It's Mets For Me: Off-Beat, Tangentially Relevant Mets Ruminations

Off Base Since 2005! Mets commentary from the counter-intuitive to the unintuitive and all the intuitives in between. ** "Through the use of humor and gross inaccuracy...a certain truth can be gained." Rob Perri ** (pester me or follow me @itsmetsforme on twitter)

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Contract the Marlins!

Marlins fans take in the sights on a typical game day.

It's Billy Marlin's birthday.

Fuck Billy Marlin. Contraction may no longer be in style, but now that the Tampa Bay Rays are tasting success I think it's time for the MLB to trim its sails in Florida and do the right thing for baseball: contract the Florida Marlins. Do their fans a favor and rid the world of the Fish. Time to admit that teal is not an appropriate color for a major league baseball team, field sobriety tests not the challenges that MLB player's should be rising to, and firesales are not a legitimate strategy for operating a franchise. McDonald's doesn't let anyone serve RatBurgers (at least pure rat), why should MLB let the Marlins sell baseball?

The author poses with his new catch, and a big dead fish.

The two main functions of the Marlins--their position as top farm club for the rest of MLB, and their eminently funny and poetically appropriate names ("That play was Uggla," "And he Cantu make the play")--are no longer enough to justify this club's continued existence. And, let's face it, the Marlins aren't "contenders," they are just fucking up the field for the Dolphins.

This week I have been making the case which I present in full for you today, arguing for the contraction of the boorish, malcontent, infantile AAAA franchise Florida Marlins. This is a half-assed franchise, and some of their young players deserve better than to be treated as merchandise in a discount shoe store. Others at least deserve to be sharing a bunk with Elijah Dukes in the NL East's premier holding tank for criminal ballplayers. Any random success the franchise has is yet another black mark on baseball, as you can intuit by reading the writeup Baseball Prospectus 2008 (pp.184-7) offers about the dark history of the Marlin's scummy, Yankee minority stakeholder stained ownership.

They play on a football field with no roof in South Florida!!
They have employed Al Leiter and Paul LoDuca... twice!
They owe their history to former Yankees owners!

Today's Mets beatdown couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. Pitcher Scott Olsen is the face of the Marlin's franchise: a true asshole, known for physical confrontations with teammates, flipping off fans (how did he find any?), drunk driving, being tasered by police, and other things that asswipes do. The guy, like many of his teammates, is a cocky, emotionally damaged dickbag and as such, gets some coverage by espn:

The bad behavior was affecting his teammates. On the field, Olsen was gaining a reputation as a cocky guy who thought he scared opponents, when in actuality all he did was motivate them more to beat him. He once called out Phillies second baseman Chase Utley in a game, invoking the wrath of Utley and his teammates.

The wrath of Utley? Heavens.

Why is this team of punks--children of Miguel Cabrerra all of them-- so personally offensive to me? you might wonder. Let's look at some handy evidence from this series. Calling time in the middle of a pitchers wind-up, and then bitching about it when the ump ignores you. Running out to inflame a brawl when your name is Mike Jacobs and you owe Pedro Martinez and the the Mets your professional career. Waging a personal campaign to dishonor the position of second baseman. These are all in a day's work for the Fish.

To be honest, my campaign takes extra motivation from having to endure the idiocy of the Marlins broadcasters, in fact the Marlins would just be another 3rd division team below my radar without exposure to these tools. Is anyone else watching FSN Florida? The so-called "Extra Innings" (cable) package drives me nuts with their hometeam broadcast non-sense. Instead of SNY, I continually get the Fish Feed, with their insufferable announcers and high-school level camera operators. The dipshits in front of the microphones sputter inanities until the pit grows in my stomach and I have to turn the volume off. But that still doesn't relieve the suffering since, at least once a game, I shit you not, the cameraman zooms out and loses the ball during a play, then scans the entire stadium looking for it!!! So it drives me insane that the Extra innings "chooses" the broadcast of a team with no fans when the Mets are a national team with a top notch broadcasting.

So I say contract the tools in the FSNMiami/Sun booth first. As I have often chronicled, the FSN Miami dopes give nicks to the most undeserving of ballplayers. "Jake" is their nickname for a career minor-leaguer who starts at first base. "Hammer" for a guy who has never topped 26 homers. Indeed.

[It may seem like a small complaint, but I am suffering emotional and psychological damage here. Is anyone else in this boat? Can I start a petition drive? Do I have grounds for a lawsuit? I am interested in hearing what any baseball fans with legal backgrounds or organizing experience have to say.]

I honestly don't know how the Marlin's handful of fans stand supporting this team. I am really fascinated by the idea that the Fish have any fans at all. It must be tough.

Cody Ross, former rodeo clown, current MLB clown.

That Cody Ross episode yesterday was symbolic of the teamwide lack of class and small-man syndrome. There is no way to imagine that Pelfrey was trying to hit Ross, yet Ross started barking at him like he was more than a journeyman with a large babyhead who used to be a rodeo clown. (Click that link--Cody Ross has his own fan sight!! Unbelievable, I guess people in Florida don't all do meth or follow Nascar as a hobby) Worse, Mike Jacobs, who literally owes the Mets his big league career, was out there acting tough. The Marlins pull this stuff every year late in the season: remember Olivo's pointless overreaction last season? How can anyone root for these guys?

The Marlins team is filled with malcontents and immature punks with no respect for the game (Ross, Ramirez, Olsen, etc.) who are embarrassments to baseball (Uggla). Though he was in decline, the Fish signalled their commitment to becoming the Nationals of the NL East South by getting rid of Dontrelle Willis, the team's one shining hope to have a respectable posterboy. What's worse, even though management dealt All-Star Fat Lazy Slug Miguel Cabrera in a lopsided deal partially in an effort to try to deal with the bad karma (how else to explain this move?), this team's culture seems to be feeding on itself. If you're a young player with no positive example and no one to look up to (other than say, steroid freaks like Paul LoDuca, Pudge Rodrigez, or Luis Gonzalez), you can't possibly be expected to become a good citizen. How can you build your character when Scott Olsen is always calling you for bail money??

To summarize, the Fish suck and need to be contracted. And, in the end, Marlins fans might appreciate this more than anybody else--they have to listen to what can charitably be called the worst TV broadcast team in all of baseball, their management trades away any and all marquee players, and their owners don't care a wit about them. Even the cameramen on FSN are incompetent!! Finally, I read the Marlins are toying with raising ticket prices on the few fans they have!!!

I'm a Metsfan so I know something about suffering, but I can barely endure watching the few games with the Marlins that I must every year. Anyway it was fun beating them today.

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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Death, Taxes, and Aaron Heilman Sucks

Aaron Heilman, in happier times, poses with some people he could get out if his life depended on it.

Thank god for life's little certainties. There is no need to discuss last night's game much. Yeh yeh, the Mets bullpen and offense blew an opportunity to keep the Phillies in their place and stomp on the Marlin's neck. Nothing to see here.
Everyone knows that Dan Uggla and Cody Ross are little bitches but there's nothing new there.
The question we do need to consider is this: When is enough enough? How much Aaron Heilman do the Mets think we can take? It doesn't matter if Jerry has nowhere to turn, Aaron Heilman has been dooming the Mets chances for years. Why are Omar and Jerry not answering these questions on a daily basis? Is it because the newspaper business is a dying industry and the remaining reporters are looking to jump ship and/or spend all their time criticizing "bloggers"? What kind of management would continue to trot out this sad sack, key spot after key spot, important game after important game, year after year? The only analogy I can think of for this mind boggling circumstance is how Americans continue to vote for George W. Bush. After years of expecting Heilman to get traded waived killed only to see him up there failing one more time, it's that ponderous. Bush-level ponderous.

