Sunday, April 27, 2008

Chicks Dig The Longball...

...and so did the Mets today, as there were many hit today!! Raul Casanova joined in the brigade with his first one of the season (ever? hee hee...) and lo and behold, Carlos Delgado hits not one but TWO dingers today!

Metsgrrl was an esteemed guest of the Coop box today - we realized early on in the game though we have been in attendance at many of the same games at Shea, we have actually never sat together at a game there. Weird. We have sat at more road games than homes games. I digress. For both home runs I think we were both in shock. I mean, as soon as he hit them, you knew they were gone. But we were both looking at each quizzicly like - Carlos? Delgado? Really?? ^Shrug^

Although I do have to say, at the time, I didn't know what to make of his non-curtain call appearance. I heard that Gary and the others were talking about it on SNY today, but I think I agree with him not taking the call. He was getting boos (and I mean, loud boos) during introductions. But I have to say today's crowd was not nearly as hostile as it was on Friday night maybe even Saturday, although I think that yesterday was not even as bad since he technically did drive in a run...on a groundout. But still, he drove in a run.

As Dykstraw said, he was about halfway around the bases before he stopped booing him and start cheering him.

But Mets fans, I implore you. Please stop the booing. You make us real fans look bad by being so mean.

But again, Carlos Delgado is a man of principles. And I think that his not coming out for a curtain call was not a Carlos Beltran pussy-esque attempt at snubbing us, but that this is not something deserving of a curtain call. I agree. Wait until later in the season.

But could it be...might it be...that the team is turning a corner?

I promised myself that I would not say that here just yet. It's not even freaking May yet. But like I said yesterday, the Marlins can't possibly stay in first place all season. The Mets can't be as bad as they have been. And heck, the Braves and Phils, whom everyone predicted would come in first and second respectively over the third place Mets, are barely keeping their heads above water. Brandon Webb and Jake Peavy have to lose a game sometime this year (well technically, Peavy did lose today against Webb). Barry Zito has to win a game eventually. It may not be this month. But point being, the standing aren't going to stay the way they are so far.

And hopefully, Carlos Delgado will be able to help out. After all...it doesn't look like Moises Alou will be back to take any diggers at first base anytime soon. YEESH. But again, like we didn't see this coming from a country mile away.

Be at Jets night tomorrow night! I am not doing five games in a row again anytime soon. What's sleep?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Random Things from Mz. Coop

Sorry it's been so quiet over here at MSF. I attended the last two games - one sucked, the other was decidedly way cooler. I went with Tracy aka CrazyMetGirl Friday and thank goodness I am all Norm Peterson in my ticket payment plan. If not for her, I would not have been as drunken to not care less than I did Friday night about the team's shitty performance. Mr. E and I went today, our first win together this season. But Sunday (tomorrow) with Metsgrrl will be the tie-breaker. Hopefully, it will be more on the side of today than Friday. But a match-up with Smoltz vs Figgy? Somebody break out the caffeine and the crack.

But a few things ran through my head as I went home today. They may seem haphazard, but this is the way the Coop things, so deal with it.

One is - as much as I am down on Carlos Delgado these days - I don't think I am alone in thinking that he cannot possibly play like this all season. And a high note of today's game...he managed to make two unassisted plays at first AND cleanly handled the rest of the balls hit his way today. He did get booed unmercifully at the plate. Look, I feel bad for him. I do. It's gotta suck for him. But booing him is not going to help matters here.

Another random thought - John Maine did not bring his A-game with him today. But I do declare, he and Oh Pea need to man up and un-pussy-ify themselves and start going deeper into games. If they can throw an extra 20 pitches per game just to give the BP a rest, so be it. The 'pen is being taxed enough already. Although - since i was at the game and clearly not watching at home...right before the end of the 5th, everyone came up to the mound. Seemed he was having a bit of trouble but shook it off. Can someone tell me if they said anything about it on the broadcast?

Here's another thought - honestly, I have not taken the standings seriously this year because it's only April still and I know how the Mets have been doing. I also know I haven't really heard much from the peanut gallery about how good or bad the rest of the division is doing. I know that the D-Backs with the A+ pitching staff will be a force to be reckoned with. Other than that...does anyone truly scare me? As of today, the Florida Marlins have a 14-9 record, the leading record in the NL East. The Phils are in second with the Mets in third for now. Let's just mull over that for a moment. Everyone predicted that the Braves would be tough to beat, and they have a .500 record. And the team everyone picked to finish dead last, the Marlins, are leading the division. My question is - with all this doom and gloom surrounding the Mets play this early in the year, are we hearing that same Eeyore-esque picture for the other teams?

Remember last season - David Wright got off to a slow start. He put up MVP numbers for the rest of the season - heck it even took a month into the season for him to hit a round-tripper! And if you saw me on Mets Weekly (shameless plug) this week, I reiterated my stance that David Wright will happen this year.

But now how ironic that the team I have predicted for him to carry on his back is floundering much the same way he did in April 2007. The good news is (I guess) that nothing is really working this year so far. Last year, we had parts working (e.g. pitching good, hitting off; pitching sucked, hitting was good but sometimes not good enough; everything else was working but bullpen betrayed, etc).

I am going to say that the team is playing like David Wright did at the beginning of 2007 - not up to his (or their) potential. Which is obvious right now. But here's the beauty part - it's not even May 1, and we can truly start to "worry" on May 31 if things aren't going right.

Deal? Deal.

And in other good news from today, the Yankees lost.
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OK so now it's shameless link time. I just want to pass on the gospel from my blogging friends who have been on fire this week and you should definitely visit. Why? CAUSE THE COOP SAID SO DAMMIT!!!

CoreyNYC over at Metsie has had some very clever observations. Besides taking an idea from MSF buddy and frequent BMF and Metsblog commenter Dykstraw and running with it here - since the Mets have given up the most grand slams of the season, Denny's "Home of the Grand Slam Breakfast" will be taking over the naming rights for CitiField in 2009. Priceless, man. Priceless. But Corey does have some "serious" stuff to talk about - namely about how the Wilpons put profits over people. Again, well done my friend. Meanwhile, I have been saying that all along. But it was great to see someone else rant about it. And Corey is good people, so visit him and say Coop says hello.

