Friday, July 13, 2012

Well... So much for that/Tough road for 2nd half

Well…. So much for that.
By FOX Sports Radio 1230

Since the official announcement of NL position player starters on July 1st, New York area sports fans have been irate over the surprise overtaking of David Wright in the All-Star voting.

You may remember last week that we were crying for David Wright to start, lining his credentials over that of Pablo Sandoval of the San Francisco Giants.

Boy, were we ever wrong.

The public, mostly that of San Francisco Giants fans, spoke “wright” in getting their third baseman in over David Wright with his triple that unloaded the bases.  David Wright, however, came up empty with a fielder’s choice and then a strikeout.

It wasn’t the best argument from the Mets third baseman.  But he needs to put that past him because there’s a lot of baseball still to be played, and believe it or not, the Mets are still in the thick of a playoff chase that is even thicker this year thanks to the additional wild card spot.  However, it's a long and winding road for the Mets ahead if they are to get into position to win the Wild Card.

Tough road to start the 2nd half:

Well, the Mets are going to be put to the test fast with four straight series that could define the path of the team in the 2nd half.  First up for the Mets are the Atlanta Braves down at Turner Field.  The Braves are currently holding one of the two wild card spots, a half game up over the Mets.

After that comes a grueling 20 game stretch without a break in which the Mets will play three in Washington against the Nations, three at Citi Field against the Los Angeles Dodgers, who will surely have more firepower than they exhibited at Dodger Stadium with two guys back from the DL, then three more against the Washington Nationals before taking their show out on the west coast for 11 games. 

That’s 26 games that will shape the Mets and will tell us whether or not they are truly contenders for the Wild Card or even the NL East title. 

Let’s just hope the series against Philadelphia and Chicago were not an indication of how things may go.

Next Friday: FOX Sports Radio 1230 welcomes in the longest running thoroughbred meet in the country with a preview of the 2012 Saratoga Race Course meet.

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Wright Stuff: Why Wright lost the "wright" to start All-Star Game

By FOX Sports Radio 1230's Blogger Staff

If only last night's game happened last week.

If only that game took place in front of 42,000 fans last week at Citi Field instead of the Mets being out west in Los Angeles, we could be talking about David Wright starting instead of Pablo Sandoval at 3B in Kansas City on Tuesday.

Thursday night's clutch base hit with 2 outs in the 9th inning was a big reason why David Wright has become one of the talks of New York.  And he deserves it, with his power to get not only the hit when you need one desperately, but also an inning-ending bare-handed grab to throw a baserunner out at 1st. 

So why didn't Wright win the "wright" to start at 3B?  Before we talk about the reasoning, let's talk about Pablo Sandoval. 

Now, don't get me wrong, Pablo Sandoval has become a solid player for the San Francisco Giants, and I'm sure we're going to hear his name more when the Mets visit the Giants at the end of this month.  In the first series between these two teams, he drove in 4 runs in the 4 game series at Citi Field.  But his .315 batting average and 28 RBIs in 48 games pale in comparison to Wright's .354 average and 59 RBIs in 79 games.  And that includes having to deal with a fractured finger that could have rendered Wright unplayable. 

So how did this happen?

Well, let's start by talking about where the two teams were heading into the final week of voting.  Wright and the Mets were heading west, with stops in Chicago and Los Angeles.  Then there's San Francisco, home and hosting inter-divisional rival Los Angeles before hosting Cincinnati.  Being home is easier to rile up the troops and get them to vote.  Playing against rivals who can pack a stadium doesn't hurt, either.

Couple that with a couple dismal performances by the Mets as a team against the league's worst versus a San Francisco team that went on to not only sweep Los Angeles, they shut them out completely.  Sandoval's 3-for-3 with 3RBI's in the opening game of the series helped.

But the biggest blame could simply be: New York sports fans thought they had already won.  At the last tally before votes were to close, Wright had a decent lead, so there was no reason to believe that he would lose out.  So perhaps some otherwise voters laid off the button and San Francisco voters, knowing that they needed a big effort to get Sandoval in, went en masse. 

They succeeded.  New York fans instead lost.  It's not like Wright won't get to play in the All-Star Game in Kansas City, but with the tremendous play he has offered the Mets all season, helping to propel the Mets to many wins, he deserved to be a starter.  Great play needs to be rewarded, and this time, the fans who vote failed to reward Wright.

And maybe next year New York Mets fans will take this lesson into account when voting for who will start at Citi Field.  If not, we may have to relive more sports blogs such as this.