Archives for posts with tag: Fernando Tatis

(I originally had first baseman in quotes.)

Where the hell have I been?

Been working.  Long days at my straight job, which pushed everything back.  Pushed back my screenwriting projects; pushed back my research for a freelance video project that’ll get going in about two months; pushed back the normal housework I have to do to keep from feeling like I’m in some Bohumil Hrabal-esque construct of eventual doom

It’s not that this blog is a low priority; it’s that making money, both in the short and long term, is a high priority.

The goal for the day is to try and catch up on the half-baked analyses I promised last week, now that my P.A. equipment is back where it belongs, and all my pay stubs are filed, and my spreadsheet workbook consistently calculates OTPS costs over a three-year period.  And now that I’ve wrapped up the first draft of Screenplay #3 in my ten-month plan to retire my debt.  If anyone out there is willing or knows anyone who’s willing to purchase a No Exit-style murder mystery set in wintry rural Massachusetts, drop me a line.

But that’s neither here nor there.  Grab your vegetables.

The exercise was to visit Cot’s Baseball Contracts
website, take a look at each position need, and determine who’s worth
spending time and energy on.  The assumption here is that
everyone who’s on the Mets’ case for having deep pockets and a shallow
farm pool are correct, and that it would be better to spend money than
trade prospects.

Better Know A First Baseman: Russell “3TO” Branyan

So, would you prefer a thirty-three year-old first baseman with a herniated disc, who made $1.4 million last season, or a thirty-seven year-old first baseman whose recovery from hip surgery and subsequent conditioning caused him to strain (if memory serves) an oblique muscle? 

Keep in mind that the latter option wasn’t all that big on the U.S. occupation of Iraq.

Russell Branyan is not the most flashy of options, no.  But for a team rumored to be profoundly cost-conscious, and perhaps waffling on the value of still-somewhat-unknown quality known as Daniel Murphy, a Russell Branyan looking to prove himself before a return to the land of the DH might make for a decent bet.

His age reminds one of Fernando “Let’s Turn Two” Tatis, and lately (the past three years), Tatis has had the distinction of seeming impervious to pain, either to himself or those subjected to his performances.  But the last time Tatis managed over thirty home runs, I was in high school.  Branyan did it this past injury-shortened season.  And the meta-story behind the Mets’ talent search in 2010 is home run production.

I’ll deconstruct that argument via hyperbolic hypothetical, and some rote.  Rote is important, however. A series of assumptions is worth squat if you don’t know how you arrived at those assumptions.  It’s time-consuming and tedious, but you’ll thank me in the end for showing my work.

Now, then: take a guy who destroys the baseball, like Albert Pujols (ignore 2009’s postseason; he was chippy).  Now surround him in the order with the infirm, the inept, and the inexperienced.  Give him some major-league caliber pitching to face.  He’s getting walked if there’s a base free, because chances are decent that the guy behind him will have a tougher time knocking the bean around.  Hell, if I’m batting behind him, then walk him even if the bases are loaded.  No way I’m scoring a run.  It’s too much pressure.

David Wright is not quite on Albert Pujols’s plane of existence when it comes to crushing home runs; neither is Carlos Beltran, nor Carlos Delgado.  Nor Russell Branyan.  They’re each legitimate run-producers, but any one of those guys ALONE in an order comprised otherwise of the aforementioned infirm, inept, and inexperienced, will find little protection and thus little opportunity to produce.  Protection is the name of the game.  And much like walking down Starr Street in Bushwick at night, protection comes in the form of a guy with a bat, who knows how to use it.

…I recently had to spend quite a bit of time in Bushwick.  My last visit was without my now-broken glasses.  Look at me on the right, there, in my profile picture.  I’m not scared of that punk, and I live with my demented self every day.

With Wright and Beltran back, and a year of Citi Field’s juju out of their systems, the Mets will be a quarter of their way toward presenting a solid batting order.  Assume Jose Reyes.  Assume Luis Castillo (because I doubt anyone else will).  Assume Chowdah and the pitcher’s spot, and we’re left with three holes in which to slot some protection.

