Thanks Mets

Failure? The Mets fell short of the ultimate prize, winning the National League Championship but losing to the Kansas City Royals, the one team in the Adulterated League they matched up poorly with, in the World Series. Maybe it was the somewhat reduced expectations, but I wouldn’t call this year a failure. Actually it is a qualified success, but one that will be better measured based on what our heroes do next year.

If this is the start of a run of sustainable success with them actually winning the World Series sometime between now and say 2018, then this year will be viewed as the start of something big. If they go the other route and are scuffling in the second division in two years, then this year is a failure, the season they got to the big dance, only to choke away an opportunity to win it all.

All of that is yet to come and we here at Mets Today will be around to chronicle it. But meantime, lets take a final look at the 2015 season, which had its ups and its downs. Along the way there were many moments that can keep us warm this winter and on this day of giving thanks, is our way of saying thanks to the Mets for the memories they gave us this year:

  • Mets Today Contributor Correctly Predicts Division Win 4/1/15. Just in case you forgot, you can read it here.

OK just kidding. I’ll never mention that again. Here is the real list:

  • Jacob deGrom’s and Daniel Murphy’s Hollywood Ending, 10/15/2015:  This was the game of the year and probably in the best Met game since the Bobby Jones game in 2000. We can argue that point in the comments section. Here’s what came down: after failing to put LA away back in New York, the Mets traveled west to face the dreaded Zack Greinke and the red-hot Justin Turner. Down 2-1 after the first inning, the Mets rallied in the 4th when Murphy “stole” third as the Dodgers fell asleep during a shift play against Lucas Duda, who had walked. Travis d’Arnaud’s sacrifice fly to right scored Murphy, who later homered in the 6th against Greinke to give the Mets the lead. After a shaky first, deGrom settled down and pitched five strong innings, including a momentum-changing, two-out K of Adrian Gonzalez with two on in the 2nd. Manager Terry Collins brought in Noah Syndergaard in the 7th and “Thor” recorded two strikeouts around a walk. Collins’ hot streak continued as he brought in Jeurys Familia for a six-out save. BTW–this game occurred on the anniversary of Game Six of the 1986 NLCS.
  • Thor drops the Hammer on KC 10/30/2015: What could be better than a Mets’ World Series win? OK, three more wins. Syndergaard knocked down Alcides Escobar with his first pitch, which got the KC dugout chirping. David Wright and Curtis Granderson both homered as the Mets won 9-3. Unfortunately, this was the last win of the season for them.
  • Matt Harvey and  Syndergaard Deep Freeze The Cubbies, 10/17 & 10/18/2015: Talk about a coming out party. If the Mets young pitching hadn’t already made an impact on the national conscience, these two games probably did it. Harvey and Thor combined for 18Ks of the surprisingly over-matched Cubs. The heat from both aces juxtaposed nicely with the early fall chill that turned Citi Field into an icebox. MVP Murphy homered in both games and d’Arnaud had a nice shot that clanked off the apple. Familia saved both games. The Cubs season essentially ended on the frozen tundra, but there was still another act to go…
  • Miguel Montero Channels Mickey Owen, 10/20/15: You can read about Owen’s blunder here. In the sixth inning of this game, Montero dropped a third strike against Michael Conforto, which allowed him to go to first, but more importantly, saw Yoenis Cespedes score from third. Instead of the ending the inning, the Cubs fell behind 3-2. The Mets, who never trailed in the series, went on to a 5-2 win. In case anyone in Chicago didn’t believe in curses before this game, this one must have convinced them.
  • Aliens Abduct Sandy Alderson, July 24 through August 31: We certainly did our share of vilifying Alderson for most of 2015. Then, on July 24, he stirred, shipping two minor league pitchers off to Atlanta for Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson. Not bad, we all said. Then on July 27th, he swapped a more prospect-y arm to Oakland for 8th-inning arm Tyler Clippard. Whoa, we all said. He then had a near miss on Carlos Gomez before the BIG one, an 11th hour deal, trading one of his blue-chip prospects to Detroit for Cespedes. These deals, along with Wright and d’Arnaud returning from the DL and Conforto’s promotion from the minors, totally transformed the team. Alderson wasn’t done, he traded another minor leaguer to Arizona for reliever Addison Reed on August 31.  Other than Reed, there is an good chance that none of these acquisitions will be wearing a Met uniform come Opening Night next April. But, kudos to Sandy for the guts to make the moves that transformed the franchise, opening what is hopefully a long window of contention a year ahead of schedule.
  • Tears of Joy One: The Cincy Clinch, 9/26/15: I am passionate about the Mets, but I seldom get choked up over them or game results. I came close on this one. Harvey atoned for his agent’s ill-timed snafu over innings limits earlier in the month with a strong game. My son was set to play in a baseball tournament  that night, but we really wanted to see the clinch live. With him in full uniform, we stood in our living room while the Mets kept scoring, delaying the inevitable. Finally the game ended and we saw the celebration. My son had the game-tying RBI double in his game later that evening. It was a great baseball day in my household.
  • Washington’s Farewell Address, 9/9/15: The end of the Nationals. Covered here.
  • Tears of Joy Two: Wilmer Unpacks His Bags, 7/31/15: The Mets thought they had traded  Wilmer Flores to the Brewers for Gomez two days earlier. Flores, believing he had been traded, cried while on the field, which the cameras spotted. The Mets lost the game, but to their good fortune, the deal fell through. That Friday, the same day Cespedes, instead of Gomez, had been acquired,  Wilmer hit a 12th-inning walk-off homer that was the first salvo in the eventual demise of the Nationals. Along with the Marlins, I really despise Washington, so two entries in a row is sweet. Speaking of sweet…
  • Sweet 16 as Wright Returns, 8/24/15: Wright returned from the DL against one his favorite punching bags, the Philadelphia Phillies pitching staff. Fittingly, he homered in his first at bat with Howie Rose’s hopefully ad-libbed “Holy Smokes” call a priceless soundtrack to the event. Flores, d’Arnaud, Juan Lagares, Murphy, Cespedes and Michael Cuddyer  also homered in the 16-7 win.
  • Meet The Matz, 6/28/15: I am not 100% sold on Steven Matz just yet, but his debut was one for the ages. Not only did he strike out six Reds, he also had three hits and 4 RBI, while making an internet sensation of out his Grandpa.
  • 11 in a Row, 4/12 to 4/23/15: Yes that happened this past season. It seems a like years ago doesn’t it? This streak essentially buried Atlanta, Philly and the Fish. The 1986 Mets had an April streak like this one. While the 2015 team couldn’t  sustain this level of play, it certainly got the season off to a good start. They could use another one in 2016.
  • Logan Verrett’s Spot Start 8/23/2015:. Remember Wally Whitehurst? He had a couple of decent starts in 1991, including one stellar outing on July 4th that convinced the Mets to insert him into the rotation at the expense of Ron Darling. Wally went 1-7 before the plug was pulled on the experiment, while Darling was traded to Montreal (and later to Oakland) where he averaged 162 innings per year for them for the next four years. Whitehurst bounced between three teams during the same time and barely pitched that many innings in the next four years combined. Verrett got a spot start against Colorado while Matt Harvey was rested. Logan tossed a one hitter in Coors Field with 8Ks. A few birdbrains floated the idea of dealing Harvey and inserting Verrett in his spot. That it didn’t happen is why this game is included here. Maybe Sandy isn’t so dumb after all.

