Wednesday, April 30, 2008
The short sentence above says it all for today's game.
I happened to take it in live, and it was the first time ever in my life where I wished I was back at my desk than being at a ballpark.
Sloppy. Unreal. Bonehead mistakes on some bona fide routine plays. What was Castillo thinking when he made the error at second base? Who taught Angel Pagan how to bobble balls in left? (He's very good at that). Where was Jose Reyes in that faux rundown? David Wright had a few bad plays, and dare I say the hurling of Ollie Perez made me want to, uh, hurl. (Footnote: for those who know me, I never like to use the same word in a sentence twice, but "hurl" is appropriate and must be re-iterated).
I just had the chance to see the recap of the game on SNY and Adam Rubin's column in the New York Daily News http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/mets/2008/04/wagner-calls-out-perez-after-b.html cites that he said the word "desire" and he is right. There was no desire -- in anyone on the field today. Going through the motions is not what you call "playing baseball" in my view.
My tickets cost only $5 and we were able to migrate to the orange seats after awhile, but you know what, I still feel as a fan, I was ripped off.
A friend of mine, also a die hard Mets fan called me up and tried to console the loss by justifying that only 4 of the runs were "earned" so it was really a 4-1 game. A colleague who I went with asked, "are you a stay till the end fan?" and I replied "sure, I believe a 13 run 9th inning 2-out rally is not out of the question.
Let me conclude by coming back to the opening quote of this blog...It's like going to a Broadway play waiting to see a cast full of stars, and all that show up on the stage are just a bunch of unheralded understudies.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
For posterity, here's the box score: http://sports-ak.espn.go.com/mlb/boxscore?gameId=280429121
Monday, April 28, 2008
Remember, the great Ted Williams homered in his last at bat, crossed the plate and didn't acknowledge the fans (and, ostensibly, he basically DOUBLED Delgado's present average in 1941)... Here's a video of a classic at-bat. For Carlos, you need to up your production a bit.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
David Lennon cites logical reasons why it may happen. And, I think it could be a good addition. Piazza won't return to the first sack, so we need to see where our bread (two pieces) will be buttered.
Now, I read the article this morning, and what happens? Delgado must have read it too fearing for his job as he clubbed 2 HRs today against the Braves. See Box Score: http://sports-ak.espn.go.com/mlb/boxscore?gameId=280427 But Delgado is aging and sadly, this is a detriment to the current team. Several other Mets greats aged out and it is time to closely watch Delgado and see where the team is headed. A sub-200 average can't cut it at the end of April.
Who would I like to see there? Well, Obviously, Albert Pujols, but let's be a little more realistic and not Disneyfantasyland...Adrian Gonzalez, Mike Jacobs (would be a return of the native) and Kevin Youklis could be some good, middle market grabs. Let's see what happens...
Saturday, April 26, 2008
I believe this was a turning point for the Mets.
NOTE: Wagner has not allowed a hit in 9 innings.
Friday, April 25, 2008
- Delgado is mired in a 4 for 45 slump.
- Middle relief is suffering
- Leads aren't being held. Case in point, Mets leading 3-1 on the Braves, then lose and don't have any hits since the 3rd inning.
The announcers on SNY.TV during the game were talking about getting fixed in a Mantra -- and I agree. Last year it was along the lines of "We may be losing all these ballgames, but we are in first place." Now it seems to be "It's Early." "It's April." Not good to have these because whatever time interval that you wish to add will be false justification.
The Braves have been stifled since 05 and have not seen the post season, largely thanks to the Mets. Let's keep that streak going. Play some focused baseball. Watch the seams on the ball as it comes to you. Drill down, wait for your pitch, fellow Mets.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Losing against a rough, tough opponent with 100% effort, there is no shame. But, if you crumble like an accordion against, what was, nearly 3-4 years ago, a team without TWO countries (Expos-Canada / Nationals-DC), then something is wrong.
