As the title says, we're now at http://eastcoastagony.weblogs.us.
Thursday, June 03, 2004
Screw the Red Sox, and screw Pedro "Why is that big number in front of the decimal point of my ERA?" Martinez. I got another bone to pick today. Remember when blogging used to be a simple, innocent affair? It wasn't about the money or groupies or prestige, it was about the BLOG, man. When Mike first IMed me to say "d00d we should write a blog it'd be funny!!! A/S/L? lol" I didn't expect internet superstardom at all (although Mike obviously did, with how obsessively he checks the counter at the bottom).
So what happened to the good ol' days? The first thing I see when I check Gleeman's page for the first time in a few days is that his computer broke down. Sorry buddy, it happens. But it was not a problem for long, as he simply demanded his readers give him money for a new one, and lo and behold THEY BUY HIM A NEW COMPUTER. What if my keyboard finally breaks from me slamming it into the wall every time Pedro starts? Are you, my loyal reader(s), going to buy me a new one? No! And as well you shouldn't, I'm a pitiful wreck of a man who should not be blogging if his life depended on it. But I can't complain too much about Gleeman's commercial windfall from his site, it'd be in bad form considering I recently declared a truce in our one sided holy war.
Cosette and I have no such agreement. This guy blows. If he's not blogging about singing to trees or having in-depth conversations about Schilling's new arm angle with his pet goldfish, he's usually ranting about some incredibly obscure fact about the Red Sox that hasn't been covered before, not because he found an interesting new angle but more because no one honestly gives a crap about how similar the 1986 World Series is to Pickett's charge from the civil war. Apparently I'm very much in the minority in my hatred of Ed, because Fox Sports New England has decided to pick up his Blog and begin carrying it on their site. This means Ed is going to get paid ACTUAL MONEY to write his inane postings about how Wally seems to have gained weight this year, or his feelings on the spread of Red Sox Nation
While those of us from New England consider it a birthright to be a Red Sox fan, we can't forget the legions of loyal fans the world over who are our brethren. I'm reminded of bumper stickers/t-shirt logo that's popular in Texas: "I'm not from Texas, but I got here as fast I could."What? What the hell are you talking about? How are those two related at all? This is exactly what I'm talking about. Texas sucks and so do you, Cosette.
While not really a blog, Boston Dirt Dogs is another terrible site being bought by a large journalistic publication, this time Boston.com. You might remember this guy if you were following the A-Rod trade rumors last winter, where BDD confidently proclaimed "It's a done deal" and that A-Rod was already signed over. Of course, A-Rod did NOT come to Boston and Silva (the writer) declared that as both a protest and contrition for being wrong, he was shutting down the site. The site shutdown lasted for precisely one day, and he was back complaining about how much he hated Gene Orza. Apparently clever lead-ins like "Lowe Blows" and "What the Foulke?" are good enough for the Boston.com, the same website that actually publishes the Globe online. I would have to assume that Silva was compensated with something other than repeated kicks in the nuts for this website, and that depresses me.
But there IS hope, friends and neighbors! There are plenty of new blogs out there with interesting and fresh content that haven't sold their electronic souls to the Almighty Dollar, and I'm here to inform you all of their existance. So without further ado, here's several blogs that you really should be reading instead of this one.
El Guapo's Ghost: There's probably an element of nostalgia just for the name, as Rich Garces was easily my favorite player in 2000 and 2001, but this site has a lot of other stuff going for it. He gets to the point quickly when writing about something and gives plenty of evidence to back up any claims he makes, making him sort of the anti-ECA. Give him a look.
Misery Loves Company: Another Red Sox/Mets site. Think of our site, but if it were actually done well. Rob is my hero due to his profuse use of the F-Bomb when the team does badly, and I even like Whitney because unlike Mike, he doesn't cry like a little girl when Rob does that. Also you can see great quotes regarding the Mets like "The Wheel has come off the unicycle" and "Tom Glavine, pitching like a man who has brought a knife to a gunfight".
Rally Cuff: Another girl has thrown her hat into the blogging ring, and done a very nice job at it. The site is witty and nicely laid out, and she has that slightly rage-y element to her work that I really dig. She also swears a lot.
Surviving Grady: Clever name aside, this site is very fun to read. For an example, look at the description he has of the current Sox pitching situation
First, if the pitching situation hasn't already reached critical mass, it's getting pretty fucking close. Pedro had absolutely nothing last night, Lowe is this close to talking to squirrels and getting "secret messages" in his waffles and Arroyo is scuffling. This does not bode well for the rest of the season. At least not now.Good stuff. Please give him a perusal.
Sox Fan in the Wrong Area: A poor guy who lives in southwestern CT, the most despicably Yankee-infested area of New England known to man (and it doesn't even get NESN), this guy just hates the Yankees so much you can't help but like him. I used to think I pretty much had a monopoly over death threats to players I don't like, but this Sox fan has no problem cheerfully advocating the horrible death of several highly overpaid Pinstripers.
Firebrand: Sure, this guy's a little crazy (the "firebrand" name apparently comes from an incident in which he was horribly burned and the scar began to resemble the Sox symbol), but he hates Derek Lowe almost as much as I do and unlike me, has some pretty compelling reasons for it other than "Derek Lowe sux0rs!!!!!1" He also makes an intriguing case for getting Al Leiter next year.
So there you have it, some of the "new" crop of Sox blogs. Please give them all a look, you won't regret it.
Something else I thought was vaguely amusing. I usually can't stand Eric Neel in the slightest, but anyone who hates the 1986 Mets as much as this guy apparently does has to be a little cool. He gives quite a few reasons to hate them, too, instead of just "they beat us". It's nice to see a rebuttal to stupid Jeff Pearlman's blatant Mets suck up, anyways.
Real entry coming as soon as I can watch a Sox game without vomitting profusely for an hour afterwards. Helloooooo KC!
Posted by Mad Mike at 6/03/2004 04:52:00 PM
Wednesday, June 02, 2004
A few thoughts on the 2005 Mets culled from the clutches of the ever-expanding behemoth that is internet baseball writing:
Peter Gammons notes the possibility of an impending position swap between Reyes and Matsui for next season, due to Matsui's disappointing defense (if you polled the blogosphere, I'm sure you'd find that the eyes have it):
Don't be surprised if the Mets ask Kaz Matsui to switch places with Jose Reyes next year. But first they think they can address Matsui's vision problems; part of his problem defensively is that he hasn't been able to pick up the catchers' signs and set himself.That Kaz has some flavor of a vision problem should come as no surprise to anyone who has watched the Mets play this year and seen footage of him looking on from the dugout. While tracking the play on the field, Kaz periodically bugs his eyes out, granting him a shocked expression as if he were watching the opposing team's manager remove their best hitter with two entire innings left to play. I assumed this was some sort of repetitive exercise to keep his eyes sharp or to thoroughly creep out viewers, because it did not occur to me that a major league baseball team would employ a player with less than optimal vision and leave that condition uncorrected.
I'm hoping that it's merely a vision problem and that Kaz' glove and the ball will make more contact after he's wearing some (and if contacts aren't his thing, I certainly hope that Jason Mastaitis will sacrifice a pair of his Rally Goggles for the cause). Still, the rest of Gammons' statement is curious. I can understand Kaz missing the signs and thus not knowing where to play for each unfamiliar hitter on different pitches. What I find absurd is the notion that he is so focused on trying to read the sign - peering at the plate with eyes terrifyingly wide, bounding ineffectually between two set positions, then shaking his head - that he cannot track the pitcher's delivery and ascertain exactly when he should be prepared to field the ball. The more likely possibility is that he's just not a very good Major League shortstop. Are we absolutely certain the Japenese "Gold Glove" award means the same thing as our own? Perhaps it was only mistakenly translated as such by the Mets designated Asian baseball operative - probably Jeff Wilpon - who picked up a "smattering of Chinese (sic) on a yacht tour I launched to experience subalternity", ie. explore profitable ventures like the slave trade and resigning Rey Ordonez. Perhaps it merely signifies the player with the most visits to the organization's designated optometrist. Who can say? All I know is Kaz will make a superb second baseman.
In the same article, Gammons mentions the imminent trade of Carlos Beltran, a rather talented young ballplayer I'd like to see the Mets sign in the offseason. I don't particularly care who rents him now, though, but as it seems the teams looking to borrow Beltran for the balance of the season are probably among the few who can sign him in the offseason, the article got me thinking about our chances of landing him.
That's when I decided to become a Red Sox fan.
Let me back up a little. Looking at Dugout Dollars' summary of team payrolls going forward, you can see that there are plenty of teams that will potentially have big contracts coming off the books:
1) The Angels finally stop paying Kevin Appier ($12M) and can jettison injury-riddled 3B Troy Glaus ($9M) so he can open up a restaurant with Mo Vaughn or whatever his physical therapy permits. Their owner isn't afraid to spend, and their regular CF has come down with some oddball arthritic condition, so it would seem a safe bet that they'd be interested in Beltran's services. I'm not sold, though, and here's why. First, they already have a great lineup, including an excellent defensive CF being misused at first base and a marquee RF in Guerrero, which would make Beltran's addition redundant. Their pitching is shaky thus far, with staff ace Bartolo Colon throwing fastballs fatter than he is, so that's where they need to make an improvement. Second, Garret Anderson may have developed into a medical mystery, but he's also owed an absurd $11.25M for each year from 2005-2008. If there's any chance that he heals up and can play baseball, he will be doing so for the Angels. Also, it's worth noting that while Angels owner Moreno has shown himself willing to spend (and overspend) to make his team a contender, perhaps the money he threw Colon's way will provide him with a little Wilpon-style caution.
