Reasons for the Mets slump…

This afternoon in Cincinnati, Orlando Cabrera homered in the 10th inning to give the Reds an walk off victory against the Mets.

The Mets played a gritty game but in the end it was the Reds who were celebrating at home plate.

What the hell happened to the Mets?
When April ended they were the hottest team in baseball… stunning everyone with a 10-1 stretch to end the month… including a whuppin of the Phillies.

May arrived? They are 1-4… and if not for a 9th inning rally last night they would be winless.
And they’ve lost in all kinds of ways. Blow outs, letting up walk off homers and seeing their ace Santana implode of national TV.

My cousin Dave blames me for jinxing them when I credited my rocker friend Jaime Fallon
with cheering the Mets to victory.

Of course Jaime couldn’t make the trip to Philadelphia and Cincinnati, so maybe her lack of support could be the culprit.

Maybe it has to do with the fact that the Mets just aren’t very good.
I thought this was a 100 loss team going into the season… which means I expected them to win 62 times.

Maybe they are getting their wins out of the way now.

Either way, I still think it will be a long long year in Queens, no matter how hard Jaime cheers.

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Luis Valbuena needs a hug

The Indians are struggling to get out of the AL Central cellar but were one out away from winning this afternoon.

With 2 outs and the Tribe up by two, Aaron Hill grounded out weakly to shortstop Luis Valbuena to end the game.

And it went right through his legs and allowed a run to come in to make it a one run game.

And naturally the very next batter, Adam Lind, homered to give Toronto the lead.

The next ball hit to Valbuena he also booted, and the few fans left in Cleveland let him have it.

Poor guy.

If any of you know him, tell him it will be alright.

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Rest in Peace, Ernie Harwell

There are fewer and fewer great baseball announcers from the great golden age of radio and early television left… and yesterday we lost one of the greatest, Ernie Harwell.

When MLB.com started a subscription program where you can listen to any ballgame’s radio broadcast live in the early 2000s, I got it and would listen in to the other announcers. Around that time, when I saw the Tigers were playing an interesting game, I would listen to Ernie’s broadcast.

He was a pro. He didn’t try to create a persona or catch phrases. He called the game with dignity, humor and with a rhythm all his own. I was happy that I could hear him live calling the details of the game instead of simply the highlights.

And remember, this was to my knowledge the only announcer who was traded for a player. Branch Rickey (who knew a thing or two about long term thinking) dealt catcher Cliff Dapper to the Atlanta minor league team in exchange for Harwell’s contract.

Dapper never played again in the bigs.

And lest we forget Bo Schembechler let Ernie go inexplicably in the early 1990s during Schembechler’s disastrous turn at running the Tigers.

It’s one thing to put a crappy product on the field, but Bo made it SOUND worse without Harwell in the booth!

When Mike Ilitch took over the team, the first thing he did was bring Harwell back. (Oh yeah, Mike Ilitch also made sure the Red Wings remained champs and the Tigers made it back to the World Series.)

So rest in peace whereever you are Ernie.
And for the rest of us on Earth, let’s remember Ernie for what he was… one of the best voices in the game.

Click HERE to hear him call the 1984 AL East title for the Tigers.

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