Archives for posts with tag: Jose Reyes

Some quite random and disorganized thoughts while I enjoy a quiet hour alone, undisturbed, and with some whiskey a friend today called “proddy garbage” (it’s Bushmill’s, and I’m drinking it because it was cheap and the only thing left in the liquor store on Christmas Eve):

–Jason Bay can hit home runs.  It’s proven he can hit home runs.  I don’t know how many home runs he’ll hit in 2010 for the Mets, if all goes well and he DOES sign, but as of yesterday the Mets didn’t have a guy in left field who could hit home runs.  Now it seems as though they might.

Good.

–Sixteen million dollars is a lot of money.  Sixty-six million dollars is a lot of money.  Eighty million dollars is a lot of money.  The interest earned on a three-month CD purchased at $16 million could retire my debt, my parents’ debt, and leave money for season tickets.

–I should come up with a novel way to make seven thousand dollars.  Like that guy who traded up from a paperclip and wound up with a house.

–Lauryn Hill’s “Ex-Factor” might be underrated.

–Humble Pie’s version of “I Can’t Stand The Rain” is mesmerizing.

–What kind of season will 2010 be if Jose Reyes clocks in 2007 numbers, and David Wright, Carlos Beltran, and Jason Bay manage to hit one hundred homers between them?

–Oliver Perez is still a Met.  Goddamn it.

–I’m glad I was back-breakingly equivocal about free agent pitchers.  Lackey?  Gone.  Halladay?  Gone.  Marquis?  Gone.  Garland? …Hold on… Nope, still free.

–I’ve been away QUITE awhile.  Next year, I purposefully go dark in the off-season so as to avoid the guilt of dropping off the planet.

–I need to know more people in high finance.  Honestly.  If anyone out there lives in the New York City area, has three to five years of managerial experience in the realm of finance and administration, and is interested in a non-profit career, email me.  Great pay, better benefits.  And you get me as an underling.  Exciting, nay?  Email me at omniality@gmail.com.  This is one hundred percent legit. 

Think of how cool it’d be that we have that going for us.  “How’d you find your new gig, [Director of Finance and Admin]?” “I was reading a blog about the Mets, and I was intrigued.”

–I’m a desperate, desperate man.  And we just started the search yesterday.  Christ.

–The Mets are still missing massive production from first base.  There was a time when Beltran and Wright were chasing 30/30 seasons, Moises Alou seemed to have found an endless supply of cartoon spinach, Jose Reyes was stealing underwear without taking off peoples’ pants, AND Carlos Delgado was crushing the ball to a reasonable degree.

Can Daniel Murphy manage twenty-four home runs in a season?  Can Jason Bay manage more than thirteen, and an OPS over .900 at once?

–Can Jason Bay stay healthy enough to play at least 150 games?

–Jason Bay’s not one of those outfielders that doesn’t give a damn about pesky things like stats, is he?  I mean, not like the guy out in right.

–I miss shouting, “Hit the ball, Chowdah!” at Jeff Francoeur.  Baseball’s been gone far too long.

–Even so, you wouldn’t catch me out at Citi Field tonight on a bet.  It’s FREEZING out.  And I know from freezing.

–No; Jason Bay’s a solid guy.  His numbers last year are quite solid.  An all-star, for Chrissakes. 

–That voting for all-stars is beyond reproach, too.  Also the plural isn’t “hanging chads.”  It’s “hanging chad.”

–Most people named Chad seem to be cruisin’ for a hangin’.

**

Credit where it’s due: the format of this post is inspired by “Jenna Is Awkward”‘s blog, The Art Of Awkward, which is refreshed most every Wednesday with a stream-of-consciousness assault on the rude, the oblivious, the downright creepy, and the obnoxiously entitled.  She also enjoys alcohol and keeps clear of children, and that speaks to me.  Furthermore, she’s a Mets fan.  Give her all the traffic you can by going to http://artofawkward.com.

The Wife is in town until the 12th, and as I may have suggested, I’m a little inundated with work that’s not Mets-related.  As much as I hoped I could get back to a normal schedule, I don’t really see that happening for awhile.  I will post as often as I can, but that will be really sporadic.  Fortunately, the forecast calls for things to ease up right around the start of the season.

