David Raposa: Dear Mr. Met Fan: Please explain to me the awkward elbows and knees singularity that is second baseman Daniel Murphy.
David Roth: It's hard to put into words, although I guess it's easier if you've seen the DirecTV commercial in which a kind of nasty-seeming guy has married and procreated with a marionette. Daniel Murphy is like if the child from that ad—the one that's hilariously and not at all upsettingly snatched up and spun around by a ceiling fan, to show how lame digital cable is—developed the ability to hit doubles, but was worse at defense.
David Raposa: A few weeks ago, I was watching a Diamondback pitch BP to the Mets. Murphy was on second in the middle of a one-out rally, acting like he was seriously going to try and steal third, which would’ve succinctly Metted that rally.
David Roth: I know the Mets won this game, but I still don't want to hear the end of this.
David Raposa: Suddenly, out-maker Curtis Granderson squeaks a grounder between a double-play-defense-created hole into shallow left-center, and Murphy rounds third base and starts rambling home. I say “rambling,” because the dude’s running at about 3/4ths speed, maybe. (This is a brief note, especially in light of what’s about to happen, of the shitstorm this “lack of hustle” might've created had Murphy's complexion been different.)
David Raposa: Because not only is Murphy kinda sorta half-assing it toward the plate, but he actually, about a third the way down the baseline, turns his head and looks back to see where the ball is.
David Roth: I don't want to hear the end of this, I don't want to hear the end of this.
David Raposa: Upon looking back, Our Man Murphy sees noted defensive specialist Mark Trumbo scooping up the ball and preparing to uncork a stone-skipping jart towards home plate, so of course an “OH SHIT” look descends over his face and he starts scampering down the baseline. Thankfully for Murphy, the Diamondbacks are playing a DH in the outfield and Trumbo threw his worm-killer about ten feet in front of the plate, so the run scored without incident.
David Roth: I am not exaggerating at all when I say that this is one of the greatest stories I've ever heard. I am also not joking when I say that I could see it being optioned by Terrence Malick and turned into a whispery 160-minute masterpiece.
David Roth: Lot of sunlit footage of Murphy wandering through a soybean field. "My beloved, where are you. What is in this outfield beyond? Is nature awesome and people are stupid?"
David Raposa: If ever there’d be a time for Terry (no Collins) to restage the Sheen/Spacek “Love Is Strange” Badlands dance, it’d be with Daniel Murphy and Lucas Duda. And also Jena Malone and Alex Pettyfer, but Malick would drop those two from the final cut, of course.
David Raposa: Postscript: a week or so later, I saw Murphy do it again! Are his teammates and coaches that untrustworthy? Or is Daniel Murphy some kind of preternaturally gifted space cadet? Or am I just making a big deal out of nothing because the first month of the season’s done nothing for me?
David Raposa: With the exception of Kyle Farnsworth looking like R. Lee Ermey's Full Metal Jacket stand-in in when the Mets wore those camo jerseys, that is. That was good.
David Roth: Interesting story with that: the Mets weren't supposed to wear camo that day. Farnsworth just showed up wearing that and glowered at Jeff Wilpon until he had the other jerseys made up. "Also my pants need to be tighter. Much tighter. I shouldn't have to mention this to you all."
David Raposa: Gomer Pyle gonna Gomer Pyle.
David Roth: I told you that I once met a guy who was bullied by Farnsworth in high school?
David Raposa: By any chance was the poor sap's name David Roth?
David Roth: Blessedly, no. I have only ever been bullied by Mets through my television. I never learned dude's name. He was a friend of a friend in Boston, some hardcore scene elder. Everyone just called him Neighbor.
David Raposa: Farnsworth bullied a HC guy? Ian McKaye would not approve.
David Roth: If this gets out, we're going to stop seeing the members of Madball at Mets games. Which is actually probably good, just from a public safety perspective.
David Raposa: You know about the emo guy that sang at a Mets game?
David Roth: I don't. Are you talking about Josh Satin? Because I thought he was more of an industrial dude. Just going by the fact that he uses Vatican Shadow as his walk-up music.
David Raposa: Niewenhuis should use Einsturzende Neubauten as his. Because letters.
David Roth: /Changes fantasy team name to Einsturzende Niewenhuis, pretends it was my idea.
David Raposa: Still wish I had a better idea than "Lastings, My Milledge.” Though I've been meaning to take an image of sweater Milledge and turn it into an homage to the last LCD album cover by turning the image 90 degress & changing it to B&W #work
David Roth: But yeah, this first month has been slow going. I guess I enjoy the Brewers' scorched-earth troll campaign, but I can't say anything's really moved me much yet. With the exception of Billy Hamilton's Whac-A-Mole swing.
David Roth: That works for me. Just the friendliest swing. Like he was trying to pat the ball on the head. Maybe a little peevishly, but very gently.
David Raposa: Okay, I take back my complaint. I’ve seen uncoordinated pudgy second-graders take more confident swings.
David Roth: There was a kid I played Little League against who took worse swings than that. His name was John and he clearly hated being there. He played wearing black jeans and just dropped the bat from his shoulder to the plate on every pitch. I am not sure I'm remembering this properly, but I seem to recall him glowering at his cheering mother as he did so. I hope that he has a secure job in IT somewhere and is a well-respected moderator on /r/Lovecraft or something, because the alternative seems sort of grim. Anyway, that is the only swing that seems even close to me.
