August 2008

Redemption!

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Last night felt realllly good. The Mets Divas and Dykstraw watched the 2nd game vs. the Phillies at Matty’s Metsblog viewing party. Head over to MD&D to read the full report, with pictures, here!

Is it completely unreasonable to just plain want some of that 2006 magic for the rest of the season? When the wins just rolled out one after the other? The way I see it, we’re looking at 3 options for September. 1) We start losing. And as can happen (we allll know) the losing begets more losing. 2) We win! Again and again! Oh how confident the Mets are, all swagger and red hot bats and picking each other up. 3) Win, lose, win, lose, win, lose, right along with the other contenders in our division, and right to the very end. Oy.

I have a feeling I’m going to be very moody in September. I’m not a huge fan of roller coasters, Metsies. Can’t we just have it easy for once? I’m thinking it’s on the offense now. Pick up the bullpen, the missing John Maine. Wanna score early? Fine, great, but the ball works the same in later innings too. Let’s keep up what you did last night. Come on, boys. Don’t fail us this time.

September baseball: Alcohol and antacids.

It’s fine

Last night’s game against the Phils was a doozy. I couldn’t make the SNY party at the Hawaiian Tropic Zone, but I imagine all the bikini models were nervously biting their fingernails straight through the 13th inning. Or maybe that was just me. Ugh, I had such a nervous, twisty stomach that started as soon as our lovely 7-run lead shrank to a measly 1-run margin. I was hanging out with a (happy) Red Sox fan who provided decent moral support, but still. It was a tough loss.

BUT. It’s not even September yet. It’s quite possible every game will be a nail-biter from now on. The Mets have some adversity to face. No Billy Wagner. No John Maine. And now a quad strain for Ramon Castro. So, while every game is important–perhaps more so at this point than any other year I’ve been a fan so far–we still have enough games left that the race is on and undecided. If we’re still separated by half a game in two weeks? Then I’ll be wringing my hands. For the meantime, the offense and bullpen will just have to get it together and pick each other up. Is it hoping for a miracle to win games without a closer? If it is, then that’s what I expect.

I’ll end with a Will-ism that once made me laugh. What do we say about Aaron throwing 60 pitches (all watched with my hands over my face) without giving up a run? L’Cheilman!

I’ll be at Matty’s bash at Butterfield 8 tonight. Say hi if you see me!

Announcing…the Mets Divas and Dykstraw!

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You’ve seen pics of them on this blog before, but now we’re a team. A new addition to the Mets online community. A group project that will be a ton of fun to write, read, and–eventually–listen to.

We are the Mets Divas and Dykstraw!

My Summer Family’s Coop and the infamous commenter on many blogs around town, Dykstraw, and I have united to start our own group blog. We hope this will be a stomping ground for our whole blogger community, including special guest bloggers. But more, the always opinionated Dykstraw now finally steps out from behind the comment curtain and into the spotlight.

Our next step in this group project will be to implement a bimonthly podcast–so stay tuned for that debut as well.

Stop by the new place, say hi, and I hope you’ll add MD&D to your rotation of Mets blog reading!

Don’t worry–this place isn’t going anywhere! I’ll be doing both :-)

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Check it out!

DVDShea review.jpgI reviewed two awesome Mets DVDs for MLB.com–it was a fun project, watching almost twenty hours of some of the best Mets games ever along with a fittingly fun and poignant goodbye to Shea. Take a look! :-)

I’m off to Shea tonight and tomorrow for what I hope will be continued taking care of business by our beloved team.

And stay tuned Monday for a special announcement of a new group project–an exciting new addition to the Mets online community!

Classic Gary, Keith, and Ron. And Tom! And Hot Foot!

Last night’s broadcast of the Mets sweep of the Braves was just a joy to watch. First, of course, it was an exciting game, close score, 9th inning victory! But before the win? There was the booth. With Keith just one night way from some vacation time, he was on the extra loopy side, and Gary Cohen, Ron Darling, and special guest star Tom Seaver made the most of it. See if you don’t laugh too:

 

Later in the broadcast, I saw what might have been a familiar face flash by on the screen–“That looks like DeRosa’s facial hair,” I thought. A quick rewind on the DVR confirmed that yes, Mets bloggers’ own Anthony DeRosa of Hot Foot spent a split second on the left hand corner of the TV:derosa large.jpgderosa small.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 See Anthony’s t-shirt? The camera did, too, later on. They loved the shirt. And they loved headless Hot Foot. So here’s DeRosa’s fifteen seconds of torso fame:

 

Youth Vs. Experience

precious_moment_clipart_baby.jpgI find it hard not to accept Omar Minaya’s (and really, most of baseball’s) philosophy that adding proven, experienced players promotes a solid ball club. But the 2008 season so far seems to be…well…contradicting that.

