April 19, 2014

Niester Funday


"Jon Niese will appear at Modell's in Huntington Station, Long Island, from 11 a.m. - noon Saturday"

That was the tweet from ESPN's Adam Rubin, a Long Island native himself and graduate of my very high school, yesterday. The first thing I thought was that I must go. 

So I got up early this morning, even though it was my first Saturday off in several weeks since I work for an accounting firm and the filing deadline was just this past week, and made my way 20 minutes northeast of home to meet and greet one Jonathon Joseph Niese, pitcher for the New York Metropolitans. 

The ad for the event was very basic. It didn't specify if there was a fee for an autograph, if photos could be taken, or if wristbands or some other form of admittance would be given out. It did, however, say that the first 100 fans were guaranteed autographs. 

It was a tad on the chilly side on this late April morning in New York. Flip-flops probably weren't the recommended footwear of choice for most people. But I braved the elements and took my spot in line along the side of the building where Modell's stands. 

There were two store employees, perhaps a manager and district manager or special events coordinator, talking to the couple on line in front of me. Turns out, they were fans numbers 99 and 100. You gotta be kiddin' me! I can't make this shit up!

What did this mean for me, you ask? Well, I'll tell you. Since the ad made no mention of the fact that Niese would not sign any personal items, only the photo supplied by Modell's, many meeters and greeters were disappointed and angry. So Modell's tried to make good on the deal by taking the names and addresses of those first 100 people - since it was only they who were guaranteed an autograph anyway - to send them cash cards in the mail. 

Damn it!

Okay, so I miss out on being compensated for lugging my jersey with me only to find out that it can't be signed anyway. Fine. But what about getting in to see Mr. Niese?

Since Niese would appear for an entire hour, and because the line moved very quickly, it was speculated that I would in fact get to meet my baseball hubby face to face after all. 

I reached the front of the line at about 11:35. Not bad, considering I got there at just about 11. I told the guy I was #101. He smiled and said "go right ahead".  You don't have to tell me twice!

I followed the folks in front of me to where we ended up in another line. This one much shorter and with a view of Niese meeting and greeting those before us. 'Hotel California' could be heard over the speakers and somehow I knew that was appropriate for Jon Niese. 

Then I noticed the shirt he was wearing. A blue and red plaid button-down shirt. Very similar to one my dad always wore, except dad's was short sleeve and Jon's was long and rolled up. 

As I reached the front of the line, I made sure the guy behind me was ready, willing and able to take a pic with my phone for me. I had a few things planned to say to Jon, including asking him how he feels about the Ike deal and telling him how my friends tease me by telling me if I ever married Jon Niese, I would be Denise Niese (say it fast!) 

It was finally my turn and I walked up to Jon, said hello, and then froze for a minute. I hadn't met a Major League ballplayer in a while, no less by myself. This was all on me. 

I snapped out of it and told him it was nice to meet him and he said it was nice to meet me too! He signed the picture provided by the store and looked up at me and smiled. I asked if I could get a picture with him and he said "sure, of course!" He stood up and I walked around to his side of the table and we posed for my camera phone, which at this point I totally forgot I had even handed over to a complete stranger. I told him he was even taller in person and he chuckled. 

Then I thanked him and wished him luck this year, took my phone back and thanked my fellow fan, and hurried out of the store to post my pic on Facebook and Instagram!

It was a fun experience and I'm glad I went. Jon was very nice and patient with the fans, despite losing his second game of the season last night because his team couldn't give him any run support. Good thing I didn't decide to ask him about that. 


July 17, 2013

The Stars Are Burning Out

I was never really all that interested in the All Star Game. I have a lot of issues with what I think it should be and what it actually is. But because it was at Citi Field this year, it was a little special. I attended the Fan Fest in New York City on Sunday because I figured it's a once in a lifetime opportunity that I didn't want to miss. But there's more of the story to tell than just that. 

The game itself bores me, quite frankly. Half the players there don't belong there and the ones who do, aren't. It's a popularity contest where the fans vote for their favorite player whether they deserve to be there on merit or not. And this home field advantage thing, well that's just unimportant to me. And not because my team wouldn't benefit from it anyway. 

