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Nice Level Swing



Because he's Keith Hernandez



Updated: 2014-10-03T00:44:03.373-04:00

 



Signs

2009-04-20T13:49:40.094-04:00

So Doc Gooden signed a wall at Citi. A nice little touch from a member of the 86 team.

Our ownership however finds this to be a disgraceful act of graffiti.

Sweet merciful Jesus, what the fuck is wrong with these people?

Now, I am in the minority in regards to the stadium looking like Ebbets Field. I could not care less. I even whole heartily support the Jackie Robinson Rotunda (which, btw, has been talked about since the stadium plans were unveiled. I ask why no one was bitching back then? Did we really think it would not be so large? enough bitching people).

I do think they fucked up not having a Mets Hall of Fame in place, or at least CONCRETE plans for one (they vaguely mentioned one for the future, but it sounded a lot like CYA).

Here though, we have a former Met great who, on a lark, signed a wall in a restaurant. A nice token. Jay Horowitz' response was sad. "Graffiti" he called it. And said it would be removed.

Guys, you are getting the snot kicked out of you by fans due to pricing, site lines and lack of a Mets feel. Doc gave you a PERFECT way to get back some goodwill. And you stepped on your dicks with golf shoes.

It's simple. Leave the signature the hell alone.
Then, get other former Met greats to sign the wall as well.
Even some of the present guys.

You will look better. Fans will be pleased.

Instead, you come off looking like a bunch of idiots.

Again.



Today, It Begins

2009-04-06T10:36:46.233-04:00

The building of the roster is basically done.

The exhibition season, completed.

Today, the games begin for real.

Today, the quest for redemption starts. The quest to make this tool drink a big tall glass of STFU. And he can share it with a number of others.

Oh, I know, SI said the Mets were gonna win, so the jinx is on. Fuck that.

I know, there are holes on this team. I know, Ollie turns into "LOLLIE" too often (hat-tip to Danny at Metsgeek). I know Sheff is 40.

I also know that there are some you know, great players on this team.

I know, other teams "hate us". LIke I said a few months ago, lift up your skirts, show a little sack. Who cares if other team hate us? They hated the 86 team. So long as we win, THAT my friends is all that matters. Go into town, beat the team, drink all their beer and eat all their food (the last is your job Livan). If they hate, they hate.

Today, a new season begins. Time for us fans to forget last year. Shea is gone, as are some pinata's. A new stadium awaits us next week. Time for the players to forget last year too. It's easy to do:

Just.Fucking.Win.

LGM!



4 Days Left

2009-04-02T21:24:07.529-04:00

4 days left as I type this. In 4 days, it's time for the Mets to put up or shut up.

Time for the additions to show they were worth it.

Time for some past disappointments who are back (I'm looking at you Luis) to show that last year was a fluke.

Time for Jose and David to continue to grow.

Time for Daniel Murphy to seize the opportunity and take advantage of it.

Time for Jerry to show what he can do over a full season.

And it's time for Mets fans to forget last year and the year before. Oh, I know it sucks. I understand the pain. But sweet jeebus folks, it's not like we haven't dealt with disappointment before.

How many of you are fans of this team? I am.

Or this one?

Or this one? I mean shit, they even had a GM who can give Steve Philips a run for his money in terms of being inept. I am.

Or this one, who went a LOOOOOOONG time between championships? (tee-hee)

We are stuck for now with certain truths:

1. Luis Castillo is going to play 2nd base for the Mets for the near future.
2. Livan Hernandez is going to be the 5th starter for the near future.
3. Marlon Anderson is on the team.

It sucks. I know. I've spent a lot of time bitching about it on Metsgeek. And others have done the same on that and other sites. But here's the thing, it just doesn't matter. No matter how much we bitch, it's not going to change anything. All it does is cause us more agita.

Being a fan is not easy. Even in the best of seasons, there are things that irk us (see Sisk, Doug in 1986). We cannot allow it to defeat us. It is not easy, especially when the media does its best to constantly remind us of the last two seasons. But we do a lot of damage to ourselves as well. Dwelling on the past , or worrying that it will repeat itself is simply not healthy.

Giving up on this team is not an option. There is too much talent there to do that. Oh, there are holes, I do not deny that, but for pete's sake, can we stop focusing on them? Can we focus instead on how we have 3 of the top everyday players in baseball, a top starting pitcher, two top closers? Can we realize that the pen has been improved? No longer do we need to see Show trot in from the pen? Or Heilman? Do we realize that we will not have that feeling of dread when Jerry walks out to the mound?

4 days folks. The season opens in Cincinatti. As I posted a few months ago, forget about what other teams and the media think. I want this team to go out and win. And win big. And I want us fans to stop worrying about if other teams are mad because Jose dares to show excitement. We root for a damn good baseball team that has had a couple of bad years. Get over it. Turn the page. It's a new season.

Lets Go Mets

Just.Frakking.Win.



T minus 6 Days

2009-03-31T10:43:17.388-04:00

The start of the new season is less than a week away. This weekend, a couple of exhibition games will "open" Citifield. Then the Mets will go to Cincinnati for the opener (remember when the Reds ALWAYS had the official opener? Back before ESPN bought Bud?) and the Florida, before returning home for the official regular season Citifield Opener on April 13. I for one am excited for the season.

I've read elsewhere people saying that they are not hyped for the season. They don't think the team is appreciable better than last year. They bemoan moves made (Ollie for $12 m per) and not made (Lowe, Manny). I say pooh.

It's April folks. A new season is upon us. How can you not be excited to see Jose leadoff? To see him get on first and them await the inevitable break for 2nd? To see him leg out a triple in the gap?

Or how about seeing David Wright at the plate, doing all his little quirks and then driving the ball into that gap? How about seeing Delgado drive one deep? Or Beltran patrol center with the gracefulness of a gazelle? To see if Daniel Murphy is as good as he looked last year over the long term?

On the mound, how can you not be pumped to watch Johan? Every time I flip on SNY and they are showing game 161, I get chills. I can't wait to see him this year. I want to see Pelfrey continue to make THE LEAP, to see Ollie, as maddeningly inconsistent as he may be, hurl a gem. To see the Maine we all know from 2006. To see a pen that won't leak.

I know, all the projections say this guy is gonna do worse than last year, and Ollie isn't worth $12 million, WARP this and Verducci that, and the stadium is too small/cold/antiseptic/paid for by tax-payers. Forget all that stuff for a while.

Sit back and think about the smell of the grass, the sound of the ball popping into a mitt, the crack of the bat. Think about the feeling when you walk through the gate and see the field. Or think about hearing Gary, Keith and Ron on SNY or Howie and Wayne Hagin on WFAN. There's plenty of time to worry about the stats and projections. For now, just sit back and enjoy the game.

My first game in person this year will be April 27th. And I cannot wait to see the new park, and to watch my Mets.



Fantasizing

2009-03-23T09:44:11.481-04:00

After finishing 2nd in the Regular Season last year (3rd overall), Ed is back fantasizing.

Here is "Craptastic" for 2009:

C – Shoppach
1B – Morneau
2B – HIS NAME IS DAN UGGLA
SS – Rollins
3B – Garret Atkins
OF – Sizemore
OF – He who Loves Hugo Chavez
OF – Vernon Wells
Utility – Hawpe
RP – BJ Ryan
RP – Putz
SP – Halladay
SP – Lester
P – Nolasco
P – Verlander
P – Pelfrey

Bench
Adam Jones
Justin Upton
Cameron Maybin
Rickie Weeks
Rafael Perez (rp)


Yes folks, I drafted Rollins. Why? Well, he was the "best player onthe board". Of course, this puts me in the uncomfortable position of having to root for the bastard. Maybe I can trade him for someone else. There are a couple of Philly fans in the league.

