Thursday, June 28, 2007


]I haven't mentioned this, because I didn't think it would affect anyone's life one way or another, but it has, so now I mention it. I'm back to playing softball with The Wife's company. Even though we got our butts handed to us on Wednesday night, it's much more enjoyable this time around than a few years back.

However, I'm a few years older than I was a few years back, and as a result I'm feeling some pain. I'm not looking for sympathy, I'm just pointing out why there was no radio show Thursday (hopefully there will be one before the day-night doubleheader on Friday - look for it around 10:30am at, and why I won't be back here until possibly Monday night.

Thanks to WebMD for sponsoring the injury update:

You see above three injuries worth noting:

1) This is the biggie - I wore sneakers, which is stupid. I should have worn cleats. But it's softball, I thought, why should I wear cleats!? This is why. Every time I hit the grass in my non-tread sneakers, I fall down. Bad. (See number three.) But I insisted on wearing the sneakers, not the cleats, and I overran first base on a ground ball (I was out), and when I hit the grass, my legs went out from under me, and I felt extreme pain in my left thigh. I think I pulled a muscle - which I've never done before, so I'm not sure what that would feel like. But if I had to imagine what it would feel like, this would be it. So I'm going to diagnose number 1 as a pulled muscle. It hurts to really does.

2) This was a weird one. I play third base, and a girl hit the ball over the left fielder's head - she was going for a triple. She got to third about the same time as the ball, and I tried to make a tag, reaching out for the ball with my left arm, then sweeping it back, fast, to make the tag. Ouch. I guess I haven't ever moved my left shoulder like that in my life. I thought I pulled it out of its socket. I nearly fainted. But the initial blinding pain went away quickly enough to let me continue playing, I avoided the embarrassment of being the first person to ever have an injury so severe he/she fainted during a softball game, and now it's just sore.

3) This was a holdover from last week, and I blame this on the sneakers as well. I went to the backhand to field a grounder, deep at third, so I was on the grass. And the trusty ol' sneakers gave out. I put my glove hand down to brace my fall, and must have sprained my thumb. This one hurt less because we won the game...but it's still lingering. We're now at 8 days - but I'm almost better, thanks for asking.

So, again, not asking for your sympathy here. I just wanted to fill you in on the injury news. The good news is that I got my car back, repaired, Thursday morning. The bad news is I should be entering my prime, a week shy of my 29th birthday...and yet, I'm nursing injuries from a softball game. It's 7:30pm, and I have to go to bed.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Quick - do you know who leads the majors in strikeouts? You can probably guess, based on the topic of this entry. Erik Bedard, like Mike Maroth, is just one of my guys. I don't know why, I just think he's a very good pitcher, on a not-so-good team, and I always try to get him on my fantasy team. Unlike other players, Bedard turns out to be a move that I could have made with my head instead of my heart....he is quickly becoming one of the best pitchers in baseball.

The past couple of seasons, Bedard has gotten off to slow starts...this year, for instance, after his first 5 starts, he was 3-2, but had a 6.11 ERA. We'll throw his sixth start, a no-decision, into the "rocky" category, though the 4 runs he gave up in six innings lowered his ERA to 6.09. Over his next five starts, Bedard began a string of absolute dominance that continues straight through to today...and he went 0-1 in those five starts, giving up 2, 0, 3, 1 and 2 earned runs. He was just getting no support from his teammates.

Bedard won his next outing, shutting out the Royals over eight innings, and then his June went like this:

at SEA: 6 IP, 3 ER, 7 K (no decision)
vs. COL: 5 IP, 2 ER, 8 K (loss)
vs. ARI: 7 IP, 2 ER, 9 K (no decision)
at SD: 6 IP, 2 ER, 9 K (win)
Last night vs. NYY: 7 IP, 0 ER, 2 hits, 8 K (win)

The only flaw in Bedard's game is that he gets so many strikeouts, which forces him to throw a lot of pitches, and ends up leaving a lot of games early...not sticking around to the late innings. He'll go 6 or 7, 8 innings, rarely. And with the Baltimore bullpen, that gives them a few innings to blow leads, and that leaves Bedard with a lot of no decisions. He also has given up 11 homers on the season - that seems like a high total to me.

Bedard's numbers on the year right now, after Wednesday night's win against New York:

17 Games Started
107 Innings Pitched
129 Strikeouts (Leads Majors)
6-4 Record
3.36 ERA
94 Hits
32 Walks

Part of this entry is to make a case that Bedard deserves a spot on the American League All Star team. But it's also to draw attention to someone who is mired away on a team that hasn't done well, and has an awful bullpen, which affects his win total.

Bedard is 6-4 right now. He could easily be 12-4. That would have gotten him some attention.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


On Sunday, Major League Baseball will announce the rosters for the 2007 All Star Game, to be held in San Francisco. I submitted my first and only ballot today, and it looks like every vote counts (in the game that...this time....again....counts!) - there are a couple of very tight races. What follows are my votes, along with their stats (through Monday), a brief explanation where applicable, and the current leading vote-getter at that position.


C - Jorge Posada (.341 avg., 9 HR, 44 RBI) - I could make an argument that some of his other All Star appearances were not deserved...this year he REALLY deserves it. Current leader: Ivan Rodriguez (in a very close race over Posada, Joe Mauer, and Jason Varitek)

1B - David Ortiz (.319, 13, 47) - I'm kind of sorry I gave Ortiz my vote. I was tempted to use my write-in vote here for Kevin Youkilis, because I think he deserves it the most, and I think this position should go to someone who plays first, and since it's in an NL ballpark, the DH's are just out of luck...but I voted for Ortiz. Current leader: Ortiz

2B - Brian Roberts (.324, 4, 22, 24 SB) - Roberts is getting no love from the voters, but he's having a very good season, and I've always personally liked the way he plays. In real-life, this is a 2-way race between Placido Palanco and Robinson Cano. Current leader: Polanco

3B - Alex Rodriguez (.333, 28, 77) - Yes, he hasn't been as great over the past two months as he was in the first month (or maybe he has - what do I know), but he still leads the majors in homers and RBI. Current leader: Rodriguez

SS - Derek Jeter (.342, 5, 36) - He already has 100 hits on the season, one of only five in the majors so far...just barely beating out Orlando Cabrera, who actually has 102. Current leader: Jeter

