Driving Fred Up The Wall

Thursday, April 30, 2009

As Seen on Fantasy Hardball:

TECHNOLOGY is a blessing. It can provide up-to-the-minute real-time information about the world around you.

But what happens when you don't want to believe what it tells you?

Take, for example, the Mets owner Fred Wilpon.

There he was, checking out the stock market and befriending every left-handed reliever he knew on Facebook, when a strange thing happened to him.

He was scrolling down his notifications when he saw this...

This came as a bit of a surprise to Fred. He didn't think he was friends with Doc and he wasn't entirely sure just what his Facebook wall was, how to use it, or even how to send him a message back.

"That's ok," he thought. "I'll probably bump in to him near the pre-game buffet."

And so his day went. Largely unspectacular and with little to note.

But then, things went back to being perculiar...

Missed text messages. Voicemails were left for him. Urgent faxes.

They all pointed him in the direction of the Ebbets Club - a restaurant inside the new Citi Field.

Let's just say he was not amused with what he saw when he arrived...

Yeah, you could say the boss was surprised:

But it's OK, Fred. Things could have been so much worse. Just imagine what people could have wrote...

Or this...

Or maybe this...

Or simply...

Lighten up, you boys in the back. Having Doc sign our wall isn't a terrible thing. It'll be part of our history and it will be something that fans will come to see.

I'm already salivating at the thought of seeing messages from Carter, Seaver, Mookie, Strawberry, Piazza and Wright. Aren't you?

Change 2009

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

When it rains, it pours. And then it stops.

That basically sums up the Mets scoring in each and every game they have played this season. If it doesn't rain - it doesn't rain (A.K.A. a scoring drought). If they feel like scoring then they'll put together a big inning (hence, the downpour) and then they shut the faucets off as if they're part of a Save-Water-And-Recycle program.

About 1/3 of the way done in batting practice, does Howard Johnson yell, "okay, boys, you can stop giving it you're all now. You've had a few good swings and that oughta hold the other team down"? I didn't think so.

So why does every Met fan feel that if the team is trailing after the 6th or 7th inning - our chances of winning are lower than the limbo bar at a Chinese girl's birthday party?

I hope you don't actually think that I am going to answer that now; I got as good as a guess as you do. Thankfully, I twittered a poll question tonight asking, "If you can change one thing about this team, what would it be?"

Since I don't speak French - I'll leave some of the replies off the list...

Here is a list of just some of the answers I got:

ChanHoParkingLot: Is "everything" considered "one thing"?

Sanchez345: Oliver Perez's diaper. He's stinking up the joint!

CitiLover: The day I was born. (Editor's Note: Technically, this has nothing to do with the Mets but we're assuming that CitiLover meant the Mets can make life not worth living. Uh, he or she should bank elsewhere. Citi is just not for them).

IraFrillz: I wouldn't change a thing. It's absolutely perfect. Pass the marijuana.

Caution86: Sean Green. Oli Perez. Brian Schneider. Murphy's glove. Delgado's hip. (Ed. Note: If we, the editors, had a choice, we would like to change Caution86's prescription because obviously he or she did not read the question correctly. For goodness sake, what sort of people are reading this blog?)

SheaStuffer: I'd trade Green, Tatis and Reed for Roy Holladay come trading deadline. (Ed. Note: You would? We'll definitely look into that).

And our personal favorite:

NationalsAndObama: Come and root for Washington. We got CHANGE you can believe in.

I'd like to thank everyone for writing in their thoughts (and for proving to me that when people root for a team that is so predictably unpredictable - a trip to the doctor shouldn't be that far behind).

Two Different Ways To Rub It In

1) Everyone loves a joker.

After Omir Santos played hero and earned himself a SNY spot after the game Monday night, J.J. (Just Joking) Putz played "Practical Pranker" during Santos's interview.


2) And a Phillies website thinks it's funny every time Murphy has an episode in the outfield...

It's almost as funny as Cole Hamels bending down to pick up a ground ball and ends up rolling his ankle.


Shame on BackSheGoes.com for mocking a player/person who's giving it his all.

Do-Maine-Ant - (That says "Dominant")

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

After taking 2 of 3 from the Nationals, the Mets were cognizant of the fact that entering into Monday's three game series with the Florida Marlins they were a mere 3 games out of first place. And who else but the visiting Marlins sat alone on top of NL East...

The Chance to Strike was NOW.

Not strike out. Strike.

Although David Wright leads the National League in strikeouts and Carlos Delgado is nursing his 36 year old hip back to health, the Mets were pounding the ball (in succession, nonetheless) and looking quite healthy (excluding, duh, Luis Castillo, who appeared to be in pain, grabbing at his lower back, and stretching it out, after legging out an infield single. He stayed in the game, but did not look comfortable, and was later in pulled in the eighth. SNY reported he had back spasms).

John Maine pitched considerably better than his last start and looked quite Santanesque by giving up one hit, three walks, and a run, while striking out six in 6 innings. Even K-Rod came to the mound and flaunted his stuff (just in case you had forgotten that he was even on the team).

Continuing in our praises, let's give a kudos to SNY. When Omar Santos hit his first major league home run (A.K.A. - tack another four runs up on the board) the camera immediately zoomed in on the one player a Mets' fan wanted to see. Ironically, this is the same player that might lose his job if Santos, indeed, hits the way he did in the first inning. Did you guess who by now? Ramon Fatstro. Ramon, who don't get me wrong - I happen to like, has been looking quite sluggish (ease up on the nachos, Papi) and has been - as Dave on the Cell Phone noted - known to make some pitchers feel and look not like their usual selves. It was almost as if Billy Wagner told Castro before every 9th inning: "Catch me, IF YOU CAN." It will be interesting to see what happens once Brian Schneider returns from the DL.

On a lighter note, any Mets' fan who (after going to my blog for analysis on tonight's game) went to Mets.com merited to see an interesting link on the screen. But before I tell you what the link actually said, let's remember who the Marlins' starting pitcher was tonight: Anibel Sanchez. So with that in mind, any literate fan was able to clearly read, "Sanchez tosses the first pitch." One understands that this is the first time the Marlins have come to Citi Field and that the Mets and SNY will do just about anything to give a shout-out to another "first" occurence at the new ballpark, but "Sanchez's first pitch"? Isn't that pushing the "first" envelope a bit?

