Saturday, May 13, 2006

Mets 9 Brewers 8

Huge win tonight for the Mets. After allowing a 3-0 lead to shrink to 3-2, then a 6-2 lead shrunk to 6-4, then finally an 8-4 lead led to a tie game, it was a great victory to get.

Paul LoDuca is awesome. His home run was perfectly timed. That's the difference between him and our old catcher. His home runs count. Although our old catcher did hit a 3-run homer in the top of the 9th with his team trailing by two, today.

Prince Fielder's home run was a sham. There was no way that ball hit the foul pole because it dropped pretty much straight down. It was clear that it hit the padding, and judging from the way Gary and Keith described it, the first base umpire ruled fair (meaning off the wall) and for some reason the home plate umpire overruled him, but they didn't want to eat crow and change the call.

Huge hit for Jose Valentin with the bases loaded in the 6th inning. He had done nothing all year but his single made the score 5-2 instead of 3-2 which is a huge advantage and allowed Willie to rightfully stick with Jeremi Gonzalez. In fact I think Willie was too quick with the hook after Gonzalez gave up a double in the top of the 6th.

Heilman was not sharp again. He hasn't been the same all season. Even though is ERA is great.

Duaner Sanchez had a terrible outing. I can't believe the ump ejected him like that though. He'd just given up two homers, but I don't think he's gonna throw at a guy in a tie game in the bottom of the 8th. And if he did the Brewers should have been ecstatic. A warning might have been warranted by an ejection was ludicrous. Then Tschida ejected Randolph also. It was almost like he didn't want the Mets to win this one. Back to Sanchez for a second, I always say that no relief pitcher is perfect. The ERA doesn't matter, it's the timing of those runs. I would have been a lot happier had he not given up the solo shot to Miller that tied the game, but at the time I was actually ok with the 3-run homer by Koskie. Shit happens, especially in middle relief and he'd been so good up until tonight.

As opposed to Jose Valentin who has sucked all season and finally came through tonight. He 2-run homer gave the Mets some much needed insurance. And we may be seeing a lot more of him in the near future. He also made a great defensive play in left.

LoDuca's home run came off previously indestructible reliever Derrick Turnbow. He had been awesome all season but he had to take his first loss on his own bobblehead night. The bobbleheads had "real" hair. They looked pretty cool.

If you were not lucky enough to watch this game, or at least not on SNY, then you missed the four prepubescent boys sitting right near the microphone behind home plate. Before every pitch they'd scream "strike one" or "strike two" in a really high tone. Gary and Keith began joking about them, and the director decided to show the kid's and the game in a split screen. One of them was wearing a Rickie Weeks jersey with the old school Brewers ball and glove logo which I thought was pretty cool.

To make matters even worse for SNY, Chris Cotter appeared as the polish sausage in the post-6th inning sausage race. He finished third (I can't believe they didn't let him win). And even worse than that, a few innings before he was already in costume but they went to him in the left field concourse where he tried to deliver a serious report on the differences between Cecil and Prince Fielder. But who can take a reporter seriously when he's dressed as a giant sausage.

According to Isaacs' theories on Tommy John surgery Bartolome Fortunato is going to be great next season. In the past Isaacs has cited guys like Chris Carpenter and Chris Capuano as guys who were not good, then came back from the surgery to be better than ever. Apparently, at some point during his disaster last week Fortunato hurt his elbow and is going to get Tommy John surgery and be out for the season. I look forward to testing Isaacs's theory next year.

What's Bernie Kosar Been Up To

Bernie Kosar and his wife have been going through an ugly divorce. This week Babette Kosar asked the judge to require Bernie to undergo psychiatric testing as well as drug testing.
She asked the judge for sole possession of the couple's $1.2 million home near Fort Lauderdale. They still are working out details about who gets the four children and when.
Babette Kosar contends in court documents that her husband has been giving away money and property to family and friends, acting "irrationally and irresponsibly," according to the Miami Herald.
She cites "increasingly bizarre and erratic behavior and various other addictions," the Herald reported.
Since leaving football, Bernie Kosar has owned a restaurant in South Miami and developed property in Florida.

Brewers 9 Mets 6

Another horrible game. The picthing staff is falling apart. Jose Lima was good, but he ran out of gas in the 5th inning. Obviously, he is not the answer. And his next two starts could come against the Cardinals and the Yankees. That's a recipe for disaster. They need to make a move or bring in Heilman from the bullpen.

But that's a problem now too because the back end of the bullpen sucked last night. Bradford, Oliver and Bell all got killed.

Cliff Floyd and Kaz Matsui are killing this team with their inability to get a hit with men on base.

The David Wright tag play on Brady Clark at third base reminded me of Gerry McNamara's shot against Cincinnati in the first round of the Big East Tournament. If Wright gets there half a second sooner the inning is over and Lima gives up 1 run in 5 innings. Instead the next batter hits a bases loaded double. If G-Mac misses that chuck against Cincy, SU is out in the first round, they don't win the next 3 games, they don't get a 5 seed, he's not the most clutch player in the nation and his career is remembered as a huge disappointment. All that changed because of one inch either way on both plays.

