Archives for posts with tag: Johan Santana

Chowdah tore a ligament in his thumb on that catch yesterday.  Shades of Alex Cora.

Pat Misch has left the scene in exchange for Ken “The Executioner” Takahashi.

Johan Santana will miss tomorrow’s start because something’s up with his pitching elbow.  Where did I see this information? Everygoddamnedwhere, damn it.

21st century mural.jpgYou realize that now every one of the players visible on the above Nikon photo montage has SOMETHING wrong with them, yes?

At least Angel Pagan is a one-man pinball wizard versus the Phillies defense.  Jesus.

I’ve decided to build my own line-up.  I figure watching this group play ball until the first weekend in October would be just as–if not more–entertaining than what we’ll likely see.

SS: Jon Cryer.
1B: Madlib.
2B: Osbert (Snarf) from Thundercats.
3B: MacGyver.  Not Richard Dean Anderson from MacGyver or the guy Richard Dean Anderson played in MacGyver.  The SHOW, as entity.
LF: A 1977 Topps baseball card featuring Texas Rangers outfielder Jeff Burroughs. (For those who take issue, click here.)
CF: The disembodied mole of Carlos Beltran.
RF: Bob Capano. This does not constitute an endorsement of Bob Capano.  I’ve just seen his picture everywhere.
C: …

I will be tomorrow night’s starting pitcher, which means I must be off for the airport.  I throw left-handed.  If I do well, I might be signed to a three-year deal worth $36 million.

At least I hear that’s how that stuff goes.

**Written prior to reports in the local New York papers that allege certain unsavory behaviors undertaken by Mr. Sheffield.  Catch the drama from the Daily News here, Newsday here, and because I was tipped off by Metsblog but find lame the Post‘s assertion that “sources” are viable without explaining if it’s the batboy or the guy guarding the door or what, Mr. Cerrone’s reporting on the Post article here.

Yes, yes, citing second and third-hand sources.  I know, I know.  I don’t do this for a living.

If Gary Sheffield truly asked out of the line-up last night to clear his head, that’s one thing.
If he asked out of the line-up in order to show Mets management what they’d be missing, then, well, to quote Chad Ochocinco: child, please.
Odd, this business of holding out hope for a reclaimed season and understanding that the hope is based purely on the math.  Got a comment on a previous post saying the Mets should pack it in and plan for 2010, but they’d still have to overcome the daunting injury obstacles facing them in 2009.  Planning for 2010 is difficult when you don’t know what kind of shape your shortstop will be in, after missing most of the year.
I will now pile on regarding planning for 2010.  I don’t mean it as a piling on of the commenter at all.  I mean to pile on the sentiment, which is held by many.

Perhaps planning for 2010 means shutting certain players down for the year, even if they’re not injured.  But I get the sense you’d have to break Johan Santana’s kneecaps to keep him out, and even then, the man pitched on a bum knee and three days’ rest last year. If you broke his kneecaps, he’d probably pitch and catch.

