The One Where The Yankees Win It All


People have been asking me since late September if I’m excited for the MLB playoffs. I’ve basically been telling everyone the same thing. I ain’t excited for the playoffs because I’ve seen this damn movie before. This is a goddamn re-run. This is the one where the Yankees win it all. I’ve sensed the impending doom for a while now. It’s like when Yoda senses a disturbance in the Force. Last night’s upset victory for the Yanks confirmed that my pessimistic baseball Jedi sense is on point. Dark times are coming for Mets fans.

I have no doubt that God was watching last night’s game on his soft ass sofa with his stupid Derek Jeter jersey on meddling in every way possible. We all know the man upstairs is a die hard Yankees fan. He’s proven that 27 times. Things like that don’t happen by chance. I was hoping he might miss the game because perhaps he’s preoccupied with the impending threat of nuclear war or one of the other horrible things going on in the world right now. Nope. He clearly tuned in.

I honestly should have bet all my money on a Yankees 2017 World Series win when the odds were better. I saw this coming long before the bookies in Vegas had a clue. The warning signs for this run were there all season. We blinked and the Yankees went from “rebuilding” to immediate World Series contenders. MLB decided to usher in the new juiced ball home run era, and the Yankees conveniently called up Babe Ruth reincarnate (Aaron Judge) and one of the best hitting catchers the league has seen in years (Gary Sanchez).

I wrote the following on July 3rd:

If Daniel Murphy winds up hoisting a World Series Championship trophy in a Nationals uniform or Aaron Judge propels the Yankees to a championship in the first year of their stupid rebuild I may lose faith in baseball forever. Those two specific scenarios would wound me so deeply that it’d take years for me to fully recover.

The truth is I should have replaced “if” with “when” because I was having nightmare prophetic visions of Judge hoisting the World Series trophy back then.

The most obvious sign of this inevitable run was when the Yankees played a three game set against the Rays at Citi Field in September and that random Mets fan gave the thumbs down that went viral. The Yankees won that game, adopted that thumbs down as their rally symbol, and basically locked up the World Series all while cuckolding the Mets in Flushing.

I’ve survived the Yankees winning before, and I can do it again. Still, it would be nice if their World Series win happened in a new and exciting way. But we’ve all seen this movie before. I’ve seen the episode where the Yankees take a dump on the mediocre Twins in the first round (2003, 2004, 2009, 2010).

I’ve seen the episode where the Yankees upset the heavily favored Cleveland Indians (1996 ALDS) and go on to win it all. I was sitting around rolling my eyes a week ago as people questioned the decision to start Trevor Bauer in game 1 and Corey Kluber in game 2. They actually debated it like this choice mattered and these games weren’t already predetermined.

The 102 win, 22 game win streak, 2016 AL pennant winning Indians did not show up for this series and the Yankees took advantage. They rocked the future 2017 Cy Young award winner Corey Kluber in both of his ALDS starts. There’s not much else to say about it.

 

The highlight of the series for a loser Mets fan like me was when the Yankees blew game 2 in extra innings and Joe Girardi failed to challenge that stupid controversial foul tip/hit by pitch. I knew it was pointless for me to even get excited about the loss, but it was still entertaining to see Yankees fans lose their shit over one bad managerial decision and an umpire missing a call. They reacted like they had never experienced adversity and a devastating loss before. Uncharted territory for Yankees fans. Par for the course in Flushing.

If you want to know what to expect next here’s a hint. Everyone will pick the Astros to win because they are a better team. But they won’t win. Then it’ll probably be Yankees vs. Dodgers for the whole enchilada. Talk about a historical re-run.

What’s my gameplan now that the Yanks are in the ALCS? Watch the games, keep a precise tally of all the game altering breaks that go in the Yankees favor so I can complain about them to anyone that will listen, and continue to poke my Derek Jeter voodoo doll. Happy October Mets fans!

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Prepare For The Yo-pocalypse

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Have you seen the latest Hot Stove rumor? The Yankees are interested in Yoenis Cespedes.

If the Yankees sign Cespedes I will cry. Tears will actually roll down my cheeks.

If Yo signs with the Yankees we’ll be forced to listen to delusional Yankee fans raving about how players are drawn to the pinstripes. It would be the biggest setback for the Mets since…well since we lost the 2015 World Series and then saw all of our young aces undergo surgery on their arms. But it could destroy the progress the Mets have made in shifting the overall balance of baseball power in New York City.

Sandy Alderson did an interview this week, and he sounded optimistic about the Mets’ chances of re-signing Yo. He said that Yo texted the club saying he’d like to return, but added “we’re going to have to wait a while to see how this turns out”. Doesn’t this sound familiar? Yo wants to stay, but the Mets haven’t made him an offer yet.

Instead the Mets will continue to play with free agent fire. They’re essentially calling out every team in the league and daring them to make a substantial bid for Yo. And now the Yankees are making phone calls to his agent? I don’t like it. If the Red Sox sign Carlos Beltran the Yankees could easily pivot and go for Yo. This whole thing stinks.

So for now I’m sitting on my couch with my tinfoil hat, preparing for the worst, and urging everyone to take action:

Don’t Stop Complaining: I think every Mets fan has a daily obligation to tweet or post on Facebook “Sign Yo”. If you are driving and stop at a red light, you should roll down your window, honk your horn, and scream “Sign Cespedes” at people walking nearby. Last year, the World Series appearance really energized the fan base and sparked the #SignYo movement. I’m genuinely worried that the movement has lost some momentum. So this is a reminder to keep it going.

