The Magic Is Back?

Every morning I sit down and prepare to write something about how the injuries cost the Mets their season. And yet, every night I watch the game they some how manage to prove me wrong. Just when you think the list of injuries can’t pile up any more for this team, it does. At the same time, just when you think this will cause them to go on an 8 game losing streak, it doesn’t. 

So I ask the New York Mets, to please make a decision on whether or not you plan to really go for it this year. Because I cannot keep riding these highs and lows everyday.  Mets fans like myself are cautious. We’re afraid to think that we can actually pull this off and clinch that last wild card spot in case those dreams are shattered. 

And then I think, what would be even more magical that last season’s post season run, is a second one this year, and with a rag tag group of players. Maybe “rag tag” isn’t the right word. But it’s certainly not the lineup we thought we would see at the end of August. I would say that only Curtis Granderson has really remained consistently healthy from that original opening day line up. Bartolo Colon, our 43 year old beloved starter, seems to be the only pitcher not dealing with some kind of ailment. I’m guessing at this point in his career it’s just that he’s already been through it all. 

Despite all of this, the Mets are 2.5 games out of the wild card. Madness. Which is why I think maybe this season, more so than last, if they could manage to sneak into the post season, they would truly be fitting of the title “The Miracle Mets.” 

 Personal note: I never get tired of seeing Yo batflip.

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/yoenis-cespedes-unleashes-monstrous-bat-flip-after-walk-off-homer-064337997.html
http://sports.yahoo.com/news/yoenis-cespedes-unleashes-monstrous-bat-flip-after-walk-off-homer-064337997.html

The Nats Problematic Fave

As a Mets fan, Bryce Harper is basically the devil. Except I’d like to think the devil wouldn’t be as “bro-y” as Harper. The devil would like to think himself better than that. Every now and then we get a sweet glimpse of who Harper truly is though, and it never fails to amuse me. He is an over paid furry toddler who likes to throw tantrums. Just look at this glorious shot of his stupid hair whip to and fro after he slammed his helmet to the ground and proceeded to curse out the home plate umpire. 

www.sfchronicle.com
http://www.sfchronicle.com

There’s something very Chris Farley about this which just makes me love it more.  

There it is. Farley of course, was probably more fun to have around. Some how the tantrum didn’t quite rally the troops and the Nats fell to the Rockies 9-4 in extra innings.

Eyes on the Tribe

A few years back, 2013 or 2014, I don’t remember exactly, I picked the Cleveland Indians to win the World Series. They did not. I can’t remember what prompted me to make that decision. It was more of an early gut instinct that I just decided to run with. At the beginning of this season I think everyone thought we could be in for a South Side/North Side Chicago World Series. Something that, should it happen in my lifetime, I would easily drop money to go see. 

It may not be the White Sox from the AL Central, but I could definitely see how this shapes up to be a Cleveland/Chicago, battle of the Midwest Fall Classic. These teams are the most fun to watch. As a Mets fan I’m constantly in awe just at their ability to score with runners in scoring position. Can you even fathom the madness that would follow in the city of Cleveland if their basketball team and baseball team won championships in the same year? 

I still can’t seem to bring myself to actively root for the Cubs in any of these predicted post-season situations. Some people are blown away by that.

“It’s been over 100 years! Don’t you think they deserve it?” 

Sure. I hate that the Mets haven’t won a World Series in 30 years so I can’t even begin to understand how Cubs fans must feel. I suppose it’s just that awful part of me that thinks it’s genuinely funny at this point that 108 years have passed with out a Cubs win.  That part of me that likes to take a joke too far and then see just how much further it could go. It’s so amusing that no matter how good the Cubs manage to be, the club finds some way to come up just a little bit short. What can I say? I have a dark sense of humor. 

I watched the Indians/Blue Jays game last night. They came up just a little short themselves, losing 6-5. But they were down originally 5-0. It’s always a tough loss when you battle back and yet still manage to come up short. But it’s the battle itself that I find so interesting. The Jays got lucky with that solo shot, that put them up in the inning following Lonnie Chisenhall’s 3 run bomb. If you give the Tribe a chance to comeback, they’re absolutely deadly. Case in point, the previous night:

There’s still a decent amount of baseball left. I know it’s an even year which usually bodes well for the Giants, but my pick is still the Tribe. 

