The Devil (and his client) went down to Georgia

On Monday, one day before the trade deadline, Scott Boras client, Mark Teixeira was traded from the Texas Rangers to the Atlanta Braves. Many feel this move puts Atlanta over the top in the NL East all but assuring the Braves of winning the division sometime in August. I have a somewhat unique perspective as I follow the NL East as well as the Rangers as I live three minutes from the Ballpark.

Before you read this piece, please don’t understand me, Mark is a tremendous bat who has excellent defensive skills in first base that even Keith Hernandez can’t gripe about too much during the upcoming Mets Braves series this season.

There is one thing about big Tex that gets whispered about and indirectly reference in the Dallas sports media. If you have ever heard Mark interviewed, he gives a very “no-nonsense” interview. Rumors started to float around after the Rangers slow start in 2007. Scuttlebutt was that Teixeira was darkening the mood in the clubhouse. I rumor all but proved after Tex went on the DL and the team went from Ameican League punching bag to breaking off series wins.

While this trade, no doubt makes Atlanta better, Tex may prove to be the wind that fans the flames of an already squabbling Braves clubhouse. Chipper pouting, Smoltz calling out teammates in the press; Add a little bit of Mark Teixeria and it may just be the match that starts the fire. When reached for comment, super-agent and vampire Scott Boras stated, “Mark looks forward to starting over in Atlanta and sniping at a whole new clubhouse.”

Again, it may all be misconception and incorrect interpretation, but lets not hand over that NL East pennant just yet.

Posted under Uncategorized

This post was written by Dan in Texas on July 31, 2007

Take out the Trash Day

Friday is a notoriously bad time to post on the internet as few read online content over the weekend.

Donna: What’s take out the trash day?
Josh: Friday.
Donna: I mean, what is it?
Josh: Any stories we have to give the press that we’re not wild about, we give all in a lump on Friday.
Donna: Why do you do it in a lump?
Josh: Instead of one at a time?
Donna: I’d think you’d want to spread them out.
Josh: They’ve got X column inches to fill, right? They’re going to fill them no matter what.
Donna: Yes.
Josh: So if we give them one story, that story’s X column inches.
Donna: And if we give them five stories …
Josh: They’re a fifth the size.
Donna: Why do you do it on Friday?
Josh: Because no one reads the paper on Saturday.
Donna: You guys are real populists, aren’t you?

(Granted, Lonestarmets isn’t the NY Post, but it is Friday and no one reads on the weekend.)

Evil Incarnate

The next time you roll your eyes reading the next inside scoop of a rookie forced to shave his head, carry veteran’s luggage or wear a dress while traveling, think of the very things those unwritten rites of passage likely prevent.

What the seemingly pointless hazing and sophomoric initiations prevent are the same things that plague the National Football League.

I’ve waited a few days to even mention the atrocities of the Falcon’s Quarterback due to a combination of disgust, shock and bewilderment. For the past few days I have been asking myself, “what kind of person would do that?” Michael Vick allegedly committed acts so unbelievably evil they have solely been previously committed by super-villains in 80’s B-Rate movies and serial killers during development ages. What kind of a human being kills puppies by gunshot, electrocution, body slamming and hanging? I do realize there are other individuals accused that aren’t franchise NFL Quarterbacks, and those individuals are equally sorry sub-humans.

I had speculated with a friend that the justifications will soon surface that dog-fighting is acceptable in the ‘Rap-culture’ so prevent in sports today.

Here we go folks; I predict a Don Imus-esque debate coming very soon, look for the race card to be played in five, four, three, two…

The Beckham’s are in America

As if anyone, other than reality TV viewers give a damn that one of the stars of a late 90’s manufactured pop group and the biggest star of a half assed second tier sport (in America, anyway) now make their residence in the states. Well some care like Tom Cruse and Katie Holmes who will be hosting the Beckham’s Scientology indoctrination welcome party in Los Angeles. Has anyone heard her talk? She sounds like a bad cliché British cartoon character,

“A lot o girls ere don’t wear any knickers; you can’t have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat, gov’na.”

