Archive for April, 2011

Phillies Celebration Dance

April 30, 2011

After last night’s disappointment, many would try to get their minds off the New York Mets.  Not me.  I decided to work harder for our readers.

Check out this secret clubhouse footage of Chase Utley leading the Phillies in their official celebration dance:

On to the daunting task of trying to steal one from Halladay or Lee.

One Win: That’s All We Should Expect

April 29, 2011

It is very obvious that the Mets have been playing well lately.   The guys have made great strides and I am enjoying the style of play for sure.  However, I feel it is unreasonable to expect a series win this weekend in Philly.

Winning on the road in Philly when you are facing Halladay and Lee in two of the three games is asking a bit much. Hopefully, when the Mets leave Philly with likely only one win in the series, the good will they have built up with the fans isn’t completely wasted.

Taking a look at the pitching match ups, that one win may very well occur tonight.

I would also like to point out, that although he is getting one serious dose of the silent treatment, Tom’s earlier post is sad but true.  However, if things continue to improve in Metland the Phillies will start to sweat a little bit.

My Second Violation Of Omerta

April 29, 2011

After Jason’s First True Love misplayed the ball that gave the Nats a 1-0 lead I texted him asking why Carlos was letting balls fly over his head. His response was golden. And true.

“I shouldn’t have been texting him in the middle of the game. But we are out of milk. My bad.”

They Don’t Give A Phuck About Us

April 29, 2011

When the Mets visited Philadelphia earlier this month, Wall Street Journal ran an article that dubbed Citizens Bank Park a “safe haven” for Mets fans:

“If you’re looking for a measure of how far the Mets have fallen these past few years, here’s a new one: Phillies fans, who have a reputation for their rowdy behavior in the stands, don’t even seem to find pleasure in heckling their rivals anymore.”

And

“We don’t really care about them enough to give them a hard time anymore,” said Russell Holman, a 28-year-old sanitation worker from Verona, N.J. “They don’t win often, and even when they do, it doesn’t change anything. They’re not relevant.”

Anyhow, you get the gist and if you desire to read the rest of the article it is linked above.

None of this is surprising to me. It’s going to take a whole lot more than winning this series to change the perception. It’s going to take months of solid, competitive baseball from a Mets team that’s legitimately in contention. Even so, the Phillies will probably be so far ahead in the division that they still might not care.

I’m not really sure I care either. By the time the Mets are really good again the Phillies will probably be on the decline. Matter of fact, I can’t think of any time aside from 07-08 when both teams were really competing against one another for something big. The history of both clubs has peaks and lots of valleys – and the peaks never seem to coincide.

As for the series, 2 of 3 is ideal. 1 of 3 is realistic. Being swept would take all of the good feelings from the 6-game win streak away. Time to find out what this team is made of during a brutal stretch in the schedule that starts Friday.

Alderson’s Jose Dilemma

April 28, 2011

During last night’s game, Tom and I got into the Jose Reyes conversation.  Should he stay, or should he go?  A gray area topic that I have been trying to avoid, for fear of the thought of the Mets without the Jose of last night.

I do not envy Mr. Alderson when it comes to deciding on Jose’s future with the Mets.  If he extends his contract and Jose gets hurt, he will be taken to task for listening to the fans.  If he trades or chooses not to re-sign Jose, he will be lambasted by fans for every triple, double, walk, or put out Reyes produces for another team.

There are plenty of strictly “baseball” reasons to trade an injury prone player dependent on his legs when his value is high.  Especially if it bolsters your starting pitching.  This is a very unemotional thought and one in which any capable General Manager needs to have.

The other side of the equation involves our emotions as fans.  We love Jose Reyes.  We’ve been watching him since he was a wee lad trying to change his running style to prevent his sensitive hammies from hurting.  We’ve watched him grow into one of the most exciting players in franchise history.

Sure we get frustrated with him at times.  It is similar to getting frustrated with a member of your family.  They may annoy the hell out of you occasionally, but you can’t imagine life without them.

It is ridiculous to expect Mr. Alderson to understand how we feel about Jose from an emotional level.  He’s not being paid to think with his heart.  The question for him is, how does he quantify the energy Jose brings to the franchise?

Adam Rubin summed it up nicely this morning.

….when the New York Mets’ general manager decides whether to Reyes walk as a free agent next offseason, or even to trade him before July 31, Alderson better take into account nights like Wednesday at Nationals Park too — because there also is a value in having the type of energy and passion that Reyes displays when he is wearing a uniform.

I’ve been watching the Mets my entire life.  I can’t recall any other player that has brought this type of energy and passion to the club.  This stems from the combination of his talent and his unsuppressed, immediate, reactions to what is unfolding on the baseball field.

Not only does this pay dividends to the players around him.  Reyes has the uncanny ability to incite an entire fan base in the span of one play.  If you were on Twitter last night you know exactly what I am talking about.

In my opinion, roll the dice and extend him.  He is a home-grown Met and I don’t want him playing for another team.  You won’t hear me killing the front office if it doesn’t pan out.

