A blog dedicated to the New York Mets with some other baseball thrown in.

## Monday, April 09, 2007

### The Secret of Perfect Bacon?

Yes, I know there was a game today, but I have a hard time concentrating on baseball when the most groundbreaking formula since E=mc² has been found.

SCIENTISTS believe they have come up with a formula to create the perfect bacon buttie.

The two most important aspects are crispiness and crunchiness, according to a new study.

It revealed the crunching sound while eating rashers should ideally measure 0.5 decibels.

They should also break when 0.4 Newtons of force is applied through chewing, the researchers said.

Who needs to work on curing cancer when you can make mouthwatering bacon even better than it already is? (as impossible as that sounds)

The Formula

N = C + {fb(cm) . fb(tc)} + fb(Ts) + fc . ta

N = force in Newtons required to break the cooked bacon.
fb = function of the bacon type.
fc = function of the condiment/filling effect.
Ts = serving temperature.
tc = cooking time.
ta = time or duration of application of condiment/filling.
cm = cooking method.
C = Newtons required to break uncooked bacon.

The secret of life has been revealed. With such knowledge comes great responsibility and you must use it solely for good. In the wrong hands such knowledge could be devastating.

* * *

• Ok, there was a game yesterday and as a Met fan, you probably experienced every thinkable emotion during that game. It was certainly a wild one and though the Mets won, The Coop and Toasty had plenty of concerns about the way the game was managed. First, Toasty's post was one of those that was an instant classics. It's a must read. Second, both make valid points and since I'm trying to back off Willie, I'll just let them do the dirty work. Of course Heilman's unavailability factored into Willie's moves, but everyone's concerns should go beyond today's game.

I'm not necessarily going to agree or disagree with them at this point, but I will just state why Willie's little gaffes scare me. Let's just say I agree with Toasty (and I'm not saying I do since I'm trying to be nicer to Willie), a team with an airtight bullpen (usually found in the playoffs) would probably win today's game. But many of you are saying, "why the fuck do you care, the Mets won." Yes, they won today, but like I said, a better team wins when you give them that break.

The Mets are good enough to roll through the regular season. In the small percentage of their games that they do get challenged, Willie seems to make mistakes too often during those games. The Mets are good enough to play through them against lesser opponents like the Phillies, Nationals, Cardinals, etc., but what happens against better teams? The quick answer is they most likely lose. In a short series in the playoffs, there will be closer games against better teams and Willie's moves get magnified and will be more meaningful. His moves become more important and when he screws up on things that should easy for good managers during the regular season whether the Mets win or lose, it scares me. So while everyone can say, but the Mets won, it is hard to not look towards the future and wonder what happens against better competition with better coaching.

• Rob Neyer's assault on Derek Jeter's defense leaves me at a loss for words. He is a true champion of justice and is fighting the good fight. Some people think it is obsessive, but I see a guy trying to make the Gold Glove respectful. Derek Jeter winning one Gold Glove much less multiple ones is a travesty. The sad part is, I do not think his '06 Gold Glove will be his last one and Neyer is actually using his column to change what is clearly a joke. My Yankee hatred aside, it is refreshing to see a writer actually try and do something positive.

• The Phillies are 1-6 and already 4.5 games out seven games into the season.

• You have to love it.

Smith made his maiden voyage to Shea Stadium on Monday morning, following John Maine in his truck from Long Island City. At one point, Maine turned right, and Smith was about to, but a woman turning right on to the street he was on was tentative to complete her turn. So she did what any New Yorker would do. She leaned on the horn.

"It's 8:20 in the morning, and an old lady is blowing her horn at me," he said smiling and understanding just how far New York is from his Ohio.

• John Donovan loves the NL....four of his top six teams are from the National League, which is by most accounts nutty. Donovan seems to be putting a lot of stock in the early goings of baseball, which is fine, but things change quickly. You cannot ignore the talent on a team like the Tigers and rank them so low after a weak start, but it is nice to see someone not regurgitate what the majority believes.

• In case you missed one of the daily articles on the topic, Reyes is good.

• Let's not set the bar too high...

About three weeks after his surgery, during his birthday party in the Dominican Republic, Martinez reached into a friend's baby carriage and raised the baby high over his head, stunning several Mets in attendance.

Now it appears that Martinez might throw off a mound as soon as May 1 and rejoin the Mets' rotation shortly after the All-Star break.

"I saw him the last week before I left Florida and I couldn't believe it," says Martinez's good friend, Mets bullpen coach Guy Conti.

I don't want to get my hopes up. I'm still banking on him not being apart the '07 Mets.

