Saturday, October 31, 2009

Adrian Gonzalez To The Mets: Deal or No Deal?

Interesting news here on Adrian Gonzalez. Chris Ello at (a blog that discusses San Diego sports) has noticed that the Padres did not include any photos of slugging first baseman Adrian Gonzalez in the ticket brochures they mailed out to past season ticket holders. It seems like an odd move for the Padres to have their primary offensive weapon missing from such a pamphlet. Wouldn't their main box office attraction be the first person they should feature on this brochure? Does this mean Gonzalez isn't in their plans for 2010?

Imagine if the Mets didn't feature Johan Santana, David Wright or Jose Reyes on a similar brochure. Wouldn't that raise a red flag in Mets-ville? The media would be all over that one and Omar would have some explaining to do.

The Padres already traded Jake Peavy to the White Sox during the season to reduce their payroll. Next season is the final year of Adrian Gonzalez's four-year contract that he signed prior to the 2007 season, although there is an option for 2011. Surely, Gonzalez will be worth more than the Padres can pay for his services once his contract expires. Perhaps the Padres have already been considering this and would like to make it known that he will become available if the right deal presents itself.

The Padres have a promising young first baseman that they called up in 2009 named Kyle Blanks. In his brief time with the Padres, Blanks hit .250 with 10 HR and 22 RBI in only 148 at-bats. The 23-year old's minor league numbers have been quite impressive over the past three seasons.
  • 2007: .301, 24 HR, 100 RBI in 465 at-bats.
  • 2008: .325, 20 HR, 107 RBI in 492 at-bats.
  • 2009: .283, 12 HR, 38 RBI in 233 at-bats (before his call-up to the Padres).
Blanks seems ready for the major leagues now and the Padres might be willing to accommodate him if they can move Gonzalez first.

The Mets should be all over Gonzalez if the Padres are looking to trade him. He provides two things the Mets did not have in many of the players in 2009 - durability and power. Consider his numbers from 2007 to 2009.
  • 2007: .282, 30 HR, 100 RBI in 161 games.
  • 2008: .279, 36 HR, 119 RBI in 162 games.
  • 2009: .277, 40 HR, 99 RBI in 160 games.
He has been in the lineup in all but four games over the past three seasons (the Padres played 163 games in 2007). Also, his home run totals have increased each of the past three seasons despite the fact that he plays his home games in a pitcher's park. Therefore, Citi Field shouldn't diminish his home run totals.

Gonzalez defines durability and consistency. Not only that, he is still very young. At age 27 (he'll be 28 in May), he is just entering his prime. If the Mets can come up with the proper package for the Padres, they should go all out to bring Gonzalez to New York. By having a home run hitter playing first base, the Mets would not have to make a move for a home run hitter in left field.

They could try to swing a deal for Carl Crawford or keep Angel Pagan as a cheaper option to Crawford. There is more of a need for speed in the outfield because of Citi Field's spacious gaps, so bringing in Crawford instead of Matt Holliday or Jason Bay would benefit the Mets both offensively and defensively, especially if they can trade for Adrian Gonzalez.

If the Mets cannot live with another year of Daniel Murphy at first base, then Adrian Gonzalez is the first person they should consider. Their minor league system might not be as deep as other teams, so swinging a deal now might take some creativity. However, if they can find the right group of players to satisfy the Padres, why not go for Gonzalez? According to that Padres brochure, he might be there for the taking. Now it's up to the Mets to make that call.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Frightening Moments In Mets History

We’ve made it to another Halloween, Mets fans! That means it’s time for my first annual “Frightening Moments In Mets History” blog. It’s so scary that even Jose Reyes was not prepared for the shocking stories he was about to read.

I’ve gone through the archives (and by archives, I mean Google and my warped little mind) and picked out some moments that’ll make you cringe, some moments that’ll make you squirm and some moments that’ll make you want to look away. Of course, if you’re a Mets-ochist like I am, you’ll want to keep your eyes glued to the screen throughout the whole piece. After all, we wouldn’t want you to miss any of the bloody goodness.

So grab some popcorn or maybe some deviled eggs and enjoy some of the most macabre Mets moments I could find. Don’t worry. It won’t hurt you…unless if you let it.

There have been numerous trades in Mets history that might be considered frightening. For example, there was the trade that involved Nolan Ryan for Jim Fregosi. More recently, there was the trade of Scott Kazmir for the wrong Zambrano. Heck, I know a few 14-year old boys who were petrified when Anna Benson was traded away with her husband, Kris.

But perhaps the trade that scared off many Mets fans from coming back to Shea Stadium was the trade of Tom Seaver to the Cincinnati Reds in 1977. Seaver and Mets chairman of the board M. Donald Grant never had the best relationship, with the war of words often spilling onto the back pages of the tabloids. Seaver’s relationship with Grant reached its nadir when he blamed him for giving negative information about his wife to legendary sportswriter Dick Young. Young wrote a column claiming that Seaver and his wife were jealous of the money Nolan Ryan was earning with the California Angels.