Ah, it pays to be a Jet fan. Or not.

Silly me. Of course. Why would I think that on the Mets homepage the word "Sanchez" would be referring to the opposing team's starting pitcher and not the 5th overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft? Tisk Tisk, Eli.

Say it as you wish, the Mets put the game away and early they did. It was pleasant to see a nice pitching performance, a fine display of hitting (you go, Gary), and all around good baseball.

Don't look now but with just 2 more wins, even the most pessimistic of Met fans will believe that September is going to bring good tidings.

And that's because it will.

Around The Majors - 4th Edition


Well, it's that time of the week again where we pull our heads out of the ground in Flushing and take a looksie around the U.S. to see what else has been going on in this game we like to call "baseball".

Boston Red (Hot) Sox: So who cares that they no longer have Manny? Jason Bay doesn't. After hitting a game tying two run bomb off Mariano Rivera in the 9th inning in what turned out to be a Red Sox victory over the Yankees on Friday night, Jason Bay did it again. On Monday night, in Cleveland, Bay broke a scoreless tie with a three-run home run off Kerry Wood as the Red Sox beat the Indians, 3-1, for their 11th straight victory.

Florida Marlins: Their All-Star shortstop Hanley Ramirez is listed as day-to-day with a sore right hand after being struck by a pitch Monday in the first inning (in a game they lost to the, cough, METS).

Philadelphia Phillies: After getting off to a semi-slow start to the 2009 season, the Phillies have picked up pace and are doing so in grand slam style. Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez each hit a grand slam Monday, the fourth pair to do it in one game in Phillies history and first since '03, leading the way to a 13-11 victory over the Nationals. The Phils trail the Marlins by just a half a game for first place in the NL East.

Chicago White Sox: After coming over from the Reds in a deal at the non-waiver trade deadline, Ken Griffey Jr. suited up for just 41 games as part of the White Sox during the team's 2008 drive to the postseason. He returns to Chicago for a 3 game series; a series that includes a Tuesday Double Header (since Monday's game got postponed due to rain). Look for nothing but R-E-S-P-E-C-T from Sox fans. 'Cuz that's exactly what he deserves. Keep an eye out for John Danks, the team's young and very talented starter, who will be getting the night cap start.

Not much else going on... isn't that right, Yankee fans?

Bad Baseball 103 - The Series Sweep

Friday, April 24, 2009

Welcome to another edition of Bad Baseball. In this 3rd segment the Mets show us yet another way to lose miserably in a baseball game and how to properly get swept in all 3 of them.

Student Blog Reader:
Um, if a team is losing and it is (mostly) due to a lack of runs, then what would be the outcome if they started to ignite their bats and, henceforth, bring in a lot more than 1 or 2 runs a game?

Wise Blog Teacher: Ah, my son. You ask wisely. One team may go forth and score an abundance of runs but if its opposition lives by the famous adage of "everything you can do, I can do better," then the first team is destined for failure.

Meet the Mets; a team that has lost 4 in a row, plays with a lack of urgency and has less W's than Borat's motto of "Wa-wwa-wwi-wwa."

Too bad. The Mets are not "very nice" and are not having "great success".

The only thing worse than the Mets these days are the home run calls coming out of St. Louis. Ryan Church, in yesterday's game, clobbered a 2 run homer deep into the stands and this is how a Cardinal's fan heard it while driving down the I-76.

But wait, even though the Mets have come to a 6-9 record going into their next series with Washington, think positively! Things can't get any worse than they already are... or can they?

This Upcoming Monday's Headlines: METS GET SWATTED BY NATS. LOSE ALL 3.

If the case... break glass and... just knock me out.

A Ring In Citi Field?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

As seen on Baseball Digest:

A World Series ring didn’t make its way to Shea Stadium in the last 22 years of its existence. As the Mets break in their new digs at Citi Field, a different kind of ring has already popped up at the new ballpark.

When the Mets announced they would be putting in a “FanWalk” in front of Citi Field, Philip Nash of East Rockaway, NY, hatched his plan. A life-long Mets fan, he knew exactly how he was going to ask his girlfriend to marry him.

He would ask her, Karen Olender of Niskayuna, NY, to marry him via a FanWalk brick in front of the Mets new stadium.

“I thought it would be really cool to come back and see the brick 40 years from now with a family – assuming she said yes,” Nash said.

Before a recent Mets game at Citi Field, Nash planned for Oleander to meet him outside of the new field. Problems arose from the outset.

“Her original plan was to get to the game once she finished with work and meet me in the seats. This plan would not work for obvious reason.” Nash said. “I needed her to leave work early so she can get to the game with me and walk around outside the stadium.

“Luckily, I know her boss and spoke with him about what I had planned. He helped encourage Karen to leave work very early and promised she would be there with plenty of time.”

Years of planning went into “popping the question.”

“When purchasing a brick the Mets sent me a replica brick that I’ve been hiding in our apartment for almost two years,” Nash said.

Thankfully, he had a solution.

“I was fortunate to realize that Karen is turned off by all things related to video games,” Nash said. “I was interested in purchasing an Xbox, and her opposition to such a purchase reinforced that this would be a great cover for hiding the brick. I bought the Xbox and placed the brick inside the box the Xbox came in.”

Making her “find” the brick was another obstacle in the way of Nash and Oleander’s engagement. Nash had attended one of the exhibition games at Citi Field and knew where the brick was laid out. He led her to the spot and let her look.

“Karen looked at the brick and said something like ‘OK. Did you find this when you were here for the games a few weeks ago? These people have the same names as us.’” Nash said.

“Then I told her that it’s her brick and I bought it for her. She realized what was going on and said ‘What!?! Really?!?’ a few times,” Nash said. “I had to ask her what she says. She said ‘Yes!’”

Getting engaged at Citi Field was a two-fold accomplishment for Nash.