So as Mets business heats up and I spend more time in front of the television or at games, I’ll post more.  Have yourselves a safe and great new year.  Pray for Oliver Perez, and by extension the Mets, in 2010.

Cheers.

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Got a comment from “daled@optonline.net” that I didn’t see until today:

A new comment has been posted on your blog Section Five Twenty-Eight, on entry #1252431 (One Hundred And One Things You Didn’t Know About John Olerud: Part One).
 
You’re an idiot
 
Commenter name: daled@optonline.net
Commenter email address: daled@optonline.net
Commenter URL:
Commenter IP address: 69.123.221.94

Now, Dale from Oceanside, NY–ran a search on the IP address–is correct.  I am an idiot.  I’ve known for some time.  As a matter of fact, I declared as much to my fellow college seniors during our graduation dinner.  “I will graduate Bennington College in five days, secure in the knowledge that I am an idiot.”  There’s tape of this.

I figure part of what led Dale to call me an idiot is all this list-making, and while I won’t stop making the list (unless the Mets or John Olerud give me a call, but really, I feel it’s quite complimentary), I will refrain from listing the reasons why I’m an idiot.

What I will do is offer the same explanation I offered those at Bennington: I’m an idiot because I don’t know much about much.  I know how to write a screenplay; I’ve got that locked down.  I know how to perform various administrative tasks, ranging from the mundane to the complex and intricate. 

Contrary to popular belief, I know when to keep my mouth shut.  Some who know me well might disagree strongly.  Reality is I speak up in those moments when waiting will just be too tedious.

Your blogger knows how to play the flute and the harmonica.  He also knows the lyrics to hundreds of songs, including Foreigner’s “Cold As Ice.”

But there’s a whole world I don’t know about and can’t access.  Sabermetrics?  No dice.  I really want to understand it, though.  I have no idea what got into Hideki Kuroda last night, and I sort of don’t want to know–whatever he’s got, I don’t wanna catch.  I read and watched the saga of Jose Reyes, and I feel like an idiot because while I think I know what went on, I can’t say for certain.

This is becoming a list, and I promised I wouldn’t start listing.  Let’s just leave it at I don’t know much about much.

The beauty, as I explained to my fellow morons five and a half years ago, is that we can rely on each other to solve our idiocy.  While I still don’t want to know much about Kuroda and whatever his problem is, I can speak with others and come to an understanding of why one doctor said Reyes tore a tendon and another doctor said it was just the effect of a rough night of voodoo.  I can certainly seek out reference material drafted by bright, incisive minds, and come to understand how UZR is computed.

Note that I said “solve our idiocy.”  For as much as I’m an idiot, I’ll put dollars to doughnuts on the probability that Dale from Oceanside is a Class-A Fool as well.  The difference between us is some nuanced level of self-control–see comment left with little supporting data.  Perhaps it’s more incomplete or short-sighted than dumb to leave such a criticism without defending it, but this is a blog whose mission is to make me feel better, not provide much at all in the way of probing analysis.  Really, my point here is: why split hairs?

I don’t know what I can teach others about baseball besides the rules and some anecdotal history.  I’m compelled, in a search for more pervasive idiocy, to take a look at some of the things I’ve advocated: a Mets video program to coexist with a museum; the hiring of a sharp, savvy communications director to be the public face of the business; the nixing of sponsored fan giveaways in exchange for sponsored reductions in ticket prices.  I imagine this’ll happen during the off-season as well.

I’m still flummoxed by Kuroda, really.  How do you… well.  They can’t all be winners.  But stating that is, in part, what led to my being called an idiot in the first place.

Kudos, Dale.  Keep callin’ ’em as you see ’em.

3:59p: And that’s that.  Pedroia pops out to shortstop.  7-6 Angels; they move on to face the winner of Twins-Yankees.
Where did this game turn from decent to suck for the Sox?  That walk to Chone Figgins didn’t help.
Meh.  Should make my impending trip to Boston less loud.  And my Yankees fan friends should be happy.
Woof, Papelbon.  Woof.
I’m getting crowded here and I’ve ignored a tightrope walk between the Steelers and Lions and a bloodbath executed by the Giants in East Rutherford.  So I’m going to sink into that.
Catch you later for Twins-Yankees.

