Saturday, April 15, 2006

Brewers 8 Mets 2

Sometimes you have games like this. It's the reason why almost every team in baseball wins at least 50 games and loses at least 50 games. It's not a big deal but it makes tomorrow's game a little more meaningful because it would be bad to lose a series to an inferior team at home especially with the Braves coming in.

Trachsel wasn't terrible, he was just Trachsel.

Tomo Ohka pitched a great game. I had the perception that he always gives the Mets trouble but over the past 3 years he is only 2-4 with a 3.92 ERA against the Mets, not including today. He also contributed with the bat hitting a double over Nady's head in the fourth inning to give the Brewers the lead. What's unusual about that is that it came after Ron Darling said he wants his outfielders to play shallow against the pitcher, and if he gets it over his head than that's his fault.

J.J. Hardy hit a grounder down the line in left field, which a fan picked up before Cliff Floyd could get there. Gary Cohen thinks Floyd would have had a play on Hardy at second (I don't) but I can't understand why that fan wasn't ejected. There should be a rule in every major league park, if you reach onto the field to grab a ball that's in play you are ejected from the game.

I love Ramon Castro. He hit a double and a sacrifice fly today. I think LoDuca is great but I also believe that Castro would be a very good catcher for some team if he got the chance to play 100 to 110 games.

I've been very laudatory of the Mets' ability to hit sacrifice flies so far this season. Today two sacrifice flies accounted for the only runs of the game.

Jorge Julio was terrible again. His ERA is 19.64. He has appeared in four games, allowed runs in all four and home runs in three of them. I'd love to hear Minaya tell us that the team is better off with him than with Bell or Padilla or Santiago or Feliciano or Ring. They should just admit we acquired him to get rid of Benson, but cut our losses and not force Willie to keep him and bring him into games that are still within reach. That has happened twice so far.

Happy Jackie Robinson Day!

Getting Better

Today is Mike's 29th birthday. In honor of this special event I have recorded his second favorite movie ever, Menace II Society. Happy Birthday Mike!

Mets 4 Brewers 3

Another formula game for the Mets. Timely hitting gets an early lead, good starting pitching then Heilman and Sanchez turn the ball over to Wagner who shuts the door.

Xavier Nady got the game off to a good start with a huge home run in the second. The Mets have been excellent and getting to early leads and holding them. According to Gary Cohen the Mets have trailed for only two innings all season and have given up only 2 runs in innings 1 through 3. That's an ERA of 0.67.

A rough night for David Wright though. His season-long hitting streak was broken and he struck out for the first time all season. I guess we shouldn't be surprised about the strike out considering that Isaacs mentioned it, then I did, and during his at bat SNY showed a graphic about it.

Tom Glavine pitched great. I have never seen him strike out that many hitters...11 in 6 innings. His changeup was very effective against the aggressive Brewers. I think the improved offense has had a huge impact on Glavine. I think the past two years he has tried too hard to hit his spots because he was worried that every run he gave up was one too many. Now that he knows there's an offense behind him he's more comfortable with taking chances. Glavine also got a hit, his third of the season. So far this season Mets' pitchers are hitting .421 (8-19) with 4 RBI. Glavine got his 277th win tonight. Gary Cohen said he didn't think Glavine would be able to get to 300 this year, brilliant observation considering he'd need to win more games than any pitcher in the last 15 years to do it. But I think he can win 15 games this year he'll have a good shot to get there next year. And I think he deserves it. He's been a great pitcher for a long time and he should stick around to get the record. And if he keeps pitching as he did tonight he'll able to get well past 300.

Aaron Heilman had another rough outing. He hasn't been good all season. I hope he's pouting because he wants to be a starter because otherwise last year was just a flash in the pan and he isn't as good as we thought he is. I think Willie made a great move to take him out when he did rather than try to let him work himself out of trouble. Sometimes a guy just doesn't have it.

Duaner Sanchez has been a great acquisition even though tonight was the worst he's pitched all season. But because Willie used him Thursday with the score 13-4 he probably isn't available tomorrow. Even though he says he'd like to pitch everyday Randolph has to manage him so that he stays fresh for the whole season.

Good outing for Wagner.

Last year at a fantasy baseball draft, Chris Capuano was taken with one of the last picks. Since at that point I had never heard of him, in my season predictions I conjectured that he would be cut by the end of April. Capuano went on to win 18 games last year and looks like a pretty good pitcher. With Ben Sheets, Doug Davis and Capuano, in addition to the good young infield the Brewers have, they could be a contender in a couple years. Maybe this year, Ned Yost is my choice for National League Manager of the Year.