“Karen enjoys going to the games but otherwise doesn’t really follow what is going on.” Nash said. “I think she will now be forever interested in the Mets – which was a tiny part of my plan from the beginning.”

“Now I always have my Citi Field meeting point before games,” Nash said

Bad Baseball 102

Well, it seems as if the Mets gather in the clubhouse after each game, pull their chairs close and sit in front of the computer...to read my blog.

They took a page out of yesterday's blog post by further showing us how to poorly play the unexciting game of baseball (these days, at least) and that they are staying away from a "win" as if it was the hottest new plague in town.

Welcome to Bad Baseball 102.

The Cons

  • John Maine earned himself a seat in the "Main John" in the clubhouse after a poor performance in which his location was, unsuprisingly, off. On second thought, if he was aiming for the Cardinal' bats then he was dead on.

  • Do we really have to see Rick Ankiel's mustache each time he comes to the plate or touches the ball in the outfield? Looks like Jose Valentin's evil brother.

  • All anybody was reminded of when watching or listening to the game tonight was the fact that Carlos Beltran didn't slide or that Daniel Murphy fell down in the Mets' previous game! Um, wasn't it a fresh start in a new game? Give it a rest, fellas. No need for it to play OVER AND OVER again in our heads.

The Pros

  • The 2 Mets players, Beltran and Murphy, whom if you did not know by know (hehe) cost us the game last night, were a tad prouder tonight with an RBI each. Nice to see them semi-redeem themselves. Or not.

  • The bullpen did keep the Cardinals quiet for 3 1/3 innings. That aint too shabby.

  • And finally, how sad is this? We're actually optimistic that Livan Hernandez will be on the mound tonight. And for our team! Gulp.

Not His O'Day!

As seen on Mets Today:

He’d been gone only hours, but Darren O’Day already appeared in a game for the Texas Rangers, facing Kevin Millar in the 11th inning last night against the Blue Jays.

O’Day was so new they didn’t have a uniform for him, so he wore Kason Gabbard’s jersey. Yes, O’Day went into the game with the name “Gabbard” stitched across his back.

“I got off the plane in the eighth inning and had to go through customs and all that jazz,” O’Day said. “The traveling secretary was texting me back and forth. We originally planned to go to the hotel and he said ‘Go to the field, we might need you.’ I got here, got on a uniform and went out there.”

O’Day shook hands and introduced himself to his new teammates in the bullpen, immediately prior to warming up.

Unfortunately for Darren, Millar ripped a game-winning single off of him to deliver a victory for the Jays.

“Gabbard I thought was a left-handed pitcher and he came in throwing sinkerballs, side-armed right-handed, so I was a little confused at first,” Millar joked.

When your life is sinking quicker than your pitch, it's time to go elsewhere.

Bad Baseball 101

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

How often do you see a pitcher throw just one pitch in a game, get two outs and become the winning pitcher? Not very often. Congratulations, Jason Motte.

How often do you see a batter lead off the inning with a hit, only to be pulled for a pinch hitter later that very inning before returning to the plate? Not very often. You pulled it off, Todd Wellemeyer.

How often does a pitcher in his first ever appearance with his new team come in with the bases loaded and throw 4 consecutive balls to bring home the tying run? Not very often. You're not welcome here, Casey Fossum.

How often does an employee, who makes $18.5 million that year, choose not to get his working clothes dirty and believes he can score without actually sliding? Not very often. You're something else, Carlos Beltran.

How often does it seem that your team is headed for an easy night only to lose in never-before-seen fashion and break your heart in the passing? WAY TOO OFTEN. Thanks for nothing, New York Mets.

The team looks like they're in mid September form, with Daniel Murphy slipping, sliding, erroring, and along with Beltran and Oliver Perez, costing us the game.

Every time I look over at the dugout I expect to see Willie Randolph with his hands in his pocket. If the Mets can't start to get something going (for the full 9 inning game) then it's time for someone to light a fire under their, and excuse my french, tuchas.

Beltran should, undoubtedly, be benched.

Perez should see jail time for the robbery he pulled on the Wilpons this off season (36 MILLION!?).

Murphy should take a trip to Modell's and perhaps buy himself another glove. It wouldn't hurt to have two of 'em on out there because from the looks of it - he sure can use the help.

And as for the fans, take notice, seats with an obstructed view can be a...



Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Talk about ironic.

Recently you probably heard (barring that you live in a mountain side cave) that a Captain Richard Phillips surrendered himself to pirates to secure the safety of his ship's crew. Thankfully, he was later rescued from the Somalia barbarians and brought home to Underhill, Virginia where his loving family was waiting for him with open arms.

Where's the irony in that?

Patience, my devoted reader, patience.

After Mets Underground went, uh, underground, to have a FIRST EVER INTERVIEW with the Captain ('s second cousin once removed) we uncovered something that was never released in the press, nor heard on sports radio.

Ironically so, we were told that Captain Phillips is, in fact, wait for it... a Pittsburgh Pirates fan.

No wonder he gave himself so willingly to the sea pirates.

If we had to go into his head just moments before he risked his life by boarding their mini banana boat - we'd probably hear him convince himself that they're more exciting than his 25 man group out in Pittsburgh. No need to convince us, Captain.

All in all, it's a great story. I just don't think that it was super appropriate that Phillip's showed his love for his Major League team while giving his welcome-home speech.

Excitingly, he waved the "P" in the air, presumably for "Phillips" but oops, that's the official Pittsburgh Pirates hat you're waving, Richie.

Oh, and while you were gone, the Pirates got their booty kicked.

The Handwriting On The Wall

How can you tell that the Mets have an off day today?

Yes, besides looking at the schedule, genuis.

When this is the biggest story on MetsBlog, you know it's a slow day:

George Willis, of the New York Post, explained how Doc Gooden signed his name on a wall in Citi Field’s Ebbetts Club last week, after which he took pictures with fans leaning up against the autograph.

However, according to Willis, “The Mets, who have been criticized for not showcasing enough of their history in their new ballpark, plan to erase Gooden’s signature from the wall, treating it as if it were unwanted graffiti.”

