Monday, April 16, 2007

Virginia Tech Shootings

The world was shocked today when they heard about the dreadful shootings at Virginia Tech University. I believe that the most recent death toll was somwhere in the high 30's, with almost twenty more wounded- some in critical condition as we speak. As much as I'd like to put in my thoughts, I won't for two reasons: one, you've probably heard them all already; and two, I try to keep this blog on the Mets as much as possible.

Having said that, the tragedy has a interesting tie-in to Mets third baseman David Wright, who is from Virginia. The following note was taken from a baseball blog at Ben Shpigel writes:

"David Wright... flipped on the television and saw a breaking news update about a gunman who went on a killing spree at Virginia Tech - where his brother Stephen is a 21-year-old senior.
Wright repeatedly tried to call Stephen on his cellphone, but the lines were tied up. He did not know whether Stephen was all right until another brother, Matthew, a freshman at James Madison, called him. Wright finally spoke to Stephen around 2 this afternoon.
Wright said he wasn’t sure where his brother was at the time of the shootings, but that Stephen lives off campus and is an engineering major. He probably had classes at Norris Hall, a science and engineering classroom where several of the killings took place."

Wow. It sure hits home, and shows that there are many things that are so much more important than a baseball game. For David Wright's sake, I'm glad tonight's game was rained out.

As for the families of all those who were killed or severely wounded, my prayers go out to them and I pray that God will comfort them during this time.

All M-E-T-S

In this blog, I will be posting as often as possible about just one thing: my New York Mets. As the season continues, I will try to post my thoughts, opinions, complaints, and hopes about the Mets 2007 baseball season.

The Mets are off to a respectable 7-4 start to the season, and (although this means nothing in April) are a half-game behind the Braves in the NL East standings. Jose Reyes, David Wright, Moises Alou, and Shawn Green are playing great, Carlos Beltran and Paul Lo Duca are decent, while Carlos Delgado and Jose Valentin are off to slow starts. The starting rotation, probably the biggest concern coming into this season, has been unbelievable at times (see first four starts), horrible at times (exhibit A being Oliver Perez a few days ago- seven walks in 2 1/3 innings), and other times exactly what we thought they would be- just plain mediocre. The bullpen is better than I expected they would be - with Aaron Heilman solid in all but one game, Pedro Feliciano about what I expected (as in good), Billy Wagner his usual, dependable self, and Joe Smith-the rookie from Wright State of all places- suprisingly consistent.

The lack of power is an interesting situation. The Yankees' Alex Rodriguez in fact has more home runs (7) than the entire Mets team (5) for this season. The combined home run total of the Mets power spot in the middle of the order (Beltran, Delgado, Wright, and Alou) is just two- both by Beltran on April 4th in St. Louis. It must be noted, though, that the Mets have a 7-4 record, with two of their home runs coming in losses, while the Yankees are 4-5 and have placed three of their five starters on the DL. While the Mets are where they need to be despite the absence four-baggers, A-Rod's bombs aren't doing the Yankees a whole lot to get their rotation back. I'm not concerned about the lack of power for two reasons:

1. Because the Mets don't really need it to win ballgames- they just need timely hitting. If Delgado hits a walk-off home run: great. If Delgado places a sacrifice bunt that puts the eventual winning run on third- that is just as valuable.

2. Because it won't last long. You can't keep Carlos Beltran, Carlos Beltran, David Wright, and Moises Alou (a combined 127 homers among them last year) on the ground forever. They will start hitting home runs eventually. Hopefully for the Mets, they will all blast a ton of round-trippers in June- a month that contains one of the toughest stretches of games in franchise history.

This blog is called what it is for one major reason: it describes my life as a Mets fan. Whether the Mets have been good (as in the last two years) or really bad (as in the four years before that), I have still followed them and cheered them on- although I admit that the Mets cap was mysteriously hard to find in 2002-2004 when the Mets were fifty games below .500. This will stay true for this year. No matter how well the Mets do, I will still follow, and still cheer- even if I don't post about it afterwards.