Monday, June 30, 2008

Since Coop Stole My Title For Today...., I guess I'd just better lick my wounds and move on to a discussion of some things I've noticed about the Mets over the past few weeks.

The first thing is, of course, the management style of J-Man, a/k/a Snoop Manuel (with a nod out to the great Mestradamus on that one), a/k/a Jerry Blade... a guy whom we were almost promised would be "a lot like Willie," who is turning out to be anything BUT. He's defined bullpen roles, which seems to have brought a certain stability to the pen which was previously much lacking; he's exhibited a fire and a fight unlike anything we've seen at Shea from a Mets manager since The Great Bobby V Disguise Incident; he's an interesting an non-cliche-filled interview, not hesitating to take the team to task when he feels he has to.

The next is, well, the pitching.... I'm not sure if this is a combination of Dan Warthen's non-alien-zen-guru approach to pitching and/or J-Man's return to the simplicity of defining bullpen roles, but it seems as if despite a shaky Pedro performance or two (which might be because he's tipping his pitches, or so I hear), the pitching staff seems to be more cohesive, focused and aggressive, exhibiting a more intelligent selection of pitches and simply just a better game plan.

Now, if only J-Man and D-War could make some of these guys a couple of years younger, maybe we'd have something here. The problem is, of course, they can't, and with the exclusion of drugs from baseball, it's becoming painfully apparent that the old guys can't cut the mustard anymore.

I sure hope Omar and the Mets are paying attention to that.

As for Ollie, he looked like a different pitcher yesterday. He seemed to undergo sort of a Pelfrey-like transformation, turning from a guy who had little or no clue to a determined competitor who had a mission, and the greatest desire to fulfill that mission. He came out throwing hard, challenging hitters, showing a slight alteration of his pitching motion, and boy, at least for yesterday, it surely worked. It surely did.

But the question is, Mets fans, does any of this really change anything? Well, right now, I'm afraid the answer is no -- the team is as solidly mediocre as it's been at any other time. But it certainly is getting more interesting at Shea, and things are starting to at least fall into a certain order, and if we can bring order out of the chaos that's been the Mets for the last year, well... it's a start.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The First Friday Go Fuck Yourself Award: Whiny, Baby Yankees Act Like Whiny Babies...

....this just in: The Yankees have been heard to be whining and criping about having to play a double header today, having had to fly into New York after playing an afternoon game yesterday.

Boo hoo hoo. Not for anything, Yankees, but have you taken a look at the Mets schedule for the past month or so? You wanna talk about grueling? Flying back and forth to California, Colorado, no off days, ridiculous Sunday night ESPN games before long flights out to Cali and then playing the next (really, the same) evening? Jeeze...Not that I'm excusing the Mets play, or anything...or blaming it even remotely on the schedule...I'm merely pointing out the ridiculousness (is that even a word, ridiculousness?) of the Yankee complaints.

And I have news for you, Yankee Babies -- I'm almost certain that most if not all MLB teams have the same scheduling issues. And one of the main reasons these issues exist is to help fund the gigundo salaries most of you receive. What, did you think the money was for nothing? As they say, those who marry for money invariably end up earning it. The same applies here.

Just so I have this straight, before I bestow the award, formally...The Yankees play an AFTERNOON game, in the SAME TIME ZONE, in PITTSBURGH, which is what, maybe an hour and a half flight into New York? And they're complaining about having to play two the next day? Give me a fucky wucky break, as Don Imus used to say.

So for that, folks, the entire Yankee team gets the inaugural Friday Go Fuck Yourself Award.

Yet another reason to hate the Yankees, as if we needed one, thank you very much.

Now, Yankees, go fuck yourselves. Oh, and lose two today, willya?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Gotta Go, Gotta Go, Gotta Go... Right Now!

I'm referring, of course, to one Carlos Delgado -- attention, K Mart Shoppers - do not, I repeat, DO NOT give him any of stuff advertised in the pictured commercial, because, well, he's gotta go, right now!

In case there's some Mets fan out there who still has a semblance of hope for Mr. Carlos Delgado, I would say to you -- HAVE YOU LOST YOUR FUCKING MIND, OR DID YOU EVER HAVE ONE? Or more civilly put - what has he done for YOU lately? Not much, and he's been doing not much for some time now. The guy is killing the middle of the lineup, he's almost an automatic out at this point; he's batting a whopping .130 over his last seven games, and his offensive production has so steadily declined in the past several years that combined with his rather ordinary defensive skills and his rumored clubhouse issues, it's time for him to fly...

And in a curious move yesterday, the Mets acquired former Yankee first baseman Andy Phillips from the Cincinnati Reds. Now, Andy is apparently a good glove with a fair right hand bat, and you can read all about it here. So, you can see, folks, I'm using the term "fair" when it comes to Andy's offense quite liberally. If you don't look further than on its face, the move would appear to be one designed to, uh, spell, yeah, that's it, "spell," Carlos Delgado at first base... but according to Mets Blog, Mets manager Jerry Manuel denies that the move was made vis a vis first base. "Outfield inventory," huh? I gotta give the J-Man Gangsta' points for that one, that's a good one, very creative indeed, Jerry. "Outfield inventory." Gotta love it. Not sure I believe it, but, whatever.

I have to agree with Mets Blog that I'm not really sure I understand what the Mets think they're doing with these Andy Phillips types of acquisitions. Like Jeff Conine last year, and Trot Nixon this year, who is actually rumored to be on the chopping block when Ryan Church returns to the lineup. To me, these types of moves seem much ado about nothing, as the great William Shakespeare once penned. It just seems as if the Mets are a whirling dervish with little or no direction, striking here, there and everywhere, but landing few solid punches.

