Monday, March 31, 2008

Let's Rock and Roll

At least, that's the message I got from a note from Willie Randolph. Well, I'm sure it was a ghost writer for MLB.com, but that's besides the point. I'm sure Willie had to agree to it somehow.

"Our team is ready to go. That's the message I want to send to you Mets fans as we prepare for today's opener in South Florida.The goal this year is to make our final season at Shea something special and I think we can."

As I was watching television late last night (I'm a bit of a night owl), I saw that SNY had the "Simply Amazin" documentary from the 1986 Mets. Watching all those clips of the late inning heroics, awesome defense, curtain calls, bench clearing brawls, and even footage from the amazing (for lack of a better term...) playoffs, my heart not only swelled with pride...but I thought, this could happen again this year. And what a fitting way to celebrate Shea's Swan Song!

I also remember Davey Johnson setting the tone for the season. He said - we would not only win, but we will dominate the league. He was right, but the team needed that confidence to sort of push them over, to take the pressure off. Of course, with a rotation of Dwight Gooden, Bobby O and Ron Darling, Keith Hernandez at 1st, Gary Carter catching, who would have the pressure?

I truly hope Willie gives these inspiration speeches, rather than his "champagne is sweeter" bullshit he gave them last year. The guys were tired, they were listless, they were (eek) complacent. This year, they have an itch they need to scratch.

"In closing I want to say one more thing. We all hated the way last year ended for us. For 98 percent of the season we were the best team in our division, but we let it slip away. When I spoke to the team this spring I didn't look backwards that much, I tried to look forward so we can all learn from what happened. The lesson is simple: don't take anything for granted and don't expect things to happen just because you think they will. The season is here. It's time to make it happen."

Of course, you guys hated how last year ended. We were all there and in some ways, not to trivialize it, but Mets fans have been around a lot longer than most of these players. In most ways, we felt it a lot more. This year, we have something to prove, but that doesn't mean the players can't hold up their end of the bargain.

In conclusion - it's time to say hello to the pink suede elephant in the room and move on from 2007. We cannot dwell on it, but like Willie says, you can't take anything for granted or things to fall into place simply because you expect them to be.

It's time to rock. It's time to roll. There is way too much fucking talent on this team to finish in 2nd place. We're gonna take the division, fuck the rest of the team's moms while they watch and cry like little bitches.

It's time to play ball. It's time to rock and motherfuckin roll.

Game at 4:10 pm today. Mets @ Marlins, Johan (0-0) vs. Hendrickson (0-0). Party at Butterfield 8, 4 pm, 5 E. 38th St, hosted by Metsblog.

Bring it.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

2008 Coop's Crystal Ball

So last year I did some Coop's Crystal Ball predictions, where basically I threw some shit to the wall and see if it stuck. Basically out of 10 predictions, only three were marginally close. I said the Mets would win 90 games (they won 88), I also said the NL East race would be tight (it was) and that the NL East champ would be decided in the last week of the season (it was). I was also dead-on about Maine and Pea anchoring the staff. So let's take a look at this year's prediction, and see if this shit sticks to the wall as well.

1.) Though I am expecting a HUGE year from Carlos Beltran, since he basically put his money where his pussy is, and exclaimed that the Mets are the team to beat to this year, I am going on record to say: THIS IS THE YEAR THAT DAVID WRIGHT HAPPENS. We Mets fans know he is the marquee player, the star of the team. This year, the world will know and all baseball homes will have David Wright as a household name. I'm not one for stats much, but I will say he'll hit in the neighborhood of .320, have 110 RBIs and another 30-HR year. He'll also come up huge in serieses against Philly.

2.) We all know Duque is starting the year on the DL, therefore by default Mike Pelfrey will start the season as our #5. I'll say that Duque will be a non-issue because Pelf will end up holding his own as #5. So much so that he'll win at least 10 games, lose 8, but will win some critical games like he did down the stretch in 2007.

3.) Willie will show more emotion on the field and in the clubhouse this year. As a fan base we collectively game him some slack for his first three years as manager. THIS IS THE YEAR THE SLACK ENDS. But it won't matter, see, because Willie will have control of his clubhouse again.

