NY Mets Will Be Buyers This Trade Deadline

 

Trying to get back into blogger mode after a week on Cape Cod and the cold reality that 5AM wakeup call awaits me tomorrow morning so  without much rhyme or reason here are some Mets thoughts:

The next three days with the All Star break should feature a whirlwind of Mets trade rumors in fact some are starting already. This team for all the hustle and flow it’s shown this season needs some big time renovation if they are going to go hard after a post season berth.

The biggest need is in the bullpen which posted its best ERA of the season at 3.77 but still sports the worst team ERA in MLB at 4.99.  It seems Terry Collins is relying on the arms of Tim Byrdak, Bobby Parnell and Miguel Batista in the late innings of games while Jon Rauch and Ramon Ramirez have the tag of “one or two batters only” attached to their names. Pedro Beato is back up and one would hope he would replace Batista in the late inning order, moving Batista back to the long man role he’s better at. Of course all will change once Frankie Frisco comes back from oblique rehab but where will he fit? Has Bobby Parnell turned a corner in his career where he’s figured out how to get his curve over for strikes and have the confidence to throw it in a tough situation? Seems the Mets brass is not 100 % sold on Parnell and Frisco as they have let the word out they would like to obtain a closer or a pitcher who has had closer experience, that doesn’t mean Parnell and Frisco are a concern but as we’ve seen so far this half of the season a strong back end of the pen is the difference between 4.5 games back of the Nats instead of 4.5 games ahead of the Nats and first place in the NL East.

Lots of talk of the Mets getting involved in dealing for a catcher, which Sandy Alderson has made known is a priority to upgrade in the Mets system, hence the drafting of Kevin Plawecki with a supplemental pick in this year’s draft, and while myself and many Mets fans would be happy if the Mets were to upgrade the position at the trade deadline, I’m not sure if it will happen or should it. As much as Mike Nickeas makes Mets fans groan, when it comes to the pitching staff and Terry Collins and Dan Warthen, Nickeas is a valuable piece to this team. Nickeas is kind of a player/coach on this Mets team and I know there is a segment of Mets fans and bloggers who feel team chemistry is overrated, it’s hard to watch this team day in and day out and not see that the camaraderie in the clubhouse has played a major role in the success of the team in the first half.  You may not believe it but the front office, coaching staff and the players do. I would be a bit surprised if the Mets dealt for a catcher in season, best bet is the team will go hard to upgrade the backstop spot in the winter.

Much has been made about Reggie Jackson dissing the late Gary Carter saying the Kid was not Hall of Fame worthy, if you know anything about Reggie Jackson you know he loves to say things just to get his name mentioned in the papers or TV/sports talk radio. We all know the stories of Reggie’s turbulent Highlander years as a self-promoting blowhard, who always felt he was above everything and anything. I have a Reggie story that was told to me by someone who worked for the Highlanders and is now deceased and it shows the true Reggie

When Jackson retired he was hired by George Steinbrenner to work in the front office with Gene Michael. On his first day as a front office employee, Reggie went into Steinbrenner’s office which doubled as his suite at Highlander Stadium and asked to be served a turkey sandwich and an iced tea.  Jackson was told by the gentleman who ran the suite that since he was now a front office employee of the Highlanders, he could not come into the office/suite whenever he felt like it and he could not eat there either, Reggie was told he had to eat in the cafeteria with the rest of the office staff. Jackson exploded when he heard this and said “Do you know who the fuck I am? Get me that fucking sandwich and drink”. To avoid further confrontation the attendant went and got Jackson his lunch. As Reggie sat and enjoyed his turkey sandwich, Boss George entered the suite. “Who’s that down there”? “Reggie, Boss” was the workers reply. “What the fuck is he doing here”? Asked Steinbrenner. “Eating his lunch” the worker said. “Eating his lunch” doesn’t he know he has to eat in the staff cafeteria”? said Big Stein. “I told him that Boss but he told me he’s Reggie Jackson and basically told me to go fuck myself” relayed the worker.