Omir Santos is auditioning for a job and Brian Schneider is doing the same. Chowdah’s got nothing better to do but work on his swing. And the Mets paid too much money for Luis Castillo to sit him.  Pelfrey and Perez need to figure their business out on the mound. Same with Bobby Parnell, but with a lot more “aw, shucks,” and a lot less, “listen here.”
Really, I’d posit that injury has taken the choice out of the Mets’ hands; they HAVE shut down their best players for the year.
(This excludes Carlos Beltran, who is still pushing for a return. As I’ve intimated: sheer idiocy, from my vantage point. Even if they were in the hunt, he should be undergoing whatever procedure/regimen is dictated for his injury, and think about getting healthy. Ye gods, man. Do you do EVERYTHING that mole tells you to?)
Planning for 2010 may mean attempting a trade. Which they’re doing. But any trade to bring in a backup at short, or a first baseman for next year, or a catcher, or or or–would be highway robbery at the prices the Mets can pay, or ill-advised at the prices they might be asked to pay. Anyone on waivers is on there because they’re not that good or they’re not now worth the salary they’re drawing. Billy Wagner may be one of the scant few that can bring a player of equal value. We’ll find out soon enough.
Planning for 2010 may mean playing the organization’s youth. What youth?
I’ll be a little less glib, for the sake of killing time on the train now CRAWLING into Canal Street (I write these posts on my phone most days): anyone at triple-A lighting things up would be up. Injury has warranted the call-up of players who were closest to lighting things up. Fernando Martinez is at home, resting comfortably. One could call up a player from double-A, but one could also sign one of the kids heading to Williamsport; I hear the Little League World Series is all about the parties and not about the work, anyway.
No, sirs, the Mets are over a barrel and are doing, essentially, what they should be doing. Everyone who should be playing is playing. That they haven’t completely cratered is a testament to the talent on the field, such as it is.
Planning for 2010 means more for the fan than the team at this stage. I’m on record as saying that, even without baseball, there are still things like lemonade and barbecues and sunsets. If the team on the field is not worth watching to you, don’t watch. There are precious few days of warmth and beauty to justify spending your time on something that’s only going to prove an aggravation.  They don’t watch in Washington all the time.
Maybe Gary Sheffield’s thinking along those lines. Difference is, if he’s on the team, he has to be in uniform unless he’s injured. I suppose the fact that he didn’t go out there last night and tear his Achilles on a ladybug, or a napkin that drifted in from the left field landing, is a testament to his character. As a nod to that strength of person, I will not start a Gary Sheffield Hangnail Watch.
But man, either play or fake the hangnail to get out. Don’t be an abscess. That’s not cool.

Those having followed since at least the weekend know I skipped last Friday’s game to meet The Wife at The Airport, and quite possibly go to The Movies.
I met The Wife at The Airport, but going to The Movies did not happen. There was traffic, of the sort which implied that people had heard a young starter-turned reliever-turned starter named Robert Parnell was shutting down the San Francisco Giants. We got to Bay Ridge and settled by the time the movie was to start in Chelsea, and had dinner at a place that deemed Jets preseason football more important than the game out in Flushing.
(…Perspective eluded me there.  Mark Sanchez’s Jets debut is a lot more important at this stage of Bay Ridge’s dealing with the 2009 season than Bobby Parnell’s start against the Giants.  My bad.)
Anyway, we didn’t get to The Movies. Last night, though, was the rain check. And by dint of working during the afternoon on the Upper East Side, I was spared the onrush of traffic leaving Flushing as this time Bobby Parnell was meeting a team with offense, wearing the pinstripes and blue cap everyone’s always so on about. Bobby got jacked for nine runs before I left Jake’s Saloon for the theater down the block. But at least he was well-dressed.
Saw Julie & Julia, and not exactly by choice. Much like Mets games I’ve watched lately, I sat through it out of an admixture of essentially blind devotion, curiosity, and hope for something great. 
It’s a fine enough movie; if you find yourself stuck in the house on a Saturday afternoon in about six months (remember when it took Jurassic Park two YEARS to come out on VHS?), and this happens to be on a movie channel, turn it on.  It’s a great nap movie, too, and I say that without snark: I am a fan of nap movies.  Make a sandwich. Turn the movie on. Eat the sandwich. Stretch out on the couch. Drift in and out. Jolt awake whenever Meryl Streep’s Julia Child impression drifts from Meryl Streep Butter to Dan Aykroyd Ham. Fine for that.
We all sat too close to the screen and I’d had a long enough half day to make the experience less enjoyable than that, and Amy Adams has yet to capture my interest in a role. But as I stated, a fine enough movie.
When the movie ended and politesse allowed for the checking of BlackBerry widgets, I’d found no saving of Bobby Parnell’s performance, which had not matched Robert Parnell’s for poise. He just wasn’t very good after the first inning. His pitches didn’t sink late, and the Braves ate him alive.  Because, unlike the Giants, the Braves can hit.
He seemed to lose his composure after the defensive lapses behind him led to two more runs than had any right to score. Bobby’s meltdown was portrayed much more subtly than Julie’s, though that’s not saying much. There are no hissy fits in baseball.  No crying, no tantrums, no hissy fits. Please to note, however: giving up eight runs in one inning in front of thousands is more worthy of a hissy fit than a failed aspic.
(An aspic, by the by, is a dish composed of your choice of ingredients in a gelatinized stock, most often meat-based. And I will pitch a FIT if that’s ever served me.)
Hopefully Bobby will watch some tape of his game against the Giants, of his better relief outings, and find the Robert within. He was pitching more for himself than anyone else last night anyway, and that’s fine if this season’s indeed come to that. Besides, rubber matches are why they invented Johan Santana.

