the metsox desperation pact

September 21, 2007

So not to get too personal or anything, but a few weeks ago I started dating a Red Sox fan. As we started dating, both the Sox and the Mets seemed to be in some trouble, being swept by their closest competitors (the Yanks and Phils, respectively). As we kept dating, both of our teams then seemed to pick it up and start playing better, and everything seemed to be going swell.

Then some crap happened and we stopped seeing each other. This coincided with some abominable play by both teams which saw their respective division leads dwindle to astonishingly similar numbers. In the midst of this, I got the following text a few days ago after yet another frustrating loss by both: “My team lost. Your team lost. Can we put aside our differences and have sex again for the sake of our playoff chances?”

Which, in spite of me not talking to him, I thought was really funny.

Well, after last night’s ridiculously awful loss by the Mets, I called him up to drunkenly whine. He had been watching as well. Long story short, I went over.

Both of our teams have been in first for almost the entire season. Both of our teams held comfortable leads. Both of our teams are full of talented players who have been playing absolute dogshit. Both of our teams have a magic number of 9 and a flimsy 1.5 lead, hoping to fend off two talented, hungry teams that don’t seem to be able to lose.

The similarities are eerie, no? I propose to all Mets and Red Sox fans: Find each other and fuck. At least for the next week. For the sake of our playoff chances, please dear God.

So: The MetSox Desperation Pact. Motto: Let’s fuck so our teams don’t suck.

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what a lousy day

July 26, 2007

Today’s Mets game started before I even remembered about it. 12:10 rolls around and I get an IM from Joe reminding me. Because of lousy work all I could do was follow it online while checking the pithy commentary over at Mets Geek. A first inning run. Yay. Much mirth and merriment over Ramon Castro attempting to stretch a lead-off hit in the second into a double, and of course he doesn’t, because that man is a beached whale (whom I adore, but nonetheless…watching this guy try to slide is funnier than Woody Allen’s last ten movies combined). Oliver Perez just dealing against his former team, allowing one hit through five innings. Yes yes everything’s great lalalala let’s sweep the lowly Pirates.

Oh but then. But then Ollie reverts back to form, experiencing one of his all-too-familiar meltdowns in the sixth (getting help from some shoddy defense all around, himself included), leading five runs to score. In the next inning, Scott Schoeneweis gets runners on the corners (of course!), so Joe Smith is brought in to try and take care of that mess. Of course, Joe Smith of the past two months–and especially the last week–has not been the Joe Smith of the first two months, and three runs score. Bah. Fast forward to the end of this miserable game and it’s the Pirates who win, 8-4.

And then Joey’s sent down to the minors. It is obviously depressing, considering the 5,635 lewd comments and/or declarations of love (depending on your perspective) I have made about him on this here blog. I have been worried about this for some time–had actual nightmares about it even, the last one coming around the All-Star Break. And as much as it pains me to say it, as much as I will miss watching him pitch, I really do think it’s the best thing for both the team and for Smith. More and more, Joey’s become a bit of a liability (it says something about your performance when even Aaron Heilman starts to surpass you). Many reasons abound: he’s tired, for one. This is a kid who was in college a year ago, played some minor league ball, zoomed through spring training, and made his major league debut in April. The fairy tale had to end some time.

I think in the long run that this is a good thing for Smith. Take some pressure off. Regroup. Get a little rest. Maybe eat some good gumbo and go to a crawfish boil or drink some chicory coffee with beignets. Come back well-rested and ready to show off what made us all fall in love with him in the first place. Think of it as second April. Let’s hope it works out this way. He’s too good to not be on this team.

I need a damn drink.


metstastic weekend

July 16, 2007

Going to a night game Saturday and then following it up with a day game on Sunday is a little tiring. I am worn-out and exhausted, though that could be the Vicodin talking. Or at least enhancing my exhaustion in the most delightful of ways. Thanks, Vicodin!

