Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Rickey’s Overdue Mets Update: The “Holy Shit, We’re Relevant Again!” Edition

No, it’s not Shark Week at Shea Stadium, evidently that’s some kind of rally cap routine that Rickey was previously unfamiliar with. (Note that Damion Easley cares not for your silly baseball superstitions). See, this is a big reason why Rickey digs baseball: in no other profession will you ever see a group of multi millionaires doing goofy stuff like this. Anyhow, make no mistake, as far as the Mets season is concerned, it's on like Donkey Kong. Nervous that this newfangled recent winning trend was merely the latest of many stutter starts in their 2008 season, Rickey waited a while before discussing the Mets current hot streak. Then we waited some more. And a bit more. And lo and behold, we are now faced with incontrovertible statistical evidence that the Mets are once again a team to be reckoned with. A relevant sporting club.

Just how good are your New York Mets? Well, they’re a solid enough team to bounce back from two tough losses in one week and proceed to win both series—a feat that would’ve been insurmountable a mere month ago. They’re a team featuring dominant starting pitching. They’re a team that battles back from run deficits. A team with its eyes fixed on the postseason and a certain swagger in their step. Furthermore, they’re a team with enough of a presence to once again attract outlandish trade rumors such as the potential acquisition of Manny Ramirez. (From a humor perspective alone, you have no idea how much of a wet dream this would be for a blogger like Rickey—the guy is a comedy goldmine). And of course we’d be remiss in discussing the new look Mets without mentioning Carlos Delgado’s recent rebirth from the valley of ashes in Flushing Meadows. It’s officially safe to start complimenting him now, yes? A scant six weeks ago, Rickey was eagerly shoveling dirt on the guy’s grave, so how did we end up here? Rickey suspects that a conversation much like this one transpired in late June:

Carlos Delgado’s Agent: “Hey Carlos, were you aware that this is a contract year for you?”

Delgado: “Contract year you say? What the deuce is that?”

Carlos Delgado’s Agent: “Well it’s the last year of your contract, and a time when most baseball players seek to improve their value on the free market.”

Delgado: “Go on.”

Carlos Delgado’s Agent: “There are a number of ways to improve your value, but the main ones include timely hitting, good fielding, and an adherence to the fundamental mechanics of baseball.”

Delgado: “Your ideas intrigue me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.”

And scene. Flash forward to present day where this greybearded phoenix is batting in the cleanup spot and has emerged a force to be reckoned with once again. And while he continues to light it up, the rest of the team is following suit behind him, playing at a level not seen since the 2006 season. A 12K gem from Oliver Perez? Fernando Tatis being the very definition of clutch? Santana pitching (shudder) a full nine innings? Beltran’s absurdly awesome catch two nights ago? Jose Reyes flashing gang signs while consistently proving himself to be a far better player than Jimmy Rollins? These are all quite good things. Exciting things. Things that keep Rickey glued to the tv screen with a bowl of pistachios in his lap (pistachios have replaced peanuts as Rickey’s current ballgame snack of choice—we find that they’re easier to shell and far more sophisticated).

All this having been said, a substantial portion of the season remains to be played and Rickey remains guarded after last season’s epic tailspin. We don’t care how hot a team gets; courtesy of last year, it’s still going to be DEFCON 2 in Rickey’s mind for quite a while. Moreover, we are all too familiar with Billy Wagner and the rest of the bullpens’ uncanny ability to suck at the most inopportune of times. Oh and for a moment, forget the Phillies because the possibility of the Marlins and their $6,000 payroll screwing over everyone else in the NL East is alarmingly real. So don't break out that anointing oil just yet. In reality, the Mets are probably somewhere right in the middle: they were never as bad as they appeared earlier this season and they’re probably not quite as good as they appear to be now. (Yes, Rickey’s playing the “pessimistic Mets fan” angle with the hopes of being pleasantly surprised in October).

