Mets Merized Online » 1986 http://metsmerizedonline.com Thu, 12 Jan 2017 11:00:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.17 The Best Last Plane Ride Ever http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/the-best-last-plane-ride-ever.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/the-best-last-plane-ride-ever.html/#comments Thu, 20 Oct 2016 11:00:03 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=225136 1986 Mets Parade: That's a Roger...

James Blagden is an awesome illustrator and baseball fan.  He takes real accounts of events that occurred in baseball history (example: Dock Ellis talking about throwing a no-hitter while on LSD) and animates it with the narration being heard in the background.  He used his unique talent to capture the flight back to New York after the Mets beat the Houston Astros in six games in the 1986 National League Championship Series.

The series against the Red Sox was so historic that some forget what an extraordinary series the Mets played against the Astros and their world class baseball scuffer extraordinaire Mike Scott.

To make matters worse, Scott had been a Met, a mediocre pitcher from 1979 to 1982 compiling a 14-27 record.  The Mets traded him to the Astros, and mastering the art of scuffing the baseball he went 18-10 with a league leading 2.22 ERA.  He also beat the Mets twice in the series, by scores of 3-1 and 1-0. He actually won the MVP of the NLCS despite the Mets winning the series.

On October 15, 1986 the Mets were leading the series 3-2 but with Mike Scott looming in Game 7, we were trailing the Astros 3-0 in the ninth.  We scored three that inning to tie it then went ahead in the 14th – only to see the freaking Astros tie it.  We came back again and scored three runs in the 16th, but the Astros wouldn’t go quietly. They scored two runs in the bottom of the inning until their luck finally ran out. Jesse Orosco would strike out Kevin Bass with the tying run in scoring position to put us in position for our showdown against the Boston Red Sox.

It was a game for the ages, and James Blagden captured several Mets—Daryl Strawberry, Kevin Mitchell, Lenny Dykstra, and Dwight Gooden, discussing the ensuing celebration.  It started in the locker room, poured into the team bus, and settled onto an airplane which would never be flyable again.

 

That was not a PG team and this is not a video to share with the young kids.  Kevin Mitchell starts it with a laugh as he says, “I don’t think this incident would have happened if it wasn’t for the hard liquor.”

Mr. Blagden captures with streaming animation and sound effects the story as told by those Mets.  So many tales have been told about that Met team, but this really captures the anarchy, fun and rebelliousness of the team and its manager.

Some of the details are fantastic—listening to Doc and Darryl and Nails explain that the plane was split between the brass and the players, with the ‘milk section’ in between, the players that didn’t drink. That entire section was made up of…Mookie Wilson.

The back of the plane?  Whether it was Roger McDowell making a salad (and eating it) off passed out Barry Lyons’ bald head; or the back row of the plane, nicknamed ‘the scum bunch’, which consisted of Danny Heep (who, ironically, we got in the Mike Scott trade), Doug Sisk and Jesse Orosco creating complete anarchy; to the food fight that led to over $100,000 worth of damage to the plane, this was a group that was very resistant to the idea of authority. (And I didn’t mention what they said the wives were doing on the plane…as mentioned, this video is not for the little kids).

And when a furious Frank Cashen handed Davey Johnson a bill for the damage the next day?  Kevin Mitchell reports he was slinking in his locker, only peeking out to see Davey rip up the bill and growl, “You pay it.  They earned it.”

It has been a long 30 years since we Mets fans have been able to celebrate like we did in 1986.  Many of us hoped this would be the year we recaptured the magic.  Without leaning on excuses, certainly injuries and some steps back from our young players kept that from happening.  Maybe 2017 is the year we regain the magic.  Until then check out James Blagden’s great short video “The Best Last Plane Ride Ever” and remember one of the most successful and wildest teams in baseball history.

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Talkin’ Mets: Most Disappointing Season Ever? Can Cespedes Bring it Home? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/08/talkin-mets-most-disappointing-season-ever-can-cespedes-bring-it-home.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/08/talkin-mets-most-disappointing-season-ever-can-cespedes-bring-it-home.html/#comments Sun, 21 Aug 2016 15:39:01 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=221026 tim teufel yoenis cespedes

Today I have an early edition of the podcast. James Flippin of WOR Radio joins me. James is the producer for the Mets pre and postgame show as well as the Sports Zone.

The Mets’ 2016 season has turned into a mini-disaster. Is this the most disappointing season in team history? Let’s take a closer look as I break it down to a  pre and post 1986 examination.

Why is the media defending Terry Collins? You all know my position on Collins and why I want him fired. What will change in 2017 with Collins at the helm? Are you ready to bet that a healthy Mets team will be fully prepared and managed properly for another run?

Finally, Yoenis Cespedes is being asked to “carry” the Mets the rest of the way. Even if he does will he return next season? A long-term commitment to Cespedes has ramifications for the future. Assuming Jay Bruce is back for another year where does that leave Michael Conforto? Another year at Triple-A? Trade bait? This is a tricky situation for a player the Mets almost can’t let walk.

 

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It’s Teufel’s Job, But Should Somebody Else Do It? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/its-teufels-job-but-should-somebody-else-do-it.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/its-teufels-job-but-should-somebody-else-do-it.html/#comments Wed, 27 Jul 2016 16:48:59 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=218727 tim teufel yoenis cespedes

Us Met fans love to hold on to that magical 1986 team.  Three of the five biggest crowds at Citi Field this season occurred during 1986 weekend.  The only larger crowds were for the infamous Garden Gnome Day and the home opener. One of the fan favorite stories of that group was the Teufel Shuffle, Tim Teufel‘s batting stance hip gyrations that gained it’s own cult following in addition to a Shea Stadium video board montage.  The personable, well-respected fifth year Mets third base coach had enough movement in his hips to make Jack Parkman jealous.  Teuf’s hip movement is no longer garnering him attention, but the waving of his arms are becoming a cause for concern.

During the third inning of game one against the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday, Yoenis Cespedes laced a double into right-center field gap.  Jose Reyes, the man acquired amidst controversy to inject speed into the Mets lineup was gliding his way from first base, cutting 2nd with precision and hitting his terminal velocity as his tongue hung out of the side of his mouth.

Before the throw was cut off from the outfield, Reyes eyed up his 3rd base coach Tim Teufel, expecting to be given the green light where he likely would have arrived safely.  Surprisingly, Reyes was held up, coming to an abrupt stop past the third base bag before the relay man beyond the infield dirt even had the ball.

After a James Loney walk, Kelly Johnson would strike out, stranding Reyes at third who was unable to coax a balk out of the animated and emotional Cardinal’s starter Carlos Martinez.  The Mets would score two in the next frame to pull within a run, but would go quietly the rest of the way, making Teufel’s decision loom large as the Mets fell 3-2.

It is sadly not the first time Teufel’s split second decisions have been called into question this season.  He was daring enough to send the heavy-footed James Loney from second on a hard hit ball through the left side July 20th against the Cubs.  He was nailed by 3 strides.  In June, Teuf sent Wilmer Flores, another notoriously slow runner, from first base in the 9th inning of a one run loss.  On April 15th in Cleveland, a game I was lucky enough to be able to be in attendance for,  two Mets base-runners were thrown out at the plate trying to score in a one run win.

A good third base coach is one that is not noticed.  It is a thankless job, much like a holder in football, that is only given negative attention when mistakes are made.  Teufel has now continuously been noticed.  This could lead to more pressure on him during his next game deciding decision.  It is no secret that the offense has struggled.  The club has nary a run to spare, and can not afford to be giving up outs either.  Furthermore, if the base-runners are also thinking too much, and losing confidence in Teuf’s decisions, it can cause them to be hesitant or even worse, cause an injury if they are unexpectedly asked to stop on a dime.

When asked in between games Tuesday about the costly mishap by Teuf, which even his former teammate Ron Darling was critical of in the broadcast booth, Collins offered his ever eloquent testimony, “I’m not going to get into the coaching stuff…Its his call”.  Well skip, it is your call if he can be trusted to do his job.  Based so far on some costly mishaps, it may be a cause for concern.  On its own, it may not be a critical issue.  However, when it is combined with the Mets sterile offense, it may necessitate a change.

