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Preview: Archie Bunker's Army

Archie Bunker's Army

"It ain't supposed to make sense; it's faith. Faith is something that you believe that nobody in his right mind would believe" - A. Bunker Antediluvian rants on Archie Bunker's favourite baseball team combined with precognitive, precision surgeries on th

Updated: 2015-09-17T07:38:10.286+01:00


Congratulations Metsies...You've Put Me Off Of Baseball


Now dying, now dead.

I love the altruism of supporting losers. I really do.

But that's the beauty of altruisms of others. It can be appreciated from afar.

So that's where I will appreciate the Metsies from henceforth.


Very afar.

So far I won't even hear the baseball scores any more.

The Best Thing About Spring Training? No Room For Hope


I can't imagine people applying for season tickets to see the Mets this year. Not unless they're looking for a rerun of last season tragicomedy.

I can't even imagine stumping up a few American dollars for the dodgy video feeds this year. I mean I'll probably break down and do it but at this point, I still can't imagine it. It'll probably happen in a drunken stupor, waxing nostalgic about some sort of nihilistic wonder and inner delusion chancre.

But we have to give the Mets credit. They did, in essence, nothing to make us think 2010 would be any better than 2009's nightmare.

They got Jason Bay, true. But that was the bare minimum requirement. That and waving good riddance to Carlos Delgado. Replaced by the magical middle of the road nobodies, Dan Murphy and Mike Jacobs. Be still my bitter heart. That pair are hitting a combined 17 for 80 or an emblematic .212. Good thing it doesn't count. Yet.

They signed no one else of any significance to bolster a dead rotation or an enfeebled bullpen.

And good thing they didn't because even before Ollie's abysmal outing today, the starting rotation, including both fifth starter burnouts, had a 6.47 ERA and a combined 2-7 record.

Standing pat is almost as good as standing on your head and imagining the change that falls out of your pockets is someone else's money.

Bullpen? No 8th inning guy to get to the star closer. And does it matter? Does anyone think that K-Rod is going to have more than a dozen chances to save a game all season at this rate?

Yes, looking forward to the 2010 season. The Jets' 2010 season that is.

Mets Pre-Preview: Why I Won't Be Holding My Breath


It's pitchers and catchers soon.

Ironically, the Mets don't seem to have much of either and those that they do have are full of question marks; Puntos de Interogación Iniciales and Puntos de Interrogación Finales.

In other words, the off season was remarkably similar to the 2009 season; dollops of delusional, wishful thinking.


I think you definitely stand pat with last year's rotation. After all, Santana says he's better and we should always believe what the Mets organisation and willing athletes publically declare about their injuries. That means he'll probably win 30 games this season to avoid being thrown too far off track by last season's premature ending. Of course, he's a year older as well. And can we really believe his physical woes are over with a simple elbow surgery, bone chip removal surgery? His return has been almost too easy. You've got to wonder if the simple surgery was done to put off an inevitable, career-threatening surgery, especially considering he's a Met and that Mets physicians practice their trade playing that game, Operation.

Mets physicians table....

And Pelf, Maine and Oliver Perez?

Look, these are by and large, young guys. This trio combined for 20 wins last season. That's a nice round number for the meat of your rotation. Inspirational. Pelf has lost weight because weight apparently was the reason for all his failings, not his mental incapacities or dropping the mouth guard. So if you consider that he's young, that he probably pitched with sophomoric burnout most of last season you'll see that 10 wins can quite easily become 20 wins, especially with the 5.03 he sported last season. That's 50 wins just for the number one and number two starters. The entire team only won 70 games last year so we're looking at remarkable, tangible improvement and by god, the Mets management was right, there's no need to change anything about this rotation. This is the best rotation in baseball. If you're too senile to think straight or if your mind is already so rotted with drug and alcohol abuse.

As for Maine and Perez, these two combined for 10 wins. There's alot of room for improvement. For one, Perez was fat and injured most of the year and he's had surgery to remove scar tissue from his right knee so expect his win output to at least double from the 3 games he won last season. Or if we're crazy optimistic, we'll say 10 wins. On the other hand, he DIDN'T have any surgery to implant a brain or surgery that would prevent him from frequent bouts of inexplicable wildness so maybe optimism is not the way to lean here. I'll split the difference and say Ollie might be good for 5 wins this season. There will be at least 5 games in 2010 that make you say wow, what a great pitcher, why can't he do that all the time? That's just the way the Rollo Rolls.

Maine? Enigma. Is he healthy? Is he hurt? Probability over the course of his career says he'll be hurt. He's always hurt or recovering from being hurt. So you could say he'll pitch half his starts and win a third of those. Let's say 5 wins.

That's a total of 60 wins from the top four.

No End To The Riches: 36 year old Catalanotto now a Met


I like it when the word "intangibles" is the best word you can find to describe a new Mets signing. It makes my heart flutter with excitement.

Who needs Orlando Hudson when you've got intangibles?

I'm reminded of Donald Rumsfeld ruminations on the matter:

"There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know."

Frank Catalanotto is one of those things we don't know we don't know and yet another reason, along with the signing of Fernando Tatis and Josh Fogg that we don't need to know what we don't know because we don't even know that we don't know it yet.

2010 Mets Promotional Poster can finally be revealed

I mean Frank Catalanotto could make a great bench coach for the Buffalo Bisons. Just think how valuable that could be to Buffalo and all the 40 year old Triple AAA detritus that will populate their roster in 2010.

Or maybe Luis Castillo will break his leg falling down the dugout steps in Florida during Spring Training and Frank Catalanotto will become the Mets starting second baseman for 2010.

