Wednesday, June 28, 2006


(game's not over yet, so I don't know the final score)

I think the Mets are making too much of this series. I know it's a big series, what with Pedro Martinez* making his return to Fenway Park and pitching against his former team for the first time. And it's also the best team in the National League against the team that's tearing up the NL during Interleague play. But I think the Mets are making too much of that, and they're not showing the team they really are. This is just ugly. The Mets are playing bad baseball - they're making errors (looking at you, Milledge), they're not making smart plays (Pedro*), and they're doing bad elementary baseball like missing cutoff men. That's not the stuff that's gotten them to 47 wins thus far.

That's not to take anything away from the Red Sox, though - they're playing some really good baseball right now. Really good. They're a good team - but I don't think they're this good - they're just clicking all around right now, which is too bad for the Mets. (It doesn't help, though, that the Mets aren't pitching well - Pedro* got rocked tonight, and Alay Soler threw as many ball as strikes on Tuesday night - so it's a little bit of bad pitching to go with the great hitting.)

Now, Carlos Delgado has just homered, and things can't get much worse defensively, and it's still maybe the Mets can make a comeback here. But the truth is, both Tuesday's game and Wednesday's game have been dreadful. (OK...later on in the game, I'm realizing a comeback isn't happening.)

I'll touch on Tuesday's game a minute - I took zero pictures. I just didn't feel like taking out the camera. Before the game the Red Sox honored their 1986 American League Championship team - and on the scoreboard it said something like "Welcome 1986 Champs". They didn't say that would be the Mets. I still think that ceremony should have waited for the Angels to be in town. I will say, though, that the Red Sox made a very classy move by putting a video tribute on the board for Pedro Martinez*, spurring a standing ovation for him in between innings. That was a really nice move, and it set the tone for Wednesday night.

Back to Wednesday's game...a big disappointment. But that's what I expected (except I expected a Mets win in the deal). I didn't think it would live up to the hype...I thought Josh Beckett would get rocked in the Beckett-Martinez* duel. Instead, Pedro* got killed, Milledge didn't help, and Pedro* didn't help himself by prolonging the first inning by making a mental error, getting just one out instead of two. It could have been a whole different game there. And it cost Pedro* the opportunity to win a game against the Red Sox - which would have made him one of a very few players (I forget how many have done this) to get a win against all 30 Major League teams. That doesn't look like it's going to happen.

I really think the Tom Glavine-Curt Schilling matchup on Thursday will live up to the hype...and I really hope the Mets can come away from this series with a win, heading into a weekend series against the Yankees. I think they need to relax a bit, and not play so tight. Loosen up and play like they've been playing all year.

ANNOUNCER SWAP: Ron Darling spent an inning with Don Orsillo on NESN, while Jerry Remy visited SNY. I was under the impression it was going to be the full game...I was wrong. Darling did a nice job. We have SNY blacked out, so I don't know what went on with Remy, but I'm sure it was awesome. NESN showed him in the SNY booth - and he brought his little Wally in his Adirondack chair with him to the SNY booth. So that alone is awesome.

Also - I wonder if this is part of NESN and SNY trying to develop a comfortable working relationship, in advance of a possible post-season meeting (not just Mets-Red Sox - even something Red Sox-Yankees). Not only did they swap analysts, but the SNY open had some of the exact same treated video of Pedro* in their open as NESN did in theirs.

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL ROUNDUP: I know he's pitched well, but I just love that Roger Clemens is 0-2 after two starts. I hope he loses them all.

Jae Seo was traded again - the Dodgers sent him to the Devil Rays on Tuesday (along with Dioner Novarro for Mark Hendrickson and Toby Hall). That's a decent trade for the Dodgers, because Hendrickson has been pitching really well lately. I saw Seo pitching for Tampa tonight - not sure if he was starting or not - but he's wearing uniform number 98. Not sure why. That's an odd number, though.

FUN & GAMES: The Wife spotted Mr. Met in the background of a shot in the first inning, walking around Fenway Park with Wally the Green Monster. Good eyes by her. But it reminded me that I forgot to mention a couple of weeks ago that Mr. Met was in Kansas City to help their mascot celebrate his birthday. So he's really making the rounds.

THE KID'S KIDS: The St. Lucie Mets haven't played in a while - after being rained out on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday's games were all postponed because of wet grounds. Lots of weather problems in Florida - we'll see if they get tonight's game in.

FANTASY UPDATE: The What If Nationals are facing elimination - down 2 games to none in the Wild Card playoff round to the What If Reds. I wouldn't mind them losing the next game so I never have to visit that site again.

BEAT THE STREAK: Nothing to cool off the hottest player in baseball, Jose Reyes, like me taking him in Beat The Streak. Thursday I'll go with Carlos Lee to hit a bomb off of Mark Prior.

Monday, June 26, 2006


I hate to take a shot at the Red Sox (no I don't), and their flagship station, WEEI (hands-down the worst sports radio station in America), but with the Mets coming to town to play three games, all bets are off - it's time to start trash-talking them anyway.

I need to qualify why I was listening to WEEI in the first place - because it NEVER plays into my radio rotation anymore. God bless ESPN Radio coming to Boston (although that was nearly ruined by ESPN Radio Boston centering its programming around Michael Felger of the Boston Herald....but I digress). I'm picking up some summer work at a baseball camp - it is during the day, and it ends at 1pm. So today, as I was driving home, I figured I'd listen to the Red Sox-Phillies makeup game...hence, WEEI 850AM is on my car radio.

With the Mets coming to town, the Red Sox are honoring their 1986 American League Champions (this seems odd to me - I don't know that you should celebrate a team that lost a World Series when the team you lost the World Series to is in town...maybe when the Angels are in town - the team you beat to reach the World Series...but I digress again). There will be a celebration before Tuesday night's game. But Monday night, with the gap in programming (it was supposed to be a Sox off day, it became a Sox day game), WEEI decided to re-air Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. And they aired a promo for this during the Sox game....and they tease it as "Tune in to Game 6 of the 1986 World Series - with a NEW ending!"

This isn't a TV sitcom, where you can change the's a piece of history - you just can't change it. Now, I'm all for honoring your 1986 accomplishments - but don't fictionalize something traumatic for your fans...instead, focus on the positives - replay a game the Sox won in the 1986 World Series. Replay Game 5 of the ALCS of that year (the Dave Henderson game). Don't change the ending of Game 6 of the World Series. Ugh. I'm tempted to switch on 850 to see what they change the ending to (apparently it was a contest won by a listener, picking a new ending) - but that would go against everything I believe in. I can't turn on 850. I'll just wait and see if it's written about in the newspaper tomorrow - I'm sure I'll hear about it somewhere.

Speaking of tomorrow - It'll be Alay Soler against Jon Lester in the first game of the series - and it can't hurt that the Sox had to play 12 innings today.

Also...the Red Sox are now 11-1 against the National League, the Mets are the best team in the National League, and they're starting to get some national recognition...this is going to be a big series. Not to mention the return of Pedro* on Wednesday.

****UPDATE: SMARTEST IDEA I'VE EVER HEARD: The Mets and Red Sox are swapping broadcasters on Wednesday night. Ron Darling will analyze the game with Don Orsillo on NESN, and Jerry Remy will join Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez on SNY. I think that's just great. I'm glad I'm not going to the Pedro* game now.****

COMPUTER PROBLEMS: I'm really trying to get pictures on - hopefully I'll have pictures of Tuesday night's Red Sox-Mets game (I'll be there)....but at the rate this computer is working, I'm lucky to even get this post up. So hopefully pictures will be on soon, but I'm just glad I can write anything.

THE KID'S KIDS: The St. Lucie Mets' 8-1 win on Sunday gave them sole possession of first place in the division in the second half of the season (3-1). Monday's game between the Mets and Brevard County was rained out - It will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Tuesday.

FANTASY UPDATE: I took 1 out of 4 versus the What If Nationals, ending the season 74-88. The Nationals did indeed clinch the Wild Card, so good for the Southern Bureau. As for Dave in Brighton's posting alluding to possible collusion, I respond by saying that I hardly think not starting the same guy for four games in a row qualifies as collusion...quite the contrary, I think it's smart What If Baseball. What a disaster this was. 20 bucks right down the toilet. Chalk one up for The Wife - she saw that coming. I'll keep you posted on the Nationals success (hopefully he'll win the whole darn thing.)

P.S. - I just got a message to play again with the same group of people. No thank you.

BEAT THE STREAK: Bobby Abreu got a hit - I'm at 2 games. I'm going with the hottest ballplayer in the majors, Jose Reyes, for Tuesday and Wednesday at Fenway.

Sunday, June 25, 2006


Mets 7, Blue Jays 4 (NYM: 47-28, TOR: 41-34)

I was actually looking forward to this Mets-Blue Jays series. I was thinking it would be some great baseball, and I was looking forward to watching some of it. I saw none of it, other than highlights. Friday night, I went out to celebrate the last day of school, so I didn't catch that game...a Mets win, 6-1. Saturday, the game was blacked out here because of the Red Sox' national telecast on FOX, but it's just as well - the Blue Jays won that one 7-4. Rough start for El Duque. Sunday, it was all Mets (apparently) early Sunday start - 12:00 - Jose Reyes set the tone a little after noon, and the Mets followed suit.

