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Regarding today's win...

The Mets were awesome today. I originally feared another loss, due to the slightly above replacement level production of Julio Franco, Ramon Castro and Paul Lo Duca and below replacement level production of Chris Woodward in the lineup, while facing the resurgent Big Eunuch.
Instead, things turned out pleasantly. It was apparent from the get-go, as the patented 2006 Mets production took hold in the first inning. Reyes got on with something that wasn't really a hit, followed by good, solid contact from Lo Duca and the big RBI hit from the big boys.
David Wright gapped the two-run double, and from there everything went the Mets' way. Trachsel pitched well enough and worked his way out of a few jams, while the bulk of the lineup was contributing, despite the absences of Floyd, Valentin and Delgado and the presence of an overrated and powerless hitter at DH.
It was the first in the Mets' last five games, after a crushing sweep from the Red Sox.
And after it, though, I didn't feel so bad. I figured that it was going to happen eventually, despite the success of the 2006 Mets.
And there were also World Cup games on TV. And the NBA draft. And free agency starting up in the NBA and NHL.
So, now's a good time for the Mets to get hot again. Especially with the young Marlins hot on their trail at 11 games behind.
Seriously, though, Willie needs to learn that the Duck is not Mike Piazza. He's not Javy Lopez. Hell, he's hardly even former Met utilityman Luis Lopez. Despite his struggles against lefties, it would make a lot more sense to DH Cliff Floyd or even Jose Valentin. The move paid off today but it didn't really serve much purpose against the Sawx.
Julio Franco? I know you think, just because you should be in a nursing home, that you can do everything, but don't try to become the closer by screwing Wagner over.
He had to field that bad throw because if the Yankees somehow turned it into a rally, the WFAN callers would be up in arms about what a bum he was.
Julio's fault.
On another note, did anyone boo when Derek Jeter grounded into that double play today? Of course not.
Because he's "clutch".

Tomorrow: Sunday night is Soler Night! Righties drink free!

let's go mets.


Why I hate Pedro Martinez

It might surprise you to hear this, granted the quick words I penned before Wednesday night's game.

And while that's all true, there's another side of the coin.

Pedro has problems. I went to his last start against the Reds and I saw him throw a bunch last year, including a masterpiece at Shea against the Yankees, so conveniently wrecked by my good friends Mr. Koo, Roberto "I can pitch 20 days in a row, put me in Coach!" Hernandez and Mike "Crossbow" DeJean.
Doug Mientkiewicz, Eric Valent and Miguel Cairo started for the Mets on this day.
John Flaherty, Tony Womack and Rey Sanchez graced the Yanks' starting lineup. Tino Martinez and Ruben Sierra pinch-hit.

I saw him pitch in that "easy day at the office" game against the Braves, where he looked dominant despite having no velocity.
Mike Cameron homered and the Mets also had a doubles parade.

But recently, Pedro just hasn't been Pedro anymore. And I know so many people are saying this, with myself probably the least informed among them, but please. This man is an injured wreck.

There's the nagging toe; there's the hip he hurt while slipping and falling in Miami. Maybe we should sign him to a 5 year, $50 million extension after he gets a hip replacement, like the Knicks did with Larry Brown. And of course Pedro always has other ailments as well, including that always troublesome shoulder.

Will Carroll of the outstanding Under the Knife column at Baseball Prospectus wrote: "There hasn’t been much discussion of Pedro Martinez and his problematic toe since the World Baseball Classic went into the history books. Martinez has been good--better than his record shows--despite the toe and a cascading hip problem. Martinez has been working with bullpen coach Guy Conti on changes to his delivery, trying to both take stress off the right (push) hip and make sure that he’s not adding stress to his shoulder." (UTK: 6/20, subscription required) And so that might do the trick.

Recently Pedro has shown a deficiency in control as well, as his breaking balls fall off the plate, his fastballs tend to sail on him and the changeups which were so effective for him earlier this year and throughout his entire career have either been hit when he misses in the strike zone or taken as balls when he misses outside of the strike zone.

A man who I have no respect for probably snickered in the skyboxes today watching Pedro pitch. He decided that Curt Schilling was a better fit than Pedro, despite him being older than Petey, in far poorer shape and obviously a worse pitcher. He supplanted the hardly dominant Casey Fossum with Schilling and then executed his plan to put his own stamp on the team, ridding Boston of Derek Lowe and Pedro. His name? Theo Epstein. Their replacements? David Wells and Matt Clement, neither of whom are in the Red Sox' rotation at present.

I totally side with Pedro on him resenting Epstein for picking Schilling as the pitching face of the franchise. Who knows Epstein's reasoning? He gave Schilling the big contract extension. Maybe they were doing it because they thought Pedro was an injury risk. Maybe they thought a white ace would go over better in a city with Boston's ethnic makeup. A fat white man who plays online video games. That's what they wanted. And that's what they got. Maybe there's no racial angle to this at all.

But the Red Sox saw their "business decision" pay off tonight, as Pedro choked in the clutch, just looking off on the mound, as well as in the field where he turned a surefire double play ball into a single force out. And that would have been enough, were it not for Firstings' issues in the field.

