13.7.07

2nd Half House Cleaning And Victory

To their credit, knowing that their position is precarious, the Mets didn't sit on their hands during the All-Star break even though they own a 2-game lead in the NL East.

Whilst a night without Rick Down as hitting coach didn't appear to have any magic, restorative powers for the Mets (8 hits, 3 runs against the lowly Cincinnati Reds) his removal and the arrival of Rickey Henderson, who will serve as hitting coach, first base coach or some sort of super duper double secret base stealing team guru, depending on who you talk to.

The change that DID matter, for a night anyway, was the replacement on the roster of the 48 year old Julio Franco with the controversial Lastings "Mr Misunderstood" Milledge.

Very difficult to imagine Franco churning around those basepaths at lightning speed, scoring from first base on a single and executing that sort of slide at home plate.


You don't make slides like this using a walker or leaping from a wheelchair...

I've decided I'm going to root for Lastings and all his fist-pumping, hip-hopping, game-turning ways although I cannot help but wonder what kind of effect the presence of Rickey Henderson in the clubhouse is going to have on Lastings' mid-game card-playing prowess.

*****

Is there a faster start in Mets history to a second half than the back-to-back homers by Jose Reyes and Ruben Gotay to lead off the bottom of the 1st inning last night? Was it HoJo Magic or simply Bronson Arroyo forgetting the All-Star break was over when he returned to the mound?

He had a 6.50 first-inning ERA in the first half of the season. Slow starter.

In any case, it was Reyes' 9th lead-off homer, a franchise record, and Rickey Henderson hasn't even arrived yet.

Meanwhile, El Duque allowed 3 hits over six innings, stole a base and earned the win. True, he surrendered the lead in the 2nd inning, loading the bases by walking the bloody pitcher and then giving up a two-run single to Scott Hatteberg (the moment where we all in unison smacked ourselves on the forehead thinking here we bloody go again!) but a win is a win, regardless of how precariously it was achieved.


*****

If you were wondering why Gotay was even in the lineup to begin with, asking yourself where is Jose Valentin, take comfort in knowing it was reported that he slammed his hand into a wall during an altercation involving the sale of a local team he owns down in Puerto Rico. Valentin said he didn't purposely punch the wall and didn't take part in a fight, instead bruising his hand against the wall out of frustration.

Oh, that's ok then.

Anyway, ponder for a moment the three phrases of that news item: "the sale of a local team he owns", "Puerto Rico" and "altercation".

2 comments:

debmc said...

Hey, you! It's debmc from FU here. And I looooove Lastings "Mr. Misunderstood" Milledge, very good, very appropriate! But boy, he sure has seemed to have understood a lot, because he looks and acts like almost a totally different guy than we saw last year, doesn't he?

And so far, so good. His batting average doesn't really show the anywhere close to the true extent of his contribution to the team thus far.

And the best part is he looks and feels as if he is one of the team, not like last year.

Go, Lastings!

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