I'm wondering if anyone ever reads this sentence.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Ladies and Gents, Your 2010 N.L. East

National League East
TeamWLPct.GBHomeRoadEastCent.WestL10
Philadelphia41.800-0-04-12-12-00-04-1
Atlanta32.60012-11-10-02-11-13-2
Florida32.60011-12-12-10-01-13-2
N.Y. Mets23.40022-30-02-30-00-02-3
Washington23.40021-21-12-30-00-02-3

May as well freeze these standings right here and save us the trouble of watching the next 157 games, because this is the way these horses are finishing. Nevertheless, ya gotta believe. I guess. Sigh.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Yay! They Stink Worse Than We Do!

Well, it's always happy-happy joy-joy time around here when the Metsies muster a win, no matter who it's against. Which is why I'm ever so glad the Washington Nationals continue to exist. Games against the Nats are why we're not allowed to complain about having to play the Yankees 6 times a year - we get to play the Nats even more than that. (Having said that, I'm fully aware that these DC bastards essentially kept us out of the playoffs in 2007, so a pox on them).

A few quickies from last night's game, as I gird my loins to watch Bozo the Clown try to pitch today. Sigh.

(1) Four home runs? In ONE game? That was a monthly total for the Mets last year. Very nice to see.

(2) For all the shit decisions Omar has made over the past 2-3 years, this Barajas move looks like a winner. All the pop of a Molina at like 1/8th the price tag. Seems like a good guy, too. Well played, Omar.

(3) Angel Pagan also continues to impress me. I really like his all-around game, and always have. Just stay healthy for once, you scoundrel.

(4) I have never seen a ball hit as hard as Wright's that did not go out of the ballpark. I kill players who don't run hard, but even I broke into a home run trot in my apartment on that one.

So today we get the aforementioned Bozo the Clown on the hill, along with some other guy who apparently used to play shortstop for the Mets a long, long time ago. Mike Bordick? Rey something? I don't know. My understanding is he's supposed to be pretty good. We shall see.

Friday, April 09, 2010

They Are Who I Thought They Were

So yeah, here we are, a scant three games in, and the Mets are pretty much the team I thought they'd be: spotty starting pitching, poor situational hitting, bad baserunning, and a sub-.500 record. Ho-hum. Is it any wonder this is my first post in ... hm, let's see here ...holy shit... NINE MONTHS?!? Well, notwithstanding all that junk, I'm pledging to do my best to keep this here little site updated as often as possible as I await the Great Flushing Youth Movement of 2011. For the first time in a while, I'm actually not appalled at some of the talent that's percolating down in AAA.

I should also note that I attended Wednesday evening's freaking bizarro-world game at Citi (see below picture from our rather good seats). A few stray observations about that:

(1) McFaddens = sheer awesomeness. Even putting aside the Hooters element, it's roughly the size of an airplane hangar, meaning that you can comfortably hang out and knock back a few beers without rubbing up against some fat mamaluke from Rego Park sporting a Robin Ventura t-shirt and irrepressible body odor.

(2) Please, people, if you're going to spring for a brick on the Citi Field brick walk, at least have something sensible to say. I swear to Jeebus I saw a brick on Wednesday night that said something like:

"I WAS AT THE 2000 SUBWAY SERIES. JOEY C."

You were? That's dandy. What a pleasant memory that must be. And now it's immortalized in brick forever. Maybe I should get a brick that says "I WAS AT GAME 2 OF THE 1986 WORLD SERIES WHEN A COKED-UP DOC GOODEN GOT SHELLACKED BY THE BOSTON RED SOX. TOASTY J." Ahhh, memories. Sniff.

(3) Danny Meyer is a genius. I thought I'd be smart and wait until the 4th inning to hit the Shake Shack on Wednesday, thinking the line would be all but gone and I could cruise up and get a frozen custard. Spent two entire innings in line, and by the time I made it to the front, I figured I'd look like an idiot just buying a custard after all that time. So I sprung for a burger, too. Damn him.

(4) Nice game, Maine. You know, I'm no expert, but I've learned that when you go 3-0 on just about every hitter you face, your chances of success are, well, not so good.

