On Sunday, April 26th, at Citifield, the reincarnated Washington Senators, now called the Nationals, really nailed Oliver Perez and the Amazin’ Mets pitching staff for eight runs, winning 8-1. The Washington bullpen put in a strong effort with a good performance by Garrett Mock, and the hitters were even better, featuring a home run by Jesus Flores. Nats’ starting pitcher Jordan Zimmerman, a rising star in the National League, was terrific. The Mets’ Ryan Church got to first base but was stranded, as were most of the Mets’ runners, who scattered six singles for only one run.
I was having a chat with a man named Thomas who is an MLB rep and an expert on great black ballplayers, and he mentioned how much he admired the great Bob Gibson, and the thought occurred to me that Bob Gibson had not been mentioned in the GLAVstat section of my book The Boys of Shea. This was either a computer glitch or a mental error, like the ones Daniel Murphy makes in Left Field these days. I will investigate the origin of this mistake and fire the computer hamsters involved.
The GLAV stat is one design to rate starters who maintain a low ERA over hundreds of innings in a single season. To set the record straight: Bob Gibson pitched four seasons in which is GLAV stat was over 100, thereby qualifying himself for the illustrious distinction of being inducted into my “You Gotta Believe It Or Not” Hall of Fame.
In 1966, he gave up 76 earned runs in 280.1 innings for a GLAV stat of 114.62.
In 1968, he gave up 38 earned runs in 304.2 innings for a GLAV stat of 270.4, one of the highest in history.
In 1969 he have up 76 earned runs in 314 innings, for a GLAV stat of 144.1, a very high mark.
In 1972 he gave up, again, 76 earned runs, in 278 innings, for a GLAV stat of 113.1.
Few pitchers have more than 4 seasons where they pass the 100 mark in GLAV stat, and the 270.5 mark is sensational.
Here’s how that was calculated: for 1968, divide 304.2 by 38 you get one earned run per 8 innings. Then you divide 304.2 by 9 and you get 33.8 “games.” Then multiply the number of games times the number of innings per run (8×33.8) This gives you 270.4.
1968 was the year Gibson was outpitched by “out of nowhere” Tiger pitcher Mickey Lolitch in the seventh game of the World Series, all the more remarkable, as Gibson was at the height of his powers. The new book, The Boys of Shea, includes the transcript of an interview of Mickey Lolitch by Joe Benigno, explaining how he did it.
Glad to see the Mets win at Citifield. Delgado keeps reaching for those tasty ribbies!!!!
Kurt Blast in 3rd, Cust Out in Tenth, Yanks Still Bag the Golden Giese and Walk Off the Melky Way in 14th
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009, Yankee Stadium: Despite Kurt Suzuki’s home run blast in the 3rd inning and heroics by Jack Cust of the Athletics, the Yankees won Wednesday, with a walk-off homer by Melky Cabrera in the 14th inning of a long, cold game. Derek Jeter threw home on an infield grounder, but a run scored because no one was home; Posada had wandered away to back up first base. The one who made it to first was Cust, who was later taken out of the game in the tenth for a pinch-hitter, Rajai Davis.
There were two Cabreras in the game, Melky of the Yankees and Orlando of the A’s. Melky’s walk-off homer in the 14th shot down superb reliever Giese, who had delivered two goose eggs up to that moment, giving the Yankees a 9-7 win. C.C. Sabathia was not at his best, giving up seven runs in less than seven innings.
Sunday’s matchup between the Mets and the Milwaukee Brewers was a tense scoreless contest, but Coffey brought the Brewers the relief they were looking for. It was 1 to 1 after four, but the Brewers scored in the fifth and sixth, giving them a 3-1 lead. The Mets threatened in the seventh but scored only one when the Brewers brought in their grade A reliever Coffey, to pitch the rest of the game. Todd Coffey, who has been on a hot streak since he started with Milwaukee, has not given up a single run in his 17 innings as a Brewer. Combine that with the performance of right fielder, Corey Hart, who went two for three, and you have a formula for heart attack as far as the Mets are concerned. Hart got a big jump off of Mets pitcher Figueroa, just up from the minors, to steal a base as well.
