Well, it's that time of year again, when the New York media goes batshit over a three day span when our beloved Metropolitans face the Evil Highlanders. This is a time period where I really miss being part of the energy of baseball. Interleague play has its critics, and it's hard to argue with them, but when it comes to playing your geographic rival, it really is what baseball is supposed to be about - fun. Perhaps teh coolest twist this year is the the Empire State Building is going to light its crown in honor of the Mets and Yankees this weekend
, and then the winner of the series will have it all to themselves for a few more days. Here's your pitching matchup, folks
Tonight: Andy Pettitte vs. Oliver Perez
Tomorrow afternoon 3:55 (on FOX):Darrell Rasner vs. Tom Glavine
Sunday night 8:05 PM (on ESPN): Tyler Clippard vs. John Maine
This is pretty good timing for some craziness, because life has gotten pretty crazy in the world of New York baseball this past week. As a nod to our crosstown rivals, you should be aware that:Junkees reliever Kyle Farnsworth says that Roger Clemens shouldn't be allowed
to leave the team during road trips when he's not pitching. "As far as a teammate and a player, I think everybody should be here whether they're pitching or not," he said. "You don't see guys who are hurt not sit on the bench. They're always there."Juicin Giambi finally admits publicly that he took steroids,
and that baseball as a whole should apologize to the fans for its drug problem, but that "That stuff didn't help me hit home runs. I don't care what people say, nothing is going to give you that gift of hitting a baseball." Ooooookee Dokey...
Now, back to the Mets. We'll work from the negative stuff first. The Mets have had some bad, bad publicity lately. There was a cover story in ESPN magazine about how the Shea Stadium clubhouse has basically been a free-for-all for drug runners. Transplanted ex-Mets outfielder Brian McRae (my favorite Irish Met) said that he couldn't believe how open the Shea Stadium clubhouse was compared to other parks around the league. Some Mets fans are annoyed that the Mets are singled out just because an ex-employee of theirs is in the middle of the latest steroid scandal. Well, it's awfully hard for the Mets to refute any steroid allegations, when we've had Guillermo Mota, Jorge Reyes
, and now Lino Urdaneta, all suspended for steroid
use. In fact, the Mets as an organization have had 10 suspensions levied against their players. According to the Times,
The only team with more positive tests is the Seattle Mariners (13). The Texas Rangers have had 10; the Colorado Rockies, the San Francisco Giants, the Chicago Cubs and the Oakland Athletics have had 8.
So, this is not good, obviously.
Also not good was the latest drama surrounding Lastings Milledge
. Just days after I said I felt bad for him that his ill-timed injury allowed Carlos Gomez to get a call-up that he should have gotten, news breaks that he's the founder of a record label that's set to release a rap record called Bend Ya Knees
with lyrics using the same language, and worse, that got Don Imus fired. The Mets are not happy. And the way that Carlos Gomez has started, I don't think it's a big stretch to say I expect the Lastings Milledge era to end, via a trade, before he's called up to the majors again. This could actually be good. He has shown his baseball talents are real, and the mets might be able to get someone really good for him.
Now for the good stuff, and there's a whole lot of good stuff. After completing a 3-1 series win over the Cubbies, punctuated buy an amazing come from behind victory in the fourth game when Carols Delgado and the Mets scored 5 runs in the ninth inning with their "A minus" team for a walkoff victory
, the Mets now have a record of 26-14, and a game and a half lead over Atlanta, who just lost a four game series to the Expos. Jorge Sosa looks like the real deal, Jose Reyes hammy scare
looks like no big deal, and Omar Minaya made a minor deal
. Easley, Gotay and Gomez have all stepped up to make the most of their playing time due to the injuries of Valentin and Alou. El Duque's and Pedro Martinez's rehabs seem to be going well... what can we really complain about?
Lets Go Mets!