Mets fans should root for: the continued success of the Angel's offense, the continued shakiness of their starting pitching, and the health of Garret Anderson
2) The Phillies lose Kevin Millwood ($11M) and Eric Milton ($9M), but have a steady outfield of Burrell (signed through 2008), Abreu (through 2007), and the young, cheap Marlon Byrd. If they make it to the playoffs and Millwood was a big part of the run, I expect they'll offer him the longterm deal he's been seeking, and replace Milton more economically. I don't see them as contenders in the sweepstakes; they've done most of their bigtime building in the last couple of years.
Mets fans should root for: The Phillies having a little taste of success, their GM thinking they already have the parts in place, Marlon Byrd continuing to impress
3) The Cubs save some cash when Alex Gonzalez' $5M come off the books, but the only other notable contract that wraps up this season is Matt Clement's $6M, and you'd expect with the way he's pitching this year, and with the questionable health of Prior and Wood, and the questionable ability of Maddux (which was awesome to type, by the way), they'll give him a deal he deserves. Sosa, Patterson, and Alou have the outfield pretty much locked up, and with Edgar Renteria and Nomar on the market, it might make sense for the Cubs to grab a decent-hitting shortstop.
Mets fans should root for: the Cubs to lose the division by a game, convincing them that injuries to their young stars were the cause, and not Corey Patterson
4) The Cardinals are somewhat strapped for cash and need pitching. They'd be stupid to add offense instead of addressing that problem.
5) Speaking of stupid, the Mariners are run by Bill Bavasi.
Mets fans should root for: the continued health and employment of Bill Bavasi
6) The Dodgers have nearly no one signed for 2005 (or at least, no one productive! I feel you, Shawn Green, Darren Dreifort!), and there are questions about how much fiscal weight their ownership can throw around. As a Mets fan, I have absolutely no idea what that is like. Their GM is bright, and if he's working with a decent amount of money, I expect him to take a shot at Beltran. That said, he will have an awful lot of holes to fill; it'll be an interesting team to watch, at least in the coming offseason.
Mets fans should root for: LA ownership's meager wallet, DePodesta to play Moneyball, also a few more times for LA ownership's meager wallet
7) The Giants won't have to deal with Neifi Perez' $2.75M, or cushion the tragic fall of Rob Nenn ($9M). They also cut a bunch of comparatively tiny contracts, and should have enough money to land a superstar. Of course, there's a reason they're cutting payroll (because they have to), and they'll have more holes than a single star can fill; perhaps Bonds will teach them that this year.
Mets fans should root for: The Giants to stay in contention in their unwatchable division, so they don't sell off Alfonzo ($7.5M) or Ray Durham ($6.5M) and decide to build around a Beltran/Bonds tandem
8) and 9) The Yankees' payroll is irrelevant, so don't bother clicking that link. They will have the money, but the issue as I see it is whether or not they'll have the pull of their winning ways and honorable tradition. The Yankees are overpaid, underperforming, and boring. They are a team full of superstars who haven't won anything in a while, and there's a chance (however slim) that they won't even make the playoffs this year. If that happens, I can't imagine they'd look attractive if good money is available elsewhere.
Now, the Red Sox don't have to worry about money either, and this year they were able to lure some quality players with cash and their ridiculous sob story, which will be published in a three-volume set this Fall co-authored by Dan Shaughnessy and Kyle Lyons, titled "The Curse is Worse" and subtitled "*&@* You, My Head is NOT Shaped Like an Onion!!?!". If they win the World Series this year, all of that 1918 bunk will go right out the window, and everyone will be able to see them for what they are: a bunch of extraordinarily ugly men with a penchant for come from behind victories, embarrassing catchphrases, and poor decisions with regards to barbering, who are by the very act of their victory destroying the only compelling argument for their existence.
Mets fans should mutter to themselves: Why would Mr. Beltran wish to join a team whose only draw is a history of losing that has just been eradicated? Why would he want to become the next great, futile Yankee mercenary?
The correct response, let us intone together but without sarcasm, is why indeed, when he can join the Mets? Cue the awful old-time swing or big band or whatever version of "Meet the Mets" that provides a stabilizing undercurrent to every Fran Healy pronouncement.
We've got the money (The Wilpons won't let this happen again, as the only reason they turned down Guerrero was to get Beltran the following year). We're cultivating the charismatic, tightly knit underdog spirit that clever marketing execs would tout as hearkening back to the teams of the Eighties. In Flushing, Beltran would be the centerpiece of the revival of an exciting franchise that, hopefully this season will show, is on the rise. I'll reiterate, in case Jeff Wilpon stumbles upon this site while Googling for some more SE Asian fun, we've got the money. We can pay for this guy. We can sell this place to him like we did to Matsui, Cameron. There's just no excuse for passing on yet another young superstar. None.
Posted by Mike at 6/02/2004 09:11:00 AM
Monday, May 31, 2004
Derek Lowe has lost me. I will never, ever again support this man. I don't care if he makes his next 20 starts without giving up a single run, breezes through the playoffs, and ends the ALCS by flattening half the Yankees by running them down like animals in the bullpen cart. I refuse to let this man ruin either of my teams anymore. That's right, I said "teams", because the man is also on my fantasy team and has singlehandedly cost me 11 points and dropped me from 1st to 5th. Here's a quick D-Lowe Q&A for you:
A: Yep! Derek Lowe and his 6.84 ERA beats absolutely every human who pitches and probably beats quite a few pitching machines too, especially the one Cesar Crespo uses. Another way to think of this is that Derek Lowe literally gives up three times as many runs in 9 innings as Curt Schilling does.
A: Surprise! Derek Lowe has 25 walks and 21 strikeouts. Derek Lowe also grew up in Dearborn, MI and his family still lives there and has very little to no police protection. Trivia is fun!
A: Well, that's not really a question, but you're absolutely right, not a man who starts gives up more walks and hits per inning pitched than Derek "Stop paying me like a reliever, I give up twice as many runs as any reliever does" Lowe does.
A: That might be a somewhat harsh solution, as we'd get the money if someone simply shattered his shoulder with a hot coal poker. But you're thinking, I like that.
I'm a little wary to be posting this right now, as I'm exceptionally angry and last time I mocked a pitcher (Lenny Dinardo) I received angry mail from his mother telling me he read what I wrote and it made him cry. And I've sworn off Derek Lowe before, his 2001 season produced an ulcer the size of a quarter in my stomach. But this is it. He can perhaps regain his ability, but he'll probably never stop saying stuff like this
"I'm at a loss for words. It's been a two-monthTHANK YOU PROFESSOR BASEBALL FOR EXPLAINING THAT WHEN YOU GIVE UP 5 STRAIGHT HITS TO START THE SIXTH INNING IT MAY "SNOWBALL".
stretch where I've put myself in a lot of bad situations as far as
baserunners. When that many guys get on base, ... it snowballs."
Posted by Mad Mike at 5/31/2004 09:10:00 PM
Saturday, May 29, 2004
Marlins 3, Mets 2
Record: 23-25, 5.5 games back
Mike Lowell's walk-off blast courtesy Braden Looper capped off a miserable game in which all the agonizing plotlines, lately subsumed by an inspiring run of good health and good play, bubbled to the surface. To wit:
Jae Seo is not a viable option. I've been waiting for him to rediscover the terrific command that made him one last year, but I've given up. I don't know if it's a crack in his nail or his confidence that's caused him to forsake the strike zone, but I was utterly dismayed to see him attempting to add a 300 MPH fastball to his admittedly thin repertoire. The Mets defense, which by the way is awful, helped him out to the tune of four double plays turned, and limited Art Howe's postgame reaction to his line [6.0IP 5H 2ER 5BB 2K] to a soft sigh.
Alright gang, I've got a question for you. Exactly when did Joe McEwing and Mike Cameron switch bodies?
I've been telling myself that it's just my luck to have tuned into the supposedly rare games in which Cameron has played poorly in center. Today he slammed himself into Cliff Floyd as if the other man had wiped snot on his favorite throwback jersey (on a ball that was caught cleanly by Floyd), and later stumbled out of the way of a drive into the gap. After the collision, viewers were treated to numerous shots of Cameron tugging on his shoulder and getting his fingers taped together, while Cornelius was nowhere to be seen. I like what I've heard of Mike, so here's hoping we see his infectious smile and easy manner return with his stroke.
But if it doesn't, and his play in center continues to be hampered by injury (I've got my fingers taped, er, crossed), we're going to have a great time this fall debating the biggest free agent bust of the young Duquette era. I'm willing to let Kaz Matsui's offense slide, on account of his coming to a new country where the baseball is a little better and the team names aren't as embarrassing (Washington Hamfighters, anyone? Pork, get it? Right? Oh, OK.) It's his defense that bothers me. I'm behind the curve on this one (who'd have thought Kaz and I would have something in common!); Eric Simon over at Sabermets had the scoop on Reyes taking back his old position. That'd make me happy, were I convinced Reyes would be taking the field at all this season.
