Hope this is ok…
I’m trying to figure out what caused the current curse that is clearly responsible for the rash of injuries that have decimated the Mets’ season. To do so, I’m going to rehash our team’s history from 2005 through present, specifically with regard to injuries, luck (or lack thereof), and karma.
Following the end of the Met’s dreadful Steve Phillips/Art Howe era, Omar Minaya took over in 2005 to create ‘The New Mets,’ and pushed really hard to change the perception of the Mets as NYC’s second-banana baseball team. To do so, Minaya signed Pedro and Beltran, unveiled the official breakout seasons of Reyes and Wright, and benefitted from the last productive years by Cliff Floyd and Mike Piazza, all under new manager Willie Randolph (‘a real winner’…aka a Yankee).
With that momentum of legitimacy, Minaya went all-in in 2006, signing Delgado, Wagner, and Lo Duca. And in 2006 the Mets were AWESOME. They had the division wrapped up in June. It was a truly magical time, when a talented and fun-to-watch team helped capture the hearts and minds of thousands of bandwagon fans. The feeling was captured in song with this timeless anthem .
But it was in the second half of 2006 when the symptoms of the current injury curse began. It had the same freakish qualities of this year’s pandemic…Pedro slipped in the bathroom and injured his hip, knocking him out for the next calendar year, and Duaner Sanchez got in a freak taxi accident, prompting the Mets to trade (cheap and excellent) RF Xavier Nady to the Pirates for (head-case) Oliver Perez and replacement set-up man Roberto Hernandez. They also picked up washed-up RF Shawn Green, who didn’t do anything but provide Steve ‘the Shmooze’ Somers the opportunity to speak in Yiddish more often on WFAN. And of course, just as the playoffs were set to begin, Orlando Hernandez was knocked out of commission with a bum leg…because he was 72 (American) years old (only 34 in Cuban years).
So the Mets finished the rest of the season respectably, but a bunch of the pieces that caused them to be so dominant early on were gone. The year’s final series, with the Cardinals, was epic and heartbreaking. NO ONE imagined we could lose Game 7 after the Endy Chavez catch (which ranks among the most memorable epic sports moments that ultimately didn’t matter) and Beltran at the plate with bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th. People seem to forget that our playoff rotation was Tom Glavine, rookie John Maine, and crazy Oliver Perez. Imagine it had been Pedro, Glavine, and playoff assassin El Duque? No question we would’ve beaten the Cardinals, and then the Tigers in the World Series.
I don’t need to go into the details of the last two seasons’ collapses, but they have been travesties, and last year’s Ryan Church concussions + this year’s DL explosion have really been spooky. If I were Johan Santana, David Wright, and K-Rod, I’d spend every off-field second in body armor a la ‘Project Grizzly.’
Looking back again to 2005, I think this curse can be attributed to Mike Cameron. Remember in ’05 when Beltran and Mike Cameron, two natural center fielders sharing the same outfield, smashed faces at like 20 MPH and Beltran somehow walked away fine and Cameron had to get a new skull, with the Mets releasing him as soon as the season ended?
Well right now, Cameron’s having a great season for the somehow good Brewers, while nearly every Mets All-Star since that day is currently on the DL. It’s a simple case of karmic payback.
So how do we fix it? Re-sign Mike Cameron and let him smash Beltran’s face? Re-sign Kris Benson so Cameron can have a shot at Anna? Who knows. In the meantime, try to have a good Summer. I’ll be waiting eagerly for football season to start.
December 11, 2008
The Mets have been doing the right thing over the past few days, taking drastic measures to address their greatest weakness: their bullpen. With Billy Wagner likely out all of next year with a bum elbow, the Mets signed Francisco “K-Rod” Rodriguez who, despite a slip in performance from previous years, still managed to set the single-season saves record last year.
The Met’s next move, and some might argue the much more important one, was a three-team deal resulting in the acquisition of middle reliever Sean Green (not to be confused with our old friend Shawn Green), outfielder Jeremy Reed, and most importantly, former All-Star closer J.J. Putz (…seriously, that’s his name…) to set-up K-Rod.