As long as he doesn’t try to feed me aspic, whine about cooking, or marry that schlub from the last season of Six Feet Under, I’ll enjoy watching Bobby’s next outing.

**Those in the New York City area should come out on Tuesday, August 25th, to the next Amazin’ Tuesday hosted at Two Boots Pizzeria on Grand Street, and presented by the good people at Faith And Fear In Flushing.  By my count, this will be the third event they’ve had there, following one in late July and one in mid-June.  I should be there, and if you’d like to come say hello I’ll be the one taking the photos and drinking the beer and, if he’s there, chatting with Kirby behind the counter.

Check out details on the event here, and come out.  Barring any rambunctious children celebrating a birthday, it should be a fun time.  Yes, the game will be on: should be Johan in Florida.

The article posted in The New York Times regarding the Rawlings S100 batting helmet went up less than a week before David Wright’s blow to the “melon.”  I believe I caught it and wrote about it, if not first, then ahead of the curve along with the other ahead-of-the-curvers.

The words “already lost season” have been used in speaking peripherally about Wright’s concussion, his post-concussion symptoms, the review of his road to recovery as seen by Atlanta outfielder Ryan Church, his roster replacement Andy Green (did we really, REALLY need another Green?), and the staggering company Wright’s now keeping on the DL.

The Mets are not yet mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.  But in the interest of sharing another article and testing my luck, I’ll grant the premise.  The Mets are done; 2010, here we come.

I just read something from the same newspaper that has not seen comment yet from baseball players, unless Fernando Martinez has chimed in and I’ve not heard it.  This, then, bearing the title “Novelties,” about a neat artificial plug that can help repair bone and cartilage by providing a scaffold around which new natural tissue can grow.

Again, I’ve not heard Met reaction regarding this advancement in medicine, though I’m sure the folks in the front office are getting right to it, Steven Matz and his impending signing be damned. 

But if it’s just about me bringing it up and a Met getting injured in such a way as the new tech will or would have helped, well, the clock is ticking.  I mentioned the helmet on Wednesday and Wright was beaned on Saturday.  So if today is Monday, we should be looking at a Met player blowing out his knee on… Thursday.  Johan Santana is slated to pitch against Kenshin Kawakami.

Let it NOT be Johan.  I can take being the Blogging Angel of Death, but that man’s suffered enough.

Thing about a doctor’s orders to “relax” is that one can never be quite sure what form relaxing should take.  There are certain red lines:

  • don’t do anything which would make you want to jump up and down, angrily;
  • don’t do anything which would make you want to put your fist in anything (in anger; settle, children, settle);
  • don’t do anything which would lead to a headache.

Thus I’ve been without significant word from the Mets since Tuesday, when, among other things, Luis Castillo forgot how to put one foot in front of the other and sprained his ankle.  How to keep track?

Check the word on my Mets BlackBerry widget.  Loss, brake, honk.  Loss, brake, honk.  Honk, honk, punch.  Gas, gas, gas.

Occasionally catch a glimpse while stationed at a bar, “relaxing” after a bleak, monochromatic film.  Erase that relaxation by losing a game of pool, then getting schooled in darts, then discussing the finer points of web marketing and audience share.

