Monday, November 23, 2015

Saturday, November 21, 2015

This is a very stupid propostion.

If losing was the same as winning, then there is no reason to keep score:

"We’re crawling up on a month since the Royals tore up the final act of the Mets’ splendid season, which means we probably are inching toward the day when Mets fans can come to what should be the only conclusion about the 2015 season: It was just about as satisfying as a season can possibly be. Except for the ending."

Yeah, well ...  it's all about the happy ending.

"In a lot of ways, fans of every team in New York take their cues from Yankees fans, who have been schooled by their team to find anything short of a championship unacceptable. And that simply is not the way it should be."

I can defend the thrill of the journey, and I don't think anything short of a championship is unacceptable.

But you play to win the game. It's the best thing about sports.

"Sometimes, yes: Teams that fall shy of championships fall shy of that which was expected for them, and so the tinge of disappointment should be there. But that’s the exception."

Only one team can win the championship. So 29 out of 30 teams in baseball will fall short of that strict standard. But that still means 29 out of 30 should feel at least a tinge of disappointment, for crying out loud. Professional pride requires it.

"Here are eight of our teams from the past 25 years who didn’t win titles but did (or should have) made their fans every bit as happy as the first team on our list."

A preposterous notion that does not require further dissection.

If the Mets fulfill their potential, then this 2015 season will be seen as the start of something great. If not, it's just the 2007 Rockies or a million other almost teams ... that didn't quite achieve the, err, happy ending.

This sentence ought to make every Mets fan vomit:

"Bill Parcells famously said there’s no medals for trying in pro sports, but the ’15 Mets make a compelling argument that sometimes there ought to be."

Have a ticker tape pardade for the Mets, why don't you? The Yankees, too, because they made the playoffs.

Check out this blurb about the 2001 Yankees:

"6. 2001 Yankees
It wasn’t just the emotion of the time, it was the grittiness of the team. By Game 7 of the World Series the Yankees were running on fumes and muscle memory and little else, and yet it almost was enough: They came as close as is humanly possible to winning a fourth straight title — and covered themselves in glory more completely than many of the teams of that era that went the distance."

For what it's worth? I can't imagine a Yankee fan celebrating the 2001 almost World Series.

It was a memorable season and exciting series. But Yankees lost ... the Diamondbacks were the winners and the Yankees were the losers. It's really that simple.

Nobody watches baseball.

"But last week, when Comcast blacked out YES, leaving its more than 900,000 subscribers in New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania in the dark, the initial propaganda blast wasn’t just directed at Fox-owned YES, but also its programming jewel — the Yankees. Comcast said that, over the course of the 2015 season, most of its subscribers were tuning out the Bombers.


This amounts to not very well-disguised double talk. What Comcast is saying is that, for whatever reason, whether it be a lack of marquee stars or a boring style of play, the product the Yankees put on the field is not compelling.

Worse still, Comcast is saying the Yankees, the most storied franchise in all of sports, have become irrelevant to its subscribers."

It's a contract negotiation tactic, not an assessment of the team.

Nobody tuned out the regular season Yankee games because nobody was tuning in to the regular season Yankee games to begin with.

No wonder when I go to work and talk about the games, nobody knows what I'm talking about.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

2015 AL MVP

The 2015 AL MVP poll ... wherein we learn that one sportswriter could not think of ten AL players more valuable than Brian McCann ... and another sportswriter could not think of ten AL players more valuable than Alex Rodriguez ... and another could not think of ten AL players more valuable than Mark Teixeira.

Josh Donaldson385
Mike Trout304
Lorenzo Cain225
Manny Machado158
Dallas Keuchel107
Nelson Cruz94
Adrian Beltre83
Jose Bautista82
David Price62
Jose Altuve44
Miguel Cabrera40
Edwin Encarnacion38
Prince Fielder33
Chris Davis32
J.D. Martinez18
Jason Kipnis17
Kevin Kiermaier10
Kendrys Morales7
Chris Sale4
Mookie Betts4
Jose Abreu3
Ian Kinsler3
Mike Moustakas3
Carlos Correa2
Brian McCann2
Eric Hosmer2
Russell Martin2
Michael Brantley1
Wade Davis1
Brian Dozier1
David Ortiz1
Alex Rodriguez1
Mark Teixeira1

 Felz Poll
Josh Donaldson19
Mike Trout13
Lorenzo Cain2
Prince Fielder2
Dallas Keuchel2
Jose Altuve1
Jose Bautista1
Adrian Beltre1

2015 NL MVP

Bryce Harper420
Paul Goldschmidt234
Joey Votto175
Anthony Rizzo162
Andrew McCutchen139
Jake Arrieta134
Zack Greinke130
Nolan Arenado102
Buster Posey84
Clayton Kershaw49
Kris Bryant34
Matt Carpenter26
Yoenis Cespedes24
A.J. Pollock21
Jason Heyward15
Dee Gordon6
Trevor Rosenthal5
Curtis Granderson4
Gerrit Cole3
Adrian Gonzalez3

