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The Shea Hot Corner

The latest rumblings, reports and rumors about the NY Mets

Updated: 2012-04-15T20:02:23.183-04:00




Who was that on the mound last night in the Mets uniform and what did he do with the real Aaron Heilman?

The Pilgrimage


I'll be heading out to Shea to see my first home opener ever. I'm really pumped. For the last seven years I've lived out of state so I have not been able to make opening day. Not this year. I may get fired but I think it's worth it (if they win). I'll report back with my thoughts later or tomorrow. Let's go Mets!

Mets Win!!!!


Mets win Mets win Mets win!! I'm going out to celebrate. If you happen to see a very drunk (and handsome) guy stumbling around Manhattan with a Jose Reyes #7 Norfolk Tides jersey on be sure to say hello.



Win a Fu#*ing game already! I just went out for a walk to enjoy the nice weather and stupidly wore a Mets T-shirt. I was mocked, tripped and had various projectiles thrown at me. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, AND FOR MY SAFETY AND SANITY, WIN A GAME!

Diary of a Madman: In Game Thoughts


Since I'm having a hard time finding time to blog and devote two and a half hours a day to watch Mets games, I figured I'd kill two birds with one stone and do both. Buckle your seat belts Mets fans. Let's see, am I ready?TiVo on? Check.Wireless mouse and keyboard? Check.Lazy-Boy recliner? Check.Fuzzy slippers? Check.Beer? Check.Loser watching TiVo'd Mets game on a Friday night with high tech gadgets in a lazy-boy with fuzzy slippers drinking beer? Check.Top of the 1stI hope it's not hot in Atlanta. John Thomson sweats like a whore in church. It's really quite disgusting. Reyes finds himself in a hole but swats a single. Reyes just got tagged out trying to swipe second base! No! Upon further TiVo review, he was f'ing safe! Damn umps have it out for the Mets this season! Oh well, at least he didn't pull anything. Ya know, when is Willie gonna get his ass out of the dugout to argue? He sat on his hands while one of his ace pitchers, Tom Glavine, got abused by Chuck Meriwether the other day. And now he just let another obviously bad call go unchecked. Yeah yeah yeah, I know, but if we can't second guess the manager then what else are Mets fans gonna do? Revel in the success of our team? Not gonna happen. Matsui does a Reyes impersonation and singles up the middle. It would sure be nice to have runners on the corners with no outs right now for Beltran. Okay, I'm over it. DP. Inning over. Good guys 0; Bad guys 0.Bottom of the 1stWhy is Jimmy Carter at the Braves game and not paying his respects to the Pope? Don't diss the Pope Jimmy! Let's see if Victor "the Wrong" Zambrano can find the strike zone. Every ball to Matsui is an adventure. Furcal out. Question answered - Zambrano can't find the strike zone. But he can find Giles' back - almost as good. Please hit Larry. For the love of God hit im. Nasty breaking ball to get Larry down 1 and 2. Nice - inside 92 MPH heater for the K. Wow, the Giles and Larry at bats encapsulates Zambrano's career - wild then nasty. All in the time it takes to swig 1/4 beer. Hit Andruw Jones. Okay ,I'll stop. I've yet to see Piazza make a throw to 2nd base w/out bouncing it. The wife (aka Smokin' Hot Corner) just asked me to do the taxes. Is she on crack? Giles safe at second on SB. Here comes the chant. Ohhhh, oooooo. So stupid. If you're gonna walk Andruw, that's a good way to do it - buzzing his tower like Maverick in Top Gun. LaRoche, slow grounder that Kaz can't get to (which he should have). Giles scores. Matsui really sucks. Sorry, but he does. We should be out of this inning unscathed. But not with Matsui in the field. Estrada singles, Andruw scores. We should be out of this inning. Raul Mondesi looks like a Klingon from Star Trek. Ugliest man in baseball. Bar none. Wow, where's the rest of him? Klongondesi must have dropped 50 pounds. Got roids? Fran Healy just brought up the word "hitting coach." How long wil he brings up "Charlie Low." CLIFFORD THE BIG RED OUTFIELDER!! Damn, Cornelius will surprise you now and then with the leather. Inning over. Good guys 0; Bad guys 2.Top of 2ndMike met the Pope. Mike Popazza. Sorry, I had to. Mike Poppaza grounds out to Lucifer Larry. How many times do we see a great defensive play only to see the same player come up to bat and drill one? A lot. C'mon Cliff. Maybe not - Cliff grounds out. Dougie Alphabet - too sexy for batting gloves. Not too sexy for a hit though. David Wright is up. I think the Smokin' Hot Corner is jealous of him. Wright Ks. Good guys 0; Braves 2.Bottom of 2ndBrian Jordan up. I really don't like anyone on this team. Almost a nice play by Zambrano on the Jordan chopper, who probably should have let Wright play that. Oh great - Zambrano's hurt. I really hate baseball players. Thomson advances the runner on a sac bunt. Jordan to 2nd. What are the chances of him not scoring? Furcal chops/grounds/does something weird but it's an out - Jordan to 3rd. 2 outs. For Giles. If I were a hitter I would just not swing at anything Zambrano[...]

