Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Profile Is Up, and Woe is the Mets

Well, my magic touch this week continued in a big way on Tuesday. First, recall that on Monday I was just writing that Vinnay is among the best players not to have won the Mookie, and then just hours later he went out and won the Monday night riverchasers game to nab his seat in the BBT4 Tournament of Champions. Then, on Tuesday I mentioned 7 or 8 players who I expected to win ToC seats during the second half of the BBT4, one of whom was longtime blonkament player Columbo. Just hours later, columbo went out and won the Tuesday night Skillz game in Razz to capture his seat. Just call me King Midas, and hope I pick you to win the Mookie tonight.

So speaking of the Mookie, I will admit that I can't believe how quickly my reign as Mookie champion is coming to an end here. Feels like it was just a day or two ago that I became enshrined with the greatest names in the history of online poker by taking down the most elusive (for me) of all the private blogger tournaments. In that vein, my long-awaited Mookie profile is now up on Mookie's blog. I can't describe how long I have waited to see that profile posted and to take my rightful place among the all-time poker greats who have been profiled there before little old me. I tried to answer all the questions as well as I could and hopefully put an interesting new spin on a few of them.

In other news, the Mets continued their slide with another disturbing 6-4 loss on Tuesday in what is becoming increasingly obvious is the same type of team with all the same type of problems as in the past couple of seasons. For the life of me I am sure that eventually this is all going to fall at the feet of the manager, Jerry Manuel, who continues to oversee a team that feels no personal responsibility, no accountability, for their actions. To wit:

Stuck in a 4-4 tie with the Cardinals on Tuesday, the Mets' high-priced slugger Carlos Beltran led off the 8th inning with a walk, quickly advancing to second on a sac bunt. When next batter Ramon Castro flew out to right field, Beltran tagged up and went to third, but when the right fielder's throw bounced away from Cardinals' third baseman Joe Thurston, Beltran broke for home. Thurston picked up the ball and threw to catcher Yadier Molina, who was able to tag out Beltran, because Carlos Beltran did not slide. You can click here to view the play in the video embedded on espn.com. It's worth watching, because (1) it is truly inexplicable why Beltran failed to slide, and (2) it's pretty obvious that Beltran would have beaten the tag if he had just applied even a modicum of effort. Asked why his slugger didn't slide, manager Jerry Manuel said only "I don't know the reason why he didn't slide."

Said Beltran: "I was running and looking at the ball. I didn't realize how close I was from home plate. [Third base coach] Razor Shines pointed to the ball, and I didn't react right away. It took time for me to react. If I would have reacted right away, I would have made it. That's how it goes."

That's how it goes? You don't slide, your manager just says he doesn't know why you didn't slide, and your excuse is that the plate was too close when you looked at it? Huh? When are you not looking at home plate once you make the decision to break from third base, Carlos? That's how it goes? I think not.

Making matters worse, Beltran's failure to break the tie by sliding into home plate in the top of the 8th inning meant that Mets' first-year Met Daniel Murphy misplayed stayed in the game for the bottom half of the inning rather than being removed for a defensive replacement (Murphy already cost the Mets a win earlier this season at the Florida Marlins with a dropped fly in the outfield). Instead, the Cardinals' Brendan Ryan's lined a shot to Murphy in the bottom of the 8th, and after starting in about ten steps, Murphy was unable to readjust and get back in time to prevent the ball from sailing over his head for a triple on his second blatant misplay to cost his team a late lead in this short season. Ryan later scored the winning run to break the 4-4 tie in the 8th after Murphy's gaffe in left field. But once again, Murphy's post-game comments about the play show just how little accountability there really is on this team right now.

"Actually I feel like I did everything right on the ball," Murphy said. "I slipped, and I went down."

You did what? You did everything right on the ball? So running in ten steps before realizing that you've horribly misplayed a key hit in a crucial spot that is now heading far over your head is now "doing everything right on the ball"? Jeezus Christopher guys.

How about this: either the Mets players start playing like a team of individuals who are each expected to do their jobs well, or they need to get rid of the greatest vestige of the previous regime in town which as a rule tolerated a whole team full of guys who just don't seem to care and don't seem to get it. Jerry Manuel, you are officially on notice. Shape your team up in the little things, the fundamentals, or you're going to find yourself out of a job much quicker than you seem to understand.

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2 Comments:

Blogger OES said...

hah, great next question for Mookie Champ =)

3:46 AM  
Blogger Miami Don said...

The problem has and will always be the GM Omar Minaya.

Everyone else gets fired or traded, he gets extensions and raises.

Another no playoff year coming up for the Mets and Yankees.

5:20 AM  

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