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Mets Lineup vs. Roy Halladay a Step in the Right Direction for Organization


Yesterday the Mets faced Phillies ace Roy Halladay one day removed from news that veteran Alex Cora would be cut.

Also leaving the team was journeyman Jesus Feliciano, youngsters Ruben Tejada and Fernando Martinez were recalled to fill the roster spots.

The Mets lineup versus Halladay was unique, in that it consisted of seven home grown players—Jose Reyes, Angel Pagan, David Wright, Ike Davis, Josh Thole, Tejada, and Martinez. It was the most home grown players to start a Mets game since 1990!

While the Mets ended up losing the game, there were a lot of positives to come out of it.

First, the Mets proved to be resilient. It takes a lot of heart and desire to win coming back from a 6-2 deficit and score 5 runs off of a great pitcher like Halladay. It’s especially impressive upon knowing that in Halladay’s previous four starts before yesterday’s game Halladay was 4-0 with a 0.43 ERA.

Second, and most importantly in my mind, it shows that the organization is starting to get the picture. In this league, developing prospects is the easiest and sometimes best way to win. 

The Mets are not the Yankees, and they cannot buy championships like them. Instead, they need to start developing these players and cementing a core to build a team around.


They already have Wright, Reyes, and Pagan, but players like Davis, Thole, and Tejada can get meaningful playing time during the stretch, when the Mets will more likely than not be playing meaningless games as far as 2010 goes. 

The Yankees not withstanding, each other great team in the MLB is generally lead by home grown players. The Mets need to learn from other teams and continue to build through youth. 

Not surprisingly, it was also the two players that were not homegrown players who had arguably the worst games last night. I love RA Dickey to death, but he did not have a good performance and gave up six runs, four earned, in only three innings. Also, Carlos Beltran looked awful both in the field and at the plate.

While the Mets are stuck with some pretty bad contracts—namely Beltran’s, Luis Castillo’s, and Oliver Perez’s, they need to take these contracts and learn from them. Not signing overrated veterans to ridiculous contracts forces the team to ride or die through the home grown talent. It also means the Mets organization needs to draft better and develop players better than they have been in recent years.

Although yesterday’s lineup was an anomaly, I hope to see similar lineups in the future for the Mets. Not only will it save the team money, but it will make the fans happier, and it may even win some games. It’s the right thing to do going forward. 

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Alex Rodriguez Vs. Barry Bonds: Who Is More Hated?

In the aftermath of Alex Rodriguez’s 600th home run, many have downplayed his milestone because of his admitted usage of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs), and have compared him to another user, the current home run king, Barry Bonds. 

For the most part, the players have been compared because Bonds currently has the most HRs, and A-Rod may at some point overtake him. Additionally, they are both are not (or were not) the best team players, as many viewed them as selfish in their own greed and personal success. And most importantly, they both took PEDs, and have had to endure a particularly negative backlash as a result. 

With that, we can assume that Bonds and A-Rod are two of the most hated players in baseball to come out of the Steroid Era. Not surprisingly, both players are/were loved in the city that they played in (SF for Bonds, NY for A-Rod), yet loathed everywhere else. It begs the question: who is the more hated of the two?

PEDs notwithstanding, Bonds is arguably one of the best players of all time, and A-Rod could be considered one of the best, as well, by the time his career is over. 

Bonds is a 7-time MVP, with 757 career HRs, and a ridiculous .444 career OBP. 

A-Rod currently sits at 600 HRs, is a 3-time MVP and World Series champion. 

Despite both of these players’ amazing career statistics, both are considered cheaters and many consider their records diminished. 

Bonds was also a pretty hated teammate—he got into arguments with other players (most notably with Jeff Kent), he didn’t fraternize with the team, and he was often quite isolated from the rest of the group.

A-Rod was most hated for chasing the money and signing with the Yankees—he opted out of his contract with the Rangers in 2004 (during the final game of the World Series) and signed the largest contract in sports history to play in New York. 

