The 1962 New York Mets lost 120 games and finished 60 1/2 games out of first, a result which could not have been worse if Lucy Van Pelt had played in their outfield. But the current Mets have accomplished something that their '62 brothers never did: They have made 10 errors in their past two games. Combined with spotty hitting, a schizophrenic bullpen and a resurgent Phillies' squad breathing down their necks, Mets' fans are beside themselves. We can only imagine what Tanner Boyle would say.
To paraphrase Big Daddy Drew, the Mets make more errors than Mr. Bean, only without the rubber-faced charm. Wasn't it just yesterday that Willie Randolph was handing out FTD bouquets to all his players, and dreamily scribbling prospective post-season pitching rotations in the pages of his school binder? Didn't New York have like a 10-game lead in the East? Did I dream that? Now it's 2 1/2 over second-place Philadelphia following a 12-4 loss to the Nationals on Monday, in which NY made four errors (they had six on Sunday). The Phillies followed a sweep at New York by beating the Cardinals 13-11 on Monday (after almost blowing an 11-0 lead, which is always educational for the kids). "The Mets are human, too," said Nationals manager Manny Acta, who was New York's third base coach in 2005 and 2006. Hmmm. Do you suppose Acta stole the Mets' signals?
• Ladies And Gentlemen, Boys And Girls, Dyin' Time's Here. What kind of a world would result if the Yankees make the playoffs and the Mets don't? Most likely a world where there is no electricity, gasoline is as precious as gold and Tina Turner is in charge. (Or, you know, it's 2005.) On Monday it was Hideki Matsui's go-ahead homer that propelled New York over Baltimore 8-5, the Yankees moving to within 3 1/2 of the Red Sox in the AL East. New York is also 3 1/2 ahead of Detroit in the wild-card race. There's 12 games remaining. You know the law. Two teams enter, one team leave.
• OK, This Can't Be Good. With the Yankees coming up fast in the rear-view mirror and the entire city of Boston on the edge of panic, the Red Sox are responding in the only way they know how ... by dressing as the cast from The Wizard of Oz. Brandon Moss was attired as Dorothy for the team's flight to Toronto on Sunday night, and Daisuke Matsuzaka was, of course, a Telletubby (not the purple one!). It was all part of some rookie hazing thing, and it went so well that the Red Sox lost to the Blue Jays 6-1. Frank Thomas, dressed as a bad-ass, hit three homers to reach 512 total, tying him with Ernie Banks and Eddie Mathews for 18th on the career list.
• That's Yaz. It's the 40th anniversary of the last time a guy won baseball's triple crown (as if you've forgotten). Former Red Sock Carl Yastrzemski, in addition to being the favorite player of Denis Leary's dad in Rescue Me, is also noted for having smoked about three packs a day while he was in the majors. So maybe if you jerks would put down the HGH and pick up a pack of Marlboros someone might win the triple crown again. Just a thought. Currently, Alex Rodriguez leads the AL in homers and RBI, but has no chance to win the batting crown.
• One Town, That Won't Let You Down. Mark DeRosa's policy is pretty much the same as mine. Every time a team places five men in the infield against me, I send one right up the middle ... that'll teach 'em. DeRosa had five straight hits on Monday, his fifth scoring pinch-runner Sam Fuld from third in the ninth to give the Cubs a 6-5 win over the Reds. Milwaukee beat Houston 6-0, so Chicago is still one game ahead of the Brewers in the Central. Fun fact: DeRosa is 10-for-10 against the Reds in their past two meetings.