For all you females out there, gal pal Zoe put up a great list of must-have clothing pieces for the fashionable female who likes sports. She particularly points out that these are not groupie-looking but make us look like smart and informed baseball fans who aren't into simply for cute butts in uniforms (but I do have to say, that is a fringe benefit, hee hee). I ordered the retro sweatshirt hoodie - CrazyMetGirl partook in the handbag.

Metsgrrl struck again with her hilarious take on how she reacted to some interpretation on Fire Joe Morgan. Nice to see someone laughs hysterically on the train besides me - but lets say, I'm usually just chuckling at people, not an anything remotely smart or intellligible...

Brooklyn Met Fan has been on fire this week, mostly due to us nutty fans. But today he points out that Billy Wagner has the first Mets no-no under his belt!!! Hey, if a no-hitter is nine-consecutive pitched innings, that has to count for something, right? Well, we can still dream.

Visit friends of MSF often!! See y'all at the game tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Gil Hodges, Where Are Ya Buddy?

Gil Hodges once famously walked out to left field to talk to Cleon Jones. It was a move unseen in professional baseball prior to this moment. He also questioned the manhood of several of his players and no one ever questioned him back. To this day, Mr. Ego himself Tom Seaver still has gone on record and said if Gil was the leader of the team in the late 70s when he was traded, he might have stayed a Met till the end.

Where’s Davey Johnson? Johnson was a stats guy before they were in vogue. But for a guy who relied on numbers, he knew his “guys” well. He knew when to start certain players, when to rest them, when he could get the most out of them and when to coast. After two fatigued losses in Games one and two of the 1986 World Series, he told his team to take the day off and don’t worry about getting extra practice in before starting Games 3, 4 and 5 in Fenway, and that made the difference, as Gary Carter would later say. He also knew when to tell the management to “fuck off.” Like when they trashed a plane after a dramatic Game 6 win in Houston, only to have Frank Cashen hand them the bill. Fans likes Davey because, well, he was one of us. He wasn’t a corporate shill, he knew when the say what but had the ability to prepare to ground.

Or better yet, where’s Bobby V? When the team was floundering in the late 90s there, upper management forced his hand – agree to get rid of your coaching staff or you don’t have a job either. Bobby V knew his coaches were replaceable (or so I’d like to think), and although his definitely took the high road in this instance, this stance changed the tune of that team and the teams with lesser talent than we see on display today make it a lot further without a lot of coercing. It set a statement.

You may think this is yet another Willie bashing piece. But it’s not.

It’s about the offense, Stupid!

I didn’t get to see the game today due to the time, but between last night’s game and today’s game, we dropped two for a sweep at our only appearance at Wrigley this year and three in a row starting from Philly on Sunday.

As previously thought, pitching has not been a problem (unless you count the bullpen, but that’s a whole ‘nother story). Johan has been formidable in all his starts and lost a game because the offense decided to take a nap that day. John Maine, whom I predicted to the best pitcher on the staff this year, still has a chance to turn it around, but lost Monday night’s game because the offense fell asleep, and didn’t figure into a decision because the offense decided not to back him up. Then there is Oh Pea, who has been, well Oh Pea. He’s been great. Then slot in Big Pelf and Figgy and these guys have MORE than held up their end of the bargain.

But even on a night when the pitchers put up good numbers and for some strange twist of fate, the offense decides to score some runs, the bullpen might manage a heart attack or two, but the team has been winning the games they are supposed to.

But when does it end? I think today was a good example. Let me give you the scenario. Bases loaded, one out, Carlos Delgado decides not to Delwhiffo, but pops up. All we needed was a sac fly. It’s not that hard dude, especially to a guy not known for his defensive prowess. Oh did I mention he muffed an easy play too?

Laverne Delgado needs to go. Now. Unretire Mex and throw him out there. As Blondie’s Jake says, he’s forgotten more baseball than these p*ssies will ever learn.

But, says WFAN, there’s more. When Moises Alou returns (who is supposed to make it back as early as next week), throw HIM at first base and let Endy and Angel platoon at left.

This thinking is flawed for several reasons. One is that – Moises has never ever ever played first base a day in his life. Furthermore, we are going to depend on Alou for that offense once again…and he’s been known to mash, that was evident when he returned to the line up last year. But what’s gonna happen when he slumps? What’s gonna happen if he doesn’t return to form? And what’s gonna happen if he doesn’t pee on his hands? He’s not going to be much better than what we have now, not without a walker at least.

Now, I could go on a rant about how Baseball Intellectually Challenged Willie (or “BIC Willie” as Blondie’s Jake has started to call him on Brooklyn Met Fan) needs to go but I won’t. Why? Because basically it’s overdone and I’ve stated my peace many times on the topic.

I pin a lot of the blame on Omar Minaya. I have gone on record many times about how Moises Alou was good for the 2007 team. When he went down for the stretch though, it just sucked because of all the injuries we had. He came back, mashed but it was too late. If I’m Omar, I cut the ties immediately and don’t exercise his option. What does he do? Exactly the opposite. Omar has soft spots in his heart, see, for aging veterans who are friends of his. Isn’t Omar friendly with Moises’ pop?

Next is Delgado. Now, I can’t blame Omar for this one. I don’t think any of us could have foreseen the Decline of Delgado. Last year we hoped upon hope it was a fluke. Now I don’t even think I could get my size 7.5 Manolos that I said Carlos was about worth these days. I might be able to get the Star Jones special at Payless for him.

But this I can pin on Omar – thank you SO SO SO much for exposing our weaknesses so early in the season. I really appreciate it. No depth at 1B. And his offense (which is presumably what we got him for) is sucking the life out of the team. Activate Mike Carp now!

But I can pin something on Willie. His insistence upon using a method that clearly does not work. Move Ryan Church back up. Bench Delgado. I don’t care who plays first. Doesn’t Ryan Church have a 1B in his pocket? Use him instead and use and TRUST guys like Pagan and Chavez. His distrust of the youngsters, hm, I wonder if that makes him realize that the youngsters not producing is direct correlation to his distrust. And for the love of Pete, if Delgado HAS to play, it aint gonna kill the fat bastard to move down a few slots in the line up. He’s not hitting much better than Johan Santana is anyway. At least we can almost guarantee Johan will get on base when he plays every fifth day.

