Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Coming Soon

I was hoping I'd get to write about how awesome Joe Smith is. I mean, I finally met him tonight. Unfortunately, I got distracted. I'll have the story up by the weekend. It is actually pretty cool.

One More Thing

Can umpires realize they are not bigger than the game? That they are there to officiate, not change the momentum during a crucial play? That the players are the ones who are supposed to make the game exciting?

Is that too much to ask?

What I Can't Express

. . . How much I hate umpires. And how much I wish they would be held accountable. And how much I wish they didn't just have to say "Whoops! I guess the replay shows I was wrong!" to move on with their lives. And how much I want some consequence, any consequence, for the umpiring I have seen just tonight between the Mets and Indians games. And how I wish I could do as poorly in school as some of them do at their jobs and still get away with it.

I just . . . I can't think straight right now so I guess I'm done.

Monday, June 25, 2012

I Have A Silver Lining

Mike Nickeas had two hits (including a double) and blocked numerous pitches in the dirt while the rest of the game fell apart.

Anytime he plays well I am happy.

Go Mike!
Let's Go Mets!

Excuses Excuses

Imagine any night that you have gotten home late or just been up late working. The next day you are sluggish because you didn't get as much sleep as you would have liked. If you aren't as productive you blame it on your lack-of-sleep or exhaustion. It's a go-to excuse for an everyday person working in an office or any student on the face of the earth.

Yet, when some people bring it up about the Mets tonight others shoot it down. The Mets did not get into Chicago until 4 AM. Terry Collins admitted they are exhausted. They have every right to be exhausted. Just because they are professional athletes it doesn't mean they aren't human beings.

Everybody has days when they are less productive and today is that day for the Mets. The difference is, the entire world can see when the Mets or any other professional team doesn't produce as much as they'd like. It's not as if they all called in sick. They are at the park, playing baseball, doing their job as best they can on a few hours of sleep.

Don't pretend you're as productive on four hours of sleep as you are on eight. Nobody is. Not even the Mets.

Let's Go Mets!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Phew!

You can disregard the previous post. The Mike Nickeas postgame reaction has been found and I have resumed breathing.

I can also go back to enjoying his awesome game. An RBI and a nice game catching an up-and-down pitcher. He also made some nice blocks in the ninth inning that saved the Mets.

Mike Nickeas . . . perfect human being.

Let's Go Mets!

P.S.
I think I have to give myself a writing curfew. Things get weird at Mr. Met Is My Brother After Dark.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Tough As Nails

During the marathon bottom of the ninth Mike Nickeas took a foul ball under his mask. He fell onto the home plate umpire, who called the trainer out of the dugout. Mike ultimately stayed in and finished out the game.

But now here I go worrying. At the end of the postgame show Chris Carlin said Mike's reaction would be on SNY's general recap show. I have nothing else to do so I've been watching for over an hour and there hasn't been anything. I don't want to get ahead of myself but I also wouldn't expect Nickeas to skip out on his postgame interview unless he really couldn't be there.

Hopefully the foul ball didn't hurt him too much. He stayed in the game so I thought he was okay.

I'm probably the only one worried about this/the only one who cares. I'm also probably turning this into something bigger than it is.

I just worry, okay? I want Mike to be healthy.

Am I Going To Have To Buy It?

The Mets are selling Johan Santana's no-hitter. Take that statement wherever you want and you'll most likely end up in the same place as the organization. One place you could go is to the uniforms of players that did not even play in the game. The Mets are there. What about coaches and other uniformed members of the club? They are there too.

The Mets are so far in those strange directions that the jersey of bullpen catcher Dave Racaniello is garnering more interest than that of some players. One of those players is Mike Nickeas. The jerseys only have about half a day before the bidding ends and Rac's jersey would sell for $10 more than Nickeas's.

