So, here we are, Christmas Eve, over three months since the Mets Memorable Meltdown put the boards over the windows of the 2005 season and we’ve already had several Thanksgivings in between.

Well, what’s under the tree, Santa Omar? (which in his native tongue of course, would mean “Saint” Omar which might be taking the giddiness levels a little too high even in the wake of the signings of Pedro, Beltran, Delgado and Billy Wagner over the last two seasons.)

Isn’t this more fun than “Moneyball” and the nickel and dime gaming?

Think about those names. Four All-Stars in two seasons and a stable of at least two can’t-miss future All Stars in David Wright and Jose Reyes to join them.

No matter how much money you have – look at the A’s over the years and the Yankees since the franchise back was dislocated by a disheartening bottom of the 9th, Game 7 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks – it’s still about what kind of team is put together. Chemistry, relaxed clubhouse, steady hand in the dugout, good pitching, good defence and a hot hand in the bullpen. No matter how many we get of these All Stars we aren’t guaranteed even breaking the Atlanta Braves’ death lock on the NL East.

This season’s free agent signing was more of a no-brainer than a General Managing show of wizardry like the Pedro and Beltran signings last season that got this franchise back up on its wheels.

But still, just because you need a top flight closer, doesn’t mean you’ll get one. Look at the Indians. How comfortable would you feel going into the season with Danny Graves, Steve Karsay and Bob Wickman in your bullpen? Yeah, Wickman saved more games than ever last season but he’s no longer an ageing closer, he’s a bloody aged closer. Signing Wagner was the best case scenario and Omar pulled it off by playing Spendball. Good for us, for a change. That’s two years running.

Aren’t the Marlins an odd franchise? Two World Series Championships as an NL Wildcard and two absolute guttings of the franchise. I wonder if this came up in Joe Girardi’s interview for manager of the Marlins.

”So, Joe, let’s take a hypothetical situation like, we decide to sell off the majority of our decent players in a market correction move and your managing job will be staying out of the basement rather than winning the World Series…”

Isn’t the Big Hurt a bit ironic a nickname for Frank Thomas these days?

Ok, the Nats franchise is even odder, granted. Instead of that “N” on their caps, they should have a big question mark stitched into it. Who will own the team? Where will we be playing in a few years? Who will be the GM, the manager and the ballboys? How will we stay ahead of the Marlins and out of the NL East cellar? Who will have a more disappointing season than Alfonso Soriano and who will make a better scapegoat for Nats fans when things go tits up?

You can’t knock the time is now trade for Carlos Delgado. It’s a huge trade filling the gap of power that dogged the Mets so often last season in the middle of the order. Carlos Delgado versus Doug Mientkiewicz or Mike Jacobs, think about it. Yeah, “maybe” some day losing Yusmeiro Petit will hurt but Pedro Martinez doesn’t have a few years down the road to wait and frankly, I want to see Pedro win a World Championship with the Mets. Plus if you’re trading a pitcher like Petit, you want something a little more forceful in return than a Victor Zambrano, don’t you?

Speaking of Mientkiewicz, how would you like to fill out the Royals line up cards next season with Grudzielanek giving fans two word jumble names to deal with. I guess when you’re losing 100 games in the season, you need something to keep it interesting…

In a way, Pedro’s lingering toe pain might be a blessing in disguise, provided it does eventually heal before the end of Spring Training. It might mean that he won’t make the fool-hearted choice of pitching in the classic for the Dominican Republic and wasting precious innings for the NL East when it matters. Pedro can pitch for the Dominican Republic when his contract expires but right now, I can’t help but feel he owes his first allegiance to the Mets rather than himself.

Don’t let the trade of outfielder Matt Diaz by the Royals to the Braves fall under your NL East Offseason Radar. He hit .281 in 89-at bats this season and is my choice for surprising Brave of 2006. The Braves didn’t do themselves any favours though by losing Rafael Furcal but gaining Edgar Renteria, getting older in the middle of the infield and surrendering their top 3B prospect in Andy Marte. Marte had “Met Killer” written all over him and it’s a relief to see him off to the American League.

Sayanara, Kaz Ishii. Ishii was Omar’s panic move of the season, losing our built-in Piazza replacement in Jason Phillips when Trachsel’s back went kuput and the Mets were facing a dodgy situation with a starter shortage. Ishii, a poor man’s Victor Zambrano, was pretty much what his track record as a Dodger would leave you to expect: treading the fine line between useless and mediocre.

Getting rid of Ishii will not resolve the pending issue next season of a fragile sore-toed Pedro and the potentially rediscovered Tom “Six Inning” Glavine heading the rotation of what is likely to be the early NL East favourites in 2006. Cautionary tales incubating for those of us with high hopes. I don’t mind keeping Benson but given the age and fragility of our two leading starters, I’d feel more comfortable with some innings-eating insurance pitcher being brought in to give the starting rotation some meat with its proverbial potatoes. With an unpredictable supporting cast of Zambrano, Seo and Trachsel filling in the gaps, the bullpen will have to be a lot heartier than it has proven to be in the past.

Had Omar not traded for Ishii, the Mets wouldn’t have been looking for a starting catcher and wouldn’t have had to spawn another somewhat desperate move, losing Gaby Hernandez to gain a 33 year old catcher. So those ripples caused by Trachsel’s sudden back surgery will continue to move outward, far into the future if Gaby Hernandez turns out to be a somebody.

Lo Duca is not a bad trade if you are focused on the winning-now-rather-than-later foot race. But he doesn’t significantly strengthen the Mets catching defence like signing Hernandez or Molina would have. Monetary constraints appear to have had something to do with this move but considering the absurd inflation tied to the worth of an injury-prone Cliff Floyd, trading his salary and getting a serviceable number eight-hitting left fielder in return, plus signing Hernandez or Molina might have been a wiser move in the long run than trading for Lo Duca. Kenji Johjima might turn out to be a star for the Mariners but with the stumble-studded history the Mets have had with Japanese players, I can’t say anyone deserves a kicking for watching the Mariners sign him. I can’t even eat sushi anymore without the name Kaz Matsui crowding my head like a fat lady in number seven rush hour train.

Adios, Roberto Hernandez. Like many of us, I was unconvinced he could repeat his 2005 performance next season. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for Braden Looper. After a season of memorable, painful meltdowns, Looper’s future was anywhere but New York. There’s a reason his demotion from closer to set up man for the last Marlins World Championship team and Looper pretty much proved that for all of us last year. He’ll probable do well as a set up man for the Cardinals but we should never kick ourselves for letting him loose.

Jose Mesa signing with the Colorado Rockies has the potential of giving us one of the worst seasons of relief ever recorded. Then again, the Rockies aren’t going to be in many games that matter so in an odd way, Mesa has the potential to do less damage there.

The bullpen of ours is in need of a massive transfusion, even after signing Wagner. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful world if Heilman turned out to be the set-up man we sorely need? A lefty filling the role would be nicer and several missed opportunities in the bullpen free agent pool mean Omar is going to have to work hard these next few months to salvage a potentially ruinous situation.

It’s funny how greedy fans can get once we’ve had a whiff of spending success. Sky’s the limit, we want to shout from the rooftop of Shea, drowning out the airplanes taking off over head.

We are stronger but we are still in a precarious situation. Fortunately there will be the weakness of every team in the NL East with the exception of the Braves so the regular season won’t be filled with as many desperate stretches next year when it was one powerhouse after another. The Marlins, Nats and Phillies should prove to be easier fodder for us, allowing more concentration for the higher echelon.

I remember several years ago, shortly before Christmas, the Mets traded for Mike Hampton and Derek Bell. Over the moon we were. And in today’s expectation market, that would be small beans indeed.

Have a Happy Christmas, readers. Here’s hoping Omar has some more last-minute gifts for us under the tree.


Happy Valentin's Day

Well, we didn't land Barry Zito and thank christ, no more movement towards Manny Ramirez. We didn't trade for Javier Vasquez nor did we dump Mrs Kris Benson in some fundamentalist outpost in Kansas. We didn't beef up our bullpen and we didn't solve the question of our starting second baseman.

However, we did land Jose Valentin, a .170 hitter for the Dodgers last season with a torn ligament in his right knee. Valentin can play third, second, short and in the outfield.

Here he is laughing it up with Steroidose Canseco as Jose passes Jose the syringe all clandestine-like.

And if that isn't enough to set your heart a-pitter-patter, they then revealed that they're closing in on the amaranthine wonder, Julio Franco.

(Here he is, back in the day when men were men and they didn't need little girly things like fielding gloves to catch baseballs)


What does it all mean? Disaster for the Mets? Hardly, just busy hands with nothing meaningful to do.

On the other hand, you've got Willie Randolph trying to save his job before Spring Training even starts, making excuses before the first injury is announced, trying desperately to pace the expectations of the now-rabid Mets fan who will crave and accept nothing less than the dethroning of the Braves after 14 years in the NL East.

Willie brings to mind the fact that, as pointed out here, in many ways the Mets' situation is similar to where the Phillies were coming into the 2004 season, after picking up Wagner and Eric Milton 1 year after adding Jim Thome, David Bell and Kevin Millwood.

That increased the payroll to around $95 million. What it didn't do was result in a world championship. Or even a trip to the playoffs.

Makes you wonder what it is we're all wondering about and how Jose Valentin fits in.


Mets Another Step Closer To Absorbing Marlins

Not long after having traded two prospects to the Marlins for first base slugger Carlos Delgado, the Mets announced the purging of two more prospects to the Marlins, this time for Mike Piazza Lite.

On its face this Piazza Redux smells like a snoutful of desperation with no sign yet pointing as to what the desperation was based on.

Granted, Gabby Hernandez is no Scott Kazmir, nor is he even Yusmeiro Petit, just a single A pitcher who looked spectacular for Hagerstown and abysmal for Port St Lucie in the Florida State League last season. He could go either way.

However, with two free agent catchers available on the market, two free agent catchers we might add who would have cost zero prospects in return, Omar opted to give away two more young pitching prospects in return for a 33 year old catcher who quite likely has already seen his better days both at and behind the plate whilst plying his trade for the Dodgers a few years ago.

