Willie's World

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Big Win Last Night

Hey Mets fans, Willie here. Had to sleep in today after that marathon game last night and the ensuing celebration. I know we all can agree that last night was a huge win, and with huge wins come huge celebrations. I believe I established the reasons behind this logic after our big series with the Pirates earlier this month.

Anyway, to the game. Many of you are probably wondering why I burned my best bench player so early. It was after all only the fifth inning when I sent Jose Valentin up. Well listen, my intention was to have him stay in to pitch. I know I’ve said before that he would pitch and never followed through, but I finally beat Rick Peterson at rock, paper, scissors yesterday, and as a result got to choose who came out of the bullpen for the rest of the game. But then Omar told me we still don’t have a starter for Thursday, and then I knew right away I should save Jose.

Let me discuss one other interesting incident from that same inning. I think you know what I’m talking about: the look at me I’m Paul LoDuca and don’t make easy tags at the plate play. As the manager, it’s my job to stand up for my players. That being said, I’ll admit it. It wasn’t Paul’s fault – it was mine. Endy made a hell of a throw, and the ball clearly beat the runner. So why didn’t Paul make the tag? I distracted him. How? Just as the ball was coming in, I yelled: “Look out! Butterfly!!” That may not make any sense at first, but it turns out Paul has lepidophobia – otherwise known as fear of butterflies. You see, before the game I was chatting with Pedro in the clubhouse about his garden, and he was telling me about this gorgeous Monarch he had seen the other day. Then for no apparent reason, Paul, who was clearly eavesdropping, tells me his back isn’t going to let him play. Only later in my office does he explain that the thought of butterflies bothers him so much that he can’t focus whenever people mention them. Still, I calmed him down enough and he was in the starting lineup.

So maybe it wasn’t a wise decision to yell butterfly as Pat Burrell was barreling down the line. I don’t care. I like to have fun sometimes, and I know there’s a time and place for it. I can’t help it if it that moment called for it. For all you who think I’m a mean guy, don’t worry, he got me back. Very next batter, Paul calls the forbidden homerball. I explicitly told him time and time again that LimaTime has exclusive rights to that pitch, and it’s not acceptable to call it during non-LimaTime.

One last thing from last night. Let me tell you how much I hate rules - the ground rule double in particular. How many times have we seen one of our players hit a ball in the gap that should be a triple bounce over the wall? Last night it happened again, when our top speed guy, Julio Franco, hit a ball that bounced over the right field wall. Manny Acta had already held him up at third, but noooo, send him back to second. Stupid rulebook.

Okay, there’s apparently a game soon. I was under the impression that last night’s game counted double since it was so long and we would have today off, but Jerry Manuel just told me we had to play a full 18 innings for that to happen. Time to go out and ride some momentum!

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