2015 Was A Great Run! #LGM

990_postseason_imgV2Back in April I talked about how I didn’t trust this team. I wasn’t willing to put my heart into them because I had been through so many tough times. I didn’t want to go through the process of watching them fall from grace and not make the playoffs and then endure another winter of discontent.

playoffs-oBack in April I only knew that that were 11-3. When you watch sports, you have to deal with stats upon stats upon stats. There was one glaring stat that someone put up about how  teams that start the season with a winning streak of 10 or more have made the World Series. I scoffed because I thought there was no effing way that this team was going to make the World Series, much less the playoffs.

By the time the All Star Game came around, the Mets were 47-42 which was ok, but not great considering they were in second place and the wild card spot was not happening. That meant that with all the good pitching, there was a serious chance the Mets wouldn’t even make the postseason. Yet, there was a growing sense that there is something about this team that we were all really beginning to like. You can tell they worked hard and played liked they believed they could win it all.

giphyThen the deals started happening: Uribe, Reed, Johnson, Clippard, and Cespedes. They were 20-8 in August. I’m not sure I’ve seen a run like that from the Mets since 86. Even then, I never thought they would make the World Series. But, they take the Division (with 90 wins) from the Nationals and then we all become witnesses to an amazing playoff run that ends 3 wins short of the title.

It would be a lie if I said I wasn’t a little disappointed. I mean, the Mets gave the title to the Royals with all the errors and mistakes. Then it made me realize something…teams like this make those errors because they lack the experience. Daniel Murphy went from hero to goat within a week. That is the nature of Baseball. There is no doubt in my mind that Royals deserved to win. They were relentless and it is my sincere hope the Mets learned from this.

The pain of 2006. The collapses of 2007 and 2008 still linger. This disappointment is nothing compared to that. There is actual hope for this team. While I cried in 1988, was angry in 1999, sad 2000, the 2015 Mets have a future with 5 aces on the mound. What other team can say this? I refuse to think that the Mets wont be good for years to come. They are young and hopefully, hungry.

Let’s Recap:

11-0 to start the season.
20-8 in August.
Embarrassed the Washington Nationals.
Made it to the to the World Series when NO ONE thought they had a chance.

You know what? I’m good. This has been a great run. Watch out 2016. Lets go Mets!!!!

Advertisements

Mets/Dodgers Game 5 – How this effects my book… #LGM

12109307_10156198934470078_7952402277200326924_n

This is an important moment right now. When I finished draft one of The Book of Isabel, I knew there was a chance that I would have to re-write certain parts of the story because much of it takes place and the end of 2015. Clearly, the protagonist is a Mets fan and there would be a certain emptiness in the story if the playoff run (no matter how it ends) is not included in some way.

Understand that I finished draft one in early August, just as this team was just heating up. I could’ve made the decision to just wait and see what happens and then write the rest of the story but that would’ve disrupted the flow I had going. So now, here I am writing this post because I have to keep myself busy.

As I write this, the Mets are down 2-1 and I have to remember to focus on everything I’m feeling. Angst, nervousness, and the general feeling of not wanting to watch this game. If they lose, there will be numerous break downs of “the slide” and the lack of offense from David Wright. I believe it’s important to show how passionate the protagonist in my book is about all this. It’s almost easy to express love and hate, but to really get into how a person lives and dies with a team is something most of us can relate to.

This post is also proof that writing is more that just a hobby for me. It’s the only thing that keeping from biting my nails and pacing around this apartment (hold on as I watch them look silly against Grienke).

I think there’s something to be said for instantaneous twitter reactions. Stats like these pop up and I hate to see them.

A fan of the opposing team has to push it out of his/her mind, but I think the biggest thing I’ve had to deal with is the delay between TV coverage and mobile/twitter updates. I have to mute apps and turn off social media in the middle of an inning so that nothing is spoiled. Is that weird? To have spoilers during a live game? This isn’t Scandal and yet I have to be aware of that.