I know Mike said it's not over yet and I seem to be the easy candidate to swoop in and buy the jersey, but it won't be happening. The only way I would spend every cent of my graduation money on a jersey would be if Mike Nickeas personally handed it to me. I worked far too hard to spend all of my graduation money on one thing that I can barely pretend to wear. I love Nickeas, but even I have boundaries.

On the other hand, I would buy a hat in the blink of an eye. So if anyone has a Mike Nickeas hat they would like off their hands, I'm your girl.

Let's Go Mets!

They Will Never Let You Quit

The ninth inning was a model of the Mets season. It started off with a quick out. But it got interesting after that. There was a wild pitch after a couple of hits, a couple of ill-timed walks, a long at-bat resulting in a pop out and it all eventually resulted in a Mets victory. Some were preparing to throw in the towel. Accept this as another blown save from Frank Francisco. Luckily, it never came to that.

This season, and especially the recent stretch of alternating series sweeps, has tested the Mets. Interleague plate is going to be tough no matter what, yet the Mets have swept the Rays and Orioles. However, both of the sweeps have come right after the Mets have been swept, first by the Yankees and then by the Reds. Both times the Mets were swept people questioned whether we had witnessed the downturn of the season. On the other hand, with both sweeps, the Mets have shown people they can fight with the big boys.

One way to look at the alternating sweeps as inconsistency. Another way to look at the sweeps is as resiliency. I see them as resiliency. The Mets are not going to beat every team in the league and they don't have to. The ability to come back from tough losses is not something every young team has. It is awesome that this team has it. If Kirk Nieuwenhuis strikes out a few times in one game, he will come back the next day and get two hits. If the defense decides to disappear behind Bobby Parnell for like a week, next time he'll strike out the side and wait for the his infielders to come back from the dead.

This team fights. They don't get too down after losses and they don't let one series win mean they've proven themselves for the season. Terry Collins deserves credit for sticking with his guns and not letting this team get ahead of itself. He doesn't give up when a reliever has a rough game or two or three and he gives every young player the opportunity to succeed.

These players never quit, therefore the fans cannot quit. Even when the team seems to have hit rock bottom they pop back up and are back on their game in the blink of an eye. It makes the season interesting and fun.

Let's Go Mets!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

I Can't Say It Enough

I am proud to be a Mike Nickeas fan.

Right there.

That's it.

That feeling is something nobody can ever take away from me. It's easy to be a fan of a big name player, one that is featured in magazines and on TV. There is nothing easy about rooting for a player most people haven't heard of and one who isn't highly regarded by most of those that have heard of him. But I do my best to not let that bother me. Mike Nickeas is my favorite baseball player no matter what his batting average is or how many home runs he hits.

Rooting for Mike Nickeas is the coolest thing I have ever done. I was completely devoted to following his career through AA to AAA and back to AA to almost being out of baseball and finally to the major leagues. It is one thing to follow Minor League Baseball teams as a whole, it is an entirely different story when you feel attached to one player. Then add in that you know he is there to help others get to the majors and you don't really know if he'll ever make it. Every player takes a different path to the big leagues and Mike's was more unique than ever.

Everything about his career has proven he will never stop working to improve. He has always been known as a defensive catcher but that's not enough. He has to work to be more than just a backstop and he becomes a mentor for the pitchers the Mets see as the future of the organization. He is almost like another coach on the team because he is spending the season in AA yet again and he's older than the rest of the team. But he's still a player and he is still working on his offense because he deserves a chance in the majors.

Mike Nickeas mentored Josh Thole in AA. He helped Josh improve defensively and ultimately watched Josh shoot up to the majors. That makes watching this season with Mike and Josh so much sweeter. Mike's hard work with Josh paid off in 2009 when Josh was called up. Mike's hard work in its entirety paid off first in 2010 when he was called up and then this season when he earned his spot as the backup catcher.

