|August 24, 2009|
|Mr. Met Salutes Jeff Francoeur, Now a True Team Member|
|By Kevin McCauley|
|Welcome aboard, Jeff Francoeur. Mr. Met salutes you. |
The former Atlanta Brave, who has been swinging a hot bat for the Amazins since the Ryan Church deal, is now officially a member of the hapless New York Mets. Representing the winning run, Francoeur made the record books yesterday when he smashed into a game-ending unassisted triple play. It was only the second time in Major League Baseball history that a game has ended that way. The last one was May 31, 1927.
Hats off to you, Jeff. You are now a full-blooded member of the accursed orange and blue gang. Wear those colors well.
The '09 season of misery can’t end soon enough. The Mets are now ten games under the .500 mark, and a whopping 15.5 games behind the Phillies in the National League East. [News bulletin: the Metropolitans are currently down 5-2 late in today's game against the Phils.]
Fans are left to ponder the unfathomable. We are haunted by Luis Castillo’s botched potential game-ending pop-up against the haughty New York Yankees. That fumble may well doom Louie’s shot at “Comeback Player of the Year, snapping a two-year winning streak for the guys from Queens. Fernando Tatis snagged last year’s honor.
Fans still scratch their heads over the decision of tender centerfielder Carlos Beltran to pack it in, joining fellow "stars" Carlos Delgado and Jose Reyes on the disabled list. Also, CB why didn't you slide at home plate? Many Novenas will be offered up during the long winter for the full recovery of Beltran’s bruised knee. A warrior Carlos B. is not. It took a beaning to the noggin to get the noblest Met , David Wright, out of the line-up. The third baseman vows to return to action Sept. 1. Note to David: pack it in.
Can anyone figure out Ollie Perez, who made a little bit of history in yesterday’s game when he failed to get more than two outs in the first inning. The Elias Sports Bureau reports that only nine pitchers this year failed to get out of the first inning. For Perez, it was a typical zone-out. How could he not be juiced by pitching in a Sunday game match-up that marked the return of Pedro Martinez to the mound against his former teammates? [Full disclosure: A New York Times July 31, 2005 magazine cover of a beaming Pedro still adorns the walls of O’Dwyer’s worldwide headquarters in New York. ] Then there is Ollie's battery mate, Brian Schneider. Will Schneider's end-of-year batting average top the the buck fifty mark? He is now at .176. It's going to be close.
What about small-minded Mets management, yanking veteran outfielder Gary Sheffield off waivers after he was claimed by the Giants, denying him a chance to finish with a contender. Is the 40-year Sheff really part of the rebuilding of the Mets? Free, Sheff!! And then there is clueless Mets owner Fred Wilpon, telling the New York Post that general manager Omar Minaya, the architect of the current Met mess, is going to return next season. Fred, it’s your money, BUT...
There is one shot of redemption. The demise of the Mets coincides with the opening of Citi Field, which is named after the bailed out financial services company. How about a fresh start? The Mets are not going to knock down their new $400M stadium, but taxpayer-owned Citigroup would gladly squirm out of its 20-year sponsorship deal.
Smash the curse. Let's go back to the “Shea Stadium” name to keep hope alive for a return to the glory years of 1969 and 1986.
Let's Go Mets.
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