So, let us know in the comments Mets Fans.  Sure its Teuf’s job, but is it time to let someone else do it?

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Mets To Stream ’86 World Series Pre-Game Ceremony On Saturday http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/05/mets-to-stream-86-world-series-pre-game-ceremony-on-saturday.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/05/mets-to-stream-86-world-series-pre-game-ceremony-on-saturday.html/#comments Thu, 26 May 2016 23:09:13 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=213049 1986 World Series - New York Mets v Boston Red Sox

The New York Mets today announced that mets.com will exclusively stream the pregame ceremony this Saturday night celebrating the 30th anniversary of the 1986 World Championship Team beginning at 6:15 p.m.

The ceremony will commemorate the achievements of one of the most legendary and beloved teams in New York sports history. The Mets have invited all players from the 1986 Championship Team along with Manager Davey Johnson and staff to be a part of the pregame on-field ceremony.

The entire 1986 themed weekend includes:

1986 Themed Free Shirt Friday, May 27 – 7:10 p.m.

All Fans in attendance will receive a 1986 World Championship themed t-shirt presented by Dunkin’ Donuts

Super Saturday, May 28 – 6:15 p.m. 1986 Champions Pregame On Field Ceremony

6:15 p.m. for a special ceremony recognizing coaches and players from the 1986 World Championship Team presented by Verizon

Family Sunday, May 29 – 8:08 p.m. 1986 Championship Replica Ring Giveaway

The first 15,000 fans in attendance will receive a 1986 World Championship replica ring presented by H.L. Gross & Bro. Jewelers.

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MMO Fan Shot: A New York Mets Time Warp http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/04/mmo-fan-shot-a-new-york-mets-time-warp.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/04/mmo-fan-shot-a-new-york-mets-time-warp.html/#comments Fri, 22 Apr 2016 16:02:01 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=210196 wrld series

An MMO Fan Shot by by Laura (mookie4ever)

I’ve always been fascinated with the science fiction concept of time travel, and its potential effect on the present if you went back in time and changed anything. Being a Trekkie as an idealistic kid, the Star Trek episodes that included time travel caught my attention the most. One in particular, was “City on the Edge of Forever,” where Dr. McCoy went back in time to 1930s New York and somehow made the Star Trek crew’s future disappear, along with their ship. Kirk and Spock had to go back in time after him, figure out what he did and prevent or undo it, so the future would remain the same. But how to find him? With his currents in time theory, Spock proposed that time was fluid, it ebbed and flowed in rivers and eddies, and would eventually bring them all together to a focal point in time.

I’ve pondered this stuff from time to time, impossible questions, such as if JFK had lived, would the Vietnam War have still dragged on and on? How would the 60s and 70s have turned out? Would we still have landed on the moon without his words from the grave to spur us on?

And, similarly, now I ask myself: What if the Mets’ chances for a World Series championship this year would be better served by a more natural progression to success? Something more like 1985 into 1986 instead of the quantum leap of 2015 so far ahead of schedule. If they had just missed the playoffs, or lost to the Dodgers, would we be willing to trade that NLCS and World Series appearance if it guaranteed dominance and a ring in 2016? Think of how much more frustrated and hungry and motivated they’d be this year.

Remember how much of a chip on their shoulder the 1986 team came into that season with and how dominant it was all year long. Couldn’t have been a coincidence that they missed the postseason by just 3 games behind the Cards. And then they came out roaring, not quite out of the gate, but shortly afterwards, in 1986 and never looked back, running all over the league for 108 wins. Total dominance, championship ring, a team for the ages. A Mets team we didn’t even recognize, they were so damn good and arrogant and nasty and dare I say, Yankee-like? Still many fans’ favorite team, bless their bullying, partying souls.

Would we trade the wonderful surprise and fairy tale games of the 2015 postseason, I wonder? Would we trade the amazing home run tear of Daniel Murphy, the guy most unlikely to set a major league power record, the still-unbelievable sweep of the Cubs, the Syndergaard message pitch and challenge, the oh-so-close-to-perfect Game 5 story of Matt Harvey and heartbreak?

I don’t know, it’s a tough call. If they hadn’t won that game 5 in LA, we would have all known that it was only the beginning for this team, and marveled at how far they had come in a year. Wouldn’t we? We’d have gathered up our feel-good stories and memories of the year and said, next year they’re making it all the way. Disappointed, but feeling so proud of our Metsies and the great strides they took. Right?

But if it had gone that way, maybe other things would have been very different this year. Without the cold ending to his postseason and poor WS, Cespedes might have gotten his $100 million contract elsewhere.  Perhaps if Murph didn’t complete his major league record home run tear, he wouldn’t have looked for an expensive long-term contract and maybe taken a year or two here until Dilson was ready. (Think I’m reaching here for sentimental reasons—Mets were done with him.) Would David Wright still find the strength to keep up his iron man routine to fight through his spinal stenosis without that “most fun I’ve ever had in baseball” experience? Or would he be even more driven this year, not be patient enough to rest himself and land on the DL again? Such a lot of questions. This currents in time stuff is mentally exhausting.

The point is, nothing is a lock solid guarantee in baseball. Even that revered 1986 team, as totally dominant as they were, still needed harrowingly close come-from-behind miracle wins in two overtime game 6’s, and, according to Ronnie, a beer chaser, to seal the deal. It could have just as easily gone south for even them. So what’s to say this year’s Mets, even if they were pure and uncontaminated with a WS loss, could muster the will to go all the way, either?

Baseball schedules are meant to be wrecked, and the 2015 Mets so totally and irreparably destroyed Sandy’s carefully planned road to contention, that maybe it is just meant to be. Maybe those currents in time will swirl into the focal point of a 2016 Mets World Series Championship after all. Maybe these Mets are a team on the edge of forever. In any case, I’m not sure I would trade all that excitement, all those late nights, all those boys turning into men right before our eyes, or all that wonder in David Wright’s voice, for a more solid shot at a ring this year. I think it will be much more fun if it goes that way anyway, because, even with the zigzag path to greatness, I am convinced that we will witness greatness this year. It has already begun.

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This MMO Fan Shot was written by MMO reader Laura (Mookie4ever). Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 30,000 Met fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to FanShot@MetsmerizedOnline.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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MMO Game Recap: Mets Fall To Phillies 5-2 In Rubber Match http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/04/mmo-game-recap-mets-fall-to-phillies-5-2-in-rubber-match.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/04/mmo-game-recap-mets-fall-to-phillies-5-2-in-rubber-match.html/#comments Sun, 10 Apr 2016 21:09:14 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=209374 matt harvey

The New York Mets (2-3) were defeated by the Philadelphia Phillies (2-4) by a score of 5-2 in the rubber match of the opening home series.  The Mets wore their 1986 replica jerseys and just like the 1986 club, the Mets will open up their season with a record of 2-3.

Pitching:

Today, the Mets struggled to shut down what was supposed to be the door mat of the NL East as the they dropped their opening home series.

Matt Harvey started and allowed three runs on six hits over six innings of work. He struck out three batters and walked two. Harvey was cruising until the 6th inning. He had retired ten straight batters until a single by Cesar Hernandez  to leadoff the inning and then boom – Odubel Herrera made him pay by blasting a two-run homer to right center field.

The Mets’ bullpen had mixed results today, but Jim Henderson continues to impress as he struck out the side in the 7th inning with mid-90s heat.  Henderson has been a huge addition to this Mets team.  Addison Reed and Logan Verrett each allowed a run in the 8th and the 9th innings.

Offense:

Yoenis Cespedes busted out of his slump with a 2-4 day at the plate and 2 RBIs.  In the bottom of the 6th, following a David Wright double, Cespedes worked an 11 pitch at-bat off Jeremy Hellickson to deposit a line drive home run to left center field to get the boo birds off his back.

David Wright also had a 2-4 day at the plate, but that would be all for the Mets.

The offense was completely held in check by Jeremy Hellickson and has struggled mightily in the opening week of the season.

On Deck:

The Mets will open a three-game set with the Miami Marlins tomorrow night as Steven Matz  faces Jarred Cosart in the opening game. First pitch is at 7:10 PM.

