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If the Yankees were a bad sitcom: Bronx Blunders (pilot)

(Enter Derek Jeter with groceries. Alex Rodriguez steps out of the bathroom, he is shaving.)

Alex: I kid you not. Cliff was coming on to me the other day.
Derek: Really? I always thought he was such a badass.
Alex: He's real sensitive, actually, once you get to know him. He's got a lot of demons.
Derek: Whoda thunk it?
So who's comin to this thing?
Alex: The local pharmacist, Jason, that funky fish store owner Hideki. Everyone.
Derek: Should be fun. I'm sure glad we moved to the Bronx.
Alex: You're telling me! Although I am paying 25.2 million dollars a year for this house.
Derek: REALLY!?
Alex: Yea, no joke.
Derek: Well, I don't see muuch sense in that. I mean it's a good house in a good location but it's not all it's cracked up to be. Everyone in town talks about it but I think it's overrated and it's certainly not worth 25 mil a year.
Alex. Maybe. The last fellow that owned it was some arrogant sonofabitch who moved to D.C. He's having problems there I've heard. Why don't you get ready? They'll be arriving soon.
Derek: Alright, here put the groceries away for me.
Alex: (settles down in front of Gilmore Girls and begins reading Vanity Fair.) Wow. I can't believe that Tom Cruise won't drop that homely hoe.
(A knock on the door. Enter Jason Giambi.)
Jason: Hey Alex I let myself in. Oh, I saw Gary on the way here, he doesn't have a car so he might be late.
Alex: He's never been the same since they took away his house. I can't believe all the white people in the world really were against him. Steak's on the grill. (Enter Robinson Cano).
Cano: Sorry I'm a little late. I guess I really dropped the ball, as usual. (laugh track).
Alex: No, you're the second one here.
Cano: Where's Derek?
Alex: Getting ready.
Jason: So what's the meaning of this come together?
Cano: (laughs for a few seconds)
Alex: Jesus, grow up Robby, it's not that funny. He just said come together. (Cano giggles)
God you really need to mature before you're any sort of good friend. Hey Jason, have you gained weight?
Jason: Yea. You, know the whole cocaine problem. Well it's over and done with now, and I've never felt so good. Who's making the steak?
Alex: Derek. It's really delicious.
Jason: Oh, I don't know. I think his steak is a little overrated. Sure it's cooked well, but there's not enough sauce. You can't get messy eating it.
Alex: You're saying you don't like his steak because it's too clean? That's stupid. (Enter Jorge Posada with Randy Johnson)
Cano: Hey Jorge. Hey Randy.
Randy: Shut up Robby.
Cano: (whispers to Jorge) What's the matter with him?
Jorge: He's having a bad day. Someone looked at him wrong and now he won't stop bitching about it. Also his girlfriend dumped him. Suffice it to say she didn't think he was the Big Unit, if you know what I mean?
Cano: (laughs. then looks puzzled) Wait you mean his penis right?
Jorge: Yea. God you're an idiot.
Cano: Oh and Jorge, when did you learn to speak such perfect english?
Jorge: Que? (Derek comes down the stairs)
Derek: Wow, this is a party.
Everyone: HEY DEREK!
Derek: Wow, I didn't know I was so loved.
Alex: Are you kidding me? You're the poor man's Yuniesky Betancourt.
Derek: I don't like foreign foods.
Alex: Never mind. There's Gary at the door. (Enter Gary Sheffield)
Gary: Jesus it's cold out there! Mike, Hideki, and Shawn are on their way here.
Derek: What about Jaret and Carl?
Gary: Aww... you didn't hear? Jaret's in a coma. Bingo accident. And Carl... well Carl's not with us anymore. Fuckin lawn mowers.
Cano: Hey watch your mouth, Gary!
Alex: Oh wow, I feel so empty.
Randy: They had it coming. (everyone looks at Randy)
What the hell are you people looking at?
Gary: Hey good news! The landlord just gave me a few more months on my rent.
Derek: What are you talking about Gary? They kicked you out last year.
Gary: No. I talked with the guy. He told me he wanted me in that brownstone and that I was an integral part of the community. He even lowered the rent.
Derek: OK Gary... OK. (shakes his head)
Jason: Hey Gary how's that prescription goin for ya?
Gary: Oh, very well. The eagle flies at midnight. (They all look at Gary) What? It's just valtrex.
Where's Johnny?
Alex: Oh, I didn't invite him. There's something just creepy about the guy. He's too funloving, you know what I mean? (everyone nods)
Cano: I feel ya.
Alex: Shut up Robby.
(Enter Mike Mussina, Shawn Chacon, Hideki Matsui, Mariano Rivera, and Aaron Small.)
Jorge: Ole! Ahora esta un fiesta!
Cano: What?
Jason: Robby, you're from the D.R.
Cano: Oh, right, blame the Hispanic. There's a racist in the house, people!
Gary: Shut up Robby.
Mike: Hey, how's everyone doing! This sure is a big meet. (Cano cracks up)
Shut up Robby. How's it going Randy?
Randy: Screw you and your good intentions!
Mike: Ok then Randy. I mean sure I'm consistently a great guy, score way more pussy, and am more well-liked than you, but that's no reason to get testy. (Cano falls down on the floor laughing.)
Aaron: Hey want me to make the salad?
Alex: Fuck no Aaron. You made it great that one time, but I think that salad was a fluke. I wouldn't trust you with another salad.
Aaron: Oh c'mon guys. That salad was the best salad you guys had ever had.
Derek: That maybe, but you had never made it before and if you make a bad salad the night is ruined. Just pour the cocktails.
Aaron: But I'm terrible at-
Shawn (to Mariano): Hey Mari, I know you're Panamanian, but why do I get the feeling we're the only real black people here? Where's Octavio?
Mariano: Who knows. He moved here and I haven't heard anything from him since. He doesn't return anyone's calls.
Aaron: I heard he was eight feet tall with flowing red hair and... and... he killed dragons!
Gary: I heard he could throw 110 miles an hour.
Derek: I guess we'll never know who the real Octavio Dotel is.
Mariano: I call making the cake.
Shawn: Granted. You may not make dessert like you used to, but you still make the best damn dessert in New York.
Mariano: I know. Hey Jorge, how's it going?
Jorge: Que?
Mariano: Jorge everyone knows you can speak English except Robby.
Jorge: Damn it! What gave it away?
Mike: Hey where's Joe?
Alex: There he is! Joe, how's it going!
(Enter Joe Torre. He walks right past Alex to Jorge.)
Jorge: Hey skipper.
Derek: Alright. So is everyone here? Let the pictionary commence!
Jason: Randy... nobody knows what that is.
Derek: Gosh, it sure is good to get everyone together like this.
Alex: I got the feeling this is the beginning of a beautiful community.

