Monday, October 23, 2006

I Need a Break

I thought by today I would be able to put a cap on the Mets 2006 season, but I'm just not able to do it. I couldn't even watch the two World Series games over the weekend. Heck, I was in bed before 10pm Saturday night while I was upstate visiting my family. I think I just need a few days away from thinking about Mets and baseball. So the Zisk blogging will be on vacation until November 6th, when the baseball writers start handing out their annual awards. Until then, think good thoughts about 2007.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Now The Hate Can Begin

Check out this tidbit about the Cardinals from the AP's story about last night's Game 7:

"During the champagne celebration in their clubhouse, players gathered around several times and chanted "Jo-se, Jose, Jose, Jose," mocking the popular chant Mets fans crow when Reyes comes to the plate."

Oh, how I hope the Tigers kill them. I want to see Scott Rolen's arm actually fall off when he tries to slide into home plate.

Fuck them and that arch that looks like, well, think dirty and you could probably come up with the insult I won't dare write. Next year (I promised I wouldn't write that today dammit) New York is going to rip them apart.

Okay, that felt better. And this makes me feel better too:

Monday or Tuesday I'll get around to digesting the whole season, and look ahead to 2007.

The Most

Lots of mosts tonight at Shea:

The Most Expensive Ticket I've (Actually) Paid for a Baseball Game: $110

The Most Exciting Catch I've Ever Seen: Endy Chavez in the 6th.

The Most Painful Home Run I've Ever Seen: Well, that fucking .216 catcher guy. Fuck him and his fucking sunglasses-wearing asshole of a manager team.

The Most Amount of Free Giveaways Used at a Ballgame: 55,000 of those Let's Go Mets Towels.

The Most Amount of Items Thrown or Dropped at a Game: 34,456 of those same towels after A CALLED STRIKE THREE! ARGH!

The Most Amount of Complaints heard About the Mets Lack of Hitting: The long walk to the 7 train tonight in the rain.

The Most Painful Loss of My Life: Duh.

Ah, I can't go on. Thank goodness I'm going away for the weekend, so I won't have to hash this loss over and over again for 48 hours. 1999 and 2000 hurt, but this one was so much worse because I was there. I was high-fiving the guy next to me in the 6th, thinking we definitely had a win coming out way.

Oh fuck.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

To Quote a Much Better Musician...

"Have a little faith, there's magic in the night.
You ain't a beauty, but hey, you're alright."
--Bruce Springsteen
Yeah, that's a much better quote.
It wasn't totally pretty last night, but I did have faith. This cover said it all when I stopped at the newsstand this morning:
So I'm feeling about 500 different emotions as I sit here at work, three hours before the first pitch of Game 7, trying to collect my thoughts, listening to AC/DC's Highway to Hell to get myself ready for another draining evening. Last night was so exhilerating, I feel like there should be a letdown.
Yet...I feel confident in this team. They ain't perfect, but what is in the tri-state area? I expect to come home with a 13-1 record this eason.
One last note about last night's game--the guy they got to sing the national anthem, Michael Amante, was good. I mean, it was still kind of cheesy, but damn, the guy belted out a rendtion that had me cheering. I even sang along with "God Bless America" in the middle of the 7th inning.
Now that may be the biggest surprise of the entire night.
Okay, off to sit in the place for the crazy folks--Section 8 of the upper deck.

To Paraphrase Eddie Money...

Sh-sh-sh-Shea was Sh-sh-shshakin'!

I haven't written a post this late (1:43 a.m.) ever for Zisk, but as I sit here with my 2006 Shea Stadium cup filled with some iced tea and a box of Cheez-It within arm's reach, I feel like I should write down some thoughts about being at tonight's game. (And I'm also waiting for my headache for all the noise to subside.)

--Even though my friend Jocelyn was nervous throughout (and threatened bodily harm to Billy Wagner in the 9th), I knew we would win after two moments. When John Maine got out of the bases-loaded jam in the top of the 1st, and Jose Reyes clubbed that leadoff home run. I could feel the upper deck shaking. And not just a little bit, I mean A LOT. It felt as though Shea could could have been on the San Andreas Fault. WOW.

