Archives for posts with tag: Tampa Bay Rays

Songs will be sung about the day Frankie Rodriguez came in and threw a five-pitch save (vs. Nationals: W; 6-2).  The song will be to the tune of “Yakety Sax,” but don’t sweat the details.

It’s a busy day in the world of me, and I got about two hours of sleep last night.  It truly feels as though I’ve been up for three days.  Out of sorts?  Sure.

But I leave you with a question, which you can mull privately or email me about:

The Mets have come close to no-hitting teams, but have yet to actually achieve this goal.  Besides a Santana game against Tampa Bay in the middle of the season, I seem to keep seeing the possibility at the beginning of a season or at the end of a season, against teams that swing for the fences and rarely connect when they flail like that.

In other words, the best chances have come against scrubs during garbage time.

The question: if the Mets manage to put together a no-hitter–and note that only the most lights-out no-hitters are fully owned by the pitcher–would it cheapen the achievement if it came against the major league equivalent of the Washington Generals?

Would we hear “Well, good for your guys finally bringing one home, but it’s not like you did it against the ’75 Reds”?

Just something I’ve been thinking about, along with Nolan Ryan.  Occasionally my thoughts stray to Ryan, who has seven no-hitters but only one World Series win under his belt.  Wonder if he cares about that.

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These are the thoughts I have when the Mets are rained out and the Yankees are playing under a dome.

I’ve been gone for awhile.  I cannot be blamed.  I worked nine straight days.  Sure, this was the view from my hotel room for the last two:
beach.jpg
But by no means was it all fun and games.  Those who may know me may know I enjoy a bit of a tune-up when the workday ends.  The proceedings made need for a bottle of Scotch.  I usually abstain from any liquor I can’t see through during summer months.  I made an exception, and a serious dent was put in the thing as I watched the only ball game available to me: Dodgers-Cardinals (on Monday, STL over LAD 6-1).
So if the three of you who read were torn up over the lack of material, know that I was torn up as well.  Mets game via BlackBerry.  Reading up on the Minaya-Bernazard-Rubin nonsense while riding NJ Transit back to civilization.  Falling asleep just after the blown call that had Castillo safe on Tuesday (against Colorado; W 4-0).  Painting my hallway today–TODAY, of all days, where the heat and humidity drenched me repeatedly.  Good thing it’s just latex paint.
At any rate.  Back.  Stretch run.  Sparkle, sparkle.  I geared up for the Mets game but switched it over to the Yankees game after the rain-out for a number of reasons:
  • I was starved for baseball that bore ANY connection to New York.
  • I’d already watched The Ruins, which a friend DEMANDED I DVR and watch.  Wrong call, Sheriff.  Movie was well-done, but lame.  I take my horror schlocky with two sugars.
  • It was raining hard, so going out was not an option.  It’s still raining.  Going out is absolutely not an option.
  • There was almost nothing else on.  The exception was KVC: Komodo Vs. Cobra, co-starring a pre-Tell Me You Love Me Michelle Borth.  But I missed this being on until the near-end.
  • I’d read on the Post‘s website that the Rays might trade Carl Crawford and Scott Kazmir.
I start salivating when I start thinking about competent left fielders.  It’s been far too long for the Mets.  Carl Crawford was 2-for-4 tonight, notching a triple off Brian Bruney and scoring from there on Evan Longoria’s home run in the ninth.
As for Kazmir… well, Maine doesn’t look like he’s long for this season.  You should know how I feel about Perez.  Kazmir’s still young and his performance in ’09 will dim the salary lights a little.  Santana-Kazmir-Pelfrey-Niese-Perez.  I can live with that.   A bit lefty-dominated, but that can be solved by jettisoning Oliver Perez.
I’m just sayin’.
But competent fielding and hitting in left?  Delightful.  Forgive me if I don’t want to bet the farm on Cory Sullivan.  Or Gary Sheffield.  Don’t hurt yourself trying to remember the last full-time Mets left fielder.  Christ, Trot Nixon played outfield for the Mets last year.  That’s not a joke.
Counting on Carlos Beltran, who, according to reports filtered through Metsblog is working out despite the bone bruise on his mole knee not being healed, seems chancy to me.  Chowdah has thus far proven himself.  I have been saying my mea culpas and will shout them if he becomes the beast he was in a past life.  But counting on that, and Sullivan, and a not-quite-100% Beltran to patrol center at Citi Field, and trying to make a run for it, is asking for trouble.  Nick Evans was the Mets’ starting left fielder during the last game of the 2008 season.  Endy Chavez replaced him, for defense.
The last good guy out there was Moises Alou, and he wasn’t even legitimately good.  Just lightning-in-a-bottle, astound-you-with-that-batting-stance good.  Crawford-Beltran-Chowdah, with Pagan off the bench, makes me feel a hell of a lot better.
One hopes the symptoms of foot-in-mouth include remorse, humility, and visible shakes yet exclude inability-to-get-on-the-horn, and Omar Minaya can do just that and get a guy.  Crawford isn’t the best left fielder in the world, but he’s a damn sight better than what’s out there right now.
No offense, Mr. Sullivan.  I want you to know, however, sir, that the following “Cory”/”Corey”s have more interesting Wikipedia pages:
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try and prove me wrong.  I will gladly add berating you to my list of venal sins if you show me up.