Now here's the part that disgusts me. The fans. Apparently a Mets fan was overheard stating that it's fantastic that Matt Harvey hit Robinson Cano in the first inning last night with a pitch inside that caught his knee. During his in-game interview, Harvey apologized. And Cano sort of "winked" at Harvey while coming off the field and out of the game. So the players were adult about it, but the fans weren't? As a Mets fan, I felt horrible about it. Too bad more fans don't see it my way. 

Then there are the Yankee fans who are criticizing the Mets for their on field tribute to Mariano Rivera. Personally, I thought the Mets and Fox did an outstanding job with that. What Fox did NOT do an outstanding job on is covering the host team's players. They showed the crowd cheering for Harvey and David Wright more than they showed Harvey and Wright themselves. Major fail.

But no matter what would have been done for Rivera, it wouldn't have been good enough for Yankee fans. 

July 8, 2013

The Naked Truth

Mets fans eagerly anticipated the arrival of Matt Harvey to the major leagues. He has quickly become the Ace of the Mets pitching staff, going 7-2 with an ERA of 2.27 in 18 games and 123 innings pitched so far. Harvey has also been selected to the 84th MLB All Star Game, being hosted this year by his home ballpark, Citi Field, on July 16. 

Harvey has definitely shown the Mets, their fans and all of MLB the God-given talents he has been blessed with -- on the field. But he is also about to give the world a glimpse at his off-the-field assets as well. 

Harvey, 23, is one of 20 professional athletes that have taken it all off for ESPN The Magazine's 5th annual Body Issue, set to hit the stands on July 12. 

Now, I am by no means a prude. I think the human body, in any form, is a wonderful and miraculous gift that we should not be ashamed of, but rather, be proud of. That being said, I think there is a time and a place for sharing one's personal self.

What is the purpose of ESPN The Magazine's Body issue? Because it bears the name ESPN, is it any less pornographic in theory as Playboy/Playgirl? Naked is naked. 

Athletes hold the position of role model for many young, aspiring kids. Now I'm not sure about the rest of you, but if the partners at my accounting firm found out that I posed nude for a magazine (and no, I haven't) I don't think they'd find it appropriate. 

Look, if you're a model or a porn star and that's your business, then fine. I don't frown upon the industry or judge those who take part in it. However, I don't feel it is a professional decision by any MLB ballplayer -- or any athlete, for that matter -- to pose naked publicly. That goes for Jose Reyes when he was a member of the Mets in 2011. 

But Harvey's choice is only one side of the issue. My bigger qualm is with the Mets organization for allowing this behavior to take place by one of their salaried employees. 

The Mets have had their share of troubles on the field over the past couple of seasons. Fans are disappointed and restless, although still true to the orange and blue. But any time some kind of off-field conduct of this nature occurs, fans and media alike are all over it -- all but insisting that it's a distraction and interference to the team, and that it has an effect on its performance. Why is this different?

To me, it just seems that a professional ballplayer should be focused more on his on-field assets than his off-field ones. Especially in his rookie season with a club that has definitely failed over the last few seasons. As a representative of a major sports team, no one -- not even the best looking players -- should be permitted to pose naked for a magazine. As much as women may go crazy at the sight of their favorite athlete in the flesh, it's just not professional. In my opinion, it has no place in the sports world. And neither does the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.

September 20, 2012

Sixteen Candles For Phillies, Lights Out For Mets

The Mets lost 16-1 to the Phillies tonight and were officially eliminated from the playoffs. I have nothing else. I just wanted to show off my clever title.

August 25, 2012

The Final Curtain

I haven't written in weeks because it's been the same story night after night with this team. But after last night's shit show, I figured it's about time to write something.

Last night's game particularly stands out for some reason. Maybe it was all the talk during the last half inning that carried over to the post-game show about just how awful this team has really been in the second half. Since the All-Star break, the Mets have gone 11-30. That's not a record, that's a time. A long time. A long time to be losing. They have played seven consecutive games where they have scored two runs or less. Wait, what? This, from a team that was the kings of two-out runs during the first half and amazingly still holds the record for most two-out RBIs this year. In the words of Paula Cole, "Where has all the offense gone?" Ok, maybe it was "cowboys". But I'm talking baseball here!

