The Mets were back to their losing ways in Miami last night dropping a 6-3 game to the Marlins. I don’t like doing game recaps because you can get that shit anywhere. So I’ll just go over shit that stuck out to me from another chapter in the book of awfulness that the 2017 season has become.
The Gazelle-Man goes down with an injury, Ron Darling goes nuts
The most entertaining part of the night took place after starting pitcher Robert Gsellman pulled up lame trying to beat out an infield hit because…of course another pitcher had to get hurt.
Full disclosure, I am completely anti-DH. I grew up a National League fan, I am currently a National League fan and the intricacies that having a pitcher hit presents during game situations far outweighs having another hitter in the lineup to me. I get that I’m in the minority on that. I’m OK with that. We don’t need to agree on everything.
No matter which side of the fence you fall on when it comes to the DH, don’t start that shit about how pitchers aren’t used to running the bases. Fuck. That. This dude was simply running to first base. He’s a young, well-conditioned professional athlete and running is the most basic of all exercises. If we really think pitchers shouldn’t run ever, we should just pack up sports as a whole and have everybody start living in goddamn bubbles.
Gsellman was removed from the game and that when the real fireworks began. Ron Darling, a former All-Star, Gold Glover, World Champion who has been a long-time member of the Mets TV broadcast team let out a whole stream of frustration about the current training methods of ballplayers.
Now, listen, I’ve never played professional baseball, but I was a professional wrestler for 15 years. There is a big difference between training to perform and training to improve overall fitness. And that’s what the crux of Ronnie’s argument is here. I agree with that completely. Over-training and being “too fit” are real things that don’t necessarily lead to increases in performance. How many players across the league go down with strains, tears and other muscle-related maladies everyday? It is absurd to think about the numbers of man-games (and, by association, dollars invested) lost because the Mike Barwis types of the world are basically training guys to partake in the Ironman Triathlon as opposed to being able to endure a 162 game baseball season.
Ronnie was fed up and it was good to hear.
A few years ago, I attended a Q&A at a small baseball store in Union Square that a buddy had put me on to where the panel were pro scouts. I don’t remember their names, but I do remember one was from the Cubs and another the Cardinals. One gentleman was more than happy to keep relaying that his claim to fame was being the guy who signed Jamie Moyer. When I specifically asked about the way players trained in today’s game and if it was too much because of all the injuries piling up, these guys looked at me like I was nuts. But that’s their job: to find projectable and quantifiable traits in amateur players that they can sell to the front office to protect their jobs. In Moneyball, there’s a great line about a player with a bad body who Billy Beane wanted to draft: “we’re not selling jeans.” That drove the scouts in his conference room nuts.
I’m not saying you need a team of fat guys. That would be even more ridiculous. But when athletes are tuned tighter than the booby traps in Legends of the Hidden Temple, you’re going to have injuries and you’re going to be wasting a lot of money on players who don’t play.
Terry Collins Gives Me Even More Proof Of His Ineptitude
I hate Terry Collins. You can’t objectively watch a series of Mets games and say that he’s a sound tactician. It’s not possible. Unless you have never watched a baseball game before. Then…fine.
Last night, though, Terry must have looked up at the sky and said, “this one’s for Joe,” though when – after Travis d’Arnaud homered to tie the game in the 7th inning, Collins brought in Neil Ramirez to pitch the bottom of the frame. In a tie game. Neil Ramirez. The same Neil Ramirez that was so terrible that the fucking San Francisco Giants sent him packing earlier in the year and that has been relegated to mop-up duty out of the bullpen since becoming a Met.
Neil Ramirez was removed from the game after two batters, giving up a hit and a walk and with his line showing him charged for two runs and the loss. His season ERA is up to 7.36 and it is unreal that he’s still on a Major League roster, let alone getting brought in to late-game situations to hold a tie game.
I get that the Mets’ bullpen isn’t exactly a strong-point of this roster, but Neil Ramirez walking in from the bullpen is the human form of standing on the mound and waving the white flag.
What else did Terry do? He keeps playing Jose Reyes. This is why I stand with Asdrubal Cabrera on asking for a trade. It is unfathomable to think that somebody would get moved to accommodate playing time for such a diminished player as Reyes is in 2017. If they were going to call up Amed Rosario and Ass Dribble threw a fit, then yeah, bad look, bro. But after a 1 for 3 game which saw Reyes raise his average to a robust .193 and a late-game strikeout which made you wonder if this was an imposter Jose Reyes that was holding a baseball bat for the first time, it is clear that Jose Reyes has no place in this lineup on an everyday basis. I’d much rather see TJ Rivera getting the ABs at second-base while Cabrera still holds shortstop until he’s either traded or they finally call up Amed. It is indefensible to continue running Reyes out there.
It’s Tebow Time!
I don’t care that the Mets signed Tim Tebow. I even thought it was smart. Minor league baseball needs attractions and Tebow comes with a built-in audience. If he’s sitting on the bench in Queens after rosters expand in September, I’ll change my tune, but, right now, I don’t see the harm in a minor-league sideshow.
So when the Mets promoted Tebow to their St. Lucie club the other day, I didn’t give it much thought. Except that it suddenly became a sideshow that I needed to see live and in-person.
If you didn’t already know, I live in Tampa and the thought of seeing Tebow live became too much to not follow through on. After a quick look at the St. Lucie Mets’ schedule, I saw that they’d be playing in Ft. Myers this weekend against the Ft. Myers Miracle, an affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. It’s only a 2 hour drive for me and my parents actually live right outside of Ft. Myers so I had a ready-made excuse to pay them a visit and take my Dad to a game.
I scooped up some ducats (most expensive ticket: $9.50!) and will head down for the weekend to see Saturday’s game. It’s at Hammond Stadium which I actually visited during Spring Training. It’s a nice, little ballpark.
Beyond the Tebow carnival, there are some players on that Single-A Mets squad that I am interested in seeing: Peter Alonso, Wuilmer Becerra (the throw-in in the RA Dickey/Noah Syndergaard/Travis d’Arnaud trade) and Justin Dunn (last year’s first-round pick who has struggled this season). I don’t know if Dunn will pitch on Saturday because I don’t follow the minors that closely, but it will be nice to see some names I recognize from recaps and other blog reports.
Anthony Young 1966-2017
I don’t want to close on a downer, but former Mets pitcher, Anthony Young died yesterday at the age of 51. He had previously been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. AY is most widely known as the pitcher who set the record for most consecutive losses in the early 90s (all of which came as a Met, of course), but was widely regarded as one of the “good guys” in the game by fellow players and the media.
On a personal note, I was in attendance at old Shea for his debut against the Cubs in 1991 and – even as a 10 year-old with no internet or Twitter – was aware that he had some hype concerning his promotion to the big leagues. From his call-up in 91 and the ensuing years after, the Mets were an absolute shitshow and Young became the face of that era because of his record losing streak. Going back over his career lines, he was a better pitcher than the record would have you believe, but unfairly or not, that record will always accompany his name like a suffix.
Baseball aside, 51 years-old is too young especially for a one of the good ones as everybody is saying. I’m not much of a believer in faith, but may he rest in peace.