--John Maine is my new hero. The ovation he got when came out was amazing. Oh, and you can ask Jocelyn (oh, and thank you AGAIN for the tix) that I predicted Maine would go 5 and 1/3, and that the final score would be 4-2 at 7:45 last night. Seriously, ask her.

--Some St. Louis fan was trying to heckle our section throughout the game, and when Paul Lo Duca got that hit (A HIT WITH 2 OUTS!), that Pujols wearing joker quietly slipped out.

--Seriously, is the post-season making Billy Wagner worse each game?

--Finally, the Irish night '98 hat is still undefeated, so I will wear it to Shea in less than 18 hours from now.

More to come later today; I need to rest up for my first ever, in person, Game 7.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Allie & Otto Are Right!

"Shut the fuck up! I hate when guys do that!"

Prior to my wife's candid comments (which followed Albert Pujols' post-double "stop and point to the sky" routine), I was skeptical about tonight's game, reluctant to open up and give this team another chance. (These recent games have truly taken their toll.) But when Allie took Albert to task I fell right in line. Screw him and every one of LaRussa 's Redbirds. John Maine, on the other hand, is the man, the unheralded kid who's going to get the Mets into game seven, the guy who nudges this wonderful season to the next level.

Side note on Prince Albert...his comments about Glavine not being good hardly merit a controversy. Aren't you tired of the endless parade of false respect across teams? I'd much rather have players engage in dumbass gamemanship, openly expressing their dislike for opponents, outwardly trying to antagonize each other. Nothing unites a team like a common enemy. Plus, there's something to Albert's assertion. It goes back to a comment, Otto, the custodian at my school shared with me: when Glavine gets the outside corner, like he did in his first start against the Cardinals, he, Glavine, is very effective. (I find Otto to be effective regardless of how an ump calls a game.) When Glavine doesn't get those calls, as was the case last night, hitters hammer him. But, you know what? To hell with Pujols. Until he's ready to sign a free agent deal with our beloved Metropolitans--I'm thinking years from now, after King Carlos has finished out his fantastic run at first--Prince Albert remains a cad and a loudmouth and an overrated hack (one skinny little RBI in five games?).

Not Giving Up Yet

There are plenty of reasons to give up after last night's heartbreaker:

--Shawn Green is moving as fast as me in right field.

--David Wright misses having Cliff Floyd bat behind him, or he's distracted that the Mets Triple A affiliate will no longer be in Norfolk, because he has reverted to that slump he had in August.

--No one on the roster seems to be able to hit with 2 outs.

--John Maine is no Chris Carpenter.

--Chris Carpenter could be the Chris Carpenter tonight.

--That day of rest paid off for the Card bullpen more than it did for Tom "Maybe This Goatee Was a Bad Idea" Glavine.

--Albert Pujols started smiling--and hitting--again.

But there is one important reason to not give up: You Gotta Believe.

I can't give up on this team (unlike some fans in my office). They have taken me on a great ride this season. And this ride I have enjoyed more than I ever did in 1986 (because I never got to see any games, only read about them), 1988 (because I didn't pay attention to sports) and 1999 and 2000 because I've been able to write down how I felt about it every day in this blog. At times it's been rather hard to nail down an entry, but it's been worth it wracking my brain 5 to 6 days a week.

And if nothing else comes out of this year, the Mets still got further in the playoffs than the Evil Empire. Ha!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Laundry and Studio 60 are Fine...

...but I do believe I am ready for a Game 5 tonight. And since I now know that I will be going to both Game 6 AND Game 7 (if necessary), I am ready to drag out the Mets gear again.

In another note about the dreaded Game 3, I guess everyone associated with the Mets hates Steve Trachsel now. This article by Bob Klapisch sheds some interesting light on the whole situation.

I still say Mets in 6.

Monday, October 16, 2006

So, What Did We Miss Saturday?

