31.3.09

Opening Observations and Mailbag



Fresh from St Malo (not the secret site of the Mets Cognitive Training Camp as oft rumoured)the Army returns to find Bankrupt Field has officially hosted its first baseball game.

Believe it or not, the new field was reviewed in England:

"Thousands are losing their jobs and new skyscrapers are scratching around for tenants, but judging only by its baseball, no-one would know that New York is gripped by recession."


So whilst I can't say I was at the game, or at the Field, or in New York or even the United States, here are my Opening Observations and Mailbag which to date is without a soundtrack:



1. Jerry is not coy about Danny Murphy nor should anyone else be: What started as a a faint infatuation, a possible platoon in left field because a relegation of the NL's Mr Potato Head Comeback Player of the Year graduated to a first date and now, a full on relationship. Jerry says Murph (candidates for exploitative nickname; The Murphster, Murphopolis, Murphomania...) is going to bat second every day, no matter who is on the mound. This leads us to the first question pulled randomly out of the Mailbag:

Q: What happened to Luis Castillo, I thought he was going to bat lead off this year?
--Jerzy Jerk, Hoboken


Luis, despite a .459 on base percentage this Spring, has been demoted. Firstly, he will not bat lead off. Not unless Jose Reyes tears a hamstring or it's time for his September Slump. As evidenced by Jerry's revelation about Murphy, Luis is not even going to bat second. He's been demoted all the way down to 8th in the order. That's right, just slightly better than the pitcher. The New Jersey of the batting order, basically. According to David Lennon, Castillo has started 1446 games in his 13-year career, and only 81 of them have NOT been batting first or second.



2. Oliver Perez is the most predictably unpredictable baseball player that can be found to date on Google Earth. One start removed from public humiliation, revelations that he's out of shape, a public flogging by his pitching coach and rumours that his arm's full cast and crew are on perpetual mental health holidays, he throws 93 Major League pitches (albeit only against the zerOes) and does his best impression of a Major League pitcher to date, allowing only one run and four hits. This leads us to the second question pulled randomly from the bursting mailbag:

Q: Which Dysfunctional Barbie is Oliver Perez most like?
--Facebook Quiz Champion, Gabby Grdzrk, White Plains


That's easy: Gangsta Bitch Barbie, of course:



3. The biggest non-secret revelation from Jerry was that Livan Hernandez is the fifth starter although due to scheduling difficulties it doesn't appear likely that he will get to use this new fifth starter powers until April 11 in Florida.



"Nobody has told me anything," he said yesterday. "Nobody has shook my hand."

Livan, whose greatest claim to fame to date is to be the younger yet fatter half brother of El Duque, won the competition this spring by "out-pitching" Jon Niese (0-2, 6.75) and Fat Freddy Garcia (0-3 16.71).

This of course, leads us to our third question out of the mailbag:

Q: How come Livan doesn't have a high leg kick to his pitching motion like his more successful half-brother, El Duque?
--Robert Smith, Manhasset


Because Livan's legs are too meaty to be raised that high other than by machine and he is neither in the same shape El Duque was or worked out as hard as El Duque did. Ironically, he also didn't spend as much time in his career on the disabled list as El Duque has which proves yet again that you don't have to be in shape to be a pitcher, innit.

to name just a few Porker Pitchers...

4. No final word on the final roster spot.

Firstly, it appears someone, perhaps Nick Evans, will be on the team until Livan's start on the 11th. Depending on where you look, who you listen to and what you eat, you might be safe on betting that Reed, Castro, Cora, Tatis and the timeless Marlon Anderson are going to make the team. This thoroughly negates my efforts at seeing Bobby Kielty make the team for the Ginger Effect, despite the fact he can't hit righties to save his life. This leads us to the last question in the Mailbag:

Q: I noticed that Omar likes to sign Latino players, especially Dominicans. Why hasn't he signed any Nigerian Spammers? Is Omar prejudiced against Nigerian Spammers?
--Dr. Francis Sonto Mbomam, Lagos


Thank you, good and undoubtedly highly qualified Doctor of Spam, for your highly intriguing question. If you recall, it was only last season, yes, it seems like decades but it was actually LESS than a year ago, happy days, that Willie Randolph was managing this Mets club. A sullen, angry and bum-patting Willie Randolph. So in his memory, I will reply to your question the way Willie replied a little more than 10 months ago:

"Is it racial?" Randolph asked. "Huh? It smells a little bit."

Jose Reyes SS: Dominican
Daniel Murphy LF: Floridian
David Wright 3B: Virginian
Carlos Delgado 1B: Puerto Rican
Carlos Beltran CF: Puerto Rican
Ryan Church RF: Californian
Ramon Castro/John Schneider C: Puerto Rican/Floridian
Luis Castillo 2B
: Dominican

14 comments:

katherine said...

Jaap - the Telegraph article says that front row seats at Yankee and Citi are 1,800 pounds per seat, per game. Are they really so expensive, or is it an error, or has the pound really taken a beating? Considering the author calls the old stadium "The Shea", I am wondering whether he really went to NY at all, maybe he just spent the weekend reading blogs and smoking weed in Amsterdam, then phoned it in.

And poor Livan, his sad quote, "Nobody has shook my hand" brought tears to my eyes! Really, I feel sorry for him. He deserves better than that.