3:58p: Ellsbury fouls out to the catcher, and the Red Sox are down to their final out.
Here comes Pedroia.

3:51p: Morales flies out to left.
Bottom of the ninth.  Brian Fuentes in to close out the game–and the series–for the Angels.
Walking Torii Hunter for Vladimir Guerrero.  When he bats right, too.  I don’t get it.  Just go for him.  Make him beat you.

3:49p: And Guerrero rips a single to center, scoring two.  7-6, Angels, with Okajima now in to face Kendry Morales.
Dumb, dumb, dumb, this intentional walk business.

3:46p: Torii Hunter is intentionally walked for Vladimir Guerrero, which makes no earthly sense to me.
I mean, match-up wise, it makes some sense.  But… no; they could use the same hand to hold a fork, and I wouldn’t approve.

3:44p: Abreu doubles.  Aybar scores, other runners in scoring position.  6-5 Sox with Torii Hunter up.

3:43p:  GameCast is silent.  Ominous sign.

3:37p: Papelbon set up outside before coming in on Chone Figgins.  Two strikes, looking, and it’s emergency hack time.
Foul.  Ball four, and the tying run is at first.

3:36p: He singles and moves to second on indifference.

3:34p: Last out time.  Papelbon versus… Erick Aybar.  Down two.  I don’t know what it’s like to have a bottom of the order hitter batting over .300.  I don’t know whether I should be excited at my computer or not.
I choose not.

3:25p: Got lost in a conversation with the bartender here about pre-Prohibition era cocktails.
Joey Gathright, whom I will hereon confuse with football “star” Joey Galloway, was the pinch runner.  He stole second (which David Ortiz hasn’t done since parties in his freshman year of high school), and came in on Mike Lowell’s single.  6-4, Sox.

3:18p: It’s gettin’ wacky up in here.  Pacific Standard is in sore need of a dog run.
David Ortiz has a hit.  And he’s out for a pinch-runner.
Also, don’t know why, but I find this tickles me:
error.jpg
Scratch that, I do know why.  “Aw, snap!” And the sad folder.

3:12p:  From ESPN:
Pujols, 3 for 10 with an RBI and no extra-base hits in the series, left Busch Stadium without speaking to reporters. Holliday was 2 for 12 with a solo homer.”

Emphasis mine.

Billy Wagner picked off Rivera’s pinch-runner to end the threat in the eighth.


3:06p: And there it is: Rivera raps a single to right center.  5-4 Red Sox.
Note to teams in the post-season: eliminate all players with ties to the Mets.  Otherwise, it will not end well for you.
Meanwhile, Mr. Wagner, I recommend you accept arbitration next year.

3:03p: Guerrero walked; Morales makes an out to move the runners over.  Two out, runners in scoring position.  A deep hit brings the Angels back into the talk.  C’mon, Wags.

2:55p: Billy Wagner up in the eight for the Boston Red Sox.  He gives up a lead-off double to Bobby Abreu. 

2:37p: Seriously, now: how do you manage to let this happen?

“He first injured his right leg on May 13 in a game at Citi Field and did not play in a subsequent four-game series in San Francisco. The Mets said at the time that Reyes had an injured right calf.

From San Francisco, the Mets flew to Los Angeles, to open a series with the Dodgers. When they arrived, the Mets arranged to have Reyes examined by the Dodgers’ team doctor, Dr. Neal ElAttrache. According to a person who works in baseball and has knowledge of what occurred at the time, ElAttrache gave Reyes a magnetic resonance imaging test and told the player and the Mets that he had a partly torn accessory hamstring tendon.”

From the Times article linked two posts ago.

You’re killing me.  The Dodgers organization has no vested interest in not showing the Mets up.  They’ve a vested interest in showing that their medical staff is above reproach.

I didn’t call this out enough on my post about the Mets media blitz on the 5th.  I got the sense that this Reyes thing wasn’t over.
It’s just not a mark of a classy organization, to throw another one under the bus, especially when that opposing, potentially bus-tire-bound organization has access to the same reporters and words in the English language as you do.
Good God.  Who’s quarterbacking this?
5-2 Red Sox, bottom seventh.


