Monday, May 26, 2014

Meet The Mess.....2014 New York Mets: Same Old Same Old

The three stooges

We're one third through the 2014 MLB season, but the 2014 New York Mets are already looking a lot like the 2013 Mets and the 2012 Mets and the 2011 Mets....(continue all the way back to 2008).

I have been a die hard Mets fan since I was a little kid and I will remain one through thick and thin. However, it is getting to the point that I am compeltely fed up at the inept way that the franchise is run. Either the Wilpons don't give a crap about their fans or they are just terrible baseball people. I actually think it's both. So, until the Wilpons and the Mets organization begin to show us fans that they want to put out a winning ball club, I will not spend one cent at Citi Field.

Prior to the start of the season, Mets' General Manager Sandy Alderson boldly predicted that the Mets would win 90 games this season. So far the club is 22-28. In order to win 90 games, the Mets will have to go 68-44. Anyone that can repeat Tug McGraw's old Mets mantra, You Gotta Believe, with a straight face has to be delusional. This team is lacking in many areas.

The season started off decent enough and the Mets came out of April five games over .500 with a 15-10 record. Since then the only bright spot was defeating the Yankees twice in a row at Yankee Stadium. Other than that almost every game goes a little something like this:

  1. Great starting pitching.
  2. Mets offense can't mount a challenge.
  3. Starter gets the loss
  1. Great starting pitching.
  2. Mets offense scratches out a few runs.
  3. Bulllpen comes in and blows the game.
  1. Bartolo Colon stinks up the joint putting the Mets in an early hole.
  2. Mets offense can't mount a challenge.
  3. Mets lose

Since those 2 impressive wins at Yankee Stadium, the Mets have gone 3-9, including 2 consecutive shutouts at Citi Field at the hand of the Yankees.

Even when something good happens for the Mets they can't reap the rewards. During the Yankees series, the Mets were in need of an extra arm and promoted Jacob deGrom from Las Vegas. The kid has been tremendous in each of his three starts and in 19.2 innings he has put up a 1.83 ERA. Based on that you would assume that the kid has a W to his name...but this being the Mets those tremendous starts have been wasted and deGrom is 0-2. It's ridiculous.

The Mets finally have a decent starting rotation but everything else is a mess.

  • The team batting average is .227 giving the Mets a MLB rank of 25 out of 30.
  • The Mets have hit 34 homes ranking them 27 out of 30.
  • The Mets bullpen has 8 blown saves which ties them four other clubs for third most.

Based on some of the comments from Mets fans on Twitter it's clear that I'm not the only one that is fed up.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

There's Only One Arsene Wenger

Arsenal's 2013-2014 campaign has finally come to an end and it's been a crazy nine month ride.  There were some amazing highs (beating Tottenham in all 3 meetings) and a number of major lows (embarrassing losses at Chelsea, Liverpool and Man City). In its entirety, however, it's been a successful and redeeming campaign which saw Arsenal:
  • Once again finish above Tottenham and celebrate St. Totteringham's Day.
  • Spend the most time atop the EPL table of all other clubs.
  • Qualify for the Champions League for the 17th straight season.
  • Win the FA Cup and put an end to the "it's been 9 years without a trophy" talk.

It's hard to believe that it was nine months ago that Arsenal lost their season opener at the Emirates to Aston Villa. The feeling that day was of impending doom and the vitriol began being thrown in the direction of Arsene Wenger. Thus the hashtag #WengerOut became a regular on Twitter as fans vented their rage at the manager every time something went wrong.

As someone who greatly admires Arsene Wenger, it was sad to see such a dignified and successful man be the subject of so much abuse. I will admit, there did come a time during the season, where I found myself wondering if the #WengerOut crowd were right. That is why the end of the campaign was extra special.

The players and fans had been craving a trophy for a long time. Perhaps some of us were spoiled as Arsenal were one of the dominant forces when I began following the club in the late 90's. It seemed as if every season Arsenal were winning the league or the FA Cup. After winning the 2005 FA Cup the drought began. That almost came to an end in 2011, but as all Arsenal fans know, the club's loss to Birmingham City in the League Cup only exacerbated the waiting.

