I’m back after some time away from here. I’ll do my best to update this a lot more often. Lately I’ve been more focused on this blog, but my writing itch has really surfaced again and I’m going to be scratching it:
There’s almost a palpable sense of doom going into tonight’s Mets game in Seattle – for me, at least. The players are probably trying to stay as even-keeled about this poor post-All-Star Break output they’ve done so far. Admittedly, four games is an awfully small sample size and it’s not like they haven’t been capable of ripping off a series of wins in a row before. But this just doesn’t feel right.
“Dammit.. the All-Star Game came at the wrong time. Baseball’s a game of timing and they lost it when they were off.” Now I knew how Tigers fans felt when they saw their team stink up the joint in the World Series after having a lot of time off after winning the American League Championship Series.
It’s not like I didn’t have optimism before. The team had lured me back in with its good play leading up to the All-Star Game. I also really liked how the first couple of series after the break would be for them since they were facing the mediocre Padres and then they were going to miss not only Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma, they were going to also avoid facing the other Chris Young.. you know, the guy who briefly pitched for them.
So.. what happened? They lost two of three in San Diego (the second loss was the worst what with Josh Edgin’s pratfall) and looked even more moribund against Cuban Roenis Elias on Monday. Not even Elias leaving the game early was enough to give them any sort of jolt. Jon Niese, the fellow who said that fans should be coming to the game in droves, was very lucky that he was pitching in Safeco Field his first game off the disabled list – chances are good he would have given up even more runs that he did. Bad pitching isn’t going to be parking any fannies at Citi, Jon.
There’s not going to be much time for them to take a breather and regroup either: Their next off day is July 31 and then after that it’s Aug. 21. Yeah. That’s a near three-week stretch of straight playing through. They’d better hope for a rain day on one or two of them.
Can they make up ground? Of course – but they could also be buried by the same token. There’s six games against Washington in early August and they can also be the buriers of the Phillies, who are in last place at the moment. The problem is – the Washington series are after the trade deadline and they will have to decide if they are buyers or sellers well before then.
This second wild card makes things more interesting, but it’s also somehting that could turn rapdily into a stick that whacks them repeatedly on the nose. To make matters worse, if the team trades some prospects for people they hope can get them over the edge and it doesn’t work out, then it could hurt the team in the long run as well. It’s a delicate balancing act.
I’ll be watching Jacob deGrom take the mound tonight and hoping that he throw another gem while hoping that he gets some run support. It’s way too early to give up and this season as already taken on a roller coaster feel of sorts, but there can’t be too much time on this downhill portion — otherwise people won’t be thrilled if there’s any signs of an ascent later on.
– The Yankees are doing their darndest to stay afloat in the least-challenging division in baseball: The American League East. They may have lost Masahiro Tanaka and seen CC Sabathia have to have season-ending surgery, but quit is not in them. They just traded for Chase Headley from San Diego and are in talks to acquire John Danks from Chicago. I still think it will be all for naught, which is a shame since it is Derek Jeter’s last season.
– Dear Angels: I hope that possibly catching the A’s is worth the most likely shortening of Garrett Richards’ career. Making him pitch way more than he’s done before is probably a surefire recipe for disaster.
– The Cubs designated Darwin Barney for assignment. Thus still proving Darwin’s Laws of Survival of The Fittest. He always hit well against the Mets. I still think he’d be a better fit than anyone that New York has at shortstop. It does stink that the team did this so soon after his paternity leave. If he can’t hook up with another team quickly, he’ll be on extensive diaper duty, at least.
– Evan Gattis is off the DL. Be very afraid, baseballs, be very afraid. I think he’s the second strongest hitter in the majors, after Giancarlo Stanton. This is a guy who posed with a bear on his head, after all…
– Now that Dan Uggla is out of the National League East, I can root for him again. I call it “Shane Victorino Syndrome.”
– Is it me or are the amount of baseball injuries getting excessive? I know that 162 games is a grind and that there’s always a chance of getting hurt, but this just seems like way more than usual. Yasiel Puig, Hanley Ramirez, Eric Hosmer, etc. Get well soon, guys.
– The NFL machine is getting ready to get fully hyped up. Teams are opening camps and predictions are being made about who will finish where. I assume that Peyton Manning has already watched 10,401 hours of film by this point.
– I don’t see John Jerry causing any problems like he did with the Dolphins. The Giants won’t tolerate anything that even comes close to that.
– Enjoy your retirement, Chris Snee. Now you can have pleasant dinners with Tom Coughlin and not worry about playing time.
– I’m also glad that the Giants are bringing David Tyree back into the organization. They owe him that much, since who knows how history might have unfolded had he not been able to pin that Eli Manning pass to his helmet?
– Tony Dungy is a very nice man and it’s painful to see him put his foot in his mouth over this whole Michael Sam situation. I also hope that Sam proves Dungy wrong and goes on to illustrate that teams can take chances on players like him.
– My prediction for NBA news stories for the next several months: LeBron LeBron LeBron LeBron LeBron LeBron LeBron LeBron LeBron Derrick Rose LeBron LeBron LeBron