Hot Stove Player of the Week: Gary Sheffield
The Mets were involved in four video replays this past week, and all of them went their way. There’s some speculation that the umps were really just checking the scores of the NBA playoff games, though.
They tried to stop the game on Wednesday to review whether the Nationals were an actual major league team to catch some Lakers-Nuggets highlights but thought the better of it. The Mets went 5-1 this week and snuck into first place, and they also helped the Yankees by beating the Red Sox twice over the weekend.
Even though the Yanks only went 3-3 (and couldn’t return the favor to the Mets by losing their series to the Phillies), they also slid up to a half game out of first this week. Both teams have been ravaged by injuries, and the Mets are contemplating activating Bud Harrelson, Willie Montanez and Don Hahn over the weekend.
Gary Sheffield: He may have been on the surly and selfish side his whole career, and admitted to using steroids, so it’s hard to root for someone like that, but in his time with the Mets he’s lovingly being called Pops, and has been a model teammate. At any rate, this past week, he batted .470, hit three home runs, drove in 11, scored seven runs and walked seven times.
Not bad for a guy who was looking like the end was near, and he’d be starting his post-baseball career as a judge on the upcoming reality show So You Think You Can Take More Steroids Than Barry Bonds. And he’s gone two whole months of the season without trying to renegotiate his contract, which is a new personal record.
Phil Hughes: This is the Phil Hughes the Yankees were hoping for. On Memorial Day, he threw eight shutout innings against Texas, striking out six while walking only one.
When he was done for the day, he wouldn’t shake Joe Girardi’s hand, not because he was mad at the skipper for pulling him from the game, but because he noticed the manager hadn’t washed his hands after a previous trip to the men’s room.
Livan Hernandez: The veteran innings eater threw the first complete game of the year for the Mets, scattering nine hits, striking out six and walking one on 127 pitches. And he probably could have pitched nine more innings when it was done.
Omir Santos: The catcher that came out of nowhere inserted himself into Mets lore with his game-winning homer with two outs in the ninth inning on Saturday in Boston. The best part of the hit: He was still hustling around the bases while celebrating at the same time, proving it’s never wrong to hustle.
Alex Rodriguez: First A-Rod disgraced Texas with his steroid taking and then he rubbed it in by going five for five against them. He raised his average from .171 to .258 this week, with two home runs and seven RBI’s.
Johan Santana: He put the Mets on his back and willed the team to victory on Friday against the Red Sox. And he stood up to the high-strung Kevin Youkilis along the way.
It’s about time a Met showed some toughness. He struggled against the Nationals on Wednesday but hung in there without letting things get out of control (six innings, three runs, 11 strikeouts, six walks, 120 pitches-that was half a game’s work for Nolan Ryan back in the day), but picked up his second win of the week, upping his record to 7-2. And the team is finally scoring runs when he’s on the mound, and they didn’t make any errors behind him in his last start.
Melky Cabrera: Another week, another walk-off hit for the Yanks’ outfielder. Hopefully he won’t miss much time with his shoulder injury.
Schmuck of the Week
Fernando Martinez: He must have learned how to hustle and run the bases by watching the notoriously non-hustling Mets of the last 10 years. What was he thinking just standing there with his pop-up obviously in fair territory? “I’m in the big leagues! That’s the legendary Wil Nieves about to catch my pop-up!” In his two games, he looked nervous, over-matched and is still looking for his first hit. Welcome to the big leagues.
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