His stats aren't flashy. His spot on the depth chart is nothing to brag about. But his work-ethic is second to none. That is what I love. I will never be able to compare my success to superstar players because they are the best at what they do. I hope I'll be able to say I worked as hard and put in as much effort as Mike Nickeas, though. Then I'll know I've succeeded.

The Mets backup catcher is my favorite player. It doesn't sound flashy. It almost sounds desperate. Yet, it is also perfect.

Mike Nickeas is my idol.

That is all.

Friday, June 15, 2012

#FollowFriday

Instead of doing my Twitter recommendations on Twitter this week, I am going to write them here. This way I can write why I am recommending these awesome tweeters and maybe it will convince my Twitter-less readers to join.

Tonight I will feature a few of my favorite female Mets fans. They all know just as much as any other fan out there and should be resources for any other fan.

@juliaaquadrinoo and @laurengeld are two of the coolest Mets girls out there. The former is the biggest, most sincere David Wright fan you will find and the latter is Justin Turner's most dedicated follower. I love following them and being able to enjoy the Mets success with two really awesome fans. I really don't know what else to say about these two. It is just so much easier and more fun for me to be a fan because I get to share the Mets with them.

@A_AmberC is an expert on the B-Mets. She literally knows the team and knows more about the future Mets than any other fan I can think of. I love that she keeps me updated on Kai Gronauer but if you like Robert Carson or Zack Wheeler or any actual prospect I'm sure she wouldn't mind telling you about them either. It's also really cool when there is one player that you've been following through the minors (coughmikenickeascough) and she knows him and you have someone to be excited with.

There are a ton of other cool Mets girls on twitter but tonight I felt like telling you about these three. They all deserve a follow so if you're not already reading their tweets, go look at a few.

Let's Go Mets!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Hi. I Like David Wright.

David Wright is batting .350, has an OPS over 1.000, has gotten on base in almost half his plate appearances, and has almost 40 RBI. He not only deserves to be an All Star, he deserves to be recognized as one of the best players in the game right now. Every possible statistic is off the charts and the Mets would not be nearly as good as they are without him.

Look at that! I recognized all of that while still being a girl! I didn't mention his smile or his butt or his personality. I like David Wright, I am a fan of David Wright, but I would like to believe I am not a David Wright fangirl.

(As I write this he just smacked a double to right field, raising his batting average over the .353 it was coming into the at-bat.)

When I was eleven years old and just becoming obsessed with baseball I was in the population that fantasizes about marrying David Wright. However, thy was seven years ago. I grew out of that and I like players for more than just their smile. David Wright is one of those players.

I admit, I may have stayed Wright-obsessed had he not been so popular. I also know that one of the reasons he is so popular is because he is so good. He does have his share fangirls but so does every superstar. Saying his fans ruined him is stupid. Nobody ruined him because he is awesome right now. David Wright is so successful right now that I do not think it is possible to overrate him. Over-hyping any player is annoying but David deserves it all right now.

You know what is the best about his season? It is that he is doing so well that fanatics and fangirls alike have a reason to be excited. The fanatics get to see him produce more than ever an the fangirls see him having fun.

I like David Wright. I don't love him. I don't want to marry him. I just want to see him kill the baseball and man the hot corner at Citi Field.

Let's all enjoy this season and support the unofficial captain of the team and . . .

Let's Go Mets!

Vote! Vote! Vote!

The All Star Game is coming up and there are people that need your votes!  David Wright is still in the lead for National League third baseman but the race is tight.  After getting off to a scorching start he is only (I love that I can say 'only' for this) hitting .350 now.  His OPS is still over 1.000 and I'm not into all of the fancy statistical stuff but I am sure those are ridiculously good too.  There should not even be a race here.  David Wright is clear choice this year.

As for other players that I think deserve votes, I have to go to my AL allegiance, the Indians.  Jason Kipnis and Asdrubal Cabrera are strong candidates for second base and shortstop, respectively.  Kipnis is among the league leaders in RBI, stolen bases, games played, batting average, home runs, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, triples, runs, hits, and stolen bases for second basemen.  That is just ridiculous to think about.  Cabrera is among the AL shortstop leaders in on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, doubles, batting average, walks, and extra-base hits.  For both of them, when I say, "among the leaders," I mean no worse than third.