Finally, I still hate you, Jorge Cantu. Bite me.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Welcome to 2004

Picture, if you will, a time not too long ago.

"Lord of the Rings" was honored by the Academy. John Kerry-mania was sweeping the nation (kinda). Jerry Orbach and Ronald Reagan shuffled off this mortal coil. The pilot episode of "Lost" (a show I've still never seen a single goddamned episode of) premiered on ABC. George W. Bush muttered the immortal words "I hear there's rumors on the, ah, 'internets'" and lamented the apparent inability of certain American gynecologists to "practice their, uh, their love with women all across this country."

In other words, not too much was happening (um, except for that whole tsunami thing. That wasn't good).

Of course you know I'm speaking of 2004.

But let's flash back more specifically to July 1, 2004 - exactly five years ago to this day.

A certain unnamed baseball team (let's call them the "New York M's".... no, that's too obvious. The "N.Y. Mets") was:

(i) 38-39;
(ii) 3 games out of first place; and
(iii) stuck behind the Phillies and the Marlins, and hovering above the Braves and the Expos in the standings.

(I shit you not. Don't believe me? Take a look).

Sure, they were reasonably close to first place, but they were irrelevant. They knew it. We knew it. The rest of the NL East knew it. (In fact, the only ones who didn't know it were the front office nitwits who, thirty days later, thought it would be a swell idea to trade one of the best starting pitching prospects the team ever developed for a sack of horse manure because he enjoyed hip-hop music. But that's a story for another time). It was a thoroughly depressing time, to be sure, but also a fairly stress-free one. No pennant races, no nail-biters, no "meaningful games in September." You'd head out to Shea, down a few beers, watch Kaz Matsui wave lamely at a few pitches, see Jason Phillips run the bases about as fast as Nell Carter on quaaludes, go home, and count down the days until the Giants opened training camp. No fuss, no muss.

It is now July 1, 2009. These same "N.Y. Mets" are:

(i) 37-39;
(ii) 3 games out of first place; and
(iii) stuck behind the Phillies and the Marlins, and hovering above the Braves and the Expos Nationals.

Sure, they are reasonably close to first place, but they are irrelevant. They know it. We know it. The rest of the NL East knows it.

And you know what? I'm starting to get comfortable with this. No stress. No looming collapse. Just bad baseball with a pre-determined outcome day in and day out, as I count down the days until the Giants open training camp.

Oh yeah, it's 2004 all over again. And I'm ok with it.

Until I realize that this means we're going to hire Willie Randolph next year.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Your Weekend Recap: Toasty Joe & Wife Appear On TV. Little Else Goes Right.

Yes, you read that correctly. The picture you see to the left (click to enlarge) was captured upon my review of Saturday morning's encore presentation of Friday night's Rays/Mets tilt. And yes, that circled couple in the CF stands (also indicated by the oh-so-subtle arrows) is none other than Toasty & Flitgirl. Interestingly, when we scored these seats, which are among the more remote reaches of Citi Field's expanse (just to the left of the home run apple), I had no inkling that we might appear on television. Hell, I had a hard enough time seeing home plate. But, there you have it.

Now, if you look hard enough at the picture, you might see that Flitgirl is doing something I'd wager none of the other 38,492 spectators is doing. You guessed right: knitting. In fact, I'll wager she polished off about 1/8 of a sweater between the 3rd and 8th innings. Which I guess is...what....good? By the way, this is the same Flitgirl who, upon attending a Brooklyn Cyclones game with me several years ago, openly wondered whether a batter is out if an opposing team's FAN catches his foul ball. She has improved since then, although:

1. She still thinks Tsuyoshi Shinjo and Armando Benitez are on the Mets.

2. She thinks the Mets acquired Ryan Church and Brian Schneider for someone named either "Miller Lastings" or "Lester Millings."

