Friday, November 30, 2007


I can't believe the Mets just made this trade. I really don't have a lot of information to go on right now, but thanks to the Southern Bureau for some ESPN Insider information. Heres' what I know: the Mets traded Lastings Milledge for Ryan Church and Brian Schneider.


Players like Johan Santana are on the trade market, the Mets are dark horses in that chase because they have limited prospects as it is, and the Mets REALLY need a starting pitcher.....and they're trading one of their top trade-able players for RYAN CHURCH and BRIAN SCHNEIDER!?!?

I can't believe that the Mets would make this bad of a deal. It's a bad deal. Awful deal. And Lastings Milledge stays in the division so that he can haunt them 19 times a year. You better believe right now that Milledge will have a Chipper Jones-type career against the Mets for the rest of his career.

The only rationale I can make is that the Mets are working on something huge. Or the Nationals are working on something huge. Or the Mets and Nationals together are working on something huge, which required Milledge to be Nationals' property before he was dealt. I have to believe, following the Johnny Estrada deal, that the acquisition of another catcher is the set-up to a whole other deal. I have to believe that because if I don't, I'll cry.

The Mets could have gotten a number of different players for Lastings Milledge over the years. His value has dropped a little since he was a minor league prospect, but he still had a solid showing last year in the majors. There's no way his stock has dropped so far that he is only worth RYAN CHURCH and BRIAN SCHNEIDER.

One or both of these players better not be on the Mets' Opening Day roster.

I just had to give an immediate weigh-in on this potential disaster. (The only reason it's potential is that there's a chance the Mets can move some of these guys and get someone of value.) I heard it on the car radio on my way home from school and nearly drove off the road. I heard the guy say, "And the Mets trade Lastings Milledge...." in the last line of his update, and I thought, "This should be higher up in the update...this is a big deal." And then when I heard who he was traded for I felt sick. Seriously. I guess I do care quite a bit about the Mets.

I'll probably update more over the weekend...hopefully as future deals develop.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


Earlier this month, the Lancaster Barnstormers of the independent Atlantic League named Von Hayes their new manager. Among the other names on the short list of candidates for the job was Hall of Famer Gary Carter. Carter was supposedly very close to getting the job, but Hayes pulled ahead and was able to land the position.

The talk, and this is a reasonable point, is that Hayes was selected because of his incredibly popular stint with the Philadelphia Phillies during the 1980's, and that goes a long way in drawing fans to an independent team like the Barnstormers. But I would counter with the argument that Carter is a Hall of Famer, and he doesn't just pull in the local Pennsylvania fans...he's a national draw. I know right now I have no interest in attending a Barnstormers game...but if Gary Carter were managing the team, I'd be making a trip to Lancaster. This is also the league that includes the Long Island Ducks and Bridgeport chances are I would even catch one or two Barnstormers road games.

So why else might a team pass up Gary Carter for Von Hayes? Could the reasons be the same as why a major league team might pass up Gary Carter as their hitting coach (the Colorado Rockies last year), or first-base coach (the New York Mets)? Or why a Triple-A level team might pass him up as manager (the L.A. Dodgers' affiliate)?

At first glance, Carter seems like a great candidate. His track record is impressive - managing two years at the lowest minor league levels, he posted very impressive records:
2005 (Gulf Coast League): 37-16, first round playoff exit (0-2)
2006 (St. Lucie Mets)
1st Half: 40-30
2nd Half: 37-32
Postseason: 5-0 and won the championship

He's also savvy with the media. In fact, I think this media savvy could be his strongest point...and his weakest. No manager in the world would be more willing to talk to the media, win or lose, after a game, than Gary Carter. He loves the press. No question about it. But that might also be a this day and age, where someone as ornery and secretive as Bill Belichick (different sport, I know, but the parallel can be made) is having so much success while giving the media hardly anything to work with, a team might not be looking to hire someone so willing to talk.

