LADIES & GENTLEMEN, YOUR . . . NO, I'M NOT SAYING IT, NOT AFTER A SERIES LIKE THAT
In short, it was a manhandling.
But what can you say, it happens. While I'm comfortable saying that the Sox are a better team than the Mets, and that my October concerns have been anything but allayed, teams lose three in a row sometimes. And chances are, when you lose three straight, you ain't gonna look too good in the process.
And let's admit it: that catch by Coco Crisp off The Prince, the one that saved the game, was un-be-lievable. Just amazing. And Young Mr. Wright looks to be emerging from his mini (as in two-and-a-half games) slump. That ball was drilled.
Anyway, I'll be offering my comprehensive thoughts, analyses, predictions and pontifications on the first half of the season after the 4th of July weekend, not not much to say now on the individual players. So just some quick random thoughts on the past few games:
A Hole in SNY's Advertising Budget: Thankfully, SNY seems to be reducing the frequency of appearences by TGWTHIHN. Unfortunately, there's been a commensurate increase in the times they show that grey-haired goofball from American Idol telling us that He gets what he wants/He gets what he needs/He's got Possi-bil-ities.
I want to watch his white-boy, soul-singer moves about as much as I need a hole in my neck. Maybe he can get a hole in his neck, and let the poor TGWTHIHN go swimming once again. How's that for a possi-bil-ity?
Everlasting Frowns: Looks like Milledge is gonna dine at the Norfolk Applebee's the rest of the summer. I'm of a mixed mind. So long as he's back with the big club in time to make the post-season roster, I'm not too upset, even though I'd prefer to see him stay in Queens. But he needs to work on laying off pitches, drawing walks, getting on base, and if he needs to do that in AAA, so be it.
Anyhow, Mrs. Mike joined me for the final 4 innings or so last night, and had some observations on Everlastings. (You notice, by the way, how often the spouse joins you watching during losses? Add to that the fact that every bad Met play is deemed "stupid," or accompanied by a "Why did he do that?" and I'm sure you can imagine the oodles of fun I had watching last night's game.) Observing Milledge's hang-dog face, she told me he looks "bad," and seems to have a "bad attitude."
Now let me assure you, Mrs. Mike has never listened to any talk radio, follows no Met blogs or message boards, and the only Met fan she talks to (that I'm aware of) is a big Milledge fan. Nonetheless, she's come to her conclusion, and she's sticking with it. When he made an out late in the game she added, "every time I watch, he plays badly . . . and he still has a bad attitude."
Maybe there's something to all the chatter I've been hearing. (And, yes, you did just read me make a semi-conclusion about the Met's top young prospect, based on the musings of a woman who declared not once, but twice, "that was dumb" after Coco Crisp stole second in the Red Sox 7th, because she "thought he was out." Maybe we should forget I talked about any of this.)
. . . She Knows How To Use 'Em: How 'bout that shameless, lingering, low-angle leg shot after the 4th inning last night? Not sure where it was, exactly, but the camera just sat there as SNY went to the break after the inning.
Family television nightly. On SNY. He gets what he wants/He gets what he needs . . .
The Comic Stylings of Gary Cohen: On Tuesday night, Gary informed Ron & Keith that both Gabe Kapler & Kevin Youkilis were Jewish, despite Youkilis's "Greek-sounding name." Both Ron & Keith said they didn't know that.
Which is good, I suppose. The minute two non-Jewish ballplayers start keeping tabs on who is, and isn't, of The Tribe among major leaguers, maybe that's the time for me to start thinking about emigrating. Anyway, that wasn't Gary's comic moment.
The comic moment came during the daily camera shot of the Random Fat Guy In The Stands ("RFGITS"). As usual, Keith opened the commentary with a straight, "Oh my," but Cohen following with an unusually mean comment for him: "He's a big Met fan."
Oh, don't get me wrong; I laughed. Cohen rarely jokes, and when he does it's dependably and singularly unfunny. So I enjoyed that one. But ya gotta hate being that fella when he watches the replay of the game after getting home.
