Skip to main content

And Now Back to Your Regularly Scheduled Walk-Off Minutiae...

The last time the Mets opened a season in St. Louis (1992, for those curious) their second baseman was their future (now current) manager. Perhaps the next time they open in St. Louis, the second baseman of today will be their future general manager (or some other front-office position appropos for someone who runs a winter-league team).

I think the best thing to come out of Opening Day from a walk-off perspective (that's what we do here) is that a few of the Flushing geriatrics, in whom I'm currently showing little faith, walked-off the field on their own power.

I told someone the other day that by the end of the season that David Newhan would be the everyday second baseman and Endy Chavez would be the regular left fielder. That person shunned and mocked my thinking, particularly after what Msrs. Valentin and Alou showed from a defensive perspective in Game 1.

I didn't write a season-preview piece but had I done so, I would have voiced significant concerns over both of those positions. I'm still nervous about both but at least those apprehensions can be put on hold for the next 24 to 48 hours.

Moises Alou looks like he runs about as fast as his recently-turned 65-year-old uncle Jesus (who beat the Mets in the 1968 opener with a walk-off double). Let's be honest and acknowledge that the only reason he made a great diving catch is because he's too old and slow to make many plays look routine. I think it should be a rule this season that any time Billy Wagner enters a game, Chavez should be required to enter as well. No need to risk any close games on whether your left fielder can bend over to touch his toes.

As for Valentin, I'm not very hopeful of his duplicating his 2006 numbers simply because he's never shown the capability of doing so before, and not too many guys are getting better at his age. He did look rather spry on Sunday and that was a pleasant surprise.

So was the performance of Tom Glavine, whom I have tagged for 6 to 8 tries before he gets that 300th win. I appreciated the xerox copy of his 2006 Opening Day showing (1 run, 6 hits, 2 years in a row), and all the double plays (4...the Cardinals don't do that against the Mets...ever!).

There was a lot to be happy about, so enough with the negativity, though that does tend to be my natural nature. Paul Lo Duca showed why he is worthy of the No. 2 spot in the order. I liked what I saw from Joe Smith, even though his effectiveness was limited to one batter. The Carlos' each made the Cardinals pay for stupidity (Delgado doubling after Beltran was hit on an 0-2 pitch, Beltran throwing out David Eckstein, who went from October hero to April fool in one fell swoop). Aaron Heilman's jam-escapability was Duaneresque. And at the rate everyone in the media is talking, perhaps Pedro comes back by May 1.

This didn't erase the sting from last season. I was telling someone on Sunday that I was having a hard time letting go of 2006 (I carried around my 2006 rally towel like a security blanket). But hey, baseball's back, and the Mets are off to a good start. So all is good with the world.

As the unwise man who batted after Willie Randolph in St. Louis on Opening Day 1992 (and hit the go-ahead HR that night) once said:

Just try to wipe the smile off my face.

True Metpeners know...The Mets have beaten the Cardinals five times on Opening Day. The team the Mets have beaten the most on Opening Day is the Phillies (6 times).

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Cliff Notes

Alright, so it's 2 days later and the challenge for me now, after reading through about a dozen game stories and listening to talk radio, is to provide a fresh perspective on walk-off #324. If you're going to be a serious reader of this blog, you know what happened already, so let's look at what made this particular walk-off stand out. It would seem that the place to start is with the idea that everything broke just right on both sides of the ball. Particularly, I'm talking about Carlos Beltran's catch in the 7th inning, where he went over the center field fence to rob Jose Molina of a home run. Every no-hitter seems to have one defensive gem that makes it possible and perhaps that's true of great walk-off moments as well (We'll be looking into that!) Marlon Anderson's home run required a remarkable combination of events. It was only the sixth inside-the-park home run at Shea Stadium by a Met and the first since Darryl Strawberry in 1989. It required t

Walk-Offs in Movies, TV, and Other Places

Note: I'm leaving this post up through the end of the week, a) because I don't have time to pump out something new and b)because I was hoping to build a really good list of entertainment industry walk-offs...so if you're looking for something new, check back on Monday or so... Of course, if there's a major trade or move, I'll adjust and try to post something... In the meantime, click on the "Table of Contents" link as well. It has been updated. SPOILER ALERT: Read at your own risk Caught the ending of "A League of Their Own" on one of the movie channels the other day and it got me to thinking that it would be fun to compile a list of walk-offs from movies, television, and other forms of entertainment. Here's the start, and only the start, as I spent about 30 minutes or so thinking it over Help me fill in the blanks by filling out the comments section. "A League of Their Own"-- Racine beats Rockford for the All-American Girls

The greatness and the frustration of Nolan Ryan the Met

I was looking over dominant pitching versus opponents and over various stretches in Mets history and came upon one I found interesting. In his first six starts in 1971, Nolan Ryan went 5-1 with an 0.77 ERA. In 46 2/3 innings, he allowed 19 hits and struck out 47. Opponents hit .121 and slugged .172 against him. And oh yes, he walked 37 batters (!), or more than 7 per 9 innings. As you go back through those six starts, you can see both the brilliance and the frustration that eventually led to Ryan’s departure in one of the worst trades in baseball history. April 29 at Cardinals – 6 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 5 K, 8 BB Ryan’s first start of the season was 7-0 win over the Cardinals that completed a four-game sweep, though it wasn’t the most artful of efforts. Ryan walked eight, but held the Cardinals to only two hits. That included the thwarting of Joe Torre’s season-opening 22-game hitting streak. Torre would go on to win the MVP. The big moment in the game came with the score 1-0 in the