Archive for April, 2010

We Have Officially Moved

April 21, 2010

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Let’s Go Mets!

When Santana’s On the Mound, It’s Money in the Bank

April 11, 2010

I’ve started a new tradition of trying to see the Mets play on Opening Day no matter where they’re playing. Last season’s opener at Cincinnati almost didn’t happen—foul, rainy weather that threatened a rain-out and since it was on a Monday, I had to call in sick to work (when in reality I was in Cincy praying that my flight wouldn’t be canceled or the game delayed.) Everything worked out, the Mets won and I even saw a pre-scandal Steve Phillips on my flight home.

Fast forward to this year: much less stressful. Took a personal day, great weather, decent nosebleeds seats, got a buzz at the new McFadden’s after the game, even managed to enter the ballpark early enough to receive one of those miniature Citi Field Home Run Apples as a souvenir. The apple also functions as a bank so I’ve decided to drop a quarter in the slot every time the Mets win. At the moment, there is a whopping fifty cents in there symbolizing their first two victories. If it wasn’t for a game-saving grab by Nationals left fielder Willie Harris in yesterday’s game, I would have accumulated another twenty five cents.

Nonetheless, today’s another day and I like my odds with Johan Santana on the mound. In seven career starts against the Nationals, the ace left-hander averages a little more than seven strikeouts a game with a won-lost record of 6-1 and an ERA of 2.63. I would have to say there’s a pretty good chance that I will be adding to my booty.

Another reason to feel confident that Santana and the Mets will emerge victorious this afternoon is that their counterpart, right-hander Livan Hernandez, age unknown, will be starting for the Nationals. Hernandez, in 33 career starts against the Mets, has allowed an average of seven hits to go along with a 4.58 ERA. Mets batters are hitting .289 with 25 homers, tied with the most by any major league team.

Mets fans will be the first to tell you that on days when Santana doesn’t pitch the likelihood of a Mets win is not so easy to compute. On this day, however, my gut tells me that I’ll be up twenty-five more cents by the end of the day.

Let’s Go Mets!

Opening Day for Mets Fans Allows Their Imagination to Run Wild

April 4, 2010

In the mid-nineteen eighties, the New York Mets were building a dynasty. With just one season removed from an emotionally charged 1986 World Championship season, the hometown heroes were at it again.

September 22, 1988, Manager Davy Johnson is still at the helm alongside his trusty pitching coach, Mel Stottlemyer. An RC Cola billboard enters the television screen, horns are blaring, and the both of them are shown standing in amazement as their starting pitcher, Ron Darling, bats in the bottom of the eighth inning.

In the previous top half of the inning, Stottlemyer had just paid a visit to the mound to check on the strength of his right-hander. At first glance, with runners at the corners, you could easily sense that Darling may have run out of gas. On nothing more than fumes, Darling then proceeded to retire the side by inducing a six-four-three double play.

Champagne about to blow, “We are the champions of the world,” close to drowning out the exhilarating roars of the Shea Stadium crowd, a quick cut to the NYPD in riot gear riding horseback, the Mets would go on to win the ball game and earn Ron Darling a complete game victory.

After clinching their second NL East division title in three years, the 1988 NY Mets set their sights on the California coast. Their arrogance was obvious. Their confidence none other than a layer of hard-fought determination to prove that that magical ’86 season was no fluke. Unfortunately for the Mets, they were unable to reach the World Series in ’88.

It’s now September 22, 2010, Mets left-hander Johan Santana is in the batter’s box in the bottom of the eighth inning. A broad smile is showing on the face of Pitching Coach Dan Warthen, an even broader smile on the face of their skipper, Jerry Manuel. Citi Field is shaking. The inevitable has finally materialized. The unthinkable has found itself front and center. The bottom half of the eighth inning has run its course. Santana is then asked to take the hill in the top of the ninth with the hopes that he will be able to finish what he started.

Ron Darling, who is now coincidentally sitting in the SNY broadcast booth watching and listening to the screams and hollers of all the rabid Mets fans, decides to take a backseat to Santana’s gutsy performance. After an earlier run scoring double by left fielder Jason Bay that all but secured the Mets 6-2 lead, Santana completes the final three outs in one-two-three fashion.

Raising his arms to the sky, tackled by his teammates, the negative force now lifted, the southpaw turns towards those Mets fans in attendance and shouts, “anything is possible.”