Archives For author

(The following is based on gut reaction, and NOT on in-depth analysis. Not at all.)

Willie Harris is a goddamned double agent for the Nationals. “Loses a ball in the lights.” “Bogeys an at-bat with the bases loaded.” “Dives for a ball playable on a hop.”

So what if each result is understandable in isolation? The preponderance of evidence suggests he’s trying to sabotage the 2011 Mets, just like he did from the outside in years past. It’s the oldest gambit in the book.

As far as I’m concerned, it goes: Hitler, Pol Pot, Harris.

The guy sitting next to me on the 7 train, a Rockies fan, is reading over my shoulder, and grinning. Laugh it up, guy. Carlos Gonzales may get hurt, and this may be you someday.

Screw this. I’m going home and having a soak in the tub.

José starting us off…

Back at Citi Field. Misty out, and a little misty-eyed. Let’s go Mets!

I’m populating my ballpark iPod for the season. It’s one of those Trident-gum-shaped Shuffles, that helps me travel light enough to skip bag check lines without feeling like I weigh two hundred pounds. Also, if it cracks or gets lost in a frenzy, I won’t feel too bad. Thing cost me all of thirty dollars and has given all of itself countless times.

Anyway, a ballpark playlist needs to be a driver. No weak tracks allowed. As I scan my music collection as a whole, I’ve found a couple more songs I’d charge out to as I was being called from the bullpen.

And given the past few games, I think I have a non-zero shot of this prep being somewhat useful. (Ownership and Alderson: I’ll be in Section 325 tomorrow. I’m an out of shape right-hander who only throws eephus pitches.)

I was remiss in not noting the following songs as excellent options:

—“Up For The Downstroke,” by Parliament

—“Life During Wartime,” Talking Heads

—“Bottles To The Ground,” NOFX (that one’s a thinker; I’m tossing my bottle of water to the ground…)

—“Red Right Hand,” Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

Of all those, I’m feeling the Nick Cave the most. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the impending release of Scream 4, which I am in no way embarrassingly excited about.

Jon Niese on the mound tomorrow for my first game at Citi since the Ike Davis game that was so damned cathartic, if fleetingly so. As I said, I’ll be in Section 325, and make a decent wage these days, so if you read this and are at the park tomorrow, come by, shout for Paul, and I’ll buy you a drink.

Let’s go Mets!

Hey.

Boo if you want.

I can’t recall if I’ve come out against booing in the past. If I have, I can’t find the post. But at the risk if being what Aaron Sorkin might describe as “conversationally anal-retentive,” I’ll state my case (in the second person because it’s late):

—you paid good money to be entertained. You deserve to be presented with an entertaining product.

—your Q-Zone could give a fuck if one game’s been played or one hundred games have been played. At present, the only link I can find between endorphins and the vicissitudes of sample size exists within dismissing sample size as a reason to do anything when your functional universe begins and ends with the one game.

—if you boo, you’re one of the staggering majority of bipeds on this planet whose emotional gauge runs from gut-busting, orgasmic joy to near-suicidal despair. And mostly you reside in the safe zone, within a standard deviation under the bell curve. You are probably not someone whose scale goes from gut-busting, orgasmic joy to “meh.”

So it stands to reason that if you can jump up and cheer a David Wright homer in the eighth inning of game number 10, you can boo the crap out of Scott Hairston, who has something like 15 at bats and one hit.

I get, get, get that some people suck and always will, and some people only suck because their girlfriend left them the night before or they stopped selling their favorite ice cream flavor (“Play Me Off Cat” Cookies & Cream, with little chunks of… wait for it… marsh-mall”eow”).

But much like there are highs and lows in all of us that must be acknowledged, there are highs and lows in this game that must be acknowledged, too. We acknowledge the highs with cheers because we paid good money to go in and cheer that stuff. It seems disingenuous, then, to lambaste those who, when faced with a shit-tastic play, have an equally strong negative reaction.

And either the guys on the field have a thick skin, or not. They can’t have it both ways, and you, the fan, shouldn’t feel you have to keep that stuff bottled up.

Now, go boo responsibly. Understand when the offending play is over, and move on. CHEER every good play and possibility as often as you jeer every I-Knew-It. Watch the game, know the plays.

And never, under ANY circumstances, do the wave.

jenrryism:

That’s some, uh, interesting hand placement there, Warthen.

Warthen’s just doubling now as the Mets’ trainer.  All about cost-cutting.  They ashcanned Ramirez and Dan’s out there ensuring Chris groin’s in top form.  Given the Mets’ recent history of injury, it’s a savvy mid-game move on his part.

