Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Au Revoir

I liked Jeff Francoeur. He did need to go, though.

But for a first baseman who has no power and walks less than Frenchy himself...? Why? Unless they plan on keeping Joaquin Arias in the minors for, like, ever.

When I told TOH his stats, he asked, "Why is he playing first? And why is he playing baseball?"

The good news is, Jenrry Mejia and Lucas Duda will be part of the September call-up contingent.

The bad news is...the Mets are falling apart in front of our very eyes. No, not because of Francoeur. But I guess by trading who the Maple Street Press called "The Right Fielder of the Decade" for the Mets, with Angel Pagan out for a bit (along with Jose Reyes, thus eliminating any kind of speed from the lineup), they are mailing it in for the rest of the season.

A sad day for the HardCoeurs out there now...

Saturday, August 28, 2010

This Is the Last Time

People have asked me to weigh on my unusually silent stance on the CitiField Sit Out that was supposed to have occurred Wednesday, August 25. Well, I do have some very good reasons for not posting -- I started a new job this week, plus I was actually at the game on August 26, so I have not been around to blog let alone, well, surf the Internet or anything. It's nothing to do with being ashamed or whatever. I'm actually proud of the experiment, for better or worse.

So I will weigh in. First off - some of the Twitterverse who are following me asked me if I was going to run another one. Uh, I think that answer would be a big fat NO unless others were willing to help spread the word and actually participate. See, I think that Matt Cerrone over at Metsblog weighed in perfectly on this -- he said it smacks of the old "boycott ExxonMobil for a day to get oil out of reserves" emails back in the day. I totally agreed with that and to a certain extent thought of it myself with the original seedlings of the event being planted.

Another reason why I've been so silent on it is that, and this is a huge confessional time is this: I never believed it would work. Shocker, right?

Here's the thing: I can't even take full credit for the idea. However, I was willing to take the proverbial ball and run with it to see how people would respond.

I was on Twitter one night after a particularly demoralizing loss. Some fans were lamenting the season. I won't say that I am a total optimist, but I never quite stop believing until the mathematical chances of being eliminated are finito. But this year may not have been as taxing to my psyche (as well as my liver) than others because I came in with low expectations.

That is to say I am not entirely NOT disappointed. I am, and I think everyone else should be too.

But this is where the interesting feedback and fallout have come. See, those who have followed the Coop and My Summer Family knows that she is not afraid to say anything. Like this Sit Out, I knew people would go to the game, and I knew it would not make that big of an impact. However, other fans believed very strongly in the idea of a peaceful demonstration, rather than a walk out or complete boycott of anything Mets-related, that I felt like there was enough support to warrant it.

The issue from that fallout was that most fans who agreed to not attend the game were probably not going to attend anyway. I had two sets of tickets, which I ate. But I was going to sell them on Stubhub anyway. On the flip side of that, I would have taken a huge hit on both sets, since I doubt I would have gotten face value or anything close to it. So it was no big loss to me, although I was not really in a position to do so. I'd been funemployed for the last five months and my husband is notoriously very frugal. On a side note he was not able to sell his tickets for Thursday's game on StubHub and they were marked down considerably. Not to mention, we saw a massive walk out before the game was even close to ending once it was evident that they weren't coming back.

If someone doesn't go to a game, another person gladly will. Physically no one sat in my four seats for this game, and maybe they wouldn't have sold at all. Some people I've met over the years claim to "not watch professional sports" as some kind of self-righteous stance. And my retort has always been, no one really cares if you or me attend the games. The owners, of any sports, not just the Mets or in baseball, want their corporate dollars. Without them, there is no team. And that's the truth. Sure, the fans are the people who live and die by the team sword...but our dollars aren't what makes the income statement flourish.

I was, quite frankly, humbled and a bit embarrassed by the coverage the Sit Out received (thanks to Lisa Swan at Faster Times and Kevin Kaduk at Yahoo) -- especially since I was the figure head that tried to organize this.

I'll be honest though -- I knew, deep down, it would not make an impact. I knew about 20K fans would show up. I even spoke about this very topic with Miss Dee Wrighter because shortly after MetsMerized Online started to promote the Sit Out, I felt the need to go ahead with it instead of cancelling it (also because my dear friend Lady PAC started calling the FAN about it). Big ups, by the way, to Lady PAC because she hosted a party with 55 people, with a Mets-themed dinner as they listened to the game on her deck. This is the way a Sit Out party should have been catered!

I felt like a hypocrite though because I wanted to believe in something like this, however my heart wasn't truly in it from the get-go. I think many fans knew that, even my Twitterverse that helped me with the idea in the first place. I knew just MOI is not influential enough to get people to sway my way. And that's fine. I just had to see if it could remotely make some kind of impact. It did not, and it's time to move on and think of other ways to make this organization notice us.

This exercise has also shown me a few things, actually things I already knew and figured out on my own, regarding the Sit Out and just professional sports, in general:
a.) People will still go to games (I even said that in my Faster Times Q&A that they could lose every game from here on out and I will still find a way to go)
2.) Fans, of any sports not just baseball or the Mets specifically, are apathetic, for lack of a better term. As an example, I am a Ranger fan and one of my best friends is a season ticket holder. Every year, he is not given a reason for why he should buy the season out, but he does...I know how he feels. Perhaps my explanation over at ESPN should shed some light on why I am a fan (again, this answer could apply not just of the Mets but any sport I follow). I guess to everything (turn turn turn), there is a season. And to every season, there is a sport...that fans will want to participate in no matter how bad their team is (except for the Pirates -- their stadium was like CitiField West last weekend).
D.) That fans are INCREDIBLY territorial about who they root for and why.

