Sorry this one’s up so late guys…
Today’s headline is courtesy of my grandpa, who often refers to that as the greatest baseball headline he ever saw; I believe my dad’s favorite is by Lee Jenkins of the New York Times from 2004: “The Mets Trade for Hidalgo, Once a Future Star.”
Egad, lads, indeed. Watching the Mets last night reminded me what makes them so hard to believe in sometimes: they play some of the most uninspired baseball I’ve ever seen. When they’ve got a good-sized lead and they know they have control of the game, it’s great. But when they’re down or even tied, it just feels like they’re playing in a lull and just want to get it over with. After a few innings of it, I’m watching in a lull and just want to get it over with. And don’t even get me started on their lack of ability with RISP, especially with two outs.
For me, the worst part of last night that wasn’t the final score came in the first inning of the game, when Jose Reyes came to the plate and I wasn’t excited at all. The only thing I was expecting was a popup, and I got it. Jose doesn’t feel like the Jose of old. He just feels like an old Jose.
I won’t go into how poorly John Maine pitched yesterday or how poorly the Mets played in the 11-3 Rockies victory. My grandpa summed it up best in an email he sent me this morning:
After last night’s debacle,the jingoistic battle cry of the so called Spanish-American War should be altered to read “Remember The Maine – Must I?”
Perhaps the problem that everyone on the Mets is trying to shoulder the load and everyone is putting unnecessary amounts of pressure on themselves to get the Mets rolling. Maybe, like in years past when the guy batting cleanup was named Piazza, all it’s gonna take is one big hit, one clutch homer to get the Mets a win and get the Mets rolling. I certainly hope. Then everything will click.
Speaking of uninspiring, Tuesday was a relatively uninspiring day in baseball. The most exciting news was that the Blue Jays’ Ricky Romero became the second Major League pitcher this season to take a no-hitter into the eighth. Romero eventually gave up a home run to former teammate Alex Rios as the only hit he allowed through eight innings to go with his 12 strikeouts. Romero is coming off a year in which he went 13-9 with a 4.3 ERA; this year he is 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA in all of two starts. So, logic says, he is now baseball’s next big thing. What was that I was saying the other day about bandwagons and the jumping thereupon?
Bernie Williams threw out the first pitch at the Yankees’ home opener yesterday. The Yankees received their World Series rings before the game and gave one to Hideki Matsui as well, which was nice to see. The Yanks went on to win the game, 7-5, including the first home run of the year from Derek Jeter, who apparently considers Yankee Stadium openers special. Who knew.
I love defense, and it is pretty well known that the Mariners have a guy named Suzuki who is pretty good at it. The Oakland A’s have a catcher named Kurt Suzuki who has been making some pretty sweet plays himself. The heads up play he made last night involved diving out from behind the plate to catch what would have otherwise been a wild pitch and immediately firing to third to catch Chone Figgins trying to advance.
David Ortiz right now is hitting .136 with 11 strikeouts, 3 hits and 2 walks in his 24 plate appearances. Two walks means he has 22 official at-bats, which in turn means he is striking out .500 right now; he even got some shiny headware with a four-whiff performance on Sunday. The Red Sox are going to have to figure out soon if he’s actually going to turn it around Carlos Delgado-style or if they’re going to have to start looking for a new DH before the production from their entire middle of the lineup suffers.
Short hops: Delgado is actually in the news today, as he is now rehabbing from hip surgery number two and hopes to get healthy enough to play again this season. Or next season. Or in a video game… The Reds’ Jay Bruce, no relation to the late Lenny Bruce, apologized yesterday for making an “obscene gesture” toward his teammates after hitting a double to break out of a 1-for-17 slump. Coincidentally, Jay’s gesture looked an awful lot like this… Jorge Cantu of the Marlins tied a modern-day Major League record by getting a hit and an RBI in his eighth straight game to start the season.
One more thing: I’ve been thinking a bit about how bad it is for me as a fan to expect nothing but disappointment. Does that make me a bad fan? Maybe. But I, as an educated fan, can take solace in the fact that I am not an idiot whose posts show up on MLB.com’s “The Pulse of the Game” Twittering feature. For your viewing pleasure (keep in mind, these show up in real time on the site):
“The who! Mets? Their still a franchise? In the MLB? GO #ROCKIES”
“met fans..whats the best day/time to watch a game a citi, i know opponent matters but wat days/times get best crowds?”
“KEITH AND GARY STILL POLISHING A ****”
Other gems from Ollie’s start last week included “bay and francouer are hitting the crap out of the ball” and “GOD DAMN IT OLIVER.”
I think I’ve made my point.