The Hopeless Optimists Guide to the 2005 New York Mets


Last year on opening day I posted the The Hopeless Optimists Guide to the 2004 New York Mets. Only about 2 of the 15 hopelessly optimistic points I made panned out, but we won't get into that. Why? Because it's time for the The Hopeless Optimists Guide to the 2005 New York Mets. As I said last year, "it's opening day so what better time to get our hopes up and be irrational." Here goes.Might as well start out with the big one. The Mets will win the World Series. Yup, that's right. I said it. The Mets will win the World Series. There, I said it again.Professor Rick will prove his worth and convert the "Wild Things" - Victor Zambrano and Kaz Ishii - into serviceable, middle of the rotation Major League starting pitchers.Meet your 2005 National League Cy Young Award winner.While we're doing introductions, meet your 2005 NL MVP, Rookie of the Year, outfield Gold Glove winner, first base Gold Glove winner, shortstop Gold Glove Winner, and NL All Star team starting catcher.Philip Humber will not become Aaron Heilman.Toward the end of the season, during the bottom of the 9th inning, when David Wright smacks a game winning, walk-off home run to clinch the NL East, Leo Mazzone will rock into Bobby Cox, knocking him into John Smoltz who will drop a baseball he was playing with in the dugout after getting pulled from the game the inning before, and the ball will bounce out of the dugout, roll toward third base, and Larry Jones will trip on it, dislocating his knee, ending his career.Jose Reyes will lead the major leagues in stolen bases and SB%.Baseball Prospectus' health guru Will Carroll recently said of the Mets team health, "The Mets are playing the long shots, looking to win the division the hard way. Ramirez, Altchek and the rest of the [Mets] medical staff--including the input of Peterson--are about to get handed the dice." The Mets will roll, um? I don't know craps. What's a good roll? Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that the Mets, for a change, will enjoy good health throughout the season.Cliff Floyd will accumulate 500 ABs, Mike Piazza will play in 135 games. Jose Reyes will play in 159 games. Mike Cameron will shake off his fragile wrist and play 150 games. Kazuo Matsui's back will be fine and he'll play in 155 games. Pedro's labrum will heal itself and he'll make over 30 starts with well over 200 innings. Victor Zambrano and Kris Benson will be relatively healthy as well.Omar Minaya will not do anything stupid at the trading deadline.The Mets will contact me to be their official blogger. They will offer me a six figure salary to travel with the team, give me full clubhouse access, and detail their miraculous championship season every day as the Official Blogger of the New York Mets (TM).20 year old Mets pitching phenom de jour, Yusmeiro Petit, will get a mid season callup and dumbfound hitters in several spot starts and lights out work coming out of the bullpen. He will shine down the stretch and into October.Willie Randolph will prove himself to be a brilliant in-game manager, convincing skeptics that he not only can manage, but can manage NL style of play including running his bullpen intelligently.My concerns here were dead wrong.David Wright will not be the best hitter in the Mets line-up. Listen, I love Wright as much as anyone but if this 22 year old has a better offensive year than Carlos Beltran, Mike Piazza, Cliff Floyd and perhaps even Mike Cameron, the Mets are in trouble.Heath Bell will get called up soon and have a break out year. Further, Shea Stadium will play, "You Can Ring My Beeeeeell" whenever he comes in to pitch.So, how's that for some opening day hopeless optimism? If you have any additional irrational, hopeless optimist points, now's the time to let them be known so feel free to add them in the comments. Let's go Mets![...]

