ESPN's Elevator

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

During these rough times (no, not the economy - the Mets season) who's not up for a laugh or two?

For more great laugh-at-sports-videos, click here.

Warning: Do not drink and watch. Yes, even water.

The New and the Old - Mets Style

Monday, June 29, 2009

Tonight, besides dropping under the .500 mark and giving Jerry Manuel the scare he's been hoping he wouldn't have to bare, the Mets experienced a list of "firsts" and a lists of "I've seen that before."

Orange = A First.

Blue = Been there, Done that.

So without further ado, I give you:

The New and the Old

A catcher (Brian Schneider) walked to the mound during an intentional walk to speak with the pitcher (Brian Stokes).

David Wright and Ryan Church fix and readjust their batting gloves after each and every pitch.

Wright saw what a home run looks like when, fortunately for him, he was on base when Gary Sheffield hit a monster shot.

The Mets get our hopes up in the final inning having us think that they'd come back, only to stab us in the back even harder than if they'd have gone down 1-2-3 in the 9th.

Jerry Manuel now must choose between the 3 bridges in Milwaukee to jump from.

Willie Randolph continues to "Thank God" he was fired, even if it was done at an early 4 am in the morning. ("Never too early, never too early," Willie was heard muttering under his breath tonight).

The 9 to 6 force play; left fielder to second baseman. (First time this season in the Majors).

Trevor Hoffman recorded a save (#572 on his career).

He did it on the first pitch he threw.

The Mets let the Marlins leapfrog them in the standings.

Brewer fans saw J.J. Hardy go 4-4 with a walk; A.K.A. - bat 1.000. Oh why is this in orange? Because until tonight, he was batting .220. (Hat tip to Mets Today for this nugget).

The Mets missed tying this game up by less than a foot (which could have changed the feel for the game even more than it had but alas, it didn't occur). Sorry, Brian.

Fernando Nieve knows how to struggle? Shocking! Why didn't the Astros say so?

Fernando Martinez did not take advantage of a dropped fly ball.

The Mets gave up their first grand slam of the season.

Wright hit and plated a runner in a pressure-free situation. Stellar, David.

I rooted for a specific hot dog to win a race. God, a hot dog; what have I become?

Speaking of God, He continues to hate the Mets. (Thanks, gulp).

Someone read to the end of one of my blog posts.

Goodbye, June, and Good Riddance To Ya!

The Mediocre Mets (37-37) are looking sad right now but one thing excluded from their list of troubles is June's departure.

Oddly, in baseball, we often see streaks start or end at the conclusion of a month and it seems to be an anomaly. The Mets, with 2 games remaining in June, have gone an abysmal 9-16 (National' fans reading this are chuckling loudly on how good we actually have it) and welcome in July with open arms, despite a few of them being in slings.

Inversely, the Mets went a solid 19-9 in the month of May and look to rebound from a Subway Series sweep when they play guest to the NL Central first place Milwaukee Brewers (40-35).

After handing Mariano River his 500th save, ironically, the Mets will face (hopefully, not) the only other man in MLB history to have notched his 500th save - Armando Benitez - er, Trevor Hoffman. (Where did that come from?)

With Florida creeping a 1/2 game behind the 2nd place Mets, the Mets can't afford to lose (and of course, get swept) another series. Luckily for New York, the Marlins are on a 3 game losing streak of their own and we know that won't last forever...

...what we do know is - we're not a very good team right now and Omar doesn't want to do anything about it. We must stick it out, play scrappy baseball (gosh I hate that word) and stay afloat until "the core" gets back...

but do hurry, Jose, Carlos and Carlos; I'm running out of hair to pull out.

Update: The Mets continued their losing ways in June falling to the Brewers by a score of 10-6 on Monday night. 9-17 and falling...

Update: The Mets lost another game. Shocking. June has left the building and the Mets went an abysmal 9-18. They lost double the amount of games that they won. I want my time and energy back.

The Hidden Value Of Luis Castillo

In a recent article from our friend in Section 518, he writes:

Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts spent a good deal of time today ripping Omar Minaya for giving Luis Castillo a four year contract back in 2008, and for good reason. I’m a Castillo fan and even I cringe at the thought that he’ll be around for two more years. But Joe and Evan didn’t mention a key factor. Even though Castillo had scored 37 runs in 50 games with an OBP of .371, it was his potential off-field contributions that necessitated his return.

It gets forgotten now, but Luis Castillo was an key factor in the Johan Santana acquisition. Santana publicly complained when Minnesota traded Castillo to the Mets, calling it a salary dump. But it apparently went further than that behind the scenes, as this article from Brian Lewis of the NY Post describes:

“I remember the day I got traded, remember Johan. He went to me in the locker room. We talked for 20 minutes. I explained everything. He told me everything, told me he wanted to play with the Mets the day I got traded…”

Now, is that worth a four year contract for $25 million? Of course not. But we should keep it in mind when we discuss the contract. Had the Mets waited for Orlando Hudson, they might have missed out on Johan Santana. For all its faults, the Castillo contract was a show of faith to Johan, a sign that this organization was going to go out of it’s way to make him comfortable. So, at least we’ve got that going for us…

...personally, I, Eli, like what Castillo has been doing for us this year...he is fielding and moving better than we thought he would....his .279 slap stick average as of June 29th, lack of injury, along with his 35 walks and just 17 strikeouts in 64 games, make him, perhaps, a bit expensive for $6.25 million but when you take a look around the rest of the club - 2nd base, for us, is not all that bad....

Your thoughts?

9th inning? Big Spot? Gotta Go To Mo!

Now, I'm not that Yankee hater which many Met fans claim you need to be to be a "true Mets fan" but I'll tell you this much: I hate the Yankees when they're closer walks in an insurance run for his own team. Oh, he wasn't on the mound - Rivera did it from the plate.

It's now been twice this season that K-Rod buried his head in his glove while Met fans. across the nation, did the same with their hands. First it was Luis Castillo and the walk-off-error, and now it was Mo Rivera and his bases-loaded-walk; all with Franky Rodriguez on the mound. I see our 37 million dollar investment is going a long way against our crosstown rivals.

Furthermore, anyone (actually, it was me) who says that Rivera - not only recorded his 500th save last night - but also chalked up his first RBI, has erred in their speech. An RBI, literally stands for "Run Batted In," and I don't recall Mariano swinging and putting a ball into play last night. Do you? His 500th save and his first RWI (Run Walked In)... there...much better.

Either who, congrats to Mo and his teammates on a splendid victory last night against the Mets Double AA squad and hopefully, when the real Mets team returns from the DL, we'll pick up the pace, make the playoff likes we are expected to and meet you again in the real subway series - the World Series.

That's if you make it that far...

...Send regards to Boston, will ya?

The 4th Molina Brother

Friday, June 26, 2009

Everyone has one; that family in their neighborhood where each and every kid is always tucked in, each and every kid is always ready for dinner - on time - and each and every kid is exactly the same. Perfect.

Well, not for the Molina family.

For Joe and Linda Molina, life was far from perfect. There was Benjie - absolutely everything a parent can ask and wish for. There was Jose - a true gem and a heck of a well-mannered kid. There was Yadier - a boy who was up at the crack of dawn helping his Ma with the dishes and his Pops in the yard. Ahh, pure happiness from the boys - who might I add had killer arms and monster swings..