With that Boss George erupted and starting screaming at Jackson and grabbed the plate the sandwich was on and flung it at the wall, Steinbrenner then asked Jackson if he knew “Who the fuck he was”? Steinbrenner then told Jackson if he pulls a stunt like that again, he’ll fire him but before he made him leave Steinbrenner had two more things for Reggie to do, one, apologize to the suite attendant who Steinbrenner informed him was more valuable to the organization than Jackson and two, get a broom and clean up this mess. Jackson performed both tasks.

 

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NY Mets Need To Get A Bullpen Improvement Loan

 

 

Greetings again from Cape Cod and a Happy 4th of July to all. I didn’t see or hear any of today’s game but from reading around so far this evening a 2-0 Mets lead fell fast as Chris Young was done in by the dreaded “third time around the lineup” and  of course a bullpen meltdown which cost Jeremy Heftner his job and gives a big opportunity to Pedro Beato.

The Mets made a couple of head scratching moves, first it seems like Kirk Nieuwenhuis has a sore hand that’s not bad enough to land on the DL but just in case, Jordany Valdespin was recalled from Buffalo at the expense of Justin Hampson. I was quite surprised that Hampson was DFA (we all know where he’ll land right? Cleveland.) the only thing I see with this move is Sandy Alderson is ready to move on either Will Ohman or Brian Fuentes, both lefties who were DFA. I’ll bank on Alderson signing Fuentes if he clears as he has late inning closer experience.

The bullpen is in dire need of repair and Alderson is well cognizant of that, which is why we’re hearing of the Mets talking about a Frankie Rodriguez reunion. I’m a bit on the fence here bringing K-Rod back but he was able to handle the late inning pressure here (the family room at Citi Field was a different story) and it wouldn’t coast much in players to get him and it is a sign that the Mets have some dough to spend as they would have to take the remaining $4mil in his contract.

So if you add Fuentes, K-Rod and maybe Houston Street or Grant Balfour that is a major renovation of you bullpen. Hey it worked for the Cardinals last year didn’t it?

For your entertainment pleasure check out the Q & A I did with Justin Klugh of the Phillies blog That Ball’s Outta Here.

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WHAT, ME WORRY ?

A few quick hits:

Yesterday we were told not to worry about Lucas Duda’s balky back that he was rested yesterday to spare him a long bus ride and he will be good to go today when the team buses to Viera (90 min trip) to meet the Nats. Well, Duda wasn’t on that bus and will sit out again today.

David Wright we were told will take a day or two off with some discomfort in his rib cage, nothing serious just a precaution. Wright has yet to play this week.

Pedro Beato has some soreness in the rotator cuff but it’s nothing serious a little rest and he should be fine.

Scott Hairston still has not responded to treatment of his re-strained oblique muscle and it looks like he will not start the season on the 25 man roster making a tissue thin bench even thinner.

But don’t worry we’re told, it’s early in spring these are little nagging things that will work its way out. In the Brooklyn neighborhood I grew up in there was an old saying “Don’t worry is doing 15 years in Sing Sing”

This is why Mets fans hang and cringe on every pitch that Johan Santana throws as we know it’s just a matter of time before his arm falls off.

Can a team use the disabled list for players that have a psychological injury? I ask this because if you can, Jason Bay is a candidate for shutdown. Reading the stories on how Bay is placing his feet differently in the batter’s box and thinking so much about his approach at the plate to where he knows he needs to be more selective and lay off pitches off the plate it just seems his biggest problem is he’s thinking too much and not reacting at all at the plate. It seems he spends his at bats thinking about 1,001 ways to get a hit and while his head is filled with all this distraction, he’s become absent minded to reaction to pitches.  That Capt Kirk/Jason Bay platoon in left field looks better and better every day.

When did Omar Minaya become the GM of the NY Jets? So Eli Manning coming off a Super Bowl win, the second of his career and his second Super Bowl MVP award restructures his contract down instead of asking for a well-deserved raise so his team has money to sign players that will help the Giants add to their trophy case while the Jets extend the contract of Mark Sanchez whose leadership qualities are questioned in his own locker room. Stunning.

I’m not saying you can’t win a Super Bowl with Mark Sanchez, you can, but you have to have a plan and signing free agents with questionable character is not the way to do. Rex Ryan preached “ground and pound” but the Jets do not practice that mantra. It still amazes me how Mike Tannenbaum stays below the Jets fans radar, if I were a Jets fan I’d want him fired.

