Saturday, June 03, 2006

I'm Finally Home

Just got home from Shea after about 10 hours. Of all the bad ideas I've had in my life this doubleheader was one of the worst. We sat through a 150 minute rain delay before the first game even started. Our seats were so far back in the mezzanine, that we couldn't even watch the Diamond Vision entertainment.
I got so bored that I decided to take a walk underneath on the concourse and I missed the most exciting a part. A photographer came by and took pictures which the Mets try to sell you. So I didn't even get in the picture with my dad.

The second most exciting part was that during the rain delays on the scoreboard the Mets played a steroids Public Service Announcement and the crowd went wild each time.

I left Subway at 11:30 am and arrived home at 11:30 pm. In the interim I ate a Subway roast beef sandwich, and at the game I had a hot dog, chicken tenders with fries, popcorn and a soda. $20.25 on food at Shea.

Once the games started it wasn't that bad. Most of the short break between games we spent waiting for food. There were 40,000 people there for the first game (or tickets sold, but there were a lot of people) but probably 5,000 stayed for the start of game 2. Those Shea seats are not comfortable enough to sit in for 10 hours. Therefore I can type no more, I am going to go lie down and will write my game recaps in the morning.

One lonely fan braves the rain delay, thousands of fans were packed onto the concourse of the field level

I Love a Rainy Night

Because that means a doubleheader the next day. As soon as I heard the Mets were playing a single admission doubleheader I called my dad and he agreed to go. I bought our tickets online (Mezz back rows, in case its rainy during the games) and printed them at home, easy peezy Japanesey. Check back later tonight or in the morning for a full recaps of both games. Double your pleasure, double your fun, double your learning Spanish with Professor Reyes. I can't wait.

Friday, June 02, 2006

He Should Have Worn Loafers

Before last night's game, Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, the best closer ever, hurt his back tying his shoes. The Yankees had a 5-0 lead, which dwindled to 6-5 in the 9th. Kyle Farnsworth came on to protect that lead, and blew the game. Tigers 7, Yankees 6.

Tale of The Tape

Last night while watching the Spelling Bee I was struck by the similarities between the Scripps National Spelling Bee and The World Series of Poker. Let's break it down:

What you hear in the lobby:
Poker: bad beat stories
Spelling: bad puberty stories
Edge: poker, no one wants to hear about your awkward teen years.

TV coverage:
Poker: Hundreds of hours on cable
Spelling: Two hours on ABC
Edge: spelling, you can't beat network prime time

Winner gets:
Poker: millions of dollars and a bracelet
Spelling: thousands of dollars for college and braces
Edge: spelling, you can't put a price on a good education

You can't play along at home because of:
Poker: the pocket cam
Spelling: the banner with the word on it
Edge: poker, even though they hold off on the banner until the kid starts spelling, I'd still like the suspense of waiting for that bell

Announcer commentary:
Poker: "He never should have gone all in with ace-jack offsuit."
Spelling: "She should have known that was a W, it was from the German"
Edge: poker, no one wants to hear you kick a little kid when she's down

Impressive achievement:
Poker: Dan Harrington finishing 3rd and 4th in consecutive years
Spelling: Rajiv Tarigopula finishing 4th two years in a row
Edge: spelling, I hate Action Dan's green Red Sox hat

Annoying icon:
Poker: Phil Hellmuth
Spelling: Rebecca Sealfon (the fingers to the mouth girl)
edge: spelling, Hellmuth is so annoying he makes Sealfon look sane

Rebecca Sealfon and her magic fingers

Famous quote:
Poker: "You call it's gonna be all over, baby." - Scotty Nguyen, 1998
Spelling: "Do the chickens have large talons?" - Dominic Errazo, 2005
Edge: poker, I fuckin hate that movie

Best "Cheap Seats" episode (they've each had at least three):
Poker: 1994, Miyagi vs. the fat guy
Spelling: 1997, Christine Lombardo and Rebecca Sealfon
Edge: spelling, Jason and Randy at their best

Bad luck:
Poker: running into pocket aces
Spelling: running into words from the Swahili with Greek combining forms
Edge: spelling, nothing hurts more than when your opponent turns over the bullets

Hollywood's take:
Poker: "Rounders"
Spelling: "Spellbound" and "Akeelah and the Bee"
Edge: poker, quality not quantity

Poker: old school pros vs. online schmoes
Spelling: 14 year olds vs. 9 year olds or the Indian kids vs. everybody else
Edge: push, a sport is only as good as it's most heated rivalry

Shocking moment:
Poker: Chris Moneymaker comes out of nowhere to win in 2003
Spelling: the Canadian girl says "zed"
Edge: poker, no one wins if we allow our cultural differences to divide us

Interested spectators:
Poker: girlfriends with too much makeup and angry poker players who've already been eliminated and have big money riding on the outcome
Spelling: overbearing parents
Edge: spelling, they do it out of love

How they spend their free time:
Poker: playing in cash games
Spelling: tae kwon do, violin and chess
Edge: spelling, being well-rounded is very important

Winner: Spelling, the youthful exuberance of the spellers triumphs over the beaten-down hard luck pessimism of the poker pros.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Fun With Numbers

The Atlanta Braves used 5 pitchers tonight. The first four ended the game with different ERAs, all of which begin with 3 and end with 8.

Horacio Ramirez 3.18
Macay McBride 3.68
Chad Paronto 3.38
Mike Remlinger 3.78

Cleaning Out My Mom's Attic

Never forget the six dollars.

Worst piece of shit ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhver

Baby's All Growns Up/Cleaning Out My Mom's Attic

Found these three ID cards. The first is junior golfer discount card, the others are ID cards for internships. Surprised that CBS required a SS# on an ID card. I guess identity theft was not yet in vogue.

Let me see yo' ID

Lastings Milledge Rookies

Lastings Milledge made his rookie card debut in the 2004 Bowman set. Pictured below are the regular and gold versions. Right now the cards list for $2 and $5 for the gold. They will probably double now that he is in the majors. Last year, or the year before I went to a card show with the Mike formerly known as Coach. (We have two Mikes reading this blog and I fear a Pizza Parlor Derek/Georgia Derek confusion situation is arising.) Mike bought one, maybe two packs of 2004 Bowman and got the Lastings Milledge. He immediately said "that was a waste of money" but I warned him that Milledge was a top prospect. I can't confirm the veracity of this story because Mike refuses to check his closet for the card.

2004 Bowman and Bowman Gold Lastings Milledge rookie cards

I Love Baseball Cards

I have always loved and enjoyed collecting baseball cards. So much of it appeals to me, putting them in order, collecting sets or players, trying to buy the rookie cards of up and coming young players. For a time in my teens we sold cards at shows, but that became onerous for my dad once I went off to college. Now I simply buy a few boxes each summer.
My preferred brand is Bowman (Home of the Rookie Card). But new major league rules prohibit companies from making cards of players who have yet to play in the bigs. That will effectively kill the panache of Bowman which previously made a set with like 165 unknown minor leaguers, hoping that a few of them would become big stars.
The joy for me was each year buying cards, putting them in order and putting them away. Then, several years later a player emerges and you go downstairs and voila you find that you have 5 Jonny Gomes rookies (or something to that effect).
In the coming months, I will be sharing more about my hobby and more about my collection specifically.

I've Got a Third Leg, But This is Ridiculous

A boy in China was born with 3 arms, 2 on the left side.


Pizza Parlor Derek has come up with a list of the top 10 (actually 11) sluttiest women in TV history.
I think his list is pretty solid but there's so much room for debate especially when it comes to reality TV.

Where does Gabrielle Solis rank?

So Much For My Happy Endy

I have no idea why The Concierge likes Endy Chavez so much but he wanted to see today's paper and here it is. I'm as happy for Endy as the next guy. We'll try to get to the bottom of this love affair between Endy and The Concierge.

She Knows the Dangers of Drugs

Lisa Turtle aka Lark Voorhees is suing the National Enquirer for libel. Last year, the rag said that she was hospitalized for cocaine addiction. She claims its not true and has a doctor's note. She also claims the lie cost her acting and hosting jobs.

there's no time, there's never any time
I'm so excited, I'm so excited, I'm so...scared

Cross off the Cross

In his major league debut Lastings Milledge wore a 4-inch cross around his neck that hung out from his jersey. The wooden cross was so large that it covered up part of the Mets crest on his chest. But that bling was ancient history yesterday, as Milledge was ordered by manager Willie Randolph to tuck it in his shirt.
Milledge obliged without hassle and the cross hung in his locker, rather than around his neck.
According to SCZA, Randolph said “It’s okay to express your religion…but it’s just not part of the uniform. I was afraid he was gonna knock himself out if it hit him in the head."

all praise to Allah

The Throw

Nine years ago, a young rightfielder made a perfect throw from deep right to third base to throw out a runner. That day I fell in love with Vladimir Guerrero.
Last night, I fell in love with Lastings Milledge. I no longer want to trade him for Willis. I want to watch this guy throw out runners for the next 15 years.
It's a play that Mets fans will forever remember as "The Throw."


Two great pitchers treated us all to a great game. Thought I would treat you all to a couple of cool pictures of these guys right after the point of release.


Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Mets 1 Diamondbacks 0

What an enjoyable game. I love a good pitchers' duel much more than a slugfest.
Brandon Webb vs Pedro, awesome.

The team shows great heart constantly coming back and repeatedly winning in the last at bat and/or in extra innings.

Lastings Milledge dropped a fly ball. Luckily it didn't turn into anything so it will pay off as a learning experience.
Pedro was very gracious about it after the game. Saying he told Milledge not to worry about it, that it's a team game and he would pick him up, and Lastings would pick up Pedro at times. Which he did.
That throw to third base was awesome.
The in game interview with his parents was so awkward. They were either nervous or not paying attention because they're answers were short, rehearsed and sometimes not even related to the question.

Great play by Jose Reyes in the 10th inning. After Green stole he second, Reyes fielded an easy grounder and fired to second to get Green. Wagner ruined it by walking the next batter but it was still cool.

Wagner was good last night. And my favorite player, Duaner Sanchez was absolutely spectacular.

I got very nervous when I heard Jorge Julio was warming up in the bullpen. Then I remembered he doesn't play for us anymore.

Willie has no idea what to do with bunts. In the 11th, he had Reyes sacrifice the runner to second. But in the 13th he should have saved his last player (Castro) and had a pitcher bunt him to third. Having a guy on second with 1 out means you need one of the next two hitters to get a hit. Moving a guy to third with 1 out means you need the next hitter to hit a flyball.

After the Reyes bunt LoDuca struck out on a bad call, he did go all the way around. It was cool though because for some reason SNY picked up LoDuca arguing with the ump. He said "No way! No way! You gotta ask! You gotta ask!"

Luckily for SNY, Lo Duca did not say fuck you, you mother fuckin cock sucker

Beltran looked in a lot of pain after fouling the ball of his knee. He may be ready Friday though, or expected to miss only a couple games at most. If he does we at least have Endy Chavez to fill in

Another injury for Beltran

Remember this about the 1986 Mets. What made them so good was that everyone was contributing. Remember this about the 2005 Mets. Once you got past the top of the order, the bottom half was full of automatic outs. Last night the game winning run was a result of hits by Jose Valentin and Endy Chavez.

Mets win!

Another Hot Mets Fan

Alyssa Milano was in attendance at the May 19th Mets-Yankees game. She was wearing a retainer. She was not wearing a bra. And like Julia Stiles, she too smuggled raisins into the Stadium.
Alyssa is evidently a huge baseball fan and has been romantically linked to Carl Pavano and Brad Penny. She was spotted behind the Blue Jays dugout at Sunday's game against the White Sox.

What An Ass-tro!

After months of waiting, and lying about it yesterday Roger Clemens has agreed to pitch for the Astros for the rest of the year. He signed a full year contract worth $22,000,022, meaning he will get about $12.25 million if he makes his first start on or about June 22nd. That is his intended launch date after a few minor league starts.

The First Day of the Rest of Milledge's Life

Hopefully the loss to the Diamondbacks will be a game that we remember for a long time, and if we do it'll be because it marked the debut of Lastings Milledge.

Milledge got four at bats, hitting a hard liner to short, and two groundouts to the left side. But his third at bat was a ripped double into left. He'll always remember his first major league hit.

"I'm thinking about not falling down," Milledge said with a smile when asked about running toward first on his first hit. "It calmed me down. Now I don't have to fight for that first hit."

Overall, I was impressed with Milledge at the plate and in the field. Obviously, you can't judge a position player by one game but I'm very excited to watch him play.

The reaction he got from the crowd was very nice, in all of his at bats. Mets fans embraced Wright from his first day and hopefully Milledge can join Wright and Reyes as cornerstones of this team for years to come.

There are still a lot of questions about what will happen to him when Nady comes back, but for now we must hope he knocks the cover off the ball for a month or so.

Lastings Milledge made his major league debut at 21 years and 55 days old. That's the exact age to the day that Darryl Strawberry was when he made his major league debut in 1983.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Great Form

I promised a picture of Julia Stiles throwing out the first pitch and here it is.

Julia Stiles smuggles raisins into Shea Stadium
sooooooo hot

Dog Day at the Park

Last night was another Dog Day at Shea Stadium. Fans and their pooches filled the picnic area of Shea Stadium. Tickets were $26 for humans and $5 for dogs. Dog ticket proceeds, as well as a portion of the human tickets will benefit North Shore Animal League America.
On Saturday, Sept. 23, 2006 North Shore Animal League America and the New York Mets will host another Dog Day at Shea Stadium.

If you would like to attend the event, please make sure that your dog is:

• Dog and family friendly.
• Leashed at all times in and around Shea Stadium. The leash should not be longer than 4-6 feet.
• Healthy and fully vaccinated, including rabies vaccination.

Water will be conveniently available for your dog and the picnic area of the stadium will be set up to accommodate all visitors and their dogs.

I am strongly considering bringing Diesel. But Kate hates the Mets and is working that night. I will need at least one other person to help with dog wrangling. If you are interested let me know.

Last year, on Dog Day at Shea, the Mets gave Pedro Martinez an 8-0 lead against Livan Hernandez and the Washington Nationals. For some reason Willie took Pedro out after six innings. In the 7th the trio of Graves, Koo and Heilman allowed six runs. Looper came on in the 9th to save it, and blew the game. The Mets did however get a game winning hit from Chris Woodward in the bottom of the 10th. The dogs went home happy.

Diamondbacks 7 Mets 2

Obviously the most important part of last night's game was the debut of Lastings Milledge. But I'll leave that to another post and use this space to discuss the game. And what a horrible game it was.

The Mets need a pitcher. Soler is another failed experiment. For some reason everyone thinks he did well in his first start. He was horrible in the first inning and could only go 5. He was even worse tonight. He sucked in the first inning and in the 5th.

He gets too riled up on the mound. Everything that happens upsets him and drives him to distraction.

Rick Peterson tries to keep Alay Soler from harming himself

An unusual play gave the Mets their first run. Batista fielded a bunt by Soler and threw to third. But Tracy wasn't covering. He was able to catch the ball, but his throw to first was wild allowing Floyd to score. Gary Cohen said "the Diamondbacks completely messed that up."

Initially that play was ruled a hit for Soler, his first major league hit. It was then changed to an error, so I guess he had to give the ball back. I wonder if the Mets have ever had two players get their first major league hit in the same game.

Paul LoDuca's hitting streak was snapped at 13 games.

In the 4th, 6th and 7th innings, Floyd, Delgado and Milledge respectively led off with doubles and were stranded.

Jose Valentin hit another home run. So did Eric Byrnes.

Tonight's matchup of Pedro vs. Webb should be a good one.

This is the Mets 7th 3-game home series. None have been sweeps. The Mets have won 5 out of 6.

You Can't Grieve Forever

Only a couple weeks after the death of his younger brother Justin (Josh is the gay one) caused him to miss three games of the Cavaliers series against Detroit, Larry Hughes is evidently still working his way through the grieving process. This weekend he was in Miami for Urban Beach Week, drowning his sorrows in big booty hos and a very funny t-shirt.

I heart strippers too Larry, oh, broken heart, even better

Hopefully He Gets His Wish Tomorrow

Marbury told the New York Post that he wants to "die a Knick."
"If I ever was to be cremated, I'd want my ashes sprinkled on top of the Garden."
"Playing here has always been my dream. I want to be in New York more than any place."
Despite the team's dismal 23-59 performance, Marbury thinks the players on the roster can improve.
"I hope that every player on this team comes back next season," Marbury told the Post.
"I honestly mean that. Every player. I think we have a great team. I think it will be so much different next year."

Not a Jew!

As part of Jewish Heritage Day, Sunday, the Marlins gave away Mike Jacobs T shirts — even though Jacobs is not Jewish. Jacobs said club officials told him they were separate promotions.
"They said it wasn't done intentionally but I don't know about that,'' Jacobs said. "It's a big joke around here.''

5000 kids wearing these t-shirts to salute their Jewish idol

Brad & Angelina Statement

“We would like to deeply thank the staff of the Cottage Medi-Clinic Hospital for all their kindness and commitment in assuring the successful birth of our daughter,” Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt tell PEOPLE in an exclusive statement.

PEOPLE reports that Angelina and Brad’s obstetrician from Los Angeles, Jason Rothbart, M.D. was assisted by the local staff of the Cottage Medi-Clinic Hospital.

“Angelina underwent a scheduled cesarean due to breech presentation. The baby was a healthy 7lbs. Brad was with Angelina in the operating room the entire time and cut the umbilical cord of his daughter. The surgery and birth went flawlessly. The staff, nurses and doctors I worked with at the Cottage Medi-Clinic Hospital were amazing, it was a team effort,” Jason Rothbart M.D., tells PEOPLE exclusively.

At Last(ings)

"At Last(ings), my love has come along. My lonely days are over, and life is like a song." - Etta James

"I know how a woman in labor feels, waiting nine months for that baby to come. And, boy did that baby come. She was a big one, wasn't she?" - Deion Sanders, after a rough first month as a Redskin (back in 2000) on his punt return in overtime that set up the game winning field goal.

Many Mets fans probably can relate to both these quotes today. The Mets have called up top outfield prospect Lastings Milledge. Xavier Nady was placed on the 15-day DL after undergoing an appendectomy this morning.

