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You would think that after the Mets made it all the way to the World Series in 2015 that the fan base would be somewhat satisfied and have some faith in Mets management and General Manager Sandy Alderson. After all, after taking hit after hit in the media and on every fan blog across the internet, Alderson proved to be correct when he said that the team would be playing meaningful baseball late in the season. None of the so-called experts picked the Mets to finish with a record of over .500...let alone get to the World Series. Oh ye have little faith.
And now the talk is, as always, about how cheap the front office is and that they refuse to spend any money. The fact is...the Mets HAVE shown a WILLINGNESS to spend money...and they HAVE spent money.
Ken Griffey, Jr. making it to the Hall of Fame is a true feel good story. It seemed he was destined for greatness. He was a kid among men, roaming the clubhouses in the major league parks, hanging around like any son who tags along with his father to the office. He learned a lot while hanging out with some of the greatest who ever played the game. But that kid was a natural, and was the very first pick of the Seattle Mariners in the 1987 draft. And he didn't disappoint. He was a superstar from the very beginning, and played like a kid playing in the sandlots, always playing hard, getting dirty, and having fun.
Mike Piazza making it to the Hall of Fame is also a feel good story. But unlike Griffey, his career ventured on a different path. While Griffey was the Number One pick in the first round of the draft, Piazza was way at the other end, selected in the 62nd round of the 1988 draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers. The 62nd round!
The Hall of Fame will be announcing the class of 2016 at 6 p.m. Just wanted to chime in with who I would have voted for this year: Ken Griffey, Jr., Mike Piazza, Trevor Hoffman, Tim Raines, and Jeff Kent.
Griffey, in my mind, should be an absolute unanimous selection. He is the epitome of what baseball is, or should be, all about. He was always like a young kid playing in the school yard having fun. He carried himself well, professionally and modestly, and never seemed to be in the middle of any controversy.
I have seen way too often that the rules do not apply to all. And that is especially true in the sports world. If the person has enough talent, then all will be forgiven and, quite often, forgotten. If a player can bring something to the table...bring enough talent...then no matter how bad they are - legally, morally, or any other conceived detrimental behavior - they will be welcomed and paid handsomely to boot.
I remember from my college days when I saw the absolute dispicable behavior of a young baseball player from Arizona State. He was such a jerk, such a cancer on the team, that his teammates actually voted him off the team. Members of the team brought their concerns and their consensus decision to the head coach. Rather than heed the players' feelings and actions, the coach, instead, elevated that player to Captain.
The big question is: "Why DID the Mets lose the World Series?" The truth is that the tone was set on the very first pitch thrown by Matt Harvey.
The Royals' Alcides Escobar lofted a long fly ball to left centerfield. Yoenis Cespedes, who had made so many spectacular defensive plays since coming over to the Mets, took his eye off the ball for a split second, could not regroup in time, and had the ball glance off his glove, and then, to make matters worse, kicked it away from both he and leftfielder Michael Conforto. What should have been a fly ball out to the warning track was a bad error...ridiculously ruled an inside-the-park home run.
While ONE play never TRULY determines the outcome of a series, unless it is a "walk-off" occurence in the final inning of the last possible game, it can set an example for how things will essentially go. And it did.
As Bob Newhart once said, "Stop It!" Just stop it! I have watched a number of sports reports on a number of different networks...listened to a number of radio talk shows on a number of different stations...and monitored a number of different social media outlets...and I am fed up with the "what have you done for me lately" people who have now put the monicker of "Goat" on Daniel Murphy. Yes...Murphy muffed a slow roller for an error in a crucial part of the game. But does anyone for a second believe that that error was the downfall of the Mets in Game 4? Come on!
The fact is that Tyler Clippard has not been effective for about a month. Regardless of "the formula" for getting to Jeurys Familia in the ninth inning, just like players have to make adjustments, so too must the managerial staff. Terry Collins, very deserving of his Manager of the Year Award, has made some ill-fated decisions during the series and leaving Clippard in after he walked the first batter was one of them, if not putting him in the game at all with the slimmest of one-run leads.
Well...the Mets needed to make a statement. And Noah Syndergaard did just that. With his first pitch he put Alcides Escobar right on his ass. Regardless of what the outcome was going to be, Thor made it known that the Royals hitters were not going to be so comfortable. And although he had a few hiccups, Syndergaard was able to put the Royals hitters away when he needed to most. And there were a LOT of broken bats flying around everywhere.
And for all of the idiots talking about benching David Wright in favor of Juan Uribe, Captain America made a statement of his own, launching a two-run bomb in the bottom of the first inning to give the Mets a 2-1 lead. And let's not leave Uribe out of it. After being idle for over a month and not even being on the post season roster for the NLDS and NLCS, he made his first appearance and shot a run-scoring single to the opposite field in the midst of the Mets four-run outburst in the sixth inning.
Listening to sports talk radio drives me crazy. I actually did sports talk radio so I have been on the other side of it. And quite often I just tune in to listen to WFAN to see what people have to say...most of the time...it's just to pass the time...or better yet...distract me when I am in the car sitting in the god forsaken traffic.
Anyway...it just cracked me up when I heard a caller...who is apparently a regular...say that David Wright, the captain of the Mets...the face of the franchise...the Derek Jeter of Queens...the guy who re-upped with the organization instead of taking a lot more money and going elsewhere...the poor soul who is dealing with a debilitating back issue that he has to prep hours for each day just to put his shoes on...should be benched to get Juan Uribe into the lineup.
For all of the Mets historians out there...does anyone recall how the 1969 World Series got underway? Bottom of the first inning? Tom Seaver...The Franchise...pitching? Does anyone remember the name "Don Buford?" Any of this remind anyone of anything?
As I recall, Buford was the Orioles leadoff batter and he lofted a Seaver pitch deep to rightfield. Ron Swoboda, not the most graceful of outfielders, backpedalled...backpedalled...and backpedalled...right into the rightfield fence. And the ball just managed to clear the fence for a leadoff home run which set the stage for a Game 1 Orioles win. The truth is, had Swoboda run straight back to the fence, braced himself, and just jumped ever so slightly, he could have caught the ball. Not the easiest play, but one a good rightfielder would have made. And hey, Swoboda more than made up for that in Game 4 with his famous diving catch.
The Mets put the final nail in the coffin of the Chicago Cubs, completing the sweep and sending them into the 2015 World Series. And they simply repeated the same process they utilized each and every game before - one of their young starters (this time it was Steven Matz) overmatched the Cubs hitters, Jeurys Familia put the finishing touches on in the ninth, and I am getting tired (not really) of saying this...Daniel Murphy hit a home run.
The Mets starters simply did not give the Cubs a chance to breathe. The Chicago hitters were able to put a chink in the armor here and there, but the Cubs never led at any time during the four game series. The Mets staff just completely overpowered the power hitters of the Chicago lineup.