Sunday, May 30, 2010


To those who gave this country their lives in order to create, protect and defend America;
the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave...

And to all who have served and to those presently in harms way...

Your efforts are not in vain.
I salute you all.

1/7 Cav; 1st Cavalry Division
4/4 Cav; 3rd Infantry Division

All the Way!!


Angel in my Outfield

Angel Pagan; Center Fielder; New York Mets

For a while it was fair to say of him; If it wasn't for Bad Luck,
he'd have no Luck at all.

Injuries are a reason he does not figure more prominently into the minds of Mets fans and less so in the collective Baseball thinking.  I fought the Pagan fight hard on the radio shows when everyone played the role of naysayer against him.  In spring training of 2008 he was having a tremendous spring and I believed he was winning the day and deserved to be the Mets' starting left fielder because of it. 
An injury short circuited that campaign and the Mets wound up signing another useless aged body for the position that year (eh..hem).  I remember being a little saddened in 2006 when we traded him to the Cubs and did nothing to really speak of there.  I was very happy when we re-acquired him for the 2008 season.

Even before this season started I wanted very much for Pagan to be the starting center fielder with Carlos Beltran still rehabbing from surgery.  The Mets incredulously brought in Gary Matthews Jr. who is presently accumulating outs at an 84% clip.  I keep screaming and kicking something every time I see him waste any of our precious 27 outs we get per game.  OUTS are like WEEDS.  If they were hard to come by everyone would want them.  But having Matthews here to fail miserably did solidify Pagan's role in center field.  I'm very happy he has also remained injury free so far.  The Mets would be in even deeper doodoo we think we are in, if it weren't for him playing a solid center field and being equally capable behind the plate.

I'll admit it.  I have a Man-Crush on Angel Pagan.  It's not something new.  But it is to you.
This is my 10th year of Crush for Pagan.

In 2001 the Brooklyn Cyclones (A-affiliate of the NY Mets) were born right here in my backyard;
Coney Island.
The first year in the New York-Penn League was a magical year for us Brooklynites cheering on our Cyclones; ecstatic to have Baseball back in the Borough.  We won our division and advanced through the first playoff round.  We were actually playing for a championship in our first year.

Angel Pagan was an outfielder for that Cyclones team and a crowd favorite.

The Brooklyn Cyclones and the Williamsport CrossCutters were tied at one game apiece in the Championship series, with the deciding game to be played in Brooklyn on a Tuesday night.

That game was all I had on my mind that morning.  My thoughts about Brooklyn winning a championship were the very thoughts swirling in my head, right up until the moment the events of 9/11 started taking place and changed everything.

That Championship Series was never resumed and both teams were declared co-Champions.

But like all teams we root for who do well, or were special to us, You Remember.  This isn't a tie-in, in any way to the events of that September morning.  This is merely to tell you, from their June Opener till that Sept. morning, how special that team became to me.  From that morning on, I can't live without them.

Angel Pagan was a member of that team.
 He was one of the swirls in my head when things started to transpire downtown.
Teams, players, years, and sometimes tragedy are unforgettable, to say the least.
And that's where Angel Pagan stays safely tucked away; indelibly branded in my memories regardless of how the rest of his career here goes.

As someone who is committed to the notion Carlos Beltran and the New York Mets are irreconcilably divorcing eachother, I'm glad Angel Pagan was finally able put together a good enough sample to warrant confidence with his baseball abilities.  It's not like Beltran is getting Wally Pipp'd here.  This has to do more with my CRUSH on Pagan and less to do with our Beltran situation.  Is Pagan the player of Beltran's callibur?  No.  Hardly.  But he's been a tremendous help around here and I hope he enjoys many more years to come in a Met uniform.

As for Mets fans...  If you're clinging to a hope that Beltran will come back and help, if not be a force on this team again?  Let Go!  Beltran is not going to do anything to jeoperdize next year; his contract year.  Having said that, I believe I already informed you I was one of Beltran's biggest fans; still am. 
But that ship has sailed.   (yes...Already).

I'm satisfied with my Angel in our Outfield.


Now I'm ready for World Cup

This afternoon I find myself unpleasantly trapped in the Staten Island Mall because the members of my close little family wanted to come shopping. As Papa Bear of this family, I guess I had no choice but to consent to this little jaunt in the woods while their porridge cooled down.

But to my delight, as I found myself in the ridiculously over priced M*cy's store, my adventure into the retail inferno suddenly became a worth while trip.

I dropped seventy bucks on a jersey I always wanted to get. It was there calling my name begging me to reach in my pocket and pay for the right to take it home.

In preparation for World Cup 2010, I purchased the iconic Argentine National Team's jersey; country of my father.

World Cup action is right around the corner. I am a native New Yorker of Brooklyn. Of course I have USA's best interests at the forefront of my rooting interests. But these games transcend something more than sport. This is about family.

Let's go USA!!! Viva la Argentina!!

...from the Staten Island Mall.... Mike.


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Halliday Weekend

Roy Halladay pitched a perfect game for the Philadelphia Phillies tonight against the Florida Marlins.
He faced the minimum 27 batters; no walks; 11 strike outs; Dominant!

It was the 20th Perfect Game pitched in Baseball history.
Check out the WRAP here.


Friday, May 28, 2010

Mets lose game; Streak ends; I'm OK

Milwaukee - The Mets' consecutive innings streak for not giving up a run ended at 35 in the Dairy State at roughly 10:45pm EST tonight.  In the process they turned another Johan Santana "above" quality start into curd.  The waft of spoiled milk should be gusting through METropolis by the time the morning papers hit the stands tomorrow.

However, I will not self indulge myself at the Club's expense and go negative.  Why? - Because of the fore mentioned innings streak the Mets pitcher's started against the Phillies and extended tonight for 8 innings.  It's hard to hitch a wagon full of hate on the back of a ride like that.

So?  Igirashi?  You're off the hook for the game.  He gave up a game winning two run home run to Cory Hart for the Brewers and the walk-off.  The Brewers got a great start out of hurler Gillardo tonight.
SNY passed a stat along informing of Gillardo's brilliant penchant for getting batters out on called strike three.  He and Jon Lester master that category.  But the fact the Mets did not capitalize on another great performance by their ace continues to disturb.  That's an issue that stands alone and I will not vent those frustrations over tonight's loss to the Brew Crew in their home ninth inning.

I made little if no mention of the Mets pitchers accumulating the scoreless innings streak.  I also made little if any mentions of the Mets play against the Yankees nor of the sweep over the Phillies.  So if I was not making an attempt to praise the Flushing Nine for things they did well over the last week, in light of creeping back into this long marathon's leading pack and getting back above .500, I will employ some self-balancing and say virtually nothing about tonight's game or about sending another one of Johan Santana's starts to Potter's Field to die.