So a guy coming off a shortened career year, and something to prove, might be worthwhile.  Fernando Tatis had something to prove in 2008, and didn’t do too bad for himself.  Dropping Russell Branyan into an everyday first baseman role proves to teams his range of motion and his ability to hit in a place that’s inaccurately rumored as death valley to power hitters.  Note: Ted Berg is not spreading said inaccuracy; he’s arguing against it.

(The video script for Marketing Citi Field To Power Hitters:

Liev Schrieber (V.O.): “This is Adam Dunn.”

INSERT: image of ADAM DUNN chowing down on a foot-high stack of funnel cakes, paper plates included.

LS (V.O.)(Cont’d): He’s thirty years old and his walk-on music is “In The Air Tonight,” by Phil Collins.

INSERT: ten-second clip of Adam Dunn hitting that 465-foot blast off JOHAN SANTANA on May 27th, 2009; include SNY BOOTH FEED.  REPEAT FOOTAGE FOUR TIMES.

LS (V.O.) “When considering your options for the 2010 baseball season, ask yourself: are you better or worse than Adam Dunn?”

RE-INSERT: image of Adam Dunn chowing down on a foot-high stack of funnel cakes, paper plates included.

FADE OUT.)

Delgado has the same things to prove, but given the years he has on most first-basemen, he can’t waste a year of power playing for the Mets and attempting to shag balls.  Russell Branyan can.

However, it seems as thought Russell Branyan probably won’t, as this post by Jim Street of MLB.com states.  Without knowing much about the Mariners, I’d say the reason they’d want him is the same reason the Mets would want him, and the only way they don’t get him is if he feels the money they offer doesn’t constitute fair treatment. 

The fine thing about the Mets is that they have that kind of fair treatment coming out the wazoo, and have shown a propensity for taking over-market flyers on redemption-seeking types with “experience.”  If all the stars align, I wouldn’t so much mind Russell Branyan on the Mets, as long as similar money isn’t spent on the same archetype elsewhere.

And as long as he’s not signed for three years and $36 million, or something similarly obnoxious.

Advertisements

Got back not too long ago from Regis Courtemanche’s “Knock Cancer Outta Here!” event.  Thanks, Regis, for a great time.  The math I did in my head leads me to believe you made your goal of $5,000.  Truly wonderful.

Separately, I am still winless at organized Mets events outside the ball park (vs. Atlanta: L; 5-2.  ::Fist shaking:: TATIS!!!)

But I’m here.  Craving a Bailey’s hot chocolate, though it’s far too warm, and I have no Bailey’s.  Or chocolate.

So.  All right, Mr. Gammons.  Less’ go.

There is certainly no reason not to “think about having two wild-card teams per league.” I think about lots of things all the time.  I once thought about what it would be like if the world discovered that French was in fact an exercise in communal gibberish: a social experiment run internally by the Frogs and inflicted on the rest of the global population.  Wouldn’t put it past them.

There’ve been no hard and tight races for division leads, no.  Not ones that are down to the wire, save for whatever’s going on in the A.L. Central between Detroit, they of the 81-70 record, and Minnesota, of the 79-73 record.  Records like that don’t interest me.  If I were in Detroit, or in Minnesota, I might feel differently, as I’d have something to watch for.

But I don’t think baseball falls off America’s radar in September because there are so many other demands placed on their time, at this time.  I think it falls off America’s radar in September because, after one hundred forty or one hundred fifty games, every city’s got a decent sense of whether they’re in it or not.  So watching a mediocre team, in an awful division that’s not my own, wrestling for a playoff spot with another team, just as mediocre and just as not-around, would not interest me in the slightest. 

Ask me again in the event the option’s available and the Mets have a shot at getting in, and I might change my tune.

But honestly, this smacks of some sort of charity.  Baseball is a massive zero-sum game, wherein a team’s wins come with the price tag of other teams’ losses.  Here’s a look at the A.L. standings in 1998, when the Yankees won one hundred fourteen regular-season games.  Only Boston cracked ninety wins.  In case people are turned off by the mention of the Yankees (and I get that such a thing happens), here’s a look at the N.L. standings in 1998.  Two powerhouses and a strong division leader, and a whole lot of other teams left in the dust.

