Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Mets fans vs. the Man

If you, like me, are unfortunate enough to live in Connecticut and have Cox Communications as a cable television provider, you are privy to the painful knowledge that Cox has not added SNY to its lineup, while forcing the YES network and NESN down our throats.

This brave Metropolitans fan is fighting back, and so should everyone else unfortunate enough to have Cox for cable.

Ecrasez l'infame!

Happy recap

Banny went seven and only gave up one, 7 out of 9 Metropolitan starters hit safely, and Carlos Beltran hit a ball into Maryland in the top of the ninth. All in all a great outing, even though Billy Wagner did his best to base-on-balls himself into a save situation in the bottom of the 9th.

Another interesting fact noted by the announcers on MASN, the Washington, D.C. sports network I watched the game on through mlb.tv, is that there were evidently almost 10,000 unsold seats as of yesterday for today's Nationals home opener.

Today's official attendance was just over 40,000, about five grand short of a sellout. Weren't we told the D.C. market could handle another major league franchise? I always hate saying this, but maybe Peter Angelos was right?

By far the most impressive aspect of today's game was Brian Bannister's performance for his first major league win. 7 IP with 3 H and 1 ER brings his nascent ERA to 2.77, and any Flushing fan really has to like what he sees out of this kid right now. Let's hope Pedro can keep us rolling tomorrow...

BBPOTS Player of the Game: Brian Bannister

The kid stays in the picture

Well, gang, we love absurdity here at BBPOTS, and it just doesn't get more absurd than this.

Vice President Dick Cheney, who threw out the first pitch at today's Nationals home opener (in the words of a close associate of mine, "Probably the most rigorous form of exercise the guy has had in 10 years"), took time for a photo op in the Metropolitans locker room before the game.

Several things about this shot are worth mentioning. First, the "cookie-eating grin" Cheney has on his face. The man always looks squirrelly, but even more so in this picture...probably because the Metsies are composed of the highest concentration of minorities the veep has been around in at least a decade.

Also, it's interesting how David Wright's head is dead center in the middle of the photograph, framed by Cheney and little Wilpon. For me, it conjures up the Renaissance paintings of religious scenes, where the sight lines directly lead to the Christ figure in the middle of the frame.

Of course, I'm not saying that David Allen Wright is the son of God. But would it really surprise you, Mets fans, if it turned out he was?

Buy me a bag of peanuts, David

Well, folks, David Allen Wright, who is carrying a five-game hitting streak into today's battle with the Nationals, deserves a fan theme song. And I have just the one, modeled on the famous party scene in "Citizen Kane," acknowledged by most as the greatest film ever made.

If you've never seen it, you'll be hopelessly lost with the lyrics below, but if you have seen the film, enjoy and let me know what you think. I'll be fielding recording offers forthwith.

There is a man, a certain man,
And for the Mets you can be sure that he'll do all he can!
Who is this one? This favorite son?
Who by his actions has our pennant rivals on the run?
Who chokes and pokes, enjoys a joke, and always comes through in the clutch and never ever chokes?
With wealth and fame, he's still the same!
I'll bet you five there's not a man alive who doesn't know his sight!
With all his might, he's David Wright, he's Mr. Wright!
He doesn't like that mister he likes good old David Wright!

Tuesday's talking points memo

Today Brian Bannister will take the mound for the Metropolitans for his second major-league start. In his first, as we know to well, he pitched 5.1 hitless innings before coming out to see his one-run lead blown by Billy Wagner. A crestfallen Banny ended up with a hard-luck no decision.

Bannister was drafted in the seventh round by the Metsies in 2003 from the University of Southern California, and was the highest-drafted of six Trojans that year. Hmmm, can anyone think of another pitcher for the Flushing nine who hailed from USC? That's right folks, George "Tom Terrific" Seaver himself. But before we go overboard, I should note how troubled I am by the fact BB wears #40, which last season you'll well know adorned the back of a hurler whose performance was less than stellar.

Still, what we saw from Brian last week was positive, and he gave up only two earned runs in 19 innings during spring training.

There will no doubt be some residue from last Thursday's confrontation with the Nationals, during which they're hapless reliever Felix Rodriguez was ejected and later given a three-game rip, in the parlance of Andy Sipowicz, for plunking Paul Lo Duca late in the game.

Starting for the Natties today will be Ramon Ortiz, the same pitcher who started last Thursday's game against Pedro, who hit (unintentionally, of course!) several Nationals during the game. Ortiz will no doubt try to bean everyone in our lineup, and while any confrontation would put Banny in a tough spot, it could prove to be an important moment early in his career to show that he'll protect his teammates.

On another game note, David Allen Wright goes into this afternoon's matchup with a five-game hitting streak that began on opening day.

The list of positives is longer than the list of negatives here, and they combine for today's unbridledly optimistic win total prediction of 115.

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