Friday, October 27, 2006

The Best Part of the World Series Being Over???


Will There Be Withdrawal Symptoms????

Fact: This writer is a baseball fanatic.

Reality: Cardinals are up 3 games to 1 in the World Series - and it takes 4 to win.

Consequences: After that fourth victory becomes a reality, be that of the Redbirds or the Tigers - could be tonight, could be in a few days - the "wake up and smell the coffee" moment is that there will be NO baseball on TV or in the parks until April.

This is hard for me to accept. First, they take away the sunbeams and humidity of summer, and as this is being written, a coat is now being toted to the office. Next, the clocks get set back and the darkness pokes through, invades and settles in when the clock says 4:xx (that is purely insane). And, as mentioned above, baseball takes a bow with no encore.

Reaction: Do I take a "Woe is Me" approach? Nah, already did that when Beltran watched Wainwright's final pitch. Mentally, I will relive all the good moments of the Mets season and realize that the words "WAIT TILL NEXT YEAR" are uttered, but this time they have meaning! The Mets are contenders. When we used to say that in the early 90s, it was more of a hollow feeling and said because it was done with the obligatory M.O. of being a Mets fan -- and no one believed it anyway.

So, baseball is 24/7/365 now thanks to the Internet.

Action item: I'm going home and see if my cable company gets channels for baseball in Venezuela. If not, well, there's always Hockey.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Carlos Delgado Wins Clemente Award

New York Mets : News : New York Mets News

Good to see some of the Mets win individual honors. Though as a team, they were probably the best internally matched group of 40 to come along in years. No real friction between players and the way the line-up was composed, each player had a legit chance to contribute.

I have to admit, on a personal level, I was not thrilled to be getting Carlos Delgado at the start of the season. This was all predicated on the fact that he would not respect the country when they played God Bless America in the 7th inning. There is no need for me to link any stories to that. I still think its not Patriotic to disrespect the flag -- considering after 9-11 we need to be united and combat terrorism. But this is not the place for me to spout political stuff, its a place for me to grab a megaphone and yell (WITH PASSION!) about my love of the game of baseball.

Delgado turned things around and became a good player. A "GO TO" player. One you can count on to get that run in. And there were many occasions after he hit the ball, had the opportunity to pace 360 feet back to his original destination. 38 times. Carlos Delgado Statistics. For those who are mathematicians, that is equal to 2.5909 miles or 13,680 feet.

Well, without further adieu, I'd like to share the story about Carlos winning the Clemente Award. Roberto was a hell of a player and gave it his all. For those fortunate enough to either see him play in person or on TV, consider yourself lucky.
Click the headline above or the link in the beginning of this post.

Spring training is not too far away, let's think about really WINNING this in '07.

It's time for a DYNASTY to start.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Kenny Rogers Pitched Well -- And He DIDN'T Shove Any Camera Men!!!

It's uncanny*, but also a testament to athletes and baseball players that a man with a 42-year-old arm can still hurl a 5 ounce stitched ball at the minimum driving speed on the New Jersey Turnpike (estimates are around 95 mph) and still be a dominant force.

Personally, I don't like Kenny Rogers. He was a big bust as a Met (Dolly Parton, YOU don't compare) and he pissed a lot of people off with his 'tude and his trumped up skills. But this year under the tutelage of Leyland and Co. he's been resurrected...And that gives great hope to other older players.

Now, here's a bit of Irony (to quote Col. Flag in M*A*S*H "Irony is Ironic") - Rogers, at one time during his career was getting a W-2 from 5 teams that made the post-season playoffs this year. (Click headline for his record)

  • Yankees - 1996-97
  • Oakland - 1998-99
  • Mets - 1999
  • Twins - 2003
  • Tigers - 2006
During his career he also had THREE stints with the Texas Rangers. I'm beginning to think all this movement at some point he was married to Elizabeth Taylor (more than once, of course).

But besides having the same appellation as a famous country singer, he is remembered for shoving some poor camera man when "Little Kenny" was having a bad day. The Kenny Rogers I like performs songs in front of cameras - NOT "songs and dances."

Of course that "substance" that was on Roger's person is very suspect. I believe somewhere (perhaps even sitting together) Gaylord Perry and Joe Niekro enjoyed seeing Rogers with gunk.

