Get Out of Jail Free Card
For now, Lastings Milledge is not in trouble as his actions have been chalked up to being rookie mistakes and simply being an overly exuberant 21-year old.
"We weren't too happy about that. But he's a young kid," Giants reliever Steve Kline said. "I don't know if he's going to be slapping five with everybody after he goes 0-for-15 and the New York fans are booing him. But in the heat of the moment, you can't blame the kid. He knows better. I think he genuinely knows he did wrong."
"Oh, boy. He has a little growing up to do," outfielder Cliff Floyd said. "I'll just mention to him the consequences that come along with that. If that's what you want to do, you do that. But at the same time, if you want guys throwing at your head constantly, you proceed to do it that way.
"He has the talent and everything, but you have to understand the game at this level. At Triple-A they're going to treat you like a king, and what's wrong with that? When you come here, without losing your mojo, you've got to bring the mentality down. If you can do that, you'll earn the respect of a lot of people."
"I had a little conversation with him about that. I told him to tone it down a little bit," Willie Randolph said. "He got excited about his first big home run. Wouldn't you? I talked to him about it -- it won't happen again."
"Now I know what's expected. It was a rookie mistake. We learn from it," Milledge said. "I was just excited to get the team back. If it was just a solo homer that meant nothing for the team, I wouldn't have been that excited."I was at the game and did not think too much of it at the time, but Fiver Gate was not well received by people that actually play the game. I kind of liked it when it happened though I thought it was weird because I have never seen that before. I really do not think it was Milledge being a show boat. The kid hit a big homerun, had his index finger and middle finger raised as he rounded first, did a curtain call, and threw out some love to some people. To say the crowd was going berserk would be an understatement as the place was completely out of control and Milledge was obviously excited too.
"I honestly wasn't showing anyone up," Milledge said. "I just wanted to show the fans how much I appreciated them."
Baseball is a game that players get very offended and very easily. Any attempt to showboat a little is akin to running over someone's dog. Is everyone supposed to act like robots and show no emotion? Was Milledge a little bit over the top with the high fives? Maybe. How many players actually go out for curtain calls on their first big league homerun? Not many, but Lastings was probably having an insanely surreal moment.
"I didn't realize it was my first major-league home run until I touched third," the 21-year-old outfielder said. "The first thing I thought was, 'tie score.'"
With this being a big deal in the media and the recent articles about his arrogance, Milledge is going to have a hard time shedding this image. Once a guy is tabbed as lazy or a bad clubhouse guy, it generally follows him around. Personally, I thought everything he did was fine. It was a cool moment when high fived the fans. After all, that is what they wanted him to do and a little more of that would add some color into the game. If you are on the other team and do not like it? Beat them. The Giants did that so who got the last laugh?
"I wanted to give the fans the chance to experience my first home run with me," Milledge explained. "I was just excited to have helped us get back in the game. Willie just said that other people will take it differently than what you want it to be. I understand I made a rookie mistake."
Whether or not you like soccer, the World Cup is always fun to watch. While I understand the stakes are much higher in the World Cup than a game in early June, watching the emotion being poured out on the field during the game and after game is amazing. But that extends outside of the World Cup too in the soccer World and it just is not at our fingertips to watch like the World Cup is. The crowds at soccer games are out of the control and the overall atmosphere is really what makes those games so exciting. Maybe baseball should take note of that and stop worrying about players getting feelings hurt and wanting players to be emotionless.
Rookie or not, it is pretty impossible not to get excited when a large crowd of some of the most intense fans in professional sports are going wild. There are definitely things that can be done that are simply unacceptable when it comes to showboating and Milledge did not do any of that in my eyes and there are a few fans who were down on the right field line yesterday that will probably have a different opinion than most in regards to the entire situation. Milledge’s makeup questions have been more or less of a non-issue for me and I think Michael Vaccaro said it best in his column today.
If the worst we'll ever say about Milledge is that he got a little too excited after his first signature moment as a major leaguer, then Milledge will have lived a long and prosperous baseball life.