David Raposa: Praise be to Shub-Niggurath. Really, though: Why is Billy Hamilton not actually swinging at the ball?
David Roth: It's not clear what he's doing. It's like he's trying to play one of those carnival games with the mallet and the bell and the carny. Hamilton wants to win a stuffed elephant for Devin Mesoraco, who's been down in the dumps lately. The carnie's calling him "Muscle Man" and Hamilton is getting mad.
David Raposa: With an effort like that, it's doubtful Devin's going to let Billy get to second base at the top of the Ferris wheel. (Man, using a baseball metaphor when talking about baseball just doesn’t feel right.)
David Roth: Let's definitely change topics!
David Roth: And the ensuing conflagration. Even the brawl wasn't in midseason form. Like, you're supposed to kind of diffidently glower and push, and Martin Maldonado waded in there with murder in mind. Another chapter in the long struggle between Salty American Caucasio-jocks and everyone else playing baseball.
David Raposa: I’m sure Brian McCann saved that fight footage on his DVR, marked it Do Not Delete, copied it to his mobile device of preference, and had a very sweaty and somewhat erotic evening reviewing the footage.
David Roth: McCann texting Maldonado like, "I like your approach, but remember you have a constitutionally protected right to open-carry a handgun on the field. USE IT OR OBUNGLER'S ALREADY WON."
David Raposa: Has there been confirmation on the magic words/slurs Cole used to get Gomez worked up? I’d like to believe Cole was actually upset because HIS routine was fouled up: He probably had a whole "god DAMN it" post-HR routine planned, complete with some choice glove-yelling and maybe even a double-spike of the resin bag. And then he had to go back up the play at home instead.
David Roth: Yeah, that's the part that confounds me. If you say anything to the guy who just lollygagged his team out of a run, shouldn't you be making fun of him, instead of scornfully noting the height of his bat-flip?
David Raposa: “Hey, David Ortiz! Next time I tee one up for you, bust your skinny ass down the line! You should've had an inside-the-parker!"
David Roth: "You thought that was a homer but it turns out it was a D'OH! You see what I did there, Carlos? The Simpsons is the longest-running half-hour comedy program in television history "
David Raposa: Baseball shit-talking desperately needs more Wikipedia footnotes. And edits. "Your claim that Mike Trout is a 'Chuck Norris motherf*cker' requires citation."
David Roth: "The page for KYLE FARNSWORTH'S FAVORITE NOVELS is a stub."
David Raposa: "The page for BARRY BONDS' WORLD SERIES TROPHIES is a stub lulz SNOWDEN RULZ GREENWALD STOOLS"
David Raposa: And while we’re on the topic of dumb shit that happened weeks ago, how about the Cubs treating Sammy Sosa the way they’re been treating their fanbase?
David Roth: All because Sosa's Pinterest page is like a horrifying remake of Being John Malkovich with a marzipan version of an ex-slugger in the Malkovich role. SMH.
David Roth: Sosa versus Ricketts is a battle without a good guy, mostly. I'll go with Sosa, though, if only because as far as I know he has no plans to donate a ton of money to Mike Huckabee's Presidential campaign.
David Raposa: Yeah, between the millionaire and the billionaire, I'll go with the little guy.
David Roth: Typical that you'd side with the white guy. Or the weirdly newly whiter than expected guy, anyway.
David Raposa: So is it going to take a championship for the Cubs to forgive Sammy for his many transgressions? Which, as far as I remember, included taking PEDs that weren't technically illegal at the time? And, I dunno, pouting a bit because he was stuck on a shitty team run by a bunch of money-grubbing shitheads?
David Roth: Yeah, love them playing the wronged party, here. Cubs really working on erasing the "lovable" part of "lovable losers."
David Raposa: "Look, Sammy, if you wanted to win so bad, maybe you should’ve have stood idly by while your teammates and manager pissed away your chance at winning a World Series.”
David Roth: "All you ever did for us was hit a ton of homers and make what were otherwise lousy and poorly managed teams relevant and profitable. When you're ready to apologize for that, we're listening."
David Raposa: The nerve of some forgotten baseball icons.
David Roth: I know that baseball owners have not gotten worse. They have always sucked. But we've got some PEACHES in the bunch, now.
David Raposa: It's that Loria musk that keeps attracting them. That combo of caked-on deodorant T-shirt stains and Lagavulin.
David Roth: Rich leather and silent foie gras farts. The pheromones of our job-creating class.
David Raposa: Brylcreem and Cinemax-horny flop sweat.
David Roth: That New Golf Cart smell.
David Raposa: Have any other owners done egregiously stupid shit this season, or is it just the usual mix of meddling and mismanagement? Or do you have something against double chins?
David Roth: I just resent the Ricketts' more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger Aggrieved Plutocrat tone. But it's early yet, no owner has really messed up. I mean, the Marlins are playing well. Nothing makes sense yet.
David Raposa: Every AL East team is at or above .500! Let’s go Mets! If only to give Keith Hernandez something to be not-disappointed about!
David Roth: There are so many subtle gradations of exasperation in the Keith Experience. You get notes of tanin, mustache tonic, stone fruit, Cream's Disraeli Gears album. There's a lot going on there.
David Raposa: I feel like I’m at a wine tasting, except the wines are perpetually disappointed father figures with little-thing hangups.
David Roth: That's how you know it's baseball season, right there.