Prince Fielder is gonna be a damn good hitter someday.

The most enjoyable part of the game was the visit from Bob Uecker.
"What keeps you in Milwaukee?"
"My parole officer."

Friday, May 12, 2006

Hot for Teacher

Erica Chevillar is a 25-year old first-year social studies teacher at West Boca Raton High School.
Two dozen images of her are posted on a web site for the USA National Bikini Team.
She is one of nearly eighty models shown in bikinis and lingerie.
Some parents feel the images are inappropriate for a teacher.
Parents are saying, "She's very attractive and she's very pretty but she could be using her assets in a different way."
Students are saying, "Oh my gosh, this is a teacher?"
"I thought it was pretty awesome looking at my teacher on the internet."
"She's dressed skimpy but she's not naked."
Chevillar will not be disciplined by the school board for these pictures.

Partying With Bill Murray

Rick Sutcliffe appeared in the booth during the Padres-Brewers game earlier this week. He was clearly drunk off his ass after a night of drinking with Bill Murray. Just watch, trust me.

The Catch

Who Are These Guys?

Chris Daughtry is looking to launch his music career after getting booted from "American Idol." Fuel is searching for a lead singer after Brett Scallions quit.
The band offered Daughtry a job Thursday.
Bass player Jeff Abercrombie and guitarist Carl Bell made their pitch on the TV show "Extra."
"Chris, if you are watching, we've talked about this before, and if you want to entertain it again we'll take it and go," Abercrombie said.
Daughtry is considering whether to pursue fronting an established rock band or launching a solo career.
The buzz around Daughtry for weeks has been that he could end up Fuel's lead singer; Scallions left the band in February.
Daughtry performed the band's song "Hemorrhage" on a recent "Idol" show.

The Streak is Over

Hideki Matsui broke his wrist diving for a ball in the first inning of the Yankees-Red Sox game. Matsui is now out for the season (maybe a September return) which means his consecutive games streak, dating back to the Japanese leagues, is over. It ended last night because even though he took the field he did not play a half inning.

Joins Jeter and Gay-Rod on the list of limp-wristed Yankees

Phillies 2 Mets 0

The most non-descript game that I will remember for the rest of my life. There is nothing else to talk about in this game other than the Mets got a little unlucky due to the weather and Aaron Rowand's catch.

The Phillies deserved to win the game after that play. That kind of effort should always be rewarded. Just an incredible play. Definitely better than Jeter's dive into the stands against Boston that time. Rowand really smacked his face. I rewound that play a million times. It was crazy.

NBC Admits Plagiarism in Derby Coverage

The sad thing about this, is that the Matz story is really a great story, and deserved to be told in a original way.

A freelance writer will no longer receive assignments from NBC Universal Sports after copying two passages from a 2002 episode of "The West Wing" in his script for a feature that preceded the Kentucky Derby on Saturday.
Ken Schanzer, the president of NBC Universal Sports, confirmed that the plagiarism had occurred. He would not identify the writer but said, "He won't work here anymore."
The short feature, which was preceded by a commercial for the final two episodes of "The West Wing," looked at the difficulties faced by Barbaro's trainer, Michael Matz, who survived a plane crash in Sioux City, Iowa, then led three children to safety; Alex Solis, who broke his back in a track spill two years ago but rode Brother Derek on Saturday; and Brother Derek's trainer, Dan Hendricks, who was paralyzed in a motocross accident.
In the script, read by NBC's Tom Hammond, Matz was extolled because he "ran into the fire to save the lives of three children." Hammond paused dramatically and added, "Ran into the fire."
The two-hour opening episode of the fourth season of "The West Wing" included a plot line in which two pipe bombs exploded and killed 44 people in the swim team's facility at the fictitious Kennison State University in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Martin Sheen, who plays President Josiah Bartlet, delivered a speech praising the rescuers who "ran into the fire to help get people out." He paused and added dramatically, "Ran into the fire."
The Derby script summed up the changed lives of Matz, Solis and Hendricks by saying that the "funny thing about life is that every time we think we've measured our capacity to meet its challenges, we're reminded that that capacity may well be limitless."
In "The West Wing," Bartlet said, "The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels, but every time we think we've measured our capacity to meet a challenge, we look up and we're reminded that that capacity may well be limitless."
The similarities between the Derby feature script and the script for the episode of "The West Wing," written by Aaron Sorkin, were discovered by a reader who sent an e-mail message to The New York Times.

Fuck the Columbia Journalism Review

Those pricks at the CJR are ripping an article on that defended big oil. Heaven forbid someone should actually take a reasoned look at the business. We should all just scream and yell that gas prices are too high.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

How Would You Describe This Picture?

Sports Illustrated posted some odd photos from its various photo shoots. This one comes from a photo shoot of Matt Leinart. According to what has now become internet lore, the person who uploaded it gave it an interesting name, as you can see on this screen shot. The picture is now called lachey.jpg.

I really hope this is real

What a Homo!

