Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Mets Lose; The Yankees Lose; Replay Is On The Way; And...A Shot At Love?

  • Phillies 8-Mets 7 (13):
With the combination of that Phillies lineup and Citizens Bank Park, no lead is really
ryan howard pic.jpeg
completely safe, so it's hard to give the Mets too hard a time for blowing a 7-0 lead. That being said, one of the main reasons that the Phillies were able to come back and win last night's game at all had nothing to do with the Mets shaky bullpen (they really weren't all that bad last night); it had to do with the Mets putting their bats away after they'd built that seven run lead.
Common sense said that with Pedro Martinez a mere shadow of what he once was, the Mets bullpen and the Phillies lineup such as they are, things were going to tighten up as the game wore on. Once Jamie Moyer was out of the game, the Mets allowed the likes of Clay Condrey, Scott Eyre and Rudy Seanez to keep them off the scoreboard and that is more of a reason why they lost than anything their bullpen or the Phillies lineup did. Had the Mets cashed in on just one of their potential rallies while they still had a comfortable lead, the game would have been pretty much over; the Phillies bullpen pitched well, but too often this season, the Mets have appeared to become comfortable with a lead that should be safe and have gone on cruise control allowing their opponents an opportunity to chip away at that lead until it's gone.
This isn't new; one of the multitude of reasons the Phillies were able to catch the Mets last
Thumbnail image for manuel mets pic.jpeg
September was because the Mets started playing stupid by getting thrown out stealing bases and not cashing in on opportunities to score insurance runs. Since they have more competent dugout management now in Jerry Manuel, I wouldn't expect them to make similar fundamental mistakes as they did last year; sometimes pitchers give up homers and blow games like the Mets staff did last night; but it wouldn't have been a problem had they been able to score two or more runs off of the types of pitchers they faced in the middle innings last night; if there's a reason the Mets blew the game, it's not because of the bullpen, it's because they stopped scoring.
  • Red Sox 7-Yankees 3:
If last season's comebacks by the Phillies and the Rockies proved anything, it's that a team is not dead until they're officially dead. This is one of the reasons I've been reluctant to
morgue pic.jpeg
join to armchair undertakers and start a Yankees postmortem. Things can turn around very, very quickly if a team gets suddenly cold and another team gets suddenly hot; and to mention the change in dugout leadership for the Yankees from Joe Torre to Joe Girardi as a reason for the premature autopsy isn't adequate enough to think the Yankees are done; Torre's new team, the Dodgers, is in the midst of a collapse even after making baseball's splashiest improvements at mid-season. I do not believe that the Yankees are done...yet; but they're well on the way unless they start doing one simple thing: winning.
Alex Rodriguez is getting the blame for the Yankees inability to come through in the clutch last night and hitting into two double plays and making an error, but there are other culprits as well and some were integral parts of the Yankees teams from five-plus years ago. Andy
arod pic.jpeg
Pettitte, whom the Yankees needed to deliver a virtuouso performance, allowed ten hits and six runs in 4 2/3 innings; Jason Giambi, who wasn't part of the Yankees dynasty, but has gotten some big post-season hits, went 0 for 4 and vapor locked in the field allowing an extra run to score. ARod's gaffes were prominent and more is expected for a player with ARod's paycheck and abilities, but he wasn't the only culprit in this loss.
Unless the Yankees start performing on the field----and I mean players other than ARod as well----there's not going to be a comeback. They still have time to save their season and get back into playoff position, but it's not going to happen by someone else's hand; the Yankees intimidation factor is almost gone and they need to put down this revolt at the hands of their former whipping boys like the Rays; if they don't make a move soon, their playoff streak is going to end; Girardi will get the blame, but this has been a team effort from the championship players like Pettitte, Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera all the way through to ARod; there's plenty of responsibility for everyone if they don't turn things around.
  • Replay is on the way:
I have no problem with instant replay being used to correct missed home run calls. (The Derek Jeter "homer" in the 1996 playoffs in which Jeffrey Maier interfered with Tony Tarasco's
jeffrey maier pic.jpeg
ability to catch the ball is often referenced as a prime example of a call that
mcmahon xfl.jpeg
would have been reversed, but what would the call have been exactly? A ground-rule double? An out? A do-over? What?) The problem I have is with the instantaneous implementation of this new tool. There are going to be bugs that have to be worked out that may end up causing more trouble than just going forward over the final month of the season under the old system and putting replay in next year would. Jumping right in headfirst with such a drastic change strikes me as the type of thing that Vince McMahon would do with the ill-fated and embarrassing XFL, and I doubt that the MLB commissioner's office would want to be compared with someone such as that.
  • A Shot At Love with...the Prince of New York?!?
Believe it or not, I got an email yesterday asking if I'd be interested in auditioning to be a
a shot at love pic.jpeg
contestant on A Shot At Love With Tila Tequila. Why they asked me is beyond even my massive brainpower, but this ain't gonna fly for several reasons:
A) my fiancee is unlikely to approve and, while petite, she has enough knowledge of Tae Kwon Do and Israeli martial arts that she'd turn Tila Tequila into her personal hand puppet.
B) as stunning as I am (see the picture in the upper right hand corner of my duplicate site----MLBlogs site----I love it when you call me Big Poppa!), I'm not enough of a sexually ambiguous pretty boy to fit in on that show; they want would be models, tanned and rippling; my wiry 175 pound days are over and have been traded in for a head-breaking 200.
C) I have an awful temper and would probably prefer not to have it on video or run the risk of the fuse being lit by the types of people who choose to go on those reality shows.
It is because of these main reasons, and many other ancillary ones, that I respectfully have to turn down this opportunity. I think the world (mine and everyone else's) is better for this decision.

No comments: