Sunday, September 30, 2007


10:35am - I've always wanted to try a live blog, and I think today's the day to do it. It's the final day of the regular season, with everything on the line. Also, the Jets are playing the Bills, and with the Patriots playing the Bengals on Monday night, I have the Jets on free TV. So I've set up the regular TV next to the DirecTV, on which I can watch the Mets live, and have the Phillies on the second tuner (meaning I can always rewind to see anything I might miss). That'll cover three pretty big games. Might as well mix in some live-blogging to that.

If you're new to live blogs, first of all, keep checking back throughout the day - I'll try to keep doing this until at least 4 o'clock...I imagine there will be a lot to say today. And also, you're going to have to read from the bottom up...only the newest posts will appear towards the top.

Enjoy the day - I hope I will.

10:40 am - This is a test. Actually, I think I will just keep adding to the same post, so that you don't have to read bottom-to-top. My service to you. This way also won't screw up my total number of blog entries. I would hate to mess with statistics.

11:25am - Bad news - the Mets are not on SNY today. They are on Sun Sports in Florida, so I will be able to watch the game, but I hate the Marlins announcers. They're awful. I guess I could keep the sound down on the baseball, and have sound up on the football.

Sundays are a busy day here at the House sponsored by DirecTV. I have to do the laundry, watch football and baseball, finish up any schoolwork for Monday that I left off until the last minute, and then do the final tallies for the New Baseball Pool. Today, with such important games, only adds to the workload.

Thanks to the Southern Bureau for the comment. Obviously, I welcome your comments all day long to go along with mine.

11:35 am - Almost forgot - Sunday is also garbage day. I might put that off, though, until the games are over. The tricky part with that is making sure I do it after the games, but before it gets never know what animals might be lurking outside, waiting to attack the garbage. Yep...always have to make sure there's still sunlight when I put together the garbage.

12 noon - One hour away. I'm not taking any chances - I'm wearing what I wore yesterday. If it works today, I'll be wearing this Mets t-shirt and beige pants for the next month. At least it's very comfortable.

I think the last time the Mets faced a last-day scenario like this was in 1999, when they beat the Pirates on the last day of the season, in their final at-bat, on a wild pitch on which Mike Piazza scored from third, and in so doing, forced a playoff with the Cincinnati Reds the next day, in Cincinnati, where the Mets won the wild card. I did a quick search, and I don't think I've ever told this story before - so here goes (if you can't tell, this is the part of Sunday where I have schoolwork to do...and this is the procrastination part):

I came home from Boston on October 2nd for a friend's wedding. I had my suit, and one change of clothes - a gray t-shirt and jeans. At the wedding, a friend and I decided to go to Shea the next day to watch the Mets game - especially after it became clear that the game would decide the playoff appearance. So we showed up at Shea the next day, and waited in line, and got good seats (seats good enough that I was in the background of a couple of TV crowd shots in the bottom of the ninth - I still have the tape). While in line, also, then-Pirates third base coach (and former Met) Richie Hebner's wife was behind us, and if I'm not mistaken, although I've been known to misinterpret these things - she was hitting on me. But I digress.

The Mets won the game, and I became convinced it was my lucky outfit. I had no real demands bringing me back to Boston (I lived with the Southern Bureau at the time - he was then the next-room-over Bureau, and I between jobs. There was an unsuccessful stint at Houlihan's, a possible job interview at True Value Hardware, and only interning at a TV station - I was a month away from working...November 15th, to be exact....until this very day.), so I stayed for the Monday playoff to watch the game with my dad. The Mets won, a great game by Al Leiter - a one-hitter, if I remember correctly, without looking it up. Then my dad had some Rangers tickets for Thursday - so I stayed through Thursday, with the same clothes, and the Mets did well against Arizona. That was a lucky outfit. I wore it until Kenny Rogers threw ball four against Andruw Jones. When I came back to Boston, I watched Todd Pratt hit the game-winning homer against the Diamondbacks at the apartment, while Southern Bureau and our other roommate went to the Red Sox-Indians playoff game...then I ran down to Fenway Park, and met them by like the third inning. What a week, in retrospect. I think I probably watched the Red Sox in my lucky outfit, too. I can't remember how often I laundered it. Probably not often enough.

