When the Mets had that enviable combination of being a crummy baseball team who gets injured breathing and walking up stairs, and being a team that was facing a financial crisis, you could make the argument that they were the biggest joke in the league … All right, so there’s no argument about it. They were the biggest joke in the league. But now that their financial troubles have been reduced, or at least hidden under another shell, the Mets will solely be judged on their exploits between the lines. And although they’re still pretty low on the totem pole in the hearts and minds of the general public, the following is worth noting:
The Houston Astros are terrible.
Terrible might be the wrong word. Abysmal might be more fitting. Want to blame it on the fact that its a spring training game and that they had minor leaguers playing today? Check the depth chart. Then check Thursday’s boxscore. Awful lot of starters getting three at-bats today, and that pitcher that gave up five walks and six hits in three and two-thirds? That was their ace. Oh, and did you see the routine throw Carlos Lee dropped at first base? Sure, we may be awful this season, but less awful than the Houston Astros. And as you can tell, I’m not worried about karma biting me in the butt for trashing the franchise that needed a scuffballer that they got off the Mets’ scrap heap to even be in the NLCS in ’86, and employed former Yankee PED users legends such as Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte. Sure, I blame myself for Zack Wheeler’s injury by chirping about David Robertson. But really, what else can karma do to me and the team I call my own?
(Don’t worry, I made sure to stock up the basement with plenty of Tang and freeze dried ground beef and macaroni and cheese before I put something like that in print.)
It doesn’t matter because the Astros really are terrible. But don’t let that take away from the fact that R.A. Dickey pitched 6 & 1/3 strong innings (one hit, three walks) against them in their 8-2 victory. When you one hit a major league team, even if they’re a supposed major league team that is slinking out of the National League (lame ducks), that’s a good sign. And you know the Mets will take a good sign every now and then. There have been enough signs on their road which read “Emergency Hospital – 2 mi.” or “Frank Francisco – Next Right”, or something similar.
(No seriously, did you see Francisco out there? He was getting hit hard by the Astros B squad. The Astros B squad. Keep this in mind when he’s toeing the rubber against the Phillies, Braves, or Nationals. Screw the Marlins.)
And here’s another good sign of things to come: Larry Jones is retiring after this season. Hallejfreakinlujah. I realize that Larry leaving us isn’t going to cure everything. It’s like what Louis Gossett Jr. said in The Principal: “You kill Victor Duncan and there’ll be ten more waiting in line to take his place.” Or something like that. Or maybe it wasn’t Louis Gossett Jr. Or maybe it was Running Scared I’m thinking of when Jimmy Smits yelled “MY COOOOOOOOKE! GIVE ME MY COOOOOOOOKE!” I’m not too sure. But King Met Killer, the only player to have so much success in a visiting ball park that he named a child after it (actually, Barry Larkin also named his child after Shea Stadium, but he only hit three home runs there so he kinda doesn’t count), is leaving the realm of the active after 2012. The Mayans foretold that one day there would be a Larry-free world, and it’ll get here right when they said it would get here. I really want to say something classy after his stellar career, and maybe that day is still coming. But “now they can go home and put their Yankee gear on” still speaks to me … and it’s not speaking anything nice. So bite me Larry.
And Wilpons, if you give him a gift at a pre-game ceremony I swear … I freakin swear!