Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Leaving on a Jet Plane...

First thing this Saturday morning we're heading out to Port St. Lucie to meet the Mets, meet the Mets, step right up and greet the Mets. We've been hoping to get to spring training for a long time and we couldn't have found a better year to go. I can't wait to soak in some Florida sunshine, check out all the players at workouts and hopefully get some autographs, and take a thousand pictures. But I think the thing I'm most excited for is to take in an actual baseball game for the first time since that game we don't talk about in September. Sitting here watching the updates on my laptop is just not cutting it, I need to be at the park taking in the action first hand.

All my Mets gear is packed, my David Wright jersey bag and lucky pig ready to go. My Mets playlist needs a complete overhaul, because way too much of it came from Paulie, Lastings and Shawn, and also just to rid myself of all remnants of last year to start fresh. Hopefully this trip is going to be a great kickoff to what should be an amazing season.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Don't Let Em Take The Fight Outta You

Edgardo Alfonzo has reported to Texas Rangers camp with hopes of returning to the show for the first time since 2006. After spending all of the 2007 season with the Long Island Ducks, Fonzie signed a minor league contract with the Rangers this December. The competition for a spot on the major league roster will be tight, but manager Ron Washington hasn't counted Fonzie out.

"He's a professional," Washington said. "He can still swing the bat and he can play everywhere on the field. He has been very successful. Everybody here has a chance and he does too. He's certainly got a lot left. He was a stud at one time. He hasn't lost anything. He's in great shape, he can swing the bat and he still moves around well out there. He's got a lot left."

This winter Alfonzo hit .335 with 14 doubles, 1 triple, and 5 home runs for the Navegantes Magallanes and was chosen by the Aragua Tigres as a replacement for the postseason. He won the LVBP's comeback player of the year award with 35 of 40 possible votes.

"The last thing you want to do is give up," Alfonzo said. "This is a great opportunity and I feel good. I'm open for anything. It doesn't matter if they want me as a utility guy, I'll be ready." Hopefully this June we'll get to see the Fonz at Shea for one last time.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Bizarro Mets!

"No more handshakes. People kept saying we got teams fired up when we did those handshakes, so now I want to focus more on baseball. When people see me in the dugout, and they see me not smiling, they'll be saying, 'What's wrong with Jose?' Nothing, I'm just going to be more serious this year."

So, Carlos Beltran is firing people up and Jose is going to be the quiet, serious one not cracking a smile in the dugout?

I think we've stepped into the Bizarro Mets. Up is down. Down is up. They'll say "Hello" when they leave, "Goodbye" when they arrive.

Shouldn't it be "Bad-bye? Isn't that the opposite of goodbye?"

No, it's still "Goodbye."

Can I come?

I... I'm sorry, we've already got a Shawn.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Cliff Floyd: Always A Met In Our Hearts

Cliff Floyd showed up to the Tampa Bay Devilless Rays camp on Saturday carrying his equipment in garbage bags and announced "That's how we roll." Knowing Cliff, I'm sure he'll find some fresh faced rookie to carry those bags for him in no time.
He told reporters he's not going to try to be Superman this year because they already have guys who are Superman, like Carl Crawford. "I just want to see these guys play as well as I've seen them play on TV and in person," Floyd said. "I want to be able to help. I want to be able to contribute, And make sure at the end of the day we all feel good about going home."
We miss you, Cornelius. Tampa Bay better be good to you.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

To Jimmy Rollins: WE Are The Team To Beat

"Let me tell you this: Without Santana, we felt as a team we have a chance to win in our division. With him now, I have no doubt that we're going to win in our division. I have no doubt in that. We've got what it takes. We have good chemistry as a team. He fits great because he's a great guy. He's one of the best pitchers in the game. Who doesn't want to have him on any ballclub? So this year, to Jimmy Rollins, we are the team to beat."

Carlos Beltran, you're my hero. Man am I ever glad you decided to show up early to spring training this year. And yes, I remember how angry we all got last year when a certain shortstop in Philadelphia was expressing similiar sentiments. But Carlos Beltran is a Met. The uniform makes a world of difference. When it's coming from Jimmy Rollins it's obnoxious. When it's coming from Carlos Beltran it's exactly what I'm looking to hear. It's my right as a fan to be hypocritical. It's ok, I can own it. And how much do you love that of all people, it's quiet, reserved Carlos Beltran to bust out the big quote like this before the season even begins? When asked about the reaction he'd get in Philly: "I don't care. They booed me in Houston. One more park won't make a difference." Awesome. In my book, the more fuel he can add to the Mets/Phillies rivalry, the better. He's already made it clear he's not going to back down on this one, and I have faith he's going to make good on it out on the field.


It's great to see the level of excitement Johan's brought to camp already. The team's swagger is back in full force and you can feel it. From Pedro: "I'm extremely happy to have Johan over here. I can breathe. It's like a big glass of cold water when you're really thirsty. That's how bad we wanted Johan, and I'm glad he's on our side. He's somebody that now everybody can rely on." Every single story to come out of spring training is making me that much more excited for real baseball to begin.

Associated Press

Paul Lo Duca has issued an apology to his family, fans and the baseball community for his involvement in the Mitchell Report, and Church of the Fonz is seriously considering taking him off notice. Personally, I would like to believe it's coming from a real place. And people make mistakes, right? On the other hand, he did make Brooklyn cry, and she's just not ready to forgive and forget.

Pic from LOLJocks

As much as I've enjoyed watching that bum Clemens suffer through the congressional hearings this week, some details I just did not need to know. I'd like to add "abscess on Roger Clemens buttocks" to the list of phrases I could live without ever hearing again. It's right up there with "tom glavine," "the Collapse," "kirk radomski," "boys will be boys," and "26 championships."

Also be sure to check out The Onion for some points on Johan Santana that we may have overlooked.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Mr. Met's Side Job

Wondering where all the magic on the Colbert Report writing staff comes from? That's right, it's our very own Mr. Met.

So that's where he was taking the train to...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Pitchers and Catchers!

Spring is in the air. Outside my window the street is covered with ice, but 1199 short miles from here, pitchers, catchers and David Wright are showing up for training and real baseball is just a heartbeat away. The offseason's been long, but I survived thanks to a new found love of football and some winter league games starring my main man Fonzie. And now after months of checking Metsblog every five minutes to see what was happening with Johan, he is finally throwing as a Met. Now spring training is finally here, and there'll be no more agonizing over Omar's moves, performance enhancing drugs and last year's brutal ending. Starting tomorrow, it's all about 2008 Mets baseball.

Monday, February 11, 2008

We're Gonna Have Alot of Fun Out There.

What does Johan anticipate about being teammates with Pedro? Fun.

I've seen the guy talk twice since becomg a Met and already I've lost count of the times he's said the word fun. At the press conference every question seemed to lead back to "We're gonna have alot of fun out there." Johan, where have you been all my life? Seriously, April cannot get here fast enough.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Hearts On Fire. Strong Desire.

Today the New York Times ran this great article: Meet David Wright, the Real Mr. Met , and it just reminded me of everything there is to love about David. My favorite quote:

“I’m at a point in my life where, besides my family, I can’t think of anything more important to me than baseball,” Wright said. “I thought about what happened last year all the time, but I used it as a driving force to get bigger, stronger and quicker. I focused 100 percent on getting ready physically because I don’t want to feel what I felt watching the playoffs from home.”

If there was one person on the Mets you could never hold the collapse against it was David. Not just because he performed so well down the stretch, but because you never had to question just how much is heart was in it. What stung the most about September was feeling like the team was just completely indifferent, like they didn't want it nearly as bad as we did as fans. Whenever David spoke you could tell without question that it was killing him just like it was killing us.

So as soon as I heard the quote above what came to mind? Rocky Balboa. Picture David old school training all winter long. Railroad tracks, meat lockers, snow covered mountains, whatever it takes. Thirsting day and night to avenge the death of the 2007 season!

But aren't those stairs in Philadelphia you say? Well, David goes there to train so that he will be constantly reminded of the pain of watching the Phillies win and rob him of the glory that should have been. He remembers and he is pushed to be the best. And at the end of the day, because he's David Wright, he runs all the way home to New York. With his dog.

So get ready because bigger, stronger, quicker D-Wright is ready for 2008. He will triumph and he will bring the Mets to victory!

