The Eddie Kranepool Society

Saturday, July 31, 2004

�I�M BACK...BACK IN THE NEW YORK GROOVE...� So here we are travailing along I-95 South right near the home of Bobby Valentine, Stanford, CT, when I see it�s 6:30 PM enough music I tell the family it�s time for the Mets Pre-Game Show. The whole family gives off a collective �Aw Shit� sigh as I hit the dial to 66 AM. Eddie (Grey Goose) Coleman comes on the air and has details of two Mets trades. TWO METS TRADES!!!!!!!!!!!!!. First he reports about the Kris Benson for Wiggy, P Matt Peterson and INF Jose Batista whom they get from the Royals for C Justin Huber. I like this trade. Am I going to miss Wiggy? Absolutely. Are the Mets going to miss Wiggy Abso-f�in-lutely. There is no one right now that can replace his at bats. It would be totally unfair to expect David Wright to pick it up right away but from the limited AB�s I have seen of Wright, he knows what he�s doing at the plate in as much as working the count in his favor and in time when he gets a feel for ML pitching he will be outstanding. As much as I like Wiggy, he was an awful 3rd baseman, so with Wright ready for the job Wiggy was a spare part. This is a great move for Wiggy as he will be the everyday 3rd baseman for the Bucos. Matt Peterson is about 2 years away from being ML ready. He has a 90 mph FB and a decent curve but as he was drafted out of High School it will take him more time to develop as he needs to compile some more minor league innings. I was suprised when Justin Huber was tossed in this deal as he seemed to be progressing with his defense and he has shown to be a valuable offensive player at each level of the minors he�s played in. With Piazza looking like an ex-catcher and Jason Phillips looking like an ex-major leaguer and Vance Wilson looking like a career back up I thought we�d see Huber come September. We still might see him but it will be with the Aussie Olympic Team. From all the talk it looks as if Benson will re-sign with the Mets as his very attractive wife has her eye on a modeling career. Then as I am going over the Benson trade in my head I could have sworn I heard Coleman say that Scott Kazmir was sent to Tampa Bay for Victor Zambrano. Now either I�ve lost my mind or Eddie was hitting the Grey Goose before the game. I asked my wife is she heard what Coleman said and she gave me that �you�ve got to be kidding look�. Maybe he did say Kazmir but then the D-Rays would have sent either Aubrey Huff or Rocco Baldeli or Carl Crawford or LOU PINELLA!! in the deal well then I might be able to stomach that. But there�s no way that The Duke would trade Kazmir for Zambrano. Oh wait he comes Gary Cohen he�ll give me the details of this blockbuster deal. Waaaiittt OK Kazmir and Jose Diaz for Zambrano and...and..Bartlo Fortunato ? and...and...and... What? That�s it? Get the F outta here? Can�t F�in be? (At this point my wife informs me that her and my two kids are in the same car as me)that�s gotta be a mistake. Kazmir is one of if not the top pitching prospect in baseball. There has to be more to this. As we hit the Tri boro bridge I have come to the relization that Scott Kazmir a pitcher who was deemed �untouchable� by Freddy Skill Sets has been sent to Tampa Bay for a 29 year old fireballer with serious control problems. I�m F�in stunned!!!! As we hit the Gowanus Expressway I thought, �You know I couldn�t pull Scott Kazmir out of a line up� All I know about him is he was drafted out of High School and by all reports he COULD BE a great ML pitcher. I have never seen him pitch all I can go by is what I�ve read in reports for St. Lonesome and Binghamton. What do the Mets know about him that we fans don�t? Will something leak out in a week or 2 about Kazmir that would shed some light on this deal. The solid core of Mets fans like the ones who read my site and the other Mets blogs only know what we read in the papers and on the Internet. We�re not privy to the behind the scenes maneuvers that go on in the organization. There has to more on Kazmir that we fans don�t know about, there just has to be. Remember back in the winter when Professor Rick brought him down to Brimingham to the AIMS and hooke dhim up to the electrodes and all? Maybe the Professor saw something or the doctors there saw something that sent up a red flag? Man, am I ever reaching but I need an explanation. We need to supena the Mets fornt office to a fans tribunial to explain the reasoning for trading Scott Kazmir. Now from what I�ve read in the papers it seems Professor Rick looked at tape of Zambrano and said �I can make him a star� so this deal and the Benson deal has the Rick Peterson Seal of Approval on them. So even though I can not understand why in the world Scott Kazmir had to be traded to obtain Victor Zambrano, I am going to trust Rick Peterson to prove to me and to all of us Mets fans that this deal makes the Mets better. <