4.) All this talk about Johan Santana makes us forget one thing - that John Maine was the ace of the Mets staff last year. Johan will win 18 games, but I am going to go for a stretch and say that there will be one NL 20-game winner this year and that pitcher will be John Maine. Mark my words on that one. He'll also sign a 3-year extension somewhere around ASB.

5.) Scott Schoeneweis will be THE go-to guy in the 'pen. Of course I said that here, but I'm saying it again in case you forgot.

6.) The NL East rivalries will be more intense than ever. Phillies / Mets rivalries and hate-factor quotient will be at its highest levels. I predict at least two bench clearing incidents in the season, probably around All-Star Break. It will be in response to someone getting thrown at.

7.) Ruben Gotay as a Brave will bite us in the ass more than Jesus Flores being lost to the Rule V Draft will. Or Lastings Milledge as a Nat. Trust me on this one.

8.) As much as I don't want him on the team anymore, Moises Alou will come back in May and start mashing again. He'll be a BIG contributing factor in the playoff push this year.

9.) I'm not predicting much for Jose Reyes this year. He'll still be fast on the paths, I think if we can get .290 out of him with a shit load of runs scored and stolen bases, he'll still the most exciting player in baseball.

10.) Last year, I made no playoff predictions for the Mets. I didn't even predict they'd win the NL East or even a Wild Card. But I will say this...expect to see "meaningful games" in October 2008 played at Shea. Some swan song!!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Coop's Keys to the 2008 Season: Part Four

So today is the final installment of Coop's Keys to the Season. I hope you have all found it as informative and eye-opening as I have. Oh let's face it - I've pulled most of this out of my ass.

In class today, we will discuss the Lastings "Stings" Milledge and Paul LoDuca replacements, Brian Schneider and Ryan Church.

What's to say about those who have left us behind? Stings had untapped potential that we still have yet to see (and we may very well see him become a superstar on a fourth place team), and BloDuca was hardly an offensive / defensive juggernaut but simply was a fan-favorite and overall good clubhouse guy (although his "they all speak English" statement seems to have left a bad taste in others mouths). What does that mean to us? Absolutely nothing!

I take that back - most of you know I was on record on being very very against the Stings trade. And LoDuca, well, I liked him but it was time for him to go bye-bye.

But again I will just bring up how pissed off I was at the Stings trade. But isn't it funny how a trade for the BPiB washes all that away? But I digress. Will Ryan Church and Brian Schneider be an upgrade over those they have replaced.

Most of you know, that I know shit about stats. But I sort of understand the concept of Value over Replacement Player. And someone crunched the numbers for me at the time of the trade. One Ryan Church does not a Lastings Milledge make. At age 29, Ryan Church is in his fifth full year in the majors, with a lifetime .271 BA. While technically, he could have room for improvement, 2007 was the first year he played more than 102 games. Also, his stats suggests a mild decline.

Now, I'm not saying that's going to be the case. But we traded a pretty exciting and young player on his upside for an older player (not TOO old) who has a few years under his belt and has played *blah* baseball.

I think honestly the crown jewel, if you will, in that trade was Schneider. I remember talking with SNK over this at dinner one night (yes, chicks talk baseball in the offseason at dinner...that's why we blog :P ). I was kinda disappointed about Stings. But then she brought up an interesting fact - "Coop, when was the last time we had a good defensive catcher."

Then I started to think. Who was it? Who was the last catcher who could call a good game? Throw a runner out at second? I mean, Mike Piazza will probably go into the Hall as a Met...but not known for his catching prowess. Paul LoDuca? Poor Man's Piazza, 'nuff said. But we have to wrack our brains for a GOOD catcher. Gary Carter? That was in the '80s. I remember someone saying Charlie O'Brien. He doesn't count. Wasn't he on the Worst Team Money Could Buy? Plus, get a load of that mullet. I digress.