For all of us Mets fans who want the Skill Sets to sell the team, let’s be careful what we wish for.  If the Mets were up for sale, Jim Dolan and his Cablevision billions will be front and center with a bid. Now if I knew Dolan would treat the Mets like he does the Rangers, it wouldn’t be too bad but if he’s hands on like he is with the Knicks that would be an unmitigated disaster.

The Mets need another Nelson Doubleday to take over ownership of this team.  I found this article from the New York Observer from October 30th 2000, right after the Subway World Series, that details how Doubleday and Freddy Skill Sets had opposite views on how the direction of the team and of Shea Stadium.

In the beginning, Doubleday Publishing owned 95 percent of the team. Mr. Doubleday gained a reputation as a hands-off owner who let general manager Frank Cashen make all the baseball decisions. The strategy paid off in 1986, when a Mets team filled with young players cultivated by Mr. Cashen won the World Series

And when it came to Shea Stadium, Nelly D was in favor of renovation to save money and to preserve Shea:

Mr. Wilpon’s allies maintained that the stadium controversy was just a misunderstanding. Mr. Doubleday, they say, simply did not know the status of Mr. Wilpon’s negotiations. That may be true, but Mr. Doubleday apparently hasn’t changed his mind. “I’m not particularly interested in seeing a whole lot of taxpayer money going into a New York Mets fancy-dancy stadium,” Mr. Doubleday told The Observer while watching batting practice before Game 3 on Oct. 24. “We could [renovate Shea Stadium] over three years, section by section. This is a pretty nice place to play ball.”

I don’t know how much of Doubleday’s wanting to renovate Shea rather than build Citi was more his love of Shea or using that money to better the on field product or if it was just Nelly breaking Freddy’s balls. Either way I like Doubleday’s style.

Attention New York Rangers Fans: Keep Calm, Carry On Coach Torts will get this team to “Fuckin’ screw it on straight”

 

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WHEN THE WALLS COME TUMBLIN’ DOWN

 

Here’s the Mets news of the day:

The Mets are in a pennant race but on the wrong side of the track. The red-hot Redbrids are breathing down the necks of the Bravos of whom the Mets took two out three games from last week and have made the Washington Generals Mets look like stumblebums the last two nights.

Lucas Duda came out of the game last night after running into the right field fence. Doctors say he does not show symptoms of a concussion. Duda will announce his retirement from baseball Monday at Citi Field due to effects of the head injury he suffered last night.

The Mets organization have made the decision it’s better to go to Home Depot and invest in plywood, nails and Scotts Turf Builder to rebuild the Great Wall of Flushing into the Grotto De Corona complete with a small wall, a grassy knoll and votive candles, than to go out and get better players. If this doesn’t work, the Skill Sets will petition MLB to allow David Wright to take all his home at bats at the 2K Sports Fan Fest Wiffle Ball Field.  

Pedro Beato was ineffective again last night out of the pen. Beato claims to be fatigued due to pitching for close to 20 months straight between Winter ball, Minor Leagues and this full year with the Mets. NYC Department of Child Services is looking into Beato’s claim of abuse by his foster parents, Dan Warthen and Terry Collins.

Sandy Alderson was surprised when told that the vast majority of Mets fans want the outfield walls painted BLUE. I guess he’d be shocked, SHOCKED to find out that we think the Black Jerseys suck ass as well.

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METS NO CLOSER TO FINDING A CLOSER OR AN INVESTOR

One of the most underrated Mets players of all time Randall “K” Myers

 

Well we know one guy who won’t be the Mets closer next year, that’s Bobby Parnell. Reading the story in today’s NY Post it seems Alderson has seen enough of Parnell and the other candidates for Closer 2012 as well:

  The presumed heir apparent, Bobby Parnell, has flopped and a fatigued Pedro Beato never really entered the equation. Manny Acosta has shown flashes of dominance, but there are still organizational questions about his makeup.

It has left Alderson far from certain the next Mets closer will come from within the organization.

“I’m not convinced of that,” Alderson said before the Mets departed Atlanta on Sunday. “Nor can I believe anybody else is convinced of that.”

