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Killing Two Birds with One Stone

Mike SteffanosWednesday, April 19, 2006
By Mike Steffanos


I've had a thought about how we can solve a couple of recent problems that have cropped up with the Mets. First of all, you have that embarrassment of a song. Don't get me wrong here, at 47 years old, I feel as unqualified to weigh in on a rap song as my parents were to judge the Blue Öyster Cult I was cranking to their dismay when I was growing up. When I first heard Our Team. Our Time., I thought it was stupid, but then again, I'm no fan of the genre.

But I've read enough opinions by Mets bloggers who aren't decrepit dinosaurs like yours truly, and the overwhelming consensus is that this song ranks up there on the embarrassment scale with your mother dragging out your baby pictures in front of your friends. Too bad the Mets didn't get some opinions on this song before they made it public. Like that foolish drunken pronouncement of love you once made to that girl you were just hoping to have sex with, once it gets out there's no calling it back.

Your second problem is that erratic Venezuelan right-hander that Jim Duquette traded a future Cy Young winner for. He can't maintain the level of concentration required to succeed at the major-league level, and Rick Peterson's 10-minute fix has failed to do the trick. The incessant boos that greet his every blunder have become every bit as embarrassing to the team as the aforementioned song.

Don't despair, though. What I think we might have here is actually a fortunate synergy of two unfortunate occurrences. Nothing that Peterson has tried seems to have gotten through to the inoffensive but obviously dense Mr. Zambrano. Rick has taken that mullet out there to the mound time after time, patiently placed his hand on Victor's shoulder and told him how much he loved and believed in him, only to be betrayed by yet another walk or poorly placed pitch by his dim protégé. Face it, Rick, Mr. Nice Guy just doesn't work with this schmuck.

It's time to try a different tactic. Love has failed you, may I recommend torture? We're going to lock Zambrano in a sensory deprivation chamber with a pair of speakers and the video of his latest performance. When he's pitching well, throwing strikes and locating his pitches, we'll play soothing music over those speakers as a reward. When he loses his arm slot and starts throwing balls, we give him a full dose of Our Team. Our Time.. The more he screws up, the louder it gets. Over and over, every time he screws up, for hours at a time, until he cries and begs for mercy.

Now here's the best part. When he starts screwing up in a game, instead of booing him the fans start softly singing in unison We get the hits -- hits! We get the runs -- runs! We'll shut you down -- down! We're number one -- one, one, one! You'll get to see the fear in his eyes, and I'll be willing to bet you'll start seeing more consistent performances. It's a no-lose situation, really. Either we get a better pitcher, or we get to watch him piss himself on the mound. After all, the fans shouldn't be the only ones to suffer when he pitches.

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