Lastly, Looper's been great for us, but I wish he hadn't given headline writers so much to work with by failing when Benitez was superb the previous night. If it were up to me, I'd bypass the obvious Lowell Knocks Mets for a Loop and try Mets Braden Another Hairy Situation. Thankfully such responsibility weighs on more capable shoulders.
Posted by Mike at 5/29/2004 09:11:00 PM
What's up folks? Everyone have a nice week without my posts ruining their lives? Awesome! Sorry for the delay, but we here at ECA have a surprise coming up soon, and it's not the same kind Mike gave to those middle school girls outside the playground that landed him in jail for 3 months.
"But Kyle!!" both of my fans are screaming "What happened with that mean old Aaron Gleeman?!" Well I'm glad you asked. Not a day after I posted regarding our young Master Gleeman's attacks on us and on decent blog posting in general, he wrote back to me
Thanks for signing up for our mailing list! You've heard about these pills on TV, in the news, and online and have probably asked yourself, "Do they really work?" The answer is YES! IGF2 is a powerful erection enhancing product that will create erections so strong and full that over time your penis will actually grow as a direct result! If you would like a more satisfying sex life then IGF2 is for you!Whoops! Wrong letter! Not that I ever received that letter. MOVING ALONG
Hi Big K -Okay, so maybe I leapt to some hasty conclusions. Aaron's an okay guy, I got no particular beef with him. Although that "If you feel like discussing it outside of your blog, let me know" crack sounds a lot like a invitation to rumble, if you ask me. You wanna go, buddy? I'll mess you up.
I just came across your blog entry from today, with a little something about me near the end, and while you have deduced that you're the guy I'm talking about, I'm sorry to say that there isn't actually a guy I was talking about.
The "New York Mets blog with 20 readers" is not an actual blog, but an example of the hundreds of team-based blogs out there that I either don't read or am not aware of. I just picked a semi-random team, which ended up being the Mets mostly due to their large amount of blog coverage (I see from your links alone that there are more than a dozen). Anyway, not that it'll stop you from bashing me, but I just thought I'd chime in.
I don't remember if we had some sort of issue in the past, but I can see that you guys aren't particularly fond of me, my writing, or my "'Please pay me to write 70,000 word posts about how much of an internet celebrity I am'" paypal buttons," but your ire here is misguided.
If you just don't like the way I do things, that's cool. If it is something more specific than that and you feel like addressing it outside of your blog, let me know.
PS - I live upstairs during the summer, not in the basement, and we don't have a cat (so no litter box).
I kid, I kid. Aaron buddy, you're all right in my book. Cosette's still a hack, though.
Let's check in with a few of my personal fave Sox players:
Speaking of David Ortiz, which I did about three paragraphs ago so this isn't a real smooth transition, anyone worrying about clubhouse chemistry or whether the big guy is really as nice as he seems should give this a look-see. That place is still the love-fest it used to be, it's just not as obvious with Fatso trying desperately to get the phrase "Cowboy Up!" taken seriously or his horrifying karaoke video seen.
It's easy to have great chemistry when you've won 8 of the past 10 though. The team's firing on all cylinders still, here's hoping it keeps up for a long time.
Posted by Mad Mike at 5/29/2004 05:42:00 AM
Thursday, May 27, 2004
MLB.com has a story up on our favorite convalescent slugger, Legion Commander Cornelius Cliff Floyd. It's nice to see the Mets' health woes splitting some virtual ink with the Amazin's recent success, but that isn't what caught my eye.
Here's a quote from the Duke, with much respect to Floyd:
"We did a study this past winter," says Jim Duquette, the Mets' general manager, "and I think we averaged two more runs a game when he was playing."Thank goodness we hired a sabermetrician to really dip deep into the untapped well of statistical analysis in baseball. I'll bet you Neyer and James combined wouldn't have thought to look at something so obscure.
Don't get me wrong, I love Jim. Some of the things he says make me wonder, though, if my high regard for our current GM has a little too much to do with my complete lack of respect for his shades-wearing, smarmy predecessor.
Posted by Mike at 5/27/2004 10:05:00 PM
Wednesday, May 26, 2004
With the phrase "meaningful games" threatening to replace "weapons of mass destruction" in the national lexicon, I hopped on the delightfully crowded Flushing Local and enjoyed my first taste of Shea this past weekend. No, I didn't get to see Preacher Tom converting more unbelievers ("Praise the Lord," mutters the skeptic in me, bitterly) with his one-hit proselytization on, yes, Sunday. Saturday was my game, and with Yates on the hill, I wasn't expecting what we got -- a classic, albeit one overshadowed by an even greater game right around the corner.
If you haven't yet been to Shea this year, allow me to offer some advice:
1) Do not balk at the ticket prices. One luxury of following a team that has recently embodied futility is the ease with which we Mets fans are able to "move down", magically transforming a $12 Upper Reserved seat into a $43 Field Box ticket. Actually, we can be more economical than that. I believe this only applies when you're purchasing online via Mets.com , so when you click on "Buy Tickets" and a new window pops up detailing the price levels of the various sections, you'll see that Mezzanine Reserved, Upper Box, Upper Reserved, and Upper Reserved Without Alcohol all have little asterisks appended. While it would be just like the Wilpons to thusly signify that those sections haven't been cleaned for several seasons, what it really means is that those sections qualify for a Wendy's Two For One deal (some sort of LIRR deal is available, but since I'm from Westchester and hence deserving of life, I can't fill you in on the specifics). You don't even have to buy ten pounds of Wendy's awesome chicken nuggets to qualify, which is a shame: just select the number of tickets, hit next, and the price is cut in half. $12 seats are pretty good, but $6 for a ballgame can't be beat.
Edit: Upon enjoying a spicy chicken sandwich this evening, I stumbled upon an advertisement for the Wendy's 2 for 1 deal...which only lasts through May, and has sadly run its course. But hey, it was a great deal, and everything else applies.
2) After you've called your Yankees fan friends and laughed at the absurd amount of money they paid to get into their game, pass up the Field Box seats for an inning or two and enjoy the upper deck. You'll be able to sit wherever you want, which means you'll have a great view of the field and of the evening sky, which is usually a truly remarkable blue thanks to (I assume) the marriage of jet fuel and the miasma of losing.
3) While you're up learning about the inner workings of the atmosphere, make sure you hit up the Italian sausage stand. Look, Shea can be compared to one of Kyle's girlfriends -- not too pretty, not too clean, doesn't smell nice, a little lonely, a little awkward, and you usually have to drink a few beers to enjoy her company. What does that have to do with Italian sausage at Shea? Thankfully, nothing. They're just good, and you should buy one.
4) Speaking of beer, and this goes for any stadium -- stick to cousin brewski in the paper cups. Beer in plastic bottles is strongly redolent of a flower-strewn meadow, and while this might offset some of the unsavory odors a regular Shea visitor is familiar with, I'd rather drink deep of landfill runoff than struggle through another of those abominations.
5) When the ability to read the lips of passing airplane pilots loses its novelty, which is invariably, exercise your right as a diehard fan and get yourself a better seat. Treck down the winding ramps to whatever level suits your fancy and find an entrance that isn't manned by an usher in a bright yellow jacket. Walk with the impossible confidence of Roger Cedeno to a sufficient group of seats (you will find one, sadly), and enjoy the rest of the game.
Take advantage of the system while you can, for as our team's winning ways continue, and the Wilpons get ready to blow the future on a .500 season, you can be sure the team batting average won't be the only thing on the rise.
Posted by Mike at 5/26/2004 11:48:00 AM
Saturday, May 22, 2004
Well it's been a little too long since I last updated about MY team, because my last posts reads as being very angry. I sometimes lose patience with my beloved Sox, in the same way that a cute little puppy that manages to not go to the bathroom inside the house 59.5% of the time (that's the Sox winning percentage, if this analogy is lost on some of you) occasionally not only craps in the house, but somehow manages to do it in a way that scars your soul.
The stuff that was bugging me last time is now fading into distant memory. Lenny Dinardo, a man who I may have lost my temper with and possibly even lashed out at, is now cruising along with a 3.00 ERA. When I think of Dinardo now, instead of thinking "CRUSH! KILL! DESTROY!" immediately, the words "Bill Pulsipher" come to mind. They're similar guys, good lefty junkballing Mets prospects who did what every other good Mets prospect does and became useless and inefficient and ended up on the Red Sox. He'll cruise for awhile but once Nomar and Trot come back I don't think he'll still be with us. If we have to give him back to the Mets because he goes to the minors, that's fine and dandy with me, I'll be waving goodbye to him with my whole hand rather than one finger.
Other stuff: Cesar Crespo has found his playing time diminishing faster than Mike's wallet at a male strip show, and the pitching is starting to stabilize again. The team no longer looks slothful and disinterested on the field, and Damon even made a semi-spectacular catch in today's 11-5 crushing of the Jays. Manny's starting to get his power stroke back, even if he did manage to strike out 4 times again yesterday. And why the hell was Judge Judy in the booth today with Sean and Jerry? Ben Affleck was bad enough, but at least he's knowledgeable. Judy just sat there and talked about her backbreaking workload where she works every other week, and only a few days out of that week. Do I care, Judge Judy? You're old and what's worse, you're one of those horrible old people who've decided that the reason they've been allowed to live this long is to make sure everyone else around them is as miserable as possible. Please, nobody wants to see your wrinkled face during a Sox game. Stick to deciding which Jerry Springer reject you think is more deserving of the 500 dollars owed from back when they were lending each other money because they loved each other.
