Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Under Destruction

So when do we get past the point of "working things out"?

I know, it's still spring training. But we're at March 31st now. This is usually the time of year where pitchers start to stretch things out and have good outings. What does Oliver Perez do? Seven runs, seven outs, three home runs. One of which, it must be noted, was hit by Brendan Ryan.

You might think that Perez is still in "warm-up" mode, or that he's "trying different things", or that Jon Niese preliminarily moving up to the third starter position over Perez and Maine is merely "Jerry Manuel's strategic geometry", but what I know is that giving up a home run ... over the power alley ... against the wind ... to a shortstop who still looks like he might still get carded at the local establishments at the age of 28 ... I don't care if it's Digital Domain Park in March, Citi Field in August, or Must See TV Thursdays on Mars ... it's a @#&$*#ing problem!!!

Oliver keeps pitching like this, the most exciting things we'll see and hear this summer will be Mike Francesa and Steve Phillips have the following conversation on WFAN over and over again:
MF: No Steve, I hate Carlos Beltran more.

SP: Oh I beg to differ Michael, I hate Carlos Beltran more.

MF: Listen Steve, I've been in this town for over twenty years and I'm tellin ya, I hate Carlos Beltran more.

SP: With all due respect, I've tried to trade David Wright and Jose Reyes. And I hate Carlos Beltran more.
Please remind me to throw my radio out the window every Friday and on days where Oliver Perez pitches.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sunday, March 28, 2010

I Blame Oliver Perez

"What did I do this time? I didn't even pitch today!"

I know, I know. I blame Oliver Perez for most things in life these days. His reputation precedes him.

But I also blame Mike Pelfrey and John Maine. "For what" is what you are surely asking.

The latest bit of "breaking news" to come out of Mets camp is that Sean Green and Bobby Parnell are reportedly going to start the 2010 season in Buffalo. It makes room for guys like Nelson Figueroa and Hisanori Takahashi to land in the bullpen. And that makes a load of sense (Mets? Sense? I know!) considering that nobody is counting on the three headed monster of Little Pelf, Cousin Ollie, and Maine & 5th to provide a whole bunch of innings. I'm sure Sunday's six runs in five and 2/3's given up by Pelfrey pushed the Mets toward that line of thinking, or perhaps over the cliff.

If those three are going to average five innings a start, then you're going to need innings eaters in the bullpen like Nellie and Takahashi II to eat up some of those middle innings. Heck, maybe it gives Snoop more flexibility to have a quicker hook when the Tee Ball Triplets come in throwing beach balls all over the place. But you're going to tire out your bullpen when you have nothing but three out guys to turn to on a night where Perez has one of his famous "seven runs in five outs" linescores.

It may be a raw deal for Green and Parnell, but Parnell will probably be back sooner than later. And Green? Well jeez who needs a six foot six guy who comes in and throws submarine style? I know Chad Bradford was 6'5" but at least Blueback looked like a submariner. Green's makeshift new delivery makes him look like that episode of the Munsters where Herman tried to pitch for the Giants.* Green will walk the world in anyway because batters will be too distracted by a 6'6" guy who looks like he has no interest in bending. I know it's not the most accurate analysis or scouting report you're going to get on Green but he just plain freaks me out.

Other than the fact that sending the other large component of the J.J. Putz trade to the minors makes that trade completely useless on this side of the Mississippi, it seems to be a move that had to be made if it is indeed made.

*This episode of The Munsters never happened.

An Earth Hour Plea

People of America,

I hit a baseball during Saturday's spring training game that in any other ballpark, or on any other day, would have been a home run that would have made Mickey Mantle bow to me. Instead, it didn't even reach the warning track.

Meanwhile, on the same day in the same park, noted slugger Luis Castillo smacked a
three run HR to left field.

I ask you why this is. Why is it that on every other single day this spring I could have bunted a ball over the right field wall, yet this sure home run on a ball hit so hard that Jose's thyroid went nuts at the mere sound, I flied out to short right and my average dropped to .012 on the spring? Why? The wind blows out for everyone and their mother (and Emilio Bonifacio and his mother as well), but I get the Citi Field wind tunnel simulator. Why?

I blame you, America.

That's right, I blame you and your greenhouse gas emissions and your aerosol sprays and your constant grilling of hamburgers at the Shake Shack stand that is causing global warming to produce these weird weather patterns that blow out home runs for Luis Castillo and Emilio Bonifacio, but bring me one fly ball closer to getting released. Where was the wind when I hit the double play ball to end the game? Of course! Gone! Gone like my home run should have been. What's next, America? Hey I know, how about causing the next ice age and forcing me to take up curling, where I will surely be booed by you ungrateful Met fans every time the wind blows my stone back behind the hog line.

