Wednesday, April 30, 2008

On the Bright Side...

Aaron Heilman looked stellar today.

And according to Doug Mientkiewicz we haven't even seen the real Johan yet. "Let's put it this way: When that team needs him the most, he's going to be there. Come August and September, he's going to be dominant." Don't we all feel better now that he's weighed in?

Please, Mets, don't play like this against the Diamondbacks this weekend. Or ever again. Wagner always says it best: "There was no get up and go. That can't happen."

It Is Still April

...and the Mets are already giving me an ulcer. They can't ever make it easy can they? Games should not be this stressful so early on.
Johan Santana wasn't at his best tonight, but he struck out seven and kept the Pirates to just two hits (both home runs) through 5 2/3 innings. Big props to the little kid in the bleachers who threw Jason Bay's home run ball back in the fourth inning. You make me proud to call myself a Mets fan. Ryan Church tied the game with a two run shot and made it just a little bit harder for me to hate him. It figures that the one guy I truly dislike on the entire team has been our best hitter thus far. After struggling at the plate all night David Wright came through to win it with a just fair single to send home Endy Chavez in the 11th inning. The Mets wasted some opportunities tonight but they stayed in it all night and fought til the end.

It was good to see Moises Alou back in the dugout tonight. It should be a major lift to the offense to get him back in the lineup in a few days. Get well soon, Schneid, we need you back too. Jose Valentin was in the lockerroom visiting his teammates before the game and hopes to be ready to play by the end of May. So many injuries, sometimes I forget who's still a Met.

After the game tonight Johan Santana spoke about how he understands that the fans want to see the team win but they are human beings and it can hurt to hear the boos. I hate that he's been a Met for such a short time and already he's feeling that. I know it's been talked to death at this point, but I really do think we need to lay off with the booing. Aside from anything else, it's just never made anyone play better. Shea Stadium shouldn't be such a hostile atmosphere, this is not Philadelphia. Please, let's direct the animosity towards the other teams where it belongs.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Stop Making This So Hard

Aaron, I love you. But you are killing me. Being your #1 fan is proving difficult right now.

Dear Wallace Matthews:

Jose Reyes does not need to be Derek Jeter when he grows up. We love him for being Jose Reyes. Don't project your inferiority complex on us, we do not need our Mets to be imitation Yankees. I thought we already established that Jeter isn't even a good shortstop anyway. And Jose will never be anything like that bum Rey Ordonez. Also, he is not a child, he is a professional athlete and your tone is bordering on racist. Don't condescend him, you bitter old man.
Mets Fans, Tired of Your Act
PS: Jose's handshakes aren't "silly." You masquerading as a journalist is silly.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Well That Sucked

After Reyes hit that triple I really thought the Mets were going to pull this one off tonight. I hate losing to that team. I know we can't sweep every series, but when its the Phillies it just stings so much more. As much as I feel like I've moved on from last year it's still hard to just brush off a loss here and there. I know it is still really early, and hopefully as the season moves on they'll be easier to shake off. But right now, especially when they constantly bring up last September, there are too many bad Philly vibes lingering. And every time I see that Phanatic dance I just want to punch it in its giant green nose.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Take That, Phanatic

The Mets beat the Phillies on their home turf today for the second straight game. Oliver Perez looked good through 5 2/3 and got himself a single. David I-Wish-I-Was-Hojo Wright started things with a two run double off of Jamie Moyer, who by the way looks exactly like the Dodo from Follow That Bird. But my favorite by far was atching Rey Rey's home run in the seventh and all the celebration to follow. Thank you Carlos for finally talking some sense into him. Jose, always listen to this man, he will never lead you astray. He just wasn't the Reyes we all fell in love with when he wasn't dancing and having a good time. Good to see the smiles and handshakes return and order restored to the universe. Aaron Heilman had me very stressed with the bases loaded in the eight. He is one of my most favorite players and I've stood by him through some less than stellar outings. So when he blows it, I can be sure I will hear it. He managed to pitch his way out of the jam with the lead intact and made me a very happy fan. Billy Wagner came in and pitched a great ninth to earn his fourth save of the year.

One more to go, get the brooms ready. Go Big Pelf!

