Rainouts

So I’ve had this nagging feeling the past few days. A sort of unfinished vibe about me. I absolutely hate games decided in under eight and a half innings. It’s un-American. We need nine innings just like we need nine players on the field, the same nine in the batting order (the DH is also un-American but that’s another topic for another post) I hated it last year when we took a loss to the Phillies, and I hate it now when we get over a win over Tony La-RuSmug. I really wish major league baseball would change that rule, it just isn’t fair. Every team has the God given right to at least 27 at bats before they are charged with a loss and every team should be required by law to record 27 defensive outs to earn a win; no exceptions.

I realize that more rainouts or games postponed due to rain make scheduling and travel hectic. I also have heard the argument that 162 games, two playoff rounds and the World series every year make them necessary evils. I am not suggesting we follow the Baseball Satan’s plan to hold a nine game World Series in warm weather towns like the Superbowl. I reject his ideas on principal alone, but that is a terrible idea. Make the World Series like the Oscars? I hate the Oscars and have NEVER watched it. “Did you see what Oil-Can Boyd was wearing last night?” “Don Baylor’s coaching shorts were to die for!“ Please.

Have you ever wondered why there aren’t any scheduled double-headers anymore? I know it’s a stretch to even dream of a scheduled double header in this century where baseball is much a business as it is a game and owners want the extra gate. Make it a Platinum package ticket, hold double headers on Memorial Day, The Fourth of July, Fathers Day, Mother’s Day Labor Day, and maybe a Sunday with some lackluster interleague match up . (It is a travesty that the Mets didn’t play on Memorial Day.) There, the money aspect is solved, the schedule has made room for six makeup days, and I never have to spend an entire night feeling like I just turned off the game after the top of the sixth.

In seemingly unrelated news, I finally picked up this months issue of Playboy featuring Olympic swimmer Amanda Beard on the cover, and what a cover! I couldn’t wait to how hot she was looked in the pictorial sure to be ever better right?

Wrong, it was terrible, I’ve never been so under whelmed, just terrible. I haven’t felt so cheated since I watched A Beautiful Mind beat out Moulin Rouge at the Academy Awards. I haven’t felt so cheated since the time my favorite baseball team only played a five and a half inning game. It would have been so much better to leave it to the imagination.

Not to sound like either some kind of feminist or a sexist male all at the same time, nor suggest Ms. Beard is not a stunning woman. I just think this was a terrible move. I have been hearing the complaints from many that female athletes aren’t compensated enough by their respective teams or advertisers. Well, if you can tell me with a straight face that David Wright would ever pose nude then I would sympathize. (Boy, I hope David’s agent doesn’t read my site and have an epiphany about how to get David on the cover of more mags.) She could have gotten the same exposure posing for Cosmo or Vogue. Playboy, is just off-putting for a female athlete competing in a sport where both genders are on an equal footing when the women have to do it better to gain the real fan’s respect.

I know, its only swimming, I should relax but what else am I going to think about on a night without baseball?

There is your preachy, grumpy, young-old man Thursday night post.

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This post was written by Dan in Texas on June 28, 2007

Consequent Progression

There has been something that’s  been troubling me for some time during the 2007 Mets season. It has little to do with pitching rotations, bullpens, lineups or trade rumors. It’s one of those little irksome itches that annoys until you scratch it. I’ve held kept my silence for fear of scorn from Mets fan brethren, but I cant keep my silence hold my tounge any longer.

It’s time we shelve Bachman-Turner Overdrives’, Taking Care of Business; the song belongs to 2006. Don’t get me wrong, it was a magical season and a long awaited return to postseason play and I loved all of it (save for one inning). Like The Doors’ LA Woman, it was a victory song apropos for it’s team in it’s time, but like that year’s highlight video Amazin Again (complete with an Office Depot Commercial jammed in between the video’s open and the season chronicle featuring, you guessed it, Talkin` Care of Business) it’s time to shelve the song along with your highlight tapes and DVD’s of 69,86, 99, 00 and 06 as the 2007 season is well underway..

