The Zionist Conspiracy
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
2006 Mets: World Series Victory Or Oblivion
Can the Mets win the World Series with a depleted starting pitching staff? Can Willie Randolph defeat the baseball minds of Tony LaRussa and Jim Leyland?
In my mind I remain skeptical, but I can't avoid feeling the excitement of October baseball, especially now that my tickets to Game 1 of the NLCS (courtesy of an eBay auction) have arrived.
Throughout the season, Elster and I have agreed that an NL pennant would entail a successful season, anything less a failure. We both assumed that the Yankees or Red Sox would win the ALCS, and that the Mets could defeat neither in the World Series.
The Red Sox faded away, and now the Yankees have unexpectedly been eliminated. Should the Mets win the NLCS - and I think the Cards have a good chance of winning - with the AL unfairly holding the home field advantage, either the Tigers or A's would probably be favored over the Mets in the World Series. But not by much - the Mets can beat those teams.
As a result, I now will be satisfied with nothing less than a World Series victory. If the season ends with a loss, I'll be bitterly disappointed, as all Mets fans should be.
There's an aura about championship teams that can never be replicated. After Game 2 of the NLDS, I turned to SNY's post-game coverage. I instantly recognized the middle-aged man nervously offering commentary to be Tim Teufel. 20 years later, Teufel's Game 7 sixth inning walk to load the bases for Keith Hernandez almost seems like it happened yesterday.
Find any big Mets fan who was around to enjoy '69, and mention the names Al Weis or Gary Gentry. So much time has gone by, and yet all the great memories will return immediately.
In contrast, the '73 Mets had an incredible run, falling just short when Tom Seaver and Jon Matlack could not win the World Series in Games 6 or 7. As a result, that team could never compare in Mets history to those from '69 and '86. Instead of a Mets immortal like Gil Hodges and Davey Johnson, manager Yogi Berra is identified only by his Hall of Fame playing career with the Yankees.
Even the 2000 Mets are receding in memory. Mike Bordick? Yeah, he played shortstop. Why the heck did we trade Melvin Mora (and three others) for him? Timo Perez? His Game 1 baserunning blunder and his subsequent mediocrity, not his September hot streak, is what is remembered. Turk Wendell? We loved him, but we hardly remember him.
If the 2006 Mets win the World Series, decades from now Endy Chavez and Pedro Feliciano will remain Mets heroes. If the Mets fall short, most of this team will merely be among a very long list of those who have worn the Mets uniform.