Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Let's hear it for Willie

On the anniversary of our great nation's independence, Willie Randolph finally removed Jose Reyes from the top of the NYM lineup card like the benign 160-lb tumor that he's been.

Here's the story on MLB.com. It includes some quotes that make my heart soar with boundless optimism of a cynical, quantitative sort.

For example: "We're a team that likes to use our speed, but you can't really use your speed as much if you don't get on base," Randolph said. "We need to set it up to where we score early."

That's the kind of talk that's apt to provoke a collective O-face from the team's more sabermetrically-inclined fans.

The new lineup featured Cameron hitting leadoff, followed by Beltran, Floyd, Piazza, Marlon Anderson and David Wright. Reyes hit seventh, and promptly went 2-4 with a ribbie and his 24th stolen base.

It still leaves a lot to be desired. For one thing, it still puts David Wright to marginal use in the bottom half of the order (No, I don't think this particular horse is dead yet. Why?). I need to do more research to see if any explanation for this has been offered. For another, it still insists that Mike Piazza is a cleanup hitter.

But getting Reyes and his stomach-churning OBP out of the leadoff spot is a masterstroke. That Reyes bears all the traditional trappings of a leadoff man (i.e. speed and contact hitting) makes it a little gutsy as well. Kudos.


Vox in Silvam said...

First, they came for the Mets fans.

It’s nice to see moral outrage enfleshed here at Straight Flushing. Your moral rectitude, Doyle (if that’s even your real name) lies, prostrate, on a par with that of Bernard Cardinal Law and Kenny Rogers (the Avenger, not the Gambler).

Some backfill, for your noble if misled readers: Two weeks ago, a young Web impresario named Bryan M. Kang visited the unholy urban blight that is Shea Stadium. Avid in his fanhood, he attempted to watch the game in peace and pastime appreciation, but was disturbed in that undertaking by an obnoxious cow bell ringer (known in Shea circles, apparently, as Cow Bell Guy). (An aside: Define "jump the shark," as cogently and narrowly as possible. Then try to flummox that criteria with the "cow bell" phenomenon. It can’t be done. It is harder for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle. It is harder for Keith Foulke to stay off the bottle for two consecutive nights. Can’t. Be. Done. Ovah. I got a fever, and the only prescription is less cow bell.) Long story short, Mssr. Kang was escorted from the pimple of a park by a few overzealous, couldn’t-make-it-as-cops security guards, who proceeded to insult his heritage, his fanhood, and his sexual preference (charges of libel may not apply to that last one, whose veracity is pending). You can read about the travesty here: www.bryanmkang.com.

In any case, noble if misled readers, I related the story to Doyle, in what is commonly referred to in the news business as "a hot tip." Schooled in the eastern private school tradition of such moral paragons as Edward Albee and the Hearst family, Doyle could have been expected to seize this righteously-ablaze torch and streak with it toward justice.

Did it happen? Well, if you’re reading this you already know. What we have, instead, is a desiccated post of shorts-wetting enthusiasm for the procurement of Gary Sheffield, whose temperament is only slightly less divanic than, say, Martha Stewart’s. ("I’m focusing on my salad/I’m focusing on my dianabol.") Followed by a post endorsing lineup-shredding and psyche-tampering with a Gold Gloved young shortstop (bonus graf: more on "the David Wright Factor"). Apparently, a statistically-manipulated sneer is better "Web" fodder than the righting of wrongs and the furthering of liberty. Social justice? Try Drudge!

It’s a sad thing to lose respect for someone because of their timidity in the face of wrongdoing. I remember once I saw a little kitten caught in a tree, where she’d gone to rescue a sweet old grandmother who was trapped there, knitting. There was this little puppy, with little spots on it, and a like a little gimp, yelping and trying to scramble up the tree and rescue them both. But he couldn’t because he was a little puppy. A guy, big guy, walked by and kicked the puppy.

I was reminded of that today when I logged onto straightflushing.blogspot.com, and witnessed the malicious cowardice manifested in all its hypertextual decay. Remember for whom the Poet reserved the toastiest place in Hell, noble and misled readers, and where he put it.

It was in a rightfield grandstand seat behind Cow Bell Guy, with David Wright preening on third and Reyes two strikes down.

Vinny said...

I don't know if you're getting paid by the word, good sir, but one could hardly blame Mr. Doyle for distancing himself from a story that would appear to be, at the very least, greatly embellished, if not completely fabricated.

Denizens of Shea, like myself, have observed Cow-Bell Man (not "Cow Bell Guy" - his name is right on the back of his jersey) to be a peaceful, carefree, gentle soul who is unflappable in the face of heckling. He is a Shea Stadium institution who delights far more than he disrupts. Why this Mr. Kang (if such an individual even exists) treated him so harshly and with such disrespect is beyond me. Could Mr. Kang not have politely asked Cow-Bell Man to move along, or informed him hat the noise he was generating was detracting from his ballpark experience?

Clearly he could not, because he so proudly states in his account of the incident that he told him, "Cow-Bell Guy, shut up, I don't want to hear your bell."

Where I come from, that's not a very nice way to speak to someone.

Assuming he does exist, if Mr. Kang was subject to the mistreatment he describes following his exchange with Cow-Bell Man, then I do feel for him. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me a bit to find out that someone was on the receiving end of verbal, or even physical abuse at the hands of the Shea security personnel.

I'm skeptical of this entire story, but I'm especially skeptical of Mr. Kang's portrayal of himself as an innocent victim.

adenzeno said...

Where I come from, having a cowbell go off as you are trying to watch agame is not nice either

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