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)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Photo(shop) Interpretation of the 2008 Mets

I don't know how the ancients dealt with heartbreak, but we moderns have funny fotos!

Cowbell man and Schoeneweis separated at birth?

Someone needs to tell him, these make him look like a blind guy.

Only thing they saved all season.

Where's Omar?

Nice game, pretty boys!

For more Shea aesthetics, check this out.


Monday, September 29, 2008

Failure Edition: Let's Go Mets, and Mets to Let Go

Folks, pardon me for not rehashing yesterday's game. I think the epic failure speaks for itself, and it's best to move on in the best tradition of sports blogging, by giving management a sound thrashing. What is bothering me today is that management doesn't seem "devastated." They ought to be since this was first and foremost a failure of design.

If I read them correctly, many fans think that J-Man did enough to win the job.
In my opinion this is far from obvious. Perhaps he did enough to get on the list of contenders, but no one has presented any compelling evidence for what it is he did to earn the job. Willie, remember, was capable of getting this same team--save Johan--a weekend of blundering away from a playoff spot. What is it, concretely, that Manuel did? Did he motivate them? Was he a leader? Or is he just a nice guy whose retention completes the dangerous rationale that the only problem this year was a bunch of relievers? Where is the evidence that he deserves another chance?

t is my belief that Jerry Manuel made a huge, job-blowing error by putting in Shitthebed in with the knowledge that a Fish switch could be made so he'd have to face anyone righthanded (though i wonder if that shouldn't be extended to anyone with a right hand). Show-en-uf, the annoying little bastard took him yard. My point here is this: a manager needs to get creative, when for a month at least he has been bombarded with evidence that his pen is going to give up the lead, blow the game, etc. Yesterday was do or die, and he chose die. Why weren't starters standing by for the 8th and 9th? Manuel is getting a pass and again, the Wilpons are sending the signal that failure is acceptable. The Mets never seem to learn, either with their bumbling hiring or firing.

I for one, am sick of Omar Minaya and his precious few storylines and excuses.
“There’s no Carlos Beltran if there’s no Pedro,” Minaya said again today. This is a patently lame excuse for commiting so much money to an aged and fragile player. "If the Yankees are interested, there's no Beltran" is much more accurate. The larger problem is whether Omar has learned a fucking thing, 'cause he is still repeating the same excuses. He shrugged off the El Duque fiasco and refused to stop overinvesting in elderlies or restock the pen last winter. He has to show that he can do more than throw money around this winter and has to realize that Phyric victories (beating out the Astros to Castillo or the Sox for Pedro, or uh nobody for El Duque) don't win championships.

So, if you love your team, you will militate for a managerial job search.
As I explained at some length in my less than charitable but accurate post "Fire Jerry Manuel,"Jerry apparently felt that the job could be his because the bullpen was flawed and hey, what could he do but keep giving the ball to the likes of Aaron Heilman? This is not good enough for me, and even those who did not notice that Jerry demonstrated no creative problem solving flair during September must have noticed it yesterday during Shea's last game. It may feel better to let the bullpen shoulder all the blame, but without holistic changes starting at the top and going to the ends of the depth chart, this team is in serious danger of three-peating it's September swoon.

Why can't the Mets beat the schlubs of their division when it counts? I dunno. For a blogger, there's no avoiding an end-of-season-still-angry-accounting-rant job, so let's get on with it.

Mets who did their jobs:

Johan Santana:
What can you say about this guy? The Mets were an embarrassment to his good name. With almost any other bullpen, he may have ran away with another Cy Young. The sole bright shining light of the year, the one deal that Omar made that you can't take away from him. With the way imported stars have stumbled in Mets history, we should all sigh a big sigh of relief.

Carlos Beltran:
He will never be what some want him to be, and I admit that he has frustrated me in the past. But there just isn't a better centerfielder in baseball, and the Mets need his defense. End of story.

Mets I would be outraged to see defile Citifield (from most obvious to least):

Aaron Heilman: See, entire season. The only difference this year was that Aaron spread out his failure on every appearance rather than in one or two catastrophes. I was outraged that he was on this season's roster. Trade at first good offer.
Marlon Anderson: "thanks but no thanks"
Scott Shownblow: this guy was a mistake from the get go.
Pedreadful Feliciano: Some will say he should be used correctly. I agree, by another team.

Mets to pat on the back, thank them for their time, and part ways with:

Damion Easley: Thanks pal, we had our moments. But you're just another creeky aged infielder and we need to break that addiction.

Luis Castillo: Fans have been so hard on you, but you can't hit. Top five of Omar's biggest blunders isn't the list you want to be on. How to get rid of you is another story.

HEAD Castro:
I honestly don't know what some fans see in this guy, he is not a starting catcher, though they can be forgiven for exaggerating his skills in light of Brian Schneider's obvious and expensive deficiencies. It's not fair to judge him on that awful throw on the pitch-out yesterday, so instead I'll just say that he is always injured and seems to have lost some power. The Mets have to decide whether they're willing to give away at bat after at bat when the Schneid strides to the plate.

Brian Schneider: Can he be moved? Is there anything else out there? Omar is too weak to get rid of this guy what with him trading the dynamic and useful Lastings Milledge, but he really should try.

Jerry Manuel:
He certainly is a nice guy. But when faced with a box, he crawled inside and thought inside it. Running out the same shitpen guys was intolerable, but not going to a starter like Pelfrey or someone Sunday sealed it. His main original contribution was to try to get the starters to pitch deeper. The team came up small over and over for him, and I see no real difference in terms of results then I would have with Willie. I advised his firing a week before the end, but the Brewers made that move and look where it got them. The team of underachievers needs a motivator, not a "players' manager." Sorry Jerry, these ain't the gangsta's for you. Ken Oberkfell at least deserves some consideration here.

The rest of the scrap heap:
Players like Fernando Tatis made valuable contributions. But the Mets now have a couple of players of which one or two might pan out, Hammer Murphy, A. Reyes, Nick Evans , so there is no room for aged reclaimation projects on the big club. The bench needs more thought this year, because you can't have a washed up Marlon Anderson coming out for key at-bats ever again.

Mets I am not exactly sure about and could be willing to accept their return under the right circumstances:

Oliver Perez:
When John Maine went down, I think the Perez Paradox intensified and conditions swung in favor of re-sign. But for all his ability, Perez may never be worth what Boras is surely looking to extort. I don't know that there are a lot of other options on the market.

Carlos Delgado:
There is just no way that Carlos, as much as I love him, will be producing again at the levels he did the second half of this season. The problem is, his contract makes it almost worth keeping him. And the Mets don't appear to have an in-house replacement. Here is a difficult spot that calls for executive imagination. So they could: A) resign enter the Teixeira sweepstakes and risk having an awkward and expensive situation with both these guys for one year, but rest easy knowing they have the right guy at first for years to come B) cut ties with Delgado despite his all-things-considered cost and go after Teixeira despite the money and years C) do something else entirely different. The problem is, standing pat with Delgado is not an option.

I reserve the right to update this list as events unfold or I am proven wrong. You will also notice I have failed to mention two key players. This is because I still can't find them. Where did they go?

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Let's Go, Mets.

This is it. 161 games. 6 months. Countless hours. All when we should have known it would come down to one final Sunday. If the Mets could go on a one or two game winning streak right now, who knows what could happen? They have beat the Cubs (well 2 out of 4). They have handled the Phillies (11-7). They can beat the Dodgers (4-3).

