Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Hopefully in 2011 the Mets will be interesting enough for me to say something about them.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Mike Pelfrey Will Be Back And Better Than Ever (Even Though He Never Left)

Mike Pelfrey has apparently spent his offseason keeping his son Chase off the furniture and out of the refrigerator.  But, while he isn't chasing Chase he is preparing to make 2011 the best season of his career.

Pelf definitely seems like he has more confidence than ever before.  He is going to need it.  As much as I love that Mike Pelfrey is going to be the number one starter for the Mets, I really wish this was happening for a better reason.  Nobody could have predicted Johan Santana having so many injuries.  However, I'd rather have Pelf put in this situation now than have it come after 2009 when everybody seemed to be injured and nobody had a good season.  

Last year's 15 win season gives him a reason to be confident.  This will not be an ideal situation for anybody but it also does not come at the absolute worst time for the Mets.  Maybe Pelf will step up and continue to improve.  The only way to find out is to try.  Mike Pelfrey as the Mets #1 pitcher will just be another test in the experiment that is the 2011 season.

Let's Go Mets!


Today, both David Wright and David Cook turn 28 years old.

Friday, December 10, 2010

So, Two Years Ago . . .

At this time two years ago I was spamming the comments section of The 'Ropolitans.  Unfortunately those comments are no longer on the blog.

However, I still remember most of my thoughts.

  • This is not happening.
  • How can this be happening?
  • Does Omar Minaya hate me?
  • I mean, he has to hate me.  He keeps trading every player I like.
  • Wait!  I have an idea!
  • I'm moving to Cleveland.
  • *cries*
Smitty has spent two seasons with the Indians and is signed for a third . . .

At least they want him.

Monday, December 6, 2010

These Are Not The Things I Like To Remember

In some not-really-Mets-related news, the Diamondbacks signed J.J. Putz to a two year deal.  As some of you may remember J.J. Putz spent the 2009 season with the Mets, even though most of the time he was on the disabled list it still counts as spending the season with the Mets.

When I saw the 2-year deal I thought of how the Mets only had him for one year but I didn't remember them only signing him for one year.  It only took a few seconds for me to realize the Mets didn't sign him as a free agent.

I will forever miss Joe Smith.

A Transition Year

This offseason is going to be a bit weird for the Mets.  Of course Sandy Alderson and the rest of the front office are looking for good players at the Winter Meetings and will continue to do the same throughout the offseason, however, the available money is limited and big names aren't going to be signed by the Mets.  Next season is going to be a transition year.  The new front office and coaching staff will be building a team for future success.

Before judging any moves made by the Mets this offseason it is important to remember just that, it is going to be a transition year for the Mets. When hearing names like Taylor Tankersley and Boof Bonser in Mets rumors it's easy to be disappointed.  The Mets may or may not sign Tankersley or Bonser specifically.  If they do sign one of them or other similar players it will not be to long term contracts.  They would be here for a year or two to fill a gap in the roster.

The Mets simply need more time for their minor leaguers to be ready.  The Mets should not be spending money on big free agents this offseason.  They should be looking for ways to give young players such as Ike Davis, Josh Thole and Jon Niese more MLB experience and waiting for Jenrry Mejia, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, and others to be ready for the big leagues.

It's hard to watch an offseason unfold knowing your favorite team won't be a big player in it.  But it is simply where the Mets are right now.  As it happens it will not be fun to follow, but when Spring Training starts the same excitement will be there.

It is going to be a long, pretty boring offseason for the Mets and it is only just beginning.

Let's Go Mets!

Friday, December 3, 2010

He's Close To Home

"I'm happy," said Smith. "Guaranteed money is never a bad thing. Cleveland is a good spot. We have a good group of guys who take care of each other. And it's close to home."
Smith is from Cincinnati.
Joe Smith got his contract from the Indians.  Thank goodness.  

Friday, November 26, 2010

Baseball Confession

I love when players give baseballs and batting gloves and whatever else to fans.  I hate that they really only give them to little kids.  Sure, they just made the day of that little kid, but little kids aren’t the only ones that would be ecstatic to get something from a player.  Next season I’ll be 17 and most players probably think 17 year old girls are only at games to look at the players.  I’m not.  I love the game and would definitely freak out if any of the players gave me anything.  Sure, I’ve been a baseball fan for my entire life, but I really started loving the game when I was 11 years old.  Even then it was too late to qualify as one of the cute kids the players like to accommodate.  I just hate that I’ll never get to experience the same joy as some of the other kids.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Xavier Nady

It's Thanksgiving.  Besides family, friends, and all the other mushy stuff that I am beyond thankful for, I'm also thankful for Xavier Nady.

I became a die-hard Mets fan towards the end of 2005 and throughout the 2006 season.  In 2006 my favorite players were David Wright and Xavier Nady.  I loved them both and never wanted to miss an at-bat.  I was ecstatic whenever the lineup had David batting fifth and Xavier batting sixth.  I'd smile with every pitch and cheer every hit.  I couldn't imagine the Mets without them.

My fandom was tested on July 30.  Xavier was traded to the Pirates.  I was upset.  I was beyond upset.  I cried.  After that I could've forgotten about him.  He could've become some random player I would never think about again.  But that's not what happened.  I followed the Pirates games.  I looked at every box score to see what how he did.  And eventually I started to like other players.  As unfortunate as it sounds, I became a Pirates fan.  I was still a Mets fan but I wanted the Pirates to win as well.  When the Mets had the chance to clinch in Pittsburgh my heart was torn.  I saw Xavier and wanted to root for the Pirates, then I saw the Mets
and I wanted them to win and invite X to celebrate.  The Pirates swept the Mets and I don't remember how I felt, probably because I didn't feel anything.