2:26p: While watching the Dodgers-Cardinals game, The Wife asked: “What colors are the seats at Citi Field, again?”
“Dark green,” I answered.
“Right.  Why aren’t they blue?  Look at the seats at the Cardinals park.  Look how good they look.”
I said something about some homage to the Polo Grounds, but it occurred to me this morning that I don’t recall where I got that, so I can’t say that that’s true.
However, a couple of seconds as that occurred to me, it also occurred to me that Mets blue seats in that park would look awful.  Given the color of the iron work and the color of the exterior brick, seeing royal blue seats would be stark, and altogether unwelcome, aesthetically.
That’s a personal opinion.  Anyone wishing to go through the trouble of Photoshopping evidence to the contrary is welcome to send it along.
Relatively quiet bottom of the seventh for Boston; Mike Lowell walked.

2:16p: Pandemonium in Fenway.  Torii Hunter notches a deep double; goes to third on a Clay Buchholz balk, who then gives up an infield single to Vladimir Guerrero.  Kendry Morales walks, and that’s it for Clay.  Bases loaded, no one out.
Bard relieves Buchholz, and manages to get out of the jam with only letting up one run, as the Boston defense pulls out a double play on Juan Rivera’s unfortunateness.  Maicer Itzuris popped out.
Time for the long pants on the bullpen, Boston.  

2:02p: Internet’s back up.  Sox over Angels, 5-1 in the 5th.  Way to do it right, Boston.  Watching on Gamecast.

Dodgers-Cardinals: I can’t recall the Cardinals ever lying down as thoroughly as the Cardinals did in Game Three.  Vicente Padilla is, by no means, the second coming of Sandy Koufax.  Were the Cardinals that much of a mirage, or did they just have a bad day?
And don’t tell me they got jobbed by the strike zone.  Mike Everitt was the apostle of anti-Cuzzi-dom. 

Good thing about not doing this for money is when The Wife needs a day of my time, I can give it.

I have thoughts on the Dodgers-Cardinals, and I have no thoughts on the Red Sox-Angels because I’ve yet to see most of one of their games.  Fortunately, there’s one starting in… eleven minutes.
I’m headed out to Pacific Standard (with a breakfast detour), and will be watching and, if I can manage, live-blogging from there.  Never tried it on this software; I might just suggest that you keep hitting refresh; I might submit repeated entries.  Really, we’ll see how it goes.  If you’re bored and in Brooklyn, come out and join–Pacific Standard is on Fourth Avenue, between Bergen and St. Marks Place.
I won’t be there for the start of the game, no, but that’s another good thing about not doing this for money: not only can I skip a day, but I can show up late.  It’s like Phil Rizzuto in reverse.
In the meantime, read this as background for later.  The Dodgers have taken issue with the Mets’ characterization of Jose Reyes events.
Keep Jay Horwitz.  He’s a good guy, he knows the culture, and he’s been there forever.  But please, please, please hire a visible communications director.  The damage being done is completely avoidable.

As it’s been a slow news day and I’ve been on hold for the past thirty minutes, occasionally having to enter the same ten-digit code to ensure I keep my place in line, allow me to conduct a little more business.

Readers voted to select my off-season profile pic; the choices were presented here.  If you don’t like clicking, this was the winner:

profilewright2.jpg…with me standing in for David Wright.  I was hopeful the winner would be one of the Santana photos, or even the one where John Maine looks like he’s just about to, or has just finished, passing a kidney stone.  Let the record show that I don’t rig my own votes.

I gave myself until November 1 to reproduce the shot as best I can, and I stand by that; work is underway, including the effort to find a suitable (or suitably hilarious) stand-in for Jose Reyes.

In the interim, however, I needed a shot of myself that didn’t include the “I’m Calling It Shea” shirt, which as I’ve stated is a fine message for 2009 but not for any part after the 2009 season.  I’ve put together a series of vaguely sports-related shots to stand in, each with their own funny–and blessedly short–story.