Many likened LeBron James’ “Decision” to play in Miami and leave his hometown to A-Rod’s decision to sign with the Yankees.

However, A-Rod seems to be on the up-and-up. He seems to be a better team player than he used to, and less concerned about personal statistics as he was previously accused of being. 

Yet, many still had a lot of hate to dish out when he hit 600, outside of New York. 

Now that you know why each is hated so much, what do you think?

Personally, I think the nod goes to Barry Bonds.

There was not as much of a taboo surrounding PEDs when Bonds was dominating as there is now. I think Bonds had more character flaws that made people hate him than A-Rod has. A-Rod more so than anything else is a player who admitted to using PEDs and has had to endure the backlash from that in the post-Steroid ERA. Bonds was just a jerk.

Nonetheless, both players are members of the 600 Home Run Club, and may be career home run leaders 1 and 2 by the time A-Rod is done playing. It should be interesting to see what the voters for the Hall of Fame do when Bonds is eligible to be voted into the Hall in a few years; and same thing for A-Rod whenever he retires.

For now, though, it’s only a matter of discussing their records and their shortfalls, and seeing who is the more hated of the PED Home Run Kings. Let the hating begin. 

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MLB Sets Bad Example By Suspending Jerry Manuel

Jerry Manuel’s one game suspension is over and done with, and the Mets won the game in which he was not on the bench. Yet, I still have a major problem with the fact that Manuel was suspended and fined by the MLB in the first place. 

Manuel was ejected from a game versus the Dodgers in Los Angeles on July 20, and was handed the suspension a week later from the MLB. Apparently, the brim of his cap brushed the cap of the umpire Doug Eddings. 

I completely understand the MLB’s point of view that they need to exert their authority, and prevent run-ins between managers and umpires. Yet, in this instance the MLB is wrong for suspending Manuel.

During that game, Manuel was arguing a blown call. It was a critical call too. A run would have scored and extended the inning, with the next batter coming to the plate with runners on first and third. Yet, Eddings missed the call, and Manuel justifiably came out to argue.

Sure, the brim of his cap may have accidentally touched the brim of Eddings cap, but Manuel would not have even been out there in the first place had Eddings not blown the call.

With all that has gone on this summer, we’re learning more and more that umpires and referees are far from perfect. But you just can’t suspend a manager for arguing a call that an umpire got wrong. You just can’t.

To me, suspending Manuel is sending an awfully wrong message. In essence, the MLB is saying to the umps, “Don’t worry if you blow a call, we got your back”. It’s telling managers to think twice about going out and arguing a call, even if they are right and the umpire is wrong.

Just the week before, the Mets had another run in with an ump Phil Cuzzi, who let his temper show after missing a strike call and the Mets’ bench and closer Francisco Rodriguez reacted (Cuzzi also missed another critical play at the plate, but that’s beside the point.) Cuzzi was wrong, the Mets reacted, and then Cuzzi overreacted. Yet, there was no discipline for Cuzzi’s actions. 

The point is, there cannot be a double standard. Umpiring errors are proving to be a part of the game now more than ever. But if umps screw up, managers are justified to argue with them. If the MLB decides to discipline managers for arguing with umps, especially when they are right, they are defending the umps and sending a drastically wrong message.

I would hope that by now, the MLB would learn, but I guess not. Hopefully, this was just an isolated incident. But if managers continue to get disciplined for arguing blown calls, it’s going to be a slippery slope. 

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Why Don’t the New York Mets Just Release Oliver Perez?

Apparently, Oliver Perez is going to be activated off of the Disabled List for the New York Mets tomorrow, after making five poor rehab appearances.

Given Perez’s big league service, Perez has to approve a designation to the minor leagues. For whatever reason, Perez thinks he will be helping himself and the Mets by staying with the club, and the Mets front office has no option but to give him a spot on the 25 man roster, given that he has spent the maximum time allowed rehabbing an injury in the minors.

Jerry Manuel has made it clear that Perez isn’t going to see the mound very much, if at all. He is going to be buried in the bullpen, just wasting away a roster spot. In essence, Manuel is saying that Perez does not deserve a spot on this team.

Pretty much everyone on Earth agrees that Perez should not be playing on the Mets, let alone any team in the MLB. Except maybe Perez and his agent and extortionist Scott Boras.

Perez has been bad both in the majors and the minors. But what is worse is how much of a cancer he is to this organization. He is going to be wasting a spot on the major league roster on a team that is trying to make a playoff push, all while making $12 million this season and next.

What I don’t understand, though, is why are the Mets even bothering anymore. If Perez doesn’t want to accept a DFA, why don’t they just release him?

In my opinion, it’s hurting the Mets more that Perez is wasting a roster spot. If the organization is going to pay Perez to sit in the bullpen and force the Mets to play with 24 players, why don’t they just pay him to sit at home and not hurt the ball club?

It makes sense – if the Mets are paying him anyway, just get rid of him. That way, the Mets can keep their roster full of players that actually deserve a spot on the roster, and will actually help the team.

Right now, the Mets are carrying three catchers – Rod Barajas, Henry Blanco and rookie Josh Thole. All indications are, that when Perez is activated, the Mets will no longer be able to carry three catchers. If they have to demote one to the minors, chances are it will be Thole.

Yet, Thole has been the best offensive catcher by far for the Mets, and has maintained an average well above .500 in his stint in the bigs. While Blanco and Barajas have been awful at the dish, I wouldn’t be shocked if Minaya and company opt to keep the veterans up with the ball club.

Regardless, this dilemma should not exist for the Mets. They need to give Perez and his misguiding agent Boras an ultimatum: accept a designation to Triple-A (where he should be, and where playing would actually help his career the most) or you’re cut.

Perez’s contract is bad, and it’s holding the Mets hostage.  At a certain point, you just have to say, screw the money. Sure, releasing Perez is a waste of $12 million, but keeping him on the roster buried in the bullpen is a waste of $12 million and a roster spot.

I don’t even care about getting anything in return for Perez anymore. It’s not worth holding onto him. The Mets need to do what’s right for the franchise and the fans.

If they don’t? Well, have fun getting booed more than anyone in history Oliver!

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Is Johan Santana the Most Unlucky Pitcher in Major League Baseball?

The New York Mets won today behind the strong pitching performance of Johan Santana. Though Santana pitched well enough for a win, he didn’t get it, as closer Francisco Rodriguez blew another save. Santana went eight strong, surrendering only one run on eight hits and one walk, while striking out five.

Personally, I had prayed that manager Jerry Manuel would let Santana come out for the ninth inning and finish the game out, but having thrown 115 pitches (81 for strikes, by the way), Santana got the handshake after retiring the last nine batters he faced.

Santana has continued his second half dominance, yet did not get another win. Unfortunately, Santana pitching a gem but not getting a win has become all too common, as his mediocre 7-5 record with a 2.87 ERA reflects.

During Santana’s 20 starts in 2010, he has given up one run or less an amazing 12 times. Yet he has gotten a win during those 12 times—are you ready for this?—only six times. Half of the starts where he has given up only one run or less, he has not gotten a win.

That is unbelievable. 

Johan Santana has to be one of the most unlucky pitchers in MLB right now, after hearing that statistic.

Santana’s misfortune has been a product of both tremendously low run support and some shoddy bullpen work. 

In all of baseball, only Roy Oswalt has received less run support this season amongst starting pitchers—and Oswalt plays on a terrible Astros team. Santana has received only 3.73 runs per game.

To compare, Phil Hughes has received the largest run support in the MLB—10.43 runs! And while Hughes has pitched a good year, his 11-2 record is very much a product of his run support.

Santana, on the other hand, has pitched as well if not better than Hughes, yet has four fewer wins and three more losses.

During Santana’s starts, the bullpen has also blown four of the games. It must be disappointing for Santana, especially considering this is something that has been a little too common throughout his tenure in New York.

As optimistic as it is that Santana has returned to form during the second half—he has given up only two runs in his four July starts—I’m sure he would love to have something to show for it.

