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NJDevs4978

2020 New York Mets season thread

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Posted (edited)
On 6/1/2020 at 11:17 AM, NJDevs4978 said:
🤣

Yeah as much as we all loved him as a player, I don't think people realize what a piece of truly rotten sh!t Dykstra really is.  And what's sad is that he's one of those guys who any chance he gets will tell you that it's everyone else who's wronged him, stolen from him, screwed him over, etc...it's been a pattern of behavior for years and years, with many examples of that to be found immortalized in print.  He even started off his book kinda-sorta begrudgingly accepting some blame for who he is and what he's done, but by the end, once again it's about all the people who's supposedly fvcked him over, done him wrong blah blah blah...and of course, as is the case with lots o' white trash, all of the unbelievable things that happen to him are never really his fault (watch the movie "I, Tonya" for another example of this), and there's always these crazy stories about how these troubles just have this way of finding him...with HIM being the one who's actually the victim. 

Hopefully after this, perhaps for the very first time in his life, he finds a way to look in the mirror, HARD, and say to himself "I really am a friggin' LOUSY human being.  Finally time to try to stop being that."

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976

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58 minutes ago, NJDevs4978 said:

https://nypost.com/2020/06/05/matt-harveys-reps-tried-to-get-him-into-kbo/?utm_campaign=iphone_nyp&utm_source=pasteboard_app

Harvey in Korea would be a lot like Tom Selleck's character in Mr. Baseball when he's forced to go to Japan lol

As intolerable as he became later...man I still remember how excited that I would get for his starts.  It fell apart so damned fast for him.

And I really miss Jake, Pete, and McNeil not being able to play.  Those guys are so damned fun to root for.

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Mets could go in a worse direction for ownership.  I’m not against this at all.

Harvey isn’t a major league pitcher any more...he’s done.  No thanks.

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Posted (edited)

Read through much of Ron Darling's latest book this past weekend (108 Stitches: Loose Threads, Ripping Yarns, and the Darndest Characters from My Time).  The best way to describe it would be Darling channeling his inner Jim Bouton...only Darling isn't quite as good of a storyteller overall as Bouton was (though it is interesting to see how a former player interacted and continues to interact with many other former players, even if it comes across at gratuitous name-dropping at times).

The 108 Stitches reference is supposed to be a symbol for how everyone in baseball is intertwined and how they can all be traced to each other...this motif kinda-sorta works, but at times it feels like a stretch.  

Like other athletes, Darling definitely has surprising memory lapses when it comes to recalling certain big games, or even his own career.  For one, he thinks the Oakland portion of his career went much better overall than it really did; he pitched about 4.3 seasons with the A's, and basically had one very good 16-start stretch in 1992, and a solid 15-start stretch in 1994.  Most of the rest of his time with Oakland (from August 1991 - 1995) was up and down at best, and outright bad at worst...yet more than once, he mentions having "some of his best seasons" as a A, which simply isn't true.

On a side note, the only reason Darling made a pit stop in Montreal (3 starts) was because a three-way deal between the Mets, Expos, and A's failed to fully materialize, so Montreal took Darling on until they could finalize a trade with the A's.  Darling said the Expos basically told him not to bother learning any French or to get too comfortable.  Must've been weird to have been a mainstay with the Mets for much of his career to that point, then basically told upon arriving to his new team that they didn't even really want him.

One big gaffe is that Darling basically blames Calvin Schiraldi for ALL of how Game 6 in 1986 fell apart for the Red Sox...he seems to have forgotten that while the Mets' infamous rally did indeed start against Schiraldi (with two outs no less), he actually left that game with the lead...Bob Stanley uncorked the wild pitch that allowed the tying run to score (still have no idea how Mookie got out of the way of that one), and then of course, Stanley gave up the grounder that went through Buckner's legs.  Yet for some reason Darling attributes ALL of this to Schiraldi.

Schiraldi is one of a number of players who gets thrown under the bus (Lenny Dykstra and Mackey Sasser do too, among others...and Darling doesn't hide how he felt about 1983 interim manager Frank Howard).  Schiraldi was clearly not loved in the Mets locker room (he made appearances with the team in 1984 and 1985, with not much success)...in the clubhouse, they found him to be an annoying uberdork who had that way of aggravating people without even trying; on the field, they thought he was Charmin soft and more or less a gutless p*ssy.  There's one game that Darling points to in particular in June 1985, where it was one of those kooky games that saw the Mets get absolutely pounded (eventually losing to the Phillies 26-7)...Tom Gorman had gotten a spot start and wouldn't get out of the first inning...Darling made it a point to mention that Gorman spent a lot of time talking about how he couldn't wait to hit (being a reliever, Gorman never got to bat).  Of course, due to not being able to survive the first inning, Gorman never got his turn at bat (Darling admitted that he thought Gorman maybe should've thought a lot more about getting guys out).  