You just don't know you don't know, do you?

The bigger question is how is Alex Cora going to sleep nights now knowing Frank Catalanotto is breathing down his neck?

Maybe Alex Cora was laughing quietly to himself while Jose Reyes was running his five 90 foot sprints and figuring well, Reyes' hamstrings have probably seen about as much action as they can take and its a matter of hours before he tears one of them stepping out of a cab and he takes his familiar place on the disabled list.

I mean think about it - the Mets could have Alex Cora AND Frank Catalanotto starting in the infield at the same time! If that doesn't strike fear into their NL East opponents, nothing will.

Well ok, maybe seeing Fogg emerging from the bullpen late in the 4th inning after Oliver Perez has walked in 6 runs and hit 8 batters will worry them. Fear the Fogg, that's what they used to say in Pittsburgh. I mean his nickname is "The Dragon Slayer" after all. It's true. You can look it up if you don't believe me.

Josh Fogg is comfortable with his secret life...

Of course, I don't know why he's called the Dragon Slayer. It could be some sexual euphemism for all I know. Surely with a lifetime ERA of 5.03 it's little to do with getting Major League batters out. But look, if he makes the team and if he's doing long relief chances are it won't really matter very often how he fares. And that's what makes these 2010 Mets so interesting.

If all else fails, they'll be the most intangible team in America.

Mets Sign Tatis - World Series Virtually Assured....


The key man to Major League Baseball's 2010 season has finally decided on which team is the lucky winner in the Fernando Tatis Sweepstakes.

After months of nail-biting competition, the NY Mets finally emerged as the victors, securing the signature of baseball's most coveted player and virtually guaranteeing their first World Series appearance since 2000.

YES! The man who can walk and somehow balance a batting helmet on his head at the same time is nearly a Met...

Intentional Sabotage Or Crazy Like A Fox?


One can only imagine, watching the parade of free agents either ignore the Mets or be ignored by the Mets, that there is an ongoing Free Agent Conspiracy meant to disable any early Spring hope Mets fans might be silly enough to feel inspired by as the doldrums of winter rattle on.Give me happiness or...Give me Mets...Granted, each free agent pitching pursuit came with his own set of problems. Ben Sheets is injury-prone. Randy Wolf was overpaid (3 years $30 million to the Brewers who are becoming the Mets of the Midwest having given Willie Randolph and Rick Peterson jobs), Joel Pineiro's name was too confusing too spell plus he wanted to get paid on the basis of a career year he's not likely to repeat (yes, before last season, his ERAs in the previous five seasons: 5.15, 4.33, 6.36, 5.62, 4.67...)Then you had Jon Garland going to the Padres for pennies which was the signing the Mets are going to regret not making all season. Not that Garland is going to win the Cy Young but what was there about an innings-eater, a durable and reliable starter on the cheap not to like when you're promising a rotation of Johan Santana and a cast of supporting starters who struggle to reach the fifth inning most times out, if they aren't injuring their delicate frames, that is...The 42 year old John Smoltz remains but he's not really an option. He's not even a white flag of surrender, which almost makes it certain the Mets won't sign him.Welcome the New MR METMost front offices would prefer the pie-in-the-sky Fernando Nieve filling in that fifth slot in the rotation behind Maine and Pelf and Pray For Help as well as pretending it's only a matter of time before Oliver Perez starts to emulate Santana. I mean wouldn't they?And there's always the argument that it isn't possible for Maine and Pelf and Perez to pitch worse or get injured more than they did in 2009 so there can only be improvement - in which case, why panic buy in a free agent market of over-priced nobodies and has-beens? In which case, you can almost see the point the Mets front office is making by making no point at all. Yes, yes, I know - defending the Wilpons and Minaya's mockery of his job sounds mad. And it is.The Princes of Chaos are pretty much number one on everyone's target list of shit hounds and horror stories but for a minute anyway, I'm going to see their crazy and raise them a straight jacket.It's so crazy it just might work.Of course it doesn't really explain trading away bullpen stability in Brian Stokes for Team Cancer Junior but look, Omar's off season is not successful unless he's bringing trouble or overpaying for it. Two years ago it was Luis Castillo's absurdist re-signing at a financial cost so high he is now untradeable and will be lingering like the odour of a watery Mike Francesa beer fart long after Omar has been sacked. Last year it was giving Oliver Perez that completely whacked contract, bidding against himself as though he's subsidising broken down latino players to make up for bad MLB pensions.And this year Jason Bay, despite a dodgy physical future and even dodgier fielding, was the one to win the Captain Crazy sweepstakes.But Bay had a perceivable upside so to make up for it, Omar simply HAD to trade for Gary Matthews Jr. Just to make sure.Now it all might play out as rightly this season as wrongly as it played out last season.You could argue we MUST have karma on our side by now, what with two late season collapses and the worst injury nightmare season in baseball history last year and conceivably, this is the argument the Mets are making.The problem is, everyone is already so sick and tired, only Mets players, who don't have any choice in the matter, are buying it.[...]

Heart Attack And Vine


Well since there appears to be a day or two pause in the incessant march of incompetence in the Met front office have some Tom Waits instead:

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Picking Pineiro to Repopulate Rotation?


I've always just assumed Omar was going to sit pat and point out best case scenarios rather than get down to adding some shade and depth to the starting rotation. I mean, not dealing with problems and taking the most impractically optimistic position is his speciality, is it not?

So I wasn't too enamoured with any of the rumours. Until this one.

Actually, it's not even a rumour, it's just an observation. Work horse starter for a rotation that chocka with question marks and guys who rarely pitch very far out of the 5th inning.