Or most of them, at least.

Meet Bartholomew Molina; the boy who was destined to be the local librarian.

And the local librarian he was.

Bartholomew never liked baseball growing up ("it's a boring sport with no promise") and believed all circular objects were just plain old evil ("Einstein would agree," he shouted). Ah, yes, Poor Bartholomew had not many friends and was often shunned from the public eye by his embarrassed family. At family pick-up games, Bart (the name his brothers referred to him by) was usually found at the foot of the tree with a large book plopped in his lap. "I'd break my glasses," he'd say, "exercise is 3 quarters mental, you know." Bartholomew, as you can tell, was special.

Bartholomew was quite the ladies' man though. He was often seen chatting up ladies in the nursing room, helping them with their wheelchairs, and always reminding his 85-year-old "friends" that "true arm strength is used to hold open doors for elderly people."

Many times reporters from all over Major League Baseball have asked Bengie, Yadier, and Jose about their youngest and less gifted brother but they constantly reply, "no comment" or "next question" in fear of the world finding out about their secret; the one that currently lives in their parent's basement.

It's not an easy life for the Molina brothers, despite making a lifetime collective 60 million dollars. The failure that is Bartholomew resides in the crevices of their brain each and every time they attempt (and succeed) to throw a runner out at 2nd base, each and every time they tuck their jerseys in and each and every time they show up to the park in punctual fashion. You see, Bartholomew, although being as athletic as a Hungarian grandmother (which, if you don't know, is not very), sticks it to the other 3 boys each and every time he happens to see them.

How so? By waving that one little pointer finger, reminding them that even with gold gloves, silver slugger awards, championship rings and team banners, they still, and never will be, number one.

You go, Bartholomew.

Nieve Wins Award

Thursday, June 25, 2009

In 2008, Fernando Tatis received the 2008 Players Choice Award for Comeback Player of the National League. The way Fernando is playing in 2009 - he's making a case to win it again in 2010. (Think about that for a little bit).

In 2009, the Mets might have another "Comeback Player" on their team (although this one is coming back from the Land of Nowhere). Surprise surprise, his name is Fernando, as well.

Meet Fernando Nieve.

Now no one can be certain that Mr. Nieve will walk away with such honors but if he keeps this performance up - he can forget the Comeback Player of the Year award and get his glove open to accept a Cy Young.

Getting ahead of myself, yeah? Well, the last person, according to WFAN, to win his first 3 starts as a Met was Jorge Sosa in 2007. (We all know how that turned out).

Whether Fernando wins his next 17 starts and finishes the season off with a mediocre 20-0 is yet to be seen but what is seen is that shiny new award, given by Mets fans, that prominently hangs on Nieve's living room wall.

You go, Fernando...

...and I don't mean downhill...

Five of the Worst First Pitches Recorded on Video

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Now that the news has come out that President Barack Obama will throw out the first pitch at the All-Star game in St. Louis, you have to think the president, despite being famously cool, will still feel a bit of pressure when he walks up to the mound at Busch Stadium.

There are a lot of options for the commander-in-pitcher: Should he stand on the mound or in front it? Will he wear a White Sox hat, as he's done in the past? Or will he don a Cardinal jacket like George W. did when he threw out the opening day pitch in St. Louis in 2004? Whatever he wears and wherever he plants his feet, he better be able to get it over the plate.

Because there have been some truly awful first-pitches in recent memory.

Here are the five worst:

Gary Dell'Abate (producer of Howard Stern Show and host of the Wrap Up Show) throwing first pitch before Mets v. Pirates on May 9, 2009. He hits the umpire.

Adam Corolla throws out the first pitch at a Dodger game, and the ball bounces before it gets to home plate. He tries again, this time the ball is about ten feet outside. Like any celeb, he milks the camera a little longer, throwing a third pitch, and actually gets it to the catcher.

This guy is so bad, someone felt the need to splice in audio from a "Real Men of Genius" beer commercial. Notice how the ball appears to go straight down the second it leaves his hand.

Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory's first pitch takes a hard left on the way to former Reds player Eric Davis. Yikes.

It seems that first-pitchers can't keep from beaning the umpire. This sportscaster plunks the unsuspecting ump in the back of the heard. Cut to :37 in the video to see the crime.

And because this is too bizarre to not include, watch this Bonus Video, "T-Rex Throws Out the First Pitch." At least the guy in the dinosaur costume threw in a straight line, from his prehistoric jaws no less.

(Primarily seen on DailyRFT's Website)

Trade, Keep & Release - Game 1

Recently on Twitter, I asked my followers to play General Manager:

It's time to play "Trade, Keep & Release" with the 3 Fernando's. Choose 1 (& only 1) label for Martinez, Tatis & Nieves! Good luck!

Seems easy, right? Wrong. Let's just say I got a nice assortment of answers:

JoeLipps: Trade Nieve, Keep Martinez, Releases Tatis, that was easy

mattclausen: but I want to keep both Nieve and Martinez right now. honestly: trade/release Tatis, Keep Nieve and demote Martinez

L_I_Sound: Trade Martinez, release Tatis, keep Nieve.

JMU2012: Sorry, I'm only getting rid of Tatis, for whatever I can get.

1. keep-tatis-valuble all around you can still get good stuff back 3. release-neive-got to go with history

schwedels: Drop Tatis Trade Nieve Keep fmart maybe keep nieve and trade fmart but if Fmart was untouchable in the johan deal, im not trading him now.

And the peanut gallery*:

FMart: Keep Martinez, trade the other 2.

Do you have your own ideas? Would you like to be heard? Are your pants too small? Well, we can help you with the first two. Try commenting here or send us a tweet but either way, try getting yourself a new pair of trousers, will ya?

Pineiro? 2 Mets? 2

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Joel Alberto Pineiro, a career .094 hitter, looked like the other Albert P. on his Cardinals team, using his bat to chalk up two hits.

The entire Mets team? Well, thanks to Jeremy Reed in the 9th, they had two hits, as well.

Forgetting the fact that Pineiro needed 100 pitches, got 21 ground ball outs, allowed 2 hits and gave up one walk - the 30 year old pitcher sent Omar Minaya a message tonight stating, "you need a big bat in your lineup."

Knowing Omar Minaya...he'll get a big bat for the team...

Kudos to Metstradamus for the picture.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Pineiro left his previous start early with cramps due to dehydration. He made up for the lost time tonight and left with his head held high.

Note to Omar: Get your Rolodex out.

Mike Pelfrey's Problem

What's really been bothering Mike Pelfrey?

Eli sat down today with the Big Pelf to discuss his recent poor outings and perhaps pinpoint why exactly kids these days don't want to be like Mike.

Pelfrey admitted to me that he just doesn't feel comfortable on the mound and he can't seem to see why.

"Is it your above average height?" asked Eli.

"No," responded Mike in his usual deep voice, "it's got nothing to do with that. It's probably just in my head."

After going over hundreds and hundreds of hours of film from this season (dating back to pre-season) the Eli/Mike duo were able to zero in on what's really been troubling the tall right hander. Funny thing is, it wasn't in his head; it was on it.

They discovered that Mike's cap was too tight after noticing an excessive amount of hat-fixing in spring training.

"You're a god-send, Eli" said Mike as he slipped into a new size 8 cap, "you truly saved my season."