This team needs a swift kick in the ass. I’m not talking about another line up change, which did work but may be ineffective now. We need a Wally Backman type, or even Ken Oberkfell to be the manager of this team. A guy who’s cerebral but doesn’t p*ssy foot around.But of course that won’t happen. Omar will immediately promote Jerry Manuel. Which will be more of the same sh*t. I just don’t know what to do with these guys anymore.

This was a giant leap BACKWARDS from the momentum we had in the Philly series. ERASE IT. Move on. Thank you.

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Visit Deb's new site at Good Bad Ugly Mets where yours truly will be a guest contributor once a week for the Big Pussy Pick of the Week. This week's pick was Aaron Heilman, and of course I wrote this before i decided to bash Delgado. Maybe next week, one of these days, Delgado will get his due.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Sosa and Heilman Scare Me

That is all.

He Is The Eggman (Goo Goo Ga Joob)

Two things are on my mind as I watch tonight's game.

One is - Willie Randolph really pisses me off.

The other is...well, Willie still pisses me off.

A couple of interesting theories popped up our fearless leader today.

One is - why mess with perfection? Meaning - Ryan Church was hitting in the two-spot for the past five games moving Gimpy Castillo to the 8th spot, which is where he should be being that he can't hit the broad side of a barn these days. Plus, with his little pussy bitch whining last week about how he needs days off - guess what Luis? Most of us in the real world don't get time off nor do we get four-year guaranteed contracts for being a gimpy pussy bitch.

Can you tell I don't like Luis Castillo? Well, you would be right. The theory was that if the Mets signed him to a longish contract, his buddy over in Minnesota - oh you might have heard of him, his name is Johan Santana - would be inclined to play in New York.

So why couldn't Omar Minaya sign him to a two-year contract, with a third-year option, or better yet, one year, with a second-year option (playing X amount of innings, since you know he doesn't intend on playing all that much this year)? I don't know, maybe it was too smart.

Now why am I ranting on Willie for what is clearly an Omar move? Well, I'm getting to that.

So like I said, the last few days (prior to Sunday), Ryan Church was successfully hitting in the second spot in the line up. Church even remarked as much when he said he was seeing better pitches and he was able to get our boy Jose Reyes in scoring position without bunting that much. Hallelujah - he's not Paul LoDuca!

So you'd think after a few days of this successful experiment, if it wasn't broken, you wouldn't fix it right? Not in Willie's World.

Mr. "Show Me" decided that he couldn't leave well enough alone and decided to go back to the original set up that clearly didn't work as well as it should. Of course, there's no telling that the Mets would have won that way anyway with Schneider and Pagan out of the line up. But hey, he might have had a fighting chance there.

So what's next? Andrew V over at The 'Ropolitans had an interesting theory on this. Basically, the idea is that Omar might have forced Willie's hand in their "closed door" meeting that said - have Church bat second. It's an interesting theory, but I wonder how true could be. We all know, well sort of, that when Rick Down (Willie's "brother") was let go as hitting coach last year, Willie was heard to call out Omar on his buddy Julio Franco and said - you let my guy go, you let your guy go. Of course, this was all speculation, but many people think it, so you never know...

That said, I don't believe Omar has that much pull over Willie. We all know that Willie runs the clubhouse, Omar makes the transactions. I know that Andrew V disagreed with me, being that this is Willie's boss, but I wonder how much of this change was Willie being Willie Coyote, "Super Genius." Since he openly complained about the "fraternizing" between opposing teams and the Mets (like Tony Bernazard yukking it up with Manny Acta), I wonder if Willie pulled the old okee-doke on Omar by toying with the line up.

Could it have been the opposite? Maybe Omar got in Willie's ear and told him to bat his guy Luis Castillo higher in the order? Chances are, if Castillo is bitching about off days weeks into the season, he may not be too high on Willie's priority list.

But another thing that grinds my gears about Willie is that, well, he's repeating the same garl durn mistakes he did last year. But I'm not talking about fundamental management, which we all know he sucks at, what I'm talking about is killer instinct. No pussying around. The Mets had the opportunity to take two sweeps in a row and it's almost like - well, we did good enough, let's fuck with the line up and diminish our chances of fucking these guys where they breathe.

Of course, I know the Willie supporters will say that I'm wrong. The team lost, not Willie. But riddle me this as someone else asked (not sure where) - who do you want to see with two men on base in the 9th inning - Church or Castillo? Of course, we can't predict the future to know this was how it would turn out - but when Church himself says the experiment is successful - when Castillo the "Trusted Vet" is broke and bitchy - isn't that sign enough that

Of course, I know they are going to win some games, they're going to lose some games...that didn't stop the '86 teams from going into St Louis the first road trip there in April and sticking it to them. Wally Backman said to a Cardinal as he left Busch Stadium after SWEEPING the series -- don't let us get too far ahead. But nooooo. We can't have that.

I know, it's a marathon, not a sprint, etc etc. But this pisses me off. It's this type of complacency, as Carlos Delwhiffo said, that gets them into trouble. Thank goodness for David Wright, who said we won't take this sitting down.

Believe it or not, I am ok with taking two out of three in Philly. As long as we can keep that streak going. But Willie has got to learn not to mess with something that works. Hopefully once Schneider is back in the lineup, he can go back to the way it worked. For now.

As I write, the Mets are losing 2-1. UGH. This is a game they should win, now that Carlos Z is out of the game. John Maine doesn't seem to have much luck at Wrigley. Later gators.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Road Trip Queens

The Girls of Spring Strike Again!
At around 11 am, Zoe, Dykstraw and his pal hopped in a car, headed towards the Turnpike, and ended in a town as strange as Philly. Save traffic, the trip went without incident, but had some laughs mostly due to Dykstraw and his rants and raves. I really think he's missed his calling as a blogger, but I guess that his rambles on BMF, Metsblog and here as well more than make up for it.