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Ow, That Hurts!

It hurts. Doesn't it?
Watching Victor Zambrano sprint off with the potential of impending TJ surgery, which would be his second?
Watching Darren Oliver get smacked around by Jeff Francoeur?
Leaving eight on base?
Failing to score against the weak Braves pen?
Having four of five relievers give up a run?
And despite that all of this seems to create a loss, it didn't.

Today's game was a crossroads for the new Mets. They had had a brilliant win the night before, despite futility in crunch time. They were buoyed by David Wright's clutch, however, and by Jose Reyes' 5-hit game. However, they return the next day with the staff's worst starter on the hill, dog tired from a long night of baseball. Fans of Mets both old and new are prepared for a game filled with disappointment and poorly-timed misexecutions. Instead, they won. Somewhat curiously, they mustered a far greater offensive effort against Huddy than they did last time they faced him. While he looked off his game, the Mets got hot. They had another big seventh inning. And despite a bullpen with a tired Sanchez and punching bags Wagner and Bradford, they got the job done. It wasn't a pretty, glamorous win. But at this point what is the relevance of glamour? On the heels of a four-game win streak, the Mets are 5 1/2 ahead of Philly (who has been on a six-game win streak) and nine ahead of Atlanta. While the season is in no way over, the Mets are sailing into the sky without any tragedies or impending doom. Once they complete their clash at Philly next week, the Mets will have played every team in the division. In the best-possible case scenario, they will finish that series 13 games ahead of the Tomahawk Choppers and 9 1/2 ahead of Philly. While this scenario is far from a guarantee, the following is true: The Mets are not to be dealt with lightly.

One final note: Many apologies for failing to post in a while... I think Alex is starting to rub off on me. But have total confidence that I'll happily cover the first series of the year between the Mets and the sole obstacle to their divisional supremacy. See you after tomorrow's game.