12:35 pm - Lunch break. I had to run down to Riley's Roast Beef (The Wife and I decided earlier we would do that today - I forgot I had to be the one to go)...It's beautiful outside. The shame of all of these sports going on today is that I don't get to go out and enjoy the nice weather. Maybe The Baby (almost 'The 1-Year-Old) and I will go for a walk later...or I'll rake the leaves or something. It will be good therapy, win or lose.

12:57 pm - Sun Sports has much better video of Miguel Olivo going after Jose Reyes (and throwing a punch at him) than SNY, which is what ESPN has been showing. I just saw it on their pre-game.

Final note on what I have going on in my head today - fantasy baseball. I have one starter going - Jason Hammel of the Devil Rays, along with a host of relievers - Aaron Heilman, Jon Lester, Chad Cordero, Jeremy Accardo, Joba Chamberlain, and possibly Kei Igawa, who I thought was getting the start for the Yankees. I have an outside shot at passing the Southern Bureau in wins, but I need to maintain my strikeout lead, and I pretty much wrap up the season. I'm nervous about this, too, though. I have frittered away as much as the Mets have...though, like you have to give the Phillies credit, I have to give the Southern Bureau (and Justin from NYC, too, who is in the hunt but may come up just short) credit for keeping it close. I'm rooting against A.J. Burnett, Jamie Moyer (for two reasons), Jason Bergmann (getting K's, at least), and Brian Burres.

Phillies-Nationals, by the way, are a 1:35 start. I would love it if the Nats jumped all over Moyer in the first inning...and if the Mets did the same to Dontrelle Willis.

There's also fantasy football and NASCAR to worry about - but today they'll take a back seat to baseball.

1:07 pm - Jets have already had a defensive stand before the Mets have thrown the first pitch. Jets looked good against the Bills' backup quarterback.

1:15 pm - Both games are underway. I have better reception on the Jets than it looks like here:

1:30 pm - Wow. Not even through the top of the first yet, and it's 5-0. Tom Glavine's out, and now our hopes rest on Jorge Sosa. Not exactly the way I drew it up.

I let The Wife use the computer for 10 minutes, and this is what happens.

Jets are looking good - recovering a Bills fumble, and driving...

Unless Glavine gets a chance to pitch in the playoffs, and get the bad taste out of Mets fans' mouths, he is not going to be remembered well. There is a huge difference - Hall of Fame versus wine conneisseuir, but I'm thinking Steve Trachsel.

The Marlins announcers are already driving me nuts. The color guy actually said, after the 4th run scored, "How about some 'Let's Go Mets' cheers now?!' There's no place for that in a broadcast booth.

1:39 pm - Finally, the top of the first inning is over. 7-0 Marlins. How ugly was it? Glavine couldn't get two outs. He hit the opposing pitcher (albeit a good hitter, but still) with a pitch with the bases loaded. Tom Glavine, this is, not Oliver Perez. He made the error that scored another run, throwing the ball into left field like a little leaguer.

The Mets are still capable of scoring enough runs to win this game, unless they play like they've been playing the past couple of weeks.

And I'm going to say it again...if the Mets are lucky enough to win, and make the post-season, or lose and have the Phillies lose, and play their way in tomorrow - there better not be a drop of champagne. And I don't want to hear, 'this is sweeter than last year because of all the adversity'. You caused this. And you haven't accomplished a thing until you either win the NLCS or World Series. Making the playoffs was expected...and you produced a disastrous end of September.

1:52 pm - Carlos Delgado was just hit by a pitch, looks serious - he may have to leave the game. It loads the bases, though, with 2 outs - and the Mets already have one back, it's 7-1. No score in the first in Philadelphia.

