Monday, June 15, 2009

My Secret Obsession

I think I am obsessed with the New York Mets.

I'm serious. I just can't help it. It's like the proverbial car wreck when you drive past it on the highway -- I just can't help but pay attention to the biggest bunch of bums I've seen in New York sports in some time. And the Knicks play in this city, so you know I am really saying something there.

For those who didn't see the action this weekend, the Mets really came up strong to try to outdo their losing 2 of 3 to the Your World Champion Philadelphia Phillies last week, which included the Phils smacking four home runs in the deep confines of Citi field off of Mets ace Johan Santana in a one-run loss in game 1, the Phils' first win of the series where Carlos Beltran lost it for the Mets when he dropped an easily-catchable fly ball near the center field wall that was basically right inside his glove, and then another loss in the rubber match when Phillies' free-agent signing Raul Ibanez slugged a 3-run blast in the top of the 10th to take that one down in extras. Well, the next team in the path of the Mets was the Yankees, as Subway Series 2009 began with three games in the new Yankee Stadium.

And that's when this happened:

I mean, what do you say at this point with this effing team? It's not like it hasn't been highly obvious that the team is poorly coached, makes no effort and is just generally an embarrassment to the sport in almost every facet of the game. The Mets have lost what, four or five different games this year just on errors in the field? And another three on baserunning mistakes? They've lost a game recently after missing third base in the top half of extra innings and then making two errors in the bottom half of that inning. They've lost a game this year when Carlos Beltran wouldn't slide into home plate and got called out trying to score what would have been the go-ahead run as a result. And now that beautiful play above, to which the Mets responded by crushing Andy Pettitte and the Yankees in game 2 of the subway series, only to return on Sunday for the rubber game and getting smushed 15-0 as their ace Santana once again took a beating, recording the worst outing of his career as the Yankees smacked 8 runs and 9 hits off Santana in just three innings of work.

Well, this weekend was it. I am officially starting the Jerry Manuel watch here. After what went down this weekend, I just don't see how Omar Minaya continues to retain any relevance at all if he does not dump the Mets coach on his scrawny, unintelligible ass. I heard on sports radio this morning that, even after Castillo's embarrassing drop on the pop-up from A-Rod to lose the game on Friday, all the Mets were out in the field on Saturday, all still catching flies with one hand. Good coaching, Manuel. You are an absolute dog.

This was a large weekend in sports in general, come to think of it. The Penguins won their first Stanley Cup since the Mario Lemieux years in 1992, beating the Red Wings on the road in a Game 7 of the Finals. And the Lake-show completed their run to and through the NBA Finals as well over the weekend, dispatching the Orlando Magic in five games as Kobe Bryant finally earned his place among the elite NBA players of all time in winning his fourth NBA title, and more importantly, his first as the leader of the team after his first three championships all as Shaquille O'Neal's sidekick. Kobe now with four titles, that really puts him up there indisputably in my view, dickhead though he may be. Just like Phil Jackson, who won his all-time record tenth NBA championship with the Lakers' victory on Sunday. Ten NBA titles. It's one thing when Red Auerbach won nine titles with the Celtics a couple of generations ago. But it's an entirely other thing to have done that totally within the time of free agency, when keeping teams and star players together -- and happy -- for more than one or two good years has become an immense challenge in and of itself. Red did his thing with Bill Russell there the entire time, either as a player or a player-coach near the end there. Now Phil has done it with Michael Jordan, with Shaq, and now in 2009 with Kobe.

And for those of you who discount with the Zen Master has done on the basis that he always had star players on his team, I ask you two questions: First, what NBA championship team did not have at least one star player on it over the past 25 years or so? Name one. The most recent Detroit Pistons championship teams is as close as you're gonna get, and even that team had the player formerly known as Ben Wallace, to go along with Chauncy Billups in the backcourt. So these winning teams always have talent, that's not debatable. And my second question to those Phil Jackson haters is what do you say about this year's team? This is, in my view, far and away the worst team of all of Phil's title-winners. It basically comes down to Kobe, and who else? Pau Gasol? Lamar Odom? Shawn Bynum? Let's face it -- this team was Kobe's and Kobe's alone, and the way I see it, this is probably Phil Jackson's greatest individual season accomplishment, maybe behind the 72-10 season in Chicago, but maybe not. I'm still trying to figure out how this particular Lakers team was able to get past the Dallases, the San Antones, the Nuggets, the Blazers, the Rockets and all the other teams like Utah, Phoenix, etc. that have normally been hanging around lately at the end of the playoffs on the Western side of the bracket. To Kobe and to Phil, this one is huge in my view, and frankly I would be very surprised to see Phil Jackson spend any more of his years coaching in the NBA. I could be wrong about that, but personally I believe the whole recent comeback to the Lakers for Phil was all about one thing: getting his tenth championship, and getting his name alone in the recordbooks for all time with ten titles won. More than Auerbach's nine, more than Scotty Bowman's nine in the NHL, and far more championships than anyone else has ever coached in baseball or football. I think Phil has accomplished what he set out to do -- probably much sooner than he expected, looking at his roster at the beginning of the season this year -- and I don't expect to see him sweating it out one the sidelines and screaming at millionaires for much longer.

Just a week and a half until I roll into Vegas with my peeps and a walletful of cash, destined for the donation pile in World Series of Poker Event #51 on June 27. Who else is gonna be man enough to plunk down for that?

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Blogger PokahDave said...

You forgot to mention those incredible games that the BoSox took from you world champ. Phillies this weekend...that's odd!

1:11 AM  
Blogger 1Queens Up1 said...

Those Sox/Phils games were hard to watch, well except for the Sunday one that is.

Hoy, I am scheduled to be playing in the same event as you (#51). Im sure you have plans and whatnot but some of the bloggers are gearing up to meet up on 06/25 for bowling or mixed games etc etc.

Shoot me an email if you need a Philly fan to hang out with. slapinsky22 AT yahoo DOT com.

GL dude.

1:36 AM  
Blogger Riggstad said...

Nothing better than watching the pitcher point to the sky when he pops up , and celebrate like it was a lock!

3:42 AM  
Blogger 1Queens Up1 said...

^ Hey what about K-Rod trying to fight Brian Bruney before the game yesterday cause of some comments Bruney said about K-Rods fist pumping?

How Met-tastic would it have been if K-rod breaks his throwing hand in a fight with a person on the DL?

4:50 AM  
Blogger OES said...

I almost could have brought out the broom for this weekend on your phillies, but your world champs had to spoil it =(

5:56 AM  
Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

Nice post.

The you tube thingie isn't working.

7:08 AM  
Blogger Bayne_S said...

Red would have won 2 more titles if he had not retired as coach and let Russell take over as player coach.

Phil wins 2 more if Jordan's dad isn't murdered and Mike does not play baseball.

Met's drop was incredible this weekend because of course A-Rod pops up in the clutch and Mets fielding woes cancel out the anti-clutch hitting of A-Fraud

4:12 PM  

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