I also think there's a stigma that no one wants to work with Carter, and this is what bothers me the most. I think Carter was a little too much of a go-getter as a player, too willing to kiss up to the right people. It made him a success, no doubt about it, but I think now that some of the people in important positions are his former peers, instead of the people he was kissing up to, he's sort of receiving a little bit of what those people felt he had coming. Perhaps they have an idea that Carter thinks he's better than them...and maybe he doesn't do too much to dispel that thought. But something like Carter turning down a Double-A managing job with the Mets, maybe that turned people off - who does Gary Carter think he is, does he think he'll go straight to the majors without paying his dues? I don't know what the problem is.

This bothers me, especially the fact that I believe so many baseball people aren't crazy about Carter (which is just my's not a fact, but when you hear people/broadcasters/former players talk, you get that impression) because as far as I can tell (and with the bias that Gary Carter is my childhood sports hero), Gary Carter is a nice guy. For all his faults, he's not going out and doing bad things - he's a good role model, and I'm glad he's mine. I just wish I could continue seeing him involved in the game at the major-league level again.

TRADE NEWS: The Minnesota Twins and the Tampa Bay Rays made a trade Wednesday, where Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett went to the Rays, with Delmon Young and Brendan Harris going to Minnesota. I think this is a great trade for both teams, and I also think it means the Twins are working on other things....namely, a trade of Johan Santana to the Mets for Jose Reyes. I don't know whether or not it's possible, but I do know that Brendan Harris played a lot of second base last year, and if the Twins put him at second (Luis Castillo was dealt at last year's trade deadline, as we know), they'll still need a shortstop after dealing Bartlett. Reyes? Perhaps.

The Mets also added a reliever Wednesday, trading for Brian Stokes from the Rays. Stokes had a 7+ ERA last year, so I don't know how much relief he'll provide, but the Mets are involved in this trade market, that's for sure.

GOODBYE, TOM: One last note - Tom McCarthy, the Mets' radio announcer with Howie Rose, for the past two seasons, has left the Mets to go back to Philadelphia with the Phillies. I always liked him. Too bad. I wonder if Ed Coleman now moves up to permanent game-calling status, and his 'Mets Extra' pre-and-post-game shows get handed off to someone else. Could be a big shift on the radio side.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


By Tony Dungy, with Nathan Whitaker

I just got around to reading this book last week, and I really blew through it...and I really enjoyed it. I have to thank Dave in Brighton, and Mrs. Dave in Brighton, because it is through them that I got this book. They were nice enough to get me a gift on my big 29th birthday party this year (7/7/07!), but unfortunately, I already had the book they got me. (I guess they didn't read the blog carefully enough.) But I exchanged that book for this one over the summer, and now I've finally read it. So everything worked out.

This book started out rocky (the italics are direct quotes):

"...before we begin, I want to make sure we're starting at the same place. The point of this book is not the Super Bowl. In fact, it's not football."


"This book is not only about me, either."

Well, then what is this book about? Football and Tony Dungy were the reasons I bought it!

"It's about the things I've learned, the mistakes I've made, and the heartaches that have made me lean into the Father's presence. I hope that when it's all said and done, you'll see that it's really all about Him."

Oh no! I've been tricked into a book about religion!

But not totally, and really, it was a good book.

Now, I have a pretty high tolerance for the religion piece, so I don't know that I can be a fair judge of whether or not Dungy beats the reader over the head with religion throughout the book. I will say he mentions it a lot, but not overwhelmingly so. The man's religious, and that comes across loud and clear. But he's also a good guy, who treats people the right way, and that makes anything he says more tolerable.

The best parts of the book were some of the inner workings of the NFL. There's a really good part when Dungy talks about the 1996 draft with Tampa Bay, when they end up 'settling' for Mike Alstott. The Jets were actually involved, screwing up the Bucs pick by taking receiver Alex Van Dyke when they had previously agreed to trade the pick so the Buccaneers could get Texas A&M running back Leeland McElroy. He went to the Cardinals, and Tampa ended up with Alstott. I'd say that non-trade worked out OK for Tampa, not so well for the other teams involved.

The connections between all of the coaches was pretty interesting too. Dungy worked with a number of people on different levels of different staffs. He didn't have the kindest words for the type of workhorse Marty Schottenheimer is, and of course, Dungy and Herman Edwards are close friends, so the former Jets coach features prominently in the book. If you can stand the religious talk, or at least be able to scan through the football portions of the book while skipping the religious parts, I'd really recommend the book.

HOW BAD ARE THE JETS RIGHT NOW?: Here's how bad the Jets are right now - the Jets, 2-9, are 1-and-a-half point underdogs at the 0-11 Miami Dolphins. Ouch.

COMMENT ON THE COMMENTS: Southern Bureau is not alone thinking that Shea is a dump...and he's entitled to his opinion, but for me, it will always be a special place. I can never categorize it as a dump, and that's not me being 'politically correct', it's just the way I feel.

HOW I SPENT PART OF THANKSGIVING WEEKEND: Saturday night at Madison Square Garden, Boston University took on Cornell in what was billed as "Red Hot Hockey: A Rivalry Renewed". My brother came through big time, using a connection to get me and Justin From NYC two tickets in a luxury box. For a while we thought we'd have the box to ourselves, but then other people showed up. Wildly - not only were they BU fans...they were also people Justin knew from BU - one was a guy who he and the Southern Bureau took under their wings and helped grow from radio intern to someone who now does something for a Redskins radio network. BU, having a terrible season so far, won the game, 6-3. This was our view from the suite:

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


In all of my excitement about the Mets new stadium, Citi Field, which opens in 2009, I've sort of been overlooking the fact that 2008 will be the Mets' last year at Shea Stadium. That's pretty significant.

I'll say this - it's not the greatest stadium known to mankind. I know that. (Especially after seeing so many of the new ones, and how much Shea is lacking.) But it's the Mets' home, the only one I've ever known, and it's been home to a lot of special moments in Mets history.

The Mets played a couple of years at the start of their existence at the Polo Grounds, former home of the New York (baseball) Giants, but since 1964, it's been Shea. In good times (few) and bad (many).

So in 2008, there will be many events honoring the final year at Shea, and one of the constant reminders will be this patch the Mets will wear on their uniforms:

As patches go, I think it's a good-looking one. I like the contrast of the old Shea (on the left) with the new. Note that there's really not much of a difference, hence, the new stadium on the way.

Monday, November 26, 2007


All puns aside (I've never seen 'CHiPs', so I don't even know if that title makes sense), I'm not sure I understand this Johnny Estrada deal. First I'll clarify a few things, then I'll get into what the story appears to be.

I wrote last week something along the lines of not reading that Estrada has been a clubhouse problem, so I wasn't sure why he is now on his fifth team in seven years. After the deal, reading newspaper articles, I read about the fact that Estrada clashed with his pitchers in Milwaukee and had some conflicts with his coaches (there was a near-fight with either pitching coach Mike Maddux or manager Ned Yost in Milwaukee...I've read conflicting reports about who it was...might have been both). So I guess he's a hothead. Probably not more so than LoDuca. Estrada, though, is supposedly not a great handler of pitchers....again, not much different than LoDuca.

Also, Estrada is not very good at throwing out runners attempting (and usually succeeding) to steal. He threw out something like 8% of runners last year. But I think, according to what I've read, the Mets think the surgeries Estrada underwent after the season will improve that stat for him.

Now the speculation
Now that all that's out of the way, here's what's being speculated:
1) I've read that it's highly unlikely Estrada will be on the Mets' Opening Day roster. I don't know who the Mets would have as a catcher if this is the case, because I don't think they view Ramon Castro as an everyday guy.
2) The Mets might just have acquired Estrada (for Guillermo Mota, so it was worth doing) as leverage, so other teams can't hang the fact that they don't have a catcher over them when they try to make deals for other players. Now it looks like they have the catching hole plugged, and they can't get roped into taking a catcher or someone they wouldn't want, and it gives Omar Minaya more freedom to make a deal for a frontline starter. I'm not totally sure I understand this viewpoint, but there it is.
3) Instead of number 2, and I understand this point a whole lot better (but I'm also not a GM, so do I really need to understand all of these things?), Estrada could be a bargaining chip in another deal, and he'll just get turned around in said deal.

The bottom line here is that I like Johnny Estrada, and if he is the Mets' starting catcher on Opening Day, I'm happy with that. But I suspect this won't be the last time this off-season that I'm writing about him.