OF - Ichiro Suzuki (.359, 5, 37, 22 SB), Magglio Ordonez (.379, 13, 68), Reggie Willits (.337, 0, 23, 18 SB) - Ichiro is having another great year while no one notices the Mariners, Ordonez has been the Detroit offense, more or less, and I really like the underdog, so I threw my write-in vote Willits' way, over teammate Vladimir Guerrero. I always notice his numbers in the box score, and it always seems as though Willits is getting a hit. I figured my vote's not going to make a whole lot of difference here, anyway. So Willits it is. (My only problem with Willits was that when I went to pick him up in the non-East-Coast-Only fantasy league, the Southern Bureau already had him.) Current leaders: Ordonez, Suzuki, Guerrero


C - Russell Martin (.293, 8, 49, 13 SB) - Note the 13 steals. Martin has the best numbers of any National League catcher...despite what the Mets may be selling. Truth be told, Johnny Estrada might have an edge on Lo Duca too. Current leader: Martin

1B - Prince Fielder (.283, 27, 62) - If he keeps this up, he'll have a lock on this position, over some good competition, for years. Current leader: Fielder

2B - Chase Utley (.320, 12, 58) - Just a good ballplayer, having an All-Star year. He deserves to start. Current leader: Utley

3B - David Wright (.286, 12, 40) - I know, not the greatest numbers...but actually the best of the NL third basemen. And really turned it around after a rocky start. Current leader: Wright

SS - Jose Reyes (.319, 3, 33, 38 SB) - Best player in the game right now...and I'm not exaggerating. A true game-changer. Current leader: Reyes

OF - Matt Holliday (.354, 13, 60), Aaron Rowand (.315, 10, 39), Eric Byrnes (.313, 12, 42) - I like giving my outfield spots to the folks who might go unrecognized. These three guys are, unlike Willits, having the best seasons among ALL the outfielders in the NL - and in the case of Holliday - the majors. Holliday is second in the majors in hits, to Ichiro. These are the three who deserve the spots - none will probably get the starting nod. Current leaders: Carlos Beltran, Ken Griffey, Jr., Alfonso Soriano


I'm having a bit of a hard time making a decision here. I'm down to Danny Haren and Josh Beckett in the American League, and Brad Penny and Jake Peavy for the National League. I'll say this right now - I would be OK with any combination of those four as the starters. Here are the numbers:

Haren: 9-2, 1.78 ERA, 89 K, 111 IP

Beckett: 11-1, 3.07 ERA, 79 K, 91 IP

Penny: 10-1, 2.04 ERA, 70 K, 105.2 IP

Peavy: 9-2, 2.14 ERA, 113 K, 105 IP

I think after looking at the numbers I'll say it should be Penny and Haren...but again, it's close. I'll also say that I had no idea Brad Penny was doing so well this year. He did the same thing last year, I think, starting the All Star Game, then did not have as good a second half, if I'm not mistaken. Haren has gotten a few no decisions. Too bad for him. Erik Bedard, incidentally, is king of the no decision right now - he should make the All Star Game, and maybe I'll write a little more about his plight soon.

So there's my two cents as far as starters. I'll play Tony LaRussa for a second, and give nods to deserving Mets for reserve spots. Consider I don't know the scenarios that play out, whether the roster will allow these Mets to make the team, because who knows if the one Washington National that makes the team takes a position away from a Met...but I say:

Oliver Perez, John Maine, and Billy Wagner all deserve to make the team, and hopefully LaRussa acknowledges that when he makes his final selections.

And hopefully the Mets involved are playing for their home field advantage in the World Series. Remember last year, in Pittsburgh, David Wright and Carlos Beltran did their best to get that home field advantage...and then Trevor Hoffman blew the save.

Monday, June 25, 2007


While we all await Pedro*'s return from the disabled list, here's a little nugget about the Mets pitcher that doesn't really even involve him.

Above you see two men. One is Pedro Martinez*, rehabbing pitcher for the New York Mets. The other is obviously not Pedro Martinez*. He is Kenneth Day, who passed himself off as Pedro Martinez* on a date with a chiropractor in January, 2005, in Florida. The chiropractor, Rhonda Schroeder, continued the relationship via the internet with another man, who continued to let Schroeder think she was dating Martinez.

This was all set up by Shirley Gordon, who apparently is a con woman. (Not that she really had to use her 'A' material here.) Now, the kicker is, the chiropractor, Schroeder, apparently spent about $1 million in order to keep "Pedro" happy. And she bought engagement rings for herself and "Pedro". (Thanks to the New York Daily News for all this information....although Dave Goldiner, the writer, actually says, "Day, who has not been charged in the case, bears a resemblance to the eight-time All Star pitcher, although he has a scar above his left eye [according to the St. Petersburg Times]. Martinez has no such mark." Yeah. It's the scar that really sets them apart. Otherwise I could understand the confusion.)

I understand Schroeder's desire to get her million dollars back. But I have a few issues with Schroeder here, and needless to say, I don't want her chiropractoring on me or anyone I care about...she doesn't seem like the swiftest bat in the bat rack, if you catch my drift.

Let's set aside, for a moment, that the guy she went on a date with looks nothing like Pedro Martinez*. Let's instead focus on why Schroeder would pay a million dollars to a guy who was a multi-millionaire.

The article isn't 100% clear on how this worked, but the con woman had her ex-boyfriend carrying on the internet relationship...and I guess Schroeder sent him money, which went to the con woman. So the things Schroeder paid for were:

  • $20,000 for jewelry and a tummy tuck (!)
  • $45,000 lease on a Cadillac Escalade

  • $150,000 on furnishings, including a fountain

  • a waterfront mansion worth $449,000 in Tampa

It's really not clear if Schroeder bought these things for the con woman in gratitude for setting her up with "Pedro", or if she bought them directly for "Pedro". Either way, what the heck was this woman thinking? What does a professional ballplayer who plays in New York City need a waterfront mansion for? A tummy tuck?! If it impressed this woman so much that she was dating Pedro Martinez, you'd think she'd know a little more about the situation she was getting herself into. Bottom line - the con woman certainly picked a good target to swindle.

And Rhonda, if you're reading this...I should let you know, Pedro* has a brother that I could probably set you up with....and he likes cash. His name is Ramon, and you can ontact him at

RADIO SHOW: Tune in live Tuesday morning at 11am for a recap of the Mets-Cardinals game.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


Doesn't it just figure that not a week after I write fondly about Mike Maroth, he's on the mound opposing the Mets?

Maroth makes the start Monday night as the Cardinals come to Shea. All Mike Maroth is to me on Monday is another left-handed starter who the Mets have to rise up and beat.

TUNE IN: A huge weekend for the Mets - tune in to my pre-game show Monday morning at 11am at for a full recap and preview of the Cardinals series. Your calls, too, if there are any - call (646) 478-5512 between 11 and 11:15am!

Friday, June 22, 2007


I have never been a good fantasy baseball/sports player. I play too much with my heart, and not enough with my head...and usually that comes back to bite me in the end. It's my Achilles Heel when it comes to fantasy sports. Mike Maroth is a perfect example of playing with my heart, not with my head.

You may remember Maroth as the young pitcher on the 2003 Detroit Tigers who challenged the record for losses in the season. He refused to sit out down the stretch, battled through the rest of the season, and finished with a 9-21 record for a team that lost 119 games.

I had Maroth on my team that year, and the next. I think my big rationale was that we weren't punished for losses, and I liked the fact that he went out and pitched every fifth day, and considering he lost 21 games, he didn't pitch horrendously. Maroth, if I remember correctly, was often the victim of one bad inning, where things would fall apart, and his ERA would rise as a result. But over the course of the season, Maroth improved, and on a better team he would have done much better. I was working in the TV sports business at the time, and there were times when Maroth would be taking no hitters into the sixth or seventh innings, and it would cross the wires as such...before he would implode (but the AP Sports Wire would alert when a pitcher had a no-hitter after about six innings). So I saw promise in Maroth, and I rewarded him by always making sure he was on my fantasy team.

I think most people do this - they develop a loyalty to a certain player who doesn't really help their team, but who they feel like they can reserve a spot on their fantasy team's bench for, just to say he's on their team. For me it's Maroth. For Dave in Brighton, if his blockbuster strategy allowed it, it would be Oliver Perez.

I think my loyalty, and my pulling for an underdog like Maroth, stems from a life of rooting for underachieving baseball teams and football teams. Sure, the Mets and Jets are doing well now, but the majority of my life has seen them struggling. I've stuck with them, though, and it's made me more loyal, more likely to block out the bad stuff and focus on the good. That's the way it was with Maroth.

Last year, he was pitching as well as anyone on the Tigers' staff as they made their dominant run through the American League, off to a 5-2 start with a 4.19 ERA...then he got hurt. I think he showed what kind of a pitcher he could be. And I think the St. Louis Cardinals saw that. And I think they made a great trade on Friday, acquiring Maroth from Detroit for a player to be named later. Unfortunately, with Maroth a Cardinal, my days of pulling for him may be nearing an end. I will, though, be keeping a close eye on his starts.

ANOTHER TRADE: On the radio show Thursday (, I talked about how this weekend the Mets would be getting the A's' lineup at full strength, because Milton Bradley had just come back from injury. Well, I didn't realize there have been some issues between Bradley and the A's, and now he's been dealt out of Oakland - to the Royals, in exchange for pitcher Leo Nunez.

COMMENTS/E-MAIL: Hilarious comment by the Southern Bureau. I've not deleted Rodrigo's comment just so the Southern Bureau's stays relevant. And then there's this e-mail from Justin from NYC - always entertaining when Justin's in the inbox:

"time for another addition of "Justin was just as screwed up as johnny when he was a kid"

As far as the baseball card situation...

I can tell you the exact date of this occurrence.. cause it was the night Letterman debuted on CBS: August 30, 1993.

I slept at my friend Izzy's house that night, so we could watch the big show. (Billy Joel was the musical guest, by the way) But at about 9 o'clock we started leafing through his baseball cards. Both of us had boxes and boxes of cards.. as well as albums completely filled up. We decided to draft teams. So we grabbed a handful of random cards, spread them out on the floor, and drafted our teams. I have no idea what we were gonna do to determine which team was better, but we picked anyway. Well, that took about an hour.. but we wanted to keep going. So we grabbed another handful.. and started adding to our teams. 25 guys on the major league roster, and 25 on the minor league roster. Well, soon.. we each had a major league team, a AAA team, a AA team and three A teams. Then the trading began. All i remember is that he held me up for hours as I tried to acquire Mike Myers, cause i needed a situational lefty for my AAA team.

(Myers was a tigers farmhand at that point).

So.. we got so into it.. We barely watched letterman. It was background noise while we wheeled and dealed..."

Thursday, June 21, 2007


For some reason, I had a couple of 1991 Mets scorebooks sitting out. I think I had wanted to comment on them a while back, but I can't remember why. One of the articles had to do with Wally Whitehurst and Jeff Innis, and I was going to comment on Whitehurst, because I remember him being a member of the Mets during some lean years...but he put up some really good numbers as a Met. Maybe someday I'll write about him. But the article that stood out to me the most was an article on Daryl Boston, and his reign as judge in the Mets' Kangaroo Court.

For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, a kangaroo court is a mock courtroom...and it was fairly common in the clubhouses of professional sports teams some years ago. You really don't hear about them now...I'll get to that. But they would be run for the players by the players, and players would be fined for certain transgressions...from fashion (wearing sneakers with a suit, for instance) to hustle, or lack thereof, on the field.

Daryl Boston was the self-proclaimed judge of the Mets' Kangaroo Court in 1991. The court was a concept that was created mostly because Rick Cerone was on the team (I can't believe Rick Cerone actually played for the Mets)...apparently, he started up a court on every team he played for. The article is funny, because apparently Boston really hammed it up. You can see that he had the full judge regalia - supplied by Mets manager Buddy Harrelson. (It's nice that the manager bought in, too - he was also fined for an undisclosed reason that year.)

The court started because Boston felt that too many players were leaving runners at third base with less than two out. So they were fined in the court (minimum fine - usually $5). Same for players who missed the cutoff man. Fashion applied, too. I love this quote, from the article by Steve Adamek:

Not all fines are baseball related, either. Fashion crimes, usually adjudged by Boston himself, considered one of the best dressers on the Mets, are also fair game...Reliever John Franco walked in the clubhouse one day dressed like Zorro, with a wide brimmed hat and a baggy-sleeved jacket. Franco was on Boston's hit list until Boston suddenly found himself the proud owner of the wide-brimmed hat.