 Felz Poll
Bryce Harper14
Jake Arrieta6
Buster Posey6
Paul Goldschmidt5
Andrew McCutchen4
Anthony Rizzo3
Joey Votto2
Zack Greinke1

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

2015 NL Cy Young

Jake Arrieta169
Zack Greinke147
Clayton Kershaw101
Gerrit Cole40
Max Scherzer32
Madison Bumgarner8
Jacob deGrom7
Mark Melancon5
John Lackey1

 Felz Poll
Jake Arrieta19
Zack Greinke13
Clayton Kershaw8
Gerrit Cole3

2015 AL Cy Young

Not too many Felz voters this year, but here are the comparative results:

Dallas Keuchel 186
David Price143
Sonny Gray82
Chris Sale30
Chris Archer29
Wade Davis10
Felix Hernandez9
Colin McHugh5
Corey Kluber4
Marco Estrada3
Andrew Miller3
Shawn Tolleson3
Carlos Carrasco2
Dellin Betances1

 Felz Poll
David Price 18
Dallas Keuchel14
Sonny Gray4
Felix Hernandez3
Chris Archer1
Edinson Volquez1

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Well, duh.

This guy wants to trade Teixeira.

This guy inexplicably thinks this will save the Yankees $23 million.

Because this guy inexplicably thinks there is a trading partner willing to take on Teixeira's entire salary.

Friday, November 06, 2015

I am so pleased the Yankees had a boring reaction the the Mets' World Series appearance.

No Steinbrenner-esque grab for the headlines or splashy free agent signings:

"Yet even their glorious past cannot rescue the Bombers from exile into unfamiliar territory. The Mets now control the media landscape the Yankees have owned for many moons. Commanding the spotlight is extremely beneficial to the bottom line, especially when it comes to selling tickets and producing TV ratings.

And that’s what this game is really about."


If that's what the game is really about, then the Yankees beat the Mets in 2015.

They also beat the Mets head-to-head on the field in 2015.

They call that the Subway Series and hype it up. In 2016, the Yankees will be underdogs and the Mets will be under-performing fat cats.

"The Mets are well on their way to doing just that. While their average season rating on SNY did not surpass the Bombers’ average on YES (2.76, 259,223 total viewers), it was the Mets’ most watched season since 2010.

The Mets are positioned to surpass those numbers in 2016. Along with a high-beam spotlight comes the ability to capture the floaters, aka front-running fans. They are not vocal (no first-time-callers/ longtime morons among them) but their ranks are large."

Their ranks are small ... and, once again, the ratings indicate that nobody watches baseball on TV.

If the Mets lose Cespedes to free agency and start off the season 12-14, then the "floaters" will go watch "Better Call Saul."

"Their only loyalty is to winning. And they have been following the Yankees, whether it be purchasing tickets or tuning in to YES. Now this fickle core sees what the Metropolitans have done and they, too, want to invest in the Mets future.

Of course the Bombers will survive. And there’s every chance that, once the season starts, they will thrive.

Still, it’s got to feel strange in the Bronx. For the New York Yankees, the brand with all that history and tradition, are now officially flying under the radar."

"Even though the entire Daily News sports writing staff will be rooting against the Yankees, there is every chance that, once the season starts, the Yankees will thrive."

There are some pretty obvious flaws in Raissman's logic ... if the "floaters" are loyal to winning, then why have they been following the Yankees and tuning into YES? The Yankees have not won a playoff game since 2012.

The fickle core is not a core. It's a fickle periphery.

The fans stay with their team. It's just that dormant Mets fans wake up and buy brand new Daniel Murphy Lip Balm because their team is advancing in the playoffs.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Oh, yeah, I forgot about this guy.

It was just, "going to rehab" ... and the Yankees are out of the playoffs ... and then nobody cares about you or your rehab.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Say "almost" again. I dare someone to say "almost" again.

"He'd struck out nine Royals, and he'd delivered a mid-game stretch of six consecutive outs on whiffs. He'd given up four singles over eight shutout innings and 102 pitches and, of equal consequence, he'd carried himself like a man possessed by a redemptive spirit, releasing primal screams during the game and even encouraging the packed house at Citi Field to pump up the noise."

Redemptive and primal.

"Towel slung over his shoulder, Harvey was some fire-breathing sight in that dugout as he confronted his manager, ordering him to send him out for the ninth so he could shove that innings-limit fiasco down the haters' throats once and for all.

'He's been through a tough summer,' Collins would say. The people in the stands? They'd been through a lot of tough summers with the Mets, and now nearly 45,000 of them were chanting, 'We want Harvey.' "

You know?

If Collins had just sent his starter out there because he trusted his starter more than he trusted his closer?

That would be perfectly understandable.