This reminds of those guys who every once in a while sue bars or clubs over the legality of ladies' night promotions. They always lose. Maybe we can have Paul's Poop legal expert, The Concierge weigh in on this:

A man who was denied a red nylon tote bag during a Mother's Day promotion at an Angels baseball game has filed a sex and age discrimination lawsuit against the team.
The class action claim filed by Michael Cohn, a Los Angeles psychologist, alleges that thousands of males and fans under age 18 are entitled to $4,000 in damages each because they were treated unequally at last May's promotion. Women over 18 received the gifts.
Angel officials said Cohn was the only person who complained about the giveaway and that the team is proud of its promotions.
"Historically, we have tried to appeal on those special days that might be nationally noted holidays or special occasions," team spokesman Tim Mead said, adding he could not comment directly on the suit because he hadn't seen it. "We have tailored programs or giveaways accordingly."
The team responded to a complaint letter that Cohn wrote last June by sending him four tote bags and a letter stating the team "ran out of the item that day and had to order more."
"They claimed they didn't have any more bags, but my client said there was a mountain of bags stacked so high a show dog couldn't have jumped over them," said Alfred Rava, Cohn's San Diego-based attorney.
This weekend's Mother's Day promotion will offer tote bags to the first 25,000 fans over age 18, rather than cater specifically to women. Mead would not say whether the change was in response to Cohn's complaint.
Rava said the altered promotion still violates the civil rights of fans under age 18.

Fab Fivers Used to Getting Shit Free

Houston Rockets forward Juwan Howard was accused today of shoplifting a $2,000 pair of sunglasses from a Miami-area optical store.
Miami police are investigating the claim, but no charges have been filed and Howard has denied any wrongdoing.
"I'm aware of the situation and have spoken to my attorney," Howard said in a statement. "I will vigorously defend myself and (I) am confident I'll be cleared of these baseless charges."
The owner of Eye Q Optical in South Beach told Miami television stations that he has a surveillance tape showing Howard take a pair of sunglasses, though he has not allowed media outlets see the tape.
"We are aware and will continue to monitor the situation," Rockets spokesman Nelson Luis said. "We understand Juwan is cooperating fully and is proclaiming his innocence."

Celeb Sighting

This one comes to us courtesy of Mike, brother of the Concierge, regarding his weekend in Vegas for Freed's bachelor party:

"We were sitting next to Willie McGinest at lunch over the weekend. He was all blinged out...$120,000 watch...4 studed [sic] diamonds...the whole package...anyway he got a call from someone who he clearly did not want to speak with so he got rid of him fast and then told his two man possy [sic] that he has put "the snitch label" on this guy. Hilarious! Great Line"

Mike had a great time, didn't do too well at craps, but made up for it in other games.

Willis McGahee's Baby Mama Drama

The Orlando Sentinel has a columnist who does a series of columns about riding around in a car with a celebrity/athlete. This time it was Willis McGahee.

Q: Was there anything that made you calm down?

A: My kids. I got two kids.

Q: How old are they?

A: One of them is 15 months and the other is five months. [that means a month after one woman had a baby, he knocked up a different girl.]

Q: So far, what's the most difficult thing about fatherhood?

A: Nothing right now. Not for me. Just dealing with the mother. That's the difficult part. After that, everything is cool.

Q: What's more troublesome, an ex-wife or a baby momma?

A: A baby momma.

Q: Why?

A: Because they feel like they should be a part of your life for 18 years. An ex-wife, you can get away from her. A baby momma, you can't get away from her until the child is 18 or older. They're going to constantly ask you for money. They just want to nag you for no reason, just because they can. (Willis has never been married.)

Q: Did you meet both of these women here in Miami?

A: (Laughs) Yeah.

Q: Is that why you say you need to get out of Miami?

A: I need to get out of Miami.

Cruising with Willis

Where Taylor Hicks Came From

What do you get when you cross Barry Bonds' personal reporter with a crazed billionaire? A crazed American Idol wannabe!

Pedro Gomez + Mark Cuban = Taylor Hicks

Idol Chatter

So long Chris. I’m glad to see him go. I got so sick of his act. The hard rock gimmick, the screaming, the carrying the mike stand around. It got too overdone. I know Pizza Parlor Derek says a lot of people like that genre, but they obviously weren’t voting this week.

Katharine McPhee survived a subpar week because she is so damn hot. Her “Hound Dog/All Shook Up” medley did not work at all. But she should get to the finals on looks alone.

Elliot was good, but I don’t think he will win because he’s just not likeable enough. Also you have Elvis, one of the most prolific singers of all time and he chose a song no one ever heard of.

Taylor showed his two sides, and maybe that’s why people like him. His first song “Jailhouse Rock” was the ridiculous epileptic/dancing like a fool Taylor that for some reason everybody seems to love. If he knew the words Jeff could have done the exact same performance on the cruise. But his second song, “In The Ghetto” was awesome. “As the snow flies
On a cold and gray chicago morn
A poor little baby child is born
In the ghetto
And his mama cries
’cause if there’s one thing that she don’t need
It’s another hungry mouth to feed
In the ghetto”

I wish someone had sung “The Wonder of You.” The lyrics remind me of Kate, “I’ll never know, the reason why, you love me as you do.”