• Anthony Rieber is second guessing Randolph already as well.

Second thoughts

With Paul Lo Duca getting the day off, Randolph had an opportunity to use David Wright in the No. 2 spot, as he did nine times during the last two weeks of spring training. But Randolph said he didn't consider it.

Instead, he left Wright in the fifth spot and used Jose Valentin second.

"It's just one day," Randolph said. "Jose can handle that spot. He's a patient hitter, and all the things you'd like a No. 2 hitter to do, he can do. Just one day."

• I missed this one, but Jimmy Rollins is trying to get everyone in on it.

"I don't care. They already boo me," he said. "I like getting booed. Our fans definitely don't like their fans, and our fans definitely don't like their fans.

"We're going to get out of this (slump), but we have to adjust really soon and get on the good side of it."

Labels:

oSSyCoCoTaSo said...

burger threw a ton of pitches at that point. so i can see why everyone is pissed.

but then again, ive seen pat burrell tear us new assholes too many times. i'd rather give up a 3run shot to him that fucking pat burrell.

pick ur poison if u ask me.

3:52 AM

mr. met said...

Ossy,

This particular situation is not black and white. I'll agree with that, but these gripes that people brought up reminded me of why I get worked up when Randolph does wacky things. It’s just so rare that he has to get very strategic during the season since they are so good, but when he needs to, he seemingly makes the wrong move the majority of the time. When the games count more in the playoffs because you don’t have a full season to make up a few games and the opposition will be better with better coaches, I will be concerned. That’s all. It’s easy to second guess any move that didn’t work whether it’s the right move or not, but Willie seemingly does it too much and I envision him being just a bad, bad post season manager. If the Mets roll over opponents, it won’t matter, but if it comes down to Xs and Os, the Mets are at a disadvantage in my opinion.

9:19 AM

AE said...

i'm gonna give willie leeway with letting burgos pitch to howard. howard's been struggling with the bat and pat burrell always finds a way to stick it to the mets.

until that one mistake to howard, burgos was owning him in that ab. burgos is still a "kid" and will learn from this - at least he better learn from this or his career with the mets will be short and bitter. anyway, i'd rather that mistake come now than in september and it's good to see that randolph will trust his people (i.e. smith in the opener).

however, i will agree with most of you though that this team wins in spite of willie. omar has been good enough to get us quality players that will perform most of the time in the situation that they are asked to perform in even if willie uses them incorrectly...

9:54 AM

Danny said...

Mike, all we can hope for is that by the end of the year Duaner and Mota have come back and come back strong, and we have a lockdown bullpen that can overcome Willie's decision-making.

By the way, I didn't realize there were 2 outs to Howard when Willie left Burgos in. I thought there was only one out at the time. Unforgivable decision. You HAVE to walk him there. Leaving Burgos in to face Utley to try and get a strikeout was the right move. But you either have to walk Howard and go after Burrell with Burgos or Joe Smith, or you bring in Feliciano to face Howard. It sucks too because Burgos made a bunch of great pitches but all anyone will remember is the one pitch he hung, and that was a terrible pitch call by LoDuca.

That fancy bacon formula sounds tasty and all, but I would rather eschew science and go with Willie's gut. And he likes Hormel. Thanks for the suggestion though.

9:56 AM

mr. met said...

Mike, all we can hope for is that by the end of the year Duaner and Mota have come back and come back strong, and we have a lockdown bullpen that can overcome Willie's decision-making.

Yup. And when people say it's good to test Burgos, with Sanchez, Padilla, and Mota in the fold at some point, who thinks Burgos will be around come two months? Why test a guy that won't be around? Test Smith (who will be around) against Burrell or test Shoenweiss against a big lefty in a big spot as a LOOGY if you want meaningful tests. I love the Burgos deal, but because of a #'s crunch, he's going to get edged out. Not that it's a bad thing either. Whatever, not a huge deal in the big scheme of things, but Willie just scares me as a tactical manager. Sorry.

That fancy bacon formula sounds tasty and all, but I would rather eschew science and go with Willie's gut. And he likes Hormel. Thanks for the suggestion though.

Hormel microwavable....pre-cooked bacon at that.

AE, I'm not too worried about Burgos learning, but he gave it all to Utley. It was a big spot with a base open. Conventional wisdom says you don't pitch the guy who just hit 58 homers and KILLED you in '06 and you go after the guy who killed you in '02. This really isn't a big deal for me as much as it stirred up old issues I have with Willie. I weep for the future if he does not straighten out. A world class team needs a world class manager. Yes, Willie seems like classy guy who is good with the media and is great with his players, but the man will never be confused for a great strategical manager and it will cost the Mets at some point when it counts.