Apparently, there are many closed door meetings going on at Shea, and many more changes in the air. I'm all for change, heaven knows, this team needs it, but more changes like Andy Phillips I could live without. What Mets fans want is real change, a real philosophy, a real emphasis put on acquiring or promoting the right types of players, not changing the roster simply by acquiring the castoffs of other teams, hoping either to placate the fans or catch lightning in a bottle, I'm not sure which, and maybe a little of both. But a real significant shift in the atmosphere and attitude of the organization would be most welcome.

And note to Mets fans: take a good look at last night's game. John Maine on the mound, getting the win and Jose Reyes and David Wright supplying 90% of the offense. Young, up and coming, and keepers, all. Take note, Mr. Wilpon. These are the types of players we want to see at Shea.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Some Mets Get Hot, But Most Do Not....

...and so much for showing emotion on the field making a difference. The Mets lost 11-0 last night, anyway, in a team performance worthy of the boos the team has been earning at Shea this season.

And speaking of boos, it's hard to criticize the booing at Shea at this point. Considering the money people spend to go to a game, not to mention the money people spend on season ticket packages, and the poor level of play they're seeing on the field, it's really really hard to ask the fans to "stifle themselves," as the great Queens native Archie Bunker used to always say. When the most exciting part of a game is watching your manager and star player get thrown out of the game for arguing with an umpire whose behavior last night can only be described as "bullying," well, there is something rotten in Queens.

And as I've said before, there's so much wrong with this organization, a mere change in managers and coaches isn't going to fix even one small percentage of it. And as I said yesterday, you have to start wondering if you have any intelligence at all whether or not spending big money on free agent acquisitions as pretty much the sole manner in which you build your team is really the way to go. Like most Mets fans, I'm at the point (I was actually at the point a long time ago, but no matter) where I would almost rather see the up and coming youngsters playing at Shea.

And I almost hate to say this, but I will: it looks to me for all the world as if this team has little interest in winning at home, and it seems as if the divide between the team and the fans is at or near the point of no return.

And in other news, Mr. Hanky, he of the Steinbrenner clan, of course, has been heard to have offered Willie, he late of the Mets, of course, a job in the Yankee organization if he wants it. So Willie might actually be back in Yankee pinstripes before long... which would be the final irony in this situation of the eminently ridiculous goings on at Shea Stadium.

I guess if you're a Mets fan, you have to step back and kind of disengage yourself from this current team for awhile, if you want to survive your fandom. You have to learn to be somewhat dispassionate, detached and place yourself more in the shoes of the observer rather than the shoes of the rabidly frothing Mets fan screaming his or her head off at every turn. You just have to survive right now.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Money Sure Doesn't Go Very Far These Days....

....not even in baseball, and maybe ESPECIALLY not in baseball, as in our very own New York Mets.

I mean, take a look at who's making what, and tell me that any one of them is worth the money they're getting paid.

Let's start with our (quote, unquote) ace, Johan Santana, who's making a cool $137.5 million for six years, which roughly breaks down to $22,916,666.66 per year as a Met. Let's see, what's his record right now? 7-6, including last night's disgraceful performance in giving up a grand slam to the opposing PITCHER, fcol! The first time in 37 YEARS an AL pitcher has hit a grand slam in major league baseball. And of course, it happens against the Mets, with the (ahem) "ace" on the mound.

I know Santana's a "second half pitcher," or so they say. But you know what? For that kind of money, he has to find a way to be a FIRST HALF PITCHER as well. He certainly hasn't pitched like the guy we thought we were getting, at the very least. Sure, he's had some tough luck in a couple of starts, and very easily could have had another win or two. And sure, David Wright SHOULD have caught that ball properly last night. But pitchers who make what Santana makes have little or no excuse for failing to perform.

Now let's move on to Carlos Delgado. Early in 2005, he signed a four-year, $52 million contract with an option for 2009. This year, he makes $16 million. All this for giving the Mets lackluster defense 95% of the time, for failing to execute with runners on base even half the time, and for stirring up the shit in the clubhouse, if rumors are to be believed. And those rumors are far too numerous to discount.

And let's not forget the option for 2009, and the buyout figure of $4 million.

It's enough to make you slightly ill, if not violently sick.

And how about Moises Alou's two-year deal signed before the 2007 season, under which he gets $7.5 million this year, the Mets having exercised his option. And so far, he's spent at least half the time on the DL, if not more than half, and it's questionable whether he'll return at all. Fragile doesn't even begin to describe this guy, and it's not as if this fragility was something new with Moises.

And let's not forget, he's the oldest guy currently in the major leagues. But that's another subject for another post.

I'm not even going to start about the four-year $25 million deal Castillo inked with the Mets last year... or the Beltran contract for which the Mets overpaid, but which at the time was pretty understandable...

Old guys getting new money... what a concept. Sign me up, Scotty. You just have to wonder whether spending all of this money on free agent acquisitions is really paying off.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Monday Miscellany....

