End of the Line in The South Bronx ?

I miss good ol’ Stump

As a baseball fan you can’t ask for more that this first round division series has given us. Four series all going five games is a baseball fans nirvana especially for those of us who detest the NY Highlanders. It’s a good thing I have unlimited texting in my phone plan since my Highlander fan pals were relentless in their venting to me even though they know I’m rooting hard for the Orioles.

All season my Highlander buddies spoke about how the power display their team put on this season was good for plenty of oooo’s and ahhhhhhh’s but come the post season they will have to be able to manufacture some runs. Now me as a Mets fan rooting for a team that has the power of a 10 watt bulb, andwith the distain I look at customers at the bank who complain that the teller gave them all $100’s and $50’s when cashing a check,  just wants to say why you no good greedy bastards.  But what do you know; the Highlanders have had a world of trouble pushing a run across the plate with good old fashion small ball. The long ball though has saved their season and when you get past the dramatic way Raul Ibanez went about tying and winning Game 3, if not for those two knocks, the fish wraps and social media would be in a three alarm tizzy over the demise of the Highlanders.     

Even if the Bronx Bastards win today and I think they will as CC Sabathia is only second to Derek Jeter on this team to show up when needed (sorry Ibanez still has a Philadelphia  size horse shoe up his ass) and I think both of them will find a way to win this game, it safe to say those of the Highlander persuasion need to reflect on this series and if they are honest and clear thinking which is hard to find in that demographic , they will admit the days of champagne baths and championships the next few years will be few and far between. I have news for those of you in denial Highlander fans, the team you love to mock; the NY Mets are in better shape organizational wise than your Highlanders and that’s counting our broke ass ownership.

Hal Steinbrenner is no chip off the block, where Daddy George would spend to mask mistakes and take on contracts no matter what; Prince Hal has one goal in mind, to bring the payroll down to where he’s no longer paying into the MLB welfare system known as revenue sharing.  With a minor league system barren of talent what will the Highlanders do? Does ownership have confidence in Pee Wee Cashman that he can rebuild the talent base a la Stick Michael and Buck Showalter? Why do I give a shit? Well, until this post season is done with, the Mets won’t be making moves so I guess I have nothing better to do but to eavesdrop on my neighbors who I thought had it all and find out they just might have less than me.

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Baseball Fever: Catch It!

Putting my Mets fandom on the side for the moment (although I am wearing my Mets cap & sweatshirt today) yesterday was a baseball fans paradise. Four games, four series, some great games, one not so great game but even a bad baseball game is better than no baseball games, am I right?

Some observations:

The Strasburg Shutdown will haunt Mike Rizzo all winter if the Nationals do not advance at least to the NLCS. How much do the Nationals miss their ace since both Jordan Zimmerman and Edward Jackson have not come up big in games 2 and 3? Leo Mazzone didn’t hold back in his criticism of the Nationals not just shutting down Strasburg but the way they did it with so much pomp and circumstance. I wonder if Rizzo when staring into his morning oatmeal regrets how he and the organization went about handling Strasburg. Maybe a skipped start or reassignment to the bullpen was the better move and maybe Rizzo is finally coming to the realization that the postseason is a privilege not a birth right unless of course you were born in the South Bronx.

I have made it known here that I am a big Tim Lincecum fan and I’ve been as stumped as everyone why The Freak lost his mojo this season. As much as deep down Lincecum was seething over being demoted to bullpen duty, he didn’t sulk, didn’t throw a tantrum and said all the right things but make no mistake when you are a two time Cy Young Award winner and a wear a World Series ring, you have that certain something that separates also ran’s from champions . Lincecum stepped up like a champ yesterday as a Bruce Bochy’s stomach was doing flips every time Barry Zito delivered a pitch until he couldn’t take it anymore and lifted the sorry lefty. After great relief work by George Kontos and Jose Mijares it was time for The Freak to come in and step up. Not only did Lincecum step up, he dominated. That’s what winning players do.

