Thursday, November 22, 2018

A Joey and Iggy Beartran Thanksgiving (2018)

Happy Turkey Day from Joey, Iggy and the original Snoop Dog!  (Ed Leyro/Studious Metsimus)

Hello, Mets fans!  We're Joey and Iggy Beartran.  As you know, Thanksgiving is the best holiday of the year, mainly because it gives us a chance to pig out and not feel guilty about it.  You know, kind of like the Wilpons not feeling guilty for always leaving their wallets at home every time free agent season arrives.

Iggy and I don't have pockets, so at least we have an excuse not to carry wallets around.  We do, however, have many things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

So finish off that stuffing, don't hog all the white meat (saying that for a friend) and move away from the TV since none of the football teams you root for are playing today.  Instead, tell your family that you have to leave early to start your pre-Black Friday shopping and then spend a few minutes of your day reading about what we're thankful for.  There's always Cyber Monday for you to actually do that shopping, just like there's always the 2024 season for the Wilpons to sign the best players from the 2018 campaign.

Here we go!

       The Peanuts crew re-enacts what guests are being fed at a Wilpon family Thanksgiving.

Joey:  I'm thankful that the Cy Young Award voters realized that Jacob deGrom was the best pitcher in the National League, despite what his won-loss record said.

Iggy:  And I'm thankful I live in New York and not San Diego, where that one loser who voted for Max Scherzer lives.  He thinks wins matter for starting pitchers.  Of course he likes wins.  After all, it's a win for him that I'm not out there or else I'd have whacked him in San Diego.

Jacob deGrom tips his cap to all who gave him a first place vote; all 29 of you.  (Elsa/Getty Images)

Joey:  I'm thankful our Studious Metsimus colleagues took us to the Show Me State to visit Busch Stadium and Kauffman Stadium.  I now have just six stadiums left to complete my tour of all 30 ballparks.

Iggy:  And I'm thankful we made it out of Missouri alive.  After all, the Mets lost both of the games we attended in St. Louis and we were constantly reminded of the Mets losing the World Series to Kansas City in 2015.  I also got an upset stomach for what passed for ballpark food at Busch Stadium.

Joey was less than satisfied with the potato knish and the Mets' performance in St. Louis.  (EL/SM)

Joey:  I'm thankful we got to see David Wright retire on his own terms.  After two-plus years trying to get back to the big leagues, he was finally able to put on his Mets uniform once again and come off the field a final time after playing his customary third base position during the season's next-to-last game.                   

Iggy:  And I'm thankful David's final press conference didn't go down the same road that Mike Schmidt took during his.

                 YouTube video posted by James Lorenz.  Tears by Michael Jack Schmidt.

Joey:  Finally, on a similar but non-Mets related note, I'm thankful we got to see Adrian Beltre at Citi Field just after he collected his 3,000th hit in 2017.  Beltre recently announced his retirement after 21 seasons in the big leagues, and it was an honor to see a future Hall of Famer in action while he was still on top of his game.

Iggy:  And I'm thankful Chase Utley retired without getting another World Series ring.  Now that he's no longer playing, he'll have plenty of time to touch second base since he still hasn't done that since October 2015.

Newly retired Chase Utley will now only have himself to beat up instead of opposing players.  (Juan DeLeon/Getty Images)

Even though the Mets were less than mediocre for a second consecutive season, the team still gave us plenty to be thankful for.  Class acts like Jacob deGrom and David Wright will always make the Mets easy to root for, even when they're not scoring any runs for deGrom and he doesn't get the wins needed to please Mr. San Diego journalist guy.  I do, however, hope Clueless Joe gets a Hall of Fame vote because there's no way he's voting for Utley and his 1,885 hits to make it to Cooperstown.  Hits matter to dinosaur voters like him.

And that's all for today, folks.  From our family to yours, we'd like to wish you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.  Please be sure to keep your leftovers refrigerated and the spare keys to your home somewhere our paws can get to them.  After all, writing Turkey Day blog posts can make bears quite hungry!


On frigid days like today, I kinda wish the baseball hot stove was actually a real stove.  (EL/SM)

Monday, November 5, 2018

Magic in Miami: The Marlins' Home Run Sculpture Has Disappeared

Now you see the home run sculpture, now you don't.  (GQ Magazine)

The 2018 season was a year in which the Miami Marlins celebrated their 25th anniversary.  To commemorate the occasion, the team's new CEO and co-owner - as always, we'll call him Dirk Jitters to protect the guilty - decided to field an expansion team just like their 1993 counterparts did.

Mr. Jitters' decision was a smashing success, as the 2018 squad lost 98 games, just like the original Marlins did 25 years earlier.  Of course, that 1993 team also coaxed over 3,000,000 fans to come through the turnstiles, while the 2018 version drew a franchise-record low 811,104 people to Marlins Park.  But negative numbers clearly don't seem to faze Mr. Jitters.  I mean, have you seen where he ranks all-time in the defensive runs saved statistic?

His defensive "prowess" netted him five Gold Glove Awards, a number surpassed by only four shortstops in history (Ozzie Smith, Omar Vizquel, Luis Aparicio, Mark Belanger) so why should something like negative one million defensive runs saved (give or take a few runs) tarnish his legacy as a baseball legend?  And on a similar note, why should something like wins and losses matter to a team's CEO/co-owner when there are more pressing matters at hand?

That's right.  I'm talking about the Marlins' Home Run sculpture.

It's been no secret that Mr. Jitters has hated the Miami monstrosity since he started to sign his own paychecks.  In fact, he's wanted to remove the animatronic sculpture called "Homer" - which probably got its name not from the prodigious pokes that Giancarlo Stanton was supposed to hit in its vicinity, but because its colors were reminiscent of Homer Simpson's favorite pastry - ever since his tenure with the Marlins began, right after he decided that the team didn't need the services of Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, Dee Gordon and soon-to-be N.L. MVP Christian Yelich.

Mr. Jitters had many hurdles to climb to get Homer removed from the mostly vacant stadium, but he finally got his wish.  And according to Miami sports radio host Andy Slater, the sculpture's status as the Marlins' longest tenured, um, thing has come to a sad and barely reported end.

Where the home run sculpture once stood, Mr. Jitters plans to have an area that can fit 400 people who want to pay very little to get into the ballpark and have no qualms about standing for the entire game.  In other words, people who have no access to StubHub and don't mind standing over 400 feet away from where the team's latest Quadruple-A player is striking out at the plate.

It's all part of Mr. Jitters' plan to make the Marlins relevant again.  Which also implies that the Marlins were ever relevant to begin with.  Who knows?  Maybe this is all part of his master plan to get back at the Marlins for denying him a ring in the 2003 World Series.  Or maybe he wants to further alienate Marlins Man for wearing that gaudy orange jersey and visor to sporting events and for getting more screen time than Mr. Jitters ever did making commercials or diving unnecessarily into field level seats to make an otherwise routine catch of a pop-up look more spectacular.

The motives of Mr. Jitters will remain as mysterious as the contents of his gift baskets.  But at least his machinations as Miami's new CEO allowed the Mets to stay out of last place in 2018.  And for those dozens of Marlins fans who come out to the ballpark to cheer on their favorite team, at least the only eyesore they'll have inside the stadium in 2019 will be the players in the home dugout instead of the seven-story sculpture in left-center field.

I guess Mr. Jitters really does care about his new team's fan base after all.

So glad the Studious Metsimus staff will never get the chance to take this photo ever again.