The D.) choice is potentially one of the items I was most shocked about. I never realized that this idea, which I felt personally was peaceful and the most non-confrontational of others that were being floated around, would be so incredibly divisive. I felt that the people who were most dead set against the Sit Out idea were the people who knew the least about it or wanted to hear about it. I guess it's sort of like politics: you are for one side or the other. Yet, you always find fault with "the other," even if you refuse to see what the "other side" has to present. I am just as guilty when I know my party is far from perfect.

So what, pray tell, is a "fan?" My friend J-Sol posted the actual Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of Fan, which is:
noun 1: an enthusiastic devotee (as of a sport or a performing art) usually as a spectator
2: an ardent admirer or enthusiast (as of a celebrity or a pursuit)

I write about the Mets. I talk about the Mets, not to mention baseball, to anyone who will listen. I love going to games, and go to about 30-40 games per year, home and on the road. I own merchandise. I live, breathe and eat their product. I argue with holier-than-thou Yankee fans who think they know everything about baseball because they root for a winning team. That's to say, there are plenty of games I own, as a season ticket holder, that I do not attend. Does that make me, personally, a "false" or "fake" fan? Because that's all I've heard about "true fans." Sometimes, I can't make it. If I can't sell it, I eat it. That's the way of the road.

But who the hell are YOU, brother or sister, to decide what a "true fan" is? I know at least four people whom I know would have participated in a Sit Out if they didn't already own tickets but were committed to going. Trust me, I pale in comparison to their fandom. And they wanted to participate! Go figure.

Joe D even posted a great write up on that very topic, about how 70% of fans are pretty levelheaded, but there are 15% who are overwhelmingly positive, 15% who are overwhelmingly negative. That's to say, there is no pleasing either of those 15% pendulums. To them, you are either a "fan" or not. What I find is that especially with the eternal optimists, no one else is a fan BUT them. If you show one iota of negative energy, you can't be a "true" fan. Let alone take anything you ever say out of context.

I am a blogger. I don't go the passive-aggressive route of taking a stand without really taking a stand at all, while claiming to be controversial while not really raising important questions that people want to hear. I say what I mean, mean what I say and without my disagreeables, I wouldn't have a site. I've often said I'd rather have 10 people disagree with me than having 1,000 people licking my ass telling me how great I am. I know I'm not great -- I'm just a fan with an opinion and a love for writing.

Yes, I just called myself a fan. As I said before, if someone decides not to go a game, I'm sure there is someone who would much rather go in their place and will most of the time. That said, it's tough to quantify how many people did not attend the game due to the Sit Out, didn't hear about it, or just didn't care.

In other words, don't blame the Coop or the Sit Out for 27K paid attendance and whatever went through the turnstiles (possibly less than that, since this was a mini-plan holders game). People will go, and that's that. I sat out Wednesday night. If one of my blolleagues wanted to try something like this again, and I had tickets for it, I'd do it again if I felt the cause was justified. I reacted to how the majority of level-headed fans wanted...and I'm not losing any sleep over not going to the game or how it turned out. Because I knew that was how it was going to turn out.

Oh speaking of solidarity, my buddies over The Apple did a nice little piece about the Mets response to the Sit Out...yes they had a response. And it was a very weak response at that :) (only read if you understand satire).

So as Keane once said, this is the last time that I will say these words. The Sit Out experiment is complete. If we can mobilize more people into action next time, give me a call but I will not attach my name to it next time. I've seen enough Haterade this time around to justify doing it again.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Stuck Between Stations



"There are nights when I think Sal Paradise was right/Boys and Girls in America have such a sad time together" - Hold Steady, Stuck Between Stations

As most of you know, I spent a drive-by visit in Pittsburgh this weekend, to see the Mets play the Pirates. The good news is, the Mets won their first National League road series in 2010. The bad news is, they lost on Sunday, not completing a sweep like they should have. The good news is, they won the game we attended. The bad news is, we spent more time in the car than in the actual stadium. Take it from me, folks: fly to Pittsburgh.

The Other Half is usually in charge of pictures when we go on baseball road trips these days. We invested in a new camera shortly before our West Coast trip last month, and he takes better pics than me, admittedly. When we are in the car or the bus traveling to a stadium, he likes to document the signs and the stops we make by taking pics.

I will be documenting the stadium later, but I am doing the chronicle a little ass-backwards. See, being from the New York area, I am used to listening to 660 for the WFAN broadcasts. However, there are several stations that broadcast the Pittsburgh Pirates games in and around the city.

Some of our fellow road tripping fans wanted us to stay the second game...however, I wanted to get back home. The good news is, the Mets lost, so I didn't feel bad about staying. The bad news is, we got stuck in about 2 hours of traffic by the GW Bridge. The really bad news is, I should have listened to my gut about taking the Holland Tunnel all the way through, but I decided to listen to my GPS, which by the way was completely schizo the entire weekend. You'd think my lesson was learned, right? Nooooooooo.

Anyway we headed back on the road around 10:30 am on Sunday. I had wanted to leave earlier but I was so exhausted, I needed as much sleep as I could spare. When we left, I almost entertained staying for the game only because we had gotten around to leaving so late. But it also meant we'd have to get from Queens late at night, since that's where we rented our car from.