Xavier Nady and the trade to the Pirates taught me to love baseball and not only the Mets.  I learned about another team and other players.  I followed games besides the Mets games.  I found out I could be a die-hard Mets fan while rooting for other teams.  My baseball life has really only gotten better since the trade, even if I still want X back today.

That's what I'm thankful for in baseball, not only this year, but every year.

Let's Go Mets!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Flashback: 2006 Edition

I was thinking about the 2006 season.  The season that went so well until one pitch to Carlos Beltran.  Seven players from 2006 made an appearance on the Mets of 2010.

Two of those players, John Maine and Pedro Feliciano, have a good shot of not coming back next season.  Another, Oliver Perez, doesn't deserve to come back next season.  Carlos Beltran, David Wright, Jose Reyes, and Mike Pelfrey will most likely be a part of the 2011 Mets.

So much has changed since 2006.  I remember the NL East clincher and the fun postgame interviews.  Omar Minaya was praised for putting together such a dominant team so quickly, with the signings of Pedro Martinez and Carlos Beltran, and the trade for Carlos Delgado.  Willie Randolph was thought of highly for managing a team that clinched in mid-September.  People wondered how he would rest players but still keep them focused for the playoffs with so much time after the clincher.  David Wright talked about making the playoffs something that happened every year.

And Tom Glavine cared.

The 2006 team had players such as Xavier Nady and Shawn Green.  They had Julio Franco and Chad Bradford.  There were so many minor players that contributed that year.

I really hope the fresh voices of Sandy Alderson's staff, including Terry Collins, can bring winning baseball back to the Mets.

Let's Go Mets!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Welcome To The Roster

Yesterday the Mets added Zach Lutz, Jordanny Valdespin, Armando Rodriquez, and Josh Stinson to the 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft.

Zach Lutz became a favorite of mine this season.  He plays third base so he is obviously blocked by David Wright.  However, the Mets clearly aren't ready to give up on him.  He has come a long way from his first day on the Brooklyn Cyclones in 2007 when he broke his foot.  At first it looked like he would be an injury-prone draft bust after playing 25 games in his first two seasons.  This year he spent most of the year in Binghamton and hit 17 home runs with a .289 batting average.  He added another homer when he ended the year in Buffalo.  He started the season in Single-A and finished in AAA, showing a ton of improvement.  And oh yeah, he grew up as a Mets fan.

I hate saying it but Zach will probably have to be traded at some point.  Obviously the Mets want to keep him and see how good he can get, building up value, but barring something happening to David Wright, there just isn't room for Zach.  It's unfortunate but every team has positions that are blocked.  He'll probably spend 2011 in AAA but hopefully he eventually get a chance somewhere.

Let's Go Mets!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Joe Smith Still Exists

Smitty?  Minor league deal?  No deal at all?  He was one of their best relievers last season.  He was sent down at the beginning of the season to fix his mechanics so that might throw some people off.  But, if you look, you'll see once he came back he was pretty dominant.  Most of his bad outings were when the rest of the bullpen was also falling apart.  He still had his struggles against left-handed batters but that's expected.  Who was the last right-handed side-armer did consistently well against lefties?  His main job was to get righties out and that's what he did.  Righties hit .160 against him this year, the best of his career after having three years of .190 or above.  He's improved and he's going to continue to improve.  He has grown into a pitcher in the American League.   Manny Acta also seems to speak very highly of him.  The few times he's actually quoted talking about Joe, he only says good things.  As long as Manny Acta is the manager I don't see how the Indians can let Joe Smith go.  I just don't see how the Indians can not offer him a contract.

But if they do somehow let him go, the Mets better sign him.

I know what I'm responding to is from a few months ago.  However there just isn't a reason for the Indians to let him go.  I don't see them completely revamping their bullpen when they still have other needs to fill.  Joe isn't going to ask for a lot of money and keeping him around would be the easiest and best thing.

Now back to your regularly scheduled Mets programming. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bobby Likes Dogs

The Mets had 'Bark In The Park' games a couple of times this season.  Apparently Bobby Parnell made a friend at one of them.  He adopted Abby at the end of the season.  I think this is adorable, especially when he interrupted the photo-shoot of Ike and Joshy.

Really, Bobby, you couldn't get any cuter.

A Quick Thought On Mets Catchers.

In my head I agree the Mets are “a little thin” at catcher in AAA.  But then I think of Mike Nickeas and I know he could be an awesome backup.  I know it isn't a good idea to have a second year starter and rookie backup, but it's not like Mike is bad at fielding.  Backup catchers are usually around for their defense.

Josh Thole should be the full-time starter.  For the second half of the season that's what he was, and he did quite nicely.  The Mets will probably sign someone to be the backup and Nickeas will be around in AAA if there's an injury.  

Joshy will be fun to watch.  He'll come into Spring Training knowing he has a spot on the team and will have more time to get to know the pitchers.  I really don't see his catching skills all of a sudden being so terrible in ST that he can't be the everyday starter.

I'd love to see a Joshy/Mike catching tandem at some point, but as long as Josh gets the starting job things should be okay in Mets-land.

Let's Go Mets!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Happy Birthday Xavier!

Today, Xavier Clifford Nady VI turns 32 years old.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Best Game Of The Season

When the season starts some cool games are expected throughout the year.  Extra innings, pitchers duels, battles of the bullpen, high scoring blowouts, and box score oddities like position players pitching.  However, they don't usually all come in the first month of the season and they don't usually all happen in one game.