And thank you, Mets, for taking the final two games against the Reds, ensuring that my record at Shea would stay at a perfect 6-0. Saturday I went with Danny and watched some BP and endured a bit of a nail-biter as the Mets squeezed the Reds 2-1. Tommy Glavine got career win #298 with some spectacular pitching, going 8 innings and giving up two hits all night: a homer to New Mets Killer Brandon Phillips and a single to Ken Griffey, Jr. (which, can I just say, it was an absolute joy to see him hit, seeing as he was one of my absolute favorites when I was growing up, and I’d never before seen him in person). To be absolutely fair, the Mets should have blown this thing wide open. The first four innings were nearly comical deja vu. First: men on first and second, two outs, Delgado flies out. Second: Lo Duca singles, then three consecutive outs. Repeat. They stranded runners all over the place until finally Shawn Green singled in David Wright in the sixth to tie the score. The score remained tied until the bottom of the eighth, when Lastings Milledge continued his mind-boggling usefulness, slapping a single through the middle to score Green, ensuring that Glavine would get the win if only Billy Wagner could record the save. Which, duh, of course he did, being Wags and all. I remarked to Danny after the game, “It’s funny how I’ve made fun of Shawn Green all week and then he has a game like this.” I’ll stop making fun of you for at least the next week, Shawnny! Promise!

Sunday I took Cincinnati native Cute Boy Who Likes Baseball to his first ever game at Shea, all the while taunting him and generally making him aware of how little I think of his team by saying things like “Who the fuck is Norris Hopper?” or “How fucking old is Jeff Conine?” or “Who the fuck is Pedro Lopez?” (I curse a lot when watching baseball, apparently). Lopez, it turns out, made his major league debut on Saturday, and recorded his first hit Sunday, though really Jose Reyes should’ve had him if only he’d handled the grounder a bit more smoothly. CBWLB then decided that Pedro Lopez was his new boyfriend. Pffft, whatever. I thought you had some guy in Germany. Meow.

It was also Military Appreciation Day, though I didn’t see enough hot men in uniform, sadly. I got my camo hat, which didn’t excite me as much as I thought it would. I guess mainly because, yes support the troops God bless ’em, but jingoism has never really been my cup of tea, especially when there’s a big-ass sponsored Jeep logo on the back of the hat. The military jets flyover thing was neat, even if I could only hear and feel them as opposed to see, considering the roof over the section of the Loge, where our seats were.

More gayness: as Best Song Ever “Be My Baby” started up for the Kiss Cam, I thought “If Shea were progressive enough to have two dudes up there, I would so stick my tongue down [CBWLB’s] throat.” Lo and behold, they ended up showing two dudes, only it was Kevin James and Adam Sandler (who separately started Let’s Go Mets! chants on the DiamondVision, though isn’t Sandler a Yankee fan?), I assume promoting their insipid-looking new movie about firemen pretending to be gay so that they can get benefits or something? Because it’s so governmentally beneficial to be gay? They even then reenacted that hilarious part in the trailer where they have to kiss after getting gay-married (by Rob Schneider doing a weird Chinaman impersonation, I think…because only weird Chinaman can preside over gay nuptials? I half-expected Amy Poehler to be playing the flute), only Sandler then clocks James in the face. Gay panic is funny!

Anyway. I finally got to see Ollie pitch, the only Mets starter I hadn’t previously seen in person. He was a little dusty in spots but otherwise seemed in fine form and total control for most of the afternoon. He got some sweet defensive help, and great offense by Ramon Castro and–yet again–Milledge. Ollie even helped his cause by singling in the fifth and scoring on a home run by Reyes.

I am sufficiently exhausted, physically and emotionally. Side-note: Exactly how sad is it to say to someone, “See you around, I guess”? It’s pretty sad. Anyway. I’ve got another Vicodin and another beer and the rest of Exile in Guyville to listen to. Moral victory, I suppose. HOWEVER. I don’t want any moral victories from the Mets as they head to the West Coast to face the Padres and the Dodgers. Beating up on the Reds is one thing. Facing some of the NL elite is another. And I want payback from that nightmare in L.A. last month. Hell, the Mets might as well start becoming the one thing that’s going right in my life (I think I hear the world’s tiniest violin). It would pick me up greatly if they went on a tear. Don’t look now, but the Braves are 1.5 games back. And, gulp, they next face the Reds. Have fun with that feast, Atlanta!


ESCAPE FROM L.A.

June 13, 2007

“Boy do we stink right now.”

So the Mets are playing really appallingly lousy baseball right now. I almost can’t believe how awful they’ve been since June. Basically, they’ve been playing loser-ball since I won my bet with Stan. Who am I, Pete Rose? Dear Mets: I will never place another bet on you if you agree to start winning in your early season ho-hum fashion again. I’d much rather have that than any free meal.

I was feeling pretty okay with their performance in Detroit up until the final game. Sosa was brilliant in the first game, and even the following 8-7 loss had some upswings (at least they were hitting the goddam ball!) even if it had some depressing lowlights (the re-appearance of shaky Ollie, Guillermo Mota’s complete breakdown, Carlos Delgado grounding out with the bases loaded AND THEN ending the game with the exact same groundout with the tying run on first). And then Glavine got knocked around and that was that.

What rubs more salt in this ever-deepening wound is the fact that the Mets are now being dismantled by the Dodgers. I grew up in L.A., so of course grew up a Dodger fan (Kirk Gibson, ’88 World Series, need I say more? Shit like that is why we love sports). But they became basically dead to me when they traded my beloved Mike Piazza (one of the worst, most ill-informed trades ever, but I have a tendency to be melodramatic). Now I’m not even sure I can name more than two players on the team, unless Hideo Nomo is still around? (LOLOLOL I make joke) Having my former favorite team beat up on my current favorite team is kind of like having the boy you used to like (and who treated you like shit) say mean stuff about the boy you’re currently interested in. This happened a week ago. It sucked.

It’s like some Lynchian nightmare, what’s happening right now. Though Maine gave up three consecutive homers last night, basically ensuring the loss, I don’t think the Mets have been pitching all that badly, the last two Detroit games notwithstanding. The problem really has been their offense. It almost feels like everyone has gone to sleep, with the exception of David Wright (14-game hit streak, which included a four-game home run streak, and career hit #500 last night). They’re stranding about a million people on base. It is just brutal to watch.

Hong-Chih Kuo? Really? You couldn’t hit off of Hong-Chih Kuo? And he hit a home run? This is the worst L.A. nightmare since Crash.

But hey, at least Canter’s gave some delicious food to former Dodgers Shawn Green and Paul Lo Duca. L.A. has a bad rep, I know, but I love it in the same way you love your crazy uncle, and if you did right by us once, we’ll always welcome you back.

But Jesus, get the hell out of there already. Jorge Sosa pitches tonight, so let’s hope he can perform the way he has this season (which is to say: surprisingly fantastic). Then we have another subway series with the Yanks. Who are, uh, on a seven-game winning streak. Boy, have the tables turned since last month.


what a waste

June 7, 2007

Yeah Paulie, you guys really just bent over and let the Phillies give it to you, huh?

So much seems to be going in the wrong direction for the Mets these days. The timely hits? Basically nonexistent. The extra inning heroics? Philadelphia’s department, twice in three days. The rock-solid bullpen? Hey, I left California to get away from earthquakes. Even BB#2 Joe Smith has been faltering lately, allowing inherited runners to score when he was previously lights-out in those precarious situations. And there’s the not-quite-small matter that we should basically plant landmines in the outfield.

The Mets got swept by the red-hot Phillies when they could have partially salvaged the homestand and gotten a good win before heading to Detroit. This was an embarrassingly winnable game for them and they fell apart. Despite a few hiccups, John Maine pitched yet another effective ball game. Down 2-0, the Mets came up with another one of their magical moments, and you could just taste the inevitable Billy Wagner save. Carlos Delgado hits a home run. BB#1 David Wright hits a big shot, slides into third, and then the umpires rule it a home run (replays showed the ball bounced off a Wise sign behind the wall, leading Phils manager Charlie Manuel to do his best Lou Piniella, getting tossed in the process). Paul Lo Duca follows it up with a home run of his own. Victory, right? I thought so.