David Ortiz got signed to a 2 year/12.5 million dollar contract today, with a TEAM option for the third year. That's huge, not too many years at all, and it's totally up to us whether he comes back or not after two. I wouldn't say Poppy took a huge hometown discount to sign with us, seeing as how he can only play in the AL and 28 year old DHs aren't apt to get a lot of long term deals, but he probably could have done better (money-wise, without the Green Monster to pepper with that swing I doubt his numbers would even stay the same) somewhere else.
After the Sox hopefully win and maybe even sweep the series with the Jays, we have a 9 game stretch against Seattle, Anaheim, and Oakland (with a Baltimore make up game thrown in to make sure there will be at least one very angry post here that week). After that grueling series, we can start realistically looking at the return of Trot and Nomar. Maybe.
So as I was perusing some other blogs today I saw something interesting. Aaron Gleeman, he of the 70,000 word long post and "Please pay me to write 70,000 word posts about how much of an internet celebrity I am" paypal buttons on his site, apparently has taken offense to some of the things Metropolitan has had to say about him. Usually I myself leave Aaron alone, as I'm usually too busy making light of Sox blogger and audiophile Ed Cosette to make any observations about our good buddy Aaron and his Pulitzer-caliber writings.
I can see why Aaron might be in a snappy mood lately. Sounds like the poor guy has been under a lot of stress
Now, I am on the internet, reading stuff, more than most would think humanly possible. In fact, I am going to admit right now that I am actually addicted to my computer.That kind of dedication to doing things like carefully rating every blog linked to on your site by comparing it arbitrarily to a point in time for a Major Leaguer's career must leave precious little time for things like taking out the garbage and cleaning out the litter box, which means his Mom must be yelling at him almost daily inquiring when he's going to move out of the damn basement. That'd make anyone cranky. However he went on to write this
Still, despite my spending approximately 23.5 hours per day surfing the web, IMing and e-mailing (this is barely an exaggeration, as anyone who has me on their buddy list can attest to), I am but one man, whereas you are an entire group of people.
It's really a beautiful thing, because I get the feeling that there are a number of you who are honestly happy and excited to see my name in lights. And it goes beyond "big time" mentions like ESPN.com. It extends to all the hundreds of blogs and minor websites out there. Having you guys around to keep track of those for me is even better, because while I read Jayson Stark, odds are that I am not familiar with the New York Mets blog that gets 20 readers per day and has been bashing me for a week straight.Using my incredible skills of logic and reasoning, I have decided that he's in fact referring to THIS humble little blog. While I'm honored that he took the space away from ranting for several paragraphs about how popular he is, I think a few things need to get cleared up
Although I appreciate your enlightening description of the difference between "you" being only "one man" and "everyone else" being "a group of people" (makes sense!), I'm just asking for you to stick to legitimate criticims of our site. There's plenty.
(P.S. Sorry for the harsh words, Judge Judy. You're just doing your job, I know that.)
Posted by Mad Mike at 5/22/2004 02:26:00 AM
Thursday, May 20, 2004
Hiya folks! Don't start jumping for joy just yet, as this is not your loveable effeminate Metropolitan Mike, but Kyle, writing because Mike is apparently too busy screwing on toothpaste tube caps or trying to break the world record for consecutive hours spent jump roping or whatever the hell he does when he's not blogging.
So let's see, a post about the Mets, how hard can this be? Okay, first step...their record, that's right.
Whoa, that's weird, the number on the right is bigger than the one on the left! As a Sox fan I'm not used to seeing this odd arrangement of wins and losses, but apparently it doesn't phase Mike or other Mets fans because I see them do it all the time. As bad as that record is, it'd be a lot worse if it wasn't for the renewed energy and hustle the Mets have been playing with, or whatever other pseudo-reasoning Mets fans would like to explain their recent 10-7 run with that's not "luck". To be fair, those ten wins came against teams like Houston, St. Louis, Milwaukee (don't laugh, they're still at .500) and the Diamondbacks. So the Mets are, I'll grudgingly admit, playing decent baseball against some solid opponents. For example, today's 11-4 loss to the Cardinals can be attributed to the man who said this a day or so ago after having not pitched since May 13th.
I just needed a couple of days of rest," he said May 20. "The last time I pitched, I needed 45 pitches to get loose. For me to go out less than 100 percent and possibly cost us a game, I just needed a couple of days. It was one of those cases of avoiding something before it happens. You go as far as you can go and then you say, 'I need a couple of days.'Yes Mets fans, that's David Weathers talking about having a dead arm. So after having a nice 7 day rest, how'd he fare in his first game? 2/3 of an inning pitched, 5 hits, one walk, 6 runs, and one bleacher reacher. (that's Mike's cute little phrase for a home run, he says it all the time. Use it in your writing, man! Anyone who'd make fun of you for talking like that isn't a true friend.) Only 3 of those runs were earned, thanks to some fine defensive play by Mike Piazza, Kaz Matsui, and Todd Zeille, but that's still not a good appearance regardless. How does Mets Nation feel about David Weathers? Do you guys hate him or what? If he played for the Sox the cops would find his body floating in the Charles River tommorow.
Also, Jae Seo had another pretty shaky start, which is too bad because last summer when I spent my days curled up on the couch in New York watching Mets games and vainly wishing I would just die, I saw a lot of Jae Seo and really liked him. What's wrong with him this year? At least he got his first major league RBI by being made of flesh and bone instead of, say, water vapor, when Jason Marquis hit him with a pitch with the bases loaded.
All right, what else does Mike usually write about... I would have to assume he's pissed about Al Leiter going on the DL with generic creakiness, however they're saying right now it's only a 15 day thing and he'll be back as soon as he's eligible. Leiter's another guy I kind of like, I like how instead of a power pitcher he's always described as "the closest thing to a power pitcher the Mets have"
I'm sure Mike would yell at me or at least cry if I didn't mention that the Mets have been playing some very good defensive baseball occasionally, highlighted by Karim Garcia's incredible leap to take away a home run today. Cliffy Boy Floyd also put in a very nice assist today after running all the way back to the wall to take away a double from Scott Rolen. I'm sure that fine defensive play will translate into at least 2 or 3 games in the "W" column at the end of the year, possibly saving you guys from a 100 loss season.
Oh, that's right, Jim Duquette bashing, Mike's pretty into that. Today while I was watching the game briefly I saw an interview with him in the booth where he had a few things to say regarding the Mets playoff chances
We just feel that if we're still in the hunt in late June or July like we are now, if there's an impact player or two to be had that will help this team, we'll do everything we can to pick them upI'm not saying being 3.5 games out is a death sentence, Jimmy, especially since no one has really run away with anything yet, but surely you're not saying you'll ditch the rebuilding plan halfway into the season?
I'd say right now we're kind of doing a combination of playing to win now and planning for down the roadWhat the hell? How do you do both? You either rebuild or you go for it all, dude! If you do both of them half-assed then you'll end up like the, um, what's that team that's been the worst in the NL for the past few years...oh yeah, the Mets! Never mind.
That's all for me, folks, pray that Mike decides to come back to the blogging world sometime soon, or I'll have to keep doing this. And, just to further perpetuate this entry as one of Mike's, here's a very somber image of Mike Piazza looking out into the sunset.
Or checking out the opposing pitcher's ass. Yeah, that's more likely actually.
Posted by Mad Mike at 5/20/2004 04:55:00 PM
Friday, May 14, 2004
Dude, fuck this team. Today's game against the Devil Jays (look at their damn uniforms and blame me for writing that) showcased a lot that's wrong with my team that is currently 14-14 in non-Yankees games and has lost 9 of its last 14 games.
Numero Uno: Terry Francona has run out of mulligans with me. I hate this man. 6th inning, one run game, and guess who comes sauntering out of the bullpen? Why it's New York Mets castoff and almost certain puppy-kicker Lenny Dinardo. On what planet does this move make sense? Schilling struggled but technically kept us in the game, and Francona went to the pitcher that ranks slightly above Mendoza and slightly below a bent tee-ball stand in effectiveness.
Terry Francona: You hurt, Schill?But we can't blame Francona or Dinardo entirely for tonight's Mets-esque meltdown. Every single pitcher we trotted out gave up at least one run. Looking on the bright side though, at least Embree didn't give up an EARNED run in his whopping 1/3 innings worth of work, due to some incredible defensive wizardry.
Schilling: Nah, my ankle is taped up tighter than the mouth of that hooker Metropolitan Mike keeps in his closet, and I'm walking the bases loaded before getting saved by a crap DP, but I'm fine
Francona: I still think you're out, you've thrown 104 pitches to labor through 5 innings. Hit the shower and wait for me
Schilling: Awwwww Skip!
Francona: YOU WAIT FOR ME OR I WON'T USE SOAP
Francona: I hate baseball. Put in Mark Malaska to turn this game into a travesty.