Mets Reacquire Kazmir from Devil Rays


WFAN just reported that the Mets, in desperate need for a 5th starter after Steve Trachsel went down with back problems, have reacquired Scott Kazmir, the former Mets phenom, from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. According to Ed Coleman of WFAN, the Mets sent Mike Cameron and cash considerations to Tampa Bay in exchange for the 21 year old fireballing lefty. Cameron reportedly never came to grips with moving over from centerfield to rightfield to make room for Carlos Beltran and recently conveyed as much to Mets GM Omar Minaya. According to Minaya, Kaz Ishii, who the Mets recently traded for, will be used as the long man out of the bullpen and Kazmir will fill the void in the back of the starting rotation. According to Coleman, "the Mets feel there is an advantage to cornering the market on players referred to as "Kaz," referring to the Mets' Kaz Matsui, Kaz Ishii and now Scott Kazmir. Ed Coleman also said April Fools.

Mr. Methattan


It's 60 degrees out in Manhattan today. The sun is shining, finally. The sky is blue. Opening Day right around the corner. How could things get any better? This is how!The original Mr. Met, the one with the swollen head even before his namesake team reloaded during the offseason, will hit the streets of Manhattan on Wednesday to trumpet the coming start of the 2005 season. Standing at the top of a double-decker bus decked out in Mets colors and balloons, Mr. Met will expose fans to Opening Day fever by handing out schedules and T-shirts with the club's motto: "Next Year is Now."Now that is just flat-out cool. Mr. Met doing his best Michael J. Fox impersonation from Teen Wolf bus surfing through the streets of Manhattan giving away free Mets stuff. Okay, maybe a little corny, but cool nonetheless. I'll see you guys later, I'm heading out to go find my favorite swollen headed baseball figure (no, not Barry Bonds).Update: The original article was a bit vague so I shot them an e-mail. Mr. Met should be at Bryant Park at around 1:15 then at the Plaza Hotel around 2:00. Hope that helps.Update #2: Just got back from my Mr. Met pilgrimage. Here's a quick report.The Metmobile, a double decker bus with no roof on the top, pulled up at the Plaza Hotel a little after 2:00. The bus was adorned with blue and orange balloons and other Mets paraphernalia. About 25 members of the Mets PR staff was on top and inside the bus, tossing pocket schedules to the cheering people on the sidewalk and screaming "Let's go Mets" as it rumbled down the road like Mo Vaughn would rumble around the bases. The Metmobile parked on 5th Avenue directly in front of the Plaza and the crew of Mets PR folks got out of the bus and descended into the crowd, giving away pocket schedules and Mets t-shirts to anyone that would admit, er, I mean tell them they were Mets fans. Cool t-shirts too - black with "NEXT YEAR IS NOW" printed in white letters with an orange border across the front and "The New Mets" across the back.I finished up my dirty water dog and pretzel I bought on the street, which was damn good by the way, wiped the mustard off my lip, and headed for the Metmobile, hoping to catch a glimpse of the Man of the Hour - Mr. Met himself. As I approached, a cheery Mets PR girl asks, "Hey, are you a Mets fan?" I think to myself, "you don't know the half of it." But instead simply say, "um, yeah." So she hooked me up with a t-shirt. Sweet! As I get closer I notice the head. That big, white, beautiful head! While living in New York City I've had my share of celebrity sighting but nothing could prepare me for this. There he is, it's Mr. Met! The crowd engulfed him like he was Justin Timberlake on set of MTV's TRL! Everyone is screaming, "Mr. Met Mr. Met!"I made my way through the crowd and there he was, right in front of me. I saw nothing but head. I heard nothing but the wind bouncing off the head. For the love of God look at that head! I froze. The head put me in a trance. "What do I do now" I thought to myself. I'm just standing there staring at him and he's just looking back at me. I'm choking worse than the 2004 Yankees. Then, out of nowhere, Mr. Met puts up his hand and instinct took over. I turned on it like a 3-2 hanging curve - "SMACK!" - I connected with the sweet part of the palm to give Mr. Met a towering high five. As my high five follow through took me past Mr. Met, in my mind I saw the Shea home run apple come out of of the hat, light up and fireworks exploding over beutiful Flushing Bay.That's it. Got my pocket schedule. Got my t-shirt. Got to high five the coolest sports mascot in the history of sports mascots. I can now die a happy man.[...]