Note: for those who are gluttons for fiduciary punishment, the Mets released their preliminary seating prices for the 2009 season at Citi Field. It should come as no surprise that they’re roughly a 50% increase over current ticket prices. Look, we’re not expecting the Wilpons to run a charity or anything here, but they really are pricing the average baseball fan right out of the stadium altogether. Who knows, maybe this team should start failing again so we can all snag affordable seating at Citi Field and Rickey can finally get back to writing funny posts mocking the Mets. We miss those…

[posted at Humor Blogs]

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40 comments:

LOBO said...

Would it be my fault if I told Rickey the Offended Blogger effectively called 'em all pansies?

Alex L said...

Wow that 'odigo' voice is creepy, I'm tempted to get it just so I can make it say rude stuff.

Rickey Henderson said...

Lobo: How so? Rickey fails to follow...

Alex: glad you dig the "podcast," Rickey's a big fan of the odigo voice as well.

Mike said...

Gee, nice jinxing Rickey!

You forgot to mention a bullpen meltdown and an injured starting pitcher. Otherwise, all is well!

* * *

Meanwhile, more importantly, where the hell is you Music Meme?

Rickey Henderson said...

Mike: the meme is coming tomorrow. Rickey's struggling through the 1980's at the moment...

Deb said...

I think, Rickey, that EVERYONE is struggling through the 1980s... but forget ye not Paul Simon's Graceland or Guns 'N Roses or Elvis Costello or The Pogues or The Pixies or R.E.M. or The Cowboy Junkies, whose rendition of Sweet Jane still remains one of my faves...or The Beastie Boys or... well, maybe "struggling through the 1980s" was a little harsh...lol.

Anway, Rickey, Deb is with you on the cautious optimism vis a vis the Mets. While I think there is enough offense to stay the course, the pitching worries me, although I frankly think the only team in the division whose pitching might actually be more, uh, stable and superior to ours could be the Fish.

Toasty Joe said...

Are pistachios easier to "shell" or to "de-shell"? I never get that right.

Brian H said...

I am not worried...The Mutts won't let me down this year...They will fall apart again...

Smitty said...

Rickey's struggling through the 1980's at the moment

Didn't we all, in one way or another...

Toasty Joe said...

Brian, kind of like how the Phillies fell apart in 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996, and 1995? Not to mention 1981 through 1992, and the dawn of time through 1979.

Brian H said...

Yeah kinda like that Toasty...yet NONE of those were as epically horrid as the Mets last year...

Deb said...

Nice postseason performance last year, there, Brian. The Mutts, as you so lovingly refer to them, handed you the postseason berth on the proverbial silver (or blue and orange, as you wish) platter, and what did the Phillies do with it? Do the words "squander," "took a dive," or "stunk up the place" ring a bell??????

I guess some folks just don't appreciate anything that's simply handed to them *sigh.*

The Hypocritical One said...

Manny would be a disaster. They need to stop looking at trading for scrubs like Ibanez and Winn...perhaps bring the Martinez kid up.

Pen help would be the best option before the trade deadline.

Brian H said...

@ Deb...wonderful passive aggressive post there.

You are right...the Phills let the Rockies rape them easier than a prom date on ecstasy.

Doesn't change the worse collapse in the history of the game.

It will be fun to see how this season comes to a close...

Toasty Joe said...

The Phillies squandering a 6 and 1/2 game lead with a 10-game losing streak to close the 1964 season is pretty damned close to being as "epically horrid."

George said...

As Mike suggests, the most amazing thing aboutt his post is you wrote it (or at least posted it--you never know with Blogger) after yesterday's game. So if you're still optimistic, that's either a good sign for the Mets or a bad sign aabout you.

Here's to the former!

Oh, and Mr. Phillie-Boy, how was 1964 for ya?

George said...

Toasty Joe--seems great minds comment alike!

Brian H said...

@Toasty

"Pretty damned close" and owning the accomplishment all by your lonesome is not that same thing. Sorry...