Remember the painful memories of the collapse last year? Well, it is rooted in games like these. A few bad games against bad teams not only stir the standings, but the mental aspect of the game and team dynamic.
So, what has to happen? Middle relief needs to get it together. Heilmann is giving runs away like the supermarkets used to give green stamps. I saw a stat the in the last few games, in approx 20 relief innings, there were 19 hits, 4HRs including a granny and the list goes on.
It makes me wonder why a guy like Heath Bell, who was somewhat decent, though not great was let go. Now he's doing even better. I used to take middle relief for granted but now starting to realize it is just as important as the guy who hits grand slams.
So, let's move forward and press on with some solid wins. The Braves come to town this weekend and let's hope the recent four out of 5 losses were flukes.
See you at the ball park.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
As my most recent posts concentrated on pitchers that can hit, I consider it a wake-up call for the Mets hurlers. I am counting on you to give them pointers - heck, even guys like Delgado and Wright should perk their ears up too...Not only did you drill two convincing doubles, you also had a walk. Good Eye! Johan.
Box score: http://games.espn.go.com/flb/boxscorefull?leagueId=3603&teamId=1&scoringPeriodId=30&mode=otb&view=scoringperiod&version=full
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Anyway, during the winter of 2006, all the talk was on the Mets getting Barry Zito. I chided a good friend and co-worker that he wasn't worth the $ - and he liked to rib me by saying that his team, the Giants, were a better fit. And, I think they are. With Zito's 0-4 record (as I am writing this, he is ahead by a run over the Diamondbacks - http://sports-ak.espn.go.com/mlb/boxscore?gameId=280422129 ) the Mets fans would have ran him out of town a la Ed Whitson. Just imagine, Mike Pelfrey, a home-grown Met was being ridiculed late last year with his 0-and-something record.
Zito will come around, and his back class will support him, but we were smart to wait it out and land Santana.
Other notes...been a bit upset that the Mets lost 3 in a row -- especially two to the Cubs. I don't know what is wrong with Delgado, but he should be righted soon.
Well, I'll be back tomorrow, so stay tuned...I welcome any and all comments and...See you at the BallPark.
Monday, April 21, 2008
12 Career Homers too! http://www.baseball-reference.com/z/zambrca01.shtml
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Noble talks about the rare times when position players are called to pitch, usually during long inning affairs. There is a chart accompanying the article and it reveals that Matt Franco had the privilege of hurling twice. (Ironically, I used to hurl a lot when John Franco got in the game. I really would have rather seen Matt Franco or Julio Franco for that matter, pitch).
It is ironic that when running out of innings too, often pitchers are called to pinch-hit. Though I wouldn't want that to happen when the Mets are playing the Arizona Diamondbacks. They have this one kid, Micah Owings, who wields a MEAN bat...http://www.baseball-reference.com/o/owingmi01.shtml 20 Hits, 60 AB and 4 HRs.
Which leads me to this conundrum...
Ever notice in Little League and High School Ball, often extending past college, that the best hitter (AND player) on the team is usually the pitcher...Where does that line diminish? As you can plainly see the pitcher is most often the easiest out -- YET, they shouldn't be since they know what is being thrown.
Anyway, getting back to the long inning games, let's make a prediction that we will have that situation happen twice this year. Ryan Church and Endy Chavez will be handed the ball...(ANYONE have Rick Ankiel on speed-dial?)
Footnote - Even Ted Williams once pitched an inning...
Saturday, April 19, 2008
So, in one of my leagues, I am looking for a pitcher and who is on the list of free agents? Mike Hampton. Surprisingly, he is owned by 1.2% of owners in the ESPN Fantasy League Baseball (NOTE TO SELF - Invite these 1.2% to my next garage sale and jack up the prices).
Anyway, the word about Hampton:
Hampton (pectoral) threw another pain-free bullpen session prior to Saturday's game against the Dodgers, the Associated Press reports.
