Archive for July, 2011

The First Step Is Admitting You Have A Problem

July 31, 2011

“But I’ve got to run with my head up.  I can’t get doubled off right there. I was going. With one out I thought we were going to try to send him. I figured either he cuts it and we get the run, or he lets it through and Jose and I both end up in scoring position. I got too far off the bag. Niese stopped, which probably wasn’t a bad play, because it looked like a good throw. I got doubled off. And that wasn’t a very good play.” -Daniel Murphy

Daniel Murphy has a problem.  And that problem is over aggressive base running.

We’ve talked about a time or two here at  The good news is that he is aware of the problem (based on the comment above).  Over time we can hope that he will work to fix this issue and it will be a thing of the past.

Reading Between The Lines

Terry Collins had this to say about Murph’s latest base running blunder,

“Miscommunication.  We thought Jon was going to try to go to home.”

Don’t let this fool you my friends.  The responsibility for the double play falls directly on Murph’s shoulders.  He has to notice Jose stopping more quickly, plain and simple.  If this weren’t the case, you would see double plays like this more frequently.

I have a feeling Terry Collins let Daniel Murphy know this shit has to stop.  He’s just not going to air it out in the media.  A quality that I respect about the Mets’ current skipper. I find this to be an interesting challenge managers face.  You know this type of play has to eat at Collins.  Yet, he has to go out and defend his player to the media knowing Murph blew this one.

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I Guess Not

July 30, 2011

Earlier today I posed the following question:

Go ahead.  Point and laugh at my unfortunate misspelling of the word expect.  Get it out of your system.

If you must know, I mistakenly keyed an x instead of a c when I was tweeting from my phone.  Stupid fat fingers.  They have haunted me my whole life.

Now that’s been addressed I can move on to tonight’s game.

  • With the exception of one Jayson Werth at bat, R.A. Dickey pitched well.
  • When I posed the question above I wasn’t expecting the Mets to get shut out.  Ouch.

I’m not overly concerned about the shutout.  It was one of those games where the bats were a tad off of a number of pitches.  You’ll have that every once in a while.

  • David Wright and Jason Bay continued to hit, which is nice.
  • Jose Reyes went 0 for 4.

He’s been on an interesting pattern in the last two series.  He will have on 0fer one night and then follow-up with a Jose night the next game.  My hope is that he isn’t on the verge of a major cool down. 

The bottom line is that the Mets still find themselves in a position to pick up another road series win.  So I’m chalking this one up to not catching a couple of breaks with the bats and expect to see them put the pressure back on at the plate tomorrow.

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Mets Swervin’ Like They’re George Jones

July 30, 2011

In honor of the Mets fifth win in a row.  A ditty.

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Quite The Intriguing Team

July 28, 2011

You have dealt with injuries to all of your star players and a number of supporting cast members.  You survive the endless talk about losing the most exciting player in the game.  You have been inundated with question after question about where one of your best players is going to be traded since the All-Star Break.  Said player is finally traded.

What do you do?

Sweep a team that was in the playoffs last year and is in contention again this year in their home ball park in a four game series.  Why the hell not.

Four days ago I had accepted that this team was officially in rebuilding mode for 2012. Now I find myself fascinated by the following questions:

  • Can this team really shock the baseball world and make a run at the post season?
  • Is Lucas Duda for real?
  • How long was Wright’s back hurting him and can we expect this type of production now that he is healthy?
  • Is Bobby Parnell coming of age?
  • Can Jason Isringhausen hold up as the team’s closer for the rest of the season?
  • How can this team win when Jose Reyes has one of his worst offensive series of the season (3 for 19)?
  • Why is it that we still have not learned the reason for Mike Pelfrey’s excessive finger/palm licking?
  • Why do managers, coaches, and training staff still have to wear uniform pants?
  • Is Ike Davis still alive?
  • Why is this awesome?
  • When will Major League Baseball change its archaic blackout restrictions for television coverage?
  • Did the Wilpons finally learn to keep their traps shut after the Fred Fiasco at the beginning of the year?
  • Is today’s game the mark of Jason Bay finally breaking out of his bay? (This question was more for you, because I have already trained myself not to think about it any longer this season).