Mets defeat the St. Louis Cardinals 11-0.

I suppose this was possible because it wasn’t technically a rubber game.

My thanks, too, to the TBRays, for the victory over the Phillies.

How ’bout that Fernando Nieve, at 3-0?

More when I’m not basking in the glow of an authentic blowout.

Reasons for my confusing the Tampa Bay Rays and the Toronto Blue Jays in my post on Friday afternoon:

  1. It’s interleague play and that doesn’t usually interest me in the slightest, save for the potential for gains in the standings.  That the Mets have been unable to gain any decent ground given the Phillies’ struggles DOES interest me.  That they haven’t lost much ground either just makes the whole thing silly.
  2. Look at the teams’ names: (a) Tampa Bay Rays; (b) Toronto Blue Jays.  TBRays, TBJays.  They should’ve left the “Devil” in their name; I could’ve made a far funnier and more egregious error and thought the Mets were playing the New Jersey Devils, or the Charlie Daniels Band, or Bill O’Reilly.
  3. I was blinded by hate for my usual compatriots, who used the lame excuses of their mother’s sixtieth birthday and their best friend’s wedding to leave me with the task of filling their seats.  (This rage would also cause me to sit in the wrong section for a good forty-five minutes before the game started, marveling at how much more of the outfield I could see.)
  4. I was blinded by hate for the friend who DID join me, and doesn’t believe there’s anything redeemable about We Are Marshall.  C’mon.  Rousing cheer.  Ian McShane.  Matthew McConaghuey sporting a ridiculous accent and ‘do.  What’s not to like? 
  5. I was blinded by hate for ALL THE OTHER REGULARS in my section who didn’t show up that night.  It was just me and the older couple who sit in the row ahead and two seats over.  And besides my shouting “Don’t bunt!” whenever Luis Castillo comes up to the plate, my antics appear to be wearing on the older guy’s better half.
  6. Brian Schneider’s three-run blast got hit so far that it traveled back in time and hit me in the head.  These things happen.
  7. I knew I’d be seeing Pat Burrell, who played for the Phillies last year, who themselves played the Blue Jays in the previous set at Citizen’s Bank Park.  Transitive property, Q.E.D., ergo yo mama.
  8. I’d been up ’til 3 AM the night before, prepping for a long day at work followed by a night at the ball park followed by a long morning of work followed by Father’s Day.
  9. I miss Carlos Delgado so much that I’d hoped the Blue Jays would be in attendance, just so he could hit four more home runs in one game against the Rays, who would absolutely be there.
  10. Speaking of Delgado, 9/25/2003: 9+2+5+2+0+0+3=21.  2+1=3, which is how many runs the Rays scored in their loss to the Mets on June 19, 2009 (6/19/2009: 6+1+9+2+0+0+9=27; 2+7=9 divided by 3 equals THREE), and how many runs they beat the Mets by on June 20, 2009 (6/20/2009: 6+2+0+2+0+0+9=19; 9 divided by one is nine, and divided by 3 equals THREE).  Isn’t that WEIRD?