Spin: "Facing competition, I'm going to think about it," Hampton said. "It's not an overnight thing. I've just got to get to where I just worry about getting hitters out. Mentally, I'm just a little timid maybe. I'm still trying to feel my way through it." Hampton threw 50 pitches, including breaking balls, during Saturday's session. There's still no set timetable for his return to the Atlanta rotation, but Hampton appears to be at least another two weeks away.
RotoWire Sat, April 19
Puh-leese. And you are getting all this money? Glad you aren't a Met anymore!
In other news, Mets held their own against the Philies today. Ollie pitched a nice game, but Schoenweis, the second coming of John Franco (that's NOT a good thing) gave up a gopher ball to Chase Utley, thereby killing the shutout.
Wright is on fire and putting up some great numbers with a hot bat.
I have noticed that Omar Minaya and Willie Randolph are really letting guys like Wright, Reyes and other "home grown" players a chance to get reaalllll good. Under previous GMs, the patience level was poor and many a great player was traded away and then performed well on other teams...
Well, Sunday night, we have an ESPN game...should be nice.
See you at the Ball Park
Friday, April 18, 2008
Hamels reminds me, for some odd reason, Steve Carlton -- or any of the pitchers in the 60s/70s with that leg movement in the air.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Isn't it "odd" how Glavine skipped a spot in the rotation a earlier in the season when the Braves were slated to play the Mets...and now Paul LoDUCKer - er, LoDuca, is nowhere to be seen. I'm scratching my head but wasn't he who said the best part about going to the Nationals is they played the Mets nearly 12 times in 2008? Paulie - how many of the Duzzen ya gonna miss?
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Antonio Nararainsami, we pray for you and your family and whenever a Mets fan passes from our world, we can know they were touched by a team that meant a lot.
Baseball reached out to this fan, originally from Guyana and he became a true follower of the game.
I never knew you, but I am sure we could have talked baseball for hours.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
In Tribute of Jackie Robinson, Mets Blank Nationals -- and, WHO Was Dan Bankhead? Someone that MUST be remembered
As we all know, Jackie Robinson first broke into the Majors on TAX Day, 1947, some 61 years ago. Hard to believe that next year, had he lived, would have been 90!
Before I go further, there is one black ball player who came in the same year, just a few months later in August as a pitcher, beleive it or not, ALSO the Brooklyn Dodgers, yet as much as Jackie is rightly praised, this player is wrongly ignored.
His name was Dan Bankhead (see photo) and he made his debut on August 26 at the age of 27. He only appeared in 4 games, pitched 10 innings and came back a few years later after toiling in the farm system of the Dodgers.
Here's a little bit more about him from http://www.mlb.com/ ----> http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070824&content_id=2167234&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb
And his stats and a brief snapshot from Baseball Almanac.com http://www.baseball-almanac.com/players/player.php?p=bankhda01
So while we remember Jackie, think of many of the black ballplayers who played in obscurity in the first few years of the majors. And, especially those who were good, but never got out of the Negro Leagues.
Now, for today's game...Good to see Wright wielding a powerful RBI stick...Pelfrey had his act together and Duaner Sanchez was throwing a nice grooved changeup that baffled the batters. This game, even though against a weak team, proved to be important. And LoDuca, once hailed, now pariah, had a lame excuse with his hand.
Monday, April 14, 2008
I'm a bit tired today, but just want to jump on the soap box and yell to my Mets brethren the current attitude of booing and being cynical is wrong. Cut it. Immed-Jiately.
The Mets will come back, but if the fan support is gone by game 11, then just give up being a fan. Baseball is a game of patience.
I'll see you tomorrow.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
Thursday, April 10, 2008
I haven't done this in awhile, but the truth is I am rushed for time and don't have the creative juices for a few other topics that are swimming in the cabeza at the moment.
Without further BS, Heeeer'es Roberto Petagine.
Yes. Roberto Petgagine.
He was on the Mets. Like Casey Stengel said, "You Could Look it Up" -- You don't have to. Here are his stats: http://www.baseball-reference.com/p/petagro01.shtml
In 62 games, he batted .232 in his first year and .067 in his second. WOW. .067? The Little Sisters of the Poor's "B" squad WORST player hits in the low triple figures.