I wish they would just let Ralph Kiner get old in peace. What is the purpose of continuing to trot him out onto the broadcasts for two innings at a time. Tonight they never talked about the game with him. Is he going to be an historical consultant for two innings of Friday night games every other week? His speech has deteriorated to the point that he was unintelligible. He evidently made a funny joke that I couldn't understand even when I rewound and listened to it for the third time.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Prospective Nationals Owner is a Dick

Fred Malek is one of the leading contenders to buy the Washington Nationals from Major League Baseball when the sale is finally made in a couple of weeks. During the Nixon Administration Malek was involved in trying to get Jews out of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But far worse than that, in 1959 Malek was involved in the killing of a dog. Kate, do not read that.

Pizza Parlor Derek Expecting First Child

Reliever Casey Daigle (we all know he's not the real father, PP Derek is just waiting for the DNA tests to confirm), who was called up from Triple-A on Wednesday to replace the injured Terry Mulholland, went back to Tucson after Wednesday's game when his wife, softball star Jennie Finch, began having contractions.

"It didn't happen last night," Daigle said of the birth of the couple's first child. "But it should be any day now."

Daigle said Finch has phone numbers for the Diamondbacks' staff, and should the call come during a game, he will leave to be with his wife.

Idol Chatter

Queen was a weird choice for this week's performances.
The stupidity between Simon and Paula has gotten so annoying that I really want them to get three new judges. You can tell that they aren't even listening to the performances and they really don't care what they say, they're just trying to be funny.
I'm sorry Bucky is gone but I knew we weren't going to win the pool with him.
I don't think Bill is going to win the pool with Chris either. His act is really getting old.
So is Taylor's. I really can't stand to see him jump around the stage like an idiot anymore. Each week he goes a little more over the top and looks like a damn fool.
I really don't know who is going to win but Katharine is getting a lot stronger.
Kelly Pickler knows the word "terminology" but not the definition of the phrase "on paper."

Life's Funny Coincidences

The other day the Syracuse University alumni magazine came. Kate was looking in the back at the part where it gives updates on what people are up to. One entry was for a woman named Melissa Long who is an anchor for CNN Pipeline (CNN's online service). She asked me if I knew her and I hadn't ever heard of her. The next day my friend Doug brings in the magazine (his wife went to SU) because there was an entry about Kate and me. He then asks me if I know Melissa Long because he'd never heard of her either. Less than an hour later I get an e-mail asking if we can do a liveshot for Pipeline from the Auto Show. The last line said "the anchor is Melissa Long."

Auto Show

Earlier this week I had the chance to do a couple live shots from the New York Auto Show. I'm not a big car guy so I wasn't too excited but when I got there it was really cool. The only problem was that I was with two camera crews and my ID said CNN on it, which made me like chum in the water for the feeding sharks (press people). We saw some cool concept cars, like the Nissan Urge but I really enjoyed the regular cars. We were able to get into the Mercedes S-Class which has the coolest dashboard ever. There is a night vision camera on the front that displays on the dashboard. It shows a clear image of what's in front of your car up to about 300 feet away. It's better than your headlights and better than the night vision that soliders in Iraq have. It also has something called brake-assist which basically hits the brake for you if you are going to get into an accident. The guy told us that if you have it on cruise control, and encounter traffic, the car will brake, and then resume normal speed when traffic starts moving again.

Nissan Urge

Best Damn Hottie

Elisha Cuthbert won The Best Damn Hotties tournament. She defeated Brooke Burke in the final after trouncing Marissa Miller by a score of 80-20 in the finals. She appeared on the show when they announced the winner and seemed very thrilled to have won. She kept saying how she "destroyed" Marissa Miller. She admitted to voting for herself in the last two rounds once Jeremy Roenick called her up and notified her. She seemed really cool and excited. For more great pictures of Elisha visit the gratuitous post I made a few months back. I'm kind of surprised Jessica Alba and Stacy Keibler got knocked out, but I don't want to hear about Fox-related conspiracy theories. Looking at the picture is all the proof I need.

Should Be Entertaining

Tonight on the Best Damn Sports Show Period...Top 50 Biggest Blowups. The promo showed Iverson's practice speech, John Chaney vs. John Calipari and a couple of clips of Jim Mora. Definitely worth a DVR recording. "I'm a solider!"