Anyway, Schiraldi comes in to the game with his team already down 3-0 (with runners on), expected to suck it up and get some outs...and it quickly becomes clear to everyone that he simply didn't want any part of the game.  He gives up 10 ER while recording just four outs, including a triple to Rick Schu, another triple to Garry Maddox, a grand slam to Von Hayes (that was actually his SECOND home run of the first inning), and three doubles.  Darling said whatever minuscule respect the team had for Schiraldi died that day...by contrast, Met reliever Joe Sambito would also take a pounding, but his teammates could tell that he was trying and was determined to eat some outs, no matter how little he had on the mound that day.  Sambito sucked it up for three innings.  

Back to Game 6, Darling said that he and his teammates knew that Schiraldi would never finish them off in that game...that he simply didn't have the stones to fully get the job done.  They actually WANTED him on the mound.  

Darling does forget that Schiraldi (as a starting pitcher, with the Cubs) actually pitched quite well against the Mets in four starts against them, in 1988 (2.05 ERA, though the Cubs wound up losing three of the games).  

There's some other inaccuracies here and there, but overall it's a pretty good read...some stories and memories are better than others, and there's times where it feels like Darling is trying to really hard to show you that he wasn't this Renaissance Man Yale Grad, but was very much "one of the guys" (with the f-words to show you just how much).  Def some good stuff though (especially with relationships with Keith and Gary in the booth...he says they all get along great, but once the game's over, they're ready to call it a night).  

 

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976

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Posted (edited)

I don’t remember reading that one, I only read the Game 7 1986 book, maybe when libraries open again in NJ I’ll find that one. He wouldn’t be the first or last athlete to misremember his own career though.

I’m so over baseball right now though, as much as I like the booth and many of the current Mets I almost wish the players would sit out at this point rather than act like hostages being forced to play 50 games. Both sides are trying to ‘negotiate’ as if there was no pandemic at all. Nobody wants to hear any of your bullsh!t about paycuts, calling prorated salary a pay cut and profit losses when people are dying and out of work.

Thank goodness none of the current Mets have pulled a Blake Snell - yet.

Edited by NJDevs4978

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33 minutes ago, NJDevs4978 said:

I don’t remember reading that one, I only read the Game 7 1986 book, maybe when libraries open again in NJ I’ll find that one. He wouldn’t be the first or last athlete to misremember his own career though.

I’m so over baseball right now though, as much as I like the booth and many of the current Mets I almost wish the players would sit out at this point rather than act like hostages being forced to play 50 games. Both sides are trying to ‘negotiate’ as if there was no pandemic at all. Nobody wants to hear any of your bullsh!t about paycuts, calling prorated salary a pay cut and profit losses when people are dying and out of work.

Thank goodness none of the current Mets have pulled a Blake Snell - yet.

This latest book came out not too long ago.  Yeah I definitely don't expect them to remember every last detail of their careers, but I guess I'm surprised at some of the stuff they miss...especially with stats and box scores so readily available online now.  I was definitely surprised that Darling didn't remember Bob Stanley coming in to relieve Schiraldi.  

And I can't argue with you, even if they DO come back, so many involved came off as so tone-deaf throughout that I'm not sure how anxious I'm going to be to watch them play.  What they don't seem to realize is that baseball isn't resonating at all with the younger fanbase that they're going to need to keep MLB relevant.  They could have had a much larger window to themselves, if they all could have gotten over themselves.    

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Just a couple of other Darling tidbits:

One of the reasons that Darling despised Howard (and claims many of his teammates did as well) came down to a meaningless September game in 1983 (Darling had just been called up), where the Mets were up 3-0 against the Padres in the third inning, but were stranding too many runners for Howard's liking.  He decided to have Rusty Staub punch-hit for a very young (and very light-hitting) Jose Oquendo, with two outs and more runners on base.  Darling called it a total bullsh!t move and said it destroyed Oquendo, who wound up sobbing on the bench for a while before meekly escaping into the clubhouse.  Darling implied that Staub felt horrible having to go in for the kid, and that his teammates to a man were furious with Howard.