On June 15, 1977, the Mets conducted what is now known as “The Midnight Massacre”, where they parted ways with Tom Seaver and slugger Dave Kingman in two separate trades. Following the trades, attendance at Shea Stadium dropped as quickly as the Mets did in the standings. Is it no wonder that fans started referring to Shea as Grant’s Tomb after the bloody massacre was complete?

There have been numerous on-field injuries that were gruesome to behold. Just recently, the Mets were forced to watch David Wright be the recipient of a head-seeking missile by Giants’ starter Matt Cain. The concussion suffered by Wright forced him to go on the disabled list for the first time in his career. Fortunately, the injury wasn’t as frightening as it looked as Wright was able to return to the Mets when his 15 day stay at the DL Hotel expired. Although he was forced to return his stylish hospital attire (see photo, right), he was more than happy to leave the hospital and return to the Mets lineup. Unfortunately, not every Mets player who went down with an injury was as fortunate as David was. Some players just vanished into thin air, never to be heard from again.

Remember Bernard Gilkey? He had a spectacular season for an otherwise unspectacular Mets club in 1996. He finished the season with a .317 average, along with 30 HR and 117 RBI. He also collected a franchise-record 44 doubles. Then he decided to appear in the movie “Men In Black”. In his one scene, he was playing left field at Shea Stadium when an alien spacecraft appeared over Flushing. Left in a state of shock, Gilkey never saw a fly ball headed in the direction of his coconut, where (you guessed it), he suffered a close encounter of the third kind with the baseball. Unlike David Wright’s injury, Gilkey’s head injury clearly affected his career. He followed up his stellar 1996 season with a subpar 1997 campaign, hitting only .249 with 18 HR and 78 RBI. It got worse from there. He was traded to Arizona during the 1998 season and only hit a total of 18 HR for the rest of his career until his final season in the majors in 2001.

One more injury involving heads happened in 2005 in San Diego, but this one was no laughing matter. On August 11, 2005, Carlos Beltran and Mike Cameron were involved in a terrifying on-field collision at Petco Park, where both players attempted to make a diving catch for a shallow fly ball.

Neither player caught the ball hit by Padres’ catcher David Ross, but they caught quite a bit of each other’s faces. Although Beltran escaped the collision with only minor injuries, the same could not be said for Cameron.

On the play, Cameron broke his nose, had multiple fractures of both cheekbones and suffered a slight concussion. He was placed on the disabled list and did not play again in 2005.

The collision in San Diego would be the last time Mike Cameron played for the New York Mets as he was traded to San Diego (how ironic) for Xavier Nady during the off-season. To this day, Cameron has trouble remembering the collision, not that it’s a memory he would like to have back.

Frightening moments aren’t always events that resulted in fan favorites being traded away or players getting injured. Sometimes, it could be a failed experiment on the field. Does anyone remember “Turn Ahead The Clock Day” in 1999?

Ten years ago, Major League Baseball decided to go the other way with its popular retro uniform promotions. Instead of looking back at its glorious past, baseball decided to look ahead at its ugly future. At least the uniforms were ugly. For one night in 1999, major league teams wore futuristic jerseys and caps in what had to have been the concoction of a seriously inebriated marketing department. The Mets played the Pittsburgh Pirates that night and were defeated by a young rookie pitcher by the name of Kris Benson (that name seems awfully familiar).

It didn’t matter that the 5-1 defeat to the lowly Pirates almost kept the Mets from making the playoffs that year (they needed a one-game playoff with Cincinnati to earn the wild card berth). All that mattered was that Orel Hershiser looked like this in his Mercury Mets jersey (see photo, right).

Yes, Mets fans. Orel Hershiser was actually a Met. That, in and of itself, is scary enough to me. But putting him in that abominable jersey is downright chilling. Spooky is as spooky does.

I can imagine you’re getting ready to give out candy to all the lovely trick-or-treaters who are about to ring your bell and then thank you for your sweet treats by throwing toilet paper all over your trees. So I will leave you with the most frightening moment in Mets history. What could be more frightening than the horrific injuries suffered by Mets players over the years? Is there anything that scared more Mets fans away than the Midnight Massacre? Is it possible that there is something more terrifying than the sight of Orel Hershiser in a Mercury Mets jersey?

Yes, my friends. I believe there is. The most frightening moment in Mets history began in 2006 and has continued to this day. That’s right, Mets fans. I’m talking about Jose Lima.

In 2006, the Mets used numerous starting pitchers because of injuries. The only starters to make more than 23 starts were Tom Glavine and Steve Trachsel. Although Pedro Martinez and Orlando “The Dookie” Hernandez were also around during the first half of the season, a fifth starter was still needed. Unfortunately, one of the men they turned to was Jose Lima.