3. Her entire opinion of David Wright's 2009 season is that he does too much "man-scaping" on his eyebrows.

Well, lest this turn into a "tease the Flitgirl" segment, let me turn my attention to the actual games that were played this weekend. You know, as I posted last week, it's incredible how relaxed and numb I've become to these losses. It's really proving to be true - June 12, 2009 was a watershed moment. Everything else is like cream cheese now. But consider: the Mets are missing their lead-off hitter, their clean-up hitter, their #2 starter, their #3 starter, and their set-up man. How in god's name can any of you expect this team to be slightly better than .500? (Which, conveniently, is what they are). Call me nuts, but I think in a few months' time, the Phillies are going to sorely regret the fact that the Mets are somehow, some way, only 2 measly stinking games out of first right now, when by all rights they should be at least 10 games back. (Hmmmm, I'm not sure what this sensation I am having is - "optimism"? So that's what it feels like).

Incidentally, I was reading the Daily News Yankee blog this morning (call it schaddenfreude), and I discovered that there were apparently a few epic brawls in the stands at last night's Yanks-Marlins suckfest. Diligent reporter that I am, I immediately ran a search on YouTube for "yankees marlins fight." Oh, my. This is like the Citizen Kane of fan brawl videos. Seriously, you've got it all: Alcohol. Female involvement. Miami's finest arriving a few minutes too late. And, last but not least, a solitary, crying child, imploring daddy to explain why he's fighting. Scorcese couldn't have directed this any better.

Friday, June 19, 2009

OK, Enough of This Crap - I'm Posting

Man, I don't know what the heck's going on with my blogger jones this season. Either the Mets finally killed it, or it died of natural causes. I think it's a little of both.

For those not in the know, I previously spent three full seasons offering insight, perspective, humor, and non-Sabermetric-related analysis of this here baseball team. So why have I chosen this season - in which so much has happened - to stand largely mute? Could it be the back-to-back horrific finishes the past two years? The crippling injuries this season? The shoddy defense or untimely hitting? The fact that our lineup is now packed with more scrubs than a Clorox convention? Oliver Perez?

Once again, I'm going with all of the above.

But fear not: I'm here to tell you that Toasty Joe is going to fight his demons. After all, what would a third consecutive year of bad baseball be if we didn't have gallows humor? And that's what I aim to provide.

Now, having said all of that, I must tell you - from about 11:00 p.m. last Friday night to maybe 4:00 p.m. the next day, I was thoroughly and utterly convinced of something: The Mets, with help from Luis Castillo, had done something that I didn't think it was possible to do:

They broke baseball.

I don't mean they blew a game, broke their fans' hearts, and so forth. I mean they broke baseball. Permanently. As in, there is no longer any need or any point to me watching any baseball games. Not just this season, but ever. That's how soul-crushing, stomach-destroying, and mind-annihilating Friday night's turn of events was. Had I been updating this blog regularly, that would've been my headline on Saturday morning: "The Mets broke baseball."

But of course, they didn't really break baseball. (Although yours truly nearly broke his head slamming it against a wall). In fact, they somehow made it MORE tolerable. For example, after a splendid victory on Saturday, they went out and took a complete dump on the field in a 15-0 drubbing on Sunday. Did I give a shit? Not really. And then last night - they blow a 1-run lead in the 9th and lose the game. Did I gnash my teeth and stomp and curse? No chance.

For you see, I learned something last week: No matter how bad a loss is, it's not June 12, 2009.

In fact, how's that for next season's slogan?

"The 2010 New York Mets: No Matter How Bad A Loss Is, It's Not June 12, 2009. Get your season tickets today!"

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Five Dollar Footlong

Well, those privileged enough to be at the cozy friendly quirky confines of Citi Field last night (which does not include me) were blessed with one of the weirdest games this commentator has ever seen. Consider:

Johan Santana's pitching line. 6 innings, 120 pitches, 11 Ks, 6 walks. Say what?

Adam Dunn's 678-foot home run. Yikes pipes. I actually went and checked the roof deck of my apartment in Brooklyn to make sure it didn't knock over our new CB2 main-sail umbrella. (By the way, that's the same umbrella that threatens to do a Mary Poppins off the roof every time there's stiff wind. Perhaps we should've thought that purchase through a bit more).

Fernando Martinez petulantly rolling his eyes instead of heading towards first base on a pop-up that, of course, fell in. C'mon 'Nando. At least made a move towards first. At least start walking there. Give me something to work with here. That was HORRIFIC. If he's in the starting lineup tonight, it will be a disgrace of Willie-sized proportions.