How's that for passive aggressive?

Mike  BTB

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Grand Street Ferry Park

Click to read the history of the Ferry Landing.


Jose Lima

Whether you are aware of it or not, Jose Lima was one of the all-time champion of the FANS!  He loved interacting with the fans.  In different baseball towns all over this country, I'm sure someone has a good Jose Lima story to tell.  He spread himself around that much.  If he wasn't pitching that day, there was a very good chance he'd be in the middle of a circle of fans, talking and signing and having a good time with them.

This is my Jose Lima story.

In 2004 I went to Philadelphia for a weekend series between the Phillies and the L.A. Dodgers.  My cousin played with the Dodgers then.  I was over by the third base side before the game during warm-ups.  Jose Lima came walking by and I asked him politely in Spanish, if I could be so bold as to ask him to relay a message into the clubhouse and tell my Cuz I was outside.  He quizzed me a little as to who I was, but after clarifying, he said, "No problem, I'll take care of it right now."  My wife and son were with me and he came over and shook hands with us.  Shortly there after I was speaking with my cousin before he started his stretching.

Later that season, the Dodgers came to Shea Stadium for a series.  This time I was stationed by the visiting dugout waiting for the Dodgers to come out.  Jose Lima popped out of the dugout directly in front of me.  I again used this opportunity to ask him for the favor.  He looked at me, remembered and asked, "cousin?"  I acknowledged and he said, "I gotcha Brother.  Hold on!"  Jose was in and out of the clubhouse in a flash.

We all know what the autograph crush is like near the dugouts when a player pops out.  I'm not here to complain about the scene.  That's part of baseball.  I do want to tell you what happened this day.  The cries for Jose...Jose!  Autograph...etc. were more than Jose was willing to tolerate this day I guess.  It was blisteringly hot this day.  What happened next is why Jose Lima will go down as one of the all-time good guys in baseball.

He looked and assessed the crowd.  I can paraphrase what he said to the crowd well enough, but 6 years later is not a good time to quote him verbatim.

Just as he addressed the gathered fans, I snapped this picture..

"Wait a minute!!  Hold on one minute!!  I'm going to come out here in two minutes.  I'm going hang out and sign whatever I can for you.  Just stop screaming my name!!  Everybody be cool, be nice, and we're going to get this done.  Promise."

All this was said with humor and respect.  In a flash he reappeared from the dugout with a bottle of water and a towel shading his head from the sun.  He climbed on top of the dugout; sat down and began signing.
For the next hour and 20 minutes he sat and signed and talked and joked and signed and joked and signed and signed and talked and signed.  I was next to him the whole time just chatting away and it goes down as one of the most real moments I ever had with a baseball player.  It was like talking sports with a buddy at a BBQ.

He had words of encouragement for kids and words of appreciation for Dads.  He looked everyone in the eye and offered a hand shake to all.  And for me and two others, there were jokes and jocularity being spoken in Spanish but very low key, that would not other wise have taken place in English.  None of it was directed at any fan!

That covers my roughly hour and a half I spent inter-acting with Jose Lima.  Baseball has no idea what a guy like Jose means to the game of Baseball.  Oft times fans can get jaded with all the minutia of Baseball and the knuckle-heads who sully our game.  Brief encounters like the one I had with Jose Lima do more to reconcile a lot of hurt baseball has caused us over the years than any game winning hit my team can muster.

How lucky am I to have shared a moment with him and to be lucky enough to photograph and document my encounter?  Very!  How many stories like this will the media outlets offer their audience?  Maybe a guy like Jose Lima isn't worthy of headline news in a world of sensationalism and salaciousness.  That's where we come in.  Because I know there are a lot of fans out there with a Jose Lima story.  This must be true because he shared himself with as many as he could, as often as he could, where ever he could.  Jose Lima was that good; - Maybe not in stats; but certainly in heart and character.

Baseball has lost an incredible ambassador. The Pitcher of the People plays for another team now.

I wish you well Jose and thank you.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Unexpected Blues

Blue.  Met Blue.  Like a cloudless rich blue sky you find on the other side of mornings. It's the Blue that reminds me of the Mets from my younger days.  The Blue with an Orange inter-locking NY on their caps symbolic of over a century of baseball in NYC; that when worn with their traditional pinstripes takes me back in time.  These uniforms take me back to a day my mind was unencumbered with the minutia of a self aware adult. 

Our logo.  It is my belief I can say without being Mets-centric about it, the Met logo is among the best in all of Baseball.  The baseball with the city's skyline, symbolic of all 5 boroughs; the bold Mets script underlined with a bridge, as we are called the City of Bridges; a neatly tucked orange NY and orange baseball stitching complete, for me, a thing of beauty.

This year the Mets tinted our traditional home white uniform with a touch of the original ivory from our first decade in the League.

My traditional home pinstriped white uniforms, canvas to my summer afternoon Blue and NYC dusk Orange bring back memories of Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Jon Matlack and Skip Lockwood pitching from our Shea mound.  I think Rusty Staub, John Milner, Felix Millan and Buddy Harrelson.  Tug McGraw, Cleon Jones, Eddie Kranepool and Jerry Grote come racing back into my recollections.

In those days the Mets played the Yankees once a year in an exhibition called the Mayor's Trophy game.  The game was never televised.  The Mayor's Trophy Game is most responsible for introducing me to an amazing baseball game tuning device called radio.

As I watched the Mets take on the Yankees this evening,  these things I described above are what came to mind as I watched big 6 foot 7 inch Mike Pelfrey nurse a 3-0 lead (at the time).  The Blue and Orange captivated my thoughts tonight in what turned out to be a great throw-back game in the sense my mind wandered free from the thoughts that keep us ensnared in that bear trap called adulthood; and with that looking upon these players with a critical eye.

I myself am not a fan of the Mets use of the alternate all white homies, nor do I like the incorporation of black into their scheme.  Perhaps that is why I wax nostalgic when they go traditional.

Sure today's win over the New York Yankees is satisfying.  I would be lying if I said it wasn't.  But what's most important to me is that we start playing some consistent baseball.  A win is welcome anytime we can get it.

To be honest with you, the win today over our cross town rivals is secondary to what I took away from the day as a whole.  I was 9 years old again.  The aesthetic improvements made to Citi Field made the place more recognizable to the Met fans and it feels a lot more like our home now.  Glory to that.

Of all things that battled for my attention today/tonight; Blue - Met Blue; A blue, more recognizable to me than the color of my own hair overwhelmingly stole my attention as the sky above me turned to NYC Orange at dusk.

That's the power of Baseball and a small glimpse into the effects this team has over me.  I've had this kind of day at the park before.  They just seem to occur less frequently, although that may be a perception wholly clouded by emotion on my part.  Whatever the reason, I've learned to keep these days filed under the reasons I love baseball.

I know we won today and it was against the Bombers.  But that's not what today was about.  Today stands apart with other selected games that reinforce one's unconditional passion for this game and our teams.  The National Pastime showed up at Citi today; Front and Center.  That's not what I anticipated walking through the Jackie Robinson Rotunda.  But that's what Baseball did to me today.

Blue.  Met's Blue.  When the Mets took the field today my ticket failed to indicate I'd be taken back to more simpler days and innocent times I've ever had rooting for my Mets.  I saw Blue, and Orange, and Pinstripes, and it was good.  Baseball does that.  It takes you away sometimes.  There is no other place like a ball park that gives you a sense what ever is outside the park in unimportant or exists at all.  And that's where I was today ~ Safe in my second home as a kid.

That Blue also represents reality.  If you're looking skyward from the streets of METropolis, that deep rich blue sky is really the eye of a hurricane.  METropolis has been battered since their 9-1 home stand.  Today's Blue sky is merely the eye passing through.  One game and one day at a time is all we can do because the Mets season has been that stormy.  The backside of this hurricane is still coming and there will be more damage.  Players will lose their dignity, fans are losing their faith, managers may lose their jobs and GM's may lose everything they've built too.  Do not let today's Blue skies give my fellow Met fans false hope.  There is more damage to come.  The other side of this storm will come rambling through and we need to see how this organization will respond to the emergency.  Before that happens, I thought it wise to take the brief break in the storm system to resupply myself with good memories and improve fortifications before Flushing by the Bay gets whipping again.

Surf's up dude!!


*** I have the ESPN Fan Panel Show burned to a disk.  As soon as I learn how to get this friggin thing uploaded so you can hear it, you'll be the first to know.  How did it go?  I think it went well.  I'm laughing at myself over a mistake or two I made.  But over all, I guess i did OK.  I had a blast though!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Brooklyn Bridge Park, continued

a/o March 23rd, 2010

Shameless Self-Promotion

No Really! 
This IS a shameless self-promotion on my part.

I was notified last night I have been selected to participate on a
Fan Panel/Round Table
on (NYC) 1050espnRadio.

On Friday night, May 21st, during the 9pm to 10pm hour (EST),  I will be a participant with other selected members of a Fan Panel on
the Bill Daughtry Show.

I'm a regular caller to Bill Daughtry's show. 
But I had to sell myself just like the rest.
I call the station in general.  All the show hosts have treated me with nothing but respect and they always give me a fair chance to make my points.  I am very excited about this opportunity to spend time in the studio and be part of the show.  I'm pretty comfortable when I call into the show.  I'm hoping that same comfort level follows me into the studio.  If I just remember to breathe and think before I speak, I think I'll be OK.

If you find yourself home this Friday night and you're so inclined, click the link
and click on the show in the left column.
And if you do listen, I hope I make it worth your while. 
It is my sincerest hope to represent "us" FANS as best I can. 
I certainly hope I don't disappoint.
You can listen to the show on the 1050espn web site:

Thank you all for getting me ranked #35 on the list!
Thank you all for being such good neighbors to me.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Nets: Lottery Losers but the Future is Still Bright!

...since Ground Breaking Day for the Barclays Center and Atlantic Yards;

*The last, last, last resident living in the footprint of Atlantic Yards is gone.  Or so we believe.  The most notable resident did quite well for himself securing over $5million dollars for his troubles (I purposely set that number off from the actual deal's worth).  He was the said organizer of the "Build Don't Destroy" movement against Bruce Ratner's plan.  Another family popped up, to many's surprise, but they too have since vacated the premises.  I believe there is one more person with claims to owning air rights over one of the buildings planned for demolition.  Whatever that case may be, I'm sure, like every other obstacle this plan has faced, the matter will be resolved.

* The NBA officially approved the majority ownership of the New Jersey Nets transfer to Mikhail Prokhorov.  He will assume 80% ownership of the team.  Bruce Ratner and to a lesser degree Jay-Z will stay involved as minority owners.  The team will play in Newark the next two seasons.  Then finally the team expects to make it's grand and much anticipated move to Brooklyn.
AP pic

* How can one have so much hope for a team that won less than 20 games this past season?  Easy!  The Nets are under the salary cap by a substantial margin.  They have a CEO in Brett Yourmark who has gained my confidence with everything he's said and done when appearing in the public eye or within ear-shot on the radio.  Rod Thorn is Team President I can find no fault with.  He is one of the most respected League executives in the NBA.  The Nets have a legit and young center in Brook Lopez and a quality point guard in Devon Harris.  The team should be positioned no worse than fourth in this year's college draft.  At best they might secure the number one spot and go after John Wall.  So if you're asking me why this team that won less than 20 games last year has me excited, I say there is no better position to be in than the Nets currently are as it pertains to their own situation.  I love opportunities to build from the ground up.  If the Nets can get Wall, that makes them a viable player for the services of LeBron James.

** as/of May 18th - this has officially become an ongoing post.

Mikhail Prokhorov attended the NBA Draft Lottery Ceremony tonight.  I like him I assume, am disappointed with the Nets receiving the third pick in the upcoming NBA Draft.  That about guarantees the Nets will not be able to select John Wall as they hoped if they had the number 1 pick.  This is the 6th straight year a team positioned to have the number 1 pick has been short circuited by the lottery system.  Washington will be picking first moving up from the supposed 5th position.  All is not lost though.  With the third pick perhaps they can secure Derrick Favors, the power forward out of Georgia Tech or DeMarcus Cousins seems like the next logical pick.  He/They along with Brook Lopez, and perhaps if he's not used as trade bait, Devon Harris, could grow into a formidable nucleus.  Having as much cap space as the Nets do, they can still purchase a max-free agent to augment their young talented cast.  I still say things are looking up for the Nets.

Additionally, Mikhail Prokhorov made some rather confident opening statements to his fan base.  He spoke of becoming competitive sooner than later.  He believes the playoffs may be in the Nets future by next season.  And as championship aspirations go, Mikhail sets a timeline beginning earliest next year with a maximum of five years as a goal to gain Finals glory.  He said he believes in hiring the right people and staying out of operations; only getting involved when pressed to do so.  But he was sure to point out he's willing to do anything from his end, then more, to ensure success.