Let's be honest, three runs and six hits over seven innings is a quality start. And I'm not just saying that because it was my boy Niese who pitched last night. His performance was more than enough to keep his team in the game, as has been the case in many games during this second half. It doesn't matter how good or bad a starting pitcher is if you're not going to score any runs anyway.

We know the bullpen has been the nemesis of this team since the season began. We had great starting pitching, a lineup that was finally feared by opposing pitchers, and then a bullpen that found a different way to blow it every night. But we were still winning games and in the race. But when you get swept by a Colorado team that came in 47-73 with the worst ERA in all of baseball and you still can't get your bats going, what is the point anymore?

This team isn't event watchable to me anymore. When I do tune in now, it's for the Gary, Keith and Ron show not the Ike, David and Johan show. It's sad.

Pretty soon the show will be over and Mets fans will once again dream of a team that is consistent and successful and look forward to a spring training that hopefully hands us some quality off-season acquisitions. But until then, we'll just have to wait out these final 36 games of the season before drawing the curtain on this team in 2012 for good.

August 15, 2012

Liars and Cheaters and Users, Oh My!

I'll make this short and sweet so as not to beat a dead horse or give any more attention to the cheaters that insist on playing professional baseball and ruining the National Pastime:

It should be each team's responsibility to send their players for random drug testing, as well as MLB's.  Otherwise, the teams are fined.  And they're fined heavily if it turns out one of it's players was using and not tested within a ceratin amount of time.

Think about it, even if a team knew one if it's players was using performance enhancement substances, how often would we get a voluntary confession?  While teams put on a good show about doing the right thing and co-operating, the bottom line is that they are benefitting here as well.  So don't expect much.

Make it mandatory for teams to send their players for screening or fine them.  End of story.

July 31, 2012

Mediocrity At Its Best

Another year, another trading deadline gone by.  Everyone seems worked up about the Mets once again not making any moves but there's really a quite simple explanation for it.  See, the Mets are neither good enough to be buyers nor bad enough to be sellers.  They are a mediocre team, the scales not tipping in either direction, so they do the mediocre thing -- nothing.

The Phillies and Marlins, for example, right off the bat (no pun intended) fell behind in the NL East race and quickly became sellers.  Miami had their much-anticipated fire sale sooner than anyone would have imagined and Philly, well they finally came out of denial and accepted that their little run as kings of the NL East was finally over.

Teams like the Dodgers and Giants became buyers because whether or not they started out the season in contention, they are in contention now.  The Mets came out of the gates swinging (again, no pun intended) and now that they have fallen back into their mediocre ways, they have no choice but to sit idly by.  Had they been in contention now, they might be buyers.  Had they started out as poorly as the Phillies or Marlins, they might be sellers now.

It's the same thing every season -- there's always next year.  It's never five years from now.  They'd never make those big changes, build from scratch and patiently wait for it to come together no matter how long it takes, despite seeing a lot of our youth this year.  They hold on to what they have believing that if they could accomplish what they did this year, imagine what they could accomplish next year.  But that's the thing with mediocrity -- it can go either way and next year may be worse.  They make bad deals and players get hurt and the dream falls apart. 

Maybe the Mets are not a great baseball team.  But they are great at being mediocre.

July 25, 2012

This Friggin' Team

The home stand may be over but I am far from being speechless. I remember not so long ago making fun of the MarLOLins and PhiLOLies on Twitter for being something like 10 and 14 games out respectively. I guess the joke is on me and every other Mets fan now, huh?

I can't tell you what the reason is for this team going 1-11 since returning from the All Star break. But I can point out some very disappointing and concerning factors that may prove to be the cause of the Mets demise in the second half.

Since pitching the first no-hitter in Mets history and throwing 134 pitches in the process, Johan Santana has not been the same. Currently on the DL with an ankle injury, Santana had maybe one quality start since his June 1 history-making performance. Whether or not that high pitch count is to blame, we'll never know. But he was pitching almost brilliantly before then and we should not forget that he was still coming off major shoulder surgery. Santana's struggles have played a major role in this team's recent struggles, proving that one player's performance can in fact affect an entire team.

