Monday, May 31, 2010

Why Not Call Out Scott Boras?

Scott Boras has an impressive client list as far as baseball players go. Names like Alex Rodriguez, Prince Fielder and Matt Holliday to give you an idea. Players like him because he gets them the best contracts and years based on current market needs and infamously, like it or not, gets teams to overpay as well.

Yet, it's agents like Boras who have ruined baseball to a degree. Look at the first contract he negotiated with the Texas Rangers and Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod signed the largest contract in baseball history in the leading-into-2001 offseason with the Rangers, a 10-year/$252mm contract. We all know what happened - his contract usurped 2/3 of the payroll, and the struggling Rangers traded him to the Yankees in the going-into-2004 offseason. I'll get back to A-Rod in a minute. He's not the problem here.

The problem here is what Scott Boras represents, not the who. Boras represents the greediness in sports, pricing die-hard fans out of the game simply because they can't afford to pay high ticket prices to watch their heroes.

The drawback of course to all this is overvaluing players. Of course, you all know I am referring to Oliver Perez and his 3-year/$36mm contract. Perez is represented by Boras, as I am sure you are all well-aware. I have made no bones about how high on Oliver Perez I was going in 2007. I had high hopes for him, and it was with good reason, as he won 15 games. In a year that was marred by an epic collapse, Perez's breakout year so to speak was one of the bright spots that we could hold dear to our hearts.

I was pretty much done with Ollie in the going-into-2008 offseason, when he decided to milk the Mets in arbitration. Actually, I take that back. I was almost okay with it, hey he had a family to feed (I'm kidding), but the real issue I had was the fact that Boras wouldn't let the Mets negotiate a contract extension with Perez in 2008. I was done with Ollie then. He broke my heart, much like Fredo broke Michael's in The Godfather II. I knew he wasn't into the game because he loved it...he wanted the cash money millions.

Of course we all know what is going on now. Oliver Perez and the $24mm still owed him whether he sits on the bench or plays every game over the next two years are playing a game of stand-off with the Mets. The Mets want him to take a trip to the minors. Though completely within his rights, he declined. My question is...why? Steve Trachsel once accepted a trip to the minors to clear his head, and he came back a new man.

Besides learning how to, you know, win games, what other incentive is there for Ollie to go? It's once again Boras whispering in his ear about negotiating.

Now the Mets can do one of two things with Perez: outright release him (please?) or return him to the starting ro'. The obviousness of it kills me that Sterling will not release because of the money thing. I don't know what's worse: the fact that Ollie doesn't care whether or not he plays...or the fact that the Wilpons are not committed to winning.

Recently, Dontrelle Willis was released by the Tigers, owed approximately $9 mm for the remainder of this season. Management released a quote, saying they were committed to winning and wished him well, but wanted to go in a different direction. Heck, this is the same team that paid Gary Sheffield $14mm to NOT play for them.

After agreeing to a 5-year/$50mm deal with Gary Matthews Jr., the Angels traded him to the Mets, essentially eating $23.5 mm left on the contract. Again, for him to play on a different team.

Common themes with the above situations? Well, besides the Mets taking the two latter guys on their team (Sheffield was a decent pickup in 2009 -- GMJ...not so much), the teams themselves were COMMITTED TO WINNING. They admitted their mistake. They are not making their fans suffer. They cut the fat and are better for it.

The Mets need to do the same with Oliver Perez. I don't think this has anything to do with money. Sure, approximately $24mm would be a hard mistake to swallow, but releasing him would take balls and a commitment to winning. My theory is this though.

I think it's the relationship with Scott Boras that's clouding the Mets judgment.

Right now, the Mets have three clients of Boras on the team: Carlos Beltran, Mike Pelfrey and Perez. Boras is a sneaky, sly dude. He waited until basically Beltran was being wheeled into surgery to inform the Mets his client was going to be out for a few months. At least, that's the idea we were given. I could be wrong. But it's still kind of sneaky the way they pulled it off with the team being caught with their pants down.

Mike Pelfrey's situation is interesting. He is up for arbitration next year, and two years after (according to Cot's). I wonder if the Mets are treading lightly with Perez in order to preserve their relationship with Boras, so as to not get fucked in the ass when renegotiating with Pelfrey. I'm sure many of you would agree that losing a homegrown talent would suck, regardless of his representation.

Which leads me back to Perez. If Perez gave a shit about anything besides the benjamins, you know he would take his lumps like a man and take a trip to Buffalo. Once again, it's Boras controlling the situation and telling his client not to take it. After all, what does he (meaning Ollie) have to lose by holding out? The worst that can happen is the Mets can cut him, and he can either play in an independent league or sit pretty on a boat somewhere while collecting his millions. Must be nice. Have I mentioned I am funemployed right now? I digress.

My point is, if this is a Boras thing, if this is because the Mets don't want to piss him off so as to further complicate any future dealings, then Boras has the Mets right where he wants them. I hope he gives them the Vaseline first before he fucks them in the ass though.

I mentioned A-Rod before. Here's a guy who is vilified in the press. He has earned millions by sheer talent, yet treats it like a jay-oh-bee. However, he stood up for himself. When Boras announced during the World Series in 2007 that A-Rod was opting out of his contract, reportedly Rodriguez was so mortified that he got an investment bank to negotiate his 10-year/$275 mm contract extension with the Yankees. Word has it that his relationship is strictly superficial with Boras at this point.

It showed me that A-Rod might have been about money, but he did care about the game, about his image and he was committed to winning as much as A-Rod can be anyway. Oh I still can't stand the guy. I'm not defending him by any means.

The point is that Oliver Perez, a far lesser player than A-Rod ever will be, has his agent orchestrating his every move. Now Jerry Manuel, a manager on the hot seat, has to run his team basically with a 24-man roster because of Perez's and Boras's selfishness.

Boras has ruined baseball. And he's indirectly ruining the Mets. I could sit here and call Oliver Perez selfish and that he's a bastard for not accepting a minor league assignment. But let's be fair. This is ALL Scott Boras. And it's not going to change. Therefore the Mets must release Perez if they want this soap opera to end.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

WAHmburger and Some French CRIES On the Side

Someone asked me a few weeks back what I did during last year's World Series. Like, who did I root for, etc? I said, "Series? World? What on earth is that?" I feigned ignorance last year, as most of you knew, and I still do. I can say I didn't watch one solitary second of that shyte show called the Yankees / Phillies World Series in 2009, and I'm ding-dang proud of it.

However, if you are involved in any social medium (Facebook, Twitter), you couldn't help but be brought abreast of what was going on. I also didn't get the infighting between Mets fans at the time. No one was MAKING you watch the World Series. You only participated in it because it's in your blood, as a Mets fan. We are all masochists. We keep coming back for that sweet pain. Even if it's not our team.