A Bit Busy Today . . .


. . . but will leave you with this. Lipstick on a pig?

Super Joe Finds a Home


The Kansas City Royals signed Joe McEwing to a minor league contract and have invited him to spring training camp. McEwing will be competing for job as a reserve infielder/cook/bat boy/trainer/mascot. Good luck Joe.

Bonds May Be Out For Season



Sorry, that was me banging my head against the keyboard. It's looking like Bonds will be missing a significant portion of the season, and maybe even the entire season, due to his knee problems. My fantasy team is done before the first pitch of the season is even thrown. Ugh.

NL East EWSL Report


The Baseball Crank has posted his NL East EWSL (Established Win Shares Levels) Report, which combines Win Shares (WS) and Established Performance Levels (EPLs). The good news, the Mets, under this system, finally top the Braves in the standings. The bad news, the Mets still find themselves in the bottom half of the Division in the standings.

Ishii Official


Done. The Dodgers kicked in some cash (The Fourth Outfielder breaks down), which should make this deal a little easier to swallow. This is one of those funny trades where there does not seem to be a consensus as to whether this was a good or bad trade. Let your thoughts be known in the comments. Love it/hate it/cried yourself to sleep thinking of Jason Phillips in a Dodgers uniform?

On a more interesting topic, anyone catch Spring Break Shark Attack last night on CBS? Wow, I don't remember the last time I saw such a good, bad made for TV movie. I found myself really into watching hot, young, well-endowed spring break chicks getting eaten by giant sharks. I know, I need therapy.