In the meantime, Peter Botte of the Daily News talked with Gooden, who doesn’t understand why the team is so adamant about removing the signature, saying, “I definitely didn’t think it was going to turn out to be this big deal. I didn’t do anything intentionally for the Mets to get upset. I was just doing it for the fans. I don’t see what the big fuss is.”

In a response on Mets Today, John Fitzgerald writes:

“It should be allowed to become part of the stadium and part of the team’s history. The minutiae and folklore of this team - like skydivers, black cats and Bill Buckner - are created and shared by players and fans. Ownership can build the ballpark, assemble a roster and sell the tickets, but they can’t control the memories. Unfortunately, that is exactly what they are trying to do.”


A team spokesman has said that the Mets plan to move Doc Gooden’s autograph from the wall in the Ebbetts Club, ‘where only a select group of fans can see it,’ to a more prominent location, ‘where all fans can see it.’

In addition, it will be part of a ‘Mets Wall-of-Fame,’ so to speak, in which other notable players from the team’s past will be asked to sign the wall, and dedicate messages to fans, on days when they first visit Citi Field.

Lastly, the team is aware of fan response, and intends to make various announcements over then next few weeks with regards to adding Mets-centric items to the new ballpark.

Just what the doc ordered.

Around The Majors - 3rd Edition

Monday, April 20, 2009

Well, a 162 game season is now down to a mere 150. Does that mean that the Florida Marlins have another 75 games to go before they realize that they just don't have what it takes to stay atop the NL East for a full season? I'm sure they're (weak) bullpen will remind them of that quite soon.

With that said, let's take a look at, er, AROUND THE MAJORS!

Florida Marlins: Beginning their season with the best record in franchise history, the 11-1 Marlins are hitting, pitching and well, winning. Quite auspicious for them that they don't face the mean lean Livan Hernandez too often. After all, he's the only one that has defeated them so far.

Tri-Cycle: 10 games into the 2009 season we had not one, not two, but three cycles to marvel at. Ian Kinsler, on Jackie Robinson day nonetheless, went 6-for-6 and became the fourth Texas Rangers player in club history and fifth in franchise history to hit for the cycle. Jason Kubel of the Twins completed his cycle by hitting a grand slam in the bottom of the eighth inning. Not too shabby. And the first one to accomplish the feat this season was the "almost-Met," Orlando Hudson. Miracle by the Hudson? Yes, indeed.

Cincinatti Reds: Cinci's above-average 6-5 start (and trailing the division leading Cubs by 1 game) can be accredited to their solid pitching, young hitters, and fine work by their scouting department. But not to their Mayor. What do I mean? Well, why don't you take a look at Hizzoner throwing out the first pitch. Or whatever you call the thing that he did.

New York Yankees: No team has ever opened up a ballpark and within the first 4 days has seen 20 balls go for home runs. Until now. You'd think it was the old Yankee Stadium and Josh Hamilton was up. But it's not as bad as losing by almost 3 touchdowns. Oh, they did that too. Where art thou, A-Rod?

New York Mets: Ah, the team that is afraid to score runs. You load the bases and they'll show you new ways to achieve double plays. You have a runner on third and nobody out? No problem. - strikeout coming up. David should be asking Daniel for advice - not the other way around. In regards to their pitching, no complaints. To Johan's parents, we say "thank you."

Beat The Streak: This has to be the easiest and hardest way to ever win a million bucks. All you gotta do is pick one player who will get at least one hit that day. Sounds simple, right? Now do it 57 days in a row. G-d Bless You Joe Dimmagio (and your 56 game hitting streak).

And... the Big Unit (Randy Johnson) pitched 6 hitless innings against the D-Backs before giving up a leadoff double in the 7th... Gary Sheffield hits his 500th homer against the Brewers, the first team he was ever on... the Red Sox and Orioles commence the finale of their four-game series in the late morning with an 11:05 AM scheduled first pitch on Monday... Umpire Ed Hickox likely will be out for a week after sustaining a concussion during Saturday's Yankee game when a foul ball hit off his helmet...

150 games left to real October baseball...

Bags (and a Ball) Under His Eyes

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Did you hear that Mr. Met is having trouble sleeping in his new digs?

According to The Onion, a news source which features satirical articles reporting on international, national, and local news as well as an entertainment newspaper and website, after dozing off between innings in front of more than 41,000 cheering fans Monday night, an exhausted Mr. Met informed team officials that he has not slept since the Mets moved from Shea Stadium to Citi Field.

According to Mets GM Omar Minaya, Mr. Met entered his office and used a series of pantomimes to indicate that his sleep disorder is caused by brighter stadium lights, uncomfortable temperatures, and Darryl Strawberry's snoring. Minaya, who spent two hours meeting with the 47-year-old mascot, said Mr. Met conveyed the degree of his fatigue by holding his hands several feet apart.

"Obviously, Mr. Met is integral to this organization, and we are quite concerned with his well-being" said Minaya, adding that the Mets are committed to making the longest-serving member of their team comfortable. "After assuring him that the late-night noises he heard were most likely concrete settling, I promised we would get animal control to remove Darryl."

"It often takes a little time to adjust to living in a new place," Minaya added. "Personally, I don't think the inside of the new home run apple smells that weird."

Despite the raucous throng of fans eager to celebrate the opening of the new ballpark as the Mets took on San Diego, the listless Mr. Met shuffled onto the field during pregame warm-ups and lethargically attempted to pump up the crowd with a few halfhearted waves and hand-claps. Not even third baseman David Wright's game-tying three-run homer in the fifth inning inspired the weary mascot, who was seen sitting atop the dugout clutching his oversized baseball head and massaging the seams at his temples in gentle circles.

Explaining that Mr. Met's usual fun-loving antics have taken a dark turn lately, Jose Reyes recalled how the mascot pushed an eight-year-old fan to the ground last week and flipped off Luis Castillo after he struck out on Opening Day. In addition, Reyes said he has seen Mr. Met take out his T-shirt gun, place it in his mouth, and repeatedly squeeze the trigger.

"When I asked if he was feeling okay, he didn't say a word. He just shook his giant head," Reyes said. "Poor guy. He used to be so upbeat. These days his smile just looks painted on."