Handed the ball in any important or emotional situation, Aaron Heilman is guaranteed to fail. But, to be fair, Aaron does all kinds of failure:
Failure to live up to expectations when he was drafted.
Failure to develop an adequate arsenal of pitches to become a starter.
Little failure.
High profile failure.
Failure against the Cardinals.
Failure under guru-type pitching coach.
Failure under do nothing pitching coach.
Big time failure.
Failure on a plane.
Failure on a train.
Failure to merit a parking spot in spring training.
Failure not to bitch when he didn't have a parking spot.
Failure not to give ball parking spot in bullpen.
Give up the big bomb failure (personal fave).
and now...

Walk-off walk failure.

Aaron Heilman means:
Stubborn reliance on failed policies of the past.

There's an easy solution to this problem. Make Aaron Heilman an ex-Met as soon as possible.

That is all.


Beltran Knocks Fish out of Water

This post was almost titled "The One That Got Away."

The psychological torture one must endure to watch this team seems to grow with every passing game. I hate playing the Fish because that means a better than even chance I'll have to endure the Fish Feed, the broadcast equivalent of involuntarily listening to some dipshits public cell phone conversation. It is unforgivable that Major League (so-called) Extra Innings package would carry the SUN Sports/FSN Miami feed of the game. It can't be a conscious choice--the SNY booth wins Emmys, features knowledgeable former MLB stars, and provides incisive analysis while Tommy Hutton and Rich Walz (in matching outfits no less) have probably never won an office pool between them--to go with the network tweedledee and tweedledumbs who can't even draw fans to their stadium much less their broadcasts. I practice singing everyday in my shower, but that doesn't mean I deserve a national audience.

With their infantile style of broadcasting, characterized by over-familiarity with the players, idiotic nicknames like "Hammer," lame ill-informed homerism, and lack of anything interesting whosoever to say about the game of baseball, this bozos need to be kept in South Florida broadcast hell, not imposed on an unsuspecting national crowd. The Marlins--from the football stripes on the field to the announcers to the biannual ritual dismemberment--class all the way.

Marlins broadcast team in happier times. The village is missing two idiots, Sun Sports!

These guys just don't seem to be qualified for anything above the level of cable access shows with lavalamp designs and unexpected elderly nudity. For example, Hutton and Walz , untroubled by exposure to the division in which their team plays in, worried aloud at the awesome power of Aaron Heilman who, it turns out, has shut the Fish down a couple times this year, one of his most miserable. There was one high spot of the night's broadcast in the 8th, when the field reporter detailed tomorrow night's Florida transportation department-sponsored promotion at the Fish stadium, raising the interesting philosophical question of which is worse, receiving a ticket for not buckling up, or winning two tickets to a future Marlin game?

With news that Phils had already lost, life was playing into the Mets strategy. Just wait for the Phillies to lose their way out of contention and face the Fish on the field--not a place where fish are notable for their prowess. But when the Mets fell behind in the 3rd on a sacrifice fly that scored the pitcher, the viewer stress started to mount. They could go two up on the Phils, and all they have to do is best Chris Volstad.

But this is the Mets we're talking about. The third inning was dreadful. Reyes' dumb-ass error on PITCHER Volstad's weak grounder in the 3rd was temporarily mitigated by something I'd never seen before: Carlos Delgado more or less successfully fielding the ball and throwing it to second while a runner is in his field of vision. Nevertheless, a short time later, PITCHER Volsted would score the go-ahead run. When playing the Marlins, one is supposed to wait for them to make the crucial error (on the famous "Hit it to Uggla" strategy, more later) not gift them with your own.

Other sources of tonight's angst festival?

Usually, Ollie likes to get his money's worth when he loses. The Oliver Perez walk show made for unpleasant viewing, but it was an L that Ollie actually wouldn't have deserved for once. But tonight his offense sputtered. Actually it didn't even sputter it drooled. After whacking Volstad around the park in a appropriate manner the first frame, the Mets went super meek on his ass, actually reversing Volstad's pitch count at one point as Superman would have to fly backwards around the Earth to do. I mean the top of the order was as lame as the bottom of the order. Church's style at the plate can only be described as "concussed." Daniel Murphy has mostly abandoned the patience at the plate thing for a swing at everything approach. Cody Ross and his big stupid head tripled in the 6th.
Cody Ross ain't cried so hard since paw had to put his pony down. An he ain't been so low down since that cheerleader made fun of his spurs and big baby head.

David Wright, up with the bases loaded in the 7th down by a run--the pivotal point of the game-- probably should have been called out on 0-2 but thanks to schizo home umpire Jerry Layne's remarkably mobile strike zone, he was able to strike out on 3-2 instead. I believe FAIL is what they call that on the interwebs. David just does nothing for me lately.

Does Carlos Beltran hit anything but infield squibblers anymore (again in the 8th)? Nubtran? No nickname suggests itself. Even Tatis, the clutchiest member of the current club, could manage no more than a big fly to right. A reborn Murph the Hitting Smurf helped calm me down with a nice single to right advancing Nubtran to third. Then Jerry Manuel made the redoubtable decision to pinch hit Brian (Mr. Offense) Schneider with the less popular less successful rook, Nick Evans, and then with Endy Chavez the hitting Bambi, who then sealed the Mets' fate by weakly grounding out to the pitcher, something we know Schneid could have done without all the delays.

[begin interior monologue]

Sheet, this is not the Mets night: even the "Hit it to Uggla" strategy failed. If you can't hit it past Uggla, as Reyes tried in the 9th, then you can't win. If hitting it to Uggla doesn't win ballgames, I don't know what to believe in anymore. But with Wright and Castillo aboard with two away in the 9th, Kevin Gregg, he of the sunglasses at night, hits Delgado with a pitch. Bringing up...

Carlos Beltran, who on the first pitch smacks a grand slam. Holyfunking whoopdie wow!!

How improbable: Mets deliver with the bases loaded like fish ride bicycles.

Wow, what a relief! Sigh. Finally, its over, merciful heavens its over. You pays your money and you gets your rewards.

But it isn't over. No, I forgot one thing. That's right, the Mets have no serviceable relievers who are qualified to pitch baseballs to the Marlins in the bottom of the 9th. Oh yes there's that. In walks Luis Ayala. Somewhere John Franco is chuckling.

Two outs, two runs later, and no thanks to Ayala really, the Mets preserved their improbable victory and gave all of us Metfans familiar indigestion.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Turns Out, Phils are Subject to Murphy's Law or...F*ck the heck, I'm back in!

The Mets third baseman, posing here with the Mets bullpen, better get his offensive act together say some.

Well I'll be damned. It didn't look good. Not for me and the Subcontinent internet tech I had on the phone OR Johan Santana. I got through to tech support ("Oh, you said firmware!") just as Johan coughed up the lead on what looked to me like some kind of illegal swing by the Phils oxen first baseman. I thought: Shit man, the combination of this tech guys' thick accent and his easily forseeable tendencies towards condescendingly reading the manual at me from 6000 miles away for the next 30 minutes and fucking up my system worse than it is, well I dunno if I can take that and the Mets marquee man taking it on the chin. I was actually slightly looking forward to the Mets losing without a bullpen meltdown.