Contact Your Local General Manager: When American citizens are angry about the political process, we are supposed to “contact our representative” in Congress. Well in baseball, the best we can do is contact our GM. And it just so happens that Sandy Alderson has a Twitter account.

Considering his most recent tweet was a 2014 plea to make David Wright the #FaceofMLB, it would seem he’s not exactly an active Twitter user. But it’s better to tweet at his idle account than to do nothing. It’s about as useful as calling your congressional representative and leaving a voicemail.

Don’t Donate To The Wilpons: The Mets have been releasing schedules and sending out ticket promos. Ummm let’s hold off on all those purchases people. Obviously Noah Syndergaard is amazing every fifth day. But Yo is the number one daily attraction at Citi Field. The Mets already let Bartolo Colon, the sexiest man in all of sports, take his talents elsewhere. Hold off on sending the Wilpons any money until we know where they stand with Yo.

Secretly Hope The Yo Propaganda Scares Teams: I’ve spent so much time disputing the anti-Yo press. But it’s possible that the golf playing, non-hustling, smoking, horse riding, flashy car driving, distracting superstar narratives will scare off other teams. I want Yo to get paid big money and stay with the Mets. Whatever makes that possible works for me.

Pray For A Wilpon Cabinet Post: Maybe Donald Trump will appoint Fred and Jeff Wilpon as co-Secretaries of the Treasury? The Madoff stuff didn’t stop Major League Baseball from appointing Fred as head of the league’s Finance Committee. Maybe they’ll join Trump’s cabinet and be forced to put all their holdings (including the Mets) in a blind trust. If my choices for ownership are the Wilpons or a non-Wilpon human being controlling a blind trust, I’m going with the non-Wilpon every day and twice on Sundays.

Remember Where We Play: The important thing for Mets fans to remember is we deserve Yoenis Cespedes. Our team plays in New York City, and we deserve all the luxuries other big market clubs enjoy. Yeah we made the playoffs two years in a row. That’s amazing and in large part due to the fact that Sandy Alderson is an incredible executive. But this team has a legitimate chance to win the World Series with the pitching we have and we have to take advantage of the opportunity.

My Demands: What do I want? I want the Mets to head to the Winter Meetings in December and make some damn noise. The Braves signed R.A. Dickey and Bartolo Colon and they reportedly want Chris Sale. The Marlins are supposedly targeting Kenley Jansen. You know the Nationals are going to make big moves.

Well I want Yo, another stud closer, a new catcher, a bat off the bench, and a starting pitcher to replace the innings we gave to the Braves in the form of Big Sexy. I want a roster stacked with talent and the fans deserve that. I’m saying that the Mets should spend money to try and win during our window. I refuse to settle for less. As long as the Mets continue to have a payroll in the middle of the pack, I’m going to complain about it. And if that means I’m labeled a broken record by brainwashed Mets fans that have accepted the Wilpon way of operating then so be it.

Now The Mets Can Hit But Can’t Pitch


Final Score: Giants 10, Mets 7

I figured Jacob deGrom vs. Madison Bumgarner was a guaranteed 1-0 Mets loss. If I actually had a bookie, I would have been willing to bet a bunch of cheddar on that outcome. But I would have been way off. For some reason the Bad News Mets can score runs now but their pitching staff is crumbling. The D-Backs destroyed our starters and bullpen and now the Giants are joining the party.

Italian Grand Salami: All that being said, when the Italian stallion Justin Ruggiano hit a grand slam in the fourth inning off of MadBum I thought the game was over. I loved the idea that Justin freaking Ruggiano was going to have one of the biggest hits of the season for the Metsies. I figured deGrizzle would shut the struggling Giants down, and we’d have a chance to win this series with Yoenis Cespedes and Asdrubal Cabrera back in the lineup tonight. Nope! I just got caught up in daydream fantasy land. Classic case of counting dem chickens way before they hatch. Also I’m totally assuming Ruggiano is Italian because his last name sounds like a hard Italian cheese that I grate all over my pasta.

They Got Blasted: Instead, Jacob deGrom inexplicably fell apart and gave up 8 runs on 13 hits in 5 innings. It was basically the worst start of his career during a season that has arguably been his best. He instantly coughed up the 4-0 Ruggiano grand slam lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. He surrendered an RBI single to Hunter Pence and a two RBI triple for Eduardo Nunez. And then a nice two-run blast from MadBum to make it 5-4. An embarrassing cherry on top. There always has to be an embarrassing cherry on top with this goddamn organization.

Yeesh: In the fifth inning the Giants piled on deGrom and made it 8-4. Everyone’s favorite Quadruple-A dude Ty Kelly had two hits in this game including a two RBI triple in the 6th inning that brought the Mets within two runs of the lead. Rene Rivera added an RBI groundout in that inning to make it 8-7 Giants. But that was as close as the Mets got to coming back. Old dead arm Hansel Robles pitched like crap again. He walked two guys in the 8th, and then Addison Reed gave up the big double to Buster Posey that led to both base runners scoring. 10 runs! The team built on pitching gave up 10 runs! Yeesh.