"I'd say he drinks too much coffee, but he flings most of it at people," Reyes added. "Maybe his hat is too small or something."

According to manager Jerry Manuel, Mr. Met has privately admitted difficulty in maintaining regular bedtimes due to the swelling crowds, which tend to stick around after games, making it hard for him to unwind while watching the JumboTron. Manuel also divulged that the mascot tosses and turns all night long, finding sleep elusive without Shea Stadium's familiar stench of popcorn, garbage, and urine.

"Mr. Met has tried sleeping on pretty much every seat, the dugout benches, all three bases, and even the escalator in the Jackie Robinson Rotunda," Manuel said. "Last week he managed to get a few hours of shut-eye while curled up under the tarp, but even there he slept so restlessly that when the groundskeepers arrived the next morning they found he'd kicked it into a corner of the field."

While Mr. Met has admitted that he is not yet accustomed to Citi Field, team members have said they are already feeling very much at home in the new ballpark after losing their first game to the Padres.

Happy "Flushing" !

Friday, April 17, 2009

We are not going to complain. No, we will not.

It's only been a week (plus) into the season and after three series' complete I'm sure we can scream and kick about much that happened and didn't happen. But what for? Is this a Jets' blog?

If people want negative analysis and down-right dirty complaints then you might as well just click your way off this blog - I won't do it.

Am I going to blow a gasket that they fail to score runs in the late innings of games?

Am I gonna write to Omar that they're starting pitching is as shaky as a 500-pound concrete and steel beam suspended beneath the upper deck of the old Yankee Stadium?

Will I hit my head on a wall (again) just because the Mets have opened up their season without showing any urgency that they actually WANT to win?

No, no and definitely, no.

It would be the equivalent of beating a dead horse, whom might I add, would probably be more clutch come a crucial at bat in the 9th.

And for all those new to the English language, ehem, Oliver, "beating a dead horse" is an idiom that means a particular request or line of conversation is already foreclosed or otherwise resolved, and any attempt to continue it is futile.

But for some reason, no matter how many times I tell myself that I will not get distraught - it's almost as if a little voice in my head opposes me with rebuttal.

Sheesh, it's only been 9 games (and the Marlins have won 8 times)...

Pelfrey is going to be fine (even though he pitched over 200 innings last year?)...

Livan is pitching quite well (so that makes him our 2nd to best starter? Yikes)...

Our bullpen leads the NL in ERA (so it doesn't make a difference that Aaron Heilman has the same amount of wins as Johan Santana (1), a 0.00 ERA, 4 strikeouts in 4.2 innings pitched and he's given up only 3 hits?)...

That Jackie Robinson Rotunda is sweeeet (yeah, but what's it got to do with the Mets? And besides, where is the orange and blue colors in the stadium? The only thing blue are those fans in the green seats - which honors the Polo Grounds for heaven sakes)...

Not so easy living with a voice in your head, now is it?

But ignore the voice for there are better times ahead. The Brewers are coming into town today and with them is a reminder of even worse times for us Mets' fans. Someone that wreaks of the Old Shea, losing ways and the worst of 'em all - the Yankees.

Their bench coach.

Welcome back, Willie. You're in for a beating.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

J.J. Putz joined Mike Francesa, of WFAN, live at Citi Field before the Mets home opener and just like last night's game - the best part of it all was...the end. But for a different reason.

As they are wrapping things up and Mike thanks J.J for coming on with him, J.J shows that sarcastic side of him which we can all come to love.

Mike: Enjoy your time here and we're looking forward to tonight.

JJ: Always a pleasure to get a chance to talk to a pope. I'll tell you that.

As stated on TheRopolitans, Bob Raissman of the Daily News has called Francesa “The Pope” for years because he thinks he is high, mighty, and all knowing. It seems like someone must have tipped Putz off about the nickname.

But wait...the best part comes next. Francesa's reaction to the comment is down right hilarious. I would write it out here but I guess it's best to hear it first. It can be heard here, just stroll to April 13th, and look for J.J. Putz's name.

Apparently, the J.J. is for Jokin Jokester.

Riddle Me This

Joe Janish, of Mets Today, writes,

It was not the most auspicious start for a new ballpark — at least, not for the home team — but the list of “firsts” has already begun. Print this out and keep it handy for future trivia buff gatherings.

First Pitch: Mike Pelfrey

First Homerun: Jody Gerut (also first hit, first run, and first RBI)

First Mets Homerun: David Wright

First Mets Hit: David Wright (double)

First Mets Run: Brian Schneider

First Mets RBI: Luis Castillo

First Double: David Wright

First Triple: ** still waiting **

First Strikeout: Nick Hundley, by Mike Pelfrey

First Walk: Chase Headley, by Mike Pelfrey

First Pinch-Hitter: Gary Sheffield

First Pinch-Hit: Jeremy Reed

First Balk: Pedro Feliciano

First Wild Pitch: J.J. Putz

First Error: Ryan Church

First Win: Edward Mujica, Padres

First Save: Heath Bell

First Hold: (tie) Edwin Moreno, Duaner Sanchez

First Loss: Brian Stokes, Mets

First Drunken Guest in the Broadcast Booth: Tom Seaver

First Player Booed: Heath Bell

First Player to Receive Standing Ovation: Danny Murphy (for catching a routine fly ball)

First Fall for No Apparent Reason: Mike Pelfrey

First Bleeding Heart Liberal Narcissistic Celebrity Interview by Kevin Burkhardt: Tim Robbins

First Bad Shea Stadium Memory Retold by a Bleeding Heart Liberal Narcissistic Celebrity: Tim Robbins

First animal to set foot on the field: Feline

First Fans to Sit in Bernie Madoff’s Seats: "Kurt" and son "Mike"

How about first person to stop saying "first ever...at Citi Field? Me.

Welcome (Back) To (Not Such) New Times

And you thought they knocked it down...

The luck, feel and outcome of the first ever game in Citi Field ended up with the same result as the last one in Shea. A new ball park, a new era and a new cat? Barring David Wright's game tying 3 run homer, the light colored cat running behind the backstop in middle of the game was the most exciting part of it all. If you're a Mets fan.