Friday, April 18, 2008

That's What I'm Talking About

Tonight the Mets rung in Shea's 44th birthday with a victory over the Nationals in the 14th inning. The Nats showed no respect for Brian Schneider, intentionally walking two batters before him. Don't you know the B-Schneid will make you pay? He will... stand there while you throw a wild pitch to give up the winning run. The Mets pitching staff really earned this one tonight, first with 7 great innings from Fig Nelson and then 7 more from all the relievers but Show. Who says we don't have a good bullpen? They looked unbelievable tonight. Also helping secure the win: cats and rally caps. For whatever reason cats seem to be on the Mets side. First one ran across the field into the Mets dugout, and then in the 13th a black cat came my back step and sat and stared at me for the rest of the game. And when our boy Ollie came out to celebrate he had his cap turned inside out. Good work, OP. Things are looking good, let's keep the luck coming and beat up on the Phillies all weekend.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Return of the Best Goggles In Baseball

I didn't get home tonight until the 9th inning, so I missed the great effort by Big Pelf, but I did get home just in time to see Duaner Sanchez's big return to Shea. Watching him point to the sky and walk out of the bullpen, I was feeling so so nervous for him. I can't believe it's been 21 months since we last saw him in a real game. Remember how great it was that first half of 2006 when the ball was handed off to the bullpen and you could feel confident they'd get it done? I know it's been a long time and we can't expect him to be the same pitcher he was right away, but I'm optimistic. He looked good tonight. It was just one game, but it was a huge first step. After the final out he just looked so grateful and relieved. I was so happy for him watching Willie and all his teammates congratulating him. And at first I thought it was sweet when Reyes jumped into him, but then I thought please, can we watch the shoulder? Seriously, he worked so long to get back here, we can't take any chances.

Good to have you back, Duaner, I missed you while you were gone.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

(Not) Drivin to Shea to See Johan Santana

It is a gorgeous day for a ballgame. Johan Santana is about to take the mound at Shea for the very first time as a Met. And I am missing out on this moment to drive to D.C. to see my brother's play. That is love.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Welcome Home Nelson

What a job tonight by Brooklyn's own Nelson Figueroa to earn his very first win in a Mets uniform. And could this guy make it any easier to root for him? Almost always it seems players just have to put the fan in them on the shelf, but Nelson is such a true Mets fan at heart and has let everyone know it. It was so endearing to watch his entire family (packed into Billy Wagner's suite) cheering him on and listen to his father talk about how proud he was. You could tell it was such an emotional night for everyone. Nelson called the game a dream come true. After playing everywhere from Mexico to Taiwan, he's finally made it home to the team that first drafted him. And after all that, he still gets called kid. Tonight was the kind of feel good game I just want to hold on to and remember when baseball starts to bring me down. I'll just look back on Nelson's teammates and coaches congratulating him and watching him point up to his family and it will make me smile.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Send Us An Angel

Angel Pagan, it's so good to have you back home where you belong. When they made the deal to bring him back this winter I had a feeling we were going to fall fast for him, and he has not disappointed. He looked great right from the start this spring, and so far this season he just seems to keep finding ways to come through in the big spots. And with Jose Reyes struggling so hard to redeem himself for last season it was great to see him score the winning run tonight. (And he did score. Stop whining Phillies). After the game when they asked Angel about getting mobbed by his teammates in the celebration he said "That's just part of a game winning RBI. I'll take it. Come beat me up any time." I think a 12th inning walkoff was just what we all needed tonight. Hopefully it helps put a little of the swagger back in this team. The Mets officially have a winning record against the Phillies this season. Now maybe they can finally stop bringing up games we lost last year and focus on 2008.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Pelfness: Catch It

Great job by the Big Pelf tonight to beat the Phillies for his first win of 2008. You could tell by that big grin in the dugout he was relieved to get that first win under his belt quickly. When Omar Minaya was talking about him in the booth he kept calling him Michael Pelfrey. It made me smile because it reminded me of a kid's parent who always insists on using their full name. It was great to see the kid looking so good out there, especially considering the word on El Duque. The Mets are going to be counting on him to hold it down this season, and it really feels like he's going to step it up and come through in a big way. The Mets putting up eight runs didn't hurt either. Watching the Phillies defense reminded me of my dog playing with his toy when he can't hold on to it and gets confused because he doesn't know where it went. Jorge Sosa looked good in relief, Pedro Feliciano made me sweat a little but got out all right, and Carlos Muniz pitched a solid ninth inning. All together it was a perfect bounce back from yesterday. Hopefully tomorrow John Maine comes through, we take the series and everyone can relax a little.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Smile, You're At The Ballpark

Those were some words of wisdom from a Shea worker who did not think I looked excited enough to be at opening day. He didn't need to worry because I was of course ecstatic to finally be back at Shea and to experience my first ever opening day. Some Yankee fan tried to start with me on my way to the 7 but I just brushed it right off. (Seriously, why do they think that's OK? I hate the Yankees but I don't go harassing random fans on the street). It was the most people I'd ever seen going into Shea, a complete sea of blue and orange. I realized how much I missed that place over thewinter. It felt so great to be running up those ramps again, with all the familiar smells and sounds. And there's nothing more beautiful than that first sight of that green grass when walk out to your seat.
It made me a little sad to see the new dugout roof just say Home of the Mets after I'd gotten so used to it saying NL East Champions.