Toasty Joe said...

I get a major kick out of how Phillie fans refer to 2007 as some sort of historical precedent (i.e., "the Mets will collapse again!"). You want historical precedent? How about one championship in 125 years?

Let me repeat that, because it's vaguely important:

One championship in one hundred and twenty-five motherfucking years.

Brian H said...

@Toasty Whoa there little camper. Why are you getting so angry?

Me thinks you doth protest too much.

You can scream, swear, rant all you want. STILL doesn't change what happened last year...and what will happen again this year.

Take a deep breath...it will be ok.

Deb said...

Brian, you worry about your team (I think you need to, I truly do), and we'll worry about ours.

And truly, there is little worse in life than the person who has so little joy and hope in his life, he must get it from the cruel, unmerciful taunting of others, and exploiting their misfortunes for his own benefit.

In other words, man up, Brian, lol!

Brian H said...

I worry about all the teams in the division, even the slime sucking Braves. I try to worry about the Nats...but that actually requires effort. (Having said that they will probably spank us tonight)

Deb, you have the art of the passive-aggressive post nailed. I am envious...truly I am. It is an artform of which you should be extremely proud.

I believe I simply made a prediction...it was Mets fans who started the taunting. Which is, let's be honest, the reason we love the rivalry right?

Maybe it's just me...

Sully Sullivan said...

Yeah the Mets are really pouring it on. As a Toronto Blue jays fan, I'm very familiar with Delgado's work. I think he's just getting a little too old to be as consistent as he once was.

And yea...the Beltran catch was out of this world. Shades of Gary Matthews Jr.

Deb said...

Why thank you, Brian. Should you ever wish to come over to the "dark side," I shall give you free lessons on learning the art of the passive aggressive post, no worries, lol.

I do agree that it takes a particularly, uh, hopelessly pathetic anal retentive to work up worry about the Nats, and if you can actually do that... well, then I am truly proud to know you, even if you ARE a Phillies fan, lol.

Brian H said...

@Deb

I may take you up on that.

Let's see what happens in our respective games tonight.

George said...

BTW, valley of ashes in Flushing Meadows is the Gatsby ref, right under the watchful eyes of TJ Eckleburg.

Rickey Henderson said...

Thank you, George! Rickey's giving serious consideration to making RwR mugs and running contests... In response to your earlier question, Rickey usually writes his posts the night before and schedules the posts to go up at midnight. It makes Rickey feel like a modern day Hearst, sending stories off to press (minus the whole yellow journalism thing).

Is anyone having problems loading the page? Rickey's getting scattered reports about this recently added odigo podcast feature causing the site to crash. Is this true?

George said...

Hey, we had an earthquake out here and it still loads.

Rickey Henderson said...

Yeah, wow, so Rickey hears. 5.4 on the richter scale, eh? We're earthquake proof! Let's see FEMA's website beat that!

Adam said...

Where can I get a podcast voice that sounds like Sam Kinison? I'm thinking of starting a children's blog....

Rickey Henderson said...

Sadly, odigo only comes in the Steven Hawking variety. Rickey checked and it turns out that it was causing Firefox to crash (at least on Rickey's Mac). Farewell odigo.

Ed in Westchester said...

awww, Rickey has a Philly troll.

how sweet.

Toasty Joe said...

"Philly troll" is a redundant phrase if there ever was one.

Mikey P said...

Im going to go that extra little bit and remind Brian that he should stick to rooting for the Philly Soul.

I find it amazing that every Philly fan loves loves loves to make the international choke sign to Mets fans. Sadly, even with our stubles last year, Mets and Giants fans were redeamed by the New York Giants.

Philly as a city blows. It will always be low on the spectrum. I will not go so far to say I pity Phillies fans, but I will donate to a worthy Philadelphia charity.

Brian H said...

@Ed...that was clever...how long did you have to strain your brain for that one?

Brian H said...

@ Mikey...

