That’d be the view from the cheap seats tonight at Shea. Looks like that’s the top of the first inning, with Juan Pierre on second and Jeff Kent hitting with one out. You can see the new CitiField rising out beyond centerfield, but this picture really doesn’t do it justice – you can’t imagine how massive this thing looks. As soon as I got off the subway I saw the Ebbets Field-inspired rotunda behind homeplate, and for a split second you nearly forget who the home team was tonight. This thing is going to be the park the Dodgers should have had. Burn in hell, Robert Moses!
I wish I’d thought to have taken a picture of this, but one highlight was the definitely the guy I saw wearing a home-made Kershaw “jersey”, by which I mean “white T-shirt with Dodgers logo and Kershaw written on it”. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that after only one start his masterpiece was out of date – he had 54 on it, not knowing that Kershaw has since switched to #22. Speaking of which, Kershaw’s number change was the subject of this LA Times story, which provides us with this awesome quote from #22′s former owner, Mark Sweeney:
Sweeney said he had no problem offering Kershaw his number, noting that Kershaw is “going to be in this uniform for a long, long time. It’s something important to do from an organizational standpoint.”
Here’s how that quote should have read:
Sweeney said he had no problem offering Kershaw his number, noting that Kershaw is “going to be in this organization for a long, long time, while I will almost certainly be DFA’d within the week, as soon as Andy LaRoche is recalled, so maybe I shouldn’t be getting too comfortable with any numbers. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go ground out weakly to second to lower my batting average to an almost unfathomable .093 while MSTI boos me lustily, confusing every Mets fan around him.”
That said, I can only imagine how awkward this must be for Sweeney. By all accounts he’s a really good person and teammate (let me add the obvious, that I’m only on him because of his amazingly terrible on-field performance, and nothing more), but he has to know his time is short, right? When you’ve got LaRoche hitting in Vegas and getting experience at new positions and you have one hit in May (this is true), you’ve got to know that you’re not going to be around to see whatever this team is going to accomplish this year. Not an enviable position, to be sure.
As for Clayton Kershaw… not exactly what I was hoping for. There were flashes of dominance, especially striking out David Wright in the first inning. But between walking the bases loaded in the 3rd inning and giving up three hits and a walk in the 4th, it’s pretty clear he’s not going to just show up and be Cy Young right away. Though I was obviously excited to have the chance to see him live so early in his career, I’m still not exactly sure why he was called up – especially when Chan Ho Park (has yet to allow more than 2 earned runs in any of his 16 appearances) and Hong-Chih Kuo (2 runs allowed and 22 strikeouts in his last 18 innings) have been so effective, not to mention that Jason Schmidt only gets one or two more rehab starts before returning.
And hey – how about Russell Martin and Blake DeWitt? I’ve spent enough time discussing the struggles of Kent and Sweeney lately, so I’ve got to point out how great these two were tonight. Martin with a 4-4, including a double and a triple? The fact that he’s only 4th in the All-Star voting is a crime, people (hmm.. sounds like our next cause?) Plus DeWitt.. what more can you say about this kid? I have to admit I was pretty floored when I saw on the Shea Stadium board that he was hitting .382 against lefties – before he knocked an RBI single against Pedro Feliciano. I’m not sure what’s more amazing – the fact that he got off to such a good start when no one gave him have a shot; or the fact that he’s largely kept it up.