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HoJo Upset with Mets Pregame Pinochle

As difficult as it is to criticize the Mets because my uncle’s a big fan of the team, they just provide so many opportunities it’s hard to lay off. When it’s not K-Rod or Johan running into off-field problems, it’s the team’s offensive issues that provides the humor. The Mets actually have a talented lineup, but between Jason Bay’s concussion, Carlos Beltran’s knee, and Jose Reyes’ thyroid, their players either are not at full strength, underachieving, or both.

The Mets took two of three from the Pirates over the weekend to get to .500 for the season, but entering the series opener on Friday, they went seven straight games without scoring more than three runs. Manager Jerry Manuel rightfully termed the offense “pathetic,” and the team-wide slump prompted hitting coach Howard Johnson to call a meeting prior to Friday’s game.

According to the New York Daily News, HoJo “harshly criticized his hitters for their recent performances and pregame card-playing.” HoJo acknowledged that the tone of the meeting was out of character and that his hotels were doing well (just checking to see if you were reading carefully). The team went out and smashed 15 hits on Friday night in a 7-2 win and then won 5-1 on Saturday in a rain-shortened game.

David Wright downplayed the meeting’s effect, but I think it worked. As for the Mets’ offensive problems, well, it’s hard to score runs when only Wright, Reyes, and Pagan are hitting. This is an issue of the players not producing, but it’s also the responsibility of the coaches to get the most from their players.

Sources:
New York Mets hitting coach Howard Johnson calls meeting, rips into Mets players [New York Daily News]

Jerry Seinfeld Does Not Approve of Lady Gaga’s Behavior

When Lady Gaga decided to run amuck at the New York Mets game after photographers turned around to take pictures of her, the Citi Field staff kindly escorted her away from her field box seats to a more private luxury box.  I had no idea that the luxury box she was seated in — which she proceeded to flip the photographers off from — was that of long-time Mets fan Jerry Seinfeld.  Needless to say, the comedian was none too pleased about her being taken to his luxury box so she could enjoy the game.  Here’s what Seinfeld told WFAN about Lady Gaga’s behavior at the game, courtesy of The Big Lead:

You take one ‘a’ off that, you’ve got gag … this woman is a jerk. I hate her. I can’t believe they put her in my box, which I paid for … you give people the finger and you get upgraded? Is that the world we’re living in now? It’s pathetic … why is she giving the finger? How old is the finger? How’d it even get to be the finger? … Get an act. Rhinestone bikinis and giving people the finger. She is talented, I don’t know why she’s doing this stuff … wake me when its over.”

I’m with you, Jerry.  It’ll be interesting to see if he addresses this topic again when he calls the Mets game with Keith Hernandez.  If I remember correctly, the last time my friend flipped someone off at a Red Sox game he got thrown out.  In case you don’t know what Seinfeld’s ragging on her for, here are some pictures of Lady Gaga at the Mets and Yankees games:

LADY GAGA AT THE BALLPARK

Source:
Jerry Seinfeld is Not a Huge Lady Gaga Fan [The Big Lead]

Did Lady Gaga Enjoy Herself At the Mets Game? You Be the Judge

Poor Lady Gaga.  She can’t even go to a baseball game for some good old-fashioned R&R without being harassed.  I’m guessing that’s all she intended on doing at Citi Field on Thursday afternoon based on the way she was dressed.  Then again, you never really know with her.  Apparently, Gaga was seated behind the dugout with her entourage when she arrived at the ballpark.  After all of the photographers turned away from the game and toward her so they could snap a phew photos, she supposedly became irate and moved to a luxury box where she proceeded to stand and flip off the photographers.

In all seriousness, what does she expect?  Not only is she an enormous pop star, but she’s dressed like a complete idiot.  The photographers might have all considered turning around and grabbing a few shots of her even if she was just a regular fan with that get-up.  If David Wright is having trouble handing the dimensions of Citi Field, imagine what a hard time he’d have just making contact if he could see that out of the corner of his eye.  Thanks to Deadspin for the photos.

Source:
Exclusive!!! Lady Gaga Throws Fit, Flips The Bird At Mets Game [Deadspin]

When’s Frankie Rodriguez Hitting the DL?

johan-santana-metsWhen it rains, it pours. That’s definitely the case for the 2009 Mets. I joked with a friend who’s a big Mets fan recently that all they needed was Johan and Frankie to go down to complete the injury circle. Now all I have to say is there’s still about five weeks left for K-Rod to get hurt. With Johan Santana likely out the rest of the season because of his elbow problems, the Mets will have their five best players (four of whom might be top 25 players in MLB) on the disabled list at the same time. Jose Reyes and Carlos Delgado have been out nearly the entire year, Carlos Beltran has missed a bunch, and now it’s David Wright and Johan who have been snake bitten. I guess the good news for Mets fans is their season ended so long ago that the prospect of shutting these guys down the rest of the way isn’t so bad.