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Thirty Years Later, Looking At Mets Top Prospects http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/03/thirty-years-later-looking-at-mets-top-prospects.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/03/thirty-years-later-looking-at-mets-top-prospects.html/#comments Sun, 13 Mar 2016 00:00:51 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=207675 Gregg Jefferies.  Alone.  Which is where most of the team wanted to see him.

Thirty years ago, prior to one of the most magical season in New York Mets team history, a young shortstop by the name of Kevin Elster was the Mets #1 prospect according to Baseball America. Elster became one of three players on this Top 10 list to play for the Mets in the 1986 championship season.

Here is BA’s Top 10 prior to 1986 season:

1.) Kevin Elster - Made his Major League debut with the Mets in September of 1986 going 5 for 30 in 19 games and hitless in four postseason at bats. Played in seven seasons for the Mets hitting .224/.288/.343 with his best year coming in 1989 when he had 25 doubles, 10 homeruns, and was worth 1.9 dWAR at short. He set the record for most consecutive errorless games at shortstop with 88 which is now held by a another former Met, Mike Bordick with 110 games.

He would go on to play six more years (13 overall), setting career highs in almost every offensive category during the 1996 season with the Texas Rangers. He hit .252/..317/.462 with 24 homeruns, 99 runs batted in, and 32 doubles. Drafted by the Mets in the 2nd round of the 1984 January draft.

2.) Shawn Abner - The Mets selected the outfielder with the first overall pick in the 1984 draft only to trade him in December of 1986 in the eight player deal to get Kevin McReynolds from the Padres. Batted only .227/.269/.323 in six major league seasons that included time with the Padres, White Sox, and Angels. His career came full circle in 1995 when he last played professionally for the Mets Triple-A team the Norfolk Tides.

3.) Stan Jefferson - The Mets former first round pick (1983) made his debut with the Mets in 1986 as well, going just 5 for 24 in the regular season. That was it for his Metropolitan career as he was traded after the season to the Padres as part of the previously mentioned McReynolds deal.

The speedy outfielder (144 steals in first 4 MiLB seasons) played in parts of six big league seasons and hit .216/.276/.326 in his career spanning 296 games. Played his final MLB game in 1991 with the Cincinnati Reds but was a replacement player with the Mets in spring training of 1995. He would later go on to become part of the NYPD, he was on duty at the time of the 9/11 attacks and worked at ground zero of the World Trade Center.

4.) David West - The tall lefty was taken by the Mets in the 4th round of the 1983 draft and made his Major League debut 1988. The next season he struggled to start the year with a 7.40 ERA in 24.1 innings for the Mets before he was part of the package that brought Frank Viola to Flushing. Best part of is New York tenure was his ability with the bat, he was 3 for 7 with a double.

West went on to pitch in ten big league seasons, he finished with a 31-38 record and 4.66 ERA.

(Centerfieldmaz.com)

(Centerfieldmaz.com)

5.) Randy Myers - He is the third and final player on this lists that played for the Mets in their last championship season. Randy actually made his MLB debut the prior year with two scoreless innings and gave up five runs in 10.2 innings in 1986. He finished his Mets career with 56 saves and a 2.74 ERA while striking out 264 batters in 240 innings over five seasons. The Mets took him in the 1st round (9th overall) of the 1982 draft.

Overall, he collected 347 saves and struck out 884 hitters in 884.2 innings during the regular season. He excelled in the postseason as well, picking up eight saves and won two games in the 1988 NLCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Accolades include being a four-time All-Star selections, three top 10 Cy Young finishes, and four top 25 MVP finishes.

6.) Gregg Jefferies - Taken by the Mets in the first round of the 1985 draft and made his MLB debut two years later during the 1987 season as a 20-year old. In five seasons in New York he hit . 276/.332/.416 with 96 doubles, 42 homeruns, and 205 RBI while walking 140 times compared to 134 strikeouts.

He enjoyed a career year in 1993 with the St. Louis Cardinals when he batted .342/.408/.485 with 16 homeruns, 83 RBI, and 46 stolen bases. It was his first of two straight seasons in which he was an all-star and finished in the top 25 for MVP voting. He retired after 14 seasons in the majors and was Baseball America’s Minor League Player of the Year in 1986 and 1987.

7.) Keith Miller - Signed as an amateur free agent in 1984 with the Mets, made his debut in 1987 hitting .373 with eight stolen bases in 25 games. His final season in New York was his best, hitting .280/.345/.411 while playing six different positions.

After the season he was traded along with Jefferies and McReynolds to the Royals for Bill Pecota and Bret Saberhagen. In nine major league seasons he hit .262/.323/.351 in 1326 at bats. Once his playing days were over he became an agent for Aces Inc. and was part of the reason why David Wright chose the agency.

(Bloggingmets.com)

(Bloggingmets.com)

8.) Billy Beane - The Mets took Beane with the 23rd pick in the 1980 draft and gave him a $125,000 signing bonus to keep him from going to Stanford. He never lived up to expectations as a player, getting only 18 at bats with the Mets before they traded him in 1986 to the Twins for Tim Teufel.

The day after being reassigned to the minors in spring of 1990 he asked General Manager Sandy Alderson to give him a job as a scout instead. In 1997 he became the GM of the A’s succeeding Alderson and I’m sure you now the rest of the story thanks to Moneyball which is a great book by the way.

9.) Jose Bautista - The right-handed pitcher was signed by the Mets in 1981 out of the Dominican Republic. After pitching for the Double-A Jackson Mets in 1987 the Mets left him unprotected and he was taken in the Rule 5 draft by the Orioles.

Jose was 32-42 with a 4.62 ERA and 1.317 WHIP in nine major league seasons with five different teams. He finished with 312 games pitched which is in the top 10 all-time for Jewish pitchers. He has been a pitching coach in the minor leagues since 2001 including the last five seasons with the Kannapolis Intimidators, the Chicago White Sox Class-A affiliate.

10.) Reggie Dobie – The only player on this list to never make it to the major leagues, topping out at AAA for both the Mets and the Mariners. The right-handed pitcher finished his minor league career going 59-44 with a 3.56 ERA in 892.2 innings.

Definitely some big swing and misses in this group, Mets did manage to get value out of a few these guys in trades. Last month I took a look at the Mets Top Prospects from 1983 which was a group that turned out much better with the likes of Darryl Strawberry and Doc Gooden.

Be sure to check out MetsMinors.net, your #1 source for Mets prospect news! We recently named Wuilmer Becerra our #6 prospect in the latest installment of the Top 80 countdown.

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Mets To Wear 1986 Uniforms For All Sunday Home Games http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/02/mets-to-wear-1986-uniforms-for-all-sunday-home-games.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/02/mets-to-wear-1986-uniforms-for-all-sunday-home-games.html/#comments Mon, 22 Feb 2016 15:44:49 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=205670 1986 World Series - New York Mets v Boston Red Sox

The New York Mets officially announced that the team will wear their 1986 throwback uniforms for every Sunday home game at Citi Field this season.

Original Report

In honor of the 30th anniversary of their last World Championship, the Mets will wear their 1986 uniforms multiple times throughout this season, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.

The original design of those iconic 1986 uniforms were he brainchild of die-hard Met fan and acclaimed artist Joe Petruccio, who does a brilliant job of documenting each Mets season day by day in his artistic NY Mets Journal.

1986 uniOriginal sketch submitted to Mets by Joe Petruccio

For the full story on how it all came about, I urge you to check out this fantastic interview Joe did for the fine folks at Uni Watch. Here’s a small sampling.

Joe Petruccio: It’s kind of weird. When I was in high school in the 1970s, I loved the Astros’ uniforms, and I basically noticed that all the teams were changing their uniforms except the Mets. So I called the Mets and said, “Who’s in charge of uniforms?” and they said it was this guy named Jim Nagourney. So I would do drawings of new uniform designs and send them to him. I did this for a couple of years.

UW: Did he ever respond?

JP: No. But I kept sending them in anyway, until I went to college. Then, after college, I was working for Della Famina, the ad agency that had the account for lots of Mets advertising. One day I was up at Shea Stadium, and they said, “Why don’t you take a shot at doing a new uniform for us? Nothing too drastic, but see what you can come up with.” So I did a few sketches and brought them back to Shea for them to see, and they bring in this guy to take a look at them — Jim Nagourney.

