Monday, May 12, 2008

Meet the Mets

Post #58 Topic: That’ll be $12 and All Your Dignity

The Mets have sunk to an all new low. Tomorrow night, the Mets will be losing to the Nationals, and some poor schmuck will be sitting in the ratty 23rd street theatres watching the game, in a canola oil saturated seat, with his feet sticking to the floor, with his view obstructed by Mr. Met. To help you fully understand how angry this makes me, let me take you back.

First of all, when the Rangers were playing the Penguins (more recent than it seems), the lovely folks at Madison Square Garden presented fans with the opportunity to watch the away games in the Ziegfield theatre, which apparently is a “New York Institution”, for the decent price of $40. The only thing sadder??? The stupid event sold out the night before the game. Anyway…

Around 5:30 I got a message on my Gmail account from another Cardozo-attending Mets fan. There’s something about the jews that makes them love the mets – maybe its that like the Jews, the Mets have always been the underdogs or maybe its just because Jews are scared of the people that inhabit the streets surrounding Yankee Stadium. Either way, the conversation unfolded as follows (names have been changed to protect me)


some of us are gonna go if you're interested

me: Jim, i would rather choke on a gigantic… (words edited out for the sake of decency) but thank you for considering me.

Jim was mad. Jim thought that it was the idea of accompanying him to the event that caused me to suggest inhaling a dark falic object. I quickly informed Jim that it was instead the prospects of attending such an absurd event that caused my oral diarrhea.

So you don’t have to click on that bullshit above, allow me to elaborate. For $12, Mets fans can watch an upcoming game at a neighborhood movie theatre. During the game, fans will be able to purchase stadium-like concessions (uhhh… you mean soda and popcorn douchebag?), compete in between-inning trivia (sweet, you mean 200 drunk people yelling out “Mike Piazza” which for nostalgia’s sake is bound to be the answer to at least ½ of the questions), and get this… the kicker, all fans in attendance get to meet Mr. Met. That’s right, the Mets have paid some high school kid to get so baked that he actually thinks he is Mr. Met, and walk around greeting unsuspecting fans who - due to Mr. Met’s costume having only 4 fingers - don’t realize that where it counts Mr. Met is gladly flipping the bird. Yup, Mets at the Movies, the end of the fucking world – I’m pissed.

me: watch a Mets game in a grimy movie theatre for more than it costs to go to a game... how about you pick a game, any saturday or sunday day game or friday night game, and ill get tickets and we can go and ill even rip your stub like we're in the movies.

Any Mets fan can attend Mets at the Movies for $12. Any non-severely retarded Mets fan can get tickets to ANY HOME GAME, on Stubhub for $2. Yeah that’s right, 2 measly bucks gets you entrance into the actual event, whereas $12 forces you to hear how awesome Speedracer was when you get stuck in the exit crowd while trying to escape the whining babies in the 4th inning. What does misery sound like in Dolby Surround?

me: and that west 23rd street theatre BLOWS

Seriously, this is one of the worst theatres in the world, and I’ve actually been EVERYWHERE. The seats are on a nearly-flat plane, there are no head supports, the armrests are too thin, there is nowhere to rest your feet and it smells like ass. Plus, you have to crank something to get sound to come out and the projector isn’t sufficiently technologically advanced to play motion pictures. This theatre sucks, got lost in time, left behind by the 42nd street behemoths that so conveniently forced the hookers and trannies to seek refuge in my otherwise quaint little neighborhood – the best village.

me: yes ive seen those ads for this on the mets broadcast, and not to impose my feelings but it makes me sick. Sucking money out of people by charging them $12 to watch a game in a Dungeness theatre,


No such thing as half-way crooks, only the real full-blown crooks, the same ones who sign Roberto Alomar and Mo Vaughn for ridiculous deals and then pass the cost on to customers through elevated parking prices and absurd handling fees when ordering tickets.

me: and just getting people used to the fact that once Citi field opens they wont be able to afford a day at the stadium very sad.

