Saturday, August 1, 2015

The Violent Metsian Pendulum

I fell off my bike this morning.


I was biking down 8th Avenue, heading home from work. Well, I first wanted to stop by the Apple Store at 59th and 5th, because for the longest time, I have been listening to Mets games and talking to people with only the right ear in, as I had lost my left rubber ear bud. Someone please immediately start a band called My Left Rubber Ear Bud.

Anyway, I was kind of amped up.

I wonder why.

On top of it being a fantastic night at Two Boots Hell's Kitchen (44th and 9th, stop by) the Mets finished the July end of the season with a ridiculous back and forth swing of the emotional Metsian pendulum, one which swung more violently in one 7-10 day span than I can ever remember in my 10 years of full-fledged Mets fandom, my 25-27 year awareness of the Mets, or my 20 years living in New York City. 

They sent us off into August on an unbelievable high, 2 games back in the division heading into the last 2 months of the season with another new and exciting player on his way into town to reinforce a roster who has hung on tight but desperately needs the help.

And there I was, ready to get home after the long night, write about it and the way I experienced the moment Wilmer Flores hit that home run.

And then I lost my footing on the pedals crossing 48th.

I tried to recover, but it was too late, and I skidded to the ground in front of a couple going home, or where ever they may have been going.

I hopped up immediately, the folks certainly concerned and immediately coming to my aid. My right forearm, on the bone side, was bleeding, and modestly. I asked the folks if they had any napkins, at which point a man pulling a hot dog cart across the street offered me napkins and squeezed hand sanitizer into my wound, which I would later find out is deeper than I thought (probably a couple centimeters.) It burned, but I enjoyed it. I felt alive, and already on the way to recovery while shaking my head at the turn of events.

I love this town.

"You can get band-aids there," the man said, pointing to Duane Reade on the northwest corner of 48th and 8th, a perfect place to crash if you can take care of everything yourself without an ambulance involved. I parked the bike, after thanking the folks who stopped to help, went into the place and bought big band-aids, Bacitracin and a spray-bottle of hydrogen peroxide. And a bottle of water. I grabbed some napkins, went back outside, took care of business and got back on my bike after sealing the wound.

Apple was kind enough to give me replacement rubber ear bud covers for free, after which I kept biking on 59th Street over the bridge and onto the Long Island that houses Queens and Brooklyn. I biked home to Carroll between Franklin and Washington, around the corner from where some Bums used to play baseball.

As the narrative of this post changed in my head as I was immediately thrusted into wound-healing operations, I thought to myself that what I am going through, and anything I have gone through in my life, pales in comparison to what Yoenis Cespedes has gone through in his life, especially just to play Major League Baseball in America...or what Wilmer Flores has gone through over the last 72 hours alone. Or what the Mets franchise and its fans have gone through. 

They, and we, have gotten through that shit. 

I'll be fine.


As I basked in the glory that is the final trade we made for such a potential 2015 game-changer, I went through the Cuban man's short career, including every home run he hit in the Derby at Citi in 2013. Then I watched his throw from left in Anaheim when he was with the Athletics

Already, seeing him in those other uniforms looks weird. Watching him in the Orange and Blue, which we were afforded 2 years ago, looks just right. They are the colors he was meant to wear. And I can't wait for him to get started.


I LOVE THIS TOWN.

2 months left. 2 games back. And a MONSTER about to enter the lineup.


A pennant race beckons.
What fun this will be.
A Cespedes for the Mets of Us.
LET'S. GO. METS.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Round it Out With Reyes

It literally came out of nowhere. Completely from the blue.

There, in front of me, as I walked towards the Brooklyn Bridge after the MTA sucked again, and right before I got on the air with the Rising Apple Report (which you can scroll down to listen to once you're done with this post...)

BUT there I was with plenty of tweets that appeared to confirm that Troy Tulowitzki, the shortstop from the Rockies Region, had been traded to the Canadian Region, and the Blue Jays were going to have to pay a hefty sum of prospects and...

JOSE REYES?!?!?!
That guy? Who has been traded TWICE now since signing a non-no-trade-clause contract with the team you should NEVER do that with? Is going to man shortstop in the high-mile air of the Purple Mountains Majesty??