Shut Them Down: After the game the Mets announced that Steven Matz has been scratched from his start tonight. Apparently he experienced shoulder discomfort. Umm please shut him down. Shut them all down. I have a feeling once this weekend is over the Mets will start formally taking steps to shut the big arms down. Unless the Wilpons decide they want to cash in on the September Cespedes ticket sales, and they force Sandy to pretend we are in the race.

Go To Hell: I kind of thought Yankees/Mets fan rivalry BS was for children. I remember arguing with classmates as they rubbed the late 90’s Yankees success in my face. Growing up a Mets fan was sad. Being a Mets fan now is sad. But I thought the days of me getting peeved at Yankees fans and the Yankee media bias were over. Nope. Lately I can’t help but feel that the Yankee fans I know are rubbing the Mets failure in my face. I have one Yankee fan guy at work that keeps saying “how about that game last night?” whenever the Mets have a particularly painful loss. And he can’t help but crack a smile as I shake my head in disgust at the Mets play.

Meanwhile the Yankee owned media are printing story after story about how the Yankees are playing exciting ball in August. My “kind” Yankee fan friends can’t stop talking about how fun it is to watch these new young Yankees prospects. They are pumped about all the trade deadline deals the Yankees made during their “rebuild”. I love how the Yankee rebuild lasted a weekend and the Mets were rebuilding for basically all of my twenties. The Mets were rebuilding for the majority of Obama’s presidency. Well all the Yankees fans secretly enjoying the 2016 Mets crashing and burning can go to hell.

Today: Seth Lugo pitches tonight against Johnny Cueto. Sounds fun…

The Bruce Is Loose

Final Score: Mets 4, Yankees 1

I’m on vacation. But…we’re back! Kelly Johnson with a BS Yankee Stadium solo shot and Jay Bruce with a three-run jack in the fifth inning. Bartolo Colon is so sexy. The Mets probably should have let him finish the 7th inning, but instead Jerry Blevins came in and coughed up a run. Jeurys Familia almost blew the save, but he was able to induce the game saving double play off the bat of Rob Refsnyder.

Today: The Mets are one game out of the Wild Card and the luckiest team in the universe. The Tigers are hot. Pray the Mets somehow magically become hot overnight.

Cespedes To The DL; The Season Is Over

Well it’s official. Joint funeral services for the 2016 Mets and Yoenis Cespedes will be held at Yankee Stadium tonight at 7:05 pm. All Mets fans in attendance will receive a complimentary Rob Refsnyder shirsey, a hymnal, and a noose. They’ll stop serving beer after the 7th inning, but all Mets fans that want a tall glass of bleach can get one through the end of the game.

I’ve spent the morning listening to my girl Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On and watching 2015 Cespedes highlights. What else can I do? It’s all over folks. The Mets did exactly what they’ve done for the 20 years that I’ve watched the team. They mishandled an injury to a key player, and ultimately it will cost him the most important stretch of the season. Cespedes tweaked his quad before the All-Star Game. That was like a month ago. I’ve been screaming “Put him on the DL!” ever since the injury. But they kept playing him a couple games and then sitting him for a few. Playing and sitting. Playing and sitting. And…he officially tweaked the hell out of it last night. Off to the DL. The season is over.

I’m Done Pretending: I don’t care about the NL East standings (which is now a ridiculous and insurmountable 8.5 games) and the Wild Card (which is 2). This team has been terrible for months! Months! I’m not going to sit here and pretend that all of a sudden they will start playing a different brand of baseball. I won’t do it. They barely win a game and then they drop two. Then they win and lose. Win and lose. Win and lose. They haven’t won two games in a row in a month! Not an exaggerated month. An actual freaking month. The last time they did it was July 6th and 7th. That’s not a team that makes the playoffs. That’s not a team that wins a damn thing.

Is There An Adult In The Room?: In regards to the Cespedes injury, just burn them all. Front office. Manager. Ownership. Everyone. How does this happen? Is there an adult in the goddamn room? How do you let this guy play injured? I knew he was going to have a setback and hit the DL. Every single Mets fan knew it in their heart. I wrote yesterday that I was worried about him. That’s right. I was worried about a grown ass man because he was in the clutches of the Mets. They kill grown ass men every single day. Can we hire an adult? Is that impossible because Jeff Wilpon is an infant child? What about Sandy? Sandy is an acclaimed MLB executive. How does he let this happen? He’s a military hero for Christ’s Sake! I thought we could trust Sandy. Why? Why?!?

How Does This Keep Happening?: Why?!??!?? God oh God why?!?!? What did we do to deserve this? Did we build Shea Stadium/Citi Field over the site of a prison that exclusively housed the world’s most violent criminals, and it burned down in the 50’s and now the ex-con ghosts haunt our franchise? Is there some running theory? I can’t believe this. They have all this garbage programming on SNY and on the History Channel they play Ancient Aliens all day. Can they please collaborate on some program that explains the curse of the Mets? Help me understand. I’m sure it already exists. I guess I’ll spend the rest of the season researching that since it’s not worth paying attention to this team.

Shut Up About The Golf: As soon as the game ended, the Cespedes golf BS started. Let me state this clearly. If you think Yoenis Cespedes injured his quad playing 18 holes of golf in a freaking cart yesterday then you are a bigger moron than Yo’s golfing partner Kevin Millar. Golf had nothing to do with the injury. Zero. Nada. Nothing. But rest assured, the golf and the injuries will be his fabricated ticket out of town. It’s so obvious. It’s already starting. Sandy is going to address “the issue” today. Ummm the issue? The issue is the goddamn Mets unnecessarily played him injured for a month, and he should sue the stupid organization for their incompetence.