The point is...with all this talk about losing Stings, about gaining Ryan Church, no one has said dick about Schneider. We didn't get him for his lifetime .252 average. With this awesome pitching staff, we need someone to call a good game. Apparently, Schneider has a great reputation amongst pitchers and his staff.

That's all well and good. But where the hell has he been this pre-season? Zoe and I were in Florida for three friggin days, and didn't see him play once. ONCE.

The point is...how can he handle a pitching staff when he's not fucking playing?

The sad part is, as great as getting Johan will be, the trade left us tapped with fewer resources. Not to mention, Omar's bonefuckingheaded move of letting the "catcher of the future" Jesus Flores go via Rule V...to the Nats. Who have our catcher...and who should be our starting left fielder since Old Man Alou can't walk to the 7-goddamn-Eleven without stubbing his toe and being out for three weeks.

SIGH. The drama of being a Mets fan.

Oh yeah, so what was my point? That if Ryan Church and Brian Schneider don't perform, expect to hear the wrath of not only The Coop but of every single fan who was against the trade from the get-go. Brian Schneider won't be able to handle a pitching staff if he's constantly hurt. Oh and Ramon Castro, his back up? He's hurt too. And Ryan Church isn't going to make any fans being boring.

Other than that, things are GREAT!

Back with Coop's Crystal Ball segment in a few days. Later.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Coop's Keys to the 2008 Season: Part Three

Good morning, class. Today we have Part Three of our 2008 pre-season analysis, and today's focus is going to be on one Michael Pelfrey. Or "The Big Pelf" as we have taken to calling him.

Arguably, the Mets pitching staff in 2008 is quite possibly the strongest I've ever seen it. A former Mets pitching star who shall remain nameless did tell me there was nothing like the 80s, when you could count on Doc Gooden going out there every fifth day, and you could just relax and be like - ahhhhh.

As fans, you can't help but be excited about Johan...but add in a full year of Pedro, the emergence of Maine Game and Oh Pea, and every 5th day - is there a problem? The pressure is off, essentially. But who is the fifth starter this year? Up in the air, I know, but right now, I would say the spot is Mike Pelfrey's to lose. Which makes him key #3 for Coop's keys to the season.

I know I have mentioned it on this forum before, but I'll say it basically because I can, you can't stop me and I don't care if you've heard it a million times...But I was at Pelf's first game against the Marlins in 2006. I was excited to see him based on all the information I had on him. While he did not have his best game that day (it was more of Jose Valentin's game), it was obvious that the kid had some bona fide talent. He throws hard, throws strikes and is a commanding dude. Will he be a Jeff D'Amico flash in the pan? Or will he make his mark as FINALLY the Mets hyped pitching prospect we've waited for since Doc?

In 2007, the pressure was on for Pelf to perform. However, after an 0-5 start with one no-decision in the mix, we had to wonder - is he all hype, no type?

Let's take a look. Now, I wish that I could give credit here, and I've talked about this ad nauseum with other bloggerati, but someone once pointed out that in his pitching career (including pre-professional), Pelf had the gift of not walking many and giving up very few base hits. If you notice, he gets shaky and can't throw strikes if someone is already on base.

Unfortunately, life doesn't work that way - perfection doesn't occur. Especially in pitching.

Now, I have given Soul Glo Peterson some MAD props for his handling of the young dudes on the pitching staff, especially Maine and Pea. Pea especially -- I threatened to increase my drinking consumption when he started at Shea in 2006, and then we all know what happened there. I thought that if RP could get through to Pea, he could get through to ANYONE.

But Pelf's elusive head...seems Soul Glo can't make his way through that.

We can target his youth - but how long can we do that? He flirted with absolute dominance at AAA and then absolute blah-ness at the Big Boy Level.

Don't get me wrong - again, the pitching staff is probably the strongest I've ever seen it and I've been a fan for a loooong time. When you have old-timers who say Seaver and Koosman (and Gentry...Matlack...etc) had nothing on this staff...we're going to have a rare treat that every single day they can go out and have a great chance of winning.

Except on that fifth day. Am I being greedy that I want a strong rotation from back-to-front? Or am I showing legit concern as to how Pelf is going to fit in the mold on this team?