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Everything's Bigger in Texas

Listen closely children, for tonight, you will hear the story of the courageous Jason Giambi, otherwise known as:

First off, Jason Giambi is a man among men. He is the best player on the team at this point, thoroughly justifying his contract, and I happen to be an enormous fan. Kudos, I say, to the player of the month. Now for those of you wondering whether the whole world has forgotten Jason was on steroids, don't worry. It's still in the back of most people's mind. He cheated. However, at least he told the truth under oath, more than we can say for some other cough Raffy Palmeiro cough players. Then, when this little prissy rumor spreading 7th grader we call the judicial system goes and leaks grand jury testimony? Does Giambi bitch and moan? No, he takes it like a man. He works harder and recovers from his steroid induced injuries. He still struggles. Torre threatens to send him to AAA. Does Jason call a press conference to display his disgust, calling out management? Of course not. He once again works harder, gets his swing back, and now the man is getting on base every other at bat. He just is an ideal teammate, player, and person. And he made one mistake, granted. He told the truth, got screwed over, sucked it up, and kept right on truckin. Everyone turned on him, no one gave him a shot (yours truly included), and yet he's never bitter. Gotta love it. Schuyla says he's on HGH. I personally don't believe that, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Point being, the guy has a really high on-base percentage. I heart Jason Giambi. It's true. Pass your friend a note in gym class about it, because I want the world to know that I'm behind him. Don't fail me J-Giam.

.301/.532/.726 with 9 HR, 29 RBI

Slightly late notice: The Idiot's return to Fenway. Doy. It was a good game, not highlighted by Damon but as usual by Papi. Damon will never produce in Fenway. It's a fact that we're gonna have to come to grips with. With the Monster looming and former teammates and good memories left and right, I think that it might even be wise to stick Bernie in next time we head over there. Too many conflicting emotions = too many ohfer-somethings. He's proved me wrong for sure with his consistently above average play, but in Fenway, he's just not the same person. Can't blame the guy. He was the Idiot. Their Idiot. Somethings a haircut won't change, and that's the fact that Damon is a Red Sock first and a Yankee for now. He seems like a pretty good guy, I've got nothing terrible to say about him anymore, he's just a little confused. Because everytime he looks at Cocoa (whoops) Harris in center, he laughs. Just because it's funny to see Willie Harris try to play. Hahahaha. That's a good one. But every time he looks at the Monster he sees Manny going in to get some shade. And every time he sees Curt Schilling, he sees the sock. He's like some overattached woman who realized she had been going out with a prick for like 2 years and is unwilling to let go. If you catch my drift. It's alright John, we feel your pain. Even though he did only wanna get in your pants.

.309/.395/.509 with 4 HR, 18 RBI, 7 SB

I really am a fan of Zach Duke. He is really phemomenal. If only Pittsburgh could get something else. Nothing really to write, I just love the guy. I think he's got tenacity, work ethic, and most importantly, ridiculous stuff, and he's gonna be a big star.

(career numbers) 10-4, 2.33 ERA, 123 IP, 116 H, 2:1 SO:BB

20 Things I Learned About the Yankees in April: (belated edition)

1. That maybe I don't despise Johnny Damon after all.
2. That Robinson Cano will always be good but never be spectacular, and that's why we'll trade him.
3. That Mike Mussina is the best pitcher in the AL save Johan, who's off anyway.
4. That Curt Schilling and Josh Beckett really, really, deeply concern me.
5. That we have the best infield in baseball.
6. That Carl Pavano is even more of a pussy that anyone could possibly imagine, and that his pussydom is threatening to end humanity as we know it.
7. That our bullpen is an issue.
8. That Rivi is amazing, but you no longer actually feel like the game is over when he takes the mound with a lead.
7. That Gary Sheffield is kinda a bitch.
8. That anyone who thinks Derek Jeter is overrated is clinically ill, because apart from Tejada, he is the best all around shortstop in the league.
9. That there is little to no hope for Jaret Wright, although there is considerable hope for Pavano.
10. That Chien-Ming Wang (Wong) has a lot of learning to do before he's ready to be a good 3 pitcher.
11. That Aaron Small deserves the right to prove that although he may be terrible out of the bullpen, last year was no fluke.
12. That Octavio Dotel is missing, presumably dead, and on the back of milk cartons everywhere.
13. That Tanyon Sturtze woke up one day and realized he was Tanyon Sturtze.
14. That we can beat the teams we have to beat, but the good ones are a little bit more trouble.
15. That Joe Torre is a good guy and a good manager, but not everything he is cracked up to be.
16. That I have the utmost respect for Jorge Posada, but he is clearly over the hill. (however, keep him in, I love Georgie)
17. That Kyle Farnsworth is one crazy son of a bitch.
18. That Jason Giambi and Derek Jeter and not Alex Rodriguez and Randy Johnson will determine how far this team goes.
19. That the winner of the East(us) may not win 90 games, because of how everyone is beating up everyone else.
20. That Philip Hughes is the savior of our franchise, and that he must have some bigass shoulders to carry all that weight.

