Monday, June 23, 2008

Back With A Venegance (If You Can Call It That)

I was originally going to title this entry: "Boy Do The Phillies Stink". There's a headline that would have gotten me a few hundred more hits on this here web.

A headline that would read more accurately, like "Phillies Struggles Enable Mets To Climb Back Into Race", doesn't exactly have that "juice". Also, it's too long. So to you Phillie fans whose eyes are all bulging while reading this, and getting ready to call me every nasty name in creation, calm down and go back to your cheesesteaks. Your team is still quite awesome.

But even the most insane of the Philadelphia lot would have to admit that their team hasn't been that awesome in their last seven games (1-6), and a funny thing has happened because of that. Week one of the Jerry Manuel era has seen the Mets gain three games on the Phillies. It's not that the Mets have been tearing up the league ... Gangsta Ball is only 3-2. But the Phils are 0-5 in that time, and their little mini-slump has tightened the division and brought the Mets to within 3.5 games ... coincidentally this week of all weeks, exactly when the Mets needed it. Just enough to string us along, and keep hope alive.

The Phillies recent struggles (with Chase Utley and the rest of the bats, of all things) remind me ... and should remind you ... that this is indeed a long season. And I don't mean in the "dammit, when do the Jets open training camp" kinda way, but in the "I gotta stop having a conniption fit when the Mets lose three in a row" way. The Mets go down the roller coaster, then they go up the roller coaster. And every once in a while, the Phillies hit an air pocket and the Mets are back in the race. It didn't seem possible when I woke to the news that Willie Randolph was fired on a sunny Tuesday morning.

But in a world where we're slowly learning to trust Mike Pelfrey more than we trust Pedro Martinez, then I guess anything is possible. (Of course, that includes losing two out of three to the worst team in baseball, starting Monday night.)


Jerry Manuel is bizarre. Either that, or he's been reading some of those Zen books that Rick Peterson left behind. Consider:
Asked how the struggling Heilman was holding up under constant booing at Shea this year, Manuel said: "It's very, very fertile ground for growth in Shea Stadium. It's fertile ground for a team's growth and development. Sometimes, fertile ground has fertilizer ... Fertilizer is a good thing," Manuel said before the Mets' afternoon contest against the Rockies. "It's a good thing. You get the greatest results - get the most beautiful plants - when you put it in that type of fertile soil. That's what we have the opportunity to do."

Sadly fitting that while writing a baseball blog entry where I mention the Jets, I find out that the man who gave us "Baseball vs. Football" is gone.

In baseball, the object is to go home. George Carlin has gone home.

Of course, considering Carlin's many bits on religion, I'm not quite sure where home is for George. But here's hoping that wherever it is, that George Carlin is indeed, safe at home.

Rest in peace. You were one of the greats.


TW said...

There will never be another, he grabbed all of his stuff and left.

Rickey said...

Shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, and tits.

Rickey has never, ever in his life wished for there to be a God more than this moment. Can you imagine the fucking reaming that guy is taking from Carlin right now? Holy shit is Carlin gonna give him what for.

Anonymous said...

3 and 2. Not bad considering we're getting no production from left field or right field, and very little from first or second base. If we're going anywhere, we're going to have to do it with pitching.

Carlin - got real bitter of late but his early stuff is right up there with the best of the best. . . and my 2 year old loved him on Thomas the Train.

Anonymous said...

I like the mets much. I often cheer for them and encourage them to win a chompionship. I would never boo my team because htat is not going to help them win a chompionship

Anonymous said...

I'll throw two other Carlin classics out there.

"Got into an argument this morning with my Rice Krispies. I distinctly heard, 'Snap, Crackle, Fuck Him.' "

(Singing) "Oh Beautiful For Smoggy Skies, Insecticided Grain; For Strip-Mined Mountains Majesties Above the Asphalt Plain; America America Man Sheds His Waste on Me; And Hides the Pines With Billboard Signs From Sea to Oily Sea (EEEEE!)."

Long Live the King!

Anonymous said...

Haha! Heilman as flower is too funny.

Although, I always imagined him as a petunia.

Anonymous said...

George Carlin was great and he came up with the perfect list of words to describe the NY media and how they love to take quotes (eg Manuel's quote about fertilizer) out of context.

katherine said...

Well, maybe you need to have a Y chromosome to really appreciate George Carlin? Having made this astoundingly sexist remark, I now expect all the female readers will write in to upbraid me and say how much they love George Carlin.

On the matter of the Phillies and the Mets, I bought a block of Scrapple while I was in Pennsylvania this weekend, and put it in my freezer. If the Mets beat the Phillies at the end of the season, I will celebrate by eating it.

Happy Mets thoughts: it seems to me that we have been doing much better lately scoring runs with 2 outs in the inning. I used to feel so hopeless but now we are oftentimes hitting in that situation.

Unhappy thought: I was upset that Jerry Manuel waited so long to take Pedro out of the game on Saturday. I was watching MLB Extra Innings and the Rockies TV camera showed a close up of Pedro's face after he made the last out, as batter, in the top of his last inning. I was SHOCKED to see a look of total despair on his face. I said to my mother, Did you see that? He looked as if he was saying, "I can't do this anymore". I added, he is going to lose it in the bottom of the inning.

If little old Katherine, watching on TV, knew he was at the end of his rope, how did Jerry not know, and at least have somebody warming up - then they could have taken him out immediately after the second home run.

Anonymous said...

Gary Carter is available for stand up comedy at prior booked Carlin appearances.

TW said...

GC was a dirty old man, even when he was young, so I certainly understand it when a woman expresses disdain for him.

If Manuel took Pedro out before the fifth he would have cost him a decision. It would have been embarrassing. Not to mention he had given up only 2 hits and a walk up to that point. You can't expect Manuel to remove him from the game when he is having that kind of success. The only way Pedro comes out is if he tells Manuel, "Jerry, take me out."

katherine said...

Tim, the inning looked like this: homer, homer, double, strike out, single, single, double, single, finally, after it no longer mattered, pitcher change.

I dispute the notion that Pedro is so great that only he can take himself out of the game even if it is the fifth inning. If a lowly fan could see on TV that Pedro had an exhausted, haunted look on his face, before the bottom of the fifth even started, Jerry should have seen it. And he should have had someone warming up at least, because nobody got up in the bull pen for a really long time.

If someone had come in after the second homer, and gotten out of the inning with no further runs scored (I know its a big IF) then it would have been a totally different game.

And I finally got a chance to see the embedded George Carlin video, and I actually liked it! So I take back my previous statement.