"I'm one of those judges who can be swayed," Boston says, laughing. "You know, scratch those who scratch your backs."

Now, the event didn't really translate to on-field success (the Daryl Boston-era Mets were 77-84 in 1991, and 72-90 in 1992). But I like the idea. And I think it should apply to the current Mets. Every time Carlos Beltran gives half-effort running out a grounder, or anything, hit him in his $119 million dollar wallet. Up the minimum fine relative to today's salaries. But it would never work.

Players these days have thin skins. They can't take a joke like this. They would be at each other, and instead of bringing a club together, it would probably drive them apart. Also, there would be a zillion transgressions. The players are making so much money, they would gladly hand over money rather than hustle on a grounder to short, I'm sure. But if you combine the off-field and on-field issues, the judge would be too busy to play the baseball game. Broke curfew? Photographed around town with a woman who isn't your wife? Beating up a pizza deliveryman? Fighting with officers in a bullpen? Jeez - Karim Garcia's case file alone would overwhelm anyone. So you'd have to pick and choose your battles, and it wouldn't be consistent.

Today's game just doesn't lend itself to something like a Kangaroo Court. But if you know of a team that does have one, please let me know - that would be something worth following.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


From the famed "Parents are cleaning out the house" collection...

I've been going through my old baseball cards, in an attempt to consolidate the different loads my mom keeps sending me, and narrow them down to one box. Interspersed through this posting I will put images of some of the gem cards I found - none of which looks to be worth more than three dollars right now...and I think that's if they are near mint - I doubt mine are.

I like thinking back to the fact that when I got this card, I had no idea who Chipper Jones was... and never would have guessed how much I would have disliked him.

I was never a huge baseball card collector, but I always enjoyed picking up a pack or two on my walk home from school. I never traded cards (I had a hard time even then settling on fair trades...a bugaboo that followed me into my fantasy team ownership years), so I always had a lot of doubles, sometimes triples and quadruples. I loved the checklists, because it gave me something to fill out - I always liked keeping track of things.

I didn't think about how much these cards might be worth down the road, but I had friends who did, and so I took a little extra care with my cards. So now, they're in decent shape...some have even been kept in plastic...but none are in "mint" condition.

This is a rookie card of Frank Thomas, but I think I have another one somewhere. And I think that one is worth a lot more, because there was some kind of error on it. I think there's a misprint on his jersey or something. I don't remember exactly, but I felt like it was worth keeping in a safe place back then...lots of good that does me now.

I used to like breaking out my cards during games. I don't know if I would have admitted this then, but I think it's OK to say now. I liked taking out my Mets cards, and if the Mets were playing the Cardinals, I'd take out whatever Cardinals I had. Then when the Mets were in the field, I'd put those cards out there, and whichever Cardinal was up. Then, when the Cardinals were in the field, I'd switch it up. I was a lonely kid. Another thing I liked was reuniting Mets teams from the past. For instance, with one set, I had Roger McDowell and Lenny Dykstra as Phillies - I'd gather them together, maybe with my Jesse Orosco Dodgers card, and Ray Knight Orioles card, and recreate the 1986 Mets with as many players as I could.

Two who would eventually wear pinstripes - one who wore them his entire career.

All of these memories came flooding back to me as I was sorting through the cards. Did you have a favorite baseball card? I remembered which card was my all-time favorite, and I found that I had a few of them - the 1988 Topps Gary Carter. I'm not sure what about it is my favorite - maybe it's because it was like having a mini version of the big poster in my room that was the same picture. Regardless, I love it. Here it is:
Well, I hope I didn't bore you with my trip down memory lane. There was just the rush of memories as I was sorting that I had to write about it. I'll leave you with a couple of other shots of some of my cards (my Glavine card doesn't have the autograph)...Justin from NYC should pay close attention to the one all the way on the right - it could be his fantasy team's avatar:

RADIO SHOW: I'm going to shoot for an 11-11:15 regular time, since that seems to be when The Baby takes her nap. Friday I may not be able to do one, but I'll be on the air Thursday at 11. Some people have reported problems with listening live - do your best to tune in if you can, and call with comments, or to talk Mets. You can find the broadcasts/number to call at Thanks for your support!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


And actually, we're going back more to the way things used to be. It used to be that this was a page solely for opinion, not game recaps, because I always felt you could get recaps in the papers or elsewhere online. This was the place you came to when you wanted to know how I felt about something that happened in a game, or just to get my overall feel for the state of the Mets.

Lately, due in part to my obsessiveness about keeping track of things, this site has become more of a daily log of Mets events - no different than, say, or some such thing. As I mentioned the other day, it was sort of an effort to have a historical log of the Mets' championship season. Well, partly because I'm finding it more and more difficult to stay up late and write after games, and partly because of my new radio venture, we're back to making this a stop for opinions only - and some game comments. Depends on the game.

The site will also feature more broad baseball-related things - if there is a huge story or something I come across, say, as my parents empty their house that merits writing about, that will be the topic.

Therefore, here are a few (anticipated) Frequently Asked Questions about the changes:

Q: Johnnymets, what new radio venture are you referring to?

A: Check out to hear Tuesday's pre-game show. Hopefully it will be updated daily before each Mets game, and feature a preview of that day's game, a recap of the game the night before, and a look at the rest of the majors. It can also feature your phone calls, e-mails, or instant messages. Keep an eye both on this site and the above link to see when the live broadcasts are...but you can also listen to the pre-recorded ones after the fact.

Q: What about site favorites such as "Player of the Game" and "Beat the Streak"?

A: Occasionally these old reliables will pop up on the blog, but "Player of the Game", as of Wednesday, June 20th, will officially move to the radio show. My "Beat the Streak" picks will be kept to myself until I get to 20 or something games, and then I'll shout them to the world in some format.

Q: If I really want to send you an e-mail to tell you how I feel about something, will it be printed on the blog or read on the radio show?

