It’s Always $h!tty in Philadelphia

Coming into Philadelphia with a six game lead, the Mets were given a four game series to knock the Phillies out of contention and solidify the NL East. In the four game series the mighty New York Mets asserted their dominance over the division by…getting swept in four games straight?

That’s about all you can say. Sure the games, well almost all of the games, were seemingly competitive. Save for Monday’s game, they were winnable. It would pointless to recap the key moments. Winners get it done when the game is on the line and chance usually favors the best team. I’m not suggesting the Phillies are a better team; they’re just the better team right now and the Mets just handed them momentum, confidence, and worse, realistic hopes of the East title.

I hope the Mets all got a good look at the Phils dog pile of Chase Utley after capping the four game sweep. I hope they felt like I felt and don’t forget it. I hope it embarrasses them as much as it embarrasses me. I hope it burns…badly. Then they get as angry as I am and they take it out on the Braves.

Not that this Mets fan is in panic mode; it’s more like nervous mode. A two game lead is hardly comfortable. And it’s not over yet. Willie, the veterans, somebody needs to shake up this team. The Mets are heading to Atlanta for three in the dreaded turner field and suddenly we could all be having flash backs to the late 90’s that are all too real. Bad dreams…

A quick note.

I am excited to see Pedro Martinez return to active duty but how unrealistic is it to think that a pitcher coming off surgery that hasn’t pitched in what now is an entire year at the major league level, and really in a year and a half on a regular basis regardless of his resume? Don’t misunderstand, I really look forward to Petey’s return and I like the Mets better with him than without him. But even if he is Pedro of old, he only pitches every fifth day. Pedro’s clubhouse presence may turn the ship, but I wouldn’t count on it.

Silver lining time for any Mets fans on the ledge, ready to jump. The Mets are competing for something other than past Met team’s records for the first time in a while. That concept seems kind of foreign now, doesn’t it? You remember that, don’t you? When a division title wasn’t a certainty.

What’s so great about that, you ask?

Mets to need to start playing dominating baseball, the likes of which we fell in love with in 2006. All year, we’ve been hearing, “as soon as this team gets healthy…” and “When Moises Alou gets back…” Well he’s they’re back and he’s back, let’s go!

If the Mets continue their standard trend since June, a war of attrition so to speak and use wins over Cincinnati, Washington and Florida to coast into the October while the Atlanta and Phillies fall apart, does any clear thinking Met Fan give decent odds of a World Series title.

Oh yeah, back to the silver lining thing. Teams that fight for their playoff lives in September seem to battle harden early. (See Cardinals, 06, White Sox 05, Red Sox 04, Marlins 03, 97.) A dogfight slugfest may be exactly what this team needs to awaken that baseball giant that’s been seemingly napping all season. It’s time for the Mets to come out of that penthouse suite in that ivory tower called NL East for an old fashioned street fight. Winner take all, loser go home.

The Mets need to figure out what the hell their problem is and fix it in a hurry. Besides Delgado, no one has played outright poorly. When the offense is clicking, generally the pitching isn’t. The Mets don’t have “it” whatever “it” is that made this team seem unbeatable last year. Quick name three walk off wins off the top of your head:

  1. Castillo’s walk-off
  2. Benitez’s Meltdown
  3. Umm, uhhhh, umm…

Its time for this baseball club to play to its talent level. Philly’s got the momentum; the Braves have the edge in the historical aspect of the Mets at Turner Field. What do we have?

  1. Reyes
  2. Castillo
  3. Wright
  4. Beltran
  5. Alou
  6. Delgado
  7. LoDuca
  8. Green/Endy/Lastings

If three any of those three guys go on any kind of consistent hot streak, watch out. We all know what our boys are capable of, now its time to prove something. Were the Mets, it’s always going to be hard. Buckle your seatbelts, we’re going to Atlanta.

Yee-Ha!

Posted under Angry Rant, Post Game

This post was written by Dan in Texas on August 30, 2007

That Time of Year

Sorry for the lack of recent posts. The games have been so blah this week, I really couldn’t summon up the will to write about them. The dog days are indeed upon us, time to get back in the swing of things, but first…With NFL season looming nearer and nearer, I think I am finally at a point where I sever ties with the New York Football Giants. I have been a Giants fan all my life, but I can’t find anything that attracts me to their team anymore except maybe for Shockey (and that’s a big Maybe). Tiki, Seahorn, Kerry, Phil, LT, Bavaro, Pepper, Meggett, Reasons, Stephen Baker, Lenard Marshall, Jim Burt, Harry Carson, Carl Banks and Jim Fassel are all long gone, replaced by Eli “Silver Spoon” Manning, Tom “sucks-ass” Caughlin, and a bunch of other players I am not inclined to root for or against.