Reyes led off the game with a home run, his eighth of the year, he went 4-for-5, and stole his 34th base. Reyes is on a 32-for-57 tear, raising his average from .246 all the way to .302. This is the third time in five games Reyes has had a 4-hit game, and the second straight. He's on a 13-game hitting streak, and one of those games - the first of the 4-hit games - Reyes hit for the cycle.

Steve Trachsel had a good (not great) outing, giving up 4 ER in 5 innings, with 6 hits, and 3 walks. He won his fourth straight decision. Billy Wagner did the ol' walk-the-tightrope in the 9th, giving up 2 walks, but he did close it out for the save.

Carlos Beltran* hit his 20th homer of the season, and Jose Valentin added a solo shot. I'm very happy with the Mets taking two out of three against Toronto - they're a very good team. The Mets are one win from 16 in the month of June - hopefully they'll get a few wins this week. Next up is the big Red Sox- Mets series, at Fenway Park. I'll be at the game Tuesday night - should be Alay Soler against Jon Lester.

PEDRO*: I was wrong on one of my early-season predictions - it doesn't look like Pedro Martinez* will back out of a start in Boston. I was surprised how little the Boston media talked about Pedro* coming only really started the past couple of days up here. But Pedro* is really playing it up in the papers that he expects a nice welcome when he takes the mound at Fenway. So I guess that's his angle - if he's going to start here, he'd better make the fans out to be idiots if they boo him. And really, he's right. It should be a good series.

2 PIECES OF MAIL: These have been sitting in the mailbox since Thursday and Friday - about time I got to them:

"Dear JohnnyMets,

While the Red Sox were playing the Nationals this week, I heard the Boston broadcasters talking about how Alfonso Soriano could become trade bait as the July 31 trading deadline approaches. So what do you think -- is there room for a $10 million error machine in the infield of the 2006 World Series Champion New York Mets?


Dave - The Alfonso Soriano thing is interesting. First of all, I think he'll be traded - and I think he might just be the biggest name that gets traded at the deadline (I don't think John Smoltz will end up going anywhere). I do not, however, think the Mets will be players. While they do have a hole of sorts at second base (Jose Valentin is filling the gap quite nicely, and Chris Woodward will be seeing time there), I think that hole will be filled by Anderson Hernandez or Jeff Keppinger, making a mostly homegrown infield in the coming years. The Mets just got rid of a big-contract block at second base, preventing the infusion of youth at the position - I don't think they'll get involved with Soriano and create that type of situation again (albeit, a productive big-contract guy, instead of Kaz Matsui). The other interesting thing about Soriano is that he's increased his value a little bit because he has played pretty well in the outfield. While he wants to play second base at heart, a team could probably get away with acquiring him and using him in the outfield for the rest of this season. Makes you wonder if a deal back to the Bronx is possible, with the outfield holes the Yankees have right now.

Also, this e-mail:

"Johnnymets -

I cannot be happier with the play of our National League leading NY Mets. However, I am very concerned about Wagner. He is being paid millions to get 3 outs a game, and not even in every game, yet he is not living up to his big pay check. What happens down the stretch, or more importantly, in the World Series? Do we give Sanchez a shot if Wagner continues to get in trouble and can't find the plate? Let me know what you think.

Steve from Queens"

Steve - you bring up Sanchez, which I forgot to mention - he pitched on Friday night, and threw just two pitches before leaving with a pinched nerve in his neck. He's listed as day-to-day - but he's been so effective, it was unsettling to see him get hurt. Hopefully he'll come back feeling fine. That said, as good as Sanchez has been - there's no way the job's going to be taken away from Wagner. I've said this before, I think that finger thing that bothered Wagner during spring training is still bothering him. There's no other reason I could think of, besides the Mets uniform, as to why Wagner is so ineffective. I really thought he was the type of guy who blows a couple of saves early, then is consistent the rest of the year. He has not been consistent at all so far this year. But he's the guy who's going to get the ball at the end of games. Hopefully he'll come through in the clutch for the Mets through the post-season. (P.S. - you know the Mets are doing good when Steve from Queens 'couldn't be happier' with their play...those of you who read often know he's about as negative as Mets fans come.)

BOOF: It's been a while since a Boof Bonser update - but he pitched 6 shutout innings against the Cubs on Saturday, outdueling Mark Prior. Thought that was worth mentioning. Boof's ERA is still up there - about 4.68, but he's contributing to a very hot Twins team right now, and I bet he has a spot in their rotation for a while to come. The win was his second big-league win, so he's now 2-1.

**I'm having some trouble putting pictures on here...might be related to the recent spate of computer troubles we've had here....hope I can get that working again soon. Just wanted to let you know about the lack of pics lately.****

THE KID'S KIDS: What with all the end-of-the-school-year commotion, I stopped paying much attention to the St. Lucie Mets and the entire Florida State League season. It's broken up into two halves, which I'm not sure I realized (I think last year's Gulf Coast League was done the same way), and the Mets needed to win on Wednesday to clinch the first half title. They did, beating Brevard County, 5-2, finishing the first half 40-30. "I told the players before the game that our destiny was in our own hands," said St. Lucie manager Gary Carter, who didn't know the Cardinals' result during his team's game. "I'm not going to take any credit [for the title]. It was the kids, we can only motivate them. We try to pound into their heads good, sound, fundamental baseball."

You'll remember that the Kid's Kids in Rookie League qualified for the post-season last year as well. The Kid is going places. He'll also be managing the U.S. squad in the Futures Game, the All-Star Game for the best of the minor leagues, in a World vs. U.S. format. It takes place the Sunday before the Major League All-Star Game, in Pittsburgh's PNC Park, the site of this year's All-Star Game. So on Wednesday, Hall of Famer Gary Carter was on ESPNEWS' "The Hot List" with Brian Kenney to talk about that, and other things. Carter still loves to hear himself talk. There's no such thing as a short answer with him....and his goal now is to manage a Major League team, and take them to a World Series championship. Of course, I'll root for him...but it depends on the Mets' situation when he ends up taking over a team. Obviously, with Willie Randolph's success, he's not going anywhere for a long time, and with Gary Carter's minor-league success, he's going places fast. So he won't be managing the Mets. I can only hope it's a team whose success doesn't effect the Mets.

On Sunday, the St. Lucie Mets were winning 8-1 in the sixth when I decided to post this, so let's assume they go on to win, shall we? That makes the Mets 3-1 on the young second half of the season.

FANTASY UPDATE: I'm getting my rear end kicked lately, so it's not worth mentioning how the What If Mets are doing in the season's final week. But for the sake of the Southern Bureau, we'll update the What If Nationals (also with a catcher named Gary Carter, so that's a bonus), who are about to wrap up the Wild Card - a 4-game lead with 4 to play....coincidentally, all against me. I was actually considering starting Dwight Gooden every game down the stretch, to see how awesome his numbers would come out to be, but I won't do that now against Washington, lest I win all four. I'm rooting for you, Nationals!

It's a shame this season is just ending when school ends, when I could actually devote a little time to it....but then again, it wouldn't make a lick of difference if I did devote some time to it, anyway.

BEAT THE STREAK: I may have partied a little too hard after the final day of school, so Saturday I forgot to make a Beat the Streak pick, so I had to start all over on Sunday. I took Jose Reyes, and he's got me started on another streak. Monday, I'll go with Bobby Abreu against the knuckleball of Tim Wakefield (if he still starts Monday...I think he will).

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Mets 8, Reds 2, in progress in the 8th

Here's an encouraging sign - a really good start for Steve Trachsel. Trachsel went 6+ innings (unfortunately, the "+" was leaving with the bases loaded in the 7th), and was very, very effective. He even hit a home run!

Duaner Sanchez got Trachsel out of that 7th inning jam, giving up just one run, pitching very well in the 7th and then staying on.

After being beaten up by former Mets this weekend against Baltimore, it was a former Met who helped the Mets blow this game open in the bottom of the 7th. David Weathers came in for Cincinnati, walked a batter, gave up a 2-run homer to Xavier Nady (his first hit since coming off the DL), and allowed the Mets some breathing room....they led 8-2 after 7.

I'm going to take advantage of the big lead to get to bed early. I'll miss Wednesday's game because I'll be at the Red Sox-Nationals game, so I won't post. Thursday is a day game...I'll post Thursday night.

I'm assuming the Mets hold onto the 6-run lead with just 4 outs to go right now...that means 4 more wins to reach 16 in June!

INTERESTING NUANCE: I noticed tonight for the first time that David Wright has a little bit of a Nomar Garciaparra thing going on in between pitches when he's at bat. After every pitch, he tucks his bat under his arm, tugs on each batting glove, then adjusts the neck of his jersey, and lets out a deep breath.

