Thursday, January 27, 2011

19 Days

What's a better way to count the days to Spring Training than thinking of players who have worn the number of days left?  That sentence kind of sucked, but you get my point.

#19.  A bunch of great Mets have to have worn #19.  Not quite.

The last person to wear it was Mike Hessman.  Sure, he could hit the ball a long way.  Too bad he only seemed to be able to do that in the minor leagues.  Last season it was also worn by Gary Matthews Jr.  His Opening Day start is just one of some oh-so-fond memories his brief stint with the Mets brought.

In 2009, Cory Sullivan wore #19.  His season with the Mets was somewhat successful.  He contributed more than anybody thought he would.  

And before that there was Ryan Church.  Quick recap, concussion in Spring Training, comes back.  Concussion in early season game against Braves, flies to Colorado with team, tries to come back, symptoms get worse, out for season, Mets medical staff looks stupid.

But, if you want someone good to think about wearing #19 then you can remember that Bobby Ojeda wore it.  (I never know if I should use 'Bobby' or 'Bob' when referring to him.)  Ojeda has a World Series ring from the Mets and now does in-studio commentary on SNY.  If you want to remember somebody for wearing #19, remember him.

Some other players to wear #19: Heath Bell, Jeff Conine, Roger Cedeno, Ron Gardenhire

Let's Go Mets!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sleeping Over With The Mets

It is the night before Spring Training and the 2011 Mets are getting acquainted by having a sleepover at Citi Field.

David Wright arrives first to set everything up.  He's hoping this will show management he can be the captain.  Just as Fred, Jeff, and Sandy are about to check out David's work Jose Reyes rushes in and crashes into David's elaborate sign-in board and eye-catching setup.  Thus dashing any hopes of David acquiring the captaincy.

Nick Evans walks in with Daniel Murphy and they both find they have been left out from the assigned sleeping bag setup.  They are forced to interrupt David's scolding of Jose to ask about this mistake.  However, this turns out to be anything but a mistake when David tells Nick and Daniel that he is planning on getting rid of anybody else who can play third base.  Knowing there is no way either of them will take David's everyday third base job they seek out the extra sleeping bags in the corner of the room.  David's plan of being the only one capable of playing third base is faulty anyway, as he set up places for Scott Hairston and Zach Lutz who have both arrived and taken their spots.  


Next R.A. Dickey walks in with Mike Pelfrey.  Unsurprisingly R.A. has brought enough books for the entire roster.  He takes it upon himself to clear off the table of appetizers to show off his book collection.  David tries to compromise and share the table but Pelf acts as a bodyguard for the books and David gets nowhere.

Jon Niese, Dillon Gee, Bobby Parnell, and Josh Thole all walk in together.  They are lightheartedly arguing about something.  Possibly whether Jon or Bobby has a bigger nose.  Mike Nickeas is dropped off by Tim Teufel and makes his way over to the group so he can be with Josh.  He sees Ronny Paulino walking in behind him and wants the sleeping bag next to Thole.

Ruben Tejada comes in with Fernando Martinez.  Fernando is talking about his top-prospect status.  Thankfully Ruben doesn't seem to be listening.

Jason Bay runs into Angel Pagan on his way in.  He tries to convince Angel that Carlos Beltran is evil and that Carlos should really move to right field.  Alas, this proves costly for Jason as Carlos walks in right behind the other two outfielders and Jason finds himself in the biggest-nose argument which Ike Davis has joined as well.

Chris Young, and Chris Capuano arrive in the right place after wandering the outfield and bullpens looking for the sleepover.  On their way in they found Chin-lung Hu circling second base and figured he was lost so they all found their way together.

Manuel Alvarez, Pedro Beato, Taylor Buchholz, D.J. Carrasco, and Armando Rodriguez all arrive unsure of whether they're on the team.  Nobody seems to be able to deny their spots on the roster so they stick around for the night.

Meanwhile, David has taken to chasing Jose around the room.  They knock over R.A.'s book table, angering both R.A. and Pelf.  This impromptu game of tag runs through the biggest-nose argument.  As they're all running around they confuse Young, Capuano, and Hu even more, as they don't know if this is normal behavior for the team.  Carlos and Angel join the game and decide whoever wins plays center field and they get F-Mart and Tejada to judge.  The group of misfits that just walked in seem to be running around in the game when they are actually just running wildly to look like they fit in.


Lucas Duda shows Josh Stinson, Jordany Valdespin, and Brad Emaus the way as he feels like a seasoned veteran compared the other minor leaguers.  Luis Hernandez walks in behind them, broken foot healed, and is discussing whose home run was more unlikely with Johan Santana.