All three of these players deserve votes.

And if you don't want to vote for them, I will.  In past years, awesome twitter-er @juliaaquadrinoo has offered to vote for others.  I think that is an awesome idea and I am going to join the cause this year.  If you don't have time to vote or don't care to vote otherwise, feel free to email me and I'll fill your 25 ballots.  I mean, I'm going to run out of old email accounts eventually.

Let's Go Mets!
Let's Go Tribe!

P.S.  A.KA. I don't even know if I should admit this . . .
I don't really have a preference for who starts at catcher for the National League so I've been messing around and using my write-in for Mike Nickeas.  If you're indifferent too then why not have fun with it and do the same?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Update

Mike Nickeas has a '90s boy band haircut. It reminds me of Nick Carter.

That is all.

Let's Go Mets!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Disclaimer

I am going to root for Mike Nickeas no matter what his hair looks like. I just really really wanted to write something original tonight (AKA not the same crap about the bullpen or defense). So now my desperation is your entertainment.

Enjoy!

Urgent News

Well, not really. Actually, not at all. I just need to write about this stuff sometimes.

Some Mets beat writers have noted that Mike Nickeas recently got a haircut. Apparently before one of the games against the Yankees, Ike Davis was messing with Mike and calling teammates over the check out his new cut. The "news" today was that Nickeas had gotten yet another haircut because the first one was terrible.

. . .
. . .
RIP Flow
. . .
. . .

Due to the fact that I am not in Florida to see the Mets in person I have not seen the haircut. What I have noticed on TV is that Kirk Nieuwenhuis no longer has the curls hanging out of his cap and Ike Davis looks a little bit cleaned up. Maybe it was a group haircut outing? If that is the case I want to know whose idea it was to bring Mike Nickeas.

During an interview earlier this season David Wright joked about how he simply goes to a barber shop while other guys (and he specifically mentioned Mike Nickeas) have to go to a specific place and see a specific person and he made fun of Mike for not even letting his sister cut his hair. Now we know why Mike won't let anyone else cut his hair. Apparently when he does, it turns out disastrous.

Well, disastrous enough to require a second haircut.

I know you are as worried about this as I am. We must figure out how this happened.

The Mystery of the Shorn Flow.

Right now my money is on a trim gone awry. However, we may never know the truth.

Let's Go Mets!

P.S.
Yes, I know I'm weird.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Expectations And When They Are Initially Exceeded

For the first two months of the season the Mets played better than anybody thought they would. Even the most die-hard fans could not have been prepared to see them eight games over .500 so soon. Those same die-hard fans were lucky enough to see the Mets climb eight games over .500 and win more games than even the optimists predicted.

It is always fun to watch your team exceed expectations. But exceeding expectations brings higher expectations and then disappointment when the team does not live up to those new expectations. That is what I see happening with the Mets and ther fans this week. The Mets won one game in the week after they threw a no-hitter and won a series against the defending champions. If the Mets had been playing the way they were supposed to be playing they would have struggled to score runs against the Cardinals and this weekend's failures also would not have felt nearly as bad.

But the Mets have competed so far this season so now they were supposed to win this weekend.

It is impossible to juggle expectations and emotions when a team plays so far past their perceived ability. It makes weeks like this past one more frustrating than ever. We all want the Mets to win yet we also have to remember this team is still young and they are going to go through growing pains.

The new expectations for this group shouldn't be through the roof. They should not all of a sudden be playoff-bound because of a fast start. While the play does warrant higher expectations the Mets are not World Series contenders in year one of success. However, they are not going to fall back into the dumps after one bad week. Weeks like this happen to keep the team and the fans grounded. Even the best teams struggle.