I knew the Mets were planning on having the team wear these bright and colorful 1986 uniforms for the three-day celebration of that amazing World Series team, but that we’ll be seeing the players wearing them throughout the regular season is beyond awesome. I can’t wait to see Syndergaard or deGrom dealing while wearing those orange and blue racing stripes. This offseason just keeps getting better and better.

Follow Joe Petruccio on Instagram and on Twitter at @RocknRollArtist.

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Mets To Celebrate 30 Year Anniversary Of 1986 World Series Team http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/mets-to-celebrate-30-year-anniversary-of-1986-world-series-team.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/mets-to-celebrate-30-year-anniversary-of-1986-world-series-team.html/#comments Mon, 04 Jan 2016 18:47:29 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=203523 1986 mets win

The New York Mets today announced a 30th anniversary celebration of the 1986 World Championship team Memorial Day Weekend May 27-29 vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field.

The Mets will commemorate the achievements of one of the most legendary and beloved teams in New York sports history with special promotional giveaways and in-ballpark entertainment. The Mets have invited all players from the 1986 championship team along with Manager Davey Johnson and staff to be a part of the pregame on-field ceremony on Saturday, May 28.

1986 logo

· 1986 Themed Free Shirt Friday, May 27 – 7:10 p.m.

All Fans in attendance will receive a 1986 World Championship themed t-shirt

· Super Saturday, May 28 – 6:30 p.m. 1986 Champions Pregame On Field Ceremony

6:30 p.m. for a special ceremony recognizing coaches and players from the 1986 World Championship Team

· Family Sunday, May 29 – 8:08 p.m. 1986 Championship Replica Ring Giveaway

The first 15,000 fans in attendance will receive a 1986 World Championship replica ring

“The 1986 Mets made an indelible mark on the baseball and New York sports scene, capturing the hearts of fans like few other teams,” said Mets COO Jeff Wilpon. “This 30th anniversary celebration provides our fans a way to re-connect their excitement to the historic achievements of 1986.”

To relive all the amazin’ memories in addition to seeing the National League Champion Mets postseason rematch vs. the Dodgers, tickets are available now at Mets.com/1986 or (718) 507-TIXX.

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Everything’s Coming Up Mets! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/everythings-coming-up-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/everythings-coming-up-mets.html/#comments Sat, 24 Oct 2015 16:17:05 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=197814 Shead isplay

Shea Stadium Memorabilia from The Rashbaum Collection

On view from October 8 to November 29, 2015 The objects and images in this front-room display at The City Reliquary offer a tangible history of the New York Mets and of Shea Stadium, the team’s former home from 1964 until its demolition in 2008.

Shea Stadium was the site of the Mets’ World Series wins in 1969 and 1986, but the fragments displayed here radiate the energy of every past victory and defeat that unfolded under the eyes of loyal fans. Items such as the home bullpen bench or a base from the last season played at Shea—still showing dust from the field—serve as relics and repositories of memory for this bygone location. They are especially poignant at this moment in Mets history, as the team makes its way to the 2015 World Series.

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Now this one gave me a little chuckle. It was taken by a New York Islanders staffer a few days ago with the caption: “The Empire State Building lights up for the New York Islanders!” Umm… I don’t think so.

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Speaking of the Islanders, several Mets were on hand last night at the game. Although word has it that Matt Harvey was asked to remove his NY Rangers cap before entering. Okay. I just made that last part up.

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I loved this graphic by the New York Mets which they posted last night on Twitter. I’m so happy for this guy because I feel as though he really suffered and endured like the rest of us over these last several seasons.

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David Wright, Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Wilmer Flores all joined Jimmy Kimmel on Friday night in Brooklyn for a special edition of Jimmy Kimmel Live on ABC. During his opening Kimmel joked that the Mets are so hot right now, that the only people who can afford to go to but tickets to see them in the World Series are Derek Jeter and A-Rod.

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No Lasting Remembrance For Mets Owner Who Revived The Franchise http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/no-lasting-remembrance-for-mets-owner-who-revived-the-franchise.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/no-lasting-remembrance-for-mets-owner-who-revived-the-franchise.html/#comments Wed, 05 Aug 2015 18:21:51 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=189573 nelson doubleday

Richard Sandomir of the NY Times writes about the Mets decision to not honor former owner Nelson Doubleday Jr. with a memorial patch. Doubleday, who was a major part of the team for 22 years, passed away in June this year.

With New York’s incredible success in the 1980′s, Doubleday is one of the most important figures in Mets’ history. He was the majority owner of the team from 1980-1986 before becoming 50-50 partners with the Wilpons.

“No question in my mind Nelson deserves one,” said Tim McCarver, who called Mets games from 1983 to 1998. “I don’t understand why not. An ‘N. D.’ patch would not be excessive in my view, and I don’t think any Met fan would think twice about that — especially in a year when the Mets are stealing back the thunder in New York.”

Sandomir says the Mets’ decision to not honor him with a patch could be due to his contentious relationship with the Wilpons. They disagreed on many important topics and eventually had a falling out in 2002.

“Mr. Jeff Wilpon has decided that he’s going to learn how to run a baseball team and take over at the end of the year,” he said. “Run for the hills, boys. I think probably all those baseball people will bail.”

Doubleday has also been denied a spot inside the Mets Hall Of Fame.

However, former Met Bob Ojeda says that Fred Wilpon wouldn’t erase Doubleday out of the team’s history because of spite.

“Fred’s not like that,” Ojeda said. “Maybe it’s because it’s been a long time since Nelson has been a part of the organization. Still, it’s never too late. There’s no time frame on these things. Those of us who knew Nelson, and worked for him along with Fred, remember him fondly as a big part of the success of 1986.”

Whatever the reason may be, Doubleday deserves more of a remembrance for his role with the team. A short statement and a moment of silence isn’t enough for someone who played such a key part in the franchise’s history. Hopefully, the Wilpons reconsider their decision and honor him with a memorial patch this season.

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Mets 8-3 Start Historically Leads to Good Results http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/04/mets-8-3-start-historically-leads-to-good-results.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/04/mets-8-3-start-historically-leads-to-good-results.html/#comments Sat, 18 Apr 2015 13:01:28 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=179314 Flores Lagares Campbell

The Mets beat the Marlins again on Friday night by a score of 4-1 to start the season 8-3.

They’ve now won six straight games for the first time since April 21-27, 2011, and they currently have the longest winning streak in the Major Leagues.

While it’s still early in the season, Mark Simon of ESPN New York points out that historically, especially in recent years, starting out with an 8-3 record led to some impressive oveerall seasons most of the time.

From 2010 to 2014, 18 teams have started out 8-3 and of those 18 teams…

  • Only 3 of them finished under .500.
  • 4 of them finished with between 82 and 89 wins.
  • 11 of them won at least 90 games.

The 2015 Mets in their franchise history are the sixth Mets team to start out 8-3 or better. Five of those Mets teams finished at least 10 games over .500, three of them won division titles (1986, 1988, 2006), and one of them won 98 games in 1985.

So for the Mets, history has been good to them when they actually start out 8-3. The 2015 Mets hope that history repeats itself.

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Sandy Alderson’s Remarkable Autonomy Window http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/sandy-aldersons-remarkable-autonomy-window.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/sandy-aldersons-remarkable-autonomy-window.html/#comments Sun, 15 Mar 2015 17:00:26 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=176176 shea stadium night bw

My coming of age as a Mets fan evolved, as it were … When I was young I had no idea why the Mets might be good or bad or mediocre. As I got older, unlike my Dad who was preoccupied strictly with events on the field, I began to be aware of problems with ownership and management, particularly after the death of the venerable Joan Payson.

M. Donald Grant and his antipathy towards free agency at its advent was a harbinger of dark and contentious times. The team declined steadily in the late 70′s and I was familiar enough with Met management’s opprobrious denial of labor developments to know it was at least partially the result of an outmoded approach, particularly after the infamous bloodbath of June, 1977.

It would be what seemed like innumerable last place finishes before any break in the clouds would be seen. In1980 the Mets were purchased by Doubleday Inc., spearheaded by the charismatic and personable Nelson Doubleday.