If you're a Padres fan then it probably made you giddy to watch...

-Jody Gerut hit the third pitch "ever in Citi Field" (these words are uttered way too much) for a line drive home run. This also happens to be, according to Elias Sports Bureau, the first time a ballpark opened (since the 1900's) with its first batter going yard.

-Two former Met pitchers, Duaner Suanchez and Heathe Belle, shut the door on the "first ever game" (there it is again) in the new ball park.

-Watch your team win 5 in a row...Jody Gerut throwing out Reyes who was going for second...Jody Gerut making a fine catch in Center to deny the Mets of more runs...

It was almost like Jody Gerut grew up in Flushing and knew all the ins and outs of the new park. It has to be! (At this point you think he actually grew up in Queens but nah, he was raised in Elmhurst, Illinois. Go figure).

But it wasn't as fun for the Met fan. Especially the one who paid 300 bucks to go and see it.

Getting off on a slight rant - wasn't it outrageous how people were asking for incredible amounts of money for just one ticket? On StubHub, a service which acts as an online marketplace for buyers and sellers, people were selling single tickets for over $325! Uh, recession anyone? And look at all those empty seats behind home plate. Where were all those people? Thankfully nobody was sitting there when Heathe Belle threw a high inside fastball which hit the backstop and, I believe, came through and hit the empty seat behind the netting. Mayor Bloomberg took the ball home as a souvenir.

But getting back to things that matter when all is said and done, let's just throw out a few things that happened, or didn't happen, in tonight's game (which was the first ever at Citi Field - okay, I just beat that line to death).

What To Complain About

  • The announcer, Gary Cohen, said, "Citi Field will now take a special place in our heart." Um, no it will not. No stadium that's named after a bank or anything else for that matter will have a spot in my life-beater. Mets Field? Yes. Citi Field? Uh-uh.

  • In baseball, a pitcher may commit a number of illegal motions or actions which constitute a balk. The balk is called "no pitch" and each runner is awarded one base. I don't mind being penalized for a balk but isn't it a bit much when a man on third is awarded home plate for it? Besides the fact that alot of us don't actually get the Balk Rule, as this survey suggests, but we do know that it truly stinks when your team loses because of it.

  • Mike Pelfrey is looking more like the second coming of Pedro Martinez when he gives up more first inning runs than anyone else on the staff. Pull it together, Pelf.

  • Uh, we lost. Again.

What To Smile About

  • Despite giving up an unearned run in the sixth the Mets bullpen allowed one hit and three walks over their four innings pitched.

  • David Wright proved to be clutch-like when he hit a 3 run bomb to tie the game up. He happens to be more clutch than people think and he let us get a first look at that shiny new apple with his shot to left. The House That Wright Built.

  • It's over.

Around The Majors - 2nd Edition

Well, since not much has been happening with the Mets, I thought it would be a good time to look at what's been going on Around the Majors.

- The Washington Nationals are making a run at being the second franchise in the 4 major sports to lose 10,000 games (the first being the Phillies, heh). Starting the season 0-7, the Nationals did manage did get a game to go into extra innings. Too bad it aint hockey; no points for that feat. Oh, and they sent Lastings Milledge to Triple-A.

- The Yankees had to watch the Tampa Bay Rays hoist their American League Banner to the rafters in The Tropicana Dome as the Rays played their home opener against New York. Even worse for the Yanks, their best pitcher was Nick Swisher who pitched a scoreless eighth for the bombers. Think George is having heartburn? I do.

- The L.A. Dodgers also hosted their first game in 2009 as the home crowd got to watch their new second baseman (who the Mets FAILED to sign) record the first cycle by a Dodger in nearly 30 years. It was a smashing home debut for Orlando Hudson, who legged out an infield single in the first inning, hit a solo homer to left in the third, stroked an RBI double in the fourth and raced for a lead-off triple in the sixth. He finished the day 4-for-5 with three runs scored.

- Harry Kalas, the treasured voice of Philadelphia summers and unforgettable falls, died Monday in Washington. "We lost our voice," Phillies president David Montgomery said. He was 73 years old. As I tweeted, he did get to see his team win it all right before he went. Too bad he rooted for the Phils though. Rest in peace, Mr. Kalas.

- The Chicago White Sox celebrated. Twice. Jermaine Dye homered in Thursday's game climbing to career home run No. 300, and six pitches later, on a full-count, Paul Konerko cleared the left-field fence for his 300th home run. They became the first pair of teammates to hit a century home run milestone, considered 300 or above, in the same game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

10 Things You Didn't Know This Time Last Week

Monday, April 13, 2009

A follower of mine, A. Marshall, writes, 10 things you didn't know about baseball this time last week:

1. The Florida Marlins will have their best ever start to a season, going 4-0 before running into the Mets' 5th starter.
2. Toronto will be the best team in the Majors after Opening week, with Baltimore second in the AL East. The Blue Jays and Os are a combined 9-2; the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays are 7-8.
3. All three Mets outfielders would have three hits in a game each for the first time since 1987.
4. Nyjer Morgan would be the hottest hitter in all of fantasy baseball, going 9/23 with a triple, 5 RBI, three steals and a walk.
5. Jordan Schafer would be the 99th player of all time - and fourth in the Braves franchise - to hit a home run in his first Major League at bat.
6. The Arizona Diamondbacks will host the 2011 All Star Game.
7. Mets great Tom Seaver will throw out the first pitch to Mike Pizza at Shea Stadium, er, Citi Field on Monday.
8. Brewers' catcher Mike Rivera would actually get to start a game.
9. The Mets would not blow a save during the opening week.
10. A fantastic future and bright career would be cut tragically short with the death of Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart.

And one thing we did know this time last week: That the Nationals would be 0-5 and on track to lose 162 games.

Not Even Met-iocre

The Mets really dropped the ball in Miami today, or should I say Daniel Murphy did? Johan Santana pitched the best ball of the season and probably the best you'll see in 2009. And for naught; a loss.

The team fell to a sad looking 3-3 and sit 2 games back behind the first place Braves and Marlins. As always, there are pros and cons. More of the latter but both there are. Let's take a closer look at the two sides, as the Mets return home from their first (met-iocre) road trip of the season.

