2010-04-30T00:00:53.689-04:00(image) All right, everybody grab a chair, a picture, the sofa, the memorabilia, everything.
2010-04-27T15:54:02.809-04:00It was five years ago today I started this blog.
2010-04-26T03:04:27.790-04:00(image) So last week, the Mets were on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball. Yesterday, the Mets were also on ESPN. And next week, the Mets play under the lights on Sunday for the third week in a row. Throw in two Monday Night Baseball appearances in that span (including another one tonight) and the country gets a steady diet of the big, bad over .500 Metropolitans from New York in April.
2010-04-25T03:48:01.881-04:00(image) When last we left Ralph Kiner, he was comparing Fernando Martinez to Ted Williams.
2010-04-24T03:46:42.757-04:00(image) Larry Jones once said that Mets fans booing him and chanting his name (his real name) motivated him to do well.
2010-04-23T03:01:53.965-04:00(image) You were scared, weren't you?
2010-04-22T03:39:22.767-04:00(image) With Jeff Francoeur mired into an 0-for-18 slump heading into Wednesday night, and David Wright slumping worse than Julian Tavarez in a singles bar, it was time for Howard Johnson to organize another one of those barbecues. They worked so well on Francoeur at the beginning of the season that the boys ordered out from Hill Country BBQ in the city.
2010-04-21T03:01:53.470-04:00(image) Who knew that all a guy who sat on the couch for three weeks needed was a day off?
2010-04-20T18:13:33.045-04:00(image) As a Met fan I know, realistically, that being happy is something that comes fleetingly these days. And that when the Met fan in me is happy, I expect a cold bucket of water to douse that flame of glee.
"Mets general manager Omar Minaya told me he did not make his series of calls to get ownership's blessings, and to explain the plan to Jerry Manuel and others in the organization until yesterday morning. So instead of making a crown jewel's first day in the majors easier, the Mets turned it into an obstacle course."Remember this. Remember this when Minaya gets fired, and you're all having your "Fire Omar" parties and you're shooting fireworks off your roof with the Gruccis. Remember that every move that Omar makes, good or bad, and the moves the he makes that will eventually get him fired one day, has to go through and be approved by ownership. While you may focus on the fact that Minaya didn't call for ownership's blessing until Sunday, I focus on the fact that Minaya has to get ownership's blessing to call up a minor league player in the first place.
2010-04-20T01:54:45.734-04:00It had to be a long, long day for Ike "The Stimulus" Davis. At 11AM Monday morning, he's batting cleanup for the Bisons.(Editor's note: Isn't the plural of "Bison" just plain "Bison"? I mean, you spend money on a minor league jersey and it prominently displays bad grammar? What are we teaching our young players? What are we teaching the youth of America? Oh well, if you can have a grammatically incorrect professional team like the Maple Leafs, who really should be the Maple Leaves, then I guess you can have Bisons. Okay, I'm done.)As I was saying before I rudely interrupted myself:At 11AM Monday morning, Ike Davis is batting cleanup for the Bison for a 1:00 start. His day ends as the sixth hitter for the New York Mets in a game that ended with two hits, a run knocked in, and a pie in the face from Jeff Francoeur at about a quarter past ten. I go that long without a nap and I get cranky. I'm sure the last thing that The Stimulus is feeling is cranky.You can't get much better than two hits and a pie in your major league debut. Hell the pie was probably the first true smile that Met fans have had in a long, long time (I don't count that Nelson Figueroa pie last season ... that was more of a "thank God this abortion of a season is finally finished" pie.) But as "feel-good" as it was, this may have been the pie that made pies passe. Think about it, if Stimulus knew the pie was coming five seconds before it actually hit him, then that means the pie has become way too predictable. Either that, or Francoeur has become way too predictable.Dousing him with the grounds keeper's hose ... now that's a postgame celebration, my friends.But seriously, it isn't like that pie was Ike's introduction to Frenchy. Jeff was all over him all pregame with smiles and hugs as that's obviously a relationship that has blossomed this spring. At least Davis has somebody that will show him the ropes and teach him not so much how to play baseball, but how to be a major leaguer. That's an advantage for Davis. And with Frenchy only being three years older than Stimulus, they can discuss similar things like God O' War 3, Beavis and Butthead, and Ultimate