Our first stop whenever we are on the road is Cracker Barrel. If you have never experienced a Cracker Barrel, well, then you have not experienced Americana at its very best. Speaking of Americana, I've never done such an intense road trip in my adult life. Generally, I fly everywhere. This was questionable, but it was neat to finally have done it. Then again, I will never do it again, but glad I was able to do it once.

Getting there I was able to see so many rivers that I read about in my American History classes as a kid. The Susquehanna. Driving through mountains.

Pittsburgh would have been cool to explore had I been in the mood to do so, what with Fort Duquesne, the Allegheny, the Monongahela. and even as a baseball history fan going to visit Forbes Field.

Our biggest concern though was listening to the game once we were on the road. Oddly enough, the Pirates broadcast their games on an FM channel locally, so once we were out of range, it was AM stations, which is what we were used to. We were able to find their AM station right away after leaving Cracker Barrel.

However, we had to keep changing stations as we got further away from the city itself. TOH was using his copiloting and DJ-ing skills to assist. He got lucky most of the time. However, if we hit a tunnel, we'd lose all reception for a bit. One of the cooler parts about seeing Americana on the road is driving through mountains.

The not-so-cool part was missing an at-bat here or there. Now, at one point, well actually during the whole game was Johan Santana absolutely dominating. Of course you'd think the Mets would score some runs off a weak-ish Pirates pitching staff but nooooooo. However, at one point, we were lamenting leaving because "what if" this game turned into the first no-hitter?

Well, I'm just absolutely resigned to never seeing or hearing one that the Mets pitch anyway. By that time though, we were able to get the FAN pretty clearly from that point on, I'm guessing at the mid-way point in the state of Pennsylvania. We missed a part while going through a tunnel where someone got on base, but then we realized it was a walk or error or something. Then by the time the first hit occurred, we heard Wayne Hagin give the exact number of games the Mets have started and have not gotten a no-hitter.

Of course, it was fitting that we were able to get that stat and hear it on the FAN. Of course, if there was a no-hitter we'd have wanted it no other than to hear it on the FAN since it's the closest thing to home.

So speaking of home, we were nowhere near it at that point. TOH had mentioned that maybe we would be crossing the Jersey state line by the time the game was ending. Of course, Johan Santana is so efficient. Would you believe me if I told you that we'd see two complete games in a row by Johan...but both were losses?

Of course. This is the Mets we are talking about.

I don't know if I was just cranky or tired, maybe a bit of both. At any rate, we head into some small town where I wanted to get a Dairy Queen. DQs are hard to come by these days. I decided to get a coffee next door for the ride, since Cracker Barrel only gave me brown water for breakfast.

That's when I saw it. A dog in a van with closed windows.

Granted, the weather was not hot. The sun wasn't beating down on it. It was the PRINCIPLE of it. You wouldn't leave a child in there, with no windows cracked at the least, while his human went in to get his coffee and donuts.

Well, I let 'er rip on this jackass. I said, "Don't you know the amount of PREVENTABLE animal deaths happen each year because of leaving your animals in shut cars?"

He gets all defensive, "Well, it's not hot out...I'm only here 3 minutes...etc etc." To which I replied, "It doesn't matter! It doesn't matter!" I was so frustrated, by that time, he says, "Oh mind your own bloody business." To which I replied, "Take better care of your pet, you limey douche."

I might have also used the words, in no specific order "douchebag," "jackass," "moron" or "dumb ass."

And the Mets still weren't scoring runs by the time I made it back from my coffee trip. And before any of you ask, yes the husband stayed in the car, but he can fend for himself, unlike a domestic pet who trusts us and depends on us to take care of them.

The game was very late by then...and of course Johan was still in. By this time, I was pretty pleased we did not stay. Although I had gotten half a game in on Saturday, a win is a win and I got enough of the local flavor of PNC Park to justify our trip. We didn't get to Jerz before the game ended...but I was sure we'd be home before some of our blolleagues who had made the trip for Sunday.

Then the rain came down. A lot. Decreased visibility. Slowing down. I am fine with driving in the rain, but it's the caution I hate exercising, as I have bit of a lead foot. But we were still making good time on Route 78.

Then the GPS, who had sent me in some bass-ackwards ways all weekend sent me to the north. Against my better judgment, I didn't take 78 all the way to NYC but also did not listen to traffic reports.

That is...until it was much too late.

We get to the George Washington Bridge and I notice a little backup. I think nothing of it.

Till I see it not moving. At. All. I can't bail, since this is the "express" lane, and the only exit is right before the bridge...THREE MILES AWAY.

NOW I get the bright idea for traffic reports.

Every other Hudson River crossing has 10-15 minute delays. The GW? ONE FUCKING HOUR.

We decided to bail in Fort Lee, where we got to participate in more Americana settings, at Five Guys Burgers. Nothing says Americana and road trip like stopping at a burger joint (I give the slight edge to Shake Shack though).

As irony would have it, when we started this trip, we picked up our car from LaGuardia, which as you know is right next door to our very own CitiField. The GPS had us go in a back-end direction, which was fine with me since I was able to hit a non-BP gas station on the way home to top off the tank.

So we started at CitiField, made a Pittstop (get it?) at PNC Park, then passed CitiField again on the way home.

We were home.

So the rules of the road here...
Don't drive to Pittsburgh.
EVER.
If you do, stop at Cracker Barrel, there are about a million on the different interstates you travel.
If you stop at a Dunkin Donuts for a latte, make sure you stop before hitting a Hudson River crossing so you can pee. Picking a fight with a British guy who forgets his pet in the car is optional.
When all else fails, hit Five Guys. It's not Shake Shake, but worth a try.

