Friday, June 29, 2007

Is Lo Duca A Racist?

Here's the short answer: No.

Now here's the backdrop. A bunch of reporters with nothing to write since there was a rainout, approach Lo Duca trying to find a story. Paul warns them that he was "in a bad mood all day" but would talk to them anyway.

He then goes on to state how other people need to start talking. Here's an excerpt from today's NY Daily News story:

"I'll do this (interview), but you need to start talking to other players," Lo Duca announced loudly after he was approached by a radio reporter after the Mets-Cardinals series finale was washed out by rain. "It's the same three or four people every day. Nobody else wants to talk. Some of these guys have to start talking. They speak English, believe me."

So of course what gets him in trouble is the "they speak English" part.

(*long sigh.....)

Here's my take. At no point in time do I believe Lo Duca said anything in a malicious manner towards the Hispanic players. Context and delivery are very important when it comes to things like this. THE WAY YOU SAY something is very important. I have a hard time believing Lo Duca would do that. He was simply pointing out that the reporters need to start approaching other guys for quotes and that those guys speak English.

The Latin players all seem to agree that it wasn't racist.

Secondly, he has a point. Reporters are lazy (I know, believe me) and instead of asking questions in a way that elicits a good response, they instead go to guys that they know will give interesting answers no matter what. Why sit down with Reyes, Beltran and Valentin (who all speak English by the way) - and have to deal with their accents and broken speech, when Wagner, Wright and Lo Duca are right there? It's the same sort of lazy journalism that pollutes newspapers, radio, and TV newscasts today.

Also, I know some of the Latin players aren't comfortable speaking English and therefore would rather not speak to reporters, but the only way you are going to get comfortable doing it is to do it. If you speak English, there's no excuse not to talk.

So reporters are lazy, the Latin players are uncomfortable and unwilling, and Lo Duca is not a racist. Those using this as an example are just trying to gain attention, trying to sell newspapers or just trying to up their ratings. It's ridiculous. Holla back.

Time For A Double Dip

Make no mistake about it. These next 4 games against the Phillies are important ones for the Metropolitans. Take 3 out of 4, and they put a little more cushion between themselves and the Phils. Lose 3 out of 4 and,the Phillies are right there breathing down your necks. Plus they would gain a ton of confidence and start feeling god about themselves. So now is the time to start stepping it up. Here are the pitching matchups for the series:

Game 1: El Duque (3-3, 2.77 ERA) vs. Durbin (0-0, 94.50 ERA)

Game 2: Maine (8-4, 2.87 ERA) vs. Hamels (9-3, 3.80 ERA)

Game 3: Sosa (6-3, 3.79 ERA) vs. Happ (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

Game 4: Perez (7-6, 3.14 ERA) vs. Kendrick (2-0, 5.00 ERA)

Two things I noticed off-hand. The Mets catch a break by not having Pelfrey come up to make a start and by having Paul lo Duca for the series. All of the matchups favor the Mets except for game 2. The Mets ALWAYS have trouble against pitchers they've never seen so Game 3 might be interesting. But realistically, the Mets have no reason not to take 3 of 4. Time to step it up guys. Holla back.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Madden: Bullpen Is The Issue Not The Starters

In his latest column for the NY Daily News, Bill Madden makes a valid point on how the starters are actually pitching well but the bullpen is what's really faltering. Says Madden:

In fact, you could make the case the Mets' starting pitchers have been their biggest asset, as evidenced by their ERA, which is second-best in the NL.

For now, even Minaya would have to admit the best-laid bullpen plans of last winter have not exactly panned out. The Met brain trust believes that relievers tend to follow good years with bad ones, and for more money - and therefore are interchangeable. For that reason, they chose not to re-sign Chad Bradford and Darren Oliver, despite the considerable contributions each made toward last year's division title. Turns out they were right in that assessment as neither is faring well with his new club. Unfortunately, Scott Schoeneweis, in whom the Mets invested $10.8 million over three years despite a less-than-glittering '06 season with Toronto and Cincinnati, and Aaron Sele (signed to a one-year deal off the free agent scrap heap) have been even worse.