The Mets were playing a hot hand too, rookie catcher Omir Santos, who has a double and triple in five major league at-bats, and who threw a runner out to end Saturday’s game. Santos, a young man some call “Sugar” because of the similarity between him and the main character named Miguel “Sugar” Santos in the movie by the same name, got into Coffey in a big way, and poured it on, but was wasted, and the Mets lost 4-2. Nonetheless, they go into Monday’s off day with a bullpen that is leading the major leagues with a combined 1.89 ERA. Sweet!
Kubel Slams into Cycle, Drives Across Twin Spann, Unconcerned
Jason Kubel, enjoying what he calls a newfound sense of relaxation while playing (AP interview) was going for the “cycle.” He had already hit a single, double, and triple, and needed only the home run. He did it in style, hitting a grand slam to complete the cycle and cap a huge come-from-behind rally for the Minnesota Twins Saturday. With one on, Denard Spann had doubled in the bottom of the eighth, followed by an intentional walk to Justin Morneau. The homer drove Spann and the other Twins runners across the plate for four much-needed runs. It was the ninth time a player for the Minnesota Twins had hit for the cycle, but few have ended so dramatically. The final score was 11-9 in a huge come-back victory for the Twins.
“Black Magic” Santana, Putz, Hot-Rod, Former Angel, on Cloud Nine, Punch Out 11 Brewzers; Braun Thrown Out To End Fight in Queens
On Saturday, April 18th, the Mets won a duel with the Milwaukee Brewers pitchers by showing them the best one-two-three punch in baseball, Johan Santana, J.J. Putz, and former Los Angeles Angel “K-Rod” Francisco Rodriguez, one of the hottest pitchers in the league. These three musketeers have given up only two runs all year in a combined 32 1/3rd innings of relief, and worked together to punch out 11 Brewzers in a strikeout fest, skunking them 1-0.
Imagine the perspiration the Brewers hitters shed when facing Johan “Black Magic” Santana (this nickname, bestowed by Amazine in honor of Carlos Santana the guitarist who wrote the song “Black Magic Woman”), a starter with a 0.46 ERA this year, with one run allowed in 19 2/3rds innings. He shut them out for seven, ringing up seven strikeouts. Then came J.J. Putz, whose 1.20 ERA was the weakest of the three, and who blanked the Brewers on two more strikeouts. J.J. has given up one run in 7 innings this year. Then came the closer, K-Rod, who has a 0.00 ERA with the Mets so far. K-Rod also blanked them on two more strikeouts. The last one ended in a called strike three and then Omir Santos threw out Braun trying to steal second to end the game. The only Met run came on a fielder’s choice after an error by Weeks in the seventh. No Brewer was able to get past first base during the entire game.
For more humorous Mets action, read The Boys of Shea: The Unforgettable Story of the 2006 New York Mets, by Evan Pritchard (www.amazon.com)
Gary “Chef” Sheffield Mashes 500th “Tater,”
Plates Tying Run, Brings on Brewer Coffey, Serves Mets’ Hunger for Victory; is only “Gravy” Compared to Reaching .500 as a Team
Sheffield Becomes 25th Man in History to Reach 500 Homer Mark
Fifth at-bat as Met Does the Trick and Guarantees Hall of Fame Status
But Fashion Wonks Want to Know: Will His Statue in “The Hall” Be Sporting a Delicious Orange and Blue Mets Uniform? Or Tasteless Pin Stripes?
Copyright 2009 Evan Pritchard
While serving to whip Willie Randolph’s Brewers, Gary Sheffield became the first man to hit a 500th homer in a Met uniform, and it was the first time any man had hit a 500th homer as his first hit for any team. It was a game-tying ”tater” off of Mitch Stedder of Milwaukee, (the team that drafted “Chef” in 1986) to plate the tying run and make it 4-4 in the bottom of the seventh. The Mets, hungry for victory, then loaded the table, but the celebrated Brewer reliever, Coffey, (he’ll be hearing a lot of jokes about that) came on and was piping hot. He got two broken-bat grounders to short to end the inning. Louis Castillo made a walk-off infield single on a close play with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to score Delgado from third with the winning 5th run.
