Archives for posts with tag: Brooklyn Cyclones

Labor Day is nearing its end.  Time to get back to work.

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There’s a large part of Coney Island that can be called a hole, and that’s being charitable.  When my mother would take My Sister and I out to Astroland Park on too-warm summer weekdays, my father out working, I would try my best to enjoy it, but even then there was a seediness I could not abide.  The water in the flume ride reeked of oil; the bumper cars squealed and shrieked.  I couldn’t escape the feeling that the adults around were having a lot more fun than I was.  Maybe not so for my mother, who toted us about.  But the wacky ones on the dilapidated boardwalk: sure.
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These days, there’s a patina of theme park on all the elements that make Coney Island a disagreeable, damned place. Feel the grime in the air as you use a restroom!  Chuckle at the locals, surly to the point of assault!  Wander through the urban desert which lies just beyond Surf Avenue!  And live to tell the tale!
This crystallized for me on Friday.  And it felt good to feel right about what opinion I’d formulated while being splattered with gear grease from the Cyclone.  The place is a dump.  Let people keep their homes, and don’t wreck the view of the ocean.  Besides that, take it down.  Raze it.  Salt the earth so nothing so obscene grows again.
Don’t know why I’m so belligerent about it; I had fun doing what I’d set out to do: drink beer, eat hot dogs, watch sailboats, and cheer on Carlos Beltran.  I guess I’m still not over that Jerry Koosman thing.  Ugh.  
I want to put my fist through a door every time I think about it.
No, I’m not drunk.  Last I was drunk, I was at a bar on the Lower East Side, watching a fifth NYU co-ed try to stay on a mechanical bull.  Add that place to the list of what should be scrubbed from history.  (By the by: there, no one knew who the hell Jerry Koosman was, either.  Pay your taxes, kids.)
All right, enough.  Carlos.

