Weapons of Mets Destruction

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Word has leaked into the Mets Underground that other teams in the National League have had the intentions of acquiring certain types of weapons of Mets destruction (WMD) for the upcoming 2009 season and that they have already carried out those plans. Now, according to Einstein, every act has a counteract and every move has a counter-move. So, being the loyal (not SO die-hard) fan that I am, I've searched the four corners of (Google) Earth, in order, to come up with a plan so diabolical, that even Mr. Met would run home screaming about it (mind you, the being with the oversized ball-head is a deaf mute).

In order to achieve greatness, we must be greatness. So off my Brooklyn perch I went in search of young and talented greatness. About 3001 miles away, I found it; the answer to all our problems (on days that Johan is icing his arm). His name is Stephen Strasburg and he's the best thing to come out of San Diego since, well, Free Willy. His scouting report discourages opponents to the point that during the Olympics, Jim Lefebvre, coach of the Chinese team, told the New York Times if his team knew about Strasburg, "They might not have shown up."

The 6-foot-5 righthander touches the high-90's with his fastball painting the corners with Madduxian precision. His breaking ball is a plus-plus slider with two plane break that's virtually unhittable. His changeup lags behind his other offerings, but has shown enough that it projects to at least average. (Um, this boy does not have to use his changeup when he's got a breaking ball that is more wicked than a witch from the West).

Warning: Lower your jaw now. This way you won't risk having it drop, just as fast as his curveball does. You'll see what I mean.

In today's generation when a player is above-average, the kids refer to him as "sick". In that case, Strasburg has got the flu, aids, and a nasty case of the herpes. He's freaking lethal.

Einstein didn't say this but we all know it to be true: With every good news comes bad news. It's very unlikely that Strasburg (if he includes himself in the 2009 draft) will be chosen by the New York Mets. That's because the Washington Nationals have the first pick and I'd be lying if I said that Washington would pass on him. But between me and you: They're probably going to pass on him. (I'm lying).

How typical for the Mets. Not only won't they be able to acquire the young stud but they'd have to face him 6 times a year. Grrreat!

So now you see what I mean... The other teams are acquiring weapons of Mets destruction... and you thought I was crazy...

To further our counter-move, we must dig deeper into our bag of tricks, conduct searches that would make even Google blush, and when compared to that Strasburg fella, it would seem as if he is just a little kid (well, he is only 20 to begin with so...).

After going to one side of the internet and back, I have come across an interesting piece of work that might be our solution. And I found it right over HAIR!

A Met-stache, brilliant! Of course the Mets collapsed after firing Willie Randolph...unless, he felt that his nose was so big and important that he had to underline it.

These Mustache-Wright guys are pretty committed to seeing David sport the upper lip hair. And this could be our secret weapon of retort. There are even numbers to prove the theory...

I started growing mine already.

Be it the hair or the hero...The Mets are ready for anything and everything. In just 6 days, we will be a force to reckon with, a team to contend with, and most importantly, in 6 days, we will actually be able to blog about live baseball.

I wonder what that's like.

Either way, forget 1010 wins, keep it locked into:

You give me 22 minutes and I'll give you a blog.

The Yankee Tears

Monday, March 30, 2009

Ever feel that you're the biggest die-hard fan that your team has got? Well, think again. Some fans are giving new meaning to the words "die-hard."

Ron Winslow, of the human race, writes:
A growing body of research suggests championship sporting events can be hazardous to the health of an obsessed fan -- especially when his or her team loses after a seesaw contest.

The latest evidence comes from a report showing that deaths, including heart-related deaths, increased in Los Angeles County during the two weeks following the 1980 Super Bowl. The underdog Los Angeles Rams lost that battle to the Pittsburgh Steelers in a game in which the lead changed seven times. By contrast, four years later, when the L.A. Raiders defeated the Washington Redskins by a lopsided score, deaths in L.A. fell.

Getting really emotionally involved in your team "can result in emotional stressors," says Robert A. Kloner, director of research at Good Samaritan Hospital, Los Angeles, and an expert in heart-attack triggers. "That isn't always good for the heart."

Last year, the New England Journal of Medicine similarly reported a spike in cardiac emergencies in 2006 in Germany on days when Germany played in the World Cup soccer tournament. Another study found a decline in deaths in France around the time its team won the 1998 World Cup.

After doing some research on the matter, I noticed that New York City's death toll increased dramatically in 2008. It flew up an extra 11% (above the city's average) in September 2008 and 8% in October 2008. Coincidence? I don't think so. Apparently, the Yankee fan is not coping too well with this new idea of losing. (No, it's not the Met fan. We've been dead since 1987).

The day the Mitchell Report came out informing the Yankee Nation that Roger Clemens and Andy Pettite took (only twice, lol) steroids? The Death Toll rose 4%.

The day the Yankees were officially eliminated from playoff contention in 2008 (for the first time in 13 years)? It rose 7%.

The night that the Red Sox won Game 7 in the 2004 ALCS? 45 stabbings / hit&runs / shootings were reported throughout the city resulting in 11 deaths.

No wonder the new Yankee Stadium seats a fewer amount of people; they're killing 'em off ever so slowly. I guess it's not so weird after all that StubHub is offering a free monument with every sale of two tickets.

But so much more has been killed away from an organization that claims to have so much "promise."

The day the Yankee fan found out that Alex Rodriquez took steroids? A-Rod died.

After the meeting in which Joe Torre was given a minuscule contract compared to what he had accomplished for the team? Pride and Appreciation were done away with.

The moment the Steinbrenners decided on Joba being a starter? Common sense had a heart attack.

Derek Jeter has lost his range. Jorge Posada can't throw potential base stealers out. They're still on the list of every-day'ers? Chosen blindness or keeping 'em to remember the better days?

The Yanks must face the facts. There are 2 other serious contenders who are able to take the AL East home with them. They can start singing "Rays, Rays, go away" or feebly attempt to wrap up Boston's Tea Party but even C.C. (Cold Cash) can't win you the other 4/5 games. Manager/Militant Joe is not the answer, nor can it be found in Jason Giambi's mustache.

