Monday, September 29, 2008

Shea Goodbye - Part Four

Welcome to my last installment of "Shea Goodbye" on My Summer Family, this time focusing on my years in Mezzanine Section 14. I had planned on doing this weeks ago on an off day. But the problem was I didn't get all the pictures I wanted. So this goes on without getting the pics of the neighbors in the Coop box, John and his brother. Although I have possibly sold more seats of John's than he ever did. (You can read parts one, two and three by clicking on the links).

Section 14 is the one and only place I've had full season tickets, but I've only had them since after All-Star break in 2006. But this is where I've gone on marathons -- like in 2007, I sat in these seats for 3 out of the last 7 games of the season (but I was in CoreyNYC's seats in Section 13 one night, and Mr. E's -- now Uncle Gene's -- Saturday seats in Section 10 for 2 of the other games). I saw Games 1, 2 & 7 (sold game 6) of the NLCS in these seats. I saw a momumental collapse in 2007. But I went to many more games than I could possibly take in one season, this season, 2008.
There weren't many "regulars" in this section; then again, I go to maybe 25-30 games in these seats a year. The folks who used to sit in front of me, Jeanie and her brother (forget his name) from Bayside, they didn't re-up their tickets for this season. My cousin and co-blogger SassDawg had a mini plan in Section 14 in 2007, and as a result, I met his neighbor "Seat5."
I guess in the 80s, we might have exchanged landline phone numbers and addresses to exchange holiday cards or something. But now we just have each other's cell numbers, and we are Facebook buddies. I mentioned John and his brother before. I've only been to maybe three games in the last two and a half seasons where we actually sat by one another. John was the one responsible for the nickname "Trashball" for Steve Trachsel. I was probably one of the only few Mets fans who stuck up for Trash, erm, I mean TRAX, until the NLCS that is...

Then this season there was Louie and his adorable little boy, who I met only a few times. Just last week, I asked his son how old he was. He said he was eight. I said, "Oh no - you're doomed! You're doomed kid! That was when I started going to games! You see - I haven't stopped!!!"


But I can't now. No matter how the season may have ended, I made peace with the idea of not making the postseason months ago. I was disappointed, but okay with it.
My true disappointment, though, is not knowing these folks as well as I could have, to form a community. Actually I think it was Louie who mentioned he had seats next to mine next year. Plus I know a few others who have committed a few sections around me. So I should be seeing some familiar faces in 2009.

Mezzanine Section 14 Box 572C, seats 7 & 8 have had their share of guests too...In fact if you want to wax intellectual, more people not-named-Coop have sat there. Of course, there's Mr. E, but Zoe, to Metsgrrl (and sometimes her TBF), to SNK, to LoDigs, GaryG, DingoMets (aka Dingbat), Dykstraw, Sassdawg, Metstradamus and countless others. These folks constitute "Coopslist" and will still be on it, when I am sitting in Promenade Section 522 in CitiField.
(Don't worry, they are still affordable.)
Section 14 seats started out as an investment for me, became a consolation prize, then ultimately became my home away from home, a place of solace (no matter how hard the Mets tried to ruin that for me even)...or as Mr. E calls it, the place I grew up.
Well, he's right. As I left my seats for the very last time yesterday, I couldn't help but feel overwhelmed. Tears came, for sure, but didn't flow. I guess just cutting myself off from the feelings of winning/losing to spare myself the agony in the end really took its toll. It was only after I left that I realized, I was home all along. As I met up with the crew outside of Gate E, I saw other fans just dallying around. I wished I had done that, but I had a train to catch.
Shea was a dump. It was our dump. But I am ready to usher in some new memories at the new stadium. Better ones. I hope. Hey, what's a Met fan gotta go, if not to believe?


Peace!!!


Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Last Day At Shea

I'll have more tomorrow...and the day after...and the day after next. Basically, I am so wiped from the events of this weekend, it's not even friggin funny so I can barely string one coherent thought let alone a few.

So in case you haven't noticed, the Mets lost today, the Brewers won, and thus eliminated any chances of a postseason in New York, and not involving the Yankees. What was disappointing most to me is not even the bullpen blowing the game -- it was not even out of reach and frankly, I expect them to give up runs -- is that the offense completely blew goats today, it was unbelievable.

But as I said a few days, I accepted our fate, whatever will be will be, I would just enjoy it while I can, and take the good with the bad. Well, Thursday = good. Friday = bad. Saturday = very good. Sunday = very bad.