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

�SO MUCH TO DO, WHERE DO I BEGIN?� Before I get into the arrival of David Wright, the burned out Mets bullpen, the thin skin of some of the Mets players and those F�in Atlanta Braves, I have a few promotional items to list here. A must read (an everyday read really) is Alex Bleth�s Bronx Banter. There are two outstanding(as always) interviews, one with Alan Schwartz of Baseball America and the author of �The Numbers Game� (I hope to get to read it while on vacation)and the other with author/radio personalitie and all around bon vivant Will Carroll. Will writes the cutting edge Under the Knife column on Baseball Prospectus and is the author of �Saving the Pitcher� (which I have in my possession and is on my immediate reading list) and is the voice of Baseball Prospectus radio. Over at the MOFO site the grand boopa Joe Mac has a great Q & A with Cyclones manager Tony Tijerina �WRIGHT ON TIME� He is here!!! The guy Mets fans have clamored for, David Wright will be at 3rd base tonight for the Mets. Now look if he doesn�t go 4 for 4 and drive in 10 runs tonight, Mets fans don�t go off the deep end. No one could live up to the hype that Wright has gotten over the last two months. Let�s just hope he settles in and plays solid �D� and gets comfortable in the big leagues. But this should not be the only change the Mets make. How much of a disruption could it be if the Mets did what we all know will happen next February and flip flop Kazuo and Reyes? Matsui�s range is so limited he should apply for handicap license plates. You can�t tell me that this scenerio has not been discussed by the troika of Artie from Queens, The Duke, and Little Jeffy. What a waste it is to have a guy like Reyes with his Scud Missile range and his Howitzer arm at 2nd base while Kazuo and his walker, patrol short. With Wright up and given the 3rd base job and with Wiggy (renting?) time at 1st base, and according to Artie from Queens, Piazza will be out for about 4-5 days, when Mikey gets back it seems he will be placed back behind the plate. I was one of the top screamers for moving Mikey to 1st base and there�s no sense of rehashing Piazza�s play at 1st and while he has gotten better there, it may be time to let him finish out the season at catcher. With Jason Phillips unable to hit and Vance Wilson unable to catch (Wilson is awful behind the plate) it looks as if Piazza will try to add to his catchers home run record. That is unless Wiggy becomes a Buco. Artie from Queens was just on WFAN and he said that Kranepool Society favorite Dan Wheeler will be sent to Norfolk to create a space for Daivd Wright. John Franco is still on the roster. There is no justice. �DADDY MAKE THEM STOP...� It seems Cliff Floyd is upset that Mets fans sitting in the high priced seats at Shea, while munching on over priced ballpark food and drink, boo him and his teammates when they don�t score runs, or make a play in the field or get batters out. Now, I like Cliff Floyd and I feel he was one of the better free agent signings the Mets have made but Cliff with all due respect, �SHUT THE F UP� If there is one thing we NY sports fans hate more than players who don�t perform it�s �little girley men� who whine about being booed. Cliff this is a town where if you don�t execelerate the spilt second a traffic light turns green, the motorist behind you will blast his horn and curse your mother. I have seen subway conductors get into fights with commuters because his train was stuck in between stations. As a Civil Servant for the City of NY I have been threaten and abused more time than I can think of. A few years ago my brother in law, a NYC Fire Fighter had to dodge bricks being thrown at him and his fellow Firemen as the fought a warehouse blaze in East New York. Hey Cliff, think of the officers of the NYPD who will have to put with a bunch of asshole protesters who will be here in NYC for the Republican Convention. Just a little reality check for you poor little Cliffie when you think you have it bad. Scott Kazmir carried a perfect game into the 6th inning last night for the B-Mets. Here is what Kazmir had to say after the game: "I should've made the throw (on the bunt)," said Kazmir, 1-1 with a 1.89 ERA in three starts since being promoted from St. Lucie. "But I just tried to block it out and make a good pitch. Unfortunately, I left it right down the middle of the plate and (Hill) hit it. "My arm felt good, and I was throwing all my pitches for strikes. I felt even better the longer I went. Of course, (a perfect game) is going to be in the back of your head. But all I really cared about was getting a win for the team." And this quote from the Binghamton Press and Bulletin: Kazmir, 20 years old and the Mets' top pitching prospect, overwhelmed the Fisher Cats with his fastball, which reached 95 mph in the seventh inning, and an assortment of low-80s changeups and sliders. He matched a career-high with 10 strikeouts yet was mind-numbingly efficient, unleashing just 37 pitches from the third inning through the sixth. Mets manager Ken Oberkfell has been present for many of Kazmir's 44 career starts and said, without hesitation, "That's the best game I've seen him pitch." 95 mph fastball then breaking balls in the mid 80�s for strikes. Man thats better than Viagra. Folks I�m hitting Cape Cod for some R & R and to view some Cape League baseball. If you have never visited the Cape and your a baseball fan your missing out on a great time. Going to the beach in the day and baseball at night. Some of the players I�ve seen play at the Cape are guys like Barry Zito, �The Mayor� Sean Casey who I got to talk with while I helped him pass the hat for donations. Eric Brynes, Lance Berkman, Daren Erstad, Todd Helton, Braden Looper, Nomar, Ben Sheets, and Jay Peyton to name a few. The best part though is the chance to met up with Peter Gammons or former baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent both Cape residents. What�s rough is I will be gone during the trade deadline but if something breaks I will search for a computer to give my 2 cents. So check in periodically but I should be back on full time duty by August 1. <

Monday, July 19, 2004

"MR. DUQUETTE WOULD YOU PEE IN THIS CUP PLEASE" ``Mike will bring experience and depth to our bullpen,'' Mets general manager Jim Duquette said. ``He has had success in the National League and has the savvy of pitching well in close games.'' the suck quotient of the Mets bullpen has increase to new heights with the acquisition of Mike De Jeanfrom the Baltimore Orioles for Karim "Whizer" Garcia (Next time you take a leak Mets fans, dedicated to Garcia please) My Big Fat Obnoxious Talk Show Host(MBFOTSH) just reported that the Mets will put Jose Parra on the 15 day DL with a hip problem. MBFOTSH gave the old wink wink on Parra injury as this move makes room for DeJean. Un-F'in-Beleiveable! I can't wait DeJean, Stanton, Franco AKA Pestilence, Plague, & Typhoid get to come in 1-2-3 in a game. Hide the women and children. The Duke and the Skill Sets just can't find it in their pocketbooks to just give a guy his release. This moved sucks, sucks, and it sucks. Bill Parcells has a great line �You are what your record says you are� and the Mets record says their a .500 team. I keep waiting for that big 8-10 game winning streak or the 9 out of 10 run but I don�t know if it�s coming. This has been a tough stretch of games but even though through the month of July the Mets are 9-6, it still seems the Mets are spinning their wheels. There has been some talk about the Mets maybe taking Jason Kendall in with Kris Benson in helping the trade to the Mets go faster. You have a better shot of Freddie Skill Sets taking back Mo Vaughn and Roger Cedeno than him giving the OK to obtaining Kendall. Here is the breakdown of his contract: �04-$7.5 Mil �05-$9.5 mil �06-10.5 mil �07-12.5 mil If The Duke came to Freddy Skill Sets with this deal, Freddy would have Little Jeff take The Duke out in a row boat to the middle of the lake in Flushing-Corona Park to give him a Fredo Corrleone send off. So when does Jesse Orosco come back? <

Sunday, July 18, 2004

I have been way lax in adding some well deseverd links to some of the greatest sites in the blogging world. I applogize to these folks for not doing this sooner. So without further ado here are some great sites that you need to check out: Dave's Mostly Mets Blog Can't Stop The Bleeding Irish Eagle The Baseball Desert The Metropolitans <