In case we'd forgotten, 33 is not exactly the optimal age for catchers. Bengie Molina is 31, a two time Gold Glove catcher and costs nothing but money. Ramon Hernandez, a 29 year old catcher with a golden arm and a big bat. LoDuca of course, rapidly ageing, declining power skills, so-so batting average and a rather poor caught-stealing percentage, (runners made it safely 89 out of 118 attempts against LoDuca.)

LoDuca will not bring back horrific vision's of Mike Piazza's two hop throws to second but with those two free agents lurking in the background and LoDuca's somewhat pricey future (a cool $13 million over two years) combined with his age, declining offensive skills and less-than Molina/Hernandez-type arms, one cannot help but wonder what Omar was getting so desperate about.

It made sense to offer the farm to Wagner after BJ Ryan's signing. Wagner was a do-or-die signing. It also made sense to trade for Delgado, even at the price he came for as a power-hitting first baseman was an offseason priority.

But Paul LoDuca, the reincarnation of Mike Piazza Lite, is no bargain and this trade is a little less than understandable. We will await further clarification from guru Omar - the extra savings on LoDuca for a star starter?

Please just not Fat Manny and his traveling circus of headaches and primadonisms.


Filling The Holes

According to Fox's Dayn Perry, there is still alot to accomplish this offseason before the Mets and Omar can begin patting themselves on the back, alot of holes to fill, alot more reality to sketch into this situation comedy:

"Sign Ramon Hernandez. The Mets sorely need a catcher, and Hernandez is clearly the best one on the market. He's Piazza's clear superior with the glove, and he'll approximate Piazza's decline-phase level of production with the bat.

Kaz Matsui isn't passing muster as a regular. Make him a utility infielder and trade for someone like Julio Lugo or Todd Walker, or sign D'Angelo Jimenez on the cheap.

Execute the rumored Kris Benson and a prospect-for-Javier Vazquez swap. Vazquez has exceptional command indicators, and going to Shea from hitter-friendly Arizona will help his numbers greatly.

Sign Jacque Jones. The Mets have a fly-ball staff, and they need another capable outfield glove to replace Cameron's. Install Jones in right and religiously platoon him with Nady or Victor Diaz. Jones is a gifted fly-chaser who can man center if needed, and he's also a career .294 AVG/.341 OBP/.488 hitter against right-handed pitching. However, he should never see the light of day against lefties.
Accomplishing the above goals will be pricey, but the Mets have the revenues and payroll latitude to pull them off. Make the above moves, and the Mets will have a lineup without a weakness (so long as Willie Randolph ceases and desists from batting Jose Reyes in the leadoff spot) and a solid rotation from top to bottom to join a capable bullpen."

Others with more prescient qualities, like Mr Metsradamus, advocating the reeling in of Mr Alyssa Milano in a bing-bang, botta-boom sort of trade that might solidify the moorings of a starting rotation which, with the likes of Pedro the Lion whose rotator might just go snap in the night on any night and the 300-or-bust ageing wonder Tom Glavine, not to mention Mr Anna Benson and a tin can trail of homely and unpredictable candidates rolling in the road behind them, might prove by season's end despite all these manoeuvres, to be the ultimate Achilles Heel that bursts our collective bubble of optimism.

For the record, I agree with signing Ramon Hernandez over Benjie Molina but the gaping hole, the thus-far unsortable problem is finding a leadoff hitter who can get on base more than a mere 30% of the time. Yes, we need more bullpen help and yes, we need a second baseman who is not a defensive faux pas waiting to happen, but if we don't get someone who can actually get on base from the lead off position, well, all sorts of ugly things might start happening, like alot of empty base homers from Carlos Delgado, for instance.

So you out there, put your thinking caps on and find us a leadoff hitter, preferably one who plays in the outfield or second base and can field like a wizard. If it takes the soon-to-be-oft-injured Cliff Floyd to swing it, by jove, I think it should be swung.


Splish, Splash, Wagner Chooses Cash

Isn't it wonderful when all your dreams come true?

On the same day the Mets introduced the new-and-improved, no-longer-a-Met-hating-Marlin but a lover of all things New York Carlos Delgado power-slugger we so sorely needed, the flame-throwing closer we so sorely lacked last season announced he has chosen us to be his suitors.

For a cool $43 million over 4 years, Billy Wagner has joined the Mets and Delgado bringing us two for two on the "Oh please can we have a power-hitting first baseman and fireballing closer to end our woe and misery and nearly a decade and a half of Braves domination?"

Wagner of course, we figured we had in the bag - after all, the choice between Philly and New York hardly seems a fair comparison.

But to hear the soothing tones of a shaved-headed Mr Delgado saying all the right things, that he will stand for "God Bless America" and any bad feelings between him and Mets management lingering from last year's negotiations are over, that he did not have sex with that woman, etc., well, it was almost too good to be true.

And just when we thought the good news couldn't get any better, from outta nowhere comes the news that in addition to this good fortune, the Mets have acquired Tike Redman from the Pirates!

It was noted that Redman may be the left-handed-hitting complement to Xavier Nady, the TomAYto, to Nady's TomAHto -who is likely to be the Mets' right fielder against all left-handed and some right-handed pitchers.

It also means that unless we're stockpiling reserves to trade by the metric tonne for Manny Ramirez, Manny is not coming to Shea.

Let's all thank Omar for that. Even if Omar might need a little more convincing.


METS EXCLUSIVE: One Fuck Up After Another

I’ll be curious to see how Mr Delgado reacts to being traded from his first choice to his-not-choice after only one season.

I reckon eventually, he will toe the line, will he shave his goatee?

This man chose not to come to the Mets after they’d signed Pedro and Carlos because he thought the Marlins had a better chance than the Mets and because he didn’t like that Omar played the racist, hey let’s all be Island Hispanics card.

Will he like the Mets any better now that he can become a free agent after next World Series?

Only if the Mets win the World Series.

Otherwise, they gave up their best pitching prospect and a first baseman who may or may not be good.

On the other hand, when the Mets were pursuing this Jackal Delgado, they wanted that final corner piece of power that they didn’t have because they didn’t get him.

If you look at the 2005 Mets, you see on the one hand, nil contribution from Petit and on the other hand, a decent contribution from Jacobs that no one expected.

They expect it so little to repeat from Jacobs, they’ve actively recruited someone else.

Petit may some day be great but he might be just another wash out.

If Delgado comes in with a happy face and Willie Randolph does his salt as a manager, this will not only NOT be a problem, but it will be an asset because the Mets WITH Delgado and without Petit and Jacobs are a better 2006.

When Carlos Delgado still played for the Blue Jays and I still lived in NYC, It didn’t bother me at all that he didn’t stand out there for an American song for a Canadian team. In fact, I liked it because I believed I’d do the same.

My only problem with Carlos Delgado, which I think will dissipate immediately, is whether or not he’ll be a pro, suck it up and play for a team he might lead to the World Series.

If this was an indication of why the illogical Cameron for Nady trade happened, it’s a start. I dunno if Wagner will make it to the Mets but an off season of Wagner and Delgado whilst substituting only Petit and Jacobs, makes the Mets irredeemably better. Especially considering that with the Nats still owner-less and the Marlins tossing bodies off the ship, the Mets have only the Phillies and Braves to contend with any more.

I don’t like Delgado yet. Bad taste from last season like the rest of us butfuckit, if he buckles up, hits the numbers, well he’ll be good for us. Maybe he’ll even like us eventually.


The Mets And The Quest For the Successful Off Season

There are many different prisms through which to view the Mets offseason potential. Mine happens to be very far away yet I can feel the blemishes of the Mets as if they were my own.

Priority One would be to keep Pedro from pitching either in the Dominican Winter League or in the World Baseball Classic. His arm is hanging by a thread as it is with a very nearing ceiling on the number of pitches he has left in it before it’s left lying in one of the backrooms of the Hall of Fame and really, the Mets should insist that for their investment he save Dominican ball and any other pitching cameos for after his contract with the Mets run out. He’s too valuable to the Mets chances to allow his whim to do otherwise. Do Our Business, not Yours.

That said there are more than enough holes in the Mets every day roster to spend months speculating on how they might be plugged.

Power Bat V. Bullpen Stopper: The two sorest points of the Mets season last year were arguably the lack of a big bat in the middle of the order and the lack of a reliable bullpen closer.

Finding a power bat won’t be difficult. They have arguable holes at first base and in right field. Forget looking for a power hitting catcher to replace the no-longer-vintage Piazza. Personally, I don’t even think they should waste free agent bills on the available free agent catchers. None of them has a real gun and frankly, that’s the only business anyone has to overpay a catcher for unless they are Mike Piazza three or four years ago. Spend the money elsewhere.

The closer is tricky business – there aren’t many out there tried and true and even those that are, are capable of unseemly meltdowns at any moment. You cannot guarantee a definitive closer, regardless of if the Mets were to sign Trevor Hoffman or Billy Wagner or BJ Ryan but they’d be hard-pressed to find a more inept replacement than Bradon Looper, who blew the season’s opportunities from Opening Day and was a liability waiting to happen which happened with the frequency of bus stops.

Without a solid closer however, the Mets can forget about getting anywhere near the postseason. Otherwise it’ll be all ass and stink. No shit.

It would be nice to speculate that Aaron Heilman, who performed so admirably in his late-season role of closer despite not wanting to, could fill the hole. Filling the hole from within would be preferable but even though you could make Heilman the closer whether he liked it or not, there’s no guarantee he’d be capable over the course of an entire season. The closing role isn’t really a place for experiments so more than likely, the Mets are going to have to find help from the outside.

Rating the closers Hoffman, Wagner, BJ Ryan all have their up and downsides. Hoffman is old, Wagner is only a season removed from a rotten performance but he’s had the pressure of a city of angry baseball fans to contend with already and Ryan is unproven. Ryan is the gamble for the future, Hoffman the gamble of a career-stopping injury of age and Wagner…well, it’s the pussy on a poster in a bikini that you keep on your wall when you are a kid.

So where are we for a closer, Wagner or bust? Ryan or Dyin?

I’d take Wagner and hope for the best. No one else outside of Philly will pursue him as hard and it seems apparent in a way that he is THE goal of the off season before anything else can fall into place.

No Wagner No Cry

I dunno, score more runs than your replacement closer gives up?

