Archives for posts with tag: Elmer Dessens

“And where the hell were you?”
“Sorry, T; the highway was jammed with broken heroes on a last-chance power drive.”
“What, are you a comedian now?”

The Sopranos, “Long-Term Parking”

 
Lots of injury seen yesterday:

  • Martin Prado comes out of the game with a headache;
  • Oliver Perez tweaks his knee on a cover attempt at first;
  • Derek Lowe gets hit on his glove hand trying to cover a hit up the middle;
  • Anderson Hernandez goes down trying to cover second;
  • Larry Jones goes hitless and hurts his pride;
  • Jerry Manuel discusses the mess that was Ryan Church’s 2008 concussion and, as my junior high band teacher used to say, steps on his joint;
  • Ryan Church does less than Larry Jones, and hurts his team’s playoff chances;
  • someone (I’ve no idea who) slips on the slick rotunda floor and is taken to an ambulance on a stretcher.

 
Each of these points should be addressed before moving forward. I choose to do so in reverse order.
 
First: that floor in the Jackie Robinson Rotunda is a menace. It’s lovely and eye-catching and leads the fan to inserts detailing Mr. Robinson’s nine core values, but it’s slippery when DRY. And last night saw two sure signs of the Apocalypse: the current Mets line-up notching ten hits against the $60 million man, and a resultant flash thunderstorm. There was an easy quarter-inch of rain on the ground and no sign of decent drainage.  Put that on the list for off-season adjustments. 

Also add the completion of whatever this:

construction.jpg…is supposed to be, far west of the bullpen gate. (For orientation purposes, the window on the far right looks out onto the parking lot behind center field and, across the water, LaGuardia Airport.)  Restaurant with thirty-foot ceilings? Mets museum? What up?
 
Next: Ryan Church had three ground-outs last night before striking out to end the game, leaving him 0-for-4 on the night.

I’m in the camp that believes Ryan Church’s concussions were handled poorly by the Mets–and I’ll get to my thinking in a moment–but in the Land of Put Up Or Shut Up (which is just across the border from Bring It, Turkey and shares a river with Yo Mama), Chachi was a beggar.  Shame. He was afforded rounds of  applause for each at bat.  Had his output matched Chowdah’s and had the Mets still come out with the win, I’d’ve been cool with it.
 
Next: I don’t think Jerry Manuel had a leg to stand on in discussing the dueling concussion experiences of Ryan Church and David Wright. Hell, Mr. Manuel, Chachi had TWO of them, and in both instances he was playing hard, and in one, he was playing hard during SPRING TRAINING.
 
A man who plays like that is going to want to go out there until he can’t anymore. It’s management’s job to protect him. But Chachi’s situation was less complex than the chest-thumping war cries between man and other man.  He’d suffered TWO CONCUSSIONS within three months.  If you sprain your ankle twice in three months, you take it easier.  If your right fielder knocks around his BRAIN twice in three months, you put the man on the DL.

I can’t believe I’ll pick a mild pun off the rack, but guys: it wasn’t like it was brain surgery.  It’s common sense.  Don’t listen to what the man says.  He’s not Superman.  His body slid, semi-conscious, past second base after hitting Yunel Escobar’s knee.  I was watching as it happened and I grabbed my OWN head.

Furthermore, what does bringing all this up AGAIN get you but more aggravation and a series of day-job writers thinking your organization is rife with either incompetence or bullheadedness, from the trainers to the management to the press office?  It’s the communications equivalent of intentionally walking a batter to get to the pitcher’s spot: you’ve only bought yourself more trouble.

Next: I’m awed and humbled that the derisive “Laaaaarry! Laaaaarry!” chant made it across the alley.  This is the first Mets-Braves game I’ve been to all year, and hearing it made me feel truly, TRULY at home.  No louder was it than when Omir Santos grounded to third on a fielder’s choice, and Jones bobbled it or couldn’t get a grip on it or was doing Chowdah a favor or what, and the ninth run scored.

I didn’t get a shot of it, but it appeared Larry gave a defeated shrug at the end of the play.  Delightful.

He and Church were 0-for-8 on the night.  That’s about as historic as a ten-hit Met inning, considering the team’s status at present.

Next: Anderson Hernandez.

anderson hernandez injury.jpg
I’d just gotten through talking about how Jose Reyes, Ramon Martinez, and Alex Cora were on the DL, and how it would behoove Anderson Hernandez to watch himself.  And down he went.

It was about at this point during the game that, aside from derisive tomahawk chops and exhortations for the free-swinging to stop in the later innings, I decided to keep my fool mouth shut.