I told The Wife about this, and it wasn't news to her. (Not surprising to me, I guess, that she studies Wright's every move.) I guess she watches different parts of the game than I do.

THE KID'S KIDS: Monday night Brevard County added 5 more runs after I signed off, and beat St. Lucie, 7-0 (the ol' 10-hit shutout for B.C.). It's just a one-game lead for the Mets now in the division, and it's time for Hall of Famer Gary Carter to turn on that managing skill. So far, so good - St. Lucie is leading tonight's game 2-0 in the 8th, giving up just one hit.

FANTASY UPDATE: Well, the What If Mets are officially done...losers of two out of three to the awful Chicago Cubs. They won the first game, 22-2, and I was thinking, OK, that's more like it....only to lose the next two. It's embarrassing, really. The wild card leaders right now are the Southern Bureau's Washington Nationals, so maybe we'll start following their results.

BEAT THE STREAK: Amidst the (real) Washington Nationals getting killed at Fenway Tuesday night, Alfonso Soriano got a hit off of Tim Wakefield. So a 2-gamer for me. Mike Lowell Wednesday night.

Monday, June 19, 2006


Reds 4, Mets 2 (CIN: 38-32, NYM: 43-26)

Really, the Mets shouldn't be red in the face...they have nothing to be embarrassed about. They were flat-out beaten by a good pitcher Monday night. Bronson Arroyo is having a great year - and he handled the Mets.

Orlando Hernandez pitched very well for New York - that's about his third great start in a row now. So that's big. The bullpen let some runs in late, and it was 4-1 before a ninth inning homer for the Mets...Arroyo went the distance for Cincinnati. The bad news is that the Mets had jumped out to a 1-0 first inning lead, but couldn't build on that.

This is just one game. The Mets had won all of their series openers at home until the last home series before the West Coast trip with the Giants, and then the Orioles series, and now the Reds. They lost that Giants series, they were almost swept by Baltimore...I'll be very happy with a split with Cincinnati. I don't mind if the Mets don't play their best here against the Orioles and Reds...if the Mets are going to slump, I'd rather see it now than when they play the cream of the AL East - the Blue Jays, Red Sox, and Yankees - all three of whom are coming up next.

A big start for Steve Trachsel on Tuesday night (aren't they all big starts for Trachsel?).

ALL-STAR VOTING: Some big doings in the NL All Star voting. THE GREATEST BALLPLAYER WHO EVER LIVED, Jose Reyes, is finally getting his due - he's now 80,000 or so votes in front of David Eckstein for the start at short. He's not having his best season - but he's lifted his average to .270...and his co-Player of the Week award last week couldn't have hurt.

His co-Player of the Week, one Future Hall of Famer, David Wright, is starting to run away with the third base vote, Wright has topped a million, well ahead of Scott Rolen.

The Player of the Week for last week, Carlos Beltran*, has climbed to the top of the outfield vote. He now deserves it...and right behind him, deservedly, is Alfonso Soriano. The outfield race is tight.

Finally, at catcher, it looks like Paul LoDuca will be starting for the NL. Not a bad representation for the Mets.

THE KID'S KIDS: They're still playing in Florida, and the Mets are trailing Brevard County, 2-0, in the 8th. I'll update that tomorrow.

FANTASY UPDATE: The What If Mets are heading in the wrong direction. We're now tied for last place...and I forget - we're either 7 or 8 games out of the wild card. All 3 games to the Cardinals today were losses. So it's pretty much over. Unless the Mets are planning an Amazin' comeback...but I don't even think the best Mets team ever is that Amazin'...the worst thing about this is how bad my bullpen has been. They have ERA's of about 7.00 each. Just been brutal. I've lost about 10 games in the opponent's last at-bat. It's very frustrating. That's the difference right there.

BEAT THE STREAK: Carlos Beltran* hit a 9th inning homer for the Mets, so I have a one-game hitting streak. Tuesday I'll take Alfonso Soriano against Tim Wakefield, and Wednesday, since I'll be going to the Red Sox-Nationals game, I'll take Mike Lowell (I like taking guys I'll be seeing live). Thursday it'll be David Wright. Just getting a jump on it - I don't know how much I'll be able to post this week - it's the last week of school - my mind may be elsewhere.

Sunday, June 18, 2006


Mets 9, Orioles 4 (NYM: 43-25, BAL: 32-39)

The Mets beat the Orioles on Sunday, 9-4, to avoid a three-game sweep. There's a positive view to the weekend series, and a negative view. Let me give you both:

The negative: The Mets lost all of their momentum from their 9-1 road trip, stumbling against a poor team in their own park. Pedro Martinez* had another bad start, and the Mets bats have gone cold again.

The positive: It's 2 games. The Mets lost 2 games. They're still 9-and-a-half games up on their nearest competition.

There's actually a lot of positives still to focus on - only the most negative of Mets fans can dwell on the bad parts of this weekend. The Orioles actually played really well on Friday and Saturday, and the Mets didn't. That's the bottom line. The Mets were making the mistakes that their opponents had been making, and that the Mets had been taking advantage of. In this case, the Orioles took advantage of them. Also, a couple of ex-Mets took advantage of their first games against their former team, and hit the Mets hard. Melvin Mora had a 3-RBI night on Friday, including a big homer, and Kris Benson shut down the Mets on Saturday (setting down his final 15 straight), and hit a homer off of Pedro*.

But Sunday came, and all is right with the Mets' world again. Tom Glavine pitched well (not great - but definitely better than he had been lately), becoming the first major league pitcher to get to 10 wins. Future Hall of Famer David Wright hit a grand slam (number 15 on the year, 56 career), and drove in five runs, and the Mets got contributions from their role players, as some of the regulars were rested. And they avoided the sweep, which could have really ratcheted up the negativity.

Here's the big picture - at the end of May I mentioned that the Mets had won 16 games in each of their first two months. I said if they won 16 a month, they'd finish with 112 wins, and they'd be in great shape (understatement). It's a torrid pace to keep up, I know, but the Mets are capable of it. Right now they have 11 wins this month (thanks mostly to the huge road trip). That means the Mets could go 5-6 (which wouldn't look that great in the little picture) the rest of the month, and still finish June with 16 wins. And chances are, the Mets are going to do better than 5-6 the rest of the month.

There are some tough games ahead. The Mets will get their first look at Cincinnati, for four games at Shea (taking a break from interleague play - tough schedule for the Mets - the other teams get Tampa Bay, the Mets get the extra National League series against Cincy). Then it's at Toronto for three, and they're playing well. Then at Boston, and at the Yankees. The Mets have proved they are capable of rising to challenges in the schedule like this...but that's a tough road. I wouldn't be surprised if the Mets were 5-6 the rest of the way - but I also wouldn't be surprised to see an 11-0, or a 10-1, or a 9-2. That's how good they are.

Orlando Hernandez gets it all started against Bronson Arroyo Monday night.

DL MOVE: The Mets put Cliff Floyd on the DL Saturday, retroactive to June 7th. He still hasn't recovered from that ankle injury he suffered in LA. He's eligible to come off the DL on Thursday, but that doesn't seem likely - he might have to go to Florida to rehab it. He's very frustrated. The Mets activated Xavier Nady (sidelined since early June with appendicitis) on Sunday to take Floyd's roster spot. Look for Lastings Milledge to man left field now, in place of Floyd, with Nady taking over right again.

COMMENT RESPONSE: This from Dave in Brighton, responding to my comments about umpire warnings, ejections, etc.:

"Re: Pitcher ejections.

1. Are you calling Manny Ramirez (450 HR) a young player?

B. I disagree that umpires are right to issue warnings after the first hit batter or aggressive action. This means the other team doesn't get a chance to respond and even things up. The umpire takes away players' ability to police themselves, and then you get long-simmering feuds, like the Sox and D-Rays.

Soapbox rant over."

I like how Dave couldn't choose between the 1,2 or A, B listing option, so he mixed them together. As for Manny....he was one example. Mentally, he's young.

Dave, my point is that the umpires HAVE to do the warnings, before there's a retaliation, because otherwise it gets out of hand. I don't think the players have the ability anymore to police themselves. I agree with you, though, that the result is long-simmering fueds, like Tampa-Boston, and even like the Mets and the Nationals earlier this year (which we might see again later in the year when they play again). That's the problem - I don't think there is a good solution to this whole thing. There's going to be problems either way, and I think Major League Baseball is doing the best thing they could possibly do right now given their situation.

The other problem, which I failed to mention, is when the umpires handle this responsibility incompetently. Then warnings are issued when they needn't be issued, and the inside part of the plate is taken away from both pitchers, and the game turns into a mockery. That's another problem with it....but I'll save that for another day.

