Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
2003-04-13 11:13
by Alex Belth


Since I'm up here in Vermont this weekend, I haven't been able to watch the Mets play the Expos in P.R. I did catch the highlights on ESPN last night and saw Vlad Guerrero uncork a couple of hilarious throws from right field, but the Mets looked awful, and it doesn't look like I've missed much. Mike Piazza doesn't have a homer or an RBI to his name yet this season, and Cliff Floyd left the game with an ankle injury.

In a game where Timo Perez and Rey Sanchez were also hurt, about the only good news for the Mets is that Roberto Alomar scored run No. 1,417 of his career, passing Roberto Clemente for the most by a Puerto Rican-born player in the majors.

I called my cousin Gabe in New York this morning and he told me that he's going to have to take some time away from the Mets. That seems to be happening earlier and earlier each year. Yeeesh.

I was able to watch the Red Sox home opener against the Orioles. Pedro Martinez didn't have command of either his fastball or his change-up, and he sufffered the worst outing of his career. In a bizzare turn of events, Mike Cubbage, Boston's third base coach collapsed on the field in a diabetic seizure. While the new seating above the Green Monster looked great, there was not much to cheer about in Red Sox Nation last night.

According to Bob Hohler in The Boston Globe:

The stunned crowd hardly had processed the unfathomable - Martinez leaving to a cascade of boos after surrendering a career-high 10 runs over 4 1/3 innings - before third base coach Mike Cubbage collapsed in a diabetic seizure near the coach's box. Cubbage, who had absorbed too much insulin, was taken from the field on a stretcher and treated intravenously with sugar before he was transported to the emergency room at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, awake and alert. He was held overnight for observation.

Not long before Cubbage was wheeled off the field, plate umpire Jerry Layne left the park on a stretcher after he took a pitch off his mask in the fourth inning.

Hard to imagine that Pedro getting jeered at home, but Boston, like New York, operates on the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately principal of sportsmanship.

Dan Shaughnessy, always ready to stir shit up, reports that Martinez wasn't fazed by his reception:

''No, it doesn't surprise me,'' [Martinez] said calmly. ''I'm in Boston now and I know how people are. The first thing I heard when I got to the dugout was how much I got extended to [$17.5 million for 2004]. That's not anything new. I heard that in '98 when I was here for the first time . . . I just wanted to take a really close look at the person who said that and keep that in my mind.''

...''I deserved boos,'' he said. ''I have to take it as a bad game. I didn't do my job. I never felt in a groove the whole game . . . Physically, everything felt good . . . All the things that happened. It was just a weird day. Only here at Fenway.''

Pedro gettin rocked in the home opener is about as likely as Greg Maddux getting torched in his first three starts, or Randy Johnson and Curt Shilling being held without a win after their first three starts as well, the Royals jumping out to a 9-0 start (somewhere in Kansas City, Buck O'Neil is smiling).

Mike Piazza hit the nail on the head when he said:

"You've just got to suck it up," a despondent Piazza said. "It's just an unforgiving game."

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