Ces Is A Goner: Bye Yo. He’s going to opt-out and leave. He’ll probably head to the Nationals, and they’ll launch a dynasty where they win 4 championships and Yo and Daniel Murphy will alternate MVP awards all four years. I will say this, I’ve already had a million people ask me whether or not we should sign Yo. This is how you answer. You channel your inner Robert De Niro and you repeat the same four lines over and over again. You say, “Look at me. What did I say? Keep him here! Did you hear me? Look at me! What did I say? Keep him here! Did you hear me?” And on and on and on. Maybe you add “Give him his money!” But you don’t need to say anything else. He’s the best player this franchise has seen since Mike Piazza and Carlos Beltran.

I Want Heads: Someone needs to pay for this injury mismanagement. I don’t blame Terry because it’s not really his call. He should probably be fired for other reasons but that’s a topic for another day.  Ray Ramirez has to go. Finally. Give the fans his head on a spike. Send him to his precious Hospital For Special Surgery, and let them operate on his body for a change. Let them do their little experiments. Let’s see how he likes it when he goes in for a routine knee scoping, and he comes out crippled.

Gotta Give Him Credit: I swear to God, after last night the first time someone says to me “You gotta give him credit” regarding Sandy Alderson I’m going to lose my mind. Really? I need to give Sandy credit for our one year World Series trip that we lost? I need to give Sandy credit for letting the potential National League MVP and Triple Crown Candidate Daniel Murphy walk to our top division rival?

The Price: You know what we’re starting to see? We’re starting to see the damn price. Matt Harvey is dunzo because of that playoff run. Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard have bone spurs possibly because of the extra innings they logged during the playoff run. Michael Fulmer is an AL Rookie of the Year candidate and looks like a future Cy Young winner. Oh and now we go ahead and dump Dilson Herrera. Good GMs put the major league team in a position to win in the short term and long term. We went from having a top farm system to promoting our top talent and then trading the rest away. All of that happened in one and a half seasons. Whatever. This isn’t a post meant to rip the GM that helped save this franchise post-Madoff, but I just don’t want people to tell me to praise him right now. I won’t do it because he had a terrible offseason and a terrible follow up season to last year’s run.

Your Precious Little Recap: Oh I forgot about last night’s stupid game. Here’s the recap. Curtis Granderson hit a leadoff BS Yankee stadium home run (1-0 Mets). Then the Mets loaded the bases with nobody out and only got one additional run to show for it (2-0). In the bottom of the first, bone spur Matz reared his ugly head and gave up 3 runs as the Yankees shellacked him (3-2 Yanks). Then in the second inning, Kelly Johnson doubled and Rene Rivera drove him in to tie the game at 3. In the second inning, Matz was rocked again and gave up a BS opposite field three-run homer to Mark Teixeira (6-3 Yanks). That was the game.

The Mets offense then proceeded to go to sleep for the rest of the game other than a few rally killing double plays. Hitting into double plays is literally the thing the 2016 Mets are best at. In the seventh inning, the Mets loaded the bases with no outs again and only scored a run. The Yankees piled on runs late against Hansel Robles. Whatever. Final Score: Yankees 9, Mets 5.

Tex Is A Whiny Loser: There was some controversy in this game, but obviously none of it matters now that Cespedes is hurt. The controversy was Tex hit a BS Yankee stadium homer and Matz was pissed. So in the fifth inning, Matz may or may not have thrown at Tex, and he hit him with a pitch. Tex complained like a whiny loser. Then with Robles in the game in the 7th inning, Tex started stealing signs at second base and Robles lost his composure and gave up a ton of runs. And Tex sat at second base laughing in the Mets faces. He was literally laughing. And he didn’t deny the sign stealing after the game. He said if you think I’m stealing signs then change them. He’s a schmuck, and I can’t wait for him to be forced to retire due to injury and declining play. I’d like to hate on him more, but I honestly have nothing left in the hate tank.

Bruce Already Caught The Sickness: Jay Bruce went 0 for 4 and failed in a number of big spots. I’m pretty sure he punched the dugout wall after one big strikeout. Hopefully he didn’t shatter his hand. He’s already caught Mets Disease. His skills are day-to-day.

Thanks For Showing Up Jerk: Neil Walker is one fire. He went 4 for 5. After two months of doing nothing he is so back. Thanks for showing up late to the party jerk.

The Wilmer Apologists: Wilmer Flores played a horrendous shortstop last night. He made an error. I won’t say much more than that because then all the Wilmer apologists will come out of the woodwork and attack me. Everyone loves this guy. He can hit. I get it. But God he’s such a liability in the field.

My Heart Will Go On: Okay my rant is over. The season may be over, but that doesn’t mean I’m going anywhere. That doesn’t mean I won’t be sinking with the ship. I’m playing my goddamn violin on the main deck watching everyone get on lifeboats and leap overboard. That’s what I do every season. I quietly play my violin and watch some of the fans sitting on the deck muttering prayers while waiting for lifeboats and the others thrashing about in the sea gasping for air.