You know, I'm not about tipping my cap or whatever, but when the insignificant Marlins completely disrespect you AND your house (by hanging out on the field acting like they actually won something), then this team (meaning: The Mets) did not deserve to win anything. I am sorry, but the Big Pussy's Posse in still effect. I'm sorry, but this team did absolutely nothing for me to warrant keeping anyone around next year, and I'm completely serious. Fire the whole fucking lot, if you ask me.
But I'm not going to be bitter. Clearly, this team had many opportunities to blow this thing wide open. But the only thing blowing anything open was the bullpen doing that to games. So the fact that we even had to wait the second to last game to get a division winner and not decide the wild card till later...that just says it all. If this team were going to do anything, it would have been weeks ago.
C'est la vie, I guess. Now it's back to my regularly scheduled programming, including (but not limited to): sleep; no alcohol most nights; my addicting Showtime programs; more sleep; weekends not worrying about where to watch games; trying to write a meaningful blog each night; sleep; having a life again.
I think I was more upset about the fact that Doc Gooden and Darryl Strawberry had wasted talent; that since I was 7, I've had no life other than being a Mets fan; that I said goodbye to what Mr. E called the place I "grew up in;" that I keep coming back for more. Thank you, sirs, may I have another?
All in all, 2008 was memorable. Whether good or bad, it doesn't matter. We'll remember 2008 for a long time coming...but although it ended the same way as 2007 (with a loss to the Marlins), it was not nearly as bitter.

The Coop and Mr. E thanks Shea and the Mets for our memories!!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

...And the Mets Are STILL ALIVE!!!

What else can I say that hasn't been said already? (Mr. E's face says it all below)...

So maybe it would be better if I told a story in pictures?

Yesterday was the last "regular season" Saturday game at Shea ever, and while Professor Gary from F.U. was a guest in the Coop box (I hope I didn't scare his friend too much),

and Uncle Gene was sitting in Mr. E's old seats in Section 10, I went with the GaryKeithandRon contingent in the picnic area and even got some suh-sweet pics from the warning track.





















It was a little overwhelming out there -- between the die hards out there, then seeing EVERYONE in the crowd go crazy and stand up on their feet






















And Jo-Han! (Clap-clap!) Jo-Han! (clap-clap!)...what else can I say about him? He cornered Jerry to give him the ball on Saturday, and gave us the performance of a LIFETIME.














This game is an instant classic...but definitely had a different vibe from a certain special "last Saturday regular season game" in 2007. I don't think any Mets fans were about to have heart attacks...and although our standing has to do with another team losing yesterday -- the Phillies have already clinched the division, so in a sense, we have less to worry about and more to think about just getting to the postseason. If the cards fall that way, actually.
What's a Met fan gotta do anyway, except to do what the scoreboard told us as we exited the game. Hell, I believed enough that I didn't want to be alone, to lose the vibe that I had as I left the stadium. While waiting to get on the warning track during the National Anthem, Mr. E was trading old Met war stories with another gentleman on the line.
And I knew that I had my own Summer Family, that has turned into "early fall" family at this point...and I didn't want to be alone in following the Cubs/Brewers game. So Donovan's Pub in Woodside it was, with the nicest Mets fans you'd ever want to meet...and the coolest (if you asked me) are photographed down here.

So the Mets live to see another day, and it's got a lot of special meaning. It's the last "regular season" game at Shea...there should be old schoolers pulled out of the vault...and the Cubs essentially have their fate in their hands. I'm sure they want to see the Mets (and their bullpen) in the postseason...salivating actually to see them. And you know what -- the Mets have surprised this season a lot, so bring it on.
And the way fates turn -- maybe we have game 163. I'm happy. Go Oh-Pea today. Play for that contract baby!!!

Living Like Kevin McReynolds

Back in 1988, the Mets were in the NLCS, against the Dodgers. Against all odds, though, the Dodgers had pulled back into contention and forced a game seven -- well, technically, the Mets forced it, but who's counting.

1988 was an interesting year. Started out with Darryl Strawberry calling out his teammates and getting into a fist fight with Keith Hernandez during the team photo shoot. But Darryl put on an amazing display that year too, putting up MVP numbers all season. Darryl was flashy.

Then there was Kevin McReynolds. See, we got Kevin Mac in a trade with the San Diego Padres in the 1986 offseason/prior to 1987. Kevin Mitchell was gone in that trade, with the perception that he was some kind of cancer. I often point to that trade as the denouement of the 1986 team. When Kevin Mitchell, a certain spark left. he was young, but the rest of the team was aging, and rapidly.

Kevin McReynolds was a good player. We could count on him for a few timely hits, and to just quietly go about his job. But I would venture to say he was the first player I remember that treated his god-given baseball talent as a jay-oh-bee. I'm sure others did too, but he was the first one I remember that really annoyed me like that.

Not that it was for naught. In 1988, he also put up MVP-like numbers and rumor had it that McReynolds and Strawberry's good years cancelled each other out and allowed Kirk Gibson to be the 1988 MVP.

But I told all that to get to this. One of the more controversial statements that ever came out of Kevin McReynolds' mouth (when he actually talked) is that a reporter asked him what he felt like if the Mets lost Game 7 of the 1988 NLCS.

Either way, I win, he says. If we win, I get to go to the World Series. If we lose, I get to go home and hunt in Arkansas. See? Win-win.

Of course, that was paraphrased to death but the idea remains the same. We wanted him to WANT to go to the World Series more than huntin' in the offseason. But the fact remains, he just didn't care or acted like he didn't.