I find myself eager to watch how Wes Welker does with the Patriots and some other Texas Tech players I really liked when they were in college, but other than that, I think I will watch this season just to be entertained, without rooting interest. I truly feel like a fan without a team.

Of course there is still one test to pass; kick off weekend. On that Sunday night, the Giants take on the hated Dallas Cowboys on national TV. If the Giants want to win me back as a fan, they can start on that game. My Cowboy Hate could collide with Nostalgia for Tuna’s 90 Giants and mix in with my craving for a team to pull for into a perfect storm to ignite my NFL fandom. We’ll see.

I think it may be a fun season to listen to Monday morning Dallas radio. The fans in Dallas don’t have realistic expectations about the Cowboys and boy are they knee jerky. Cowboy fans are already anointing the Cowboys win the NFC (if there were only a grumpy old guy here to tell us to put away the anointing oil). But as they say, there is many a slip between the cup and the lip. Granted they have a defense loaded with talented first round picks and a coach that really knows how to coach the 3-4, but on the here are 5 on the con side:

  1. There is a reason they call it the sophomore slump. Maybe Tony Romo should have spent some time working on his passing game instead of making passes at American Idol contestants.
  2. The receiving core is thin and old. Dallas has one of the best wide receivers in the league in T.O. and a solid number 2 in Glenn but if one of those guys goes down with an injury, Dallas have some big offensive problems, expecting the running game to shoulder the load.
  3. The backs are ok, but not top shelf in Jules Jones and Marion Barber. See point two.
  4. How unfair is it to expect Wade, in his first year, to take over a team and grade anything besides a Superbowl win as a failure? How about a playoff win as the benchmark of success?
  5. Best pass rusher, Greg Ellis is coming back from injury and spent most of training camp trying to leverage a new contract.

How Bout them Cowboys!?!?

There you have it, now back to things that really matter, New York Mets Baseball. More to come shortly.

Posted under Non-Baseball

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

Taylor Made

During SNY’s telecast of the Mets loss in the series opener against the Braves, Kieth Hernandez said a lot of things. Many times did he include his new crutch adjective “Taylor-made” but what he said in a number of moments during the game was that the Braves were making a statement. I’m not sure how true that is, but last nights loss wasn’t as bad as it may have been perceived.

Long gone are the days of Brave-induced domination, replaced in current times with teams playing about even in terms of head to head competition (or at least when Ollie pitches.) I never had the feeling we were out of last night’s game. If Alou hadn’t spent the game campaining for the nickname “double-play machine” the Mets could have won that game, if not for “the Machine” ruining two promising innings. Alou will likely take some time to get back to the full stride he showed prior to injury. He just better hurry.

Finally, I am loving David Wright’s recent aggression on the basepaths. David is trying to spark the team, as a real leader should. Despite his power slump this season, David shows what a special player he is for all the little things he does on the field, in the dugout and presumably in the clubhouse.

I’ll take two of three the hard way, even if it means going through Smoltz and Hudson. El Duque and Maine aren’t exactly AAAA pitchers.

Let’s Go Mets!

Posted under Post Game

This post was written by Dan in Texas on August 8, 2007

The 300

Tom Glavine became the 23rd pitcher to record 300 wins with a 6 1/3 inning performance in the Mets 8-3 win over the Chicago Cubs Sunday night; Albert Pujols reportedly still not impressed. 

(Still to soon for ’06 NLDS jokes?)

Glad to see we got that out of the way. I would have really hated seeing Tommy win 300 against Atlanta based purely on spite. Though it would be impossible to celebrate Tom’s milestone without the stock footage of Tom with an A on his head.

Glad to see we got that out of the way. I would have really hated seeing Tommy win 300 against Atlanta based purely on spite. Though it would be impossible to celebrate Tom’s milestone without the stock footage of Tom with an A on his head.We went out to watch the game at a sports bar, Fox and Hound. The owners of the establishment elected to put the Steelers-Saints preseason game on the big screen and audio. A decision I came to appreciated when I saw the top of the screen reading “On the Phone: John Smoltz” yuck. I guess he took a break from sniping at Chipper. Regardless, it was special to see Tom secure his place in Cooperstown while wearing blue and orange, despite what hat he will be wearing in six or seven years.