Stopped off at a liquor outlet to get some beverages for the informal tailgate set up by Matt Cerrone in Lot N (a tailgating lot for anyone ever curious to set up shop in Philly in the future) - I thought we'd have a couple drinks, then head into the stadium - until Crazy Met Girl and her Sonny Boy showed up with a mini-banquet for us! The big smile on my face is clearly from being fed.
She brought us some pasta (that stayed hot in her tupperware all the way down the Turnpike!), Sloppy joes, Rice Krispy treats, sodas, chips and dip (I think I stationed myself next to those). It was so good I absolutely had to get the lemon pasta recipe she made. Trust me when I say it was tasty. Add in a nice little game of wiffle ball later (Metsblog Matt and Zoe at the bat)...









...and we ended up getting to our seats after the National Anthem but in time for the first pitch. Here is the sign outside of the CBP that announced it was a sold out. Now, I think it's as it is at Shea - you know those nights when they say 50,000 paid attendance are there. There were tons of empty seats, and even later on in Standing Room, it was not nearly as packed as you'd think, given the rivalry. Our seats were originally way way way way waaaaaaaaaaay up in the bleeders. Here is our view of the scoreboard from our seats.
That was, until we get a note from SNK, who had standing room only tickets. So we decided to visit and say hi...until we spent the rest of the game after the 4th inning down there. There were a bunch of Mets fans there, so we didn't feel lonely anymore!The first level at CBP is really the best because that's where they have all the good stands and the infamous crab fry stand which for $6 you get a bucket of fries spiced with Old Bay seasoning and laced with a little bit of crack I'm convinced, since I was stuffed and could not stop eating them. The line speaks for itself - it moves quickly but there are tons of people waiting for these. Trust me -- if you are a fry fan, don't miss out on these. In the meantime, I love the kids food stand in the park, on the first level - they have PB&J on the menu!!! (see below) How awesome is that? I would pretend to have a kid just to get my PB&J fix (no one loves it more than I do).
So back to SRO. Many cool Mets fans were down there, and as Zoe said, it was less lonely down there than it was in Section 423 or wherever we were. In fact, there was a block of Mets fans up in the terrace where we originally sat a few sections down, but we were surrounded by Phils fans. It was only a matter of time before we left to join our friends downstairs and we were joined by others. If you don't mind standing though, SRO is not a bad option at CBP. We were later joined by Cerrone, Ted Berg from SNY, another SNY guy, BMF, A Phanatic, Dykstraw and Kevin. All in all, it was like we were home. Here is a photo of two Mets Weekly alums (LOL), BMF and me - sporting his Chico's Bail Bonds sponsored Bad News Bears jersey!!So what else is there to say? Oh Pea looked good, ended up getting screwed by a substitute Jimmy Rollins on an admittedly good at-bat for the guy (I think SNK mentioned that Oh Pea's pitch count was up to something like 85 before that at-bat, and ended up with about 105 pitches total before the end of the 6th. Now, you all know my obsession with Oh Pea is legendary but before he and Boras think they can make a great pay day for next season, I have news for them - he has to get out of the 6th inning first let alone 7th or 8th in the future before becoming a top of the line starter. Pea, I know you have it in you. But please stop. Thanks.

Of course, what Mets game would be complete without a heart attack moment induced by Big Pussy Heilman? He managed to get out of that inning relatively unscathed with just one run scoring (not to mention, probably none of those runs would have a chance if Angel Pagan makes that play. Oh well).

We start Takin Care of Business on the way out of the stadium.









We said our goodbyes to the fans in Philly (who have more bark than bite) and went back to our spot in Lot N, waiting for the traffic to clear. Here is a view of the CBP from our lot. The lights made it look somewhat pretty - although a little bit overcast out. Still, a gorgeous day and night, weather-wise (and of course, it helped that the game turned out the way it did!).

A couple of blog groupies approached Zoe on our way out - here's a cute pic of these guys -- apparently, they love the Mets blogs and thanked us for what we do! The Mets organization do those of us who blog a disservice - Kranepool Society talked about the Dodgers putting on the dog for their bloggers - wouldn't it be great to have a Mets sponsored blogger night in the bleachers? What a great way to send off Shea.

I do have to say the ride back up was less eventful. Save a rousing rendition of Never Gonna Give You Up by Dykstraw before getting in the car...(here's him earlier in the day, waving his pompom around...OK maybe it's Zoe's but it was still funny)
...The boys slept while Zoe and I sang 80s tunes up the 'Pike. Before we know it, we are in friendly territory and it's time for bed.
All in all, it's a great weekend for New York sports. The Mets are on the verge of using their Swiffers tonight...and the Rangers beat the Devils! As I sit here in my Henrik Lundqvist shirt, this could be the year. I can feel it.
LETS GO RANGERS!!!
LETS GO METS!!! WOO!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Shutting the Door

A common theme last season was the Mets inability to shut the door on opposing teams. What I mean is, how many series were there during the year that the Mets would take two, drop the third, when they could have easily swept the series? Or lose two out of three to say the Marlins and just suck it up. Look, I know even the Skanks lose to the Rays sometimes, and boy is that funny, but the Mets definitely did not play to their potential in 2007...as we all know now. Thank you, Carlos Delgado.

So last night when I watched Delgado drive in the tying run in later innings, I thought - there is no way they can lose this game. Mr. Complacent, Mr. Futility, Mr. I'm-Bored...he was able to make the game a little interesting.

While I thought it was a little bogus and lame for them to only score 2 runs in regulation innings, the Mets were able to pull off the win, the sweep, and have a nice little streak going into Citizens Bank Park this weekend. Oh, you know, where they are playing rival Phils.

My only concern here is that they are playing WAY too many extra inning games early in the season. There is no excuse for that, especially against the Nats. I remember in 2007, last April, when they had a mutliple inning affair down in DC which they ended up winning. It's nice to see a win in a walk-off fashion for the non-home team. My point is - they are still lacking in some areas. Meaning, they are winning the game they need to now (come back to me in July and August though...), but they need to be swift and quick.

They need a killer instinct. How many of us fans are out for blood this weekend with the Mets / Phils series? Meanwhile, the players are like - hohum, another series?

