All We Have Is Hope

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My pessimism for the upcoming season of my beloved Mets intensified a bit because one of our cats woke me up before I wanted to rise and shine for a bit of breakfast.  So after filling the bowls with leftover grilled chicken breast, I went to the living room with the intent of browsing Netflix for a movie. But first I took a tour of the 1763 channels on my FiOS system and lo and behold I stumble on to The Last Play at Shea on The Movie Channel.  I was going to turn the channel quick so as not get involved in this film but then the face of an old friend, the late Dana Brand came on my screen and that made me sit up straight with a touch of sadness. Then another blogger buddy was present on the TV, Greg Prince sitting in a seat at the our old house, Shea Stadium talking about all the great times we had at that place and more sadness fell over me. I started to think out loud and staring at Mittens our cat and shouting to him “Where did we go wrong”???? Mittens looked up for a second and went back to cleaning himself off after his satisfying breakfast.

Where did we go wrong? When did this organization make the turn from Ya Gotta Believe Boulevard to Embarrassment Lane?   I’m watching the film and seeing the Mets of the 80’s I just stared and drifted off into the Way Back Machine of my mind. Everyone hated us back then.  As a Met fan of that era we all had a “Do you know who the fuck we are” attitude that rubbed off on the fan base from our beloved team.  Keith Hernandez was that guy who rolled the cigarette pack in his sleeve, Darryl Strawberry was a physical specimen who hit baseballs liked they owed him money,  Ray Knight would smack the shit out you because he could,  Gary Carter was the definition of don’t mistake kindness for weakness.  Dwight Gooden had guys coming down with the flu on days he took the mound and they were led by the chip on his shoulder skipper Davey Johnson. The New York Mets were MLB’s Bad Ass’s

Today the Mets are the kick ass’s as in they have been on the receiving end of the ass kicking they use to hand out. Not to mention a team that plays in a tidy baseball McMansion, Citi Field as the old Mets with bad attitudes played in a tenement called William Shea Housing Project.  As much as I try to accept Citi as the new home of the Mets and try hard to let the past of Shea go, when I see movies like Last Play at Shea, I wonder if we are cursed. Is there a Curse of Shea Stadium?

Think about it the Mets haven’t been the same since the move to Citi. The owners were taken in by a flim flam man named Madoff, real fans have been moved out to outfield stands while the areas around 1st base, 3rd base and home plate have been surrounded by cement and security guards stationed to make sure no real fans try to sneak into the plethora of empty padded seats vacated by the swells who would rather sit in air conditioned luxury of a club while drinking expensive wine and eating gourmet foods.  Back at Shea the food sucked but the baseball was good, I’ll take winning baseball with an over cooked hot dog, half thawed pretzel washed down with watered down Bud any day.

There is hope, hope that the tide is turning. Where the everyday eight are not much to look at, the pitching staff has some talent and charisma. Matt Harvey looks like he could have anchored a staff in the 70’s or 80’s. Zack Wheeler and Travis d”Arnud should make a solid contribution once they are freed from Super Two purgatory.  Other than that and few wet behind the ears minor leaguers, there is much to be optimistic about with this 2013 edition of the NY Mets.

I hope I’m wrong.  I hope Lucas Duda visits the Wizzard of Baseball Oz to  get some baseball confidence. I hope I’m right about Colin Cowgill that he is the surprise of the season. I hope Ike Davis has the breakout season he and Mets fans have been waiting for. I hope David Wright finds some support in the lineup, I hope Freddy Skill Sets is not pissing on our legs and does have money to allow Sandy Alderson to bring in a big league bat with power. I hope the bullpen doesn’t suck like last year. I hope Citi Field is full of METS FANS in September making noise and rooting for a team that plays hard and wins baseball games. I hope I’m not setting myself up for disappointment.

 

 

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The Dog Days Of July ?

 

Remember back about a month ago when the Mets were proving the critics wrong by playing hard nose balls to the wall baseball that translated into winning games and had the beaten down fan base thinking of crisp cool evenings in October at Citi Field ? What happen?
It’s hard to pinpoint but this Mets team that looked to be tougher and more resilient that in the past has lost its mojo. Or has it? Are the Mets like water and have found their level?
The level of frustration with the Mets is not just relegated to the fan base. The more I see Ron Darling on SNY the more frustration with this team I see. Keith Hernandez is almost there but Darling, he’s arrived. It started with watching the Mets relievers just kill the enthusiasm of the season with poor performance and poor performance. It intensified when Andres Torres with a chance to pay back Roger Bernadina for spiking Ruben Tejada bailed out, a play Darling called Torres out on and a few days later was still pissed about the nonpayment by Torres.
My frustration is with Terry Collins and his nightly “we have to give Jason Bay at bats to get him going” Terry, Please stop! My leg is full of piss! I don’t know whose call it is that Bay stays in the lineup, but someone in authority has to say stop already, and I’ll tell you this, Bay has not gotten anything close to venom spewed on Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez by the Mets fan base. What he gets booed? Big deal! Yes, I know Bay is a swell guy and is loved by all who meet him, and I’m not advocating the fan base go all asshole on him but I’m just pointing out the criticism of Bay is tame to what other non-performers in Flushing have endured.
Ike Davis knocks three baseballs out of the park and the Mets still loses. I’m speechless!

