Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Mets Gazette On WFAN (Link)

Joe and Evan, hosts of the mid-day show on WFAN, read my Luis Castillo article written for Mets Gazette on the air. You can check it out here. (play button is underneath "Eddie Coleman talks Mets slide...").

Friday, June 25, 2010

First Place On Hold - Tigers 6, Mets 5 (Game 72)

The David Wright strikeout bug came back to bite him in the untimeliest of moments last night at Big Citi. Wright struck out in a late game situation in which a fly ball would have tied the game and completed yet another big comeback. The bright side? They fell just short of completing the comeback as opposed to calling it a day when Detroit lead 6-1.

There is a lot of fight in this team, with emphasis on the word "team." Give me two of three in any series against this caliber ballclub.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Mejia and Pagan Is Too Much For Lee

The Mets and Twins are reportedly the frontrunners for Cliff Lee, according to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times. The Twins have what the Mariners want most - a great catching prospect that will never see the light of day behind Mauer - but the Mets may be willing to counter that by giving up both Angel Pagan and Jenrry Mejia.

I don't even know where to begin with why this is a bad trade.

I guess I'll start off with the obvious. Many Mets fans are under the impression that it is a possibility that not only can the Mets make a deal for Cliff Lee, but that they can also sign him to an extension in the process.

That's not going to happen. Lee will head into free agency because he's going to be able to get an absurdly ridiculous deal based largely on how good he is, and also largely on how big his name has become. A team like the Yankees will surely throw lots of zeros at him, and if not that, numerous other teams will create a bidding war much like we're going to see in the near future of the NBA.

So, what if the Mets trade for him, could they feel secure about being able to re-sign him after the year?

Short answer, no.

There will be absolutely no security in this deal. None. Well, you may argue, but he wants to exact revenge on Philadelphia. Unfortunately that isn't the real problem - Lee didn't hate Philadelphia for any reason other than that they didn't show him the money. If loyalty were any bit of an issue, wouldn't he still be in Philadelphia? So, to sum, even if he pitches the Mets to a World Series this year (far from a guarantee contrary to popular belief) why in the world would he take less money to re-sign?

Well, he won't. Remember when Mike Hampton left after 2000?

Now, as for who the Mets are thinking about dealing here: Angel Pagan and Jenrry Mejia. That is waaaaaaaaay too much for a guy who is going to walk after the season. I don't care if Beltran is coming back or not, Pagan has been the heart and soul of this team, and arguably its best player all year. He has the necessary tools to be really good for a long time. Then there's Mejia. He likely won't be the next Doc Gooden, but you can't deny he has a bright future.

It's just too much for a rental.

And to top it off, Cliff Lee will be 32 next year. So, even if the Mets miraculously find a way and the gods shine down on us, why would you expect what Cliff Lee did between 28 and 31 when he is approaching his mid to late 30's?

Anyone? Anyone?


Seinfeld, Stewart, Rock and James Should Team Up

By this point I'm sure you've read all about Jerry Seinfeld's takeover of the SNY broadcast booth last night. So, I'll spare you my take. It did get me thinking though, who are the funniest Mets fans out there? And if I were to create a supergroup to replace Gary, Ron, Keith and Kevin for a game, who would I choose?

Well, there are many choices within the comedy, film, television, and stand up departments. So, here is a list of possible candidates:

-Jon Stewart (The Daily Show)

-Jerry Seinfeld (Seinfeld)

-Ray Romano (Everybody Loves Raymond)

-Jim Breuer (Half Baked, SNL)

-Ben Stiller (Meet The Parents, Zoolander, many more)

-Matthew Broderick (Ferris Bueller's Day Off)

-Kevin James (The King Of Queens)

-Chris Rock (SNL, Dr. Dolittle)

There are more, but I don't have all day and I'm sure neither do you. So, let's play make believe for a bit. Of these 8, who would you pick to replace Cohen, Darling, Hernandez, and Burkhardt respectively?

Here's how I would do it. First, I have to pick my favorite four, and I choose Stewart, James, Rock, and Seinfeld. Jon Stewart is hands down one of the funniest and wittiest personalities on TV. I pick Kevin James for his role in the King of Queens and Seinfeld because last night he proved to me that not only is he a clever and funny individual, but he is also very in tune with Mets baseball. Finally, I'll take Chris Rock for the fourth spot for his sheer absurdity and his crazy high pitched squeal of a voice that is funny often enough.