It’s true people, Citi Field will be a luxury experience that only the luxurious will be able to afford. The stadium has 10,000 less seats and if you think they’re eliminating 10,000 bleacher seats well then you belong at Mets at the Movies. As recently as three years ago you could get into Shea for $2 if you brought a Coke can and a student I.D.. Now, the cheapest you can get is a $5 upper deck seat for 1 game against the Expos, sorry Nationals. Shea is getting really expensive.

So what do they do? Simple! Find another way to extort people’s money. If people all of the sudden can’t afford to go to the stadium (they’ll probably segregate the sushi bar), they will cease being Mets fans – going to Shea is what a lot of lower and middle class families used to do for family activities because it was affordable – hardly anymore and before long not at all. So how do we keep these people around? By essentially expanding Citi Field. Bringing Mr. Met? Selling hot dogs? Mets trivia? Sounds an awful lot like the Mets are trying to fool people into thinking that the theatre is just an extension of the stadium.

Jim: yeah that is heartbreaking the whole aura the mets have going for them is they're the team the underdogs can support its gonna be $300 for a family of 4 to go to a ballgame now

As do most people who read my blog, Jim was starting to come around.

me: yeah its absurd this movie thing is creating a bad precedent by equating watching elsewhere to being at the games - watch next year when you buy tickets, and enter your date, you have to select stadium or stadium satelite. Pretty ingenious but downright fucking awful. They’re going to fool all these poor fans into thinking that the theatre is the stadium. (In a stoned, Matthew McConaughey from Dazed and Confused voice) It’s the movies… MAN!!! See with Citi field shrinking, there will always be demand for seats. The more lower income bracketers they can dump into the movie theatre, the more the stadium becomes an elitist colony, and the higher prices they can charge.

Jim: hahaha. I sense a blog coming on

Jim had caught on afterall.

Jim: no you're right. I hadn't taken the time to really think it out. I could watch it on my own television with a dog and a beer for $3

me: yes exactly

Jim: I guess they got me because a movie is $12 so it seemed fair and I've never been to that movie theatre because I'm allergic to the west side.

Mets at the movies huh? Is there any semblance of honor left in the world? Ironically the real winner here is the crappy movie theatre – here’s my logic. People start going to watch the Mets games at the movies. Eventually they start forgetting the difference and the Mets have created a way to essentially fit twice the capacity into Citi Field. Pretty soon people start walking by the movies and associating their passing by with Baseball – so they go in and catch a shitty flick. Strangely, the movie suddenly feels like a baseball game. Then, the person realizes they can get their baseball fix by going to the movies, and suddenly a former baseball fan is a Marvel comics fan. THEN (and this is the ultimate kicker) the next time they’re watching a game on tv, or debating going to the stadium, they consider the 4 hr baseball commitment and decide instead that they’d easily be better off just catching a movie – take that Wilpon jackass bush league sucka.

Other Notes

The Cavs-Celts game tonight (9/12) had the best single moment of announcing ever. As Lebron dunked over KG (by the way the Celtics are surprisingly soft and the Hawks suck), we hear… Lebron James WITH NO REGARD FOR HUMAN LIFE – awesome!

Mmmm I’m telling you now, the greatest thing you ever can do now, is trade a smile with someone who’s blue now, its very easy just-a.

Scientology is retarded. I get it, its not news. But, the other day I went to a scientology consultation and now I feel really bad for myself. L. Ron Hubbard is a creepy, creepy dude. Don’t believe me? Not to mention that they didn’t even let me go to the celebrity center – I had to go to the normal people one, next to the Subway and, well a subway.

Why is Charles Barkley not running for president. He’s amazing! And Sir Charles make Magic look like he takes the short bus. And he’s slightly better looking than Hillary.

What came first the pillow or the mattress? Was a guy sleeping on hard ground with a pillow when he realized “man my head is so comfortable but my body is achy”. Or was that man sleeping on a mattress, spending sleepless nights trying to figure out where to put his head?