Dan Murphy, a canary-colored Subway billboard, a clueless right-fielder, and Sheff being Sheff. I have now seen this replay about 25 times, and honest to God, I still have no idea what happened -- which means, in my opinion, the umps probably should've let the call on the field stand. But hey - we've still got a long way to go to make up for all the shit Angel Hernandez has pulled over the years, so I'm taking all the breaks I can get.

Now, speaking of video review, I have to weigh in on Saturday night's game up in Boston (which I haven't done yet because I've been a slacker of the highest magnitude). I said it at the time - I can't recall a more unbelievable regular-season win for this team since - well, maybe ever. Maybe. At a bare minimum, we surely learned at least two things:

(a) Omir Santos needs to catch every day. Every. Single. Day. I love everything about his game, from the clutch hits, gritty at-bats, game-calling, defense - everything. I'm so over Ramon and his flabby, enormous head, his strikeouts, and clueless catching abilities. Let Schneider come back and handle day games after night games, but it's Omir all the way.

(b) J.J. Putz stinks. He was lucky to survive Saturday night with his life. Plus, he's issued 16 walks to 18 Ks. That's good. You always want a multitude of guys on base when you're an 8th inning specialist. Is there anything we can get for this guy on the open market? Thoughts??

(Maybe I'm being harsh, but I am developing a serious Bobby Parnell man-crush. There's our 8th inning solution right there. Love that man).

Monday, May 18, 2009

Follow the Leaders!

First up... you know him as the roly-poly maestro of over-pronunciation... a man who incapable of adding anything of value to any broadcast beyond pronouncing names like "Ramirez" and "Gonzalez" like some third-rate seventh-grade Spanish teacher... a man who voluntarily shows up on national television dressed like a fried egg (see picture, credit to Bronxbombersblog)... why, it's Jon Miller!

Next up... a Hall of Fame second baseman from the Cincinnati Reds... probably the stupidest motherfucking broadcaster ever to walk God's green earth... a man who once said "leadoff walks are worse than other walks, because you give the other team a better chance of bringing that run around." A man who prefaces every single observation - no matter how trivial, banal, or obvious - with "I've always said that..." Yes, it's your favorite and mine, Joe Morgan!

And, finally, ESPN is immensely proud to introduce a new addition to the already-impeccable Sunday Night team. A former GM and serial philanderer... a man who thinks Carlos Beltran needs to make more "game-winning plays" to be a "leader".... Steve Phillips!

Got a question about who the "leaders" are on the Mets, if any? You're in luck!

Hear Jon, Joe and Steve talk about the Mets needing a "leader" - for three hours straight!

Watch in awe as they discuss what it means to be a "leader"!

Listen in amazement as "leadership" qualities - none of which have anything to do with banalities such as batting average, RBI, OBP, slugging percentage, or hitting, fielding, and running abilities - are addressed in full!

Listen as Joe reports how Met fans "are still waiting for Beltran to get on a hot streak"! That's right...batting over .400 for the first six weeks of the season is for non-"leaders"!

Hear Steve destroy Beltran for a single at-bat that took place three years ago - and learn that a true "leader" bats 1.000 for his career, commits 0 errors, and makes 0 baserunning blunders!

Watch as Jon continues to resemble a fried egg....but a fried egg with "leadership" qualities!

It's ESPN's Leader Sunday Night Baseball! Catch the leader fever!

Oh, and there might also be a baseball game being played.

Leader!!

Friday, May 08, 2009

A Fella Could Get Used To This

No, I'm not just talking about my seats for last night's game, which, as you can see from this picture, were, um, rather good. More on that later. I'm also talking about 4 straight wins, second straight series sweep against a division rival, fourth straight strong starting pitching performance, fourth straight save for Frankie, an actual home run explosion in Citi Field of all places, and so on and so forth. Tons of positive signs right now: D. Wright is most certainly out of his mind-bendingly awful slump, Beltran is so locked in it isn't even funny, Johan is ridiculous, Reyes may have gotten off the shnide last night (we shall see), the defense has been solid, Parnell is awesome, Perez is safely on the DL. All wondrous things. (Negative side of the ledger? Ryan Church looks lost right now.)