Jenrry Mejia is talking to Manny Acosta as they arrive.  Manny is telling Jenrry how he's managed to stick around for so long with such mediocre pitching.  Such great influences on the Mets these days.

Pat Misch sees the books scattered on the floor and picks up four and gets to his reading.

The Mets have all arrived.  David manages to get everybody's attention so he can formally start the party.  Terry Collins is the last one to come and is impressed by the team coming together so well.  He's is perhaps the most impressed by the Justin Turner table that has been set up to show off his uber-red hair.

The night is going well.  The books are cleaned up and another table is retrieved for the appetizers.  The Mets are all getting along.  Everybody thinks everybody else has arrived.  That is until Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo both come just before 2 AM.  They search the room for their sleeping bags.  Unfortunately their sleeping bags were the "extras" that Daniel Murphy and Nick Evans found.

The rest of the Mets sleep soundly as Ollie and Luis and search Citi Field for blankets and pillows.  It's 3 AM and most of the Mets are right where they're supposed to be.

Let's Go Mets!

Oh yes!  Francisco Rodriguez eventually shows up.  He is provided with a punching bag to keep the rest of the team safe.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Results Are In

Or something like that.


The Mets designated Tobi Stoner and Jason Pridie for assignment to open up the two necessary roster spots.  I can breathe again.  That catcher survived.

Let's Go Mets!

And Now We Wait

Well, I wait.

The Mets finalized major league deals with Chris Young and Scott Hairston today.  That means they will both be added to the 40-man roster and two players will have to be taken off the roster.  For most people that doesn't mean much.  They will be two players that were never expected to have a role on the 2011 Mets so the casual fan doesn't have much of a reason to care.  However, if you're me and your favorite player happens to be a catcher that has spent almost all of his career in the minor leagues then there is a reason to care.

So now that you know the Mets have added a starting pitcher and a player that play just about any position you can go back to your lives while I sit here waiting.  Hopefully the Mets will make this painless and take two other players off the roster.  But if they are going to take my catcher off I would really appreciate them doing it soon so I can get over it as quickly as possible.  Not that I would ever get over it.


Once the moves are made I will decide whether or not I want to judge the signings rationally or from my irrational possibly-upset mind.

I would be okay with this Opening Day roster.  (It includes my catcher.)

Let's Go Mets!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I Should Be Able To Deal With This

You all probably remember the 2009 baseball season.  For the Mets it is even easier to remember.  It was the season with the countless injuries.  I don't remember if any of the Mets Opening Day starters stayed healthy all season.  The Mets didn't really survive that season but somehow us fans did.  Right now it'd be really nice remembering how exactly we all did it.

Right now the Rangers are going through a similar stretch.  I can't even catch a break as a hockey fan.

Does anybody have any bubble wrap left over from 2009?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Mets Have Their Ace

Yes.  The Mets and their resident ace Mike Pelfrey agreed to terms on a one year deal.  The deal is simply to avoid arbitration.  Pelf was going to be back next season but this way the can feel safe knowing their top pitcher has a contract before they go and officially sign a big market pitcher like Chris Young.

Speaking of Chris Young, the Mets will need to take somebody off the 40-man roster to make room for him.  There is talk that Luis Castillo could be on his way out.  I wonder what Castillo would have been like if not for that unfortunate error against the Yankees.  Oh what could have been.  Well, maybe not.

Let's Go Mets!  

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Hey, I'm Excited

It isn't even February and new manager Terry Collins already knows how the top 6 spots in his lineup will look.  If there aren't any injuries major issues the top of the lineup will look like this:

Jose Reyes
Angel Pagan
David Wright
Carlos Beltran
Jason Bay
Ike Davis

That really isn't bad.  Everybody there has had at least one impressive season.  It's a lot to ask for everybody to reproduce their best season, but if they can just have their average season there will be no reason to be disappointed.  Carlos Beltran and Jason Bay should both be healthy.  Angel Pagan and Ike Davis will have to continue to grow from last year.  Jose Reyes and David Wright just have to keep being who they are.

This lineup isn't bad.  Maybe the minimal excitement is because there aren't any major changes from the disappointment of last season.  This lineup is also going to have Josh Thole and a 2nd baseman.  Thole is going to hit and the 2nd baseman has to win the job in Spring Training so we can believe he'll be one of the stronger hitters fighting for the job.