I'm really surprised the Mets did this because I would have thought Willie would like to use the opportunity to get some of his bench players like Endy Chavez, who's been great, into the lineup.

I hope they didn't call Milledge up here to sit on the bench and occassionally pinch run for the next two weeks.

Milledge, 21, was batting .291 (53-for-182) with 32 runs scored, 16 doubles, two triples, four home runs, 19 RBIs and eight stolen bases in 50 games for the Norfolk Tides.

The Pizza Parlor is Serving Fresh Meat

Pizza Parlor Derek discusses the new season of MTV's Real World/Rules Challenge, called Fresh Meat.
To keep the franchise from getting stale MTV added some new characters who have never been on MTV before. But they kept some of the old faithfuls like Tonya from Real World Chicago. You may remember her on her season as the girl who was sick all the time, an orphan (like Kellie Pickler) and had a boyfriend whom she talked to on the phone 24/7. You may also remember the roommates composing a song about her that went something like this "kindey stones and kidney stones, walla walla, walla walla, justin justin justin."
Now in her challenge days she is the angriest, meanest character who fights with all the girls and sleeps with all the guys. Below is a picture of her at her finest, posing (if that's the right word) for a body shot.


A not safe for work look at Tonya.


Racecar drive Helio Castroneves and Survivor host Jeff Probst. I know this one is good because I showed Kate a picture of Helio and asked who he looks like and she said "Jeff Probst."

Jeff Probst
Helio Castroneves

Airplanes are Terrrrrrrrrrrible

From this morning's New York Times:

At 6-foot-11 With Bad Ankles, He Wants an Aisle Seat
I'm 6-foot, 11-inches tall — not the tallest guy to have played in the N.B.A., but I still tower over the average traveler. I'm on the road about 200 days a year, trying to contend with airline seats and hotel rooms that, to be honest, were not built with professional basketball players in mind.

Don't get me wrong: I love to travel, especially during the N.B.A. playoffs.

I started flying regularly when I joined the circus that is basketball while I was playing at U.C.L.A. in 1970. I wasn't a stranger to air travel. As a teenager, I bought one of those weekend passes on the old P.S.A. that let you fly anywhere in its network for a few bucks, and we followed the Grateful Dead around California.

When I fly now, I have to be careful not just about the airline I choose, but also the aircraft type. I like an airline with a positive attitude. On domestic flights, I'm a card-carrying Southwest Airlines frequent flier — I love their spirit and their service. I also get the seat that I absolutely must have in order to be comfortable: The right-side, aisle seat. No bulkhead.

I've had 32 operations on my legs, and the ankles in both legs are fused together. My left leg got it the worst, and when I fly, it has to be stretched out. The flight attendants see me coming, and they know me. I can almost hear them say, "Oh no, not him again. The tall guy with the aisle seat. Hot water and orange juice."

And yes, I've had a few run-ins with the beverage cart. The attendants try not to hit the leg.

On longer flights, it's all about the plane. The best aircraft for me is the Boeing 777, a long-range, wide-body jet that is used on a lot of international routes. I find that it has the most room. I also like the Boeing 767, followed by the 757.

The most difficult, for a tall guy, is the MD-80. They're so small that I can't stand up in them. When you fly somewhere and you're not sure what kind of airplane you're going to be in, you find yourself asking questions like: "Will I be able to stand up on this flight? Will I be able to fit into the restroom?"

Hotels can be a challenge, too. You ask for the biggest bed that they have, and you sleep corner-to-corner. And no matter what, you hang off the side of the mattress. Sometimes, the ceilings in a hotel are so low that you can't stand up.

You would think that's the worst thing that could happen to you, but there is one thing that tops it. And that is being handed the keys to a smoking room. The moment you walk through the door, you smell it. You can't breathe. You can almost feel it taking years off your life. It pays to have a good travel agent who can make absolutely sure you get the room and flight you need every time.

I'm not one to complain, though. There are a lot of people who have more serious troubles than I do. When I have to find a place for my left leg, I consider myself lucky that I can still use my legs. And when I'm trying to squeeze myself into an economy class seat, I wonder how people like Yao Ming of the Houston Rockets manage to travel.

I only come up to his shoulders.

Mets 8 Diamondbacks 7

A great victory, the type of game that championship teams win.

I'll start with the bad parts first.

I'm sick of Steve Trachsel. He always pitches just well enough to lose. It's not a coincidence that the best game he pitched all season was when the Mets got shutout and he lost 1-0. I shudder at the thought of him pitching in playoff games, and if El Duque doesn't emerge he may have to pitch twice. Imagine getting to the World Series and giving Trachsel the ball in Game 7 because Pedro and Glavine can't go on three days rest? I'm getting way ahead of myself, but it's all by way of saying Trachsel sucks.