The Diamondbacks

Someone. Anyone. Get this team a new uniform. They look like prisoners that got lost in the desert.

Let’s forget for a moment that Im mad about them clobbering the Mets this season.  The worst part of watching those games was looking at them do it in those dark gray jumpsuits. 

The Cubs Just Sold Their Soul For A World Series

I don’t particularly dislike the Cubs. They have every right to do everything it takes to get that World Series win. Personally, I would just rather see the Mets win one first. Regardless, they were off to an explosive start this year. Which is why even when they stumbled a bit before the all star break, they currently still have a healthy 7.5 game lead over the Cardinals in the NL Central. 

Their line up of hitters is absolutely deadly and their rotation, while on paper not at the same level as what the Mets put up at the beginning of the season, can certainly hold its own. The only missing piece was their bullpen. Something I first noticed that night the Mets came back from being down 3-0 in the 7th inning. They clobbered their relievers and took the 4-3 lead to end up winning the game. 

But as of today, the Cubs acquired Aroldis Chapman in a trade with the Yankees. One of the best closers in the game. Aside from being known for his fastballs, he recently had to spend some mandatory time off for choking his girlfriend and firing his gun into the air. In my eyes, that’s enough to make this guy a dirtbag who shouldn’t even be playing baseball. On top of all his off the field problems, they Cubs traded away four  players and their number one minor league prospect. 

What does all this tell me? That the Cubs are charging toward the post season and destroying everything in their path. It’s all or nothing. And I think at this point, both the Cubs and their fans are really hoping for all. Because if they get knocked out of the post season again this year, I don’t know if they can start again from nothing. 

Rough Around The Edges

This past June I took a trip out to Chicago for a class at The Second City. This was my second trip to the Windy City and my first where there wouldn’t be a light snow falling from the sky when I woke up in the morning. I knew I had to catch a ballgame while I was out there.  

Wrigley Field is historic, and right now kinda pricey since the Cubs are the best they’ve been in years. Cubs fans, from what I’ve seen are very bro-y and Wrigleyville is like a frat house on game day. And of course, the Cubs have somewhat of a new rivalry with the Mets after the NLCS. 

I have some family in Chicago and I asked my dad what team they rooted for. “They’re all Cubs fans. They’re in the northern suburbs. Your cousin said the Sox are on the South Side so they’re a little more rough around the edges.” I liked that. The Cubs were the jocks and the Sox were the bad boys of Chicago. 

I always thought that the Cubs were the underdog of the city considering they haven’t won a World Series since 1918. But despite all that, they’re still the more popular team. They were the Yankees of Chicago. So my sister and I sprung for Sox tickets instead. 

It only added to the appeal that the Sox cap I bought looked much better with my personal style than a large red C. It was a great match up that night too. Detroit was in town and it was like a clash of the two grittiest cities. The Sox took the field to Welcome To The Jungle by Guns N’ Roses while a highlight reel of history played on their jumbo screen. It was a good game. A slugfest. Im always impressed by teams who don’t fuck things up with runners in scoring position. They ended up losing to Detroit 11-8, but still put on a decent show. 

I started writing this post a few days ago, and I figured tonight would be the perfect night to finish it. With some perfect timing, the Sox ace Chris Sale was scratched from the starting line up this evening because he allegedly cut up the Sox throwback jerseys they were set to wear for the game this evening. Lord knows what prompted this pre-game rampage, word is that he’s on the trading block which maybe he wasn’t too keen about. This certainly wouldn’t help his cause. I’m loving it though, it just seems to add to the edge and bite that the White Sox seem to be known for in Chicago. Which is easy for me to say as an admirer of the team and not a die hard fan. Surely if one of the Mets pitchers were to pull such a stunt I’d be pissed. But the Mets are already throwing their season down the drain in new and exciting ways. 