Can Ollie, pitching for pride, reputation, and contract shake off the butterflies in his head and dominate? Will the offense set their clock and get up in time for the game? Will the pen say "enough is enough, we've sucked for too long" and make a final statement?

The most frustrating team I can remember can rewrite a lot of the season history as they pack up the paper mache apple and raffle off the rat-chewed lockers. The one admirable quality they have is resiliency, so let's get resilient on their asses!! So grab your bottle of Maalox and root these bastards on!

LEts GO MeTS!!!!!


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Octoberjest!! they didn't even bother to compete

"Don't worry about us, we still get paid!!"

Wow. What do they have planned for an encore? Will David Wright run out on Sunday and take a dump on the mound? Will they dress Rusty Staub like a hobo and have a piss party? Play jumbotron videos of Doc and Darryl snorting coke off the chest of a hooker dressed up like Joan Whitney Payson? Let Toothless Tom Gl*vine take the start?

Loosing is one thing. Getting outplayed and outclassed in the biggest game of the year is another. Sorry Mr. Delgado, did we throw that first pitch too soon for you?

Unfortunately, I won't be able to follow the collapse all the way through Saturday. Why? Because Bud Selig sold the rights to the game to Fux BEFORE he sold them to me!! That's right, Fux bought the game and now they won't let half the country see it. Which is just as well.

Don't worry about me on Saturday. There's so many other things to do out there. In fact maybe I'll take in a picture show. No way Beverly Hills Chihuahua can let me down like David Wright and his spineless band of shitbags can, right?

"So many parts that you expect to go right and don't go right." So says Jerry Manuel, who hopefully knows somebody that can get this team ready to play 'cause he sure as shit has no clue. "Sometimes it's difficult to figure us out," says Jerry. Well I've got it figured out, so pay attention. It's not the talent. It's not the stats, they're there. It's not that their division is too hard. What other candidates could possibly be plausible? Here's mine: it's that this team lacks leadership in such a fundamental way. Omar has no coherent grand strategy nor does he have a year to year plan. Since these are the type of players that apparently give up on Milquetoast managers like Willie and Jerry, there's another leadership black hole. And finally, on the field I can't think of a single leader. Not one. As they bespoil Shea's last days, perhaps some of the members of the current team will encounter some true leaders, the Keith Hernandezes, Tom Seavers, players that didn't wilt like gentle flowers when the pressure came, and ask their buddies, "hey who were those guys?"

Shall we name some of those parts Jerry was talking about? Hanley Ramirez won't be going to the playoffs. So maybe he'll have extra time to continue to school Jose Reyes about how to play in September. Likewise among those parts has to be the incredible disappearing middle of the line-up, Wright, Delgado, and Beltran coming up small to make a near AAA pitching staff look like the second coming of Tom Seaver and Cy Young. If you think these guys can get it done without adding another big bat to the line-up and some competent complimentary hitters, you can flip your 2009 calender open to September and draw a big black x through the final few weeks of next season too, because expecting any different from these guys is insane.

And David, leadership is not talking the talk, baby. We're tired of hearing things like "you can't sulk on what could have been" or "We've done this to ourselves. We dug ourselves a hole. Now it's up to us to dig ourselves out of that hole." In fact, we're tired of hearing from you at all. Shut the fuck up and play some clutch baseball. You can watch tapes of the Phillies if you're wondering how it looks. Hell, the Brewers even.

"Mathematically, we are not out of anything," Pelfrey said.

Really? Then maybe you need some math classes Big Pelf, because giving up 2 to start the game before most fans had found their seats adds up to clusterfuck! I don't know the formula, but you'll have all winter to figure it out.

"We still have some life," Jose Reyes added.

Yes we have life. We pay a guy to sit atop the line up and ignite the offense. Or in other words, what Hanley Ramirez does.

The Wilpons expect us to pay more and more to watch this flaccid bunch of underachievers get outplayed by small market teams, rebuilding teams, teams sitting their regulars. Added to the outrage is that there is a good chance Omar Minaya, the man without a plan, and Jerry Manuel, the man without a clue will be retained. More of the same. And guess what? The Marlins and the Phillies are both better than this team right now, so if you want to stand pat, welcome to battling the Br*ves for third place next year. Fire them in the winter Freddie, otherwise you'll just be doing it during the season, adding another pathetic component to the eternal return of Mets blundering, bed shitting, and public humiliation. When you're done counting all your dough from this year's nostalgia extortion, you might look up and find a lot less fans in your tiny new stadium than you expected.


If you're curious about how this failure stacks up to last years collapse, good ole Andy Di Como serves that up.


What is the opposite of "quest"? It doesn't look like anyone knows. But clearly in order to describe the Mets activities, "Octoberquest" doesn't match up. Octobophobia?

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Tranny's Blow Assures Mets Aren't All Wet

The separation of Church and plate was only temporary.

As that soaking wet ball glanced off the Satanic glove of Cubs' treacherous first baseman Micah Hoffpauir, can I be forgiven for expecting a hole to open up in the infield and swallow Jose Reyes to keep him from scoring the winning run? The Mets finishing any given game with a higher tally than the opposition has become an outright anomaly. But the playoff-bound Cubs, who had to start their AAA team to let the Mets compete? Very Improbable.

In order to beat the Cubs' practice squad, the Mets were forced to take extreme measures, none more symbolic Ryan Church's home plate dance with catcher Koyie Hill, whose surgically reattached fingers were not flexible enough to get to the Church on time. They had to outlast Pedro Martinez' last rag doll impression. They had to overcome Rincon's ultra-efficient appearance, one pitch, one homerun given up to a rookie. They had to take it to the wire.

The pressure for the fan was much worse than for the players. Remaining calm on my sofa, executing clutch channel switches, typing inanities into my local internet chat, its a lot to ask. This is getting ridiculously stressful. The Brewers knotted up with the useless Pirates till late. Mother Nature getting into the act, raining down postponement pain down on this game, and even threatening to turn the weekend into a two-for-one march of misery for the Mets right to the golf course. Worst of all, even getting by the AAA Cubs tonight and keeping themselves still in the hunt just meant that the oily Fish were on their way to Shea, bent on spoiling. And when its all over, we fans don't get to relax with a steak dinner and a floozy, and check to see if they deposited this week's million dollar check yet.

Keith Hernandez looked right into the camera at game's end, and exclaimed his feeling that the Mets should aim at first in the NL East. With the Mets 1 game behind the Philmes, I suppose that's possible. But it would help if they had Keith Hernandez in their lineup.

These are times of lunacy. And post-victory hope makes one crazy. The Mets will collapse. They are collapsing. The only question is whether they will do it this weekend. Or after accepting a trophy from Bud Selig.


Thursday, September 25, 2008


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Mr. Met on the Couch

Item: Mr. Met seeks counseling

Mr Met: Doc, thanks for seeing me on such short notice. All these little kids leaving the park crying every night, not to mention the adults. I thought I could handle it, but the autumn season around here is brutal. Well, I just can't take it anymore.

Dr. Headshrinker: That's ok. I've been helping Johan Santana--what a guy--get over the way the Mets bullpen has blown his games over and over again. And I think my treatment sure paid off tonight, although he had to pitch 125 pitches just to keep those bozos from completely blowing it.

Mr Met: Yeah that guy is terrific. He's the only thing that keeps me from tearing my head off and throwing it into the street sometimes.

