A plea for Jose Valentin, AKA “Other Jose” when Reyes's cheer was adapted for his good deeds: In six to eight weeks please be careful crossing streets and going down stairs. Because it ain't your year.
Valentin's run of miserable luck (knee, wall-punching hand, etc.) has now culminated with a broken tibia, one I imagine will end his season and his Mets career. So now what? Hmm. Well, the signing of Marlon Anderson now looks even smarter, doesn't it? Ruben Gotay, recently entering his period as Promising Young Player Being Hazed by Willie Randolph, has a crack at finishing stealing the second-base job away for his very own. (Provided he hits against lefties.) Does David Newhan get back on the Crescent City shuttle? Hey, forgotten man Anderson Hernandez's hitting .259 against lefties down in New Orleans, which for Anderson Hernandez is a lot of hitting.
On the other hand, it sure looks like it's Oliver Perez's year. Never has an ill-advised taxi ride proved such a blessing in disguise: It gave us Oliver, a once-and-potentially-future ace, and Roberto Hernandez, whose poor outing in enemy colors let us finally break through. (Who knows, maybe Xavier Nady was out letting the air out of various Dodgers' tires.) I've written it before, but it bears writing again and again: Every time I doubt Omar, I try to remember that forced into a desperate midnight trade (and don't let hindsight and fungible memory convince you we weren't desperate), he turned a serviceable but unexceptional outfielder into an OK reliever and a guy whom I firmly believe could shutter the Clubhouse of Curses and lead us to a title.
On the other hand, I was aghst during Omar's in-booth chat about Pedro (Martinez, not to be confused with Feliciano, who did a marvelous job keeping the Dodgers at bay). The conspiracy theories will bloom, but I don't think Omar was playing possum by ratcheting down expectations with his talk that anything we get from Pedro this year is a bonus. That sounds to me like Dr. Altchek has recommended more than a mental rest. It sounds to me like something is wrong or Pedro's coming along a lot more slowly than we believed a couple of weeks ago.
Bad news. But, well, let's take 'em one game at a time, and the good Lord willing, things'll work out. Like they did tonight: Oliver was masterful, both Carloses seem to be reviving, and we got to display a second raised middle finger to the schedule-makers.
And now I'm off with the kid to the piney woods of Maine. Back in '05, my trip didn't go so well: It was Humberto Cota and Braden Looper and Greg ordering me back home. Last year there was a bit of Lima (any bit of Lima is too much Lima), a lot of runs for newborn met Mike Pelfrey, and then the All-Star break.
This year? Who knows. Though with Brad Penny taking the mound later today, I've got a hankering for revenge. The Spanish have their own expression about revenge, but I've always heard it's a dish best served by breaking it over Brad Penny's fucking head.