The Mets allowed Lima to make four starts for them in 2006. The self-proclaimed creator of “Lima Time” was worse than Charlie Brown facing a squad full of Peppermint Patties. In those four starts, Lima was only able to pitch 17.1 innings. His ERA was an abysmal 9.87 and he was the losing pitcher in all four starts. Although Lima’s career with the Mets was finished, Lima was not finished with the Mets.

Urban legend has it that Jose Lima did not leave the Mets quietly (not that he could ever be quiet if he wanted to). It has been told that when Lima left the Mets, he placed a hex on the team, vowing that they would never win another championship. Just as the “Curse of the Bambino” prevented the Red Sox from winning a championship for 86 years and the “Curse of the Billy Goat” is still haunting the Cubs, the “Curse of Lima Time” has been passed down to the Mets.

In 2006, the Mets appeared to be steamrolling towards the World Series until Carlos Beltran saw the “Do Not Swing” sign on Adam Wainwright’s curveball. The hex continued into 2007 and 2008 as the Mets failed to make the postseason in both years. Finally, in 2009, the injury portion of the curse took hold and choked the life away from the team.

Now tell me, Mets fans. How can there be anything more frightening than the “Curse of Lima Time”? It’s so frightening that the curse has even affected Lima himself. After being designated for assignment by the Mets in 2006, Lima never pitched again in the major leagues. Even his fledgling singing career never took off as he has only sold one of his CDs and that was to his mother (she bought it in the bargain bin).

I don’t know if the Mets will have to call in an exorcist, the guys from Ghost Hunters or the woman from Poltergeist, but there has certainly been some paranormal activity going around the Mets clubhouse over the years. It seems to have followed them from Shea Stadium to Citi Field. Whether the “Curse of Lima Time” is real or not, it needs to be erased before the Mets continue to experience frightening moments on the field.

Well, Scooby Gang, that’s all I have for you today. I hope you can sleep well tonight and that these stories of terror didn’t make you go running to that old box in the attic where you’ve been storing your Mets night light all these years. Remember, these moments have only affected the Mets, not their fans. At least they haven’t affected the fans yet. Have a great Halloween!

Whatever Happened To The Mets?

The last time I checked, this site was called Studious Metsimus, wasn't it? So where has all the talk about the Mets gone? It appears that all we've been talking about recently has been Phillies this and the Yankees that, with a little more focus on the Phillies.

Is it possible that Studious Metsimus is becoming what we were criticizing last year? Read on to see what I mean.

In 2008, the Phillies won their second straight division title and followed it up with a World Series victory over the Rays. During their playoff run, Shane Victorino was made fun of by his teammates after hitting a grand slam off then-Brewers pitcher CC Sabathia and then pointing skyward. The following day above his locker, the Cryin' Hawaiian found "J. Reyes" written over his name, a nod to Reyes' skyward gesture after he hits a home run.

Mets fans everywhere were furious at the Phillies' actions because Reyes had never been the only player to point to the Heavens after hitting a home run. It is common for a player to make the same gesture when he wants to give thanks to God or say hello to a loved one who passed away. However, since it was directed toward Reyes, it showed that the Mets were still on the Phillies' minds. Adding fuel to the fire was the comment made by Cole Hamels after being questioned on why he was singling out Jose Reyes.

"I think he's a great player...(but) run around like you've done it before, don't act like it's the best thing on the planet."

Even after winning the World Series, the Phillies still had the Mets on their minds. During their championship parade and celebration in Philadelphia, shortstop Jimmy Rollins mentioned Johan Santana and the Mets, eliciting boos from the Philly Phaithful. However, Rollins made sure not to make it a Johan love-fest, when he followed up his comment with the following nugget.

"We can talk about the New York Mets. They brought in that great pitcher, Johan Santana, but they forgot that it takes more than one player to bring home a championship."

Do you see what I mean about Studious Metsimus becoming what we were criticizing last season? Now it seems as if we can't get the Phillies off OUR minds. So let's talk about the Mets for a little while to get this nasty Phillie aftertaste out of our mouths.

Spinderella, break it down.

"Let's talk about Mets, baby.
Let's talk about you and me.
Let's talk about David, Jose, Carlos, Johan and Frenchy.
Let's talk about Mets.
Let's talk about Mets!
Let's talk about Mets.
Let's talk about Mets!"

Thanks for the intro, Spin! That wasn't so hard now, was it? Let's see what the Mets have been up to since we last saw them at Citi Field almost a month ago.

Jose Reyes was spotted at a... No, wait. David Wright donated his time and money to a needy... Uh, no, that wasn't him. Fernando Tatis built another church with his bare hands in his native Dominican Republic. Hold on. Was that really him?

Grrr! It isn't easy coming up with news on the Mets when they're not in the news to begin with. Hopefully, when the World Series is over, the Mets will become more newsworthy. The Winter Meetings are still over a month away, so hopefully there will be some rumblings in Mets-ville to report on.

