Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Was "Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde" Written About Hisanori Takahashi? Seriously Was It?

Game 2: Los Marlins 7 Mets 6

Takahashi vs Robertson

Pagan was back in the lineup! Ike was given the night off.

Basically Takahashi was Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde tonight. I'm pretty sure he has split pitching personalities because those exist and all. Well if they don't exist I'm coining the phrase. For most of the 5 2/3 innings Tak pitched he was good old Dr. Jekyll retiring Marlins left and right. He had in fact retired the first 8 batters he faced BUT then with 2 outs, it was the bottom of the third, Hyde emerged and he was evil and he forgot how to get batters out.

Takahashi gave up a 2 out single to the pitcher Nate Robertson and that was the beginning of the end. The shit hit the fan. Speaking of shit, who shoveled manure as a kid? Jorge Cantu! Yeah Kevin Burkhardt shared that little tidbit tonight.

Okay but back to the game. It was still the bottom of the 3rd, still 2 outs and the bases were now loaded and oh fudge Hanley Ramirez was up. Before tonight the Metsies had given up 7 grand salamis this season and after one swing of Hanley's bat they had given up 8 grand salamis this season. And then Hisanori HYDE gave up a 2 run homer to Dan Uggla. Of course it was Uggla. I imagine Uggla wears a shirt wherever he goes that reads, "I'm Dan Uggla I Crush Dreams." The worst part of this 6 run inning was the fact that the Mets were up 3-0 over the Marlins before it started and now the score was 6-3.

BUT Takahashi became Jekyll again, he was pitching pretty good again, and Jerry kept him on the mound until the bottom of the 6th when he gave up a 2 out double to Coghlan. Tak's stats tonight were:
5 2/3IP 6R 9H 2BB 4K
The call to the bullpen was then made, Dessens came in and on one pitch Gaby Sanchez flew out and the inning was over.

But the Metsies had fight in them and they weren't throwing in the towel just yet. How could they the Marlins bullpen has the reputation of being the worst bullpen! In the top of the 7th Tim Wood was pitching for the Marlins and with nobody out and men on the corners Tejada was up. Tejada hit a ground ball to Wes Helms that definitely should have led to a double play but Helms bungled a bit and he got the force out at second but Tejada was safe at 1st and Tatis scored. The Metsies were down just 6-4, there was only 1 out now, Tejada was on first and the pinch hitter was Isaac Benjamin Davis. Taylor Tankersley was the new pitcher and wtf he was good and he struck out Ike. Then Jose Veras came in to pitch against Reyes and wtf he was good too and he struck out Reyes. I don't know why the Marlins bullpen won't live up to their lousy reputation. That's just inconsiderate of them.

After KRod pitched a perfect bottom of the 8th, oh yeah he retired the Marlins in order, the Metsies had one more chance to "call it a comeback." The Marlins closer Leo Nunez was in the game and well he lived up to the Marlins sucky bullpen rep, YAY! Barajas led off the inning with a single. Next "The Animal" pinched hit and he doubled! It was 2nd and 3rd for Frenchy with nobody out and Jeff grounded out but Barajas scored and the Metsies were down by just 1 run, 6-5. Then with 1 out and Cora on at third (Alex was the pinch runner for Carter) Tejada was up, nope it wasn't Tejada, Josh Thole pinch hit for Ruben and Thole was CLUTCH. He's a badass! Thole singled, Cora scored and the ball game was tied 6-6 YAY! Unfortunately Ike and Jose did a repeat performance of what they had done in the top of the 7th and Thole was stranded. Nunez got Ike to fly out and then he struck out Reyes. BOO.

Since KRod had pitched in the 8th and was pinch hit for in the top of the 9th Jerry had Perpetual Pedro pitch the bottom of the 9th. It started out oh so well. He struck out both the pinch hitter Bonifacio and Hanley Ramirez! But then that manure shoveling Cantu got a 2 out double and well Uggla was up. Like I said he must wear that "I'm Dan Uggla And I Crush Dreams" shirt wherever he goes and he got a walk off base hit, Cantu scored and the ball game was over. The Marlins won 7-6, BOO.

Okay enough of that depressing stuff let's get to what memorable things Keith said tonight. I think it might help to cheer everybody up somewhat.

Keith does not find humor in Hanley Ramirez falling over on his keister. If that happened to him he would be embarrassed.

He likes the word "FRISKY."

Hernandez thinks Hanley's helmet makes him look like a mutant.

Keith then added that the helmet actually makes Hanley look like a Klingon or a Romulan. Who knew Keith was a trekkie??!!

Last night he was drenched after the game. And he had no exertion.

Keith from the booth would not need a glove to catch a foul ball because he is that awesome. "It's not necessary with me" GARY!

He had a hunch this game was going to be "wild and woolly."

He knew from just the lower half of a man's body in the bullpen (no upper body or head was shown by the camera man) that that man was in fact Dessens. He said "Trust me it's Elmer." Yeah that was kind of weird. AWKWARD!

Frenchy has the most intense expression. "Look at those eyes and teeth, his teeth are like Bela Lugosi."

After mentioning Lugosi Keith felt old and dated and "un-contemporary."

He usually needs reading glasses for the promos.

Keith said you have to be careful of astroturf you "don't want to be hell bent for leather." After he said this he asked Gary if he could say that on television and Gary told him he probably should have asked that to begin with and Keith replied, "You know me..."

Keith said the Caribbean is always wonderful.

Parnell is a man of few words and he's easy going. Good to know Keith!

His Dad's a full blooded Spaniard and that makes him 1/2 Spanish.

Hernandez is surprised there isn't an ACRONYM for everything.

Keith had no idea what "BTW" meant. His kids texted him this cryptic message and he was all WTF. Oh wait he probably doesn't know what that means oops.

He does know what "LOL" means. "Lots of Laughs." (Gary then had to inform him he was wrong). I then lol-ed! I was in fact "ROTFL." Yes Keith remember Gary said that means I was "rolling on the floor laughing" from you!

Well that's it folks. Tomorrow is a new day and hopefully Pelfrey can help the Metsies to get their first road win against these pesky fish. And maybe Uggla can have the day off! That would be splendid.

Oh and SNY I'm still waiting on that RUM of Puerto Rico...

And Keith I want us fans to continue to have "lots of laughs" so keep up the good work!

Monday, June 28, 2010

This Just In: R. A. Dickey Is A Mere Mortal

San Juan Series 2010

Game 1: Los Marlins 10 NY Metropolitans 3

Dickey vs Nolasco

The Marlins snap their 4 game losing streak, ugh.

So after this nightmare of a game I think the Mets owe us fans Bacon Club Chalupas from Taco Bell and some of that RUM of Puerto Rico that was so heavily advertised tonight. Yep they need to pay up now.

Well what can really be said about this game? It sucked. I look forward to when Dickey starts and well I guess we all got a reality check kick in the butt tonight. Ouch my tush hurts right now. Dickey is human and he will lose some games this season and that first loss was indeed tonight. He just got control of his knuckleball too late. That's really the saddest part of it all.

So let's get to this not so fun recap. But don't fret folks I have some great Keith Hernandez material to cheer us up with in a bit.

In the bottom of the 1st Coghlan scored on an error by Reyes and Los Marlins took a 1-0 lead over the Metsies.

In the top of the 2nd with one out Jason Bay hit an opposite field bomb to tie this ball game at 1-1! Now Jason has 5 homers. After this magical swing of the bat Gary said, "We just had to get him off the mainland!" I loled.

In the bottom of the 3rd with 1st and 3rd and no outs Gaby Sanchez the Met assassin got a 2 run double and the Marlins were now up 3-1 over the Metsies and they would never look back. Then Ramirez rbi doubled to give the fish a 4-1 lead. At this point I started to think it's really good there are all those rums of Puerto Rico and could SNY get them to us fans and well me ASAP. I'm still waiting on my rum. With 2 outs and Ramirez on 2nd Cody Ross the other Met assassin got a base hit and Hanley scored and Los Marlins were now up 5-1 over the not-so-Amazins. At this point it was WTF nooooo Deja Vu. The last time we faced the Marlins on the road (because this game in San Juan is a home series for the Marlins) they swept us. History better not repeat itself. Please. And if it does please make sure to ship me some of this rum of Puerto Rico.

Eventually the Dickey we have come to know and love returned but it was too late at this point. After giving up that base hit to Ross in the bottom of the third he retired the next 7 Marlins in a row which was awesome but again the damage had already been done.

Nieve came in for some relief work in the bottom of the 6th and well he made me want some more of that rum that I still had not received. With 1 out and nobody on that damn Met killer Cody Ross homered and the Marlins were now up 6-1 over the Metsies.

But in the top of the 7th Jason Bay wanted to prove that even if no other Met is liked by Hiram Bithorn Stadium he sure is. With 2 outs and Wright on at 1st Jason hit another BOMB-BAY! This 2 run homer cut the Marlins lead to 6-3. And now Jason has 6 homers this season.

In the bottom of the 7th Nieve decided he wanted to continue to give up homers when he's pitching in relief and with 1 out Coghlan solo homered and Los Marlins extended their lead to 7-3 over the Mets.

In the bottom of the 8th Igarashi felt left out that he hadn't given up a homer I guess and with 2 outs and men on 1st and 2nd that 20 year old rookie of the Marlins Mike Stanton homered. Iggy gave up a POP. The Marlins were now up 10-3 over the Metsies and any chance of a comeback in the top of the 9th by the Amazins seemed impossible and it was. Yes I really wanted that rum right now. You think Rocketboy could have well taken his rocket and brought it to me in seconds. But nope he did not. Boo to that Iggy.

Well with this loss Dickey is now 6-1. I really was naive and thought he'd still have an untarnished record going into the all star break. Oh foolish me. And besides that Tejada was hitless and that 10 game hitting streak of his is now over.