HGH FALLOUT: David Segui spoke out Sunday morning on ESPN, saying he was mentioned in the Jason Grimsley affadavit, and that he took HGH legally, with a doctor's prescription. Segui is a former Met, and that's why I'm mentioning it here. I think most of this stuff, though, happened when Segui was in Baltimore (although I don't doubt it could have happened in New York as well). To me, it sounded like Segui was trying to take a pre-emptive strike, speaking out before he could be accused. I don't think it worked too much, though - because cynics like me look at him as someone who's trying to dig himself out of a hole before he's fully in the hole....if that makes sense. I still think he was wrong - no matter if he admits to taking something or not. Many other names are still to come.

I'm not in the business of witch-hunting, so I'm not going to just throw names out on this site. But if you want to contact me, I'll talk about who I think were the biggest users - I watch all of these baseball games now, and there are certain players who just look so physically different that it's hard not to suspect them.

THE KID'S KIDS: The St. Lucie Mets get back at it on Monday against Brevard County, following the All-Star break. The Mets have a one-game lead on Palm Beach, and a 2-game lead on Brevard County.

FANTASY UPDATE: The What If Mets are starting to realize, I think, that time is getting short. They took two out of three against the Astros, and are still 7 back of the wild card. This is the time to make up ground - the Cardinals and Cubs are the next opponents, and they aren't good. It's now or never.

BEAT THE STREAK: I had a 2-gamer going, and Carlos Beltran* ended it on Sunday. So stubbornly I'm sticking with Beltran* again on Monday against the Reds.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Just a minor test posting - seeing if anyone even bothers checking the site over the weekend...I haven't been in the habit of writing on Friday or Saturday nights.

Aaron Heilman just gave up 4 runs in the seventh inning (the ugliest inning the Mets have played in a week or so), blowing a lead on Alay Soler. Now, the Mets are playing the Orioles, so there's a good chance this game is not over, with the Mets trailing, 6-3...but it's so weird to see them losing with the way things have been going lately.

THE KID'S KIDS: Believe it or not, we're at the All-Star break of the Florida State League. The Mets lost to Vero Beach, 2-1, to stumble into the break on a 5-game losing streak, but still have a one-game lead in the division, with a 38-29 record at the break. Six St. Lucie Mets are on the All Star team.

FANTASY UPDATE: The What If Mets lost two out of three to the Reds - now seven back of the wild card...fading.....

BEAT THE STREAK: Reyes has a streak going for me again - I took Vernon Wells for Saturday.

Thursday, June 15, 2006


Mets 5, Phillies 4 (NYM: 42-23, PHI: 33-33)

This is going to cause some wear and tear on the bullpen - and I think the Mets are going to start paying for it this week. Back-to-back extra innings games, and now a trip out west to play Los Angeles, Arizona, and then back east at Philadelphia. I'm not expecting the best road trip....but maybe the Mets will show how good they are and come away with a winning record. (This is the last tough road trip the Mets have this year - at least as far as mileage goes.) -, Sunday, June 4, 2006, after the Mets lost a 12-inning game to the Giants, 7-6.

It's the darndest thing. I'm overly optimistic nine and a half times out of ten, and the half time I get cautious, the Mets roll off a 9-1 West Coast/East Coast road trip. Honestly, even in my most exaggerated hopes about this trip, I didn't expect a sweep in Philly to cap it off (or a 9-1 record overall). But I think that qualifies as a "winning road trip", and shows just how good the Mets are. They're at the next level.

On Thursday afternoon, the Mets got 4 runs in the first, and managed to hold on for the 5-4 win. It's going to be weird when the Mets are now home, and they won't be hitting first. I don't know what they'll do if they don't get the chance to jump out on top in the top of the first. On Thursday, the early lead was courtesy of a double by Endy Chavez, driving in a run, then a 3-run David Wright homer (number 14 on the year, 55 career). Carlos Beltran* had a sac fly, driving in a run. His "Player of the Week" performance last week lifted his average so much that I didn't even realize it, but Beltran* is hitting an even .300 on the year. David Wright is up to .335, and this week Wright is the leading vote-getter among NL third basemen in the All Star Balloting.

An added bonus - the Mets won a Steve Trachsel start. He is so unreliable. You know what I think I'd love? The Red Sox need pitching. I'd love to see the Mets deal Trachsel to the Red Sox. I don't know what the Mets would get in return, but I'd love to see the way Trachsel is treated by the Boston media. He'd get killed. And he'd be miserable. Of course, a trade would probably light a fire under him, and he'd become a good Steve Trachsel for a couple of months, but eventually, it'd catch up to him. I'm still not convinced he can handle the pressure of a winning team. (Right now, though, the Mets are winning by so much, there isn't much pressure at all.)

Lost in much of this winning, by the way, is that Billy Wagner has been pretty solid. He picked up two saves in Philadelphia, and neither one was particularly nerve-wracking (as far as I can tell - I actually didn't see Thursday's game because of school, and the other night he was saved by David Wright's incredible double play...).

The Mets are getting lots of attention right the cream of a pretty crappy National League crop. I think they can handle it. And I'm really enjoying this season.

The Orioles are at Shea Friday through Sunday, as the Mets come home to interleague play. Alay Soler goes against Erik Bedard Friday.

MY TWO CENTS ON THE RECENT EJECTIONS OVER PITCHING INSIDE: I don't often step up on my soapbox to declare what's wrong in the world of baseball, so I hope you'll indulge me every once in a while. I want to talk about today's practice of umpires issuing warnings, then ejecting a guy if he pitches inside, and comes too close to hitting someone. I hate it. But....I think it's absolutely necessary in today's game. Here's why.

First of all, this is a hot-button issue today because Wednesday night Randy Johnson was ejected for throwing at Eduardo Perez of the Indians after Derek Jeter was hit, and after both sides were given warnings. Also Wednesday, Ozzie Guillen put in a rookie pitcher to throw at a member of the Texas Rangers (might have been Hank Blalock, but that's not really important), the rookie threw a few inside, didn't hit the guy, then got him out, and Guillen yanked him from the game, yelled at him, and then the kid was sent to the minors after the game. There's your background info. (I guess that doesn't have to do exactly with my soapbox issue, but it's somewhat related.)

Anyway, I liked the old days, where a pitcher could brush back a player, there could be retaliation, maybe a brawl, then it was over - a dead issue. (Maybe there wouldn't even be a brawl, because the players knew to expect it.) The problem is, that won't happen today...because young people feel entitled. I really think that's the problem. Young players feel entitled to hanging out over the plate, and not getting hit with pitches, and if you hit them with a pitch, well, darn it, I'm going to come out there and charge the mound. Heck, you don't even have to hit me, you just have to pitch inside, dangerously close to hitting me, and I'll come out there. Right, Manny Ramirez? It's just part of a spoiled society, I think, which doesn't want to be made to feel uncomfortable. I wish it could go back to the way it used to be...but it won't. And so the players can't police themselves - they're too immature, and the thing would never end. There would be retaliation after retaliation, because everyone would want the last say. So the umpires have had to step in to put a stop to it. And I don't like it. But you know's working.

Going back to the Sean Tracy thing (he's the White Sox pitcher who was sent down after not hitting the batter), I have a big problem with that whole situation. Ozzie Guillen put that kid in an awful situation. Of course, he's not the first to do something like that - but really, if the kid makes the effort to throw at the guy, and then ends up getting the out, isn't that better for the team? It's an out. People are comparing this to the Sean Estes deal against Roger Clemens from 2001. There's a big difference here. First of all, Hank Blalock (or the targeted Ranger) wasn't doing the pitching for the Rangers. So he arguably didn't deserve to be thrown at. Sean Estes was carrying the weight of everyone who had ever been thrown at by Roger Clemens on his shoulders, and he couldn't hit him (Of course, then, I was psyched that Estes did homer off Clemens, which thought was better than physically hitting him). (I was especially peeved at Estes, though, in 2002, when he had been with the Cubs for about a week, and was throwing haymakers in a brawl with that team, when he wouldn't stand up for his Mets teammates in 2001.) Anyway, if anyone ever deserved to be thrown at, it was Roger Clemens, against the Mets, with Mike Piazza catching. (For those who don't know - he beaned Piazza really bad [don't tell me he didn't mean to - he practically caught Piazza between the eyes...and based on Piazza's career numbers against Clemens, and the homers he had hit off Clemens recently, and Clemens' career history and his great was intentional], then, in the 2000 World Series, threw the shattered bat at Piazza.) So don't compare Estes to this kid Tracy. Estes wimped out. Tracy was put in an unfair situation.

THE KID'S KIDS: The St. Lucie Mets have hit the skids a bit recently. They lost Wednesday night to Vero Beach - their fourth straight loss following a nine-game winning streak. The winning pitcher for Vero Beach? A. I think that explains that. Yup, A. Bastardo. That's right. Look it up.

FANTASY UPDATE: The What If Mets are 62-67. The schedule rotates, and I'm entering a (theoretically) easy part of the schedule. I've got the Cardinals and the Cubs coming up. People are just killing the Cubs right now - one score the other day was like 37-11. Seriously. When I played the Cubs last, I beat them like 3-2 in 12 innings. So I'm either that bad, or not lucky enough. We'll see if I can make some hay in the standings - I'm 5 back of the wild card. The schedule actually goes: Reds, Pirates, Astros, Cardinals, Cubs. Only the Reds and Pirates have winning records. I need a big streak...winning streak, that is.