Let's see what happens the remainder of the World Series. As this is being written, we are awaiting Game 3. It is an exciting series? Well, I LOVE baseball, but with the Mets not in it, let's just say I don't wait for a commercial to get up and re-load my seltzer.

*You don't have to refer to a member of the X-Men to use that phrase

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Tip Of The Hat To Omar Minaya

Aw right.

We lost. But you have to admit that the teams put together under Omar Minaya really REALLY gel.

I don't understand what the thinking was when Steve Phillips was in charge. Let's face it, he kept a lot of players on the team for a long time that shouldn't have been there (John Franco, to name one). And many times, Steve Phillips traded away someone for nothing, then wants to give the store away for this same player in a following year (Jeremy Burnitz- and remember Fernando Vina?).

Omar looks for good players and has an eye for talent for developing players.

Omar, for next year, let's get some good bat, strong arms, great attitudes and players with courage who work their hearts out.

Here's a mini shopping list (and more to come):

  • Barry Zito
  • Dontrelle Willis
  • Alfonso Soriano

Let's get some steamer trunks and bid bon voyage to:

  • Steve Traschel
  • Ricky Ledee
  • Roberto Hernandez

Advice for Tim McCarver from the Fans...

Hey Tim -
One little tip on how to make your broadcasts more appealing:

Shut Up Already and be quiet!!! Shut Up Already and be quiet!!! Shut Up Already and be quiet!!! Shut Up Already and be quiet!!! Shut Up Already and be quiet!!! Shut Up Already and be quiet!!! Shut Up Already and be quiet!!! Shut Up Already and be quiet!!! Shut Up Already and be quiet!!! Shut Up Already and be quiet!!! Shut Up Already and be quiet!!! Shut Up Already and be quiet!!! Shut Up Already and be quiet!!! Shut Up Already and be quiet!!! Shut Up Already and be quiet!!!

Friday, October 20, 2006

And So It Ends...Ducks On Pond...112,714 Eyes In Disbelief as a Backwards "K" Puts A Denoument To 2006

I saw it.

This is the type of history you witness, but wish you read about it in a book instead -- YEARS later.

You all know what happens. Yadier sticks it. 3-1. Then the 9th and by the miracle that is always bestowed upon the Mets, the chance to tie, then win.

Let me interject something here. Besides baseball, I love to play dominoes. It is a game that teaches one to be humble and even tempered. Just because you are winning, let's say 90-5 (and playing to 100), does not mean a victory is in the bag. If you are that player with 5, you STILL have the hope of winning. That same set of luck/circumstances was bestowed upon the Mets in the lower 9th.

OK, so I accept the fact the Mets lost. It's hard when you root for your team, and this year was probably my best baseball year EVER. I saw parts off ALL of the Mets games - every one of the 162, save for 5 at the end of May when I was traveling internationally (I WAS able to catch the Mets and the Yankee Series thanks to ESPN Deportes ) I'm I'm not going to gripe. I remember an old saying from somewhere that said "There's no crying in curling" (or maybe it was Jai-Alai) -- either way, I'm applying it to baseball.

Kevin Kennedy said something of interest about statistics. As much I I love stats and pouring over them on my daily busride, Kennedy basically said it's all "past history"

I tend to agree that every instance in baseball is an incident that stands on its own and once it occurs, will be a stat. Just because Joe Schmoe is 15-for-15 against Pete The Pitcher, doesn't mean he will get a hit on the 16th time he faces him.

Mets needed to treat Game 7 as an individual event.

Now, I'm going to be an armchair manager... A few things didn't make sense. Why was Floyd in their with that beat-up achilles? Say he hit a nice slow roller down the right/left field line - he'd get beat by a fat lady to the base. Plus with two on, a DP could have been en vogue.
...The Mets DO have a great DP combo; Reyes to Valentine to Delgado. And they turned a few nice ones in games 6 & 7...The piece de resistance (and I am NOT the only one to write about this) is Carlos Beltran looking like a deer in the headlights. As our little league coaches used to say "PROTECT THE PLATE!!!!"...Wainwright's pitches were all dropping off the table like an anvil -- and it should have been incumbent upon the batters who faced him to give a quick report to the batter on deck or double deck...And who would have thought the series would be over by a K -- one that Carlos just looked at. Didn't even lift the bat.

