Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Mets vs. Michigan, and Proof there are good guys in baseball even in the steroid era

The Mets took on the Univesity of Michigan baseball team today in an exhibition game. In between classes, I was able to listen to innings 6, 7, and 8 via the online broadcast. I actually had to leave for an afternoon class right after Michigan took the lead on a deep 2-run homer. With the Mets having removed all their regulars (and even primary backups having left the game by that point), my hopes weren't high for a comeback. I returned from class to learn that Michel Abreu had hit a game-tying 2-run shot to center field with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th. This will likely be Michel Abreu's only appearance on this blog, so I'm officially declaring February 26, 2008 "Michel Abreu Day." The game ended in a tie, since the Mets ran out of pitchers scheduled to throw today. While I was furious at the declaration of a tie in the All-Star Game in Milwaukee a few years ago, I didn't mind this one. My favorite moment of the game, which I didn't get to hear because it was in the bottom of the 9th, had to be 3rd Base Coach Sandy Alomar Sr. apparently going ballistic over Abreu's shot originally being ruled a double. As I wrote a couple days ago, I'm looking for some real fire on the Mets this year. If that passion starts with Sandy Alomar Sr., so be it. Whoever it takes.

Second best moment of today was definitely David Wright homering on the first pitch he saw in the first inning. As Steve noted in an earlier post, I have what some would categorize as a man-crush on Wright. Heck, why not? The guy is a great player, with the proper attitude toward the game.

Also, my sympathy to Aaron Heilman. As a proud Notre Dame alum, it must have been particularly hard on Heilman having given up a run to the Wolverines today.

Tomorrow is the first official Spring Training game for the Mets, as they take on the Tigers at 1:05. I will be listening on MLB Audio. I haven't ordered MLB.tv yet, but probably will soon. Mike Pelfrey will start on the mound for the Mets.


This is just another item from baseball I wanted to note today. As part of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Roy Halladay today provided a 13-year old cancer survivor with a wonderful day. I always enjoy the Make-A-Wish Foundation segments when they're shown on ESPN and when I see stories about them online. Many people view Major Leaguers as a bunch of selfish [due to huge contracts] criminals [due to steroid and HGH use], but: A) I truly believe that performance-enhancing drug users are a minority in MLB, no matter what Jose Canseco and others say; and B) A lot of the players in MLB honestly enjoy giving back to their fans when they can. Doc Halladay has always struck me as a good guy when I've seen interviews with him and such, and I'm thrilled for young Sean Clayton for achieving his dream by meeting the Blue Jays' Cy Young-winning ace.

I know Sean Casey (now of the Red Sox) has consistently been voted the nicest player in MLB by the players. I wonder who all of you think of when you think of baseball players who are truly decent human beings? Tell me your thoughts on this in the comments.

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