It's either that or we'll have to make up a story about Steve Phillips going out on a blind date with someone he was told liked to remove articles of clothing in the heat of the moment. Then we'll make that person be notorious shirt-remover Tony Bernazard. Ooooh, Studious Metsimus would be all over that story!

In the meantime, I guess we'll just have to cover the events taking place on the field right now. Perhaps Cole Hamels will give us something interesting to write about after his Game 3 outing against the Yankees on Halloween night. Don't give us that smirk, Colbert. We know you're up to something. You can't always blame it on your identical twin brother!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Studious Metsimus Exclusive: Pedro Martinez Joins Bloods

Throughout the years, Pedro Martinez has made it quite clear that he is not fond of the Yankees. His hatred of the Evil Empire runs through his veins. Now he has taken his venom to a new level. That's right, my loyal SMFs. Pedro Martinez has gone gangsta.

But we're not talking about Jerry Manuel gangsta (that's gangsta-lite). We're talking about the real deal here. As this exclusive photo shows you, Pedro Martinez has now joined the Bloods.

This was not an unexpected move. In 2001, while a member of the Red Sox, Petey Daddy (as he's known on the streets) asked the media if they could wake up the Bambino (Babe Ruth) so he could drill him in the ass.

Two years later during the 2003 ALCS, Petey Daddy was involved in a bench-clearing incident with the Yankees. After teammate Manny Ramirez showed his displeasure at an inside pitch that he believed was an attempt at headhunting, Mr. Daddy decided to do a little headhunting of his own after Yankee bench coach Don Zimmer charged at him during the fracas.

Petey Daddy's act of violence might have served as a precursor to becoming a Blood, but his actions did serve to expose Zimmer in a new light.

During the post-game press conference after Fight Night at Fenway was over, it was revealed that the term "Evil Empire" was quite appropriate to describe the Yankees. When Zimmer came up to the podium, he confessed to the media that he was really Darth Vader. Being the elder statesman on the Yankees, that made him Pedro's father. Hence, the "Who's your Daddy?" chants at Yankee Stadium.

Petey Daddy is now a member of the Phillies and he's facing the Yankees in the World Series for the first time. Although he is now a few years older, his affiliation with the Bloods means that his "family" will have his back on the field in case he encounters difficulties on the mound.

If Alex Rodriguez dares to get a base hit off Petey Daddy, Kate Hudson will be "taken care of". If A.J. Burnett is seen running around with shaving cream pies, Petey's brothers will give A.J. their own version of a close shave.

The only problem Petey Daddy might encounter could be internal. In another exclusive photo, it appears as if Ryan Howard has affiliated himself with Snoop Dogg. Although that is not reason enough to cause a feud in the clubhouse, the Doggfather was once a member of the Crips, a.k.a. the Bloods' sworn enemies.

Could Ryan Howard and his "connections" be the ones who could stop Petey Daddy from bringing down the Evil Empire? Perhaps. But I wouldn't count on it. The power of Petey might be too much for the Yankees to handle.

Be afraid, Yankees. Be very afraid. Once upon a time, Petey Daddy claimed to want the Babe exhumed so he could drill him in the ass. Now he's probably prepared to bust a cap in his ass as well.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Joey's Soapbox: Phillies To Repeat; Yankees Smell Defeat

It's been a while since I got on my soapbox, but as you can see from the picture to the left, I'm back on it and I brought some props with me. It's time to make my predictions for the 2009 World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Yankees, or as my colleague calls it, the Doomsday Series.

Let me first say that I would rather not pick either one of these teams, because I am a Mets fan first, second and always. I proudly wave my foam finger in the face of anyone who doubts where my allegiances lie.

That being said, I'm pulling for the Yankees to lose to the Phillies in the World Series. Here is my reasoning for this prediction.

I hate the Phillies and their fans more than Sally Struthers hates salads, but they've only been good for three years. Before 2007, did anybody on the Phillies annoy you? Were their fans up in your faces? No. Everything was cool before 2007 because there was no rivalry or animosity between the two teams and their fans.

However, since 2000, all Yankee fans have been saying is 26 rings this, 26 rings that. Not only that, but if you're a Mets fan who reminds them that they haven't won a ring in nine years, what will they say? They'll say that it's been 23 years since we last won and that their last ring was earned by beating the Mets.

Phillies fans can't talk (even though they will). Not only are they the only team in professional sports with 10,000 losses, but over the course of each franchise's history, the Mets have a better winning percentage than the Phillies.

Despite the fact that the Mets were regular patrons of the 100-loss club for several years before they won the World Series in 1969 and were dismal in the late 70s and early 80s, they still have a better overall record than the Phillies. In 48 seasons, the Mets' regular season winning percentage is .479 (3,655 wins and 3,981 losses). The Phillies have 9,038 wins and 10,167 losses in their 127-year history, for a winning percentage of .471. If they were to start a 1,000 game winning streak, they'd still have a losing record once the skein ended.

