Friday, September 29, 2006

The Wright and Wrong Report: I'm Sorry

Wow, I got carried away. I am sorry.

Of course, I'm even sorrier that Pedro is hurt. Guess we'll see what this team is really made of come Tuesday or Wednesday.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Wright and Wrong Report: An Open Letter to Our Team

Dear 2006 NL East Champions Mets,

To paraphrase Phil Collins (and it pains me to do that), if you don't care anymore, then I don't care anymore. Since the magic number for clinching was reduced to one on September 13th, you've played as if the path to the World Series was already a given. It's as if you bought into your own hype coming from the media and moronic fans. The lack of focus and trying on the field has made me think I've been watching the Art Howe Mets. And since you obviously don't care and feel like you can just turn it on when you need to, I will be turning you off. The fact that I have to work during the next three games and won't be able to watch them makes that decision much easier. Sunday afternoon I think I will catch up on some DVDs and TV I taped over the past few weeks.

Thank you for all the effort you've given this season, but fuck you for acting all high and mighty these last two plus weeks. With this kind of attitude, you deserve to be upset in the division series round. (Not that I'm wishing for that to happen, but I will not be surprised if it does.)

Once again, fuck you.


PS: In case you want to see how a team playing out a string can still play with passion, watch a tape of last night's Nationals-Phillies game. I did after the trio of Gary, Keith and Ron couldn't come up with anymore funny things to say during the thrashing you took lying down, like a bunch of pansies.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

One Cup at a Time

With the Mets having the asses handed to them again by the Braves, I've decided to seek other pursuits for the night. (In this case finshing Mike Shropshire's brilliant Seasons in Hell, which is about the mid-70s Texas Rangers. Yes, tonight reading about a bunch of sad sack Rangers teams from the 70s is more appealing than watching the Mets get steamrolled by another mediocre team.) But before doing so I wanted to be the loyal fan and share my thoughts with my fellow Mets fantatics. I realize that Zisk is a small fish in a big pond of bloggin' but I like to get my facts right. So I clicked on to see if there had been any change in the 8-1 ballgame. I verified that there had not been any change in score and then came across this gem of headline: "Mets Chip Away at Early Braves Lead," which is along the lines of "Child With Collapsible Boy Scout Drinking Cup Helps Prevent Titanic From Sinking." Plus, techically, I think you have to score a second run in order to merit "chipping away" status.

Just checked the score again (I'm kind of like Charlie Brown and the football with this damn team) and I'm pretty sure that the current tally, 13-1, only solidifies my argument.

The Wright And Wrong Report: Seriously...

...what the fuck is going on here? 3-9 the last 12 games? And that massacre last night made me think I was watching a replay from 2004--and it didn't help my massive headache at all either. Is this just a "these games don't matter malaise" or a serious fucking slump? Steve Somers has told fans over and over again the past two nights there is no reason to worry, but teams can't just turn it off and turn it back on when it matters easily. I'm still confident in their chances to get to the World Series, but it will be no cakewalk--and a loss to a hot wildcard team (i.e. the Phillies) would not surprise me at all.

(Okay, the ranting is over.)

I was at Monday's debacle, my first loss all season. Still, I went 9-1 this year (12-1 if you count a Cyclones win and two Yankee losses), which is a mark I am sure will be hard to top. As I sat in my seat in the upper deck, I started getting that melancholy feeling I get when the end of the baseball season is upon us, dreading those nights right after Halloween when I go home and there are no games on. They're aren't enough episodes of Lost on to help me shake that feeling. Guess I'll have to watch my 1986 World Series DVD to get me through until Thanksgiving.

Sunday, September 24, 2006


My wife and I, devoted agnostics both, like to spend our Sunday mornings reading the Times and eating bagels. (It's a stereotype, but someone has to live it.) Today she pointed out that I share the same complaint every week during baseball season: what will it take for the Mets to receive top billing in the sports section? Every Sunday, regardless of how high the Mets are in the standings, they get second class treatment. Today was a rare exception. Unfortunately, it took an offensive explosion (overcoming a four-run deficit en route to plating 12 runs) combined with an outfield collision that yielded a shattered leg (poor, poor Nick Johnson). Adding to the irony of this morning's front page status is the fact that, including today's 5-1 loss, the Mets have now lost seven of their last 10.

The Wright And Wrong Report: Broken Legs and Ripoffs

As I previewed on Friday, my friend Nancy took the bus up from D.C. to go to our annual Mets-Nationals game. (Can I call something that has happened only two years so far annual? I hope so.) Last year I watched the Mets lose at RFK, so this year it was Nancy's turn to watch her Nationals lose what was a bizarre game. John Maine had a no hitter for the first three innings, which meant would couldn't leave to go get our picture taken with the 1986 World Series trophy because, well, I'm superstitious like that. Once the no-hitter was done, we met Nancy's friend Paula and her dad Bob and went to find the trophy. In that time, the Maine's control seemed to leave the ballpark with what seemed to be 18 bases-loaded walks.

