Tag: bob ojeda

Spilled Milk: Mark Langston and Two Throw-Ins

Author’s Note: We interrupt the Spilled Milk Series to focus on a story that many of the current fans may have either forgotten or don’t know about. It’s the story of how the Mets missed their chance to extend their great mid- to late-80s run. As a courtesy to our readers and to help protect your valuable keyboard, monitor, or smart phone, The Mets Today staff will notify you when the “spit take” part of this article arrives. Next week, we’ll look at other big deals from the post-1986 era that didn’t happen.

Two events signaled the end of the Mets 1984-1990 winning streak. One is obvious and occurred in the 9th inning of Game Four of the 1988 NLDS. To paraphrase Casey Stengel: you can look that one up. The other occurred about five months later and while somewhat less dramatic than the events of that terrible October evening, had an equally devastating impact on the team’s immediate and long-term future.


19 DUPACR: Anthony Young

Before we go any further, I need to make something clear: the player I pick to commemorate each day in this countdown is not necessarily someone who is the “best” Met to ever wear that number. In many cases (if not most), in fact, it’s quite the opposite. My apologies for not setting the ground rules ahead of time; this countdown idea came about as a whim during one snowy afternoon while reading the Mets By The Numbers book (there’s also the MBTN website, which is equally entertaining), and I didn’t put much thought into how I’d pick the players. As it is turning out, it is a very personal — and maybe selfish — series, focused on players who stick in my head for one crazy reason or another. (For example, Jackson Todd because of his fight with cancer; Pete Harnisch because of his loose tie to my alma mater.)

That said, I strongly encourage you to use the comments section to post your memories of the players who stick in your head for personal reasons. And/or, suggest your choice for the Met most worthy of representing the number of the day. This blog is supposed to be a conversation WITH YOU, not a one-way communication AT YOU.

So, without further adieu, I bid you Anthony Young as the player to represent the 19th Day Until Pitchers And Catchers Report.

Bobby Ojeda was without question a better pitcher than Young, and he was nearly the man I chose for his savvy, gritty pitching and leadership in 1986. Tim Foli was on the short list as well, partially because anyone with the nickname “Crazy Horse” has to be in the conversation (where did all the nicknames go?). Heath Bell almost made the cut for his constant shuttling between Flushing and Norfolk. And, Lino Urdaneta was considered because of his ERA of infinity.

But in the end, it’s Anthony Young, mainly because I will never, ever forget his 27-game losing streak, and feel it is something that (I hope) will never, ever be broken nor duplicated.

Think about it: how bad do you have to be to lose 27 games in a row? Or: how good do you have to be to lose 27 games in a row and still be in the big leagues?

What’s also rather interesting is that Young broke a record of 19 straight losses previously held by a pitcher named Craig Anderson. When I say “record”, I mean it was both a Mets record and an MLB record — Anderson appeared in 57 games for the Mets from 1962 to 1964. What are the chances that such a significant record of futility would be held by two pitchers for the same franchise in two vastly different eras? Only the Mets.

Again, there are many other #19s more worthy of the honor — please post your nominations, and supporting reasoning (even if it’s personal) — below.

The countdown thus far:

#19 Anthony Young
#20 Howard Johnson
#21 Gary Rajsich
#22 Ray Knight
#23 Doug Flynn
#24 Kelvin Torve
#25 Willie Montanez (no link … sadly, didn’t have time to write a post)
#26 Dave Kingman
#27 Pete Harnisch
#28 John Milner
#29 Alex Trevino
#30 Jackson Todd


K-Rod KOs Father-in-Law

The Mets rollercoaster season turned toward the bizarre when it was reported by Kevin Burkhardt on SNY that closer Francisco Rodriguez was involved in an altercation that resulted in his father-in-law being transported via ambulance to a hospital after Wednesday night’s game.

Per Burkhardt, K-Rod was particularly annoyed and rude with reporters who tried to question him in the clubhouse immediately after the game. It is assumed that Rodriguez was upset about being held out of the ballgame, and having to watch Manny Acosta give up the game-changing grand slam to Melvin Mora.

After Rodriguez brushed off reporters, there was a meeting behind closed doors that eventually required police to enter and the ambulance to be called.

At the time of this post, there were no details regarding how or why K-Rod’s father-in-law required a trip to the hospital.

Very strange, and I don’t even know how to react to this. Could K-Rod really have been so upset about not being called in for a four-out save that he assaulted a family member? I sincerely hope not … it’s only baseball, it’s a GAME, for goodness sakes. No matter how bad the Mets do, no matter how poorly any player performs, not matter how frustrating a player may get, in the end it is a game — and one that players get paid an obscene amount to simply show up and put on a uniform (see: Perez, Oliver). I understand pride and passion but jeez Louise — if playing baseball causes someone to deck a family member, that someone has some major mental issues.

****** UPDATE ******

According to the Associated Press and The Daily News, K-Rod has been arrested and has been charged with third-degree assault. Well, at least he won’t have to worry about whether or not he’s getting into games.

Adam Rubin of ESPN-NY has regular updates on the story here.

Contrary to various, erroneous reports, K-Rod’s father-in-law is NOT Brian Bruney, Tony Bernazard, nor Randy Niemann. Hmm … is this a pattern?

New York Penal Code: Assault in the Third Degree

From the ypdcrime site:

S 120.00 Assault in the third degree.
A person is guilty of assault in the third degree when:
1. With intent to cause physical injury to another person, he causes
such injury to such person or to a third person; or
2. He recklessly causes physical injury to another person; or
3. With criminal negligence, he causes physical injury to another
person by means of a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument.
Assault in the third degree is a class A misdemeanor.

Class A Misdemeanor

§ 70.15 Sentences of imprisonment for misdemeanors and violation.
1. Class A misdemeanor. A sentence of imprisonment for a class A misdemeanor shall be a definite sentence. When such a sentence is imposed the term shall be fixed by the court, and shall not exceed one year; provided, however, that a sentence of imprisonment imposed upon a conviction of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree as defined in subdivision one of section 265.01 must be for a period of no less than one year when the conviction was the result of a plea of guilty entered in satisfaction of an indictment or any count thereof charging the defendant with the class D violent felony offense of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree as defined in subdivision four of section 265.02, except that the court may impose any other sentence authorized by law upon a person who has not been previously convicted in the five years immediately preceding the
commission of the offense for a felony or a class A misdemeanor defined in this chapter, if the court having regard to the nature and circumstances of the crime and to the history and character of the
defendant, finds on the record that such sentence would be unduly harsh and that the alternative sentence would be consistent with public safety and does not deprecate the seriousness of the crime.

In completely unrelated news, the “Amityville Horror” house is back on the market.

Bobby Ojeda’s Take

On Twitter I saw a few people upset with Bobby Ojeda’s judgemental comments during SNY’s coverage of the incident (which by the way, reminded me of SNL’s “Buckwheat is Dead” skit … wow, how old am I?).

I have to disagree with those who found it “unprofessional” of Ojeda to present his opinion, citing that he should’ve acted more like a “news anchor”. Why? Because Ojeda is NOT a “news anchor”, and in fact he is paid by SNY to provide his personal analysis, and commentary. Yes this was a news item but nonetheless Ojeda is not a news reporter — he is an ex-jock whose role is provide his opinion from the perspective of a pro baseball player.

Without Ojeda’s insight and “holier than thou” judgment, SNY’s coverage would’ve been even more monotonous than it was. You may or may not have agreed with Bobby’s old-school commentary, but chances are you listened and felt something one way or the other. I was particularly interested to watch Ojeda’s tension and body language as he got riled up when speaking about K-Rod’s altercation earlier in the year with Bobby’s pal Randy Niemann — it was a very personal angle that added passion to what would’ve been much more boring reporting.

CNN regularly brings in “analysts” to provide their opinion on breaking news, and no one condemns them for being “unprofessional” — so why get on Bobby?


Warthen and Ojeda See the Same Things About Niese

From yours truly on MetsToday, in the Game 13 post:

It appears as though his arm slot has dropped from straight overhand to more three-quarter, which can be a better angle for getting movement, but takes bite away from his best pitch, the curveball. That angle also was causing him to get “under” the ball, meaning, he was releasing the ball with his fingers at the side of the ball or almost underneath — which causes the ball to move more sideways and up …

The SNY crew kept referring to one of Niese’s pitches as a “cutter”, and maybe that’s how Niese identifies it, but it is a slider. A “cutter” is a “cut fastball”, so called because it is thrown with a fastball arm action but with a grip that is shifted slightly off-center from across the four seams. The result is a fastball that “cuts” slightly — just a few inches at most. However, what Niese is doing is modifying the grip AND turning his wrist slightly counterclockwise — which is a slider. Why does it matter? Because with a slider, the fingers slide to the side of the ball and the thumb turns up toward the sky, which puts pressure on the elbow. Niese already puts a lot of pressure on his elbow with the overhand curve, so there is concern that an injury will be sustained in that area at some point. But staying in the here and now, that slider / wannabe cutter is often flat and doesn’t have much downward movement, which means it will eventually get hit hard.

… Though, Niese did throw at least 6 or 7 sliders with sharp downward bite. He may want to focus on thinking about that pitch as a slider, and calling it a slider, because when it’s not, it’s dangerous.

From Bobby Ojeda during “In the O-Zone” in last night’s postgame on SNY:

Those were pitches he was getting away from (the inside fastball and curveball). He was getting a little lazy with that cutter, which was no longer a cutter but becoming more of a big loopy slider. The cutter was back today but used sparingly … what you saw they weren’t leaning out over, looking for that soft cutter and they weren’t able to make good contact, and then Uncle Charley showed up — and I love seeing it. This kid got one of the best curveballs, probably in the National League, it’s nice to see him use it, he used it for strikes and he used it for chase pitches as well …

Chris Carlin chimes in:

You said on Loudmouths earlier tonight that the cutter had become somewhat more of a slider. Did he pitch in a more mature fashion, knowing that they would be looking for that cutter more?


Absolutely. I think there was a lot of discussion with Dan Warthen on ‘you’re getting a little sloppy with that cutter’ it IS a slider — Dan sees it, I see it … I’d be willing to bet that Barajas caught his bullpen and said ‘look, we’ve gotta get a little more tight, we’ve gotta get tighter with that … that cutter comes from from across the plate, and it’s very easy — it looks big to a hitter …

Also, during the postgame interview with Jerry Manuel, Manuel referred to Niese’s repertoire as including a “ball moving like a slider” and a “slow curveball”.

I provide this just in case there was any question regarding the reliability of the pitching analysis / information you get here on MetsToday.