>Im going to go that extra little bit and remind Brian that he should stick to rooting for the Philly Soul.<

nah...arena Football doesn't interest me...


>I find it amazing that every Philly fan loves loves loves to make the international choke sign to Mets fans.<

After last season you deserve it. Be a little honest here Mikey.


>Sadly, even with our stubles last year, Mets and Giants fans were redeamed by the New York Giants.<

Stubles? What do I care if the Mets are clean shaven or not.

You do realize that football and baseball are two completely different sports right? I can attach pictures if you need me to.


>Philly as a city blows. It will always be low on the spectrum. I will not go so far to say I pity Phillies fans, but I will donate to a worthy Philadelphia charity.<

Wow...I don't know what to say...you towering intellect has blown my argument right out of the water. People resort to name calling when they have no point to make. It's ok Mikey...just keep telling yourself that last year didn't happen and you will be ok.

Smile!

Mikey P said...

Toasty can back my up on this and tell you that I am much dumber than that last comment suggests. I dare say I am even dumber in person. Now, that being said, let me expound on the Philly Soul reference and its relation to the number of titles Philadelphia has not won.

Besides the Soul's thrilling victory, (I watched and it is a shame that you didn't, it was a great game) the last Philadelphia title came in 1983 with the 76ers.

Since then, again with the exception of the Philly Soul, nada, zip, zilch.

Billy Penn rears his ugly head. (I love that guy)

I understand why you are so bitter. I was close to bitter after the Mets collapse last year, but then I started watching arena football and all my troubles melted away. Wait, did I say arena football? My mistake, I meant the National Football League.
Damn this towering intellect.

My apologies for confusing sports. Too many hits on the noggin playing badminton. My real point, bottom line at the bottom, is that Philadelphia fans, especially Philly fans, are a pathetic angry bunch because of a lack titles.

PS. Philly Still Blows.

Brian H said...

@Mikey...

Wow...you blew a few brain cells on that one didn't you?

I am neither bitter nor am I angry. Show me where I have lead you to believe I was?

That was a swell review of Philly's lack of titles...one of which I am very much aware of.

However...none of this changes my original post. Have a swell day!

Mikey P said...

Sorry for the long delay. My remaining braincells held a long and sorrowful service for the ones that died this past weekend.

Denile is not just a river in Egypt. You may not think you are bitter or angry, but trust me on this (or not) you are. The proof lies in your little blog ID picture. Phillies. Angry Angry Angry. Bitter Bitter Bitter. Why do Mets fans know this better than anyone? You mentioned passive aggressive behavior and name calling. It is safe to say you, and the other Philly fans have become so accustomed to leading your lives this way, because of the lack of titles, that it seems normal. So, I will digress from this argument.

"People resort to name calling when they have no point to make."

Your passive agressive attempts at showing your intellectual superiority and crappy sarcasm are further examples of your poor Philadelphia soul in agonizing bitter despair.

Irony and sarcasm are not arguments.

PPS philly still sucks

Brian H said...

>Sorry for the long delay. My remaining braincells held a long and sorrowful service for the ones that died this past weekend.<

No prob...had I known I would have sent flowers.

>Denile is not just a river in Egypt. You may not think you are bitter or angry, but trust me on this (or not) you are. The proof lies in your little blog ID picture. Phillies. Angry Angry Angry. Bitter Bitter Bitter. Why do Mets fans know this better than anyone? You mentioned passive aggressive behavior and name calling. It is safe to say you, and the other Philly fans have become so accustomed to leading your lives this way, because of the lack of titles, that it seems normal. So, I will digress from this argument.<

Uh...

>Your passive agressive attempts at showing your intellectual superiority and crappy sarcasm are further examples of your poor Philadelphia soul in agonizing bitter despair.<

How so?

>Irony and sarcasm are not arguments.<

Never said they were my Shea Stadium dwelling friend...


>PPS philly still sucks<

Who got swept by the Astros?