Archive: April 28th, 2008

Mets Fans in Connecticut

If you are a Mets fan in Connecticut, and cannot watch Mets games on TV because your cable provider is Cox Communications, it’s time to join the legion of customers who are requesting that SNY be added to the channel lineup.

SNY will be supporting the groundswell with billboards on I84, Route 6, and Route 44, as well as with print ads in the Journal Inquirer on 4/30, 5/2 and 5/5. If all Mets fans in New England band together, you can make Cox bring the Mets home to you.

Find your way to the Cox online form and tell them you want your Mets, and/or call (860) 436-4269 to fill out a “channel request form” with a customer service representative over the phone.

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MetsBlog: Price of Success

You know you’ve hit the big time when newspaper reporters are making snide remarks about your blog.

One of the columnists (who shall remain nameless to protect the guilty) in the Daily News recently penned this:

“Is Matt Cerrone’s entertaining and informative MetsBlog.com (One Team, One Million GM’s) losing some edge – and independence?

Prior to the start of the season, Cerrone joined forces with the Mets and SportsNet New York in a deal to have MetsBlog.com appear on SNY’s Web site. This was followed by a lot of yap-flapping out of Metsville (and MetsBlog) about MetsBlog being able to continue doing its thing.

On Thursday, MetsBlog posted a YouTube video of Joe Smith going mouth-to-mouth (“You ain’t s— … I’m in the big leagues you idiot”) with Cubs fans. Spies say when a Mets official was made aware of the video’s presence, he had it immediately pulled off MetsBlog.

For MetsBlog, and its fans, that’s called livin’ in a corporate world.”

Clearly, this passage was written by someone who is (a) misinformed; (b) misleading to his readers; and (c) probably fearing for his survival.

Because here’s the thing: MLB doesn’t allow anyone to post more than two minutes of video, and no one is allowed to keep video content “live” on their site for more than 72 hours. In addition, MLB reserves the right to demand that any graphical content — be it a video, picture, logo, whatever — be removed from any website from any reason (or no reason). A credentialed newspaper writer should know these rules — after all, he has to abide by them as well.

Even though that video (which is still on youTube, by the way) was shot by a fan, MLB still owns it because it was filmed inside of an MLB stadium. Crazy, I know, but that’s how the laws are interpreted — even in a publicly funded stadium, the events inside are considered private, and therefore subject to the policies of whatever monopoly … er, company … owns the event’s rights.

So when this Daily News columnist irresponsibly infers that either SNY or a Mets official — and not Matt Cerrone — controls MetsBlog, he’s twisting the truth to make a blogger look bad. In reality, Matt — and me, and the Daily News, and anyone with a blogger account, for that matter — are subject MLB’s demands in regard to its content. Theoretically, if I photoshop a picture of Moises Alou onto a milk carton, and someone from MLB doesn’t like it, they can demand that I remove it. Luckily, MetsToday doesn’t attract enough traffic to matter to MLB (for now) — however that is not the case for MetsBlog. MLB is well aware of the most popular baseball blog in America, and as a result monitors it to make sure Matt’s following the rules. Oh, and if they see something they don’t like, guess what? It has to come down. That’s not “… called livin’ in the corporate world,” as the Daily News writer suggests — it’s abiding by the law so your site doesn’t get shut down.

I know, I know, this is supposed to be a blog about the Mets, not about a pissing match between newspaper writers and bloggers. But being part of the blogosphere, this snide remark on the Daily News site gets my goat. There are too many “professional” writers taking pot shots at us “unprofessionals” — from discounting our knowledge, opinions, and sources to slamming us as “pamphleteers“. Not all journalists are against us, of course — only the ones who feel threatened. And I don’t mind reading criticism when it’s fair and based on facts. But when a news writer makes suppositions and insinuations by misrepresenting the facts … well, that’s just … “unprofessional”.

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Life Without Moises

While few of us expected Moises Alou to play in more than 100 games this season, we did hope to see him at some point beyond the cameo appearances in spring training. After suffering a hernia, the latest news is that Alou may or may not have a fractured bone in his ankle.

This does not bode well for the light-hitting Mets, who despite their offensive “explosion” this past weekend, remain a few batters short of championship lineup.

Even if Carlos Delgado is truly out of his slump — and it looked that way yesterday — it’s doubtful he’s going to return to the monster he was two or three years ago. At best he’ll give the Mets a .260 / 30 / 110 line — good, but not enough unless both David Wright and Carlos Beltran put up MVP numbers.

That’s because after the #5 spot, there isn’t much firepower. Yes, Ryan Church is hot, but I’m not banking on him continuing his .322 pace (call me a pessimist). I do like Church as a #6 or #7 hitter, and do like his defense and hustle. But when he cools down to his mean of .275 / 15 / 70, and Angel Pagan falls back to earth (three hits in his last 20 ABs suggests the descent has begun), will the Mets have enough hitting at the bottom of the order to compete? I’m not so sure.

If the bullpen had a better start, and if either of El Duque or Pedro Martinez were in the rotation right now, I might not be so concerned — because great pitching beats good hitting, right? But the truth is, the Mets pitching overall is not great — it’s OK, potentially good. But not so dominating that the Mets can get away with scoring 3-4 runs a game.

In this era of the 5-inning starter, too many games are decided by the worst pitchers on each team — the middle relievers. It’s a crapshoot, really, and what it often comes down to is which offense can take advantage of the weakest arms in the 6th and 7th innings. If Delgado gets back into the groove, the Mets will be more dangerous in these late innings, because teams won’t be able to pitch around David Wright and Carlos Beltran. But the lineup still might not be deep enough to make up for the inconsistencies of the bullpen. There are too many “ifs” — if Delgado returns to form, if Pagan stays hot, if Church is for real — to keep me convinced there’s enough offense without Alou.

Of course, “if” Alou ever returns, I’m assuming he’ll be the .300-hitting RBI machine he’s always been … oh that’s another “if”, isn’t it?

Maybe it’s the gray skies and downpour that has me so cynical. A bright sunny day and a few more dingers by Delgado would really lift my spirits.

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