Happy hunting Sandy.

File this one under, just when you thought you’ve heard it all. Ray Bartoszek wanted to invest in the New York Mets but the Skill Sets were head over heels with David Einhorn until they finally figured out that Einhorn was looking to fuck them over.  By the time the Skill Sets tried to get back in with Bartoszek, it was too late; he had found a better investment for his cash, becoming a limited partner of the NY Highlanders. Bartoszek is a Mets fan who wanted to invest in the Mets but he now finds himself sitting back and waiting for a divided check and a seat to post season games. Some guys have all the luck.

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CAUTION: CLOSER IN TRAINING

The slider, when thrown properly, is a devastating pitch. As the batter’s hand to eye coordination gets in synched and sees the pitch as coming over the plate and the mind makes that split second decision to swing at it, the ball breaks downward to a point where the batter is fooled and cannot adjust his swing. But when a slider is not executed properly, it hangs up in the hitting zone. If the batter has some power that flat slider usually leaves the ball park screaming like in a cartoon. This is what happened yesterday to Bobby Parnell and his pitch to Logan Morrison that left Whatevertheycallit Stadium like it was shot out of a cannon.

As bad as that pitch was and the outcome, negating the 2 run blast by David Wright to put to Mets ahead 4-3 going into the bottom of the 7th, pisses us me off as a Mets fan, I think we are now at the point of the season where we can chalk this up to closer in training Parnell’s learning experience.

Look, the season is what it is, a fight to finish with between 81-85 wins. If the Mets can do that the season is a positive and if Bobby Parnell and Pedro Beato work on being the future backend of the bullpen then that’s fine with me. Same thing with keeping Izzy around for the rest of the season. What can you get for Izzy? A C level prospect? He is much more valuable to the Mets as a veteran reliever working with Parnell and Beato for the next two months.

I think one thing in the Mets favor of keeping Jose Reyes with the Mets for years to come, is the consensus from the Mets players this season that the Mets clubhouse is a great place to be. Izzy for example, went to Sandy Alderson to tell him he doesn’t want to be traded. Carlos Beltran, understands the reasons why the GM is trying to move him, but Beltran will not be sad if he’s not dealt.  In fact Beltran would love to stay as he has cited this being the best clubhouse he’s been in since he became a Met.   Remember back early this season when Willie Harris caught hell from Mets fans when he spoke of the distance in the Mets clubhouse? Well, I wish those who have access to Harris would ask him if he still feels that way now that we have played more than half a season. I doubt it. For this you have to credit the manager, for keeping that clubhouse positive.

I’m worn out reading about when and where Carlos Beltran will be dealt to.  With all the debate over which team will offer the Mets the best prospect, the best take I’ve read so far on dealing Beltran comes from Paul of Random Baseball Stuff, who left this comment on my post from yesterday:

 I enjoy watching Beltran play, but I’m going to be annoyed if he’s still a Met on Aug. 1st. Sandy has got to move him for the best return he can get – the 2011 Mets aren’t going anywhere, and I don’t think Beltran fits in the 2012 budget.

 Even if he only gets salary relief, it would be better than nothing. The Mets haven’t finished signing all of their high-round draft picks yet.  

When you think about it, if you trade Beltran to a team that would take the rest of his salary for the year, it comes out to about $5-$6 mil. You could use that money to sign Brandon Nimo and RHP Logan Verret, not to mention any free agents in the Latin market as well. It may be worth more for Alderson to do that than any prospect the Giants, Phillies or Braves are willing to give up.

I’m not going to lie to you, I am ecstatic that the NFL lockout is over. I am ready for some football.

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FOR WHOM THE PEN TOLLS, IT TOLLS FOR THE METS

These late inning collapses are wearing me out, and I’m sure the manager and players feel the same way. So how do the Mets stop this rash of late inning chokes? Beat’s the shit out of me.  Is Pedro Beato feeling the effects of the tendonitis in his right bicep that landed him on the DL? Is Izzy feeling the fatigue from back to back appearances? Is Dale Thayer feeling the effects of being Dale Thayer? What’s a manager to do? Maybe TC can go with Bobby Parnell and Manny Acosta a bit more but really so far this season it doesn’t matter who is in that bullpen, after a solid start the back end of the pen has become a problem and moving the pieces around isn’t solving anything.   