Glimpse at the back page of tabloid sports sections Squint to see if there happens to be some diagonally-applied Mets-Orange banner across the corner of a full-color photo of Yankee bliss at Boston’s expense. (“Yankee bliss” is not stated with a dash, dollop, or deluge of bitterness; in other remarks, that Okajima guy looks about four years old.)  Determine if banner is positive or negative.  Excise all memory of squinting, so ophthalmologist doesn’t give YOU the stink-eye.

There was little real peace, even when getting word while at a sparsely-attended yet quite fun house party late Saturday night.  The party wrecked all chance of decent sleep that night; against further orders, I took down a twenty-ounce bottle of soda and was wired.

Yes.  I’m that guy.  Beer, liquor, greasy foods, sure.  Caffeine?  Rarely.  Very rarely.

So it came to pass that after a fitful sleep led me to sticky Sunday sun, and The Wife’s desire to have me find some sort of sewer grate or manhole cover or some kind of something with a striped bass on it (for a presentation she’s working on down in North Carolina), and a few episodes of Californication, I found the couch and a blissful nap.

When I came to–one wakes in the fall, rises in the winter, stirs in the spring, but comes to in the summer–the double vision and haloing were, essentially, gone.  Not being one to allow grass to grow under his feet, I switched on the Mets game taking place in San Diego.

Johan was there.  Luis was there.  It was like I’d hit the pause button on Tuesday’s 6th inning, and resumed on Sunday, in a different park, state, and time zone.  Johan went eight, again.  Frankie Rodriguez came in, again.  The Mets were done, again (this time, W; 5-1).

The double-vision and the haloing are still gone and tonight, Pelfrey gets the start against current low-level pain-in-the-neck Doug Davis.  I don’t get a chance to extort a clean bill of health until Wednesday, so my watching is incumbent upon how infuriating the group performance is.

If nothing else, I’m annoyed at the Mets for presenting such a Catch-22: watch them play; perhaps not see well at all for awhile.  Don’t watch them play; see all too clearly that other people care more about pool and darts and the Yankees and shots of something called Cynar than the Mets, and wonder just what is wrong with them.

All that said, I’m skipping my Friday game.  The Wife flies into New York (and LaGuardia, for Christ’s sake) at 6:30p Friday night.  Big bags which say, “Take us home,” and not, “Run into Manhattan, leave us at the office, then pick us up after the game.”  Should’ve planned better.  Hell, should just live in Queens.

More photos as pertains to Tuesday, below, with brief comments. (The eyes… not so much.  There’s some sweet halo action goin’ on.  Ev’rybody done Risen!)

frankie.jpgFirst off, I was negligent in assigning full blame for Tuesday night.  The order is fine, because of the atrocities committed.  Nevertheless, Frankie Rodriguez came on to face the bottom third of the St. Louis order at the top of the ninth, and retired no one he should’ve. 

Is he a public enemy?  No, not yet.  Frankie Rodriguez hasn’t so incredibly blown a hold or a save in the WAYS Sean Green has, and neither he nor Green would have the misplaced aggression to bring in Brian Stokes for ONE PITCH, then Pedro Feliciano to load the bases, then Green to fold faster than  All in one damned inning.

red moon.jpgBut there were some serious negative waves going on that night.  A friend of seatmates managed to join us for the game–a serious Mets fan if ever there were, but who somehow found it necessary to tell me to “shut up” whenever I attempted a “Let’s go, Mets!” chant.  Classy, man.  Real classy.

…And not in a loud, obnoxious “shut up,” kind of way.  Dismissive.  Granted, it was not looking good.  But I refuse to apologize for being hopelessly optimistic.

I wouldn’t even mention it if it hadn’t happened more than once.  What moods do you fly into when something so right goes so horribly wrong?  I get unpleasant, but I don’t go snidely fatalistic.

cowbell and big man.jpgCow-Bell Man (left) and Big Man (right) were all smiles throughout, but the woman between them gave another friend a dirty look at the beginning of the game when the Geico Gecko came out to accompany the man tossing the first pitch:

gecko.jpgReaders, no matter how much we may disagree on the issue of first pitches and their backslide into commercialism, let us not lose sight of the fact that on-screen, the Geico Gecko is a cute creature with a delightful accent, and who loves clams. 

