4/14/2005 09:51:00 PM
�TURN BACK THE CLOCK NIGHT AT SHEA�
Braden Looper said after last nights 11 inning 1-0 Mets win over the �Stros, that it was an �old school game�. Looper�s right, it had a 1969 feel to it. Roger Clemens (I hate his guts but I have to give him a tip �o the hat as he has gotten better as he�s gotten older. Now I believe he�s used some kind of pharmaceutical to do this but until there is a BALCO of Texas investigation I have no proof but the size of him and the rage he displayed in the past, it�s a good bet he�s done some �juice�) played the role of Larry Dierker (20-13 2.33 ERA) and Kaz Ishii turned into Jerry Koosman (17-9 2.28 ERA in1969) and Looper himself turned into Ron Taylor (9-4 2.72 ERA 59 Games/76 IP in relief) by going two innings of relief. You even had Eric Valent as Rod Gaspar filling in for the ailing (it�s officially baseball season, Cliffy�s hurtin�) Cliff Floyd and Victor Diaz was in the Ron Swoboda role in RF. Hopefully the whole season will follow this script.
Randolph threw a pretty big compliment at Jose Reyes: He can one day be as good as Derek Jeter and might have more raw talent.
["I think Reyes, in some cases, has more overall talent than Jeter did, as far as arm strength, speed," Randolph said. "Derek brings something very different to the table . . . But I think that when you look at Reyes, you're going to be talking about him in the same breath as Jeter in a few years. I mean, not now, but eventually you will.
"He's like a young colt right now but if you really look at it, you look at them at the same age, he's right there with Jeter. But as a winner, the mental part is very important, too, and he'll learn how to deal with that."
Reyes, when told about his manager's words, said, "I feel good about it, but I don't let that go to my [head]."]
Defensively it�s no contest; Reyes is miles better than Jeter at shortstop. Offensivley, it�s an unknown because we are just getting to witness Reyes at his full effectiveness. Jeter gets his props for intangibles such as leadership and being a winner but remember his best days as a Highlander he was surrounded by talented veterans who all pulled the rope in the same direction. His core guys Bernie, Posada, Rivera and a past his effectiveness Tino Martinez, are all that�s left of the Highlander Glory days. Jeter hasn�t shown he can get the �newer� Highlanders to �heave ho� in the same direction.
Reyes is the Mets catalyst. Whether he�s in the field or at bat he has the ability to control a game. His teammates all know that the only thing that will hold him back is health. If he can stay relatively healthy and as he gets into in mid to late 20�s and fills out his physic, the Mets could have the numbers 1 (Beltran) and 1A (Reyes) players in all of baseball in their everyday lineup.
Last nights umpiring crew left a lot to be desired. Home plate ump Paul Nauert made Quest-Techs case as he was totally inconsistent on his ball and strike calls. If there is one thing players hate it�s inconsistent calls on pitches. If you�re going to call strikes just off the plate then stay with that the whole game. Nauret was all over the place. First base ump Gary Darling in all honesty should be suspended for his unprofessional way. Darling wore what looked like a ski hat under his cap and you could see that the 40 degree temps at Shea were making him very uncomfortable. He called a swinging strike on David Wright on an appeal play that the replay showed it was definitely a check swing. Then when Marlon Anderson was called out on a pick off at first, the replay showed very clearly that Jeff Bagwell never tagged him. But Darling called Anderson out. It was like he could not get off the field fast enough. I know it was as cold as witches tit out there last night but that�s no excuse to make calls just move the game along. That�s disgraceful.
More Old School from Randolph as he had the Mets take infield before last nights game. This was one of Bobby Valentines� pet peeves as he would bark out in the clubhouse for the team to get on the field so he could run infield/outfield drills. The problem was Swarmy Steve Phillips was to busy holding court in the clubhouse that the players would just blow off Valentine. It looks as if Randolph saw what I saw on opening day, missed cut off men by Beltran and Victor Diaz so hence infield/outfield for everyone. This is one more feather in Willies cap.
The ridicule of the Mets team and organization by Mike Francessa and Chris Russo has always made my blood boil and I�ve taken many shots at Francessa but I would like to offer my condolences to him and his family in the wake of his mothers passing. It seems the Mets organization also put their feelings aside as Francessa said that Fred and Jeff Wilpon along with Omar and Jim Duquette came to his mothers wake to pay their respects. A very classy move.
"CHARLIE SAMUELS WANTS TO JOIN THE CAST OF QUEER EYE FOR THE STRAIGHT GUY"
I'm listening to the begining of tonight's game on the radio and Gary Cohen says, the Mets are wearing their classic pinstripe uni with the blue and black hats instead of the traditional royal blue lid. The reason for this mix and match according to Cohen is that Samuels feels that with the chilly weather, most of the bench players are wearing jackets which happen to be predominantly black and he feels the all blue cap does not go with the black jacket. I have news for Charlie "Mr. Blackwell" Samuels, I have the Mets black jacket and I always wear the tradional blue hat with it and I think it looks smashing.