Aaron Heilman also sucks. He really has been adequate at best this year. Since his great appearance in the first game of the series against the Yankees he's given up 6 runs and 6 walks in 5 and 1/3 innings.

Carlos Delgado has been in a terrible slump. He's 7 for his last 50. A .140 hitter.

Jose Reyes is awesome. Even though he couldn't get the scarifice bunt down he was able to get the big hit to drive home Chavez. He has been getting a lot of big this year. 27 RBI is a lot for a leadoff man. On pace for roughly 85.

LoDuca had a great game yesterday and has been a good hitter all season, but he has only 14 RBI. About half of what Reyes has. He's hitting .333 with the bases empty and only .219 with runners in scoring position.

Jose Valentin has one more RBI than LoDuca. He is going to be our starting second baseman if he keeps playing like this.

Is that coffee, or do I smell Cliff Floyd percolating? Remember he is in a contract year and he hit 34 homers last year. He has the potential.

And how could I forget David Wright. He is clearly not Mike Piazza. Last night was his third game winning hit of the season. All walk-offs at home, to center field. In the fourteenth inning against the Braves and of course the one to beat the Yankees.

The Mets are now 10-0 in the first game of home series.

Wright comes through in the clutch

Monday, May 29, 2006

A Sexy First Pitch

The first pitch of tonight's Mets game was thrown out by Julia Stiles. Julia is a big Mets fan who evidently doesn't like to wear a brassiere. Despite that, and her evident nervousness, she went to the mound, did a half windup (sort of like pitching from the stretch) and fired a rainbow to Paul LoDuca, which he caught. Gary Cohen graciously pointed out that any first pitch that reaches the plate on a fly (and is caught by the catcher) is a successful one. I first fell in love with Julia when I saw her at the 2001 MTV VMAs (below) wearing a Mets halter top. During an interview at the same awards show she leaned forward then said "I just flashed everyone my thong." So I love Julia Stiles. The other two pictures below are Julia at Shea Stadium last year as part of an ALS fundraiser. If I find photos online of tonight's first pitch I will post them.

The shirt that launched by love affair with Julia, apparently it took five t-shirts to get the cut right.  They don't sell this sexed up halter at Shea Stadium
With David Wright and Clare Danes
She looks pretty good with a big stick in her hands

The Old & The New

By winning this afternoon Randy Johnson became the 10th pitcher in the major leagues to win his 7th game so far this seaon. The interesting thing about the list is that only one of the pitchers (Freddy Garcia) is between ages 28 and 38.

Four of them are old guys: Curt Schilling (39), Tom Glavine (40), Kenny Rogers (41) & Randy Johnson (42). Three of those four will very likely be in the Hall of Fame someday.

Five great young pitchers are on the list too: Brandon Webb (27), Josh Beckett (26), Oscar Villareal (24), Justin Verlander (23) & Scott Kazmir (22). Who knows if any of those guys will join Kazmir in the Hall of Fame but it should be interesting to watch.

Footnote, Villareal is an interesting case since he has gotten all 7 of his wins out of the bullpen, but it still counts.

If I Were the Commissioner...

If I were the Commissioner of Major League Baseball this is what I would do:

The San Francisco Giants are coming to New York to play the Mets this weekend. I would call Barry Bonds into my office for a chat.

"Barry, have a seat. How are you feeling? Knee, ok? Congratulations on passing Babe Ruth. You've truly had a great career and you are one of the best players to ever play baseball in the major leagues. Now I am going to give you the chance to control your own legacy. In this folder (gesture to accordian folder on the desk) is evidence turned up during the steroids investigation being conducted by George Mitchell. I know your body is aching, and that you are constantly in pain. I think maybe it's time for you to retire. I think we both know that Hank Aaron deserves his record and that you are honored to be in second place. But if you keep playing into next year to try to break Aaron's record, I'm going to be forced to release this evidence. And the public outcry is going to be so great that I am going to have to expunge all your accomplishments from the record books. Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro, they're all gone. That's not a coincidence. Before the end of the season announce your retirement. Say your body just won't let you do it anymore. Major League Baseball will throw you a big celebration. I'll be there. We'll give you a car. Then after the season, we'll announce the investigation discovered a wide-ranging steroid problem in baseball over a number of years, too wide and too long to correct in the record books. We'll move baseball into the new steroid free era. And you will be forever recorded as having the most home runs in one season, and the second most in a career. Thanks for coming in Barry."

