Monday, April 30, 2007

Ed Has Seen the Future! - May Prognostications

Once again, I was able to get the Time Machine up and running. To recap, for April, my travels foretold a record of 17-9, they stand at 15-8 before tonight's game. I saw Reyes with 13 walks, he has 16. I foresaw Alou hitting 295, he is at 349. I saw Green at 280 with 6 doubles and 3 HRs. He is 360, 8 and 3. I predicted 4 HR's for Beltran, he has 5. Let's just forget about Delgado and Wright, shall we?

So, without further ado, here is May:

May begins with the Mets taking the final 2 games of a 3 game set from the Marlins. The bats come alive, as the Mets score 10 and 13 runs in the first two games of the month. Mike Pelfrey gets his first win, going 6 innings, with 4 hits, 3 walks, 5 k's and allowing 2 runs. Oliver Perez follows with 8 innings of 5 hit ball, to go with 10 k's. David Wright doubles in each game.

The Mets travel to Arizona, for a 4 game set. They take 3 of four, as Carlos Delgado remembers how to hit, and goes wild, hitting 3 home runs, 3 doubles and driving in 8 runs in the series. David Wright walks 4 times, and has a single in each game.

Next, they travel to SF to meet Barry and Barry. The Mets paste the Giants, sweeping the series. Barry Zito does not pitch, claiming he does not like to play against egoists.

The Mets come home to face Prince Fielder and the Brewers. The Mets take two of three, as David Wright hits 2 doubles, has 3 walks, and 12 magazine shoots.

Next up are the Cubs. Carlos Zambrano throws 7 innings, tossing 256 pitches. Lou says if Carlos wants a big contract, he has to earn it. The Mets split the series. David Wright finally hits a home run.

Next, the Yankees for a 3 game set. Though Randy Johnson no longer is a Yankee, the Mets pitchers go a combined 6-12 at the plate as the Mets take two of three from the Yankees. Joe Torre is fired in the 5th inning of the third game. George, trying to capture some more Mets magis from the 1980's, hires Davey Johnson as manager. David Wright breaks out, hitting .466 for the series with a home run in each game, as well as 2 doubles and 2 singles in 15 at-bats.

Turner Field is the scene of the next 3 games, as the Mets travel to Atlanta. After hearing all Monday that the Mets must sweep the Braves to be considered the favorites in the NL East form those wise talkers Mike and the Mad Dog, the Mets sweep the Braves. Mike and Dog are not impressed, saying they should have swept them in April, when it mattered.

Next is Florida, as the Mets face the Marlins. The Mets lose two of three, and Mike and the Dog claim the Mets are fakes if they can't beat the Marlins.

The month wraps up and the Giants visit Shea and the Mets take 2 of 3. Barry Bonds hits 2 home runs, and is within 2 of Hank Aaron. Barry Zito starts, and goes 4 innings, giving up 6 runs on 8 hits. Barry then is pich hit for, and demands a trade to a team where the manager does not have an ego. He is then traded to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, where no one has an ego.

Record for the month - 20- 8.
Season to date - 35-16

Wright finishes the month with 5 home runs and 9 doubles.
Delgado hits 320, with 10 doubles and 4 home runs.
Beltran hits 300, 5 doubles and 5 home runs.
Green and Alou both hit 280. Green makes 2 misplays, but 4 fantastic catches as well.


I've been remiss on posting the "Weekly Observations". Now seems as good a time as any to post some rants.

1. Fat Man got a little dig in on Mr. Maine, saying that "well, I could do that against the Nationals". Really Mike. Tell me, how did your vaunted Yankees pitch against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays?

2. Note to Mets lineup, it is OK to beat on any and all comers. You don't have to go to sleep to make other pitchers feel better.

3. Julio Franco made a Keith Hernandez like play yesterday on a bunt. In doing so, he became the oldest player to act like Keith Hernandez. So long as he doesn't start doing lines in the clubhouse, it's all good.

4. El Duque's shoulder is acting up. Chan Ho Park is the possible starter. Hey lineup, tonight might be a good night to get some hits and drive in like 15 runs.

5. I guess the old "team first" saying is going the way of the horse and buggy up in New England. First they draft a guy out of Miami who fired a gun and was involved in the big brawl against Florida International. Now they trade for Randy Moss. Good luck with that Bill Belichick. Actually, not really. I hope it blows up all over your face.

6. Um, David, it's OK to get some more hits. Walks are OK, but, driving in runs is what the chicks dig.

7. So lets see. Tell the media that no one will listen if he stands up for A-Rod. Otherwise, stand up for admitted steroid user, which causes fans to give him a break. Stand up for manager as team goes 9-14 to start the year, which will probably buy him some more time. Stand up for 3rd baseman, not so much. Ladies and Gentlemen, your Yankee Captain, two face Jeter.

8. Of course, now that the Yankee are in last place, and A-Rod is cooling off, you know the boos are coming.

9. Note to the media, just because a guy who worked for the Mets as a bat boy and clubhouse cleaner 10 years ago gets locked up for steroids does not mean every last story needs to mention the fact he worked for the Mets. It's not like he was, oh, I don't know, the PERSONAL TRAINER for a player and was given carte blanche to the clubhouse.

10. Barroid hit his 742 home run Saturday. The Giants still lost. Karma is a bitch, ain't it?

11. We are so close to Mt. George erupting. I can't wait. The question is, who will be the replacement for Torre? You know the boss is pissed that Swindal talked him out of hiring Lou.

12. Then again, you can't really blame Joe. I mean, the bats are hitting. The problem is, the Yankee pitching SUCKS. But, you never would have known that by listening to the lap dogs at ESPN.

13. Remind me to send a Thank You card to Anna Benson. John Maine, the "bag of balls" per Anna, is 4-0 with a 1.35 ERA and 1.05 WHIP.

14. I'm really liking this Joe Smith kid. Wonder if Mike and the Dog have decided to learn about him. In the preseason, they wrote him off, saying if they didn't know him, he must not be that good. Assholes.

15. Yankee fans are clamoring for Bernie Williams. Funny, I didn't know Bernie could pitch.

16. Last time I checked, a sock does not throw a pitch.

So, the Mets took two of three from the Nationals. The Braves took 2 of 3 from the Rockies, and the Mets are still in 1st by .5 game. The bad news for the Mets, Jose Valentin is hurting. We've learned so far this year that guys who go to NY for MRI's are usually hurt badly. I'm thinking Stache is gonna be gone for a month or so. Anderson Hernandez will possibly be called up, as Damion Easley will play 2nd every day. El Duque is also in NY after shoulder tightness. That hurts. Thankfully, there is better depth in AAA this year, so no Jose Lima sightings. If Park is not up to it, we can go with Jorge Sosa or Jason Vargas. Either is a good option.

Nice to see The Show put together a couple of strong outings in a row. He went 1.1 on the 24th, then .1 on Saturday and Sunday. It is vital that he settle in and become dependable. Now, if only Aaron Heilman can do the same. Darling made note both Saturday and Sunday that he thinks Heilman looks different compared to last year, that he seems to be overthrowing. I hope Rick is noticing something and is going to work with Aaron. We need him to settle in as well.

Meanwhile, the bats need to get it in gear. Three hits yesterday is not good to say the least. They should be beating up on the likes of the Nationals. Now, I can't get too mad, since they did win 2 of 3. But the Marlins are in town, and they boast the most runs scored in baseball. We are putting Duque/Park, then Pelfrey, then Perez against them. The bats better put up some crooked numbers, because the Marlins certainly can.

Friday, April 27, 2007

An Absolutely Sick Goal by Kyle Okposo

Dear Garth,
I know you don't want to force Kyle Okposo to come out early, but the guy has some really good hands. Think he might help?
Please view the link to one of the sickest goals I have ever seen.
Click on the video near the top.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Well, That Sucked

A nice afternoon for baseball quickly turned to shit. Mike Pelfrey gave up a run in the first, followed by a scoreless second. Then, the bottom fell out. The third inning saw Pelfrey give up 5 more runs, and that was the end of his day. From what I heard/read, it seems Mike had little control over his secondary pitches, and his fastball did not have the movement displayed in the spring. That makes 2 disappointing outings in a row, and his first outing wasn't exactly great. So what does it mean?

Basically, that he needs time. Remember, he is our 5th starter. This is not the #1 or #2 starter getting smacked around. This is a kid who had a good spring, who is still working on his secondary stuff. He is far from a bust. The best thing for him is consistent work, where he uses his slider and change more than his fastball. The question is, does this happen as a Met, or in NOLA? I'm a little torn. I like the idea of him working with The Jacket. This is our pitching guru after all, and he is the guy responsible for getting this worked out. At the same time, what does it do to his confidence to get hit by pro's? Would it be better to go to AAA and work on those pitches against prospects? Petersen has a couple of other guys he is working on now in Perez and Burgos, so it may be better to send him to NOLA, and let him work it out there. I'm not a GM, or a manager, so I don't know the right answer. I do trust that whatever is decided is the right move. That being said, I will have to cut him from my fantasy team. Unlike the Mets, I can't afford to wait this out. Sorry Mike.

Otherwise, things were not much better. Eleven runs given up in total. The offense mustered 5 runs on 12 hits, scoring two in the ninth. David Wright continued to struggle, going 0-3, he is not hitting 263. Willie, this is a slump. He is not hitting the ball hard, at all. He battled in his last at bat last night, but grounded out three times today. I don't think the kid is done, but I am starting to worry about the length of his struggles. It's the longest stretch he has had. Now, perhaps he was due for one, but he is also now due to break out of it in a big way. Delgado went 0-4 and is now hitting 193. I am very concerned about him. He is a veteran, who has not had as bad a stretch as this that I know of. Yes, he missed ST, but he should be up to speed now. Him and DW need to get going. I have little doubt it will happen, I just hope it is soon.