We found the trophy in the right field field level food court, got our picture taken and then tried to figure out how much it was going to cost to get it printed (more on that later). As we decided to watch an inning behind the disabled viewing area, Nancy casually mentioned that she had touched the trophy even though they specifically said not to do so. In that instant in the bottom of the 5th, the Mets bats came to life. Shawn Green celebrated the New Year with a double, and the team rolled from there. We had made it back to our seats in time to see the horrific collision between the Nats' Nick Johnson and Austin Kearns. At the time we had no idea if he was paralyzed or what, so it's safe to say that both of us had a queasy feeling in our stomachs. (A broken femur is very bad, but at least Johnson's career isn't over.)

After a night of rock and booze throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn, I came into the office today to do a couple of work-related things. I took the time to find our photo with the trophy--and then just about spit out my water when I found out the cheapest price to get the photo was the Mets Holiday card for $6.99. What a ripoff! A regular 5" by 7" print is 12 bucks. Damn, I got angry. So I did a bit of hacking:

I don't care that is says "proof" in the middle--I'm not paying 7 bucks for it.

Friday, September 22, 2006

The Wright And Wrong Report: More of I'm Krazy Keith

"I thought the broadcast was great. They had the sound off at the bar." --I'm Krazy Keith talking about the division-clinching game.

Wow, we are going to miss him in the post-season. I swear he didn't care at all about the game tonight. Amazing.

The Wright And Wrong Report: This Time of Year is Hard

In the past, it's been hard being a Mets fan around this time of year because they've choked or have long been out of playoff contention. Now that these games have no effect on the playoffs at all, I find my attention drifting off. Wednesday night I found myself listening to the game at the laundromat, but losing track of the score at times. At last night's gig I noticed Pedro hadn't given up any hits, but then kind of lost track of what was going on as I helped out our guest host run the night. Other gigs I would stroll down to the other end of the bar to see what was going on at least every couple of songs.

That lackadaisical attitude will change this weekend, as I am going to Saturday's game with my friend from D.C. Dr. Nancy, who is a new school Nats fan (and occasional Zisk contributor) and an old school Yankees fan. (She remembers the Don Mattingly era!) I've also got ticket for Monday night, which is the last home game of the year before the playoffs. If they win both games, the Mets will have gone 10-0 with me at the ballpark.

They should make me Mr. Met for the entire World Series, that's how lucky I have been.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

So Easy to Win Over, So Quick to Criticize

I started rooting for Oliver Perez the first time I saw him skip over the first base line as he came off the mound. I'm a sucker for any guy who radiates a sense of having fun, maybe even caring about what's happening on the field. And while I concede that he's looked shaky at times, tonight was a game he deserved to win. Too bad he ran into the D-Train (can't wait for the Marlins to let him go) and poor defense. (When will Willie stop sticking Milledge in left? Remember the Boston series? At what point does being embarrassed in left start to take its toll? I like Milledge a lot, but left isn't his domain. Save the experiments for the spring and/or Norfolk.)

Zisk # 13 is Out!

The fall 2006 edition of Zisk # 13 is in the mail! If you haven't received your copy by the end of the week, email me and I'll make sure we had the right mailing address for you.

To our contributors, issue # 14 is set to come out the first week of April 2007. Email myself or Mike if you have story pitches. We'd like to shoot for a bigger issue in the spring.

We now return you to our regularly scheduled Mets blogging below.

The Wright And Wrong Report: "A Minus" Gets an A Plus

Willie Randolph called it his "A-Minus" lineup. And really, who expected a win last night with Anderson Hernandez leading off? Yet Tom Glavine pitched like it was April again, Billy Wagner threw some powerful fastballs and A-Hern hit a home run and bam--it's the 92nd win of the year. If Glavine and Wagner look like this in two weeks, you have to like this team's chances to advance deep into the playoffs.

If the Mets go 8-4 the rest of the way, they'll get 100 wins, which I think would a) look good in the paper and b) show that this team didn't have a letdown from clinching so early.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

We Can Do Even Better

I agree with Steve, last night's celebration was a bit overboard, but it came on the heals of a great game and it, the party, was a blast. Trachsel pitched his ass off. And how perfect was it having Jose Valentin, a guy who, back in April, appeared to be on the fast track out of town, carry the offense with two home runs?

Note to Paul LoDuca: in conjunction with your pitchers decide who's going to jump and who's going to catch when it comes time for the "run into each other's arms" ritual. Last night you and Billy Wagner looked indecisive and awkward when you settled for that anti-climatic hug. This isn't a Thanksgiving greeting for Aunt Marge, this is playoff time.

