Friday, February 24, 2006

Metsui goes deep

In 2004 and 2005, Kaz Metsui hit a home run in his first at bat of the season. He is getting ready to recreate that feat this year. If he can hit a dinger off Mets new fireballer, then he should be capable of a three-peat, no? From Newsday...

"...Matsui, who has fallen so far he needs to win his job back, surprised an overflow crowd of skeptical fans by taking [Billy] Wagner deep during live batting practice."

Kaz had to be jonesed about that, huh?

"Being able to hit well off a good pitcher gives me encouragement," Matsui said through his interpreter. "But I don't want to get all jumpy and happy."

Don't worry Kaz, Willie's around to burst your bubble.

"He's in great shape," Randolph said. "He probably just got lucky and walked into one."


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

A-Rod The Spineless Phony Shows His Character In My New Home State

From Peter Gammons's ESPN Insider Blog:

On Feb. 3, A-Rod attended North Carolina State's baseball opener, dressed in red, per the Wolfpack. On Feb. 4, he was at Cameron, dressed in a Duke shirt, cheering on the Blue Devils.

After reading this I promptly e-mailed my Duke and NC State loving co-workers to show them why I despise this guy and why they should too.

When many of the people here in the south hear me talk about "Opening Day," they still think I'm talking about the start of hunting season. I'm working on them, slowly but surely...

Mike V's First Prediction Of The Year

Freddy Wilpon made his prediction for the 2006 season yesterday, saying the team is ready to "take off," so in honor of his prognostication, I'll make one of my own. I should note that my predictions are almost wrong, but here goes anyway:

Bret Boone, who is competing for the second base job with Metsui, Keppinger and Hernandez, will have an outstanding spring... and then will be traded for pitching before Opening Day.

I just really can't see the Mets giving the job to Boone. Long term, they have to be rooting for Keppinger or Hernandez to win the job, and they'd probably be happy to see Kaz do better, just to vindicate the "scouts" who wanted to sign him in the first place. But Boone, at the end of his career and with a miniscule contract, is much more valuable as trade bait.

So, we'll see. Don't let me forget to look back at this prediction on April 3rd!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

South Of Shea

One thing I didn't anticipate when I moved down south was that Southerners refer to anyone born and raised north of Baltimore as a "yankee." As a true-blue Mets fan, I tried to convince my new co-workers that this was just not acceptable! Please, please call me anything but that! I even offered up suggested replacements for the dreaded "y" word:

  • Northern Elitist Scum
  • Yellow-Bellied Liberal Bastard
  • F*ckin' New Yorker

They just didn't understand. You see, they can't even tell the difference between the Mets' and Yankees' quite distinctive interlocking 'NY' logos! So I tried to explain it to them this way: Let's say you are a huge, huge, Dale Earnhardt fan, okay? You've tattooed his number on your shoulder. You watch every race and curse his opponents. You only buy the products that sponsor his car. You with me? Now, you get into an argument with someone and the guy tells you to quit being so "petty." See how that would burn you up?

I'm here nearly sixteen months now, and I am still battling the label. I even considered getting a vanity license plate that read IH8YANKS. My wife wasn't sure how that'd go over. So, the battle continues...

Monday, February 20, 2006

Back, Back, Way Back

I returned from my Costa Rican vacation to learn that Mets tickets go on sale this coming Sunday. I have never actually tried to camp out at Shea to buy tickets, so living in NC doesn't make much of a difference, especially since with Vonage I wouldn't have to pay long distance charges to call (718) 507-TIXX, but I unfortunately will be in Utah this Sunday, so won't be able to use my broadband internet access to try and buy the tickets. I don't even remember the last time I didn't go to Opening Day, but this year it will be a challenge to get tickets, as I will be armed with only my wife's- and my- cell phones & the dial-up internet access at my in-laws. I think I am going to hope that one of my buddies will score the tix! But we will see.

Meanwhile, the funniest thing I read is that Jose Lima has been invited to camp! I think he's just there to keep Pedro entertained; I can't imagine he'll make the team. From today's Newsday...

Major League Baseball refused Lima permission to wear No. 42 because he didn't have it the last two years with the Royals or Dodgers. He will wear No. 99 instead. "I'm not mad," Lima said.

I guess the Mets aren't on planning on retiring Turk Wendell's old number, huh?