BEAT THE STREAK: Back to square one, thanks to nada from Brian Giles. Oh well. I'll try to get leadoff man Jose Reyes to lead me off on a new streak Friday night against the O's. Meanwhile, the wife was working on a season-high 8-gamer...but Ty Wigginton ended that one on Thursday night with an 0-for-4.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

We're having serious computer problems here, so I just wanted to get a paragraph written before the computer craps out again.

I was watching 'Around the Horn' today (truth be told, I don't like that show, but I like keeping ESPNEWS on as background noise when I get home, and that's what they air at 5:30...or maybe 6). Anyway, one of their "Buy Or Sell" topics was the Mets - do you buy or sell them? And all of the "panelists" (read: glorified newspaper writers) agreed that the Mets are the best team (only good team) in the National League. Not all of them were sold on the Mets being the best team in the majors - one said the White Sox' pitching depth put them over the top, another believes the A's have a big run in them. But it's nice to see the national attention the Mets are getting.

The Mets are really putting on quite a road show right now - 6 straight, and it's being done in dominating fashion. Unfortunately, they just rolled out the tarp in Philadelphia, in the bottom of the 4th, with the Mets up, it's not an official game yet. David Wright has a homer, and the Mets were just destroying the Phillies - so they'd better resume this game and not call it.

Thursday is a day game before the Mets come back home for interleague play.

(The computer is behaving OK right now, but I'm not going to push my luck. With a day game tomorrow I'll do a full road-trip wrap, and hopefully not have the threat of a computer failure looming.)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


As I write this, with the Mets up 9-4 in the eighth inning, it looks as though the Mets will be the first National League team to 40 wins. (Uh-oh - it's now 9-7 - I think Heilman just gave up a 3-run bomb). The balls are just flying out of Citizen's Bank Park tonight (8 total).

The bad news - Tom Glavine couldn't make it through 5 innings - getting knocked around (and falling victim to the long ball) in 4-and-a-third innings, and giving up 4 earned runs while throwing 110 pitches. Chad Bradford got the Mets out of the inning after Glavine left in a big jam. The Mets are playing the total opposite of the way they've been playing when Glavine was on the mound for them in past years. His first year with the team, he was the problem. But since then, he's been pitching well, and getting absolutely no support. This year, he's getting plenty of support - evidenced by his 9-2 record. And even when he gets banged around, the Mets have been scoring runs - tonight, too, but Glavine couldn't hang around long enough to get the win.

The Mets jumped right back on top, too, after Glavine left. Future Hall of Famer David Wright crushed homer number 12 on the season (and 53 in his career) as the Mets scored 5 times in the sixth, breaking a 4-4 tie. Earlier, Carloses Beltran* and Delgado went back-to-back with bombs (Delgado's reached an upper deck) to give the Mets a lead. Beltran* now has 18 homers (he had 16 all of last year), and in a similar vein, Jose Reyes walked twice Tuesday night, bringing this year's total high enough to surpass his season total of all last year.

OK - I have to stop writing - big computer problems at the House Sponsored By DirecTV. Hopefully there won't be a slugfest tomorrow, and no computer problems, and I can give a good summary of the game.

JUST HOW GOOD WERE THE METS OUT WEST?: Here's a great stat from the Mets' 4-game series in Arizona. The Mets jumped out to a lead in the first inning of each game, so they led in the first half-inning of each game. And they never looked back. The Mets became the second team in history to lead in every half-inning of a game in a 4-game sweep on the road - the only other team to do that was the 1943 Dodgers. Pretty impressive.

THE KID'S KIDS: Palm Beach completed the 2-game doubleheader sweep of the St. Lucie Mets on Monday, turning the 9 game winning streak into a 2-game losing streak pretty quickly. I have no info right now on Tuesday's game, so I'll update that tomorrow, but the Mets still have a 2-and-a-half game lead in their division.

FANTASY UPDATE: An e-mail having to do with the What If Mets:

"Dear Johnnymets,

More than 10 percent of your readers are wondering how many games are left in the What If Mets season. What is your record? Where does the Southern Bureau stand after his hot start? What is your record since you ditched Pedro?

Dave in Brighton"

Honestly, Dave, you couldn't have written this at a better time. The What If Mets just took 2 out of 3 from the Braves (following up the sweep with the division-leading phillies). So the record stands at 60-63. I'm just 3 games out of the wild card - trailing none other than the wild-card leading Nationals, run by the Southern Bureau. And guess who I play next? Thaaaat's right...Big day tomorrow. Big day.

I've started to make so many moves that I decided not to keep track of records since I dropped certain guys. I don't even know if I have a winning record since I dropped Pedro. I wish I could help you with that stat...but I can't.

BEAT THE STREAK: Vladimir Guerrero ended my season-high 12-game hitting streak with an 0-for-4 against Bobby Keppel and the Kansas City Royals Monday night (for the record, Keppel didn't look bad - but he was far from impressive). Shea Hillenbrand started a new streak for me Tuesday, and I'll take one of the hot-hitting Mets, Jose Reyes, Wednesday night. I get nervous at 12 games - I wonder if I'd have heart palpitations or something if I actually threatened a 30-, 40-, or 50+ - game hitting streak.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Thanks for coming...but I think I'm only going to mention a couple of things and then take the rest of the night off.

I didn't realize that Bobby Keppel (former Mets prospect) and Vladimir Guerrero (johnnymets' Beat the Streak player on Monday) were a 10:05 start. So there won't be a post after that game...I don't know if I'll even be awake for it. I will mention here that my Beat the Streak for Tuesday (hopefully to keep the streak going) will be Shea Hillenbrand, against the Orioles.

The one Mets-related stat I read today that I thought was worth repeating - Carlos Beltran* had more runs scored (10) than the Arizona Diamondbacks (9) during the Mets' four-game sweep. Beltran* was actually named the National League Player of the Week for his performances in L.A. and Arizona.

THE KID'S KIDS: The St. Lucie Mets' winning streak came to a screeching halt tonight in Game 1 of their doubleheader against Palm Beach, with an 11-5 loss. I'll update game two tomorrow.

FANTASY UPDATE: Big news here - a three-game sweep of the division-leading Phillies. Now I'm just four out of the wild card...and more divisional games are coming up. The difference? In my opinion, it's new free-agent pickup Rico Brogna, who homered in his first game with the What If Mets, and factored into the game-winning run in the 12th inning of his second game. Unfortunately, Brogna might be the last move made by the What If Mets, because the transaction deadline passed after the third game Monday. Hope the wins keep coming....

Tom Glavine opposes Ryan Madson in Philadelphia Tuesday night. The Mets are 6-and-a-half games up in the division heading into the series (also worth mentioning - The Braves are now 10 games back - tied with Washington).

Sunday, June 11, 2006


Mets 15, Diamondbacks 2 (NYM: 39-23, ARI: 34-29)

I feel a little silly now about being worried about this trip out west for the Mets. I did say that they could be catching the Diamondbacks at the right time, with this Jason Grimsley thing swirling - but I never expected a 4-game sweep. I would have been happy with a split in Arizona, after taking two out of three from LA, I'm ecstatic with a sweep. Honestly, if the Mets only won a game in Philadelphia, it would be OK. Two out of three would be fine. Another sweep would pretty much wrap up the division.

The only thing I'm upset about right now is that the Mets have dominated the Diamondbacks their last two trips out there. But when I was out in Arizona, what did I see? Total domination by the Diamondbacks. It was awful. I wish they would have found out how to win out there a little sooner, that's all.

Nice that the Mets finally got Pedro Martinez* some runs - he got his first win since late April (through no fault of his own). I didn't get to see this game - but from the box score, it looks like Pedro* might have labored a bit. He pitched just 5 innings - and threw 91 pitches. I saw 5 innings and thought Willie Randolph might have been resting him with the big lead, but the 91 pitches is a lot. And he only struck out 3 - so that's not the reason he was throwing a lot of pitches.

Everyone's hitting (see below), the pitching has been great - this next series in Philadelphia should be fun to watch. The Mets enter the series with a 6-and-a-half game cushion in the NL East. Cliff Floyd is supposed to be back Tuesday (the Mets are off on Monday), so just add another bat to the arsenal.

WEEKEND RECAP: On Friday, Steve Trachsel was less than great, but still managed to get the win in the Mets' 10-6 win over Arizona. His start resuled in a lot of work by the bullpen - but each time the Mets gave up a run, the offense answered. On Saturday, it was all Alay Soler. He threw a complete game, 2-hit shutout, and the Mets won, 5-0. It's almost getting to the point where I'd rather see Soler and Orlando Hernandez pitch rather than Trachsel.