Power Not Manny

Please don’t give us Manny Ramirez, no matter if he came from NYC. He’s a product of seen it, done it, got the tee-shirt. He doesn’t care enough to merit his money nor do his RBIs. Let him go to the Angels with the other Met that never happened: Vlad. I didn’t see the Angels making the World Series either this year.

Personally, I don’t think the Mets need a power bat.

They need a lead off hitter and several hitters thereafter. The White Sox proved you don’t need Frank Thomas to win the World Series.

IF Omar is as smart as I’ve always thought he was, he will find the Lenny Dyskstra Ouch of today’s lineup in baseball.

It doesn’t matter if there is no Nails in the free agent market. It matters that the Mets find the equivalent – soon.

Pedro’s arm has another 35 starts in it, in my mumblehumble opinion – quality starts, before it all starts to go pear-shaped. We can’t waste them and frankly, I think if it were emphasised that NOW and only now is the time and anything less is a stupid, pitiful excuse, one more ring for Tio Pedro, the Mets are in fact quite capable of making a few trading splashes, adding the Wagner made in heaven, sending Cameron and hopefully Cousin Cliffy packing, finding a solid bat to plug right field, a crafty, speedy leftfielder and a few low level free agents to fill in the rest of the pen, the backstop and an insurance first baseman in case Jacobs or his equivilent doesn't pan out.

I’ve got no advices for the Mets or Omar other than:

As our auld friend Al Davis used to moan, Just Win, Baby time is running out.

Earn your keep.


Closing For The Winter

Sad news revealed to avid ABA readers this morning when Jaap Stijl, founder and head (only) writer for Archie Bunker's Army announced he will miss the majority of the postseason and the better part of the winter with a combination of writer's block, repetitive motion strain and no telephone line through which to run the internet.

"Naturally we are disappointed not to have been able to finish out the season," Stijl's publicist, Vladimir Kopf mentioned to reporters at a smoked-filled press conference this afternoon. "Mister Stijl was looking forward to the rampant speculation of which player would be targeted for a billion dollar free agent payoff, which trades would be pondered and executed, who the Mets will get to fill in next season's closer role and who will be their first baseman, among other issues."

Stijl, who currently lives in an auld Roman market town in Warwickshire, could not be reached for immediate comment on the news but has authored several hand-written notes on the matter. It appears he greatly regrets not having been able to appear on the Mets end of the season roundtable and to make end-of-the-season assessments and grades of each player like so many other bloggers in the last of the month.

Rumours that Stijl had entered a substance abuse programme or was undergoing deprogramming from a frog-worshipping cult were strongly denied as absurdist fodder created by news-hungry jackals prone to speculation.

"Mr Stijl is off for the reasons stated, there is no hidden agenda."

Stijl will return sporadically to this website during the coming months and when special Mets news merits and will return full time again shortly before the onset of Spring Training.

To all his readers he wishes a speedy recover from the inevitable depression sure to overcome them and all and reassures them that his time on the Writer's DL will be over before they know it.


One Slice of Piazza To Go

Muchas Gracias, Miguel. Where will we ever find another two-hot catcher?

Awww, go'wan and give us the horns just once more, for auld time's sake...

Meanwhile, back in the loony land of Tio Pedro, our star hurler prepares for the end of baseball and full concentration on the football season with his orange inflatable football helmet.

And here, greeting Mets future closer, Aaron Heilman:

Mets Closing In On Winning, Take Sole Possession of 3rd

By my calculations, if the regular season lasted until December 18th, the Mets would finally be in first place at this rate.

Last night another game, another meaningless victory over the Colorado Rockies, this time by a 3-2 margin which moved them into sole possession of third place. Fish, eateth our dusteth.

The victory was due, in large part, to Marlon Anderson putting a curse on the Rockies in the middle of the game:

Marlon's black magic stifles Rockies catcher Danny Ardoin.

The game also saw rookie Mike Jacobs raise the bar higher still on Met fan expectations for next season with his 10th homer of his reasonably young season.

A Tale of Two Pitchers

Kris Benson, 7 1/3 innings giving up only six hits and two runs sparked vague memories of

Tom Glavine shutting out the Rockies the night before.

Ok, one's a righty and one's a lefty, but they have the same set jaw, the same short hair and oh, well two different wives.

Tom's wife, Chris, cutting up pieces of Tom's auld Braves uniform whilst their son Jonathan, looks on. Chris and Tom are well involved in fighting childhood cancer.

Meanwhile, Anna Benson, sitting around looking trampish, as she does best. Anna's husband, Mr Anna Benson, spends most of his free time discussing philosophy and keeping his wife out of bar room brawls.


Meanwhile, Bradon Looper will undergo surgery to see if the misfiring synapses in his brain which cause him to throw gopher balls at crucial moments in the game, can be repaired.

In related news, Aaron Heilman earned his 5th save of his young season as a closer and will simply have to be called upon to do the same next season as opposed to spending billions of pesos on someone like Billy Wagner.


Notice how serious Willie has been of late about the Mets finishing big?

Now he's got Marlon Anderson starting in right field over Victor Diaz who still cannot field and still has no plate discipline.

Anderson hit a moon shot last night to help the Mets to victory.


Anyway Kids, the Army is off on hiatus for the next month so barring any unforeseen face time with a computer in the next 30 days, this will be the last post of the season. If you wish to be informed via email when the Army returns at the end of October, please drop a line and yea shall be duly notified.

Adios and good luck for the last two games, yea suddenly streaking Mets!


Sweet Lou Is A Free Man

Is Willie Hearing Footsteps?

The Devil Rays officially announced that Lou Piniella will not be their manager next season, opening the door to all sorts of rampant speculation.

No doubt the monkey trust at Wilpon & Co. are quite happy with their fling with .500 under Willie Randolph but oh, how many must be itching to see him back in New York.

Mets Guarantee At Least .500 By Crushing Rockies

Tom Glavine sent his 2005 season off with a brilliant 2-hit performance, guaranteeing both his own first .500 record in three seasons with the Mets AND the Mets own .500 record for the first time since 2000 as the Mets defeated the Colorado Rockies in the opening game of the final series of the season, 11-0.

Glavine struck out 11 batters last night in his last start of the season to finish the year with a 13-13 record and a 3.53 earned run average. It was his 275th career win and his 24th career shutout.

Leading the offensive barrage was David Wright, whose two homer and three RBIS pushed him to 100 RBIs on the season

Mike Piazza added a homer following Wright's in the 5th, his 19th of the season, a massive 450 shot to left field which earned him a standing ovation and eventually, as the heady madness of watching the Mets career of a future Hall of Famer wind down, the barking mad calls for "one more year".

Jose Reyes' strikeout in the 6th was his 683rd at-bat of the season setting a Mets record. It's quite difficult to imagine that Reyes, injury-riddled all last season and with historically hampered hammies, has set a record for at-bats but there it is.

This, or the subsequent post tomorrow will be my last for the next month as, like Pedro, I am cutting out on the season a few games earlier to enjoy my offseason holidays.

Thus, my season-ending grades, comments, eulogies and epitaths will not likely be forthcoming until well after the rest of the blogosphere has finished and the misery that is the Jets well planted and perhaps already bearing fruit.

Mr Sports Net New York looking somewhat like an alien in his own skin

This is no secret but frankly, Manny Ramirez is a really bad Met signing waiting to happen. I can feel the muscles pulling, the bad clubhouse karma and the lengthy spells on the disabled list from here.

Read my lips, Freddy. Manny Ramirez to the Mets is a step back in the wrong direction. Stay away from the Manny, please.

After Elimination, Mets Choking on .500

Last night's 16-6 loss to the Phillies was probably a simple matter of the world righting itself again.

After five consecutive victories had them at 80 victories needing only one more to clinch a .500 season, the Mets finally predictably lost again, and lost big.

Steve Trachsel, having already endured back surgery and a comeback sometimes good and sometimes spectacular pitching performances down the stretch, fell back to earth last night, much harder the Seo the night before, by surrendering 10 hits and 7 runs in a mere 4 1/3 innings - several games worth of Phillies Phrustration coming home to roost.

Chase Utley was yet again a massive thorn in the Mets side by driving in 5 runs including a 3-run homer.

Cliff Floyd his his 33rd homer of the year and has now driven in 97 runs on the season which means with a four game finale at home against the Rockies coming up the Mets stand a good chance of having two 100-RBI men on their roster this season.


Mets Are Eliminated AND Lift Braves To NL East Title

It is perhaps fitting that the Mets won on the night they were finally mathemetically eliminated from the playoffs.

After a very untimely losing slump at the beginning of the month which saw their own postseason aspirations bagged, bound and gutted, the Mets were finally "officially" and "mathematically" eliminated from the 2005 playoffs last night when the Houston Astros defeated the St Louis Cardinals.

Nonetheless, they were perhaps not "philosophically" eliminated because the Mets, following their 3-2 victory in Philadelphia last night have virtually eliminated the Phillies from the wildcard chase and virtually vaulted the Houston Astros into the playoffs instead, appear to have been on some sort of secret crusade to make sure that none of their NL East brethren rode into the 2005 postseason on the NL Wildcard either.

Of course, by defeating the Phillies, the irony doesn't get any thicker than this: The Mets Handed The Braves The NL East.

That's right, lads. Our victory over the Phillies let the Braves clinch the NL East. Chew on that one awhile.

In an odd season that began with five losses and then six victories, the Mets have proven yet again that they are if nothing else, a team of extremes, now having knotted their fifth victory in a row and eight of their last nine, nine of their last eleven, all after a miserable but crucially crippling road trip during which they lost eight of ten games.

We're getting signals from Willie's substation on the moon that even though they had their spirits broken two weeks ago, the Mets are "proving" that they aren't quitters. Well, that's a comfort and an improvement over Art Howe-led teams. They aren't quitters.

Perhaps it's just a little too early to assess the importance of this because right now it feels that whilst they might not be quitters, they are most certainly chokers and regardless of whether or not they are quitters, whether or not we measure our esteem by little moral victories like that rather than victories on the road in the heat of the playoff race, the bottom line remains that the Mets are not in the playoffs either.

Oh yes, why be such a spoiled sport, right?

Hey, look kids, the Mets are great at winning games that don't matter. Hey kids, let's go to Shea today and watch the Mets play for.....Pride.