My Mets Hate List for the Day:
David Wright and his middle class values.
Trax and his 4 minute interval between each pitch.
Duaner and his goddamn lucky goggles.
Everyone on the team who grew a mustache. (here's looking at you Jose)
Willie Randolph and his increasing boldness as a manager.

Why I love myself:
Because I know that in late August the Mets will be sinking while the red-hot Braves pass them by. And Mets fans don't because they think it's their year. Laugh with me, bretheren, laugh with me.
Also, in a ridiculous turn of events, Cliff Floyd left TEN on base tonight. I literally just laughed out loud. Way to go Cliffy.

TB Wrap-Up: (short because I am sleepy)
Well we swept em. Good men. Johnson was shaky but as usual good enough. Jaret also pitched much better than I anticipated but nonetheless in my opinion has no future in the Bronx. That opener was a pretty good one and it allowed A-Rod to get out of that nasty funk. Derek Jeter was silent, contrary to what I believed would happen (still love you Derek, don't worry), while A-Rod, Bernie, Georgie, and Damon were all loud and clear. Offense was generally clicking, although getting shutdown by Casey Fossum was certainly an interesting/humbling/embarassing expereince. All in all I'm glad we didn't get stupid and let one slip away. Good momentum builder heading into a tougher series in Texas. Sorry for the lack of recap but this was a two game sweep of the Rays and it just doesn't seem to merit that much writing or thought. Definitely good wins, though, they're a pesky team even with their decimated roster.

Player of the Series: Damon
As much as I want to give it to Bernie, he left too many on base, whereas Damon was efficient, mostly with the GS. Out of Fenway and against weak pitching, Damon did what he had to do, and that was a 3 hit, 4 RBI series. Good stuff.

Spotlight on Derek Jeter tomorrow as I kill two birds with one stone (player of the week and 9th greatest Yankee of all time). Texas (kinda) preview coming as well. We already saw a dandy tonight, as Aaron, Kyle, and Mari screwed some stuff up. Good thing Vincent Padilla is so bad.
My eyes are closing as I type this.
Big upzzzzzzz

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Buc-ing Trends

After two games against the thoroughly underwhelming Washington Nationals, the Mets tonight begin another two-game series against another disappointing team. However, too much about these battles with the Nats is horribly bad news for the Mets. The team played poor baseball and several of the Mets' key hitters are in funks at the wrong times. Jose Reyes, the catalyst, David Wright, the all-around superstar, Carlos Delgado, the thumper, Cliff Floyd, the badass, and Kaz Masui, the Iron Chef are all in slumps. However, Paul lo Duca and Carlos Beltran both homered in last night's games after both smacking a long ball in the Braves series. X-Man has also been mired in a bit of a funk. Yet the Mets also failed to score more than one run against a pitcher whose ERA at High-A ball last year was 3.54. Gross. In this series the Mets will face the new-look Pittsburgh Pirates, who strangely enough have already begun planning for next year's new-look Pirates. More on Randall Simon's former employers in the breakdown.

Game 1: Wednesday, 7:10
Ian Snell, RHP (1-2, 5.79 ERA) vs. Pedro Martinez, RHP (5-0, 2.94 ERA)
  • Edge/Analysis: I'm utterly surprised I even asked myself this question. The National League's second-best pitcher so far this year squaring off against Ian Snell, who has been a disappointment as a hyper-prospect for the Bucs. While he has dominated the minor leagues in his career, he has had significant control problems in last year's big league stint, typified by his 24 walks in 42 innings. Disgraceful. Pedro, is, by the way, Pedro. Although let me set it in print that I expect a pitching duel, not a blowout. And, hang on, one last thing. Ian Snell looks like Pedro Feliciano.

    Pedro. Martinez, not Feliciano.

  • Game 2: Thursday, 7:10
    Paul Maholm, LHP (1-3, 5.86) vs. Tom Glavine, LHP (3-2, 2.29 ERA)
  • Edge/Analysis: Another hyper-prospect facing another member of the 200-win club. Unbelievable. And pardon me, but this fellow in particular really bothers me. Why, you ask? Because when I see P. Maholm, or hear people talk about him, I think of Pat Mahomes (former Met alert). Couple that with the fact that Mahomes' best season was his 8-0 1999 for the Metsies (in only 39 relief stints) and that Mahomes finished his career with the Pirates and you feel like you're in the Twilight Zone. But enough about his name. The Mets have been dominated in the past by pitchers they don't face frequently, including O'Connor's game on Tuesday. All things equal though, I like Glavine.