Regardless of how many of these questions we get answered, I am happy to say I am anticipating an entertaining remainder of the 2011 season.  I still doubt it will end with a post season appearance, but at least it will keep me from re-organizing my sock drawer or alphabetizing my spice rack.

Pelfrey Walks The Walk

July 28, 2011

“I understand that if you want to get something back for him you have to trade him, but in the same sense I would think if we ended up getting rid of him, the front office’s view is that we don’t have a chance, because he gives us our best chance to win. If he’s not here, then they felt we can’t rebound from where we’re at.

In the past we’ve kind of been close, and moves are kind of made at the deadline where guys are kind of like ‘We could have used this, we could have used that and been right there.’ “It hasn’t happened a couple of times, and I know it’s kind of gotten to some guys.”- Mike Pelfrey

The comment above from Big Pelf is an example of the white flag talk I referenced last night.  When I read this last night I was disappointed in Pelfrey.

I understand that as a pitcher losing Beltran doesn’t exactly help his potential run support.  But this is a classic case of someone who needs to take a look in the mirror.  The number one thing the Mets need to do is bolster their pitching in order to compete.  Maybe Mike knows that and that is why he is a bit chippy on this matter.

Regardless, this kind of talk doesn’t help.  The only thing that does is winning games. All he can do is go out and pitch to his potential and prove the front office wrong.

That is exactly what he did last night.  I was extremely impressed with his performance.  We all know his propensity for difficulty on the road.  Not only did he turn in a quality start, but he goes the distance in a very efficient way.

I was nervous about this particular match up too.  The Reds had two very dangerous lefties in Votto and Bruce that Big Pelf had to face in a home run friendly park.  Not exactly the combination that favors him.

Hopefully, this is the type of pitching we will see from Pelfrey for the rest of the season.  If so, I will be more tolerant with him if he decides to comment about roster moves by the front office.

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Reaction To Beltran Trade

July 27, 2011

I’ll get more in depth on Carlos’ tenure with the Mets when I have more time tomorrow.  However, I did want to take a second and share my opinion on the trade tonight.

Basically, there are two sides to me in terms of how I follow the Mets.  There is the fan side that can get tied up in the ups and downs of following this franchise, and there is the realistic or grown up half that can separate the emotions away and look at the business aspect of things.

On one hand, watching the Mets knowing that Carlos is no longer a part of the franchise feels awkward.  I already know it will be downright uncomfortable to see him in a Giants uniform.  This side of me is pretty bummed right now.

On the other hand, I believe this to be the right move by the Mets front office.  Especially, when I consider the fact that they stuck to their guns and didn’t budge on getting a top of the line prospect.  Mr. Alderson also succeeds based on the fact that it is a pitching prospect to boot.

Another point in favor for the grown up side is I truly don’t know how much longer Carlos’ degenerative knee will hold up.  Holding on to him longer, whether it be the rest of this season or giving him a contract extension, is way too risky.

The Mets are at a point that forgoing a chance to build for the future to salvage a Hail Mary of a playoff chance is plain silly.

Besides, I don’t think the offense has been the reason why the Mets are a shade over .500.  It boils down to pitching my friends, and that is exactly what the Mets invested in today.

Although I’m a bit melancholy that Carlos is no longer a Met, I believe this to be the right decision for the Mets organization.

White Flag Schmite Flag

One other quick point while I have you here.  I don’t want to hear anymore of this “white flag” talk.  It is very clear this is a big picture decision and it makes sense.  Let’s not whine about it.

This group of players has commented that they want to stick together and they genuinely enjoy playing with each other.  I dig that, and it has correlated into a more entertaining team to watch.  However, feeling good and winning games are two different things.  You want to stay together?  Earn it by making a playoff run that no one expects to happen.

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Annual Trip Recap

July 27, 2011

The annual trek to Cincinnati was a success.  A Mets win makes all of the travel time worth it.  For posterity’s sake, I wanted to summarize this year’s game experience.