I didn’t want to proclaim the season over, but it had to be done. I’m about as loyal to this team as it gets. And if I’ve learned anything from Game of Thrones, it’s that loyal service means telling hard truths. And we all know the hard truth. We’ve known it since the All-Star Break the minute Cespedes was hurt. This ship is sinking baby. I’ll watch the rest of the games as always. I’ll watch the Wild Card “race”. I’ll watch the standings. I’ll continue to occasionally pretend we have a chance. But do yourselves a favor and grab a life preserver. A lot of people said with this pitching this ship can’t sink. Umm this ship is made of struggling sluggers and injured pitchers. I assure you she can sink. And she will.

DeGrom Beats Tanaka And His Frayed UCL

Final Score: Mets 7, Yankees 1

We did it! We finally hit with runners in scoring position, and we did it late in the game! 4 for 10 with runners in scoring position last night. Unbelievable. I couldn’t believe it when it was happening. I was straight up dumbfounded. Was it the Bruce Effect? Probably not since he was the only starter without a hit. I’m fairly certain it was the deGrom Effect considering he had two hits while simultaneously pitching a gem.

DeGrominant: Jacob deGrom hurled 7 innings scoreless inning, gave up 4 hits, and struck out 8. He put some guys on base in the first and second innings, but I wouldn’t say he struggled. The guy has been stellar all season. Jacob deGrom is one of the major reasons we need to stay in this race and find a way into the playoffs. He’s having one of the most dominant years of his career. We saw what happened with Matt Harvey. Every season is a different adventure, and when you are getting this kind of starting pitching you can’t squander it.

No UCL: Can somebody please tell me how Masahiro Tanaka has been so dominant all season with a partially torn UCL? How does this man pitch with an injury that everyone else requires surgery to fix? It’s the Yankee voodoo magic BS. Anyway, the Mets were able to hand Tanaka his worst performance of the season. He gave up homers in the third and fifth innings, and then everything fell apart for him in the 7th inning. He was super pissed at himself when Girardi yanked him.

The Long Ball Was Back For A Night: In the third inning, Jacob deGrom singled and Alejandro De Aza hit a two-run homer to make it 2-0 Mets. De Aza went from the most obvious “Sell” rating in the Mets portfolio to a “Hold”. And at this point I can honestly say he’s a “Buy”. He’s going to see a lot of time in center field if he keeps hitting. I said earlier this season that we would never see “The De Aza Game”. However, I’m starting to think it’s possible. In the fifth inning, Travis d’Arnaud hit a solo shot off of a hanging Tanaka slider to make it 3-0 Mets. Remember when d’Arnaud was healthy last season and showed power all the time? He really needs to find a way to strengthen his damn muscles and bones. Eastern medicine? Secret Eastern European surgery? Drink more milk? I don’t know what he should do, but he needs to get himself right because dangerous d’Arnaud is great.

The Big Inning: The 7th was the inning where the Mets broke the game open. A late rally? Yes! Wilmer Flores  singled and Michael Conforto hit an RBI double to a confused Brett Gardner. He wasn’t looking to crisp out there in left field when he played the ball off the wall. Then with one out, Matt Reynolds hit an RBI single to score Conforto and make it 5-0 Mets. Then deGrom singled for the second time and Tanaka’s day was done. Things really unravelled quickly for him. Rough day for a great pitcher.

Pinch Hitting Yo?: Once the Yankees went to the pen, Terry pinch hit with Yoenis Cespedes with runners on first and third. Honestly, I don’t understand the move. He’s injured. He’s supposed to be getting the day off, and we are up 5-0. He ended up getting an infield single to second base and legging out the hit. I’m sure that did wonders for his quad injury. In fact, after the game he said it bothered him when running and felt better when he returned to the dugout. I’m worried about Yo. Very worried. Anyway, Yo’s hit made it 6-0 and then Neil Walker hit an RBI double that scored deGrom to make it 7-0.

Conforto Is Back: Michael Conforto had two doubles. He went to the opposite field. The truth is the Mets have had one really good month this season and that was April. Conforto only had one really good month and that was April. If Conforto hits for the final two months the Mets offense will be drastically improved.

Defense Lover: Jon Niese made his return to the Mets when he came in to pitch the 8th and 9th inning. He gave up a solo homer which was the only run of the game, but other than that he worked through two innings. I’ll be happy if Niese gobbles up some innings out of the pen. I’ll be content if he makes some bleh starts down the stretch to keep our other arms fresh. He’ll be useful. More useful than Bastardo ever was.

Is The Booth Compromised?: Gary Cohen spent an awful lot of time talking about non-tendering Lucas Duda and the danger of long-term deals for guys over 30 (ummm like Cespedes). It sounded an awful lot like some Wilpon propaganda script that was handed to the booth. Non-tender Duda? What is Gary talking about? He didn’t directly say let Cespedes walk, but if he’s saying the Mets should stay away from long-term deals like the ones the Yankees gave out then he’s implying we should let Cespedes walk. That’s not Gary. The booth is forced to read ads sometimes, and sometimes they are forced to read the script from the higher-ups. Also speaking of giving out long term contracts, remember when the Yankees did that and then won the 2009 World Series? Yeah I think long-term deals can work out sometimes.

DL Records: Yesterday the Dodgers put newly acquired Rich Hill on the DL. The Dodgers announced he was the 23rd Dodger player on DL this year which apparently is an NL record. Imagine if the Mets placed all their injured players on the DL? We obviously hold the NL record for players that should have been placed on the DL but remain on the active roster.

No Savior: Collins says he told Jay Bruce before the game that he doesn’t have to be the savior. He also accidentally called him Jesus Bruce multiple times during the press conference.