I think I'm going to have to agree with Bill on this one. I think that the Mets starting pitching is fine. Ollie P. and John Maine have been better than anyone could have imagined, Glavine has looked better recently, Sosa has been a wonderful surprise and El Duque, when healthy, has been, well, El Duque. Plus Pedro should be back sometime in August which should solidify the staff even more.

The biggest problem with the Mets right now is their inability to get the clutch hits and the lapses by the bullpen. Scott "Show Me The Door" Schoeneweis has been god awful, Heilman has been terribly inconsistent for a setup man and while Darren Oliver had the ability to not let games get too far out of hand, Sele shows no such ability. Therefore, if Sele comes into the game in long relief it's pretty much like signaling the white flag to the other team.

So the bullpen and lack of timely hits (*cough *cough Delgado) is what's bringing this team down. Do you agree? Holla back.

Blame It On The Rain....

Mets win 2-0 after the game was called by rain. Glavine picks up win number 297. To celebrate, here's a video:

Holla back.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007



Scott Schoeneweis


Here's a new nickname for ya buddy - "show me the door"

Yep, if you didn't figure it out already, Scott "Show Me The Door" Schoeneweis entered the game last night and gave up the game-winning homerun to extremely light-hitting rookie second baseman Brendan Ryan. All game long, the SNY TV announcers kept mentioning how low of a homerun threat Brendan Ryan was. So as I watched the ball sail over the left field fence in the 11th inning, I couldn't help but think to myself "You've gotta be freaking kidding me, right?"

But I should have seen it coming. The hour... minute... second... millisecond it became apparent that Schoeneweis was coming into the game, everyone in the park, and those watching at home, pretty much had that uneasy feeling in their stomachs.

So Beam Me Up Scotty comes in, gets ahead of Ryan and then, for some strange reason, throws a fastball right down the heart of the plate. And just like that, ballgame over.


The crowd booed the bajeebies out of Schoeneweis. I mean it was brutal to watch. I ALMOST felt sorry for the guy but he's a major league ballplayer getting paid major league bucks to get out major league hitters, which, ironically, Brendan Ryan might not even be. He's more of a Quadruple A hitter this stage in his career. I mean the guy only had 19 plate appearances in his life and 3 hits coming into last night's game, all singles. So to allow a homerun to this guy is pretty much unacceptable. Booooooo!!!!

I know Willie must feel the same way as the fans when Schoeneweis comes in but what is he going to do? Not play the guy? They're not paying him millions of dollars to sit the bench and rot.

Here are Schoeneweis' stats on the season: 30 hits in 27.2 innings pitched, .283 BAA, a 1.81 WHIP and a 5.86 ERA. But here's the worst stat of them all. 20 walks in only 27.2 innings. To put this in perspective, C.C. Sabathia - a starting pitcher - only has 17 walks all season. In 122 innings no less. So Schoeneweis sucks. Majorly.


What does Schoeneweis himself think of his performance? Here's a quote:

"My Mom could get in there right now and hit a home run"

That sounds about right Scotty. If I had to make a bet, I'm putting my money on Momma Schoeneweis. I heard she has a quick bat and a Barry Bonds-like presence in the batter's box.

Booooooooooooo!!!! Boooooooooooo!!!! You suck!!!!!!!!!

I'm done booing Scotty. Just show him the door already.

Holla back.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Mets Making Push For... Jose Contreras?

According to this published report from the Newark Star Ledger, the Mets have expressed interest not only in Mark Buehrle, but in Jose Contreras as well. The report also states that the Mets are more willing to give up a top prospect for Contreras than they are for Buehrle since Buehrle will only be a 1/2 year rental.


OK, here's what I think about this. No, no, no, no, no!