Whew, that was a nice break. Not intentional, really, mind you; The Botch and I had our hands full with company all weekend, cooking and serving homemade spaghetti sauce, major fruit and regular salads, an eye round dinner complete with homemade mashed potatoes and fixins', all capped off by a marathon pierogi-making session yesterday afternoon. And if any of you has ever made pierogi, from scratch, well... you know what I'm talking about here. We did cheat on the dough (don't tell anybody, though), and if you're a pierogi maker, I will pass along this helpful hint -- buy won ton skins. I kid you not, you place the filling in the middle, fold them over to form a small rectangle, seal them up, fork 'em, and boil 'em. Then you dump 'em into a mixture of slightly sauteed butter and onions, and voila... heaven on earth.

And speaking of heaven on earth, how 'bout them Mets, huh? Look, I had my share of shit to say about Willie; I certainly thought he was far from the best manager the likes of the Mets had ever seen, but with Willie, my complaints were more centered on the ennui and total lack of spiritedness exhibited by Los Mets, and his failure to address The Collapse, and motivate the players. But it did seem as after that fateful Memorial Day meeting, the Mets were playing better and turning it around. So I don't want to see Manuel getting all the credit here, because the team was in fact seemingly turning it around under the last days of the Willie tenure.

Manuel is turning out to be quite a card. He alternates between being Peterson-like with his words, as in his description of Mets fans and the atmosphere at Shea Stadium as "fertilizer," which I think is zenny/funny/hysterical, and gangsta-ing up on likes of Reyes and Wright, then reverts to referring to Jose Reyes as "she" in a recent interview. I really don't know what to make of this guy; it certainly doesn't seem as if he cares about what he says, and this could either be a very good thing or a very bad one. Stay tuned.

One thing I do like that he's done since he's been manager is assign roles to the guys in the bullpen. This seems to have had a much-needed calming affect on the pen, and the results are already beginning to show. The pen seems more settled, more focused, and more relaxed, their roles having now been defined. I used to think that a pen was a pen was a pen; a reliever was a reliever was a reliever; that these guys should be ready to go whenever wanted or needed, whenever the manager calls on them, and I still think in the most basic sense that's true; that being said, the defining of roles has, imo, a very stabilizing and positive affect.

And how about the rumors floating around the Mike & The Mad Dog Show on WFAN, that the boys are not overly thrilled with each other right now, and that the show may not make it past the summer.... Read all about it here.

Oh, and one more thing -- Kyle Farnsworth is truly and totally a piece of shit. He actually was pissed at Yankee Stadium fans for cheering during the playing of the tape of Griffey Jr's 600th home run? And he wonders why the Yankee Stadium fans cheer his injury? Jealous much, Kyle?

I always thought Farnsworth a bit of a jerk, but congratulations, Kyle, you've now regressed to being thought of as a total piece of shit. And apparently, hated by your own team's fans. And they talk about METS fans....!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Knife Fight! (I'm Gonna Cut You): SNY's New Reality Series?

..and the Mets apparently have now gone gansta'.

I guess by now everyone has heard new Mets' manager Jerry Manuel's comments about what he told Jose Reyes after the little "hissy fit" Reyes had Monday night in the first inning of the game. Loosely paraphrased, he said he told Reyes that if he pulls that again, he's gonna pull out his blade and cut him. You hear that, Jose? He's gonna cut you up, sucka. According to Manuel, he, Reyes, Wright and some of the other "younger" players have this gangsta' thing going on, that in tough times, they gonna "gangsta' up."

Well, I don't know about you, folks, but this sure makes me feel a whole lot better about the direction of this team.

And now, SNY will have its inaugural reality series: Knife Fight (I'm Gonna Cut You), with the first panel of contestants being Jerry Manuel, Jose Reyes and David Wright, The Token White Guy. For David's benefit, I've posted the picture you see; David, you can buy the course on


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Now That The Dust Has Settled...Well, Kind Of....

...Let me tell you what I think, for what it's worth.

As for Jerry Manuel, the one thing I will say is that I thought Willie made a serious error in judgment basically shelving the issue of The Collapse as if it were an afterthought, never really adressing it nor dealing with it nor putting it to bed, so I was happy to hear Jerry talk about it and infer that he would use it as a springboard of a sorts to motivate the team. Not that the team looked motivated last night, or anything. Talk about a leaderless bunch of has beens, might bes, and kiddie corps... This team needs strong leadership, motivation, and a resiliency that it simply doesn't have at this point in time.

He made a very eloquent statement without having to utter words in the very first inning of the game last night, pulling Jose Reyes, who grabbed at his hammy after arriving at first base in the first inning. Jose threw a fit, and after Manuel went down the tunnel to talk with him, subsequently apologized to the team, which in the opinion of this opinionated blogger, is a very good sign, indeed.

With regard to Omar's ad nauseum insistence that he has "full autonomy," with all baseball decisions, well, as one of the SNY pundits observed, he "doth protest too much," or something like that. Like the pundit, I did not find Omar's emphatic statement believable, not for a minute.

Another thing that struck me was that the Mets front office is full of back stabbers whispering secrets behind closed doors, so much so that Omar, having made "his" decision (I use the term "his" loosely) felt he has to inform Willie immediately, for fear that someone else will leak the news. This can't possibly be good, Bernazard.

You know what also stuck with me, though? What stuck with me is that somehow, in New York, at least in the Queens side of town, it might be more important to be "cool," or "street," than it is to be intelligent and well spoken. I wish I had a quarter for everytime Omar said "aksed" instead of "asked," or took the circuitous non-erudite route in insisting that these decisions were his, and his alone. I'm thinking, here we are, in the most sophisticated metropolis in the world, with probably the most brains in the world concentrated here, and this is the best we can do for a GM? Ahhhh...... no wonder things are the way they are in Metsland. These are the types of people they put in charge?