But seriously; I kid the numerologists.

Sights from the game against the Tampa Bay Rays (W, 5-3), below.  Even Teflon Tim Redding takes the train to the game!

Teflon Tim.jpgPepsi Porch.jpgDaniel Murphy.jpg

Sonnanstine Zipper.jpg
Schneider Runs The Bases.jpg
Pat Burrell.jpg
Mets Win.jpg
My thanks to Ed who showed up and paid far too much for two tickets that had no shot at being able to see the two run double Parnell let slip late.  I’ll be in the seats next week for the game against the Yankees.  I double-checked.  It’s absolutely against the Yankees.

**

I’ll say it.  I don’t think it’s going to happen.  Ever.

Santana Scrim.jpgBut in appeasement of those who, like me, are superstitious, I’ll only say that, and give you the picture, above, and let you think back to Saturday’s game (L, 3-1).  Get it now?  You’re familiar with that feeling.  You’ll think about it for another day or so, and then file it away with John Maine and Nelson Figueroa and all the Tom Seavers and, tangentially, David Goddamn Cone, and Dwight Goddamn Gooden, and Nolan Goddamn Ryan times too many to count without crying.  Among others.

I missed this particular one myself; I had to get up early for work, and was so tired by the time I got back home that I dropped into bed and didn’t wake up until 7:30 in the evening.  My personal record this week was a wash so I gave myself a break on Saturday’s.  Frankly, I thought it would be rained out.

But think about this: are we entitled to one?  We have Johan and we’ve had Cone and Ryan and Seaver.  If memory serves, the Padres’ cupboards are bare, too.  Hell, the last time the Chicago Cubs won the World Series, Charles Fairbanks was bemoaning Teddy Roosevelt’s backing of William Howard Taft for the presidency.  Do you even know who Charles Fairbanks WAS?  I didn’t until about a minute ago.

What are we, as fans, owed besides a comfortable, safe place to watch a game, a competent crew to broadcast the proceedings whenever we can’t or don’t want to make it, a front office that doesn’t treat us like idiots, and a team that goes out and plays hard every day?  If the Mets can get all that right–and I get the sense that the front office sometimes/often forgets how smart this fan base is, and I could kill Jose Reyes for his occasional loafing–then we should find ourselves proud of our boys.  Success will follow, assuredly.

I want one as bad as the next Mets guy, but I think I’m about done thinking about it every time I walk into the park, and every time I see a 1-2-3 first inning.  And second inning.  And–goddamn it Dioner Navarro! 

Ugh.  Fine.

Today is Father’s Day.  I am late for several things.  Hope those father-son duos going out to Citi have some good weather; I will be watching on a 42-inch plasma at the parents’ homestead.

*My thanks to
Greg Prince of Faith And Fear In Flushing for the link re: Metstock.  Greg, I owe you an email and an offer of crappy hi-res images.

I’m 0 for 2 in Mets events that I view away from home, yet away from Citi Field. 

David Wright is 0 for 9 with an RBI in that span, but he gets paid to go to these things (ball games). 

I just spend money at local establishments.

Going Home.jpgAs stated in the previous post, Metstock was yesterday: food, fun, and fans at Two Boots Pizzeria on Grand Street.  I’d already been to every other Two Boots Pizzeria in New York City, so this was a double treat for me.  I can get fired up about pizza. 

For my money, the best pizza around is at Peppino’s on Third Avenue and Seventy-Seventh Street in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, but in that case I’m a homer, and I appreciate a great neighborhood place.  They actually LOWERED their prices recently, in the wake of the Great Recession.  Who does that?!