Doubt anyone besides me realized this, but Robert F.X. Sillerman whose company recently bought the rights to Muhammad Ali’s image, owns similar marketing rights to American Idol and Graceland/Elvis.

Time for new Idol odds now that my old favorite has been knocked out:
Katharine 3 to 1
Taylor 5 to 1
Elliott 8 to 1

Put the mike stand down and go home

Mets 13 Phillies 4

This was the Phillies version of the game the Mets played on Sunday.

Everything went wrong for the Phillies. Their defense was awful. Glad we snapped their 9-game winning streak, their longest in 15 years.

In the first three innings the Mets scored ten runs, all 9 guys scored and 8 of them got hits.

Big double for Tom Glavine who is now batting .500 (6-12) this season.

Then Reyes hit a home run. Those first three innings were awesome.

Not much else to talk about it in this game.

Great play be Wright on the ball that hit the base.

Good to see Heath Bell back on the mound. I always liked him and thought he had the potential to be a good middle reliever. I hope he can pitch well and become an option for the 7th and 8th, so that Heilman can go to the rotation.

The Mets have homered in 14 straight games.

Today's forecast for Philadelphia says weather early in the afternoon and again around game time. We may not get the chance to take this series, but an off-day would allow us to skip Jeremi Gonzalez.
I wonder if Stubborn Willie would allow Pedro to pitch on his regular rest and skip Gonzalez. Even if there isn't a rain out I hope he does because I need Pedro to pitch Sunday so that he can pitch Friday night against the Yankees.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Good Night

Now I lay me down to sleep,
with a 10-0 lead at my feet,
if the Mets should lose before I wake,

Copycat Crime

Two Charged After Tainting Teachers' Tea
HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Two students were charged with insult or abuse to a teacher after allegedly putting a laxative in tea that two teachers drank before the prank was uncovered.
Harry Lee Keek and Bradley William Parham, both 18, were cited with a misdemeanor count, police said Monday. The two face a hearing May 16 in Hot Springs District Court; two others also could be charged.
The Lakeside High School seniors are accused of tampering with the tea as a prank. Two teachers drank the tea and suffered from cramps afterward.
Police Cpl. Chris Chapmond said Monday that the charge is punishable by a fine ranging from $100 to $1,500 in addition to any disciplinary action taken by school officials.
According to a police report, Parham bought the laxative and Keek shook the tea to blend it in. The two others believed to be involved will likely be cited this week, Chapmond said.

There's Not Room For Both Of Them

The NY Post is reporting that Star Jones is going to be asked to leave "The View." This was reportedly one of the conditions of hiring Rosie O'Donnell to fill Meredith Viera's spot. Now they have to find another replacement, could this reignite the Soledad to "The View" chatter?

As Seen on CNN

To raise money for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation about 50 major leaguers will be swinging pink bats on Mother's Day. After the game the players will sign them and auction them off. Players participating include Gay Derek Jeter, Big Papi David Ortiz, Jim Edmonds, Mark Teixeria and Hank Blalock.

Pedro Loves His Plants

Off Mound, Mets' Ace Loosens Up in His Garden
For two hours on the days Pedro Martínez is scheduled to pitch at Shea Stadium, he is alone with his pale yellow daffodils, his purple petunias, his cotton-candy-colored hyacinths, the flowers that make his property look like a botanical garden.

His brain is not calculating which pitch to throw. His right hand is not unleashing a baseball aimed at a batter crowding the plate. His joints, even his pesky right big toe, are not aching.

For those two hours, Martínez, the Mets star known for his intensity and cleverness on the mound and his quirkiness off it, is in the yard outside his six-bedroom Tudor revival home in Greenwich, Conn. He is planting. He is pruning. He is talking to his tulips. "What about you, beauty?" he will ask in language rarely, if ever, heard on a baseball field. "Aren't you going to grow up to be so pretty?"

Martínez is 5-0 this season, leading the Mets to one of the best records in baseball. But after a sudden series of injuries to his fellow pitchers, Martínez will be under increasing pressure to keep his team upright and to win the games he starts, beginning tonight in Philadelphia against a Phillies team that has won eight in a row.

It will be one more instance in which the 34-year-old, 5-foot-11 Martínez will blend ability with guile and attempt to master the batters he faces. No one does that better than Martínez, but being so good at it, he acknowledged, takes a toll.

"Don't ask me to be a pitcher in my next life," Martínez said last week, while sitting among his flowers. "It's too painful."

He said pitching was mentally and physically exhausting. Outsmarting hitter after hitter is psychologically grueling. To accomplish those things, he said, his life must have equilibrium, a contrast to the aggression he feels on the mound. To find that balance, he drives 40 minutes from Shea Stadium to the house he bought last year, after signing with the Mets. It is, in almost every respect, his sanctuary.

"I couldn't sacrifice myself or live the fast life we have to live if I didn't have a place like this to find peace," he said, gesturing toward his eight acres, which are half wooded and half landscaped with flowers and blooming trees like dogwoods and crabapples.