Everyone Thinks Zambrano Sucks

Isaacs points out this interesting post from MetsBlog (be wary, I have been unable to confirm this anywhere):

During SportsNet NY's post-game interview with Willie Randolph from the team's locker room, the producers apparently forgot to shut off Gary Cohen's and Ron Darling's microphones, as they listened to the interview from the broadcast booth…

Therefore, during Randolph's interview, viewers could hear Cohen's under-the-breath comments, for instance…

Asked if Victor Zambrano fulfilled expectations on the day, Randolph responded, "Well, like I said, I didn't go into the game expecting anything in particular.”…

Cohen them remarked, "That's an understatement…He just downplays everything."…

Darling followed by saying, "Well, what do you expect him to do."…

Randolph continued with regards to Zambrano, "Well, he started to labor after the fifth, but the first time out you can't expect him to be on the top of his game."…

Cohen then remarked, while laughing, "You can never expect him to be on top of his game, because he never is."…

Mets 13 Nationals 4

A great game. Every team needs to have games like this where the entire offense clicks. In the first inning, Beltran, Wright and Floyd all homered, and it just kept going from there.
Carlos Beltran is starting to play like the player we thought we were getting. He's hitting homers, running and driving in key runs. I always thought he should be batting in the third hole and now he is proving that he can be a capable run producer who would be wasted batting second.

Carlos Delgado has been awesome. I still think that the dimensions of Shea Stadium may catch up with him and he'll fall short of 30 homers but he has been great so far, exactly the hitter we needed.

David Wright continues to be the best player in the majors not named Chris Shelton. Isaacs points out that Mr. Wright has not struck out so far this season in 32 at bats.

Cliff Floyd is a very capable 6th hitter and he will provide some great protection for Wright. He had a great season last year and if he stays healthy he is going to play a huge role for this team.

Darren Oliver could be very effective as a lefty reliever for this team this season. Hopefully his emergence will bury Julio a little deeper in the bullpen rotation. He even got a big hit in the game.

Jorge Julio is just plain awful. He has given up runs in all three of his outings (and yes I was rooting for him to give up 3 or 4 instead of just 1). I don't know why Willie didn't leave him in for the 9th though, hopefully he won't need Duaner Sanchez too often this weekend.

Viktor Zambrano pitched ok, or at least he pitched well enough to earn the win. I think it's clear that his problems are all in his head. Things start to go poorly and he gets flustered and loses the strike zone and things get worse. I don't know if they'll ever be able to solve that for him (he's already 30 years old). But if he can give us that old "quality start" every fifth day this offense should be good enough to get him a good amount of wins.

Mets 3 Nationals 1

Because I was at a Seder on Wednesday I didn't really get to see this game.
Pedro pitched great. I think Willie should have left him in for the 8th inning but I guess he is going to baby Pedro and his toe again this year.
Once again the Mets big players were able to generate runs by hitting with men on base or driving them home with outs. The biggest difference so far between this team and the last two years has been the ability to hit sacrifice flies and other productive outs.
As for the pitching, this game went according to the plan that basically every team has. Seven strong innings from your starter, one good inning of relief and then your closer comes on and slams the door.

Fround Upon

CBS Sportsline has a funny typo in today's box score of the Dodgers-Pirates game, look at Furcal's error.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Great Start

Diesel just got treats for each of the home runs hit by Carlos Beltran, David Wright and Cliff Floyd in the first inning of today's game. Recaps of last night's and this afternoon's game will be posted tonight or maybe tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Freakin Liars

A Missouri couple who claimed to have had sextuplets was scamming the public. What's worse people actually believed them and their sob story about being unable to pay for a bills. Someone even created a website to accept donations on their behalf. They started to figure it was a hoax when none of the hospitals in the area said they had sextuplets delivered there. Seems like something you'd remember. I think the "mother" (not clear if she had any kids at all) is just crazy. She did show pictures of herself pregnant, 6 little onesies and a nursery, even a sonogram she claimed was hers, but never the baby. Very strange.

Mets Farmhand Busted for Roids

Four minor league players received 50 game suspensions for drugs. Mets minor league pitcher Waner Mateo tested positive for a performance enhancing substance. Mateo pitched in only one game for Hagerstown so far this year. He pitched for the Brooklyn Cyclones last year, posting a 2.56 ERA. He is listed at 6'5" and 175 lbs. Obviously he hasn't been on the juice for that long.