Half Way Home

Well here we are again. Half way through this glorious baseball season, and just as I predicted I have abandoned this blog completely. 

But to be fair, and in an attempt to justify my laziness, the first half of the baseball season doesn’t mean shit. Unless you’re the Atlanta Braves who have fallen so far down into pit of losses that there is no return, anything could happen from the second half of July to September. So what I’m saying is, now is the time where shit gets real. If this were a reality show, this is the part where the juicy stuff starts to happen. 

My beloved Mets are 6 games behind the Nationals. They just dropped 3 of 4 games to them before the all star break. I had the pleasure of going to that last game, and in a fitting sequence of events got food poisoning from something I ate at the ballpark. From what you ask? We may never really know. The amount of garbage food that I stuff in my face while at Citi Field is staggering. It was like my body reacting to Jose Reyes being the only reason the Mets scored at all that day. I’m still struggling to accept that my team brought him back right off a suspension for throwing his wife through a glass door. Every time a sports team does something like this, it’s like they spit in the face of their female fans. (That’s a topic for another day though. I could spend the rest of this post talking about the general problem with sports and domestic violence.)

The Mets are no worse off than they were this time last season. It just seems so much worse because the Nats are actually giving them a run for their money. Last season’s second half for the Mets was nothing short of an absolute miracle. They’re going to need to work that magic again if they want win the division let alone qualify for a wild card spot. It’s going to take more than Jose Reyes to do that. Mets fans have been doing the famous “Jose! Jose! Jose! Jose!” sing song chant at these games, and everyone seems to have forgotten that even without the domestic violence charges, this dude was kind of always a prick. 

Same goes with Daniel Murphy. Murphy has done nothing but make the Mets pay since he went to the Nationals. He’s having a stellar year. That being said, we don’t know if that would be the case if he was still on the Mets. Some people have a hard time performing in big market cities like New York. The media is merciless here. Some players can’t perform as they normally would, or to their best abilities under that New York pressure. Sometimes its the coaching staff change that helps. A new team means a new hitting coach. There are dozens of reasons. Some Mets fans will complain saying we should have never let him go. Another issue I strongly disagree with. While Murphy definitely put on a show in the NLCS against the Cubs, let’s not forget the constant defensive errors he would make in the field. Both Cabrera and Walker have been a huge defensive upgrade for the Mets. (And neither of them have expressed their homophobia in the newspapers either) 

But that’s just the way Mets fans look at their season. Nothing satisfies us. We can’t celebrate the little victories because we’re hungrier now more than ever after going to the World Series last year. I think this team may have a bit of a World Series hangover.  I don’t think we’re down and out of it just yet. It wouldn’t be the Mets if they didn’t make it interesting. 

 

Never Ending Story

I have no doubt that the title of this post has been used already in some newspaper as a headline. We’ve probably exhausted all the play on words for this guy’s name and we’re only 2 weeks into the baseball season. 

My roommate is from Colorado, and growing up a Rockies fan he could never really expect too much from the team. Even when the Rockies had solid hitting, it was always their rotation that never seemed quite enough to push them into the playoffs. It’s not surprising that this is the case in Colorado. What pitcher wants to play in a ballpark where the air is so thin that most fly balls will get carried out for home runs? You’ll probably never see a rotation like the Mets currently have spring up somewhere like Colorado. Rockies fans didn’t have much to be excited about after another losing season and after trading away Troy Tulowitski to the Jays. 

But then, a whole new chapter, in a whole new book, A BRAND NEW STORY. How tired are you of seeing sentences like that? It’s all pretty terrible. But Trevor Story did come out of nowhere as the Rockies young star. He’s already hit 8 home runs and most of those not even at Coors Field. And how about that name? Some men were just given these great baseball names. The kind of names that when you hear them you’re like “oh yeah the great so-n-so.” It just seems right that they would be on their way to be a legend. 