Ishii Madness


I woke up this morning to hear about the Jason Phillips for Kaz Ishii rumors. I figured what the hell, let me brain vomit my two cents into the ole' blog but before doing so I stumbled around the Mets blogosphere to see that just about everything that could be said about this proposal has been. Damn these bloggers are fast. Having my thunder stolen, perhaps I'll just try to summarize where everyone seems to stand.Always Amazin: "All in all, I'm kinda bummed about this deal. I don't think it will tremendously hurt the Mets, at least initially, but it really doesn't seem like it will help either."Chuck n' Duck: "Ishii just seems like, to me, the right move right now."East Coast Agony: "Ishii doesn't really have to be 'successful' or 'able to get batters out' to be a good fifth starter. Ideally what the Mets are looking for is an innings eater, and if nothing else he fits that bill."The Eddie Kranepool Society: "the Mets are on the verge of sending Jason Phillips to the Dodger for LHP Kaz Ishii. If this happens it's a fucking catastrophe!"Flushing Local: "But these are the New Mets and Next Year is Now, right? It could be a wild, wild year in Flushing. Extremely wild. Historically wild. "Gogs is the Greek God of Geeks: Matt simply posts some numbers for our craniums to marinate in, which I think is his way of saying that Matt Ginter is better than Ishii.The Metropolitans: "With him and Victor on back to back days, a seven man bullpen becomes utterly necessary and Ginter should be in it. The move, while not a bad one, only gives depth, but not an upgrade over the current options besides being more of a known quantity. However, the trigger needs to get pulled."Metsblog: "While Ishii has not proven to be more effective that Ginter, he can get to the sixth inning, which, given the Mets bullpen issues, is most important."No Joy in Metsville: "It's a no brainer, really"Simply Amazin: "I'm not opposed to a trade that helps the Mets replace Trachsel's output, but I just don't think that Ishii would provide a significant upgrade from where the Mets are now."By my unofficial tally, it seems that the Mets bloggers who have weighed in on the issue appear to be tied, with 5 either indifferent or for the trade, and five being against the trade. Well, shit, maybe I can do something useful around here, I'll provide the 11th and deciding vote! Yippee!!! Yeah, I know, it doesn't take a lot to get me excited (which is what my wife the Smokin' Hot Corner tells me). Well, here goes.The Mets just traded a marginal back up catcher for a Major League starting pitcher. Let me repeat that, a Major League starting pitcher. Yes, this is the same Jason Phillips who slugged .326 last year. No, that's not a typo and no, that's not his on base percentage. I know, I know, Gogs had a nice 2003 season where he hit .298, showed he can take a walk in ending up with a .373 OBP and managed to get his slugging percentage into the 4s, posting a .442 SLG. But the fact is, these are most likely career numbers for Phillips and his true value is probably somewhere between his solid 2003 season and his piss poor 2004 season, which is basically his career .262/.337/.389 line. And please, don't tell me he was "unlucky" last year and please don't point to his spring training numbers to try and argue Phillips is more than what he is. He's a nice back up catcher, provides a good quote now and then, wears cool goggles, but he's completely replaceable.Enter Kaz Ishii, who is the second coming of Sandy Koufax. Ishii will eat 230 innings this year, while striking out 250 batters and will post an ERA in the ones. Ha ha ha just making sure you're still paying attention. Ishii isn't very good. But average and even below average star[...]

Feelin' Cranky


The Baseball Crank has his calculator out and is doing all sorts of cool stuff with EWSL. EWSL is short for "Established Win Shares Levels," which combines two statistical measurements originated by Bill James: Win Shares (WS) and Established Performance Levels (EPLs). I'm not really sure what it all means but it looks like the Crank put a lot of time into this work so I feel obligated to direct all four of my readers over there. Maybe when I get some time I'll put on a pot of coffee and try to come to an understanding of what it all means.

Yates Career May Be Over


Peter Abraham pointed out the other day that "the once-promising career of Tyler Yates may be over." Abraham reports what was initially diagnosed as tendinitis proved to be a 70% tear in his labrum that required extensive repair. I can't help but to think the Mets prior medical staff combined with poor handling led to or at least partly contributed to this. I spoke of my concerns over Yates' handling last season here, when I wrote,
The Mets are toying around with the idea of sending Tyler Yates back to the bullpen. So, a full year of effective starting work with an 8.5 K/9 IP, a dominating spring training against a mix of minor and major league hitters, and 6 major league starts with ups and downs, and Yates is staring at the possibility of ending up back in the pen? Yates' surgically repaired arm had this to say, "Quit messing with me!!!"
I was a big Yates fan and was not only troubled by his handling from a medical standpoint but from a development standpoint as well. It seems the kid was set up to fail from the beginning, which I spoke about in depth here, including,
After taking the loss against the Brewers yesterday, Tyler Yates was optioned to AAA and James Baldwin (no relation to these guys) was brought up to take his spot in the rotation. Simply put, the Mets gave up on a talented, hard throwing rookie who will be a key cog in the future of this team after only 6 starts in favor of a washed up 33 year old scrub with a career 5.02 ERA who will be a key cog in AARP soon. But hey, the scrub had a decent 33 innings in Norflok. Can someone please get me something, I think I'm going to be sick.
Here's wishing Yates all the luck in the world in getting back. And let's hope the Mets learned something from this.

