And we all know how well that has gone for the past 40 years.
David Wright Is Also the Mets’ Best Bowler
2/21/11 at 3:00 PM Comment

As if playing baseball in sunny Florida wasn't already enough fun, baseball clubs sometimes organize teamwide outings during spring training so that players can bond. Sometimes they shoot pool. Last year, the Yankees went to an arcade, where A.J. Burnett schooled his teammates at an Indy Car racing game. (Incidentally, this would prove to be the highlight of Burnett's 2010 season.) And yesterday, more than 40 Mets players and coaches went bowling. The star of the night? David Wright, whose impressive high game of 259 was tops on the team by some margin. The next best game? Mike Pelfrey, who rolled a 188. Said Wright to a reporter who suggested he must have been practicing all winter: "Pure athleticism."
an AJ Burnett burrrrrrrrrn in the middle of a "there is nothing to do in Port St. Lucie but bowl?" post? Everything about that is awesome, including Mr. 34 bowling 188.


Look! Jose has new tattoos, that ass <3.

moar Mets and misc. other spring training pictures  )

So, the Mets got rid of Luis Castillo and Ollie Perez. Both of them were examples for (shitty) Mets fans of how horrible the former GM was in regards to paying people money in regards to their actual talents. Castillo would've been fine, except the Mets couldn't give him a paycut and too many Mets fans are racist assholes and would've still bitched that he was on the team. Ignoring of course that for a very long time the longest tenured Met prior to Omar as GM was; David Wright (fine), Jose Reyes (fine), and Steve god-fucking-damn Trachsel (but that was fine, all of his crappy years as a Met -- because he's white and thusly... awesome? maybe?)

Well, from the "Goodbye Ollie" article that I loved;
“You might know before,” Perez said. “But when they tell you, you don’t feel great. I think when you get fired anywhere, you feel sad. It’s not a good moment.
“But you have to be stronger. My life is not done.”
His voice cracked. The words trailed off. The end. After months of speculation — fans howling, the front office observing, Perez trying in vain to recapture his 92-mph fastball — it was over.

The fan base detested him. They jeered him on Opening Day last season. They mocked him when he walked in the final run of the 2010 season. They roared with delight on Saturday, when he surrendered a pair of homers in a relief appearance and sealed his fate with his own ineffectiveness.
“I think I can be better than that,” Perez said. “That’s why I don’t want to quit. I want to get better, for my family, and for me.”
It was 8:25 a.m. Perez thanked a group of reporters and headed for the clubhouse exit. The gray Camry idled in the players’ parking lot. Oliver Perez entered the passenger side and the car pulled away underneath a rising sun.
Inside the clubhouse, Reyes laughed. Niese thumbed his iPhone. David Wright sipped from a Styrofoam cup of coffee, grinning with R.A. Dickey about a clubhouse prank.
The game would carry on for those still capable of playing it.
And then let's talk about Jose Reyes some more because Lord knows I do not do enough of that once the actual season actually starts.
Reyes "surprised" by Castillo's release -- Here is Luis Castillo’s close friend Jose Reyes, speaking about the Mets decision to release Castillo today. The always ebullient Reyes was as sullen as I’ve seen him, speaking softly and looking at the ground:

"He’s a very good friend of mine. He’s close to me. When you see somebody go, it’s going to hurt. He was playing good. It’s not like he was playing terrible. I didn’t even have the chance to say goodbye.

I’m surprised a little bit, because he was playing good baseball. But I don’t make that decision. Everybody loves Castillo in the clubhouse. I’m very close to him, so it’s hard to see him go.

It’s going to be good for him probably. Last year was kind of difficult for him.

He just went home. He felt bad. I talked to him every single day. I go to his house and we talk about stuff. The energy level was kind of down, because of all the speculation about what was going to happen to him. It got in his head. I wanted to help him out, because it’s tough on the field when all that stuff is in your head."
Goddamned heartbreaking. But, luckily, Castillo got a minor league deal with Philly and already got to see a future The Dugout moment with Manny hitting (Little) Roy Oswalt in the neck with a hit.
The prospect of former teammate Luis Castillo playing for division rival Philadelphia made Jose Reyes chuckle Monday. "Crazy, right?" he said. "Same division, bro.

"Hopefully, they give Castillo an opportunity there. He can still play. If they give him the chance, he's going to do his job. I'm sure of that."

Even the light-hitting Castillo could get a power surge from Citizens Bank Park, a notorious hitters' park. "He might hit 30 home runs at that place," said Mike Pelfrey, clearly joking.

The Mets could face Castillo in the second series of the regular season in Philadelphia after opening up at Florida. Castillo could earn playing time as a replacement for the injured Chase Utley at second.

Reyes said he spoke to Castillo daily while Castillo was a Met. "I went to his house, he came to mine," Reyes said. "He had a lot of pressure on his head because he didn't know what's going to happen to him, if he's going to play too much or not. He (brought) that to the field, so it's tough to perform like that. In one way, I felt happy for him so he could find a job with another team and get some pressure off his back."
Love. <3.