I'm generally pleased with the team, though I need to find some "holds". I'm a little starter heavy right now.

Categories are:

Batting:

R, HR, RBI, SB, BB, K, AVG, SLG,

Pitching:

W, SV, K, HLD, ERA, WHIP

Crossing my fingers and seeing what happens.



What, Me Worry? (Yes, I am worrying)

2009-03-02T14:45:23.609-05:00

Is his elbow shot? Are we looking at Wagner redux?

Those are the questions that were flowing through what's left of my fragile little mind last week.

It started innocuosly enough with a report saying Johan would not pitch against Italy due to elbow tightness. The following was my post on Metsgeek

":readies noose:"

Because at the end of the day, if Johan misses significant time, we are royally screwed. No matter what the pen does, no matter if Wright pictures Francessa's face on every pitch and proceeds to hit .420 with a 1.259 OPS, if Johan is out, this team is done. You cannot miss your ace for a chunk of the season and expect to win. (see the team in the Bronx last year for proof).

Now, Ollie may very well turn a corner. Pelfrey may be able to build on last year. Maine may be able to bounce back from having a bone spur shaved. That's all well and good, but losing TBPIB is a killer.

Once again the team looks like fools. First he is getting an MRI in NY. Then he is not, because Johan felt good after throwing yesterday. (Was I the ONLY one having flashbacks to Billy last year when he blew the tendon throwing? :shivers). Then he says it was the accelerated throwing program Warthen has them on, while Warthen says it is because Johan rushed wanting to pitch in the WBC. I'll tell you this much, when your fortunes ride on an elbow, you DO NOT CHANGE HIS REGIMEN THAT HAS WORKED FOR HIS ENTIRE CAREER! LET HIM THROW AT HIS OWN DAMN PACE YOU NUMBSKULLS!

I feel better now.

Seriously though, once again, the ever changing story about an injury to a player makes the team look bad. Every hour it seems he is flying, or not flying, then maybe driving. It's laughable. here's the deal. Make a plan, then stick with it. If Altchek and others were coming to Fl. this week, then just come out and say it on Friday. Don't say on Saturday he's gonna fly to NY on Monday, then say Sunday he doesn't have to because of the snow, or becuase he feels good, or whatever BS reason is spouted (here's a tip, we knew Thursday a storm was coming this way, maybe watch the weather channel from time to time guys, ok?). Get the story right at the get go. The ever changing words make you look stupid, and cause fans like me to take tums by the case.

The good news is Johan felt good. The bad news, well, it's the Mets, given their history, he could have been BS'ing everyone and he may be on his way to see Dr. Andrews as we speak.



In other news, Mike Francessa is sad because Ryan Church and David Wright had the audacity to not appear on his show last week. If you recall, Mikey said that Ryan did not like playing in NY, and said that David sucks in the field and wilted under pressure. Mad Dog had also bashed David last year, claiming David told Delgado to not take a curtain call. Mike said they are both too sensitive. Who's too sensitive, the players who didn't go on the show, or the host who spent the better part of a day bitching about it. It's very funny considering Mike said he doesn't care about Church since Mike will be in NY longer than Ryan. If that's so, why do you care? As for David, apparently the two talked and made nice.

I for one wish the Mets would never appear on the show. All he does is blast the Mets. Why go on and let him act all nice, when you know damn well he's going to piss all over the team the second the segment is over. He made some comments last week about how there are too many guys who do not speak english well. Nice. I wish Omar would call Mike out on that crap.

Stay tuned for more on this. I'm sure Mike will milk this for a few more day.

And keep your fingers crossed that Johan is really healthy.



Spring is in the Air (or is that something else?)

2009-02-25T10:11:49.590-05:00

Two posts in 1 week!!

Intra-Squad games are done. The real exhibition season begins. Then of course, the WBC starts and fraks everything up.

I’m of two minds on the WBC. I kinda like the idea of getting the All-Stars from different countries together. It will bring attention to the sport we all love, and expose some lesser known players to a larger audience.

What I don’t like is what I am sure most don’t, the fact that players don’t have the time to practice and play with their own team. This is especially a concern with those players who are joining new organizations. A big part of ST is team building, getting to know your new teammates, as is getting in synch with the expectations of your manager and coaches. While a new manager in baseball is not going to install a new system like in other sports, there still needs to be the beginnings of a relationship. So the Mets missing JJ Putz and K-Rod for a few weeks, well, it kinda sucks.

In any event, the positive part is that the back-ups will get more reps. Fernando Martinez (F! folks, not F-Mart) will see a lot of time in the outfield. Tatis will probably play some third with DW being on Team USA. Other pitchers will get reps in the pen with K-Rod and Putz being away. So those guys will get a chance to show what they can do. It doesn’t mean they will make the team out of ST, but it could help them get a call-up later in the year, or perhaps increase their trade value.

In any event, I am getting more and more excited about the coming season. I am encouraged by reports that Luis Castillo appears to be in better shape and is showing some life in his step and bat. I still abhor the idea of him leading off though. I am concerned about Redding, though he is supposed to throw off a mound today or tomorrow. I am not concerned about Freddy Garcia yet. It is early folks, let’s wait and see. I think he could be a key player this year. If he is able to come close to his pre-injury numbers, the rotation will be significantly improved. And if Livan Hernandez is healthy, he is added depth in AAA (I’m not holding my breath on that one btw). I just think Jonathan Niese needs some more seasoning. I really hope he is not the #5. If he is, then a lot has gone wrong regarding Garcia, Redding and Livan. That will not be good.



Tanned, Rested, Ready

2009-02-22T20:45:40.430-05:00

Time to wake from my long winter's nap.

A week in Florida (sadly, not near PSL, happily, some time alone with the wife in South Beach). The tan started. Even got in a round of golf (I still suck) and hit the gym pretty much every day. So, I am ready to start posting again. Of course, the frequency depends on work and the Mets. Of course, being away meant I missed the last part of Shea come tumbling down. I'll miss the old place. But look forward to the new.

I'm sure I was not alone in wondering just what the fuck Omar was thinking when he signed Livan Hernandez and invited him to camp. Then today we see that Tim Redding's shoulder is ailing him, because of slow recovery from toe surgery (why is it that we keep getting guys with bad toes? Pedro, El Duque and now Redding). Apparently, he rushed his throwing schedule due to a late start, and now the Mets will keep him off the mound for a few days. Not giving me the warm fuzzies.

I really didn't see a lot of news while I was sunning myself. Well, I did see that Pelfrey has all his money frozen (no, not the Madoffs, that other cheating bastard Stanford). Damon and Nady from the Yanks are caught up in that too. Common thread? Scott Boras. Scott's not having a great spring. One client can't find a job. One client got caught using roids. Now this. Pelf hasn't had a great spring, first flipping a golf cart, then admitting to seeing Marley & Me.

Otherwise, it's all the same shit. Players lost a lot of weight and are in great shape (see Castillo, Luis), are wishing that the season started yesterday (see Murphy,Daniel). And the media is dropping hints about how K-Rod will react the first time he blows a couple of saves and the media and fans start calling for Putz to close (leave it to Sherman to drop the hint now).

Some are upset about things that Jerry has said about situational hitting and being smarter and putting guys in place to help the team. I do agree that hitting Luis Castillo 1st is probably the dumbest fucking thing I've heard in quite a while. But I do agree that the team needs to change it's approach with RISP (anyone who disagrees, take a look at DW's stats from last year. And piss on the # of runs scored as a team, fat lot of good that did late in the year when they couldn't push a couple of runs across against the Cubs or Marlins. Timing means everything folks).