I’d argue about how confusing the logistics of the plan are on the surface–at least to me, at this late hour–but we shouldn’t shy away from hard.  I just don’t see this weekend wild-card play-in doing anything but sparking mild interest locally, which is best solved by seeking competitive parity between the teams so that regular season games are exciting.

But “competitive parity” could be interpreted as code for “salary cap,” and I just don’t want to go there tonight.

I wonder, in the absence of the Rockies winning twenty-one out of twenty-two games down the stretch, or the Mets losing division leads late, and with how competitive football has been this year (I’ve watched a lot of great football from surprising teams), if Mr. Gammons feels a little let down about the return of regular wrap-ups to the season.  But I don’t know that, on any given year, I need my baseball to make national news.  (It would be nice if it made local news.)  There are so many teams in baseball, and so many ways to play to rivalries, and play excitedly with the math of playoff spots, that one risks over-complicating that joy with a pre-postseason. 

It’s essentially the argument against the wild card in and of itself, but the difference is one of degrees.  We can have three divisions per league, have competitive seasons on the balance of years, and see about celebrating a team that has achieved a kind of legitimacy by winning the most games without being a division leader.

I don’t see that there’s a compelling argument behind us cheering to bring in the first-placer otherwise shut out by a team having a franchise year as well as cheering to bring in the best of the second-placers, with the belief that they’ll have to balance being even weaker going in, or be grateful that a team with greater resources emptied the kitchen at another, including the sink.

Additionally, if a wild-card play-in isn’t going to siphon viewership from college football or cause football to share some of its excitement, then why suggest it as a solution?  If it’s about team revenues–and Mr. Gammons brings up money early and often–then there are other ways to drum up money.  Have a bake sale.

Football’s an aggressive game for an aggressive country, with few teams, a short schedule, and amorphous and diffuse fan boundaries.  That speaks to a fan of a certain temperament; the fan that watches baseball day-in and day-out for six months might be a different animal.  Those who have a foot in each world will ratchet up or crank back their excitement based on their available options for continued joy/masochism.

There’s my response.  I’d be remiss if I talked about baseball’s postseason without complaining about the late start times for games, so consider yourselves complained-on.

At least it’s not hockey or basketball.  Those playoffs DO go on forever.

**For those who want to vote on what my off-season profile pic will be, check out the rules and options here and email your choice to omniality [at] gmail [dot] com.

I enjoyed Fernando Tatis for a couple of years.  I really did.

But he’s now been responsible, too many times, for taking a game I wanted to watch and stomping all over it.

There was the streak of grounding into double plays back when he was playing regularly and there was still something to play for.  Now that games are played primarily for instructional purposes and out of contractual obligation, he’s killing that desire with pop ups and single out grounders: rally-wounders; at this point just as bad as rally-killers.

But think about my point for a moment: I work a long day.  I write and edit on my way into work, I spend all day pulled in nine different directions, I write and edit on my way back from work.  I sit down to ENJOY A 2009 METS GAME.  No pressure, all wistful thinking about the wistful thoughts I’ll have in less than two weeks.  Do you understand just what kind of personality and energy it takes to sit down AT THIS POINT and expect to ENJOY a game this season?

Exactly.

And then the Mets put runners in scoring position on some heads-up play.

And then I see Fernando Tatis, and Gary, Keith, and Ron are already talking about what I already know: that Tatis is a strange choice to pinch-hit in this position, given Jair Jurrjens minor struggles against lefties during the night and his relative facility with righties.

(David Wright’s ears and his four hitless at-bats are burning.  If Chowdah ever listened, his ears would be burning, too.)

There’s a shot of Jerry Manuel, there’s a one-pitch at-bat, there’s Cory Sullivan, and then there’s the eighth inning.

Fernando “Grand-Slams” Tatis.  I wonder if Mr. Manuel believes that Fernando Tatis works from muscle memory obtained a decade ago.  I’m here to say that the man, undeniably, does not.

Allow me to crib from one of King Of The Hill‘s few truly twisted and ingenious episodes, “Plastic White Female”:

Paul: You’re just using Tatis as a crutch.

Jerry Manuel: He’s not a crutch, Paul. He’s someone I’ve come to rely on to help
me through life.