14:59, 14:58, 14:57, 14:56, 14:55, 14:54…

Enjoy your time with the Cruise’s now, Posh; I’m looking forward to watching you make out with MC Hammer on The Simple Life!

FBI Probes Allegations on NBA Ref Wagering on Games

According to a law enforcement official, authorities are examining whether the referee made calls to affect the point spread in games on which he or associates had wagered.

If you watch today’s NBA you have to hand it to this referee. I wonder if he ever got confused between protecting his wagering list and the list of stars the NBA gave him to protect. All the facts are not evident at this time though billionaire and Supercuts regular Mark Cuban was seen making pelvic air thrusts and making obscene sexual suggestions about what NBA Commissioner David Stern could do with himself.

If you watch today’s NBA you have to hand it to this referee. I wonder if he ever got confused between protecting his wagering list and the list of stars the NBA gave him to protect. All the facts are not evident at this time though billionaire and Supercuts regular Mark Cuban was seen making pelvic air thrusts and making obscene sexual suggestions about what NBA Commissioner David Stern could do with himself.

Posted under Non-Baseball

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

Kent, Kong and Seaver

What an odd game; after all the great pitching and offensive droughts we’ve had this season to go out and score at will when outs are the treasured commodity was just bizarre. I guess that’s LA.

I may be one of the few Mets fans that actually enjoys these west coast swings. I work odd hours and usually watch the Mets game after it’s conclusion via the MLB archive; carefully avoiding learning the score (you would think that would be hard, as I listen to sports radio, but unless you are adverse to learning the up to the minute groin condition of the Cowboys third string defensive end, you are pretty safe in Dallas.

This week I’ve been able to return to watching live games and wanted to enjoy watching the game with fellow Mets fans. The closest I could come was the chat board over at Mets Geek. Along with reading commentary on the game in progress, I learned that Mark McGuire’s wife is a total piece of ass (thanks TLC). And there is still some angst toward former Met Jeff Kent.

I met Jeff Kent, and I have to say, Jeff was a really nice guy. Back in the spring of 1994 the Texas Rangers opened the Ball Park in Arlington. As you might imagine, the first two exhibition games, played in the new stadium were quite the hot ticket as many wanted a first hand look at the new park. The exhibition games were a hot ticket in my mind due to the opponent; the New York Mets.

I arrived for batting practice clad in Mets hat and Mets jersey eager to get close to the team, I’d only seen in person once in Houston since moving from New Jersey mid-86 season. I had acquired Brett Saberhagen’s autograph along with Eric Hillman. Quite satisfied with the signatures I had procured on my baseball, I was content to watch the Mets finish warm-ups standing next to the visitor’s dugout. Not expecting any more autographs, I was mystified just standing a few yards from a team I usually was only able to watch a few games a year on TV when they played the Cubs (WGN) and Braves (TBS).

As I stood watching, a certain second baseman was trotting in toward the dugout, head down, likely focusing on the day’s game as most players do. Suddenly he broke his stare into nothingness seeming to notice a young Met fan standing with a baseball in his hand, flashed a smile and changed course towards me with a hand in the air signaling for me to toss him my ball. I gladly lobbed him my ball which he caught then motioned for me to toss my pen as well. As I tossed the pen, he covered his face and body hastily as several other baseballs descended upon him from other fans. Kent signed my baseball, accepted my thanks and shook my hand then proceeded to pick up the stray balls, sign them and attempt, as best he could, to return them to their rightful owners.

I realize that Kent has the reputation as a real jerk, but my only interaction with him remains a fond memory of a day I was treated to meeting the Mets in the brand new Ballpark in Arlington.

Maybe he had an off-day; maybe I just have good luck. I met Dave Kingman once at a mall in Arlington. We had showed up for a scheduled appearance (Maury Wills was later in the day) with Dave Kingman baseball cards of years Kong was a Met. I had been in awe of Kong growing up. I remember going to see several A’s Rangers games and not getting very excited to see some guys named Canseco and McGuire, but sitting on the edge of my seat when Kingman came to the plate in hopes of seeing a tape measure blast I had grown up hearing about from my dad. Though my brother and I (who hates baseball) had only purchased two tickets, Kingman spent a good amount of time, conversing with us and offering to sign every Mets item we had and even taking the time to come out from around the table and pose for a picture.