Something's not right here...there must be more than meets the eye...

Now, since it's only source-driven until teams announce it, we will see plenty of more details in the coming hours...

But that hasn't stopped #MetsTwitter from erupting in a frenzy. Compared to a normal early-Tuesday morning on Twitter. Plenty of people just can't sleep because they are dreaming of the #BringBackReyes possibilities...


Most people think Reyes is going to get flipped by Colorado, and I firmly believe that to be true. They want more pitching, because they've never really had it.

It was never supposed to be this way. He was supposed to be here forever. So now it's time to bring him home.


Get Michael Fulmer and/or Rafael Montero together...and Jon Niese if you must. Or whatever they seem to value in your system that seems to have a dearth of pitching they've drafted and cultivated, that have now accounted for two trades that created a MUCH better vibe than what was left on this blog last week and plenty of others who were just absolutely fed up with the Wilpons and Inaction.

But that has erupted as this push to the deadline continues.

First, news of Michael Conforto, and their Social Media accounts of his whereabouts that had me complaining about the contradictory and circus-like nature of the Wilpons and the way they could potentially be #WorseThanOMalley, on my Facebook page about Bedford & Sullivan (ShamelessPlug,AnHBOStyleTVSeriesAboutBrooklyn AndIt'sDodgers...)

THEN, secondly, almost right after I lambasted the owners, news broke out that the Mets had traded for Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson. The Mets lost 7-2, Conforto looked comfortable with his first RBI, but all eyes were immediately on the next day.

And the moves immediately took form.

After Kelly Johnson's heroic homering in the 15-2 romp, and Juan Uribe's heroics in the 3-2 10th inning win, along with Michael Conforto really showin' us somethin' over the weekend, the Mets went out and solidified their bullpen with Tyler Clippard's arrival via trade.

They got one more bat to go. Some, and I obviously wouldn't whine, want to see the Mets get one more slugger, which in reality they do need. And I would LOVE to see what Cepedes could do in a Mets uniform.

But the Mets need a leadoff hitter. AND a shortstop. Though Grandy HAS been admirable, hitting very well of late and being one of my favorite Mets on the field...what a move to bring Reyes home. It would be an ASTOUNDING PR Move and, as Howard Medgal says:


This makes so much sense for so many reasons since it makes a ton of sense that the Rockies, who are going into rebuild mode, would flip Reyes to someone who needs a shortstop.

Sure, he's in decline...and he's lost a step in decline...but he should have been in decline with US. Properly. In our WILDEST Metsian dreams.

Seems like a no-brainer, if you ask me.

Not that you were.

But I'm just sayin'.


Maybe I need to put it in the past...
Maybe it was another time....

Or maybe it's JUST what THIS TIME NEEDS.

#BRINGBACKREYES
LET'S. GO. METS.


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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Miracles

Once upon a time, there was a team called the Miracle Mets, and they shocked EVERYBODY with their meteoric rise to the top of the baseball world, especially their fans. Sure...they had seen progress happening slowly over time, but nobody expected THAT that quickly.

The Mets... 
The Moon...
1969. 
It all made sense.

"Oh, I just can't beLIEVE it. It's been a year of Miracles, and it's marvelous. Really, really marvelous."
--Joan Hodges 
This franchise is built on Miracles, and won their next World Series with the MIRACLE of baseball Miracles, one could argue (though a stupid RED team tried to 1-up our Metsies...) 

The time when Marty MetFly raced for the lightening unsure whether he'd make it in time...


It's a Miracle when certain things happen. 

And last night was a Miracle.

It was a Miracle this offense came back after being down 2-1 somewhere in the last 3 innings. On the Road.

It was a Miracle when Eric Campbell, in his 8th Pinch Hit At Bat of the year, got his 1st Pinch Hit to put the Mets ahead 3-2.

It's a Miracle when anybody BUT the Mets make errors, and it's a Miracle when the Mets capitalize on it.

It was a Miracle this happened in the 9th inning, and it was a Miracle Kevin Plawecki got all the way to 3rd on the play.

