Good Riddance, 2009

You could call the Mets 2009 season a nightmare.

But that would be giving the somnambulant front office more excuses to play with.

The Mets 2009 season was disgusting.

It was disgusting enough to scare yours truly off baseball for the last few months of the season. It was disgusting enough that the disgusting taste is still in our mouths, months later and judging by the fact that Omar is still the GM, Jerry is still the manager and the same heartless, injury-prone core is meant to carry the team despite all the times it failed so miserably in the past, Mets fans had better get used to the taste of shit because shit sandwiches are about all the Mets are going to be serving in 2010.

Can you really get excited about the signing of Jason Bay, the baseball GM equivalent of beans on toast?

Jason Bay would make a reasonable DH or maybe even a first base conversion but left field in the spacious ShittyField is a near-guarantee to a return of the Cosmic Baseball Fielding Clown we watched the Magical Murph master early last season. Losing by 10 runs? How about watching your kazillion dollar past-his-prime Chump Money crown jewel trip over his own feet and let fly balls hit him on the head for a little comic relief?

True, the Mets needed a hard-hitting left fielder but really, does Jason Bay fit this bill? A guy who didn't even seemed enthused about coming to the Mets? A guy who is already over 30? A strikeout king? A defensive liability? A guy whose numbers are bound to diminish in the confines of ShittyField?

Oh, Omar. You never fail to please.

Of course, Jason Bay doesn't play first base. He won't heal Reyes' desperate hammies, he can't keep Castillo's knees sewn together, he can't pitch a 7 or 8 inning gem and he can't manage.

All this means is that the Mets have another over-priced bound-to-be-injury-prone, shitty fielding, diminished batsman to add to their roster. Whoopeeee!

And compounding the sense of despair were Omar's other signings.

Kelvim Escobar, who missed nearly all of the last two seasons as K-Rod's potential set-up man?

Or better still, Ryota Igarashi for bullpen depth?

I mean is this meant to be comedy or sadism? It's Post Modern Omarism is what it is. Out of touch, out of focus and out of time.

And the best part of all this GM buffoonery from Omar is that the Mets still have no starting pitching to speak of unless you're happy to join the Delusional Club and hope Santana will be back to 100% health for 2010. And even if he is, that doesn't resolve the burnout of the pen when no other starter will log more than 5 innings in a start all season.

You want to get us excited Omar? Sign another dozen former starters (at least 38 years of age) who either haven't pitched or played professional baseball in at least two years or are coming off major reconstructive shoulder or elbow surgery.

Then we'll do some cartwheels.


And just when you thought the Mets were the gourmet chefs of the shit sandwiches, have a look at what these jackals are trying to do. Good luck with that one, greedy douchebags.


So as not to end on an entirely sour note, Mets-n-all, Happy New Year to everyone reading and here's hoping (perhaps unrealistically) 2010 will go better for the Mets than 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, etc.!


I Haven't Given Up Hope Completely (yet)

I WILL be back. And so will the Mets. Rah rah with my pig flu pom poms.

With this blood I do rededicate myself to the parody of a Mets fan.


Desperately Seeking Reason

I suppose it's self-evident; the lack of daily updates or comments are indicative of a general malaise that no young call-up, no veteran return and certainly no series of meaningless games against division rivals can alleviate.

Seriously, are we to get excited about the 10th homer of the season?

David Wright's two homers in one game against the Phillies to reach the big 10 milestone, is nothing but a reminder of how few homers he's hit this season, how little the game itself meant, perhaps a blessing in disguise, sparing us of another September Collapse.

Yes, a come-from-behind victory over the hated Phillies in most seasons and in most circumstances would have been cause for righteous joy, unbridled euphoria and instead, we can only yawn and scratch and think yeah, so what?

Because that is where we are in this miserable season. Not even a pair of homers by Wright, a come-from-behind victory and a homer in the first inning by Carlos Beltran, another too-little-too-late story for the season, could overwhelm the reality that by winning the Mets only forced the Phillies to sweep on Sunday to eliminate the Mets mathematically.

Maybe he'll pitch a no-hitter next time out, hahahaha.

I mean seriously, even if the season wasn't in the crapper, what's more depressing than watching yet another Mike Pelfrey On-Again-Off-Again pitching performance, this one his third outing of the season conceding 8 runs, which ties some kind of Mets record for futility. (8 runs, just think of that! Either this guy is a lousy pitcher and needs to go or the pitching coach who can't wring out an iota of consistency from him (or Oliver Perez for that matter, not that THAT matters but just sayin'...)needs to go.

The time will be ripe for a scapegoat and Dan Warthen is a convenient one. Sure he ripped Ollie early in the season for being fat and out of shape but when you look back at the pitching staff's performance this season do you really see where he's made any difference? If in looking at this realistically you come to the depressing conclusion that I have; (the Mets will retain Manuel AND Minaya and the Wilpons won't be selling the team to spare us another decade of the Idiot Collective) who else but Warthen is left? HoJo won't go. How about sacking Mr Met?

The Mets, now "only" 16 game UNDER .500 won for only the third time in 72 instances this season in which they trailed after eight innings. When you think about it, that's kind of great because it means you don't have to waste time watching the 9th inning if the Mets are behind because the chance of them coming back and winning are almost nil. It's a little gift for fans this season.

And let's be serious, with Mark Sanchez and the Jets along with the rest of the NFL set to kick off the season, waiting around to see if the Mets can avoid mathematical elimination in a pathetic, mewling season hardly seems worthwhile.

Yes, he sucks and he's ugly but he's an invaluable member of the Mets' touch football team

That's right. And you're not going to lure me with promises of John Maine's imminent return or another 30 or 40 minute outing by Tim Redding whose facial hair and pitching are like an infinite sickness one can never cure. No thanks. I've suffered more than enough at the hands of Tim Redding this season.


Mets Win On K-Rod Bobblehead Day

I suppose if you'd looked at the promotional scheme for the season back in April or even May you might have imagined that even something as exciting K-Rod Bobblehead Day would have taken a back seat to the heat of the pennant race and that maybe K-Rod's 30th save of the season would be the cause for great relief or celebration. Hell, K-Rod probably thought as much himself.

Instead, as we know, a simply meaningless early September game pairing easily the two most disappointing teams in the National League and perhaps in ALL of baseball.

Why isn't this guy a Mets target?

Watching the Cubs is like holding up a mirror to the Mets but for the fact that they didn't lose half their team to injuries this season. And of course, the Cubs are already talking about having someone like Chone Figgins on their radar to sign in the offseason. Who have the Mets got on their radar? Re-signing Carlos Delgado to a long-term contract?

Ok, the Mets won yesterday, whoop. They beat their ugly cousins from the Windy City in a completely meaningless game. (Ok, the Cubs aren't quite mathematically eliminated from the playoffs yet but they are most certainly just as terminal as the Mets.)

Mr Inconsistency, in his first start since his much-mocked lap-running around the Coors Field car park, had his head together for a change which meant his stuff as well, demonstrating that sharp slider everyone loves when watching him, to compliment his fastball and pitching 8 solid innings of 5-hit ball. I mean, if we hadn't already been fooled by this guy a dozen times this season it might be cause for hope for an otherwise hopeless 2010 pitching staff but we've been dreaming about this guy before and this is no different. Let him do it in every start the rest of the season and I'll take a little notice. Otherwise, this is just a blip, a temporary salve.


Same with Mr Can't Hit The Inside Pitches Murphy. Yeah, he drove in all four of the Mets runs yesterday, even a hit a homer and a triple for good measure. Does this make him next season's starting first baseman? Barely keeping his head above .250 all season? Our 2010 first baseman batting clean up? Pshaw.

I don't mean to belittle an event as rare as a Met victory or a sterling pitching performance from our number two starter (or is he now our number one starter with Johan gone?) or a surprising outburst from our former left field clown turned competently fielding first baseman, but it's really hard to get excited about this.

I'm still thinking about Chone Figgins, who can play second base or third base or any outfield position, switch hits, hits for average and plays with speed and is a great potential lead-off hitter. I'm still wondering why there's no speculation about the Mets signing this free agent, why they aren't already bandying about absurdist Yankee-like numbers to make sure he's a Met next season.

What? Jose Reyes is the 2010 lead off hitter for the Mets? G'won. I've wanted to see this guy traded for the last two seasons while he could still fetch something good (like, remember the days back when the allegedly untradable Lastings Milledge could have helped fetch a high-class starter?)

Do we really want another season of high-strung hammies wreaking havoc on the 2010 season? Bonehead running or fielding and a lack of baseball discipline getting in the way of the team's successes next season? His market value is still probably reasonably high, a package deal could fetch something valuable in return if we had a competent GM. But rest assured there will be no Chase for Chone and if his hammies haven't turned to wet linguine by then, Old Crazy Eyes will be back at short, leading off for the Mets next season. And look on the bright side - the fact that he choked in the 2007 and 2008 races in September won't matter because in 2010, the chances of the Mets being in the race by the All Star break are pretty much nil anyway.

Hey, good news! Brian Schneider had two whole hits yesterday which allowed him to inch ever-closer to the .200 batting average he's sought to reach most of the season. Better to give him a chance and playing time than the best hope the Mets have for a future catcher in the system, innit?

Angel Pagan, although hitting over .300 as the lead-off hitter is still a defensive liability in center.

I try to imagine the 2010 Mets and can't help but wonder how much longer Beltran, who is due to return for the Marlins in two days, can patrol centerfield. He's ageing fast, he's always been fragile and while he's a great fielder, surely it's nearly time to reduce his load and swing him over to left field.

Unfortunately, a quick glance at this off-season's potential free agents reveals no clear power-hitting replacement. In fact, when you look at that list, it's clear the Mets are not going to be able to buy their way into contention next season. What's also clear is that they will need a manager who can preach speed, manufacturing runs and great defence. The 2010 Mets, like the 2009 Mets, are not likely to be a power team, rather a team that could have used someone cagey, like Billy Martin, managing them. (Remember "Billy Ball"?) Billy Martin is dead of course but I still can't really say Jerry Manuel will do.

Jerry's avoided alot of criticism because he's managing what is in essence a Triple AAA team against Major League competition. That and his notoriously interesting press room banter.

Is he worth another punt? I'd certainly love to see Bobby V back as the Mets manager. I mean if you look at those 2000 Mets he managed to the World Series you'll see that the 2010 Mets, potentially anyway, could be alot better.

Sure, there's no Mike Piazza to hit 38 homers and .324 but surely even Beltran is an upgrade in centerfield over Jay Payton. And Wright is better than Robin Ventura at third. In theory, Murph could be as good or nearly so as was Todd Zeile at first base. Reyes, if he's healthy but even if he's not, Anderson Hernandez is an upgrade over Mike Bordick. (and you could do up the entire roster like that...)

And the pitching staff? Even a return of this year's starters and bullpen (with a few tweeks, of course) are just as good as the 2000 Mets.

So there's no reason why it couldn't be done.

Jesus, did I really just say that?

Must be time for some more coffee.

Next up - let's knock the Marlins out of their last dying chances for a 2009 post season. A small comeuppance, eh?

Murph Drives In Enough Runs To Beat Cubs


Mets Win First Battle of Mediocrity Against Cubs; Thank God for Grabow!

It's as though the minute Carlos Zambrano was out of the game the Mets came to life.

Only Super Sully could solve Big Z last night...

Other than a solo homer by Scott Sullivan to give them a 1-0 lead they held until Angel Pagan let a pop up drop in front of him for a double (which was actually an out considering the ump blew the call on Francouer's bullet to 2nd base that should have rendered a slow-moving Milton Bradley out), the Mets' Batting Order of Mediocrity had been predictably silent.

Fortunately, the Cubs, whose own batting order is equally mediocre, were equally silent, even in a bases-loaded nobody out situation in the 7th when Lou pinch hit for Zambrano like a fool and watched the inning dither away.

And by the time Zambrano was gone in the bottom of the 8th, the score was knotted at 1-1 and the Cubs bullpen was ripe for attack. Especially with John Grabow, shattered in every appearance at Shitty Field, on the mound.