Mr. Prokhorov said everything in his address you want to hear from an owner.  He declared his passion and commitment to excellence (with all respect to Al Davis) and ultimate quest to put forth a top flight organization in all respects of operation; to include the new arena.

I dare say I am down right giddy about the prospect of the Nets playing in Brooklyn.  And I think in two years short time, this organization will be poised for great, entertaining basketball.

For now...this post end here.  I look forward to the day "our" Nets arrive.


Maelstrom of Discontent

"Well,  I still have my uniform on?"

That's what Jerry Manuel does.  He makes the "beat guys" feel like they're all his buddies.  Every QandA with Jerry is a Bud-Lite moment.  Jerry embraces them and makes em all feel good about their jobs because he makes jokes and feeds them just the right blend of corn-meal and grass-mix by-product to satiate their sensationalized article writing their editors demand.  Effective?  It's especially effective for Jerry Manuel.  If it weren't for Jerry holding the Media close to his bosom with humor, jocularity and random acts of gangsta sarcasm, the maelstrom to have Jerry Manuel would have gotten him fired long ago.  That maelstrom is usually whipped up by the Media first; not the fans.  The only reason Jerry Manuel is still manager of the New York Mets is because Jerry outsmarted the media this long.

Keep your friends close; but keep your enemies closer.

The media never created a maelstrom to have Jerry Manuel fired.  Sure they've had the burner on simmer and it even got HOT for Jerry once in a while; - as is the current situation after a 90 minute meeting with Met Brass in Atlanta of all places.  When Jerry Manuel emerged from that meeting his Maenad's were there to greet him.  When the Chorus asked of their Bacchus what happened in the meeting, their deity squeezed a grape into this goblet of wine:  "I still have my uniform on?!"  ...And because they're all buddies, the on-site Media nod their heads in a collective, "yea...we got your back dog!"...and then go write their spin.  Take care to understand I'm talking about the beat writers here.  Through wittiness and with an acknowledgment by the writers Omar assembled these players, Manuel gets a nice slice of slack in the daily(s).  When a guy like Mike Lupica decides to chime in about sports these days it's only when the fishing is good.  Today he served up this big plate of obvious  ...- I say be gone with you and go continue chasing your political aspirations.  I used to read his articles all the time but he's slowly turning himself into a writer's Howard Cosell of his later angrier years.

Allow me to digress.  For two years Manuel has floated the idea of batting Reyes third in the order.  Jerry thought it was part of Jose Reyes' natural progression as a hitter.  This year, due to circumstances that dictated alternative measures, Jerry got his way and Reyes was inserted into the third slot (he has recently been returned to batting lead-off again).  Before I go on a tangent, here's my question.  If Jerry felt so strongly about batting Reyes third, why does he ask Reyes, his three hitter, to bunt in two consecutive games?  These are just moves to ponder.

The 90 minute meeting between Jerry Manuel, Omar Minaya, Asst. GM John Ricco and Jeff Wilpon was as Jeff puts it, "...just Baseball talk."  He stated he didn't come to Atlanta to fire anyone.  He admitted if he was happy with the current situation he wouldn't be having this meeting.  When pressed, Jeff offered he would have made a change last year regarding a manger and or a General Manager, but he did not act.  So today he explains they are assembled together in an effort to "work this out".  Jeff Wilpon reminded the assembled media about his expectations of Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel and about his lack of satisfaction so far.  But it appears the Wilpons are more committed to keeping Omar under contract than entertaining issues of being penny foolish-dollar wise.  Jerry Manuel is a lame duck manager which ever way you look at this.

I have been through all this before.  I've been doing it since December.  My displeasure with the way this organization is run is pretty well known by now.  But here we go again anyway.

If the Mets fire Manuel and replace him with Bob Melvin, I will be highly upset.  I'd rather let Manuel finish the season.  I am not in favor of Omar Minaya specifically, hiring Bobby Valentine.  I do not believe that relationship will work.  Omar Minaya was a Steve Phillips front office import.  Bobby Valentine and Steve Phillips could not get along.  Valentine wanted more say in personnel matters.  Phillips was strongly opposed.  Valentine will want as much input now as he wanted then.  Valentine has a very strong character and his baseball intellect is of superior quality.  But Valentine will exercise every bit a savvy and cunning intellect against Omar Minaya who has himself been looking over his shoulder at John Ricco.  To also put a very dead-spin on that relationship, Valentine will out think and counter Omar at every turn.  Valentine will spin circles around Omar.  A Valentine/Minaya duo will not work in my opinion.  And I'm not even so sure Omar deserves to hire a third manager.

There is only one situation I am agreeable with regarding the hiring of Bobby Valentine.  If Omar is allowed to hire him, the Wilpons must turn and fire Omar outright and do one of two things; promote Bobby Valentine to General Manager and let him hire his own manager; OR seek permission from the Tampa Rays for the services of Jerry Hunsicker to be GM with Valentine managing under him.  The two are very familiar with each other dating back to more stable and successful days in the Mets' organization.

That is my Bobby Valentine scenario; a path which I am not inclined to follow but I would be agreeable to.  The Wilpons have been there and done that with Bobby Valentine.  Valentine was critical of the Wilpons and they have memories like elephants.  They do not take criticism too well.

Of course my ultimate pipe-dream is for the Wilpons to do what it takes to get Larry Beinfest in the Mets' fold.  He is the guy I want.  I said it before.  I say it here again now.

I believe Jerry Manuel and Omar Minaya should be joined at the hip.  Another terribly kept secret of mine is my total vote of no confidence in Asst. GM John Ricco.  If he is indeed named the next GM of the Mets, like the Bob Melvin situation, I will be highly upset!  No John Ricco!  No Bob Melvin!  If those are my choices for change I will stick with Omar and Jerry!  Thank you but no thanks Mr. Wilpon.

I have stated my support for Omar Minaya in the past.  I cling to him because he is the last resource Frank Cashen directly or indirectly left behind (Cashen brought in many executives the Wilpons have exhausted and through Steve Phillips, a Frank Cashen import, we arrived at our last two GM's in Duquette and Omar.)  Omar is the last executive familiar to the Wilpons and vice-versa over the course of 30 years.

The next General Manager of the New York Mets must be an off-campus hire.  Period!  The cycle of inbred thought and a watered down if not diluted executive staff must be infused with new blood if not now, when Omar is relieved of his duties.  Anything other than what I posted here will not make me happy.

Met fans need to give me more names other than Bob Melvin and Bobby Valentine (for reasons I stated above) before I say fire Jerry Manuel.  Who are the replacements Met fans are contemplating?  All I hear is fire Manuel.  I'm cool with that, but who's the replacement folks?