And it was an ABSOLUTE MIRACLE this offense could muster up the strength to tack on not 1, not 2, not 3 but FOUR insurance runs.

Yes you could say that Washington's ranks weren't necessarily at top order on the mound throughout the night, but we know this offense can easily let Miracles happen on the other side of things.

That's the stuff of Miracles, and that's the stuff of this team.

It's their brand. And the Wilpons own it.

It's a Miracle we're even this close this far into the season with those clowns involved.

So, even if these Miracles play into the Wilpons' team's brand...It's up to THEM to give the Miracles better chances of happening.

Come on, dudes. Get it done.

Make Miracles happen.
LET'S. GO. METS.

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Difference Between 2012

Back in 2012, when I wrote about my hope for the 2nd Half, I used a photo of Jordany Valdespin after he scored the winning run against the Phillies in the Jonathan Papelbon game, July 5.

After losing 2 of 3 to the Cubbies going into the break, the Mets went out of the break on a 1-11 run.

The fact Jordany Valdespin is no longer on the team is not the ONLY difference between 2012, but it does interestingly offer a fitting symbol between the difference of this year, and the last year the Mets crashed and burned in July.

2013 and 2014 were miserable first halves with 2nd halves to build on. 2012 was the last time the Mets were in a position to contend, but they fell apart, and too quickly to even think about making a deal to support them.

Like 2010...

And kinda 2009, but that was the culmination of the mess of post-2006.

When you look at 2012, however, you remind yourselves of where the Mets were.

Johan Santana completely broke down.

Lucas Duda, still in the outfield, and Kirk Nieuwenhuis stopped hitting and were sent back to AAA.

The completely unsustainable rampage of 2-out hits predictably dried up.

And Frank Francisco was the closer.

It's crazy to think of how bad the offense currently is, but when you look at the lineup, even without Wright or d'Arnaud in there, it should be much better. Is how historically bad they've been really sustainable?

The pitching is world's and world's above where it was in the 2nd half of 2012, when Johan Santana, a great 1st half, was a non-factor, Matt Harvey was getting his feet wet, Dillon Gee was an anchor and R.A. Dickey was the only true ace. And Jeremy Hefner was getting innings.

Plus, now, there is Jeurys Familia, arguably the best closer in baseball currently.

The Mets are in a MUCH better position to continue to contend heading into these final games of the year.

It's up to Sandy Alderson and the Wilpons, however, if they want to make 2015 it's own special thing...

Or they want to have another 2012.

LET'S. GO. BASEBALL.
LET'S. GO. METS.

Friday, July 3, 2015

40-40

This usually comes with prestige...this usually comes with champagne bottles....

Not that I've ever been, but apparently it is an elite club in the Flatiron District owned by Hova, Jay-Z, Shawn, whatever you want to call him today...

It's also an "elite" club that only 4 players belong to in baseball, though all but one have been accused or proven of taking steroids.

But all of that is irrelevant, because the image of 40 and 40 together is the only thing those have in common with THIS.



Through 80 games, the Mets have been their entire history all at once. You can either take solace in the fact you've seen this before and know it could get better, it could add resilience, it could be 1973...or better.

Then there is the 1978 in you, the 2009, the 2012...

It's almost as if the Wilpons don't give two shits because, well, we've seen this before. This actually PUSHES our brand, keeps that hope alive, that Ya Gotta Believe that is the core of this franchise and its fanbase.

But I guarantee there will be a coup d'etat the likes of which you could never imagine if you keep going on this way, Mr. Wilpon and Jr.

Figure out a plan that doesn't just involve you in a holding pattern, while you more and more have to let go of these prized prospects because you can't afford them over the long haul...

Something's gotta give, you guys. HOW can you even STAND this? I mean, I will say, Mr. Wilpon, that you did seem more like a fan in that controversial New Yorker article, and I appreciated that. BUT HOW, as a fan, one that has roots in one of the greatest fanbases of all time, can you keep this up just so you don't have to say, "Passing it down to my son isn't going to work"?

And why, as a businessman, haven't you cashed out? All of your problems would be solved, THEN some. You got swindled, it sucks, but now you have a chance to make something close to $2 billion, if not more. The Dodgers sold for $2.15 billion after being valued at less, and apparently, because of your SNY stake, you are valued at $2.05 billion. And that was in 2013.