Tatis pinch hitting for Murphy, singled a run home, justifying Jerry Manuel's move.

And just like that you could almost feel hey, we suck but here's a team that makes just as many if not more mental mistakes, has just as weak hitting, has an esteemed manager making questionable moves so why not just pour it on and smack the Cubbies or more specifically Grabow, around - Grabow, just to rub in it, faced five batters and got NONE of them out.

And whilst Sullivan was surely the man of the match, let's not forget that Bobby Parnell threw 7 shutout innings, got out of that bases-loaded none out jam and looked in better command as a starter than he has all season. I read a snide remark the other the day that he is nothing more than the new Aaron Heilman which is an reductionist absurdity and perhaps inspired Parnell to something more inspirational. On the other hand, he may get pounded in his next outing. That's just how Mets starters roll.


"He's got to find that middle ground," David Wright was heard mumbling afterwards, demonstrating his team-leader skills at pointing out the obvious, "where the highs aren't so high and the lows aren't so low." Coming from a guy with 110 whiffs in 438 at-bats, that's certainly speaking from experience.

And thanks to the pen, the game was interesting right down to the last few outs. It's not as big a crap shoot as last season but let's face it, this isn't the kind of bullpen that you can be safe feeling will hold a lead for the final three innings, ever.


Now of course, Saturday's game will have to be watched on delay as the Mets hosting the Cubs, palatable as that may be from a prison cell or a desert island, is simply no match for an afternoon of International Football friendlies and the opening weekend of NCAA football.


Catcher of Mets Future Makes Debut In Rare Met Victory

I can't say as I really care that Pat Misch avoided pitching in a 13th consecutive loss without a victory for his team to avoid a rather ignominious start to his Major League career.

Misch officially ent pisch no more with his first career victory

Sure, it's good to see the guy pitch his second consecutive quality start for the Mets since arriving off the waiver wire from San Francisco but let's face it, watching this Nowhere Man pitch a meaningless game for the Mets in the beginning of September only reminds us all that at least this season there can't be a September collapse.

Nor can I find much comfort in the too-little-too-late news that Carlos Beltran is inching his way back to recovery.

After all, much like David Wright's return from concussion the night before, it only underscores the waste and futility of the hideously injury-prone 2009 season. Even if Wright went 3 for 4 with 3 RBIs and showed encouraging signs that he won't be plate-shy after getting beaned.

And to be honest, whilst it beats bearing witness to yet another disappointing Met loss, a rare victory yesterday over the Rockies hardly shook the rafters of the soul with joy and optimism. The soul of joy and optimism for these Mets died months ago.

The faster this guy develops the faster we can see Schneider out the door...

But I can say that the MLB debut of catcher Josh Thole was indeed an exciting event. At 22, the youngest Met catcher since Todd Hundley, Thole, who only started catching full time last season, went 2 for 5 in his debut after being awarded with a passed ball in the first inning but generated at the very least, the tinniest shred of hope in an otherwise dreary and hopeless Met farm system.

Not that Thole will be the catcher for Johan Santana on Opening Day 2010 - he still needs another year or so of seasoning in the Minors but it's something to hold on to in this miserable season, a faint sign that not everything about the Mets future is as bleak as it appears.

(OH yes it is, don't let the debut of one simple catcher fool you...)


One of the thousands of pitchers the Omar DIDN'T sign this off season out-dueled the Giants top young ace last night.

Even if he's wearing a Phillies uniform, I'm still rooting for Pedro to close out his career with dignity and last night's 5-hit, 9-K, 7 inning performance gives me the impression he still just might.


After concluding a 3 win, 9 game road trip the Mets host the similarly disappointing Chicago Cubs on Friday for a mutual misery meeting to celebrate another meaningless September. Whoop.

Maybe they can have an open reading of an open letter to Mets owner Fred Wilpon to start the festivities.

I mean, over the PA, with a crowd listening as reverently as any national anthem, an perhaps concluded by a Burn Fred Wilpon In Effigy ceremony before the game.

Now THAT would make the game worth watching.

And for an encore on Saturday, a Burn Omar Minaya in Effigy night.

Yeah baby!


Mets Fortunes Finally Turning

Well it's taken all of a miserable season but it's finally beginning to look like the Mets terrible fortunes are turning the corner.

Two days ago, to great relief the Mets found out there were "only" bone chips to be removed out of Johan Santana's elbow and "only" the rest of the season would be lost.

Time to take the rest of your miserable career off, buddy.

Yesterday, to everyone's vast relief it was revealed that Oliver Perez FINALLY requires season-ending knee surgery. The only caveat of course is that the surgery won't be career-ending but when the doses of good news are finally dripping down I guess we shouldn't get too greedy.

Taking his place on the roster is the venerated Lance Broadway, who if you recall was the fodder we got from the White Sox in return for Ramon Castro. Ramon is hitting a whopping .192 for the White Sox, one of the few players in history who isn't doing better once he left the Mets.

Broadway of course, the logical candidate for recall, was 5-9 with a 6.17 ERA for the Buffalo Bison. Bison fans, if there are any left, will be relieved to see him go no doubt.

And of course you must have stayed up to watch that Chinese water torture of a baseball game, watching the Mets drop another to the Marlins in what would appear to be to the naked eye, an entirely meaningless game for both.

Do you know how many showed up at the idiotically named "Land Shark Stadium" to watch these two Nowhere Teams do battle?

Just over 16,000.

Now from the looks of the stands, half of that number left after the first pitch because god knows there's plenty better to do in Miami on a Wednesday night than watching one squad of minor league losers play what looks at first glance like a semi-pro team.

The Marlins had Mets killah Josh Johnson, now 13-3 with a 3.04 ERA for the season, on the mound and they had the monstrous Hanley Ramirez with his .365 batting average, 19 homers and 85 RBIs.

The Mets had Brian Schneider and his prodigious .179 batting average in the order and Mr Up and Mr Down, Mike Pelfrey on the mound with his 1-3 record for August and his 5.10 ERA in August.