The Cons

RISP: As touched upon earlier, this con seems to still be con-ning the Mets, as if it was a Madoff to a Wilpon. The Mets are hitting .214 this season with runners in scoring position ranking them 21st best in baseball. For all you math haters, that is not very productive. Ask any math teacher and they'll all answer in unison "leaving 26 men on base in the last two games will not solve any problem".

Two Left Feet: Daniel Murphy cost Johan and the Mets a W today when he dropped a routine pop-up with two outs, and two men on, who, when the ball dinked off his glove and rolled through the grass, came around to score. One run on that play and the other run on an ensuing hit by the very next batter.

Murphy, following the game, said:

“Inexcusable… Johan threw the ball really well and deserved a lot better than that. I’m better than that. It won’t happen like that again. I was lazy to the ball and I got exposed for it. I didn’t get back. I got exposed, and it cost us.”

We'll let it go this time, Daniel. Oh and remember, Sheffield makes that catch any day.

Can The Catcher Also Bat
?: Brian Schneider (3-15) and Ramon Castro (0-7) have gone for a combined 3-22 (.073). It almost makes me want to scream that Mike Piazza should stay behind the plate when Tom Seaver throws him the first pitch tonight to open up Citi Field. You gotta pick it up, boys. Now.

The Record: I don't mean to be picky but a 4-2 record would sparkle a whole lot more than a sub par 3-3. It would've been nice to win the rubber game against the Marlins and come back to New York with 2 series wins under our belts. Let's sweep the Padres and we're talking business.

The Pros

Johan Santana: With a new record as a New York Met, Johan Santana struck out 13 batters on Sunday, throwing 5 hit ball in 7 innings. He looked absolutely superb on the mound and should definitely be sporting a 2-0 record right now. He leads the Majors in strikeouts (20) and even when he wasn't throwing his best stuff in Cinci - he managed to get by and earn the victory. Johan Santana's name has 4 A's in it and he deserves to have so many more.

Livan Hernandez: Down 20 pounds from a year earlier, he pitched 6.2 innings, allowed two earned runs, six hits, walked three and struck out four in Saturday's win against the Marlins. What more can you ask from your 5th starter? Keep on doing whatever it is you're doing, Livan.

Other Fine Points:
  • David Wright has collected a base hit in every game this year.
  • Jerry Manuel had a chat with Luis Castillo before Saturday's game and told him he needed to be more aggressive at the plate. Castillo responded with four hits.
  • The Mets designated Marlon Anderson for assignment to make room for Livan Hernandez. It was time for him to go. Thanks for everything, Marlon.
  • John Maine's start seemed encouraging after what we saw in spring season. He allowed solo home runs in each of the first two innings, one to Hanley Ramirez and another to Dan Uggla, but nothing else. Maine needed 83 pitches to get through five innings and allowed only those two hits. He walked only one and struck out five.
Although the Mets sit at a weak .500 right now, we'll choose to look forward to some solid hitting, sound fielding and a heck of a lot of fun when we welcome in Citi Field this week.

Oh, and do win, wont'chya?

Bernie Met-off

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Are you interested in some good seats for Opening Day? Want to get them cheap? Meet the Mets - Madoff Style.

On April 7, 2009, Madoff Trustee filed a motion with the Bankruptcy Court seeking approval for the sale of Bernie's New York Mets tickets through an online auction conducted on eBay. The hearing on the motion will be held on Tuesday April 14, 2009 at 10:00 a.m.

Well, since he can't make it this season - you can do it for him! Situated two rows behind home plate, you can enjoy all Citi Field home games, along with a friend, for ticket prices ranging from $295-$695 a ticket depending on the ranking of the opposing team. All the info can be found at the Madoff Liquidation Sale Website.

Let's just hope it aint another scheme...

Update - 12:45PM on Monday:

Jailed financier Bernard Madoff had two Delta Club Platinum season tickets which had a face value of up to $695 per game. For the previous three days the tickets for Monday’s game, against the San Diego Padres, have been the subject of an intense bidding war on internet auction site eBay, eventually fetching $7,000. A ferocious final half-hour of bidding saw their price almost double from $4,000.

The tickets were sold by Irving Picard, a solicitor with the firm Baker & Hostetler in New York which was appointed to liquidate Madoff’s assets.

Scotty Doesn't Know (How To Pitch)

Ahh, the best of both worlds.

Not only did the bullpen save the game for us on Opening Day, the epitome of last year's bullpen was hard at it, just like old times. For Arizona.

We saw those letters way too many times next to that man's name last year. Apparently, the BS is pun intended.

And just for good measure, it doesn't hurt to mention that Aaron Heilman came into the game on opening day with runners on the bases and pitched so amazingly that he up gave up a run. If you're keeping score at home: that's one more hit than J.J. Putz gave up this season. Heilman 1. Putz 0.

The New York Mets 2009; keeping the bull out of "bullpen".

Around The Majors

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Welcome to the first edition of "Around The Majors." We hope you enjoy your stay here with us. Well, since this is our first time, let us get acquainted with the terms that will be thrown around here on a semi daily basis. Get your pencils (and crack 'em, because you're gonna remember it all in your head).

- Web Gems: A spectacular individual or collective defensive effort in a game of baseball that can result in a single out, double or triple play. A term popularized on ESPN's Baseball Tonight which has a Top 5 Web Gems segment.

- Familiar Face but Different Place: When the identity belonging to a person seems strikingly familiar but the jersey worn by that very same person seems to be out of place.

A case in point? The Cubs got off on the right foot but a man by the name of Aaron Heilman gave up a run to an inherited runner. Sound too familiar? Click here to see it. Enjoy him Chicago.

- Subway Series: A series of Major League Baseball games played between teams based in New York City. The term's historic usage has been in reference to actual games but in the 21st century it has become so much more.

Take a look at the most recent Battle of the Subways:

- Old Place; Old Face: With one swing of his bat in the fifth inning Monday night, Mariners right fielder Ken Griffey Jr. hit his 612th career home run and made Mariner fans remember exactly what they had been missing. Good thing for Mets' fans - had he still been on the Reds their game would've been tied 2-2 off Griffey's solo shot.