The first one you see on the page (below “About Me”) was taken at Bennington College, sometime around March 17th, 2005, when I visited a friend for his birthday.  The time was roughly one-thirty in the morning; some time later, I found myself wandering around the campus, kicking a rock like a soccer ball. 

To this day, I am unsure as to whether I broke a couple of toes in the process.  It was cold.  My foot hurt the next morning.  A LOT.  I never went to the hospital.

The hat belonged to my friend’s now ex-girlfriend.

Success!  I’m being transferred to the next available representative.  Cable-speed internet access, here we come!

I’ve little to say about yesterday’s loss, except that I didn’t see the thing at all.  I missed Frankie Rodriguez giving up the grand slam, and much like Luis Castillo’s dropped pop-up at Yankee Stadium (“The Play,” I’ve been calling it, for no other reason than I enjoy definite articles and initial caps), I don’t know that I ever want to see it.

I’ll vacillate, I’m sure.  No one who buys a ticket to a Mets game this late in the season doesn’t wonder if he must complete the circle of masochism by exposing himself to all sorts of baseball horror, like Jimmy Fallon’s character in Fever Pitch, sealing himself off in his apartment and watching tape of the end of Game 6 over and over again. 

“…behind the bag, and it gets through Buckner!” 

But for now, I’m excusing myself.  It’s in the past.

Jose Reyes has a torn hamstring, which completes that particular circle and starts a new one.  Won’t be verbally tearing anyone a new anything based on this news; I stated yesterday that we as fans need to start asking the right kind of pointed questions if we want to see changes made with this team.  I’ve no earthly idea what the right kind of question is re: Jose Reyes, and I don’t think I’ll work too hard to think about it today.  Again, excusing myself.

The Times sent Ben Shpigel to cover Jerry Manuel and someone there–whether Shpigel, his editor, or a merciful web tech–gave it the frame of Tuesday’s loss, not yesterday’s.  So they’re ignoring it, too.  Not shirking their responsibility, as they have repeatedly over the past few weeks, but ignoring what is too much pain.  With sardonic humor that makes me want to lie down and take a nap, too: check out the graphic.  “Finally, a Lead In the N.L. East.”  You can’t see it, but I’m making a rude gesture with my finger.

And yes, sure, fine, the Mets gave Mariano Rivera the pitching rubber from his five hundredth save, and I’m coming quickly to the belief that this will become the talking point on ownership ineptitude.  But for my money, the man can take whatever pitching rubbers the Mets want to give them, as long as the Mets learn to beat tough opponents and stomp on turkeys.

It’s the man’s 500th save; the Mets put the Yankees in the position of making it happen, and the game’s long since done.  Let’s not condemn people for trying to be good sports; let’s be smarter, healthier, and more productive with our ire.  Or let’s dump it entirely and go play some ultimate frisbee before it gets too cold out.

Truly, the only problem I have with the USA Today article, besides it being a product of USA Today, is the Pettitte quote:

“You guys haven’t changed from Day 1. Y’all deserve it,” Pettitte said.
“Obviously, we are so proud of y’all. It has been a privilege and an
honor to play alongside of y’all.”

He should’ve said, “Y’all haven’t changed from Day 1,” and cemented his legacy.

Smarter, healthier, more productive: this is my off-season mantra.  I refuse to be, figuratively or in practice, the guy who sits in his room and watches tape of awful play in garbage time, or gets hot and bothered about people doing things which are generally nice. 

There are a whole host of things to batter the Mets for.  Allowing that loss yesterday is something to take to the players.  Jose Reyes’s hamstring is something to take to the trainers, the doctors, and the front office. 

The stuff about the Times is something to take to the Times.  And the pitching rubber thing is something to let go.

Time to seize the day.

This’ll be a short one; I burned most of my time this morning watching ABC’s Flash Forward, mainly because I had quite a similar idea I put pen to paper on about six years ago.  Not that I enjoy dumping on ABC, but man, am I glad I was convinced not to pursue it. 

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a television show that’s turned me off completely before its first commercial break.  Premise is fine… -ish, but within ten minutes you’ve got me questioning whether your two lead actors are supposed to be British or doing a horrible job of getting rid of their accents; you’ve shown me a vision of one of those cliched “big case” boards, complete with red strings tied every which way, and crime scene photos, and scrawled notes underlined desperately; you’ve played the “kid says something creepy” card.