So America, I beg of you ... can you mix in a salad once in a while so I can make this f&%#ing team?


Mike Jacobs

P.S. Do it for the kids.

But more importantly, do it for my batting average.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Continuing The Debate

I gotta say that this Jenrry Mejia debate is fascinating. As opposed to a lot of spring training chatter, which can be about nothing and drive you insane sometimes, the back-and-forth between the people that want Mejia in the Mets bullpen this season and the people who want Mejia in Buffalo or Binghamton to hone his skills as a starter has enough twists, turns, nooks and crannies to make an English muffin look like Sara Lee Soft & Smooth bread.

Here's how nuts it's gotten, and keep in mind right off the bat that I consider myself in the camp of caution, of sending him to the minors and letting him work on secondary pitches to come up as a starter rather than keeping him up this season to be a situational/short/set-up reliever: There's a Facebook page organizing a protest to keep Mejia in the minors, which will set itself up outside the SNY studios hoping to be seen on Loudmouths or whatever show's path it happens to cross. Think about that for a second: Imagine there was a protest on live television to keep you from getting a promotion at work. How would you feel? Even if it was organized with your best interests at heart ... what kind of blow to the ego would that be?

Good thing nobody cares about your job that much, eh?

Here's the way I see it: You can compare Mejia to anybody you want who has gone from starter to reliever: John Smoltz did it, and did it well. What I would have liked about the transition if Smoltz wasn't a Brave was how he understood the art of throwing breaking stuff with more ferocity. Smoltz was throwing a 92 mph splitter. That isn't fair.

But it takes a veteran like Smoltz circa 2001-2004 to understand that. Jenrry Mejia, I'm guessing, knows nothing of what's between zero and sixty. Thus, he has more to learn.

Then there's one Mr. Chamberlain and his silly rules. Similar debates rage on about Chamberlain and where his role is best suited. The fear with Mejia is that he'll be treated with the same kid gloves that lightly tapped Chamberlain and his role is going to go back and forth depending on which managerial or front office job he needs to save that day. So his path needs to be straight and not circular (like the change up he may need to learn).

(You know what's weird, usually the manager plays veterans to save his job, not bring up rookies. As usual with the Mets, the circumstances are all cockeyed.)

Obviously, Chamberlain has been more dominant as a reliever than a starter. One could argue that a mediocre starter proves more valuable than a lights out set-up guy (see: Oliver Perez's contract), but Mejia at least deserves the chance to show that he could actually be more than just a mediocre starter before we have this debate. Sure, the bullpen has holes (cough ... Sean Green ... cough), but the rotation is a doughnut. And yes, John Maine's fastball had some movement and it actually struck out Albert Pujols on Thursday (though the pitch was a ball), but I stand by the statement. Fill a bullpen hole for a season which is going to be an uphill climb anyway with a raw rookie, or fill a rotation hole for ten years with a seasoned prospect? You decide.

Then there's Bobby Parnell, who to me is a poster child for rushing your prospects as the Mets have done too often under this regime. He too, had an eye opening spring. He then went from the sixth to the seventh to the eighth inning. Then he fell apart. Not to say Mejia isn't going to fall apart at some point in his major league career, but wouldn't you want him to be fully prepared when that meltdown comes? Somebody who has pitched 44 (and a third) innings above A-ball in his life can't possibly be prepared. Hell, who knows if he's prepared for Friday night's fan boycott???

If you're still confused by all this, Glenn Beck explains it all on this blackboard:

It's not confusing at all.
And if you're still confused by this, here's Keith Hernandez in the leisure suit that he recently admitted on an SNY broadcast he wore when he got called up to the Cardinals.

The yellow one was in the cleaners.

It's A One Horse Race

Fernando Tatis really made an impression on Mets brass during Wednesday's spring training win over the Astros, when two straight fly balls hit by Tatis were dropped by Astros fielders, including Fielding Bible award winner Hunter Pence, leading to a key Mets run.
"It's like those balls he hit had buzzsaws on 'em man," said Mets manager Jerry Manuel. "Those balls he hit were some gritty ... it really takes a special kind of hitter to make those balls move like that to confuse the fielders. I think if he can do this a couple times a game like he did today, we'd really have a better chance to win on most nights."
And thus it was announced after the game that Tatis will start at first base this season. Omar Minaya subsequently announced that Daniel Murphy was traded to the Twins for Joe Mauer ... 's copy of MLB 2K10 for Wii of which he's on the cover (the trade had to be modified when Minaya realized that Mauer is actually on the cover of MLB The Show). And Ike Davis was traded to the Phillies for Ryan Howard, who was traded to the Cardinals for Albert Pujols, who was traded to the Yankees for Francisco Cervelli ... clearing the way for Tatis to be the Mets first baseman for the rest of your life and your afterlife. But don't worry, the Mets also announced that lasagna bolognese will be served in your personal hell, and those pesky birds will be redirected away from your food.*

*Outside of the two dropped fly balls this post is satire, in case you didn't figure it out by the time Omar traded the best player in baseball for a back-up catcher which, though plausible, actually didn't happen ... this time. Please come down off the ledge and have a Peking Duck Bun.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Knocking Tradition Off Its Axis

Apparently, the news of Jose Reyes' imminent return has sent the planet into a frenzy. Something isn't right. First, the Mets do something sensible and send Ike Davis to the minors for his final bit of seasoning ...