For a second, I almost got excited. Then I remembered that Beltran is already going to miss the first month of the season and predictably, the Mets front office fumbled even something as simple as surgery in spectacular fashion. At least they are consistently incompetent. You just know you needn't bother raising your hopes and can instead raise the white flag before the season has even started.

Me Carlos, Me Angry


I'm going to enroll in the school of thought that says let's piss off the guy who pretends to be the team leader but bunts with men on base instead of going for the multi-run homer.

Please let Carlos Beltran play mad.

He owes the team some leadership. Being content hasn't worked. maybe being mad will.


What The Hell Will Omar Do About The Pitching?


In a weak effort to see what, if any prospects there are to resolve the dismal prospects for the 2010 Mets and in particular, the shambles that is currently the pitching staff, I've unearthed the following:

The Mets, to put in it in the local parlance, are fecked.

Although Chewy hasn't pitched in organised baseball in several years, he is rumoured to be on Omar's radar having recently thrown two innings in the Inter Galactic Winter Leagues this month...

First of all, what they desperately need as you all know, is at minimum, starting pitching, ideally, a strong number two starter and innings eater.

Newsflash: there isn't one available and the one guy, Jon Garland, who at least qualifies as an inning eater (though certainly not a number two starter), is rumoured to want to stay on the West Coast.

What that means is that barring some unforeseen miracle, as in ANY of the Mets starters not named Johan Santana suddenly learning how to pitch more than five or six innings, pitch them effectively and stay injury-free, the Mets rotation will be as big a mess this season as in 2009.


Of course you could make the argument that Punching Bag Perez, Fragility Maine, and Mouthguard Mike cannot POSSIBLY be as ineffective, injured and pathetic as they were last season but those kinds of thoughts should be reserved for the optimistic mewlings of Spring and the last time I looked out the window, even in England, we're still buried in snow.

So we're back to the issue of A)rubbish returning rotation B)no one on the radar who might make a legitimate number two.

Now, on the basis of Omar's track record, I would suggest the likely signings to "bolster" the staff will be Noah Lowry, who hasn't pitched in the Majors since 2007, Odalis Perez, who didn't pitch in the majors at all last season, and Mark Prior, who hasn't pitched in the majors since 2006.

If that doesn't get you excited, how about re-signing Livan Hernandez or asking John Smoltz to come here and perform a season-ending Tom Glavine imitation? Oh right, the Mets won't be close enough in 2010 to have a "must win" Game 162.

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Why not Jenny Finch? Unlike any of the usual suspects she would look fantastic in a Mets uniform. She also sometimes plays first base, which, considering the current first base prospects can only be of benefit and let's face it, her chances of succeeding are about as good as any of the other pitchers whose names are being bandied about as potential Met signings. And she'd come for a helluva lot less money.

The only catch? Well, if you go by her blog, it would appear she's a bit wrapped up in motherhood at the moment.

Next stop, huge overpayment for Joel Pineiro....

Good Riddance, 2009


You could call the Mets 2009 season a nightmare. But that would be giving the somnambulant front office more excuses to play with.The Mets 2009 season was disgusting. It was disgusting enough to scare yours truly off baseball for the last few months of the season. It was disgusting enough that the disgusting taste is still in our mouths, months later and judging by the fact that Omar is still the GM, Jerry is still the manager and the same heartless, injury-prone core is meant to carry the team despite all the times it failed so miserably in the past, Mets fans had better get used to the taste of shit because shit sandwiches are about all the Mets are going to be serving in 2010.Can you really get excited about the signing of Jason Bay, the baseball GM equivalent of beans on toast?Jason Bay would make a reasonable DH or maybe even a first base conversion but left field in the spacious ShittyField is a near-guarantee to a return of the Cosmic Baseball Fielding Clown we watched the Magical Murph master early last season. Losing by 10 runs? How about watching your kazillion dollar past-his-prime Chump Money crown jewel trip over his own feet and let fly balls hit him on the head for a little comic relief? True, the Mets needed a hard-hitting left fielder but really, does Jason Bay fit this bill? A guy who didn't even seemed enthused about coming to the Mets? A guy who is already over 30? A strikeout king? A defensive liability? A guy whose numbers are bound to diminish in the confines of ShittyField?Oh, Omar. You never fail to please.Of course, Jason Bay doesn't play first base. He won't heal Reyes' desperate hammies, he can't keep Castillo's knees sewn together, he can't pitch a 7 or 8 inning gem and he can't manage. All this means is that the Mets have another over-priced bound-to-be-injury-prone, shitty fielding, diminished batsman to add to their roster. Whoopeeee!And compounding the sense of despair were Omar's other signings.Kelvim Escobar, who missed nearly all of the last two seasons as K-Rod's potential set-up man?Or better still, Ryota Igarashi for bullpen depth?I mean is this meant to be comedy or sadism? It's Post Modern Omarism is what it is. Out of touch, out of focus and out of time.And the best part of all this GM buffoonery from Omar is that the Mets still have no starting pitching to speak of unless you're happy to join the Delusional Club and hope Santana will be back to 100% health for 2010. And even if he is, that doesn't resolve the burnout of the pen when no other starter will log more than 5 innings in a start all season.You want to get us excited Omar? Sign another dozen former starters (at least 38 years of age) who either haven't pitched or played professional baseball in at least two years or are coming off major reconstructive shoulder or elbow surgery.Then we'll do some cartwheels.*****And just when you thought the Mets were the gourmet chefs of the shit sandwiches, have a look at what these jackals are trying to do. Good luck with that one, greedy douchebags.*****So as not to end on an entirely sour note, Mets-n-all, Happy New Year to everyone reading and here's hoping (perhaps unrealistically) 2010 will go better for the Mets than 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, etc.![...]