But then out of nowhere, what looked for sure like the Mets finding a new way to lose--lose early, lose with their ace on the hill, fall behind early, lose at hands other than their own bullpen, etc.--turned out to be a much nicer change of pace. Say what you will about these Mets, and I have, they do know how to drag themselves off the mat. So the world continues to suprise me: here I am with my wireless router working again AND the Mets pulled victory out of their asses.
I imagine many Mets fans have gone past the"I want/expect a nice clean, well-earned W tonight" approach and found themselves in the "I don't care if the Mets get pantsed, get their asses handed to them, and they only win because the opponent forfits, I'm just happy if they win or everyone else loses" mode. Call me an idealist, but I haven't got there yet. The shred of foolish idealism I hold on to--the idea that there is one last narrative to be told about this team that isn't about managerial ineptitude, player indifference, or on-field disaster--is being nurtured by players like Carlos Delgado, who two months ago looked absolutely kaput, one month ago seemed going on one last career hot streak, and now seems like he is readying himself for a run at Mayor of Flushing. Players like Murph the Hitting Smurf, who took a break from his rookie letdown to lash a frozen rope into the philthy Philadelphia night and keep our hearts from breaking at least for another week. It's guys like these who, if I had any sense at all, I'd hate for refreshing my false hope, but I can't help mindlessly cheering like a Chinese Olympic badmitton fan.

On the other hand, flashing the leather and looping a just-in-time toss over to first will not be getting David Wright off the hook for disappearing when the team needed him most in Philly. It's gonna take more than that to win me over. If this guy wants to get back the MVP award stolen from him by old Jimmy Rollins last year, he better start carrying this team because everytime he steps to the plate and looks at the pitcher these days, he sees his goofy shortstop looking back at him from second base. It's not the "Merely Valuable Player," Daveyboy.

I'm gonna enjoy this day off.

PS. No, Brian Schneider is not off the shit list.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Pathetic Mets Schneid into Second Place

First things first: Brian Schneider lost this game for the Mets. You can blame the lame offense, or point to the shitpen, but all Mr. Defense had to do is catch the relay from Easley, wait a beat, and tag out the runner to end the game. That's all. I've seen enough of Brian Schneider, who I would prefer not to see in a Mets uniform next year, not that I'm as high as others are on cream puff sleepyHEAD, who left the game with some kind of leg injury. Schneider's defense is underwhelming, and his reputation for prowess is certainly the creation of some clever agent. This loss is on him.

As for the other half of that dreadful trade of Lastings Milledge, Ryan Church looked positively concussed tonight, going something like 0 for 100. Mets "stars," outside of Jose Reyes, did their familiar dissappearing acts, David Wright falling all over himself in the field and failing at the plate in key situations. Wright, Delgado and Beltran, as they have during so much of the season, were content to leave most of the offensive production to Easley and Tatis.

It was pretty clear that the Mets were going to lose this game. No one can be suprised at the outcome of a game left in the hands of the Mets shitpen. But to draw it out until the 13th inning was maddening. They ruined my night, and perhaps their season tonight.

But this is condition critical for Omar Minaya. Perhaps you think his hands are tied. But there is no earthly reason to keep bringing Mssrs. Sanchez, Feliciano, Heilman, Smith into games. Their names are on the roster, but they cannot get the job done. My dog could tell you that. September 1, the Mets need to bring up anyone who can grip a baseball, and find three guys who can pitch worth a damn, no matter what their contracts say.

When Luis Ayala came into the game, things seemed to be looking up: he was a chump, but at least he wasn't one of our chumps, one of the usual suspects. Operating in a different culture all season, albeit a culture no more sucessful then the Mets', perhaps he would step up and make the nightmare go away. Then he blew the game too. Well, now he can take his place amongst the other chokers.

You can give Aaron Heilman all the credit you like for prolonging this August baseball misery as long as he did. But the Phils did everything short of sending Strawberry Shortcake up to the plate. Had pitcher Cole Hamels been a bit luckier, Heilman's traditional goat role would not have trickled down to Shownblow, the man with one ball who pitches like he has none.

Note to SNY: Put the fucking pitch speeds up after each of the pitches, not just some of them. They're a key part of the broadcast. You're really pissing me off. Also, someone remind Keith that he can't decide the umps been consistently giving the low ball strikes when his own booth was discussing how the ump was not being consistent on those pitches while Pedro was pitching.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Top 10 Reasons Luis Castillo Asked For a Few More Days on the DL
Passing on activation

Item: Luis Castillo reportedly doesn't feel right about starting for the Mets, asks for a few extra days. What are his possible reasons?

10. still raising cash to buy a pair of old Shea Stadium seats.

9. it's just common courtesy to let the current second baseman's hair coloring job fade before taking his job

8. still owes Lance Berkman money.

7. his joining the club could jeopardize team's qualification for federally-funded "Reyes Employment" program.

6. under the contract Omar signed him to, a couple of days = $34,246 muthaf**kers!!

5. will be assisting on El Duque's surgery

4. no pressing need for his "Brian Schneider-like" power

3. trying to figure out why Omar insisted on calling him a cab from hotel to Shea.

2. wants to rest up, maintain .316 September batting average from last year's collapse during this year's collapse.

1. Just can't bear to watch Aaron Heilman come in and blow another game.

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Jerry Manuel's Wicked Web of Deceit
Jerry to media: "You can't handle the truth!"

What do these statements have in common?

Castillo will be starting at second base tonight
I'll give Eddie Kunz a chance to be my closer.
I will get Pelfrey more rest.
We have to shake up the bullpen (right before sending Heilman out to close again).
I didn't get tossed from that game while Willie was still the skipper because I wanted his job.
Aaron Heilman will never touch another baseball while wearing a Mets uniform so help me.

(ok, the fourth one was never said, and I may have imagined that last one)

Did you guess "Lies that Jerry Manuel told the media and didn't even try to pretend that they were true"? Then you guessed right! If these are trial balloons then they are filled with duplicitous hot air. The media is only starting to realize that they can't believe a single word out of the Gangsta's mouth. Looking forward to how the Mets' new media strategy pans out.

John Maine thinks about last night's performance against the Astros.

How sad did John Maine look last night? So sad that only the Daily News could muster the strength to make a "sink the Maine" pun their headline. It was a stressful game to watch, for fans, mostly because the Phils had already beaten the useless Dodgers earlier in the day. Also because Brandon Backe (who can only beat the Mets it seems) is the *%$# anti-Christ. Here's a few less-than-comforting phrases I glean from the article about Maine:

lingering discomfort
gut it out
arthroscopic procedure

With the Mets starters already pitching their arms off to avoid handing the ball to the shitpen, how does this bode? And with off season surgery now looming for one of the three starting pitchers the Mets have under contract, can Oliver Perez start counting his Wilpon money?

Asking questions to start sections is a lame trick. But here's one more:

Q: Is SNY slowly shitting away their fan loyalty by doubling up on those infernal D*** J**r Ford commercials? Would any Met fan by a fucking Ford at this point?

A: As sure as Fernando Tatis hit 2 grand slams off of Chan Ho Park in the same inning against the Dodgers on April 23, 1999, SNY is devaluing their broadcast with this flash of hell every break.
Jeter:"How am I gonna fit these ladies into my Fusion?"
Ladies: "Ooh, it burns."

