Paul DeJong Becomes Latest Mets Killer in Torturous Weekend at Citi Field

I don’t want to spend days writing this article, so I’ll try to keep it mostly about the last four days. Please keep in mind that being a Mets fan is really about much more. Years of suffering. Frustration with the owners. Incompetence throughout their organization. It all ties together. That’s the backdrop. Every frustrating loss and stupid decision brings anger that stems from so much past aggravation. On to the microcosm that was this most recent series.

We start with Thursday. Paul DeJong connected against Mets ace Jacob deGrom for a sixth-inning home run that erased the 2-1 Mets lead. I don’t remember anything like what this guy has done. Sure, there were guys who did damage over the years. Chipper Jones had a long career. He is a HOF player. Numerous Phillies have played well against the Mets. Guys like Pat Burrell. DeJong plays for St. Louis. Although they used to be in the NL East, that was over 25 years ago. St. Louis is no longer a division foe.

There was an article written on Friday asking what was wrong with DeJong, and this was after his home run on Thursday night. I don’t think people are asking this question today. More on him later. The Mets held a 4-2 lead after 8. What followed was so incredibly Mets. A rain delay was about to begin. The Mets pleaded for umpires to let them continue playing. If that game had been called right there, it’s a Mets victory. They would be credited with a win in 8 innings. One can only assume that they were unaware of the rule or situation. St. Louis rallied to tie the score. Play was then paused with the score tied. This means that the game was suspended. Typical foolishness. One more note from Thursday. Mets catcher Wilson Ramos learned that his wife was pregnant when she held up a sign just before he came up to bat. Ramos struck out. Maybe wait until after the game next time.

Friday night began with the resumption of Thursday’s debacle. I was hoping for a quick win by scoring in the ninth inning. That did not happen. The Mets went quietly. Mets manager Mickey Callaway decided to bring back closer Edwin Diaz for another inning. After all, it was a different night. What could go wrong? Diaz promptly allowed a single and stolen base. DeJong singled in a run. Of course he did. The Mets were again quickly retired, and DeJong had again hurt the Mets. It was two days of frustration for one loss. Their closer had cost them twice. However, there was plenty more to come. It was only 6:30. Their scheduled game had not even started yet.

https://twitter.com/Pete_Alonso20/status/1139662361701343234

Kevin Clancy of Barstool Sports tweeted that he was upset about first baseman Pete Alonso’s actions the night before. This led to a spat between the men that did not capture the real issue. I don’t really know how to use an analogy, but it makes no sense to campaign for continuing when your team is ahead and would win if play was stopped for a rain delay before getting called for the night. It’s about not knowing rules. Alonso tweeted about having confidence in teammates. The whole thing is ridiculous. I wanted to throw out a basketball comparison, but forget it. There is so much more to cover. The night was not even an hour old at this point.

On to the scheduled part of Friday’s disaster. The Mets rallied back and claimed a 5-4 lead after trailing 4-1. Fan favorite (sarcasm) Jeurys Familia took the mound. His second pitch was deposited over the left field wall by DeJong. Familia remained in and allowed three more runs. His ERA is now 6.91, as Dexter Fowler also took him deep. St. Louis prevailed 9-5.

Saturday featured embarrassing comments by Brodie Van Wagenen. The Mets GM did not seem alarmed by his team’s play. They were 33-34 entering Thursday’s series opener, but Brodie claimed that the Mets were “right where we wanted to be.” After building an 8-3 lead, the Mets held on for dear life and won 8-7 by throwing out a pitcher at home plate following another shaky outing by Diaz. Starter Noah Syndergaard departed with a strained right hamstring. He has been placed on the injured list. They finally won, and it felt like a loss. There were major trades Saturday. Anthony Davis went to the Lakers. In baseball, Seattle traded Edwin Encarnacion to the Yankees. SNY tweeted those two moves, but put the Mets getting Brooks Pounders from Cleveland with those deals. Above it. This team continuously finds new ways to be a joke. With press conferences. In tweets. As if their play was not bad enough.