Meanwhile, I would be remiss if I didn't take the opportunity to write about Thursday's debacle by the Jets. It wasn't so much a debacle for me, though. I had the Dallas defense in my fantasy league, so in addition to rooting against Kellen Clemens, I had the opportunity to root for the Dallas defense to do well. (I loved the Terrence Newman interception return for a touchdown.)

I learned this on Thursday: You have a much higher probability of successful cheering when you root against the Jets than when you root for them. I won't be doing this forever - it'll just last the rest of this season (except, maybe, when they play New England) - but it was an interesting Thanksgiving experiment.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


(Unless you're a Jets fan, in which case, enjoy the Parade, dinner, and don't watch the game.)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Considering it's late November, and I didn't think I'd be following much baseball this deep into the off-season, I'm pretty thrilled with the moves the Mets have made. Tuesday they traded Guillermo Mota for Johnny Estrada, solidifying the catcher position the day after they shored up second base.

I've thought highly of Estrada ever since he came up with the Phillies. I don't know if he was talked up a lot by the Philadelphia media, or I just heard a lot about him because he was a young guy coming up on a rival team in the NL East, but I remember thinking that the Braves made a great move trading for him. And I know that Estrada is better than anyone else available on the free agent market - and I think, for the Mets, that includes Jorge Posada. When you combine offense and defense, and their ages (Estrada is five years younger), I think the Mets got the best catcher available (even if his availability comes as a surprise) this off-season.

There are questions. Estrada is coming off post-season surgery on his knee, and had a bone spur removed from his elbow. So I guess there's some recovery involved. There's also the matter of Estrada playing for his 5th team in 7 years in the majors. He's been traded away from every team - which either means four other teams didn't want him, or four other teams really wanted him badly. I don't remember hearing much about Estrada as a clubhouse problem, so let's hope it's the latter. (From what I'm reading really quickly online, it seems Estrada's first - and only - season in Milwaukee was a disappointment, to fans and to him. He's owned up to how badly he played. So maybe it was a 'get value for him now, since fans are down on him' type deal.) The Breweres are rumored to be seeking Jason Kendall...they really have no catcher now that they've dealt Estrada.

I think this is a great deal for the Mets. You can't beat unloading an erratic (and cheating) reliever, and getting lots of value in return.

They say you win with what you have up the middle, and now the Mets have Estrada, Luis Castillo, Jose Reyes, and Carlos Beltran up the middle. The one gaping hole there is the pitcher's mound - and that's Omar Minaya's next challenge.


Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday. I love the fall, I love getting together with the family, and I love eating. I also love watching the football with everyone. So when I saw the NFL schedule this year, I especially couldn't wait for Thanksgiving, to watch the Jets upset the Cowboys on national television, as they showed the world what they were made of!

Needless to say, that excitement has worn off. Lots. I was disappointed the Jets won last week. And I'm hoping the Cowboys embarrass them on Thursday...this coming from a guy who hates the Cowboys. You know where I stand on this - the whole Chad Pennington thing has just left a really sour taste in my mouth.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that last year's playoff appearance was one of the worst things that could have happened to the Jets, specifically, to Eric Mangini. He was given last year, they could have been awful, and he could have built things up his way. But they surprised everyone, he was the Boy Wonder, Man-Genius, and that created pressure. So this year, there was no question that Pennington was going to be the starting quarterback, and the playoffs were the expectation, especially with the addition of Thomas Jones, and it didn't work out. People didn't play well, and it was magnified even worse because of the expectations caused by last year.

Maybe Chad Pennington shouldn't have been the starter from the beginning this year. Maybe then I would have been more willing to root for Kellen Clemens. But after leading the Jets to the playoffs last year, Mangini had to go with Pennington. He had no shot to start building with his own quarterback - he would have been killed. Then he was killed for going to Pennington too late. I still don't agree with the decision, but at least Mangini has things on his terms now. The problem is, if the Jets don't rebound and win next year - he probably won't get a fourth year on his terms. So now the Jets are playing out the string - with some really tough games left on the schedule. And 'the string' starts Thursday. I suspect the performance against Pittsburgh will be the exception, rather than the rule.