Hard-pressed, I told people I wasn't exactly rooting *for* the Phillies, but I didn't want the Yankees to win. However, some of the things that occurred in the series last year I could get some sort of satisfaction, well, as much as a glass half-full person's perspective can get to.

I have a good friend, Paulee Vee, who is a huge Yankees fan. He's no Johnny Come-Lately -- his whole family has roots in Yankee fandom. He knows his stuff, and so does his sister. So when I found out the Yankees won, I told him that there were a few things I could be happy about. Chase Utley did well (I actually like him), A-Rod can now shit in peace after winning a title (hey, I can't feel sorry for poor little rich boy, but if he can coast now till retirement, he won't even try to win now), Derek Jeter is in fact not God, Jimmy Rollins shut the hell up, Hideki Matsui won MVP (he was one of the few Yankees I had respect for) and Cole Hamels was exposed to be the little whiny punk we all (meaning: Mets fans) knew him to be.

I told Paulee Vee - I'm happy for you and your sister, because I know you are true fans who appreciate it. So congratulations...now leave me alone!

Why did I go into that? Well, the funny thing was, in 2009, we all know the Mets pretty much cashed in their chips in July (some would argue after the dropped pop-up in the House of Evil) after injuries decimated the team. When we tried to explain that away (to anyone who didn't follow the Mets as closely as we did), the "injury excuse" was pooh-poohed. "Ooh, you can't say that. You need to have reinforcements. You can't use that excuse, it's not good enough." Etc, etc. Blah Blah Blah.

What's funny now is that the Mets took two of three from the "reigning World Champion" Yankees (visibly hurting and clearly not even close to being their best in their division let alone the class of baseball like they claim to be) and will at the very least take two of three from the "reigning National League Champs" (Or "National League Fuckin' Champs") the Philadelphia Phillies. And all of a sudden, everyone's got one (an opinion) and they all stink (like assholes).

Can I get a "AY-MEN" and a "Hallelujah" up in here? It's about friggin time we had something to feel good about. You know what the bonus is? That against the Phillies, two basically no-name pitchers -- R.A. Dickey and Hisanori Takahashi -- shut down the team to the extent that they've been SHUT OUT two games in a row. Amen, Hallelujah, etc etc.

What I especially liked are the "marbles" that Dickey and Takahashi are bringing to the table. I like that they are not bridled with the burden of three years constituted of one major collapse, one year of just not making the playoffs and ??????? of injuries, and they went out there and did their fucking jobs. Hey, Ollie and John...are you watching??

It seems also that their fortitude is infecting the team. At least, that's what I hope anyway. Jose Reyes (finally!) hit his first home run of the season, David Wright is still striking out but at least he's driving in some runs, Jason Bay is the new Yankee killer and heck, even Jeff Francoeur is contributing. I won't get too ahead of myself, as Brooklyn Met Fan said today, since it seems like the Mets themselves are very streaky/slumpy (like their hitters). We all know they could easily win like nine of the next ten, then lose five straight, ruining all goodwill.

But that's not the point of this post. Many of you in the past have known me to call out the Mets for being soft, not coming through in the clutch and for just rolling over, playing to their competition and rarely over their heads. This team is different though. Maybe getting pitchers who do not put you in a hole by the time you come up to bat gives you a new lease on life.

What I see though, is a Phillies team that has no bark, let alone bite. The usual suspects -- the Victorinos, the Werths, and Ibanezes -- have disappeared. At one point during last night's broadcast, the camera panned to Sphincter-boy (Victorino/Sphincterino) himself, and it looked like someone kicked his sick dog. Jayson Werth, I have nothing bad to say about him, but it is his contract year, so he's sort of playing over his head right now. However, he's been a non-issue.

It was nice to see Ryan Howard drop an easy play at 1B last night as well, nice to see them not capitalize with runners on base, and nice to see them look clueless against "no name" pitchers (no offense to Dickey and Takahashi, but they are hardly world-beaters...yet).

Charlie Manuel must *really* hate being exposed for being "cheaters." What happened to the offending binoculars that they were caught with and tried to pass off as "Oh, no big deal?" My personal favorite part of the whole thing was C. Manuel (so as to not confuse him with our Manuel), "Why not look at the Mets, and see how well they are doing at home." Once again, Mets do nothing wrong, were not even a team that called them out on it, and yet, somehow are still on the minds of the Phillies.

Which leads me to Whipping Boy #1 of mine, and that's Nelson Figueroa. Wait, I'm sorry, he's a Philthy Phil now, so I will call him "Phigueroa" from here on in. Many fans cried like we lost the second coming of Nolan Ryan when the Mets put him through waivers after Spring Training, yet I knew better. This is a dude who is a career below-.500 pitcher and we are upset about losing him? I like my chances with Dickey and Takahashi at this point, and Nieve for the spot start at this point.

People wonder what my problem is with Phiggy. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure he's a nice guy once you get to know him. When I did my CitiField tour in the offseason, we were told that Phiggy was the resident tech whiz and Guitar Hero, um, hero. That's great. Still didn't want him on my fuckin' team and even after he pitched a complete game the last game of the horrific 2009 season, still didn't want him there. Why's that? Because he's a fucking CRYBABY that's why.

Let's go back to 2008. I was pretty much done with him, as I chronicled over at the infamous Debmc's GB&U Mets blog, after he called out the Nationals for cheering like "softball girls."

I'm sorry, but Phigueroa must have been the most clueless fuck in all of baseball for saying something like that. Sure, he might have been distracted but you are a professional, and you don't need to call out a bunch of juvenile behavior. Remember why teams hated the Mets in 2007 and played extra hard whenever they faced them? Because of their dancing and high-fives and basic lightheartedness in their approach to the game. You do not call a team that had our number at the end of 2007 when all we needed to win was one game. Nooo. Phiggy couldn't keep his fucking mouth shut.

Which leads me to before this series, when the New York press got a hold of him. Look, I know his family owns that heartbreaking brick outside on the Fan Walk at CitiField, I know he was from Brooklyn and his roots are New York. But he is the biggest pussy on the face of the planet if he's still crying about the Mets not wanting him. You're playing on a team that has won three straight division titles, two seasons removed from winning a World Series and current National League Champs.

Here's an idea Nelson...put on your big boy pants and deal with it.

It's one thing if he came into the game and actually did something. Now he claims he tried to do too much. Yeah, he did. He tried to pretend he's actually a major league pitcher.

But the piece de resistance in that article is that he says that the Mets are worried too much about what others think. Maybe to the front office, that is true, but they are clueless bumbling idiots, so I can stand behind that. The kicker is he was claiming the TEAM cares too much, like "What Jimmy Rollins is thinking?"