Good thing Omar doesn't have the "full autonomy" he so stubbornly and adamantly tells us he does. Or maybe, considering present ownership, it doesn't even matter.

Face it, folks, the organization's a bottom to top, top to bottom mess. No point burying our heads in the sand any longer. A clean sweep is needed, and needed quickly.

In all of this, too, I also wonder whether in New York, the atmosphere is really conducive to longterm success, for many reasons, only some of which involve the media and the expectations of the fans. Others are, of course, the many distractions available to the players, and the somewhat urban hip attitude that it might be better to be "cool," or "street," than contemplative, resilient, motivated and dependable.

What about the Yankees, you ask? Fair question. In reflecting, maybe what happened to them and the success they achieved in the mid 1990s occurred more as a result of them having been able to fly under the radar and do what needed to be done and develop what needed to be developed without any unreasonable expectations and interference than anything else. Once the Yankee Circus went into full-tilt swing, and the Yankees started acquiring rather than developing and showing patience, the team began to go downhill, with predictable results.

So I wonder, with the way things are in New York now, whether it's even possible to achieve longterm success. All I know is, if it is, it will require the hard work and nose-to-the-grindstone mentality of people who are a hellofalot more standup, honest, intelligent and savvy than those that are in place now.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

News Flash: Wilpon Empire Benefits From Wilpon Empire Screwup

In classic Wilpon fashion, as only the Wilpons can accomplish, the Wilpon Empire will benefit from the Wilpon Empire Screwup, a/k/a The Willie Randolph And Co. West Coast Late Night Firing, The Shhh! Don't Tell Anybody Massacre.

And how, pray tell, will this occur?

Well, according to Mets Blog, SNY will go "live" today beginning at 1 pm and going straight through to the Omar Minaya Press Conference scheduled for 5 pm, having a Mets in Transition type of program with various guests and appearances from the usual cast of characters, including the Mets Blog folks.

Another case of Wilpon helping Wilpon.

Why do I say this? Because, of course, this is a truly newsworthy story and deserves coverage from all types of media, including SNY, owned by the Wilpons. So you would ask, on the face of it, why am I being so cynical? Well, because there has been plenty of valid criticism about the canned nature of SNY programming, and its failure to go "live" when important things occur, filling these opportunities instead with Mets Classics (mostly the same ones) and silly programming such as Loud Mouths or even Beer Money episodes, but they curiously pick now to take the opportunity to do something they should have done many many times before.

Nice going, jerks. The No Clue Two Man Wrecking Crew.

Honestly, if I wasn't so confounded and amazed at this whole thing, I'd actually find the words to describe it, but in fact, there just are no words. None at all.

Willie, and Rickie, and Tom... Oh My!

In what looks to be the Ted Mack Amateur Hour, Part Dos, after yesterday evening's west coast win over the Angels, Willie Randolph and coaches Rick Peterson and Tom Nieto were fired by the Mets, in the person of one Omar Minaya. Jerry Manuel has been named the interim manager, and I haven't had time yet to look and see who will replace Peterson and Nieto, but I suspect it's the minor league NOLA guys, Oberkfell and what's-his-name.

The firing culminated a few weeks of the Mets' "brain trust," and I use the term loosely, being described, alternately, as "amateurish," "unprofessional," "just plain dumb," "inept," and even the dreaded "cowardly," along with the ultimate putdown - "having no clue."

Truth in journalism, I always say. And there are no better examples of that than the terms used to describe the Mets' "brain trust" in the paragraph above.

This is a bizarre turn of events, to say the least. Lots of us advocated, and even suspected, that Willie might be fired after The Collapse; instead, almost immediately, Omar and Fred issued pretty much rousing endorsements of Willie As Mets Manager. Then the season began, and things did not go well for the team. Then the Willie monologue where he made those infinitely regrettable remarks about race vis a vis his job. Then The Huh? Memorial Day Press Conference, where you figured, hey, if Willie was going to get it, he was getting it that day.

And of course, nothing happened.

And now, when the team has won three of its last four games, the bats seem to be heating up, when Willie has seemingly matured and grown into his role, and yes, seemingly has thrived since The Huh?, they drag him out to the west coast, the team wins the game, and then they fire him.

Ted Mack would be very proud; very proud, indeed.

It's not that I think Willie is the best manager; I didn't want him hired, and I was certainly in favor of his firing after The Collapse, and even up to a few weeks ago. But I have to admit, Willie showed me something these past few weeks, and I was actually rooting for him to succeed.

And now this.

Ted Mack, move over. You've got competition for the Amateur Hour. The New York Mets, in all of their amateurish, unprofessional, just plain dumb, inept, cowardly and just having no clue glory.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Are We Headed For A Bobby V 2000, Redux?

There is a rumor out there, reported on various forums and on Mets Blog, that the Mets coaches jobs are actually in trouble, moreso than Willie's job.

So I ask you, is it the Mets hope that deja vu will occur, all over again, circa the Big Firing Of Bobby V's coaches in 2000? Remember, right after that occurred, the team went on a 40-19 run, I think it was, or something close to that, eventually won the Wild Card and went on to defeat the Giants and the Cardinals to make it to the World Series that year, which was ultimately lost to Joe Torre and the Yankees.

I guess we can dream, can't we?