In recent years there has been this alternate version of events advanced that seem to imply that the prime mover in this sale was none other than Fred Wilpon, who was apparently instrumental in coalescing an ownership group that included City Investing Co., Doubleday, and Mr. Wilpon himself.

Doubleday nevertheless became chairman of the Mets board with a 50% stake owned by Doubleday Inc. As a fan in the 1980’s, I had no idea who Fred Wilpon was. Perhaps it was my youth and my tendency to skim through the sports pages, but this notion that it was Wilpon who “rescued” the Mets from the lost and adrift malaise of the late 70’s seems like a historical revision.

Regardless of who made the calls and how the the right people came to the table, it was Doubleday who put up the lion’s share of the cash and if any of us young Mets fans back then remember a perceived savior, it was Doubleday. I remember telling my dad about this great great nephew of the man who invented baseball. I don’t remember anything about no Bensonhurst buddy of Sandy Koufax from Lafeyette H.S.

But Wilpon was there. Lurking in the boardrooms and bowels of old Shea, Fred Wilpon managed to parlay his 1% ownership into a role as Chief Executive Officer from 1980 well into his years as partner.

Doubleday knew the ropes when it came to making things happen in N.Y. He’d been raised a blueblood and was groomed to join with elite and powerful company from a young age. He was one of the primary reasons traditionalist Bowie Kuhn was ousted from his position as Commissioner of Baseball a mere two years after Doubleday became owner of the Mets.

Kuhn had failed to appease owners who wanted new and innovative changes, a byline for their desire to make truckloads of cash from a changing tele-media landscape. So in a real sense, it was Doubleday who represented the Mets at the ownership table in the early 80′s, not Wilpon.

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Wilpon was something of an upstart in the big moneyed country club set, and while he was rich, he was never insanely rich. He managed to make a great deal of money by accident if you will, purchasing a myriad assortment of properties as tax write-offs in the lead up to what became one of the biggest housing booms in U.S. history. This made him a very wealthy man. By 1980 he found himself in a position to purchase 1% of the N.Y. Mets. By 1986 things for the WIlpons had apparently taken an even greater turn for the better.

Fred WIlpon utilized his right of first refusal, a clause slipped into his initial 1% purchase which stipulated that if Doubleday Inc. were to attempt to sell the team Wilpon would be allowed first dibs on a purchase offer. Wilpon was able to elbow his way into a 50/50 split even though Doubleday was essentially attempting to sell the team to himself. Well not quite — he was selling Doubleday Co. (who owned the Mets) but wished to hold onto the Mets.

I got wind of this uncomfortable partnership through the euphoria of our first championship since 1969, worried that a good thing might perhaps get muddled, little did I know how justified those concerns were. How the Wilpons managed to go from barely able to scrape together enough for a 1% purchase in 1980 to the considerable advance needed to make a 50% bid in 1986? That’s a tale best left for another day and another entry, lets leave it as a conspicuous rise in fortunes.

The lead up to 1986 was a strange time. I remember George Bamberger quitting on a 1983 team featuring George Foster (signed to a 10 million dollar contract), Hubie Brooks at third, Mookie Wilson in center, Jose Oquendo at short, and a young somewhat overmatched but wildly promising slugger named Daryl Strawberry.

But the team was interesting in spite of the fact that the Mets hadn’t finished with a .500 record (or higher than fifth) since 1976. It was interesting because Doubleday hired a baseball insider named Frank Cashen who not only spent on free agents, but on hometown favorites like Dave Kingman, returning the “franchise” Tom Seaver, to Queens. All the while Cashen was quietly fortifying a farm system that would be instrumental in returning the team to glory.

Foster and Seaver were little more than diversions from the real work of rebuilding the organization. I eventually came to see that this was the genius of Frank Cashen. He knew the overhaul would take years and that New Yorkers were impatient. Foster, Kingman, and Seaver were smokescreens meant to keep the fans interested. Cashen had full autonomy back then. He had the authority to spend even when spending amounted to little more than a diversion from his real task — orchestrating a build up to the critical mass of talent that hit the stage in 1985 and 1986.

Cashen was able to do this because he had complete control and because ownership prior to 1986 had the wherewithal to stay out of the picture and let the baseball people do their thing.

What does all this have to do with our current Mets?

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When Sandy Alderson was hired in 2011 it was not only closely on the heels of a Madoff scandal that was threatening to bring down Mets ownership, there were also numerous indicia that the hire was endorsed if not orchestrated by Bud Selig.

Now I’ve never had much faith in the Wilpons as far as their competence in running a Major League franchise, but while I’ve had issues with Bud Selig I don’t think incompetence has ever been one of them. Bud has always been aware of his bottom line, cultivating revenue streams Baseball couldn’t dream of back in the 80’s. I hate to say it, but it was almost reassuring that this new Mets GM was all but sanctioned by the shrewd and somewhat ruthless Selig.

Selig knew the Mets would be in need of a major financial overhaul if current ownership was to somehow survive the tumultuous aftermath of the Madoff debacle. Selig’s influence may even now be understated given the emergency bridge loan floated to the Mets right around the time of Alderson’s hire and the fact that it was well within Selig’s power to relieve the Wilpons of their ownership if he had a mind to.

This guy Alderson was about as close to being appointed by MLB as you could get without actually being appointed by MLB. You’ll all recall that Alderson’s previous stint was cleaning up a cesspool in the Dominican Republic talent pipeline which was rife with drugs, rogue sports agents, identity fraud and age fraud. Alderson had the ring of a “clean up” man … that guy who makes problems go away. A Marine, a Vietnam war veteran and a Harvard grad, Alderson didn’t strike me as someone Jeff Wilpon would be barking at any time soon.

And that was a very good development.

Alderson hired two former General Managers to run his baseball operations. Paul Depotesta and J.P. RIcciardi. They handled baseball while he oversaw an organizational overhaul focusing on cohesion of purpose and doctrine across all levels and departments. There is no doubt in my mind that there was little if any interference from Jeff Wilpon or any other ownership representative during these years. Their input was limited to setting a budget, and boy was it limited.

It was an odd and painful bargain. The same disaster that forced a General Manager on the Mets who would resist interference, strangled the team’s finances, reducing them to a bottom third payroll. As a fan all I could think about was the years from 1980 to 1984 when the fans were just as impatient and the team was just as bad. Fans of recent years haven’t even had the benefit of table scrap entertainment purchases like Seaver and Kingman. It’s been a dreary slog to be sure.

But In the end the signs are all there. The farm is arguably positioned better than the Mets farm was back in 1985. It is certainly deeper than what we had during the Generation “K” years, and, much like what we saw in 1985, we are already seeing some returns on our talent. As much as the fans clamored for trades these past couple of years, this management group, to the delight of purists everywhere, has resisted trading prospects, focusing laser-like on stockpiling an impressive collection of minor league talent.

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The rebuild was orchestrated by Sandy Alderson because he was given a window of autonomy opened in the chaos of a ponzi scheme, and he took it. Running his rebuild with impunity, indifference, and a mastery of double-talk that would make a ventriloquist’s head spin, Alderson placated the media, confounded his critics, and condescended to his so-called benefactors with remarkable aplomb while his brainy minions focused on the real work.

Lacking the financial flexibility to run interference with an occasional splash (Cano would have been nice), Alderson simply turned down the static and rebuilt the team the only proven way teams have consistently reconstituted in modern history, from the farm up, drafting, developing, and retaining talent.

That he was able to do this under current ownership and in New York no less, is nothing short of astonishing.

I would be surprised if the Mets do not contend in the near future. The Mets minor leagues are winning at a higher rate than any other organization in the game. These kids are beating up on the kids of virtually every other system out there. We need to consider that prospects who come up playing for teams like the Orioles and the Cubs and the Dodgers know these Mets affiliates to be pitching heavy powerhouses … this contagion of arms has to bleed up to the major league level at some point.

I have to believe that under the circumstances it’s only a matter of time before the remarkable patience of Mets fans is rewarded. I have to. Baseball wouldn’t make sense if that weren’t the case … Baseball is, after all, still a young man’s game, and pitching … pitching wins championships.