Even though Putz has one of the most unfortunate pudding-chins in sports, if he can come close to regaining his form from 2006 and adjust to the role of set-up man instead of closer, the Mets’ bullpen suddenly becomes a great strength. Not to mention an additional improvement because part of the deal was getting rid of Aaron Heilman.
Now here, my friends, is the rub. Believe it or not, neither the Mariners nor the Indians (the two other teams in the deal) were willing to give us these players solely in exchange for the one guy we most wanted to get rid of (Heilman). To get you’ve got to give….and in total, the Mets will end up saying goodbye to six players, two of whom are very good. It’s for these two players in particular that I’d like to take the time to bid a fond farewell.
First is Joe Smith. Smith isn’t a huge loss, but I always liked him, he was our most dependable reliever last year, AND he used to play for the Cyclones. Joe Smith, I salute you. Have fun in Cleveland. If they make Major League 3, you’ll be the star.
Now HERE, my friends, is the very…very…very hard part.
I’m not going to rant and rave, or try to put into words what this man has meant to us over the past three years, I’m simply going to kiss him on the lips and say goodbye…
Endy Chavez, you will always be a Met to me.
Farewell, sweet prince.
April 1, 2008
As predicted yesterday, Santana and the rest of the Mets DOMINATED the Marlins run after run, inning after inning, in handsomeness. (and runs scored)
Our boys have slimmed down a bit and are looking, if I may say it, more adorable than ever.
Well, maybe not adorable. David Wright, all-American corn boy, was looking edgier last night. Mooseknuckle thinks that maybe “Living in Chelsea is starting to get to him.”
David Wright poses with Brooklyn Skeptic contributors. From left: Mooseknuckle, Plainclothesman (standing), Johnbaptisedme, Recklesley (standing), Pizappas, Oneiroi.
It’s a rough life.
Maybe it’s just the top button of his uniform undone that has me undone, but DW was looking good.
Let’s take a look at the new and old faces, shall we?
Carlos Delgado is back, baby! During Spring Training he got cut in the arm by a shard of broken bat and needed 4 stitches. He is OK now. And he shaved his goatee and just has a msutache now. But he doesn’t look gay. Impressive.
Paul Lo Duca is… gone. Very sad. So is Lastings Milledge. Slightly less sad, for the time being. I watched the game last night at a place with 2 giant screens next to each other, and next to the Mets game was Lo Duca and Milledge! Because now they are on the Nationals together. They won. Good boys.
So, our new catcher is Bill Pullman.
I mean, Brian Schneider. OK, so I want to like him. I do. And I hear that he’s a good catcher. Like, he makes pitchers better. This is what Mooseknuckle says. The thing is… I came into the game in the end of the 4th inning, and I saw him drop a ball that led to the Orioles getting on-base! And, I don’t mean to be a jerk, but the other side of the handsomeness coin is… less handsomeness. I guess that every grizzled old man brings out more of the youthful vivacity of the others? Every group needs a Danny Wood, you know?
I don’t know. Maybe Washington just didn’t agree with him, though, and the Mets clubhouse will be like a rejuvenating spa visit. We’ll see.
OK, back to handsome-town.
Are you ready for your new heartthrob?
Hello, Angel Pagan. Deliciously dichotomous name.
Here’s his official MLB photo:
Thank GOD he shaved that off. What? It is like he dipped his chin in a bowl of chocolate pudding. Boys, if this is not a testament to the fact that changing your hair can change your life, then I do not know what is.
Stay tuned for more in-depth investigations of this year’s team!
March 31, 2008
A mere 25 minutes before the Mets’ opening game against the Marlins, let’s take a moment to give thanks for another season of the Mets, and another season of Mets Update for Girls.
1. Baseball Players are Good Boys.
2. The Devil’s in the Details.
3. Phallic Symbols are no Fallacy, or Sex Sells.
You know, more or less.
