Archives for posts with tag: Sean Green

So after fifteen games of screaming for Section Five Twenty-Eight, and chugging more beers than should be anatomically possible, Mets security chose the top of the eighth on Friday to have a conversation about Big Man’s antics, and the top of the ninth–with the score 7-1, mind you, to try and remove him from the premises.
 
You gotta be kidding me.
 
Fortunately, Big Man’s either a silver-tongued devil or the crew came to its senses, because he was allowed to stay. 

end of plan.jpg
They may have assumed that leaving him to witness Sean Green’s performance would be punishment enough, but to everyone’s abject shock, Green pitched a 1-2-3 ninth.
 
walk off.jpgCongratulations, Sean, you’ve graduated. Way to pitch to contact against a swing-happy basement-dwelling team that’s not your own.  Now kindly leave the stage, and never come back, you miserable… So and so. You miserable so-and-so.

the blase family.jpg

Friday night felt like the last day of school, from the slap-happy vendors, to the single folks with roving eyes, to those in the stands taking last pictures with their plan mates. If for no reason than this kind of camaraderie, there’s logic behind re-upping for next year. 
 
citi end of game.jpgRegardless (or “regahdless,” as it came out of my mouth late), there’s got to be hope for the next season of Mets baseball. If Chowdah can learn to pick up the ball better out of the glove, and Murphy can find a solid stroke, and some protection can be found for Wright and Beltran in the line-up, then the Mets will only have pitching and defense to worry about.
 
My hat’s off to John Maine, who pitched seven very solid innings in front of a crowd of dozens. I am truly excited for today, and Lord, was I not excited for Friday night.
 
Let’s go Mets!
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Gary Cohen called this loss to the Nationals “a head-scratcher.”  I don’t think so, Gary. 

Twice the Mets loaded the bases with nobody out, and nothing came of it.  Anderson Hernandez’s and Luis Castillo’s brains squelched so hard in the bottom of the eighth I heard it on my BlackBerry. 

Why the BlackBerry, you ask?  Because I’m in full Sean Green Evasion mode, and once Jerry Manuel came to retrieve Pedro Feliciano, I switched over to the Yankees game until my phone told me it was safe to return.

So a full inability to capitalize on prime run-scoring opportunities, some hideous errors, the usual blend of swinging at high fastballs (Chowdah) and junk down and outside (everyone else), and an amazing grab by Elijah Dukes to seal it.  That’s not a head-scratcher.  Head-bower, headbanger, head-shaker: all, certainly.  But not a head-scratcher.

If you want something that mildly confused me, I’m going for the digital board that makes up most of the right field wall at Nationals Park.  How is this not a game obstruction?  It’s bright as blazes and they like to run wacky nonsense on it just before the ball’s in play.  Horrible for anyone at the plate with halfway decent peripheral vision.  So it’s a good thing no one there’s expected to hit a ball that’s three-quarters the size of my fist that’s hurtling at ninety-plus miles per hour.

Also irritating for fielders.  Even if the thing isn’t dancing around like an epileptic on Red Bull, if I have to turn to make up distance to the warning track, then flip around to catch the ball on the fly, I’m going to hesitate for a minor second to readjust, so I can pick up that tiny white speck against inky black sky.  Onset glaucoma or no, you’re going to have trouble.

Ugh.  Weak.  Get ’em tomorrow.

I’m now officially on the hook for two games of the three-game set against the Astros, on the last weekend of the season.

Here went my thinking: I was there for the first game played.  I was there for the Mets exhibition games, there for the Sunday workout following–under extraordinary circumstances: I had gone to the game Saturday, spent about six hours at a bar with friends, stayed up all night at a friend’s apartment listening to Radiohead and Bonnie “Prince” Billy, then rode out to Flushing once daylight was firmly secured.  Somehow between the Saturday game and my third hour at the park, I’d procured a turkey club in a diner take-out tin.  I have no recollection of how it came to be in my bag.

Indeed, The Wife will be in town starting Friday as well.  I skipped out on Parnell’s start against the Giants, about a month ago, to collect her from the airport.  Reasonably, I should be skipping out on this Friday’s tilt, as there is beyond nothing to play for against Houston, but it’s the last game with my two buddies, one a Yankees fan who is doubtful about re-upping; the other a Mets fan who won’t re-up unless the organization “shows [him] something” in the off-season.  Paraphrasing lightly: “I don’t think I wanna plunk down another three hundred dollars for suckitude and an inability to see balls hit down the left field line.”