What's wrong with you?! CASH OUT! LET SOMEONE DO A BETTER JOB! HOW CAN YOU EVALUATE YOUR PERFORMANCE OVER THE LAST 15 YEARS AS APPROPRIATE?! BUT SOMEONE'S STILL GONNA GIVE YOU A $2 BILLION DOLLAR BONUS?! DO IT!

It doesn't matter what happens in the next 82 games. Until this franchise is run differently from the top down, no matter how good the farm system continues to be, they will be hampered by The Wilpon family.

You are holding us hostage. Release us from the abyss.

.............................................

HAPPY 4TH EVERYBODY!!



LET'S. GO. 'MERICA.

LET'S. GO. METS.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Where's the Black Cat When You Need It?

This offense just feels like a corpse most of the time, and the fanbase can hardly stand another 1-0 loss.

What is Jon Niese to do? He obviously knows his role on this team....and at this point, his role is to keep pitching that way so he can get back any kind of role player of some kind of, or something....Just, Just get us SOMETHING, please, Mr. Niese. I wouldn't give my left hand to get you off this team, because I'm a southpaw like you, for one, but I bet you'd give up your left shoulder to get off this team and stop losing 1-0.

The Mets have yet to figure out the Cubs this year, and they have two more chances to do it. Once upon a time, a black cat ran across the division-leading Cubs' dugout at Shea Stadium, and the Mets went onto win the division and win the World Series. These days, it feels like black cats run across every offensive player's dugout.

In an ironic twist, an Orange Creamsicle-colored cat randomly showed up in 2009 on Opening Day at Citi Field. They lost 6-5 to the Padres, if you recall. I hope you recall HOW they got to that point (echoed-Pedro Feliciano and Mike Pelfrey, Echrm Echem.)

Now, this kinda makes sense if you know anything about Queens...there are lots of alley cats and it isn't out of the realm of possibility that's what that cat was, and he just happened to get lost on his way to the next old milk carton.

Maybe, since it wasn't the curs-ed black cat, it was the Ghosts of Upper Manhattan...the ORANGE side of things, cursing us for ignoring them in our presentation of New York National League history and legacy ("Where's the Giants Willie New York Road Jersey in the team shop, ey?! Those things would sell like HOTCAKES!")

Maybe THAT'S what this has all been about...

Or maybe they just need a better offense.

FOR. GET. THE. CATS.
LET'S. GO. METS.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Legacy

For me, it's hard to think about the Mets and see the Mets without thinking about the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants. There's a legacy, lineage and likenesss there, and it's always evident in my eyes.

Now, a man from Long Island named Steven Matz did something on Sunday that even his grandfather had never seen, who is, was and will ever be a die-hard Brooklyn Dodgers fan from Bay Ridge, born in 1933.

He didn't STOP being a Dodgers fan because it was his choice. They were taken away from him.

But he did have a choice of becoming a Mets fan, because...well, wait, actually....as he explains it, he didn't there either:
“We couldn’t change our loyalty to the Yankees. There was no way,” said Moller, who currently resides in Commack, LI. “Then the Mets came along, and we’ve been with them through all the years, the good years and the bad years.”
--New York Post 
It's crazy to say this, but that is, in some way, what Omar Minaya got right. Being a Queens kid himself, something deep down inside must have had that legacy in mind when drafting Steven Matz as the 72nd overall selection in the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft. Sure, he probably didn't know yet how deep the roots go, but still, mysterious ways are the ways it works sometimes.

The Mets are a unique beast. The team and its region and legion of Mets fans are the only of their kind to exist because two teams abandoned the New York National League Way of Life, with one abandoning the BROOKLYN way of life, period. Nothing exists like us anywhere else in this world. That didn't happen to any other city or state of fans.

And no pitcher since 1914 has collected 4 RBI's and 3 hits in his debut, and the ONLY PITCHER EVER to collect 4 RBI's in the debut as well.

Talk about a legacy.

This kid's got it.

New York National League to the MATZ.

LET'S. GO. STEVEN.
LET'S. GO. METS.