Flying over this area last year, Martínez said, he saw the trees and fell in love. So he bought this house, which seems plucked from the English countryside, with its turret and series of dramatic peaks, for about $4 million. He shares it with his wife, the former Carolina Cruz, his longtime girlfriend and a former reporter for ESPN Deportes, a Spanish language sports network. They met when she was at Boston College. They married in November.

After every game in Queens, he goes home to Cruz, and to a wonderland. A winding paved driveway leads to his house, which is about a quarter of a mile from the road. Two waterfalls trickle down a 20-foot-tall formation of rocks. In the distance is a pond big enough for a rowboat. Chipmunks scurry between the shrubs. Bumblebees bounce from tulip to tulip. The sound of birds chirping is so constant that it seems like a piped-in recording on the property, which a landscaper helps Martínez maintain.

Beneath the porte-cochere sits his white Hummer. In the backyard is a swing set that his two children from a previous relationship can use when they visit. Inside, cathedral ceilings and gigantic windows make the home feel airy. And last week, that air was filled with the aroma of sancocho, the traditional Dominican meat soup. One of Martínez's cousins from the Dominican Republic was in the kitchen stirring a large vat of it.

"I live a very normal life here," said Martínez, who rarely ventures into Manhattan. "I always can't be hard or mean-faced like I am pitching. If you look at me outside the field, I'm a very different pedigree."

He is different, for sure. With the Mets, Martínez can often be the life of the clubhouse. In turn, he has brought the entire franchise to life, making the Mets a credible team again the moment he signed with them two winters ago. He can be silly: He stuck a trash can on his head to congratulate catcher Ramón Castro on a game-winning home run. When the Shea sprinklers went off while he was on the mound during one start last season, he danced like a child alone in his front yard.

But there is a competitive, combative side to Martínez as well. After the sprinkler eruption, he quickly switched from goofy to serious, promptly striking out the batter. He is evolving now, too. As his body ages and he can no longer overpower hitters with his arm, Martínez is relying less on his fastball and more on his wits.

"You can't be one-dimensional to do what he does," said Jeff Wilpon, the Mets' senior executive vice president, who lives near Martínez. "You look at the flowers and how he created his own little world. It's the abstract thinking that makes him so good."

Martínez said his feel for nature came from his upbringing in the Dominican Republic. He grew up with five siblings, living in a one-room house with dirt floors in the village of Manoguayabo, outside Santo Domingo. His father worked odd jobs. His mother washed clothes for wealthier families.

It was there, in the town without a paved road or a baseball field, that Martínez learned to care for the gardener's life. He joined his mother when she gardened and talked to her flowers, so they would grow "so pretty." His favorite flowers, plentiful in the Dominican Republic, are orchids, intriguing him because they are so fragile.

Back then, he said, he noticed his mind emptying itself of worries when he gardened. As he rose in the baseball ranks, and the stresses of the game began to eat at his mind and body, gardening became his salve, a claim that few other major leaguers would be willing to make.

"It has to be in you to work with flowers, but if you grow up with it, you realize how it can make you untouchable," Martínez said. "If something hurts, it disappears when you are in the garden. It's about deep thinking, about letting go. Other players need to do the same thing."

While Martínez is with the flowers, his wife uses her quiet time to read books and the Bible. Cruz, the daughter of a couple in Santo Domingo who ran a Little League, is a self-professed city girl. She drives to Manhattan to shop for food. She plans to join a volleyball league in Central Park. She writes a weekly column called Major League Women that appears in Listín Diario, a newspaper in Santo Domingo. When she first heard that Martínez loved to commune with flowers, she said, it moved her. Martínez insists that she thought he was a wimp.

"His heart is really connected to God and nature brings him closer to that, which is something I'm learning, too," said Cruz, just before sitting down to lunch with Martínez and two preachers visiting from South Africa and Miami. "After he talks to his plants, you can really see them perk up. Really, you do."

In Boston, where he starred for seven seasons with the Red Sox, Martínez still owns a townhouse that has a small garden. He also has a family compound in Manoguayabo, where inside concrete walls topped with barbed wire are two homes, lime trees, hibiscus and mango trees, including one he plans to lay under in a hammock when he retires.

Connecticut is too cold for mango trees. Even so, Martínez said he planned to keep the house once his baseball career was over. He will use it as a winter vacation house for himself and for relatives who, he said, "get a kick out of snow."

Martínez hates cold weather, but has been outdoors a lot lately in the mild temperatures, gardening and playing with his three 3-month-old puppies: a chocolate Labrador retriever, a golden retriever and a cockapoo, a cross between a cocker spaniel and a poodle. When Martínez walks outside, they bound his way, tongues out, tails wagging.

"Stop eating my tulips!" he yelled last week to Typhoon, the golden retriever, who was gleefully chomping on a red petal.

With the house, the land and even his mischievous puppies that seem to have an appetite for his azaleas, this is his new oasis, Martínez said.

"I always wanted to have a home, finally," said the man in whom the Mets have so much invested. "This is my house, this is my town. I'm going to stay here."

Good Day for People With Cool Names

Last night Albert Pujols hit a home run and drove in three runs, bringing his season totals to 17 and 41. That puts him on pace for 81 homers and 195 RBI. Check out how ESPN suggests pronouncing his name.
Joffrey Lupul (spell it backwards) scored 4 goals in the Anaheim Mighty Ducks 4-3 victory over the Colorado Avalanche.

