By Mike Steffanos
Yesterday I was accused of something for the first time in my 47 years: maturity. Lisa had a good laugh over that one, although I greatly appreciated the thought. I assure everyone that it was an accident, and promise it won't happen again.
Anyway, we spoke our piece about letting go of the painful past. I made a point in one of my answers to a comment that only an absolute public relations disaster on the scale of the Kazmir trade could finally force the Wilpons to admit how very dysfunctional their organization had become. We may well have lost a future Hall of Famer, and that's a steep price to pay, but we actually have a management structure where someone is in charge. The Kazmir deal made ownership finally accept the awful truth about the terrible joke into which their operation had degenerated.
Some like to rail against Tampa Bay for covering up Zambrano's injuries back when. The team refused to share all of Victor's medical information with the Mets doctors before the deal, although their own doctors assured them that the problems were minor. I don't know -- the first car I ever bought was a piece of sh*t Camaro from a shady used car lot. I was a starry-eyed teenager, and maybe I could be forgiven for paying about 3 times what the car was worth from a sleezeball that saw me coming. What was an allegedly professional and experienced front office's excuse? The Mets should have been smarter. Period. If you're looking for justice, Tampa Bay's punishment is that they will always be Tampa Bay.
If you'd like, keep beating yourself over the head with this deal. Hang on every one of Scott Kazmir's starts like a jilted lover that can't let go. Let the media keep yanking your chain by pointing out how good the kid would look in a Mets uniform right about now. Rail at the injustice of it all. I don't call it maturity to walk away from this nonsense, I call it sanity.
The return of solid play
For those that saw last night's game, we were treated to a return of very good solid fundamental baseball both in the field and at bat. Not that the Mets were terrible in Milwaukee, but they were off. If they could play more games like this, they can have a better chance of surviving their current rotation problems. For all of his weaknesses as a manager, Willie demands sound play from his players. It's one of his greatest strengths.
Daily News: It's Lima Time tomorrow
Adam Rubin quotes the manager why Jose Lima will start against the Cardinals tomorrow while rookie Brian Bannister gets a rehab start in Norfolk:
I don't think it's fair to rush a young player into a situation. ... Whether you like the options or not, it doesn't really matter. To me it would be a panic kind of move to rush him back after pulling a hamstring and put him in a situation.
No quibbles here. The Mets are right to let the kid test that hammy in a low-pressure situation. He hadn't even quite settled in as a major-league pitcher before he got hurt, either. It's better to take the cautious approach with the kid and live through one more edition of Lima Time. (Dear God, Trachsel, can you just freaking win tonight?)
Bergen Record: Cliff's Struggles
Steve Popper offers up a column profiling a somewhat dejected Cliff Floyd:
It's just, kind of just getting old, just getting old. I want some results. It's getting old.
I don't feel different. Actually, I don't feel different in terms of knowing I should go out there and play the game. As far as stepping in the batter's box my confidence is maybe not where it's supposed to be. It's hard to get there when you're trying not to look at the scoreboard and see what the heck is going on.
I don't feel like I'm doing a lot of things wrong, maybe outthinking myself a little bit. But that happens sometimes -- not for a month and a half. This has just been a tough thing to swallow.
Maybe those 2 hits last night will wake Cliff up. The new shift that they are employing on him seems to be getting into his head, as he's hit a lot of balls hard right at people. He says that he really can't go to the opposite field very well, so he's just going to have to keep hitting the ball hard and live with some tough outs. Hang in there, big guy.
ESPN: What Omar will do next
In a column for ESPN, Bob Klapisch tries to foresee what Omar's next move might be.
Faith and Fear in Flushing: Dumb move by the Mets
Greg does a good job at expressing many Mets fans' disgust with the team's decision to allow Mike and the Mad Dog to call an entire game against the Phillies next week. The predicted dialogue between the two is priceless.
On the Mets beat: Pond Scum
On Newsday's Mets blog, David Lennon informs us that the St. Louis faithful, the GREATEST BASEBALL FANS IN THE HISTORY OF THIS PLANET, have resurrected an old nickname for the Mets. Seems like all their playoff failures are making the girls a little cranky...