What I Take Away From Win #6

April 28, 2011
  • It seemed like earlier in the year the Mets were pressing. At times it seemed they were back on their heels simply hoping not to mess up. Over the past week they have become the aggressor. Even when they make mistakes or things go against them the team has the mental fortitude to overcome them. Tonight was a prime example, with 3 things that came to mind
  1. Murph homering after Reyes was wrongfully called out at third
  2. Limiting the damage in the 8th after Bay couldn’t grab the fly ball and nobody was covering 2nd in time for his throw
  3. Coming from behind for the 2nd time in the game in the 9th
  • Over the course of this 6 game win streak, Mets pitchers have produced 5 quality starts (6 innings or more, 3 earned runs or less). The Mets offense is pretty good, one of better offenses in the NL. If the Mets can consistently get 6 innings and 3 runs from their starters they will be competitive, especially with the bullpen (or its 4 main contributers) performing nicely.

Don’t Change A Thing

April 27, 2011

Quick thoughts for you to read on this Wednesday while your boss is paying you no mind:

  • The lineup is solid. It’s no coincidence in my mind that Jason Bay’s return changed the dynamic of the lineup and the team. Reyes is doing his thing in the leadoff hole and Murph is filling in the two hole very well. The heart of the order are all more than capable mashers. I can only hope that Angel Pagan will come back strong and figure out his swing. Then Terry will have the chance to figure out whether he wants Murph or Pagan to hit 2nd and 7th respectively. Thole is perfect at #8.
  • Bottom line, if the pitching can give quality starts this offense can win games. Bay’s addition strengthens the lineup not just from the standpoint of adding his bat (which I expect him to have a monster bounce back year) but by pushing Ike down to 6th as well. It just makes every trip through the order that much more difficult.
  • It seems like the bullpen issue is sort of being figured out. Buchholz, Beato and then Isringhausen seem to have stepped it up as a bridge to K-Rod, who is really not pitching all that bad.
  • No need to overreact to a 5-game win streak that came against mediocre to crappy opponents, but it looks like the team is playing free and easy now. Unfortunately the upcoming schedule is killer, so we’ll see if the Mets really have made any progress. It just looks to me like they went from a team that was playing tight and could do no right to a team that’s halfway decent. The lineup is coming together nicely, likewise for the staff and the pen. Now the key is to continue the progress and hopefully get to .500 shortly. I want to be relevant!

Natty Light

April 26, 2011

Normally, I would be hard pressed to expect a road series win inside the division.  However, the Nats are missing their best hitter in Ryan Zimmerman due to an abdominal strain (what else would it be these days?).

So I am going to go out on a limb and count on a 2-1 series victory for the boys in blue and orange.  It’s early in the season and I feel as if I need to raise my expectations at this point.  The Mets should be taking advantage of the momentum they have created with this four game winning streak.

Extensive Research

Once again, I have burned the midnight oil and scoured every piece of data imaginable to come up with the most thorough scouting report of the Washington Nationals ever.  Here we go:

As I stated earlier no Ryan Zimmerman which appears to be affecting the Washington offense.  They are batting .226 on the year.

I know the players are a little frustrated with the hitting. I know I’m repeating myself, but we’ve got to win the ballgame anyway. We can’t only win when we hit.

-Nats Manager, Jim Riggleman

Shortstop, Ian Desmond leads the National League in errors.

According to one fan, the Nats just need dry, warm weather.  Don’t we all?

It’s early……The Nats are not mudders………they need the dry warmth to thrive….

What does all of this mean?  Washington will probably put up 10 a game and Ian Desmond will look like Ozzie Smith.

Gee

April 25, 2011

Dillon Gee gets to stay…for now.  It seems as though Mr. Alderson is rewarding those that perform rather than saving face or over protecting grown mens’ egos.

Cool.

The only thing I am worried about is Gee’s transition from starter to reliever.

Don’t let my concern confuse you.  It doesn’t mean I think he will be awful in the bullpen.  I have no clue what to expect.  Neither does Gee.

I’ve only come in relief — really my whole career, even college — maybe 10 times.   It’s going to be a different experience. I’m willing to try it and learn and try to do the best I can in that role.

The bottom line is that he has earned the chance to stay in the bigs and I’m glad he is getting a chance to stay.  Time will tell if he can handle this change.  At least he gets the chance to give it a shot.

Gee Thing

On to more important things.  I am calling for an all out boycott of the next publication that uses the phrase “Gee Thing”  when describing a start or appearance by Dillon Gee.

The phrase is officially retired.  Please return it to its proper home.  Snoop and Dre will be happy to have it back.

He Stole My Line

April 25, 2011

Just another example of the greatness of Midwestropolitan…..

April 18, 2011

David Wright is not the problem.  The reality is he is Robin, not Batman.  Scottie Pippen not Michael Jordan (Tom gets credit for the Pippen/Jordan reference).

Appreciate what Robin brings to the table.  He will save Batman’s ass from time to time.

-Me
Today

Yes, both have flaws. Wright has a tendency to go into slumps that seem to never end. He strikes out a bit much, and really is not the vocal leader this club needs. Wright is a leader by example, nothing more or less. He is better at being Robin than Batman, but what’s wrong with that? It’s not in his nature, or personality, to be Keith Hernandez or Gary Carter.

-Mike Silva, New York Baseball Digest

For those of you that don’t know me personally, I’m not angry about this.  I just thought it was cool that someone else used the same analogy. There will be no Midwestropolitan shin kicking involved.

The truth of the matter is, I’m probably not the first one to use this analogy.  I just like to think I am.


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