Dr. Headshrinker: I have also been on a team of doctors who help Carlos Beltran determine exactly what percentage he is playing at after each minor injury, though I can't imagine why he keeps sharing this with the media. He's at about 80 to 85% right at this moment, if you must know.

Mr. Met: Yeah. Interesting.

Dr. Headshrinker: Ok, lets get started. Mr Met what do you see when you look at this picture?
Mr. Met: (Screaming uncontrollably and beating his head with his hands) Its... Nooooo. It can't be. Noooo. It's the worst thing imaginable. It's Aaron Heilman with a baseball in his hand! Saints preserve us. No. Good god no.

Dr. Headshrinker: Ok, relax. There, there. Let's change the subject. What do you want to talk about?

Mr. Met: Well Doc, can some one tell me why the hell the Pirates would let T.J. Beam pitch to Prince Fielder last night with a base open in the bottom of the ninth, tied at 5 and with 2 outs?

Dr. Headshrinker: Dammit Mr. Met, I'm a doctor not a detective. All I can tell you is those Pirates are six kinds of stupid and deserve to lose 90-100 games a year the way they always do. Besides if I could explain that move, I could also tell you why the Mets would chose this moment to reward Omar Minaya with a new contract just as the team he put together tries to scratch its way out of its second consecutive collapse in a row, again due in no small part to his refusal to upgrade the bullpen or have any strategy whatsoever outside of signing the biggest free agent available most winters. And I have no blessed idea.

Mr Met: Omar? You mean my boss? We don't see him around much. I can't remember the last time he made a public statement about the direction of the club, other than maybe at the trade deadline to mumble something about not having a match for any trade and how happy he was with the team he has.

Dr. Headshrinker: Now Mr Met, I know you might be feeling anxious about the last days of Shea Stadium after so many years. How does that make you feel?

Mr Met: Doc I keep having this nightmare that on Sunday's historic game, the Mets will find a way to blow the game, blow the season, blow themselves right out of the playoffs, and kill Bambi's mother--even with Santana on the mound--braking every ones' hearts in a way that is perverse even by their standards. Frankly, that's the only thing I can think about. That and shouldn't the Mets be paying the fans to haul away the seats and other garbage? I guess I'm gonna miss the rats that live in my novelty shoes. I gave them names. Other than that I won't miss Shea a bit.

Dr. Headshrinker: Well that's all the time we have for this session.

Mr Met: I feel a lot better. Hey, what are you doing later? Wanna come over to my place and check out my t-shirt cannon? It's a real crowd pleaser.

Dr. Headshrinker: (blushing) Mr Met! Don't you have a family?

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Note on Scheduling

In case you're wondering, here's the exact schedule of hell you face as a Mets fan for the rest of 2008.

Wed, Sep 24 Cubs 7:00 PM Perez (10-7)Zambrano (14-6)
Thu, Sep 25 Cubs 7:10 PM Martinez (5-6)Harden (10-2)
Fri, Sep 26 Florida 7:10 PM Pelfrey (13-10)Volstad (5-4)
Sat, Sep 27 Florida1:10 PM Niese or somebody (1-1)Nolasco (15-7)
Sun, Sep 28Florida1:10 PMSantana (15-7)Olsen (8-11)

And reports that the Brewers will be adhering to the following schedule:

Wed, Sep 24 Pittsburgh 8:05 PM Sabathia (15-10) Maholm (9-8)
Thu, Sep 25 Pittsburgh 8:05 PM Sabathia (15-10) Duke (5-14)
Fri, Sep 26 Cubs 8:05 PM Sheets (13-8) Dempster (17-6)
Sat, Sep 27 Cubs 3:55 PM TBA Lilly (16-9)
Sun, Sep 28 Cubs2:05 PM TBA Marquis (11-9)

If you ask me, they are relying on Sabathia too much. You know Sheets won't pick up the slack on Saturday though.

When Bears Attack... or Snowballs in September

Luis Castillo, back in the days when he swung.

The Mets got shellacked by the Cubs last night, with the major blow being dealt by a goddamn pitcher. The Cubs thoroughly outclassed them, making it hard to see the Flushing Follies getting past Chicago in the first round. The Mets were pathetic in every sense of the word. By the 5th, I was actively engaged in looking ahead to next year. With the Brewers headed into Pittsburgh, there is very little to be optimistic about. We're on our way past Tragedy Terrace to Laughingstocks Lane. Things are out of control. Snowballs in September are becoming regular thing at Shea, and it ain't because of global warming.

There is not much more to say than that. But I have Bolivian investors to keep happy so I'll go on and tell you how it is. Omar Minaya is not fooling anyone this time. Willie can't be blamed. Despite my desire for organizational continuity, I would be surprised and somewhat dismayed if Omar retains his post. It's only fair. He got his second chance already, and Jerry Manuel also got his last shot at the big time. Retaining these two would be like reelecting Bush in 2004: it could happen but it would be really really bad. Here's Omar's rap sheet:

*He entirely neglected to address a bullpen that keyed the epic collapse of 2007.
*He signed Luis Castillo to a four year contract.
*He stuck to his strategy to be the AARP of the MLB, retaining meaningful positions for Alou, Pedro, El Duque, Castillo, Easley when perhaps a GM could get away with having one of these types of players.
*His outfield plan hinged on Angel Pagan and Brian Church, both of whom have fringe histories and were soon debilitated by injury.

In his years, Omar has made a couple of good trades. He put the Mets on Scott Boras' radar screen. But he has trouble with the big picture. Forgetting to upgrade a pen that was so dreadful in 2007 is a sin of ginormous proportions one that blots out the sun.

By the 8th, the SNY guys were quizing Keith Hernandez' spelling ability. By that time, I was long gone. When the 7th rolled around, the chatboard I frequent was empty, and I was left to rant uncontrollably or compose my master plan for 2009 depending on how you look at it. Because frankly, even if this club backs into the playoffs somehow, they can't possibly get out of the first round. This is a thoroughly unenjoyable team to watch, so it's appropriate that the Brewers are the team to watch if you're still interested in the Mets' playoff hopes, it seems entirely dependent on what the Brew Crue do.

The Wilpons need to take swift, decisive action. Here's what the Mets need to do this winter, in order of level of controversy/difficulty:

*rid team of Aaron Heilman, and the rest of his pen pals
*send prozac out with all ticket purchases
*build at least one entirely new bullpen
*hire someone who can identify the Marmol's and the Lidge's of the world
*find a spot in the infield for the Irish hammer Daniel Murphy
*tell Jerry Manuel “thanks but no thanks”
*find a task-master manager
*find most of a new pitching rotation (to add to Johan and Pelf)
somehow import "leadership" at all levels
*find a reliable run producer for the middle of the order
*find Omar
*fire Omar
*find the balls to get rid of Schneider and maybe Church, even though they traded Lastings for them.
*add 10000 seats back to Citifield since all the suits that were going to be filling the seats just got sacked and only middle class loyalists will want to watch this group of clowns
*consider moving David Wright and his sissy arm to second

The major psychological challenge for next year is that both the Mets history and their nearest competitor are now solidly in their heads. There's just no getting around it, the Mets dreadful, pathetic, heartless performances of the past two falls have made an indelible impression such that when September rolls around, there is no way to believe the Mets will not be spooked.