Well, whatever the outcome this weekend, I win. If the Mets get a playoff spot, I get to see some postseason games in New York. If they lose, I get to sit on my fat ass and watch Dexter, Californication and Desperate Housewives on Sunday nights.

See? Win-win. Who knew Kevin McReynolds was way ahead of his time. Thanks Kevin, for showing me the light.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Accepting My Fate

So after Ricardo Rincon gave up a three-run home run on the VERY FIRST PITCH OF HIS FUCKING OUTING, I decided that it was time to pull a Frank stunt.

Woodside Frank from Section 22 in the Mezzanine would stand up at a point like that and say, "Fuck these guys, I'm goin' to Donovan's. Who's comin'?" And we'd pile out one by one.

So I said, half-seriously, half-not to Mr. E, "I'm ready to leave whenever you are." Being that the rain started to come down, not hard but just annoying enough that, well, I was annoyed (not to mention that the Mets were BLOWING IT for the second straight game), Dad got up and we decided that waiting for 20 minutes for the next train under the awning was a better fate.

We heard some cheers from the distance, but at the same time, most of the Mets fans (we had plenty of company) on the train platform were already talking about 2009. In fact, as we walked down the stairs to the platform, Mr E put his arm around me and said, "It aint over till its over, baby...but I think it's over."

Hell, to the amusement of some of the conductors on the platform, I said, "Hey, I've accepted my fate. I'm just going to enjoy baseball while I still have it."

Now, you'd have thought that Mr. E and I might have learned something from 2000 -- you know, we were in attendance June 30, 2000, when the Mets came back from a 7-run deficit against the hated Braves in the bottom of the 8th, scoring something like 8 or 9 runs with TWO outs. The reason we didn't take off? We took the ferry in, and it left 30 minutes after the last out, so we were stuck. Of course, over the years, we'd heard stories about those who had made the fateful decision not to stick it out.

Don't get me wrong. Mr. E and I are NOT fair-weather fans. We were fully committed this game. I think with the upcoming weekend, ugly weather forecasts, and the overall ugliness of the Mets play lately, we just got sick of it.

Too old for this shit, as I usually say.

So imagine our surprise as someone nonchalantly says, "Yeah the Mets tied it up in the 8th."

Um, what?

We book into Houlihans, where other Mets fans (making the same decision as we did), were pleading with the staff to turn off the college football/infomercial/European football games for the Mets game. We doubted ANYONE would mind (I needed to only look at the many Mets colors around). I even got some people to put their rally caps on in the 9th inning. After all, Mr. E had a train to catch.

But the beauty part?

I managed to miss the Beltran walk-off single.

You know, I did fairly nominate myself to the Big Pussy Pick of the Week this week over at GBU. But hey, nature called, and I figured that Beltran would take a dump anyway. How apropos.

I walked out as a I heard all the hootin' and hollerin' -- to which our new friend, Maine Boy (not as in John, as in the state) pointed at me and said, "Hey! She missed it!"

But on My Summer Family, since we are all "family," I have a confession to make. I've missed something else quite significant in Mets history due to nature calling and me decided that the moment was not "important" enough for me to "hold it."

There was something called "The Catch" in the 2006 NLCS. 'Nuff said.

I'm a fucking jinx. Put me in the bat-room.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Luis Castillo Is Singing...

Look guys, I hate to break it to us, but the sooner we get over it, the better.

This team aint doing jack.

Look good teams come back deficits. And heck, even tonight with the monstrosity of an outing by Oliver Perez, which can be expected from time to time, was met with another monstrosity by Cubbies ace Carlos Zambrano, I thought the Mets might have a chance to win.

Even when the Cubs tied it up being down 4 runs. Even when the Cubs went ahead a run.

But who here - by a show of hands - was remotely surprised that David Wright would fail in getting lead-off triple Daniel Murphy home (being up 3-0 in the count, and swinging at ball 4!) in the 9th...only to see Lou Pineilla pull off what Jerry Manuel desperately tried to do this weekend against the Braves? Intentionally walk two in a row, get the out?

Of course that works out for Sweet Lou. You could tell he was real proud of himself though. But shit, I could have pulled that off. Because I know my team.

You see, good teams come back from stuff like that. Adversity and all that shit.

But the good team tonight was the Cubs. You know the worst part though?

THIS GAME DOESN'T EVEN FUCKING MATTER TO THEM.

It doesn't. All it can be are bragging rights for the Cubs, saying they helped eliminate the Mets from getting a postseason.

So as of tonight, still 1.5 gams back of a LOSING Phils team...and tied for Wild card with the winning Brewers team.

Baseball gods, give me strength.

You know, I'll be happy when the Mets win, I'll enjoy it if they make it to the postseason. But this aint a postseason team. Good teams find ways to win that game. The Cubs were the better team. The Mets have no idea what they are up against. Just take these next four games at Shea as face value -- the last weekend at Shea ever.

And let's move on from this monstrosity of 2008.

Ollie Ollie Ollie? OY OY OY

I've been a little bipolar about my admiration for Oh Pea this year, as it's been chronicled. But man, if tonight didn't break the camel's back...or my back, that I happened to tweak at the gym last week.

Good luck to whoever wants Oliver Perez...tonight wasn't even totally "bad" Ollie or Ollie Hyde...it was more like Dr. Oliver Hekyll and Mr. Ollie Jive (bonus points to those of you who know that reference).

Right now, the game is tied, due to a lucky walk from Ramon Martinez in the 8th inning. But damned if we didn't need Big Game Ollie out there now.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Don't Call It a Comeback

Good news here.

And here.

What else am I forgetting? Oh yeah - THIS.

Ladies and gentleman of Metsopotamia, look no further than tonight to see why we gave Johan Santana a HUGE contract. And why he's exactly called "Second-half Johan."

He came. He saw. He Johaned.

And while the Brew Crew won today (even if Mota in the former Met spirit of contribution gave up a 2-run HR to the Bucs tonight), who cares about the Wild Card?

Just last night, I felt like the mom in Little Miss Sunshine, when she tells Olive that no one would have thought any less of her if she just hung it up and went home. Well, I know, easier said than done. But I was totally ready to accept my fate. Little did I figure one strong outing from everyone (including a BASES CLEARING TRIPLE FROM JOSE!!!) would get me back on track.

When there is light, there is hope. And there will be light tomorrow, and every day that the Mets play till the end of the season.

But whatever you do, don't call it a comeback. They never went anywhere.

Game Over... Over? Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

Sometimes I feel, as a fan, the "ya gotta believe" and "magic" and all that happy horseshit is beat to death, especially with the Mets. And last night, I was feeling the exhaustion creeping in, from having hope upon hope that the Mets would come back (even after the worst has happened -- you know, after a pitcher hits a grand slam off the our starter)...knowing full well that this is September and unless they are 900 games in front, that shit just AINT happenin.

Zoe and I were watching the game together and she complained that it was never easy doing this. Well, we signed on for it, knowing full well what we were getting ourselves. Sometimes, I envy newer-ish fans like her. I have survived -- Cashen trading Kevin Mitchell, Kevin McReynolds' hunting comments, Straw and Mex fighting on the bench, Generation K (or lack thereof...), Vince Coleman and fireworks, Brett Saberhagen and bleach, last place finishes, and hearts breaking in September. I envy because they didn't have to live through that pain. It makes me also wonder if we didn't sell our souls October 25, 1986, just to win THAT one game. Maybe we could have lived through others...

You know, I got upset with Mr. E and Uncle Gene for complaining about Septembers past. I say, forget the past, and that includes 2006, and even the horrific ending for 2007. Concentrate on now.

But here's the issue -- I was elated that first year, and so exhausted after last year. I said any baseball would be fine to fill this void -- good or bad. Well, we've been teased. Blah baseball followed by good then ultimately great and kick-ass has permeated this likable team. Now, it's back to blah. It's the cycle of life, repeating itself with the Mets again.

So what do I do? Climb under my covers, wake up next Monday when it's all been determined? Sit through it and take it, as I did last year?

Or just enjoy whatever happens?

That last statement is easier said than done. But you know what -- no matter what the outcome, I will ultimately have wished I enjoyed it more while it was going on.

Game over? Game on -- a new seven-game season has begun. Enjoy.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Ladies on the Bus, Pussies on the Field

I promised myself this year (especially this summer) that I would not get too bent about the Mets losing. Quite frankly, it has not been good for my blood pressure, my cardiologist doesn't recommend, although my hairdresser did like the extra money I spent in her salon dying my hair, since I was getting extra grays.

I didn't know why I would get bent. This team has shown me nothing but resiliency in the face of adversity. From come back wins, to having heartbreaking losses, then picking themselves up by their bootstraps and not letting it get to them.

But this past weekend was more than I can bear. The Mets did not take the season series from the Braves this year.

The Braves. Insignificant. The team that has been mathematically eliminated. Does not have anything to play for right now.

I could deal with two out of three -- just not two losses, one win. That not only sucks, it was completely avoidable.

Sure, I can pin this whole thing on the bullpen. Especially yesterday. And technically scoring 6 runs on the Mets side, there was no reason TO lose this game.

But it's more. Again, I say, there is no room for pussy-footing around, no margin of error.

And I think I've figured out the problem.

Jerry Manuel calls his guys "Gangstas." And we LIKED it. Like, present tense. And there was a certain swagger, nee - swagger is too negative, bragadocio. A confidence. Something the team lacked, that je ne sais quoi, at the end of 2007 and the beginning of this season.

But they are no longer Gangstas on the field. They are pussies on the field, who are fucking afraid to win.

Yeah, you heard me.

It's David Wright, who fails to score with men in scoring position.

It's Luis Castillo, who has the patience of a Little Leaguer by consistently waiting to swing when up on a 3-0 count, when my two dead grandmothers are yelling SWING MOTHERFUCKER as he brings the count to 3-2, the grounds weakly into a double play.

It's Aaron Heilman, although I know, he knows, everyone but Manuel knows not to bring him in during high pressure situations (like, with men already on base).

It's Pedro Martinez, who has not held up his end on the bill of goods we were sold when we got him.

It's the line up outside of the "Big four" (Jose, Dos Carloses, DW) who his something like 0-400 this weekend. Guess what? When the rest of the team doesn't hit, it's doesn't matter what the bullpen does/does not do, it doesn't matter what the big four does...there is no threat in the rest of that lineup.

What else? I don't know. And surprisingly, I am not feeling as bad as I should. I know, I sound pissed. And I am, a little. But to have this team still in the thick of things with a week left...

It's on. Just don't let me down, you fuckin' pussies. Tomorrow is Tuesday and the Good, Bad and Ugly are waiting for me to pick out the Pussy of the Week. Enough already. Win games, pussies.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Rules for a Pennant Race

1.) Pay attention to what the Mets are doing.

2.) Don't pay attention to what the competition is doing. Sure, you'll read the standings every morning, but don't stress out about what the other teams are doing during the games the Mets are actually playing. Just care about Mets wins.

3.) Don't get discouraged. Ever. We have plenty of baseball left to play.

4.) Root. And root hard.

5.) Take a break this weekend if it's too much. From watching games, that is. Seriously, I am resting up for the push at home next week. I'm going to need as much rest as possible, especially my lungs!

6.) Enjoy baseball (even if it's bad) for as long as we have it. Because pretty soon, it will be cold and wintry, and we'll be dying for spring again.

7.) The Mets play better as they are the underdog.

8.) Forget about the past. Forget about 2007. And do yourselves a favor and forget about 2006. Think about now. How great October can possibly be if we just hope for it.

9.) Above all remember: This team is nothing like 2007. Nothing. Some of the players remain the same, but the vibe is much different. Don't compare them. It will do no good.

Repeat till September 29. Gosh, I can't believe it. This season has gone by so quickly.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Coulda Woulda Shoulda

The series this past weekend is going to be the one that the team will ultimately look back on and say, "Dag, we shoulda won that one." Because they coulda won and they woulda, had it not been for a bullpen implosion.

As Dykstraw mentioned yesterday, we are fooling ourselves with this 'pen. And it has nothing to do with Ayala, who has held up his end of the bargain for the most part as closer, and it has nothing to do with Schoeneweis or Stokes or any of the guys who were "responsible" for losing. It has to do with EVERYONE. Everyone in that 'pen is equally responsible. There is no reason for it. None.

Meanwhile, the Phils did what the Mets made look so easy a few weeks back and sweep the Brewers. If there is anything this team has to learn, is that expecting the Phils to lose, especially now, is an exercise in futility. It won't happen, simply because we want it to. The Mets have to take the bull by the horns and win these games themselves.

The worst part of this series is that of course the Mets once again make a second rate team that is hardly snakebitten by the likes of Larry Jones (although he has put up MVP numbers all season) anymore or even the "curse" of years past with the Braves. No, it has everything to do with not capitalizing on bases loaded situations and other situational hitting. This team has not been executing.

How can we expect to win anything without that? We throw our two "aces" out there and the rookie wins. The bullpen that doesn't seem to give up runs when the team is losing all of a sudden loses its sack and gets hammered.

Enough. Just. Win. Series. As Ed in Westchester says.

And in other as-irony-would-have-it stories, I get two unsolicited text messages from Dykstraw and Bill L from the BMF forums. "Fire Jerry," they both said. Funny. Irony. Let's just win already.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

JON!! NIESE!!! JON!! NIESE!!!

I was pretty pissed off after the first game. But you know, I really couldn't get too riled about it. Somehow, I just knew Jonathon Niese was going to come through. I didn't know how, after his lackluster start against the Brew Crew last week. But I just felt like one way or another, he'd do it all. Initially I thought complete game...but even I realized that was a stretch.

Let me talk about game one. I was disappointed simply because I was supposed to go to Friday's game, which as we know was cancelled. I haven't seen Johan pitch all that much live this year. And I was really jonesin to get this pennant race a'goin. But seriously, in watching game one, who didn't think the Mets would score with bases loaded, 0 out? Seriously? I knew that game was a lost cause. But mostly, I had some misdirected hostility toward Jerry Manuel. Why? BECAUSE THERE WAS NO REASON TO PANIC AND TAKE JOHAN OUT OF THE GAME. I was fine with him working out his mess.

He may have had a high pitch count. But this was the time to let our ace work his shit out and get those three outs himself. Alas, that wasn't meant to happen.

But thank goodness for young guys. Especially young guys who share the same birthday as the day the Mets last won the World Series.

Eight innings. Seven strikeouts. First win. In a heated pennant race.

Thirteen. And the Brewers have to win sometime -- check this out. Lets go Mets. Who's going today?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fourteen

I had a dilemma last night.

Basically, I had lost my sanity and sense of reason for a brief moment and got tickets to a concert, which was in a way a hot ticket itself (sold out). I didn't pay over cost -- I was even lucky enough to get the ugly fees waived due to desperation, since this person had overbought.

My only problem was...loneliness. I was going by myself since a friend of mine bailed at the last minute. Not to mention the GREAT game on Tuesday was still weighing heavily on my heart, that I had long ago sold my tickets to. I still had tickets to the Wednesday night game though. Now, at first, I had no desire to go to the game. I tried with my might to sell them, but I guess a game against the Nationals, although an NL East rival in the midst of an intense pennant race, wasn't an easy sell.

So Dykstraw, good friend that he is, offered to take the game tickets off my hands. He had a problem too -- his girlfriend may show up late, and there may have even been a chance he'd had gone by himself too.

Why have two people doing different events alone? I felt at that moment - I not only had more desire to go to the game, I felt like I had an obligation to. I have no regrets about not attending the concert right now (although maybe in a month or so, I'll wished that I had).

But let me get back to the obligation part - sometimes I get very strong visions, feelings if you will that I have a destiny to fulfill. Considering that I am a energy-over-spirituality kind of person, I find it odd that I would ever think I was going according to some kind of being's larger "plan." But as I mentioned in a previous post, that I get very intuitive sometimes, and feel like I need to be at a place or time...sometimes, alternatively, if I get a bad feeling about something, I may jump out of that obligation as well.

For some reason last night though, I had a vision -- it kept coming to me. The number "fourteen" kept coming up. I thought I knew why, though. The section I sit in (which you will see highlighted this weekend in the last "Shea Goodbye" installment) is Section 14. And I really want to wax intellectual, the box I sit in - 572 - when reduced to 5+7+2, it equals all you math majors out there...14.

But I felt like it meant something else too. Fourteen runs? Initially, I thought it might be a total for the game. Even after David Wright hit a two-run HR in the eighth, I thought...Beltran or Delgado need to hit another home run to make it 14-10, Mets.

Ironically, right before DW came to bat, I noted the time - 10:14, on the big Armitron. Maybe the 14 itself was reduced to 1+4 = 5 (David Wright finding his swing again).

And is there a #14 on the Mets? Technically, no, it's retired - Gil Hodges...and the number of games left to play? That number was pulled down on Sunday's afternoon bill, by his widow and son.

But when the game was over, Dykstraw kept saying the word (mind you, I had not said anything at this point -- I just merely told him, I felt like I had to be there for something), something that had been materializing in my head all night, but I never quite said out loud.

"Fourteen, baby," he said. "Fourteen."

I won't say it here -- but real Mets fans will know the significance of that number today.

Oh and...a big FUCK YOU to crybaby Elijah Dukes. Did someone shit in your cereal?

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Bad Ollie Go Bye-Bye

To all who want Omar Minaya to go all out in getting a longish-term/high dollar contract for Oliver Perez, can look no further than his pitiful performance tonight and throw that thought out the window.

And can you believe me, his number one fan, who has been saying great things and expecting greatness from him this whole season, has shown me nothing more than being a drain on the bullpen, resources, and a drain on the team in general.

When the team gives him a two -run lead tonight, he gives it up. They give him three more runs, he promptly gives them up. Now either he is just hitting his targets a little dead-on. But you and I both know that Ollie is playing for a contract - where, we don't know, probably not New York, but when the pressure gets to him against the smaller teams, we know what happens.

Big Game Ollie shows up against the Phils, the Yankees and all other high profile teams. Against the Marlins, the Nats, not so much. Granted his performance has not been that bad...but after Pedro Martinez, he has just been a drain.

Ollie needs to go.

There are strong implications that he wants to go West or South with his next team (and if anyone has an article stating that, please send it along my way -- I was arguing with some folks about it today). He is a Boras client -- he's changed since arbitration.

Oliver, I don't love you anymore. I can' t trust you with a three-run lead against the Nationals, how am I going to trust you at all?

I'm disappointed. I can only hope that Carlos Delgado has it in him for one more big home run.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

No Excuses

So here are a few ruminations from today's game and a half (since I'm doing a "live posting" as the ESPN game is on)...

One is -- well, I'm not sure I can put it any better than Gary Cohen did after the game (hat tip to the boys over at Metsblog for the quote). As good as Brett Myers was at shutting down the offense on Friday night, there is absolutely ZERO excuse as to why they can't score, get on base, etc against the 1,000-year-old man, Jamie Moyer. It's not like they've never seen him before (six times, again according to Metsblog). It's the same junkballer they throw out there at least once a Mets series.

And the same junkballer who continually shuts the Mets down.

Two -- as much as I would like to pin the blame entirely on the floundering offense -- I mean, Robinson Cancel? Really? A bunt single to account for the first Mets' hit? How much of this we have to pin on Pedro? Um, lots. The dude is toast, he is finished.

Look, I like Pedro Martinez as much as the next person. But this team is in TROU-BLE (with a capital "T") if we think we can depend on him for this pennant push. If he's hurt that's one thing. But the dude has been hurt since, well, basically since we got him here. It is slowly becoming obvious to me that we can't depend on Pedro for anything.

Yeah, yeah, I know. I've figured this out a long time ago actually. But for now, we don't have a strong starter, and the uncertainty of both John Maine and Billy Wagner, leaves us in a conondrum. I doubt Jonathon Niese will be able to pitch a clinching situation. Just sayin'.

Third - look, I think we need to stage a coup. Here is my idea: I get the blindfold - someone follows David Wright into his new girlfriend's house, I put the blindfold over him, pretending to be his girlfriend (relax). We stuff him into the trunk of a car, take him to an undisclosed locale, and keep him there till the end of the September, only to let him out for games.

It's tough, but someone has to do it. But seriously, when he struck out, bases loaded, 1 out, was ANYONE at all surprised? I like that he's easily our most consistent player. But since he started getting laid on a regular basis, he's just our version of A-Rod without the Baby Mama Drama. ENOUGH. Stop getting laid, Dave.

And now, after watching Carlos Delgado hit his second BOMB of the night (the term "home run" doesn't do those two jacks justice), I sit and wonder...why wasn't I at the good game today? I got to go to the game with Mr. E today, and Uncle Gene for the first time in a long time. I said to Gene-oh at one point in the game...you know, when the Mets are up 6-0 early in a game, I have no faith. When they are down 6-0 I think - they will never come back. He laughed at that and I said, "You know what's going to happen now? They'll get Moyer's pitch count high, won't buy a run off him, get the bullpen, and feebly score 3 runs in the bottom of the 8th."

Well, I was off by a run, but it was the same ol' story. Oh well.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

The War To Settle The Score Is...Postponed

So the Mets lost last night. To the Phillies. And in case you haven't heard yet -- a little rainstorm called Hanna is supposed to be driving through our neighborhood around the same time the FOX Baseball Game of the Week is scheduled.

Oh what game is that, you may ask? Ours...Phils @ Mets, initially scheduled at 3:55 pm today, now rescheduled for Sunday (meaning: tomorrow) afternoon, 2:15 pm. Interesting. I would have thought they'd start earlier, because of the second game, starting at 8:05 pm. You know, the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball Game.

But whatever. I'm here to talk about last night.

I went to a concert instead of the game.

Basically, this band comes around once a year to this area (Indigenous, definitely check them out), and I missed them last year due to the last weekend of the baseball season. Of course, that was infinitely more important to me than seeing this band, although I was dying to see them.

And I got called out by some fellow fans. Why am I not watching the game? Well, I have sports score updates on my iPhone, so I was set. Besides, I was supposed to go today.

But I'll tell you -- Brett Myers? Seriously? From the sounds of it (due to the blogosphere, I hear that Daniel Murphy was again the bomb, and David Wright, well, bombed in high pressure situations -- not to mention Luis Castillo sounds like the clueless Little Leaguer again, afraid to swing the bat), there was no motivation.

Of course, if history dictates, the Mets drop the first in the series, then take the next two. It's all good. Or can be all good.

But goddamn it anyway, why can't they buy a run off Brett Myers? Why? It's not like he's particularly overwhelming (not to mention Big Pelf was our guy last night).

I can take Shane Victorino getting a late-inning single to tie up the game. I can take a walk-off Ryan Howard home run. I can even take (though it makes me barf in my mouth a little) Jimmy Rollins getting a double and praising Jeebus as he slides into second, then proceed to talk shit about the fact that the Mets celebrate a little too much.

If there is someone that the Mets need to be motivated about facing, it's wife-beater wearing, trailer-park dwelling, tobacky-chewing asshole Myers. (Of course, I don't know if he lives in a trailer park or chews tobacco, I just hate him).

And not to mention it's the Phucking PHILLIES we're talking about. As Metstradamus wrote over at F.U., we are cautiously optimistic. You know. Since last year.

So I have to wait another 24-hours before booing my lungs out. Dammit.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

All's Well in (What's Algonquin for) the Good Land

Well, well, well. My how the tables have turned. Last year, when Metsgrrl and I took our trip to good ol' Millie-Wah-Kay, the Mets took two of three. We went to the ill-fated start of Brian Lawrence (well, ill-fated for the Brewers...and Ned Yost...), but we (fortunately) missed the loss of Tom Glavine's first attempt at #300 (given up by Billy Mota) and a "good" Oh Pea start.

But there was something missing last year. Even the game I was at with MG, was a blowout by all conventional standards. 12-4, you'd think we'd be happy. But even with a Prince Fielder home run in the 9th, you just felt...this team...would somehow lose the lead.

This series not only washed the bitter taste of 2007 and the languish in September, but these guys played such balls to the wall bad-ass baseball, I have no doubt in my mind about how things are going to end up this year.