Then, the Mets change the name of the spring training stadium in the middle of a game, making poor Gary Cohen announce the name change in the middle innings which clearly distracted Sean Green into thinking he was at Tradition Field when he was actually at Digital Domain Park throwing his latest train wreck of an inning ...

But the best proof that the world has gone insane is that during Tuesday's game, Jeff Francoeur walked ...


I know, I know, Reyes' return distracted damn near everyone. Especially Oliver Perez, who's Tuesday outing was so stellar he had to be rescued by some guy named Raul Valdez ... who wore number 96, had no name on his jersey, and had Cohen scrambling to execute a Google search for information on him.

Luckily, chasing Perez around Digital Domain Park with a bat to scare him into throwing strikes is considered a baseball related activity. So get to it, Jose. And scare the crap out of Pelfrey and Maine too while you're at it.

"If we have a crisis or something over there, I would have no problem with Ike Davis being part of a championship season." -Snoop
After which the champagne will taste really sweet, right?

(Bangs head against wall)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Cleared For Takeoff

Jose Reyes has been cleared to resume baseball related activities, and he's headed back to Florida.

For those of you unclear on what exactly is a baseball related activity:

This is a baseball related activity.

This is not.

This is a baseball related activity.

I don't know what this is.

This is a perfectly acceptable baseball drill.

This is never acceptable under any circumstances.

This is baseball.

This is a super secret friendship ritual you used to do in second grade.

This gets the heart pumping.

This is a ventriloquist act. Good for vaudeville, not for baseball.

This should never be resumed. Ever.

Animal Rakes, Blogger Bellyaches

All right, so we all know that "First Base/2010" is patchwork until Ike Davis is ready for the majors. Fine. And we also know that Daniel Murphy has the inside track. Maybe.

But how can you not have a spot for a guy nicknamed "Animal" on the Mets?

There's pros and cons to giving Chris Carter on the team. But what are the alternatives? How much more is Mike Jacobs going to give you than Chris Carter? Granted, Carter is less proven than Jacobs, as in Mike Jacobs has proven he can strike out a ton. What's the worst that can happen if Carter comes up? Even if he just backs up Murphy when it's all said and done?

And don't give me Fernando Tatis and having to wade through his fifty-eight double plays to get to the two grand slams he's going to hit.

My angle is that I want to see the Mets get some bang for their buck, so to speak, on that Billy Wagner trade as the Mets thought that Chris Carter and three million bucks (that went to Tatis and Kelvim Escobar) would be better for the franchise going forward than the two first round picks that the Red Sox got when Atlanta signed Country Time. Of course, any team that chooses cash considerations over re-investing in your farm system deserves to have the transaction bite them in the ass. But I don't. And as you know, it's all about me. So please just bring Carter up and make me happy until Ike Davis comes up in 2011 (or this May) and makes Chris Carter a mere footnote in the recesses of my mind.

Really, it doesn't get much better than "Animal".


Down about the lost chance for that second lefty? Or perhaps you're crying in your beer about Mike Pelfrey being about as useful as a batting tee against the Nationals. Well the best way to cheer up is to head yourself down to Two Boots Tavern at 7PM tonight for the first Amazin' Tuesday of 2010, hosted as always by Greg Prince of Faith and Fear in Flushing, and Jon Springer of Mets by the Numbers. There will be free beer in exchange for a Mets baseball card (as always), and you can get yourself a paperback copy of Greg's best selling book with a 2009 epilogue 10 bucks, which goes to the Tug McGraw Foundation. Pizza, beer, and philanthropy. You can't beat it ... not even if Chris Carter makes the Mets.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Hey, We Have Health Care! It's Now Safe To Trade For Mike Lowell!!!

Is it a coincidence that the Mike Lowell rumors from way back in January when the health care bill was thought to be on its last legs started again the very day that the new bill gets passed by the House of Reps? I think not. Now, if Lowell does become a Met and he gets hurt, it could be covered.

Recurring thumb problem? No problem! It's covered.

Bad hip? America can heal you.

