Tuesday, July 2, 2019

The Winning Streak Has To Start Somewhere

It is easy to be cynical when the Mets win their first game in 8 days, especially when going into the Citi Field leg of the Yankees series. Two things were good, at least, about that isolated one game: The offense didn't completely fizzle out late after taking an early lead, and the game wasn't blown in the 9th inning.

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Photo via New York Times
The thing is, if they are ever to win two in a row again, the winning streak has got to start somewhere (insert "duh" gif here.)

I like it when the Mets win, even when the more they lose, the more fervor gets churned about how much the Wilpons suck at running a baseball team. I'm not one for tanking (even if the result is a draft pick of glorious nature down the road.) I want miracles. I want Amazin' times. I glitch, though, when I utter, "Amazin'," because the nickname was arrived at in an ironic state, referring to the Amazin' Mets of 1962.

By 1969, however, Amazin' was literally that, as we recollected on this past weekend. That is how quickly things can change.

The "They" everyone talks about like to say, "Success is luck and preparation intersecting" or however you want to phrase it yourself. It would seem, cynically enough, that any success under the
Wilpons, whether it is one isolated game or years like 2015 and 2016, is more luck than preparation. I'm sick of them proving us right, but as hard as it is to watch the nature of 2017, '18 and '19 after two great years in a row, I would never trade the joy and glow the memories of those two years have provided me. As much as we can sometimes laugh off the awful nature of the way things have gone, I'd still rather they figure out how to prepare to string together a bunch of 2015's and 2016's in a row.

The winning streak has to start somewhere...


Friday, June 28, 2019

It's Groundhog Day...Again and Mets Daddy on A Metsian Podcast

I mean, what else can I say? I'll quote myself from the below A Metsian Podcast: "Well, It's Groundhog Day...again. It's almost a  feeling of Groundhog Day to continuously compare our fandom to that movie, but I'll tell you what? The next time I see Ned Ryerson, I'm going to punch him in the fucking face."

Photo via nypost.com
After taking in a game Monday in Philly, my first of the year where I actually still had a good time despite the final, I, like all other Mets fans, just kept watching the same thing over and over again, as we've been doing so for day after day, month after month, and year after year. Today should have been a day of celebration, with Tom Seaver being honored at Citi Field with the main address of 126th Street being named 41 Seaver Way. Instead, just the fact it was this far into the life of Citi Field, and Tom Seaver himself can't even take it in because he now has dementia...that they were doing it 3 hours before starting their 4th and final game against the Phillies...yet again, the ineptitude of the Wilpons are front and center. And then all we're talking about later on in the day is once more how AWFUL the Wilpons have allowed this team to be with another blown save. Today should have been a day of celebration, but instead, it is once more a reminder how how far this team is from those glory days of yesteryear, as well as the glory days of only 4 years ago.

How do they expect to ever have consistent winning? There is nothing they can do to change the way this team keeps going through these peaks and valleys operating the way they continue to operate. I am exhausted talking about them, yet it is the only thing we can do because it is SO GLARINGLY this team's BIGGEST issue.

We had a lot of great rants on the 30th episode of A Metsian Podcast last night, and I urge you to tune into listen to Rich, Mike and John aka Mets Daddy, as well as I, rant, rave and holler about this gloriously awful team we love to love.


Monday, June 24, 2019

Dropping MF Bombs

This is how it goes. That never-ending cycle we all hope they will break. One step forward, 8 steps back. Just when the weekend looks like progress is being made, they blow a very winnable game and then almost choke out a reporter. This is a team on the brink of a breakdown.

Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke
Photo via Newsday
We all try to stave off being on the brink of a breakdown. Some more than others. Glory can be almost tasted, seen right in front of us and we do everything we can do not to get in our own way. The Mets are no exception, and clearly Mickey wants to win. As much as we give him shit for the moves he makes, like yesterday when he clearly should have had Edwin Diaz ready to go when it was clear Seth Lugo didn't have it in his 2nd inning of work, he is trying to win. No competitor isn't. Art Howe wanted to win, Jerry Manuel wanted to win, Dallas Green wanted to win. I don't think Mickey doesn't want to win. He's trying his best, but yesterday was the first time we saw him break.

He had been pretty even keeled until the perceived sarcasm from Tim Healey of Newsday, someone who does a great job of reporting and has been on our podcast. Knowing Tim, he wasn't jeopardizing his own line of work by causing conflict in the workplace. Hence why the Mets reached out to him to apologize and "handled affairs internally with personnel." They recognize, which they hardly ever do, the mistake that was made internally. Wouldn't it be nice if the Wilpons did the same on a more consistent basis?

