A Word From Our Sponsors


Back again...

So, I took a day or two off.

Not really much reason behind it, though I did manage to take in yesterday's Mets-Padres game with my best seats yet. Section right behind home plate. Five rows back. Good enough, even for Campers Day and even when there was an unsightly trio of outfielders. I came to see Beltran and Firstings, Piazza and Cameron. Instead, I got disgraced Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson and Josh Bard. Not even Josh Paul. He's a Devil Ray, I know, I know.

How far we've come, in recent years, with the outfield, is absolutely staggering. Remember the days where Victor Diaz was a future star and Eric Valent the next great lefty slugger? Remember Jeff Duncan? Remember on hot days, how Ice Williams would cool you down? Remember Richard Hidalgo? Mike Cameron? Karim Garcia? Shane Spencer? Brian Buchanan? ESIX SNEAD? This was 2004. Not that long ago at all.

So, now the Mets opted to go with the ever-so-inadequate outfield of supersubs Endy Chavez and Ricky Ledee as well as professional bad baseball player Michael Tucker. I booed Tucker during his first at-bat. Maybe it was because he was successful as an Atlanta Brave, though it was probably just because I knew he'd suck. And sure, I might have been wrong about the guy for one at-bat the rest of the season. No way he's useful again. Ever.

Ricky Ledee isn't really anything to write home about either. How he (and Zach Day/Jake Westbrook) landed the Yankees 20 David Justice home runs down the stretch run in 2000 is news to me.

Also, it's worth remembering that the Mets had Justice (in exchange for Robin Ventura) for a few days there, before they dealt him to Oakland. They received, of course, Tyler Yates (now a Brave reliever) and Mark Guthrie, whose scoreless innings streak will be on the line this weekend.

But Ledee really hasn't helped any of his teams throughout history, with his best season a thirteen homer effort as Jason Michaels' platoon buddy in the city of Brotherly Love. Career OPS of .745. Pretty pedestrian. Carlos Beltran's is .829.

Furthermore, please don't get me started about Mike DiFelice. I know the guy is a veteran, but I just witnessed what will undoubtedly be his best single-game effort of the season, where he walked twice, thereby getting himself on base twice. That's twice more than you should get accustomed to. He had a few barely above average seasons earlier in his career. Since then, nothing at all. It seems counterintuitive to me, as DiFelice has been wretched at the dish considering everything we've seen from him the past few years.

Just don't forget that Jason Phillips, of the .100 average with Toronto, was DFAed a week ago. I wonder who that Goggles-Ishii trade helped more. Lock him down, Minaya.

All in all, there wasn't a ton to see yesterday. Chris Young, of going to Princeton and being super-tall fame, pitched okay. He seemed to be missing a lot of his targets, but the Mets offense lacked the usual firepower with the big bats taking a day off. Except for David Wright, who, as usual, came up with some big hits and played well.

El Duque was nasty. Forget that two-run shot and you have a good day from a pitcher who's looking like a pretty solid choice for a third starter in October. The rotation, as of now, can go toe-to-toe with the class of the National League provided Glavine steps his game up like he did against the Phillies. Otherwise, and I know this would never happen, but it would make a lot of sense to get him out of the rotation. Right now, he's worse than Pedro, worse than Maine, and probably worse than Duque. He and Trachsel could battle it out for that fourth spot.


I won't really go into much depth about Wednesday night's game, but it was really telling to watch the crowd's reactions. Mike, we love you, but please don't hurt us. Pedro pitched well, he is clearly on track even when he doesn't strike out a ton of guys.


I think I might have the Mets and Jets in split-screen tonight. I miss the long-ago promise of Billy Traber, but come on. There's no way this game won't be a blowout. Against the Nationals? Come on.

I'll also be taking off for the long weekend, deprived of my Mets until Tuesday night. Just a question. As fans, do you prefer tracking the game on GameCast or on the radio or depriving yourself of the outcome until you can come home and watch it on VCR or DVR? Especially if it's only for a weekend. I'm not sure.


I am pretty sure there aren't any Lo Duca articles in today's papers. For chrissakes, he didn't even play yesterday. And there was a thwarted terrorist attack! Isn't that news?

Apparently not.

Now loan sharks are chasing the Duck. I hope this week won't get any worse for him. But dreams don't pay the overhead. Boom. American Express slogan. I'm out.

Crosstown Rivals is sponsored by JustGreatTickets.com, your home for Chicago White Sox Tickets.

No comments: