Killing Time Between Days

Enjoy the 24 hours of perfection while it lasts. 1-0 is hardly the cause for careless optimism. Not when you've played what, .006 percent of the season?

But having waited these last six months or so people are already frothing at the mouth, particularly in ungrateful St Louis where after a mere loss, the fickle supporters of the defending World Champions are already moaning.:

"But let's be candid here: In the recent history of baseball, has any defending champion ever started an outfield as bad as the one sent into the first game by the Cardinals on Sunday? I wrote last month that my biggest concern for the team was the outfield.

An alignment of Taguchi in left, a recuperating Jim Edmonds in center and Preston Wilson in right is downright feeble. Taguchi hit .266 with 31 RBIs last season, Wilson struck out 121 times in 2006, and Edmonds still is playing himself into baseball shape after surgeries in the offseason to his shoulder and toe."

This isn't to say that Manager Willie wouldn't have been moidah'd in the press if his use of Joe Smith in a key point of Game One hadn't panned out. Oh yes, we'd be reading plenty already about questionable bullpen moves with the season tottering on the precipice of success and failure after a mere game. That's the sliver difference between the perception of winning and the perception of losing.


But we're on to Game Two this evening and now it's time to test the inherent weakness of this alleged Mets starting rotation with El Duque taking his creaking bones to the mound.

What I'm thinking about in the interim wot with his dubious age and his endless series of ailments is a new nickname more apropros for a man of his stature. Something along the lines of El Geriátrico or El Viejo Cuello Artrítico(that's the old arthritic neck to you knuckle-dragging monolinguists out there...)

Well maybe none of it's very funny. Not when your number two pitcher is just a simple muscle twitch away from a lifetime of DLitude and unearned paychecks.

Or maybe we should feel good because the Cards number two starter is a former Pirate washout named Kip Wells.

Not so fast, actually. Dave Duncan, the Cardinals pitching coach is a bit of a reclamation guru himself if you look at his track record and Wells is just the sort of lifetime nothing Duncan might be able to turn around for a season. Wells has unleashed a sinking fastball this Spring so potent that he held an imposing 1.16 ERA over 23 1/3 Spring innings.

It's only Game Two. Seemingly meaningless in this string of the next five or six months. But after six months of dormancy, six months of sitting around waiting for Omar to pull the trigger, waiting to sit listening or watching these Mets day in, day out, night after night, early morning England after early morning England, the sense of importance, however overstated, is inevitable.

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