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Mets Geek » The Fallout Boys of Summer


May 9, 2009
The Fallout Boys of Summer

It’s May 20th and the world of New York Sports is reeling from a blockbuster move brought on by a Met four-game losing streak.  One fan is lucky enough to get a word in on the FAN…

Joe Benigno: Greg in Long Island, you’re on the FAN.  Greg , good to hear from you; what’s on your mind?

Greg:  It’s rather eerie when you think about it.  I was ruminating on my blog as to how one could take what is essentially a moribund franchise and infuse into it that evanescent rush of heroic energy, permeating…

Joe Benigno: Um, just to let you know Greg, we’re closing in on the 20/20, so…

Greg: Yes of course, well, to exercise concision, I came up with the notion of trading Reyes, Wright, Beltran, Castro, and Tim Redding for Ryan Howard, Shane Victorino, and Jimmy Rollins, and Lo and Behold, I wake up in a week and that’s what Omar does.

Joe Benigno: Well, I’ll give you credit if you saw that coming, ‘cause it took all of us by surprise; I will say this though, Omar had to do something; and it would have been nice if they could have used Redding instead of Niese, but it was clear that something had to be done here because this was obviously not working out.  There was definitely something missing with this team where they couldn’t win as they were constructed.

Evan Roberts: I don’t know how we convinced the Phillies to tell you the truth; I mean a stud like Howard, we’re talking a perennial MVP candidate, like 50 HRs per year…

Joe Benigno:I think it was Niese’s potential that sealed the deal, which is nice but prospects in general are such a crapshoot, I mean look at Lastings Milledge, I mean who’s kidding who???

Evan Roberts: Exactly Joe, I was a bit skeptical about Omar with the Milledge trade, but hey, it turns out that he was the smartest man in the room, and now this fleecing of the Phillies…you really gotta give Omar credit.

June 20th: after an initial struggle, the Phillies trade for the Jorge Cantú sending several prospects, including Dominic Brown, the way of the Marlins (who have fallen from contention).  They proceed to pull a string of wins together…

Evan Roberts: And who is this Carrasco kid?  Where did he come from?

Joe Benigno: I dunno.  I don’t know what it is about Phillie.  But they’ve always had it.  They have those grinders, whether it’s Victorino and Rollins or Ibañez, who just gets every clutch hit you can get.  I mean where would the Phils be without him?  Greg in Long Island, You’re on the FAN; what’s on your mind?

Greg: When the baseball gods take command, there is no denying the team that gains their favor, nor can the attempt to decipher order and reason in their tempestuous, fleeting passions.  They live to confer upon you the glory of heaven and to serenade those less fortunate with the bellowing laughter that is the face of Hell…

August 24th:  Hamels, Carrasco, Myers, and Niese are proving to be a perfectly serviceable foursome for the Phillies.  Nothing perhaps to be afraid of, unless the man taking the mound for the good guys has to face a lineup of Reyes/Utley/Wright/Beltran/Ibañez/Cantú/Werth/Castro.  The Phillies just won the rubber match of a 3 game series against the Mets, expanding their lead in the division to 5 games as Wright’s 29th home run just escapes the alluring right field fences of Citizens Bank Park.  At the Cavernous Citi Field, Rollins’ power numbers are dropping to a career low.  Shane Victorino was performing servicably in Center until he was suspended by league pending further review of allegations that he molested a 13-year-old male prostitute in Malaysia during the All-Star Break.

Mike Francesa: So Omar, what’s it going to take for you guys to finally get over the hump?  I mean, you finally got rid of Reyes who’s just annoying the hell out of you in that last game with what must have been 5 minutes of (trembling with disgust) handshakes.

Omar Minaya: Yeah, well, he’s dangerous.  When we built Citi field, we thought that we could see something special with Reyes and three triples in one game was one of those things.  Of course we thought it would be for our team.  And he’s always been that kind of guy.  He doen’t mean to show anyone up and the press in Philadelphia don’t seem to be giving him that hard a time about it.

Mike Francesa: Yeah well Rollins is struggling in a big way, but I’m not worried about him.  He gets it done when it counts.  Howard is another matter altogether; I mean can someone stop telling him to stop swinging at all those sliders a foot off the plate?  The guy’s racked up 140 strikeouts already.

