Saturday, May 19, 2007

These Guys Calling Themselves The Yankees?

Wow. Even though I knew they were having a bad year, when Ron Darling read off the starting lineup for the Yankees I thought to myself, "Boy, this is a tough offense." Then the game started and from the very first play we saw what makes our Mets special. Johnny Damon rips what should have been an easy double down the left field line but our man ENDY races over picks up the ball spins and fires to Easley in time to nail Damon sliding into second. Oliver Perez, who looked very excited in that first inning, barreled down to throw 7 1/3 beautiful innings, marred only by a Hideki Matsui two run shot into the loge seats in right. But of course the Metropolitans had a homer of their own to match it - not by Beltran, Delgado or Wright, but how about ENDY! ENDY! ENDY! Billy The Real Sandman Wagner comes in to close the door in the ninth and how sweet it is.

But my favorite play of all, perhaps the most telling for me, was when Jose Reyes pretended to drop a line drive in order to try and turn a double play. In fast motion I have to admit it fooled me, but on the slow mo replay it was the funniest thing I've seen on a baseball field in a long time. Jose Reyes places teh ball on the ground, lifts up his hand, and then reaches down and grabs it again. You HAVE to scour the internets for a clip of this. Man, I love this team. They are so loose, and yet so professional too, and they win. Can you imagine that happening on even the Mets teams of 1999 and 2000? Those teams always pressed against the Yankees and Braves. Wow, I am really excited for game two today at 3:55 on FOX!

Mets Win, 3-2. Met of the Game: ENDY!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Are You Ready For Ridiculousness?

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!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Transplanted Ex-Mets Update: Jorge Julio Traded Again

Less than two months after acquiring him from Arizona for former Mets prospect Yusmeiro Petit, the Marlins traded Jorge Julio to the Colorado Rockies for Byung-Hyun Kim.

Julio's record with the Fish was0-2 with a 12.54 ERA, including two blown saves, in 10 games.

You may recall that the Mets acquired Jorge Julio (along with throw-in John Maine!) from Baltimore before the 2006 season for Kris Benson. The Jorge Julio era didn't even last two months, as he was traded to the Diamondbacks in May of last season for El Duque.

Transplanted Mets Fans: Watch The Mets on ESPN Tonight

Sure you'll have to hear Joe Morgan at best, or Steve Phillips at worst, but at least you'll get to see the Mets live and in color tonight. If you don't have the Extra Innings package, this is your first chance in awhile to see the Mets on TV if you're an out-of-market fan. A real nice pitching matchup too, as Jason Marquis (5-1, 1.70) takes on Tom Glavine at Shea. Gametime is 7:10 on ESPN.

The next national TV game is this Saturday, Yankees at Mets on FOX at 3:55pm. Then, Sunday night on ESPN at 8:05 is the Subway Series finale at Shea. This hopefully will be a fun weekend - the Braves are playing the Red Sox, so we can hopefully, simultaneously, build a lead against Atlanta while the Yankees get further buried behind The Sawx in the AL East.

But first, it's a four game set against the Cubs beginning tonight on ESPN. Welcome back, Cliffy!

A Good Time To Be A Mets Fan

So our team took three of four from the Diamondbacks, two of three from the Giants, and now two of three from the Brewers. That's a pretty sweet roll. David Wright is finally back to his old self, and even Carlos Delgado doesn't look like an automatic out anymore. We lost Jose Valentin to injury, but Damion Easley is beating the crap out of the ball. Moises Alou is down, but the Carlos Gomez era has begun and it looks pretty damn good one game in!

Ya gotta feel for Lasting Milledge right now. The guy silenced all the critics in Spring Training to earn a spot on the Opening Day roster but couldn't get a start because Green and Alou were both hitting over .400. So he goes back to The Big easy to "work on what he'll be for the Mets for the next 15 years." He hits well down there but goes down with a leg injury and is on the DL the first time there's an opportunity for a call up.

Now, of course this is highly unlikely, but what will the Mets do if indeed it does seem as though F-Mart, Carlos Gomez and Lastings Milledge all are the real deal? There's just three outfield positions, and it would kill you to trade any of them, or Carlos Beltran. These are nice problems to have, folks.

Transplanted ex-Met Cliff Floyd returns to Shea tonight. I'm sure he'll get a real nice ovation.