But some further reading on Roberto sheds an interesting light about his career in Japan: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roberto_Petagine
NOTE: As I was writing this, Reyes scored from second on a line drive to center by Angel Pagan. Play at the plate was VERY close...but the Mets beat the Phils in a momentum victory.
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Willie, hand the ball to Scott Schoenweiss...Know what? You have a better shot of hitting KENO with all 20 numbers -- two games in a row -- than getting a stellar performance from him.
His pitching is reminiscent of John Franco. And, in my view, that is not a good thing. It amazes me that a hustler/do-er like Gotay gets let go and Scott, who has a propensity for blowing ball games stays.
The box score is sickening: http://sports-ak.espn.go.com/mlb/boxscore?gameId=280408121 Now he is tagged with a loss after Ollie Perez did a wonderful job of scoreless ball.
Willie, last year and the year before, you went to Mota a lot for odd reasons. Please don't make Scott the go-to guy. There is no way he is a reliever (Fireman)...The closest he should get to water is at a car wash.
Monday, April 07, 2008
However, I will have the game on the radio and will watch the re-run when I get home.
In the past, I have attended 2, maybe 3 opening days. I used to go with a few guys from school. There were four of us. Skip, Gary, Larry and myself. Though it has always been combinations of 3 -- every year, one of us couldn't make it.
Take a look at Marty Noble's article about Opening Day. Hard to believe close to 3,500 games have been played at Shea. Gees, pondering a question...I wonder if there are any original season ticket holders from 1964 to date who have never missed a game?
Sunday, April 06, 2008
Since most of us are not professional baseball players, we can equate it with the office. We all know them or know someone who works with one. A talentless staffer who comes in late, leaves early, complains about everything and keeps getting raises and promotions. In sports, the media should be central about broadcasting these stories. Often times, it just sits there listless.
To segue, this is what kicked off the lead two paragraphs and the theme for this post...
I had the rare opportunity to take a day off this past Friday (though I still had to take a conference call) and during the afternoon, flipped on SNY -- they were playing a Mets game from 2000. How do I know? Well, I saw the subject of this blog pitching. The very detestable Mike Hampton.
Here's a guy who came to the Mets for one season, then had a hissy-fit and left. Each place he goes, he just becomes more brittle. Check this article: http://www.macon.com/sports/columnists/story/314997.html
The author, Jay Adams of the Macon.com really sums it up:
Hampton represents a huge question mark in an otherwise strong rotation. While he had a good spring, he hasn't pitched a regular-season game in nearly three years. That was supposed to change Thursday night.
But as Hampton was warming up for what looked like a start that would silence a lot of doubters, the improbable - or, perhaps, the obvious - happened: He caught the injury bug, again.
Hampton strained a pectoral muscle close to game time while throwing in the bullpen and was subsequently scratched from the lineup and placed on the 15-day disabled list.
The injury doesn't look too serious, but the concerns it raises are.
And, if you really want to get sick, look at his salaries (this is gleaned from the year before he played with the Mets until now:
1999 Houston Astros -$4,125,000
2000 New York Mets - $5,750,000
2001 Colorado Rockies - $10,500,000
2002 Colorado Rockies - $9,503,543
2003 Atlanta Braves - $13,625,000
2004 Atlanta Braves - $14,625,000
2005 Atlanta Braves - $15,125,000
2006 Atlanta Braves - $14,503,543
2007 Atlanta Braves - $14,500,000 (this was tied as the fourth highest salary in the NL behind Todd Helton, Jason Schmidt, Barry Bonds, Lance Berkman/Carlos Delgado)
Career (may be incomplete) - $106,575,086
I honestly do not like what Mike Hampton is doing to baseball. That money can be better spent. For starters, he should donate his salary to a charity and then give a portion to Baseball Assistance Team to help retired players who worked harder through serious injuries for salaries way under 100k.