(For the record, I also called Adam LaRoche’s solo home run.  The Wife can confirm that one, too. 

Listen, I don’t report these things because I’m an ego-maniacal train wreck.  I report these things because I find them scary.  Though as my seatmate Mike reminded me, “Calling a home run off Oliver Perez is like calling the sun’s rise in the East tomorrow morning.”  Fair enough.

By the way, have you seen The Wife?  Here she is:

the field.jpg

That’s her head on the left.)

Next: Derek Lowe.

derek lowe injury.jpg

Someone shouted “Rub some dirt on it!” 

Probably would’ve helped, but here’s the video as captured by SNY, and the quote as caught by ESPN:

“That had nothing to do with it,” Lowe said, referring to his pinkie. “I was under every single ball flat.”

Very well, Mr. Lowe.  You had a crappy night and your defense up the middle left a bit to be desired.  I thank you for adding ten hits in an inning to my list of Mets History Witnessed, which includes Santana’s One Hundredth Win and Sheffield’s Five Hundredth Homer.  Cheers.

Next: Oliver Perez.

perez card.jpgC’mon, guy.  Do you HAVE to look so goofy?  Shouldn’t your hands be folded on a desk with a large vinyl reproduction of a library-scape hanging behind you?  Perhaps with “2009” in white-on-black hanging upper left?  Criminy.

To be fair, he walked only one ba
tter, and struck out four, and the Matt Diaz pitch looked from above to be a mistake, and I claim responsibility for the LaRoche home run.  My question, really, is whether he was pulled after 78 pitches because of the tweak his knee got in the fourth inning, or because runners were starting to get on again as of said fourth.

I’m guessing a bit of Column A and a bit of Column B.

I will get off his case only enough to say he hustled to cover first, and he had me beat on the number of walks he issued.  Whether his stuff was better than the Braves’ or whether the Braves were godawful… hell, how subjective IS this sport, anyway?

Here’s how subjective, both in amount and true nature: I was all ready to take a look at Derek Lowe’s record and Oliver Perez’s record, set them side by side, with no-decisions factored, and figure out just where the truth lay on who would be the better Met.  But the Braves have not had NEARLY the spades of injury trouble the Mets have had.  They’ve not had the same schedule.  Hell, from what I see on his game log, he’s made each of his starts.  Perez hasn’t.  How do you reasonably compare the two without major question?

The only anecdotal way I know is this: from what I’ve seen, Derek Lowe throws first-pitch strikes.  Oliver Perez oftentimes does not.  It has been my experience that pitchers who throw first-pitch strikes get into less trouble, and last longer in games, than those who do not.  Those who do not leave us with men named Elmer Dessens, and the ridiculous tactic of berating said Elmers for the purpose of reverse-psychology-derived gains.

That’s all I’ve got.

Lastly: Martin Prado–what’s going on with Martin Prado?  I haven’t checked that had because, well, it’s Martin Prado and I care about Martin Prado just about as well as I can throw Martin Prado, which is to say not all that much.  I care in that he’s a fellow human being and I don’t wish him any particular harm, but no one on the internet-box can tell me what his deal is with these headaches.  Anyone know?  Swine flu?  The bends?  Restaurant?  Mets museum?  What up?

Yes, lots of injury last night.  Lots of potential for injury.  We ran like hell for the Chernobyl-style stairwells from the Promenade overhang; we shoved past rubberneckers on the stairs in the rotunda; we ran like hell from the rotunda to the subway entrance, which was a SEAL-type operation in an of itself (I got to tell someone I “broke left” when running the after-action report). 

leaving citi.jpgYou know it’s bad when the best I can do for my post-victory photo of the park is a runaway shot from the 7 Super-Express, above.

Hell, Big Man was in rare form and got a T-shirt for his ad-hoc mascot trouble:

section 528 t-shirt.jpgAs I’ve said in the past: great for branding.  Keep that liver running, my friend.

But a tremendous afternoon and evening at the park.  I’m almost sad I can’t head out tonight, but I’m bloody exhausted, and I think I hurt my shoulder, having run full-bore into a man wearing a “Texas Longhorns” T-shirt while trying for cover.  He did indeed apologize.

As for me, I’m scheduled for a side session on Friday.

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The other of my two roommates returned from extended travels last night, and in deference to his Red Sox fandom, the house flipped between the end of the Boston game against the Detroit Tigers, and the Mets game against the Does-It-Really-Matter?.

