It was recently announced that Bob Ojeda will NOT be returning to SNY in 2015.
I can’t help but feel nervous every time Johan Santana takes the mound. Even after 10 innings of 1 run baseball, in which he struck out 13 batters, my optimism still had a heavy dose of caution. Last night, as I watched batter after batter reach base, my concern wasn’t about the score, but about Santana’s health.
Santana was in the middle of the zone and behind in the count all night. His velocity was consistent with his previous starts – 87-90, suggesting he was physically OK. But I couldn’t help being on pins and needles, waiting for a possible report of bad news from SNY’s Kevin Burkhardt after Johan left the game.
Drawing on his own experiences from the latter part of his career, Ron Darling speculated that Santana couldn’t get warmed up. After the game, however, Santana said he felt loose: “When I warmed up I felt fine.”
The bad start coincided with his return to Atlanta, which is where he made his ill-fated final start of 2010 – the start that put him on the shelf for over a year with a torn anterior capsule of the left shoulder. He said it was on his mind, even as he took the field:
“When I went to the bullpen, I pictured the whole thing,” Santana said. “And even when I walked in to the mound the first inning I pictured it. I looked at the rubber. I was like, ‘OK.’ But, again, I put it away. I just had another short outing here — again. Back to back. Hopefully the next one will be longer.”
In this quote, he says he “put it away.” But as uncomfortable as he looked, it’s easy to think the injury was on his mind. As Joe put it, it looked like he was throwing darts, or aiming the ball, which is something pitchers do when they aren’t loose. If Santana wasn’t loose, was it because he just couldn’t physically warm up, as Darling suggested, or did the lingering thought of September 2, 2010 tighten him up. Perhaps he was as tentative as I was watching him – and I was just sitting on my couch.
Santana is a positive man, and won’t make excuses for his performance, so we may never know for sure how he felt. But I would bet he’s happy to have last night’s start in his rear view mirror.
The good news is, according to everything we hear today from the Mets and Johan, he’s not injured, and on track to make his next start in Lower Downtown Denver, if “he’s strong enough,” according to Terry Collins.
In 2012, we’ll have to take Santana start-by-start and realize that every time he emerges healthy, it’s a victory.
NOTE: this is a work of FICTION by Corey Gorey. His “Page Two Tuesday” was moved back to Thursday due to inclement weather.
After a lengthy debate during a recent production meeting at SNY, a segment recorded and edited for the Mets Weekly program was deemed objectionable by executives and subsequently shelved by the network. An unnamed twenty-two year-old production assistant given the task of depositing the source material in the production team’s library leaked the video online and was subsequently fired. While the blog responsible for hosting the controversial clip has since taken it down due to a cease and desist order from SNY and Sterling Mets, a now ex-contributing writer for the offending Mets fan site has transcribed the segment for dissemination below.
Former Met and current Brooklyn Cyclones manager Wally Backman is the internet’s newest legend. Seriously.
In the last 24 hours, video of Wally’s epic post-ejection rant has been picked up everywhere, including Sports Illustrated and Deadspin. The overwhelming reaction is that fans support Wally’s passion in defending his players. In the case of this video, Wally was defending outfielder Doc Brooks, who was ejected during an at-bat, following a ball call. Yeah, you read that right. A ball call.
Needless to say, I’m pretty amazed by all of this. After all, I produced the TV series from which this video clip comes from. The show is called “Playing for Peanuts” and it aired briefly on SNY.
Since the language in the video is saltier than a bucket of Morton’s Iodized Salt, I won’t embed it here. You’ll have to click the links to the websites listed above. Or you can buy the censored (bleeped) version on DVD by clicking here.
Back when it happened (2007), there were murky reports that Wally Backman had lost his mind and ruined his managerial prospects by physically attacking an umpire. It was all overblown – the footage is amazing but there is nothing approaching what Wally was accused of. Regardless, I was accused of staging the incident (not true) and Wally was accused of being out-of-control (also not true). It was a classic manager-vs-umpire confrontation, the only thing different was that Wally had agreed to wear a microphone during the season. In most cases, Wally forgot he had the microphone on him – I used to have to sprint into the dugout following games to make sure Wally didn’t accidentally destroy a microphone cable by taking off his jersey with the mic still attached. Point is, none of Wally’s words were scripted or embellished for the camera. In fact, our cameras weren’t there for Wally’s ejection the week before this incident – and I’m told it was almost as epic…
Fast forward to 2010 and Wally is set to begin managing the Brooklyn Cyclones. His career seems to be back on track and my little TV show seems to have something of a new life. Funny how things work out sometimes.
To meet the demand for all things Wally, I have updated the TV show’s line of T-shirts to include the most famous line from the video:
Special thanks to Kerel Cooper of OnTheBlack.com who posted the video a few weeks ago. He was the first one to have the video online and now everyone else is catching up to him. Nice job, Kerel!
SNY, the Mets’ cable channel, is in talks with local stations about providing sports reports for their newscasts, The Post has learned.
The sports channel is talking to both Ch. 11 and Ch. 4 about eventually doing away with their own sportscasters and replacing them with SNY reporters, according to sources. [NY Post]
I find it interesting that in a time when traditional sports media outlets are being challenged by more outlets and more voices, they would react by outsourcing their sports reports to one entity. If fewer voices results in lower ratings, this won’t help.
But the economy is in the tank and that puts even more pressure on traditional media outlets to adapt. Right or wrong, this is an interesting way to approach the problem.
SNY President Steve Raab explains how the arrangement might work:
“We’d be creating their sports content,” Raab says of SNY’s role. “It’s not really why we went into this business, but we’ve invested in an area where others are pulling back — and we’re focused on nothing but the sports news and information that New York sports fans are focused on.” [NY Post]
UPDATE: Tonight’s game against the Padres is in doubt, due to the weather forecast. The Mets’ starting lineup (via NYMetsReport) is:
Jose Reyes, SS
Angel Pagan, CF
Jason Bay, LF
Ike Davis, 1B
David Wright, 3B
Rod Barajas, C
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Ruben Tejada, 2B
Johan Santana, LP
I won’t be posting again tonight, so consider this post the Gameday Open Thread. If you find any sweet links or killer stories, post them in the comments section. You will get a virtual fistbump in tomorrow’s link post.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Tonight’s game has been canceled. It will be made up tomorrow, as part of a day/night doubleheader. Via MetsBlog:
The game will be made up as part of a day/night doubleheader tomorrow, with Game 1 at 1:10 pm and Game 2 at 7:10 pm and tickets for tonight’s game can be used tomorrow night.
If you parked your car at Citi Field this afternoon, be sure to keep your ticket or receipt, as it will be honored tomorrow night and you will not have to pay twice.