Pride, Victories and Chemestry can't be bought in a store, Yankee fans, you know that, but, for now, the Rolaids, Mood Boosters and Aspirin are in Aisle 2009.

Good Luck With That.

Game-Changing? Name-Changing!

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Date: November 7th, 2007.
The Place: Downtown St. Petersburg, Florida
The Reason: To Celebrate the Official Name Changing of The Devil Rays

Trying to reinvent itself, what once was a perennial last-place team officially shortened its nickname to simply "Rays" during a celebration that brought a crowd of about 7,000 to a downtown park a year and a half ago.

New team colors and uniforms were also unveiled during a fashion show featuring current players. Navy blue and light blue had replaced green and black as the primary colors. The club's new logo, as well as the home and road uniforms for that upcoming season, feature the word "Rays" in navy blue lettering with a light blue shadow.

The Result: A Trip To The World Series.

Now I don't believe in HeeBeeJeeBee stuff all that much but there is definitely something to this one. They dropped the "devil" from within and WALA! - They earn themselves a pennant. Granted the "Rays" does not sound nearly as fierce as the "Devil Rays" but sometimes "manning up" is all about manning down.

We all know what took place the past 3 seasons. I need not spell it out for you. (Just in case you don't: C-O-L-L-P-A-S-E & H-E-A-R-T-B-R-E-A-K). But what if the Mets did the same thing? What if they sounded a whole lot less manly (and thereby maybe causing their opponents to think that they're not a force to contend with)? Well, before we discuss some names that might fit the bill, let's prove our point with another sport.

Since Football is a tough, man-tackling, hit-crunching, QB-sacking sport, it would only make sense for a team to use the opposite strategy and change their name or logo to more of a scary theme.

Darren Everson, of The Wall Street Journal, writes:

Could this be what the 0-16 Detroit Lions need to restore the roar -- a sharper, angrier logo? This rumored revamp, which features detailed eyes and teeth, briefly appeared this week on a toy truck on nflshop.com. (A Lions spokesman neither confirmed nor denied whether this is the new logo.) NFL history has repeatedly demonstrated the power of meaner mascots: The Denver Broncos won Super Bowls in 1998 and 1999 after unveiling a sleek horse-head logo. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the Super Bowl in 2003 a few years after switching from a dashing pirate to a skull and crossed swords. And the Arizona Cardinals gave its old logo a tougher frown in 2005, and the team reached its first Super Bowl this season.

Baseball is our national past time. No wonder the Pirates have not won since the 30's. This sport is not about mean grimaces and nasty tattoos. It's about enjoying ourselves and still not needing a shower. It's about catching a ball in 85 degree weather in a luscious outfield, not catching a cold in below-zero temperatures at Lambeau Field.

So there you have it. No need to fix a horrendous bullpen. No point in hiring the best pitcher in baseball. And we certainly shouldn't spend $4 million on a second baseman by the name of Orlando Hudson (oh wait, we didn't do that). What it is about is convincing the other team that we are as sissy sounding as they come and then maybe, and just maybe, we will win one or two more games that will be just enough to get us into a Fall Classic.

So what should it be? What will be our "removing of the devil?" (Sorry Angel Pagan. You were removed even if you were not the devil).

The New York Mess? That might do the trick.
The New Jersey Mets? Okay, I didn't say brain-dead. I said "wimpy."
The New York Pathetics? That would be the Islanders. Correct.
The New York Shmeffs? They do get smoked alot.
The New York Sweats? Who hasn't shvitzed their way thru a 9 inning game, huh?
The New York MMMets? If only they deserved that title.
The New York Debts? After Bernie Madoff... (Lol, I love this one. Thanks Wario).
The New York Vets? For all those aging veterans.
The New York Zets? Give that ball ah zets (for Jewish Night).
The New York Cents? After Bernie Madoff... (#2)

Do you have any other names that we can use to perhaps catch lightning in a bottle? LET US KNOW! The Rays had 100's of names to choose from before deciding on the 'Rays'. We're open to all ideas. Anything to win...

Whatever the team decides to change its name to, let's hope we see a little less this:

And a little more this:

Anytime the game ends with someone hitting a home run off Armando Benitez - I'm there! I didn't know the Mets were picked up by the Fox Channel. Good to know. What's the deal with the apple being suspended 55 feet in mid air? Even weirder, Jose Reyes was the only one who met Delgado when he came around to score. It's a walk-off homer for G-d sakes! This all leads me to believe that something in this video is not real.

10 days left......Let's Go Mess!


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mishkabobble has become Metskabobble. You can make believe you don't see it or even think you'll never have to come to terms with it but it's there. Oh, it's there.

The Mets have holes. We just have to hope they have less holes than the other teams in the NL East. The season is only 11 days away and we are not prepared. (Thanks WBC). Yesterday, Oliver Perez was shakier than that old man down the block suffering from arthritis. John Maine seems to be fighting more Devils than Sean Avery. And even our number two man, Mike Pelfrey, got hit on more times yesterday than Brad Pitt in his prime. As you can see, the holes are quite large.

A frantic Mets fan blogs in:

"I am a frantic Met fan! And I am blogging in! Eli, do you see the possible beginning of the end for the Metropolitans!? I will venture to say that David Wright will not turn out to be like Shaq and complain that 'my big toe hurts' the entire season but what I will say is that at some point this season - Nick Evans will be called upon to take over Ryan Church (who will turn into John Olerud and have to wear a helmet on his head, in fear of concussion number 4. If all goes well, Church will hit like Olerud too). And when Evans does become an every day player - he will hit the ball as far as his eyelashes (are those extensions?). It's too bad that Evans might start the season at AAA Buffalo, in order to keep his bat sharp, but he should be ready for when Ryan starts to see stars again. No knock on Church but after his torrid start of the season last year - he just hasn't been the same. Someone has to knock it into his head (not too hard though) that he can be an ABOVE AVERAGE right fielder. I pray, Eli, I pray."

So this man is worried about Church (no pun on the pray). To be honest, I would love to have a super-star in right field (Vladimir Guerrero anyone?) instead of Church. Yes, I am spoiled but I'm honest. We'd have the young kid, Beltran and a super-star. Why am I teasing myself? Okay, moving on with the holes.

