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Apparently, I Still Hold a Grudge

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Although I had no rooting interest whatsoever in the national championship game, I must admit to being extremely impressed with the performance of Texas quarterbackVince Young, particularly on those magnificent last two drives. The only thing missing from that final sequence? A fake-spike, of course. Pete Carroll, I'm not generally bitter, but I still haven't forgiven you for the way your team lost five straight to close the 1994 NFL season. Yes, Texas won the game more than your team lost it, but the ending was very reminiscent to me of the way that many contests concluded during your tenure with Gang Green.

When the game came down to one play on fourth down in the final seconds, I was in the middle of an instant message session with a friend, Jeff the bowling Miami attorney. We both agreed that the best call for the situation would be a quarterback draw or something of that ilk, though "Quarterback improv" would have probably been a better choice of words to describe what happened. Jeff summed it up very succinctly.

"You always go with your best in that spot. That's why you throw a 97-mile-per-hour fastball, and not a slider, to Jim Leyritz in the 8th inning of Game 4 of the 1996 World Series."

Grrr...

Ok, now that that's out of the way, let's talk Mets happenings, since a couple of new players have joined the fold. You may have seen it alluded to in a couple of stories about this Duaner Sanchez glove-throwing incident that took place earlier this season. Here are the full details.

It was May 28th and the Dodgers were still reasonably decent at this point, at 25-22, and visiting the Diamondbacks. Los Angeles threw a debuting rookie, lefty Derek Thompson against Javier Vazquez that day and despite that pitching mismatch, carried a 4-2 lead into the seventh inning.

Sanchez, working his second inning of relief, had retired four straight batters when light-hitting Luis Terrero came to the plate. Terrero hit a high chopper that went over the mound. Rather than retreat and try to make a play, or concede an infield single, Sanchez scored points both for creativity and stupidity. He flung his glove upward, and knocked the ball down.

Now some may call that a clever play, but the rulebook refers to it in another way, as a ground rule triple. This rattled Sanchez a bit and after yielding an RBI ground out, he surrendered a game-tying home run to, of all people, Vazquez.

Now, I could sit here and knock Sanchez for his moments of temporary insanity and were he a Met at the time, I probably would. However, I'll cut him a break because one of his teammates did something even more unforgiveable than throwing his glove at the ball or allowing a home run to the opposing pitcher.

In the last of the ninth, the Dodgers turned to Giovannai Carrara, with the score still tied at four. Tony Clark led off against him with a double, and after a walk, Terrero got caught in the middle of another odd play, when he was ruled safe on a sacrifice, in which Jeff Kent dropped the throw to first. The throw actually hit Terrero who was running outside the basepath, on the grass, but the umpires awarded him first base anyway.

Now a bases loaded no outs jam is tough to get out of, but when the next opposing hitter is Kelly Stinnett (in his first plate appearance of the season), you should have a fighting chance. Carrara, perhaps unaware of Stinnett's lack of plate punch, promptly walked him on a 3-1 pitch, ending the game. Let me just say that of all the different kinds of ways to lose via walk-off, the bases-loaded walk might be my least favorite. It creates a scream-at-the-television moment of anguish and brings to mind memories of signficant pain (I see a lefthanded pitcher with the initials K.R. off in the distance, not that I'm bitter or anything). So at least Sanchez didn't commit that unpardonable sin, at least not that day.

I don't have much to say about Steve Schmoll, other than to point out a little bit of blog synergy. Schmoll won two games last season, one via walk-off. That triumph came against the Giants, with the winning hit delivered by none other than the subject of yesterday's blog post- Jason Phillips.

A little more research is needed before I can comment suficcently on Bret Boone. Perhaps I'll address that move(and maybe the departure of Herman Edwards) in the next few days.

True Methorns know... Jae Seo's leaves the Mets with one walk-off win, which came on September 25 2004 (Mets 4, Cubs 3), in which Victor Diaz hit a game-tying three-run home run with two outs in the ninth and Craig Brazell hit a game-winning dinger in the last of the 11th.

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