And now, I've finally found the right term:


endless dysfunctionality

I Haven't Given Up Hope Completely (yet)


I WILL be back. And so will the Mets. Rah rah with my pig flu pom poms.

With this blood I do rededicate myself to the parody of a Mets fan.


Desperately Seeking Reason


I suppose it's self-evident; the lack of daily updates or comments are indicative of a general malaise that no young call-up, no veteran return and certainly no series of meaningless games against division rivals can alleviate.Seriously, are we to get excited about the 10th homer of the season?David Wright's two homers in one game against the Phillies to reach the big 10 milestone, is nothing but a reminder of how few homers he's hit this season, how little the game itself meant, perhaps a blessing in disguise, sparing us of another September Collapse.Yes, a come-from-behind victory over the hated Phillies in most seasons and in most circumstances would have been cause for righteous joy, unbridled euphoria and instead, we can only yawn and scratch and think yeah, so what?Because that is where we are in this miserable season. Not even a pair of homers by Wright, a come-from-behind victory and a homer in the first inning by Carlos Beltran, another too-little-too-late story for the season, could overwhelm the reality that by winning the Mets only forced the Phillies to sweep on Sunday to eliminate the Mets mathematically.Maybe he'll pitch a no-hitter next time out, hahahaha.I mean seriously, even if the season wasn't in the crapper, what's more depressing than watching yet another Mike Pelfrey On-Again-Off-Again pitching performance, this one his third outing of the season conceding 8 runs, which ties some kind of Mets record for futility. (8 runs, just think of that! Either this guy is a lousy pitcher and needs to go or the pitching coach who can't wring out an iota of consistency from him (or Oliver Perez for that matter, not that THAT matters but just sayin'...)needs to go.The time will be ripe for a scapegoat and Dan Warthen is a convenient one. Sure he ripped Ollie early in the season for being fat and out of shape but when you look back at the pitching staff's performance this season do you really see where he's made any difference? If in looking at this realistically you come to the depressing conclusion that I have; (the Mets will retain Manuel AND Minaya and the Wilpons won't be selling the team to spare us another decade of the Idiot Collective) who else but Warthen is left? HoJo won't go. How about sacking Mr Met?The Mets, now "only" 16 game UNDER .500 won for only the third time in 72 instances this season in which they trailed after eight innings. When you think about it, that's kind of great because it means you don't have to waste time watching the 9th inning if the Mets are behind because the chance of them coming back and winning are almost nil. It's a little gift for fans this season.And let's be serious, with Mark Sanchez and the Jets along with the rest of the NFL set to kick off the season, waiting around to see if the Mets can avoid mathematical elimination in a pathetic, mewling season hardly seems worthwhile.Yes, he sucks and he's ugly but he's an invaluable member of the Mets' touch football teamThat's right. And you're not going to lure me with promises of John Maine's imminent return or another 30 or 40 minute outing by Tim Redding whose facial hair and pitching are like an infinite sickness one can never cure. No thanks. I've suffered more than enough at the hands of Tim Redding this season.[...]

Mets Win On K-Rod Bobblehead Day


I suppose if you'd looked at the promotional scheme for the season back in April or even May you might have imagined that even something as exciting K-Rod Bobblehead Day would have taken a back seat to the heat of the pennant race and that maybe K-Rod's 30th save of the season would be the cause for great relief or celebration. Hell, K-Rod probably thought as much himself.Instead, as we know, a simply meaningless early September game pairing easily the two most disappointing teams in the National League and perhaps in ALL of baseball.Why isn't this guy a Mets target?Watching the Cubs is like holding up a mirror to the Mets but for the fact that they didn't lose half their team to injuries this season. And of course, the Cubs are already talking about having someone like Chone Figgins on their radar to sign in the offseason. Who have the Mets got on their radar? Re-signing Carlos Delgado to a long-term contract?Ok, the Mets won yesterday, whoop. They beat their ugly cousins from the Windy City in a completely meaningless game. (Ok, the Cubs aren't quite mathematically eliminated from the playoffs yet but they are most certainly just as terminal as the Mets.)Mr Inconsistency, in his first start since his much-mocked lap-running around the Coors Field car park, had his head together for a change which meant his stuff as well, demonstrating that sharp slider everyone loves when watching him, to compliment his fastball and pitching 8 solid innings of 5-hit ball. I mean, if we hadn't already been fooled by this guy a dozen times this season it might be cause for hope for an otherwise hopeless 2010 pitching staff but we've been dreaming about this guy before and this is no different. Let him do it in every start the rest of the season and I'll take a little notice. Otherwise, this is just a blip, a temporary salve.Homer-Happy?Same with Mr Can't Hit The Inside Pitches Murphy. Yeah, he drove in all four of the Mets runs yesterday, even a hit a homer and a triple for good measure. Does this make him next season's starting first baseman? Barely keeping his head above .250 all season? Our 2010 first baseman batting clean up? Pshaw.I don't mean to belittle an event as rare as a Met victory or a sterling pitching performance from our number two starter (or is he now our number one starter with Johan gone?) or a surprising outburst from our former left field clown turned competently fielding first baseman, but it's really hard to get excited about this.I'm still thinking about Chone Figgins, who can play second base or third base or any outfield position, switch hits, hits for average and plays with speed and is a great potential lead-off hitter. I'm still wondering why there's no speculation about the Mets signing this free agent, why they aren't already bandying about absurdist Yankee-like numbers to make sure he's a Met next season. What? Jose Reyes is the 2010 lead off hitter for the Mets? G'won. I've wanted to see this guy traded for the last two seasons while he could still fetch something good (like, remember the days back when the allegedly untradable Lastings Milledge could have helped fetch a high-class starter?)Do we really want another season of high-strung hammies wreaking havoc on the 2010 season? Bonehead running or fielding and a lack of baseball discipline getting in the way of the team's successes next season? His market value is still probably reasonably high, a package deal could fetch something valuable in return if we had a competent GM. But rest assured there will be no Chase for Chone and if his hammies haven't turned to wet linguine by then, Old Crazy Eyes will be back at short, leading [...]

