Sunday, April 29, 2007

Happy RECoop, 2007 Season, April 2007

If there's anything that this weekend has taught me it's this -- we cannot count the Mets out. Ever. Even if it seems like the game is lost, the whole team is slumping and making traditional S.U.C.K. M.E. pitchers and middle relief pitchers on floundering teams look like Nolan Ryan, no one is swinging the bat...then Julio Franco comes out and shuts me up. AGAIN. The Old Man is off the hook in my view until All Star Break at the very least.

I'm sure MSF's faithful fans were wondering where my commentary was on Oh Pea's start on Friday. I did that intentionally, because I wanted to save it for the Happy RECoop this week. Although he didn't win, I was very pleased and encouraged by his performance. I'm sure most of us agree, the old Pea would have fallen apart after the 3 run HR by Austin Kearns -- and he didn't. Which to me speaks volume. He's matured, still threw some nasty pitches after, and NO WALKS. I've never been more encouraged by a losing Mets pitcher! Now he has to go on and win the next 20 starts. Hee hee.

The sad part was, they had PLENTY of opportunity to win that game. Which leads me to the next phase...

Where the fuck are the Mets bats? It seems like the usual suspects are not hitting (DW, Rock N Roll Delgado, even PLD). And the unusual suspects (Moises, Stringbean and Valentin) are. Jose Reyes is doing as well as can be expected, and then some. Even when he's in a "slump" (which to him is more of a not hitting triples thing), he still gets on base. Which is more than you can ask for of a lead-off hitter. But not scoring against the Nats? That's unacceptable. Especially when you potential "ace" is on the mound holding down the fort. All I can think of is Manny Acta must have their number. Thank goodness they won Saturday's game in extras.

But even that was encouraging. I remember them walking Rock n Roll, to get to David Wright. To which Mr. Coop says, this will be the time Wright gets out of his slump. He hasn't been smacking the hell out of the ball yet, but Coop is OK with it. I had an argument with my Yankee friend Paulie Vee on Friday (which I will go into greater detail later) about Wright. "You're boy," he says, "he hasn't had a home run yet." What's the big deal? Sugar Pants was not a big home run hitter (though it would be cool to see him do it soon) to beging with, but the New York Times had a great read today about other hitters not heating things up. Richie Sexson (.148), Dougie Eyecharts (not surprisingly though, but .140), Carlos Delgado (.195), Brandon Inge (WTF? .129), and Jason Kendall, who between him and SP are completely killing my fantasy team (.183), it is clear to me that Sugar is just getting off to a slow start.

But let me analyze my three keys to a successful 2007 season that I put out in March. Stringbean Green, Sugar Pants and The Stache were the big three. My theory was, we can pretty much get what we expect out of the rest of the team, so they are key but not central. these included Beltran (who, in my humble opinion, has been far more valuable to the team than Jo-Z), Jo-Z and PLD, hell even the pitching (which has been solid so far).

Carlos Delgado's stats I think are misleading, since he is hitting, just long fly ball outs. When they start hitting the gaps, though, watch out. Now that Stache might be out for a few games, I never thought I would say this but -- NOOOOOOOOOO!!!! I was not sold on him last year, not sold on him STILL this year, but the dude is a solid defender and great with the bat. He singlehandedly makes the bottom of the lineup more formidable.

So now that it's the end of April, I will revamp my three keys to the season. They still include David Wright, but now include Carlos Delgado and the bullpen. But I am not as alarmist as i was in the preseason because I think with DW's little RBI insurance run thing last night, his confidence is back and now will get the respect he needs. That first HR is right around the corner, I can feel it. Carlos Delgado -- he just needs to get those gappers as I said. Once that happens, watch out.

Now the bullpen is a little more concerning to me. Is it me, or does the whole BP (with the exception of Joe Smith, who is quickly making me forget about Chad Bradford, and Billy Wagner, who is who he is) seem l ike a reclamation project? Ok, Scott Schoeneweis? Just forfeit! Aaron Sele? He's OK, but really makes me wish Dave Williams was 100% healthy. Amburglar? I call him Armando-lite. Pedro Feliciano is good but to me, he seems to be off a little more than he was last season. Maybe I'm looking at him with rose-colored glasses. I don't think I missed anyone here, but the BP needs to become more solid and scary. Because to be honest, when as a fan I fear the NATIONALS bullpen...that's a problem. But when GMs around the league are modeling their BPs after Omar's (go O!), now THAT's something I never imagined seeing as a Mets fan. Yeah that's right - RESPECT for our management.

Again, it's April, and we really need to beat up the rest of the league before coming back to the Braves. Since it seems like we have Brave-o-phobia once again. Let's take the Maine game today and go on to whip Florida at home.

So my Yankee friend Paulie Vee comes into my office the other day to be all apologetic about the Yankees. That's what I like - a Yankee apologist. Anyway, he said - don't call me after we lose tonight. I said, honey I got bigger fish to fry. Then he starts laying it on about David Wright. And I'm like, yeah but I have Jose Reyes.

To which he says - yeah, but he aint Jeter.

OK, so I lost my shit. Which is pretty normal with him especially. We start arguing (people have actually mistaken us for a married couple, I swear...even Mr. Coop has!) pretty heatedly about this...and he says, Jeet-uh's won gold gloves. I said, WTF does that have to do with anything? Gold gloves are overrated. And he says, name me a better shortstop in the AL (because I think he actually conceded that Reyes is better than Jeter, i mean, no brainer there). I said - that's easy -- he's already playing third for you guys.

And he just stood there, dumbfounded. And he starts laughing hysterically and shakes my hand.
I guess I won that match.

But I think it's very telling -- that the Yankee propaganda artists actually have them convinced the best shortstop in baseball is playing for them. I'm sure though many of us agree -- he's just not PHYSICALLY playing shortstop for them now.

And how telling that the Yanks wouldn't even entertain moving Jeets for him. But whatever.

I also want to comment on the Willie get thrown out of the game last night thing. I didn't see it, but apparently f-bombs were VISIBLY flying out of his mouth.

I'm sure many of you here know that I am not the biggest Willie fan. But I know that even HE had to be really justifiably pissed off to get that riled up. Hopefully, with the win last night, and Willie getting fired up, this is an indication of things to come.

On a more serious note, my heart goes out to the Cardinals for the loss of their relief pitcher Josh Hancock in a car accident.

I can't even imagine. Join me in a moment of silence for the Cards, who have canceled their game today with the Cubs.


Thank you.




MG said...

The Jeter vs. Reyes argument is moronic because Jeter is 33 and Reyes is 23. Only at the end of their respective careers can anyone possibly evaluate them side-by-side. I won't even get into that one with Yankees fans, because it's not opinion, it's fact. Jeter has had 10 years more of a career than Reyes. Therefore there's no comparison. Zilch. Zip. Nada.

They don't like when we don't fight back.

Coop said...

Good point MG - you can't argue with a Yankee fan. They'll bring you down to their level. I love bringing up the A-Rod thing though. It really really gets under their skin. *snicker*