Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Author! Author!

It was noted during a recent Mets game that somebody was writing a book about the bizarre game that took place on July 4th of '85. Surely you remember it as the 19 inning debacle that ended near 4AM down in Atlanta.

If I were to write a book about a particular baseball game, I might choose Livan Hernandez's complete game from Monday night.


First off, all the really good and important games are probably taken by established (good) writers. Second, there were so many layers to this seemingly run of the mill 6-1 victory that it fascinated my warped mind. It's like an onion that only makes you cry if you're a Nationals fan. For example: You might have been all jazzed up about the debut of one Fernando Martinez. But I was greeted by the news that the Mets had traded for Wilson Valdez! OMG! Wilson Valdez!!! I've gotta get on the horn and call 718-507-TIXX! Our savior is here! Wilson Valdez!!!

Then I asked, who the hell is Wilson Valdez?

A healthy shortstop? Good enough. I'll take it and be excited about it.

Of course, the news wasn't so much that we have Valdez and Martinez, but that Jose Reyes and Ryan Church actually made their way to the disabled list. Omar Minaya doing right by the roster is a huge twist in the plot, and a breath of fresh air for Snoop Manuel. And ... Wilson Valdez! The cynic in you might say that your hopes for a new shortstop were low (a decent fielding .200 hitter in the majors) and that they weren't even met (a decent fielding .110 hitter in AAA). But a shortstop who doesn't have an issue with a bum calf or a torn thumb or a freaking hernia is at a premium here these days. So, I choose to be excited for Wilson Valdez.

But I'm burying the lead here ... which is the debut of Fernando Martinez, who went 0 for 3 with an RBI fielders choice on Monday. Certainly an inauspicious beginning for the jewel of the minor leagues. But his first major league RBI is nothing to sneeze at. (I will say this: We've gotta find a halfway decent nickname for this guy. Putting aside the increasingly lazy way we come up with nicknames these days: First initial of first name, first part of last name, like A-Rod, "F-Mart" sounds like an obscene grocery store. "Welcome to F-Mart ... Where You Can Go F&*k Yourself!")

It is strange that in a game that a great hitting prospect makes his debut, a pitcher gets his first major league hit. But Craig Stammen's single ended in a putout of home, so Stammen might be the first player to get his first ever hit and not get to keep the ball. Seriously, how often does this happen?

Furthermore, how often is there a game where beanballs are traded (Jason Bergmann hits Fernando Tatis after Gary Sheffield's game deciding home run during a case of wildness, and Livan hits Justin Maxwell in what may or may not have been retaliation), and noted hothead Julian Tavarez isn't involved? And he was in the game not long after that? Now seriously, how often does that happen?

Of course, the focus would be Livan and his complete game which is the very reason the Mets got him ... to give a breather to the bullpen every now and again. He's done it two straight ... with a seven inning effort against L.A., and the CG on Monday night. Put that against the backdrop of Ryan Zimmerman's on-base streak, which was at 43 games before he ran into Livan (another layer for the book). Now put that against the backdrop of Oliver Perez. At the same time Hernandez was chugging along, Oliver was showing the fans of Buffalo what they've been missing with the big club ... namely: 5 walks in four and a third innings against the likes of Pablo Ozuna.

Instead, the Mets got Hernandez's 127 pitch outing, and the revelation after the game that he's a thinker. The thoughts that went through his head pitching against the Nationals lineup is enough for a book all on it's own.

Hopefully, the book I eventually do write will be better than the piece of unmitigated crap I just pitched to America. But speaking of pitches, I pitch to you some post game analysis from yours truly tomorrow on NY Sportstalk Live between 9-11 on Wednesday night (most likely soon after the ball game). It's like a bonus blog.


number15 said...

what is the 'livan is a thinker' bit? i dvr'ed the game but unfortunately it cut out at the 10 o'clock mark and i missed the 9th inning and postgame

Dan said...


If I remember correctly, you were pretty upset the day the Mets signed Sheffield. But you have to admit he’s been a steady contributor and is providing some much needed power in the middle of the lineup. In fact, he’s been very good in all aspects – in the field, at the plate, and, based on what we know, as a teammate.

Anyway, just wondering if your opinion on him has changed at all.

Metstradamus said...


My concerns about Sheffield have drifted away from his mouth and his surliness. He's said all the right things, and he's generally had a good demeanor. Of course this could all change, but at his age he seems to realize that anything he gets at this point is gravy.

The only thing I wonder is whether this is going to last all season. The Mets have, once again, put themselves in a position where a 40-year-old is basically the difference maker in the lineup. We saw how that worked out with Moises Alou, and Sheffield bears more burden now than Alou did then with Reyes and Delgado out.

Is he going to keep hitting? Is he going to stay healthy? He brings a good eye to the lineup and will see some pitches. He was late on a lot of fastballs when he first started out, and now he seems to be catching up to them. Hopefully it's a timing issue, and not because he's cheating on the fastball. If it's the latter, the scouts will know and change their approach on him. That could spell trouble down the road.

Cheeks83 said...

How about Fartinez? I think that would be a good nickname

Metstradamus said...

I'd rather the obscene grocery store.

Marco DL said...

Will there be a podcast available tomorrow metstra? Or will you put up one?

I'd like to hear it live but since it's midnight here in Europe and at 7 a.m. I have to be up and fresh for work it'll be impossible for me.

Metstradamus said...

Marco, yes. If you go to that link I dropped, an archived show will be up.

gbaked said...

it was suggested on a blog somewhere that we call him f-bomb

Metstradamus said...


I dig that one. That ... I can see on a t-shirt.

But the rookie gets no t-shirts until he runs out pop-ups in the infield. That's the rule.

Anonymous said...


I'm watching sportstalk ny...are you the old guy or the bald guy?

Metstradamus said...

Neither. I'm the guy that was just on the phone.