For perhaps the first time in the history of the Zisk blog, both Mike and myself had gigs on Saturday night (Mike: we should know better to not schedule anything in the 10th month of the year) so we both missed Steve Trachsel's (pick from the various media and blog and WFAN caller reports):

1) Injury-filled outing.

2) Gutless outing.

3) Last outing in a Mets uni.

4) All of the above.

I didn't see a single pitch of the game, so I can't comment at all. But when people who I respect blog that "Steve Trachsel sucks. End of story. May he live a long and happy life somewhere else and not take up flying. Bon voy-ah-jee, uh-reev-a-doy-chee, get out of St. Louie screwy," I know it wasn't pretty.

So when I sat down for Sunday night's game, I did something I rarely do while watching a Mets game--I got dressed up. I figured with Oliver Perez on the mound this team needed all the karma it could get, so I wore my Brooklyn Cyclones shirt from the very first game they ever played (which has seen its share of comebacks over the years) and my 1998 Irish night green cap (which has an undefeated record). I also put the Mets 2006 Postseason Rally sign on the chair next to my kitchen (I used that for Glavine's Game 1 start, and it worked well). I also put away the first WFAN/SNY Fandini I got at the last home game of the regular season. The Mets lost that game--and I had that fandini in my pocket Saturday night in case it got really cold. Therefore, it must be cursed. I even switched to my lounge chair, since the Mets lost Game 2 of this series while I sat on my futon.

Boy, I was glad all that stuff worked. If there isn't a rainout tonight, I'm going to up the karma some more by going to the laundromat. The Mets have a .857 winning percentage during games I listened to while washing my clothes this year.

Playoff baseball might kill us all.

UPDATE (6:00 p.m.) As expected, tonight's game has been been rained out. I think I'll still do laundry though, as rain is in our forecast tomorrow night.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Friday the 13th Strikes Me, and the Mets

I would have had an entry up from Thursday night's game on Friday, but Friday the 13th started at 3:30 in the a.m. when I woke up in severe intestinal distress and spent the next 8 hours wearing down the carpet to my bathroom. I ended up not going to work and spent the Tigers-A's game curled up in ball on my futon in the living room before I was able to function again. Thursday's game was during my usual live band karaoke gig, and it was very odd hearing people cheer loudly during a song when nothing onstage was deserving such a cheer. I must admit, I was totally distracted from my job of making sure the people on stage would know when to come in on songs, which made for some rough moments. Alas, we have a gig tonight at a private party; I sense that I will be finding the nearest TV to room where we are set up

Two last thoughts on Thursday's game: Albert Pujols is turning into an asshole, and Tom Glavine is without a doubt a big game pitcher.

Friday the 13th came in all sort of forms for the Mets--John Maine not having control of the strike zone, Shawn Green missing a catch at the right field wall, two other errors in the game; and Billy Wagner becoming human again for the first time since the All-Star break. So it's 1-1 heading to St. Louis tonight, which is okay. I expected the Mets to lose the one Chris Carpenter start. They did win 8 in a row--now I expect a new streak of 3 in a row to begin.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Off Day Digest: Will YouTube Still be This Cool?

So with Google buying YouTube, will stuff this cool still be posted on there?

This guy posted all nine innings of this battle for the ages. Amazing. I won't give away who wins, but you can watch the 9th inning below if you care:

Monday, October 09, 2006

The Best Day of NY Sports Ever?

I said to my friend Lee late Friday night, "Imagine if the Yankees lost and then the Mets swept? It could be the best New York sports day ever for me!"

And then it happened.

And it was.

I could barely get to sleep Saturday night I was so excited. In fact, I woke up at 4:00 a.m., heard the Joe Torre rumors on WFAN, and then listened to all Yankee fans complain over and over again. They were using words such as "ashamed" and "embarrassed" followed up with "to be a Yankee fan." And all I could think was, I've never been embarrassed to be a Mets fan. Disgutsed? Sure. Annoyed? Yup. In physical pain? Oh yeah. But never embarrassed or ashamed. Being a Mets fan, you get used to a team choking (in Atlanta usually) and overall failure. I guess Yankee fans forgot the choke jobs of the past two years, or just wanted to forget.