My favorite post-game highlights...

(Off-camera question posed to Cliff Floyd who caught the final out) Where's the ball?

Cliff: Right here. (Translation: Nobody's getting their mitts on this ball.)

21-year-old Lastings Milledge, facitiously yet innocently dropping his guard as he pointed to a half-empty bottle of champagne: This is my first drink.

Finally, our boys deserve even better beer (Bud Light? I turn my nose up at the stuff even when it's free) and a better soundtrack (BTO's "Takin' Care of Business"? What's in store for the division series, "Brown Eyed Girl"? "American Pie"? Let's steer clear of cliche. The less like a freshman kegger, the better.)

The Wright And Wrong Report: So Happy They Waited...

...till I got back from Austin to clinch. The celebration might have been a bit overboard (really, what was LoDuca doing with that fire hose?), but it still felt awesome to be able to watch it at home.

Now let's get back to business. How about a) 100 wins. b) A new Mets record for home runs and RBI by Mr. Beltran and c) 11 post season wins.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Pirates 3, Fate 0

I'm tempted, however slightly, to elaborate on yesterday's loss--another good start, this one from John Maine--wasted. But the truth is that I just got home from work and Jose Valentin is two home runs into a kickass game and that, watching tonight's game, is the more appealing proposition right now.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Pirates 2, Fate 0

Different means compared to last night's game, same ends. Wasted another good start from El Duque, too.

Pirates 1, Fate 0

Short of driving in the winning run, fate did everything possible to set up the Mets for success last night. Their magic number was down to one; they were playing for the division title. The all-killer, no-filler line up was pencilled in. Pedro was pitching. And they were playing hapless Bucs. The proverbial lamb was staked in the center of the coliseum and the big bad lion was set to pounce.

I realize these metaphors are corny, but they pale compared to what was streaming through my mind last night just before game time. I was amped up. It had been a good day at school. Maggie, now all of seven weeks old, was awake and content, and the Mets were going to raise a glass and hoist a flag.

Then the Pirates crushed the Mets. Easily. Pittsburgh starter Pat Maholm breezed through the Mets line up and the Pirates jumped on Pedro for four runs in three innings, literally reducing the guy to tears.

Sure, the Mets are still going to win the division (and may in fact have already done so, I didn't stay up to catch the Phillies/Astros score), but losing that way to that team and watching Pedro crumble against a second-rate offense, well, it's simply not the way it was supposed to be.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Last night was yet another fantastic come-from-behind win against the Marlins. (Too bad "scrappy" is such a cliche in the sports world, it truly fits the young Fish.) Why on earth the playoff-bound Mets, now just one win from clinching the division, had to stage late inning rallies two nights in a row against a .500 team is cause for concern, especially with Glavine having started the second of those games, but no worries. The Mets first division flag since '88 is nearly in hand. Let's get ready to celebrate. (And please, for the love of Kranepool, let's seem some damn celebrating. Let it not be one of those smug "been there, done that" reactions the Braves indulge in when they win the division. I want to see Beltran and Wright and Reyes and Willie and Omar and everyone else popping corks and spouting off "we haven't done anything yet" cliches that are wonderfully contradicted by unrestrained shit eating grins.)

Now, do they have 100 wins in the tank?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Pedro, Glavine, El Duque, and a Player to be Named Later

As the Mets fell behind 4-0 last night I was pacing our apartment consoling our six-week-old daughter. Her cries shredded my ear drums and pierced my heart. The Mets weren't helping, falling behind the Marlins 4-0, so I turned off the game. I assumed that Oliver Perez was on track to give up a bushel of runs, like Steve Trachsel and Dave Williams had done in the previous games. I had my doubts about the offense too, given how quiet the bats have been of late. Still, all in all, no worries about the Mets at the plate, they'll break out of any slump (as Carlos Delgado proved with his three-run homerun). What left me concerned was the pitching, specifically the bottom end of the starting rotation. With Pedro still on the sidelines and Willie Randolph using a 6-man rotation, this is basically open auditions for the playoffs. Pedro, Glavine, and El Duque are locks. That leaves four guys trying out for one spot. The math is easy, but the results are lackluster. I understand that postition players might press "cruise control" at this point in the season; clinching the division is imminent. What I don't get is the half-assed results posted by the four starters--John Maine, Steve Trachsel, Dave Williams, and Oliver Perez--vying for that one spot in the playoff rotation. Each them has radiated a sense of "sleeping off a bender in spring training." Knowing Willie, Trachsel already has the spot. Still, it'd be nice to see one of those other hurlers come down the home stretch strong. Personally, I'd vote for Maine. With better defensive support last Friday, he posted a solid outing (even though he allowed nine baserunners through five innings).

The Wright and Wrong Report: Killing a Marlin

Gotta run to pack for my trip here, but I had to say three is a great number--especially with a big comeback.