How will it all turn out? Will Luis really be better than last year? Will Beltran start off hot now that he won't have to learn how to slide again? Will Delgado start hitting in April and go all season strong? Will DW progress back to his normal RISP stats? I don't know. But I am ready for the ride to begin.



It's Been a While, I Know

2008-12-12T21:39:46.484-05:00

So much time, so much to write about.Going into the offseason, we knew what the issue was. The media knew it. The pundits knew it. The fans. The opposition. The problem was the bullpen. The question was, did Omar and the Mets ownership know?Apparently, they did. First, Omar waited out the market and was able to get K-Rod for 3 years and $37 million. In October, the thought was he would want 5 years, $70 million. No one thought the Mets would get him, that the price would be too high. Of course, that made sense. However, there was no market beyond the Mets for K-Rod. No other big market teams needed a closer. So, by remaining patient, Omar got his guy. Kinda like last off-season, no?Then, Omar showed he knew that the problem was not solely in the 9th inning. We knew the 8th was a problem. Hell, the 7th still is to an extent. The main thing though was "addition by subtraction", which Omar and the Wilpon's had repeated since the end of the season. Well, we got some subtraction on Wednesday, as we said goodbye (happily) to Aaron Heilman, and hello to JJ Putz, former closer now our 8th inning guy. Now, we also had to give up Joe Smith and Endy Chavez from the major league roster (along with Mike Carp and a couple of other minor leaguers who were at least 3 years away folks). I liked Joe, he was a good ROOGY, but he had had little success against lefties, mostly due to his motion, which made him hittable from that side. As for Endy, look, the dude could play a great outfield, but he could not hit enough to play regularly. When you have a chance to get ONE OF THE TOP 6 CLOSERS IN BASEBALL, you have to give up something in return. When you make a trade, the goal is to get the best player in the deal. Can anyone argue that Putz is the best player in the deal? Look, Endy will hold a place in Metslore forever due to "The Catch", but he was not a guy who could pinch-hit late in a game. Did anyone really want him coming up to bat down 2 with runners on 1st and 2nd? No. Heilman had to go. He just had to. The team had to move on. Sean Green and Jeremy Reed will replace Aaron and Endy. I wish the former Mets luck in the future, and welcome Putz and Green and Reed to the family.As I am writing this, I see that Omar did some more subtraction, shipping Scott Schoenweis to Arizona for righthander Connor Robertson. At first blush, it looks like Robertson will be AAA bound, as Omar said:"We're happy to acquire Connor Robertson," said Mets General Manager Omar Minaya. "He has a solid minor league track record and he's a good addition to our system." So, goodbye Scott. Maybe the Diamondbacks will be smart enough to NEVER let you face righties.At the end of the season, my checklist of guys who needed to go bye-bye went like this:HeilmanSchoCastilloTwo down. We are probably stuck with Castillo. Maybe he will come to camp in shape. Maybe he will bounce back. He fucking better.So what else has gone on. Let's see, oh, the Yanks have signed Carl Pavano AJ Burnett to a 5 year contract. That'll work out for them. They also signed CC Sabathia. That probably will work out for them. CC is damn good. Of course, they had to give him an opt out after 3 years to sign him, which basically means he's leaving in 3 years.Ah, I see the Phillies signed Raul Ibanez. Thank you. I wanted no part of him and was worried Omar would sign him. Much appreciated.In other Philly news, Chase Utley had hip surgery. I wonder if they changed the grease in his hair while they were at it. He could be back by May, but could be out longer.Oh, and I see WFAN hosts Benigno and Roberts invited Cole Hamels on their show Thursday. Why you ask? Because WFAN loves nothing more than to piss all over the fans of the team they are the flagship station of. Do they really think Mets fans want to listen to Cole Hamels? Then, they made it worse by asking him if the Mets are "choke [...]



Dear Omar

2008-10-29T21:17:47.990-04:00

Congratulations on your extension. You'll notice I left out the "well deserved" that you may think is forthcoming. The reason I did so is that I do not think it is well deserved. I understand why the Wilpon's gave it, but disagree.You see Omar, you're scaring the fanbase right now. You've said some pretty scary stuff. Things like "Damion Easley had a good year". Omar, the dude had an OPS of .692. That is far from a good year. Yeah, I know he had a couple of good games, but the dude is not a starter, and is barely a competent bench player. In 31 PH appearances, his OPS was .515. That is NOT A GOOD YEAR.You also stated "The Brand is Strong." No, it is not. A strong baseball "brand" is one that makes the damn playoffs. You know who has a good brand? The Phillies. Because they won the damn division 2 years in a row, and are, as I write this, up 3-2 in Game 5 of the World Series, possibly on their way to a trophy. That is a strong brand. Your brand is strong when you make the playoffs back to back, not when you make it once, then blow two leads the following two years. Your brand is strong when you have a good bullpen.You also stated you think Luis Castillo can bounce back. Let me clue you in on something Omar. He sucks. Sucks at defense, sucks at hitting. Now, I like saber, and I get OBP is an important factor. But Luis' OBP is empty when you factor in the multiple double plays he hits into, and the key groundouts. Not to mention his inability to hit the damn ball out of the infield. His OPS while playing 2nd base? .666. That's a sign Omar. Not to mention the fact that Mets fans, well, hate his ass. Did you not hear the boos? Now, I know, you will say "Well, the booed Delgado too." The difference is that Delgado can hit home runs. Fans dig the longball. Luis cannot hit home runs.I know you signed him to a 4 year deal, and he has 3 years left. Big deal. The Wilpon's can be persuaded to eat the contract. They paid Mo Vaughn. They are still paying Bobby Bonilla for fuck's sake. If you can't trade him, cut him. We will not care if he comes back to someone else and suddenly finds the fountain of youth. We do not like him.Now, let's think about who can play 2nd next year. Easley and Castillo are gone. You could use Argenis Reyes, but that would be stupid. Ypu could throw money are Orlando Hudson, which the press will love since he has "attitude" (we'll get to this). Or, you could do the smart thing and LET DANIEL MURPHY PLAY! He has already shown he can hit the snot out of the ball. His line last year, .313/.397/.473. That's a .870 OPS. That's good. He's young, unlike Hudson. He can hit, something Hudson does not do away from Chase Field. And he's under contract and cheap, which means you can spend money where you need to, the BULLPEN.Yes Omar, you need to spend money on the bullpen. There are NO internal options for closer. Sign Fuentes, or trade for Putz or Soria. Get Dennys Reyes (we need at least 2 Reyes' on the team). Juan Cruz is an intriguing idea. This is where you need to focus your time and effort and money. Not on 2nd base. You need to sing guys who are not ROOGY's or LOOGY's. You need to sign guys who can face both. In reality, not in your world where Scott Schoeneweis is able to. The real world.Lastly, there has been a lot of talk about attitude on the team. You know where attitude comes form? Winning. Yeah, it helps to have some hard nosed guys who could NOT care less what people think. The key is to make sure they are actually good (in other words, not a PLD type.) If Jose wants to dance, let him. If Keith Hernandez doesn't like it, TFB. Just remember, it does help to have the stats that Jerry commented about. You know, it is hard to drive guys in if they are not on base.The last thing is to either resign Ollie or get a reasonable replacement. Derek Lowe is nice. Burnett wo[...]