Whatever. It's far from ordinary. Santana. Hamels. Gotta be there. Or at least watch.

I'll be down in Philly Saturday with Zoe, SNK, Dykstraw and a bunch of other nuts. In fact, there will be a tailgate at Lot Q amongst Mets fans at 1:30 pm in Philly. Not a formal tailgate in the traditional sense (no food or drinks will be served), but do identify yourself if you come.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Man Falls To Death After Game?

I just saw this link from CNN.

"A man fell to his death after a baseball game between the New York Mets and Washington Nationals at Shea Stadium on Tuesday night, police said. The man was sliding down an escalator as fans left the stadium when he lost his balance and fell four stories at about 10 p.m., the New York Police Department said in a statement."

I didn't see or hear anything of the sorts last night but it would have happened right around the time the game ended. This is freaky.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

MTA, ODB and BP

So before I get started on tonight's game, I have to rant a minute about the MTA. You'd think that with a.) all the promotion on taking the train to the game that they get and b.) schedules in advance, they'd at least make it a little easy for us to get to the stadium. NOT.

First on Opening day, there was not NEARLY enough crowd control/conductors to attend to all the people leaving the stadium. Basically, mostly no one's cards worked correctly, therefore causing major bottlenecks at the paltry TWO entrances they have for trains back to Manhattan. Now, I know that because it's rush hour at this point on Opening Day, they can't run express TO Manhattan, but the least they could do is keep things moving for us.

Next tonight's game. I was meeting my friend Numero Uno-Uno at the game and I told him it should take no longer than 40 minutes to get there from where he was (I said "give or take a few" because you know, you have to time the express train just right). HA! Give or take..GIVE like 30 extra minutes because for some ungodly reason only known to the MTA they decided to NOT run express trains to Queens during rush hour. So not only are Mets fans not able to get to the game in a timely manner, we are sharing the train with a bunch of bitter folk who have to work for a living and want to make it home. And are sharing their trains with a bunch of bitter Mets fans.

Look - you tout mass transit is the way to Shea. At least make life a little bit accomodating to us. After all, I'm sure a lot of the Mets traffic helps pay the bills.

But of course, all was well when the game let out. The express was running to Manhattan and...the Mets won.

First the good news - Old Dirty Bastard aka ODB aka Dirt McGirt aka Duaner Sanchez aka "Wild Thing" aka you've-had-enough-Coop...well, anyway whatever name you decide to call him...

He's baaaaaaa-aack.

It was like 2006 all over again. Especially with Big Pussy Heilman making things "interesting" in the 8th inning. As buddy Seat5 said - why not let Sanchez pitch the 8th? Then he got a good laugh when he said - Hey Aaron! I don't want to see Wagner in the 9th tonight!!!

Seat5 also got some laughs during Heilman's sesh with L-Millz (who got some boos tonight - like it was his fault that the NY media was out to get him...as Uncle Gene once said about El Gato Grande once upon a time, "I want him to hit .600 against other teams and against the Mets...ZEROOOOO"). Anyway, Seat5 said - I can see it now - Milledge breaks window in CitiField with home run against Heilman! At least Big Pussy got out of the inning relatively unscathed (you're still on my shit list, there, BP).

Lastly but certainly not least, the real BP - Big Pelf - was AMAZING tonight. Pitched seven shutout innings, got the win AND looked intimidating on the mound? Wow, Pelf - The Coop is so hornnnnneeeeey. Me love you long time. Seriously though folks, he dominates against the Phils and the Nats? It may be soon to say - but I am looking forward to this guy all season.

And by the way, the Mets did win. Jose Reyes was one home run away from hitting for the cycle but he got on base four times...and basically was left on base twice. If you heard some calling Beltran a pussy...well, I plead the fifth. And although it's too early to say, David Wright is already getting his MVP!! chants for 2008.

Can Brian Schneider show us also that he was brought to the Mets for his defense? His passed ball habit concerns me. And he doesn't even try - it's like he Dorn's the ball every chance he gets. Oh and speaking of Dorn, Dirty's entrance music is Rick Vaughan's version of "Wild Thing." NICE.

I'm very happy with this win tonight because it seemed like everything clicked. Make these games 100% more decent, and we'll have more victory parties around here!!!

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MSF buddy Julie from Chicago Mets Fan asked me to help spread the good word about Metsopotamia coming to Chicago next week. This year, the Mets visit the Windy City in the truly windy period of April (eek). And April 21 and 22 will be the days CMF will host the technically visiting team's fans at Murphy's Bleachers. Check out the link for the 4-1-1.

Wish I could make it this year, but everything is too close together for me. But how can I hate on a place that hates the Yankees as much as we do (Murphy's had the infamous sign before Metsgrrl's and my attended game that said - Yankees Suck - We Agree).

Oh and speaking of Metsgrrl, she is moderating a panel of Mets by the Numbers in Greenpoint this Thursday. Tell her The Coop sent ya!!

And last but certainly not least, a few of us are visiting Philly for the first road trip of 2008!!! There will be a tailgate in Lot Q at Citizens Bank Park after 1:30 pm this Saturday. Identify yourselves brothers and sisters!

Sweet Pelf Dreams tonight...

Monday, April 14, 2008

I Like Noise AND ITS GOTTA BE LOUD

The Coop has some apologizing to do...

First, since Omar Minaya refused to pay attention to the memo that the world revolved around me, I scheduled a vacation during the first weekend of Mets home baseball...you know, before Johan was traded to the team. So I missed all the hullabaloo surrounding that. But not to worry - although I got a little sunburned, I hear that I didn't miss all that much anyway.

Second...I know I was delinquent in mentioning that I was invited to do a Mets blogger roundtable on Mets Weekly for SNY - I participated in it with Cerrone, HotFoot and Joe from Mets Today, and it was moderated by Ted Berg from Flushing Fussing on SNY. The filming was a lot of fun and muchos gracias to Matt Cerrone on organizing the shindig! (I hope I didn't come off as too much of a nitwit). Anyway, I didn't promote it on MSF because basically I didn't know for sure when the segment would air and I was away anyway...