Um, bad example there Phigs. Rollins is the same ass-clown who, after winning the World Series for the 300 fans celebrating in a parking lot in South Philly, called out the Mets.

Who didn't even make the playoffs. Who owned the Phillies during the regular season. Who were golfing. What the fuck was that about? The Phillies are in the Mets heads, wondering what Jimmy Rollins is doing? I'll tell you what he's doing. He's injured and at home, probably masturbating to images of 2007, since that was the last and only year he was ever significant.

What I find most telling about this whole thing is that...the Mets haven't said a damned word about the Phillies. David Wright in spring training claimed that the Mets felt they could get into October, which was pretty damning since they had three straight seasons of misfortune and could not get the job done. A guy, who could barely hit his weight in 2009, was claiming this. Most Mets fans were incredulous and with good reason.

But he never called out a specific team. If I were David Wright, well first I would get some testosterone injections, but besides that, I would have added in that interview, the pressure is on Philadelphia since they have won the past three years, and we want to give them a run for their money. That would have been the thing to say.

Sure, maybe Rollins' claim of "we're the team to beat" in 2007 set the tone for the Mets to live up to. But in that twisted logic, the Mets are in the heads of the Phillies, not that other way around.

I saw a different Philly team. I saw one that had no phight in them, I saw one with no antics, it was just a different tone. It's one without Jimmy "The Mouth of the South Philly" Rollins, it's one with a toned-down Victorino, it's one that Cole Hamels is still a little bitch, and one where Nelson Phigueroa, a 35-year old journeyman career below-.500 pitcher, can't leave well-enough alone.

He should fit right in with those phightin' crybabies. WAHHHHHHHHHH!

If the Mets can capitalize on this series and sweep tonight, they'll be 12-14 against NL East. As of today, the Mets are tied for "third" being three games out of first and have won four of their last five games.

I don't hear anyone crying over that.

As for the Phillies, perhaps they can take strength that they are still in first place, albeit not by much.

For now, at least.

LGM/YGB!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Oliver Perez Has One Thing Going For Him

He's NOT John Maine. Or injured. Okay, that's two things. But who's counting?

A few days ago, I wrote about John Maine and Oliver Perez over at MetsMerized. Although we can say they have had similar journeys in their history as Mets pitchers, as fans we tend to give John Maine a little more rope in his starts, while we want to hang Oliver with the remainder of said rope during his starts.

We all know where this story leads now. Oliver Perez has been sent to the bullpen, yet John Maine's story gets more interesting by the day.

Last week, in his start against the Nationals, Maine was pulled after FIVE PITCHES, giving up a walk to the lead off batter Nyjer Morgan. The kicker was that Dan Warthen had seen Maine struggling with his velocity during warming up and had told Jerry Manuel about it. When they saw Maine looking uncomfortable on the mound, they shagged ass out of the dugout and yanked him immediately.

The other kicker is that Jerry Manuel looked pissed off...not at the situation but at Maine himself. Every camera angle into the dugout suggested that the skip and his underling were visibly fighting. Maine looked not so much angry but, I don't know, his body language suggested his feelings were hurt (and it wasn't just shoulder pain).

Now instead of just saying, "we are concerned for his health," Warthen and Manuel take the road-less-traveled and basically said John Maine is a liar. Okay, not basically. They DID say that Maine was a liar and Warthen took it to the extreme calling him a "habitual liar."

Call me crazy, but there are two things to glean from this. One is: Manuel's and Warthen's patience, in general and not just with Maine, is wearing thin. Two is: Manuel is willing to throw one of his subordinates under the proverbial bus to save his own hyde. Stay classy, Jerry!

Here's my thing though. So R.A. Dickey makes a start last week and is scheduled to start on Tuesday night against the Phillies (which I'll get to in a minute or so). Hisanori Takahashi made a promising start against the Yankees on Friday, so he'll definitely get a nod during the Phillies series too. However, Jon Niese, the "fifth" starter, is also on the DL. That leaves us, in my estimation, short one starter. Right now, the probables suggest that Mike Pelfrey will make his normally scheduled start on Thursday (since there is an off day this week). In the future though, will Fernando Nieve-ryday or Raul Valdes get the spot start in the meantime?

Or will Oliver Perez get it by default since he was a starter but also getting paid like an ace? Although we know he is far from one? Can I ask enough questions?

What I found incredibly fascinating in this story, though, is how John Maine is now being treated. Oliver Perez is STEALING money from the Mets and their fans, yet Maine is treated like the criminal by wanting to pitch hurt. Yes, I agree, that it hurts the team when he tries to do that (especially since he was given a nice lead in that game). But to be called a liar in the entire New York press is not only downright rude it is unprofessional, borderline unethical.

My piece on MMO last week suggested that I am through with both pitchers, and to an extent I am. Let's give credit at least where it is due. John Maine is getting thrown under the bus because he can be. Oliver Perez isn't going anywhere, we all know this, Jerry knows this, Warthen knows this. He gets the silent treatment while Maine gets the cold shoulder tendinitis treatment. That is short hand for, his coaches call him a liar but can't fire him.

I predict Maine will be DFA'd sometime this season. We are stuck with Ollie in the meantime. Unfortunately.

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So how about them Mets! We struck first blood in the Mets/Yankees subway series, taking two games out of three. Of course, I am looking at this whole thing glass half-empty and saying it SHOULDA been a sweep, since game one was imminently winnable if not for Alex Cora's error and David Wright inexplicably swinging at the first pitch of an obviously ineffective Mariano Rivera (well, as ineffective as Mo can be). Hey, I'm happy though, we have some bragging rights with the whole Empire State Building lighting up thing anyway.

Next though is the series that will separate the men from the boys against the Phillies. The last series left a lot to be desired. We thought at least two out of three was in the bag since our two aces were facing the Phils. Unfortunately, those were the two starts that were not only lost but completely annihilated. Of course, rookie Niese kicked butt, but he's on the DL.

The starters in this next series, according to Mets.com and pitching probables from Roto-times, are R.A. Dickey, Hisanori Takahashi, and Mike Pelfrey (due to the off-day, I guess Pelfrey makes his regularly scheduled starting day).

Oftentimes, starting pitchers of the Dickey and Takahashi ilk have Mets fans running to the hills or at least to the beer vendors. However, I have a feeling they are going to come up huge for us this series.

The Mets have made it a habit to play to the level of their poor competition, yet seem to play over their heads against the "better" teams. Mets pitching that is supposed to be a "sure thing" (e.g. Santana, Pelfrey) get hammered in starts that are supposed to be close, at the very least. Of course, we all know that "MLB pitching debut" starter or junkball pitching old mean (e.g. Jamie Moyer) will shut the Mets down while the likes of Oswalt or Carpenter get hammered for several hits/runs.