Saturday, July 17, 2004

"MR. ABREU WOULD YOU LIKE A DRINK OR YOUR SLIPPERS? ANYTHING YOU NEED PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE TO ASK." Bobby Abreu is way to comfortable in the batters box against Mets pitching (Amen, eh Charley) I can't believe that not one Mets pitcher could find it himself to put one under Bobby A's chin. Instead we get Shock & Awe (aka Mike Stanton and John Franco) who started Fireworks Night a little early. Both pitcher give the dopiest expressions after the get their asses kicked. Stanton gives that "I can't believe they hit that pitch look" and Franco has a stupid smirk on his face after he get's lit up. It's because of these two has beens that The Duke is signing lefties like Vic Darensbourg to minor league deals. Hey Duke, just for a goof how about dialing up Bill Bavsi in Seattle and see what the asking price is for Everyday Eddie Guardado? Mets fans who boo Mike Piazza are the same as the Highlander mutts who booed Derek Jeter. Is Piazza is a slump and did he fail in clutch situation last night? absolutely. Has he gone through this type of slump before? Same answer. Will he break out of this slump and put the team on his back and carry them? AB-SO-F'in Loutly. I am very worry that the medical staff and the conditioning staff of the Mets have F'ed up Jose Reyes head so much that he now has to worry about how he runs and if he will injure his hammy again. Last night Reyes said enough is enough and he will run the way he has always run. Reyes is the spark of this team, as he goes so go the Mets. As much as Piazza is The Man in the offense, I think with Reyes we're seeing a changing of the guard. All we Mets fans have to hope for is he stays healthy and the Mets wise up and hire some competent conditioning coaches. I'll be the first one to say I was wrong about Kazuo Matsui. The big reason he's stepped up his game is with Reyes back in the lineup Matsui is in the spot most suited for him, the 2 hole His defense has improved but not enough to keep him form moving to 2nd base in'05 and he's a doubles hitting machine. He's on pace to score over 100 runs and hit close to 50 doubles and if it wasn't for the vast over hyping by the Mets front office we'd all be ecstatic with his play. Hopefully Titan Tom Glavine will be able to keep Bobby Abreu in check today as he has through out his career. Abreu numbers against Glavine are .176/.236/.235 in 51 AB's. If Titan Tom puts one under his chin in his first AB I will give him a 10 post moratorium on criticism. �HEY WE�RE HEADLINERS BABY� A look at some Mets related stories: has a story on �The Dude� John Stearns who has his sights on a major league managing job. Stearns also comments on the Piazza-Clemens feud: Still exhibiting his "Dudeness" as Mets third base coach during the Roger Clemens-Mike Piazza confrontation in the 2000 World Series, Stearns was reminded that he was among the first guys charging out of the Mets dugout. "I might have been the only guy out," Stearns said. "I was a little disappointed in the way we reacted to that, frankly. I'll tell you that now after a couple of years. I thought that we let Clemens intimidate us a little bit, and we didn't retaliate the way we should've. "If I was a player, I would've been out there swinging. But as a coach, you can't do that. You're supposed to be a peacemaker." Lee Jenkins of the NY Times writes today about the Mets trying to move Karim Garcia to make room on the roster for Scott Erickson. Gee how about his unconditional release? That might work eh? Lasting Milledge has moved up to St. Lonesome of the FSL and has not skipped a beat with the bat. Darryl Strawberry is back at Shea today as part of a Mets Fan Fest that includes Keith Hernandez, Nails, Jerry Grote and of course the Great Ed Kranepool. For all the crap we endure with Straw it�s god to see him healthy and happy. But it does heart one�s Mets heart to think what �coulda, woulda, shoulda, when it comes to Straw and Doc. <

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

AND NOW BACK TO "AS THE BIG UNIT TURNS" Randy Johnson is turning into one big drama queen with all this trade talk. It seems he really wants to be a Highlander but the Highlanders do not have the farm fresh players the D-Backs desire. So now there is talk of the Highlanders using Jon Leiber in a three way deal with an NL team to procure the needed youngsters to make the deal. Then we have our beloved Amazin's who had two agent provocateurs in Mike Piazza and Tom Glavine espousing the Flushing side of life to the Unit. But it seems if the Big Unit does not end up in Queens or Da Bronx, both fans can thank Lawrence Rocca of The Newark-Star Ledger as we see in Jack Curry's NY Times piece today: Until now, Johnson has spent his long career playing in the relatively sedate surroundings of Montreal, Seattle, Houston and Arizona. How he would react to the more intense atmosphere of Boston or New York is not known, although he did run into difficulty Tuesday while bantering in the clubhouse with several New York-area reporters. After Johnson checked Lawrence Rocca's press badge and noticed he was from The Star-Ledger of Newark, another reporter teasingly told Johnson to be careful because The Star-Ledger was the newspaper that the mobster Tony Soprano read in "The Sopranos.'' Rocca told Johnson the paper had a good real estate section if he needed to relocate to New Jersey. "Now I'm not going to go there just because you guys are making a mockery of it," Johnson said, suddenly growing irate. "This is my livelihood." Johnson told Rocca he was seeing Johnson's "dark side" and ordered him to "walk away." When Rocca did not immediately leave, Johnson told him it would be advisable to leave before he did something he regretted. Now we Mets fans know from reading Mr Rocca's columns he is a first class Mets basher, but what was wrong with what Rocca said to The Sensitive Unit? If Johnson gets pissed of that easy maybe NYC is not the place form him to be. Now also in Curry's column is news of the Olde Town Team, Cubs, and D-Backs in a three-way involving Nomah going to the North Siders and the Big Unit going to the Olde Town Team with the Cubbies sending youngsters to the Snakes. Talent wise it makes sense but how much does The Big Unit hate Curt Schilling and could he tolerate his busy body ass for a second go round? <

�TOO BAD A LINER DIDN'T COME RIGHT BACK TO THE BOX.......� Then it would have been a perfect evening. Fat Boy Clemens got �Rocketed� right out of his home park and his hometown as the AL All-Stars bitched slapped him in the 1st inning of last night�s All-Star Game. The whole Clemens-Piazza feud still goes on after 4 years for the two simple reasons. One, when Piazza was hit in the head by Piazza on that Sunday night in 2000, the Mets bench should have charged the mound and one of the most serious brawls in baseball history should have ensued. But in didn�t. The Mets players that night turned to punks. Especially School Boy Hampton who was dishonorable to his teammate by not retaliating (Sidebar: By now you may be saying, �man, this guy is a Neanderthal� well you may be right, but as a kid growing up in Brooklyn, a line I heard many many times when someone in the neighborhood was a trouble maker was �a good beatin� would straighten em out�� and when the trouble maker did receive a well desreved ass kicking, it did make him walk the straight and narrow.) Second, Clemens made things worse by trying to heave a broken bat at Piazza in the World Series so twice we have proof of what kind of asshole Clemens is. You would think that over the winter Clemens would have reached out to Piazza and made his peace but he never did so that�s why 4 years later it�s still a story. On to the game. Clemens shook Piazza off about 4 time during the Manny at bat. So when Fat boy got his wish of his pitch, Manny smoked it out of the park and I screamed like a banshee when he did. I always root for the NL but last nigh was the first time in my baseball loving life I was happy to see an NL hurler get his ass whipped. I love how Piazza never went to the mound to talk to Clemens, he let The Big Turd stand on the mound and stew in the mess he created. When the Big Unit came in the game, Piazza turned into Coach Norman Dale. Hopefully The Big Unit will remember that. �OH SAY CAN YOU STOP F�IN SINGING� Please can someone make Fantasia Barrino go away? Her 15 minutes of fame was up a lonnnnnng time ago. Please gives us a break with that awful rendition of the National Anthem. If FOX wanted one of their TV stars to sing why not use Method & Red. Could someone please tell the Used Car Salesman that the 4th inning of a ball game is not the time to give out awards? Doesn�t he know we, the TV viewer at home are armed and dangerous with our remote controls in are sweaty little hands? And of all people, Fat Boy Clemens getting an award, you think I�m sitting through that while ESPN is showing the 2004 World Series of Poker? <

