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The Lost Weekend

Joyce MandelkernMonday, April 23, 2007
By Joyce Mandelkern

OK. I am in a very, very bad mood. It started Friday night. The Jackie Robinson ceremony was very nice. I was very moved by it. I only wish the Mets had been. Ralph Branca was there. The man can sing a mean "God Bless America." Before the game started, the Mets were lined up on the first baseline and Mr. Branca went over to say hello to all of them. I started yelling to him to stay away from my pitchers - I didn't want any bad karma around them. Pete looked at me and told me I was out of my mind. This was great - intergenerational baseball. I was convinced this would come back to haunt us - some way, somehow. Then there was a moment of silence for the victims of the Virginia Tech massacre. I started to cry like a baby. No way this could be a good night. Pelfrey took the mound. The crowd booed Larry. You know what happened next. I rest my case. Fine, we've gotten it out of our systems, we'll win the next 2.

Saturday. Beautiful day. Beautiful game. Will the real Oliver Perez please stand up? I hope and pray its the one we saw today. I really like this Ollie. I can see he is getting a little tired in the 7th and Willie goes to get him. Thank you, Willie. I'm with ya. Gotta love Joe Smith. I am loving this team, this game. Isn't baseball great?

Sunday. Beautiful day again. OK, not a good way to start the game Tommy. I hate when you have to pitch against the Braves. And for some inexplicable reason, in the recesses of my mind, I still think of you as a Brave. I am hoping that this one run does not hold up against Smoltz, which it very well might. Thank you Shawn. I am really starting to worry about David. He is just totally lost up there. I know there are two schools of thought. Let him hit his way out of it or give him a rest. I don't know what to do, but this is getting really ugly. And we need him. Especially with Delgado struggling a bit. When we go ahead 6-3. I am cautiously optimistic. Silly me. I am now officially NOT a fan of Scott Schoenweis. He walked Chipper yesterday to get us into a mess and look what he did today. Which brings me to Willie. I would have gotten him out of there!!! He clearly had nothing. Why, why, why leave him in when he has nothing? And has shown nothing to this point all season? I don't know what to think about Heilman anymore. I do think, as I have said before, that his elbow tendonitis is worse than we know. He is not the same pitcher as he was last year. And we need him to be. Is it mental? I hope he is not going Lidge on us.

This is a bad loss. Not from a standing perspective. From an emotional perspective. We had it and we gave it back. Just like we gave it to them in Atlanta. We got sloppy in the field. We made pitching errors. We left people on base when we needed to get them home. Atlanta is the only team we have played so far this season that fights back. They don't lay down and die when we get a lead. Maybe we're not used to that. But we better get used to that. Do I think we are the better team? Absolutely. But we better play like we are for 9 full innings. And we need 100 % from everybody all the time, especially against Atlanta.

I'm not happy. Tomorrow night, they better make me happy.

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 (10)

Also a unhappy Met 1962 Met fan, and I think we singed Schoenweis to a 3 year contract to make us really happy. I am getting to old for this. Whats up with Wright? Man does he look bad. Maybe sit him for awhile or move him down in the lineup, something to make Wright right.

Anyone remember why we didn't give Bradford a three-year deal?

Well said, Joyce - the problem is that even if they win this series and sweep Colorado - it's *colorado*. As for D.Wright, he is going to have to learn how to struggle against a slump with the entire world watching him.

Yesterday hurt real bad in that true Met fan, pain-seeking, fashion. Keep me frustrated, then excite me and get my hopes up way high, then send them crashing to the ground with some crazy managerial moves mixed with a little bad luck and an always crushing HR by the other guys. It was like reliving my 23 years of being a Metropolitan fanatic in 3 hour microcosm (I offer my never ending respect to those who have been at this much longer than I have).

But then I took a deep breath and looked at the standings. Hey, we're still tied in the loss column and all is not lost. Then I looked at our next 9 games which are all against teams that we have played well against in the past year or two. And I finally looked at the calendar, and it said April 22nd.

Ultimately I reminded myself that this was not the same old Mets. There is somethind decidedly different about this band of brothers than teams of the past. These guys have an air of confidence in themselves that transcends any of our worries. And I was finally completely calm.

Let's Go Mets!