My point is, I am not scared about the pitchers we are throwing out there. According to several tweets from yesterday, Tim Wakefield absolutely baffled the Phillies' bats. Wakefield is a knuckleballer. So is Tuesday's starter Dickey (Ironically, Dickey learned his knuckleball technique from Wakefield. *Cueing the Dr. Evil pinky to lip movement*)

Takahashi is not a yet a big game or big name pitcher, but he is a finesse pitcher from Japan. Turns out Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, a big name for sure but has not given his big paycheck justification with a big game just yet, limited the Phillies to just ONE hit in Saturday's game.

We all know Mets kryptonite is listed above. Since the Phillies weaknesses were exposed this weekend, perhaps taking two out of three this series is not only a possibility, but will be looked at by this blogger as a glass half-full analysis.

Also, the last series, Mets were in first place going into Philly, yet right now going into a CitiField series they are in last. Phillies are in first; however, five games separates them right now.

Beasts of the East for sure. The Mets just need to step up their game a bit and take the bull by the balls and kick these punks off the top of the NL East. Specifically, kick Victorino in the vagina for me. Kthxbye.

Let's DO IT!!!!!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Scenes From An Italian Restaurant

Tuesday, May 18 kicked off the first regular-season Two Boots' Amazin' Tuesday (since the first one of 2010 occurred during the off-season). Our hosts with the most, Greg from FAFIF and Jon from MBTN, headed the evening. Of course, as Greg later pointed out on his site, our record with Amazin' Tuesdays (game-wise) is not that great. We were joined by such Mets bloggerazzi all-stars as Metsgrrl, Studious Metsimus, DyHrdMet, Matt Cerrone and Ted Berg. I did a reading, as did Josh Wilker from Cardboard Gods.

This was our first Amazin' Tuesday. however, at Two Boots Tavern in Grand Central. The spirit was the same, but our original setting in the Lower East Side (RIP) was certainly more intimate and quiet, as Two Boots Grand Central was, you know, in Grand Central Freaking Station. It was busy, it was loud, and to us amateurs (i.e., me) it was a little daunting to read in an environment like that. However, we all made it work, and it was fun, as Greg pointed out, bringing out the cast of characters of MSF to life. Thanks to everyone for making it possible and for coming out to support our cause (which is - reading is fundamental...even in sports).

Here are some pics chronicling the night. Some of them are not taken by me (or my camera) but you get the idea.
Senor Coop and I listening to Greg talk about 1975 from his book Faith and Fear in Flushing.

(two above pictures courtesy of Chap)

(Moi reading, courtesy of Metsgrrl)

The pizza of the night...the "Schneck" (which was black forest ham and sauerkraut. To be ingested at one's own risk. Photo on Chap's Flickr feed but pic taken by yours truly!)
Jon Springer, regaling us with the tale of Jeff McKnight (from Mets by the Numbers)
Joey listening intently to said McKnight-mare.
Scenes of the crowd - Steve and Mark (I think!), regulars from Cranepool Forum and F-O-Cs.
Josh Wilker, reading from Cardboard Gods.

All in all, a great time had by all. It would have been nice if the Mets won, but I guess you can't have it all.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Win - Lose - Draw

That is how I will describe the Mets mini-series in Atlanta. It was the Battle of Who Sucks Less, the Mets took game one, the Braves took game two.

I guess there are two things I can gather from that series. One is that, even in a two game series, the Mets can't even win a rubber match (though technically not a real one, but you get my drift, they can't seal the deal). Two is that the Mets are still even-Stevens (meaning they really haven't done much as far as improving their record).

It used to be that Johan Santana goes on the mound and he gives you the best chance to win every fifth day, and last night was no different. He was able to put the Mets in a position to win, only they did not bring up their end of the bargain.

Then there's David Wright. UGH. I mean, I am no D-Dubs apologist, but I am no hater of his. I am glad he's on our side, but clearly he is having some mental issues out there. Maybe he's suffering from Post-Traumatic Mets Disorder like we fans are. Now, I know I could probably get flamed for this, but I am wondering...just wondering...if the Mets wouldn't be...I don't know...prudent to start looking to...trade him?

Now just hear me out!! D-Dubs seems to be putting a lot of pressure on himself. He is A-Rod but without the infinite talent (and of course the paycheck). He may need to be in a smaller market to be a true leader. The Mets fanbase have been looking to him to be some kind of leader since Pedro Martinez and Carlos Delgado left the building, but my thinking is he can't handle it. No one puts more pressure on D-Dubs than himself.

No one wants to see him succeed more than him.

And someone posted earlier today that he's on pace for 20-30 HRs, 100 RBIs but over 200 Ks. TWO HUNDRED STRIKEOUTS BITCHES. That's insane. The issue is - he's become a home-run hitter in his head. I guess that's what happens when you have zero protection in the lineup with Streaky (Jason Bay) and Slumpy (Jeff Francoeur) as the biggest back-up threats to you.

Before everyone gets all hell-bent on WHO WOULD REPLACE HIS PRODUCTION???, well, I haven't thought that far ahead. But you know, I don't get paid for this shit, so there you go.

You could get a front-of-the-line starter in a deal that featured D-Wright, and you could certainly get a 3B prospect. That would in essence say the Mets have given up on this year, but perhaps it's best that we do that now and get it out of the way.

It would suck, but at least it would show some kind of futuristic game plan for the organization.

Thoughts?

Yeah I know, I've got my asbestos suit on. In the meantime though, D-Dubs has the night off. Thank goodness. It seemed to work well for Jeff Francoeur last night but of course, he did hit into a double play in a critical play in the later innings that could have been a go-ahead run situation.

As fate would have it, the Mets are in DC for another two-game mini-series against the Nationals. Other beasts of the East, however, this is not a battle who sucks less.

It's the Battle of...Are the Mets REALLY As Bad As Some Think?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Battle of Who Sucks Less

Remember how fired up we Mets fans would get, marching into Atlanta's Turner Field, taking on Larry and the other old hats of the Braves, even though we knew it was certain doom? The games always had something riding on them, mostly pride, but we could always get something out of it.

Well, it may be certain doom for these next two games, but man let me tell you, the Mets/Braves rivalry aint what she used to be. I could not be less jazzed about a mini-series (that's what I call two-games, coming off a 4-game series in Miami especially).

Not to mention both teams are not cellar dwelling in the East, with the Mets 6 games out of first, the Braves a mere half-game above them in standings. I could call this series the Battle of Last Place, but hey, right now, it's who can suck less.

Who does suck less? The Braves are not the Braves of late. Larry is a shadow of his former self, and outside of Jason Heyward and MAYBE Jair Jurrjens, Derek Lowe, admittedly good, doesn't even scare me and he's starting tonight. We look to Big Pelf to right this ship.