But come on. These are the pitchers going head-to-head.
Cutie-Patootie newly minted Met Johan Santana…
And this guy. Mark Hendrickson.
Since they haven’t actually played yet, all we can go on are eyes, skin tone, and facial hair grooming. And I think it’s clear that Santana sends all those CLEAN OVER THE PLATE.
January 30, 2008
Good news: WE GOT JOHAN SANTANA! I mean, we will get him, when we pay him all of our money. But still, this is amazing! And man, what a relief…
For those not in the know, I won’t get into the minuteae of Santana’s amazingness (2 Cy Young Awards, Pro win-loss record of 99-44, etc.)…I’ll stick with what we know, and that is…
On the handsomest team in baseball, this cuteypie will be a welcome addition.
LET’S GO METS!!!!!
October 26, 2007
Well, now it’s the post season and Mets fans might find themselves with a little bit of extra time on their hands. You know what makes those hours fly by? Road trip!
Swing on down to the Dirty Jerz in early November for a screening of a new film by Joseph Coburn and Katherine Foronjy about the Mets, their fans, and “their roller coaster ride of emotion through the 2006 playoffs.”
New Jersey Film Festival at Rutgers University
November 09, 2007 – 7:00 PM
November 10, 2007 – 7:00 PM
November 11, 2007 – 7:00 PM
Rutgers University – Scott Hall #123
43 College Avenue – Near the corner of College Avenue and Hamilton Street
College Avenue Campus
New Brunswick, New Jersey
Playoffs Update for Recovering Mets Fans (OR, The Glass is Always Half Full When God Hates Your Enemies)
October 9, 2007
Now that some time has passed and I’ve taken the proverbial gun out of my proverbial mouth, I’ve started to be able to once again find the good things in every day life. And even though the Mets handed themselves a historically unprecedented tushie-flop out of the playoffs over the last three weeks of the season, September baseball has provided Mets fans with a few things to smile about and a few reasons to continue believing that God, despite it all, continues to be a Mets fan.
I’ll start with the smaller of two miracles which God sent down to cheer up Mets fans in our worst time of mourning since the “let’s trade Scott Kazmir for Victor Zambrano” years. This minor miracle was the putrid, wretched, butt-hole flavored Philadelphia Phillies getting absolutely destroyed in the first round of the playoffs.
This is not really a miracle…the miraculous part is that their unsightly demise came at the hands of another blunder from the post-Bobby Valentine, pre-Omar Minaya era, Mets outcast Kaz Matsui (now the second baseman for the Colorado Rockies). Representing the first thing he’s ever given Mets fans to be happy about, Kaz buried the Phillies with a double, a triple and a GRAND SLAM…and that was all just in Game 2! Overall, he batted .412 with 6 RBIs in the 3-game series (in his career with the Mets he batted .256). Way to go, you adorable, over-priced jerk.
And then of course there’s our old cross-town rivals the Yankees. Now, I don’t hate the Yankees like some other Mets fans do (the “FUCK THE YANKEES” chants are one of my biggest Shea Stadium pet-peeves…but I’ll save my explanation for another off-season post). My interest in the Yankees’ post-season woes has more to do with the religious references I’ve been making.
For anyone who hasn’t heard, one of the reasons the Yankees lost their series against the Cleveland Indians, is that in their second game of the series, up by a score of 1-0 in the 8th inning with arguably their best pitcher (Joba Chamberlain) on the mound, the Yankees were attacked by a swarm of insects.
WHAT?! Are you kidding me? How can that be real? With the exception of a dove flying in the path of a 100-mph Randy Johnson fastball and EXPLODING and a goose flying into Fabio’s face, I have never heard of a more outrageous animal-related baseball vs. universe freakout in my life (p.s. – I know Fabio’s not a baseball player, but come on, whose day doesn’t get a little brighter remembering that this happened?)
So, yes, apparently the Cleveland Indians and a few Mets and Red Sox fans spoke to a burning bush and, like the tyrannical Pharoah before them, the Yankees were swarmed by a plague of locusts (or something).