A: That's really up to you....and if you don't make the decision, I will. You can tell me in your e-mail whether it's intended for the blog or the radio show, and I'll accomodate the request to the best of my ability. You can always comment on the blog, and that will stay on the blog. If you don't specify blog or radio show in your e-mail, I will use my discretion and see which medium it is most appropriate for.

A change/adjustment like this is sure to bring up questions in your mind...some right away, some after a day or two. Please, let me know if there's anything I can do for you to help make this transition easier. Until then, enjoy the blog and enjoy the radio show, and thanks for your continued support.


I just finished my first radio show - the show, for now, will be a pre-game show, and hopefully it will appear daily. I'd love to take calls during the 15-minutes or so that I'm on the air. Check out for show times, and to listen to the first pre-game show of the season.

If the show takes off, there may be some format changes to the blog, where the blog becomes less of a daily recap, and more of a running commentary on the Mets or related topics.

Monday, June 18, 2007


I've been a little slow the past week or so. I keep thinking of things I a) wanted to write about or b) should have written about in my postings within 24 hours or so after I publish them. I guess I'm only just getting back into the swing of everyday blogging. Regardless, since I'll be long asleep before Monday night's Mets-Twins tilt ends, I'll go back and do what I should have done on Sunday.

I kind of breezed past the fact that the Mets are on the cover of Sports Illustrated, and I made a passing reference to the fact that it jinxed them...but I didn't go into it in depth. Well, here we go (click the picture for the writing to be bigger):

The mystery of the Mets' recent struggles is over - it has to be since they took this picture. The magazine was delivered to subscribers last week, so I'm sure the picture was taken at the beginning of June...just about the time the Mets started their slip. Just about the time John Maine went from 5-0 to 6-4. Just about the time Endy Chavez got hurt. The magazine comes out and El Duque has one of the worst starts he's had as a Met. I'm just waiting to see what happens the next time Oliver Perez pitches.

And I didn't notice this the first time I looked at the cover...but I just noticed an inset over Orlando Hernandez's shoulder...I've blown it up for you below:


  • Dave in Brighton, the Southern Bureau, Justin in NYC, and I had our first radio show Monday night. Not sure what the regular schedule will be for the show, but we have kicked it off, and we will continue it. It's about 23 minutes, so if you feel like giving it a listen, we'd appreciate it, and your feedback. Dave, Justin, and Kevin all do a great job - the show would be better if I just let them talk the whole time. Catch the show here at
  • Also, occasionally does a "Separated at Birth", where he finds people who resemble each other and puts their pictures together. Totally original and hilarious! But you'll never believe why Endy Chavez made an appearance on Monday.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


The Mets-Yankees are in progress as I write this, so I'm not going to address the Sunday Night Baseball game (it's 6-1 Yankees in the 7th, but I suspect the Mets have one big rally in them tonight. Not sure if it's enough to win the game, but they'll finish with more than just the one run, I'm sure of it). Instead of talking about the game, I'll spend this posting talking about something I forgot to mention on Saturday night.

This comes courtesy of the Southern Bureau, always with an ear to the ground for things that happen to catch his attention that has to do with the Mets, without him having to exert himself too, too much. Anyway, Southern Bureau brought to my attention the fact that this week's Sports Illustrated cover story is about Omar Minaya. So the Mets are on the cover of Sports Illustrated, and all of a sudden, the best team in baseball can't win a game.....?

Now, you might be wondering how it is that I needed to be informed that the Mets were the SI cover story, and I didn't already know this? I forget if I've said this, but about 6 months ago, I cancelled my subscription to Sports Illustrated. One reason was that I never have time to read the magazine during the school year (although I have two subscriptions that I make time for....more on that later). Another reason is that I found more and more stuff in there didn't interest me. The straw that broke the camel's back was the fact that as I was becoming more disgruntled with SI, I signed up for their fantasy football supplement, and they never sent it to me. So I cancelled the subscription. I have a thing about calling people/businesses, and I wasn't going to call them to tell them that they never sent me the fantasy football stuff. I probably could have finagled something free out of them, but I'm not that type of telephone caller. So I just called and cancelled. I think it was all automated.

Now, as for the 'having time to read the magazine' thing, (I'm realizing I have brought this up before, after I went through how I read a baseball preview, and Justin from NYC gave us his hilarious rendition of how he reads SI), I didn't make time for Sports Illustrated, but since cancelling my subscription I have subscribed to TIME and American History magazines. TIME got me with a free offer for a clock radio...which really bites. I have this dream that someday I'll find a radio that will allow me to listen to WFAN while in Framingham, during the daylight hours...and this dream allowed me to believe that radio was going to come to me free by subscribing to TIME. I can barely get the local FM stations, let alone AM from New York City. American History is one of the best decisions I've's going to make me a better teacher, and I love the content.

But, once again, I digress. I was able to access the entire article on Omar (justifying my decision to cancel my subscription - I figured if there was anything I really wanted to read, I could get it online...which I did), and it was great. I recommend reading it. At first I was intimidated - it was 11 pages of text online. But when I saw the byline, I knew it was worth it. Gary Smith is a fantastic writer. I know nothing about the man, but I love everything he's ever written. I'm engrossed in stuff he writes about soccer, which I also know nothing about. His writing unfolds like a well-written song, starting slow, like a single drum beat...thump...thump...thump...building to a crescendo, with lots of action/information, and then coming full circle to the beginning. Just great stuff, and this article on Minaya was no different. (I questioned a little bit when he started off comparing Shea Stadium to a castle...but he even made that work!)

Finally, there's a part in the article where they talk about Minaya and his old Queens buddy Dave Valle, and their charity. Just to connect the story to me, Dave Valle and I went to the same high school. The baseball coach at said high school was very proud of the fact that he had Valle on his team (Valle was the starting catcher for the Seattle Mariners for a number of years). Alas, I was cut from the team roughly four times (let's see, four years in high school, so, yup, four times), so I was not destined to follow in Valle's footsteps as catcher. I had many issues with the coach who did said cutting...but that's a story for another time. Suffice it to say, Dave Valle, who I have never met, connects me to Omar Minaya.

Mets return to Shea on Monday night to begin a three-game set with the Twins. (A World Series preview, if my pre-season predictions come true.)