And then I cut Fernando Tatis’s batting helmet in half with a table saw.

The only true joy that came out of this game was watching Nelson Figueroa’s increasing levels of “You gotta be kidding me,” as he faced Jair Jurrjens at the plate in his last batter. Jurrjens fouled off pitch after pitch after pitch, only to finally ground out to Figueroa.  When Figueroa trotted the tag to Jurrjens personally, I laughed so hard that I think I made a little water.

Also, for those who couldn’t hip to the broadcast tonight: head out to Sag Harbor.  Find Paradise Restaurant on Main Street.  Ask for Howie, and tell him Keith Hernandez sent you.  Best revelation of random fact since I learned that HBO Boxing’s ringside scorer Harold Lederman doubles as a pharmacist somewhere in Poughkeepsie, NY.  The world is a strange, strange place.

Anyway. Ten games left.  Fernando Tatis, I will not feel bad if you find your way to another team next season.  Time to relieve the Mets of the crutch.

**For those who want to vote on what my off-season profile pic will be, check out the rules and options here and email your choice to omniality [at] gmail [dot] com.

Letters.  I get letters. I get half a dozen letters.
 
Letters:

**These have been sanitized and edited, lightly, to keep my head from blowing off. There’s such a thing as a difference between a plural and a possessive, folks. 

If you’d like, email me at omniality [at] gmail [dot] com.
 

“Like your idea about the Mets Museum, but it’s just too small. 200,
300 people? That park holds THOUSANDS. Space is too small and they’ll
never do it. Even if, I could just see them ****ing it up like
everything else.”

 
Think I should work backward here:
 

  • I don’t grant the premise that the Mets **** up everything.

  • They either will or they won’t. I think space is the least of the concerns with the idea. Harder still is the thought that they’d be into putting together the workforce to produce these segments, to say nothing about handing over some editorial control to these guys.

  • Putting this together would appear to require a sea change in the way the ownership and management thinks about the team. It’s hard to put yourself in the position of teaching tool, showing your team’s great plays even if they came in a loss.  That’s before wrangling together all the permissions and partnerships.  That doesn’t mean I don’t think it’s worth it; that just means it’d be hard. Shouldn’t shy away from hard, though.

  • I think the viewing rooms should hold two to three hundred in aggregate. The museum itself (adding the Hall Of Fame stuff to it) could hold a hundred or a couple hundred more. I’ll take a look at the spot I posited again, but that was really just a general suggestion of where to put it, if on the current property.  I don’t think you want it any bigger than four hundred; that becomes a bear to evacuate in case of emergency. Additionally, people should be coming to see the game, not the museum. This should be a novelty.

 
There were a couple of other emails that fell into the same general category.  In fact, two were nearly identical:
 

“They’ll never go for it. Too expensive and Madoff Madeoff-ha-with too much of their $$.”

 
That Madoff/Madeoff thing is getting old. Guy’s in prison; it’s done.
 
But given what could be made on DVD compilations of the sets (“Watch May’s Mets Museum Series from the comfort of your own home! Only $15.99!”), and the uptick in concessions sales you’d see by getting people to the park a couple hours earlier, I think the trade-off is worthwhile.
 
What we’re really talking about is a way to get more people to the park, increase revenue and develop new streams of it, and changing the way people perceive ownership/management when it comes to handling the Mets’ image.
 
I’m not saying it’ll ever happen. I’m just saying it’s more interesting for me to think about than trying to gin up trade ideas. Not that I don’t do that, either. And on that note:
 

“Why don’t you ever talk about what the Mets need for next year? Your guys are in for a world of hurt”

 
Quickly? Left fielder, righty off the bench. Second, third starters. A way to get rid of Fauxhawk’s (Oliver Perez’s) contract. A legitimate first baseman. A quality backup infielder that’s SPEEDY.
 
A time machine for Fernando Tatis. A deal with the devil to lock Luis Castillo into his 2009 form. A cage in which to lock Sean Green whenever he’s been bad. A clue as to what to do with Bobby Parnell.
 
That’s for starters.
 
