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.


Frankie Boy Blows Rare Chance At Victory

Sure, you can say that Sean Green surrendered the game-breaking grand slam to Albert Pujols in the top of the 10th last night and blame him but let's face it, in the top of the 9th with a two run lead and your star closer, the guy you signed in the offseason precisely for this kind of situation, coming in, that's a game you win right there or you can forget it.

Tragic, Frankie Boy. Simply tragic.

So Frankie Boy, maybe it's best the Mets are all but mathematically eliminated from the playoffs already. Just think of the heart ache we'd be spared us in September when he gives up a few key runs in vital pennant-losing losses against the Phillies or Marlins or Braves to see the Mets knocked out of the race.

Note to D'oh-Mar (who we all know despite the desire of every Mets fan is going to be back next season whether we like it or not because that's how the Wilpons roll, lathered in stupidity....): better make sure to re-sign Hillybilly Wagner next season to your the typical three year extension you give to wash-outs because this Frankie Boy can't be trusted. Not in big games.

(and forget about the fact Wagner hasn't even wowwed 'em over in Buffalo yet; if Figueroa can tear it up in Buffalo and get shredded like he did against the miserable D'backs two nights ago, statistics in Buffalo DO lie so don't believe them....)

And speaking of people blowing it and people coming back from injury, how about Luis Castillo falling down the bloody dugout steps last night and spraining his ankle for an encore?!

Yes, the same injury-prone Luis Castillo who, in this season of surreal struggle against one decimating injury after another has managed somehow to escape his own tragic fate and who even, dare we say, nearly justified D'oh-Mar's three year contract deal for him this season with the what is still, easily the most surreal moment of the season (the dropped pop-up against the Yankees lest you've forgotten in this haze of forgettable moments) and still managed to hit .297 and get on base (when Jerry had him hitting second where he belongs and not lead-off or batting bloody 8th) at a .393 clip.

So your star closer blows the game and one of your most reliable players injures himself tripping down the dugout steps like a buffoon: quite a night. A typical night in fact, for a Met. Incompetency, injury and buffoonery, the season's highlight reel from the lowliest Buffalo call-up to the top of the managerial food chain. These are your miserable Mets.

But hey, other than that, this was a great game.

You had those two Santana to Wright fielding gems that allowed Wright to show off his tragically unsteady gun; the first when Johan failed to make a spectacular diving catch of a pop up but Wright recovered and gunned down the runner, who'd been standing at the plate thinking it was a fouled pitch back (how very observant) and the second when a ball ricochet'd off of Santana's foot (why not a broken ankle and season ending injury, who knows?), Wright recovered it and gunned down the runner at first. The only two decent Mets left standing and they combined for two superb outs.

You also had Santana's stunning two-run double in the second inning to give himself the lead that he wouldn't hold.

And let's face it, yes, the Cardinals batting order is now formidable in comparison to the Mets' batting order even with Sheffield back from his forced disability (don't think we missed the Mets making him go on the disabled list even though he wasn't disabled) but c'mon Mr Ace Starter, 8 innings or not, is 5 earned runs really that impressive or have our standards just sunk that low?

Ok, you're right - if anyone is above criticism it's Santana who is so good, so competetive and so healthy that he doesn't really seem like a Met. But I'm just saying, low standards or not, is 9 hits and 5 earned runs over 8 innings really a sparkling performance?

And right in the middle of it all you've got Jeff Francoeur's 0 for 5 performance hanging there. Anyone guessing the honeymoon is over yet? Fuck it. Ryan Church has missed the Braves' last 6 games, we're not missing anything.

And of course, the bullpen. That lovable, huggable bullpen everyone was so enamoured with only yesterday after holding the D'Backs to no runs the rest of the game and keeping the Mets in a game they were mathematically eliminated from by the 2nd inning. Sean Green, you lovable, huggable Met, so glad when it counted you showed your true colours.

Last night? 10th inning with the game on the line against a playoff calibre team?

Gack! Hack! Choke! Puke!

Of course.

Listen, just be grateful the Mets suck so bad this season. Just think of how painful this loss would have been had the Mets been in the thick of a playoff race. And remember how very typical it would have been. Then you'll know you're better off this far out of it. You're already anaesthetised to losing.

And look, the season's over already. Why in the HELL is Sheffield not clearing waivers and getting traded to someone for a few prospects? Is it because D'oh-Mar has secret plans to sign HIM to a three year extension as well? Don't be surprised.


Those Beards Aren't Getting Any Shorter; Mets Drop Series To Miserable D'Backs

First of all, where is David Wright's beard?

I know he's a kid, or looks like a kid and he's got a helium voice and doesn't always hit in the clutch but by crikey, when your team has pledged to grow beards until you reach .500 and you fall 5 games below .500 against one of the worst teams in the league, a team even worse than your own team, you expect a manchild like David Wright to grow a flippin beard in solidarity. I don't even see any peachfuzz on his face.

It ent David Wright's beard, that's for sure.


Now as for the game itself, a bucket to puke in will suffice.

For one, Nelson Figueroa, who was on fire with Buffalo (let that be a lesson, a la Cory Sullivan: being hot in Buffalo don't mean jack in the Major Leagues so the next time in our pathetic yearning for answers we point out what so and so is doing in Buffalo, don't listen. Buffalo doesn't hold any answers for this sad sack collective. Buffalo is a wasteland of talentless wanna-bees.

Six runs and 10 bloody hits in less than two innings work?! Not even Ollie Perez is that bad. Let's say that again in case it isn't clear: Not even Ollie Perez is that bad. Now you KNOW you're bad.

