having a Met free October has really given me nothing to do, and because I can't help but think that either Kaz Matsui or Tony Clark may...quite possibly...exit this 2007 baseball season with a ring, I did some research.

You wouldn't believe what I found.

And you wouldn't believe I found it because:
  • somebody else didn't think of this first, or...
  • Metstradamus has no life.

I wanted to find the last World Series Champion whose roster had been completely devoid, throughout their entire championship season, of a player who had previously spent time with the Mets. I figured it would be easy enough to find this out through the incomparable Baseball Reference website. You could have done this yourself, but you've most likely found better things to do than to wonder about such things.

Last season, we all bemoaned the fact that Braden Looper got himself a World Series ring.

In 2005, the White Sox featured Carl Everett and Timo Perez.

Yes, that Timo Perez.

The curse-breaking 2004 Red Sox had Pedro Astacio on their roster at some point...along with Jersey Bobby Jones for three games.

Surely, there had to be a recent team not to have an ex-Met on it, right?

2003 featured the Florida Marlins, with Lenny "Pork Chop" Harris.

The 2002 Rally Monkeys had Donne Wall in their bullpen.

All right, the 2001 Diamondbacks. They couldn't have had an ex-Met on their roster, right? Wrong...they had Armando Reynoso.

(Mind you, we're not talking about future Mets like Jay Bell and Mike DiFelice...only players who had already spent time in Flushing when they were on a team that went on to win the World Series.)

Uh-oh. Now I'm starting to get worried, because those Yankee teams featured plenty of ex-Mets, much to our Jose Vizcaino killed the Mets in the 2000 Series, 1999 featured David Cone, and 1998 had Darryl Strawberry. Even the '97 Marlins had Bobby Bonilla.

I think I'm starting to get sick.

The 1996 Yankees had Dwight Gooden along with Strawberry, which at the time was bad enough.

All right, the 1995 Braves...there's a team that couldn't have possibly had a former Met on it, right?

Oh damn, their back-up catcher was Charlie O'Brien. And they also had Alejandro Pena. (Yeesh!)

The 1993 Blue Jays had plenty of future Mets like Al Leiter, Shawn Green, and Carlos Delgado. But former Mets? Just one...Dick Schofield (yet one is enough).

The '92 Jays had our friend David Cone.

The Twins in 1991 were loaded with them, partly thanks to the Frank Viola trade, between Kevin Tapani and David West. They also had Tom Edens and Junior Ortiz. Remember those two? Edens pitched one game for the Mets, and I believe it was in Los Angeles...and he wore number 32. Why must God curse me with a memory full of useless things while I lose my house keys five times a day?

(Actually, he pitched two games for the Mets, so I don't feel too bad. But I was right about the Dodgers.)

The Reds in 1990 had Randy Myers and Herm Winningham.

The 1989 Athletics...and believe me, this is a stretch...but they did have ,for 79 very mediocre at bats, a guy named Billy Beane.

Don't remind me about 1988 and Dodger reliever Jesse Orosco.

The Twins in 1987? Would you believe Beane again? (Along with a guy named Jeff Reardon.)

And that brings us to 1986, our last title.

And wouldn't you know it, the 1985 Kansas City Royals featured nobody who had previously worn the Mets uniform.

So besides the fact that I have absolutely nothing to do with my time thanks to the collapse, it should tell you that the Red Sox shouldn't measure their fingers for rings just yet (the Red Sox are devoid of former Mets on their roster, while Cleveland features Chip Caray's favorite pitcher: Paul Byrd).

It should tell you that when the 2007 Mets' roster turns over, at least one of the jettisoned players will win a ring in '08 and make us sigh. (And it gives Tampa Bay some hope...Thanks again, Jim Duquette.)

And it tells us that the only way to break this cycle is for the Mets to win the series their own selves. Or else, the curse continues.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Always Something There To Remind Me

Thursday night's Game One of the NLCS featured a key play where Justin Upton got Augie Ojeda called out for interference on a slide at second base.

Gee, does that look familiar to you? They say that the great thing about baseball is that you may see something you've never seen before. Unfortunately, the seamy side of baseball is that you will probably see something that will refresh your memory like a ripped off band-aid.

It's like Total Recall, except Sharon Stone isn't in your bathroom taking a shower.

Damn you C.B. Bucknor.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Just Remember, Yankee Fans...

We fired Joe Torre first.