Now, to assemble their roles:

-Jerry Seinfeld in for Cohen to do the play by play.
-Stewart in for Darling because he is the most analytical and insightful of the bunch.
-James in for Hernandez because they are comparably ridiculous.
-Chris Rock in for Burkhardt because he would conduct a funny interview and I wouldn't have to hear his voice constantly.

What do you guys think?

Tricky Dickey Amazin' Again - Mets 5, Tigers 0 (Game 71)

I'm running low on superlatives and I'm truly devoid of an explanation as to why exactly R.A. Dickey never loses a baseball game.  With 8 shutout innings last night, he became the first Met to go 6-0 in his first 7 starts since...ever.  And now, next to his name reads a pretty 6-0 with a 2.33 ERA. 

Can anyone explain this? I'm serious, because I don't know what to say. I started writing this blog in part because I thought I was a person who kind of had a grip on the game of baseball and the Mets, but this is just something I can not explain.

But that's baseball for ya.  We love a game that defies reason and expectation, a game where nobodies become somebodies and somebodies become nobodies.  A game where, in reality, anomalies and unpredictability are really the only sure thing.  

-Tom Greenhalgh (6/24/10)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Your Ad Here

Between the left and right field foul poles at newly re-named "Yellow Book Park" a glaring 47 advertisements are aggregately littered from left to right. This is not an exact figure, but instead my best guess. It was a difficult task due to both the exhaustion and dizzyness that stupified my senses. I tried, I really did, but trying to figure out the most logical way to sort through the levels of advertisements, along with trying not to get sidetracked by their various appeals was a total mind f***. It's really a wonderful aesthetic though, so long as you like or have interest in Modells, Wise snacks, Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, another kind of pepsi I can't remember, IZod, Chevrolet, Budweiser, Dunkin Donuts, Geico, Nikon, or even if you just want to re-decorate your home with Bob's furniture.

*deep breath*

I guess the reason I bring this up is because I took my mom on a mother/son date to the park last night. It was her first time to Big Citi and she thought for the most part it is a tremendous upgrade from Shea. The architecture, it's ode to the past, unique angles and undeniable charm are all grade A.

But, what I truly enjoyed the most was the fact that instead of having to give vague descriptions of the location of certain landmarks, now all I had to do was tell her which sign to look for. For instance, I was explaining to her about Ike Davis' gorgeous power stroke to right field. I mentioned that he has hit home runs clearing the Modells, Wise Snacks, Pepsi, Dunkin Donuts, and Subway signs already this year. Even more enjoyable than that was the little Carvel ice cream logo on the mammouth centerfield scoreboard underneath the batter profile and at-bat summary. We also got a kick out of 1-800 Flowers sponsoring the kiss cam. I'm also pretty sure the grounds crew was sponsored by AAMCO, but I can't verify that for you.

In right field, the second deck hangs directly over the first, an ode presumably to the old Tigers stadium. The foul pole touches up against the second deck in its direct vertical stack. This would be a very charming touch if not for the three different pepsi ads, and the giant Subway and Verizon ads below it. In other words, if they had just left the decks as they were (black), or at the least not put a urine yellow (water deprived yellow hue) Subway sign hanging over a black fence with an orange line, perhaps it would stand out less than Lady Gaga's inner thighs.

Soon enough, the Shea Bridge will be re-named after Vibe, home runs after auto loans, and the infield dirt by Wendy's. A picture of Wendy herself will surely be carved into the outfield grass, much like the New York City skyline was at times in centerfield at Big Shea.

But it's ok though. Even though the Mets have successfully turned their new ballpark into the Yellow Pages, it's still a gem. It's just unfortunate that the Mets had to take resort to these measures. But that's what happens when you get Madoff'd, Freddy.

-Tom Greenhalgh (6/23/10)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Monday, June 21, 2010

Monday Musings

I hate off days. I really do. And to make things worse? It's the third Monday in a row the Mets have been off. If you've ever seen "Office Space" you would understand that I "have a case of the Mondays." If you haven't seen the movie, it's an absolute must. I strongly urge you see it if you think that a) work sucks b) Monday sucks c) Jennifer Aniston is cute d) both A & B e) All of the above. Classic.