So far we have some rough spots in our starting rotation and a concussion waiting to happen in the outfield. But let's also discuss our left-handed reliever or lack thereof. Pedro Feliciano is the only lefty in our bullpen. It doesn't take someone with Dan Warthen's prescription to see that last year Pedro was more like a Aaron Heilman. He just didn't produce. I was so upset when the Mets didn't sign an Arthur Rhodes (lefty) for small money. Omar, wake up and smell the coffee beans...which are from the Dominican Republic so you'd probably like 'em.

Citi never sleeps but it's General Manager obviously does.

I'm not saying Omar should be fired but Evan Robert's hairy brother thinks so. Apparently, lonesomeness runs in the family.

Starting Rotation? A Hole.
Church? Holy.
Feliciano? E Agujero. ("A Hole" in Spanish)

I don't mean to be pessimistic. I think I'm just being realistic. Oli and Maine have to put it together. Church has to keep it together. And Feliciano has to hope he's together with this team come the trading deadline.

We're in a recession. We all know that. Now more than ever we need to find reasons why we should INVEST our time into this team and PAY attention to every game they play. Let's hope they fix these holes, as opposed to digging themselves a larger one, and hopefully, we won't fall into another hole come "Fall-Time".

Bring on the Reds, baby!

(Oh, and just for good measure. Check out this relic. A guy from 1982 took his "home video player" to film Opening Day in Shea '82. Who knew that electricity was around in those days? Gotta love the guys voice, lol).

A Tale of Two Seasons

Monday, March 23, 2009

If you put a gun to my head, I'd say it. "The off-season can be even more exciting than the regular season." There I said it.

Let's face it. The 162 game grind can get long and boring. Day in and day out we have the potential of seeing regular and unexciting baseball. (Especially if it's September and you root for the Mets. There I said it).

But in the offseason, we have rumors, trades, and contract signings that would make even Latrell Sprewell drop a jaw or two. I'd take "a guy walking away from a big time signing" over "a guy hitting a walk off homer." Think about it. Gossip over Gossages. Rumors over Ramirezes. Trades over Round Trippers. The off-season has become the in-season.

Go back to the 2007 World Series between the Red Sox and the Rockies (lol, The Rockies. Talk about a fluke). In middle of one of the oh-so-very exciting games, the most thrilling moment was when A-Rod decided to opt out of his contract. Granted the Red Sox were up by 6 runs at the time but something tells me that even if Matt Holliday was up in the bottom half of the tenth inning in a 2-2 tie, A-Rod would've still stole the show. That's just the way it is. If we can SEE one thing or TALK about another thing, we're going to almost always head in the verbal direction.

We can get really into the off-season when we discuss what could be done to fix our team in the upcoming season. We get so into it that come season time we could've sworn that it was supposed to feel more exciting than it actually is. But year after year we do the same thing to ourselves. We wait. We anticipate. And then we wait some more.

Check out this clip where the announcer gets into it in February...

Don't think that it's only the announcers. Even the Umps and Managers can get into it...(Hide the kids for this one).

Curent Off-Season Water Cooler Talk:
Did you hear the news? Livan is getting the 5th Spot!
Did you read the papers? Jerry is going with Murphy in the 2 hole!!
Did you see my blog? Each new post is better than the one before!!!

Okay, so the last line was a plug for my blog. Sue me. Come to think of it, it seems a bit odd as to why I need to plug my blog IN my blog. But moving on...

Now that we have established that the REAL season is coming to a quick close, let's take a closer look at what the Mets have in store for us in the 2009 season.

Starting Staff:
Johan Santana
Mike Pelfrey
Oliver Perez
John Maine
Livan Hernandez*

* = Name in 5th hole due to change (often).

It's good to see that Big Pelf has leap frogged the idle two, Maine and Oli, and has become a solid number 2 starter. Manuel has told the media that he "expects Pelfrey to be the ace of a staff at some point in his long career" but for now, number two smells fine to me.

Johan will be Johan. I'm not worried about him (barring any injury).

John Maine has some demons to work out and I don't see him having a great season. Start warming up, Niese.

Hmm, Oliver Perez. I'm going to say that some days he will look like Johan and other days he will look like Heilman. You just never know with this guy. The Phillies can't hit a lick off him (which I love) but the Reds can take him to town. Oh, and Oli, please button your shirt for heaven's sake.

Enter Livan Hernandez. Having a pretty good second half of the spring and I like what I see. Win us 12 games and I'll cook you supper, Livan.

25 Pedro Feliciano - I see him continuing in his slump. He's got to pick it up.
48 Sean Green - The Not Jewish Sean Green. J.J. Putz says he has upside. We'll see.
32 Carlos Muniz - Pitch well, Carlos. We already have one too many on the team.
-- Fernando Nieve - The Astros gave him up for a reason. Send him off.
36 Darren O'Day - Nice sidearm delivery. He stays. For now.
39 Bobby Parnell - Young talent. Hope. Start him in AAA and bring him up mid season.
22 J.J. Putz - Let's hope we see more JJ than we do Putz.
44 Tim Redding - Great signing, Omar. We could've got Hudson for 2 more mill.
75 Francisco Rodriguez - Easy with the celebrations. Save 80 games. We're good.
43 Brian Stokes - His fire has been stoked. Exile him like Aaron.

23 Brian Schneider - We got him for defense and we didn't see much of it last year. He's got to swing a hotter bat and throw runners out more consistently. I find him the weakest link on our team. If only we could say goodbye...
11 Ramon Castro - He would be an amazing everyday catcher. Too bad he's not.
4 Robinson Cancel - He was recently sent to AAA. And I care why exactly?

1 Luis Castillo - Looks like he'll be hitting 8th. He's gotta keep the weight down and the hits up. Otherwise, I will hit down on him and I won't wait.
3 Alex Cora - Not a huge fan of this guy other than the fact that he can play all the positions.
21 Carlos Delgado - Second half of 2008? I don't think so but come close to it, k?
7 Jose Reyes - Expect big things from him this season. Maturity included.
5 David Wright - Let's see some more clutch hits. No, not off your toe.