Asdrubal Injury Ain’t That Bad: Apparently, the Mets doctors say that Cabrera’s latest knee injury is almost identical to the one he had in Spring Training. It seemed much worse when he fell to the ground and was carried off the field. But they only expect him to miss a few weeks. I’m sure Asdrubal Cabrera will get a cortisone shot in the knee just like he did in the spring and be back in a few weeks. Give him the shot doc.

Today: Steven Matz vs. Chad Green. Let’s try to win two in a row. It’s called consecutive wins. I’m pretty sure we haven’t done it in a month.

Trade Deadline Is Over; Back To The Losing

Final Score (in 10 innings): Yankees 6, Mets 5

It was reported yesterday that Terry Collins was seen cursing in the Mets clubhouse around 4:30 and storming in and out of the Mets training room. A lot of people wondered if there was a new injury or something like that. Nope. I know what happened. Terry got the call from Sandy. Alderson said, “Hey Terry. We traded for Jay Bruce. Don’t blow this. If things don’t work out this season you’re fired.” Then he hung up.

Well Terry did not disappoint last night. He completely blew it. This Subway Series opener had all the elements of a classic Mets vs. Yankees matchup. It had the Mets coming through with a big hit to tease us, the Mets manager making horrendous decisions, game changing bloop BS hits for the Yankees, and the Mets ultimately beating themselves. Classic!

It even had all of our favorite things about the 2016 season. The Mets left men on base and failed in big spots with runners in scoring position, Terry mismanaged the bullpen, and the Mets failed to comeback late in the game despite having opportunities. We’re the best! The Wild Card Mets and the rebuilding Yankees basically have the same record. But don’t worry we’re still Kings of The City! I think? Nah not really.

Inside The Park Nope: The game started with Brett Gardner crushing a ball to center field over the head of brand new scrap heap center fielder Justin Ruggiano. Gardy decided to go for the inside the park home run, and the Mets successfully executed the relay throw to home and nailed him at the plate. I saw a lot of people complaining about the Yankees sending Gardner. Umm first of all Gardy is playing like a guy who just watched his front office waive the white flag on the season and doesn’t give a damn about send or hold signals. Second of all, when has it ever been a bad idea to force the Mets to make a play? I can’t believe the Mets executed. 9 times out of 10 we throw that ball to the backstop or way off line. Good send in my mind.

Wilmer The King In July: In the second inning, Wilmer Flores hit a solo blast against CC Sabathia. Wilmer was the King In July with his .290 average and 7 homers. Hopefully it’s carrying over into August now.

METS Disease: In the third inning, Justin Ruggiano grounded into a double play and instantly strained his hamstring. He’s going on the DL. The Mets signed him off the scrap heap this weekend, and he instantly contracted METS disease. All he had to do was sign the contract. Very dangerous stuff. Best to stay away from the Mets. I can’t wait to see Jay Bruce step to the plate for the first time tonight and foul the first pitch off of his foot. Shatter every single bone. Yo won’t be starting tomorrow because he’s still hurt. But Terry said he can pinch hit. So maybe Bruce will come up late in the game and foul a ball off of Yoenis Cespedes in the on-deck circle. It’s a disease folks. Pray for them all.

Terry’s Choice: Logan Verrett pitched 5 innings and gave up 3 runs on 4 hits. He isn’t very good. In the top of the fourth inning, Jacoby Ellsbury doubled and then Verrett walked Mark Teixeira who hasn’t done a damn thing all season. Then Ellsbury advanced on a fly out, and Verrett threw a wild pitch to let him score. The Yanks tied the game at 1 thanks to Verrett’s wild hospitality. In the 5th inning, Verrett walked Rob Refsnyder with one out. Smart. Then CC bunted him over and Gardner drove him in with a double to make it 2-1. Ellsbury followed that with an RBI single to make it 3-1.

Verrett stinks. Yesterday the Mets re-acquired Jon Niese. He stinks too. I can’t wait for Terry’s choice. Every Verrett start the rest of the way we’re going to hear “start Niese instead” and then when Niese starts we’ll hear “start Verrett”. These two guys are worse than Matt Harvey pitching with thoracic outlet syndrome.

Rally and Reynolds: In the fifth inning, the Mets teased us and actually showed some life. Brandon Nimmo ripped a one out single and with two outs Michael Conforto crushed a double that scored Nimmo from first. That made it 3-2 Yanks. Then in the 6th inning Wilmer Flores singled, Travis d’Arnaud singled, and with one out Matt Reynolds hit a three-run homer to make it 5-3 Mets. An unlikely Subway Series hero? That’s what it felt like. Until he wasn’t.

They’re All Dead: CC was pulled in the 6th inning after he walked pinch hitter Steven Matz. Let me repeat that. The Mets are pinch hitting Steven Matz in the Subway Series during a pennant race because they are still electing to play short-handed rather than actually placing guys on the DL. Anyway Matz walked, Curtis Granderson singled, Michael Conforto walked, and Neil Walker left them loaded. That’s one of our 2016 signature moves.

