john maine needs some goddam ritalin

May 4, 2009

I’ve always thought that Oliver Perez and John Maine were two sides of the same coin, the difference being that Perez’s side is the one that usually lands facedown in shit. Both have always seemed to be in the throes of dominance before something goes spectacularly awry in one inning–walks, errors, bloop or broken-bat hits. Such was the case tonight in the second inning of the Mets’ 6-4 win in Atlanta, only making it all the more frustrating (probably to Maine the most) that he only allowed one other hit in any other inning. Which draws a major line between Perez and Maine, and why Maine will always be more of a fan favorite than his currently bullpen-residing (why is this a good idea? No really, I would like to know, since I see NO REASON for it) left-handed ADD counterpart: Maine tries to fight through his struggles, whereas Perez just throws up his hands and quits. Times like tonight’s second inning make Maine incredibly frustrating, but the fact that he shows a bit of bulldog on the mound when things don’t go his way (much like his good buddy Mike Pelfrey has shown) is commendable, especially compared with Perez, sitting out there with a group of pitchers who actually know how to get people out in a tight spot. I hope he takes notes.

Speaking of the bullpen, I’ve delayed making this proclamation because I wasn’t sure if it would take, but: Bobby Parnell, I love you. You fill the naive-country-boy-in-the-bullpen void that was created when Joe Smith was traded. Except with less personality, but who cares when he’s shown remarkable poise and great velocity and movement on his pitches. Walking the leadoff man in the seventh inning was not so good, but he came back to get the very next batter to hit into a double play. Very Joe Smith-like. I think his performances out of the pen have gone unnoticed because of JJ Putz and Frankie Rodriguez, but I would even put him above Putz as far as pitchers I feel comfortable seeing coming out of the bullpen. He has quietly been a dependable workhorse, and I think is by far our best bridge to the Putz-Rodriguez closeout.

Back-to-back two run homers by Carlos Beltran and David Wright (Beltran included another two-run shot an inning later) were pretty nice too, especially considering I thought Javier Vasquez was about to throw a no-hitter. A nice birthday present, even if it was a day late. I’ll take it.

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happy birthday, john maine!

May 8, 2008

You are a total stud. In spite of this goofy-ass honky celebration dance you’re doing.

Johnny’s beautiful pitching performance yesterday was exactly what this Mets team (and its fans) needed, and the team responded in kind, putting up a 12-spot against the Dodgers. Isn’t it interesting how the bats wake up when given a dominant pitching performance? (Looking at you, rest of the rotation!)

But he wasn’t satisfied with just pitching 8 1/3 of one-run ball (which included a pitch under the chin of Douchebag Jeff Kent, leaving him sprawling). No, he got into the offensive fun as well, lunging for a Brad Penny breaking ball and blooping a 2-out, 2-run single in the fifth. What a beaut that was (the result, not the swing; boy, is he awkward-looking at the plate.)

Favorite quote from yesterday comes from the birthday boy himself: “I’ve got a batting average and Pelfrey doesn’t.”

Your move, Pelf.


keep it going, boys

April 17, 2008

I missed the first few innings of last night’s game as I went to the Chelsea home of a writer (who I count as one of my biggest inspirations) to drop off a manuscript, and subsequently was treated to a nice bottle of wine and plate of cheese and some catching up with said writer and his partner. During which time I was called the Helen of Troy of gay lit, which was pretty awesome if wildly inaccurate. Said writer then informed me that the editor of a magazine asked him if he would interview an athlete, only he didn’t know any athletes. I immediately suggested David Wright, and were it to happen I may be able to tag along. Cross your fingers!

After I left I decided to stop in a bar to watch the game, only I was in CHELSEA so that meant the only option was the only gay as in homosexual–let’s face it, every sports bar is just a little bit gay–sports bar in New York, which is pretty much like every gay bar in New York except here 70% of the clientele pretends to give a shit about sports. And it’s also pretty much like every sports bar in New York except here the meatheads lisp.

I got there just in time to watch John Maine give up a solo shot to Austin Kearns, but thankfully was able to cheer silently (as opposed to the cluster of fags and one hag who loudly cheered on the Yankees) as Jose Reyes hit a solo shot to tie the game at 2-2, Ryan Church singled, Wright singled (on a ball that popped out of a diving Lastings Milledge’s glove), and then Carlos Beltran’s3-run homer that effectively ended the game.