No score on the Jets yet either. Brett Favre has thrown a touchdown pass, though, so he's knocked Marino off the top spot on TD passes. Love that.

1:54 pm - Argh. Ramon Castro just missed hitting a grand slam. It looked like he had it. 7-1 Marlins after one.

2:02 pm - Things are looking up a bit. Sosa strikes out the side, and the Jets got an interception inside of 2 minutes to go in the half. Phillies, though, lead 1-0.

2:11 pm - Jets are going to the half scoreless after a great drive ended in a missed field goal - off the upright. Speaking of Dan Marino, Chad Pennington executed a great fake spike.

My fantasy stuff is not going well - Southern Bureau is racking up a bunch of strikeouts. I haven't been following my NFL picks too closely with everything else going on, but I love the fact that Cleveland is up on Baltimore 28-3 right now...I know I didn't pick that, though.

Dontrelle Willis has 2 outs in the second, but he looks very beatable today. Anything less than 7 runs would have been wonderful today, Glavine.

2:35 pm - Willis walked the bases loaded in the third, with 2 outs, and he's been lifted. I'm not sure that's a great thing - the Mets would have gotten to him. So it's the bullpen now - the Mets need to capitalize with the bases loaded.

The Phillies did - Ryan Howard came through with a 2-run single with the bases loaded, and it's 3-0 Phillies.

2:40 pm - Paul LoDuca, pinch-hitting, on a 3-2 count, rolled a check-swinger to the pitcher. No runs. It's still early, but it's not looking good.

Marshawn Lynch ran 10 yards right through the Jets for a touchdown to make it 7-0, Bills. The Jets can not lose that game.

2:50 pm - Pennington has responded - a touchdown pass to Coles. The Mets have not. The Jets are tied, the Mets are down 7-1 through 4. Phillies are still up 3-1 through 3-and-2-thirds.

The fantasy stuff isn't looking too good either - my relievers better rack up the K's.

3:10 pm - Through 4-and-a-half: Phillies 3, Nationals 1. Marlins 8, Mets 1...after an RBI double by De Aza. About halfway through the 4th, and after a Bills field goal, it's 10-7 Buffalo.

3:20 pm - Through 5 - no changes.

The Jets, though, came up with a big 3rd down stop, and appeared to force a field goal. After a time out, the Bills went for it, and scored. Ugh. What a day.

The good news: Jon Lester is in for the Red Sox, as scheduled. Hope he gets a handful of K's.

3:30 pm - Jets got a quick strike - down 17-14. Southern Bureau - I'm well aware of the irony between the Moyer-Glavine starts. Moyer's day is done, so are the Soutern Bureau's fantasy pitchers. I need to tally and figure out how many K's I need from hopefully a few bullpen appearances.

3:45 pm - The Jets game ended with a bad interception thrown by Pennington. Bills 17, Jets 14. Now I'm not only going to have to live with the Mets choke (down 8-1 through 6), but tons of undeserved crap being dumped on Pennington as the fans call for Kellen Clemens. Oh, right, Phillies are also up 4-1 now.

4:07 pm - The Mets played a pretty crisp top of the 8th. A little ironic that the Mets bullpen has pitched so well today after putting them in this hole to begin with...also ironic that the Mets had to rely so heavily on their bullpen in their most important game of the year - getting only a third of an inning from their starter. 5-1 in Philly, 8-1 in New York- neither score is good for the Mets. They need 8 runs in the 8th.

4:20 pm - 3 more outs. At least Aaron Heilman is pitching the 9th - I need two K's from him...or Chad Cordero - hopefully he comes in against the Phillies. This day has been a disaster.

4:31 pm - The Mets are done - losers, 8-1, to Florida.

4:35 pm - The Mets are now officially done, as the Phillies beat the Nationals, 6-1. Unreal. I'm more pissed off than I thought I'd be...perhaps because it seems like I care more than the Mets. Or perhaps it's because my NFL picks were awful, and my fantasy players are going to come up one strikeout short...unless Kei Igawa makes a ninth inning appearance. I think all of those failures stem from the concentration I've been giving to the Mets...undeservedly so.

Saturday, September 29, 2007


I really can't believe that it's come down to this, but here we are. John Maine stepped up big-time on Saturday, going 7-and-two-thirds no-hit innings, before giving up only a dribbler to third infield hit (along with a career-high 14 strikeouts), as the Mets beat the Marlins, 13-0. Talk about sending a message...although I would have much rather had those 13 runs spread out over some of these other games.

Later on Saturday, the Washington Nationals held on to beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 4-2, to force a tie once again atop the National League East standings. I've always had a soft spot in my heart for the Nationals franchise, deep down, because of the Expos roots and the affiliation with Hall of Famer Gary Carter. With Saturday's win, and if they can pull out a win on Sunday against the Phillies, I will forever root for them whenever they are not playing the Mets.

So on Sunday it will be Tom Glavine versus Dontrelle Willis in New York, while in Philadelphia, the Mets will be hoping Jamie Moyer continues his season-long struggles against Jason Bergmann.

On Saturday, the Mets earned for themselves a chance to play themselves in to the post-season. All they have to do is win, and they will either go straight to an NLDS series, or play a playoff game on Monday against the Phillies. I don't even want to think about the scenarios if they lose...but there is potential that they will still have a one-game playoff with a loss.

John Maine showed us his big-game ability in the post-season last year. He proved he's a big-game pitcher again on Saturday - stepping up big-time when the Mets needed him. Now, facing another seemingly elimination game on Sunday, the Mets have Tom Glavine on the mound - they can't do much better than that.

The Southern Bureau sent me a message on Friday night saying his dad was at Friday night's game, and the Mets showed no emotion. It showed on television too...the Mets looked awful. Because of blackout restrictions for the Saturday national game, I couldn't watch Saturday's game, but I was able to catch some of the radio broadcast, and it seemed like the Mets fixed whatever their problem had been. Then, there was more fire added when Jose Reyes got into it with Miguel Olivo, the Marlins' catcher. The benches emptied, the only punch thrown was Olivo trying to get at Reyes, but there was a spark. More signs of life out of the Mets than we've seen in about a month. (Dave in Brighton was at this game - almost seeing in person his second career no-hitter. Lucky guy - he saw the benches clear. Don't think I've ever seen that. He's just lucky that way.)

Also, completing what's been a good season for him, Lastings Milledge had two home runs. He has shown a lot of maturity this year (his recent suspension for arguing a strikeout call notwithstanding), and it was nice to see him contribute in such a big game - because I still think the Mets have to get someone of value for him - I just don't see how he fits into their future plans.

So it comes down to Sunday - Mets need a win, and hopefully a Phillies loss. I have to figure out a way to watch the Mets and Jets simultaneously...but I guess that should be the worst of my problems. Hopefully there will be good news to write about on Sunday night.

Friday, September 28, 2007


Call it the National League East Series. Call it the pre-post-season. It's a best two-out-of-three series, with two opponents not even playing one another. Which means the Mets had better win all three of their games with the Florida Marlins - because they can't count on the Nationals doing to the Phillies what they did to the Mets.

It's a shame it's come down to this...but this is where we are. After blowing a 7-game lead over the course of 2 weeks, it's do or die. Today is the last day you can make an argument that the Mets have any control over their own fate. Win, and they can't drop out of first place. Lose, and they have to rely on other teams. Win 3, and hope the Phillies don't.

For the first time in the 3+ year history of, the Phillies scare me. A little. I'll be more scared when the Mets are officially in second place.

The slim silver lining here is that the Phillies' dominance of the Mets does not factor into the Mets' playoff hopes. If they finish tied for the division lead, with the chance that neither team would be in the wild card spot, there would be a one-game playoff, and the Phillies' season-series win wouldn't matter. It would matter that the Mets would probably have zero confidence going into that game.

