Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Were the 1969 Mets a Miracle -- or a Hoax?

Jon Lewin of the magnificent blog Subway Squawkers began to wonder if, as has been suggested of another great 1969 milestone, the Moon landing, the New York Mets' World Series win was a hoax.

In his article for The Faster Times (not sure where Faster is, it might be in Westchester County on a Metro-North line), he cites, among other things, the fact that Shea Stadium has now been torn down (I know, I know: "How can you tell?"), thus providing a cover-up for various potentially inconvenient facts, much as some people investigating the JFK assassination wanted to talk to certain people who ended up dying of "cancer" or "heart attacks" before the opportunity to talk could be realized.

No, Jon, the Mets' 1969 World Series victory was not a hoax.

It was a fraud.

Come on, look at the film of the winning run in the infamous "Black Cat Game" of September 9, 1969, against the Chicago Cubs: Tommie Agee was out at the plate.

Had that call been correctly made, the Cubs would have stayed on top of the National League East, and it would have been either the Atlanta Braves in the NLCS or the Baltimore Orioles in the World Series to whom they choked.

(Yes, the Cubbies still would have choked against somebody. Face it, there ain't a conspiracy on Earth -- or on the Moon -- that could help the Cubs win a World Series. It's like the joke goes: After years of letting J.K. Rowling make millions off his story, Harry Potter decides to write his own book, and he goes on the book tour, and he's signing at a Barnes & Noble in Chicago, and someone says, "Hey, Harry, can you cast a spell to make the Cubs win the World Series?" And Harry says, "What do you think I am, a magician?")

The Mets' 1973 Pennant was also a fraud. Seriously, an 82-79 team winning the Pennant? Ya gotta believe something ain't right there.

The Mets' 1986 World Championship? Oh please. The entire rest of the division takes a massive dive, then the Houston Astros can't defend their dome field, and then the Boston Red Sox put together the biggest single-game choke job in the history of North American sports. Somewhere, there is either a cancelled check, or a bag containing the residue of massive amounts of cash, because that could not possibly have been on the up-and-up.

After all, if the New York Knicks can end up with Patrick Ewing in the 1985 NBA Draft, surely baseball can also arrange to have the Mets' path greased. Come to think of it, the Giants also won the Super Bowl around that time... (Not that all this jury-rigging could help the Ewing-era Knicks go all the way, except maybe at Scores.)

The Mets' 2000 Pennant? Now, that was real. Of course, it had to be, so that the Yankees -- or, at least, those of us who grew up as Yankee Fans in the 1980s when Met fans were a bunch of insufferable (fill in your expletive of choice)s, could have the greatest victory of our lives, in the 2000 World Series.

Actually, the fairest thing to say is that, after the 2000 World Series, the Mets no longer existed. It would certainly have spared Met fans the agonies of October 2006, September 2007, September 2008, the entire 2009 season, having to deal with "Witless Willie the Yankee" (Randolph) as their manager, and even the Art Howe Era. It would also save them from having to admit that Jose Reyes was never, ever, EVER a better shortstop than Derek Jeter, since he never really existed. You know, like they've managed to erase Lastings Milledge from existence, the Generation K pitchers and the 1993 "Bleacher Bum" season from existence.

But then, I'm a Yankee Fan. Since when am I obligated to be fair to the Mets? As Flushing, Queens native Fran Fine (Fran Drescher on The Nanny) put it, "It starts with an N and ends with an A: Nev-a!"

Now, if the Yankees could only prove that Roy Halladay is a hoax... I guess the Blue Jays had to check their thick skins at Customs at the airport. But then, what has Halladay ever won? They don't give ticker-tape parades for winning the Cy Young Award.

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