Power Outage

What an unfortunate, albeit fitting ending to the Mets 2008 season.

Which so much on the line this past weekend I opted to go into a “get in the bunker” mode. It’s simple. When the entire weekend will be filled with baseball, I go to the store and purchase everything I will need for the entire weekend; food, beer, smokes, whatever. My reason being, I want to focus entirely on baseball, cut off all communication with the outside world, and hope against hope, my team will prevail.

After a great Saturday, I noticed that MLB TV was running a “Mets Marathon” up until the following game on Saturday. After Johan went complete, I felt a renewed hope that the Mets would win the Wild Card that day or Monday in a playoff.

I watched a rebroadcast of Game 5 of the 1999 NLCS. I dearly loved that 99 team and would even say it was my favorite Mets team of all time. Ace Ventura, Johnny O, Fonzie, Rey-Rey, Rick Reed, Benny, Dennis Cook, Mahomes, Franco, Dotel, of course Piazza. That year I even made my peace with Orel Hershiser, the once hated Dodger. I’m not sure that he hated me, but sure hated him. Also, I’m sure “making peace” realistically doesn’t involve that person not knowing who you are or ends with me telling random people I no longer hold any ill will.

Anyway, I hadn’t watched it since the original game took place. Sure, I’ve seen the clip of the “Grandslam Single” about a million times, but I’ve never watched the events unfold as they did that night in 99 as I watched from my couch in Lubbock, Texas. Afterwards, all I kept repeating out loud to no one in particular, “Man that was fun!”

I also caught all the old Shea retrospectives, and felt myself warmed by the recollection of so many great memories. I was sure they wouldn’t let another last day of the season collapse again.

I won’t recap the game, I’m sure if you’re reading this, you know exactly what happened. Imagine, though if this happened to you:

As I sat and watched the Marlins take the lead, I still felt they could get two stinking runs. (Yes, I have been watching the games all season) As I waited for the Mets to take the field in the eighth, THE FREAKING POWER WENT OUT! That’s right, in the year 2008, during the most important game in of the entire season, I had no power. I’m sure that’s symbolic or whatever, but I was hoping I would at least have a fun story to tell, “…yeah, so the power goes out and I MISSED David Wright’s walkoff three-run homer, can you believe it?”

Unfortunately, I have no such amusing anecdote, nor was I able to enjoy Shea’s last bittersweet moment. MLB TV is not re-broadcasting the ceremony, so I have only read recaps.

It’s a strange feeling for the Mets season to end on the last day of the season, or at least suddenly as in the past three years. You ask yourself “who’s pitching?” only to be grimly self reminded, that no one in blue and orange is pitching. It’s even worse when you get shorted the last two innings. In an instant, the Mets were gone and so was Shea. No goodbye, just a dark apartment.

I knew the bullpen was shaky at best, a disaster at worst and that the offense wasn’t clicking, but hoped Shea had enough magic left in her for one more miracle. I guess she did her best.

Goodbye Shea Stadium. I’ll never forget you.

Posted under Post Game

Absurdity

This is not baseball. This is not what Abner Doubleday had in mind when he wasn’t inventing baseball. I can’t believe I’m still watching this mess. How ridiculous is it to have a two run lead and feel like your team is losing? There is a part of me that wants to ignore everything for the next week and check the standings on September 29 to see what happened. It would make things easier, but there’s no way that is going to happen.

So instead of sparing myself what I’m sure will be another devastating end to a season, I’ll be watching the next week of games. I have determined a formula to help put this new brand of baseball into perspective.

The way I figure (without actually researching each game; too painful), the bullpen gives up two runs for every out recorded. Therefore:

Defensive outs needed when the starting pitcher is removed + 1 = Run lead needed to ensure victory

Meaning, if it’s the top of the seventh inning and no outs, the Mets will need a ten run lead to secure a win. If the starter leaves earlier, like in at the end of the fourth, the Mets will need a sixteen run lead. I will be forwarding this to the Commissioners’ office and petitioning the league to adopt this formula to calculate the new stat MBSV (Mets Bullpen Save)

Kidding aside, this method makes watching this crap less gut wrenching when we cough up a lead. The rationalization that “we weren’t really winning” is about all the comfort I can muster these days.