I think the latter.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Coop's Keys to the 2008 Season: Part Two

What up, MSF faithful. First off, Happy Easter to those who celebrate it. My mother gave me some Easter chocolate and I have been living in denial about eating it all day. Anyway, back to the matter at hand and this is the METS and the keys to the season.

This week, I am going to concentrate on Carlos Delgado, Jose Reyes and Luis Castillo -- 3/4 of the Mets starting infield for those keeping track at home.

Where can I start about Mr. Manolo Delgado (for those not aware, my trade proposal for Delgado was a pair of 7.5 size Manolo Blahniks, for me)? First, he was one of the key movers of the 2006 season, not just the regular season, but for the ill-fated postseason as well. I remember talking to friend Paulie Vee about who deserved MVP should the Mets win - no question, to me, it was Carlos Delgado.

So when he got off to a slow start last season, I said give him time. I remember on Opening Day 2006, Uncle Gene and Mr. E were talking about cutting him already. Since he was one of the guys that got them "there" (and by there, I mean the NL East championship), I was willing to give him the Benny Agbayani of the Doubt. Next thing I know, I am in Milwaukee with Metsgrrl, talking about nicknaming Delgado "Mr. Futility."

Judging from the finish of the 2007 season, with a .258/.333/.448, his BA only took a slight hit from his stats on the 2006 season, .265/.361/.558. I won't even touch his slugging. Anyway, my theory about Delgado was not the obvious drop off in the production numbers...the thing that KILLED the team last year was the drop off in home runs (24 as compared to 38 in 2006), walks (74 to 52), and whoa nelly, the piece de resistance, 87 RBIs as compared to 114. EEK.

This drop off too had nothing to do with injuries or prolonged sits. Willie Randolph barely sat his fat ass down when he should have, and used Shawn Green more at 1B. But the lack of RBIs really killed the Mets where they needed help the most - the dreaded runs-in-scoring-position or lack of driving them in.

This spring, the pink suede elephant in the room has been Delgado. But I gotta tell ya, out of all the mashers on the team, Delgado is THE guy who needs to perform. He seems determined to make it work. But he gets off to a slow start, expect to hear the wrath of the Shea Faithful.

Next up - Luis Castillo. There have been a few theories abounding about Castillo's contract extension - 4-year, $25mm, pretty much chump change compared to other larger contracts doled out this year. But why? Mets fans have an affection for Ruben Gotay - whose defense is shaky, but offense more than makes up for it. Another is Anderson Hernandez, whose defense is phenomenal but he can't hit the broad side of a barn if his life depended on it. Luis Castillo at least is fair-to-good in those categories. His defense and offense are equally as...bad. OK, I'm mean. But I can give props -- he was the only one I complimented at the end of the season when all the other guys were scheduling tee-times. He played his ass off, so that I can commend him for.

The theory behind his extension though is that apparently he was an unofficial ambassador for the recruiting of Johan Santana. If true, then that $25mm retainer is money well-spent. But after offseason surgery, missing a better part of the pre-season...is Luis Castillo that much an impact player?

Well, technically he doesn't have to be. Just stop those ground balls coming to the right of the first baseman and do what you do. Castillo though, with a high-ish career BA at .294, is a definitely offensive upgrade over Hernandy AND Gotay. And not to mention, a little more consistent than what we did have in 2007 -- Jose Valentin, Damion Easley and Gotay. Oh did I mention that save Gotay, Valentin and Easley both suffered season-ending injuries?

I'll just be curious to see how he starts off.

Now last but certainly not least, the player most representative of the Mets struggles last year was none other than Jose Bernabe Reyes.

What can I say about Jo-zee? Well, he started off the season hot, managed to make the starting All-Star team for the NL and was basically anointed MVP before the season began. His play of the game was muy caliente, infectious and exciting.

But then something happened? Possibly the picture in my mind is the game against the Phillies in August, the third game out of a four game sweep at the Cit, when he was picked off first base. Twice. By two different pitchers. I noticed something. He seemed tired, lackadaisical. And that ugly word that Delgado brings up - COMPLACENT.

