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…
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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: 
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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. 
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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.
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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. 
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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. 

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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. 
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Former Met, Bud Harrelson, signed a card and an index card. 
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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. 
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Announcing great, Ernie Harwell, signed a card and personalized an index card. He has recently been diagnosed with cancer, get well soon Ernie. 
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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.
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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. 
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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: 
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That was all I got for the Cubs portion of BP. After that, I had my picture taken with the 3 baseballs: 
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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.
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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. 
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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. 
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And here are the autographs, you could probably tell whose signatures they are. 
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Thanks for reading. Feel free to leave comments,
Howie
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