Archives for posts with tag: Baltimore Orioles

I’m 0 for 2 in Mets events that I view away from home, yet away from Citi Field. 

David Wright is 0 for 9 with an RBI in that span, but he gets paid to go to these things (ball games). 

I just spend money at local establishments.

Going Home.jpgAs stated in the previous post, Metstock was yesterday: food, fun, and fans at Two Boots Pizzeria on Grand Street.  I’d already been to every other Two Boots Pizzeria in New York City, so this was a double treat for me.  I can get fired up about pizza. 

For my money, the best pizza around is at Peppino’s on Third Avenue and Seventy-Seventh Street in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, but in that case I’m a homer, and I appreciate a great neighborhood place.  They actually LOWERED their prices recently, in the wake of the Great Recession.  Who does that?!

…Apparently Phil Rizzuto called; he wants his tangents back.

Fearless Leader.jpgBordering the windows at Two Boots are amazing paintings of New York sports heroes.  This one, of Keith Hernandez, I found quite inspiring.  Later, I’d feel a near-irrepressible urge to fly a Zero into Camden Yards.  But that would have been an inappropriate reaction to the events in the bottom of the ninth inning (L, 5-4), and chances are the Mets will need Aubrey Huff sooner rather than later.

Hubie Doobie Doo.jpgThat poster (behind Pick Me Up Some Mets! blogger Zoe Rice’s head) is amazing, and further example of how this particular Two Boots caters to the clientele.  I will someday come back here and offer them $5,000 for this work of Hubie Brooks art.  They will reject me out of hand.  I will be disappointed.

Readers.jpgReaders at the event were Jon Springer of Mets By The Numbers, Greg Prince of Faith And Fear In Flushing, and Skyhorse editor Mark Weinstein filling in for Stanley Cohen, author of A Magic Summer.

Gratuitous link.

If you read back on the blog, you can probably piece together that I was sentient and ambulatory during the Mets ’86 World Championship, but not so much that I could ever put down recollections of that time or even of the kind Greg Prince has of 1969.  Being a fan of the Mets, as I’ve stated before, is like eating to me.  I don’t remember the dinner I had in late October when I was four.  I’m sure I enjoyed it.  Inductive reasoning would suggest it was pizza; my dad loves it.  But we’re back at pizza again.  I should just fly a fighter jet into myself, and call it a day.

Jon Springer Speaks.jpgMy point is, I sat and drank Brooklyn Lager and marveled at the descriptions of jubilant chaos, after Mr. Springer regaled us with the story of Jeff McKnight, who now has become my favorite goateed Met, if only for the glasses which he wears in his publicity photo (visit Mets By The Numbers and find the “McKnightmare” link at top).  I also ate pizza (why so spicy, Two Boots?  Why?) and watched a game unfold.  It’s heartening to be with a group of fans who will listen as an event goes on in their presence, but will also clap and cheer as an event is televised before them.  Made me wish the Ziegfeld was packed with these folks instead of traffic-beaters the other night, but maybe they understood too well what I spoke about a few days ago: baseball’s played outside.  A stadium or stadium-like atmosphere cannot be replicated in a movie theater; instead one’s options are either to sit in a bar-like place (like the Two Boots on Grand) or at home, or at the damned ball park.  Very well.  I’m sufficiently down on my luck with regard to the Ziggy and gatherings with strangers that I might cut the bar out altogether, and stick with home or Second Home.

But this was fun.

We watched the game and moaned at the Orioles scoring.  We cheered the Mets scoring, as Alex Cora did twice, including this play (after which it got LOUD):

Cora Beats The Tag.jpgThat hazy representation is somewhat purposeful; I don’t want to land on the wrong side of MLB’s or SNY’s boilerplate.  Suffice it to say that’s Alex Cora weaving ’round Matt Wieters, who dropped the off-target Howitzer throw from right.

Greg Prince Reads.jpgHere’s something, and I don’t want to get on the wrong side of anyone’s Ornery or Glance Askance (God, I should’ve been beaten up more in junior high): Mr. Prince (featured, left) has an admittedly funny chapter devoted to Yankees fans, and it’s not complimentary.

