Tuesday, July 07, 2009


My Aunt JoJo was never one to mince words. She spoke her mind on a number of subjects, and lately I've been thinking a lot about her views on my obsession with sports.

"Why do you care so much?" she'd yell at me. (She wasn't angry. She just spoke loudly and passionately.) "You think they care about you? You think [insert athlete here] cares about what you're doing?"

The athlete in the above statement could have been anyone, though I remember references to Patrick Ewing and Boomer Esiason specifically.

Believe it or not, I was much more obsessive of a sports fan back then than I am now. And in the early 1990s it was the Knicks that were the object of my obsessiveness (probably a result of a combination of their [relative] success, the Mets' and Jets [very] lean years, and the baseball strike).

I remember the day I quit the Knicks, and took Aunt JoJo's words to heart. It was 1995 - Game 7 between the Indiana Pacers and Knicks, and Patrick Ewing missed a layup that would have sent the game into overtime. I still haven't seen this layup, my break with the NBA was so complete. After living and dying through the 1994 season, I saw most of the 1995 season, but I was working right outside Madison Square Garden the night of Game 7. We were listening to the game on the radio. (I tried looking up the video of the play on youtube, and found nothing. I think I'm happy saying I still haven't seen the missed layup after 14 years.)

Anyway, I watched people pouring out of the Garden with my head laying on the display counter feeling like someone had punched me in the gut. I watched those people, and they didn't look terribly disappointed. Or at least anywhere close to as disappointed as I was.

And I decided that probably felt better than the way I felt.

I resolved to take other things in life more seriously. Over the next few years, the NBA lockout and Patrick Ewing's involvement in the Atlanta strip club scandal helped me fully separate myself from the NBA, but I just couldn't cut ties with the Jets and Mets. (I get into the Rangers when I watch them, but I find hockey just doesn't stick in my gut like the other sports.)

But the point here is, I'm starting to feel that way about the Mets and Jets. I'd like to think it's not so much the losing as it is the way the team is (teams are, really) losing. I'm not getting the feeling anyone cares.

Dropped pop-ups, baserunning errors...these are the types of basics that are supposed to be givens with Major League teams.

I still love baseball. I love watching a random game on a summer night. I still love football. I still want the Mets and Jets to do well. I'm just feeling a lot less angst when they don't.

I'm also feeling a lot less inspired to write about these teams. So I think I'm shutting down the blog. Something happened after I hit five years - maybe it was the way the 2009 season was heading, but I don't think so. It started even in the early part of this year. I guess there were just other things on my mind.

That said, those other things on my mind might become my new writing passion - and therefore I might spend my time writing about things like family life, sports in general...maybe just some kind of humor about day-to-day life. So stay tuned, if you don't mind, for information about a new blog that I'm thinking about starting up. And thank you for five years of reading what I have to say.

This is not a good-bye forever, just a see you later for now. Because, as Aunt JoJo might say, "Why do you care about how many doubles David Wright hits? Do you think he is writing about how many diapers you change?"

Or, to answer her question, "Why do you care so much?", I might now answer, "I don't think I do." And if that's the case, I can't justify having you come back to this space every day.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


I was all set to bring you a recap of my second visit to Citi Field, when Francisco Rodriguez walked Mariano Rivera with the bases loaded.

I just don't have it in me right now. Maybe I'll get to Citi Field later this week.

If I still cared I think I'd cry right now.

I've talked many times about how I can't stand bases-loaded walks, and how it seems like it's just become more and more prevalent in the past decade or so (let's date it back to, say, the 1999 NLCS).

And then you have the Mets' big-money closer not able to throw 3 strikes past the other team's closer.

Nice job, Mets. Fantastic.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


I'm happy to report that my second visit to Citi Field felt good. More like home. I feel a lot better about my relationship with the Mets right now...and it didn't hurt that they won the game.

A couple of items of good news as well:

1) The place can get loud when it wants to. When Francisco Rodriguez toed the rubber against Albert Pujols in the 9th inning it was better than anything I saw on Opening Night. I want to see what the playoff atmosphere would be like there.

2) Someone with the Mets must be reading my blog. Because in the middle of the 8th inning, the Mets no longer play 'Sweet Caroline'...they do a "Meet The Mets" sing-along. Awesome. Just what the new ballpark needs.

I'll have some new pics and other Citi Field updates next week.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


I'm sure it hasn't gone unnoticed that it's been hard for me lately to keep up with '200 Miles From the Citi'. Part of this has been a busy home life, but I'm not going to lie - the Mets have been less and less inspiring to me as the season has gone on.

I think I'll address that another day. For now, I'm going to build on some feel-good momentum from last night and touch on a few topics that have been on my mind:

Last night, thanks to a class gift, The Wife and I were able to go to the Red Sox-Marlins game at Fenway Park. Despite the fact that the Red Sox missed the boat on building a new facility, there's always something special about watching a game at Fenway, especially at night, with the light towers. (Maybe because of 'Field of Dreams', I don't know).

It also helped that we had good seats, which is always a better viewing experience at Fenway.

As a nice bonus, last night also happened to be the 500th consecutive sellout at Fenway Park, so we received a commemorative baseball (on the way out the door; the Red Sox are not stupid) and other little giveaways throughout the night - we ended up with a free burrito. Rare giveaways at a place that doesn't really need to draw crowds with free items, so that was nice.

It made me think, though, that the Red Sox, while definitely successful between 2003 and 2009, have a bit of an advantage in that a sellout only needs to be 40,000 tickets sold (or less - 38,000+, I think). While that's more than teams like the Marlins and Nationals could dream of, I wonder how many other teams have had 40,000 for six straight years without being sellouts. The Yankees come to mind - even with their well-known troubles selling tickets this year, they are still over 40,000 a game. Just throwing that out there.

Some other things that have been on my mind:

Last night we happened to catch Brad Penny pitching for the Red Sox. With John Smoltz coming back into the Red Sox' plans for their rotation, rumor has it that Penny is expendable. (There are other options, but the Penny ones have caught my interest the most.) One of the teams rumored to be a destination for Penny is the Mets. I can't tell you how angry it would make me if the Mets traded for Brad Penny. They could have had him, on the cheap no less (unlike Oliver Perez and his 9+ ERA, high salary, and overall ineffectiveness), as a free agent. If they trade someone to get Penny, it might be the final straw that breaks the back of my already high level of frustration with the team.

Finally, you may remember a few years ago when I critiqued all of the Major League Baseball broadcasts. I didn't comment much on the Marlins guys, but I did mention that I was not a fan. They have not climbed the ladder too much in my view, and as I watch their 'sideline' reporter on occasion - I believe it's Craig Minnervini - they've dropped further. He creeps me out. One time in Arizona stands out in particular for me, when he leered at all of the girls in their bathing suits in a poolside interview. Well, that stuck with me, and it didn't go unnoticed last night when he made sure to introduce himself to Red Sox sideline reporter/former model Heidi Watney. Something tells me he doesn't go out of his way to make sure he gets to know the other male sideline reporters (which, it occurs to me, is not an extensive list beyond him) in the league.

So hopefully I'm getting back into updating the site more often. For some reason I hit the 5-year anniversary and maybe even a wall at the same time.

Again, I'll get into this more in a future post, but I'm feeling pretty upset with the Mets lately, though my enjoyment of baseball is still at its peak. Part of my issue is that it still feels odd for me watching the Mets play home games - I feel like I don't recognize anything.

Next week brings another trip to Citi Field. We'll see how things go after that trip. I'll have pictures and a new update on the new ballpark for sure by the first of July...but I will be updating before then as well.

Monday, May 25, 2009


Major League Baseball has been reading '200 Miles From the Citi' and has finally gotten the message:

A full slate of games, both afternoon and evening, on Memorial Day.

I've been commenting on this for years (see bottom paragraph).

Thank you, baseball.

UPDATE: I'm kind of liking these red Memorial Day hats around baseball today, especially on teams for whom red is not a primary uniform color. I'm looking forward to seeing what the Mets' logo looks like on the red. If it looks good, I might buy it. (Thanks to Phil Hughes for modeling the look.)

Sunday, May 24, 2009


There was one thing about the 2006 season that made the Mets' loss to the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS somewhat unsurprising.

No less disappointing...but almost as though, in retrospect, you could see 'it' coming.

The 'it', though, would have been a loss to the Boston Red Sox in the World Series, rather than an NLCS Game 7 loss to the Cardinals.

And the 'it' was the fact that the Mets were beatable...nowhere more on display than during their interleague series with the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

That was the last time the Mets were at Fenway, and of course, all things considered, the season was pretty successful after the Mets were swept in an ugly three-game series in Boston. (Relatively, successful, when compared with 2007 and 2008, I guess.)

The Mets' struggles were personified in that series by Lastings Milledge, who looked lost in left field, clueless as to how to play the Green Monster.

I was at the first of those three games, and looking back, I had forgotten that it was started by Alay Soler. So the Mets' starting pitching is somewhat comparable to those days...although, I guess Livan Hernandez is a better bet than Soler.

But the point is that the past two days have been encouraging. It shows that the Mets can hang with the big boys...and the fact that they're doing it undermanned is even more encouraging.

The Mets won with Johan Santana on the mound Friday night...you hope that happens each time he takes the mound. Mike Pelfrey was in his top form on Saturday, and you hope he looks like that if the Mets are fortunate to make it into October...I'll take 2 first inning runs if he settles down like he did on Saturday - that's how he was when he was at his best beginning last July and lasting for the rest of the season. But all of what has happened so far has been without Jose Reyes or Carlos Delgado in the lineup, without Carlos Beltran in center field (he's been DH), and with the likes of Omir Santos making huge contributions.

And today features Tim Redding against Tim Wakefield. Wakefield has been strong so far this season, but the knuckleball is always dicey, so he could be hittable, and anything positive the Mets get out of Redding is huge.

But even more huge would be a sweep in Boston. It'll wipe the struggles in Los Angeles right from the slate...and give these Mets something that the 2006 team didn't have - the confidence they can hang with the best.

RANDOM STAT: I've been holding onto this one, hoping it continues...but running my baseball pool allows me to keep track of random things - like the fact that until yesterday, Detroit hadn't lost on a Saturday or Sunday all season. I'm sad that ended yesterday....but they're still 12-1 on Saturdays and Sundays.

It's been a while since we checked in with Hall of Famer Gary Carter's Long Island Ducks:

The Ducks have lost 7 of their last 10, and stand at 14-13, 2-and-a-half games behind Southern Maryland, in third place in their division. Some guy named Ray Navarrette, who plays third base, leads the team with 6 homers and 19 RBI. He also leads the team with 7 errors, but I guess with how he's been hitting, you keep him in the lineup.

We'll keep you posted.