Aging right-handed stick gets a year older every second? No problem. It can be fixed with subsidized wheat grass.

Batting average drops like a stone? Okay, maybe that's a problem, because I don't know if the Senate can fix that with wheat grass, aging cream, or 80-pitch drills that are supervised by your HMO. But hey, who better to test this new theory for the United States of America than on than the son of a Cuban exile?

Health care for all. The pennant is ours. Make this trade? Yes We Can!!!

(Editor's note: Does the new plan include psychiatric help for bloggers? I'm not asking for myself ... really. I'm just curious.)

(Editor's second note: Okay I'm asking for myself.)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Gator Bait

I can vouch for Ralph Kiner when he says that the best way to get away from an alligator is to run zig-zag. Because I heard the same thing years ago from an independent source. So Ron Darling had best remember this when the alligator comes after him during a round of golf and not be so dismissive.

You know what he also said during Thursday's loss to the Twins? He said that Fernando Martinez reminded him of Ted Williams. Well, so much for lowered expectations, right? This might scare me more than being chased by an alligator (or Sean Green coming into a game). Because you can't run from expectations ... zig-zag or otherwise.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Battle Plans

I suppose that when you consider the line of two runs in four innings for Oliver Perez on Thursday night against the Marlins, it's on pace to be a quality start, which would be three runs in six. Now that's like saying that winning on Opening Day puts you on a pace to be 162-0 so take it for what it's worth.

But it was this post-game quote from Perez that caught my attention:
"I didn't even think about striking out any guys. Sometimes you try to strike out guys and you start getting lost and lose your focus. Right now I'm just trying to not throw more pitches than four and five (per batter). The less pitches you have, the more deeper in the game you can go."
At least we have Oliver not thinking, which is a positive step forward. What Oliver meant to say was this:
"When I grow up, I want to be Jamie Moyer. And I figured I would speed up the process before I get my sorry butt sent to Buffalo, and I don't feel like pitching in the cold. I hate cold."
Nice that Oliver is trying to make Philosophy 101 work for him. And spring training is the time to do it. Here's what I hope doesn't happen: Oliver, Dan Warthen, and Snoop Gangsta decide that's this is what we want to do with every batter, all the time ... and that broad strokes and unwavering changes in philosophy are the way to go. Because it's nice that Oliver wants to be more efficient and that Snoop wants to throw strikes (necessary since Met pitchers led the free world last season by walking ... well, the free world). Great. All for it.

But not only do the bloggers know what Oliver and the Mets want to do, so do the opponents. You'll throw more strikes? Okay, we'll swing more. Oliver wants to be more efficient and only throw four or five pitches per batter? Great. We'll take more pitches ... especially those pitches that sail over our heads ... and maybe foul stuff off for good measure. Can't the plan be fluid to the situation as opposed to hitting the A button at full power all the time?

You know, if Eisenhower had given away the plans, we'd all be speaking German.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Finger On The Pulse

Yeah, your owner knows what you want (besides tributes to former Dodgers, limited sight lines new paint on the stairwells, that is). And he gives it to you on his Wil-Vlog.

Nightmares courtesy of your Wil-Pals at 12 Angry Mascots. And you can relive all the exploits of "Jeff Wilpon" at "".

As Opposed To, A Belly Itcher?

"I think one day I'd like to become an actual pitcher." -Mike Pelfrey, a pitcher
Aah, to be young and have dreams. I myself would like to be an actual blogger. You know, the kind that actually blogs and not just spews a lot of crap like I do now. Or maybe the kind who goes viral and turns his random spews into a television show. One day ... one day.

Though I'm not sure what to think about Pelfrey dreaming about the betterment of his world while watching a movie about the world's end, the process must work on some level since he took his new continental landscape to the Red Sox on Wednesday. Pelfrey bounced back from his last battle with Boston to throw four innings of one run ball, which is a perfectly acceptable step forward.

I'd like to say something on the record ...

(Hey, stupid! Everything you say is on the record ... it's called THE INTERNET!!!)

I guess that's why I'll never be a real blogger. But I want to say something that's more on the record than most things I say because I'm going to give you a high hope: Ready? Here goes:

I'm betting on Mike Pelfrey to bounce back this season.

I figure the odds are with us on that one. We've got three pitchers in the middle of the rotation who are on a downswing. Odds are one of them has to surprise the hell out of us in a good way just by the law of averages. I mean, look at Generation K. One of them turned out to have a decent major league career (unless you count Paul Wilson's 40-58 record as decent). It's the law of averages ... one out of three, slightly better than Anderson Hernandez's slugging percentage (good luck there, Cleveland ... I'm sure we'll get him back by August anyway).

