Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Games 20 through 24 - Mets

Rockies 11, Mets 5

Nationals 4, Mets 3

Mets 6, Nationals 2 (10 inn.)

Mets 1, Nationals 0

Marlins 9, Mets 6

Record: 15-9

Visiting the city of New Orleans will set me back in countless ways, but the one that's least expected is in my baseball fandom. After seeing human devastation firsthand, then feeling close to self-applied demise, then being kept alive throughout it all by the most amazing music, the most delectable food, and the most available alcohol . . . well, it simply makes the New York Mets seem trifling. And they're not, except by this comparison. (They may want to abandon the annual exhibition against their AAA squad so as to avoid this unpleasant truth.)

And so I conducted my by-now biennial religious retreat to the Crescent City. Well, it was actually the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, but no trip down there comes without awakenings of various sorts. As chronicled in MLC Chapters I & III, those Mets were 11-14 and 11-10 upon my return from the Fest, respectively; as such, 15-9 is relative bliss. So why are my eyes nearly as bleary when I gaze upon these Mets as they were back then? It ain't just the hangover, I'm telling you.

Well, to start with, the elders among the tribe of Metmen seem to suddenly be showing their age. Orlando Hernandez's right shoulder bursitis and Jose Valentin's partial knee tear are irksome, as each was settling into the '07 campaign rather nicely. El Duque's slow curve and Stache's glovework were as entertaining to watch as they were effective, and it doesn't take true prognostication to see that Ruben Gotay and Chan Ho Park aren't equipped to fill those voids right now.

Meanwhile, Moises Alou, another of the (six) Mets born while the Beatles were still together, crashed into a wall yesterday and will likely join his matured mates on Ye Olde Disabled Liste. Thither shall they dwell and hither shall the bell beckon for brief stay and rapid recall. Godspeed, fair gents.

I am also worried -- perhaps most of all? -- about the continued slide of a Mr. D. A. Wright who hails from southeastern Virginia and who was hailed by every man, woman, child, and animal in Mets Township for the couple of years. I am thisclose to further in-depth analysis of what is now officially being labeled a slump. Sure, Delgado's .188/.262/.260 numbers are shockingly awful for a first month, but somehow we're all worried that as Dee-Dub's first significant slump (and for those who aren't sure, it sort of began last July), there's always the chance that it might last forever. Not likely, but mere consideration of the possibility makes us shudder.

And somehow, a cure-all to the woes the Mets began to display was prescribed for us by "Dr. John" Maine. What he continues to do out there on the hill holds down the fort when things start to come unglued. For the love of Pete Falcone, keep it up, son.

You don't execute the successful first month of season in the fashion that the New York Mets just did without a multitude of good performances, and a slump or and injury here and there should only deter the route to the post-season just so much. Put a few of these together, however, and you have . . . well, last year's Boston Red Sox. Considering my mollified mental state at the moment, where Rob was last Labor Day represents a long, long way down. I'm starting to wonder if I packed a parachute when I planned for this Mets season. The next few weeks should provide some solace or sow serious doubt in our minds, so I'll wait until then to even consider worrying more than a whit.

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