A real battle of heavy weight champions.

The Mets are under arrest for incompetence

Ok, the Marlins are exceedingly better than the Minor League Mets but only just. Well ok, they've got 10 more wins already this season but really, let's face it, this isn't a team to excite you. Not in August 7 games out of first and 4 1/2 behind in the wild card chase.

Now that I think about it, why WERE there so few fans in the stadium? Because nobody wants to watch the Mets, the Laughingstocks of Baseball, suffer another season-ending injury?

The one thing we can say with certainty, so long as the Marlins play in a stadium named after a 1970s Saturday Night Live parody, at least the Mets cannot lay claim to having the absolute dumbest fucking name for a baseball stadium perhaps in the history of baseball. The Marlins have that one nailed.


Nothing But Good News!

The good news is Johan Santana gets the rest of the season off.

Now he'll have time to find a replacement for that ridiculous pimp coat...

C'mon, we didn't need him any more, the season is lost and the fact that surgery will be to remove bone chips rather than restructure an elbow is the best news the Mets have had all season.

This is a sign the worst is almost over, hurray!

(Ok, the worst is NEVER going to be over with the Mets and this miserable franchise but for a few seconds anyway, hope reared its ugly, predictable head...)

So, despite the good news, this wouldn't be the Mets if there weren't questions raised about whether or not the Mets mismanaged Santana. The question is not a stretch, certainly. The Mets mismanage everything they come into contact with. Any situation is a vulnerability, a potential for mismanagement and if it is associated with the Mets, with the Wilpons or Omar, you can be pretty damned sure if there's a way to cock it up or make the wrong choice, the Mets will find it.

Now, in the face of the Santana news comes also the news that JJ Putz is done for the season. He's already had surgery once this season and now an MRI revealed damage to the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow.

What's that? Who cares? Just glad it's not Johan?

Have a look at the baseball I'll never throw again....

I'll be honest, I wasn't really following his rehab schedule all that closely. Do the Mets really want a guy on their fabulous new 2010 team of healthy over-achievers who can't get excited because he's the set up guy instead of the closer? Well, the mismanagement Mets probably do, but I don't. As our good friend Sanchez wrote of Ollie's injury misfortunes, Stay down, Putz, stay down. Hurray!

Now, MORE GOOD NEWS, Oliver Perez has been sent back to New York to have his dodgy right knee examined by doctors.

This improves our chances of not having to see Ollie pitch again this season. Hurray! Can't they just pay some back alley doctor the cash to wave his hands and declare that Ollie's season is officially over? He will require season-ending surgery on both knees, both elbows, his neck and back and perhaps even a lobotomy.

Considering what improvements might be made with a little extra elective surgery for Ollie...

And if this wasn't enough good news for one day how about this?

Any irony in trading away a healthy All-Star (or former All-Star) pitcher on the day you announce two perhaps three season-long losses to your pitching staff? Nah.

The good news is that the Mets won't lose The Hillbilly next season for nothing. At least, just in the nick of time, they got something for him.

The Sox will send the Mets outfielder/designated hitter Chris Carter and a low-level prospect to be named later.

Carter's scouting report is encouraging in a all-hit, no-field sort of way. You know, precisely the sort of player a National League team with no DH needs:

Extremely intelligent, Carter is a real student of hitting, and has demonstrated success with the bat at every level. Excellent power with the potential for more. Hits for average and consistently gets on base at a very good clip. Hits lefties and righties well. Below average speed. In the field, Carter has spent much of his career at 1B but was moved to the outfield in 2008. He has always been known as a poor fielder, and still doesn't look particularly comfortable at any position. He has focused on his glove and footwork and has improved slightly, but still not enough.

I'll bet he's happy to be with this Muppet Collective instead of in the Red Sox organisation.

And surely having a Dan Murphy clone is just what the doctor ordered. Murph is hitting .290 this month, by the way.

But fuck it, it's a body anyway, something the Mets are in short supply of these days.

As for last night's game, bah, who cares?

Another loss to the Marlins. This one doesn't knock the Mets out of the post season at least. That they did all on their own this season.

The news was not the game, another loss, it was that Jeff Francoeur is playing despite a torn ligament in his left thumb. Of course he is. Let's make that a career-threatening injury - is he REALLY taking the advice of the Mets medical staff about whether or not he could do more damage by playing?

And yes, that was Sheff you saw leaving the game with dodgy hammies in the 7th.


The Final Penny Drops Into An Anonymous Sea Of Misfortune

Say what you will about the Mets this season but the predictability of their miraculous injury run has finally reached its zenith with the news we've all been waiting for: even his own teammates predict season-ending surgery for Johan Santana.

And to think, poor Jeff Francoeur and his dodgy season-ending thumb is merely back pages news by comparison. If that doesn't turn him off the Mets, nothing will. This is the guy who never missed a game due to injury in his career before joining the Mets. (and to call them the "injury plagued Mets" is the understatement of the season - if DL casualties were victories, the Mets would have already won the World Series. have a look.

The only two things left are Jerry Manuel to have a heart attack in the dugout and the Omar v Adam Rubin Steel Cage Match wherein Omar is mortally wounded and spurts ketchup from a fake head injury before tearing up that dreadfully unfair Oliver Perez contract and awarding him a new restructured 10 year $100 million one. Oh yeah, and re-signing Moises Alou since letting him go was such a mistake and he's due for Comeback Player of the Year in 2010.

I can't say I've fully given up watching the Mets - who could? Where else are you going to get this kind of drama, this kind of unprecedented skid of bad luck? But I can say I've stopped hoping the Mets are going to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We've gone from comical to cosmic during the course of this season and yet still 13 GAMES AHEAD OF THE GNATS for the ignominious title of Worst in the NL East. (well, actually the entire National League, but who's counting?)

Omar's next big long-term contract signing?

And comically, The Hillbilly, who has been injured nearly the entire season and whose injury in essence destroyed last season's realistic hopes, is back just in time to guarantee the Mets won't get anything for him in a trade for the Red Sox.

You couldn't write a more ironic twist.


Unexpected Offensive Outburst!