Some could argue that happened last year, but I do not want this Met team to fall short of expectations because of a guy operating without a clue when the chips are down at the helm.

11:23 AM

metdynasty said...

LOL, you Willie bashers make me laugh.

You've watched the game for a few years and you've written about it. Now you think you are some kind of expert in managering games. Please, allow me to bring you back to reality: you don't know shit about baseball.

If this game is figured out by some wise guys who never faced a ML pitcher and never played in a ML game, then baseball is not worth playing or watching after all. Even the humble Albert Einstein once said to a ML player: "You will learn Mathematics before I learn Baseball". Being a math major, I have some idea about what Einstein meant: the game itself contains infinite possibilities, then when you add in the human factor, and players' psychological impact, it becomes an impossible puzzle that even the man who discovered theories of relativities didn't dare to touch. So dear Willie bashers: a little modesty might suit you better.

That said, let me clear up more confusions here. First, Willie has a managing style of his own. It's a style of never losing the sight of the goal to settle for a few cheap wins in hyped-up April or subway games. It's a steady and fearless apporach to the game where cockiness, laziness, unprofessionalism and lack of confidence will not be tolerated. It's a style of rather exposing the weaknesses early and working on them than hiding or ignoring them. It's about trusting all the players not just some of them and constantly testing them to see if they have what it takes to succeed. Think about that, then tell me why he would bat Valentin second in Atlanta when he had a .130 average, and why he let Burgos pitch to Howard, and why he didn't pull Reyes off the lead-off spot and Valentin and Chavez off the team when they were struggling early last season. Some of you praise about his postive influence on the team yet continue to call his bold moves "ridiculous, absurd and stupid". Don't you see that those two go hand in hand. Without losses and failure, without courage,confidence and trust in his players, where can the improvement and success come from?If wise men like yourselves can figure out a way to improve the team without having to risk their chances of winning, please by all means, call Omar and take Willie's job and I would love to see it.

Second, you have to be really biased to think that Willie manages playoff or must-win games the same way he does in an April game. Did you even watch the NLDS last year? Can you honestly tell me he managed that dodgers series the same way he did yesterday? Don't give me crap about he did a poor job in NLCS either just because we lost. Jim Leyland's Tigers couldn't even last more than 5 games against the cards with everyone of their major pieces healthy and more days to perapare while the Mets, even though exhausted, still battled them to the very last inning without Pedro, El Duque and Sanchez.

As I stated above, there is no one single perfect style for this game. Believe it or not, no manager in history has ever even come close to perfection. So no matter what style you use, there are certainly pros and cons that come with it. It's really about perfecting one particular style and right now Willie is very close to it. Some of you don't see it only because you're blind by your bias and arrogance.

Third, it's perfectly ok to question a manager's move, talk about it and analyse it. That's what makes the game so much fun because we can never ran out of new ideas in baseball. What is ridiculous is that without having to face the responsibilities and the pressure, without knowing the players' personality, ego, health and mental conditions, and without ever experiencing the intensity of managing a real Major League game or any other kind, to think that he is so much better at it and then insults the ones who are actually doing a fine job managing. That's when his words start to lose value and this blog starts to lose its intellectual appeal.

One last note to the Oliver Perez fans here: if Willie never got the guts and the right instincts to stick with Perez in the NLCS game 4 & 7, what are Oliver's chances to have the courage to turn his career around?

1:16 PM

Anonymous said...

"it's perfectly ok to question a manager's move, talk about it and analyse it"

I'm pretty sure that is what we all our doing no? Perhaps it's fortunate that today is an off day so you can relax. Just because another reader has a differing opinion than you, doesn't automatically mean that "they don't know shit about baseball".

1:30 PM

Anonymous said...

Amen, Metdynasty. You think after years of horrible managers and horrible teams, we'd all be happy to see the way Willie has brought along Wright, Reyes, Maine, and Perez while getting more out of Chavez, Valentin, and Castro then any other manager has been able to. Maybe, just maybe, he knows what he is doing...

1:33 PM

mr. met said...

metdynasty,

Don't be so condescending. I enjoy conversations about baseball here, but not when people try and strike up something with that tone.

So...by your rationale, a casual fan does not have the brain capacity to recognize when a managing gaffe occurs? Interesting....

And don't bring up a Dodger series in which the Mets swept and rolled over a weaker team. Managing a series like that is at a minimum. I'm talking about a back and forth one like the Cardinal series where there are seemingly so man turning points. A good manager can make all the difference and that seems to be pretty plain to see.

