The quick sweep of the Nationals is over and the Marlins return home for a five game homestand that starts tonight against the Mets.
It's another short series - just two games - and both will feature rematches from last weekend: Tonight features last Friday night's matchup (one-hit Heilman versus Beckett) and tomorrow night's finale features Pedro Martinez and Al Leiter.
Without further ado, let's get into the interview with Mr. Met (and since we get so many requests for it, I'm posting my picture with the interview this time)... Sweet!
: First of all, before we get started, Mr. Met, we should probably address some of the negative feedback we got from the audience from our last discussion.
: Yes - I was pretty upset to hear that so many folks were offended and even angry.
: Unfortunately, that may be an understatement, Mr. Met. We received a lot of email. Apparently people would like it better if we were a little friendlier. While I don't want to reprint the emails here, there was one comment (originally posted on another website) that represents the anger and tone of much of what we received:
: Wow. That's painful, disturbing, and hurtful on so many levels that I'm not even sure where to start. He completely missed the whole spirit of what we're doing here.
And I'd like to add that Billy the Marlin is a friend of mine and he is a great mascot. This person's statement has clearly been made out of anger. He's probably just jealous because the Marlins have won two titles since the Mets last won and he lives in New York. I'm jealous of you guys for that - I wish we spent more time in St. Lucie and South Florida. It's nice there.
As for this fellow doubting my ability to speak... well, I don't need to dignify that with a response. If Mr. Vito Vitello ever comes out to Shea I'd like to give him a hug. It sounds like he might need it.
: Yeah, I lit a candle for Vito after I read that. I feel badly for the poor man. It sounds like he has "issues" - if you know what I mean.
But we're all friends here, right Mr. Met?
: Of course. Let's start the interview.
: We heard Kaz Matsui get booed a lot over the weekend. Is he in danger of losing his job? It sounds like the fans want Miguel Cairo.
: I think you just answered your own question right there. Matsui might not be what the Mets originally thought he would be, but he's definitely a better long term option than Cairo.
: Any advice regarding Pedro Martinez?
: Well, Leiter matched up with him pretty well over the weekend. I'd expect at least as good of a performance out of Pedro on Thursday night.
My advice would be for the fans though - on Opening Day in Cincy the fans started up with the "Who's your Daddy" chant after Pedro gave up an early home run. He retired 15 in a row after that started up and struck out double digits. So if you start riding him, prepare to pay the consequences.
: There seems to be a Heath Bell movement amongst the Mets faithful. What's that about?
Yeah, Heath has quite a following for a middle reliever. He's a good pitcher, who did very well in AAA Norfolk last year. He is in the Mets pen now, but my expectations for him aren't too high. He's 27, which is young enough, but not young enough to be a prospect. He should be near his peak as a pitcher though.
What everyone likes best about him is that he's a power pitcher. He strikes out an average of more than one batter per inning. What's unusual about him as a reliever is that he has command of three pitches: a low to mid-90s fastball, a good slider, and his best pitch - a changeup.
: Thanks Mr. Met! We'll talk to you again when the Fish and Mets meet again in late May.