Friday, April 15, 2005


The Mets square off against the Florida Marlins this weekend in an early season match-up against an NL East opponent who's looked great out of the gate except in record. The Mets sit at 4-5, a game and a half behind the division-leading Washington Nationals. In case that never gets typed again this year, let me repeat the exercise: the division-leading Washington Nationals. Oddly, the Marlins are a mere half-game better than the Metros, despite having scored 44 runs and allowed a paltry 15 (!) in their nine contests. (The Mets have scored 35 and allowed 39.) Those numbers don't seem to make any sense; the Marlins should be 8-1, but they're squatting at 5-4. All of which is to say that despite's voluminous dissertations to the contrary, quite often the numbers don't mean much.

Not ragging on -- it's an awesome amalga-blog that serves the Mets blogosphere very well. For the unfamiliar, it's a Mets blogging supergroup of eight guys who'd been formerly associated with their own separate Mets sites but joined forces in sort of a Justice League of America kind of way. The result is one of the most complete and definitive places to land when jonesing for something Mets-related. Their complete list of every player in the Mets' organization is beyond handy.

The nature of supergroups, as least in the music business, is usually transitory, but it's in the best interest of us readers if the guys at hold it together longer than, say, Blind Faith did. They've already surpassed Temple of the Dog in quantity, the Power Station in quality (let alone Arcadia), and they're on pace to outlive Cream, Asia, and the Traveling Wilburys. Who knows -- they could be the next Crosby, Stills & Nash. In fact, and I'm not saying you should do this at work, but if you sing Andrew Hintz's fine preview of the Mets-Marlins weekend matchup in David Crosby's high-pitched lilt, the prospect of losing two of three becomes imminently more pleasant.

Tomorrow's showdown between new and old (Pedro Martinez vs. Al Leiter) has me really excited. (Tonight's lopsided affair between Aaron Heilman and Josh Beckett, however, does not.) Will Senator Al get booed at Shea? I wouldn't bet against it. It's really too bad; he was one of my favorites for a long while, but we're a fickle bunch, and he's the enemy now. Not to mention he made periodic PR gaffes before he defected and some open-handed slags since. On our side of the match-up -- besides age and recent performance -- is that Leiter's daytime ERA in recent memory is about a run and a half higher than his nighttime ERA. (1:00 EST start time.) Unfortunately, the motivation factor is on his side, and sometimes, like in the case of the Marlins' record, intangibles make the statistics and their proponents look silly.

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