The Sheffield home run, a long shot over the left field fence, was his first hit, and first RBI as a Met. Lifetime, it was his 2615th hit, and 1634th RBI in his 8,954 at bat. That ‘s alot of ribbies, as high on the all time Major League RBI list as 500 is on the all time homer list. This RBI figure is well ahead of Delgado’s who owned 1502 rbis as of Friday’s game, and is 7 short of tying #7, Mickey Mantle. It’s interesting that newest Met Gary Sheffield hit his 500th homer and first as a Met on his fifth at-bat, because his lifetime average is to hit one homer per every 5.23 hits. In fact, he has gotten one homer for every 18 times to the plate lifetime. (actually 17.908 times)
Sheffield was helpful to his new friends in New York, serving their purposes in their struggle to pull to .500, (5-5) and received psychologically healing hugs from every player, but the longest hug came from David Wright, who had recruited him for the Mets, and now looks like a genius, at least until next week when Sheffield strikes out and kills the water cooler, thinking it the umpire.
At the moment Sheffield has a SHEF (Scoring-Hitting-Efficiency-Factor) of 1.00 and a 1.000 “Mr. Clutch” percentage as a Met, another crazy Amazine stat, which measures the ratio/percentage between hits and rbis. He has one hit and one rbi as a Met. His lifetime SHEF ratio is one rbi per every 1.6 hits. Therefore his Mr. Clutch percentage is .624; this represents the amount of the time his hits are “clutch” and produce runs.
Sheffield’s lifetime batting average is .292, not bad. We expect to see a clutch player with a “Clutch” percentage that is twice his batting average, and Sheffield’s exceeds that. Twice .292 is .584, and .624 is 40 points higher than that.
His ribbie batting average as a Met is one rbi per 5 at bats. Lifetime, Sheffield has 1634 ribbies in 8,954 at-bats, which is a ribbie ratio of one RBI per every 5.48 at bats, for a ribbie batting average of .182 lifetime.
This means that every time Sheffield has come to the plate he was more likely to knock in a run than most pitchers are likely to get a hit. Of course, Sheffield has had the good fortune to be on several teams that put a lot of men on base in front of him, the Yankees and Detroit Tigers among them. But he has seldom left those men on base.
Let’s Go 1997 Marlins!
Castillo’s speed produced the winning run, as well as an earlier run on an infield hit. But Sheffield’s historic homer, Jerry Manuel’s skillful managing, and the fine pitching of Livan Hernandez (that three-run homer by Braun was only 340 feet long, a “Pesky’s Pole” type lucky fluke!) were also huge.
All three of these players and their coach were together in 1997 wearing Florida Marlins uniforms for some reason. That team went to 92-70 for a second place wild card finish. They went on to become the first wild card team to win the World Series, a seven game “Latinofest” against the Indians.
It was old home week for these three former Marlins and their bench coach from 1997. Livan Hernandez went 9-3, with an ERA of 3.18 that year and was World Series MVP. Sheffield had 21 homers that year with 71 rbis and 111 hits. (a .639 Mr. Clutch average even then). The young Sheffield hit his first World Series homer that year, his first of six post season homers. His World Series batting average that year was .292, same as his lifetime stat. The young Castillo had 13 hits and 8 rbis (for a Mr. Clutch average of .615) on the season but did not play in the World Series. Also on that team were: Moises Alou, Al Leiter, Kevin Brown, Cliff Floyd, Al Leiter, and Bobby Bonilla, all known to occasionally model Mets fashion apparel.
It is poetic justice that Manuel as bench coach that year was on hand to witness really young Sheffield’s first Series homer as well as really old Sheffield’s 500th regular season homer. Call it fate. Let’s hope he also witnesses Sheffield’s last World Series homer this year, a walk-off seventh-game blast that clinches the first trophy for the Mets since 1986.
The Mets were not Clutch on Friday, and left the bases loaded three times, leaving 13 men on. On the good news side, Delgado was MVP for the first week of baseball, and our bullpen right now has the best record in baseball, with an ERA of 1.31, in 33 1/3 innings.
The SHEF/CLUTCH Stat
A “Mr. Clutch” player saves his hits for when it really counts. Therefore, regardless of the number of hits he has, those hits produce runs most of the time. Sacrifice plays that produce RBIs also improve one’s SHEF/CLUTCH Average. The SHEF (Scoring-Hitting-Efficiency-Factor) is the ratio between hits and RBI’s, for example, a player might have a SHEF of a run batted in for every two hits, (2.00 hpr) but expressed as an percentage, that would be a .500 “CLUTCH” (Calculated Likelihood of Upcoming Timely Clutch Hitting) average. Sheffield’s .624 lifetime Mr. Clutch Average is an example of high “clutch” performance. This is a SHEF of 1.60 hits per run (batted in)
This has nothing to do with RISP, which is one of those boring SABRE stats that we at Amazine pay no attention to. RISP does not tell you how many runs score, it only tells you that someone was out there on second or third when you got that hit. It doesn’t actually tell you they scored either. If you get a single with a man on second, you up your RISP, but may or may not bat in a run. With the SHEF/Mr. Clutch average, you get an idea of how many score each time you get a hit, and isn’t that what matters? I would be happy to mud wrestle SABRE’s immortal Bill James on national TV any time over this and other issues of no great importance.