It's too early and the disappointment still too cutting to sit back with our feet up on the coffee table, picking our teeth with one meaningless victory after another and congratulating ourselves for knocking out the Marlins, Nats and Phillies from the playoffs too.

Let's not forget: we knocked ourselves from the playoffs as well and whilst the scorched earth policy might play well for the kids back in Queens when Willie's season comes up for review, the code word for 2005 was inconsistency.

They Mets had 9 streaks of three or more consecutive losses this season and 12 streaks of three or more consecutive victories.

When the season is measured in the winter months, we can examine how that compares with other teams but from here on the ground, it felt like being tied to fence post: every time they jumped to a start, the length of rope ended and yanked them right back to where they began from.

The Man in the dirt is the suddenly indominable Jose Reyes

And last night, still not mathemetically eliminated, the Mets tossed Victor Zambrano in lieu of Pedro, dog food in lieu of filet mignon. Somehow the Mets managed a victory anyway last night and on Zambrano, I'll let the NYT description suffice:

"Zambrano delivered one of his typical erratic performances. It was as if he were striving to fill in every statistical category on his pitching line."

Perhaps we deserve Victor Zambrano who can finally, trepidly step out of the shadow of Scott Kazmir who last night struck out seven, upping his total to 174 and setting the Tampa Bay single-season strikeout record while simultaneously helping the Devil Rays defeat the streaking Indians and picking up his 10th victory of the season with a six-inning, four-hit, one-run performance that perhaps in a nod to Zambrano, included five walks.

Kazmir: He's No Victor Zambrano - During the month of September, Kazmir is 3-0 with a 1.71 ERA in five starts. Zambrano is getting spot starts out of the bullpen.

So pretty much everything rotten that could have happened last night, happened.

1. Astros won, eliminating the last tiny little hope we'd secretly housed about the playoffs.
2. Braves won and we beat Phillies which means WE helped the Braves win their 10 millionth consecutive NL East title.
3. Victor Zambrano pitched less than five innings of erratic baseball whilst the man we traded to get him set his franchise's single season strikeout record.

Well done on a dying season.

I'll see what I can do in the interim about getting excited at the chance of the Mets catching the Phillies and finishing in second place.


Mets Take 4th In A Row - Wildcard Visible From Next Galaxy

This game had all the elements.

A two and a half hour rain delay during which time Glorified-Third-Base-Coach Willie Randolph played a game of scissors/rock/paper with Pedro Martinez about whether or not he could take an early holiday under that mango tree, the typical Pat Burrell homer against the Mets, a homer by rookie phenom Mike Jacobs, cameo appearances by nearly all our favourite Met punching bags - Danny Graves, Kaz Ishii and Shingo Takatso, an Ugueth Urbina meltdown, a two-run error by Chase Utley and, most of all, an improbable Met victory.

Shingo faced only two batters in the game and got only one of them out after surrendering Pat Burrell's seemingly predictable blast (and Today's Question is which was more inevitable, Burrell's homer against the Mets or Shingo being the one to surrender it) and yet Shingo STILL managed to gain a very undeserved victory for himself, his first and likely last as a Met.

Any suspense about Jimmy Rollins' fabled 30 game hitting streak coming to an end was quickly halted when he cracked the first pitch from New York starter Jae Seo off a beer sign that hangs off the second deck in right at Citizens Bank Park to give the Phillies a neat and quick 1-0 lead that quickly doubled to 2-0 when Met nemesis Chase Utley doubled and Met nemesis Pat Burrell singled him home.

Say what you will about Philadelphia fans being knuckle-walking, arse-whispering pederasts but it's impressive when a guy, even if he plays for Philly, extends his hitting streak to 31 games whilst his team struggles to stay in the playoff race.

And yes, a four-run rally in the 8th inning to give the Mets a 6-5 victory which pushed them a massive TWO games above .500 and inched them ever-so-closer to NL Wildcard chase, was quite impressive. As previously noted the Mets are really beginning to impress me with their ability to win when it doesn't count. They are now only 6 games behind the Astros for the NL Wildcard with 6 games to play and perhaps more importantly, they are only a half-game behind the miserable Marlins for 3rd place in the NL East. The same Marlins Carlos Delgado signed for this winter over the Mets because the Marlins had a better chance to make it to the World Series.

We might want to note for next season's reference purposes when it comes time to scratch out a starting rotation that Jae Seo appears to be falling to earth again.

In his last three starts Seo has thrown 16 innings, surrendered 25 hits and 10 earned runs. It isn't the floodgates of a Shingo appearance or the futility of Kaz Ishii outing but it is, if you'll pardon the expression, a chink in the armour.

It might also be interesting to note that Doug Mientkiewicz was sent in to pinch-hit for Takatsu in the 8th at the tail end of the Mets miraculous rally and as though the Shingo Disease of Incompetence called Shingoitis were transmittable, promptly struck out in his stead.

You can also call attention to the fact that the Mets have belatedly ripped through the NL East portion of their Late Season Win Once It Doesn't Matter Tour by winning 8 of 10 against their NL East rivals including a jarring sweep of the Nats which knocked them out of the competition and two of three late-rally-victories from the properly humiliated Marlins to wreck their postseason hopes as well.

If the Mets were to sweep the Phillies it could very well mean that they were able to keep all but the hated Braves out of the postseason almost single-handedly.

Of course, third base coach and acting manager Willie Randolph sees it differently.

After saying that Pedro would pitch IF the Mets weren't yet mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, Pedro was able to bring Willie to his senses and urge him into believing that mathematically or not, it's time for Tio Pedro to have his offseason siesta.

So, lucky Phillies fans will get a chance at the magical Victor Zambrano piñata tonight instead of a vintage Pedro to ease their Wildcard worries.

Why not just fold up camp and call it a season?

Indeed, even glorified third base coach Willie has demonstrated he doesn't care:

"You just want to win as many games as you can. But to me, what difference does it make -- .500? One game under .500? Whatever. What difference does it make?"

What difference does it make indeed?

What a leader, that Willie Randolph.


Better Late Than Never

So, the Mets have crawled back to respectability, out of the NL East basement. They leave Washington with a 6-5 victory and three game sweep of the Nationals.

And what, we're supposed to forget their diabolical choke job this month? We're supposed to forget the road trip from hell, the gutless fashion in which they laid down for the Marlins, Braves and Cardinals? We're supposed to magically unrecall that Willie is a glorified third base coach in a manager's uniform? Spin in circles, clap our hands, chant and cheer because oh jeez, the Mets really are good after all?

Mike Piazza hits a pair of homeruns, makes a leaping catch and tagged out Brad Wilkerson at the plate in the seventh and we're supposed to get how he dragged his feet to help his team two seasons in a row by learning how to play first base? Are we supposed to develop amnesia about his thousands of two-hop throws to second and the weakest catcher's arm in baseball?

I'm not buying it.

The Washington Nationals deserve to be in last place. That's where everyone picked them to finish this season and that is where they belong. Frank Robinson has been auditioning his minor league players and reserves for the last three games. Why is sweeping the Nats and dropping them into last place suddenly such a big deal?

And Piazza's numbers, when you consider his age and how many games he missed this season, 17 homers and 61 RBIs with a .258 batting average, isn't worse than average, really. Problem is, he's got the throwing arm of an 80 year old woman and since he couldn't be arsed to ever bother learning another position, the only place he belongs is where he belonged the last two seasons: DHing in the American League, out of harm's way, reaching 400 career dingers, doing the one thing he always did well, hit. He didn't belong with the Mets this season and he has no business catching, regardless of what his career offensive numbers might delude the world into believing. Let us not forget, Mike Piazza was always just a crap catcher who hit well --

What we can get excited about is Aaron Heilman's two saves in three games.

Yes, we've all heard Aaron Heilman wants to be a starter, not a closer, but the Mets are chockablock with starters whilst the glaring deficiency in a closer cost them all season. Let him go to the Dominican League and practice closing and if he doesn't want to do that, trade him to the KC Royals and let him start there. We need a closer and Heilman is the man to do it.

David Wright has now driven in 95 runs with seven remaining games to crack 100. His homer in the 8th last night was his 23rd of the season and think about this for a moment - he also hit his 42nd double of the season.

It's also time to begin to wonder who Mike Jacobs really is and where he belongs.

Is a .276 batting average, 6 doubles and 7 homers in 76 at-bats and a .353 on-base average enough of an audition at first base to make a decision? 2 errors over 200 total chances and a .995 fielding percentage at first base is better than Offerman, Woodward and Marlon Anderson have done there and exactly the same as Mientkiewicz did there only with a much less repulsive bat.

So what does the Met braintrust whisper? Let's move him to catcher...

What's wrong with Ramon Castro? He threw out 50% of baserunners trying to steal on him. He hit a respectable .250 with 8 homers and 16 doubles in 200 at-bats. Oh he's no Mike Piazza at the plate, let's break out the goddamned violins, but hey, he throws runners out. He's a defensive asset.

Rather than have little wet dreams over what sort of first baseman we can overpay for, why not leave Jacobs at first? Why not make Castro the starting catcher?

What we should be worrying about is finding a second baseman and a pair of outfielders to sandwich around Carlos Beltran.

What's this blasphemy??

What about Cameron and Floyd you say?

Well, Cameron is a centerfielder, something we already overpay one player to do. We tried all offseason to trade Cameron so let's not kid ourselves. We don't need him. Let someone else pay for 150 strikeouts and a .250 average.

And Floyd will never be worth more than he is right now. He's had a wonderful season for the Mets, his best season since we signed him and he somehow managed to stay reasonably injury free this season. Thank you very much Cliffy, now let someone else pay you millions to pray you don't spend half of next season on the DL.

Overpay for splashy free agents in the corner outfield positions. Overpay for another starting pitcher and scour all of goddamned baseball to find some competent relievers to hold leads for for Heilman to come in and save.

But whatever you do, don't get excited about next year simply because the Mets start winning once it doesn't matter any more.

I dare say that with Benson, Glavine and Pedro, not to mention Floyd playing well, a full season of Wright and even Beltran, Art Howe could have managed this team to .500 so let's have another closer look at Willie too. Before we make the mistake of leaving him in there to lead us yet again to a third base coach's finish.