So, a day off tomorrow. Then onto Washington for a three game set. Manny got his win last time. Let's take 3 this time around guys.

Cajone Pequeno = Cajones Muy Muy Grande

Pardon the poor Spanish, it's been about 20 years since high school. What I'm trying to say is small ball = big balls. How else to explain what Endy Chavez did last night? Two down, runners on second and third, tie game in the 12th inning, and he drops a beautiful drag bunt. Totally unexpected. If it fails, no doubt he gets pilloried in the press. But it worked, and he is the hero. Again. How cool was it when the Endy chant started as he strode to the plate? He is a folk hero to the fans at Shea, and those at home, for a lot of reasons, timely hits, great throws, and unbelievable catches. Add this one to the list.

A tight tight game, that I alas missed much of since my gym no longer has SNY. I guess I lucked out last week. In its place, CNBC. Yep, nothing gets the blood pumping on the treadmill like business news, or a replay of "Deal or no Deal". YES was on TWO channels. Someone please explain this to me?

El Duque pitched another gem. I got to see some of his mastery before I went, and he was dealing, again. We have gotten the good El Duque 3 out of 4 starts so far. I think we can stop worrying about which one will show up for a while. The pen did well, though Billy gave up a run. I'm thinking he needs to be a one and done guy, he seems to falter in his second inning of work more often than in a single inning. The Show got it done last night, good for him. Maybe now he has turned a corner. The guy has skills. Is he lights out, no, but he is going to do well for this team more often than not. Aaron Heilman also had a scoreless inning, redemption for him as well. Joe Smith got the win, throwing 3 pitches for 2 outs. Nice. Good for him, and good for "Your Ad Here", my fantasy team (I picked Joe up over the weekend.).

As for the bats, well, they were sleepy, except for Damion Easley, who hit his second home run of the season to tie the game at 1. Very nice, looks like we might have some pop off the bench there. Otherwise, Valentin had a leadoff triple, yet failed to score. Even Jose Reyes failed to push him across. Maybe Jose wanted 'Stache to know how he has felt too often this year. Wright had two hits, though he appeared to be out on a close play on the second one. The first one was a bloop to left. Can't say the slump is over quite yet, though sometimes a couple of breaks is all it takes to get things clicking. Going 1-11 with RISP is not good against the Rockies. Hopefully, they do better today.

Couple of more points. Fans at Shea have changed. Booing is happening much too frequently. Wags gives up his first run of the year, and gets booed. Please people, lets not turn into fans who boo at the drop of a hat. He did not implode, not by a long shot. Beltran nearly had that ball, one more inch and the inning is over. Some tried to blame Green for running hard to make the catch. Really? The guy shouldn't run hard? And if Beltran had not, and the ball fell in, those same people would have gotten all over Green for not going after it. Give me a break.

David has heard some boos as well. Way to show support for one of the keystones of this franchise there. The kid is struggling. At this time, he needs support. The last thing he needs is 40,000 plus, or even a small portion of that booing him. You think he is pressing now, it will only make it worse. Mark my words, there will come a time when the other bats are quiet, and David will be the one carrying the team. It happened last year.

Look, if the team gets the snot kicked out of them, I can somewhat understand booing. But in a tie game, or a 1-0 game? C'mon. Remember, they are going to lose their share of games. Booing every misplay, for a good, maybe great team, smacks of stupidity. It's OK to be pissed, and I was annoyed as well, but I did not boo the TV screen. Show a little support for your team.

Today, a day game. Mike Pelfrey vs. Josh Fogg. PLD will sit, so Ramon Castro will play. I wonder who is going to hit 2nd. Wright, in the hope that he will see more fastballs? I wonder if either Green or Alou will sit to allow Endy a start and one of them a rest with a day game following a night game, and Endy hits second? Should be interesting to see. Let's hope Pelfrey can show some of the skills we have seen at times for a longer period today. We've had a good stretch of starts from the rotation. Let's have another.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

So, Who's Rotation Is Questionable Now?

I'm talking to the guys at ESPN, FOX, and pretty much everywhere else. Would you like some marinade with that guys? Paper isn't very tasty.

What can I say? Coming into the year, the experts were running down the Mets starters. Glavine is 41 years old and had that injury last year. El Duque is prone to spend time on the DL. Perez has been awful for two years. Maine is nothing special. Who is going to be the fifth starter? The hits kept coming. The Mets would be in trouble since they did not strengthen the rotation, and made a mistake not giving Barry Zito the keys to Queens, and for not bidding higher for Dice-K. Yeah, the lineup would be OK, but the starters would get them into trouble.

I'm thinking the guys saw all this crap and decided to give the experts a rather large FU. So far, save for two bad starts by El Duque and Oliver Perez, the starters have done their job. John Maine continued the hot streak last night, going 7 2/3, giving up 1 run on 7 hits. Anyone who thought the Mets would come out flat after the loss on Sunday is suffering from delusions of 5 years ago. This ain't an Art Howe managed team. This is Willie's team, and he doesn't allow that. The players don't allow that. Maine now stands at 3-0 with a 1.71 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP. You cannot chalk this up to luck, the guy showed flashes last year, in the regular season and in Game 6. He has come into his own now. Who was traded for him again? In 26 innings, he has given up 15 hits, 14 walks and has 22 strikeouts. Forget his being a #3 starter, the guy is looking like a solid #2.

The bats were mostly quiet, save for blasts by Jose Valentin and Carlos Delgado (his first of the year). Valentin also had a sac fly, accounting for 4 of the Mets runs. Alou went 3-3, and is now hitting 397 with 2 HR and 10 RBI. Guess those reports of his demise based on his spring were a tad early. Shawn Green, who I admit is close to a horror show in right, is hitting 333 with 3 HR and 10 RBI. If he can catch the ball a little more frequently, people might lay off of him.

Back to the rotation. Here is how it looks

Glavine - 3-1 3.07 ERA 1.33 WHIP
Maine - 3-0 1.71 ERA 1.10 WHIP
El Duque - 2-1 3.24 ERA 1.16 WHIP
Perez - 2-1 3.31 ERA 1.35 WHIP
Pelfrey - 0-1 5.06 ERA, 1.69 WHIP

Now, Perez had that awful start against the Phillies, otherwise, he has pitched well in his other two starts. Pelfrey has made two starts, his first against Washington was OK, 5 2/3 innings with 2 runs, though the 4 walks were ugly. His next start was this past Friday, on 7 days rest. A sinkerballer needs to be "tired", so regular rest is key. I'm very interested to see how he does his next turn on regular rest. He should get 5 starts to see what he can do.

I'm not worried about the starters. Frankly, I have a couple of concerns about the pen. Heilman worries me a bit, but I think his struggles are due more to being a slow starter, he has had middling success in the first half. There is also the question of his elbow. Hopefully, the warmer weather will help him.

Another concern in the pen is Schoenweis. Omar gave him a 3 year $11 million contract to get lefties out. He has not delivered to date. His walk rate is up, as is the stress level of fans when he comes in. He has given up 7 walks in 6 2/3 innings, along with 6 hits, and a killer HR. Now, I have faith that Omar knew what he was doing when he signed Show, and am wiling to give him time to work it out. But it better be quick.

Otherwise, the pen has been good. Joe Smith is a revelation. The kid just gets people out. He has tossed 9 innings, given up 6 hits with 4 walks and 10 k's. Add to that an 18-4 GB to FB ratio, and he is a keeper. Pedro Dos has gotten the job done as well, with Friday against the Braves being the only blemish thus far. Ambiorix Burgos continues to walk people, but also continues to improve. Since giving up a 3 run HR to Ryan Howard in the home opener, he has allowed only 1 run in 6 innings. Walks are an issue as I said, 3 alone last night. But a 5 run lead is the best time to bring him in. Let him work on what he is learning from Rick P. Wagner has not gotten a lot of chances to date, but has a 0 ERA, and a .86 WHIP. He even has 2 1-2-3 inning saves.

A potent lineup can help overcome a poorly pitched game every now and then. But the pitchers need to get the job done more often than not. So far, the pitchers in Queens are doing their part, and the bats are doing their job as well. But if you consistently get shitty pitching, the bats can only do so much. Ask Joe Torre about that.

Now, if we can only get David Wright to start hitting again, we can put some distance between the Mets and the rest of the league.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Can We Stop Blaming Willie Please?

OK, losing two of three to the Braves is not what I or any other Mets fan hoped for this weekend. Friday was basically a no-contest, as Mike Pelfrey did not have it at all. Five innings, 4 runs, six hits, two walks and a HBP. Disappointing to say the least, but, given it was only his second start of the year, I am willing to give him a little more time. Tim Hudson owned the Mets that night, 8 innings, 5 hits, 4 hitless innings to start the game. The Mets dinged the pen for 3 in the ninth, but it was way too little too late. After Pelfrey, Pedro Dos gave up 3 runs, though two of those scored on a bases loaded walk and a WP by Burgos.

Saturday was a beautiful day for baseball, and a great performance by Oliver Perez. O Pea went 6 2/3, giving up 2 ER, on 9 hits with 9 strikeouts and NO WALKS. He threw 20 strikes in a row at one point. That is the O Pea the Mets are going to need this year. The bats came alive, Beltran and Reyes combined for 7 hits, Castro and Easley went deep, as did Reyes. After Perez, The Show, Smith, Heilman and Wagner finished it up. The series was even, and we had Glavine vs Smoltz on deck for yesterday. It promised to be a pitchers duel, as it was a couple of weeks ago. It was not.

