I remember 1986 and 1988 for sure. This has been a long time in coming, a division crown, and I’ve just been riveted to SNY all night. Jose Valentine obviously was not about to allow a delay in clinching for a fourth day, he just wasn’t having it, and neither was Steve Trachsel. I hereby nominate Trax for game 4 playoff starter; whatever his ERA, its hard to argue with 15-7 for game 4. I think 8 days off agreed with him, just as El Duque benefitted from his rest for his sore shoulder. Electric crowd. Great to see the guys celebrating, they all seem like good guys, and they’ve been a great team this year.
Billy Wagner- Lights out since the all star break, and Aaron Heilman right along with him.
Guillermo Mota, Roberto Hernandez, Chad Bradford, Pedro Feliciano, the late Duaner Sanchez, et al- The best set up relief core in base ball.
Pedro, Glavine, El Duque. A couple of hall of famers among 3 successful playoff vets; the non cooperstown bound hurler the best of all in that category. Lookout playoff competition!
LaDuca. Anyone catch his f bomb on SNY tonight? That was before his first taste of bubbly. An hour later he was past "I love you man" mode as he interrupted a Delgado interview… My brother compares him to 86’s Ray Knight for his fieryness. Quite a complement. The only non long ball threat in the starting 8, he is currently 6th in the league with his .313 BA. Patience at the plate in the 2 spot, calls a great game, and not bad at all defensively.
Delgado. Hall of fame? He has done things with his string of 30 HR/100 rib eye steak seasons that not even Aaron, Mantle, or Ted Williams had done. Since he’s been here the lineup has been ferocius. Not only because of his 38 homers so far but for the trickle down affect it has had on the guys below…
Valentine. How about this guy? Floyd calls him "the best 8th place hitter in baseball", and I think that’s a no brainer. I’m sure anyone reading this knows where he was in his career last season and at the begining of the season. He almost retired! Lets just say we’re not missing Kaz Matsui’s bat around here…
Reyes. Praising Reyes’ season is redundant. You know, his contract is about half that of Wright’s, but he’s not too far from matching David at his own game: 19 homers to 24, a BA around .300, and way too many RBI’s for a leadoff guy. Extra base hits, league leader in stolen bases, and as fast as DC comic’s "Flash". Seems like a sweet kid too.
Ah but David Wright has been Mr. Clutch hasn’t he? Its gonna be exciting to watch this guy’s career. I hope I’m not jinxing them, but it doesn’t seem like either Wright or Jose have the dispositions to sucuum to the pitfalls that Doc or Darryl did, and we’ve seen much more from them then from Greg Jefferies back when we thought that he was the second coming of Rogers Hornsby or at least Pete Rose; God willing that they enjoy good health, there may finally be some homegrown position playing hall of fame Mets talent. Despite his 3 homers since the break, David’s season stats reflect a formidable presence in the 5 hole, and he’s a dynamic, positive presence on the field, or even on things like the David letterman Show 😛
Beltran. Philly’s Howard, and St. Louies Pujols may have too much raw offensive stats for our biggest hitter to win MVP, but I hope enough sports writers have taken the whole package in that he get a respectable showing in that vote. Wow. What a year. May set single season club records for homers, runs scored, already has for extra bases. I’ll take a gold glove as a consolation prize because he is also all of that. Great base runner, and I like what I have gleaned of him as a person too. He really turned it around this year to reach his potential, and the conventional wisdom is that Delgado’s presence and influence is a big reason. As they said in Robocop, "I’ll buy that for a dollar". Here’s believing that he can duplicate the post season production that he had with Houston a few years back.
Floyd. A year removed from over 30 homers, I see signs that Cliffy is coming around, some good hacks. I’ve seen enough to be confident that he will fulfill his role as a fearsome 6th hole hitter through the end of September into October. Cool laid back type guy too, when he’s not imitating Fred Sanford as he did during his stretch of getting hit by piches in between injuries…
Greene. That I miss Xavier Nady is documented elsewhere on the weblog, but I do like Greene (and am impressed with Pirates castoff Oliver Perez besides, so I’m healing from that). As with Floyd, I have seen enough flashes of vintage Greene to appreciate the depth that he helps add to the lineup. Again, seems like a good guy.
I like all the young and relatively young arms that we have seen this year too, but as they wont factor much into October (maybe Maine will get added to the pen) I won’t go on about ’em here. Spare parts? Start with Endy Chavez. If this were the NBA, this fourth outfielder supreme would be 6th man of the year. What’s he batting now, .315? Great arm, great legs, great jumps on the ball, and a rarity for the Mets, great bat against lefties. Julio Franco, freak of nature, and the man Paul LoDuca calls "Moses". Wouldn’t be the same team without ’em. Woody and Millege, we are glad to have them along for the ride as they fill their roles with competence, even with a combined .220 or so BA. That figure is deceptive if you ask me, especially in Woody’s case.
One down, three to go, an Amazin’ year continues. LetsGoMetsGo lives 20 years on!