2007 is coming and there will be some interesting moves. My next blog entry will focus on my personal predictions, prognostications and gut guesses.

Kudos to the Mets. Willie Randolph and Omar Minaya. The overall year was a success. As a long-time Mets fan, I have suffered with my bretheren for many years. This was one to remember. Way ahead of many people's expectations.

AND WHILE IM AT IT...A few memorable moments that immediately come to mind...Endy Chavez' THAT was something. I heard people who don't even like baseball talking about it. (It was a bit reminiscent of Joe Rudi in the 1973 playoffs / WS)...Anderson Hernandez' catch in the second game of the season. This guy FLEW and looked like Superman...and, while we are in a Hernandez state of mind, how can we forget El Duque's triple!!!

I'll be back in the coming days commenting on the Mets-less World Series. (and other items)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

It All Comes Down To Game 7 in the Playoffs - THE FINAL EXAM

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous about tonight's Game 7 of the NL Playoffs. Let's face it, things haven't been easy for the Mets. Wings on some pitchers have gone south for the winter (and for pedro, the spring and part of the summer of next year too) and Cliff Floyd's Achilles Heel is his, uh - Achilles Heel.

Barring the injuries, the Mets have been playing OK (not great, just OK). And it takes more than an "OK" performance.

Game 6 showed the crowd was behind the team and they have the fortitude to press ahead and manufacture runs. Pitching will be in question, but Maine did a great job beyond expectations. There is no margin for error. I hope you read this Billy Wagner - you created some John Franco-like moments last night. Coming in with no runs and having the potential tying run at the plate. Let's use a little finesse, cunning, skill and just some good baseball playing. And while we're at it - WIN WIN WIN. Beginning Saturday, we should Maul some tigers.

However, if the Mets lose - and I KNOW they will not. We must think of the verse of that famous song by the Shirelles:

So tell me now, and I won't ask again Will you still love me tomorrow? Will you still love me tomorrow? Will you still love me tomorrow?

My reply is that I will always love the Mets - but the "year" is here. Let's do it.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Wanna Know Who is a Pest?

What do these three images have in common?

Simple...They are all PESTS in the worst way. No matter what you do, you just can't get rid of them and they pop up when you least expect it -- and stick around.

This David Eckstein is a hell of a player. His numbers aren't "great" but defensively he makes the play and offensively, he slaps those annoying rolling singles.

The Mets need to contain players like this. Other ones that come to mind (past and present): Craig Counsell (this guy's stats says he weighs 180 - yeah. And I'm Hank Aaron...Otis Nixon, Brett Butler (I liked him). And, I can say too, with PRIDE, that Jose Reyes is a pest, but man, can he hit and run and throw and field. All the tools.

Playoff Observations:...Is it me, or does Tim McCarver still not get it? He just rambles on and on and on. And when he gets out the pen and draws on the screen, why, I swear it was like the Rinky Dink toy of days gone by...Shawn Green - I'm glad he's in NY, but someone has to teach him not to be afraid of the ball and start fielding, charging and closing his glove when the time is right. We all have to pray for Shawn - this is an open call for all clergy and NY Rabbis to get in motion. (In the 1950s, a priest in Brooklyn suggested his congregation pray for Gil Hodges who wasn't hitting)...This image here is the best description I can conjure up about Shawn Green's glove:

Monday, October 16, 2006

CLOSE CALL! (HOW Scared Was I for the Mets?)

Well, the first game was a nice win, then followed by two horrific L's which shouldn't have been - When you are beating Chris Carpenter -- and SOUNDLY -- there is no reason to let the sand slip through your fingers.

Going into Sunday night's game - I will have to admit that I was a bit scared. How scared?

Let's just say a little bit more scared than serving as an altarboy with Father John Geoghan.

Glad the Mets trounced the Cards in Game 4...Shawn Green redeemed himself with the lumber, but he's gotta get a better claw to snare the balls.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Game 1 of Playoffs - We Shut The Cardinals Out of the House

This is the feeling the Cardinals got after Thursday night's shut out by the Mets...Looks like they can't get in any way!

Glavine looked great and Pujols whiffed on the first AB and then did an totally uncharacteristic-like got doubled-up on a DP situation.

