Like our boss, Mike himself, I've been fairly quiet on the blogging scene these past few months. This is due to several factors. First, I hadn't felt inspired to add much to the conversation that hadn't already been said about this team. The first quarter of the season has given us little to help us see whether the 2009 Mets are as good as we hope they are, or as bad as we see they can be all too often. They've been both in almost equal doses.
I'm also keenly aware that a sports blogger can only describe what he or she is able to observe, and there are plenty of filters between our laptop and the team clubhouse. Even the regular beat writers, who get paid to peddle their thoughts, don't really know what goes on deep within the heart of a team. The best of the blogosphere make no such pretense, and claim no special insight. The 2009 Mets have not yet stirred my soul that much.
Finally, life's been happening while I've been making other plans. Work is crazy, life is crazy, and everything seems to be in a constant state of flux. We can all relate to that, I think.
Wednesday night, though, got me thinking about the new replay technology baseball's been using in an attempt to get it right. Their intentions are good, I'm sure, but there's something un-baseball-like about stopping the action four times in the last five Mets games to watch the game on TV. That kind of nonsense used to be reserved for the other sports. Not for baseball.
The umpires aren't at fault for using all the tools at their disposal to make the correct call. But it's kind of weird to have built the right field seats at Citi Field in such a way that it makes a home run call a crapshoot. Cookie-cutter ballparks are boring, and a unique layout is a great and necessary thing. But if every ball that hits those seats causes the game to grind to a halt, that's not good for baseball. Green Monster? Fine, there's a street behind the wall they didn't want to move. Lots of room in foul territory? A bowling alley's width between the lines and the seats? Whatever works for that park is cool. But important things, like "where does the wall end and the stands begin", should be more clearly defined.
For what it's worth, that bump in dead center field in Houston is a bad idea, too. Anyone who's played baseball at any level will tell you an uneven playing surface can be tricky at best, and dangerous at worst. I even remember some old ballpark that had stone monuments in center field. In fair territory! I don't know which idiot came up with that idea, but at least that stadium isn't around any more, thank goodness. You want a ballpark with originality and character, that's fine. But the umpires' difficult job shouldn't be made any tougher by stands that jut out over the playing field. Wednesday night's home run call went our way. But here's hoping those calls won't need to be made too often.