I don't even know where I'm going with this anymore because there are so many ways I can go. This post is scattered because collecting my thoughts right now is impossible.

I think the best thing for all of us would be to take a deep breath and clear our heads. The Mets are playing far better than we thought they would after Spring Training. Remember that and enjoy what has happened so far.

Let's Go Mets!

More Ridiculousness

He really cannot catch a break.

Ugh. No pun intended.

My Thoughts Right Now

If you are blaming Bobby Parnell for that inning I don't know if I can help you. He made pitches. He was not leaving the fastball over the plate. And there was absolutely nothing hit hard against him.

The defense has betrayed Parnell time and time again this season. It kills me to see this happening. Right now Bobby has had zero luck out there. Just one play changes the inning.

Get 'em next time, Bobby. I know you can.

Infuriating

Poor Bobby Parnell.

Because We Need Something Positive This Weekend

This season has started slowly for Kai Gronauer. He has not really hit his offensive stride yet and it is already June. However, his past few games have been better and tonight was another good step for him.

Kai had two hits tonight which raised his batting average almost twenty points. He is also hitting .278 in his last ten games and has hit .280 against left-handers all season.

Earlier in the season he said he was happy with his defensive game but he was still looking for his offense. He has served as the backup catcher behind Juan Centeno all season for the B-Mets so it would obviously take a little longer for him to get on any type of offensive tear with limited playing time. Hopefully his last few games will help him find his stroke for the rest of the season and maybe even get him more playing time.

The B-Mets won 12-0 tonight which is a nice glimpse at their season. They got a great start from Darin Gorski, who has also been great this season behind Zack Wheeler. Matt den Dekker and Eric Campbell had a combined five hits tonight after Matt had five hits on his own yesterday and they have lead the offense this season.

I know Kai Gronauer is not a prospect on this Binghamton Mets team but he's one of the reasons I'm following. The team as a whole is pretty fun and seeing Kai improve just makes me like them that much more.

So if the Mets ever have another rough weekend (which they are bound to have during such a long season), look for the B-Mets and see what they're up to.

Let's Go Mets!

Friday, June 8, 2012

I Think It's A Cool Idea

The Mets have been celebrating their 50th anniversary by running contests through twitter, Facebook, and at Citi Field during games. Many of them have included once-in-a-lifetime experiences for fans such as watching BP from the field or participating in your own round of BP at the field.

Maybe it's because I haven't won a contest but I've been thinking about cool ideas for contests. I figured I'd share one.

The Mets could give 25 fans the chance to experience batting practice (or something else, I'm not an expert on contest ideas) with one Mets player. They could have fans submit a picture slideshow about why they are the biggest fan of a particular player. Fans could then vote on which fan would win for each player. The top vote-getters would get to meet their player and the second and third place vote-getters could get an autographed item from their player. I obviously don't know the costs and logistics of a contest like this but I think it would be beyond awesome if it actually happened.

Maybe there's a way we could spread the word?

Let's Go Mets!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Why Can't We Be Friends?

The Mets off-field story of the day has been about them reprinting tickets from Johan Santana's no-hitter. Understandably, some fans are irked by this move.

There is nothing wrong with wanting your ticket to be unique and valuable and special to you and only you. However, putting people down for not being at the game is utterly ridiculous. Nobody messed up by not going to the game on June 1, 2012. It was one game out of 162 (or 81 home games). There was no way to know Mets history would be made that night. It could have happened August 23, 1999 or May 18, 2006 or any other game day. The fans that go to a handful of games each season may not have chosen to spend that Friday night at Citi Field.

Each fan experienced the no-hitter their own way. The ones at the game were on the edge of their seat there. Others could have been on the edge of their couch or the edge of a seat at a restaurant or sitting anxiously in their car. There is no reason for anybody who was at the game to act superior to the fans that were not at the game. The fans at that game were luckier than ever to witness history that night.