Pelfrey, Oliver Perez, and John Maine aren't Generation K. More like Generation A.D.D. I've gotta pick one of them to bounce back and be useful (and frankly, if that happens I'd be ecstatic, considering how John Lackey's performing this spring ... Omar!) John Maine? Not after his string of injuries, and certainly not after his "I wasn't into it" quote. That sounds like something I said after getting a 54 on a Physics quiz in high school.

Oliver Perez? Don't get me started. "But Metstradamus, he had four hitless innings against the Tigers! Where's the love?" I want to see Oliver Perez toss that kind of ball all spring before I even think about falling under his hypnosis, only to be jarred out of it by 8 runs in 1 and 2/3's by "Bad Ollie". Then, I want to see him carry it over into the regular season and go at least six innings every start before I rush out to get my cream colored Perez jersey. And let's just say I'm not setting my money aside.

Pelfrey? He's the one ... the one who had the great half-season without being in the middle of a contract year. Of course he's also the one who easily gets distracted with pick-off moves, balks, and shiny objects like jingling keys. But that's why he's the leader of Generation A.D.D. And as the leader he's the one that needs to set an example. Besides, worrying about secondary pitches means less time worrying about how many runs he's going to balk home in a single game. So he's the one. 17-10. Law of averages.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

You've Got Questions, I Just Have More Questions

If Alex Cora was worth every penny of the $2.5 million the Mets paid him to be Jose Reyes insurance, then why would the Mets consider acquiring Cristian Guzman when it's time to cash in on the insurance policy?

Did Omar Minaya wake up and realize "Holy %$@#, we've gotta play Alex Cora every day!!!"

That's it, Rafael Santana's coming to camp to teach Ike Davis to play shortstop. Snoop loves the versatility anyway, so it works out.

And how is it that from January until know, I've completely forgotten that Josh Fogg was on the team?

Oh that's right, I remember now. He tried to slay a dragon and tweaked his side.

All other questions that I can't answer myself have been directed to your leader in WilVlog 3.0. Enjoy:

The Mascots just get angrier and angrier.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Please Put Your Complaint In The Box

How long before Jimmy Rollins complains that the goggles are too flashy and distracting and showboaty?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Turning A Lemon Into A Sponsorship

You know what struck me about Saturday's game?

Not the nine run 7th inning which featured four home runs ... though that was cool.

Not Oliver Perez's four hitless innings ... that was just plain mind-blowing (yet strangely typical of Oliver's inconsistency).

No, it's that the newly created shortstop battle between Alex Cora and Ruben Tejada has a sponsor. Seriously. "This battle for shortstop is sponsored by the new movie The Bounty Hunter" is what was read during the television broadcast with the accompanying graphic.

Leave it to the Mets to turn a season changing injury into a profit. It's strangely admirable.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Ain't That The Truth

True story:

Going home on the E train, and I go in the front car which is probably where I am most of the time on the train. I walk in wearing a sweatshirt with a Mets logo and I go to lean on the door where the conductor is in. At that very moment, the conductor opens the door so I get caught in a moment of stifled momentum. Wearing the Mets gear, I'm surprised the door didn't separate my shoulder.

The conductor looks at me and I'm thinking it's that "what the hell are you doing leaning on the door ... don't you read the signs that say don't lean on the door of the subway car" look. So I immediately apologize to him. What do you think the conductor says to me at that moment?
"Dude, you're gonna need a replacement shortstop."
It was a re-affirmation moment for me. This guy most likely has never read my blog or heard of my blog. But he looked at my Mets logo and immediately went into a Jose Reyes riff. He's why I blog.

So thanks for that.

And for not crashing the train into the retaining wall at Forest Hills. Last thing I need is a 2009 metaphor.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Six? Seven? Eight? Nine? Are You Out There?

"We're still going to have to pitch. Whether Jose or Carlos Beltran is there, No. 2, 3, 4 and 5 are going to have to pitch." -Jerry Manuel
No they don't, silly.

John Maine might be out by Game 3, Oliver Perez could run off and join the Peace Corps (boy, that would make Volunteers seem like an MSNBC documentary aired at 4AM), and if Mike Pelfrey's sinker doesn't start finding a way to sink, then enough outings like Thursday against the Red Sox could drive him to become the first player in the history of Earth to go on the DL with Attention Deficit Disorder.

And all those fifth starters? Boy band.

So 2-5? They don't really have to pitch at all. It just means that Johan is going to have to pitch every day and go through an aggressive regimen of power naps and cryogenics to bring his dead arm back to life between starts. It's all about Prevention and Recovery, right?

Good thing Jeff Wilpon has improved the promotions so that we'll all forget that 2-5 are actually going to have to pitch:

12 Angry Mascots provides the comedic version of the owner's son.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

What If It Was Reyes Hanging Up On This Wall?

