My apologies to the half-dozen of you that may have come by in the last few days looking for morsels of Mets information. After Carlos Beltran struck out looking with the bases loaded, I swtiched off the TV and tried to forget about our dear Mets.

The end of the season — this year, anyway — was kind of like losing a good friend. Sort of when you’re in junior high and your best bud moves away during the summer break. He’s long gone, you know you’ll never see him again, and a part of you disappears along with him.

It was easy to fall in like with the 2006 Mets. They played hard, they won a bunch of games, they had a diverse cast of characters, and — except for the starting rotation — they stayed together and intact throughout the bulk of the season.

Consider that last part. For nearly every game of the season from May forward, you could count on seeing Paul LoDuca behind the plate, Carlos Delgado at first, Jose Valentin at 2B, Jose Reyes at SS, David Wright at 3B, Beltran in CF, and either Cliff Floyd or Endy Chavez in LF. You were almost guaranteed to see Julio Franco pinch-hit, and you were just as likely to see at least three faces from the bullpen, which remained healthy and unchanged until Duaner Sanchez went down. The only real changes to the team during the season were the result of one incident — the Sanchez car accident. The players who came in as a result stepped right in and became mainstays — Shawn Green, Roberto Hernandez, Guillermo Mota, and Oliver Perez. It’s a lot easier to follow and enjoy a team when you “don’t need a scorecard” to know who’s in the game.

Enough mush for now … it was a great year, better than many expected, and let’s hope that Omar can keep the good guys around and add a few more pieces to take the Mets one more game forward in 2007.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.