Short story long, this series is the best of the worst. Even a split, they remain in the same spots. This series, I feel, has more to do with who ELSE is playing in the NL East and how they fare. Everyone plays tonight, with Philly facing the Bucs (a below-.500 team), Marlins face D-Backs (another LAST PLACE friggin team) and the Nats face St. Louis (who are in their eyes reeling right now but still have one of the best teams in baseball, if I do say so myself).

So perhaps a loss here or there in the East will benefit the Mets. Of course, it would be nice if they could fucking win a game or a series this month. But hey, that seems to be asking a LOT of them right now. In the meantime, go Big Pelf.

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The word on the street (OK, on Metsblog and Twitter - @Coopz22 if you haven't already) is that the meeting of the Heads of the Four Families (Jerry - the team, Warthen - pitching, Minaya and Ricco - the "GMs", Wilpon - The FO) had a "closed door" meeting today to get the team's needs squared away. What I gather from that is -- everyone must know they are on the chopping block if things don't get improved immediately.

Of course, what we did hear is that R.A. Dickey has a locker in the away team's clubhouse in Atlanta, and that Hisanori Takahashi is making the start Friday against the Yankees.

I like Takahashi and I really hope that with the start against the hated Yanks, the reverse will happen. What I mean by "reverse," is that a relatively unknown pitcher comes in and shuts down the Yanks. Cause you all know that's what usually happens to the Mets.

Wilpon reassured reporters that he did not make a trip to Atlanta to "fire anyone." What I want to hear from his ass is: "Oliver Perez has been released from the team. We are eating his salary. Failure is not an option. We are sorry for wasting the fans time and ours. We are committed to winning and not just having an unjustifiably high payroll."

The Mets admitting they are wrong? *Scoff.* Never happen. Nothing to see here, folks. Let's move along.

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Remember to come holla' at your girl tomorrow night, as I am representin' at Amazin Tuesday tomorrow night at 7 pm, Two Boots Tavern in Grand Central, hosted by Greg from FAFIF and Jon from MBTN. Come say hi!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Excuses Are Like Assholes

...Everyone has one. And they ALLLLLL stink.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have returned. I knew I couldn't stay away too long, but I guess the way the Mets have played since basically last Wednesday, I'm not sad anymore about my team. I've been sad for the past three years. I'm not embarrassed of them. I'm not humiliated by them anymore.

I am red hot and fucking pissed off right now.

Where do I begin?

Jerry Manuel tried, in vain, to shake up the lineup the last two games. Lineup change, schmine up change. What I want to see is an organizational and philosophical change. No more of this "We believe in comebacks" bullshit, please. The sentiment is nice, but technically, comebacks (in the Mets view) do not equate to "winning." That much is evident in the last five games, starting at home against the Nationals and now the four-game series against the Marlins.

At the end of the day (sorry, channeling my inner Omar), wins and losses are what matter to this team. Going from (as Studious Metsimus says today) worst to first to worst again is not going to fly this year.

Joe Janish over at Mets Today said that John Maine is incredibly lucky. He was nice and said that with Oliver Perez on the team, Maine's role as "ugly girl" is pretty hidden. No one likes John Maine more than me and no one wants to see him succeed more than Mets fans. However, I have to say that any other team would have shipped Maine's ass on out of town by now. Of course, the Mets have probably the most expensive reliever in baseball in Oh Pea, and John Maine's lack-of-an "out" pitch is simply not gonna fly this year. Well, fly in the facetious sense, not the fact that they cause a lot of fly balls.

As a fan, I am tired of listening to excuses. Fans, management and players are all guilty of it.

I do agree that, as they say in the public announcement at CitiField, "Mets fans are the best fans in the world." We are, for all the B.S. we have to put up with on a daily basis with this damn team, and we should be demanding more from them. Applaud effort in St. Louis for all I care. Here, we should be protesting and screaming our heads off at CitiField RIGHT NOW.

And I don't even mean the team on the field -- most of us are informed enough to know that as long as Sterling Equities owns this team, aint nothin' gonna change. However, if I hear more excuses from the fan base, I am going to scream. If this team had the "fight," if this team had cajones, if this team has what it takes to be better than a .500 team (which I am not thinking they are, even if/when Beltran returns), then show it to me. The sad part is, the talent is there on paper. But paper does not win championships or even at the base level GAMES.

They are not winning games, and yes, this stretch of games is critical (with or without me writing it for MetsMerized Online last week) because it's against (yep, you guessed it) NL EAST teams. Right now, the Phillies have zero competition. The competition was almost a dead heat last week but with the Mets skydiving with no parachute towards Earth, the Marlins playing Scrappy as per usual, and the Nationals coming out of nowhere this year, the Phillies are going to waltz right back into the National League Championship this year and you know what? They are going to win another World Series at that rate.

Now where was I? Oh, so back to management and players. First off, don't give me the crap that (pick any that apply): K-Rod isn't pitching enough and/or not participating in competitive enough situations - FUCK THAT NOISE. He is a professional that is getting paid handsomely to get three fucking outs. And that's it. If Jerry Manuel, as his "manager," tells him that's what he needs to do, then he needs to grow a pair and do it.

Don't get me started on Oliver Perez.

If you really want to shake up the lineup, have Luis Castillo bat leadoff. Yeah, I said it. Although another poster at MMO has some good suggestions on it as well. But this team needs more than just a line up change, it needs me cracking the Coopinatrix whip. Give me ten minutes with everyone there, I'll have them all crying for their moms while sucking their thumbs in the corner.

Oh did I say "me?" I meant, Coopinatrix of course.

Someone on Brooklyn Met Fan, F-O-C IrishMike said that if/when Beltran returns, Jeff Francoeur and Angel Pagan need to platoon on RF. I am not sure if Pagan has the arm for RF, but all I can say is IrishMike for GM (with Coop as Assistant - that would be a killer leadership for the Mets right now).

Of course, my gut is telling me Beltran aint comin' back. Yeah, I said it. And perfectly expect to get flamed for it.

Lastly, I am done with the organizational leadership on this team. Well, I've been technically done with them for years, but I am REALLY fucking done with this fucking lot.

Let's say, for argument's sake, that when Omar Minaya goes over to Atlanta and has "discussions" with Jerry Manuel and let's say even for more argument's sake that Manuel is fired, along with several coaches. My point is, this shit happened in 2008. Nothing has changed. Nothing will change. Especially if the Mets management do not right a wrong and put Ken Oberkfell as Mets manager IMMEDIATELY and instead, throw in Jerry Manuel-lite, Bob Melvin, as manager.

As my dear Aunt Babe would say - you have the be FUCKING kidding me. The Mets deserve better. The Mets should not and cannot tolerate failure. Bob Melvin won't create change. Maybe they'll win a few games here and there, but it will NOT CHANGE.