In addition to Santana's struggles and recent DL stint, we lost Dillon Gee to health issues and may not see him back before the end of the year. And while he wasn't as exceptional as, say, R. A. Dickey was at the beginning of the season, he was fairly consistent and provided some quality starts. Currently we're operating a makeshift starting rotation of Dickey, Jonathon Niese, Chris Young and your guess is as good as mine in the 4th and 5th slots.

It makes me sick to even think about the bullpen but what kind of post would this be if I didn't at least mention it. So there, it's mentioned. Seriously though, I don't know how every single one of our relievers can suck so bad. Sixteen blown saves this year. Unacceptable. That's 16 more wins this team could have. Imagine that. (Although if memory serves me correct, two of these blown saves came in the same game. But still.) Night after night, game after game, I cringe whenever Terry Collins makes that call. And because of the nightmare that has become the Mets bullpen, Mets fans seem to have this newfound love and anticipated comeback of Frank Francisco. This is what it's come to.

And speaking of Collins, is it me or does anyone else feel like his play-calling has taken a turn for the worst lately as well? It think his aggression with the offense is severely lacking and he's putting too much focus on lefty-righty match-ups with his pitchers. Stop with the statistics already and get this team back to playing fundamental baseball - pitchers throwing strikes and hitters getting timely hits.

The fiery offense has fizzled out considerably. We went from the kings of two-out runs to "why can't we score any runs?". I can think of at least 4 different games during this 1-11 streak (1-12 if you include the last game before the break that was lost) that could have and should have been won had the offense just put on a little bit more of a display than they did. The amount of runners left on base lately is, as my dad used to say, enough to choke a horse. Giddy up!

The defense has left a lot to be desired lately too. A sudden inability to catch the ball, turn double plays and prevent the opposition from taking the extra base has proven very costly for the Mets. They're playing with their heads up their asses, if you ask me.

It seems everyone but me is calling for a trade of Daniel Murphy. I know his value is high right now and just like in real estate and the stock market, in baseball you buy low and sell high. Well what would trading Murphy really yield? I know we're probably not going anywhere anymore anyway, but I never could comprehend giving up someone who has proven he can perform decently, if not very well at the major league level, who is still young and still improving, and who has become a fan favorite here in New York for someone in which you have no idea what you're really getting. When it comes to this team, what they give up usually goes on to be great and what they get usually turns out to be crap. There is no immediate need, in my opinion, to buy or sell at this point. Just ride it out and hope for a miracle next year.

Hey, remember a time when the Mets were 7 up with only 17 to play? Yeah. Good times.

July 23, 2012

Too Annoyed To Even Think Of A Title

I hate Bryce Harper. He needs to calm the fuck down, bro. It's not necessarily that he's good, but more like the Mets pitchers sucked last night. Specifically, Beato.

Speaking of Beato, fuck him. He had something to say about the wild pitch in Washington. Well, who's to blame for the shitshow we saw last night? Asshole.

I don't know if Bernadina's slide was "clean" or not, but it was a douche move. On the one hand, that's how baseball was played for 150 years. On the other hand, that's typically not how it's played today. What I do know is that Ron Darling was 100% correct when he said that we (Torres) need to take their shortstop out on that double play ball in the bottom of the ninth. No ifs, ands or buts.

We all know the bullpen is awful right now. But reality is, the offense could have (and should have) won the game last night and Sunday, both in 9 innings. Niese and Young both kept the team in it. The team is just not hitting either.

I can't take another loss. One win since returning from the All Star break is flat out awful. Doesn't matter if we buy, sell or do nothing. We're not going anywhere now or later.

July 18, 2012

Put A Fork In 'Em, They're Done

The closer. No, not Kyra Sedgwick. But, in baseball, the pitcher who is paid a lot of money to come into a game with their team ahead in the ninth inning and record the final three outs. Sometimes he's asked to come in sooner. Sometimes he's asked to come in even if he doesn't statistically qualify for a "save". But he is always expected to get opposing hitters out.