Sure this may be more or less the same team as last year minus an Oliver, Trachsel, Floyd, Bradford and a few others. Dont want to nix Bachman Turner Overdrive and change artists, fine, BTO’s You Ain’t seen Nothing Yet is a perfectly acceptable substitute. That one seem too cheesy? Let it Ride is an adequate substitute as well. It’s a new year, it’s time for a new song. (as long as it isn’t written for the Mets as some hokey rap song incorporating players names in it’s lyrics.)

You may be hanging me in effigy as a Met-heretic or phrasing a clever biting insult to write in my comments section for suggesting the song be taken out of rotation, after just cheering Shawn Green’s walk-off homerun to the tune after Monday night against St. Louis , the elation still fresh in your heart. My apologies, but the time to play BTO’s ditty was eight months ago, not earlier this week.

Hey, I’ll admit, last October, I downloaded it from Itunes; turned it up when it came on the radio in my truck and hummed it at work. But no matter how hard you fantasize about the 06 NLCS, Molina’s ball still lands over the wall in left; Beltran’s bat still sits on his shoulder. Let’s put away Takin Care of Business before it loses it’s meaning. Next time your in a bar and the song comes on the jukebox, share a knowing nod with another orange and blue clad patron, take a moment to reflect on who had “The Strength To Be There” on a late October night and let a slight smile cross your face (then look away; you don’t want to give that dude the wrong idea.).

My intent is not to pour salt in collective wounds yet to fully heal.  I contrived many Kenny-involved humiliating vengeance against Rogers at the hands of the Mets for his indiscretions exactly 7 years to the day the 06 Cardinals became National League Champs. I don’t like the way 06 ended either, but 2007 is in progress and baseball’s proverbial Christmas is only is only five more months away; it’s time to throw out last year’s tree.

Posted under Post Game

This post was written by Dan in Texas on June 27, 2007

The Emergence of Carlos Gomez

Despite much struggle during his emergency service with the big club, Carlos Gomez looks to be emerging as the outfielder and hitter the Mets thought he would be. Gomez isn’t where right where he needs to be, but is quickly developing into the exciting player many hoped he would become. Speed, power, and defense in one package; this young man has the potential to be a staple  in the Mets lineup just like those two young fellas at short and third. It appeared that  Willie had a some words of caution for the speedster’s trot around the bases after is solo homerun blast, but after the struggles he had early, few can find fault with his satisfaction. Alou’s return will be bittersweet as it likely triggers Gomez demotion. if Gomez continues to develop, once he goes back down in order to play every day, Shea will surely anticipate his return

Sosa looked sharp again with another Sosa-2007-esque performance. For some reason I haven’t put this guy into solid rotation yet. I keep waiting for the honeymoon to be over and he keeps defying my expectations.  Maybe it’s ingrained in my brain to not be sold on his ability as the moment I do, he goes back to the 2006 version. Being a Mets fan encompasses many and odd dementia.

I love Keith Hernandez as much as anyone and I‘m really glad he‘s back, but come on Keith, stop eating on the air. Mex cracks me up with his grumpy old man routine and his gripes about “the country club” baseball culture of today’s game.

Paul LoDuca was given a two game suspension for his tirade during Saturday night’s match-up against the A’s in which he tossed his catching gear on the field. LoDuca appealed the suspension and played in the opening game of the series against St. Louis. The conventional wisdom would speculate LoDuca will drop his appeal on Tuesday, sit for the final two games of the Cardinal series and be back in time to take on Philly. I hope this is the case as the Mets will look to put some more space between Philadelphia and will need the competitive leadership of Paulie “The Undertaker.”

And finally, it looks like Mr. Green is back and ready to go after his much bemoaned time off to heal a broken foot. I don’t want to jump the gun and pronounce the Mets out of their June funk prematurely, but a four game winning streak is a good start. I have to wonder if Charlie Samuels pulling out the home whites has anything to do with the Mets resurgence…

Man I love the walkoff wins at Shea, there is really nothing else like it.

Let’s Go Mets! 