You've got to believe he was tipping his pitches and Arizona scouts were privvy to it.

Or maybe Figueroa just sucks? 2nd pitch of the game, double to leadoff hitter Drew, next guy up, Gerardo Parra, singles the run home, 4 pitches into the game, down 1-0.

And how about Jerry's pep talk post-match mumbling about how the Mets showed character by not quitting after they went down 6-0.

Yup, that's what we want to hear. Little chats about showing character. The kiss of death.

when is this kid a free agent?

Mark Reynolds hit nearly as many homers in 3 games at Shitty Field as any other Met all season. Sad, sick, pathetic lack of power from the Mets. Even Miquel Montero hit a homer, another tee-off off of Figueroa.

Yes, the Mets rallied back, Jerry's right, the team showed character and at least kept the game remotely interesting even if in the back of your mind you knew all along the comeback was doomed. True, I didn't think even the Mets were so pathetic they'd lose three out of four to the Diamondbacks at home but in case you thought the Mets had any prayer in making it to the post-season, this series should have set you straight.

But guess what? Like everyone else, I don't care about moral victories. Can we sneak David Wright in past the waiver wire and trade for someone with some facial hair for crissakes?


Magical Lineup Is A Dud, What Hope Remains?

Well, the magical lineup is no more.

The perfect summary to the season; rain and hands in your mouth

Jerry went to the well once more with the B-lineup and unlike the previous 6 times, it wasn't sufficient to get the Mets a victory. Instead they watched Jon Garland master them for a complete game victory and another loss dropping them deeper into the oblivion.

Is this misery at knowing his pitched like rubbish or that he's resembled Ollie in doing so?

Pelf pitched much like Ollie the night before; ineffectively, throwing well over 100 pitches in 5 innings of work and whilst not surrendering a ton of runs, the ineffectual, big pitch count outing led to the early appearance of the bullpen and not surprisingly, more runs.

Pelf made way for Sheffield and gave Jerry a hard fist pump in the dugout after he'd taken off his batting helmet to make way for Sheff, who ripped what seemed like an RBI single but ended up in the first baseman's glove to temper the rally.

The non-tag and non-foot-on-the-plate play that kept the game from being uglier

The bullpen, particularly Pat Misch, who disappeared for two weeks following his last unsuccesful outing against the Braves and Tim Redding, who the Mets could only gain from by making him disappear as well, just compounded the misery, both allowing a run, neither looking very much they belong on the roster and, given the silence of the Mets at the plate, sealed the 5-2 victory for the Diamondbacks and leaving the Mets looking at a split of their 4 game home series as a best case scenario.

Should we bother bashing David Wright for grounding into consecutive double plays after Castillo singles? It's hard to say with the entire performance of the team lost in a dreary uninspirational fog.

They had their big moment, or their chance at their big moment in the 5th when Francoeur led off with a homer, Sullivan followed with a triple and Cora with an RBI double, three straight extra base hits to lead off the inning and cut the D'back lead to 3-2 but thereafter, the momentum dribbled away from them, batter by batter and before they knew it the inning was over, their starter was gone and they were still losing. Thereafter, the experience of watching the remainder of the game was handicapped by the inevitability of losing.

And so they slip, further and further from a chance at the post-season, finally a September collapse subplanted by a season-long malaise they keeps even the most optimistic fan from ever hoping, from having their heart broken late in the season again.


Magical Lineup Returns, Mets Win Again

A batting order with Angel Pagan batting leadoff, Murph batting cleanup, Cory Sullivan hitting 6th followed by Alex Cora, the enemic Brian Schneider followed by the pitcher is hardly frightening. It's laughable. It's minor leagueish. Yet with precisely that batting order the Mets won 5 in a row before this Diamondback series and after two straight losses using a different lineup, Willie wised up and returned to that same order that was so successful earlier.

Pagan's blast kept the Mets undefeated in August, his first homer in two years.

I mean what the hell, the season has already seen its fair share of weird moments. Why shouldn't a batting order like that end up keeping the Mets afloat until all their superstars make their magical comebacks?

Last night that those four banjo hitters (excluding Murph who seems certain to bust out again before the end of the season and prove his great natural hitting skills) combined for 6 hits and 7 RBIs including Pagan's game-winning grand slam homerun in the 8th, the first of his career. In the games where Murph has hit cleanup, coincidentally the Mets have scored 45 runs going 6-0. Why would you mess with that? Especially with the feeble way the Mets have hit most of the season. Who knows why, but it works.

You might say last night's improbable 9-6 victory had little to do with the pitching, especially when Oliver Perez only barely managed to complete five innings in horrific fashion, walking 5, giving up 6 hits and 3 runs, taking 112 pitches just to get that far and confirming for the trillionth time that his potential means nothing in the face of his inconsistency. But other than K-Rod's one out save, his first since the All Star break, and Pedro Feliciano's sparkling showing, the pitching overall, was unimpressive. Stokes and Parnell both dodgy - Parnell all over the place in his inning stint and Stokes having to be pulled to make way for K-Rod with two out in the 9th. Six pitchers to hold a lousy team like the Diamondbacks to six runs. Not very impressive.

But, they won and in a miserable season like this, you've got to be grateful for every win you get. Just so the magical tease, the mad delusion that the Mets might creep up to the wild card lead with all their injured men making magical returns in time to save the franchise...it's silly, really. These Mets aren't going anywhere, not with this cast. It's admirable that they keep fighting on anyway but the reality is .500 is not only far away, but an impossibly long road to maintain.

Not sure what the Mets are thinking, not shaving til they reach .500. They might be unrecognisable by next Spring. Besides, David Wright can't grow a beard yet, can he?