Mets Win First Battle of Mediocrity Against Cubs; Thank God for Grabow!


It's as though the minute Carlos Zambrano was out of the game the Mets came to life.Only Super Sully could solve Big Z last night...Other than a solo homer by Scott Sullivan to give them a 1-0 lead they held until Angel Pagan let a pop up drop in front of him for a double (which was actually an out considering the ump blew the call on Francouer's bullet to 2nd base that should have rendered a slow-moving Milton Bradley out), the Mets' Batting Order of Mediocrity had been predictably silent.Fortunately, the Cubs, whose own batting order is equally mediocre, were equally silent, even in a bases-loaded nobody out situation in the 7th when Lou pinch hit for Zambrano like a fool and watched the inning dither away.And by the time Zambrano was gone in the bottom of the 8th, the score was knotted at 1-1 and the Cubs bullpen was ripe for attack. Especially with John Grabow, shattered in every appearance at Shitty Field, on the mound.Tatis pinch hitting for Murphy, singled a run home, justifying Jerry Manuel's move.And just like that you could almost feel hey, we suck but here's a team that makes just as many if not more mental mistakes, has just as weak hitting, has an esteemed manager making questionable moves so why not just pour it on and smack the Cubbies or more specifically Grabow, around - Grabow, just to rub in it, faced five batters and got NONE of them out.And whilst Sullivan was surely the man of the match, let's not forget that Bobby Parnell threw 7 shutout innings, got out of that bases-loaded none out jam and looked in better command as a starter than he has all season. I read a snide remark the other the day that he is nothing more than the new Aaron Heilman which is an reductionist absurdity and perhaps inspired Parnell to something more inspirational. On the other hand, he may get pounded in his next outing. That's just how Mets starters roll.D'oh!"He's got to find that middle ground," David Wright was heard mumbling afterwards, demonstrating his team-leader skills at pointing out the obvious, "where the highs aren't so high and the lows aren't so low." Coming from a guy with 110 whiffs in 438 at-bats, that's certainly speaking from experience. And thanks to the pen, the game was interesting right down to the last few outs. It's not as big a crap shoot as last season but let's face it, this isn't the kind of bullpen that you can be safe feeling will hold a lead for the final three innings, ever.*****Now of course, Saturday's game will have to be watched on delay as the Mets hosting the Cubs, palatable as that may be from a prison cell or a desert island, is simply no match for an afternoon of International Football friendlies and the opening weekend of NCAA football.[...]

Catcher of Mets Future Makes Debut In Rare Met Victory


I can't say as I really care that Pat Misch avoided pitching in a 13th consecutive loss without a victory for his team to avoid a rather ignominious start to his Major League career.Misch officially ent pisch no more with his first career victorySure, it's good to see the guy pitch his second consecutive quality start for the Mets since arriving off the waiver wire from San Francisco but let's face it, watching this Nowhere Man pitch a meaningless game for the Mets in the beginning of September only reminds us all that at least this season there can't be a September collapse. Nor can I find much comfort in the too-little-too-late news that Carlos Beltran is inching his way back to recovery.After all, much like David Wright's return from concussion the night before, it only underscores the waste and futility of the hideously injury-prone 2009 season. Even if Wright went 3 for 4 with 3 RBIs and showed encouraging signs that he won't be plate-shy after getting beaned.And to be honest, whilst it beats bearing witness to yet another disappointing Met loss, a rare victory yesterday over the Rockies hardly shook the rafters of the soul with joy and optimism. The soul of joy and optimism for these Mets died months ago.The faster this guy develops the faster we can see Schneider out the door...But I can say that the MLB debut of catcher Josh Thole was indeed an exciting event. At 22, the youngest Met catcher since Todd Hundley, Thole, who only started catching full time last season, went 2 for 5 in his debut after being awarded with a passed ball in the first inning but generated at the very least, the tinniest shred of hope in an otherwise dreary and hopeless Met farm system.Not that Thole will be the catcher for Johan Santana on Opening Day 2010 - he still needs another year or so of seasoning in the Minors but it's something to hold on to in this miserable season, a faint sign that not everything about the Mets future is as bleak as it appears.(OH yes it is, don't let the debut of one simple catcher fool you...)*****One of the thousands of pitchers the Omar DIDN'T sign this off season out-dueled the Giants top young ace last night.Even if he's wearing a Phillies uniform, I'm still rooting for Pedro to close out his career with dignity and last night's 5-hit, 9-K, 7 inning performance gives me the impression he still just might.*****After concluding a 3 win, 9 game road trip the Mets host the similarly disappointing Chicago Cubs on Friday for a mutual misery meeting to celebrate another meaningless September. Whoop. Maybe they can have an open reading of an open letter to Mets owner Fred Wilpon to start the festivities.I mean, over the PA, with a crowd listening as reverently as any national anthem, an perhaps concluded by a Burn Fred Wilpon In Effigy ceremony before the game.Now THAT would make the game worth watching.And for an encore on Saturday, a Burn Omar Minaya in Effigy night.Yeah baby![...]

