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There IS Crying in Baseball

Mike SteffanosTuesday, September 11, 2007
By Mike Steffanos

Mets 3 - Braves 2
Played Monday, September 10, 2007

Oliver Perez certainly earned a leg up for the fourth playoff starter's spot with this start. The biggest play of the game might well have been the pickoff of Tim Hudson at second base in the sixth inning. You might be amused to know that Hudson, as quoted by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's David O'Brien, seemed to fell that play reflected poor sportsmanship on the part of the Mets:

The Braves trailed 1-0 with runners at first and second and one out when Hudson took too big a lead off second and was picked off by Perez.

"Every time a pitcher gets on base now, I'm gonna pick," said Hudson, upset that Perez would focus on picking off a fellow pitcher. "Obviously I'm not a very good baserunner. Looking back, I was probably a little too far off the bag. But I'm hardly ever on second base. I don't know what's close and what's far. I guess I know what's too far now."

Hot-hitting Matt Diaz was up at the time, compounding Hudson's mistake. Diaz is a .346 hitter with runners in scoring position and less than two outs, but he drops to .222 in those situations with two outs. He struck out.

I laughed out loud when I read this. Hudson is a good athlete who is batting .250 on the season. He's taking the largest lead he can get because he wants to score on a single, but somehow Hudson feels entitled to take umbrage that Perez picked him off second. They may not produce a lot of vino down in Atlanta, but it sure is terrific whine-producing country. I can understand Hudson's frustration at losing a well-pitched game, particulalry since he's been struggling lately, but that's truly pathetic.

Oliver Perez (Last 5 Starts)
Season (26 Games)160.2776113515671213.421.2816-10

View Oliver Perez' Full Season Stats

Box Score

About Mike: I was the original writer on this web site, actually its only writer for the first 15 months of existence. Although I am grateful for the excellent contributions of my fellow writers here, I have no plans of stepping back into strictly an editorial role. I started this thing in the first place because I love to write and I love the Mets, and blogging here keeps me somewhat sane. If you haven't had enough already, more bio info can be found here.

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Comments (16)

Awe poor baby, you got picked off second base. "obviously I'm not a very good baserunner". It's also obvious your not a good sport. Your fault finding in Perez because he caught you in lala land a 1/2 mile off second base in a important part of the game. Poor baby. I hope you enjoy your quite October.

Only those who can write about the game and never played(at least competitively)would make comments so pompous. I apologize to those who actually have stood on the mound in September and have thrown for a major league baseball team, you may actually know what you are talking about, but to those sitting so high on their horses that all they can throw are insults...stay on your half of the Mason-Dixon line.

mike - considering how many times hudson was throwing over to first and to 2nd last nite trying to keep runners on, he should keep quiet...its called baseball - part of the game...if that aint the pot calling the kettle black...i didn't realize that pitchers were exempt from being picked off...typical braves arrogance...they still think its their god given right to lose in the first round of the playoffs every year...did you hear the crowd "chopping" at the end of the game? he did pitch well, we counted 6 consecutive 4-3 put outs but ollie was great last nite and the good guys finally got a well-deserved win. and for the record - i head my head buried in my hands in the bottom of the 8th and the bottom of the 9th - but pete tells me it went well...:)

rev al - WELCOME BACK!!! hope you're feeling well! we missed you!!! please take it nice and easy...

Mike - I'm not sure where Nick's coming from there. Pompous? I don't see it. You were a little smug, but then, after fourteen consecutive Braves pennants, I think Mets fans all deserve a little payback smugness.

And this is not like stealing second base in the ninth inning of a blowout. Huddy was the tying run in the late innings of a game between two teams still (mathematically, at least) in a pennant race. What should Perez have done? Let him walk to third base?

Which statement did you find pompous, Nick? Are you really that much of a baby, too?

Sorry, Nostra, missed your comment while typing my reply. I said that Hudson whining about being picked off was pathetic, which it was. It only seems pompous to Nick because he's as big of a baby as Hudson.

Hey Rev, Mike, Nostra, Joyce, and you too Nick. I live in Atlanta, and for only the second time in the past 18 years am having the time of my baseball life. Two back to back good years for my Mets. As far insults I have heard them all the time from Braves supporters. So being a Metsie in the A.T.L. feels down right good about now. They(The Braves) are sweating for their postseason lives, and the Mets can put the dagger in with a sweep. So Mike you "pompus" fool, you keep on writing the way you do, I always enjoy your work. Nick suck it up and do what so many have had to do during the "14 year stretch".....wait til next year buddy! ( Good to see you writing Rev, your in my prayers for a full recovery) Gooooooooooooooooooooooo Mets!

Whoa, apparently if you cut a Braves fan they do bleed. For years that was not obvious, as they gave half-hearted support to a procession of damn fine teams. NOW you care; good timing, that.

Hudson's remarks reminded me of a routine Bob and Ray did a million years ago, which went something like: Of course I made an out! That guy was throwing the ball hard, and I am supposed to hit it with a rounded stick? And he kept throwing it where I have trouble hitting it! What was I supposed to do?

dd - I understand Hudson's frustration with the way the game went, but that was just silly. One of the best parts of NL baseball is that pitchers aren't just pitchers, they're baseball players. Particularly a guy like Hudson who is a terrific athlete.

When the Mets were losing year after year we used to hear stuff like this out of them, and I used to make fun of that, too. This wasn't even a "tweak the Braves" thing with me, it was just a ridiculous statement, period. I may not have been a major league pitcher, as Nick points out, but I've been an athlete my whole life, and would have been embarrassed to make a statement like that about any level of sports above co-ed softball.

Forgive me if I add the perspective that at 14-9, a 3.48 ERa and with a 16-10 record in his starts Ollie has had a good, sometimes spectacular season.

I only hope he has more lightning in his bottle for a post season run.

Ed - I agree, but the way he had been struggling there was no guarantee of a post-season start unless he turned it around. He needed to stop messing around with arm angles and slow curves and get back to what worked for him early. To his credit, that's what he did.

I've been really supportive of Maine and Perez here, but I'm also trying to be honest. You needn't take offense at everything I write about Perez that isn't 100% positive. That gets tiresome.

I'm just curious what Major League team Nick pitched for? By his statement, there should be no sportswriters or commentators that weren't athletes - and we know what stellar analysts some of *them* can be.



I dont take offense at all. I love your writing very much. My only intent is just to add a little opinion/perspective, possible bring a point you and other bloggers might have missed.

I haven't missed anything, Ed. I just sometimes write something that points out that Perez still has something to learn at 26 years old, and for some reason that bothers you. On the other hand, I've been writing stuff all year defending him when he has a couple of bad starts in a row and some of the sportswriters jump on him. Anyone that really reads my site with all of the positive stuff I've written about both Maine and Perez wouldn't feel the need to point out what I "missed".


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