26 February 2014

Ladies and gentlemen, your Scandal o' the Day:

photo credit: @mets via @AmazinAvenue via @jquadddddd
Why is Matt Harvey goofing off in front of a photographer instead with the rehab staff getting his arm stronger?

And you think it's a coincidence he's latching himself on to David Wright in the middle of the #FaceofMLB semifinals?  Please. He'll probably be dating a Kardashian by the end of the season.

Unbelievable....  Who does this guy think he is?!?!?!

22 February 2014

Sounding the conspiracy alert

I was kinda half-joking yesterday about my comments getting yanked off of MetsBlog, but...

  • Matt Harvey threw for the first time since his surgery this morning.
  • MetsBlog posted an entry about it timestamped 12:44pm Eastern.
  • As of roughly 7 pm Eastern, only one comment on said entry existed, and it wasn't even on-topic.
Now, you know good and well there's no way only one person left a comment on that story all day. It's also pretty freaking unlikely that of everyone whom you can safely assume left a comment, only one passed muster when applying the usual criteria of whether or not it crossed the line of civility and decency.

Clearly, a unique level of hyper-sensitivity is being applied when it comes to what fans are allowed to say on an SNY-owned forum regarding Harvey's situation.  Why is this?

Are the Mets desperately trying to control the narrative and shape public opinion of Matt Harvey, thusly trying to control his perceived value among fans when it's time to craft his next contract? As I mentioned yesterday, anti-Harvey comments were allowed to stand while my indirectly derogatory thoughts re: the state of the franchise got the ax.

Are the Mets so insistent on Harvey not distracting from the rest of the season, they're squashing any visible hints of how much fans are really interested in him?

It's just bizarre.

Anyway, let's see how long this comment of mine lasts:

So far, it's made it past the 30-minute mark.

21 February 2014

A thing to make you go, "Hmmm...."

Twice today, some hours apart, I made a comment under this entry over at MetsBlog about why everybody seems to be wigging out about Matt Harvey all of a sudden.  Every armchair manager on the internet thinks he's rushing his rehab because--get this--he expected to start throwing when his surgeon told him he'd be able to start throwing.  Also, that little incident in which he spoke before spoken to has made a lot of fans (at least the more internet-vocal ones) look at him as more and more of a renegade.  To be fair, others defend him and say that the Mets could use a little more of Harvey's fire.

In both of my comments, I discussed this conflict and made the case that the Mets have been so sanitized for so long--they've gone so long without a player who projects the same swagger that Harvey does--that nobody really knows what to make of him.  The way he embraces the spotlight and so aggressively desires to be "the man" is quite simply making the Metsiverse as a whole uncomfortable because it's become a foreign concept.

Here's the interesting part.  Both of those comments were deleted.  I've no idea how long the first one lasted, but the second one was pulled down in the time it took me to microwave a bowl of leftover casserole.

Meanwhile, comments accusing Harvey of trying to play Superman and lacking restraint in his rehab schedule still stand.

Apparently, either the Mets are still really touchy about the whole "don't have an edge" thing or are already making an effort to control any Mets vs. Harvey narratives.

16 February 2014

Putting right what once went wrong...

A couple of nights ago, MLB Network ran the 2000 episode of Baseball's Seasons.  I watched the first 20 minutes or so with a sense of dread, as I knew what was coming: the single incident in my history of Mets fandom that makes my blood boil the most.

When it comes to fan-driven emotion, I've never been as steamed as when Roger McDowell and Lenny Dykstra were traded, but to be fair, I was only about 16 years old at the time.  I've gotten over that.

The bottom of the 2nd inning of Game 7 of the 1988 NLCS pissed me off so badly, I didn't even watch the middle innings.  I think I turned the game back on around the 7th or 8th inning.  Seriously, how do you play somewhere in the neighborhood of 1400 defensive innings and save your absolute worst one for Game 7 of the LCS?  But there again, I was subject to the jacked-up emotions of a teenager, and the sting subsided with time.

No, the Mets moment that still sticks in my craw more than any other is the infamous Piazza-Clemens incident from Game 2 of the 2000 World Series.  Roger Clemens THREW A FREAKIN' BAT SHARD at a baserunner and got away with it.  And not just any baserunner, either: Mike Piazza, the guy who absolutely owned Clemens prior to Clemens throwing a fastball at his head earlier in the summer.

I started to put my thoughts on this to the (now only proverbial) page right after I watched Seasons and relived the rage yet again, but quickly found something else to do.  However, having just read Faith and Fear's venture into alternate history, I just can't help myself from venting a bit.

Above: Bat-Sh*t Crazy Mother-F***er
First off, why in Hades was Clemens not ejected?  Was it because his aim was off?  Had the bat actually struck Piazza, would it have been handled differently?  And what's up with his lame "I instinctively thought it was the ball" explanation   Since when in MLB is throwing the ball at the baserunner a thing?  Was Clemens also simultaneously having a flashback to playing schoolyard wiffleball?

But let's put those questions aside for a moment.  For whatever reason, no umpire darted over to Clemens and tossed him.  So now we have the face-off between Clemens and Piazza.

Right here is where at least some small measure of satisfaction could have been achieved.  Never mind changing the outcome of the game or the Series, I'd give anything to go back in time and see Mike Piazza knock the hell out of Clemens with a right hook to the jaw.  Would the Mets still have lost the Series?  Probably, but I wouldn't be nearly as mad about it 14 years later knowing at least some justice had been served that night, rather than Clemens going down in history forever as the winning pitcher on the night he acted like the 'roided up jackass he was.

I'm not saying Piazza didn't do the right thing.  By all standards of decency and sportsmanship, he did.  He was the bigger man and walked away.  However, the "right" thing isn't always the "necessary" thing.  I still maintain to this day that moment--Clemens committing an atrocious act toward the Mets' franchise player and getting away with it--firmly and permanently established the Yankees as the all-powerful bully in that Series and left the Mets intimidated beyond repair.

Piazza did the right thing, and the Mets lost in 5 games anyway.  Suppose he doesn't do the right thing, and for one brief moment in time, Roger Clemens is lying on the Yankee Stadium turf with the Mets star standing over him like Muhammad Ali over Sonny Liston.  The message is definitively sent that the Mets aren't taking any crap.  Of course a brawl would have immediately ensued, resulting in multiple suspensions.  Maybe Bobby Valentine even pulls a Tommy Lasorda/Jay Howell move and gets Piazza's own suspension reduced to nothing, and the invigorated Mets make the most of the chaos for the remainder of the Series.

Eh, probably not.  But again, the Mets lost in 5 anyway.  It sure would've been nice to at least have had that one glorious moment of satisfaction.

A guy can dream....