I'm sad for the Mets. It was a good NLCS series, and game 7 was a really good game. Once again, Oliver Perez stepped it up and did a great job. It looked like disaster in the sixth inning when Willie Randolph let Perez pitch to Scott Rolen with Edmonds on first. Rolen drilled one to left field but Met Endy Chavez leapt and pulled the ball back over the wall with an ice-cream cone catch, and then sweetened the treat by doubling Edmonds off of first. In the bottom of that inning, Rolen made a horrible throwing error and the Mets loaded the bases but just couldn't score and the game stayed tied at 1-1.
The Mets had a great year, tying the Yanks for the best record in baseball. And in the end, it wasn't the injuries to their starting pitching that did them in this series. Ironic to the rest of the season, their awesome bullpen gave up the runs, and their stacked lineup fell silent in key opportunities. After Cards catcher Molina hit a two run homer in the top of the ninth to put the Cards on top 3-1, the Mets had their chance again in the bottom of the inning, loading up the bases against Adam Wainwright. The Mets had the right guy at the plate in Carlos Beltran, who's racked up quite the impressive stats against the Cards. But rookie Wainwright clearly has confidence in his curve -- and he should. I can't fault the Met hitters for freezing in the box when he'd throw it, especially as a follow up to his live fastball, because even as a viewer watching the pitch, it's momentarily confusing. And freeze Beltran is exactly what Wainwright did, ending the game on a called third strike with the bases loaded.
As heartbreakers go, this game really was about an 8.75 on a 1-10 scale. I'm not mad at the Mets. They did good. They did great. I never really expected them to overcome the loss of Martinez and El Duque. But Paul Lo Duca handled the potentially shaky starters extremely well, calling good game after good game. And Maine and Perez kept their shit together and got the job done. Wright struggled at the plate the whole post-season, but Delgado came big a number of times and I really can't fault anyone. The Mets had a nice, classy club this year. It was a great series. The ending just really fucking sucked.
And, frankly, I don't need Tommy LaSorda laying a guilt trip on me about not being stoked for the World Series. I am a fucking baseball fan, okay? But I don't like the Cards; I think they've got a lot of bona-fide assholes on that team. And the DH just REALLY fucking irritates me. So even though I'm familiar with some of the Detroit players and wish them well, I just cannot tolerate or root for an American League team.
It's no big secret that baseball is no longer America's pastime. And it's also no secret that it loses fans every year. I could write a dissertation about why baseball is hemorrhaging and dying faster than Denny Duquette on Grey's Anatomy. (Okay, I won't write the whole essay, but it might have a little something to do with old fans dying off and the fact that although it's the greatest -- and most original -- sport going, it's also a generational thing that has to be passed on to be appreciated. Not to mention the plethora of problems with the business of baseball that are fairly grotesque.)
Now, no disrespect to LaSorda, cause I love the guy. But suffice to say that the way to woo current viewers and add new ones isn't to have some old guy being crabby and taunting fans in promo spots. You wanna entice people to watch, Tommy? How about replaying that ass-over-tin-cups tumble you took when you got nailed with the line drive while you were coaching third base during the All-Star game a few years ago. Like I said, I love you, man. But that was some funny shit. That might tempt a few people to tune in, hoping that they get to see a macabre scene like that.
I don't blame LaSorda for the spots though. He's doing what he can for the sport, because he's an ambassador. I blame the marketing idiots at Fox who came up with the idea. And since I'm on Fox, it was also a blatantly pandering move to fire Steve Lyons. And pandering to whom, exactly? Lou Piniella? Latinos? I don't fucking know. But it was pandering to someone. Lyons cracked a joke and got canned, that's what I know. And yet they allow Tim McCarver to prattle on endlessly with his asinine, grating commentary, year after year. And oh yeah -- while we're on the Fox broadcasting team? Those Holiday Inn commercials with Joe Buck? Suck.
Shitcan the condescending, accusatory promo spots, bring back Lyons, and tell McCarver to take a fucking breath once in a while, Fox. That might be a start to retaining some viewers.