Here's another old line of mine.  The S.S. Wilpon just turned into the iceberg!  I dropped the life boats a long time ago.  I'm not about to raise them back up.

Mike  BTB

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Speaking into a "Hot Mike" again..

Not too long ago, Bernie Carbo, yes the Bernie Carbo that hit a game tying 3 run home run for the Red Sox in game 6 of the 1975 World Series against the Reds, shared his story with us about how he played almost every game stoned/high out of his mind.  The latest revelation stemming from that story is how Carbo now admitted he wanted to pay a couple of "mafia" types $2,000 to break the arms of Keith Hernandez in retaliation for Kieth's testimony against Carbo dating back to the Cocaine Scandal of the early 80's.  Kieth had testified he was introduced to cocaine by Bernie Carbo.  For that testimony Bernie wanted Hernandez's arms broken.  When Carbo brought up the idea to the "gentlemen" who would have carried out the deed, they were agreeable enough to do it, after a couple of years that is.  Yep!  The guys talked Carbo out of the deal by getting him to understand if the hit was put on Hernandez so soon after the testimony, of course they'd seek Carbo as suspect number one.  Today as Bernie Carbo is making all this known to us, he says if  he should come in contact with Keith Hernandez, he would tell him he was sorry for introducing him to the drug and causing him to have problems with it.  Read about the whole thing here.


My how the times have changed.  I offer you this little anecdote I heard this morning.  I do not know the full context this following bite was a part of.  I'm assuming it had something to do with the recent TASERING of a fan in Philly.  I could be wrong,  I tuned into the radio show in time to hear this clip
involving Duke Snider Duke.  (I'm paraphrasing Warner Wolfe)

...'after a Dodgers game against the Reds in Cincy...the fans were allowed on the field after the game.  A fan confronted Duke Snider and said to him, "You're Gutless!"  Duke said a few unsavory things back to this fan.
The fan proceeded to take a punch at Duke, and missed.  As Duke once told the story, he said he had his glove rolled up in his hand and popped the fan in the mouth 'really good'.  That fan was held over night in jail.  Both had to appear in court the next day.  The judge recommended the two just shake hands and end this like gentlemen.  Duke was agreeable to that.  The fan, who suffered a broken dental bridge from the punch asked the judge 'What about my mouth?'  The judge's response to that question?  The judge said, "I don't know.  I am not a dentist.  Case dismissed!"   We all know how something like that would have played itself out today.  Don't we?


Not only does Charlie Manuel throw the Mets under the bus with the stealing signals saga, Bud Selig decided he was going to give the Philadelphians 3 more home games this year.  The G-20 Summit will be held in Toronto this year on the same dates the Phillies are scheduled to play the Blue Jays.  MLB basically wants nothing to do with any potential chaos due to protesters and those who take things a step farther.  Instead of finding a neutral site for the two teams to play as MLB decided to move the series, Selig decided to play those games in Philly as Toronto acts as home team.  Thank you Bud Selig!  Because that is so fair right?  Toronto is entitled to the gate.  Without checking the schedules, are you telling me Chicago's two parks, Buffalo-which would draw a bigger crowd than Toronto ever will this season, Cleveland, Boston or Pittsburgh couldn't host this series?  No. - Because the zany and wacky long standing rivalry between Philly and Toronto needs to be held in Philly; giving them 3 more games in their own stadium than the rest of the division will have.  I can see MLB's point.  Canadians have a way of burning down their downtown districts and tipping cars and what-not after their hockey teams inspire such action with a win OR loss.  The outcome of the game isn't as important to them as the final tick of the clock marking zero point zero zero; Time for them to Wild-Out!  Ay?  All the protesters, activists and hooligans flooding into town for the summit will no doubt be something worth avoiding.  But Selig Meister Meister Selig should have come up with a better place than Philly's park; somewhere like SomberTown!.  Selig is just appeasing the Jays knowing the joint will probably sell out.  Thank you Dud Selig.  May I have another?


That's it!  All HAIL has broken loose.  HAIL is just a complete and utter mess.  He has more problems than a math book!  The pitcher formerly known as Oliver Perez has finally been taken out of the rotation.  Things have not gone well for him at all.  There was a sign here and a sign there he might turn a corner.  But those signs really read DEAD END when you got closer to read them.  Two starts ago it was the weather.  Ollie doesn't do well in the cold.  In that game he walked 7 batters in too few innings pitched and looked plain ol' pathetic.  So this is what the team went with;- it was the cold....Too cold for Ollie.  He's HAIL damn it!!
So everyone said his next start in Miami was going to be just what the Doctor ordered.  Some good old fashioned tropical climate was going to warm Ollie's bones and he was going to pitch more 'gooder'.  That was the plan!!  Honest!  This is the way the team was spinning it.  Well Doctor, Ollie needs a miracle not penicillin.  OK - Miami.  You are there!  Did you smell that?  It was Ollie stinking up Big Fish Stadium like hot garbage in a closet!  So much for the climate control theory.  Next move?  Mets said is the bullpen.  ME?  That won't help.  What's he going to get?  Mop-up duty?  He won't be the 8th inning guy?  He's not the 9th inning guy?  He's not a one batter lefty specialist to get one lefty bat out.  Is he John Maine's personal long relief specialist now? (He should be!).  There is no effective innings set for Ollie to continue fooling himself  as a pitcher in our bullpen.  Get him to accept a demotion to the minors.  Let him start a few more games in Buffalo.  The bullpen will just not help him.  He just doesn't fit any job description and the opportunities are sporadic at best.  How do you pitch out of your troubles as a starter like that?  Send him to AAA with his consent.  Make him understand then bring him back after 3 or starts.

(Today's post game note:  You can include RAIN back into the daily forecast along with HAIL again.
John Maine was miserable today once again.)

And while I'm at it.  Just like I said folks, the Mets can not beat the Nationals and the Marlins.
It's un-B-Friggin-lievable!!  This is going on for years now.  Today's loss ensures we lost the last two series after taking a series from the Giants.  We finish with the Fish tomorrow.  Then two with ATL followed by more Nationals.  After that?  NY Yankees and Inter-League play.

Did I tell you I'm getting a little sick and tired of Inter-League?
Next post.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Manuel on Manuel Crime

If for some crazy reason I want to have my wife followed because my bank account is disappearing and she suddenly signed up for tennis lessons, remind me not to hire this guy.