I want to be able to enjoy the no-hitter with every Mets fan. I do not want to have to worry about being put down because I didn't happen to go to that game.

Let's Go Mets!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Invading History

I don't even know why I'm writing about this. I'm so against giving this guy attention yet here I am, doing just that.

In the happy pile of Mets celebrating the no-hitter there was one non-Met. He was some idiot fan that ran on the field and joined the fun. Now, in many of the pictures and almost any video of the celebration he's there. Some moron in a Gary Carter jersey being, well, moronic. What's worse, because he's in a Carter jersey the New York Post decides to take the angle of making him like an angel, a hero sent down to represent Kid.

No. Just no.

I do not care how big of a fan you are portrayed as or you think you are. If you actually ruin the images of history you don't deserve to be anywhere near the team. Lucky for us, this guy won't be. Running onto the field can get you banned from said venue forever. It will also get you quite the fine and a possible year in jail. A large price once you prove your fandom.

It is all deserved. There is no excuse for ruining this moment. Every other fan in the stadium controlled themselves and stayed in the stands. It is not as if he could have waited longer for this moment than anybody else or gone through more heartbreak with this team than anybody else. Being caught up in the moment is no excuse.

This was simply beyond stupid. Now until the rest of forever certain images of Mets history will have this idiot/moron/other-word-I'm-not-allowed-to-use.

And it caused him to be locked up for his kid's first birthday. Good going, dude.

Let's Go Mets!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Books

When I think about it, I lose my breath. The Mets finally have a no-hitter. Johan Santana threw 134 pitches. Josh Thole called the pitches. Mike Baxter contributed an outstanding catch against the left field wall.

The best part is, it is all real. This is not some dream or movie or video game commercial. It really happened. Every fan has their own story of the night, whether they were lucky enough to be there or they enjoyed the game on TV or through the radio. Gary Cohen was pretty excited on SNY and somehow Howie Rose was even more enthusiastic on WFAN. No matter how you followed this game, it was special.

I sat curled in the same position on my couch with one hand holding my head up and the other fidgeting with whatever was around. I was supposed to take the garbage out after the fourth inning but kept pushing it off. I had to go to the bathroom since about the same time. But I didn't move until the end. At this point I'm not embarrassed to admit I had my Mets teddy bear on the couch with me. And my dad sitting on the adjacent couch. My Yankee-fan brother finally realized what was happening in the ninth inning and joined us. My mom wandered in and out of the room as she does when games get too stressful. I have to mention it was her birthday because this was a pretty cool gift from the Mets.

In all my exhaustion from going to prom yesterday I almost thought this would be a game I'd miss the end of. I'd go to bed early and have it on the radio as I fell asleep. Had there been a rain delay that probably would've happened. However, the rain was weak and didn't deter Johan Santana from making history.

Tonight was a night no Mets fan will ever forget.

June 1, 2012.

Let's Go Mets!

Now I Can Breathe

Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas are once again the Mets catchers. It is the combination I would have gone with for more reasons than my attachment to the now backup catcher.

And now that this move has been made I can catch my breath and think about other things.

Let's Go Mets!

The Conflict

I wish I had been writing more recently. I wish there was a way for me to write how I feel about certain situations in the Mets world without my opinion being thrown away because of certain players I like. That is my conundrum.

As an aspiring journalist I know I should be writing based on facts, trying to be reasonable and disregarding any bias. As a Mets fan I know it is impossible for my writing to be unbiased. I know I can't simply put aside which players I am pulling for, which ones I have put way too much time and energy rooting for to just push to the side. As a human being I know that however much anyone tries to write unbiasedly it is truly an impossible task.

I want to say what I think about the Mets catchers but I won't. That is one topic I know I am too personally invested in to push my opinions on others. Of course, if anyone wants to know my thoughts that position can change.

There are other things I can write about. There are other things I will write about. I just have to wrap my head around the catcher situation first.

As always . . .

Let's Go Mets!