On April 17, the Mets beat the Cardinals 3-2 in a game that when 20 innings and took 6 hours and 53 minutes to play.  It started as a pitchers duel between Johan Santana and Jaime Garcia and eventually stayed scoreless through 18 innings.  The game featured the first MLB hit for Raul Valdes, pitching in relief.  It also was a game in which Francisco Rodriguez got the win and Mike Pelfrey got his first save.  Both Felipe Lopez and Joe Mather pitched for the Cardinals, with Mather getting the loss.

This game had everything except a hit from Jeff Francoeur, who went 0-for-7 and his season seemed to spiral downward from there, and it just got better as the innings got later.  It even had a base-hit from Mike Jacobs.  People went out for dinner and expected to come back and check the box score for the results.  It started in the late afternoon but ended with the night games.

I watched most of this game and listened to the parts I couldn't watch.  I don't think I realized how cool the game was until the 15th inning.  Spending almost 7 hours of my day watching baseball wasn't bad, but I don't think the Mets will have another game like this anytime soon.

Let's Go Mets!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Minor Move

Josh Satin.  He's another random minor leaguer I like.  Well, he's playing in the Arizona Fall League.  Up until now he was on the 'taxi squad' meaning he could only play on Wednesday and Saturday.  Due to an injury he is now Mesa's regular team.

In obviously limited playing time Josh is hitting .438.  He hit .311 in the minors this year and I saw him when I went to the B-Mets game.  You'll be seeing more of him here in the future.  Just warning you.

Let's Go Mets!

On The Way Back

Daniel Murphy injured his knee at the very end of Spring Training.  He made his way back and was in the minor leagues learning to play 2nd base when his knee was re-injured on a takeout slide.  Well, he's playing in winter ball.  He's playing and he hasn't stopped hitting.  His average is .306 and he has 1 home run, 4 doubles, and 11 RBI.  He also has 3 stolen bases.  There hasn't been any whining about his defense so I assume he's improving at second base.

I want Daniel Murphy to get a chance at second base next year.  At least he should get a shot in Spring Training.  He proved he can handle first base so he should get the opportunity to prove himself at second.  I don't think his failure to play the outfield should hurt him.  He's an infielder.  If he can become a utility infielder then great.  He certainly has always been able to hit and has now played 3rd, 1st, and 2nd base.  He's going to work hard no matter where he is asked to play.  

He's hit .275 in 204 career games in the majors.  He even led the Mets in homers in 2009 . . . with 12.  Murph was going to be the Opening Day first baseman before his injury.  He should absolutely be in the Mets plans for next season.

Let's Go Mets!

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Today, Michael James Jacobs turns 30 years old.


Thursday, October 28, 2010


Today, Joshua Michael Thole turns 24 years old!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It Was A Pretty Cool Season

The World Series starts tomorrow night but my personal baseball season ended a little while ago.  Despite losing seasons by both the Mets and Indians, this season was a lot of fun.

I saw the brief return of one of my favorite players in Mike Jacobs.  The Mets played and won a 20-inning game which ended with Mikey P. getting a save.  I saw Josh Thole and Bobby Parnell play significant roles on the Mets showing they can be a big part of the team's future.  Mike Nickeas became a major leaguer.

I saw Josh Thole's second career home run in person.  I got autographs from Chris Carter, Pedro Feliciano, Hisanori Takahashi, Pat Misch, and Manny Acosta.  I saw Dustin Pedroia at dinner when I was in Boston.  I went to an absolutely amazing minor league game featuring Mike Nickeas.  I fell in love with MiLB.

I saw the Indians play twice in one weekend.  I saw Lou Marson get multiple hits.  I saw Trevor Crowe make an unreal catch.

Sure, a few more wins would have made the entire season more enjoyable, but there is not much more that could've made this season better.  A Joe Smith appearance definitely would've helped.

The greatest part of the season was probably yesterday.  After all of my games were over, my season was not.  In a season where anything seemed able to happen, anything did.

Let's Go Mets!
Let's Go Indians!
Let's Go Baseball!

Monday, October 25, 2010


As for what Mike Nickeas actually sent me, I have pictures.

Have I mentioned how cool this is?


By now you all know about Mike Nickeas.  What you may not know is that in September I sent him a letter telling him that I'm a big fan.  Yup, I sent him fan-mail.  It's now towards the end of October and I was starting to think I wouldn't get a response.

Well, my wait ended today.  I found an envelope addressed to me and I wasn't really expecting anything in the mail.  I start to think this might be the picture I sent him to sign, but it's in a bigger envelope so I'm wondering what else is there.

I open it.

Mike Nickeas signed his batting practice cap and sent it to me.  I'm not kidding.  It says, "Ellie - Thanks for being an AWESOME fan!"  Awesome is actually underlined twice.  And his autograph is on the hat, too.

He also autographed and sent back the picture.

I really cannot stop smiling right now.  This is so cool.  Thank you, Mike.


Friday, October 22, 2010

I'm Jealous

The Texas Rangers are going to the World Series.  I am rooting for them.  I am happy for them.  I really like a lot of their players.  But it's an empty feeling.  Yes, I have liked those players for a while.  But, I haven't been a Rangers fan.  My heart hasn't been with them for any significant period of time.

I want to see the Mets or Indians reach the World Series.  I want to be able to enjoy the celebration when I know I was with the team through everything.  I really want my team to be there.

There is nothing wrong with rooting for a different team in the playoffs.  If your team didn't make it, then go ahead, root for somebody else.  If you can do that and still feel satisfied when that team wins, that's great.  I just can't.  Seeing the Rangers win just made me miss the Mets and Indians even more.  I've watched those teams.  Both of them happen to suck right now which just makes me feel closer to them.  When they finally make it, the celebration will be so much better because I'll have been there when it was so easy to leave.