As a fan, I want to see good head-to-head action. Weaver surprised the hell out of me and pitched well during the shutout innings. I actually saw him play in person in his debut when he was with the Yankees and thought - what the heck did the Yankees do? (Fear not, a friend had a ticket - I'm not a pinstripes aficionado.)

Friday's game is important. The Second Button theory as we referred to an earlier blog post. Maine vs. Carpenter. I think the wood man can get hammered. Beltran has some good wood and so does the rest of the team. Confidence is up.

NOTE: Floyd needs to sit down. An Achilles isn't something that can come back quick. As a runner, I have had Achilles issues in the past. REST REST REST is the cure.

See you back here soon.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

He's The Opponent - But, He IS the BEST Player in the Game

Readers of this blog, please don't think of me as a Benedict Arnold for writing anything other than the Mets. This is an observation on the type of player you want to emulate -- and have on the Mets!

He may be an opposing player in the series against the Mets. But you have to take you hat off to Albert Pujols - as a player, and as a human being.

Pujols is a model of consistency and take a look at his stats:

What's amazing is the first six years of his career, 2006 marked the most games he missed - 19.

He's got a good glove - career fielding percentage of .993 - and when you take a look at his appearances on the leaderboards, it is just mindboggling.

As I am writing this, the first game of the Mets playoffs against the Cardinals commenced. It was nice to see Glavine strike him out. This will hopefully set the tone of the series.

Mets in 4!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Philosophical Interlude - Why Jerry Seinfeld's View on Shirts Is Like The Playoffs and World Series

For all the laughing we did watching Seinfeld, years later it moves me to a famous quote he said in an early episode. To me, it relates to the playoffs and the World Series.

Take a read:

"The second button literally makes or breaks the shirt. Look at it. It's too high. It's in no-man's land. You look like you live with your mother."

Notice how he emphasized "second" - which brings me to my point.

In any of these series, the second game is the most important for a psychological edge. Let's say Team A wins Game 1...the series, naturally is 1-0. Second game comes around again, they win. They are up 2-0. Nice cushion but it still can be beat. However, it takes a team twice as hard to comeback to even the series.

The Mets have to remember this to play the entire series well. Its underrated, but I think against the grain sometime. So, Willie, you gotta put your best pitcher out there on Game 2.

And, for the team that loses 0-2, they are in no-man's land. They may as well live with their mother.

Tale of The Tape - Metropolitans and Redbirds

I found the following story to be good, accurate and demonstrative of the head-to-head line up:

A special thanks to MT, down in Howell NJ for sending it to me...

Before you read, keep in mind I think Albert Pujols is the best all around player today.

NOTE: Click the headline or this link for the original source:

Cardinals-Mets: Position analysis
By Barry M. Bloom /

Breaking down the Cardinals-Mets matchup, position by position

CATCHER EDGE: METS Paul Lo Duca is reputed as a winner, and he finally won, defeating his old team, the Dodgers, in the first round. Here's the chance for a grinder who handles a bat well and handles a pitching staff even better.
Yadier Molina has settled in as the heir apparent to Mike Matheny in St. Louis. Molina, the younger brother of Bengie and Jose, clearly has continued Matheny's defensive legacy, but he's already proven to be a better offensive player. He's backed up by Gary Bennett.

FIRST BASE EDGE: CARDINALS Carlos Delgado had been preparing for this for 1,710 games, more than any other active player without a postseason bow. Now he's had one and he's enjoying every minute of it, getting hits in each of his first four at-bats in the Mets' Game 1 victory against the Dodgers. His reputation is built on 162-game consistency. Now we'll see what happens as he keeps adding postseason games.

No contest here. Pitch to Albert Pujols in a key situation, and you will get burned. He's probably the best player in the NL right now and is a seasoned playoff performer. Ask Brad Lidge. The guy who has been removed at times this year as Astros closer is still waiting for the Pujols shot that won last year's Game 5 of the NLCS to come down.

SECOND BASE EDGE: EVEN Jose Valentin is the guy who finally ran Kaz Matsui out of Flushing. Had he done little else, he would be revered, but Mets fans have also appreciated his hard-nosed play and clutch hits.