But really to sum up this game, Nolasco was just too good tonight. At one point Nolasco had retired 15 straight Metsies in a row before the Wright single and that BOMB-BAY in the 7th. Then Brian Sanches and Jose Veras came on in for some great relief work in the the 8th and 9th innings. Way to live up to "The Marlins bullpen SUCKS" reputation, NOT. Just terrible.

But what's not terrible and in fact it's a lot of fun, all the great things Keith said tonight. So let's wipe our tears away and get our Hernandez on!

Keith thinks if you live down in San Juan you can become a RUMMY. I assume that means a person who drinks rum non-stop.

He also mentioned that there are a lot of things you can do with rum but he didn't say what they are. I imagine one of these things is to deny a Met fan like myself who is suffering throughout this game some rum.

Keith loves Spanish architecture in San Juan and in particular he loves the arches.

Keith saw Francouer at the pool today. Were they wearing Speedos?

Keith decided to rerun his material at one point but that's okay because this rerun is like a great rerun of Seinfeld. Hernandez talked about how his favorite author is John Steinbeck. He loves Steinbeck's novel "The Winter Of My Discontent." And although John wrote this novel while he was in Sag Harbor you don't have to be from Sag Harbor to read it. Keith said it will entertain anyone regardless of where he or she lives.

A WAVE was taking place in the stadium and Keith called it a "BACARDI fueled wave." Btw these fans just know how to have a good time. They just play with their thunder sticks and disregard the scoreboard. I wish I could have done that and well had some rum.

Unlike Cosmo Kramer, Keith has never been a fan of cigars. He says they can stink up a house in a heartbeat.

Keith thinks the moon looks great in High Definition and he can say this because they have HD monitors in the booth.

Hernandez after seeing the moon thought about how much he likes sci-fi movies and HG Wells.

Keith took a walk on the beach today. The water was very warm.

Tomorrow he may visit Old San Juan. He has never been there and he'd like to take a look at his Spanish roots.

Keith did not mention how he wants a Taco Bell Bacon Club Chalupa but if he saw the commercial before the 8th inning like I did I think he would have been tempted to go off his diet.

It took Keith until the top of the 8th to realize the Marlins uniforms said LOS MARLINS. He then assumed that the Marlins are male, LOS=male.

If Los Marlins are male he then pondered is LAS VEGAS feminine????!! His conclusion was YES.

On Saturday in Washington DC Keith said he'll go along with Gary to visit some museums because that game will be nationally televised. Of course FOX gets the Strasburg vs Metsies game. Gary and Keith were upset about this. Then it turned out moments later Keith told Gary he wouldn't be going to any museums with him because he's not flying to Washington DC. He's off for that series. Boo to that Keith!

Well that's it folks. Tomorrow is a new day and hopefully San Juan will be kinder to the Mets.

Takahashi do that thing you liked to do against the Yankees tomorrow. That Hisanori would be gladly welcomed. And seriously SNY send me some RUM.

And I almost forgot to mention Strasburg pitched against the Braves tonight and he was useless. He lost his 2nd straight start and the Braves won 5-0. Again I repeat SNY send me some RUM. Or ESPN 2 you can!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Cliff Lee and Marginal Wins: What Should the Mets Do at the Deadline? (Part 1)

There has been a ton of talk lately - on blogs, in newspapers, on talk radio - about what the Mets will do as we approach the trade deadline here in major league baseball. In this two-parter, we'll take a look at the current state of the team and the free agent market and see if the Mets are being smart by looking at the big-ticket trade items.

Right now, the Mets are in good shape, and look like they may be able to hang in there for a playoff berth for the remainder of the year. Half a game out of first place in the NL East, leading the chase for the Wild Card, and with Beltran's return on the horizon, it no longer seems like dreams of the playoffs are totally far-fetched.

So the question facing our team becomes not "do we make a move?" and instead becomes "what kind of move will we make?" Should the Mets make a big push and acquire Cliff Lee? Should they acquire a mid-level starter like Kevin Millwood or Brett Myers? Perhaps they could add a potent right-handed pinch-hitter to replace Fernando Tatis?

None of these calculations, however, should take place in a vacuum. When we acquire a guy like Cliff Lee, we don't just acquire Cliff Lee -- we add him to the rotation at the expense of another player. Each transaction takes place in an intricate context which will involve corresponding roster moves both this year and into the future.

I'm going to ignore the implications of any move down the road (i.e. draft picks, future free agency, etc.) and simply take a look at where the Mets stand as a team and where it makes the most sense for them to make an improvement.

The State of the Union

Offensive Ranks (of 16 in NL):
Runs: 7th, Home Runs: 12th, Stolen Bases: 1st, OBP: 11th, Slugging: 11th, OPS: 11th, Wins Above Replacement: +10.3

Pitching Ranks (of 16 in NL):
ERA: 6th, Hits Allowed: 10th, Walks Allowed: 15th, Strikeouts: 7th, Double Plays: 3rd, Fielding Pct.: 4th, Wins Above Replacement: +7.7

Granted, this is a very elementary way of looking at the Mets statistically - but we have to fairly assess our strengths and weaknesses before we can understand how to best improve the team. Below, is a view player-by-player, with numbers courtesy of baseball-reference.com:

David Wright: 3.6
Angel Pagan: 2.7
Jason Bay: 1.4
Jose Reyes: 1.2
Jeff Francoeur: 1.0
Ike Davis: 0.8
Blanco+Barajas: 1.5
Ruben Tejada: 0.1
Luis Castillo: -0.3

Mike Pelfrey: 2.8
Johan Santana: 1.7
Francisco Rodriguez: 1.4
R.A. Dickey: 1.3
Pedro Feliciano: 1.0
Hisanori Takahashi: 0.8
Dessens, Mejia, Niese, Parnell: less than 0.5, more than 0.0

From these numbers together, we can get a general idea of how the team has been performing. Just as importantly, though, watching the games gives us far better insight to what this all means.

Offensively, the Mets have been scoring runs at a decent clip despite ranking 11th out of 16 in the league in OPS. This is due partly to timely hitting, good aggressive baserunning, and playing to the strengths of Citi Field. The engine behind the offense has been Wright, but the offense has truly turned it on since the addition of Davis and with Reyes returning to form.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Mets pitching is a tale of two seasons. Once John Maine and Oliver Perez were jettisonned from the rotation, the Mets pitching has been nothing short of spectacular. It's no secret that Mike Pelfrey and Johan Santana have been spectacular all year - but it is the addition of Dickey and Takahashi which has made this remarkable run possible.

So in what areas are the Mets best-suited to improve themselves? What areas are we currently weakest? What kind of commodities are available on the market? Can we get a reliever at 50 cents on the dollar instead of Cliff Lee at a premium? Below, we'll take a look at the offense and see if we can draw some conclusions.

Second Base
On the offensive side of the ball, there really seem to be only two positions where we are not trotting out a player who is above league average already - 2B and RF. With Beltran looming, the issue in right field may actually sort itself out before we have to make any decisions regarding trades.

As for second base, is there anything out there that could help us? And do so above and beyond Ruben Tejada? Fangraphs, which actually calculates WAR differently from baseball-reference it appears, has Tejada as worth 0.4 WAR at the moment -- -0.9 at the plate and an enormous +2.1 in the field. So what else is there?

Of the top several names on the list, sorted by WAR, none of them are moving. Some are cornerstones of their franchises (Utley, Cano), others are in the NL East (Prado, Uggla) and others are injured (Pedroia). It is not until you get down the list until a few intriguing names appear.

Kelly Johnson (2.2 WAR) had a great start to his season, but has since tailed off considerably. Could he be had cheaply if the Diamondbacks fall out of contention? Orlando Hudson, who it appears will never go away, is having a fine season (1.8 WAR) for the Twins. Reid Brignac and Sean Rodriguez are finding it hard to find playing time for the Rays. And of course, Ty Wigginton continues to pound away at the baseball down there in Baltimore (0.8 WAR). It should be noted however that Wigginton has been worth +8.4 with the bat and -8.7 in the field, so a Wigginton/Tejada combination may work wonders if he can still play second base[1].

What's the bottom line of all of this? A one to two win improvement is available.

Ruben Tejada has been doing a great job, especially when you consider his youth. He was playing as a 19-year-old in Double-A last season! But with Tejada grading out as worth approximately 0.6-1.0 WAR for the rest of the year, and with very few available upgrades on the market, second base does not appear to be an obvious place to upgrade.

If there were one player worth pusruing, I'd say that it is Kelly Johnson. And it looks like he may be on the market. ZiPS has Johnson projected to hit a robust .273/.355/.470 for the rest of the year, a number that would look great batting seventh in this Mets lineup. If Johnson continued his great play this year, he'd be worth approximately 2.2-2.5 WAR the rest of this season, a meager 1-2 game improvement over playing Tejada every day.

Although it does not appear that the Mets are actively looking to improve their offense, Johnson may be had if the price is right. At a win or more of improvement on the cheap, with a player who could stay with the Mets beyond this year, it's worth looking into.

Next time, a look at starters and relievers.

[1] Interestingly, his UZR/150 at has actually been better at second base than at first base (-14.4 to -23.0). For his career, he's been better at second base than any other infield position. And he's also played right field!!! Hint, hint.

[2] Also, I did not see this until I was finished writing, but check out this fantastic piece on Ty Wigginton's trade value over at MetsToday.com.

There is a great dollars and cents discussion of what Wigginton is worth and might demand in a trade, and it's worthy of a read. For what it's worth, I'd take either of the trade proposals he mentions at the bottom of the article in a heartbeat for Wigginton.

Hey GHANA Let's See How You Would Stack Up Against These 2010 Metsies!