Managerwise, after two lifeless Septembers in a row where many players seemed to lose focus, I argue this team needs a task-master disciplinarian. Having Lou Pinella on my mind since I got to watch him, I can't help but wonder what would have been if Sweet Lou had taken over this team a few years ago like I wanted. So grumpy-take-no-shit managers, send your applications in to the Mets! Elderly gentlemen and ex-Yankees need not apply.

We all love Wright and Beltran. Some of us love Reyes. But these guys aren't nearly enough. Not to get into playoffs. And certainly not enough to go very far if they did get in, it seems to me.

It's true, the Mets need to somehow get some quality professional bats in their 6-8, and pumping money into creeky and old utility infielders and Brian Schneider has not worked. But the celebrated heart of the order has not been enough to get it done when it counts, and there is just no way in hell that Delgado will be able to replicate his second half surge.

The Mets' brass needs to stop taking chances with personnel. I’m tired of hearing that “if” Delgado can revert to form, “if” Church can overcome his concussion and history of being a 4th outfielder, “if” Moises Alou can remain healthy for the first time ever, “if” Pedro can squeeze out one more year, “if” El Duque can rise from the dead, “if” Castillo can overcome offseason surgery to become his spritely self of 5 years ago, etc.

That’s why I think besides the more obvious pitching issues, the Mets finally need to read the writing on the wall and look into the probable future. They will need another run producer and it will most likely be next year. That’s why I think Delgado’s “Renaissance,” as much as i enjoyed it, actually may be a bad thing in the long run. Against all my common sense about throwing anymore big contracts at free agents of Omar’s choice, I am wondering if someone like Mark Teixeira isn’t exactly what they need. It would be hard to throw more money at Teixeira than the Angels, and since the Mets will probably be picking up Delgado's option, this bat is most likely going to have to come at a corner outfield slot or at second base. I would caution sinking too much hope in Brian Church who's career was endangered by the medical staff this year and has really proven nothing anyhow.

So there you have it, perhaps the first "fix the Mets" blog post of the season. If you didn't like it, don't worry, they'll be lots more.

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Fire Jerry Manuel

Or don't rehire him. Why? After today, we know that Jerry clearly does not want the job. We read you loud and clear, gangsta. You can not be a man who wants the job if you continue to bring Aaron Heilman into key ballgames. Period. You just did the equivalent of not wearing pants to your job interview, pal.

what happened? Didn't we get Johan Santana?

Think it's not that easy? If you think there is a different feel to the team since Jerry took over, look at the standings. Look at the team's performance down the stretch. Is there really that much difference between last year's choke job and this year's? Its pretty much the same team. Same flaws. Same disappearing offense. The difference is that the Mets are technically better with Johan Santana. The National League just doesn't have that many good teams. And right now, the only thing that is going to get the Mets into the playoffs is if the Brewers continue to collapse even worse, and that is no sure thing.

What's that you say? Jerry doesn't have much to work with in the pen? Faced with such dire straits, what can a man do, you say? What could Omar do (assuming he still works for Sterling, since we don't hear from him much)? GET CREATIVE MUTHERFUNKERS! Its your job!! The Phillies make use of Jamie Funking Moyer!! I spend 3-5 hours thinking about the Mets and Mets management spends all day and night, and I can tell that Aaron Heilman cannot be trusted to do anything, but they can't? Cmon. Trotting out Aaron Heilman is not the answer. Sure Parnell, Rincon, Stokes, and Ayala are by turns mediocre and untested, but a lot of mediocre relievers win games in this league. Meanwhile, I can name two guys who cannot reach that level of mediocrity--they are virtually guaranteed will blow the game for you: Showenblow and Hellman.

I can tell you right now that the Phillies will be winning the National League East. The only question is if the Mets can under-under perform the Brewers, so they can have the pleasure of getting massacred by the Cubs in the first round.

This team as currently constituted is an affront to fans who waited through 13 years of Atlanta dominance and expected (and deserved) a new era, but instead now get to play doormat to the club from Philadelphia because Met management still doesn't know how to put a team together. Or run it once they have put it together.

This offseason, the Mets need to find 2 maybe 3 new starters. The Mets need an entire new bullpen or two. They will need to fill in their bench with guys that can stay out of the hospital. And whether or not you believe in the "clutch fairy," the Mets will need players (not necessarily costing $18 million/year) who are capable of producing runs in key late innings in key games; I know they exist because other teams have them. I'm starting to doubt that Omar is up to the job.

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Met Effort a Disgrace: Replaced in First Place

The Mets could not beat the 4th place Br*ves last night. The Mets had to rely on last gasp Pedro for any offense at all, and they were ultimately not able to overcome a team who probably spends their free time securing tee times, packing equipment, and planing which children they will abuse this summer.

This little excerpt from the MLB post game wrap says it all:

Only in the sixth did Martinez allow another run, on a sequence that wasn't entirely his fault. Martinez walked Jones with one out, then watched as Brian Schneider appeared to gun the Braves outfielder out on an attempted steal of second base.
"He was out," Schneider said.
He was safe, umpire Bill Hohn ruled.
Video replays seemed to agree with Schneider, but that much hardly mattered. The next batter, Josh Anderson, lined a single into right field, scoring Jones from second.
"And we all know, 3-2 is a little different than 4-2," Schneider said.

Yes, the Mets were screwed by Bill Hohn's terrible no good call. But the Mets need to be able to overcome a 2 run deficit to a fourth place team. A team without Larry Jones. A team more concerned with Sunday night's cross burning than compiling a meaningless win. You got to be able to gut out a victory when the other guys only score 3 runs off of your washed-up starter, if you want to be able to look in the mirror. You have to be able to beat a team with absolutely nothing to play for, even one that celebrates like they aren't a really lousy 4th place team of a franchise in marked decline gearing up for 5-10 years of futility. Doing the celebrating? Why, it's Mike"Shitfaced" Gonzalez, of course, after his most preposterous "Drunken Closer"routine he managed to pull off in the ninth, perhaps on a dare. But with 4 hits out of the top 6 guys in their anemic lineup, the Mets had to sit there and take it. It's really hard to be proud of this team sometimes.

Meanwhile, the Philmes were locked in battle with a team that actually still thinks it has playoff chances. In case you missed it, the Mets were screwed in Florida when well-known chUmpire and enemy C.B. Bucknor blew a call at home plate, denying the Fish a tying run in the 8th, while Florida Marlin Andino's clueless baserunning didn't help matters. This brought up IMFM whipping boy Cody "Rodeo Clown" Ross. Then CB Bucknor blew another call when Ross got hit on the hand on 2-2. CB Bucknor is a disgrace, one who clearly had an interest in the Philme's winning. He a terrible ump; the guy just has no shame about it either. Aside from getting lots of help from the officials, the Philmes are also getting reliable effective relief pitching, which it takes me, as a Met fan who doesn't encounter that very much, a few innings to realize what I'm seeing. Bucknor then got nailed in the throat in the 9th, as though the baseball gods were sending him a message.

Sunday's is a must win game, and Mouthpiece has to pick up his tired arm and blank the Br*ves, because this punchless bunch of Sally's isn't going to give him much to work with. It's a must win because I'm sick of writing about these chokers. Except Daniel Murphy and Bobby Parnell. I like writing about them.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Murphy's Law Trumps Mets Malaise

Thanks to offensive outbursts on the part of the Fish and Reds, the Mets destiny was truly in their own hands tonight. And you know what that means: gut bustin,' no fun, nailbitin', doctor calling, temple pulsing games that go down to the last inning no matter how many runs the Mets manage to put up on the board. You can set your watch to the Mets bullpen failures (they happen between 9-10 pm EST) as long as you can resist smashing that thing to bits in frustration.