How weird is it that along with all this the Rockies beat San Francisco last night to hand them their sixth straight loss and are currently tied for the top of the division in the West with the Dodgers? No one saw this one coming. And while I love the Giants and it pains me to see them take a hit like this from the Rockies of all teams, I’m also a sucker for the underdog stories. Any team that upsets the Dodgers chances at a division title in the west is okay with me. 

 

It’s Still Early.

It was a rough weekend to say the least. The Mets dropped two of three against the Phillies a team they should have easily steam rolled to get this season started with a bang. The only bright side was that Cespedes finally delivered his first home run of the season for fans who were already petitioning to have him crucified. This all may seem extreme just five games into the season, but hey, it’s baseball, and more importantly, it’s New York baseball. It’s a tough place to play. Fans will go from adoring you, to asking for your head with just one swing of the bat. Fortunately Cespedes redeemed himself a bit, but Mets fans in general are very on edge with the teams 2-3 start. There’s a reason New York was named “The Big Apple” and not “The City of Brotherly Love” New Yorkers love to win. And after having a taste of all that success last season, Mets fans aren’t about to put that all behind them. They want wins and they want them now. 

That being said, it is only April 11th. But I get it. No one wants to fall too far behind the Nats and their human rooster Bryce Harper. At the same time, New Yorkers are terrible at being patient. The phrase “good things come to those who wait” is not one New York sports fans are fond of. It’s more like “good things come to those who grab it by the throat.” Mets fans have done their waiting. 30 years of waiting. (True, not as long as the Cubs, but still.) 

Now if I may, allow me to jump over to the other side of the East. The O’s are 5-0. Yet another team I genuinely enjoy and wish success upon. The O’s were my pick in pre-season to do something big this year. No one expected them. Everyone picked Boston or the Jays, which I can understand. But I had a gut feeling about the birds in the off season. My love for them comes easy on top of everything else considering they’re also the Nats crosstown rivals. The Mets to their Yankees. (I guess technically the Nats would be the Mets in this situation because they haven’t been around as long, but you get what I’m saying.) Everyone was concerned about the O’s in spring training because at one point their record was something like 0-8. Just another example of how Spring Training should not be the thing that fans hang their hopes on. 

All this being said, it’s still early.  No one picked the Mets to even win the division last year and they went all the way to the World Series. That’s just one of the great things about baseball. Almost anything and everything will happen by the time we get to September. 

By the Hammer of Thor

Noah Syndergaard, affectionately nicknamed Thor, is the pitcher Mets fans have been waiting for. He has a completely different vibe than the Dark Knight that is Matt Harvey. He’s fun, he doesn’t seek out or cause all this drama and tension in the media. He’s just 6’6″ 0f raw power and luscious blonde locks waving behind him. His twitter account banner image displays a bolt of lightening striking the Empire State building. And he’s made it very clear to Mets fans and the organization, that he would like to stay a Met, for his entire career if possible. Swoon. That is exactly what Mets fans crave. We just want to know that our best players love playing for the name on the front of the jersey just as much as they love playing for the name on the back of it. 

I wanted to stop myself from writing that Syndergaard was absolutely electric yesterday, because it’s a baseball cliche whether you’re talking about a norse god or not. But it’s true. Thor tops out at 100mph. I can’t even imagine what that must be like for hitters, and for the Royals, who rarely ever strike out. Syndergaard threw 9 Ks yesterday. 

I don’t have cable so unless I can find a decent stream of the game I’m usually listening to it on my phone in the MLB app. Even just listening to the sounds of him pitching along with the announcers commentary makes you feel like you’re seeing it right in front of your face. A lot of this credit also goes to the Mets radio broadcast team who are absolutely stellar. I hated taking the train home from work yesterday because it meant that I’d have to go without the broadcast for at least a half hour. I turned it back on just in time to hear Thor throw strikeout number 7. I was walking up the block to my apartment, and leapt for joy in such an aggressive manner that I scared the shit out of the woman walking past me.

The Mets may have been haunted by World Series ghosts on Sunday, but now it was the Royals turn, as they’re reminded that they just can’t seem to hit the God of Thunder.