William Shea's family was on hand for the unveiling of his name on the retired numbers wall and the Shea Stadium countdown in the outfield. They had some good video montages of the great moments in Shea's history playing throughout the game. With everything bad people have had to say about Shea I'm glad to see the Mets are paying it the respect it deserves in its final season. Growing up it never mattered how it stacked up to other stadiums, it was home. Seeing the countdown on the wall and Citi Field towering in the background it just reminds you to really take in every moment at Shea this year. Knowing it was the very last opening day in this place with so much history made it even more special to be a part of.

Pregame introductions were insane. We were booing every random strength trainer for the Phillies like they were our arch enemy. (I think those guys probably secretly enjoy it, I mean when does anyone ever pay that much attention to them). That smug little Cole Hamels had to get all snarky and tip his cap at the crowd when we booed him. Then Brett Myers had to outdo him, and of course Jimmy Rollins had to put on the most obnoxious fan taunting display of all. Thanks, Phillies, for working so hard to make me hate you. I think we might need to start some sort of heckling spring training, because the fan jeers needed some work. The guy behind us yelled "Boo You" through all nine innings.

And then came the Mets. The cheering was loud for Willie and all the coaches but the most love went to Hojo. Everyone went nuts for Endy Chavez, Carlos Muniz got some blank stares and Nelson Figueroa looked maybe the happiest to be there. Then the got to Johan Santana and you couldn't even hear his name over the roar of the crowd. It might have been the longest ovation I've ever been part of. I wish I got a picture of his smile. He beamed and waved to the crowd and just looked humbled by the whole thing. It was one of those Mets moments I'll always remember getting to welcome Johan to New York. And then after we cheered for an eternity, they announced Scott Schoeneweis. Did they really need to announce him after Santana? That's just not right. I know he had a bad year last year, but people didn't need to boo him so viciously, it was opening day. He kind of laughed it off and Johan leaned over and hugged him which made me feel a little better about it. The whole crowd was on their feet screaming for all the starters, with some MVP chants going for David Wright, but we saved our biggest cheers for Oliver Perez. Once the Mets are out there in front of the home crowd the season finally starts to feel real.

My bag, made by Brooklyn and signed by Fernando Martinez

Carlos Delgado hit a monster home run in the second and we got to see the home run apple's first appearance of the year. They should have had ten more runs because Jamie Moyer is 100 years old, but he held them to two. Oliver Perez shut the Phillies out into the sixth, when after two walks and a balk he was taken out for Joe Smith.
He just looks so sad and dejected leaving the game.

Then the bullpen pretty much fell apart. Scott Schoeneweiss did nothing to help his case with the Shea crowd giving up two runs to tie up the game. Jorge Sosa came in and let another run score up a run and in the eighth Aaron Heilman let up two more to make the score 5-2. The crowd quickly deflated and soon people were piling out which is all kinds of depressing to me. I mean, it was opening day. Even if the bullpen's a mess and the offense can't seem to put together a rally, you stay through nine innings. When we're down by three in the ninth you believe there will be a walkoff. Come on, people.
I wish the Mets were never gonna make me cry.

After the final out was recorded to make things even worse they played Billy Joel. That is the last thing I need to be subjected to after a tough loss. They used to play Coldplay after losses. Now every time I hear Coldplay I get sad inside, so I don't know which is worse. The subway entrance was an absolute mess, it took a year just to get to the stairs. If we had won it might not have been so bad, but standing in a mob of Mets fans after a loss to the Phillies is a pretty miserable experience. Of course it would have been great to win the home opener, but it was not the end of the world that we didn't. I actually heard someone yell 'maybe next year' to their friend. Now I know we all got burned pretty bad last year, and right now the losses are feeling pretty reminiscent of the collapse, but it is still only April. It is not time to panic. The Mets are a good team, they're going to turn it around. The beautiful thing about baseball is up until the very end you get to say 'We'll get em tomorrow.' There is another game tonight, another 156 chances to set things right. Remember that we are Mets fans and out creed is 'Ya Gotta Believe', not 'Ya Gotta Give Up All Hope At The First Sign of Trouble.'
It's going to be OK.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Atlanta I Hate You

That city's nothing but trouble. Meh. It's ok. In just two short days the Mets will be back home playing at Shea and all will be right in the world again.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

"Oh, I'm Sorry..."