In person, the Geico Gecko is a felt-and-velour monstrosity with a sewn-shut mouth and a b.o. that recalls clams left on rocks steaming in the hot Newark sun.  He should be booed, and soundly so.

I have a photo of Gary, Keith, and Ron broadcasting in the booth.  For no other reason than to spend a moment on their general excellence, here it is:

gary, keith, and ron.jpgListen, any game that begins with Rihanna’s “Disturbia” blasting from the PA is destined to be problematic.  But to leave with such a sour taste in the mouth… awful.  Just awful.



This report from Doug Miller (himself from does not paint the whole picture regarding Jose Reyes’s injury.  David Lennon’s initial report on his blog does a little better.

But if you’ve been living with this as most ardent followers have, the best I can do is give you the lowdown as presented over the months (MONTHS!) by Metsblog.  As Slick Rick would say, here we go:

May 15th: Reyes has a stiff right calf.

May 18th: Reyes misses three straight games.

May 19th: Reyes misses five straight games; won’t go on the DL.

May 20th: Reyes plays.

May 21st: Reyes is out again; flies to New York.

May 21st: Later that day, we learn Reyes has tendinitis behind the right calf and is day-to-day.

May 26th: Reyes does light running (I do some light running sometimes).

May 31st: Reyes, on DL (since May 26th but retroactive), goes to Port St. Lucie.

June 3rd: As far as Jerry Manuel knows or has been told, Reyes didn’t tear anything.

June 4th: Reyes leaves a rehab game with discomfort in his knee.

June 4th: Now Reyes has a slight tear in his hamstring.

June 5th: Mr. Cerrone’s sources suggest Reyes will be out until after the All-Star Break.

June 5th: Reyes’s treatment goes Innerspace (or, if you prefer, Osmosis Jones).

June 16th: Some with the Mets think it’s gotta be the shoes.

June 20th: Reyes only feels something when he makes sudden movements, thus disqualifying him from spotting Gary Sheffield.

June 22nd: Reyes runs.  No, he doesn’t.

June 23rd: The fire truck incident.

July 1st: Reyes will run the bases in a week.

July 9th: Reyes, having had a cortisone shot, still isn’t running; it’s been over a week.

July 13th: Reyes runs.  For realsies.

July 18th: Reyes doesn’t wanna run.  You can’t make him.

July 21st: At some point, Reyes swung a bat at something called a “baseball.”

July 24th: Reyes will play in a simulated game.

July 28th: Reyes will play in a rehab game soon.  So sayeth the buzz.

July 31st: Setback!

August 3rd: Reyes will do some light running.  I’m out of jokes.

August 4th: Medic!

August 5th: Scar tissue, and inflammation.

My thanks to Mr. Cerrone.  I’m tired.  That took forty minutes to compile.

Tired and angry.

And the boys aren’t doing too bad for themselves, either.  4-0, bottom 2nd.  Johan up with Angel Berroa on third due to a fielding error.

…And now Johan is out.  Just one out, though.

That’s about all I can follow, as I’m swamped.  But it’s been fun chatting with the electronic ether.  Let’s go Mets!

From ESPN’s recap of last night’s game against the Cincinnati Reds (W, 4-0):

Pedro Feliciano worked the eighth and Francisco Rodriguez finished the six-hitter.

Don’t call it a six-hitter.  This is exactly what I was talking about last week.  Calling it a six-hitter sounds dumb.  There were three pitchers.  C’mon. 

Beyond that, I’m resolved in calling Jeff Francoeur “Chowdah.”  Why?  Here:

Because I’m between items on my agenda this Saturday (the humidity’s calling into question my desire to finally repaint my hallway), I thought I might take time to clean house here, a bit.