Phillies 5 Mets 4

The worst part of my hours is that I have to go sleep before the end of games like this. An exciting, but horrible game.

I am really worried about this team over the next couple of weeks as the competition gets tougher and the starting rotation is patched together. I think the Mets will go 4-8 on this stretch of 12 games against Philly, Milwaukee, St. Louis and the Yankees.

They couldn't do anything off Myers in the first few innings other than the second inning when they got screwed that Pedro didn't know how to run the bases on Reyes' blooper. Then Reyes should have been called safe trying to steal second but he shouldn't have run them out of the inning.

Pedro looked awesome other than that one bad inning. But when a team is not hitting one bad inning is all you need.

Duaner Sanchez is not a machine, he's a man.

Terrible play by Heilman, he should have let LoDuca field that ball.

That pitch was not a strike but Kaz Matsui is batting .174 with runners in scoring position.

Delgado remains awesome.

Smist is Probably Covering this Story

SKOWHEGAN, Maine (AP) -- It sounds like an innocent enough mother-daughter activity -- baking cookies for a teacher. But authorities in Maine charge Julie Hunt of New Portland with helping to spike the cookies with Ex-Lax. Police say Hunt's daughter and two other teenage girls baked the cookies using an entire box of the laxative. The goodies were left on the teacher's desk with a note saying, "We made these cookies just for you, hope you enjoy them." Police say the prank sickened four seventh- and eighth-graders. The girls aren't facing criminal charges, but have
been suspended. Hunt has pleaded innocent to a charge of misdemeanor assault.

Not Mine Either

The speculation is over. Britney Spears really is pregnant again.
Spears told David Letterman she's pregnant with her second child. She told him, "Don't worry Dave, it's not yours."
This ends speculation dating back at least two weeks when I first reported this story.

big brother

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Professor Reyes Keeps it Loose

Great article on about Jose Reyes’ role in keeping the Mets clubhouse atmosphere light.
Includes this paragraph:
“Those outside of the clubhouse also get a glimpse of Reyes' charisma and friendly attitude. During games at Shea Stadium, the infielder plays to the crowd with the popular "Learn Spanish with Professor Reyes," a taped skit on the video board in which he teaches fans a Spanish word or phrase. Reyes admits his English is getting better "little by little" so the professor bit is a nice way to have some fun and practice his own pronunciations.”

Let the Man Rest in Peace

Kirby Puckett’s fiancé say Puckett told her he wanted his ashes spread over an inner-city baseball field.
Puckett’s children want the ashes and are in a dispute with the fiancé over who should have them. A funeral home is holding them for now.
In his 2003 will, Puckett named his children, who live in the Twin Cities with their mother, as his primary beneficiaries. But he didn't leave written instructions on what should be done with his ashes.
Puckett's children have said that they want the ashes. Five of his siblings have signed court papers saying they want the children to have them.

Mets Trade Possibilities

Barry Zito: I'd rather not go there especially if the price is Lastings Milledge. Zito has been inconsistent for three years now but this trade seems the most likely.

Odalis Perez: Would cost the Mets about $20 million to have him for this year and next. I know it's only money but he is not good enough to warrant that much, there has to be some discipline. The Dodgers seem ready to move him so he might not cost that much in players.

Jason Schmidt: This would be a great acquisition. I wonder how much the Giants would want. I'd assume definitely Milledge and possibly more.

Dontrelle Willis: The ideal. Right now the Mets are two years away from having no starting pitching. He would be an ace for the next 10 - 15 years. I'd trade Milledge and Pelfrey and maybe even more. Prospects are just prospects. Willis is still young and already a proven winner.

Roger Clemens: Might make the most sense but I hate him. I don't want to pay him $20 million and risk having him alienate his teammates with his schedule or another roid rage like when he threw the bat at Piazza.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Fantasy Nail Biter

The Outsiders finally won a game this weekend, but it was a close one.
Going into Sunday basically 12 of the 13 categories were decided, 6 for each team. On Sunday was passed the batting average lead back and forth. I thought we had a comfortable lead -- 4 points -- going into the afternoon games. His guys went nuts, ours went 4 for 19 I believe with all 4 of those hits coming from Felipe Lopez. We still had a small edge heading into last night's game but the guy, a Phillies fan, has Utley, Abreu and Burrell. They start off 4 for 7giving him the lead. Then in the 8th inning they get up one last time. Burrell had been taken out for defense so it was down to Utley and Abreu, anything other than two outs, would have cost us. Both guys struck out, we won batting average .2817 to .2810 and take the week 7-6.

Bachelor Party Awards

Time to hand out some awards from Mike's bachelor party which took place this weekend on the Norwegian Dawn in international waters off the coast of Manhattan.

Best karaoke performance: Horse singing "La Bamba." I've never seen anything like it. He hit every word dead on (and the whole song is in Spanish). The dance moves were great, he really made it his own and got the crowd into it. Ladies ran up on stage during the song, I think one shoved a dollar into his pants, and another threw her panties on stage. We got a hot one tonight.
Runner-up: Josh and Jeff singing "To Be With You." It started slowly but once Josh started hitting the hook in the Ace Young falsetto, it was awesome.