It has been Russian roulette at this position since the Cards were swept by Boston in the 2004 World Series. This year, it's Ronnie Belliard, who came over in a midseason deal with the Indians. He's a .240 hitter and made some terrific plays for the Cards in their first-round win over the Padres.

THIRD BASE EDGE: METS The Golden Boy. David Wright is the unchallenged symbol of the Mets' rise back into New York relevance. Infield-corner power, vastly improved defense, humility and personality -- all that's missing on the rack is October success.
Scott Rolen is one of the premier third basemen in the game and has rebounded well from last year's shoulder surgery. Because of it, he missed the 2005 postseason. But Rolen has been playing with a sore left shoulder again this October, relegating him at times to the bench, with Scott Spiezio getting the start.

SHORTSTOP EDGE: METS His first full season had been impressive. His across-the-board improvement in Year 2 has been stunning. As Jose Reyes has settled into his role as the Mets' sparkplug, he has unleashed all of his tools. He doesn't get big-stage fright, delivering the game-tying single in Saturday's Game 3 NLDS clincher.

It's been an injury-plagued season for little David Eckstein, who recently returned from a pulled side muscle only to go down with a sore hamstring. He's fragile and may not make it deep into the postseason. He was replaced by Aaron Miles, who performed well enough.

LEFT FIELD EDGE: EVEN Cliff Floyd has chased the light as long as has Delgado: 14 seasons, 1,415 games -- two lousy postseason hitless at-bats, in the 1997 World Series. But he came out of Game 3 of the NLDS after re-injuring a problematic left Achilles tendon. His status for the NLCS is up in the air. Endy Chavez could see increased playing time vs. the Redbirds.
Cardinals manager Tony La Russa flip-flopped rookie Chris Duncan and veteran Preston Wilson in the NLDS. Duncan had defensive problems and Wilson was a spark in the Cardinals' Game 2 victory at San Diego. If pressed, La Russa has also used Spiezio and John Rodriguez out there in a pinch.

CENTER FIELD EDGE: METS Carlos Beltran made a nice bounce-back from his booed 2005 Mets debut, but he still hasn't justified the big contract. This week, he can. The 2004 postseason (.435, eight homers and 14 RBIs in 12 games) is his yard stick -- and what people expect to see. His performance against the Cards two years ago in the NLCS is what got him the big deal.
It's hard to downplay Jim Edmonds, but he's had a rocky last month after smacking his head on the center-field fence and suffering through post-concussion syndrome. Yet he came back much sooner than expected, and the gamer he is will certainly be a force. Wilson is in the mix here if Edmonds can't go. So is Juan Encarnacion.

RIGHT FIELD EDGE: METS Along with Lo Duca, Shawn Green had to be pretty happy about defeating the Dodgers. His old team traded him to Arizona after the 2004 season, and on Aug. 22, the Diamondbacks flipped him to the Mets with Floyd on the disabled list. As age has slowed his bat, Green has forsaken some of his power by more often looking to slap balls the other way.

It's Encarnacion's first season with the Cardinals, and he's made the most of it. He has been one of the Cardinals' most durable players, playing in 153 regular-season games and all the NLDS games. He was a member of the 2003 Marlins team that was resurrected by Jack McKeon midseason and went on to defeat the Yankees in the World Series.

BULLPEN EDGE: METS Having Billy Wagner at the end of their bullpen made Mets manager Willie Randolph and his pitching coach, Rick Peterson, bulletproof. They assigned roles, compensated for injuries and could do no wrong. A day after valuable Duaner Sanchez went out with injuries suffered in a taxi accident, Minaya gave them Roberto Hernandez and, later, turned to Guillermo Mota. With Chad Bradford, Pedro Feliciano and Aaron Heilman also in front of Wagner, the Mets were 78-4 with a sixth-inning lead through their NLDS clincher.
With closer Jason Isringhausen out for the season after hip surgery, it's been a real mess and was one of the big reasons why the Cardinals lost seven games in a row near the end to make the NL Central race interesting. La Russa has been forced to go with Adam Wainwright and Braden Looper as his closers, with nominal success. Randy Flores is this year's Ray King in the situational left-hander's role.

BENCH EDGE: EVEN Starting with Julio Franco, Mr. Methuselah, this is a supporting cast that perfectly meshes with the high-profile headliners in New York. Ricky Ledee, picked up in early August after being waived by the Dodgers, might be activated for the NLCS if Floyd cannot go. Ledee would join Michael Tucker as the extra outfielders, with Chavez likely becoming the starter in left.