The Mets for once got to Smoltz, hanging 6 on him in 5 2/3 on 9 hits. Shawn Green hit his second homer of the weekend. Jose Jose Jose had a 3 run triple to knock Smoltz out. Things looked good. Then, the pen blew it.

Burgos started off the top of the 7th with two quick outs on a grounder and a pop out. He then gave up a long double, as Shawn Green misplayed the ball in right. Burgos was pulled to allow lefty The Show to face Kelli Johnson, who he proceeded to walk. This is where some are questioning Willie. The next batter was Reneteria, a righty. The book says to put in a righty to face him. Willie stuck with him, feeling this would turn Chipper around to the right side, even if Renteria got on base. Well, he didn't get on base, he smacked a three run home run, and the game was tied. Now, you can say Willie should have pulled The Show, because of what the book said. Willie went with his gut, and some are beating him up for it. If you feel that way, I have a question for you: Do you track when Willie's gut works? Or do you just track when it doesn't work out? Because let me tell you something, the man managed the team last year to a division title, and to within one strike of being in the WS. So far this year, they are 11-6, and are .5 games behind the Braves. Are you saying Willie had nothing to do with any of the wins? Because that is what this smells like to me.

A manager plays with his gut, I don't care who it is. Even Bobby V, the genius, went with his gut. Even when a guy goes by the book, he is going by his gut that the book is going to work in that moment. The whole damn job is going with your gut. The bottom line is this, Green misplayed the ball, that led to the inning. Yes, The Show stank up the joint, but you know what, there is going to be a time when he comes into a tight spot and nails it down. Maybe not tonight, or this week, but it will happen. All pitchers have off days. All hitters do as well. Heck, a couple of weeks ago, we didn't want Joe Smith in a tight spot, now we all clamor for him. Guess what, he is going to get touched up at some point. It happens to everyone. Wagner will blow a couple of games. Heilman already has (let's not forget, he gave up the game winner yesterday. Willie's gut told him that Aaron was the right guy in that spot as well. But since Aaron has a track record, we let that slide.) Pedro Dos had a bad outing the other night, but I am not afraid to see him in there tonight. The pen was due for a shitty outing. It happened. It is not Willie's fault they did not execute.

They will need more than just Pedro Dos, Heilman and Smith coming out of the pen. If they are relied on too much, they will be done by May. The Show will get it right. Burgos is doing better. Let's not be so quick to blame Willie for all that ails the Mets, when we do not give him credit when his moves pay off. Have we all forgotten last season, and Jose Valentin? We were all killing Willie, yet 'Stache became an integral part of the team. Even Jorge Julio had turned it around before he was traded for El Duque. Patience is called for. Shit, they are 11-6, not 6-11.

My concern now is the bats of Delgado and Wright. Both are too talented to slump for much longer. Delgado is still compensating for his missed ST time methinks, and has had some good hacks of late. As for Wright, maybe now that the streak is done, David will press a little less. He is very out of synch, he is pulling off, as Keith stated. He needs to get in the cage and work on hitting the ball the other way. I find it interesting that some fans are jumping off his bandwagon already. Go ahead. Jump off. But do me this favor, don't jump back on when he gets hot. I am sick and tired of fans who are so quick to kill Met players. Tell me this, if Jose slumps, are you going to do the same thing? Support your team. I'm not saying don't get pissed when they lose, because I do the same. Just realize that odds are they are going to lose 65 games or so. Trying to live and die by every game is going to do nothing for your enjoyment of the game. Killing your players is not helping either.

It sucks losing 2 of three to the Braves. They are playing good baseball right now. The Mets are as well, even with two of their big bats slumping and their bullpen in flux. Hang in there a bit longer fans.

Friday, April 20, 2007


Sweet Jesus, could the lineup be any hotter right now? Three games, 28 runs scored, 46 hits, and not just against dregs, but one start by Freddy Garcia and one by Dontrelle. Every starter had a hit last night, even El Duque. Castro, Beltran and 'Stache went yard, Delgado had a 2 run double, Beltran had 2 doubles, as did Shawn Green. And yet, Delgado and Wright are still "struggling", more so Delgado, as his average is still only 220. Wright extended his hit streak to 26 games, plus 2 walks, though he did have 2 k's (he is striking out a bit more than he did last year at this time).

Now, I know Philly and Florida are not exactly the class of the league, and, as I wrote on F.U., it is way too early to start talking about awards and the like, but this team is on fire right now. The lineup is hitting, and the pitching, save for 2 awful starts, has been very good. The bullpen has settled in nicely, with Burgos seeming to round into form, Smith being a revelation, and even The Show pitching well. The only concern is the elbow of Aaron Heilman in my mind, but the good thing is that if the other guys do well, Willie can save Aaron for key situations. Look at last night, Burgos pitching saves The Show and Aaron for the Braves series. With Pelfrey getting only his second start tonight, a rested pen is a good thing to have. Ditto with Perez going tomorrow, though he has pitched very well against the Braves in his last two appearances against them (one last year, one the first game this year). The pitching staff, which was what all the experts were worried about coming into the season has allowed a total of 38 runs in 14 games, an average of 2.7 runs per game. That is, to put it mildly, sick. Seven times they have allowed 2 runs or less, including 1 shutout and 4 games allowing only 1 run. That my fellow fans is dominance.

Tonight, the boys come back to Shea to face the Braves in a 3 game set. The Mets throw Pelfrey, Perez and Glavine against Hudson, James and Smoltz. Alex Nelson at has the analysis of the Braves pitchers. Larry, Andruw and crew are 1/2 game back of the Mets, having played 2 more games. It is time to send a message. Down in Atlanta, the Mets whooped up on the Braves in the first game, but then lost the next two. This weekend, let's reverse that, take at least 2 of 3, with an eye on a sweep. The Braves have played well, but they have some deficient areas that the Mets need to expose now. The lineup is not as potent as in the past. The bullpen was improved, but is still not very deep. I want to see all three starters for the Mets shut the Braves down in the first inning. Then, the lineup should hang a crooked number on the board in the bottom half of the first inning. Show the Braves last year was no fluke. It's our division now. We've delivered the message to the Phillies, now, smackdown the Braves.

Odds and Ends

1. Reports are that 3 high profile draft eligible college football players admitted to using pot, though all passed drug tests at the combine. Wait a second, young college kids smoke pot? The horror! It would be more interesting if they said they never had. Frankly, I file this as BFD.

2. Alec Baldwin, you may be great on 30 Rock, but you are without a doubt, a giant douche. What kind of a man calls his 11 year old daughter (he actually said either 11 or 12 yrs old, nice to know your kids age Alec) a pig. Read about it here. Toasty, I think we have your Fucktard of the Week here.

3. John McCain made a "joke" about Iran, singing along to the old hit "Barbara Ann" as "Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran". Yep, this is exactly what we need to hear from a man who wants to be President. Nice diplomacy. I'm waiting for Rudy to sing "Golddigger" in honor of any one of his previous ex-wives.

4. The Isles face elimination tonight in Buffalo. Time to stop feeling sorry for yourselves guys and play your asses off. Forget the refs, forget the video goal judges. Play hockey. Drive to the net. Shoot the puck. Have some semblance of a power play. Just win. The good news is that at least there won't be any stuff thrown onto the ice.

5. The Yankees face the Red Sox in Boston this weekend. Don't worry, ESPN will have wall to wall coverage, because you know everyone cares about 3 games between two teams half of America could give 2 shits about.

See you all Monday.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


Ah, warm weather, when thoughts turn to the beach, the pool, bar-b-q and a time when pitchers maybe can stop walking so many batters and the Mets hitters start to go deep. After playing most of the season in October type weather, the Mets travelled to Florida, hoping the warm air would heat up the bats. Last night, the bats started to heat up, against no less than Dontrelle Willis who has owned the Mets till now. But they were overshadowed by John "Bag of Balls" Maine, who flirted with the Mets first no-hitter.

Maine was on last night, showing the skills that Omar and team saw when they traded KrisAnna Benson for him and Jorge Julio prior to last season. Yes, the walks were a little disturbing, but I'm not as worried, as he was not all over the place like other pitchers have been so far. He was not grooving it, he wasn't aiming, he was free. Seven strikeouts is nice to see, and the Mets turned two more double plays to help bail him out. The defense has been very good so far this year. Valentin and Reyes make quite the combo, don't they?