Thanks for alerting your readers to the useful and informative Dysfunctional Barbie quiz. I took it and found out I am "Lactating Barbie". So I will ponder that for a while.

Jaap said...

Katherine, yes the pound has really taken a beating. A trip to America used to be like going to third world it was so cheap but now the it takes less than 1 1/2 dollars to buy a pound. The Euro is a virtual one for one with the pound now. The UK is becoming one big sweatshop. As for Telegraph writer calling it "The Shea", there is indeed always the chance, considering it's the Telegraph, that the writer is simply some drunken Bullingdon Club toff who paid a French uni student at Oxford smoking weed in Amsterdam to phone the article in on his behalf. He would never stoop to writing his own column. Still, "The Shea" has a certain melody to it, innit?

Perhaps a new phrase can be coined for certain moments in the Mets 2009 season; "as sad as a Livan Hernandez handshake". We'll keep that for future use and perhaps I'll put together the Livan Hernandez Handshake Club (although that sounds a bit too dodgy for a baseball blog) when the need arises this season. Thanks for these contribs!

And don't feel bad Katherine, about your Barbie results. I took it for purely research purposes and was "Goth Barbie". I wonder why there isn't a Dysfunctional GI Joe quiz, like Peace Activist Joe or Cross-Dressing Joe or even Abu Ghraib Joe, no?

katherine said...

well, while I'm not happy about being up at 6 in the morning, laughing at the mental image of Peace Activist Joe made my day. Better than a cup of coffee. Thanks.

I.M. Forme said...

haha good show ladies and germs.

Also, asked about the mets plans for their corner outfield spots, willie said, "huh? it smells a little bit."

katherine, you're lucky jaap tolerates you spilling his trade secrets--spending the weekend reading blogs and smoking weed in Amsterdam, then phoning it in--so brazenly! If this gets out, we could be looking at a dangerous proliferation of metsblogs in the coming years.

Jaap said...

Katherine, caffeine substitute - wow, I've hit the big time!

Jaap said...

Mr Forme, there is no danger. The real enemy of mets blogging proliferation are those nutters coming out of London clubs at 6 am high as kites on ketamine.

jdon said...

Dear Jaap:
Q: Why is Castillo on this team?
Q: Why is Tatis on this team?
Q: Why can't we find a better hitting and defending catcher than Schneider?
Q: What is Razor Shines real first name?
Q: Why is Ramon Castro allowed to report to ST every year with a body that looks like a bag of basketballs? And then go on the DL 3 times a year?
Q: Why hasn't anyone started a nasty string of stories about Tony Bernazard yet this year?
Q: Why is Jose Reyes so stupid?
Q: Why isn't David Wright taller? It would make all the difference in the world.
Q: Why is Omar an idiot?
Q Why are the Wilpons a couple of shmucks?

I.M. Forme said...

we are seeing a renaissance of Jdon. First, he is being funnier than me on my blog (a real no no) and now this. I can answer only one of these questions:

Q: Why hasn't anyone started a nasty string of stories about Tony Bernazard yet this year?

A: I saw Tony Bernazard giving A-Rod head in a Chuckie Cheese. In the colored ball pit.

jdon said...

I find these two blogs very funny. I laugh so hard my corns hurt (do people really still have corns?). I like to laugh. I just don't like to laugh at my baseball team. But if I don't, then I am afraid I would cry.

Jaap said...

Dear jdon, here are the answers to your questions in order:

Q: Why is Castillo on this team?
A: Blogger punching bag. His role is even more important this season with Heilman gone.
Q: Why is Tatis on this team?
A: Because SOMEBODY needs to separate their shoulder on this team. Better him than Maine.
Q: Why can't we find a better hitting and defending catcher than Schneider?
A: We can. Omar can't.
Q: What is Razor Shines real first name?
A: Mr I changed positions because I couldn't beat out Gary Carter as the Expos catcher and then when I learned to play first base who comes up but Andres Galarraga. (you see, Razor is much easier to write...)
Q: Why is Ramon Castro allowed to report to ST every year with a body that looks like a bag of basketballs? And then go on the DL 3 times a year?
A: Because he can break up a clubhouse with his Vinny Castillo impression. You know the one where you make yourself look like a fat pig?
Q: Why hasn't anyone started a nasty string of stories about Tony Bernazard yet this year?
A: The good sir, Mr Forme has answered this in my stead.
Q: Why is Jose Reyes so stupid?
A: Because there's no such thing as a thinking man's shortstop. Besides, intelligence would slow him down.
Q: Why isn't David Wright taller? It would make all the difference in the world.
A; He tried to be taller but playing third base in high heels is just too difficult.
Q: Why is Omar an idiot?
A: He's still trying out for Akira Kurosawa's film even though it was already made in 1951.
Q Why are the Wilpons a couple of shmucks?
A: Because there's two of them. If there were five of them, they'd be a quintuple of schmucks.

I hope this helps your viewing pleasures, jdon

jdon said...

LOL!!! Excellent. I actually thought the questions were rhetorical. Meat as a kind of pastiche on Omar. Bravo

jdon said...

meant, not meat, in case it is confusing.


although meat MIGHT work.

Jaap said...

I'm glad you clarified that, jdon. I was thinking of meat and pistachios and then meat and potatoes and all sorts, so good for straightening the record. Even though I've got a vague craving for pistachios now anyway.

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