P.S.: It doesn't matter if I (or Selig) actually has proof. Bonds knows what he did, no matter how much he tries to deny it. I really think Selig should try this because the thought of McGwire being awarded the single season home run record would probably be enough to convice Bonds to retire. And if Bonds hangs on as a DH next season to break Aaron's record it would be the biggest sham in the history of sports and would rob baseball of the one thing it has over all the other sports, the sanctity of it's records.

It's 715

How Alex Rodriguez Proves the Existence of God

It's Saturday afternoon, May 20th, the Mets are playing the Yankees in what is one of the few very important series baseball teams ever play in May. The Mets have just blown a 4-0 lead. As visions of a sweep danced in my head Billy Wagner swept them away, letting the Yankees tie the game. Now in the 10th inning the Yankees have Giambi on first and the AL MVP batting with no one out. My morale as a Mets fan was at an all-time low. But I wasn't worried. Alex Rodriguez was up. In a big spot. He hit into a double play.

Justin doesn't believe in God. He is a man of science. From his perspective his beliefs in science are contrary to the existence of God. They cannot both be true. Scientists and aetheists will tell you that everything can be explained by science, even that which cannot be proven can at least be explained. I consider myself a man of science. Research and logic can prove a lot of things about the world we live in. But certain things cannot be proven, and that is where God comes in.

The ground breaking book "Moneyball" shed liight on a new era of statistical analysis in baseball. Batting average was overrated, on base average was underrated -- a walk is as good as a hit. Stealing bases and sacrifice bunting were bad strategies. All of this could be proven using statistical models that simulated games between a team of 9 "player A" who was slow and walked a lot vs. a squad of 9 "player B" who was fast but had a low OBA. But one contention made in the book never rang true with me. Billy Beane and his disciples contend that there is no such thing as clutch hitting. It's a myth, it's luck and it can be disproven by statistics. Over time all players (except for the rare statisical anomaly) will evenutally see his numbers in the clutch regress towards his mean performance in all other situations.

Back to Alex Rodriguez for a minute. For last three years (2003-2005) A-Rod hit .302. Bases empty: .311. Runners on: .292. Scoring position: .273. Close and late game situations: .276. Those batting averages do show some decline in under pressure but are within a reasonable statistical variation. In home runs per at bat we also see a decline from how often he hits a homer with no one on, to how he does with men on base or in close, late game situations, but once again, it's close.

What about in the playoffs? When the pressure is really on? Is that when A-Rod becomes the choker we all know he is? Even though he hit .133 in the ALDS last year he still has a .305 career batting average in 118 postseason at bats. His at bats/home run ratio of almost 20 in the playoffs is worse than his regular season average but that can be attributed to facing better pitching.

Some would say this proves that A-Rod is the same hitter and likely to succeed equally in all situations. Even though I agree the statistics do show that, I can't agree. It's just something I feel when A-Rod is up and the game is on the line. I guess you could call it faith. I can't prove that A-Rod will choke in the clutch but I'm pretty sure he will. I can't prove that God created the universe, but I'm pretty sure she did.

Postscript: Since that Saturday game A-Rod stranded 7 runners in the Sunday game against the Mets and in the next week he hit a homer when the Yankees were losing 9-1, one when they were winning 4-1 (both against Boston) and two homers against the Royals in a game the Yankees would eventually win 15-4.

If A-Rod grounds into a double play with the game on the line, God exists

Best Episode of Mike'd Up Ever

Those of you outside of New York and maybe some of you who live in New York may not even be aware that after the local news on NBC on Sunday nights you can watch fat Mike Francesa pontificate about how great the Yankees are, on a show called Mike'd Up. This week's episode was the best one ever.

The first guest was David Wright, wearing a pink shirt. Evidently, he does that a lot.

Second guest was Bill Walton, of course one of my all-time favorite people. He said the Knicks situation is killing the league because New York is so important. He said Steve Nash is his favorite player, Boris Diaw is second. This is a great playoffs and every game has seemingly come down to a shot with the ball in the air. He is promoting a contest for Guinness to get them to install a bar in your home. Which reminds me that he was on Quite Frankly earlier in the week and he asked Stephen A. if he was Irish. Also he was in Sports Illustrated's silly little pop culture game and his response to which celebrity people tell him he looks like: Bill Russell.

And the best part of Mike'd Up...there was no Mike. It was hosted by Bruce Beck.

Mess With the Bull You Get the Horns

One of Kate's favorite actors has passed away, Paul Gleason, the principal in "The Breakfast Club." He was 67, and died of mesothelioma, a rare form of lung cancer linked to asbestos which he may have been exposed to while working construction jobs in the 1950s.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

He Did It!

Barry Bonds just hit home run #715 to pass Babe Ruth. It came off Byung-Hyun (Bunghole) Kim in front of the home crowd in San Francisco during a game in which Colorado is now winning 6-2.