I'm not saying that Howard shouldn't have given Oquendo a shot there (game didn't mean anything and the Mets were already up), and yanking a guy THAT early in the game is pretty harsh, but I don't think Darling realized HOW bad Oquendo had been at the plate...the poor guy had put up a Tim Tebow-like .182/.212/.212 slash over the previous two months.  It wouldn't have surprised me if Howard (who many claim is actually quite GOOD with young players) had given Oquendo many opportunities to show something, and simply felt like he finally had reached his wit's end.  From an outsider's viewpoint (who has quick access to game logs and other numbers), I think even if Howard shouldn't have done what he did, I don't think it was quite the travesty that Darling made it out to be.

 

And of course we're all very aware of Mackey Sasser's throwing yips...basically, after a home plate collision where got his bell rung in a game against the Giants, he suddenly couldn't throw the ball back to the pitcher without double/triple/even quadruple clutching, and even then, he'd throw some grounders and rainbows that made Darling crazy.  Darling added that any number of times in a given game, Mackey would take the ball to the mound with him (Darling would meet him roughly halfway to the plate, knowing what the deal was) to try to make it look like he wanted to go over something quickly with Darling, when in reality sometimes he didn't want to even attempt to make a throw to the mound.  What Darling especially didn't like about that move by Mackey was that he thought it made it look like Mackey was somehow far more in control of the game than he could ever hope to be...as though it was RONNIE who needed constantly maintenance.

Like other Met pitchers (Gooden comes to mind), Darling seems to lament the "offense at the expense of everything else" mentality that GM Frank Cashen appeared to be embracing more and more, which led to Sasser getting more and more ABs...and the irony was, Sasser wasn't really THAT good of a hitter...yes, he could make contact very well, and could hit for a good average (.297 over his first three Met seasons), but he didn't walk, and didn't really hit for much power.  What pissed off Darling the most about him was that he thought Mackey didn't really seem aware of how his baggage behind the plate affected everyone on the field...Darling felt that Sasser should have been somewhat apologetic about his issues.  

Darling said there was one night out on the town where a particularly attractive groupie-type was eyeing up Mackey, who was definitely enjoying the attention...Darling hits the bathroom to take a leak some time later, and standing next to him to take a leak is...the particularly attractive groupie-type, who as it turns out was a dude (who actually VERY convincingly appeared to be a hot chick).  After Darling went back out to the bar area, Mackey asked Darling what he thought of that "girl" (Mack hasn't seen "her" go into the men's room), and Darling said something like "Yeah, she's hot Mack, go for it!"  Darling says he knows that Mackey and his potential prey did indeed leave the club together, but Mackey never said anything about what happened after, and Darling never asked.  But Darling clearly considered that some kind of justified revenge towards Sasser for being such a brutal catcher to work with.  

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I do remember reading those two tidbits so maybe I did see that book too a while back lol.  And really if you’re going to PH for a guy in the third inning of a meaningless game then he shouldn’t be in the lineup to begin with.

Edited by NJDevs4978

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5 minutes ago, NJDevs4978 said:

I do remember reading those two tidbits so maybe I did see that book too a while back lol.  And really if you’re going to PH for a guy in the third inning of a meaningless game then he shouldn’t be in the lineup to begin with.

Darling (and others) felt like in that situation (meaningless game in a lost season), might as well keep rolling with the kid and let him figure things out.  Darling clearly sided with Oquendo on this one, even with the horrible numbers at the plate.  

To Jose's credit, he turned himself in to a credible hitter who could play literally EVERYWHERE on the field...but as a Met, man was his bat just nonexistent.  A .514 OPS and 45 OPS+ (with the Cards, he managed a .690 OPS and 93 OPS+).  Even Rey Ordonez laughs at Oquendo's Met numbers...I'm guessing given how young he was in 1983 (just 19 at the start of the season), he was simply not ready yet.  

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Posted (edited)

I don't like the DH but I was already mentally preparing for its inevitable arrival years ago so I'm numb to it. But I did enjoy and appreciate the extra degree of strategy that it brought to the game.

Ads on the uniforms I absolutely hate hate HATE. I understand it yes, but once they come on they will NEVER come off and as usual, it will lead to more and more nonsense. It will happen in the NHL too. They ruined the boards, they're taking up more and more space on the ice, they're digitally imposed behind the glass. Oh and ticket prices are still obscene. Never much of an NBA fan but when I click through the channels and see the classic legendary Celtics uniforms with an ad on it I just shake my head. It's gone from sacred to worthless overnight. Not sure if they've agreed on this but I hope there is major pushback. Granted with everybody so desperate for sports they're thinking this is the perfect time to slip this in. And you just know the Mets will have some embarrassing sponsor patch that will result in us being the butt of jokes again

Edited by '7'
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Since we still don't have any actual baseball to talk about...