Maine was dealing, despite Mike Jacob's comments to the contrary. Mike of course showed why he will be nothing more than a platoon player as he Bucknered a grounder, and went 0-3 with 2 K's and a BB. After the game Mike said

"You look at it and go, 'How did this guy beat us like that?'" said Mike Jacobs, who went 0-for-2 against Maine with a walk. "Not overpowering stuff at all, but he did a real good job of pitching. He was pitching up in the zone a little bit, and we weren't hitting them."
*from AP/ESPN recap

Bitter much? Note to Jacobs, when you get owned, shut your mouth. I preferred D-Train's comment myself:

"The way the kid Maine pitched tonight, they didn't need much," Willis said. "He is definitely pitching with a lot of confidence out there. You can see it."
*from AP/ESPN recap

Maine impressed in the spring by not taking anything for granted. Every time he was asked about being in the rotation, he just said nothing is guaranteed, and I have to work hard and show I belong. So far this year, he has done that. The confidence comes from knowing he is in the rotation, and that he is a significant part of the team. He is not going to blow anyone away, but he knows how to pitch. His emergence last year and now this, gives the Mets a good middle of the rotation guy, who matches up very well with guys on other teams. It lengthens the rotation having a guy like that out there on the third day. He took the no-no into the 7th, and a borderline no-swing call on a check swing to Cabrera that could have been out #1 in the 7th. Cabrera singled on the next pitch, and the flirtation with ending the Mets futility was over. Jacobs then struck out, and Josh Willingham grounded into a fielders choice. Joe Borchard then sent one to the deepest part of Marlins Stadium, and the shutout was gone as well. The Florida crowd applauded Maine as he left at the end of the inning, classy move on their part (though I'm sure there were a lot of transplanted Mets fans there). Sele pitched the 8th, and Heilman pitched the ninth, needing only 4 pitches to get a 1-2-3 inning.

So, the pitching is improving, though I can't wait to see Pelfrey tomorrow night and Ollie on Saturday. The bats heated up last night as well. Beltran went deep and had 3 RBI. Jose went 4-6 (sweet Jesus, he is on fire). PLD played after taking that foul off his hand the night before. Alou and Wright had 2 hits each. PLD and Maine were the only two starters who failed to get a hit. Nine runs, 17 hits. Not bad. Let's hope they keep it up for at least the next 4 games.

Wright extended his 2007 hitting streak to 13 games, and to 25 overall. He is hitting 327 now, but the power stroke is still MIA. I'm not looking for 40 HR's, I'm looking for 40 doubles. He has been getting better rips at the ball, and Boone made a nice reaction grab of a scorched liner in the 8th. Hopefully, the warmth will awaken his power.

The other player with whom I have some concern is Delgado. He has had a couple of flashes where his power is there, but he is hitting 222. That is not going to get it done. Now, we went through this last year, where Delgado and Wright would struggle, and others were hot so it did not matter. I just hope we see the same this year, or, better yet, how about everyone gets and stays hot.

Tonight, El Duque tries to rebound from Saturday as he faces Rick Vanden Hurk, a 21 year old righty who is 0-0 with a 3.86 ERA and 1.71 WHIP. A classic SUCK ME pitcher. Let's smack him around a little, shall we?

Don't even ask me about the Islanders. I am beyond pissed. Could they come back, yeah, but you know what, I doubt it. DP is going to have to shutout Buffalo at this rate, and the way the defense has played, that ain't happening. Too many bad clears, lack of taking bodies out up front, and general crappy play do not equal a win against a superior team. I will have a post about what I think is wrong and what I think should be done this offseason once this series is over. The coach ain't the problem. It's the talent, or lack thereof on the ice.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

How's it Going Jimmy?

No, the bashing of Jimmy "The Mouth of South Philly" Rollins is not going to stop any time soon.

Before I get into the happy recap, a little counting help for our friends in Philly:

"thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shalt be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shalt be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then though shalt leave the field of play and go to thou bench."

shamelessly cribbed from Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Seems our friends in Philly have a bit of a counting problem, as they lost track of the outs in the sixth inning last night.

Anyway, onto the fun. Well, most of it was fun. Three concerns from last night.

1. The continued walks from Mets starters. Yes, I know that it is cold, and finesse pitchers rely on feel to make their pitches, but this is getting ridiculous. And for that matter, I don't see it impacting opposing pitchers as much.

2. The base running of Jose Reyes. Another pick off last night, and he was caught in a rundown trying to go to third on a single by Ramon Castro.

3. PLD's injury. If he is going to miss significant time, the lineup is going to be thrown into chaos. Castro cannot bat 2nd, so it will be Wright, or perhaps 'Stache, depending on whether Endy is playing for Green or Alou.

The good from last night:

1. Tommy G working out of trouble, allowing only 1 run despite allowing 6 hits, 5 walks and hitting a batter. Win # 293 for Tommy, as he creeps closer to #300.

2. The bullpen. Pedro Dos, Joe Smith and Ambiorix Burgos, 3 innings, 2 hits, 2 walks, 2 K's. Joe Smith allowed a leadoff double to Ryan Howard in the 8th, and then a walk, but escaped. Burgos allowed a single and a walk, but pitched out of trouble. I did notice Castro telling him to ease off, as he appeared to be amping it up a bit too much (one pitch nearly got away up high and to Castro's left). The gun in Philly was off, because there was no way he hit 100, then 99, 99, 98 on consecutive pitches. Keith noted earlier that Glavine was shown to hit 92, and we all know that ain't happening.

3. Moises Alou. A nice diving catch to end an inning and take away a run for the Phillies. A nice play on a ball off the wall with his bare hand (though I'm not too sure I would want to touch the ball after that). And of course, 2 home runs, one a 2 run job in the 2nd inning to score Wright, the other a solo shot.

4. Wright. At the plate, another hit. In the field, some more good play. I am getting a little tired of some fans claiming his hitting streak is "quiet". The guy is hitting 319 with a 400 OBP. He is doing his job, though I admit his bases loaded strike out against Geary was a tad ugly.

5. Jose, Jose, Jose. He went 2-4 with a walk. He gets on base, and good things happen. Let's work on the pick offs though, mmmkay?

6. The Phillies are now 3-9, and that is good news. They are playing horribly, Howard is not hitting, their bullpen sucks, and they can't count. Good times.

Tonight, Dontrelle Willis against John Maine in Florida, so we should hopefully not hear about the cold weather affecting the pitchers.

Other stuff.

No observations this week. I haven't had the time to write them up. In their place, some rants.

1. My gym, which made me suffer last year by not having SNY (though it did have YES), finally, as of last night has SNY, so I can now watch whilst I run. I am now happy. The bad thing is they took away ESPNNEWS. Bad form.

2. Sean Avery is a dirty rat bastard. I'm sorry, but this guy is dirty. Last night in the third period, he crosschecked Ilya Kovalchuk into the Thrashers bench, as Kovalchuck was about to be hit from another Ranger. How was no penalty called? Then, when Kovalchuck goes after him, Avery feigns dropping the gloves, Kovalchuck does, and starts to administer a beating. Another Ranger comes into the fray, which should have resulted in a 3rd man in penalty, as both players were gloveless and engaged. Don't tell me I am jealous, this guy is a dirty player, this is a well known fact in the league. I sincerely hope someone pounds him in the next game.

3. Islander fans get bashed some more, today in the NYTimes, which barely covered the team this year. George Vescey even brought up an incident from 1983. George, STFU. When your paper can actually own up to being stupid in its reporting on a host of issues, then I will respect it. Until then, GFY. Were the fans moronic, yes, but I don't need the Times moralizing about behavior. Clean up your own house.

4. Jeter now has 6 errors in 12 games, but Torre isn't worried. Meanwhile, A-Rod has 8 home runs. I'm thinking Jeter is distracted by the year A-Rod is having and is pressing. Maybe A-Rod should invite him over for a sleepover.

5. Saw a picture on channel 4 this morning of the "Naked Cowboy" with NY Rangers on his ass. Well, that fits.

6. I want Alexei Yashin gone. He has done nothing this playoff. I don't care if he comes back and dominates the rest of this series and they win. He is simply not a good player anymore, and not worth the $7.6 million he is being paid.

7. Jason Blake, there are other players on the ice, how about passing it instead of doing an Alexei Kovalev ice skating impression.

8. Charles Wang better open up the damn checkbook for Ryan Smyth. The guy is playing his ass off, and is the guy I want as my next Islander captain. Let him rip the "C" off of Yashin's jersey with his stick in the middle of the ice in front of a packed house. Heck, fans would pay $100 a pop to see it, paying off a good portion of Yashin's contract.

9. So thanks to Imus, we now are subjecting his former audience to Mike and the Mad Dog. That will show those who called for his ouster. The punishment of listening to those two gasbags will have people begging for Imus to come back.

In closing, Let's Go Islanders. Big game tonight. Let's get a win on home ice, shall we?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Calling All Scorers

Well, Saturday night was a nice win for the Islanders. Ricky DiPietro returned, and while Sabres fans were licking their chops over the prospect of their high powered offense facing a twice concussed rusty goalie, they were licking their wounds after he turned in a fantastic performance. Hopes were high coming into last night, as the Isles would be home in front of a boisterous crowd and ready to take another from the heavily favored Sabres. Alas, it was not meant to be. For reasons within and out of the Isles control.

From a within standpoint, they did not pressure the Sabres enough in the 3rd period. Two shots? Two lousy shots? Guys, there is no shootout in the playoffs, it is sudden death OT. You do not want to play OT with the Sabres. You need to generate more chances than that. Ryan Smyth showed up. Sillinger did, Hunter did, Hilbert did. But, in a replay of season's past, where the hell was our Captain, Alexei Yashin? The same tired story where he does nothing come playoff time. My patience is done. If he fails to show up the rest of this series, then Wang must cut his ass. Yes, he will cost $2.2 million against the cap of 8 years, but that is a hell of a lot better than $7.6 over 4. Cut his ass and be done with it. And Mr. Satan and Mr. Kozlov, where the hell are you? The defense played well, jumping into the play on offense. Ricky showed up as well, playing well again. Too many penalties again doomed the Isles, that and a lack of shots at Miller, who was not all that sharp on the two goals he gave up.

