February 11, 2009

Per Adam Rubin (emphasis mine):

In Game No. 162 against the Marlins on Sept. 28, reliever Joe Smith was summoned to replace Oliver Perez with the bases loaded and one out and the Mets trying to keep their deficit at 1-0. The problem? Smith had not been instructed to be warming up at the time. He had been up earlier in the sixth inning, but had been sitting idle for three to four batters when the call to the bullpen came, the Daily News has learned.

Smith, hurrying after getting the unexpected news, actually smacked his head while leaving the bullpen, a source said. The sidearm reliever proceeded to walk Josh Willingham on five pitches to force in John Baker as Florida took a 2-0 lead. That game turned out to be Smith’s final appearance as a Met. He was the lone Met to land with the Indians in the three-team deal that brought J.J. Putz, Sean Green and Jeremy Reed to Flushing.

Carlos Beltran’s two-run homer a half-inning later tied the score, but eighth-inning homers by Wes Helms off Scott Schoeneweis and Dan Uggla offLuis Ayala resulted in Florida’s 4-2 win and lifted the Brewers to the wild-card crown. Schoeneweis subsequently was traded to the Diamondbacks, with the Mets eating $1.6 million of the $3.6 million owed to him. Ayala, a free agent, signed with the Twins.

Smith had even been given a cover story in case the reliever was questioned by the media after the game about entering without warming up. Television cameras apparently never caught Smith idle before being inserted, or smacking his head, and the episode went unquestioned. The temperature was 71 degrees at the first pitch, so it wasn’t a frigid day. Still, relievers generally aren’t conditioned – physically or mentally – to sit for several batters and then enter cold.

Smith, reached at his West Palm Beach, Fla., home before leaving for Cleveland’s spring training complex in Arizona, declined to comment.

Basically, I just miss Joe Smith 😦


December 11, 2008

Hate to say goodbye to Endy Chavez and Joe Smith (you all know how much I love Joe Smith), as well as Mike Carp (we hardly knew ye), but that sting is taken out with the subtraction of Aaron Heilman and the addition of JJ Putz. I can’t say I’ll miss Heilman and his kicked-puppy look on the mound, but I wish him well and hope he gets that starting job he’s been longing for.

As for Endy, well…he’s a legend because of The Catch, and even if he doesn’t have much else in his portfolio I will always love the guy for that memory.

And Joe! 😦 Joe, one of my baseball boyfriends. That won’t change even if he’ll be in Cleveland, but long-distance relationships never work. Still, my love will never die. Joe Smith, the only guy I wanted to see coming out of the bullpen during the last few months of the season, and the only reliever I wanted the Mets to hold onto. He’s got great stuff and he’s only going to get better, and we’re going to miss his arm. I will also miss his smile and will listen to Laura Nyro’s incredible “Goodbye Joe” in tribute.

odds and ends

September 4, 2008

This team can be totally adorable sometimes. Especially after a three-game sweep over the vaunted Milwaukee Brewers (again…not convinced). This is a nice surprise after what I felt on Monday, as the LACKLUSTER NO HEART COMPLACENT PUSSY Mets charged into Milwaukee and I found out the GRITTY FULL OF HEART NEVER SAY DIE COCKSURE Phillies were playing the Nationals. “GREAT,” I groaned. “Enjoy your division lead, Philly.” Little did I know that prior to that series, the Nats had won six in a row! And that they’d win the series against Philly. The Mets are now up three games with an absolutely crucial three-game set this weekend against Philly at Shea.

I find it hilarious that the Phillies are so intent on skipping Kyle Kendrick’s start in favor of Cole Hamels on Sunday. It makes sense, surely, but I can’t even remember the last time Hamels actually scored a win over the Mets (I know he’s started games the Phillies won, but that was mainly the bullpen blowing leads, no?). The Mets seem to hit him well. So OOOOH I’M SO SCARED. Bring it. And then there’s this:

“I understood the situation. I think this is the time that really matters. I know [pitching every] five days is what I just did five days ago. That’s what I’ve been able to do all year, and that’s what I’ll do this time. The main guy, when it’s the playoffs or the division championship or the big division rivalry, that’s what I want to be. It’s time to step up to the plate, and I know that I’m ready for it.”

WOW, pitching on only four days’ rest? My, Cole Hamels, you are quite the studly man, with your puppy-dog eyes and Jennifer Aniston hair. Shut up.