Sunday wrapped up the weekend series in agonizing fashion. A starting pitcher left with an injury for the second time in less than 24 hours, and once again it was a Met. Jason Vargas came out with a cramp. He was hitting. Perhaps there will be a DH in the NL soon. Most teams would improve their lineup. Only the Mets would lose some of their best hitters. St. Louis pulled out a 4-3 win despite being outhit 10-3. Chris Flexen fell to 0-3. I still have not forgiven this guy for blowing a game against Milwaukee in the 18th inning earlier this season. Familia was up in the bullpen during today’s game. It looked like they would need him at some point. Especially after Vargas came out early on. Callaway actually found a worse pitcher to use in Flexen. St. Louis went ahead on a home run by none other than DeJong. Entering Sunday, he ranked first in slugging percentage (.788) among all Major Leaguers with 85 plate appearances against the Mets. He left slugging .807 at Citi Field. In his 20 career games against the Mets, DeJong has nine home runs and a 1.200 OPS. That is the highest all time for anyone with a minimum of 80 plate appearances facing the Mets. At Citi Field, he has six homers in 11 games.

The Mets head to Atlanta for a series against the surging Braves before continuing on against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. After four in Chicago, the Mets will travel to Philadelphia for four more games. Sounds like a fun road trip. Enjoy it. 

 

Subway Series Still Brings The Best Out of New York’s Baseball Fans

Some cranky old folks are tired of seeing the Mets and Yankees play each other in the regular season. Joe Torre used to hate these games. They made him miserable. If the Mets won, Mr. Steinbrenner was on his case. There are definitely different vantage points. Fans of the Mets are usually hoping that a good series against the Yankees can get their season back on track.

Once again the Mets are hanging by a thread. That is usually where they find themselves when these teams get together during the summer or late spring. Personally, I like when they play each other in July. I’m not really happy when there is a big basketball game going on at the same time. However, Golden State is on the verge of putting away Cleveland. The 3-0 series does not currently have much drama. Plus, the NBA contest starts two hours later. Depending on how Mets-Yankees goes, it could be over before halftime.

Those of us who have been watching regular season games between the Mets and Yankees for more than 20 years have lots of memories. Mets fans remember Matt Franco’s winning hit against Mariano Rivera in 1999. David Wright’s hit against Rivera in 2006 won another game. Dae-Sung Koo doubled against Randy Johnson in his second career at bat during a 2005 meeting. He then scored when Jorge Posada fielded a bunt and nobody covered the plate. Shawn Estes failed to hit Roger Clemens at Shea Stadium in 2002, but Estes homered off Clemens and the Mets won 8-0.

Ty Wigginton’s 2004 home run against Tom Gordon during their July 4th game snapped a tie and helped the Mets complete a sweep. Dave Mlicki’s shutout at Yankee Stadium in 1997 started it all. That was the first ever regular season meeting between the two clubs. As they have been saying for years, you can throw out the records when these two get together. One example of this was 2013. The Mets won just 74 games, but went 4-0 against the Yankees. Although neither team made it into postseason play, the Yankees were significantly better. They finished with 85 wins.

Purists say that playing six times against an opponent from the other league is too much. I counter that by saying some people don’t get pumped up for 18 or 19 games with Tampa Bay. When I was a teenager, the Yankees only played 13 games against divisional rivals like Toronto and Boston. Things change. The opponents that suffer are AL teams not in their division like Kansas City and Detroit. I would like to see less in the division with more games against those teams, but I’m most likely in the minority.

dribbble-subway-series-logo.gif

Years ago there was talk about completely rearranging divisions based on location. This would mean the Yankees and Mets would both be division rivals with Boston, and that would result in more than a dozen yearly Mets-Yankees games. Fans who think our 2018 total (six games) is already overkill wouldn’t like that very much.