Example: I’ve been negligent in responding to comments, which is rude of me.  So, here they are, condensed:

After having the flu the other day, Ryan Church did have a great night last night.

Nieve just had a bad night. It is going to happen in a young career, at
least it did not happen against a divisional foe like Philly.

But that is why we play three games series, the Mets just have to buck up and take the other two games.

Should be a great game tonight.

Rays Renegade

That from the owner of Rays Renegade (obviously).  Also, almost two weeks ago.  You can tell because, back then, Ryan Church played for the Mets.

“Pennies make dollars” is what my dad used to tell me, and wins like the one not had in this game are what hurt come late September.  It’s the same as the Phillies winning by 21 runs one night, then losing by one run the next.  The games don’t have to be against a divisional rival to have an impact on the race–and I don’t think Mr. Renegade was implying that–but they matter just as much as saving face and picking up slack a whole game at a time, rather than a half.

And God, is Nieve still kinda crummy.  Carriage, meet pumpkin.  He didn’t embarrass himself last night, but the start he had prior was abysmal.  The thing about Niese–indeed, the thing about the AAAA Mets as a whole this year–is that there seems to be no object lesson in teaching the opposition that they need to press.  With any pitcher not named Santana, the guys in the batter’s box must be thinking, “It’s just a matter of time before I get my pitch to hit.”

That profile photo, Mr. Renegade.  Fantastic.  I’ll need one similar, now.

This comment came the next day, as I tried to will the Mets to a win.  They were two games below .500 then; it only took a week to go five games below.  (That just means they can take them back in a week, too.)  From Susan, at Perfect Pitch:

Good advice. Just hard for them to follow. But here’s hoping!

My tactic? Laughter:

I’m Section 314, by the way…most every single game. Say hello anytime!


I gave Susan a shout-out when the Mets won, saying we’d done it together.  However, for those trolling for hard luck writing who’ve stumbled onto this Mets blog and don’t know much about Citi Field, here’s something: those with seats in the 500s can’t really go down to see people in the 300s.  Trust me, I’ve tried.  You get a hard time from the ushers who think you’re trying to work a seat upgrade.  It’s more politely handled at Citi Field than it was at Shea, but it’s firm.

So, Susan, I’m sorry I haven’t stopped by.  I try to be a gregarious guy; I try to make strangers friends, because it’s one of the few natural thrills in modern comfortable life.  But I can’t get there from here.  Come by 528 anytime; no one cares if you stop by up there.  Row 6, right across from the start of 529.  

This one from Dillon, of Living The Baseball Life:

Injuries have been the biggest reason for the Mets’ non-success this
season. And yesterday Johan didn’t get a bunch of calls that he should
have gotten.

Amen, and no kidding, Dillon.  Since then, the Mets have lost Fernando Martinez to knee swelling, so the injury bug is spreading to the replacements.  I get the sense that David Wright’s pride is wounded, as well.

As for being a Yankee fan in Beantown… woof.  And I like Boston a lot; I’ve made good money there and have some good friends who still live in the area.  My favorite bar named after a writer (Charles Bukowski) is there, too.  But I can’t imagine not even really being able to see games.  Last time I checked, the cheapest seat for a game at Fenway was more than my total beer consumption on a Flushing night (and that’s not an inconsiderable amount of cabbage).  Perhaps you do better than I.  Good luck to you, sir.

This from, on Tuesday’s day off:

That was a great article I enjoyed reading it & I agree some Mets gave up way to early still got 80 games left. LETS GO METS

I don’t think there’s necessarily a give-up with players; I meant that there was no game played that day, and that’s why they didn’t lose.  Thanks for the comment.  Let’s hope they don’t give up.

This from birdland of Birdland Blog:

hhahah, you have a very nice blog here. Sorry that the Mets are not in
first this year though. Who knows? Maybe they could make a push and win
the East? Maybe! My blog is birdland blog if you wanna comment! 🙂
-O’s birdland blog

Thanks for the kudos on the blog.  I don’t think we’re yet at the point of desperation.  Certainly they need to get on a good run and hope the Phillies and the Marlins and the Braves run short of steam, and both things happening are quite possible.  However, they both need to happen at once.