No more Filet-o-Fish for you, Jose Reyes.

Okay, so maybe Reyes wasn't throwing down boxes filled with the high calorie goodness with gobs of tartar sauce from Mickey D's, but now that option isn't there (it's kind of like when you break your fingers and the doctor regrets to inform you that your piano playing career is over even though you've never played piano in your life.)

You know what other option is out the window? You guessed it: Baseball related activities ... and that includes plain ol' exercise in this case. Between two and eight weeks is what the doctors are recommending Reyes rest up to deactivate his thyroid a little bit ... so add a few weeks on top of that so Reyes can get back to baseball shape coming off an injury. Just one jumping jack before then could put him back at square one. (No, I'm not a doctor.)

So best case is probably a Reyes return around April 20th. Worst case for Reyes might be about June 1. You're talking a possibility of two months without Reyes and Carlos Beltran. The field may have lapped the Mets by then. But think of it this way: Last season's Mets would have ignored the diagnosis of rest and put a shot of cortisone right in his throat. So we're making progress here.

So no Filet-O-Fish. And no shrimp tacos either ... ironic since the first commercial after the half inning where Keith, Kevin and Ron talked about Reyes' condition was for the new shrimp tacos from Taco Bell. That's ... just ... cruel.

I imagine every time Reyes sees this, he'll have to wipe away a tear.

Nothing compared to the tears fans will be shedding every time Anderson Hernandez is trusted to do ... anything.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sage Wisdom

Leave it to Ralph Kiner to provide perspective during Tuesday's telecast:
"It's not even worth questioning because you know what's gonna happen ... When you're a star pitcher like he is it doesn't mean a thing what he does today, tomorrow, or the next day. It's when the bell rings that it counts and that's all they have to worry about." -Ralph Kiner on Johan Santana's rough outing on Tuesday
I really don't need to hear any more than that. And for those of you who may wonder why Oliver Perez gets the brunt of spring hate while Santana gets to go into the EZ-Pass lane I only say this: When Oliver Perez becomes a star pitcher who doesn't fall out of shape after signing a big contract, call me. Otherwise, I'll hold on to that extra standard, thanks. I was fooled once before.

Besides, Santana gave up a home run to freakin' Kaz Matsui. And anything Kaz Matsui does against the Mets should be inadmissible in the court of public opinion. For heaven's sake he once hit two home runs against Billy Wagner in an intersquad game. He's been killing the Mets ever since he was ... a Met! Hopefully the Astros will take advantage of this special offer:
"Orioles general manager Andy MacPhail said the Orioles may begin to seek outside help at second base. The status of Brian Roberts is starting to become a legitimate concern."
Gee, would have been nice to know this two months ago.

Oh well. Omar Minaya probably would have gotten little more than pocket lint for him anyway. Besides, there are greater things to be concerned with than trading Luis Castillo and how Johan Santana does in a spring training outing ... like who the hell let Roger Clemens into Port St. Lucie and why didn't security promptly throw him out for crimes against humanity? Is this where my tax dollars are going? I really could care less if all the Astros on the 40 man roster were related to Clemens. He can watch Koby on MLB.TV like the rest of us.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Are You A Wil-Pal?

Never let it be said that the Mets aren't in tune with the expanding technology and the expanding social media landscape. When the C.O.O. of the Mets puts together a video blog, you know this is a team that is ahead of the curve when it comes to the Internet technology.

And now, you can watch as Jeff Wilpon lets fans in on the excitement of the 2010 season with the first installment of his "WilVlog":

Comedy goodness comes courtesy of 12 Angry Mascots

Shut Down In The Corner

When they say "shut down" in football, you think of Darrelle Revis: Shut Down Corner. The Mets version is Kelvim Escobar: Shut Down For Shoulder Soreness.

Now that he's out indefinitely, it makes you wonder why the Mets gave him guaranteed money if he was this fragile. And the only answer I could come up with was this: With Jose Reyes' hamstring pretty much healthy, the Mets had a spot open for that player who was perpetually two-three weeks away from returning that we have no choice but to hear about endlessly even though he's doing nothing. Escobar fits that bill well right now. Consider what we'll have the opportunity to read in the papers or hear reported on "Cash For Gold Pre-Game Live" for the next few months:
"Kelvim Escobar threw off flat ground today. Team doctors think he may be two-three weeks away."

"Kelvim Escobar performed Jerry Manuel's 'Let's Put the Pitchers at Shortstop For No Good Reason' drills without incident. Manuel told reporters that Escobar is two-three weeks away, but sources revealed that Manuel may have been kidding."