There will be a sellout crowd tonight and tomorrow. Earlier this week I heard that Sunday’s game was close to a sellout. Most or all of the remaining tickets will probably go by Sunday night. Don’t be a curmudgeon. Enjoy the games.

The Month of May Introduces Newfound Misery For New York Mets Fans

Remember when everything was looking great for Mets fans? Not everybody can think back to April. The Mets were 11-1. Even as May started, their record was 17-9. No wins in May after five games. Their series against Atlanta started with Noah Syndergaard pitching at home. Atlanta won 3-2. Then, things really began to fall apart. Jacob deGrom hurt his arm swinging the bat. In true Mets fashion, he was sent out to pitch another inning. Perhaps more damage was done, although word is he can or at least might make Monday’s start. Even that announcement didn’t go smoothly. It was reported that deGrom would miss four starts before another report came out. The Mets fell 7-0 on Wednesday. (Update: Degrom placed on 10-day DL retroactive to May 3)

Thursday appeared to be rock bottom. Atlanta embarrassed the Mets by a final of 11-0. Matt Harvey made another relief appearance. He was predictably hammered, but must have thought that was fake news. Harvey continued to speak positively. His tactic has been to stress batters and innings when things went well. As if the home runs and walks never happened or mean little. This was it for him. Harvey has officially been designated for assignment.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

I could write an entire article on this clown, but most people know his story. Usually Harvey gets attention for all the wrong reasons. Frank Isola has been all over him. Tweets about Harvey being overrated and accomplishing next to nothing have been right on target. I have been telling people about Harvey for years. It’s always about Matt. All kinds of drama. He blew the last World Series game in 2015 by insisting on coming out for the ninth inning when his manager and most other people knew better. Harvey put two runners on before departing. His refusal to challenge the leadoff man with a 2-0 lead was inexcusable. This after nonsense about whether or not he would even pitch in the postseason.

Recently I was reminded of a game he pitched against the Yankees. Harvey went way too long in a game that seemed all but decided. When it was about bringing him fame, Harvey didn’t mind throwing extra pitches. Even when it wasn’t best for the Mets. This year he was reluctant about going to the bullpen, and acted like it wasn’t even an option. As if that was his decision to make. When Matt refused to take a minor league assignment, his time with the Mets was finished.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Agent Scott Boras is likely to blame for much of Harvey’s stubbornness. Years ago Mike Francesa thought that Harvey should sign a deal that would lock him up for years beyond arbitration, but I knew there was no chance that Boras would settle for anything like 50-100 million. He wanted 200-300 million when Harvey reached free agency. Obviously Harvey would have been much better off taking the early security.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Getting back to the team, Colorado has come to town and picked up where Atlanta left off. When the Rockies held an 8-2 lead during their series opener, I turned my attention elsewhere. It finished 8-7. Two Mets were left on base when Michael Conforto was retired to conclude matters. Colorado followed that up with a 2-0 win. I’m writing this article before Sunday’s series finale. There will probably be a lot more to say in a few days. If you hate the Yankees, you’re also not happy. They are 14-1 in their last 15 games. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

The Top 5 Moments In Subway Series History

ss-lockup.png

Crosstown rivals collided for the first time in 2017 last night, as the Yankees and Mets added to their laundry list of battles for the first of four Subway Series match ups. The Yankee-Met fan rivalry has dominated radio airwaves and sports talk conversations every summer since I’ve been a kid. As a New Yorker, sometimes we take for granted that our state has at least two teams representing NY in every major sport, which also creates for a divide in the local society.

After dropping 2 out of 3 to the Red Sox including a heartbreaking Sunday night defeat the Bombers bounced back with a 4-2 victory, as the 62-55 squad leads the AL Wildcard race by 2 games with a cluster of teams behind them. The Mets come into the Subway Series suffering a much different fate than most thought back in April. After a rash of injuries and selling off veterans at the deadline, the Metropolitans finally brought up prized prospects Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith to give fans a peek into the hopefully bright future, while waiving the white flag on the 2017 campaign.