…Apparently Phil Rizzuto called; he wants his tangents back.

Fearless Leader.jpgBordering the windows at Two Boots are amazing paintings of New York sports heroes.  This one, of Keith Hernandez, I found quite inspiring.  Later, I’d feel a near-irrepressible urge to fly a Zero into Camden Yards.  But that would have been an inappropriate reaction to the events in the bottom of the ninth inning (L, 5-4), and chances are the Mets will need Aubrey Huff sooner rather than later.

Hubie Doobie Doo.jpgThat poster (behind Pick Me Up Some Mets! blogger Zoe Rice’s head) is amazing, and further example of how this particular Two Boots caters to the clientele.  I will someday come back here and offer them $5,000 for this work of Hubie Brooks art.  They will reject me out of hand.  I will be disappointed.

Readers.jpgReaders at the event were Jon Springer of Mets By The Numbers, Greg Prince of Faith And Fear In Flushing, and Skyhorse editor Mark Weinstein filling in for Stanley Cohen, author of A Magic Summer.

Gratuitous link.

If you read back on the blog, you can probably piece together that I was sentient and ambulatory during the Mets ’86 World Championship, but not so much that I could ever put down recollections of that time or even of the kind Greg Prince has of 1969.  Being a fan of the Mets, as I’ve stated before, is like eating to me.  I don’t remember the dinner I had in late October when I was four.  I’m sure I enjoyed it.  Inductive reasoning would suggest it was pizza; my dad loves it.  But we’re back at pizza again.  I should just fly a fighter jet into myself, and call it a day.

Jon Springer Speaks.jpgMy point is, I sat and drank Brooklyn Lager and marveled at the descriptions of jubilant chaos, after Mr. Springer regaled us with the story of Jeff McKnight, who now has become my favorite goateed Met, if only for the glasses which he wears in his publicity photo (visit Mets By The Numbers and find the “McKnightmare” link at top).  I also ate pizza (why so spicy, Two Boots?  Why?) and watched a game unfold.  It’s heartening to be with a group of fans who will listen as an event goes on in their presence, but will also clap and cheer as an event is televised before them.  Made me wish the Ziegfeld was packed with these folks instead of traffic-beaters the other night, but maybe they understood too well what I spoke about a few days ago: baseball’s played outside.  A stadium or stadium-like atmosphere cannot be replicated in a movie theater; instead one’s options are either to sit in a bar-like place (like the Two Boots on Grand) or at home, or at the damned ball park.  Very well.  I’m sufficiently down on my luck with regard to the Ziggy and gatherings with strangers that I might cut the bar out altogether, and stick with home or Second Home.

But this was fun.

We watched the game and moaned at the Orioles scoring.  We cheered the Mets scoring, as Alex Cora did twice, including this play (after which it got LOUD):

Cora Beats The Tag.jpgThat hazy representation is somewhat purposeful; I don’t want to land on the wrong side of MLB’s or SNY’s boilerplate.  Suffice it to say that’s Alex Cora weaving ’round Matt Wieters, who dropped the off-target Howitzer throw from right.

Greg Prince Reads.jpgHere’s something, and I don’t want to get on the wrong side of anyone’s Ornery or Glance Askance (God, I should’ve been beaten up more in junior high): Mr. Prince (featured, left) has an admittedly funny chapter devoted to Yankees fans, and it’s not complimentary.

I have Yankees fan friends, and Mr. Prince does, certainly, and we all do because they’re everywhere and nearly unavoidable.  (Sarah Palin can see Russia from her house, but can she see the South Bronx?  Does she see David Letterman waving from the box seats?  He’s giving you the finger, Sarah, and ninety-nine point nine percent of me is sure you deserve it, with an oh-point-one percent margin of error.)