Friday, February 8, 2008


My little sister Brooklyn is my best Mets pal and also happens to be the most badass 11 year old on the planet. She comes with me to all the games and even takes notes on the games I miss when I go to class. For Christmas this year she made me a whole Mets scrapbook and wrote me this poem:

Me and You, Megan and Katie
We will always be true Met Fans,
even when we are eighty.
We are true Met fans!

You know why we are true fans?
We live and die with the Mets.
We twist our hands,
and a bad game truly upsets
you and me.
We are true Met fans!

We have so many superstitions
of seats and ramps.
And these are all ambitions
for us, (the Mets) to be champs.
We are true Met fans!

We cry over players
who have been traded, hurt...
we even fight with naysayers.
We Are True Met Fans!

We know all about the players lives-
where they live, who they are friends with,
even the names of their wives.

We watch every game
with as much interest.
Nothing is lame,
except Keith Hernandez and Gary Cohen of course.

You make me cakes in orange and blue,
I write about the Mets as much as I can too.
You went to a game when you had the flu!
We are Mets fans, through and through.

Me and You, Megan and Katie
We will always be true Met Fans,
even when we are eighty.

It is maybe my favorite present of all time. Kid's crazy talented, she also did this unbelievable painting of Ebbets Field:

Welcome to Church of the Fonz!

Welcome to Church of the Fonz... where baseball is religion and Shea Stadium our place of worship. I've been a Mets fan since birth as evidenced above-check how I rocked the cap Reyes style. I guess when I really fell hard for the Mets was back in 1999, staying up to watch the playoff games with my big brother. From that point there's been no turning back. Edgardo Alfonzo became my first real favorite player (not counting Butch Huskey, who I picked only because I was 6 and his name sounded like the Balto dog), and I even got to meet him during one magical Christmas trip to Macy's when I was 12. I shed my first baseball tears when the Braves ended their run that year, and the Mets have been breaking my heart on a pretty consistent basis ever since. But I wouldn't trade it for anything.

To paraphrase one of my all-time favorite movies Fever Pitch:

Why do we keep inflicting ourselves?
Why? I'll tell you why, cause the Mets never let you down. That's right. I mean- why?
Because they suffered the worst collapse in baseball history? So what? They're here. Every April, they're here. At 1:05 or at 7:05, there is a game. And if it gets rained out, guess what? They make it up to you. Does anyone else in your life do that?

The Mets have just been that one constant in my life; that one thing I can always care about season after season. No matter how messed up every thing else can get, the Mets always give me something to cheer for, something to get excited about. And as cynical as I may get about the rest of the world, I can always find a way to believe in this team. I love every minute- every run up the ramps, every 7 train ride, every Meet the Mets singalong, every Lazy Mary at the 7th inning stretch, every time that Home Run Apple comes out of the hat, every time I feel the seats of Shea Stadium rock, every high five (or heckling match) with a random stranger. To me being a Mets fan is about investing yourself in something beyond your control, giving your heart and your loyalty to something bigger than yourself. Its having faith for no logical reason and its feeling connected to people you don't even know. I'm a Mets fan because thats how I was raised. I'm a Mets fan because they are my team and I can't imagine ever rooting for anyone else.

The past couple of years one of the things I've loved the most about following the Mets has been reading all of the wonderful Mets blogs out there. I love the celebratory posts after the good wins, I love comiserating after the tough losses. From the hilarious to the heartbreaking, they've always provided me with such a sense of comraderie as a Mets fan, and I've been hoping to start my own for a long time now. And yes, I realize there are maybe 10 million Mets blogs out there already, but hopefully mine can offer at least one or two unique bits along the way, in any case I can promise it will always be heartfelt. At the very least, maybe writing it will make me feel slightly more productive about the insane number of hours I dedicate to baseball.

Photo by Nick Vleck

With spring training just around the corner (and hopefully my first trip to Port St. Lucie!) there's suddenly so much to be excited about as a Mets fan. Its amazing how much can change in just a couple of months. St. Omar just pulled off possibly one of the greatest trades in Mets history and has the best pitcher in baseball donning the orange and blue. Already the collapse, the Mitchell Report, and all the general ugliness that was 2007 seem like ancient history. I've had enough of this winter already, I'm ready for some real live baseball games. Here's hoping Johan and all our guys make 2008 a season to remember and give Shea the sendoff it deserves. Let's go Mets!!!