Posted under Uncategorized

This post was written by Dan in Texas on June 26, 2007

Back to Business

NOTE TO READER: If you checked out Lonestar Mets the weekend, you know that we experienced technical difficulties. We are back up and running right now, and I will be working to get my previous content back as well as posting new pieces. I am also working to set up my links section to all the other fine Mets Blogs out there. Since there are many great sites out there, if I happen to miss yours, please email me so that I can correct it.

Lonestar Mets isnt the only one back to business. The New York Mets shed the funk they were in for the month of June over the weekend against the Oakland A’s. I had a hitting coach that used to say, when your slumping the ball looks like a pea, when you are rolling it looks like a beach ball. Well the A’s must have brought their collection of beachballs Friday and Sunday, cause the boys from Queens were rocking the ball.

Saturday was my 2 year wedding aniversary, so the wife and I agreed to skip the Mets game and roll down to Austin, Texas to party on 6th Street. We wondered into a joint called Uncle Flirty’s to have a drink or two when Baseball Tonght was playing above the bar. We both pretended not to watch the ticker on the bottom of the screen and both let out a sigh when they went to commercial. When Baseball Tonght returned we saw the line:

A’s 0 NYM 1 David Wright GW double

We both highfived. We booked it back to the hotel to watch the highlights and reached the La Quinta just in time to catch Paulie Ballgame blow his lid and then David Wright double in Ro Castro to win it. (Yes, my wife is a very patient woman) It was a great weekend in Metsland and down in Austin.

Bring on the Cards!

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This post was written by Dan in Texas on June 25, 2007

Day Off

Good news folks, I can predict with 100% accuracy that the Mets won’t lose today. Honestly a day off is a welcome break because the games are somewhere between unpleasant and nauseating.

Ollie Perez lost last night, though he didn’t pitch extremely poorly, he managed to pitch in and out of trouble all night. The bats weren’t especially hot, save for Beltran’s stick.

The more I watch the Mets offense flounder thought the month of June, the more I am convinced that this thing is much larger than cold bats, injuries and lack of patience at the plate but a team wide epidemic infecting the teams hearts and minds. Honestly, during last night’s game, at any point were you confident in the Mets gaining a victory? Seventy-five, even fifty percent? If you said yes you are a much more optimistic fan than I? The Twins are a very talented team not to be taken lightly, but for them to come in and beat the Mets so soundly two of three times at Shea Stadium, well, the pilot light is out kids.

And I have no clue how to get it lit again. All the optimistic statements and assurances in front of clubhouse lockers can only hold so long. Once the glove and helmet chucking wears tiresome, the troubles will really begin. As I have written before, I firmly believe that the only way the Mets start to play what we have gotten to know as Met-like baseball is to stop pressing. The only way I see them stop pressing is to finally cough up the lead to Atlanta or Philly. Once the inherent instinct to cling to first place is removed, the team should be able to playing their relaxed, patient approach. I hope.

So with out a game tonight you can take time to ponder your motivations for investing so much time and energy into a pastime that 95.4% of the time lead to your misery or find something else to pass the time.

If you are a true masochist (and lets face it, we are or we would have sworn loyalty somewhere else long ago) make sure to check out some new Met faces to the blogosphere. Be sure to check out Mets Brotha. He updates frequently and has interesting and unique baseball and Met opinions. While cruising around also be sure to check out Mets Lifers for some fresh Met perspective as well substance from around the league (the banner logo is classic.)

If you are looking to get away from baseball altogether for an evening (and who could blame you) do yourself a favor and check out ABC’s Traveler. The fourth episode ran last night but you can catch up via ABC.com The show has sucked me into the plot, has an interesting story line, and the great Steven Culp, who is always fantastic and under-rated.

Take a night off from the beatings and let’s see how it goes against Oakland.

Posted under Uncategorized

This post was written by Dan in Texas on June 21, 2007

Unwatchable Baseball

Sorry sports fans, but it’s unwatchable. My apologies to Ron and Gary, ugly, unentertaining baseball (I doubt Keith will be coming back anytime soon.) After last nights 9-0 shutout at the hands of Johan Santana and the Minnesota Twins, I cried, partly because the Mets played so poorly, but mostly because I sat on my balls. I can’t remember the last time the Mets have played this pitiful; of course it is entirely possible that I blacked it out. Every first pitch pop out to hard hit liners right at infielders is wretched. I can’t remember the last time watching a Mets game seemed like a chore.