No matter the situation of the two teams, this series always brings out the best in the players with the intensity of a playoff game oozing out of the fans selling out both Yankee Stadium and Citi Field over the years. The squads have done battle each year in inter-league play since the Mets took game one 6-0 behind Dave Mlicki back in 1997. The Bronx Bombers lead the all-time series though, 62-46.

I was only 7 when the Subway Series culminated with the Mets and Yankees facing off in the World Series back in 2000, so my memory of the five game series is vague. I could only imagine how it took the city chatter by storm and if it happened again in the social media era, people would absolutely lose their minds. The Mets-Yankees match up has given New Yorkers some great moments forever ingrained in history over the past 20 years, so without further a do the top five.

5. Doc Gooden Returns To Shea Stadium – July 8th, 2000

After throwing for a decade in a Mets uniform, Dr. K finally made his way back to Shea Stadium in what would be his last season in the bigs on July 8th, 2000. This time things were different, as Gooden donned the pinstripes. Doc went 5 innings giving up 2 runs to notch the win against his former squad 4-2. It was a long but triumphant journey back to Flushing for the 1985 NL Cy Young winner.

4. Mariano Rivera Locks Down Save Number 500

June 28th. 2009: Enter Sandman. The final meeting between the Mets and Yanks in 2009 proved to be a historic night in the illustrated career of the best closer ever, Mariano Rivera. Mo came on in relief for the last four outs to secure career save number 500 (only the 2nd person to achieve the feat). 42 also helped his own cause drawing a walk to earn his first career RBI in the 4-2 win.

3. The Matt Franco Game

June 10th, 1999: Six lead changes took place as the Bronx Bombers launched six homers in the back and forth battle. The Mets were down to their last strike with pinch-hitting Matt Franco at the plate after a Mike Piazza walk loaded the bases. Franco’s base hit to right off of Rivera scored Henderson and Alfonso to cap off a thrilling 9-8 walk-off win that many Mets fans still talk about to this day.

2. Luis Castillo Drops A Can Of Corn

June 12th, 2009: Seeing this play probably still causes Castillo some PTSD, as the normally sure-handed infielder dropped a pop-up that would have ended the game, but instead the error went on to give the Yankees a 9-8 walk-off victory off the bat of none other than Alex Rodriguez. Moments like these signify the big brother-little brother dynamic in this town and the dysfunction of the Mets as an organization.

1. Mike Piazza vs Roger Clemens Rivalry – 2000 Season

June 9th: The Piazza-Clemens dynamic made for many memorable moments over the history of the cross-town rivalry so I just couldn’t limit myself to choosing one. Going back to June of 2000, Piazza who killed the Yanks, launched a grand slam off of Clemens to give the Mets a 4-0 lead.

July 8th: Roger wasn’t afraid to go after anyone and Piazza was going to be his next victim of retaliation. Clemens got to face the Mets catcher a month later and beaned him with an 0-1 fastball to the head, which made a groggy Piazza unconscious and knocked him out of the game. A scary sight indeed.

October 22nd – World Series Game 2:

With intensity at an all-time high, Clemens and Piazza faced off once again in the first inning of game 2 of the Subway Series. Piazza fouled off a 1-2 inside pitch that jammed him and ended up breaking his bat, careening the barrel right back at Clemens, which he then picked up and ended up firing in Piazza’s direction up the line. The over-reaction cleared the benches before umpires restored order. Clemens claimed after the incident that he “had no idea Piazza was running on the foul ball.”

 

 

This Little Kid Ranting About The Mets Has Me In Tears

Tell it like it is, little man!

“THIS TEAM IS AN ABSOLUTE FUCKING JOKE!”

This dude, who goes by mets_maniac, has me in tears right now. A belly laugh actually. I no joke have watched this video about 148948934 times and I laugh more and more every time I watch it. Another day, another pissed off Mets fan. What’s new? This team could win the World Series and fans would figure out a way to try and complain about management or start a petition to fire Terry Collins.