Saturday, June 16, 2007


Yankees 11, Mets 8 (NYM: 37-29, NYY: 34-32)

I feel like I have a lot on my mind this evening, first and foremost, that I hope my students don't view me as a "rakish nerd". (See comments from yesterday.) Or, for that matter, a rakish anything. (Actually...just looked up 'rakish' - I've been called worse.)

Right behind that, though, is Tom Glavine. Everything I read mentions the fact that "Glavine is still stuck on 295 wins", "Glavine is still searching for win number 296", "Glavine has his second consecutive rocky start". I feel like we're missing the bigger picture - how about the fact that Tom Glavine is just 5-5 with a 4.67 ERA. That's more than just Saturday's start against the Yankees, and last week's start against Detroit. Sure, Glavine has had a couple of starts this year where he should have gotten a win, but either the team couldn't score runs or the bullpen hurt him (the same situation he's faced throughout his Mets career), but he's also hurt this team. Saturday's game was a typical Tom Glavine loss - he gives up a bunch of runs, but the Mets keep coming back and putting him in a position to win....but he keeps giving the lead right back. You pretty much see this pattern developing by the third inning when he has games like this. (OK, perhaps I'm overreacting - I'm looking at Glavine's last 10 starts, and the numbers aren't bad....but he seems to have had more bad starts than just the past two against the Yankees and Detroit.)

Now, not far behind Glavine in my mind is the fact that this game was one of those 1pm Saturday games, so I had no chance of watching it. I still don't understand the TV rights on Saturdays...and it's not fair to people like me that they play 1pm games on Saturday if they're not going to allow those games to be put on the 'Extra Innings' package.

The Mets lost this game despite taking separate leads into the bottom of the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th innings, but Glavine gave all of those leads back. The Mets have now lost 8 out of 10...but they are still high achievers. I was switching channels before bed on Friday night, and caught the Mets on 20/20 on ABC. Of course, I stopped. They were doing a report on luck/superstition, and mentioned the Mets' shaved heads from their trip out to San Francisco. The reporter said that people who have such superstitions usually have a higher intelligence, and are usually high achievers. Consider my worries about the 2007 season over. It would be nice, though, for the Mets to take this series.

David Wright extended his hitting streak to 17 games in the loss. I only half-caught it during Friday night's game, but there's something about this hitting streak being the third 15-game hitting streak of Wright's in a certain amount of time, and he's the only guy in history to do that. But I'm not sure what he did/is doing. Also, I think David Wright is a better hitter when he's not on a hitting streak. When he's on a streak, he gets a dinky hit once a game to continue it. When he's not on a streak, sure, he'll have an 0-fer, but he's more consistent, if that makes sense. I won't be sorry when this hitting streak comes to an end.

Finally, on Saturday's game, I'm mad at Carlos Beltran. The Mets rallied in the 9th against Mariano Rivera. They loaded the bases, scored twice, the second run coming on a 2-out single by Jose Reyes, batting right-handed against the righty Rivera (Reyes also stole 2 more bases). Beltran, representing the go-ahead run, popped up to end the game. Wonderful.

Ray's Pizza Player of the Game: A-Rod had a homer, but Derek Jeter hit the go-ahead homer and was 4-for-5, so I give the honor to him. Jeter was 4-for-5 with 2 RBI, 2 runs scored, and he stole a base. Jeter's homer came in the 4th inning, with the Mets ahead, 5-4. He put the Yankees ahead to stay, at 6-5.

ONE MORE NEGATIVE NOTE: I feel like it's been one negative thing after another this week - no hot water, the car crash, the Mets losing...and I'm usually a positive person. But one last (probably) negative thing before I get back to positive things, with the winning streak the Mets are about to go on beginning Sunday night. The tie clip I mentioned in the Friday posting, which I have clearly been wearing incorrectly for the past three years, has been misplaced. I think I lost it on the last day of school, when I changed clothes at school and was cleaning up the classroom. I have no idea where it ended up. I'd be sad if I can't recover it.

CUBS FIGHTING AGAIN: I don't know if I've ever weighed in on baseball brawls before. The Cubs-Padres fight got me a little riled up on Saturday, so I'll weigh in now. Yes, they're exciting, they get the blood pumping, like all fights usually do. The Wife absolutely loves them. But in the end, they make me sad. I think this dates back to a fight between the Mets and Cubs in the early 90's, when Rico Brogna got tossed into the brick wall behind home plate by (Cub) Turk Wendell. Brogna went on the DL with a shoulder injury shortly thereafter, and was never the same when he came back. I always blamed it on the fight. So I get a little upset when I see them now.

I also think most of the fights are silly and contradictory. I feel like the players of today have no business defending the 'honor' of the game. With so many of them tied up in steroids, and I'm sure so many more looking the other way, that's the first thing. Secondly, supposedly this brawl started because a couple of guys had a problem with Alfonso Soriano looking too long after a homer he had hit. I just think it's hypocritical to throw at someone for that these days - are you going to throw at every single batter? Everyone poses after they hit something...even if it doesn't leave the park. Everyone shows someone else up throughout the game. It's disheartening, but if you're going to get upset at one person for it...get upset at everyone who does it.

Friday, June 15, 2007


Mets 2, Yankees 0 (NYM: 37-28, NYY: 33-32)

That's more like it. In the first game I feel like I've been able to watch in more than a week, the Mets again looked like the team they were a little more than a week ago.

Oliver Perez put an end to the Mets' 5-game losing streak with 7-and-a-third innings of shutout ball, giving up 5 hits and just three walks, with 6 strikeouts. He got the win to improve to 7-5 - and he has a 2.93 ERA. The Mets didn't just beat anyone either...they stopped the hottest team in baseball, ending the Yankees' 9-game winning streak. And they beat Roger Clemens, which is always a nice added touch.

The Mets didn't solve all their problems in one night - Carlos Delgado struck out 4 times, and the 4-through-8 hitters combined to go 0-f0r-19. Carlos Gomez in the 9 spot was 2-for-3. The Mets did, though, play some outstanding defense all night long. The outfielders (Carlos Beltran and Gomez, specifically - I'm itemizing only because Shawn Green was his usual not-covering-a-lot-of-ground-self) turned a lot of fly balls into outs, and made some tough outs look easy at Yankee Stadium.