Bottom line - you want loser-goes-home, elimination baseball? You got it. Unfortunately for Mets fans, it comes about a week earlier than it was supposed to.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


Why sprint when you can stumble? To wit:

Team A: Losers of 10 out of 14 to close out a division-winning season.
Team B: Losers of 8 out of 14 to finish in the wild card, but blowing a late-season division lead.
Team C: Winners of 4 straight to end a season in which they finished in first place in their league.
Team D: Holds a slim division lead with a record that is worse than the wild card team.

You can probably guess who these teams are. Team C is the 2006 Mets, who blew everyone in the National League out of the water, just to lose to Team A, the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals, in the NLCS. And those Cardinals went on to win the World Series over the American League Champion, Team B, the Detroit Tigers, who struggled in September in their own right.

The point is, if last year constitutes a trend, it's not how you play in September, but in October, that matters. And Team D, the 2007 Mets, look like they might have righted the ship just enough to make it to October to play some playoff baseball.

They actually haven't done too poorly in September. They are 12-8 through Saturday in the month, which isn't awful. The sweep by the Phillies dominates the landscape, but the Mets did take 4 out of 5 from Atlanta in the month, and sweep the Astros. The danger, of course, is that the Phillies have played so well, and gave the Mets a scare...and then the teams in the National League West have played well enough to box the East loser out of the wild card.

What are the shining spots for the Mets this month? They've had a tremendous shot in the arm from Pedro Martinez*, and David Wright has done his best to carry the team on his shoulders. Wright is the first 30-30 man on the Mets in 20 years.

(Someone else playing out of his mind is Moises Alou. With a 1-for-4 on Saturday, Alou is now riding a 26-game hitting streak, tying Wright's team mark set earlier this year, and extending his own record of a single-season Mets' hitting streak.)

The slate gets wiped clean in about a week. We can only hope that the Mets will still have a slate...and that once they advance, they continue with their ability to beat teams not in the NL East.

WRIGHT WATCH: David Wright has 40 doubles. With 8 games left, he needs 5 doubles to break Bernard Gilkey's single-season record of 44.

COMMENTS/E-MAIL: Thanks to Dave in Brighton for clarifying the controversy over the Red Sox celebration. My point remains, though, that they still deserved to celebrate, since they were one of just 8 teams to advance to the playoffs. I'm OK with that. And my point still remains that the Mets had better not touch champagne until they win the NLCS.

An e-mail from a concerned Steve in Queens:

"Johnnymets -

As I am sure you can imagine, the last 6 days have been absolutely killing me. If I were Minaya; Mota, Heilman, Delgado, Sele, Schoenweiss would all be taken out back and tortured. The Mets bullpen is the worst thing I have seen in a few years. I just can't believe what is happening. Either they don't score for their starting pitcher, or they do and their starter sucks. I am extremely concerned that the Mets will not be making the playoffs this year because the way I see it, it is Division or bust. And if the Mets do make the playoffs and get past the first round, and have to face the Phillies in the NLCS, they will be completely screwed. Anyway, I can't blame you for not writing for the past few weeks. I wouldn't have either. Talk soon.

Steve (disgruntled Mets fan from Queens)"

Well, Steve, the good news is that only one team is coming out of the East. The wild card race has gotten away from the Mets and Phillies since you wrote. The bad news is, the Phillies have almost as good a shot as the Mets at winning the division.

For the Mets, it's all up to them - they control their fate. With Saturday's win, the magic number is down to 7, and the Phillies are playing as I write this. So I don't think all hope is lost once the Mets make the playoffs. They've had success against San Diego and Arizona, and goodness knows they kill the National League Central.

Let's also not lose sight of just how hard it is to win a division. Some teams (Yankees, Braves) have done it so much that it appears to be easy to accomplish. The Mets are on the verge of winning back-to-back division titles for the first time in their history. It doesn't matter that it wasn't the prettiest season - they can be division champs again. And that goes a long way towards building some confidence heading into the post-season.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


I can't believe that I'm actually going to have to qualify this with an if....but if the Mets make it to the post-season, they look to be in a heap of trouble. First of all, losing 12-4 to the Washington Nationals is not a good lead-in to October baseball. Neither is losing eight straight to the closest divisional rival. As a matter of fact, .500 baseball within the division (30-30) isn't a recipe for success...especially for a National League team.

