April 04, 2008

Praying For Pedro & Notes From The Opening Series

I'm back from Florida, and am grateful that the news on Pedro isn't as bad as originally feared. Obviously, Pedro being my favorite player, anything less than perfect health is beyond disappointing at this point, but there's still hope on the horizon for his full recovery by early to mid-May, leaving a chance for 22-25 starts. In the meantime, there's been so much speculation as to who will replace Pedro that my head (and yours) is spinning - will they sign Claudio Vargas, released by the Brewers? (Only if he wants to begin in AAA). Will they use Jorge Sosa? (Probably not, as they prefer to keep him in long relief, where he's done a good job so far, relieving Pedro Tuesday). Will they utilize just-called-up Nelson Figueroa? Probably, as it will only be for 2 games at most, if Orlando Hernandez has any lingering problems in the minors, otherwise it would probably be only one start. This leaves both O-Hern and Pelfrey in the rotation, which to me is better than bringing in yet another outsider to the team. I would love it, however, if the Mets were to sign Freddie Garcia and hope he's ready by late June or July; even if they kept him in relief for the rest of the season and used him to fill a hole in the 2009 rotation, that would be fine with me!!! In the meantime, again, we are left praying for Pedro...again!!!

Some quick notes from the first 2 games:...it's weird to be in the majority of fans in the home teams' park- and I really feel for Marlins fans, in spite of how they played spoiler to us last season, which was the Mets' fault, no matter how you slice it...Mike Jacobs still looks like the player that he is, not the player we expected him to be- basically, a 15 homer, 75 RBI guy - but sadly, I am beginning to think he might end up with numbers better than Delgado this season. What scares me most about Delgado is that he seems as if he can't swing for power, making easy outs on pitches that would have been hits or homers in season's past. We don't know how healthy he really is, nor at this point if he will ever truly be healthy again, and his ability to turn on pitches with power just isn't there right now. I've watched him in every spring game he played in (that was televised over the internet), as well as seeing him up close and live 3 times now, and the more I see, the more worried I've become...meanwhile, Brian Schneider has been on fire with the bat, calls a great game and looks like we've got a catcher for the foreseeable future! I don't expect him to suddenly, at age 31, become an excellent hitter- however, from what we saw during the opening series, he's not as bad as advertised, either...and speaking of being on fire, I watched Ryan Church pretty closely, and must admit that he's both a better outfielder then expected as well as having a much sweeter swing then anticipated. I can easily see him hitting 25 dingers and knocking in 90 runs, with a decent batting average. He is not a platoon player, in my opinion, and I do believe I saw him get some hits off a lefty- what do you know???!!! Everyone's been lauding Milledge for his play so far, and that's fair, but in Schneider and Church, the Mets seemed to have landed 2 cogs who will play important roles for them this season, a season in which we are expected to reach the World Series as the NL representative (in spite of how it's now become soup de jour to back the Braves- and, wasn't that Mike Hampton's career rushing before my eyes yet again? So don't use the "I told you so" routine regarding Pedro if you're not willing to hear it about Hampton!)...David Wright looks even mightier than anticipated, if such a thing were possible, and during both of the first 2 games, every time he came up to bat, all you could hear were shouts of "MVP!" "MVP!"...and that's what I hope to shout come September, that's for sure!!!...Funny enough, the souvenir stands in Miama were filled with Reyes and Wright adult t-shirts, but only kids sized t-shirts for Santana!!! Guess I'll have to order it via MLB.com after all...I was NOT impressed by the overall experience as a fan at Dolphins Stadium, in particular how they dealt with a customer service issue I had, as well as some videos they showed. First the customer service issue- we were in $90 seats, which came with waiter/waitress service, which came in handy in the second inning. We ordered a large soda, at $7, not $4 like the ones they sold at the concession stands, and at the one hour mark I still hadn't received the soda. After letting the waitress covering our area know that I still haven't received it, I asked for my money back and she said "we don't do that" and a soda was brought to me 15 minutes later- warm, no ice, and after Jonathan had already brought a cold one back to me...but, even more disappointing, throughout the game, the Marlins played a series of badly-produced vignettes entitled "How to Utilize a Mets' Jersey" (or something similar). There were 3 of these vignettes, using a Mets' jersey to blow the nose of a girl without tissues; to cover up a puddle outside a house so someone could enter with dry shoes; and cleaning up doogie poop when nothing else was available. Of course, Billy the Marlin, the lame mascot, offered the jersey to each of the 3 people "in need" and my neice and nephew were none too please to see the jerseys they were wearing treated in such a fashion. It wasn't appropriate for the children in the audience, especially since, if there were no Mets' fans in the audience, there wouldn't have been more than 5000 people opening day, and substantially less than that for game two - which, by the way, they never did the old "attendance game" for - my guess- less than 15,000 for the game, with 75% Mets fans!...where were those runs in Game 2? Couldn't they have sent over just 2 from the 13-run drubbing from Wednesday?...and finally, no reason to panic after a 3-game series, winning 2, even from the lowly Marlins, as Pedro will, hopefully, come back - again- and after Perez's stunning performance in game 3, let's hope Maine tops that and really makes the starting pitching the best in the league!!!...4 hours 'til game time...can't wait to see what we do to the Braves!!! Enjoy the pics from game 2!

Special Note: John Young won't be back to the site for a few more days still- he's working on something that he'll fill you in on once he's done, but keep coming back cause we'll be posting regularly in his absence- and we miss you, John!!!


Anonymous said...

what a series for wright!!!

Anonymous said...

anyone else get that sick feeling in their stomach when pedro left the mound?

David Rubin & Jonathan Elfenbein said...

You know what? Nothing could console me that day, having flown across the country, spent a fortune to see the game and planned this for so long, buying games one and two as much to see Pedro as to see Johan, and after Johan's debut, it would have been MORE THAN AMAZING to have Martinez perform likewise...when will I ever learn??? That sick feeling will be in my stomach until we win the Series, sad to say, and the injury to Pedro just made it that much worse...at least we clubbed them on Wednesday!!!!!