Mets Fortunes Finally Turning


Well it's taken all of a miserable season but it's finally beginning to look like the Mets terrible fortunes are turning the corner.Two days ago, to great relief the Mets found out there were "only" bone chips to be removed out of Johan Santana's elbow and "only" the rest of the season would be lost.Time to take the rest of your miserable career off, buddy.Yesterday, to everyone's vast relief it was revealed that Oliver Perez FINALLY requires season-ending knee surgery. The only caveat of course is that the surgery won't be career-ending but when the doses of good news are finally dripping down I guess we shouldn't get too greedy.Taking his place on the roster is the venerated Lance Broadway, who if you recall was the fodder we got from the White Sox in return for Ramon Castro. Ramon is hitting a whopping .192 for the White Sox, one of the few players in history who isn't doing better once he left the Mets.Broadway of course, the logical candidate for recall, was 5-9 with a 6.17 ERA for the Buffalo Bison. Bison fans, if there are any left, will be relieved to see him go no doubt.And of course you must have stayed up to watch that Chinese water torture of a baseball game, watching the Mets drop another to the Marlins in what would appear to be to the naked eye, an entirely meaningless game for both.Do you know how many showed up at the idiotically named "Land Shark Stadium" to watch these two Nowhere Teams do battle?Just over 16,000. Now from the looks of the stands, half of that number left after the first pitch because god knows there's plenty better to do in Miami on a Wednesday night than watching one squad of minor league losers play what looks at first glance like a semi-pro team.The Marlins had Mets killah Josh Johnson, now 13-3 with a 3.04 ERA for the season, on the mound and they had the monstrous Hanley Ramirez with his .365 batting average, 19 homers and 85 RBIs. The Mets had Brian Schneider and his prodigious .179 batting average in the order and Mr Up and Mr Down, Mike Pelfrey on the mound with his 1-3 record for August and his 5.10 ERA in August.A real battle of heavy weight champions.The Mets are under arrest for incompetenceOk, the Marlins are exceedingly better than the Minor League Mets but only just. Well ok, they've got 10 more wins already this season but really, let's face it, this isn't a team to excite you. Not in August 7 games out of first and 4 1/2 behind in the wild card chase.Now that I think about it, why WERE there so few fans in the stadium? Because nobody wants to watch the Mets, the Laughingstocks of Baseball, suffer another season-ending injury? The one thing we can say with certainty, so long as the Marlins play in a stadium named after a 1970s Saturday Night Live parody, at least the Mets cannot lay claim to having the absolute dumbest fucking name for a baseball stadium perhaps in the history of baseball. The Marlins have that one nailed.[...]

Nothing But Good News!


The good news is Johan Santana gets the rest of the season off. Now he'll have time to find a replacement for that ridiculous pimp coat...C'mon, we didn't need him any more, the season is lost and the fact that surgery will be to remove bone chips rather than restructure an elbow is the best news the Mets have had all season.This is a sign the worst is almost over, hurray!(Ok, the worst is NEVER going to be over with the Mets and this miserable franchise but for a few seconds anyway, hope reared its ugly, predictable head...)So, despite the good news, this wouldn't be the Mets if there weren't questions raised about whether or not the Mets mismanaged Santana. The question is not a stretch, certainly. The Mets mismanage everything they come into contact with. Any situation is a vulnerability, a potential for mismanagement and if it is associated with the Mets, with the Wilpons or Omar, you can be pretty damned sure if there's a way to cock it up or make the wrong choice, the Mets will find it.Now, in the face of the Santana news comes also the news that JJ Putz is done for the season. He's already had surgery once this season and now an MRI revealed damage to the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow.What's that? Who cares? Just glad it's not Johan? Have a look at the baseball I'll never throw again....I'll be honest, I wasn't really following his rehab schedule all that closely. Do the Mets really want a guy on their fabulous new 2010 team of healthy over-achievers who can't get excited because he's the set up guy instead of the closer? Well, the mismanagement Mets probably do, but I don't. As our good friend Sanchez wrote of Ollie's injury misfortunes, Stay down, Putz, stay down. Hurray!Now, MORE GOOD NEWS, Oliver Perez has been sent back to New York to have his dodgy right knee examined by doctors.This improves our chances of not having to see Ollie pitch again this season. Hurray! Can't they just pay some back alley doctor the cash to wave his hands and declare that Ollie's season is officially over? He will require season-ending surgery on both knees, both elbows, his neck and back and perhaps even a lobotomy.Considering what improvements might be made with a little extra elective surgery for Ollie...And if this wasn't enough good news for one day how about this?Any irony in trading away a healthy All-Star (or former All-Star) pitcher on the day you announce two perhaps three season-long losses to your pitching staff? Nah.The good news is that the Mets won't lose The Hillbilly next season for nothing. At least, just in the nick of time, they got something for him.The Sox will send the Mets outfielder/designated hitter Chris Carter and a low-level prospect to be named later.Carter's scouting report is encouraging in a all-hit, no-field sort of way. You know, precisely the sort of player a National League team with no DH needs:Extremely intelligent, Carter is a real student of hitting, and has demonstrated success with the bat at every level. Excellent power with the potential for more. Hits for average and consistently gets on base at a very good clip. Hits lefties and righties well. Below average speed. In the field, Carter has spent much of his career at 1B but was moved to the outfield in 2008. He has always been known as a poor fielder, and still doesn't look particularly comfortable at any position. He has focused on his glove and footwork and has improved slightly, but still not enough. I'll bet he's happy to be with this Muppet Collective instead of in the Red Sox organisati[...]

