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)

Thursday, October 09, 2008

October Gonzo...the MLB's latest crock of shit!

I know people want to continue to discuss the hotstove, but I need to take a moment to address a matter of grave importance. I suppose should be thankful for not having to suffer through Joe Buck's annual October prattle in the first round of playoffs. But I'm not. Why?

There is no debate over how fucking pathetic the MLB's new ad campaign, featuring a skeezy looking, White Sox cap wearing, guy with a laptop and strange accent who they call "October Gonzo, the best blogger in the world." It is as pleasant as this.

The debate is really about whether this is more insulting than last year's insultathon, featuring one of the most hated public figures of our time, Dane Cook. I think it is. We are supposed to believe that with all the loot it gets from us fans, MLB can't get anyone with a shred of creditably to hock the playoffs to casual fans or people not clear on the broadcast schedule? David Blane? George W. Bush? Rob Schneider? (oops they've got that one covered).

Last year, the geniuses at MLB strained credulity by offering up Alyssa Milano as a baseball blogger. Although she never responded to attempts to offer her my warm embrace of blogger creditability (or rips on her clothing line), it turns out Milano knows some baseball, and she is actually a Dodger fan (Alyssa if you're me!).

But it seems that I am the only one offended by this latest transgression. Buzz Bisinger got even some of the interwebs' most self-possessed and ironic denizens of mom's basement up in arms, storming to the barricades to defend blogging's honor against crusty old sports hacks with names like "Buzz," "Murray" or "Red." But no one is pissed about this?

There is only one October, you greedy motherfuckers. And everytime you let Faux Network broadcast it, another true fan dies a little bit inside. Oh and by the way, MLB Hall of Fame, fuck you too.

Check out October Gonzo's info, bro's.

About October Gonzo
This is the time of the season when it all starts for me. The race to October. Sure, I have my own home team but I’m really thinking about who’s going to make the amazing plays, the runs, the hits to get into October. Who will break out? Who will have a career season? Will a dark horse crash the party? That’s what it’s all about for me.
Baseball, October

October Gonzo, everybody!

They didn't even assign the ghostwriting of this stupid ad to a teenage intern, or some pimply Hofstra undergrad. No, they just handed the job to a robot, albeit one primed with the concepts of "keyboard" "crazy," and "blogging" to give its output that authentic feeling:

If you told me in April that CC Sabathia would be leading Milwaukee's rotation on a serious Postseason run, I would have flat-out spilled coffee all over my keyboard in a fit of laughter. But, again, here's CC, dealing for the Brew Crew when it counts the most.

And that's the point. As the calendar inches ever closer to October, you gotta get ready for crazy, because once the Postseason starts, it just gets crazier.

Wow. What else can you say? There was so much going on that you could write a whole blog about this game alone. This series just got a lot more interesting, too.

Almost too much to blog about, but I want to hear your thoughts. What was the best moment of the first day of October baseball in 2008?

Corporate America hasn't had this persuasive a spokesman since penis faced Joe Camel. I was a little gratified to find "Gonzo's" latest entry had no comments when I checked, though plenty of jackasses have left comments trying to engage a fake electronic diariest in baseball chat. But the bigger issue is, what does this tell us about Major League Baseball's assessment of its customers, or blogging?

Now, I don't have the high opinion of bloggyness that many of my comrades do. My attitude is that blogs are like assholes. Everyone's got one. But I am perpetually disgusted by Bud Selig's insulting attitude towards fans--"pay for a new 6 screen even though the old single game version doesn't work" or "cancel your cable and go out and get a dish because we're yanking Extra innings off cable."

Maybe MLB is just going with the flow. "Insulting the public's intelligence" is shaping up to be the new post-Bush Madison Ave. strategy. No one charged with bilking America's consumers could fail to grasp the message of the 2004 General Election. This is a dumb fucking country. So here we go...McBain is a maverick, Palin is a reformer from the heartland. They're just like you and me.

Just like Gonzo!

Here's the point: it's one thing to sell laser-shooting robots, paeans to pointless violence, and exploding graphics to football fans. That's America's least common denominator and football fans have no interest in being respected on an intellectual level. But MLB's attitude towards baseball fans is the equivalent of slapping Mom's face before shitting in her apple pie. Basically, instead of respecting us for the knowledgeable, relatively non-violent sports fans we are, the MLB thinks baseball fans are asshats like Bud Selig or Joe Buck. They think because we'll pay anything, listen to any broadcaster, and suffer any indignities to support America's past time. To them, we are stooges and dopes.