An Open Letter to Mike Francesca

2008-10-16T09:43:13.349-04:00

Dear Mike,On your radio show on WFAN on October 15, 2008, you made two claims:1. That there are 20 players comparable to David Wright.2. That David gets a pass from the press.I would like to ask you to provide the listing of the 20 players, as well as prove that he gets a pass from the press. What’s that you say, you can’t? That’s what I thought.David took a lot of heat towards the end of the season, both in the local media and the national media. Many blamed him for the losses to the Marlins and Cubs, and said he was not “clutch”. Some fans even bought into this line of thought. Of course, when you look at a single game, you are likely to find fault and be able to point out a failure. This is what you have done. However, when you look at the numbers on an overall basis, the theory holds no water. For instance, here are David’s numbers for the month of September:.340 Avg.416 OBP.577 SLG.993 OPSHere are his numbers for the entire season:.302 Avg.390 OBP.534 SLG.934 OPSSo September was better than his total numbers. In fact, it was better on an OPS basis than any other month save for July when he put up the following stats:.317 Avg.431 OBP.574 SLG1.005 OPSMind you July was when the Mets went 18 – 8, moving back into contention.As for the 20 players comparable to David, I can only imagine what that list looks like. Let me guess, two of the members on your list are Jeter and A-Rod. Let's look at the stats for 2008 shall we:Jeter - .300/.363/.408/.771A-Rod - .302/.392/.573/.965I'd say David stacks up pretty favorably there wouldn't you?Now, I do grant that there are some players who are better than David. The name Pujols comes to mind, as do Manny Ramirez and a few others. I’m sure there are some players older than the 25 year old David Wright who have put up better stats over the past few years. But the number is not 20. You may be interested in this little stat - Only 5 players have put up a OPS over .900 in the past 4 seasons. Including David.Now, I do grant that David had a poor year with RISP. Of course, you would think based on listening to your show that this is his history. You would be wrong of course. His RISP the last 3 seasons: .310 (2007), .365 (2006), .298 (2005). The history shows 2008 to be an outlier.I know things are tough for you right now. Your beloved Yankees failed to make the post-season. Your partner left you all alone, and your ratings have probably suffered, so you need to stir the pot. Here’s the thing, try to at least get your facts straight. Now, knowing your history and how you have treated people who did not appear on your show, there is the thought that you are singling out David because he refused to go on your show after you claimed he told Carlos Delgado to not take a curtain call earlier this year. Of course, David denies this, yet you refuse to acknowledge your error. Instead, it appears to be a case of “How dare David refuse to appear on my show!” If David did indeed refuse to go on your show because you LIED about him, I commend him. If he refused just becuase he thinks you are a pompous windbag, I commend him again.You use this team as a punching bag all the time, from attacking how Willie was fired, to lying about David to claiming Ryan Church does not like NY (another lie). I wish the team would change stations, but they won’t do that. I do hope the players tell you to stuff it though.And I hope Mets fans stop listening to you. I did years ago.[...]



Making a List

2008-10-15T10:01:47.870-04:00

Well, after a few weeks of gnashing of teeth and reading all the puke coming out of the PC’s of twits like this guy, it is time for Ed to make “The List”. “The List” of who stays and who goes. Let’s begin with the Brain trust shall we?Omar will be back, we all knew this was going to happen. Despite my issues with some of his moves (it’s the bullpen stupid); I do not have a huge problem with his being given an extension. I do have a problem with the length of it, as it is one year too many IMNSHO. My concern is knowing how the Wilpon's operate, if they wind up firing him, and having to eat his salary, they will use that as justification towards not spending on players. Omar’s job right now is to do two things. First, blow up the pen and replace what is left. Second, get Luis Castillo the hell out of here.Jerry Manuel will be back as well. Now, I liked the job he did. He brought a team that was basically left for dead in the middle of June by most to 1 game out of the Wild Card. The problem is that he seemed to go a little Willie on us when it came to the bullpen. Remember in 2007 how Philip Humber sat and rotted on the bench after being a September call-up while the likes of Mota and others kept blowing games? Remember how we thought Jerry would be different? We thought wrong, as Bobby Parnell became this years Humber. Once again, the manager let a call up rot while the bullpen shat the bed. Now, I don’t totally blame Jerry for not making the playoffs. The team lost its #3 starter in Maine for a month plus, and lost it’s closer in Wagner for nearly 2 months. The fact they finished where they did shows me the team gave it’s all. Now, his comments about stats and grit give pause, but I think we all know managers use stats; they just don’t use them as the sole reason for making a decision. A good manager blends stats and gut. Jerry seems to do this well for the most part.As for the rest of the coaches, I could NOT care less if any of them are back.Tony B – I hope you get the job in Seattle.FieldersDavid Wright, Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran have to come back. A trade of any one of these players would be the stupidest move in Mets history. I don’t give a rat’s ass if David had a poor final weekend. The dude had a great month overall. Jose did better than September 2007, and had many games during the season where he was the team’s best player. Beltran is Beltran. The dude just plays, day in, day out, hurt or not. The next person who calls him a pussy is going to get a beating. He’s the best CF in baseball.Daniel Murphy needs to be back. I don’t expect him to hit like he did last year. I do expect him to be a good ballplayer. Let him play left field if they decide 2nd is not going to work out. He has great plate discipline (though he needs to work on sliders in). Plus, he’s gritty, which everyone tells us this team lacks.Brian Schneider can come back so long as he promises to be the defensive catcher we were told he was.Fernando Tatis can come back as a 4th outfielder and bat off the bench. So long as he signs cheap in terms of $ and years.Ryan Church should be back. I don’t think he will be as good as he was the first half, or as bad as he was towards the end of the season. Hopefully, an off-season of rest will help heal his hip. Now, if someone offers a nice return, I can live with his being dealt, but then Omar would need to find a RF. That will not be easy.Endy – sorry, this team cannot have your bat on the bench, unless it is as the 5th OF.Marlon Anderson – make him a coach. Just do not let him have a spot on the roster. Dude is done.Luis Castillo – GONE. For the love of all that is good and holy, please get rid of him.Damion Easley – gone. Not good off the bench. Not good as a st[...]



Goodbye Shea Stadium, and Thanks

2008-10-06T09:44:29.412-04:00

So, we say goodbye to Shea Stadium. No playoffs this year. A season that started with high hopes ended with a last day loss for the second year in a row. I don’t want to talk about the season yet, I will do that another day. Today, I want to talk about what Shea meant to me.

Growing up, Shea meant a chance to spend time with my dad. You see, growing up, things were tough. Dad worked 6 days a week, and there were many years where he worked a night job as well. So time with Dad was at a premium. Once spring came, hope of being able to go to Shea with him, to tailgate and take in a game grew. Now, Ed was a wee lad, so tailgating meant a sandwich, hot pretzel and soda, but all the same, it was fun, because I got Dad for a few hours.

The games all blend together, but what I remember is the feeling when we would get there and walk in. Dad buying a program, and the two of us keeping score. Walking out of the tunnel and seeing the field in front of me, watching batting practice, watching the guys stretch. As a young kid, seeing that field as we walked in was amazing. To this day, I get that same feeling of anticipation. The early years of my going to games were of course not as much fun, as it was the late 70’s, and the Mets, well, they stunk. But as the 70’s turned to the 80’s, hope began to grow.

Keith joined the team. And Gary. Doc and Straw came up. And a couple of times a year, Dad would get tickets from vendors at work and we would make the trek from Eastern Long Island to Shea on a Sunday. Take in the view, and watch our guys mature from perennial losers to winners. All along, Dad would teach me about the game. How pitchers would change things up. How fielders had to watch the ball off the bats, and account for the wind, or just the angle. I recall a time where some guy near us was blasting Straw for a misplay on a hard liner. Dad explained to me, loud enough for the fan to hear, how a ball off the bat of a lefty hit to right field was hard to track because of the pull and angle and so forth. The little things you can see live, but maybe not on TV.