I don’t quite know where to begin…

When I roll back into New York, I imagine a reception not unlike the sort a warrior receives in an epic film as he rejoins the battle.  I feel a twinge of megalomania, but can brush that aside by turning up the volume on my iPod.  Usually something appropriate to my mood is playing as I hit the streets.  Yesterday, at 32nd Street and Eighth Avenue, that song was the theme from Superman.

Of course then I couldn’t catch a cab to save my life.  If I’d only been born under the red sun of Krypton.  I could’ve reversed the rotation of the earth and made it so that I’d arrive well before shift-change.  (That my ability to fly would make a cab superfluous is missing the point ENTIRELY.  Spoilsport.) 

I got a cab eventually, and as I read back through the more incidental Mets posts on some of my favorite blogs, I caught one on Tim Byrdak soliciting reliever music.

As cool a dude as that makes Mr. Byrdak in a sense, I have to say I was somewhat disappointed.  Naming choices for either spot-on or totally outre reliever music is a delightful way my baseball-loving friends and I have passed the time on the 7 train to or from a game.  I’ve got a list as long as my arm.  Is Tim not into it?  Did he draw the short straw in some Mets front-office public relations game?  Neither question answered in the affirmative means a pox for either house, of course.  Just… c’mon, man.  This is your moment.  Be selfish.

Ted Berg of SNY and TedQuarters listed his choice as “Keep Their Heads Ringin’” by Dr. Dre, which is a favorite in my group’s parlor game.  Also a favorite in my game is “Shut ‘Em Down,” by Public Enemy, which if I recall correctly is Metsblog’s Matt Cerrone’s desired jam if he should ever come through the gates. (He’d probably want the remix, whose hook I think is more crowd-pleasing.)  John Maine once said he had his reliever music all picked out should he ever be sent to the bullpen: Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Posse On Broadway.”  Serviceable, especially when you consider a reliever’s music only plays for so long.  Any jokes you want to make about how long Maine himself would last out there you can post to my Twitter account: @omniality.

Every rap/hip hop choice I’d make would never play for family crowds: Tupac’s “Shorty Wanna Be A Thug”; “Machine Gun Funk,” by The Notorious B.I.G.; even “King Of New York,” by Dan The Automator (none of these have worthwhile YouTube links, so I’ve skipped them).  And Bobby Parnell should come out to “B.O.B.B.Y.” by the RZA, so I can have an excuse to wear my “DIGITAL 36” retro jersey to the park.

Rock-wise, I think “Icky Thump” by The White Stripes should be on everyone’s short list.  But I’ve been a whore for the White Stripes since they played at Bennington College in February 2001.  I was one of maybe six people there, yet two years later someone stole my copy of De Stijl from my room.  They’d best be dead, as I’m still hunting them.

…To that short list I’ll add “Fire” by Jimi Hendrix (what is it with YouTube “videos” that are merely image stills with music behind them?) and Radiohead’s “Electioneering.”

That Radiohead jam has led to one of the more unusual suggestions I’ve heard: “Nobody Does It Better.”  NOT the Carly Simon version, but the cover by Thom Yorke and Radiohead for MTV Europe.  Now, this friend was drunk, and he’d also come out to any Brahms piece as played by Glenn Gould, if he could get the crowd to stand stockstill and silent, and come out in streetclothes, which would be exchanged for his uniform by age-appropriate female ushers.  But that “Nobody Does It Better” is by no means an appropriate choice when stone sober makes me feel sad for our culture.  We lack in bulk the sense of humor I appreciate; furthermore, I’d imagine the reliever’s sexuality would be called into question, and it’s that kind of nonsense we should get past quick.  Hell, Stevie Nicks’s “Edge Of Seventeen“ would be hilarious AND intense. 

Then again, if you’ve gone that far, choose Europe’s “The Final Countdown,” hide some pyrotechnic smoke bombs up your sleeves, and roll out to the mound on a Segway.

There’s a debate that kicks up every once in awhile as to whether “Sabotage” by the Beastie Boys is appropriate, given that the sabotage in question could be construed as self-inflicted, especially if the whole appearance blows up in your face.  While it’s a terrific song, I think I’d shy away.  The papers would have a field day.

**

Speaking of the papers: Chris Young acquitted himself well last night against the Philadelphia Phillies, of whom I’ve heard in the past.  These ”Phillies” play in the NL East, and seem to think there’s some manner of heated rivalry going on.  Which is odd, because I know for a fact our team’s rivals are the Atlanta Braves. 