Fighting. Eventually, these are the guys that are going to bring back the hotfoot. And Howard Johnson can sure as hell coach that.Oh yeah, there's the matter of how Davis actually played.They kept talking about John Olerud. Olerud in 1999 helped make probably the most perfectly constructed lineup that the Mets have had. Not the best, or most productive lineup, mind you ... but the construction of it was classic from 2-5 with Alfonzo, Olerud, Piazza, and Ventura. Lefty, righty, lefty, righty, all prototypes of what those batting slots should have. Ironically, what that lineup probably could have used was a guy like Frenchy batting sixth (too bad he was only 15 years old at the time.) And it's that construction that has obviously spoiled Snoop Manuel as he's tried to make Mike Jacobs into Robin Ventura by batting him fourth and fifth all season. (Ventura once hit a grand slam single ... Jacobs once had a grand slam breakfast at Denny's. Similarities end there.)If Davis is anywhere near Olerud, I think we'd take that ... at least until he goes 0-for-10 against the Phillies, then we'll start complaining again. But there was a shade of Olerud in his game tonight. The long reach. The sweet classic lefty swing. And in the seventh inning, the ability to hang in on a curveball to ground it into center field after getting pushed off the plate by an inside curveball the pitch before. That's usually the benchmark in whether a rook is ready, how he responds to that. Davis did well. He stepped in the bucket a little bit on that pitch, so he has a ways to go. But he didn't look completely overmatched. As we move forward the next two weeks, that could change. He'll see Carlos Zamb[...]
2010-04-19T02:02:16.712-04:00"But I am throwing my fastball." -John Maine to Dan Warthen during a trip to the mound on Sunday night.Not that I necessarily trust the lip reading skills of Joe Morgan, but ...Uh-oh.And not for nothing, if there was ever a time to cover your mouth with your glove when you speak, that would have been it, no?It's never a good thing when you have a Brewster's Millions moment on the mound where the pitcher throws his fastball and the announcer calls it a changeup, along with everyone on both benches. It sure isn't a good thing if your pitching coach thinks you're throwing a change-up. And you know what's really scary? Not only is it my second Brewster's Millions reference regarding that particular scene, but I'm not even the first person to make a John Maine/Brewster's Millions connection this week!Yeah, uh-oh.That Maine actually got through the fourth inning scoreless was something of a feat, much like the feat that Mets pitchers pulled off this weekend of minimizing Albert Pujols' damage. Think about this for a second: Pujols was 2-for-14 this weekend with four walks. And the Mets dropped two out of three. That's like getting Shakira's phone number and transposing two of the digits while putting it in your cell.But the fifth inning was Maine's undoing as a walk, single and Colby Rasmus' three run dinger put Maine out to pasture. And once Adam Wainwright found his groove against a lineup that featured Frank Catalanotto in the clean-up spot, you knew it was over. You weren't sure whether it would take 8 and a half innings via a Ryan Ludwick home run, or 24 innings after Blake Hawksworth no-hits them for nine innings after Tony La Russa says he's not available, but eventually the Mets were going to be toast. That I was happy the game wrapped up promptly so that I could catch the Sharks/Avalanche game is a distressing sign on my part.In a related story, the lineup probably isn't going to feature Catalanotto in the clean-up spot much longer as the club is doing the deed and bringing up Ike Davis. Something tells me that the Mets actually wanted to keep Davis down and let him dominate AAA for a little while longer. But that the sorry state of first base combined with the desperation of the front office and coaching staff to keep their jobs has expedited the process. I'll admit it. The recent rushing of prospects has made me gun shy about bringing these guys up too soon. But at least Davis is a college product and he's 23. And by all accounts he's projected in that "very good to special" category. I hate that Chris Carter is never going to get a chance with the Mets, which means that the Billy Wagner trade is now officially botched forever dooming Carter to Val Pascucci status unless they can now find a trade partner for him. But if Ike Davis is ready, then this is the move to make ... even if it is for the wrong reasons.If ... he's ready. Ike Davis: "The Stimulus"Now as long as Davis isn't brought up to fall victim to a straight platoon with Fernando Tatis or a Snoop Manuel quadruple switch, he'll be fine.[...]