The Mets close out the season with the Washington Nationals and Florida Marlins on the road...then the Washington Nationals and Florida Marlins at home. So the opportunity to close out the season strong stands before the Mets. Whether or not they can looks doubtful at this point.

The bad news is clear. The worse news is that this isn't the first time - last September the Mets stumbled to the end of the season also. The thought has crossed my mind that no matter how well the Mets do, if this happens again next year, Willie Randolph might find himself looking for a job...or at least feeling the heat of a hot seat. Of course, the good news is that the Mets came out of their September funk in a big way last October by beating the Dodgers in the Division Series, before losing to St. Louis. There's always the chance that this year they were again looking ahead to the post-season, and looking past their opponents in the regular season, and will turn it on again once (again, if) they make the playoffs.

If the Mets do make the post-season, though, I have some advice. I remember a big story in 2003, 2004 in Boston was that the Red Sox had some ridiculous, over-the-top celebrations when they won their playoff spot and then when they won a Division Series. At the time, I thought it was much ado about nothing - only 8 teams in the league have something to celebrate at the end of the season...and then just they might as well do it up good. Well, I'm changing my tune this year.

If the Mets give themselves the opportunity to celebrate, they can not, until they make it to the World Series. Anything short of that this year does not deserve a celebration. Last year the Mets clinched the division, somewhat anti-climactically, at home, after being swept in Pittsburgh with the opportunity to clinch. They partied like they were World Champs. But I didn't mind - I was into it too. Then the Mets partied after beating the Dodgers. I thought, that's nice, but it's only one step closer to the goal. The players all said that, so it seemed like their focus was in the right place - I was OK with the celebration - but I was worried that the next celebration would be too much, leading into the World Series. That celebration, of course, never came.

This year, an NLCS victory would be the only reason to celebrate. I would be downright mad if I see the Mets crack open champagne for clinching the division - that should have happened at the beginning of September...but now they have allowed the Phillies back into the scenario and don't deserve to celebrate. They get to breathe a sigh of relief when (if) they clinch the division, and then shift their focus to whichever lesser National League opponent they will play in the playoffs.

And when (if) they beat that team, it just gets them back to where they should have won last year, and where everyone expected them to be this year. No celebration deserved. Only when the Mets have punched their ticket to the World Series should the corks be popped. Provided they can ever get their magic number from 11 to 0.

THANKS FOR CHECKING BACK: You can tell by the lack of postings that school is back in full swing. The past few weeks have been awesome as far as school goes, but pretty bad for the blog. Thanks for the loyal readers who check in every day to see if I've written. I'll try better the next few weeks, and especially the postseason...if the Mets are playing.

Sunday, September 09, 2007


The above is the answer to the question: How was the opening Sunday of the NFL season for you?

Here's why:

-Patriots 38, Jets 14
-My fantasy running backs going for a COMBINED 6 points
-no chance at winning the week one confidence pool - this was cemented after the 1 o'clock games

It can only get better from here.

dave in brighton said...You didn't even mention Chad Painington.)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


When is an Atlanta Braves celebration cause for celebration for Mets fans? Wednesday afternoon.
Let me take you through my afternoon. It was the day that I meet the students - not a full day of school - Thursday is the first full day - but a full afternoon, because the students come in, check out the classroom, meet the teachers, and hang out with one another.

Because it was such a busy afternoon, it wasn't until things settled down at 4:30 that I remembered the Mets had played a 12:30 game. 7-0, Reds. Bummer. I check the Phillies score - 8-6, Phillies, in the 9th. Bummer. Maybe the Braves will come back, I think....because I always think that way.

7pm - I get home, make sure to set my fantasy lineups, before I forget, and lo and behold, the Braves had their biggest win of the year. They apparently celebrated like they won some kind of championship...and it's the closest they'll get to some kind of championship all year.