Just earning money from a paid appearance? Sure but that’s a heck of a lot more than I received when I attended a card show and forked over $25 to be ignored by a certain hall of Fame Pitcher who refused to make eye contact with any fan even attempting to speak to the 1969 World Champion.

That’s right; Tom Seaver is kind of a jerk. We had paid for the autograph ticket along with a $5 dollar glossy of Seaver from his second tour of duty with the Mets but instead choose to get a 8×10 print my father had saved from a Met promotion from 1969. Seaver ignored any and all comments from the few fans and autograph collectors that showed (remember. it’s Texas), choosing instead to converse with some handler at his side, almost defiantly avoiding even having to look at us “commoners” and seemingly perturbed at even having to sign his name for a nominal fee.

To this day, every time I see Seaver at a Met event, no doubt being paid for his time, I always think, “how come Tom doesn’t love us back?”

Should I just stop my griping and be grateful to the man directly responsible for securing 50% of my beloved franchise’s World Series Title’s? Maybe, I just thought I would share some slightly less conventional experience to offer an alternate viewpoint of some Mets of old that may have gotten a slightly exaggerated bad rap.

Have a heart, Jeff Kent isn’t all that bad all the time.

Posted under Uncategorized

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

Game for the Ages

Last nights game looked like it was over after the second inning; then it wasn’t; then it was.

Delgado’s much anticipated, barely out of the reach of Mike Cameron’s glove home run and David Wright’s game tying blast was almost enough to quell the frustrations of the past month and a half. Then it wasn’t.

The positive to take away was the signs of life in the offense after the third inning. And isn’t that really a win? The answer is no.

So it’s on to Los Angeles to lose 3 of 4 to the Dodgers in a giant ball of offensive futility.

Or is it?

Posted under Uncategorized

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

Tuesday Post

Sorry folks, I can’t bring myself to write a Mets related post today, it’s the same old story of the same players putting out the same lack of offense.

In the mean time, here are 6 sleeper movies that I use as my stand-bys. (Standby meaning a movie I can throw in and watch despite what mood I’m in.) Granted, there are much funnier movies, but these hold up over time. (Don’t believe me, go back and watch Something About Mary, while I remember this being a hilarious movie, it seems to have faded in the overshadowing gross out movies of American Pie ilk.)

Why six? Because it’s more than five and seven sounded excessive. In random order, here we go…

PCU I am always on board for anything Jeremy Piven-Driven, especially anything containing his sarcastic-cool sense of humor, “you remember Rand, his grandfather skippered Hitler’s catamaran during the war.” Maybe Comedy Central over-aired this gem, but the DVD still has all the greatness the Cable channel edited out. The DVD has commentary with Piven that is actually worth watching.

Down Periscope – Always a good standby and anything featuring both Harlan Williams and a Herman’s Head Alumni (Ken Hudson Campbell) has to be good. I use to work with a guy who was as tightly wound as Rob Schneider’s character, “BUCKMAN, you’re stocking the shelves like an idiot!”A little hokey, but still a very watchable movie.

Not Another Teen Movie Ok, maybe this is still to recent to be a classic stand-by but any movie containing a musical number with the lyrics sung by various characters:

I’m getting pussy no matter what

Even if it’s with dirty slut

True love is what I want the most

I just jerked off in your French toast…

Genius. The Breakfast club parody makes me laugh every time. Paul Gleason is greatness.

Bring it On Sure, watching Kirsten Dunst and Eliza Dushku run around in spandex, sports bras and cheerleader outfits has its appeal, but this actually a pretty watchable movie that both stands on its own merit and an almost intentional mocking the very sport in which it was meant to portray. Jessie Bradford reminds me of Bruce Campbell. I have also claimed the alias Sparky Pulastry from time to time.