However, after an embarassing, and I mean embarassing, 23-5 (not 23-8!) loss to the Nationals, this little guy said “No Mas.” Two out of three? Not good enough! No one is safe during the rant. The Mets Ace Noah Syndergaard? No no No, not safe! That “Barbie doll” has to get a “robotic arm” and get out of town before my man mets_maniac channels his inner Sid from Toy Story and becomes a surgeon.

Disney GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Ray Ramirez was an easy target so I applaud this kid for going after him. Mold face! Terry Collins was another easy target. “It’s over for you you little shit head” made me tremble in fear. I pray for the person that messes up this kid’s order at McDonald’s. It would be worse than WWII.

By far, the person in the most trouble is Kevin Plawecki. Poor Kevin Plawecki. All the guy wants to do is live that backup catcher lifestyle. The backup catcher is a relaxing, no pressure, fake it til you make it type of lifestyle. But no, the Mets throw you in the game to pitch, something you haven’t done in a decade and you give up 4 runs, which isn’t terrible.

But not good enough for the Mets Maniac. “You got Kevin Plawecki getting absolutely rocked, I mean, you know it’s bad when you put the f—ing backup catcher in there. Get the hell out of here and go to the minor leagues, BOY.” Those are the words from a stone cold killer. All I have to say is Thank god I’m a Yankees fan.

Vince McMahon when he sees this video. Future WWE Star in the making.

Wwe GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Apparently, he doesn’t like Kevin Durant either.

I Want Tim Tebow To Make The MLB And So Should You

Tebowmania is back.

BY GAWD IT’S TIM TEBOW

Credit: WP
Credit: WP

ITTTTTTTTTT’SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS TEBOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW TIMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

So if you haven’t seen it by now, Tim Tebow hit a home run in his instructional league debut on the FIRST PITCH HE SAW.

Crushed it. Tim Tebow aka Tebowmania muscled that ball out of the park. Yes, it was in the made-up instructional league that 20 fans witnessed. I don’t care whatsoever. A home run is a home run no matter how you do it. If it were so easy, everyone would do it.

Credit: NYDailyNews
Credit: NYDailyNews

I have been and will always be a Tim Tebow guy. The fact that he did not get a second chance to start in the NFL is baffling. I don’t care if the man struggled to throw the ball in the NFL. I don’t care if he had a slow throwing motion. There’s no way a playoff game winning quarterback should be run out of the league. Sure, he was not a good QB. I know that. I’m not defending him in that aspect. However, there is absolutely no way in hell that the last game he started was that playoff win. That is a travesty.

I understand the guy could’ve changed positions, but he was stubborn so that’s on him. I understand that he was a nightmare in terms of the media circus that came with him. I understand that Skip Bayless shoved the Tebow love down our throats. But think about how many teams needed quarterbacks a few years back. Titans, Jaguars, Jets, Bucs, Browns. HE COULDN’T EVEN GET A START WITH THE CLEVELAND BROWNS. That’s just disrespectful. Rex Ryan would not even give him a starting shot. He let Greg McElroy start over Tebow (Tim had some rib issues, but you don’t need to know that), a guy who ran TEN YARDS past the line of scrimmage to throw the ball.

Is it a long shot for Tebow to make the majors? Of course it is. Almost impossible. He probably won’t make it. From the looks of it, he struggles in the field and we don’t know if he can hit a curveball. Oh well, that doesn’t mean I won’t root for the guy. The media tried to take that fun away by putting a Tebow segment on TV every 5 seconds. I get it. People got sick of him. Personally, I don’t bet against God’s children so you can do whatever you want.

It’s fun to root  for Tim Tebow. He’s as polarizing as Lebron James. Some want him to succeed while others enjoy watching him fail. The fact is you’re going to watch him. People will buy his jersey. The media circus will come back if he continues to succeed. I can’t wait.

It’s Tebow Time. See you in the majors, Tim.