Monday, May 30, 2005

I've Got Your Chemistry Right Here

Man, three out of four against the Marlins, a team that beat up on the Mets all last year, and in Miami following a sweep by the Braves, no less. Well played. Taking the fourth game would have been nice, but the good news is that Glavine is returning to form so, along with Pedro and Benson, the Mets have three reliable starters.

Speaking of Pedro, a lot of light was shed on his brilliant outing on Saturday, yet overlooked is the fact both of his last (amazing) starts featured Piazza behind the plate. The back page scribes in New York, desperate to dig up dirt on our loveable 2005 Mets, had been trying to make an issue out of the fact that backup backstop Ramon Castro caught a number of Pedro's starts. There was talk that Pedro didn't care for Piazza and wanted Castro as his personal catcher. There was talk of chemistry, both its presence and its absence. There was talk of Pedro and Ramon getting along really well, going to the movies together and not asking Piazza to join them at Ruth's Chris Steak House on off-days. It's all nonsense; chemistry in baseball is overrated. Give Pedro a glove and he'll hit it, and while Piazza's still not the hitter of old, he is ten times the threat Castro is and a guy you want in the line up whenever possible. Let Pedro's last two outtings--15 innings, one earned run, Piazza behind the dish for both--serve as evidence.

Chemistry in the movies, though, is a different matter. My wife and I just got back from the new Star Wars movie, Revenge of the Creepy guys, or whatever's it's called. It was fantastic, so much better than Lucas' last two efforts (he should consider re-doing those duds with the same fervor he brought to this lastest installment). It was head-to-toe brilliant, except for the romance scenes between Natalie Portman and Hayden Christensen. They manage to bring out the worst in each other every time they share the screen. And that's saying a lot; Natalie Portman is horrible. She nearly sank New Jersey. She could read the Declaration of Independence and make Jefferson's prose sound like the list of ingredients in a box of Lucky Charms. Kids, it's fine if you don't really love each other, just learn to fake it. We in the audience don't really care whether or not you like each other, just perform as if you do. Maybe they should call Pedro and Piazza and pick up a few pointers.

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