Dream Derailed

Let me be honest, I stole that title.

I attended Texas Tech University and graduated on August 12th, 2000. During my enrollment at Texas Tech I accessed the computers in the library. Back then there weren’t blogs that I knew of. I did find a service that emailed Mets stories every day. I don’t remember the name of the service or the authors but I do remember the headline on October 20th 1999:

Dream Derailed

Funny how I remember that title. I remember reading that and feeling the same way I do on October 20th 2006. Funny how that stuff works, huh?

Bases loaded walk to lose; bases loaded strike out to end the game.

Not that I laying any blame solely on Carlos Beltran. The Mets had 26 other chances to get a hit previous to that moment.

None the less, what a heartbreaking ending to such a promising season. It almost makes you miss the losing seasons.

Almost.

So now that the Season, that started out with anything but a World Series title as the only acceptable goal, is over it would easy to look back on this season with regret and sadness. Sure, mourn the loss as much as is deemed acceptable but once that is over 2006 will always make you smile. Beltran’s walkoffs, David Wrights shot over Johnny Damon’s head. Reyes’ inside the parker, Pedro’s 200, and Endy’s clutch moments.

Hundreds of memories to remember, one bad moment to forget. Just like 1999.

So let’s try and enjoy the World Series, cheer on 24 of the 25 Tigers players.

After that, it will be time for winter meetings, free agents and longing for spring training in the hopes at a second shot in 2007.

And if you have to blame someone, blame Steve Trachsel…

Let’s Go Mets!

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This post was written by Dan in Texas on October 19, 2006

Go Home and Get Your Shine Box!

Forgive the lack of post the last few games. There are a number of reasons.

These games are hard to watch. Let alone contemplate and analyze in a short amount of time. By games end I am usually exhausted from hyper-anxiety that a nap and a short amount of reflection are required.

Secondly and more importantly I know three things to be certain in baseball:

  • There are Baseball Gods
  • They are vengeful
  • I am not one of them

I hate to boast, brag or belittle any team’s loss at this stage of the season. A losing streak may be right around the corner and I don’t want to tempt any deity to cast negative karma my way.

A few thoughts.

In the back of my mind for most of the season was a worry in Willie’s in game ability. During the season with a large division lead, Willie let pitchers on the mound to twist in the wind letting the game get out of hand, though some great comebacks occurred when the Mets refused to give up and chipped away at a lead. I was afraid of the same happening in the playoffs. Willie has not only been October’s version of Captain Hook, this team is fully capable and experienced with handling adversity, like say a front of the rotation starter or two going down right before the postseason begins. That may not have been by Willie’s design but somebody has to get credit for it, why not Willie?

Imagine a dark, smoky room illuminated with a single light over a card table. Imagine Grady Little at one side with the Dodgers behind him facing Willie Randolph wearing a green visor and chewing on a short stogie with all the Mets behind him. Now imagine Willie pushing all his chips to the center of the table. “All in” Willie says calmly as he looks Little right in the eyes while chomping on the cigar. “What’d ya got?”

That was the mental picture that came to my mind as I watched Saturday’s game. Willie was taking full advantage of his superior bullpen, gambling on a win that night, knowing that Oliver Perez would take the ball for game four with a worn pen should he lose this bet. If the Mets didn’t win game three, I expected a loss in game four enabling a winner take all game five in New York where anything could happen. Make no mistake, Gambler was not that familiar man you hold ill will toward dousing a police officer with champaign in Detroit. The Gambler was in Los Angeles.

Man am I sick of Tommy Lasorda. I thought I was over my ill will toward the Dodgers for the 1988 NLCS. Hey, Bulldog even donned orange and blue to help the 99 playoff run. No hard feelings from 88 right?

Wrong. I still despise Lasorda and his phony Dodger mystique. He is NOT some legend that has transcended team loyalties and now bigger than the game. He is still a Dodger, despite what ever commercials MLB makes calling him Baseball’s Ambassador. I am glad we beat his fat ass and I loved doing it.

I guess he might be doing some good for the game by getting some casual fans into the playoffs.

For that, “salue Tommy, now go home and get your f@#$ing shine box!”

Now if I could just borrow a time machine to go back 18 years so I can tell the 10 year old version of myself to stop crying. We got even.

Yankee Fans

I am trying not to take too much joy in the Yankee fans misery. It is somewhat comical to have that kind of success year after year and freak out when you have a bad series. Sure I would have taken a Mets first series elimination pretty hard and I guess that makes them loyal fans.

That said, I haven’t seen an overreaction like that since Spider smarted off to Tommy in Goodfellas. Fire Joe Torre? Wow, that organization really does operate on a “what have you done for me lately” mission statement. There is the other side of the coin, I heard Dibble and Kennedy on MLB the Show (XM Radio) call Torre one of the greatest managers of all time.