"Kelvim Escobar fed strained peas to a baby and his arm didn't sound like a bowl of Rice Krispies in the process. Omar Minaya thinks that Escobar may be two-three weeks away, but that he couldn't be sure about that until he confirms it with the Wilpons."

"Kelvim Escobar participated in agility drills and managed not to step on one of the hidden mine-fields that Tony Bernazard had buried during a 2009 motivational tactic gone horribly wrong. Escobar is thought to be two-three weeks away unless Bernazard shows up at camp and challenges him to a fight."
It's just a way to keep the Mets in the press.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Cause Of Death: Oliver's Doughnut

It's official: Not even Sandy Koufax can help Oliver Perez.
Just when I was staring to feel good ... Ike Davis was raking, Jenrry Mejia's pitches were moving, Fernando Martinez hits two dingers against the Nats on Saturday ... here comes Perez to remind us that it does no good to have Davis and Martinez with the big club if they're going to do nothing but watch more Ollie gopher balls fly into the Pepsi Porch.

Perez made his long anticipated (long feared) spring debut, and gave up five runs in three innings. Would have been six if not for a Frenchy cannon from the outfield. Between this and Mike Pelfrey's not-so-hot outing on Saturday, the fear now is that the starting rotation is going to be a big giant doughnut. Great on the ends with Johan Santana and Niese/Nieve/Figueroa at five, who instill more confidence in me right now than Ollie/Little Pelf/John Maine who make up the jelly in the so-called middle. To me, Ollie's extremely lucky that Hisanori Takahashi had a stellar debut Sunday, or else instead of talking about Takahashi we'd be talking more about how the S.S. Metropolitan is sinking ... on March 7th.

But at least Oliver's throwing strikes. Great, except his strikes go faster the other way.

With Perez, it's a matter of choosing your demise. Will it be two to the back of the head (strikes)? Or will it be a million paper cuts (balls)? In any event you will die. And your death certificate will list Perez's linescore that particular night under "cause of death".

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Guilt Trip

Remember when Larry Andersen wanted to "put one in Jose Reyes' neck"?

Well now Reyes is returning to New York for tests because of a hyperactive thyroid, which is in his neck. So may Larry Andersen and the 74 mph fastball he rode in on be ridden with guilt for the rest of his days.

And may Reyes come out of the woods on this soon. While hamstrings may be fair excuses to make silly jokes about the medical staff, hyperactive thyroids are not. (But feel free to make Larry Andersen feel bad anyway.) And they are also unfair to put on the list when talking about somebody who's "injury prone". So while Prevention may not have had a chance on this one, let's encourage Recovery to save its best work for whatever Reyes has. Thankfully, an expert on the situation thinks that what Reyes has isn't going to keep him from playing ball for any length of time.

So there's nobody to hammer on this one until Reyes gets well ... or until the medication he takes to control it is found to be on Bud Selig's banned substance list after it's too late.


All right, so here's the question I was faced with today and I put to you ... the smart ones: Would it be wise to consider keeping Jenrry Mejia with the big club as a reliever if he continues to dominate like he did against the Marlins on Friday? Or would you rather keep him in Buffalo as a starter so that he can one day help out your rotation which needs more help down the road than the 'pen? Goose bumped debut aside, I vote for caution.

Of course, I'm the one who tried to rationalize that Doug Mientkiewicz was a better fit for Shea Stadium than Carlos Delgado in 2005, so what the hell do I know?


And where's the unwritten rule that says somebody named Mike Stanton must torture me at all times?

Friday, March 05, 2010

Turning On A Dime

I'm sure many of you were excited to see Gary Matthews Jr. hustle all the way to second on the wind blown base hit he had to lead off Thursday's game against St. Louis. And why wouldn't you be? It's that kind of hustle that has been magnified whenever the Mets showed a lack of it on the basepaths for the last few seasons, or when their opponents hustle to cap off horrible Mets losses to be replayed on YES until the end of time (see: Teixeira, Mark).

So when The Corporal busted it to second, you got a little giddy. I don't blame you.

Now, those of you who admitted you were giddy ... you were the same people who were more giddy later in the day when you found out the Reds had some interest in Matthews, weren't you? Ah? Ah? Come on, admit it. I'll admit it. I was one of those people too.

Well here's your wet blanket: The Reds have denied the allegations ... swiftly and emphatically. They didn't even use the word "investigate" five times in the same sentence. Though they did mention five other outfielders they would rather have than Corporal. No truth to the rumor that one of them was Moises Alou.


On another note completely, I've seen Ike Davis get two hits, including Thursday's grand slam. You know when you're hungover, and some idiot decides it's a good idea to slam his books on the table and normally it wouldn't bother you but you're hungover and your idiot friend's books sound like the bass drum playing the 1812 Overture? Yeah, that's what those Ike Davis hits sound like.