Jason Bay sounds like a guy who has given up. After reading these quotes it seems he asking Terry Collins to take him out of the everyday lineup:

 The underachieving Mets left fielder has been around long enough to realize every manager has a breaking point. Bay knows he needs to start hitting — or prepare for the possibility he will relinquish his everyday spot in the Mets’ lineup.

“That’s the reality of the situation we’re in,” Bay told The Post. “I’m not going to sit here and tell you that is not an option. I’m pretty aware of what’s going on.”

“It’s a results business, and this is a place where team-wise you need to win and you need to perform,” Bay said. “Regardless of who you are, you get enough chances and it’s like ‘OK, let’s go [in a different direction].’ That’s out of my control.”

Watching Bay’s AB’s last night you can see he has absolutely no confidence in himself as a hitter. In the 4th inning he was HBP in his knee and never made an attempt to get out of the balls way. I guess he felt taking one for the team was the least he could do. In the 6th, after getting ahead 2-0, Bay missed on two fastballs, fouling them off. He then took another ball to get the count to 3-2. He fouled off another pitch he was late on and then took a called third strike. As the ump called strike three, Bay just looked at him calmly and asked where it was, the ump told him and Bay just shrugged his shoulders, got his glove and went to LF. It’s time for an intervention, either platoon Bay or talk to him and his agent about going to Buffalo or St Lonesome to work out his problems at the plate. He will not be released and he has zero trade value so this would be the best thing for the team and for Bay. Lucas Duda is ripping up Triple A pitching, he deserves a shot at the LF job.

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DON’T SLEEP IN THE SUBWAY

Don’t sleep in the subway, darling

Don’t stand in the pouring rain
Don’t sleep in the subway, darling
The night is long
Forget your foolish pride
Nothing is wrong
Now, you’re beside me again

So here we are arriving yet again for another Subway Series that has surpassed his expiration date a while ago.  As Mets fans, we have to endure anther three days of watching Luis Castillo drop a pop up and Rogers Clemens take off Mike Piazza’ head because we live in a city where the main stream media, both print and electronic have thrown in the towel on creativity and substance.

In reading some of these stories this morning about both teams you’d think the Highlanders were having some kind of special season, maybe they are in a negative kind of way. The Mets on the other hand are mocked because they have suffered a series of injuries that have forced the club to go with players summoned from their Triple A team in Buffalo. Why this is supposed to be embarrassing is beyond my comprehension, shouldn’t it be a positive that the club has lost Johan Santana and then Chris Young to shoulder surgery, Ike Davis to a sprained ankle, David Wright to a stress fracture in his back, Pedro Beato to tendonitis, and Angel Pagan to the chic aliment of sore oblique muscle and still play winning baseball (17-11) after a horrendous start of the season?  So the players that have been brought in to replace the injured have stepped up in such a way that the team is playing as good as any team in baseball. Isn’t the mark of a good team that they have guys who step up when other guys go down with injury?   

It’s ok to say that Terry Collins is doing a fine job as manager. It’s ok to say that slowly but surely Sandy Alderson is changing the culture of the organization. It’s ok to go to Citi Field and root for this team.

Are there any Mets fans who feel the Highlanders are “rivals” to the Mets? Because they’re not. The Highlanders are more of a nuisance than anything and their fans a very good source of comedy relief. Yesterday after the Mets win, I left the radio when the Sports Bloviator came on. I was in the midst of writing up a bunch of paper work so I left him on. Boy, am I glad I did. When he went to the phones, he took calls from Highlander fans in a rage over Joe Girardi taking out Bartolo Colon and replacing him with Mariano Rivera.  I cannot believe I just typed that last sentence and Francesa couldn’t believe these callers were saying these words of blasphemy.  

It’s the same attitude many Highlander fans have with Derek Jeter. Mets fans have a higher regard for Frank Taveras than the Highlander fan has for El Capitan. Why? Beats me, some things just can’t be explained.

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WHILE YOU WERE WORRYING ABOUT WHO THE METS WOULD BE TRADING……………….