And I hate to say this coming off a series win this weekend, against the truly less-than-impressive Texas Rangers, who, true to rumored form, have offense but not much in the way of pitching (so little, in fact, that the erstwhile Met names of Jose Lima, Jorge Sosa, Nelson Figueroa and the likes of them might actually be greeted as saviors of a sort), but I truly don't think replacing coaches or even a manager or even a general manager at this point in the season would make much sense or would have any real affect.

Because, my friends, it's on the players. It truly is on the players at this point. It's obvious that over the last year their .500 brand of baseball has become the benchmark for this group, and short of any real substantial change of the type which it is almost impossible to effectuate during the playing year, not much will change.

So let's see if these guys can turn it around. Let's give them the chance. It's what we've been waiting for; what we've hoped for since even before The Collapse. Do they have it in them? Are they capable of it? Do they want it badly enough? Do they still have the talent to compete at the highest levels?

Stay tuned, because as the season plays out, we will no doubt get our answer.

And then, we will have to face it and move forward, with or without some of the present management, coaches, and players.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

I Know This Is A Mets Blog, But....

...I would be very remiss if I didn't say a few words about the passing of probably the biggest journalistic icon of our time, Tim Russert.

Tim died yesterday at his desk at the NBC Washington Bureau headquarters, apparently of a massive heart attack, suddenly and without warning, doing what he loved most -- getting ready for another edition of Meet The Press.

When I heard the news yesterday, I was shocked, as I'm sure most of the world was. I will always remember where and when I heard it, much like I remember when and where I was when I heard about President Kennedy, then Martin Luther King, then Bobby Kennedy.

Nobody made politics come alive like Tim did, and nobody made politics more accessible to "everyman" than did Tim. He had the common man touch, combined with the journalistic chops, and he never seemed to tire of his job; on the contrary, he seemed to get better and livelier and more excited every year. He was at the top of his profession, wrote two best-selling books, and lived more life in his 58 years than many of us can even dream of living were we to make it to the ripe old age of 100.

We relied on Tim; we trusted him; we invited him into our homes. Things will just not be the same without him. His passing has left a void that I suspect no one will ever fill.

Godspeed, Tim, and wherever you are, give 'em hell. You will be sorely missed, and your memory much cherished.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Shit, Or Get Off The Pot, Already!....


WFAN is reporting that the job of Willie Randolph, and likely the jobs of Howard Johnson and/or Rick Peterson, are in grave and serious trouble (and no, that's not overly redundant, considering the situation) going into the weekend series with the Texas Rangers.

Rumor further has it that Jerry Manuel, currently a Mets coach, will be given the manager's job if indeed Willie is fired, and that the pitching coach from the Mets AAA NOLA affiliate, whose name escapes me at the moment, will replace Peterson, if he too departs.

No word on who would replace HoJo. Not that it really matters, anyway.

The only thing I have to say here is that all of this cannot possibly be good for the team, and is yet more evidence of the Wilpon and Mets' organization hand-wringing and paralysis by analysis that seems to hold the Mets hostage. Make a decision, one way or the other, already. They just never seem to want to do it.

Make a bleeping bleeping decision, already. Just do it, and be done with it, and move on.

One Friday Thought....

...there really isn't much more to add than what's already been said about this 2008 New York Mets team. And to attempt to do so at this point would be a useless and futile exercise, a feat designed only to attempt to attract more readers who are already full to the brim with the nausea of the season.

So instead, I urge you all to read this, and remember. We are wounded, but do not desert. We are hurt, but do not abandon. We are Mets fans.

Time to retreat and regroup. And hope. And remember that we are Mets fans. We act as if we don't care, but we do. We always do. They're in our blood. Like it or not. The team we call the New York Mets. For good, for bad, for ugly... forever.

Even when we're sad about the team beyond what we thought we could ever be.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Choke Billy... Or Billy The Choke?....

...either way, he's Billy the Goat, again, whom I'd love to choke at this point.

This is how a top closer with a big mouth performs? He sure as hell has little trouble calling out his teammates. There is simply no excuse for Billy The Choke. Who is reminding me more and more of the biggest choke artist of the 21st century - one Armando Benitez.

Need I say more?

Game is tied, going to extra innings. Fuckers.

Good thing I'm not letting them get to me anymore.... *titter.*

"Fuck 'Em All"......

So I suppose by now everyone's heard about Marlon Anderson's thoughts on what's left of the season, and what the Mets have to do to win 92 games, which appears to be the "magic number" that most believe will gain the Mets a playoff spot.

And how he handed out little reminders with the slogans "Team Before Self" (which Mike Pelfrey might have felt after last night should be morphed into "Team Before Pelf") and "We B 4 I," which seems to nicely fit into the trend over the last decade or so of using numbers or letters in place of real words, don't you know.

And although I'm not too sure that Marlon's thoughts (such as winning every series) came across exactly as he might have hoped, I believe there is something to the slogan thing and I'm happy to see someone stepping up and taking a postive step towards leadership of this erstwhile apparently leaderless team.

So in that spirit, I'd like to suggest that Marlon offer the following team slogans to his teammates....

"Just Win Tonight" (self-explanatory......duh!, but tried and true, and infinitely better than "One Game At A Time".... well, maybe not, but you get the idea)

"Get Down and Dirty" (dirt on the uniforms, especially on the uniform of one usually clean Carlos Delgado usually means they are playing hard)

or, in light of some of the rumors surrounding the feelings of Mets players towards all the media, booing at Shea, and other various and sundry New York-type shit:

"'Fuck 'Em All,' Just Play The Game Right."