Yankee fans can be arrogant as well, but at least they can back it up with all of their championships that they earned in every decade except the 80s. What can Phillies fans back it up with? Not much. Two championships in 127 years isn't that impressive. The Mets have won the same amount of titles in about one-third the time. Even the Marlins have won that many championships and they've only been in existence since 1993. The only thing the Phillies can say they do better then the Mets is that the Phillie Phanatic is better at playing with his wiener.

So let the Phillies and their fans have their fun. Does anyone really expect them to stay around for long? They don't have a single everyday player under the age of 28 and by the time Opening Day comes around, their fearsome foursome of Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth and Raul Ibañez will all be in their thirties.

By the time their contracts expire, all will be past their prime but will still demand the money of players in their prime. Only Chase Utley is signed beyond the 2011 season. Jayson Werth will become a free agent after next season. Next year is also Jimmy Rollins' last year, although he has an option for 2011, while Howard and Ibañez's contracts expire in 2011 as well. Do you really think they'll all accept pay cuts to continue playing for the Phillies?

The run started by the Phillies in 2007 should end by 2011. Then it will be back to normal, where the Mets will be better than the Phillies and the Yankees will still be talking about their dozens of rings.

Because of that, I am picking the Yankees to lose the World Series in five games to the Phillies. That's right. I'm agreeing with Jimmy Rollins' prediction of five games. Don't worry. It won't become a habit. Once April comes around, it'll be back to smashmouth baseball. Or in the case of Jimmy Rollins, smashface baseball.

Michael Sergio Is The Key To Canceling The World Series

Do you remember Michael Sergio? He was the man who parachuted into Shea Stadium during Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. He made a perfect landing near the pitcher's mound unscathed and then was taken into custody without any further incident. No harm, no foul. He was escorted to the 109th Precinct and was released soon after his unexpected visit to Shea.

Does anyone have his phone number? Studious Metsimus would like to call him and his pilot to see if they can help cancel this year's Doomsday Series.

You see, life was simpler back in 1986. It was a time when Mets fans could run onto the field to celebrate division titles and not have to worry about police officers on horses trying to stop them.

Now if you try to do that, you'll get thrown down by dozens of police officers and security officers and YouTube will only show the most embarrassing parts of your romp on the field.

1986 was also a time when you could afford to take your entire family to a game without having to sacrifice an arm, a leg, one of your kidneys and your next child. Even World Series tickets were affordable.

If you were one of the fortunate souls who was able to score some tickets to Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, you spent no more than $40 for your seat. As shown by the picture to the right, field box seats (a.k.a. the most expensive seats in the house) for that game were only $40 each. You could have brought your entire family to the World Series and spent less money on your tickets than you would have spent on one of those new-fangled VCRs.

Of course, parachutist extraordinaire Michael Sergio must have been priced out of the World Series so he decided the watch the game from a less expensive seat.

Times have changed. Because of today's security concerns, if Sergio tried to do this now, he'd be...wait a minute. That just gave me a goofy, but brilliant idea.

If you know me or if you read this post written by my doppelganger at Mets Merized Online, you would know that I don't care who wins the World Series. I hate both teams involved. Maybe my dreams of a double forfeit can come true if I can get Michael Sergio to reprise his stunt at Yankee Stadium.

If he can fly over the Bronx and skydive into Yankee Stadium, maybe he'd raise some security concerns and the World Series would be canceled because MLB wouldn't be able to gurantee the safety of its players. After all, how can they know he's not armed?

Paging Mr. Sergio. Come in, Mr. Sergio. Would you like to help your fellow Mets fans out? Studious Metsimus can't guarantee that we can keep the fighter jets from shooting down your plane, but you can't worry about a few professionally trained military pilots with a full supply of ammunition when millions of Mets fans need you! Save our season, Michael Sergio! We're counting on you!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

World Series Turf War: Jay-Z vs. Big Willie Style

Rivalries. They exist everywhere. Whether it's the Mets and the Phillies, Tupac and Biggie or Sally Struthers and a truckload of Ring Dings, rivalries can turn former friends into sworn enemies (except Struthers and the Ring Dings; they're still on speaking terms).

Now we have a new rivalry forming. Because of the upcoming World Series between the Phillies and the Yankees, Philadelphia native Will Smith has entered into a war of words with noted Yankee fan Jay-Z. Here is the tale of the tape between Mr. Jada and Mr. Beyoncé:

Will Smith burst out of the West Philly scene with DJ Jazzy Jeff, had a string of Top 40 hits, but his time as the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air changed him. His clean image took a hit when he was seen smacking Carlton behind Uncle Phil's back and he also never intervened whenever his supposed best friend, Jazzy Jeff was thrown out of the mansion. Big Willie Style left his brotherly love in Philly when he went out west.

