Archives for posts with tag: Brian Schneider

First, a bit of business: I’ll be at Two Boots Tavern tonight for the second installment of Faith And Fear In Flushing’s “Amazin’ Tuesdays” series.  If you enjoy feedback loops, click here; Mr. Prince not only gives you a rundown of who’ll be there and how you can get a free beer, but he’s also been kind enough to link to my reviews of the first Amazin’ Tuesday and the earlier “Metstock.”

Those of you who are in the area are probably going to be eating pizza and drinking beer anyway.  You should do so on Grand Street.  If you do, say hello.  I will not buy you a beer, unless you buy me one, but somewhat tangentially, I’m not contagious anymore and indeed, my head is quite nearly clear of congestion at this point.  That alone should throw the proverbial wheel hard in the direction of approachably genial.

So, yes, Amazin’ Tuesday.  Two Boots Tavern.  What I like to do from the Upper East Side is take a Lexington express train down to Union Square, transfer to the local, and transfer at Bleecker to a Sixth Avenue express.  Three trains, yet the ride somehow takes about fifteen minutes.  I’m somewhat attention-deficient, so the movement keeps me upbeat.

Starts at seven.  Go.

Now then: I wrote this post on August 12th, about the new Rawlings S100 batting helmet (use your back button to return).

On August 17th, I wrote this post hoping that Johan Santana wouldn’t suffer at my bony, cloak-wearing hand.  Not “hands,” as the other is busy wielding a scythe.

However, he’s now with Dr. David Altchek at the Hospital For Special Surgery.  I meant to take a spin by there and see if there’d been anything laid at the foundation.  Perhaps it’s just enough that someone spent last night behind the gates somehow, clad in black and holding a single thorny rose.

Billy Wagner will probably not accept a trade to the Red Sox because he wants to be a closer, and Jonathan Papelbon already jigs-it-up for the Fenway folk.  I think his particular brand of hard luck (and ours) will be at the negotiating table.

Luis Castillo’s taken his lumps already.  Chowdah’s got the ligament issue (and Chowdah didn’t even show until July).  Sheffield’s got his/has his/will get his; I can’t keep straight what’s bothering that guy anymore.  But at least he’s gone out there.  This is good.

Schneider’s a ghost already; predicting his doom would probably only RAISE his batting average.

If you’ve seen a Star Wars or an Indiana Jones movie–or even Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds (which, if you enjoy a ruthlessly bloodthirsty matinee, I recommend)–you’re familiar with something called “The Wilhelm Scream.”  It’s reserved for the death of cannon fodder: a foot soldier who you KNOW is going to go down in a hail of whatever fired by whomever our hero is.

If you do a search for NPR Wilhelm Scream, you’ll come across the On The Media transcript for an interview on said scream.  Read (and listen? I don’t have the player) here.

The Mets are not the bad guys, though they’ve been made out to be.  But at this point, all the Mets have are redshirts: guys who really should be faceless.

(“Three balls to Pedro Martinez after two three-run homers, and he was pulled mid-count.”)

I can’t, therefore, try my hand at predicting the next Met injury because, to the extent that the guys out there are pretty much all the same redshirt, it doesn’t matter.  Luke and Leia are going to manage to swing onto the other side of the bridge; Indy will get the better of Belloq.  Good guys or bad, that’s the script.

This is obviously not their year.  As I’ve stated several times now, one should watch Mets baseball if Mets baseball is still fun.  I will still watch, because it allows me time to decompress.  And I enjoy a win whenever they do.  Besides, after baseball comes football, but after football comes a whole lotta nothing.

However, while I will not predict the downfall of another Metropolitan, once my voice fully recovers, I will be practicing my “AIIIEEEEEEE!!!”

**I’ve been pulled from tonight’s game, by the way, in favor of Nelson Figueroa.

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Specifically, the one Eric Simon of Amazin’ Avenue points out as being the sum of the Mets’ starting line-up against the Diamondbacks last night (L; 6-2):

Cory Sullivan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
Fernando Tatis, 3B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Jeremy Reed, LF
Alex Cora, SS
Brian Schneider, C
Livan Hernandez, P

The Opening Day 2009 regular position players there are Luis Castillo and Brian Schneider.  That’s it.

Allow me to play to type, and quote The Simpsons.  Specifically, the Season Three episode “Homer At The Bat”:

Mr. Burns: “The only way we can lose is if our nine ringers befall nine separate misfortunes.  But that will never happen.  Three misfortunes?  That’s possible.  Seven misfortunes?  There’s an outside chance.  But NINE misfortunes?  I’d like to see that.”

Methinks Darryl Strawberry could’ve taken Max Scherzer to school last night.  Though maybe this happened last night:

Mr. Manuel: “Francoeur!  Hit a home run!”
Chowdah: “Okay, skip!”
::Crack of bat.  Roar of crowd.::
Mr. Manuel: “Heh… I TOLD him to do that.”
Sandy Alomar: “Brilliant stratagem, sir.”