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SCOTT HAIRSTON MUCH BETTER VALUE SIGNING OVER CODY ROSS

With the word that Cody Ross has signed with the Boston Red Sox with the Mets in contention for his services, the question of the day is whom would you rather  have as your 4th outfielder, Cody Ross or Scott Hairston?

Ross put a .240/.325/.405/.730 line last season with the Giants in 461 plate appearances. Hairston, stepped into the batter’s box, a sporadic 145 times to fill a line of .235/.303/.470/.773. while Ross banged out 14 home runs last season Hairston put seven baseballs over the outfield walls in his limited action. When you look at FB/HR rate Hairston’s beats out Ross 13.0% to 9.3 %.

Ross hits lefties very well especially for power with a .912 lifetime OPS to Hairston’ .813 OPS which is impressive as well making it even more a head scratcher on why Terry Collins didn’t use Hairston more before a rib injury at the end of August ended his season.

I would bet that Hairston re-signed with the Mets with the promise of more playing time, especially in CF against RHP unless Andres Torres can repeat his 2010 season. But between CF and spelling Lucas Duda in RF and staying healthy, Hairston could be a very productive 4th outfielder for the Mets.

Cody Ross would have been a nice choice as well for the Mets but with the Red Sox offer of $3mil plus incentives the Mets will get as much value from Hairston as they would from Ross and Hairston only cost $1.1 mil. No way Cody Ross is worth $2mil+ more than Jerry Hairston.

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COSTAS/MICHAELS OR COHEN/DARLING ?

I guess I missed the vote to have Al Michaels and Bob Costas call the 4th and 5th innings of tonight’s Mets-Giants game on SNY, while Gary Cohen and Ron Darling go over to the MLB Network to call the innings in their broadcast booth.  I don’t mind Michaels who is more associated with the NFL( and the 1980 USA hockey team as well) than he is with baseball even though he was a top notch baseball play by play man early in his career. I could do without Costas who is way too pretentious for me. I subscribe to the if it ”ain’t broke don’t fix it” school of thought especially when it comes to watching the Mets.      

What a tragedy last night in Arlington, where Josh Hamilton went to flip a ball to a fan after the third out of the inning and the fan leaning over to catch it, fell 20 ft landed on his head and died. The fan a 39 year old fireman was at the game with his son who was reported to be 8 or 9 years old. This is heartbreaking for the family but also for Hamilton who was reported to be distraught over the event.  I’m not one to be a reactionary type when freak accidents occur but I think it’s time to stop the ball toss in the stands. I’ve written here many times how I hate the bullshit Pepsi Patrol t-shirt launches into the stands. People turn into total assholes when some two dollar t shirt is blasted into the stands. It’s totally ridiculous. The same with foul balls. I have never caught a foul ball at a game and I could care less if I ever do. I have five full buckets of baseballs in my garage it doesn’t matter to me if it’s a ball from a Major League game. I’d rather keep all my bones and extremities intact than have a ball with Bud Selig’s name on it.

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BLOGGING CALLED ON ACCOUNT OF LACK OF INTREST

 

 

I don’t know about you but I’m getting a massive headache trying to decipher what the hell the Mets plan is for the off season.

 

Omar has gone on TV and print preaching pitching and defense and I scream at the TV YES OMAR YES! !!!  then I read the tons of minutia coming out of Indianapolis and everything about the Mets is contradictory.

 

The Mets are hot for Matt Holiday and John Lackey,

 

Then we hear, the Mets won’t be spending on big ticket free agents.

 

Luis Castillo has been offered to every team but Miguel’s Taqueria softball team. If you can’t move Castillo then you have to buy out his contract. I’m not a big Castillo fan and I would love to see him moved but you have to admit the way the Mets are treating him sucks. If my job treated me like this I’d at the union hall filing a fucking grievance. Either trade the man or grow a pair of balls Jeffey and buy him out you little shit.

 

Last night I watched Mets Hot Stove and the great Bobby Ojeda when asked by Kevin Burkhart what the Mets biggest need is this off season, Bobby O said “pitching, pitching and more pitching. Then when the cut to Indianapolis, and Chris Carlin interviewed Bobby Cox who was asked about his suplus of starting pitching. Cox said “you hate to move a starter because you never have enough pitching” Now they know that, I know that, you know that, all of baseball knows that. Do the Mets know that?