Sure many of you probably doubt that Jeter ravages America's starlets in the back of a Taurus; Fords are what Jetes feeds to his other cars you say. But I dunno, I think Jeter wants a ride to match his haircut and his STDs. Watch the loathsome shortstop of the third place AL East team pimp himself at the hilarious "blooper reels" at J*ter TV. Sample hilarity: Jeter: "Wanna see why the Ford Edge is the hottest new whatever to hit the street?"In all this, the question that most bothers me is: what have we come to when they are producing behind-the-scenes clips for the shilling of regional car dealerships?


Friday, August 22, 2008

Pissing on the Parade

There is no such thing as a bad sweep of the Atlanta Br*ves, like they say there's no bad pizza. The Mets basically were gifted yesterday's finale courtesy of a bad ump call and a plot of slippery grass. So it hasn't made me as euphoric as it could, though I'd like a serving of personal revenge against the Asstros starting tonight. In the face of this season-long disaster, we Mets fans have nurtured the dream that the team will gel at the right time, come out of the NL East, and go improbably bonkers in the playoffs. But folks, we don't have a closer, a pen, or a consistent offense and this is by all reports a snake-bitten team. If you look past the recent feast of second division sad sacks, gaze deeply in the mirror, you know that the only thing going for the Mets this year with any consistency has been the poor quality of the NL East competition .

Perhaps it is, as Mark Herrmann of Newsday says, beginning to look a lot like the Mets can take this thing, this thing being the NL East crown. But if you a) have seen the Mets bullpen in action, b) occasionally watch highlights from around the league or c) remember the beat downs suffered at the hands of the Angels or Astros, you can't be too optimistic about the Mets October odds. And, if you're the skittish type, DO NOT look at the Mets' remaining schedule--Houston, Philadelphia, Florida, Milwaukee, and the Cubbies take up 22 of the 32 remaining games. OOhhh Shit. Despite what has gone before, the Mets won't win the NL East unless they deserve it, you can be sure of that.

[RANTING EDIT: Dawn Perry is at it again, calling the Mets remaining schedule easier than the Phils but generally using numbers to tell us nothing about anything. Obviously, since I just said it is a difficult remaining schedule, he is wrong wrong wrong. Does he actually have his robot look at the quality of teams the Mets are playing and/or how they've fared against them? Plug this into your Texas Instruments 4000 you dope: Houston, Philadelphia, Florida, Milwaukee, and the Cubbies. Perhaps Dayn was driven to distraction by all the Reyes' currently on the Mets roster. He is not worth my trouble, or links to other times I have slagged him (try Dayn's a Dope as a label). I will never ever never be convinced he knows jack shit about baseball. On his better days, he brings us a "perspective" informed by the worst of stats tunnel vision. Of course he is brought to you by Faux Network, destroying the MLB one game at a time]

To make it into the land of Dane Cook and Joe Buck, the Mets will have to overcome more than the schedule. The Mets have severe pitching problems that have been hidden by the team's recent spate of games against hopeless clubs. If you're keeping score: John Maine is hurting. Countrytime is gone. And Dirty is doubtful. That is some heavy shit folks. I got no answers.

In addition, now that the Mets brass finally discovered young players, the Mets have to do some juggling. J-Man may earn his stripes integrating a slew of potentially productive players into the outfield and second base slots, because with the return of several regulars--none of them functioning relievers mind you--the Mets have a so-called "good problem." The Mets have comically postponed Luis Castillo's welcome home party for a while now, (they've done everything but hide his cleats) league rules may force them to give Luis a place at the pre-game buffet. Luckily, none of these guys in the mix, the newbies or the oldbies, have the status to really put up a stink. Outside of Ryan Church, who I hope will be able to find right field, none of them could feel they have rights to certain minutes at certain positions. Still, with all the Murphs, Tatis' and the like have done for this club, they need to get regular playing time.

But if the Mets are still strapping on their cleats come October, you have to ask yourself, IF the offense continues to get it done, and IF the starters continue their reconnaissance, how the hell will this club hold a lead? Aaron Heilman is a nice guy and a decent pitcher, but mainly he is a goat. That is probably never going to change.


Best answer to this question wins a prize (my affection): For the love of Pete's Dragon, how could Old Duque just now be getting around to having bunion surgery? Was he assigned a role in OPERATION: Luis Castillo Diversion? Did he think they were saying "Funion" "Funion" all this time?

Ah baseball. How long will you get away with this? I know. Forever.


While I'm always happy to have my marginal to irrelevant status confirmed, there has to be room for rancorous debate among Mets bloggers and their sharper critics. I respect and am even grateful for the accomplishments of some of the more established blogaratti, but I also love me some critical approaches of those who aren't afraid to toss a few interweb hand grenades once in a while. In fact, I'd be upset if there was no such debate, it's a healthy thing. But keep it civil fellas, or you'll have no energy left to blog this year's collapse!

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Pirates Put Mets on Fanny: Stokes Chokes and RISP=RIP once again

Pittsburgh's Brandon Moss was hitting .193 in 16 games since joining Pittsburgh as a part of the Jason Bay-Manny Ramírez trade.
Instead of limping off peacefully, the Bucs heard about the generous Mets pen and wanted in on the fun.

Ya can't win em all, right? Bullshit. The Mets lost today to a team that, symbolized by a gruesome Sunday 7th inning injury to poor Brandon Moss, could barely make it out of the batters box all week. But leave it to the Shitpen to dispel any happytime Met fans may have felt after John Maine, on his way to an extended stay on the DL if you ask me, tightrope walked through his start without giving up any runs.

Sure the mets when 7-1 or 6-1 on this road trip and sure they're still in first place. But when you lose even a single game to LaRoche Bros. Inc. in a week, much less two, you need to look in the mirror if you can stand the sight. Now that the Phils will get to feast on a Nationals team all week like the Mets did, the Mets couldn't afford to be dropping games like this, not if they want to emerge from the NL East to immediately lose to whoever they face in the first playoff round. Winning only three out of 5 games ain't too impressive.

[special note] I'm sorry, Endy's defense simply does not merit the kind of awe it receives among fanboys: that was a bad dumb throw to third, and his defensive prowess is often exagerated, though you'll only hear criticism from this space.

We've seen this all before. The question is, why hasn't Jerry Manuel or Sadly Alomar or whoever was in charge today seen enough? Where are they getting all the confidence to run the same chumps out day after day? Shuffle the roles, m*%$uckers!! Sanchez sucks BIG TIME and may well be injured. Yet with the game on the line, Alomar choses not to give newly acquired Luis Alaya a try. Did he not know the Mets had him? Sheet, if Bigfoot was sitting in the pen and I was the manager, ol' Sasquatch would be spitting out the sunflower seeds, running across the outfield and pitching from the stretch before you can say "Neither Willie nor Jerry seems to be able to manage a bullpen to our satisfaction." You don't think the Mets overpaid, spoiled relief pitchers would wait to hand Bigfoot the ball politely?
Seeing as he's still alive...Get him Omar!!

In the 9th, the Mets worked a little magic despite what may have looked like a typical weak-ass end to another Metastrophe. That's right, Robinson Cancel's family can relax now, as they are relieved to see him alive and well, and feebly ending the game. In addition, Damon Easley was finally unable to ground into a double play; though he tried there were no men on in front of him. So it's not all bad.