If you've finally been sleeping soundly or lost yourself in some other hobby, get a load of this Met-terror, courtesy of Newsweek's Ken Davidoff:

On the Mets' side, meanwhile, the front office would like to bring back everyone besides bullpen coach Guy Conti, who will probably be reassigned to the front office as the Mets cut ties with Pedro Martinez. It's just a matter of Jerry Manuel, now the full-time manager, signing off on bench coach Sandy Alomar, pitching coach Dan Warthen, first-base coach Ken Oberkfell and third-base coach Luis Augayo.

All this is tucked in an article claiming that the bad economy will lead CC Sabathia right into the Yankers arms...which is nothing compared to the last 5 words.

It's a travesty if the Mets put that guy back in a position to do significant damage. This is a team that missed the playoffs by a mere game or so two years in a row; they can't afford to have guys thrown out at home so often.


A spirited defense of Manny Ramirez. Or, I guess its really more of an attack on Tim McCarver. I'd still rather have Manny “refusing to play” in rightfield, than some mash up of out-of-position rookies "refusing to not play."


Also wearing a White Sox hat...

I wonder what Brian Bannister is doing right now. I bet Omar does too. As for the guy Omar traded for Bannister, well, the Amburgler is behind bars. And not for driving an environmentally unfriendly Hummer. Burgos was involved in a hit and run that killed two women, including one woman surnamed Minaya. Who knows what really happened down there in the Dominican? But this international pile up of crimes does not look to good for Ambiorix Burgos, and I have been urged by some of my most ardent fans to bring this up. Apparently, Burgos likes to run people down in his car. He also is approaching Marlin levels of depravity, assaulting women as though he were a Philadelphia Phillie. He seems to be trying to pin the Dominican incident on his cousin. And apparently, through all this, his conscience is clear:

“I am going to come out of this fine because my conscience is clear, and I’m not worried this will affect my career because I haven’t done anything … I’ll get out of here soon ,and I’ll also clear up what happened in New York.”

Predictably, no one is more excited about this than Marlins fans, who love a good crime spree. But I would be remiss if I didn't bring up the double standard: when Cody Ross punches, bites and slaps his male friends, it's just seen as adorable foreplay.

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  • At 5:34 PM, Blogger katherine said…

    I am so relieved to hear that Pedro will be gone. He seemed like such a great guy, I hated to criticize him. But I also had a terrible sense of foreboding whenever he pitched.

  • At 8:02 PM, Blogger I.M. Forme said…

    I like Pedro a lot. But his signing has to be seen as a terrible mistake. One year for the price of four, and he wasn't even around the team enough to help take the edge off! The old saw that no one else would have come to be a Met unless they saw the mets signed Petey is preposterous. Beltran wanted to go to the Yankers, and it is money money money that makes the world go round.
    there, i said it.

    wait a minute, i didn't write anything about Pedro!

  • At 9:04 PM, Anonymous Keyser said…

    Im going to defend the Pedro signing.

    In 2005, Pedro wasn't just good, he was awesome. His ERA was 2.82 when the league average was 4.10. His WHIP was 0.949!!! 0.949!!! The opposing OPS was .586! He struck out 208 in 217 innings.

    In 2006, in the first two months, he was still pitching lights out, posting an ERA/opposing OPS (I cant find WHIP split by month) of 2.94//.576 and .214/.483 for April and May respectively. Then, Pedro hurt his hip and the end of May, and everything went downhill from there and injuries piled up. He just never recovered from the injuries.

    You can argue that it should have obvious that Pedro would break down. However, Pedro recovered from a rotator cuff injury in 2001 and dominated like nothing ever happened. He was 34 in 2005, not young but not exactly El Duque territory. There are plenty of pitchers who pitched very effectively in their 33+ years, including power pitchers (Smoltz, Nolan Ryan, Bert Blyleven, Curt Schilling, Randy Johnson, Tom Seaver, Al Leiter came to the Mets when he was 33, Roger Clemens ... errr, scratch that last one) come to mind off the top of my head).