The end result - the Mets' magic number is down from 20 to 19. Things are certainly breaking the Mets' way when, on a day they get 3-hit, and one of their aces gets rocked pretty good (John Maine, another disappointing start...but he'll turn it back on for the playoffs, I'm sure), they end up gaining ground.

The Phillies can beat the Mets...but they sure do have a lot of trouble with everyone else. And as a result, let's say it together now, 'The Phillies Don't Scare Me.'

Monday, September 03, 2007


Things are starting to feel familiar with the Mets. Paul LoDuca - healthy. Moises Alou - healthy. Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado - healthy...and possibly breaking their slumps.

And now...Pedro Martinez*. Pedro* made his season debut Monday in Cincinnati, and got the win for the Mets. He went 5 innings, sticking to his 75-pitch limit, giving up 3 runs (2 earned), 3 walks, and striking out 4.

Pedro* got support from homers by Moises Alou and David Wright, and he pitched a good game. It was a far cry from his last outing, last year against Pittsburgh. And while it was also a far cry from his heydey with the Expos and Red Sox, it showed he still knows how to win. (Also, the Mets owe him 5 inning wins - heaven knows there have been plenty of games in a Mets uniform where Pedro* has gone 7 or 8 stellar innings and had to leave with a loss or no decision.)

Pedro* also picked up his 3,000th career strikeout in the second inning. That was one of the milestones that was highlighted at the beginning of the season - which seems so far away. Pedro Martinez*, 2 strikeouts away from 3,000 career. He finally got that milestone. And I find this hard to believe - but Pedro* is now one of three pitchers who has more strikeouts than innings pitched. There's a certain minimum requirement to make that stat work - I forget what it is - I saw it during the Reds' broadcast of this game.

As for the Mets overall, it's pretty amazing that they are in such a comfortable position. The school year is getting back into full swing, so I wasn't able to write about the 4-game sweep by the Phillies last week. The Mets looked like they were undisciplined (Marlon Anderson throwing an elbow at Chase Utley trying to break up a double play was unnecessary and stupid, costing the Mets one of those Philly games), and they looked like they were in serious trouble. Then they went to Atlanta, where they have so much trouble, and they swept the Braves. Now, I think, there's no looking back. Until they play the Phillies and Braves again - they're the only teams that give the Mets any trouble.

The Mets are sitting pretty. Magic Number = 21. The Mets are 5 up on Philadelphia (that's back from 2 at the end of the sweep), and 7 and a half on the Braves. The Braves are playing the Phillies the next couple of days - we'll just keep rooting for Atlanta, and watch the lead increase even more as the Mets take on the struggling Reds.

MEANWHILE, AT JOHNNYJETS.BLOGSPOT.COM: I have posted my season picks for the Jets. I'll keep you updated on my postings over there through this site. Just click on the link at the right so you don't have to type in the whole address.


(If I don't do this today, I fear it might never happen, and a graphic that took a lot of time to create will go to waste. Also, thanks to the Southern Bureau for the feedback on the site's font color - I'm trying white, since he said black was a bit hard on the eyes. I'd appreciate any feedback anyone has.)

Expectations for the Jets in 2007 are high. It's actually kind of odd...because expectations are so high, but they come with a lot of disclaimers:
-if Chad Pennington stays healthy
-if the offensive line overcomes the loss of Pete Kendall
-if Eric Mangini is able to maintain what he started last year
-and so on

My disclaimers are the same...and with these picks come some other warnings. As you can see, I pick the Jets to go 11-5 this year. That's what I think they should do...what they are capable of doing. We all know that with the Jets that what they should do, which teams they should beat, and what actually happens are not always the same. So I say this up front - I would not be surprised if the Jets lose a couple in that stretch of six straight that I have them winning. And I think the Pittsburgh and Dallas games are big "if"'s. But I also think the Jets might surprise us in the Tennessee game and maybe Baltimore. Either way, I don't think the Jets will win less than 10 games, and I think that's enough to make the post-season. Whether that results in a division win and a first round bye, though, might mean the difference between a Super Bowl run and a first-round playoff exit. Here's the breakdown:

WEEK 1 - VS. NEW ENGLAND: I think the Jets will split with the Patriots this year, and common sense tells me the Jets will win at home. But the season opener will be a tough one - both teams will be up for the game, obviously. Maybe the Richard Seymour injury and the Rodney Harrison suspension will work in the Jets' favor, though, and they will jump on a distracted Pats team.