Today I realized it was time to leave school when I dozed off face first into a plate of wasabi and soy sauce and was woken by the librarian, with crap all over my face, telling me not to eat in the library.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Thanks Hank

Post #57 Topic: Money for nothing, Santana for free

You need go back but a month to quickly become privy to my sentiments on the Mets acquisition of Johan Santana. Sure he hasn’t pitched santanaishly yet, and sure he’s given up a couple home runs (more than he should be giving up I know!). But Santana has always made his most impressive runs in the 2nd half, which based on the shaping up of things in the NL East, is when the Mets are most inclined to need him. Santana will win 16 games; he’ll strike out 150 batters and pitch 200 innings – minimum. What he will NOT be doing, is pitching for the cross-town Bronx Bombs.

The fact that Santana is not pitching for the Yankees is quickly turning into one of the biggest jokes in baseball. Balls-deep in their pride, when given the opportunity to pull the trigger on Santana by including one of either Phil Hughes or Ian Kennedy (yes, only one of them, in addition to Melky Cabrera), the Yankees declined, claiming that “these were the cornerstones of the future Yankees”. Ok, maybe Hank never actually said that, but based upon his actions (or omissions if you’re a shark) you can tell that he was thinking it.

So the Yankees, who had all the offensive firepower that a team could ever ask for, went into the season relying heavily on what was for the most part, an unproven rotation. Chien-Ming Wang as their ace, and perhaps the only sure-thing amongst their starters, has been as good as advertised: 6-0, 3.00 E.R.A., and an uncharacteristic but pleasantly surprising 32 K’s. After that… well things aren’t so fine and dandy. Andy Pettitte’s been decent – 3-3 with a 3.93 E.R.A.. Mussina, although 4-3, has been shaky at best with a 4.23 E.R.A.. Keep in mind that this is a team that paid 46 million dollars to bring Kei Igawa over from the orient only to see him buried in AAA Wilkes-Barre: anyone who has been to Wilkes-Barre (myself) or perhaps seen the office knows that Wilkes Barre is no choice place to be buried!

But the Yankees didn’t need to worry about their veteran starting pitchers… did they? They had Phil Hughes, the one time #1 ranked prospect in all of baseball (according to Yankees Fans), and Ian Kennedy – the NEXT GREG MADDUX. Well, as so very often is the case, Yankee management was dead wrong. 6 feet under wrong. That #1 ranked prospect? 0-4 with a stunning E.R.A. of 9.00 (only a run an inning!!!), and now found on the DL until what optimistic forecasters are calling July. And Kennedy? The piece that absolutely couldn’t be included in a trade for Santana? Well, he’d better speak Chinese because his new roommate Kei Igawa has a locker room reputation as being a motormouth. Kennedy earned his sudden $30 per diem and upscale motel 8 lodgings by commencing the season (in a very un Greg Maddux like fashion) 0-2 with an 8.37 E.R.A..

This is not me saying that these guys will never be good pitchers, not even me saying that they can’t become stars. It’s just me saying that… “wouldn’t Johan look so great in that rotation, after Wang?” The answer regardless of who you are is an emphatic yes. The Yankees could certainly have afforded to give up one of these “future aces” to bring in Johan. Instead they let him fall to the Mets at a bargain basement price. Imagine Wang, Santana, Pettite, JOBA with Mussina as your 5th starter, giving Hughes or Kennedy (whichever survived) a chance to hone their potential by pitching another year in Wilkes-Barre. THAT… would be a formidable yankee team; that would be a team that the Red Sox would fear.

But now the Red Sox can rest assured that in any given week, 3/5 of the Yankees scheduled starters are going to get roughed up. And should those starters exit before the 7th, that Kyle Farnsworth will be there to make matters worse – where’s Carl Pavano? As for the Yankees; instead of worrying about catching the Red Sox, they’re worried about how they’re going to pitch to the suddenly potent Devil Rays – imagine the panic in the Bronx when the Rays get Kazmir back, realize they’re ACTUAL contenders, and sign Barry Bonds to plug the DH spot… then what are the Yankees going to do?