Dad taught me many things, from how to keep score, to how to watch, to how not to boo your team. Even when things were bad we never booed. We saw the lows and the highs (an NLCS game against the Astros in 1986). And we enjoyed every minute.

Time has gone on. Dad and I don’t get to go to games too often. The last time we went was a few years back, me, my younger brother and Dad. This time, my brother and I took him. It was like old times. A little tailgate before (and this time, a beer was allowed). Then, a program, pretzel, hot dogs and watching our Mets play. The next time we go will not be at Shea, and that will be fine with me, since it will be time with Dad again. In a few years, once my kids are a little older, I will take them. And show them what Dad showed me.

Many will recall specific games or sights from Shea. What I will recall is a few hours a couple of times a year with Dad. Time well spent.

Thank you Shea Stadium. Thank you Mets. And thank you Dad.



Too Soon

2008-09-30T09:48:26.929-04:00

I'm not quite sure what to say.

I mean, they were 7.5 games back, and left for dead.

They come back and miss the playoffs by 1 game. Again.

Word leaks of an Omar extension.

Too many thoughts going through my head right now. I need to collect them.

I'll have a "Good Bye to Shea" post soon.

Then a season recap once I can put coherant thoughts on paper. I don't want to overreact like some of the twits in the media are (Wright needs a shrink, Jose needs to go, blah blah blah).



Nothing to Fear but the LOLpen itself

2008-09-22T09:50:24.902-04:00

This is just getting silly. Dear Jerry, I like you man, but if you even THINK about bringing ShitScho in to face a righty, or Heilman in at all, I'm gonna lose it.This theory that ShitScho can get out righties has been proven false more often than Ben Affleck has been proven to be a shitty actor. The dud CANNOT get out righties. CAN NOT! Please, for the love of all that is good and holy (and my blood pressure), resist the urge.As for Aaron, he got a key out Saturday, but was back to crap yesterday. I like Aaron, I think he has talent, but for some reason, be it his knee, his confidence, or perhaps his lack of a contribution to the Notre Dame athletic department (thereby incurring the wrath of Jesus), the dude cannot get outs with regularity. He needs to be chained to the bench. He may only pitch in a game that is completely out of hand, like a 20-1 Mets lead, with 2 outs in the 9th. And even then, I want someone warming up and ready.The bottom line is that there is no one in the pen who can get batters out from both sides of the plate. They are a bunch of specialists. The only guy who has is Parnell, but he has pitched all of 2 innings. Jerry, use him. Please. We can go on and on about who would be the 4th starter in the playoffs, considering Pedro is no longer Pedro. But the fact of the matter is that if the LOLpen keeps this up, it won't matter, because the team will not make it.Now, the simple fact that they are even in the race at this point is unbelievable. The team was 7 games out in June, and has played excellent baseball since then. We have seen Mike Pelfrey mature before our eyes (at what cost though, since he has blown through his innings limit). We have seen Wright continue to be Wright (though he has had some slumps at inopportune times). We've seen Beltran be Beltran. We've seen Delgado reborn.Considering the litany of injuries the team has faced this year, it is shocking that they are in the mix. Of course, the talking morons at ESPN forget the list. Let's reviewAlouChurchMaineWagnerPedroCastilloAnd that is just among the regulars. Pagan, Tatis, Easley have all missed time. Let me ask, what team has lost a 15 game winner, a closer, and a pitcher like Pedro for significant time and yet has led the WC with 7 games to go, and was 1 back in the loss column? I know expectations were high coming into the season, but it is like everyone forgets the truly poor first half the team had. Overlooked is how the Phillies failed to put away the Mets.7 games. Three Teams enter, two teams leave. Mets, Phils and Brewers.Now is the time for the starters to pitch into the 8th allowing 2 runs. Time for the pen to revert to June form. And for the bats to score 10 runs a game, just to be safe.We've seen a lot of ups and downs this year. Now is the time for the fans to hold on. Remember what Tug saidYOU.GOTTA.BELIEVE!We are Mets fans, this is the price we pay. Hang in there. Up the medication. Whatever you gotta do. If you are going to a game this week, SUPPORT the team. No booing. When alive with playoff fever, Shea Stadium is a 10th man. Bring it to life. WILL this team to victory. Do not allow Sunday to be the last game to be played at the ballpark.Those at home, root for the team. Do not allow the negativity to overwhelm you. Be it on TV, radio, online, support the team. It's not easy. But it never has been.After last year, good things are due to happen. Let them happen this week.LGM![...]



Looks Like I Picked the Wrong Week to Quit Sniffing Glue...

2008-09-15T11:36:30.135-04:00

Better call the doc and get the blood pressure medication upped.

You know, I don't get that annoyed when we lose to the likes of the Marlins or Nationals. I just figure, "well, shit happens". But to lose 2 of 3 to the fucking Braves? To let Larry Jones win his last game at Shea? Sonuvabitch.

Johan goes 7 and pitches well, and the lolpen coughs it up on Saturday. Thankfully, Jonathan Niese showed a lot of improvement from his last start, shutting down the Braves over 8 (Um, Jerry, give the boy another start).

Yesterday, Ollie rebounds from a poor outing against the Nationals to leave with a 4-2 lead. And the lolpen once again craps the bed. I blame myself. I picked up Stokes and Ayala in a misguided attempt to make it to the finals in fantasy baseball. I jinxed them. (And of course, I drop Street for Stokes, the day he gets a Win, which would have tied me in Wins for the week, and I would have won and made the finals. Instead, I tie for the week and lose the tiebreaker, ERA. Dammit).

David tried to win this one himself, two more homers in a 4-5 day. Delgado went 3-5 but was not driven in . The lineup just dropped the damn ball. They had Campillo on the ropes, and let him out.

But I am not going to blame the lineup. They had a 2 run lead. Joe Smith bailed out Shit-Sho in the 8th. Then, Ayala thought he was a National again, giving up hits to Casey Kotchman and Kelly fraking Johnson, followed by a home run by Greg Norton, he of the 261 avg and 805 OPS. The rest was anticlimactic.

Meanwhile, the Brewers continue to choke on a sausage, dropping 4 to the Philth. Ned Yost is toast my friends.

The Philth are off today, and travel to Atlanta for 3 against the Braves, who they have owned this year (10-2 so far, with 6 left). I hope Larry shows up, along with the rest of them. Then the Philth have 3 at Florida, then return home for 3 against the Braves and 3 against the Nationals.

The Mets meanwhile travel to DC for 4 against the Nationals, then to Atlanta for 3. They wrap it up with 4 at Shea against the Cubs and 3 against the Marlins.

The lead is 1 (2 in the loss column). There are 14 games left. The mantra remains the same.

Just.Win.Series.

A sweep against the Nationals would be nice though.

LGM!



How About that Grit?