Can Aubrey Huff, who has cleared waivers, pitch the 6th inning? If so definitely kick the tires. Even if not, can anyone really say they feel that Delgado will stay at last month's acceptable level of performance AND Ryan Church will play again? But before you huff and puff about getting Huff, check out Camden Chat's take on the player, so you don't get too excited. Also, familiarize yourself with his pregame preparation and media savvy.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Backing into the Playoffs?

Finally, a great trade for the Mets involving Manny?

The Mets need to be grateful for the gift near sweep of the Phils the LA Dodgers have sent their way, particularly while the Mets play a long stretch against bottom feeders (record against said-feeders thus far 2-1) like Washington and Pittsburgh, teams they usually make look like the '27 Yankees. Philly's schedule doesn't look that much tougher than the Mets', so it may come down to who can beat Washington more often. I'll curb my enthusiasm about John Maine's return until he isn't pitching in pain, and reserve optimism on Countrytime and Churchbell until hell freezes over. Meanwhile, I'll fill the hours going goony for Murphy along with the rest of you. "This is Murph Turf!" "Murphy's Law." Yeaahh.

It has gotten to the point where, when the Mets shitpen does NOT blow a starter's fine work out their butts, the shock is somewhere between here and here.

Jerry Manuel keeps promising to change things up in the bullpen, and then keeps rolling out the same bozos. Sometimes it works, but mostly it doesn't raising the specter of Willie Randolph, who isn't even dead yet. Letting Eddie Kunz close, this idea seems as dead as the retractable dome and roll out grass at Citi Field. The one thing that sets J-Man apart from his stubborn predecessor, namely the occasionally allowing of youthful energy to contaminate the grandfatherly incontinence of the clubhouse, and Manuel is blowing it out his ass. Sez Manuel re: Kunz: "I've got to give him a shot. I might have to give him a shot." Speaking of shot, Scott ShowNblow, right off a few of his patented Horror Show appearances, apparently called a bullpen bull session before the opening game of the Nationals series, so he is now King of Convicts.

The thing is, no one really wants to win the NL East. It's so inconvenient. Though if the Dodgers continue to charge, you know the Mets at least have a chance of getting out of the first round. According to one observer, the Marlins are also deeply flawed. In fact, the only chance an NL East champion would have in the playoffs would be if its top three teams combined their efforts. But for now, GO DODGERS!

On to some serious shit...

No Shame Department

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According to the NY Post, the truth is coming out about just how much Sterling is planning on gouging Mets fans next season. On top of that, you won't be able to see the big screen on the scoreboard unless you sit in the parking lot!! At least, according to the picture, the jumbotron is on backwards!! Luckily, I have noticed this glaring error and sent notice along to the Mets. As for the shameless 80 percent price hike on the choicest seats, one quote in the article says it all:

"It costs more to put gas in the car, or to take the train, and now it costs more to get a seat in a stadium that we paid to build," Bakal said. "It's kind of insulting to New Yorkers. Go find the money somewhere else. Give us a break, leave Joe Public alone."

If I know my Metsfans, there will be scattered outrage amongst a sea of lemming-like acceptance, quietism, and Ayn Rand-style rationalization. But if there were any justice, the Wilpons would get indigestion--the kind that comes from a massive dose of negative publicity to go with their orange juice and gold plated scrambled eggs at least one morning this week. We can only hope that the recession combines with the outrageous price schedule to fuck the Wilpons over, but that is doubtful in a sports-addled nation such as our own. Luckily, I live in another time zone and have to pay out the ass to go to my handful of games every few years anyway. But no matter what you hear, this is disrespectful to the fans. Shame wears a giant baseball for a head, kids.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Show us your wits: Roundtabling the Mets Pt II

I managed to convince some of the interweb’s sharpest wits to virtually sit down for a roundtable discussion just after the All-Star break. I promised them keychains and SUVs if they would take a stab at some of the most pressing issues in the Mets universe, engage in a bit of reflection on the first half, and expertly opine on what we can expect from the 2008 Mets. The participants: Jaap Stijl 's Archie Bunker's Army takes no prisoners when it comes to the Mets, in fact he's quite handy with a shiv. Gerard of Can't Stop the Bleeding produces what I consider to be the ESPN of sports web sites, but then people tell me I'm a little off. Mighty Dan Lerner can be found bending words to his will at the tremendous Hotfoot blog. John at Metstradamus frequently writes the songs the whole world sings when he isn't fighting international crime. Me? I didn’t even tell Harvard Law School that I was black on my application. If you don't read Jaap, Gerard, Dan and John's witty contributions each and every day, don't complain to me that your life is meaningless. So get in your Prius and coast over to check them out. But first, stay a while and read Part II (Part I can be seen here) to see what transpired when we stopped being polite, and started pretended to be in a room together to discuss timely topics of interest.

Part II

Q: In startling contrast to their employees' often dull and listless play on the field, the brass has engaged in some classic Met front office shenanigans. What surprise move or bumbling do you predict will come next? The ritual sacrifice of Val Pascucci on a center field alter made from the bones of Rusty Staub to honor Shea Stadium’s last night perhaps?

Metstradamus: You're assuming the Wilpons know who Val Pascucci is. I'm waiting for the Vai Sikahema vs. John Rocker fight at Shea the night before they tear it down.

Gerard: Jeff Wilpon's Lovely Wife already came thru big time when the Mets courted Kaz Matsui. OK, maybe talent evaluation isn't her strong suit, but she still might be useful as the trade deadline nears.

Itsmetsforme: Here’s my advice if Omar wants to pull off a real corker and stand shoulder to shoulder with the greats, the Al Harazin’s, the Steve Phillips’, the Jim Duquettes. It seems to me that the Mets may face a “ticklish” situation in their outfield as J-Man might say. It might depend on whether the final Church bell has rung or not. A lot of people, even some that are routinely paid for their opinions, have suggested the Mets sign Barry Bonds before the criminal justice system closes that door. I say that doesn’t go nearly far enough. They oughta reunite Barry Bonds and Bobby Bonilla in the Mets outfield. Third time’s the charm. Heck the Mets still got length on Bonilla’s contract (2035), and short of a good bleach-spraying routine, it would be just the thing to liven things up a bit in the outfield. Bonds, Bonilla, these guys know what it means to compete for the NL East title. And the move would continue to pay off for next seasons’ ticket sales--there just has to be a way to work "I'll show you The Bronx" into a new team song. Moreover, this may be the only way to convince Andy Van Slyke to sign with the Mets. Plus I really like using the word barcalounger in my posts. Barcalounger. See? Try it yourself.

The answers to the Mets outfield woes?

Q: Ok this question is a bit more personal. I’m kind of curious as to what inspired you each to first start blogging, how you manage to come up with so much material on a daily basis, those kind of things. But that doesn’t sound nearly sarcastic or ironic enough for today's knowing audiences, so as a way of getting at that question, I will ask, what blogging idea have you introduced that really went over like a lead balloon? Something you thought was hilarious or novel, but no one seemed to get it. Or am I talking to myself here?

Gerard: For me, blogging's an outgrowth of the kind of thing I did back in the 'zine days, only there's fewer leftover copies to bring to recycling.

As anyone who reads CSTB on a regular basis can attest, I've not introduced any new ideas. Ever.

Dan: Before I was blogging about the Mets, I wasn’t getting nearly as much hatemail as I used to. Then Anthony over at Hotfoot had a writer shortage, so it seemed like a perfect fit. After all of it, I still stand by my belief that the draft needs more entertainment value.

