5.4.06

Day Two, Day Off and Plenty For Bannister To Think About

With an off day to recover from the hoopla of an exciting Opening Day victory, however tainted, attention turned to the Mets new number two starter, rookie Brian Bannister.

Hard to believe that with this gajillion dollar payroll and Pedro Martinez on the roster, the Mets open the season with a (now redeemed) 40 year old starter and will have a rookie starting Game Two. Guess that's what happens when you trade two decent starters in return for two bullpen setup guys who don't even appear in the Opening Game of the season.

Hard to imagine a quicker rise than Bannister's, from Spring Training hopeful to Game Two starter, all on the heels of an 0.95 ERA over 19 Spring Training innings, but in a hopeful season, Bannister is perhaps symbolic.

You Decide:


Does Bannister look like a young Morrissey?



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Anyway, we'll get to see/listen/read about how he does tonight/2 am UK time as he faces Nats star starter in the making, John Patterson, who went 2-1 with a 2.01 ERA in five starts in Spring Training whilst developing a changeup to use against left-handed hitters. In four starts against the Mets last season, he went 0-1 with a 3.60 ERA. Overall, he is 1-2 with a 4.92 ERA against the Mets in 11 career appearances.

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Yet another reason to love to hate The Sports Twat: In his Take Me Out To The Diary, a prolonged and windy minute-by-minute blow of the Red Sox Opening Day game against the Rangers, Sports Twat took time from his busy transcribing schedule to make this back-handed stab at the Mets...noting the possible Top 10 reasons he's excited to have baseball back, Sports Twat informally lists "Mets fans getting overexcited about a team that looks great on paper and ends up underachieving..."

Right, and Sports Twat spins a masterful yarn on not getting overexcited about the Blood Sox. Is this just another example of his long-lingering bitterness over Pedro leaving his beloved Sox for the Mets?

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With the Channel Five Opening Night getting prematurely rained out, (yup, no new Mets Super Channel dilemmas for us over here,) they were back at it here in England, showing the ESPN feed of the Padres-Giants Opening Game.

In addition to the non-stop chatter and speculation about the Barry Bonds on Steroids song, (when you could hear over the Bonds-Booing, of course,) not to mention the syringe getting thrown at him, it was curious to watch Mike Piazza's debut in a Padres uniform.



Piazza, as we know, hit a home run in the second inning, in his first at-bat as a Padre, becoming the 9th Padre to do so. But even more exciting was the chance to talk about the pitcher he caught, Padre Jake Peavy..."He's unbelievable," Piazza said. "Just great stuff. Competitive. He goes out for the seventh inning and strikes out the side. That shows you he's definitely a throwback guy. He didn't look to go out of the game there. ... There's no telling what he can do."

Of course, Piazza had plenty of time to contemplate it having been wisely removed for defensive purposes later in the game.

I'm happy to see him in a Padre uniform. DO you really think he'd have been clever enough to fool an umpire a la Lo Duca in yesterday's Opening Day game?

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One reason I'm happy not to be living in NYC anymore is so not to be forced to be exposed to the Idiocy of WFAN's Mike and the Maddog on a daily basis. Well, voluntarily, of course, I listened to a replay of the alleged controversy about Billy the Kid using Mariano's Enter the Sandman intro.

Perhaps worse was listening to alleged Mets fan WFAN Producer, Sal Licata, prattle on about how Wagner should change his entry song, how Mets fans were justified for booing Beltran in his first at-bat, whingeing about finding a spot in the car park at Shea with his deluxe WFAN free tickets to Opening Day. He's sounds almost as stupid as a sober Sid Rosenberg.

Speaking of which, there's a nice article from ESPN's Page 3 on baseball player songs.

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Two days before ex-Mets right-hander Kris Benson was scheduled to make his Baltimore Orioles debut, his outspoken wife withdrew her petition for divorce.



Ho,ho,ho'

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Around the rest of the NL East, the Phillies had that familiar feeling of futility:

"Ryan Howard hit a home run. The new guys, Aaron Rowand and Abraham Nunez, were on base constantly. Jimmy Rollins kept his hitting streak alive in dramatic, last-at-bat fashion.

All that, and still the Phillies' opener was a smelly, wet dog of a baseball game. There are no silver linings bright enough to cover up a cloud as leaky and gray as this one."


Meanwhile things weren't quite as dire for the Hated Braves, who somehow managed to eke out an 11-10 win over the Dodgers despite jumping ahead 8-1 at one point. The reason for dismay in Atlanta and joy in NYC?

Atlanta's bullpen. Is it too early to blast Braves bullpen?

Bullpen line against Dodgers: 5 IP, 11 hits, 5 runs, 2 Ks.

Lastly, the Marlins, the Fire Sale Champions, were shutout in the season opener against the Houston Astros. Bad news for Mets fans: Dontrelle Willis gave up only 1 hit and 0 runs over 5 innings pitched. Up to you to name the potential Mets Killah in a Marlin batting order that featured Hanley Ramirez, Jeremy Hermida, Miguel Cabrera, Mike Jacobs, Josh Willingham, Dan Uggla, Miguel Olivo and Eric Reed.

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