Omar Minaya: Well, Howard’s gonna strike out a lot, you ‘know what I’m sayin’; I mean, that’s just the player he is…know what I’m sayin?  You gotta take the good with the bad.

Mike Francesa: And Ollie, I mean, Niese did put up a good showing, but now he’s gone and you’re playing musical chairs with Ollie, Redding, and whoever else, these guys just can’t even keep you in the ballpark.

Omar Minaya: Well, Ollie’s the same thing as Howard, know what I’m sayin’?  You got good things and bad things, and he’s shown some signs in his last couple of starts that tell me when he controls his walks…

Mike Francesa: But you have come from behind more often you are showing that fight that wasn’t there before.

Omar Minaya: Yeah and that’s because of these guys, partly, and partly other guys like Sheffield and Cora.  I mean part of the reason I brought them here, obviously they’re talented players, know what I’m sayin’, but they’re also those kinds of in-your-face, never-say-die types of guys that the roster had been missing.  And you need that mental toughness, that spark, you know to really…to really build a winning ballclub.  And I just crapped my pants, and it’s that edge that those two guys bring and the little things they do.  And Sheff has been much better defensively than people thought.  If you look at his fielding percentage…

Mike Francesa: Wait, hold on there…You what your pants?

Omar Minaya: What?  What pants?  What about my pants?

Mike Francesa: Didn’t you just say something about your pants and what you…

Omar Minaya: Mike, c’mon now.  We’re buddies.  We’ve been talking for awhile and I usually agree with you, why this thing about my pants?

Mike Francesa: I thought…I’m positive that…
Anyway, how about those Blue Jays?  What’s your take on them?

September 30th:  The Mets are coming off a huge win behind Santana, who came within two outs of the first Met perfect game before Ramon Castro legged out the most unlikely of infield hits on a ground ball that Dan Murphy just couldn’t get to fast enough at third base.  Now once again, they are in a do-or-die game in the last day of the season, a half-game behind the Cardinals for the Wild-Card lead.  We’ll let Wayne Hagin take the call.

Wayne Hagin: And this is it folks.  The Mets can break the curse of Cliff Floyd right here.  (They were never the same after they lost that leadership Floyd brought to the team.)  It’s Krod on the mound and this is why they got him.  It’s a one-run lead, two outs men on 2nd and third and a full count to Jose Reyes.  Obviously not a huge at bat for Jose who’s Phillies clinched the division over a week ago.

And it’s a bouncy-ball over to first base; should be the ballgame and it gets by Howard!!  Ryan Howard was slow to the ball did not bend all the way down—we’ve been talking about his immobility at first for a while now Howie—and the ball just skipped between his legs.  Sheffield coming in to retrieve the ball but by the time he lumbers in two runs will score and the Phillies break the Mets’ hearts for the third year in a row!

The following day:

Joe Benigno: You know, I can’t really get on Omar for this.  I mean, the Mets had so many opportunities that they blew.  This is on Ryan Howard all the way.  The team would be nowhere without Santana and Santana is what Omar pulled it off.  The bullpen was lights out.  K-Rod gave up a couple of baserunners as is his thing, you know…he gave you the usual agita.  But he got out of it; and what cost the Mets the game was Ryan Howard.  If I had a nickel for every time Howard struck out on a slider a foot off the plate in a big spot…

Joe Benigno: Back to the phones, 718-937-6666, Greg in Long Island, how are you?

Greg: I had the notion of what the unjustly overlooked romantics call the “spirit of place” dangles over the surrealistic and yet morbid irony.  And is anything more sublime than irony?

Joe Benigno: Do you have a sports point Greg?

Greg: I was thinking that the wind in Philadelphia sounds so like the roar of clutch that trading landmasses with the Philadelphia area might not be that bad an option.  If we switch the Hudson and the Delaware, and also exchange media markets where you and Francesa could do radio in Phillie and we could bring in…say…

One Response to “The Fallout Boys of Summer”

  1. Comment posted by James Kannengieser on May 16, 2009 at 2:47 pm (#982009)

    Haha. Those last two lines by fake Greg are priceless. Morbid irony over at FAFIF.