Which brings me to the things the Isles can't control, the refs. Calling two minors, one of the 4 minute variety at the same time? Calling a phantom penalty with under 2 minutes left? Calling that a GOAL? Hey Colin (Magoo) Campbell, thanks for the screwing, again. There wasn't a single replay that we saw that showed that puck over the line. What the hell replay were the officials in Toronto looking at. The only thing the Isles can do is to make sure they do not take stupid penalties or give the refs an excuse.

Now, a couple of things about the fans. The Coliseum is a great place in the playoffs, the fans are fired up, and look to give an edge to the hometown team. But who was the asshole who chanted "Rangers Suck" during the moment of silence for the victims of the shooting at Virginia Tech last night? I only hope his friends told him to STFU. That made Islander fans look bad. And it got worse late in the game after the last penalty called on Robataille, as fans littered the ice with garbage. What does that accomplish? All it does is stop the game, put people at risk of injury (in the stands and on the ice) and make Islander fans look like cretins. Yes, I was pissed as well, but boo, or start a chant, don't throw shit on the ice. It happened again at the end of the game. Billy Jaffe was right, there is no call for that. I hope the fans who attend on Wednesday are better behaved. Support your team, don't be an ass.

Can they still win, sure. It is not going to be easy. They had a shot last night, and if they can mount more consistent pressure on the Sabres they can take the next game. Then it becomes a best of 3. They have thrived with their backs to the wall the last couple of weeks. Now, if Yashin, Kozlov and Satan can remember that they are supposed to shoot and score, it will be a lot easier.



Friday, April 13, 2007

It Was COLD!

So, I witnessed the near carnage last night at Shea. Not a great beginning for Mr. Glavine. Giving up a solo Home Run to the hated Jimmy Rollins is not what the fans wanted to see. Following that up with 3 walks was also not good. The Phillies saved Tom from further damage there with stupid baserunning. Please tell me why Shane Victorino was running with Ryan Howard at the plate? How stupid is he? Howard, even hitting as poorly as he is, is still a very dangerous hitter (ask Ambiorix Burgos for confirmation). I'll take it though, as I'm sure Tommy did. I'll tell you this, the Phillies keep playing this dumb, and there will be no need to worry about them this season.

Rollins hit another homer in the second, after the Mets tied the game in the bottom of the first as Jose Reyes led off with a single, moved to second on a PLD grounder, and scored on a Beltran single. The fans were not happy. I was freezing a tad (maybe I should have worn mittens? Would that have helped?). It was now 3-1 Phillies.

Bottom of the second, and Alou leads off with a single. Shawn Green takes on for the team, so runners on first and second. Following a Damion Easley fly out, Tom Glavine put down a beautiful sacrifice to move the runners over. Wes Helms continued the Phillies defensive ineptitude, and threw the ball away, allowing Alou to score, and it was 3-2.

Glavine then settled into a rhythm, facing the minimum over the next 4 innings. He went 6, giving up 3 runs, 3 walks with 4 k's (including 2 of Howard). Moyer tried to settle in, but in the fourth, Alou doubled, Green popped out, Easley walked, and Glavine bunted again. This time the catcher fielded the ball and threw Glavine out. Reyes followed with a single for a 4-3 lead. It stayed that way till the 7th, when with one out, Wright his a triple to right. Alou followed with a run scoring single, and it was 5-3. That was all the Mets would need. Joe Smith came on in the 7th and was very impressive. The Show walked a hitter in the 8th, but needed only 9 pitches to retire the side. My thinking is that with the cold, Willie did not want to use Heilman, who had some elbow stiffness last weekend. Wags came on in the 9th, allowed a hit, but shut the door. I do wish he would not scare me so much, but he got the job done. Then it was time to head home. It was funn on the 7 train back to GCT, as fans were doing the "Jose Jose Jose" chant. Jimmy Rollins may have outscored Reyes last night, but the Mets came through.

Other Observations about the Game:

I was very impressed with the crowd when they applauded Lastings Milledge when he pinch hit for Glavine in the 6th. Very loud, considering how few were in attendance. Good for them, and I am happy for Lastings that he got a warm reception. Now, lets keep that up if and when he comes back from NOLA.

The lack of execution with RISP is a concern. I am not on the ledge yet, but Rick Down better start earning his paycheck. You can get away with that against lesser teams, but not better ones. It hurt us in the NLCS, and against Atlanta last weekend. This needs to be fixed NOW!

Can someone explain to me why asshat Yankee fans feel the need to come to Shea, and late in the game opening their jacket to show their jersey? I heard a Yankees suck chant start, and got pissed, thinking it was just fans chanting it because the Mets were winning, but then I saw the asshat a few sections over from me. Dude, that does not make you a big brave man. It makes you look stupid. In the future, people like that should be ignored.

I had my closest ever encounter with a foul ball, as one landed about one section away from me. I should have DVR'd the game, I might have seen myself.

So, my first game of the year is in the books. I plan on going to a few more. I think I'll wait for warmer weather though.

*************Other Stuff***********

Bad news for the Isles, as they lost 4-1. I obviously did not see the game (but I thank the guys at Metsgeek for posting score updates for me), but when you get only 1 shot in a period, odds are you are not going to win. Dubie got heckled a tad in the third per the newspaper, since he had the temerity (that's sarcasm folks) to allow 4 goals on 35 shots.

The good news is Rick was cleared to practice, and flew to the game last night with Wang and other execs. He could possibly play game 2, but Game 3 might be the better answer. Start him at home, with a welcoming crowd. But in Game 2, I would recommend lighting a fire under the ass of Yashin, Satan (who hit a post last night) and Kozlov. Those three need to score.

As for Don Imus, I frankly think he should have been gone a long time ago. He is an idiot, what he said was reprehensible. To those who feel this is a "free speech" issue, it is not. The gov't is not acting, a private employer is. An employer has the right to fire you for pretty much any reason, so long as it is not something prescribed by law (for race, religion, gender, etc). CBS Radio had no choice, advertisers were fleeing in droves. I think the forces of Sharpton and Jackson are hypocrites, as they have used inflammatory remarks in the past themselves, but that has no bearing on this issue, I wish people would realize this.

So, replaces him? Do His Pompousness and the Screaming Ninny move to the AM? Do they get split up with one moving and one staying? One paper wrote yesterday they could go after Michael Kay. I would stab myself in the ear with an icepick if the Yankee Homer was on the air of the home of the Mets. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

This weekend, Mets vs. Nationals. Alex at Metsgeek has your pitching matchups as usual. Isles have Game 2 Saturday night. Let's hope for a winning weekend, shall we?

Oh, and Mike, I rooted for the Rangers last week, and nearly had to break my fingers with a hammer for doing so. That will not happen again.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

One Last Thing Before Tonights Game






Daddy Said There'd Be Days Like This

But they still suck.

Last night, we had the bad O Pea. The first inning went well, 3 up, three down. The second, the wildness started, but he got out of it. The third, the wheels fell off. After two quick outs, he gave up a single, then walked the next four batters, then hit the # 8 hitter with a pitch. Mercifully, he was pulled for Aaron Sele, who ended the threat.

Sele did well, giving up only two runs. However, the damage was done, as the offense was off last night. Five hits total, and only two runs against Adam Eaton. The good vibes from Monday were washed away. The bright spot was Jose Reyes, who went 2-3 with a walk. However, the inability to drive him in from third reared its ugly head again last night. This is something that needs to change. Soon.

From the pitching side, Sele was a plus, 4 1/3, 4 hits, 2 walks, 2 runs. Pretty good Darren Oliver impersonation. Pedro Dos was OK, 2-3, 1 walk 1 k. Joe Smith pitched the final 1 1-3, needing only 14 pitches. Smith is doing well since his first outing, he looked very nasty last night.

Back to O Pea. Just like it was kind of silly to think a corner was turned based on last Friday's excellent outing against the Braves (and I am guilty of this as well), it is silly to think he has suddenly regressed to the point where he cannot be counted on due to one bad start. Now, I know this is the type of start he has been known for the last couple of years, but there is a major difference between Pittsburgh and NY. Mainly the existence of Rick Petersen. Rick will work with him. Focus is the issue, his mechanics were off. There were a number of pitches that were close. Frankly, had he not been so wild on others, guys may have swung at them. But since he set a bad tone, guys were going to wait him out. I think we need to give the guy some time before we really get worried. It's OK to have some concern of course, I have it as well, but I'm not close to pulling the plug.

My concern is the lineup. David Wright, despite his 20 game hit streak, has more worrisome at bats than I would like. Willie alluded to a "looping swing" on WFAN yesterday. Rick Down better start earning his money and get in the damn cage with him. For that matter, he better talk to guys about taking some pitches. How do you lat Eaton thrown only 108 pitches in 7 innings, when you know the Philly bullpen is suspect? They need to work the count more. This is something I have been saying since last year. I do not like Down. Guys slump, I know this, but some slumped for longer than necessary last year. It is his job to fix them. Wright needs to get that "level swing" that Keith loves so much back. If not Down, then talk to HOJO, who David had a great relationship with in the minors.

Tonight, rain permitting, Tom Glavine versus Jamie Moyer. I will be there with some friends. I'm hoping the whooping sticks come out tonight. It's going to be cold, so Tommy may have issues like he did in Atlanta on Saturday, so runs may be needed. With the wet field, it may be a good idea to get Endy or Lastings in there for either Green or Alou. I know both have hit for good average, I'm worried about defense. Plus, Endy needs the work. He did well last year when Willie sprinkled in his starts. If he goes with Lastings, it's a nice parting gift as he gets ready to go to NOLA when Mike Pelfrey comes up to pitch tomorrow (assuming Glavine isn't pushed back if the game is called tonight).