Joe Dirt Again, maybe Comedy Central wore out the charm of the David Spade sleeper, but if you start watching Joe tell Dennis Miller his life story, you stick until the end. I must admit though, Britney Daniel isn’t that hot. Jamie Pressley, while in general is highly overrated, cracks me up when she says “Balls to the wall.”

Better Off Dead I hate to admit this, but John Cusack may have peaked in this 80s teen comedy. The script, though somewhat predictable, contains some very clever humor. “I had to buy that guy a new hat last time.” Attempted suicide is always good for a laugh. This movie is the Cusack we all want, that he refuses to give us with stinkers like the Ice Harvest and Pushing Tin. Grosse Point Blank wasn’t bad, but not Near Better Off Dead caliber.

Hope you enjoyed it. Have any I forgot, feel free to add them into the coments section. I will be back on later with a Mets post (I think) anyone get the feeling we might get swept out of San Diego?

Posted under Non-Baseball

This post was written by Dan in Texas on July 17, 2007

No More Reds to Kick Around Anymore

I would like to thank the fellas over at the Big Lead who threw me some props yesterday. If you don’t usually read non-Mets sites, you may want to start, the Big Lead is genius. If you found me though that link welcome, and I hope you stick around.

On to tonght’s severe beating…

Now that the Mets are actually playing a decent team, it doesn’t look so easy does it.

Tonight’s game was painful to watch as the Mets lack of offensive production reared its ugly head. The one thing that kept going through my head was the Mets “new approach to hitting” working counts and fouling off more pitches. I totally agree with that stance, except for tonight. David Wells was successful throwing first pitch slow hanging curveballs to right-handed hitters to get ahead quickly in the count on a called strike one. If I am Rick Down Rickey Henderson Howard Johnson, I am telling all my right-handers to look for that pitch early in the count, wait for it and go the other way to right field.

NOTE: My apologies if the SNY boys covered this already, I watch via MLB TV and get the home team potheads play-by-play guys, who were too busy talking about Tony Gwynn than analyzing the game.

While I am on the subject of Wells, I really hate guys nicknamed “Boomer.” Chris Berman, Boomer Esiason and David Wells.

  • Berman – hot airbag with a 10 year old stale bit.
  • Esiason – Worst Monday Night Football analyst ever (yes even worse than Dennis Miller
  • Wells – Isn’t having worn a Yankee uniform enough of a reason?

I really believed that Delgado would come out of his slump and catch fire. That hasn’t happened in a long time. It may be his bat slowing with age or that godforsaken shift., but make no mistake, Delgado is ice cold. Delgado’s lack of production has to be hindering David Wright, who while not playing poorly, isn’t the David Mets fans have come to know and love. I think it may be time for Willie to face the fact that a veteran such as Delgado may not be the Monster he was in his Toronto days. I think 6 or 7 may be a more suitable spot for Delgado in the batting order.

The same lack of production is ailing Carlos Beltran. Beltran is too talented of a hitter to be in such a prolonged cold streak. I have to believe Beltran is still suffering from a leg injury or may have reinsured the quad. Beltran’s legs are essential to his power, which hasn’t been seen in sometime.

The solution may be one that Willie won’t like. Beltran to the DL and Delgado farther down in the order. Just for grins, The Mets might be behooved to try Milledge in the three hole, Wright in the four and Gotay in the five. Yes, I realize that is a lot of pressure to put on two very young players, but at this point, I really don’t see an end to the offensive futility (besides, on the road, away from the leering press and boo-birds would be a much easier place, especially against the opponents we are facing.) Even if it doesn’t work out, it can’t get much worse. If anything it might shake up some things in the clubhouse, though the odds of Willie “I hate young Players” Randolph are slim to none.

With the Braves and Phillies both losing, the Mets lose no ground tonight, though I am starting to think that is a bad thing. I still firmly believe that the Mets won’t hit a hot streak until ceding first place and maybe even second. The NL East may turn in to the NL West of recent years; a division won by default by the least bad team. I really don’t think the Mets are a bad team, but something is definitely wrong in Flushing.