The Long Road Back To .500

A season of hoping to be in the playoffs is reduced to a season clawing back to .500 and hoping to climb out of the NL East basement but what the hell, it's something, after all and some of the Mets are beginning to show some life.

Might Makes Wright

Last night David Wright hit his second career grand slam to give the Mets all the runs they would need in the top of the first inning and Tom Glavine went eight innings, allowing four hits and striking out six to earn the easy victory but more importantly, Willie Randolph was finally ejected from a game!

On the other side of the coin, Nats manager Frank Robinson, captain of the swiftly sinking vessel called mediocrity in the nation's capital, opted to play, for the most part, rookies and backups, deciding to shut down most of the veterans for the final week of the season, quitting on the team owned by the owners.

"Im not going to challenge any of Earl Weaver's or Billy Martin's records [for ejections]," Randolph disavowed after both he AND Jose Reyes were tossed from the game. "But this one's been building up for a while."

I'll say, Willie. Must have been building like all fucking season whilst you sat on your hands and looked coy from the dugout, never littering the field with baseball, bats and shin guards in an obscenity-laded, spittle-on-the-lips sort of explosive tirade so many other great managers (like, let's say Lou Piniella, for example) are known for.

Finally, we can say with emphasis: our manager is no Joe Torre mannequin wanna-be any longer!

Talk about pulling your career out of your back pocket and going: look what I've found!, over his last 11 starts, Glavine has pitched at least seven innings 10 times and has allowed three or more runs in only two of those games and last night he was simply baffling to these rookies and reserves of the Nats, retiring 14 straight batters at one point and earning the 274th victory of his career, remarkably, grabbing sole possession of 29th on the All-Time Victory list.

"If there was a time when I wished we were going to the playoffs, it's now," Glavine effused. "When I'm going so well." -- interesting quote. Did he intentionally drop the rest of his team when referring to things going well or is he trying to say he only cares about himself and his 300 victories now?

Last night, a mere 11 minutes and 18 pitches into Nat All-Star pitcher Livian Hernandez's outing, it was 5-0 and the right-hander had yet to record an out. When he did, striking out Marlon Anderson, a bit of a sarcastic cheer rose from the crowd of 32,467.

Wright's grand slam gave him 93 RBIs on the season - he'll need 7 in his last 8 games to reach the magical century mark in what offensively anyway, has been a terrific season, one which will certainly garner future All-Star sympathy for him, perhaps as early as next season.

Not much else to say about this other than if the Mets win the rest of their games this season and the Astros lose the rest of theirs well...


152 Games Late, Carlos Beltran FINALLY Shows Up

Ahhh, Carlos me boy, too little too late.

Isn't it ironic in a twisted, melancholy sort of way that in Game 153 of the season in which the Mets need slide rules and astrophysics to figure how to avoid being eliminated from the post season, that the Houston Astros, the team Carlos Beltran bid adieu to in the off season, are nestled quite comfortably in the NL Wildcard lead whilst the Mets, "winners" in the Carlos Beltran Sweepstakes are nestled comfortably in last place in the NL East?

Granted, the Astros are hardly comfortable, they're only a game ahead of the still-hard-charging Phillies. And granted, the Mets are one and a half games from fourth place in the NL East, (a sweep of the Nats would propel them out of the basement but they'll probably choke on that one too...)

And granted, it hasn't been all Carlos Beltran's fault the Mets are in last place, (you could blame an absolute crap bullpen, the Achilles Heel of the Mets this season, if you were feeling generous).

But the cold and ugly truth is that Carlos Beltran failed us so many times in the clutch when we needed him already that last night's 3-run homer to win the game in the 10th inning was like an elaborate joke that took 153 games to set up.

Don't get me wrong. I like Carlos Beltran. He could have quit on the season when he fractured his face in that season-highlight collision with Mike Cameron. He could have pissed and moaned about hearing the boos and the cat calls at Shea like Cliff Floyd and many others have done in the past. He simply stood strong all season, tried his hardest and unfortunately in most cases, failed. He wasn't given that enormous contract to fail but this is, after all, his New York teething period and perhaps after this season is under his belt, we'll see a more clutch Carlos Beltran when it counts.

Still, a three-run homer to win a game late in September should have been pushing the Mets closer to the playoffs, not closer to .500 or closer to getting out of last place in the NL East.

And last night, despite the unusual situation of Beltran's game-winner, was quite typical of how the Mets bullpen has let us down time and again this season. How far removed are these relievers from that horrific Bradon Looper meltdown in Game One of the season against the Reds?

Well, for one, Looper is no longer the closer and if we're lucky, next season he won't even be a Met. But typically, Willie Randolph made a curious decision with his pen that has blown up in Met faces. If the idea of dropping Looper as a closer was to audition closers for next year then what the hell is the 40-year oldish Roberto Hernandez doing in the role? I'll ask again, as I have several times already, why would we want a 41 year old man poised as our closer next season? Isn't there ONE other guy in that bullpen we'd rather see auditioning? Oh, I dunno, let's say Aaron Heilman???

Last night Steve Trachsel pitched six plus scoreless innings, allowing only five hits and striking out seven before being removed in favour of the demolition squad with a 2-0 lead.

Juan Padilla came in to pitch two scoreless innings but then, rather than stick Heilman in to save the game, Willie reached for The Roberto and The Roberto responded by surrendering a game-tying two run homer to Carlos Baerga (oh, remember the days of Baerga and wine?) to blow the victory for Trachsel and nearly blow it for the Mets on a night they had an uncharacteristic 10 hits.

And it was only AFTER Carlos Beltran gave the Mets their 3 run lead in the 10th that Willie went to the man he should've gone to to begin with: Aaron Heilman. Heilman responded by walking one, but saving the game, his second of the season.

So instead of being lumped in with the Astros, Phillies and perhaps even the Marlins for the NL Wildcard chase, the Mets are fighting to reach .500 and inching ever so closely to climbing out of the NL East basement, which is now one and a half games in sight.

Maybe that's why we bought Pedro and Carlos. To keep us out of last place. And how bad does it seem that even with them, we still haven't done it?


I was looking over the season stats to date when I noticed something miraculous:

DO you realise that Jose Reyes has 656 at-bats this season?

Granted, he allows himself to be walked about as often as a leg-less dog but still, if someone told me at the beginning of the season that Jose Reyes would not only avoid rehabilitating those tragically fragile hammies this season but would lead the Major Leagues in at-bats, you could've knocked me over with four shots of single malt and a feather.

Not only that, but his OBP now stands at .302 - for a lead off hitter that is, of course, nothing short of pathetic, and it is the lowest of anyone with over 600 at-bats this season, but let's give credit where it's due - Reyes also has 58 stolen bases, which lead the league and just three nights ago, when his speed caused the normally sure-handed Juan Pierre to bobble the ball in excitement in centerfield and allow Reyes to take second, Jose showed that he certainly has a debilitating effect on players who have to face him.


Oh, what could be.

Tom (occasionally Terrific) Glavine takes the mound today as the Mets attempt to reach .500 once again, this time, against Livian Hernandez, the sometimes ace of the Nats staff. Hernandez however, has a 6.60 ERA against the Mets this season, despite his 2-1 record.

And what the hell, we have little to root for so a struggle back to .500 after it seemed like the Mets had already quit on the season and a battle against the Nats to climb out of last place, will have to suffice.


Pedro Retires Early, Out D-Train'd As Mets Lose 2-1

Pedro Martinez is finally doing the smart thing, he's quitting on the season whilst he's still ahead.

Removed after tossing just 75 pitches over five innings, it is Pedro's will that this be his last outing of this memorably miserable 2005 experience. He can pack up his toys and head home.

Adios, Pedro, have a Happy Offseason

Pedro's inning total has reached 217, the same total he had last season with the Red Sox, the 27 post-season innings notwithstanding. Pedro of course, will be pitching ZERO post-season innings for the Mets this season.

"It's their decision," the Magic Pedro blamed. "I haven't talked to them about it. They can do whatever they want to do. At this point, everything's said and done."

Let's face it. The Mets management isn't smart enough to see that far ahead in the game to shut Pedro down and let him rest for next season a few games early. Hell, they aren't officially eliminated from the post-season yet and as we all know, Willie Randolph is not the kind of manager to throw the towel in early for these "meaningful games" - isn't that why Anderson Hernandez didn't get a start until earlier this week? Isn't that why Looper was still the closer until a night or two ago?

Whether it was Pedro's decision or the Mets, it really doesn't matter - it was a well-overdue move. There is absolutely no reason not to rest him the rest of the season just in case the Mets are somehow competitive next season. I should know, having recommended this move myself some two weeks ago.

But perhaps to sell tickets for an otherwise meaningless game to the Mets, Pedro pitched another, this time against the D-Train who is the only non-LaRussa managed pitcher to hit 7th and whose batting average at 2.50 is higher than his ERA, which is 2.44 to go with his 22nd victory against only 9 losses.

D-Train is fighting Chris Carpenter of the Cardinals for the Cy Young but we're not sure what effect outdueling Pedro for 5 innings and shutting down the teeny, tiny bats of the New York Metropolitans, is going to have on the voting. The Mets are in effect, the tomato cans of the NL East and even though they took two of three from the Marlins, it was only because the pressure is off of them whilst for the Marlins, the pressure is still on.


Last night also so another Mike Piazza swan song.

Summoned as a pinch hitter with two on and two out in the 7th last night, Piazza, we can say, staying consistent with his MO for this sadly fading season, struck out.

No hang on, he was only doing his Carlos Beltran imitation, he said after the game.


Even Though The Season's Lost, Mets Finish Fish Again

The Mets winning run came from an unusual source last night - Miguel Cairo.

Cairo, brought to the Mets as a backup to the Kaz Man, who was brought to the Mets to be their answer to the poor man's Hideki Matsui or the poor man's Ichiro, has been forced through injury and the incompetence of others, to play the majority of the season himself at second base. Not having been brought in to start every night it's rather difficult to hold him accountable for his dodgy starting play all season and let's face it, after the signing of Carlos Beltran, he wasn't brought in to make game-winning hits or lead the Mets to the pennant.

Last night though, he had the game-winning hit just after Jose Reyes ended up on second base by virtue of some daring, Jackie Robinson-style running and whose speed caused Juan Pierre to bobble the ball on a single to center and got Reyes to second base in the first place.