A few last things about SNY. First, enough with the in-game interviews. The one with HOJO last night was nice, given his place in Mets fans hearts. But it takes away from the calling of the game. At least that one was short, and while the Phillies batted. Later, Jerry Koosman, who also has a big place in Mets Fans hearts, was in the booth during a Met rally. I like Jerry, but it was a bad time for him to be there. For an old-timer like that, an interview special would be better. Lets get a bunch together. Koosman, Seaver, Keith, Ronny, Knight, Stearns, the list goes on.

Bad form in missing Beltran's leadoff double, as we had to hear AGAIN about Dice K in Boston. I DON'T CARE ABOUT DICE K. Particularly in the middle of a Mets game. Also, would it kill them to have closed captioning? I like to watch the post game or Sports Night in bed. If the wife is trying to sleep, I normally put on CC on other channels. But SNY does not have it. It is quite annoying for me. I can only imagine what it is like for those who cannot hear. Let's get this fixed guys.

Be back tomorrow with a hopefully happy recap of a win tonight.

Be sure to stop by Flushing University, where my second column "Please, Stop the Comparisons" is up. Let me know what you think about it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Weekly Observations 4/11/07

1. Our long national nightmare is over. We finally know Larry Birkhead is the baby daddy. Of course, Larry King will do stories on this for the remainder of the week.

2. Al Sharpton versus Don Imus. I'll pick the meteor to win Alex.

3. Yep, sure am sad the Mets didn't sign Jeff Weaver and Jeff Suppan this offseason.

4. Hey Barry Zito, how's it working out for you with the "no ego" guys?

5. The ghosts caught up and it is game over for Pac Man Jones. (did you like that, two puns in one sentance. I'm in a zone.)

6. NFL Teams will lose draft picks if guys they draft get into trouble. If only you couold get more picks if the guys you draft suck, the Jets would have had a better shot. Then again, maybe not.

7. Ed Belfour, goalie for the Florida Panthers, was tasered at a Florida bar by police. Eddie tried to use the blocker, but the cop went stick side. Could have been worse, he could have gone five hole.

8. The Yankees are blaming cold weather for the leg injuries suffered by Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui. That's an improvement from last year, when they would have blamed A-Rod.

9. Speaking of A-Rod, he has 6 homers in the Yankees first seven games, including a game winning grand slam. Of course, the next time he drops a pop-up, the boos will return.

10. The score is 3-1, with Derek Jeter leading in errors. Of course, Yankee fans blame A-Rod for Jeter's fielding woes, since he dares to occupy the same side of the field.

11. I have to ask Imus, Don, have you looked at YOUR hair lately?

12. Kevin Durant is turning pro after one year in the NCAA. I'm stunned. A young man leaving college early?

13. President Bush is trying to find a retired General to be war "czar" to oversee efforts in Irag and Afghanistan. So far, 3 retired 4-star Generals have declined the role. They all claimed draft deferments based on being in college.

14. President Bush's spy chief is asking for expanded surveillance powers. This is a first, this time they are actually asking for permission to read your mail, tap your phones and see what library books you took out.

15. A NYC couple moving to Arizona has hired a cab to drive them rather than flying. Their rationale was that if they are going to be stuck waiting for 6 hours, better in a cab than on a plane.

16. A female Brooklyn Law School student appeared in a soft core porn show for Playboy. Now there are questions as to her moral fitness to be a lawyer. Wait, they decide whether someone is moral enough to be a lawyer? Since when?

17. The student claimed she did not know how the video got leaked. Her ex-boyfriend claims she linked to it on her My-Space page. He also said he is worried about his future since he appeared in the video briefly and does not want his future employer to find out. He said all of this in the newspaper. Under his own name. This guy is too stupid to be a lawyer.

18. NASCAR driver Michael Waltrip was charged with reckless driving after a crash. He hit a telephone pole and rolled his car. He was surprised when no one came to pull him out of the window or had a fire exstinguisher.

19. This Sunday, all members of several MLB teams will wear #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson. Of course, George Steinbrenner thinks it is in honor of Mariano Rivera.

20. Manny Acta, manager of the Nationals, thinks his team can replicate the job the 2006 Marlins did. Well, they have no good players to dump in a trade like the Marlins did before last season. And they have no good young talent. Manny should hope the Nats are as good as the 1999 Marlins (who went 64-98).

21. LA Angel Garrett Anderson will not be wearing Robinson's #42, because it wasn't his idea. He also plans on taking his bat and ball home.

22. The Knicks lost to the Bulls last night 98-69. After the game, the Knicks accused the Bulls of running up the score. The Bulls give away free Big Mac's if the Bulls score 100. Methinks the Knicks were more upset when they heard they coudl not cash in, despite being spectators most of the night.

That's all for this week folks. Be back tomorrow with a recap of tonights Mets game.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Isles Recap and Playoff Preview

We interrupt the giddiness over the Mets to discuss the Islanders today. Yes Ded, it is only week 1 for the Mets, but my main focus is the Mets once baseball rolls around. For today, I will push them aside (it is an off day after all), and discuss the job Ted Nolan has done with the Islanders.

It started the end of last season. Steve (notso) Stirling was fired towards the end, and Brad Shaw came in. Brad did an OK job, but the team needed a taskmaster, someone who would hold guys feet to the fire (paging Mr. Alt Yashin). Someone who had NHL Head Coaching experience. Mike Milbury had been pushed aside as well, so a GM was needed. One who would not trade away promising young talent or picks. One who could not only draft well (say this for Mad Mike, he could draft em. Couldn't keep em, but could draft 'em), but sign good FA or make good trades. The season ended without a playoff birth, and the offseason began.

Charles Wang proceeded to hire Neil Smith as GM and Ted Nolan as coach. This after numerous stories that Duane Sutter or Steve Tambellini would come home. Nolan had been out of the NHL for 10 years, after leaving Buffalo under questionable circumstances. Smith had been out for several years after basically destroying the Rangers. Nolan I was OK with. Smith, given his blueshirt background and awful history, not so much. Wang also lured Bryan Trottier as an advisor and Pat LaFontaine to a similar role. Fans were happy, and we thought things were looking up. Forty days later, it blew up.

Smith was out, after a falling out with Wang. Wang wanted to run everything through a committee, and Smith did not like this. Or maybe he didn't like the idea of signing a goalie to a 15 year contract. Either way, he was out, and Garth Snow!, the backup goalie the prior season was named GM. Patty L left as well, and the Isles were a laughingstock. A few guys were signed, Witt, Hill, Hilbert, Kozlov, Dunham. But the hopes for cutting of Yashin did not happen, though the hiring of Nolan seemed to be a good sign in Yashin's regard. Perhaps Nolan could get him going.

Entering the season, pretty much every pundit had the Islanders missing the playoffs, and being the worst team in the NHL. I have to admit, things did not look good, but I felt they would compete for the playoffs. Things got off to a slow start, as the boys lost their first 3 games on a swing out west, and DP looked bad. It turned out he was playing with a mild groin injury. Once healed, he returned to play very well. They finished October 5-6. But Yashin was playing well, and soon to be Free Agent Jason Blake was on fire.

They went 7-6 in November, and 7-6 in December, despite Yashin missing time with a knee injury. Still, they were in first place for a few days, and people were starting to notice the job Nolan was doing. Guys played hard every night. Very few blowouts. They won 3 against the hated Rangers. The guys were buying into his methods. There were flaws, and a lot of penalties, but they were right there with the rest of the division.

January was awful. A 4-9 record. But overall they were 23-21-6, a far cry from 30th overall. February was fantastic. They went 9-4, finishing the month at 32-23-8. DP was on fire, and people were mentioning him as a main reason for the improvement. Nolan was getting well deserved recognition as a Jack Adams candidate. Yes, the Penguins were doing extremely well, but look at the talent they had compared to the Islanders. Crobsy, Malkin, Staal, jeez, that team is stacked. The Isles, not so much. Then, Snow pulled off a couple of deals, adding defenseman Marc Andre Bergeron from Edmonton to man the point on the Power Play, and then dipping back into the Oilers well to get Ryan Smyth for two prospects and a first round pick this year. Smyth brings grit and a nose around the net. Things were looking up.

Then the roof started to cave in. Chris Simon despicably whacked Ryan Hollweg in the face with his stick. He wound up being suspended for the rest of the season, 25 games minimum. And the Isles lost back to back games to the Rangers, 2-1 each time, despite DP playing a fantastic game in the first of the two losses with 56 saves. Two games later, DP would suffer a concussion as he took a knee to the head. Mike Dunham, who had not played in weeks came in, and the rust showed, as the Isles lost 3 in a row. DP would return for a couple of games, including wins over the Penguins and Flyers, but would take another blow to the head in a game against the Rangers, and was out again. Dunham lost the next two, and was replaced by AHL goalie Wade (Yoda) Dubielewicz. Dubie lost his first start, but then, with the Isles facing a one loss and go home scenario, won 4 straight. Help from the Rangers (who beat Montreal) and the Leafs (who were awful against the Isles on game, then game back to defeat the Habs this past Saturday) the Isles were able to take the last playoff spot, beating the Devils 2-1 in a SO on Sunday.

Nolan deserves the credit. He used guys wisely. When Yashin was not playing well, he put him on IR to heal his knee. When he came back and was playing poorly, he demoted him to the 4th line, something that Stirling never did, not Shaw. He stuck with DP. He made the guys believe. And he made the fans believe.

Now, the playoffs. They start Thursday against the top team in the NHL, the Buffalo Sabres. It looks like Dubie will play at least game 1, as DP is not yet cleared. What is going to happen?