As the years without a trophy went by it was Arsene Wenger that took a brunt of the criticism. He always acted with class and dignity and took the negativity without hitting back. Meanwhile oil rich owners came in and began pouring their fortunes in to Chelsea and Manchester City in order to "buy" EPL success. For that reason, the FA Cup is pure vindication for Arsene Wenger. That photo of him holding the cup might as well be captioned with a big FU.

When that egotistical and overrated jackass Jose Mourinho had the audacity to publicly criticize Arsene Wenger to the media, he dubbed Wenger a "specialist in failure"., I don't know how Wenger didn't go over & kick the guy in the nuts. Well, in a great example of what goes around, comes around, it is Wenger that ended the season with a trophy and Mourinho is the one that won nothing.

Of course now the silly season begins and the rumors will be flying of which players are Arsenal bound. The early talk sounds good as Wenger has been given the cash to bring in the necessary players to make the club stronger next season. Arsenal and Wenger have once again tasted success and hopefully they can strengthen and challenge for the title and more trophies next season.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Arsenal and Arsene Wenger Celebrate FA Cup Glory

Well, it finally happened and all the crap that Arsene Wenger and his club have been taking from opposing managers, fans and the media can finally be put to bed. Arsenal won the 2014 FA Cup trophy and outside of Man City, they were the only other EPL club to win a trophy this year. The Specialist in Failure, Jose Mourinho, won nothing, Manchester United fell apart and the 100 million pound spending Spurs were an absolute joke throughout the season and yet again finished below Arsenal.

Making it even sweeter was the disastrous start to the match where Arsenal found themselves down by 2 goals within the first eight minutes of the match. The haters were out on  Twitter and the knives were getting ready to dig in at Arsenal's misery. Those of us that truly believed in the club knew that they would come back from the adversity and defeat Hull and secure the FA Cup trophy. That they did!

Those laughing now are Arsenal fans as the haters have gone back in to hiding and the media have been forced to print stories about Arsenal's success and Arsene Wenger guiding his team to the FA Cup trophy. Here's a look at some of the headlines and stories making the rounds in honor of Arsenal's victory.

FA Cup winner Arsene Wenger pays tribute to Arsenal after they end nine-year trophy drought

Pictured: Arsenal players celebrate FA Cup win with raft of behind-the-scenes photos

Big match verdict: Arsenal FA Cup winners tamed tigerish Hull to keep Wenger's dignity intact

Arsenal 3-2 Hull City: Player ratings from Wembley - who was YOUR star man?

Arsenal 3-2 Hull (AET): Ramsey ends 3,283 days of hurt (that's nine years) with brilliant extra-time winner as Wenger's long wait for silverware ends amid stunning fightback from two goals down

Arsene Wenger got what he wanted in the end...but for too long he teetered on the brink of an awful finish to his Arsenal reign

FINALLY! After 3,283 days and 512 games, Arsenal claim a trophy with extra-time win...and Wenger confirms he will sign new deal

Arsene Wenger hails FA Cup victory as Arsenal's most important trophy

Cup Final: Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey denies Hull City with late winner

Arsenal 3-2 Hull City: how the FA Cup final players rated

Happy Wenger set to stay

FA Cup final: Aaron Ramsey seals dramatic FA Cup win for Arsenal

Wenger - Manner of win was so emotional

Rosicky - It was exhausting to watch

Arteta - Boss' team-talk helped swing

Per - I'd always thought we'd come back

Podolski - This win is something special

Wilshere - This trophy is for the fans

Arsenal celebrate FA Cup victory with parade through the streets of London

Arsene Wenger savours FA Cup win over Hull as Arsenal end drought

Arsenal fans finally have their moment in the sun as players show off FA Cup on streets of Islington

Ramsey's goal ends title drought as Arsenal take FA Cup

Arsenal win the FA Cup - Arsenal 3 Hull 2 match report: Aaron Ramsey wins classic final to end Arsenal's long drought