Eli did not mention the fact that he also saved Big Pelf some cash since he was about to book airline tickets for a visit to Dr. James Andrews.

"Go do your thing now," Eli responded instead, "and for god sakes - stop licking your hand so much while on the mound; it's down-right disgusting."

...Dr. Eli is now working with another 14 members of the Mets' staff who are currently on the disabled list...

The Wild "Wild Card Race"

According to AOL, there are now five teams within 1 1/2 games of the NL wild-card lead.

San Francisco on Monday lost to Oakland for the first time in the past six Bay Bridge Series meetings to fall into a tie with idle Milwaukee.

Meanwhile, the Mets beat the Cardinals and the Rockies took advantage of six (!) wild pitches to beat the Angels, so both picked up a full game.

So Colorado is a 1/2 game back, and the Mets and Cubs are 1 1/2 out.

It bodes for a fun race. A year ago today, only three teams were within five games of the NL wild-card lead and Tampa Bay had a three-game lead on the AL side.

Mr Met taken away in Ambulance

It's happened. Again.

Another Met has hit the DL; this time with a strained forehead.

Wouldn't you experience the same pain if your forehead was 5 feet wide?

A reason for the injury has not been released.

Luckily for me, I was able to tour Mr. Met's home just a few weeks ago.

(A thanks to NY Sports Space for the picture)

UPDATE: 2:52 PM -

Thanks to The Onion, we have discovered the reason for Mr. Met's headache.

Apparently, our ball-headed friend went stir-crazy from all the injury-vibes surrounding the team.

The good news is - Mr. Met is feeling better and is fortunately, a-HEAD of schedule.

UPDATE: 4:41 P.M. -

According to a live witness in the hospital, Ralph, "Mr. Mets' head won't fit into the MRI machine." God dangity!

Dough On Disabled List

Joe Janish of Mets Today writes:

Surely someone else has covered this, but I’ll post it here for inquiring minds.

Currently, the total amount of salary on the Mets’ disabled list totals $67,675,000.00.

To put that in perspective, it’s about equal to the entire payroll of the Minnesota Twins, and more than the total payrolls of the Rays, Athletics, Nationals, Pirates, Padres, and Marlins.

An itemized report of the Wilpons’ spending for the injured:

Carlos Beltran - $18.5M
Carlos Delgado - $12M
Oliver Perez - $12M
Billy Wagner - $10.5M
Jose Reyes - $5.75M
J.J. Putz - $5M
John Maine - $2.6M
Ramon Martinez - $750K
Angel Pagan - $575K

Let me know if I missed anyone and/or if my math is incorrect (I was an English major; numbers make my head hurt).

The salary figures come to you courtesy of Cot’s Baseball Contracts.

A Scary Stat

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Mets face off against the Cardinals tonight at 7:10 P.M.

...or should I say 'against Albert Pujols'?

In tonight's lineup, the Mets have Alex Cora (0 home runs this season), Daniel Murphy (4 HR's), David Wright (4), Fernando Tatis (2), Ryan Church (2), Omir Santos (4), Jeremy Reed (0), Luis Castillo (0) and Tim Redding (0, shocker) equaling a total of 16 home runs.

Home run total for Albert Pujols this season? 26.

Enjoy the game, Mets fans.

Lump For The Ump

You've heard of Kill the Ump, Lynch the Ump, and Strangle the Ump, right? Well, get ready for the latest thing — Bean the Ump.

It happened on May 31 in the Georgia high school Class AAA championship game. Stephens County was losing to Cartersville 9-1 early, partly because nine straight SCHS batters had struck out. The last ring-up so hacked off superstar shortstop Ethan Martin — who had just been drafted 15th overall by the Dodgers — that he threw his helmet in protest. But that figured. Martin and his brother, Cody, who was pitching, reportedly had been complaining about balls and strikes the entire game.

So now it's the bottom of the fourth, with Ethan playing short and Cody on the mound. The catcher is Matt Hill. There are no outs. The count is 0-1. Cody winds up and flings a very high, very hard fastball. Hill comes out of his squat, puts his glove up to catch it, then does a very funny thing.

He doesn't.

Instead, the YouTube video will show, he drops to his knees before the ball gets to him. Doesn't even try to catch it. Just flops to his knees, with his head looking down at the plate. Never looks up or back. The ball, meanwhile, conks umpire Jeff Scott square in the face mask. Rocks him back. Then squirts up the third-base line.

Scott Singer, who videotaped the game from behind the plate, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "I don't know what was going through their heads but … it's like, good god!" After the game, Hill explained that he'd been expecting a curveball, instead got a fastball and just didn't catch it.

Yeah, surrrre. I used to catch a little. Happens all the time. You're expecting a curveball and instead you get a fastball so you say, "Boy, didn't see that coming. I'll just drop to my knees and wait for the next one."

What's worse is that Hill's coach, Mark Gosnell, believed him! Right, Coach. And remember that time you found the school mascot tied up in a locker with a sock in his mouth? That was definitely terrorists.

If indeed this was premeditated — take a look for yourself and decide—then maybe Cody Martin should be drafted too. Say what you want, but that's pretty good aim.

Anyway, now the ump has to get back behind noncatcher Hill, who may very well have just schemed to remove his noggin from his neck. Wouldn't you have loved to have heard the conversation as they awaited the next pitch?

Ump: Uh, any chance you might catch this one, or should I duck now?

Hill: Depends. Is it going to be a strike?

Isn't it enough for an umpire to endure all the blind jokes — Hey, ump, what's it like to get your checks in Braille? — without two players actually trying to blind him?

Cartersville wound up winning the game 13-1, and when state athletic officials saw the tape, they snapped. "The catcher did not intend to catch the pitch," says Ralph Swearngin, executive director of the Georgia High School Association. "I didn't see the eyes of the catcher tracking the pitch." He put Stephens County on "severe warning" and fined it $1,000.

Then some payback came for Hill, who was planning to walk on at Gordon College in Barnesville, Ga., next season. He got the word from Gordon coach Travis McClanahan, who said, Forget it, we don't want you. "I've seen catchers get crossed up before," says McClanahan. "But he appeared to be blocking a curveball in the dirt. I was shocked. I've never seen that happen. I've never heard of a player even suggesting doing that."

I bet Hill didn't see that one coming. Don't know, though, since neither Hill nor Martin is talking.

As for umpire Scott, he had a headache after the game and went for an MRI. Then he decided to get himself a lawyer. And I'm guessing there are two things that lawyer is checking out: the health of his client and the health of Hill's dad's wallet.

Good god, what's becoming of us?

Track star: Well, yeah, I've always hated that official, but I sure didn't mean for my javelin to go right through his spleen like that!

Announcer: But you're a sprinter.

I hope Scott does ask for damages, and that the players have to pay in a way they'll never forget: by being forced to umpire Little League games. They'll be amazed how vile parental vocabulary can be, how far little brothers can spit and how many pitched balls wind up hitting them in the thorax.

But at least the 8-year-olds won't be doing it on purpose.