Let me start off by saying I agree COMPLETELY with Omar and management's idea on not giving up a top prospect for a half-year rental in Mark Buehrle. To me, the price isn't worth it. Giving up Milledge, Gomez, Pelfrey or Humber for Buehrle, only to lose him after the season, would be desperate and pretty stupid. Remember what happened the last time Mets management got desperate? They traded away the top pitching prospect in baseball for Victor "I couldn't throw a strike if my life depended on it" Zambrano. So Buehrle for a top prospect is a no go.

Now onto Jose Contreras. The same Jose Contreras that has already proved that he couldn't pitch under the bright lights of the Big Apple. The same Contreras who is 5-8 with a 4.63 ERA, a 1.44 whip and a suspect birth certificate. He's probably older than El Duque. Sure he had a great season in 2005. But the guy is close to 40 years old. Why give up a young top prospect for an aging pitcher who has really only had 1 good year? If Omar did this he would lose some credibility with me I tell ya that.

The good thing is that it doesn't look like the Mets are going to stand pat while everyone around them gets better. Which is good. Just make sure that the deal makes sense Omar. That's all we Mets fans ask. Holla back.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Another word for Ace is Stopper

You hear the term 'ace' all the time in baseball. Every teams needs one to be successful. Players know that when the ace pitches, they have a great chance is at winning. No matter how bad the team is, they believe they can win when their ace is pitching. It becomes even bigger in the playoffs. Look at how the Diamondbacks beat the Yankees in 2001 World Series. Schilling and Johnson both pitched 3 times in that series.

So one role for the ace is to give the team confidence when he is pitching. But a more important role for an ace is when he serves as a stopper. A stopper is someone who comes in and stops the bleeding. They breakup losing streaks or bad stretches of baseball and get the team back on track. They are those rare kind of pitchers that not only stop bad momentum, but they generate good momentum.

And that is what Tom Glavine did on Friday night. Coming off a game in which Oliver Perez failed to help deliver a series victory, Glavine pitched 8 innings, while only allowing 1 run. He was able to set a tone for the weekend. When I was watching the Saturday night game, I had confidence the Mets would find a way to win the game. Glavine helped start some positive momentum. You combine this with the good games by El Duque and Maine, Wrights walk off hit and Reyes play where he scored on his own bloop single (who else can turn a bloop single into an inside the park homerun). It was nice to see all the pitchers go deep into games and preserve the pen. Hopefully the bad baseball is behind us and we can enjoy a summer of great baseball.

Run Reyes Run!

The value of Jose "J-Hova" Reyes to the Mets CANNOT be understimated.

Let me paint the scene for you...

Top of the first. Jose Reyes at the plate. Mets need to sweep the A's in the worst way to regain the positive vibes and optimism that have them on top of the National League East.

So the pitch comes in. And boom, Hovito smacks a soft fly down the right field line.

Motoring all the whole way, you could see Jose's eyes light up like Times Square when Jack Cust began lumbering after the ball. The ball drops in. Jose was headed for second and nothing was going to stop him.

Hova rounds first, legs moving like a locomotive. Cust retrieves the ball and hurls it like a missile towards second. But there was no throwing out Reyes. As he slid, the ball sailed into left field. Once again, Reyes could smell blood.

He pounced from his slide like a tiger in pursuit of his prey. Jose's prey was home plate. And there would be no denying him of his feast.

He kept running, and running, and running, rounding third.

Would he make it? Could he possibly score on a soft fly into right field?

Of course he can. He's Jose Reyes. THE Most Electrifying Player in Major League Baseball. Can you smellllllllllllll... what Jose.... is... cooking....

And the sweep was on. Welcome back Mets, we missed ya these last few weeks.

Holla Back.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Exclusive: What Lo Duca Said

For those of you who missed Paul Lo Duca's tirade during last night's game, this is how it went down:

Umpire Marvin Hudson: "Strike"
Lo Duca: "That was a strike are you kidding me?"
Hudson: "Shut up Paul and just swing the bat will ya"
LD: "Wha Wha What!!! Oh hell to the naw! Ok ok I'll let that slide, but that was outside Blue and you know it"

(next pitch comes in...)

