Saturday, April 23, 2005

Rock Bottom

I'm sure there'll be plenty more losses to come, but this has to be pretty freakin' close to as bad as it gets. I didn't see a whole lot of the game, but what I did see (and hear on the radio as I tooled around DC) was some of the ugliest baseball this side of the '93 Mets.

There were many candidates for Lame Duck today. Each and every person who stepped on the sod in uniform soiled the good name of this still-young team.

Carlos Baerga's corpse was especially execrable. He Ole'd a groundball right between his wickets (I'm amazed it found room, actually!). And in the fifth-inning explosion, he made what has to be the single dumbest baseball play I've ever seen. There was a runner on third and nobody out (maybe one out?), and Mike Piazza drilled a grounder to him. Baerga went for the tagout of the runner off third, instead of firing the ball to first for the out. Hey assclown! You already held the runner, by checking him, and you had an easy play at first. Take the farkin' out! He pocketed the ball, and no out was recorded.

It's the same kind of play that I make when I'm on my PlayStation and I hit the wrong button. At least there's a reset button in the game.

Tony Blanco proved, beyond any resonable and many not-so-reasonable doubts that he will never be a major league leftielder. He makes JJ Davis look like Tris Speaker. He did go 2-4, but who the hell cares when you're getting pasted and giving up hits to leftield because you have no flippin' clue what you're doing out there?

Jose Vidro didn't have a problem with range today, but he did have problems catching wind-blow popups.

Brad Wilkerson showed that, although we love the Kentucky Masher, he's not going to be confused with Andruw Jones in the field.

Basically, everything bad that you could envision happening on a baseball diamond did. (Wait, lemme check.... Nope! No Balks!)

But, the real Lame Duck was the man who had the shovel and pickaxe out, digging us the early grave, Tomo "Ball Four" Ohka. Frank has an unsually long leash, but he had zero patience for Ohka's Kamikaze pitches. 3+ innings of four-run ball was more than enough.

It was the same Ohka we've seen all year: zero control and constantly behind the hitters. It was his walk of the pitcher (on four pitchers, no less) that ignited one of the Mets' rallies. How many times can one team walk the opposing pitcher? And how many times has it come back to nip our sweet li'l cheeks?

Frank suspects he's hiding an injury. "I really don't care what he says," Robinson said. "There has to be something wrong with him. Has to be. I've seen this kid for three years. Even when he wasn't pitching well, he didn't come anyplace close to the way he's throwing the ball right now."

I suspect we're close to the end of Ohka in the starting rotation. Tony Armas will be off the DL soon (next weekend perhaps?) and with the off-day on Thursday, we should be able to pass Ohka's spot in the rotation. If he's injured, the DL is the best thing for him. Jon Rauch is more than ready to fill in as a starter, if Armas isn't quite ready to go.

WTF Frank Senior Moment

There are fewer things worse than a tinkering manager. Especially one who feels he needs to dramatically shake things up. The team hasn't been scoring runs, so he dramatically overhauls the lineup. I can see playing one of Tony Blanco or Carlos Baerga, but both? And with Cristian Guzman still in the lineup? That's a recipe for an afternoon of dung.

It doesn't make any sense either, given his public pronouncement last week that he wanted to get Terrmel Sledge some more time. Unless I missed the announcement of a hand transplant over the weekend, Seo throws right-handed. So you bench a terrific defensive left-fielder who's smacked the hell out of the ball most of the year, for a AA-Ball non-defender with a right-handed swing longer than that 6th inning lasted?

That's a panic move. A move that he can sit back and claim that he was trying to 'stir things up', but really only serves to weaken the team. Bad move, Frank.

And what does Jamey Carroll have to do to get some PT? Yeah, I'd prefer him to Guzman at this point, but if Vinny Castilla's getting the day off, why not play Jamey? All he's done is hit the ball anytime he's in the lineup.

Whereas Carlos Baerga's corpse was last seen grounding out to the pitcher.

Tinkering is one thing. Weaking your team is something completely different.


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