2010-04-18T17:47:07.639-04:00(image) I guess it was unreasonable to designate Mike Jacobs for assignment immediately after flying out against a middle infielder during last night's "Ulti-Met Classic" (maybe only for the pitchers). But apparently the Mets and I are on the same wavelength (and if that doesn't scare the hell out of you, then I don't know what will) as Jacobs has been designated for assignment. That assignment: learn how to raise his batting average against middle infielders (or: BAAM!).
2010-04-18T14:28:39.419-04:00Very few baseball games exist that can turn me into a laughing hyena, an angry pyromaniac, and a babbling idiot. Most games accomplish one of the three. Some may hit two of those emotions. Rarely the hat trick. But a 20-inning game just about did it.Top 1:Who, exactly, is Jamie Garcia?Bottom 1:Skip Schumaker doubles, and there are Nyjer Morgan flashbacks. But Santana settles down and goes through the middle of the order in good shape.Top 3:Another 1-2-3 inning. Noticed that former Met Gary Bennett turns 38.Top 4:Still nothing against Garcia. Jason Bay's average plummeting faster than the stock market.Top 5:Crap, we're about to be no-hit by Jamie Garcia. No no-hitters in 48 seasons and we're going to have the deed done to us by Jamie Garcia. Laughter commences at the mere thought.Bottom 5:Here I start to think that Johan Santana is going to get screwed somehow. He's pitching too well. Somebody is going to blow it for him.Top 6:Hey, a hit! It's a Christmas Miracle!!!Bottom 6:Santana knifes through the middle of the order. So much for Pujols' success against Johan.Top 7:Jason Bay flies out to deep right. That ball must have been knocked down by the volcanic ash.Top 10:It's mentioned to me that a team that holds Albert Pujols and company to zilch through nine innings deserves to win. I mention that a team that gets one hit off Jamie Garcia for seven innings deserves to lose.That must be why they call me Mr. Sunshine.Bottom 10:Alex Cora comes in for his third ever appearance at first base, and saves the day by making a leaping catch into the stands with the bases loaded and two outs. City of St. Louis groans, then thinks "Hey, Sam Bradford is going to need a receiver."Top 11:You know in the good ol' days, the Mets have torched the likes of Mitchell Boggs. Now, Boggs reminds us that even 2008 is a long ways away, as he gets the Mets down rather easily. Oh, and Corporal, you're not helping.Bottom 11:1-2-3 inning. Gary Bennett turns 42.Top 12:Ubaldo Jimenez finishes up his no-hitter against the Braves. One no-hitter in 18 years for Colorado. None in 48 for the Mets. This can't be a good omen.Bottom 12:How many bodies would have flown off the bridge if the Mets walked Albert Pujols to get to the pitcher, and Jason Motte beats them with a base hit?Top 13:John Maine runs for Rod Barajas. Thankfully, he didn't leave a trail of puke behind.Top 14:Blake Hawksworth comes in to pitch. I still think he's a Harvey Birdman character. He strikes out Mike Jacobs. Chris Carter hit .414 in the spring. Just thought I'd bring that up.Bottom 14:Once again, Pujols is walked for the pitchers' spot. My heart, once again in my throat as my brain thinks "This is it. Blake Hawksworth is going to win the game for the Cardinals and then waltz back into the romance novel he came from." Thankfully, disaster is avoided.Top 15:1-2-3 inning. Jon Niese pinch hits, actually has a good stroke going for him ... well, relative to the rest of the team, anyway.The Mets now have four hits in fifteen innings. Gary Bennett turns 44.Bottom 15:Jenrry Mejia comes into the game and gets through the 15th without soiling himself. Nice to see a rookie make strides.Top 16:Mike Jacobs gets the first sacrifice bunt in his life. I look out the window to make sure there are no pigs with wings.Bottom 16:La Russa burns his last position player, and Ryan Ludwick burns a chance to win by Paganing himself out of the inning between third and home.Top 17:The Canadiens/Capitals game, which started at 7:00, and goes to overtime, ends. This game, which puts me closer to hell with every inning, lives on.Bottom 17:Raul Valdez comes into the game. Surely, this has to be it. This has to be the game. Okay, I'm prepared. Just make the death quick and painless, would ya?Death[...]