We talked about what football team I should root for this coming season.  If I’m not mistaken, I may have mentioned on this blog that I’m a man without a team, finding it impossible to root for the Jets for the pain it would cause; being banned from rooting for a number of other teams because of friends’ Jets-framed ire.  No Giants, no Cowboys, no Patriots, no Steelers.  I mentioned the Kansas City Chiefs.  I bear no animus towards the Chiefs; I think, despite the Herm Edwards business–or perhaps because of it–the Jetstock hold no grudges, either.

Then it was revealed to me: “My cousin was a catcher for the Royals.”

“Really?  Who?”

“Brent Mayne.”

For those who don’t know, Brent Mayne was a catcher for the Mets back in 1996.  I barely remember him on the Mets because while Todd Hundley had a bit over six hundred plate appearances, Mayne had barely over 100.  He struck out almost as many times as he hit safely.  He did have a home run that year, which is more than I can say for some Metsies hanging about right now.

But he was quite a citizen for the Royals, and Wikipedia rides the rail (but is technically correct) with his trivia claim to fame, being the only MLB catcher in the 20th century to have won a game as a pitcher.  He had only 131 days left to do it.  Hell, from the most highly technical perspective, he only had 39 days left in that season to do it.  The year 2000 was in the 20th century.  Pennies are money.  The bus fumes are free.  Et cetera.

Fourth all-time in fielding percentage is a gaudy stat, as well.

He has a great blog to boot: see it here.  Spent most of the night reading through it.  HIGHLY recommended.

So, yeah, Brent Mayne.  My roommate’s story checks out.  Who the hell knew?

** 

I have to think he’d’ve done better than Omir Santos last night.  Or had the presence of mind to argue against walking Augie Ojeda in the bottom of the second.  Miguel Montero on second with two out and the score freshly 1-0.

In the bottom.  Of the SECOND.

Look, if the Mets are at the stage of baseball in 2009 where they can’t trust their onetime second act to Johan Santana to get Augie Ojeda to fly out, ground out, or otherwise show his human frailty, and save the pitcher’s spot for the bottom of the third, then I just don’t know what in the hell to do. 

And don’t give me playing the percentages.  Mike Pelfrey should, at this stage in his career, know how to get right and left and switch-hitters out, even in pressure situations.  And I’ll remind you again: it was the BOTTOM of the SECOND.  Yikes.

I don’t like getting this heated about something like this, but since the overmanaging of the game against the Cardinals on the 4th, I’ve worried about coming back to baseball and seeing only the heavy hand of Jerry Manuel.  I don’t like disliking the manager.  But now I do. 

What’s the score if you take away Doug Davis’s hit in the bottom of the second and replace the dessicated remains of Elmer Dessens for a competent relief pitcher in the seventh?  It’s a fallacy; a weather balloon could’ve crashed in the outfield and suspended the game.

But if I’m truly one of the last few with hope for the season, and the name of the game is seeing what they guys have got, then why not let Pelfrey pitch his way out of trouble, and send Elmer Dessens (a known and unhelpful quantity) back where he came from?

I won’t accuse Mr. Manuel of giving away the game.  At this point, I’m accusing him of doing a poor job with admittedly limited options at best, and at worst betraying an inside directive to see what parts of this team can do for 2010.

*Soon you’ll see a few new I-Can’t-Do-Without links on the sidebar.  I’ve come to Jesus and Baseball-Reference, as well as the MLB-based stats pages.  Thanks, CBS; it’s been real.

**Be well and rest easy, Mrs. Mantle, who passed away yesterday.  A true example of how strong men are backed up by stronger women.

***You don’t need help from me to visit Faith And Fear in Flushing, but a point Jason Fry makes in his post today bears browbeating.  He’s stated my case in a fashion with more concision than I have:

Doctor’s Orders: You could fold this one into the
question above, but let’s go over it anyway. The Mets either have
incompetent doctors or competent doctors whose recommendations are
ignored by incompetent baseball executives. It’s one or the other, and
neither answer is acceptable. The question isn’t why there have been so
many injuries, but why so many injuries seem to have been misdiagnosed
and/or mishandled, leaving guys sliding with excruciating slowness from
Day-to-Day to We Don’t Know to Being Re-evaluated to Finally on the DL
to Still on the DL to Out for the Year. The Mets have consistently
taken the field with 22 or 23 guys available, which is a dereliction of
someone’s duty. Fix. This. Now.

Yes, absolutely.  Fix it.  Who’ll accept a trade to the Mets (and we need the kind of players that can fetch no-trade clauses) with the mess this place looks like?  ::strangled, irritated, impotent groaning.::  Goddamn it.