Mets just tied the game in the 4th inning on a sacrifice fly after a stolen base (during a walk…what?). My heart is racing because the Mets have decided to fight and I love it. Still fired up. I killed a Heineken and that won’t be the last.

Every inning is a different feeling. It’s clear the Dodgers are pushing the issue. I’m really trying not to be stressed but deGrom has been living dangerously all game. I’m not the type of person to pray for a win because something tells me that universe doesn’t care about such things. There is a part of me that feels prayers are finite and we should never waste them on trivial things. I will always pray for someone’s health but a game? Not so sure. If this is meant to happen then it will happen.

Daniel Murphy hits a home run.

I tried my best to not wake up my cousin who was sleeping (its a little after 10:00pm). It was a muffled scream. I jumped up and down. My bad, she’ll be alight. This whole game is now different but it isn’t over. Nervousness turns to pure anxiety. Now it’s a matter of counting the outs left until this game is over and (not) praying to God they don’t blow it. Which leads me to think about how I would re-write all this in my book. I didn’t want to assume that the Mets would even be in the playoffs. So now, I have to take notes of all the big things that are happening so that the reader can actually believe that the character LIVED these games.

Both starting pitchers are now out of the game going into the bottom of the 7th inning. I now understand why they call it the stretch inning. Nine more outs until I can say that the post season continues, but for now… a much needed bio break after beer number two has been consumed.

Noah Syndegaard is in the game and he’s dealing (thank Thor). That was my last beer because I only had two. I won’t even get into the fact that since I’ve become a vegetarian, I’ve become a liability with liquor. I’ve often thought about describing the transition of diets in the book too but that might be a little too much.

How much of a problem is Justin Turner? This ex-Met and current Dodger is killing us. The Mets couldn’t keep him because they have an all star third baseman, duh. I don’t remember him being this good and it’s a problem. Syndegaard blows him away. #THOR

The announcers brought up the fact that Murphy is a double away from getting a cycle. No has ever hit a post season cycle…and neither will he.

I’m not happy that Cespedes looks bad in this game versus great pitching. That may be an issues against the Cubs. <— Look at me assuming we will win this game! We are still up 3-2 and Jeurys Familia (our closer) is coming into this game in the 8th inning to get the last six outs. Wow. This man cruised by that inning. This may happen people!

This may be the longest blog post I’ve written and it makes me think about all the sports writers who do this all the time. They write an article, tweet, and watch the game. That is incredibly difficult considering they are probably at the game and have to run to do interviews afterward.

Dodgers, of course, bring in their closer Jansen to hold serve. I kinda laugh that he walked Flores to get to Familia for the rare closer vs closer match up at the plate. No surprises that Jansen wins that match up.

Three. More. Outs.

In a fitting effing move, Chase Utley comes to bat and flys out. I wont get into it with him. Ellis goes down swinging. OMG! This might be it! Kendrick Strikes out!!!

What Kinda Old School is This? #Mets

GettyImages-492203604.0

I get it. The Dodgers have not sniffed the World Series since 1988. In 2008 and 2009 they were embarrassed by the Philadelphia Phillies in the NLCS and in 2013 & 2014 bounced from the playoffs by the St. Louis Cardinals.  I can talk about 1995, 1996, 2004. and 2006, which were all NL Division Series losses. Despite all of the failures, they have had really good teams and have been very fortunate to see years of playoff runs since 1988 (unlike the Mets). This year was set to be different. They have amassed the largest payroll in 2015 and wanted to set a tone for this year’s playoffs. That is why they signed Chase Utley.

They have two of the best pitchers in the game and yet they have so much difficulty getting these post season wins that is it so frustrating to their fan base and to ownership. Of course, Mets fans can understand this. 2006 was set to the year they came back into the lime light. They had the tools and they had the talent and yet we are still waiting for Carlos Beltran to swing at that pitch. Back to back collapses in 2007 & 2008 drained all hope that the Mets would ever be a contender again. Then the Wilpons get caught in the Bernie Madoff scam and money becomes so tight that the Mets have to spend years rebuilding through their farm system.

Two teams on two different paths meet up in the 2015 NL Divisions Series. It is a dream season for the New York Mets and it’s back to business for the Los Angeles Dodgers who are determined to get back to the World Series.

Chase Utley is a guy that you love or hate. I get this whole thing people say about him being hard nosed, hard working, and an old school type of player. That is the way he was brought up and that is the way the game should be played. Interesting. You know who else gets described like this? Cal Ripken Jr. comes to mind. I would also say Ken Griffey Jr. as well. I would even go so far as saying Derek Jeter. These three (just as an example, I can name more) were truly the last of a dying breed of baseball players that have always played the game right while maintaining that old school grittiness in a era of baseball filled with primadonnas. I would never put Chase Utley in the same breathe with them.

The slide was late. The slide was dirty. The slide is nothing new to Chase Utley. He has done this before. You can Google a video from a few weeks ago against the San Diego Padres or you can Google 2010 when (as a member of the Phillies) he took out Tejada in a similar fashion. Old school right? Are we talking Pete Rose via Bud Harrelson 1973 old school? Or are we talking Hal McRae via Willie Randolph 1977 old school? Are we also calling the Brett Lawrie slide into Alcides Escobar injuring his knee earlier this year a hard nosed play too? I think people need to take a real cold hard look at how they categorize players and their style of play.

I can easily say that Ruben Tejada is a hard working, hard nosed player that busted his ass to win his spot at short stop back from Wilmer Flores. That kid has had to live in the shadow of Jose Reyes and battled back to be a player that can take pitches when needed and give you some offense when least expected. He is one the best middle infielders in the system and never complained. He showed up everyday to play. Fractured Fibula.

I know, It’s just baseball right? There are other world issues more pressing so I commend you for staying with me this far but I laugh when I see people saying that Mets fans are being juvenile in their reaction or that perhaps Major League Baseball over reacted by suspending Utley for a play they deemed legal on the field. But let me just make this point, had this been Troy Tulowitzki, a superstar player, that makes millions instead of a guy is making just over the league minimum, I think there would be different reaction.

Don’t believe me? Ask every catcher after the Buster Posey injury.

But, hey, the tackle slide was legal right? Major League Baseball thought so (at the time). Yet, just about every middle infielder who has commented on this has said the slide was illegal. So by saying people are being juvenile about this is absurd. But hey, a win is win right? Enjoy Dodger fans, while it lasts.

How Am I a Met Fan…from the Bronx?

A friend of mine asked me the other day, how can a man from the Bronx be a Mets fan? She has known me for a while and wanted to know how this was possible because I should, of course, be a Yankee fan. I guess in some ways that should make sense. I grew up in the Bronx. I call it home. I feel total comfortable when I am there and would love to move back. I never let anyone forget that this and where I am from. Plus, my father is a Yankee Fan. So why am I a Mets Fan?

Well, since the second half of the season begins tonight, I figured I would answer this question. It all stemmed from my late grandfather. Mi  abuelo came to this country from Puerto Rico and moved to Brooklyn. I often heard stories about how he had to hustle to survive. Back in those times, there were immigrants from all over the world and they were all looking for the same thing, a piece of that American Dream. I remember him telling me that he was able to communicate with the Italian immigrants because Spanish and Italian was so similar. But, the one thing that really united many people in Brooklyn was the Dodgers.

The Brooklyn Dodgers was one of 3 baseball teams in New York and was loved by the people, particularly after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier. My grandfather was just as dark as I am so I am quite sure he was delighted to see someone of our complexion running around the bases. One thing for sure was how much he disliked the Yankees. More than any NY rivalry now, the competition between the Dodgers and the Yankees was fierce and throw in additional team…the Giants…and you have a city filled with baseball freaks who have a unique love/hate thing going on.

