Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Whither Mike Carp?

Let's play a game, shall we?  I'll throw out a bunch of numbers and you tell me who the rightful owner is.  Ready?  Ok, here we go.  

.230/.303/.399 with a scorching 87 OPS+

Did you say Carlos Delgado?  The starting first baseman on a championship caliber™ team?  You would be - correct!

Ok, here's a few more.  Pay attention now.

.335/.405/.518 with an OPS+ better than 87

No, those are not Lastings Milledge's numbers.  If they were I'd have died of an aneurysm already.  Yeah, they are Mike Carp's'd you know?  Mr. Carp has been nothing short of a super-hero at Binghamton for the first 69 games of 2008.

Hey, I know it's AA ball.  I know Mike has never had a year even remotely close production-wise to what he's accomplishing so far in 2008.  But you know what?  I don't care.  And neither should you.  

Mike Carp not getting at least a cup of coffee symbolizes everything that's wrong with this organization.  Carlos Delgado is done.  There is no more "when is Delgado going to heat up" discussion (rightfully so) - only chatter about "do you think we could even get a C-level prospect for him" (No).

He's been written about extensively.  A few notable pieces come from MetsGeek and  Yet, how many Met fans even know who he is?  They know who Abraham Nunez and Robinson Cancel are, but Mike Carp remains a mystery to the masses.

So why is he still in Binghamton?  

In 2004 David Wright tore through AA at a .363/.458/.619 clip for 60 games.  He was promoted to AAA for 31 more games and the rest, as the ol' saw goes, was history. 

Ok, now this might be groundbreaking and I acknowledge that beforehand - I say, with all confidence, that Mike Carp should be promoted to New Orleans.  

He will have amassed right around 30 games by the trading deadline and put the team in a position to see if he's ready to get the call to palatial Shea Stadium.  If all goes well Omar can call him up to split time at 1B - a position left vacant by the trade of Carlos Delgado to the Chiba Lotte Marines for an autographed 8"x10" of Bobby Valentine.

Simple, right?  There you go, the first step towards restoring order and sanity in the dysfunctional wasteland that is Flushing.

DISCLAIMER:  Mike Carp is not equivalent to David Wright in any way shape or form besides a small sampling of numbers both put up in AA.  And even then, Wright was better.  I'm just sick and tired of watching the fervent opponent of Operation Iraqi Freedom swing and miss or hit dribblers into the shift.  Thank you. 

Sal from Bayside, You're on the FAN

First time, long time.  Love the show.  Two comments and I'll hang up and listen to what you gotta say.

Listen, what's the story with this Jerry Manuel?  Can you believe this guy?  I mean, seriously, 3-4.  They shoulda just kept Willie.  At least the guy was a winner.  What has Manuel won?  The White Sox?  Manager of the year?  Who cares about that garbage, Willie was a Yankee.

Hey, listen don't cut me off I gots another point to make.  How we doin' on time?  Am I up against the 20/20?  Ok I'll make it quick.

And this bum David Wright, I mean, are you friggin' serious?  My kid fields ground balls like that on a regular basis and he's 4.  You know, I got him dat big red plastic bat from K-Mart.  Kids a natural, but back to my point.  This guy Wright is a bum.  Not a clutch player he needs to go.  Maybe trade him for A-Rod see if the Yanks'll throw in Joba?  I'll hang up and listen to what you gotta say.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Morbidly Appropriate

I was sitting in Shea last night when David Wright booted the ground ball.  

I told my friends not to boo so loudly because, hey, it's David Wright and the pitcher was due up next.  

You know, the pitcher on the visiting AL team...the one that never hits.  Yeah, the one with 8 career ABs and no hits, that guy.  

And then it happened:

And it's outta here.

It was fitting.  Because from now on if you ever have to describe life as a Met fan to another human being you can just roll a clip of King Felix going yard...the other Johan Motherfucking Santana.

(H/T to USS Mariner for the screengrab)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sic Semper Tyrannis!

The afternoon commute for those of us with IQs over 60 and/or not named Vinny, Frank, or Sal just got that much more tolerable.

Neil Best of Newsday - of the outstanding Watchdog Blog - wrote yesterday that the days of Fatso & the Angry Puppy could be nearing their end:

Barring a change of heart, the partnership  between Mike Francesa and Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo is not expected to survive to see its 19th anniversary Sept. 5, industry sources with knowledge of the situation said.

It is not clear which host would remain on WFAN, only that it would not be both of them. One factor appears to be a fraying of their personal relationship in recent months.

At first I thought this was good news.  Then, I realized that one of them would be staying.   I can deal with Russo a little better than I can deal with Francesa, let's hope Doggie stays.  

As for a possible in-house replacement?  GC sums it up over at CSTB: "The odds of Captain Midnight aka Steve Somers being moved to the coveted afternoon drive slot are slightly worse than say, Richard Neer’s Wig being asked to host the program."

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Hardwood Floors and Tuscan Tile

He may no longer be with us, but my love and appreciation for The Jacket will never fade.  

Fixing Victor Zambrano in 10 minutes aside, I think that Peterson is one of the better pitching coaches in the game.  This blog was named after (what I feel was) his best quote ever, but on the day he was axed he may have set a new benchmark.

(From MetsBlog
Rick Peterson then talked to reporters and, in standard fashion, used a ‘Mets are a House’ metaphor, equating himself to a hardwood floor that is being ripped out of a house in need of work, while Dan Warthen, his replacement, will be the Tuscan Tile of this new home.
I hope the sanding and refinishing goes well Rick, I really do.

Welcome Back to the Dark Ages

There was a time and a place to make this decision.

It could have been done last Sunday, after one of the most deflating 4-game sweeps in recent memory.

It could have been done on a sunny afternoon last September after a certain toothless future-hall-of-famer shit the bed.

Instead, it was done in the middle of the night three time zones away while you and I were sleeping and once again the media knew about it before the team.

Classless.  Cowardly.  Dirty.  You pick the adjective, I'm sure it will be appropriate.

Instead of learning from the Art Howe debacle, among others, the Mets organization destroyed any credibility it had left.  What was the purpose of sending the entire staff on a cross-country flight - the night after a doubleheader, mind you - to axe them the next morning after a win?

I've wanted Willie out for a long time - but this organization is a joke.  How do you explain making the biggest decision in years when 90% of your fan base is counting sheep?  The mismanagement and laughable decision making that goes on within this ball club has reached new heights.

Midnight firings?  Minaya still having a job?  I'd say the rest of baseball is laughing at the Mets, but I really think there's just one huge collective cringe going on at this point.  Ladies and gentlemen, your 2008 New York Mets!  What a fucking joke.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Cancel (The Season) & Omar's Bullshit

"I can't answer that [whether Willie will be the manager for the rest of the season].  He is my manager today, and I have the right to evaluate him as we go along.  Let me put it this way, he is always being evaluated...It's a situation that I'm constantly evaluating."
- The Best GM in Baseball

This is starting to get ridiculous.  Omar, Freddie, and Jeff need to sack up and make a decision.  Anyone who reads this blog knows I'm the last person to defend Willie Randolph, but this back and forth, hot and cold bullshit concerning Willie's job status is getting tiring.

Harold Reynolds made a good point last night on the postgame and I couldn't agree more: Until there is some certainty amongst the team regarding Willie's job status there will be an inordinate amount of pressure on the players - at least the ones who care about Willie.

Yes, they're professionals.  And yes, they should be used to pressure, especially playing in New York.  But it's hard to go out and play loose when you know that your next fuck up could mean your manager's job.

Not that this organization handles the firing of their managers gracefully.  All you need to look at is how Freddie Coupons & Co. handled the departure of one Arthur Xavier Howe IV in 2004.  It's always nice when the beat writers see your pink slip before you.

Instead of constantly evaluating Willie's performance why doesn't Omar sit down and evaluate this waste of a team he assembled.  Sixth inning heroics aside, Robinson Cancel has no business on this roster.  And as JF noted over at Productive Outs, the fact that Aguila was sent down to make room for Trot Nixon instead of Cancel is just migraine-inducing.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Oliver Perez: "Fuck You Country Time!"

It's been a while since Mets fans have seen a stretch of baseball quite like we have the past week.  There was a walk-off HBP, an elderly gentleman in military fatigues crushing a game-winning HR, and 46 Billy Wagner blown saves.  What does it all mean?  Mediocrity my friends, dewy-sweet mediocrity.

