Despite the split in New York, it just didn't feel very satisfying. I suppose that's what splits will do to you...
A few observations on the Mets and Citi Field first though:
--The Mets are a team in shambles. Injuries have just racked this squad and you can tell its players are just barely hanging onto relevance. With David Wright now out for awhile, they simply have no one out there to lead the replacements. I've always loved Jeff Francoeur and Gary Sheffield, but neither are real leaders.
Then again, were Delgado, Jose Reyes, or Carlos Beltran?
Oh yeah, I forgot, this has been why they've collapsed year after year.
--I've always thought Mets manager Jerry Manuel to be somewhat of a dunce. He stabbed Willie Randolph in the back last year, and Manuel was dopey with the White Sox too. I never cared for him. But now... well now, I've really got a reason.
He also once said, "I don't like to rely on stats."
So flip a coin, Jerry.
Whether or not Manuel ordered the two retaliatory bean balls or whether the artist formerly known as Johan Santana did that on his own accord... pretty classless moves overall. That goes back to the culture and leadership of the Mets. That is on Jerry Manuel.
Matt Cain is not malicious, and he never would have hit anyone in the head on purpose, especially a class act like David Wright. To hit both Sandoval and Bengie was blatant and unacceptable-- not to mention totally unwarranted.
Absolutely moronic and classless.
--Citi Field looks, well... how do I put this?
It looks like a futuristic version of old Shea Stadium. There are no background views, ridiculous wind tunnels, too much foul territory, and unhappy fans. There is zero about this stadium on television that makes it stand out. It's something like a bland version of Philadelphia and Washington. The best part about this stadium are the colorful ads. Seriously. The old school Pepsi sign is my favorite thing.
The trademarks of all new stadiums are the architectural styling, bold lines, and skyline backdrops. There are subtle and bold examples of this. Pittsburgh has a great view of the city, San Diego has the old brick building, Houston has the hill in center and the train tracks, Cincy has the riverboat smoke stacks, Milwaukee has the Bernie Brewer Slide. Hell, even the refurbished Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City looks better than Citi Field.
New York City has so many things to work with, and they just blew it. Like Nationals Park in D.C., there is nothing about this place that stands out. It honestly looks depressing in there. I see a nearly totally enclosed, cavernous, nearly Three Rivers Stadium-esque ballpark with bizarre dimensions.
--As for the Giants, it was a so-so effort. Granted, the 10-1 win on Monday as well as the 10th inning win on Saturday felt good. It's just the other times when we can't put any offense together that just drag us down. Let's hope the awakening that occurred in the series finale can carry over into Cincinnata (that's how they say it).
-- Stay hot A.U. Velez! He's hitting .500 in the past two games with 2 runs and 2 RBI. He's now hitting .306 on the season.
I've been one of his harshest, most vulgar critics, but he's slowly but surely winning me over. He seems to be somehow getting how to hit. His plate discipline is greatly improved, and he's currently impersonating an offensive catalyst. Imagine that... a real leadoff hitter.
I would like to see him more active as a base stealer though. Despite his speed, he's only attempted to steal 3 times, being caught once.
--Bochy will have to make some decisions about the outfield. With A.U. and Nate The Great ripping the balls all over the place, how can they be kept out of the lineup? Randy Winn needs to sit. We are in a Wild Card race here, and despite his 4/9 stretch over the past two games, he should be the odd man out. All Schierholtz does is hit, and his arm is Francoeur-like. It's a sin not to start him every day.
-- Did you know, Randy Winn's real name is Dwight Randolph Winn?
-- Did you also know that D.R. Winn (Doctor Winn anyone?) is making $9.6 million dollars this season?
-- Did you know that Noah Lowry is being paid $4.5 million this season?
-- Did you know that when we released Dave Roberts earlier this year, we were required to continue paying him his $6.5 million dollar salary?
-- Aaron Rowand, Randy Winn, Noah Lowry, and Dave Roberts cost the Giants a total of $32.6 million this season alone. The stats we got from these four guys (obviously Rowand and Winn as of Sunday): .264 avg, 101 runs, 11 HR, 89 RBI, 14 SB.
That would be a really nice season for Matt Kemp or Bobby Abreu. Doesn't that just make your stomach churn?
-- Happy Lincecum day everyone! Homer Bailey is on the mound for the Reds on Tuesday. If you were ever going to bet on baseball... this would be the game.
--Breaking news as I'm writing this. Stephen Strasburg signs with the Nats for just under $16 million. Awesome. I'm so glad they didn't give him more. Eff you Scott Boras.
-- The Giants also signed the 6th overall pick, RHP Zack Wheeler. They gave him just under $3.3 million. Wheeler, out of HS in Georgia, had a 0.54 ERA in his senior season. He steps into the system void left by the trades of Scott Barnes and Timmy Alderson. Godspeed young Wheeler. Godspeed.