September 2009

The Many Ways To Lose a Baseball Game

First off, today, September 30, is my birthday. So, happy birthday to me. Also, today is the 2 year anniversary of the Mets first collapse. While on the topic of bad Mets losses, lets take a look at some of the worst: 

June 12, Mets leading their first ever game at New Yankee Stadium, Alex Rodriguez hits a pop-up to Luis Castillo…
Nothing else need be said. 
August 4, Johan Santana pitched 8 strong innings against the Cardinals, then handed the ball to Francisco Rodriguez and the bullpen, who promptly allowed 7 runs over the next 2 innings, capped off by a grand slam from this guy: 
Mets lose 12-5. 
19 short days later, on August 23, the Phillies paid a visit to Citi Field, down 9-7 in the bottom of the 9th, with runners on first and second, Jeff Francoeur hits a line drive up the middle when shortstop Eric Bruntlett caught the ball, stepped on second, and then tagged Daniel Murphy going to second to end the game. 
September 18, with the Mets coming back in the bottom of the 9th inning, and the tying and winning runs in scoring position, Jeff Francoeur hit a hard ground ball back off pitcher Mike MacDougal’s glove, then he picked it  up and threw out Francoeur to end the game.
Today, against the Nationals again, K-Rod was handed a 4-2 lead going into the bottom of the 9th, then with the bases loaded, Justin Maxwell, hit his first major league grand slam, a walk off job to beat the Mets 7-4. He also got a celebratory pie in the face. 
This season could not get that much worse. 
Thanks For Reading- Howie

Quote of the Day & Some Autographs to Share

First off, here is a quote from Ichiro which appeared in a recent issue of Sports Illustrated. 

When I finished reading that quote, I started laughing. 
Now, I haven’t made a post about the autographs I’ve gotten in a long time. So, here are a few of the autographs I’ve gathered recently. 
Art Howe, former A’s, Astros, and Mets manager, signed a card. 

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Current Phillies Manager, Charlie Manuel, didn’t sign my card, but sent back his own signed 4×6 photo. 
Former Met, Bud Harrelson, signed a card and an index card. 
Current Twins reliever and fellow autograph collector, Pat Neshek, signed a card and an index card. It says, ”Go Islanders!” because I told him my favorite NHL team is the New York Islanders. I did not ask for any of the inscriptions. 
Announcing great, Ernie Harwell, signed a card and personalized an index card. He has recently been diagnosed with cancer, get well soon Ernie. 
Lastly, Bobby Doerr, who is a member of the baseball hall of fame, signed a 4×6 photo.

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All of the autographs shown have been obtained through the mail. I have many more autographs of better players, but these are the ones I fell like posting now. 
Thanks for reading- Howie

September 4, 2009 @ Citi Field

I went to Citi Field yesterday, here is the story. The night before the game, my father and I bought tickets in section 110 row D, which is 4 rows behind the field. It was quite a bargain if I should say so myself, the face value of the tickets is $270, and we paid $96 per ticket and it came with a free parking pass. We got there at about the time that the gates opened and I went straight into fair terratory in right field because the Mets were hitting. My father was standing in the 4th row near the foul line and I was in the front row. Daniel Murphy was hitting and he hit a homer into the 4th row then it almost hit my dad, hit a chair, rolled down to the 2nd row when I grabbed it with my bare hand, which then was grabbed by another kid who let go after I said, “It’s mine, It’s mine.” Upon looking at the ball, I realized that the stitches were not red, and the ball had a circular logo, it was: IMG_2145.JPG

That ball was the first commemorative one I have ever snagged, unless you count training balls commemorative. The area near the foul line was getting dead, so my dad stayed there and I went behind the Modell’s sign and near the bullpen when I saw K-Rod sign autographs for about 2 kids then left, I didn’t have anything on me to get signed but my hat, and I didn’t get him. I stayed near the Modell’s sign and when reliever Sean Green picked up a ball, I asked him for it, and he threw it to me. There was almost no one there when I got it. It was another 2008 All-Star Game ball, and when I looked at it after I caught it, there was a large black mark from where the hitter’s bat hit the ball. I have no idea who hit it.
The rest of Mets BP was pretty dead, so while the Cubs were getting set up, I took a baseball, ran around to the field level in foul territory and got Pedro Feliciano and Nelson Figueroa to sign a baseball using their own black sharpies. Here is a picture of Pedro signing taken by my dad who kept my spot in fair territory. 
I went back to my spot in fair territory and put on an old Cubs hat. The coaches were not giving anything into the crowd, so I moved behind the Modell’s sign in right field and tried to get a ball from a relief pitcher. And then a pitcher, whom I believe to be sean Marshall, to throw me a ball, I was in the corner near the bullpen, and I had to reach over and make a nice backhanded snow cone catch. Then he imitated me catching the ball and said nice catch or something, I couldn’t really see him. Here is a picture of Ball #3: 
That was all I got for the Cubs portion of BP. After that, I had my picture taken with the 3 baseballs: 
Then, my father and I returned to our seats before the game, and I just barely missed out on Anderson Hernandez. After the national anthem, Angel Pagan signed my other baseball in someone else’s black pen and I was almost crushed because there were so many people trying to get him. If you can see me, I am just standing there trying to leave.
Then we took our seats and the game began. Bobby Parnell had easily the best game of his career. Cory Sullivan also had a pretty good game, as he started off the scoring with a second inning solo homer off the Pepsi Porch in right field off of Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano. Then, there was no scoring until the 8th inning, but the Cubs mounted a threat in the top of the 7th, the bases were loaded for pinch hitter Mike Fontenot, not even close to hitting anything, 1 out. Kosuke Fukudome, swinging at thin air, 2 outs. Ryan Theriot, hard shot off of Parnell’s hand, gets the ball and throws to first, inning over. In the 8th Brian Stokes could not hold on to a 1-0 lead as Jeff Baker got Milton Bradley home on an RBI single. In the bottom of the inning, the Mets exploded to score 5 runs against the Cubs bullpen capped off with a 2 RBI single by Omir Santos. In the 9th, the Mets brought in Frankie Rodriguez, who got save #29. 
Winning Pitcher- Brian Stokes 
Losing Pitcher- Kevin Gregg
Save- Francisco Rodriguez
3 baseballs and 3 autographs, a pretty good day in my opinion. 
Here are the baseballs in the order I snagged them. 
And here are the autographs, you could probably tell whose signatures they are. 
Thanks for reading. Feel free to leave comments,