First things first, wishing you dads out there a Happy Father’s Day.
Game #69 at Yankees
I’d especially like to say hi to my dad, who introduced me to baseball, and nurtured my love for the sport as somebody who’d play catch with me in the back yard, take me to the Indians games and hit grounders to me as my Little League coach.
Baseball, to this day, has always been a common denominator in our lives. Even when we argued, as fathers and sons do, baseball was something we could always talk about.
Later, I brought him down to spring training with me and that was a wonderful, special time, one I’ll always be grateful for having experienced.
I love my dad and always will for the things he taught and gave me, and one of those things was baseball.
All too often this season, the Mets gave up the ground, confidence and groove they’ve had at home once they hit the road.
Only this time, the Mets aren’t going to San Diego or Philadelphia, but Baltimore to face the horrible Orioles and then on to Cleveland.
The talk-shows have already given the Mets a 4-2 or 5-1 trip before heading into Yankee Stadium a week from today.
It doesn’t work that way. You have to play the games first and the Orioles have beaten the Yankees twice and beat up the Red Sox in a series.
If what Jerry Manuel said is correct, that the Mets alter their offensive approach on the road because of some of the smaller stadiums, they have to be doubly careful this weekend, beginning tonight, at cozy Camden Yards.
There was a time when I would have jumped at Johnny Damon coming to the Mets. But, that was several years ago. Damon, coming off a fabulous postseason, has renewed interest in some. Mostly, his agent, who is salivating with thoughts of another payday.
But, even Scott Boras wasn’t able to fake the Yankees this time.
Damon is a good player, but he’s an aging one with an inevitable breakdown in his immediate future. There’s no DH to hide him. If they won’t to go one year, OK, I’ll do it, but that’s not happening.
Damon wants three, and as good as he was hitting at Yankee Stadium, I don’t see that production in Citi Field. I’m passing on Damon.
Pedro Martinez, at 38, is not ready to hang them up. Martinez said he’d like to pitch another season for the Phillies.
Martinez was 5-1 in nine starts for the Phillies down the stretch and started two games in the World Series. Game 2 was a decent start. Game 6 wasn’t so good. Both starts were at Yankee Stadium. The pitching deprived Mets aren’t interested in an encore. The Phillies haven’t said whether they’ll bring him back.
Martinez also said he will pitch for the Licey Tigers in the Dominican winter league. Martinez, obviously, is one of these players who won’t let go of his career. It has been a good one, but it can’t be overlooked that last year he pitched in a fraction of the games he would normally start, which must factor into his effectiveness.
Does Pedro Martinez have one more good effort left in the tank? What’s in Andy Pettitte’s tank … can he do it on three days rest?
Martinez feels confident pitching in Yankee Stadium, where he had a quality start in Game 2, giving up three runs on six hits in six innings. He only walked two, but gave up solo homers to Mark Teixeira and Hideki Matsui.
The crowd will be all over him, but Martinez loves that stuff.
As for Pettitte, he’ll be going on short rest, something he hasn’t done. It is something he’s done 16 times and is 4-6.
Pettitte was the winner in Game 3, giving up four runs in six innings, but he also drove in the game tying run with a single. I’ll never underestimate Pettitte. I can see him losing, but I can also see lights out.