Jose Reyes was the main producer for the Mets (see below). Willie Randolph is trying to shake the Mets up a bit - with the offense struggling, he's changed the lineup a lot the past week. David Wright hit third Friday night (something he has been doing here and there), Carlos Beltran was hitting second, and Paul LoDuca was hitting fifth. The players have been changing in and out, starting in Detroit last weekend, and playing in the American League ballparks, with the DH. It continued through Los Angeles, and Shawn Green came back to the lineup, and it is still happening. I've said it a couple of years ago, and I'm saying it now - I like Carlos Beltran hitting in the two spot. And now that David Wright is hitting again, put him anywhere - I don't care. Wright has another long hitting streak going - he's hit in 16 straight after a 1-for-3 on Friday. FYI - his batting average is up to .287.

MTA Player of the Game: Jose Reyes gave the Mets a big kick in the pants Friday night with the way he played - 3-for-3, a homer, and both runs batted in for the Mets. He also stole 3 bases for 35 now on the year.

NBA FINALS: No one asked, but I'm sure you were wondering how I felt about the Spurs beating the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals. It was about all I could have asked for in a league I care very little about - a new championship matchup, and it only took 4 games to decide. I'm glad it's out of the way.

SUITS AND TIES: I'm pleased that the NFL has lifted a tiny piece of its controlling tendencies to allow Mike Nolan to wear suits when he coaches 49ers home games. I think it's nice, and something more people should do. Here's the baseball tie-in (pun intended) - some say it's ridiculous that baseball managers wear uniforms...I'm indifferent. But if they started wearing suits, I think that would look equally ridiculous in the dugout.

Anyway, the point I wanted to bring up is that I came across a picture of Nolan, and he's wearing a tie clip towards the bottom of his tie. I have a tie clip, and for the past three years, since I wear a tie to school, I've been wearing the tie clip around the middle of my tie. I feel like I've been making a fashion faux pas for three years now. Below you see the comparison - who's wearing it correctly? Or is there no right or wrong way? (Maybe Nolan's only wearing it low because of all the headsets and stuff an NFL coach must wear...or he's miked for sound.)

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Despite the Mets scoring first on Wednesday night, again, the Mets lost, again. This is becoming a problem. Friday begins a three-game series with the Yankees. If the Mets don't get it together for that series, then I'm not so sure this season will be the championship season I was so confident about for so long.

When the Mets and Yankees last met, May 18-20, the Mets took 2 out of three. Since that last game, when the Mets were 28-15, and the Yankees were 19-23, the Yankees have been scorching, and the Mets have not. Here's a look at the records since then:

Mets: 8-13 (including 5 losses in a row, and 9 in their last 10)
Yankees: 14-8 (including 9 wins in a row)

I'm sure there's better breakdowns, which will be all over the place, especially comparing their last 10 games each, but I'm not going to do that. I'm guessing that the Yankees' hitting numbers are going to easily dwarf the Mets', because the Mets scored just 5 runs in their 3-game series against the Dodgers. They didn't have trouble scoring in Detroit - their pitching failed them there.

Bottom line - the Mets need to stop messing around and win some ballgames, and all the better with the Yankees coming up Friday through Sunday.

MURRAY FIRED: The Dodgers fired hitting coach Eddie Murray on Thursday. Apparently this has been a long time coming, but you'd think they wouldn't mess around after the hitting the Dodgers just threw at the Mets these past three games. Murray will be replaced by Bill Mueller, a player I always liked. It was uncomfortable the way Mueller would try to squeeze his good Lord and Savior Jesus Christ into every post-game interview after mundane mid-season games...usually they save thanking the Good Lord until after the World Series. Not Bill. It was also odd how sudden he stopped mentioning Jesus in the interviews - someone either told him to stop, or he had a sudden anti-God thing going (a "Come from Jesus", if you will).

I also have very little sympathy for Eddie Murray. He was a contributing factor in some miserable early-90's Mets teams, and I'm convinced he swayed some young players to be bad people because he was that much of a bad clubhouse influence. That's what I heard years ago, and that stuck with me. I say this despite Murray's role in ending Anthony Young's losing streak...and his co-induction into the Hall of Fame alongside my hero Gary Carter.

One more piece about the Dodgers' offense against the Mets - among the disasters was that in Tuesday's game, with the Mets leading 1-0, John Maine gave up back-to-back-to-back homers to the 7, 8, and 9 hitters, with the 9 hitter being a pitcher by the name of Hong-Chih Kuo. If that's poor offense, I'd hate to see what a new hitting coach can do.

SOX APPEAL: The Red Sox and their television station, NESN, are putting on a new show called "Sox Appeal". It's sort of a reality dating show that takes place during Red Sox games. Apparently they've started shooting the show, and dates are taking place on this current homestand. I guess contestants have a couple of innings to impress their dates - I'm not exactly sure how this works. What I do know is that NESN tried to plug the show during Thursday night's Red Sox-Rockies game, and Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy were very funny describing the date. The poor guy was obviously striking out - the woman looked very disinterested. This led to Jerry and Don bashing the guy's body language, and obvious nervousness. It was entertaining television. That's what the show should be - forget about reality dating. How about reality dating commentary?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


My outlook is a little rosier today, despite the Mets losing again to the Dodgers in Los Angeles. Perhaps because I made it through the day without crashing a car into anything. Perhaps because another issue we had on Tuesday at the House sponsored by DirecTV was resolved. I forgot to mention it on in Tuesday's posting, but the hot water was out. That was fixed early Wednesday. Perhaps it's because I found the old "Umlauts" standings from 1999 between johnnymets, the Southern Bureau, and Justin in NYC.

"Umlauts" was a game whereby you had to throw a CD (usually played with the "Umlauts" CD, so called because it was only identified by a U with umlauts over it) onto a shelf across a hallway. The shelf was divided up into different squares and rectangles, and you earned more points for getting the "Umlaut" to settle into the smaller areas. It was tougher than it sounds, but by the end of the year, we were experts. The game took place at Boston University's radio station, WTBU. The creation of this game, sadly, may have been among our greater accomplishments during our college years. At least I know it was for me. So, since the parents are cleaning out their house during a renovation, all my old stuff is popping up...and the "Umlauts" standings were a recent find. Very exciting. For the record, Justin finished in first place in the standings.