The fact that the Mets are in first place of the NL East is laughable. It has gotten so bad, I caught myself reading Game Informer during the ballgame (Fallout 3 looks pretty freaking sweet by the way.) Yeah, that’s right; I actually read a magazine during a live SNY telecast. I am convinced that the Mets uber-slump will continue until the Mets cede first place.

None the less, I plan on riding out this current dreadful streak. Sure it’s unwatchable baseball, but I’m still watching.

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This post was written by Dan in Texas on June 20, 2007

Mets Win-No Really

We won yesterday. If we win today, that’s two-in-a-row. If we win tomorrow, that’s called a winning streak; it has happened before.– Lou Brown, Manager of the fictional Cleveland Indians, 1989

And the Twins didn’t give this one up easy. Three outstanding defensive plays cut short potentially big innings.

I love the aggressive  base running. Delgado at the plate with runners on second and third  and one out . Wright’s leadoff double in the seventh was pure hustle call. Neither paid off with a run but I love the determination. It’s good to see during an offensive drought in the midst of the big to laugh or not to laugh debate.

John Maine delivered another great outing able to throw high fastballs for strikes and using his slider effectively.

I love Paulie Ballgame’s toughness. I really didn’t think he would play last night, toughed out the pain and drove in two when the game was on the line.

The most assuring aspect of last night’s 8-1 win over Minnesota  to start the home-stand was the play of Carlos Delgado, who borrowed El Duque’s socks and had a big day at the plate going 3 for 5 including a solo shot in the home-run in the second inning and a grab to end the game.

Gary Cohen and Ron Darling were talking about the career of Ricky Ledee, noting that Ledee’s performance suffered greatly when he made the transition from everyday player to bench player. I think that once the Mets get past this horrendous slump, they may be able to get away with a starting outfield of Ledee in Left, Gomez in center and Green in right. The biggest hesitation is to ask Gomez to play everyday in center, when he would really have no business in the bigs if the injury bug hadn’t crippled the Mets outfield, but since he seems to be adjusting well at the corner spots, he should be able to hold down center giving Beltran to get “100%” while reserving him for late inning appearances only.

Great performance all around last night, as even Beltran hit the ball well and the Mets were actually able to score past the fourth inning. In case you were wondering what that unfamiliar “W” was next to John Maine’s name in last night’s box score, it stands for win.

I don’t think the Mets are out of the woods, but let’s keep those W’s coming.

Posted under Uncategorized

This post was written by Dan in Texas on June 19, 2007

Futility, Stupid Rumors

The Mets were reported to have inquired about Mark Buehrle and Houston’s Brad Lidge, however names of Mets involved was not reported. I don’t see making this move. I figure Buehrle realistically takes two of the three (Gomez, Milledge or Freddy Martinez) and a pitcher (Pelfrey or Humber?) to get this deal done. This is the type of short sighted, win now management that pleaged the Mets throughout the 90’s and the in the post-Valentine era.  At least one of the three future outfielders probably won’t pan out, but at least one of them figures to make the bigs. It’s just the Mets luck that the one they trade pans out. Buehrle will be a rent-a-player this year and will be a free agent at the end of the season. I could see Minaya strengthing the pen, but starting pitching should be the least of the Mets worries.

Lidge, well to be honest, I dont trust closers that lose their “stuff.” (Also see Looper, Braden and Benitez, Armando) and dispite his close relationship with Billy Wagner, I don’t think either one of these players is the answer. Especially, if it means trading off your best position players, Outfielders to boot, when you’re outfield is looking older by the second. It would be great if the Mets hit on all three, Willie could work out some sort of rotation for them to share playing time, then when Beltran has his annual slump due to a nagging injury but plays through it, the Mets can sit him and not go into a month long, offensivley devoid, slump.

NOTE TO READER: Sorry for that last line, I am just a little depressed and frustrated watching this team, particular the two Carloses flounder through June. By the way is it me or when Carlos Beltran talks about “Not being 100%, do you think that somehow really means, “completely ineffective.”

Last night during ESPN’s awful presentation of Sunday Night Baseball, I caught Peter Gammons speculating that the Mets were prepared to send Carlos Gomez, Lastings Milledge and Freddy Martinez to Mark Buehrle. If I had to guess I would say it was just Gammons throwing a name at the Mets and picking the team’s best prospect to make the deal. Gammons is hyper-accurate as long as he is talking Red Sox, otherwise he is usually off the mark.

Ludicrous trades for amenities we don’t need aside, the June Swoon continues.

This is what it was like for Braves fans for the past 14 out of 16 seasons.

Remember years past when the Mets would always seem to be a few games out of first and technically right in the hunt but couldn’t capitalize on the Braves struggles? Then they would finally hit their groove and take off leaving us far behind in the standings?

Baseball history seems to be repeating itself, only with the same roles filled with different players. The Mets find their gear and leave the East far off in the distance by August. But they better find it soon; one and a half games and getting smaller.

The Mets, whether due to frustration or they may be pressing too much, need to start working the starter. Five pitch innings from Chieng Ming Wang are inexcusable and Beltran and Delgado are the main culprits. I have mentally started filling in 0s for those two spots in the lineup. Willie must be at the end of his rope as we have even seen Beltran in the two hole, something Willie has been unable or unwilling to do in the past. Hell must have truly frozen over. Nonetheless the Mets need to start working pitchers, lately guys have been getting out of innings with little or no effort in the past month. There is no excuse for letting a starter get to the eighth under 100 pitches.

The Mets need to find the gear as the Braves get real large in the rear view mirror.

***** NOTE TO READER*****

My appologies to readers who’s comments were accidentally deleted by me in an attempt to clear out the porn and gambling websites that polute my comments on a daily basis. I make it a practice to keep any and all comments regardless if they are complentary or if they are telling me to Eff off. The deletion was entirely accidental and any and all comments are always welcome. Again, my deepest appologies.

******************************

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This post was written by Dan in Texas on June 18, 2007

Groundhog Day

Well, what if there is no tomorrow? There wasn’t one today.Bill Murray


Where have I seen this before? I had to check MLB.TV to make sure I wasn’t watching yesterday’s game. If all lefties batted right-handed, righties batted left handed and switch hitters came to the plate with one of those inflatable novelty bats it would have at least been original and just as competitive. Sure some of the names are different but the same damn thing keeps happening:

The Mets score what won’t be nearly enough, the Dodgers have a big inning capped off by Delgado not making a play on a ball down the line and then the Mets seemingly go one-two-three until the end of a ball game as the Dodgers tack on the runs. You lose hope somewhere around the fourth inning.

You want a prediction about June, you’re asking the wrong guy. I’ll give you a prediction: It’s gonna low-scoring, it’s gonna be gray, and it’s gonna last for the rest of the month. Lonestar Mets

The most interesting thing of tonight’s game was the odd exchange between Shawn Green and Brad Penny after Green struck out swinging on a high fastball to end the inning. I was watching the Dodger feed so I don’t know if SNY had a better angle. If I had to guess, I would assume Penny either suspected green of peeking at Russ Martin’s location or signals or Penny thought Reyes was sending Green the pitch.

After Valentin was stranded in scoring position after a 1 out double, I thought to myself, “Here’s where the wheels come off. Sure enough Wilson Betemit hit’s a solo shot, Matt Kemp legged out a double, Rafael Furcal hit’s a ball down the line that Delgado makes a half assed- you know what, I don’t need to go over it again. If you went to sleep, do yourself a favor and don’t bother looking at the boxscore, it will just upset you.

After the Dodgers added a run in the bottom of the sixth, I seriously contemplated jabbing out one of my eyes so at least I could watch the game from a different perspective.

