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
Choice:
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
Choice:
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
Choice:
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
Choice:
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.

EXCITEMENT LEVEL
1986
2006
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.

1 comment:

Mark Tordik said...

Another quality blog entry here. I pretty much agree with all of your selections, too. But I am no expert since I was only 5 during the Mets' October run and remember very little.

I really needed the Mets to be magical this year and Omar Minaya was key in their dominance. I needed this so much.

Why, you ask?

Because I am a New York Knicks fan.

Enough said.

GO METS!

FYI, random thought..wouldn't it be cool to see Pelrey at some point in the postseason?

And what's the pitching rotation looking like? Maine went last night, Glavine tonight and then Perez for game 3?

If the Mets win games two and three with the above pitchers, that would allow Steve Trachsel to start the next series, no? You wouldn't want Oliver Perez going up against St. Louis or San Diego in game one.