She can have the $13.26 by the way. This guy was like Wile E. Coyote peering down the cliff with his ACME binoculars while Road Runner was behind him the whole time. Apparently the Colorado Rockies are accusing Mick Billmeyer, Phillies bullpen coach, of stealing signs with the help of binoculars. Read here for the NY Daily News article  and read here for The New York Times' take.

Just to let you know, I don't really care as it applies to the Mets as you will soon see. In-game hi-jinx is OK. But binoculars from the bullpen? Nah.. C'mon. Be better. As a batter if you want to try and sneak a peak. Fine. If the catcher nabs you in the act and has a problem with it? Fine. If the runner on second base is looking in and gives signs to the batter? Fine. If the pitcher dots that guy next time up? That's fine too.

Binoculars from the bullpen? C'mon. I'm not going to get too crazy about this but...C'mon. Be better than sitting on your duff with binoculars. Just be better dude. Heck, he might have only been watching the positioning of the catcher. Sure. C'mon. Be better.

But what makes this story truly amazing and humorous to me is Charlie Manuel's response to the accusations against the Phillies. He pulled the classic 'Ol Okee-Doke! He donned his rubber vest and bounced the sign stealing controversy right on the Mets!! How Philthy is that? Accuse Me? Check the Mets!! Now I know that Charlie is and old hand at the double-speak. If I were the reporters in the room I'd be trying to soothe away the slap Charlie just took pleasure in delivering to them all. All Charlie was saying was the Phils and the Mets have the same home record and both are struggling on the road. Well done Charlie. It was a classic move right out of the ART of WAR. But you're still a chump! That's right Philly! Your Manuel is a chump for saying what he did. My Manuel's butt might be on fire this year but your Manuel just proved himself to be a pimple on it.  I'll tell ya what I'll do Charlie.  Here's where you can get a quick refresher on The Ethics of Sign Stealing by Mike Silva

So here we are. The trumpet charge in the latest battle in the War of I-95 was lead by Ol Rooster Neck himself, FogHorn LegHorn, Chuckie- M. What used to be verbal Wrestlemania among the players like Hamels, Rollins, Wright and Beltran has taken a strange turn towards something much weirder. Jerry, my team's Manuel, laughed it off as if to acknowledge the very page of the Manager's Manual, Charlie Manuel spoke from.

Spies Like Us? No Chuck. You're hardly the Spy Who Loved Me type.
No, this Philadelphia - New York Rivalry has become something more like:

Beware of pianos falling out of the sky.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Speaking into a "Hot Mike"

Dallas Braden now has a book of matches to go along with his can of gas.
I don't know which Geriatric made me laugh more this weekend;
Betty White or Branden's GrandMa.  "Stick it!" 
I am very interested to see how this situation with,
the player formerly known as Alex Rodriguez, plays out; either with a fizzle or a big pop. 
There is a good story in it any way you look at it.

Los Expos de San Juan, Le Montreal Exits, Jeff Loria's Love Children,
MLB's former Foster Child,
the D.C. Nine minus Two; - Yes! Those incredible pains in my posterior... -
The Washington Nationals;
Yes those Washington Nationals come to Citi Field starting a three game series with the Mets tonight.
This team has given the Mets fits and it's driving me crazy.  The 2007 and 2008 seasons, one can argue boiled down to the Mets not being able to beat this team (and the Marlins) down the stretch.
This year nothing has changed as evidenced by the last series we played together. 
The Nats took two out of three.  The Mets have corrected an April stumble and have positioned themselves back into a very manageable situation.  The Mets might be entering this series with a 17-14 record, but they chose the peaks and valleys approach to get here.  This isn't one of those "seize the moment" series or game, but every time you take a step forward, like they did by taking two of three from the Giants, they can't take steps backwards against the Nationals by loosing two of three; now can they?

So G.I. Girardi has already started implementing a plan to pace the elder players of this team.  It's nothing specifically he's done, but you can see the concerns age plays as a factor on the Yankees.  I too would pick and choose my moments as he has, and I'm not making issues of it. 
My thought is only this.  I don't think the Rays will have that problem. 
Will Girardi's pacing of his players serve him well versus the Rays relative youth?
It will be a fun summer watching these two teams go about their business in very different ways.
The Yankees seem to be winning in spite of the injury bug and I don't envision many loosing streaks for the Yanks.  In 2008 everyone kept waiting for the Rays to cool off, fall back and fade away.  The prolonged slump never happened and they outlasted the Yanks and won out over the Sawx.   Just sayin..

With Phil Hughes throwing so well, I wonder if when his timer goes off,
the Yankees with stick to their guns and impose
When August rolls around where will Javier Vasquez' game be?
How will Andy's elbow hold up?  If somehow Phil Hughes can convince Mr. Cashman, through performance, to bend the RULES and Andy's elbow does indeed hold-up, Vasquez will be insignificant.
Unfortunately for Vasquez there is only one solution to his problem.  He must pitch better and win.  It sounds simplistic but it IS the stark reality.  Anything less and he's toast.  Heck, I'll go out on a limb and say trade him now to the National League and shore up the bullpen and upgrade the bench.

I've been keeping a curious eye on the White Sox.  Ozzie already launched an obligatory SCUD earlier this season saying he wouldn't blame the club if they imploded the whole thing, himself included (to summarize).
Change has been hovering over the South Side like a big black ugly rain cloud for two loud years now.  I know Mr. Reinsdorf is a very loyal type.  I don't think Kenny Williams is going anywhere to be honest.  I also think Kenny does not have any want to fire Ozzie Guillen either.  What I can see is Kenny Williams blowing the whole thing up going into July's trade deadline.  You can't blame him for lack of patience.  Ozzie is not tuned out by his players but he's been talking to some of the same ones with the same results.  Those White Sox know who they are.  Let's face it, this team is a far cry from the 2005 edition.  Aaron Rowand was the first step in the wrong direction.  Kenny Williams still has some tradable pieces on his team that he'd be better for trading them this year.  Crazy is as crazy does.  Kenny has some crazy in him.  That's why I don't think Ozzie is going anywhere.  By the way, Jerry Reinsdorf loves him too.  So let the fire sale begin!

Just my baseball thoughts of the day.


Post Scripts:

9:37 pm - Jose, Jose Jose NO WAY! One night after David Wright blew his top arguing balls and strikes and getting ejected, tonight Jose Reyes similarly got caught looking at called strike three and got himself ejected for slamming his bat and helmet, and yes, aguing the call. Have a nice shower Jose. In the top of the 8th inning, the Mets trail 2-1 to the Nationals.

See what I mean?
...and we have a final.  Mets loose.  Mets go 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position.
Don't say I didn't warn you.  The Mets just can not put the Nationals down.
Good grief!