Anyway, listed below are the lifetime SHEF/CLUTCH stats for Mets who played in Friday’s exciting game against the Brewers. Of course, Reyes as a lead-off man is handicapped in terms of RBI’s but you knew that. In fact, he has already scored 6 runs this year but has only 3 rbis in relation to 12 hits.
LIFETIME SHEF AND CLUTCH STATS
(the lower the SHEF the better, the higher the CLUTCH the better)
PLAYER SHEF CLUTCH %
1.Carlos Delgado 1.35 hpr .742
2. Ramon Castro 1.58 hpr .633
3. Gary Sheffield 1.60 hpr .624
4. Carlos Beltran 1.62 hpr .615
5. David Wright 1.68 hpr .594
6. Ryan Church 1.82 hpr .550
7. Brian Schneider 2.01 hpr .496
8. Daniel Murphy 2.52 hpr .396
9. Jose Reyes 2.97 hpr .336
10. Luis Castillo 4.34 hpr .230
PLAYER SHEF CLUTCH %
1. Carlos Delgado 1.00 hpr 1.000 (13 hits, 13 rbis)
2. Gary Sheffield 1.00 hpr 1.000
3. Ramon Castro 1.00 hpr 1.000
4. Brian Schneider 1.00 hpr 1.000
5. Carlos Beltran 1.71 hpr .583
6. Daniel Murphy 3.00 hpr .333
7. Luis Castillo 3.00 hpr .333
8. David Wright 3.25 hpr .308
9. Jose Reyes 4.00 hpr .250
10. Ryan Church 6.50 hpr .154
The Mets turned in a satisfying win over the streaking Marlins, 8-4 on Saturday night, to bring their record to 3-2 on the year. This gives the Mets a .600 win-loss average. In a 162 game season, to project the final stats to the end of the year, one would divide 162 by 5 (32.4) then
multiply times 3 (97.2) to get the total number of wins the Mets would have if they kept up this pace, 97. That would be a nice season. At the end of the year, Johan Santana and Livan Hernandez would both be undefeated and KRod would have a hundred saves.
Of course, some fans (from Philadelphia) would say this is unrealistic. They don’t believe in Mets magic. By the same token the Mets would have to maintain their current batting averages:
No problem, in fact I think Reyes could bump that number up a little.
Delgado really does seem to be on a pace to average one rbi per day (see Delgado Treats Himself To some fine ribbies…) or better. He has six ribbies now in five games. That’s 1.2 per game. At that pace, he would have at least 194 ribbies by the end of the year, passing Rogers Hornsby and alot of other people on the all time list. Don’t slack off now Delgado. By the same subway token, Beltran has 5 ribbies in five games, which projects to 162 by the end of the year. Church has one homer in 5 games, and that extends into 32 homers at the end of the year. We expect nothing less.
We Mets fans have a right to be optimistic. Nothing has gone wrong for the last three years and we expect that trend to continue as well.
Tomorrow maybe they’ll use a rabbit ball in the game to celebrate Easter.
Good luck Mets!
AMAZINE PREDICTIONS: METS AND PHILLIES TIE FOR FIRST AT 97 WINS EACH.