Some of the various titles I had for this post--"They're Baaaack: September 2007 Defense Arrives Right on Time," and "First Place Too Fishy for the Mets?"--show clearly that I had packed it in several times. Sure, I'm a bad fan, but these guys deserve me.

Sort of Good Ollie showed up, which was cool but mildly disappointing since Ollie has been known to dominate the fuck out of Hillbilly Kelly and her friends there at Turner.

Unfortunately, the Bad David Wright also showed up, with his patented super shitty fielding. A throwing error in the 2nd, another unrecorded error in the 3rd, then in the 5th, calling Ollie and his Man-Arm off so David could pussythrow it late, loading the bases with no outs for Larry Jones. A couple of Reyes and Church INEXCUSABLE ERRORS later, Wright couldn't catch the fucking ball in the 7th on a terrific throw from Church, so the go ahead run made it to third. This had me saying my rosary and calling fellow members of the "Move David Wright to Second Base where his wee-little arm can handle the distance and his tendancy to field the ball as though he has a cannon when he clearly does not will not hurt the Mets so much Club" and congratulating them on the coming influx of dues paying members that will make our annual BBQ much more of an event.

Then the awesome Daniel Murphy came and saved the day. He's the greatest since Mike Jacobs, who is now dead to me. Really, I'm seriously ready to plug him in at third and move Wright to second. Then we have a super terrific infield for all time, if'n he can field a lick and throw all the way across the diamond. Stokes, Reyes, and the middle of the lineup didn't suck either. (I have to sleep sometime so lets leave it there.)

Some other comments:

Also, (Ch)umpire Ron "Mea" Culpa called a terrible game, causing Booby Cox to soil his Depends undergarments repeatedly. Which was nice.

Somehow, the Mets bullpen did not blow the coin toss against the Brewers, who even as a fan of the Mets who they could possibly deny a playoff spot to, I kind of feel sorry for. I know that wasn't a grammatical sentence, but I had to fit in the joke and the Brewers empathy. And that empathy is soooooo fat!

If I was Jerry and sat my ass there and watched the collapse of 2007, I would have yanked Reyes and Church for their careless out-to-lunch errors. These guys need a message sent and pronto. This is exactly what happened last year. Exactly. I thought you was gansta, Jerry. I thought you was OG.

Poor Figgy. His "gold glove" pals really screwed the pooch for him, as far as another key spot is concerned.

Upon seeing Heilman in Met uniform again, I came up with a slogan for 2009: "The New York Mets: You Won't Believe Your !%$? Eyes!!"

Free Bobby Parnell!

Next year, if Omar stil has a job, I would recommend that he build a quality bullpen. Or, alternatively, build 2 bullpens. If some of these guys have 80+ appearances...and they suck, well that's a problem eh? So have an extra bullpen ready for the annual September to Remember. Maybe you can even carry Al Reyes for a couple weeks in there too.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Don't touch that dial...

What Jerry sees every night in his nightmares

I predicted the Mets would need 14 runs to win tonight, so by that measure the game was a roaring success. Brian or Brandon or whatever his name is Knight wasn't as bad as I thought he'd be, but when the Mets needed length, he was all width. Hardly gold medal stuff. In other words he wilted and had to be yanked after the 5th, which means send in the clowns.

Before the 4th inning After the 4th inning

And in they came. On Rincon, on Stokes, Heilman&#%!? and Shownblow. On Smith and Pedreadful and Ayala and Blitzer. It was like Jerry was trying to add the ERAs up until he got to 100. Heilman, not the retiring type, turned in the typical shit performance. Injured or not, he sucks, and he keeps getting the ball. Scientists are working on that puzzle (do the beat reporters ever just ask Jerry what the fuck he's doing with Heilman in a baseball game?). Smith earned a nice 2 run hold, but I believe that's when David Wright's ladida throwing error had its impact. Feliciano, as is his custom, had to be removed for his own safety (what is this "hold" stat--bigger bullshit than the "save" stat; relievers must have a powerful union or something).

Honestly the Brewers winning hurt more that the Br*ves 1st inning choke job with Phillie. I don't think the Mets really want to be facing the Cubs in the first round if they get in, but there doesn't look to be any other way. I'm not sure if Jerry Manuel's version of closer by committee, "closer by the shitty" is going to do the trick against any halfway decent team. But then again, I still wonder what happened to that dude with closing experience, Al Reyes. Is Al Reyes locked in a closet in Flushing somewhere? Is not pitching a --any guy--since August 5th really that smart? If he's so bad that he can't get a chance before Heilman, why is he on the roster? Did he win a bet with Jeffy or a radio contest, or is he an actual option out of a pen out of options?

The offense thought 6 runs in the first three innings ought to do it. But then they kept tacking on and it still wasn't enough to make this a smooth game. Beltran homered from every side of the plate except under it, Delgado and Reyes almost made me forget what a choke artist Wright has become, and Daniel Murphy well, he's Daniel Murphy and that's good enough for me. David Wright hasn't even been as clutch as Brian Schneider during this series. I hope its cuz he's ascared of Elijah Dukes or something.

I got it into my head that the only thing the Mets haven't tried (besides giving Reyes and more innings and never ever giving the ball to Heilman) is a bullpen car. Frankly, these guys look tuckered out by the time they get to the mound. That is just too long a run/trot/walk for them, and they're spent by the time they throw their first shitty pitch. So as long as Aaron Heilman isn't allowed to drive the car into the wall, I move that the Wilpons cough it up for a new bullpen car. Hell make it a hybrid or something.

Anyhow it turns out that although there is quite a movement around the more ironic corners of the internet to bring back the bullpen car, there's no good pictures of a Mets bullpen car. So this one of the actual Mets bullpen, pilfered from my own archives, will have to do.

Actually stock footage of Mets 2007 pen, but just imagine Matt Wise pictured where Aaron Sele is now.

Santana goes tonight, and though you'd like to relax, all you can do is expect another helping of fresh hell.

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Willie Randolph to Entire World: Hahahahahahaha!

Yeeahh Bitchus! Mets have teh Brewers right where they want 'em!

The New York Mets dropped out of first place with a 1-0 loss to the Washington Nationals last night. If the Mets have better things to do than play baseball, I have better things to do then describe it. You can go see what I wrote on this day last year.

Or you can go see what Jose Reyes is apparently up to, besides disappearing offensively and readying himself to commit a whole bucketful of unfocused mental and physical errors in the next 12 games (link courtesy of "tc").

From Marty "Pants" Noble, some more historical perspective:

The '86 Mets clinched the NL East championship on this date, defeating the Cubs, 4-2, at Shea Stadium. With 17 games remaining, the Mets led the second-place Phillies by 19 games. Gooden pitched a complete game. Dave Magadan, in his first big league start, had three hits and two RBIs. He was removed in the eighth inning in favor of Keith Hernandez, who asked to be on the field for the clinching.

And on this date a year ago, the Mets suffered their fourth consecutive loss, this one at the hands of the Nationals in Washington. They scored three times in the first inning and led, 4-0, after 3 1/2 innings. Final score: Nationals 12, Mets 4. The Mets' lead, seven games five days earlier, was down to 2 1/2 games.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Return of the MetFan (In)sanity Scale

It's time, yes it is. Please report to the right side bar, and note that the scale ascends in degree as it goes down. You'll recognize "going down" as similar to the direction the Mets are headed.