- Zschmito: According to Urban Dictionary, this is anytime a person, or a baseball franchise receives nothing in return for investing a whole lot of money. Zschmito is a morph of Jason Schmidt and Barry Zito, two pitchers from the National League who received huge paydays and then imploded into complete useless jokes for their respective teams.

Owner: "I just paid 62 million for an ace pitcher"

Fan: "Hope he doesn't pull a zschmito"

Well, C.C. (Cold Cash) is making a case for it to be called Sabazschmito!

- ATM: An acronym for the hot new segment "Around The Majors."

First Guy: Oh, you really cash in when you use that ATM!

Second Guy: Tell me about it.

Up, Up and Away!

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Mets started their 2009 season today, away from Citi Field, in the heart of Cincinnati in what appeared to be a wet and damp ball park. The game was postponed 10 minutes but they managed to get it going and from the looks of it, the New York Mets don't plan on turning back. With a performance today by Daniel Murphy (that made Omar Minaya seem prophetic) the Mets can start looking down on the Phillies since they are already one game up in the division. You can never be too many games ahead and that we all learned the hard way.

Instead of getting hard core analytical on you, I figure we just take the pros and cons and move towards tomorrow...

The Pros

  • Johan Santana reminded us why we gave him the $137 millon contract. If you missed his handshakes before the game in the dugout then it is worth checking out, (he had a different one with every person). He looked vibrant and excited and seems to be an established leader within the organization. Yes, he did give up 4 walks but we'll blame that on the weather. His 7 strikeouts lead the majors and he already has a W because of...
  • The Bullpen: 3 new acquisitions helped bridge the gap that we so badly needed last year. Sean Green pitched 1 and 1/3 innings and got us to the 8th, where J.J. Putz lived past his last name (first and last time I ever use that pun, I promise) and pitched a scoreless inning, although he seemed to struggle when it came to finding that pitch that would put away the batter. Franky Rodriguez was "as advertised" and reminded us what a save actually is. 1-2-3 Good Night.
  • Daniel Murphy: How appropriate that he is in this section because that is exactly where he belongs. The Pros. He solidified his spot in the batting order with 2 RBI's and his 3rd career home run today and although he makes us shvitz when he runs to a ball in the outfield - he'll be quite all-right. He gets a great jump on balls in front of him and he'll get the hang of the ones that go over his head. His patience at the plate and stats in the books tells us that he'll be in the pros for years to come.
  • Jerry Manuel: People might tend to overlook or forget about a particular point in this game but it is worth mentioning. Santana was 5 & 2/3's (99 pitches) into the game and was known to have trouble with Edwin Encarnacion. At that time, Manuel did not mind pulling his ace from the game and had the presence of mind to actually do so. You get a shout out, Gangsta.

The Cons

  • RISP: When it came to runners in scoring position, the Mets were an abysmall 1/12. We will not have Santana on the mound every day so 2 runs will not always cut it. We need to produce, especially if given the opportunity.
  • K-Rod's Victory Dance: Yo, buddy, chill. No need to fake the stroke every time you close the door. On second thought, if you ARE effectively closing the game out, you can do anything and everything you please. Except, of course, take a late night taxi ride.

Get ready, Big Pelf, you're up next.

Here is SNY.tv’s Post Game Extra, featuring clips and quotes, as well as analysis from Ron, Keith and Gary, from today’s win over the Reds:

Johan's Handshake Parade:

Meet The Met

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Not every team has a 26 man roster. In fact, most of them have the standard 25. A few, such as the Phillies, Brewers and Mets have a man on the squad that although they each don't play much - they never get sent to the minors and at times bring more joy to the fans than some every day players.

Give up? I'm talking about the mascot.

The Yankees believe that having a semi-cartoon character running around with a large ball head or to be presented by a giant fish with a nose bigger than Dennis Rodman's (The Marlins) is childlike and not befitting for a major league team. Right but treating Joe Torre with selfishness and lack of gratitude isn't childlike? You get back to me on that.

So what is it about the T-Shirt Launching, Steroid Taking (only in his head, c'mon it's so obvious), Mascot Making and Politic Pranking (See The Last Clip in: Getting Reel) Mr. Met that gets all of our attention?

Yes, besides his 10 foot head.

What is it that makes us want to run over by every game and snap a picture with that lovable fella?

If that last sentence describes you, then kindly leave this website. Go ahead. X it. Brrr.

Well, it can't be his power of speech because, as we all know, Mr. Met is not a man of many words (as is Oliver Perez when it comes to English). It can't be because he has many friends (since he fights with the Philly Phanatic more than Kobe fought with Shaq). So what is it that draws us in? What is all the hoopla about?

Well, he does have some solid pranks...

It's certainly not the speed of his fastball (when using the ball that makes up his head):

Could it be because of his skills away from the field?

Well, he is a great listener.

He is quite good-looking...

The guy can hit the longball...

Sorry to interrupt. Apparently, a Mr. George Steinbrenner reads this blog and has decided to have a mascot of his own. Take a look.

It actually looks like George after a losing season.

This next one might be a tad old but you can see that Mr. Met has a sense of humor (and twist of weirdness with the "pretty" thing)... Check it out for yourself...

What is the deal with the smelling pretty? I'll believe it was for Mrs. Met.

Okay, so you have been acquainted with our baseball-headed humanoid being who wears a Mets cap and uniform by every home game. He has not had an official at bat, nor has he played an out in the field, but he is said to sleep upside down and throws T-shirts, cracker jacks and great parties.

On April 14, 2002, the Mets held a birthday party for Mr. Met at Shea Stadium. It was attended by costumed mascots from all around Major League Baseball and by Sandy the Seagull, mascot of the Brooklyn Cyclones. Lady Met was conspicuously absent.

So you see, even though he's got a big head and he's not much of a talker, we still go out to the ballpark, buy a hot dog or two and cheer that guy on...

Either that or it could be that Championship Caliber Team that plays right behind him.

Down in front, Mr. Met!