I have Yankees fan friends, and Mr. Prince does, certainly, and we all do because they’re everywhere and nearly unavoidable.  (Sarah Palin can see Russia from her house, but can she see the South Bronx?  Does she see David Letterman waving from the box seats?  He’s giving you the finger, Sarah, and ninety-nine point nine percent of me is sure you deserve it, with an oh-point-one percent margin of error.)

Many Yankees fans, including my friends–from time to time–are obnoxious.  It does stem from undeserved entitlement; it does speak poorly of the organization, which could perhaps get off its high horse about history and tradition and realize that the schtick, like its last World Series title, is getting old.

But I got the sense that the prevailing attitude last night was to hate the Yankees because they’re the Yankees and that’s just that.  They’ve won championships and feel entitled and Willie Randolph was a drip and that stadium of theirs can just go take a bath and how dare they take David Cone and have him accomplish THAT and oh-for-the-love-of-God-please-make-it-stop.  I am not of the camp that hates the Yankees success as much as he revels in their failures.&
nbsp; My Yankees friends are not like that regarding the Mets, and I have to dismiss any such feeling as a generational thing or misguided adoration of the game.  With respect.

Had the Mets won tonight’s game against Baltimore AND the Yankees had lost, I’d’ve texted my friend currently working up at Tanglewood.  “3-0? To the Nats? Wha’ happen’, Boli didn’t kick in yet?” And he’d’ve probably texted back. “Quiet, son. Remember 15-0, vs. Johan.”  This is rivalry.  When the Yankees are playing the Chicago White Sox, I could give a damn unless someone on the Yankees makes a miraculous play.  I’ll cheer that.  I’m a fan of baseball.  I’m a fan of the baseball I watch in front of me.  (By the way, cannot STAND scoreboard watchers at Mets games who erupt into a “YANKEES SUCK!” cheer when they see the Blue Jays are giving them a thumping.  My response is reflexive at this point: “THEY’RE NOT HERE!”  Atrocious.)

And I’m a fan of New York City.  If New York stands at the top of the baseball world, then the world makes sense.  If the series were between the Padres and the Yankees, I’m rooting for the Yankees.  Not obnoxiously, not with my Mets cap or jersey on.  But I’m at a bar for one of those games, and I’m rooting for the home team.  My opinion is valid, and if you think it misguided, feel free to try and convince me otherwise.  But I loves me gloating rights over another, lesser city (and they’re all lesser cities).  I loves me a parade. La-di-da-di, we like to party. 

Now, if what floats your boat is specifically hating on the Yankees, that’s fine.  I enjoy talking smack about Premio sausage patties (as opposed to the links, which are top notch).  I can lay into Uwe Boll with glee.  I don’t particularly enjoy three-drawer lateral filing cabinets: they’re too tall to make a seat and too short to be useful on any reasonable scale.  But if it’s Yankees hatred because they’re not the Mets and they’re crowding you with their obnoxiousness, chill out.  They’re due for a slide into terminal mediocrity, and the town will clear of the knuckleheads.  Fear not.

Chat With Fans.jpgFans stayed until the game was over, which was heartening.  The place was more crowded than this during the reading, but I suspect this was because there were a number of Skyhorse employees who had come to show their support of the house.  Commendable.  But Pearly McNecklaceson who was sitting beside me and jabbering about how cool it is to be in charge of interns, was it necessary to thwack me with your knock-off bag at EVERY opportunity?  I was wrong: it should be you that gets the fighter jet to the face.

Skyhorse Editor.jpgAll in all, a great time.  Fun to see people, whose words I’d been reading, reading their words.  I was tickled by Ms. Rice’s covering of her eyes as Frankie R. loaded the bases.  Something my sister would do.  And as I left the loss and proceeded down the–I’m sorry–AWFUL-smelling Grand Street, my switch flipped and I was in prep-for-Citi mode (will be in attendance tonight for Fernando Nieve’s tilt against the Toronto Blue Jays). (Update: I must’ve been high when I wrote this, and never mind the fact that I don’t smoke: they played the Rays.)

“Great,” I thought to myself.  “More birds.”  (Update: I probably cared more about getting the joke out than getting the team right.)  Perhaps I felt better recalling that this is still interleague and Andy Sonnanstine would have to bat.  He’s 2-for-8 so far this year.  That HAS to be his high-water mark.