Sorry , but being a Met Fan since 1964 , I just cannot get bent out of shape over yesterdays loss to the Braves . True , the BP let that one slip away , but NEXT TIME , things just might be a little different . I mean , it's Still ONLY April for God's sake , and the Braves just don't have the Talent to hang with us till the end of Sept. IMO . So , we turn the page , and take on the Rockies tonight . And by the way , we had a few games similar to this in 2006 if some of you out here recall , and we still won our division by 12 Games . :)

Hey: we can play with these guys. Joh Smoltz is not bulletproof.

What bothered me in Sunday's game, and I get to mention it because I thought it out loud at the time, was that Shawn Green was in right field to misplay that line drive. Three innings left, the Mets up by three, and Burgos, who has been known to give up a fly ball, is on the mound; isn't it time to put your best defensive team out there? Else what is Endy Chavez doing on the roster?

When I was little I read an article on the upcoming All Star game; All Star games are a pretty big deal to kids, you know. Anyway, I remember Walt Alston being quoted as saying that he was going to manage the game to win, not to assuage anyone's feelings or make certain the guy from the Chicago Cubs got an at bat. Mays was to lead off and probably play nine; and he loaded the pitching staff with Dodgers. It impressed me, to learn that managers had to take players' feelings into account, and that the manager of my team's (the Giants back then) arch rival was a man who wouldn't give in to that consideration.

I think about that whenever I see, say, Billy Buckner left in at the fag-end of an important game with Dave Stapleton sitting on the bench, or Endy Chavez sitting while Shawn Green is manning right field when the most important thing is to prevent the other side from scoring. I see that and I think, someone is managing like it's an all star game.

Love you, Willie, but I dodn't love that non-decision. And as events unfolded, it might have changed the outcome of the game.

dd - you are absolutely 100% right about endy - and i forgot to even bring that up in my commentary - pete mentioned it to me last nite and i nominate both of you for manager.

mark - you're right in that its only april - but the fact that its the braves is what makes all the difference...they think they're in our heads again...we've already lost 4 of 6 to them...not exactly making a statement, are we? i wish i had your confidence...

salman - some losses are worse than others in my opinion, and this was one of those...i'm not going to make too much of it - i just don't like to let opportunities get away. i thought we needed to make our presence felt and we didn't do it. good teams can beat the bad teams, good teams need to beat the other good teams - consistently.

rev al and mets grrl - i guess we have to hope that joe smith is our new bradford and tell schoenweiss to take a seat...as far as david goes, i'm starting to pray to the baseball gods for divine intervention - he looks really, really bad - i don't even think the word slump covers it - not seeing the ball, period. rick down - where are you???

This is the kind of game that can come back and bite you in the ass in late September. I'm all for giving a kid time to work his way out of his own mess, but, dang it, save that character-building for a game against (dare I say it) the Rockies (yeah, I said it). Just stop the bleeding and win the game. A loss to the Braves counts twice, if you presume to believe that they'll be our closest rival.

As for David, this is a real good week to give him a breather, what with two sets of three against teams we ought to beat, and two day games after night games. Maybe Willie sits him the middle game of each series, and maybe the situation comes up for him to get a few pinch-hitting swings in. If he succeeds off the bench, then, hey, David, you're pulling out of it. If not, then, hey, David, you're not meant to be a pinch-hitter anyway.

I'm with Mark.

again, This is April and the moratlity of Smoltz has been exposed. but we have bullpen issues and better it were exposed now than later. I posted on the last brief about the fact that Mota is back in 33 games, he obvoiusly is the missing link right now, especially as Joe smith looks to advance himself.

But this dialog is giving Aaron a free pass. Aaron has lost 2 games against the braves in relief, whereas Ollie has 14 innings and 2 wins against them. as bad as Shoenweiss has been Heilman has not been much better.

I am glad Mota will breathe new life into the teams glaring weakness, it looks like there help on the farm too. Oh and Dave Williams! to address the above question, Yes Bradford WAS expendable, until Williams mystery neck injury NECESSITATED the 3 yr Shoenweiss contract....which could yet be moved when Williams comes back.


PS: i dont think the Braves will be around in September.

Thanks for the write up.. Your stories kinda have an 'at the game with you' type of feel. You have a nice 'workingmans' (or womans :) ) point of view.. Sometimes you dont need stats to tell the story (no knock on stat writer - I like them too )... Go Mets !!

ps.. someone get Davey thirdbase to go talk to 'no grey' Hernandez about hitting.. Wheres our hitting coaches ?? :)

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