I think I mention it subtly. I don’t have their ear, and I don’t know diddly about what’s out there save for what I read on ESPN and MLB and various Mets blogs that suggest trade ideas. I’m trying to be original. Last time I ham-handedly thought a big trade was in the offing, I thought the move for Chowdah was the first step to getting Roy Halladay.
 
THAT… was incorrect.  And speaking of Chowdah:
 

“Like the blog! Good writing. Who the hell is Chowdah?”

 
Chowdah is Jeff Francoeur. Somewhere on this site is a clip from an episode of The Simpsons where Diamond Joe Quimby’s nephew berates a French waiter.
 
“Say it, Frenchy! Say ‘Chowdah’!”
 
And speaking of that:
 

“Ur a moron.”

True, but not for the reasons you may think, and not for anything listed above.

I once tried to get a friend to eat a sandwich that was just two slices of white bread and a huge honkin’ schmear of vegemite.  He said he would but we never got around to arranging a date and time to do this.  So, one lonely night, I decided I would.  And I did. And I nearly died.
 
Yet another shining example of why The Wife should wrap up grad school as soon as possible: I’m liable to kill myself if she’s away much longer.
 
I’m out to the game tonight, to catch the Mets playing the Washington Nationals in what I’m sure will be dubbed “The Blind Leading The Blind Bowl.” Seeing as how my camera is once again responding to external stimuli, but my laptop is now literally held together by duct tape, I can’t promise pictures and a recap right away.

But as the Mets are now only getting the AP and second-stringer treatment from the Times, perhaps everyone’s bar for coverage has been set a little lower.
 
Let’s go Mets!

It’s 4-1 in the bottom of the seventh.  Fernando Tatis, showing signs of life, belts a homer off the “Super Guarantee” sign in left field, after watching one sail over his head just a few minutes earlier.

Daniel Murphy flies out to right.  Angel Berroa?  Left.  Omir Santos?  He chops a double; it tails past where we can’t see and he’s in, easily.

You can’t believe you’ve just spent five minutes of your life cheering for the likes of Fernando Tatis, Daniel Murphy, Angel Berroa, and Omir Santos.  That’s like cheering for Robin Duke, Brad Hall, Tim Kazurinsky, and Joe Piscopo.

Jeremy Reed comes in to pinch hit for Brian Stokes, who should’ve been in for Jon Niese after Tatis made that amazing grab in the top of the seventh.  Then Matt Daley gets pulled for Franklin Morales.  So Reed gets pulled for (wait for it)… Robinson Cancel.

The staggering corpse of Robinson Cancel.

You just don’t do that.

You also don’t risk an entire upcoming season to play at less than one hundred percent, Carlos Beltran.  What in the world do you know and we don’t?  Are the prophecies true?  Should I start buying bottled water and digging a cave out of a limestone cliff?  If that’s so, then shouldn’t the prospect of making the playoffs seem not unreachable, but unimportant?  We know you’re a badass.  Don’t be a hero.

Nothin’ makes sense no more.  I’m going to try for the Blue Smoke line tonight.  Comfort food, baby.  Comfort.  Food.

*I’m not a mope.  I know the Mets took three of four from the Rockies, and I should be grateful.  But… Robinson Cancel?  ROBINSON.  CANCEL.  He’s the fifth Beatle!

Tonight’s line-up, as posted by David Lennon of Newsday:

Angel Pagan – CF

Luis Castillo – 2B

David Wright – 3B
Gary Sheffield – LF

Jeff Francoeur – RF
Daniel Murphy – 1B
Alex Cora – SS
Brian Schneider – C

Oliver Perez – SP

Essentially the same line-up three games in a row.  No kidding.

This hasn’t happened in I don’t know how long, and that’s only remarkable in that we’d seen the Mets in the same level of decrepitude for about three weeks prior to Angel Pagan’s return.

So that begs the question: was Jerry Manuel hoping Fernando Martinez or Fernando Tatis would get hot, enough to warrant Cora’s leading off?  Does Angel Pagan represent the understudy linchpin the Mets so sorely need to be AAAA as opposed to merely AAA or, dare I say, AA?

Has Chowdah so reliably picked up the mantle of the five-hole? With the same efficacy that Ryan Church so stupendously dropped it? (Or was not really given a chance to?)