Oddly enough, when thinking about this, many people of color loved the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants because they were some of the first teams to have black players. Jackie Robinson was the crown jewel for the Dodgers and Willie Mays was the man on the Giants. However, the Yankees were very slow in signing black players. People picketed Yankee Stadium in the early 1950’s because of this. By 1955, the Yankess finally called up Eliston Howard to play in for them.

Sadly, in 1958 the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles and mi abeulo, like the rest of Brooklyn was heart broken. But it was not just Brooklyn that had their hearts broken, the New York Giants left for San Francisco that very same year too. So up until 1962, New York was a only a one baseball team town. My grandfather refused to root for the Yankees, so when the Mets were created he was loving baseball again. He did still root for the Dodgers when they moved, but he was a New Yorker.

Mi abuleo raised all his kids to be a Dodger/Mets fans. That was just the way it was. I am not sure when the family moved to the South Bronx, but clearly a location change did not matter. By the time I came around, being a Mets fan was just apart of life. My brother followed the Mets and I followed him. Sure, there were other family members who followed the Yankees but it was my grandfather who would watch the games with me and my brother. It was the one thing that him and I could talk about. I remember him yelling in Spanish at the TV for whatever reason. He had a passion for baseball and the Mets that I still have.

Growing up in the 80’s just made it easier. I remember the Yankees always seems to play the Dodgers in the World Series and even lost to them in 1981. So, by 1984 the Mets were relevant with the their rookies like Strawberry and Gooden. By 1986, the Mets owned New York. Looking back at it, I am very glad we was alive when the Met’s won it all that year considering that my grandmother died that year and the demise of my parent’s marriage happened shortly after that.

In his remaining years, baseball was his life and I will never forget how much he loved it and how much I loved him for it. He never judged me or my father (my abulelo is from my mom’s side). I remember him coming by with sandwiches for lunch to talk about the Mets and even watch the game. He died in 1992 right before I was set to come up to Syracuse. I miss him and I will say that his love for the Mets will always be in my heart.

I wanted to add something else. I have thought about this for awhile and with the death of George Steinbrenner I had to asses any hatred for the Yankees. While I dislike them, I cannot say I hate them as I used to because, after all, they are from New York (sounding like my dad right now -_- ). I know all the Yankee players by name and how good they are. But, there isnt really anyone one player that I detest, unlike the Philadelphia Phillies, in which I can write a whole blog on Jimmy Rollins alone.

I think a lot of it comes from the fans I have come to know who just love to be assholes about everything Yankee. I am not one to believe in entitlement, but most fans do. However, some of my dearest friends are Yankee fans and I find it hard to hate something that my friends love…

P.S. I really dislike the fact that most women I am really attracted to…are Yankee Fans (go figure…I will deal though! lol)

MyMindIsRacing

It has been a very long month. I cannot seem to focus on anything. I have tried to come up with a decent blog today, but it is just not happening. I also did not want to skip today either. I need to write in order to express myself. I know I am at a crossroads in my life and I am finding it difficult to take that next step.

This goes beyond moving on and letting go. This has to do with stability, that is so hard to come by in this recession. I am really starting to see how all this stuff is starting to effect me. Gas is getting too expensive again and that is making it hard to just make trips to New York City. Of course, once I get there, it would be hard not to spend money. I find myself shopping at the dollar store (which, I should have been doing all along). Things are just so tight lately that I feel constricted.

Personally, I am dealing with so many things. The loss of a marriage. The loss of a good friend. The loss of Michael Jackson. It seems like this month has been a total loss for me. I wont mention becoming 35 and the fact that the New York Mets cant seem to get a win when I need it the most. This also seems like the month that everyone is dying in, so that is never good. I am trying to find the little the things that can keep me going.

There are things I am looking forward to. I am going to Florida in 2 weeks. This will be a treat for me and I hope to have fun with my parents. I will definitely blog about them and the heated pool (my father doesn’t like the water to be too cold…yet I sweat in the damn water). I have my grad school classes to look forward to. I will also say that I miss my students. They tend to give me more energy than I give them credit for.

The point is…I need June to be over..

Struggling to Focus

I should have a problem focusing about what to write about. But, of course I am. Why you may ask? Several different reasons…

I brought work home tonight. My boss decides to tell me in the late afternoon that she needs a report by tomorrow. This report usually takes me several days to complete. So I am trying my hardest to make sure I get this done tonight. Which is the problem with being so damn good at what you do…no one else can do it.

I just watched the Mets fall apart. Good Lord. It takes me more than just a few minutes to cool down when they lose so badly. Let me just go on the record and say that I would rather they get blown out in games. This way I can just not be too into the game. Losing close games makes me want to… I am good. I am over it.

My poor dog. His eyes are not doing well. I think the other cataract popped. He looks bad in my opinion, but god bless that dog, he just rolls with it. What I do not get is that despite his eye issues, he is eating now! Which is something he was not doing before. We continue to give him his drops and he does not seem in pain. He is running around (although bumping into shit).

Then there is the fact that I have a cough that will not go away. I have been living on DayQuil for the last few days. I would take NyQuil…but last time I did that, I had issues waking up and staying up. So, i am trying to feel better.

Anyway…I did mention in my last post that I wrote other poems. I did post one on Myspace and I did archive it on this blog. Just in case any of you wanted to read it…

Take Me Out to the Ball Game…

Well, I will keep this somewhat brief because it is late. It is the April 8th and it is game 2 into the Major League Baseball season and I am hooked. I watched tonight’s Met’s Game. I was very into it. I cheered. I clapped. I screamed! Ugh! Those damn Mets. They Won!
I am so excited. I always miss Baseball season during the winter. I am not into Football as much as others. The NBA is just not what it used to be. College Basketball does hold me down a little bit. I just love Baseball.
It was the only sport that I could play as a kid. No one could tell me I was too small to play it. The only sport that I could play out in the street that involved just about every kid in the neighborhood. For me, it was about bring different kids together just to play one game, which by the way we never really finished a game.

Watching baseball was one of the few thing that connected me with mi abuelito (grandfather). He lived in Brooklyn way before I was a thought and was a huge Dodger Fan. Once they moved to Los Angeles, he did not have a team. The New York Mets were born in 1962 and he was hooked. I got my passion for baseball from him and watching him yell at the radio as he listen to them play.

So when people ask me why I am a Met fan who lives in the Bronx, well now you know. I used to go to games in Queens. I lived in the part of the Bronx that was by the water (Clason Point). I can see the lights of Shea Stadium. I think about Citifield now and I wish that mi abuelito (God rest his soul) could see how much it looks like Ebbets Field.
So, baseball season is finally here. So let the shit talking commence. The summer rivalries will continue. But, win or lose, this will be a GREAT SUMMER!

Saying Goodbye To Shea…

I was talking to Brooke the other night about Baseball and she told me something that really made me think. She told me that although the new Citifeild was nice…she will miss Shea Stadium. I had to think about this for a moment. I will miss that place too.

Now, I have been there probably close to 20 times within my life time. But it will always be the first ball park I have ever been too. I remember going to the Mets games at Shea Stadium when I was a boy. Of course, back then everything to me was bigger and grander. So walking though Shea for the first time was just awesome to me.

I consider myself lucky to have been able to have gone to some games last year with the boys. In fact, I am glad I was able to take my nephew you in 2007. That was a great treat for me. I think I had more fun taking him than he did.

I have set in several sections and have seen many games. I would say that the best seats I had was when I was behind 3rd base last year, which was cool because we right next to David Wright, but that does not compare to when I was a kid. I sat behind 1st base and saw Keith Hernandez close up. There was nothing better than that.

What will I miss the most? Besides the apple popping up out of center field (which I think they are moving to Citifield)? I am not sure. I want to say the Sausage Sandwiches or perhaps the long ramps one would have to walk up from level to level. Actually…the Diamond club area was nice.