Mets Fans Unite

Scott and me at Opening Day

Britney Kid Latest

On April 7, when Britney Spears and Kevin Federline realized that their baby, Sean Preston, had been sleeping more than usual, panic bells went off. Just six days earlier, the 7-month-old had taken a major fall from his high chair, a tumble that had his parents worried that he might have been critically injured. They had every right to fret. After rushing Sean to a nearby hospital, they discovered he had a minor skull fracture (sometimes called a "scalp fracture" in babies), and a blood clot. And the doctors weren't the only ones to take notice! The next day, the Department of Children and Family Services began looking into the incident. THE FALLOUT The Spears-Federline clan escaped disaster, but not their obligation to explain themselves to the authorities. On April 8, L.A. sheriff's deputies arrived at Britney's Malibu home to investigate a child-abuse claim against Britney and Kevin in relation to the head injury. Such an investigation isn't unusual. According to California law, whenever a baby is brought into the hospital with a serious injury, the Department of Children and Family Services is alerted.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Mets 7 Nationals 1

I got home at 6:15 so I watched the game on one-speed so I could get through it. Also DVR cut off in the 9th inning.

David Wright continues his hot hitting picking up another RBI to get that key first run on the board.

Brian Bannister hit well. And he even pitched very well. Hopefully, he'll keep it up. We know Zambrano is going to suck so as long as Bannister is good we can always cry for Heilman to join the rotation.

I love watching Jose Reyes leg out those triples.

Why did Willie Randolph bother with Heilman and Wagner today?

Carlos Beltran hit a homer in the 9th, meaningless, unless you have him on your fantasy team.

Billy Wagner walked three in the ninth...yikes.

Horrible liberal baseball fans booed Dick Cheney. And that was before he threw like a girl...or John Kerry.

Britney's Childcare

Report: Britney Spears' home visited by Family Services

LOS ANGELES -- The syndicated television entertainment show "The
Insider" is reporting the Los Angeles County Department of
Children and Family Services visited the Malibu home of Britney
Spears last weekend.
There are no details about a possible investigation.
Department officials are reportedly to have telephoned the Lost
Hills sheriff's station at about oner p-m Saturday and asked that a
deputy accompany them to the Spears home.
Sheriff's Lieutenant Debra Glaskides says a deputy in a
black-and-white squad car accompanied the Department of Children
and Family Services personnel to the home.

Not sure what all this means but someone told me her son suffered a head injury while in the care of a nanny, after falling out of his high chair.

Pizza Parlor Derek Could Work for Tom DeLay

The New Republic reports that Tom DeLay's chief of staff Ed Buckham ran a fantasy baseball league that he always seemed to win, even if it meant browbeating young staffers into trading their best players to him. Definitely sounds like a Derek donut deal to me.

Surprising Story

Survivor I winner Richard Hatch does not like prison and is now in protective custody. He is being held prior to sentencing for his tax evasion conviction because he's seen as a flight risk. He must have been getting harassed in prision because shortly after his detainment he asked to be held away from the rest of the inmates.

Not sure why he didn't like it, they weren't forcing him to do anything he hasn't already done

NASCAR Catfight

During Sunday's race Kurt Busch spun out Greg Biffle. Biffle's girlfriend Nicole Lunders was so pissed, she confronted Busch's fiance, Eva Bryan.

Bitch, you make like to be rear ended by my man doesn't
Nicole Lunders
Nice puppies
Eva Bryan celebrating a Kurt Busch victory

Bonds on Bonds

Watched the first episode of the show last week. Didn't think it was that slanted. They showed some very anti-Bonds stuff including several clips of him acting like a dick. But CNN has chosen not to report anything that happens on the show as news, because the production company has given Bonds complete veto power over anything that makes the show...or doesn't make the show. My expectations were for complete propoganda because I read of a meeting with ESPN execs where a lot of ESPN employees were begging them to scrap this project. Of course they didn't do that because ESPN has no journalistic principles, it is completely an entertainment network. Regardless, I thought the show was pretty entertaining, and subsequent episodes (starting tonight at 7) will only be a half hour.

The Best Laid Plans

My idea to post a running commentary of today's Mets game has been shot to hell by the New York Auto Show. I am stuck here planning for something that may or may not happen. The earliest I can get home now is 2, and I still have to go to the allergist. So I probably won't even get home until the game is already over. I did DVR it just in case, but for today it seems as if you'll have to deal with my traditional postgame breakdown, rather than a running commentary. Maybe we can revisit that idea for Thursday's game, which may have the added bonus of a "Matzo eaten" tally.

Monday, April 10, 2006

No Match

DNA tests for all 46 Duke Lacrosse players came up negative.
"No DNA material from any young man was present on the body of this complaining woman," said defense attorney Wade Smith.