    In retrosepct, the Pedro signing may not have been a good investment, but I would argue that this is more a function of bad luck than something that Omar should have forseen.

  • At 1:41 AM, Anonymous jdon said…

    Correcto. Even I won't blame the Scarecrow for Pedro. Fact is, labrum surgery is pretty dicey. They say the worst problem is location. You cannot throw it where you want to as often as you used to. Since Pedro recovered his velocity and then some from 05-06, I would say there is some truth in that. One more thing, those other power pitchers, a lot bigger bodies and possibly more durable over the long haul.

  • At 2:54 AM, Anonymous cver said…

    Man, I know innocent until proven guilty, but I dunno. Obviously that kid is auditioning for the Washington Nationals, but is wearing a White Sox hat. Are we supposed to be grateful he wasn't wearing a Met hat during his perp walk or not?

    This can already be chalked up as a crazy October, whether the Mets had made the playoffs or not. Sadly, the stocks on Wall St. have fallen even farther than Burgos'. The only thing that could cheer us up right now would be a picture of IMFM in his Gary Carter Underroos.

  • At 11:12 AM, Anonymous jdon said…

    someone on the internet is circulating a rumor that a Mets "source" has indicated that Beltran MIGHT be available this winter. I actually believe this, but I will tell you why---not because the Mets want to change their core. That is a side story. I think Beltran might be available because I have sensed for the last year, maybe even two, that he does not want to be here, and may have asked out. Does anybody else get that feeling from watching and listeniong to him? Any opinions?

  • At 11:14 AM, Blogger I.M. Forme said…

    Maybe as a former new englahna, i remember the red sox warnings about Pedro, motivated by ulterior motives as they might have been, more clearly than most. They said that he'd be broken within a couple years and parted ways with him, despite his being an integral part of the championship team. It's this heartless, baseball decision first style management that i admire and would like to see more of with the Mets. There is little in Petey's slight frame to boost dreams that he'd have the same longevity as a wide body or a soft tosser.

    That being said, I find it fascinating that Pedro couldn't make adjustments while a Met--he is such a smart pitcher i wouldn't be surprised if he reinvents himself and has a few more good years somewhere else. He looked finished to me this year.

    I take your points Keyser, but note that you don't list any scrawny pitchers in your longevity list. Wasn't that recovery "from a rotator cuff injury in 2001" and the way Pedro subsequently "dominated like nothing ever happened" a result of holding off on surgery or more serious treatment? Am I crazy or didn't he eschew surgery and just learn to pitch with it? Or was that the labrum? My point is, the Mets already knew that he had some shoulder issues and my case is built solely on his break down, not that he wasn't awesome for surely he was.

    My implicit critique has to do with planning. I'm not fooling anyone, a GMs success has a lot to do with luck. But its not the way Omar's moves are occasionally failures I'm worried about (Beltran, Santana and Delgado were more or less excellent moves) but the way he fails. I'd be a lot more comfortable with hearing a long range plan with the goal of calmly, cooly executing that plan than these kind of desperation moves which to some extent Pedro was. If failure one is no plan, failure two is lack of awareness of the team's problems--exhibit a being relying on the same bullpen of 2007 for 2008 and exhibit b being relying on the same elderlies to plug roster holes. If Jim Duquette can tell us his plans, why can't Omar discipline himself enough to have and communicate a long range plan, one preferably rebuilding the minors and giving the core enough support to get into the playoffs routinely. Pedro was a gamble. Maybe I'm naive, but I feel like Omar wouldn't need to be gambling so much if he had a solid plan. A Gm should put themselves in a position of strength so they never have to utter words such as those that grace my masthead:
    "When you get yourself in to trouble is when you feel you have to do something, and then you get yourself in trouble."

    Cver, I see now that we will have to offer you fabulous prizes if we want you to bear your soul around here. I may need to start accepting ads. As for the Gary Carter underroos, I'm taking a cue from a current VP nominee. I will take no further questions about my big lie. Wink wink.

  • At 1:13 PM, Blogger Andy said…

    While the October Gonzo stuff sucks, that's the kid from Old School. You know, the one that a) gets tackled into the fountain and b) only works at Red Lobster part-time, dick.

  • At 1:54 PM, Anonymous cver said…

    I always bear my soul to you, oh great one! I nearly didn't even submit a bid for the book, as to not compete with you (or my buddy Frankie, for that matter), but then I thought of what a long winter it will be here in the bunker and I thought such a book might shed some light in here (see, I'm bearing my soul now). But you still have some minutes to photoshop an interesting underroos picture for Ms. Gal. You should win the prize just for having this site.

  • At 11:49 PM, Blogger I.M. Forme said…

    Cver you clearly deserve the prize. What I can't believe is that you're going to give up your secret bunker's location. Dick Cheney's still running the show you know.

  • At 9:13 PM, Blogger katherine said…

    I still hate the Phillies, and Philadelphia, but Philadelphia fans did redeem themselves somewhat tonight by mercilessly boo-ing Sarah Palin when she ceremonially dropped the first puck at the Flyers hockey game

  • At 10:56 PM, Blogger I.M. Forme said…

    i hate to be the one to tell you this Katherine, but the Philadelphians hate everyone--they probably were just booing the ceremonial puck dropper as a matter of course!! Perhaps they thought it was the Easter Bunny or Mother Teresa dropping the puck!

    Jdon as I've indicated elsewhere, I can't believe that rumor even for a second. I'm ranting crazy angry about the Mets and want substantial change, but I can't see any upside in trading Beltran, particularly to the Yankees. Even Omar wouldn't do something that stupid.

    I am actively rooting for the Dodgers and the Red Sox. Even though they won tonight, I just don't see the Rays beating the Phils. I need someone to beat the Phils. Also, on the free agent front, Wheeler didn't look so great tonight for the Rays.

  • At 11:23 AM, Anonymous jdon said…

    Well, i happen to think that BELTRAN wants out, but I have no evidence. Just watching his body language and his demeanor the past two years. I am sure someone of his temperament does not want to deal with the scrutiny he will have to deal with after 3 team flops in a row.
    I would never trade him to the Yankess. they would never give up a respectable package and I don;t want to see him hit 45 HRs at Yankee Stadium. I am just saying he wants out.....

  • At 12:29 PM, Anonymous cver said…

    We are all just speculating what Beltran wants, but if I were to guess, he is probably open to a trade, but I don't think he's burning for one. That is good for us, because it puts the Mets in the perfect position. As we've stated a bit, he's probably the best CF in baseball, so we wouldn't want to trade him, but everybody else would like or even LOVE to get him. So yes, Omar - listen. If someone blows us away with some offer where we can find a suitable replacement for CF, it can be considered. It would have to be a mind-blowing option though, which won't happen. He's not as valuable as he would need to be for us to trade him, if that makes any sense. BUT, if and when he goes south a little bit (of course then, we'd be selling low, but just the same...), we would have the option to trade him, as he does seem even now willing, in the right situation, to waive his no-trade clause. It's pretty much a non-issue - at least I hope so.

  • At 12:55 PM, Blogger I.M. Forme said…

    as much as i like easing my mind by blaming scapegoats, and as much as i may have mocked beltran in the past, I don't see a single good reason to trade him. The blogger fueled rumor machine is behind this. What kind of return would justify a trade? I don't see it. And its not as though the mets need the dough, or need to pare payroll.
    This is all a distraction from the two big housecleaning measures Omar has to take: sweeping changes in the bullpen mean getting rid of Heilman, Shitblow, etc. And get rid of Aguya at third base. Just those changes add several wins!

  • At 8:26 AM, Anonymous jdon said…

    You know, you can look at the season and say: "If we only had Wagner"....or...."If only we hadn't blown 72 saves"....stuff like that. And all we have to do is add an effective closer and we will easily make up the 2 games we lost by. It just does not work like that. What were we going to do, win 112 games? Lidge did not blow a single save this year. We blew over 30, I think. We were not 30 games better than Philly. I personally believe that if we had everyone healthy we would still have lost by 2 games. Because we are a flawed team. We have losers in key roles in our locker room. I know there is no statistical explanation, except the one that shows we have blown it for THREE straight seasons, but that is the way it is. Here is my advice to the Scarecrow (Omar): trade ANYONE you want, except Santana. We have no ACES in our everyday lineup. If Delgado is the leader in the locker room, then the results show that he is a bad leader and he should go. I just wish I had a different G.M. to give this advice to.


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