And none of this will ever change until the Wilpons sell this team. Failure has not only been an option but has been the mainstream for such a long time. Second fiddle has been played one too many times for this team since Wilpon increased his stake from 5% to 50% in 1987. How ironic it correlates with when the Mets started to change and NOT for the better after dominating baseball and winning the World Series in 1986.

So Mr. Wilpon (channeling my best Ronnie Reagan)...

SELL THIS TEAM!

...And lastly my Fantasy team blows goats. If there is a G*d, she is not a Mets fan, nor likes my fantasy team.

Thank goodness there is still a lot of baseball to be played. For both the CoopDeVilles and the Mets.

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Just wanted to address my post from the other day. I wanted to throw out there that the "offending" poster has apologized, it was sincere and heartfelt and I have accepted it. I know this person is a good dude. On the flip side, I am taking a break from writing at this other site, at least for the short-term, to take a step back.

Don't worry, I will still be doing my MetsMerized project (I think Joe D and Rainiedazze would beat me up for it LOL).

I am pleased, though, that the post has created a lot of dialogue, not only on this site but on multiple venues including Facebook, Twitter, and other blogs, even outside Metsopotamia. In fact, Yankee and baseball blogger Joanna from "Your Baseball Girl," noted that recently in the forums that gender issues have been profound and highlighted the Coop's piece from last week as being one of those addressing it. Hats off, Joanna, and glad to have you on my side. Our teams may differ, but fun fearless and fabulous female bloggers always get a high-five from me.

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Last but certainly not least, come support the Coop, FAFIF, MBTN, Cardboard Gods and Two Boots Tavern for Amazin' Tuesday -- May 18 at Two Boots Grand Central.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Is it 2010? Really?

What you are about to read is a more serious post by the Coop. A few weeks ago, I wrote a piece inspired by a dear friend Rainiedazze on the fact that while a good baseball piece can be written by a female of the species, there will always be some idiot of a guy who tries to take her down a notch by making a comment about "You're a chick, you don't know what you are talking about."

As Metsgrrl and I like to say, baseball chicks are 45% of the baseball fan population. We not only rock, but we are knowledgeable, passionate and most of all can do what the big boys can do and possibly better and less misogynistic (the latter I know for a FACT we are capable of).

I'll be honest with you folks. My Summer Family has been a labor of love for me since 2007, yet there have been times that I have thought about shutting it down simply because I wasn't loving it 100% anymore. In the last few months, my world was turned upside down and writing became an outlet for me. In fact, I started writing for other sites as well and was recently invited to read some my Coop Originals at Amazin Tuesday next week, hosted by two Mets guys I admire. It was not only keeping me occupied but giving me an opportunity to combine my two loves: Mets baseball and writing.

However, one of my side project leaders was sending some joking emails around, and one of which was how he was going to "replace" me with Alyssa Milano. At first, I was like - whatever. I thought it was a bit unclever, but I went along with it, saying - Hey, Alyssa knows her baseball, I'd replace me too with her.

Now, unless you live under a rock, Alyssa is a household name, and she's known for not exactly being the best actress ever but she's incredibly beautiful. What I respect her for is not just her business acumen and her name brand but the fact that's she a passionate baseball fan and knows her stuff.

What I wasn't aware of was that said blogger was going to post said suggestion on the site, with my name in full view for every one to see. And as Metsgrrl pointed out to him later, basically saying, "Women are not invited to this party."

I didn't know whether to embarrassed or infuriated but I am probably somewhere in the middle. However, I am not sure if I should feel like Alyssa was insulted too -- she is possibly more successful than any of us schmoes could possibly imagine, and she is still judged by her beauty and whether or not she passes the test of "Hey, I'd do her."

I consider myself a feminist, but I have a great sense of humor, which may be construed sometimes that I don't respect the good fight women have had to endure to be at least equal with men, let alone successful without that whole gender thing getting in the way. Between the behavior of some men in baseball forums, and someone I had respect for and actually wrote for his site hoping to increase my visibility, I am saddened and discouraged by it. I have never once used my gender to my benefit or detriment while trying to make a baseball argument. OK, maybe there was one time I was bored and wrote about the Mets Divas Fantasy Team, but it was mostly inspired wite. And yes, that's one thing as a girl I can get away while watching baseball - I can enjoy the view.

Of course, I had no idea we still lived in a world, especially in baseball blogging, where men still ranked women on whether or not they are considered "bangable." Heh, silly moi.

I am so discouraged by this, and this is not a thinly veiled threat but close to a damn promise that I may shut down My Summer Family for good. If I am living in a world where I can think people actually respect my writing and my thoughts on the New York Mets, which by the way I have followed since I was seven freaking years old, and actually I am still being judged whether or not a guy would do me, then I no longer want to do this gig at all.

I am going fishing for a few days. Check ya later.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Separating the Men from the Boys

I think F-O-C Senor Solly put it best on Twitter yesterday: "3 blown saves from the pen this weekend. - be happy with the 2 wins."

The Giants were not an easy team to beat. They have some of the best pitching in the NL and had the best record in the NL West until this weekend (where they dropped to second, following the two Mets walk-offs). The only game that could have been a quote-unquote gimme was the Wellemeyer start, however if the Mets lost that game, I would have blamed the offense more so than the bullpen blowing the save since they did not take advantage of that junkballer.

So I guess my points, taking two out of three from the Giants, regardless of how they were won or lost as Solly points out, is never a bad thing. Take them as they come.

What I am truly concerned about though is this upcoming week against two NL East teams -- the Nationals for a three-game series at home and a four-game series in Miami against the Marlins. Right now, the standings are as such:

Phils 19-12
Mets 17-14 (2)
Nats 17-14 (2)
Marlins 14-17 (5)
Braves 13-18 (6)

Who would have thought that the Nationals would be "tied for second place" in the division, anytime this season, right? The Nationals are on a streak, taking the last two in a three game series against the Marlins, who are surprisingly not seeming as scrappy as they normally are (except, of course, against the Mets earlier this season).

To say that this series at home is a must-win this early in the season seems ridiculous, but the fact is, if the Mets are going to be taken seriously at all within the division or within baseball, they have to take no less than a sweep of the Nationals series.

Yeah, you read that right.

Until May 21, when interleague games start against the Yankees, the Mets are playing nothing but East teams (and have no off days, by the way). These series will separate the men from the boys and hopefully, the Mets from the tight pack of the NL East right now. I said it in 2007 and I will say it again in 2010 -- these series, if the Mets do not win the majority of the games or at the very most sweep a series here and there, we will look back at these as the ones that got away. Mark my words.

The time to make a statement is now. Or for Senor Solly specifically: it's time someone put their foot down. And that foot...is the Mets.