Since the Mets decided to recycle their collapse from 2007, I have decided to follow suit and recycle pictures, features and content too. Phuck this.

Familiarize yourself with these images. These are the guys that are gonna keep us from the playoffs!?
U KNow Who!!

As your dreams are dashed by LMilz and the Bitter Gnats, remember, "Omar traded the Village for a couple of random townspeople."

The axis of evil takes one last gasp.

"What do I do with this thing again? Oh yeah, defile it."


Some upkeep. I've added a link to John Delcos' new enterprise, despite the fact that he, like all newspaper-backed blogs and one Dodgers site that will go unnamed, refuses to acknowledge me. You may also notice I've added links to all recent Top 10 lists in the right side bar. This way you can still amuse yourself without drudging through my progressively purple prose and sour attitude posturing. This one in particular, seems appropriate as the Mets marketing machine swings into action while the team forgets how to swing altogether:

Top Ten Potential Mets 2008 Slogans

10. "New York Mets: Best Team on Paper"
9. "Hey, We Fired the Groundskeeper"
8. "We Got Us Some Pitching"
7. "Come to Shea Where Kaz Matsui Got His Start"
6. "The Mets: Our Position Players are Drug-Free"
5. "Come Dance with the Real Stars!"
4. "Wait til you see NEXT season's ticket prices!"
3. "Meaningful Games are Back!"
2. "No Way That'll Happen Again"
1. "F*@?! Hanley Ramirez too!"


Message (from Madison Avenue): The Mets Care

Sterling Inc. has picked a fine time to be worried about their image!

Like everybody else, I got the email from offering me the opportunity to fill out a survey/Rorschach test. While I have for years set my sights on bringing just a bit more to the Mets blogosphere than William Kristol brings to the editorial page of the New York Times (nothing), here was an actual opportunity to have an impact, to let someone who works for the Mets know how I feel.

It kind of threw me for a loop.

Am I proud to be a Metsfan? That's a little personal. I'm not always proud of the way my team-- or myself-- conduct themselves. Do I identify with any of the potential marketing schemes they have dreamed up? Could I spare the time to bare my tarnished soul to a department probably more interested in knowing if I fancy the new style caps and how much I would be prepared to fork over for them? How do I feel about teal? Do I like procuring a license when I consider seating? What was the point anyway: I imagined some 20-something marketing suit turning to another: "hey bro--Mets fans don't really like orange."

I blog about this stupid team nearly every day, watch nearly every game, and yet how could I explain to the Madison Ave. crowd that I look at my obsession with this team as a terminal illness, especially since they probably already used the epidemiological motto: "NY Mets Baseball fever, Contract it!" or some such thing years ago. I am a Met fan because I have no other choice.

Asked to come up with phrases that best described the Mets organization, I considered the following responses:

"Weakly Whacking Willie"
"Late-inning scrotum scrambling"
"players collecting paychecks"
"eternal damnation"
"not devastated"

Before settling on these:

"terrible bullpen"
"price gouging at Citi"
"great SNY broadcasting team"
"can't afford Citi tickets"

Even though I live in LA and I go to 1-3 games a year at Shea at most, I was still looking out for you local fans, see? I didn't even go 100% negative and gave a shout out to the booth. I represented.

I also slowly realized that this exercise was telling me more about the Mets than it told about me. I saw this question:

People often use different qualities and attributes to describe sports organizations. In your opinion, do the New York Mets embody the following attributes and/or possess each of the following qualities?

Yes, definitely Yes, somewhat No, not really No, not at all
Blue Collar

Now this is interesting. No not the subtle inquiries into my sexuality ("trendy" "urban"-- ok buddy I get it!) or baked good preference ("fresh"). I mean... could a team that seems to want to emulate the Yankees long after that model has proved morally and practically flawed, a team that yanks 10,0000 seat out of its new stadium to ensure that only suits will be able to fill the remaining seats, could a team like this really be toying with "blue collar authenticity" as a marketing gestalt?

To answer the ultimate question, "And finally, in your own words, what does being a Mets fan mean to you? " here's what I put:

"It means that although this team frustrates me and breaks my heart nearly every year, I will never give up on them."

I couldn't really come up with anything more profound than that.


If you made it this far in this post and are not just a spam bot sent from the future to destroy me, you may be wondering: what no comment on last night's DEVASTATING loss to the LAST PLACE Nationals? WTF you may think.

No, I shan't discuss that. Nor shall I opine that Pedro Martinez is done as a starter for a MLB team. And I won't discuss the fact that, forget about a closer, the Mets don't need a closer, or say that there is no godly reason to use Duaner Sanchez, or anyone else in that pen for that matter, in a key situation. Neither will I waste breath discussing how David "I always get a pass" Wright failed miserably when his team needed him the most. The Mets just want my attention. And being the naughty children they are, they will not be getting it.

I will say this. Any reasonable person has to know it's wildcard time. The collapse has us looking at the wrong standings. Can the Mets beat out the Brewers to back into the playoffs? Any truth to the rumor the Crue will hire Willie Randolph?


Monday, September 15, 2008

Oh Ph*ck!

Omar would be best served by going out on the market this winter and getting Mariano Rivera, Goose Gossage, Rollie Fingers and anyone else who is up to the job. Wouldn't have been a bad goddamn idea this past winter either. So far the Mets relief corps has accomplished one thing: preventing Johan Santana from winning another Cy Young. Now they set their sights on losing the whole enchilada. How you can call yourself a general manager when you stick with the same losers that fueled the collapse that nearly cost you your own job is beyond me. Matt Wise. $#%!

But that's now next season's crusade.

This year, what can I say? We're phucked. This pen couldn't save their receipts, much less key games in September. Ayala and Feliciano washed away all the ambivalent to great feelings I had about yesterday. They kicked away great offensive contributions from Wright and Delgado and the gift of shoddy Br*ve defense. The Br*ves and their few remaining fans haven't had that much fun since the last cross burning.

Jerry just doesn't get it. It's audition time, m*therf*cker. All we do know is that the guys you keep going to do not get the job done: Errant Hellman, Shoenworthless, Pedreadful Feliciano, those guys should be on pink backpack patrol. Stokes, Smith and Ayala, despite their recent suckbagness, if used sparingly might be of some use. Duaner Sanchez, well, I don't care to see him either. We don't know how Rincon, Reyes, or the 50 other arms sitting just past the outfield wall. Spare me the hesitation, get those bastards in there and see if any of them can do shit.

And the Brewers, those phat phucks. I guess asking where their pride is is a waste of time. Just look at them!! A four game sweep? They should give CC Sabathia back is what they should do.

I guess this guy's not as injured as I thought.

Lock up the liquor cabinets and close the church gate, here come the Nationals. The only thing bigger than their suckiness is their attitude and you know they want to sweep the Mets. And you know that's entirely possible too.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Mets Survive Attacks of Furloughed Nats While Phils Phade Pheebly

The Mets defeated the Nationals 13-10 tonight, scoring two touchdowns but missing an extra point. The Mets offense had to punt repeatedly but the Gnats were never able to establish good field positon. Neither team's defense against the (home)run was very impressive, but in the end, the Mets were able to wind down the clock and earn the sweep victory while the Phading Phils took it in the pooper from the Fightin' Fish.