Slow down there boys, he kind of had some loaded dice there. Does he get credit for shaping the team? I think Buck Showalter might have something to say about that.

Fox Sucks

Man I miss Keith, Ron and Gary. Fox is terrible. Has anyone else noticed that they are mixing the crowd noise higher than usual? It makes it difficult to hear the announcers.

Second thought, Fox isn’t all bad.

And enough with the House M.D. promos. Where exactly does House live? I have never seen the show; I’ve just been pelted with promos during every Fox telecast. If you watch let me know where that show is set so I don’t move there. How does a freak of nature come to his hospital every week?

At any rate let’s get ready for the next cage match against St. Louis.

Let’s Go Mets!

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This post was written by Dan in Texas on October 9, 2006

Welcome to Terrifying Baseball: October

I have created a Mets monster that equals my own fanaticism. 

My wife started watching the Mets games with me in 2004. Before that she had never been to a live game or watched one on TV. All she has experienced is Art Howe’s futility and brief glimpses of hope. She couldn’t get off work for game one so game 2 would be her first ever Mets playoff game live.

 

Last night my wife and I rushed home from work to see the game, Della got home first and took the dog out; we both got back to the apartment for the first. We both sat down and immediately started watching. This was my wife’s first ever playoff game. She has never watched because she usually hates one of the teams playing (Yankees or any National League team).

 

I looked over around the third inning and she was curled sideways in the chair scowling at the screen with here hands to her face. I thought something might have gone wrong during the work day or a family issue she didn’t want to tell me about. I snapped her out of her tunnel vision at the TV by asking “is everything alright, Hon?”

 

She looked at me with a look of agony on her face, “I don’t like this!”

 

“What, you don’t like wagering the best season in 20 years on a five games series with no safety net, everything on the line; loser goes home and winner takes all baseball?”

 

She said, “I’d rather go back to watching Mets Playoff games on the DVDs. This is terrifying.”

 

She always got bored if she watched a baseball DVD with Mets playoff footage in it claiming that she would rather watch it live; now she finally understands what October is all about provided your team can get there.

 

It’s not that she doesn’t have faith in the boys, mind you. It’s just she has never seen them do this before.

 

She sat the entire game trying to look away but couldn’t stop watching. I told her she could relax a little with a 4 run lead but she was in agony the whole game, afraid the Mets would implode. When Heilman gave up a solo shot she was sure this was the late inning Dodger rally. Her finger nails are long gone.

 

Wagner pitches a one, two, three ninth.

 

It was kind of strange watching the game with someone who has never experienced Mets playoff baseball for the first time.

 

Welcome to October, Honey. If the Mets can make it to November we may get you some medication… 

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This post was written by Dan in Texas on October 6, 2006

Pirates, Steroids and Poor Scheduling

Texas Tech 31 Texas A&M 27

 

Arrgh matey, me thinks whence a scallywag coach uses ye option offense, ye best to put on leather helmets as nether have been relevant in NCCA football for 50 years. Ye best get a new bag of tricks Coach Fran or you’ll find yourself walking the Aggie plank. A hearty Congratulations to the swashbucklers of Texas Tech, the Raiders played a tough game. Next time, don’t let me catch ye Raiders be napping though ye third quarter or you may find yourselves in Davey Jones’ Locker against Mizzou.

 

For those of you who have no idea what any of that means, Texas Tech, my Alma Mata beat their most hated rival, Texas A&M, this weekend in one hell of a game. Texas Tech Coach Mike Leach is the strangest man in college football, maybe even on the planet. Leach motivates/confuses his players with stories from Under the Black Flag, hence the Pirate lingo. Coach Leach is also an offensive genius.

 

With no computer access for the weekend, I caught no footage of the Mets-Nats series. The box scores look reassuring. Let’s hope the Mets can get on a roll for about a month or so.

 

Even without computer access, I heard the bad news about Pedro needing rotator cuff surgery. No Pedro until June next year at the earliest. Who knows what Pedro will be like when he comes back. The thing he has going for him is the ability to adapt to physical decline. Pedro needs to take his time coming back until he is 100%, which may be the hardest part of all of this. It is obvious from Pedro’s behavior and body language that he desperately wants to contribute and help this team win.

 

I hope Omar has made the acquisition of Barry Zito his top priority for November. Write it down so you don’t forget it. No media tactics like the Mets pulled with Vlad Guerrero in the hopes of a discount are appropriate or advisable. Take a blank contract and a blank check. However how much you pay for a 28 year old left-handed Cy Young winner who has never been injured and never thrown under 200 innings will be considered a bargain.