2010-04-17T01:57:25.490-04:00This is what happens when Raul Valdez's glass slipper breaks.Well now the season is truly underway, isn't it? Now that the Mets have had their first true kick in the stomach, we're now officially wading waist deep into the season. There's no turning back to shore now. It's onward to the ocean floor without a life raft.For me, I think we're now starting to see how a front office and a manager can lose ballgames. Omar Minaya, bless his heart, having been hamstrung by ownership's budget, couldn't bring in a quality lefty for the bullpen to complement Pedro Feliciano. Instead, he borrows one from the Mexican league. Nobody, not even Gary Cohen had heard of Raul Valdez when he made his spring training debut in mid-March. Despite that fact, he made the Mets roster ... which tells you something about how easy it must have been to make the roster.But when you keep relying on Mexican league castoffs when your ace bullpen lefty looks like death, you're going to get burned more often than you should in a 162 game season. You aren't going to be burned all time time, but in a league where the difference in talent can come down to a few pitches here and there (like the one Valdez threw to Felipe Lopez for the deciding grand slam), you will be burned enough times to make the difference between being in contention for a wild-card spot, and battling the Nationals for fourth place. This is why the Phillies can survive injuries to Jimmy Rollins, Joe Blanton, J.C. Romero and Brad Lidge and go 8-2, while the Mets have Raul Valdez.Also, when you consistently rely on the likes of Mike Jacobs and Fernando Tatis, you will be burned. But when Jacobs is placed higher in the order than the white hot Jeff Francoeur by the manager, then there's plenty of flame to go around. Jacobs ended the Mets' first inning rally with a strikeout with Frenchy on deck. Then, with Dennys Reyes coming in to face Jacobs in the all important eighth inning rally, Tatis comes up to pinch hit and he strikes out. The alternative would have been Frenchy batting in that spot and facing the righty, Blake Hawksworth.(Wait a second ... Blake Hawksworth??? Come on. That's not a real person. That was the name of a villian in "Spenser: For Hire". Or Joan Collins' love interest in "Dynasty". Or a Peter Griffin muse in "Family Guy". I mean, are the Mets this bad that they can't muster up a rally against a fictional character???)Now don't get me wrong. Ultimately, it's players who win or lose ballgames. I believed it when Willie Randolph was making questionable moves/non-moves with the bullpen, and I believe it now. But the people in charge aren't helping any. Friday night was proof.The shame of it all was that the good Oliver Perez actually showed up to the ballpark tonight. We haven't seen Good Ollie for a long time! For all we know Good Ollie was on a Himalayan expedition since 2008. And this is how he gets treated upon his return? He'll never come back after this. He was shaky in the first couple of innings (walking the immortal Allen Craig in the first inning with first base open and some guy named Pujols on deck had me inventing new curse words) but finished brilliantly. Oliver Perez did this.And yet, the fruit of his labor was the pumpkin that Raul Valdez's limousine turned into before midnight could cast it's shadow on St. Louis. It was so bad that I wanted to vomit voluntarily ... but there wasn't an 11-year-old in the immediate area so I passed.[...]