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Watching major league players in rehab stints is relatively new to me.  I mentioned in an earlier post that I watched Angel Pagan play last year, but then I considered him a bench player, and quite young.  He’s still grade-A bench player material, and still quite young.  Beltran took it easy.  I didn’t see him sprint, really.  He jogged carefully to the dugout; he jogged carefully to the outfield.  Best thing he did during the game was move a runner over in the first.
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That’s him running out from the box, stage right.  Beltran went 0-for-3 and the Cyclones lost, 8-2, victims of a seven-run seventh and a pre-game collective reading of Dr. Seuss’s Go, Dog. Go! 
I don’t know; that kind of thing would unman me prior to playing an adrenaline-fueled game.
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Those with the means to take in a Cyclones game during their playoff run should do so; it’s a fun park and the team is not half-bad.  I’m slammed with work and the boys out in Flushing, myself, but now that I know they’ve done away with the nutso sound effects following every visitor gaffe (SPROING!!! CLUNK!!!), I no longer have to worry about lapsing into a decibel-heavy Thompson-esque hallucination.  They DID keep the hot dog race.
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Brought a colleague from work to the game, who wasn’t paying attention until roughly this moment, and asked, honestly: “Are those supposed to be beans?”
I’d like to point out the Lowell Spinners third baseman, Michael Almanzar, whose expression you can’t see but who must’ve had money on the gig, as his attention is obviously directed at the hot dog runners.  Ketchup was sucking hind Relish until a beat before the end, when somehow it found a burst of speed and took the race.  Fix.
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Word is Beltran will be back for the game on Tuesday against the Marlins.  Same word has John Maine in action on Sunday in Philadelphia.  Roger Rubin (any relation to Adam?) reports Gary Sheffield and Carlos Delgado are probably done for the year.
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I’m most concerned about Beltran.  It was fun to have Sheffield while it lasted; it’s sad to think I’ll most likely never see Carlos Delgado in a Mets uniform again.  
Maine is out to sea.  I’ve no idea what to make of shoulder pain, except that I imagine it hurts worse when trying to throw a ball at ninety miles an hour.  It hurt
s when I sleep on mine for nine hours.
Perhaps it’s not about the machismo, this business of Beltran coming back for increasingly irrelevant games in September.  What the press has reported him saying–he’s a baseball player; he has to play because he knows nothing else–may come closer to it.
I wonder if it’s about needing to get that sense of anticipation back, that instinct that doubtless takes over when the pitch is thrown and a millisecond of fear gives way to more milliseconds of action.  That’s what I always considered to be at the core of getting one’s “timing” back.  To an extent, perhaps all that is the same as the reason given: he’s a baseball player.  He has to play if he can play.  The alternative–NOT playing–can be counted on to extend that millisecond of fear.  It must worry a man like hell to have such a livelihood taken away.
So very well, Mr. Beltran.  You want to play baseball? I’ll keep my mouth shut and hope for the best.  Produce, though, man: stand tall in the batter’s box and swing at pitches you can hit.  Do NOT challenge that bone bruise for supremacy; it knows no logic, it seems, and in Citi Field, there be some damned dragons.
**
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A grab-bag of notes (that image is the view I had from The Frying Pan on Friday; the end of baseball season means new shoes that I don’t have to worry about getting shelled, and I’m excited for that because these are starting to hurt like a mother):
  • David Wright ditched the Rawlings S100. He said it was an uncomfortable fit.  While some may ream him for this, I’m willing to take that at face value.  I watched the guy take hacks with it and it looked like it was sliding every which way.  
The helmet is supposed to make things safer for him; his protective gear rattling around on his melon doesn’t achieve that goal.
No excuse for getting the kinks worked out during the off-season, though.  I expect to see it and laugh all over again during Spring Training.
I miss the ’80s.  If Keith Hernandez had determined the better part of valor was to wear that helmet, and he got razzed hard for it, he’d’ve probably flipped some guys off.  I don’t see David doing that, nice guy that he is.
  • Greg Prince of Faith And Fear In Flushing wrote about the lack of Mets coverage in The New York Times.  His piece mentions Sunday’s paper, in a way that’s almost Fred Exley-esque.  But Mr. Prince, if you’re reading this: they’ve been quite late in posting material to the website, and this has been the case since at least last week.  Usually game recaps post within two hours of a victory.  All last week, they were coming in late morning/early afternoon-ish.  I would leave a comment on your site, but my browsers are wonkifying your comments module.  I would send you an email, but I’m afraid of what else lurks in that inbox.  My BlackBerry’s been blinking at me for days.
  • Speaking of the Faith And Fear folks: there’s another Amazin’ Tuesday event being held on September 15th at the Two Boots on Grand Street in Manhattan.  Though it’s my birthday and I’m winless at Mets events outside Flushing and my own living room and favorite bars, I’ve decided the Fates owe me one, so I will be there.  Jon Springer of Mets By The Numbers (see right blogroll for a link to his site) spilled the beans about who’s going to be there, and confirmation by Mr. Prince has only whetted my appetite.  I think it’s going to be a really fun night run by some quite engaging, and level-headed writers.  Plan to be there, if at all possible.  You are not obliged to say hello to me, or join me for post-game birthday karaoke.
  • Daniel Murphy was a double short of the cycle yesterday against the Cubs (W; 4-2).  He’s got nine home runs this season (eight + one: Subway sign-aided).  He’s committed, focused, and not a horrible embarrassment on the field.  If the Mets are destined to wander in the wilderness for a couple more years, and he maintains a level of competence, there’s no earthly reason to ship the man off.  Keep him within the organization.  At present, he’s at least deserving of a nickname more imaginative than Murph, and what we shout at him from the upper deck would be wildly inappropriate for consistent use.
  • I finished watching the first season of Commander In Chief.  Glad they changed the opening theme, which was bordering on plagiarism.  Shocked at the overuse of firing as plot device.  If the Mackenzie Allen Administration were a ball club, there’d be no NOBs on their uniforms.
  • There are some old posts that need some tweaking.  Less than a handful.  If you’ve found this blog and have been working to catch up, and notice an error, my bad.  They’ll be fixed Thursday night.
  • There’s this continued business of a Mets Hall Of Fame been discussed in and around the intertubes.  I had an idea from way back that, if time permits this week, I will attempt to explain cogently.  I’d planned to write about it in the off-season, but I feel inspired.
  • Nathan’s is delicious.  Mmm… nitrates.
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I will be at the park tomorrow for Mets-Marlins.  This game will be a Tim Redding joint, featuring more likely than not the return of Carlos Beltran, and hopefully the purchase of my very own Section Five Twenty-Eight T-shirt, which will be much appreciated, as I never washed my jersey after that last monsoon, and it reeks of urban rain and desperation.
Hope your Labor Day was fun and safe.  Time to kick it into gear for the stretch run.  Yes… the stretch run.
Let’s go Mets!
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I watched only Chowdah’s home run last night in the game vs. the Rockies (L; 5-2). 

One of the unfortunate facts of life in New York City is the crush of people one encounters day in and day out.  By the math alone, you’re bound to see something you don’t like, eventually.  And at the risk of turning my stomach again, and your stomachs, I saw something rather temporary, but rather unfortunate, on my ride home last night.  It ruined my dinner.  Frankly, at the time of this writing (5a), I’m still not with it. 

So I sucked down water and avoided anything else that would turn my stomach.  Flipped on the game just to catch the score, wished them luck after the home run, and landed on my bed with such ferocity that I think I cracked another one of the support slats.  (Never you mind how the first was cracked.)

Funny thing is, had I gone with my initial instinct for plans last night, and headed out to Coney Island to see Beltran in his Brooklyn rehab start, I’d’ve missed the incident entirely, and gotten sick by way of too many hot dogs and too much beer, and the sideshows that take on an unappreciated ghoulishness once the sun goes down.

Carlos Beltran went one-for-three with a walk and an RBI, yet still managed to get picked off first, which means he’s most definitely a Met for 2009.  Peter Botte of the Daily News seems to believe Beltran will stick with the Cyclones through Friday, so the possibility of making myself sick on Friday is still alive.

In my life, I’ve not had a six-month run of illness like I’ve had this year.  A throat thing; an eye thing; a couple of stomach things; my back; my recent cold.  Usually I’m healthy as an ox and can pace bulls.  Got to thinking about this last night and wasn’t sure if I could be blamed for the Mets woes or if I could blame the Mets for my woes, or simply chalk it up to coincidence.

If I had a training staff, though, I’d probably fire them.  Good thing I don’t have a training staff.  I hate firing people.

But does anyone remember Carlos Beltran’s swine flu business back in May?  Before the bone bruise, the guy couldn’t keep anything down and had to be put on fluids. 

The wrap-up of this woeful series against the Rockies is, at the time of this writing, ten hours away.  Hopefully I won’t have that nauseous feeling and Beltran’s knee won’t explode and we can both share the same airspace at Kesypan Park tomorrow, braced for whatever new horrors lurk around the corner.  Or under that dumb ride that carries people up slowly, then down slowly, in a doughnut-shaped carriage.

As much as everyone likes pictures, it’s been my experience that more still enjoy lists. 

Not necessarily of things one is responsible for getting done (because who enjoys responsibility, especially when they’re doing what they’d rather not?) but of things that fall under some other–any other–topic. 

In fact, I can put together a list of five random list topics:

  • “Things I Wish I’d Said To My Third-Grade Teacher” 
  • “People I’d Shake Vigorously If Given The Chance”
  • “Best Ways To Avoid Drinking That Goop They Give You Before An Endoscopy”
  • “Bad Songs Heard Blaring From A Souped-Up El Camino”
  • “Words That End In &^!”

There will be plenty of Mets lists to go around at the end of the 2009 season.  I’d like to think that at least some of them will be useful to the front office.  I will make my own, I’m sure, though now is not the time: the team is still technically alive and deserves our continued attention, devotion, and respect.  If there is a corpse to pick over in October, this site will do so with the greatest of care. 

(Similarly, you don’t read here any squawking about how bad the Nationals were in ’09.  Season’s just not over yet.  Also, this is a Mets blog.)

I have, however, taken fifteen minutes out of my lunch hour to solidify my plans for Labor Day weekend, and in so doing believe I have a proper and appropriate list:

“Things Which Seemed Like A Good Idea On Wednesday, September 2”

Gratuitous link.

These are the kinds of plans made when one’s spouse is so far away that good sense can’t possibly prevail.