Every year the interactions with Reds’ fans is typically fun.  This year wasn’t any different as it started when we stopped outside of Cincinnati to fill up our tanks:

One of our regular readers (@kelstarcher) wondered if I threw him an air claw.

We got caught in some traffic and missed batting practice.  Slight bummer, but were able to make it to our seats right after the national anthem.

Once we got settled in, I started tweeting the experience.  Of course, my first tweet failed because I attached a picture and I imagine it was too large of a file or something lame like that.  Maybe next year I take a member of our technical staff with us.

Anyway, here goes the game time tweets.

My reaction to J Bay ending the first inning run scoring extravaganza with another strikeout:

My reply to @MetsFanInPhilly after asking me if I was at the game:

During past ventures to the Great American Ballpark, I have been impressed with the overall baseball intelligence of Cincy fans.  Last night was a break from the norm.  It was about this time (Brandon Phillips first at bat) that I first witnessed what would be a recurring theme behind me:

I tried to spend some time observing things you normally don’t get to see when watching the game on TV:

The hash tag at the end was actually:

#nottheguyisouldstandnxttoconsideringinjuryhistoryofthemets.  Damn technical staff, where are you guys?

Back to the in game tweets. 

An absolute must:

Carlos Beltran had just scored on a sacrifice fly by J Bay:

The huge video screen in left field runs a promotion with Bronson Arroyo narrating.  Something about healthy kids making healthy choices.  I don’t recall because I was distracted by the following thought:

More from the super fans after Jose pops up in the seventh inning ending his night at the plate with an 0 for 5 performance:

At this point in the night, having the technical staff with me again would have been helpful.  I sent another failed tweet giving an air claw to Shannon, the nicest concession stand worker ever.  No joke.  She somehow made a trip in which I dropped ten bucks on popcorn and a lemon icey a pleasant experience.  Well done Shannon.

Several minutes later I became frustrated that I couldn’t find the Atlanta/Pittsburgh score on the out of town scoreboard:

After Pedro Beato got Drew Stubbs to fly out to end the eighth I tweeted the following (I wonder how many started to re-consider as the Reds made it interesting in the ninth?).

Another year, another trip.  I’m already looking forward to next season’s excursion.  I want to take a second to thank Sandy Alderson for listening to me.  Thanks Mr. Alderson!

See you next year Cincinnati.

Heading To Cincy

July 26, 2011

In a few hours I will embark on my journey to Cincinnati, Ohio to watch the Mets.  As an out of market fan, this will be the only occasion I get to see them in person.  Needless to say I am looking forward to it.

Bearing that in mind, I’m not sure how quickly I’ll be posting my thoughts about the experience. It will be late as hell when I get back home and I have to work tomorrow.

So make sure to follow our Twitter account as I’ll be tweeting during this year’s experience.  Not sure how much time I’ll have to reply while I’m at the game, so don’t feel like I’m ignoring you.  I just don’t want to be on my phone the entire time.  The members of my group will probably slug me.  My wife can punch really really hard.   Plus, I’m not sure how much of the game I would actually get to see.

The Great American Ballpark Experience

I have to admit, watching games at the Great American Ballpark is a nice experience.

1.  I have yet to have a poor sight line.

2.  Tickets are normally affordable, even after their playoff appearance last season.

3.  The stadium is right next to the Ohio River which provides an interesting backdrop to the game.

4.  Reds fans are normally hospitable even though we are typically sporting Mets gear.

There is only one exception to this that I can recall.  I don’t hold it against the typical Reds fan.  The ass that decided to boo my five-year old son (at the time) for wearing his David Wright jersey has to live with himself.  Not to mention he had to deal with the look I gave him that said in no uncertain terms, “Pipe it moron, or you’ll find yourself doggie paddling in the river.”

5.  It doesn’t take 4.5 hours to leave the city after the game.

My fondest memory so far is watching Carlos Delgado crush an absolute bomb down the right field line.  It was so high, I had no idea how the umpires could determine whether it was fair or foul.  It also literally left the stadium.  Utterly amazing.