9 Marlon Anderson - Has a guaranteed contract but not a guaranteed spot. Won't be here for long.
15 Carlos Beltran - My call is that he has the best year on the team. You watch.
19 Ryan Church - No more concussions and we'll be okay.
6 Nick Evans - Torrid batting in Spring Season. Might get a bench spot. I'm ok with that.
28 Daniel Murphy - Love the rising star. Good eye at the plate and needs work on the fielding. I'm very patient with this one.
16 Angel Pagan - Type of guy never to catch a break (if it's not his shoulder at least). Needs an angel of his own.
18 Jeremy Reed - Went 4/5 with 4 rbi's yesterday. He's supposed to be the new Endy. Defensive replacement and pinch runner. Let's hope this Endy can hit.
12 Cory Sullivan - $600,000 contract. Has a nice glove. We'll see if he makes it.
17 Fernando Tatis - He says he won't have as good of a year. I'm ok with that. Have half as good a year, k?

Do you guys agree? Disagree? Half agree? Misremember? I would love to hear your take on the matter. After all, isn't this what the season is all about?

P.S. - I almost forgot. The Mets win the NL EAST. By 5 games. There I said it.

That's my baseball pick.


Getting Reel

Thursday, March 19, 2009

People have sent me emails telling me about the world of video blogging. I suppose that means getting behind a camera and discussing what I feel about the Mets. Excuse my french but that has got to be the nerdiest thing I have ever heard of. Who do they think they are? Evan Roberts? Yeah, he is the biggest nerd of 'em all. Don't believe me? Here is a 3 minute clip of the geek but I warn ya, stop watching after a half minute if you don't want to die a painful death filled with boredom and embarrassment from the red-haired hot-head.

Yeah, I told you it was bad. Don't quit your day job, Evan. (but between me and you - quit that also).

Then there are "video bloggers" who would use cruddy images or poor video and record their play-by-play speech as the footage rolls thinking they've classified themselves as film bloggers. Not as nerdy but it's up there.

Forget getting a job, that guy needs a life.

Our next video nut doesn't actually talk baseball, he acts baseball. Featured in a recent New York Times article, we present to you "The Batting Stance Guy." He can act out any player from any team and show you his literal batting stance. He is pretty accurate and probably pretty lonely.

If you did watch the whole clip and heard a girl screaming "Daddy, Daddy" at the end of the clip, yeah, that was mere seconds before she so sadly took her own life out of fear of what would've been a life full of finger pointing and accusations on being "the batting nerd's daughter." For his next clip I'd love to see him get a beating with that plastic bat. Now that I would watch.

So I guess that's what video blogging is all about; showing the watching world that sometimes abortions might be a good thing. Nah, I'm just kidding. If we didn't have them, who would we make fun of? Thank you, Lonely Batting Stance Guy.

Not to let my fans down, I thought I'd do a little video blogging myself. Not the actual thing but I considered compiling videos in which other people put together and are thinking the same thoughts that I am thinking. How convenient.

In this clip, Bart would be representing the Mets and Homer is us fans. It's dead on.

Told you.

In this next one, Meg represents the playoffs and the back up date guy are all the Mets players who don't want to have anything to do with post season games. Yeah, it's pretty drastic.

Not too far from the truth, eh?

About a few years ago, we went through a night of ups and downs. We discussed Endy's catch yesterday and I thought it would be wrong if we didn't bring up everything that happened that night or should I say "everything that didn't happen that night?" The makers of Carlos Beltran's bat will never know if it was defective. Mainly, because it was never used. Trouble remembering the scene? Here. Let me refresh your forgetful memory. (Warning: Get a blindfold and choke yourself with it).

But what if Beltran swung? What could have transpired if he had just taken the bat off his shoulder and flung it in the direction of the oncoming breaking ball? Well, since this is the 21st century, we can actually simulate an event and see the result of the at bat had one action been tweaked. The Swing.

Needless to say, this video is not on the open market and should not be publicized more than it already has been. Watch closely at what could have taken place...

I know what you are all thinking. "Thank God he didn't swing." True, he would've made us look even worse but going in the same route as the plastic bat beating, I'm not so sure I wouldn't want to have seen that occur. He would have the whole off season to heal up (ala Carlos Delgado and his wrist) so there wouldn't be any bruises come season time (excluding his ego, pride and backside. Yea, those Rico Moms are nuts. His mother would've gave it to him when he returned to Puerto Rico).

Okay, it's getting tense in here. I know just the thing to lighten the mood. How about watching a nice little clip of a Mets fan who fell asleep by a game and had most of the right field section watching him, instead of an ensuing collapse? Bring it on.

Oh, you should know that the fan in question was so drunk that he fell asleep and became oblivious to his surroundings. The other Mets fans didn’t let him have a peaceful sleep, as the video shows. By the end of the clip, hundreds of Mets fans were watching (and enjoying it). It happens to be hysterical. Enjoy...

The "High"-lights, or should I say "Passed-out-drunk"-lights, of this little adventure are sprinkled all around the video.

At 1:50 in, it's fun to see on the scoreboard that it's only the 4th inning and this man is already in LaLa Land. (Okay, okay, it was the second game of a double header but still...).

At 4:40 we hear the overly concerned fan say "Are we sure this guy's alive?" Nice of you to care, Saint.

At 7:47, we get to watch the most triumphant moment of a Mexican man's life. You go, Jose, you go.

At 9:08 - we hear the video taker's prophecy. It was fulfilled.

At 9:17 - we are reminded that every party has a pooper. Poop on you, Mr. Security Guard.

Ah, and this leads us to our final Met clip. Poop. If you don't know this next character, then, frankly, you don't know comedy. Triump "more for me to poop on" The Insult Comic Dog teamed up with Mr. Met at the 3rd and final Presidential Debate. To get right into the action, check him out at 3:42 into the clip.

I hope you enjoyed my very first video blog ever, as much as I did putting it together. Now go back to normal civilization and converse with regular people. I'm outta here.

United States of Amazin!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Did you see it? Were you watching? The Mets played meaningful and fun-to-watch baseball for the first time in nearly 6 months! It was truly a sight to see. They were hitting the long ball, making plays that would earn themselves highlight-seconds on Sports Center, and giving Mets fans reasons to believe that 2009 has only two zeros in it. Yes, Ladies and GentleMets, this season will be a sparkling success.