On the Mets' mound, some tired chickens were coming home to roost when Big Pelf looked Big Spent and even Brian was Stoking the fire. Some other guy came in for a bit and gave up pivotal runs by walking and letting longballs launch, but I don't remember much about him and don't expect to see him again soon if Jerry wants to win that manager of the year thing folks have started talking about.

Then, in the 7th, the Gnats suddenly decided to start playing soccer. Mr. Lastings Milledge was just a mess in the field. It might have been too early to retire his number as a Met, but that didn't keep LMilz from playing so deep in centerfield that he could have pulled down the number if asked, as Ron Darling noted.

The middle of the Mets lineup is starting to look, well, amazin.' Wright (4 for 4, 3 RBI) and Beltran (3 for 5, 2 RBI) finally helped ease Carlos Delgado's burden, though he still came through at big moments, the big lug. Tatis wants to play too (3 for 3, 2RBI). And, footloose and symptom free, Brian Church seems to have got to the park on time, just in time to provide a sorely needed bat.

The Gnats want very badly to spoil the Mets' season. They also want very badly to rob liquor stores and hotwire cars, but you can't have everything. Elijah "Batshit" Dukes might take shits bigger than Cody Ross, but both players now have the luxury of tasting Big Pelf leather. Of course Dukes didn't want to wait to actually get hit to get so far out of emotional control that the chUmps felt they had to warn both benches for no reason whatsoever. Enablers. Dukes made a gesture at his crotch after he scored that inning, then left the field like a pro-wrestler in the 9th after making an out. According to the report in the Washington Post, Lastings apparently isn't figuring out that he needs to hang with the right crowd:

Said Lastings Milledge: "Don't make [Dukes] out to be a bad guy. The guy loves the game. He plays the game hard. I don't think he did anything wrong."

Wrong Lasto. Dukes is a bad guy. He's been arrested at least 6 times that we know about. He is not the kind of people your parents imagined you with when they spent their lives following you around in a trailer home. If you can't develop your own judgement, at least let the Nationals team of handlers instruct you. Here is what you should have said:

"He's an emotional player, but I don't know if there's really a place for that in this kind of game," teammate Ryan Zimmerman said.

[how badly must Zimmerman want out of that place now?]

As he locked Dukes back up in his "travel cage" for the trip home, Manny Acta didn't seem much for setting his player straight, as much as making excuses for what on any other club would be grounds for discipline :

"I think he had a very good game; he hit a home run and a double," Acta added. "Everybody knows he has worked very hard this year and the Nationals have worked very hard with him to work with his temper, and he's been great the whole season. It's unfortunate what happened tonight, but he's human."

This might be why you're the manager of a team of misfits Manny, that and maybe the fact that you have no idea how to position your outfield.


Heyman weighs in on Mets Closer, Off-season plans

John Heyman, for what its worth, has some analysis of the Mets future particularly its pitching strategy. How quickly the Mets have gone from feast to famine, losing Maine, Wagner, and (effective) Pedro to injury, injury, and convalescence respectively. Now the entire major league pitching roster needs retooling this off-season, which isn't necessarily a big surprise since the shitpen has never been far from our minds. But I hope Omar can be more holistic in his approach this offseason--not letting the big ticket item blot out the sun-- as I do think the team could use another run producer at left field or second base, because as much as we want to welcome Carlos MVP Delgado back into the fold, at some point next year he will be Carlost again, and this team shouldn't have to wander in the desert so much before winning the NL East--there is enough talent there to best the Phils and take this division more or less comfortably. And Daniel Murphy, A. Reyes, and maybe even Nick Evans are the makings of a younger, more energetic bench that needs to be de-Marlon Andersoned with all haste.


Aaron Heilman Filling his Suddenly Open Schedule with Committeework

Not someone I really want to talk about, but there's no way this item can pass without comment. I guess the parking spot committee was already filled:

Aaron Heilman is one of two MLB players - Kansas City's John Buck is the other - on the committee looking into the dangers posed by broken bats. Heilman said the issue is more complex than simply banning a certain type of wood. The group is studying how the bats are manufactured and such criteria as grain, dryness and shape. As an example, Heilman said it's possible that maple itself isn't a problem - just that inferior maple perhaps is being used because the prime material is steered to such things as table legs. (From Rubin's column in the Daily News).

I think Aaron needs to get himself involved in figuring out a different danger: why it is that batters, upon the delivery of a rawhide covered ball from some pitchers, are able to hammer that ball with their wooden bats repeatedly, sometimes even sending it out of the baseball park, even though the ball deliverer has sat on his ass for 6 or 7 innings and is at full, rested strength. Is there a committee for that?

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Mets Overcome Ollie's Follies to Swat Gnats

The Mets have to bring change to Washington (and Atlanta), and win the "easy" ones if they hope to keep their lead over the Phils till there ain't no more games. For a while, it didn't look good last night. This series is apparently the Gnats' World Series, so they are focused and intent on spoiling things for the real teams in the NL East, even after the Mets went and gave them Lastings Milledge this past off-season and everything!! The Met offense was jammin, but the pitching was looking all collapsy, led by the Human Mini-collapse Oliver Perez, who incidentally plans to demand a king's ransom for his services in the off-season. Just when it looked like an easy night for the Mets, it was time to duck and cover.

Next Jerry sent in the clowns, and --in a novel twist--one reliever after another could not get the job done. Nelson Figueroa came out of the pen to face the softball girls and got whaled on. Brandon Knight followed and performed like a "special" Olympian (ok that was a low the Special Olympians). Finally Smith, Show and Stokes were able to finally contain the mighty Nationals. The Mets offense was able to pick up the slack and, after Billy Wagner cried his way off stage earlier in the day, Luis Ayala was left to continue being the Mets closer til further notice, sort of like Sarah Palin is a candidate for Vice President. Meanwhile, the Fish led by Babyhead Cody Ross, built a ginormous lead over Philadelphia. Then they tried their damnest to squander it only to have the Phils run out of innings. Result? Mets are 3 up in the loss column.

All of my in-game anger is directed at two people.

Perez bites.

1) Olive Oil Perez.
Big game you doofus. Big is the opposite of small. I know this isn't always true, but big ticket pitchers come up big in big situations. They (sort of) earn the right to demand a lot of money. It was just deflating and depressing to watch you give all those runs right back.

2) Luis Aguayo.
Aguayo of course, is the man who single-handedly ran the Mets right out of first place in July by sending Endy Chávez home on David Wright base hits where he'd be thrown out by a country mile each time. As the Times put it, "Those two lost runs proved crucial when the Phillies scored six in the ninth to shock the Mets and take sole possession of first place in the National League East."

Here's how that NY Times column from July described Aguayo's decision making process:

Take a peek into the mind of Luis Aguayo, the Mets’ third-base coach, as he weighs whether to wave a runner home. He is processing the outfielder’s arm strength, his accuracy, which arm he throws with, where he retrieves the ball and how quickly he charged it. He is considering the runner’s stride, his speed, the width of his turn around second base, who else is on base and who is due up next. He is calculating the score, the number of outs and the inning.

Um, from what I have seen, Aguayo's thought process goes more like this:

Should I send him? It would take a half decent throw to nail my runner. I never used to get tequila headaches. So if they hit the cutoff man, my runner is toast. Delgado is coming up next and he seems to hit homeruns every other at-bat. BUURP! I wonder if I set the Tivo. Hey, are those boobies? These jockeys sure ride and bind. Anyway, I love the workout I get from windmilling my arm....wheeeee!