Monday, July 12, 2004

�ISSUES AND ANSWERS� Issue: STATE OF THE METS, ALL STAR BREAK 2004 The state of the New York Mets looks strong and solid (break for prolonged applause). Just think last year at this time we Mets fans were banging our chests screaming �WHY! WHY ! WHY!. This year we�re screaming WHEN! WHEN! WHEN! When will The Duke pilfer another organization like he did the Astros for Richard Hidalgo, this time for a starting pitcher and a lefty reliever? When will we see David Wright and will all the hype from the main stream fish mongers late arriving band wagon jumping have an adverse affect on him or the team? When will Artie from Queens get some big onions and stop managing this team not to lose instead of managing to win? Yesterday he sat down a healthy and exuberant, 20 year old Jose Reyes who is starting to hit his stride as the igniter in the Mets offense because it was a hot day. Reyes played Saturday night and Artie felt he needed a day off due to the old bromide �day game after a night game yada, yada, yada. Reyes was surprised to say the least as he told reporters he felt great and was stumped on why he needed a rest when he has a three day vacation starting today? Artie is so scared that Reyes is going to blow his hammy that he has turned into an old grandmother. Artie, if it�s going to happen, it�s going to happen and the more you make Reyes conscious of it the worse you make it. Can this team win the NL East? The NL Pennant? THE WORLD SERIES? Yes to the NL East, WHOA I don�t know to the pennant and get your feet back on the ground their to the World Series. Thanks to the underachieving Philadelphia Phillies and the pitching sick Florida Fish this division is now a crapshoot of mediocrity. By the way, I�m sure John Shuerholz was hoping to be a seller come this time of year but with the Braves just a game out of 1st place he can�t start his auction. Time-Warner will not give him the greenbacks to make a run in the division so what the Braves have is as good as it will get. Jeffery Loria and that little brat of a step son of his, David Samson, have some of the New York Art money stashed away for the old rainy day, so it would no shock me if they went out and added an arm (dark horses for Randy Johnson) to keep them in the race. The Phillies should have a double digit lead in this division. Bobby Abreu, Jim Thome and Pat Burrell are three of the most fearsome hitter in the NL. But when you have a psycho for a manager and your starting pitching betrays you (Kevin Millwood 6-5 5.15 ERA, Brett Myers 5-6 5.68 ERA, Vincente Padilia 4-5 4.07 ERA, Eric Milton 11-2 4.72 ERA 44 BB/80K/114 IP, and Randy Wolf 3-3 3.08 ERA in 12 starts) you wallow in mediocrity and you also allow the rest of the division to keep hope alive. No one thought the Mets would be in the fight for the division this season. Most of us hoped the team would hit the .500 mark and build from there. But it seems the tide has turned. Do you shoot for it all this year or do you stay your course and hope to build a Braves like run with the talent young players in the farm system? That�s the question Mets management has in front of them. We knew this team was an odd mix from the beginning of the season. Some youth (Reyes, Phillips, Wiggy, Seo) geezers (Franco, Glavine, Stanton, Leiter) and question marks (Piazza at 1st base, the hole in RF) and newcomers (Matsui, Cameron, Spencer/Garcia). I would not trade any of the top prospects for any of the pitching that is on the market. I would trade Wiggy for Kris Benson or even use Wiggy in a deal (with second tier prospects) for Eddie Guardado or even Miguel Batista and I believe that�s the route The Duke will take. As I said the future looks good for this organization. The farm system is as good as any in baseball (with exception of the Brewers) and it could pay some nice dividends as soon as the end of the month. If you want the quick fix, the instant high, the damn the torpedoes approach to winning baseball then you�re on the wrong train here. The 7 train takes you to an organization that is building something that it hopes will last for a long time. A team that will be competitive and exciting to watch and root for, that will hopefully surprise you with a championship and show that you can build a baseball organization with not just money but with brains and dedicated people who can scout talent and not just buy it like it�s on sale at the Stop & Shop. If you�re the type of fan that could care less about the body in the uniform or about the 20 year old who may be �The Next Baseball Superstar� and you don�t mind your organization buying your love like an absentee parent, then board the 4 train and get off the 161 St Street station but remember there are no surprises there, no fun times, just business. You have to wear a suit and tie at all times (no casual Friday�s in that office) and when you win it�s not joyful because on 161 St & River Ave fun and light heartiness not be tolerated. <

Sunday, July 11, 2004

�METS PUT THE ARM ON BASEBALL� The Duke seems determined to snare a starting pitcher for the second half run. The question is you is best for the spot and at what price, both monetary and player wise? Kent Benson seems to be the apple of everyone�s eye but some feel the price prohibitive as he would cost the Mets red-hot Ty Wigginton. Benson is the owner of the big 4 when it comes to pitches-90+ FB, curve, slider and change-as hot and as mentally tough as Wiggy has been,he got hot with trade rumors and the promotion of David Wright, he has given fans and the front office a moument to collect their thoughts on his departure. I love Wiggy. I love his take no prisoners approach to playing but to add a pitcher like Kris Benson if it takes trading Wiggy, I�d have to do it. All this talk about getting Randy Johnson is ridiculous on the Mets part. There is no way in hell I�d trade Scott Kazmir for the 41 year old Big Unit. If Johnson was 5 years younger I�d pull the trigger but not at 41. (Sidebar: It must be a big embarrassment to the men who work the baseball side of the Highlanders that Georgie Porgie wants to get every player available to make sure his team wins the World Series. The Highlanders have the best record in baseball and have to deal with injuries and slumps just like every other team in baseball. But what Georgie Porgie is telling his manager and coaches is �you guys can�t get the best out of what I gave you for $180 Mil so I have to go out and buy what�s left of the best talent in baseball� If I were Joe Torre I�d take all this as a slap in the face. Say the Highlanders go out and get Randy Johnson and move their payroll to $200 mil and say they win the World Series, how as a fan of that team take any joy in winning. Sure the owner of my favorite team has to form a committee just to make change of dollar, but I�d much rather root for a team that�s cultivating a superb farm system and will add players that the front office thinks it�s coaching staff can bring out the best in.) Next on the list seems to be Olde Towne Team pitcher Derek Lowe. Lowe is a sinker baller so you need to have superb middle defense to make him effective. Now, lately the Matsui/Reys combo has been very very good so this may be a direction for the Mets to go for two reasons. One, I don�t think it would take much to obtain Lowe and two from reports I�ve read,Lowe is suffering from a flaw in his mechanics and his head is messed up from all the bullshit that goes on the Olde Towne Team clubhouse. So between Professor Rick and the happy shinning people in the Mets clubhouse, this could be a steal of Hidalgo proportions. Ramon Ortiz could drop in the Mets lap if the Big Unit goes to Disneyland and that could very well happen. The Angels have the cash and the players that the Desert Snakes need to begin their rebuilding program. Ortiz also seems to be someone who needs to get to Professor Rick�s couch for a therapy session. Once referred to as a �young Pedro� Ortiz may be ready to bust out. He has a +FB to go with a nasty slider and change, but he seems to rely too much on the change. He also wants to be a starter and with the Mets that�s what he�d be and then all he would need was to have confidence in his slider and using his change to keep hitters off balance. Now we have our �Geezer in Exile�, Scott Erickson. I�ll give Erickson is due as he has pitched well of late in AAA and it looks as if Matt Ginter has one more bad outing and barring a trade Erickson will get a shot at the 4 spot in the rotation. If Erickson comes up and is tattooed a la James Baldwin, the price the Mets would have to pay for a legit starter would rise significantly, so by bringing up Ericskson, The Duke is taking a big gamble. <

Friday, July 09, 2004

�1ST PLACE, I BID YOU ABREU� Tell me you did not see that one coming? John Franco against Bobby Abreu and Jim Thome, you just knew one of them were going to hit the walk homer to win this game. If you want to be a big time team, then you have to win big time games and last night�s game was as big as the Mets have played in 3 years. A 4-3 lead and 9 outs to go, 1st place at your fingertips, you have to close it out. But when you turn the games over to the firm of Bottalico, Stanton and Franco one run is too slight a margin of error for them to protect. Bottalico did a nice job coming in for Matt Ginter-who earned a ticket back to Norfolk-by keeping the Phillies off the scoreboard in the 6th. The Mets had a chance to break open the game and ride up to the 1st place honeymoon suite, as Cliff Floyd and �Hit Man� Hidalgo were on 1st and 3rd with 1 out and up stepped Wiggy. Maybe Wiggy was waiting for a Pittsburgh realtor to call him back (more on this in a second) as he hit into an inning and so to be game ending double play. Bottalico then walked Jimmy Rollins to start the 7th, (if you put your ear to The Baseball Encyclopedia, you can here Frankie Frisch saying �OH THOSE BASE ON BALLS�) then he started to get very shaky as he gave up a safety to Placido Polanco. In came Mike Stanton and there went my optimism. After giving up a single to All Star Bobby Abreu (what Mike Stanton appearance would be complete without an inherited runner scoring) to score Rollins and the game�s tied at 4-4. It took a highlight reel catch by Mike Cameron to get out of the inning. Stanton went one more inning (it was like that game KERPLUNK where you put all the sticks in and add the marbles into the tube so the player that pulls the stick and has all the marbles fall is the loser when Stanton comes into a game either that or Artie from Queens and Professor Rick were playing a game of Truth or Dare) and got out of the 8th without giving up a run. Billy Wagner tossed 8 pitches in the 9th and put the Mets down in order, now on to the bottom of the 9th. The Phillies have Abreu, Thome and Burrell. Pick your poison. Pick your pitcher. As we know Artie from Queens always goes by the book (even though that book is sometimes MAD Magazine) and brought in his next (and only) lefty Pops Franco. Now I�ve heard some folks say, �Hey, why not bring in Looper� you could make an argument for Lopper being that he is your best reliever and this is the meat of the Phillie order. If the Mets get out of the inning, chances are Mashugga Larry won�t go with Billy Wagner for 2 innings (although Mashugga Larry, if he loses this game could have been a Dead Manager Walking) or you could go with the very impressive Jose Parra and damn the lefty/lefty match up and have Parra go for broke. But onions and Artie do not go together, so the lefty, Pops Franco came in the game. He did manage to hit the corner with a strike on his first pitch to Abreu, but then on his second pitch he left a big fat juicy �congratulation on making the All Star team� pitch over the plate that Abreu launched to left/center for a walk off Baseball Tonight home run. After the game Artie form Queens had this quote: �We�re not going to win all these close ones,� Howe said. You can�t come through all the time. �I�ll take my chances from the seventh inning on with our bullpen� Artie, if you want to be consider a team the people will take seriously and look at as a legitimate contender you must win last nights game. The difference between the also rans and the champions are one run games. If from the 7th inning on your relying on Bottlaico, Stanton and Franco then your more of schmuck than even I think you are. If you say Moreno, Parra and Looper (I might even let Bottalico in this mix maybe) then your much smarter than I give you credit for. If you ever said �we need to add to the bullpen if we are going to be taken seriously� I�d wet my pants. �HIS NAME WAS CUBAN PETE�HE DANCED TO A LATIN BEAT�.� It seems the Cuban pitcher the Mets are ready to announce they signed has a couple of names. Some stories have his name as Alain Soler, or as Alay Soler. He ahs been said to be major league ready or a year away from joining the big leagues. He is either 24 or 34. He�s been compared to Roger Clemens or he is maybe a 4th starter on a ML team. He has had surgery on his pitching arm. He�s 6�3 230 lbs and goes by the name �El Torro�. Form reports in today�s papers Soler has a 3 yr- $3mil contract with the Mets pending his passing a physical. Then there is all the red tape of getting form the Dominican Republic to USA, which could take about 2 weeks, so best case scenario look for Solar in spring 2005. That is if there really a Alain (Alay) Soler or if he�s a Sidd Finch like character. �YOU JUST CAN�T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU READ�.� But if John Heyman and Ken Davidoff of Newsday are correct then I would have to make this deal: Wiggy, Craig Brazell, and Jeff Duncan for Kris Benson. I love Wiggy like we all do but with David Wright knock, knock, knockin� on the Skill Sets door and Brazell a decent power guy but a limited 1st baseman and Jeff Duncan a very good CF but limited hitter for a pitcher like Benson (who like woman at a bar at a quarter to 4 in the morning. looks like the best of the slim pickin�s) you have to pull the trigger on this one if you�re The Duke. Benson has done very well in his last 4 or 5 starts for the Bucos and he would fit very nicely in that 4 slot of the rotation. If that�s the price, show me where the cashier is please. �ALWAYS READ THE FINE PRINT� Lost in the 1 st place battle was news that Scott Kazmir has been promoted to Binghamton where he will join Matt Peterson in the B-Mets rotation. Could this be the next Gooden/Darling combo? With Kazmir moving to AA, Yusmeiro Petit has been pushed up a notch to St Lonesome in the FSL. Remember folks, the children are our future. <