I don’t know why Willie Randolph decided to bring Wags in for the eighth. Why not Smith? It didn’t seem like it would be damaging until Pat Burrell’s game-tying homer in the ninth, giving Wags his first blown save in 14 tries. Extra innings. Okay, I think, the Mets are good at extra innings. Not tonight, and not two nights ago. Tonight’s big fucking wailing goat: Scott Schoeneweis. As soon as I heard the name, I groaned. Turned out to be the right assessment. The guy has a severed tendon. Sure, it’s a useless tendon, and he can still pitch (theoretically, because he clearly cannot), but honestly, Worst Show Ever. I don’t know how many times I and other Mets fans can deride his ineffectiveness before something happens. Let’s go find him and make him bend over. And not in any kind of affectionate what-I’d-do-to-Davey-or-Joey way. No. More like a what-the-Phillies-did-to-the-Mets-this-week way.

One last gripe: awful lousy awful hitting, especially with runners in scoring position. Bottom of the first, runners on second and third, two outs: David Wright pop-out. Bottom of the fifth, Jose Valentin (nice to have ya back!) on first, one out: terrible John Maine bunt to force Valentin out at second, and then a Reyes pop-out. Bottom of the sixth, before the beautiful Delgado-Wright-Lo Duca hat trick, Beltran grounds into a double play. Bottom of the seventh, runners on second and third, Ben Johnson pulls a Beltran, and Beltran grounds out again. Bottom of the ninth, Johnson strikes out with David Newhan on second (Newhan of course not getting a hit, but rather in as a pinch runner for Valentin).

Painful. What should have been a highlight reel for Maine, Delgado, Wright, and Lo Duca became instead another night of wasted opportunities. Hey Mets, stop resembling my lovelife.

Eh, I haven’t even had the chance to bend over.


cautious optimism

May 25, 2007

So South Georgia was on fire. I thought that would dovetail nicely with history as the rampaging Mets charged into Atlanta to face the Braves, their biggest rivals. Well, it didn’t turn out quite that way. Whoops.

Every sports fan must have those irrational moments where they feel like their actions, behavior, attitude, routine, etc. dictate the performance of their favorite player(s)/team(s). I felt that way this entire series.

Tuesday: going to Copper Door Tavern with Stan (2 for 1 burgers and 2 for 1 beers!), feeling cautiously optimistic about Jorge Sosa’s chances against his former team, as well as the Mets’ offensive chances against Kyle Davies. WELL. Too often I’ve felt, good or bad, the Mets lately have been allowing early innings to set the tone of the entire game, and they did exactly that when, with runners on first and third, slumping Carlos Delgado grounded into a double play to end the early threat (I found out later that it was Delgado’s fifth GIDP of the season. Somehow it feels like more). Sosa was lights out for exactly one inning, and then the Braves smacked him all over the place. Still feeling cautiously optimistic, as the Mets were only down 5-1 (Stan: “Way to not be an alarmist”), Aaron Sele proceeded to give up a 3-run homerun to Davies (the pitcher!). At this point I went, “Bah!” gathered my belongings, went home, and drank some whiskey till I passed out. I then realized that, aside from last week’s walk-off walk against the Cubs, the Mets have always lost when I watch them at Copper Door. Maybe I should stop going there (but oh the food and drink specials!).

Wednesday: I went to see an apartment, and in doing so walked by a bar that was playing the game. The first thing I see is Oliver Perez inducing a short pop-out to David Wright, which makes me smile. I get the apartment (the guy was wearing a Yankees hat; I totally rubbed the series win in his face, but he seemed to enjoy talking shit on Clemens and Giambi, so go figure), go see friends at our weekly trivia night (nerds! Also, confusing the Buzzcocks’ “Orgasm Addict” for the Exploding Hearts? SHAME), drunkenly head over to Alligator Lounge, where I see Baseball Boyfriend #2 Joe Smith warming up to relieve Ollie, who seemingly pitched another beaut (three in a row!). This makes me completely ditch my friends, as I end up going ga-ga over Joey with a guy missing three of his front teeth. Joey, of course, goes 1-2-3 in the eighth (including just a killer smackdown of Larry Jones, who looked like a fucking idiot trying to chase Joey’s junk…hrm, interesting diction there, eh? Baseball is so gay). Then I’m told Baseball Boyfriend #1 David Wright hit ANOTHER dinger earlier in the game. How good is he? SO GOOD. Wags does his thing, and I’m zippy with victory. I finally go hang out with my friends, and end up talking to a very cute boy who likes baseball who also was invited to this Big Gay Literary Party that I was going to attend the next day. We make plans to meet up. I turn into a seven year old.