After an early 50th-birthday celebration on Saturday (my actual birthday is June 24, this Wednesday...and yes, I'm actually turning 50), yesterday morning I watched just about all of The Sandlot with a couple of my buddies, who'd crashed at my place.  I gotta admit, this movie is way more revered and remembered as a "classic" much more than it really has any right to be.  It's not downright awful by any stretch, but it's not really all that good either.  It does have the occasional magical moment that doesn't feel forced (the part where Ray Charles' rendition of "America the Beautiful" plays at the kids manage to play some ball under fireworks that seem like they'll never ever end comes to mind), but overall it feels like several "Our Gang" episodes lumped together without much really holding it all together, with a lot of uneven acting performances (especially from the children who make up The Sandlot nine...it's not that hard to see why most of their careers didn't lead to a whole beyond this film, though it's not all on them...the script at times is rather clunky).  Some cliched directing hurts as well, and unfortunately David Mickey Evans, as director, insisted of providing the narration of grown-up Scotty Smalls himself...I had forgotten how stiff and generally uncomfortable he sounded in that role.  His career didn't exactly evolve much either.    

What really sticks out is that it truly feels like Evans realized that he didn't have quite enough going on for a full-length feature, past the initial "skits within a movie"...so the part where Smalls drills his step-father's sacred Babe Ruth-signed baseball into The Beast's lair (and Smalls and his teammates concoct scheme after scheme to try to get it back) gets overly fluffed out and just drags on FOREVER...not to mention that some of their "Get The Ball Back" inventions seem to be a bit too involved to be believable.  And that's where things really fall apart...especially the idea that top player and future major leaguer Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez would be capable of outruning the would-be "Beast" for what appears to be several MILES before managing to coerce him back into his lair (at which point it becomes obvious that the so-called Beast is not really so Beastly after all...but would ALL of these kids really be THAT scared of a large dog, who's almost always chained up to boot?  Most of them were not THAT young.)

Not saying it's unwatchable, but it's definitely far from being this awesome classic...it's heavily flawed. 

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Posted (edited)

Happy belated!

I've never seen that one, but I've heard something similar - that it's really for kids' viewing and doesn't hold up well for adults.  I probably should get around to watching Bull Durham and the Natural sometime though, when Bull Durham came out it was too 'advanced viewing' for me but I'd probably like it now since I've always been a Major League fan.  The Natural, I kinda know what it's about and how it's loosely based on Eddie Waitkus but have never really seen it either.

I used to like Field of Dreams a lot more than I do now, it's a solid movie but hokey as hell and yeah the whole bat Joe Jackson right-handed doesn't hold up if you're any kind of a baseball historian.  Supposedly Eight Men Out isn't as historically accurate as was initially thought either but it's still probably my favorite baseball movie drama.  And really all that stuff happened a hundred years ago now so there's always going to be some historical question over who did what. 

My favorite baseball movie period is either Major League or the original Bad News Bears, I've probably seen Major League more times and some of the Bad News Bears humor obviously wouldn't hold up in today's PC world but sometimes you just can't take movies too seriously.  A League of their Own was very good too.  

Edited by NJDevs4978

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, NJDevs4978 said:

Happy belated!

I've never seen that one, but I've heard something similar - that it's really for kids' viewing and doesn't hold up well for adults.  I probably should get around to watching Bull Durham and the Natural sometime though, when Bull Durham came out it was too 'advanced viewing' for me but I'd probably like it now since I've always been a Major League fan.  The Natural, I kinda know what it's about and how it's loosely based on Eddie Waitkus but have never really seen it either.

I used to like Field of Dreams a lot more than I do now, it's a solid movie but hokey as hell and yeah the whole bat Joe Jackson right-handed doesn't hold up if you're any kind of a baseball historian.  Supposedly Eight Men Out isn't as historically accurate as was initially thought either but it's still probably my favorite baseball movie drama.  And really all that stuff happened a hundred years ago now so there's always going to be some historical question over who did what. 

My favorite baseball movie period is either Major League or the original Bad News Bears, I've probably seen Major League more times and some of the Bad News Bears humor obviously wouldn't hold up in today's PC world but sometimes you just can't take movies too seriously.  A League of their Own was very good too.  

Not belated...I celebrated on Saturday, but the actual day is tomorrow...so I'm going to enjoy this last day in my 40s.

Yeah the last third of The Sandlot might as well be a Wile E Coyote - Roadrunner episode, and that part of the movie drags on at least 10 minutes too long.  It's exactly like I said...Evans simply ran out of ideas and decided to extend the final act of his movie to a disproportionate length.  The bones for a better overall story were definitely there though...it just needed a better director than Evans, and a better writer to flesh out Evans' script.  