Jubilant Arsenal fans enjoy parade after FA Cup victory

FA Cup victory the first of many for improving Arsenal, says comeback king Aaron Ramsey

Pictures: Arsenal's victory parade after winning the FA Cup

FA Cup: Jack Wilshere dedicates Arsenal's Wembley win over Hull City to the fans

Arsenal FA Cup success is only a platform for Arsene Wenger

Arsenal celebrate their FA Cup win with a victory parade that attracts thousands of fans to the streets of North London

Lukas Podolski HID FA Cup during Arsenal's victory parade celebrations

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Trophy

May 17, 2014 Arsenal vs Hull 12PM EST FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium

This HAS to be the day that we can finally stop all that nine years without a trophy trash talking. For such a successful club, it is pretty amazing to think that the club has not won a trophy since Patrick Vieria scored the final penalty in May of 2005 to give Arsenal the FA Cup over Manchester United. I was in Dubrovnik that day and missed the end of the match as the local Croations changed the channel to watch a local match. I decided to not risk my life by changing the channel back and therefore haven't seen the club lift a trophy since 2004. Having seen Arsenal lose to clubs they should beat before, including Birmingham in the 2011 League Final, most Arsenal fans are cautiously optimistic. Hopefully we'll be celebrating soon and reminding Jose Mourinho who the real "specialist in failure" is.

This one started off like a replay of Arsenal's visit to Anfield in February. Everything that could have gone wrong went wrong right from the start. Within eight minutes Arsenal found themselves down by 2 goals. Despite a nauseating pit forming in my stomach I refused to give up hope as this was Arsenal's match to win.  I reminded myself of the confidence that I had in this team. Arsenal had a much more difficult path to this FA Cup Final and had easily defeated Hull in their two previous meetings during the campaign. 

What really had my stomach doing back flips was the fact that both Hull goals were total flukes and the results of fortuitous bounces. I started to hear all the haters and negative pundits in my head laughing and getting ready to start the "it's now been 10 years without a trophy" comments.

In the end, I knew in my heart that there was no way that Arsenal and especially Arsene Wenger would be denied this victory. The man has put up with so much crap from so many much less dignified than he and it would be a major injustice if he didn't get the results he and the club deserved. After being called "a specialist in failure" by the egotistical and disgraceful pompous asshole, Jose Mourinho, it was time for Wenger and Arsenal to make that Portuguese windbag experience karma and see who the real "specialist in failure" was.

Santi Cazorla restored Arsenal's confidence in the 17th minute with a superb free kick that sailed in to the back of the Hull goal from distance. The smug look on the Hull fans' faces was gone and a proper match was on.

Arsenal controlled the game from then on but still caused Arsenal fans to share a collective heart attack as they were unable to get that second goal. That was until the 71st minute when an Arsenal corner was eventually slotted home by Laurent Koscielny off of a deflected shot by Olivier Giroud.

Despite the increasing confidence that Arsenal would now seal the victory, the match went to extra time and nerves continued to fray.

In what looked like a brilliant move, Wenger brought on the fresh legs of Tomas Rosicky and Jack Wilshere in the 105th minute when it started to look as if another dreaded penalty shoot out was in the cards.  Four minutes later, Giroud back heeled a pass to Aaron Ramsey who cooly struck the ball in to the back of the net. 

Arsenal held on and the celebrations were soon on. Scenes of Arsenal lifting the cup and tossing a champagne drenched Arsene Wenger in the air were a just reward for Arsenal fans everywhere.

Sunday, May 18, 2014 Arsenal FA Cup Victory Parade

So after all the negativity and hate thrown at Arsene Wenger and Arsenal over the past 9 years, today is the day that the club and its fans get to celebrate winning the FA Cup trophy. It's only fitting that it's a beautiful, sunny day in North London as Gooners get ready to celebrate.

Here's to Arsenal's 2013-2014 season and getting back to winning trophy's.