Posted under Uncategorized

Show Me Some New

Anything new. How about a sure easy victory or no base runners after the seventh or maybe, maybe a win at Turner Field?

The next ten days for the season. I begrudgingly admit that this type of situation is what makes this sport worth watching. If this thing goes to a one game playoff, I think my stomach is going to explode.

Let’s hope someone tells Ollie this is a big game. Focus baby, focus!

I can’t watch another game where a seven run lead isn’t safe or worse yet, a cold bat evening.

Next ten days for the season, baby! Gulp…

Posted under Uncategorized

This post was written by Dan in Texas on September 19, 2008

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Not with a Bang, but with a Whimper

This is the way the fucking world ends. Look at this fucking shit we’re in man. Not with a bang, but with a whimper. And with a whimper, I’m fucking splitting, Jack. – Dennis Hopper, Apocalypse Now

This is not the Mets year. The starting pitching was there, the offense was there, but the pen is most definitely inadequate. I think in some we’ve all known that in the back of our mind for a while. Even if by some miracle the Mets hold on to first, there’s no way the pen can hold up against playoff caliber bats in the seventh, eighth and ninth.

Right now, I’m watching from a detached frame of mind. Watching this God-awful pen flush the season down the toilet, it occurred to me there is a silver lining. With every late inning, bases loaded jam, with every Manuel jog to the mound, every multi-reliever inning serves to glaringly shout at Omar Minaya and the Mets brass that:

YES YOU DO NEED TO SIGN K-ROD THIS OFFSEASON.

I don’t care about cost, hell if he costs what Johan costs, he’ll be worth it. If you go cheap in 09 every other game will be a heart breaking repeat of Sunday at Shea against the Braves. What freaking good is Johan if you give his lead right back.

Yeah, I’ve heard it, blah, blah, homegrown talent, fine. But until the youngins are ready, the Mets need a Major League quality closer and set up men. God bless Ayala and Stokes, they’ve done better than anyone could have expected, but again, these last two weeks serve as a glaring message to Omar Minaya and the Mets brass:

LUIS AYALA IS NOT A MAJOR LEAGUE QUALITY CLOSER. BRIAN STOKES IS NOT A MAJOR LEAGUE QUALITY SETUP MAN.

So try and take solace as the Mets relinquish their lead on the NL East and to play Shea Stadium’s last game ever as a meaningless contest between two non-playoff contenders. It’s a somewhat fitting end to Shea Stadium and if the stars align, Shea’s last game could be the Mets and Marlins: The battle for second place.

I really hope I’m wrong.

Posted under Angry Rant

NY Baseball Is Good Business

New York is an incredible place to do business. Although some places like the financial sector are failing, the sports business couldn’t be stronger.

Almost all the top venues are sold out. The Mets and Yankees have been playing to capacity crowds almost all season. And don’t forget about the Garden, where the Knicks and Rangers still get capacity crowds, despite the fact the teams don’t play up to par.

And with the Mets spending money this offseason they will sell more Mets MLB Baseball Tickets.

But there’s a reason why sports is so popular. Winning teams laced with stars bring the fans out in droves. On the Mets, homegrown players like David Wright and Jose Reyes electrify Queens, while the Yankees sign players like Alex Rodriguez, making games at the Stadium more like Wicked Musical Tickets.

With the Yankees new stadium opening up, they will sign many free agents this offseason, while the Mets have the young players like Dan Murphy and Jon Niese to move into Citi Field, while dipping into the market in order to compliment them

By keeping with that business model, the baseball teams will be solid over for the foreseeable future.

Posted under Uncategorized

Mere Speculation

It occurred to me that I’ve been doing so much on Pete Alfano stuff lately that this site should be renamed Fire Pete Alfano. I realize that my readers don’t care what a hacky journalist in Fort Worth writes about. I should just go back to obsessing over the Mets. Pete seems like an ok guy and I probably should just let him get away with his threadbare, obvious observations posing as analysis and fourth grade literacy.

On to the Mets, who, after a three game series at home against Philadelphia, hold a two game lead in the-

Wait, he wrote what?

New Orleans?

Why would he…?

What does that have to do with…?