Itsmetsforme: My great disappointment is that I will die without ever seeing my Bill Singer Interview series take off. I thought having the disgraced former Mets front office talent evaluator ask the same insulting questions and then blaming his low-calorie diet was a comedy goldmine. And so did my monkey. We thought wrong. I couldn’t even get a spam comment to stick to that. I guess having him interview Rickey Henderson over and over again stretched the material a bit thin. Hopefully, some future scholars will place it in its rightful context…

Q: Let’s get right to it, the money shot. What are your predictions for the second half? What role do you expect Madonna to play?

Metstradamus: Unfortunately, the Mets don't rate that high to have Madonna break up their marriages. They'll have to settle for Taylor Dayne.

Gerard: There will be an upcoming Mushnick column about the Mets keeping all the interest from playoff ticket deposits rather than making a charitable donation to the Beard Liberation Front. At the risk of pulling a Pat Ewing, I can guarantee the first half of that prediction.

Keep in mind, there will be a letter from the Mets demanding said playoff ransom even if the team is 8 games out on September 1.

Given that I'd never have forecast the club's turnaround since the ascent of Jerry Manuel, I'm loathe to make any real baseball predictions. But I'm pretty sure that when and if David Wright comes out of the closet and/or converts to satanism, fan base & media alike will give him far less grief than Beltran gets on the odd 0-4 night.

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Will David Wright follow in Mike Piazza's footsteps and convert to Satanism?

itsmetsforme: My prediction? [Looks into the camera.] Pain.

Q: Ok, now let’s look even farther ahead. Basing your response on what you have seen so far, ancient legend, or necromancy, who should be the manager of this team next year? Who will be?

Metstradamus: Pedro Cerrano. Hats for bats.

Gerard: I think a finish of 5 games above .500 or better buys Manuel at least one more year.
A 2nd collapse could well portend the hiring of Gary Carter and Wally Backman as co-managers. That would mean a 2nd half collapse of the Long Island Ducks, however.

Dan: I agree, it seems if things keep going the way they do, Manuel lives through at least the first chunk of next season. I wouldn’t be terrible surprised if a few of the various 80s Mets in the system get moved up though, so they’re ready as possible replacements. Maybe we can lure back Roger McDowell, get him HoJo, Teuffell all running the team together. GM Keith Hernandez. Maybe Carter as the PR guy.

If Dan had his way, these guys would be running more than a little yellow house for a clown.

That about raps it up. I think it is safe to say we have covered every respectable topic in the Mets universe. Thanks guys.


Friday, August 08, 2008

Show Us Your Wits! Roundtabling the Mets Pt. I

I managed to convince some of the interweb’s sharpest wits to virtually sit down for a roundtable discussion just after the All-Star break. I promised them cookies and tote bags if they would take a stab at some of the most pressing issues in the Mets universe, engage in a bit of reflection on the first half, and expertly opine on what we can expect from the 2008 Mets. If for some reason you like what I do here, you have to get a load of these guys: Jaap Stijl 's Archie Bunker's Army takes no prisoners when it comes to the Mets, in fact he's quite handy with a shiv. Gerard of Can't Stop the Bleeding produces what I consider to be the ESPN of sports web sites, but then people tell me I'm a little off. Mighty Dan Lerner can be found bending words to his will at the tremendous Hotfoot blog. John at Metstradamus frequently writes the songs the whole world sings when he isn't fighting international crime. Me? I didn’t even tell Harvard Law School that I was black on my application. If you don't read Jaap, Gerard, Dan and John's witty contributions every day, you should be ashamed of yourself and the parents that raised you that way. So go check them out. Git! But first, stay a while and read Part I of what transpired when we pretended to be in a room together to discuss a timely topic of interest.

Q: [disembodied moderator] First off, I have to ask: what just happened? When we started planning this roundtable, the Mets looked bad in an unredeemable way, like they were headed for some familiar territory. Willie was being led out of town circus-style, Wagner was popping off left and right, Reyes was throwing tantrums. The Tampa Rays were looking good to many of us as a backup plan. Then suddenly the Mets are kinda good, even indulging in a little win streaking before the break. Both Carlos’ are swingin’ for the fences. Reyes is smiling. What gives? Were they just fattening us up for the emotional slaughter? Or does this team have what it takes to lose to the Red Sox in October (just kidding). Are you surprised at all?

Itsmetsforme: For me, the big story is the apparent rebirth of my favorite diarist and political agitator, Carlos Delgado. This leads me to the obvious question, if Carlos Delgado was a sit-com from the early to mid 80s, which one would he be?

Metstradamus: It would have to be Doogie Howser. Come on, the book? Doogie's computer? It's all very introspective.

Dan: Dear Diary, I hit a homerun today. Its funny how every hated me when I spent too much time saving lives and not enough hitting. But now they love me, and I might finally get to second base with Wanda and the Mets.

Gerard: You're forgetting what seems to be the resurrection of Aaron Heilman, a development alone that oughta be worth 2-3 games in the standings [editor's note: to be fair, this seemed kind of true at the time]. I'm pleased to see the increased production on the part of Reyes, Delgado, Beltran and Wright since Willie's dismissal, but let's hope the Mets consider voting a playoff share to someone who really deserves it: Brett Myers.

Dan: Considering the theoretical talent on the team, sooner or later enough of them had to start playing well at once for us to do something. I guess Manual drew up a calendar for everyone so that on any given night two players have the assignment of actually playing up to their potential.
Itsmetsforme: I guess the turnabout was surprising to me. This team just felt wrong, up until the Phillies series. Though I will say the Willie saga for some reason reminded me of that scene in the Holy Grail where Lancelot just keeps charging that castle.

Jaap: What took longer, but was most expected, firing Willie Randolph or the execution of Angel Nieves Diaz ?

Metstradamus: I don't know but I heard the executioner’s mask that Omar wore while firing Willie has been signed and put up on eBay.

Itsmetsforme: Well, the Angel Diaz affair wasn't anywhere near as painful as my doomed love affair with Victor Diaz. This "Mini Manny" tatoo is surprisingly resistant to laser alteration.

Q: Let’s look at the first half. This season has certainly been special so far. Not since Bobby Valentine’s Warton lecture series have we bloggers had so much good Mets material to work with. In a way, we Mets fans are rootless right now, what with the Atlanta franchise floundering and us being forced to acknowledge the Phillies as our rival. Thanks in part to the Santana factor and other successes of the Omar regime, we now expect our club to be competitive, which is quite a departure from the last decade and has perhaps deepened the feeling of disappointment. So have we reached the pinnacle of surreal-ity with this club, or is there a ways to go?

Metstradamus: Ask me that question when David Wright gets mentioned in a Savings and Loan scandal.

Dan: I kind of like Philly as a rival. It’s geographically close, and the fandom has the same history of teams that just can’t seem to win it all. I think especially if the Braves franchise continues its plummet, we could get a nice thing going, a National League counterpoint to Sox/Yanks, which would I believe make the Braves the equivalent of the Blue Jays, but with less maple syrup.

Jaap: I wonder which quote that eventually led to sacking was funnier: a. "Is it racial? Huh, it smells a little bit. I don't know how to put my finger on it. But I think there is something there," Willie Randolph’s take on racism in the media, OR b. "They were cheerleading in the dugout like a bunch of softball girls," Nelson Figueroa's etiquette lecture following a Nats' beating?