As pissed off as I am over Raul Ibanez becoming the next fairy tale hero of Highlander lore, you can’t help but smirk a bit at the busted ass luck of the NY Highlanders. The last innings of the Highlanders-O’s game is the essence of how great a game baseball is. Joe Girardi made the biggest move of his managerial career in pulling the hitter formerly known as Alex Rodriguez in favor of Ibanez. Rodriguez made a wonderful grandstand move jumping up and down as if he was really thrilled for Ibanez. A-Rod said all the right rehearsed lines after the game talking up team before me and how he’s matured and is all about winning and a lot of other happy horse shit. There is no way in hell when Rodriguez went home last night and stared at his I AM CENTAUR mural above his bed that he didn’t shed a tear and spend a sleepless night trying to figure out where it has all gone wrong.  A-Rod is the Anti-Freak/      

I’ve loved watching the Oakland A’s games this year, especially the games at the Coliseum.  I have no answer why the A’s fans don’t come out in force all season as they do in the post season but I’ll say this, for all the fan bases involved in this post season , they are the most vocal and creative of them all. Every crowd shot you see is of fans deck out in A’s clothing, with banners and signs and beating drums and tom-toms, can you imagine trying to get a drum into Citi Field or Highlander Stadium? Imagine real live working class baseball fans left to be baseball fans? I lasted until the 7th inning on this game since it was after midnight and I had to get up at 5:15 this morning for work. Add to that I had watched baseball from 1PM that afternoon, I didn’t need to count rosin bags to fall asleep. It wasn’t until I turned on 101WINS while shaving that the great Mark Ernay relayed the news that the A’s came back from 3-1 down to win 4-3. Before leaving for work I just had to take a peek at the highlights on my At Bat app to see Coco Crisp come through with the game winning hit, the 15th time the A’s have walked off with a victory. The A’s get to live another day for a Game 5 showdown with Justin Verlander. Don’t count these A’s out as you can see from this quote from Josh Reddick, the A’s have a winning attitude:

“We’ve heard a lot of people say we’re not smart enough to know when to lose a game like most people do,” said Josh Reddick, who started the rally with a single. “We’ve been battling till the 27th out all year and we’re not going to stop now.”

WOW! Battling till the 27th out, what an outstanding concept are you listening Sandy? Terry? Anyone?

 

 

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I GUESS I’M JUST SICK AND TIRED OF BEING SICK AND TIRED

As I was in the middle of my interview with Bill Reynolds last night on PRO BASEBALL CENTRAL, Raul Ibanez hit Ken Takahashi’ pitch that was below his ankles out of the park Iw as ready to yell OH FUCK! But I kept my composure and concentrated on the interview but if you listen to the show you could tell after the Reynolds interview I tried to fill the last half hour of the show although I was shell shocked by the Mets again unable to hold a lead.

I don’t know if it’s just frustration or that there is in power struggle between J-Man and Omar but some of Jerry Manuel’s moves have me puzzled. His choice of Fernando Tatis as and everyday player and burying Daniel Murphy on the bench is ridiculous. Tatis has been a great addition to the Mets but for Christ sake he ‘s not Lou Gehrig, he’s a very good utility guy who produces when used sparingly. Please, FREE DANIEL MURPHY at put him at first base. Same with Ryan Church can you leave the guy in RF? Let F-Mart platoon with Sheffield in LF because as great as Sheff has been he’s is 40 years old and can not play every day.

So now John Maine joins the walking wounded with a “tired arm”. How much you want to bet this is another line of happy horseshit from Flushing ?

PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE! Don’t tell me that Nelly Figs is coming up for Maine. I don’t care what Jon Neise’ numbers are in Buffalo bring him up and let him pitch and stop burying this kid. ENOUGH OF NELSON FIGUEROA already!

You’ll read no more criticism of D-Wright or Carols Beltran here as both of these guys have stepped up and gone above and beyond the call of duty. If I were managing a team against the Mets I’d never give either guy a pitch to hit I’d take my chances with the other six guys in the lineup.

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NOW POP THE CORKS, WE HAVE OUR CLOSER

Nicely done by Omar signing Fransisco Rodriguez to 3 yr/$37 mil with an option for a 4th year. Now that Rodriguez is in the fold the other pieces of the off season puzzle should start to fall into place (Huston Street and then I’d look for a deal with Tampa Bay for a starter and don’t be suprised if Ryan Church is part of the deal with Raul Ibanez signing with the Mets)

Thanks to the Mets signing K-Rod Joe McDonald and I should have some good fodder for baseball talk tonight on Pro Baseball Central at 10 PM on Blogtalk Radio the call in number is (646) 595-4462 talk to you then

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ITCHIN’ FOR PITCHIN’

It’s tough to cut through all the double talk coming from the GM meetings and I’m still trying to figure out just what the GM’s are doing in Cali besides drinking at the bar and going bowling, hell they could have held the meeting on Staten Island down the street from my house for that matter.

 

What is becoming clearer is the off season mission of Omar Minaya. Is to add pitching, pitching and more pitching and if a hitter (Raul Ibanez, Nick Swisher, MANNY) falls in his lap so be it.

 

I am intrigued by the rumors of the Famous Rays interested in Aaron Heilman and if Heilman could bring back Edwin Jackson that would be a big score for Omar.

 

If Javier Vasquez could be had for Gimp and his stupid contract I’d green light that one as well. What we have to remember here is the Mets are looking to bolster the back of the rotation so unless Derek Lowe really loves the colors blue and orange I don’t see him signing with the Mets when the Highlanders and Red Sox will be spending money like they own oil wells.

 

I still like my idea of going after Matt Capps and John Grabow from the Pirates. As much as I wouldn’t mind Brain Fuentes I hate that a player like that feels he has a team like the Mets over barrel and even if Omar were to land Fuentes I’d still go after Capps and Grabow.

 

Hey look two of the core are wearing Gold Gloves lets trade ‘em

 

Speaking of the Great Bloviator of WFAN, it seems he had his pants pulled down<figuratively that is > by Ryan Church about Church hating NYC and playing for the Mets. Read here at MetsBlog and you see how the Rush Limbaugh of Sports Talk Radio was outed as the pompous jerk he has grown (REALLY GROWN) to be. Oh yeah and Mike tells us again how D-Wright is just another player and an awful third baseman, you phony turd!

 

Click over to Mike Silva’s NY Baseball Digest and listen to his interview with John Manuel of Baseball America who tells us the state of the Mets Farm System is not as weak as we’ve been led to believe. Some of you Tony B haters will have to join the dark side soon as he has fortified the farm system with excellent free agent signings and a couple of fruitful drafts.     

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JOHN MAINE “PICTURE” DAY

Funny I don’t feel “Fitty”? I had a very nice birthday it would have benn better if the Mets could have won (thank you Joe Smith and Scott Schoeneweis) but I did get some very nice gifts. A Mets t-shirt with the NY in a shamrock, Fay Vincent’s book on old ballplayers, the Shea Stadium DVD with the Essential Games and an baseball scoreboard that works off satellite like a GPS that give you up to date scores, standings and probable pitchers for all MLB games. We had dinner in Hyannis and watched the Sawx as I think it’s a state law that no other baseball game but Red Sox games can be shown in public.

 

I see where Jon Maine was yanked from last nights game with  shoulder soreness that Old School Warthen says it is not serious but they will still send Maine to NYC for a “picture” as J-Man likes to call an MRI so my guess is by Friday Maine’s arm will be amputated.

With teams asking too much for Omar and the Mets to give up, it looks like unless the price for Raul Ibanez drops alot the Mets wil go with Fernando Tatis as the everyday LF’er and call up Dan Murphy to add his bat and limited defensive skills. I know Omar lusts for Manny but the Mets do not have the chips for a deal to be made. Don’t worry Manny Mets fans we will have all winter to pursue the Manny Trail.

If anything the Mets look to need some bullpen help as Joe Smith and Scott Schoenwiess pitched awful last night as did Carlos Muniz and I am very disappointed in Muniz as he is getting his chance to show he belongs in the big leagues as he has not risen up to the task.

RHP Jon Neise was moved up to NOLA and looks like the guy who will take John Maine’s place if Maine is DL’d or even if the Mets decide to give him a start off.

Petey looks like he penciled in for Friday against the Astros with an 80 pitch limit let’s hope it not one and done for Petey.

 

Time to hit the treadmill as I had ice cream last night (hey it was my birthday) but now that I am officially an old man I have to watch my middle aged figure.

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