And when you get back to LaGuardia, don't wait for the bus to take you home, even in torrential down pour. Dial-7 provided us with a car pickup in 10 minutes to take us back to the city.

I loved PNC Park, but it's a bitch-and-a-half to travel there. Not to mention, if you are catching a game on the radio, you have to really search for the stations to find the Mets. But halfway through the state, you feel like you are home again.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Where the Allegheny and Monongahela Meet

So take a wild guess where the Coop is going to this weekend?

If y'all weren't quite sure if I was crazy yet, this will certainly put you over the edge, as I am going to my fifth road stadium this year. Although TOH (The Other Half) hadn't been to any of them, PNC Park will be the only stadium of which I am a virgin (no comments, Solly...you too, DyHrdMet).

Although I had the craziest of road trips by my lonesome in 2009 (Petco Park two days, a day game at California Angels Stadium with a nightcap at Ebbets West), this is the first year I've done five road stadiums in one year...with a companion for all those stadiums. This is also the first time I'm driving to Pittsburgh from the City of Blinding Lights.

Yeah, I'm nuts.

However, with a stop over at Cracker Barrel on the way, I figure I can drive anywhere. I just hope that I can enjoy this drive-by visit. After all, we will only be there on Saturday.

Yeah, I told you I'm nuts.

I'm hoping to pay homage to some of the greats, like Roberto Clemente, Sid Bream, John Smiley, Sammy Khalifa, Orlando Merced and Bill Mazeroski. That order is intentional.

Notice I haven't said that I am going to see the Mets. It seems like that's only an afterthought to me these days. I am someone who likes to believe up to the very day they are mathematically eliminated. Even though a Mets fan can only BELIEVE sometimes...it's very hard to do so these days.

People are telling me, "Well, maybe PITTSBURGH will be the first NL road series we'll win this year."

Okay, let's look at the evidence, folks. They have not won an NL road series since 2009. They've won series on the road, but only in interleague, in 2010. They were supposed to beat Arizona and their "weak offense" and were stacked against the Houston Astros this week. Now I'm supposed to believe we are going to take a series from Pittsburgh?

Keep dreaming. Well, I can dream that the Mets will win a road series in the National League before 2011. How much you wanna bet that happens in September, when it no longer matters?

i digress. I'm going to Pittsburgh. I will not be indulging in Primanti Bros (although TOH and a certain little bear will be, along with our Cincinnati represents who will be there this weekend)....but I may have a beer or two...maybe three.

Oh wait, I'm driving.

FML.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

No One Watches As The Ambulance Pulls Away

Is there a more powerful drug than the one of "denial?"

Forget alcohol, hard drugs, caffeine, nicotine, dairy...denial takes the cake, hands down (oh yeah, sugar is another one).

I am talking about me, as a Mets fan. Actually, come to think of it, Joe D hit the nail on the head when he talks about the "typical Mets fan" today, about how there are about 70% of us who are giddy with wins but take losses in stride. Opti-Mets make everyone feel like they are not doing "enough" and pessi-Mets only seem happy when the Mets are losing. I can't say I have 100% "Metitude" all the time, as one Tweeter calls it, but I can say that I am part of the typical forum with borderline positive tendencies.

That said, I don't want to be one of those fans who is calling for football season, as my friend Steve over at Kranepool Society has already done today. Well, maybe hockey season. But definitely not football season. However, it's hard to be positive these days. We manage but...I'm just trying not to end up in the insane asylum before October 3.

We lost our "star closer" (who has blown seemingly every save situation I've seen on the road this year) for the season due to not just a freak injury, but one in which he inflicted upon himself while committing assault against his kids' grandfather (not to mention in front of his teammates' families). Before anyone tells me "Oh plenty of closers give their fans heart attacks," well tell that one to the judge. The Mets can take star closers and turn them into shyte. I think Mr. E put it best when he said, "What a stupid fucking idiot. This can only happen 2 Mets." (I should mention this was in text format and well...the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree I guess). By the way, if you want a good read, head to Remembering Shea and see what DyHrdMet has to say about this chain of events and how the Mets are handling the K-Rod situation. I have to say, if there is a possible way to agree with someone 900%, I would do that to this article now.

But I'm still in denial. I deny that the Mets are in long-term trouble. Well. I guess I have acknowledged there's a problem in there since I am promoting a Great CitiField Sit Out (BE SOMEWHERE ELSE on August 25 vs the Marlins).

I am hoping to initiate some change at the grassroots level to not have the fans show up. What does this prove? Well, that baseball isn't all about the money. Haven't the Mets proved that spending top dollar doesn't exactly bring you the best team? Heck, even fans know that spending all that money doesn't mean you'll have a great time or a great experience.

Next, if you haven't already, please participate in the poll to the right of this column, regarding Howard Megdal's Mets General Manager campaign. Some of my friends on Brooklyn Met Fan, some of the most passionate and knowledgeable I have ever met, are cynical, about having "two bad candidates" (meaning Omar Minaya and/or Howard Megdal). But you see, this is why we need to rock the vote. Just because Howard Megdal isn't the guy you want to run the team, you can also use this as a forum to say what kind of changes you are looking for.

So denial can be powerful. However, once you hit rock bottom in your river of it, change can be initiated.