Poor run support and bad bullpen work is frustrating not only for Santana, but for the Mets and their fans. It definitely is a shame to be wasting Santana’s gems as frequently as the Mets are.

I thought teams generally come to play their best while their aces are on the mount. I guess that isn’t the case for the Mets. I hope they can learn from the past and bring their A game during the rest of Santana’s starts in 2010, and get him the wins that he deserves. 

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Are Alex Rodriguez’s 600 Home Runs Marred By Steroids?

Currently, Alex Rodriguez has 597 home runs, and he is only three away from his milestone 600th. Upon hitting number 600, A-Rod will join the exclusive club which contains only six members: Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willy Mays, Ken Griffey Jr., and Sammy Sosa.

600 home runs is a lot of home runs, and for a player to reach that career total clearly is a big deal. Yet, I feel like not very many people at all are mentioning the fact that A-Rod is only three home runs away from 600; as if this isn’t newsworthy!

While A-Rod sits at 597, there have been some events which have his milestone chase on the back burner for the time being. During the past week plus, LeBron James has released his “Decision”, the MLB had the All-Star Game, and two Yankees legends in Bob Sheppard and George Steinbrenner passed away.

Understandably, those events, especially the stories of Sheppard and Steinbrenner, take precedence over A-Rod’s home runs. However, even before any of that happened, Rodriguez was still rapidly approaching 600, and few seemed to be talking about it.

I did a quick Google search earlier today to see how much A-Rod and his 597 home runs were in the news. I came across a few articles in more major publications as well as in some blogs. I even came across a website called SeatGeek that has predicted which section in the bleachers A-Rod will hit number 600 . Yet, the one thing I noticed most when sifting through articles regarding this milestone was the topic of steroids.

That’s when I wondered – is Alex Rodriguez’s milestone marred by steroids?

A-Rod fell out of favor with a lot of baseball fans when he admitted in an interview with Peter Gammons back in 2009 that he used steroids during what was a “loosey goosey era.”

While Rodriguez wasn’t very liked after signing with the Yankees, he became further disliked when admitting to using steroids. Does this hatred of A-Rod have an effect on his 600th HR milestone?

Many people dislike Barry Bonds as well, who is the all-time leader in home runs (although some refuse to admit that he is, because of PEDs), yet he seemed to be getting more coverage during his milestone HR chase than A-Rod is.

Perhaps the more we progress away from the steroid era, the more baseball fans are intolerant of the players like A-Rod, who are admitted steroid users. If so, then I guess Rodriguez’s home runs are not as big of a deal anymore, since he technically cheated en route to his career total.

Or maybe, I am speaking prematurely, and the coverage surrounding A-Rod’s milestone will come as he gets even closer. Seemingly, with all that has gone on in Yankeeland, and in the sports world in general, the media hasn’t had any time to talk about much else.

I wonder; however, whether or not sports fans would currently be talking at length about another player reaching 600 home runs, had he kept his legacy clean and never been accused or admitted to using PEDs. Or, would he be getting the same coverage as A-Rod is currently getting?

Personally, I think it’s a combination of both. It has been a huge news week for the Yankees, with all that has occurred. Yet, Alex Rodriguez is one of the poster boys for steroids, and there are baseball purists out there who will refuse to give him credit for the 600 home runs that he hit.

With the Yankees resuming play tonight, after their All-Star break, we shall soon see how much A-Rod’s 600 home runs are being talked about. Sheppard and Steinbrenner are getting their tributes before and throughout the game versus the Rays. Then, it’ll be back to baseball.

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Midsummer Flop: MLB All-Star Events Are a Joke

The Midsummer Classic consists of three events: All-Star Sunday, the Home Run Derby, and the All-Star Game. Each event is a joke. The MLB, which is arguably the best and most successful league in the US, has by far the worst All-Star Game and related events out of the four major sports. 