Dave Wallace: Still going for that record of consecutive horribly scarring appearances by a worthless waiver pickup, eh? Don't you think it's a little early?
Francona: Good point. BRING ME LENNY DINARDO
Dinardo: *looks up for Mayor McCheese Mcdonald's coloring book* Huh? Me throw ball again?
Are the Sox the worst defensive team in baseall? I think they very well might be. Johnny Damon and Dinardo got the only official errors, however the Manny-Bellhorn-Crespo debacle that I will try the rest of my life to forget was probably the best display of heart and hustle ever. NOT! (Can you sense the frustration? That was sarcasm there! I'm never sarcastic!)
Hey SPEAKING of Cesar Crespo, want to see his numbers thus far this season? 50 ABs with a .191 AVG AND a .191 On-base%. That's right folks, in 50 plate appearances the bastard hasn't managed to work a single walk, or even get hit by a pitch. Does getting hit by a pitch count towards on-base%? Even if it doesn't, I'd still love to see the little man get his skull caved in, even if he's carried out to first on a stretcher and stranded by Dave McCarty striking out behind him. Add that to his muscular .255 slugging% and you get a .447 OPS hitting machine. Or 50 at bats worth of wasted plate appearances, you know, whatever.
Something is horribly, horribly wrong with this team. Last year people used to compare them to a beer leauge softball team. And it was an apt comparison in some ways, the laid-back attitude, ridiculous 13-9 victories, and Kevin Millar all fit the description to a "t". However lately we're actually PLAYING like one lately, and that's not so cool. No desire or balls to the wall mentality to be seen here, and at least those things won us a few dramatic games last year. (Did I just say "balls to the wall?" I did. What is this team doing to me) I swear, I can only watch Millar roaming right field like a confused dinosaur or Gabe Kapler weakly tap out to the shortstop 5 times a game because he's both starting the game somehow and not cutting down on his goddamn swing with 2 strikes so many times before I jump ship and become a Mariners fan. You think I've never considered it? I envy any team that doesn't make you vomit so hard your shoelaces come out of your mouth every time your SS is introduced. It's like when Mo would ask Curly to pick a finger behind his back; pick either Crespo or Pokey and you're still going to get poked in the eyes really fucking hard.
Posted by Mad Mike at 5/14/2004 01:25:00 AM
Wednesday, May 12, 2004
First, excuse the title. David Riske is currently protecting a 6-2 lead the loser Indians somehow got over my beloved Sox. I'm willing to bet a large amount of money that no one has made that joke about his name yet.
I'm heartened to see Mike ignored his obvious lack of talent and writing ability and kept the Blog in good order whilst I was in Ithaca (read: enemy territory) visiting some good friends. Mike would have been in attendance but A) We hate each other and B)it conflicted with the local comic book shop's newest shipment of Magic cards. According to our metropolitan friend: "Just TRY finding a mint condition Song of Ethereal Mana Rejuvenation card if you're not one of the first five people in line, I dare ya!" I'll take his word for it, considering his advice usually consists of things like "God I'm lonely" or just sobbing for three hours straight.
I avoided watching the Sox for most of the week because I was already in a good mood and all the Sox could really do is spoil it for me. I apparently stopped watching just in time for them to go on a 4 game winning streak, immediately following a 5 game losing streak and a 6 game winning streak. Streaks like that are indicative of a streak offense. And, why, lo and behold, our offense personifies "streaky". Actually I believe Peter Gammons called it "eratic" but then again Gammons also called Craig Biggio the game's 11th best player ever, so perhaps the big guy has merely reached Rickey Henderson levels of insanity.
How about that Pokey Reese, huh? Ever seen one of those spit takes in the cartoons or movies? I did one of those after seeing a quick ESPN ticker update saying Pokey had a 2 HR night a few nights ago. I later learned that one of them was of the inside the park variety, and both were of the "looming contract with Satan" variety, but it's nice to see the little guy showing some pop and hitting the ball well. Now if he could just hit the ball on the ground and get a few cheap infield hits and steal some bases, like we goddamn pay him to, I could be happy.
I can't mention Reese without talking about his 2B counterpart Mark Bellhorn. He's got 3 homers and a few clutch hits, but he's also striking out a ton and is on pace for a mere 142 walks now. It was only a matter of time before opposing pitchers said "Waiiiiit a second, if we throw him strikes he always strikes out or flies out to the warning track! Every single goddamn time! Look, he did it again! Awesome!!!" but it's still sad to see him falling so far off Barry's pace. 3 homers is only on pace for 15, too, which isn't too many. Where's that "6 pack of pop" he has in his bat, huh Sportingnews.com? HUH??!!?
I look away for a few days and suddenly Kevin Millar has his average at .290? When the heck did THAT happen? Luckily Fatso is still only on pace for 10 homers and a whopping 40 RBIs, so don't go jumping to any crazy conclusions like "Kevin Millar is a satisfactor baseball player". Also Bill Mueller has shown beyond a doubt he can only hit in the 8 hole, nowhere else, and he's actually NOT the worst defensive third baseman since Lou Merloni. Over time our team is beginning to show its true form: Highly paid and maybe just BARELY good enough to win 95 games, squeak into the playoffs, then sputter and die like any of the 7 cars I've owned. Here's looking forward to it!
Not much else to report over here from Red Sox Nation. Team's currently fighting the Indians in the bottom of the ninth but are still down 6-3. Oh and Johnny Damon is selling his hair to charity. God I love this team.
Posted by Mad Mike at 5/12/2004 09:09:00 PM
Tuesday, May 11, 2004
Met fans, I've got great news. Our Amazin's have found a cure for Reyes.
The Mets are considering sending Reyes, their 20-year-old Dominican star, to Chew, who has already developed a strategy to handle Reyes's recurring hamstring problems. Without examining Reyes, Chew said he is 85 percent certain that he could have Reyes healed in three to four weeks and back on the field in no more than six weeks.Wow, that sounds really swell! This guy hasn't even been allowed to see Reyes, and he's already formulating plans in his mind. The Mets medical staff has had daily access to Reyes for years, and I'll bet they never thought to formulate a plan to treat his hamstring problems.
"I have followed his case and formulated a plan in my mind," Chew, who believes he needs two sessions a week with Reyes for three weeks, said. "I am confident that I can fix him. I really want to work with José Reyes and the Mets."
How is Chew going to heal our "star"?
To help Reyes's hamstring, Chew would use a series of deep-tissue release techniques - including but not limited to deep-tissue massage - which could break down scar tissue and heal adhesions.Well, thank goodness the deep-tissue release techniques are not confined solely to deep-tissue massage! I mean, there are so many other deep-tissue release techniques unrelated to massaging the tissue that it would be a crime to limit the healing.
But then again, all of this deep-tissue release sounds pretty intensive. There's always the chance that it could affect Reyes' ginger hamstring negatively.
Chew insists that he would not lay a finger on the hamstring, working instead on other body parts that could correspond to the hamstring. Asked what body parts, Chew said, ''That's secret."Hallelujah, praise the lord! I was so worried Chew would actually be dealing with the hamstring itself.
How does our team embarrass itself (and by association, us) with such ease and frequency?
I guess we're at the point where anything is worth trying, but I'm not really sure how we got here. Can't we get a real doctor to take a look at the future of the franchise, instead of some former bodybuilding champion -- sorry, he's also a licensed physical therapist -- who "uses no equipment other than his hands"? This offseason, ownership was gravely concerned with the injury risks of various free agent targets, and limited the length of the contracts they did deign to offer because they were fearful they might be signing the next Mo Vaughn. I've got no problem with that; it can be viewed as a step forward, albeit one taken after looking both ways about fifty times while wearing blinders. Is management's next revolutionary approach the hiring of a competent medical staff to further reduce the risk of injuries?
I hope so. Until then, we've got Doctor Touch-Touch.
Posted by Mike at 5/11/2004 07:01:00 PM
Sunday, May 09, 2004
In between plugs for obscure orchestral rock groups and Broadway shows, Mike Lupica, sports columnist for the Daily News and anyone with a dollar, had this to say about the Mets malaise:
Imagine the sympathy vote the Yankees would get from the Yankee media if they were down three position players the way the Mets are right now.He's spot on, isn't he? We've been missing Floyd, our second best hitter, Reyes, poised on the brink of stardom, and Wigginton, who is, well, balls-to-the-wall (I wish I could say something better about the fellow, I really do). There's an air of continued failure about the team -- the ugly sister of the Bombers' Aura and Mystique, perhaps; we'll call our muse Catastrophe -- a prevailing opinion that this year it's the same old Mets, that nothing's changing, and as fans we've got nothing for which to hope. Catastrophe's melancholy muttering, like Kyle's daily affirmation that his life will turn around or the Sox will win it all, has just enough truth in it to justify all the misery-laden writing of a thousand Mets blogs (coincidentally, a number I'm confident we'll reach before season's end). While there are reasons to think nothing is changing, the two recent games ending with a Met hero mobbed and joyously smacked have me thinking along a different track. As optimism is similar to embarrassing stories about Kyle's romantic pursuits -- far better when shared -- I thought I'd provide you with a few solid reasons for my current contentment:
1) Like Lupica said, we're down three starting positional players. Our lineups have looked horrendous. A number of talking heads (Brandon Tierney of 1050 is the latest culprit) have been belittling our Amazin's for being beaten by underwhelming opponents this year, as if that were indicative of the direction this team is heading. Naysayers, Eric Valent and Joe McEwing are seeing regular time. Valent would be in the minors anywhere else, and McEwing would be handed the utility role he deserves if he were given a job at all. These are not the Mets of 2005 and beyond, or even the Mets of June, 2004 -- these are the Mets of Right Now, which is an admittedly desperate time, but one which will not last forever. Floyd will return. Reyes will, god-willing, get his problems under control after seeing a damned specialist, and -- ok, maybe I'm not quite ready to speak about Jose in an optimistic tone. But he'll be back. Wigginton is back, and judging by his early performance which includes a clutch two-run single in today's game, he'll hit as well as he's able, which is a damn sight better than the AAAA replacements available to the Mets right now. This is not the team we invested with quiet hopes in the offseason, but a pale shadow of that group. Any win against major league clubs comes as a welcome surprise at this point, and most any game we lose because of anemic hitting is worth swearing over, maybe, but not destroying furniture.