I happen to like the last one best. Strawberry, who, btw, is turning out to be a wonderful addition to SNY, and someone that New York fans love and cherish, through it all, said it best -- you can let it get you down, or you can let it motivate you to be a better player.

So, boys, as per the words of Tupac Shakur, "'Fuck 'Em All,' Just Play The Game Right."

Wednesday, June 11, 2008



There is no good... Only Zuul!!!!


Everything... Stupid pitch counts for Maine... Bullpen blowing another one... Mets unable to score late in games...

For those looking for a disturbing stat, try this one... From the 7th inning on in games played this year, the Mets have scored just 70 runs... That is LAST in the Major Leagues... They're hitting .225 in the 7th inning or later, which is 27th in the Majors... Their OPS in the 7th inning or later is .634, just one percentage point ahead of San Diego and good for second worst in the majors...

Oh, and our team ERA after the 6th inning is 4.20, which is good for 23rd in the majors... The 102 runs we've allowed in the 7th inning or later is 5th most in the majors...


The DBacks bullpen pitches 4 2/3 innings last night... We get 3 lousy hits, no walks, no runs... UNACCEPTABLE!!!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Buck Stops Here?.......

...and not Joe Buck, or the greenback buck. Showalter, that's the Buck I'm referring to.

Here's the way I see things, and correct me if you believe I'm wrong. The Mets organization is a top to bottom, bottom to top mess. I believe this has largely occurred because the Wilpons, as well-meaning and sincere as they might be, have relied on the advice of the wrong people, and have allowed their desire to compete with the Yankees each and every year, and fill Shea Stadium to capacity each and every day get in the way of sound baseball decision-making. Not to mention their desire to ensure a successful launch of SNY, and filling the seats in the soon-to-open CitiField...

So I think they've had a lot on their plate, and somehow the organizational personnel and the team have almost become afterthoughts to them; this has to stop, and they need to pay attention to what it all revolves around, and what will either make them wildly successful in the baseball arena, or make them laughingstocks in the baseball community, if that hasn't already occurred -- the building of a successful, competitive major league baseball franchise, and one that will continue to regenerate and nourish itself by its design.

The first step in this process is to choose the right person to be its architect. I've thought about this, and have tossed it around and around, and have sought sage counsel from some of my more savvy and knowledgeable baseball friends, and I believe the answer to all this might be in the form of one Buck Showalter.

Now, we all know Buck's had problems in the dugout. That's a given. I'm not offering him up, so to speak, to manage the team. What I want is for Buck to be responsible for all baseball operations. Hire him, and give him free rein to put his own people in place, and free rein to make the types of sweeping changes that this organization desperately seems to need. Right now, the organization has the feel of an old-boys-club of sorts, a stodgy group with old and dated ideas. Buck, if he's done nothing else in his many years in baseball, is certainly neither stodgy or full of old and dated ideas, nor is he lazy, which is another curse I believe permeates the Mets organization, from top to bottom.

In case some of you have short memories, Buck was a big part of the metamorphosis of the mid-90s Yankees into a four-time World Championship team. As if that weren't enough, he moved on to Arizona, where he became the force in the reshaping of that franchise, and made it into not only a respectable one, but one to be reckoned with for years to come, as we are now seeing. In between all that, he managed to be named AL Manager of the Year a couple of times, and is widely recognized for his uncanny ability to spot talent and cultivate it.

He's also fiery, opinionated and passionate, three things I think most Mets fans would give their dying breath to see in the organization right now.

I know Buck's had his problems; he's brash, and butts heads with those in charge, and probably has seen his last days in the dugout, but when it comes to knowing how to build a team and make a franchise competitive for many years, he's the guy.

Okay, Okay, I Give...........

As the Mets team bus crashes and burns on its way out of San Diego, I give... I give... I'm crying "uncle," and all that other good stuff.

It's really hard to know what to say at this point. And the funny thing is, some of the things we thought might make a difference scarcely a few weeks ago don't even seem to apply at this point. Like the "Fire Willie" thing. Which I no longer believe is the answer.

I think it's fair to say that right now, based upon the team's performance over the last year, this team has proven, once and for all, that it's basically a .500 team, no better, no worse. Until death do it part, or until the Wilpons finally understand that the team is well and truly flawed, and decide to either accept the reality or slowly but surely dismantle the pieces and the architects and go in another direction.

I surely hope it's the latter, but I don't expect the latter to occur at any time this year, because I frankly don't think the Wilpons are going to throw in the towel yet. They're going to keep Willie and Omar, and stubbornly cling to the "we just have to get it going" mantra for the rest of the year, and then make sweeping and wide-reaching changes when the season ends.

Because, folks, this team just ain't making it to the postseason.

There's a lot of baseball left, and I'm just going to settle in and take each game for what it's worth, with little or no expectations left for postseason play for this team.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Some Friday Stuff....

...for those of you who, like me, are still sitting at your desks at 2 p.m. on a summer Friday afternoon, quite seriously contemplating what went wrong in your life that ultimately led to you having a job where you're still sitting at your desk on a summer Friday afternoon at 2 p.m., just counting down the minutes....

So anyway, as the great Ethel Merman once said - let me entertain you! So without further ado, a few Random Friday Thoughts.

First up - Mike Pelfrey. Whom I was starting to call "Hellfrey" before his last two starts. And as sure as I'm sitting here at 2 p.m. on a summer Friday afternoon (did I mention that before?), I was not alone in the "Hellfrey" thing. I had even considered writing a little ditty wherein I would make the case to support my opinion that the next time Pelfrey should get a major league start would be when Hellfrey-zesover. Read it quickly, you'll get it, trust me.