Blog you on Tuesday!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Wright And Wrong Report: More Talk About Ketchup on Hot Dogs!

So by the time I got home last night the game was already a blowout in the 7th inning, and I wondered if it was worth even watching. Then I realized, "Keith Hernandez is back from three days off!" And Keith did not disappoint -- sighing about pitchers throwing balls; not filling in his scorecard in protest; and a lengthy discussion about ketchup on hot dogs that Gary Cohen brought up in a sequel of sorts to a conversation he and Ron Darling had on Saturday. Keith approves, but Gary doesn't. Keith also likes Light Helman's Mayo on his burger, while Gary prefers a tomato.

Seriously, I could listen to these kind of conversations for an entire game.

Alas, the Mets will not clinch before I go on vacation on Thusrday, so Mike you'll have to describe to me what happens.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Wright And Wrong Report: Should Have Gone to Every Game

I went to two out of the four games of the Mets-Dodgers series.

The Mets won both games I was at.

I am now 7-0 this season.

If I had only gone to 4 more games, the Mets could have clinched today. As it is, they have a slim chance of clinching before I go away on vacation to Austin. If they sweep the Marlins, and Philadelphia loses one game against Atlanta, they'll do it. It's a tall order to ask, but a man's gotta have his dreams.

Friday, September 08, 2006

The Wright And Wrong Report: "Reyes Like Us... we were born to run."

I'm not really sure what to write after last night's game. I was fortunate enough to be at Shea to witness Jose Reyes' sprint around the bases. I don't think baseball gets more exciting than that.

This is one special season. I am very glad Mike and I decide to blog it, as I hope that in future years I will look back on the entire year as magical and be happy I have a very detailed account of it.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Wright And Wrong Report: "Green Acres is the Place To Be"

"Tons of hits is the life for me."

Apparently Shawn Green decided that is was time for another "Turn Back the Clock" promotional day at Shea. Home runs in each end of the doubleheader, 6 for 8 for the afternoon. If Green starts playing like he's in L.A. circa '01-'02, this lineup could be truly scary.

And how about Dave Williams and Oliver Perez? Williams turned in another solid start, while Perez--who is the latest Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde on the mound--threw a complete game shutout. I'd hate to have to make the decision about which pitchers get left off the post-season roster in four weeks.

Can you believe that it took me until now to mention that this was a sweep against the Braves? Remember that team we all hated for so damn long? It's a team that is now 20.5 games back in the NL East, seven games under .500 and 6.5 games back in the Wild Card standings. It's the most impressive destruction of Atlanta since the days of General Sherman. And how great was it to hear the remaining fans in the stadium doing a parody of the tomahawk chop.

Beautiful, just beautiful.

9 to go.

UPDATE: Thanks to the Astros, the number is now 8. Even better. I predict the clincher will be September 17th.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Wright And Wrong Report: Another Night Ruined

Even before I left work I knew that last night's game was rained out, I expected to see some sort of baseball once I got to my apartment. I mean, I do have the Extra Innings package, so I would be able to catch two-thirds of the Red Sox-White Sox game, and probably a few innings here and there of other NL wild card contenders.

Then came the track fire.

After the lengthy delay I got home more than an hour later than I expected, turned on the TV, found the channel that had the Sox-Sox matchup...and saw that it was already in the 8th inning. 8th inning? It was only 9:05--no A.L. game goes that quickly these days! Then I discovered the Astros-Phillies game was rained out, which led me back to SNY to see what Mets Classic they had programmed for the rainout. The '88 division clincher? Perfect...until Fran Healy's voice came in after I was watching for maybe 10 minutes at most.


I guess I can't watch any Mets classic because of that knucklehead. Dammit.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Wright And Wrong Report: No Labor Here

I guess I truly feel comfortable about the Mets now. I didn't even sweat missing Friday night's game, or a good chunk of Saturday's (though I did see Beltran's amazing catch), or napping through Sunday's, or even freak out when a guy that was on my last place fantasy team one-hit the Mets last night.

If it's another one-hitter tonight, then I'll start to worry. Until then, I will watch this clip over and over again:

Damn, I love YouTube!

Friday, September 01, 2006

The Wright And Wrong Report: "Out of My Brain on the 5:15, 15, 15, 15..."

Blame me.

I needed a pitcher to start last night for my fantasy team, and I took a shot on Oliver Perez.

Dumb, dumb, dumb.

Perez performed just as well as the rest of my fantasy team--that is to say, really fucking shitty. I am only 2 games ahead in the race for last, but I am sure to sink there after this week. Thank goodness that season is over. But for the Mets, the real season is only beginning.

And wouldn't it be sweet to beat up on the Astros and knock that fuckhead Roger Clemens out of the playoff chase? That might be an even better feeling than carving that number down to 12 this weekend.