Not to mention, his overall stats were, well, to be kind, decent. I remember someone bringing up in a forum somewhere that if someone told us four years ago that Jose Reyes would hit .280, steal 78 bases and play in 160 games in the 2007 season...we'd have been MORE than happy.

Now while his walks were significantly up from 2006 (77 to 53), his OBP remained the same at .354. On the surface, his numbers really didn't taper off that much, just the BA. He also was a catalyst in 2006, one of those intangible qualities that statisticians do not pick up. In fact, the only true stat that would affect his performance in 2007 was his slugging. Yet, I have no idea how that could have impacted his play.

He was also responsible for several running errors and fielding errors. Remember that game against the Phils in September at home, the team committed something like 7 errors in the game. It may have been less, but I am too lazy to look it up now. Pitiful display.

And Jose Reyes is supposed to be the "heart" of this team? When he starts to pout like an overpaid egotistical cry-baby, that's not heart. That is truly sad.

He needs to come back this year. I would say for sure he is more vital than Delgado is. Delgado is who he is - an aging slugger who has a propensity for home runs. Jose is young and can carry the team.

Even more so than David Wright, which as you will notice I left off this list. He is not a Coop Key, since he is who he is. Wright is a perennial MVP candidate and you know what to expect from him.

But the other 3/4 of the infield. The team's success is contingent upon their performance.

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In other news, My Summer Family, Brooklyn Met Fan and friend-of-the-bloggers CoreyNYC has started his own new blog called Metsie. Visit or ELSE! Just kidding. But it's nicely done. Congrats Corey!

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The season begins in a week!!!! And of course the blog-hosted parties will be in full force. Go Big Pelf parents BMF will host the annual kick-off party on March 31 at Blondies.

Two days later, blogatrixes (blogatrices?) Zoe and The Coop will have our own little shindig at the Blind Pig for the April 2 night game against the Marlins. Send me an email, let me know if you will RSVP. And I may not be drinking, but I will definitely let you buy me some jalapeno poppers!!

Be back later.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Just Say Oy Vey...

Gosh, is the off-season really all that boring? Was getting Johan Santana not news enough? Is pre-season just not interesting?

I guess so, because once again we are treated to this: LoDuca and Milledge Still Have Issues With Mets.

Yeah, the subtitle to that can be - No Shit, Sherlock.

Like many of you, I was pretty pissed off that Milledge was traded. What's done is done and I wish him well for the future. I was pretty certain, though, LoDuca we could do without.

Now he has to go run his mouth again? For what? The fact that's he the starting catcher at a best-case scenario 4th place team? And that the Mets pitching staff is way better than it's ever been, and he's not going to be part of it?

Cry me a river, Paulie...or as they call him over at Go Mets, Die Braves - "Big Pud."

I am so sure that the Mets letting him go was the right move. But seriously, do none of the Mets talk anymore? Is there no news out of Port St Lucie? Nope, just stirring the pot for what aims to be an interesting series this summer, I guess. Oh well.

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Other juicy tidbits.

Sundays are pretty ritualistic for the Coop. I read my paper - I get my coffee at a local cafe. Let's just say that I'm the "Norm" at this place on Sundays. Anyway, the story is, I was so enthralled with this article, that when my server Carlo asked me if I'd like more coffee, I didn't even hear him ask!!

"Mallis is to stargazing what Bill James is to sabermetrics. She compiles birth charts and analyzes the data to predict the value of players. Mallis, who grew up in Queens, has been a Mets fan since 1973 and a certified astrologer since 1989. This year, like many Mets fans, she has been especially curious to see what the cosmos holds for the pitching rotation. Who will be the fifth starter? Will it be the veteran Orlando Hernández or the youngster Mike Pelfrey?"

This is incredibly intriguing to the Coop. For one, I am an amateur chartreader and partake in astrological readings myself. I read auras and can see dead people (please, no jokes and no reading of the riot act - I didn't ask for this).

Needless to say, I found this article to be intriguing, basically because Andrea Mallis says that because Mike Pelfrey is a Capricorn, it is his destiny to be in the starting rotation.