Metstradamus: It has to be the softball comment. Especially considering that the Mets later brought up Robinson Cancel, who looks strangely similar to USA softballer Crystl Bustos.

Itsmetsforme: I dunno, besides the fact that he delivered that line while practically boarding the Greyhound bus to oblivion, I do like how Figgy’s comment plays into a recurrent theme of Metropolitan discomfort with ladies in the dugout. I’m no Freud, but it's not like they're trying to craw into the locker room hot tub and we’re up in arms. Of course, to watch the Mets is to accept the need to shore up your manliness; bombarded as we are with Just for Men and Giuseppe Franco commercials, who can blame us?

Jaap: Along those lines, if the Mets were forced to wear pink arm bands for Mother's Day, what will they be forced to wear on Dog Day, September 5th against thePhillies?

Metstradamus: They'll have to put a pinch of Alpo between their cheek and gums.

Dan: This will inevitably lead to Mike Piazza coming out of retirement to announce he is not a dog lover.

Gerard: Not for the first (or last time), I would discourage NY's mutt lovers from patronizing Dog Day At Shea, at least as long as the NSAL are the beneficiaries.

I'm not sure there's anything surreal as opposed to appropriate about a rivalry with a team 90 miles south (and one that has their own share of clubhouse soap operas / paranoid-as-fuck Phans). Some of us are old enough to wish the Cards and Pirates were still in the NL East.

Itsmetsforme: I really can’t imagine Shea Dog Day without Fran Healy. Those pooches really brought that man the kind of genuine joy that I someday hope to experience.

Q: Earlier this season, Keith Hernandez caused quite a stir by claiming that Jose Reyes needs to get his grown man on in so many words. But have the Mets really babied Reyes enough? Or should they baby him in other ways? Alternatively, could you recommend some more ways Mex can get involved in the direction of this club, aside from gender discrimination and in-flight consultations?

Metstradamus: All-Star Break campfire cookouts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gerard: Unless Mex is privy to some clubhouse gossip that's-4-real, we really have no way of knowing for sure whether not Reyes' is treated with kid gloves. And with that outburst in mind --- along with Keith's brief squabble with Mike Piazza several years ago --- let's try to maintain some separation between the dugout and the broadcast booth. (None of you guys thought of Sid Fernandez as the new strength and conditioning coach?)

Itsmetsforme: I really don’t think it’s fair that Keith, alone among former Mets, should shoulder the burden of telling these guys to shape up. Where the hell is George Foster in all this? He knew clubhouse chemistry, I’ll tell ya.

...Part II coming next week...

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Mets Narrowly Escape the Pad Men

The Friar and friends.

Last night was as close to an undeserved victory as you can come. Against the Flailing Fathers, often described as the doormats of the NL West, the Mets almost chucked another game into the crapper. Fernando "Only Met Worth A Shit with RISP" Tatis left his mark again, and Pelf didn't fare too badly. But there were very few positive signs from the slumping Mets. Heilman came in with a huge cushion and apparently thought his job was to "create" a save sitution.

Contrary to the dreams of some stat-wielding fan boys, letting Aaron Heilman close is insanity, as defined by Albert Einstein. But you don't need to be an Einstein to know that ability and stuff does not equal composure and grace under pressure. Anybody watching Heilman knows that your best bet with him is a 7 or 8th inning gig, depending on his current level of psychic fragility. Does closing involve luck? Sure, and the lousy defense of Beltran and R-Heinous last night behind Heilman would piss off the Pope. But lousy defense at key moments IS the 2008 Mets, so that is going to be part of the picture. And whether you beleive that luck is fickle, or that one makes their own luck, it is clear that Heilman is an unlucky guy when the chips are down. If Eddie Kunz is ever going to close for this team, he'll need to be able to rise to the pressure at some point. Why not find out now, in the total absense of any other suitable candidate?

Monday, August 04, 2008

Off-Day Blather: Jerry's Kids Can't Contain Kaz Mat and other Houston Hazzards

At least Junction Jack was kind enough to visit the Mets in the hospital.

How bad is it?

So bad, I was relieved when Robinson "Crazy Legs" Cancel broke for third like a prize ass, because I knew it would save David Wright the trouble of FAILing again with RISP. Hopefully the balleyhooed boy wonder will grow into his role next year, WHICH IS TO COME THROUGH WITH A BIG RBI WHEN THE TEAM NEEDS HIM, and then we can justify all the smoke we have blown up his ass.

So bad, I expected Tsuyoshi Shinjo would be announced as a pinch hitter for the Astros, and I fully expected that he would take Shownblow's sorry ass yard.

Shinjo checks the man junk on this dummy.

So bad, Kaz Matsui easily outclassed ANY Met on the field. Based on this series, I daresay a time machine-Jim Duquette, deposited on the scene here in 2008, would sign the Japanese phenom again to play shortstop.

So bad, that even though the Mets are technically in a division race, fans are happy to get a look at prospects such as Kunz, Murphy, Evans, etc. With disaster striking--the team back to sucksville, and mediocre Maine and Countrytime Lemon on the shelf for a while at best, we welcome any slim hopes we can wrap our arms around.

Kudos to the headline intern who penned the "Delgado Awaits His Fate with the Yankees" line. You sure got my attention.


Sunday, August 03, 2008

Mets Still Have Head Up Their Astros

It just isn't a massive Met failure if Aaron Heilman isn't involved.

When in Houston, I recommend club seating (they got cushions for your butt and waiters!)

The train (bound for Revenge Town?) that would soon be running the Mets over.

Carlos Beltran, uninspired by 39,000 Astros fans booing him all weekend, goes over to pick up the Shownblow pitch bashed off the CF wall by none other than Kaz Matsui!

Clubhouse Letters I Imagine are Being Scrawled Right Now:

Dear Jerry,

I dont care if you have to saran wrap my arm to my shoulder, leave me in the fucking game.

Respectfully yours,



Dear Billy Wagner,

Do your fucking job, you big mouth hick. Check my numbers lately, you sorry fuck.


"Good" Oliver Perez.

Weeping in Fits and Starts

Well, for Countrytime, its clearly not how many saves ya blow, but when you blow them. If Johan Santana had been a Met, there's no way he lands such a big contract. Pathetic team.

For J-Man, it seems to be one step forward, one step back. Loading the bases with one out in the 10th, I think, was J-Man's contribution to the body of management strategy. Though many in the crowd scratched their heads, this move would allow Feliciano to match up better with the batter, avoid dangerous mouth-breather Hunter "Pants," and create a force at any base; at least that's what I told my parents. That plan looked a little shakey when Pedreadful Feliciano went to 3-1 with the newly loaded bases. Yeah, J-Man's plan could have actually needlessly lost the game, if Feliciano hadn't served up the game losing single a few minutes later to make it moot. Shows some serious confidence in his relief staff, which in turn shoud raise some serious doubts about his decision-making acumen. Of course what choice does he have? There is suck behind each door, no matter which you choose. No one should have any confidence in anyone in that pen. It really doesn't matter if Johan threw 103 pitches, as soon as he was taken out, the loss was just a matter of time.

We DON'T KNOW FOR SURE, but perhaps a much younger Daniel Murphy, if left in the game after making a game-saving catch and being the sole bright spot in Met land, does not fall on his face like Fernando Tatis and instead launches a competitive throw to home that somehow keeps the game tied. It should not be lost in the shuffle that Murphy's catch and double play SAVED Sanchez, who was inches away from another horrid outing. It used to be I moaned when the gate opened and Shownblow or Hellman emerged--now I don't care if a rodeo clown cartwheels his fruity ass out of there, just anything but the overpaid shmucks we got now.