So I can’t miss Friday’s game, especially since it seems John Maine and Wandy Rodriguez are going to swap teams for the day:

matchup.jpgI kid, Cerrone.  I kid because I love.  …Actually, given a choice between Rodriguez and Maine this season, I think I’m picking Rodriguez.

And The Wife has a good record at Mets games.  Provided the potential win doesn’t come with a blitzkrieg thunderstorm (…blitzkrieg thunderstorm?…) on Sunday afternoon, I think I’ll be quite pleased.

I’ve got to go to the last game there this season.  I absolutely must.  The ship is going down, having taken on far too many runners left stranded (see last night vs. Washington: L; 2-1) to stay afloat.  I boarded at Southampton, and have been dressed in my best; I’m prepared to go down that way. 

I don’t know what it says about my mentality that I’d buy a ticket to this Titanic metaphor for the missus; rest assured should the game get out of hand, I’ll tell her to save herself.

My Mets thoughts are consumed by the kind of thinking that’s making friends balk at buying into another season set of tickets.  What if they aren’t good next year?  What if the injuries sustained re-emerge?  Santana’s knee, Santana’s elbow.  John Maine’s shoulder.  Frankie Rodriguez’s back.  Jose Reyes’s legs.  David Wright’s cojones (or, as a Hungarian friend with short tendons likes to say: “cuh-Jones”).  I wonder if the MLBlog filter will pick up on either.

Make no mistake: we’re staring into a potential abyss here.  We shouldn’t be afraid of the abyss: baseball’s still fun; hope resides around every corner.  Technically, a team could open the season with eighty-one straight losses, follow that with an eighty-one game winning streak, and enter the record books with a not-impossible chance of making the playoffs. 

It’s the business side of things which futz with my head; if the tickets were free I’d be there every day.  But this is what one arrives at after six months of tickets and transit and beer and heatlamp chicken-and-fries baskets: it’s a lot of money.  And a lot of money spent watching a bad team hurts more than a lot of money watching a good team.

So along with controlling my profound dissatisfaction for certain relief pitchers and the decisions which lead them to holding the ball in pressure situations, I must spend the winter months squaring the circle on how much is too much to spend on the Mets.  Surely twenty dollars–the price I paid for two tickets in the Promenade level, roughly behind home plate, for the last game of the season, service rip and delivery rip (you EMAILED them to me) included–is not too much. 

And maybe a magical turkey club with cold, gummy fries will show up in my bag this time, too.

I developed a coping mechanism for Sean Green, by the way: when he showed up to pitch last night, I changed the channel and monitored my BlackBerry for general signs that the inning was over.  When it was, I flipped back.  I’m afraid I can’t apply that same method for the whole of the team.  Might as well stop breathing, while I’m at it.

Readers of this blog should know that I enjoy TV like I enjoy complex carbohydrates.  It soothes me, it entertains me.  I hope to make a living writing for it someday soon.

So I reach for it whenever I need to be re-grounded.  Tonight, as I hope the seventh inning of tonight’s game against the Marlins has finally ended, I need re-grounding badly.

I have no words for Sean Green, or Jerry Manuel and his decision to take out Pedro Feliciano FOR Sean Green, except the following, which I’ve borrowed from a 30 Rock episode. 

“I could feel that it was time. Time for a new beginning. And I knew
that this was possible only through a cleansing fire. It would all have
to burn. The [batting helmets], the [line-up cards]: all of it would dance
in the warm mouth of my fire. And a new, better, wonderful me would
rise from the ashes like a phoenix.  Behold: the splendor of my beginning!”

This is all you’re getting tonight; I’m so angry I nearly demolished my desk chair.

Instead, I’m going to bed.  I’m a man in my late twenties on a clear Friday night and I’m going to bed. 

Fire.  Cleansing fire.

I’ve been up since about 2a.  My electronics are cooperating; I watched a load of Miami Vice on Hulu and battled one of the few surviving mosquitoes in Bay Ridge.  The damn thing actually got me, among other places, on the pad of my middle finger.

