Thursday, September 9, 2010

Catching Up With The Mets And Their Good Deeds

Some of you may have noticed a glaring absence of Met-bashing here at AB4AR lately.  I could apologize for that since it is one of my hobbies and favorite topics to cover on the site, but honestly, with as pathetic as the Mets have been over the course of this season, I just didn't feel like I could come up with anything to make what they were doing on and off the field any funnier or entertaining than it already was.  That is, until I read Mike Puma's piece in today's NY Post about some of their players' latest great decsion.  Here are the highlights:

WASHINGTON -- Carlos Beltran, Luis Castillo, and Oliver Perez can add a missed visit to a military hospital to the Mets' laundry list of issues with them.

According to a clubhouse source, COO Jeff Wilpon wasn't happy that the trio of underachievers skipped the team's visit to Walter Reed Army Medical Center on Tuesday.

Beltran said he had a foundation meeting about a high school he is building in his native Puerto Rico.  "I don't know who is creating this issue, but [last] offseason I went to visit a veterans hospital in New York, so it's not that I'm against it," Beltran said. "I went with Fred Wilpon, I liked it and I wanted to go [this time]. But I had my own things to do, and I couldn't make it."

Castillo also denied he was trying to make a statement by not visiting the hospital.  "I don't like to see people like that, so I never go there," Castillo said. "Sometimes you see people with no legs, no arms. I don't like to see that."

Perez refused to address the subject.  "I don't answer anything about outside the stadium," he said.

So there you have it.  Not only are the Mets and their players a complete and utter embarrassment to the game of baseball, some of them are also interested in pissing in the collective faces of the brave men and women who risk their lives on a daily basis to preserve the freedom that allows them to make exorbitant amounts of money by playing a fucking game.  I mean the Yankees already have a laundry list of good causes they and their players take part in (HOPE Week, Turn 2 Foundation, Jorge Posada Foundation, Grand Kids Foundation, want me to keep going?), but you can be damn sure that if Teix, Robbie Cano, and D-Rob were scheduled to show up at an army medical center then they would be at the damn medical center. 

And it's not even like the excuses are any good either.  High schools in Puerto Rico, Carlos?  Come on, dude.  School year's already fucking started.  If that shit ain't built now then there's no point in trying to make it happen.  You've already wasted valuable learning time for those kids. 

And I'm sorry that you don't like seeing veterans in pain who have had their limbs blown off, Luis, but how do you think THEY feel about having to be laying there in pain missing those limbs???  More importantly, with all the added pain they suffer through from watching you and your teammates get your heads kicked in on an almost daily basis, don't you think the least you could do is show up and let them spit at you?

And Ollie, who the fuck are you kidding with this 'not talking about anything outside the stadium' bullshit?  You don't do anything INSIDE the stadium that anybody wants to talk about.  Shit, at this point I would be shocked if there was anybody anywhere that wanted to talk to you about anything other than how they could kill you and the team could escape the rest of your horrible contract.  Just admit that you were afraid one of the vets in the medical center was going to stab you for sucking so much and get on with your life.

It's bad enough that the Mets are killing their fans slowly from the inside out with their wretched play on the field.  You would think they would at least want to try to brighten up a few lives and sign a few autographs off the field, but some of them can't even do that.  I'd like to say I'm surprised, but when your team is run by this dude:

(We know, Jerry.  There ain't much going on up there)

 ... that pretty much tells the whole story right there.

Fuck the Mets.

How Good Was Ivan Nova Yesterday?

The answer would be "very good."  Nova rebounded nicely from his rough outing last time against the Blue Jays, throwing strikes and attacking a weaker lineup that was not familiar with him.  He got ahead in a lot of counts early and put hitters away with ease the first time through the lineup, and more importantly, showed some toughness and ability to work out of jams when they started adjusting to him the 2nd and 3rd time through the lineup in his last 2 innings of work.  All in all, Nova continued to justify his place in the rotation while the question marks continue to swirl around him.

Through the first 4 innings, Nova allowed just 2 hits and struck out 5 batters.  He was working quickly and economically, and the Orioles didn't seem to have any idea what he was doing.  In the 5th he ran into a little trouble, and his at-bat against Matt Wieters wasn't good (fell behind 3-0, gave up a 2-run homer on a meatball), but that was really Nova's only mistake of the day and he was able to get out of the inning without any further damage.  Particularly telling was his inning-ending strikeout of Ty Wigginton after the Roberts double and intentional walk to Markakis in which he threw 3 straight curveballs that Wigginton swung and missed at.  That takes some balls to throw those pitches with runners on and talent to make them look appealing enough for a batter to not lay off of, and is something that I would bet A.J., Javy, and Phil couldn't do right now.

Nova got himself into another 2-on, 2-out situation in the 6th before retiring Cesar Izturis to end the threat, once again working out of self-made trouble created by wild pitches and intentional walks.  To be able to bear down and get an out after throwing 4 straight balls is something that we've seen plague other pitchers, but Nova handled it coolly and calmly.

At the end of the day, Nova's line looks very good by any standards: 6 IP, 6 H, 2 BB, 2 ER, 6 K.  But his total performance was actually better than those numbers indicate.  He threw first pitch strikes to 19 of the 26 batters he faced, a very solid 73.08%, and while his strike percentage (60/91 or 65.93%) doesn't blow you away at first glance, you have to remember that 8 of those balls thrown were intentional.  Eliminate those and re-calculate and you get a better strike percentage of 72.29% (60/83), which is much more indicative of how well Nova pitched yesterday.  He threw strikes, was usually ahead in the count, and did not unintentionally walk anybody.  He pitched more than well enough to win and only lost out on one because of the pathetic Yankee offense.

Once again, Nova pitched beyond his limited experience and continued to impress as a vital member of this year's rotation and a potential asset to the back end of the 2011 rotation.  At this point he is more of a known commodity than other younger Yankee pitchers, and he doesn't have the "blow you away" stuff of a Dellin Betances or Manny Banuelos, but Nova can certainly hold his own in the Majors and should continue to be a key contributor for the Yankees going forward.

P.S.- 3 innings of scoreless, hitless, walkless, 6-K relief to back up Nova wasn't too shabby either.

Get Some, Kim Jones!!!

Get some indeed, you dirty, dirty girl.  You knew exactly what you were doing getting yourself that close to Swish yesterday during the postgame interview, positioning yourself perfectly in the line of fire from A.J.  You wanted to get pied.  You NEEDED to get pied.  And darlin', you got you some pie right in the old facepiece.

And we were all a little bit happier because of it.