Oh Darling: Ron's getting good. Smart, quick, witty, knowledgeable. I'm really enjoying him, especially when they have the three-man booth. His back-and-forth analysis with Keith, of the pitcher-batter face-off between Schilling & Woodward (1o pitch walk; nice) in the 6th or 7th inning last night was great. Two smart guys who know their respective crafts trading thoughts, words, and analyses. Cohen pretty much let them go there. It was excellent.
Whoa, Keith: He's reaching rarified air. He basically says whatever he wants, truth or relevence be damned. I think he makes up half of what he says. Nonetheless, because of his combination of sheer entertainment value along with sharp analysis, I'm psyched to have The Eternal Captain in the booth. A few from the last three games:
1. Keith was suprised that people can go inside the Green Monster. I don't think he's really surprised. I just think he's pissed he didn't take one of his Beantown Groupies in there during the late innings of Game 4 of the '86 Series. Carter's 2nd HR could've been going over the wall, while . . . oh, you get the idea.Amazingly Simple: Of course I stuck around after the game to watch "Simply Amazing," about the '86 Mets. And, of course, SNY waited until a 45 minute post-game show was over before airing it. 45 minutes to conclude that "The Red Sox kicked the Mets' asses this series." (And of course, the analysis could have been more exciting than that, I have no idea. I ended up watching an interesting interview with Salman Rushdie on Channel 13 between the game and "Simply Amazing"; you see, I'm a well-rounded Met fanatic.)
2. Why I Love Keith in the Booth: While riffing on something, he suddenly paused, telling Cohen, "Oh, take your . . . little thing," as a mid-inning promotion was cued-up on screen. Gary laughed. So did I.
3. Keith Obsession Watch: Tumbling pitches took the series off for some reason, but level swings remained. Endy Chavez, alone, made three seperate appearences in Keith's Level Swing Ledger. Once last night, and twice on Wednesday. In fact, Keith described one of Endy's level swings on Wednesday night as "parallel to the ground."
4. Keith Getting Tough: Not quite an obsession . . . yet, Keith was very much on a "Ballplayers aren't tough anymore" tip this series. According to the Eternal Captain: (a) guys "don't know how to hit the eject button anymore" when they face a pitch high & tight; (b) guys shouldn't be allowed to wear elbow pads; and (c) when a catcher blocks the plate, you've gotta run into him hard.
Now, in fairness, Keith was a pretty tough ballplayer. He didn't even wear batting gloves, so oversized elbow pads would be out of the question. And I recall a game against the Dodgers in 1985, I think, when he approached homeplate against Plate Blocker Extraordinaire, Mike Scoscia. Scoscia got the out, and Keith never even reached the plate. But let me tell you, that was a collision. Much smaller than Scoscia, and at that point in his career, about as fast, Hernandez gave as good as he got on that one. It was a helluva crash.
5. During last night's game, the three of them went on a little riff on the AFL after a graphic revealed that the Patriots played in Fenway from 1963-1968 (a fact, by the way, that I'm having a hard time grasping). Darling, to his credit, busted out a tome's-worth of AFL minutae and trivia, even leaving Cohen in his wake. He gave an impromptu list of the stadiums that the Pats played in through the years!
Anyway, in the midst of this bravura performance of sports geekdom that had my jaw on the floor, interspersed with a bon mot or two from Gary, Keith called Gino Cappelletti, "Marchetti," then ended the whole tangent by saying, rather meekly, "The olllllld A.F.L."
And the '86 show was fun. Nothing new or profound for those of us old enough to have seen it contemporaneously, but great to see the video clips of games that played only in our memory the last 20 years. I forgot, for instance, that Knight missed Niedenfeuer when he punched him (how'd he get the black eye?). Or about the Met win that ended with them executing an 8-2-5 double play.
And it was fun to see some of The Boys now, twenty years later: HoJo, Mookie, Carter, a punchy looking Dykstra, Aguilera, Orosco looking like Zorro with a freaky goatee & wispy moustache, Ed Hearn, Keith & Darling obviously, Teufel. Though not fun to see Davey looking worse than TGWTHIHN; seriously, what's that all about? Was he sick? Did he go on a crash diet? Yikes, he looks awful.
And while we're there, even though I've never actually thought about it, I now know why Steve Sommers has never left the world of radio! Lock up the children. Whoa.