Worst karaoke performance: Beers doing "Lose Yourself." All the screaming and two previous songs took a toll on his voice. I think he also underestimated how hard it is to rap that fast while you are dancing around like a fool. Also, it was a bit pitchy in spots.
Runner-up: Josh falling off a chair doing an air guitar. I didn't see this but a guy told me "did you see that guy eat it?" Must have been a classic.

Easiest way to make $20: Beers getting food at the barbecue for 6 women, a couple of whom were ok looking and a lot of fun to hang out with later.
Runner-up: Jeff following in Beers' footsteps with women who were a lot less attractive and less fun.

Best quote: "I've got to be careful, everything I eat goes right to my biceps." - Austin, while flexing and making a scary face.
Runner-up: "We're early risers." - Paul to the Romanian kitchen lady who looked at us funny when we asked for food at 5:15 AM. This lady ended up sitting on Jeff's lap, giving us salad and cookies and telling Mike she wanted to fry eggs on my belly.

Best gambling story: Mike Finamore splitting sixes, then splitting sixes again, then one more time...and winning all four hands.
Runner-up: Whomever was playing the $500 minimum blackjack table. The limits were so high we were relegated to $10 blackjack in the backroom. Craps was $25 minimum, even at 4am.

Gayest moment: Dan and Derek's good-bye. "Bye Dickie." "Good to see you Dickie." Then they got into a five minute conversation about which one of them was actually called Dickie.
Runner-up: Matt dancing on stage, shirt open except for one button, wearing a blazer that had been completely soaked through with sweat. For the most part this is what we expect out of Matt, that coupled with the gayness of the Dan-Derek goodbye is why this didn't win the category. But what added to its gayness was two things, first, in order to stay cool while dancing Matt decided to unbutton his shirt, not to remove the blazer. But the cherry on this sundae was that this was his second blazer of the day. He brought two blazers on a one night cruise. Incredible.

Worst Smell: Dave's cigars. Every time I saw Dave for 16 straight hours he had a cigar in his hand. I only regret that he isn't a cognac drinker. The Dazzles bar had a bottle of Courviosier. That may not surprise some of you who were on this ship.
Runner-up: Josh's farts. I don't remember any particularly bad ones but by rote I know they were there.

Death Warmed Over Award: Beers. I didn't see half of the travelers the next morning so he sort of wins by default. The fact that he slept in his clothes helped add to his wrinkled look, although I think the shirt stayed tucked the entire night.

Some additional random thoughts:
Austin told a girl she could be a Barker's Beauty. I told her I liked her dimple, then I put my finger in it. Her last name was Rojas. I hope her first wasn't Melanie.
My new drunk gimmick is to ask people how old they are. That cute piece of jailbait was only 15. The curly haired douche dancing with her was 17.
Requiring you to use a card to pay for drinks and adding an autogratuity, makes it easier to run up a huge bill. I don't think any of us spent fewer than $75 on drinks.
That douche who kept running on stage and grabbing the mic during karaoke sort of looked like Omar Minaya.

For additional cruise analysis please see Pizza Parlor Derek's thoughts.

If Beers Had Another Kid

An L.A. radio station has launched the "Name Your Baby Lou Dobbs Challenge" to any illegal immigrant willing to brand their infant after the CNN host.
It's the brainchild of Lalo Alcaraz and Esteban Zul, hosts of the Pocho Hour of Power on KPFK, in reaction to what they claim is Dobbs' "soft bigotry in a three-piece suit."
"He used to have a business show, and now it's all-immigrant, all the time," Alcaraz told us. "Call me crazy, but if I had a TV show, I'd do different topics. And what he's doing is a kind of cultural bigotry that [immigrants] are inferior in some way. In reality, they're working their asses off. It leads viewers to think, 'Now I can discriminate against Panchito.'"
Last month, the media watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting called Dobbs' "tone on immigration consistently alarmist," with the founder claiming that Mexicans are "an army of invaders" who want to reannex parts of the U.S. for Mexico; that "illegal alien smugglers and drug traffickers are on the verge of ruining some of our national treasures," and that "the invasion of illegal aliens is threatening the health of many Americans" through "deadly imports" of diseases like malaria — and even leprosy.
About the contest, Dobbs was uncharacteristically silent. "We don't have a comment," his spokeswoman said.
Despite hundreds of dollars' worth of baby merchandise as prizes (see, there've been no takers so far.

Lou Dobbs hates Mexicans

Airplane Safety to the Extreme

Aviation officials say a passenger doing her nails was the source of a mysterious odor that forced a flight from Chicago to San Diego to be diverted to Denver Saturday.
United Flight 787 was forced to land at Denver International Airport after the flight crew detected an unknown odor.
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer says the pilot noticed that his cargo included several five-liter containers of acetone, a hazardous substance.
A check found none of the containers leaking.
Authorities later determined the odor came from a passenger who was doing her nails on the flight.