Worst of all, you’ve firmly placed Kenny Rogers’ and Dolly Parton’s “Islands In The Stream” in my head.  And on a Friday, that thing ain’t goin’ nowhere.

And what was Seth MacFarlane doing there?  I know he’s a big Star Trek fan and perhaps he’s tight with Brannon Braga (who worked on Star Trek variations for years with diminishing returns), but come on; did he lose a bet?

Enough.

Eight fleshed out emails worth speaking to, six of which are notes of appreciation for the blog.  I thank you all kindly.

This one, about 2010:

“What do you think about Zambrano for #2 pitcher?”

I’ll put it as plainly as I can: one Zambrano was enough. 

One Hernandez brother was enough, too, though if somehow they could have taken the best from El Duque and the best from Livan Hernandez, and melded the leftovers together–now THAT would’ve been a sight.  Tubby guy with a high leg kick; slap a uniform and a giant foam baseball head on him, and you’re golden.

Perhaps Carlos Zambrano is the Michael to Victor’s Fredo, but the point is to get a front-line pitcher with some staying power.  Fire in the belly doesn’t erase two trips to the disabled list and a suspension this year.  Something’s been up with him for awhile, and the team doesn’t need another headcase.

I know that’s not a statistical analysis, and I know I’ve argued for the entertainment value of the whackadoo in the past.  Sometimes you go with your gut, and thank God you’re not in the business of making roster moves.

And this, which is surprisingly the only email vote about the off-season profile pic that wasn’t just “Murphy A” or “Santana B”; remarkable considering the number of wise-guys I know to be out there:

“Obviously [y]ou need to use the GQ shot of Wright.”

Lots of people want this one, though I think some of the votes are gags: I got a cluster of them, poorly-worded and profane (“f***in Wright with the bat”), around the same time my visit tracking account showed a blitz of traffic from a college out West.  I miss college.

The next highest vote-getter is Santana A, and he’s a distant second.

I’m down with the high-tops and the hair gel, but as I’ve told most of you already, the search is on for someone to stand in as Jose Reyes.  We don’t need anyone exact, or even close; if a septugenarian is willing to dud up as the Mets starting shortstop, I think it’d be hilarious.

**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.

Marty Noble writes about the Mets statement re: Jose Reyes, first word of which was circulated through the AP.

Zoe Rice of Pick Me Up Some Mets! reported–via Metsblog comment page–that today’s pre-game show announced a possible recovery time: spring training 2010.

(I’m not linking to the article with the comment because it’s in the middle of the page, and there’s a lot of rumor and innuendo and backbiting ahead of it and after it.  Nuts to that.)

I really want to get hot and bothered about all this.  But I can’t.  Cut the man open, take out the tendon, and put it on ice in case he develops an elbow problem later in his career.  I’ve got chicken drumsticks that have been in my freezer for more than two years.  They’re not freezer-burned.  Trust me, the tendon will keep.

Eww.

Meanwhile, the Mets and Cubs are playing a tidy little game in the land that masquerades as New York whenever Sam Raimi needs to explain an R train running aboveground.  They’ve just completed seven out in Wrigley.

After six full, Ted Lilly had thrown 81 pitches, 55 for strikes.  Misch had thrown 79, with the same number for strikes.

After seven full, the count was (I believe):

Misch: 98 pitches, 66 strikes
Lilly: 89 pitches, 63 strikes

Misch has walked two, one more than Lilly.  Otherwise the lines look much the same.

THIS guy:

Cora Star-Ledger.jpgGod, I’ve been holding that in all night. 

My thanks to the Newark Star-Ledger for the photo.

There is little to say about last night’s game save that I have no proof that I completely called the sixth inning (but I did), and Andy Green worked a walk in his first Met at-bat (it’s true; I saw it and the papers back me up). 

Discussing the loss of Alex Cora’s grit and passion–I think the cool kids are calling it “grission”–would be more disheartening than discussing the plodding game management and shoddy pitching.  So as the cool kids used to say, I won’t go there.

