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200 Miles From the Citi


July 25, 2010 12:05 AM

Sunday Paper (Year 2, Volume XXX)

Ollie_Dodgers_Loss.jpg

I've thought this the other two times I've been on West Coast time:  I could get used to this.

Imagine how different my life would be if every night the Mets games were done by 7pm.

Unless, of course, the Mets were on the west coast at the same time...in the process of losing 8 out of 10.

That wouldn't change anything.  It's pretty terrible no matter what time the game ends, no matter what the time zone.


The Mets are essentially destroying their season on this west coast trip.

23 runs in 10 games...an inability to support solid starting pitching...ill-timed slumps by the important offensive cogs...road struggles...the return of Oliver Perez...It's like the worst parts of the Mets' year converging on them all at once to sabotage them.

There were signs that the Mets were going to make a playoff run - Johan Santana has turned his season around in a big way, David Wright was insanely hot, Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, and Luis Castillo were back from their injuries - but the Mets were playing over their heads for a long time.

They couldn't keep playing that well with the pitching rotation they had (though this part of the team has yet to let them down, it has to fall off by September), and they couldn't overcome the huge hole in the lineup Jason Bay has become (I'll still believe he'll come around in future years, but I'm done defending him in 2010).

There's still a chance the Mets can make a run and overcome the 7-and-a-half game hole they have created for themselves in the division...but it would mean outplaying teams that are clearly better than them.  And they have yet to show they can outplay those teams.

It looks more and more like August and September will be the Mets playing out the string.  Which means there could be a change in leadership.

And now, instead of hoping for wins, I'm just hoping that leadership doesn't trade the entire future of the organization for a last-ditch effort to save their jobs now.

*I have a theory about Oliver Perez.  Under pressure, he has to concentrate on the task at hand - he doesn't have time to become a headcase.  Game 7 of the NLCS, say, or the 12th inning of a game in Los Angeles with the winning run on third base and only one out.  In the latter case, he was able to record two solid outs and extend the game for the Mets.  But then, in the 13th inning, with less pressure on, Perez got one out before serving up the game-winning homer.  It's another piece of the impossible-to-solve puzzle that is Oliver Perez.  And any thought in which I try to solve that puzzle is way too much time spent thinking about it.

*For anyone who ever worshipped a player - in any sport - growing up, Gary Smith's article about Floyd Little and Tom Mackie in this week's Sports Illustrated is a must-read.  I may have gotten choked up.  For a full recap of the week's issue, don't forget about Justin's review at Sports Crackle Pop! - Though Justin skips over the football sidebar featuring 9 questions about the upcoming NFL season...in which Tony Sparano is referred to as Tommy Sparano.  Thought you'd take SI to task for that one, Justin.

*Speaking of the NFL, I got my NFL preview magazine this week.  I'll write more about that soon...but for now I'll only tell you that Sporting News picks the Jets to win the Super Bowl - and that scares the heck out of me.

*Sad to hear of the death of longtime New York Daily News sportswriter Vic Ziegel.

*I find this interesting: Do you remember the old ads for 'Holiday Inn Express'?  A guy treats someone who is down on the sidewalk, and they say, "Are you a doctor?"  And he replies, "No, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night."  There were a few of the ads, with different jobs - all revolving around the concept that a night at a Holiday Inn Express could change you...or make you feel like someone else.  (I think it was under the ad campaign, "Stay Smart"...but it implied, I guess, that you weren't smart, and you should be someone else.)  Well, have you seen their new campaign?  It's all about being yourself.  It's got a catchy song with the words, "I like the way - you - smile...."  Then at the end of the commercial it says, "Stay You."  Has a company ever gone through such an ad campaign turnaround?  It's the total opposite.  That interests me...must have been some ticked off focus groups.

*Pictures from Safeco Field are up at the Facebook page.  See if you can check them out here.  And if you're not already, follow the site as a fan on Facebook!  I'll have a review of the ballpark here on Monday.

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