Posted under Angry Rant, Post Game

This post was written by Dan in Texas on July 17, 2007

Milledge in Hot Water with Teammates

Less than 24 hours after Lastings Milledge’s arrival to Shea Stadium, the outspoken young outfielder was in the midst of yet another controversy: “Sock-Gate.” Sources close to the team have refused to comment, deferring all inquiries to Public Relations Director Jay Horowitz’s office; Horowitz was not available for comment at the time of the story. Though the Mets front office remains quiet, not all members of the organization are maintaining silence.

Lonestar Mets has learned that All-Star closer Billy Wagner is the spokesman for the veteran players on the team, who apparently have a problem with the way Milledge puts on his socks prior to the game.

“It’s just one of those unwritten rules.” The southpaw explained, “You don’t just show up here and put on a sock and a shoe and a sock and a shoe, you haven’t paid your dues.”

When prompted by reporters as to why this is an issue that would raise concern from veteran players, Wagner quickly replied, “Don’t you know that the whole rookie world puts on a sock and a sock and a shoe and a shoe?” Wagner explained, “Look, say there was a fire in the club house, and it was raining outside when say, David Wright had only put on two socks, meanwhile Lastings was wearing a sock and a shoe” Wagner continued sternly, “David’s been here, paid his dues, why should he walk around in wet socks while Milledge could hop around all day and keep his feet dry feet?”

Some in the clubhouse felt less incensed by Milledge’s dressing methods, Veteran Pitcher Tom Glavine was even tempered, though obviously disappointed, “it’s not an example you want kids to follow, ya know” the starter explained, “I mean, what if the other sock’s got a hole in it? Kids are going to grow up thinking that you gotta take off a whole shoe and a sock.”

The unapologetic Milledge was quoted pleading “I just like to take care of one foot at a time” before he was quicky ushered into the training room by firstbase coach Howard Johnson.

While the footwear habits were met with almost unanimous condemnation, notorious racist and alleged gambling addict Paul LoDuca stated, “as long as it gets you guys to stop overanalyzing everything I say, I really don’t give a Sh#t.”

Update: Rumors abound that Milledge’s controversial hosiery method has prompted the club to trade the young outfielder and cash to Texas for respected veteran and power hitter Sammy Sosa.

NOTE TO READER: I am obviously kidding here. If you don’t get the reference, you are too young or don’t watch enough syndicated television. I just thought it would be fun to break the first Milledge non-controversy. Hope you got a laugh.

Posted under Humorous

This post was written by Dan in Texas on July 13, 2007

Mets 3 Reds 2

The Mets announced today that veteran Julio Franco has been designated for assignment. A lot of Mets fans have expressed their frustrations with Franco’s play as of late. Julio has been a Met for about a year and a half and in that time, I would say he carried himself like a good teammate, a classy individual and a professional.

I will always remember Franco funneling a reluctant Carlos Beltran out of the Mets dugout for a begrudging curtain call after a homerun early on in the 2006 season after  Beltran’s  underwhelming 2005. If Julio wasn’t there to intercede, the Mets fan base and Carlos would have slightly different attitudes toward each other.

Things I will not miss about having Julio Franco on the roster

  • The words “ageless wonder”
  • Two on, one out, ground outs to the second baseman
  • Any mention of egg whites
  • The tired old bit from opposing play-by-play crews involving “Julio Franco was a rookie before So-and-So was born”
  • An automatic out for the first pinch hitter of the game

Thanks for the memories in Mets unis, Ranger unis and all the other laundry over the past three decades, Adios Julio!

Welcome to Queens Lastings!

The Truth looked arrived in time to start off the second half  providing the spark to break a 2-2 tie. Lastings looked solid all around including a backdoor slide at the plate to put up the third run of the game. Stings brought the hustle and so far is playing like a man who doesn’t fancy a trip back to the Big Easy when Moises Alou makes his return from the DL.

Rick Down Out; Rickey in?

Rick Down was dismissed as the teams hitting coach on Wednesday; the Mets announced that former Met and noted card player Rickey Henderson has been added to the club’s coaching staff. Much to the assumed chagrin of Rick Down, the Mets led off the series opener against the Reds with back to back leadoff homeruns. Those two events can not be related by any rational connection, its one of those things that works for reasons beyond me.