2) People have also been speaking about the Mets' bench as being a major weakness. Again, the "bench" that we're seeing now are the dregs of the dregs; most of our real bench is plugged into the starting lineup. We've seen that Shane Spencer and Karim Garcia can hit, even outside of the platoon they were hired to man. Once Floyd returns, one of them will anchor our reserves. Danny Garcia has impressed me by being a bit better with the bat than he was last year, which means that he has been able to place a bat in contact with a baseball, and then to aim that baseball with some velocity in fair territory. Even Joe McEwing has shown improvement by employing a "diminished leg kick", which to clarify is his new batting technique and not a Chun-Li move executed by furiously tapping "A" while pressing down. Best of all, of course, is Todd Zeile's resurgence in his eightieth year of professional baseball. My apologies, Todd: I thought you were done. Speaking of which:
3) Our ancient pitching staff has been one of the best in baseball, various and well-documented bullpen collapses notwithstanding. We're stuck with Glavine for another year at least, so it's good to see him living up to his billing as staff ace. Leiter has been great; hopefully he'll be able to repeat his performance in his last start, in which he kept his walks down and pitched late into the game. Trachsel is resuming his form as a solid, dependable third starter. What all this means is that I can watch games now and actually expect to win simply because one of those three is starting. Jae Seo is back in the rotation, and even if he's chipped a nail again, I think Mike Piazza can probably quote him Anderson Bourell's manicure fee. Yates has struggled, but who cares? He was a young unknown, and the organization gave him a shot to see what he can do. Ditto Grant Roberts. At least we're promoting some of our young guns when they show they deserve it, and allowing the fans to watch a good game by starting the decent older fellows when they haven't. The Mets don't need a complete overhaul, and so far they're toeing the line fairly well.
4) Some of our relievers aren't compeletely terrible, and may yet be spun for good young players later in the year. Stanton, in particular has bounced back and pitched nicely recently, and I have hopes that David Weathers will do the same. Moreno and Wheeler haven't been half bad, either. The big surprise is just how effective Looper has been. He's no Mariano Rivera, but thus far he's no Armando Benitez either. (Let's set aside the latter's success down in Florida for the moment, because we all know he's no longer capable of pitching like that in New York. One rare case in which I really think the atmosphere can drastically affect a player's performance.) If nothing else, perhaps we can entertain the thought that the front office has learned from Billy Beane's treatment of the closer role and would be willing to part with Looper for prospects later as well. If not, then we can look forward to a reasonable amount of confidence in save situations, something many Mets fans have nearly forgotten.
5) The Braves are not very good. In the absence of rational hopes of postseason play, I've dialed my expectations down to just performing better than our unlikeable, amoral foemen down in Atlanta, the dung heap of sweetly rotting Southern gentility. Andruw Jones is hitting .254! Does not that bring you joy? Chipper Jones has barely played this year! Larry, I would weep but for the certainty that you are even now tarnishing your already black as night marriage vows with another toothless Hooters wench, and whatever family whose hearts you're breaking this time are probably taking care of you on that end.
All is not lost -- all isn't even close to being lost -- so I'm keeping the faith with a little joy to temper the agony. I'd write off Catastrophe use Schilling's line about "Aura and Mystique" being "just a couple of dancers", but I've already mentioned Chipper's wife. No need to pile on; it is Mothers' Day, after all.
Plenty of good stuff going on in the Mets blogosphere lately.
Eric Simon of Sabermets is threatening to become a Sox fan; find out what would make him wish to join a group so desperate Kyle is already a card-carrying member.
Yankees, Mets, and the Rest has a nice new design. (I'm working on ours, without a sense of style or urgency; preview to come.) Here Vinny champions Ken Griffey, Jr., an old favorite of mine, against Bonds, an irritable, ungrateful bastard.
Norm of the Shea Hot Corner documented and Tivo'd an amusing Mets moment I'm mad I missed. Any chance you can put that up for us somehow? Anyone? Mike Cameron is hysterical.
Kaley of Flushing Local continues what I believe is a 300-post streak of either making me laugh or think with this look at the state of our lineup. It features our bald, fist-pumping captain exclaiming, "Oh, piffle!", which is reason enough to click here.
When Kyle was in high school, he spent most of the five years trying to get his dog drunk and writing romantic novels entirely in the second person, which he'd read aloud to truckers who had the misfortune to fall within range of the CB radio he made out of parts scrounged from the junk yard clubhouse that was his home.
Jeremy Heit, meanwhile, writes about the Mets, and well. He's solved the "Veteran Conspiracy" we all knew existed but were too afraid to cover.
Steve Keane of The Eddie Kranepool Society delivers as usual, and like Karim Garcia, he doesn't pull any punches.
There are many more, of course. Check the sidebar, and have a happy Mother's Day. (Will that make up for my harassment of Chipper Jones? Time will tell.)
Posted by Mike at 5/09/2004 09:01:00 PM
Thursday, May 06, 2004
Mets 2, Giants 1
Record: 13-15, 3 GB
I don't know where to start.
With Leiter hurling his hundred plus pitches, only this time through a cool, easy eight, and making sure Bonds is thinking he should've taken another day off and who would've thought I couldn't take a vacation against the Mets? Maybe. He's the starter, after all. The one with the best ERA in the National League.
How about with Art? When Art Howe gets fired up -- leaps from the dugout bench, uncorks a haymaking uppercut fist pump -- you know the game has to be a classic. That's exactly what he did after Weathers sailed a breaking ball across the outside black against Pedro Feliz on a full count with the bases loaded. Is there a better feeling -- and here I'm talking to Red Sox fans, primarily, because I know you know this one -- but is there a better feeling than watching a shaky bullpen put itself in a terrible position, only to escape by the narrowest of margins?
The answer, of course, is sure there is, there are plenty better, but a game-winning homer by your team's best hitter to turn that escape into a victory is right up there. I don't know the proper way to tackle such a storybook performance, the kind of game that gives your team a mulligan for the rest of the week, but damn, did Piazza know how to end it.
Posted by Mike at 5/06/2004 10:45:00 PM
Wednesday, May 05, 2004
Driving home from work the other day, I tuned the radio to 1050 ESPN and caught the tail end of a debate on the "Wally and the Keeg" show about whether or not the Mets should pitch to Barry Bonds. As far as I could tell, the main argument for pitching to him had something to do with "pride", "competitive spirit", and "cojones". This did not surprise me, given the source (we all know that if there were an arbiter for pride and cojones in this merciless world of ours, it would be named either Wally or "The Keeg" and have a radio show), and indeed the entire discussion charted a predictable course, including its thrilling and highly original conclusion:
Wally (I am assuming this was Wally although it may very well have been "The Keeg"): Ok, so what about the argument that walking Bonds gives the Mets the best chance of winning?As it turned out, the game held more surprises than that high-five worthy reparte. Bonds rolled out of bed yesterday and noticed he had a slight head cold (where the adjective slight is obviously referring to the severity of his illness and not the size of his gargantuan block). He didn't play, and Wilpon didn't downgrade the game to a Sheet Rock Value price as would befit a game played against the godawful Giants without their only legitimate namesake. At least the Mets didn't disappoint, rocking Brett Tomko or whoever pitched for the Giants and is uninteresting enough I might confuse him with Tomko.
"The Keeg": ...well, seriously, what do the Mets care about winning?
Wally: Ha ha ha, I know, I was just about to say that!
"The Keeg": Ha ha, you know, we're way cooler than Mike and the Mad Dog.
Wally: Totally bro. I feel you.
And what do you know -- looking at the standings, we're four Trachsel starts and Marlins Tommy Johns from leading the division. And we've almost scored more runs than we've allowed. When you're rooting for the team who's slogan should really be "Expect the Expected", it's the little things that get you through.
Posted by Mike at 5/05/2004 05:56:00 PM
Tuesday, May 04, 2004
Record: 15-10 (Worse than the Texas Goddamn Rangers)
I know it's been awhile. I've tried writing a post every day for the past 3-4 days now and everytime I start off with a humorous joke about how the current state of affairs in Red Sox Nation probably wouldn't really convince a jury it was okay for me to send Nomar and Trot death threats if they didn't suit up and start playing, but then I'd just start crying.