And finally, concussions! Justin Morneau urges players to opt for safer helmet. Some of what he's saying is incorrect but I don't fucking care as long as he gets more information out to the players so that there is not another "My name is Ryan Church, I am going to get on an airplane after having two concussions in a week period -- and we are going to Colorado and WHY AM I PUKING SO MUCH -- OH GOD I AM DYING -- AND NOW I WILL BE OUT OF COMMISION FOR MONTHS INSTEAD OF WEEKS, ;.;" episode with the players. Because while that shit drives me closer and closer to Chris Nowinski -- it also drives me closer and closer to fucking madness.
The Out Of Context quote of this week is brought to you by the letter T as in Trin:

Trin: i suggest also writing from the heart first
Trin: just vomit all over the cover letter
And this isn't the context, but it is similar to what I'm currently plotting; Did I tell any of you here on LJ that I emailed the Sports Legacy Institute with a general, hey I'm very interested in concussion research and stuff and are there any volunteer openings up and such? And I got an ACTUAL~! email~! from Chris Nowinski himself (saying no! but still~!)? If I didn't say that, I did now. And if I did say it, I think it bares repeating.

Anyway, I was kind of a bitch last night -- I sent a columnist from the Boston Herald a very cranky 5 AM email saying that even as a person who doesn't live in Boston, I know that the Herald is a pretty okay newspaper and that you should do some GODDAMNED FUCKING RESEARCH if you are going to be writing a baseball column. Jeff is NOT Jered Weaver. I mean it's one thing if a blog gets the two confused but this isn't a fucking blog. And then someone commented to the guy and said, hey that wasn't Jeff, that was Jared, so now the columinist still has it misspelt. I mean, come on. Even if I didn't stalk the Weaver brothers like I do, much like how I know there are two i's in Torii Hunter's name, it's just a thing, you know? Ugh.

Also, in regards to baseball, even though I think Amy is the only (other) one who would remember Phil Coke on my f-list -- but, caruso made a Phil Coke playlist that is AMAZING and just ugggh. Makes me shake my fist at Detroit for having him because he's so far away.

Dontrelle Willis, Josh Beckett, and AJ Burnett walk into a bar -- and the bar burns down )

Anyway, that's where I stopped a couple days ago. Which is cool because yesterday AJ Burnett and Josh Beckett both pitched and were awesome. Beckett came back from his "injury" (both mental and shoulder/arm related I'm sure) and AJ just finally had a good game (because I didn't watch any baseball just to give him the extra cosmic boost yesterday -- the things I do for you AJ).

Instructor: Those people outside are crazy, wearing big ol' leather boots in this kind of heat!
Student: Maybe they're from Texas?
Instructor: Nah, they looked pretty American to me.

--Beauty School, 35th & 8th

Final baseball thing; has an article about how the Mets are failures. .. .... ...... in regards to never having a no-hitter, perfect game or anything else that would be awesome for a pitcher.

The topic in the Mets' clubhouse that day was no-hitters, a topic Mets pitchers discuss from time to time without firsthand knowledge of the phenomenon. It was in the summer of 2005 when Steve Trachsel recalled the six-man no-hitter the Astros had dropped on the Yankees two years earlier. "Is that allowed?" Trachsel asked. Then he answered his own rhetorical question. "Probably not; at least not for us. I don't think we are allowed."


The Mets, born seven years earlier, were guilty of a greater transgression, turning their backs on the patron saint of the no-no; they traded Nolan Ryan. "It's the Curse of Nolie," David Cone said in 1991 after he had flirted with a Mets no-hitter. "You can't trade that man and not expect some ramifications."
So, you may have heard that David Wright suffered a concussion this weekend after being beaned in the head with a ball. Usually this is where I have a link or photo link of some sort -- but, yeah. So far I've been good with not seeing it (my cable was out for 2 days) in anything but pictures and that's the way I want to keep it. Well, of course, you know that something like this would catch my attention. Not only because there are moments (fleeting moments) where I understand why so many girls fangirl over D. Wright -- but because of the concussion part. I was so worried for him, not because his brains have been permentaly damanged --- but because he plays for the mother fuckijng Mets - who as you've heard me bitch for a year and a half now -- constantly found new ways to fuck Ryan Church up after his concussion through such means as not shutting him down after getting two within a span of a week (not good) or putting him on a plane ..... to Colorado..... and then bitching when he gets so sick he pukes and is light headed. No shit.

So, with all that as context for those of you who weren't privy to my bitching .... let me tell you -- I almost threw my fist through the wall this morning while reading the morning paper during breakfast.
They didn’t put Wright on the DL. They didn’t call up a player to take his place. They did take on the Giants with 23 available men – Alex Cora was out with a hand injury – after their manager, Jerry Manuel, said he wanted to give Wright “every benefit of the doubt.”