Glad to see we got that out of the way. I would have really hated seeing Tommy win 300 against Atlanta based purely on spite. Though it would be impossible to celebrate Tom’s milestone without the stock footage of Tom with an A on his head.We went out to watch the game at a sports bar, Fox and Hound. The owners of the establishment elected to put the Steelers-Saints preseason game on the big screen and audio. A decision I came to appreciated when I saw the top of the screen reading “On the Phone: John Smoltz” yuck. I guess he took a break from sniping at Chipper. Regardless, it was special to see Tom secure his place in Cooperstown while wearing blue and orange, despite what hat he will be wearing in six or seven years.As I mentioned the preseason football game was the featured event (yep, I live in Texas) and I have to say Madden 08 looks freaking awesome. I used to be a Madden junkie. I won the 1996 Madden Bowl of Clement Hall at Texas Tech. For some reason, that credential never got me laid- go figure. I had played Madden ever since the Sega Genesis up through the PS2. However something started to happen around 2005: either I got dumber or Madden just got too hard. So much so, that I have elected to retire from my Madden career to focus on the NCAA series. That commercial may have been just the thing to bring me out of retirement.

Glad to see we got that out of the way. I would have really hated seeing Tommy win 300 against Atlanta based purely on spite. Though it would be impossible to celebrate Tom’s milestone without the stock footage of Tom with an A on his head.We went out to watch the game at a sports bar, Fox and Hound. The owners of the establishment elected to put the Steelers-Saints preseason game on the big screen and audio. A decision I came to appreciated when I saw the top of the screen reading “On the Phone: John Smoltz” yuck. I guess he took a break from sniping at Chipper. Regardless, it was special to see Tom secure his place in Cooperstown while wearing blue and orange, despite what hat he will be wearing in six or seven years.As I mentioned the preseason football game was the featured event (yep, I live in Texas) and I have to say Madden 08 looks freaking awesome. I used to be a Madden junkie. I won the 1996 Madden Bowl of Clement Hall at Texas Tech. For some reason, that credential never got me laid- go figure. I had played Madden ever since the Sega Genesis up through the PS2. However something started to happen around 2005: either I got dumber or Madden just got too hard. So much so, that I have elected to retire from my Madden career to focus on the NCAA series. That commercial may have been just the thing to bring me out of retirement.

Glad to see we got that out of the way. I would have really hated seeing Tommy win 300 against Atlanta based purely on spite. Though it would be impossible to celebrate Tom’s milestone without the stock footage of Tom with an A on his head.We went out to watch the game at a sports bar, Fox and Hound. The owners of the establishment elected to put the Steelers-Saints preseason game on the big screen and audio. A decision I came to appreciated when I saw the top of the screen reading “On the Phone: John Smoltz” yuck. I guess he took a break from sniping at Chipper. Regardless, it was special to see Tom secure his place in Cooperstown while wearing blue and orange, despite what hat he will be wearing in six or seven years.As I mentioned the preseason football game was the featured event (yep, I live in Texas) and I have to say Madden 08 looks freaking awesome. I used to be a Madden junkie. I won the 1996 Madden Bowl of Clement Hall at Texas Tech. For some reason, that credential never got me laid- go figure. I had played Madden ever since the Sega Genesis up through the PS2. However something started to happen around 2005: either I got dumber or Madden just got too hard. So much so, that I have elected to retire from my Madden career to focus on the NCAA series. That commercial may have been just the thing to bring me out of retirement.

 

The new football title looks interesting, All Pro Football 2K8. Since EA Sports, the developer of Madden, holds exclusive rights to both NFL football as well as NCAA, I really thought this would suck when I read about its development months ago. Back then, they didn’t have any athletes to put in the game. Apparently what they have now are former players that have sold their name and likeness to APF2K8 which really appeals to me. I hope 2K Sports comes up with a like game for baseball. Every football and baseball game I’ve owned over the years (and there have been many), always had unlockable teams from years past. I would spend all my consorted energy to unlock the 1986 or 1969 Mets, 1986 or 1990 Giants only to find that I would just get QB #11 or even worse some randomly named ace pitcher not even wearing 41 who looked anything like Tom Seaver, or Darren Raspberry a rightfielder, who is a short white guy with a giant red afro. I would love to have a chance to play with an all time team that looked like the all time teams I remember so much. None the less, with Grand Theft Auto IV delayed until April, this game is on my to-play list.

Speaking of gaming, I own the PS3. Yeah, I know, too expensive, not enough games, Online play is not without it’s flaws (Traffic Delays in MLB The Show drive me insane.) what has really irked me, from reviews I have read, is that Xbox Versions always rate higher in Game Informer, Gamespot and IGM. From what I can tell, developers just take Xbox versions and convert them to PS3 standards and sacrifice game play. Examples, you ask? FEAR was rated as an outstanding FPS (first-person shooter) on Xbox and PC. The PS3 version that came out way too late on PS3, not so much. The volume mix was terrible. How about Rainbow Six Vegas. From all accounts the Xbox version is much better.

