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Mea Culpa

Joyce MandelkernMonday, April 30, 2007
By Joyce Mandelkern


I congratulate the Mets on winning a tough series. Who knew the Nats were going to throw Seaver, Kofax and Ryan against us. Or so it seemed. Hits and runs were hard to come by. Good and fair umpiring was tough to come by. Perseverance and heart, good pitching, defense, and a little luck went a long way.

And I want to take this opportunity to publicly apologize to Julio Franco. Julio, I apologize. After Friday night's game, I was railing against Willie for using Julio in a critical pinch hit situation with the bases loaded when he had other choices on the bench. I believe I said he never comes through in those situations. Saturday morning I got a call from my cousin in Atlanta, the Braves fan, and I continued my Julio Franco rant. After he got the big hit Saturday night, my cousin texted me and asked me if I felt badly about what I had said earlier in the day about him. My reply, "What are you talking about? He is my favorite Met". By the way, my cousin also said if the Braves had had Wickman last year they would've given us a run for the division. Did anyone happen to see Wickman blow today's save in Colorado? I did. But I didn't text my cousin because I'm the bigger person. For now. But back to my apology. And then in today's game, Keith Hernandez, I mean Julio Franco, made two unbelievable defensive plays that I didn't think he had in him. Two plays that I'm pretty sure Delgado does not have in him. And two plays that I'm pretty sure helped win the game for us. So kudos to Julio and a big thank you and I'm sorry.

I'm not sure where our offense has gone. Delgado looks worse than ever. I'm glad Willie sat him today. I know he's streaky so he will break out of this - right? David came through on Saturday night, but certainly hasn't gotten it going and I'm hoping that whatever they have, they haven't given it to Alou. I don't like his defense, I don't like how he runs, so if he doesn't hit, he's not bringing anything to the table. The top of the order needs to start producing. Every team is not the Nationals and if we are struggling to score against them, then I'm worried. When we had the bases loaded and no outs Saturday night, Pete turned to me and said that if we didn't score then, he was going to throw something through the tv. And he was the calmer of the two of us. Luckily, it didn't come to that.

I'm not sure where Heilman's arm has gone. And I hope I have to make a public apology to Scott Schoeneweis as well, after declaring that I'm not a fan of his. He certainly did his job this weekend. Joe Smith is the man. Tom Glavine deserved better than a no decision and John Maine was terrific. Way to make me sweat, Billy.

I was glad to see Willie come out of the dugout Saturday night and make a fuss and get tossed. I wish he'd do that more often. Heck, if he won't I will.

Bottom line, keep winning series and we should be just fine.

About Joyce: I am an insanely passionate die-hard Mets fan since 1962 who is also a season ticket holder and usually can't bear to look and buries her head in her hands or starts pacing when I'm home when things get tense...   Read More -->

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Comments (5)

Hey, few teams are going to hit for an entire season. Coming away with two out of three when you're not hitting ain't so bad. All the better for when DelGato finally gets untracked.

I have long thought that Julio Franco was a player who might have had a Hall of Fame Career if things had broken slightly better for him. Say, if he had come up with the Mets, who were running Jose Oquendo out there. Franco actually got to more balls than Oquendo, and his high error totals, the biggest mark against him, were not much worse than Oquento's on a per game basis. But Julio played in a league with Cal Ripkin and Robin Yount, on a team that always lost; and he didn't have the greatest hands. It was always easy to point at someone like Franco and include him in the answer of why the Indians were bad.

What an odd career; the man really never got much respect. In 1991 he led the American League in batting. The next season he was hurt, didn't play much, but he came back to have two good seasons -- then, after hitting .319, he found it necessary to move to Japan to continue his career. He was back after one year, and he hit .322 upon returning; but why in hell was there no major league team that couldn't have used a .319 hitter in 1995?

Yes, he had a rep of being a hothead in his early days, and I have no doubt it cost him. He also had a reputation of being smart; James told a tale of discussing a Wall Street Journal article with him back in 1986 -- the Journal being a far from simple publication, and written in English, of course, Julio's second language.

I just think someone dropped the ball with this man's career. Maybe it was Franco himself, maybe it was a series of management figures who couldn't see what they had. It does happen with quite a few players, though perhaps not to the extent that it happened for Franco.

So in fact I was pleasantly surprised but not astounded when Julio cut down that baserunner. The man can play some ball.

Best record in the NL . 1/2 game off the pace of the best team in baseball in the AL . Our fourth and fifth place hitters the real meat of our order is yet to even begin to hit anything at all , much less with authority or consistency . Our All-Star catcher with the 290 lifetime batting average was hot for a week then got banged up and is reeling at the plate the last two weeks . The bullpen has done a good job overall . But that is mostly because Feliciano , Smith and Wagner have been outstanding . Heilman makes me nervous , Schoeny seems to be getting it together but he still doesn't inspire a lot of confidence in me . In fact I feel better with Burgos in the game than either Heilman or Schoney right now !

All of this going on and we are still the best team around . Mota is right around the corner and once he is back the countdown to Dirty and Pedro will start . Delgado is a professional RBI machine and Wrighty is just plain old to damn good to suffer much longer . And Duke is starting to show signs of coming out of it .

It is going to be really sweet later on this year when the entire plan comes together . No team dominates pole to pole . The trick is to still win when you aren't playing your best ball . Then finish with your best ball blowing everyone away!

One last thing , is Jose Reyes quickly becoming the best player in the league or what ? Even when he makes an out you have the feeling that the other side just lucked out !

I wonder what his run totals would be if we could find someone to drive him in from third , with less than two outs !!!

I think sticking with Maine in the 7th with the game on the line, Willie is building an ace for the future. Good job Willie, I woiuld have gone to the pen and would have blown it with Heilman coming in at that time. Now I don't trust him anymore. He looks real bad out there.

I blew my top on Saturday morning, then Willie blew his. add to that his team came from behind twice, Julio was not the first PH, and then he sat delgado.......

Willie?

Extolling the virues of Ollie, Maine and Glavine, who at least can be described as solid, it seems Omar/willie can go to their bench early in the season, while resting/saving El Duque.

Age has caught up to El Duque frequently in past seasons and his best use may have been for the CWS on the WS team of 2005. Obviously when he is good he is very good. Heck the Yankees wear rings that show it...But I am becoming more stead fast in my view that he is a bridge to the future arms...be they young guns or FA.
Tonight Park starts; i see that more as a Jose Lima
hand-shake/promise. Next up Sosa. I think Sosa has a real good chance to stick. The other guys in the mix are Humber and Vargas. I am high on Vargas if Pelfrey needs time to retool.

Today, Metsblog revisits the lastings for Harden talks. With Gomez tearing thru AAA, and Green, Beltran AND Alou amongst the best in the league right now...there will be a bidding war with Lastings, Mike Carp and Gomez somewhere in the dowry.

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