And finally, thanks to all of our readers. Despite the drop in content frequency  due to some life changes among the staff, we still continued to get a lot of hits to this site. We’re still here, we’re still viable and some good changes are coming.

What was your favorite Met moment of 2015?






Curb Your Enthusiasm: 10 Free Agents Who Aren’t Coming to The Mets (and Two Who Are)

Quite a comedown since November 1, huh? Despite the somewhat unseasonal warmth we’ve had here in the northeast, the baseball winter has begun.

Since there are no games being played, baseball-related sites will depend on trade rumors and free agent signing speculation  to generate clicks. This will further elevate the expectations for Mets GM Sandy Alderson and the Wilpon family to add a few big ticket items this offseason as the team attempts to take the final step.

I think the period from say, July 24  when they traded for Juan Uribe and the August 30 deal for Addison Reed will prove to be the exception and that the Mets will soon return to semi-hibernation as Alderson’s excruciatingly methodical plodding, coupled with the Wilpon’s financial insecurity, will limit the action. That hasn’t stopped every other site on the blogosphere from full-speed speculation. As we have seen in previous winters, this quickly goes over the top and leaves the fan base frustrated and feeling like they somehow have been cheated when nothing happens.

Now, it’s our turn. But in typical Mets Today fashion, we’d rather follow the road less traveled. Below is who we think the Mets won’t be getting. And just remember, the author of this column also correctly predicted the 2015 NL East winner and the outcome of the 2015 World Series!