The Mets' bats re-awoke this weekend - Carlos Delgado is out of his slump (he hit two homers Friday night), and Carlos Beltran* also slugged two homers on Friday, bringing his season total to 17 - more than all of last year. I guess he was pretty hurt last year, and not able to do all he's capable of...let's see what happens the rest of this year.

David Wright continues his hot hitting - he hit homer number 11 on the year (52 career) over the weekend, and is now hitting .336 after Sunday's game.

INTERESTING NOTE: The Mets are off Monday, but there may be something worth watching Monday night for Mets fans. has Kansas City's starter for Monday listed as B. Keppel. I'm not positive, and I can't find much information about him, but I'm pretty sure that's Bobby Keppel, who the Mets traded to Pittsburgh in the Kris Benson deal. I remember him not pitching too well for the Pirates' minor league teams, but I don't remember reading about him being traded. (Guess no one's considered too bad to find their way into the Royals' rotation.) I'll see what I can find out about him - I might not get much information until I watch the game Monday night.

**OK - here's what I found out on the Royals' website. This is not Keppel's debut - he's pitched in 4 games, made 2 starts, and is 0-1 with a 2.11 ERA. He's struck out 12 in 21.1 innings. He has given up 2 homers - they came back-to-back in his Major League debut against Seattle. His numbers in the minors even this year haven't been good.

But it's definitely the former Mets' prospect, and he's apparently been plagued by injuries in recent years. No word yet on how he got from Pittsburgh's organization to Kansas City's. I'll be watching tomorrow night.

KAZ TRADED: The Mets finally traded Kaz Matsui on Friday, in exchange for Eli Marrero. Since spring training you got the idea the Mets were trying to showcase Matsui, in order to work out a deal, hoping he would play well, and they could get something of value for him. That didn't work out too well, resulting in a 1-for-1 deal. But I like Marrero. He's been a member of some winning teams in St. Louis, and he offers the Mets some versatility. He started out as a catcher, and then Tony LaRussa put him in the outfield and at first base. So with all the injuries the Mets have had lately, he gives them a little bit of depth. And I read he also allows Willie Randolph to use Ramon Castro and his bat off the bench a little more liberally, since there is now a bona fide third catcher on the roster.

The problem with this trade is that the Mets are committed to Marrero at the Major League level (unlike the Rockies, who sent Matsui to Triple-A). So what happens when Xavier Nady gets healthy? (Probably around June 19th.) They are probably not going to send Lastings Milledge back down - it looks like he's in the majors for a while now. When Nady comes back, the Mets will be playing some games in AL parks, so Milledge could play the field while Floyd DH's. But someone's gotta go - and barring other injuries, right now it looks like Heath Bell is again the odd man out (he was rescued for a while after the Mets traded Jorge Julio. Too bad for him - he's going to be up and down between New York and Norfolk all year long.)

THE KID'S KIDS: The St. Lucie Mets are rolling. The Mets beat Daytona on Saturday, 7-1, for their ninth straight win. Their game against Palm Beach on Sunday was rained out, and will be played as part of a doubleheader on Monday. The Mets are 38-24, and have opened up a 4-game lead in the standings.

FANTASY UPDATE: Just when I thought things were starting to turn around....the What If Mets won 5 in a row Friday into Saturday, getting back to within two games of the wild card spot. But now I'm one of those streaky teams - because I've gone on to lose 4 in a row. Now I'm five back of the wild card. I guess I can't give up on post-season hopes...but it will be luck that gets me in - because it's definitely not skill.

BEAT THE STREAK: Big doings in "Beat the Streak". Rocco Baldelli got me a hit on Friday, so I was at a season-high 10-gamer. Then I picked Michael Young, thinking he'd be playing two games on Saturday. That was rained down to one game, but he still got a hit, and me an 11-gamer. Then on Sunday, in the rescheduled doubleheader, I took CoCo Crisp of the Red Sox. It took him almost the entire first game, but he got me a hit in the 9th (ahead of David Ortiz's game-winning homer), so it's 12 games in a row now. I think I'm going to go against Bobby Keppel (if that's who it is), and take Vladimir Guerrero on Monday night.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Not much to say tonight - got home late, so I have to go to bed, but I had to post to say a couple of things.

First off, I'm glad the Mets won on Wednesday night. Tom Glavine, after all the hard losses he's taken the past couple of years, deserved to win on a night he got rocked. First of all, he took one for the team by starting on three days' rest. He should have been able to pitch long enough on Saturday to get a win, but he left with a no-decision, because he was to be rested for last night's start. And it was by far the worst start of his season, but he still became the majors' first 9 game winner - he deserves that. It's also neat that he's racking up the wins, and inching closer to 300 career wins - Imagine he was getting Pedro*'s luck this year? He'd never reach 300. Now to the regular features, where I need to get this other stuff written, then go to bed (the Mets are beating Arizona right now, 5-0, in the 5th, by the way):

MAIL: I'm not sure if this is for publication, but Justin sent it to the address, so here it is:

"so, i just read that jeff pearlman book on the 86 mets.. the one i was thumbing through when we stayed at your house in january...
two things struck me...
1) i had no idea the entire world hates gary carter. Until i read that book.. i figured he was a beloved figure, but it sounds like not only did they hate him them... they still hate him now..
2) and more importantly.. the way those mets always seemed to come back in games and never quit reminds me a lot of these mets.... also they both have former all star 2nd basemen as the manager.
Off the topic of that team... what's teh record for most innings ever played in a season by a team.. cause the 06 metropolitans seemed destined to break that one...
i enjoyed the craig mactavish joke."

Glad you enjoyed the joke. I hope you don't mind, but I think it's in everyone's best interests, Justin, that I left off the last three sentences of your e-mail.

The parallels you draw between the '86 Mets and the '06 Mets are very accurate. These Mets just never seem out of a game, and that's the way it was in '86. The '06 Mets also have played a ton of innings. We'll look that up, and also my question about Pedro Martinez*'s career total of scoreless innings.

Finally, I've come to realize that I may be the only person who likes Gary Carter. It's crazy that he was so hated. It's really a's been a couple of years since I read that book, but I feel he was portrayed as a good guy overal, just a little full of himself. It's a shame he wasn't liked just because he was pretty much the most normal (read: not-drugged-up) guy on the team. But I ask many of those guys are having such successful minor league managing careers?

THE KID'S KIDS: The winning streak continues for the St. Lucie Mets - they beat Daytona, 2-0, on Wednesday. They've won 7 in a row, and are up by 3 games in the division.

FANTASY UPDATE: The What If Mets have now lost 6 straight. It's a sinking ship - I have no idea what to do. I'm playing bad teams, too - I guess those teams are now playing a bad team - mine.

BEAT THE STREAK: Mark Teixeira has a hit, so I've tied my season-high with 9 games in a row. I'm taking the newly returned Rocco Baldelli against the Royals on Friday night to get his first hit since his recall, and extend my streak.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


Ladies and gentlemen, the starting lineup for your National League East leaders:

SS Chris Woodward
C Paul LoDuca
CF Carlos Beltran*
3B David Wright
1B Julio Franco
2B Jose Valentin
LF Lastings Milledge
RF Endy Chavez
P Tom Glavine

It's just not what you'd expect to see as a Mets fan. I was a bit taken aback. To explain some things, on Monday night, I guess THE GREATEST BALLPLAYER WHO EVER LIVED, Jose Reyes, sprained his wrist. It's not said to be too serious, but I haven't heard an update. He didn't play Tuesday, isn't starting Wednesday. On Tuesday night, Cliff Floyd suffered a sprained ankle pulling into third base - he thinks his spike got stuck in the dirt. He probably won't be out too long, but you never know with that type of injury (and with Floyd's history). So, hence the presence of Chavez and Woodward in their steads.

I guess what shocks me the most about this lineup is the absence of Carlos Delgado. He's been struggling lately, and maybe Willie Randolph figured he'd rest him against a lefty (Odalis Perez) on Wednesday - but it seems like, with all those other injuries, and the lack of those bats in the lineup, that the Mets would need Delgado's bat in there tonight. I just think it's curious he's not there - unless I'm missing something else, and he was hurt after I went to sleep last night - but I probably would have heard something about that.

Tom Glavine is starting tonight on three days rest - he only threw about 85 pitches on Saturday, looking towards the start tonight.

**UPDATE: And before Glavine even takes the mound, he's out to a 4-0 lead. Randolph must be a genius, with this lineup he's put out - they staged a 2-out first inning rally, scoring four runs. Hopefully they go on to the win.

TUESDAY NIGHT RECAP: I went to sleep, it was 2-2 in the fourth or fifth...I woke up, and the Mets lost, 8-5. Pedro Martinez* is allowed this clunker, after the stellar starts he's put up - it's just too bad the string of starts he's been on hasn't gotten him anything but two straight losses. He deserves better. If the Mets win Wednesday, it'll all be OK. I think the Mets take two out of three against the Dodgers, then split or better against the (reeling because of this latest steroids thing) Arizona Diamondbacks, and I'll be happy with the shape the Mets are in heading to Philadelphia.

BOOF UPDATE: It's been a while since I last wrote about Boof Bonser (he started while I was away), but he's pitching tonight in Seattle. He's off to a rough start so far - giving up 3 runs on two homers in the first inning - his ERA is up to 5.68. (Comparatively speaking, though, Josh Beckett is at 5.27.) Hope he settles in and gets the Twins a win.

THE KID'S KIDS: Well, I can't figure out the story with the 6-and-a-half inning game the other night, but I can tell you the St. Lucie Mets are winners of 6 straight, and have re-opened a 2 game lead over Brevard County. They're 35-24, and beat Palm Beach 4-2 on Wednesday.

FANTASY UPDATE: I really shouldn't have filled out that survey. They're getting even with me for being critical of the What If World. I lost all three on Wednesday, 7 out of 8 overall, and I can take this back pretty far - I've lost 10 out of 12, 11 out of 14.....18 out of 24. Disgraceful. But all is not lost - I picked 1987 Keith Hernandez off the waiver wire. We'll see if he can turn things around - he's off to a 3-for-5 start in his first game.

Also, while on the subject of minor leagues, the Norfolk Tides are still in last place.

BEAT THE STREAK: Bobby Abreu got me up to an 8-gamer. I always have trouble when I pick Texas Rangers, but I'm going with Mark Teixeira on Thursday. I'm feeling wary about it...but if he can get me to 9, I'll tie my season high.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The aftereffects of the week in New Hampshire with my class is that I am so darn tired this week. I probably won't be up too late for tonight's game...but it features 2004 Red Sox teammates Derek Lowe versus Pedro Martinez*. That should be fun. And hopefully the Mets can finally get Pedro* a win.

The MLB draft was held today (I know, who really cares), and the Mets' first pick was the 62nd overall, and they took a pitcher out of Villanova. It's worth noting that the Mets didn't have a first-round pick because of the Billy Wagner signing - their first-rounder went to the Phillies.

As for Wednesday's game, (The real) Jae Seo has been moved out of the Dodgers' rotation - he's struggling, apparently. He's now in the bullpen, so Odalis Perez gets the start against Tom Glavine on Wednesday.

MONDAY'S RECAP: That was just about what Mets fans wanted on Monday. I mentioned the Mets jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning. The Mets got a much-needed solid performance from Alay Soler as well - one run over 7 innings, along with 7 strikeouts for his first Major League win. The 7 innings allowed the Mets to rest their key bullpen cogs - Pedro Feliciano and Chad Bradford closed the game out for the Mets, so the bullpen had a little time to recover from the marathons over the weekend.

MEDIA NOTE: If you caught any of the live Roger Clemens pitching in the minors stuff on ESPN, that was Ed Randall of WFAN's Sunday morning "Talking Baseball with Ed Randall" doing the broadcasting with Billy Sample. Just thought I'd point that out.

ALL STAR BALLOTS: Here's my two cents on the way the National League All Star balloting is going so far. (My two cents on the All Star balloting system, by the way, is that it's nothing more than a popularity contest...but if any Mets get in based on popularity this year, the fans will have gotten it right - because most of the Mets deserve All Star bids).

C - Paul LoDuca leads Mike Piazza. It really is pretty slim pickings at catcher in the NL. Has been the past few years.

1B - Albert Pujols is light years ahead of anyone else - 1 million votes to 300,000 or so. Second place belongs to Carlos Delgado. Pujols' injury won't affect this race...nor should it, really. Pujols' numbers so far are better than some people's seasons.

2B - No Mets here.

3B - David Wright trails Scott Rolen by about 37,000 votes. Mets fans need to step up here and get Wright in as a starter. It needs to start this year and continue until roughly the year 2020.

SS - Same here. Jose Reyes is third place, behind David Eckstein and Edgar Renteria, although, truth be told, Renteria deserves this spot.

OF - Here's the screwy part. Andruw Jones, Carlos Beltran*, and Ken Griffey, Jr. are the leaders right now. Jim Edmonds is fourth. While Beltran* is having a better year, it's still not really All-Star caliber. And none of these guys deserve to be there more than the number five guy - Alfonso Soriano.

The Mets should also see Tom Glavine and Pedro Martinez* in the All Star game this year as well. Maybe even a guy like Duaner Sanchez or Aaron Heilman - but I doubt that. The problem is, I don't practice what I preach. Once I might vote for All Stars on-line, but not often. And rarely even when I'm at a game and they hand me ballots will I vote. I should start taking that initiative...can't complain if I don't do anything to try to change it. I encourage you to vote as well.

COMMENTS ANSWERED: I guess I'll put to rest the "Revisiting Games I Went To When I Was Younger" - The Wife said it wasn't too good last year, and if I interpret Dave in Brighton's comment correctly, I don't think he liked it, either. But I'm not quite sure what the dustbin of history is. Maybe it's a good thing - maybe he means let those games sit, become more historic for another year, and share them then. I should let you know, though, Dave, that you're no longer a third of the readership. We have at least 8 regulars now. So you're down to about 12-and-a-half percent.

HOCKEY JOKE I JUST THOUGHT OF THAT IS MAINLY INTENDED FOR STEVE IN QUEENS AND JUSTIN IN NYC: Wouldn't it be funny if Craig MacTavish wore a helmet when he was coaching?

THE KID'S KIDS: I'm not sure what's going on with the St. Lucie Mets. I'm reading one summary that says they split a doubleheader with Palm Beach, and the second game was an 11-1 win. But I thought that was Monday night. Unless they won again, in 6-and-a-half innings, 11-1. Which seems unlikely. Maybe I'll let the dust settle and figure things out tomorrow.

FANTASY UPDATE: God bless Dwight Gooden. He stopped the four game losing streak in Tuesday's last game, with a 4-1 win. Now come the weaker opponents. I'm 50-52, with 9 games against basement-dwelling Houston, St. Louis, and Chicago. I seriously need to win all 9 games. (The What If) Jae Seo gets his first start tomorrow.

BEAT THE STREAK: Miguel Tejada singled up the middle in his first at bat against Ty Taubenheim, so now I have a 7-game hitting streak. I'll admit, I thought he was going to hit a 600-foot homer every at-bat against the guy named Taubenheim, but I'll take a chopped single. I don't really care what he does the rest of the night. Wednesday I was going to take Ichiro, because he's been hot, but he's going against Boof Bonser, and I don't want to mess with that. I'm having trouble picking someone - I don't like the Mets' numbers against Odalis Perez....I'm going with Bobby Abreu, who seems to own Russ Ortiz, pitching for Arizona.
**LATE NOTE**: Apparently was not on the ball, and Ortiz came off the DL and pitched for Arizona Tuesday, not Wednesday....but I'm sticking with Abreu against whoever pitches for Arizona Wednesday.

Monday, June 05, 2006


OK, it's only the bottom of the first as I write this, but if things continue like this, the Mets are on their way to a 27-0 win. They're already up, 3-0, after a leadoff homer by THE GREATEST BALLPLAYER WHO EVER LIVED, Jose Reyes, and then a two-run homer by Carlos Delgado. Delgado has been slumping lately, so a homer in pitcher-friendly Dodger Stadium (snore) is a good sign.

I would love to see a solid outing from Alay Soler tonight.

This week isn't going to be great, because of the late starts out west...maybe I'll pull out some of my old scorecards and play the ol' "Recap Games I Went to Years Ago" game. Not sure if that was popular when I did it last year. We'll find out, I guess, if I do it again. This year I can add pitcures of some of the old players.

LASTINGS IMPRESSION: Apparently our boy Lastings Milledge is making a bad reputation for himself. Milledge drew the ire of some of the Giants on Sunday after hitting his game-tying homer in the 10th inning, and celebrating a little bit too much. After the Mets finished batting that inning, Milledge slapped hands with some of the front-row fans on his way out to right field. Willie Randolph reportedly talked to him about that after the inning, saying something like, "People will know who you are, you don't have to draw attention to yourself." In his own defense, Milledge said something like, "I was just sharing the excitement of my first major league homer with the fans." I don't think I have a problem with Milledge being enthusiastic with the fans. I haven't seen video of this or anything, but it seems harmless to me. I think it's a good thing that he's establishing himself with the fans. If it comes off as pompous when I see video of it, I may change my mind, though. The Giants seemed to think it was self-serving.

AROUND THE MAJORS: I just saw Carlos Zambrano lose a no-hit bid in the eighth inning at Houston. Too bad. It's been a while since the last no-hitter in the Majors. That was Randy Johnson's perfect game versus Atlanta. It happened on my honeymoon. Best part of being in Hawaii was the time difference - nothing like waking up at 7am and watching a 1pm East Coast baseball game. It was over, and I still had the whole day in front of me. That was a Blue Jays-Twins game - I think the Twins won it in their final at-bat. The perfect game was later in the day.

But speaking of Atlanta - they lost to Washington tonight - their fifth straight loss at home. Tough times for the Braves.