I really hope the new Madden isn’t just some watered down version of the Xbox title.

By the way, what is the deal with Fight Night Round 3? Why, for the love of Pete, is Mike Tyson not in this game. Did Iron Mike not need the money or is the irreproachable sport of boxing too proud to market Tyson. I would love this game if I could be Mike in his prime and take on Ali or Forman. Who is the heavyweight champ of the world? Who cares? Give me Mike “Batsh#t Crazy” Tyson.

Right now, my PS3 dance card is full with Rainbow Six Vegas, NCAA Football 08, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell, The Godfather: Don’s Edition and NHL2K7 all in heavy rotation to fill my non-Mets allocated hours.

By the way, I know I am a little late on the whole HD experience but I really enjoyed watching the umpires botch two calls during the Saturday game that all but took the Mets out of the game in the third in High Definition. I love seeing the Mets get screwed in crystal clarity. Also, freaking Blu-Ray is freaking awesome. I just picked up The 300, but postponed viewing it in order to watch Tommy G’s version.

We have a night off as the Mets head back to Shea to take on Atlanta, the wife is at Dance camp (don’t ask) and Lonestar Mets has plenty of time for gaming.

If, for whatever reason, you are looking for something to do other than gaming, over at Winning the Turnover Battle, check out the interview with Alice the Snorg T-Shirt girl. (Yeah, you know who I’m talking about, the cutest model on the planet, though she may never close her mouth. I don’t know, whatever. You’re mom goes to college.)

By the way, here’s a little tip, if you’re drunk, don’t continue your season on NCAA, otherwise you’ll throw your game plan out the window and start going for it on 4th and 25 and running crazy arsed saftey blitzes that never work (they just let a wide reciever burn a linebacker for 60 yards just about the time your saftey gets to the QB) and just F up your whole season. Coaching drunk may work for Mike Leach, but I wouldn’t recomend it to mere mortals. Guns up!

 

 

Posted under Angry Rant, Non-Baseball, Post Game

This post was written by Dan in Texas on August 6, 2007

2 of 3 in Milwaukee

I’ve been a little preoccupied lately, and haven’t been posting quite as often as usual; I just bought a Hi-Def TV. I can’t watch the Mets on Hi-Def however as the SNY package costs 90 bucks a month. I have still been keeping up with the Mets via MLB TV. (NCAA Football for PS3 kicks arse.)

According to all reports I’ve read, the Mets Cubs game on Saturday will be the Fox game of the week. Although this means putting up with Joe Buck, I will finally get to watch my club in high definition and not be forced to watch the Blue Jays and Rangers.

The series win over Milwaukee was promising. That hot streak believed to be lying ahead may be upon us.

A few thoughts.

I don’t really have an opinion on the Castillo trade. I really thought a Gotay-Easley tandem would be good enough to get the job done. I guess since we got him for a bag of used baseballs, and in the process drove a rift in the Twins clubhouse I can’t complain (not that I have any problem with the Twins, I would love for the Mets to be in the Santana free agent sweepstakes.) I’m not really familiar with Castillo so I still yet to have an opinion. In fact, I joined his first game with the Mets late and while trying to get settled in spent an entire at bat thinking, “why does Reyes look so fat?” Your call Omar.

I know I will probably catch hell for this, but my guilty pleasure is The Bronx is Burning. I hate the Yankees, Steinbrenner, Oliver Platt and Fran Healy, but I am totally into that show. I love John Turturro and the guy who plays Franco on Rescue Me. Also Crazy Joe Davola is a producer. I have noticed that Willie Randolph is a passing reference and not really part of the team. MLB pressure? Maybe, we already know ESPN is in hot water for the All Star game selection show. If you can get over your Yankee hate for an hour, make time for The Bronx is Burning.

Make sure you check out Julie’s site Chicago Mets Fan. She is hosting a fan meet before tomorrow’s game, so if you’re in the area, be sure to stop in and support the Metsies on the Road.

That’s all for now; coming up next, Lonestar Mets shocking expose` as Dan in Texas goes undercover to expose organized squirrel fights taking place in Lastings Milledge’s garage. You won’t believe what we’ve found…

Posted under Post Game

Reduced to this…

Tuesday night our own Brooklyn Cyclones took part in a politically correct ball game hosted by the Lowell Spinners. The shortstop was referred to as the “Vertically Challenged-Stop” and errors were not announced as to not offend the player’s feelings. Brooklyn won the game 9-5

The game was sponsored by Sofa King and We Todd It.

Posted under Uncategorized

This post was written by Dan in Texas on August 2, 2007