A Million Words

Some joker re-enacted the bottom of the 10th inning of the Game 6 World Series with RBI Baseball. He used the real call by Vin Scully. It's long but the end is very interesting.

Better Than Apple

Gwenyth Paltrow had her second child a son. She named him Moses. The Red Sea jokes and let my people go jokes are better than what little Apple is going to have to deal with when she gets older.

Split Decision

Last week I asked whether I should buy the Major League Baseball Extra Innings package and whether I should post recaps of every Mets game all season.
Since Shawn and Mike were the only ones nice enough to post I decided to go with one suggestion from each of them.
I will not buy the MLB package because there won't be enough day games. Between the Mets, Yankees, Braves & ESPN there is plenty of baseball to watch.
I will try to post recaps of every Mets game this season but I may miss a few. I fear that once the season gets going I will be saying the same things over and over again. David Wright rules!
But watching yesterday's game I realized I had so much to say that I was writing stuff down on the dry erase board so that I didn't forget anything.
Today's a day off but tomorrow the game starts at 1, so I might be able to post periodically throughout the game which may prove useful to you Met fans who will be stuck at work.

Big Day for Duke Lacrosse Case

Today we expect to get the results of the DNA tests of the 46 white players. But attorneys for the players also say we may get to see 8 interesting photos from the night of the alleged rape. The pictures, with timestamps, show the stripper smiling during the time she claims she was being raped. They also show that her legs were bruised and scraped, particularly by her knees. So 46 white guys throw a party and a beat-up black stripper shows up? They claim they let her in and she danced for them. She claims they raped her. If the Concierge had been there he would have turned her ass away at the door.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Mets 3 Marlins 2

Another big win for the Mets. The continue to get the big hits in the key spots. Although the two big plays in the game in the 7th inning came with Uggly dropped a sure double play ball and Hermida misplayed Wright's ball into a triple. It would have been tough to catch but he could have kept it in front of him.

Dontrelle Willis was a lot of fun to watch. He may go from 22 wins to 11 and actually pitch better. Today it wasn't only lack of hitting that cost him the victory, it was bad defense.

Tom Glavine pitched well. Although we didn't get to see him with a lead. As long as he pitches well enough to keep the team in the game with this improved offense he is going to get his fair share of wins, and hopefully get 300 sometime next year. That should go for all the Mets pitchers. All this team really needs is quality starts.

Joe Girardi is a rookie manager and he made some unusual decisions today. In the fifth inning when Jacobs was on he was fucking around with the bunt when Uggla and Abercrombie were up. Especially with Abercrombie, he should have been allowed to hit with Jacobs on third and only one out.
Then in the 8th he took out Cabrera, his best player and only real hitter for a pinch runner who ended up getting forced at second on the next play.
And finally he may have had no choice but he brought in a rookie pitcher, Carlos Martinez in the bottom of the ninth inning of a tie game against Beltran, Delgado and Wright. That poor kid had no chance.

I was a little upset with Jose Reyes' nonchalant defense today. Two errors on routine plays. The first one he picked up his glove up expecting a hop and the ball stayed down. The second one was just a plain bad throw. Thankfully neither error came back to haunt the Mets but you just can't make those plays. Especially is the 8th and 9th innings of a tie game.

In the 8th inning Anderson Hernandez led off the inning with a hit. Willie Randolph brought in Jose Valentin to bunt. He didn't get the bunt down to advance the runner. That brings up the question I've always asked. Why didn't they just leave in Sanchez to bunt. And if he isn't a good bunter (relievers probably don't work on hitting/bunting very often) why don't they ever bring in a starting pitcher to bunt? Are the starters all sitting in the clubhouse or bullpen and not ready to come in. I think it would make sense to bring in Trachsel, who should be at least as good a bunter as Valentin, and not lose the bat off the bench.

David Wright is awesome. Still a little early for the M-V-P chant though, Shawn.

For some reason Gary Cohen mentioned that Bob Murphy used to host "Bowling for Dollars." In 1974 my dad was a contestant on that show. I think he won some money but was one pin away from winning like $1,000.

Speaking of Mets announcers. Keith Hernandez called Paul LoDuca DeLuca again. He got it right later in the game but this is not hte first time he's made that mistake. Do they ask him to call people by the wrong name because they think Mets fans miss Ralph Kiner?

Today was Autism Awareness Day at Shea. Jim Watkins of the WB11 News at 10 was there as usual, for the fourth straight year. I used to work with his wife Lauren Thierry, an incredibly nice lady. Their oldest son, Liam is autistic.

David Wright hits the game winning sacrifice fly