  • PIT Breakdown: Record- 8-20
    This team is bad. And when I say bad, I really am not joking. This team is paying for the services of the untalented, and fully washed-up Jeromy Burnitz. He's posted a .218 average with an ugly .255 OBP. Not even his six homers can offset the negative impact his inability to get on base has on the lineup. While Jack Wilson and Jason Bay have been successful at the dish this year, they have been unable to carry the weight of the entire lineup, including Chris Duffy's .197 average and Joe Randa's .221. Jose Castillo has also only mustered a .238 split. The offense was dealt a huge blow earlier this year, when it was announced that first-baseman/average machine Sean Casey would miss six to eight weeks with lower back fractures. This may have been a blessing in disguise, however, as thumper-in-chief Craig Wilson is now a starter, and playing well to boot, leading the team in HR (7), RBI (18), and slugging percentage (.630). The problem with this team is also that their entire starting rotation, with the partial exception of Zach Duke, who is 2-2 with a 3.46 ERA, has been terrible this year. Duke's strong stats were boosted by a recent complete game shutout of the anemic Chicago Cubs. The rest of the rotation consists of prospects and misfits. Former Brewer Victor Santos has been walloped to the tune of a 1-4 record with a 5.06 ERA. Oliver Perez, while screaming "Anything you can do I can do better!" at Santos, has a 1-4 record but with a far worse 7.53 ERA. Snell and Maholm, whose numbers are above, round out the disappointing group. Perez, after a strong first full season in the Steel City in 2004, broke his toe kicking a laundry cart in June 2005 after a terrible go of it last year up to that point. He missed the rest of the season. Contrary to popular opinion, Perez, who was acquired along with Jason Bay in 2003 in exchange for Brian Giles, had already played two seasons before 2004, making it more of a breakout season for him than a rookie one. Nevertheless, the Pirates' motley crew-tation has been giving up hits bigger than those of Motley Crüe this year. The bullpen, though, has been a bright spot for the Buccos, including hard-throwing lefties Mike Gonzalez and Damaso Marte and Met folk hero of yore Roberto Hernandez. Altogether, the Pirates are a bad team in a good division. They have been plagued by the hot starts of Cincinnati and Houston, the indomitable Cardinals, the sleeper Brewers and even the surprising Cubs. And in a six-team division, it doesn't help to be the only team without a positive adjective thrown their way aside from "young" or "low-payroll" or "small market."

    Players to Watch for:
    PIT: Jason Bay. This guy is good. Former Met on paper, he and his crew dominated the Mets last year. Though Bay was held in check for the most part, it's hard to forget the "Tike Redman Game," where Castro didn't hustle on the insurance run, then Heilman melted down and then Loopy couldn't stop throwing fastballs to Tike Redman. I also remember some unnecessarily circuitous route run to a ball by Floyd and a walk-off hit down the line by Humberto Cota. And, for the record, I did that without looking at any recap of the game. That's how vividly it still stings.

    NYM: Pedro Martinez. This guy can carry the Mets, and in a two-gamer, he can singllehandedly win us half the series. Here's hoping Petey can do it.

    Player of the Series: Pedro Martinez

    Picks: The Mets halve the series, taking Game 1 but failing to muster enough against Pat Mahomes Paul Maholm in the short-series finale.

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    Didja Miss Me?

    Let me preface this with a long-winded apology. Your whimsical correspondent Dyslexia has, for lack of better words, had a whole deal of crap on his plate lately. I haven't been a very faithful blogger, and for that I'm sorry. Because believe it or not, I love writing these articles almost as much as you absolutely adore reading them. Oh right and after whimsical I forgot to put something in about my boyish charm. Spilt milk. Moving on.
    I've gotta lot of catching up to do. Missed about 5 or 6 series, including this unforgettable one game series against the Mark Loretta's. August 18th is the make up date, so that'll be a 5 gamer. Juicy.
    So, in the coming weeks.
    My thoughts from around the league.
    Articles on Yankee news and prospects.
    Series previews and recaps.
    A revival of the player of the week, top 10 Yankees, and a new idea...
    In order to add to the drama of Crosstown Rivals, I've decided to put a little more oomph in to the rivals aspect. Hello smack talk. Look for periodical entries and why the Mets (and Sox to a lesser extent) suck. Schuyla doesn't know what's coming yet, but if he's smart, he'll fight back.
    Also, I'm about to start Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty. It's an Olney and looks to be good. It'll be painful, but no pain no gain I guess. Look for a review on Luckiest Man as well, by Jonathan Eig. CROSSTOWN RIVALS PROMOTES ADULT LITERACY! You remember that and buy some stuff.
    We've got a few coming up against Tampa, so roll preview. (also, later today look for my thoughts on the Idiot's Return, how freakishly good Jason Giambi is, Zach Duke, and other random thoughts.)