Ok, my backspace key isn’t working so forget what I wrote earlier, here we go:

Pete’s written some excessively insane things (claiming fielders are wearing batting helmets for protection against things thrown from the stands) since I’ve started reading his nonsense, but this is just off the charts psychotic. I’m not sure I even know how to demonstrate how insane this is.

Forecast for NFL in New Orleans partly cloudy

His name is Ike and this destructive force of nature might play a role in the future of the Saints in New Orleans.

Oops! Pronoun disagreement! Want me to help? His name is Ike and his destructive force…(I could have let that go but in the opening sentence? Nope)

His name is Pete and the enormity of his legendary drivel might play a role in the demise of western civilization.

Sound inconceivable?

What, the thing you said? Yes. What I said; the second thing? No. Because what I said; that thing, that’s dead on.

Not when the Monday Morning Quarterback was thinking about how reports were rampant that team owner Tom Benson was looking to move the franchise after Hurricane Katrina struck the Big Easy in 2005.

That is a junky, awkward sentence. Referring to himself in the third person plural form and his insistence on writing in a passive voice when an active one is begging to be employed is baffling and severely hinders him as a writer.

Because of the damage to the Louisiana Superdome, the Saints spent the season playing “home” games in San Antonio and Baton Rouge.

Pete’s right, they really should have played in the Superdome. “Run a five yard slant, I’ll pumpfake when you get to the pile of feces, then break for the piece of the caved in roof and I’ll hit you near that puddle of vomit, on two ready…”

But their return to the Superdome in 2006 was heralded as a morale booster for the city, and a sign that it was on the road to recovery. And according to a report by the Brookings Institution, there has been significant progress made even though that trend has slowed in 2008.

The antecedent here appears to be “morale booster” to which, significant progress has been made, through slowed in 2008 according to an unnamed report by the Brookings Institution. How exactly is that quantifiable? What are you talking about? Referents are an overrated luxury at the Fort Worth Star Telegram.

The report issued on the third anniversary of Katrina, says that New Orleans has regained 72 percent of pre-hurricane households and the region as a whole has regained 86 percent of its jobs. But there is a lack of affordable housing, rents have skyrocketed and thousands of badly damaged houses remain vacant and blights on the city landscape.

If any other writer were penning this piece, the reader could reasonable assume he is talking about “a report by the Brookings Institution” but since this is Pete Alfano, he could be discussing anything from anywhere.

You have to wonder whether the recovery will be slowed even more by Hurricane Gustav, which delivered a glancing blow to New Orleans last Monday, and the menacing presence of Hurricane Ike, ravaging Haiti and Cuba, with its track potentially taking it into the Gulf, where it could regain strength and perhaps make landfall along the Louisiana coast late this week.

That’s why it seemed like the Saints were squeezing a football game between evacuations Sunday when they returned home to defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24-20 at the Superdome. The game wasn’t shifted to Tampa as the NFL was prepared to do if Gustav had landed a direct blow to New Orleans. And it was played even though thousands of evacuees had not yet returned home. In fact, attendance was announced at 69,881 — an impressive show of support.

He’s right; it does sound like the “Forecast for NFL in New Orleans partly cloudy” after a near sellout in the middle of a hurricane.

But if residents are asked to leave again because of Ike, you just have to wonder what the long-term impact will be on New Orleans.

I’m sorry, but people that stubbornly live in hurricane areas, below sea level, counterintuitive to common sense, are not going to pack up because the Saints have to play an extra game on the road. If a giant flood destroys your city and you decide to stick around, 7 home games instead of 8 won’t be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

You know what? The name of this piece should be changed from “Monday Morning Quarterback” to “Counterintuitive to Common Sense”

In addition to San Antonio, there were reports in 2005 that Benson was thinking of moving the Saints to Los Angeles, the second-biggest market in the country — and one that’s without a pro football team.

There would have been multiple ways to write that sentence correctly. He chose the wrong one. Also, I seriously doubt there were “reports”. If so, reports from whom, Benson? Did he make a list with pros and cons and send it Kinko’s to get it laminated and bound and distributed to the AP? No, no he didn’t.

In 2005 Benson may have also considered moving the Saints to Los Angeles; the second biggest market in the country and former home of the Rams and Raiders.

Benson may have had other destinations besides San Antonio. In 2005 the Saints owner supposedly considered moving the team to Los Angeles, another city without an NFL team.

Los Angeles has been a prospective destination for Benson’s Saints in the past. According to rumors, Los Angeles, the second biggest market in the country, may have been in the running for the Saints new home in 2005.

Instead, Pete sadly wrote: “In addition to San Antonio, there were reports in 2005 that Benson was thinking of moving the Saints to Los Angeles, the second-biggest market in the country — and one that’s without a pro football team.“

We also know there was an earthquake in LA about six weeks ago, a reminder that if sports franchises were awarded on criteria that included immunity from natural disasters, we wouldn’t have many teams to follow.

Unnecessary. Stupid. Point.

And a reminder that if the Fort Worth Star Telegram published columns on the criteria that included they make some kind of sense, we wouldn’t have many pieces to read.

Earthquakes can affect teams in California; tornadoes are a fact of life in Texas and the Midwest; and the Florida Gulf Coast and the Eastern Seaboard are vulnerable to hurricanes. But raise your hand if you think the Dolphins would leave Miami or the Panthers check out of Charlotte if Ike or some other hurricane struck there.

Is Pete suggesting some kind of bias attached to the citizens of New Orleans? I am confused as to the implication there. Is Pete suggesting Saints fans are less loyal to their team? Is this an attack on the community of New Orleans or Miami or Charlotte?

But even though New Orleans has been in the NFL since 1967, it feels like we’re always looking in the rearview mirror for the Mayflower moving vans.

I can explain this: they stink. Do you know how I know the Saints won’t win the Superbowl this year? Because they’re the Saints.

Who is always looking in the rearview mirror for Mayflower moving vans? What does that even mean? Why the rearview mirror? Are the Mayflower trucks chasing you? I think the Florida Marlins are a better candidate to move from Miami than the Saints are a candidate to move from New Orleans.

At least Pete isn’t speculating on how relocation from the storm-ravaged city by the Saint would be a Public Relations Nightmare; especially one motivated by money, because that isn’t happening.

Sure, it would be a public relations nightmare for the NFL office to endorse a move as the city continues its recovery, but pro football is a business and the bottom line is making money. Can Benson make money in a storm-ravaged city?

Shame on you NFL and Benson for Pete imagining you might be considering something you’re not considering. How dare you?

You know he’s just dying to go on a socialist rant about evil sports franchises making a profit but he’s already on the FBI watch list as a communist agitator and on the FAA’s no-fly list.

Also: sure it would be a PR nightmare should the NFL endorse a move from New Orleans IF anyone was considering moving. But since they aren’t, it’s not. End of story.

For one afternoon, however, the resilient fans basked in a different kind of breeze, as Drew Brees passed for three touchdowns, among them the game-winning 42-yarder to Reggie Bush midway through the fourth quarter.

Let me try, see what you think:

In the spirit of Mardi Gras, no stranger to female nudity, Saints fans gawked at a different kind of bush flash, as Reggie Bush scored the game winning TD on a 42 yard pass from Drew Brees.

I like mine better. Vagina.

According to the Associated Press, fans tailgated before the game even though debris and toppled fences lay nearby.

The AP could not confirm if the debris and toppled fences were due to weather damage or just the usual random garbage that populates New Orleans. Hiiiyyyooo!

“Coming off a week where everyone was displaced from their homes here in New Orleans, and coming back and obviously having the fans back in full force — it was awesome,” Brees said after the game.

And now they hold their breath and hope that they and their team don’t have to leave again.
PETE ALFANO, 817-390-7985

What an ending. Try and wrap your head around this. No one, I mean no one, is speculating that the Saints are permanently leaving New Orleans. But only after he, Pete Alfano proposed something that isn’t happening, he, Pete Alfano, then chose to scold the Saints and the NFL for his, Pete Alfano’s own speculation, then makes a passionate summation closing with the statement that New Orleans holds out against hope that his, Pete Alfano’s made up scenario doesn’t come true.

Think about that for a minute.

I’ve seen Pete misstate facts and blatantly make up facts to support a point, but I don’t think I’ve ever read anyone propose something out of no where and then criticize others for something he made up.