The Mets bullpen -- how should I say this? -- SUCKS. Two, count 'em, TWO blown saves in one game. First Parnell, then Byrdak. Parnell also blew it on Saturday.

The offense has been a bit questionable lately but they've done enough to win ballgames. The starters have given us quality outings as well. It's the bullpen that can't be trusted. I get sick every time Collins makes the call.

Know when else I get sick? When I see managers and coaches going by the book. Look, baseball is like investing -- past performance is not indicative of future results. There are no guarantees. Play the game that's unfolding on the field in front of you and forget about the numbers. Just get the damn job done!

Back to bitching, uh, I mean pitching. Eight straight curve balls from a guy who throws 100 mph. And it was working. Should have stuck with it.

Now the Mets find themselves 7 games out of first and 3.5 games out of the NL Wild Card race, behind Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Los Angeles and St. Louis. I don't know about you but that's kinda shitty to me. And with the trading deadline rapidly approaching and a history of not executing a deal in recent years, I am almost if not completely convinced that the party's over.

July 11, 2012

GRADE DIS!

Report card time!

I don't usually do a recap of, well, anything. But this year, with a little nudge from fellow blogger Fred Solomon of Sollywood and Wait 'Til Next Year, I decided to go for it. Below, your favorite "Mets Writer" and favorite Joo break down the Mets -- by position -- over the first half of the season, and even hand out grades to the lucky (or unlucky) subjects.  Fasten your seatbelts! We're about to begin...

CATCHER

Dee:
I would have given the catcher's position a better grade but Mike Nickeas brings down the curve for Josh Thole. No one was expecting either catcher to be a star, but overall I'm content with the job Thole has done. He calls a decent game, gets his base hits and handles the pitching staff well. Nickeas, however, leaves something to be desired in a backup catcher.
Grade: B-

Solly:
I really want to like Josh Thole (I know he’s not even 26 yet) but I’m just not sold. There’s no offense there – he doesn’t get on base and he doesn’t have any power. I guess it would be different if he threw out a ton of base runners but he’s allowed 27 steals and only caught 10. I know every catcher can’t be Piazza but the Mets could definitely use an upgrade here.
Grade: C-

FIRST BASE

Dee:
Whether his bout with Valley Fever was the culprit or not, Ike Davis got off to a disappointing start. He's starting to come around now, but I have to look at the entire first half, and that deserves a C+. He still plays hard and his defense is not a problem, but he hasn't been the hitter we thought and hoped he was going to be.
Grade: C+

Solly:
Ike Davis’ struggles to open the season have been well documented so I won’t beat that dead horse. He still managed to finish the half with 12 HR and 49 RBI and some decent defense. He seems to be on the right path but when a 1B is only slugging .388 to go with a .201 BA, you’re not getting a good grade from me.
Grade: D (and that’s with his recent upswing)

SECOND BASE

Dee:
What can you say about Murph's dedication and determination to play a solid second base. His defense has improved dramatically, including his ability to turn the double play. Other than a minor two week slump (which everyone goes through), Murph's offense has been what it should be. He's not going to hit a lot of home runs, but he will be a consistent hitter and get on and drive in runs.
Grade: B+

Solly:
Daniel Murphy almost went three months without hitting a HR, yet finished the half at a .295-3-43 clip. Not awful but a little disappointing for someone who should be drawing more walks and hitting with more power. His defense has been surprisingly solid but this is someone who should be traded to an AL team eventually.
Grade: B-

SHORTSTOP

Dee:
Ruben Tejada does it all and has made it very easy for Mets fans to accept the departure of that other guy. He may not have the arm of a Reyes, but he makes the play and gets the job done seamlessly. Even his hitting has been a pleasant surprise and more than sufficient. He has a good eye, is patient at the plate and does the little things.
Grade: A-

Solly:
Ruben Tejada has been a nice replacement for Jose Reyes. The power isn’t there, neither is the speed, but this kid always seems to find a way to get on base. A solid .325 BA and some nice defense.
Grade: B+

THIRD BASE

Dee:
David Wright has been nothing less than outstanding through the first half. His only defensive flaw - his throwing - has been non-existent and his offense, well if you don't know then you must live under a rock.
Grade: A+