How cool - no, not that it's his destiny, but that he and I both share the same astrological sign. Just kidding - I'd be curious to hear what she has to say about Schoeneweis, but I see that he is a #3 (very strong career number) in his numerology, plus he is a Libra. But most importantly, the planet Saturn was in the sign of Cancer when he was born...

Saturn rules Capricorn, and Cancer is the polar opposite of Capricorn.

What does this mean? I think whoever was born with Saturn ruling on their birthday will have a good year. But then, I have to actually LOOK and see who was, and dammit, I'm too lazy. Which is why I would never get paid to be a psychic.

Plus Schoeneweis was born in Jersey, so he has to be good one of these years, right?

OK, I'm done. Back later.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Coop's Keys to the 2008 Season: Part One

I decided to try something a little different here at MSF. Instead of having my Coop's keys to the season in one post right before the season started, I figured I would do one per week until the start of the season. Fair 'nuff?

And since the New York Times ran a story on Scott Schoeneweis today, I thought, how perfect of an intro. See, I have been saying recently that in 2008, we are going to see a breakout year for Scott Schoeneweis.

Therefore, Scott Schoeneweis is going to be Coop's Key to the Season, Part One.

Basically, the idea behind the NYT story is that Schoeneweis has been injured and pitched injured in 2007. Geez, where have we heard that one before? The only probs is that we never knew Schoe was hurt or pitched hurt. We just thought he sucked.

An in all seriousness for a middle-relief dude, who was 0-2 and sported a 5.03 ERA, lackluster was too kind a word to use. Career-wise, he is a below-.500 pitcher and sports a lifetime 5.01 ERA. Say it with me folks - YEESH, we gave this guy a three-year contract? BRING BACK CHAD BRADFORD!!

Okay, let me go out on a limb here. I have a knack of picking out players who are going to be the next break-out and you can say you heard it here first.

Scott Schoeneweis is going to be to the Mets in 2008 what Duaner Sanchez was in the first-half of 2006. Should this happen, it will benefit the Mets in many ways. For one, it takes the pressure off Big Pussy Heilman and off Dirt McGirt himself for having to shoulder (uh, no pun intended) the burden of being the go-to guys in the BP. Not to mention, the Mets are missing an arm with no Mota. That's good, but besides the point. I have a feeling Willie is going to turn to Schoeneweis a lot.

On the surface, this could have been a bad thing. For one, if he continues to put up stats like he traditionally has, it could seriously hurt the team. But the pressure is off in a way in 2008.

For one, if you are a Mets fan, how could you not be excited about the state of the starting pitching staff. And I don't even mean Johan the Great, but a full year of Pedro, a matured John Maine (who reminds me more and more of a former Met great David Cone) and a less-chaotic Oh Pea...not to mention the emergence of "Big Pelf." This means, the pressure for the bullpen to come into tight games won't be there as much (we hope...). But also for the likes of Scho, BP and Dirt to come into a more relaxed atmosphere. It will be like 2006 all over again.

I know there are a lot of "ifs" to contemplate too. Which The Coop will address in other Keys to the Season predictions. But mark my words, when we hear Scott Schoeneweis' name announced as he comes into the game, let's not let out a collective groan. Let's see what he can do. Because I believe that he will have his break out.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Ollie WHO??

My Sweet Pea wasn't at Duffy's that night, unfortunately, but I certainly made up for it with these pics.

First up - YEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAHHHH!!! That aint no sausage in my pocket, lovely ladies. Boo yah!!! Zoe, Jose Valentin, Moi, Becks and SNK.
No hot tubs, either...I also wonder if there is no Ground Round in PSL...