Buffalo's going to be really good this year (cough ... don't rush him ... cough).


In close to five years doing this, I've never typed the name "Kiko Calero" in this space. Now that he's a Met, I'm sure this isn't going to be the last time. The key will be: What will I type after "Kiko Calero"? Will it be "big strikeout"? Or will it be ... "James Andrews"?

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Encouraging Your Alcoholic Tendencies (And Your Destructive Reading Habit)

Amazin' Avenue is one of my favorite blogs in life.

And now it's in book form so you can have all the fun of your favorite blog without having to log on to anything or deal with Windows Vista. Because as you know this computer thing is just a fad to keep you entertained while scientists work on a microchip to put every piece of the Internet into your brain before the feds manipulate that chip via remote control to make you believe what they want to believe and force you all to become passive people who eat nothing but Activia, watch nothing but tabloid entertainment shows and root for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Crap ... I've said too much.

But boys and girls, go grab the Amazin' Avenue Annual when it comes out on Friday. It features:
  • Passages from many of your favorite "AA" authors ...
  • A few from outside the Amazin Avenue world, and ... are you ready for this ...
  • A drinking game that you can play during Mets telecasts that will give "AA" a completely different meaning for you by the end of September.
And that's all just the beginning. So don't just fall off the wagon, dive off it and into the world of the Amazin' Avenue Annual. To borrow a curling phrase, hurry hard and get this book. And, y'know, drink.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The Ballad Of Ray Ramirez

You would think with not only Prevention, but Recovery too, that you wouldn't see Ray Ramirez on a major league field until at least the second game of spring training. Nope. Game 1. Elmer Dessens gets hit with a line drive and there's Ray Ramirez ... again. He's ubiquitous (look it up).

I know, I know. You can't prevent a line drive to the leg. I know this. It's nobody's fault. But how am I supposed to turn the page on 2009 when we can't get through a week without seeing Ray Ramirez?

But on the bright side, Larry Jones was nowhere to be found, Snoop gave Nick Evans his first at-bat since the '87 World Series, and the Mets still haven't lost since September. Hope springs eternal.

Oh wait, there's Ray Ramirez looking at Hope's hamstring. It sprung just a little too much there.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Easy On The Pissery

I love the Mets.

I'm sure that fact is easy to forget from your perspective as you read my constant razzes, piling on, and flat out pissery. (If Snoop Manuel can make up crackpot theories as to why Oliver Perez is wild, then I can make up new meanings for existing words, so deal with it.) So it's something I need to make it clear and reiterate sometimes. Everyone has their cross to bear ... loving the Mets is mine.

Yet I'm not one of those people that think winter is cold and lonely and that I need to inject caffeine straight into my veins to get through the 3-4 months without real live baseball. Winter is fun. This might have been more fun than others. I saw the Jets get to the AFC Championship game. I saw USA Hockey get to overtime of the gold medal game, and I'm about to go on the wild ride that is the Rangers make a big push for ninth place. Woo hoo.

And I also saw the Nets win six games ... one of them against the Celtics after they traded for Nate Robinson.

(After that I saw a chipmunk on downers with a broken leg drop 40 points on Robinson.)

Winter? Suits me just fine. A winter without the Mets? Probably did a little good for my sanity.

And yet I knew ... I knew that I was growing wistful for the Mets when I was watching the Winter Olympics, and I couldn't watch John Shuster cost the American curlers three wins on last rock without thinking of Aaron Heilman. And when all the alpine skiers started looking like Jose Offerman angrily wielding a baseball bat at a minor league pitcher, I knew I was starting to miss the game.

But when I was yelling at Carlos Baerga last night for missing an easy tag on Joe Girardi during the airing of a game that happened 14 years ago ... a game the Mets won, I knew I needed a ballgame, quickly.

Thankfully, we'll get one today.

And it's fitting that in the first game against a live opponent (don't give me intersquad ... we talkin' bout practice, man) it's Nelson Figueroa that will get the start. Not only is it nice to see Nelson get a chance to make the team after being tossed around the organization like a Jeremy Reed throw from first, it provides a certain symmetry from tossing in those long shadows that only meaningless October baseball can provide to pitching in the splashy sun that only spring training in Florida can muster up. It's Figueroa who provides the bridge between the despair of last season and the promise of 2010. And if you've reached the end of that bridge without jumping, then welcome to the season. If you haven't reached the end of the bridge, you've got about a month to get there.

But whether you're ready, or you're not, there's one thing we can all agree on:

How the hell did Baerga miss that tag? It's Joe Girardi for crissakes! A damn catcher!!! When are we going to be out from Baerga's contract so we can go sign Luis Castillo?

Monday, March 01, 2010

Government Job