Mets in First after Davey Hits Cincinnati Area Fat Man with Ball
The undead corpse of Marge Schott wanders the concourse last night with Mr Met ripoff handing out Nazi balloons to the children.
It was the annual battle of the Ball Heads. It didn't start well, but boy the ending was swell.
If you went into a coma, oh about 11 or 12 games ago and woke up in the 4th inning last night, you wouldn't have thought twice. For a good proportion of the game, the Mets looked real first halfy/collapsy, with suspicious starting pitching, suspect defense, and criminal relief. I admit to feeling totally deflated, which speaks to the faith I have in this club.
For a while last night, it seemed that the story today would involve how the Mets pitching staff, them of a .64 ERA through their last 6, realized they were being stingy and decided to start giving those runs back in bushels. But then suddenly the offense bailed them out. Again and again. At the risk of underplaying David Wright's contribution, and Carlos Delgado's rebirth, I must say this Fernando Tatis has been at the heart of nearly every good thing these guys have done lately. As I said before, it is truly better to look good than to be good.
Instead the story is this: The Phillies have CHOKED away a 7 1/2 game lead (June 13th) and the Mets are in first!! Why not?
Now to the subplots. The agents of a certain handful of Mets, the Convalescent Quartet of El Duque, Alou, Pedro, and Luis Castillo, tying up the lines at Sterling Enterprises with reports of the continued setbacks their clients are suffering. Pedro took a cortisone shot, and Old Duque left his rehab game with wheeziness and boo boo foot or something. Castillo has been sent to Florida with the instructions: don't call us, we'll call you. Every time one of these dudes gets back on the horse, it seems another of them gets run down by the wagon. We can only hope that Omar has finally crossed "Get older, frailer" off of his list of things to do. Chicks, it turns out, do not dig "That Old Man Smell." Pagan and Church to the setbackers and it looked like we were headed for a night of rotten news.
It looks like the Yankees plan to have Jason Giambi coach Richie Sexton on how to manage his post-steroid scandal return to productivity. The news that spread of Sexton and Joe Blanton joining the enemies, put a point on the coming dread: the Mets have no everyday corner outfielders and a pretty doubtful end of the rotation. In terms of what Omar Minaya might do, any Met deadline deal needs to be viewed with trepidation and Omar's regime is no exception, though this hasn't been their thing so far. What to do? Or more specifically, what not to do?
John Peterson has captured the fear and loathing quite aptly in his discussion of Raul Ibanez rumors. He has also posted a visual, immortal testament to the Ibanez fielding style, (click link if video doesn't work, or go directly to the Lookout Landing sidebar for Ibanez defensive gems), just in case you get the urge to kick the tires and fit Raul into your Met fantasy plans. What can a guy like Ibanez give ya in left? You don't want to know.
Do you want the Mets to take a chance on a guy who often doesn't seem to know where the ball is?
So who else is out there that we could tolerate? Probably nobody, if the continued decimation of the minor league system any satisfactory move would require is factored in.
I'm sure that Xavier Nady will be a popular target, seeing as Mets fans loved this guy more after he was dealt than they did when he was here. This farmer boy Adam Dunn, who has hit as many home runs as Ted Williams did at a comparable point in his career, is fresh in our minds. He could certainly chase his tail and flail away like Endy and Tatis in right field, while putin' some moonshine into his moonshots for the Mets. That is if the Mets don't mind a tractor full of strikeouts, livestock roaming the clubhouse, and rising post-game buffet costs. I can't promise you that Omar makes a move, I can only promise I will whine no matter what he does.
And despite all my posturing about old guys, I have to say news of Manny Ramirez pissing off the Red Sawx owners yet again got me thinking of this guy coming out of left field... in Citifield. If the Sox don't pick up their $20 million options in the next two years, it would be awful tempting to let him be himself out there where Moises once (or twice) roamed. What's another $20 million boondoggle for the Wilpons? I don't know why I'd even consider that (other than the World Series rings Manny has helped deliver), but there you go.
Johan's terrible start last night is probably bothering me too much, but I couldn't help but notice that the Twins can't find a spot for post Tommy John uber pitcher Francisco Liriano in their rotation and are keeping him in AAA for a month! Damn. Some teams have all the luck/managerial panache.
For you folks that are interested, the New York Times had a snazzy little graphic comparing the first 32 games of the 2007 and 2008 Mets. If you like colored bubbles that indicate the size of a percentage by their size, this is the place for you. I guess I got to this late, and its only 32 games, but I'd like to see a comparison of the whole first halves, so to speak.