Friday, May 07, 2010


I am a Red Sox fan.  It says so on my blog page header.  I've been a Red Sox fan since about 1977.  My Pop was a Yankees fan.  I've already made you all familiar with the story.  The Chris Chambliss game of the 1976 ALCS is still the singular most spectacular game I ever attended.  I had no hate for the Yanks yet.  But in '77 I felt myself gravitating towards the Red Sox.  My Pop kept balance between us.  He kept feeding me a steady diet of my Mets' life but I spent equal time in Yankee World and it was all good!  In 1977 the Yankees signed Reggie Jackson and I never missed an at-bat of his.  But by '77 the Bronx Zoo really started taking form.  By '77 there were players that just started rubbing me the wrong way; Craig Nettles being the lead culprit.  In 1978 I remember running home from school to watch game 163, the AL East Playoff game or as everyone now knows it - The Bucky F'n Dent game.  YAZ was an instant hero of mine when he crushed that early home run in the game.  I've been a fervent BoSox fan since.  My Yankee "Hate" (which is really and honestly misleading) didn't truely kick in till after Thurman Munson passed away.  By then Mickey Rivers, Chambliss, Catfish and Sparky Lyle were no longer on the team and BOSS George was really coming into his own.  That, Ladies and Gentlemen is the Genesis of:

the BROOKLYN Chapter of

How can such a thing exists in NYC?  I just told ya!  NUF CED!!
But you must know I have ALWAYS spent as much time going to
Yankee Stadium
as I do going to see the Mets.

Now, I must admit something to you, then warn you about another.  There is some Yankee fan in me as much as I hate to admit it.  But I will stand firm that my SOME is a hell of a lot stronger and more knowledgeable and appreciative of Yankee Tradition and History than many, many vermin sniffing the curb sides on their way home from the Stadium disguised as Yankee fans.  You know who you are.
With-in this BloggerHood I have done my best to keep my most derisive Yankee comments to myself, because they can be just that; - derisive.  I've done it out of respect for my fellow bloggers who are Yankee fans, to which I still consider myself the newcomer on the block.  I haven't wanted to move into the Hood like Godzilla out for a nice afternoon jog through Tokyo.  But after a few months of getting to know me, I think yous'guys know Baseball regardless of what team is my love and all their histories included.  Anything and everything this blog puts forth is either for love of our game or just to have a little fun, even if it is at other teams/fans expense.  Being a Mets fan, I was in St. Louis for the 1987 playoffs with my old army room-mate who's Pop had season we took some leave and went .  Making it no secret I was a Mets fan amongst his friends, I enjoyed 4 days with them being called Pond-Scum!  It was great.  My point is, I'm equal opportunity so fire away.

Tonight the rivalry between the Yankees and the Red Sox resumes.  Before I go any further I must inform you forthright; M'Lady, Jane, our delectable She-Fan is the inspiration for today's post. 
She IS NOT one of the Yankee fans I described above!! 
I have the utmost respect for you Jane, you must know that. 
You are the Grand Supreme High Exhaulted Blogologist!
It's just coincidence I decided to wait till today to tap into my inner NUKE and announce my Red Sox Fandome with Authority. 
However there was one particular image missing from the Josh Beckett montage.  If only the Yanks could have hit 20 home runs against Josh Beckett on this night,

 maybe just maybe this memory wouldn't exist, but at the very least 
you could have had this image remain safely repressed
in the farthest reccessess of  your Yank-ollections. - 
...Until I came along that is.  Different team?  Yea.  Same guy?  You betcha.

I respectfully call this post:
Getting Back for Josh Beckett

This Total Recall was brought to you by Brooklyn Nation.
Let's go Red Sox
Happy Baseball Everyone.

Here's the rest of that collage for you Marlins fans.
Why did the BTB make a collage of the Marlins?
I collect Front Pages and I'll make a collage about any team just as long as I have stuff to use.
I have all my ticket stubs from the 80's on...etc.

Just for you Jane, I'll show you the one my son asked me to make him
(10 yrs ago)
 as a show of respect to your favorite team, you personally,
and to show I mean everything in fun.

Let the games begin!  Good luck Jane, Yankee fans and Red Sox fans everywhere.
Brooklyn Nation is open for business.


Wednesday, May 05, 2010

the Vault - A game from 1996 vs. Reds

Look at the price of the ticket!  LOL!!

I was down in the Vault tonight.  Remember that notebook I told everyone about?  I still can find it.  What can I do?  I'm making a new one. 
This is a series a pictures I remember like yesterday.  This is from box number 11.  They were paper clipped together and I thought being as the Mets just wrapped up a series with the Reds, these pictures would be quite timely.  They lost two out of three by the way and I need a diversion.
This was a game from 1996 as you can see by the tix.  It was Banner Day at Shea
 (something they stopped doing when the signs started getting out of control and too critical....Gee)

I bought this pin that night too.  I collect everything.  I may joke about hating teams, but really I love em all.  There are no Mets without anyone else to play.  And especially when you're dealing with a team like the Reds who've been around since 1869....Well, I respect that.

This is where I was sitting that night.  Here's the little story behind the pictures.
As the Reds were warming up they were nice enough to throw some balls in the stands.  Two or three were engaging in a back and forth with the fans.

As the parade of Banners was marching through, the Reds kept creeping their way closer to our LF corner.  After the last banner made it's way past the players I yelled down to them and asked if they'd get together for a picture.

Ask and ye shall receive.

They were quite accommodating as you can see.  It's the little things in life folks.
I thanked them very much for their time.  I thought it was a very nice thing to do on their part.

Later that night Bobby Bonilla hit a HR in the bottom of the ninth inning to win the game for the Mets.
It wasn't a great season for the Mets.  But I remember this night well as just another
great day/night at the park.

Now that I've embarked on reclaiming order to my vault, I'm just going to start posting pics of all the parks I've been to.  Why not?  In the mean time, it's incumbent on the Mets to win my attention back.  They're where 
I thought they'd be.  I don't mean being small change out of first place.  I mean being up and down.  They are playing to the classic highs and lows of an inconsistent team.

Happy Baseball Everyone.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Ernie Harwell; a Baseball Titan

Back in the mid-70's when I was 8 or 9 yrs old, the guy my pop hired to paint our house told me how to tune into the AM stations at night and pick up baseball games from far away. It was the gift that kept on giving. Before satellite, cable, Internet, VCR's, remote controls, or even before color TV's became more common place, I was turning the radio dial and one night I heard Ernie Harwell doing a Tigers game. That night I scratched the face of my father's "really good" radio (one of those old cool short wave radios) with my third mark saving the spot I where I heard the game (some where around 760 AM).  Back then as a kid I spent many night changing channels between the Mets and Yankee games with the sound off as I listened to a game on the radio.