A Bridge to Nowhere?


Despite an offseason that some say was "the best offseason of any team, not just this year, but in recent memory," Mets detractors are still out in force. This year the sour grape brigade points to the middle relief as the weakness that will sink the Mets. They may be right. Although, quite frankly, if all your detractors can point to is middle relief as your weakness, you should take it as a compliment. In fact, pointing to a team's middle relief as a weakness is tantamount to a good momma joke when you were little. You always have it in your back pocket if all else fails. "You're ugly." "No, you're ugly!" "Oh yeah, well yo momma so ugly her momma had to be drunk to breast feed her." (the crowd of kids on the playground goes, "oooooooo"). The commentators usually say, "the Mets have no bridge to Braden Looper." However, I'm more concerned - or just as concerned - not with the bridge, i.e. the middle relief, than I am with the bridge's destination, i.e. Looper.Looper was a decent pick up when he was signed by the Mets before the 2004 season. The Mets had just come off another horrible season and seemed to be in some sort of quasi rebuilding mode. Jim Duquette was handed the reigns and spoke of "youth" and "athleticism," Fed Wilpon spoke of certain top prospects in the Mets system as "untouchable," and the team was even holding tryouts among young farm hands in camp to fill out the back end of the starting rotation. The Mets' goal was simply to be playing "meaningful games in September." God I'm so sick of that ill fated phrase. The rumor had it that until Art Howe objected, the Mets weren't even going to sign a closer. So, in that context, signing Braden Looper to a reasonable two year contract for about $3 million each year was a decent move.Looper came to the Mets after five seasons with the Marlins, where he had a harder time keeping his closer job than Jack Bauer does trying to find time to go to the men's room. While exhibiting good stuff, overall he was inconsistent at best. In return for being handed another closer job, at 29 years old Looper responded with his best season in the bigs. While opponents batting average and slugging percentage against him was relatively stable, Looper posted, by far, his best ERA of his career (2.70) thanks to his ability to maintain his strike out rate (6.48 K/9IP) while drastically reducing the amount of free passes he issued. Thus, for a pitcher whose previously best strike out to walk ratio was 1.96, Looper posted a 2004 rate of 3.75. While I would love for Looper to continue this trend, I'm not optimistic.Looper's decent 2004 numbers stemmed mostly from an extremely good first half of the season but the second half of the season he struggled. Before the All Star break Looper shut down opponents to the tune of a 1.88 ERA, a 1.08 WHIP while fanning 42 and only walking 6 in 48 inning pitched. In the second half, perhaps, gassed after already having throw seven multi inning games, Looper's numbers inflated to a 3.82 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP and he only struck out 18 while walking 10 in 35 inning pitched. These horrid numbers can be traced directly to an August 21st outing, when the Mets were out of the race - 9 and 1/2 games behind the Braves - yet Art Howe thought it prudent to leave Looper in the game for three innings. The result, Looper collapsed in September.But that was then and this is now. After Black Friday and an offseason where the Mets brought in a new GM who embarked upon a spending spree that would make Paris Hilton (PG-13) blush, the Mets moved up their time frame to win to right now. No longer is this a team hoping for "meaningful games," this[...]