Solly:
If not for Andrew McCutchen, David Wright would be the NL MVP. A .351 batting average to go with 11 HR and 59 RBI and Gold Glove-caliber defense, Wright has kept this team afloat. My ONLY complaint and this is probably nitpicking: he’s only stolen 9 bases while getting caught 7 times. That’s an awful ratio.
Grade: A

OUTFIELD

Dee:
As a whole, the Mets outfield needs work. Jason Bay can't stay healthy and when he is, he can't hit water if he fell out of a boat. I'd like to see more from and Nieuwenhuis and less of Bay (if that's possible).
Grade: D-

Lucas Duda is still work in progress. His defense needs improvement, especially if he's not going to be a consistent hitter.
Grade: C-

Andres Torres hasn't done much. End of story.
Grade: D

Kirk Nieuwenhuis has had his moments. But he works hard and has a shitload of potential. And he's young yet.
Grade: B-

Scott Hairston is probably the only consistent outfielder at the plate. The thing with a guy like Hairston is that you don't expect a lot so even though he is no David Wright, he still seems so awesome. I'd like to think of him as 2012's Angel Pagan.
Grade: B+

Solly:
I’ll just get Jason Bay’s grade out of the way.
Grade: D- (his effort stopped me from failing him)

Lucas Duda regressed after a solid 2011. I expected a bit more than .249-12-44, not to mention his defense has been atrocious. You almost wonder if he’s giving up more runs than he’s driving in.
Grade: C-

Andres Torres went through a rough stretch in the first half and basically showed me he’s a AAAA-type player. Too good for AAA, not good enough to start in the big leagues. I can’t even say he’s a decent PR or defensive replacement since he hasn’t impressed me with either ability. Just not a good player.
Grade: D

Kirk Nieuwenhuis is a fun player to watch, has some pop, and plays a decent CF, but he needs to cut down those Ks... 85 in 250 at bats. Not good but he's young.
Grade: B-

Scott Hairston and his Wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Hairston have been fun to watch this year. He’s basically a platoon player but had a surprising 12 HR in the first half. Easily my #1 choice off the bench.
Grade: B+

STARTING PITCHING

Dee:
Probably the biggest surprise of the season so far has been the starting pitching. R.A. Dickey has been phenomenal. Johan Santana made history. Jonathon Niese has held his own, as has Dillon Gee. And Chris Young has been what we expected.  Overall I think it's one of the best starting rotations in the game and I have total confidence in all five guys. They've kept us in games, bounced back from bad innings/outings, and have even contributed offensively at times.
Grade: A+

Solly:
Aside from Wright, the Mets starting pitching has kept them over .500. Aside from a few bad starts, Dickey, Santana, and Niese have become one of the top pitching trios in the game. Dillon Gee is as solid of a #4 starter as you’ll find. If Chris Young can stay healthy, I’ll put this rotation up with any in the NL.
Grade: A+

BULLPEN:

Dee:
With very little exception, the bullpen has flat out sucked. They have the highest ERA in the Majors, which makes me nuts! We complain about run support sometimes, but imagine how many more wins this team would have if not for the shitty bullpen?!
Grade: D-

Solly:
The Mets bullpen has been pure dog shit, I don’t know how else to say it. Dead last in ERA, just a shade under 5, with 17 losses. If they were merely mediocre, this would be a first place team. I cringe every time Terry Collins takes the ball from a starter.
Grade: F

MANAGER:

Dee:
Even though I don't always agree with his moves, Terry Collins gets an A- because the bottom line is that this team is winning, 6 games over .500 and only 4.5 games out of first. So he must be doing something right.
Grade: A-

Solly:
Terry Collins seemed very gun shy with letting his starters pitch earlier in the year and he’s almost a little reliant on the lefty-righty matchups, but overall he’s done a very good job with not a lot to work with.
Grade: B+

OVERALL:

Dee:
This team could and should be in a better position going into the All Star break, but it could also be in worse shape. There were several games along the way that should have been won, giving the Mets second place in the N.L. East. Many games blown by the bullpen or lost by one run that were just unacceptable. But in general, I am very pleased with the first half results and look forward to an even better second half and possible post-season!
Grade: B+

Solly:
I easily would have signed up for 46-40 at the beginning of the year. I still think there are too many IFs for this current team to make a run but if the bullpen and Davis/Murphy/Duda can get consistent, look out.
Grade: B+

And there you have it folks.  The 2012 Mets first half recap, by yours truly and some punk we all know (and love) as Solly.