But yes, we talked about "Shea-ing" goodbye and Hello to Citi for this week's segment - I had a good hair day. Ha ha. You can catch repeats during the week and we taped other segments, so be sure to catch Mets Weekly every Saturday at 12:30 on SNY!

Anyway, back to what happened over the weekend. First, visit Brooklyn Met Fan on their debate on whether Mets fans have the right to "boo."

While I don't participate in the boos myself, I have to say that I think it is in extremely poor taste to boo the "ace" of the Mets staff in his very first game at home. Now, think of a few things. For one - Johan does have a propensity to give up the long ball. That happened in Saturday's game. Next is, I wonder how much of it had to do with his new introduction to Shea. I mean, I saw Johan pitch in his first Spring Training game in March. Technically, end of February. And he gave up a 3-run shot in the first inning but looked good the rest of the time.

I can't believe some mo-mos had the brass to boo the future anchor of the Mets pitching staff in his very first start. If I remember correctly, in 2005, Pedro didn't exactly have the most stellar outing against the Marlins in April of that year. He also pitched against Al Leiter who decided he was in the "mood" to pitch that day. No one booed him then, but I guess the expectation wasn't all that high either back then.

My point is, this is neither the place nor the time to boo Johan. If this had happened in say, July and it was his first bad outing, would he have gotten that reaction? I would think not. He's allowed a poor outing or a few in the season. Let it go. But with his history with the long ball, I wonder how he'll fare this Friday at Citizens Bank. We'll see...

As for Oh Pea, hey, you know what. We need to know that we get Dr. Oliver Hekyll and Mr. Ollie Hyde every now and then. Sunday just seemed like a poor game all around and we need to dust ourselves off.

I am all for setting the tone early in the season but technically, the team did that in 2007 and look where they ended up. Slow and steady, as the tortoise once said.

The only thing I can glean from this weekend is the bullpen. Apparently, Dirt McGirt is on his way to return soon and if he can perform to his abilities from 2006 (or even like 75%), we'll be back in biz. Sort of.

But is it too early to be concerned about Aaron Heilman though? When you are outplayed by Guillermo Mota in the same game, that can be bad.

As my gal Deb from FU said, I took him off the Big Pussy Posse MUCH too quickly this season. I admit. OK, Aaron, would it help to put you back on? I guess maybe he got jealous that I put Pedro Martinez on it. Who wouldn't want to be part of an elite group like that? Aaron, I'm sorry, you are put back on. OK?

Seriously folks, after looking at box scores, getting updates from friends while I was away for the weekend, I am a bit concerned. The team has not gotten out of the funk where nothing was clicking at the same time. When Johan pitched a gem in Atlanta last week, the hitting took a nap. When the starters do well enough to win, the bullpen throws it away. When the offense is one like on Sunday, the other team kicks it up a notch and beats the shit out of our starters AND the 'pen.

It's getting tiresome. And is it too soon to blame Willie once again? I honestly don't know. I feel like if Willie takes the fall, then certainly, Omar needs to take HIS share of the blame for some of his boneheaded short-sighted moves. I know that last year I was not the biggest loudmouth against the Bannister for AmBurglar trade, but looking back - it was incredibly dumb to trade away a starter (who granted was surplus at the time) for a fire throwing potential closer-of-the-future. But then, our starters don't mean jack if the offense goes to sleep.

Again, meet the New Mets, same as the Old Mets.

For a good read, visit my co-roundtabler Joe at Mets Today for his take on Willie. Good job my friend!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

And Schoeneweis Gets The Win...

You can't script baseball.

Big Pussy (Pussies?) Return(s)

So my buddy Joe Janish over at Mets Today told me something funny at the Mets opening day (on the road...) event.

He thinks Aaron Heilman is the best pitcher in the National League.

Note that he did not say the best reliever. The best pitcher. I thought it was bold. But when he had a good showing, I thought he might be onto something.

Given that he's given up the most home runs so far this season as a relief fucking pitcher, I would say his vagina has come back to haunt him.

And don't get me started on Shirley Beltran. He's got an opportunity to hit a sac fly to drive in the GO AHEAD run in the bottom of the 8th. But noooooooooo.

All I can say is that it's deja vu all over again. Meet the 2008 Mets, same as the 2007 Mets.

Bunch of fucking pussies.

Harry M. Stevens Used to Sell Hot Cocoa in the Stands...

I said that tonight to my friend P.S. (aka Philly Steve), as cold soda here! Ice cold water here! Beer here! Were going around, all I wanted was some hot coffee or hot cocoa in chilly Shea.

Didn't happen, but I did remember that before Aramark, there was Harry M. Stevens concessions. And they used to sell hot cocoa, not to mention Crunch n Munch in the stands. Comment if you remember that. (I also remember the PBRs, although I was much too young to drink it).

I had to settle for some beers though. Fair enough.

So why am I OD'ing on nostalgia? Basically because, the Mets are doing enough of that for all of us. But I can't help but get a little sad. I mean - my summer home is going away. Not the players, not the uniforms, but basically my second home where most of my childhood memories are stored away, and some of the most memorable times of my adult life too.

But enough. Let's stick to what the Coop is good at, and talk about the games.

First, most of you know how Game 1 at home ended up. It was like, 2007 never ended. Or as Greg over at FAFIF said - wake me up when last September ends. And how apropos too - while looking for Metsie Corey, I ran into G-fafif on Opening day.

Since I ran into him at basically every last home game in September, once the game was over - LITERALLY, 2007 just didn't end.

But thank goodness, it did, late last night, as the Mets finally slayed the dragon of the Phils. But a few things - first, their starter walked the park and it took four fucking errors for the Mets to really go on a rampage and do some damage. As Dykstraw texted me during the romp - it should have been 10 -1. Well, it ended up 8- 2, so close enough...but does that mean, it should have been 12-2?

After all this, I wonder why Opening Night isn't such a big production. I mean, I guess you can't have more than one F-16 fly-bys. I guess that you can typically draw more fans to Opening Day than Opening Night. But tonight was special. Why?

It was the Mets first win at home in 2008. It was also the last "first night" of the Shea baseball season. We won't be saying - see you at Shea next year. Or "next stop - Shea Stadium" on the train. It will be Willets Point - CitiField.