METS WIN SEASON SERIES AND ARE GRANTED DIVISION TITLE
(Thursday, April 9th, 2009) In the last of a three game series against the Cincinnati Reds, noted gourmand Carlos Delgado had already tied Dave Parker on the all time ribbie list with 1493, and needed only one extra ribbie to pass him. And although the Mets lost 8-6, Carlos got that ribbie to pass Parker, and indulged himself in a spare ribbie to bring his total to 1495. At a pace of one ribbie a game, Delgado will pass the gustatorial Mickie Mantle (1509) in 15 days (April 24th) the voracious Jeff Kent (1518) in 24 days (May 2nd) Big Eatin’ Wahoo Sam Crawford (1525) in 31 days (May 9th) the hungry Tris Speaker and Jeff Bagwell (1529) in 35 days (May 13th), “slim” Joe DiMaggio (1537) in 43 days (May 21st) Hungry Harry Heilman (1539) in 45 days (May 23rd) and Big Daddy Willie Stargel (1540) the day after (46 days, May 24th).Ten days later he will pass Firepit Fred McGriff (56 games,1550, June 3rd) Five days later he will pass Wee Willie McCovey (1555, June 8th) twenty days later he will pass Jigger Jake Beckley, (1575, June 28th) and given three days rest for the All Star Break, he will pass 11 days after that Angus Al Kaline (1583, July 9th). He will then pass Rare Meat Rogers Hornsby and Hoisin Sauce Harmon Killebrew the day after (1584) on July 10th.
Surprisingly, he will still be 49 ribbies short of that grand master of the home plate licking contest, and new teammate on the right side of the field, Gary “the Chef” Sheffield. If he keeps to that one ribbie per day diet, he will pass “the Chef’s” current mark of 1633 on or about September 1st, 2009. Of course, we hope that “the Chef” will be treating himself to lots of those tasty ribbies too, and will be somewhere past ”Reggie Bar” Reggie Jackson (1702). To do that Sheffield will have to pass Ernie Banks (1636), Tony Perez (1652) Sammy Sosa (1667) and Cal Ripken Jr (1695) in the process. If Sheffield gets 100 ribbies this season, he will pass Honus Wagner (1732) who is # 19 on the waiting list.
We at Amazine will keep you posted about these landmarks as they occur.
More (Mis)Leading Stories in Baseball
From Evan Pritchard of www.Amazine1.mlblogs.com
Coach Refuses to go to Church
Jerry Manuel Says He’s Turning it Over to a Higher Power–
“Preacher” Confesses He Was a Dodger on Sundays Himself Once in a While
According to MLB.Com reporter Marty Noble, (April 8th 2009) Mets coach Jerry
untitled.bmp Manuel has stated that he is not going to Church, his usual “go to guy” for right field this Sunday, April 12th, which happens to be Easter. Instead he is going to Sheffield to ask him to start in that position against the Marlins Sunday. He is turning that responsibility over to Gary Sheffield who is one home run away from the all-important 500 mark. The coach feels Shef is still blessed with more long ball power at his age than is the young Ryan Church. It would be his first game as a Met. A homer would really resurrect Gary Sheffield’s career in a big way. Although Sheffield will never make The 700 Club, which includes only Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755), and Babe Ruth (714), he will be inducted eventually into the inner sanctum of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown based on hitting 500 or more homers in his career.
In an unrelated story, Elwin “Preacher” Rowe, a pitcher for the 1951 Brooklyn Dodgers, the Boys of Summer (a team featured in the new book The Boys of Shea; The Incredible Story of the 2006 New York Mets),
is not actually a minister, and did in fact occasionally start games for the Dodgers that fell on Sundays. His real first name is either “Elwin” or “Lynwood,”
which other players had trouble remembering, hence the nickname. The lefthander, whose stats are comparable to Sheffield’s uncle, Dwight Gooden, still lives in the Ozarks of Missouri.
He is just the kind of pitcher that tends to strike out Ryan Church, who was a .220 hitter versus lefthanders in 2007.
Manuel: Razor Shines Improves on Original Sheffield Plan
But Omar Still Considers the Rightie “Disposable.”
(Thursday, April 9th, 2009) Mets manager Jerry Manuel revealed Wednesday that he had ordered third base coach Razor Shines to train new arrival Gary Sheffield more vigorously than previously planned, in order to insert his face into the lineup by Sunday, this according to an article dated April 8th, by Marty Noble, a reporter for MLB.COM. The original plan for the cheeky Sheffield was to polish his skills slowly and carefully between now and May, using him sparingly in the clutch, then as a starting right fielder, but that plan has been changed; the new plan is to have him start as early as Sunday in right field against the Marlins. Of course, it all depends on how quickly Razor Shines sees improvement in the aging Sheffield’s athletic ability. Critics say his eye for the fastball is not as sharp as it once was, and that his home run cut is duller than in his Yankee days. Omar Minaya stated on April 3rd of this year that at the low price he paid the Tigers for Sheffield, he considers Gary quite “disposable” if he can’t cut it as a Met. Nonetheless, Sheffield’s presence on the team that his uncle, Dwight Gooden, used to play for, is quite historic. ESPN’s baseball historian, Gary Gillette, could not be reached for comment.