Thursday, July 08, 2004

"MY MIND NUMBING EXPERIENCE" Yes, I am like a pig in the slop about our Amazin's pulling to 1 game of 1st place tonight. I'm sure the Mets are putting plenty of under aged children to work in Honduras making "HIDALGO 15" T-shirts to sell at the next home stand. Yes I have a high curiosity on Alain Solar as he pertains to the Mets pitching situation, by the way give credit where it's due to the Skill Sets for putting up $3 mil for this guy sight unseen, it shows they will spend the dough-but I just came from my second day of jury duty and have sat on a juror panel for the past 6 hours, so I'm kinda spent. I will say this, if the cross section of Staten Islanders who were in that jury pool are any indication of the intelligent quotient of the boro, then we're in trouble. I sat in on a civil suit brought on by a woman who claims she was injured on a NYCTA bus. She is suing the NYCTA for damages and pain and suffering brought on by this accident. Here is part of the exchange between the woman's lawyer and a prospectuive juror: Plaintiff Lawyer: Would you be able to be fair and open minded about this case either for or against my client? juror 1: I dunno PL: Well can you or can't you be objective if you were picked to be a juror on this case? juror 1: I dunno Then we have another juror who is a Jessica Simpson look a like and think a like: NYCTA Lawyer: Do have any predjudice toward the TA and would it effect you if you were a juror on this case? JS juror: Well, it's like lot's of people take the bus and subway, and like you know the TA makes $2.00 every time someone uses their Metro Card. So like that's a lot of money and like you know why not give the old lady some of that money like you know for getting hurt and all. TTTTTTTTHHHHHHHHHHUUUUUUUMMMMMMMMMPPPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!! (That's my head hitting the table in the jury room) So you see I need to get some medication real quick. Pour me another tequila, Sheila. <

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

"HI-DAL-GO, HI-DAL-GO" Is there anything this guy can not do? He just threw out Jason Michales at the plate with a throw from RF dead on to Jason Phillips. If I'm Gerry Hunsicker and Jimy Williams I'd be typing up the old resume as both could be out of jobs this fall and the deal with the Mets for Richard Hidalgo could be the main reason why. Mets are up 6-0 in the 5th. Trachsel is in total command an Matsui is hitting like it's spring in Tokyo. This is getting scary good here folks. Oh by the way, The Highlanders dropped 2 of 3 to the Tigers. I guess it's still that Old Towne Team hangover eh! <

"A CHECK OF THE COMMODITIES MARKET, GOLD CLOSED DOWN, SILVER WAS STEADY, AND PITCHING IS THRU THE ROOF" Pitching through out Major League Baseball is as scarce as Brittney Spears at Sunday school. The NFL like parity that has his MLB has put a premium on teams who are ready to pack their tent for the '04 season. Teams like the Highlanders have the cash to pay but lack the blue chip prospects you need to swing a deal. Teams like the Mets have both the dough and the players to add an arm or arms to the staff but the question The Duke asks himself is "What are the available pitchers worth". Some GM's like Dave Littlfield of the Pirates can't seem to understand that 3rd baseman David Wright and surging LHP Scott Kazmir are not on the trading block. Littlefield needs to wake up and smell the rosin when it comes to trading Kris Benson and or Kip Wells, as both pitchers are not exactly Spahn and Sain. The pitcher I would be stalking if I were the Duke is Everyday Eddie Guardado with the Seattle Mariners. Guardado is owed about $2mil for the rest of this season and $4.3 mil in '05 and '06. I'm sure those penny pinchers who run the Mariners (CEO, Howard Lincoln and COO Chuck Armstrong both men are tighter than a crabs ass with a buck)would love to lose Everyday Eddie's contract. Then you could leave Mike Stanton on the Highlander doorstep, as Stanton has a no trade clause in his deal but I bet he'd waive it to go back to the Bronx. Tell Pee Wee Cashman if they take all of Stanton's contract ($3mil in each of '05 and '06) we'll take one of those so called prospects form A ball. <

