For years now my daily routine has involved checking Mac Thomason’s BravesJournal.com to get a little analysis of how the team did the day before. Mac’s health has been in decline for a little while, and yesterday Alex posted that he’s going into hospice care. He will be missed (edit: Mac isn’t gone, but I’d rather he know he will be missed before he is… seems pointless after)
Here’s a little blast from the Braves Journal / Mike Hampton past where Mac did a number of “Mike Hampton doing” videos where he invariably managed to get injured.
The Mets took down the retweets of my tweets now, but here is the screen capture so we always can remember the day the Mets retweeted my random tweet not once but twice.
Yep… That’s the Mets.
It was a good day at the ballpark, though the Mets magic wasn’t quite there on Saturday.
The Mets were down. They came back within one. A rookie reliever in his first outing strikes out two with the bases loaded to get out of a jam. Despite a poor start, optimism was high.
And then the bullpen did what the bullpen always does.
Go ahead, Charles, take your shots now. Especially since R.A. Dickey is pitching today.
One of the few baseball things I think Charles and I can agree on is that R.A. Dickey does NOT suck. And this is a great interview with Letterman from last night.
In an effort to try to guilt, I mean, inspire Charles to post something, I thought I’d post about my favorite Mets players. The All Star Games is this week, and that’s supposed to be about your favorite players, right?
So here’s the list of favorite Mets, both current and all-time. My only rule is that an all-time favorite has to no longer be playing for the Mets.
Current favorite Mets
I’ve been a Wright fan for quite some time. Maybe it’s because I was a fan of Howard Johnson growing up. Wright reminds me of that kind of all-around player. He can hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases (and has). He can hit for average. He can drive in runs, especially important ones. And his glove is pretty spectacular.
Oh and that goofy grin of his is pretty fun to watch too. He just has fun playing baseball, as everyone should, right?
Murphy’s not the best player on the field. He can make you facepalm with his glove. But his bat can be pretty outstanding in that he always makes contact. But the thing I like most about Murph is his effort. He hustles and works so hard to be a better player. If only most other players gave the effort Murph gives every game.
People seem to forget that R.A. Dickey has been quite good his entire time as a New York Met, not just this season. He’s just getting a lot more attention now. He threw a near perfect game two seasons ago, so his recent one-hitters aren’t a shock to me. He’s just an impressive pitcher, but the fact he accomplishes all he does while throwing a knuckleball makes him even more impressive.
But beyond his performances on the mound, Dickey is a student of the game. He works to be a better pitcher, trying to control the uncontrollable. And he has accomplished it quite a bit. He’s intelligent beyond the game and well spoken. If anyone could be a Jedi in real life, it would be R.A. Dickey.
Honorable mention: Johan Santana
I am like everyone else who appreciates Johan as a Met and I have to like him, right? And I especially love it when he tells us to believe it! And I love watching his nasty stuff. But there’s just something that doesn’t quite make Santana one of my favorites. Maybe it’s because I expect him to be awesome.
All-time favorite Mets
I have three all-time favorite athletes in all sports, and Mike Piazza is one of them. The sweet swing, the clutch hits, the way he could lift a fanbase to its feet so often. Not to mention he lifted an entire city out of depression for a few fleeting moments of sweet happiness and joy. It was a sad day when Piazza left the Mets because he had been on the team the majority of my adult life.
I don’t think you can argue Mike Piazza was the greatest position player to ever play for the Mets. I’m pretty sure when he is elected to the Hall of Fame (when, not if), I will be headed to Cooperstown for the ceremony.
I have said for a long time Fonzie is one of the most underrated Mets in team history. Him being named to the all-time team may have been the most attention he’s ever drawn for all the things he did. I think it’s partly because he played on teams with Mike Piazza. He was Robin to Piazza’s Batman. And me being me, I always like the little guy.
I think David Cone also is my dad’s favorite Met. We talk quite often about Cone and how he pitched. In fact, a bunch of our conversation after Santana’s no-hitter was about Cone and how he had come close a few times too. Cone could throw the heat, but he also had a finesse about the way he pitched. He was a pitcher, not a thrower. My favorite Cone moment, though, was when he struck out 19 in a game. The season was coming to a miserable end, but he pitched a gem on the last day. That was David Cone to me.
I never liked Jeff Kent, and I think in part it was because he was part of the David Cone trade. I could never accept him.
Honorable mention: Pedro Martinez
I loved Pedro. He was fun to watch because he always had fun on the field. And his pitching was like watching sweet poetry. He was incredible.