********************************************
I can't be too much in denial with the trainwreck of a season. After all, the Other Half and I were discussing this season and reasons for this downfall. It's more than management. It's more than the bats not being turned on. It's more than the bullpen falling apart every now and then. It's not about Ho-Jo, Jerry Manuel or Omar Minaya. It's not even about Frankie, Beltran or anyone else.

But what is causing this general malaise? TOH says that it's a leadership issue, that no one will call the team out. I say, this is a multiple system failure and the only bright spot from this is that the pitching has been stellar.

That said...2007, 2008 and even 2009 were easy to figure out. This year is not the worst team money can buy, but certainly the most underachieving, unlikable, unmotivated and disappointing team.

Just forfeit.

Monday, August 16, 2010

It's MO VAUGHN MONDAY, Y'all!

I am pleased to announce that My Summer Family is hosting a Mets General Manager primary for Howard Megdal, on behalf of the Megdal for GM grassroots campaign!

I am honored to be a part of this historical event. If anyone has demonstrated the passion for logic and transparency, it is Megdal. He understands what the fans want, what a team should comprise and how to handle the press. He is determined to make his mark on the Mets world by ensuring there will be people who are as passionate about the team as we all are.

I also want to note that if Megdal is looking, I can do a mean John Ricco impersonation. Just sayin'. Please participate in the voting for this week!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

ESPN: Why Bother?

As a season ticket holder, I am a not a fan of Sunday evening baseball games. As a baseball fan, I like them less. If that's even possible. My point is, an 8:05 pm start on a Sunday, on the East Coast, when mostly everyone in America has to work the next day, is completely asinine. They are a hard sell for me, as a season plan holder, but also to justify going to.

But as a Mets fan, it's more difficult.

Is it me, or does it seem like every time the Mets have an 8:05 pm game on a Sunday, they are just so royally fucked over? Because the Phillies and Mets will have a pretty decent national draw, I am used to their Sunday games more than likely being the ESPN game. That's not the point here.

Did you know that tomorrow, the Phillies don't even have to play...plus they are just going back home. So they could in all seriousness, go back to their hotel rooms, chill and sleep, and take their own damn sweet time getting back to the city of Brotherly Love and Puking on Children.

The Mets meanwhile, have to travel. Now, if this was to Boston, Atlanta, Miami, you get the drift. An easy flight on the East Coast, then I wouldn't mind. But this team has to go to fucking HOUSTON, TEXAS, tomorrow. No rest for the weary I guess.

Then I got pissed. Does America really want to see the Mets/Phillies THAT badly on a Sunday evening? I'm sure even like three of the Phillies fans that are out there have day jobs and aren't criminals and dislike them too.

And why at 8:05 pm EST? I mean, I get "prime time" and all, but I'm sure most people wouldn't mind having a 7:05 or okay a 7:10 start. Even 7:35 pm would be better served. As a ticket holder, I have to mark my tickets down incredibly so I can move them.

That's not all. I remember back in 2008, the Mets played a Sunday night game in Philly. I don't remember where Philly was going the next day but I definitely remember the Mets going to Chicago. They had a two game series there, and were promptly swept. I swear, they were not the same after that.

Yeah, I know. This sounds of sour grapes, right? I doubt I am the only baseball fan who thinks like this. Maybe not about the residual, but who exactly does the ESPN Sunday night game serve? Maybe the ratings on TV, but it certainly is not fan-friendly.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Er, uh, er, uh


Only the 2010 Mets it seems could look flawless one day, then look like complete ass the next.

We go from two days of pitching dominance to just looking like a bumbling low Single A team.

The run scoring business could be better. However, it was getting there.

We can certainly justify not scoring runs against Halladay, since he is phenomenal.

And Pat Misch did well, all things considered.

But...the errors. The Mets would not have won this game anyway but the errors cannot be helping the rest of the team's psyche.

I can almost handle the non-scoring BS. But the errors drives me nuts.

Granted, I did not watch any of the game. Wait. I watched the 9th inning when Frankie came in. But the damage had been done.

I can see an occasional brain cramp here and there. Tonight was unacceptable. Errors including a Buckner-like error from our Golden Boy, David Wright. Ruben Tejada started the error onslaught while muffing a double play. But of course they are costly because out of the four runs the Phillies scored, THREE of them were unearned. What the heck?

Someone, somewhere, asked facetiously (probably on Twitter) that if we got Ruben Tejada for his defense...why does he suck?

Which leads me to my next point. Some errors don't just occur on the field. They occur off the field and if you are with the Mets, it's in the front office. And this is of course the master of the lack-of-range himself...Luis Castillo.

Today, a big article hit the wires about how he "can't be here anymore."

Hey, Weezie, don't the let door hit ya!

Look, I know at one point, Luis Castillo was a decent ballplayer. However many times he's vilified by the dropped pop-up in 2009, the fact is his best days and have come and gone and there's not a lot of value the Mets could get for him. Especially with one year left on his contract.

However, his whole thing is making a mockery. Right now, it's very easy to pick on the Mets. I mean, it just...is. So Luis is striking while the iron is hot. Jeff Francoeur via his agent has quietly requested a trade or more playing time in response to it. It's easy to say - oh they don't want me around. Well, no shit Sherlock. You need a shovel to dig deeper, Watson? It's kind of obvious.

The Mets would rather play a rather green Ruben Tejada in place of your gimpy ass, and you have the balls to complain about it. Meanwhile, you have no problem usurping money and years from the Mets, not to mention a spot on the roster that well, the Mets could really use.

Here's an idea: ask for your outright release. Say you are retiring. Work out a deal where you no longer steal money from the team. No one wants you here, you are right. But I highly doubt there are people lining up for the services of a dude whose days were better served behind him.