I wanted a sweep. I wanted to cut and run. I wanted to salvage the reputation of the National League in interleague play. Instead, the best the Mets will do is avoiding a sweep. And that's not a given, with Red Sox ace Schilling twirling his craft tonight.

My thought would be to sideline Pedro until the All-Star Break right now. The Mets have a massive lead in the division. There's no need at all to make him keep pitching through the pain, especially when he manages a mere three-inning effort, potentially taxing the bullpen if not for the heroics of Darren Oliver.

Omar, if you read this, that's my idea. Bring up the Water Main(e) or Evan MacLane (not bats in the pelfrey though) and let him take Pedro's spot until the break. Maybe they can also put a little heat on the asses of Trachsel, Soler and El Duque.

It's worth a shot.

ps: for the record, i still love pedro martinez. don't be deceived by the title of this post.


the day of drama.

It's as simple as this.

I love Pedro Martinez.
He's the best.


Cut and Run

Official Memorandum
From: Schuyla' (zookman12@yahoo.com)
To: New York Metropolitans Baseball Club
CC: Everyone
BCC: Jose Reyes, David Wright
Subject: Cut and Run

It is time, my boys.
It's been a long time coming.
The Mets haven't played the Red Sox (pronounced Sawks) since July 14, 2001. The game, recapped here, was a win for the Mets highlighted by Glendon Rusch's ten strikeouts.
The Mets haven't visited Boston and Fenway Park (pronounced Pahk) since losing two in a three-game set in 2000.
The winning pitchers in those games? Rich Garces, after Benitez blew up, Pat Mahomes, Met legend, and Pedro's big brother Ramon.
Garces is long gone due to a penchant for overeating, Mahomes is twirling his craft for the Long Island Ducks and Ramon Martinez is living in retirement after finishing his career up in 2001 with the Pirates.
Who started those games for the Mets?
Immortals Bobby Jones (the caucasian one), Glendon Rusch (again!?) and Mike Hampton.
You know where they are. Rusch is pitching incredibly poorly for the Cubs; Hampton is sitting out the year on the Braves' dime after TJ surgery; and Jones retired in 2002 after two unimpressive seasons with the Padres.
So what does this all mean?
It means how far both squads have come. The Red Sox' sole holdover is catcher Jason Varitek, while the longest-tenured Met is Steve Trachsel, who joined the team in 2002.
The climate has changed, as well. The Mets made the World Series in 2000, but have toiled in the mediocrity of 2001 and 2005 with abysmal seasons in between. The Red Sox captured a World Series and broke the so-called curse, but not until after they had been crushed by the bat of Aaron Boone and the slow hand of Grady Little.
Now, though, the Mets are the best team in the National League, if not in all of baseball. They've great sluggers like Carloses Beltran and Delgado, David Wright. They have back-to-back NL Player of the Week Jose Reyes, aka one of the worst everyday players in the big leagues according to Rob "I'm an idiot and I hate the Mets" Neyer. And then they have the big three two of Glavine and Pedro. And of course, there's Wagner waiting for you at the end game.
So what to do in this three game series, my Metly readers?
Cut and run, that's what.
We won't be seeing these colorful stockings for a long while, at least not until their turn comes up again in interleague play, and that, my friends, allows us to beat them without the fear. It allows Pedro to drill whoever he damn well pleases, like David Ortiz, who famously remarked "Pedro ain't going to no Mets." He can peg Manny Ramirez, who pulled his trade request off the table before his colorful hair and colorful personality could join the Flushing corps. Even though they were his best friend and fellow Dominicanos.
It allows Tom Glavine to change things up (pun entirely intended) and firebomb the Sawx unafraid of them hitting anything he can throw. It's been a while since they've seen him and it will be a while longer.
And it's time for the Mets to pound the Red Sox.
Make up for the humiliation of the National League, the league that plays baseball correctly, the league without those damn Kelly Stinnetts.
It needs to be a sweep.
Even if Alay Soler can't speak English, he best know how to sweep.
Pedro knows sweeps well. As does Tommy Glavine.
Pedro swept the Cards in the 2004 World Series. Glavine was swept by the Chad Curtises in 1999.
And the Sawx are in the middle of the Mets' master plans.
Because their time has come.
And, readers, don't even get me started about the Yankees.
Did you hear the newest Yankee joke?
What happened when Bob Cano strained his left hamstring and got put on the DL?
Miguel Cairo found a starting job and Nick Green was called up.

On a more serious note, an infamous punching bag of mine, Peter Gammons, was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm today. I am unaware of the severity of the condition, according to a neurosurgeon I know (my father), it seems as though Gammons is fortunate that he was able to be rushed to a Boston hospital in time for emergency surgery. Sources tell Crosstown Rivals that Gammons is expected to be in intensive care for approximately two weeks. No word on when he'll return to writing or to ESPN. As usual, our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Gammons and his family.

While not nearly as serious, the upcoming Mets-Sawx series is all about making a statement. And the statement is that the Mets are ready and willing to cut and run.