Game 3: Mets 6 Twins 0

Niese vs Baker

So as we are all aware Team USA is out of The World Cup and well really who cares about soccer now right? It's a stupid sport anyways. And at times I think they just make up rules as they go along. Oh I'm kidding it's a great sport but come on all of us Americans have a right to be bitter. And if you ever come in contact with someone from Ghana and that person starts gloating about the victorino you can say this, "So your team won but at least we have clean drinking water. So there." Yep that was my little joke after the loss and if you like it you can join me in hell, YAY. And bring your vuvuzelas! Personally I'm not that big on soccer and The World Cup but I get its appeal. Having said this I was still rooting for Team USA. Keith Hernandez for the record wasn't following el futbol even when the US was still involved and he made it clear he's not starting now. Gary is convinced it's going to be Brazil and Argentina at the end. We'll see how your prognosticating skills are Gary! Oh and according to today's Toyota Text Poll question "With the USA loss yesterday, are you still interested in The World Cup?" 74% of texters said NO! Take that Ghana!

But these texters must of enjoyed today's game.

We needed the Mets to pound the Twinkies after yesterday's Marlboro man Pavano complete game shutout and they did! So let's get to the game and the highlights from the booth. Niese was incredible!
6IP 4H 3BB 5K

Ralph Kiner stopped by the booth for 6 innings and well he was blunt as ever! It was a beautiful thing! And according to Kiner if you are an everyday player you PLAY everyday. That's how they did it in his day and that's how it should be done today. Days off are for pansies! So with that being said Mr. "The Beast" KUBEL and Mr. Morneau you are pansies! Day off shmay off!

Bottom of the 1st:

With 2 outs and Feliciano on at 3rd and Wright on at 2nd Bay was up and well Ralph was like I said BLUNT and he didn't hold back his feelings about Mr. Canada. Keith had once again talked about how he just doesn't get what's up with Bay. Canadians boggle his mind! And Ralph then remarked, "He's not doing the job he's paid for. He has only 4 homeruns. You can hit that in one game. He's not paid all that money to get ground ball base hits." And unfortunately Bay proved Kiner right. He struck out and the inning was over.

Bottom of the 3rd:
Kevin Burkhardt did a segment on how great it is to visit the HALL OF FAME at Citi Field and this allowed Keith to toot his own horn and he tooted away! It was hysterical! Kevin asked Keith, "What do you do with all your awards (Keith has one gold glove at the hall of fame)? And Keith remarked,
1-The silver bat is in the closet
2-My MVP award is displayed
3-I have one GOLD GLOVE displayed and the other 10 are in the den

This inning Feliciano hit a two out single, his 2nd hit of the afternoon but the Mets couldn't score yet. The Metsies bats were still warming up. They were taking it easy on Scott Baker at this point.

After Niese struck out Young to end the top of the 4th Jonathon had retired 10 straight Twinkies in a row, YAY!

Bottom of the 4th:
With 2 outs and Ike on 1st (Davis led off the inning with a single) Frenchy was up. Ralph was all blunt again and he said, "He might be the streakiest hitter I've ever seen. He's either really bad or really good." Well Jeff had already doubled in the bottom of the 2nd and he just wanted to prove to Kiner he's on his hot streak and he homered! With one swing of the bat the Metsies were up 2-0 over the Twinkies, YAY! Jeff now has 40 rib eye steaks! Tejada then singled and he extended his hitting streak to 10 games! Sadly Niese struck out to end the inning. Btw this hitting streak of Ruben's is the longest by a Mets rookie since Jason Phillips back in 2003. Yay Ruben Te-HOT-a!

Bottom of the 5th:
Ok now it's time for the Metsies bats to HEAT up! With 1 out Feliciano got his third hit of the afternoon, a ground rule double! Wright then said, "I like what Frenchy did last inning and yeah I think I'll copy him!" And Davey did just that, his 14th homer of the season was marvelous! The Metsies now had a 4-0 lead over the Twins and Wright now has 61 rib eye steaks! Isaac Benjamin Davis then said, "I really admire what Jeff and Dave did in this game and yeah I too want to hit a homer" and he did. Back to back Metsies homers are the best! The Amazins were now up 5-0 over the Twinkies! And now Bay was up and he told Ralph Kiner, "I'm gonna be the 10th Canadian to have 1000 career hits on my belt!" Bay's 1 out triple was his 1000th hit! Congrats Jay Bay! Now a call to the bullpen was made and the Twins brought in reliever Alex Burnett who did his best Scott Baker impression. With Bay on at 3rd and 1 out, Rod rbi singled, Bay scored and the Metsies were up 6-0 over the Twinkies. Then Frenchy singled and that was the 6th straight hit for the NY Metropolitans this inning! Tejada then popped up, 2 outs, boo. But Niese was walked and with 2 outs the bases were loaded for Reyes. Another call to the bullpen was made, Mahay came in and well he's good at his job. Reyes was now batting from the right side and he flew out and this great inning was over.

Bottom of the 6th:
The Mets didn't score but Kevin Burkhardt did a segment on the Mets and who uses the heaviest bat! And it turns out it's The Animal. Carter uses an ash bat, he's anti-maple and his ash bat is 34 1/2 inch by 34oz. And although this impressed me and Keith, Ralph was not impressed at all. Kiner was blunt again! He said "You don't know what heavy is!" Ralph said he used a 42 oz bat and that Babe Ruth used a 52 oz bat. Keith was very honest about his bat. He said he liked using a light one, "I didn't want a bat that could swing me." Oh and in this inning Keith made a prediction about Wright. He said that by the end of the season Wright could in fact end up with a .325 batting avg. and 140 rib eye steaks. Ralph has no doubt that Keith is a great prognosticator and I sure hope Hernandez is right!

After 6 innings Mr. McBlunty was kicked out of the booth!

And after one batter was faced by Niese (he walked Valencia) in the top of the 7th he was taken out of the game. The crowd gave him an amazing round of applause and he sure deserved it! Elmer Dessens pitched the rest of the 7th and although he got into trouble, the bases were loaded with 2 outs, he got Hudson to ground out and the crisis was averted! Feliciano then pitched a dynamite 1,2, 3 8th inning and Parnell pitched the 9th. Bobby gave up a 2 out single to Punto but he struck out the pinch hitter KUBEL and the game was over! Mets win, the Mets win!

Oh I must now mention two more funny things that happened in the booth. During the bottom of the 7th the Twins reliever Guerrier was just amazing and Keith loves him. He just adored Guerrier's curveball which he called a "yellowhammer." After Keith felt old using the word yellowhammer Gary said "There are other names for curveballs but we can't use them on tv!" Now Gary you are a tease! I want these names now! Gary then talked about screaming yellow zonkers and poppycock and he confused Keith. But I'm sure Keith is like me and even though he was all WTF it was just tons of fun to hear Gary say POPPYCOCK multiple times!

Now to another great moment! In the bottom of the 8th the reliever for the Twins was Jose Mijares who is a big guy.

Gary had just mentioned that Jose had missed some games due to a family emergency and that he hadn't picked up a baseball in over a week and that the Twins had no idea what to expect out of him. And Keith basically said bereavement besheavment he's FAT "It doesn't look like he missed a meal!" Yep classic Keith greatness right there!

So with this Mets win,
1-Niese now has his 5th win of the season.
2-The Twins have now been shutout 5 times this season.
3-The Mets are 13-5 in inter-league play this season. This is their best inter-league play record EVER.
4-They have shutout 11 teams this season!
5-They are now 28-12 at home!
6-They went 4-2 on this homestand!
7-They have won 6 straight series at HOME!

Now the Metsies are off to play the Marlins in PUERTO RICO and the best news is they won't face Josh Johnson, YAY! Tomorrow it's Dickey vs Nolasco! It should be a great game, I can't wait! And you know Keith is excited for his beach time in San Juan!

The Marlins were just swept by San Diego so hopefully they'll keep up their losing ways! I think Fredi Gonzalez will be rooting for the Metsies!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Is That Keith Hernandez Pitching For The Twinkies? Oh Nope That's Just Carl Pavano.

Game 2: Twins 6 Mets 0

Pavano vs. Santana

I had worried that the Twinkies were going to come out with a vengeance at Citi Field today and what the hell why did I have to be right! I hate being right! This game was no fun at all and I'm really not going to recap it. Who wants to hear about all those Twinkies hits anyways and how much Santana stunk it up on the mound against his former squad? I sure don't. Watching it was painful enough. And the fact that I have to type that Pavano pitched a 3 hit complete game shutout is just not fair. So this is all I will really say. Santana gave up 4 runs in the first on a Mauer rbi single, a KUBEL rbi double and a 2 run double by Young. Span scored another run in the 4th and then Nieve gave up a lead off homer to Kubel in the top of the 9th. Sadly that homer given up by Nieve ended a streak of 23 1/3 scoreless innings pitched by Metsies relievers. So yeah this game today sucked big time.

But that's okay because Keith was EN FUEGO this afternoon! This made the game as enjoyable as a Metsies loss can be to watch. In the first inning Keith admitted "I'm in a goofy mood today." And yep he was. But if you are like me you love Keith when he's all GOOFY and nutty. Honestly I learned so much about him and well I'm a big fan of show and tell and sharing so I'm going to teach you all there is to know about Keith right after this teeny tiny digression. I must discuss the new addition to the Twins pitching staff, Carl Pavano's mustachio. For me I felt like I was watching that movie "Single White Female" where Jennifer Jason Leigh's character becomes obsessed with Bridget Fonda. Jen totally steals her look and is nuts. Yeah Carl Pavano is Jennifer and Keith Hernandez is Bridget.

It's freaky how much Carl now looks like the Keith of the past and well even Keith today.

Ok now that I've said that let's get to a great college course called Keith Hernandez 101:

Keith calls a loss a "LARRY."