So I'm starting fresh. Screw the sweep of the Yankees. Screw the Rangers (seriously.) Screw not hitting, screw Pedro's big mouth, and, well, just screw it in general. Right now I'm watching Derek Lowe serve up 87 MPH meatballs to the suddenly talented Indians whilst the Sox furiously and uselessly hack at every single baseball that comes near them. You can see the sweat on Ortiz's face as the catcher throws the ball back to the pitcher, as if he's thinking "What? They're pitching backwards now? Those devils! SWING YOU FOOL IT'S GETTING FURTHER AWAY SOON YOU WON'T BE ABLE TO REACH IT NOOOOOOOO POPPY IT'S A TRICK DON'T SWING" Sure the Red Sox couldn't hit a ball hard if their life depended on it, but then again, neither could my intramural whiffleball team. There's a similarity in how our teams are playing now, right down the relative competence of their manager.
So why blog about this? Mike cries when I swear and I don't think I can describe the Sox's last 4 games without resorting to an F-bomb at least every other word. There are FAR more reputable and well written blogs over on the right hand side of this site if you want to get a fair and balanced retelling of Boston's recent games.
How about we talk about some of the more interesting commercials that are shown lately? Remember my ranting and ravings about the Curt Schilling Dunkin Donuts commercials? Well those things are shining bastions of creativity and effectiveness compared to some of the companies that're advertising lately. How about the waterworkswonders.com commercials, where a buck toothed little girl or evil gnome or something demands "take me fishing, because my wedding will be sooner than you think". Or even better, the shot of the old, shriveled shell of a man who bemoans "take me fishing, because I miss....my booooyyyyy". Fishing's not what you need, old timer, you need that rejuvenation machine that Victor gets hooked up to in that movie Underworld.
Not a fan of sci-fi vampire movies, huh folks? Well SCREW YOU, some people got a kick out of that joke. How about I talk about baseball events that don't have anything to do with our play on the field, but rather our much vaunted and mystical "Clubhouse Chemistry". Like Pedro's inane babbling about breaking off contract talks with the Red Sox. Anyone else notice that our team has become a black hole of misery, negativity, and futile dreams of scoring since he had that little pow-wow with the media? Kind of like Mike, except that's been a description of him since Pedro was 10 years old. (Ba-ZING!!! SOMEBODY STOP ME!!!)
So seriously, what is there to blog about? An entry thanking God we're not the Mets? Then I'd be just like every other non-Mets blog out there. An entry where I complain about Schilling's arm angle and mention how Varitek can't seem to lay off the high heat? I'll let you fine readers in a little secret: I'm an idiot, and probably don't know more about baseball than other bloggers that update more often than once every two weeks. Entries like that are fun, but only when the Sox are doing well and people overlook my commentary as the pseudo-analytical babbling it truly is.
So I'll be writing again, probably when the Sox win a damn game. Which won't be tonight, congrats to Pokey and Mueller for making consecutive erros against the Cleveland Powerhouse. Godammit.
Posted by Mad Mike at 5/04/2004 08:21:00 PM
Monday, April 26, 2004
With the Mets battling as they are (which is to say, in a rather formulaic fashion these days, as Jeff "Mr. Roboto" Wilpon has instructed his family's team to produce runs in the amounts of either one or zero, in homage to the beloved binary that is his first and dearest tongue), I've opted to register my disapproval by writing with the same passion and consistency my Mets have brought to the field. There are, as you're probably aware, no new developments in the ongoing story of their mediocrity. In fact, the Mets have been losing by way of injuries and dreadful hitting in spite of good starting pitching for some time now; my sympathies go out to the newspaper writers who are forced to play soul-sucking daily games of Mets Mad-Libs:
__________ (AAAA middle infielder) has emerged as Art Howe's latest favorite for his __________ (adjective, rhymes with, means, crappy) play and tendency to leave everything on the field. "__________ (AAAA middle infielder) really battles out there," Howe said, "He just gives __________ (number > 100) percent out there, day in, day out."
Howe added, "Once we get __________ (injury-plagued offensive star) back in this lineup, I think we'll be fine. It's just a matter of him knowing his body and not coming back until he feels he is ready." __________ (injury-plagued offensive star) has said recently that he feels his __________ (noun, muscle) is only back to about __________ (number < 70) percent, and the possibility of a significant setback in the coming weeks has not been ruled out.
Any sign of a promising surge by the Mets has been derailed by a series of nagging injuries to key performers. Just yesterday, for instance, __________ (disappointing pitching prospect) reportedly tweaked his __________ (nonessential organ) while __________ (verb ending in -ing, bodily function) in front of a classroom full of preschoolers. His prognosis is not good, and it appears he will join the rest of the Mets in being shut down for the rest of what has been to this point a very __________ (adjective, euphemism for shitty) season.
I'd apologize for my lack of anything fresh or original to say about the Mets, but that presupposes the existence of something fresh or original about the team, a possibility I'm not quite willing to concede after such a small number of games have been played. I'll leave you with a story about my new favorite NL East third baseman, instead. A friend of mine had very good seats at Shea during the Expos series, located even with the third base bag and only a couple rows off the field. Tony Batista, he of the unorthodox torso-gyration powered batting stance, was hearing it from the lively Shea crowd all night long. My friend didn't relay the insults showered upon the new Expo, but I figure it's obvious that they were taunting him about the likelihood either Kaz Matsui or Mike Cameron will absolutely destroy him in strikeouts this season. Either way, they were screaming at him nonstop when he was in the field, to the point where Batista actually took time from outplaying the Mets to cast long, flat looks at his hecklers. At the end of the game, as he was walking off the field, they poured it on thick, and he paused and looked up. Stared directly at his tormentors. "Ok. Hang on a second," he said, and after holding the look for a beat, dashed into the dugout. What was he going for, they wondered? Was he running away? Getting security? Grabbing a bat so he could model his odd stance before crushing their heads in?
Batista emerged with a box of balls, walked over to his antagonists, and tossed them each a baseball, making a point of singling out the most vocal among them. Smiling.
Needless to say, their jeers turned to cheers, and they left Shea happy.
Maybe sometime soon, it'll be the hometown players putting smiles on fans' faces. But don't hold your breath. As of this writing, there's no timetable for __________ (injury-plagued offensive star)'s return.
Posted by Mike at 4/26/2004 10:25:00 PM
Sunday, April 25, 2004
Wednesday, April 21, 2004
Whoops, sorry about that previous post folks! It would appear that marginally talented blogger and Walt Whitman fan Ed Cosette from Bambino's Curse broke into ECA World Headquarters at some point and made a post posing as me! I don't know how he got in here, or how he found the time without interrupting his obviously rich social life, but rest assured Mike is foregoing his Babylon 5 marathons and Hentai gaming until he's beefed up security here at East Coast Agony.
So yeah, taking 3/4 from the Yankees was certainly good, but before Red Sox Nation starts jumping up and down declaring the Evil Empire dead, let's remember our results from the first series against our no good neighbors over the past few years:
2001: Took series 3 games to 1 (remember Manny's awesome single through Rivera's legs?)
2002: Took series 3 games to 1 (Darren Oliver was the winning pitcher in the first game? I don't remember that. Maybe my brain won't allow me to grasp that as a concept)
2003: Only a 3 game series this time, Yankees took it 2 games to 1
Early season success against the Yanks doesn't appear to factor much into our overall record against them, as they've won the season series all three of those years. It was good that it was our backup crew, complete with THIRD string first baseman David McCarty starting (because Terry Francona has the same brain chemistry imbalance as cliff divers and snake tamers that makes him secretely hope he dies from doing his job poorly) was able to get the job done, but the be fair this isn't the same Yankees group we'll be seeing in September. Every single starter for them looked AWFUL, especially Rodriguez, who apparently played in a division where no one throws breaking balls. A few other random notes:
As far today's game, the only thing that matters is that we won. And, Pedro was good. However, the news isn't all good. The Blue Jays are stuck in the worst collective offensive rut since the 2001 Mets, so both his "good" games coming against them doesn't suddenly mean he's out of danger. Also, and I know velocity is overrated, he was really reaching back on the two occasions I saw him throw over 90. In the past few years, 90-91 is what he threw at comfortable, and when he reached back he could hit 94-96. This all pales in comparison to the 97-00 golden years when he literally threw 98 MPH on every single fastball, but regardless I don't think he can repeat the last few year's success with that kind of heat. Also, Carlos Tosca had this to say:
"He doesn't appear to be throwing as hard, and his arm angle seems to be lower," Tosca said. "He's pitching at around 88, 89 and I've seen 93, 94 with his arm slot higher." Tosca thinks Martinez has lowered his arm angle because he might be hurt. "Obviously, something has gone on which would make him think that that's what's best for him."Maybe he's just annoyed because we swiped Scott Cassidy from them in exchange for a book of car wash coupons, or he's just trying to rile the Sox fans, but either way it's still something to worry about. A start against New York and Texas will be better indicators of whether Pedro's going to be okay, or a constant source of torment. He gave up two runs in 7 innings though, which should be taken at face value. One of the runs wasn't even earned, and the other one had something to do with Johnny D screaming "Caveman Powers Activate! Form of: Badly Misplayed Turf Bounce!!" out in center field.