Mets DP Dynamic Duo


The read of the day is brought to you buy Bob Klapisch, whose Jose Reyes/Kazuo Matsui article graces the frontpage of What's more, out of the seven featured articles on the front page of's baseball page, this Mets-focused article is one of only two you don't have to pay for. Doesn't it seem odd that the more great free baseball writing there is on the net, the more ESPN hides their content in pay-only Insider? Oh well, they must be making money or else they wouldn't be doing it. That said, I ain't payin. Anyway, check out Klap's article on our DP Dynamic Duo. By the way, my copying and pasting function seems to be a bit jacked today so I can't provide links - but I have a feeling you all know where to find the World Wide Leader in Sports on the web.

Lastly, I hear MSG or FSNY will be airing a Mets Spring Training game tomorrow at 1:00.

Mets drop their ST opener to the Nattys


The Mets played in their first Spring Training game yesterday, losing to the Washington Nationals 5 to 3.HittingTony Armas started the game for the Nattys and faced what will undoubtedly (barring injury of course) be the Mets opening day 1-3 hitters in Jose Reyes, Kazuo Matsui and Carlos Beltran. While the trio went down in order, both Reyes and Matsui displayed uncharacteristic patience at the plate, with Reyes not even swinging at the first four or so pitches. Reyes finished the day 1 for 3 and Kaz went 0 for 3 with a run. Beltran (1 for 3 with a run) got his first hit in a Mets uni when he scorched a single up the middle, almost decapitating the pitcher. Willie Randolph slotted new first basemen Doug Mientkiewicz and his career .404 SLG in the cleanup slot, who walked twice and scored a run. Jason Phillips was the Mets money hitter de jour, going 2 for 3 with a double and two RBI. For all of you who think he should hit higher in ther order, even in a depleted Spring Training line-up Randolph would not put David Wright higher than sixth in the batting order. Despite putting good wood on the ball in virtually all of his at bats, he went hitless on the day. Victor Diaz and Eric Valent rounded out the starting lineup and combined for an 0 for 5.FieldingAll-in-all, the starting defense that took the field looked pretty good throughout the game. Reyes and Matsui turned a nice 4-6-3 DP, with Kaz making a quick toss to Reyes who winged the ball toward first base, forcing Mientkiewicz to dig the ball out of the dirt to record the out. Last year, there was about a 50/50 chance the ball ended up some place other than the first basemen's glove and about a 25% chance that if Mike Piazza was playing first, he would have hurt himself. Matsui flashed some more leather, or should I say flesh, in the third, when he charged a dribbler, bare handed it and quickly threw across his body to Mientkiewicz (yes, I'm cutting and pasting his name). It seemed like the Nattys were trying to test Matsui, as later that same inning a high chopper headed toward Kaz, who again charged it, this time taking the short hop in his glove and making the throw to first. Part of Matsui's problems last year at SS, probably due to his years of playing on fast turf in Japan, was staying back on balls he should have been charging, forcing him to make harder and more accurate throws than necessary. This, combined with a a bunch of converted catchers at first base, contributed to his error total. It was good to see Matsui charging balls, knowing the speed of the runners, and making good, aggressive plays on balls. I read a few days ago that Mets coaches quiz Matsui on certain players and how fast they are. It seems Matsui is the Ken Jennings of this little game and it showed yesterday. The only middle infield mis-q occurred on yet another dribbler that rolled across the infield grass on the second base side. Reyes glided across the infield toward the ball, Matsui took a few steps forward and neither of them took charge. Reyes will have to reestablish himself as the leader of the infield and make those plays, which I'm confident he can and will. Despite the feel good story occurring in the middle infield, it was a misplay at third that did the Mets in when Miguel Cairo, filling in in the later innings, committed an error that allowed the go ahead and eventual winning run to score.PitchingTom Glavine looked relatively sharp, tossing two scoreless innings and fanning two. I held my breath when Glavine plunked the volatile Jose Guillen, thinking Guillen was going to take Tom's head off, o[...]

Are You Ready for Some Foot, um, I mean Baseball!!!


