Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Who are you rooting for in the LCS?

question_marksThe Division Series games didn’t really turn out the way a lot of people expected. The Angels and Tigers both got swept. The Nationals and Dodgers are out after winning just one game.

For the most part, that was what I wanted to see. I was rooting for the Royals over the Angels, the Orioles over the Tigers and the Giants over the Nationals. Unfortunately, I wanted to see the Dodgers win it all so ex-Met Justin Turner could get a ring and they couldn’t make it past the Cardinals.

So, it’s time to pick new teams to support. The ALCS opens tonight with “Big Game James” Shields on the mound for Kansas City against Chris Tillman and the Orioles. Shields may have baseball’s dumbest nickname, but the Royals are baseball’s Cinderella-story team this year and I can’t find a good reason to start rooting against them now. (I know I will miss tonight’s game – let’s see how much of the series I actually manage to watch.)

While the American League match up features two teams I don’t have strong feelings about, the National League is a different story. I don’t see any way a Mets fan could root for the Cardinals after 2006, 1987, 1985 and all of the history between the two teams. But the Giants present their own problems – I still haven’t forgotten Matt Cain‘s beaning of David Wright in 2009. And this year’s team went 6-1 against the Mets. Still, the Giants have some New York history and are probably the lesser annoyance, so go San Francisco… I guess.

When it comes to the World Series, I know I will be rooting for whichever American League squad makes it through the ALCS.

Of the remaining playoff teams, who are you rooting for?

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Who are you rooting for in the Wildcard round?

question_marksFor fans of 20 teams (including both the New York ones), baseball season ended on Sunday. We need to find a rooting interest if we’re going to follow the playoffs instead of getting wrapped up in football or preseason hockey.

Tuesday, Sept. 30: American League Wildcard Game – Oakland Athletics vs. Kansas City Royals 

I’m ok with whichever team comes out of the American League Wildcard Game because I don’t have strong feelings about either the Athletics or Royals. I enjoyed watching the Bash Brothers and “Bo Knows Baseball” a couple of decades ago, but don’t think I could name the starting nine for either team now. Checking the rosters, the Royals have “you probably forgot he was a Met” Jason Vargas. The Athletics have “you probably forgot he was never really a Met” Scott Kazmir. Neither should factor into tonight’s game.

Wednesday, Oct. 1: National League Wildcard Game – San Francisco Giants vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

The National League game is a tougher call for me. I like Pablo Sandoval (when he’s not up against David Wright in the All-Star voting), Tim Lincecum and the injured Angel Pagan. But Buster Posey makes me crazy, given that no one seems able to decide whether he’s too valuable to play catcher or valuable because he is a catcher. I think I’ll be pulling for Pittsburgh, because let’s face it – it would be really funny if Ike Davis got to the World Series after being dumped by the New York Mets.

Assuming that your team didn’t make it, who are you rooting for in the playoffs this year?

Posted in Autographs, Uncategorized

Mets autograph collection additions: Gary Bennett, Daryl Boston & Dicky Gonzalez

Manny Acosta (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Ganbatte, Manny Acosta (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

The Mets off-season to date had been depressing. (Well, yesterday’s news about Andres Torres signing a one-year deal to return to the San Francisco Giants was a bright spot. It’s good for Torres, and even better for me – I didn’t want to watch him play for the Mets again in 2013. On the other hand, Manny Acosta‘s decision to sign with the Yomiuri Giants in Japan doesn’t really inspire strong feelings at all.)

So let’s look at some baseball cards instead. I’ve picked up around a dozen new autographs for my collection of former Mets players over the last month or so,  and I had a few scans lingering on my computer’s hard drive that I’ve never gotten around to posting. I’m going to try to remedy that between now and Christmas.

Most of these guys are more obscure than Torres and Acosta will be in a few years, so you’re forgiven if you don’t remember them. (I don’t remember all of them myself.)

Continue reading “Mets autograph collection additions: Gary Bennett, Daryl Boston & Dicky Gonzalez”

Posted in Uncategorized

Winter meetings items & thoughts

David Wright (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
David Wright (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Item: The Mets officially announce David Wright’s contract extension.

Thoughts: David Wright should finish his career as a Met and own nearly all of the team’s career offensive records when he retires. And since he has a full no-trade clause, he doesn’t have to worry about being shipped off to Toronto next winter.

“I take a lot of pride in putting on this uniform on every day,” Wright said. “I take a lot of pride in going out there and trying to play hard in front of those fans every day. And there’s a lot of good times to come.”

Let’s hope he’s right, because as happy as I am to see Wright commit to the Mets, this deal doesn’t make the team better – it just keeps them from getting worse.

Item: The Mets could officially name Wright “team captain” this spring.

Thoughts: Titles are nice, but I think they’re mostly for the fans. Any baseball player that needs that little “C” on his jersey probably isn’t up to the leadership the role requires.

Continue reading “Winter meetings items & thoughts”

Posted in Uncategorized

Newark Bears pitcher headed back to affiliated baseball

The Newark Bears released four players on Monday, including infielder Daryle Ward. (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

2012 Newark Bears pitcher Omar Javier had his contract purchased by the San Francisco Giants organization, the Can-Am League announced today.

Javier appeared in six games for Newark, all starts. He had a 2-2 record and a 3.74 ERA with 36 strikeouts in 33.2 innings. Prior to joining the Bears, Javier played for the Atlantic League’s York Revolution in 2012. The 25-year-old righthander from the Dominican Republic began his professional career in the St. Louis Cardinals’ organization, but never advanced past Rookie ball.

I never got to see Javier play for the Bears, but I wish him good luck and hope he can make the most of this chance.

The Bears made four other player moves today, releasing infielders Daryle Ward and D’Angelo Jimenez as well as pitchers Anthony Pluta and Sergio Espinosa.

Except for Espinosa, all of these players are at least 30, so maybe they informed the Bears that they were not planning to return in 2013, or maybe there was some sort of contractual obligation to grant them free agency. I can’t imagine any other reason to release Ward and Pluta, two of the most recognizable players on the team over the past couple of seasons.