Was Last Night’s No Hitter The Start Of Something Bigger ?

 

This post will be all over the place, so let me apologize in advance because I still can’t get my thoughts all in one place after watching Johan Santana’s no hitter last night. What has me all verklempt is this was more than just the first no hitter in the history of the NY Metropolitan Baseball Club, it was more a display of what this little thing of ours, being a Mets fan means. If the non-believers don’t grasp the concept of Mets fandom after last night, they never will and that’s their loss.

The look of determination on the face of Santana will stay with me for a long, long time as will the image of Terry Collins who was put in the worst spot of al,l worrying about the health of his Ace and the historical place this game was headed. Later we would learn that Santana would sing his own version of The Weight as he told Collins he was not coming out of this game taking the load off the manager and putting on him.

I thought of Josh Thole, just activated after suffering a concussion guiding Santana along. After a week- ten days of working out in a back field of Pt. St. Lonesome to this electrifying moment, I was hoping his head wasn’t hurting.

I thought about Mike Baxter who went above and beyond the call of duty crashing into the left field wall to make a catch that is now another in memorable catches in Mets history. Watching him come off the field with Ray Ramirez holding his arm, I thought the worst but then this morning I read Baxter quotes where he said “I’ll be ok, it’s not about me it’s Johan’s night”. Baxter typified the all for one, one for all attitude this team has taken on.

I thought about Gary Cohen calling the game on SNY and Howie Rose calling the action on WFAN, they are not just the Mets play by play men, they are one of us. I feel even closer to them since we are all from the same generation who got into Mets Fandom on the ground floor. I’ve always wondered if our paths ever crossed way back when in the Upper Deck at Shea maybe during a Craig Swan start or cheering a Willie Montanez home run, complete with the stutter step home run trot. When the no hitter was “in the history books” as Howie noted, Ron Darling, who was extremely fired up in the late innings of this game, and Keith Hernandez, who was astonishing quiet maybe superstition took over, asked Gary if he thought the no hitter drought would ever be broken and without missing a beat Cohen said “NO” I got a bit misty in the eyes when Gary said that because I knew exactly where he was coming from.

I thought a lot about Johan Santana. I thought about all the hard work he put in to get back on a Major League mound and like Bobby Ojeda said on the post-game show pitching “on back fields in front of tumble weed and three legged dogs”. This is part of the professional athletes life that many fans either ignore or just don’t care about. The work that Santana put in after his shoulder surgery is what separates him as one of the top pitchers in MLB to the guy holding on or trying to get a roster spot. All pitchers at this level can throw a baseball, it’s the few who have the work ethic and the intelligence to make the climb to the top that stand out. When Santana went down with his shoulder injury that needed surgical repair he was one of the best pitchers in baseball. He worked his ass off in rehabilitating the shoulder and in getting himself back on his game right where he left off.  After last night’s performance all those days with the physical therapist and then on the back fields of the Mets minor league complex with the sweat dripping off him to the scrutiny of Dan Warthen and Terry Collins in spring training to the skepticism of the media and fan base, wondering which Johan Santana we would see, has paid off big time. What we’ve seen is one of the best pitchers in Mets history and a player with the heart of a lion.

Last night was not about the owner and how much money he has or doesn’t have  nor was it about whether this team is playing over their heads, no, it was about what it’s like when you sign on to become a Mets fan. There are good days and some bad days and then there are days like yesterday that wash away all the bad.  If you’ve decided not to support this team because of your disdain for the ownership, well you’re stupid. If you learned anything last night it’s not about the Skill Sets, it’s not about the Robinson Rotunda, it’s not about the outfield walls and it’s not about the Shake Shack, it’s about the 25 players and it’s about us and for all of you who have been avoiding Citi Field, you better hop back on the bandwagon and buy some tickets and come out to watch this team play because I don’t think they are done making history, the no hitter might just be the beginning of something very special.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Gee, The Mets Go For The Sweep

I’m sure many Mets fans bailed out of this game after the 2nd inning, down 4-0 with Miguel Batista on the mound in Filthadelphia really doesn’t make Mets fans very optimistic but maybe this team and the manager are telling the truth that they don’t listen to the negativity from the media and some in the fan base and they really don’t give a shit what the naysayers think of them.

Last night Batista started off shaky but after the 2nd inning, he settled down to give the team a very good 3.1 innings until he ran out of gas. Manny Acosta took over and came up huge getting out of a 2nd and 3rd 1 out jam with a ground out by Joe Blanton and punching out J-Roll to keep the score deficient to 3 runs.

I love when a player steps up when all eyes are on them to make decisions by the front office difficult. Andres Torres came back to the team when his understudy Kirk Nieuwenhuis broke out as a major contributor to the team.  Torres has stepped in and produced both at bat and in the field and now the Mets will have a major decision to make when Jason Bay comes back. There is no place for Bay on this team right now and if Bay is force fed into the lineup while this outfield is as productive as it is, the front office will take a huge credibility hit with the fan base.  While Bay’s ribs are healing hopefully Sandy Alderson is exhausting all options to deal Bay. Any type of removal from the team of Bay is going to coast money so if the Skill Sets want to prove to the fan base that they are back in the game they will authorize Alderson to move Bay by any means necessary.

The word on Josh Thole is not very encouraging. It seems Thole has been concussed before so it looks like a stay on the 15 day DL is more realistic than the short stay 7 day concussion DL. This will be a huge problem for the Mets in two areas. Between Mike Nickeas and Rob Johnson, the Mets just took a major downgrade in the catching department. Nickeas can’t hit but he’s superior to Johnson behind the plate and quite frankly Johnson is only in the big leagues because of the dearth of catching talent in baseball. One thing is for sure, Johnson will not be behind the plate with The Dickster is on the mound as Johnson has a problem catching conventional pitches he’d need a tuna net to catch the knuckle ball.