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You Know You Miss Baseball… http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/you-know-you-miss-baseball.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/you-know-you-miss-baseball.html/#comments Wed, 24 Dec 2014 20:48:36 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=172249 mets baseball logo grass field

This is a funny time of year. The previous baseball season is now well in the books and fading fast in the rear-view mirror while next season is still too far of for even the earliest of prognostics to hit the scene. It’s a kind of baseball limbo where there is little but a frosty nip in the air and spring seems like an eternity away.

I’ve often found myself searching frantically for some connection to our great pastime that may tide me over until the next tidbit of hot stove news reaches me, or until there is some hope of a thaw in the weather.

I thought I’d put together a brief list of some of my more desperate attempts to connect to my summer pastime. Feel free to add your own in the comments section.

  • You know you miss baseball when you catch yourself mimicking the crack of a bat and a cheering crowd with a pencil in a dentist’s waiting room.
  • You know you miss baseball when you find yourself replaying old David Wright interviews counting how many times he says the word “obviously.
  • You know you miss baseball when you devote an entire day to the 1986 boxed set with your bobblehead collection (and your little toy parachute guy) displayed on your coffee table.
  • You know you miss baseball when you imagine the weather report as told by Vin Scully:  “Yes folks, this particular blizzard as a young low pressure system attended Texas A & M and was known to be quite the prankster.”
  • You know you miss baseball when you spend an hour in your attic going through old boxes looking for your Roger Clemens voodoo doll.
  • You know you miss baseball when you can’t get the SNY opening credits theme out of your head as you shovel the walk …
  • You know you miss baseball when you find yourself reciting Gary Cohen’s opening monologue out loud in a Denny’s.
  • You know you miss baseball when your browser history shows 28 compulsive hits on MLB Trade Rumors in the space of a half an hour.
  • You know you miss baseball when you devote a day to washing your baseball caps in the dishwasher (top rack of course).
  • You know you miss baseball when you say you’re tired of reading about Tulowitzki rumors yet still make sure to read every new account even though nothing has changed.
  • You know you miss baseball when you start dropping hints you want a new Mets cap and jersey for Christmas.
  • You know you miss baseball when you say “put it in the books” when you clock out for work at the end of the day.
  • You know you miss baseball if you clear out a 40 yard straight shot from one side of your basement to the other free of furniture or breakables so you can play catch with your kid.
  • You know you miss baseball when 4:30 to 5:00 on weekdays is devoted to arguing various points on the Metsmerized Online comments threads.

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Dwight Gooden Sees Mets In Postseason In 2015 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/dwight-gooden-sees-mets-in-postseason-in-2015.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/dwight-gooden-sees-mets-in-postseason-in-2015.html/#comments Tue, 02 Dec 2014 13:45:06 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=170991 dwight gooden

Dwight Gooden told Anthony Sulla-Heffinger of Yahoo Sports, that he believes the Mets are on the right track and should go to the postseason in 2015 and possibly win the World Series in 2016.

“I think next year you will see some big strides from the Mets, possibly making the postseason, and then the following year, on the 30th anniversary of the 1986 team, that’s the year the Mets should win [the World Series]. That’s how I feel. I think they are definitely on the right track.”

Gooden also sees some similarities between the Mets rotations of those eighties teams and what they have now. “The Mets have some great arms and hopefully there is some parallel to our teams in the ’80s.”

Terry Collins and many of the players have also come out and made similar predictions about the team making the postseason in 2015.

“We should be playing in October”, Collins said last month. “Our young guys are starting to grow, with the addition of some offense, and…we’re going to make some more moves before spring training starts. I think 2015 is going to be a good year for us.”

Jacob deGrom talked playoffs just a week ago. “We should be able to make it to the playoffs next year and hopefully get to the World Series,” deGrom said.“With Matt Harvey coming back, another great pitcher, we’ve got Cuddyer and David Wright is going to be healthy. When that all comes together it should be something special.”

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You Gotta Have Heart, And A Little Crazy Helps Too http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/08/you-gotta-have-heart-and-a-little-crazy-helps-too.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/08/you-gotta-have-heart-and-a-little-crazy-helps-too.html/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 12:00:28 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=163781 MLB: Washington Nationals at New York Mets

David Wright is sounding like a desperate man these days. He’s seeing his power numbers evaporate and he’s had to bear another year entrenched in a mediocre lineup on a mediocre team.

He’s got everything a man could wish for. A great apartment, buckets of money, a gorgeous wife and a great job … but his dream of a world series eludes him. David is a good guy, by all accounts he’s liked and respected by just about everyone. He signs autographs, visits children in hospitals, and does his best to put a happy face on a beleaguered franchise.

I’d wager that if David got a visit from “Mr. Applegate” (A.K.A. the Devil) offering to return him to his former slugging form he’d be mightily tempted. The reference is of course to the musical Damn Yankees, where a poor long suffering fan of the Washington Senators is lured into offering up his soul to secure that slugger his team desperately needs. Mr. Applegate turns poor Joe Boyd into Joe Hardy, the power hitter the team requires. David Wright would probably have to leave his wife, sharpen his spikes and charge the mound now and then … I doubt he could continue to be Mr. nice-guy … not with his soul in hock.

I could see the plot of Damn Yankees played out in our own backyard. A young ambitious Fred Wilpon approached by Mr. Applegate (as Bernie Madoff) in the lead up to 1986, promising him untold riches, a World Series and sole ownership of the Mets … for a price of course. After a dark and tense negotiation and a brief moment when it’s almost called off (after Wilpon tries to throw in his first born) it’s done.

Of course things didn’t turn out the way Wilpon wanted … that’s usually how these Faustian things go. In the play, Mr. Applegate was defeated by Joe Boyd’s true love for his wife Meg, but in real life Fred WIlpon’s only true love (the Dodgers) could never love him back, and so he is hung out to dry, bamboozled, hoodwinked … and as soon as the ink dries on the contract the ball gets through Buckner and his fate is sealed.

It’s a cautionary tale. Be careful what you wish for, don’t sell out, never give up on your convictions or your integrity for the sake of worldly success … but those words begin to ring hollow when you’re mired in a historic stretch of offensive futility.

The Mets win when they’re mean, when they’re a nasty dirty bunch of brawlers, when they routinely knock you down and punch you in the face if you make a run at them anywhere near the third base line. The Mets have sold out their roots and heritage by promising to be good. In the immortal words of Patches O’Houlihan, sometimes “You have to get angry, you have to be MEAN!”

But it’s not easy to be mean when you are constantly taking the high road and your captain reminds people of Spongebob’s kinder gentler nephew. You might get into heaven, but you probably won’t win a pennant.

Tom Seaver on many occasions reminisced about his days as a young ballplayer in California and often pointed to his time in the Marine Corps as a turning point. While many athletes in his position would have hesitated to devote that much time from their budding careers to the military, Tom Terrific attributed much of his toughness and strength to his service time, training with an organization designed to destroy and annihilate … an organization designed primarily for killing and maiming.

The venerable Gil Hodges shared this background with Seaver and between the two of them you had a couple of tough S.O.B’s anchoring that 1969 championship team … Then, again in 1986 you had perhaps one of the most sordid and undesirable (albeit talented) collection of deviants you could put into a single uniform take the field in Flushing, and they too proceeded to handily stomp nicer teams across the league.

It’s a cruel irony that in the years since (the Wilpon years), the team has become as straight laced and goody-two-shoes as the Waldo rich kid character in The little Rascals … I remember Darla pining “Oh Waldo!” But Waldo always lost in the end, beaten by low down dirty tricks and sneaky contraptions … a fire engine with a spring loaded boxing mitt or a speed boat with ducks harnessed to a wagon wheel as an engine. The little rascals didn’t fight fair, and they always ended up getting the girl in the end.

These 2014 Mets are nothing like Spanky and Alfalfa and Buckwheat, but they are a lot like other Mets teams of the past 20 years. They play fair, they don’t retaliate, they offer friendly smiles to the other team and routinely exchange pleasantries with opposing first basemen. Prior to Sandy Alderson and the rule changes, they adhered to slot recommendations religiously in the draft, draining their farm of talent at a time when every other big market team was stocking up. You have to go back to Ty Wiggington if you wonder when the last time a Met bowled over a catcher was. It makes one question why this Met organization is so inclined to the high road, the gentler more polite road, the losing road.