    New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Devil Rays

    Game 1: Wednesday, 7:15
    Starters: Jaret Wright (0-2, 7.20) vs. Casey Fossum (1-1, 6.11)
    Edge: Fossum. Jaret is just so unbelievably useless, I can't really find the right words to describe it. Guy has a bad year, okay. If he can't rehab over the winter, he's offically a bum. If he doesn't have a strong outing here, which I doubt he will, I am officially on the Aaron Small bandwagon. And it's not even like Fossum's any good. To quote Russell Crowe in that ship movie. 'When one must choose, choose the less of two weevils.' Look for an ugly game both pitching and defense wise. High scoring, no fun to watch.

    Game 2: Thursday 7:15
    Starters: Randy Johnson (4-2, 4.71) vs. Doug Waechter (0-1, 5.95)
    Edge: Johnson. He's good. Not as good as he used to be, and Moose should be our ace, but he's good. Just to let you know, he's on pace for 25 this year. Doug Waechter... notsomuch. Johnson has some rough history against the Rays, but whenever he starts we seem to put a lot across the plate. A dominant performance here would open a lot of eyes if he starts 5-2. Doug Waechter... notsomuch. Not to knock him or anything. Just you know. He's Doug Waechter for chrissakes. (patent pending)

    Game 3: O wait... never mind. Who came up with the idea for a 2 game series anyway?

    TB Breakdown: Record: 11-16, 5th, AL East

    Why is Jonny Gomes so good? It's not fair. I'd trade three Sheff's for him. Look at that beard, the way he doesn't have an h in his name. Oh, right and the 11 HR are pretty good too. However, as productive as Jonny is, you can't overlook Wigginton, Crawford, and Lugo... oh wait no 15 day DL, Baldelli... no. DL. Huff? DL. Cantu? Uh... better luck next time. The D-Rays are simply ravaged by injuries, probably moreso than any other team in the league. Lugo, Cantu, Huff and Baldelli are arguably 4 of their 6 best players. And now... the baseball gods are kicking them while they're down by giving them to the Yankees to toy with. Cruel. I know it's bold considering this is my 1st post in a while, but if we don't take both of these games, that is a serious foreshadowing that this team is not good enough to make a run in the playoffs, AND beat the bad teams they have to beat to even get there. They've got their 4 and 5 pitchers going up against us, and we need Jaret to keep improving and the Unit to lock em down. I never thought I'd say this about a 2 game series with the Rays in early May, but it's gut check time. Let's moider da bums. But from a less objective standpoint, the D-Rays are a little annoying. Some decent pitching from Kaz and Hendrickson have led them this far, as well as all those dingers Jonny seems to be hitting these days. Travis Lee has been absolutely dreadful. It's an embarrassment to baseball to watch him at the plate. He may have 4 HR's but he's... how you say... below the Mendoza line. Doy. The seemingly exciting aquisition of Sean Borroughs has fizzled. He may have all the talent in the world (except for a little for Jeff Nelson) but it just doesn't translate into consistent play on the field. Good move by the Pads movin him. Lesseee here, you put that altogether and you have an infield of Lee, Nick Green, Tomas(?) Perez, and Wigginton. In the immortal words of Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton, Something's Gotta Give. Either they'll be the worst infield in the league until Cantu and Lugo come back (likely), or these unlikely quadruplets will form a bond that no amount of adversity can break. (starring Kurt Russell as Joe Maddon). You be the judge. In spite of all this, they always seem to take 2 of 3 of us at critical junctions, no matter how bad they are. We all know how good Gomes is, and from what I've heard from my resident Met fan, we all know how good Wigginton is too. Uh... I feel like I have to wash myself. Look for a close high scoring opener and a defiant drubbing in the closer. Let's get some predictions on the horn.

    Jaret Wright will not give up more than five runs. But he won't go more than 5 innings either.
    Derek Jeter will be very, very good.
    Jonny Gomes will not a HR this series, but he will have 3 plus RBI's.
    Carl Crawford will be ineffective.
    Toby Hall will not.
    Johnny Damon will be very, very loud this series, now that he's out of the shadow of the Monster.
    The Unit will get roughed around, but it will not matter, because A-Rod will have more than 3 RBI's in the game he starts.
    Tampa Bay's bullpen will look good to start but by the 8th will crack.
    We will sweep. (I hope.)

    Players to Watch For:
    Jonny Gomes (duh): Heeeeeeereeeeessssss Jonny! Can't wait for the 1st time Berman says that. Or has he said it already? 0= Great but not eyecatching series for Sir Gomes.
    Alex Rodriguez: Look for him to break out of his so called slump with a very strong closing game.