I have to be honest, after Oliver Perez gave up that homer to Adam LaRoche (the solo homer in the 3rd, not the three run homer he gave up to Matt Diaz in the 2nd)that gave the Braves what seemed at the moment, reasonably to be an insurmountable 4-0 lead, I switched it over to watch Pedro pitch. Just for the sake of my own sanity, you see. Oliver Perez has that effect on people.

The familiar post-gopher pose of Perez

Fortunately, after watching Pedro earn the final out of the inning, a rain delay sent me back to the Mets game, just in time to see Angel Pagan rattle that line drive off of Derek Lowe's left hand that signalled the beginning of the unexpected deluge of runs, 8 in all, in the bottom of the 4th inning.

Lowe was not the same after that line drive

Before that of course, it was just plain painful, having our noses rubbed in it like that, Lowe v Ollie, what could have been v what is.

But instead, we were treated to a franchise-record 10 hits in one inning, two each by Luis Castillo and Sheff alone. The Mets finished with 17 hits in all and if you had any inkling of this kind of offensive explosion against Lowe and the Braves, with their Triple A lineup still missing concussed David Wright but also that gaping hole in the lineup called Brian Schneider, you're in the wrong line of work, no matter what it is.

Ironically, Perez won this "battle", earning the victory over 5 mediocre innings pitched and exiting the game complaining about a sore knee he incurred by nearly bumbling an easy toss by Murph to him in the 4th inning.

Ryan Church demonstrating his defensive prowess in the outfield last night.

It was also a match up between former Met, Ryan Church, engaged in a protracted hissy fit with arch-enemy Jerry Manuel, and former Brave Jeff Francoeur, the new face of the franchise. Church went 0 for 4 and made a hash of it in the outfield while Francoeur had 3 hits, an RBI and 2 runs scored.

We all know who wins this battle every time.

After that magical 4th inning that seemed like it would never end, the Braves showed their true character, rolling over like dogs and falling silent with three hits the rest of the game against Ollie, Elmer, Pedro and Stokes.

The other Pedro, the one I'd have missed that outburst to watch, received good run support from his new teammates again but never returned after that rain delay, finishing with no decision after three innings, two hits and one run surrendered. And of course, there's always the chance he'll face the Mets, especially now after such a short start.

For the moment, I'll just be happy with humiliating the Braves and Church and Lowe and hope unreasonably that the Mets will put away both of their NL East rivals, all of them in fact, if not solely to move themselves up in the standings but also just, well, it'd be about time.


Magical Murph Wins It For Mets In 9th

It's been a long time.

Over two months since the Mets won a walk off game and finally, in honour of the ailing David Wright, the Magical Murph drove the game-winning single after the Giants brought in lefty Jeremy Affeldt special just to face him.

This on the back of an unusually well pitched game from Big Pelf meant that the Mets have now taken two of three from the weak-hitting Giants in this meaningless four game series. (Well, meaningless for the Mets who are now reduced to the role of spoilers.)

The only other runs the Mets scored came in the 4th when Luis Castillo hit a two-run homer, one of the rare occurrences in baseball.

I know, it's only two wins but I couldn't help but think looking out at these Mets today that this team, despite the absurdist run of injuries that have left them with a second string side, still have some marks of a reasonable job by Omar.

Now before you go crazy, think you've got the smart pick-up of Sheffield, the last remaining big bat in the lineup out there. You've got Francoeur, who reasonably, is the Mets new rightfielder of the future, another smart pick up, dumping a previous mistake in Church in the process. And you've got Anderson Hernandez, whose slick fielding is impressing me more each day. Not to mention Castillo who Omar was pilloried for mercilessly (we thought with good cause) - AND Omir Santos, who Omar smartly signed in January this year.

Now, none of these guys are All Stars, true enough but given the fact that core of the Mets are gone, this wasn't such a bad side. Murph, despite today's game winning hit, is still struggling at the plate. Angel Pagan is still a backup outfielder at best and Fernando Tatis has seen his better days long ago.

I'm just thinking...Omar has done a bad job at times, yes, but Hernandez and Francoeur were both smart mid-season pick ups that cost the Mets nothing of value; of course this doesn't excuse the rubbish farm system he's constructed or the horrific lack of foresight and planning but to be fair to Omar, what team realistically, could have withstood the kind of injuries the Mets have suffered this season and still been competitive.

He's done a decent job amid the rightful criticism. Is it good enough to save his job?

Frankie Boy Ruins Mets Chances

It was shocking to see the Mets come storming back in the 8th inning with three runs to tie the game last night. What were the odds?

I won't say it was shocking to see Frankie Boy surrender that 10th inning lead off homer to Bengie Molina to lead of the 10th last night. Frankie Boy's been slipping so fast it seems inevitable we're going to pick up the paper one of these days and read that he's got some sort of physical ailment that's going to require season-ending surgery. It's just that kind of season and Frankie Boy has been that kind of rubbish since the All Star break and perhaps since the Mets' bottom dropped out. 4.91 ERA in July, 12.79 ERA in August. This is definitely a downward spiral.

And I wouldn't say it was shocking that the last remaining All Star in the Mets every day batting order would get clocked in the skull by a fastball. Wasn't it just a matter of time before something happened to David Wright given how the season has gone?

And how about that nice and classless tip of the cap by assassin Matt Cain as he exited the game last night to a chorus of boos?

Now that Wright has a concussion (thankfully, that's all...)isn't there an away series in Coors Field the Mets can fly Wright to like they did to Ryan Church? Isn't that how Mets management rolls? Lathered in stupidity and incompetence?

Did you realise that Wright has three times as many stolen bases as homeruns? (24-8)?

Of course, all this distracts us from the reality that down to an unexpected comeback by the Mets in the 8th, they had a great chance to win the game an inch another game closer to the Phillies and that unrealistic lead. (thanks to the Braves beating the Phillies bullpen last night...)

Instead, their "star" closer blows the game on one pitch and reminds us all just how bad this season could have been had the Mets been in the running for the NL East or the Wild Card. Our apathy's already set in stone this season. These types of losses are almost painless by now. Just imagine if these games mattered though and how much this would have hurt.

