I think I’m ready to talk about the Mets

The wound is about a week old now, and I think the scab is starting to form. My prediction of the Mets winning the World Series in 6 fell about as flat on it’s face as it could. Mets lost in 5, Rory lost happiness.

To be honest, I had no idea just how goddamn good that Royals team was. Death by 1000 paper cuts. Every time they got a guy to second, he scored. Their bullpen was pretty much untouchable. They put the ball in play, find holes, steal bases, and make boneheadedly aggressive plays on the bases that always seem to work out. (see: Eric Hosmer game 5 scoring on a grounder to 3rd).  Just when you thought you had the game in hand, a walk, a steal, and a tapper through the 5.5 hole and the game is fucking tied. The MLB is in the midst of a paradigm shift, and the Royals are the only team who seem to recognize it. They are a great team and will be for the foreseeable future.

But:

The Mets could have very easily won that series. After playing near flawless baseball against the Cubs, they reverted to the Mets of June and July in the WS: starting pitching good enough to win games, an offense that goes to sleep for games on end, shotty middle relief, questionable managing, and a quality of defense that you are likely to see on a field in Williamsport.

I can talk about all of these for the remainder of my existence, but for now I am going to address the last two:

First: The fielding. If the Mets play league average defense in that series, it goes to, at the very least, 7 games. Cespedes’ misplay in the very first at bat of the series that lead to the inside the park HR, Wright booting the ball in extras in game 1, Darno having a slower pop time than the catcher on my middle school baseball team, Murph forgetting how to use a glove in the final two games, and Duda’s throw home in game 5 that I’ve seen every time I’ve closed my eyes for the past week.

I get that the Royals put the ball in play more than every other team, but these were plays (save Darno) that big league players should make 999/1000 times. Yet the Mets managed to squish half a dozen of them into the 5 most important games any of these guys will probably ever play. Simply put: if the Mets play league average defense in that series, a game 7 would have been played.

Now onto the managing (specifically, the choice to leave Matt Harvey in for the 9th of game 5): After Harvey came off of the hill in the 8th, I texted my Dad: Harvey pitched his balls clear off his body. I told my buddy who I was watching the game with: Two runs for Familia should be enough. I assumed there was no chance Harvey goes back out there.  He was over the century mark in pitch count, his v-lo was down, he was going to be facing 3-4-5 for the 4th time in the game, and the Mets have one of the best closers in baseball ready to rumble. Get the planes ready for Kansas City because we’re going to have a game 6.

Then I see Harvey telling Collins that there is “no way” he is coming out of the game. Then I see Collins freeze. A few minutes later I see Harvey sprint back onto the field. About an hour after that, I see see water coming down from my shower head onto my still clothed chest as I sit in my tub as, yet again, a defeated Mets fan.

Matt Harvey, Mr. Dark Knight, Mr. New York bullied his way back onto the mound when he had absolutely no business being there. And there was absolutely no problem with him doing that. I would have been worried if he didn’t try to get back in. He’s a professional competitor. He was pitching a fucking gem and he wanted to complete what he started. But there was no way in hell Terry could have allowed him back out there. It is your goddamn team, Terry. YOU make the decisions. YOU know what is best. YOU knew his pitch count, YOU knew who was coming up in that inning and how many times around the batting order it had been. YOU knew Familia should have been in that game. YOU should have told Matt to put his ass on the bench and shut up while YOU try to give the team the best chance to win.

But no. Terry Collins had to show the baseball world just how big his and Matt Harvey’s dicks were. He had to fall into the century old starting pitcher machismo bullshit that has been proven statistically over and over to be false. The most important game Terry Collins may ever manage, he allowed ego to get in the way of logic.

But it happened. The shit that plagued the Mets all year came back beat them. They got outplayed in the World Series. But at least they got to there. In a year where I predicted 81 wins, they got as far as a team can go and still end up with heartbreak.

“It take a big man to admit his mistake…and I am that big man – Michael Scott” – Rory Monaghan

Lets look at the progression of Rory’s thoughts throughout this season for the Mets

Early April: This team is ok, will go 81-81 and come in second in the division, far behind the 1st place Nats.

Entire Month of June: This team is the worst fucking team in baseball. John Mayberry Jr and Eric Cambell are the 4-5 hitters. It would be an upgrade offensively and defensively sticking me in at SS. They’re going to lose out, no questions asked

Late July: Whaaaaat? This is what it is like to have an actual offense? Why is the lineup not comprised of mostly AA players? Who tied Sandy Alderson up in a basement and waterboarded him until he actually made impact trades? Buuut Terry Collins is an idiot. He’ll misuse these pieces. 

August+September: Holy shit the Mets might have a chance at playing in October. But know your roots, Ror. 2007+2008 #NeverForget 

September 26th: People are saying they are mathematically immune to a collapse, but if there is 1 team that can do the mathematically impossible, its the Metropolitans. 

Before the Dodger’s series: Its been a nice year, but no way they get past the Dodgers. Kershaw and Greinke are too good, but I can live with this team just reaching the playoffs. This team has come a long way and exceeded everyone’s expectations, but this ride is going to be over in a few games. Dodgers in 4.