I'll make a special Thanksgiving pick Wednesday, then I'm heading to New York for the Thanksgiving weekend, and I'll be back next week.

Monday, November 19, 2007


I was very happy to hear that the Mets re-signed Luis Castillo, so at least second base is solidified for the Mets. It's a 4-year deal for Castillo, who is 32 years old right now. That's pretty good all around.

Castillo is a smart ballplayer, his intelligence at the plate stands out to me. He knows what to do in all situations...just a good hitter. The Mets need more folks like him.

It was a big day for free agents. Mike Lowell re-upped with the Red Sox, it looks like Mariano Rivera is re-upping with the Yankees, and Tom Glavine went back to the Braves.

I hate the way things ended with Glavine. I hate that I'll remember him with the Mets as the man who got rocked with everything on the line on the final day of the season instead of the man who won his 300th careeer game with the team. I hate that he's now going back to Atlanta. I hope the Mets hang an 8 on him every time he pitches against them from here on out.

Incidentally, this morning on ESPN Radio, when they were talking about GM's who need to make moves, Omar Minaya's name came up as someone who needs an ace, and someone who says he will get a number-one - or -two starter this off-season. And for the first time I heard Jose Reyes' name come up in something other than pure speculation on my part. Just throwing it out there, for whatever that's worth.

FANTASY: The fantasy NASCAR season came to an end Sunday. What started as a whim to pass the time between the Super Bowl and spring training turned into a weekly obsession and lots of fun. I really enjoyed it...finished 4th out of 12 or so people.

Playoffs in fantasy football are looking bleak as of last weekend.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


The news on Sunday is that the Mets have now broken off all talks with Yorvit Torrealba, and that he might re-sign with the Rockies. It doesn't really matter where he goes, it just doesn't seem like he's coming to the Mets anymore.

This is both good news and bad news. Good news, because, as I said, I didn't really want him. I don't think he's the piece that's been missing to lead the Mets to the championship. Unfortunately (this is the bad news), there's no one out there who can...and that includes free agent catcher Paul LoDuca (he had his chance). I hope LoDuca doesn't end up coming back - he's just got way too much going on off the field. I think it affects what happens on the field. I don't even know who the other free agent catchers are - I should look into that and see who else fits with the Mets.

The Mets did make the Ramon Castro re-signing official, but I don't think he's an everyday guy - he's valuable because he is able to do what he does in spurts off the bench. I don't think he'd give you that over 130, 140 games.

The new talk now is that the Mets are very interested in signing David Eckstein and moving him to second base. They like his fire, and approach to the game - they feel he was the type of player that was missing down the stretch last year. I agree with that, because he certainly approaches the game the right way...but I don't think now is the time to pursue Eckstein. He's not the same player - he's more beat up, and I think he's on the down side of his career. I'd love to see him prove me wrong if the Mets sign him........but I'd rather see Luis Castillo as the Mets second baseman in 2008.

-How do the Jets end up beating the Steelers? That frustrates me...I didn't get to see much football due to a variety of situations on Sunday. I wonder if I had been watching if the Jets would have played their usual brand of losing football.
-I take back what I said about the Bills and the Patriots. I suspect Marshawn Lynch wouldn't have made much of a difference in this game.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


A couple of things I think I should make clear before I get into this review. Growing up in New York City and now living near Boston (and having gone to Boston University, whose football team was disbanded after my freshman year), college football was never much on my radar. Sure, I'd watch a game or two, the big games during the year, but my football attention was devoted to Sundays, not Saturdays.

As I grew older, though, I started to appreciate more about the game. I also developed attachments (and dislikes) for certain teams due to who I knew. I always rooted for Notre Dame - one of my cousins went there when I was in high school, and growing up, my dad rooted for Notre Dame, so I did too. I started to root for Tennessee the past few years because someone I met in the teaching profession was a Tennessee fan. When I worked at the CBS affiliate in Boston, one of my closest friends there was a Michigan fan, and seeing him live and die with these games made me root for Michigan to win. I root against Florida because of one of my college roommates (he lived and died, too, but I enjoyed it more when he died with the losses...unlike my CBS friend, who I much preferred to see live with the wins). I also root against Boston College, because of my BU ties. Then, I root for and against whoever tickles my fancy - right now I keep rooting against the number 1's and 2's until I get a team I like in there. I'm rooting for Kansas right now, just for some new blood. I think my college football interest is summed up in the fact that this is the first time I've written a blog extensively about college football. And I think it should be said that I root against Ohio State simply because of my CBS friend.

All of that said, I am much more interested in college football recently than I ever was. This is in part because of my participation in a Bowl pool at the end of the season, and I like to think that having watched a couple of games during the regular season increases my chances of doing well. (It usually doesn't.) But I'm looking forward to today's Ohio State-Michigan matchup. And in anticipation of the game, I watched the HBO Sports documentary "Michigan vs. Ohio State: The Rivalry".

I need to learn my lesson - no matter what the subject, HBO Sports does a nice job. I should watch all of their documentaries. In spite of myself, I always feel myself getting choked up at a certain point, and I always end thinking that it was done very well (the same way I felt watching the documentary about the Cubs).

I went in hoping to learn more about a subject I knew little about, while hoping to be entertained, and getting glimpses of events I was familiar with. All were accomplished. The one complaint was that there was a big chunk (maybe 10 minutes) about the fans, which I could have done without. I realize how important that part is - if I was doing the documentary, I would also think the part about the fans was important to include...but as a viewer with no particular allegiances, I thought that segment was too long.

The most entertaining part was Desmond Howard, who struck the Heisman pose after scoring on a punt return in the Ohio State game. He went through his thought process about whether or not he should do it as he was running, and finally decided, "F___ it." He was an entertaining interview throughout the documentary.

A lot of time was spent on the Woody Hayes-Bo Schembechler connection. The Schembechler interview was recorded the day before he died...which was exactly one year ago as I write this. I also liked hearing about the 1950 game, which took place in a tremendous blizzard, which Michigan won, 9-3, scoring the game's only touchdown on a blocked punt. There were 45 punts in the game, some on first down, and Michigan didn't get a first down the whole game. Good stuff all around.

It made me wish I was a fan in some kind of rivalry like this - where one game means so much. The Mets have a rivalry with the Braves, but it's nowhere near this scale (and ranks waaaaaay down on any list of rivalries - it's not even in the top 10 of its sport). The Jets-Patriots rivalry is too recent...and still is more media-manufactured than anything else. The Jets-Dolphins are probable bigger rivals...but it's rare that both teams have been competitive at the same time. In hockey, I guess there's BU-BC, but the fact that it's hockey, in such an apathetic school as BU really has a negative impact. I guess I'll just continue to live vicariously through the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry. I'll be rooting for Michigan...but from where I stand, it sure hurts less if they lose.

NFL UPDATE: I'm very tempted to say the Buffalo Bills will hand the New England Patriots their first loss of the season on Sunday night...but I really think Marshawn Lynch being out of the lineup kills their chances. I'm hard-pressed, looking at their roster, to say they have someone who can be as explosive. So I'm afraid the Patriots will continue to march along undefeated.

SITE UPDATE: One drawback, I've just realized, of deleting the Jets entries so they reappear here is that I'm losing pictures when I do this. If you come across a post that has a red 'x' where a picture should be, please let me know, and I'll fix it.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


I need to be completely honest with you - this Yorvit Torrealba signing doesn't instill me with a huge amount of confidence heading into the 2008 baseball season.

Torrealba is a career .251 hitter, with 30 career home runs and 173 career RBI. I hate to say it, but when I heard about the signing (or I guess when I heard that he would be hasn't technically happened yet), I actually wished that Jorge Posada was going to be the Mets catcher next year. (For the record, Posada had 20 homers last year alone, and 183 RBI over the past two years.)

Offensively, I don't think a Torrealba-Ramon Castro (who the Mets are also expected to re-sign, and give more playing time) rotation would be any worse than Paul LoDuca-Castro...maybe a lower batting average, but not a huge drop-off. compares players - and the number one comparison to Torrealba is former Met Jason Phillips. Just what the Mets need...Phillips revisited. Maybe after Carlos Delgado is gone, which is looking like it can't be too soon, Torrealba will make an ill-fated move to first place, a la Phillips.