Mets 7 Marlins 3

A nice easy Sunday victory to take the series.

The first inning was a disaster for Florida and showed why young teams don't win many games. Two infield singles, a third that should have been handled by Jacobs but rolled to right field and an error on Ramirez. The Mets barely hit the ball out of the infield and got four runs.

El Duque quickly squandered that lead allowing two walks and a home run. Overall, he looked pretty good, sort of in a Brian Bannister walk a lot of guys, pitch out of trouble and only have enough to go five innings way. He was good enough to win today but if he is going to be in the rotation the rest of the year the Mets are going to need for him to be more effective.

the famous El Duque leg kick

Heath Bell did a nice mop up job to save the bullpen.

Beltran hit another homer. He is on fire, 87.5% of the way to last year's total already.

So the second base job is up in the air and will be split between Matsui, Woodward and Valentin. Evidently, Anderson Hernandez won't get another crack at it anytime soon. As I mentioned previously the bench is pretty well set and bringing him up would mean getting rid of someone else. I'd like to see Woodie step up and take the job.

Best news I heard all season: Rey Ordonez was in the Mets locker room before the game, speaking improved English and indicating that he hopes to be able to play for someone next season.

Cliff Floyd and Ed Coleman both went to last night's Heat-Pistons game. Not together though.

But Ironhead, What's With This Thingy?

Former NFL running back Craig "Ironhead" Heyward died at age 39 due to a brain tumor that doctors were unable to remove. Heyward was a good player, who had his best years with the Saints and Falcons. He's well known for having been impossible to bring down in Tecmo Super Bowl. And he's most famous for his Zest Soap ads which showed him in the shower trying to convince guys to use liquid soap and that little poof. Famously, in a high falsetto he said "But Ironhead, what's with this thingy?"
Rest in Peace big guy.

Inside the Mets Locker Room

After Thursday's game (a loss to the Phillies) Pedro Martinez spent part of the postgame standing naked in front of his locker, loudly offering to settle a spat between a sportswriter and a TV staffer that spilled into the clubhouse. Martinez threw the boxing gloves he keeps in his locker on the floor and proclaimed, "I'll be the referee and I'll be naked," as his dressing teammates howled in laughter. No, I don't have a picture for this.

Pedro Retirement Talk

This is so stupid to talk about two years in advance but I'd be remiss if I did not bring this to your attention. Notice, no mention of his beloved flowers.

Pedro Martinez has enjoyed every pitch and every second he has spent in the majors, but he's already planning his retirement as an active player, possibly when his current contract with the New York Mets runs out after the 2008 season.

"I've sacrificed my life, my good years, to baseball. I want to go home while I still have the energy to spend time with my family," Martinez told Work is good and it dignifies men, but I want to enjoy the fruits of my efforts. I plan to enjoy a nice retirement and a healthy life after baseball.

"I don't want to leave the game on crutches or in a wheelchair without having dedicated myself to my children and my family," he added.

"I've done a lot in a short period of time, and now my body must pay the price. A lot of people get startled by the fact that I'm 34, but the thing is that in seven years I worked more than 95 percent of the pitchers in MLB," Martinez said.

"In order to achieve 200 wins and 3,000 strikeouts, you not only need to pitch in 200 games and 1,000 innings, but you must also count your losses, indecisions, and all the work at the bullpen," said Martinez, who has pitched 2,580 innings in his career.

He signed with the Mets for $53 million and four seasons in the winter of 2004. The agreement will end after the 2008 season.

"I'll most likely retire after this contract, but it'll depend on how I'm feeling at the time, and if I'm feeling then like I am now, my Dominican fans and my family wouldn't forgive me if I don't retire."

Martinez, is not completely recovered from an injury to the big toe on his right foot, which kept him from playing for his country in the World Baseball Classic and limited his spring training practice.

"After every game, my foot swells and I have to go through an intense process of massages and treatment for four days to prevent the swelling," he said. The only day I don't work my foot is the day before the game."

Martinez wears a shoe specially designed by Nike to keep the injury from getting worse.

Celebrity Baby

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt had a baby girl Saturday in Namibia. A great place to have a child. Shiloh Nouvel Jolie Pitt joins Maddox and Zahara in this fucked up family. Anyway, I never realized that Brad was 12 years older than her, I wish them well.

Namibia, known for its great child care

Celebrity Baby

One of Justin's all-time favorite chicks, Gwen Stefani gave birthday to a baby boy, Kingston James McGregor Rossdale on Friday, Justin's birthday. Kingston was 7.5 pounds. The father is Gavin Rossdale of that cheesy band, Bush. The baby was delivered by C-section in an LA hospital.

Let's see how long it takes after childbirth to get her figure back