The latest incident, one actually described by David Justice of the YES network as being somehow indicative of the general breakdown of society...I love the subtext there: "this crap is brought to you by a man who beat his wife". (Hey, like my block quotes? Damn I'm good.) One last thing about the Incident: I'm sick of hearing about Sheff's restraint. Sure he didn't jump into the stands and go haywire like we all feared, but since when is not doing that the standard for restraint? He swung at the fan. Before throwing the ball to the infield. Calling that "restrained", just because the Sheffield we all know normally would have gone berserk, reminds me of when everyone in 2000 called Bush the winner of the debates with Gore. He actually lost all three -- but since Gore didn't wipe the floor with Bush's ass like everyone expected, Bush was declared the winner. Similarly, with Sheffield we're playing the low expectations game, so he comes off better than he should. And no one's discussed this: on that play David Ortiz scored from first. If Sheff had thrown the relay prior to swinging at the fan (or had he simply not waited for the ball to roll in his glove, which would've avoided the whole incident entirely), think there's a chance Ortiz would've had to hold at third?
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the New York media, George Vecsey actually puts the words "Pedro" and "utter professionalism" in the same sentence. Yeah George, just wait until the win streak is over, and a couple obnoxious Mets fans start complaining on talk radio. Anyway, the article is about how Minaya thought that Pedro would be a good influence on other Latinos on the team, and he was clearly proven right yesterday since the game was won when a guy from Puerto Rico batted in a guy from Santo Domingo. I don't even know where to begin with this. First, it was one game. Secondly, and more importantly, talk about a patronizing viewpoint! I'm not sure if Minaya really had this theory about the Pedro Factor, but whoever came up with it (Minaya or Vecsey) apparently doesn't think Latino players are capable of playing well based on their own motivation? Please.
The big story here is the reason I've always assumed the Mets overpayed for Pedro -- it was a good business decision. Get the Mets a new superstar; a Latino would probably help increase the fanbase; and a Dominican would increase the percentage of baseball fans in NYC who root for the Mets (up until this year, Dominicans had their allegiances split between the Yanks -- because they were in the Bronx -- and the Red Sox -- with Pedro, Manny, and Ortiz). And this plan might actually be working: yesterday's game at Shea -- against the Florida Marlins -- was sold out.