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

�WHAT WERE YOU EXPECTING?� Com�on you�ve been watching Mets baseball for a long time, what did you think they were going to run off 10 wins in a row? You know they could win the next three against the Phills as well as loses the next three, they�re the Mets and that�s what makes it a challenge to root for this team. Our top pitcher, All Star Titan Tom Glavine usually gets 2 runs a game to work with, gets a 3 run lead in the first and can�t hold it. It was not all Titan Tom�s fault. When MLB hands out the umpiring assignments for different series, they must pull them out of a hat because the crew that has been assigned to the Mets-Phillies series is of the sand lot variety. I�m not sure but I have to assume that last nights 3rd base ump, Gary Cedearstrom is the crew chief of this bunch. Now you would think that he and his fellow umps would go over certain things when a series starts like ground rules or if there have been and incidents between the teams and you would think that the tendencies of the pitchers would also come up. Things like how a pitcher sets himself with runners on base as to not call a balk if the umps thinks that one has been committed and you would like to think that the strike zone would also be an issue. Everyone who has ever watched Glavine pitch knows he hits the corners of the plate with an archer�s accuracy. Just like how hitters like Rod Carew and Wade Boggs would get the benefit of the doubt on a borderline 3-2 pitch, Titan Tom has enough of a pedigree in the game to be awarded the same respect. Someone forgot to explain that to home plate umpire Jim Reynolds. This is not the first time Reynolds has squeezed Glavine by the nuts, he did the last time the Mets and Phills hooked up at The Citzel, so you would think Reynolds would have been better equipped for last nights assignment. Obviously he wasn�t. The big pitch was the 2-2 to Met killer Pat Burrell in the bottom of 1st. Two on two out and Glavine makes his signature pitch on the inside corner of the plate, and Reynolds called it ball 3. Now Titan Tom is a bit rattled (He has some Mike Mussina in him that way) and tried to make his next pitch perfect. He kept the pitch down, put the location was off as it was closer to the middle-out of home plate, and Burrell golfed it to center field to score 2 runs. The Phills hit Glavine up for 4 more runs in the 2nd to take a 6-3 lead. At some point either Artie from Queens, Professor Rick, or some non-essential personnel like the Wilpon Ward should have been riding Jim Reynolds ass about his non-strike calls. Artie is the manager, so it would be up to him to send the message and stick up for his ace. Even if it means ejection. Onions Artie, Onions. Speaking of Artie from Queens, what the F was his reasoning behind having Kazuo bunting with Reyes at 2nd in the 7th inning? I know that Don Zimmer has a plate in his head but I swear to God that Artie must have a whole steel beam in his. No one out, runner at 2nd base, your number 2 hitter is up and he has shown signs of life with the bat the last week to 10 days, and the big guns (Piazza, Floyd, Hidalgo) waiting in the wings. Add in the fact that Matsui being the star of the Japanese league and MVP winner has probaly not been asked to sac bunt in years. You could see from his technique that he looked to be bunting for a base hit. After getting two strikes, Kazuo hit a laser to second that was snagged by Placido Polanco and Reyes got caught with his pants down as he strayed to far off 2nd base and was caught for a double play. To make matters worse, Piazza lined a single to RF that in all likelihood would have (woulda� coulda� shoulda�) scored Reyes to tie the game a 6-6. Hopefully the Mets can make amends and ride a stirring game from Senator Al tonight. Long time Highlander Toady, Murray Chass joins his colleague William Rhoden in another idiotic Mets bashing column. In today�s NY Times (What the hell has happen to the Times, my God, if Harvey Araton and Selena Roberts take the day off, there is a big drop off in talent. Dave Anderson has lost his mojo and Ira Berkow writes very sporadically) Chass is shocked; SHOCKED to find out that the Phillies players think the Mets are a very good team. Here are some gems from Murray from the Grand Concourse: Unfortunately for the Mets, the Phillies battered Tom Glavine for six runs in the first two innings and beat them, 6-5, in the game that took both teams to the midpoint of the 162-game schedule. The loss dropped the Mets three games behind the Phillies, meaning they would have to win the remaining three games of the series to tie Philadelphia for first place in the National League East. Murray come back to earth, even if the Mets were to take the next 3, there will still be 77 games to be played, so hold on to your pinstriped undies. I think they're a very tough team," said Mike Lieberthal, the Phillies' starting catcher. "They improved themselves with Hidalgo, and look at the way their pitching has been throwing lately. They're definitely one of the toughest teams we've played, and we didn't play them when they were playing well. Now they're playing quite well so they're definitely a much better team than we saw a month ago." Remember, these were the Mets that the Phillies were talking about. The Mets. The team that many of us viewed as a poor team, maybe a last-place team, half a season ago. And they came to Philadelphia in second place, only two games behind the Phillies The only people who thought the Mets were a last place team were the Highlander Propagandists like Chass, Joel (Pinstripe Pajamas) Sherman, The Klapper, John Heyman, and Lawrence Rocca, your local Mets hatters. Most of us thought 3rd place and 81-85 wins could be achieved. Hell the way this divison is going 85 wins could clinch it. I thought a week ago �let the Phillies or Phish run away with the division and put us Mets fans out of our misery. It doesn�t look like that will happen. We�re in this for the long haul Mets fans. That the Phillies were able to beat the Mets should not surprise anyone; the Phillies, after all, were the consensus favorite to end the Atlanta Braves' domination of the division. But the Phillies were not too sure about their status. Murr-a-la if the Devil Rays took 3 from your beloved Highlanders no one would be shocked either. Here�s a bulletin Murray, tell all your pals, MLB is very close to reaching NFL like parity. Your team is not unbeatable and the biggest thing is no one is scared of them. Sure their lineup is awesome but it�s pitching that wins championships. You know it, I know it, and Georgie Porgie knows it. The Highlanders need a starter and a lefty in the bullpen (take Mike Stanton�PLEASE!) the trouble is the Highlanders have nothing of value in their farm system to entice another team to trade with them. That�s why Freddie Garcia is a White Sox. Money may buy Georgie Porgie happiness, but it does not seem to be enough to get him a lefty reliever and a stud starting pitcher. No matter how you slice it, what I thought would be a tug of war between the Phillies and Phish for the NL East title has one old combatant in the Braves and an off an on fighter in the Mets fighting for a spot in the post season. A real live Pennant Race and we�re in it. <

Monday, July 05, 2004

�HEY, BIG SALE AT MODELL�S ALL HIGHLANDER MERCHANDISE 50 % OFF� OK, enough about those Higlanders (Sidebar: Well almost enough. First off, Mike Mussina is no David Wells. Mussina is well groomed and very fit. Wells is a slob but who would you rather have in a big spot? Second, How come Artie catches holy hell for burning his bullpen but Teflon Joe gets a pass? Third, with all the hoopla by the FCC over indecency on the air waves, how about going after John Sterling and Charley Steiner? Even Lenny Bruce would find them offensive)we have bigger fish to fry. Bring on those Phillies and Marlins. Jack Curry has a column in the NY Times today on the just completed Highlander-Mets series where he focuses on Richard Hidalgo and his hot home run bat. The similarities between Hidalgo and 1969 World Series hero Donn Clendenon are down right scary. �Clink� was a Pirate his whole career but was left unprotected in the 1968 expansion draft and selected by the Expos. He was then traded to the Astros in a deal that netted the Expos Rusty Staub. Clendenon refused to report to the Astros so he remained Expos property until he was traded to the Mets at the June trade deadline. When he joined the Mets he hit 16 HR�s and drove in 51 runs in 331 AB�s but the biggest contribution he made was in the 1969 World Series where he hit .357/.438/.1.071 and was named the MVP of the series. Hidalgo is giving the Mets line up the same spark. Oh and check out this quote from Curry, who is another Highlander apologist: The Mets were giddy yesterday after stifling the Yankees, 6-5, completing a three-game sweep of the powerful team that usually frustrates them and usually turns them into second-class citizens in their own ZIP code. Stick it up your well coifed ass, Jack. <