Sorry to get ahead of myself. Allow me to inform you what it is I am actually referring to. You probably did not know this but I am a huge fan of the World Baseball Classic (Do Not See: "Ruin my World, Baseball Classic"). Who doesn't love exciting baseball in March? Who doesn't want meaningful games at the end of the winter? Who is not interested in seeing their players represent their country in front of the entire world? (What? Stop looking at me).

If we didn't see it on television, then we woke up today to be notified that David Wright's two-run single capped a three-run rally in the bottom of the ninth as the United States advanced to the WBC semifinals for the first time.

If we were to busy to realize, we saw this morning that Carlos Beltran pulled an "Endy Chavez" by forcing the statisticians to take a home run away from Brian McCann and converting it into an out. (We won't even mention how Ivan Rodriquez was able to take second base on a surprise sacrifice by the Wall-Climbing Hit-Spanking Beltran).

If we were not tuned into the happenings of the WBC, we were still unable to avoid hearing about Carlos Delgado's absolute smash to dead center off of Ted Lilly in the fourth.

And the corny "If's" do not stop there. There was also Nelson Figueroa who threw 2 1/3 no hit innings for Puerto Rico. JJ Putz tossed a perfect 8th inning with 2 strikeouts. And finally, Francisco "K-Rod" Rodriguez got the last four outs as Venezuela beat Puerto Rico, 2-0, to advance to the Classic semis.

Ah, yes, the Mets are playing serious October baseball. In March, nonetheless. But as Yogi Bera once said "real deal baseball is real deal baseball" (he could've said it, how do you know otherwise?). Whether USA gets past the upcoming semis is yet to be determined but what has been determined is that the Mets are looking fresh, strong and eager to put the Sheam (that says "shame"; work with me) behind them.

I have been told that I have wrote pessimistic blogs in the past and that I am guilty of spilling negativity into the keys that I push while I try to get my thoughts through to you, the reader. Well, you can say that I have changed my attitude on this whole Mets thing. I'm a new blogger, a shea'nged man. You'll see.

We, fans, have experienced the calm before the storm, the storm, and then some more calm. But whatever this season does bring to Queens, be it rainy times or sun-filled days, you can always remember that in Brooklyn, there resides, at least, one optimistic fan who thought all along that this will be the year that Tug McGraw bellows "I told you to believe."

Oh, I believe.

MySpace Flash Toys

The End(y)

  • We all remember where we were exactly when 9-11 took place.
  • We all remember what we were doing when Barack Obama was sworn into office.
  • We all remember how we danced and screamed when Endy Chavez made "The Catch."

No, not Willie Mays' catch. I'm talking about the Venezuelan's leap into the history books (or at least our history books, er, our memory banks). Grown men hugging other grown men. Shea stadium feeling as if it was experiencing an earthquake measuring 7.5 on the (Mike) Richter scale. More grown men hugging other grown men. The 6 foot Chavez not only caught a ball that night; he caught our attention, our hearts and he caught us off guard. A miracle in Shea without Buckner? Who woulda thunk!? We were bound to win the game!

But as destiNY would have it, Mr. Chavez failed to produce in the bottom half of the inning when the bat was placed in his hands and the Cards went on to take the game, the series, and later became the Champions of the World. Oh, how much greater "The Catch" would have been had Endy hit a triple down the right field line and later come into score, but, alas, this is but a dream. We walked home in tears that night, thinking of what could have been. "The Catch...and the Hit".

Although, we have moved on (sort of) and must take the happy memories along with us to Citi Field, we will never forget the way Endy leaped like no man had ever done before, caught the ball as if he was scooping for ice cream on a hot summer day, and proceeded to throw out the chicken without his head that was attempting to scramble back to a guarded first base. A double play. Inning over. Memory created.

Two bobble-head days and one off-season trade later, Endy Chavez sits on Route 95 in Seattle on his way to SafeCo field to suit up for a Mariners team in which he plays The New Kid on the bench, while, 3000 miles away in Queens, a city prepares for a new home and a new beginning. Although they have each gone in different ways and separate directions, they will both know that some things will always go together. Peanut Butter & Jelly, Tom & Jerry, and Endy & NY. Sort of like a ball that fits so perfectly in the webbing of a glove.

We'll miss you Endy.

<br/><a href="http://video.msn.com/video.aspx?vid=b0869358-5f43-48f0-bc19-fee9c82bbacd" target="_new" title="Endy Chavez's leaping catch">Video: Endy Chavez's leaping catch</a>

The Lion's Den

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Some say that history tends to repeat itself. Some even say, that the same event may take place, with new characters, new places, and new faces but the storyline is as identical as identical can get. That is where we come in - Spring Season 2009, a time of hope, excitement and opportunity. But before we take a look into today, let us rewind 2600 years ago, to a place where history painted the original chapter, the time in which it all began...

2615 years ago:

The King of Babylon, King Belshazzar, died, and Darius the Mede became the new king.

King Darius decided to appoint a hundred and twenty supervisors and governors to help rule over his kingdom. And he made Daniel and two others their boss. The other supervisors and governors didn’t like it. Daniel worked harder, and did much better work than any of them. The King was so impressed he was going to put Daniel in charge of the whole kingdom.

“We have to do something about this Daniel,” the supervisors, the governors, the lieutenant governors, and all the other officials said to themselves. But no matter how hard they looked, they couldn’t find anything wrong with Daniel because Daniel was completely faithful and honest in everything he did.

“Maybe we can use his religion against him,” they said.

And so they came up with a devious plan.

They came before King Darius one day and said, “King Darius! May you live forever! (although each one of them was probably really thinking, 'May you die tomorrow - so I can become King!'). All of us who help to rule your kingdom; the supervisors, the governors, the lieutenant governors, and all the other officials, think that it would be very wise of you to issue a command that for thirty days no one should be able to ask for anything from any god or man except you, O Great and Mighty King. And if anyone should ask for anything from any god or man besides you, they should be thrown into the lions’ den.”

King Darius accepted the idea of the supervisors, the governors, the lieutenant governors, and all the other officials, and signed the decree.

It became a law of the Medes and Persians that could not be changed.

Daniel heard the King’s decree, but still, the next morning he went to his window to pray, just as he did every morning, noon and night.

This was exactly what the supervisors, the governors, the lieutenant governors, and all the other officials were looking for.

They went straight to the king.

“Your Majesty, may you live forever!” they said. “Didn’t you sign a decree that said for thirty days no one should ask for anything from any god or man except you, O Great and Mighty King. And if anyone should ask for anything from any god or man besides you, they should be thrown into the lions’ den?”

“Yes,” said the king. “It is a law of the Medes and Persians that cannot be changed.”

Then the supervisors, the governors, the lieutenant governors, and all the other officials said, “We saw Daniel praying to his God this very morning! He does not respect you or your order.”

When King Darius heard this news he was very sad. He knew that Daniel was a good and honest man, who served him faithfully. And so he worked into the night, trying to find some way to rescue Daniel. But he couldn’t.

The supervisors, the governors, the lieutenant governors, and all the other officials came back the next morning and demanded, “Your Majesty, you know a law of the Medes and Persians can never be changed. Daniel must be thrown into the lions’ den!” Which was just what they wanted all along.

And so, the king had no choice but to have Daniel thrown into the lions’ den. The King said to Daniel, “May the God whom you serve so faithfully save you!”

And then the king’s men grabbed Daniel and threw him into a pit filled with pacing, roaring, hot-breathed lions.

Years Later:

The Manager of the Mets, Manager Willie, was fired, and Jerry The Gangsta, became the new leader.

Manager Jerry decided to appoint whichever players succeeded the day before, to help rule over his kingdom in the National League East. And he made Daniel Murphy and two others (Nick Evans and Joe Smith) their young leaders. You produced? You played. The veterans and other minor leaguers didn’t like it. Daniel worked harder, and did much better work than any of them. The Manager was so impressed he was going to put Daniel in charge of the whole kingdom come season time; left field would be his for the taking.

“We have to do something about this Daniel,” the other young stars, the every day players, the bench warmers, and all the other Mets said to themselves. But no matter how hard they looked, they couldn’t find anything wrong with Daniel because Daniel was completely faithful and honest in everything he did. He truly was second to none.

“Maybe we can use his work ethic against him,” they said.

And so they came up with a devious plan.

They came before Manager Jerry one day and said, “Mr. Manuel! May you coach forever! (although Gary Carter, who was miles away on a baseball field in Long Island, was probably really thinking, 'May you die tomorrow - so I can become manager!'). All of us who help to bring you a Daily W; the veterans, the speedsters, the home-run hitters, and all the other Metropolitans, think that it would be very wise of you to issue a rule that for the next thirty days of Spring Training no one should be able to impress any owner or coach, O Great and Mighty Manager, except you. If you like what you see in a man, then let it be known, it will be he who will play And if anyone does progress and succeed, then let him be thrown into the lions' den to see if he is truly an authentic star.

Manager Jerry accepted the idea of the young ones, the Hernandez's, the Spanish-speaking, and all the other New York players, and agreed to such a diabolacle plan .

It became a law of the Mets and their Personnel that could not be changed.

Daniel heard the Managers’s decree, and still, the next morning he came to the field, to play, just as he did every morning, noon and night. He lived and breathed baseball.

This was exactly what the hot prospects, the potential game changers, the 8 year minor leaguers, and all the other hopefuls were looking for.

They went straight to the Manager.

“Your Managerial Majesty, may you coach forever!” they said. “Didn’t you sign a decree that said for the first thirty days of spring training no one should impress anyone except you, O Great and Mighty Leader. And if anyone should impress any coach or player besides you, they should be thrown into the lions’ den to see how authentic they truly are!? To see if they truly can compete!?”

“Yes,” said the Cool and Calm Jerry. “It is a law of my Mets and their Personnel that cannot be changed.”

Then the jealous-ones, the just out of college guys, the Rule 5 draft picks, and all the other Binghamton Mets said, “We saw Daniel playing like he was God this very morning! He does not respect any opposing pitcher, he takes more walks than the Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club, and he beats the ball up as if he had a personal agenda against it.

When King Jerry heard this news he was very sad (but secretly, very glad). He knew that Daniel was a good and honest boy, who played for him faithfully. Would he be able to compete in the games that matter? Would he choke in the oh-so-crucial times? And so he worked into the night, trying to find some way to rescue Daniel from the every day spotlight. But he couldn’t. He knew Daniel would have to walk the plank.

The spark starters, the base stealers, the record contract setters, and all the other Tradition Field inhabitants came back the next morning and demanded, “Your Gangsta'ness, you know a law of the Mets and their personell can never be changed. Daniel must be thrown into the lions’ den!” Which was just what they wanted all along. To see how quickly he would crumble.

And so, the Manager had no choice but to have Daniel thrown into the lions’ den. The Manager said to Daniel, “May the game whom you serve so faithfully save you!”

And then the organization’s men grabbed Daniel and threw him into a pit, a stadium, a park, a field, an opposing cities' batter's box, a 9th inning pressure-filled spot, an unfamiliar left field, surrounded by pacing beer vendors, roaring fans, threatening Philidelphians, breathing-down-your-back coaches, and a city that had him thinking that maybe, and just maybe, there might be some people out there who want to see him succeed even more than he did.

Us Lions Await.

Hey, Taxi!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

When Duaner Sanchez got into a cab in the early morning hours on July 30, 2006, he was unaware of the true destination that Mohammed Shulam was going to bring him to. "To the beginning of the end," Sanchez could have very well instructed the driver. "It's not closed well. Please shut the door (on your career)," Mr. Shulam politely requested. Unknown to Duaner at the time, that action was the last solid closing he would ever accomplish by use of his precious right arm. His game would never be the same.

Sanchez was every General Manager's dream in 2006. He was synonymous with Rolaids upon coming out the pen that season. His pitching spelled relief. Every Met fan remembers the real reason the team came to be one home run away from a trip to the World Series; our bullpen. Steve Trachsel knew he only had to go 5 or 6 innings (not that he could have gone any further) since the relief squad was the antithesis of what it was in 2008. Sterling.