Since I am the superstitious type (stomp on the Evil Eye, as Zoe would say), I won't say what that is.

I feel a confidence in the air of Mets bloggerville and Metsopotamia in general. Even the naysayers over in BMF are optimistic -- that speaks volumes!

Now we've got an off-day. It used to be off days would be the kiss of death for this team...now, I think they need to catch up (David Wright and Beltran especially) on some much-needed rest.

And kick those Phoolies in the collective nuts!!! w00t!

Monday, September 01, 2008

The Happy ReCoop!! A September to Remember (or Dismember?) Edition

Well, well, well. We've come a long way since Big Pussy's Posse (starring Pedro Martinez), Willie's Wonkers, Just Forfeiting and other derogatory things I was saying about my team. Our team, the Mets. I realized that I have not done one, not a one, Happy ReCoop this season. Well, in April, it was tough to get on board with the team, May was more of the same, was I happy about Willie being fired in June (well, I was, but I wasn't exactly happy with Jerry Manuel either), was I happy that our perceived "all-stars" were snubbed as starters, and in August, it seemed hypocritical that I was happy all of a sudden? Well, I think like most fans, I was pretty pleased with how the tables had turned.

After games like yesterday and Friday -- where you just knew this team, the 2008 version of the Mets -- would not let you (the Marlins, the Phils, etc) beat them. I mean, do I even need to go there with the difference of the 2007 "we'll get 'em tomorrow" team? So in light of the 1986 "September to Remember" campaign, it is up to the 2008 team to create one to Remember for us fans...or alternatively, one to "dismember." And hope that CitiField covers up the shit foundation with the pretty facade.

As of today, I can't believe this is the same season that Willie Randolph started off, questionably I might add, then was fired controversially overnight on the West Coast. Then Jerry Manuel was named interim coach, who many Mets fans thought would not be a substantial upgrade over the Wonker himself. While his contributions may have been overvalued since, the fact remains, this is a vastly different team than we saw at the beginning of the season and most importantly, players we (I) thought were completely put-a-fork-in-'em done are now regularly contributing. And some of my "Keys to the Season" have all figured in somehow:

Carlos Delgado? We're sorry. The entire collective Mets fan base apologizes to you. Of course, if you keep putting up MVP numbers to shut us up, well, you'll be laughing all the way to the bank.

Jose Reyes? We all had you fitted for a toe-tag earlier this season. It was evident to me in 2007 you were exhausted. I mean, carrying the team on your back for most of the season has to be tiring, right? You are only 25, and we are not only excited to see how you will finish this season, you have your whole career ahead of you.

Big Pelf? I suggested at the beginning of the season in my Coop's Crystal Ball column that Johan Santana would not be the best pitcher on the Mets staff -- sure, he's Johan and we'll all be happy he's on our side, but I also said John Maine would be the best pitcher. And Big Pelf would surprise us all. Well, I was a little off the mark with Maine. But Johan has certainly been Second-Half Johan, and Big Pelf has surprised us all. That doesn't surprise a lot of the Motley Crew over at BMF...But seriously. In a certain fall month, we can be happy about Johan being on our side, and about Pelf not being in Minny.

David Wright? He may not have happened, yet, but it looks like he listened to my suggestion to stop having sex with his new girlfriend. I keed, I keed. OK, maybe not really. Now at a glance, it may seem like he's pressing a la A-Rod when the pressure is on, but the fact remains...he's got 103 RBIs and the team hasn't even played September 1. David Wright is happening, indeed.

The bullpen? OK, now that is the one sore spot. However, as Joe over at Mets Today has illustrated, many of the September call-ups are relief pitchers. But Schoeneweis hasn't been as bad as we make him out to be, Pedro Feliciano is sucking the wind out of the stadium though, then there's Duaner Sanchez...sad to say, it's hard to say, he's not the same middle relief guy we romanticized in the summer of 2006. Aaron Heilman? I know that Mets Today Joe will be proud of me here -- I still think he should be starting. There, I said it. But he's gotta get his head out of his ass and start pitching like he has some balls. Billy Wagner can talk the talk, but can't walk the walk when the team needs him. That's ok -- Luis Ayala makes things interesting but seems to be a formidable upgrade over what we have already. But Brian Stokes? Hello! Where would we be without this dude?

All in all -- I've said it before, and I'm sure it's the most obvious synopsis -- that the NL East is a two-team race. Marlins, yes, they will play spoiler in most respects. But it's up to the Mets and Phils to beat them when it counts. As for the Mets and Phils? Do I really need to insult your intelligence? It's a two-team race. We have a three game series next weekend at Shea against these Phools -- it's time to man up and beat these fuckers into submission. Hey Rollins? Victorino? Shut the hell up and worry about your own team celebrating.

I'm ready for the some fights. I'm ready for some brawls. I'm ready for some baseball in the old-fashioned sense of the word to be played.

Mets @ Brew Crew today, 2:05 pm. Play ball!