Maine hasn’t exactly been the dominant force that many of us fans were predicting, but with each subsequent start he’s looking better and more in-command. In the seventh he got the first two batters, but then gave up two successive walks. I have to say that his reaction–he screamed “FUUUUUUCCCCKKKK!!!!” on the mound and in the dugout continued to do same, all while pouting–was surprising for such a mild-mannered, emotionally reserved guy. Hot too. And good to see. I like that he threw a very good game and is still upset about his performance. I like that he knows that he can do better.

Enter Joe Smith to strike out Ryan Zimmerman looking to end the inning, receiving fist-bumps from Maine and Peterson and Willie. I was a bit squirmy though, thinking that Aaron Heilman would be coming in for his usual eighth inning neurosis fest, and was surprised to see Smith back on the mound, striking out Johnson, hitting Milledge (on a pitch where it seemed Milledge had no idea where the ball was going to end up) and then getting Kearns to hit into a double play to end the eighth. I think having Smith instead of Heilman pitch the eighth might suggest a lot about the team’s level of confidence with Smith, and maybe says something about what they feel about Heilman right now. Maybe I’m just projecting. There was a funny moment in the dugout when Pelfrey, sitting next to Smith, did a little impersonation of what Zimmerman looked like when he struck out. Smith’s pitches are looking goddamned awesome, and with him, Pedro Feliciano, the return of Duaner Sanchez, and a dominant-looking Wagner (who earned the save), I’m feeling more and more comfortable with the bullpen in tight games.

Yes yes, it’s just the Nats. But keep it going tonight, heading into Philly, and then Chicago. It’d be nice to get a good little run going. It’d be nice to give those booing idiots a reason to shut the hell up and/or go back to “cheering” the Yankees.


el profesor dice “no más”

February 21, 2008

According to Adam Rubin of the Daily News, Jose Reyes may not reprise his highly popular and completely hilarious “Profesor Reyes” skit at Shea this season.

Rubin reports the following:

Reyes has balked at filming another season. “I did it two years in a row already,” Reyes said. “But I’ll think about it. I haven’t said no yet.”

John Maine has been enlisted for a recurring “Maine Street USA” scoreboard skit that quizzes fans on U.S. cities.

That sounds impressively dull, though I imagine I’d laugh at just about anything regarding John Maine. This bit of news did lead Stan and I to brainstorm a few possible replacements for Profesor Reyes.

  • Joe Smith could teach a history lesson informing us of other notable Joseph Smiths, like the founder of Mormonism or the basketball player.
  • Inspired by this cute little story, Joe Smith and Mike Pelfrey could have some kind of Siskel and Ebert-esque foodie skit wherein they review Shea’s many concessions options. (My own personal critique? Bubba burgers: thumbs down; sausage and peppers: thumbs up!)
  • The Ramon Castro District, featuring Ramon Castro profiling various American enclaves that have been historical sites of diversity. I would looooooove to see a segment of Castro in the Castro during the Pride Parade. (Cue that Simpsons episode where they go to Cuba: “It’s full of WHAT?!”)
  • Scott Schoeneweis demonstrating the Heimlich Maneuver
  • Pedro Martinez’s Cockfighting Tips (this was not my idea; please send all complaints to stan(at)omgtoosoon(dot)com)
  • General health tips from David Wright, titled “Dr. Wright” or alternately “Wright Aid” (the latter option could also enable a possible partnership with Rite Aid, and Shea could put up yet another gaudy and hideous billboard up)
  • Moises Alou exhorting the Fountain of Youth-esque benefits of urine; alternately, videos of him engaging in water sports (the other kind)
  • In an effort to go green, Duaner Sanchez talks about alternate modes of transportation

In sad news, David Wright’s grandmother has passed away. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.


THE WHITEST KIDS YOU KNOW

February 14, 2008

Why is Ollie so pale? Also? HELLLLOOOOOOOO JOHN MAINE.

*Photo courtesy Adam Rubin’s blog


john maine is not only a stud but also secure in his masculinity

December 4, 2007

Hi there, long time no blog. There are many developments to have rejoiced over (I will be glad to never see that bastard Guillermo Mota pitch for my team ever again) as well as lament (see ya Lastings). And rather than talk about all the actual tangible baseball things every baseball nut I know has been hounding me about (I am sick to death of hearing the name Johan), I would like to talk about this.