Whether it was Chad Bradford, Duaner, Pedro Feliciano, or Billy Wagner - if a pitcher left with the lead after the 5th inning, he was able to chalk up a W next to his name in the clubhouse for that day's work. Sorry Johan, you came two years too late.

A taxicab accident and two subsequent shoulder operations later, Sanchez sat fidgety in a seat that Omar chose for him on the morning before yesterday. He knew at heart that not even his sports goggles would be able to protect him from what was about to come. "Why oh why did I crave Dominican Food at 2:00 AM? I could have continued to be a valuable piece in the bullpen if I had just controlled my urges," Sanchez screamed to himself. And so it was. The way his shoulder separated from his body in the wee morning hours not too long ago, so too, removed from him was, his jersey, his job, and what was once said to be, a very promising career.

This was one costly cab fare that Sanchez wish he could have back.

An actual clip of just a few moments in what Duaner Sanchez's ride looked like. Seemingly, the trip was much like his career. (Not for the faint hearted).


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Pedro Martinez looked like he was having a good time. A real good time. Of course, I'm referring to the sickening video of Pedro and legendary Hall of Famer Juan Marichal laughing at a gruesome cockfight in the Dominican Republic last year (talk about a loosey goosey era). But Pedro seems to be enjoying himself a whole lot less these days; acting more like the chicken without its head than the one in the stands laughing with his empty.

They say the most energetic time of a chicken's life are the seconds after someone chops its head off. The same seems to ring true, with Pedro's career, as he lives it up in the WBC, chopped off from any Major League team. Martinez is pitching quite well with his birth pals from the Dominican Republic striking out good looking batters, reaching low 90's with his fastball, and keeping the opposing team scoreless. But is this the end for Pedro? Does he have enough in the tank to give us one more (decent) year or would we just be setting him up to lay another egg?

Yesterday, after the Netherlands eliminated the Dominican Republic in Round 1 of the World Baseball Classic, Martinez told reporters he has had offers to pitch in the major leagues since he filed for free agency, but chose to remain a free agent so he could dedicate himself to the WBC. Right, and I was going to be signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates, but after realizing my first true love is sewing, I politely declined the offer.

Will the Mets make the (first) offer to Pedro? SHOULD they make an offer to Pedro? Well, knowing our luck, if they do sign him to a one year deal he is probably going to make us all want to climb under the rubble in Shea. If the Mets' hold back from taking him on board for one more year, the Reds will sign him and he will produce a 15-6 record with a 3.11 ERA, striking out 185 batters and coming in 3rd place for the Cy Young. But that's exactly our dilemma. Young. He is not as young as he used to be (duh, who is?) and he is relying more on craftsmanship (hello Tom Glavine) and less on the strength of the fastball (not by choice though).

Can he be the Pedro of his yesteryears? Can he lead the Mets' to victory the way Napoleon led the French to victory? Can Pedro be the New York Mets' dynamite? (Okay, I had to use the Napoleon Dynamite reference. After all, we're discussing if we should "Vote For Pedro"). Oh, and for all you history buffs out there, the French never did win a military victory. Google it.

To pay or not to pay. That is the question. Pedro has been said to be looking for John Smoltz money (no, it's not a currency. It's what he got with the Red Sox. $5.5 million). We all know by now the Mets are not going to pay him that much and we should know by now that he won't want to settle on less. Our only choice? We must dish out the next best thing since sliced bread (which may I add is entirely overrated but something tells me that that is for a different post in a different blog at a different time). We will give Pedro an incentive-laden contract. The Yanks did it with Pettite, the Dodgers did it with Hudson and the Mets should do it with Pedro. You make 30 starts - you get a million bucks. You make 30 DECENT starts (with the appropriate numbers etc.) and we'll give you another million or two. Remember, he will be our number 5 guy so we're not asking for Johan Santana numbers (mmm, you can say that again). Remember, he will be our number 5 guy so we're not asking for Johan Santana numbers (there, I said it).

If he doesn't want it, that's fine. We have a whole bag of potential number 5 starters who would just love to get a chance to don a Mets' jersey in 2009. Not the best bunch of pitchers, but players happy enough to be able to support their family's on what the Mets have offered and given them (yes, Latrell, they are actually happy).

So Pedro, there it is. An incentive-laden contract. You'll be given, along with it, the chance to compete on a team that is very likely to go deep into the playoffs and, hopefully, win it all. You get a starting job, cash, and possibly a ring. That's enough to make Aaron Heilman pee his pants in excitement (more because of the starting job).

So Mr. Martinez, you have my vote... Do you want it or...

Are You Chicken?

Now Hiring

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Is the recession getting to you? Perhaps.
Are you out of a job? Probably.
Can you throw a baseball? Let's hope.
Are you under the age of 40? Don't answer that.
Can you claim you're under the age of 40? Perfect.

We have just the job for you. After taking a look at all the potential number 5 starters that the Mets have - it boils down to none of them. They all have had terrible performances and it probably makes Omar Minaya flip through his Rolodex looking to find someone. Anyone, for that matter.

"Hmmm," Omar thinks to himself as he twirls his thumbs through the pages of names featuring the great Mets' pitchers of the past, "Jose Lima wasn't all that bad, now was he? And how about that Brian Lawrence fellow? He did produce at times. With Johan Santana out, it almost makes me kick myself for trading away that Philip Humber guy. Boy, can that man pitch. And let's not forget Alay Soler. These are all potential signings which would make our team better. Today."

The scary thing is: this is all not that far from the truth.

Livan Hernandez was thought of being a last hope signing when the off-season commenced. We never thought we'd actually "pick him up" (and with all the extra pounds, those words rings true in many "weighs"). Freddy Garcia is coming off shoulder surgery and his hamstrings have been tweaked more times than this blog (oh, and that's plenty). Don't worry, the list of pitchers goes on. Get ready to get your glove out.

Tim Redding got rocked by the University of Michigan today. In his first spring appearance for the Mets, Redding gave up two homers and allowed 5 runs against kids young enough to be his kids' kids. Bobby Parnell was unable to retire a hitter Sunday, allowing three runs on three hits and two walks against the Nationals. Shake the dust off your cleats.

Jon Niese allowed two runs in two innings in the game against the Cardinals, and people claim that the most memorable part of the afternoon was his strikeout of Albert Pujols. Yipee Doody. Let's see you face Pujols a second time before we get our number 5 party hats on, Mr. Neise.

The race for the 5th spot is going until the wire. Mind you, it seems like a really really slow and uncompetitive race, as well. "It's going to go down until the end of spring training," Niese said. Yes, it will. And by "down," he means "downhill."

This is where you, the reader, come in. Can you impress a pitching coach with even a worse prescription than its team's manager? Can you speak a half-decent Spanish? Are you interested in working every 5 days or at least make it look like you're trying to? The pay is good and you'll get to visit many cities across the United States. You are off from the end of September (sometimes sooner) until the beginning of April and there is a new office building for you to work in. The team's third baseman is the only one who talks to the media so you won't have to deal with the press all that much. The food is great (See: Ramon Castro and Robinson Cancel) and it's one of the only ways into the brand new stadium if you're interested in seeing every game.

Unless, of course, you have 4,830 bucks to spend from the job you don't have anymore.

A New Field is in the Air

Friday, March 6, 2009

Only 30 days left.

One month is what stands between us and the brand new Citi Field; a new home with new expectations. Actually, a new home with old expectations. All we've ever wanted to do is to win it all (as does every team) and moving next door won't change that a bit. In a way it's refreshing to leave behind Shea because to tell you the truth, the last 2 (or 3) years are something we should want to forget (and for all those who actually bought parts and pieces of Shea to reminisce over - have fun with that).

But if we sat down and made a list of all those times at Shea, there are memories we all have that are worth remembering. Good and Bad. Ours to talk about (and walk on) forever.

We will now...park our cars in the same place that Carlos Beltran stood motionless with a bat drooped over his shoulder.

We will now...scalp tickets in the exact spot that Endy Chavez made that miraculous catch (and then threw out the runner for a stunning double play).

We will now...run by the spot that Mookie placed the ball through Buckner's legs as we head on over to the entrance of Citi Field.

We will now...mob concession stands outside the park, in the very location that Robin Ventura was mobbed by his teammates, never finishing his trot around the bases.

We will now...walk home crying, (sometimes), in the same area that Willie Randolph walked home with tears after cleaning out his office post Father's Day last year.

We will now...tailgate and enjoy our BBQ's in the same spot that Armando Benitez was smoked for ninth inning home run after ninth inning home run.

We will now...slap high fives with random fans as we celebrate a momentous Mets' occasion (and yes, not too far from where Lastings Milledge did the very same thing).

We will now...put on our blue and orange jersey's in the old airspace of the Shea clubhouse. The same place that... (This sentence was supposed to have a Scott Kazmir line but due to the actions of a person who shall not be named, we don't have anything to say about Mr. Kazmir). Thanks Jim Duquette.

But most importantly...

We will now...move on.

We have new experiences awaiting us in a building that makes the old one look ancient. We will take the memories we choose to bring along with us, and the ones we leave behind will be left there forever. We are starting anew. There is much to be written and even more to be forgotten. Sometimes though, the only way to erase something is if we write over it. And what better tools to write with than a young(ish) team, a new ball park, and a we-can-win-now attitude. Let the Phillies be the Phillies and the Marlins can be the Marlins. The Braves can have Lowe and the Nationals can enjoy their new park. We are the Mets. We care only about the Mets.

The Phillies won in 2008. We are now in 2009.
The Mets lost in 2006, 2007 & 2008. We are now in 2009.
The Mets collapsed in Shea. We are now in Citi Field.

The Team. The Time. The Mets.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Guest Writer blogs in:

Our future, our chance, our hope, our star, our ticket to the Promised Land, our $137,000,000 dollar man, is in jeopardy.

How can the Mets even fathom not shutting down Johan or even sending him to NY for an MRI? Do they feel that since they signed Livan, there is a no need to worry? Or maybe since Pedro is still out there - we can grab him and everything will be fine? Something tells me that this is more than just the mere lacking of a clubhouse presence. We're gonna need "The One" here. (Sorry fans, even Mr. Gee is not the answer. Not yet at least).

With Citi Field on its way, and Met fans feeling jittery with the revamped and most powerful bullpen in baseball (without a bad Sanchez and Feliciano), the only way our goal can be accomplished is if Mr. Santana is feeling ace-like and super healthy. If need be (and we hope not) who will go on 3 days rest? Or better yet who would you want to?.... If it weren’t for all those blown opportunities by the bullpen last year, Santana would have gotten at least seven more wins, not to mention the Cy Young (Ehem, Cy Young!). This is not something we can relax about. This is a very serious matter. If Santana were to miss some time, that would be a worm in the Mets' apple (which was, BTW, moved to Citi Field).

We had everything going for us. The bullpen was freshly stocked. The young stars were looking like, well, stars. We had enough number 5 starters to start a new team (a not so good team) and our last year players were looking delightfully good (yes, even Castillo). And it was all merry, until now.

Should we freak? Perhaps.
Should we be worried about our ace? Yes.
Should we then instead root for the Cubbies? No. Heck No.

But why? Why should we invest our emotions into a season in which our Maine-man might be someone who is coming off a weak 2nd half last year? Why should we put our hope (there's that hope again) into a team that might not have its anchor...its leader?

As if we were stuck in a never before seen circumstance, the first of its kind, the draft copy, we see that there is nowhere to go but to turn to our, perhaps, weakened leader and ask him for sagely guidance.

(turn to Johan for sagely guidance)
Johan, what do you see in our future?

(listen to response)
I, Johan Santana tossed a 46-pitch bullpen session Wednesday and then predicted I would take the ball on Opening Day in Cincinnati on April 6.

(begin "the corny Eli From Brooklyn ending")
What else do you expect from a man who does wonders with a mere white inanimate sphere-like object? What do you say to player who constantly proves that 3 days rest is just as good as 4?

The Answer? Nothing. Nothing at all.

(but just in case the baseball gods are listening...)
Amen, Santana, Amen.