Thursday, June 19, 2008

Dan Warthen is My Hero.

Continuing on the headline for my last post, things are, simply put, surreal.

Dan Warthen is our pitching coach. There isn't a single picture of Dan Warthen on the internet, not that I could find, nor does he have a Wikipedia entry. And there he was, in the dugout 2 nights in a row, walking out to the mound and saying something to a couple of pitchers. Whether it was, "work him offspeed on the outer edge" or "hi, I'm Dan, your pitching coach", I'm not sure, but hey. I swear that for whatever reason, my buddy and I laughed hysterically for about 10 straight minutes when SNY kept cutting to him in the dugout, partially because he's a little funny looking, and partially from being punchdrunk by the sudden disappearance of familiarity, replaced with a couple old people.

And where is HoJo in all of this? I swear I haven't heard his named uttered, not once, while meanwhile the entire coaching staff has been uprooted, via firing, promotion of demotion. I haven't seen him, either. Is he hiding?

Wednesday night was iffy, but Wednesday day was iffy, and it just followed. Lackey pitched well, Johan didn't, it is what it is, but they win, and win so improbably I still don't really buy it, on Thursday: a late-inning comeback?! Against K-Rod??!! It truly was a nice win, for a team that has been woefully lacking in comebacks of any sort. Walking into the 9th, while I cursed myself for losing sleep to watch another west coast loss, the Met offense had to face a closer who hadn't blown a save in 25 attempts, whose slider doesn't deserve to be called a slider because it transcends sliding, the same Met offense that has negated my need for a barber, and they got to him, tie ballgame! Then I start thinking, of course, they do this, and they blow it, perfect. But Damion Easley, Mr. 2 Legit 2 Quit himself, steps up and yaks one. I can't believe it.

Oliver Perez needs to invest in some kind of a "get out of inning free" card.

Great to see David Wright start to come around, and can we stop bashing Delgado yet, who has quietly been in '06 form for a little while now?

And with that win they've won a couple series in a row, and have improved to 6-2 against the AL, which regardless of what people were saying about the NL catching up, is clearly still the superior league. Point is, the New York Mets can hang with the best teams in the game when they play their best baseball. Nights like 5 of the last 8 nights reinforce my confidence in that statement, and maybe, just maybe, they're starting to play their best. Is it Jerry Manuel and co? I don't know; maybe they broke out of their hole on Sunday and Willie or no Willie they'll be hot from here on out, or maybe they won't, Willie or no Willie.

I've seen/heard/read a lot of initial similar reactions to the new regime. Seems like a lot of folks want to anoint Jerry Manuel as the savior after one extra-inning win, which is really indicative of how starved we've been, but let's give this thing some time before we judge it one way or another. They're good, and he might be good. If he is good, then there's a chance those characters can get it together and make a run yet. ('03 Marlins, Torbor fired, McKeon comes in, anyone?)

Out to Denver, where thankfully it's only June, not Rocktober.

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