The Never Say Die Mets, and Other Feeble Thoughts
I have to say, that although the 2011 version of the Mets is a win, a loss, a loss, a win, there have been no dearth of exciting comebacks this season. For instance, take last night. Down and almost out, they rallied with big hits by David Wright and Lucas Duda (he is starting to relax, and this kid has immense power) to stun the Padres 9-8.
Uplifting to say the least, especially after the Braves ate the New Yorkers’ lunch again over the weekend. The names change, from Greg Maddux to Jose’ Constanza (if I heard one more “Seinfeld” reference by Gary Cohen, I was going to heave-George spelled it, “Costanza,” albeit they sound very similar) the results are the same. Mets bow to Bravos.
And of course, Chipper Jones will rise from his death bed someday and get a game-winning knock against the Mets (just like on Sunday). Only the Braves can promote a career minor leaguer who then proceeds to wreak havoc on the Mets order of things. Constanza made circus catches, ran the bases with abandon, supplied the long ball, and took out our second best hitter for the season with a questionable slide. Bravo!
Speaking of injuries, I’d have to take an educated guess, that besides Cleveland, the Mets lead the league in lost man hours (maybe for the last four years too). Who says we can’t lead the league in something.
Don’t get me started on Ike (approaching 80 games for a bone bruise is maddening). Moreover, maybe the Mets should convert Murphy to catcher-it would be safer for him behind the plate than second base (or the outfield for that matter). If the organization had a heart they would move him to the AL where he could play first, third, and DH (another guy I admire because he never makes a peep and plays hard, although his baseball compass gets jammed now and again).
Seriously, it would have been nice to compete with a stacked deck; Delgado, Beltran, Pedro, Jose’, Bay, Ike, Wright, Murph, and Johan, all penciled in the lineup at the same time. That is a lot of take home pay the Wilpons doled out, with MRI’s, ice pacts, and ibuprofen for zero production. Then again, the chronic injuries opened the door for Murph, Duda, Dillon Gee, and Justin Turner.
Turner seems to be in the middle of the action every time he’s on the field. He’s my kind of player; heady and human (now, I could stand less of the human error side). He could be our Martin Prado, Omar Infante, and Placido Polanco, a contact hitter that can play more than one position, aka, a sparkplug.
So with the season now in the Dog Days, it seems like the perfect time to flirt with football (who could blame Shaun Ellis for taking $5 million from the Pats when the Jets insulted him, and Rex needs to grow up). But, every time the news surrounding the Mets gets worse, and seems like the optimal time to jump ship, something miraculous happens: they stage an unlikely comeback and instill faith for one-more day to the brow-beaten faithful.
It will be interesting to see how the remaining weeks impact the formation of the 2012 edition. Taking a series from the Braves would be welcome (seems like a long time ago when the bartender had to put TBS on in the local tavern (no other game) in the late 80′s and everybody laughed. Atlanta has had the last laugh, including 14 Eastern Division Crowns).
Finally, I enjoy broadcaster Keith Hernandez’s quips, but like Art Linkletter’s kids, he says the darndest things. For instance, last Friday when discussing the Wild Card race he declared that St. Louis “better win it because they are not catching Milwaukee”. At the time the Brewers held a THREE game lead with around 60 to play, and a bevy of head-to-head matchups remaining. Now if mulled that with a 7 game lead with 17 to play the Brew Crew was safe….Never mind.
About the Author: Doug Branch
Doug has been sports writing since 1983. He first wrote about the Mets at spring training that year, and his first interviewee was surly catcher Ron Hodges. He currently writes for Mets Inside Pitch, among other magazines published by Scout Publishing-which is owned by Fox Sports. He began following the team during the Wes Westrum era, and redeemed many Borden milk coupons for free Saturday baseball. The night of Tom Seaver's imperfect game against the Cubs, he was in line to buy a ticket when the windows slammed shut and abject disappointment ensued.
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