It was also Big Pelf's first Big Win of 2008. He wasn't stellar, but did the job. On his way to his 10 -8 record. Woo hoo! I also see it looks like we'll be seeing a lot more of Big Pelf - since Duque is out indefinitely. If you look at the boxscore for tonight's game too - the Phils missed Jimmy Rollins. BAD. So did my friend, although he's a Phillies fan, wanted to hear the boos for him. He got to hear plenty for Burrell and Utley.

So what else is there? The Mets looked flat on Tuesday, looked marginally better on Wednesday.

But the games mean that the "Openers" are almost officially done. Except this weekend some dude named Johan will make his home opener. I won't be in town, but that's OK. I'll see him plenty of times this season, I'm sure.

But for CitiField, if we are going the nostalgia route, we have to have hot cocoa served by concessionaires in the stands. I might write to Aramark now!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Are You Ready For Some BASEBALL!?!?!?!?!?

Dykstraw said it best last Monday.

"I like it when the Mets open on the road. It's like we get two Opening days."

And what could be better? That's like a kid getting two Christmases.

I think I look forward to this day of the year more than say Christmas or even my birthday. Well, my birthday is right around Christmas, so I probably don't look forward to either.

Anyway, I don't have much to write. I mean, the only thing that I have any kind of hope for is that the '86 Mets started 2-3 on the season. But then, this team is not the '86 Mets.

They are the 2008 Mets. I'm hopeful. And as a Mets fan, that's what you do - hold out for hope.

See you in Section 14 tomorrow. Go Mets.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Shut the Fuck Up Already!!!!

Notice, I have never truly taken a stand on Tom Glavine's departing words with the team last year. How he was not devastated about what happened because you know he has a better perspective on life than us barbarian New York sports fans and that's all. When the reality was, all he needed to do was say something to the effect of - I know that I let the fans and my team, and for that I am truly sorry. We *might* have let him off the hook for that. But noooooo. Of course, adding insult to injury by going to the Braves -- where we knew he wanted to be all along -- so no I can enjoy bashing his skull in every time we meet him.

But honestly, if I hear one more SNY reporter asking him to clarify what he said, you are going to hear me screaming from Jersey.

Enough!

You know, it's bad enough already that 2007 was lost in such a shameful fashion, that this team goes on every day now pretending it did not happen, that losing to the Braves and Marlins now is not that big of a thing (can you imagine losing against the Phils next week? Well, Pelfrey is pitching, we'll see about that).

But to rehash this over and over again makes two points very evident to me.

One is that - Tom Glavine is a stupid fucking moron who should have never been a Met to begin with but is a money-grubbing asshole who really didn't care how the Mets ended up as long as he could watch the Braves postseason on TV at his home.

Two is that - New York sports reporters are not much brighter. I mean, they can't ask Smoltzie about his offseason? How Chipper feels about David Wright (apparently, he takes assumed names into fan forums and talks shit about everyone he feels threatened by). That to me is more worth it than pounding a guy who is going to get booed by the Mets fan base no matter WHAT he does.

But whatever. If I were interviewing him, I would be like - so Tom, why don't you tell me about these children you and your wife volunteer with. What can you tell me about them? The sad part is, he'll be exposed for the fraud he is because he just goes to get his press photos taken and leaves.

They all need to just shut the hell up.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Disappointment of Pedro Martinez

Back in the winter of 2004, I was pretty much fried by the Mets goings-on, or lack thereof. We had gone through Black Friday, Kris & Anna Benson, Art Howe, then the signing on of Omar Minaya while Jim Duquette was still technically the General Manager. Add in Willie Randolph as the new Mets manager and like many Mets fans, I was kinda like - whatever. If not for the Red Sox humiliating the Yankees in the ALCS and winning the World Series, I don't know what I would have done. Thank goodness for bloggers, though I didn't have mine yet.

But imagine my surprise around when the holiday starts to kick in gear and I get a note from my Yankee fan friend Paulie Vee who says- what's this I hear about the Mets getting Pedro? I think my thoughts were like David "Big Papi" Ortiz's -- Pedro aint going to no Mets. But then the contract was signed, the physical was taken, lo and behold, Pedro Martinez - one of the best pitchers my generation has seen - was a New York Met.

And I didn't know what to think.

For one, I knew from the Red Sox babblers that Pedro was injury-prone, he was a bit of a diva and a fly-ass pitcher...but Mr. E and Uncle Gene automatically liked him because he threw down that "fat fuck" (their words, not mine...okay, maybe I agreed) Don Zimmer in that fight in 2003. And when the Mets later signed Carlos Beltran - the perceived crown jewel of that seasons free agent pool - the peanut gallery claimed that if not for Pedro, there would be no Carlos. Obviously, they knew better than I.

And 2005 was exciting. No doubt. The Mets finished above .500 for the first time in what seemed like 800 years. Were a Wild Card contender till the very end. And Pedro took the pressure off old Tom Glavine, who had his first good season since becoming a Met in 2003.

But one thing kind of struck me weird about Pedro in 2005. Two things actually. One was -- most Mets fans are going to remember that home run Ramon Castro hit against Urbina against the Phillies right before the September push. This enabled the Mets to win and the starting pitcher the next day? Pedro. We were going to win the Wild Card, baby!

But he quickly fell apart. It happens. But Pedro doesn't just fall apart. He seems to implode. Couple that with his whole "I want to start my offseason early" and taking off to the DR when it was Mike Piazza's last game as a New York Met (the passing of the torch, if you will) and the last game of the season goes to - Victor Zambrano? Thank goodness the game didn't count. I don't know, that whole episode there - what guy leaves his team on the last day of the season? Obviously, Pedro Martinez had the special Roger Clemens dispensation to leave whenever the fuck he felt like it.

But wait! 2006 was the first year everything started to come together. Carlos Delgado finally made it, along with Big Pud LoDuca, Xavier Nady and Dirty Duaner Sanchez. On paper, that doesn't sound all that intimidating, but add en fuego Jose Reyes, exciting David Wright, another year of Carlos Beltran, it was all so threatening and fun. Add Pedro to the mix and this team was going places!!