I’d like someone to look at all the over .500 clubs and calculate the median age–I haven’t quite got the patience to do it myself. But I did check out two of the most unlikely success stories of the year: the Tampa Bay Rays and the Florida Marlins. At the beginning of the season, if someone had told you the Rays would be 10 games ahead of the Yanks and 4 ahead of the Sox on August 21, would you have said “Well, duh“? Probably not. And the Marlins are a team that time and time again outperform expectations. Of the current 25-man roster, the Rays have 14 players (.560) born 1980 or later, and the Marlins have 15 (.600). The Mets currently have 9: Mike Pelfrey, Daniel Murphy, Argenis Reyes, Oliver Perez, Joe Smith, Nick Evans, John Maine, and of course our own David Wright and Jose Reyes. Maine’s having some shoulder problems, we know, but the rest? Certainly not a whole lot to complain about.

So here we are with our own unlikely success story. Unlikely only in that several of these young players were never even near the initial plan for the season. But here they are, getting it done. Mike Pelfrey–Pelf!–has the most wins in our starting rotation. Daniel Murphy just looks at the ball and he’s at 2nd base. And that’s not even considering the benefits of their smaller paychecks.

Sure, you could argue that younger players aren’t mentally prepared for the big leagues, and that’s valid. Pelfrey took almost 2 years to adjust. But they also don’t have to deal with the mental stress of performing up to exorbitant paychecks or enormous trades. They’re eager and hungry–they have everything to prove.

We’ll likely be seeing Kunz again soon with the September call-ups, and I think we’ll see better stuff from him in the future. And I look forward to seeing whomever else might come up from the minors. With all the doom and gloom talk about Billy Wagner’s old beat up elbow, I’m hoping that more young, unproven players step in and surprise us the way our young Mets have so far this year.

 

Mets Weekly doesn’t hate me

Background for the story: Back at the beginning of the season, Matty organized a bloggers roundtable to air on Mets Weekly, and I was originally supposed to be a part of it. Close to last minute, I was told I got cut for vague reasons. I was disappointed to feel excluded, and to lose an opportunity to hopefully get more readers. But I knew that the two times I’ve been on Mets Weekly (once in ’06, once in ’08), I’ve looked awful. The camera’s so close to my face, which just looks huge and wrong. And I somehow always think of the perfect thing to say once the camera’s already off. So I wasn’t too devastated.

But then when I got cut again from the bloggers day footage, I thought–oh no! They hate me at Mets Weekly! Why would they just keep cutting me, especially since there are already so few women (who know about baseball I mean, sorry Jocelyn Pierce, I’m sure you’re very nice) on that show. So, yes, I took it personally and figured that for some reason I’d gotten blacklisted.

Nope! It’s nothing of the sort. I got two emails Monday morning after Mets Weekly learned that I wasn’t happy to have been excluded. Turns out my interview with Teddy had been the first footage shot that day, before Matt and Ted did their own introduction. The editor thought the footage began with Matt and Ted, and so he/she didn’t even know I’d been interviewed. 

So it was nothing personal at all, which makes me feel a whole lot better! 

Now I just have to figure out how to not look/sound AWFUL on Mets Weekly for the future. It’s a great way to promote the blog and celebrate our little (dorky, I know) online Mets community. But so far I haven’t quite gotten it right. 

I am also expecting emails now from the bullpen explaining why they’re not getting it done. What, bullpen? You didn’t hear that I’m not 100% happy with you? You’re supposed to send me explanation emails when you learn that, clearly.

 

Getting a Luis (not Castillo), losing a Hernandez (not Keith)

So many questions with the bullpen these days. For instance, do we want to see what our new guy, Luis Ayala can do? Or do we hope all our starters pull a “Santana” like yesterday and throw 9 shut-out innings? Eh, I’ll take the complete-game shut-out. But juuuust in case that doesn’t work out…

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First, a goodbye to Anderson Hernandez. Andy, we hardly knew ya. But we did ambush you for a pic at Port St. Lucie, and you were very nice about it. Still, Andy Hernandy’s (as Coop calls him) role was as a back-up, back-up infielder and Jose Reyes’s best bud. With Argenis Reyes now filling both positions with vigor, we just don’t need Andy anymore.