The answer, to all these questions, is a qualified “Yes.”  That’s probably all we’d get if we were allowed to interview Jerry pre-game, and since I’m about done with my last fifteen-minute break, that’s all you’ll get from me.

Let’s go Mets!  Pray for Perez’s competence; I’ll pray for my sanity.

*Note: went for a sit-down lunch today and happened to catch ESPN’s top ten MLB plays of the first half.  Number One on that list?

Believe.

Tonight’s line-up, as posted by David Lennon of Newsday:

Luis Castillo – 2B

Nick Evans – LF

David Wright – 3B

Gary Sheffield – RF

Fernando Tatis – 1B

Ryan Church – CF

Omir Santos – C

Alex Cora – SS

Livan Hernandez – SP

I know I made mention awhile ago about David Wright not batting third, then didn’t bother to follow it up.  I will soon, I swear.  That’s not what this is about. 

This is about not playing Daniel Murphy. 

According to Metsblog, Mr. Manuel believes it prudent to get Fernando Tatis a start against a left-handed pitcher before the three righties before the All-Star Break.

Fernando Tatis has not excelled in a bench role this year.

He has not excelled in a starting role this year.

Starting him every now and again is like being a super-bencher, which I liken to being a super-freshman: not enough credits to be a sophomore; too many to be a freshman.

Nuts, Mr. Manuel.  Nuts. 

Bring Tatis in off the bench in a regular capacity, or play him in a regular capacity.  But don’t start him every now and again as though you’re giving someone a day off.  The only person that needs it also swung the bat pretty well last night.  At least you had the presence of mind not to sit him, too.

Just… just… I don’t… I can’t… too many reasons why… this is horrible… I can’t… I can’t…

And why is Luis Castillo batting lead-off?  Was he that great batting eighth last night, or was Alex Cora that bad in first?

Brain… melting… too much… can’t… compute…

(Dana cannot locate the “crash-and-burn” sound effect for the show)
Casey: EEEERRRRRRRRR-BWOOOOOOOOH! That sound?
Dana: Yeah.
Casey: Really?
Dana: Yes!
Casey: Make the sound that you made.
Dana: Casey, I made the sound!
Casey: Make it!
Dana: …Oooooor-kssss!
Casey: Ah…
Dana: What?
Casey: That’s not the sound.
Dana: That’s the sound!
Casey: (walks over to the tech’s desk) Chris? Will? Be with me now: EEEERRRRRRRRR-BWOOOOOOOOH!
Will: Crash and burn.
Casey: Can you do it?
Chris: Got it.

Tonight’s starting line-up, as reported by David Lennon on his Newsday Mets blog:

Castillo – 2b
Cora – ss
Wright – 3b
Sheffield – lf
Tatis – rf
Church – cf
Evans – 1b
Santos – c
Pelfrey – sp

I guess the big deal, besides Ryan Church in center, is that Alex Cora’s been batting lead-off since Ty Cobb was chomping on baby-safe Havanas, and he’s now in the two-hole, moving Luis Castillo up.  Remember when Luis was batting eighth?  What a strange world we live in.

Cora’s 0 for 11 with a walk in the last three games, missing the jump-jive that was Wednesday’s win, and being a no-show in Carpenter’s near-clinic.  I don’t think he’s faultable for Pineiro’s or Carpenter’s dominance; I just suppose Jerry Manuel was tired of seeing no one on and one out.

Should be interesting, this Sheffield-batting-cleanup-after-cortisone, playing-that-tall-left-field-wall-on-inflamed-bursa-sac business.  I can hear Ken Singleton now, extoling the virtues of the DH.

…The DH is one of the most awful moves ever made in sport, by the way.  Just awful.  IF nine players show up for defense, those same nine players should show up for offense.

Sabathia had two homers and 7 RBI last year, in his time in Cleveland and Milwaukee.  51 ABs.  But can he run the bases like Chien-Ming Wang?

Fernando Tatis best get on the stick today, with authority.  There’s something about this game that feels iffy.  Then again, I just devoured a Good Humor Toasted Almond Ice Cream bar in under a minute.  That could be the source.