Of course, the Yankees plight will cover the sports pages until Wednesday when the NLCS gets underway at Shea. Hopefully then the Mets will then get their due. Many sports folks "in the know" had written off the comeback kids from Flushing after the Pedro and El Duque injuries. But after seeing the passion this team displayed throughout this sweep, I have no doubt that they'll be going all the way...unless they only get three innings apiece from Maine, Trachsel and (shudder) Perez and the bullpen gets wore down. Then the offense may need to score 10 runs per game to win.

Lastly, one more comment about Yankee fans in this city of ours. It seems like there are three camps of fans in the wake of this losses. One camp feels that the World Series is their birthright, conveniently forgetting the Mattingly years (yes, the Mattingly curse is still in effect), and shows nothing but disgust for the Mets. (Yankee kiss-ass Mike Fatsesca is definitely in this camp. Sunday morning on what was supposed to be his NFL only show he just took call about the Yankees loss, and one point interrupting the 20/20 update when they played a clip of Gary Cohen calling Paul Lo Duca's go ahead hit. He interjected after the clip, saying, "Was that a home run? Geez, could he calm down a little?" What a prick that guy is.)

The second camp is heartbroken, but remembers how bad things were, and could care less about the Mets. The third (and very small camp) are the Yankee fans who remember the bad days and are people who who want New York teams to do well. These are people I can stand-- people like my friends Alli and Leya, who are heartbroken, but have wished the Mets well and hope they make it to the series. I must admit, I would not be that generous if the situation was reversed.

8 more to go.

Friday, October 06, 2006

I Wish I Got This Nervous Before I Went to Work

"Tonight was probably the most relaxed I've been all year long. I don't know why. I was pretty nervous and anxious driving in today with [Billy Wagner.]" --Tom "I'm Also Terrific" Glavine

This morning my co-worker Doug summed it up best out of all the analysis I heard and read about last night's sterling performance: "At times I thought I was watching Glavine and Lo Duca play catch." Even though I was in left field directly under the scoreboard (more on my good luck later) I could tell that Glavine was on very earlier tonight. The way the Dodgers hitters flailed around reminded me of all the times Glavine pissed me off when he was pitching with the Braves. And after reading how poorly Glavine pitched during his last playoff series in 2002 (0-2 with a 15.26 ERA, gulp), I could understand why he was so candid in the postgame interview of WFAN about how nervous he was when he woke up yesterday morning.

What was also very satisfying about the win last night was the Mets not relying on a home run to get runs across (even though David Wright and Cliff Floyd came close). Singles, sac bunts, sac flies and heady baserunning drove the offense tonight. Some AL fans might like a more "bash 'em up" kind of game, but I'll take a well pitched game like this one any day.

Now for my good luck in getting into Shea. If you're a regular reader of this blog, you'll know that my friend Jocelyn has gotten me into some cool places at Shea through her connection at WFAN. She rang me up 90 minutes before the game was about to start and said she had an extra ticket, and they might be on the field level. I must admit , I said no at first because I was SO exhausted from the gig the night before, but then I realized I should, nay, needed to rally and get my ass on a train to Flushing. So I went, we got the tix from a great guy at MLB and sat in these amazing seats under the left field scoreboard. The season ticket holders next to us were very friendly and nice people and were the kind of folks I could see becoming good friends with over 82 games. And we were close enough to the "dream seats" to look at the TV's built into them to check out close replays.

Alas, there always have to be some morons at a playoff game. As soon as we sat down, I could tell these two drunken idiots two rows in front of us were going to be trouble. They yelled unnecessary vulgar insults at a random Dodger fans in our section and kept spilling beer in the aisle when they went EVERY HALF-INNING to get more. Then things got weird, when one guy took his two shirts (and BATTING GLOVES?) off in the 7th, waving one shirt around...and then started slapping his buddy's ass.