2008-09-10T15:11:37.675-04:00

Bad Ollie returns. The pen, in the form of Figgy and Knight, breaks the recent strong run by the relief corp. The Nats look primed to repeat last September. Except this year, Carlos Delgado doesn't suck.The boys jumped out to a 2-0 lead, thanks to a 2 run double by Easley in the bottom of the second. Ollie gave it back in the top of the third, allowing Cristian Guzman to go yard.In the bottom of the third, Church and Delgado (bomb #1) made it 5 - 2 Mets. Ollie gave it back, and Figgy allowed 2 inherited runners to score, and it was 7-5.Bottom 4, Church drove in a run with a groundout. DW got a hit with RISP, and it was tied.Top 5, Brandon Knight walked the leadoff guy, Willie Harris, allowed a single to Pete Orr, moving Harris to third, and Anderson (IPOR no more?) Hernandez drove in Harris with a ground out. 8-7 Nats.Bottom 6, and Dos Carlos' said "Get on my back guys". Church singled. DW popped out. Beltran hit a nice deep shot to left center, and it was 9-8 Mets. Delgado followed with a bomb into the bullpen, and it was 10-8. That would be the final.Kudos to Joe Smith, who went 1.2, Sho, who finished the 7th, Stokes for a hitless 8th, and Ayala, with a trouble free 9th. The key pen guys got it done. Unlike last year.This is not 2007 anymore my friends. This team plays hard all 9. Delgado is locked in. Beltran is as well. DW shows signs of stirring. Reyes went 2-4, keeping up his season long strong showing (300 avg, 183 hits, 359 opb, 478 slg is damn good people.) The bit guys, Easley, Tatis, are contributing. Church seems to be good. The starting pitching, save for Ollie last night, has been solid for over a month. And the pen is doing it's job as well.They came back multiple times last night. They've done it alot of late. Yet all I hear about is the Philth's grit and heart. Methinks the Mets have a ton of grit and heart as well. But we won't hear about it, since the Mets got Santana and were supposed to win. Never mind that Pedro missed time, and Church, and Alou, and now Wagner. That is all conveniently forgotten at ESPN and elsewhere. This team has overcome numerous injuries, slumps and Willie to be 2.5 games up. They were 7.5 games down June 13. That's quite a turnaround. They control their own destiny. How did team grit lose that lead?Meanwhile, the Marlins hang on in Fla. to beat the Philth. The lead is 2.5, 3 in the loss column over the Philth.This 12 game stretch for the Mets is key. Nats, Braves, Nats and Braves again before the Cubs come to town. An 8-4 record is a must. For those watching the scoreboard, the Philth have Marlins, Brewers, Braves and Marlins again over the same stretch. It will be interesting to see how the Brewers do against Moyer and Hamels. They've owned lefties (those not on the Mets at least) this year.Tonight, Pelfrey vs. Odalis Perez.Just.Win.Series.LGM!!![...]



Thanks Manny, Lastings et al

2008-09-04T09:38:42.875-04:00

Last year, as we Mets fans know all too well, part of the problem was the Mets inability to beat the Washington Nationals in September. The Mets went 1-5 down the stretch. Meanwhile, the Philth went 4-3. That right there kids was the season.This year, perhaps the worm has turned. The Nationals just took 2 of 3 from the Philth, while the Mets went to Milwaukee and swept the Wild Card leading Brewers. So the lead, which was 1, is now back to 3. Perhaps Manny is helping the Mets after hurting them last year? Maybe one of his buddies in the front office called and said, "how's about a little something for the effort?"In any event, we enter the final 3 games of the season series with the Phillies with a chance to stretch the lead. At worst, they will be tied. At best, a 6 game lead with 19 games to play. I'm calling for the Mets to win 2. Sunday Night's game on ESPN should be a good one, Johan vs Hamels. Hamels will be pitching instead of Kyle Kendrick.The series in Milwaukee was impressive on a number of levels, despite the protestations of Bruce Murray on SNY last night (the Mets are simply playing well now, Delgado could fall apart, blah blah blah. Dude must be angling for an ESPN gig.) The Brewers absolutely DESTROY lefties. They were 31-13 coming into the series against southpaws. The Mets started Johan, Niese and Ollie. Three wins. Johan held them to 2 runs over 6 innings, and one of those scored on a balk. Niese was, well, not good (butterflies in his first start, give him another against a weaker team next time, mmkay?) But the bats responded and won it in 10. Yesterday, they jumped all over Dave Bush in the first, scoring 6 (Welcome Back Ryan Church, and who the hell is it that has taken over Brian Schneider?). Ollie walked 5, but was able to maintain focus and pitch out of jams. The final, 9-2, and it wasn't even that close. As Jerry said, maybe the lefties in the Central aren't quite as good as the lefties in the East.The team is firing on all cylinders right now. The starters have been great, 11-1 with a 3.25 ERA in the last 20 games. Beltran, Reyes, and Delgado have been amazing. Daniel Murphy is making a name for himself. David Wright is slumping a tad, but perhaps the off day today will jump start him. As for the LOLPEN (hat-tip to a Metsgeek poster for coming up with that one), well, it is unscored upon in the last 15 1/3 innings going back to Saturday. Nice work by the maligned pen. Of course, they need to continue this, as there is much in the way of bad memories among the faithful.22 games left. The 3 in Philly, then 2 in Washington, 3 vs Atlanta, 4 in Washington, 3 in Atlanta, 4 vs the Cubs and the final 3 vs the Marlins, as we prepare for the final days of games at Shea. After last year, many are loathe to make predictions of a division title. Others are predicting that the Phils will still win it, as shown in this quote from a recent Jayson Stark Rumbling & Grumblings Philles taint licking column:“One part of it, obviously, is the difference in bullpens,” one scout said. “But the other part of it is heart. I love the Phillies’ grit. And now that [Jimmy] Rollins is hitting again, they’re the team to beat again.”I guess numerous comebacks in late innings for the Mets are not from grit. And where was that grit against the Nationals? As for bullpens, well, guess who blew the game last night for the Phillies?Whereas a few months ago, we thought 9/28 would be the last game played there, now we have hope that the game will be the last Regular Season Game, with Playoff Games to follow.Just.Win.Series.LGM![...]



Tanned, Rested and Ready

2008-09-02T09:57:26.860-04:00

After a week of rest and relaxation at the beach, Ed is back for the stretch drive. A few things to opine on.1. Jimmy Rollins continues to bitch about the Mets celebrations. Note to Jimmy, worry a tad more about your own team and your travels. And Cody Ross needs to drink a tall glass of STFU as well. Next time Cody, move off the plate you little bitch.2. Ned Yost and the Brewers bitch about official scoring. Melvin wants 2 writers to work with the official scorers to make calls. Writers who give us great results in MVP and CY Young votes determining hits/errors? That'll work. Little less whining, little more thinking about pulling CC from games where you lead 7-2.3. ESPN continues to chirp about the Phillies grit. Grit means shit when you lose 7-4 to the Nats.4. Writers writing about how the Mets played poorly against the Brewers. Of course, the fact that they have come from behind for their last 4 wins means nothing. If the Philth had done that, the raves about the Phillies "grit" would be non-stop.5. I love the back and forth the NY papers have about the Yankees. Dead one day, alive the next. Guys, they are 7 back and have to pass 2 teams to sniff the WC. Sidney Ponson is a key member of the staff. Can we move on please?6. Umpires need to move the fuck out of the way on plays at the plate.7. Philly fans complained about Sheets leaving after 5 yesterday. I didn't hear any Mets fans bitching about Zambrano not starting on Sunday.8. I send apologies to Carlos Delgado again. Dude is on fire.9. Dear David Wright, please start getting more hits with RISP? kthksbye.10. Dear Jerry Manuel. You have extra arms in the pen now. Please use them.11. Aaron Heilman - throw fucking strikes.12. Rest of Mets bullpen - throw fucking strikes.13. Welcome back Ryan Church. Stay healthy.14. Thank you Lastings Milledge. Do that today and tomorrow as well.15. Why do I think if Obama had a 17 yr old daughter who was pregnant we would be hearing from the right about how the fact she is pregnant is due to liberals not believing in God? And that if only abstinence was taught she would not be pregnant?16. If anyone other than Cliff Lee wins AL Cy Young, the voters need to be smacked. Hard.Onto the MetsNice comeback yesterday. I like how this team is responding late. Two more against the Brewers, then home for 3 against the Philth. Let's take 1 more against the Brewers, then, sweep the Phillies. There is no better way to shut up the talking heads on ESPN than to beat on the Phillies. Last year will be the big story all month until the Mets make it something else. This is the week to start.On the surface, the schedule after this week looks easy. But we thought the same last year. Of late though, the Mets have done well against the likes of the Nats, Braves and Marlins. Here is what is left9/2 - 9/3 - @ Brewers (2)9/4 - off day9/5 - 9/7 - Philth (3)9/9 - 9/10 - Nats (2)9/11 - off day9/12 - 9/14 - Braves (3)9/15 - 9/18 - @ Nats (4)9/19 - 9/21 - @ Braves (3)9/22 - 9/25 - Cubs (4)9/26 - 9/28 Marlins (3)24 games left. Two game lead. 77-61 is the record. A long way from May and June.Last year at this time the record was 76-60. Interesting no?Of course, they played very well early last year, and slumped late. This year, so far the reverse has been true. On June 2, the record was 28-28, 4.5 games back. Since then, they have played .598 baseball.Lets keep up the pace.Just.Win.Series.LGM![...]