A Little Help From Mr. Alderson

I posses only one fear about this trip.    To show up and find out that Carlos Beltran is not in the lineup because he’s been traded.  So, I figured I’d compose this letter to Sandy Alderson:

Dear Mr. Alderson

As you know, I have been supportive of your efforts from day one.  I defend you to those that oppose your superior baseball intelligence and realistic approach to building a baseball organization.  I am not in the “spend spend spend to win” club.

Never once have I asked anything of you.  I have quietly allowed you to go about your business building the Mets of the future.

I finally have a small request.  Do not trade Carlos Beltran today.  Wait until at least tomorrow.

I would be extremely grateful to have one last opportunity to watch him play in a Mets uniform.

That is all.  Thank you for your consideration,

Jason, Founder

P.S.  While I’m making requests, game tickets and free air fare to NYC once a month for a series would be cool.  I’m just sayin’.


Muprhy’s Aggresiveness & Passed Balls

July 26, 2011

It sounded like the Mets played a solid game last night.  I say sounded because I was blacked out due to the fact that I live two and a half hours from Cincy.   So a couple quick observations from my experience listening to the WFAN crew and going back later to watch some of the crucial plays.

Roger Ramjet

Daniel Murphy’s unnecessary aggressiveness has been documented in the past here at  I figured I’d share a couple of other points of view about Murph’s propensity to make mistakes trying to force the issue.  Last night he killed the Met’s first scoring chance in the second inning trying to advance to third on a bouncer to the pitcher.  It was a play that Jose Reyes would have been thrown out on.

Keith Hernandez shared with the SNY viewers that he calls Muprh “Roger Ramjet”.  Sounds like a horribly cheesy cartoon character to me.

Don’t get me wrong, I know Murphy helps the team way more than he hurts it.  Last night was no exception, as he came up with the biggest hit of the game.  I imagine that in time he will learn how to hone his aggressiveness to use only for good.

Two Fun Little Tidbits

The Mets have scored 191 runs with two outs.  That leads the National League.

Josh Thole allowed his 14th passed ball of the season.  Honestly, that is pretty awful.  I realize he has to catch R.A. Dickey which is no small task, but 14 passed balls is excessive.

Thole can breath a sigh of relief as he has a way to go to catch the passed ball king.  Rudy Kemmler allowed 114 passed balls in the 1883 season.  In Kemmler’s defense, it wasn’t the norm to use a glove until the middle of the 1890′s.

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Air Claws and Errors: July 24, 2011

July 24, 2011

Just like yesterday, here are some random things that I witnessed or experienced during the day as I throw up an Air Claw for the cool shit, and score an error for the not so cool shit.

Claw- David Wright comes through with more late inning RBIs in the form of a two run jack in the seventh inning.

Error- The Mets drop a series to the effing Fish.  A series they should have won and had plenty of opportunities to do so.  They now find themselves below .500…..again.

Claw- Manny Acosta pitches two scoreless innings and was in line for the win.

Error- Bobby Parnell’s slider.

Claw- for Mother Nature, raining out my son’s baseball tournament shortly after I discovered it was an hour and a half behind schedule  and we likely would have been playing until midnight.

Error- for me, because for some unknown reason I can never spell the word eighth correctly and always have to rely on the automatic spell check to spell it properly.  Ironically, I spelled it right in that sentence after at least two months of always failing to do so.

Claw- goes out to John for sharing his Claws and Errors today, some of which made the list.  Thanks for contributing!

Error-  goes out to the very same John for suggesting we give a Claw for Emilio Bonifacio and his 23 game hitting streak.  A 23 game hitting streak is impressive, but I just couldn’t raise my arm up to claw a Marlin. 

And finally……

Claw- for nine-year old Jayden making that sweet catch.  Most nine-year old outfielders don’t even see that ball as they are too busy picking dandelions.

Error- for the guy operating the pitching machine.  Sweet baseball pants Coach!

Feel free to share your Claws and Errors by posting on our Facebook page wall, tweeting us @mdwestroplitan, or by leaving a comment below.


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