Before the post season started, a few people asked me which two teams I predicted would meet in the World Series. I calmly responded that I hoped it would come down to the Pirates and the Athletics. Well as we know predictions are like opinions – everybody has one, and of course mine were wrong.
So now that we are down to the final four teams, I will have to hold my nose and root for the Red Sox as well as the Cardinals to meet in the Fall Classic. Why would I choose those two teams you may ask ? Well with the Sox I can’t hold much of a grudge. I mean we did beat them in ’86 and I am eternally grateful for their coming back from being three games down in the ’04 ALCS against the Goliaths of the American League, the New York Yankees, and go on to beat the Cards to win the World Series that year.
But I have hated the Cardinals of St Louis ever since that team took what was rightfully ours way back in ’85. Everyone knew that the Mets should have been the team that represented the National League East in the post season, but the Amazins faltered towards the end finishing in second place.
As we all know, the Mets would go on to win it all in ’86, but in ’87 the Cards once again stuck a dagger into the hearts of Met fans when on the 21st of September, Terry Pendleton hit that game tying home run off Roger McDowell and winning it in the tenth..
Zoom ahead 19 years to 2006, when it seemed like the Mets had the National League all sewn up and was on the verge of heading to the World Series for the first time since 2000. Once again it was our age-old rival who delivered the crushing blow as the Mets were shutdown by the Cards – this time from a Yadier Molina homerun that ended up being the game winner and a Adam Wainwright curveball that even the great Bambino himself couldn’t hit. But Carlos Beltran – one of the best postseason players at the time and still today was fooled by that nasty curve and didn’t even attempt to swing at the pitch that was eventually called strike 3. Game over! The Mets quest to be the 2006 NLCS and World Series Champs had ended.
So here we are seven years later, and Beltran (as well as his world famous mole) are members of the hated Cardinals. He currently has 9 RBIs and two home runs this postseason with plenty of action still ahead. He seems to be his stoic self at the plate, and I just have to root for him.
As much as I want to root for the Sox if they make it to the World Series, I most likely find myself painfully rooting for the Cards if they get past the Dodgers. Beltran has yet to win a World Series ring, and I feel that he is more than deserving. He never did me wrong as a Mets fan. He always tried to play as hard as he could – even when injured. It almost always seemed like he got a hit in the clutch when the team always seemed to need one. And when he came back from knee surgery in 2011, he checked his ego at the door and switched to right field because the Mets were afraid that his outfield range would greatly be affected. He stepped aside for the younger Angel Pagan in center field while delivering an MVP type season up until his final game as a Met. He came in on top and he went out on top.
And if it wasn’t for Carlos hitting the cover off the ball during the ’11 season we may never have gotten Zack Wheeler from the Giants – which we all know at the time and now was a steal.
So if it comes down to the Cards versus the Sox during the Fall Classic, take a word of advice – Root for Beltran to win a ring, and try to forget that the rest of the Cardinals will be getting one too.
And with that said…. HERE COMES THE INFAMY!!!!
Mets alumni celebrating a birthday today include:
Mets third base coach from ’68-’75, Eddie Yost would have been 87 (1926).
Middle reliever from ’73-’74, John Strohmayer is 67 (1946).
Spot starter/middle reliever from ’90-’91, Julio Valera is 45 (1968).
Middle reliever from the ’11 season, Taylor Buchholz is 32 (1981)
Some other notables include:
The New York Mets traded spot starter/middle reliever, Ray Sadecki and middle reliever, Tommy Moore to the St. Louis Cardinals for third baseman, Joe Torre on October 13, 1974. Not a bad score for the one time N.L MVP and batting champion (’71) , golden glove award winner (’65), but by the time he came to the Mets he was often injured. Although he did hit over .300 one time as a Met ( ’75) he had morphed into a double play machine – even doing it infamously four times in one game!
Mo Vaughn is openly rooting for the Cardinals and the Red Sox – but not because he likes the teams …. It’s because he loves their FOOD !!!!!