How are we supposed to break the cycle? How are we supposed to make any progress when we keep tripping over our own two feet?

I'm going to the game tonight in Philly, and they're having their own problems having lost several games in a row including three at home to the Marlins. This will be the first game I've made it to all year, and I probably shouldn't even be going, but I've been planning it for a while and haven't seen my friend in some time. Hopefully, I'm not tripping over my own two feet as well since I should keep earning and not be spending money. I, however, also need a breather. As much as they may end up frustrating me tonight, I'll be happy I saw a game in person.

Then again....

Oy. Those Motherf-

Anyway, last night, on A Metsian Podcast, the guys had Mr. Greg Prince of Faith and Fear in Flushing on to rant and rave for themselves, for the fans and for me. Please, indulge with a listen when you have a chance.


Friday, June 21, 2019

The Optimist Slips

It doesn't matter how bad it gets, the optimist can always find a silver lining. I try to stay as optimistic as I possibly can be. In my life, with the Mets, with whatever comes my way.

photo via nypost.com
For instance, I had to go to court in Mount Laurel, NJ, for a traffic summons last week. I found it enthralling to watch the judge and the cases he had to give judgement on before I was the particular one. It was theatrical, and it serves me in my screenwriting persona to act as a fly on the wall before entering the scenery. Of course I wasn't particularly thrilled to have to pay my fine, which included a court fee I would have rather avoided by being able to plead guilty online and just pay it there, but it benefited me to get the most out of the experience.

At what point, however, does the most optimistic Mets fan become so cynical, disgusted and depressed that even he or she can no longer weave positivity from the negative they see?

There is a breaking point for everyone. Every year can be different. Every person can be different. Even though we have gone through this before, each season offers a new potential for wiping the slate clean and starting over. Though we have a point of reference for the misery of other years, many of us sweep it under the rug in hopes that what we know to be the pattern will shift ever so slightly to provide a different outcome. At some point, the idea it is still early becomes just another lie we tell ourselves to forget the fact there is always a further bottom, one closer to the hot, uninhabitable core that apparently sits in the center of this Earth.

Yesterday, in some fashion, offered a contained metaphor for the overarching theme of the season: a little hope early with a dreadful, devastating middle that makes any hope late pointless. I have railed many a times this season at the job Mickey Callaway has done, but I cede to the folks who say that firing him will make little of a difference. I was never in denial that the main issue of this franchise are the Wilpons, as I have been skeptical all decade there would ever be sustained success with them in charge. I was hopeful, however, they would prove me wrong. This decade started with a new beginning and once more ends with the reality that it doesn't matter if you change the manager, the general manager, the pitching coach, the hitting coach, the bench coach, or the bay boy. The owners of this team keep doing the same thing and expect different results. Maybe one day they will pass go and collect their 2 billion dollars.

The pessimist in me, however, has no faith another collection of owners would be any different. The optimist in me, though, knows it couldn't hurt to try.


Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Mind the Gap

I wish I could quote word for word what Howie said last night about the difference between the Mets and the Braves, but he basically listed off everything Atlanta was doing right. He then finished with, "And then, there's the Mets."

Todd Kirkland/Getty Images
Photo via Amazin' Avenue
It was glaring how far and beyond the National League East leading team is over the "Come get us" Mets right now. That is the line everybody likes to sarcastically bring up these days when voicing their disdain with the state of the team. I cannot fault, however, Brodie's bravado. What else would you want him to say as he is putting together his first offseason at the helm? It's just a very easily mockable thing now as we watch this team fall apart at the seams.

Even if the pitching isn't sound because the ball is "juiced," you cannot make excuses and have to adapt to the circumstances at hand. There are obviously plenty of teams having success with the hypothetical tighter wound ball. The Mets have issues all around, but the bullpen is far and beyond their biggest. They would be a pretty good team if they could just hold onto some games.

The way Zack Wheeler pitched last night, however, the bullpen only exacerbated the issue. They had no game to blow, only one to let get further away.

As I tweeted earlier...


Saturday, June 15, 2019

Hot Trash

Where to begin? I am beyond aggravated with where the Mets find themselves two days into the Cardinals series, with all that has transpired. I shouldn't blame anybody but the Mets for what they themselves can control. They could have taken adversity and gotten over it. They unfortunately continue to be the first and foremost thing in their own way.

