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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BASEBALL FUTURERAMA

I guess I should be more sympathetic towards Highlander fans who have to sit in a cold nasty drizzle for opening day, but since I know not one of them would show us Mets fan any sympathy fuck ‘em let them freeze.

So as I wait for tomorrow night’s 7:05PM real opening day in South Florida, I guess this would be a good time to make my season predictions,

NL East

Chipper’s Chumps

Phuck Phaces

The Amazin’ New York Mets

Minnows

D.C. Follies

NL Central

Brewskies

Dusty’s Red Legs

Bird Brain Genius

Residents of the Friendly Confines

Bucos

McLane Gang

AL West

Height-Asbury Freaks and Beards

Hollywood Bums

Box O Rox

Friars Club

Snakes in the Sand

Wild Card

Phuck Phaces

NL Champs

Chippers Chumps

NL MVP

Ryan Braun

NL Cy Young

Tim Lincecum

NL Rookie of the Year

Freddy Freeman

NL Manager of the Year

Terry Collins

AL East

Team Dirty Water

Men of Maddon

Bronx Bastards

Ontario Audubon Society

Bucks O’s

AL Central

South Side Loco’s

Grady’s Gang

Motor City Cats

Midwest Monarchs

Woe is Wahoo

AL West

The Ghosts of Cornelius McGillicuddy

Ryan’s Express

Hello Halo’s

Space Needlers

Wild Card

Men of Maddon

NL Pennant

Team Dirty Water

AL MVP

Evan Longoria

AL Cy Young

Jon Lester

AL Manager of the Year

Joe Maddon

World Series Champs

Team Dirty Water

Check out THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN Podcast on Blog Talk Radio part of the Seamheads National Podcasting Network 

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STILL IN LIMBO

So I’m still a man without a home, a work home that is as the renovation of my office is taking on a rebuilding of London after WWII feel to it, but I figured give a little bit of an opinion of the last few days as per the Mets GM search and the post season:

It looks like Sandy Alderson is very much interested in running the Mets baseball ops and I as giddy as a character on GLEE if he gets the job. The fact that John Ricco was retained by the Skill Sets bodes well for Alderson coming on board and grooming Ricco to learn the GM the right way.  

Look I’m not happy with the Phuck Phaces domination of the Reds and Halladay’s no hitter, but I have to give him his due, that was one of the greatest pitched games I have ever seen from a guy not named Seaver.

Is it worse to not make the playoffs where at least you know your team needs to make some big changes or is it better to win your division but get your ass kicked in three games like the Twins? Just once I’d like to see the Twins step up in a post season match up vs. the Highlanders.

Same with the Rays, this is not the way to get folks to come out and support you

My boy Tim Lincecum was down right nasty last night as he dominated the Tomahawkers. Anyone for a NLCS Lincecum v. Halladay? Fuck Yeah!!!!

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A POST SEASON POSTING (SAY THAT 3 TIMES FAST)

While I sit and wait for the Skill Sets to pick a new baseball czar, there is post season baseball to revel in starting today with a triple header on TBS. As viewers, we can be thankful that this year we won’t get “fisted” while watching the coverage but he have to hope that Ernie Johnson knows the difference between a suicide squeeze and a pick and roll. On to my predictions:

Phuck Phaces vs. Cincin-NATTA Red Stockings

Let’s be truthful here the Phuck Phaces have the best three man rotation in the playoffs with Halladay, Oswalt and the Girlie Man so this is a tough assignment for ol’ Dust-aroo and his Queen City Rollers. If Edison Volquez can beat Doc Halladay in game 1 we could have the makings of a great upset but that’s asking a lot but if the Reds can win game 1 and then have Mike Francesa Boy Toy, Bronson Arroyo going in game 2 then their will a ton o’ pressure on Cholly Chuckles boys. I want to say Reds in 4 but it ain’t gonna happen. Phuck Phaces in 4

Small Cox vs The Fuck Yeahs

Has word gotten to Braves fans that their team is in the post season? Maybe a couple of them would like to go to a game or two ? My rooting interest is with the San Francisco By Way of W 155 St & 8th Avenue Giants. It’s part nostalgia and part that I’m a Tim Lincecum fanboy and part I find the Braves and the city of Atlanta revolting. The Bochy Boys have too much pitching to lose here in fact I’m calling this one Giants in 3.

Lone Stars vs Men in Plaid

This is a tough choice here as I love Nolan Ryan but I find Joe Maddon cute and goofy plus there is the Stu Sternberg Brooklyn/Mets fan factor so I’ll go with the Rays in 4. Of all the game 1 match ups today the Cliff Lee -David Price engagement is the best.  It’s a shame that this game is not the prime time game but hey, it’s my day off so I’ll have ass in seat at 1:30 to watch it.

Bronx Bastards vs. Gardy’s Gang

It’s that time of year kids, time to get your Highlander Hate On. You know I’m going all out to root for the Men of the Land O Lakes and I think they will dispose of the Highlanders in 5 games, Just to make it even more painful for those who call themselves Disciples of the Bronx Robber Baron, let’s have Delmon Young hit a game tying homer of Joba and Jim Thome, the game winner off Mariano in game 5. By the way who wants to join me on Halloween to go egg the Robber Baron’s plaque in Monument To Douchebagery Park ?

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WE HAVEN’T HAD THIS DIS-SPRIT HERE SINCE 1979

I didn’t watch one pitch of yesterday’s Mets-Phillies game. With opening Sunday of the NFL in full swing and the New York Football Giants on Ch. 5 and Tom Brady and the Pats on Ch. 2, there was no reason to move the dial any further. Oh I didn’t blow off baseball altogether, by 4PM I was ready for the Giants-Padres game and the match up of Tim Lincecum and Matt Latos, in fact my baseball viewing from today on will include watching the Giants, Padres, Rockies, Rays, and the on the downward spiraling Highlanders.