Jay-Z rose from the projects in Bed-Stuy to become one of the leading entrepreneurs in hip-hop. He is the co-owner of the 40/40 Club and the New Jersey Nets, but he has also made some poor business decisions. For example, he attempted to sell his Roca-Pads tampons by using Chappelle's Show as his infomercial. Then, he made his wife Beyoncé angry when he attempted to be a backseat driver (see photo below). Not smart to go Big Pimpin' on stage.

Will Smith has since recovered from his Bel-Air brainwashing. With numerous box office successes (let's not talk about "Wild Wild West") and a successful marriage to Jada Pinkett-Smith, the former Fresh Prince has now decided to throw his Hancock into the ring by taking on Jay-Z as their cities are being represented by the Phillies and the Yankees in the World Series.

They have decided to battle on the mics. Smith began by laying down these fresh rhymes:

"I was once the Fresh Prince, but now my Phillies are regal.
The Yankees are endangered like my friend, the bald eagle.
Jay-Z might be living in his Empire State of Mind.
But I'm the one who's gonna tap his wife's lovely behind."

When Jay-Z was informed that Smith believed that he was ready for Beyoncé's jelly, he did not seem to be perturbed. However, things changed when he realized that Smith had also badmouthed the Yankees.

Without giving so much as a thought, Jay-Z freestyled his response to Smith:

"I'm gonna make sure you live a Hard Knock Life.
For dissin' on my Yankees and mackin' on my wife.
I'll savor our victory while you cry in defeat.
Welcome to the Bronx: the real nightmare on your street."

So the battle is on. The war will not only be fought between the foul lines; it will also be fought in the luxury boxes. Jay-Z and his Yankees vs. Big Willie Style and his Phillies. Who will live? Who will die? Who'll be crying like a baby when Suge Knight hangs him off the press box? (It'll probably still be Vanilla Ice.)

All of these questions will be answered over the course of the next four to seven games. Now excuse me while our combatants are getting ready to take the stage at Yankee Stadium. I believe their wives are in need of some company...

Jesse Orosco's Glove Has Been Found!

So you think Jesse Orosco looks happy in the picture to the left? Wait till Studious Metsimus tells him that we located his glove. Then he'll experience joy like he's never felt before!

You know the glove we're talking about. It's the one Orosco threw up in the air triumphantly after he struck out Marty Barrett of the Red Sox to end the 1986 World Series. Well, where did that glove go after he threw it up in the air? After all, what goes up must come down (with the rare exception being Oliver Perez's walk rate).

If you own the 1986 World Series DVD set, pop Game 7 into your DVD player. If you recorded the game on a VHS tape like I did, good for you! Now try to find a VCR to play it in, if one still exists.

Fast forward to the final out of the game where Orosco throws his glove up in the air. After Jesse flings his glove skyward, he falls to his knees and then gets up just in time to have catcher Gary Carter jump into his arms as the rest of the Mets (and Paul the Bat Boy) rush from the dugout to pile on top of Carter and Orosco.

I should say ALMOST the entire team piles up on top of the Gary and Jesse. (This is where you have to watch the DVD or VHS tape in slow motion.) Watch as third base coach Buddy Harrelson (wearing #23) runs around the pile and then starts to bend over as he's about to go off-screen. Before he goes off-screen, notice that he's carrying nothing in his hands. A split second later, he appears on the screen with a glove in his left hand. That's Jesse Orosco's glove!

Today is the 23-year anniversary of the Mets winning their last World Series. Now Jesse Orosco can truly celebrate because Studious Metsimus has solved the mystery of the missing glove. Get happy, Jesse! You have every reason to celebrate!

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Doomsday Poll: Yankees or Phillies?

Halloween has come early for Mets fans. Instead of "trick or treat", Mets fans will be experiencing "trick or trick". The nightmare Studious Metsimus has referred to as the Doomsday Series is now a reality. Mets fans everywhere will be hearing it from both sides as the Phillies and Yankees will be facing each other in the 2009 World Series beginning Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.

In lieu of a regular blog, I'll make this short and terribly bitter. Will you root for the Phillies? Will you root for the Yankees? Will you root for the Mets (if you're watching Mets Classics or your 1986 World Series DVDs as you read this)?

Please vote and leave comments as to why you made your selection. Remember, your answer can't be wrong. It just might not agree with the correct one.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

ESPN 2: Embarrassing Steve Phillips News (Part 2)

As reported here on Friday night by Studious Metsimus and all the other news outlets who can type faster than we can, former Mets GM Steve Phillips got in hot water for his latest affair with a woman. Now when he introduces himself to the next woman he meets, he can just say, "Hi, I'm Steve Phillips, unemployed."

Baseball's resident Ladies' Man has been fired by ESPN for conduct that had become a detriment to himself and to the network. ESPN released a short statement earlier tonight making the announcement of Phillips' dismissal, saying that it had become evident that it was time for the network to part ways with him.

So now Phillips is in baseball limbo. He has no wife (filed for divorce), no mistress (although he does have a stalker) and no job. His weakness for squeeze plays, the ones that don't bring in the runner from third, has done him in.

