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 dark...you 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 was....in 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.