The hors d'oeuvres were served in week one...the main course was served this week, with the Mets coming home finally!!!
I know they played six games on the road to open the season. But to me, the season doesn't officially start until they have played back home.
So what's to glean from this week. Well for me, it was one thing and one thing only:
If Mike Winters is umpiring the majority of games at Shea Stadium this year, Mets pitchers will not be winning lots of home games!
In the vein of Angel Hernandez, Winters is making me tell my umpteenth Enrico Pallazzo joke in the first week of April home games. I mean, OK, I am not down there, I am not up close and personal with every pitch, I don't get paid for my objectivity in a game. I know that Paul LoDuca (as catcher) and Carlos Beltran (as a hitter) were NOT happy with the calls they were getting. I know complaining about the baseball officials is a sign of "weakness" for any fan (or player), not just Mets fans (or players), but I just felt like the team was not getting the calls at the plate that they should have. It was almost like, Winters wanted to make it interesting. Was that just me? If it was, I'll shut up right now (actually, I'm done complaining about the officiating now).
It was cold too. Like whatever the opposite of Africa hot is -- Antarctica cold, maybe? -- that's what it was at Shea this week, except for Saturday. I know the pitchers were having a tough time gripping the ball, I know that balls were not carrying as well as they might have had the wind not been blowing directly from the back walls of Shea.
Jose Reyes is the happiest players in the major leagues. And I think he was the only one with a freaking smile on his face the whole time they played in the cold. I know his hermanos were not happy. I think someone remarked somewhere (not sure where) that Carlos Beltran looked like he was gonna cry on Thursday night!
And...the obligatory Oh Pea worship. I know I was upset after his last game where he walked the park and brought back memories of I Killed Kenny Rogers, circa 1999 postseason, but I can be more objective now. Yeah, right, *me* objective with Oh Pea??? Well, I think he was not prepared for Antarctic temperatures. Or Enrico Pallazzo calling the game (so I wasn't done complaining about the officiating). Yes, I know he had lots of high and outside pitches so no excuse there...but there were lots of borderline pitches, and not being the Oh Pea apologist, it looked like they would qualify as strikes. I would have said that had it been John Maine out there. (Pallazzo did that with Pelf on Friday too). I think he'll come around next time -- will that be tomorrow though, since Maine got rained out today? I would think that Willie would just bump Maine to start tomorrow.
End of Oh Pea worship.
So the Mets are now 7 - 4, currently in 2nd place in the NL East behind the hated Braves. Of course, the Braves are in first since the Mets couldn't play today (and since they won), but whatever.
Jose Reyes continues to amaze. He is tied for 3rd place in the NL for RBIs -- sort of unprecedented for a lead-off man, don'tcha think? Hitting .311 and most amazingly OBP of .415. Nice. John Smoltz even noticed his plate patience now.
Sugar Pants is leading the team in batting average with a .333.
Tom Glavine is eight wins away from the big three-oh-oh with his win on Thursday evening.
And that's all I have to say about that!
It's only April folks. I'm taking everything in stride. Whenever I get a little heated about the team losing or bats not swinging or pitchers not making me happy (Oh Pea), just take it with a grain of salt. I am a Mets fan, people -- we tend to fly off the deep end and ask questions later!
Lastly, I have an announcement to make. After years of wondering how I would figure in my journalism minor (and a major in English lit) into a hobby or a full-time job, I've managed to do so! Not with a full-time job (that's still in finance), but with a new hobby. What I call blogging on steroids, and where I can be a mini "The Lip" Lupica, but not as The Lip, as "The Coop."
Without further ado, I have been asked to serve on the Faculty at a relatively new Mets blogging roundtable, Flushing University. I believe I stumbled upon this site accidentally, but I really started following it once I saw that my friend and yours, Edward of Westchester, was asked to write for it.
I don't know how they found me, but good job! I am flattered and humbled that people with strong (and informed) opinions on the Mets (besides my Mets friends who I pay to come read my crap on MSF) actually want me to state my opinion on *their* site. Gentleman and ladies, I look forward to working with you all!
Now if only I can get Jay Horwitz to take my calls...
Coop's piece "Down on Rick" should be available Tuesday. Come on by, visit, and rip me apart in two sites!!!