Anyway, I digress. Off days provide ample opportunity to tell you about all sorts of miscellaneous tidbits you could probably care less about.

But, as always, here goes anyway...

Something I find interesting and/or surprising:

Ok, in my research (which is far from extensive or difficult) I was mildly surprised to find Roy Halladay's name in the top 10 of the National League for most losses (6). The Phillies are also only 8-7 as a team when he pitches. My conclusion?

Where do we stand?

39-30, 2.5 games behind first place Atlanta, 1/2 game ahead of San Francisco for the wild card lead.

Something mildly funny, yet tragically sad: Big Bird is at it again...

(Photograph courtesy of Getty Images)

Something 3 months overdue:  

Jenrry Mejia has been sent down to AA Binghamton to presumably lengthen himself out and fine tune his secondary pitches in hopes of becoming a starter for the big club.

My wishes for your Monday:

I hope you make it happily through the day.

-Tom Greenhalgh (6/21/10)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Just Not Right

I can't lie to myself anymore. I don't feel confident when Johan Santana takes the mound. I don't expect greatness. I don't expect to win. I just hope for it.

All year long, Mets fans like myself have insisted that this is still the guy and that the real problem was the Mets lack of run support for him. To a degree, that's true. The Mets don't exactly light it up at the plate when he pitches. But there is a much larger problem than that.

He's just not great anymore.

Santana has made a career out of two great pitches. He would utilize his pinpoint fastball to set up his devastating change up. This deadly combination lead to two Cy Young Awards and five consecutive 200+ strikeout seasons.

But now, Santana's fastball has lost velocity. Therefore when he throws his change up, the differential in speed is smaller. The result? Unless he has pinpoint control, swings and misses are far and few between. Couple that with the fact that he hasn't been compensating for his lack of "stuff" with great control, and you get statistics like this:

In his last four starts, Johan Santana has struck out a grand total of ten batters.


But it's not just the last four outings. He hasn't struck out more than six batters in a single game since April 17th. He hasn't struck out ten in a game once this year, and in 96 innings pitched, he has a grand total of just 62 strikeouts - far below his career strikeout per inning pace.

So, when you eliminate the swing and miss factor and the location is spotty, innings such as the 3rd inning today seem to happen. Dominance is a thing of the past. Instead are laborous innings and absurdly high pitch counts that prevent Santana from finishing his own game.

This would all be less alarming if the Mets were actually winning games he pitched. But, New York is just 7-8 as a team when Johan takes the mound. Not only is that a sub .500 winning percentage as a team, it's dead last out of the five starters the Mets are currently throwing out there.

In his press conference today, Jerry Manuel labeled Johan Santana as a "second half pitcher." While I'd love to believe that he'll magically return to form, this isn't 2006 and he's not wearing "Minnesota" across his chest.

As for Jerry, I'm glad you're not worried, but the fact alone that you labeled a swing and miss pitcher like Santana a "fly ball pitcher" justifies my concern. It marks a change that we're seeing before us. It means that Johan Santana is going to have to re-invent himself, much like Pedro Martinez when he was no longer a power pitcher.

Time to get crafty, Johan.

-Tom Greenhalgh (6/20/10)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Philly Phanatic Caught Red Handed

After speaking with sources who have chosen to remain anonymous, it has been confirmed that the Philly Phanatic is the ringleader of a local Philadelphia organization in which fans utilize multiple e-mail addresses to vote their favorite undeserving Phillies to the 2010 All-Star game.

"The goal, originally, was to make sure David Wright was not voted in at third base" revealed the Phanatic when pressed by authorities.

"We can't let anything New York outshine us."

In an attempt to continue the brief glory years of the historically dismal, losingest franchise in baseball history, the Phanatic organized his troops with one motto in mind: Phuck the Mutts.

The Phanatic has been accused and charged with ballot stuffing, operating under a false identity, and making a mockery of the MLB All-Star game.

This, however, is not the first ballot stuffing ring the Phanatic has been suspected of masterminding. It is rumored that back in 2000, the Phanatic was in Florida on the night of the presidential election.

This, however, could not be confirmed.

Phanatic's cousin, Shrek, refused comment.

-Tom Greenhalgh (6/19/10)