So on a day where the Mets commit error after error -- er, uh, er, uh -- the granddaddy of all error makers, Luis Castillo, waxes poetic about his leaving this temple of doom at Citifield -- er, uh, er, uh -- and actually wants us to care about it.

Guess what Luis? No one cares about your shitty problems anymore. We have a Wild Card race to worry about. This is a very important series to finish up tomorrow.

If you left, believe me, you'd be saving us all from a lot of uncomfortable situations later on. And while you're at it, drug Oliver Perez and take him with you. Kthxbye. Love, the Coop

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Get Along, Kid Charlemagne

"While the music played you worked by candlelight/Those San Francisco nights/You were the best in town"

Today, you are reading post number 500 for My Summer Family. To my dear three and a half readers who give me feedback and make it worth it to write and bitch and moan about the Mets on a consistent basis...I say...thank you. Moving right along, with #500, I have LOTS to write about. So let's not waste any more time, shall we?

"Just by chance you crossed the diamond with the pearl/You turned it on the world/And you turned the world around"

Once upon a time in a galaxy far far away lived a girl named Coop. Blonde hair, blue eyes. Die hard Mets fan since she was seven years old. Watching baseball with her old man, Mr. E, was an especially delightful treat, especially that guy she used to giggle watching his name on his jersey. "Strawberry 18." By 1984, a guy she called "Gooden Plenty" on the train engineering a Mets win with Captain Davey (she even used to sing to that annoying "Good N Plenty" jingle that was on TV back then by substituting their names).

"Did you feel like Jesus/Did you realize/That you were a champion in their eyes?"

Back in this far far away galaxy was a championship team, a team like no other. They were vilified, fear yet loved like no others. There were a group renegades, especially, four guys who didn't give a flying frog's fat ass about what others thought of them. They were roughed up by the law in Sheriff's country, after roughing them up themselves, yet came through and was just a footnote to an otherwise dominant reign.

"On the hill the stuff was laced with kerosene/but yours was kitchen clean/everyone stopped to stare at your Technicolor motor home"

Yet, this dominance was a once-in-a-lifetime thing. Sadly, it was tried several times to recapture said mystique, but it never occurred. Once a family got in, and tried to change the energy of this team, weird things happened. Non-power hitters would hit home runs to suck wind out of any momentum. Fingers were chopped off at odd hours, blaming an errant hedge clipper but rumored for years to be a mishap similar to the night when the four renegades challenged the law deep-in-a-heart-a Texas.

"Every A-Frame had your number on the wall/You must have had it all/You'd go to LA on a dare and you'd go it alone"

Over the years, some tried to believe that you could recreate magic, and you couldn't, simply by throwing a lot of cash around. Then you would get the Worst of what you could Buy. People often refer to this group of misfits as the most unlikable group of characters you could get into a room together. According to the exalted rulers of the bunch, the vibe of the day was "family friendly" and "we're NICE guys." It seemed, though, the more they tried to attain that level of Mr. Nice Guy, the further away they were from it. Firecrackers. Bleach. The Bronx. The Annuity.

"Could you live forever?/Could you see the day?/Could you feel your whole world fall apart and fade away?"

And yet, it seems like history never seems to die, it just keeps repeating itself over and over again. See this group from a galaxy far far away turns out they are not much different from you and me. They have their own issues, their own dramas, their own family problems. Yet we still get involved in them, and make our own judgments.

"Now your patrons have all left you in the red/Your low rent friends are dead/This life can be very strange"

Of course, I am leading into the unusual saga of Francisco "K-Rod" Rodriguez. The tide has changed in the story several times today. Actually, it was our own Kevin Burkhardt who made it a point, several times, to say that K-Rod's physical attack on his to-be father-in-law (since he is not officially married yet) was due to something not related to the debacle of a game where K-Rod was once again not used. It would have been a sorry excuse to beat on a man who is presumably weaker not to mention significantly older than he is, but clearly misdirected. Not to mention, there is also a rumor that his would-be mother-in-law was hospitalized with chest pains from stress related to the incident.

Either way, just so not cool. However, it seems whatever occurred to set him off, happened prior to the game.

"All those day glow freaks who used to paint their face/they've joined the human race/Some things will never change"

My thinking is, or the way we are "supposed" to think about this whole shebbang is that no matter if the Mets won by 11 runs, or if David Wright didn't wear the Golden Sombrero, or if Manny wasn't Acosta'd by the Rockies (and former Mets favorite Melvin Mora), this outburst would have occurred anyway. Yet the timing is a bit suspect. Not that it's an excuse. I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

"It's time you were mistaken/You were obsolete/Look at all the white men on the street"

Now, K-Rod is charged with third-degree assault. I don't want to pass judgment on Frankie. Look, he's a baseball player. But even my mother (who is not a baseball fan), sent me an email saying, "Wow, he's passionate." (sarcastically of course) It's not like he hasn't had history repeating himself with this story, except it happened with another player. Once upon a time, a dude named Brett Myers hit his wife with a closed fist on a public street and it is all but forgotten (except for angry young females, like me).

Of course, he played for Philly and they puke on little kids, that's besides the point. I'm just saying it's a distraction, and the Mets need to deal with it swiftly and have, suspending him. But Myers' team supported him, and it looks like the Mets will support Frankie, for better or worse. Maybe this will get the team together, for once. Sometimes it does take something unfortunate to get people together. Or not. We'll see. In the meantime, the grassroots effort of getting a Sit Out organized is still taking place. Inquire within.