No, it's true! Here's the proof in video form!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Hypnotized by Baseball's Unwritten Hypocrisy

What? The Mets haven't acquired Johan Santana yet? Clearly, someone must be fired over this.

No, I haven't jumped off a tall building. I've been watching some things online to try to cheer me up. In fact, I've been watching them over and over again...helps to self medicate. You could probably use some self-medicating yourself.

But I've been also watching the playoffs. Yes, despite the plethora of reasons not to watch, I can't stay away. I guess the fact that my defenses have been down, and that I've been staring into space like a deer in the headlights for the better part of the past week has made me more susceptible to being hypnotized by Dane Cook.

(You must watch because there is only one October. Now come down from the tree.)

Heck, I hardly reacted when Kaz Matsui hit a grand slam during Game 2 against the Phillies, and sparked their series sweep two nights later. I've become so numb to it all. I mean, it figures...right? Of course Kaz Matsui is in the NLCS the same year we blow a seven game lead with seventeen to play...the same year Scott Kazmir led the American League in strikeouts. Makes perfect sense to me.

I've been like the two guys that parodied Omar Minaya and Willie Randolph on SNL this past week when asked by Amy Poehler why they choked, they just kind of made random noises and shrugged their shoulders (you know you made a major collapse when you've been parodied by the guy from "Goodburger".)

Yes, that's been me.

I have just one request for the 2008 season: Can somebody please make clear to me the rules about celebrations and handshakes? Because I was led to believe that the Mets irritated everybody because their celebrations were not only choreographed, but they were in the on-deck circle instead of the dugout, where it's apparently safe for Miguel Cabrera to throw around Alfredo Amezaga like they were Torvill and Dean.

But did you see that little thing that Johnny Damon and Melky Cabrera did in the on-deck circle on Sunday night? That thing looked like it was choreographed to me, no?

So why didn't that infuriate the Indians? How come Casey Blake didn't come out and say "F**k the Yankees! F**k everyone on that team! I'll play with two broken arms and a bloody stump for Game four?"

Are the rules different in the playoffs? Are the rules different during tight games? Or are the rules, as always, different for the Yankees?

Or are the rules different because the Marlins got mad? And that it was Lastings Milledge that did the dancing? For those of you that are all po'd that Milledge got the Marlins all riled up to beat Tom Glavine and knock the Mets the next day, that the Marlins were motivated, I counter with this: It shouldn't have mattered! The Mets motivation should have trumped the Marlins motivation!

Except for one thing: they weren't motivated. As Carlos Delgado said, sometimes, they got bored.

(Oh, and the small detail that we stunk for two and a half weeks might have had something to do with it.)

Get mad at Lastings for not hustling after that Dontrelle Willis triple...I'll accept that. For dancing in the on-deck circle? I'll pass, thanks. Silly? During a 5-12 run yes. Motivating the Marlins? They're ones to talk.

But would somebody please write this unwritten rule down so we can all be clear on it? I understand the balk rule more than I understand this.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

It Just Gets Better, And Better, And Better...

You know, I was actually trying to think about positive things today regarding the Mets. And I thought about Scott Schoeneweis. I thought about how he pitched with a torn tendon all season, how he pitched better baseball than anybody else in the Mets bullpen down the stretch, getting two key (or what should have been key) saves. And I thought about how Ed Coleman said that he was the only Met who acknowledged that this choke job was going to stick with everyone who wore the uniform for a long time.

And I thought "you know what, I'm going to write a post about how much Schoeneweis has grown on me, and how I hope he comes back, and that he's not run out of town, and that I'm sorry that I ever compared him to a pug".

Then this happens:
Scott Schoeneweis, the veteran New York Mets reliever and a survivor of testiticular cancer, received six steroid shipments from Signature Pharmacy while playing for the Chicago White Sox in 2003 and 2004, ESPN has learned.

According to a source in Florida close to the ongoing investigation of Signature, Schoeneweis' name appears on packages that were sent to Comiskey Park while the White Sox were battling to win the AL Central title in 2003. Two more shipments arrived at the stadium in 2004, months before Schoeneweis underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left elbow.
Should I blame a guy for something he did before there was a policy on it? Heck, I'm not even sure guys like Rick Ankiel and Troy Glaus are lousy cheats for doing it (allegedly) before the policy was put in place (like Rafael Palmeiro is).

But damn, the last thing I needed was more bad news regarding this franchise, which acquires another tatter each day. I mean, what's next? An internet report that Oliver Perez has children locked in his house producing sneakers for 30 cents an hour?