If you are one that insists on looking for a silver lining, here is all I have for you at this late hour:

First, David Wright is hitting the ball very well. Not that there has been anyone on base to take advantage of it, nor is no one hitting behind him. But hey, it’s something, right?

Secondly at some point this thing has to bottom out and the Mets will have to start playing good baseball again, this team is two good not to. Lets just hope they aren’t in last by the time that happens. I know that isn’t much consolation but this team has looked flatter than I have seen in over two years. After tonight’s uninspired complete failure and a day off to travel the Mets head to Yankee Stadium to take on the red hot highlanders who have won their last eight.

There is no way this slump is EVER going to end as long as this offense keeps playing so poorly. I don’t see any way out of it. It’s got to be stopped. And I have to stop it. Hopefully uttered by someone in a Mets Uniform

Good night!

Posted under Post Game, Uncategorized

This post was written by Dan in Texas on June 14, 2007

Redemption

The Mets have lost nine of their last ten and four of their last series, including two sweeps. The offense isn’t producing, pitching hasn’t been clutch and suddenly routine plays are anything but. The Mets are playing at a level that hasn’t been this poor in quite some time as the Mets head to Yankee Stadium to complete the 2007 Subway Series against a red hot team coming off an eight game winning streak. Judging by the mood on the blogosphere, it seems that most fans and writers agree that there is no end in sight for the still first place, yet stale Mets.

I speculate that there is a promising halt to the June slide Friday night. If this team can’t get motivated to go smack the resurgent Yankees around in Yankee Stadium with the pinstripe biased press craving to write-off the Mets as finished, then the pilot light is out, folks.

The Pitching match-ups look like this:

  • Game 1 Ollie Perez vs. Roger Clemens
  • Game 2 Tom Glavine vs. Tyler Clippard
  • Game 3 El Duque vs. Chien Ming Wang

The Mets desperately need to take 2 out of three this weekend and game one is essential. That’s right, Game One, set for June 15, 2007, thirty years to the day Tom Seaver was traded to the Reds. Some might grade that moment as the low point of the entire history of the franchise. I submit that thirty years later the Mets approach another potentially significant moment in Mets history.

Those that have been around awhile or too young to remember but have done their due diligence in the works of Leonard Koppett, Howard Blatt, Peter Golenbock and Dennis D’Agostino know too well that the Mets Organization is pockmarked with dramatic highs and very dreadful lows. The gutting of a championship franchise, the exuberant joy watching a reliever fling his glove high in the air and fall to his knees in euphoric victory. The Grand slam single and bases loaded walk. Those images require no additional description, date or opponent; Mets fans can see them in high definition merely by closing their eyes. Friday night, against this fan base’s most hated opponent is the perfect setting for one such moment; one way or the other. Just another regular season game; hardly.

The chance to change the direction of the season, the chance for a victory against a hot opponent, a notorious villain in a hostile stadium requires intestinal fortitude, toughness focus and execution. And the chance to do in on one of the biggest stages in regular season play with the dynamic stuff of pitcher the Mets acquired via trade that could be ultimately described as the antithesis of the Tom Seaver deal for the orange and blue boys.

Oliver Perez, the electric armed, though occasionally erratic, southpaw finds his team handing him the ball once more in a desperate situation. Whether Ollie is aware of it or not, he is also receiving the chance to ease the aged misery of diehard Mets fans. Fans whose loyalty never faltered even when Donald M. Grant gave them a justifiable incentive to waver exactly three decades ago to the day.

I’m not suggesting that a loss Friday night would equal the heartache of the Seaver trade. Not at all; but the opposite would provide Mets fans a much more satisfying memory, one of defeating Mets enemy number one in Yankee Stadium when no one else thinks it likely, to reflect on when the calendar turns to June 15th every year. Would building up so much anticipation on a single season game risk for an enormous let down Friday night and into Saturday morning? Sure, but if Mets fans were averse to risk, heartbreak or disappointment, they would surely be wearing Yankee colors on Friday night.

And isn’t the propensity to risk heartache the reason we’ve stuck around so long?

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This post was written by Dan in Texas on June 14, 2007