Forgive me for summing this one up before it's official. Fear 1, Faith 0.
All hail the unanticipated kingdom of Joe Randa — at least Howie's not
around to point out once again that he was a paper Met. And hey, we got
Juan LeBron for him. Did Juan LeBron even reach Binghamton? *
So many embarrassments tonight. There was Glavine doing his usual Glavine thing — even if he was
getting squeezed early, you knew eventually those decision pitches
thrown over the plate would lead to Bad Things, which they did. And
what exactly was Cliff doing trying to steal second with Diaz at bat as
the tying run? Your newest, number-crunchingest sabermetrician and your
oldest, crustiest, cigar-chewingest, selling-jeans-here-est scout would
have been equally appalled by that one. And couldn't Joe Torre have
stopped healing the sick long enough to lean over during an interleague
game and teach Willie how to double-switch? Mike DeJean sucked, but at
least you can't say he did anything wrong above the neck.
(Of course Victor Diaz now gets a hit. Goddamn it. This game will kill you.)
I largely held my fire during the St. Lucie days about Felix Heredia
because I take it on faith that those who stink in the Grapefruit
League generally come out of the gate OK and vice versa, just to make
baseball even more of a head-scratcher. But this is getting ridiculous:
Willie's giving Heredia the Mike Maddux treatment and it turns out he
refused to go on the DL, which means we'll have to resort to some kind
of 40-man-roster chicanery to bring Jose Santiago up to face Atlanta,
which will probably treat him like Julio Valera. (I hope Omar's
reviewed the roster rules, seeing how in Montreal Bud Selig barely let
him have 40 guys.)
Anyway, thanks Felix! Way to be a team guy! What's the over/under on
how many weeks of this we have to endure before the team grudgingly
eats Heredia's contract?
(Goddamn Mets. These lipstick-on-a-pig rallies ultimately just make you
angrier. La la la, I'm not listening to this comeback attempt.)
By the way, did you notice Mariano Rivera, Mr. Automatic, blew the save again? And got booed? Someone talk Filip Bondy off the ledge. If he's noticed.
(Strike three. Thanks for playing, Mike. Once again God was not fooled by my ostentatiously not listening to a rally. 9-5 Reds.)
OK, that was the suckingest bunch of suck that ever sucked, but for
whatever reason I'm not too discouraged. The team looks (sorry, it sounds)
much better defensively and the offense, while not exactly clicking,
has been encouraging up and down the lineup. Maybe it's just listening to a healthy
Reyes and Floyd. Maybe it's just having games that count again. Maybe it's just that it's finally warm. Regardless, I'm
hanging in there better than I'd expected. Though if things go badly tomorrow, I get the feeling
I won't be so philosophical at around 4 o'clock.
* The Internet provides. Juan LeBron played one whole season at Triple-A. So says his bio
on the Web site of your Somerset Patriots, who helpfully note that
LeBron was signed on August 3, 2004 and released on August 28, 2004.
(Somerset, please! A little tact!) Oh, and he hit .216.
But here's the weird thing: Juan LeBron even got a Topps baseball card,
part of the 1995 Traded set. Only the good folks at Topps goofed and
put his face on another Kansas City prospect's card, with that
prospect's face winding up on LeBron's. So who was the other guy in the do-si-do?
Carlos Beltran. You could look it up.