But age and time was not on his side. And that’s why he’s an honorable mention. If he had pitched in his prime or hadn’t been hurt as much, he certainly would be an all-time favorite Met.
Honorable mention: Carlos Beltran
I spend a great deal of time defending Beltran, but there’s a reason he’s an honorable mention. The biggest reason is he’s still playing. Though he’s on another team, I can still enjoy Carlos Beltran. The other is the injuries. When not hurt, Beltran was the best. But, like Pedro, it hurts to think about what he could have been for the Mets had he not been hurt so much.
To say it was hot on Wednesday at Citi Field is an understatement. I felt like I was melting. The line for sno cones was longer than the line for beer (I stood in the sno cone line for at least one full inning, but it was worth it).
Perhaps that’s why people got under everyone else’s nerves so easily.
I love going to Mets games, but going to games against the Phillies have become tedious at times over the last few years. Phillies fans travel (hey, we Mets fans travel too). And for whatever reason the most annoying ones either end up in my section or in one of the sections adjacent to me. Just my luck.
I’m not really sure when it started, but I think it had been brewing for some time in my section. The Phillies fans were inconsiderate and yelling and being obnoxious, and they only became more bold as the game moved forward. Hey, why not, their team mounted a comeback. And the seventh inning was really the straw that broke the camel’s back.
The Phillies fans in the front row started mouthing off. Mets fans booed them and told them to sit down and shut up. It only made them worse. And then some Mets fans threw a few french fries at them. One of the Phillies fans, in a Victorino jersey, ran up the stairs and yelled at the guy. I thought punches would be thrown, but they were not. But that’s when I went looking for security.
It was hard to find security, though, since everyone had hunted out shade to try to stay cool. I found them and alerted them to the problems. While I was out, though, one of the female Phillies fans also had gotten security. She had the Mets fans removed (rightfully so), though she acted innocent like she and her friends had done nothing. Her friend in the Victorino jersey also had disappeared.
And once the Mets fans were gone, she was emboldened and started yelling at people in the section and giving everyone the finger. One of her male friends started yelling and mouthing off. And I got angry because I just wanted to watch the game and their antics was preventing me from doing that. I started yelling them to shut up because I was trying to watch the game. So did the girls in front of me. He kept yelling at us.
Security had come to our section and I walked over and told them about the Phillies fans in the front row. “Look, I’m just trying to watch the game and enjoy it, and they’re preventing that.” The people behind me thanked me for it.
The incident ruined the day for me. Although it was hot and the Mets lost, I always have a good time at the ballpark.
But the day was redeemed once I got on the train back into Manhattan. I spotted the guy in the photo above. If you can’t read it, he put duct tape over Reyes and wrote “I should have gotten a D. Wright jersey.”
Not only was it a great way to “fix” the Reyes jersey, but it says something about the Mets. David Wright has been and will forever be more of a symbol of the New York Mets and what we want our team to be than Jose Reyes ever will be. Reyes took the money and ran. Wright wants to stay here and win a championship here, despite the hell this team has been since they made the playoffs in 2006.
And it put a smile on my face to see, especially seeing how Wright has played this season. He’s become the player this year more than ever that we always wanted him to be.
Also, I do want to say not all Phillies fans at the game were jerks. A few came and spoke to me in Penn Station while waiting to take the train to Citi Field before the game. We had a great conversation. On the way home, I ran into one of those same fans on the train platform and had another great conversation about baseball. Rival fans can get along, but it’s always refreshing when it happens.
I like Terry Collins. He seems like the right guy to be managing the Mets. He supports his guys to a fault. How could you not love him after watching him tear up about Johan Santana’s no-hitter?
But the man drives me insane with his continued dedication to the righty-lefty match-up. It’s one thing to do it at times, but Collins takes it to extremes.
Daniel Murphy, who was the starting second baseman until he hit a slump, wasn’t given the opportunity to hit himself out of a slump. Why? Collins sat him because of the pitching match-ups. How can a guy fix his slump if he’s sitting on the bench?
And there is no way you can tell me sitting a hot Ike Davis and Murphy is giving the Mets the best opportunity to win. Justin Turner and Ronnie Cedeno is better? Both Murphy and Davis are better both at at the plate and in the field, and we saw that on display Sunday night.
Bottom line: Murphy and Davis should be playing every night no matter the pitcher.
That doesn’t mean playing the R-L match-up at times isn’t right. It can be fine. But stop taking it to extremes.