2010-04-15T21:21:51.470-04:00(image) Hey, what's missing from this picture?
2010-04-15T03:00:49.198-04:00(image) I don't know why Fernando Tatis is on this team.
2010-04-14T03:44:49.653-04:00(image) I knew it was a bad sign when Brian Bannister, who was a Met many moons ago, turned in a dazzling start for the Royals today while the Mets have been struggling to find starters who could give any sort of consistant effort. If John Maine had turned in an acceptable effort, there would have been no need to invoke Bannister's name (or image).
2010-04-12T03:00:42.430-04:00Johan Santana losses are like twice the size of a normal loss. That's the burden that Santana carries on this team, much like the burden that Henrik Lundqvist perpetually carries for the New York Rangers. As a goalie for a team that is scoring challenged, chances are that if King Henrik isn't spectacular, the Rangers lose. Unfortunately there are too many nights where King Henrik is spectacular, but the Rangers still lose. Sunday's winner take all for the playoffs, unfortunately, was a prime example.For Johan Santana, it might be worse. At lease Lundqvist can start 85% of his team's games and win 35 games a year. If Johan could win 35 games a year maybe Met fans wouldn't worry so much. But he can't. And now that he's suffered a strange loss against the Washington Nationals, we know that we aren't going to see him again until Friday or Saturday. And coming off a loss heading into a series against a playoff team on the road and throwing John Maine, Jon Niese, and Mike Pelfrey at the Rockies, Sunday's loss hurts more.Santana wasn't spectacular on Sunday. The surprise wasn't that Johan gave up a long ball, the surprise was the road to that homer, which was a triple to Nyjer Morgan and two walks. Santana is prone to the long ball early in the season, but usually they're solo shots. Though I suppose that if Felix Hernandez can hit a grand slam off Santana then Josh Willingham certainly can.But when Santana isn't spectacular, and certainly when he shorts out in the first inning, it had to deflate the team. On the one hand, it could be correct to say that Santana could have had one of those Lundqvist games today where he was spectacular and they still would have lost because the Mets couldn't get a good shot at Livan Hernandez. But is it? Could Johan's freaky first have deflated the Mets to the point where the entire lineup pressed at the plate against Livan's slow pitch softball stuff?And that brings me to another point, if Snoop Manuel was right in saying that the team was "unprepared" to hit Livan Hernandez, a guy that most of this lineup played with last season, then that's on Snoop and his coaches. If, however, Bob Ojeda was correct on the postgame show in saying that the Mets were in fact prepared but were simply pressing too much against Livan, who was clearly taking advantage of that, then that begs the following question: What the hell game is Snoop watching???The Rangers?And for the lack of a segue that works, let me say this: If Willie Harris wants to flatter himself and think that Frankie Rodriguez plunked him in the ninth inning because he made a game saving catch on Saturday, then let him do so. But if he's going to bark at Frankie for a pitch that hit his arm in an area that was just off the inner half, then he deserves whatever he gets.Yes, I'm crawling back into "Baseball needs to be more like it was in the 80's" mode, so pay close attention: If I'm Frankie, I go one step further than simply saying "f**k you" to Harris a couple of times, and put one right in Nyjer Morgan's back after that. Willie wants to bitch and moan? Give him something to bitch and moan about. Now, I know what you're going to say: "Oh Metstradamus that's extreme! Nyjer Morgan didn't do anything!" Or: "What if Morgan charges the mound and Frankie hurts his arm?" Or: "What if the Nats retaliate and David Wright gets hit in the head again?" Valid points. I'm not Frankie Rodriguez. I don't have to be concerned with my long term health put in the hands of doctors who will probably have their recommendations squashed by ownership. All of your responses are logical, and I'm not.But screw it. [...]