The Mets open up the Grapefruit League today with a game against the newly minted Washington Nationals. The Nattys play at the Great Space Coaster Stadium . . . or is it the Space Coast Stadium? Either way, there will be live baseball today and that's what really matters. And as a cherry on top, the game will be nationally televised on ESPN at 1:00, although you will have to endure Mr. Ax Grinder, former Mets GM Steve Phillips providing color commentary. will also be providing free coverage. Tom Glavine will make the start and most of the regulars will make the trip, although the odd couple of Mike Piazza and Pedro Martinez will stay behind in Port St. Lucie. Nattys GM Jim Bowden indicated the Mets will be facing Frank Robinson's opening day line-up, at least for the first few innings: "Frank told me how he wasn't going to start his regulars for the first few days, but, boy, they're all in there tomorrow, at least for the first couple of innings. . . And I think that's good, because it allows the fans in Washington as well as America to see some of our players. A lot of these players are not very well known. They will be in six months." Tony Armas Jr. will oppose Glavine. Let's go Mets!

Bloggin' Aint Easy: The New Shea Hot Corner


Just like Carlos Beltran rejuvenated the Mets at his unveiling press conference referring to his new team as The New Mets, I'm going to be making another effort to rejuvenate this sorry ass blog. I'm sure you have all heard the term, "pimpin' ain't easy," well, neither is bloggin' sometimes. Between real life responsibilites (boo boo boo), doses of writer's bloc, and what seems like a massive flood of new (and in many cases improved) baseball writing on the net, it's sometimes difficult to maintain a blog. That said, I'll see what I can do. So if you're a SHC faithful, keep checking in.

For now, let me just get my feet wet with a little linkorama. Go check out Then, go say wassup to Eric from SaberMets who has started a new blog as part of the SportsBlogs family of blogs called Amzin' Avenue. Also part of the Sports Blogs family of sites is former ESPN writer John Sickel's Minor League Ball blog. There are also two new Mets websites out there: Mets Daily and Flushing Futures. If you know of any other sites that I have missed that I should add to my sidebar, drop me an e-mail. And along with the new blood out in the net, don't forget all of the the old staples still on the sidebar.

You Wicked Awful Sawx Bandwagon Bum!


1. You're a New Yorker starring in a movie about this fanatical Red Sox dude. How did you negotiate those dangerous waters? Pick a side already!

Jimmy Fallon: I grew up in Saugerties, upstate NY. I was never really serious with one team. I was into the Mets because my Dad worked at IBM where he got free Mets tickets, so I was into the Mets ... like two games a year. Then I got to "Saturday Night Live" where my boss (Lorne Michaels) has unbelievable New York Yankees tickets, so he invites us to the games. I'm going to all the games, so I might as well root for the team I'm gonna go sit with. I became a Yankees fan for a few years. But now, I gotta say, I'm really rooting for the Red Sox.
Wow, I gotta say that after seeing Jimmy Fallon on the field celebrating with the Red Sox last night and then reading this interview excerpt, I'm really rooting for the SS Bandwagon to sink before Fallon has an opportunity to jump ship.

Curse Shmurse


There was never any Curse of the Bambino. Other teams have always just been better and every so often, luckier. Not this year. Congratulaions Red Sox Nation (us Mets fans still have '86 though).


Q&A with a Yankee Hatin' Mets Fan


The following answers were prepared by my buddy Ed, a Yankee hatin' Mets fan, after the greatest post season collapse in baseball history last night. And yes, my friends are as sick and demented as I am.

#1 Answer: the heimlich maneuver
Question: what are these overpaid, over-hyped Yankees in need of more than decent starting pitching?

#2 Answer: heart
Question: what is one of the two things King George's money can't buy?

#3 Answer: fans with class
Question: what is the second thing?

#4 Answer: Mickey Mantle
Question: what is the only thing more dead than the Yankees' bats last night?

For more coverage of the ALCS, don't miss Bill Simmons' articles.

Happy Birthday


Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday dear uselessssss
Happy birthday to you.