So many memories! But, I know that I will be going to a lot more games in Citifeild and I cannot wait!

Been Awhile…

{Originally Posted on Myspace}

Yeah so, it has been a while since I last wrote a blog. So here are some random thoughts:

I have been mad at my job. But I wont get into that. But, I will say that it has never been harder being Latino in a predominately white workplace. So, I will leave at that.

Things have been ok though. My trip to NYC was good. Went to a Met game which was great! David Wright is the man. I drank way too much! Then I got this fat hair cut (which is all gone now). That cut was so tight that I threw out my clippers when I got home. I can never duplicate that. So now I am on a mission to find a barber up here. I do have a few leads. I am going to go get a cut this weekend.

I went to a play called Beer for Breakfast (please check my top 16), starring the ever talented, Ricardo Maldonado (check my top 16). Please check it out, although, I dont know when the last date of the play is. Oh, if you are not in NYC, then you cant see the play and are officially, ass-out.

I saw the Al Gore movie, An Inconvenient Truth. Powerful shit! You need to see this movie. We are all gonna die soon! I wish I could laugh about it but it is true. All you people who dont think it is not a coincidence that we got all this rain and flooding is fooling themselves. Manhattan will sink before California breaks off…and Syracuse is on hill, so am I chillin…lol.

Can someone tell me exactly when old school music ends? I am thinking 1992. I say that because Low End Theory from A Tribe Called Quest should definitely be condsired old school. But Das Efx and Redman who came out that year shouldnt be. Plus, 1993 is when Wu Tang Clan came out and as much as I love me some WU Tang, no way are they old school.

Ok, who really cares about Tom Cruise and his fucking kid? I dont. Shit when Will and Jada were having kids we heard nothing about that. I guess the media dont want to focus on black children unless they are looting in New Orleans.

For those who have asked, my I-pod is fine. I do have to take it in to be looked at though (wtf) because when you plug it into a computer it is supposed to charge. Well needs less to say it does not. Can they make anything right? You know Microsoft is coming with something to compete with these FU-Pods? Well they need to hurry.

Last thought, who really has 230 friends on myspace? I mean, I am not hating even though I got like 67. I makes me laugh cause I did not think I KNEW 67 people.

Changes…

{Originally Posted on Blogger}

Changes…That is what I wish to focus on today. Changes. These days everything seems to be changing. The world seems to be darker in so many ways. The Tsunami Disaster is so unreal. It changes the way we think of things. Before this, we all thought that 9/11 was the greatest tragedy that our generation witnessed. This event has changed the way we view the world.

Changes…Even my job is going through changes. It is interesting to see how people react to change. It seems the older one gets the more they hate change. I have a couple of people who don’t want their cheese to be moved. Yet, when change happens, they will be left in the dust. Time will have passed them by. I can tell you my boss is a better person that I am because corporate training tells me to get rid of the resistance to change.

Changes…Even my team, The New York METS are going through huge changes. By signing the this year’s biggest free agent Carlos Beltran. I have not been this excited about this teams since they signed Mike Piazza sooo many years ago. I am even considering going down to NY to see a few games. That would be a BIG changes since I don’t go down there anymore.

Changes…I know that I may have risen a few eyebrows to my comment about Scott Peterson. I don’t think he should die. Think he should rot in Jail for what he did. So If I were the judge, I would sentence to him to life with no possibility of parole. Not only that…He should be assigned to GEN POP in a Maximum Security Prison where he will room with a big black buck named Mr. Zero.

Changes…So I was told today by a good friend that he cant hang out with me and my wife anymore because his wife doesn’t like us. Now there is no love lost there that is for damn sure. I was civil to her because that is my good friend’s wife, but lately she has felt the need to treat my wife like shit. There is only one person who can treat Josie like shit and that is me (kisses hun). So naturally the dumb bitch can rot for all I care. One day he will wake up and kick her lop-sided ass out the house.

New Year….New Shit….Peace out.