2010-04-11T03:46:33.331-04:00(image) The streamers were hung, the hors d'oeuvres were on the table, and the guests had arrived. The only question would be this: Who would ruin Jose Reyes' welcome home party by sitting on the cake?
2010-04-10T01:34:47.631-04:00(image) So, which one is Canseco and which one is McGwire? I can't tell.
2010-04-09T02:41:01.722-04:00(image) A fresh new injury.
"We need a couple guys hot at the same time." -Jerry ManuelThat's it? That's the grand plan? Hope? Pray? Plead to a higher power? I thought that was our job as fans. But no, that's the manager's grand plan. One day, that plan will work. And yeah, I know the manager can lead a horse to the plate but can't make him hit. But the problem is that Omar Minaya already passed the buck to him when at the onset of free agency, he basically said that it was up to the coaches to make the players that are already on the roster better (translated: I have no money or prayer to get anyone so you're on your own). And now, the manager's way of "making the players better" is crossing his fingers and toes and wishing upon the one star he could see through the pollution. There's nobody left to pass the buck to.
"They're not power guys but they can hit the ball out of the ballpark."What? I don't know what that even means!!! Who exactly did he just describe ... Rod Barajas? Luis Castillo?
2010-04-08T16:07:59.143-04:00David Wright is not only a world class baseball player, but he's also a savvy businessman. He's making crazy money off of his Vitamin Water endorsement deal after negotiating a percentage rather than a flat fee. David Wright is smart.
2010-04-08T13:18:10.636-04:00I'm not here to push the panic button. Not on April 8th. But know that it's always close by.It's close by because of the reminders we received on April 7th.Reminder number one: John Maine is your second starter.You know, maybe John Lackey wouldn't have come to New York even if Omar Minaya/Jeff Wilpon did give him the hard sell. Most likely, it was Boston or bust for Lackey regardless of what Minaya came with. I understand this, trust me. But when I see Maine reach the 60 pitch count in the third inning with only about half of the chucks being strikes while checking the scoreboard and seeing that Lackey is twirling six shutout innings against the Yankees, I want to do my Maine imitation and puke.Reminder number two: Jenrry Mejia is twenty years old.He's not ready. He's not ready. He's not ready. I'll hold to that like a warm blanket. But if even he is ready ... are sixth inning appearances down by three runs what we have to look forward to? Is this why Snoop and Omar rushed him and his 97 mph fastball? To get hit hard by the bottom of the Marlins lineup to mop up after the latest starting pitching fiasco?Reminder number three: Sean Green is no Chad Bradford.Chad Bradford went through 62 innings in 2006 only giving up one home run as a Met. Of course it was a walk-off, but that's a small detail. Sean Green's Chad Bradford imitation only needed two batters to give up his first home run of the season. Yeah, this submariney thing is going to work out just fine.Reminder number four: Sometimes, irony is not your friend.Snoop liked Hisanori Takahashi because he threw strikes. What does he do in his major league debut in the tenth inning? Go 2-0 on Wes Helms, of course. Then goes 2-1 on a batter who's trying to bunt Wes Helms over before taking the loss in the tenth. Even when the Mets do the right thing, the dice come up snake eyes.And even when the Mets shake off a wild pitch that results in the third out of the seventh inning while David Wright was up with the bases loaded (on a questionable baserunning play by Fernando Tatis, it should be noted for posterity) to come back and tie the game in the eighth, the Mets roll craps. Think about this: the team wasted a Jeff Francoeur walk during the eighth inning rally after being down 0-2. A Jeff Francoeur walk!!! His second of the season! Although I have to tell you, Frenchy walking is kinda reminiscent of an acid trip.Yeah, kinda like that.Maybe Frenchy has two walks because he finally realized that they do, in fact, put your OBP on the scoreboard.Hey, whatever works.Speaking of working, here's something that's not working: that bird misting thing they're trying. Bird Doctor was contacted by Citi Field as a proactive measure to prevent birds such as pigeons from taking up residence in the new stadium. Installing the new Bird Control Misting system will help keep maintenance costs down, while maintaining the overall appearance and cleanliness of the stadium. Maintenance costs can soar if weekly cleanup of bird droppings is required; bird droppings are unsightly and can transmit disease.Umm, well check out what diseases I saw transmitted tonight (besides the ones I contracted from watching the ten inning debacle) ...Y'know it's not like the Mets don't have enough problems with the human doctors ... the bird doctors aren't going to cooperate either?[...]