Congrats to the Texas Rangers and their fans.  Enjoy the celebration.  I can't wait for mine.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mike Jacobs Was On The Mets This Year

I was just randomly thinking that Mike Jacobs was on the Mets this year.  He was the first player I ever really liked, simply because we wore the same number and played the same position.  He was the first player that ever left me upset after a trade.  And he was the first of my departed Mets favorites to return.  Now he's a minor-leaguer for the Blue Jays.

I don't really know what will happen with him.  I'm always going to root for him even though I know he'll probably never be a great, or even good, player.  He's probably going to toil in the minors for a while and maybe get a brief call-up.  He can hit the ball a long way . . . if he makes contact.  I'm not sure of his contract situation for the offseason but I see him staying in the Toronto system anyway.

I guess I'll be happy if he stays in anybody's system.  He'll continue to crush minor league pitching and just never quite figure it out in the big leagues.  Mike will always be my first favorite so of course I'll always be rooting for him.

Let's Go Mets!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Inner-workings Of My Brain

Well, not really.

It's October.  It's playoff baseball.  The Mets were out of the playoffs by mid-July.  So, you have all probably been furiously refreshing this page looking for any clues to which teams I'm rooting for in the playoffs.  Never fear!  I will tell you!

The first step is rooting against the Phillies and Yankees.  That's the easy part.  I was rooting for the Redss and Twins.  Easy, but the Reds and Twins both lost.  As for the Giants-Braves and Rangers-Rays I didn't really have a preference in the NL and the Rangers had the edge over the Rays in the AL.

So, the second round of the playoffs were about to begin and I had to root for somebody.  This was easy.  The Giants over the Phillies and the Rangers over the Yankees.

You see, making the choice may have been simple, but rooting against certain teams was not the only factor that went into my decision.  After all, I'd be rooting for the Rangers against any AL team except the Indians.  With Ian Kinsler, Josh Hamilton, Cliff Lee, and C.J. Wilson they already have my rooting interest.  The Giants have Buster Posey and Brian Wilson, making for one heck of a closing battery.  I do have real reasons to root.

At this moment, the Phillies are winning and the Yankees already won.  It could be a dreary day in playoff-land if this game doesn't turn around.

Let's Go Rangers!
Let's Go Giants!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I Wonder If They Still Play

This is from over a year ago but I still find it highly amusing.

Mike Pelfrey and Alex Cora were at the Nintendo World Store and briefly talked about video games.  Well, Pelf did.

It's good to know my brother isn't the only one to play the 'Nazi Zombies' on COD.

Let's Go Mets!

Smitty would totally be in that group if he was still a Met.  He loves playing video games.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What I Haven't Done

The offseason has begun.  The Mets aren't playing.  That means there have been some changes to my schedule and daily life.  

Since the end of the regular season, I haven't:
  • Watched SNY on a weekday at 7 pm or on the weekend at 1 pm.
  • Checked an Indians box score to see if Joe Smith pitched.
  • Angrily changed the channel to MLB Network not wanting to see the highlights of a loss.
  • Been afraid I will jinx Lou Marson by watching GameDay while he's at bat, even though I know he won't get a hit anyway.
  • Checked to see if any sites have cool pictures of Mike Nickeas batting.  Because there can be so many from the five games he appeared in.
  • Watched all the highlights of the suckish teams on MLB At-bat before I go to bed.
It's been a boring couple of weeks.  Hockey season has started but I don't know it as well as I know baseball.  So much is missing from my everyday routine.

Let's Go Mets!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

That's It

The Mets lost today.  It was their last game of 2010.  A loss was fitting.

I watched the entire game.  All 14 innings.  I was not going to give my life to something for seven months and then miss the ending.  At the beginning of the season I wanted the Mets to have a winning record.  There were virtually no expectations coming into the season.  Their start wasn't great, but they played well through June and gave us hope.  Then it all came crashing down.  Jose Reyes came back only to get injured again in San Juan.  Johan Santana didn't survive a full season, yet again.  Jason Bay didn't perform like he has and was lost to a concussion.  And there was too much riding on the return of Carlos Beltran.

David Wright couldn't carry the team all year.  Ike Davis provided a spark, but the rookie could only provide for so long.  Josh Thole hit all year, but still only has a little bit of power.  Angel Pagan had a better season than could be imagined.  Mike Pelfrey and Jon Niese showed they can be winners.  Bobby Parnell grew into the future closer.  R.A. Dickey was perhaps the MVP.

It wasn't all disappointing for me.  The best thing to ever happen to me as a baseball fan happened on September 1.  Mike Nickeas was called up.  Mike Nickeas made his Major League debut and got his first and second MLB hits.  My favorite player and the one I'll probably miss the most during the off-season.

2011 will be here.  When it comes it will feel like we have only been waiting a day.  While we are waiting it will feel like longer than ever.  The Mets will be different but they will still be the Mets.  I will still give them seven months of the year.  I will fall in love and they will break my heart.  I will enjoy every minute of it.

Until next season,
Let's Go Mets!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Why Do Mets Fans Like Him So Much?

Xavier Nady became a favorite of mine in 2006.  His half season with the Mets felt like it was so much longer.  However, I was 12 years old and any time spent watching my favorite player was awesome.  I was also heartbroken when he was traded.  I didn't really have a reason to like Xavier, but I did and I still follow his career now.  What I find surprising is that other Mets fans have continued to follow him as well.