The Mets made the right decision moving away from LoDuca - he's getting old, and the off-field stuff was becoming a huge distraction. Torrealba's defense is supposed to be above-average, so at least he's got that over Posada...but even so, Torrealba doesn't have the greatest percentage throwing out runners.

I can learn to love Torrealba. The one thing that stands out to me about him is his clutch hitting - I feel like he had a lot of clutch hits for the Rockies, and every time I saw them come back late in a game, I feel like Torrealba was involved. That said, I'm not tremendously confident that he is what the Mets need. And there's one huge factor that will be make or break as far as me liking Torrealba, and it's why I chose the picture above to show him. His jersey number with the Rockies (and before that, with the Giants) was 8. If he knows what's good for him as far as gaining my fanhood, he'll either pick a new number with the Mets, or show a LOT of respect for the number 8 of Hall of Famer Gary Carter.


I am very, very surprised that Alex Rodriguez is going to remain a Yankee. I can't imagine he'll be very well-received in the Bronx, though.

I am not at all surprised that Barry Bonds has been indicted. Is it really that big a deal? Who didn't see that coming?

Finally, with Jake Peavy winning the National League Cy Young Award so decisively, it made me wonder...when a player wins unanimously, is it even worth listing the second and third place finishers?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Allow me a word or two on baseball: Quite a treat this morning on my way to work - David Wright on Mike & Mike in the Morning. It was as brief a radio interview as you're going to get, in which free agency, the Mets' collapse, and Wright's charity work were all touched on.

The biggest deal was made over the Mets' likely involvement in the Alex Rodriguez chase in free agency, and how if the Mets made a play for A-Rod, would Wright be willing to change positions. His short answer was that he would. If that happens, I think the Mets would be making a tremendous mistake. David Wright is a third baseman, not a second baseman. I'm sure he'd do fine there, his offense wouldn't suffer, that's for sure - but it would take a long adjustment period for him. It would not equal success for the Mets, and worst case scenario, Wright gets taken out on a slide in an attempted double-play breakup at second base, and suffers a knee injury that threatens the rest of his career. The Mets are opening themselves up to that if they make him move for A-Rod.

I've been feeling negatively about baseball lately, but listening to David Wright makes me think that as long as he's a Met, I'll root for them, if for no other reason than to root for him alone to succeed. Wright is a class act. He says exactly what you want to hear, and if he doesn't mean it, at least he sounds sincere about it. He talked about how the team was just waiting for things to turn around at the end of the season, and how that just didn't happen, and how disappointed he was. And then he talked about how watching other teams (in this case the Red Sox) celebrate just makes him even hungrier for a title. It makes you think that somehow he will be involved with the Mets winning a world championship...and that there are some ballplayers who do care as much as some of us stupid fans.

I just hope that David Wright always stays as level-headed as he has been these past 3+ years he has been in the Majors.

AWARDS TIME: Dustin Pedroia, Ryan Braun, C.C. Sabathia.....Who are three people I didn't pick at the beginning of the year to win post-season awards? If you care to check out exactly how off I was with my picks, go back in the archives - I made my predictions on March 21. Here's a hint at how badly I did - I'm not even going to link to them, I'll just let you go find them if you want.

PREDICTION: Cubs made another under-the-radar deal today. Craig Monroe to the Twins for a player-to-be-named. Current leader in the clubhouse - Cubs versus Twins for the 2008 title. That's just the under-the-radar connection that everyone is bound to overlook. I bet I can get good odds on that matchup.

NEW LOOK: So the white background is back...and probably will stay. Any thoughts on the colors at the top of the screen? The Jets postings transfer is going slow...but sure. Thanks for all the feedback so far.

Monday, November 12, 2007


Sad times in Jets land when we can break out that time-honored joke that we all love: At least the Jets couldn't lose this week! They had a bye!! I think I broke that one out in the 4th grade - hasn't failed me since.