My lord, just let me forget about this franchise for, I don't know, a day and a half?

Say it ain't so, Scho...say it ain't so.

Monday, October 01, 2007

The Manifesto

"It hurts doesn't it? Your hopes dashed, your dreams down the toilet. And your fate is sitting right besides you." -John Malkovich in Rounders
Well team, you did it.

For a franchise that gave us the Terry Pendelton home run, the Mike Scioscia home run, the Worst Team Money Could Buy, Bobby Valentine's fake mustache, a bases loaded walk to end a playoff series, the 2000 Subway Series, eighteen Brian Jordan grand slams, countless losses to Atlanta, trading a number one prospect who would one day lead the American League in strikeouts for a guy who ran off the field with an arm injury never to be seen at Shea Stadium again, a game seven loss to an 83 victory St. Louis Cardinal team that had no business getting as far as they did, you...the 2007 New York Mets...have done the impossible.

You topped 'em all.

You blew a seven game lead with seventeen games to play.


But it goes much deeper than that.

You had the two bottom teams in the division over the last two weeks...and nothing but the last two teams in the division.

You had a two and a half game lead with seven games left. Oh, that's seven home games left.

You went 1-6 during a group of games that you really should have won at least four of just by rolling out of bed.

You allowed a team that pulled a bush league stunt by announcing publicly that tickets to a one game playoff would go on sale at 11AM, then starting the sale an hour early yet only telling their own fan base, steal the division from you.

You wiped the 1964 Phillies off the map, and brought their franchise back to even when it comes to these things.

You allowed a man who once punched his wife with a closed fist on a Boston street throw his glove in the air and feel feelings that I should have been feeling tonight.

You proved right a man who made a stupid statement at the beginning of the season when he said "finally, we have the best team on paper." I said then that Jimmy Rollins was wrong, and I still say he's wrong. The Philadelphia Phillies did not have the best team on paper. The New York Mets, however, did.

But guess what the Philadelphia Phillies are: They're the best team in the National League East. And that's what counts.

And guess what you New York Mets are, for having the best team on paper: you're a bunch of underachievers who have become the joke of baseball...except there's no punch line besides the ones being written by Leno and Letterman. There's just a punch to my gut.

And you pulled all of this off during the same season that the Yankees came back from about 48 games behind the wild card to make the playoffs for the hundredth straight season, ensuring that Mets fans are going to be ridiculed for the rest of their natural lives.

Oh, and by the way, you have let them off the hook for choking away a 3-0 ALCS lead in 2004.

Anybody who wants to tell me that the 2004 ALCS is still a worse choke than the 2007 Mets were, I'm cutting you off at word one. The Yankees lost four straight games to a World Champion Boston Red Sox team. The Mets, meanwhile, lost six games out of seven to a bunch of B-list stunt doubles who had nothing to play for.

Let me repeat that because it's vaguely important: Nothing to play for.

And now, you're just like them. Because you have nothing to play for.

But I bet the champagne tastes sweeter, right Willie?

But here's what Willie said that bugged me even more...he said it after today's final nail, when he was asked if he had anything to say about the fans:

"Real Met fans know we played our hearts out."
Gee, that's sounds a lot like "Real Met fans aren't going to criticize this team...they're going to say aw shucks and we'll get 'em next season and stuff like that."

Yeah, Mr. Randolph, I want to ask you a follow up question if I may: Who are you to tell me what a real Met fan is or does? I'm sorry, have you been here playing, managing, or watching this team for thirty years? No, you haven't. You've been here for four years. Three as a manager, one as a player. And you're going to tell me what a real Met fan does? Or does your years as a Yankee give you the entitlement to tell me who I am?

Here's the problem, and it's something I absolutely despise when I hear it from a player or a manager: They like to say "You've never put on a don't know what it's like to be me." And everybody who's ever said that has been right.

But guess what, that works both ways, Willie. You see, you, and everybody who plays for you have never...ever...been in my shoes. And I think you all need to be reminded of that. You don't blindly invest your time, money, and faith in a group of men who don't know you from Adam, but you know way too much about them. And you support them. You support them with your money...with your time...and with your allegiance. You support them because you hope that one day they'll give you that feeling of exhilaration that makes you feel like you're actually one of them.

