Friday, April 24, 2015
The New Mets: The "Swagger" Is Back?
Today, the first Subway Derby of the 2015 Major League Baseball season begins at Yankee Stadium II.
No, it's not a Subway Series. That can only happen in October, in the World Series. And that will never happen again, because the Mets are never winning another Pennant.
Yes, I'm aware that the Mets are 13-3 and have won 11 straight. It means nothing. They are not about to "take back New York."
They said they were going to do that in 1999-2000. And we stopped them.
They said they were going to do that in 2006-07-08. We didn't get the chance to stop them: They stopped themselves.
How is 2015 different? It isn't.
Someone -- I won't embarrass this person with identification, but you know who you are -- went to a game at Pity Field a few days ago, and says it has "a 1985 feel to it," that the Mets "have their swagger back."
Swagger? Over what? You don't have swagger over an 11-game winning streak. You have swagger over actually having won something. At the least, over making the Playoffs, something the Mutts haven't done in 9 years.
A 1985 feel. Really.
Let's compare the 1985 Mets to the 2015 Mets, shall we?
1B Keith Hernandez vs. Lucas Duda.
2B Wally Backman vs. Daniel Murphy.
SS Rafael Santana vs. Wilmer Flores.
3B Howard Johnson vs. David Wright (if he's healthy).
LF George Foster vs. Michael Cuddyer.
CF Mookie Wilson vs. Juan Lagares.
RF A young Darryl Strawberry vs. an aging Curtis Granderson.
C Gary Carter vs. Anthony Recker.
Aside from 3rd base, and even there it's a lot closer than you might believe, is there a single position at which you'd take the 2015 player?
Maybe Murphy instead of Backman, because Backman, while capable of making things happen once he got on base, wasn't a very good hitter. Maybe Flores instead of Santana, although neither could hit. Maybe the Granderson of 2008 to 2011 was worthy of standing alongside Strawberry. Not the current version.
Also, the pitching? The bullpen stinks, and the rotation has a question-mark Matt Harvey, a sophomore-jinx-in-the-making Jacob deGrom, a question-mark Jon Niese, a question-mark Dillon Gee, and fat steroid freak Bartolo Colon, who could get caught and suspended again at any time. Does that sound like Dwight Gooden, Ron Darling, Sid Fernandez, Ed Lynch and not-yet-reliever Rick Aguilera to you?
Does that sound like a winning combination to you?
(Okay, Lynch and Aguilera were terrible starters. Aguilera was moved to the bullpen in 1986, and the Mets traded Calvin Schiraldi for Bob Ojeda to be the 4th starter, and that made all the difference -- especially in the World Series.)
All it's going to take to burst the Flushing Heathen's balloon, to show them that their team is not in position to take anything back, is these 3 games.
Bring it on.