In an unrelated story, the movie A Sheffield Blade has been released on DVD by UK’s Baseline Studios. Baseball fans may remember that the original plan for shaving whiskers was developed in Sheffield, England in the early 1700s, with the invention of the “steel straightedge razor,” and was improved upon in 1828 in that same city by the introduction of the Safety Razor. That manual razor, when made with stainless steel, by Schick, retained its razor shine and also improved upon the original Sheffield plan. The Gillette disposable razor was developed later.
Evan Pritchard is the author of The Boys of Shea: The Incredible Story of the 2006 New York Mets. Go to Amazon.com and enter the title into the search field.
OHIO’S AGGRESSIVE HARANG GOES ON AND ON AGAINST NEW YORK:
Cincinnati starting pitcher, Aaron Harang, who has said he would be more “aggressive ” on the mound this year, hurled a remarkable 114 pitches under deplorable 37 degree weather conditions at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, Ohio, but lost to Johan Santana and the New York Mets, 2-1, who got help from their new bullpen. In an unrelated story, Cleveland’s Dennis Kucinich continued to blast the “unethical” behavior of Wall Street behemoth Citibank for refusing to abandon their sponsorship of the 2009 New York Mets in spite of a major government bailout to keep the company solvent. This journal/zine has no opinion about that, having supported both the Mets and Congressman Kucinich in previous circumstances.
A HUMBLE CHURCH NEEDETH NO “CHEF:”
Only one day after the news was announced that the Mets had acquired future Hall of Famer Gary “The Chef” Sheffield to play right field this year, Ryan “Who Needs That Other Guy?” Church (last year’s platooned right fielder) put on a spectacular demonstration of right fielding in today’s game against the Reds. He made a glove-at-the-hip sliding catch just like Junior Griffey used to make in that spot, only one-upped the Junior by first bouncing the ball off his hip then catching it in midair while continuing his slide through the mud. He then jumped up and fired to first to double up the runner, a 9-3 double play. Church’s circus trick made the runner stop in his tracks, thinking the ball had hit the ground, a remarkable bit of strategy by Mr. Church. Church also got two hits to bring his batting average to .500 on the season , as if to say, “This Church does not need a chef!” He also stole second. Just in case anyone was watching.
JOHAN, SABATHIA BACK, MAESTRO PRODUCES MASTERPIECE:
Johan Santana, the Mets ace starter, returning from a brief stint on the disabled lists, pitched a masterful 5 2/3 innings against the Reds, firing 7 strikeouts, and allowing only three hits and one run, employing 99 pitches in this masterwork under adverse 37 degree conditions. The major key to the Mets success this season, the maestro looked somewhat stiff, but his elbow “felt fine,” he said.
On the other hand, the Yankee ace, C.C. Sabathia, back in uniform after being traded to the Yankees, hit a sour note while playing the Orioles in an opening day game viewed by Vice President Biden. He left with one out in the fifth having given up six runs, with eight hits, five walks and no strikeouts. His ERA is now 12.46 on the year.
DAMAGED BY OPENER, COKE GOES FLAT, OFFERS LITTLE RELIEF
Yankees reliever Phil Coke appeared in late innings Monday against the Baltimore Orioles in the season opener in an effort to slow down the boo birds, but offered little relief. His pitching just put the game more out of reach for the win-thirsty Bombers. Although Coke had sparkled last year with an 0.61 ERA in 14.2 innings (1-0) his ERA for 2009 is already 10.80, having given up a homer and two earned runs, plus a walk in only 1 2/3 innings against the Orioles. Coke, a new generation of Yankee, needs to get more pop in his fastball if he’s to prove he’s the real thing.