Pitchers and catchers report on February 15.  With no expectations this Mets season has nowhere to go but up.  Let's get excited!

Let's Go Mets!

What If I Fell In Love With Both?

Interrupting the Mets news (or lack thereof) for Grady Sizemore:
Speaking of marketability, the Indians figure to have Grady Sizemore back on the field. Of course, it was Grady's boyish good looks that won him over with the female fan base and his uncompromising style of play -- equal parts fearless and reckless -- that won him over with the men. Rest assured, ladies, the former survived two years' worth of injuries, but the latter led to a complex knee surgery that leaves Sizemore's future performance in potential peril.
That is from Anthony Castrovince's piece about the Indians taking advantage of Cleveland's recent lack of sports success.


I'm just saying that I really love every part of Grady.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

34 Days

Spring Training is just 34 days away.  Mike Pelfrey is waiting.

Let's Go Mets!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

BREAKING NEWS

I have been signed to a one year deal by the Mets. I am going to be the emergency catcher and official dugout scorekeeper. I am expected to be in the big leagues all season and other roster moves and decisions will be made around my spot on the team.




JUST KIDDING. But why don't you think about that one for a little while?

Let's Go Mets!

Monday, January 3, 2011

#TholeWatch2010

In 2009 I became rather fond of Josh Thole and his game.  He used to be a first baseman and switched to catcher a year before I moved from first base to catcher in softball.  He also choked up on the bat, a practice I had recently picked up to help my hitting.  Our games were as similar as they can get (for a professional baseball player and high school softball player).  And there was the added bonus of Josh being cute. 

I watched every Mets game when he was called up in September 2009.  Of course, I would have watched every game no matter who was on the team, but now I would watch games and look for any camera shots of Thole.  I enjoyed seeing him in the bullpen getting to know the pitchers (something Mike Nickeas spent time doing last season).  When he played I didn't miss an at-bat.


Thole Watch 2010 started early in the season while Josh Thole was in the minor leagues.  Everybody knew he would be in the majors at some point during the season but it was also known that he still needed work on his defense.  So, while Rod Barajas and Henry Blanco were catching for the MLB Mets, Josh Thole was catching for the AAA Buffalo Bisons.

I decided to post random twitter updates of how Josh was doing in AAA.  I would tag each tweet with #TholeWatch2010.  When he was called up the statistic and game result tweets were fewer but the general amound of tweeting about him increased.  It became my way to simply tweet "basehit!" but let people know I was talking about Josh.  I actually grew rather fond of the tag.  I probably won't think of anything like it anytime soon.

Now that 2010 is over, #TholeWatch2010 is also over.  I should probably put his final stats in here to put some real closure to #TholeWatch2010.

His first game in the majors last season was June 25:

espn.com
Let's Go Mets!


Sunday, January 2, 2011

You Know You Want It Back

I miss the sun being up when it was past six o'clock.  I miss the warm weather.

I miss baseball.  I miss watching baseball.  I miss leaving school and thinking about who's starting for the Mets that night.  I want to think about stats.  I want to think about which players are doing well and which need to step  up their game.  I want to know who has a hitting streak and who hasn't gotten a hit in a week.  I'm ready to feel the heartbreak of a walk-off loss and the relief of a close victory.  I'm ready to be furious about a blown save and ecstatic about a home run.  I will always want to go to bed thinking about a baseball game, good or bad.

I miss softball.  I miss playing softball.  I miss the uneven steps of the walk to the field because I'm wearing cleats.  I want to pick a softball and have a catch.  I want to be the catcher that warms up the pitcher.  I want to catch the first pitch of the game.  I'm ready to go back to practice.  I'm ready to be sore the day after I catch a full game.  I will always be willing to go right back out there the next day.

I love watching baseball after I've played softball.  I love seeing the catcher block a pitch in the dirt and knowing I did the same thing.  I love seeing a first baseman scoop a low throw and recognizing just how hard it really is.  I love that I've played the game in the rain and the cold and sweltering sun.  I have slid in safely at third base and brushed the dirt off my uniform when I got up.  I have missed a pitch in the dirt and scrambled to it, going as fast as I can in all of the catcher's gear.  I have hit a line drive down the right field line and sprinted to second base.  I have also struck out looking and jammed my bat into the ground.

There is so much of the game that I've experienced that it holds a place in my heart nothing else will ever fill.  In about six weeks Spring Training will start and I'll really start to want to have a catch and play again.  We all miss the game.  Whether we've played or not we all experienced it somehow and it's right about now that we all probably miss it the most.