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Save the Date!! The Coop has been asked to participate in a reading of Mets Bloggerati All-Stars at Two Boots Tavern at Grand Central Terminal on Tuesday, May 18, at 7 pm, for the next installment of Amazin' Tuesday!

I have ideas for three of my old pieces to be read, don't worry, they will be G-rated. But I would like to thank Greg Prince from Faith and Fear in Flushing and Jon Springer from Mets by the Numbers for not only putting these together, but for inviting me to participate. I am truly honored!

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Never Let The Facts Get In The Way Of A Good Story

I should be happy. I mean, two days, two walk-off wins for the Mets. Bengie Molina was crying to Kevin Burkhardt on Friday about the Mets "not wanting" him (wah!), but I think the guys we got instead -- Henry Blanco and Rod Barajas -- seem to really pay off in dividends. Also, since Molina left the game yesterday due to a tweaked hamstring, it REALLY seems Omar not following his gut worked out well for him in this respect.

My new nicknames for our catching duo were Blanco Lightning and Hot Rod. However, I would like to shmush their names together and call them Blanco Lightning Rod. Be sure to credit me with that name.

What I should be upset about mostly is that the hiccupy bullpen lost the lead two games in row, especially our most reliable parts of Perpetual Pedro, Fernando Nieveryday and Frankie Rodriguez. Losing the lead for our two most dependable starters, Santana (barring last week's major hiccup against the Phils of course) and Big Pelf (ditto). I should really be upset that the Mets did not take advantage of a slow-ass Wellemeyer on Saturday. I'm a little disappointed in the offense, the K's by David Wright and Jason Bay's been lackluster (on the road - not at home).

I should be happy that the Mets have won two in a row against not only a top team in the NL West, but a team that boasts one of the best starting pitching staffs in MLB, period.

Well, I am happy to that extent.

What I was not happy about is facts getting in the way of a good story. While at the game on Saturday, I was following some Tweets (@coopz22 if you can handle the Coop) and someone starting retweeting David Lennon, the Mets beat writer from Newsday, on how he was remarking that for a Saturday afternoon, CitiField was "empty."

To that I say, "HUH?"

I was at the game. Sure, the game did not have every seat filled (especially in the Promenade, where it was very windy) but I will say that outside of Opening Day, this was the fullest game I've attended. If he was looking at the two section in the Excelsior level that actually were quite empty, then yeah, I'd say he had a good story. Of course, I was pissed off that most of these writers and what the cameras do not pick up is that due to the layout of the stadium, many fans are also milling about in "Standing Room" areas watching the game. What a novel idea.

I guess I missed the day in my Journalism 101 where writers were told to never let the facts get in the way of a good story. At the beginning of the season, the Mets did not get off to a running start, not to mention, fans were still smarting over last season and the weather by the way was freaking cold. Many bloggers were even commenting on it. I think what would be a fair analysis is to see how other teams (outside of the west coast perfect weather stadiums) are doing in their attendance. Suffice to say, I've been selling my tickets, so tushies have been in Section 138 since Opening Day, I am proud to report.

However, I don't think the media can handle that the Mets are doing pretty decently (even with all the negativity surrounding their offseason and start), their division is interesting (which I wrote about for MetsMerized on Friday), their pitching and bullpen have performed almost over their heads and better than expected, and they've been winning close games although one of their biggest offensive threats (Carlos Beltran) still sits on the DL. So what do reporters do? Attack the fans who still are "not coming out" to support them.

Don't believe everything you read, some and none of what you see. The pictures you see on camera are not telling the whole story, and the reporters are clearly feeding on the negativity that still lies within the Mets community.

It's fun going to games now. I even remarked that I felt like I was home a few weeks ago. Two walk-offs in a row, though I should be upset that the games should not have even come to that point, are not only dramatic, but shows what fight this team has although they are not exactly intact. They may not be a playoff team right now, but they are certainly going to keep things interesting.

What reporters SHOULD be focusing on is the home field. Not what's going on in the seats, but on the field. You know, the Mets have won 9 home games in a row. THAT, as a wise man once said, is truly amazin'.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Half Empty

I have to apologize in advance for such a pessimistic post this early in the season. We had a fabulous homestand followed by a shitty-ass road trip where I guess I was trying hard to see the bright side of things. Fact is, I kept looking at the bright side, but then found a side to counteract it. In life, I never quite look at things half-full or half-empty, but then again, I'm usually referring to a bartender situation, where he gladly refills my drink.

So here are the bright sides, followed by the down sides of the road trip.

Jon Niese pitched very well in his two games, practically dominating the Phillies in his 9-1 win last Friday and pitching well-enough to win against the Reds yesterday. Of course, he still delivered a game Ron Darling-style, and got a no-decision, leading to an overall Mets loss in their businessman special game.

Pitching overall was a bright spot. However, the pitchers who normally deliver (Johan Santana and Mike Pelfrey) certainly did NOT deliver their goods.

John Maine and Oliver Perez performed well, however the Mets only won one of their starts.

The bullpen is still producing fewer heart attacks on behalf of their fans this year; however, the most reliable cog in the bullpen ("Perpetual Pedro" Feliciano) got the loss in a walk-off fashion yesterday.

Dan Warthen still deserves accolades for his pitching staff's performance in general; however I will predict that Howard Johnson is on the hot seat in a few weeks for how poorly his offense has been.

As a fan, I can almost take losing a series to the Phillies. However, I can't take a series loss when nearly all of their best players are not playing to their competition...until of course the Mets show up.

As a fan, and I acknowledge that the Reds are an up-and-coming team, simply cannot take a series loss to the Reds. That is just inexcusable.

David Wright's bat is showing up again, thank goodness. I saw a stat during yesterday's game that just so far into the season, his road HRs have surpassed his total road HRs for all of 2009. To counteract, Jason Bay has turned his streakiness into slumpiness, and it doesn't seem to ever come at a time where it's okay.

Just when you think that Jerry Manuel knew what he was doing when he shakes up the batting order by putting Jose Reyes third, he screws that whole thing up by putting both Gary Matthews Jr, Fernando Tatis AND Alex Cora in the same game. Yes, I do realize that Luis Castillo has some sort of special dispensation from the Pope to not play day games after night games. However, as a friend of mine said to me in passing a few weeks back, Luis needs to do what's best for the team. Furthermore, if Jose Reyes is going to be batting third, at least until Carlos Beltran returns (and who the hell knows when that is going to be), he needs to be taught the approach to batting right before the clean up hitter. Who will ever know if their performance was just dumb luck or simply just dumb.

I guess a bright spot is that Carlos Beltran is planning to start running exercises this week in Port St. Lucie. However, since I saw his t-shirts at the Mets Clubhouse store yesterday selling 50% off, I still will put money on him being as good as gone either by trade deadline or after end of this season.