I think the preceding two paragraphs illustrate the point I was going to make tonight. I've just spent two paragraphs talking about a game I made up 8 years ago...I'm afraid that I'm no longer the true blue Mets fan I've always been. Or...I ask the question, what makes a true blue fan? I used to think I was going to lose my status as "#1 Mets Fan in the World" if I missed one pitch during the course of a game, even if it was the late innings of a blowout. Now I'm lucky if I can stay awake past the seventh inning stretch...let alone the first pitch of a west coast game. Worse still, I might not even care when I see the score in the morning whether the Mets won or lost. What does that say about me?

I've become someone who rationalizes losses - if the Mets lose to the Phillies and Cole Hamels is pitching, for example, I say, "Well, if they were going to lose, at least it's to someone on my fantasy team." I didn't even realize until this morning that the rest of the National League East is right back on the Mets' tails because they've won just one game so far this month (although that may serve more as a commentary on my common sense than anything else). And it didn't make me run down to the computer to issue a call to arms on the blog.

I think steroids has a lot to do with this. I think slowly I'm separating myself from what I've been very close to, so that I'm not as disappointed as I might have been when names I've convinced myself were not involved get released as being involved in the scandal. I know fatherhood has been a major part of this, because I look forward to seeing my daughter every day far more than David Wright or Jose Reyes. But her bedtime is 7pm, just in time for the east coast games, and if something else comes up, I'm not as disappointed about missing the game as I once was.

So I'm having a fan identity crisis. Maybe all I need is the Mets to come back East, play at reasonable times, and get back to playing exciting, winning baseball. Maybe that's this weekend when they're playing the Yankees.

All that said, though, it only makes me more confident that the Mets are going to win it all this year. I wanted this blog to be a running record of the season - with Players of the Game following every game, all year long. I've lost that option, because I've missed so many postings. I missed major events of the season such as the emergence of Carlos Gomez, the surprise contributions of Jorge Sosa, and the Endy Chavez injury. So because of that, based on the way things work out for me, this will be the year the Mets win it, and I will only have a partial history recorded. It will have to suffice, but it could have been much more. Does that make me less of a fan? I don't know. I do know that the johnnymets of a year or two ago would have said that it certainly does.

COMMENT ON THE COMMENTS: Thanks to everyone who commented on the return posting from Tuesday. The Sister even weighed in! FYI, the 'system' she refers to in her comment is her so-called 'system' for the "New Baseball Pool". I'm convinced she picks a random team each week - she claims to have a 'system'. I know people enjoy leaving comments on the site, but also don't forget that you can e-mail at

AT LEAST HIS NAME'S NOT DICK: I keep forgetting to mention this, but every so often, the guys in the SNY booth will bring up a certain player from the Chicago Cubs who played in the late 70's, whose name happens to be Pete LaCock. Usually Keith Hernandez instigates it. But they'll allude to him, call him Pete or something, but never mention his full name. This has been happening for about a year, about once every other month...not very often. Last week, they did it again, and Gary Cohen, in what I'm guessing was coming through on an off-air bet that he couldn't say the name and keep it together, came right out and said, in response to Keith's hint at the player, "You're talking about Pete LaCock, right?" Well, they all lost it. And Hernandez goes, "Sorry folks."

I don't know what to make of this. First of all, I laugh every time they hint at his makes me think of my old internship (the same internship for Southern Bureau and Justin in NYC), where the executive producer had LaCock's baseball card prominently posted in the office. But I also cringe, because Hernandez probably got Cohen in trouble for the whole thing. I like to think that Cohen is a little more professional than he gets when Hernandez is around. Again, I'm going to apologize for devaluing Ron Darling when he first came to SNY from Washington. He has been one of the best analysts I've ever seen/heard. I can take or leave Hernandez these days.

BEAT THE STREAK: I'm still playing, haven't really threatened Joe DiMaggio. I'll post this again when I get past 8 games, maybe.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007



I'm starting summer vacation. I get to spend pretty much every day from now until the end of August with my daughter. I should be extremely happy...but I'm not. I've had a bad week, and it's only Tuesday. Making things worse, I haven't paid much attention to baseball (specifically, the blog), and the Mets have lost 7 of 8 (8 of 10 if you want to take it back to a round number...actually, 8 is a very round number...but I digress). The strange thing is, the Mets are getting healthy - they've gotten Jose Valentin back, Orlando Hernandez has come back, and Shawn Green is back - they're just not winning.

I compare the current Mets run to a car crash. It's a Met-aphor, if you will.

Where, you ask, did I get such a great picture of a car that has been in a car crash? Well, I only had to go to my I said, it's been a rough week here at the House sponsored by DirecTV.

I think this can be traced back to Sunday night. (The Mets had been losing for a week already, but it wasn't bothering me at this point.) All of the anticipation, all of the excitement over the series finale of 'The Sopranos' for.....a choose-your-own-ending?! It's bad enough the show makes me think more than I should have to for a television show...but now they make me decide how to end one of the most successful shows in history? Way too much pressure, and a huge disappointment.

I'm also going to spend a minute addressing the fact that Tony Soprano played "Don't Stop Believin'" for the final song of the show. I know it's not a popular opinion, but I enjoy Journey, and I like "Don't Stop Believin'". I love it even more because it became one of the theme songs of the 1999 Mets during their end-of-season and post-season run. I loved when someone would come through in the clutch late in a game and the chorus would start playing almost immediately on the Shea speakers. I remember it playing after Robin Ventura's grand-slam double. However, the song is now involved in a custody dispute in my mind: Happy memories from the 1999 Mets vs. Extreme disappointment in the final scene of 'The Sopranos'. The happy memories are fading fast.

So the week started off bad. Then came Monday night - the Mets, coming off a 15-7 drubbing on Sunday, got a first inning run out west versus the Dodgers, and I went to sleep, feeling pretty good about El Duque and the early lead. But the Mets aren't the lock they were last year when they score first on the road, and I woke to find out that they lost. So Tuesday got off on the wrong foot. It got worse.

Driving to my final work-related event of the school year, I got into an accident. The car is in the condition you see above (I'm fine). It actually looks worse than it was, but it's a crappy way to start summer vacation. The appraisal is tomorrow.

Therefore, Mets, I ask you to please start winning. If these first three days of summer vacation are any indication, things might not be going as well as I wanted them to this summer. If nothing else, give me something to watch, root for, and enjoy.