We do need another arm in the bullpen. Even an unfocused arm with a less than ideal ERA. So, hey Luis Ayala, welcome to New York. I think a change of scenery will be great for you.

What are we getting? A 5.77 ERA RH reliever who’s gone 1-8 this season. 30 yrs old, native of Mexico, Tommy John surgery in 2006. What are the stats not telling us? It’s been a tough year for Luis.

First, he got shot in the left arm while hunting in the off season. Why Dick Cheney would be hunting with a Latin relief pitcher is beyond me, but ball players? Guns. Stay away from them. Mostly, though, it seems he’s going through, or has recently endured, a divorce.

This, Luis, we can help you with. He had asked the Nats to trade him for a change of scenery, and he got just that. A fresh start in a new place with distractions everywhere–I think that’ll help the guy out. Plus, a new pitching coach can’t hurt. An objective eye, perhaps a new approach. So we’ve got Luis Ayala, angsty in his old environment, and hopefully more focused in his new one.

This acquisition–for which we gave up only what we did not need–has the potential to be one of those under-the-wire Omar moves–the ones that surprise everyone. The ones that have us asking “How’d he know?”

Let’s hope so. The pen could use it.

Biggest current question, of course: Does Ayala get the pink pretty princess backpack?

Not cool, SNY

I urge all of you to watch this week’s Mets Weekly, which just aired, and which features fun footage from our Bloggers Day in the SNY suite. But, then, I always urge you to watch SNY. As a blogger, I’m SNY’s biggest supporter, and I always have been. 

Too bad they pretended I didn’t exist. You’ll catch me in a couple brief cut-aways, but other than that, I’m the only one they didn’t let introduce him/herself (besides one blogger whom I know prefers to be off-camera). I would like to know why they cut me out.

Like everyone there, I did a little introduction and talked to Teddy (Berg) a bit for the Mets Weekly camera. Now, usually the camera makes me incredibly nervous. When I appear on TV all I do is critique myself, and so I do have ambivalent feelings about the whole deal. But to be axed out of bloggers day? That was just kind of…mean. Our little community is very tight, and many of my blogger friends call me the “cruise director” because I’ve had a large part in making sure everyone knows each other, in making sure everyone knows about any events going on–most of all SNY events! Which I always promote and then provide pictures from. More than many (except for Matty), I’ve gone out of my way to help foster the sense of community we share. So to then pretend I don’t exist…Mets Weekly and SNY? It kind of hurts.

Is it possible my interview sucked or was just not relevant to what wound up airing? Sure, absolutely. But at least let me do the introduction that everyone got to do! I think there might be some politics involved between SNY and Mlblogs. I’m not sure about that, it’s just a feeling I get. But I’ve done a lot for SNY. I’ve promoted the hell out of them these past two years. I’ve gotten dozens of people to their events. (Jeez, and just as I was getting ready to help them promote an upcoming SNY event before the end of the month!) I’ve met many, many of their awesome on-air and behind-the-scenes guys. They should really get over whatever’s going on and offer me more consideration.

Update: They also neglected to introduce Adam, aka Brooklyn Met Fan, who was also there, and who is also awesome. But Mets Weekly has Adam on rather often, so he may feel less slighted, I imagine. And also, to interview so many dudes and then cut out one of the few women there adds to the not-coolness.
  

A test for Ollie…can he make the children smile?

Tonight we discover if Oliver Perez can manage to dig up the adrenaline and control he so often finds for big-stage games…on a paltry little worst-team-in-baseball stage. The Nats are the one team where 2 out of 3 won’t cut it. How many times have we heard about our team’s troubles against under .500 teams? That can’t continue. With the race this close, we need those games to be gifts, not giveaways. So Ollie, bullpen, offense, let’s put this one in the books and take full advantage of facing a .364 team. And then, let’s keep up the confidence and crisp play for Pittsburgh and Atlanta, both currently at .458. These are the games, team. These are the ones that could win the division for us.

After all, you don’t want to make your children cry, do you? Here are some moments from Sunday’s Family Day at Shea. (The first one is Tiny Castro. And do you see Daniel Murphy all smiles with his family?) All together now: Awwww.

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See, Ollie? Do it for the children!

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