La Russa flip-flops pitchers and positions and substitutes with the best of them. He always has a pack of role players to go to. So Taguchi, Rodriguez, Miles, Wilson and Bennett are the big ones this season, depending on how many of his regulars are healthy. With Edmonds and Eckstein being hurt, La Russa's had to plug starting holes with bench players.

MANAGER EDGE: CARDINALS All those failed managerial interviews were worth it for Randolph, who got the job, and did the job, in the only city that matters to him. His quiet, patient leadership is ideal in a place where everyone else tends to get uptight. Randolph inspires confidence in his players, who feed off his faith in them.

La Russa is the resident genius with 22 seasons worth of big-league managerial experience. Can you believe it? But his lone winner was the 1989 A's, who salvaged the World Series after the last great Bay Area earthquake and swept the Giants. Come to think of it, his teams are 5-12 in World Series games. But this year has been one of his better jobs keeping these Cardinals competitive despite all the injuries.

INTANGIBLES EDGE: METS The arrival of an event that has been inevitable for months comes with intense pressure for the Mets, not to mention the letdown losses of Pedro Martinez and Orlando Hernandez from the playoff rotation. They now own baseball in New York with the Yankees being booted out of the postseason for the third consecutive year without reaching the World Series.

The Cardinals may not be the same team as two years ago, when they went to the World Series, but they still boast the best position player (Pujols) and best starting pitcher (Chris Carpenter) in the NL. An injured Carpenter didn't pitch two years ago when the Cards were swept by the Red Sox in the World Series. It proved to be a big loss.

Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sunday, October 08, 2006


Short and sweet.

We got the victory in 3 games and while there were a few teetering moments, the Mets looked great.

Honestly, even though I am not a fan of the Yankees, I wanted to play them as they were, in my opinion, the second best team in the MLB.

Kudos to Joe Torre. I think he's a great manager. As far as I am concerned, Omar Minaya should offer him a coaching position if he is let go.

Back to the Mets. Let's see who the next opponent will be - I think the A's or the Tigers would be tougher for the Mets to face than the Cards or Padres.

Wednesday is coming...Let's pick up more W's

Monday, October 02, 2006

2006 vs. 1986 - Let The Halycon vs. Modern Debate Begin -- BUT, When We Are Done "Arguing" Let's Have the Same Result - A WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP

How many times have you heard your uncle say, "In my day, baseball players were so much better because...blah blah blah"

Well, here's another argument. For those uncles around in '86 - and for uncles to be in 2006, I hereby open a can of worms.

What was a better team, the 1986 Mets or the 2006 Mets?

First, some stats...And, this isnt the basis for judgement here. It's my gut instinct mixed with seeing players from both eras + a little bias thrown in...

C Gary Carter 32 132 490 81 125 14 2 24 105 62 63 .255 .337 .439 1 0 21 6 0 15 9 116
1B *Keith Hernandez 32 149 551 94 171 34 1 13 83 94 69 .310 .413 .446 2 1 14 4 0 3 9 141
2B #Wally Backman 26 124 387 67 124 18 2 1 27 36 32 .320 .376 .385 13 7 3 0 14 3 1 114
3B Ray Knight 33 137 486 51 145 24 2 11 76 40 63 .298 .351 .424 2 1 19 4 3 8 2 116
SS Rafael Santana 28 139 394 38 86 11 0 1 28 36 43 .218 .285 .254 0 0 15 2 1 3 12 52
OF *Lenny Dykstra 23 147 431 77 127 27 7 8 45 58 55 .295 .377 .445 31 7 4 0 7 2 1 130
OF *Darryl Strawberry 24 136 475 76 123 27 5 27 93 72 141 .259 .358 .507 28 12 4 6 0 9 9 140
OF #Mookie Wilson 30 123 381 61 110 17 5 9 45 32 72 .289 .345 .430 25 7 5 1 0 1 5 116

OK, now, what I am about to do is NOT scientific, but rather a gut analysis of both teams and who had the advantage. As far as pitching goes, that is a tough one to line up. I will attempt a column like this in the future. But for now, let's just take a look at the offensive herd:

C - 1986 - Carter
2006 - LoDuca
Choice: Carter - While I like LoDuca's bat, Carter had a good arm and was just an inspirational leader. Of course if Piazza was in this equation, let's just say...Piazza.