Except that the Mets have lost Jose Reyes, Alex Cora, and Ramon Martinez to injury this year.  I have a feeling that if Wilson Valdez had even sniffed serviceability, he’d’ve gone down with a sinus infection.  And now I understand why Anderson Hernandez takes big, wild hacks at balls outside the strike zone.  If I had that kind of target on my back, I’d be swinging at pitches even if they’d decided to walk me.

Speaking of intentional walks: I’d like to go on record as stating that I HATE the intentional walk to bring up the pitcher’s spot.

Actually, scratch that.  I feel like making a list:

  • I HATE the intentional walk to bring up the pitcher’s spot;
  • I HATE the intentional walk to bring up a rookie pitcher who’s been out virtually the entire year, and had already matched his highest number of innings pitched;
  • I HATE the intentional walk to bring up the pitcher’s spot with fewer than two outs;
  • I HATE the intentional walk to bring up the pitcher’s spot with fewer than two outs and runners at second and third;
  • I HATE the intentional walk to bring up the pitcher’s spot for a team that’s still in the thick of a hunt for a playoff spot with a chance to break the game open;
  • I HATE the intentional walk to bring up the pitcher’s spot when your team’s 3-1 hole might as well be a 5-1, 6-1, 7-1, 8-1, 9-1, or, hell, 10-1 hole.

The San Francisco Giants’ bench is not as awful as the New York Mets’ bench.  Walk Edgar Renteria to face Nate Schierholtz?  If Jerry Manuel thought Bruce Bochy was going to let Joe Martinez bat with the bases loaded, one out, and a chance to break the game wide-open, he’s out of his mind.

I only bring it up because I generally hate the intentional walk as a tactic, and because, as I said, I called it.  If The Wife were a notary public, I’d’ve jotted the sequence down on my take-out napkin:

  • intentional walk to Renteria;
  • Giants sub Martinez for pinch-hitter;
  • Livan Hernandez attempts to induce the double play; pinch-hitter scores two;
  • Hernandez taken out for Elmer Dessens;
  • Dessens allows an RBI out;
  • Dessens gets out of the inning.

She’d’ve given it a seal; I’d’ve mailed it to myself in the past (I moonlight as a Timecop), and maybe saved myself a bit more grief.  But there comes to be a saturation point with grief, after which one can wring most of it out, but it’s still damp.  And that’s what I am, presently: damp with grief.

There’s an image.

I’m not saying I can manage in the major leagues.  I’m saying if I can guess that progression, and know it’ll end badly, and it happens anyway, then Mr. Manuel is not as crafty as I thought he was before the game began.  And I wasn’t high on him before the game began.

Don’t intentionally walk a guy when the next guy up will, more likely than not, be a man whose batting average is thirty points higher, and when the whole team is playing for something.  If this is it, if you believe your season is done, if you’re packing it in, have your tomato can of a starting pitcher GO AFTER EVERY GUY IN THE ORDER.  That’d be “grission” for you.  Ugh.

And now, in a replay of what I was lucky to miss because it happened in another state, the Mets face the Atlanta Braves, and Oliver Perez squares off against Derek Lowe. 

I’ll make it clear in case I haven’t: I have no time for Oliver Perez.  None.  That I’ve paid money for this experience cheeses me off all the more.  I’m setting the over/under on walks tonight at five and taking the over.

I’ll be getting there early, to boot; The Wife has never seen the new park and she and I will be walking all over it.  Bloating from too much beer and box frites today; photos and highlights to come tomorrow.

Let’s go Mets! (Right?  We still say that, cool or not?  “Let’s go Mets”?  Sure.  Let’s go Mets.)

**Word came via comment from Matthew Peaslee over at The Pittsburgh Peas that Section Five Twenty-Eight is the most recent “Featured Blog” on the MLBlogs home page, and to quote a Hungarian friend with short Achilles tendons, that pleases me much.

If you’ve somehow found your way to this pit of misery and despair, please check out Mr. Peaslee’s blog.  As for Mr. Peaslee himself, if he’s reading: I’ve got a short but packed day, but will email you specific thanks and thoughts later.  Cheers.

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 Kozmo.com.  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.

Anyway.

**

This report from Doug Miller (himself from MLB.com) 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.