Off-Day Blather: The Team to Beat Meets the Mets
A good baseball team will rely on defence and relief pitching. However, it is usually their own defense and relief pitching. Although the Mets were not able to wear Cole Hamels like a pair of shoes as I had hoped, luckily the Orange and Blue could depend on the Phillies' defence and relief, which booted, blundered, and bozo-ed away the game after blustering about their top dog status. Bbbbbb's.
This game had so many pleasures. The broadcast had a little bit of everything, a taste o' 1986, great discussion, and some come-from-behind walloping. A very Mookie fourth inning, a Philly Follies fifth, stressful 6th, and a glorious 8th.
**Ryan Howard coming all the way from first to elbow his own 3rd baseman trying to catch an easy pop-up in the 5th inning: "My bad!"
**Jimmy Rollins blinded by the sun, or his gigantic flapping tounge, boots a possible double play and opens the flood gates.
**Displaying his Keith-Hernandez Ceremonial First Pitch Location, Geoff Geary's air ball scores Stash from third and gives the Mets back the game. (There is an excellent site dedicated to Walk Offs, do I see franchising potential with A Mets Wild Pitch Scoring Site?)
And coming in from the cold of a few nationally televised games, it was a real pleasure to listen to the SNY team explain and discuss the nuances of the game. So much happened during the game that would have only prompted Joe Morgan and Jon Miller to spout inanities. With the quality of the broadcast I didn't even mind the constant reminders that Verizon's phone's stay on during power outages, unlike Alexander Grahm Bell's. Anyhow, there really is a big difference between the SNY team and the others, though I did cringe when Mex pointed out a lady on the premises, but it turned out to be his wife, thankfully, who presumably was in the correct spot.
There was Mookie Magic in the 4th. Metsmerized by Mookie, I almost didn't notice Maine digging himself a hole then miraculously extricating himself in the nick of time. Maine needs to stop walking people. He did not have the dominating look of his first start, but still managed to keep the Mets in the game.
Carlos Delgado is one goddamn intelligent baseball player. His bunt against the shift, and later his slide were even more pleasurable than the bucket of hits and RBIs he delivered today. And watching the Mets execute in the 5th, along with LoDuca's selfless bat handling, was a real joy.
The boys in the SNY booth pointed out that Shawn Green could not be entirely held to account for his cutoff man missing (Jose Reyes was implicated), but Green is quickly cementing his status as the Met-most-likely-to-be-in-the-neighborhood-of-an-error-or-mental-mistake. Not taking third on the throw home on which Delgado scored, for example. It certainly ain't easy being Green.
Back when he could field his position
Being of the opinion that the home opener is never the place to bring in Aaron Sele, I was on edge as the Amburgler was getting fried. Scientists are right now developing instruments to understand why Willie was not having the combustable Ambie intentionally walk the MVP with first base open in a tight game, but their answers are a ways off. For now, more fuel to the debate over whether Willie is part of the solution or problem. And that Burger still needs seasoning.
Nickname concept and theme stolen from Coop and Toasty and others
If you still need a pick me up after this game, or just a quick laugh, cruise on over to Deadspin for this unguarded picture of a very Randy Johnson.
Follow his links to some great early posing by favorites such as Uncle Cliffy, or "Air" Cliffy as shown here dunking a baseball in his spry days, and Ugueth Urbina, pre-killing spree.