Like Pablo Sandoval blasting one into the stands after Johan threw the retaliatory pitch between Pablo's head in the 7th. And after Johan had already hit Bengie Molina.

Lesson learned? Don't throw at the Giants. They make you pay.


Goofy Uniforms And Green Shoots, Mets Top Giants

As with nearly every Met victory, the temptation to giddily proclaim a new beginning is tempered by the reality of the season and the roster.

Last night the Mets showed up in strange throw-back uniforms, with a starting pitcher recently converted from the bullpen and sent fans home with a pleasing and fully unexpected 3-0 victory.

In only his second start of the season, Bobby Parnell outdueled former Met target, Barry Zito needing only Angel Pagan's lead-off homer in the bottom of the 1st inning to earn his first win as a starter.

Parnell looked promising - with a high 90s four and two-seam fastball with a hard slider he baffled the Giants for 6 shutout innings allowing only three singles. Of course, the Giants' recent run shortage might have been attributable - they have now scored only 21 runs over their last 8 games and rank ahead of only the Mets in the least amount of homers hit this season.

But a victory is a victory, meaningless as it may be to start off a meaningless 11 game home stand against one of the main competitors for the NL Wild Card slot the Mets have no claim on.

Nothing more than Pagan's homer was needed which was a good thing because other than an RBI double by Francoeur caused by CF Aaron Rowland's misjudgement of a fly ball (Rowland, 3 K's and a misplayed RBI double, whattaya night...), the Mets only had 5 hits all game.

Pagan's homer was only their 70th of the season, still shy of Barry Bonds' one record for homers in a single season by one player. Steroids or not, how pathetic is that?

And without much run support the bullpen needed to do the sterling job that it did; three scoreless innings and only one hit allowed by a combination of the continuously effective Brian Stokes, the one lefty out from Pedro Feliciano and FINALLY a decent outing from Frankie Boy.

surprising the Mets haven't signed this ace yet

Anderson Hernandez who went 3 for 28 as a Gnat against the Mets this season, is hitting .333 with a .467 OBA in his Mets return. He's beginning to grow on me already, looking a better prepared to hit MLB pitching this season, a solid back up to Castillo (or a replacement shortstop should the Mets be able to unload Reyes this off season...) Castillo looked like he was gimping around the bases last night in scoring a pair of runs but so far, no word if he's injured, playing hurt or just generally gimpy-looking. He always has had that half pimp-walk gait but maybe the ankle injury is still painful.

They say, inexplicably and probably lying, that Carlos Beltran is making very encouraging progress and due back soon but really, why? The Mets are out of it and maybe resting him the rest of the season will give his knees plenty of time to recover. The Mets are 9 1/2 games out of the wild card and 12 behind the Phillies. With no sign of Delgado and Reyes, the inclusion of Beltran would help but not enough to merit not resting his knees.

Meanwhile, Billy Wagner continues his free agent audition for 2010. It's very difficult not to think about having the Hillbilly and Frankie Boy as a 1-2 set-up combination next season but enjoy it while you can this season because it's probably not going to happen for several valid reasons. (unless Wagner was satisfied as a set-up guy, for one...)

Expect a total of ZERO runs in support of Johan's start today.


Beautiful Day

Hey, folley me logic here...

the Mets didn't play thus they didn't lose.

It's a beautiful day.

It could be more beautiful if I read that Omar got sacked or the team in unison was put on waivers but for today, I guess I'll settle for: We didn't play, thus we didn't lose."

I think that was a variation of Descartes but if there's any confusion, two birds making out is a nice image to share on an off day:

It's not Mets but it's pretty, innit?


Mets Avoid Humiliation Of Sweep

Frankie Boy came awfully close to blowing another save last night, giving up a run in the 9th before striking out Miguel Montero to seal the 6-4 victory.

It didn't "feel" like a victory. It felt more like a loss avoided. A new Mets creation, the victory that feels like a loss. Or maybe it's just the season generally but after a hideous road trip against two crappy NL teams, to be grateful just to avoid a sweep seems like a small consolation. The damage to everyone's psyche has already been done.

Do you realise that Frankie Boy's ERA on the road this season is 4.76?

Do you realise that Frankie Boy's ERA in five appearances in August is 21.60?

How's that for your star closer, number one off season acquisition? It sucks, that's how it is. And let me tell you something, you should be thanking the stars that the Mets are so far out of the playoffs because if they were in the middle of a pennant race or preparing themselves for another September collapse, you can see crystal clear just how it would have all played out. Star closer blowing save after save, Mets playoff dreams diminishing day by day. You remember that kind of heart ache, don't you?

Isn't this sort of aenesthetised indifference, this absence of true pain a nice change of pace for these Mets?

Scott Sullivan, batting leading of the second night in a row hit two triples and made a good grab from centerfield with one out and a man on in the 9th. Does that mean he's a superstar? Should Omar sign him to a three year deal? Of course not. He's still hitting only .269 for the season. Yes, he's got a good glove, we all knew that and if he were coming off the bench as a late inning defensive replacement in a game the Mets were trying to preserve the lead in, great, he'd be perfect. But as a starter, as the Mets lead off hitter, he could hit a pair of triples every night for the rest of the season and you wouldn't convince me this guy is ever going to be anything better than that bench player, that late inning defensive replacement. But bully for Scott Sullivan. If you're going to be out there, at least don't embarrass yourself.

Omir shows why he should be the Mets starting catcher - other than because he hits over .200 unlike someone named Schneider...

The Diamondbacks were foiled by two outs at the plate last night. One was by virtue of a decent field and flip job by Pedro Feliciano in the 7th, combined by a nice plate-blocking job by Omir Santos and the other, more controversial out in the 3rd came down to Ryan Roberts missing the plate which was again, blocked very effectively by Omir.

More evidence why Brian Schneider should be released.

Oliver Perez continued his audition for mediocrity and continued proving Omar a moron for gifting him with a three year deal he never deserved, striking out 7 and giving up only 1 run in a little more than 5 innings of work which saw him walk 6.

Forget about his hideous 5.97 ERA. Take a look at 55 walks issued and 60 hits surrendered in 60 1/3 innings pitched. He's a fucking batter's delight, Ollie is. Opposing batters on base percentage against Ollie? .410! What a loser. Even if he managed to avoid losing this game, he's a loser. A perfect Met. Thanks Omar. I can't wait to watch another two seasons of this jackal. There's your legacy.

And take fucking Sean Green with you when you leave, Omar. He tried to let this game get away from the Mets, he sure did. 9.82 ERA for August. 7.77 ERA at HOME, Jerry, do you see that? If we see this douchebag pitching even ONCE at Shitty Field during this next home stand you should be sacked that night.

So that's why this game felt like a loss even in victory. Only the Mets can do that for you.

You look at what the Brewers GM Doug Melvin had the balls to do yesterday and you just want to retch at Omar's inactivity.

Any reason Schneider, Redding and Sean Green are still on this roster?

And now that I'm thinking about it, why not shut down K-Rod for the season? The season has obviously taken it's toll, especially when you consider how overworked he was by his chump Venezuelan manager in the WBC this Spring. Why not give him the rest of the season off so he can be well-rested for next season's Push For Third Place?

Shocking news, Delgado having a set-back, innit? At this point you should be PRAYING against a comeback this season because if he comes back and hits over .200 Omar's going to sign him to a three year deal and we'll be stuck with a worn out, broken down ailing veteran at first base for the foreseeable future.

Homestand, whoop! A nice weekend of humiliation against the Giants or a bit of nostalgia? (Remember how the Mets whooped them in SF back in May taking three out of four and putting on all those offensive fireworks?)

And look kids, with last night's victory the Mets remain a mere 10 games out of the wild card race.


Wright Rests, B-Mets Drop Another

What a collection.

Now Ain't This Exciting?!!

Veteran, Future-less Nobody Scott Sullivan leading off and playing centerfield.

Veteran Future-less Has-been Fernando Tatis batting third and playing third base.

Wanna-Be-But-Can't-Hit-MLB-Pitching-Anymore Daniel Murphy playing first base and batting "clean up" (c'mon Jerry, a joke's no good if you beat it to death for crissakes).

Veteran, Future-less Nobody Jeremy Reed batting sixth and playing left field.

Veteran, Future-less Has-been Brian Schneider catching and batting eighth with his .198 batting average just percentage points better than Has-been pitcher, Livan Hernandez, who lasted a mere 4 hideous innings only to give way to Never-Was With The Ugliest Beard In Baseball Tim Redding.

What a collection of losers. What a shining testimony to Omar Minaya's incompetence as a General Manager. And Jerry, if you're going to give the ONLY remaining uninjured All Star a day off to rest, give him the fucking day off, don't bring him on to pinch hit in a meaningless game the Mets have no fucking prayer of winning to begin with, eh?

Oh and the game? Are you surprised the Mets lost? That they were barely ever in it to begin with?

NOPE, still not exciting.

You know, the slogan for selling the Binghamton Mets is Big League Show, Small Town Price. The Mets of course, Superstar Prices for Minor League Players.

Future job prospects for Mets prospects

Seriously, was there a more pathetic lineup fielding by a Major League team last night? The answer is, NO there wasn't.

The team with the worst record in baseball, the Washington Nats, had a centerfield lead off hitter in Nyjer Morgan, who is hitting .366 since joining them from the Pirates. They've got Cristian Guzman, hitting .319 batting second and playing shortstop. They've got an All Star third baseman in Ryan Zimmerman, 24 homers and a .305 batting average hitting third. They've got a first baseman the Mets COULD have had batting clean up in Adam Dunn with THIRTY homers and a .278 batting average. I won't go on, it's simply too painful. This is the team with the worst record in baseball, not the worst team in baseball. That's definitely the Mets right now, losers of 10 of their last 13.

What I really want to know is WHYWHYWHY are the Mets fielding a bunch of has-been losers, second string veterans with absolutely nowhere to go in the future for this team when they could be calling up players from their shitty farm system and giving them a go.

And while I'm on it, here's something the Mets should take care of right now: Put Brian Schneider and Tim Redding on irrevocable waivers. Just them. Now. Wave good bye. Adios and thanks for nothing. Stop playing games with these veteran losers and move on.

Call up Josh Thole from Binghamton to replace Schneider since they clearly don't care about winning any longer. Don't bother with the loser muppets they've got catching for Buffalo - those guys are never going anywhere. Give someone with potential a chance. And christ, I'm sure he can at least equal Schneider's pathetic output.

To replace Redding, give 2007 first round pick Eddie Kunz up from Buffalo another chance before deciding to keep or to dump him.

As for the rest of the Has-Beens in the order, sadly, there isn't much talented youth on the Buffalo Bisons or the B-Mets to bother calling up in the first place. If you think the Mets are bad you should see the collection of wash-outs and veteran nobodies the farm system is riddled with. It's pathetic.

And if that doesn't work, sign Miss Mexico. Who CARES if she can't hit?


Mets Slip Deeper Into An Irreconcilable Abyss

Loss compounds loss, injury compounds injury and the Mets have seen their season sink to depths they will not recover from.

Even the underwear models are saddened by these Mets

Now we can all know again what it's like to be a Royals fan or a Nats fan; supporters of perennial losers. Oh sure, there were two years when the illusion of not being a loser lasted until September but even that turned into disaster and the franchise has now found its rightful place; the symmetry of an impoverished farm system, rotten luck, poor calibre stars, lack of charisma and vitally, an absolute dearth of leadership from ownership down to the bat boy.

So, after a weekend of lacklustre losses in San Diego the Mets turned their attention to Arizona, to the D'Bags, a team that had inexplicably given them a thumping at home just as easily (losing three of four at Shitty Field), it appears as they would on the road, a team mired in their own baseball hell of mediocrity.

The Padres and Diamondbacks are of course, the meat and potatoes of the Mets remaining schedule. If they can't even beat lousy teams like these there seems little point in playing out the remaining games of the season because there are no high points remaining, just a prison sentence of loss after loss, demoralising the franchise to irrevocable places.

It's a good job there is no demotion in MLB. As I've probably mentioned before, the football team I support in England, Newcastle United, were much like the Mets were: gutted by rotten ownership, overflowing with expensive, injury-prone players, riddled with a new super form of mismanagement and most importantly, flourishing in a culture of losing. In English football a team that finishes in the bottom three of the division is demoted to the next division down (as if the Mets would be sent to play a season in Triple AAA next season) and that is where Newcastle have found themselves.

So if you think it's bad "just" being a Mets fan, think about being a Mets fan AND a Newcastle supporter.

Newcastle have just begun their new season this weekend. This is after an off season where most of their injury prone stars had to be sold off because without the huge payoff the franchise received for being in the Premiership, they could no longer afford the salaries. The owner, who tried desperately to sell the team and recoup his £120+ million investment, found no buyers for anything less than £70 million and so kept the franchise in limbo all off season. No new players came in. The old ones just left, reducing the franchise to embers. The manager, a former star for the team, was left hanging in the ownership uncertainty and returned to the broadcast booth. The team played their first game of the season in this lesser division on Saturday sporting canary yellow kits as opposed to the traditional black and white striped kits. Canary yellow! They managed to eke out a 1-1 draw against a similarly demoted team but their chances of being promoted back to the top league again next season seem dim at best.

So again, watching the Mets suffer yet another road less against yet another struggling, inferior team is small potatoes. Take comfort in knowing it could be worse.

Oof. Is there such a thing as the Iron Glove Award?

As for the game last night, I sure hope Mike Pelfrey didn't dedicate his start to his new son, Chase. I'll skip the obvious punchlines in that one and just unveil his magical numbers: 8 hits and 5 earned runs in 6 pathetic innings. I suppose we should all be writhing in ecstasy that Big Pelf managed to made it out of the 5th inning. Especially with Angel Pagan compounding Pelf's poor pitching with an incredibly misguided failing dive attempt at Diamondback pitcher Doug Davis' sinking fly ball in the second inning which ultimately cost the Mets the game.

Only the second inning you say? Hell, the Mets don't need much to hang their heads. This isn't a battling team. Every team has a few comeback wins during the course of the season but if you remember back to the beginning of the season, BEFORE the convenient excuse of injuries set in, remember how those Mets would take an early one or two run lead, gradually allow the opposing team to come back and then stumble off quietly by games end with another loss in tow?

This of course says nothing of Pagan's comedy of errors - for an encore to his debacle in the second inning he threw some sort of side-armed ball to the infield which of course the brilliant-fielding Anderson Hernandez couldn't handle but hell, the runner advanced to third, big deal, he was already on second anyway and the single that followed him would certainly have scored him anyway.

Or how about Anderson's throw to the ghost on first in the 8th? Where was Murph? Lost somewhere near the pitching mound, of course! The 2009 Mets, as Vin Scully aptly warned us months ago, are really the 1962 Mets in disguise.

The haunted look on Wright's face says it all.

This was a ghastly game in a ghastly season compounded by the usual suspects of mediocrity and failure. "We were a bad team tonight." Jerry admitted disingenuinely. Tonight? What about all the other bloody nights in between? Have you finally narrowed it down Jerry to this one night?

So, look ahead brave Mets fans, down the long road of misery that awaits.


Mets Are Ambidextrous - Capable of Losing On Both Coasts

Not that it mattered one iota at the end of the day but for feck's sake, is there any reason to keep Tim Reddingg on the roster any more? What good is keeping these toss pot on the team when he can't even close out a simple inning against the Padres without walking home a bases loaded insurance run for them? (Actually, is increasing your lead to 5 really an "insurance" run, especially against the meagre Mets batting order?)

the usual suspects of loserdom.

Yes, the Mets travelled all the way to San Diego just to lose, just to humiliate themselves yet again and there's little more to report about it so I'll keep it necessarily brief.

All one can reasonably hope for is that the MLBTV feed won't include Tony Gwynn commenting on his own son's at-bats again.


Does This Team Come With A Laugh Track?

Well, you had to like the beginning; Niese looking sharp, David Wright hitting a first inning two-run homer.

going down like he'd been shot by a sniperhot, cold and.....hot again

Of course, an inning later, Wright commits an error at third and Niese hurts himself. He wouldn't be a proper Met if he didn't. That's the way these Mets roll, one debilitating injury after another.

And the funny part of course is Nelson Figueroa and his 10.57 ERA warming up in the bullpen. Why not just take the pistol, point it to the head and fire?

But a two-run triple off the bat of Figueroa, his first RBIs of the season? Wow.
Four and a third shutting innings after that embarassment a few nights ago? Nice comeback.

An improbable 9-0 laughter over the Cardinals, fired by solid pitching (including Bobby Parnell who, if rumour is any indication, may get a chance to start this season) and offensive outbreaks by Angel Pagan and Wright, who combined for 6 hits, 3 runs and 6 RBIs all by themselves all conspiring to erase the image of Niese collapsing like an accordian on the pitching mound after testing out his tragically torn hamstring.

The freakish injury to Niese will cost him his season. Freakish injury and Met are almost becoming synonymous words.

wow, where did my hammies go?

And let's just see about Castillo's "mild" ankle sprain. The Mets front office has a peculiar habit of downgrading injuries until avoiding the ugly truth is simply unavoidable, much as has happened with what appears to be the permanent disappearance of Jose Reyes and hamstring problems of his own which means the chances of trading him for value this offseason is virtually nil. He'll team up well with Delgado, who the Mets are apparently "likely" to re-sign. Of course. Why wouldn't you re-sign a guy who will turn 38 early next season and is coming off major hip surgery?

Surreal season gets surrealer. Maybe they should rename Shitty Field as Dali Park. Or Hamstring Heaven Field.

Did D'oh-Mar sign a pact with the devil a few years ago to make those Pedro and Beltran signings that nobody in Metsland thought were possible and is that pact now expiring without a World Championship in hand?

All questions we just don't know the answer to as this unexpected victory is digested.

The only thing we know is that not even the victories are happy occasions any more.