Sunday, May 30, 2010

Baggy Pants And The Nitwits

In Mets history, the term Midnight Massacre refers to the events of June 15, 1977, when the Mets traded away Tom Seaver and Dave Kingman and got Jack Squat in return. 1977 was also the year a short-lived cartoon called "Baggy Pants and The Nitwits" premiered.

After watching the events unfolding at last night's Cubans-Bears game (I mean, Mets-Brewers game), I feel as if the cartoon made its return inside the Mets clubhouse and now it's the fans who want to do a little massacre of their own.

The Mets and Brewers played last night wearing throwback Negro League jerseys, with the Mets dressed in the uniforms of the New York Cubans. The baggy look of the jerseys might have looked cool, but what wasn't cool was the performance of the man who took the mound for the Mets, followed by his replacement's outing, making Jerry Manuel look like a nitwit.

Fernando Nieve might have had success last year in his first three appearances as a starter, but does anyone remember where he came back to earth last year after defeating the Yankees, Rays and Cardinals in succession? That's right, class. It was in Milwaukee against the same Brewers who wore Bears jerseys yesterday.

On June 29, 2009, head nitwit Jerry Manuel tried to use Fernando the Snowman's magic for one start too many and paid the price. The Brewers pounded 11 hits off Nieve in 3.1 innings and gave the Snowman his first loss as a starter for the Mets.

So when Dead Manuel Walking needed a spot starter for last night's game, who did he call upon? None other than the same Fernando Nieve (the reliever formerly known as Fernando Nieve-ryday) who gave up more hits (11) than recorded outs (10) in his last start in Milwaukee.

Nieve now has a career ERA of 7.53 against the Brew Crew and has allowed 22 hits in 14.1 innings. Of those 22 hits, six have been home runs, meaning the photo to the right is not a rare one.

The Head Nitwit had a chance to redeem himself when he removed Nieve from the game after two innings of so-called work. Despite Nieve's best efforts to gift-wrap the game to the Brewers, the Mets were still alive in the game, trailing Milwaukee 5-3. Instead of bringing in a dependable reliever to help shut down the Brewers and give the Mets their best chance to win, he brings in my friend and yours, Oliver Perez.

In true O.P. fashion, he pitched two innings, giving up three runs, three hits and walked two batters. Once he was removed from the game, the Brewers had already put up eight runs on the Mets in four innings.

Still, the Mets were only down 8-6 after four innings. Their offense was doing well against Milwaukee starter Manny Parra and reliever Marco Estrada. Then the men in baggy pants combined to become the greatest nitwits they could be by not hitting for the rest of the game.

The combined efforts of future Hall-of-Famers Todd Coffey, Carlos Villanueva and John Axford combined to retire the final 13 Mets and the Mets fell to the Brewers by that same 8-6 score.

With that loss, the Mets are guaranteed another series loss on the road and will still be searching for their first series win on the road when the calendar flips over to June. After winning five straight games against the defending World Champions and defending National League champions, the Mets went on the road to play the team with the worst home record in baseball. Instead of riding the momentum they had created for themselves, they provided the perfect remedy for the Brewers' home woes.

Corey Hart has proven himself to be larger than life against the Mets' pitching staff, driving in eight of the Brewers' ten runs over the first two games of the series. On a team that has real-life Bears in Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder, it's Grizzly Adams that has hurt the Mets the most.

Actually, it's not Corey Hart that has hurt the Mets the most in this series. It's the decision-making of Dead Manuel Walking.

Friday night, Manuel brought in Ryota Igarashi to face Corey Hart after Igarashi had not done well since returing from the disabled list. Bang-zoom. Hart took him deep and the Mets lost the series opener. Then last night, when Fernando Nieve set fire to the Mets' chances of winning, he should never have brought in Oliver Perez to throw his gas upon the flames.

Jerry Manuel should know better than that. Just as the Mets should know better than to give Corey Hart and anyone who wore a Bears jersey for Milwaukee last night meaty pitches to feast upon. We all know Bears love fresh meat. Leave it to Baggy Pants and The Nitwits to provide them with a full picnic basket for them to chow down on.

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