Hopefully you enjoy this installment because This Week In SNY is taking a vacation next week, in solidarity with patron saint Kevin Burkhardt:
Tuesday, July 5th
It's time for this week's edition of "One Of These Things Is Not Like The Others":
A. Guy with a pedestrian-for-his-position .828 OPS and ninth best fWAR among NL first basemen.
B. Young strikeout machine with the third best ERA in the NL.
C. Electric rookie fireman with the second best reliever FIP in the NL.
D. Stud center fielder who trails only Jose Reyes for the NL fWAR lead.
Just in case, the answer to the "One Of These Things..." question is a resounding A. This is as good a time as any to remind the world that Ryan Howard's 5-year, $125 million contract extension kicks in next season.
Let's check in with Kevin! He took a page from the Eamon McAnaney Book Of Sideline Reporting by sitting in a chair during a report:
Can we get the man a La-Z-Boy please? He has almost 20,000 Twitter followers. That looks like a chair you'd sit in at a Boy Scouts meeting in a church basement.
Wednesday, July 6th
Hat tip to SNY for sending Burkhardt to the Los Angeles mountain, or hills, or whatever they are, for the pre-game:
Doing this once per road series could be fun. Send him to the desert when the Mets are in Arizona; Alcatraz when in San Francisco; the Gateway Arch when in St. Louis, etc.
Gary Cohen shared a joke about east coast living vs. west coast living. We're pretty sure it's not a Gary original but here it is anyway:
When it's 20 degrees in New York, it's 78 in L.A. When it's 95 degrees in New York it's 78 in L.A. But there are millions of interesting people in New York and 78 in L.A.
East coast FTW.
Heard this: Ron Darling mistakenly, but somewhat appropriately, referring to James Loney as James "Lonely" several times during the Dodgers series.
Friday, July 8th
This image is why TWISNY exists:
Tim Byrdak photobombed the Dick-Burk interview:
According to Justin Turner, Byrdak is the biggest jokester on the team. Who knew?
SNY presented what seemed like a run-of-the-mill trivia question:
But Ron Darling added some intrigue, saying:
I'm gonna throw it out to you Mets fans out there. Don't Google. Don't go to a computer. I'm throwing the gauntlet down -- none of you will get it. How about that?
That's quite a challenge! It surely has to be some obscure Giants hurler then, right? Maybe Greg Minton or John Montefusco? I trusted Ron and guessed Scott Garrelts, a little-known member of the 1985 NL All Star team. The answer was revealed:
Juan Marichal, Hall of Famer. He's probably the most famous San Francisco Giants pitcher in history. Ron offered a mea culpa:
I had a different answer so what a knucklehead I am. I ordered everyone to not get on the computer and I didn't get it. Marichal would be the first guy you'd go to. I need to go back to the drawing board.
We've all been there, Ronnie, no worries. Who hasn't provided an overconfident insta-answer during a trivia match, only to learn that the answer is wrong?
The look on this woman's face seems a little too serious:
Oh stop whining, your team won the World Series last year. Stand by your man.
Bob Costas and Al Michaels called two innings of the game on SNY. When news of the reunion broke, I sorta-jokingly wrote:
Over/under on instances of moralizing about steroids? 6.5?
They didn't quite hit the O/U mark but there was more PED talk than necessary during their brief stint. One snippet from Costas:
You talk about that period of time where things got out of whack in baseball , everybody enjoys the home run, everybody enjoys a legitimate power hitter. But in addition to the questions about how all those 40, 50 and 60 home run seasons occurred, it distorted the game. It took away so many of the enjoyable nuances -- the bunt, the hit-and-run, taking the extra base. When every game is just a game of "bludgeonball" and home run derby, baseball is not as enjoyable as it should be.
It's not just the grade-A moralizers like Costas who remain fixated on the topic -- it seems to be all announcers. Gary Cohen and Howie Rose are two prime offenders. None can pass up a good "the numbers weren't the only things that were inflated" or "looks like he took his vitamins this offseason, if you catch my drift" crack. They really should.
My personal feelings about PEDs and the steroid era can be found at the end of this post but I won't rehash it because that's not what this is about. It's about a desire for announcers to recognize that the game goes through different periods, each with its own quirks. Composition of the baseball changes, mound height is adjusted, integration happens, nutrition evolves. Offense goes up, offense goes down. And the nightly moralizing about some guys who did what they could to improve themselves when there was no punishment within the game for doing so has grown tiresome.
It will break Costas's nostalgic heart to hear this, but if PEDs in their current form existed 60 years ago, you better believe players would have used. To borrow a line from Spike Lee's fine film, 25th Hour, "The Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program was adopted in 2006 -- move the f*** on!"
Finally we close with some Metsblog news. SNY is casting for a new show, "Armistead Maupin's Metsblog After Dark".
The guys from the Metsblog crew will star, with several additional roles still open. It is billed as a gritty suburban drama, featuring:
...trade rumor buzz...
Daniel Murphy is slated to guest star as "street tough #2" in the first episode. Ruben Tejada is in talks for a three episode arc in which he will play a disaffected youth addicted to Angry Birds. Mail audition tapes to:
Metsblog After Dark
12 Francoeur Avenue
New York, NY 10111
That's all for now. Send any tips or suggestions to ThisWeekInSNY@gmail.com. We'll see you in two weeks.