(A special thanks to a buddy named Rick for this article)

Fantasy Baseball Owner Rips Team In Media

BROOKLYN, NY—Mark Mendicus, 26-year-old Staples employee and principal owner of the fantasy baseball team Beat With Uggla Stick, blasted his underperforming team in the media Monday, going so far as to single out individual players, criticize their recent play, and question their commitment to winning."They all stink," a visibly frustrated Mendicus told reporters following Beat With Uggla Stick's head-to-head 8-2 loss to division rivals The Mark Currys. "[Alex] Rios stinks, Delmon [Young] stinks, Pedro [Martinez] really stinks. Everybody on my team stinks."

"The Beat With Uggla Sticks have a proud tradition of winning," continued Mendicus, whose team has made the playoffs the past two years, including a league championship win in 2006. "But apparently that means nothing to this group of players. Apparently they'd rather just lose every single 5x5 category. Apparently my players don't care about winning the 12-team Yahoo! Plus 'Mmm…Fantasy Baseball' league pennant as much as I do."

Mendicus had high expectations for his team coming into the season, but his players have been plagued by injuries and inconsistency, losing six of their first eight matchups en route to a 22-46-14 overall record. The historically temperamental owner did not hold back his opinions after their latest humiliating defeat, telling the New York Post that Prince Fielder "had better start hitting some freaking home runs already" before making several vicious personal attacks on the first baseman, calling him a "fatso," a "really big fat man," and a "fat freak" in the course of one statement.

"I paid $38 for [Fielder], and this is what I get?" Mendicus said, directing reporters' attention to Fielder's "putrid" Yahoo! Game Log. "Twelve home runs. Twelve dang home runs. When you pay $38 for a guy, you had better give them a heck of a lot more than 12 home runs through the first half. I got you for your power, buddy, not your walks. This is a batting average league, anyway, not an on-base percentage league, so walks don't flipping matter. It's like these guys don't understand that."

Mendicus continued his heated rant, calling shortstop Felipe Lopez a "talentless hack whose multiple position eligibility is the only thing saving his tush from waivers," claiming that pitcher Ian Snell is "killing [him] in WHIP, absolutely killing [him]," and encouraging outfielder Brad Hawpe to "go eat mud." He then accused the whole team of not stealing enough bases and "not playing like true Beat With Uggla Sticks."

He did, however, reserve some praise for hot-hitting second baseman Dan Uggla upon learning that Uggla homered twice that day, saying, "That's you, Danny."

With his team already down 9-1 in this week's matchup against Gary Sheffield's Head Vein, Mendicus issued an ultimatum, claiming that unless his team delivers at least a tie, there will "be some changes around here." Mendicus said that "no one is safe," and had particularly strong words for pitcher Chris Young, who three weeks ago was hit in the face with a line drive and has not made a single start since.

"Toughen up, you little baby," Mendicus said. "You don't throw with your face, do you? I already got Phil [Hughes] in the DL slot, so you better get your butt back in action."

Mendicus has a reputation for following his players' performance with intense scrutiny and personal investment, often to a fanatical degree. It is rumored that he monitors their progress on multiple Yahoo! Sports box score windows on his computer screen, and will erupt into obscenity-laden tirades at work after a mere groundout or caught stealing.

"I hate you Edwin, you good-for-nothing, Minor Leaguer ," Mendicus was overheard as saying while angrily clicking the "Refresh" button on his web browser 14 times after pitcher Edwin Jackson loaded the bases with three straight walks. "Throw the ball over the dang plate. I need a win here, you idiot. I'm getting killed in wins."

For some players on Mendicus' team, the demand for instant results, the constant threats to be released or traded, and the nonstop verbal abuse is too much. Pitcher Jeremy Guthrie has been dropped and picked up by Mendicus seven times already this season, and he says he doesn't like playing under such volatile conditions.

"I wish he'd have a little faith in me," Guthrie said. "I don't like being picked up the night before my start and then simply dropped the next day. It wears on you as a player. And now I have to explain myself to my kids when they read in the papers that their daddy is a 'lifeless bum who can't even get five strikeouts when that's all we needed to win the category.'"

"I'm sorry, but when I have runners on first and third and one out, I'm going to go for the double play to get out of the inning, not the strikeout," Guthrie added. "Even though they don't give out 'points' for double plays."

Some players, however, praised Mendicus for his fiery attitude and desire to win, saying they prefer that to the kind of owners who treat their fantasy teams like nothing more than a fun distraction from their real jobs.

"It's good that he cares," said Beat With Uggla Stick catcher Jorge Posada. "Some owners, like Garrett Baldwin of the Smilin' Joe Randas, or Mike Broberg of Tiny Damon, they just sort of check in every once in a while to see how we're doing, but that's it. In fact, I've been on the Tiny Damon's bench since I went on the DL in April, and they don't even have anyone in the catcher slot. That's just shoddy ownership."

"But there's also a thing called caring too much," Posada added. "You can only be called a worthless dirtbag after popping out so many times before it starts to sting. It's at the point where playing for Mendicus is almost as bad as playing for Hank Steinbrenner."

Pedro Feliciano Wants A Vacation

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Pedro Feliciano has appeared in 39 of the Mets’ 66 games so far this season.

He is on pace to make 96 relief appearances, ten more than his career high which he set in 2008.

Feliciano has pitched without rest seventeen times, on one day’s rest eleven times, and on two day’s rest seven times.

...That leads to today's events...

Location: Mets clubhouse, June 21st, 11:00 AM
Situation: Pedro Feliciano sitting in his chair, 20 lbs. of ice on his arm, contemplating how to get some days off

This is ridiculous. I've pitched in 5 games in a row now. Some guy in the stands yelled to me that I'm on track to pitch in 96 games this season. I don't want my arm to fall off, what do I do, what do I do, what do I do? Think Pedro, think.

:::Jerry Manuel walks by:::

Jerry: "Pedro, you will be pitching today."
Pedro: "But what if it's a blowout? We've got Switzer and Taka-"
Jerry: "You will be pitching today. It is written. See you in the 7th inning."

I think skip hates me. Maybe he has a secret deal with Dr. James Andrews? Who knows but I don't want to visit that guy. Can I go back to Japan? That was the best season - 37 games pitched and all the Pachinko I could handle. Alright concentrate Pedro we need a plan. That Governor Paterson guy was here earlier this season, he kind of looks like me.

Maybe he can take my spot for a few days. Let's open up his Wikipedia page and see if he can throw a baseba- he's blind?! Great, just great, there is no hope. Maybe a DL trip would get the job done.

:::Ray Ramirez walks by:::

Pedro: "Hey Ray, is it healthy for me to pitch everyday? My arm is starting to hurt, what should I do?"
Ray: "All I can tell you is the same thing I told Church last season - take 2 Vicodin and walk it off. Worked out for Church right?"
Pedro: "Uhh, not exactly Ray."
Ray: "Not my problem."
Pedro: "Actually it is. It's your job. Like my job is to pitch in every game."
Ray: "Don't ask for my help again unless you're missing a limb or can't feel your extremities. I don't deal with pansies."

Well thanks for nothing "head trainer". We're playing Pujols's team this week so I shouldn't be needed. That's a relief. No reason to bring in the lefty specialist to face Skip Schumaker or Rick Ankiel right? Okay what other options are there to get me a day off? I noticed Stokes taught himself how to pitch left-handed. He got pretty good too, but I guess that's not a surprise given all the free time he's had. Wonder if he'd be down for a uniform switch?