Thursday: Glavine vs. Smoltz? Kill that homophobe (link via Toasted Joe), I think. Do not let him get a milestone (win #200) against us. Smack him around. WELL. That didn’t happen. Neither did anything with Cute Boy Who Likes Baseball, though we did talk at Big Gay Literary Party for a bit before he got swept up in Big Gay Literaryness whereas I just kind of awkwardly started chainsmoking and downing whiskey straights on the balcony. I called up Stan to check up on the game (him: “2-0 Braves, top of the fourth, Lo Duca on third”/me: “Oh, we’ll come back. That’s nothing.” Decidedly more-than-cautious optimism). When I get home, I see that the Mets mounted a rally in the top of the ninth, only to have it end with a pop-up by Jose “Dear God, Please Don’t Call Me Samson” Reyes. It’s nice to know that the Mets can’t score when given the opportunity, and neither can I.

This recent power-outage is troubling (the Mets’, not mine, though man…forced celibacy sucks). It almost seems like so Reyes goes, so go the Mets. When he’s on base, he can manufacture runs on his own, can spark the team to do some quality hitting. When he’s not (and he hasn’t often been lately), all we can hope for is a Wright home run, it seems (which has generally been the case). Where is the small ball? The situational hitting? For most of the season, they’ve been quality at that. I hope it comes back soon. I hope Delgado, down in the lineup and with less pressure, gets something going. Beltran’s 2-3 game last night is comforting. And Lo Duca seems to be waking up too.

Things to rejoice: Wright’s fantastic May, silencing his April critics (are you guys serious? How could you think that he wouldn’t break out?). The rebirth of Ollie Perez (I love watching him when he’s on, it’s just electric and joyful). Joe Smith’s inhuman calm under pressure (I bet he’s good in the sack…WHAT?).

Tonight, El Duque comes back. I am cautiously optimistic about his return. I would love to be given a reason for brazen confidence, however.


inauguration

May 19, 2007

This past week I attended Stan and Joe’s enormously fun, rowdy, oft-frustrating (Tom Brady, Sr.? Get the fuck out) sports trivia night and had the unfortunate experience of having some douche at the bar call me a faggot. This hasn’t happened in earnest since I was in high school. After a little bit of jawing (I can talk shit with the best of ’em) he said something to the effect of “You don’t belong in here,” which basically pissed me off. I finished the final round (my team won, apparently, though I contributed almost nothing) before angrily storming off.

It wasn’t so much the “faggot” talk–I’ve been called that before and worse, and yes it’s unpleasant but at this point in my life I’m more incredulous at it than mad–but rather the parting “You don’t belong in here.” What did that “here” mean? The bar? The trivia night? Amongst sports fans? It’s no surprise that the world of sports attracts your fair share of lunkheaded archaic boorish machismo bullshit, and sure I don’t really know that many gay sports fans (I don’t know that many gays to begin with, but that’s a whole other issue), but there’s no rule of exclusivity. There’s room to watch baseball and not spout homophobic rhetoric. It doesn’t take a genius to figure this out. Mr. “You don’t belong here” was quite possibly not a genius.

So basically, here’s my response. A sports blog. What the hell. In many ways, being a sports fan who happens to kiss boys now and then (mostly then, guh) is kind of perfect. Not only can I cheer on the astonishing prowess of my favorite athletes and teams, but I am also able to heartily ogle and objectify their various physical attributes. I’d say that’s a win-win. I’ll take a “faggot” here and there if I have to.

I mean, HELLLOOOOOOOOOOOOO: null