 

The last time I was this discouraged as a Mets fan, Lorinda de Roulet were trying to figure out how to clean baseballs and Bebe and Whitney de Roulet were strutting their debutant ass’s through out Shea trying out as ball washers.

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NO WAY, NO HOW

Allan Schwartz has a piece in the NY Times today about the Mets finding it tough to get rid of the dead wood that wash up on the shores of Flushing Bay that became the 2007 Mets bullpen. As much as I’m a Aaron Heilman fan his time in NY has come and gone he really needs a new start and I’m sure there is a team out there that would trade for him to stick in the back of their rotation as he does have some nasty movement on his pitches and he’s cheap. Scott Schoenweis could be dealt as well due to the fact he throws baseballs with his left arm. Not very effectively but left handed just the same. Duaner Sanchez if not traded should just be non-tender he is ineffective and just too goddamn lazy for me. That three relievers gone without even me getting up off my couch and laptop so how hard could it be for Omar to dump these guys? Tip of the Mets cap to Eagle for the link.

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THE PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES HAVE PROJECTED THE NEW YORK METS AS THE 2008 NL EAST CHAMPS

Hard to believe but the Phillies have conceded the NL East to the NY Mets. From reading the Philly papers (Funny papers?) and from watching last nights Phillies-Brewers game, I ‘ve come to the conclusion that the biggest fear in Philadelphia these days besides mad men with hammers on the subway,  is not making baseballs post season.

 

Watching a Phillies game on Comcast is very tough. First there is Gary Mathews Jr A/K/A Sarge. Now Sarge is very hard to understand as he speaks kind of like a stoke victim/drunk and my TV has nothing like that on my SAP menu. Closed captioning? You’re kidding right? Then you have old pal Tom McCarthy who looks to be enjoying big portions of scrapple and cheestakes as he taking on more of his before look than the after since dropping a ton of weight but the most compelling part of the broadcast is when Harry Kalas and Chris Wheeler get together and hate is in the air in HD no less. I’m so used to the love fest in the SNY booth between Gary. Keith and Ron that the tension convention between “Wheels” and Kalas makes for uncomfortable listing. There is no interaction at all between the two and you get the distinct impression that neither one would piss on the other if they were on fire. But I digress, all the talk on the telecast was how last night game with Jamie Moyer pitching on three days rest, was a must win as the Brewers and now the Astros (The Astros? When did they sneak in?) are the teams in the Phillies way of a post season slot.

 

Here in the Greatest City in the World, the mood is much more different. Mike Vaccaro lays out 17 reasons why this year is different than last year and even Lord Douchebag himself has a somewhat positive look at the Flushing Gangsta’s.  There is a different feel to this team, much more like it was in ’06 than last year. Most of is that the players who wilted last year are thriving and the manager is much more in control of the situation that  overwhelmed his predecessor and it has carried over to the fan base that has realized the Last Day At Shea is now listed as To Be Announced.

 

Tomorrow we get a treat as the Mets-Braves game is on FOX and Doofus Joe Buck and Tim McFullofshit will not be doing the broadcast, instead we get our own Howie Rose. The drawback is that Rose has to work with a retard. Also bad job out of the empty suits at SNY for not letting Kevin Burkhardt work some FOX games, I guess they know the dearth of talent at the station and are afraid of losing the one competent voice they have.

 

Jesus,  Billy get a grip will you, chill out and wait and see your rehab goes before you bid us farewell.

 

Skill Sets United?

 

This Date in Mets History Part I-September 12th 1969. The Mets swept a doubleheader from the Pittsburgh Pirates by identical 1-0 scores. In the first game Jerry Koosman pitched a complete game shutout and drove in the lone run.   In the second game Don Cardwell started and pitched eight innings of shutout ball and drove in the only run. It was the 8th and 9th win in a row for the Amazin’s as they opened up a 3 ½ game lead of the floundering Cubs.

 

This Date in Mets History Part II- September 12th 1984. Dwight Gooden strikeout 16 Pittsburgh Pirates to set a Major League record for K’s in a season by a rookie pitcher when he K’s 16 Bucs and leads the Mets to a 2-0 win at Shea.  The 1984 season is the most underrated seasons in Mets history. It’s the season when the turnaround of the franchise started and when the fan base started to comeback and get excited about the team. It was just three years removed from yet another work stoppage and it was year four of the transformation from the mess left by the de Roulet’ and the cleansing by the Wilpon/Doubleday ownership. Just a little over 12,000 fans showed up at Shea for this historic game but the foundation for the 86 Championships.

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