:::Brian Stokes walks by:::

Feliciano: "You're Stokes, right? I noticed you throwing 96 mph sliders lefthanded the other day - you want to get into a game? If we switch jerseys I guarantee you'll pitch today."
Stokes: "For real? Sounds great, I was about to take a mid-season sabbatical."
Feliciano: " ‘Feliciano' will be pitching today in the 7th, so be ready. Thanks again man."
Stokes: "No problem. ‘Stokes' never pitches, so you should have the day off."

Later in the day:

Location: Mets dugout, 3:15 PM, 7th inning
Situation: Omar Minaya pays a surprise visit to the dugout

Jerry: [on bullpen phone] "It's Feliciano time. Actually hold on a second, Omar comin'"
Omar: "I was Googling ‘Sean Green unicycle' and something written by a dude in his mother's basement came up. Mentioned a guy name Stocks who is apparently on the roster. It made me laugh a hearty Omar laugh, so I think we should put Stocks in."
Jerry: "This better work out or you're GM title is going to be similar to the other GM who produces cars. [on bullpen phone] Get Stocks up, he's coming in next!"

(As primarly seen on Amazin' Avenue)

Struggling Mets Combine To Form Carlos Voltron

NEW YORK — Facing the Rays in the midst of what looks to be a hot pennant chase, the desperate Mets sprinted out to the field Saturday, launched themselves high into the air above Citi Field, and combined their bodies to form a 400-foot tall fielding robot called Carlos Voltron.

According to eyewitnesses, before the Mets players completed the complicated procedure, in which they fused their physical selves and combined their talents to form the 20,000-ton robot, manager Jerry Manuel called the team to the dugout, where he commanded them to prepare their interlock systems for activation, connect the appropriate dyna-therms, charge up the infra-cells to full capacity, engage the mega-thrusters, and give it their best out there.

"After losing eight of our last 12 games, forming Carlos Voltron is our only hope to save our playoff chances," Manuel said. "We really need power this close to the all star break, and the 2.5 million pounds of thrust in Voltron's solid-fuel boosters should give us the lift we need."

Leaving behind blue and orange vapor trails as they soared across the sky, the Mets were reportedly surrounded by a crackling electrical field as they folded their limbs into their bodies to ready themselves for assembly and to protect the team's home record.

Although Manuel said he had to settle an argument over who got to be the robot's head, his final lineup was David Wright and Gary Sheffield forming the legs, Omir Santos and Ryan Church making the feet, Nick Evans and Johan Santana completing the arms, Daniel Murphy and Luis Castillo joining to create the torso, and Carlos Beltrán forming the head.

While Rays batters had taken advantage of the Mets pitchers on Saturday, the towering spectacle of Carlos Voltron proved to be an imposing presence on the mound, as the force of his foot slamming into the ground after the windup of his first pitch knocked the batter and umpire into the third row of the stands. In addition, the seismic energy unleashed by Carlos Voltron's follow-through created several deep cracks in the foundation of Citi Field, and accompanying atmospheric disturbances caused a 747 in a holding pattern over nearby La Guardia airport to plunge from the sky.

"In the second inning I had to have him take some heat off those pitches or he was going to kill somebody," said Manuel, adding that he clocked the first pitch at 85,000 mph. "After what happened to poor Carl Crawford, I told him let them hit a few balls."

"We might face this team in the World Series," continued Manuel. "I'd hate to see what would happen to us if the Rays unleashed the Robeast from their bullpen."

With his fast first step and an exceptionally long stride that carries the giant robot from the mound to the center field wall in one step, Carlos Voltron put on an amazing fielding display in the fifth inning when he robbed Rays third baseman Evan Longoria of a 500-foot shot by plucking it out of the air between the robotic index finger and thumb of his leonine hand.

Although the Mets' fielding skills were excellent, they were not without flaws. Rays manager Joe Maddon came out to the field to protest several times, complaining that his base runners injured themselves in the 10-foot deep trenches left behind from Carlos Voltron scooping up ground balls. Maddon also expressed frustration over his players suffering from collapsed rib cages, ruptured organs, and decapitations every time Voltron tagged them out.

Carlos Voltron's solid and consistent defensive play was only upstaged in the fans' eyes by his powerful hitting, with those in attendance claiming they suffered bad sunburns from the glare caused by the robot forming his blazing bat. Stepping up to the plate, he made almost perfect contact with the first pitch, belting the ball out of Citi and into the next solar system.

"That big guy they have at the heart of their lineup really has potential," Maddon said. "Little stiff, needs to fix that stance some, and could probably use some work on the throwing mechanics, but really, you get the feeling he's going to be good."

"I wonder how long they have him signed for," added Maddon. "Might be a risk with him shutting down for 20 minutes after getting gravel from the warning track in his guidance apparatus. Ah, what am I thinking? We already have Scott Kazmir. We don't need another robot."

Meanwhile, defending a comfortable 600-0 lead in the top of ninth, the Mets decided to rest up Carlos Voltron by moving him to the outfield and replacing him with reliever Sean Green, who gave up a 5 run homer and eventually the game after surrendering 618 runs to close the inning.

I was not there today but this is what my friend told me. He was in Section 218X.

(Primarily seen on The Onion)

Yanks Sign Maier to Sit in Right Field Stands

Friday, June 19, 2009


Bronx, N.Y. - In a surprise press conference this morning the New York Yankees announced that they have signed 24-year-old Jeffrey Maier to sit in the right field stands for the remainder of the 2009 season, although exact terms of the contract have not been disclosed.

Maier, who played third base for Wesleyan University until 2006, is best known for his controversial deflection of a Derrick Jeter fly-out into the stands during Game 1 of the 1996 ALCS between the Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles. The incident resulted in a game tying home run.

Although since then he tried his hand at playing the game, Maier now realizes he’s best suited for simply interfering with it. “I’ve really always known this is what I was supposed to do,” an enthusiastic Maier said during the press conference. “I’ve fought it, trying to play on the field, trying to join the back office, but I’ve been denying my true calling. I belong in the right field stands.”

“We’ve been in talks with Jeff for some time now, but when we lost to the Nationals last night that did it,” said manager Joe Girardi, referring to the Yankees embarrassing 3-2 loss to the MLB worst Washington Nationals at Yankee Stadium last night. “Now that A-Rod’s off the juice and Jeter’s ankle is acting up we’ve got to try something. I mean losing to the Nationals? That’s like the Orioles’ minor league team or something, right?”

Some critics are skeptical of a Maier’s return though, citing his 10-plus-year retirement from the right field stands. “No one’s arguing that at one time he was the best at what he does, but he hasn’t interfered with a game in more than a decade” said ESPN baseball analyst Peter Gammons. “He’s going to be rusty.” But when asked about a possible loss of his abilities Mayer pointed out that he’s much bigger now: “My arms are like twice the size of what they used to be,” said Maier. “That’s a solid two extra feet of home run right there.”

Rumors have circulated that the Yankees are considering bringing in other key members of the play as well. However, former Met Tony Tarasco, who played right field for the Orioles during the now infamous ALCS game, couldn’t be reached for comment due to no one knowing what the heck he’s up to anymore.

(As seen on

SNY's Loudmouths

Thursday, June 18, 2009

If Twitter had interviews, I just held one.

Click on the picture to see a no-holds-bar conference between Chris Carlin of SNY and myself. (I was not afraid to ask the real-deal-hot-button-issue questions.)

