Friday, February 29, 2008



And we finally get our first visual taste of the possibility that is the 2008 New York Metropolitans. The first few games in this first week always come across somehow as unreal; we paddle through, or rather, shovel through months of winter, unceasingly awaiting the arrival of Spring. Every columnist and amateur blogger makes allusions to the beaten down metaphor of the real world's natural cycles as it couples with the going and coming of baseball, and then SPRING HITS, BASEBALL IS PLAYED, and no one really notices for a week or so. So it goes.

I woke up today looking forward to the early highlight of my day being Johan Santana's Met debut, and indeed it was the highlight, Juan-gone homer or not. The first inning was shaky, as our ace allowed two iffy singles and then a deep fly to the sprightly Juan Gonzalez, but the second went by without any bumps, and for anyone who is concerned about the first inning, let it be. Johan went out there today to work his arm up. How do you do that? Throw some fastballs, not too hard. If anything, it's a good sign that Johan's heater is lively enough to stir up a home run out of the old man's bat, right? The whole experience of the two innings was fantastic, just to see #57 in uniform.

Additionally, Reyes did a little swinging and a little scampering, picking up 2 hits and a RBI. Wright and Alou each knocked one in to boot. F-Mart, the favorite son Omar worked so hard to keep, made a web gem of a catch on a foul ball late in the game, Ryan Church lined a hard single against a lefty and Duaner Sanchez got in the game and looked OK, despite getting taken very deep by Albert Pujols leading off the 6th. Final score: 5-4 Cards, who I have picked as 75-game winners. It's just nice to see some baseball, eh?

Oh, and the forums are full of people ready to dive off of the Verrazano based on Santana's 3 ER and the Mets' 0-3-1 ST record so far. Especially because that one tie was to a college team. OH NO! WE'RE ALREADY TWO GAMES BEHIND PHILLY! THEY MUST BE THE TEAM TO BEAT! But I doubt anyone will actually jump, because anyone who takes February baseball results seriously hasn't followed the sport enough to care that deeply.

And lest I forget, today marked the triumphant return of none other than Joselo Diaz...crickets...the other piece in the, ahem, K*zmir deal, who pitched a flawless inning. Always nice to see AAAA middle relievers. Speaking of that, what little respect I ever had for the Redbirds is now gone, as I have discovered that they let mediocre RP Brian Falkenborg go to the Dodgers. Late at night last September 18, my friend Scott and I watched, huddled together, on MLB.TV as Falkenborg hurled 2 heroic scoreless frames for the Cards in extra innings against the Phillies, who we obviously wanted to see lose. Despite the herculean efforts of Brian Falkenborg, Philly pulled the victory out after he left the game, but he left us with an inside joke that will never die. You gotta admit that "Falkenborg" sounds like some sort of Transformer... If only everybody pitched like him, we coulda had a one-game playoff down in Philly last year...

Anyone see Torre in Dodger Blue against Larry and the Bravos? Strange. He's a lot easier to like, though.

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