Keith has a hard time pronouncing HYUNDAI.

Hernandez is called "Keith Horrendous" on the golf course. He sucks.

In school he did better in geometry than algebra. He hated algebra.

Keith admires Carl Pavano's ladies man style.

After seeing Pavano's mustache, Keith decided he wants to try to grow a "3 Musketeers D'artagnan style mustachio."

Keith wants to hang out on the beach while in Puerto Rico for the upcoming Mets/Marlins series. Now I just ponder if he will wear a speedo?

In regards to the World Cup and Team USA vs Ghana Keith had to ask Gary "What are those horns called?" Gary informed Keith they are called VUVUZELAS.

While attending baseball games in his youth, Keith never caught a foul ball.

Keith has DIRECTV.

He has a hard time with the American League. He just doesn't care for it.

Keith wonders what happened to the Beastie Boys? He really enjoyed their first album. He also likes Collective Soul.

He's a stickler when it comes to making the bed. When he wakes up in the morning the first thing he must do is make the bed. To him, nothing is worse than an unmade bed.

Keith doesn't mind doing laundry or folding.

He can fix things as long as plumbing or electricity is not involved. If they are he calls a guy.

Keith goes up to his roof to clear leaves from his eaves twice a month. He admits, "It's murder."

He is good at spackling. First he uses a fine sandpaper, he's very meticulous and then it's time to paint. But he's "not too partial to painting." So he calls a guy. "I call painters to paint and primer."

When Keith was a kid he went wild on his swing set.

Keith loves good pitching. He "never cared for the homer era." It drove him away from the game.

Well now that was fun right. The final exam will be right before the all star break. Oh I'm just kidding. There's no homework or midterms and finals in baseball.

Tomorrow is another day. Niese help us to take this series! Please.

And Keith thanks for being goofy, we needed it today. Oh we did.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Metsies Hand The TWIN-kies Their 4th Straight LOSS In Front Of Acclaimed Actor Todd Zeile

Metsies 5 Twinkies 2

Pelfrey vs Slowey

Going into tonight's game Minnesota had just been swept by the Brewers and well that worried me. I assumed this might mean the Twins would come to Citi Field incredible Hulk angry and well they would crush the Metsies. Thank goodness I'm terrible at predicting outcomes! I love being wrong!

BTW Todd Zeile was at the game. He talked to Burkhardt about how he is a movie star now. He was promoting his future projects. I think one was a Scorcese flick. Ok the Scorcese thing is a big fat lie but Zeile did say there are some kids movies and some other films he's worked on that are coming out soon. That is completely TRUE.

So enough about Todd because I don't want to be a lollygagger (that's another Keithism I'll be using)! Let's get to the highlights and that delightful Gary and Keith banter! Here we go!

Mets starting lineup:


Top of the 1st:
On the first pitch Denard Span hit a lead off homer, boo! The Twinkies as Keith referred to them took a 1-0 lead over the Metsies. The more Keith referred to the Twins as the Twinkies the more I wanted a twinkie and I don't even like twinkies.

Bottom of the 1st:
Slowey was not slow at all this inning. He retired the Mets in just 10 pitches, disgusting. During Wright's at bat Keith and Gary gushed about the uniforms the Metsies had on tonight. They were the off white ones with the pinstripes on them. They are really nice. But Keith only had eyes for Davey's uniform. He said "It's clean I like it." And then he told Gary how much he loves the Mets logo on Wright's bicep. Oooh the bicep. Unfortunately with 2 outs Wright's bicep did not care for this compliment and it said "I'm gonna strike out, inning over Hernandez."

Top of the 2nd:

Kubel led off this inning with a single. After this hit this pretty great convo between Gary and Keith ensued,
Keith: He took him to the bridge.
Gary: Well not quite the bridge.
Keith: Well it's baseball terminology.
Gary: So the generic bridge, not the Shea bridge.
Keith: Right like that Led Zeppelin song "Where's that confounded bridge?"
Pelf then retired Young, Punto and Slowey in order.

After the commercial break the blimp cam got a great shot of Flushing. It was really gorgeous and well of course that meant Gary and Keith would end up talking about Riker's Island. Duh, right?
Gary: Beautiful shots from the blimp tonight. Beautiful rays of sunshine filtering down from the clouds.
Keith: You ever been in that island over there before Gary?
Gary: What island is that?
Keith: That's Rikers.
Gary: I don't think I wanna be there. I've never visited, have you?
Keith: No I don't care to.

Bottom of the 2nd:
Slowey retired the Metsies (Davis, Bay and Thole) in order again. But Gary did mention something very neat during Bay's at bat. It turns out Jay is 2 hits shy of 1000 career hits! And he'll be the 10th Canadian evah to reach 1000 hits. He struck out this time around, ugh. Stuck at 998, ugh.

Top of the 3rd:
Span led off this inning with a bloop single, boo. Hudson was up next and Span continued to kill the Metsies and he stole second and Hudson singled, horrible. Keith and Gary then talked about the weather. Keith confessed that he does not like sweating at all. He doesn't like it one iota. With runners on the corners and no outs Pelf did something so huge, he struck out last year's AL MVP Joe MAUER, yay! And then Justin Morneau grounded into an inning ending double play. It was just a beautiful thing. Mauer and Morneau, two of the best hitters in baseball did not live up to their reputations at all tonight. Thank you guys!

Bottom of the 3rd:
Slowey was just on a roll. He retired Frenchy, Tejada and Pelf in order.

Top of the 4th:
Pelfrey then told Slowey, "I'm FAST-y! I'll retire some Twinkies in just 7 pitches!" And he did! Adios Cuddyer, Kubel, and Young!

Bottom of the 4th:

Hot hot hot Jose Jose Jose led off this inning with a bloop single! At this point Keith finally commented on Kevin's last name! He said, "Slowey that's a terrible name for a pitcher!" It's just a horrible surname in general. Feliciano was up next and before he could lay down the bunt, Slowey tried to pick off Reyes, he effed up and well Reyes moseyed along to 2nd base. Feliciano then sac bunted and Jose was on at 3rd with one out for WRIGHT. And Dave had the Wright stuff and he rbi doubled! Reyes scored, Davey got rib eye steak #58 and the Metsies and Twins were now all tied up at 1! THEN Isaac Benjamin Davis singled! Wright stopped at 3rd BUT he scored thanks in part to a Span ERROR! The Mets were now up 2-1. With Ike on at 1st and 1 out "I need just 2 hits to reach 1000" Bay was up. Keith admitted he just doesn't get Bay. And Bay said "Keith Canadians aren't that complex how do you like this rbi double!" So Bay got his 999th career hit, Davis scored, and the Metsies were now up 3-1 over the Twins! That rib eye steak of Bay's was his 31st. Slowey then retired Thole and Frenchy and he was out of that sticky jam, boo.

Top of the 5th:
Punto led off this inning with a double. Slowey then sac bunted and that meant Punto was on at 3rd with one out for "bloop and a blast" SPAN ahhh. Span grounded out, his bat was broken into smithereens but Punto scored. The Twinkies were now only losing 3-2, yikes. Hudson then flew out and the inning was over.

Bottom of the 5th:
Tejada who had an 8 game hitting streak going into tonight's game led off this inning with what looked like it might be a homer but it was just a double. Ruben Sandwich now has a 9 game hitting streak! Pelf then sac bunted and Tejada advanced to 3rd. At this point the Todd Zeile shenanigans I mentioned earlier actually took place. Okay back to the game. With 1 out and Tejada on 3rd Reyes hit a decent enough fly ball that was sadly caught. Ruben still tagged up and he was safe at home...barely safe that is. Young made a great throw to Mauer but Ruben somehow got his hand on the plate before Mauer could tag him. It was really a close call but I'm glad the call was in the Metsies favor! The Mets were now up 4-2 over the Twins. Feliciano then grounded out to end the inning.

Top of the 6th:
Adios Mauer, Morneau and Cuddyer! Pelf now had retired 6 straight Twinkies in order and he was done for the night. Also during this inning the blimp cam got a great shot of the FULL moon. Then Keith said, "I have to lock myself in my hotel room." Gary then asked something like "Are you doing that to protect other people from you?" Yeah now I'm confused, Keith isn't a werewolf, right? Or is he? That might explain some stuff, hmmm.

Bottom of the 6th:
Go GAGA for Wright everybody! Davey led off this inning with his 13th homer of the season! That opposite field homerun gave the Metsies a 5-2 lead over Minnesota! And Wright now has 59 rib eye steaks, oh yeah! That was all the Mets would do offensively in this inning. So that sadly means when Bay was up he didn't get his 1000th hit. He instead flew out. But there's always tomorrow afternoon for some Canadian BAY history making!

Top of the 7th:
Bobby Parnell was now pitching and he is kind of AMAZIN this season so far. He retired the Twins in order. Good night Kubel, Young and Punto! That's 9 straight Twinkies retired by Mets pitching, woohoo!

Bottom of the 7th:
The Minnesota reliever Jesse Crain was pretty great himself. Frenchy, Tejada and the pinch hitting the Animal were retired 1, 2, 3.

Top of the 8th:
Perpetual Pedro looked dynamite! He struck out Tolbert and Span for outs numero 1 and 2! 11 straight Twins retired by Mets pitching! Then Hudson hit a comebacker, Pedro threw to Ike and the inning was over. 12 straight Twinkies retired by the Mets!

Bottom of the 8th:
Although Reyes led off this inning with a single the Metsies could do nothing against Crain and Mahay. Damn their bullpen looks good.

Top of the 9th:

Frankie time! Mauer grounded out to Tejada and he was the 13th straight batter retired by Amazins pitching. But then Morneau ended this streak, BOO. He singled. And then Cuddyer got an infield hit, NOOOO. So with 1st and 2nd and 1 out Kubel was up and KRod struck him out, yay! And time to exhale folks, Young grounded out to Wright for out #3 and the ball game was over! The Metsies win!