    Player of the Series:
    Derek Jeter
    It seems like it's been a while since DJ did anything spectacular, but he's still a great player nonetheless. He'll show dams SI what's what. Schuyla comes to me w/ the news that DJ has been voted most overrated player in the league? Excuse my language, please, but that's a fucking travesty. Show em what you can do DJ, show em what you can do. A few pesky at-bats, a few opposite field HR's, and a few great defensive plays later, you'll be the player of the series. Don't forget him pinstripe faithful, he's still wearing the C.

    20 Things I learned about the Yanks in April.
    Thoughts on Giambi, Damon, and this youngfella over in PIT who I kinda like. ANd maybe if you're lucky, a review of Luckiest Man by Jonathan Eig.

    Let's crack some skulls, fellas.

    Aixelsyd (I crack myself up)

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    National Treasure

    Beginning on Monday, the Mets will meet the District's pride at Shea in a freakishly short two game series. This tiny series bothers me, mostly because there's yet another two-game long caravan rolling into town after the Nats are finished. That photo up there is the mugshot of Nationals GM Jim Bowden who has had a rough go of it lately. More on that in my summary of baseball's youngest club.
    This will also be another important series for the Mets in the long term as we will finally get to see the non-Julio part of the Kris Benson trade. The U.S.S. Maine hopefully will deliver for the Orange and Blue. At present, he is also not on the roster. Expect another demotion for Victor Diaz, or, please, the release of Jose Valentin.

    Game 1: Monday, 7:10
    Ramon Ortiz, RHP (0-3, 6.75 ERA) vs. Victor Zambrano, RHP (1-2, 9.64 ERA)
  • Edge/Analysis: This game is an embarrassment to pitching, dare I say to baseball altogether. Ortiz is bad, Victor Zambrano is puke-drippingly bad, Ortiz is Coors Field bad, Victor Zambrano is Little League 200 foot fences bad. You probably get the picture. Ortiz.

  • Game 2: Tuesday, 7:10
    Michael O'Connor, LHP (0-1, 0.00 ERA) vs. John Maine, RHP (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
  • Edge/Analysis: I don't have a horse in this race, mostly because these are two young pitchers without much major-league experience. However, it's not as though they're Felixes or Kazmirs. They're basically John Maine and Michael O'Connor. O'Connor, to his credit, put up a relatively good start in a losing cause to the Cardinals last Thursday in his major league debut. That being said, I'm hoping for Maine to make a Matt Ginter/Mike Bacsik/Tyler Yatesque first impression. Maine.

  • WAS Breakdown: Record- 8-17
    This team reeks of problems. That is to say there are a lot of problems with this team. Word association? Problems. If you didn't say Washington Nationals, then I have a problem with you. They have very little offensive output from people who are not Alfonso Soriano, Jose Vidro and Nick Johnson. And, due to a complete and total lack of a leadoff hitter, Sori has batted leadoff occasionally this year. Highly touted rookie Ryan Zimmerman has failed to produce in his first full season (despite that massive homer he hit off Wags) and Royce Clayton and Marlon Byrd are actually seeing regular playing time. Add that to the fact that veteran catcher Brian Schneider didn't cross the Mendoza line until this weekend and that cleanup hitter Jose Guillen only has 7 RBI and now you've started to broach the depths of this team's troubles. But I would be remissed if I failed to mention how disappointing their pitching has been. Ace Livan Hernandez's problems from the second half of last year have carried over, as he sports a 1-3 record with a 5.49 ERA at this point in the season. Tony Armas has been the bright spot of the rotation, rebounding from injuries and inconsistency to post a 2-2 mark with a 2.76 ERA. John Patterson, last year's dominating National, is already injured and Ryan Drese's returning starts from injury have both been losses. Don't forget about disappointing performances from Ramon Ortiz and Zach Day. Now you can start to grasp some of their starting rotation troubles. While closer Chad Cordero, super-humanly tall former Expo Jon Rauch, and, wait for it, set-up man MIKE STANTON have been effective out of the pen, the rest of the relievers have been disappointments. Comeback hero and lefty specialist Joey Eischen, who the Mets pursued over the offseason, has been hit hard and has had control problems to the tune of a 10.38 ERA in 12 games. Last year's consisten workhorse Gary Majewski has fallen off pace with a 4.96 ERA in 13 games, though some believe that to be a function of overpitching in the World Baseball Classic. Couple that with the fact that Frank Robinson has so few trusted options and starters who can't go deep into games and this team has a chance of total and utter collapse by midseason. Jim Bowden, however, has gathered some apparent vindication for his moves in trading for Alfonso Soriano, giving Marlon Anderson a two-year contract and sending Ryan Church down to AAA to start the season. This is because he was probably intoxicated during the entire process. Bowden was recently collared on charges of DUI and domestic violence, both which are probably direct causes of watching the Nationals play so far. Expect this twisted saga and scenario to work out in a weird little way.