(Note: Some think the NFL Pro Bowl is the worst, but the NFL really can’t do anything to change it. Given the rigor of the NFL season, it has to take place after the Super Bowl, and that’s why it’s not as popular as the NFL would hope.)

Let’s begin with All-Star Sunday. This day consists of two events: the Futures Game and the Celebrity/Legends softball game.

The Futures Game is cool because it gives a lot of the fans an opportunity to watch rising stars who are currently in the minor leagues. These players will be the faces of the MLB in a few years, and it’s nice that they can showcase their talents on a bigger stage than usual.

The problem with the Futures Game, however, is that it takes place on Sunday, when actual MLB games are still scheduled. So instead of fans watching the Futures Game, they are watching their favorite team playing a meaningful game.

Major League Baseball can’t expect fans to watch the Futures Game while actual games are taking place. It’s terribly poor scheduling on the MLB’s part.

As far as the softball game goes, while it may be entertaining to watch, no one really cares.

Next, the Home Run Derby. In years past, the Home Run Derby has been pretty fun to watch, especially when players like Josh Hamilton put on unbelievable performances, as he did at Yankee Stadium in 2008. 

The only problem is, the best sluggers don’t always participate in the Derby. 

While the players can’t be blamed, since they don’t want to mess up their swings, it ruins the Derby a little bit. 

Plus, this year’s lineup is underwhelming to say the least. I mean, Hanley Ramirez, Nick Swisher, and Chris Young? Really? Those aren’t the names we usually associate with home runs.

Out of the eight HR Derby participants, the average number of home runs this season is 17. That’s tied for seventh place this season.

It’s disappointing that the best sluggers don’t participate in the Derby. A HR Derby without the best home run hitters in the MLB is like a Slam Dunk Contest without Michael Jordan.

And while some of the better dunkers in the Dunk Contest don’t participate nowadays, Nate Robinson and Dwight Howard are still more exciting to watch than this year’s Derby lineup.

Lastly, the All-Star Game. I’ve been writing quite a bit about how I hate the All-Star Game. I hate it because it counts for home field advantage in the World Series while fan voting still exists. I hate it because of the amount of snubs each year. And I hate it because, quite frankly, I think it is boring. 

In every other sport, the All-Star Game is just an exhibition game, and the best players play in the game. There’s no Omar Infante’s in any other sport’s ASG.

While baseball commissioner Bud Selig thinks that some of the recent amendments make the All-Star Game better, the truth is, they actually make it worse.

I think there are simple solutions to these problems.

For the Futures Game, schedule it on Monday during prime time, and push the Home Run Derby and the All-Star Game back a day. Since nothing goes on on the Wednesday after the ASG, it’s not a problem to push everything back. Plus, pushing everything back ensures that more people can watch the Futures Game.

For the Home Run Derby, take the eight players with the greatest number of home runs this year. That ensures that the best home run hitters actually participate in the game. While there is still a chance that players back out, I think if the competition is better, each player will be more likely to participate, and prove that they are in fact the best HR hitter in the MLB.

For the All-Star Game, make it an exhibition game again, first and foremost. That way, the managers don’t have to “play to win” and can showcase the best talent in the MLB instead.

Maybe the MLB should also revisit fan voting. Fan voting makes it a popularity contest, where the players that play in major markets have a better chance of starting than other deserving players who play in smaller cities.

While eliminating fan voting is less fan friendly, at least more deserving players will be named to the ASG as a result. And I would hope that, for baseball fans, the most important thing is that the best players are actually the ones playing in the All-Star Game.

Until commissioner Bud Selig and Major League Baseball decides to make the necessary changes to the All-Star Game and its events, it will remain a joke.

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Will New York Mets’ Downfall Begin with Weekend Series?

As much as I hate to admit this, I think the Mets have been overachieving this year.

I’m not sure anyone would have guessed that they would have been playing this great of baseball this year.

No one expected stellar performances from R.A. Dickey, or even Angel Pagan. David Wright was a huge question mark, especially given his peculiar 2009 season. Jose Reyes’s health has been in question.

The beginning 2010 season saw a Reyes-less opening day, awful performances by John Maine and Oliver Perez, and a lot of responsibility put on the shoulders of first-time big leaguers. 

Yet, on July 10, the Mets are still 47-40, which is good enough to be a full game up on the Philadelphia Phillies. However, 47-40 is not very good, considering how well the Mets have been playing this season and how shaky they have been playing of late.

If the Mets had been overachieving thus far, maybe this week, and specifically this series versus the first place Atlanta Braves, could mark the Mets’ fall back to earth.

Today, the Mets lost to the Braves by a score of 4-0, putting them four games back of first place, and giving them a three-game losing streak.

This losing streak is their longest since May 16. While this streak is not very long, and the Mets are still very much in the playoff race, that is not what concerns me.

What is specifically concerning is the performance of some key Met players during this minor skid.

First, Mike Pelfrey has not pitched very well recently. In today’s loss, Big Pelf lasted only four innings plus, surrendering 12 hits and four runs. In his last three starts, he has given up 12 hits, nine hits, and 12 hits respectively while giving up 15 runs.

He has not lasted more than 4.2 innings in any of these starts, while his ERA has risen from 2.71 to 3.58.

Pelfrey’s recent struggles are definitely concerning me. But we can simply hope that the root of these problems is a tired arm, and the All-Star break will really help him return to form. If he doesn’t pick his play back up, however, it means big trouble for the Mets.

Despite Pelfrey’s struggling, at least he is healthy. Another big concern for the Mets right now is Jose Reyes. 

A few days ago, Reyes injured his oblique and missed a few games. Since returning from his minor injury, he was only able to bat right handed, and did so even as a switch hitter against righty pitchers.

Today, however, Reyes seemed to re-injure himself while making a play in the hole at shortstop. He was pulled out of the game, and has since announced that he will not play in the All-Star Game. 

The Mets have undoubtedly played their best baseball when Reyes is healthy and playing like the typical Jose Reyes.

He is still one of the most exciting catalysts in baseball, and the Mets are extremely successful when Reyes scores and drives runners in.

Luckily, Reyes also has the upcoming All-Star break to rest. But if he has to miss any prolonged amount of time, that will also pose a serious problem for the Mets. 

Mets fans can only hope that this recent rut is nothing to be too concerned about. A three game losing streak is not a big deal, and if Pelfrey returns to form, and Reyes stays healthy, the Mets should be fine. Plus, they get Carlos Beltran back after the All-Star break.

This weekend series was a big test for the Mets, and a sweep versus the Braves would have put them in first place going into the Midsummer Classic.

Unfortunately, with one game left vs. the Braves, the Mets have not had quite the results they had hoped for. 

While a lot of questions have arisen from this series, the most important question the Mets have to answer is how they will bounce back after their three-day rest.

Hopefully they will, as the NL East has been unforgiving this year.  

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Johan Santana Finally Realizes Easiest Way To Win: Do It All Yourself!

Hopefully, after tonight, Johan Santana likes the National League a little bit more. While he has not found nearly as much success in the NL as he had in the AL with the Minnesota Twins, Johan tonight realized that the easiest way to win is to do it all yourself.

Santana provided the hitting and the pitching, en route to a Mets 3-0 win over the Reds.

Over the season, and to some extent throughout his Mets career, Santana has been the victim of poor run support. Prior to tonight’s game, the Mets had scored only 41 runs while Santana was on the mound. Only Roy Oswalt, of the dreadful Houston Astros, and Paul Maholm, of the dreadful Pittsburgh Pirates, have received less run support.

Luckily for Santana, he now plays in the NL and bats for himself. So tonight, he figured he’d give himself all the run support he needs.

In the third inning, Santana battled at the plate with Reds starter Matt Maloney. During that 12-pitch at-bat, Mets commentators Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez commented on how well Santana handles himself at the plate. Hernandez added that one day, Santana is going to get his first major league home run.

A couple of pitches later, Santana hooked a ball foul that had the distance. A few pitches later he hit a rope off the right field foul poll for his first major league home run!