Whatever they decide on as the appropriate course of action – they’d better do it quick. While the Yankees have the sluggers to keep them in games, they don’t have the starting pitching to get them into those games in the 1st place. Now the Yankees are hovering around .500, already distancing themselves from the wild card leaders. Yes! It’s early in the season, but the earliness of it all carries both positive and negative tidings (not of the yule distinction). Positive: the Yankees have time. Negative: the teams the Yankees are most likely to be competing with for that wild card spot come the tail end of the season, Cleveland, Detroit, Seattle, Chicago, etc., etc., etc… haven’t gotten their gears going yet either. The distinction: without Santana backing up Wang, the Yankees are left with the weakest rotation out of all those clubs.

The Tigers have Bonderman, Verlander, Dontrelle, Nate Robertson, and the non-aging Kenny Rogers – a rotation far stronger than that of the Yankees. The Mariners have King Felix and Erik Bedard and Carlos Silva, three horses that although have yet to find their stride certainly soon will. The Indians have baseball’s best pitcher (outside Arizona) thus far into the season – Cliff Lee. With Fausto Carmona coming on strong and C.C. Sabathia showing signs of regaining his location, the Indians have perhaps the toughest front 3 in baseball. As for those Chicago White Sox, their rotation may not have as heavy an arsenal as some of the other teams just mentioned, but they do have one thing – WORLD SERIES EXPERIENCE, which but for a couple of roided out years nearly a decade ago, the Yankees rotation lacks entirely.

So tell us now Hank, that the Yankees’ prospects were too good to include in a trade for Santana. When you’re done; tell us how you plan to restore the once young and suddenly aged and moldy Yankees rotation back to respectability.

Other Notes

Jagr is next to godliness. Should he not be back next year, he will sorely be missed.

Fish genocide: learn about the history to prevent it in the future.

Sushi – always delicious, even when its not.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Lets Go Rangers a.k.a. Crosby Sucks

Post #56 Topic: 1 down 3 to go

Twice in the storied history of the NHL has there been a case where a team down 3-0 in a best of 7 series has been able to sport a comeback, and take said series. This statistic suggests that what the Rangers are attempting to do is not actually impossible… just incredibly difficult. Unfortunately, what that statistic fails to consider is that those other miraculous comebacks did not take place against a team boasting 2 of the league’s 3 most dominant players. Yes, the Penguins have 2 of the NHL’s 3 most prized competitors – Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin – both of whom are firing on what somehow earned the distinction of being “all cylinders”. By no means are the Rangers a lackluster team; we could never accurately claim that the Blueshirts don’t have their own arsenal of explosive firepower; and in the experience department the Rangers’ skaters certainly take the proverbial cake. But as delicious as cake may be, it doesn’t help come back from a 3-0 deficit, especially not when the trailing team is, as we speak, leaving on a Jet plane with the fear that they might be back, playing golf, all too soon (Rest in Peace John Denver, who was never ever full of shit).

So the odds are stacked… so what? Who cares? Big deal!!!! Crazier things have happened, especially in the wide world of sports. Mahmoud Abdul Rauf got a technical foul for an uncontrollable tourrette’s syndrome outbreak during an otherwise normal rendition of the national anthem. Well that’s about all I can think about but still it brings validity to the whole crazier things have happened concept.

After game 3, in which the Rangers clawed back from a 2 goal deficit only to draw a stupid penalty and allow the insatiable Pen’s power play unit to crack the game wide open again, the mood surrounding the team was somber at best.

Would game 4 be Brendan Shanahan’s last in an NHL jersey? Did the Rangers defense need a complete overhaul (different topic for a different day)? Would Jaromir Jagr be playing his last game in the garden, for the team that he helped revitalize after a decade of underachieving and overpaying? Would Tom Renney be blamed for falling short again and find the axe, leaving the best job in the NHL vacant? Would the signings of Chris Drury and Scott Gomez result in a regression rather than the expected progression, leading fans to question the worth of the enormous investment? The mood surrounding the team, in the press, on tv, and in the minds of fans reflected that after just 60 more minutes of hockey, a year that will hopefully for a long time be remembered as the year the Rangers finally cashed in on their poised drafting and young talent development, could like a match in the wind be effortlessly extinguished.