Way to fail to achieve an air of condescension based on the arrogance gleaned from holding yourself above others for something you imagined. You may be a genius.

Probably not.

Posted under FJM ripoff, Pete Alfano

Home Stretch

Entering the final month of the season, despite the Mets 3 game lead, the NL East is going to be a fight to the finish. After this weekends three game series with the Phillies, the schedule looks like this for both teams:

PHI METS
6 FLA 6 WSH
4 MIL 4 CHI
6 ATL 6 ATL
3 WSH 3 FLA

The series are obviously not in chronological order but arranged to highlight how similar the rest of the season is for both teams. Fifteen games with the lower class of the east and four games with what might be deemed the best the NL has to offer. That makes this weekend all that important.

Should the Mets get swept this weekend, the East would still be tied. Losing 2 of 3 would keep us with a two game lead and winning 2 of 3 would give us a four game lead.

Even in this crazy season and in light of September’s past I’m confident. I remember the way it felt to watch the Mets back in June 06 when they buried the Phillies and essentially owned the East all year. I believe the Mets will do it again.

Pelf, Pedro and Santana against Meyers, Moyer and Hamels. Bring ‘em on

Posted under Uncategorized

Labor of Love

Happy Labor Day everybody!

As Labor Day is on a Monday, who better to pen an unfortunate piece, reporting old news regarding the LPGA and that special brand of Pete Alfano “humor” we’ve all come to love on this site. Also, watch Pete invalidate his article about a third of the way though. Enjoy.

I realize this has nothing to do with baseball, but hey, Pete just “teed it up” for me.

Get it?

Hello?

Anyone?

In plain English, LPGA triple-bogeyed this one

Annyong ha shimnikka.

In case you’re wondering, that’s not a typo or a sign that the Monday Morning Quarterback was out late partying Sunday night.

I’ve always assumed every MMQB piece is written in a state of extreme intoxication or after severe cranial trauma.

It’s actually hello in Korean, at least the translation using the Roman alphabet instead of Korean characters. We’re mentioning it because of the fuss caused last week by the LPGA Tour, which issued a “speak it or leave it” order to the non- English-speaking players on the Tour.

Oh, goodie

By the way, if you have been around athletes as much as the MMQB, this directive can be issued to many athletes who grew up in this country as well.

Ah, the trademark condescending elitist racism Pete Alfano is known for on this site.

Now, we’re not going to get into the politics involved here;

By “politics” he means “bitter communist rant”

it is understandable that with so many young Korean women excelling in golf, the ability to promote and market the sport is restricted when the players don’t speak English.

Yep, women golfers who don’t speak English is exactly what’s standing in the way of the LPGA becoming America’s national pastime.

This is not like Yao Ming playing for the Houston Rockets or Ichiro playing for the Seattle Mariners because they have teammates, many of whom speak a version of English. And the word is that Ichiro speaks English a lot better than he lets on.

It’s not like the LPGA because people actually care about the NBA and Major League Baseball.

These women are independent contractors and as such, represent themselves. Not being able to speak English certainly has an impact on the women’s tour, which is struggling for any attention it can get.

Women golfers could be fluent in English, Spanish, Sign Language and Sanskrit; no one is going to care about the LPGA.

The problem is that this very public way of making the women comply — pass an oral exam or face suspension — won’t earn anyone in the LPGA hierarchy an ambassadorship in the next president’s administration.

McCain and Obama were both heatedly vying for the LPGA hierarchy to head their respective diplomatic core. Now they’ll probably have to settle for someone with actual foreign relations experience.

Who knows? Maybe the LPGA did ask nicely and was rebuffed. But it is looking very insensitive, and unless you subscribe to the theory that any publicity is good publicity, we bet the LPGA can hardly wait for the NFL season and Ryder Cup matches to begin.

Because those events are actually worth watching.

The MMQB, however, is going to provide a public service for Korean and other international players in anticipation of these young women learning English. There are some phrases and clichés we hope never to hear from them:

Keep in mind, this written by a man who is a walking cliché of a hacky, under informed sports writer.