Pelf is now 10-2, KRod has 17 saves and the Twins have lost 4 games in a row!

Tomorrow it's Santana vs Pavano. Hopefully Johan can pick up the victorino against his former squad, that would be sweet!

Let's go Mets!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Why Hello R.A. Dickey's 6th Consecutive Win And 2.33 ERA! Those Stats Are Real And Spectacular!

Game 2: Mets 5 Tigers 0

Jeremy Bonderman vs. R.A. Dickey

So the last time Keith Hernandez and Jerry Seinfeld shared tv time Jerry had told Keith their relationship was moving too fast and NO he would not help Hernandez move into his new apartment! "The Boyfriend" is definitely one of the best Seinfeld episodes ever! And well tonight the two men reunited and it was delightful! Jerry joined Gary and Keith in the booth in the 3rd inning and he didn't leave until the 7th inning stretch because yeah I guess he needed to stretttttch! As Jerry kept saying during his stay in the booth, "Dickey is pitching a WHALE of a game" and R.A. sure did. My favorite games are these Dickey outings and this one did not disappoint at all. Oh and I almost forgot it was all about the index finger power at Citi Field. It was "Go Gaga For Wright" night and well the index finger is a good finger according to Seinfeld! So wave those index fingers in the air and let's get to this recap and the tomfoolery in the booth!

Top of the 1st:
This first inning was the only time Dickey really was in a jam. But he's a Houdini and he can get out of any sticky situation! Johnny Damon was the lead off man and before he swung the bat Keith said, "He's mired in a deep slump" and yep Damon is. Before this at bat, Johnny had just 2 hits in his last 23 at bats. And what do you know he's still mired in that slump, Johnny flew out! Santiago was then walked and Ordonez singled. So with 1 out and men on 1st and 2nd Cabrera flew out, 2 outs, YAY. But then who was up to bat with 2 outs and still men on 1st and 2nd, the dangerous Brennan Boesch. Keith wanted to let everyone know that he in no way agrees with the masses and in fact he doesn't think Boesche's swing is mechanical at all. Nope he's no cyborg. He just has a fluid swing that's awkward or something like that. Yeah that's pretty much how Keith put it. And Boesche was walked, AHHHH. Now the bases were loaded with 2 outs for Carlos Guillen. Guillen grounded out to Ruben sandwich and the side was retired!

Bottom of the 1st:
The hot hot hot Jose Jose Jose led off this inning with a triple! That triple was his 6th 3B of the season! Btw very interesting to note, since Reyes returned to the lead off spot on May 15th he has had a .333 batting average, he's hit 5 homers, he has 19 rib eye steaks and his on base percentage is .372! Yeah he's hot hot hot. Unfortunately the other Metsies this inning were experiencing global cooling. Pagan struck out, Wright then on the 1st pitch grounded out to third and Ike was gaga for Wright and he too grounded out and Reyes was left stranded at 3rd, boo.

Oh I forgot to mention Strasburg was pitching today too and at this point Gary updated the Stras stats! In 6 innings pitched, Stras had struck out 9 Royals but the Nats were losing 1-0. So basically in his first 4 starts Stephen has struck out 41 guys. Yep he sucks. Oh how I kid.

Before the 2nd inning that darn FIBERAMA commercial came on and well I was actually at Fiberama today, WHOA. Like they say "You gotta go to Fiberama." I only saw one of the dudes from the commercial though. Total let down.

Top of the 2nd:
Brandon Inge led off this inning and Keith remarked, "Gary is this a typo?" Keith announced that Inge had struck out 170 times last season. Gary informed Keith this was indeed true and Hernandez was about to make me LOL for reals. He said, "I would seriously have to consider hurting myself if I struck out that much." Then Boesche flew out to Pagan, it was a great play and Keith shouted "MUSTANG SALLY." Gary was boggled by this and I kind of was too. But then Keith was all I have it on LP! And I assume Keith must have thought this up because well the mustang is a fast car, Pagan is fast. Or not? Step aside Crazy Horse, I think Pagan has a new nickname! Avila then hit a 1 out single and Bonderman bunted. BUT Isaac Benjamin Davis made a great diving catch on his knees, he threw to Tejada and Avila was doubled up at 1st and the side was retired. Seriously Ike stop being so awesome, nah please don't.

Bottom of the 2nd:
I think the Mets let Bonderman retire the side in like a flash because well they wanted it to be the third inning already. They too were excited for Jerry Seinfeld in the booth!

Top of the 3rd:

Jerry Seinfeld wanted an introduction from Gary and he was pleased with it. And now joining us in the booth is "the most iconic performer of his time" Jerry Seinfeld! Keith went with, "Hello Seinfeld!" Jerry then returned the favor and complimented Gary and Keith nonstop. He luffs Gary and Keith and said this is the "best booth in baseball." And of course I agree with that statement! Damon led this inning off and he singled. Ugh I wanted him to stay mired in that slump. During Santiago's at bat, Damon moved on over to 2nd on a wild pitch. But it didn't matter at all. Dickey then retired the side, adios Santiago, Ordonez and Cabrera. That's just how R.A. rock and rolls.

Bottom of the 3rd:
Right after the commercial break SNY aired a clip from "The Boyfriend." It was the scene where George and Jerry are in the locker room and all of a sudden Keith walks in and he tells Jerry "I love your comedy."

Keith then told Gary and Jerry that he never felt comfortable saying that line. That's just not how he talks. Well we know this. The line should have been, "Coconuts, bombaronis, Jerry I really like your style out there, dipsy doo." Jerry admitted that Keith was the guest star he was the most excited to meet. Take that Paul O'Neill and Derek Jeter! Jerry then made fun of Keith in those "Just For Men" commercials. He did that a lot and I rather enjoyed it. But back to the action, after Tejada and Dickey both grounded out, Reyes hit a 2 out single. Yeah he's en fuego, whoa. With Pagan now up Jerry revealed that his wife Jessica has been a huge fan of Angel's and she knew he would do great things this season. It turns out Jess was actually a Yankees fan but Jerry converted her. Well done sir! Then Reyes stole 2nd on a pitch out (his 19th SB of the season) and Pagan was walked! So with 2 outs and men on 1st and 2nd Wright said "I love me some red meat" and he rbi doubled, Reyes scored, the Metsies took a 1-0 lead over the Tigers and Wright now has 56 rib eye steaks! Davis then grounded out to end the inning. Jerry then said right before the commercial break, "When are we gonna talk about Lady Gaga that's why I'm here!"

Top of the 4th:
After this commercial break SNY showed the scene from "The Boyfriend" where Elaine and Keith are in Keith's car and well they are getting all hot and heavy. Keith said that scene took about 8 takes and he then remarked, "I botched a few on purpose. I didn't give my A game."

After retiring Boesche and Guillen, Dickey gave up a 2 out single to Inge, boo. And then Avila was up and well it was also time to talk about Lady Gaga. Jerry said when he called her a jerk the other day on The FAN with his buddy Steve Somers he wasn't really mad but that she just should not have given the finger; it was just a disrespectful thing to do. Keith agreed. Jerry actually said he wants Gaga to apologize to the Mets fans. I do too. He also joked that to clean out his box after her exit he had to bring in "Rusty the bed bug beagle!" Avila then popped up to Bay and the inning was over. Oh and also Jerry told Gary that he wanted Gary to think of his favorite Met moment and to get that ready for the bottom of this inning. Gary was down for that!

Bottom of the 4th:

But the Mets were retired so fast by Bonderman, Gary didn't even have time to reveal to us his fave Metsies moment. One funny comment made by Jerry this inning was during Frenchy's at bat. Jerry did some "comedy color" and he said, "FrancTEETH, every tooth is a hit!"

Top of the 5th:
The "Twisted Tea" Fact for tonight's game was the following, "R.A. Dickey's last complete game was 8/20/03 at Detroit."

And now to Gary's fave NY Metropolitans moment. It was October 1, 1985, him and his buddy Jonathan flew to St. Louis for a game and oh yes that game was when Strawberry in the top of the 11th hit a bombaroni off of reliever Ken Dayley that hit the digital clock behind the bleachers in right-center. That bombaroni which estimated at 440 feet then gave the Mets a 1-0 victory! Good pick Gary!

Oh and Dickey retired the side in order, buh bye Bonderman, Damon and Santiago!

Bottom of the 5th:

Right after the commercial break SNY now showed the Seinfeld clip where Jerry says to Keith, "I can't help you move it's too soon." Then Jerry said this about why he chose Keith to be the ball player in this episode, "Girls dig him guys wanna be him and that's why he is raking in that 'Just For Men' job!"

Tejada then grounded out and it was time for the Toyota Text Poll. Tonight's question,
"Do you think Jerry made the right decision in not helping Keith move?" Yes or No?

I'll get to the results in a bit.

Dickey then grounded out and there were 2 outs and Jerry said, "We love this guy, he's pitching a whale of a game." So now with 2 outs and nobody on hot hot hot Jose Jose Jose hit a bombaroni to the Modell's Zone! The Mets now had a 2-0 lead over the Tigers. Pagan then flew out to end the inning. And now Reyes was just a double away from the cycle.

Top of the 6th:

It was now time for Kevin Burkhardt to get ripped a new one by Jerry! Kevin did a segment on who on the Mets would be Kramer and Jerry. Barajas said without a doubt Frenchy would be Kramer and Bay told Kev he wouldn't nominate anyone and he would just take the role of Jerry for himself. Kevin then said that was good casting because Bay has great deadpan humor. Who knew? Kevin then thought he would be really clever and he remarked, "Jerry you like the shirt I'm wearing it's from the J. Peterman collection." And after Gary told Jerry Kevin was talking to him Seinfeld was kind of mean (but it was still funny) and he replied, "Oh don't do my stuff Kevin. There's nothing less funny to a comedian than his own material." Poor Burkhardt.