*Speaking of sources, thanks again to CBS Sports’ MLB Players Page.   

Yes.  Latin this early in the morning, after significant pop culture events conspire to make late-night YouTube hounds of us all. 

There’s no real good video for “Human Nature.”  My friend–of the baseball-learning the other evening–prefers “Man In The Mirror.”  To each their own.

Post hoc, ergo propter hoc.  After this, therefore because.  Id est (i.e.) gibberish.  But good gibberish.  Gibberish we live with on a daily basis.  I had socks.  You came over.  You left.  Socks are no longer where they were.  Never mind an enterprising soul put them in the wash; you took my socks!

In sport, interesting: the Mets were losing and listless.  Bring up Nick Evans.  Nick Evans drives in the coffin runs of the last two victories over the Cardinals (yesterday’s game: W, 3-2).  The reason the Mets were losing and listless was they didn’t have Nick “The Executioner” Evans.

I like Nick Evans and I love that bat stroke he’s got.  I also remember last year’s Colorado series where he came up and was an RBI-doubles machine, then fell off the proverbial cliff.  Back then, the reason why the Mets were losing and listless was the presence in the line-up of Nick “the Black Hole” Evans.

The Mets could be a lot better if Fernando Tatis wasn’t playing, hitting into double plays.  And then a blooper before Ryan Ludwick, and some decent stuff the night before.

Chris Carpenter takes a no-hitter into the fourth.  Ralph Kiner comes into the booth, and talks about Carpenter’s no-hitter, my roommate says.  Sure enough; no-hitter gone.  Mets with life.  (UPDATE: Brooklyn Met Fan appears to love him some Ralph Kiner.)

I love baseball, but at what I believe is the halfway point in my 2009 Citi Field Splurge Pack, causality is starting to wear me a bit thin.  It makes me want to walk into the park tonight and spout all sorts of nonsense about Pelfrey’s prowess and Sabathia’s lack thereof. 

(If I happen to see him, I will demand that Danny Meyer start pumping some distracting Blue Smoke aroma towards the field earlier than the fourth or fifth inning. …That’s a half-joke about Sabathia being a big guy.)

I’m excited for tonight’s game, as I always am, but I’m already sanguine about a letdown and in that, am anticipating a let down.  They took three of four from the Cardinals and lose to the Yankees.  The reason why they lost to the Yankees was that they took three of four from the Cardinals, and any sub-reason you’d like to assign.  No.  Gibberish.

They’ll lose to the Yankees because they won three of four against the Cardinals–the lesser known *** hoc ergo propter hoc, but the stock in trade of pessimists.  No.  Backwards gibberish.

(UPDATE: MLBlogs Network, I’m trying to keep a PG blog yet I’m citing Latinate phrases.  Is there REALLY a need to censor the Latin?  Can’t we find a censor that will accept contextual conditionals? 

Ugh.

Go here and read what I meant to have displayed.  Giggle like a pre-teen if you must.)

The latter softens the coming blow and the former takes the rest of the sting out of it.  The Mets are not invincible.  They weren’t in any year they played games in October.  But on this Friday morning, post hoc and *** hoc (…Lord, give me the strength…) seem to be defying the laws of physics: negative plus negative does not equal more negative, does not equal zilch.  Negative plus negative equals positive.  Hell. The Mets can take this game.  They can take the series.  They can go on a ten-game winning streak, and play Delgado and J. Reyes off the bench when they come back.  Exciting thoughts.

I have no real clue.  I’m trying to remember if I called Wilson Valdez “Wilmer” the other night.  I know my prospects but I only sort of remember my Joe Cool DFAs.  I haven’t done laundry and my “I’m Calling It Shea” T-shirt could’ve benefited from the Peter Venkman Ghostbusters II treatment: a couple hours hanging outside the window, and it’s fine.  Why am I wearing it?

Because I’m avoiding the object lessons of logical fallacies, as explained by smarmy damned Latin.  It’s come to this.  When I start pulling out my eyelashes and making wishes on them, you’ll know I’ve gone Stratosphere.

Mets vs. Yankees.  Pelfrey vs. Sabathia.  Bring on the voodoo dolls and the gypsy curses.

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.