For obvious reasons, we won’t include a single starting pitcher on this list. Also, there are more than likely going to be even more free agents shortly when the non-tender list is published. But since our millions of readers can’t wait, here we go…

  • Yoenis Cespedes: If 2015 turns out to be a blip on the radar and the next few Mets seasons are mediocre again, then Cespedes’ stature as a Met will grow to mythical proportions. If however, they are able to put together a run of sustained post season success, his scorching hot five weeks in 2015 will fade from memory. It was the right move at the right time to get him last July 31. His September 9th homer off Drew Storen finished both Storen’s and the Nationals 2015 season. Then he got hurt and crashed to earth. His last and perhaps most lasting impression will be the crumpled form at home plate in Game Five. I’d like to keep him, but I doubt the Mets do.
  • Ben Zobrist and Darren O’Day: The competition for these two is going to be fierce, which will drive the cost to acquire one or both of them into the upper stratosphere. Either would be very useful to the Mets, Zobrist to serve as the caddy for the still-developing Dilson Herrera at second and Michael Conforto in left, while providing great defense and a veteran presence. O’Day is probably the best reliever out on the market right now and would be the perfect bridge to the closer. I suspect as many as a dozen teams will be in on both, including the Yankees, Dodgers, Cubs and Red Sox. There is no way the Mets win a bidding war against any of those financial giants.
  • Justin Upton, Jason Heyward, Alex Gordon: Much like their stubborn (and in retrospect correct) insistence on holding on to their young arms, the Mets aren’t going to move Conforto. Since all three of these guys profile as corner outfielders, you can see the problem. Alderson has attempted to pry Upton from both Arizona and San Diego several times, most recently being last July. Upton and Heyward are on the right side of thirty and would help the Mets, but the presence of a cheaper and potentially just as effective Conforto makes their additions unlikely.
  • Dexter Fowler, Denard Span, Geraldo Parra: These are the second tier of outfielder free agents, but their value is somewhat improved  because they can play center field and are nominally at least, lead off material.  I used to like Fowler, but advanced stats indicate a player in decline. Span’s hip condition worries me, as does Parra’s performance after being traded to Baltimore. I would be interested in either of the latter two on a short-term deal, say a year with an option. I’ll bet each gets much more from some second division team trying to do something to appease their fan base.
  • Ian Desmond: I am certain the Mets won’t sign any of the previous nine.  I am less certain that they don’t sign Desmond, who had a terrible 2015, including the Opening Day error-fest against the Mets. Another reason for passing on Desmond is that our team already rosters a cheaper version of him in Wilmer Flores. They might view Desmond as a fall back in the event they don’t re-sign Cespedes or fail to land Zobrist or O’Day. If the Mets really want a Washington shortstop, they should try to get Trea Turner. Yeah, right.

I think the master plan is to mirror 2015 as closely as possible: stay close, ride the young guns until the All-Star break and then add a bat at the deadline.  This offseason,  the plan will be to strengthen the bullpen and the bench. Here’s how they will do it:

  • Bartolo Colon: I get it, being a big league baseball player is probably the coolest job on earth. The salary is enough to provide for the  next several generations and the other perks are just as fantastic.  I don’t blame Bartolo for wanting to continue this ride for as long as he can. Might he be willing to come back in a bullpen role for say a one-year, $10M deal? Alderson’s main task this year will be to build a strong bridge to Jeurys Familia. Resigning Colon and going to arbitration with Reed are part of this process. It wouldn’t surprise me to see them bring back Jerry Blevins as well, although in Blevins’ case, he could quickly get too expensive, plus the Mets liked lefty Josh Smoker enough to add him to the 40-man. They’ve also got Hansel Robles and Eric Goeddel returning and they might get Josh Edgin back by mid-season. Another name to watch is knuckleballer Mickey Jannis, who they rescued from the Long Island Ducks in mid-summer and later sent the AFL for further seasoning. Still too many walks there, but if Jannis can harness the knuckler like another former Met pitcher did…
  • Daniel Murphy: You read it here first, Murphy will be a Met in 2016 (and beyond). I get the comparisons to Chase Headley, but Murphy is not Headley and his post-season heroics aside, no GM is going to go big money for Murphy. He doesn’t field well enough for an NL job and his slash line just doesn’t profile for a DH. Then there’s the draft pick impediment. The longer Murph goes unsigned, the more probable a reunion at say, three years $33M becomes. He becomes the poor-man’s version of Zobrist, filling in at first, second and third, where the Mets may be needing help during the long season. Plus he is younger than Zobrist.

Well, at least this offseason will be the shortest on record. Only 112 days between Game Five and 2016 pitchers and catchers!


More Like the 84 Mets

Author’s Note: The main point of this post is based on some pre-game remarks made last night by former Mets’ pitcher Ron Darling. The editorializing is all mine. If you reject this premise, blame Ronnie!

The Mets’ magic carpet ride crashed and burned last night at Citi Field. ICYMI, the Kansas City Royals defeated the Mets in 12 innings to clinch the World Series. Congrats to the Royals and their city. This one will hurt for a while. It would be poetic to say that Dame Momentum, who seemed to have taken up permanent residence in the Mets dugout since August 1, suddenly crossed the field into the KC dugout last Tuesday. But the reality of the situation is that the Mets, while vastly improved over last year (or even mid-season), just aren’t completely ready and on the biggest stage in baseball their flaws were finally exposed.

That’s why I loved Darling’s pre-game comments on SNY last night. He compared the 2015 team to the 1984 team, which like this one, won 90 games, the first winning season in over half a decade for this beleaguered franchise. Like their 2015 antecedents, the 1984 team rose to the top mainly due to the emergence of some young arms Darling (23), Dwight Gooden (19) and Sid Fernandez (21). These young arms, especially Gooden, captured the imagination of both the city and baseball. Doc’s starts that year (and next) where must see games.

Acting very un-Metsian like, both the ’84 and the ’15 teams imported veteran help and both took advantage of the sudden crumbling of a long-time division leader (the Nationals this year, the Phillies in 1984). One of the differences in the two seasons was the Chicago Cubs, who in 1984, added pieces like Dennis Eckersley (who interestingly enough was traded in May of that year for Bill Buckner). Like the Cubs of this year who improved drastically, their 84 version was suddenly really good and in the era of two divisions, became the Mets main rival for the division crown.

Like the early August showdown this year with the Nationals, the Mets went into Wrigley that August in second place (they had lost the division lead the week before) trailing the Cubs by a half game. The 2015 Mets sweep the Nationals out of Citi Field, dealing them a blow they would never recover from. In retrospect, the Mets won the NL East that weekend. In 1984, the veteran Cubs swept all four games from the Mets, dealing a mortal blow to their divisional crown hopes.

Ah, but what if the Mets had won a few of those games? What if Gooden hadn’t been blown out of the first game inside of four innings, or Darling in less than five the next day? What if the immortal Wes Gardner hadn’t blown the save in the last game, maybe salvaging the series and changing the momentum back to the Mets? What if the 1984 Mets had left the Cubs for dead in the Wrigley dust, the way they did to the Nats this year? Well, they maybe go on to win the NL East and without a Leon Durham-like error in the 1984 NLCS, perhaps they beat the equally unprepared San Diego Padres and capture an improbable NL crown.

Then, they would have run into the 1984 Detroit Tigers, one of the best teams of that era and been crushed in say, five games.

Take a look at the 1984 team’s roster on Baseball Reference. You will see a lot of names that had played on some previously bad Mets teams, a lot of the same names that wouldn’t be on the 1986 championship team. Take a look at this year’s roster and you see many of the former types of players, many of whom, I’d wager, won’t be on the next Mets world championship team. Both teams have great young arms and a solid core. The 1984 team just wasn’t ready and when they ran into a team of tough veterans in Chicago, every weakness was exposed. The 2015 Mets didn’t encounter this tough, veteran team until the World Series.

Neither team was quite ready. The 1984 team improved and the rest was history. Will the 2015 team improve? Time will tell. Of course I have some ideas on how to do it, but that’s another post!


World Series Games 1 and 2 Discussion

Per the suggestion of Argonbunnies, let’s have some discussion about the first two games.

I’ll open with a few conversation starters …

Game 1:

– We’ve discussed here time and again that defense and fundamentals — i.e., “the little things” — are just as important as hitting for a championship club. That said, when Yoenis Cespedes blows the first ball hit to him, and doesn’t make up for it with his bat, well …

– Speaking of that first pitch of the initial inning, what was most surprising and/or detrimental: a) the fact Matt Harvey threw a fastball over the heart of the plate to a batter who swings at the first pitch of every at-bat; b) the fact that a fairly routine fly ball was misplayed into an inside-the-park homerun; c) the fact that the play was scored as a homer instead of a four-base error?

Kelly Johnson is the best DH option?

– Why wasn’t Jonathon Niese brought out for a third inning of relief?

Game 2:

– If Jacob deGrom nor Harvey can stop the KC offense, who can?

Overall / In General:

– Why hasn’t Steven Matz been given the ball yet? What are the Mets waiting for?

– What’s up with Daniel Murphy‘s visible complaints about the strike zone? Does he have a legitimate beef, or is he not seeing the ball as well as he did previously in the postseason and is that why he’s suddenly cold?

– Can the Mets win if Cespedes doesn’t hit?

Again, these are merely conversation starters. