The Zionist Conspiracy
Monday, September 12, 2005
Mets, Jets, Rangers Thoughts
1. I'll save my analysis of the Mets for season's end. For now, it's worth noting that yesterday was the Mets' last game at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
Kids won't think much of Busch, but I'll always remember the great Mets - Cards rivalry of the 80's. Best of all was the three game series from October 1-3, 1985. The Mets were three back with six games to play, and needed to sweep. The first game was a classic pitching duel. Ron Darling pitched 9 shutout innings, but John Tudor shut the Mets out for 10. Darryl Strawberry hit a monstrous homer in the 11th for a 1-0 win. On the next night, Dwight Gooden pitched another gem, his last of his incredible '85 season which he never came close to matching. Then, with the Mets just a game back, they fell short in the final game of the series, 4-3. I believe Keith Hernandez had five hits that night, but the Mets repeatedly failed to get clutch hits, leaving many runners on base.
I never made it to Busch Stadium. When I was in St. Louis, the Cardinals were away. I did get to see Busch from the highway.
2. The Jets' performance yesterday was so bad, that any analysis would fall short because it would fail to acknowledge all who contributed to the fiasco.
Especially deserving of scorn, however, are head coach Herm Edwards and quarterback Chad Pennington.
Edwards is now in his 5th season and he has fired most of his original staff. For his players to come out so unprepared is simply inexcusable.
Pennington was great in 2002, then missed significant time in both '03 and '04 due to injury. He has not been - to put it charitably - effective against the blitz. It is reasonable to wonder if 2002 - his first as a starter - will be his career year, just a fluke. It's too early to write Pennington off, but his decision-making has actually gotten progressively worse over the last three seasons.
As frustrating as the Jets' loss was, in a way it's a reminder of how much fun the NFL is. Last season, the Jets had a good season, while the Dolphins were awful. Yesterday, the Dolphins won 34-10. The NFL is the only league in which teams can quickly go from terrible to very good or even great, and vice versa.
3. I'm happy that Mark Messier has finally retired and that he retired as a Ranger.
The Rangers have been bad for eight years, and their current roster doesn't provide much hope. All that's left of '94 are memories, but those memories will endure. I still remember listening to WFAN when Messier was acquired from Edmonton at the start of the 91-92 season. It was a Friday. Going to Madison Square Garden in the 90's and watching the greatest Ranger lead his team to what had seemed to be impossible was a privilege. I hope I'll also have the privilege to watch Messier's number be retired on January 12, 2006 at MSG, prior to the game against Edmonton.