At some point before the 2010 season began, Johan Santana stepped on a street gypsy’s talisman and broke it. The gypsy got angry. And thus his curse began.
During Johan’s every start this year, somewhere in the vicinity a greasy man with long hair–and a suspicious resemblance to Mad Men‘s Don Draper–would pop up blowing his saxophone. The cursed music distracted our Johan, causing his velocity to dip or prodding him to tip his pitches. But more, it bedazzled the Mets batters too, freezing run production and leaving Johan to flounder runless through his innings.
No one could deny the predicament: Sergio was branching out past the boardroom and into the ballpark.
Thankfully, it appears Johan has mended the broken sacred talisman. He’s hung it above his bed, and we have evidence already that the fix is working. Not only has Johan returned to prime form on the mound, but he’s even found power at the plate. Sergio has left the building. And instead of giving up home runs, Santana’s knocking ’em out.
Keep the talisman safe, Johan. Protect it from harm and kiss it every evening before bed. For its curse is also ours, and we must never again invoke that gypsy vengeance.
Well done, Mets fans! And David Wright supporters! The final All-Star fan vote numbers resulted in our David not only catching up to Phillies’ Placido Polanco, but firmly surpassing him by almost 500,000 votes! All that clicking paid off. I did my part, and apparently you did yours too.
What’s best is how much D-Wright appreciates the fans’ vote of confidence. Keep on doing what you’re doing David; we’re loving watching it. On being selected, he said, “It never gets old. It’s a tremendous honor. Obviously, I’m very grateful for the fans that came out late that pushed me and got me the opportunity to start. I’m very grateful for that. I take a lot of pride in that. To be mentioned amongst some of the great players in the game is an incredible honor.”
Cap tip to Jose Reyes for squeaking in on the Players’ ballot, but I confess I hope he takes the break given the oblique problems he’s been having. And alas, Mike Pelfrey will get the time off as well–but if I’ve paid correct attention, his pitching schedule should have disqualified him from playing in the All-Star game anyway.
Final NL ballot numbers at 3rd base:
David Wright: 2,285,959
Placido Polanco: 1,792,413
Make us proud National League! This is your year!
Our David Wright has narrowed his second place status in the All-Star vote to a mere margin of 22,635, as opposed to about 180,000 just a couple weeks ago.
Let’s send David to the All-Star game! Not only is he the only Mets player in contention, but he’s having a stellar season so far–batting .303, with 14 homers (140% of his total all last year!) and a league-leading 61 RBIs. He deserves this, and what’s more, we know how much he’ll appreciate the fans’ vote of confidence.
You’ve got until Thursday at 11:59 PM.
VOTE HERE, vote often, and let’s get this done. Consider it like the 2000 presidential election, and you live in Florida. The margin is small enough that your every vote will count. Don’t leave those hanging chads!
(I’ve now used 3 email addresses, which means 75 votes, and it’s really quick and easy! When you reach your limit on one email address, just type in another and it keeps your ballot choices intact.)
Yesterday’s rather ugly game began with nothing but cuteness: Mets Players’ wives and children traipsed around the field tossing balls, playing games, posing for pictures, and just having a grand old time. I couldn’t help but share the 20 seconds of coverage of Jose Reyes’s family, Fernando Tatis’s, I’m going to guess Takahashi’s adorable children? Igarashi’s? And Angel Pagan’s and Pedro Feliciano’s. Enjoy!
We’ve got to get our All-Star showing up, folks. If not in selected players, at least in fan votes. Let’s get louder. We’ve got reason to.
I can’t imagine asking the Mets to do more than they’ve done the past couple weeks. Beside the pristine work of the team’s starting pitchers, David Wright’s a league-leader in RBIs, Jose Reyes is more Jose Reyesy than he’s been in ages, Jason Bay and Jeff Francoeur have fought their way out of slumps, Ike Davis and Angel Pagan continue to get the big hit at the right time, and Rod Barajas remains a solid pleasant surprise.
I just spent five minutes showing the team how much I appreciate what they’ve been doing. It’s a matter of fan pride. Why should our guys–who are playing their hearts out right now–be showing so poorly in the All-Star vote? Only David Wright has a chance to win the fan vote now, but he’s still firmly in second place, almost 200,000 votes behind the Phillies’ Placido Polanco. Argh. Are we really going to let the Phils fans eclipse our David?