It hit me around 7PM last night when I didn’t even know that the  Mets lost to the Phillies 3-0, that the NY Mets franchise has collectively climbed in the Mr. Peabody and Sherman’s Way Back machine and have arrived at 1979.

What year 1979 was. I was 21 years old with more hair than I knew what to do with (give me a moment please………………………..sniff! sniff!……………..ok back to the post) hanging out at Max’s Kansas City and CBGB. Going to the Palladium to see The Clash and Graham Parker and the Rumor (The Palladium was a great venue, first time I ever saw Bruce Springsteen ad the E Street Band was there in 1976, YES I SAID 1976!) I spent my winters and spring watching the NY Rangers from Section 432 in my Blue Seat all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals where they lost to Les Habitants but at least the Blueshirts beat the Icelanders as that was the year that no good scumbag Denis Potvin took out Ulf Nilson and the POTVIN SUCKS Chant was born.

More to the point of this post though, 1979 was the year the NY Mets drew 788,905 live bodies to Shea Stadium, less than 10,000 a game (9,621 to be precise) and I can not remember if I were a part of that 788,905-details are very hazy-but I’m sure I was because it was Richie Hebner’s one and only season as a Met and I remember him giving Mets fans the finger. I also remember it was Ed Kranepool’s last year. I remember Bob Murphy telling the tale of Ed Glynn a relief pitcher who also hawked hot dogs at Shea as a youth. The one bright spot of ’79 was that miserable, no good, saboteur of the franchise; M. Donald Grant was no longer around, dumped by Lorinda de Roulet after the 1978 season. But the team still sucked.

Right after the season, de Roulet thankfully sold the team as she had no clue on how to run it, she sold it to the dynamic duo of Nelson Doubleday and Fred Wilpon and the rest as they say is history.

Myself and many Mets fans lived through 1979 and not only was it not fun but it was painful. Painful because of what could have been. What if Tom Seaver was never traded ? What if Joan Payson wasn’t sick and then dying during the advent of free agency with that asshole Grant advising her ? Remember Mrs. Payson had no problem spending money on her team, in fact when the Mets were born in 1962 she told Horace Stoneham that she wanted to buy the contract of Willie Mays and money was no object. What would have happened if Whitey Herzog would have been named manager after the death of Hodges instead of the overmatched Yogi Berra?

As much as I would to re-live 1979 all over again I wouldn’t want to relive the Mets season of that year as the Mets were so bad no one cared. At least we still care, we still have passion for this team, though it’s mostly negative, it’s still passion. Let’s hope the right moves are made for a new GM and manager and that deadwood and players who don’t like it here are sent off, no matter the cost monetarily. It’s time to restore some pride in this organization but I’m not optimistic the people in charge are intelligent enough to pull it off. All Jeffey Skill Sets needs to do is start collect batting practice baseballs, clean them and use them again and he’d be Linda de Roulet all over again.

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EXCUSE ME JERRY, MAY I INTRODUCE YOU TO BOBBY PARNELL

It’s not the loss that has me pissed, it the way it happened that makes me wonder if under the stewardship on Mr. Jerry Manuel, this team can make the post season as the manager has absolutely no feel for in game managing.

First there was the lineup. With both Jose Reyes and Angel Pagan ailing, was it wise to give Jason Bay the day off? I’ve advocated giving Chris Carter some playing time but again the manager has to have a feel for knowing when to play guys and when to let them sit, you can’t keep Bay out the line up when your two offensive catalysts are sitting. Wouldn’t giving Bay a game off in Puerto Rico be more beneficial since he wouldn’t have to run on an artificial turf laded outfield?

Then we have this whole “I wanted to get Johan out on a positive note” line of bullshit? Santana pitched his best game in over a month and not just that he is still the Ace of the staff. Maybe it’s just a figurehead title but can you imagine Roy Halladay, Tim Lincecum, CC Sabathia or Cliff Lee coming out of a game like last night? I know Johan said he wanted to stay in the game but acquiesced to the managers move, maybe he should have demanded to stay in I bet those pitchers I mentioned would get into a fist fight with their skipper to finish a game like that.

The 9th inning was just a pure disaster as Manuel let Ryota Igarashi, a guy who walks as many batters as he strikes out, pitch in bases loaded spot one out and Ryan Zimmerman up. I can buy the notion of saving Frankie Rodriguez for the save spot as the Mets are the road team, but if you’re not going to use Bobby Parnell in that spot, then why is Parnell here?    

You could hear the disgust in Ron Darling’ voice as Igarashi fell behind 2-0 to Zimmerman by throwing tow breaking balls, when the situation called for challenging the hitter with fastballs. That’s why this situation cried out for Parnell to be brought in. If Zim hits a 98 mph fastball for a game winning hit, tip your hat and move on. I just wonder if Igarashi would have walked in the winning run, would that be grounds for the manager’s dismissal?

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EVEN IN NOVEMBER, THE METS BULLPEN BLOWS ANOTHER SAVE

You could say with a half descent bullpen behind him, there would have been a first time press conference at $iti Field today to announce Johan Santana as the 2008 NL Cy Young Award winner but instead the award goes to the Frisco Phenom Tim Lincecum and it’s hard to argue the choice. I know it really doesn’t matter who comes in 2nd or 3rd in these awards contests but how could 9 voters not give Santana either a 2nd or 3rd place vote?

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Tickets

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