On paper, it is a mismatch. The Sabres had 113 points and scored 308 goals, giving up 242. They had 6 guys score more than 20 goals, and 4 more than 30. The PP was 17.4% and PK was 81.3%. Miller is the goalie who many thought should have been the Team USA goalie over DP last Olympics (while forgetting the team scored as often as Jimmy Rollins in a Manhattan bar). They are fast, and built for the new NHL.

The Isles finished with 92 points. They scored 247 goals, and gave up 240. The PP was 18.1%, PK was 81.8%. They had 6 guys score more than 20 goals, and 2 more than 30 (Smyth scored most of his for Edmonton of course). Dubie is small, and this is his first NHL playoff. The team takes an abnormally large number of penalties. They are slow. Blake is the offensive engine, along with Smyth. Yashin historically has bad playoffs. It's no contest, right?

Wrong. Yes, Buffalo won the season series 3-1. Yes, they have more offensive firepower. But you know what? It's a new season. All that stuff is gone. Blake is playing for a contract. Smyth as well. Dubie wants an NHL job. Yashin wants to keep his. And if DP is healthy, you know he wants Miller. And Nolan would love nothing more than to beat the Sabres. This team will play hard, 60 minutes each game. Nolan will have them ready. People wrote them off last week, and look what they did. They rode a guy who has Yoda and the hated "Fisherman" on his mask to 4 straight wins in a do or die situation. This is not going to be the whitewash everyone thinks. Look at the recent past. The Oilers were an 8th place team last year. The Cardinals won 83 games. The Jets were supposed to go 2 and 12. Why not the Islanders? They rode a hot Glenn Healy to the Conference Finals in 1993. Why not ride a hot Dubie to the next round. Call me crazy, or a homer. No problem, you may be right. But I think they can take the Sabres. The Coliseum in the playoffs is unbelievable. The place literally shakes. The fans will be at full throat. They want this. The guys want this.

Islanders in 7.
Let's hear it:

Let's Go Islanders!
*clap clap clap clap clap*
Let's Go Islanders!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Insert J-Roll Pun Here

It didn't look good early. John Maine was not getting the calls. David Wright was seemingly lost at the plate. Still, the Mets led 3-2 after 5. Then, Ambiorix Burgos gave up a 2 out 3 run Home Run to Ryan Howard, and it was 5-3 Mets. And Cole Hamels was dealing (and getting the benefit of a strike zone that the Mets did not get). But they were not quite dead yet.

In the seventh, Joe Smith pitched a 1-2-3 inning. In the bottom of the inning, PLD got a hit. Beltran walked, and Delgado (who had a monster day, going 3-3 with 2 RBI), drove in PLD to make it 5-4. But the fun was just beginning.

Pedro Dos pitched a 1-2-3 top of the eight. And then the Mets brought the pain.
Moises Alou led off with a single. Shawn Green followed with a single. After Alou was forced at 3rd on a bunt, Julio Franco walked to load the bases for Jose Reyes. Jimmy Rollins then made an error on a grounder by Reyes, leading to the tying run. And there was much rejoicing. Phillies reliever Geoff Geary uncorked a wild pitch, and the Mets led 6-5. And there was much rejoicing. And a LOT of chants of "Jimmy Rollins."

But they were not done yet. PLD walked, and Leiber came in to face Beltran. Beltran plated another run with a Sac Fly. It was now 7-5. David Wright doubled to deep left (welcome to the party David) and it was 9-5. Moises ALou followed with a single, plating both Delgado and Wright. Mercifully, Endy Chavez (who had pich run for Green), grounded out to Rollins to end the beating inning. Seven runs in the frame. A 5-4 deficit was suddenly an 11-5 lead. And Shea was rocking.

Billy Wagner came in, even with a 6 run lead, and set the Philets down 1-2-3.
So, Maine did not pitch well. Burgos gave up a home run to Howard. Yet the bats more than made up for the pitching issues. This was a statement to the Phillies, and to the experts. yes, there will be games where the starters are not at there best. But the lineup is capable of putting up a crooked number very quickly.

And it was a statement to the Phillies as well, particularly Jimmy Rollins. "Your mouth is writing checks your body can't cash son".

So, a day of rest tomorrow. Wednesday, the Phils have Adam Eaton going. The Mets counter with Oliver Perez.

I have the sneaking feeling Jimmy is gonna get a few questions about his comments in the spring. And about how he screwed the pooch today. Jimmy, going 0-3 is not the way to show you are the leader of the "Team to Beat".

Now, it's early. I know this. But the Phillies are now 1-6. Their bullpen is a mess. There starting pitching outside of Hamels is nothing to write home about. They have Howard, this is true. But little else.

Methinks the Mets need to send an early statement. It started today. Finish it on Wednesday and Thursday. Don't let them up like we did to Atlanta this weekend. Finish Them.

How Was Your Weekend?

On the heels of the beating administered to the Cardinals, hopes were running high amongst the Shea faithful heading into Atlanta for a fist place showdown. After Friday, we were feeling even better. Oliver Perez pitched a GEM, as the Mets walloped the Braves 11-1, with O Pea's only blemish being a solo home run given up to Jeff Francoeur. Jose Reyes had two triples, Alou and Valentin had doubles, and DW had two. All the starters had a hit, and the boys looked to be locked in. O Pea pitched 7 strong innings, with 6 k's, no walks, and allowed only 5 hits, making me happy for real and for fantasy purposes, and elating Coop. Ambiorix Burgos and Joe Smith finished it up. Things looked good.

Saturday was a different story, as they lost 5-3. The defense was the main culprit, as Green had an error on a catchable ball, which extended a Braves rally. Delgado also made an error. Glavine pitched well, but not great, as the cold impacted his feel for the ball. The cold didn't impact John Smoltz, who once again mastered the Mets lineup. Green was the only hitter who did much, going 3-5, the rest of the lineup was mostly quiet, including David Wright, who struck out 3 times against Smoltz. They left 13 men on base, which is a problem dating to late last season. It would not improve yesterday.

Alas, I did not get to see much of the game yesterday. My mom's side of the family is populated with Yankee fans, so, watching much of the Mets game was out of the question (though Dad and I had fun watching as the Yanks lost). I saw a little, and ran out to the car to get updates on the radio. What I heard was not good, nor was what I saw. Outside of home runs by Green and Castro, there was little offense. Reyes was left on third, twice, once with no outs. A total of 6 hits, and 7 LOB. Now, this was Kyle Davies they were facing, not exactly a top flight starter, though he did have a complete game against the Mets last year. Heilman took the loss, as he was the first reliever to give up a run (two actually) this year. El Duque was good again, continuing the Mets string of excellent starts, though 4 walks is not a good thing in the long run.

The problem is timely hitting. Now, it is early, but this was a problem late last season, as well as in the NLCS. I'm getting a little worried about Wright. He did have a couple of doubles on Friday, and has had a hit each game this year (and 18 straight dating back to the end of last season). Mike McGann over at Flushing University has a column discussing Wright, it's worth a read. Something needs to be done about the lack of timely hitting. Those who had suffered read my ramblings since last year know I am not a big fan of Rick Down. This is Rick's job, and he better do it. Atlanta is improved (though it looks like Hampton may have an elbow injury, so that is going to hurt them a bit). Philly isn't going to suck all year long (though, I hope they will for the next 3 days). It will possibly be a dogfight, so the bats need to get going.

Home Opener today. Second to last at Shea. John Maine on the mound versus Cole Hamels. Jimmy Rollins, prepare for the boos baby. I'm sure he is expecting them. Let's just hope he doesn't use it as motivation. Alex Nelson at Metsgeek has the breakdown of the Philly starters. I hope to be attending the Thursday evening game, weather permitting. For today, Gamecast and Metsgeek open thread will have to suffice. I think taking 2 of 3 would be a nice message to Jimmy. Let's get it done boys.

In addition to checking up on the Mets via radio yesterday, I had to check up on my Islanders. They won Saturday, and the Leafs beat the Habs, setting up a "win and in" for the Isles yesterday. The Devils started Scott Clemmenson instead of Brodeur, which is sure to annoy Leafs fans. It was 2-0 Isles with 5 minutes left. Then, 2-1 with 10 second left. The Devils tied it with .9 second left, with the goalie pulled for the extra skater, leading to OT. OT was scoreless, and I made it home in time to see the shootout, which the Isles won 2-1, clinching a playoff spot. They now get ready to face the President's Trophy Winners, the Buffalo Sabres. Isles coach Ted Nolan started there, so that makes for a nice story line. On paper, it looks like the Isles have no shot. Buffalo won 3 of 4 meetings during the season. The Isles have been playing full bore for a week, so a letdown is possible. And they are using their third string goalie, Wade Dubielewicz. It is not going to be easy. But the whole season wasn't. Most (if not all) the experts picked the Isles to be 30th out of 30 teams after an off season of turmoil. But Rick DiPietro proved to be worth nearly every penny of his $4.5 million a year contract (alas, it is a 15 yr contract). Jason Blake had a career season with 40 goals. Ryan Smyth was a late season addition. Can they win? Sure. But it is going to take a career defining performance from Dubie. And a playoff awakening from Alexei Yashin, who seems to go quiet once the playoffs start. Somebody better light a fire under his ass. Maybe Carol Alt should withhold favors until he shows he can dominate a playoff series. He has the talent to do so. But does he have the drive?