The same benefit of the doubt the Mets gave Ryan Church last year while imperiling his career.

Manuel used a pregame news conference to give the not-so-dearly-departed Church some deferred parting gifts, and to remind his audience that “some people like to get back in there.”

The tone of the questioning by semi-incredulous reporters likely made its way upstairs, and voila, five hours later, the Mets dispatched Omar Minaya to announce Wright had been placed on the 15-day DL after team doctors conferred with a mystery specialist in a conversation that likely went like this:

Doctors: Do you think we should put our third baseman on the DL?

Specialist: You’re kidding me, right? Aren’t you guys watching the same SportsCenter highlights I’m watching?

The sight of Matt Cain’s fastball exploding against Wright’s helmet was the most disturbing Mets scene since Roger Clemens crashed his own vile heat against Mike Piazza’s skull. There should’ve been no delay here. No discussion. No debate.

The choice should’ve been clear the very second the diagnosis was in. Only it wasn’t.

“Let’s just say we take the route of the disabled list,” Manuel said before Sunday’s 3-2 victory, “which could be a safe route, but you have a guy that wants to get back at the plate.”

A guy like David Wright and, apparently, Jerry Manuel, who told of the time he was “hit in the head” and “knocked out” in Class AAA ball. “The whole thing with me was, ‘I’ve got to get back to the plate,’” Manuel said.

No, this conversation wasn’t heading for a happy ending. So with columnists loading up in the press box, aiming their laptops toward the easiest of targets, the story changed the way most Mets stories do.

A nervous Minaya appeared in the postgame interview room with two marching orders:

1) Keep it simple.

2) While keeping it simple, don’t even think of saying the words Adam Rubin.

Actually, Minaya was given a third play to run. He needed to emphasize that Wright was pressing to remain on the active roster, and that the Mets chose a player’s well-being over their own game-day designs.

“He really wants to be out there with the guys,” Minaya said, “and we decided to take it away from him….He tried to fight me. He said, ‘Come on, man, I want to play. Give me a chance.’…I said, ‘David, no, we’re not going to let you do that.’”

So the franchise was saving the face of the franchise from himself, a curveball on a fastball count. If the Mets don’t lead the league in anything else, they’re the reigning champions of rushing injured players out of the tub.


The Mets are in dire need of outside medical opinions like the one they solicited from the specialist they refused to identify. In case the team needs a quick concussion refresher, it should check with the good people at the Mayo Clinic, who define such injuries as those that “temporarily interfere with the way your brain works. They can affect memory, judgment, reflexes, speech, balance and coordination.”

Every concussion, according to the Mayo Clinic, “no matter how mild, injures your brain.”

So David Wright -- team spokesman, clubhouse leader, All-Star third baseman – has an injured brain. Not a calf, or a quad, or an ankle, or a hamstring.

A brain.

The Mets apparently haven’t done much homework since Church injured his.

“I think when it was going on we talked about it,” Manuel said, “but in going forward we never had any session on what to look for or what might be different.”

All in all, Manuel showed bad form when he used his pregame forum to compare Church unfavorably to Wright. The manager said Wright “is made up a little different than, say, Ryan Church.”

If Manuel wasn’t trying to belittle Church, never one of his favorites, he had the funniest way of showing it.

“I would have to go back and say that, as [Church] was saying that he wanted to play,” Manuel said, “there was still some complaints about other things. Those other things are kind of what made it difficult.

“Some people can say, ‘I want to play, but I’m a little queasy.’ You can say, ‘Well, you don’t really, you can’t play.’…I think with Ryan there was always something thrown from left field – we needed to check that. And that made it somewhat difficult to evaluate that particular situation.”

Church could’ve performed better as a Met. But by treating his two concussions as mild head colds, putting him in the outfield and flying him all over creation, the Mets wronged Church far more than Church wronged them.

On Sunday, Wright was dealing with headaches and other post-concussion symptoms after his release from an overnight stay at the Hospital for Special Surgery. The Mets won a ballgame without him, then did the right thing by putting the last star standing on the DL.

Too bad their first instinct didn’t look as good in the box score.

The Ian O’Connor Show is every Sunday, 8-10 a.m., ESPN-AM 1050
My mother, who knows that I practice at the feet of the Tao Of Nowinski, had the response of: "Well, this is why you are a Yankees fan" when I was telling her all of this. Which, while comforting ... isn't really as helpful as one would think -- because I don't trust the Yankees to be that much better at something like this either (even though when Damon got his Yankees!concussion (different, thank god than the one he suffered as a Red Sox), the Yankees didn't pussy foot around and put him on the 15-day DL. Of course, that's assuming two weeks and a day is enough time to keep the swelling down enough).

In conclusion, I miss the days when I could make fun of Eric Lindros and not feel any consquences (which is not to say that I still don't -- because I do, it brings great joy to my black little heart -- but sometimes I do feel bad when I think about everything he's lost from his 15 concussions).

March 2012

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