*The only link I didn’t supply is one that I have in the past, to CBS Sports’ MLB Players Page.

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If you’re coming to this blog for late-breaking updates on the Mets game, you’re coming to the wrong place.

I was at Faith And Fear In Flushing’s METSTOCK event tonight at Two Boots Pizza on Grand Street this evening.  Watched the Mets game with them, and Mets By The Numbers, And Pick Me Up Some Mets, and Dana Brand.  I have photos.  Tomorrow, tomorrow.

Frankie Rodriguez couldn’t get his first pitch in place for a strike.  They’d dip low and then he’d be behind in the count.  Regardless of how much the Mets SHOULD have scored, this loss is on him.  Everybody gets one.

Gee, thanks, Spidey.

More tomorrow.  Sleep now.  Huzzah.

Goddamn it, Frankie.

If Mike Pelfrey gave David Wright a pep talk at some point
before Wright’s fifth appearance at the plate, it didn’t work. Sometimes
turnabout’s not always fair play, Pelf. If you licked your fingers and worked
the hide as you did it, then double whammy on you.

The Mets dropping one to the Baltimore Orioles (L, 6-4) doesn’t so much bother
me; fill in the usual injury excuses and add the fact that Toronto shook down
Philadelphia for six runs (net), and the fact that the team is three games off
the pace is not terrible to take.

What IS abysmal is to find the team, again, in a favorable bases loaded
position, and grab only one run off a walk-in. As I’ve stated, I’m not a stats
guy, so I don’t know why Fernando Tatis got to jump in instead of Fernando
Martinez, save that he’s shown ability to hit with runners in scoring position
(when he has a regular bench role), and hit two grand slams in a row once upon
a time.  Jerry Manuel makes a lineup change with bases loaded and one out,
and of course there was a double play.  Fine.

Where was David Wright, though? His average before the game suggested that out
of five times at the plate, he’d get almost two hits.  (Perhaps he’d’ve
had to share the second one with Carlos Beltran.) He didn’t work the count
when it appeared that would help. I thought that toss to first base to try and
get out… Nick Markakis? …wasn’t the sharpest.  Is this the case of
“heavy is the head”? Or “just one of those days”?  As
Homer Simpson once wailed: “We always have one good kid and one bad kid.
Why can’t BOTH our kids be good?”

It does feel as though there are only two Mets players on the field on any
given night, and I won’t even mention the pitcher for fear of having to
increase the size of his name in my tag cloud, for consistency’s sake. Let’s
just say that the man’s pitched six games and must, by now, have eighteen
middling, yawning, forgettable no-decisions. I used to call him The
Executioner, because I think I’m clever. Now I think I’ll call him Teflon Tim,
with a heavy dollop of annoyance.

No, let’s say the first player was Daniel Murphy, breaking out of his skid to
bring his average from “SUUUCK” to “suck.” For the home
run, the second guy should be Gary Sheffield. That’s a little cheap, though,
and no offense to Gary. But in 24 Orioles outs, Carlos Beltran had a full third
of them; Alex Cora also made a RIDICULOUS off-balance slurve of a shovel throw
to Castillo to catch Melvin Mora in the bottom of the seventh. Who knows what
kind of lead the Mets also couldn’t have overcome if he hadn’t made that play?
I’d best find it on web gems.  (UPDATE:
it’s #2, behind Brewers’ Bill Hall.  Web
Gems seems to enjoy the hurl from third-to-first; those aren’t all that awesome
to me.  Double plays, crazy throws,
off-balance stuff: those are gems.)

David Wright bats clean-up and goes 0 for 5.  Who gives the captain the
pep talk after that? Probably the guy whose absence everyone (including Keith
Hernandez) seemed to single out yesterday was the impetus for Wright taking a
firmer hand of the reins. A hint: he probably made some after-action notes in
his marble Mead about how the surgeon approached his torn labrum.

On occasion, Metsblog.com does something straight-up funny.  Earlier today, their notes on the Mets game versus Baltimore on Wednesday read thusly:

Date: Wed., June 17 
Time: 7:05 pm
Mets: Not John Maine
Orioles: Koji Uehara
Where: Camden Yards

Setting aside the fact that the Baltimore Orioles appear to be starting a guy who may bear some relation to the communications officer of the Enterprise (I know, I know: Uhura, Uehara; Swahili, Japanese), the idea of the pitcher being “Not John Maine” tickled me.

Not for nothing, but Not John Maine could be Johan Santana or Roy Halladay or Zach Greinke.  Not John Maine could also be Chien-Ming Wang circa 2009 or Victor Zambrano circa whenever with the Mets or that redheaded guy from My Boys, who got tagged hard by the Cubs in an episode at the end of this past season.

Hell, not John Maine could’ve been Kris Benson, except, you know. 

(By the way, Kris Benson’s now a long reliever for the Texas Rangers [had to look that up].  By the way, Google image results for the search term “Kris Benson” brings up one image with Kris in the background and a whole heapin’ load of Anna Benson images.  By the way, I’m not complaining about that.)

Point is, by this evening it had been decided that the part of Not John Maine would be played on Wednesday by Tim “The Executioner” Redding.  Tim had recently played the role of Not Oliver Perez after coming off the disabled list. 

And, y’know, while he was on the disabled list, the part of Not Tim Redding had been played, not too badly, by Livan Hernandez.  Who beat out Timmy, and Freddy Garcia himself, for the role of Not Freddy Garcia (previously known as the role of Not Pedro Martinez/Not Orlando Hernandez).  And, in fact, John Maine and Livan Hernandez were swapped in the rotation for the Subway Series, to give Omar Minaya and the Braintrust the chance to bring up Fernando “The Double Executioner” Nieve.

So really, Tim Redding is playing the part of Not Livan Hernandez, who played the part of Not John Maine, but if we look at the starting rotation as was presented on Opening Day, Tim Redding in at number three means he’s playing the part of Not Oliver Perez (again).  We can forgive Metsblog for forgetting that Oliver Perez existed; we can thank them and wish we had that kind of selective amnesia.

(You will learn quickly that I am not a fan of Oliver Perez.  I could give a damn about his upside.)

But most of all, we can forgive Metsblog for having a hard time keeping all of the above straight.  Consider the nightmare that would ensue if one tried to diagram all that, and you would see the humor, too.  This rotation’s a mess:

  1. Johan Santana
  2. Mike Pelfrey
  3. Tim Redding
  4. Livan Hernandez
  5. Fernando Nieve

Uh… huh…

*Let’s do a little backseat Monday morning armchair Sunday driving:

I fault Perez’s bloated contract first and foremost, though I also fault Carlos Delgado’s option and Luis Castillo’s contract and all the talk about how at each point, the Mets front office had a reasonable case to make for each.  Nay, nein, and nyet; there are always possibilities, to bring it back to Star Trek, but you limit those opportunities when you commit $30.5M in a season to a past-prime infielder who squares to bunt on 0 and 2 and can’t catch a pop-up, a slugging first baseman whose hip I could hear ticking from the nosebleeds, and a left-handed pitcher with a near-terminal case of the Mondays.

Orlando Hudson is a serviceable guy with four more home runs than Luis Castillo.  He’s also making half as much and has just as many Gold Gloves, and his last is half as old as Castillo’s.  I have little to say against Carlos Delgado; I was convinced he’d get to 500 home runs before Gary Sheffield, bum hip or no.  But $8M, by cursory observation, would have gotten us Hudson and Randy Wolf (two more wins than Oliver Perez), and left us $22.5M to buy two more of each.  Or any other more reasonable combinations of hitters and pitchers and sluggers.  Oy.

In any event, we’re here now, which is the phrase I imagine keeps Omar Minaya in smiles and butterscotch candies (which are from the devil).  Complaining will only get a new GM, and I try not to concern myself with front office business, unless it’s good for a chuckle.  Today, when scratching the surface of a comment such as “Not John Maine,” it absolutely is good for a chuckle.  Not John Maine.

I’m not John Maine.  I throw right-handed and I think Jennifer Aniston’s hair is pretty, too.  I do crossword puzzles sometimes, and if I tried real hard I bet I could hit a home run before Mike Pelfrey could.  Why not me?  Why can’t me?  I’ll pack his lunch and take Koji Uehara to school.

Hell: shave his beard and Randy Wolf looks a LITTLE bit like Kris Benson.  You have to squint.

*Salary whatnots were researched on CBS Sports’ MLB Players Page.