(A Man of Many Talents, Jose Reyes Can Clap And Slide Home At The Same Time)

"When I saw he missed the ball a little bit, I said I'll go to second base no matter what happens," said the formerly hamstrung Reyes, who stole two bases in the first inning to give him 57 for the season, tops in the majors.

So, if you're still keeping track at home, that's four of five victories and two straight series wins. All too late to matter.

But if it's any consolation, the Mets bullpen did its normally flashy job of trying to blow the game. Bradon Looper, as though auditioning to be placed on irrevocable waivers, entered the game with one out in the 8th and after getting Juan Encarnacion out, proceeded to walk, allow a single and then give up a run-scoring single to the 900 year old Lenny Harris to tie the score.

Let's recant the wish to get a closer and make Bradon Looper the set-up man. Let's just get rid of Bradon Looper altogether and start from scratch.

Shingo Takatsu, who has never mattered for the Mets except in circumstances where he could and would blow a game wide open for the opposition, was then mysterously summoned in. Willie's boy, let's not forget. And Shingo, yet another Met failure at busting open the Japanese ballplayer market (Kaz Man, Ishii and Shingo just this season alone), allowed another run-scoring single, this one to pinch-hitter Josh Willingham, who has 36 MLB at-bats over the last two seasons, an impressive resumé. That single gave the Marlins a 4-3 lead and frankly, when you've got Looper followed by Shingo, what more could one reasonably expect?

So let's hand it to the bullpen, or perhaps Willie's usual mismanagement of it, for trying it's best to blow the game but failing.

Now that the games don't matter any more other than to pad stats for the rest of the season and in the instant case, for his career, Mike Pizza had a run-scoring single in the 8th to tie the score at 4-4.

And yes, the irrepressably illogical Willie Randolph, insisting on putting Roberto Hernandez in as an experimentational closer when clearer he is too damned old to do the job next season anyway, sat through a rather nervy 9th when Hernandez proceeded to allow a leadoff double to Conine, who advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt. He then intentionally (so they say) walked Carlos Delgado, and then Juan Encarnacion hit a grounder to second base.

Cairo charged in, scooped up the ball and pump-faked a throw home, freezing Conine. Cairo looked off the other runners to prevent them from advancing, moving forward all the while, and eventually tracked down Conine 10 feet from third.

Cairo's play relieved some of the pressure on Hernandez, leaving runners on first and second with two outs. Hernandez walked the next batter, but then induced Lowell to hit a pop foul to Mike Jacobs to end the rally by the width of a wet taco.


Tonight the Mets, playing for pride and .500, go in for the sweep against the Marlins who are still battling for a Wildcard spot. Dontrelle Willis faces Pedro Martinez in what might have been exciting were the Mets still in the wildcard hunt. But they aren't so this is more like half an exhibition game where the result only matters to one of the teams.

And for the record, that would be the Marlins, who didn't eliminate themselves with a hideous losing streak over the last month and then start winning after all was already lost.


A Win When It Doesn't Count

Win when it doesn't matter.

This reminds me of thinking of a great comeback, a real fuck-you-in-the-face zinger only after the jerk has walked away and it's a week later and it's been rolling around in your head, filling you with a backlog of bile the entire time.

What was it Delgado's agent once said? That Carlos signed with the Marlins because they had a better chance of making the World Series?

Not yet, muthahfuckah.

Even though they managed only four hits in twelve innings of play they somehow came from behind for a strangely competent 12 inning 3-2 victory to win for the 32nd time this season, in extra innings for the seventh time in 13 tries, win in their final at-bat for the 14th time, and on a game's final pitch for the seventh time.

What does this tell you about the Mets?

Nothing. Let's be real.

I like that they've won, don't get me wrong.

But I would have liked better that they had won BEFORE they collapsed and dropped themselves like junkies out of the human race.

So should we be pissants, beatifying our every victory now, after we've let so many slip away when it mattered?

No, we should celebrate the meaninglessness of it, the season, the hopes, the little anginas that happened two or three times this season when we thought to ourselves or aloud, "fuckin hell, maybe we DO have a chance after all..."

No, these are the ashes from wherein a small burst of fire erupts inexplicably.

Must I pantomime the exercise of pretending?

"Wow, two of three from the Braves and now winning the same way we used to lose against one of the teams still in the hunt...?"

Just wait til next season.


the Mike Piazza Doll, you can break it's hand, throw beanballs into it's head, smash it and knock it over repeatedly yet it still won't play first base.

And not to be overlooked, they have won consecutive games for the first time since Aug. 25 and 26.

Floyd made another brilliant throw to cut down Jeff Conine at the plate for the third out, taking Juan Encarnacion's base hit in left-center and producing his 14th assist. Floyd leads the National League in outfield assists.Jeff Conine was thrown out by Floyd while attempting to score from second on Juan Encarnacion's two-out single. Floyd's throw arrived just ahead of Conine, who slid into Piazza's glove as the Mets' catcher blocked the plate.

The collision knocked Piazza onto his back and several feet off the plate. And we could, by reasonably deduction, conclude that Conine is a pussy.

Victor Diaz's 5 at-bat four strikeout routine reminded us that at .259, he is no bargain as a hitter and he certainly isn't yet capable of compensating for the confused manner with which he patrols right field. However, he managed to fist a double in the 7th inning and eventually scored despite an otherwise rough night.

Collectively, the Mets managed only two hits through 11 innings and struck out an appalling 15 times so perhaps Victor was only trying to fit into this strange new Mets offensive philosophy.

Anderson Hernandez had his second consecutive 0 for night in two MLB games and has now struck out three times in eight at-bats.

Kris Benson gave up only two hits on four runs in seven innings of work whilst the Mets were nearly being no-hit by AJ Burnett who did in fact, take a no-hitter into the 7th inning.

"Spoilers are losers," Randolph said, pretty grandly considering that in fact, the team he's managing are by his own definition, losers. "I don't want to ever have my team feel good about being spoilers."

You can tell the Mets aren't taking the season seriously any more when Victor Zambrano is out there pitching in the 8th inning, giving up two hits and an "intentional" walk though no runs and showing us he's still the same auld Victor.

Spoilers are losers Willie, you said as much yourself. But who is the manager who got them there, spoilers instead of contenders?


Glavine Shows Braves Who's Boss, 4-1

There haven't been many moments of to be proud of for these Mets this last month.

We don't have to run through the litany of cock-ups, meltdowns, insults to the fantasy of the post-season, and general incompetence. They are there to be seen like a trail of blood behind a bitch in heat. The Mets had us fooled for awhile but in the end, they couldn't fool their opponents.

So perhaps that's what makes Tom Glavine's sublime six-hit performance against his former team, the gang that has terrorised the Mets for well over a decade and ever since his move to Shea, that much more bittersweet.

Willie and Mr Tom Enjoy the Moment

We've taken two of three at home from the NL East beast on its way to its 14th consecutive NL East title but they were in essence, a meaningless two of three after the flood's tides have just begun to recede and leave behind the evidence of destruction in its wake.

Is it meant to be encouraging? A warning shot fired over the bow to our greatest enemies outside of the Bronx? Or is it merely a harmless snarl after years of getting kicked and practically forgotten?

There's no telling about next year, no telling how Glavine might fare in his quest for 300 career victories, no telling if his added pitches and new attitude will be enough to offset age and the team of blundering failures he joined in 2002. So far, his new team has failed to even produce a .500 season, let alone a championship.

And for awhile yesterday, it didn't seem to matter how well Glavine pitched. Upon taking a shutout into the sixth inning, he surrendered a homer to Marcus Giles to quickly make it what normally seems against these Braves, an insurmountable 1-0 lead.

Victor Diaz, from his free-swinging #2 perch in the order doubled Jose Reyes home in the bottom of the 6th and was swiftly followed by Carlos Beltan's double to allow the Mets to take the lead. Then, almost incomprehensibly, as they'd drawn it up in the pregame, Cliff Floyd pounded his career-high 32nd homer of the season to make it 4-1. Just like that the Mets erased a Braves lead and didn't look back.

Of course, it took Glavine finishing the game himself rather than handing it over to a heartbreak bullpen to actually earn the victory but doing what it takes is something the Mets have not had much success at this season so for a change, the Braves leave town without dropping the Mets in the dumper on the way out.

Needless to say, Mets fans were also heartened by the introduction of Anderson Hernandez playing second base to form what might one day be the Mets super future infield: Wright at 3rd, Reyes at short, Hernandez at 2nd and perhaps Jacobs at first if he isn't coerced into catching instead.

Not bad at all. Hernandez was named the top player at AA Birmingham and Jacobs was named the Mets minor league player of the year. Brian Bannister, who may eventually climb to stardom for the Mets was named their minor league pitcher of the year.

After yesterday, we might be encouraged to hope again, until the memories of this disappointments come flickering back again.


Even with the victory the Mets are still an embarassing three games below .500, left to play the spoiler in their three game series against the Marlins.

As predicted, the Willie Randolph bobblehead giveaway produced a few extras. Rumoured to have an incredible 25,000 bobbleheads available, the crowd only numbered 7,500 and god only knows how many of them even WANTED a Willie Randolph bobblehead. Not unless it can take out the trash or walk the dog.

And as the Marlins approach, it looks like we can no longer deride Carlos Delgado for brushing off the Mets offseason advances and signing for the Marlins because they had a better chance at the postseason.


Lastly how about this kids? The season isn't even over yet and already, the Manny For Beltran rumours have begun.

I wouldn't make this trade. I wouldn't even consider it. I'd laugh in the face of anyone who suggest it. Maybe even spit in their face. Pedro would probably like it but really, no matter how clutch Manny has been, no doubt a Queens ending to his career would prove to be a long series of injuries, disappointments and recriminations against whatever idiot made the trade to begin with. Let the Sox keep their headaches and that payroll eater. We've already got enough headaches as it is.


First And Last, Braves Baffle Mets Yet Again, 7-4

The Collapse has now reached 16 losses in their last 20 games for the Mets and back to their familiar position of Braves-stooges after a Pedro day off from reality, the 7-4 loss yesterday was just another thick roll of fat in a season already obese with disappointment.