I have NEVER been stung on the pad of a finger before.  It’s remarkably painful.
Throughout all this, I debated about putting up the following photo, taken near the end of Friday’s game against Washington (L; 6-5).  It’s up–you see it out of the lower corner of your eye, so you know it’s there.  Just understand that while it pained me terribly to see–I’ve never been stung on the pad of the finger, I’ve never seen this sort of business in person–it needed to be shown.  Shying away from images such as these would, for me, be like the Mets wrapping up the season at 81-81, in some alternate reality, and taking the argument that they weren’t SO bad.  I mean, .500 season’s got some merit.  They must’ve battled.
Nay, nein, nyet.  No battling here.  Only guys wearing paper bags over their head.
bagman.jpg
Guys wearing paper bags and chugging beer, with a guy who looked vaguely like John Olerud behind him.  
Observation and Interrogation revealed that it was not, in fact, John Olerud.  For one, John Olerud does not chug beer.  He drinks it, steadily. …There’s a “Facts About Chuck Norris” style bit in there, somewhere, about John Olerud.
John Olerud never “takes” a base.  He always asks permission.
John Olerud once drove over the speed limit.  Once.
John Olerud asked for an order of wheat toast at a diner.  He was given rye by mistake. He ate the toast anyway.
Other photos from that night, with limited commentary:
pelfrey warms up.jpg
That’s Mike Pelfrey.  He, along with chicks, digs the long ball.
giant head.jpg
I have a MASSIVE head.  And I think my face is getting thicker.  This can’t be good.
it's a standings board.jpg
That video board seen at the last game turned out to be a standings board, which until I saw it I’d not given a thought to.  Seems somewhat mocking, now, but one hopes it comes in handy next year.
The thing did suffer an attack of Mercury in retrograde as the game wore on:
board breakdown.jpg
That “M.L.” should say something about Boston being ahead of Texas not in the “M SEVENTH” but in the “A.L. WILD CARD.”  It was turned off eventually.  Better that way.
jerry dior.jpg
On the screen at center there, Jerry Dior, designer of the MLB logo (read this post for more).  I’m assuming he and his wife are wearing No. 40 in honor of the logo’s fortieth anniversary, and not in honor of Robinson Cancel or Tony Tarasco.  MAYBE Randy Niemann. …Wait.  No, not even Randy Niemann.
(Believe that’s MLB president and COO Bob DuPuy to Dior’s right/your left.)
From bagmen to batting helmets to beer, we all find our joys at the park where we can.  I think fans have to own it; we’ll get through this if we don’t run away from the misery and misanthropy.  Odd, though, that I’m known now in the section for not being a fan of Sean Green:
Me: (after Green throws a pitch gone wide of the strike zone) “Hey, Green!  The strike zone’s about three goddamn yards to your left!”
Fan Seated Four Rows Down: “What is it with you and Sean Green?  You’ve been on his case all year!”
Me: “He’s been horrible all year!”
Fan Seated Four Rows Down: “True, but jeez, man!  Ease up!”
I will ease up.  He’s not been horrible all year.  He’s been horrible MOST of the year.  The only thing I got out of the J.J. Putz trade was a few glorious nights of singing “Thunderstruck” at the top of my lungs and the mild competence of Jeremy Reed.
Vitriol feels good when you’ve been up for seven hours and the sun’s been up for two.
Tim Redding pitched an efficient gem yesterday (vs. Nationals: W; 3-2) while I followed via Gameday, too tired and irritated to stray from my bed until about 5p.  There are thirteen games left to play, and doubtless more feeling like this.  
As I am not John Olerud–who replaced all the incandescent light bulbs in his home with energy-saving fluorescents–I am sure I will get angrier before I get better.  I don’t wear paper bags; that is the province of those who laugh to keep from crying, and I’d forget to bring one anyway.  
But I appreciate the sentiment, and the desire to do so.  Misery, company, yada yada damned yada.
**Visit Jon Springer’s Mets By The Numbers to read his piece on the Top Ten Mets #6s Of All Time, which he read at last week’s Amazin’ Tuesday event over at Two Boots.  You can find my write-up on the whole event by clicking here.  My thanks to Greg Prince of Faith And Fear In Flushing for pushing my coverage of the event.  Hooray for page views!