Sweeps are Fun

2008-08-22T09:48:52.449-04:00

Even moreso when they involve sweeping the Braves. And it gets even better when Larry Jones makes numerous errors and fails in the clutch. Given all of the beatings the Braves administered to the Mets over the years, it is time for things to even up. This week was a start.

Three game sweep. Late inning comebacks in two games. Hits to drive in RISP with 2 outs. Good and great starting pitching. All the elements of a WINNING team were there. Even good work from the pen. Ah, the joy of winning 3, seeing the Phillies lose to the Nationals and the Marlins lose to the Giants. Joy.

Pedro may no be the Pedro of the past, but damn, he still knows how to PITCH. He's not gonna blow the ball by anyone, but he is wicked smart. He knows how to keep guys off balance and how to control the game. He went 7 plus last night, which gave the pen more rest, as Jerry only had to use Pedro Dos and Ayala (who has been good his first two outings). Assuming a playoff birth, Jerry is going to have a tough decision to make when it comes to the rotation (assuming also that everyone continues to pitch as they have lately).

Carlos Delgado went 5-5* last night. Drove in 3 runs, including the winner as Omar Infante fielded Delgado's liner in the 9th like he was having a flashback to the Ayala fastball from Tuesday. Wright, who otherwise was probably going to be doubled off second, scored the winning run. DW went 3-4. So the 3 and 5 guys went 8-9, nice.

Yes, this has been a soft part of the schedule. Yes, they should dominate these teams. But, they had not been doing that this year. They had played poorly against the Braves, lost stupidly to the Pirates and Nationals. They got swept in Houston and San Diego. Finally this team is taking advantage of the week. Now, they need to keep it up as the Astros come to town for 4 this weekend. The Phillies meanwhile play the Dodgers. Houston has been hot since the ASB, so this will not be easy. Hopefully the recent trend of strong outings from the starters, timely hitting and good bullpen work continue for the next week. After Houston, the Mets go to Philly Tuesday and Wednesday. A little more breathing room before then would be nice, don'tchathink?

Ed will be away in Bethany Beach, Delaware starting tomorrow for a week. I will return rested and ready for the stretch drive.

Just.Win.Series.

LGM!



Let the Beating Continue Please

2008-08-15T15:14:18.647-04:00

The sweep of the Nationals is complete. The first sweep on the road this year. Ollie gets the "W". Smith, Duaner and Aaron finished it up. The bats actually tacked on insurance runs for a change late in the game. All around, a nice effort.The first three innings saw no runs scored, as Balestar kept the bats off balance, no hitting them through 3. In the fourth, Argenis Reyes singled, DW doubled and Delgado drove in a run with a grounder, moving DW to third. Beltran followed with a sacrifice fly, and it was 2-0. In the fifth, Tatis walked and Brian Schneider hit a homer to deep left center, his first since May 14, against the same Nationals. In the sixth, Delgado hit a laser to left for another homer, and it was 5-0.Ollie cruised until the 7th. Kearns led off with a bloop single. Aaron Boone grounded out, then Ollie walked Nieves. Pete Orr, former Brave, hitting all of .197 then triple to right center, and it was 5-2. Bonifacio followed with a bunt that Delgado tried to grab and tag, but wound up missing, and it was 5-3. Joe Smith came in to get Belliard to fly out.In the eighth, Smith got the first out, then walked the next two hitters, bringing in Duaner, who got Boone to strike out and Nieves to ground out. The ninth was looming. Who would close? Kunz? Heilman? Jerry?Thankfully, it did not matter as the boys pushed 4 across, thanks to the Nationals playing like, well, the Nationals. Murphy led off with a single. Tatis doubled, Schneider k'd. Easley pinch hit and singled, driving in 2. Jose then singled. Argenis lined out to third. DW then hit a grounder to Belliard, playing shortstop due to Guzman being out with an injury. Belliard booted it, and the bases were loaded. Delgado followed with a grounder past first, but right into the shift, a seemingly easy third out. Except Bonifacio threw it wide of the pitcher going to cover first. Two more scored, and it was 9-3. Heilman proof, as Aaron (booed even in DC) got three outs.Meanwhile, the Cards beat the Marlins, and the Dodgers swept the Philth, so first place belongs to the Mets again. Let's keep it until the end of the season now, shall we?On to Pittsburgh for a 4 game set. Alex at Metsgeek has the Pittsburgh pitcher reviewTo my friends heading to Pittsburgh - Vaya Con Dios mi amigos.Just.Win.Series.LGM![...]



Mike and the Mad Dog

2008-08-15T14:57:34.232-04:00

So, despite protests that it was not going to happen, last night, WFAN announced that Christopher "Mad Dog" Russo (aka The Screaming Ninny here at Nice Level Swing) is leaving the "Mike and the Mad Dog Show".

Good.

Now, maybe people will wise up, not listen to His Pompous-ass, and he will leave to.

Which will lead to much rejoicing.

Vindication for Neil Best in Newsday who has been all over this for weeks.



Check Up

2008-08-14T11:38:06.639-04:00

Let's see. When we last left off, the Mets were 2 games out. Since then, they have moved into a tie for first. How did this happen you may ask?1. The Mets finally remembered that they are supposed to beat on teams like the Nationals.2. The Phillies Pen finally realized that it is time to regress to the mean.The record against Washington coming into this game - 4 wins, 5 losses. Not exactly a stellar showing against the basement dwellers. And how can we forget the end of last season, when they went 1-5 in the last six, including losses of 12-4 and 13-4, blown leads, and a 10-9 loss made to look that close by 6 runs in the 9th. One more win against them and the Mets tie for the division. This is a team that for some reason appears to have the Mets number. Is it Manny Acta trying to show he should be the manager? Is it the Nationals players deciding to show up against the big bad Mets? Or is it the Mets just not getting up for the series, thinking the Nats will lie down?In any event, Tuesday saw the Mets win 4-3 thatnks to a hit batter with the bases loaded (and yes Manny, the ball did hit Easley, balls don't change direction like that on their own you know.) Johan got the win, giving up 3 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks.Last night, John Maine returned from the DL, which of course meant we would all be worried about1. His arm falling off2. How the bullpen would pitchThankfully, Maine's arm was fine, as he went 5 allowing no runs on 1 hit with 4 walks. As for the bullpen, Brian Stokes came in and pitched the final 4, strangely earning a save even though the Mets were up 10-0 when he came in. Weird rule.The offense showed up against an inferior team. It allowed Jerry to pull Dos Carlos' early, getting them some rest. Jose has 2 hits and 2 runs scored. DW had a hit, 2 walks, 2 runs. Tatis had a HR. And Daniel Murphy went 3-6 with a HR, 3 RBI and 2 runs scored. The only Mets non-pitchers who did not get a hit were Delgado (who walked 3 times) and Schneider (****ing Shocker). Schneider did have 3 walks though, so he had that going for him. Maine got an RBI by walking with the bases loaded. Even Stokes had a hit.Murphy is continuing to impress. The guy seems to have 7 pitch at-bats every time up. He works a pitcher, something the other guys do not do enough of. He fights until he gets his pitch. The youngster does not look overmatched. He continues to show impressive power to the opposite field, as his home run last night went to left center, about 380 ft to the fence in Nationals Park. And the ball cleared the fence by a nice margin. He'll continue to "platoon" with Nick Evans, but he is making it hard for Jerry to do that. Jerry said that since he is an RBI guy, he will bat low in the order when Argenis Reyes is in the lineup, but should bat 2nd when Ryan Church comes back. That will be nice, seeing him feast on fastballs behind Jose.Stokes looked good. Granted, the Nats, well, suck, but he still looked sharp. The fastball was popping, and his control was good. He gave the rest of the pen a night off, which is nice. A long man not named Carlos Muniz is what this team has needed. Hopefully Stokes can keep it up.Tonight, Ollie vs. Balester. The Philth remain in LA. Let's get another W tonight, shall we?Just.Win.Series.LGM![...]