They tried to battle back from a 5-0 deficit in a matchup of the first place team in the NL East against the Last Place team in the NL East. But it was clear throughout why the two teams are positioned where they are. One wins with predictability, one losses with predictability.

Ooof! Mike Jacobs juggles David Wright's errant throw that opened the floodgates for a 3-unearned run Braves blowup in the 1st inning. "I tried to pick up David," Jacobs said of the errant throw, "but I couldn't." Typical.

So Wright had his 21st error in a season of costly errors and regardless of his key performances at the plate this season, a reminder that although he is quickly blossoming into a star, he still has a long way to go.

Unable to fully take advantage of an un-Tim Hudson-like performance, the Mets showed yet again that they are fate's favourite victims against the Braves.

After back-to-back walks to Carlos Beltran and Cliff Floyd in the bottom of the 1st, David Wright strolled to the plate eager to atone for flubbing what should have been an inning-ending grounder - instead of homering to tie the game, he watched Hudson walk him, the third batter in a row to load the bases for Mike Piazza.

Piazza, back for his first game since getting beaned, had every chance in the world of making this a memorable close out to his Shea career but instead of breaking the game back open, Piazza's liner to centerfield was trapped by Andruw Jones, incorrectly ruled an out and the inning, just as quickly as hope was sprung, was over.

To his credit, Piazza, fuming with anger at the call, came back in his next at-bat to blast a massive angry homerun to the back of the left field bullpen to make it 5-3 and was quickly followed by Mike Jacobs' even more massive 460 foot blast to the back of the right field bullpen to make it 5-4 but that was the extent of the Mets hopes for pulling off a second-straight meaningless victory over the Braves.

Shingo Takatsu gave Marcus Giles a homer in the 7th to fold up the Mets chances. Still pitching for the Mets? Still in New York? Why?

They made one more effort, in the bottom of the 7th, getting the first two men on only to see Beltran, Floyd and Wright retired with barely a whimper.

Ho-hum, Braves beat the Mets again.

Adding a poignant kick to Met misery was the death of Donn Clendenon, the MVP of the 1969 World Series.

Clendenon hit three home runs and four RBIs during the Mets' five-game upset of the Baltimore Orioles.

The power-hitting first baseman batted .274 and amassed 1,273 hits and 159 home runs over a 12-year Major League career that began with the Pittsburgh Pirates.


The chatter is all about Anderson Hernandez, number one in your programmes, getting set to start at second base sometime in the very near future, perhaps a glimpse of what the Mets might look forward to next season after Kaz Matsui is jettisoned like rubbish out of an intergalactic space ship.

Tom Glavine will face his old team in the rubber match today against John Thomson. Rubber match indeed - does anyone really believe the Mets have a chance to take two of three, even in a series which no longer matters?

If that isn't enough excitement for you, how about Willie Randolph Bobblehead giveaway for today's game? It goes to the first 25,000 fans with enough stomach to bother showing up. Think they'll have about 10,000 left over for the E-bay vultures to pick over?

And, if that STILL isn't enough to entice you, all Boy Scouts and Leaders in uniform will participate in a Pre-Game Scout Parade around the field. How much more exciting can it get?

Stay home, kids. Watch the Jets perform miracles against the Dolphins instead.

If you're ever tiring of the dreary droning about the Mets, have a look at my other sports site:

Sports Amnesia.


Pedro The Maestro Dulls The Pain For A Night

It wasn't so long ago that Pedro was lights-out every game he started and we were afraid we'd run out of superlatives before the end of the summer.

The Maestro Takes A Bow

Alot has changed since then but Pedro's brilliant 10 K, complete game shutout (his first as a Met) of the hated Atlanta Braves reminded us for nine innings of the excitement we felt last winter when his signing was first announced as the stepping stone towards Met competency.

Just last Sunday he helped the Mets snap a six game losing streak and beat the NL-best St Louis Cardinals and last night, he outshined John Smoltz in yet another duel between two old starters who aren't yet ready to be put to pasture. Martinez evened his season record against Smoltz at 2-2. He beat Smoltz on April 10, the Mets first victory of the season. Smoltz won showdowns on April 26 and Sept. 6. ... Martinez now has nine seasons of 200 or more strikeouts.

But in reality, this victory was like fucking a fat chick in some drunken sorority party after breaking up with the hottest chick on campus. It just serves to remind that you can go through the motions and claim success but sometimes that success is just too hollow to bother getting excited about.

WHO would you rather be waking up to after a night's debaucherie?

The Fat Chick; a meaningless 4-0 victory over the Braves with the season in this pisser,


The beautiful ex: A 4-0 victory over the Braves to keep the Mets in first place in the NL East?


Although they won for only the 4th time in 19 games, the Mets, amazingly, are still not quite mathematically eliminated from the NL Wildcard race.

Hmmm, let's see.

If the Mets sweep the Braves, the Marlins win one then lose one to the Phillies, the Nats lose their next two out West and the Astros lose two in a row to Milwaukee, they will be a mere six games from the Wildcard lead with 13 games to play. Of course, everyone but the Cubs would still be ahead of them, that's what, five teams ahead of them?

Mathematically in the race indeed. If the Mets win out the rest of the season, sweep the Braves, sweep the Marlins, sweep the Nats, and sweep the Phillies whilst all their opponents lose their remaining games (except for the dodgy question of when the rivals are playing each other and only one of them can lose...)well, there you go, Mets 2005 NL Wildcard.

Ha, a mere seven games out of the wildcard chase as it stands right now. The proverbial snow ball's chance in hell? A season of waking up to fat chicks?

Even a sweep of the Braves would still see the Mets a game under .500, hardly an encouraging thought.

More likely, the Mets will not have a chance for .500 when they close out the season against the Rockies.

Close, but no cigar - The Kaz Man nearly appears to go for Chipper's Head last night but like everything else he does, just missed.


So it's taken nearly the entire season for Willie to realise the closer's spot needs to be filled by a closer. One of his brilliant ideas to audtion other bullpen Mets is to consider the 40 year old Roberto Hernandez in the closer's role. That sounds like a pretty productive experiment. And if he wins the audition what, we start next season with a 41 year old closer? I sure hope not. And with Aaron Heilman on record as saying he wants to pitch as a starter in the winter leagues and vie for a starter's role next season, the Mets aren't really left with many options.

You don't want to begin next season without a clear cut, potentially dominating closer. Not if you hope to compete - although, the Braves, for whatever magical reason, seem to have done well this season without one.


I wonder, if I lived in NYC and had tickets to go see the game Saturday afternoon if I'd even bother. Why? To watch Tim Hudson shut out the Mets? He's 2-0 lifetime against them with a 0.82 ERA having given up 19 hits in 22 innings of work against them.

Steve Trachsel is 11-13 with a 4.73 ERA in his career against the Braves.

Prediction: Carlos Beltran drives in his specialty: a meaningless run, late in the game and the Mets lose, 5-1.


Once We Were Babes

I'd like to say more but frankly, I can't see the keys so, I'll let this image stand on its own and only suggest.

Hey Look, Kids, Mets Get Swept!

Now listen, I like a humiliating sweep at home just as much as the next guy.

But this, just another too much on the TooMuch-O-Meter.

Swept by the fucking Washington Nationals, the former Montreal Expos, the team owned by the owners, the team everyone or nearly so, picked for the basement. Sweeping us.

LAST lesson of the day, kids. Watching the Mets gives you diarrhea and diarrhea is very dangerous, don't try this at home...

Swept by the fucking Nats. Good one.


Where's The Pride? Mets Quit On Season

"Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean,
Tears from the depth of some divine despair
Rise in the heart, and gather to the eyes,
In looking on the happy Autumn-fields,
And thinking of the days that are no more."

--Alfred, Lord Tennyson: Tears, Idle Tears


You know when players, in any sport, it doesn't just have to be about baseball, start playing to save their manager's, or their coach's job?

You know the story: a team that sucks all season long whose manager or coach's head seems inevitably on the chopping block and then suddenly, the team rises above their talents, or reaches them, flies above their station and goes on a torrid winning streak and either makes the playoffs by hair's breadth or just misses them but either way, giving their fans and the ownership reason to believe that the coach/manager can still inspire his jugheads to victory?

Wayne Fontes practically made a career of doing that for the Detroit Lions back in the 90s when they'd bottom out at the beginning of the season and roar back just in time to save the coach's job every year until finally, they failed and Fontes was gone forever...

You see, I was just trying to lull you back off the ledge with distracting tales of hope and glory from another sport but now reality returns: smack!, Mets lose another to the Nats, this time 6-3.

Rather than rallying around their manager, the Mets seem to be saying collectively, Please fire this pigeon of a man, he's of no inspiration to any of us, he just sits there like a wax museum figurine, muttering platitudes and making sure he doesn't get tossed from a game because he's too cool for that, he's an ex-Yankee after all. Too cool to be associated with we subterranean upstarts and losers, we inglorious and perpetually useless Mets."

In fact, that's Willie over there in his office secretly watching replays of his beloved and successful Yankees, dreaming about the days when he stood out there in Yankee Stadium waving Yankees home from third base. Oh what love. What dedication. He calls Joe Torre nearly every day, Hey Joe, can we tape another Subway commercial, can we Joe, huh, can we? Hey Joe, will you be my friend, hey Joe, can I have my old job back in time for the playoffs?"

I think there's no way to avoid the meaning of a team losing 14 out of 17 of the most important games of the season. The Mets have quit on Willie Randolph and given his utter lack of expression about it, perhaps Willie Randolph has quit on the Mets as well.

Oh, players are loathe to hear they've quit on a season, love repeating some mindless mantra about how hard they're trying, how tough the losses are, etc and blablabla, ad nauseum. But the fact of the matter is, unless you're the KC Royals, you don't lose 14 of 17 and you certainly don't lose 14 of 17 when you're allegedly in the midst of a playoff charge.

Not unless you've quit, not unless you've had your spirit snapped in two and the manager is unable to lift you back into an upright position.

It's a Bitch's Brew, this potion of losing the Mets are gulping down as if it were the last free beer on a Labour Day picnic.