Before the Cubs series: Dodgers weren’t actually that good. The Cubs are. It’s been fun. Cubbies in 6. 

This entire goddamn year I have been down on this team. And as a tortured Mets fan, I’ve earned that right. But at every turn, just when you think there is going to be a Carlos Beltran K in the 2006 NLCS or a Tommy Glavine pants-shitting start in a must win game type moment, they’ve done the opposite. They’ve stepped the fuck up. They’ve made myself and ever other dooms day Mets fan look like idiots. They’ve made believers out of the harshest skeptics the world has to offer.

So I am done being negative Nancy. I’ve spit in their face the entire year and all they’ve done to respond if fucking win. As the great Michael Scott once said: “It takes a big man to admit his mistake…and I am that big man.” I was wrong for not believing, and with that I say this: Mets in fucking 6.

You can take Chase Utley out of Philly, but you can’t take the Philly out of Chase Utley

Chase Utley is a scum bag blah blah he is still ruining Mets fans lives even though he isn’t in Philly anymore blah blah the entire baseball world hates him blah blah. I’ve heard it, and I agree with absolutely every word of it. It was a shit play made by a shit player.

But what I don’t get is how the horrendous officiating of this play is being overlooked. Chase Utley NEVER TOUCHED THE FUCKING BAG. How can I guy be safe if he never touched the bag? He might as well have ran down the right field line, grabbed the chair from the ball boy, ran over to second and smashed Tejada in the leg, then ran off the field. I understand that Utley thought he was called out so he got off the field, but isn’t the fact that he never touched the goddamn base indicative of how fucking scummy that slide was? Shouldn’t the reviewing of the play come to the conclusion that he is out on account of interference?

That play, a baserunner who never touched the base was awarded said base. I understand he was never technically out (although he should have been due to interference), but a baserunner cannot be safe if he never touched the bag. What that tells me is that Utley could have stopped halfway between first and second, whipped his dick out, rubbed one out and then ran off the field, but as long as Ruben never fucking touches the bag, he is safe a second.

Unreal officiating, even after given a second chance to review the play. It is the reason they lost that game, and if it is the reason they lose the series, I can bet you Chase Utley’s head will be sitting on top of the GW.

2015 Mets

October 19th, 2006. Approximately 11:30 pm. A little freckle faced 11 year old full on weeps into his Dad’s shirt, walking out of Shea Stadium after a combo of Aaron Heilman, Yadier Molina, and a frozen Carlos Beltran ripped his heart out, leaving the cold, empty, baseball sized space.

Fast Forward 9 years.

September 26th, 2015. Approximately 8:00 pm. A still pretty little freckled faced 20 year old, drunkenly wiping tears out of his eyes watching the 2015 Mets spray each other with champagne in the away clubhouse of Great American Ballpark, and a baseball sized whole in his chest being filled by the first baseball joy he’s experienced since 6th grade.

Two historic September collapses, Luis Castillo dropping the pop up against the Yankees, the Jason Bay debacle, a farewell Jose Reyes, David Wright mentally folding because of the Citi Field fences, Ike Davis getting Valley Fever, Dillon Gee getting the nod on an opening day, Josh Thole actually being a starting catcher for 3 years. I’ve seen it all, I’ve endured it all, I’ve suffered it all.

Suffer no more, Rory.

I can go on and on about how fantastic the young starting arms were this year, how fucking insane Familia’s 95 mph splitter is, Wilmer Flores’ near Milwaukee Brewer turned New York Sports Folk Hero episode, how Sandy Alderson finally showed some goddamn stones and made some significant moves, how electrifying and awesome Cespedes was, the triumphant return of David Wright, the complete and utter domination of the Bryce Harpers *sorry* Nationals, and so on. But as far as I’m concerned, this narrative for the Mets has just begun.

And no, I am not an idiot. I am aware of how flawed this team is. The man steering the ship is a bumbling idiot, the offense of comprised of a bunch of streaky hitters, the fielding is for the most part terrible, and the middle relief if an absolute nightmare. Quiet honestly, if they make it past the Dodgers, I will be very surprised.

The thing is, the Mets are playing with house money at this point. They aren’t meant to be here. According to most, they were MAYBE going to be here at the end of next season. But they are here right now. Making the playoffs was a miracle onto itself, anything after this is just gravy.

I’m not saying I don’t care about this year’s playoffs. I will inevitably cry if they get bounced. But this train has just left the station. Harvey will only be better the further he is removed from his TJ, deGrom is as good as any pitcher in baseball, Syndergaard is only 22 and looked like an ace for most of the year, in his limited action Matz looked like everything he was said to be, and the forgotten (and nearly traded) Zach Wheeler is recovering from his TJ and will be back halfway through next year.

Travis d’Arnaud has been fantastic when he’s not out with freak injuries, Wilmer Flores is still only 23 and finally showed some of his potential, Lucas Duda showed he does Lucas Duda things, Conforto looks like a cornerstone franchise piece, Curtis Granderson was quietly one the best players on the Mets and still has a year on his contract, and David Wright may have found a little life left in him. Not to mention the prospect of having the Cuban Missile Crisis manning center long term if he wants to stay in New York.