Take a look (if you CAN handle it):

Crazy, I know.

O, Man!

Are you here to watch the game?

Joe Janish of Mets Today writes, "During the third inning, the SNY crew questioned 3B coach Razor Shines on a variety of subjects. I found it a bit annoying that the camera shot was almost exclusively on Shines during the entire interview, rather than on the action on the field. While in this particular case we didn’t miss anything, that’s not the point. I turn on the TV to watch the game, not watch the third-base coach give an interview. Why can’t they have a split screen, or have a small shot of Shines in an inset on the screen? Same goes for the Kevin Burkhardt segments."

...couldn't agree more. Whenever a fan has to listen to the crowd reaction or the pop off the bat to determine what's going in a game, it is never a good sign. A small shot of Shines in an inset would be great but I wouldn't object to seeing him for a few seconds in the beginning of the interview followed by a complete view of the action while we still hear his voice. I trust SNY that the "voice" is still Shines', no need to prove it to me...

Matthew Cerrone of MetsBlog writes, "I am not sure why Jerry Manuel pinch hit Fernando Tatis for Fernando Martinez, who had been swinging the bat well tonight. Then, Tatis swings at the first pitch he sees, hitting in to an inning-ending double play, despite the pitcher having had walked in a run on the previous batter. This could have been a much bigger rally than it was."

...If Tatis would have doubled down the left field line then Manuel would have looked like a genius... Tatis did just that in the 9th.... oh well... can't kill Jerry for that...

Mets' Tweets Of The Night

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

What a great way to recap the action (in under 140 characters, of course):

Eli From Brooklyn:

  • PRIORITIES! Down 2 w/ 2 outs in the 9th, Wright comes up & Keith screams "Wright has another chance to keep the hitting streak alive, Gary!"
  • Alex Cora saw 35 pitches in 5 at bats tonight. If all players saw 6.6 pitches per AB, starting pitchers would be gone by the 5th inning.
  • Keith Hernandez just said, "you can't win them all." Are you kidding me? We're barely close to winning 55% of them.
  • Eli's Sports Bureau says, "Met fans are leading the league in hairs pulled out due to team frustration. By a large, large margin."
  • SNY claims that Adam Schein & Chris Carlin "are animated, lively & downright entertaining" in SNYs LoudMouths. I just think they're loud.
  • In the 7th inning last night, Aubrey Huff dropped an over-the-shoulder pop-up & 2R scored. Tonight in the 7th? Over our shoulders, 2 run HR.
  • The only difference between Matt Wieters and me? 1 HR, 2 RBI's and a heck of a bright baseball future.

Andrew Vazzano of

  • Dear Tim Redding, Just pretend the O's are the Nats. They're close geographically. Thanks, All Mets Fans
  • "Hang in there folks," -Keith Hernandez to fans at "Mets At The Movies"
  • It's raining in Baltimore. Of course, the game just became official. Great timing, Mother Nature.
  • I guess Murphy reads my blog. Today, I wrote about how awful he's been at the plate since Delgado went down. Tonight: 3-3, all singles.
  • Brian Stokes is rustier than...well...something that is rusty.
  • Scratch Aubrey Huff from the list. His own teammates are trying to hurt him while Kevin Burkhardt interviews him. "I'll go ice my back." -AH
  • Tatis made Manuel's decision look bad. Swinging 2-0 after a run was just walked in? Bad choice.

Evan Roberts from The Mid-Day Show On WFAN:

  • Koji [Uehara] perfect through 1...JINX JINX JINX perfect through 1....I SAID PERFECT THROUGH hitter, no hitter
  • To all my tweetamaniacs I have no idea how to respond to you, so I apologize!
  • Boy these dopey fans really get into the Hot Dog Race on the Diamondvision. I guess a decade worth of losing seasons can do that to ya
  • Murphy 3 for 3...Murphy hater Joe from Clarke will not call show tomorrow
  • 1 for 10 from wright and beltran and we lose...clearly the story is Jerry's decision to lift FMart for Tatis

Think you should've been on the list? Send us your tweets on, duh, twitter or just post them in the comment box!


Newark Bears Sign Marlon Anderson


According to Atlantic League Baseball, the Newark Bears have signed noted pinch-hitting enthusiast Marlon Anderson to a contract. He joined the team last night.

Anderson has spent all or part of the last 11 seasons in the big leagues. He’s appeared in 1,147 games with the Phillies, Rays, Cardinals, Mets, Nationals and Dodgers. He’s a career .265 big league hitter.

I wonder if the Bears hired him to play for them or to be their mathematician.

It's Crunch Time!

New Yorkers are good at making noise.

And that just might help as Wise brings a whole bunch of potato chips to Citi Field on July 10 to attempt to set the Guinness World Record for the most potato chips ever crunched at once.

Let's hope they don't boo Wise as they were used to doing with Matt Wise.

The New York Mets play the Cincinnati Reds that evening as the “Big City Crunch” gets underway. Every fan entering the new ballpark will be handed a .75-oz. bag of Wise Potato Chips. At a designated time, instructions will be given to open the packages and, when given the go-ahead, to start crunching.

Brand reps are out in force around the area driving a Wise-wrapped van and distributing Wise Potato Chips. They are also getting consumers to try the Wise "Spin the Wheel" game where players can win Big City Crunch-branded merchandise, as well as tickets to the July 10 game.

At the ballpark, representatives of Guinness World Records will be on hand the night of the “Crunch” to record the occasion and, if all necessary criteria are met, shortly thereafter certify that a world record has been set.

The promotion was developed by Source Communications, Wise' sports marketing agency, to increase awareness for the chips and Wise’s sponsorship as the official potato chip and Cheez Doodle of the New York Mets.

The Crunch supports a season-long advertising campaign at Citi Field, including outfield and LED ads for Wise brands. A New York local print, outdoor, TV and radio ad campaign promoting the Big City Crunch, featuring Mets shortstop Jose Reyes, began May 18 and will run through the July 10 event.

I always love seeing that - "The Official Cheez Doodle of the New York Mets." Are you serious? Can a Cheez Doodle even be official? Gosh, the things these days...

The Yankles

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Joining the ranks of Major League, The Sandlot and The Rookie, comes one of (future) all time greatest baseball movies - The Yankles.

As written by Zev Brooks of IMDB, "The Yankles is about Charlie Jones, a professional baseball player who was released from the Los Angeles Spirits because of a drinking problem. Upon being paroled from prison after serving time for his third drunk driving conviction, Charlie endeavors to serve 192 hours mandatory community service by coaching baseball. To Charlie's dismay, however, he is shunned by mainstream society because of the controversy surrounding his early parole and prior convictions. Charlie soon discovers that the only people willing to give him a second chance are a group of Jewish, orthodox, yeshiva students who formed an upstart baseball team called The Yankles. Fortunately for Charlie, The Yankles are as desperate for a coach as he is for community service. After a rough start, Charlie finds a home with The Yankles. With Charlie's help, The Yankles strive for success on the field, while Charlie works to rebuild his reputation in society and his relationship with those whom he wronged in the past."

To view a 3 minute clip of the movie, or to watch 3 shorter clips, then click here.

These people are meshuga!

Say it aint So(sa)!