Friday, April 06, 2007

Time to Make Like Sherman

Following the beating adminstered to the Cardinals (I wonder how the fans on Cardinals Diaspora are doing?), the Mets move to Atlanta. No bones about it, this is a big series this weekend. Yes, I know it is early, but the Braves manhandled the Phillies this week, and stand at 3-0, just like our beloved Mets. Larry is already saying the Mets are the measuring stick this year for them. Let's take that stick and use it against them, shall we? Put some early distance between us and them. Be the bullies.

For an analysis of the sacrificial lambs pitchers the Braves will be sending against us, go to, as Alex Nelson provides his usual excellent breakdown of who we will face this weekend.

Now, last year, by going 11-7, the Mets started to exorcise the demons. They went 6-3 at Turner Field, having a winning record there for the first time. But you and I know that if they fail to win this weekend, the pundits will be turning on the Mets faster than David Wells attacks a buffet. An early statement was sent to the Cardinals. Now, send the same statement to Atlanta. Show Larry and Smirky and Frenchy that their time is done. This is our division, we just let them play in it. I want to see Jose driving pitchers nuts. I want to see the Carlos' do some damage. I want young David to find his doubles stroke. Alou and Green have been OK, lets see them continue. We might get a Milledge sighting, so lets hope Blastings can show some of the skills he displayed in the spring.

I think the guys realize the Braves are no longer the bullies. The Mets are. Yes, Larry is still dangerous, and Smirky is in his contract year, so he may actually hustle once in a while. McCann is a very good hitter. Renteria had a good series against the Phillies. But that was the Phillies, not exactly a team with a great bullpen, or even great starters (though Hamels is scary good). The Mets are sending Perez, Glavine and Hernandez to the hill. That's a trio that has a bit more talent than what the Braves faced earlier this week.

I want to take 2 of 3 here. I'm not overly greedy. A sweep would be better. Put them down now. Show the division we mean business.

Brief Islanders note

Now, I've been a tad remiss in not writing much about the Islanders. I'll be honest, once Rick DiPietro went down, I thought they were done. He had singlehandedly brought them to the brink of the playoffs, and when he went down, Mike Dunham did not pick up the slack. They played uneven hockey for a few games, and fell back. But then, a switch seemed to be flicked. AHL call-up Wade (not Brad AL Trautwig, you tool) Dubielewicz has played very well the last few games. Thanks to the Rangers (excuse me while I rip out my fingernails with pliers, ok, I'm back), and a big win over Toronto for the good guys last night, they still have a chance. A slight one, but a shot nonetheless. Here goes.
The Isles have 2 games left, and no room for error. They win, and if Toronto can beat Montreal on Saturday, they are in. Of course, they will face the Sabres in the first round, but hey, you never know.
One loss, or a Montreal win, and it is over. A Montreal win no matter what, and it is over.
So, is there hope? Yes. They play Philly on Saturday. They play the Devils on Sunday. They haven't done well against the Devils, but you and I know that if they have a shot on Sunday of getting in with a win, Ted Nolan will make damn sure the boys play with every last bit of energy they have.
I think they are going to do it.
Keep your fingers crossed.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

It's Enough to Drive TLR to Drink

Three up, three down. A combined score of 20-2. Dominating starts by Glavine, Duque and Maine. Flawless pitching out of the pen. Last night took on an "Everybody Plays" feel, as Aaron Sele and Ambiorix Burgos got the chance to get some work in against the defending World Series Champions.

Maine was on last night. I was unfortunately unable to watch the start of the game since my gym is run by Yankee fans apparently, as they show YES, but not SNY. So I was forced to live by looking at the ticker on ESPN News. I did get to hear the fan on the way to and from the gym, and caught the last few innings. What I missed was John Maine picking up where he left off in the NLCS, and improving upon it. Four hitless innings. Rolen leads off the 5th with a single, and John walks Edmonds. But Maine buckled down and retired the next three, on a strikeout, liner and fly ball.

In the sixth, PLD (who is playing for a contract) got another hit, and Beltran reminded the St. Louis fans why they hate him so much, as he took Looper yard. The bottom of the sixth was key for Maine, as his team had staked him to a 3-0 lead, and he needed to show he could hold it. He did of course, and did so in the 7th.

The bats are heating up a tad methinks. Green had a couple of hits and and RBI and Run scored. Alou had 2 hits, and a run. PLD was 3/4 with a walk (and a nice shot back up the box his first time up.) Delgado and 'Stache took collars, but they will be fine. Even old man Franco drove in a run, thanks to some more awful defense in right field, this time by Preston Wilson (who also had 2 k's), who is no Mookie.

Does the sweep take away the sting of October, no. Nothing can remove that. But it is a great way to start the season. It sends a message to everyone that Grapefruit League records be dammed, the Mets are ready to play, and they are going to bring it each and every night.

After an off day for travel to Atlanta today, three games starting tomorrow against the Braves. Oliver Perez makes his debut tomorrow against Mark Redman. Saturday, two old men duel as Glavine faces Smoltz. Sunday sees El Duque versus Kyle Davies. Taking 2 of three would be nice.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Weekly Observations 4/4/07

1. Keith Richards claimed to have mixed some of his late father's ashes with cocaine and snorted them. Bud Selig immediately announced new testing measures to make sure no MLB players do the same.

2. Nancy Pelosi is in Syria, meeting with Syrian President Assad. Assad just wanted to see what it was like to meet with a woman who isn't wearing a burqua.

3. Iran announced the release of the 15 British sailors and marines they had been holding hostage for over a week, as a gesture of good will in light of Mohamed's birthday and Easter. You gotta give the Iranians credit, they know how to win a PR war.

4. Cardinal's announcer Joe Buck was presented with a World Series ring last night. Yep, an announcer got a ring. I guess all his homerism during Fox's coverage of the NLCS pushed them over the top.

5. Britney says that K-Fed was her biggest mistake. I guess she completely forgot about thinking she had talent.

6. Courtney Love had a nose job, in order to look less fake. I'm thinking she really needed it to fix all the damage from the coke, but that's just me.

7. I really didn't need to know that John Travolta and Kelly Preston write lists about what they want from each other, including how much sex.

8. Harlequin is holding tryouts for real men to be on the cover of their romance novels. I'm thinking the last thing women who read them want is a picture of some fat shirtless slob on the cover.

9. The FCC has decided to not allow cell phones on planes. Snakes are still OK.

10. After 500 days of rest, Carl Pavano started the Yankees opener. Of course, he sucked. He later blamed it on not enough rest, so he will push back his next start to opening day 2009.

11. A-Rod had the trifecta in the opener. Error. Stolen base. Two run home run with Yankees ahead by two runs.

12. Derek Jeter also made an error in the game, which led to a run for the Devil Rays. Yankee announcers blamed it on A-Rod for daring to be on the field at the same time.

13. After being blasted in their first two games by a combined score of 18-5, the Washington Nationals have forfeited the rest of the season.

14. Keith Richards is claiming that the story about snorting his dad's ashes was an April Fools prank. I'm sure dad would be proud.

15. Just for the hell of it - Looper is a Douche.

On a serious note.

Former Grambling Football coach Eddie Robinson passed away today after a long illness. Godspeed Eddie.

Respect the Elder Statesmen

Another day, another win. Yes, it's early, but winning the first two games of the season sure as hell beats losing the first two games doesn't it? Both games were started by old men, Tom Glavine pitched wonderfully in game 1, and last night, El Duque outpitched Glavine, shutting down the Cardinals.

For all the ink and paper wasted about how the Mets needed to be concerned about how Glavine and El Duque would do, did anyone stop to think that maybe, just maybe, a veteran pitcher (or two in this case) who has had success, might know something the experts don't? It sure doesn't seem that way. Both Glavine and Duque pitched extremely well. In Glavine's case, it is more expected, since he did well last year, so there was little to be concerned about, save for the numbness he experienced last year possibly returning.

For El Duque, the questions were a little more valid. He did not pitch great last year. He had a good season, pitching some wonderful games, but also having a few, shall we say, senior moments. Then of course came the calf injury, causing him to miss the playoffs. And then in the spring, the arthritic neck. So the ammunition was there for the pundits. But El Duque has been fooling batters for quite a few years now, and is now fooling the writers as well.

Now, I'm not going to sit here and say that the two of them are going to win 20 games each based on one start. I do think Glavine will win at least 15 games. Duque will probably win 12, and will more than likely end up on the DL at some point, it is in his history. But for now, we get to enjoy two masters of their craft.

Another older guy needs to join in the fun now, Moises Alou. He was brought in to replace Floyd as David Wright's protection in the lineup. So far, he has not done much. Last night he left 6 men on base. If he keeps doing that, Wright is going to draw a lot of walks. I still like the signing, and Moises did have a couple of hard hit balls last night, so I think he will turn it on, but if not, we may soon hear the chants for Milledge in left as opposed to right.

There were a few good signs last night. Jose got on base and disrupted Kip Wells, leading to a first inning run. Beltran stole a base. The defense was tight again. Aaron Heilman looked sharp against Pujols. And Billy Wagner had a 1-2-3 ninth inning, which was good since I used up my supply of Tums on Sunday and had not replenished, so thanks for that Billy.

One more game tonight against the Cardinals, as John Maine faces Braden Looper. This will be Looper's first start in the majors. Now of course, the Mets histopry with new starters is not that good, but lets hope Looper is the Looper we all know and loathe, and the boys treat him like a rented mule. I would love nothing better than for a Jose walk to lead off, followed by 2 stolen bases. Stick that chant somewhere Braden.

Then onto Atlanta for three games. Let's put a little early distance between us and Larry and the boys shall we?