Next - we cornered Andy Hernandy (aka Anderson Hernandez) for a pic as he just wanted eat dinner and have a drink quietly. When I met this dude below, I thanked him for the second to last game in 2007. I did tell him that 54,000 people collectively dying of heart attacks in the stands IS NOT A GOOD THING, JOHN!!! Such a nice guy. May be one of my new faves this year. Oh hell, he was always one of my faves. And the piece de resistance, Moi, Duaner Sanchez and Zoe. CrazyMetGirl's son Ryan actually grabbed me from the middle of a very important conversation (with my beer...) and asked if it was him. I was like - it's Dirt McGirt himself. He posed for some pics, then he and the guy who called himself his financial advisor came over and bought the crew drinks and food. I have a confession to make...my heart may belong to Oh pea, but I'll tell you what...Dirty is pretty smokin. *SIGH* Such dreamy eyes. OK I'm done being girly.

Bloggerati

Hey, you want pics...you got 'em!! Here are some the bloggerati out in full force for the trip to PSL. Here is more of the Girls of Spring...wish I didn't look like such a pale cow in these photos but hey...at least the people I pose with are hot!! Moi, Zoe, SNK and her friend Becks

Next on the list...bloggaz in duh howse. Starring Cerrone, Moi, SNK and BecksNext - me with the blog groupies!! Here is one with Girlfriend of Dykstraw, Dykstraw (faithful reader of Metsblog, BMF and MSF) and Moi Dig that Keith Hernandez shirt...

Next is CrazyMetGirl (faithful reader of Metsgrrl and hopefully this blog!), her son Ryan (who has a Mets tattoo already!) and moi.
Next, funny I should run into Jason Lee down in PSL too...Oh wait, that's just Joe Janish from Mets Today (and F.U. alum!)
On Sunday at Dodgertown, it's a Summer Family reunion!!! Zoe, SNK, Moi, Cerrone and the fellow in the Mets jersey is none other than the great Metsradamus himself!!! Here's a pic of Damus and Cerrone, where we just happened to run into the Great One himself, taking pics. I was a first time, long time!!! Here's Zoe and Damus...
At one point during the game, I walked over to his seats and said -- You know it's bad when I start quoting the Hate List at a spring training game. Here are the five blogging amigos - Zoe, SNK, Moi, Metsradamus and Cerrone. Oh and if you haven't gotten enough of these two hot chicks, check us out AGAIN!!!
That's about it there. Next up - posts of players not named Oliver Perez.

Monday, March 03, 2008

The Misadventures of the Girls of Spring

I see the Girls of Spring in the sun......as I truly believe Dylan Thomas would have written had he met us.

Coined by the lovely Zoe herself, the Met Divas this past weekend became the Girls of Spring...for the past weekend anyway. I realized a few things about Spring Training while attending it for the first time ever.
One is...we shouldn't get too stressed about the team not winning games now. Why? I won't say the typical...they're practice games saying, but that mostly scrubs play the majority of these games. Plus, as a fan, you don't leave the park feeling like a sour puss like when they lose during the regular season.
Two is...the players may be getting in shape, but it's the fans who need to get their vocal stylings prepared. Like our "AH!! LOU!!" chants. Singing "Fernando" by Abba for F-mart at-bats. Belting out Jose-Jose-Jose. Me shrieking "OHHHHHHH PEEEEEEEEAAAAAAA!!"
You know, the important stuff.
All in all, as my new summer family member CrazyMetGirl said, "Now that you've done Spring Training, you can't not come anymore. You have to go all the time." I agree. Totally have plans to do it again next year.
So the round-up is - Friday, I arrive at the crack of butt after not sleeping very well the night before. Jump off the plane, hug Zoe, get the car, and away we go. Drive about an hour north to PSL, and make it to Tradition Field. It was a nice day, not too cold, not too hot. I won't say it was juuuuuust right, because basically, it was very cloudy. The game itself was pretty uneventful, since Johan Santana gave up a 3-run home run to Juan Gonzalez (yes, Juan Gonzalez) in the first inning that still hasn't landed. The game was lost, but like I said, it didn't put a damper on the day.
We later checked into our hotel...which if you ever saw the movie Beverly Hills Cop, well the place was probably the polar opposite of the suite he had, but we were able to get a suite upgrade for nothin'. We might have rocked a circa 1969 NASA-special microwave and a retro-1983 television designed specifically for hotels.