The Final Penny Drops Into An Anonymous Sea Of Misfortune


Say what you will about the Mets this season but the predictability of their miraculous injury run has finally reached its zenith with the news we've all been waiting for: even his own teammates predict season-ending surgery for Johan Santana.


And to think, poor Jeff Francoeur and his dodgy season-ending thumb is merely back pages news by comparison. If that doesn't turn him off the Mets, nothing will. This is the guy who never missed a game due to injury in his career before joining the Mets. (and to call them the "injury plagued Mets" is the understatement of the season - if DL casualties were victories, the Mets would have already won the World Series. have a look.

The only two things left are Jerry Manuel to have a heart attack in the dugout and the Omar v Adam Rubin Steel Cage Match wherein Omar is mortally wounded and spurts ketchup from a fake head injury before tearing up that dreadfully unfair Oliver Perez contract and awarding him a new restructured 10 year $100 million one. Oh yeah, and re-signing Moises Alou since letting him go was such a mistake and he's due for Comeback Player of the Year in 2010.

I can't say I've fully given up watching the Mets - who could? Where else are you going to get this kind of drama, this kind of unprecedented skid of bad luck? But I can say I've stopped hoping the Mets are going to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We've gone from comical to cosmic during the course of this season and yet still 13 GAMES AHEAD OF THE GNATS for the ignominious title of Worst in the NL East. (well, actually the entire National League, but who's counting?)

Omar's next big long-term contract signing?

And comically, The Hillbilly, who has been injured nearly the entire season and whose injury in essence destroyed last season's realistic hopes, is back just in time to guarantee the Mets won't get anything for him in a trade for the Red Sox.

You couldn't write a more ironic twist.

Unexpected Offensive Outburst!


I have to be honest, after Oliver Perez gave up that homer to Adam LaRoche (the solo homer in the 3rd, not the three run homer he gave up to Matt Diaz in the 2nd)that gave the Braves what seemed at the moment, reasonably to be an insurmountable 4-0 lead, I switched it over to watch Pedro pitch. Just for the sake of my own sanity, you see. Oliver Perez has that effect on people.The familiar post-gopher pose of PerezFortunately, after watching Pedro earn the final out of the inning, a rain delay sent me back to the Mets game, just in time to see Angel Pagan rattle that line drive off of Derek Lowe's left hand that signalled the beginning of the unexpected deluge of runs, 8 in all, in the bottom of the 4th inning.Lowe was not the same after that line driveBefore that of course, it was just plain painful, having our noses rubbed in it like that, Lowe v Ollie, what could have been v what is.But instead, we were treated to a franchise-record 10 hits in one inning, two each by Luis Castillo and Sheff alone. The Mets finished with 17 hits in all and if you had any inkling of this kind of offensive explosion against Lowe and the Braves, with their Triple A lineup still missing concussed David Wright but also that gaping hole in the lineup called Brian Schneider, you're in the wrong line of work, no matter what it is.Ironically, Perez won this "battle", earning the victory over 5 mediocre innings pitched and exiting the game complaining about a sore knee he incurred by nearly bumbling an easy toss by Murph to him in the 4th inning.Ryan Church demonstrating his defensive prowess in the outfield last night.It was also a match up between former Met, Ryan Church, engaged in a protracted hissy fit with arch-enemy Jerry Manuel, and former Brave Jeff Francoeur, the new face of the franchise. Church went 0 for 4 and made a hash of it in the outfield while Francoeur had 3 hits, an RBI and 2 runs scored.We all know who wins this battle every time.After that magical 4th inning that seemed like it would never end, the Braves showed their true character, rolling over like dogs and falling silent with three hits the rest of the game against Ollie, Elmer, Pedro and Stokes.The other Pedro, the one I'd have missed that outburst to watch, received good run support from his new teammates again but never returned after that rain delay, finishing with no decision after three innings, two hits and one run surrendered. And of course, there's always the chance he'll face the Mets, especially now after such a short start.For the moment, I'll just be happy with humiliating the Braves and Church and Lowe and hope unreasonably that the Mets will put away both of their NL East rivals, all of them in fact, if not solely to move themselves up in the standings but also just, well, it'd be about time.[...]

Magical Murph Wins It For Mets In 9th


It's been a long time.

Over two months since the Mets won a walk off game and finally, in honour of the ailing David Wright, the Magical Murph drove the game-winning single after the Giants brought in lefty Jeremy Affeldt special just to face him.

This on the back of an unusually well pitched game from Big Pelf meant that the Mets have now taken two of three from the weak-hitting Giants in this meaningless four game series. (Well, meaningless for the Mets who are now reduced to the role of spoilers.)

The only other runs the Mets scored came in the 4th when Luis Castillo hit a two-run homer, one of the rare occurrences in baseball.

I know, it's only two wins but I couldn't help but think looking out at these Mets today that this team, despite the absurdist run of injuries that have left them with a second string side, still have some marks of a reasonable job by Omar.

Now before you go crazy, think you've got the smart pick-up of Sheffield, the last remaining big bat in the lineup out there. You've got Francoeur, who reasonably, is the Mets new rightfielder of the future, another smart pick up, dumping a previous mistake in Church in the process. And you've got Anderson Hernandez, whose slick fielding is impressing me more each day. Not to mention Castillo who Omar was pilloried for mercilessly (we thought with good cause) - AND Omir Santos, who Omar smartly signed in January this year.