As the world turns, the Mets certainly turn, and have moved forward with a win today. Once again, it's up to Johan Santana to channel his inner Pedro Cerrano and say, "Fuck you, Jobu, I do it myself."

"Clean this mess up else we'll all end up in jail/The test tubes and the scales/Just get it all out of here"

I've gone back and forth with certain eras of my existence of being a Mets fan in this piece. And since this is post #500 of My Summer Family, I wanted it to be a retrospective. As a fan, I've been through a lot. I've seen the best arms of my Generation K run into the ground by an all-knowing manager. I've worn a Bobby Bonilla shirt. I saw a young phenom named Gregg go quietly into the good night. I've supported teams where Tommy Herr and Juan Samuel had no business being on. I saw Frank Viola win 20 games and disappear. I've survived Lastings Milledge. I've seen Johan Santana and Carlos Beltran be unappreciated by everyone around them, expecting more when they could only give what they could, and that's their all.

"Is there gas in the car?/Yes there's gas in the car/I think the people down the hall know who you are"

Yet, I can't get over that the heroes I once worshiped in that galaxy far, far away could be human.

"Careful what you carry/'Cause the man is wise/You are still an outlaw in their eyes"

Sometimes Johan Santana will cure all the ills, but it all momentary. We will all wake up, and the unbreakable men we put on a pedestal will crumble, only to get back up again.

People ask me often why I'm a Mets fan. I've often asked myself the same thing. Why I get so intimately involved, why I get so up and down, why it means so much to me spend my summers in a place where they could really give a damn whether I'm there or sunbathing in the Hamptons.

I know nothing else. You would think after I've seen it all that shit like this wouldn't surprise me. Or get me down. But I can't help it. And I can't help but think this could be once again the season that could have been, that never was, and that we have been fooled by possibly not the Worst Team Money Could Buy...but the most shrug-worthy team money can buy.

"Get along/Get along, Kid Charlemagne/Get along, Kid Charlemagne"

I guess all I can do now is have enough love for this team to provide enough fodder for 500 more posts.

Good night. And good luck.

Yes, I'm talking to you Frankie. And the rest of the team. You're gonna need it.

Accosted

I am at a loss.

Here we are, discussing how we can make a point, to stick it to the Wilpons in a symbolic way, and after tonight's particularly dreadful loss, Acosta accosted any Mets chances of a win, let alone a comeback.

Of course, it gets worse. Much worse.

Now Francisco Rodriguez, apparently disgruntled, took a cue from Steven Slater, but instead of taking off down the emergency chute slide, or punching his coach (even if I dislike Jerry Manuel, that's so not cool), he took it out on his father-in-law (even, uh, more not cool).

Um, like I said. I am at a loss.

I know this is a deeply personal issue for Frankie and his family. First off, he's being charged with third degree assault. Second, I'm sure a suspension is coming up soon. Fine, I totally agree with that. What happens if he's off the team and outright released (which I'm pretty sure would happen -- Wilpons don't like the bad press)?

I think I can see the big picture. I wasn't willing to concede the season. It's clear everyone on this team is at their breaking point. I saw footage of David Wright beating the crap out of something in the dugout with the bat. Now K-Rod apparently told some reporters to leave him alone (even using "please" according to Kevin Burkhardt), then went to the family lounge and struck his father-in-law.

Speaking of KB, he just said on SNY that there is no correlation between the K-Rod incident or between any decision Manuel said. Of course I think he's being diplomatic. But it doesn't surprise me that K-Rod is a live wire.

I truly believe the 2010 season is over the Mets. This was just the exhaust port.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Dickey vs The Ace

I have seen some interesting games this year. And tomorrow is no different. See, I am going to hit my fourth road stadium in 2010 (and fifth upcoming in two weeks when Mets are in Pittsburgh), and in three of those four road stadiums, I have seen R.A. Dickey start for the Mets...against the team's ace. I have seen him start against Strasburg and Lincecum and now Halladay tomorrow. I missed him in Baltimore. That's besides the point.

Each game, Dickey had his best stuff with him. A game in which the Mets lost to the Nationals, it wasn't because of Strasburg but in spite of him. In AT&T Park, it was a Lincecum start (turned out it was more telling that the Mets scored no runs that game, the first day back from All-Star Break).

Now I get to see him pitch against Halladay against a team I hate in a stadium I do not mind so much, but I just dislike Philly so much I have not been there since 2008. But I was invited to attend the birthday party of Ms. Chap's son, and I can't say no to such a persuasive person. Plus it's a Mets game. I can't exactly give those up yet, even though I did write about having a peaceful "sit-out" of Citifield on August 25.

I never expected anything from R.A. Dickey this season. However, the irony is that he's been our most consistent pitcher. And by consistent, consistently GOOD. Sometimes it's the diamond in the rough that is the bright spot in the season, and that has been R.A. Dickey.

Although Johan pitched his ass off earlier tonight, although I still have hope in Mike Pelfrey, and although Jon Niese has been the poster boy for why we should hold onto our prospects, R.A. Dickey has been the one pitcher I will never be disappointed in or try to get drunk at his starts just so I can get through them.

Unless of course I have a generous friend supplying them in a suite. Then who am I to say no?

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So now...quite a few are really behind the cause of the CitiField Sit Out, tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, August 25 vs the Marlins. If you are invited (and all Mets fans are, near and wide), then click "attending" if you are NOT planning to attend the game. If you are in California, even better. If you are in Canada, so what? You can attend if you have a television or a bar with DirecTV. Just DON'T GO to Citifield.