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Monday, September 08, 2008

Like It Never Happened

The Mets salvaged the last game of their poorly-played series with the Phils, Carlos Delgado rendering the limp offense temporarily turgid with a just few swings of the bat. So basically, from the Phillies perspective, they're right back where they started, 2 games back. It's like this series never happened. It certainly barely happened for wunderkind Daniel Murphy, batting .361 and having quality at-bats in big spots, who Jerry saw fit to sit this key series out, save one pinch hitting dish trip in the first game.

It has to be frustrating for the Phillies, taking two out of three just to end up in the same damn hole. Especially since two of their pitchers turned in their top effors and Mike Schmidt emailed them to tell them they were better than the Mets. Now it's kind of out of their hands. As celebrated baseball scientist Joe Morgan noted during the strangely Jeterless* ESPN Sunday broadcasts, the Mets just aren't going to collapse like they did last year (meaning the Phils can't beat the Mets 8 times in a row cause they don't play them again this season).

Troubling signs abound. Pedro Martinez is looking all but done, and now the Mets have to seriously consider replacing 2/5's of their rotation in the last month of official play. Billy Wagner is all set-backy; Countrytime Lemon is crying hick tears and it looks like "Ayala and Reyes and Pray for Double Plays" will be the Mets' 9th inning mantra from here on in. Fred Wilpon can start using all the windfall profits from the coming Citi-gauge to fill the suitcase of currency it's gonna take to get Francisco Rodrigez's attention. (Does K-Rod like dark turkey meat or white, Omar?) The play of the Wonder Twins, Jose Reyes (0 fer 9 today) and David Wright has been, in the words of that voice of American musical mediocrity (not to mention Shaggy), ponderous, fucking ponderous.

Form of...a MVP worthy third baseman who can hit with RISP! No, a speedster who tries bunting for a base hit during a slump to get himself going! No, form of...a talented young nucleus!

Looking at the Mets opposition for the rest of the season's series, only the Cubs stand out of a parade of beatable NL East laughing stocks. Many fans would relax; the Mets have already played the tough part of their schedule and they're still in first, right? Nope. We Mets fans, well we know what could happen when you put a bunch of malcontent "spoiler" little-market teams in the ring with the Mets' occasional offense and suspect bullpen.

That whole "Mets get unbelievably hot in September and roll into the NLCS" fantasy is going to be hard to maintain if Wright and Reyes don't get out of their slumps. Johan, Ollie, and Big Tired Pelf doesn't make a dominant playoff three as far as I can tell.


As an embarassed electonic internet diaryist, I'm mortified that "bloggers" is what Fox and TBS came up with when they had their staff meeting about what theme they could top themselves with after last years' Dane Cook embarassment. But Jeff Foxworthy as a blogger, is that what that is? Now according to demographics I'm a hick that lives in my mom's basement, loves October, and responds positively to really intolerable minor celebrities. Dane Cook, Jeff Foxworthy. The terrorists have won. It's impossible to come up with jokes about this because it is a joke. We need to wrest our national pastime away from the likes of Fox and TBS if they can't treat post season baseball with the proper respect.

Looks like Agent Tomahawk Gl*vine is at it again, infiltrating and subverting his homeland this time. Does that make him a triple agent?

Some internet poster said it: Pedro for $50 mil for one decent year was no bargain. This is no newsflash but is doubly annoying when you think of this: the Mets couldn't land Guerrero (back) and shipped off K*zmir (mechanics, music choice, body type or whatever) for health-related justifications, but fragile already peaked Pedro and keeping Luis Castillo from the Astros' clutches were deemed worthy investments. It just goes to show you, GM justifications are just that--rationalizations for decisions already made. This team would be right where it is now if it didn't sign Pedro or Castillo. Beltran might have said Pedro's presence influenced him, but he also offered himself to the Yankers for less money and would have gone there if Cashman had bit. Most of these things are all about the benjamins for the players, and increasingly for the GMs.

*With the Derek "Every kind of Mo" Jeter spot airing on ESPN and the 30-40 "Jeter's got an Edge" spots that torture SNY viewers every game, one has to wonder if these networks haven't hired Chipper "You No Who" Jones as Director of advertising.


Saturday, September 06, 2008

Brett Myers' Wife Rests Easy as MetsNation Waits for Rain to Stop
Get it? 'Cause Myers beats the shit out of his wife. 'Cause he's a piece of shit.

As fans, last night's loss was painful, but routine. The Mets just ran into a pitcher having a great night, not to mention getting a lot of outside curve balls called strikes. A few inches here and a few inches there, and it's a different result. I could complain that the Mets didn't even bother to adjust to Myer's dominance, perhaps by dropping a bunt down or continuing to make him work hard, but this game was lost as soon as Myers pulled on his wife-beater t-shirt and uniform and stepped on the mound. But as humans, there is an upside: chances are that the lovely lady pictured above, Kim Myers, will not be spending any time in the emergency room tonight. So it's not all bad.

Mike Schmidt--ha! Campaign for Charlie's job much? I liked his last, much more effective psychological attack on the (1986) Mets better. Cocaine bad, steroids, amphetamines good, right Mike?

Despite what all common sense might tell me, I guess I still don't take the Phillies seriously. The Mets shat away last year's playoff hopes; somebody had to be named NL East champs and the Phillies just happened to be in the right place at the right time. They're no Br*ves. Old Jimmy Rollins stole the MVP, but it seems he can't even lead them based on that. Ryan Howard's longterm contract status is anything but secure. Chase Utley and Cole Hammels are nice players, but there is something--perhaps their country club names-- vaguely unthreatening about them.

Despite the nuisance the Phillies have become, I don't really even loathe them. I'll leave that to their hate-filled fans. Their befuddled announcers don't really bother me either, although I am still trying to figure out why so-called Extra Innings carried the Phillie feed for a game at Shea Friday. What does the MLB have against SNY?

The big problem now is with this double-header. When the Mets lose a first game, even in humiliating fashion (which last night was not), it tends to mean only that the opponent, even if they are Philly, is in for a beating for the rest of the series. Say what you will, but one thing these Mets have going for them is resiliency. However, in this case, losing the first game does turn out to be big, thanks to Motherf** nature--and the pressure to sweep a double-header, which my gut tells me, is very difficult. Win one game and the Phils remain 2 back, get swept and its tied up and the doubts will creep in.

Is all lost if the Mets can't sweep on Sunday? Maybe not. No matter the outcome of this series, the Mets will beat themselves out of the playoffs or they won't. And the now you see it now you don't offense, cast of thousands in the bullpen, and unresolved rotation health issues will be the key factors, not the Phillies.

I'm a bit conflicted about the rain out, since thanks to vile FUX Network and the MLB, I was going to be hardpressed to enjoy this game broadcast anyway. Not that I ever enjoy watching Jamie Moyer starts, in which the Mets usually step into what they expect will be a batting cage only to realize it's a goddamn funhouse of smoke and mirrors. But this Saturday and the next are a late season revival of the FUX factor, where loyal national fans are cut out of watching big games on Saturday because FUX bought the rights and then does not broadcast the games in many regions, enraging price-gouged baseball fans and fair-minded folks everywhere. I've gone on at length about this many times before. Now I'm just praying that so-called Extra Innings isn't asleep at the wheel (in true American corporation fashion, it is apparently impossible to contact them sucessfully) and will add tomorrow's afternoon game to their schedule.

Til then, I'm as chill as Kim Myers.

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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.