So it’s come to this: picturing the Mets as a cartoon’s bad-news company softball team.

Time to get the morning pressure in my eyeball checked.  Exciting.  Mets play at 3:40p today, and we the fans get a sorely-needed off day Thursday.

Let’s go Mets, in whatever compound form they choose to take.

*Note: Watch the commentary on that Simpsons episode, and you’ll learn that Roger Clemens is just as much a jerk to people making a semi-sophisticated cartoon as he is to people who question what he’s doing with syringes in his possession.  That Strawberry is the goody two-shoes of the team… oh, man. 

Busy day at the races; I shall have to be typically verbose when I get my sorry butt back home tonight (which will be through bitter rainstorms and the compulsory Friday night trip to see my parents).

An additional treat will be photos and words regarding the Frank Messina reading at Foley’s NY, of which I spoke yesterday.  Good time, good fun.  Later.

For now, something to hold you over.

Here’s the thing I came away with during last night’s game against the Atlanta Braves (L, 5-3).  We spoke about it, the event attendees and I, as it happened.

Top of the seventh.  Score tied, and remarkably so given that all three of the Mets’ patchwork outfield got steady work from Oliver Perez. (His walk count lowered from seven nine days ago to four last night.  Follow that?)  Righty Manny Acosta relieves Derek Lowe for the Braves. (Derek got jobbed by his infield and an odd strike zone last night.  Rare that this is the case, but the high-and-tight zone seemed to benefit Ollie.  But I was watching from a ways away, and drinking; I wonder what excuse I’d make were I a real reporter.)

Brian Schneider grounds out.  He was hitless last night, with a couple walks (one intentional).

One now must pinch-hit for Oliver Perez, who’d just gone over the magic number of pitches for anyone, and who wriggled out of a jam to end the sixth.  Who do you go to?

The Mets’ bench last night, excluding any Livan Hernandez pinch-hitting shenanigans, included:

  • Jeremy Reed (lefty batting .292 going into last night);
  • Angel Berroa (righty batting .136 going into last night);
  • Omir Santos (righty batting .268 going into last night); and
  • Fernando Tatis (righty batting .247 going into last night, and who once hit two grand slams in an inning).

There are thirteen pitchers currently on the Mets active roster.  With good reason.

Tatis popped out to second and we were all grateful that he could only possibly ground into a double play.

So everywhere we could look to find fault, we could not.  Without a viable fourth starter, and a fifth starter by committee, the Mets need to carry an extra arm or two.  Given the tie score late, one must save their strongest offensive weapons in case of emergency. 

The thought must’ve been: “Tatis gets on base.  Pagan’s been swinging well and Castillo’s got a hitting streak going.  We could eke out a run then slam the brakes on Atlanta.”

Except Tatis popped out, leaving no margin for error by Castillo, who was the weakest part of that equation.

The bench is less than exciting these days.  As for the relief corps, Feliciano walked the first guy he faced in the lower half of the frame and, well, if you were watching or not, you can figure out the rest.

It was a perfectly okay and understandable substitution, but if someone were to ask me next year or the year after or the year after how bad the injuries that befell the 2009 Mets hurt the team, this will be my anecdote.  It was a tidy little baseball game that ended badly.

I knew as I was reveling in Casey McGehee’s dropped pop-up that harsh, bitter reality came around the corner.

Despite Fernando Nieve’s complete ineffectiveness, the Mets got to the bottom of the sixth down one run to the Milwaukee Brewers: 3-2.  I can’t tell what was wrong with Nieve, but watching Brian Stokes air mail a couple of intentional walks, I can take a guess at what was wrong with him.  McGehee’s grand slam put the game out of reach.  The Mets came back decently in the top of the ninth, but I have little faith or knowledge of any Brewers bullpen threat save for Trevor Hoffman.  Sure enough, Hoffman threw one pitch to the tying runner at the plate, and that was all she wrote.  L, 10-6.

Ken Macha’s earlobes frighten me.

I was watching the game at a bar with satellite TV.  Here, they showed ESPN on one screen, and SNY on two.  You haven’t lived until you’ve seen baseball a half to full second faster than you’re used to.  I watched Daniel Murphy turn one legitimate double play and one questionable one.  I watched Ryan Church make a bomb of a throw to Schneider to get out Braden Looper.

I watched… Mariano Rivera get his 500th save?  Again?

I know the Mets just played the Yankees.  But the game is over.  Mariano’s nowhere near Wisconsin.  What the hell’s the matter with you people?

I’m going to bed.  Chew on this ’til tomorrow morning, though: David Wright should not be batting third.