The sentiment was infectious, almost impossible to ignore. Magically, there were several Rangers who seemed un-phased by the state of things, and provided a hint that this team may, just may not have been entirely finished.

The Captain, who as DCMSG forecasted after mid-season saved himself for the playoffs acknowledged that his next game could be his last, but swore that his team remained full of fight. Young center, Brandon Dubinsky, who almost overnight has turned into one of the leaders of this mostly young ranger team mentioned that “these were the types of situations were good hockey players were supposed to step up”, as passed along to him earlier in the year by the man they call “Shanny”. And then there was Henrik, the King, who left us with: “Every year it doesn’t happen, it gets closer to the day that it’s going to happen again”. Lundqvist was referring to the inevitability that one day, a team would again return from a 3 game deficit to advance to the next round. Although it’s too early to make any promises, too foolish to provide opponents with any extra motivation – Henrik may have been onto something.

Courtesy of some “higher powers” (the Russian Mafia), I was fortunate enough to attend game 4. Seeing as anyone reading this has most likely already read the papers, I’ll leave my summary short and sweet. The garden was rocking – louder than it’s ever been (not an exaggeration, the papers seemed to agree). At no point did the game go more than 2 minutes without a raucous chant from the crowd – from the basic Jagr chant, to the traditional Hen-Rik, to the “Crosby Sucks”, voices were lost in unison. Hen-rik stood on his head. Marc Staal’s ability seemed to progress another year’s worth, placing his talent-age at nearly 50. Petr Prucha showed flashes of the 30 goal scorer that he was not too long ago. Brenadn Shanahan showed up to play for the first time in a few games. Oh, and then there was Jaromir, feeding off that energy he stored up during the regular season, getting involved on all 3 ranger goals (scoring 2), placing him alone at the top of the pack of playoff scorers. Man was Jagr good, double shifting nearly the entire game, taking the heat off of Scotty Gomez for having one of his more “invisible” games as a ranger. And now we go back to Pittsburgh for game 5, hoping to, as Jagr said, “let ourselves play one more game”. And as demonstrated by their embarrassing conduct at the end of the 3rd, the Pens are clearly nervous, and certainly on their heels. The time to strike is now – the iron is hot and the Rangers have learned to exploit the Penguins’ biggest weakness – even strength. The time to climb back in for real is Sunday at 2 P.M.

I have to comment again on the crowd. In one of my 1st posts I mentioned that I still get chills every time I walk into the garden. When the team you’re supporting is playing well, there is no place to be like the garden – it smells like sports. Game 4 was one of those rare moments in time when that initial chill lasts for the entire game. For the first time in years and years, it truly seemed that every person in attendance was a fan, and as mentioned above – the place was rocking. Corny as it may sound, events like this, when the excitement reigns so thick it can be bottled, makes a fan proud to live in New York and to be part of one of the greatest traditions in professional sports – being a stupid, obnoxious New Yorker. Hopefully the players captured some of that excitement and can use it in game 5 to open up an opportunity to play just one (but hopefully two) more games.

Other Notes

Chang! You’re not Chinese? This changes everything…

Who is Johan Franzen?

I have like ten packs of index cards in my desk drawer. Occasionally, when I’m feeling very motivated to study, I take them out and make note cards. Then they sit on my desk for two days. Then I start using them to hold chewed gum when I’m not near a garbage can. Then I throw them away. Then I realize I’m out of note cards and go buy more – evil empire shit.

The guy at Petco, who is semi-retarded, knows an unbelievably ridiculous amount about algae. I’ve had a fish tank for 15 years and have this algae growing that I’ve never seen before. After a game of 20 questions, where I was asked whether the algae was more filamentous or coarse, forest or dark green, and rapidly spreading or just “normally” so, he identified my algae as a rare strain known as “black beard algae” – fucking pirates are taking over the world, one fishtank at a time.

Concussions are the new hangovers – if you didn’t get one you just weren’t partying hard enough.

Street benches are the new Apple stores.

Bud light tastes different every time you drink it. Tonight it was good.