Dickey again retired the side in order, adios Santiago, Cabrera and Boesch! Oh and I almost forgot in this inning Jerry wanted Keith and Gary to say who their favorite Met of all time was. And Jerry told Keith he could not pick himself and Keith said, "DARN." Gary chose Buddy Harrelson, Keith picked Mookie Wilsona and Jerry went with Tommie Agee. Great selections guys!

Bottom of the 6th:
Wright led off this inning and Jerry remarked how the Mets change their facial hair every 3 days. They never have the same look for a whole week, haha. Wright then struck out. Isaac Benjamin Davis then singled but the side was then retired after Jerry incorrectly predicted a rally. Bay and Frenchy said "No rally soup for you Jerry" because they love the back to back force out at 2nd, ugh. Oh and I don't remember how exactly it came up but Keith falling asleep in the booth was mentioned. Jerry said, "Nothing wrong with falling asleep on the job." And Gary remarked, "At least you didn't sleep under the desk like Costanza." Jerry then said that George could never have worked for the Mets, it was a better mismatch having him with the Yankees. Plus what would Seinfeld have been without Larry David's Steinbrenner! Oh memories...

Top of the 7th:
The poll results were now in and 52% of texters picked YES Jerry made the right decision not helping Keith move.

And oh it was another 1,2,3 inning for Dickey. That's right Guillen, Inge and Avila were the 8th, 9th and 10th straight batters R.A. had retired in a row! And yep he wasn't done with this streak yet!

Before Jerry left the booth he mentioned that he really enjoys physical mannerisms of ball players. His favorite, Gil Hodges tippy toe-ing to the mound! Then he said "This was an honor to be a part of your booth!" and Seinfeld called it a night.

Bottom of the 7th:

Hank White led off this great inning with a single. Tejada then singled and it was 1st and 2nd with nobody out for Dickey! Now Jim Leyland made a call to the bullpen and he brought in that 100mph fastballer Joel Zumaya. But Joel did not have his stuff and before Dickey could even lay down a sac bunt Zumaya threw a wild pitch and Blanco and Tejada advanced to 2nd and 3rd! And then Zumaya walked Dickey on 4 pitches, whoa. So now the bases were loaded with nobody out for JOSE. And yeah I wanted him to get that double so unlike Pagan last night he would hit for the cycle. But nope my wish didn't come true. Reyes grounded to Guillen who made an off balance throw to home and Blanco was out, boo. Next up with the bases loaded and now 1 out was the pinch hitter Jesus Feliciano. WTF happened to Pagan? Yep Gary and Keith had no idea. Feliciano grounded out to first but Tejada scored and Jesus got his first major league rib eye steak and the Metsies had a 3-0 lead over the Tigers. Wright was up next with men on 2nd and 3rd and 2 outs and he was WALKED. Oh yeah the bases were loaded for Ike. Leyland made another call to the bullpen. And that former Yankee Phil Coke was now going to pitch to Davis. But before I get to what Ike did Gary asked the AT&T trivia question, "What Mets player turned out to be the "second spitter?" I'll get to this Seinfeld-ian answer very soon. But back to Davis. With 2 outs and the bases loaded Isaac Benjamin Davis singled and 2 runs scored and the Mets now had a 5-0 lead over the Tigers and then Wright was thrown out at 3rd and the side was retired.

Top of the 8th:

Dickey made it 13 Tigers (Raburn, Damon, Santiago) retired in a row! Santiago would be the last batter he would face tonight. Check out Dickey's kickass stats:
8IP 0R 4H 4K 1BB 97 pitches thrown

And I never updated the Nats, Royals game, sheesh. The Royals ended up winning 1-0, YAY and Stras got his first loss. I know I'm kind of shocked too. But really today was just a weird day in sports. That crazy long tennis match that's not over and Team USA beating Algeria! So yep craaaaaazy day.

And now let's fast forward to the top of the 9th! KRod who hadn't pitched since last Friday against the Yanks was ready for his non-save situation duties. On one pitch Ordonez flew out! Then before Cabrera could swing the bat Gary revealed the AT&T trivia answer. The "second spitter" was Roger McDowell! Cabrera then hit a 1 out single. There goes that streak of 14 Tigers retired in a row, ugh. Boesche with 1 out and 1 on grounded out to Reyes, YAY. And then KRod struck out Guillen and the ball game was over! Mets win!

Now the Metsies are 26-10 at home, they have won their last 12 out of 13 games at Citi Field, R.A. Dickey is 6-0 and his ERA is 2.33! And wait this shutting out of the Tigers, uh yeah it's the 10th time the Metsies have shut out an opponent this season!

This game was just the best and Jerry needs to do some "comedy color" with Keith and Gary (and maybe Ron if he's invited) again very very soon.

Tomorrow it's Takahashi vs that not famous at all imperfect man Galarraga! It should be a great game.

Let's get the sweep!

A "Brief" Observation

Just an observation:

In tonight's 4th inning against the Tigers, the Mets only forced Jeremy Bonderman to throw five pitches. Bay (2), Francoeur (1), and Blanco (2).

The 2nd inning was better, but only because Francoeur sucked harder and struck out, which as we know requires at least three pitches. This inning was seven pitches. Bay (2), Francoeur (4), Blanco (1).

Pretty bad. It's a shame too, because with Reyes, Pagan, and Wright all absolutely tearing the cover off the ball, this team could be doing some real damage if they were getting anything from the bottom of the lineup.

For the last month, Wright is hitting .340/.400/.557, Reyes, .368/.412/.623 with nine steals and Pagan .333/.382/.480 also with nine steals. Wow.

Tarp Trouble

Courtesy of friend and loyal reader, Jason Flynn. This is absolutely hilarious... and the commentary is golden, too. Let's go Mets!

"Jay: In honor of the current rain delay, we found this video of the Mets @ Marlins first rain delay in 93"

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

How Can The Mets Possibly Consider Benching Pagan?

A lot of better news outlets than Fonzie Forever have already reported the recent news that Carlos Beltran is beginning a rehab assignment and may soon be back in the Mets lineup, so let's skip to the analysis:

As great as this news is, it is accompanied with a sense of foreboding -- it appears that the Mets may be prepared to play Carlos Beltran in center field at the expense of Angel Pagan, while letting Jeff Francoeur play every day in right field. The Mets blogosphere is probably unanimous in hating this idea.

Dave Cameron at fangraphs recently did a great job pointing out how valuable Pagan has been over the last couple of seasons:

Since the start of the 2008 season, Pagan has received 585 plate appearances, or just about one full season’s worth of playing time. In that time span, he’s posted a .355 wOBA and a +14.4 UZR while playing primarily in center field. That performance adds up to a total value of +4.9 wins, the sixth most of any center fielder in baseball during that time frame.

Angel Pagan has been great again this year, so it would stink if he was benched in favor of Francoeur. The strange thing about all of this, however, is that it appears the Mets know this. Pagan has played every day and is batting second. He recieves high praise from Jerry Manuel and the front office. Jeff Francoeur hits at the bottom half of the lineup and has been the subject of much consternation. So why the talk of making Pagan the odd man out?

I think Pat Andriola over at the Hardball Times got it right when he said the following:

I think it'd be optimal for the Mets to bench Francoeur for good and put Carlos Beltran in right field. Beltran will be coming off serious knee issues and declined defensively last year. The Mets can mitigate his stress back in the outfield by putting him in right, leaving Pagan in center, and of course having Jason Bay in left field. Chris Carter and Jeff Francoeur can sit on the bench, and Gary Matthews Jr. can go home and buy really cool stuff with his tens of millions of dollars.

My gut feeling is that the Mets are simply posturing on this one. If Carlos Beltran does indeed come back from his injury (dubious at best) and plays center field instead of right field (also dubious) then I believe the Mets are going to be forced to push Francoeur to the bench as the short side of a platoon.

How couldn't they? Francoeur is dead last among Mets outfielders in wOBA:

Bay: .357
Pagan: .349
Francoeur: .317

Among the three, Francoeur is also last in hits, OBP, and runs. Hell, he's even last in steals (Bay somehow has 9). The only meaningful stat where he doesn't grade out as last among Mets outfielders, aside from RBI, is ultimate zone rating. There, Bay lags behind the field by a sizeable gap:

Pagan: 10.1 UZR/150
Francoeur: -0.9 UZR/150
Bay: -6.5 UZR/150

Long story short is that, in sum, the only outfielder who should be safe from criticism, beyond reproach, and safe from benching, is Angel Pagan. Here's a look by WAR (wins above replacement)

Pagan: 2.2 wins
Bay: 1.1 wins
Francoeur: 0.6 wins

In the end, the smartest arrangement will probably involve a Pagan and Francoeur platoon in right field, with Angel Pagan taking over in center field on the plentiful off days that Carlos Beltran will recieve. This arrangement is actually perfect -- giving Pagan a start almost every day, letting Beltran rest, and having Francoeur as a great pinch-hit option in late innings against lefties.

We discussed a platoon between Pagan and Francoeur at length in January. Pagan has an 848 OPS against righties this season. Francoeur has an 898 OPS against lefties this season (684 vs. righties).

Let's make this happen. Please. I just complimented Mets management on all the intelligent decisions they've made this year (and was subsequently ridiculed for it) -- so please do something smart and help me out here.

To the Amazin Avenue Community

I normally wouldn't do this (and also, just about nobody gives a crap about "blogger, responding to blogger for criticizing original blog" posts) but I was pretty taken aback at the fierceness of the post published by Sam Page over at Amazin Avenue this evening.

Let me start by saying to Sam Page, individually, that I am sorry if you feel like I somehow personally attacked you in my prior post. It certainly wasn't my intent. In fact, the reason that I even bothered to link to Amazin Avenue and what you wrote is because, in particular, I respect the blog and its writers, and I find that what it has to say is relevant. It matters. It's not any other internet blog noise. Because of this, I did not intend to call you out or start "blog warz".

None of this, however, makes the response posted tonight any petulant. If you had wanted to engage me in some sort of conversation about the Mets roster moves on either a macro (they are good or they are bad) or micro (the GMJ move was okay or the GMJ move was awful) level, I would have loved to do that. But to have the entire article parsed in some kind of juvenile, Fire Joe Morgan style type of thrashing is way beneath the quality of most Amazin Avenue content. Certainly, it is misleading at best to claim that I was advocating that "we should be kissing [the] feet" of Mets management.

The reason this matters is because Amazin Avenue is the current standard bearer for forward-thinking Mets fans on the internet. The discourse that takes place - both by the bloggers and the commenters - is so much more advanced than that which can be found on any other blog, newspaper, or local bar, that it is amazing. I look forward on a regular basis to reading the work of Eno Sarris, Eric Simon, and Howard Megdal. I enjoy the links that we at Fonzie Forever get on a regular basis from Joe Budd and James Kannengeiser and the comments that follow.

I take solace in the fact that so many of the commenters over at Amazin Avenue who seem to have actually read my blog post seem to be in agreement that my basic point was not so unreasonable. The Mets have made a lot of the right decisions this year. Basically every single one of those old-timey blogger meltdowns that we used to have (remember "Free Heath Bell?!") has been addressed.

As I said in the original article:
No, they haven't been perfect. No, not all the moves have come as soon as we may have liked them. And no, they have not yet gone out on a limb with the sabermetric folk and done some of the very outside-the-box things we would like them to. But the basics? The obvious moves? And even some of the not-so-obvious ones that we simply wish they would make? They've made them.

* * *

Perhaps I'm setting the bar too low for their performance. Should Mejia have been in the minors all year? Probably. Should Jacobs have ever touched the field of play as a Met? Arguable. But the point is that once those issues were no longer matters of debate, for which there was a defensible position, the Mets bit the bullet and made the correct choice.

* * *

We shouldn't be falling over ourselves to praise the Mets for getting themselves out of pickles that they created... So yes, the Mets haven't been perfect. But since the clock turned to 2010, they have been very, very good.

To the Amazin Avenue community, thanks to those of you who clicked through to read. It is a pleasure knowing that we've had a place in the ongoing discourse surrounding our team - hopefully one which has had a positive impact on our enjoyment of the game as fans. I hope that you will continue to challenge me when you disagree, but also that you approach my ideas (some of which are very outside-the-box) with an inquisitive mind.

And to Mr. Page, I am once again sorry that you felt compelled to respond to my original entry in the manner that you did. Next time, before you go ahead and call the writing of other members of the community "laughable", "nauseating", and "ridiculous", please take a moment to reconsider. Instead of a flame-war, this could have been an opportunity to discuss issues and allow your readers to make up their own minds.

I wish you the best, and figure that you will soon realize that there is a reason why boys blogging from their mother's basements do not recieve offers to become major league general managers.

Note: If anyone actually would like to discuss some of the issues raised in the original blog, I would be interested in discussing them.

As I've mentioned, I don't think that the GMJ trade was terrible. There is a distinct value to a commodity that is reliable, even if it is reliably poor. Between that, and the comment about Tejada remaining in the majors (we could have used Cora instead), there is plenty to talk about.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Subway Series And The Never Ending LADY GAGA SAGA!

Game 3: Yanks 4 Mets 0
CC Sabathia VS. Johan Santana Part II

Hey guys I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get to yesterday's game and well the LADY GAGA updates that I'm about to blow your mind with. Here's my excuse for my tardiness with this posting. After the game I rushed to meet my friends so we could head over to Williamsburg to see Band Of Horses and Grizzly Bear in concert. And if you were wondering they were both amazing live!
And there were tons of Mets fans there. There was a dude in an Ike Davis shirt, YAY! Then a guy wanted to use my friend's lighter and he had a Mets cap on(oh and he had on Metsies flip flops too) and well of course I had to talk to him and we both agreed that we are loving this team. I asked him if he was a hardcore R.A. Dickey fan and he was like "I don't know if I'm hardcore but you seem to know a lot more about him than I do but I like him!" Oh I hope I don't come off as a sports snob, yikes.

So see even when you least expect it you can meet a fellow Amazin fan, you can talk about the good times and then really a loss like yesterday's to the Yanks is not as terrible. And what can we say about this loss really? It sucked. Losing to the Yanks is just the pits and being shutout by them, yeah it's not fun at all.

So now I'm just gonna give a rundown of all the real important things from yesterday's game and of course that means there will be great words of wisdom from KEITH!

Keith let everyone know that yesterday was in fact the 100th anniversary of FATHER'S DAY. The first FATHER'S DAY was on June 19, 1910, WHOA. Keith really did his research! Well done Mr. Hernandez!

Then as Reyes was up to bat to lead off the top of the 1st Kevin Burkhardt was doing a segment on the bleacher creatures and well Yankee Stadium told him he was a menace to society and he was not allowed to sit down with the fans. He had to uncomfortably stand around the stands and well do his report as security watched his every move very very closely. Keith blamed the SNY baby blue polo shirt Kev was wearing. That shirt is dangerous!

Now to the actual game. Bay led off the top of the 2nd inning and Gary taught us a great statistics lesson! He said that when Bay leads off innings he's batting .424 and when he's not he's batting .234. Keith said Bay just doesn't have enough "OOMPH" in his swing right now. Bay then hit a long long fly ball that sadly was not out of the ball park like he had previously done against Sabathia the first time these two faced each other this season way back on May 23rd. Boo to no long ball by Bay yesterday. I guess his swing is at an "OOM?"

ARod was 0-11 in this series. Seriously that's fun right!?

The last time Santana faced the Yankees at Yankee stadium he only got to pitch 3 innings and well he had given up 9 runs. The Yankees clobbered us 15-0. Yeah I hated being reminded of this GARY but I get why you had to do it. Maybe you wanted to warn us. Damn you and your foreshadowing ways!

And to the bottom of the 3rd which SUCKED. Having said this, the outcome was kind of predictable. At least I thought it was. Gardner led off the inning with a single. Jeter had "the edge" again and he then got on base with an infield hit. Then Swisher bunted and yep he was on 1st with a hit too. So the bases were loaded for the not really slumpy Mcslumpy Mark Teixeira. And yes if you didn't know going into yesterday's game the Yankees were batting .414 with the bases loaded and yes they had hit 6 grand salamis this season already. And Mark said "Yay lunch meat, yay salami" and he hit a grand slam, BOOOOOOO! That grand slam was the 3rd one Santana has given up this season and yeah the Yankees have now hit 7 grand salamis this season. I hate that stat, ick.

The Mets really only had two times to comeback in this one and both times they failed and proved they might hate their fathers! Oh I'm joking I know they love their dads. In the top of the 6th Tejada led off with a double but then Reyes, Pagan and Wright did NOTHING at all. Then the best chance to say "Oh Jeter and the Yankees we now have 'the edge'" came in the top of the 7th. Davis and Bay were on first and second,nobody was out and Barajas was up. This seemed like a perfect opportunity for Rod to prove he's GOD once again. But nope he struck out. And then Tatis grounded into a double play and the inning was over and pretty much the Metsies were too.

Before the bottom of the 8th it started pouring like a mother effer, whoa. I mean Mother Nature must not be a fan of fathers or something. As a result PIX 11 showed us 20 minutes or so of an episode of "FRASIER" during this rain delay. And yep when it was time for the game to start again they just abruptly put it on and it was goodbye Frasier Crane. I now have no idea what happened in this episode. Frasier was possibly going to fight a man who harshly reviewed his radio show and nope I don't know the ending. Oh well. Does anyone know what happened?

Well because of this rain delay CC Sabathia did not pitch a complete game. And yeah I'm pretty sure he would of if it wasn't for mother nature. So in the top of the 9th Rivera came in for a non-save situation and again he made his job look so easy and the Yankees won 4-0, ick ick ick.

Well because this outcome sucked and it still does blow let's laugh and that means I'm catching you up with your latest Lady Gaga info and it's great!

So the last time I blogged about Gaga it was about how she was indeed pretty naked at Yankee stadium and how it boggles my mind that she can't afford pants!!?? Or shorts?

Then I read this on Sunday. It turned out the impromptu show Gaga put on at Yankee Stadium this past Friday night had resulted in her being exiled to Elba with Napoleon Bonaparte. Okay it’s not that bad but she was now never allowed to enter the Yankees clubhouse EVER again. She had been given a big fat scarlet letter “B” for BANNED by Hal Steinbrenner!

Supposedly this is what went down. After the Metsies won the game Friday Gaga wanted to meet ARod, Cano and some other Yanks so she and her two friends became pals-ies with stadium security, and well foolish security let the girls in. Yeah security is real safe at Yankee Stadium I see. They just let in anyone if they are naked and famous.

After the girls entered the clubhouse Gaga was boozing it up big time, her drink of choice “Jameson Irish Whiskey,” and well under the influence Gaga is more uninhibited than well she normally is. How can that be right? The NY Post reports that she was “swigging whiskey and repeatedly fondling her boobs.” Oh and besides being a drunk girl and playing with her melons Gaga turned into a FAN-GIRL and well she was trying to tell the players she got to meet (which included Cano and ARod) how much she loves them blah blah blah.