So that’s it. See ya later Joe Torre (you’re welcome to become Willie Randolph’s bench coach, in my book). Have a nice retirement, Roger Clemens. Enjoy your money-bin and transvestite prostitutes, A-Rod (what? Yes, I said it.)
The Mets’ season may have ended with a historic collapse, but at least it wasn’t Biblical. Yikes.
October 8, 2007
Even though it was devastating to get kicked out of the post-season, the Mets got a little comeuppance this week when God himself rained fire and brimstone upon the Yankees.
This game, it was insane to watch. Shortly after the flood lights turned on to illuminate a game I couldn’t possibly have cared less about, these disgusting little bugs – “Canadian Soldiers,” according to the announcer – invaded the field. There were millions of them. It looked like it was snowing. Joba Chamberlain, who I hear is generally unflappable, pretty much lost his mind while a layer of bugs landed and remained on his face, neck and hat. Sitting inside, watching on HD, my skin was crawling. Not even a Yankee deserves that.
But anyway, not that that game was related to the Mets at all, but I think that was just God’s way of expressing displeasure at the state of Major League Baseball in which the Mets could fail so miserably.
Undisputed winner: Off! Bug Repellent. I’ve never seen so much free advertising in my life.
Undisputed loser: The Yankees. But even though I hate them, they probably would have won without the bugs.
October 1, 2007
So I had all sorts of grand plans to introduce my posting at this blog, outline what my style would be, etc, but alas the Mets have lost and this is all I can muster. There will maybe be some intermittent posting through the off-season but this’ll have to do for a while.
How This Makes Us Feel
Take a look a this kitten. Look for awhile, really take it in. Adorable little paws, cute little pleading eyes, etc. Cute and defenseless.
Okay, now imagine this is your kitty. You wouldn’t entrust this kitty to the care of anyone but yourself, especially not a stranger. However, as time goes by you start dating this guy and while he has his flaws (maybe a little flaky) he certainly seems nice, well intentioned, and at least outwardly competent. After a while you finally start to trust him around your kitty. You see that while he is a little oafish and rougher in handling than you’d like, they make an adorable match (kind of like Koko the Gorilla and the kitten). It warms your heart to watch his well-meaning and earnest, though clumsy handling of this fragile defenseless little thing. So later on, you have to go away for the weekend and you are feeling like taking the little “big step” of letting him take care of the cat while you’re gone. You worry a bit. Will he miss feeding him? Will he let the litter box become rancid? Will he terrify the hell out of it by chasing it around the apartment? But you soon assuage these fears, because even if he does, it’ll be alright. It’s just a few days how bad could he mess up, he’s a nice guy, a normal guy, right? Well, wrong. Because in this particular scenario, before you can even leave the apartment, he gets all Lenny from Mice of Men on you, picks up the kitty and breaks it neck all while you are forced to watch, helpless to do anything.
So to recap, how does this make us feel? Well I would suggest you scroll up and look at the little cute kitty again. Done? So the kitty is symbolic of a Mets fan’s hope for the 2007 season (or alternatively the division lead that they had, but you novices never mind that), and the murder of this kitty, well, it makes us feel sad, mad, frustrated, confused, angry, etc, etc, etc. I mean not only did you lose kitty (tragic) but also you had thought you had found one of those rare nice guys (2007 version of the Mets) and he turns out to be total freak (oh no, not again!). Mostly you ask yourself, “why? All he had to do was not kill you the cat. It was okay if was going to be a bit neglectful, flaky, clumsy, you can terms with that…but he killed the kitty!!!”
Okay, maybe a bit dramatic, but this one hurts girls.
So despite all this teams flaws, they managed to be in a position where all they needed to do was get one win against a very bad team to keep hope alive. Instead they lose in brutal fashion, completing one of, if not the worst collapse of all time. Let’s hope that 2008 Mets treat us, and our kitty better next year. Final record: 88-74.