Every offseason since Xavier has left somebody has asked for the Mets to go after him.  It's completely unsolicited and I love it.  Mets fans have seemed to look for reasons to defend Xavier Nady.  If the Mets are looking for an outfielder somebody mentions Xavier.  If the Mets need a back-up for 1st base somebody mentions Xavier.  Whenever Xavier's teams play against the Mets Gary Cohen identifies him as a "fan favorite."  The few Mets that are left from 2006 remember playing with him.  For absolutely no reason at all he left a great impression on the Mets and their fans.  He may never be back with the Mets but he will always be a Met.

Xavier will be a free agent this year.  His season with the Cubs got off to a rough start but the recent chance to play everyday has shown he's still a good player.  He probably won't fit on the 2011 Mets but wherever he goes, I'll be rooting for him.

Let's Go Xavier!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


That's what I was this afternoon.  I honestly didn't have words when Mike Nickeas got his first hit as a Major League Baseball player.  It was a clean ground ball up the middle for a single.  You can watch it here.  He also got another nice hit to left-center later in the game.  He left the game as part of a double-switch in the 8th inning.

It was fun to watch.  He didn't really get a chance in his first start when all the hype was on the starting pitcher and Mike was basically there to keep him calm.  Today there was no pressure.  He was there to catch, he was there to hit.  He was just playing.  This year he worked harder than ever to fix his swing and have a good offensive season.  I would've been more than a little disappointed if Mike finally made it to the majors and then hadn't gotten a hit.  Seeing him standing on first base after his hit was great.

Mike was never a prospect but that doesn't mean his first hit is any less special.  Congratulations Mike.  You got your first two hits as a Major League Baseball player today.  Now I'm hoping for many more.

Let's Go Mike!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It's Such A Beautiful Picture

I got an assignment in acting class last week.  We had to find a picture and make a character out of a person in that picture.   That is what you need to know to understand this story.

All weekend I have been looking for a picture.  Not just any picture.  A special picture.  It is a magazine-type ad for the Baseball Hall of Fame.  I remembered what it looked like.  It had a girl.  She had her hat backwards was looking up at a monument in the HOF.  I could picture it perfectly in my mind.  But, I could not find it.  On Friday night I looked at every Sports Illustrated I could find in my house.  I looked in three Mets yearbooks and a few Mets magazines.  No luck.  I even looked in the Spring Awakening playbill.  What?  I did not find the picture.  I had pretty much given up.  I looked for the Spamalot playbill, half to find the picture and half just to find it, but I had no luck.  I decided I would just go on the computer and print out a similar picture.  In addition to the similar-but-not-quite-as-good picture I printed out I found a guide from my last trip to the HOF.  I really had lost all hope of finding the picture I remember so vividly.

With my lost hope I decided to look at the Mets 2006 yearbook.  More for fun and to find Xavier Nady.  I looked at the copy I have that was taken apart at some point and I wanted to see if Xavier's picture was out so I could hang it up.  I still don't know if it is.  I don't know because I got distracted.  Yes, I was distracted by a most glorious picture.  It is the picture.  I found it in the Mets yearbook I refused to look at originally.  I didn't want to open the good copy I got as a gift and thought I had seen the picture in something more recent.  Alas, this was what I had been looking for all along. 

Oh, it's so nice to find what I'm looking for in the last place I look.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Once Upon A Time . . .

There was a baseball player.  He was a catcher.  His name was Nike Mickeas.

Nike had played in the minor leagues for a long time.  When he first started playing professional baseball he was both good at offense and defense.  As he quickly moved through the minor leagues his defense continued to impress but his offense was lagging.  Eventually his original organization gave up on him and he was traded for a crappy no-good outfielder.

In his new organization he stayed in the higher levels of the minor leagues.  He got a few chances in AAA but his offense was never there.  Then one season he came to Spring Training as a non-roster invitee.  He left Spring Training and nobody was sure exactly where he would end up.  He even looked to be going to Single-A for a little while.  He went to AA and something amazing happened.  Nike was hitting!  He kept his batting average over .300 in AA and even was an All-Star!  He went to AAA for about a week before he got a September call-up.  This was Nike's minor league free agent year so things were looking good.

Nike had battled through injuries during his career.  He had so many injuries and had worked so hard that he had considered retirement in the offseason.  Now, however, he was in the big leagues.

Nike had made it.  He was going to get a chance!  Or so he thought.  Nike got one start.  He went 0-for-2 and didn't even play the whole game.  But, that's okay.  There was still a month left in the season and he would surely get another opportunity.

It was a blow-out against a bottom-feeder in the division and Nike's team had given up.  He got to catch the last 2 innings.  He had one at-bat and got out.  He was now 0-for-3 in his major league career.  But, there was still a few weeks left in the season so he would get another chance.

Alas, that is the last that has been seen of Nike.  He hasn't played in another game.  He continues to hope for another chance.  Just one more appearance in a game.  Maybe one day it will happen.

And that is the story of Nike Mickeas.  The catcher.  Perhaps he will get another major league at-bat.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

It's Really Ending

There is a week of regular season baseball left.  One week of turning on the TV at 7 o'clock and knowing exactly what I'm going to watch.  One week of watching the Mets, not because they're going to win, but because they are on and they are playing baseball.

Then it's over.  For the Mets and 22 other teams it will be the offseason.  It happens every year but I just can't get used to it.  Every offseason feels longer than the last.  The nights without games.  The days with game-recaps.  Sure, there will still be baseball news.  There will be signings and trades.  It just isn't as good as watching an actual game.  Kevin Burkhardt won't tell us what R.A. Dickey is reading between starts or which hitting drills Ike Davis is doing to stay consistent.  He won't be sitting next to the dugout.  Kevin will be telling us about the Mets next GM.  He'll be sitting in the SNY studios.  It's simply not the same.