Many Yankees fans, including my friends–from time to time–are obnoxious.  It does stem from undeserved entitlement; it does speak poorly of the organization, which could perhaps get off its high horse about history and tradition and realize that the schtick, like its last World Series title, is getting old.

But I got the sense that the prevailing attitude last night was to hate the Yankees because they’re the Yankees and that’s just that.  They’ve won championships and feel entitled and Willie Randolph was a drip and that stadium of theirs can just go take a bath and how dare they take David Cone and have him accomplish THAT and oh-for-the-love-of-God-please-make-it-stop.  I am not of the camp that hates the Yankees success as much as he revels in their failures.&
nbsp; My Yankees friends are not like that regarding the Mets, and I have to dismiss any such feeling as a generational thing or misguided adoration of the game.  With respect.

Had the Mets won tonight’s game against Baltimore AND the Yankees had lost, I’d’ve texted my friend currently working up at Tanglewood.  “3-0? To the Nats? Wha’ happen’, Boli didn’t kick in yet?” And he’d’ve probably texted back. “Quiet, son. Remember 15-0, vs. Johan.”  This is rivalry.  When the Yankees are playing the Chicago White Sox, I could give a damn unless someone on the Yankees makes a miraculous play.  I’ll cheer that.  I’m a fan of baseball.  I’m a fan of the baseball I watch in front of me.  (By the way, cannot STAND scoreboard watchers at Mets games who erupt into a “YANKEES SUCK!” cheer when they see the Blue Jays are giving them a thumping.  My response is reflexive at this point: “THEY’RE NOT HERE!”  Atrocious.)

And I’m a fan of New York City.  If New York stands at the top of the baseball world, then the world makes sense.  If the series were between the Padres and the Yankees, I’m rooting for the Yankees.  Not obnoxiously, not with my Mets cap or jersey on.  But I’m at a bar for one of those games, and I’m rooting for the home team.  My opinion is valid, and if you think it misguided, feel free to try and convince me otherwise.  But I loves me gloating rights over another, lesser city (and they’re all lesser cities).  I loves me a parade. La-di-da-di, we like to party. 

Now, if what floats your boat is specifically hating on the Yankees, that’s fine.  I enjoy talking smack about Premio sausage patties (as opposed to the links, which are top notch).  I can lay into Uwe Boll with glee.  I don’t particularly enjoy three-drawer lateral filing cabinets: they’re too tall to make a seat and too short to be useful on any reasonable scale.  But if it’s Yankees hatred because they’re not the Mets and they’re crowding you with their obnoxiousness, chill out.  They’re due for a slide into terminal mediocrity, and the town will clear of the knuckleheads.  Fear not.

Chat With Fans.jpgFans stayed until the game was over, which was heartening.  The place was more crowded than this during the reading, but I suspect this was because there were a number of Skyhorse employees who had come to show their support of the house.  Commendable.  But Pearly McNecklaceson who was sitting beside me and jabbering about how cool it is to be in charge of interns, was it necessary to thwack me with your knock-off bag at EVERY opportunity?  I was wrong: it should be you that gets the fighter jet to the face.

Skyhorse Editor.jpgAll in all, a great time.  Fun to see people, whose words I’d been reading, reading their words.  I was tickled by Ms. Rice’s covering of her eyes as Frankie R. loaded the bases.  Something my sister would do.  And as I left the loss and proceeded down the–I’m sorry–AWFUL-smelling Grand Street, my switch flipped and I was in prep-for-Citi mode (will be in attendance tonight for Fernando Nieve’s tilt against the Toronto Blue Jays). (Update: I must’ve been high when I wrote this, and never mind the fact that I don’t smoke: they played the Rays.)

“Great,” I thought to myself.  “More birds.”  (Update: I probably cared more about getting the joke out than getting the team right.)  Perhaps I felt better recalling that this is still interleague and Andy Sonnanstine would have to bat.  He’s 2-for-8 so far this year.  That HAS to be his high-water mark.

*The only link I didn’t supply is one that I have in the past, to CBS Sports’ MLB Players Page.