We stayed in a town called Ft. Pierce, which if you are on a budget, is pretty decent. But for posterity sake, when we go next year, I think it will be worth the extra dollars to stay in Port St. Lucie. Since pretty much we spent most of our time there anyway.
Not much distinction in the town of Port St. Lucie. It's very pretty but quiet and not much to do in terms of fun, except hang at Duffy's or Hurricane Wings (which according to Z, had very tasty boneless wings. I partook in a veggie burger that was quite a tasty son of a bitch).

We actually ran into Ron Darling and Matt Yallof later that evening and had a few words with them. Very gracious, nice guys. Yallof especially. For some reason, he and I started Valley Girl talking and we exchanged some great slang terms.
Saturday, Zoe and I make our pilgrimage back into PSL to join the boys in their open workouts. By "join" I mean, watch them as they do their running and throwing drills. People start showing up around 9:30, some earlier though, to get closer to the fences and take pics and stuff. Not conducive to autograph getting. Bust pretty cool nonetheless. I caught this great pic of Pedro, who walked into the workouts later, and gets himself into an Oh Pea and Cullen sandwich.
The game was pretty cool - the gals and I met Kevin Burkhardt before the game, probably one of the nicest most humble guys on planet Earth.
The game against the Dodgers was pretty uneventful, till the bottom of the 9th when Brady Clark had a walk-off HBP moment. Lots of happy Mets fans there. We later had an event at Duffy's with Cerrone from Metsblog and we managed to meet a few Met bloggers, like the legendary Mets Today's Joe Janish, and not to mention a few of the Mets themselves. Not Reyes or Wright, and sadly not my Oh Pea, but Jose Valentin (I guess he couldn't find a GR in town), Andy Hernandy, Ruben Gotay and Duaner Sanchez who bought us a round of drinks simply because we were cool. John Maine and Joe Smith showed up later too. I thanked Maine for his performance on the last Saturday game last year but also told him 54,000 people dying of heart attacks would not have been a good thing there. He had a good laugh. Very sweet guy.
We stayed out waaaaaaay too late Saturday night. LOL
Then Sunday...weather-wise, this was the best day of them all, as Zoe, Cerrone and myself hopped in a car for a quick road trip north to Vero Beach, to catch the last year of Dodgertown.
I thought the players would be a little more accessible in PSL, and I was disappointed that Juan Padilla was really the only guy willing to sign autographs at Tradition Field. Although to his defense, David Wright did sign a few for some kids.

But Dodgertown takes the cake. They were able to have like this open autograph thing on the field, where kids and adults alike could down to the field and get autographs...but not from scrubs, like guys with names like Garciaparra and Martin. We met up with SNK, her friend, and the one and only Metstradamus. Dykstraw and his gal were there too. Coincidentally, Ms. Dykstraw and I got to talking and it was discovered that we grew up in the same town and went to the same high school! I'm just a little teeny tiny bit older than her though. A little. LOL
Dodgertown was a throw back and very cool but BOY was it uncomfortably hot. The game was downright boring too. Yes, I do know my Pea was pitching, but he looked a little shaky. But then again, so did Johan, and that doesn't keep me from being excited about him. We left a little earlier than usual to beat traffic...only to hear later that they won in the 9th inning! WTF? They have the heroics in Spring training? Save it for September, guys. LOL

But the real misadventures occurred today. I don't know what happened, but our directions to the airport took us way out of the way, and we ended up running late. I dropped Zoe off at the gate, I take the rental car back, only to get hosed for an extra day for returning it later (that was never explained to me, but I plan on writing a strongly-worded letter to Hertz anyway, based on other experiences)...then have to get on the next flight out of dodge on stand-by. Well, I made it home OK, but it was still one of those things like...I had fun visiting PSL, but I wouldn't wanna live there.
So the Coop's verdict -- go. Go to spring training. You won't regret it. Just don't go for more than three days. Or for four days, but save one of the days to get some tan. Plus, like the players need to get limber for the regular season, we need to warm up too.
I am too wiped to try to post pics from the Metsblog outing and my obligatory Oh Pea worship, but I will get them up in a day or two.