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This is the archive for August 2009

Valentine's Day In Flushing?

There reaches a point where as a fan, reality's too much to ignore. I sat in the barber shop yesterday and I read an article about the Amazins' of 1969. Growing up, Nolan Ryan was one of my favorite pitchers and this was before I even knew that 20 years beforehand, he was a Met. My lasting image of him throwing the headlock on Robin Ventura while rabbit punching him...priceless. Still, they just don't build em' like that anymore. The 1986 Mets, well, I was 6 at the time but they were juggernauts. I imagine by the time I turned 6, they were plotting out their playoff rotation and gearing up for the NLCS. Oh and that rotation I spoke of? Not one pitcher averaged LESS than 10 wins. Not one pitcher didn't have a K total that required anything less than a number in the hundreds column.

The bullpen was solid, with the dualheaded monster of Orosco and McDowell closing games. 43 saves between the two of them. So yeah, those weren't the "good ole days". Those were the "hot damn it's great to be a Mets fan" days. Those days continued on through the late 80s, unti 1990. Then, came the Mutts era...which went from my 6th grade year (probably 5th actually) until my Junior year of high school, which is when Bobby Valentine showed up. From 1997 on, the Mutts started showing signs of life. Finishing 2nd and averaging about 85 wins a season. Then, the breakthrough comes in 1999. After blowing the playoffs in 1998, they make it in 1999, losing to the Bravos in 6.

Then, 2000 hits. That team does the unthinkable, getting the Wild Card and making an improbable run. The rotatio wasn't as awe inspiring as 1986, but it was good. No starter finished with fewer than 11 wins, only Bobby J. Jones didn't strike out more than 100 batters. The lineup was formidable, only Mike Bordick didn't hit more than 10 homers. I'm thinking "title" after they win the NLCS. That was until the Yanks won the ALCS and then, reality hit HARD. The core of the team left and it went back to status schmoe mode, with Bobby V being exiled and the Mets went back to being the Mutts. Then comes Willie and 2006, breakthrough. First division crown in years, World Series is in sight. All they had to do was beat Saint Louis...

Which they don't do. Then, as if the Mutts weren't bad enough to sit through, the Mets go another way. They go into what I call "Chernobyl" mode. They start imploding after running away with the division for most of the year. They allow Philly to overtake them, twice in the last two seasons. While 2007 was grueling to watch, last season was just...ugh. I felt like Jigsaw was hosting the last 10 days or so, because it was rough to watch. If there wasn't a 9th inning, the Mets steamroll to the NL East. Alas, they couldn't even hold off the damn Brew Crew for the Wild Card. Which brings us to this year.