My dad and I are notorious for our ability to predict when Mets batters are going to hit a home run, but never had I seen a Mets hitter (a pitcher, no less) hit a home run literally minutes after a commentator made a comment about the batter’s ability to hit home runs. 

It was an amazing moment, which merited a curtain call for Santana.

The solo home run wound up being sufficient for a win, as Santana pitched a brilliant complete game, three-hit shutout, against one of the best hitting teams in the NL.

But in the sixth inning, the Mets also strung together a few hits, capped by Jason Bay’s two-RBI single to give the Mets a little breathing room—in case Jerry Manuel decided to put Francisco Rodriguez in the game in the ninth to blow the save (or, at least, give me some heart burn).

Santana’s offense aside, this was an important game for the Mets. Santana’s health and overall abilities have been questioned lately, as a result of a recent stretch, in which he gave up at least four runs and seven hits in each of his last four starts.

He bounced back by giving up one run in seven innings against the Nationals in his last start, but tonight’s performance was something that we had grown accustomed to seeing from Santana in years past.

Johan is well-known for being a superb second-half pitcher, and hopefully tonight’s effort is evidence that he is returning to form for the push into the playoffs. The Mets have been a great team with a mediocre Santana, and if he pitches like the Santana of old, it makes the Mets a playoff team without a doubt.

The only question remains, was tonight an aberration? Or is the Johan Santana we have grown to know and love back to form? Only time will tell.

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Joey Votto Makes a Statement vs. New York Mets, Proves He Is an All-Star

I’ve been extremely vocal about my hatred of the All-Star Game selection rules, and the actual selections (I wrote an article about what the rosters should be , and who we must vote for in the Final Vote ).

I’ve been most frustrated about the fact that Joey Votto is left off the team.

I was glad to see, however, that after 24 hours since the Final Vote began, Votto was leading vote-getter in the NL, meaning he would be named to the All-Star team if voting had ended today. Voting, though, ends Thursday.

But fortunately for Votto, his performance Monday night versus the New York Mets was a statement game, in the Reds’ 8-6 win.

Votto went 3-4 with a double, 2 RBI, 3 runs, and two HRs, including one moonshot into the Big Apple’s box out in straight away center field at Citi Field and one bomb over the 415 sign in the deepest part of the park in right-center field (and a foul ball that was two feet from being his third of the game).

If his performance doesn’t scream, “I’m an All-Star,” just days after being one of the biggest snubs in MLB history, I don’t know what does.

As a Mets fan, I was fortunate enough to be able to watch the game live, and listen to the commentary from Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez about Votto’s exclusion.

Cohen was very adamant in his belief that Votto deserved a roster spot over Ryan Howard, who was Phillies manager Charlie Manuel’s selection, and I agree.

While it goes as no surprise that Manuel chose his own player, Votto should not have to suffer.

During the broadcast, I also learned that Votto was the only player with his caliber statistics to not be named to the roster in NL history (and it only happened once in AL history, in 1966).

While I can’t quite remember everything that was said, I believe it was that no player who is in the top five in the NL in HR, RBI, average, OBP, slugging, and OPS has never not been an All-Star.

Until Votto.

Don’t quote me on that, by the way. If anyone knows what was actually said, please let me know!

Here’s Votto’s stats as of July 5th, with his rank in the NL in parenthesis:

.318 AVG (T-3rd)

21 HR (1st)

59 RBI (T-4th)

56 runs (T-3rd)

.422 OBP (1st),

.595 SLG (1st)

 1.017 OPS (1st). 

Those are MVP caliber numbers. Yes, MVP.

And he’s not even an All-Star (yet).

Interestingly, there has been at least one time in MLB history where the MVP was not an All-Star. Willie Stargell did not make the cut for the Midsummer Classic, but was co-MVP with Keith Hernandez in 1979.

By this point, it’s well known that Votto deserves to be in the All-Star Game. The only thing we can do is vote him in through the Final Vote.

So before Thursday, go to and VOTE VOTTO!

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