It turned out Hal, club president Randy Levine, general manager Brian Cashman and manager Joe Girardi were in the dark about what was going on Friday. But they now know and like I said Gaga’s got the scarlet letter “B” across her chest.

At this time I had a feeling George Costanza would not have minded this Gaga show but I could have been wrong!

And then I wondered if she attends little league games too. That would be awkward. I still do ponder this.

And now to today and do you know that Lady Gaga is still making all the headlines due to her baseball game antics?! Well she is. AND THIS JUST IN Gaga has not been banned from the clubhouse; it's completely FALSE! Oh how the papers are rumormongers at times!

It turns out Yanks GM Brian Cashman actually said, “She didn’t do anything wrong.” He is actually blaming the security staff entirely for the events that went down Friday night. So Gaga TELEPHONE the parental units because you are SAFE at home plate. According to Cashman celebs are allowed to chat it up with the Yankees in a “designated area adjacent to the locker room.” BUT this mingling with Bronx Bombers is only allowed after a Yankees win. He in fact said, “There is a time and place for that, and it’s certainly not after a loss and not at the expense of the media doing their job.” And then he busted out into song, Cashman does a mean rendition of PAPARAZZI!

So Gaga can keep fondling her melons and swigging whiskey in her studded bra and panties, YAY! Or no is this not a good thing? I’m confused now! I guess it’s great if you like the Yankees because maybe she's the reason the Yanks clobbered our squad. She does know a thing or two about disco sticks, hmmmm. Yes this is all highly suspicious now.

I must admit that I would like for her to wear that classic “Kermit The Frog” inspired outfit of hers the next time she attends a Yankees game. Come on who is with me? Anybody?

BTW Robinson Cano who was excited to meet Miss Gemanotta said, “You can’t avoid (her music) here in the states. She’s all over the place. She’s a great singer-she can sing. I tell you that. I just wanted to say hi.”

Oh and this is not the end of my GAGA update. The best is yet to come.

Okay now to the funniest thing ever! Wednesday night at the Mets/Tigers game at Citi Field the first 20,000 fans to enter the stadium will get a blue over-sized foam finger (nope not the middle finger but the index finger) that will say on it “Make Wright #1!” The Mets are basically going to use Gaga’s flipping the bird antics as a way to urge fans to vote for David Wright to make the All Star Team. I love it! They call it the “Go Gaga For Wright” campaign! This should be amazing on Wednesday because Jerry Seinfeld is joining Keith Hernandez, Gary Cohen and Ron Darling in the booth and well if I know my men in the booth and Jerry Seinfeld (and oh I know their antics) Gaga will be discussed. I can’t wait! “What’s the deal with Lady Gaga? What is a Gaga? Goo Goo Gaga.” Yeah I envision great things from J Dog. Yay Seinfeld!

Today is an off day for the Metsies and boy is Keith glad about that. He gets to go back to Sag Harbor and see his kitty cat. The cat's name was like Holby or Hoagy or Hold Me, something with an H! OH and tomorrow Jon Niese returns to Citi Field for the first time since his complete game 1 hit shutout! Mets/Tigers, it should be a great series!

And I almost forgot if you guys have a radio handy at 6:30PM Steve Somers, “The Schmoozer” on WFAN will be talking to his buddy Jerry Seinfeld!

The Revolution Has Not Been Televised, Part 2

A few weeks ago, on May 24th, we at Fonzie Forever pointed out something that came as a pretty big shock to us: the Mets have been making some pretty smart personnel decisions this year.

No, they haven't been perfect. No, not all the moves have come as soon as we may have liked them. And no, they have not yet gone out on a limb with the sabermetric folk and done some of the very outside-the-box things we would like them to.

But the basics? The obvious moves? And even some of the not-so-obvious ones that we simply wish they would make? They've made them. We pointed out some of these moves in the last post:

March 30, 2010: Did NOT option SS Ruben Tejada to Triple-A.
April 18, 2010: Designated INF Mike Jacobs for assignment.
April 19, 2010: Selected the contract of 1B Ike Davis from Buffalo (IL).
May 10, 2010: Recalled C Josh Thole and OF Chris Carter from Buffalo (IL). Designated OF Frank Catalanotto for assignment.
May 22, 2010: Placed RHP John Maine on the 15-day DL.
May 23, 2010: Started working out Daniel Murphy at multiple positions.

Since then? Even better.

June 1, 2010: Banished Oliver Perez to the disabled list.
June 4, 2010: Gary Matthews Jr. designated for assignment
June 8, 2010: Jesus Feliciano called up from Triple-A
June 13, 2010: Sent Luis Castillo to minors for rehabilitation.
June 20, 2010: Sent Jenrry Mejia to Double-A

So, to recap, the Mets have made just about EVERY SINGLE MOVE that the Mets blogging faithful have asked them to make since the outset of the season. Jacobs, Catalanotto, and Matthews Jr. are gone. Mejia is back to the minors to work as a starter. Murphy was given a shot, though ill-fated, to play second. Feliciano, Carter, and Thole have been called up (though Thole temporarily). Pagan has been starting every day. Luis Castillo's replacement at second base has been Ruben Tejada, not Alex Cora.

And the list goes on.

But for some, that is not enough. Sam Page, a writer over at the blog Amazin Avenue, for some reason skewered Mets management today.
The Mets have needed roster-security for the past few years and they've mistaken that time and again with their personal security, bred from familiarity with a given player. And ever since Jeff Wilpon got involved as co-Mayor, it's only gotten worse. I suspect Mike Jacobs, Jason Bay and Gary Matthews Jr. signal the first of many former early-2000's Mets re-acquired under Jeff's leadership. It's as if the Mets are run by two kids whose only qualifications to manage a team is they used to always play each other in MVP Baseball 2003; one would always pick the Expos, the other the Mets. Actually, that might be Jeff Wilpon's only qualification to run a team.

That's a lot to say that the Mets have a hard time conceptualizing what a player is, relative to what he was.
* * *
Release Perez. Release Maine. It's not 2007. Stop wasting the time of minor-league managers with their pointless rehab starts. There's no rehabilitation program for being bad.
Content aside, I disagree with the sentiment expressed by this article. Ordinarily I wouldn't mention it at all, but the timing of it (focusing mostly on John Maine's potential return) seems so peculiar to me.

The fact of the matter is this - we don't know what the Mets intend to do with Maine if and when he returns. Nor do we know what the eventual plan will be with Perez. At this point, we don't even have enough information to determine whether either of those men will ever be able to contribute at the major league level ever again.

What we do know is that the Mets, as an organization, have been making some extraordinarily smart moves (relative to the past) this season. Perhaps I'm setting the bar too low for their performance. Should Mejia have been in the minors all year? Probably. Should Jacobs have ever touched the field of play as a Met? Arguable. But the point is that once those issues were no longer matters of debate, for which there was a defensible position, the Mets bit the bullet and made the correct choice.

I don't expect them to always be as forward-thinking as some of the Mets online communities. But that's simply in the same way that I don't expect these blogs to be as insightful to the day-to-day operations of the team, personalities of players, off-field issues, etc. as the team's management will be. Each group will have it's own strengths and weaknesses, and to me, the Mets have been consistently making the correct choices.

They have been lucky, as well. Ike Davis stepped forward in an enormous way this season, making it unecessary for the Mets to struggle with finding a replacement at first base. Oliver Perez was so awful that they could not even dabble with the idea of keeping him in the rotation. Jose Reyes has returned healthy. Angel Pagan and David Wright are having great seasons. They have gotten ridiculously lucky with Takahashi and Dickey so far. So yes, there has been an element of luck. They have not been forced to make any difficult choices this year like they did last year.

But let's not hold that against them. Let's just be glad that when they HAVE been faced with a decision which they could resolve rightly or wrongly, that they have, for the most part, made the correct choice.

When the Mets take the field on Tuesday with a lineup of Reyes, Pagan, Wright, Davis, Bay, Barajas, Francoeur, and Tejada, pinch yourselves and be happy. The Mets of years past may not have gotten us here. We could very easily still be looking at a lineup of Reyes, Cora, Wright, Bay, Tatis, Matthews Jr, Francoeur, Barajas. That would not have required any organizational malfeasance - only an adherence to policies that we have been complaining about the Mets using for years. You know, like the above criticism from Amazin Avenue, that they were unable to see players' values today.

We're heading in the right direction, and it gives me a lot of hope and reason to believe that this 39-30 start, only two games out of first place, might not be a mirage.

Edited for clarity, 10:40am, 6/21:

Joe Budd from Amazin Avenue dropped us a link over at their site, and he had this to add about what we said:
The problem for Brian is that most of those good moves were only necessary BECAUSE of the mistakes the team made at the beginning. Imagine what the team would have been like had GMJ never been on the roster to begin with or if Oliver Perez had never been given $12 million/year. Credit should be given for remedying mistakes, but that doesn't mean you are free from blame for the underlying problems.
I agree and disagree, and feel like this is the majority opinion on the topic. Yes, we shouldn't be falling over ourselves to praise the Mets for getting themselves out of pickles that they created. But let me ask you this...

1. Was getting GMJ for $1 million, as insurance for Angel Pagan, and then cutting him early in the year really that bad of a move? Was signing Ollie for 3/$36, which was a bad move at the time, really terrible? Or with Derek Lowe getting 4/$52 and the Mets thinking they could contend in 2009, was it sub-optimal but at least justifiable?

2. Find me a team in the majors that NEVER makes a bad move. Sure, the Mets have had clunkers. But even Mike Jacobs was justifiable at the time, as he has had some success, signed cheap, and was intended to be a backup.

So yes, the Mets haven't been perfect. But since the clock turned to 2010, they have been very, very good. Is it Wayne Krivsky? Does Omar Minaya read Fonzie Forever? Who knows... but I like it. And it might be time to start tempering the knee-jerk, critical, blogger discourse.