It's not as if we haven't known.  As mentioned on countless other blogs and premium news outlets, the Metropolitans are a .500 team whose only (non)redeeming quality is the ability to play that .500 baseball not by intermittent stretches of 2 wins followed by 2 losses, but by stringing together 9-2 streaks where all once again becomes right with the world only to follow them with 3-7 B-horror movie-esque stretches of ineptitude.

2006 was it my friends.  It was all Freddie Coupons & Co. needed to get your asses into the seats for the arrival of CitiField.  The current team is just good enough that people will be duped into the eternal "You Gotta Believe" and just bad enough that even if you happen to be the Dalai Lama no amount of believing is going to make a difference.

The luxury boxes at Wilpon Stadium supposedly have a three-year wait to get in (admittedly hearsay, I believe Coop of MSF stated this on the FU Forums, but this isn't the NYT).  As long as Omar doesn't run the 2002-04 Mets out there for the next 5 or so years people will show up and hemorrhage their cash on $9 beers while violently participating in "Everybody Clap Your Hands."

Enjoy mediocre baseball from a sub-mediocre organization.  I'll be sitting right there next to you every step of the way.

Monday, June 9, 2008

With Bated Breath

I can feel it in my bones.  It's that time once more, friends.  At some time within the next two days a Wally Matthews column should drop and I can guarantee it will be a virtual cornucopia of vitriol.  

Cross your fingers that it somehow blames Ramon Castro's Jean-Paul Jean-Paul gaffe on the use of non-union pipefitters at CitiField while at the same time managing to suggest the Mets pursue David Eckstein while simultaneously dumping Jose Reyes' lifeless body into the East River.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

A Whale's Vagina

Ron Burgundy
: Discovered by the Germans in 1904, they named it San Diego, which of course in German means a whale's vagina.
Veronica Corningstone
: No, there's no way that's correct.
Ron Burgundy: I'm sorry, I was trying to impress you. I don't know what it means. I'll be honest, I don't think anyone knows what it means anymore. Scholars maintain that the translation was lost hundreds of years ago.
Veronica Corningstone
: Doesn't it mean Saint Diego?
Ron Burgundy: No. No.
Veronica Corningstone: No, that's - that's what it means. Really.
Ron Burgundy
: Agree to disagree.

I've been more disheartened as a Mets fan...but, I can't remember when. First, there was HBP. Then, there was the Wolf Pack outpitching TBPiB. Yesterday, 2-1 again. Today, Petey coughing up leads and Country Time shitting the bed in a way not seen since a warn summer day in the Bronx with a 4-run lead.

Yes, the previously 24-37 Padres of a city whose name was lost in translation hundreds of years ago dropped the Mets back to two games under .500 and sapped any momentum they might have had as well.

Now, the problems are glaring. Ryan Church is seriously fucked up. Fernando Tatis and Endy Chavez are the starting corner outfielders. Pedro isn't Pedro. Oh, and did I mention Abraham Nunez?

As an astute commenter on Metsradamus noted, the Mets need to play .656 ball (61-40) for the rest of 2008 to reach 91 wins. Remember that this is a sub-.500 team since last June 1st and think about how realistic that thought is. Then when you're finished think about how the Phillies are 13 games over .500 and how the Braves can't possibly continue to be this terrible on the road for much longer. Playoffs?

But hey, look on the bright side. If you have tickets for the final game at Shea like I do it will be that much more special - because it truly will be the last game at Shea.

Friday, June 6, 2008

On 7-3...

You ever get that feeling that something's not quite right?  You know, like when Fernando Tatis is the hero for your ballclub...and it's not 1999 and it's not the Cardinals?  Like when you're starting left fielder has a .189 batting average and you're starting right fielder is one concussion shy of permanently having to wear those grandma-in-wal-mart-esque wrap-around sunglasses for the rest of his life?

You ever get that feeling that maybe 2006 was it?  That maybe Yadier's big fly and Cliff's big K will be looked upon as the only chance the Mets had for greatness in the 2000's?

You ever think that maybe the core that was assembled by a guy that recalled Abraham Nunez from AAA just isn't good enough to compete with the Chutley/Howard/J-Roll trifecta?  That if the Phillies ever find another decent - and consistent (sorry, Brett Myers) - pitcher to go back-to-back with Cole Hamels that the NL East is in trouble for a while?

Nah, me either.  I trust my guys.