Can I manage a big league club? Nope, but that certainly doesn't mean every manager is a good one and we should blindly assume they are just fantastic at what they do.

There seems to be only a few top tier managers with a lot of mediocre to bad ones. In the big scheme of life and baseball knowledge, those mediocre to bad ones are bigger baseball minds than us, but in relation to their piers, they fall short and that is what we are really gauging them on. Not whether they can out manage us, but outsmart their opponent (which is obviously where I think Willie is doomed to fall short at times).

Furthermore, it would be nice if it was just bloggers or whatever joe schmoe questioning the great Willie Randolph (it should be noted quite a few teams didn't think highly enough of him to give him a job) that would be one thing, but that is far from the case.

Willie is good with people and trusts his guys...that is a good thing. But as I've stated before, it is my opinion Xs and Os is not his thing. You beg to differ obviously, but there a plenty of people who disagree with you.

If I could put a manger together that was a blend of Keith Hernandez's knowledge and Willie's people skills, you'd have a perfect manager. Randolph is lacking in that area and we are not critiquing a few April games (which is also a bit insulting), he had 162 games last year and ten playoff games in '06 and 162 games in '05 to show us he's pretty good at making some curious moves.

I'm not sure why you give him a pass here. He was a third base coach for many years in the AL and bench coach to another guy who isn't a strategic giant. He played primarily in the AL which had the DH for the entirety of his career. That doesn't mean a guy with that sort of resume cannot be great, but it tells me could very well have a ways to go. As you said, if Einstein cannot figure out baseball, a guy who has not dealt with the NL game might have trouble grasping some things and it appears that might be what we are looking at here.

1:57 PM

mr. met said...

Maybe, just maybe, he knows what he is doing...

In some respects, he does. But many have concerns about specific areas. Only time will tell, but I don't think many people would argue that he has not exactly had a sparkling track record.

At first, it was getting his rookie year out of the way, but he seemed to continue many of those things in '06, but was largely masked by having such a good team.

Sorry, I'm not seeing this fantastical manager that you speak about. I'm not denying he has his strong points, but I find it hard to believe people denying he has his pitfalls.

2:01 PM

Danny said...

Wow, that's quite a box of soap you have there, metsdynasty.

3:31 PM

mr. met said...

I specifically posted about bacon to avoid such controversy!

3:51 PM

the brooklyn bum said...

metdynasty,

Maybe it would make more sense to you in math terms:

2+2=4

Tired young right handed fastball pitcher + open base + baseball's premier left handed power hitter = intentional walk.

This team plays hard for Willie, but lets not forget that yesterday's game was SLOPPY all around. Maine throwing to third on a bunt. Green throwing through to third on the sac fly. Valentine bunting in the 8th. This team wins because they mash the ball, not because they play crisp smart baseball and THAT stems from the manager too.

I think what scares mets fans is that Willie doesn't seem able to learn from his mistakes. He's a young manager and there are going to be mistakes, but from 2005 on he hasn't progressed at all. He's still burning out his pen, leaving guys in too long, and trusting 'veterans' because they are 'veterans' despite better players available.

This team wins because of Omar, not Willie.

4:41 PM

mr. met said...

I actually think the Mets play crisp baseball the majority of the time, but he last three games were definitely not crisp and definitely cost them at least one of those two losses in Atlanta. They came out pristine, but they've kind of relapses into first week of spring form, but they'll get on track. The play of these guys is the least of my worry, but your other points are my bigger worry.

4:51 PM

metdynasty said...

There is no point arguing any more if my words are repeatly twisted.

"by your rationale, a casual fan does not have the brain capacity to recognize when a managing gaffe occurs?"

Please tell me where did I make that suggestion in my post.

"And don't bring up a Dodger series in which the Mets swept and rolled over a weaker team. Managing a series like that is at a minimum."

I don't know what your definition of managing a series is, mike, but I saw plenty of good managing decisions in that series especially in game 3 which was overlooked by a lot people. Also why does an easy sweep necessarily mean the managing is at minimum? Can't it be possible that one brilliantly outmanages the other therefore one's team sweeps the other's?

"that certainly doesn't mean every manager is a good one and we should blindly assume they are just fantastic at what they do."

Again show me where did I say we should.

"Randolph is lacking in that area and we are not critiquing a few April games"

There is plenty of critiquing here. Do I really have to quote them?

"he had 162 games last year and ten playoff games in '06 and 162 games in '05 to show us he's pretty good at making some curious moves."

That's just my point. Some of his moves seem "curious" to you and some people while they make sense to me and others considering the managerial style he is using as I argued in my original post. And you have yet to give me a legit example of a "curious" move in the playoff to prove your point that Willie isn't a good strategic manager.