Sure, I'll watch hockey and yeah, I'll enjoy it.  I just will never love it the way I love baseball.  Baseball has been a part of my life forever.  Watching the game, going to the game, playing the game.  I only started watching everyday a few years ago.  That was when the offseason got hard to handle.  The everyday routine of watching a baseball game ends for 6 months and once I get used to it even a little bit, baseball is coming back.

I really don't know what else to say but this quote from Fever Pitch sums things up pretty well:
TROY: Why do we inflict this on ourselves? 
BEN: Why? I'll tell you why -- 'cause the Red Sox never let you down. 
TROY: Huh? 
BEN: That's right. I mean, why? -- Because they haven't won a World Series in a century or so? So what? They're here. Every April, they're here. At 1:05 or at 7:05, there is a game. And if it gets rained out...guess what? They make it up to you. Does anyone else in your life do that? The Red Sox don't get divorced. This is a real family. This is the family that's here for you.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

There's Always Next Year?

The Mets were officially eliminated from playoff contention on Tuesday.  With their elimination came the time to really start looking towards next season.  There are a lot of reasons to think next year will be better than 2010.  It's not impossible to look worse than the 2010 Mets, but it certainly is hard.  With the combined embarrassments of management and the performance on the field, the season has been pretty hard.  I'm wondering if 2011 will be better.

I have no reason to believe the group of players on the 2011 team will be very different than anything we've seen this year.  The Mets need another starting pitcher but don't have the money to get anyone significant.  They need a second baseman that can hit but may have to live with a lack of offense from that position.  They also have make a decision about center field.  Oh yeah, they could end up needing a new lefty reliever with Perpetual Pedro up for a new contract.

The player situations are the small moves of the offseason.  I'm anxious to see what happens to the coaching staff and front office.  We already know Omar Minaya isn't going to be the general manager anymore.  That doesn't mean he won't be reassigned and ultimately stay in the organization, but I don't think he should be here at all.  This offseason should also mark the end of the Jerry Manuel era.  That also should mean all the coaches are gone, too.  The new general manager gets to chose a manager and the new manager gets to chose his coaches.

The Mets should have a sense of a fresh start in 2011.  New voices will be a good thing.  However, that could also mean a period of adjustment.  Maybe 2011 doesn't go perfectly.  Maybe the Mets don't make the playoffs.  I don't want a lack of success next season to lead fans to jump off a cliff.  Any changes mean an adjustment period.  I'm not looking for immediate results next season.

Of course, this is all just me.  The Mets have beaten me down and I honestly expect nothing from them.  A winning season would be great.  An average season would be nice.  A losing season would be expected.  It's sad but that's my mindset.

Anyway . . .

Let's Go Mets!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Now It's My Turn

Many people have taken a chance to voice their opinion on the Mets.  Well, now it's my turn.

For the first time ever I don't enjoy watching the Mets.  They don't seem to have a chance in any games anymore.  They aren't trying to win.  How do I know this?  I know the Mets are not trying to win because of a few trends.  

They aren't hustling.  The slow ground balls in the infield.  The hard hit balls to the outfield.  They are getting out. On the infield grounders either the runner is too slow or he simply isn't running down the line.  The balls rocketed to the outfield are hit off the wall and taken for granted.  They don't start to hustle until they get to first base and are thrown out on what would be a double for anyone else.  It's a pattern.  The most disturbing part is this pattern includes the "face of the franchise".  David Wright has been part of this all season.  During a game in July he watched a fly ball hit the left field wall and was thrown out trying to get a double.  Carlos Beltran hit a home run later that inning.  The Mets lost by one run in extras.

They don't do the little things.  The Mets have been atrocious with the bases loaded this season.  They haven't been good with runners in scoring position either.  When was the last time the Mets hit a sacrifice fly when they needed it?  When did they simply get the right ground ball to score a run?  It just hasn't happened.  It's sad when I feel most comfortable with R.A. Dickey at bat with runners in scoring position.

They just don't play the game hard.  During tonight's Mets game, Chase Utley took out Ruben Tejada at second base trying to break up a double play.  It very well could be seen as a dirty play.  I hate that kind of play because it is basically deliberately trying to hurt the opposing player.  But, I wouldn't mind seeing some from the Mets.  I don't want them sliding into second base so late they take out the knees of the infielder, but a hard slide would be nice to see.  It would also be nice to retaliate if the other team puts a Met in danger.  It would have been a pleasant surprise to see one of the pitchers throw in the direction of Chase Utley's butt tonight.  I don't want headhunting, but getting hit in the backside isn't the end of the world.

I want to know the Mets care.  It starts at the front office and goes all the way down to the players.  Only a few players should be safe this winter.  Omar can't be reassigned, he has to go away completely.  Jerry needs to go.  The trainers need to go.  The only coach I really want to see back is Chip Hale but the new manager should really get to chose his staff.

I want to see change this winter.  The Mets have so many issues it's scary thinking about them all.  Off the field, on the field, everywhere.


Let's Go Mets!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Life After Johan

His Mets career is far from over.  His baseball career is far from over.  But, his 2010 season is over and so is part of his 2011 season.  He won't be the Opening Day starter next year.  That's what the Mets have to figure out.

They need an ace.  No team goes into a season without an ace.  Even if you're the Astros and Bud Norris is your ace, it's somebody.  For the Mets it really is a toss-up at this point.  Mike Pelfrey?  Jon Niese?  R.A. Dickey??

The most obvious answer would be Mike Pelfrey.  He looked like an ace at the beginning of this season.  He has the "stuff" to be an ace.  But if the Mets start a season with their hopes resting on Mikey P. they have issues.  He's been inconsistent his entire career and an ace needs to be consistent.