But more, let’s just go and show our boys that we’re pulling for them. Our votes don’t have to get all of them to the All-Star game, but it feels like the right way to say “We’re with you, and we love what you’re doing.” Unfortunately Daniel Murphy and Carlos Beltran have taken the spots on the ballot that Ike Davis and Angel Pagan deserve, but I took turns writing Ike and Angel in as I registered my 25 allowable votes. How cool would it be if Mets fans mobilized in these final couple weeks to put Ike Davis ahead of other first basemen just as a write-in? And how good would Rod Barajas feel to see his vote tally rise in appreciation of the heart he’s shown? As long as Jeff Francoeur’s beard has hits in it, he’ll resemble ZZ Top before he shaves, so go cheer for streak beard. Jose Reyes missed some time, and he was slow getting back, but man has he been preternaturally good lately–let’s get him some votes to show for it.
If you didn’t click the link above, do so here for the All-Star ballot. To vote multiple times, you’ll have to enter separate authorization codes, but the ballot remembers your votes, so you’ll only have to click once for our Mets. Don’t forget to write in Ike Davis and Angel Pagan. This one’s for fan pride. Tell your team that you’re rooting for them. Let’s make a showing. Let’s get loud. And Let’s go Mets.
Howard stressed that he’s not running against Omar Minaya, and he in fact hopes Minaya’s dynasty continues in an upward climb to the post-season even many times over. He’s a Mets fan. We all hope that. But when Minaya and the Mets are ready to part ways, Howard wants to be the one who steps in and fills his shoes.
And he wants you to help him get there.
For the next ten days, Howard’s conducting a listening tour over at Baseball Think Factory. The dialogue has already started, and Howard seems deeply invested in what the fans have to say. He wants you to give him a vote of confidence. That’s his whole goal, I would say–to become the first fans’ GM. And in that spirit, he’s hoping you’ll join the discussion and let him know what you want.
New York Magazine has already announced Howard’s bid for the GM in the last paragraph here, and fellow Metsy online folks Ted Berg and Mike Silva joined me in asking questions on the fans’ behalf at Howard’s announcement presser. See our questions below, and for Howard’s full announcement speech, visit him at YouTube.
Although not an official GKR event, yesterday a bunch of hearty GKR revelers gathered in the bridge terrace cafe-style seats to watch Johan Santana pitch the day game. Of course we didn’t realize what a gem Niese would pitch later in the evening, and it was a shame the boys couldn’t pull off a phenomenal sweep, but we still had a blast in our cozy little private terrace.
Dana Brand and his daughter kept me lovely company in our choice seats directly above the Mets bullpen. I remained endlessly fascinated throughout the game by the rare, unhindered view from above. Although the pitcher threw from a spot hidden underneath the terrace, the catcher squatted just a stones-throw away, and if you’ve never seen–or heard!–a hard-pitched ball hit a catcher’s glove, I assure you it’s loud and impressive. When Mejia was warming up, the sound reverberated. You never hear about a catcher’s wrist problems, but man it looked like he’d have some.
We got to enjoy a Henry Blanco two-run dinger (home runs by our catchers–so routine! And yet still so awesome!), but for me the novelty of the day was watching the activity down below. Here’s a video of Blanco catching Johan while Warthen looks on, simulating a batter and nodding. You can also see in the video how eagerly the rest of the bullpen was watching Johan warm up.
And then Warthen moves to the other side of the plate.
Before each game, it seems, the bullpen forms its own high five line, which you can enjoy below along with Dana Brand and his daughter, me and GKR’s Lynn, and a somewhat sad shot of Frankie Rodriguez in what I’m assuming is his no-save-opportunity-for-me seat beside the bullpen.
And guess whom we ran into at the ballpark? SNY.tv’s own (and The Perpetual Post’s own) Howard Megdal. Howard’s got some very exciting stuff in the works, and you can stay tuned right here for coverage of his hot press conference on Monday. Oh, the suspense!