So tonight's loss to the Braves was pretty much all around miserable to watch but it did provide one incredibly entertaining moment. In the middle of that mess of a game we got to enjoy the most hysterical, embarrassing, shameless promotion I've ever seen in my life starring our old friend Tom Glavine. After a moment of silence he looks up and says "Oh, I'm sorry. I was just reading Tim McCarver's new book." I didn't see you there, America. I was too enthralled in this literary masterpiece. It's the greatest work since Shakespeare, a sight more beautiful than my wife and children. I have no time to discuss the 2007 collapse and the emotional damage I've caused the Mets fanbase right now because I am all caught up in this work of genius from the most important mind of our time, Tim McCarver. On bookshelves now!
Oh, FOX. How I look forward to another season of Saturday games.
I'd also like to make the petty observation that it is looking like Glavine has put on some weight this offseason. Since speaking his name causes me to convulse from now on I will be referring to him as Fatty McButterpants.

Also please note that I am still very sick and surviving on nothing but couph syrup so I apologize if everything above is completely incoherent and not at all funny outside of my warped brain.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Who's Down With OPP?

Oliver Perez just has this way of always coming through and picking me up when I am down. Like Willie said I would like to put tonight's performance in a bottle and keep it. There's nothing like a nice 13-0 victory to wash the taste of a Pedro injury away.

Omar: DO IT.

You won't be disappointed. I promise. Bring the Fonz home.

Buzz: Mets Have Talked With Fonzie

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


me, walking into the house: how's Pedro doing?
Brooklyn: you don't know want to know.
me: he's not hurt is he?
Brooklyn: he strained his left hamstring.
me: if this is an April fools joke, I am not amused.

Gone Til November

Real baseball's finally back in full swing and winter me has been put on the shelf. Yesterday was the start of a six month long all-consuming ride. From here on out it's all baseball.

I love that we got to open in Florida. It hardly felt like a road game watching the Mets all smile and wave to the fans and hearing the crowd go nuts for Santana. It's like Shea South.

Johan pitched beautifully, we couldn't have asked for much more from his first start. Seven innings, three hits, eight strikeouts. He looked like everything we've been waiting for. And we should all thank the baseball gods for that, because this is New York and you know all the haters are just waiting for anything bad to jump all over. One game and already I feel like he's been a Met forever. He looks so natural in that uniform, and from pitching to hanging in the dugout to fielding questions he just seems right at home. "I wasn't trying to do anything different than just try to be myself."

In the fourth the Mets set a new opening day record with a six run inning with contributions by Carlos Beltran, new baseball boyfriend Angel Pagan, Jose Reyes and David Wright. After all the injuries this spring the offense it was good to see (mostly) everyone out there and doing their part. Even B-Schneid is starting to grow on me. From David Wright: "Today we were able to put it all together. We were able to do everything we wanted."

So one win is in the books. The first of what should be many for Johan, and a fresh start for everyone around from last year. The Mets 2008 season is officially underway. It may just be one of 162 but it's feeling like the start of big things.

Opening Day around baseball:

After Miguel Cabrera's first homerun as a Tiger he had a handshake with just about every one in the dugout. I'm not going to lie, I was impressed.

The Rangers lost their opener to the Mariners. That's what happens when you give up Fonzie, serves you right.

The Yankees and the Cardinals both got postponed by rain. That has to be a good omen, right?

And former Mets were representing:

Carlos Gomez had two hits, two stolen bases and scored two runs in his debut for the Twins, a 3-2 victory over the Angels. Way to go baby Carlos. I hope this is the beginning of a beautiful future in Minnesota.

Xavier Nady had a monster game for the Pirates with two homers, four RBI and four runs scored in a 12-11 extra innings win over the Braves. The legend of the X man lives on.

And Lastings Milledge hit a two run homer in the Nationals win over the Phillies. As painful as it is because I wish he was still a Met, I do want to see Lasto do well. Broken hearts hurt but they make you strong.

[Shawn Green was looking good as a retired person. -Cheese] Sigh.

First St. Pedro day of the year tonight. I'll sadly be missing the start but I have full faith in our "second #1 guy" to bring it home. Come on Picasso, let's get the year started right.

And um, SNY? Maybe now that we've got one game out of the way you can stop bringing up the collapse every five seconds? Please? Kthxbai.