Terry’s Blunders 1.0: Honestly, I felt confident with the score 5-3 in the 7th inning. Hansel Robles made quick work of the Yanks in the 7th, and Addison Reed/Jeurys Familia have been lights out all season. Instead of just going to Reed in the 8th, Terry decided to screw around with matchups because he’s a moron. Jerry Blevins walked leadoff man Brett Gardner. He retired Ellsbury, but then Reed came in with a man on and the Yanks beat him. They beat our light out setup man because of course they did. He struck out Tex to make it two outs and man on first. But then Brian McCann singled and Didi Gregorius hit a soft little BS Yankee single to left that scored Gardner, and that tied the game at 5. Walking the leadoff man killed us again. Shocker.

Grandy Temporarily Saves The Day: Curtis Granderson made a fantastic catch in the 9th to help prevent Familia from blowing the game thus ensuring we’d lose in extras.

Terry’s Blunders 2.0: Because of Terry’s horrendous bullpen management and playing short, all we had left in the pen for extras was Seth Lugo. He instantly gave up a run in the 10th. I’m happy it was quick. It helped ease the pain.

Terry’s Blunders 3.0: In the bottom of the 10th, James Loney hit a leadoff double. Terry had Matt Reynolds bunt and sacrifice Loney to third base because he’s a fool. Let’s just give up outs with Alejandro De Aza and Rene Rivera on deck. I get that Betances is incredible and you want to set up the sac fly and you don’t expect to get hits off of him blah blah. It’s dumb to give up outs. Period. Anyway, De Aza was hit by a pitch but Rene hit one right back to Dellin Betances for the second out and Grandy struck out. Game Over.

Why Are The Gods So Cruel: Under normal circumstances, I would say that my behavior this season is the definition of insanity. I’ve been watching the Mets over and over and expecting different results. Yankees fans will quickly learn by watching four games against this Mets team that we are mediocre and one of the most overrated .500 teams in the game. I think mediocre is starting to be a generous way of describing our play. Yet I keep expecting things to turn around. Why? Because last year the baseball gods proved that it’s possible.

In 2015 the Mets were somewhere between terrible and mediocre for April, May, June, and July and then they because exceptional. Now I’m not saying one season should be arbitrarily compared to the next, or that it’s reasonable to expect that to happen this season. The set of circumstances in 2015 were different. But it still happened. Why? Why are the gods so cruel that they would show us something like that is possible? Is it because I switched jobs in the middle of the 2015 season? I don’t know if I can just switch jobs again to bring back the magic. Is it because of “That’s baseball Suzyn” or whatever expression that Yankee mook says? I don’t know. But it’s not fair.

Today: Jacob deGrom vs. Masahiro Tanaka, and it’s Jay Bruce debut night. That’s nice. Things will be different tonight. You’ll see! (Cut to me gently rocking back and forth in a rocking chair with a straight jacket on at an insane asylum. Fade to black).

Can The Mets Please Sign Another Cuban?

So it’s official, the next potential Cuban stud Yulieski Gourriel has been declared a free agent by Major League Baseball and is now free to sign with any team. The guy is 32 and he’s touted as arguably the top dog in the international market. Not just the top talent in Cuba but in the world. Also for the record, I checked with MLB and the Mets do qualify as “any team” so they technically are eligible to sign him despite never getting involved in the market for Cuban players or for international talents in general. I’m not talking about the international market for amateur players. The Mets do a ton of scouting and signing of amateur international players that are subject to the international bonus pool restrictions and signing process. I’m talking about international talents that are over 23 and are exempt from the definition of an amateur player. Typically to be exempt from amateur status you need to be 23+ and you need to have played in a league recognized by MLB as a pro league for a prescribed period of time. Because of his age and experience in the Cuban pro league, Gourriel is not subject to international spending limitations. The Mets can just sign him on the open market like any old free agent. And they should sign him.

The guy hits right handed and has played 15 seasons between Cuba and Japan. He has a career hitting line of .335/.417/.580 with 250 home runs in 5491 plate appearances. He’s supposedly a plus defender at his natural position of third base. Do the Mets need a third basemen? Can somebody help me with this one? Last I heard David Wright has been frozen in carbonite to help him maintain his posture and Wilmer Flores is booting grounders at third base left and right.

Signing international guys is never cheap. The Dodgers signed Hector Olivera to a 6 year 62.5m deal at 30 years old. Yasmany Tomas signed a 6 year deal with Arizona worth 68.5m at 24 years old.  Rusney Castillo signed a 7 year 72.5m deal with the Red Sox at 27 years old. Alex Guerrero signed a 4 year 28m deal with the Dodgers at 26 years old. Yes I realize it’s a risky move. Guerrero just got released by the Dodgers and was a total bust (although they never really gave him a chance to play full time). Rusney Castillo is in the Red Sox minor league system and has struggled at the ML level. That being said, he has so many talented players in front of him in the Sox organization, that it’s hard to call him a bust until he gets a real opportunity to play regularly. Tomas has been decent for the D-backs with a .270/.309/.411 line so far at the ML level. Olivera got arrested for a domestic violence incident after being traded to the Braves. So it’s fair to say he’s been a disaster.

But how can we ignore the success of Yoenis Cespedes, Aroldis Chapman, Jose Abreu and even Yasiel Puig in the majors. They have essentially been winning lottery tickets for their respective teams. Puig’s production has declined since his breakout 2013/14 seasons and Chapman has turned out to be a jerk off the field but their talent is undeniable.