Today’s line-up facing the Milwaukee Brewers, as reported by David Lennon of Newsday:

Argenis Reyes – SS
Daniel Murphy – 1B
David Wright – 3B
Gary Sheffield – LF
Ryan Church – RF
Fernando Martinez – CF
Brian Schneider – C
Luis Castillo – 2B
Fernando Nieve – SP

This was yesterday’s line-up (vs. Yankees; L, 4-2):

Daniel Murphy – 1B
Alex Cora – 2B
David Wright – 3B
Gary Sheffield – LF
Fernando Tatis – RF
Fernando Martinez – CF
Brian Schneider – C
Luis Castillo – 2B
Livan Hernandez – P

And the night before last’s (vs. Yankees; L, 5-0):

Alex Cora – SS
Argenis Reyes – 2B
David Wright – 3B
Ryan Church – RF
Gary Sheffield – LF
Daniel Murphy – 1B
Jeremy Reed – CF
Brian Schneider – C
Tim Redding – SP

And the night before that, this was the order (vs. Yankees; L, 9-1):

Luis Castillo – 2B
Alex Cora – SS
David Wright – 3B
Gary Sheffield – LF
Fernando Tatis – RF
Ryan Church – CF
Nick Evans – 1B
Omir Santos – C
Mike Pelfrey – SP

I don’t know that I have a point here.  I’m sure I will after tonight’s game.  You may feel free to draw your own conclusions.

Actually, that’s a lie.  I do have a point.  I’d just prefer not to breathe life into it until after tonight’s game.

Do you think, perhaps, Johan Santana watched the offensive juggernaut that was the 2009 New York Mets tonight and wanted to shake each guy by the shoulders as he crossed home plate?  I do.

You tag the fifth starter for as many runs as you can; not that I thought the Cardinals were ceding the game at any point before the seventh.  Not even halfway through the seventh.  At the end of the seventh, perhaps a little ceding.  But you tag #5 for as much as you can, and hope you stay in that rhythm in the event that you face #1 tomorrow.

Man, I hope they stay in rhythm.  Johan is quite possibly the Alpha and Omega, but if I’m going to feel comfortable with him on the mound tomorrow, it’s gonna come by way of him being staked to a tidy five-or-six run lead.  Let him find some of the old magic.  Keep him from feeling stressed.

C’mon, it’s a home game.  He could throw it, ice down, shower, and still make it for drinks at the Met’s roof garden by early dusk.  Let tomorrow be easy.

**

Nick Evans looks like a scared little boy at the plate.  I should check my DVR to see if he had his eyes screwed shut when he gave it a hard ride.

**

Speaking of hard rides (this is a PG-13 blog), I leaped out of my seat on Schneider’s seventh inning two run double.  Had he hit three two-run homers in as many games played, I might have bought a Schneider t-shirt.  Do they even SELL those?

Doom, meet Gloom.  Gloom, this is Doom.

Carlos Beltran has been put on the DL with that bone bruise business he felt last month.  He’d said it was painful yesterday as he ran about the base paths and in the field.  This according to MLB.com.

… .

I suppose it’s a good thing that Brian Schneider’s unloaded a couple home runs recently.  Let’s, uh, see if he can keep that going against the Cardinals.

Buh.

The problem with being a finesse team is that you typically need dominant pitching to stay in the game long enough to eke out runs.  But I’ve pointed this out before–the Mets’ starting rotation is:

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

I repeat:

… .

Fernando Tatis will need to be more patient.  Gary Sheffield will need to pick his spots.  David Wright, at this point, must go fifty for his next fifty.  No pressure.

I’m heartened by Daniel Murphy’s picking up steam.  Word is Angel Pagan will be back at some point soon.  But this line-up’s lying in a burned-out basement, hoping for replacements.  And there are no real viable options out on the block.

So we will no doubt be watching some very interesting or very heartbreaking baseball as we work to the All-Star break.  Here’s hoping the rest of the NL East’s competition is as deadly to them as pursuing a physical activity for the purpose of earning a salary appears to be for the 2009 New York Mets.

Reasons for my confusing the Tampa Bay Rays and the Toronto Blue Jays in my post on Friday afternoon:

  1. It’s interleague play and that doesn’t usually interest me in the slightest, save for the potential for gains in the standings.  That the Mets have been unable to gain any decent ground given the Phillies’ struggles DOES interest me.  That they haven’t lost much ground either just makes the whole thing silly.
  2. Look at the teams’ names: (a) Tampa Bay Rays; (b) Toronto Blue Jays.  TBRays, TBJays.  They should’ve left the “Devil” in their name; I could’ve made a far funnier and more egregious error and thought the Mets were playing the New Jersey Devils, or the Charlie Daniels Band, or Bill O’Reilly.
  3. I was blinded by hate for my usual compatriots, who used the lame excuses of their mother’s sixtieth birthday and their best friend’s wedding to leave me with the task of filling their seats.  (This rage would also cause me to sit in the wrong section for a good forty-five minutes before the game started, marveling at how much more of the outfield I could see.)
  4. I was blinded by hate for the friend who DID join me, and doesn’t believe there’s anything redeemable about We Are Marshall.  C’mon.  Rousing cheer.  Ian McShane.  Matthew McConaghuey sporting a ridiculous accent and ‘do.  What’s not to like? 
  5. I was blinded by hate for ALL THE OTHER REGULARS in my section who didn’t show up that night.  It was just me and the older couple who sit in the row ahead and two seats over.  And besides my shouting “Don’t bunt!” whenever Luis Castillo comes up to the plate, my antics appear to be wearing on the older guy’s better half.
  6. Brian Schneider’s three-run blast got hit so far that it traveled back in time and hit me in the head.  These things happen.
  7. I knew I’d be seeing Pat Burrell, who played for the Phillies last year, who themselves played the Blue Jays in the previous set at Citizen’s Bank Park.  Transitive property, Q.E.D., ergo yo mama.
  8. I’d been up ’til 3 AM the night before, prepping for a long day at work followed by a night at the ball park followed by a long morning of work followed by Father’s Day.
  9. I miss Carlos Delgado so much that I’d hoped the Blue Jays would be in attendance, just so he could hit four more home runs in one game against the Rays, who would absolutely be there.
  10. Speaking of Delgado, 9/25/2003: 9+2+5+2+0+0+3=21.  2+1=3, which is how many runs the Rays scored in their loss to the Mets on June 19, 2009 (6/19/2009: 6+1+9+2+0+0+9=27; 2+7=9 divided by 3 equals THREE), and how many runs they beat the Mets by on June 20, 2009 (6/20/2009: 6+2+0+2+0+0+9=19; 9 divided by one is nine, and divided by 3 equals THREE).  Isn’t that WEIRD?

But seriously; I kid the numerologists.

Sights from the game against the Tampa Bay Rays (W, 5-3), below.  Even Teflon Tim Redding takes the train to the game!

Teflon Tim.jpgPepsi Porch.jpgDaniel Murphy.jpg

Sonnanstine Zipper.jpg
Schneider Runs The Bases.jpg
Pat Burrell.jpg
Mets Win.jpg
My thanks to Ed who showed up and paid far too much for two tickets that had no shot at being able to see the two run double Parnell let slip late.  I’ll be in the seats next week for the game against the Yankees.  I double-checked.  It’s absolutely against the Yankees.

**

I’ll say it.  I don’t think it’s going to happen.  Ever.

Santana Scrim.jpgBut in appeasement of those who, like me, are superstitious, I’ll only say that, and give you the picture, above, and let you think back to Saturday’s game (L, 3-1).  Get it now?  You’re familiar with that feeling.  You’ll think about it for another day or so, and then file it away with John Maine and Nelson Figueroa and all the Tom Seavers and, tangentially, David Goddamn Cone, and Dwight Goddamn Gooden, and Nolan Goddamn Ryan times too many to count without crying.  Among others.

I missed this particular one myself; I had to get up early for work, and was so tired by the time I got back home that I dropped into bed and didn’t wake up until 7:30 in the evening.  My personal record this week was a wash so I gave myself a break on Saturday’s.  Frankly, I thought it would be rained out.

But think about this: are we entitled to one?  We have Johan and we’ve had Cone and Ryan and Seaver.  If memory serves, the Padres’ cupboards are bare, too.  Hell, the last time the Chicago Cubs won the World Series, Charles Fairbanks was bemoaning Teddy Roosevelt’s backing of William Howard Taft for the presidency.  Do you even know who Charles Fairbanks WAS?  I didn’t until about a minute ago.

What are we, as fans, owed besides a comfortable, safe place to watch a game, a competent crew to broadcast the proceedings whenever we can’t or don’t want to make it, a front office that doesn’t treat us like idiots, and a team that goes out and plays hard every day?  If the Mets can get all that right–and I get the sense that the front office sometimes/often forgets how smart this fan base is, and I could kill Jose Reyes for his occasional loafing–then we should find ourselves proud of our boys.  Success will follow, assuredly.

I want one as bad as the next Mets guy, but I think I’m about done thinking about it every time I walk into the park, and every time I see a 1-2-3 first inning.  And second inning.  And–goddamn it Dioner Navarro! 

Ugh.  Fine.

Today is Father’s Day.  I am late for several things.  Hope those father-son duos going out to Citi have some good weather; I will be watching on a 42-inch plasma at the parents’ homestead.

*My thanks to
Greg Prince of Faith And Fear In Flushing for the link re: Metstock.  Greg, I owe you an email and an offer of crappy hi-res images.