Here's hoping this is the last "I'm worried about Pedro" post for awhile, I've been neglecting my Mike bashing lately because of them.
Posted by Mad Mike at 4/21/2004 02:06:00 PM
Wow, taking 3/4 from the Empire was quite a feat! Of course, with how they performed, the Yankees players could be compared to Stormtroopers very easily. Seriously, Stormtroopers sucked totally. I always wondered what kind of "rigorous" training regimen they went through before they were issued their totally useless plastic armor and totally giant blaster rifle. I mean, you would think a giant Empire would be capable of fielding a reasonably competent fighting force, ESPECIALLY their totally elite units. Did you ever notice that, in the first and third movies it was either the elite guard of The Death Star or Endor and they were still totally useless. I just totally don't get it!
Posted by Mad Mike at 4/21/2004 02:03:00 PM
Tuesday, April 20, 2004
Expos 2, Mets 1
I was listening to Michael Kay's radio show a few days ago when he had Al Leiter on. They chatted mostly about Al's hitting, as he'd recently slugged a double into right-center against the Braves, rousing Andruw Jones from a trance via which he was receiving Lucifer's latest command. Kay asked our man why he was usually such a terrible batter, since he's obviously a great athlete, prompting Al to remark that a lot of pitchers just aren't very good athletes. He dropped a line about a former teammate of his (Matt Franco, maybe?) who used to mock him by wrapping a cutter grip around a baseball and muttering, "Thank you, God" over and over, obviously implying that it's all Al's got. Leiter went on to complain about the complexity of running the bases, saying he enjoyed getting the rare hit, but it was really too much trouble to deal with all the different situations out on the basepaths and that he'd prefer to just take his hacks and focus on his pitching. There is one feat with the bat that he'd still like to accomplish, however: hitting a homer. He said he dreams about it.
He should have no trouble visualizing baseballs sailing out of the park tonight, as his primary reliever David Weathers served one up to Jose Vidro, ruining Leiter's seven-inning, one-run outing and breaking a 1-1 tie.
Is "reliever" a misnomer for these guys, or what? I'm of a mind to call them all closers, as they've got a remarkable ability to shut the door on any chance of our starters earning a victory.
Leiter went deep into the game, working with uncharacteristic economy at a 15 pitch/inning clip. His 0.52 ERA is impressive despite two starts againt the hapless 'Spos. It's our offense that's troubling me now, as I sink back into my chair after watching Eric "Mr. Clutch" Valent whiff looking on three called strikes from Rocky Biddle. Rocky Biddle, folks. The man is shakier than a faultline and our bottom of the 9th trio of Piazza, Cameron, and the aforementioned superhero only squeezed six pitches out of him. I'm a fan of the Expos young pitching, and while Zach Day looked good today he was certainly aided by Matsui, Cameron, and particularly Wigginton swinging often and early. You can't blame this slump on an injury-depleted roster; I think a lack of patience is the problem lately.
If our "closers" keep doing their "jobs" so admirably, I just might experience a sudden lack of patience myself.
Posted by Mike at 4/20/2004 10:05:00 PM
Sunday, April 18, 2004
Record: 5-7, 4th in the division, 3 GB
If you've come to our site in the past week, it may appear that I've been uncharacteristically cruel and left you at Kyle's mercy. After a little tech support, replete with the requisite cringing at my comrade's obsession with the caps lock key, I've figured out the problem. It seems Blogger scripts examined the posts I'd written for this past week, and after spying phrases like "starting pitching solid", "bullpen a nightmare", and "anemic hitting from substitutes" mistakenly assumed I was writing about last year's Mets and dated the posts accordingly.
At year's start our offense was lively and interesting -- now it's boring and unproductive. I shudder to think of what it might be looking like right now if the Duke hadn't picked up Kaz and Cameron. We could be seeing:
And I suppose, aside from Chipper "Role Model" Jones injuring himself (probably craning his neck at another man's wife in the stands), the silver lining of this plodding black cloud is that we've seen this offense be productive and have something to look forward to. Namely:
Not quite a Murderer's Row (though with Garcia in there, anything's possible), yet I'm still looking forward to the five games or so that these fine eight will all play together at some point this season.
Our starters have certainly been doing their jobs well. Glavine has looked like an ace and along with several quality starts has given us his first scowl from the dugout as the shaky bullpen costs him a win. Trachsel settled down and pitched well independent of the comfort provided by any run support whatsover -- he's obviously used to such treatment. Leiter, still my favorite player on the team, seems like he'll be good for five innings at an economical pace of three hundred pitches per start. I'm not worried about Tyler Yates' rocky last start, considering I caught the beginning of it on TV and turned it off because I was positive the game would be called. There was really no reason for the Mets to let Yates pitch, as the rain was falling faster than Piazza's average and he'd already endured a wait of an hour or so after warming up. The weather was truly the worst I've ever seen major league baseball played in. It occurred to me after the terrible performance was in the books that anyone who checked the box score the next day would have no clue about the mitigating circumstances. Years from now, Rob Neyer will write an article in which he cites Tyler Yates' ERA in his first five starts as an indication that Mets young pitchers were rushed to the majors -- and no one will remember that on that night it was raining cats, dogs, and the cat-dog hybrids Rick Peterson's Biomechanical Science Lab will by then be churning out. Long live subjective analysis.
I think I've already written everything that needs to be said about the bullpen so far. Until Franco and company factor in a victory bigger than the morning game of dominoes down at the home, I think I'll let their playing do the talking.
Despite all of this, I'm not really pessimistic, mostly thanks to Kaley from Flushing Local putting things in perspective. .500 is what I'm realistically shooting for, but I've been tearing my hair out over these losses as if I hadn't expected them to happen half the time. Now it's time to relax, dial down the agony, and maybe enjoy some of the abundant great Mets writing online. Max at Mets Forever is the newest member of the corps: the many, the ashamed, the Mets Bloggers.
Posted by Mike at 4/18/2004 09:24:00 PM
Saturday, April 17, 2004
Friday, April 16, 2004
Record: 4-4 (.500. Again. Dammit)
Two more games not worth talking about. I'm not sure who circulated a memo telling the Sox that a "W" counts twice if it takes you more than 9 innings to get it, but someone needs to inform my poor team that it was just a cruel prank. 3/8 of our games have now gone into extra innings, we've played the equivalent of an extra game. The fact that 2 of those games were losses does NOTHING for my current mood. My dorm hall currently has a crack in the wall that suspiciously resembles the mangled, wretched mass that was once my foot. The Sox win was nice, however to be honest it's kinda of ridiculous that Ortiz had to win it for us in the 11th like that when the team had SO many oppurtunities to score before that.
The second game I'm going to ignore after the fifth inning for my own sanity. I'd LIKE to be able to convince myself that somehow our charter planes got mixed up and we accidently sent the PawSox up against the Baltimore Steamroller, but there's only one inneffective, curly haired Dominican starter named Pedro Martinez out there, and he plays for us. After last night's debacle his stats currently look like this:
1-1, 4.58 ERA, 3 chins
Pedro just looked AWFUL. What was most galling (other than his 88MPH fastball that he hit exactly twice, slurvy breaking ball, and irritating double chin) was that his changeup occasionally was sick. Like your old bike that you still ride, held together mostly by rust, but with the little bit of chrome that catches the sunlight occasionally and you go "Wow, this used to be a really nice bike. And I'm really, really poor". Pedro shows the odd flash of brilliance and it's so hard to not think maybe he's gotten over the hump. At least, it is until he serves up a home run on a pitch that could be mistaken for a throw back to the umpire for a new ball.
There's a few things I really wasn't prepared to deal with after this long. One is currently being behind my worthless cohort's Mets. I'd love to play the injury card here, but the Mets also have a signifigant number of people out with a puzzling assortment of inuries.
I had also hoped that the Sox would have solved their Orioles weakness over the offeason, but that's obviously not the case. Last year, if I recall, we barely squeaked out a .500 record against them. I'd check that, but it's a Friday afternoon and I just got in from making 5 errors in one inning during a whiffleball game and numbers anger me right now.
I'm also not ready to be playing the Yankees. For a in-depth explanation as to why today should rank up there with your wedding, high school graduation, and 21st birthday all rolled into one, please check here. Or here. Or here. If that's not something you'd find interesting, and you'd prefer to hear a mediocre Sox blogger rant about baffling subjects such as cream cheese, power lines, or this latest gem
I did not know there was such a thing as a Red Sox lunchbox. That is totally cool. Be sure to visit Bryan's LunchBoxPad site. It's totally cool. Bryan, if you have a pic of that box, please give a URL of where we can see it online or send me a jpg and I'll toss it up here. Meanwhile, check out this Pelé lunch box from 1975. Man, that's awesome.then feel free to check out Ed Cosette's confusingly popular Bambino's Curse. It's totally cool!
Anyways, so far this isn't exactly the picture perfect opening to the Sox season. However, it's only 8 games played so far. Maybe in another 6, when we're 1/10 of the way through the season, I'll feel a little bit better jumping to rash conclusions. Till then, I'll be happy with a split series this weekend against the most hated of all baseball teams, the Yankees. Look forward to that post later. Till then, I'm assuming someday Mike will post again.
Posted by Mad Mike at 4/16/2004 06:23:00 PM