Anyway, Ollie Perez could learn a thing or two from Pelf lately. Pelf seems to be learning to fight through struggles and setbacks and various adverse occurrences while he's out there, and learning how not to fall apart because his shoelace becomes untied, because he doesn't like the angle of the sun that particular minute, because his mother yelled at him when he was five years old, or other similar serious issues. He seems to be growing up before our very eyes, and although these developments are extremely recent, they are the type of growth developments that just don't get reversed once they've occurred. Maturity and growth are not something that one can learn; if they were, well, things wouldn't be the way they are. They're very difficult to achieve, especially while performing in the spotlight under pressure, so Pelf is really impressing me these days.

Ollie, on the other hand, I just don't know these days. I've come to the conclusion that he is indeed what they refer to in the trades as a "head case." And considering we have a pitching coach whose idea of good advice is to contemplate a butterfly's navel while warming up his pitcher du jour, enough to qualify one for the moniker of "head case" in many baseball circles, I'm not sure these two are a good match. Ollie may well need tough love and a good dose of reality, not the Petermeister Zen crap that The Jacket is so fond of eschewing.

Bad karma, baby, just plain bad karma.

Overall, the team has now seemed to have arrived at the crossroads of Playing Mediocre And Boring Baseball Street to Let's Go Out There And Win This Thing Street. They're there -- they simply need to decide, once and for all, for certainty, on which street they wish to continue their travels, and then firmly and surely guide the team bus down that street, with no turning back.

And if they choose the latter street, and the team bus crashes, there will be many, many casualties, for Let's Go Out There And Win This Thing Street is without doubt a tough and challenging road to navigate, full of twists and turns and perils and unexpected hazards; a much tougher and challenging road than Playing Mediocre And Boring Baseball Street, and the Sunday driver just out for an afternoon spin need not apply.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Is It Real, Or Is It Mike And The Mad Dog?...

Is it just me, or have these two bozones gotten tons worse lately?

So, you want an example? Well, kiddies, you shall have it! I'm listening to these guys on Tuesday afternoon. Because, well, I listen to WFAN all day long at my desk, rain or shine, baseball or not, I guess it's just kind of an addiction with me. Anyway, so Tuesday, I'm listening to these two. And they're talking about the evening of baseball that's in store for New York fans. About the Return of Pedro. And the Inaugural Major League Start of Joba "Big Foot, Big Ass, Big Mouth, Big Everything" Chamberlain. And they're waxing poetic about all this baseball karma and baseball gods and apple pie and America's game and shit, and how this is a New York baseball fan's dream, and basically, well, basically coming in their pants over the whole fucking thing, if you will.

And I'm sitting there, and listening, and I'm actually buying some of this horseshit, couldja believe it? Don't tell anyone, but deep down in my heart, I still think life should be white picket fences, two cars in every garage, a chicken in every pot, and a baseball game to watch on the ol' big screen every night. A little food wouldn't hurt either, but that's for another day.

So yesterday, I'm listening to these bozones comme d'habitude, which for those of you who don't know conversant francais, means, like I generally do, like a fucking idiot that I am (I just threw that last part in there, no charge). And what do they do? They proceed to cut up the Yankees big time for starting Joba, and then turn their liver-lilied forked tongues upon the Mets for starting Pedro in the cold San Francisco weather. I believe some of the terms they used to describe the Mets were "nuts," "crazy" "stupid," and the like.

Now mind you, like I said above, they spent the better part of the previous afternoon hyping both the Yankee Joba Game and the Mets Pedro Game as if they were The Greatest Show on Earth, the 1986 World Series, the 1996 World Series, the 1997 World Series, the 1998 World Series, yada, yada, yada, and the second coming of Christ, all rolled up into one. Or two, should I say.

As if that weren't enough to turn the stomach, then, of all things, Deputy Dope Dog turns his wit that he wishes was rapier but is sadly for him in reality only half-wit, to, of all things, now, get this.... the piece Kevin Burkhardt of SNY did on Keith Hernandez, you know, the little tour of where Keith grew up, where he played, etc. Now I ask you, how could any reasonable human being have a fucking problem with that piece????

I suppose the term "reasonable" in that sentence is where the worm turns, my friends.

I'll tell you what I LOVED, though, that almost made listening to them bearable yesterday. One of the callers really totally called them out, so much so that they really cooled their jets a bit afterwards.

I think some of the words the caller used to describe them were "moronic," "hypocrites," "losers," and maybe there were a couple more.

All of which I agree with, in case you haven't figured that out. Look, I've known for years these two simply can't be taken seriously, but they've traveled the road from annoying entertainment to the pit stop known as help me, oh, God, please help me...

And I'll leave you with one more example of unexcellence in sports broadcasting. Another memorable Mike & The Mad Dog Moment, if you will. I'm in the car, coming back to work from lunch, earlier this year, and Francesa is telling all the world about Joba Chamberlain. He's unhittable. He's a star. He's a God. He's The Real Deal. The league can't figure him out. He's unhittable. Oh, I said that one already, but that was Francesa's main thing, that Joba is "unhittable." I mean, he's going ON... and on... and on.... carrying on as if he were going to come in his pants, once again, over yet another baseball related thingy.

And I'm sitting there, laughing my fucking ass off.

Why? You ask?