"How could Collins not listen to them, the same fans who stood and cheered for a middling player, Wilmer Flores, on the July night everyone thought he'd been traded? The same fans who had traveled to Los Angeles and Chicago to watch their long-shot Mets advance in the postseason? The same fans the 66-year-old Collins had hugged and kissed and sprayed with champagne on this once-in-a-career carpet ride to the World Series?"

How could the manager of a baseball team not listen to the fans in the stands?

Is that a rhetorical question? Or is this just Opposite Day?

"It was the right call at the right time, no matter what Collins said in his news conference after this soul-crushing 12-inning defeat was complete."

Soul-crushing is not primal or redemptive.

"Sometimes, good managing and good coaching mean listening to your very best players. At the time Harvey dramatically raced from the dugout to the mound, inspiring an eruption in the stands, how many witnesses truly thought this was a bad idea?"

I agree.

But what about after the walk to the first batter?

Collins actually said that he couldn't take him out after just one batter. I had no idea that was a thing.

"Murphy? Thanks for disappearing at the plate and for turning the art of infield defense into a dark and ill-timed comedy.

Duda? What the hell kind of throw was that?

Familia? Was that Game 1 quick pitch to Alex Gordon really necessary?

Yoenis Cespedes? Do you actually think the Mets are going to offer you a nine-figure contract after playing the outfield and running the bases as if you were goofing around at some celebrity softball event?

Collins? Even your wife ripped you for wasting Familia in a Game 3 blowout and then refusing to use him for six outs in Game 4.

In win-or-else New York, this is often the time to strike down on the Mets with an unforgiving hand. To remind them they night never get another shot at this. To shred them for having all those young-stud arms and, you know, for still not getting it done."

New York is not the only place that's win-or-else.

The 2014 NL Manager of the Year was Matt Williams.

Collins got his contract extension, well-deserved, I suppose. He'll learn quickly what happens if his team doesn't win the World Series.

Sunday, November 01, 2015

The thing is, it was an easy play.

I have a proposition, an unprovable idea, a hypothesis of sorts, if you will indulge me.

Murphy charges the ball, flips to first, runners move up.

Next KC batter gets a hit, drives in two, Royals win 4-3:

"The ball was bouncing slowly across the infield grass, and all of Citi Field was thinking about what might happen next. This was an out — not an easy play, but certainly an out — which meant the Mets would be just four outs away from evening this World Series.

Then second baseman Daniel Murphy charged at the roller and tilted his glove toward the infield, just a few inches from scraping the dirt. Just enough space for a baseball to find its way through.

Just enough room to make 44,815 hearts sink.

Because this was not an out. This was an error, one of the most devastating in Mets history. Instead of coming to the ballpark on Sunday with a chance to move one victory away from a victory parade in lower Manhattan, the Mets need a win just to stay alive.


Again: It wasn't an easy play, but it was one Murphy had to make. When the ball slid under his glove, Zobrist sprinted around from second to score, and the game was tied."

Turning two would have been exceedingly difficult. I'm not sure if any 2b/ss combo could have turned two.

But why was this not an easy play?

Here, watch it again.

It was fundamentally unsound. Which the Mets are.

Murphy said later (something to the effect of) he should have used two hands and gotten in front of it. Which is true. Which he should have been practicing fielding for the past nine years.

Mets' infield defensive liability hasn't cost them until tonight.

So says Gary Cohen ... apparently forgetting all about David Wright's throwing error which put the winning run on base in Game One.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

They don't know what old school really is, so they think they're old school.

No need to invoke Gibson and Drysdale and old school yarns of days gone by. No, the proper reference is right across the Hudson River a mere 15 years ago.

Mike Piazza lying on his back, staring into the sky, blinking; Clemens on the mound, hands on his knees, pretending to give a damn.

Mets fans are experts on high and tight fastballs is all I'm saying.

Or one can look back a few weeks ago, when Mets fans wanted to put Old School Utley in jail. A forgotten play because the Mets beat the Dodgers ... and a quick quiz would reveal Mets "fans" in shiny new orange-n-blue hats couldn't name the injured Mets shortstop if Chris Carlin offered them $100 on Beer Money.

Syndergaard is right: if the Royals don't like it, then they ought to fight ... or, better yet, win the game.

Just like if Tejada doesn't like getting slid into, then he ought to get out of the way.

Syndergaard was fine. Six innings, three runs, and, most importantly, the win. He pitched about as well as Harvey and deGrom. Starting pitchers often look better when their offense scores nine runs, but, whatever.

The thing is: if the first pitch was really so intimidating, why did the Royals bat .600 and score three runs the first time through the lineup?

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Gimme a break.

Brutal Game 1 loss could mean quick finish for Mets in World Series.


After Harper rings the alarm bells, I feel more confident than ever that the World Series will go seven games.

DeGrom, Syndergaard, and Harvey still start five out of the next six games.

Monday, October 26, 2015

He's the saddest boy in the world :-(

Exclusive: Stop the presses! Sports memorabilia practitioner behaves in unethical manner towards its customers!