Dice-K Makes Mets Brutal To Watch

You have to hand it to the Mets. Never before has a team crushed the souls of a fanbase like this. In three short days, this went from a season of hope for next year to one of apathetic despair.

But I present to you:

Monday: Matt Harvey gets an MRI and has a tear in his UCL. With Tommy John surgery probable, the hope turns to saddness.

Tuesday: General manager Sandy Alderson trades Marlon Byrd and John Buck for a prospect and a player to me named. Sadness becomes apathy.

Wednesday: If there are any Met fans left who care, Dice-K’s brutal performance pretty much killed that with his 4 1/3 inning masterpiece, which left the sparse crowd looking for lighter fluid and matches. Anyone who watched wanted to immolate themselves.

The Mets are proving the Beatles wrong. It can get much worse. Only two players on the Opening Day roster were in the lineup tonight – Ike Davis and Justin Turner – the rest are retreads or graduates of the Backman Baseball School of Nevada.

I am all for seeing what the young guys can give you, but a month of this? There’s no power, the bullpen is shaky at best and sure there are three good starters in the rotation, but Dice-K is unwatchable and the Mets signed Matsuzaka to prevent Carlos Torres from starting.

Maybe the Mets can bring back Stave Trachsel. That could work.

Or how about this: James Blake is retiring from tennis. He’s a New York Mets fan. He’s in shape and used to the pitching motion.

And did I mention he has some time on his hands.

How about the Mets sign Blake to be the No. 5 starter. At least the team would be interesting and you will get some play about an ex-tennis player on the mound.

Heck, you may open up a new market.

It couldn’t get much worse. Right now, Dice-K’s starts are where baseball joy goes to die.

In all seriousness, the Mets need to keep interest over the next month. They can’t have another September spring training, looking at who will make the team in 2014. Terry Collins job depends on it.

Remember, Collins is signed just through season. By almost all indications, he will be back, but if the Mets really are brutal over the next 30 days and he loses the clubhouse, they may look in another direction.

Furthermore, you have to wonder how much damage the Mets will do to some of these young players if they are exposed to the losing environment.

Young prospects should bring hope and energy, but if there’s no one to lead, it may hurt them even more.

Sure the Mets need innings and yes they need to save their young arms. At the same time, the organization needs to promote a winning atmosphere.

Starting Matsuzaka every five days is not going to do that.

It’s actually sad to see Doc Gooden’s 16 donned by two former pitchers this year.

Where have you gone Dr. K? Flushing turns its lonely eyes upon you.

Posted under Baseball School, James Blake, Joe Mcdonald, Lighter Fluid, New York Mets, Retreads, Sandy Alderson, Season Of Hope, Tennis Player, Time On His Hands, Tommy John, Tommy John Surgery, Top Story, Trachsel

Clijsters Greatness Begins With Other Majors

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – If she was a football team, she would be the 49ers of the 1980s and in basketball, she would be the Celtics of the 1960s.

If she was a baseball team, she would be the Yankees of the 1950s.

But Kim Clijsters is a tennis player, and a good one, especially on the hard courts in Flushing Meadows, the surface she loves the most. And after tonight, she became a dynasty with her third US Open with a dismantling of Vera Zvonareva, 6-2 6-1, in the shortest Women’s Final since they started keeping time back in 1980 and the most lopsided final since 1976, when Chris Everett took out Evonne Goolagong, 6-3 6-0 in Forest Hills.

The match was so lopsided that the capacity crowd was trying to egg on Zvonareva just to get their money’s worth.

But the world’s favorite working mom would have none of that as she wanted to get revenge of her Quarterfinal loss at Wimbledon by Zvonareva keeping her shutout of the other three majors.

“I knew getting into the match which things were that I didn’t do well in the matches I lost,” Clijsters said. “Obviously the one at Wimbledon was, to me one of the most disappointing losses that I’ve dealt with so far in my career.”

The reason why Clijsters was so disappointed back in July was that Wimbledon was her chance to make everyone believe she was more than just a hard court specialist. Winning the US Open every year is nice and the $2.2 million payday she received will pay for young Jada’s college tuition, but to be considered one of the greats, she needs to claim the crown elsewhere, be it in Melbourne, Paris, or London.

“I mean, they all motivate you in a different way, obviously,” she said.  “Tactic‑wise you always have to adjust a little bit to each and every single one of them.

“But I think the one where I’ve felt I can do better than I have is obviously at the Australian Open.  Similar surface.  They’ve gone away from I think the Rebound Ace in the last couple years.  So I’ve always enjoyed playing there.  That’s obviously a Grand Slam I want to do well.  I want to do well in all of them, of course.

“But, um, again, you have the two European Grand Slams, which, you know, obviously Wimbledon is the one where, you know, I’m close to because I have the connection with my dad there because he enjoyed it there.  I always want to do well there, as well.

“The French Open, yeah, feels like playing in Belgium because we have so many Belgian people supporting us.  We have the history of a lot of past Belgians who have won there.  They all have a different impact on the way you feel and a positive impact, and I think that’s something I want to use when I go back there next year.”

It’s funny, though, Clijsters also has a connection with each of the Grand Slams. Australia adopted her calling the Belgian “Aussie Kim” because of her engagement to Lleyton Hewitt. Wimbledon and Roland Garros love her because she is a Belgian and almost an adoptive daughter.

And she is loved here in New York, because she is a part time New Jersey resident, as her husband Brian Lynch hails from the Garden State.

Yet, she’s only found championships by the Unisphere, because the hard courts excel her skills raising her record to 21-0 in her last three Opens.

“The surface has always been one of my favorite surfaces to play on,” Clijsters said. “I also like the blue courts, which, you know, make it a lot easier for me to see on.

“But I’ve always ‑‑ not just here in New York, but I’ve always had a very good run on the American hard courts, even when I was younger, you know, the whole US Open Series, Stanford, San Diego, LA, those kind of tournaments.

“I’ve always had a pretty good record going there.  I have a natural instinct of just adapting really well to, you know, the hard courts, which doesn’t come that easily for me when I go on different surfaces.”

Now, though, the 27 year-old needs to raise her game if she wants to be considered one of the greats. In the next year, Clijsters needs to she can win one of the other three Grand Slams. She said she wants to play through the Olympics in 2012, but after that it’s up in the air. Jada will be going to school and her priorities will change.

The clock is ticking and as with all dynasties they will come to an end someday.

Posted under Australian Open, Baseball Team, Capacity Crowd, Celtics, Chris Everett, College Tuition, Evonne Goolagong, Football Team, Forest Hills, Jada, Joe Mcdonald, Keeping Time, Kim Clijsters, New York Mets, Rebound Ace, S College, Shutout, Single One, Tennis Player, Top Story, Vera Zvonareva, Wimbledon, Working Mom

This post was written by Joe McDonald on September 12, 2010