I understand there are some with familial obligations who will have to attend, especially some mini-plan holders who have rearranged their scheduled months in advance to attend the games. However, we do need some people on the inside to report back. I know not every single seat will be empty. I expect that. But if only 1,000 - 2,000 seats are filled, maybe then they will get the hint that we are not happy.

As for what you can do -- spread the word. Get people to watch the games at home, at a bar (we may have some satellite bars for you to attend and watch the game with other fans), listen to the radio, even some might tailgate at the stadium. If the parking lots are owned by the city (someone please verify), tailgating is permissible. Just keep it PEACEFUL.

We may have to do this in two parts if we can mobilize more people by September, depending on the success of August 25. I was thinking September 14 versus the Pirates. Some fans have asked me why not do it against a big market team, like the Phillies. Well, it's simple -- Phillies fans will be there. They will still attend, and it won't make a difference if the seats are filled with red or blue & orange. So with smaller market teams their fans are less apt to see them while they are in town anyway.

The idea is SYMBOLIC. I am a season ticket holder. I have already paid for my seats. It doesn't matter if I get the seats filled for 81 games a year or three games a year. The greater number of people who do NOT show up (meaning no money spent in stores, concessions, etc) will speak volumes with our silence.

Do something by doing nothing. Spread the word.

I'd like to thank Twitter for getting the ball rolling on the idea. Now if we can get fans on board...

If You Are Pissed Off, You Won't Go

I can't really say I'm pissed off, just royally disappointed in the Mets play of late. I have made no secret of the fact that I am a season ticket holder. I do not attend all of the games at home, I do "lease" out many of my tickets. However, in a way, I've helped contribute to this hot mess already. We all have.

The talent is there, they just don't know how to execute it (I think someone best described it once as assembling IKEA furniture -- you get all the parts but have no idea how to construct the piece of furniture once you get it home).

As a take on the line in Field of Dreams, if you build it, he will come...

If you are angry or disappointed or want to make a statement...then don't go.

Don't go to CitiField on Wednesday, August 25. We do know it's hard to round up enough people to make a true "statement" over the course of several games. Especially for those of us who have already purchased a full or mini season package. The tickets are paid for and we ALL know they look at "paid" attendance, and not "actual turnstyle" attendance.

However, if no one is IN the seats for ONE game...the tag lines will be "The Day CitiField Went Silent."

Watch the game at home, watch it in a bar (not McFadden's), listen to it on the radio. I won't advocate tailgating, unless you want to dissuade people from entering the stadium. Just be sure to bring plenty of good food and beer for them to not enter the stadium.

The Mets already have my money, but if the majority of seats are empty, if only a few thousand fans show up, they can't ignore it.

If you're pissed off or disappointed enough, then do something about it and join our cause. Twitter campaigns and Facebook events can be the next generation of grassroots change...I mean, look at Betty White hosting Saturday Night Live. Some dude was allowed to name his sister's baby Megatron. Mundane tasks and event have been constructed as a result of voices on social media forums.

It will be difficult, it's extremely symbolic (Metsgrrl has a post on a forum of tweets a bunch of us had earlier). But if you want change...this is the way about it. Choose a game. Packs of us don't go. Only 2000 fans in the seats. Everyone talks about it. It's quite simple but it's up to YOU to show them tough love and spread the word.

I am a realist. I love baseball and I love the Mets. I won't stop going to games, even if they lose every game from here on in till October 3. We have power in numbers, we can do something symbolic enough to create change if we truly want to. Or we can sit and complain about it and get nothing of record done.

In an act of solidarity my husband and I will be taking our two sets of tickets off StubHub for the game on Wednesday, August 25. You are all invited to the event on August 25 of the CitiField Sit Out.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Short Pelf

What the hell has happened to Mike Pelfrey?

Earlier this season, I was drinking the Pelf-Aid by his overperforming, it seems, as evidenced by this piece I wrote for MMO. I even thought yesterday, hey you know what, he'll come through today. He's waiting for this moment.

But now what? He can't pitch under pressure. No one can make an error, although "excusable" it doesn't account for why he would totally melt down. He can't pitch under ideal conditions either. And forget run support. Even those rare occasions since like July when he holds up his end of the bargain, the Mets don't come through.

I'm through with excuses, like Verducci Effect and all. In fact, I think this team has enough of both kinds of excuses -- the regular kind AND assholes.

All I know is...Mike Pelfrey is no longer Big Pelf, as he continually comes up short. Short Pelf sounds like a breakfast pancake stacker or something, but it truly applies to him now.

Someone asked, rhetorically of course, on Twitter, who had less sack -- Pelfrey or Perez? I said, no brainer, it's Pelf. Can you imagine what it would be like if he had a contract with beaucoup bucks? At least Perez, you know the second he gets released and goes someplace else, he can still overperform. In fact, you KNOW he will overperform. As for Pelfrey, my advice to him is to not only start drinking heavily, but to take stockbroker classes in the winter.

He's gonna need a back up career soon.

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I randomly tweeted last night that I was happy that Frenchy killed a home run off Billy "I Only Blow Saves For the Mets" Wagner but I also wrote that I would only be impressed if the Mets were to keep momentum, win tonight AND take NO LESS than two out of three from the Phillies,

Again I ask - so now what?

As of August 4, this Mets team is a .500 club.

I think that's what we're going to see for the future.