The other obvious problem is replacing Thole’ bat.  With Ruben Tejada on the DL, the bottom third of the Mets batting order could become a Black Hole. The Mets have to hope that Valdespin can hit at least .250 and get on base at least MLB average of .315 because what can you expect from Nickeas at the plate a .220 BA ?  When Johan Santana and R.A. Dickey start it would not be crazy to bat them 8 and Nickeas 9th.

While your sitting at your computer at lunch time checkout Greg Prince’s writeup of the Mets 50th Anniversary Conference at Hofstra University. You can thank me later.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

WE’RE SHIPPING OFF TO BOSTON OHHHHHHHH OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last night was a tough one but I’m trying to keep a positive outlook (which is very very difficult) as Livan Hernandez was outstanding throwing strikes in a great bounce back start of his stinker in SF. Wright and Beltran are still carrying the team on their offensive shoulders and lo and behold Daniel Murphy was Gold Glove caliber at first base (just makes J-Man putting Jeremy Reed at first look more stupid) I didn’t see the bot of 8th as I passed out and when I woke up at 1AM saw the results and turned over for four hours of sleep but from looking at the Gameday charts it looks like JJ Putz was throwing hard as his fastball was low mid 90’s so that is encouraging but when your offense is lacking protection for your big boys your pitching walks a slender tight rope. Add in the fact that the Hollywood Bums are a good baseball team that has not lost a step from the loss of Manny and are tough to beat at home. That being said I don’t have a good feeling about going into Boston this weekend. It didn’t take much for my positive outlook to turn to shit.

 

One area that I will roast the front office is another in the many episode of not getting injured players looked at and put on the DL. Reyes should have been sent for tests while in SF or LA as I know those two major cities have competent doctors and MRI machines that work very well. From Church’s mishandling from concussion to Delgado being flown across the country with a hip that needed surgery to the newest fuck up with Jose Reyes now looking like a DL candidate makes the Mets look amateurish and is one of the reasons fans have no faith in Omar Minaya and his board of directors.

 

On that note with Reyes looking like he will be gone for awhile and Alex Cora gone for a couple of months as well, how about going after Jeff Keppinger or even Ramon Santiago of the Tigers? Or Nick Green on the Red Sox it’s time for Omar to get to work.

 

I’ll have a lot more to talk about tonight on Pro Baseball Central so join us at 9PM EDST live and call in with your rants and raves at (646) 595-4462 If you can’t join us then listen to the podcast on our PBC site or on the upper right on this page.   

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

THIS RIDE IS MAKING ME SICK

Well I see the roller-coaster is still running strong. Win one, lose one. Last night was the same up and down ride. Petey started rocky then found the low strike zone and induced ground ball outs. That was good. D-Wright sucked in the field and on the base paths. Yeah that’s right I wrote D-Wright sucked last night, I’m allowed to. That doesn’t mean I’ve fallen out of my man crush on Sugar pants (My WRIGHT 5 jersey is on a hanger awaiting my appearance at Shea on Saturday night) but the facts are he made an awful error at third and an inexcusable base running mistake by not knowing how many outs there were. If Carlos Beltran did that there would have been an opening at WFAN as Joe (Bada Bing, Bada Boom) who have had an aneurism but for the Golden Boy we look away. Not right, right Wright?. If Warlord Jerry feels David needs a day off then just give him one. I admit that as the “team leader” it nice to defer to him but if J-Man feels he needs a mental health day then give him one this afternoon

 

The Mets should be embarrassed by the on going Ryan Church concussion episode as they really have failed Church from the first time he suffered a concussion in spring training to his second one in Atlanta. Just by doing a Google search of “concussion experts” I found a page to the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine page where the deal in the treatment and study of brain trauma. Also I found a story on former SF Giants catcher Mike Matheny who suffered a concussion in a home plate collision and then suffered from more problems from taking fouls balls of his mask behind the plate. In the article Dr. Micky Collins has a quote that I feel sums up the Church case to a tee:

 

“With a single concussion, you’re going to recover“,  The problem is when you have a  concussion and undergo these chemical changes, you’re a lot more vulnerable if you have second  before the first is recovered”

 

Shame on the Mets for not doing their homework on this matter.

 

Daniel (Oh Danny Boy) Murphy is making his presences felt early in his call up to the point where he and Dan Evans will form a platoon in LF with Fernando Tatis playing RF it looks like and Endy Chavez doing what Endy Chavez is equip to do be a fourth outfielder and defensive specialist.

 

Thank God the Rockies signed Livan Hernandez because I’m sure Omar had him penciled in for Saturday nights start.

 

Speaking of which don’t give me Claudio Vargas or Brian Stokes or Nelly Figs. No give me Jon Neise  and let me see the future.

 

Word is Scott Schoeneweis and Dirty Duaner have both cleared waivers and that Brian Giles was claimed off the wire to a team with no name (M-E-T-S ?) I wouldn’t mind taking a flier on Giles for Schoeneweis.

 

Once I figure out what bag my camera is in I’ll post some picks from Fenway but now I intend to relax and watch Johan Santana try to salvage this series from the Pads.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Tickets

The Mets are looking great this year and The Eddie Kranepool Society keeps you up to date on the good bad and the ugly. If you are looking for Mets Tickets, you must visit Coast To Coast Tickets for all your ticket needs. CTC carries MLB Tickets as well as some of the best priced Concert Tickets on the web and don't forget they also carry Yankees Tickets.

Visit BangTheBook.Com for daily free MLB Mets Picks and gameday previews, also join the baseball handicapping discussion in the forum or track your plays in our sports monitor.