Before we get to a few Mets items today, one quick basketball thought. It is fun to watch Carmelo Anthony do his thing, and J.R. Smith is always good for a chuckle. And as he has rounded into shape, Amare Stoudamire has looked fantastic. But the one guy I love to watch game in and game out is none of those guys. It’s Tyson Chandler. This is a guy who played defense last year while being coached by Mike D’Antoni. He was probably getting fined every night. It is great he is an All Star this year and certainly deserving. The offense might flow through Melo but the defense flows through Chandler. They are equally indispensable. Okay, back to business.
Hold on a sec, Mike. I have the same thought when watching Chandler: This is one of the only guys in today’s NBA whom I could imagine fitting in seamlessly with the ’69-70 Knicks. He wouldn’t have to change his game or his attitude. By the way, J.R. always reminds me of John Starks. When he’s hot, he’s hot. When he’s not . . . he keeps shooting. Carry on!
* Sandy Alderson is on a roll with pitchers. First Shaun Marcum, now Brandon Lyon. I’m serious, dead serious, Lyon should be an excellent pick-up. Closing would be a stretch but not much else. I expect reliability from Lyon and that is a rare commodity in many relievers.
* Marlon Byrd. Yes, Sandy is on a roll with outfielders too. He’s rolling craps. At this point he really should just walk away from the table.
* The waiting game goes on with the Bourn saga. I just can’t get too into this thing. It doesn’t feel real to me, it feels like we are being used. I guess I still remember when we were going to swoop in and get Vladimir Guerrero on the cheap. This feels exactly like that.
* Tip of the hat to the folks at Studious Metsimus — Ed Leyro and Joey Beartran — for their 13-week series of “The Mets That Got Away.” The series seeks to spotlight players who established themselves in New York, only to become stars after leaving town. Last Monday it was Jeff Reardon, and before that: Nolan Ryan, Melvin Mora, Kevin Mitchell, and Amos Otis. I’m thinking guys like Ken Singleton, Jeff Kent, and Rick Aguilera must be on their list. Lastings Milledge, not so much. The series is well-researched and nicely written. Great job, guys, thanks.
* Every huge baseball fan should make the pilgrimage to Wrigley Field. It’s a timeless sojourn to a great city. Mike and I went together 4-5 years back, enjoyed two games, and had a hell of a steak dinner, too. If that sounds good to you, the folks at The 7 Line are cooking up a road trip. They’ve organized events at Citi Field in the past, with group games of 860 seats, but this is a new endeavor. Check it out, tickets won’t go on sale for a couple of weeks. You may remember 7 Line founder, Darren Meenan, from the photo below. Oh well.
* At one boring point this offseason I joked about possible 2013 Marketing Slogans. I remember last year I kept saying it should be, “We are going to be better than you think.” Why? Everybody was saying it. Collins, Anderson, even Ike Davis. What a terrible thing to ever say about your own team, the implications are so negative. Can you ever imagine a manager of a good team saying it? So the other day Mike Francesca called Davis out on it and Ike said, “First of all, seventy-four is a lot more than you thought we were gonna win. People thought we were gonna lose one hundred games. I said we’d be better than you thought.”
Ha! These guys are mind readers, they knew what we were thinking! Well, Mr. Davis, you are wrong. I thought the 2012 Mets were going to win 107 games, so you guys failed me, big time. Next time you are going to say that, call first, this way there will be no misunderstandings.
* Ike also listed 100 walks as a goal. I get it, patience is a virtue, but when your outfield projects to be the teams 6, 7, and 8 hitters don’t you want your slugging first baseman hacking?
* In the end I can’t stop thinking about Turner’s walk-up song. It just has to change. In the meantime we keep searching for the right one. Today’s nominee is “Custard Pie” by Led Zeppelin, suggested by my partner, Jimmy. And if any of you want to chime in, I’m always open to suggestions.