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!

I now know for a fact that I’ve seen Tim Redding swing a bat.  I made it a point to sit down tonight and watch him.  Still, you could put a gun to my head and I wouldn’t remember them.  That wire brush on his chin is mesmerizing.

Land Shark Stadium was DESERTED. Wow.

Sean Green is STILL throwing not to Omir Santos, but to the Marlins cheerleaders–they have cheerleaders–out along the first base side.

Finally: when Murphy hit that ground rule double, Jerry Manuel came out to discuss the possibility (it wasn’t) that the ball had hit the scoreboard (it hit the reserve stands past the wall) and was still in play (no chance). 

Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez discussed the conversation; as it broke up, Keith had these words:

Keith: “And of course, [first base umpire] Angel Hernandez has to come over and stick his snout into it.”

[Emphasis Keith’s.]

Silence for several moments, possibly due to Gary’s slamming of the mute button to laugh uproariously, or bite his fist to avoid same. 

Then, as the graphic appears below the current game score:

Keith (disgruntled): “These are the umpires.”

Wikipedia has basic coverage of whatever Angel Hernandez’s problem is.  There’s an old Augusta Chronicle article that doesn’t make him a mortal lock for Swine Of The Century, but for all his subsequent atrocities, it’s always good to read about how Piazza manhandled the man. 

And Greg Prince at Faith And Fear In Flushing has a bit from back in late May that mentions Angel Hernandez, and is always good for a laugh.  (My thanks for the linkback to coverage of Tuesday, Mr. Prince.  Quite appreciated.)

God bless ya, Keith.  You tell it like it is.  I have a special hard place in my heart for Brian Runge, but Angel Hernandez is a classic bile-magnet.

The Mets are now allowed to leave Miami (W; 10-3).

I took a peek at ESPN’s Gamecast during the bottom of the ninth inning, and had a Chuck-like mental flash. 

So I took a screen cap, and as I’m no longer the MLBlogs featured blogger (thanks for the ten-day hit, MLB Advanced Media; someone let me know if a guy I know named Mark B., who may work for your division or MLB straight-up, managed to see it), I no longer feel completely obliged to push baseball media with the MLB imprimatur.

This picture is the control; look for thick red outlines for the intended focus on subsequent shots.  All images are thumbnails–you can get to slightly larger ones by clicking on them:

01.jpgOnward!

02.JPG10-3?  You spoil us, line-up.

03.JPG

In an odd confluence of fate and sheer circumstance, this is the defensive line-up I would expect on the field during the bottom of the ninth, a day game after a night game, with the score exactly the way it is and the Mets and Marlins season records reversed.

04.JPGRemarkably, however, this was your line-up throughout the day, with every Met managing two hits…

05.JPG…except for Anderson Hernandez… who had THREE.  With an RBI and a walk.

For today, Mr. Hernandez, I’m sorry I occasionally mistake you for Argenis Reyes.

06.JPGIt occurs to me that I cannot recall a single Tim Redding at-bat.  With his .053 batting average, it’s clear I’m not missing much.  However, for the uninitiated (and to break this up a bit):

Teflon Tim.jpgHa!

07.JPGYou’re a professional baseballer, for Chrissakes.  Don’t smile like you’re four.

08.JPGIt’s a rare day when Sean Green is called on to rescue Pedro Feliciano, but it’s also a rare day when every man in the Mets line-up records more than one hit.  So it’s a very rare day.

09.JPGMy actual thought, hand to God: “Huh.  Brian Stokes.  Thought he was on the DL.”

10.JPGMy second thought was, “An intentional walk, with one out and no one on?  Jerry, you son of a–” …and then I looked at the ball locator directly above.

I’ve got a rash from this intentional walk thing, and it’s beginning to cloud my judgment.  I need to seek counsel.  I shall, I shall.

And finally, some fun with facial hair.  Shouldn’t be too hard to discern.

11.JPGHeh, heh, heh.

Nice win in a walk, gentlemen.  And my thanks to ESPN.