And then he did it over and over again.

One of the season ticket holders sitting next to me got her camera out and said to me, "I can't wait to catch them making out." Oh I laughed.

I can't wait for tomorrow night. A sweep would be, well, sweet.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

I Can't Wait to Listen to the FAN Tonight

Here are the two reasons while I'll be turning my big ol' multi channel receiver in my living room's "entertainment center" to 660 AM this evening:

1) They'll be broadcasting Game 2 of the NLDS between the Mets and Dodgers, so I won't have to listen to those morons Buck and McCarver. I get to listen to Howie Rose spinning his magic, Tom McCarthy providing some solid play by play and Gary Cohen popping in for two innings to reunite the best radio team of this century.

2) After the game, Steve Somers will not doubt be taking more calls about A-Rod's dismal performance today. (I can't imagine what the Yankee fans are saying now on Mike and the Mad Dog.) What a joy to be able to catch much of the game from my desk at work. Every K raised my spirits just a bit more. And now there will at least be three games on Saturday, which makes my lounge chair anxious for some quality TV time.

How about 6 and 2/3 tonight Tom? That would be nice.

I've Waited 1,711 Times

Yes, that's right, Carlos Delgado played in 1,711 regular season games waiting for a shot in the post-season. Mets fans probably expected one Carlos to get hot in the playoff--it's just that they chose the wrong one. In a season of watching Delgado, I've never seen the man looked so pumped to be on a baseball field. His shot--no, pardon me, I need to use caps here to appropriately describe it--SHOT to center field was the longest home run I have ever seen in a playoff game. When they start laying the foundation for the new Shea (or as I like to call it, Gil Hodges Stadium), I do believe they will find that ball buried 10 feet into the ground where third base is supposed to go. Move over Captain Intangible--Delgado is here to push you off the back pages.

Alas, I missed Guillermo Mota hitting with the bases loaded as Mike mentioned, as I was already at the private party gig we had in Chelsea. I had to stop listening when it was 4-4, so my friend Erik text messaged whenever the score changed. I was never so happy to step up to the mic as when I announced to the folks slinging back the free drinks that the Mets had won 6-5. I've tried to keep my October schedule clear with the playoffs in mind (I've turned down tickets to five concerts in October so far), but when someone wants to book the band for private gigs, it's good to take them because usually one private party can lead to another private gig, and so on and so on. Fortunately our regular Thursday Brooklyn gig is at a Mets bar and features a huge projection screen. (And Mets beer too!)

Okay, back to a few random thoughts about the game:
--John Maine did a great job, but that look on his face after he was taken out said it all. "I could have gotten those two guys out. Pleeeeaaase give me a chance."

--David Wright obviously knows how to raise his game as well.

--Cliff Floyd might be the poster child for cortisone by the end of the playoffs.

--Guillermo Mota obviously should only pitch one inning per game. That one inning is usually damn good, and that's all we should need.

--I did get to hear most of Gary Cohen back on the radio, and the guy hasn't missed a step from being on TV. His one-inning reunion with Howie Rose gave me that same feeling of excitement and comfort that Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band did the first time I saw them on their 1999 reunion tour. I hope they go all the way to World series just so I can hear more of them together.

--Lastly, for the best article about the play everyone is talking about, check out this gem from Jason Stark.

Get us six good innings tonight Tom. And let's not have a repeat of September 8th with this guy on the mound.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Let the B.T.O. Ring Out!

Random notes...

All right folks, the Mets took game one and I've got a bottle of McSorleys coursing through me. Mood: festive. Let's get to it...

Steve, don't punch any walls. And, just out of curiosity, are you swiping titles from the Henny Youngman joke book? ("I had a lengthy essay" ?? It's suggestive, that's all I'm saying.)

Willie, bases loaded? Two outs? Pitcher due up? PINCH HIT!

That bears repeating.