Preach on brother. Preach on.
- Steve Trachsel gave the Mets a great start.
- The team proved it's resiliency yet again and overcame a devastating eighth inning error and two runs allowed in the tenth to cap two big comebacks on the day.
- Lastings Milledge put up a 3 for 4 day with a homerun, three RBIs, and a nice sliding catch in right field. Sick. Just sick.
- David Wright continues to be on fire while spraying the ball the all fields.
- Jose Valentin continues to swing a great bat and is really playing well.
- Finally to top it off, one of the Mets comeback came courtesy of an Armando Benitez meltdown.
Looking noticeably thinner Sunday, Xavier Nady strode into the clubhouse saying, "I was bored. I couldn't stay at home."
Nady underwent an emergency appendectomy early in the morning May 30, and until taking a few gingerly steps Saturday, he's "mostly been laying around." Nady's on the 15-day disabled list for now, and he's hoping his doctor will give him clearance at his Friday appointment to start baseball maneuvers.
"This was pretty weak," he said of the fans' reaction to him. "It's much tougher in Los Angeles. I love the way the fans act out there. I just love it."
After the game, Milledge also looked a little disoriented as he wandered around the clubhouse trying to figure out the proper dress code attire for the plane ride to Los Angeles.
Finally, Carlos Beltran, known as the best dresser on the team, took him aside and hooked him up with the right jacket and pants ensemble so he could catch the team bus to the airport.
Because of Omar Minaya's frantic (and pricey) winter, the pressure on Willie Randolph has been acute. He's dealt with injuries, uncertainty in the middle infield and upheaval in the rotation, but there the Mets are — in first place by a full five-and-a-half games. There's plenty of time for the wheels to come off, but if Randolph fends off the Braves and Phillies, he'll be the toast of Gotham. At least until the playoffs begin.
Jeffrey Maier is the talk of the town in Baltimore, where fans can't believe the 12-year-old boy who ruined their 1996 season is eligible for the draft--and that the Orioles are considering drafting him. By now you know that Maier, who reached over the wall at Yankee Stadium and changed the course of the American League Championship Series by grabbing a Derek Jeter fly ball and turning it into a home run, became a solid player at Wesleyan (Conn.) University and is a marginal draft prospect. Some Orioles fans think Maier's interference was the beginning of their team's downward spiral, but owner Peter Angelos said he is intrigued by the idea of bringing Maier into his franchise. "I wouldn't be at all opposed to (drafting Maier)," he told The Washington Post. "In fact, I'd say it's a very interesting development. You can say the Orioles are very seriously considering him. I know this much: I was at that game, and he certainly did seem to be a heck of an outfielder. Sure, we'd take him. In fact, I like the idea more and more, the more I think about it."
Solidarity by moustaches.
Q: Why would anyone want to grow a moustache?
A: To get Willie to put them in the starting lineup.
Jose's moustache is the only reason I can think of that he is still around. He was pretty bad in 2003. He followed that up by being pretty bad in 2004. Not to surprisingly, he followed that up up by completely shitting the bed in 2005. In Spring Training of 2006, he looked completely lost. The trend continued for the first part of the season and he posted a .136/.136/.136 line in April. Then May came around and Jose Valentin put up a .320/.368/.600 line and he has a .444/.545/.889 line so far in June. Valentin has been hitting with power, roping line drives, and playing solid defense. Truly bizarre turn of events. In the past, some teams shaved their heads to show solidarity. Some teams did not shave their beards to show their solidarity. However, I propose that all Met players and Mets fans (including woman who have the wherewithal to) grow moustaches. Dayn Perry says Willie has been the manager of the year so far and Valentin has been playing like a stud. Much like Samson’s strength coming from the hair on top of his head, it is hard not to see some sort of correlation between Randolph and Valentin's success and their moustaches. With 25 players on the team and multitudes of fans with fuzzy upper lips, this team would be unstoppable.