Now, none of these guys are All Stars, true enough but given the fact that core of the Mets are gone, this wasn't such a bad side. Murph, despite today's game winning hit, is still struggling at the plate. Angel Pagan is still a backup outfielder at best and Fernando Tatis has seen his better days long ago.

I'm just thinking...Omar has done a bad job at times, yes, but Hernandez and Francoeur were both smart mid-season pick ups that cost the Mets nothing of value; of course this doesn't excuse the rubbish farm system he's constructed or the horrific lack of foresight and planning but to be fair to Omar, what team realistically, could have withstood the kind of injuries the Mets have suffered this season and still been competitive.

He's done a decent job amid the rightful criticism. Is it good enough to save his job?

Frankie Boy Ruins Mets Chances


It was shocking to see the Mets come storming back in the 8th inning with three runs to tie the game last night. What were the odds?


I won't say it was shocking to see Frankie Boy surrender that 10th inning lead off homer to Bengie Molina to lead of the 10th last night. Frankie Boy's been slipping so fast it seems inevitable we're going to pick up the paper one of these days and read that he's got some sort of physical ailment that's going to require season-ending surgery. It's just that kind of season and Frankie Boy has been that kind of rubbish since the All Star break and perhaps since the Mets' bottom dropped out. 4.91 ERA in July, 12.79 ERA in August. This is definitely a downward spiral.


And I wouldn't say it was shocking that the last remaining All Star in the Mets every day batting order would get clocked in the skull by a fastball. Wasn't it just a matter of time before something happened to David Wright given how the season has gone?


And how about that nice and classless tip of the cap by assassin Matt Cain as he exited the game last night to a chorus of boos?

Now that Wright has a concussion (thankfully, that's all...)isn't there an away series in Coors Field the Mets can fly Wright to like they did to Ryan Church? Isn't that how Mets management rolls? Lathered in stupidity and incompetence?

Did you realise that Wright has three times as many stolen bases as homeruns? (24-8)?

Of course, all this distracts us from the reality that down to an unexpected comeback by the Mets in the 8th, they had a great chance to win the game an inch another game closer to the Phillies and that unrealistic lead. (thanks to the Braves beating the Phillies bullpen last night...)

Instead, their "star" closer blows the game on one pitch and reminds us all just how bad this season could have been had the Mets been in the running for the NL East or the Wild Card. Our apathy's already set in stone this season. These types of losses are almost painless by now. Just imagine if these games mattered though and how much this would have hurt.

Like Pablo Sandoval blasting one into the stands after Johan threw the retaliatory pitch between Pablo's head in the 7th. And after Johan had already hit Bengie Molina.

Lesson learned? Don't throw at the Giants. They make you pay.

Goofy Uniforms And Green Shoots, Mets Top Giants


As with nearly every Met victory, the temptation to giddily proclaim a new beginning is tempered by the reality of the season and the roster.Last night the Mets showed up in strange throw-back uniforms, with a starting pitcher recently converted from the bullpen and sent fans home with a pleasing and fully unexpected 3-0 victory.In only his second start of the season, Bobby Parnell outdueled former Met target, Barry Zito needing only Angel Pagan's lead-off homer in the bottom of the 1st inning to earn his first win as a starter.Parnell looked promising - with a high 90s four and two-seam fastball with a hard slider he baffled the Giants for 6 shutout innings allowing only three singles. Of course, the Giants' recent run shortage might have been attributable - they have now scored only 21 runs over their last 8 games and rank ahead of only the Mets in the least amount of homers hit this season.But a victory is a victory, meaningless as it may be to start off a meaningless 11 game home stand against one of the main competitors for the NL Wild Card slot the Mets have no claim on.Nothing more than Pagan's homer was needed which was a good thing because other than an RBI double by Francoeur caused by CF Aaron Rowland's misjudgement of a fly ball (Rowland, 3 K's and a misplayed RBI double, whattaya night...), the Mets only had 5 hits all game.Pagan's homer was only their 70th of the season, still shy of Barry Bonds' one record for homers in a single season by one player. Steroids or not, how pathetic is that?And without much run support the bullpen needed to do the sterling job that it did; three scoreless innings and only one hit allowed by a combination of the continuously effective Brian Stokes, the one lefty out from Pedro Feliciano and FINALLY a decent outing from Frankie Boy.surprising the Mets haven't signed this ace yetAnderson Hernandez who went 3 for 28 as a Gnat against the Mets this season, is hitting .333 with a .467 OBA in his Mets return. He's beginning to grow on me already, looking a better prepared to hit MLB pitching this season, a solid back up to Castillo (or a replacement shortstop should the Mets be able to unload Reyes this off season...) Castillo looked like he was gimping around the bases last night in scoring a pair of runs but so far, no word if he's injured, playing hurt or just generally gimpy-looking. He always has had that half pimp-walk gait but maybe the ankle injury is still painful.They say, inexplicably and probably lying, that Carlos Beltran is making very encouraging progress and due back soon but really, why? The Mets are out of it and maybe resting him the rest of the season will give his knees plenty of time to recover. The Mets are 9 1/2 games out of the wild card and 12 behind the Phillies. With no sign of Delgado and Reyes, the inclusion of Beltran would help but not enough to merit not resting his knees.Meanwhile, Billy Wagner continues his free agent audition for 2010. It's very difficult not to think about having the Hillbilly and Frankie Boy as a 1-2 set-up combination next season but enjoy it while you can this season because it's probably not going to happen for several valid reasons. (unless Wagner was satisfied as a set-up guy, for one...)Expect a total of ZERO runs in support of Johan's start today.[...]