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200 Miles From the Citi


October 18, 2009 4:01 AM

SUNDAY PAPER

Ryan Madson's bases loaded walk to give up the go-ahead run in Game 2 of the NLCS reminded me that it was 10 years ago that Kenny Rogers did same for the Mets in the NLCS.

The stakes were higher in Rogers' case - it was the bottom of the 11th of Game 6, and the run not only won the game but also clinched the series for the Braves. I can't imagine a more anti-climactic event than a series-ending bases loaded walk.

The bases loaded walk has been the bane of my existence this past decade or so - it just drives me nuts every time I see it - throw a strike! So with tomorrow being the 10-year anniversary of Kenny Rogers' becoming my number one baseball enemy...I turn to prose for therapy:



The Bases Loaded Walk
There are fewer things I do not like
With three men on, Count: three and two,
Than when the pitcher can't throw a strike
And "Ball Four," says the man in blue.

It seems like such a simple thing
He's done so many times before
To throw a strike, induce cheering
Rather than a walk and a free score.

I suppose if it would help my team
I wouldn't mind as much
But lately every time, it seems,
My team fails in the clutch.

A pitcher's role within the game
Is to help his team, not hurt.
He has no one but himself to blame
When his pitches hit the dirt.

With the bases loaded walk, you know,
The defense has no play,
Can't aid the pitcher in his show,
And it's hard to win that way.

It's annoying, that walk, to say the least,
When the bases are fully jammed...
It's a quiet killer, a silent beast...
I'd almost rather a grand slam.

*Hall of Famer Gary Carter has yet another new gig - Carter will manage the Palm Beach Atlantic University Sailfish. That's a Division II college team. Carter, once he got no offers from anything at the major league level, decided he'd rather work close to home in Florida - apparently he became a grandfather for the first time in August and felt like he missed out not being there. Lots of talk that people in baseball are still upset with him for 'campaigning' for Willie Randolph's job in 2008. I think it's time for people to get over themselves and admit that he rubs them the wrong way for more than that one thing.....and watch out for a Division II championship very shortly for PBAU.

*More former Mets are back in the New York fold. Tim Tuefel is the seeming 'chosen one' within the organization - he's expected to be named manager of AA Binghamton. Mookie Wilson is going to be back in the organization in some capacity, and Wally Backman will be managing at the single-A level. Wish Carter was in this mix...

*Jose Reyes had surgery this week to clean scar tissue from the torn hamstring tendon behind his right knee. He's expected to be ready for spring training. I suppose of all the players whose injuries affected the 2009 season, Reyes was the most costly. I'm so torn, though - clearly the Mets are a more exciting team when Reyes is healthy and is a threat, but are they that much better with him than without him? I used to think, if healthy, he was the most important player on the team....I view him now, if healthy, as the most valuable trading chip.

*Jets can't lose to the Bills today. Just can't. It has to be a blowout, too, none of this piddly sit on a lead stuff. The Bills are terrible. Jets 30, Bills 14.

*I like Houston to cover in Cincinnati (they're getting five-and-a-half), but Cincinnati to win again...I don't care that Jacksonville is playing the Rams - they shouldn't be giving 9-and-a-half to anyone - St. Louis keeps it close...Arizona will beat Seattle outright - let alone take 2-and-a-half points from a favored Seattle...and I'm not learning my lesson from the New England game, I guess - I'm taking the Ravens as road 'dogs again, getting 2-and-a-half in Minnesota.

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