I don’t boo my team. On rare occasions I do in my head–like for Aaron Heilman or Steve Trachsel. But I never have out loud. Booing won’t help the dude pitch any better. So on opening day this season when Oliver Perez was introduced to resounding boos, I clapped. “No, let’s give him a shot!” I yelled. “Come on, Ollie, let’s see what you got.”
Well Ollie? I HATE what you’ve got. I’m not alone, I know, but come on. Oliver Perez is being so ridiculous, so selfish, so dedicated to doing anything he can to help the team lose, that if I ever see him in person on the mound again, I am booing my head off. Hell, I’d even boo at the TV. Oliver Perez, you get a boo forevermore. BOOOOOO.
Here’s why I’m going to boo you, Ollie. It started with going to arbitration. What a greedy sonuvabitch, the fans thought. Milking whatever he can to get more money. He better friggin’ perform. And you did perform. Sometimes well, more often terribly. I would have been happy to see you go after ’08. Good riddance, you greedy, inconsistent jerk. Of course I say that now. Back then, I was willing to continue rooting for you. I wasn’t a fan of yours, but you were a Met. And I root like heck for my team.
Guess what, Ollie. It is now impossible to root for you. You have made it impossible for even the most devoted Mets fan to have your back. Partly, this is because you failed as a pitcher. But mostly it’s because now you’ve failed as a teammate and quite frankly as a man. You’re sitting in that bullpen as the bump that might upset this team’s barely balanced log. The Mets are now handicapped against every team they face because they’re one man down. You are unusable. Dead weight. A burden. Taking the spot of a reliever who could otherwise help the team win.
How dare you not do the right thing, Oliver. How dare you not go to the minors for even a brief time to work on your mechanics. How dare you make it harder for your team to win. How dare you be both the problem and the obstacle to finding a solution. How dare you ignore what’s best for the other 24 members of your team.
You are crappy at your job. But now it’s personal. Turns out you’re just a crappy guy.
It can’t hurt to focus on the positive from last night’s first game of the year against the Yanks. Hold the vocal criticism–this is for kicks, not for American Idol
He’s on the mound
He’s c-coming out
For the orange and blue
Oh, his aim will be true
For giving us this steadfast man
His pitches he’ll mix
He’ll choose them from six
From fastball to curve
Or a slider with verve
From off-speed to ferocity
From the bullpen or to start…
I’m your biggest fan
I’ll follow through outs one to three
Baby you’re a superstar who gives us consistency
Promise you’ll stay well
Without you our rotation goes to hell
Baby you’ll be famous
Someday even get the victory
The field and fans were sun-drenched, and with D-Wright giving us a lead right off the bat, the energy was electric. Even when Johan passed the ball to Fernando Nieve, the path remained free and clear. A great game. A great day. Great Mets fans. Everything we hoped for.
Then the game ended. The wind picked up. And I headed to McFaddens. It was the opposite of glorious.
But no. While other friends were already inside, having left the ballpark in the 8th inning to watch the rest of the game at the bar, I was on line outside the makeshift entrance. Oh my God, that line. Worse than the most annoying NYC clubs. I even told the head security guy that I was here to review the establishment for my Mlblog. And when I asked politely, “Is there a manager I can talk to?” he literally said to me, “Who do you know?”
Half an hour later, I made it into McFaddens at Citi. Let me show you how empty most of the bar was–just so you know what it looked like while people were waiting for ages outside.
Meanwhile clustered around a raised bar were pretty much the fans I tend to avoid at the game. The obnoxious super drunk douchey ones. My heart sank. This was our new Citi watering hole? The homey Mets-loving spot I had anticipated with excitement? Ugh. Boo.
As my friend texted me while I was on the interminable line, “It’s coyote very ugly.”
I did get a kick out of this guy, though. Here he is about to be thrown out. His friend had been on top of him moments earlier. Alas my camera wasn’t quick enough for that.
So let me leave you with these, the pics from earlier, when all was still bliss. In that last pic you’ll see a sea of raised hands waiting to congratulate our David Wright, who’s buried somewhere within the happy Mets welcome wagon.
And there are always Mets friends to see at the ballpark. Matt Cerrone, Dana Brand, and Jason Fry, and from far away gal pal Julie Alexandria posing for a pic with Matt on the field, and Michael Baron, whom I’d briefly meet later. Always a joy to see familiar faces at Citi!