Well, I'll tell you why. It's only about FIVE GAMES INTO THE FUCKING SEASON.

Let's just say that sometimes, Mike Francesa sounds like the wrong end of one of them there horses he owns.



Reyes continues to be a sparkplug that we need him to be... After slow start to the season, Jose is hitting .311 since the beginning of May, and has really come alive at the plate and on the bases... Defense is another story, however...

Beltran with a big 2-run double in the first, and his partner in pussiness, Delgado, came through with an RBI hit as well...

Johnny Maine with a real nice game... Would be nice if he kept that pitch count down a little more and go more than 6 innings, but I'll always take 6 innings with 2 runs allowed (only 1 earned)... But, in 12 starts this year, Maine has only gone more than 6 innings twice...

Wagner, despite some MAJOR wildness, lowered his ERA to a microscopic 0.36... Just 1 earned run allowed all year...


Not too much today... The bottom of the order (Tatis, Chavez, Schneider) was a combined 0-10, and Endy's average has dropped to under .200..

Didn't see too much of the game, but from what I understand, Tatis continues to really struggle defensively in the outfield... Again, not his natural position, and only being forced out there due to the injuries to Moses, Marlon, etc...

And, where is Nick Evans? If we're going to have him on the Major League roster, he's GOT to be playing... If he's not playing, then send him back down so he can get his regular at-bats in...


That's the key to success, and the Mets take their 3rd straight series... At this point, they just need to continue to do so, and roll of 20 wins in 30 games, or 30 wins in 45 games... Something along those lines that will get them to move beyond the .500 record they've had for more than the last full season now...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008



The top of the 5th... Mets score 8 runs... Game over...

Also good... Being reminded how lucky we were that the Giants offered Zito that insane contract...

And, of course, the return of Pedro... He wasn't great last night, by any means, but pitched solidly, went 6 innings, and most importantly, he was just there... If he can somehow stay healthy the rest of the year, it'll be such a huge boost to the team!!!


Jose went 0-5... Trade the BUM!!!

Church went 0-4... He sucks too!!!

Schoeneweis gave up a 3-run dinger - TRADE HIS SORRY ASS OUTTA HERE!!!

Hey, this is fun... Now I feel like one of those "REAL" Mets fans!!!!


OOPS... Wrong Pedro!!!

I like this guy better anyway!!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Neither An Orange Jacket Nor An Ollie Be.....

... and homage to Willie The Shake, a/k/a "Bill S.," none other than the wise and lovely William Shakespeare, for providing the original line for that there ripoff in the title of this entry.

Anyway, I guess the Power of the Orange Jacket wore off. And the return of the Ollie Demon blew in with the San Francisco winds. And, folks, blaming the late night Sunday ESPN game, the semi-red-eye-flight out to San Francisco and the lack of proper sleep would be wrong, since Ollie flew out to San Francisco early in preparation for his start yesterday, if that's what you can call that mess of a pitching performance he gave last night.

Looks as if Willie... er, I mean, Bill R.'s dislike for Ollie might be justified, at least, at this point.

If I were Ollie and Scott Boras, I'd be a little worried right now. Here you got a guy who's going into free agency, looking for a nice fat reward in the form of a multi-year multi-million-dollar contract, and he's pitching as if... well, as if the only reward he's looking for is a stint in Taiwanese or Japanese baseball, or perhaps a trip to NOLA where he can frolic in the debauchery of the French Quarter.

As for the Mets and Ollie, I'm starting to think that if Pedro can make a solid return to the rotation, we might just see an expendable Ollie, with a trade including Ollie and maybe one or two other Heilm.... I mean, one or two other guys on the horizon.

And Oliver Hardy Perez and his buddy, Scott Laurel Boras, might just be good for a few laughs.

Monday, June 2, 2008

F*ck... It's Monday Again....


But, let's look at the good side of this here Monday. Which is, of course, the spectacular (dare I say it?) performance of the Mets since the closed-door not-so-secret meeting between Omar, Willie and ownership Monday last, a/k/a, Memorial Day.

Memorial Day, indeed; in more ways than one. We may well look at Memorial Day 2008 as a memorial to the hopefully now defunct early 2008 Mets, marking the day the hopefully new 2008 Mets began their serious quest for a division title and postseason play.

Fresh off taking three of the four-game series against Joe Torre & Co., a/k/a the Los Angeles Dodgers, having had the Sunday afternoon game rescheduled to a Sunday evening ESPN start, which sucks noodles, as DingoMets says, the Mets now begin a week-long tour of the lovely west coast, and start a three-game series against the Giants this evening, with the centerpiece being Pedro's start tomorrow. Who knows what that may bring? All I can say is, if Pedro's ready, and doesn't stub his toe, or twist his hip, or otherwise miraculously emerges physically unscathed from the start, and somehow manages through it all to pitch well, well.... one up for the Mets. Rumor has it that Duque is close to returning, as well. Pedro and Duque would certainly provide a lift to the somewhat saggy rotation. Both guys are winning players, and this team needs more of them.

And what can you say about Johan The Great? I know lots of Mets fans are less than thrilled with him, but I have to say that thus far, he's shown me that he is a winner (see above, as in, we need more of them) and a fierce competitor.

In other words, like Smith Barney, he makes money the old fashioned way - he eaaaaarns it! Who cares if his velocity is down a couple of miles an hour -- the guy knows how to win, and come up large when he has to. THAT, my friends, is the definition of a true staff "ace," a true stopper, and a true competitor.

Let's Go Mets!