My point in all this is the Mets should have the resources to take a risk on a promising Cuban player that fills a position of need. Sure he may need some seasoning at Triple-A. Maybe he won’t even have a big impact in 2016. But we need a replacement for Wright in the long term. And do we really expect Wright to just retire at the end of the season? It’s more likely that he lingers and tries to play another season or even beyond that. What proven major league free agent third basemen is going to join the Mets to be Wright’s understudy? Do we really want to give up a bunch of prospects for some stopgap solution like Danny Valencia or Aaron Hill? Do we want to give up Zack Wheeler for Jonathan Lucroy or overpay for someone having a career year like  Yangervis Solarte? Listen, we may need to do one of those things anyway to compete this season, but there’s nothing prohibiting the Mets from signing a Cuban talent and pursuing trade opportunities for short term solutions in the infield. Plus who better to help Gourriel get acquainted to life in the majors than Yoenis Cespedes, someone who’s made the adjustment from Cuban ball/life to the MLB.

I’m sick of watching other teams sign these Cuban studs. If the Mets don’t sign him, he’s just going to wind up on the Dodgers, Yankees, or some other team that isn’t afraid to open the wallet and take a risk. If the Wilpons have actually loosened the purse strings, then let’s see it. Sign another Cuban please.

My Best Guess: Predicting the 2016 MLB Playoffs and Player Awards

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Major League Baseball has such parity. Sure we can probably narrow down the field of competition to around 15 teams before the season even starts. Roughly half the league is actually competing for a championship. But that’s a hell of a lot better than the annual three team dance in the NFL or the one team in the NBA that has a chance to win (I’ll give you a hint, it rhymes with Olden Plate Warriors). Jayson Stark from ESPN (and Winterfell) writes a brilliant annual column showing how the parity in MLB compares to that of the NFL. It really gives you an idea of how even the MLB playing field is, and how hard it is to predict the outcome of the season. Honestly, if you want the real crystal ball just look at the Vegas lines. Vegas knows better than me or any of the other baseball writers. That being said, if you want some of my magic insight, here are my playoff and player award predictions for 2016:

The Metssiah’s Player Award Predictions:

AL MVP: Manny Machado. Yeah I didn’t pick Mike Trout. I’m crazy!! Machado had a breakout season last year, he’s young, and he’s part of a beastly lineup. Plus my scouts (google images) say Machado’s head looks enormous this spring. Maybe he’s been getting his swoll on this offseason. I’m no phrenology expert, but big head equals big season.

AL Cy Young: Chris Archer

AL Rookie of the Year: Byron Buxton

NL MVP: Bryce Harper. Again. That being said, Yoenis Cespedes is going off at 25 to 1 in Vegas for MVP. I like that sweet action.

NL Cy Young: Max Scherzer. Yeah I’m betting against my boys, but I’ll say Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard finish 2, 3 and 4 respectively so I feel better about the betrayal.

NL Rookie of the Year: Corey Seager. But Steven Matz will probably be in the conversation.

 

The Metssiah’s American League Playoff Predictions:

WC Game: Rangers over Blue Jays

ALDS: Royals over Rangers and Astros over Yankees

ALCS: Astros over Royals

 

The Metssiah’s National League Playoff Predictions

WC Game: Nationals over Pirates

NLDS: Cubs over Nationals and Mets over Giants

NLCS: Mets over Cubs

 

World Series Prediction: Mets over Astros

 

Also, for my previously published divisional predictions see these posts:

American League East

American League Central

American League West

National League East

National League Central

National League West

Steven Matz Struggling; DiMaggio “Good Looks” Won’t Save Him

DiMaggio Matz

So Opening Day is less than two weeks away, and Steven Matz has been getting rocked all spring. Now I’ve covered this to death, but Spring Training generally doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t. When the Soupmaster General Eric Campbell and Travis Taijeron are leading in every offensive category for your team, it either means your team is the Long Island Ducks or it’s Spring Training. That being said, spring means a little more for some players and a little less for others. Bartolo Colon? Spring is meaningless. He’s a seasoned veteran. He pitched like crap last spring and won 8 games between April and May. Jacob deGrom? It means a little more than nothing, but he’s already put together two full major league seasons. He’s been through the 162 game grind twice. He knows how to efficiently prepare for a full season.

Rookie Steven Matz? It actually means something. Let’s be real, if Matz hadn’t debuted in the fashion he did last season, and he came into 2016 camp battling for a spot in this rotation, his 8.31 ERA would have had him reassigned to the minor leagues over a week ago. I believe that he will get things going. I trust that it’s rust. But I’m guilty of getting overexcited and ramping up my expectations for this dude to the highest level. I’m just imagining Rookie of the Year ceremonies, Cy Young awards, and pretending he’s Clayton Kershaw. He’s got a lot to prove. Heck he’s got everything to prove. All we’ve seen so far is Steven Matz has amazing stuff and has made some real solid pressure filled playoff starts to kick off his career. Now he needs to put it all together over a full season. He needs to show he can stay healthy. He needs to show he can execute pitches consistently at the major league level. I’m sure Steven will get himself together and start off on the right foot. All I’m saying is, he’s a rookie so growing pains are inevitable and should be expected. And if all else fails he can go back to his promising career as a Joe DiMaggio impersonator living on Long Island with his parents. Who knows, maybe he’ll score the lead role in The Sandlot 4: DiMaggio’s Return. Perhaps he’ll spurn children’s films for the adult genre. He could be Joe DiMaggio in a late night Cinemax movie called 69: The Forgotten Streak. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. He’ll focus on baseball first, and then he can work on the DiMaggio related endorsements.