Hudson: "Strrrrrrike!"

(Lo Duca jumps out of the batter's box, does a spin, a moonwalk and a split, then pops up and heads toward the home plate umpire)

LD: "WTF!!! Are you f*cking blind or something? You must have eyes of a bat! How'd you call that strike, with your sonar? WTF!"
Hudson: "Calm down Do Luca, before I toss you outta here!"
LD: "Do Luca?, DO LUCA!? Who the hell are you Chris 'Mad Dog' Russo?" Nobody calls me Do Luca, nobody. You betta start calling the strike zone right before you be left sleeping with the fishes paisan!"
Hudson: "Is that a threat? Huh little man, is that a threat? Say one more word and you're outta here"
LD: "One more word"
Hudson: "That's it, Do Luca, YOU'RE OUTTA HERE"
LD: "What? well *&%$#$ you and *&%$#@ with a donkey and &^%$*#* a gerbil!! Don't be surprised when Tony Soprano pulls up in a car besides you and leaves you 6 feet under home plate you f*cking paisan! And STOP CALLING ME DO LUCA!!"

(In comes Willie Randolph to try and break it up)

Willie: "OK guys break it up, we have children in the first row they might hear you. Willie loves the kids."
Hudson: "Get him out of here Willie or I'm sending you home with him"
LD: "Yo Mama!"
Willie: "Whoa Paul, calm down. Don't take it there. Marv, he never meant to say Yo Mama. He didn't mean it he's just a little sensitive. It's the whole Napolean complex thing.

(Willie looks at Lo Duca, then looks at Hudson and makes a face like something stinks)

Willie: Damn, both of y'all breath smell like similac. You want a Tic Tac? (In Rick James' voice) That was Colddddddd Bloodedddddd!!!"

(In comes crew chief Ed Montague)

Montague: "Hey Paul calm down will ya, you know if you argue balls and strikes you're gonna get tossed"
LD: "No the only thing gettin' tossed around here is Hudson's ass when you go to his hotel room. Keep talking and I'll have you tossed in the East River Monty! Both of those pitches were balls and he knows it!
Montague: "Now you listen to me Paulie, I don't take threats lightly. And furthermore, you're the one with the nickname 'Captain Red Ass' so tell me whose butt is the one getting tossed around here? Huh, tell me?"
LD: "F#ck you Monty"

(Paul heads to the dugout)

LD: (whispering in David Wright's ear) "Yo did you like that? Was that a good performance. Oscar-worthy right?"
Wright: "Nah dude you need more, that was a Triple A tirade, I know you can do better than that. This is the Bigs."
LD: "Oh for real? Ok, what is Montague, is that Irish? What's the worst thing ever produced by an Irishman?"
Wright: Ummm well if you ask me, it has to be that song "Jump Around" by the group House of Pain. That was god awful."
LD: "True. Ok watch this."

(Lo Duca tosses his bat, helmet and catcher's equipment onto the field. He heads onto the field one last time and turns towards the crowd. He then proceeds to lead the crowd in his rendition of "Jump Around" by the group House of Pain)

LD: "Pack it up, pack it in... Let me begin... I came to win battle me that's a sin...

(David Wright and Jose Reyes are seen in the dugout jumping around. Jose, thinking it's the song "Jump" by Kris Kross, is wearinig his uniform backwards.)

LD:...I came to get down, I came to get down, So get out your seats and jump around! Jump around!"

(Throwback: "Jump Around" by House of Pain)

(Lo Duca heads to the showers. Applause from the Shea crowd. One guy holds up a sign with the number "10" on it and another guy has made an Oscar award out of the aluminum hot dog wrappers. Omar Minaya is spotted in the A's dugout trying to make a mid-game trade for Joe Blanton involving Lastings Milledge and Paul Lo Duca. Mike Piazza will be a throw in.)

The End

Oh yeah, and the Mets win 1-0 on a soft line drive in the 9th by David Wright. All is good for the Metropolitans. Holla back.