He shouldn't worry too much. If he needs a job, I'm sure once Keith Hernandez steps down as Just For Men spokesman, Steve Phillips can step right in and do a smashing job. If not, there's always Viagra commercials.

Shame on you, Steve Phillips. You may love baseball, but you're no contact hitter. All you've done is strike out wherever you go. It's back to the minors for you. Hopefully, you won't get called up anytime soon.

And one more thing. You were hired as a baseball ANALYST, not a baseball ANAL-ist. There's a difference. Once you get that straight and you put away the Courvoisier, maybe you'll get some respect back. Thank you and I'll see you on the unemployment line.

Yet Another 1986 World Series Game 6 Blog

As any Mets fan would know, today is the 23rd anniversary of Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. For anyone who witnessed it on TV (or the millions of people who claimed to be there), it remains the single greatest moment in Mets history. You will probably see the video to the ball rolling through Buckner's legs, but Studious Metsimus is going to share some different things with you regarding Game 6.

Here are some videos that you may or may not have seen before. The first one is a TV promo for the 1986 World Series featuring one of my all-time fav'rit TV characters, ALF:

From Steiner Sports, here is Mookie Wilson (my hero) speaking candidly about Bill Buckner and the error that forever linked them together in baseball history, similar to the way Bobby Thomson and Ralph Branca were linked following Thomson's "Shot Heard 'Round The World" in 1951 to give the New York Giants the NL pennant over Fred Wilpon's beloved Brooklyn Dodgers.

To close out the video portion of today's blog, I give you what the bottom of the tenth inning of Game 6 of the 1986 World Series would have looked like had it been played out on Nintendo's RBI Baseball game. I used to play that game in my friend's garage. He used to steal bases on me at will as I constantly threw the ball to the wrong base! But I digress. Enjoy the Nintendo version of this classic Mets moment:

Here are some additional links with more interesting takes on the miraculous Game 6:

Jason at Remembering Shea shares his memories of the game that forever cemented his status as a Mets fan.

Lou at Never Forget '69 posted the entire WHN radio transcript of the bottom of the tenth inning, as voiced by the late Bob Murphy and Gary Thorne.

Ed at Mets Merized Online (no relation to your Studious Metsimus moderator) wrote a recap of Game 6 featuring some interesting tidbits you may have forgotten about the game, such as Mookie Wilson being a hero BEFORE the tenth inning.

Twenty-three years. The memories are still fresh in our minds as if it were only twenty-three minutes ago that Mookie hit the little roller up along first.

Where were you when Bill Buckner let Mookie's ground ball go through his legs? Feel free to share your thoughts. Studious Metsimus would love to hear your memories of what many consider the greatest moment in Mets history.

Little roller up along first. Behind the bag! It gets through Buckner! Here comes Knight and the Mets win it!

Okay, I'll give you one more video before I go. This is for those people who don't have the DVD of the 1986 World Series or for those with poor memories. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Albert Pujols: Player of The Decade

Studious Metsimus has been reporting on all things Mets for a few months now, but today we're going to step aside and give credit where credit is due. We're going to acknowledge the amazing accomplishments of an opposing player, a man who has taken the baseball world by storm since making his major league debut in 2001 and has become the model of consistency and excellence that all players strive for.

Today we're reserving a special blog for Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals, Studious Metsimus' player of the decade.

José Alberto Pujols was born on January 16, 1980 in the Dominican Republic and moved to the United States in 1996. Mets fans might be curious to know that Pujols and his family first moved to New York upon arriving in the United States. However, it is not true that the presence of Rico Brogna at first base for the Mets caused Pujols' family to move to Independence, Missouri.

After a spectacular high school baseball career in which he twice earned all-state honors, Pujols spent one season in a Kansas City area community college, where he continued to mash the ball at a torrid pace, hitting .461 in his only college season.

Despite his accomplishments on the field, major league teams were hesitant to sign Pujols. His hometown Kansas City Royals passed on him even though they barely had a major league team to put on the field. The Tampa Bay Rays were so unimpressed with Pujols that they asked him to try out for the team as a catcher. Scouts did not believe that Pujols was still in his teens and shied away from the older-looking player.

It wasn't until the St. Louis Cardinals decided to take a chance on El Hombre (which is Spanish for "The Man", which was the nickname of Cardinals' legend Stan Musial) by selecting him in the 13th round of the 1999 draft with the 402nd overall pick that Pujols got his chance to show off his natural ability and God-given talent to the masses.

After a superb season in the minor leagues in 2000, the Cardinals still planned on sending Pujols to Triple-A Memphis for the start of the 2001 season. Then a funny thing happened on the way to the minors.