Sure, if you want to get technical, you could state that every team playing in the divison is a rival.  But then I could state that every team in the league is battling for a wild-card spot just as much as they’re battling for the division championship.  So every podunk burg and has-been town with a ball club could be considered a rival.  Pfft.

Anyway, I missed the back cover of the Daily News, but the Post announced Chris Young’s victory with the headline, “CHRIS ROCKS!” 

And this got me to thinking: Chris Young’s name is generic enough to play headline games with ‘til the end of time.  Which, depending on what hysterical prophet you encounter at Penn Station, could be in a month or so, or about twenty months, or eight-plus years ago, after the cancellation of Greg The Bunny.

Anyway, I look forward to these:

“YOUNG IS RESTLESS: Blows Up On Mound After Getting Yanked In 5th vs. Bombers”

“YOUNG AT HURT: Mets Pitcher Battles To Victory Despite Injury To Heel”

“ST. CHRISTOPHER: Chris Young Pitches 2-Hit Gem To Keep Mets In Hunt”

“CHRIS-TAL BALL: Young Predicts Mets Win NLCS In 5”

“MERRY CHRIS-MAS: Young, Mets Win Series At End Of Longest Playoffs In MLB History”

“FOREVER YOUNG: Mets WS Pitcher Signs Eight-Year Deal”

…You’re welcome, tabloids.

(Apologies for the crap Twitter lede. I don’t know how to adjust it on Tumblr Mobile.)

Always, ALWAYS check your travel documents the night before you travel.

I’m writing from the Albany bus station, waiting to head a ways south before juking east to Boston tomorrow. And I’m not late. I’m spectacularly early. A bus I thought would depart at 9 is actually departing at 9:40. So a slumber that ended at 5:45 really could have ended at 6:30, and, point of fact, it took only 45 minutes to get here from Bennington, so 6:30 really could have been 6:45, or even 7. (All times AM.) In the words of the inimitable Mayor Mike Bloomberg, “I regret everything in the world.”

…If you’ve yet to see it, by the by, hop over to YouTube, and in the search field, enter “Bloomberg Spider Man Inner Circle.” Then, after watching the three-minute clip, carve the words “HOT MESS” into your desk, and hold your hand over an open flame. That’ll take care of the aftereffects.

Yes, that was a little dark, but as I said, I’m too early for Albany. And was out too late with the Mets to manage the good night’s sleep whose borders I misjudged. I’d be happier if they won, but I understand why they didn’t. And if you don’t, you haven’t watched Josh Johnson pitch against the team. Plenty of clear-eyed analysis to that effect on the interwebs.

I’d also be happier if I could keep from being swarmed by religious proselytizers. I get that Saturday morning is kind of this particular group’s thing, but I’m a young man wearing a shiny tie tapping words into a phone. Even if I’m the perfect candidate for salvation, isn’t waiting until I can dismiss you with my full attention the polite thing to do?

It’s empty here. Empty, with the faint smell of cedar chips. But I imagine that’s what the ’70s smelled like, and this place couldn’t be any more dated if the walls sported wood paneling. The sort that made people wearing Aviator-sized eyeglasses look like death warmed over.

Pelfrey looked like death warmed over last night, but I’ve come to expect that from him when he’s not getting calls early. I Tweeted (gads) something to this effect last night, and I’m willing to grant that my vantage point and surroundings made excoriating the home plate umpire for a wacky zone a less-than-honest endeavor, but I think I was sharp enough to call Pelf getting squeezed. Pitches at the knees were invariably balls unless perfectly placed. If they caught the lower third of the letters, same effect. Pelfrey needed the lower strikes to get the Marlins to fish, and it wasn’t happening with a strike zone tighter than…

Tighter than…

A hipster’s skinny jeans on Friday.

A family’s budget during heating season.

My jaw when watching “So You Think You Can Dance.”*

Similes fail me. I’m in the Albany bus station and I have another hour to kill. I’m too tired to string together coherent phrases, and analysis won’t really be this blog’s stock in trade. Obviously, you’ve come here for the wit. Obviously.

But at least Carlos Beltran got to run the basepaths once, the Mets didn’t get no-hit, and there are 161 games left. I remember it’s Gate 12, and I’m an hour closer to leaving than I was when I arrived.

…Meh, mubble, ugh. Sorry. A win would have been nice. And with it, more sleep. I don’t know where to land.

Come and get me, proselytizers. I regret everything in the world.

*I have NEVER watched “So You Think You Can Dance.”

It’s the Marlins feed, but we have Mets baseball in Bennington!