Ramon HEAD Castro is no Paul LoDuca. And the Astros are no Dodgers. But sleepyHead has to tag just one of those guys out. C'mon. You're a major league catcher, not a soft cream puff. You're supposed to defend the goddamn plate not serve hors d'oeuvres. You just had to touch the damn plate to get the force, HEAD. People had been, and rightfully so since Schneid can't hit a lick, calling for Castro to get more playing time, but I bet ya Schneider finds a way to block that plate, he is a defensive genius remember. Now the Mets will have to find another 3rd string catcher, instead of adding a new arm to the pen of course. Luckily, Omar has had plenty of rest and is up to the task, since he saved his energy at the deadline NOT DOING ANYTHING WHATSOEVER TO IMPROVE A DEEPLY FLAWED TEAM.

There are only 5 guys I am not severely pissed off at right now. The little guys: sTatisically Improbably, the Easlinator and R-Heinous Reyes. They are playing up to their abilities. And two of the big guys: Jose Reyes who is doing what he can and Johan who could be forgiven for demanding a trade. The rest can bite me. If the guys paid the big money to stir the drink would do their jobs, we'd be 5 games up waiting for the collapse by now. Beltran and Wright just don't have it this season. And it is indeed time to invoke the "clutchiness" or lack thereof in Mr William Wagner's game. None of these guys is making an appearance in big games. I'd be packing my bags, collecting office supplies and updating my resume if I were Omar Minaya right now.

Odds and Ends
*In what has to be a joke, some ill-informed soul is using the NY Times op ed page to take the Mets to task for not having an old-timer's game. Bwahahahahahahaha! Anyone imploring the Mets to "start a new Old Timers’ tradition at Citi Field" really needs to check out the right side of the infield. Or peruse the DL list! Methinks Omar has done quite enough for the AARP set.

*I guess its ironic that I have spent the Astros series staring at their fear-inducing lineup of a de-roided Tejada, Berkman, and Lee and wondered how they could suck as bad as they do. Right in front of my eyes, they don't suck anymore. Problem solved. Thanks Mets! %$#@!

*If this is the tailspin we were expecting, it figures that I'd get to be there to see it. The Mets winning percentage in games I have traveled all across the country to see them play is something like .0003%

*Silver lining: Going to a game with your parents can lead to some kind of awesome swag windfall. The Astros club store had a lot of Mets stuff. If only they had raised me an Angels fan!

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Saturday, August 02, 2008

I went to Minute Maid Park and all I got was a Lousy Heilman Groaner (with Photo Essay)

Worth the price of admission: A hilarious segment run on old friend Kaz Matsui, secondbase man and leadoff hitter for the Astros. The guy just does not seem to have anyone looking out for him, like an agent or something. Kaz' leadoff bomb against Pedro: not so hilarious.

It was a great game. If you're an Astros fan. Believe me, I was there and those folks were stoked. If you were a Mets fan, well, it was fun to see Ty Wiggington and Kaz Matsui I guess.

I was concerned when Pedro let the pitcher go Backe... Backe... Backe on him; that's never a good sign. It was an exciting game turned sickening when the Mets hit the 2007 replay button and pulled another shitty series game one out of their crappy stupid heads: shitty RISP hitting (bases fucking loaded with no outs=nothing), dumbass managing (leaving Aaron Hellman in, or having him on the team depending on your perspective), and an awful no good just terrible bullpen. On cue, Aaron Heilman got whacked around the OJ park, and put a point on it by adding another devastating dinger to his resume. You "Heilman is great in the second half" types can go jump, the Mets got 2 or 3 decent weeks from this sad sack. God he sucks. How is it that Jerry Manuel knows that the Dark Knight was "too long, too long" but not that he left Hellman in "way too long"? But I digress.

It was fun to visit Minute Maid for the first time. There were some extremely amusing pictures to be taken because, newsflash, Texans are weird.

Outside establishing shot. Thank god they closed the roof as the temp was in high 90s with high humidity.

The view from the first baseline was mostly blinding sun for the first inning or so.

"Hey, I got an idea," someone must of once said, "let's build a stupid hill in centerfield so we can risk the health of our multimillion dollar players on a regular basis."

I noticed Houstonians seem to know the words to everything. The national anthem (never seen so many people sing along). Some strange 7th inning cowboy songs. Then I realized they were cheating.

Notice the subtle homage to Fenway here?

Choo choo! The train runs about 400 feet from center to right, then sits there until they think you're not looking, and slowly backs up. Also, it's full of giant fake oranges. See centerfield hill, above. Or compare: acquiring Miggy Tejada the day before the Mitchell Report drops. See a pattern?

Ho boy. Why do I always sit behind the targets? Actually this guy was well behaved.

The roof. I could not get over the roof. It kept us from being on fire.

Gieco. They're everywhere.

There he is fan boys. Actually, Houston fans hate Beltran as much as Mets fans love Wiggy. Go figure.

Come to the park and see Jose run (on the right there)! And get his ass thrown out.

I shit you not. In Texas, they race Hummers on the video screen. Hummers! It would be cheaper to race battleships or space shuttles.

Either Minute Maid is extremely friendly to its deaf patrons, or the announcer really needs a lot of prompting.

Here's the game they play with the fans. This girl hands out these rings, while another doof irritates the hell out of everyone by blowing a whistle.

Yes that's him. And he has a point on his head...

which fans can try to get the ring on. Great fun.

Houstonians are pissed that the Wilpons stole Carlos Beltran, imagine how they'd feel if they knew they stole the Citifield Fan Walk idea too.

No, that is not the Mets bullpen viewed from a safe distance outside the stadium, it's free Friday post-game fireworks!!

Random game notes:
*Live and in person, Pedro very much looked like he was tossing batting practice. I mean the HR he gave up to the pitcher Backe, fucking soared. Don't have much confidence in him to be honest, and I was counting the pitches to 80.
*Hotdogs. Not so good. I guess it's a good thing Minute Maid went into the juice business (and I am not talking about Miguel Tejada) because they suck at other food. Food line was run by some border line retards and I missed the first half inning (and KazMat's dong) waiting for them to get their shit together. They did have some decent beer.
*Houston fans: very well-behaved. Working theory: they are really damn fat, too fat to scream obscenities, throw shit, hassle visiting fans. The only complaint is that when they stand up, they blot out the field of play/sun/moon, etc. I am not being anti-large people, just stating cold hard (and fat) facts.
*And they hate Beltran more than many Metsfans do. Beltran was roundly booed everytime, and unfortunately, he came up pretty small.
*Aaron Heilman sucks and I hate him and I can't believe Omar couldn't find some fucking fresh arm, or just another loser reliever. Anybody but who we have there now.
*From watching the psyche-up video on the stadium monitor before the ninth, I'd say Alverde is way too "passionate" for a closer with a mid-4's ERA. I would like to see him get battered very much. It's so sad that every team needs to try to make a scary video about their closer with heavy metal music and loud graphics.

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This blog is meant completely and entirely in jest, unless you count the angst, and is not meant to offend anyone, unless you are a Br*ves fan. It's not affiliated with Sterling, the Mets, common sense, good taste, or anything really.