July 9, 2012

Why The MLB All Star Game Is A Big Crock

This year, more than any other year, I have very little desire to watch the Mid Summer Classic. The whole idea of it simply annoys me. I can't even say I'm excited that next year it will be held at my very own home team's ballpark. That's pretty sad.

First off, the voting is left to the fans, who make it a popularity contest rather than just choosing the best player for the position. Mistake #1. When you leave important decisions in the hands of common idiots, you get idiotic results. Who wants to watch a game of baseball's best when it's not baseball's best?

It means something, my ass. I don't think any player is trying to win it for the home field advantage, much less a player whose team is already out of it in July. Mistake #2. If you ask me, except for the first-timers, these guys would rather be on a boat with their families and friends for the four days. Yes, four. See next paragraph.

Is an extra day off really necessary? Mistake #3. Why couldn't MLB just have every first series after the break be a four-game series? Not like they don't happen during the year anyway.

This year, we have a NL manager who isn't even actively managing in the majors - Mistake #4 - screwing over the guy who deserves to be the starting pitcher after choosing that guy's manager as one of his coaches. His reason, aka excuse? His All Star catcher -- you know, the one who is supposed to be the BEST at what he does -- can't catch a knuckleballer.

MLB is lucky my team is in contention right now otherwise I probably would have no use for it this year.

July 8, 2012

It's. The. Cubs.

How do you not take two series from Cubs, if not sweep them?

I'm not thrilled with the offense today. Not thrilled with Niese's performance either. But he did settle down after the first inning, aside from giving up a 3-run homer to Starlin Castro in the 7th. But those three additional runs didn't matter to a team that could barely put two hits together all afternoon. Whats the difference if you lose 4-0 or 7-0? I know, three runs.

I am still impressed and excited at all the ways this team has exceeded our expectations this year. But you can't lose two out of three, twice, to a team that is 33-52, 14.5 games out.

July 3, 2012

The Wright Snuff

This was another one of those topics that I wasn't going to beat to death, but a catchy title and a gnawing feeling in the pit of my stomach has made me reconsider.

How the fuck does Pablo Sandoval beat out David Wright as the starting third baseman in this year's MLB All Star Game? Was there a part in the movie 'Ted' that I missed, where he asked the fans to vote for the fucking panda or something?

Two million votes in two days. Well shit, I guess anything really IS possible in the game of baseball. David Wright got snuffed and MLB needs to rethink the way it's All Stars are chosen.

This country can't pick a president and it can't pick MLB All Stars.

June 10, 2012

I'm Kinda Getting Tired Of This

The Mets have lost six of their last seven games, and were swept by the Yankees this weekend in the Bronx.  The offense has cooled off and we see hitters swinging at bad pitches and not being patient at the plate.  The bullpen and defense left way more than something to be desired.  And another solid performance by Jon Niese today was wasted.

Ike Davis looks simply awful.  Speculation still surrounds his possible demotion to Triple A.  In my opinion, he needs to go.  I understand he may not see many curve balls or off-speed stuff down there, but right now he's not hitting the fast ball either.  Let him get his swing -- and his confiedence -- back, and then go from there.  Baby steps.  In the meantime, Duda can play first.  It's not our best defensive option there, but it's better than Vinny Rottino.

So how bad are the Mets right now?  Well, they find themselves in third place, 4.5 games behind the division-leading Nationals.  The freaking Nationals.  But the Marlins are right up their asses at 5 games behind.  They are also 2.5 games behind in the NL Wild Card race behind Atlanta, San Francisco and Pittsburgh.  That's right, Pittsburgh.

This is the point in the season where a team's true colors come out, and though I still love watching this team, I can't say I'm not wee bit concerned.  In fact, I'm kinda getting tired of losing.