Photo via My Motherlode
What a metaphor. Maybe that is why we all can relate. So many of us have such potential for greatness, yet we find ourselves continuously self-sabotaging. You have to think to yourself, of course, there is no way the Mets are doing so in this particular instance. Whether it is fear of success...for the more we succeed, the more we have to lose...because obviously why would the Mets and their players not want to achieve greatness? They clearly don't WANT to continuously trip over their own two feet. Top down, however, they continue to put themselves in the position to be the most glaring reason they have the entire league shaking their heads wondering if the Mets will ever get it together for a prolonged period of time.

I begin writing this without having gotten enough sleep but with a parking spot on my block in Manhattan that at least renders me some time to gather myself. I, however, am a hot mess indeed, so I might as well take a moment to rant without the rave about the hot trash that has helped to keep the Mets on the losing end of things 2 strange games in a row.

1. The Umpires - Could you make a decision with any conviction at all? Thursday night and the debacle with the tarp is front and center why most fans in the league think you are the worst officiating in sports and with absolutely no accountability amongst your ranks. Of course we all would rather wrap the game up as quickly as possible but the conditions were clearly within the traditional form of unplayable and you stand around, while things get worse, going back and forth about what to do AFTER you've already made a decision to begin the tarp proceedings. I mean, look at that photo I used. It looks like it was taken underwater. There is no thought given to what your indecision means for the young arm being forced to get up and sit down, attempting to stay warm before finally throwing a baseball in a downpour. Edwin Diaz will not be included in my hot trash takes because our young closer whom some fans want to give shit to right now has been nothing but dicked around.

2. Jeurys Familia - There was a hot second when I thought he may be turning a corner, but he continues to be put into high leverage situations and continues to fail miserably. The body language is completely off and the confidence of his youth has been completely wiped away. It is sad considering I keep flashing back to us fans dreaming of what could be when he was just a lil-ol' B-Met in Binghamton. Whether or not he should have even been brought back in the first place this past offseason has no place in my discussion right now. The only thing is he is what brewed the phrase in my head, "Hot Trash" after last night's horrendous 8th inning. At this point he should clearly not be anywhere near situations of that nature, no matter who may be rendered unavailable at the time. Speaking of which...

3. Mickey Callaway - I keep telling myself he will get better as a manager. I see no proof, however, of this way of thinking as of now. He would look much better as a manager if Familia was anywhere near dependable this year but he keeps making himself look bad by continuing to trust Familia in those moments. I can't tell you what the other options could have been considering apparently Gsellman had some back aches after his 7th inning last night, but at some point, Familia clearly once more did not have it, yet Callaway gives him all the room to fail. That isn't even the most egregious moment of the day. WHAT IN GOD'S NAME IS YOUR CLOSER DOING STARTING THE 10TH INNING OF A SUSPENDED GAME WHEN YOU MIGHT NEED HIS ARM COME THE 9TH INNING LATER ON THAT NIGHT?! I'm sure that was indeed the plan had Familia gotten through the 8th, but why, oh why, was Diaz even close to an option earlier?! It makes absolutely no sense. The only thing I can think of is you're trying to save other arms in case it goes deep and also trying to save other arms for the night billing. So, you think, I want my best available arm to shut these guys down immediately. Complete backfire. I just wouldn't have gone that route and I'm irrationally upset Callaway did.

As I write this, I've been back and forth with a fellow fan who said it's time to move Wheeler or Matz. I would keep Matz 'cause he is still cost-controlled for a few more years (and better at this point) and Wheeler is on his way out most likely. I'll just go ahead and copy-and-paste the rest....At some point, if it keeps going this direction, move Frazier, Wheeler, and maybe even Diaz. I don't know, (to reiterate something I wrote way above) the Mets have all the potential in the world but cannot get out of their own way, and the Wilpons keep operating like the way they have all these years has been a formula for success. So frustrating.

I'm spent. Time to go driving.


Wednesday, June 12, 2019

LIVE at 9pm ET, A Metsian Podcast, Ep. 28 - Subway Series Bronx Edition Recap & Looking Ahead

LIVE at 9pm ET, A Metsian Podcast enters episode 28!
We'll recap the Subway Series doubleheader in the Bronx, look ahead to an important 4-game series with the Cardinals at Citi Field, and of course, take a look at the players to wear number 28 in Mets history.
More specifically, we'll discuss Zack Wheeler's uneven walk year...Jason Vargas's resergence, Pete Alonso's All-Star and Rookie of the Year potential, and look at whether the Subway Series is still as exciting after all these years and with the novelty of interleague play having worn off.
PLUS MUCH MORE! So, join us LIVE at 9pm ET for the latest edition of A Metsian Podcast!
You can listen LIVE below, or at the direct link here.