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Happy 4th of July to one and all. Before I go off to enjoy a 4th of JUly party at my in-laws, where I will consume large quanities of meats and bevergaes, I wanted to post an article I read today in the NY Daily News. It's a Q & A with our fearless leader Artie form Queens. I must caution you, empty your blader before reading. How great was yesterday's game? Bases loaded no out John Franco 3-0 on Posada no way he's gets out of that jam right? Hey Jorge, no excuse 3-2 you have to swing the bat. I watched the end of the game form the Boardwalk in Coney Island while waitng for the start of the Cyclones-Crosscutters game last night. What a game. If this is how the organization isa planing on molding the farm teams, it's a step in the right direction. The Cyclones play like Whitey's Cardinals of the mid 80's. Enjoy the holiday and enjoy the game this afternoon. More tomorrow. <

Saturday, July 03, 2004

�OH YOU DON�T KNOW THE SHAPE I�M IN�.� Nothing comes easy for the Mets. Not wins, not loses, not injuries, nothing. I can you even begin to explain yesterday�s game? It was Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and Scarface rolled into one. Let�s review the bizarre 8th inning shall we? Senator Al has gone form a sore shoulder, to the DL, to a shot of cortisone, to a 3-0 record and 1.70 ERA since his DL return. Not all of his starts have been works of art as he has struggled to find the strike zone and his pitch counts for 5 innings have gone triple digits as of late. But yesterday was vintage Senator Al. 7 innings pitched, 2 hit, 2 BB 4 K�s and the Senators trademark 116 pitches. But 0 runs given up, as the Senator came out of the game with a 6-0 lead and a happy recap just around the corner. In comes Ricky Bottalico, who has been doing a fine job since rejoining the bullpen. Two of the first three batters make out and I saying to myself �man, with Bottalico and Parra setting up Looper the pen looks great�. Next thing I know �crack� RBI double to Adam Dunn, �crack� Willy Mo Pena-who I watched as a SI Yankee-RBI single, �crack� Jason LaRue RBI double to make it now 6-3 Amazin�s. This doesn�t happen to any other team in baseball. Two quick outs, then the roof starts falling. Jacob Cruz is the batter and fakes out home plate ump Dave Aschwege duping him into believing that he was hit by a pitch. Television replay show it was no way near plunking Cruz. That ended Bottalico�s day. On comes Looper. Up steps Junior. Looper jams him, breaks his bat, and of course the ball lands in front of Eric Valent (Sidebar: The signing of Valent has been a feather in the fedora of The Duke as he has shown to be a talented offensive player, but on defense? AYE CRUMBA!!!) In comes LaRue and it�s 6-4 Mets. I�m listing to the game at work as I�m taking phone calls form the citizens of the City of New York who are being harassed by noisy air conditioners, load music and odors form restaurants, people with real problems. As the Mets start losing the lead, I could not gives a rats ass about their problems, Elderly lady: �Sir, I am having trouble breathing. There are fumes and smoke coming into my apartment form the deli on the ground floor of my building; can you send some one out here to help me? Me: Lady, Javier Valentin, THE JAVIER VALENTIN who is 0-23 with runners in scoring position just hit a single and the Mets are on the verge of blowing a 6-0 lead. YOU THINK YOU HAVE TROUBLE????? Finally, Looper gets the third out and the Mets lead 6-5. Top 9 Jose Reyes lays down a beauty of a bunt and beats it out even though re now runs like Walter Brennan. Now we need a Sac bunt by Matsui. Of course Matsui F�ed it up (I�m really losing patience with this guy, and you know what? It�s not all his fault. The Mets propaganda machine is to fault) as Reyes is thrown out at 2 nd and up steps Jason Phillips (what�s going to happen after the All Star break when David Wright comes up to play 3rd and Wiggy-if he�s not traded-moves to 1st base and Vance Wilson is activated from the DL? Does Phillips get optioned to Norfolk or does the Wilpon Ward get his walking papers) who I have no confidence in lately, comes through with a run scoring double. You�d have �thunk� it? That was the game winning hit as Adam Dunn crush a ball out of the park to bring the Red legs to within 7-6 but Looper gets out of the inning and Mets fans can come in from the ledge. �BLESS ME FATHER FOR I HAVE SINNED��.� I watched the game last night between the Highlanders and The Olde Town Team and I must confess, I enjoyed the hell out of that one. Don�t worry, I�m still a charter member of the He Man Highlander Haters Club but as a baseball fan that one last night was a classic. A few observations: a. NOMAH IS NEW ENGLAND FOR LOOSAH. How the F do you sit out that game last night? How do you sit on the bench while your teammates are on the top step hanging on every pitch? Sure your feelings are hurt as the team tried to moved you in the winter but you what as Ralph Kiner says �If you have thin skin, then your in the wrong business� Get some onions Nomah b. HEY JOE TORRE, SHUT THE F UP!. How do you have the gall to complain about your players getting plunked when you managed the all time headhunter Fat Boy Roger? Pedro sent Sheffield a message �Don�t ask for time while I�m in my windup, sucka� as for the second time Sheffield got hit, Hey why waste pitches they Olde Town Team was going to put him on any way, I think. Which brings me to c. I�VE FOUND A MANAGER WORSE THAN ARTIE FORM QUEENS. His name is Terry Francona. First off, take charge of your team will you. Then get a feel for what�s going on during the game. With Miguel Cairo on 3rd and 1 out you have to walk Sheffield and then A-Rod to set up the double play (especially with Hideki Matsui out of the game and Bubba Crosby replacing him) I still don�t think he wanted Curtis Leskanic to hit Sheffield but Leskanic did his manager a favor by hitting Sheffield thus forcing the Francona to walk A-Rod but Leskanic got out the inning without giving up a run. A real head scratcher. d. GIVE CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE. Derek Jeter is a winner. I still can�t believe how he chased down that foul ball and catapulted himself into the stands like a Scud missile. Hey I can�t be a �Playa Hater�. Give him his props. <