I’ll tell you why, it is Fred Wilpon’s penance on this great green earth that he be foiled by the very principles that were routinely urinated on by the 86 squad … Wilpon sold out to a criminal mastermind who orchestrated the financial backing necessary for him to secure ownership, and as punishment the Mets are now doomed, cursed … too nice to win, too gentlemanly to retaliate, too kind to knock a batter down — even when their own nicest of fellows is plunked perilously close to his noggin by a lowly Cubs team with nothing to play for. It’s like the plot of Damned Yankees without the happy ending.

Now I’m not saying Terry Collins should seek out the Devil and make a deal, these things have a way of backfiring, and besides, finding old scratch might not be easy in light of Bud Selig’s imminent retirement … but this too kind to let the other team lose gentleman’s game has no place in Queens. This is New York for crying out loud. Maybe this nauseating institutionalized tenet towards niceness was implemented in response to the ruinous amoral disintegration of their would-be dynasty, but surely, 28 failed seasons later the Wilpons must realize that good guys finish last, right? They must on some level understand that the bad guys won the last time their organization took it all?

Matt Harvey gave us a little taste last year of what it’s like to pour gasoline over a duct-taped opponent and threaten them with a Zippo lighter, while Zack Wheeler is showing signs of breaking this benevolent buffoonery with his fondness for kneecaps … but around the diamond we continue to be hamstrung by a sad and lugubrious shortness of crazy. You gotta have heart as the song goes, you have to have the courage to occasionally go off the high road and do something really really stupid.

Like John Blutarski famously said, “What the f#@& happened to the (Mets) I used to know? Where’s the spirit? Where’s the guts, huh? This could be the greatest night of our lives, but you’re gonna let it be the worst. “Ooh, we’re afraid to go with you Bluto, we might get in trouble.” Well just kiss my @$ from now on! Not me! I’m not gonna take this. Harper, he’s a dead man! Freddie Freeman, dead! Strasburg … “

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Is The Quest For 90 Over? The Math Says It Is. http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/is-the-quest-for-90-over-the-math-says-it-is.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/is-the-quest-for-90-over-the-math-says-it-is.html/#comments Mon, 26 May 2014 15:55:52 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=156736 alderson-sandy

“This team is now about being successful. This is about concrete expectations about what we need to do. The 90 wins is about challenge.” – Sandy Alderson

There are still 113 games left in the 2014 season, and while the Mets are only five games under .500 with a 22-27 record and sitting six games out of the National League East division lead and four and a half games out of the wildcard, the season is slipping away fast.

Without getting into the minutiae surrounding the details of the lineup, the bullpen, the hitting in clutch situations and so forth, I’ll very simply look at the win-loss totals.

The 90 win total that Sandy Alderson set as the goal prior to the season can be looked at the projected win total that would be needed to make into the playoffs. Yes, that number may shift up or down by the end of the season, but at 90 wins, you’re at the very least in playoff contention.

In order to reach that 90 win total, the Mets will need to go 68-45 for the remainder of the season. This is a .602 winning percentage over the remainder of the season.

A .602 winning percentage over the course of a full season is 97 wins.

The Mets will need to play like a 97 win team over the course of the rest of the year to be in contention.

The Mets have achieved 97 wins only five other times in their history – 1969, 1986, 1988, 1999, and 2006.

Can a team play well enough down the stretch after a weak start to make the playoffs? Of course, it’s happened before. But looking at the current team – is this team on par with any of the above mentioned Mets squads that played .600 ball or better?

Hardly.

I’m still that annoying optimistic Mets fan, but the #QuestFor90 is over. However, one can still dream, right?

MMO

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Win Mets Tickets from MetsMerized and 5 Towns! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/win-mets-tickets-from-metsmerized-and-5-towns.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/win-mets-tickets-from-metsmerized-and-5-towns.html/#comments Fri, 21 Mar 2014 21:27:20 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=151177 mets win satin

We had so much fun with giving away autographed vintage Mets photos from our friends at 5 Towns Mini Golf & Batting in Lawrence, NY – we’ve decided do another giveaway! They’re open for the season, so get your swing on!

Who wants Mets tickets?  We’re giving away two pairs!

You can win them and be in attendance to see David Wright and Company take on the Cincinnati Reds on Friday, April 4th – all you have to do is figure out…

Who Am I?

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  1. I once had a 24 game hitting streak with the Mets.
  2. I was drafted on 5 prior occasions before finally signing with the Mets as a first round pick.
  3. I was involved in two Mets trades – both times involving members of the 1986 championship team.

Email your answer to metsfanontwitter@aol.com

Double your chances of winning – when submitting your answer, let us know you’re following 5 Towns – @5TbatNgolf – and tweet this post – (include your twitter handle) and you’ll be entered twice!

Enter by 7pm on Wednesday, March 26th!  Two winners from all correct responses will be randomly chosen and you’ll be at the game courtesy of 5 Towns!

Presented By Diehards

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41 Years a Mets Fan http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/41-years-a-mets-fan.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/41-years-a-mets-fan.html/#comments Sun, 16 Mar 2014 13:50:39 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=150571 jesse-orosco-winning-1986-world-series

Legend has it that after Jesse Orosco fanned Marty Barrett and tossed his glove to the heavens it never came down. But on the evening of October 27, 1986, something else went even higher: My dad and me jumping up and down in the living room.

At that frozen moment in time my dad was not my dad. He wasn’t the one who taught me to ride a bike and drive a car. He wasn’t the one who showed me how to use a razor and knot a tie. He wasn’t the one who made me cover my ears when George Carlin launched into ‘The 7 Words You Can’t Say on TV.’ He wasn’t the one who snuck into my bedroom on Saturday nights and, unbeknownst to my mom, woke me up to watch wrestling. He wasn’t the one who explained to me that Baseball “is a business” after the Mets traded Tug McGraw. He wasn’t the one who once advised me, “Don’t trust anyone who doesn’t like Baseball.” He wasn’t the one who told me, “The Mets never lose. Sometimes we just run out of innings.” On that unforgettable Monday evening there was not 23 years between us.

We were two little kids. We were celebrating the fact that OUR TEAM was World Champions. We were Mets fans.

My mom eventually went to sleep but not my dad and me. We stayed up until dawn–drinking coffee, sharing some munchies, reminiscing. My dad smoked and although I, too, had picked up that habit and despite the fact I’d be turning 21 in 2 weeks, I still felt awkward smoking in front of him. We didn’t want to close the door on the ‘86 season. We discussed what the Mets would do with the logjam of Strawberry, Wilson, Dykstra and Mitchell in the outfield. We agreed that Cashen damn well better sign Series MVP Ray Knight. We fretted about Gary and Keith getting older but Gregg Jefferies would surely fill their shoes.

As the tentacles of sunrise began slithering through the curtains and the first day in eight months without baseball was upon us, my dad and I hugged again. With a smile displaying pride, dad casually mentioned, “That’s three.” The three he referred to was the number of championships he’d won in his life: one with Brooklyn in 1955. And now two with the Mets.

My dad passed away three years ago, just 2 weeks before Opening Day 2011. He never got to see a fourth.

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Over the past several years I’d guestimate that more than half the blogs I’ve written for MMO have been extremely critical of Sandy Alderson, his “plan” and his request to be patient. Part of me–deep down inside–agrees with him. To a certain point, with the financial handcuffs ownership has placed on him, he has little flexibility. We’re not the Yankees who are battling for a pennant year in and year out. In all fairness to the GM, perhaps it’s me. I came of age in the 80’s, the decade of instant gratification and quick edits in music videos.

To quote Tom Petty, the waiting is the hardest part. On the other hand, if small market clubs with small payrolls such as Atlanta or Oakland can compete year after year, why can’t we? I take umbrage with Alderson’s call for patience. I have 41 years under my belt as a Mets fan and over that time, I’ve got just one championship. In 41 years my team has only made the post-season 6 times. 6 for 41: A 146 average. And I’m tired of waiting.

To anyone reading this, STOP! Take a moment and think back to where you were, what your life was like in 1986. How much has changed? How much have you changed? Where you were then? Where are you now?

