Knee Jerk Media
Q: What is Fairness, Consistency, and Having a Point?
A: Three things the New York media is lacking.
Alright, maybe that's not 100% true for every one out there, but for way too many. The pure lunacy of this article by Kevin Kernan is truly hard to convey in words.
IF current All-Star voting holds, the Mets will have four starters in David Wright, Paul Lo Duca, Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran. They own an 81/2-game lead in the NL Least. Life is good.
Despite all that, you might want to hold off on the champagne.
This homestand has brought a dose of reality to the Mets. With last night's 4-2 loss to Cincinnati, they've dropped three of four to the struggling Orioles and the slumping Reds.
Huh? What? The Mets were 1 and 3 and are now 2 and 3 on the current homestand after completely dominating on the road. I would be more concerned (not that I would actually be concerned) if it happened on the road. I have faith in the Mets to be able to win at Shea, but to go into a second place team's home and their closest division rival's home and annihilate them is a big boost and extremely impressive.
Is there that little to write about that when the Mets still have not lost more than two games in a row it is time to hit the panic button? If anything you can take positives out of the fact they still beat themselves on Friday night and El Duque has showed he can give the Mets some solid outings from the back end of the rotation.
If the playoffs started tomorrow, the Mets would be heading into the postseason with a 3-4 record against the three other National League playoff teams. That's a small sample, but it is a revealing sample. They are 3-3 in interleague play and 6-6 vs. the Central, the best division in the NL.
Wow. Just wow. If you want to take small sample sizes and look to far into them, the Mets are 2-1 against the Yankees and the game that was lost had a four run implosion by Billy Wagner. Is the Mets going 2-1 against the Yankees revealing? Common sense tells me no. However, what is really bizarre is how Kernan then just goes into quotes about the Yankees.
"It's hard to compare anything with the Yankee lineup," Arroyo admitted. "When you run a guy like Jorge Posada out in the seven or eight hole and he's hitting 30 home runs a year and is an All-Star every year, it's hard to compare anybody's lineup to that."
Is there one Met fan that is sorry that this lineup is not the Yankee lineup? With Nady back and Cliff Floyd back soon, this Met lineup is as deep as any and that includes the Yankees who don't seem quite as dangerous now that Sheffield and Matsui are gone. People seem to think there is no reason to worry about the winners from the Bronx and the losers from Queens do give us reason for concern after a 1 and 3 start to a homestand after going 9-1 on a road trip.
"You were 9-1 on your last road trip. You dropped three of your last four at home. How can you explain this?" a television reporter asked in a serious tone.
"Wow," Randolph replied, startled by the directness. "We lost three out of four. You think we should mortgage the team or something like that? We're okay. We just have got to start another streak going again."
If a sports writer has a hard time grasping that the 2006 Mets are not the 2001 through the 2005 Mets then they probably should not be writing about sports. Farva pointed out in the comment section yesterday that if the Mets play .500 the rest of the season, the Phillies would have to play no worse than 56-37 the rest of the way just to tie them in the standings with 90 wins. Just let that sink in. The Phillies have played under .500 ball and would have to pull off something miraculous to say the least to get back into it. As for the Yankees, they just keep getting older. One of these years their age is going to catch up with them and 2006 looks like it just might be the year with the Wild-Card possibly coming out of the AL Central. If I was placing bets on which team would make it further this year, the Mets would undoubtedly get my vote.
Atlanta Braves -1.107
Florida Marlins 0.032
San Francisco Giants 0.907
Washington Nationals 0.999
Chicago Cubs 1.008
The rookie fired a strike from left field to Jose Valentin to catch Ryan Freel trying to stretch a hit into a double. It was his third assist in 18 games.
"I still think his arm is average," Randolph said. "You make up for that by hustling to the ball."
All you can say is Boo Yah!...Boo Yah! indeed. But why stop there?
When Floyd is reinstated and Lastings Milledge is optioned to Class AAA Norfolk, manager Willie Randolph must decide who will hit eighth in the order between Xavier Nady and Jose Valentin.
Hmm...tough choice. Who should hit eighth? A 27 year old power hitting right fielder who went deep twice last night and is still on pace for 30+ despite being on the DL for 15+ days or Jose Valentin who is 36 and playing better than he has in his career which means he is likely to slow down. I am leaning towards giving Nady the better pitches to hit and really, I'm not sure why this is tough.
"Correcting these things is not like checking for misspellings," Heilman said. "There are certain things you have to look for to see if they are in the right place."
The Mets really need Heilman to pitch like he did earlier in the year or else Duaner's arm just might fall off.
THE STREAK: Carlos Delgado reached 20 homers for the 11th straight season, temporarily tied for the majors' longest active streak. Chipper Jones (seven homers) and Manny Ramirez (18) are bidding to reach that plateau for the 12th straight year in '06.
"I don't believe in the numbers thing," said Milledge, who went 1-for-4 with a run scored last night. "I believe if you produce that they as an organization will find a place for you. You don't come here and then go down to work on things. I think you've got to learn it at the big league level."
But Milledge knows that while he has shown flashes of potential - he threw out Ryan Freel in the first trying to stretch a single into a double - the 21-year-old hasn't shown enough consistency to merit bumping any of the regular outfielders from their roles.
"I'm not producing enough," Milledge said. "I'm not doing bad. I'm doing fairly decent. But then again, I'm not producing enough for (Mets brass) to be like, 'Holy, we've got to have this guy here.'"
The kid will be fine.
Entitled as he was, Trachsel nonetheless ended his lap prematurely and made it a 180 of a different kind. "Even before I got to second base," Trachsel said, "I told myself, 'Don't let it go to your head.'" So by the time he returned to plate, the scene of the crime as it were, he had restored his game face.
"You don't want to go out and give it up the next inning," Trachsel said. "I just waited to the seventh."
Alex Rodriguez has reached a crisis point in his career. The widespread perception of him as being a choker — someone who puts up mammoth numbers but fails consistently in the clutch — has penetrated his skin, turned him sullen and fatalistic.
"Rip away," he dared the media Thursday following another typical performance. "You can write the worst article, and say the worst things, and you're probably right."
That day, with the bases empty in the seventh inning and the New York Yankees trailing the Cleveland Indians by five runs, Rodriguez crushed an estimated 500-foot homer — the kind of awe-inspiring swing that validates his standing as the most talented player in the game.
But an inning later, with the Yankees down by only two and with the tying runs on base, Rodriguez struck out with a meek swing, cascades of boos trailing him back to the dugout.
Always great to reminisce about that classic A-Rod moment. To answer my previous question, yes.