The Week That Was: Blame It On The Rhame

     Last week started as well as you can ask for the New York Mets as they won the first two games of their three-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies. The Mets were enjoying a rare laugher in the second game as they were winning 9-0. Manager Mickey Callaway figured that this was as good an opportunity as any to bring in reliever Jacob Rhame, who is one of a number of Mets pitchers who shuttles between the parent team and their AAA affiliate, the Syracuse Mets.

     Jacob Rhame possesses a blazing fastball. Unfortunately he also has yet to show any control of it. In a lot of ways he reminds one of Charlie Sheen’s Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn character from those “Major League” movies. He even wears the requisite glasses.

     Rhame quickly got two outs in the ninth inning when Phillies slugger Rhys Hoskins stepped to the plate. Instead of keeping the ball down on him Rhame threw a couple of high hard ones that intentionally or not buzzed around his scalp. Mets announces were not reticent in criticizing him for waking the Phillies up before the series had concluded.

     Their sense of foreboding proved to be correct as the Phillies came to play th next night as they beat the listless Mets 6-0. Adding insult to injury was the fact that Rhys Hoskins hit a two-run home run took his sweet time rounding the bases. Even the most ardent Mets fans couldn’t take issue with him over that.

      If the season goes south for the Mets this will be considered a major turning point. Rhame received a two-game suspension from Major League Baseball and he quickly filed an appeal. Some waggish Mets fans on social media were imploring MLB officials to make it longer.

     Mets manager wanted Jacob deGrom to start in the worst way on Friday night against the Milwaukee Brewers and that’s exactly what he got as the 2019 Cy Young award winner surrendered five runs in four innings.

       To his credit, deGrom did not blame the nearly three-hour rain delay for his troubles but rather his inability to execute pitches. Still you have to wonder why Callaway was so hellbent on pitching deGrom on a cold and wet night when he was coming off the injured list after resting a sore elbow.

     Seth Lugo, who has excelled in the past as a starter, told me before the game that he never turns down a starting opportunity even on short notice and was willing to do so again on Friday night had the Mets manager asked him.

     On a happier note, former Mets first baseman Ed Kranepool, whose kidney issues have been well-documented over the last two years, has found a compatible donor for a kidney transplant that will take place in Stony Brook on May 7.

      Ed Kranepool was an integral member of the 1969 Miracle Mets. Veteran New York sportswriter Wayne Coffey has written a book commemorating the 50th anniversary of that remarkable season for the Amazin’ Mets aptly titled “They Said That It Couldn’t Be Done” (Crown Archetype).

     Coffey recollects practically every single detail involving the Mets’ dramatic series with their then chief National League East division rivals, the Chicago Cubs, as well as the often-overlooked National League Championship Series with the Atlanta Braves, and of course the World Series against the Baltimore Orioles. He also recalls the down moments of that magical season such as when the Houston Astros swept the Mets in a doubleheader at Shea Stadium as they scored 10 runs in one inning in the first game and 11 runs in one inning in the second.

     1969 is a year that stands out in history for reasons other than baseball of course and Coffey nicely weaves the Woodstock Festival, the first lunar landing, and New York City mayor John V. Lindsay’s tempestuous re-election campaign into his narrative.

     Former Mets infielder Todd Zeile is doing a solid job subbing for Ron Darling, who is recovering from abdominal surgery, on Mets telecasts. His voice may not be as mellifluous as Darling’s but his game analysis is spot-on. He also showed a great sense of humor Friday night talking about his peripatetic playing career which included stops with eleven different teams.

    It is obviously too soon to know whether New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman made the right call in drafting Duke University quarterback Daniel Jones with the sixth pick in last week’s NFL Draft.

     You can’t blame Giants fans got being skeptical of Gettleman’s choice however. There wasn’t the advance buzz for Jones that Ohio State QB and New Jersey native Dwayne Haskins received. There was also a feeling amongst Big Blue faithful that Daniel Jones would be available at the 17th pick in the draft which the Giants also held. They were feeling the way Jets fans did in 1983 when they chose Ken O’Brien over Dan Marino.

      Daniel Jones does look like he came out of central casting as far as looking the part of an NFL quarterback. As a senior at Duke it is safe to say that he has the requisite smarts as well.

      The Giants’ decision to select Jones over Haskins did not sit well with former NFL wide receiver and current FS1 “First Things First” co-anchor Cris Carter who thought that racism influenced Dave Gettleman’s decision.

      While I can understand Carter’s anger my guess is that skin color had no influence. John Mara, the Giants’ owner has long been progressive CEO and I have never heard anyone accuse Gettleman of being prejudiced.

      Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan played it according to Hoyle as he drafted defensive tackle Quennin Williams from the University of Alabama. Jets fans have to hope that he is not a bust like past first-round Jets defensive end choices as Quinton Coples and Vernon Gholston were

      The CBS Sports Network has just obtained the broadcast rights for WNBA games. ESPN has long held the national television rights for the women’s pro basketball league. This represents the first professional team sports league for which the CBS Sports Network has gotten exclusive rights.

     New York City Football Club head coach Domenec Torrent bears a striking resemblance to actor Jonathan Goldsmith who is best known for his role as “the world’s most interesting man” in those classic Dox Equis ads. I don’t often watch soccer but when I do hardly any goals are scored. That was the case last Wednesday night when NYCFC, thanks to the goaltending of Sean Johnson, defeated the Chicago Fire 1-0.

     The New York Beer Festival will take place this Saturday at Citi Field with both afternoon and evening sessions. There will be entertainment throughout the ballpark as well as unlimited beer tastings. Food is not included in the ticket price but will be available for purchase.

     At last week’s TTPM, the toy industry’s semi-annual media showcase, Arcade 1 Up was promoting its home models of classic ‘80s video games that a lot of us spent a lot of quarters on back in the day. You can purchase such classics as Mortal Kombat, Golden Tee, Space Invaders, and Pac-Man. They retail for under $400 each. The good news is that you no longer need your quarters to play.

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