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Me? I’ve lived an entire adult life since 1986 as have many of you. I watched girls I had crushes on marry other guys. Then have kids. In some cases, now having grandkids. I fell in love, got married. I fell out of love, got divorced. I’ve had good paying jobs. I’ve had bad paying jobs. I once was hired on the spot during an interview. I once was fired on the spot when my employer reduced staff by 35%. I’ve gone from standing outside a stadium all night to get Springsteen tickets to still seeing Springsteen, but now, with the exception of the first few songs and last few songs, I sit for most of the 3 hour concerts. I’ve gone from a plethora of speeding tickets to…hell, I can’t even remember the last time I got pulled over. I’ve gone from a really bad-ass silver and black Chevy to a nice, conservative four door sedan. I’ve gone from spending hours on a Saturday waxing and washing my car by hand to expelling less energy and going to a drive-thru. I’ve gone from being able to eat an abundance of fast food to avoiding spicy foods so I don’t aggravate my ulcer. I’ve gone from watching MTV and The Cosby Show to watching my cholesterol and my blood pressure. I’ve visited my parents in the hospital several occasions since 1986. And I’ve seen my parents standing at my bedside in a hospital. I once volunteered on a presidential campaign and four years later found myself on the opposite end of the political spectrum, voting against the man I’d fought so hard for. I’ve lost grandmothers, uncles, aunts, cousins. I’ve had one of my best friends die in a car accident, another succumb to cancer at 31.

Not too different from things you’ve also probably encountered. Just…well, just life. And through all of this, I’m still waiting.

Some of you reading this may be too young to remember 1986. Me, and those around my age, can still see in our mind Gary Carter’s fist-pumping curtain calls after going deep, the majestic swing of Darryl Strawberry, Ray Knight clobbering Eric Davis in the head and the cat-like quickness and elegance of Keith Hernandez at 1B. But for those who are too young you only know these images from YouTube. They don’t pull at your heartstrings unless you witnessed it first-hand. Unless you lived it. Same for me who is too young to personally recall 1969 with Agee’s catches, Swoboda’s dive, Seaver’s imperfect game or Cleon Jones dropping to one knee for the final out, something my dad recreated for me dozens of times in our living room in Queens.

And some of you reading this were not even born the last time the Mets won. Hearing about or reading about ground balls to Buckner or the euphoria and feeling of invincibility that filled Shea whenever Doc Gooden took the mound carries little significance. Same goes for me when my dad told me stories about Jackie Robinson stealing home, Sandy Amoros’ catch or Johnny Podres shutting down the mighty Yankees in Game 7 of the ’55 World Series.

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There are several excellent bloggers on this site who are hopeful, positive and have no qualms about waiting. They’re young. They’re in college. And I’m actually a touch envious of their optimism when they look into the future. Sadly, they’ve never experienced the jubilation, the exhilaration, the sheer joy of being able to say my Mets are Champions.

It seems like just yesterday I, too, was in college. In October 1986, I was a senior, seven months away from entering the real world. I had my whole life ahead of me, my dreams and hopes still intact. I was certain ’86 would only be the beginning of Mets dominance. Now, nearly thirty years later, I’m still waiting for that encore.

The last time the Mets were presented a World Series trophy I wasn’t even of legal age. And suddenly, somehow, someway, without even realizing, next year I’ll be…gasp…50. I went through my 20’s, my 30’s, and my 40’s waiting. And, per Sandy Alderson, I should wait just a wee bit longer.

One more time, STOP! No matter what your current age is, think of yourself fifteen years from now. Try to picture yourself fifteen years older. Pretty hard to do. But that’s how old we’ll approximately be if David Wright is a first ballot Hall of Famer.

The thing is that we all have only X amount of seasons in us. There’s no clock in Baseball, but there is one in life.

So, I’ll continue to grumble about Alderson, the Wilpons, Terry Collins. As I enter my 42nd year rooting for this team I’ve seen a lot. Over these four plus decades, I’ve gone through 8 GM’s and 16 managers. And after Alderson is gone, after Collins is gone, after the Wilpons are gone (soon, I hope), I’ll still be here, cheering for the Mets into my 50’s just as I’ve been doing since I was 7. I’ll write plenty more blogs critical of the ‘plan.’ But what choice do I really have? I’m not going to switch my allegiance. I’ve got too much time invested in the Mets. I’ve spent my entire life rooting for this team.

I’ll wait. I’ll keep waiting. I’ll keep waiting and hoping. Just like my dad kept waiting to see a fourth championship in his life, I’ll keep waiting for my second.

seaver number 41

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Amazin’ Trades of the Past: Bobby Ojeda http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/trades-of-the-past-bobby-ojeda.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/trades-of-the-past-bobby-ojeda.html/#comments Sat, 08 Mar 2014 07:25:14 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=79755 Continuing this series of posts on the best trades the Mets ever made, if Bernard Gilkey was the only hitter to have a career year after being traded to the Mets, then Bob Ojeda was clearly the first, last, and only pitcher to similarly have a career year after coming to Flushing.

Ojeda had been a decent, if unspectacular starting pitcher for the Red Sox for a few seasons. The Mets had been impressed with the work another former Boston lefty, John Tudor, had done with the Cardinals and were seeking a similar pitcher, so they inquired about Ojeda. Coming off a 1985 season in which he was 9-11 with a 4.00 ERA, Ojeda was definitely obtainable, but the Sox were still able to attract what seemed like a pretty hefty price from the Mets.

Calvin Schiraldi was among the Mets’ best young pitching prospects, Wes Gardner looked like the Mets’ best young reliever and John Christensen and Laschelle Tarver were AAA outfielders who looked ready to contribute on the big league level. The Mets sent all 4 to Boston for Ojeda, a pretty good minor league pitcher named John Mitchell, and a couple of other minor leaguers, Chris Bayer, and Tom McCarthy. At the time of the deal, few fans expected Ojeda to be anything more than a fourth or fifth starter and it looked like the Mets were overpaying in prospects for a mediocre pitcher.

But Ojeda had a tremendous year for the World Champion Mets in 1986, going 18-5, 2.57 and placing fourth in the Cy Young balloting. An off-season freak injury made 1987 a lost year for Ojeda, and after that, he was just so-so for the Mets, but his big year in 1986 made this trade one of the best ever for the Mets.

Although the Mets have dealt for one-time aces throughout their history from Warren Spahn and Dean Chance to Frank Viola, Bret Saberhagen and Johan Santana, it was the Ojeda deal that will remain as the only one in which an established pitcher went on to have a career year right after the Mets acquired him.

Since 2009, Bobby Ojeda has been the lead analyst on SNY’s Mets pre and post game coverage.

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MMO Contest: Win A Vintage 1986 Mets Autographed Photo! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/mmo-contest-win-a-vintage-1986-mets-autographed-tonight.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/mmo-contest-win-a-vintage-1986-mets-autographed-tonight.html/#comments Thu, 20 Feb 2014 02:48:17 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=147550 five towns banner

We love our readers and we love making our readers happy.

While we can’t give out a championship, we can give out some autographed photos of players from our 1986 World Champion New York Mets!

Starting Friday, February 15th – for four consecutive Fridays, our friends at 5 Towns Mini Golf and Batting Range in Lawrence, NY will be giving away an 8×10 photo signed by one of our 1986 Mets to one of our lucky readers.

MMO CONTEST DETAILS

Two autographed vintage Howard Johnson photos and two vintage Tim Teufel autographed photos are up for grabs!

You know you want it. So how are you going to get it? It’s super simple…

1. Follow them on Twitter – @5TbatNgolf

2. Tweet or RT – Hey @5TBatNgolf & @bigmetsfan1 – I want that signed Mets photo! #MMOGiveaways

You’ll be entered and every Friday we’ll give away a photo to a lucky winner, courtesy of 5 Towns! Enter every week!

Don’t forget to include the #MMOGiveaways hashtag so we can keep track…

Week 1 Winner – @joychica

Week 2 Winner – @kenergized

Week 3 Winner – @Dibrizzi

Weed 4 Winner – @wwoodard

 

CHECK ‘EM OUT: IT’S HOJO AND TEUFEL!

1986 photos

We want to thank our friends at Five Towns for their generosity and also all of our readers for your incredible support.

Good luck to all of you and may the odds be ever in your favor. :-)

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