If the Mets offense can give the opposing pitching reason to be cautious, that’ll go a long way towards re-establishing parity in match-ups.  But veterans can’t catch up to the pitch they know they could hit, and rookies and super-rookies are too impatient to wait for them.  Prime-time stars are left hanging.

This is the long-term result of injuries.  It wasn’t by design.  It wasn’t on purpose.  But it’s what’s happening.  For all the back and forth on whether the trade for Francoeur was bad or good, we’re not addressing the fact that the team approach is incorrect at present.  Strong pitching, yes.  Flaweless defense, yes.  But offense: sit in there and work counts.  Make those games four hours long.  Tire them out on the other side.  Learn what’s coming from the pitcher and how the defense is going to play you in various situations.

If that program is sound, then I don’t know that getting Francoeur is going to help it.  I don’t know that getting young for the sake of getting young is reason enough to make a trade.  If the knock on Omar Minaya is that he prefers older players over younger players, then shouldn’t we be doubly grateful that he didn’t bring in another Hispanic player?  I mean, while we’re perpetuating myths and stereotypes…

Let’s see if bringing back that old chestnut stirs some conversation.

…The opposition may not yet be able to ascribe a narrative to your line-up, in part because they don’t have to: they can pick you off one at a time.  But you, Mets bats, need the team narrative.  Like when Jose Reyes would get on base, steal second, get bunted over (for better or horribly worse) by Luis Castillo, and Carlos Beltran would get him in with an opposite field double.  Then David Wright gets Carlos in with an RBI single.

It’s at this point that Delgado would hit a home run.  But, y’know.  Anyway, that was nice reliving those days.

Fellas, you need a story.  You need to write your movie.  The injuries are Act One.  The swoon is Act Two.  The rise is Act Three.  Work counts to get on base or extend the game and knock the opposing pitcher out.  Once you know that story and can tell it well, the opposition will try and upend that story.  The only way I can see to defending against a team that consistently works at-bats is to throw heat past the rookies and crafty stuff against the veterans.  And the rookies will hit the speed balls while the veterans smack that garbage around the field.

See?  It’s that easy.  Why am I not a manager?


David Wright should bat third only in emergencies.  This situation is a crisis.  It’s not an emergency.

Troubles rank in the following order, from least to most dire:


Crises are prolonged emergency situations.  Problems are solvable in situ; Ragnarok is the destruction of the Gods. Which I guess means that, should we get to Ragnarok, the Wilpons will have to do battle with the evil Norse wolf Fenrir and Jormungand; think they traded those two for Shawn Green.  

Think about it: Ragnarok is to be preceded by three winters with no summers.  I’d say 2007 and 2008 qualify as winters of the nuclear variety.  And it’s pretty cold out in Flushing these days.

I can’t count how many line-ups Jerry Manuel has presented but I’m sure the number rivals the number of games won, if not games played.  But this lefty-righty nonsense has got to stop; these hitters have no margin for error on the bench, and need to learn to hit pitches from right handers and left handers.  Regularity will breed familiarity.  Familiarity is important, as the alternative–mixing and matching on a day-by-day basis–is obviously not working.

David Wright hitting third in a line-up does not give him the opportunity to produce, given the poor hitting usually placed ahead of him.  And look at the man: he desperately wants to produce.  He feels better when he does.  He feels looser.

I don’t have an answer as to how the line-up should be constructed beyond this, because we’ve not seen a consistent line-up, especially since the loss of Beltran.  Can Daniel Murphy be a great hitter in the two-hole?  How do we know?  He doesn’t hit in that position every day.  Can Gary Sheffield be trusted to hit doubles while in the three-hole?  I doubt it, but who’s to say he won’t instead hit a homer?

David Wright needs not the protection of power hitters ahead of him and behind, but the ego boost of contributing to the team offensively and defensively.  Captains need to feel useful.

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?