2010-04-07T13:43:28.596-04:00(image) Who knows how useful Nelson Figueroa will be to the Phillies now that they've claimed him off waivers. I don't think anybody will pretend that Figueroa is immediately going to go 10-2 and start the All-Star game.
2010-04-06T04:13:37.991-04:00Yes Virginia, you can take your disguises off your dog. No longer will your dog, your neighbor, your friends and loved ones need to wear disguises in public. It's 2010, so you can proudly wear your Mets gear in public again. And many people sure as hell did at Opening Day.I miss Opening Day. I miss being there. Used to be that I'd go every season, or almost every season. 2010 marked the first time I'd been at the opener in nine seasons, and obviously my first one at Citi Field. I'll say this for the new barn, it's certainly been Metsmerized.Yes, of all the new banners hanging outside the place, George Foster made the cut ... probably the only recognition of those late 70's/early 80's unis you'll see. But the fact that you see it shows you that on some level, the Mets care a little more about your fan experience than they used to.Oh, and the blue paint on the stairwells helped too. Makes you wonder what was so hard about thinking of all this (along with the official dedication of the Adam Dunn Bridge, which is now the William Shea Bridge) last year. But hey, late really is better than never.But back to Opening Day, I miss it. You know what I miss the most? I miss the fact that only on Opening Day can you hear the fans' visceral reaction that has been pent up since the beginning of October. For example, if you're the Mets' physical therapist, you can live 364 days of the year in anonymity. But on Opening Day, there's nowhere to hide. You've gotta toe the line like the rest of 'em and hear what the fans really think of you. In most places, fans may forget about all the injuries, but not here. Here, in Flushing, the physical therapist gets booed with an intensity only surpassed by the boos that Oliver Perez received.What, you thought we forgot about last season? Nope, not until that first pitch was thrown for a strike by Johan Santana. After that, it was all good. And you knew it would be with Santana throwing darts for six innings and David Wright finally figuring out which part of the ballpark he needed to aim at for maximum production, or as Gary Cohen called it: "Utley's Corner" (why Gary, why?), Jason Bay pulled a Rock of the Westies and debuted at the top of his game, and the Marlins failing to navigate a harsh wind that made the field look like a National Geographic special on the mating habits of hot dog wrappers and other assorted garbage. Poor Frenchy looked like he was in a scene from District 9 in the Mo's Zone, which is probably a valley of dustmites by now. Hell I got hit with windblown beer and a half full bag of pretzels. I thought Alex Cora was going to blow away.(Editor's note: On this beautiful Monday, I learned that left field can be just as much a sun field as right field ... but only on one side of your face. Must be that creative geometry Dave Howard talks about all the time. Only having red around one eye makes a sunbathing fan look like "Phantom of the Ballpark". So buyer beware, and bring some sunblock.)Obligatory analysis of Snoop Manuel, the bad: How do you have your star free agent acquisition bat behind a guy who wasn't even a lock to make the roster a week ago (Mike Jacobs)? That'll be a disaster at some point. The good (at least for this game): Leaving Fernando Nieve in for the eighth inning after pitching a very good seventh inning. Somehow, I don't think Snoop is sold on Ryota Igarashi for the eighth inning ... at least not an eighth inning duri[...]