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Rumblings from the Diamond

The Mets hit the 40 game mark following last nights loss against the Yankees with a 19-21 won-loss record.  Essentially 25% of the season is now complete. My hopes were up when the Mets finished April four games over .500. That nice start quickly vanished at the start of May and now they’re looking to be right in line with the past 6 years. Only once since 2008 have the Mets not finished the first 40 games 1 game game above or below .500. Last year seems to be the anomaly.

  • 2013 – 16-24
  • 2012 – 21-19
  • 2011 – 19-21
  • 2010 – 19-21
  • 2009 – 21-19
  • 2008 – 21-19

Offense vs. Defense

There were a couple of situations during the first month that indicates the Mets are conflicted regarding the preference for players that are better on offense or defense. Ike Davis was traded to the Pirates a couple weeks into the season, the presumed better defensive player, essentially giving the starting first base job to Lucas Duda, the presumed better offensive player. However, over the last 30 days, Davis (.284 Avg. / 1 HR / 7 RBI) is hitting better than Duda (.236 Avg / 1 HR / 9 RBI), which is about the time the trade was made. Duda’s defense has been better than expected of late turning some nifty double plays at first base, but that still doesn’t put him on par with Davis defensively. Only time will tell which option was best, but my preference would have been to keep Davis over Duda.

On a similar topic, the Mets chose to start Juan Lagares in centerfield over Eric Young a few weeks into the season. I wrote about this last month and still believe Lagares is the better option in centerfield for both offense and defense. However, Young started all 4 games in the Yankees series. It’s hard to ignore the affect Young has on a game with his speed. He causes havoc every time he gets on base… if only that happened more often! As I said, Lagares as the presumed better defensive player, yet he’s also hitting better at this point in the season with a .296 Ave. Young is hitting .236. Seriously, the Mets are playing the lesser player from both offensive and defensive perspectives. This doesn’t make any sense.

Replay

Replay has been used a lot to start the season… and I’m a big fan. The Mets have requested a replay 5 times during the first 40 games, resulting in 2 plays overturned. Both overturned plays extending an inning and runs scored following the replay. I’m all for the right calls being made as often as possible. Even better, this just shows how the right call can result in an extended inning. Or, worse, could have stalled an inning if the bad call was not overturned.

The Walk-off

Joker got a hold of me earlier this week to voice his displeasure with the antics that occur around the league after a team wins as a result of a walk-off hit. A player gets a walk-off hit, he gets to first base, the rest of the team mobs the player, and he gets pie in the face during the on-field post-game interview. I, for one, have grown to accept these antics following a game winning hit… outside of the pie-in-face. I’m not sure if anyone has noticed, but baseball is not the most exciting game. I don’t even join fantasy baseball leagues because the season is just so long. I can only imagine how hard it is for millionaire players to go out there every day. They do call it the dog days of summer for a reason. With that, I’m open to players getting a little overly excited following a game winning hit. There’s not hurting anyone.

Regular Season Baseball vs. Playoff Basketball / Hockey

Baseball is alive and well on TV in the NY area. The Mets and Yankees played a 4 game series that also corresponded to NBA and NHL playoff games featuring NY area teams. The combined ratings for the Mets vs. Yankees games were higher than either of the NBA and NHL games. Granted, having the Mets and Yankees play against each other is doubling up on NY teams, but we’re also comparing them to playoff games in other sports. I have a suspicion that a Knicks vs. Heat game would have resulted in better ratings, but that’s just me thinking out loud (or in writing).  Here’s the info from Tuesday night for the Rangers vs. Penguins win or go home game 7:

… and here’s the info from the Nets vs. Heat game 5 clincher.

Baseball wins!

On a side note…

There are just a few TV shows on my watch list.  It’s so small, I can write them here; NCIS, NCIS LA, Criminal Minds, and Hawaii 5-0. How I Met Your Mother is now over and off the list. It seems like every season Criminal Minds ends on a high note… and this year was no exception. I was at the edge of my seat the whole episode Wednesday night. It probably helped that I was led to believe one of the main characters was going to die, but it turned out one was just leaving the show. I’m glad they have yet to kill off any of the main characters. They just figure out a way for the character to make an exit. Anyway, it was a spectacular season finale.

And, finally, a little unknown fact about skim milk. Did you know skim milk naturally has a light blue tint, which is changed to white by added powdered milk? Really, skim milk is actually blue! I was stunned to find this out. And with that I’m now done for the day.

3 thoughts on “Rumblings from the Diamond”

  1. Sorry K – just can’t get into the walk-off antics. “Act like you’ve been there”. It’s not the World Series yet… it’s May. If I’m an owner, I’m prohibiting my team from partaking in this tom-foolery. One, the team looks foolish. Do they all run out to console the guy when he strikes out with the bases loaded to end the game? (NO) Two – if I’m a manager or owner, I prohibit these antics. No need risk a big injury (see Kendrys Morales – the guy missed TWO YEARS because of walk-off lunacy.)

    On a side note, headed to the Met game on Monday with the family. For me, it’s about the Met game. For the Mrs. and the kids, it’ll be about everything BUT the Met game (the junk food, the souveniers, the dunk tank, more junk food etc etc)

    Lastly, while looking up Morales, I saw a piece on Joel Zumaya, a Tigers pitcher who was unavailable for the playoffs due to a sore wrist…. from playing too much Guitar Hero…. that’s awesome!

  2. One other thought about the walk off… when the guy gets the hit to win a game, he’s doing his job! He’s SUPPOSED to do that. He’s a professional.

    Maybe I am thinking about this all wrong… maybe at work, if I clear a paper jam in the copier, everyone should rush me from their cubicles and douse me with three-hole punch clippings and start knocking over chairs… Hmmmmm…. that WOULD be awesome…..

  3. There are two aspects to your argument that we’re in disagreement.

    I’ll start my rebuttal with the “this is your job” mantra. Yes, it is the hitters job to get hits. The best ones only get a hit 30% of the time. It’s also the pitchers job to get the hitter out. The best ones can get batters out 75% of the time. In a last at bat scenario you can’t help but be excited to win the individual pitcher vs. hitter battle that resulted in a game winning hit. The hitter beat the odds in a pressure situation. I’d also like to reiterate that baseball is a game. Players should be allowed to treat it that way.

    My rebuttal of the “act like you’ve been there” mantra. We’re talking about a game winning hit here. They’re not celebrating a hit in the 3rd inning. The game is over. Your team won the game. Act like you’ve been there when you get the 3rd inning hit. Be excited when the 9th (or extra inning) hit wins the game for your team. I’m not here to take that smile away from Bobby Bonilla… a little reference to the 90’s there.

    On that note, when the NFL is looking for a new commissioner, I’ll throw your name in the hat to run the no-fun-league.

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