You hope that. You hope for the best. And you expect the worst. But beyond your wildest dreams you never expect that the worst is going to include a future hall of fame pitcher giving up seven runs in a third of an inning, and hit an opposing pitcher for the first time in his career, and then tells me that he's merely "disappointed", in what surely will be his last outing before he embarks on his farewell tour back in Atlanta, where he will get a standing ovation just for what he did on Sunday.

And guess what else you don't get to experience: at the end of the season, you get to talk to the media for a day, and then you go home for three months. You go to your nice homes, with your wonderful families, and shelter yourselves from everything until spring training.

Meanwhile, we're stuck here. We're stuck to carry the brunt of what you failed to accomplish. We get to hear it from Yankee fans who ring our phones, taunt us for hours on end, and in turn affect our wonderful families who, with word and deed, live and die with us as we live and die with you.

Mostly die.

And speaking of die, here's what else we get to deal with:

Wallace Mathews, at this very moment, is doing a jig while writing his latest Met-bashing column...this one he doesn't even have to work at.

John Kruk has probably poisoned himself alcoholically with all the toasts he's drunk to tonight.

Mike Francesa and Chris Russo? They're probably lathering each other in Crisco, giggling like school girls in anticipation of the piling on they're going to do tomorrow.

You, the 2007 New York Mets, have proved them all right. The Mount Rushmore of baseball stupidity? You've raised their IQ about 100 points in one fell swoop.

Congratulations. It must have taken a lot of work to do all that you did. More work than, oh I don't know, winning one or two more games down the stretch like you were supposed to do.

Good thing it's just a game, right boys?

You must think I'm a little bit harsh. Well, you have it coming. Being a Met fan sometimes is like learning how to ride a bicycle...teetering back and forth trying to find your balance between being a supporter, and being a smart ass. You won the division title last season while blowing the field away. With that, you won the benefit of the doubt. You lost Game seven to the Cardinals, but they did go on to win the World Series. So you got a pass.

You didn't look the same in 2007 as you did in 2006. But you had the division lead over two improved teams in Atlanta and Philadelphia...and we all knew that you wouldn't run away with it in '07 like '06. So you got a pass.

Your bullpen blew lead...after lead...after lead. You lost four straight heartbreaking games to the Phillies in Philadelphia. But you went and got that seven game lead. So you got the benefit of the doubt.

When you lost the lead, and you lost the playoffs, you have lost the benefit of the doubt.

You lost the benefit of the doubt when you all tried to steal third base with two outs. You lost the benefit of the doubt when you couldn't hold a three run lead in the bottom of the ninth...or a five run lead in the top of the fourth. You lost the benefit of the doubt when you forgot that there was a force play at third base with runners on second and third. You lost the benefit of the doubt when you stopped running out grounders, and started socializing with every middle infielder every time you got to second base...which wasn't very often down the stretch.

You know what I've lost? Hope. After Yadier Molina, after Adam Wainright? After that happened? I hoped that spring training would start the next day. Things were still going rather well. You actually went farther than the Yankees, you had something to build on, and 2007 was the season for "the next step."

Little did I know that "the next step" would be right off a cliff. Because do you know what you've made me hope for now? You've made me hope that when spring training starts in 2008, I hope you guys don't show up. I hope you take a sabbatical. I hope that there's a Mets-free 2008. I hope Tradition Field stays locked up. Because to see you guys swing bats and run pitching drills and dig out curveballs from the dirt is only going to drive me to drink all over again...just as you did tonight.

What's the point? What's the point in going through all of this again if you're just going to find new ways to crush our spirit? So you can have that inevitable spring training brawl with the Marlins to get your revenge? Oooh, I can't wait! That'll make me feel better.

I know that's not possible. I know you'll be back. Well, at least some of you will be back. And against what I think is my better judgement, I know I'll be back. I know that hoping for a sabbatical is unrealistic. But did it turn out to be any less realistic than hoping that you'd make the playoffs this season?

So go. Enjoy your offseason. But lord help you if I see a picture of any of you in the act of actually enjoying your offseason. Lord help you if I see you in any stupid photo layouts for fashion magazines, or eating fancy steak dinners with your agents. The only thing I want to see you eating is the humble pie that you've forced all of us to eat as local and national media will continue to ridicule the Met fans you leave behind...who's only crime was throwing their allegiance behind you...while we have to sit back and take every last drop of it because there's nothing we can say on these blogs to defend you.

Hey, after the humble pie, you can have some chicken if you subscribe to that "you are what you eat" theory.

Just make sure it's boneless.