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200 Miles From the Citi


October 4, 2009 4:01 AM

SUNDAY PAPER

This is not a live blog.

At first glance, that may not seem like news. To understand why it's notable, you would have had to have been reading my work for at least the past couple of years. (You can catch up here and here, if you're so inclined.)

Those past couple of years have featured some marathon days of baseball and football watching, requiring some fancy television maneuvering on my part and some luck in the television schedule (the Jets on network television for my rabbit-eared TV, with the Mets on the baseball package on the cable TV).

The days with the above set-up have ended in utter disappointment, making me wonder which is worse - that one day of disappointment, capping half a month of terrible play by the Mets where they miss the playoffs on the last day of the season (not much worse the second year than the first, to be quite honest), or elimination from any chance at contention by June. I would say each leaves a bad taste in your mouth, with the latter bringing back bad memories of my high school years to go along with the disappointment. The only good news here is that early on I knew this Mets season wouldn't come down to missing the playoffs on the last day of the season.

So much, though, conspired against me having my usual "Last Sunday of the Baseball Season" set-up. To wit:

1) The Mets are terrible.

2) The Mets are early, the Jets are a 4 o'clock start. So I don't have to worry about the two teams going opposite one another.

3) I wouldn't be able to put the Jets on network TV anyway because the Patriots are the 1 o'clock CBS game and CBS wouldn't have the 4 o'clock game on local TV.

4) My rabbit-eared TV doesn't work anymore thanks to the government's move back in June to digitalize it all. (Was that what happened? I don't even remember how that all worked.)

5) I now have two mobile children, as opposed to the one mobile and one infant a year ago.

And so I prepare for another October of watching teams other than the Mets play in the post-season with just a regular Sunday blog. Let's just hope there's not a rematch in the World Series.

**So far having no DirecTV is not having a tremendous impact on my enjoyment of the football season. The first two weeks of the season were on local TV (though I went to the Meadowlands for the week 2 game), and last week I had a great time with Dave in Brighton at a local establishment watching the Jets. I should have no trouble finding Jets-Saints somewhere this afternoon, and my wife has been wonderful about helping me get out to see these games. She rescheduled her afternoon tutoring so that I could go out at 4.

**I can't start picking against the Jets now...why should I? Defense gets the nod over offense - and this should be a really entertaining game. I'll say Jets 21, Saints 20

**My underdogs were pretty terrible last week. I missed picking against the Lions and Bengals, and picking Tampa and Buffalo (no points for the Bills keeping it close late). In addition to the Jets this week, I'm liking a lot of other road teams - Baltimore in New England is getting 2-and-a-half (the Ravens have played so much better than the Patriots this season), Tampa Bay getting six-and-a-half in Washington (the Redskins have looked that bad), San Diego getting six-and-a-half in Pittsburgh (just seems like a lot, considering the Steelers have yet to look that good), and Green Bay getting three-and-a-half in Minnesota (and Favre getting a big target on his back). Seems to me like I'm picking too many road teams this week (I have quite a few road favorites as well), but there are a lot of bad teams playing at home, I guess.

**I think I'm rooting for the Twins to overtake the Tigers, just to see what happens with the Metrodome being occupied Monday night by football when there might have to be a playoff game there. I have no reason to hate Minnesota...I don't love the Tigers, although there's a feel-good story in there with the state of things in Detroit. But the larger issue here is that Detroit is in the midst of a pretty significant collapse when they had a chance to wrap things up. Watching the Mets go through that the past couple of years, all you can think about is how difficult it is to blow a late-season lead like that - not only does everything have to go wrong for the team in the lead, but everything has to go right for the chasing team. Same thing with what's going on out west in the NL, even though both the Dodgers and Rockies have clinched playoff spots. The Rockies were fifteen-and-a-half games out at one point! That's an incredible turnaround. It just seems so hard to blow a lead like that...yet, the Dodgers watched their lead evaporate until they had to fight for the division in the final weekend. Too bad neither of these races will erase the Mets of 2007 and 2008 from their ignominious standing.

**Oh, ignominious and the Mets reminds me of Omar Minaya. Not to beat a dead horse, but with the Blue Jays firing J. P. Ricciardi, it makes me think there's now someone available for the Mets who actually knows a thing or two about baseball. I know Ricciardi pretty much botched any deal for Roy Halladay, but I bet he'd work well with the Mets. Too bad we'll never find out just how well.

**Stay with me this week. After a Jets recap on Monday I'll have baseball playoff picks for Tuesday.

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