isn’t that special

The geniuses employed by the New York Mets have decided to make throwing more strikes a priority of their pitching staff this spring training.  What a brilliant idea.  Too bad we didn’t think of this last year.

I love this line from

In the case of the 2010 Mets, the notion is that each pitcher will benefit from throwing more and higher-quality strikes.

You don’t say.  That probably would have worked for the 2008 and 2009 Mets too.  Yes, I admit that there have been considerable weaknesses in the Mets pitching staff for a few years now, and you can’t turn Oliver Perez into anything more than a 3rd or 4th starter, but there could be improvements made here.  The starting rotation couldn’t possibly get any worse than what we have had in the past, and there’s no way we could have as many pitching injuries as we have had the past 2 seasons.  Of course,  I say this every year,  but really and truly this COULD BE the year where bad things stop happening to my baseball team.  It’s February.   There is still time to hope and believe for better days before the upcoming baseball season begins. 🙂

Hope and change.  That’s what I want — not for my country, but for my beloved Mets.

random thoughts on the day

Daniel Murphy might be a good outfielder some day for the Mets, but my guess is that it won’t be any time soon.

I have zero confidence in the Mets’ starting rotation, with one notable exception.

ESPN baseball commentators try too hard to fill dead air by telling us useless information and heaping effusive praise on the home team — as they are doing tonight. Often this leads to fans of one team (such as my own) accusing the fellas of complete favoritism toward the opponent. This seems entirely justified, especially when your team is losing the game.

Earth Day won’t make a significant impact until we ban all the cars and all the humans.

down go the yankees

Well…at least they have that gorgeous new ballpark. Today makes two days their starting rotation has been torched for many runs, and it’s only April! 🙂 I feel safe in predicting today’s loss to the Indians, even though the game’s still in progress. Not even the Indians could blow a 20-2 lead in the 6th inning.

This has been a good day for fans of Cleveland sports teams. I mentioned the Indians. The Cavs, led by THE OTHER #23, LeBron James won their playoff game today against the Pistons. Of course he’s not Michael Jordan. There will always be only one of those. But LeBron could get the Cavs to a championship, something the Cavs have never experienced in their history.  If he pulls that off, that alone will set him apart, even if he never wins another ring.

happy opening day!

About time there was baseball on TV again.  Happy Opening Day to all my fellow baseball fans, and especially to Mets fans.

My beloved Mets kicked off the regular season against the Reds, beating the Reds 2-1, and it was all working for them on Monday.  Johan pitched well, we got a few hits, and the bullpen held the lead.  Good start.  Let’s keep it going.  Is it too early to worry about the Mets offense,  though?  In theory, yes.  Based on past history — it’s never too early to worry about that.

There will be no anti-Yankees posts (at least not this week), but give it time — they will eventually appear in this space.

Also,  the UNC Tar Heels continue to clock the Michigan State Spartans as of right now.   I think it’s safe for me to skip the second half.  Go Heels!

Great sports day all around.  Lots of baseball, and just enough college basketball.

Unrelated politics posts coming up…stay tuned.

go cubs

As a Mets fan, I am ashamed, appalled and embarrassed by the shaky performance of my baseball team down the stretch, and I am tired of watching their bullpen and their lack of timely hits choke away our chances at postseason play.  So I’m done with them for this year.  They may still surprise us all and hold off Milwaukee, but there’s no way this team goes anywhere in the playoffs.  Think first-round exit.  Anybody still watching this team knows that any optimism left is misplaced.

Once the postseason begins, I will be cheering for the Cubs.  The Mets haven’t proved they deserve my support, and it would be great for baseball if the Cubs won the World Series.  That’s all I have to say on that.

More on the bailout when Congress finally gets something in writing.

joe torre


Regular readers of this blog are well aware of my dislike for the Yankees in general, and for their owner George Steinbrenner in particular. Don’t even get me started on the Yankee groupies, who pretend to be real fans only when the team is winning.  I know very well this doesn’t apply to all Yankee fans, but I must say that there are enough around to reflect poorly on everyone else.  As fans of other baseball teams can also admit, I am happy when the Yankees lose. Maybe it’s a little jealousy that my favorite teams haven’t won as many playoff games or World Series rings.  It’s a credit to their organization that the rest of baseball is trying to duplicate the incredible success they have had over the years.  It is also a credit to manager Joe Torre, even though –like Bill Belichick in his Cleveland days — he was never considered as a can’t miss manager until he got the talent level Steinbrenner’s money could buy for him.

Even though I am skeptical of the genius label when applied to any coach or manager, it would be a mistake to attribute Torre’s success in NY just as a result of simply being in the right place at the right time.  He took what he was given and he had an amazing run of success with those players.  He took all of Steinbrenner’s criticism and constant second-guessing in stride most of the time, and not many other managers could survive and thrive in that environment.

Has he made mistakes in previous postseasons? Yes.  Has he made a few questionable moves in the series against the Indians? Probably.  But some of the blame should also go to Steinbrenner and Cashman for trying to take shortcuts to postseason success.  I don’t think there’s a manager out there right now who can match Torre’s record in NY, but there may be no other option except firing Torre once Steinbrenner gave his ultimatum  — unless, like in previous years, he’s just blowing smoke again.

I don’t think Torre should be fired.  I think he should walk away from the Yanks and not look back.  He’s got nothing left to prove in NY, and I’m sure he won’t stay unemployed long if he wants to manage somewhere else.  That said, it may not be up to him to choose what happens next.

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