Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Crash Test Dummies

Game 38 - Mets

Cubs 10, Mets 1
Record: 24-14

The Lord works in mysterious ways. I hit the clay courts tonight for a vigorous set (lost, 6 games to 4) and a nightcap (won, 6 beers to 5), but failed to broker a deal with my friend the TiVo to record the Mets game. After realizing my mistake, I was busy lamenting how nice it would've been to breeze through the game in stop 'n' start fast-forward over a few Dale's Pale Ales when I caught the score. Satisfyingly abysmal.

According to the best Mets writers, as well as those who actually get paid to do it, here's what I missed:

- Carlos Zambrano good, John Maine not so much. Downward trend displeasing.
- Met relievers relieved themselves all over . . . themselves. Again.
- Aramis belted a grand slam off Schoeneweis, strutted out of the box like the cock of the walk. Somewhere d'Artagnan weeps. Earplug forthcoming.
- Sele still unshorn, still unsharp.
- D. Wright back to old ways after revelry in my last post. Hex non-believers take heed.

Eh. I'm just glad I didn't see it. The flashing of the score on the screen brought instantaneous flashbacks of the very first game ever recapped on this side of the MLC aisle. Ugh.

The only thing worth discussing beyond that is a productive, 3-for-5 night from old hand Clifford Floyd. Miss that guy. Moises Alou's stats are a smidgen better than Cliff's so far, and he's a DL-dweller, so why'd we get rid of the fan fave? It just doesn't seem right. Let's take a gander at the Cliff Floyd Years (2003-2006), montage-style, shall we?
"Cliff Floyd gives the Mets the first legitimate outfield bat since . . . Darryl Strawberry?"
"Cliff Floyd hit a mammoth 2-run shot over the bullpen in right ..."(Game 2 of the season)
"...the Mets got long homers (solo shots, naturally) from Ty Wigginton and Cliff Floyd." (Game 9)
"...Cliff Floyd leaving with a strained Achilles tendon..." (Game 11)
"Cliff "Man Among Boys" Floyd added a dinger and 5 RBI while clearly playing hurt (still)... And there Clifford Floyd is, hobbling out his home runs and doubles, making plays in the outfield."
"...gimpy Cliff Floyd legging out a triple"
"Cliff Floyd probably deserves acknowledgment for his solid contributions while playing hurt. I actually can't believe, with all of the All-Star voters in the NYC area, that Floyd can't break into the leaderboard of 15 OF's."
"Cliff Floyd turned on one and drove it off the right-field wall, missing a game-resuscitating homer by two feet. Duncan scored, Reyes went to third, and Floyd . . . well, he paused for a moment in the batter's box, he slowed down before touching first, he realized he probably should get a double out of such a shot, and then he made a bad decision. Gimpy guys who didn't break at the crack of the bat should not try to stretch these kinds of long singles into doubles."
"If Cliff Floyd gets so hurt that he ends his season soon (a real possibility), it will be likely that no Met will hit 20 home runs this year. In this era, that's horrible. The Mets' hitters will also fail to reach the 20-plateau in stolen bases, meaning they lack speed as well as power. Though no pitcher will nearly win 20, Steve Trachsel has already allowed 20 HRs. And Glavine is probably one start away."
"Hey, thank the Lord for Clifford Floyd!"
"As sadly predicted a month ago in this column, what with Floyd cashing in his chips with 18 homers, it doesn't appear that any Met will hit 20, a remarkably pathetic feat."
"Unfortunately, the Mets are forced to violate the Gospel According to Crash Davis and fuck with a winning streak; today Cliff Floyd ends his long, painful season and gets his Achilles tendon operated upon. Floyd had a season to be proud of when he announced his decision to go under the knife; these past few games have elevated it to something heroic. In his final trio of ballgames, he went 10-for-11 with 5 runs scored and 5 driven in, even swiping two bases. Gimpy as he has been all year, he has toughed it out and earned the respect of teammates, coaches, fans, and even opponents. He never blamed his array of dings, pulls, and bruises when his level play dipped; hell, his level of play never really dipped. He quietly showed up every day and played his hind quarters off while Mets with significantly lower thresholds for pain visited the DL like it was their beach house. Here's to Mr. Floyd, and may he get 100% healthy by the spring."

"Worse news came from Cliff Floyd, who strained his quad as he was streaking (we're going streaking in the quad!) down the first-base line. Floyd, who homered Friday night, went on the DL today."
"Cliff Floyd is a trooper who toughed it out for most of the season last year before succumbing to a slew of injuries. His last few games of 2003 had him limping to the outfield like the fife player in that "Spirit of '76" painting. He's definitely down in the dumps after getting nicked so early in this campaign, but here's hoping his return to active duty is a speedy one."
"Cliff "Pretty [Much Injured All the Time] Boy" Floyd was back in action last night, going 1-for-5 and driving in a run."
"A minute later, Cliff Floyd lined one to right that dropped in, scoring Garcia and winning the game."
"In addition to the losses, Mike Cameron and Cliff Floyd crashed into each other awkwardly -- it looked like a bad little league screw-up -- and each appeared hurt. What with the injury bug flocking to Floyd like cicadas to my trees, the wound was unsurprising except in origin."
"...Cliff Floyd plays hurt more than Nine Inch Nails..."