Look at this:

Two nights in a row, the Nationals have someone get tossed from a game. First Frank Robinson gets tossed in Game 1 then in Game 2, Jose Guillen blows a gasket, is thrown out of the game and then tosses shit on the field, still outraged. Granted, Jose Guillen is a bit of a nutter anyway who is well known to crack under pressure but at least the Nats are showing some life, showing they aren't ready to end their season, showing they still know how to win by taking their first two at Shea in this series. When was the last time the Mets took the first two games of an away series? Arizona, the apex of the season, that's where.

Meanwhile the Mets accept their fate of losing like quiet little church mice too busy nibbling on their scraps of cheese as their whiskers twitch, too busy to notice the losses left in their wake like little mouse pellets of shit.

Guillen took a called third strike from Kris Benson leading off the inning. After he went back to the bench, he was thrown out of the game by plate umpire Bill Miller, sparking his tantrum, his spark of life, his spastic rallying cry.

"He yelled and cursed at me out of the dugout," Miller said. "I ejected him. That's it."

Guillen first tossed a batting helmet out of the dugout. After a bat boy retrieved that, he threw a few bats onto the field. Once those were collected, he tossed a shinguard.

"It was a ball," Guillen said. "I don't like it, I let my anger come out, I did whatever I need to do."

Coincidentally, mere moments after Guillen was tossed and nearly spontaneously combusted on the field, Preston Wilson and Vinny Castilla clubbed home runs on back-to-back pitches, turning a tie game into a 6-3 victory, a rallying point, a distinct moment that yet again showed the difference between a team with guts and a team of gutless quitters.

With 16 games to play, the Nats are now just three back of the Florida Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies. Know where the quiet little church mice quitters are? So fucking far back from the NL Wildcard chase they might as well have continued right on losing after their five loss start to this season - we didn't request the side dish of a false sense of excitement.

The more games the Mets lose in this fashion, the further they slide down into oblivion, the more apparent it becomes that Willie Randolph is not the man to get the job done.

He's a far cry from his beloved Yankees, who instead of losing 14 of their last 17, have actually WON 12 of their last 17, 22 out of their last 32. Wonder where the Mets would be had they put in a similar performance? They'd be leading the NL Wildcard race by about three games, that's where!

So in case those keeping score at home have fallen asleep, Willie Randolph is NO Joe Torre. He's a glorified third base coach who is obviously in over his head.


On the other hand, perhaps everyone should be thanking the Mets for holding out as long as they did.

You know, if the Mets really do suck this bad - hard to believe, I know with one of the better starting rotations in the league, a guy who single-handedly nearly led the Astros to the World Series last season, and a few Hall of Famers on their roster, but bear with me on this one, then perhaps the Mets have actually outperformed their true level of talent for most of the season - perhaps they really are no better than a .500 team, or perhaps they are stuffed with AAA players up a year or two too early or perhaps they are just a very, very expensive version of the Cincinnati Reds, who knows?

And if the Mets really DO suck and if they've simply been playing over their heads all season (will this be Manager Willie's rationale in post-season discussions on how to save his job?) then this collapse was inevitable. You can't keep your head above water forever if you don't know how to swim. Adrenaline only goes so far.

So rather than pissing on the memory of this season and becoming rapidly disgusted with the efforts of this pathetic assemblage of baseball riff raff before us, perhaps we should all give them the sustained and appreciative applause they deserve for holding on for so long as they did before finally letting go.


That they have let go at all, that they've finally quit on us after threatening to all season, is proof enough that pride is an empty word they are mouthing at this moment and that the quitters are rising to the top. There's no one better than the manager to blame.


Now for a quick glance at the non-quitting portion of NL Wildcard race, the Phillies overcame Andruw Jone's 50th homer of the season to mash the Braves, 12-4. In doing so, they moved into a tie with Florida for first place in the NL wild-card standings, and closed within five games of NL East-leading Atlanta with their third straight win over the Braves. (See, it CAN be done) - They've won five of six overall since Houston swept a three-game series in Philadelphia last week.

See, swept by the Astros and win five of their next six, not LOSE 14 of their last 17.

This is an example of a WINNING team, a team that doesn't QUIT.

Just so we all have that clear in our minds.

After today folks, it's all a parody. No more taking these lads seriously. We at Archie Bunker's Army will make the dying embers of this wretched season interesting for the readers, even if the Mets won't.


Let's Face It: The Mets Suck; Lose to Nats 4-2

We all had a day off from suffering. The road trip from hell is over. We weren't playing the Braves and we weren't playing the St Louis Cardinals.

Hey Tom, Would You Trade That Extra Million To Be Back With The Winners In Atlanta?

We'd had a day's rest. We were home and we were only playing the Nats.

So Mets, most every fan was waiting, just waiting for any excuse in the world to keep believing in this season, keep believing in you, stand back the doubters who are beginning to grumble and mumble about Willie not being much of a manager after all, keep making the obscene calculations required to keep the Mets in the race for the NL Wildcard.

Stoic and Stupid Is No Way To Go Through Life, Screw Joe Torre-Light, Let's Have A Heaping Dollop of Lou Piniella!

And how do the Mets repay this thin line of hope drawn in the salt?

They lose to the Washington Nationals like a troupe of fucking baseball clowns, that's how.

What did the day off and playing at home do to reverse the momentum on a choking, gagging, cowardly and gutless slide that saw them lose two of three to the Phillies and Marlins, get swept by the Braves and nearly get swept by the Cardinals?

Did their enemic hitting improve? Well, let's see, four innings of flailing for three hits and two runs and six strikeouts against a guy pitching for the Nats in Hector Carrasco, a reliever for crissakes, not even a starter, who hadn't started a game since 2000 doesn't sound like it. A guy who had appeared in 557 major league games and started just one of them and was only doing so last night because the scheduled starter John Patterson was out with a sinus infection and bronchitis that turned into a slight asthma attack and should have turned into a Mets Bat Attack.

Were the Mets inspired after Carrasco finally left, to take it out on the Nationals' overworked bullpen? Not at all. They did even worse against the bullpen, pinching out a mere two more hits and, how do you call it, oh yeah zero runs with precisely the kind of bone-headed running mistakes and lack of attack that have plagued the Mets offense all season.

Fundamentals anyone? What exactly is it that Willie Randolph has done with these kids all year? Six months after Spring Training and the Mets are still making the same kind of stupid mistakes they should have already gotten out of their system. Costly fielding errors, costly baserunning errors, costly costly costly lack of clutch hitting, same as always, same fucking song skipping on the same fucking record all fucking season long. Does this LOOK like a well-managed team to you?

How did out Boy Blunder Beltran perform? His usual clutch performance kiddies. Oh For Three - just about right for him. No hits, no clutch and no use. He twice left the tying run on base and heard his fair share of boos last night. Get used to it you jesus-loving choke artist. You were paid millions to come here and produce and night after night after night of failing to do so may hurt your little christian sensibilities but you'd better get used to it, or start performing because people are only going to become angrier at you and before long the boos will turn into batteries and coins.

Beltran Missiles, Anyone?

Then again, what difference would it have made with people like Jose Offerman forgetting to run to second on Matsui's single up the middle and instead, getting thrown out by the centerfielder??! Or Jose Reyes getting picked off of first as if he forgot there was a game going on and he wasn't just standing there counting mosquitoes.

And just to keep things predictable and even, closer Bradon Looper put in another foul and destructive performance, just to make sure the game was out of reach for the Mets final turn at bat by surrendering a run of his own in the 9th to make the score 4-2.

You notice Frank Robinson got tossed from the game? Did you notice how infuriated he got about a missed check swing call on the Mets' Victor Diaz, how he was ejected by home plate umpire, the King of the Douchebags, Jeff Nelson and then engaged in a prolonged, heated exchange with crew chief Joe Brinkman?

You notice how Willie Randolph sat on his fucking hands all night as if he were afraid to show some emotion lest people not thing he was Joe Torre incarnate? Note to Willie, meat head, even Torre gets tossed from games once in awhile!

Was Tom Glavine the man upon which to build your sand castle of hope? Not at all. When we needed a strong start at home to keep everyone interested he proceeded to allow more runs in the third inning -- three -- than he had in any one of his previous six starts. Choke? Ineffective? Loser? Past-his-prime? Waste-of-money?

Or is this just a man trying to outpitch the ineffectiveness of Met bats in his starts? The lefthander was 4-5 with a pair of no-decisions despite a 2.47 ERA in the previous 11 starts. Why? Because they scored as many as three runs for him only once and managed just one run in four of his starts, getting shut out in the other.


Not much more to say. No point in noting how the NL Wildcard teams performed because the Mets just dropped out of it once and for all.

Ten Things I'd Like To See Before Season's End

1. Carlos Beltran hit a homer with men on base to win a game.
2. Willie Randolph to lose his cool, get thrown out of a game, throw bats and balls and a water cooler out on the field, tear up the locker room and later try to come back out into the dugout wearing a fake mustache and glasses costume.
3. Bradon Looper as set-up guy and Aaron Heilman as closer the rest of the season.
4. Carlos Beltran batting leadoff. Let's face it - he doesn't hit for power and he barely hits at all but the one thing he CAN do is get on base and although he does a good job of hiding it, he appears to have some speed as well. And let's not worry about your bloody 3-4-5 hitters Willie, they've done sweet fuck all the entire season, experiment a little, see if you can come up with a few different possibilities in that little pea of a brain of yours.
5. Give Pedro the rest of the season off. Save him for next season on the off-hand chance the Mets will be competitive.
6. Ditto Tom Glavine. His heart has been broken by a lack of run support too much for one year. Let him leave the team early, take in a few Braves games for the rest of the summer.
7. Stick Anderson Hernandez in there in the number two slot behind Beltran and playing second base and see what he can do. Pressure is off now on the season, give him the exposure, see if he's a possible answer to the question why the fuck are Kaz Matsui or Miquel Cairo still out there doing that?
8. Start your christmas shopping early Omar - get a bead on your target for a slick-fielding, power hitting for average on base sort of monsterous first baseman. Your work is cut out for you, no doubt, but that IS your job after all. You appear to have fallen asleep since Spring Training.
9. Fire Manny Acta as third base coach and make him the clubhouse cabana boy.
10. Have a nice Good Riddance ceremony for Mike Piazza on the last home game of the season. We might have gotten something for him this past offseason if everyone hadn't been so afraid of dumping Franchise Boy over for a few minor league prospects. Instead, we'll be stuck with nothing in return.