I've tried to tune-in Ernie that same way through the 1990's as I did with many teams until cable, Internet and over all access became more common place. In Ernie Harwell you'll find the meaning,- There is Beauty (and Genius) in Simplicity. I remember him for being a pure straight shooter. There was so much baseball to be learned from his simplicity and straight forward approach.  It was a little later in life I learned he also broadcast for the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants and it gave me more reasons to listen to him.  In my opinion Baseball has lost one of it's Titans.

Good Night Mr. Harwell. Thanks for all those summer nights I visited Detroit from my bedroom in Brooklyn.


Sunday, May 02, 2010

Brooklyn Promenade


David Wright Might Need a Hip Replacement after..

During yesterday's Mets/Phillies contest, David Wright was up against Roy Halladay.  Halladay snapped off a curve ball that had David spinning in place like the Tasmanian Devil.  He damn near broke his hip turning his torso and head towards the umpire trying to "Matrix" a curve ball that dropped in for a called third strike.  David Wright's mind is still hampered by the thoughts of getting beaned last year.  There is no pitch recognition.  He did not spot the traditional dot on a curve ball.  He acted in pure self defense from an ankle breaking, hip replacing curve ball..........that dropped in for strike three.

By the way...That effort by Roy Halladay was nothing short of magnificent.  His was a study in 'Closing the Deal'.  Roy Halladay threw 88 strikes in 118 pitches!  He found his way through the middle innings and attacked the strike zone to finish very very strongly.  That's how it's done.  That's how you finish what you start.


Tonight's Rubber Game; NY Mets vs. Phillies in Philadelphia

..early afternoon:
In tonight's big rubber game between the NY Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies, the Mets have announced Ike Davis and Angel Pagan will get the night off.  Gary Matthews Jr. will start in center field and Fernando Tatis will get the start at first base.

If anyone needs a day off today it's David Wright. He needs to clear his mind. Did you see that curve ball Halladay snapped off that David nearly broke his hip and his ankles getting out of the way from; the one that dropped in for strike three? Say what you will but getting beaned still presses on his mind. I've noticed it a few times this year with a good hook coming at him. He's not concentrating and recognizing the pitch. He's not picking up the signature dot on a curve ball at all.

If Ike and Pagan need a day off that's fine, but it's incumbent upon Omar to make upgrades from our current Matthews and Tatis off the bench situation. Omar needs to have that situation corrected by, if not before the trade deadline. I do not mean Beltran either. I'm talking bench upgrades here. Cora is a keeper. I know the return of Beltran puts Pagan back on the bench. But I am not counting on Beltran.
Tonight's Mets Line-Up:
CF ~ Matthews
2B ~ Castillo
SS ~ Reyes
LF ~ Bay
3B ~ Wright
1B ~ Tatis
RF ~ Francouer
C   ~ Barrajas
SP ~ Santana

Game Blog:

*Top 1st inning  ~  Castillo single.  Bay single.  David Wright hit a three run Home Run.  So much for me saying he needs a day off.  Tatis base hit.
*Bottom 1st inning  ~  Placido Polanco hit a laser to left on an 0-2 pitch for a Home Run...a high fastball out of the strike zone.  Against the Ryan Howard Shift, Ryan Howard hit an outside corner change-up to left field for another Philly solo Home Run.

After 1st inning  ~  Mets 3 - Phils 2

*Top 2nd inning  ~  Barrajas single.  Matthews fielder's choice.  Barrajas out trying to advance to 3rd. 
*Bottom 2nd inning  ~  a seven pitch inning for Johan Santana.  Phils out in order.

After 2nd inning  ~  Mets 5 hits - Phils 2 hits    score = Mets 3 - Phils 2

*Top 3rd inning  ~  3B Polanco makes nice bare hand pick-up and throw out of Jason Bay.  Jamie Moyer gets through Mets 3,4 and 5 hitters easily with his pitches topping out at 81 mph and averaging 78 mph.  A couple of pitches have come in at 71 mph.  I hate this guy!
*Bottom 3rd inning  ~  Moyer slaps a ball to short and hustles up the line but is thrown out by Reyes.  Moyer is on HGH!(not).  He's becoming the Minnie Minoso of pitchers.  Phils muster nothing this inning.
Phillies announce Joe Blanton will pitch for Philadelphia tomorrow.  I'm sure that's welcome news for Philly.

*Top 4th inning  ~  Tatis is punched out - caught looking at a high strike.  Moyer's first K.   Francouer hit by pitch.  Moyer hits 82 high!  Francouer steals second base.  Barrajas hits one off the foul pole in left field..Home Run Barrajas, his 6th of the year.  Moyer strikes out Johan.  Matthews just committed his third out of the night.  We only get 27 outs a game and he has mastered accumulating them as a Met.  Matthews produces outs at an astonishing 86% clip.
*Bottom 4th inning  ~  Utley lead-off double.  Ryan hits fly to warning track in left and Utley does not/can not tag up from second base.  Werth hits a dribbler.. out catcher to first, Utley to third.  Ibanez singles to right.  Utley scores Philly's 3rd run.  Single by Castro.  Ruiz walks on four pitches.  Bases loaded for Jamie Moyer and two outs.  Johan walks Moyer.  Run scores, bases still loaded.  GRAND SLAM HOME RUN by Shane Victorino on the first pitch.  Single for Polanco and the Phils have batted around.  Not so much as a visit by Dan Warthen or Manuel through-out this inning.  AND Chase Utley just smashed another HOME RUN to right.  Two more runs in.  Score now Philly 10 - Mets 5.  Eight runs this inning all coming with two outs.  Johan Santana's best pitch came in at 91 mph tonight but with no command and control tonight, the Phils were able to sit on the fast ball.  Johan is headed for an early shower.  Takahashi is the new Met pitcher.  Howard single.  Werth doubles, Howard scores.  Ibanez is out and inning finally ends.

After 4th inning  ~  Phillies 11 - Mets 5

*Top 5th inning  ~  Who Cares?!

Johan's line:
3.2 innings pitched
8 hits
10 runs all earned
2 walks, 1 strikeout
4 home runs allowed.


And that concludes tonight's broadcast.  I suddenly no longer feel the motivation to continue this post any longer.    *sigh*
  I'm back...just in time to announce this game just went final at 10:54 p.m. EST.

Philadelphia Phillies 11
New York Mets 5

The Mets are now 1/2 game out of first place.  It's not a bad place to be.  Good night all.