I am happy to set a new course record. Have you ever heard of anyone setting an old record? Sportscasters and athletes alike drive us crazy with this particular phrase. The MMQB could supplement his fast-fading 401K if he had a dollar for every time an Olympic host or reporter in Beijing talked about “new records.”

Why can’t they make the whole plane out of the black box?

Does anyone else imagine Pete, while writing a ostensible piece to educate young female Korean golfers on how to speak English properly, constructed the sentence “I am happy to set a new course record” in a stereotypically offensive Asian accent? Kind of insensitive, no? What’s up next; “Herro, yu have dishonored my famiry by insurting my camera.”

I am in control of my own destiny. Actually, you’re not. According to Webster’s Dictionary, destiny is “a predetermined course of events,” which means you’re not in control. We could buy the Chicago Cubs if we had a dollar for all the times athletes and sportscasters use this one.

Can the next one be that by referring to yourself in the plural third person makes you sound like a self-important pompous windbag?* No? Just obvious tired jokes taking figurative sayings literally? Ok, whatcha got?

He (or she) is the best player never to have won a major. When did this become an official statistic in golf? I don’t see it anywhere in the PGA Tour or LPGA Tour record book. We can envision players in passionate debates over who really should be No. 1 for this dubious distinction. They can even get the BCS involved.

Ovaltine: The jar is round, the glass is round. Why don’t they call it “Round-tine?”

That’s a very makeable putt. Who says? A commentator with a 15 handicap? A golfer who is in the booth because he or she could never make enough of those makeable putts? If it’s on the lip, it’s a makeable putt. The rest is a crapshoot.

Who are you to criticize professional golf commentators when you, Pete Alfano, have never professionally commentated on golf?

Congratulations, you just undermined your whole column.

That was a beautiful golf shot. Duh. We’re not playing badminton. This particular cliché is used in every sport and has a number of derivatives such as, “We’re a good football team.” How the Cowboys would fare on a basketball court is another matter.

I find it ironic that Pete has a problem with redundant or unnecessary wordings.

Also: “Duh” = Top notch journalism.

There’s a logjam atop the leader board. Can’t we just say how many players are tied for the lead or are a couple of shots behind? This cliché is appropriate only on one of those log-rolling competitions seen on ESPN Gazillion.

I don’t know about log-rolling competitions. lets see what Wikipedia has to say:

Logrolling, or birling, is a sport that originated in the lumberjack tradition of the northeastern United States and Canada, involving logs in a river (traditionally) or other body of water. After bringing their logs downriver, the lumberjacks would have a competition to see who could balance on a log the longest while it is still rolling in the river.

The contest involves two lumberjacks, each on one end of a log floating in the river. One or the other starts “walking” (or “rolling”) the log, and the other is forced to keep up. The contest involves attempting to stay on the log while attempting to cause the competitor to lose their balance and splash into the water.

So from what I gather, lumberjacks compete simultaneously, meaning this “cliché” is not appropriate in “those log-rolling competitions seen on ESPN Gazillion.”

He, or she, has to get up and down in two. Up and down from where? The golf cart? Even in English, this doesn’t make sense.

(Sighs)

…..

…..

This is terrible. The only thing more puzzling than the existence of this pointless article is why someone would spend their Labor Day analyzing it.

That ball’s wet. Oh, you mean it was hit into the water. Sometimes, it’s “that ball found water.” Not really; the golfer hit the ball and it landed in the water. A golf ball really can’t find anything.

Crap, well I guess I wasted my time organizing my coalition for golf ball rights. I like how the “cliché” he refers to is not the subject of his criticism.

It’s pin high. Can you be pin low? Pin off to the side? Is this some veiled reference to performance-enhancing drugs?

And there’s your steroid “joke” for the week.

Come to think of it, maybe everyone in sports needs to enroll in these English-speaking classes; we writers as well.

Just one writer, just one.

Sources: www.dictionary.reference.com; www.sportscliche.com
PETE ALFANO, 817-390-7985

There you have it. At least he made some attempt at research and citing his sources. One of those sources is the dictionary but I’ll take what I can get.

*This statement does not apply to Rickey Henderson: the only man who has mastered the art of speaking in third person plurals.

Posted under FJM ripoff, Pete Alfano