My god, man, pour it on! Get greedy! I trust the Mets bullpen too, but notice how that 4-1 lead barely yielded a 6-5 win? Please don't let Mota come to the plate like that again. Grab all the runs you can, my good man. And congratulations on your first playoff win.

Let's not speak of El Duque's injury and subsequent removal from the playoff picture. Raise a glass in honor of John Maine, savor game one, and bring on game two.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I Had Lengthy Essay...

...all set to go about the post-season, but then when this news broke, my stomach got tied up in knots and I just couldn't bear to finish what I was writing. But I'll still write down my predictions for the series, even in the wake of El Duque's calf.

Yanks in 3
Twins in 5

Mets in 4
Padres in 4

Twins in 7
Mets in 6

World Series
Mets in 6

And now I will go punch a wall cursing this team's bad luck of the past six weeks

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Wright And Wrong Report: The Final Days and The Final W&W Report

Since my colleague Mike beat me to the final weekend review, I've taken it out of the entry I wrote up late last night but didn't get a chance to post until today. However, I do have to defend two of Willie Randolph's moves that Mike mentioned below:

A) Cliff Floyd was batting leadoff to get him more an extra at bat or two during the game to see how his ankle was holding up after the cortisone shot.

B) The original plan was for Oliver Perez to only pitch three innings so all of the team's playoff roster bound relievers (besides Darren Oliver, who pitched Saturday night) could get an inning's worth of work. Randolph actually let Perez stay in an inning longer because he was doing a decent job.

Hmm--Maybe defend is too string of a term. Perhaps I should say clarify.


So at the beginning of the blogging season I chose to focus on David Wright and Victor Zambrano. Well, Zambrano didn't stay around long enough for me to write enough insults about him. So I wrote a great deal about David Wright. And that was a damn good choice. The second full year of his career was another magnificent one. He bowed on the national stage with shocking run at the Home Run Derby crown, and then followed it up with a home run in the All-Star game. He cemented his legend amongst Mets fans with a walkoff hit against the Evil Empire. He once again hit over .300, drove in over 100 runs and had 25 home runs, even with a month-long slump this summer. And he's only 23. Four or five years from now, how good will our third basemen be? It's almost too scary to think about.

So for the rest of the post-season (here's hoping it goes into a double digit numbers of games for the Mets), I will no longer using The Wright and Wrong Report moniker. It's back to titles I think of off the top of my head.

Tuesday the Mets postseason rally is happening directly across the street from my office--if I witness anything stupid on the street, I will notate it here. Also tomorrow we'll have my postseason-preview, which I will probably look back upon on October 29th and laugh heartily--or cry.

I'm excited--hopefully good baseball every night this week, and the season debut of Lost. This is why I love the fall.

Eleven to Go

I like how the Mets ended the season, kind of like hitting an ice patch and momentarily hitting the panic button before bringing your Corolla back under control. For the Mets it took the form of losing 10 of 13 before winning the final four games. (The Mets' 97 wins makes them the only NL team with 90+ wins and ties them with their cross town rivals for the MLB lead.) Then there was the news that Pedro is out until next summer and Steve Trachsel was in San Diego attending to undisclosed personal business. Meanwhile, there was the mildest of controversies (an anonymous note posted on the locker of Lastings Milledge--guys, if it will help smooth things over in the least, I'll take credit. My buddy, Otto, from work, knows the guy who handles the visiting team's locker room in Washington. He let me in. I'm still pissed at Milledge for, umm, those fly balls in Fenway. Yeah, that's it. What the hell, Lastings?) Nearly overlooked as the season came to a close was Willie Randolph's unorthordox approach to the last game in Washington. (Putting Cliff Floyd in the leadoff spot and pulling Oliver Perez after four innings, denying the poor guy a chance to earn the win. Who knew that Willie was, and perhaps still is, subtlely vying for the Crazy Like Caligula Putting Horses in the Senate Award?) Now the Mets charge into the playoffs behind game one starter El Duque, a pitcher rejected by the Yankees, White Sox, and Diamondbacks. The regular season has been a lot of fun. Bring on the Dodgers!