To quote Jay Adams article... At what point does The Great Mike Hampton Experiment start to hurt the team? My reply to that: "The answer is it already has."
There is another player across town that embodies the Mike Hampton syndrome - His name is Carl Pavano. I will let some other blogger who is passionate about the Yankees blog about that fiasco.
Wearing the Mets uniform is sacred. What Hampton has done to the Mets uniform, despite his being named as NLCS MVP in 2000, is deplorable. Leave baseball now. Make the fans and some minor leaguer who deserves a roster spot happy.
Saturday, April 05, 2008
It goes beyond my walnut-sized brain for comprehension, but WHY did the Mets put him on waivers? Look, they kept Chan Ho Park for a long time and various other players in the minors, but it was plain to see this was a bad move. And, the salt in the wound - the Braves pick him up.
When he batted in today's game, I wanted him to make an "I TOLD YOU SO" statement. And, it appears he did...a liner up the middle. First hit as a Brave. It had no impact on the score, but surely, the Mets acted a bit too quickly in getting rid of him.
Friday, April 04, 2008
Please don't be self conscious with all of those millions of vindictive eyes on your mound appearance this weekend.
Sure, we remember your debacle towards the end of the year as you were giving away runs like Sisters of Charity providing for the needy.
So, what do you do? You retreat because of $ and no guts to face the world of Mets fans. Sure we admired you when you were on the mound at Shea, but the last year it just came apart at the seams.
We are hoping you give the Braves a taste of what you did for us. We may not score 8 runs in the first inning, but we will inflate your ERA so much, it will look like a zeppelin.
Thursday, April 03, 2008
Pedro - Donde Esta? or Where Have You Gone Pedro Martinez, Our Nation Turns Its Lonely Eyes to You.. BOO HOO HOO
We have witnessed this in the past that he is strong on the mound when at the top of his game, but can be as fragile as balsa wood and snap. And, the reparation period to me seems to be akin to gluing a dropped vase. The parts may all be there, but congruency is ruined. It takes a few weeks for him to regain his form. Ostensibly, what can we do, but pray he gets better quickly and that the doctors are overestimating his condition to be cautious.
Whenever I think of bad breaks in pitching, David Clyde, Todd Van Poppel, Brien Taylor and a slew of others, it just simply makes me shudder. Pedro is a fantastic pitcher, but now is not the time for him to be hurt.
I think managers must make the players more accountable for fitness and flexibility - but that is a whole 'nother topic for the next time.
This blogger, "The Power Zone" and I are in agreement: http://joeyashcraftsblog.blogspot.com/2008/04/pop-goes-pedroand-mets-season.html
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Going to give a personal gut rating *as I am writing this, the Mets are trouncing the Marlins 11-0, middle of the 7th...)
Rating is by Stars
Willie Randolph 2004-Present --- *****
Art Howe 2003-04 --- **
Bobby Valentine 1996-2002 ***
Dallas Green 1993-96 **
Jeff Torborg 1992-93 *
Mike Cubbage 1991 3-4 **
Bud Harrelson 1990-91 **
Davey Johnson 1984-90 *****
Frank Howard 1983 **
George Bamberger 1982-83 **
Joe Torre 1977-81 **
Joe Frazier 1976-77 **
Roy McMillan 1975 **
Yogi Berra 1972-75 *****
Gil Hodges 1968-71 *****
Salty Parker 1967 **
Wes Westrum 1965-67 *
Casey Stengel 1962-1965 ***** (Gotta give the Ole Perfesser 5)
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
I wish MLB managers would get wise and realize that when you warm up in Florida or Arizona for 3 months, once you hit the colder climate, your muscles take the hit.
Stretching is important. As a runner, I feel that all athletes should put in a good period of time to stretch.
OK. I'm done being Jack LaLanne for the night. I am about to do my 8-hour impression of Rip Van Winkel. (Or, Casey Stengel on the bench, circa 1962.