Nelson Figueroa’s first win as a New York Met in 5 seasons neatly coincided with an all-too-rare scoreless inning from Aaron Heilman and Billy Wagner’s first save of the young campaign. And while the Mets’ sluggish start to the 2008 campaign is under exactly the sort of scrutiny you’d expect, the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman wonders if Country Time’s head is in the right place.
“This is a tough town, man, a tough town to play in nowadays. With the Internet and everything they have – the blogs and things – it makes it even tougher,” Ron Darling said. “These guys (Mets players) have to hear it all the time. It’s very difficult to hear it all the time and not let it affect you – even a smidgen.”
So much for players, managers and front-office types who often say they pay no attention to what is said or written about them. Then again, it seems no matter who is wearing the uniform, the Mets have a history of importing players with rabbit ears.
Take the outspoken Billy Wagner. After Tuesday’s loss, he played right into the panic mentality, bristling over a Daily News reporter’s characterization of the Mets’ “relationship” with the Phillies.
Wagner called the reporter “some kid fresh out of high school” before saying: “He’s in there trying to say it’s like an old girlfriend, like baggage. He’s trying to analyze our baseball team to a girlfriend. That’s the stupid (stuff) you have to deal with.”The “kid fresh out of high school” Wagner referred to is 34-year-old Ohm Youngmisuk, who made his comment on SNY’s “Daily News Live.” Think about it. The Mets lose the home opener to the Phillies, the “panic” is on, and Wagner is entertaining himself by watching “Daily News Live.”
If Wagner, now a media member via his cash-only relationship with ESPN-1050 (he makes a weekly appearance), had a problem with Youngmisuk’s line, what might his reaction have been when the first-time-caller, long-time-moron brigade – and those who engage them in stimulating conversation – dipped into their blue and orange sack of catastrophe?
While Figueroa made a compelling case last night to stick around for a while, the parent club might do well to monitor the progress of P Joselo Diaz. The 27 year old right-hander, once part of the ill-fated Scott Kazmir package that was sent to Tampa, pitched 7 shutout innings last night (5 hits, no walks, 5K’s) in New Orleans’ 2-1 defeat at Round Rock. The hosts’ starter Jack Cassel was equally impressive, taking a perfect game into the 6th before allowing a single to Yordany Ramirez.
The Express’ two-run 9th inning occured when Zephyrs closer Ivan Maldonado performed a capable Billy Wagner impression, walking a pair, giving up a pair of singles and finally forcing in the winning run with a bases loaded walk to Josh Paul (on a 3-2, 2-out pitch that could’ve easily been called a strike). There was shortage faces familiar to Mets fans in this monumental clash ; Anderson Hernandez, Fernando Tatis on the New Orleans side, while David Newhan and Alberto Castillo suited up for Round Rock.
Duaner Sanchez walked one and allowed no hits during his scoreless 8th inning for New Orleans. I’m fairly certain he didnt’ travel to Williamson County by cab.