It's also sad for me to go through all of these old postings, as I move the Jets site to its new permanent home here (more on the changes here below). The Jets have had a really good recent history, and it's all falling apart this year. I can't stand the losing...I really can't. I wish I could go back and live through the 2004 playoffs again...and maybe, if the outcome was the same, kill Doug Brien. Those were such good times as a Jets fan - even last year was exciting each week. The sad thing is, as a Jets fan, the good times don't even end in a Super Bowl win - they usually end in playoff losses.

The one redeeming factor this year for my football season was the rebirth of my fantasy football team, which after an 0-3 start was sitting at 5-4 this week. I'm in the midst of a loss, so that hurts, but even worse is what I had found in Adrian Peterson (a possible new LaDainian Tomlinson?) I have now lost for a few weeks to injury. That's a big blow to my fantasy team's playoff hopes.

The Tigers dealt Omar Infante to the Cubs for Jacque Jones, making the Tigers a possible frontrunner for the 2008 American League championship in my new prediction strategy...they are possibly going to play the Cubs or the Braves now in the World Series. I don't even know if the moves they made are quality (they seem pretty good), but the fact that they've been involved in deals with two National League teams makes them a front-runner in my eyes.

I have again changed the look of the blog - I'm looking for something pretty permanent so I don't have to keep doing this. I went with a couple of different things - I am hoping the black background looks sharp, and the different colors show a melding of the Mets and Jets. I've also changed the title to be all-inclusive, because this is no longer a Mets-only blog. It refers to where I live in relation to New York City, and specifically, the Mets' new ballpark. (I know, technically it's only about 188 miles, but 200 is catchier.) I welcome your feedback, and Southern Bureau, consider this your notification - please let me know what you think.

(Update: Just took my first look at the site as a reader - I'm not crazy about the black background. Please let me know if you think you have a better idea....maybe I'll just go back to white.)

Thursday, November 08, 2007


In an effort to streamline my resources, I'm going to combine the Jets and Mets sites into one. There is no real efficient way to do this (dorkier people have tried, and rule it, I quote, "impossible" to merge two blogs into one [from a Blogger Help Forum], so I'll just have to cut and paste my Jets entries onto the Mets site), so please bear with me as new postings pop up, backdated to appear at the time they originally appeared. This will also mean a new name for the blog - I welcome your help with that.

I've been thinking about the Jets a lot recently, which you might not have been able to guess due to my lack of posting on them (it's been about two months, in case you haven't been checking the Jets site, which I don't think you have been doing). Obviously, hard times have hit my football team...and the man who has taken the main hit is none other than Chad Pennington. I like Pennington a lot. Next to Bill Parcells, he's the number one reason that such a horrid franchise as the Jets has had some relative success in recent years. And he's not the only reason they have stunk it up this season - so I don't think it's fair that he should lose his job.

Chad Pennington will not play another game as a member of the New York Jets, barring injuries. That just bothers me to no end. As a result, I'm not going to root for the Jets for the rest of this season. This benefits me in a few ways:
  • I will be able to root for the Jets to get a high draft pick (although I have no idea if there is anyone worth getting)
  • I get to re-visit my roots as a young Jets fan, when the Jets always stunk, and I had to pick a backup team to root for. This team was often the Green Bay Packers, so guess who I've had fun rooting for this year? Brett Favre is playing well, they're playing great football, the Jets are's like 1996 all over again.
  • Although he never did anything to me, and it wasn't his decision, I get to exact revenge on Kellen Clemens for taking Pennington's job. Every time Clemens throws an interception, or an incompletion, or gets sacked, I get to say, "Chad could have done better than that." And if he throws a touchdown, I can say, "Chad could have done that." It's a no-lose situation for me!

There are a lot of people out there who are happy Chad Pennington is no longer the quarterback of the Jets. These are the same people who hoped the Jets drafted Matt Leinart when Pennington went through "Hard Times, Round 2" (the shoulder injury, following the wrist injury), before he came back and won those fakers all back. (Looking your way, Mike Greenberg.) Now, they say they always loved Pennington, but are glad he's benched. Hypocrites. It was never Pennington - it was always the game plan (why go away from a deep attack when you're killing Cincinnati that way, and then go conservative? Stupid!).

Chad Pennington deserved better. I deserve better. So, go Packers! At least for this year.