If you’ve ever seen Rickey Henderson interviewed, it’s the best. It’s sweet, it’s sweet glorious music. It’s like he’s communicating secretly to an intergalactic leader from another space federation. Every time he says Rickey Henderson he’s giving coordinates to the planet, or whatever.”  David Cross

Posted under Post Game

This post was written by Dan in Texas on July 13, 2007

The Second Half

The All Star Break provides time to reflect on the first half of the season and look ahead to the road ahead. The first half contained an expected strong start and a dismal June and July. Injuries, lack luster play and veterans succumbing to old age can explain most of it; to explore any deeper would only cause heartache. The only good news from the first half is that it’s over. The Mets got through a hellish schedule of Detroit, Oakland, Twins and the Yankees twice in inter-league play and they’re still in first place. Let’s take a look at what’s in store for 2007.

The Mets Record at the break: NYM (48-39) .552

The Mets have 28 games left on the schedule against teams with winning records

The Padres as the lone winner the Mets have yet to face:

  • SD 6 (49-38) .563 Mets Record against: 0-0
  • MIL 3 (49-39) .557 Mets Record against: 2-1
  • LAD 7 (49-40) .551 Mets Record against: 0-3
  • ATL 9 (47-42) .528 Mets Record against: 3-6
  • CHC 3 (44-43) .506 Mets Record against: 3-1

San Diego is certainly a very solid team along with the Dodgers. The 0-3 record is a little deceiving against Los Angles as the Mets faced them in only one series in the midst of the first half’s low point. Milwaukee is not for real and the Cubs, well they’re the Cubs, enough said. The most troubling aspect is they’re apparent inability to compete with Atlanta, the perennial spoiler of Mets seasons in recent years. The nine games against the Braves are the most potentially lethal to the Mets playoff hopes.

The Mets have 7 games left against teams with a .500 record

  • PHI 7 (44-44) .500 Mets Record against 7-4

The Mets have superior match-ups against Philadelphia and should find away to beat them in most of these games. Even in the middle of a horrid stretch the Mets were able to take 3 of four against the Phils. Don’t misunderstand, the Phillies are a good team, but with their bullpen and lack of closer, Jimmy Rollins’ “team to beat” should be just that; the team the Mets beat.
Finally some encouraging news

The Mets have 40 games left against teams with losing records

  • WSH 13 (36-52) .409 Mets Record against: 3-2
  • CIN 7 (36-52) .409 Mets Record against: 0-0
  • HOU 3 (39-50) .438 Mets Record against: 2-2
  • PIT 6 (40-48) .455 Mets Record against: 0-0
  • STL 1 (40-45) .471 Mets Record against: 5-0
  • FLA 10 (42-47) .472 Mets Record against: 6-2

26 games with the Nationals, Reds and Pirates should put a optimistic smile on any Mets fan’s mug. More games with the Nationals is never a bad thing. The makeup game with St. Louis is a moot point. The sole worry spot in the group is Florida. Though the Mets have put up a 6-2 record against the Fish in the first half, the Marlins are a young, yet talented team. When Florida figures it out, they are going to be dangerous.

A Look Within

With the All Star game in the rear view mirror, the next mile marker on the highway of the 2007 season of course is the trading deadline. Right now the Mets face some question marks approaching July 31st. Here’s a look at the team broken down by positions:

The Infield

The infield is set, with the possible exception of second base, though to upgrade there would be a frivolous luxury. A combination of Valentin, Easley and Gotay is more than capable with Gotay having a tremendous upside. Wright and Reyes: there’s never anything wrong with that. If Delgado can break out of this three month slump, he just might catch fire and show us that monster left-handed bat feared league wide.

The Starters

The injury to Oliver Perez should be a minor inconvenience, namely the inconvenience, of watching another Dave Williams start before Ollie returns. Joking aside, Williams is an important piece to a rotation with two forty year olds at its front end. If Williams can put his horrid debut behind him, and regain his 2006 form, which was satisfactory to good, he may end up making key starts should El Duque and Glavine show their age. Omar Minaya should keep an eye out for a potential starter in case an absolute steal falls in the Mets lap. Barring that, the Mets should opt to stick with the current talent and, as they did last year, patching together a rotation using Pelfrey, Williams and Vargas as the fifth day starter and wait for Sosa or Martinez to be healthy, though Pedro’s return is far from certain. It could be worse at least Jose Lima isn’t in the mix.

The Bullpen

The pen has appeared to be shaky at times in June and July, though the same could be said about every Met in those months. Like everyone else in the league, the Mets would welcome bullpen help, but don’t desperately need it. Feliciano is nasty, Joe Smith is solid, Heilman, well good enough. Where the eff is Duaner Sanchez? Juan Padilla? Anyone, anyone, anyone? How are those two not ready yet? Did they vanish with Ozzie Smith into the time-space anomaly at Springfield’s Mystery Spot?

Duaner, you in there buddy?

The Bench

The Mets will almost certainly look for help on the bench as long as Julio Franco continues his diligence in grounding out to second base. Why Franco is wasting late game at bats is beyond me. The 49 year old, egg white story has worn thin. If Franco is such a clubhouse presence, a move to coaching is long overdue. Green could play first if he had too and the void between Franco and Easley or Valentin’s defense at third can’t be that wide. Endy Chavez’s impending return will bolster the pine as Chavez can provide days off and late inning defensive substitutions, his versatility to play all three outfield positions and ability to pinch hit greatly enhance the Mets bench. Endy may be the preeminent fourth outfielder in the league but was perhaps a bit over taxed expected to play everyday left and is not the team’s likely preference in Left. Carlos Gomez proved he could also provide above average defense and used his speed to bunt for base hits while continuously improving his presence at the plate. Gomez could likely fill the role Endy would vacate off the bench as an every day starter, but Gomez’ broken hand will keep him sidelined for another 5-7 weeks and Gomez will benefit greatly from some more at bats in the minors.

The Outfield

The reason the Mets can gamble on the rotation is the shaky leftfield condition. The team was constructed to generate offense from the heart of the order, having the lefty killing Moises Alou to protect Delgado and Wright. With Alou out of the lineup, no one certain when his return is likely, the Mets have a power void in the lineup. Alou’s age and injury history render the outfielder a powerful yet unreliable roster spot, who has the potential to be back on the DL immediately after returning. Counting on Alou’s return is as dicey as counting on Pedro for 2007.

The Milledge Dilemma

Omar Minaya faces something of a paradox in leftfield. Any power bat available before the deadline will most surely cost Lasting Milledge, Phil Humber, Mike Pelfrey or Fernando Martinez. With F-Mart certainly off the table and pitching a precious commodity for a team with two forty year old starters, Milledge is the odds-on favorite to be dealt. Milledge however, may have the most potential to stand-in for the role in Alou’s seemingly indefinite absence. By auditioning Milledge in everyday rightfield, any struggles could drop Milledge’s trade value and leave Minaya no chips left he’ll willing to deal as midnight approaches on the 31st. If the Mets call up Lastings, he may be there only option the rest of the way.

The less sexy alternative, of course is a patched together leftfield by committee of Rickey Ledee, Ben Johnson and David Newhan, leaving Milledge to rehab in the pressure and spotlight free environment of New Orleans to prepare for a September call up. Carlos Beltran is heating up and the Mets will look for Shawn Green to provide some power to spark this offense along with the man below.

One year after the ’06 HR Derby, let the power curse be lifted

Whether Lastings “The Truth” Milledge gets a July plane ticket to Queens will be an appraisal of value Mets management honestly puts in Lastings Milledge.

The second half starts tomorrow. Buckle your seatbelts; it should be a wild ride.

Let’s Go Mets!

Posted under Uncategorized

This post was written by Dan in Texas on July 11, 2007

10 Straight Years

Not that it’s that important really. As we were painfully reminded of last October, home field advantage guarantees nothing. Reyes, Wright and Beltran put up a solid performance. Wagner…well every Mets fan had a sinking feeling when Wagner warming up to come in for the 8. I think we all know too well that while Wagner is capable of brilliance, we also know of  Billy’s troubles in non-save situations.