Yes, there are some flags here and there. Wheeler may not come back with the success that Harvey did. Scott Boras might try to pull some of his magic and brainwash Harvey. Murph is on his way out after this year. There are still some very bad contracts. Who knows what will happen in the Cespedes sweepstakes.

But the point still remains: the future is as bright for the Mets as it is any other team in the league. They won the NL East year earlier than anyone expected them to even be contenders. Regardless of what happens in these playoffs, the 2015 season was a remarkable success, and a very realistically repeatable success.

Who knows how long this success will last. History and common baseball knowledge says about 5-6 years. Could be longer, could be shorter. For me, I’m just looking forward to watching these next few years without braces in my mouth and worrying about algebra homework, but instead profanity in my mouth and worrying about if I can afford the round of shots for the bar after the Mets win a World Series.

 

 

Dogs 97-100 – Fuck the haters

What better way to finish 100 Dogs of Summer than hitting up the place that really made this all possible: Sonic.

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The Sonic corndog. If I’ve had 1, I’ve had 100 (literally). Ole reliable. Fried corn bread around a hotdog, artfully stuck on a stick. Give me a 10/10 over here.

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I decided I would test Sonic’s dog chops on this historic day and ordered up a Chicago Dog. I’ve ran into problems with this style of dog before, and I wanted to see how Sonic could handle it. Turns out the churn out a mean Chi dog. Not too much relish, the pickle didn’t over power, and a very good distribution of the toppings. Honestly, what else did I expect? Sonic knows DogLife. Lets toss another 10/10 over here

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The chili cheese. Dog. Chili. Cheese. Messy, sloppy, but goddamn it, its #99 and I’m not gonna be a cynic. 10/10 baby.

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For my final dog, I again tested Sonic’s dog chops. Their New York Dog. Sauteed onions, kraut, spicy brown mustard. Not only do I applaud the ballsiness of a fast food joint to sell something with kraut, but I applaud the execution. What really wins me over here is the spicy brown mustard. They don’t serve it standard with any of there other items. Just this 1 hotdog. They have spicy brown mustard in their kitchen just for 1 goddamn item. 1. Fucking devotion.  I know its repetitive, but Sonic gets DogLife.  One more time for me, 10/10

PSYCH

HOW BOUT VICTORY/10

I did it. 100 dogs. 1 summer. 100 Dogs of Summer. Done. Fucking done. I would say I’m not a hero, but then I’d just be lying.

To all the haters who said “Hey Rory you can’t eat 100 dogs in one summer, thats too many” or “Rory thats crazy unhealthy you might actually die” or “Rory, as your physician I need to advise against this.” Go suck a dick. I did it. I ate 100 dogs and I’m still alive to tell the tale.

Sure I may be a few pounds heavier. Yeah, my neck now looks like a pack of hotdogs when I look down. Maybe my arteries are a little more clogged up. But you know what, I’d do it all again. Because when it comes to DogLife, I don’t quit. It knows no bounds. I knew I had to do this. The dog world was counting on me. I could have been held at gunpoint by Clint Eastwood and he could have given me some badass speech about how I can’t finish my 100 Dogs of Summer quest. I’d still do it. This was bigger than me.

But don’t think that just because the Dog Days of Summer are over Rory is just gonna throw in the towel on DogLife. Oh no. OH NO. Thats the beauty of DogLife. It keeps moving. Just because I pulled off one of the greatest feats in DogLife, nay, human history doesn’t mean the train stops. Rory is still gonna be chomping on dogs his whole damn life. Because DOGLIFE DON’T STOP

Dogs 92-96 – The home stretch

We’re heading into that territory everyone. The final few dogs. 100 Dogs of Summer is in my sights.

I lumped these two sets together because there really wasn’t anything special about it. They were just

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I lumped these two sets together because there really wasn’t anything special about them. It was just a man sitting at home on a summer afternoon, understanding a goal he has to reach, and just pounding some dogs. The top row dogs I dressed with some left over pulled pork and bbq sauce. Fantastic stuff. Meat on meat is always a good idea. The bottom row, well, I think that middle picture describes it all. All focus, all business. At this point in, all dogs are the best dogs. 10/10’s all around

p.s – neckdogs coming out to play HARD on the bottom row.

Dogs 89-91 – Paying my respects

It had been a minute since I caught up with my good friends Sonic Corndogs in a while, and I was feeling kinda shitty about it. I mean, after all, without them who knows where I would be in this endeavor. So I decided to pay my respects.

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Thanks to my 20 corndog day back in May, I had forgotten what it is like to actually enjoy a Sonic corndog. Instead of fearing that eating it would result in me seeing the contents of my stomach, I was able to kick back and enjoy the crispy warm cornbread surrounding a shitty quality hotdog. If I could say it in a word: delightful. Keep doing you Sonic, DogLife appreciated it. 7.5/10