Jon Niese has looked pretty good this year but he is not going to be the ace.  It will be his second full season in the big leagues and you can't rely on that to be an ace.

R.A. Dickey seems like a good option.  If he's back with the Mets next year he has a good shot at being the ace.  But as a knuckleball pitcher it's hard to know how a season is going to turn out.

At this moment I see the Mets going into next season without their ace.  They will be waiting for Johan Santana to come back with whatever mix of starting pitchers they can find.  That really isn't what I want to see, but that seems to be the Mets way.

Let's Go Mets!

Friday, September 10, 2010

It's A Game. Enjoy It.

Recently there has been plenty going on with the Mets.  On the field they aren't playing well, and off the field they have been a mess.  As a fan, I like some off-field stories, but this season there has been more going on off the field than on the field.  I know I started caring about the Mets because they play the best game in the world.  I wouldn't know anything about David Wright, or Mike Pelfrey, or Josh Thole if they didn't play baseball.

I'm sick of people getting more upset about what's going on off the field than the game that's being played.  Don't we all pay attention to this because of the game?  If you want to follow what is going on outside of the game, fine.  But once the game starts, root for your team.  I'm not saying you have to have warm-and-fuzzy feelings about a mean person, but you probably wouldn't want them to strikeout instead of win the game.  Even though Luis Castillo didn't join the Mets on their voluntary hospital trip doesn't mean I don't want him to get an RBI or make a good play in the field.

When the Mets take the field I want them to win.  I want their pitchers to throw strikes.  I want their batters to get hits.  I want to see competitive baseball because that's what I'm watching for.  I'm watching for the game.  I didn't fall in love with Angel Pagan and then the game he plays.  Sure, now that I know about Angel Pagan, I'll root for him if he's playing chess.  Baseball introduced me to Angel, and Jose, and Mike.

A Mets win makes me happy.  I'm not thinking about what the players will do when they leave the field.  I'm thinking about what they just did on it.  I'm thinking about the clutch hits and big strikeouts.  I'm enjoying the literal aspects of the game.  The ones I enjoy when I play.  Because it's a game.  Anybody can play a game.

It would be nice if just for a weekend all baseball fans can be just that.  Fans of the game they are watching.

Let's Go Mets!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

It's Bobby's Birthday!

Today, Robert Allen Parnell turns 26 years old.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BOBBY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I Love This Picture

I took this at the last Mets game I went to.  It's Josh Thole getting a base hit.

Let's Go Mets!

Monday, September 6, 2010


Softball season is many months away but I can't stop thinking about it.  By December I'm going to want to go outside and take batting practice.  I haven't wanted to play softball more in my life than I do right now.  I guess I'll just have to wait until March.

What I'm conflicted about does have to do with softball.  Specifically, what number I wear.  For the past 2 seasons I have worn #20.  There was no real thinking behind it besides it being the only normal number left by the time I picked and then I decided to stick with it.  Of course, now I kind of want to go back to #14.  That was the number I always liked wearing when I was younger and now I am starting to think I want it again.  But, I also like being consistent.  Heck, I've figured out every major leaguer currently wearing #20 and I root for them all.  But, I like the significance of #14 having been my number forever.  I really don't know.  Also, my softball coaches know me as #20, so if I go back to JV this year it would be weird to change numbers.  It would also be weird to go back to JV and see somebody else wearing #20.  Of course, now I'm thinking of my love for #14.

I can't figure this out.  It sounds stupid but it's honestly what I've been thinking about.  If I had to make a choice right now I think I would go with #14.  Of course, I have months to think about this and could end up deciding on a random Mark Buehrle tribute and going with #56.

Ah, well.  The Mets got crushed by the Nationals today.  It was almost a cool game because Mike Nickeas played.  He got to show off his awesome catcher defense because Ollie was pitching to him.  He still hasn't gotten a hit and I'm starting to think if he doesn't soon Jerry Manuel is going to forget he exists and put him behind all the other September call-ups on the bench.

Hmm . . . Maybe I should go with #14 because it's only one away from the #13 Mike Nickeas wears.

Let's Go Mets!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

How David Wright Saved My Softball Career

We all know David Wright sticks out his tongue when he plays baseball.  What you may not know is that I also stick my tongue out in similar fashion.  You also may not know that I almost had to stop sticking out my tongue in similar fashion.

It was 2005.  I was having a catch with my dad and he noticed I would stick out my tongue on every throw and all the tough catches.  He told me to stop.  He didn't give me a reason, he just said it had to end.  I was a little peeved.  I wasn't trying to stick out my tongue, it would just happen.  I didn't do it because of David Wright, but I was aware that he did it too.

"But, David Wright sticks out his tongue!"  I tried to convince my dad it was normal.  He either didn't care or didn't believe me.  He simply told me to throw normally.  Still, he had not explained why he wanted to get rid of my seemingly harmless habit.

We would watch Mets games and I would look for David Wright highlights.  I wanted anything that showed him sticking out his tongue.  At the same time, I tried not to think about it when I played softball, but I knew I was still doing it.  I wasn't going to stop myself.  I didn't think it was cool, it was just something I did.

Eventually, we were watching a Mets game and they showed the highlight I needed.  Finally, David Wright made some play, I have no idea what kind of play it was, but he stuck out his tongue.  Not only did he stick out his tongue, my dad noticed he stuck out his tongue.

"Hey!  David Wright sticks out his tongue, too!  I guess you can keep doing that."

Let's Go Mets!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

I Miss It Already

Today somebody commented that I am the only person still genuinely excited about the Mets.  I don't know if I'm the only one, but I do know I still get excited about every Mets game this season.

Why?  Why would I care about the rest of the Mets season?