WEEK 2 - AT BALTIMORE: The Jets always have trouble with the Ravens. That defense is always capable of literally killing Pennington. I think the Jets lose this game, especially since it's on the road, and are lucky to escape not too banged up. Otherwise the whole season could be lost in this early game.

WEEK 3 - VS. MIAMI: The Dolphins are a mess. I know when the Jets stunk and the Dolphins were competitive the Jets always gave Miami a run for their money...but there's no way the Jets should lose to the Dolphins this year.

WEEK 4 - AT BUFFALO: About the only good thing about the schedule this year is that the Jets don't play Buffalo late in the year. Weather shouldn't be too much of a factor in this game. I have the Jets penciled in for two wins against the Bills this year because of one thing - no Willis McGahee, who killed them.

WEEK 5 - AT NEW YORK GIANTS: Another good thing about the schedule this year - 9 home games, basically. The Jets should win this - I think the Giants are going to be awful. They hate their coach - I can't imagine any less motivation.

WEEK 6 - VS. PHILADELPHIA: I expect big things from the Eagles this year. Philly should win this game, even though it's at the Meadowlands. This could be one of those swing games, though. The Jets shouldn't be much worse than the Eagles.

WEEK 7 - AT CINCINNATI: Cincinnati should be better this year, and the Jets could be evenly matched. In that case, though, the advantage goes to the home team, which is the Bengals.

WEEK 8 - VS. BUFFALO: Again, no McGahee = Jets dominance.

WEEK 9 - VS. WASHINGTON: I think Washington is on the upswing, but they'll have to prove they can stay healthy, and that they have a quarterback in Jason Campbell. Until then, I say the Jets win this game.


WEEK 11 - VS. PITTSBURGH: Historically, a game the Jets can't win. Realistically, each time the Jets have played the Steelers recently, they've narrowed the gap. This is where they swing the momentum in their favor.

WEEK 12 - AT DALLAS: A tough stretch here - Thanksgiving Day against the Cowboys. Not a lot of rest after a probably tough Steelers game...and then the national audience at Dallas. I have it down as a surprise win, because the Jets will be as up for the game as the Cowboys.

WEEK 13 - AT MIAMI: Extra rest after the Thursday game should prove beneficial. Jets should smoke the Dolphins.

WEEK 14 - VS. CLEVELAND: Always a tough game for the Jets. They better stay up for this one - it should be a win.

WEEK 15 - AT NEW ENGLAND: They won there last year, but New England gets this one as revenge for the opening week loss. If the Pats win in Week 1, I'd bet the Jets win this one.

WEEK 16 - AT TENNESSEE: Last year the Jets snuck one out in the opening week, holding off a furious Titans comeback. I think the Titans don't sneak up on the Jets this year, and win this one pretty solidly.

WEEK 17 - VS. KANSAS CITY: With a possible playoff berth on the line for the Chiefs (doubtful, but possible), I don't see the Jets letting Herman Edwards come back to the Meadowlands and win his way in.

OTHER STUFF: As fun as it is, I don't see the picks against the spreads contest happening this year. I just have so much else going on - I really have to cut back on the extras.

I also don't think I'll be posting much during the week, but I'll try to wrap up each game. Please keep checking back and seeing what there is on the site. Thanks!

Nefertiti Jones said...
11-5?? Wow. I'll take the under.

And who is this Southern Bureau you speak of?? He seems very smart...the font looks great.)