Former Met whipping boy and then-Cardinals' third baseman Bobby Bonilla, the same man who threatened reporter Bob Klapisch by "showing him the Bronx", hurt his hamstring (poor baby), opening a spot on the roster at third base for Pujols. Once Bonilla returned, Pujols bounced around between the infield and the outfield. Although Mark McGwire was still a Cardinal, injuries prevented him from playing the entire season at first base. Pujols' versatility and big bat forced manager Tony La Russa to find a place in the lineup for him every day and the Cardinals were rewarded with a phenomenal rookie season that earned Pujols the 2001 NL Rookie of The Year Award.

Pujols didn't become a full-time first baseman until 2004 as he spent two seasons as the Cardinals' left fielder in 2002 and 2003. By then, he had already established himself as one of the premier players in the game, ranking high on most of the offensive leaderboards.

Still, one thing eluded El Hombre. He didn't have a World Championship ring to go with all his other hardware that he had collected in his early career. He had appeared in one World Series in 2004, but the Cardinals were swept by the Boston Red Sox in that year's Fall Classic. Two years later, Pujols' dream came true. My fellow Mets fans, I advise you not to read the next paragraph.

After a mediocre regular season in which they went 83-78, the Cardinals snuck into the playoffs as the 2006 NL Central division champions. However, they saved their best for last as they defeated the San Diego Padres and the New York Mets in the playoffs. The Cardinals went on to defeat the Detroit Tigers in five games to win their first championship since 1982 and their tenth World Series overall.

Pujols already had the accolades and respect from his teammates and the rest of the league. Now he had the ring to cap it off (and his first Gold Glove Award, also won in 2006). According to a recent article by Joe Strauss in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, even Mets manager Jerry Manuel couldn't help but praise Pujols as the biggest star in the game.

"I don't think there's any doubt where he stands. From what I know of him as an opposing manager and what little relationship I have with him, the man seems as good as the player. It adds up to be a superstar and that's what he is."

Albert Pujols has been one of the most consistent hitters since his rookie season in 2001. His numbers compare favorably with some of the all-time great hitters in baseball. Consider his year-to-year production with the St. Louis Cardinals and you tell me if there's any hitter in baseball who can match his offensive output:
  • 2001: .329, 37 HR, 130 RBI
  • 2002: .314, 34 HR, 127 RBI
  • 2003: .359, 43 HR, 124 RBI
  • 2004: .331, 46 HR, 123 RBI
  • 2005: .330, 41 HR, 117 RBI
  • 2006: .331, 49 HR, 137 RBI
  • 2007: .327, 32 HR, 103 RBI
  • 2008: .357, 37 HR, 116 RBI
  • 2009: .327, 47 HR, 135 RBI
If you take his "worst" numbers for each offensive category mentioned above (if you can call it worst), he's never hit less than .314 and never had less than 32 HR and 103 RBI. What player wouldn't take a season like that? And that's the LEAST you can expect from Pujols!

So why is Studious Metsimus naming Albert Pujols as its Player of The Decade? If what you've read so far is not enough, ponder this.

For the decade of the '00s, (I know some people say the decade lasts from 2001-2010, but for this blog, let's just use the 10-year span from '00 to '09.) Albert Pujols led the National League in all three Triple Crown categories (batting average, home runs, runs batted in). Very few players even challenged him in those three categories.

Pujols hit .334 over the past decade with 366 HR and 1,112 RBI. The runners-up in each category are Todd Helton (.331 average), Adam Dunn (316 HR) and Lance Berkman (1,026 RBI). Please note that Berkman is almost 100 RBI behind Pujols but he played all ten years from 2000-2009, whereas Pujols was still in the minors in 2000, making Albert's RBI output all the more impressive.

His work on the field has been wonderful, but his work off the field is just as special, if not more special. In 2005, along with his wife Deidre, the couple started the Pujols Family Foundation, which serves to help people living with Down syndrome and their families. The foundation also helps raise money for the poor in Pujols' native Dominican Republic.

Note: For more information and to donate to the foundation, please click here: Pujols Family Foundation.

Multiple MVP Awards, two NL pennants, one World Series championship, the Gold Glove in 2006 and the Triple Crown winner for the decade of the '00s. It all adds up to a well-deserved Player of The Decade honor from Studious Metsimus to José Alberto Pujols.

Just think, Mets fans. Had the Mets' scouts noticed Pujols before the Cardinals did in the 13th round of the 1999 baseball draft, we wouldn't have to be wondering who our first baseman would be in 2010. Look how many players have spent significant time at first base for the Mets since 2001: Todd Zeile, Mo Vaughn, Jason Phillips, Mike Piazza, Doug Mientkiewicz, Carlos Delgado and Daniel Murphy. All those years without a steady first baseman (other than Delgado) while the Cardinals have employed the dictionary definition of steady.

Congratulations to El Hombre, the steady Albert Pujols for his Studious Metsimus Player of The Decade honor. Since Pujols won't turn 30 until January, don't be surprised if another Player of The Decade honor is bestowed upon him for the decade of the '10s. That's consistency. That's a Hall-of-Famer. That's Albert Pujols.