There are a few reasons.  One of them is because Mike Nickeas is here.  It seems like he'll get minimal playing time for the rest of the season.  But he's here.

I also care because I simply love baseball and the Mets.  It's already September.  It feels like it was just the beginning of July.  It honestly feels like summer just started but it really is almost over.  Summer is the best time of the year.  I can think about baseball and only baseball.  There's something about watching a baseball game on a warm summer night.  It's definitely my favorite way to spend the summer.

So, what does that have to do with still caring about the Mets?

The Mets will be the last remaining sign of summer.  They will play into the first days of October after struggling through the dog days of August.  It will be (mostly) the same players going out and playing the same game.  It will be an escape from school when it starts in a few days.  And it will be an escape that I will love every moment of because I know it will go away for way too long.  I hate waiting through the offseason.  I hate counting down the days until pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training.  I hate it because it means I'm still waiting.

I simply hate the offseason.  I hate not being able to turn on a Mets game in the evening.  I hate being bored on cold weekends because there's no Mets game to watch.  I hate that I can't go online and watch every great defensive play.
I want to read game recaps and even injury reports.  I want to hear about which pitchers look amazing this year and who can't field the way they used to.  I hate not being able to watch something I know everything about.

That's pretty much why I will watch every Mets game for the rest of the season.  I know the feeling of the offseason and I just hate it.

Let's Go Mets!

He Used To Play Soccer

This pregame interview with Mike Nickeas is great.  Just watch.


Mike Nickeas made his major league debut today.  He went 0-for-2 and there were two wild pitches.  He just looked really nervous out there.  I was perfectly fine with what I saw from Mike today.  He was put out there in a tough situation.  It was not only his major league debut, he was out there catching the top prospect.  Jenrry Mejia was supposed to light up the world and it's the catcher's job to make him look good.  The wild pitches certainly didn't make him look good.

I don't know what other playing time Mike is going to see.  I'm hoping he'll get to catch Johan Santana.  That would give him a chance to play without all the pressure of who's pitching.  It really wasn't Mike's fault that Mejia didn't have his best stuff.

Mike looked nervous out there, and he had every right to be.

Let's Go Mets!


If you have a TV and a way to watch the Mets game, you really should watch.  Mike Nickeas is making his major league debut.  He's catching and batting 7th.

So, yeah.  You should watch.

Let's Go Mets!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Should I Really Be This Excited?

Mike Nickeas is just some random baseball player.  Most people have never heard of him, and yet, I'm obsessed.  I saw him once, he said half a word in my general direction.  I saw him again, he spoke to me and I got a baseball and bat from him.

I guess I do have a reason to be excited about tomorrow.  He's expected to make his major league debut catching Jenrry Mejia.  I'll be watching every minute of the game from home.

Let's Go Mets!

Shoeless Joe Smith?

Apparently Joe Smith likes to spend time without shoes.  He isn't the only one, as Trevor Crowe also wasn't wearing shoes. I guess Jordan Brown wasn't brave enough and had to wear flip flops.

I like reading things like this.  Now I just need more pictures of Joe ...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

He Speaks!

If this video doesn't make you happy you need a lot of help.

Let's Go Mets!

It Couldn't Happen To A Better Guy

First, I want to congratulate Mike Nickeas on his call-up to the big leagues.  It really couldn't happen to a better guy.

Now, you're probably wondering why I like this guy in the first place.  He's just some random minor league catcher.

I've been to Spring Training once.  It was 2008 and Mike Nickeas was there.  I was getting autographs from pretty much anyone in a Mets uniform that was willing to sign.  It was busy and everybody wanted autographs.  I didn't know everybody who was signing, but I wanted them all.  When I finally found the guy that turned out to be Mike, he grabbed my baseball as soon as I got to him.  He said "'sup" and it was most likely to any random person, but I could've sworn he was talking to me.  After that, I didn't really care who else's autograph I got.  I just knew #59 supposedly asked me "'sup" and I needed to find out who it was.  When I did finally find out it was Mike Nickeas I wasn't going to forget that name.

My new favorite player started 2008 in AAA.  He didn't hit much in AAA and hit even less in AA.  I'm pretty sure he was injured at some point, but not much was happening.  2009 was more of the same.  Another injury ended his season early.  Then this year something amazing happened.  He didn't get much playing time at the beginning of the season.  Then the injuries started coming.  Finally, Mike was the one staying healthy.  The biggest of the injuries was Omir Santos, who is still out.  He was playing most of the games and was hitting.  He hit .283 with the B-Mets this season and was an Eastern League All-Star. He didn't spend much time in AAA this year, but obviously he's shown enough.  He's always had the defense, but the finding his swing has really helped this year.

And this finally brings me to our encounter this year.  For the first time I wondered why I've never been to a minor league game.  I also wondered why I've never seen Mike Nickeas play before.  I had been following his stats for a few years, but I had never seen him play.  The B-Mets were coming to Trenton which isn't terribly far from where I live, and I wanted to go.  I went to a game with the intention of getting an autograph from Mike Nickeas and just enjoying watching him play.  It turned out to be so much more.  Not only did I get his autograph, I also got a picture with him.  During the game, he threw the baseball from the last out of the 6th inning to me.  And after the game, after I told him I got the baseball after a mishap (my fault) he gave my brother a bat, which is now in my possession.  He was so nice, and I couldn't have asked for a better time at the game.

We always hear about the players that are really nice.  The ones the writers talk about and I'm glad I've had the chance to briefly meet one of the nicest players I could possibly imagine.  I'm glad the guy who happened to say half a word in my direction turned out to be a really cool dude.

Congrats, Mike.  You deserve it.

Let's Go Mets!