 

What the hell is going on with Lastings Milledge? What could he possibly be doing to upset the team? Whatever it is why won’t he stop? The Mets all need to take the advice of Rodney King when he said, “Stop hitting me!”

 

He also said, “Cant we all just get along?” How a team that is so close-knit and focused lets things like this happen days before the National League Division Series is troubling and bizarre. Maybe that unnamed source had it right.

 

Anyway, the Dodgers will be the Mets NLDS opponent in the first round. I have taken criticism about my hatred for the Dodgers. People told me I need to respect the Dodgers because they used to play in New York. Well I still hate the Dodgers, always have and always will. I wonder about the Mets fans that think we should name the new stadium Jackie Robinson Stadium and make it look like Ebbets Field and spend out lives in a living tribute to a team that abandon New York. Which team are those fans rooting for?

 

From the Los Angeles Times:

Roger Clemens, 44, one of professional baseball’s most durable and successful pitchers, is among six players accused by a former teammate of using performance-enhancing drugs, The Times has learned. The names had been blacked out in an affidavit filed in federal court.

 

Others whose identities had been concealed include Clemens’ fellow Houston Astros pitcher, Andy Pettitte, and former American League Most Valuable Player Miguel Tejada of the Baltimore Orioles.

Anyone else think it’s odd that this story comes out after the Houston Astros were eliminated from playoff contention? Did anyone find if funny that Rafael Palmero wasn’t punished for steroid use until after he hit homerun number 500? Baseball will never be serious about getting rid of steroids until it stops profiting off from them.

 

As for Miggy Tejada, I guess this makes him a lock for Worst Sportsman of the Year and Douche Bag of the Year Award. I hope Shea Hillenbrand didn’t spend too much time on his acceptance speech. Oh and Roger Clemens sucks.

 

Here is a puzzler for you, why would baseball spend advertising money and dispatch Tommy Lasorda, the guy who loves to eat, as a baseball ambassador to get fans of teams not in the postseason excited about the playoffs if you plan on scheduling games at 3:00 PM CST on weekdays? Who exactly does that start time benefit? So that is 1:00 PM for Mariner fans, 2:00 PM for Rockies fans, 3 o’clock for Rangers and Astros fans and 4:00 PM for Red Sox fans. Do they expect anyone to take off of work to watch a team they have no affiliation with?

 

For those of you who like the humorous/ borderline insane stories I write from time to time, make sure you check back tomorrow as I have another “behind the scenes” interview.

 

I apologize in advance for anyone who is offended.

 

I am burning a vacation day Wednesday to spend at the Fox and Hound pub, enjoy a few spirits and to urge the Mets onward.

 

Let’s Go Mets!

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This post was written by Dan in Texas on October 2, 2006

Overexposed

Thanks to female co-worker who knows of my allegiance to all things New York Mets brought this to my attention.

 

In the October 16 edition of People Magazine there is an article titled:

 

Well, Hello, Mr. Wright!

Baseball’s newest heartthrob is young, hip, handsome and phones his parents. Ladies, please form an orderly line.

David Wright isn’t a real person. He was cloned by a rogue scientist using DNA from Babe Ruth, George Clooney and a church choir. Anyway that’s one theory. Another is that the boy wonder third baseman for the New York Mets-favored to reach the world series this month , thanks in no small part to their slugging cyborg- is just plain all that. Consider:

(Just the categories, if you really need to read why, go buy the magazine)

 

  • Women love the guy
  • He’s worth a Bazillion Dollars
  • He’s a role model
  • He’s like, awesomely cool.

 

At that point I checked to see if my co-worker had handed me Teen People. Nope, the actual People Magazine. No author listed.

 

Since when are the Mets favored to be in the World Series? Well, the Mets have People Magazine’s World Series pick, I guess. Should we be worried about that? Is there a People Magazine curse?

 

Hey David Wright is great; we’ve known that since we first heard his name or saw him play. I started telling people this guy would be the next thing 2 years ago (usually met with “and when is Gregg Jeffries going into the Hall of Fame?” response). David has silenced all doubters and detractors.

 

All that aside, is anyone else getting a little sick of the Media darling, Jeter-esque coverage? I almost hope someone writes a scathing hate piece just to be different.

 

Of course it would probably have to be all lies. But they would be entertaining lies. And in the end wouldn’t that be the real truth? The answer is: No.

 

I hate to be picky and at the risk of looking a gift horse in the mouth, I am really tiring of hearing the “son of a police chief” or “calls his parent” lines shoe horned into broadcasts. I think it’s giving me a rash. It makes him seem packaged. Either find a new story angle or, god forbid, some new information.

 

You must be lost, Yankee Stadium is that way.

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This post was written by Dan in Texas on October 1, 2006