THE KID'S KIDS: St. Lucie won on Monday, 11-1. The game was called in the seventh inning. Either there's a new mercy rule, or it was raining...or this was a part of a doubleheader I wasn't aware of....but the Mets that's good.

FANTASY UPDATE: Lost two out of three again today. Things are getting bad. I'm a game under .500. Three important games against the Pirates on Tuesday - they're in the wild card hunt too. I have some weaker opponents coming up after that, though - maybe I can make up some ground. I picked Jae Seo up off the waiver wire, and got rid of 4-11 Jerry Koosman. He didn't live up to his good numbers, I'll tell you that.

BEAT THE STREAK: Now we're talking - Carl Crawford got me to a 6-game streak. I have Miguel Tejada on Tuesday, because the Orioles are hitting against a Blue Jays pitcher named Ty Taubenheim. If Tejada doesn't get a hit off Taubenheim, I may just give up on this game forever. I didn't even bother looking at other matchups.

Sunday, June 04, 2006


Giants 7, Mets 6 12 innings (NYM: 33-22, SF: 29-27)

For the second straight game, and third time in four games, the Mets went to extra innings. It was the tenth time this year the Mets have played an extra-innings game (by my count), and I think now the Mets are 6-4 in extra innings games (again, just my count). This is going to cause some wear and tear on the bullpen - and I think the Mets are going to start paying for it this week. Back-to-back extra innings games, and now a trip out west to play Los Angeles, Arizona, and then back east at Philadelphia. I'm not expecting the best road trip....but maybe the Mets will show how good they are and come away with a winning record. (This is the last tough road trip the Mets have this year - at least as far as mileage goes.)

As for the game, this was an exciting one (which I didn't get to see - more on that later). David Wright hit two homers - he's now up to 10 on the year, and 51 career, and continues to swing a hot bat. (He's now hitting .330..and getting much national recognition. Apparently this week 'The Sporting News' is comparing him to A-Rod.)

The Mets blew a lead in this game, but also came back a couple of times. The most dramatic was after the Giants took a 2-run lead in the 10th inning, then brought Armando Benitez in to close it out. Jose Valentin homered with one out, to make it 6-5, then with two outs, Lastings Milledge hit his first career homer, tying the game. (Milledge was 3-for-4, with 3 RBI, raising his major league average to .267.) Pedro Feliciano got tagged with the loss by giving up the final go-ahead run in the 12th (althoug Heath Bell gave up the hit that scored the run - Bell has been pitching very well since his call-up to replace Jorge Julio out of the bullpen. Not too many of the bullpen guys pitched well on Sunday.)

A rough series for the Mets against the Giants. They lost the series-opener (the first game of the doubleheader), which should have been a warning - the Mets hadn't lost the first game of a home series all season. (They had won 10 straight this year, 13 straight overall. I hate seeing streaks like that end.) Now it's off to the West Coast - let's hope for good things.

MEDIA-RELATED NEWS: First of all, I was wondering why Howie Rose was doing the Mets' game on SNY Saturday (the second game of the doubleheader) - I thought Gary Cohen just had some scheduled time off. But apparently Cohen was taken away from the stadium before the game with appendicitis. I'm not sure how long he'll be out for...but I heard a bit of the Mets' game on the radio on Sunday and Ed Coleman was filling in for Howie I guess my services won't be needed. How about two Mets figures with appendicitis at the same time, though? (Xavier Nady and now Gary Cohen.)

Secondly, I couldn't watch the Mets on Sunday, and I can't figure out why. The programming guide on DirecTV had the Mets-Giants game on channel 735, and supposedly it was on Fox Sports Bay Area. But the game wasn't coming on that channel. I was mad...but sadly, being the way that I am, I'll never complain to DirecTV, and I'll never figure out why the game wasn't on. Oh well. I did get a look at's much-improved GameCast.

MONTH OF MAY: I forgot to post this Friday - but since the month of May is over, it's time for the monthly record. The Mets were 16-12 in May - following up their 16-8 April. If the Mets win 16 games a month, they'll do OK this season. (That would be about 112 wins, to put that in 15 more to go in June!)

THE KID'S KIDS: The Mets are headed in the right direction again. They beat Tampa 5-1 on Sunday (for the third straight time), and are back to a game-and-a-half lead over Brevard County. That's some good managing by Hall of Famer Gary Carter.

FANTASY UPDATE: I'm back on the outs with this game. The What If Mets dropped all three games Sunday, and are back to .500. I have three coming up on Monday now with the Giants. I'm telling you - I don't know what to do. I'm still just two games back of the wild card, so there's some hope...but I'm 11 behind the division-leading phillies. Also, I filled out a mid-season survey that the game asks you to fill out, and I was pretty critical. I hope that's not why I'm suddenly on a losing streak.

BEAT THE STREAK: David Wright was my pick on Sunday, and he got me up to a five-game streak. I'm taking Carl Crawford on Monday, hopefully we can get this one up into double digits and beyond.

Friday, June 02, 2006


Except for the rainout in Queens on Friday night, everything went well this week. Everyone made it back from our camping trip in good shape, the Mets did OK while I was gone (another no-decision for Pedro*?!....ugh), The Wife did a great job filling in, and I didn't get eaten by a bear....not even this one:

I didn't exactly have to rough it - we did stay in cabins, like the one you see on the left (that's my bed) - but the closest I got to seeing anything baseball related was the kickball games during free time back at the campground.

Still, this was one of the biggest adventures of my life - and I lucked out, because I only had to miss two Mets games, even though I was gone for most of four days.

I am very surprised the Mets called up Lastings Milledge. I thought they were going to go the entire year with him at Triple-A, so as not to put much pressure on him. If Nady were to be disabled, I would have thought we'd see Victor Diaz come up. Either Diaz is running low on options (to be honest, I'm not sure how that works, exactly), or the Mets are taking this opportunity to showcase Lastings Milledge to the A's in the hopes of landing Barry Zito. Or maybe they're just giving teams a taste of what Milledge could do in the majors. I'm not sure. It's strange though.

I don't think I could "bear" it if they traded Milledge, though. My only response would be, "Oh, Deer."

I can't believe the wife actually kept all of these features going while I was away - she was under no obligation to do so. (But I'm pleased that she did.)

THE KID'S KIDS: The St. Lucie Mets have seen their lead over Brevard County be cut to just a half-game. They lost to Tampa, 14-8, Thursday night. I don't have any info yet on Friday night's game.

FANTASY UPDATE: Maybe I'm doing something right with the "What If" Mets when I tinker with the lineup, because while I was away, they tanked. They've lost 7 out of 9, including all three on Friday. I'm back to just a couple of games above .500, and I'm about 9 games out of first, but I'm still within a game or two of the wild card leader.

BEAT THE STREAK: Mike Lowell got me up to three games on Friday. With the Mets' doubleheader on Saturday, I'm taking Jose Reyes. (All he needs to do is get a hit in one of the games to continue my streak - hits in both games don't count as two streak games - still just one.)

Thursday, June 01, 2006


The Mets are off tonight, but they had another extra-innings win last night. Endy Chavez got the game-winning hit for the Mets in the bottom of the 13th inning. Of course that means another no-decision for Pedro -- he'll be lucky to get to 6 wins by the All-Star Break.

I'm watching the National Spelling Bee finals right now. It's a little depressing that all these kids can spell these words and I've never even heard these words before. The kids even say things like, "Can I have the etymology of that word?" Etymology? I never even heard of the word etymology until last year.

If JohnnyMets were here, he'd tell you about how he participated in the Spelling Bee when he was a kid. I think he made the regionals or something. Young Johnny's downfall was the word "terrarium". He thought it was like the word "pterodactyl" and spelled it "pterrarium." Isn't that ptragic, putting a silent letter where there really isn't one?

THE KID'S KIDS: St. Lucie Mets lost last night to the Vero Beach Dodgers. Their record is now 29-22, two games ahead of Brevard County.

LASTING IN THE MAJORS?: Lastings is currently 1 for 8 in the majors right now. But last night, he had a great assist in the field, throwing out Craig Counsell at third in the sixth inning.

FANTASY UPDATE: In the absence of John's What If? results, my last What If? question before Johnny comes back. What If John had spelled "terrarium" right in the Spelling Bee? Well, I certainly wouldn't be able to ptease him as much as I do.

BEAT THE STREAK: John has a 1-gamer, I'm at zero. I've got Jhonny Peralta tonight, which is a silly choice on this night of the spelling bee, given that he can't even spell his own name correctly. John has Bobby Abreu.

THE WIFE SIGNS OFF: Well, John is back tomorrow, so it's time for me to bid adieu. I hope I did a decent job of maintaining the site in John's absence. If you ever have any pressing questions you'd like me to answer instead of John, feel free to email: I'll make sure John gives me the editorial space to give an answer. I'm sure you'll also be hearing random quotes from me here and there, probably under the headline, "Rants from a Mad Pregnant Woman." I'm really not that mad. Just the voice of reason in this family. :)

Until later...