A-ROD NOT WORTH RANSOM
Cody Ransom will be the Yankees starting third baseman for a while, while Alex Rodriguez is recovering from hip surgery. In yesterday’s opening game he played 7 innings without an error. Last year he hit 4 homers in 43 at bats, with 8 RBIs, maintaining a .302 average. Rasom’s home run average in 2008 was one homer per 10.7 at bats. During the same season, A-Rod also maintained a .302 average, but hit only 35 homers in 510 at bats, for a home run average of one homer every 14.5 at bats, almost 50% lower than Ransom’s. Ransom’s 2004 salary, the last published, was $303,000. Bedridden Alex Rodriguez’s salary for 2009 is $28,000,000. What’s wrong with this picture?
STAIRS MISSING, PHILLIES STUMBLE:
On Sunday night, the Braves beat the Philadelphia Phillies in the season opener, 4-1, defeating Myers whose ERA went to 6.0, but where was Matt Stairs, the Phillies recently acquired outfielder? He went 1-4 in post season play with the Phillies last year. Why didn’t he appear in the opener? His bat might have helped the Phils and kept them from stumbling.
JUNIOR QUAFFS HR CUP WITH VETERAN, MARINERS, FEELS ELATED:
Ken Griffey, Jr. hit his 612th career homer in the Seattle opener Monday, and it was his eighth Opening Day homer, tying a major league record long held by veteran Hall of Famer, Frank Robinson. It was also his 399th homer as a Seattle Mariner, which is a franchise record. Griffey celebrated, clearly “elated” to be back in Seattle.
FORMER ANGEL SAVES NEW YORK:
The Mets new closer, “K Rod,” recently acquired from the California Angels, got his first National League save today in the season opener. It was a “must win” game for the Mets and a real squeaker at that. The final score was 2-1, as Francisco Rodriguez, aka K Rod, got the Mets out of a jam, saving them from what would have been an embarrassing defeat.
BAKER’S HELPERS DROP “SILVER PLATTER” IN MUD THREE TIMES:
The manager of the Cincinnati Reds, “Dusty” Baker, sat in the dugout Monday afternoon aghast as Darnell McDonald and two other Reds dropped three easy fly balls in a row in the opening day match against the New York Mets. These three flies were so easy they might as well have been “served on a silver platter,” but all three were bungled nonetheless. Only one run scored in that inning, but those three players are now “toast” as far as the angry Baker is concerned.
CHURCH STEALS WITHOUT SHAME:
Ryan Church, trying to save his job from being outsourced to former Detroit bailout Gary Sheffield, got two hits and stole a base off of starter Aaron Harang in the opening game of the season.
LINCOLN , GREAT AMERICAN, TOUGH ON UPSTARTS:
Reliever for the Reds, “America’s Oldest Team,” Mike Lincoln, pitching Monday at Cincinnati’s Great American Ballpark, walked only one and held the expansion upstarts, the New York Mets hitless in the seventh. In an interview with Amazine, an anonymous fan said, “Yeah, that Mike Lincoln, he’s tough on the Mets, but then so is this ballpark! The Mets always seem to have trouble here!”
McDONALD MIMICS BOZO, JUGGLES THREE BALLS:
Reds outfielder Darnell McDonald, in a rare display of butterfingers, bobbled three easy plays in a row in today’s game against the Mets, but was charged with only one error. One fan said he “looked like Bozo out there!” He insisted he was not clowning around, but was fighting the intense rain that was falling.
MURPHY LAYS DOWN THE LAW:
Daniel Murphy, in what should be his first full season, laid down the law for the Cincinnati Reds, hitting his third career homer to put the Mets ahead 1-0 in the fifth inning, and then got an rbi with the bases loaded.
PUTZ, WEATHERS, STORM:
New Met J.J. Putz (class of 2009) and old former Met David Weathers, (class of 2004) faced off in the eighth inning of today’s storm-buffeted matchup in frigid Cincinnati and both kept the opponents scoreless in one inning of middle relief.
JAY FIELDS WRIGHT AT HOME AFTER ONE YEAR IN PARK
In only his second season in the outfield at Great America Ballpark, the Reds’ Jay Bruce seems confident in his new habitat, throwing out the Mets’ David Wright at home plate on a one out single. There had been runners at first and second and Wright was safely at third, when Jay Bruce bobbled the ball. Wright was waved home, but Jay let one fly and shot down Wright at home plate.
For more funny Mets baseball, log onto Amazon.com and type The Boys of Shea into the search field, and then press the spend money button.
Evan Pritchard’s new book The Boys of Shea, The Incredible Story of the 2006 Mets, will make you laugh, and remember the old days of baseball. (Only $12!)