5/01/2005 10:28:00 AM
�WILD NIGHT IN THE NATIONS CAPITAL�
The whole evening had the feel of the bar scene in
�Star Wars� from the Mets starting pitcher, to the
inept umpiring crew, to the Mets TV announcers and
last put not least the RFK Stadium grounds crew.
Let�s look at each of these disasters shall we:
The Zambrano Project
If there were ever a pitcher who looked like he
was trapped in one of those bad dreams, where your
naked in a room full of your relatives it�s The
Zambrano Project. His uncomfortable look on the
mound last night made me well, uncomfortable as
well. Watching this guy pitch is like getting root
canal every fifth day. Even Professor Rick looked
like he was ready to throw in the towel on
Zambrano as he just kind of shook his head in the
The Zambrano Project added to one of the team
negitives of this early season by giving up two
runs in the first inning. No pitching staff in
baseball (pro or amature) gives up as many first
inning runs like the Mets. Then Zambrano went on
to nail Jose Guillen twice with pitches (Has Mike
Scioscia put out a bounty on Guillen?) and he
walked 3, struckout 4, gave up 4 hits and 3 runs
(all earned) in just 4 IP.
With Kris Benson about 10 days away from joining
the team off the DL and with Aaron Heilman showing
signs as a late bloomer, The Zambrano Project is
in trouble. I don�t know if he has options to be
sent to Triple A Norfolk or if he has enough
playing time to veto such a move but when Benson
comes back I have to believe either by demotion or
a stint on the 15 day DL with an injury
(wink,wink)Zambrano will be the odd man out in the
Willie Randolph if anything has shown he won�t sit
back and wait for things to happen. Last night, he
knocked Mikey P down a notch to 5th in the batting
order and moved the scortching Cliff Floyd up to
the clean up spot. Forget that is of course the
right move to make but think of a neophyte manager
making this move to drop a Hall of Fame player
down in the order, essentially telling him �Mike
you ain�t what you used to be�. In some areas
Piazza is praised for being a team guy and taking
this demotion like a pro. What else could he do?
He�d look like a horses ass if he bitched about
it. Let�s face fact, this is not the Mikey we all
knew and loved. Years of squatting has taken it�s
toll on Piazza as have the injuries of the last
couple of years. To me fifth in the order is still
too high, in reality seventh in the order is a
better spot for him.
Mets TV Announcers
I hate having games on WPIX 11. Dave O�Brien is an
OK announcer but I look at him as an interloper.
He does national games on ESPN and every weekend
he parachutes into the Mets TV booth and that
makes him more of an eavesdropper than a play by
play guy. Tom Seaver knows more about the finer
points of baseball than either you or I will ever
know but I don�t get the feeling he follows the
game and it�s players very closely. He did however
make a great point about everyone up in arms over
Jose Reyes not drawing a base on balls this year.
We tend to forget that the 23 year old Reyes has
not played a full season of major league baseball.
Last season with all his leg injuries and the way
the organization nearly ruined him by trying to
change the way he runs, there comes a time to let
Reyes be Reyes. He is a very aggressive player
both offensively and defensivly and you just have
to let him grow as a player. Let the �stat geeks�
worry about his OBA.
That brings me to Ralph Kiner. Bless old Ralphies
heart as he is the last of the greatest trio of
Mets broadcasters ever as he and Murph and Lindsay
Nelson are beyond approach. But Ralph is on the
back nine of life and he lives very nicely in Palm
Springs but like old Uncle Johnny, I�ve heard all
the war stories three, four and five times over
and I�m getting tired of acting like I�m
interested. The only thing worse that hearing
these old Kiner stories for the umpteenth time is
Francis the Talking Horse�s Ass (a/k/a Fran Healy)
egging Ralph on to tell them.
The Umpires and The Ground Crew
When you tune into a baseball game the last thing
you want to hear is �....and the crew chief of the
staff �Country� Joe West is at third.....� UGH!
Country Joe was at his inept best last night as he
proved he�s too stupid to get in from the rain.
The infield was so full of water that there was a
report of trout going up stream near third base.
How Country Joe does not get either a reprimand or
a well earned suspension over his in activity in
getting that field covered is beyond me. Look at
it this way both teams were pissed off as Frank
Robinson got tossed form the game for telling the
umpires that they were assholes and Willie
Randolph has protested the game for the inability
of the grounds grew to cover the infield properly.
Speaking of the RFK grounds crew, were they
hanging out with Marion Barry before the game last
night? My god, did you ever see such a rag tag
group? If the Mets were not involved in this
fiasco I would have been laughing my ass off over
these guys trying to figure out how a tarp goes on
a field. Hey guys don�t quit your day job
squeeging windshields on the streets of D.C.
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