Stop number two on the Devastating Playoff Losses of the 2000s Nostalgia Tour. The Giants won’t be able to make it Anaheim, but I’m told that a Sandfrog CD will be in heavy rotation in the clubhouse.
The Mets didn’t invent Armando Benitez, but they made him fit for public consumption. The Mets also foisted players like Timo Perez, Benny Agbayani, and Bobby Jones on the league. They even employed Mike Piazza for a while. And the whole time, they weren’t shy about spending those Empire State doubloons on whatever free agent they wanted.
Ah, but that’s not the worst transgression. The proof that the Mets are inherently evil, from Wikipedia:
The Mets' colors are blue, orange, black and white, symbolic of the return of National League baseball to New York after the Brooklyn Dodgers (blue/white) and New York Giants (orange/black) moved to California.
That’s right. The Mets uniforms are a combination of Giants colors and Dodgers colors. Tommy Lasorda might have a bastard child with Jessica Alba, and she might grow up to be a beautiful young lady, but when you look into her eyes, you’ll never be able to forget that she’s half Lasorda. So the point of this analogy is that the Mets are 50% Dodger. Even though the other 50% is Giant, forget it, man: they’re gone.
So when the Mets choked away a seven game lead with 17 games left in 2007, it was funny. Quite funny. That’s really hard to do, which makes it even funnier. The next year, the Mets lost a 3.5-game lead with 17 games left, and while that’s not especially funny on its own, it’s funny that it happened to the same, half-Dodger team. And when the Mets lost player after player to injury -- from goiters to Stendhal syndrome -- that was really...
Wait, no, that wasn’t funny. Injuries are never funny. Well, almost never. But it was easy to feel sorry for the Mets last year. I mean, sure, it’s fine if they suck on their own merits, but injuries aren’t cool. And the Mets are actually doing pretty well this year, and that’s even though Jose Reyes and Jason Bay have been pretty bad.
However, I’ll repeat this: it’s fine, if not preferred, that the Mets suck on their own merits, and soon. Here’s hoping....
Hitter to watch:
It figures that in the 2008 draft, when it seemed like there were a dozen first basemen floating around the middle of the first round, the Giants had their highest pick in years. Obviously, I’m not complaining about Buster Posey, but why can’t that happen when the Giants have a lower pick? Ike Davis was one of those first basemen, and he’s already up with the Mets and hitting well. I want one. Five-tool, future cornerstone center fielders and young thumpers at first: everyone else seems to have them. So I’ll study Davis with an envious glint while hoping that Aubrey Huff continues to be a fine stopgap and that Brandon Belt continues to hit like circa-’41 Dimaggio.
Pitcher to watch:
It’s easy to be dismissive of Mike Pelfrey’s hot start, thinking things like, "He’s been all potential for, like, ten years now." But at the same time, I’ve managed to convince myself that Jonathan Sanchez is just Tim Lincecum with wonkier control from the left side. One team’s default rotation filler is another team’s 26-year-old breakout candidate. And, hey, they’re facing each other tonight....
Forgetting about the uniform, you might gain a little more respect for Guillermo Mota after reading this. He a) really enjoyed throwing at Piazza every chance he got, and then, b) he reverse screwed the Mets when they acquired him later. He might get a few boos this weekend.