Again, two incidences stand out in my mind from that season. One was when the team played an interleague game against the Red Sox. Of course, grandiose gestures were brought out for Pedro, who talked about how much he missed it in Boston, how the only reason he left was because the Mets were the only team who guaranteed a fourth-year.

Huh?

Now, I understand if he's going to miss the team, the fans, Fenway, whatever. But the "only reason" you are playing for the Mets is because of this? Are you for real? Why not just say - I miss in Fenway, but I have a job to do?

He imploded on the mound and was alternately jeered and cheered off the mound at Fenway. I remember saying that day - this is the Pedro everyone warned us about. From Paulie Vee, to the Sox fan base...this is Diva Pedro - the one who shows when he's not in the mood to do his job.

Then, his pitching started to get erratic...and we all know what happened to Pedro then. He came back to "win" the NL East clincher game against the Pirates in Pittsburgh and left the field in tears. We all knew the Pedro we wanted to pitch in the postseason would not be there.

So that brings me to this point - I know when the team signed Pedro, he brought a legitimacy that had not been seen since maybe Mike Piazza's trade and subsequent contract extension. And yes, I do acknowledge there is a chance Carlos Beltran would not be a Met today if not for Pedro's signing. But where do we draw the line? If the Mets truly believed that making the postseason would be a crapshoot anyway, why even sign Pedro in the first place? If he's supposed to be a major threat in the rotation, how can he be when he's hurt all the fucking time?

Now, before I start ranting some more, I promise I'll bring it full circle. So 2007 comes, and the Mets play is boring to say the least. Needless to say, the fanbase was uber-excited about the prospect of Pedro returning and he did. But then...the team fizzled anyway and he became a non-issue. I also wrote that in my Coop's Crystal Ball piece last year, than whenever Pedro returned, it wouldn't matter anyway. I was hoping it would be POSITIVE though.

So that brings to me 2008. I think as Mets fans, we have to be excited about the pitching rotation. Johan is the ace, we get to see Maine and Oh Pea progress, the pressure is off Mike "Big Pelf" Pelfrey because...Pedro is returning and will be our warrior. So when Willie announces his pitching rotation schedule, imagine my surprise when he says he's going with the lefty-righty-lefty-righty... set up.

Why? I guess because it's un-PC to say - trusted veterans at the top, untrustworthy rookies at the bottom. So much for John Maine being rewarded for being the "ace" in 2007. Sheesh.

But I saw something when I was in Port St Lucie. I was able to see some of the open workouts. And I would see Pedro Martinez walking in late, not participating in the workouts...yes, I saw him do his practice throwing, but that was it.

As he got hurt 3.1 innings into his 2008 season, and tweaked his hamstring while throwing a pitch, I got to thinking.

He didn't pitch in any of the games I was at in Spring Training. This was because he got a special dispensation. Whatever. But then I thought about in 2006, when he didn't pitch the home opener (which was the actual season opener) because he wanted some extra time to get ready. Funny, Tom Glavine, who is on paper "older" than Pedro, didn't need extra time off to get ready. Couple that with missing his last scheduled start of the 2005 regular season and making us suffer through the last regular season game of 2005 with putting Victor Zambrano on the mound...

Pedro has disappointed me more than made me a happy Mets fan these past four years.

Sure, I do recognize that his signing snowballed into a lot of other great things. But where is the gamer Pedro we heard so much about? Where is the warrior? The guy who would brush batters out of the box just for the hell of it?

And where the hell is he when we need him most?

He's hurt. He has a yeast infection. He's really 65 years old and El Duque's dad. He's out for 4-6 weeks, which we know in Mets lingo means August at the very least.

This was the year the pitching was supposed to be the savior. But when Pedro can't stay healthy -- and how much of that has to do with the team not getting on him because he's a "trusted" veteran who can't be told anything -- he truly hurts the team. The team has no depth in the starting rotation because of the Johan trade. And while the Pedro signing did good, Omar has got to realize that he cannot be depended on when we need him most.

Therefore, I am anointing Pedro Martinez the president of the Big Pussy's Posse of 2008.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Euphoria...Then Pedro

So I know I'm a little late to posting here - but as CoreyNYC over at Metsie described, alcohol had a LOT to do with it, being at the Metsblog party yesterday.

I was joined yesterday by CoreyNYC himself, his gal, the great Zoe, CrazyMetGirl, Dykstraw and his lady, MetsToday Joe, Willy Fabuloso and of course the dudes from Metsblog Matty and Reege.

In fact, Joe had a great posting on how awesome it was to be a Mets fan yesterday. We got a little bit of everything - 7 full innings from Johan, David Wright being David Wright, Willie not mismanaging the bullpen (he still has 161, well technically now 160.5 games to do that), and other nicey niceys. Willy Fabs regaled us once again with his adoration of Marlon Anderson. We heard a few "Go Big Pelfs" from the audience as the team was being announced. We heard some groans for Schoeneweis. And MAYBE you might have heard an "Oh PEEEEEEAAAAA!" (I plead the fifth). Although I will say this...I think Johan impregnated me with one of his strikeouts. But I digress.

Well, I missed the first few innings of the game tonight, since I have to leave work early to go HERE (7 pm, hostesses Zoe and Coop) tomorrow night. But as I walked home, I checked the score, Pedro was still in the game and all seemed right with the world.

Hey...have I mentioned that I am a Mets fan? Shyeah.

Anyway I won't get too bent (yet...), after all if something (knock wood) were to happen to Pedro (knock my head), it should be in April. But dangnabbit, why can't we just have everything go off without a hitch?

It's only April. It's only April.

But Bart Giamatti help me if I am ever here saying "It's only September. It's only September."
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Very flattering moment today - as I was reading some of my daily heroin, Kranepool Society, he mentioned that the FAFIF boys mentioned him as someone a "fan" would have to go through before being allowed entry to the Final game at Shea. Surprisingly, they mentioned ME (and Toasty Joe) as well!! ...Although I don't think even *I* could have answered Kranepool's questions...
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The only question I have is who the hell is going to pitch the home opener now??? Fuckin Team.