As opposed to other places where this would create the opportunity for non-clever fag jokes, I would like to say that though I doubt the veracity of this story (um, Page Six? And why is it that I learned about this through straight dude sports guys? Let’s turn the mirror around, fellas), I wholeheartedly hope it is true. For one, I obviously would welcome an era in sports wherein our athletes could feel free to exhibit queerish tendencies, whether it be ridiculously homoerotic fashion shoots or enjoying the feel of fishnets or like, making out and giving each other boners and stuff. Word. I enjoy a transgression of gender roles and sexuality, especially coming from a landscape as notoriously rigid and macho as Sportsdom.

Secondly, I am pretty selfish and find the very idea of one of my favorite Mets (I’d say #3 behind Wright and Smith…do I just like bland white dudes? Let’s take a look at my dating history OH BURN) in a dress to be awesome and delicious. It makes me quite hot and bothered. Also, if this is true, why didn’t the stupid dame take a picture? DUH THAT’S WHY THEY PUT CAMERAS IN PHONES NOW IDIOT. You have a star athlete in a dress and you don’t do shit about documenting it? For shame, lady. Have you learned nothing from our invasive 21st century celebrity culture?!?!?!?!??!

Lastly: “I’m John Maine. I pitch for the Mets! I’m a hot piece of ass!” Yes honey. Yes you certainly damn are. And I want that on a T-shirt, please.


john maine is a stud

July 25, 2007

…so much so that even Lastings wants a piece. Who wouldn’t?!

Details from the Mets’ 8-4 win over the lowly Pirates are fuzzy as I descended into drunkenness at the JLI and totally son’d Stan and Joe at beer pong, with the aid of Stephen. I do recall sitting next to some dude who cheered when Jason Bay hit a home run off of Maine in the top of the fourth to tie the score at 2-2. I recall shaking my head as he yelled “THAT WAS A MEATBALL” and wondering how the hell I managed to sit next to the only Pirate fan there, and if murder in this case would be justified, and God please can’t Johnny settle down and start pitching like pre-ASG again?

Turns out he did. Hitting a home run helps. But before that: Someone shaped like Paul Lo Duca lifts a ball into left center, and Xavier Nady can’t get to it, meaning Lo Duca Shape has a double?! Then Shawn Green–now nicknamed “the Jewish Apatosaurus” by the delightful smart aleck commenters over at Mets Geek [Ed. note: as started by delightfully smart alecky commenter Future]-singles him in?! More wackiness to ensue: Green moves to second on a wild pitch, and Milledge (who, more and more, is inspiring confidence, especially since Moises Alou is still as fragile as Jose Valentin’s leg bones) singles him in–nice run and slide by the Jewish Apatosaurus! Who says he can’t move? (A: all of us with eyes)

The pièce de résistance of this wacky fourth inning is, of course, Johnny Maine’s first career home run. The bar echoed of “Holy shit!”s and “Oh my God!”s and much booming laughter, and I smiled like an idiot, especially watching the aftermath: Maine’s incredulous/slightly stupified look as he trotted the bases, Milledge’s hug, the goofy smiles by David Wright and Shawn Green and HoJo and everyone else in the dugout (except for Willie Randolph and his trademark “I am slightly bemused by this recent development”), Johnny’s seemingly embarrassed curtain call (some great photographic evidence on Mets Grrl’s flickr). After that, Johnny settled down and took care of business, Milledge added a bomb of his own, Heilman pitched well, and Mota gave up a harmless (but frustrating) 2-run shot in the ninth, because–well, he’s Mota.

But really, the night belonged to Maine. Hell, he had a better offensive night than Wright, the only Mets starter to go hitless (though he managed an RBI with a sac fly–just one of those nights when everyone produced, I guess). Marty Noble’s report is full of gems, but I’ll leave you with my favorite two:

“He didn’t smile once the whole way around,” Joe Smith said. “Hey, I smiled when I struck out in my one chance. Are you kiddin’? If I hit one out, I would have been doing backflips.”

Oh, Joe. Let’s make babies.

What?

So what would some of his colleagues have to do to surprise Shea Stadium as Maine had? That was a topic of discussion for a few moments on Tuesday night.

Shawn Green pondered the question for a moment.

“For me?” he said. “… Hit a home run.”

I’ve said before that Maine looks like a stork during his at-bats. Maybe I need to rethink his status as Worst-Looking Mets Batter. Hiya, Shawn! [Ed. note: I did make fun of Green in Monday’s post, which in fact was the end of my self-imposed week-long ban on Shawn Green jokes. Phew. That was a long week.]