Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Ballpark Blather!

George and I were at tonight's game, a fine winning affair that left everybody feeling warm in spite of yet another frigid April night at Citi Field.We expected, and for most of the game received, a fast-paced pitchers duel between R.A. Dickey and Mark Buehrle. I'd heard, while watching Tuesday night's game, that Dickey felt he could keep pace with the quick-rhythmed Buehrle, and for the most part, he did. By 9pm, the game was already in the 7th inning, with both pitchers for the most part humming along. I timed Buehrle early on, and he tended to take between 6 and 9 seconds between pitches. That's the kind of pace we needed at an April night game. Thanks to this, the game could be rather succinctly summed up in a series of bullet points.

To Boo or not Boo Jose: George and I did not. It felt like everyone else did. In spite of my misgivings toward Reyes, I didn't come to boo him, at least not for what I believe is the reason many people in attendance did. My assumption is that most feel he is a traitor for leaving. But is he a traitor if the Mets never bothered to make an offer? All he did was take what was there for him. My feeling was, boo him for being exciting, but at the same time enigmatic and unfulfilling of the promise he didn't show often enough. Or cheer him for what he gave the Mets while he was here. So, I clapped. The booing got worse throughout the game, to the point that when he singled in the 8th, he was caught shushing the crowd. I fully expected a steal attempt out of him, however he was thwarted twice, first by Emilio Bonifacio flying out, and then by Hanley Ramirez watching a 3rd strike (punctuated by Josh Thole firing the ball down to nobody in particular, since the inning was over)

"Giancarlo?": George had a bit of fun with this. It's fine if Giancarlo Stanton is his real first name, and if that's what he wants to go by, then more power to him. But it begs a few questions. His full name is Giancarlo Cruz Michael Stanton. So, then, what does that make him, ethincally? That's a quarter italian, a quarter Puerto Rican...and something else. The other question is, if his real name is Giancarlo, and most of the people that know him call him Giancarlo, then why was he known as Mike Stanton up to this point in his career? My answer was that he was probably just tired of having to be associated with a slop-throwing relief pitcher.

Marlins: They don't look very good to this point. I don't really know how most of their pitchers have fared, although Buehrle certainly looked good, their bullpen has been putrid. And guys like Reyes and Stanton aren't really hitting much at all (Reyes' hit in the 8th bumped his average all the way up to .217). Perhaps Giancarlo Stanton should have stuck with Mike, since he has no Home Runs to this point in the season and he looked silly on his 3 strikeouts.

David Wright: During Wright's AB in the 6th inning, I mentioned to George that Wright had tied the Mets' all-time RBI mark about a week ago, but was stuck there for several games. Wright then promptly hit a 2-run Home Run to give him the record by himself. This was followed by a discussion as to whether or not Wright was, in fact, the second-greatest player in Mets history, behind Tom Seaver. My feeling is that he presents a strong case, however it depends on whether or not he remains a Met beyond his current contract. If he does, he'll break every meaningful Mets offensive record before he's done, and there's going to be very little argument as to his standing among great Mets. Already, he's a top-10 player, and the argument could be made that he's top-5 (behind, say, Seaver, Strawberry, Gooden and Piazza). This was also followed by a discussion as to who the greatest player in Marlins history was. We started with Jeff Conine and Mike Lowell, and it sort of went downhill from there, culminating with Dontrelle Willis.

Zach Lutz: I saw him in Spring Training, I know he's an Outfielder...And I don't know anything else about him. George knows even less than that. But he appeared tonight in the 7th, pinch hitting for Dickey.

All-Star Ballots?: They're here already, because the best time to determine who the All-Stars are is 3 weeks into a season that lasts 6 months. We each grabbed a ballot, never bothered to fill it out and only remembered we had them on the subway home. Whoops.

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