What’s impressive about Johan is that he was pitching with major discomfort ever since the All-Star break, yet he still posted a 3.22 ERA over seven starts. Between Johan’s $20 million, Beltran’s 18.5, Delgado’s 16, Wright’s 7.5, and Reyes’ 5.75, the Mets have nearly $68 million in payroll sitting on the shelf. Sure there’s a lot to feel bad about here, and it’s tough to win with all your best players on the DL, but the Mets were flawed entering the season anyhow. They certainly have a handful of stud players on their roster, but the supporting group is not very good. Additionally, their starting pitching outside of Johan has been consistently weak. Wilpon’s being a nice guy and conscious of circumstance when he says he’ll bring back both Jerry Manuel and Omar Minaya next year, but I’d give both their walking papers. Omar spends well with his good players but doesn’t fill the rest of the roster very well. At least he has his Prada shoes to go home to at the end of the day.

Mets Sure Know How to Blow a Game

Though Mets fans have been used to this recently, I can’t imagine them being too accepting of Monday night’s loss to the Dodgers. Really, this was a new low for them, almost as if they’re inventing ways of losing games. In case you missed it, the Mets committed five — count ‘em — five errors against the Dodgers. To make matters worse, after tying things up at 2-2 in the 8th and going to extras, they were poised to take the lead 3-2. One minor issue got in their way — Ryan Church failed to touch third base when he was trying to score from first on an extra-base hit by Angel Pagan. So what appeared to be the game-winning run turned out to be one of the biggest blunders of the season for the Mets.

As if Church’s screwup wasn’t enough, the way the Dodgers scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the 11th was just as embarrassing. First off, Xavier Paul reached when his fly ball to left field fell because Angel Pagan failed to yield to center fielder Carlos Beltran. That put men on second and third and then the Mets walked Juan Pierre intentionally to load things up. They got Rafael Furcal to fly out and appeared to escape the jam when Orlando Hudson grounded one to Jeremy Reed who was playing first. Reed threw wildly up the third base line past catcher Ramon Castro, and the Dodgers won it. Two errors by the Mets that half-inning, giving them five for the game. Yes, this is the same Jeremy Reed who has been an outfielder his entire career, never a first baseman. And yes, Ramon Castro was already setting up to turn a double-play and that’s why he wasn’t in position to knock Reed’s throw down.

My goodness, like I said, it’s almost like the Mets are inventing new ways of blowing games. What a drag for the fans — this one really was emblematic of the past several seasons for the Mets franchise. They better score about 10 runs Tuesday night to make up for it.

$800 Million for Citi Field and They Can’t Afford to Get Hot Water Running

I’m not a big fan of the Yankees or Mets because of many reasons — the unveiling of their new ballparks would be the most recent. I understand that both organizations planned to have the parks built years ago and couldn’t anticipate the current economic conditions that make the stadium unveilings look ill-timed. Still, when you spend $800 million on a park as I’ve read and have all the bells and whistles, how can you screw things up in the visitor’s clubhouse as badly as the Mets did? According to Padres pitcher Jake Peavy who got the win on Thursday night, Citi Field didn’t have hot water running in the visitor’s clubhouse. For that reason, he had to take a cold shower. Peavy still said they did the park right and that it’s beautiful.

On a related note, there wasn’t much more satisfying than seeing the Yankees get hammered 10-2 on the day they open up their new stadium. Spending over a billion bucks on a new stadium and nearly half a billion on players and you get blown out giving up nine runs in the 7th is a great way to reward your fans. What bothers me most is that the ticket prices for each of these places is astronomical. I remember hearing someone say a few years ago that baseball games would become like the opera before long, only affordable and attended by the super wealthy. When I see that the average ticket price at Yankee Stadium is $75, I have to cringe. Fans shouldn’t have to spend as much as they do to watch Yankees and Mets home games. And just because they have new stadiums and their games cost so much doesn’t mean they’re that much more important than every other team in the league either.

Keith Hernandez to Jose Reyes: Nice Game, Pretty Boy!

It was so fitting: I was over at my boy Hop-a-Long’s to enjoy 4th of July festivities, and what comes on Seinfeld as the rerun episodes? That’s right, the Keith Hernandez Magic Loogie episode. And why was that so fitting? As Hop-a-Long informed me, Hernandez apparently had just gotten into a fight with Jose Reyes on the team plane:

A team source described the situation aboard the plane as “very heated.” One player told The Post that he thought Reyes and the popular former Met – now an analyst for the club’s SNY TV network – were close to exchanging punches until others stepped in.

Reyes said yesterday he was angry at Hernandez after numerous friends and relatives told him Hernandez accused the Mets of “babying” Reyes during the broadcast of Sunday’s 3-1 win over the Yankees.

“Well, he’s got to get over that,” Hernandez said at the time, according to one transcript of the broadcast. “Enough babying going on now. He’s a grown man. He’s been around a long enough time. Take off the kid gloves.”

I guess Reyes threw his glove down on the ground after making an error. That’s not quite as strong as when Ted Lilly slammed his glove on the ground during the playoffs last year after giving up a home run, but still a childish act nonetheless. I’m a Reyes fan and I don’t understand all the heat he’s been taking lately. Manuel getting pissed at Reyes for not wanting to be pulled, and now Hernandez saying he’s being babied. Who doesn’t get pissed after making an error? I side with Piazza, too, who once said Hernandez is “A clueless voice from the grave.” At any rate, nice game, pretty boy!