  • Reyes 3 for 4, 2B, SB
  • Beltran 1 for 3, 3B
  • Wright 1 for 3, nice diving grab
  • Wagner 1.0 IP, 2H, 2R, 1 SO, 1 HR allowed

I am really tired of losing the All-Star game. Not that it means much, though home field is involved for the world Series despite the usual influence of players who will be watching October games from their living rooms. I could have lived with the tradition of home field  alternated every year or, and more logically, the team with the best record having the advantage. I know it’s a tired subject, but the “this time it counts” pitch needs to go the way of Astroturf and the bullpen car. As Gary Cohen said, “home field advantage decided by the winner of the All-Star game makes about as much sense as the winner of the Homerun Derby deciding who wins the pennant.”

And if I can make one more All-Star Game strategy suggestion here, pick one or two elite closers and load up on each respective league’s set up and middle relief guys. Sure there are a ton out there, but there are also some 10 game winners that watched the game on Fox. Sure it will be a source of controversy, debate and sports radio fodder, but how is that much of a change?

As usual Fox gave us the Barry Bonds show, granted the game was played in Bonds’ home stadium, but honestly, who wants MORE Barry Bonds?

And Barry, publicly stating your support for Arod someday breaking your soon to be sham of a record with obvious backhanded shots at Hank Aaron to be in attendance if Rodriguez breaks your record won’t win you any public support. Most people love Aaron, most people hate you. You should have started emulating Aaron’s classy persona back in Pittsburgh. Face it pal, if Hammerin Hank says you’re an @sshole, then you’re an @sshole.

After the Mets were all removed from the game, it became a much less enjoyable experience with no Amazins in the game. It does make you think back to some lean years where the Mets only representative was Mike Piazza.

I was glad to see Ichiro win the MVP. He is a class act guy and one hell of an outfielder. I found myself wondering if Ichiro felt it in bad taste to accept an award like that, knowing the emphasis the Japanese culture puts on a team winning or losing, not individual players. Though Ichiro’s apparent discomfort might have been  rooted from being forced to endure the gratuitous coverage of his interview with  Jeanie Zelasko through an interpreter. And I really hate the give away of a car every year, like the player really needs a car he could likely afford with his daily walking around money.

Reyes catching Willie Mays ceremonial first pitch as a great moment in the Mid Summer Classic. I love both those guys. Both play/played exciting, fun baseball. What ever MLB exec who grouped those two as pre-game battery mates deserves a raise and promotion.

If you, like me, avoided the Homerun Derby and the human as whip that is Chris Berman, check out MLB.com for their coverage of the All-Star Game. I have the MLB TV premium package, so I have gone cold turkey off ESPN. I will go to a sports bar for Sunday Night games, as with no sound it doesn’t give me a migraine. Check this page out, you may have to dig but there are video clips including Jose Reyes Mic’ed up. Like always, Jose is always moving, enthusiastic and smiling, and there is a Beltran interview with Harold Reynolds, though Beltran gives cliché answers. There are a few other players like the always entertaining Torii Hunter . If digital media trends and TBS is successful in there coverage of baseball maybe MLB will find a way to rid the four letter word that is the self proclaimed world wide leader in sports from the game and baseball fans will never again be forced to tolerate Joe Morgan.

With the Mid Summer Classic over, the2007 representatives head back the Shea to join their team and take on the last place 36-52 Cincinnati Reds. If the Mets cant get it rolling against a team tied for the worst record in the national League, it may be time to worry.

I will be back tomorrow with a look at the rest of the season, until then, congrats to the Junior Circuit and congrats to Ichiro. One more off day and it’s full steam ahead to October.

P.S. If you for some reason don’t read the brilliantly authored Faith and Fear in Flushing, make sure to stop by and check out the lovely and talented, oft neglected (from April until October, anyway) Mrs. Lonestar Met in Greg and Jason’s sidebar.

Posted under Post Game

This post was written by Dan in Texas on July 11, 2007