Baseball Jeremiad


A Curiously Intelligent Baseball blog

The Happy Recap — 4.19.10

San Quentin — yes, the prison — has a baseball team.

It’s never too early to panic in Boston.  Actually, this isn’t true.  It is way too early to panic.  However, because it’s Boston, let the crying commence.  The Rays waltzed into Fenway and took three in a row from the Sawx.

It’s not quite visiting Dr. James Andrews, but visiting a knee doctor if you are a center fielder is sort of the same thing, right?

The Good Phight thinks that reports of Raul Ibanez’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.

And if you’re interested in seeing guys who will kill the Mets in a couple of years, the same blog has a Phillies Pharm Report.

Jeff Samardzija is vulture repellant.

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Cleaning up the Reader

Matt and I created an email for comments, tips, corrections and rants.  Since we’re squeezing every bit of creative energy into our posts, we didn’t waste any of it on the email address: we can be reached at

One of the motivations for setting up a gmail account was the usage of a GoogleReader.  For those of you not familiar, it’s basically a souped up, sortable RSS feed.  For those of you who don’t know what an RSS feed is, it’s basically a sole webpage that receives updates from any websites or blogs that you’ve flagged.  In other words, it’s one stop shopping for baseball news.

Perhaps the sole disadvantage of the Google Reader is that links can pile up rather quickly.  Moreover, since I’m subscribed to several links for each team I’ll be covering, there’s plenty of overlap.  As a result, from time to time, Matt or I will plow through the GoogleReader and link some stories and posts of interest that we may have previously missed. 

That being said: on to the links…

I’d kill for Rob Neyer’s GoogleReader.  Here are his Monday links.

Remember those vultures?  They’re baaaack.

Power Rankings.

Somehow, I think Gary Matthews Jr. belongs on this list.  Then again, Wells, Guillen and Soriano are mighty large albatrosses in their own rights.

When not spitting vituperation, Murray Chass is a pretty good baseball columnist.

Taking an Oh-Fer in a 20-inning game will do a number on the stat line — especially when it’s only April.

I think I’m going to need to read The Eastern Stars by Mark Kurlansky.

That’ll be enough to waste away your morning in a government office, now won’t it?

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Vultures Spotted in Queens

Certainly it is only April, but those buzzards you see above Citi Field may have a veritable feast coming soon.

Last night I received the play-by-play of the Mets’ demise from my father over the phone.  Jerry Manuel removed Ollie Perez with a man on second and one out in the seventh inning after having thrown ninety-seven pitches.  Subsequently, the bullpen, so lauded previously, poured kerosene all over Busch Stadium, lit several matches, turned on its heel and ran. 

The result: a Felipe Lopez (!) grand slam.  Mets lose, 4-3.

Metstradamus summed it up well: this one cuts deep.*

*OK, OK, it should be cuts deeply, but that’s what he wrote, so that’s what I wrote.

Amazin’ Avenue tried to point out some positives in the loss, but I’m not necessarily buying them.

Meanwhile, John Harper’s lede in The Daily News points out the obvious:

In the strictest sense it was the worst kind of loss for the Mets. When you not only fail to cash in on a night Oliver Perez delivers some rare brilliance, but give the game away with some horrendous relief pitching, April somehow feels like those infamous Septembers past.

Yes, the 4-3 loss to the Cardinals Friday night felt ominous, to say the least, especially for a team desperately trying to stave off an early-season crisis and the manager watch that would come with it.

Suffice to say, the buzzards are circling in Queens.  Justified or not, if the team continues at its current pace (.300 baseball) for the next two weeks, it’ll take a small miracle for Jerry Manuel to see May Day in a Mets uniform.  However, I’m not necessarily sold that it’s all the skipper’s fault.  Omar Minaya has, to paraphrase Father Baseball of Wood-Ridge, taken the Mets’ money and not produced.  The vultures may end up picking over the manager’s office, but only because Omar Minaya has surreptitiously slipped something into Fred and Jeff Wilpon’s Cokes. 

The bottom line is this: we’ve seen time and time again that bullpens and role players are generally interchangeable and it’s a matter of finding diamonds within the rough.  The teams that regularly win do this; those who don’t are also-rans.  Right now, it’s obvious where the Mets fall within this continuum. 

One more note on this — and a note that I haven’t seen brought up by many — it must be the Mets’ worst fear that the core that they’ve assembled is soft and incapable of winning.  Or, more directly, could the sum of their parts be worth less than the parts themselves?  Is a nucleus of Johann Santana, Francisco Rodriguez, David Wright, Jose Reyes, (the amazing disappearing and unfindable) Carlos Beltran simply inadequate, not in terms of talent, but rather in terms of wins and losses?

In case you were wondering, by the way, Jason Bay couldn’t make contact with the water if he fell out of a boat.  That’s bad news too.


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