1B -
1986 - Hernandez
2006 - Delgado
Choice: Delgado - Seems to have a better bat and comes through more in the clutch. I'd opt however for Hernandez' Glove. But we are building an all-time team here, so Delgado gets the nod.

2B -
1986 - Backman
2006 - Valentin
Valentin. I like a guy who can surprise you and hit HRs when they count. Plus, he was not even considered as a starter on opening day.

3B -
1986 - Knight
2006 - Wright
Wright. He's young. He has an arm and he's charismatic. While Ray was the leader and Captain of '86, Wright appears to be the heir apparent at 3rd and will stop the long skein of gents who patrolled the hot corner since 1962. (I don't have an exact number as this is written, but I believe 117+ or - )

SS -
1986 - Santana
2006 - Reyes
Simply stated, Reyes is my favorite Met on the current roster. He has all the tools, speed, ability to get on, steal and a bit of pop in his bat. Once again, Omar Minaya put an end to the "next greatest shortstops" who fizzled. Reyes is the real thing.

For the outfield, I'm going to do this collectively:

OF -
1986 - Dykstra, Strawberry, Wilson
2006 - Chavez, Beltran, Green/Floyd
2006 Lineup. Old timers will probably maim me when I say I was NEVER a fan of Darryl Strawberry. Heavens to mergatroid how many times we heard "woulda coulda shoulda" with him. He was clutch, had the tools and every opportunity. We all know what happened and there is no need to repeat it here. There seems to be more pop in the bat and better fielding with the modern crew. But lord knows how Lenny Dykstra played - and that spirit was like ebola on the Mets - it caught on and everyone adapted the hustle. Beltran came into his own and adapted well to NY. He's here to stay. Endy Chavez was a surprise and put up some good #'s and came through. Green was a steal. Floyd, oft-injured, is part of the DNA of the squad.

Choice: Both! For 1986, when the Mets were down 7-1 in the 8th, you KNEW they would come back and while watching, you would never be frantic. 2006 is now. Let's keep up the excitement.

I will say this here and expound on it later in a blog post, that Omar Minaya knows how to put a team together. The previous administrations kept players who were way past their prime (READ: John Franco) who were detriments and helped pile up the "L" column. Minaya did an a la carte with quality goods and not a hyped Las Vegas Buffet (ever see the surf and turf specials at some of those joints? Fatty meat -- REAL Fatty -- and the lobsters are usually sick crayfish).

Cheer Loud! Thanks for reading. Comments encouraged.

Do We Need Pedro (Guest Blog from MAC)

Hello All -
Once again, my colleague MAC has a lot to get off his chest and thus, we are about to be treated to some high-fallutin' often controversial stuff.

Let it rip. (PS, I agree, as much as we love Pedro, if he's not able to perform during the playoffs, why showcase a liability. Would rather win with a lesser named pitcher than lose with an icon).

Take it away MAC... (Note - this was written on Friday morning, Sept. 29 before it was announced that Pedro wouldn't be back until mid-2007....

Pedro Martinez has been great for the Mets and we are sad to see him not be part of the playoff roster, however, this is not the downfall people believe it to be. Pedro was 0-3 with an 11 ERA in his past three starts; I don’t want that in the playoffs. Also Pedro only accounted for 9 out of the Mets 94 wins. They are NOT reliant on him. So who do we have?

Hernandez is 9-3 in the post season with a 2.55 era and since he came to the Mets he’s 9-7 with over 100 strike-outs .

Glavine – 14-7 and a great veteran ball player with 12 wins of playoff experience.

Maine – This guy was an ‘extra’ in a trade this year and he’s been huge for the Mets. He’s 6-5 this year with a 3.64 era in 15 games. He also only has 30 walks this year (No Playoff Experience)

Traschsel – He’s 15-8 this year and gets the most run support of any pitcher on this team. (1 Game Playoff Experience. No Decision)

I am very happy with my staff. Those bats have started to turn around and the good old Amazing’s are back in town. LETS GO METS!

This is UltiMETFan1969 again....And there you have it.