……..Your New York Mets were winning 13 of their last 20 games. While you were worrying about what will happen in July, the Mets have a winning record on the road so far this year going 10-9 and so far on this current road trip they are 3-1.

The Mets pitching staff has posted a team ERA under 3 (2.86) for the month so far, led by a light’s out bullpen that is a baseball best 4-1 with a miniscule .052 ERA.

Frankie Rodriguez has converted his last 11 save opportunities  and Jason Isringhausen has been outstanding as the 8th inning set up man. With Pedro Beato, the best reliever in the pen before he was injured and Bobby Parnell on the DL, Taylor Buchholz and Ryota Igarashi have stepped up to fill the void. Spaceman Byrdak when allowed by Terry Collins, has been doing his LOOGY thing holding left handed batters to a .231 average.

We know that Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran have been carrying the offense of late (even before hi s injury Ike was slumping a bit) and that D-Wright and J-Bay have been in deep slumps (could last night ignite their bats ?) but look at the records of all the teams in MLB, with the exception of the Phuck Phaces (I’m loving the resurgence of the Tribe but I’m not ready to put them on a level of the Phuck Phaces yet) there is no great team in baseball, hell, the overrated Highlanders are but 4 games over mediocrity.

So instead of obsessing on where to trade Jose Reyes, Calros Beltran and David Wright, maybe you should shut down Twitter for a night and enjoy your NY Mets.  I’m taking the pledge to stay off Twitter during Mets games as I’m starting to see the light that Josh Thole saw, some of you folks make rooting for the Mets a fucking chore. The constant doom and gloom over every at bat is really tiring. Yes D-Wright has not been productive but  I urge you to read this post by James Kannengieser at Amazin’ Ave on Weighted On Base Average (wOBA) postion by position, as tough a season as DW has had he still ranks 3rd in wOBA  among all 3rd basemen in MLB.

So instead of going  “you suck “ to “your great”  from one tweet to the next, just sit back and enjoy this team and see how it plays out on the field instead of on Twitter.

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DON’T CRY OVER HURT ARMS

The injury bug has bitten the Mets again, and the fan base is ready to go off the deep end. Message to my fellow Mets fans, every team gets injuries; the good ones overcome the losers’ sit and lament. Take a look down I-95 at the Phuck Phaces, those are key injuries and still they have the best record in baseball, oh I’m sorry Mets fans did I hurt your feelings?  I don’t think any fan base in sports cry’s more than Mets fans do when a player gets hurt and unfortunately the manager is starting to fall into the make excuse mode as it pertains to David Wright , if Terry Collins feels that the back and neck problems Wright is experiencing has led to his piss poor plate production, then sit him down, otherwise keep your feelings to yourself.

Very hard to criticize Sandy Alderson for signing Chris Young, it was a gamble that didn’t work out. Same as taking Brad Emaus as a Rule 5 pick. Eamus didn’t work out and he was cut, Young couldn’t stay healthy now he’s gone as well. Pedro Beato was a Rule 5 that works and so far Chris Capuano  a wounded pitcher, who so far is healthy and working out fine.  Shit happens and you deal with it, that’s the Alderson way.

We can’t be shocked about Young, disappointed yes, but not shocked. He had bicep problems earlier and a history of shoulder trouble so every pitch could have been his last.

If Willie Harris is not an ex-Met by lunch time I will be very disappointed. I can’t believe this is the same player who struck fear in Mets fans hearts but he has still kept his reputation as a Mets Killer, but this time as a member of the Mets. The fact that terry Collins said that Harris ran on his own, there by throwing him under the bus, tells you the manager as had enough, let’s see if the GM agrees.

You can add Chin-lung Hu to the cut him list to he may be the worst player the Mets have had since Mike Glavine.

I thought Keith Hernandez was going to jump out of the booth last night after  Josh Thole took a 3-1 pitch and then walked in the 6th with second and third 2 outs and the pitchers spot on deck.  Mex wigged out that Thole “had two Rib Eye’s “ in scoring position and the pitcher up next would settle for a walk and not battle to drive those Rib-Eyes home.  I’m with Keith here, 3 and 1 with two runners in scoring position and you take the pitch? I’ll give you the rookie mistake and hopefully young Josh learns from that.

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Tickets

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