"Cliff Floyd homers to make it 6-3, just part of his 3-hit day. Clifford, old buddy, . . . all that stuff about dumping you this off-season? We were just kidding, of course."
"Cliff Floyd . . . man, are there a lot of us who need to fess up to some winter ignorance. So many of us called for the Mets to ditch the fragile guy other Metbloggers labeled 'Mr. Glass' in the off-season. I know I did, though I begged for it not to be in any deal for Sammy So-So. The obvious question is not whether he can keep up this torrid pace, but whether he can simply remain on the field in relative working condition."
"How about Cliff Floyd? They Might Be Giants observe:
I was hot for five straight weeks, but now I'm slightly colder
And now I'm even colder
And now I'm even colder
Sixty points in seven days, and dropping even colder
And now I'm colder still"
...the normally adept Floyd disappeared as the ball skipped underneath his horizontal frame and rolled to the wall. Tie ballgame."
"I failed to mention that Cliff Floyd was plunked in the kneecap, making his presence in tonight's series opener in Los Angeles unlikely as well."
"Cliff Floyd sends one deep to the on-deck circle for out number one. . . Cliff Floyd drives a ball deep, to just right of the pitcher’s mound, and there are two outs."
"cheering on the normal rootables like Cliff Floyd – who homered to cap off an utterly impressive season (not sure what stands out more, the 34 HR’s or the 550 AB’s)"

"Hastening his return could be the absence of Cliff Floyd, who left tonight’s game with a rib cage strain."
"Cliff Floyd has been stuck down a well most of the season. Keith Hernandez notes his shoulder flying out early, others point out his trouble with the off-speed stuff, and MetsGeek aficionados fret over his frighteningly paltry .572 OPS. I still like the guy a lot, and he has done enough hard time in the Met-itentiary of the last few years to be given a break, but it’s all going pretty badly for Clifford so far. He has been good with the glove and plays hard every game . . . I’d like just to check back after 25 more and pray for a rebound."
"Last week I referenced Cliff Floyd’s plate-side conundrums in this embryonic stage of ’06. I hoped the problems would just work themselves out. Well, the woes have continued, yet one memorable blast such as last night’s rocket into the right field overhang to lead off the bottom of the eleventh can earn back much of the faith in Floyd that might have begun to wane within the Flushing fanatics. For me, his bomb took me back a little more than a year: to a roadside dive on Route 17 in Orange County, NY, watching with extended family after my grandfather’s memorial as Cliff Floyd ended a wild game against the Angels with a long foul ball followed by a long fair ball. Evoking such memories with one swing has to mean good things for Floyd, so says this guy."
"Cliff Floyd. I believe a platoon is in order for him soon, and by that I mean someone on his own squad is going to shoot him, a la Platoon. Not really, of course, as he is beloved by teammates and fans, which makes the necessary barb that much more agonizing. An 'over the cliff' type of gag isn’t even funny enough to warrant mean-spirited (if painfully accurate) usage."
"Cliff Floyd – Well, depending on whom you ask, his song should either be “Fade Away” (by either Springsteen or the BoDeans) or “Not Fade Away” (by Buddy Holly and hundreds of others). Come on Cliff, tell us how it’s gonna be."
"Cliff Floyd has ownership of the only .232 batting average that has me pleased with where the hitter is headed."
"Then, amid the mini-rally to knot the game at two in the second, Cliff Floyd rolled his ankle . . . slowing up to reach third base standing. And for all of you Metbloggers who’d felt the recent need to point out ad infinitum that Floyd’s notoriety for fragility was no longer pertinent, I thank you and Cliff thanks you for the hex."
"Hip-hop legend Cliff Floyd, a.k.a. 'HBP,' has fallen on some hard times. It feels like he hasn’t had a hit in years, it seems like eons since his classic 'Bombing Anaheim,' and his once cutting-edge production now sounds dated. He’s still got more talent in his pinky toe than most urban acts can cram into a room full of bodies, so I refuse to believe he’s done wowing us. He’s a guy, when the setting is right, than can knock one out of the park, if you will. It just happens a lot less these days."
"Speaking of the corner outfielders, Cliff Floyd was last spotted wearing an ankle boot and doing nothing baseball-related. In addition to being worrisome information for those of us interested in seeing the Mets’ powerful lineup meet its full potential sometime in the next two months, this information is pertinent for those trivia buffs looking for the answer to 'What do Clifford Floyd and Elton John have in common?' You’re welcome."
"Losing Floyd should be neither under- nor overstated. His veteran (and fairly bad-assed) presence in the outfield and the lineup will be missed, though we’ll assume he’ll still be in the clubhouse. Clearly, he still has some pop, as Derek Lowe found out in Game 1, and despite the erratic year he had, I like the Mets’ chances better with him in the mix. That said, his year was erratic, with too many stints of ice cold in the batter’s box or icing down another body part instead of taking the field."
"The quick and efficient dispatching of Los Angeles didn’t come without a price, as Cliff Floyd’s latest battle wound (a strained Achilles tendon) might keep him on the shelf for the duration of the Mets’ time in the playoffs. The irony of Floyd suffering that particular injury is fairly thick, what with that part of his body so obviously not his only weak spot."

Hmmm. Yeah . . . yeah, okay, maybe it's better we let him go. But I still miss that guy on this club. I've spouted ad nauseum about it here, but that frozen moment in June '05 is and will forever remain an all-timer for me. Thanks, man.

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