In some “OMG the bullpen has been so good lately!” news, this blog’s Baseball Boyfriend #2 Joe Smith has currently seen himself usurped by the emergence of one Jesus Daniel Murphy (who may have also usurped BB#1 David Wright! oh no!), but looking at his data I was surprised and happy to see that he hasn’t allowed a run since August 11th, and since that time he’s only allowed three hits. That’s pretty studly. So Joe, I give you some well-deserved love. And keep it coming, because Daniel Murphy has decided he likes being my one true guy. Competition is good!

apropos of nothing

August 7, 2008

Time for a fashion critique!

Joe Smith: Nice color and design of t-shirt, although whatever that is (a ship?) is a bit, um, garish. And those jeans wouldn’t look out of place at, like, Union Pool or something. Lastly, WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR LEFT ARM?@!?!?!?1

David Wright: Form-fitting t-shirts are always a plus, especially with a well-defined torso. The faux-retro faded letter bullshit is so frat boy, but I guess it’s a decent enough design with which to whore Nike. Your watch is ridiculous. And cargo shorts are a crime against humanity.

Carlos Muniz: What in the good name of fuck. That better be a psych-metal band, otherwise you have absolutely no excuse.

a big PHEW in philly

July 6, 2008

A phenomenal game by the Mets in Philly tonight that could have turned like so many bust-ups have over the past thirteen months or so. A solo Beltran home run and–oddly–a second consecutive gem by Oliver Perez saw the Mets with a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the eighth inning. Duaner Sanchez would get the first out and allow the next two batters on base, bringing up Pedro Feliciano to face lefty Ryan Howard.

And then the rains came (what is this, Wimbledon?…More on that tomorrow, likely, not that you care all that much!).

That incessant downpour and interminable delay served to make me hope that somehow it would continue long into the night, calling the game in the Mets’ favor. Forgive the pessimism, but we have surely witnessed too many bullpen meltdowns in Philly to have much faith in Feliciano (who has been struggling for what seems like all season) against Howard. And we all had hours and hours to fret over that match-up.

And then Howard strikes out.

And then it looks pretty good as the Mets sratch out another run in the top of the ninth, leading the way for Billy Wagner. Our closer. Our All-Star. It’s the bottom of the Phillies’ order, and he’s supposed to mow them down, right? Game over, no?

NO. Not for Wags against Philly. How many games has he blown against Philly in the last year? There goes a game-tying two run bomb, the miraculous Phillies having been down to their last strike. Of course. Dejafuckingvu. We almost need a moratorium against a crucial appearance for Billy Wagner against the Phillies. Maybe we can give that spot to Joe Smith against Philly.

But first things first: a big fucking thank you to Fernando Tatis, tonight’s game-winning hero, answering Jayson Werth’s two-run bomb with a two-run bomb of his own, putting the Mets up 4-2 in the twelfth. This would allow Smith, who had pitched an inning and a third, to end the top of the twelfth with one of the most lousy at-bats known to mankind (he at least fouled off a pitch?) and pitch the bottom of the frame.

And boy, did Smith MAN UP. In his two and a third, with Tony Armas the only available option in the bullpen, Smith had to face big lefties in Chase Utley and Howard, along with switch-hitter Jimmy Rollins. Smith + lefties = trouble. But holy God, was it a true grit performance, allowing one hit in his appearance (to Rollins), and deservedly earning the win tonight. I think we saw a young man grow up tonight.

Of course, due to his age, he has to carry that Hello Kitty backpack to the bullpen. “Hello Smitty” indeed. Maybe Smitty can lend it to Wagner for a while. That’d be some poetic justice.


June 20, 2008

Per Adam Rubin’s blog:

Joe Smith may no longer be a rookie, but as the youngest member of the bullpen, he still gets the little brother treatment. Smith was forced to take his equipment to the bullpen in a pink Hello Kitty backpack.

“There are not really enough compartments,” Smith complained.

Quipped Billy Wagner: “My Little Smitty.”


frankly, i am stunned.

May 13, 2008

Today has been a frenzy of Joe Smith v. Jorge Sosa debate in Mets land, with the overwhelming consensus from bloggers and beat writers being that young Smith’s sparkling performance deserved a place on the team while Sosa and his $2 million ineffective slider special should be cut. The presumed reality–even amongst Smith and his teammates–saw the Mets keeping Sosa and his contract in favor of Smith and his options, so as not to risk losing Sosa. This sparked lots of upset and angry opinions from Mets fans.

And to be sure, I was all set to join the fracas and portray my disgust and confusion and bile. As soon as it happened. And is it turned out, it didn’t. Glad to not add to that shitstorm.

But I’m shocked and overjoyed to see that the Mets made the right decision, that they favored performance  above money, solid youth over ruined experience, results over the hypothetical. For once, at least, we can’t complain about a front office decision.