A Good Day to be a Sandler

Adam Sandler and his wife, Jackie Titone, had a baby. The baby is a girl, but she has not yet been named. Jackie converted to Judaism in 2000. According to his website: "Kid is healthy!! Wife is healthy!! He's still a moron, and that's all that counts!!! - 05/07/06"

Herbert and Marion Sandler own 10% of Golden West Financial, which is going to be bought by Wachovia for $25 billion. That's about a $2.5 billion windfall for the other Sandlers.

the proud parents
wedding day, nice yarmulke
Meatball is going to be a big brother...I don't condone putting a yarmulke and a tux on a dog, but this picture isn't too bad, because it doesn't make Meatball look like a person
the other Sandlers

Wagner vs. The Phillies

This week's big series against the Phillies is going to have some added intrigue thanks to Billy Wagner.
Last July, Wagner said the Phillies "ain't got a chance" of making the playoffs and criticized his teammates for not having enough intensity, saying they quit when they got behind. Wagner says after that, they held a team meeting which he felt was "24 against one." He also said Pat Burrell called him a "rat" during the meeting.
Expect Wagner to get roundly booed this week, if he has to come in.

Mets Rotation

With the injury to Victor Zambrano and the less than adequate performance from Jose Lima added to the injuries to Brian Bannister and John Maine, the Mets are in a serious quandary about what to do with their rotation after Pedro, Glavine and Trachsel. Because of today's off day the Mets could keep everyone (inclding Lima) on regular rest and not need a 5th starter until Saturday. At that point Bannister will be eligible to come off the DL. If he's not ready but only needs one more week then they should call up Jeremi Gonzalez. If Lima doesn't improve that could present another problem.

I don't want them to rush Pelfrey.
I don't want to sign Roger Clemens.
I wouldn't mind trading for Dontrelle Willis and giving up Pelfrey and Milledge.
I'd take Barry Zito, but not give up too much for him.
I would be cautious about moving Heilman because the bullpen has been such a strength of the team. But that seems the easiest and most obvious option, even if it does mean increasing the important outs we'll need Jorge Julio to get.

To sum it up, they should give Lima time to nail down the job and Bannister time to heal. If either of those don't work they should put Heilman in the rotation and if they both don't work, go after Dontrelle.

It's Lima Time

Jose Lima, G-Span's favorite player, made his Mets debut and frankly didn't get off to a very good start. He pitched ok, kept the team in the game but 5 runs in 5 innings is not good enough. His hair is great (Gary and Keith spent an inning discussing it), and his wife is amazing so I think that should earn him a couple more starts. His personality and wardrobe should make for some good posts.

Zambrano Out For the Season

Rick Peterson called it "a punch in the soul."

I call it "manna from heaven."

Well, maybe it's not that great but if the Mets don't reach expectations this year, we won't have Victor Zambrano to blame. During Saturday's game he hurt his elbow and just ran off the mound. He tore a tendon in his elbow and will likely be back for spring training next year.

The strange thing about this was, right before his last pitch Randolph, and the trainer, Ray Ramirez, visited the mound and Zambrano told them he was fine. Apparently, earlier in the week he told Pedro (his best friend on the team) and Jose Reyes that his elbow hurt. Maybe all the Hispanic players feel closer to one another than to the English speaking coaches. Zambrano could have at least spoken to Manny Acta.

He said he realizes now that he should have told them, but he wanted to pitch through the pain. He said he's felt pain before and pitched through it. But after that last pitch be felt something pop.

He probably will never pitch for the Mets again. Rick Peterson will never get to prove how great a pitching coach he is by salvaging Zambrano.

Braves 13 Mets 3

Just a horrible game. But every team has games like this and now wasn't a bad time for one. Lima looked bad, but not horrible. Enough to earn himself another start maybe.

Bartolome Fortunato imploded. But hopefully he can shake it off. I think he has potential.

Beltran hit another home run. He already has half as many homers as he did all season.

Heilman, Sanchez and Wagner all got to take the day off which is good news going into the off day today.

Not much else to say about a loss like this. They happen sometimes but the best time to have them happen is when you've already taken the first two games of the series.

A big series looming against Philadelphia. The Phillies have won 8 in a row.

Mets 6 Braves 5

I didn't see this game so this recap will be short, but I want to get something on record for every game all season, plus this game may turn out to be historically significant.

Victor Zambrano tears up his elbow but what made it so weird is the way it happened. I was listening to this part on the radio. Randolph goes out to the mound in the second inning, Zambrano says he ok. Then he strikes out Jones, and starts to run off the mound. Tom McCarthy says "there's only one out Victor." But he ran off the mound right into the clubhouse. The announcers said the way he ran off seemed more like three outs than an injury. But we know now he's out for the season. More on this in another post.

Another 7th inning comeback with some key hits. Very encouraging.

All told, a decent performance from the bullpen, especially considering they were called on to deliver 7 2/3 innings in a day game after a 14-inning game the previous night. The continued emergence of Julio is encouraging because with two on and a one run lead in the ninth he got Renteria out.

Victory guaranteed a win of the series against the Braves, and the 5-2 homestand I asked for last week.