    Players to Watch for:
    WAS: Alfonso Soriano. Against two pitchers in Maine and Zambrano without excellent
    track records? Sori's getting ready to blast a bunch.

    NYM: Cliff Floyd. He needs to put something up so not to disappoint. And even the Braves announcers put it correctly during this past series: Cliff's gonna hit near .300 and drive in 90 runs. It's only a matter of time before he gets to that pace. It's your turn now, Cliffy. Get hot!

    Player of the Series: Cliff Floyd

    Picks: Tiny brooms out at home as the Mets sweep away the Nationals in a pair of close games.

    Instead of prognostications, I wanted to put up a feature shamelessly stolen from the Jeff Francoeur Fan Club over at Talking Chop.

    20 Things We Learned From the First Month of the Season

    1. David Wright is the real deal. He can carry this team.
    2. Carlos Delgado can carry this team as well. But he's also incredibly prone to the strikeout.
    3. Pedro Martinez doesn't need arm strength or a shoe to be the ace he can be.
    4. Tom Glavine's resurgence is a necessary blessing.
    5. Brian Bannister will not be able to hold his own against MLB hitters until he can learn how to control his pitches.
    6. The team's best reliever: Duaner Sanchez.
    7. Billy Wagner does not have the hyper-velocity he wants, but his slider is nasty enough that he doesn't need it.
    8. Cliff Floyd is starting slowly and appears to be more sluggish than last year.
    9. Ramon Castro is this team's best catcher: offensively and defensively.
    10. Paul Lo Duca isn't bad either.
    11. Rickey Henderson's lessons helped Jose Reyes take walks. They haven't helped him hit for a higher average or steal more bases.
    12. Carlos Beltran is better than advertised, or at least the way he was advertised by Mets fans during last year.
    13. You should never let current Mets brass anywhere near a recording studio.
    14. Xavier Nady is a really streaky hitter. He can be good, he can be bad, but the best way to describe him is inconsistent.
    15. The Mets are in no rush to call up Lastings Milledge, even when the situation might be perfect for his arrival.
    16. Wille Randolph lacks confidence in Chad Bradford and Jorge Julio.
    17. The signing of Julio Franco was huge. Bigger than any of us thought it could be.
    18. The signing of Jose Valentin was a huge mistake. Also bigger than any of us thought it could be.
    19. Anderson Hernandez cannot hit major league pitching. Kaz Matsui can.
    20. The Mets are the best team by leaps and bounds in the National League East, and, maybe, just, maybe, in all of the National League.

    Beat them Nats! Beat them Nats!

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    You can't win them all...

    ...but you can win this one.

    Today was a winnable game. Steve Trachsel was disappointing when he filled in for Victor Zambrano. And it bothers me to a degree because at least when Victor loses, he loses. You see numbers like 9 BB, 6 HR, 12 ER, 4 HBP. Trachsel just had an ugly day from the get-go, where he just couldn't get Braves hitters out. And this is one of the things that troubles me about this Mets rotation. When Pedro and Glavine don't pitch, it's basically a crapshoot. Who can score more runs? Who can have better long/middle relief? I like Darren Oliver. I like Jorge Julio, and, aside from that moonshot to Frenchie, he was nasty today. But Trachsel was terrible. Kyle Davies was not good either. And despite all of these problems with our rotation, the game was totally winnable. Tying runs came up many times, with a severe threat in the ninth inning quelled by the not-so-intimidating Chris Reitsma. This is a game that the New Mets should win. A game to sweep all the skeletons out of the Turner Field closet. Instead, a little bit of vintage Mets. A winnable game slipping away from the hands of a team on a roll. A bad day for Kaz Matsui, the first since before his hot 2005 September, marred an incredible game from Jose Reyes. J-Rey walked three times. Carlos Delgado had his second straight sub-par game. I don't know really what to say-- but I think it's probably a cliché. One something along the lines of "Each loss only counts once." I hope so.

    I cheated on the Mets a little this weekend. In fact, I've been cheating on the Mets for a while now.
    I watched the NFL draft and part of me booed when they took D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold. I watched the destruction of the Franchise Formerly Known As The New York Rangers this week as well. It was ugly. But now my interest will remain unfettered. Series preview for both peculiar two-game long series next week. Washington, Pittsburgh and Atlanta are coming to Shea. See you then.

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