According to the NY Times,

Sammy Sosa, who joined with Mark McGwire in 1998 in a celebrated pursuit of baseball’s single-season home run record, is among the players who tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug in 2003, according to lawyers with knowledge of the drug-testing results from that year.

The disclosure that Sosa tested positive makes him the latest baseball star of the last two decades to be linked to performance-enhancers, a group that now includes McGwire, Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and Rafael Palmeiro.

Sosa, who is sixth on Major League Baseball’s career home run list and last played in 2007, had long been suspected of using performance-enhancing drugs but until now had never been publicly linked to a positive test.

In a recent interview with ESPN Deportes, Sosa, 40, said he would “calmly wait” for his induction into baseball’s Hall of Fame, for which he will become eligible for induction in 2013. But his 2003 positive test, when he played for the Chicago Cubs, may seriously damage his chances of gaining entry to the Hall, a fate encountered by McGwire, who has attracted relatively little support from voters in his first three years on the ballot.

The 2003 positive test could also create legal troubles for Sosa because he testified under oath before Congress at a public hearing in 2005 that he had “never taken illegal performance-enhancing drugs.”

The 2003 test that ensnared Sosa was the first such test conducted by Major League Baseball. Under guidelines agreed upon with the players union, the test results were to remain anonymous but would lead to testing with penalties the next year if more than 5 percent of the results were positive.

That is indeed what occurred. But for reasons never made completely clear, the test results were not destroyed by the players union and the 104 positives were subsequently seized by federal agents on the West Coast investigating matters related to the distribution of drugs to athletes.

The union immediately filed court papers alleging that the agents had illegally seized the tests, and over the past six years judges at various levels of the federal court system have been weighing whether the government can keep them. An 11-judge panel in California is preparing to rule in the case, but regardless of its verdict, the losing side is expected to appeal to the United States Supreme Court.

As the union feared, the names on the list have begun to emerge. In February, Sports Illustrated reported that Rodriguez was on the 2003 list, and Rodriguez subsequently acknowledged that he had used steroids for three years. Now, Sosa’s name has been disclosed.

The lawyers who had knowledge of Sosa’s inclusion on the 2003 list did not know the substance for which Sosa tested positive. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they did not want to be identified as discussing material that is sealed by a court order.

A lawyer for Sosa, Jay Reisinger, declined comment, as did an official with Major League Baseball.

Sosa, who lives in the Dominican Republic, became a national figure with the Chicago Cubs in 1998, when he and McGwire, of the St. Louis Cardinals, engaged in a compelling race to overtake Roger Maris’s single-season home run record of 61. McGwire passed Maris first and ended up with 70 home runs. Sosa followed close behind with 66.

In the seasons that followed, Sosa exceeded 60 home runs on two more occasions. But he was fading as a player when he traveled to Washington in March 2005 to testify with Palmeiro and McGwire and others at a hearing called by the House Government Reform Committee to examine the use of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball.

At the hearing, Sosa testified that “everything” he had heard “about steroids and human growth hormones is that they are bad for you, even lethal” and that he “would never put anything dangerous like that” in his body.

“To be clear,” he added, “I have never taken illegal performance-enhancing drugs. I have never injected myself or had anyone inject me with anything.”

During that hearing, McGwire, by then retired, repeatedly declined to answer questions about possible drug use, saying he was not there to talk about the past. His statements were widely viewed as an admission of guilt, and since then he has had little involvement with baseball except for privately serving as a hitting tutor for several major leaguers. To win election to the Hall of Fame, a player must be named on 75 percent of the ballots cast; McGwire has yet to be named on 25 percent of them.

At that same hearing, Palmeiro pointed his finger at committee members as he said: “I have never used steroids. Period.” Five months later, he was suspended for 10 games as a result of a positive steroids test.

The committee declined to ask the Justice Department to investigate him for perjury, in part because it felt it could not establish that Palmeiro was lying at the time he testified.

Unlike Palmeiro, Sosa testified after he had tested positive, not before, but it is not clear if the committee will want to pursue the matter.

The committee did refer Clemens to the Justice Department for investigation of perjury after he repeatedly denied using performance-enhancing drugs in a public hearing in 2008, and Clemens’s statements are now being studied by a federal grand jury.

Bonds, who set a single-season home run record of 73 just three years after McGwire hit 70, holds the career mark for home runs, with 762. He is also the target of legal proceedings: he is awaiting trial on charges that he lied to a federal grand jury in December 2003 when he testified that he never knowingly used performance-enhancers.

Like Sosa, Bonds and Clemens last played in 2007 and, at this point, also seem destined to appear on the 2013 Hall of Fame ballot. That fact, in itself, would seem to guarantee that the issue of drug use in baseball is likely to reverberate for years to come.

I can hear Sosa saying it now, "Steroids have been bedy bedy good to me."

They always discuss how the slow leakage of names of steroid-taking players dirties the name of the sport even more than if the list would come all out at once and it proves to be true. Every few months we hear another name and it's like, "oh no - not again."

The worst part about it? Sports Radio will be discussing it for the next 3 weeks.


But in all seriousness, I don't know how anyone didn't catch it from an interview a few years back:

Welcome To Dodgertown!

Dodger Stadium and the associated property now have a new ZIP code to go along with the new "Dodgertown, CA" name it was designated in October 2008.

The Los Angeles Dodgers announced Saturday that the United States Postal Service will designate Dodger Stadium and its property with the new 90090 ZIP.

"This is truly, truly a memorable and special occasion for the city of Los Angeles, for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and for me, a dream come true," Dodgers CEO Jamie McCourt said.

"The magic of a Major League Baseball team for the first time in history having its own ZIP code and becoming a worldwide destination."

In a related story, they're also going to be renaming the area where the Mets play - "Stinkville".

The zip code? 15 dash 0.

What Time Is It?


Mets Underground was able to get hold of precious footage from a Mets fan's house in Brooklyn on Friday night. This wasn't easy to get so cherish the video.

Okay, okay, it was in Eli's house, pretty simple really.

Time? 10:55 PM.

Mets Time? A moment or two after Luis Castillo dropped a routine fly ball that would have ended the game.

Video Time? 17 seconds.

Knowing that Castillo, when asked if it will ever happen again, answered "This is the Last Time"?: Priceless.

We're out of time. We hope you enjoyed!

C'mon - It's Only One Loss!

Monday, June 15, 2009

The thing that troubles Matthew Cerrone and Met Fans most about Friday night’s loss, and, frankly, the repeated slip ups, mistakes and errors, is knowing that the last two seasons each came down to one game, any one loss, which could have staved off the Phillies and put Mets in the post season.

We fear the same will happen again…

For instance, who knows, maybe Friday night’s game, that one dropped pop up, ends up being the moment we look back on in November and wonder what might have been had Luis Castillo closed his glove.

Or, what might have happened had Ryan Church touched third base in the team’s one-run loss to the Dodgers in Los Angeles.

Or, what if Sean Green didn’t walk in the winning run against the Phillies during a game in early May.

Or, had Carlos Beltran slide in to home, or had Daniel Murphy not fallen to the ground on a fly ball, would the Mets have defeated the Cardinals in late April.

Put it this way...if the Mets either lose the division by one (or two games) this season or even think about having a complete collapse in September...

...then I, myself, will be putting this sign up in every pizza store in the tri-state area...

Try me, David, Carlos and Johan.

Just try me.

Thumbs Up?

Is he REALLY "fine"?

David Lennon is reporting that Johan Santana declared he was "fine" after that 15-0 loss to the Yankees, but with his struggles over the past month, it has created a 48-hour news cycle of concern. After a 0.78 ERA in his first seven starts this year, Santana has a 6.50 ERA in his last six, raising his ERA to 3.29. Another red flag has been an apparent decrease in velocity, and his fastball ranged from 88-92 mph Sunday, down a few ticks from his normal peak.

The speculation was fueled Monday by former pitching coach Rick Peterson, who told ESPN 1050 that he had "heard rumors" that Santana was bothered by his surgically repaired left knee. Mets officials were not pleased by the comments and denied that Santana was suffering from any serious physical issues.

"Everything is OK with him," general manager Omar Minaya said.

The Mets' current pitching coach, Dan Warthen, said Sunday that Santana had been affected by a blister on his big toe and another one on the middle finger of his left hand, which developed about a month ago. That may have caused him to change his grip on his fastball, according to Warthen.

But Santana repeatedly told reporters that his health is not anything to be concerned about, despite a sore back earlier in the season and what he described as a "split nail."

"I'm good," Santana said after Sunday's loss. "I'm fine. It's just that today was a rough day."

He says he's good but let's take a look at Johan's game by game ERA, courtesy of Andrew Vazzano of The Ropolitans:

Talk about a bad trend line.

Psychic Eli from Brooklyn predicts: "Expect a sidelining injury within the next week for Mr. Santana."

How do I know? I just know.

John Sterling, Greatest Broadcaster Ever

It is early Sunday, and John Sterling, radio broadcaster for the New York Yankees, is sitting tensely at the desk inside of his office at the new Yankee Stadium. Elbows on the table, he stares down onto a legal pad sitting before him, massaging his temples as if to stimulate his creative juices.

“I go through this pretty much almost every spring, trying to familiarize myself with the team’s new faces. Getting ready for the Interleague games, though, is a little different. I take this very seriously,” said the 60-year old resident of Edgewater, New Jersey.

Sterling, of course, is talking about his infamous, oft-ridiculed practice of nicknaming Yankee players and using those names for over the top home run calls. With Interleague play set to start, Sterling slightly shifts focus from his normal routine.

“We’ve got some solid bats in our rotation. It would not shock me at all to see future Hall of Famer Joba Chamberlain take one deep at a National League park. In fact, I’m expecting it, so I’ve got to prepare accordingly,” Sterling states.

Some of Sterling’s more notable home run calls include “Positively Damonic!” for outfielder Johnny Damon and “The Sayonara Kid does it again!” for DH Hideki Matsui, disregarding all cultural sensitivity as well as the correctness of using “kid” to refer to a 35-year old veteran.

“Everybody WANG CHUNG tonight!” Sterling shouts in rehearsal inside the office. He smirks slightly before committing the thought to paper. “CC ya later!” follows shortly.

“Suzie (Suzyn Waldman, the greatest color commentator ever and Sterling’s partner) personally thought ‘Brosius the Ferocious’ was my coupe de grace. I’m just excited thinking about her reaction when I break out my ‘What a Job-a by Chamberlain!’ call,” muses Sterling. “I’m confident that THAT will be amongst the most dramatic things in all of her life!”

When asked what he gets out of the sleepless nights coming up with universally-reviled, contrived calls that embarras all who listen to him, Sterling pauses to think. He glances to a framed photo of a younger George Steinbrenner. In the photo, Steinbrenner is glancing into the distance with half-smile, with Sterling’s chin, nose, left ear and eye clearly visible behind Steinbrenner’s outstretch arm. “George threatened to cut off my health insurace coverage if I didn’t. I only turn 61 this year but my senility has been getting worse over the last 12 years or so. Doctors say it’s due to work-related stress, but what do they know? Just prescribe me the meds and let me go back to work.”

Walking away from the windowless office tucked away in the recesses of the stadium, one hears an echoing “A-Jack from A.J.!…” trail off, followed by a faint sobbing sound.

(As seen on

The Feud Between K-Rod and "That Other Guy"

Brian Bruney was asked about the Yankees winning Friday night's game on Luis Castillo's dropped pop-up. It turned into a rant against K-Rod and the closer's fist-pumping ways.

"Couldn't have happened to a better guy on the mound, either," Bruney told the Hunterdon County Democrat. "He's got a tired act. He gets what he deserves, man. I just don't like watching the guy pitch. I think it's embarrassing."

Rodriguez then said, "Instead of sending a message through the paper, next time when he sees me at Citi Field, come up and say it to my face. Don't be saying that to the media. I don't even know who that guy is. Someone in Double A. I believe he's never pitched one full season. He's always been on the DL, that's all I know, so he better keep his mouth shut and do his job and not worry about anyone else.

"If it was somebody big, I might pay attention to that, but someone like that? It doesn't bother me. If it was someone big like Mariano [Rivera], someone that has been around and is good at what he does, I would respect that from him."

Bruney had returned to the Stadium by the time Friday's game ended and he stood by his earlier comments, which had spread like wildfire around the Internet.

"You know what? I learned to play the game a different way, that's all I can say," Bruney said. "You won't see me do that, the way he acts, you won't see that. But it doesn't matter. Guy's doing his job, he's had a great career, set the saves record. So it doesn't matter what I think. I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks that but, again, he doesn't know who I am, so it doesn't matter."

But K-Rod got his wish earlier than hoped. Yesterday, he met Bruney in the outfield during pregame drills and went ballistic. Francisco Rodriguez appeared ready to see if he could take the "closer" role to another level.

Mike Pelfrey and Jose Veras interceded, keeping the Subway Series from becoming a three-ring Subway Circus.

"It's over," Rodriguez said after the Yankees mauled the Mets 15-0. "Turn the page. That's it."

Bruney indicated he ventured to the outfield to speak with K-Rod and perhaps offer an apology for his comments.

But before the injured Yankee reliever could say anything, Rodriguez started pointing at him and screaming from several feet away.

"I saw [K-Rod] walking with attitude and asking guys, 'Is it him?' " Pelfrey said. "The next thing I know, he was in [Bruney's] face."

Rodriguez was resistant at first to leaving the scene, but the combination of Pelfrey and Veras as buffers helped ensure no punches were thrown.

Neither Rodriguez nor Bruney would divulge what was said. But Bruney said he's glad the two sides cleared the air.

"That showed me a lot," Bruney said. "I respect a man that comes at you like that. In my opinion it's over.

"I probably shouldn't have said what I said [Saturday], but I made that mistake and learned from it. The guy has had a great career. I don't have anything at this point to hang my hat on. I don't have a World Series title like he does. I don't have the save record like he does. For me it was nothing personal against Frankie. I've heard he is a good dude."

This is the second media feud the Mets have been in over the past couple of weeks. The first, ignited when Beltran ripped the Pirates while ripping his own team and then furthered when Adam LaRoche ripped Beltran, wasn't so big, since it involved the Pirates.

But now, with 3 more games left between the Mets and Yankees, there could be some fuel in this one. Especially if Bruney actually pitches in one of the three games at Citi Field next month.

Beltran was informed of Bruney's words, then K-Rod's.

"I agree with [Rodriguez]," he said with a smile, avoiding the latest trash talk between his club and another.