A few notes about the recent events:

1. Shane Victorino is a bush-leaguer who badly needs a fastball in the ribcage. I think everyone can agree on this.

2. The crowd really enjoyed the display of Jerry Manuel's temper last night. Good to see. I know he ain't perfect, but I still like him. Let's give him a full start-to-finish season under his belt and reevaluate him then.

3. If the 2008 Mets had just ONE of the (non-Feliciano) pitchers in the 2009 bullpen, they would've won the division by about 10 games.

4. A brief word about our friends, the Phillie fans. First of all, I never heard a peep from these fans for 25+ years until 2007. Not a damned word. And now that they've all oozed out from whatever rock they were hiding under, I have never, ever, seen a group of fans more obsessed with a team other than their own than Phillie fans are with the Mets. It's beyond ridiculous at this point. Just hop on over to the various comment boards on the 700 Level for a peek. Jeebus, their team WON THE WORLD SERIES! Yet all they think about, talk about, scream about, fret about, and worry about is the New York Mets. By point of comparison, I am a Giant fan. When the G-Men won the Super Bowl last year, do you think I actually spent the next few months pulling my hair out over every little thing that the Eagles were doing? They were like a small, dirty piece of gum on my shoe: barely regarded as anything other than a minor anoyance. So, by all means, keep it up, Philly fans. Your team can win 1,000 championships, but you still won't win any class.

(Incidentally, the irony of fans who all root for the Philadelphia Eagles talking about "choking" is simply delicious.)

5. So, as you can see from the above picture, we had some ree-donk-ulous seats last night. Just a fantabulous way to watch a ball game. The concession area behind home plate is truly something to behold. It's basically like a first-class lounge at the airport. A fully appointed bar, no lines for anything, a marble-walled bathroom with a hi-def TV, different food stations, etc. Plus Shake Shack delivered right to your seat. Oh so nice.

Finally, what do these players have in common? Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, Jose Canseco, Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Gary Sheffield, Mike Stanton, Dan Naulty, Darren Holmes, Jason Grimsley, Chuck Knoblauch, Glenallen Hill, Matt Lawton, Denny Neagle, David Bell, Kevin Brown, Jason Giambi, Randy Velarde, Ron Villone, Ricky Bones, Rondell White, and David Justice? Well, two things:

(1) They are all known steroid/PED users; and

(2) They have all played under Joe Torre.

Just sayin'.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Open Letters Are Fun

Prior to this weekend's games in Philadelphia (where the accompanying picture was snapped - see link here), you might've seen a hard-hitting piece of journalism in the Philadelphia Inquirer by one John Gonzalez. In case you missed it, you can click on the link above, but here's a sampling:

Dear Mets fans,

It's been a while since you last came to visit. You weren't missed all that much. We love to hate each other, sure, but it was kind of nice without you.

This is your first trip to town since last August. Philly has been a little busy since then. There was the World Series and the parade and the ring ceremony and, man, it just hasn't stopped. You probably saw most of it on TV since you didn't have much else to do after September. You remember all the pageantry that goes along with being a world champion, right? No? Well, maybe you have some faded pictures of 1986 in a shoebox somewhere.


Well, this whole "open letter" thing sounded like fun. His was pretty good, but I thought it required a few tweaks here and there. I think my version works a little better.

Dear Mets Phillie fans,

It's been a while since you last came to visit showered. You weren't missed educated all that much. We love to hate each other, sure, but it was kind of nice without chuckling at you.

This is your first trip to town parole hearing since last August. Philly New York has been a little busy since then. There was the World Series and the parade and the ring ceremony Broadway, the Met, MOMA, Times Square, Central Park, Lincoln Center, top-flight restaurants, the Guggenheim, Greenwich Village, SoHo, the Empire State Building, the Financial District, the Brooklyn Bridge, Prospect Park, the Statue of Liberty, four Super Bowl Championships, and two new world-class baseball stadiums and, man, it just hasn't stopped. You probably saw most of it on TV punched your sister since you didn't have much else to do after September getting out of the drunk tank. You remember all the pageantry that goes along with being a world champion first-class city, right? No? Well, maybe you have some faded pictures of 1986 1776 in a shoebox somewhere.

Ahhh. Much better.