The Mets came close to winning at the very least two-out-of-three games against the Reds and still came out with their tail between their legs winning one game out of three. With some other luck on their side, they could have also won all three games. This is not bad luck or okay luck or any luck at all. It's just dumb. The Mets are still playing to their competition without any fire or spark and are still losing the games they need to be winning now. Will there be a margin of error in 2010? Of course not, the little margin of error in previous series is what has exactly bit them in the ass.

The only player right now who is showing any kind of spark is David Wright, and it's about time. However, his supporting cast of Jose Reyes, the so-called "catalyst," and Jason Bay are not supportive at all.

And where the hell has Ike Davis' bat been? Does The Coop have a SI-like curse over at MMO?

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I will be at this Saturday's game once again, trying to organize a meet-and-greet, although this time at McFadden's. Please note that if you enter the stadium by scanning your ticket you cannot enter the establishment via the inside of the stadium. However, you can enter the bar and enter the stadium with your ticket through the bar. If that made sense. Anyway, we'll be there again.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Silent Lucidity

I will call myself eerily silent today. I think I was shellshocked by the shellacking that Santana took last night, to the degree that I just didn't feel like talking about it. I didn't want to be overly reactionary and I didn't want to be alarmist either. After all, as Greg Prince pointed out the other night, it is still just May. Yeah, I know. But in the past, I have been been reactionary and alarmist, and I really want to look at the big picture of things.

So what does Coop do? She reads other fan perspectives. That might not have been a great idea, but I was able to kind of digest what happened over the weekend a bit better. Some of the better perspectives on this were Steve's over at Kranepool Society who I swear sounds like a male version of me today. Is that good or bad?

First, Saturday's loss was just one of them there days. Roy Halladay has shown why he is who he is, "the Doc," and absolutely owned the Mets hitters. I didn't get to see much of the game, I guess that's a good thing, but it was bound to happen that Mike Pelfrey would give up a run here or there. The kicker was that two hits-that-should-have-been-errors potentially rattled our young stud pitcher, to the degree that he couldn't shake it off. Hey, it happens. Of course, we did not expect Big Pelf to have a 0.69 ERA the entire season now, did we? I know I didn't.

Sunday's loss, however, wasn't one of them there days. We could take Saturday's loss but our ace was on the mound Sunday. This is the dude who gives us the best chance of winning every fifth day.

You guys all know I am far from a Jerry Manuel apologist or fangirl, and will happily jump over any move he makes that I perceive to be moronic. Which is quite often. Fact is, the only thing I can get on him is that he started GMJ (in other words...why?) and Fernando Tatis in a game where we absolutely needed our best eight to support our ace flight pitcher. Not to mention, it seemed calculated (very anti-Jerry) that he had those players starting. That said, since the Mets gathered 3 runs in support of Santana you'd think that would be enough for him to handle.

Er-uh, as Senator Kennedy would say...WRONG. It was clear Santana was not on his game in the first inning. However, he seemed to straighten himself out after the first. And after the Mets tacked on two more runs, he seemed intent on giving those back as well.

Some fans are all over Jerry for not having someone in the 'pen warming up earlier or taking Johan out earlier than he did. Now judging from Saturday's game, again I did not watch most of it, I am guessing maybe the 'pen might have been a wee bit spent from Pelf being taken out so early. So fine, that's cool. But this is Johan Freaking Santana we are talking about here, not Oh Pea who would have also surrendered a grand slam to Shane Sphincterino, cause you all know he would have.

Santana could be gun shy with his injury from last year. Perhaps he's taking it easy now. The fact is, we seem to forget there is such a thing as "First Half Johan" and "Second Half Johan." Remember when he gave up the granny to Felix Hernandez in the interleague games against Seattle in 2008? This was supposed to be a "gimme" series since Seattle was the dregs of their league. This was also a series the Mets did not win. Oh by the way, I should probably remind you all that Felix Hernandez is a pitcher in the AL for pete's sakes, and never hit anything in his life until that point. Well, nothing of consequence and certainly not a granny off a top-flight ace.

That said, I will be keeping an eye on Jo-jo for his next starts. If he's hurt, then well, that's just disconcerting. If not, well we can easily chalk this up to First Half Johan gracing us with his presence.

However, this was NOT the series for FHJ to show up.

Pin this loss on Jerry Manuel all you want, I will disagree with you till the cows come home. The offense showed up, Johan did not. Another guy who didn't? Dan Warthen, who really should have made a stop to the mound, especially when he was down in the count to Jamie Moyer. I mean, really. Jamie the 9000-year-old-man Moyer? Come on Johan. We don't call you Johan da Man for nothin'.

All I can say is, it's a long season, especially against the NL East, let's just move forward, and take the next series.

I'm surprising myself by how amazingly calm I am. Meh. Oh well.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

A-Skeered?

Going into Saturday's game.? Nah, I'm not a-skeered.

I keep using the term "cautiously optimistic" to describe myself. It's a long season, and I refuse to think that the Mets are going to win the division in April. Unless, you know, we're looking back at highlight tapes of the 1986 team.

Today is different. First, I know Mike Pelfrey will not maintain a 0.96 ERA this whole season. Just like Roy Halladay would not go undefeated this year, as he lost his first game just last week for the Phillies.

This is strictly my opinion only: I have ALWAYS thought Roy Halladay was a tad overrated. I thought a pitching rotation with Halladay AND Cliff Lee would be absolutely dominant. Without Cliff Lee, he has no one in the rotation but Joe Blanton, who injured himself eating donuts (sorry, that was mean). And there is no protection in the bullpen either, with LOLidge (coined by Vazzano over at TheRopolitans) imploding in his first appearance last night since the DL and Ryan Madson injured himself after blowing a save the other day. Yes, Halladay joins the team that is the last NL represents as "World F-ing Champs," and they are falling apart around him.

This series will certainly separate the men from the pussies. I won't say "tone-setting" because we thought that by beating the Phillies in 2008, we'd win it all, and still fell short of the playoffs.

The NL East seems to be more competitively balanced this year, and maybe there will be less pressure having two very good teams going neck and neck, by having five teams that will keep each other in check to have wins against the outlying divisions contribute to their overall standings.

I hope that made sense. It's quite early and I have not had my morning coffee yet.

I guess my overall stance is, divisions are not won in May. They are not lost in May either unless you are the Pirates or some poorly run team.

I am staying cautiously optimistic.

But I aint a-skeered.

I was also encouraged by retaliation last night for Frenchy's clang on the arm. Although I wish it was Victorino who got hit and not Chase Utley. I think I am one of the rare Mets fans who actually doesn't mind Utley. It's Victorino I would force feed Spam to till he vomited.

Let Utley have his "corner" at CitiField. CBP now has their own "Frenchy Riviera" with his HR last night.