So he walked six and gave up the same number of hits, yet struck out seven, yet YET escaped with one run.  And the Mets avoided the sweep against the Diamondbacks (W; 6-4).  That’s supposed to be positive?

He threw 5 1/3 innings and 111 pitches.  Sean Green, for all the good he’d do the next day, threw 19.  Feliciano 17.  Stokes 13. 

You know what that’s like, telling me Oliver Perez was not terrible?  That’s like telling me the unemployment rate ticked down slightly in July and wholly ignoring the fact that the rate does not reflect the number of people who’ve given up looking for work

Yes, I’m on his case.  But I’m on his case because I don’t think he’s a good pitcher, and using this start to tell me (middle of page) the man relishes pitching with men on base (doghouse, Omir Santos–doghouse) and that he’s showing signs of, if not greatness, then at least usability, ticks me off.

Bad contract.  BAD.

And while I’m on the subject of Sean Green, an open letter to the man:

Paul Vargas
Section Five Twenty-Eight
http://omniality.mlblogs.com

August 13, 2009

Sean Green
New York Metropolitans Baseball Club @ Citi Field
Roosevelt Avenue
Flushing, NY 11368-1699

Dear Mr. Green,

STOP.  HITTING.  BATTERS.

Regards,
Paul Vargas

enclosures: one (1) photo of me, shaking my fist angrily.
cc: Omar Minaya, General Manager
Jerry Manuel, Manager
Nelson Figueroa

**

Separately: Section Five Twenty-Eight endorses loud booing, heckling, and other non-physical forms of abuse at people who roundly deserve it.  Shane Victorino?  Roundly deserving.  Throwing an elbow at a player while deeming yourself and your team as the vaunted overlords of taste and class makes you deserving of my invectives.  Hell, you could just be there and the opposition, and deserving of a li’l sumthin’.  See: Gregor Blanco, 2008.

But should I ever be within shouting distance of Victorino (he’s not getting a Mister), he’s getting the deluxe treatment.  ‘Cause he’s a no-account whiner on top of his dirty tricks and vindictive showboating and general attention-paid-to-anything-but-baseball-so-the-spotlight-is-on-him-as-often-as-possible.  Boo, Shane Victorino.  Boo.

No, trolls, I am not discounting skills.  Plenty of wastes of time have remarkable skills.  Karl Rove is a genius, for example.

Knowing, as I’m sure readers do, where this is going, I should say that while I condone certain violent acts when appropriate, and enjoy petty vandalism when the results are not permanent or costly to reverse (this excludes grafitti and scratchitti), I don’t know that I condone Victorino’s beer shower.

You can see it, if you haven’t (I watched it live at a bar and nearly choked on my grilled chicken sandwich) by clicking here.  I suffered for that link, by the way: that level of red, applied to Phillies or not, burns the crap out of my corneas.

I don’t condone it because it makes the Cubbies look bad, and I bear no animus toward the Cubbies; I don’t condone it because it looks cheap in the face of an eleven-run deficit; I don’t condone it because it’s a waste of beer. 

To paraphrase Chris Rock: if you are one of the fortunate few on this earth to get your hands on a beer, drink the s**t out of it.

All that said, you gotta admit that from that angle, past the ball-catch on the wall, and with such an oddly-shaped projectile: it was one hell of a shot.**

Way to file the complaint, by the way, Shane-o.  “We’ll get the guy”?  Slow down, McGruff.  Chicago PD will get the guy.

**For the record, I’ve been doused with beer, whiskey, pillow feathers, and shaving cream.  I’ve also been sprayed with a fire extinguisher, been shoved down a flight of stairs (that was in good humor), and swung into a concrete wall, suffering a light concussion (that too, with best intentions).  In all occasions, I was able to find at least one aspect of my behavior I could’ve changed that would have kept me dry and/or uninjured.

Public Enemy #1:

http://www.nypost.com/seven/06222008/photos/manuel.jpg

And not just because I have to credit the New York Post and Reuters for the image.

Public Enemy #2:

http://www1.pictures.gi.zimbio.com/New+York+Mets+v+Baltimore+Orioles+Y87PkamV0EIl.jpg

Seen here in his true guise: stupefied expression; uniform number 48.  Breakdown of location, late this photograph, here.

Offensive.  Truly, TRULY offensive.