Shit-Scho and the Craptastic Pen

2008-08-12T09:16:03.710-04:00

It's all the rage to bash Aaron Heilman for yesterday's debacle. I do not come here to do that. The entire pen is to blame here, with the exception of Duaner. Joe Smith has been the suck of late. Pedro Dos, ditto. Scott (Shit-Scho) Schoeneweis sucks as well. And all 12 of you who read this know how I feel about Carlos Muniz and Eddie Kunz.The problem my friends is that this pen has too many specialists. I do not mean they all specialize in sucking. I mean we have too many guys who are only ROOGY's or LOOGY's. Smith is only effective against righties. Aaron is better against righties this year as well (odd, since he used to do well against lefties as well). Dos and Shit-Scho against lefties. That leaves Duaner (when he can pitch) and Billy as effective against both sides. This leads Jerry to have to play match game, with disastrous results.If we remember last year, the pen had similar issues, which were exacerbated by starters who could only go 5 innings. Little changed, with the exception of Mota being gone and Duaner being here. The same guys are doing the same things this year. The issue for the next couple of weeks is what to do until Billy comes back?Simple, name Kunz the damn closer. Will it work? Who knows, but nothing else is with any consistency. Aaron did well Friday and Saturday, but crapped the bed yesterday. Shit-Scho should NEVER FACE RIGHTIES JERRY (did you not sit next to Willie last year and learn this lesson? WTF?) Smith looks dead. Sanchez is inconsistent with his velocity. Pedro Dos is a LOOGY right now. That leaves Kunz.Now, the idea has been floated of moving Maine or Perez to the pen. This is a bad idea on so many levels it makes me question the intelligence of the local media for writing it, or, if they got it based on conversations with Mets officials, makes me question their smarts. I'll start with Ollie, who has only been the best pitcher of late. So move him to the pen, and who starts? Stokes? Please. Nice story the other night, but let's be real here. As for Maine, the guy has a bad shoulder, so let's make him pitch multiple times a week, oh, and have a shorter window in which to warm up. Yeah, that'll work real well.If they want to change something, send Muniz down and call up Niese or Parnell. Oh, that's right, they don't want to start Niese's arbitration clock. Bullshit. This team prints fucking money. They spend it on shit like Show, Mota, Castillo, but are worried about having to spend it on Niese? Please. I am so sick and fucking tired of the money argument from this team.Omar I am sure tried to make a trade, but he refused t0 give up young arms and/or bats to do so. Good. He gets killed (rightly in some cases) for trading away Bell, Lindstrom et al, but now he should trade Niese or Fernando! for a bullpen arm? We rue the day Kazmir was traded for Zambrano, yet want Omar to make a similar mistake? (Yes, I know Niese is not as highy touted, but the analogy still fits, it is all about the future. Remember, Pedro and Ollie are FA at season's end.)So, here is Ed's plan.Kunz - CloserNiese/Parnell - set upSanchez - set upHeilman - set upSmith - ROOGY/mop upDos/Shit-Scho - LOOGYStokes - long man/set upMuniz - goneThis team is adverse to using youngsters until their hand is forced (see Gomez, Carlos; Murphy, Daniel; Evans, Nick). In most cases, those worked out. Why not try it with a young arm. Last year in September, Humber sat on his ass for most of the month while the pen imp[...]



Get Ready for Your Close-Up Eddie...

2008-08-06T13:50:19.534-04:00

So, the Aaron Heilman Experiment lasted all of one game. We hope. Given the state of the rest of the pen, it is time for Jerry to stop the Willie-like aversion to using youth out of the bullpen, and let Eddie Kunz close.I like Aaron. I've supported him over the years. He's blown games, and also come into sticky situations and gotten the job done. But somewhere between the spring, when Billy said Aaron had the stuff and mentality to close and, oh, say April, something went wrong. The change-up that used to beffuddle lefties disappeared. He started to right the ship shortly after The Jacket was fired, even throwing some effective sliders (a pitch Rick had him eschew). However, that did not last long and Aaron of late has fallen back to his pre-June funk. If Jerry so much as looks at Aaron in a tight game in the late innings, he could join Aaron as a target in the eyes of the fans.One thing though. When Aaron came into the game last night, he was booed. Now, I know Aaron has done poorly, but sweet jeebus people, the dude is being called on to close out a game. How about a little fucking support? How about instead of booing him before he throws a damn pitch, you clap for him, get behind him. You know, build up his confidence? As savvy as NY fans are supposed to be, we get this wrong too often. I'm not saying you should not boo if he sucks, but at least give him a chance. Who knows, maybe a show of support from the fans may have helped. (well, that and some help from the defense.)I'm off the soapbox now.Basically the pen looks like thisLOOGY - Show, Pedro DosROOGY - SmithCRAPPY - LugoUBERCRAPPY - Muniz, HeilmanUnknown - KunzSmith is having a hard time against lefties. Pedro Dos (before last night) was having trouble keeping inherited runners from scoring. Show should not face a righty unless there is a 10 run lead.Muniz sucks. Lugo is not much better. These guys are mop-up guys, nothing more. Lugo will be the long man per Jerry.That leaves Kunz. Now, I'm not saying the guy is gonna come out and be dominant. He may blow up. But you know what? The dude has closed, in college (where he led his team to the College World Series), in AA and AAA this year. He knows what is needed. Is he untested at the ML level? Sure. But guess what? He's the best option at this point.There is no time to mess around here. The deficit is 2 games. Billy is out for 2 weeks. We cannot continue blowing games late, or using 3 guys to pitch the ninth. Give Eddie the damn ball and see what he can do. He's got a good sinker, something that will work in his favor. He throws hard. He misses bats. He's not gonna come in and strike out the side, but who cares? The job is to get 3 outs without allowing the other team to erase the lead. That's it. The rest of the guys have not shown the ability to do so.Let Eddie try.--------------------------Onto last nights game. The hitting star was Fernando Tatis, who erased two Padre leads, first with a solo shot to the picnic area, and later with a 3-run shot that he waved fair in the leftfield loge. (The morons at Baseball Tonight killed him for his celebration. Note to morons, please review tape of Fisk, Carlton in 1975 WS. or any home run by Sammy Sosa. In other words, have a tall glass of STFU.) Supporting roles were played by Daniel (don’t call him Dan) Murphy, who had an RBI and went 1 for 2 with 2 walks, Delgado who had 2 walks and 2 runs scored, Beltran who went 2 for 4 w[...]