Braden Looper ” who didn’t figure in the decision in the Mets’ 4-2 loss to Washington last night ” admits that nobody enjoys being jeered, but says he knew what he was getting himself into when he signed with the Mets before last season.
The former Marlin had already seen how this city treats closers not named Rivera, and he was experiencing it firsthand last night.
“In the middle of the game, you don’t hear stuff like that. When the inning was over, yeah [you hear it],” Looper said. “Does it feel good? No. But it’s part of the game, part of playing in New York City. I understand that I’m in a position where the game’s on the line, and [being booed] is part of what comes with the job.”
Looper has dealt with that part of the job more and more since signing last January. And last night was more of the same.
He came on to pitch the ninth with the Mets trailing 3-2, and promptly gave up a leadoff single to Brian Schneider. When Cristian Guzman bunted, Ramon Castro fielded the ball and his underhand toss sailed over Mike Jacobs’ head to plate an insurance run and unleash the boo-birds.
“You just have to take it for what it is,” Looper said. “You can’t control it, so why get too upset over it? You just have to go out there and try to make a pitch. That’s about all you can control, man.
“I saw what they did to [Armando Benitez],” he added. “I was in this division my whole career, so I understand. I knew coming here. They’re fans of the game; they want to win. [But] what do you do? The ball goes down the right field corner and I’m standing there helpless.”
Striking out an opposing hitter, is of course, completely out of the question.
Greg of Faith & Fear In Flushing on Jose Offerman’s failure to advance from first base on a Kaz Matsui single to center :
Thrown out at second on a single to center? I’ve seen Met baserunners (what other kind?) get picked off during intentional walks, but they at least had the excuse of getting distracted by a pretty moth or something. What was Offerman looking at? Doesn’t the Players Association have a pretty bitchin’ vision plan? Hasn’t sitting in the first base dugout for almost three months allowed him the time to read every ad on the third base side of Shea? What else was there to watch but the ball whiz past the pitcher, the second baseman and the shortstop?
If last night’s true highlight wasn’t Frank Robinson arguing for about 10 minutes before being run, it had to be Howie Rose urging Robbie to send Cristian Guzman packing after the Nats SS singled off Tom Glavine, all the better to protect that .200 average.