"if Einstein cannot figure out baseball, a guy who has not dealt with the NL game might have trouble grasping some things and it appears that might be what we are looking at here."

The Einstein statement is to say that the game is so complex that it's impossible to play it flawlessly. So every manager's game has flaws. Therefore, it is wrong to assume that there is a perfect managing style, which many fans do, and then take the flaws and so called "curious" moves out of the context of the manager's style to judge against him or even go as far as calling him "clueless". Willie's style demands risk, possibly more than most fans and even some managers would like to take, but most of it is at the expense of early season games or meaningless games which were made possible because the team was too far ahead in the standings last season. But a lot of the risk he took proved rewarding in the long run which can be seen in the team's tremendous progress and some players' surprising perfomance.

"I'm not denying he has his strong points, but I find it hard to believe people denying he has his pitfalls."

Mike, I found you very slick in teams of not denying his strong points. Yet you still somehow find a way to accuse him of operating without a clue when the chips are down at the helm.

5:51 PM

metdynasty said...

brooklyn bum, thanks, but I am perfectly aware of 2+2=4, and I am also aware of a lot more math equations that you haven't even heard of. So let's leave the math part out of it, ok?

My original post is almost entire about the complexity of baseball yet you still think of it as trivial as an equation. What more can I say on that?

"This team plays hard for Willie, but lets not forget that yesterday's game was SLOPPY all around. Maine throwing to third on a bunt. Green throwing through to third on the sac fly. Valentine bunting in the 8th. This team wins because they mash the ball, not because they play crisp smart baseball and THAT stems from the manager too."

LOL, Wow, just wow. I forgot that if a manager is good enough that his team will execute every play perfectly for the entire season.

Let me ask you, brooklyn bum: if you make a mistake at your work, does it mean you don't know how to do your work?

6:20 PM

metdynasty said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6:39 PM

metdynasty said...

Mike, this is where you and I differ:

You think a loss in a baseball season is a dead loss and managers should squeeze out a win whenever they can. I believe that a loss can be a good thing if you learn from it. Sometimes, a loss is even more valuable to a team than a win especially when the season is still young. Willie is not afraid of losing and neither does he allow his players to be. That's why sometimes the odds are so against some of his moves that a blind man can see the better alternatives. So try to understand those moves in terms of benefiting the team in the long run in stead of giving the team the best chance to win that one particular game.

I guarantee you, Mike, he doesn't make those moves in a must-win situation.

6:50 PM

the brooklyn bum said...

brooklyn bum, thanks, but I am perfectly aware of 2+2=4, and I am also aware of a lot more math equations that you haven't even heard of. So let's leave the math part out of it, ok?

Well, I didn't bring my amazing math credentials into the discussion. Maybe if this were about some minute SABR debate I would genuflect before the alter of metdynasty.

My original post is almost entire about the complexity of baseball yet you still think of it as trivial as an equation. What more can I say on that?

It really is as simple as 2+2. You don't let the other team's best player beat you. Especially under that situation.

LOL, Wow, just wow. I forgot that if a manager is good enough that his team will execute every play perfectly for the entire season.

Do I expect the team to play perfect baseball the entire season? No. Physical errors are part of the game and there is not much you can do about them, but mental errors are a direct reflection on how much preparation a manager demands of his players. It's yet another demonstration of how Willie is not capable of managing a big league team.

Let me ask you, brooklyn bum: if you make a mistake at your work, does it mean you don't know how to do your work?

No, but if I constantly make the same mistakes over and over again despite 100 years of knowledge to the contrary, maybe I should be in a different line of work. If I go for 11 interviews and never get a job, maybe I should be in a different line of work. If I continue to favor loyalty and longevity over performance, maybe I should be in a different line of work.

7:53 PM

Anonymous said...

Cards in 6.

9:44 PM

metdynasty said...

"Physical errors are part of the game and there is not much you can do about them, but mental errors are a direct reflection on how much preparation a manager demands of his players. It's yet another demonstration of how Willie is not capable of managing a big league team."

You've got to be kidding right? A player makes a mental error and therefore the manager didn't demand enough from his player.
How can a sane person say something like this? Do you even watch baseball?

10:06 PM

mr. met said...

I'm not saying losses are bad. My entire point is over 2+ seasons, Willie makes bonehead moves. That concerns me.

Sorry if that was lost in everything, but I was saying we are not complaining about just an April game, but things we all continue to see when he should in all reality becoming a tighter manager.

12:41 AM

chenlina said...

2:55 AM