Haven't seen Bull Durham in years and it is pretty good.  Oddly what kind of turns me off about it now isn't necessarily the movie itself...I just find Tim Robbins' and Susan Sarandon's over-the-top Hollywood politics stomach-turning...enough so that I don't have much interest in watching Bull Durham at all anymore.

My main beef with The Natural is that they do a very lousy job with the actual baseball.  After Roy Hobbs knocks the cover off the ball (literally) in his major league debut, he's either hitting a 500 ft home run (and doing damage to clocks and stadium lighting) or striking out on three swinging strikes.  What is this, The Dave Kingman Story?  Seriously though, I would've liked to see something other than all-or-nothing ABs...like Hobbs grounding into a DP when he's slumping, or legging out a double during a "He's red-hot again" montage.  The lazy scripting of his batting scenes really take me out of the movie.  And of course (SPOILER ALERT), there's a subplot involving Hobbs not knowing that he has a son and somehow remaining oblivious to it for far too long, when it's abundantly clear to EVERYONE watching the movie that, duh, it's YOUR son Roy!  And though the character is clearly supposed to be guarded after what he went through as a younger man, he's often even more boring than Derek Jeter was, as far as offering the slightest insight into who he really is.  

Only saw Field of Dreams once, thought it was meh...just didn't make much of an impact on me.  Eight Men Out even with its inaccuracies is a thoroughly entertaining movie, and really brings you back to a time where ballplayers weren't that much better of than ordinary working Joes, and had a "one of us" vibe...Buck Weaver just chatting with the neighborhood kids shows how "touchable" they were, though obviously they were still revered by fans.

Agree with your favorites.  The original Bad News Bears would rank #1 for me (I won't even watch the remake).  Major League is just a classic and still holds up.  A League Of Their Own is also terrific.  The Rookie (starring Dennis Quaid) is pretty good in a Disney kind of way...a good one to watch with the family.  

 

 

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976

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This is still in the I'll believe it when it happens phase...but more and more the momentum seems to be leaning this way

 

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Posted (edited)

LOL I get the whole stick Tebow in a minor league and let him sell tickets nonsense, especially considering the Mets have had horrible outfield depth anyway so it's not like he's taking a spot from a prospect.  But the only fathomable reason for even considering him for a spot on the 60-man roster is to do a solid for a former client and to give him the whole Moonlight Graham type moment at the end of the season where he gets a token AB or two.  There's literally nothing he does that would warrant serious inclusion on a major league roster, he's a zero-tool player.

That said I don't think this is anything more than lip service and they gotta realize at his age that losing a whole season pretty much kaputs the baseball experiment (not to mention Tebow's name recognition).  Maybe that's partly why they're 'considering' him, so he can play in some of the JV games :P

Edited by NJDevs4978

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2 minutes ago, '7' said:

Cohen supposedly back in the mix, because the baseball Gods love to fvck us over twice!

https://www.nj.com/yankees/2020/07/mlb-rumors-steve-cohen-is-leading-contender-to-buy-mets-after-making-peace-with-the-wilpons.html

We know the Wilpons (especially Jeffy) are a couple of clowns.  I think Cohen's got them by the raisins this time...I have a feeling he's going to win this one.  Those dummies just have to realize that NO ONE wants them to be a part of the Mets beyond 2020.  Fred and Jeffy, make your deal and get the fvck out, so we can all talk about you in the past tense.  That's all any Met fan wants.  

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5 hours ago, '7' said:

Cohen supposedly back in the mix, because the baseball Gods love to fvck us over twice!

 

https://www.nj.com/yankees/2020/07/mlb-rumors-steve-cohen-is-leading-contender-to-buy-mets-after-making-peace-with-the-wilpons.html

I swear if we get strung along again only for the Wilpons to get rescued at the 11th hour, or (almost as bad) Harris and Blitzer somehow win the bidding I might tear out my hair.  We just got another reminder today of how bad Devil ownership is too.

Edited by NJDevs4978

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EcfkmTlWkAA5V7T?format=jpg&name=large

Oh boy, if this is anything like The Last Dance this is gonna be some crazy sh!t, since there's definitely a lot of juice on that meat.

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36 minutes ago, NJDevs4978 said:

EcfkmTlWkAA5V7T?format=jpg&name=large

Oh boy, if this is anything like The Last Dance this is gonna be some crazy sh!t, since there's definitely a lot of juice on that meat.

That’s must see TV. Can’t wait for this.

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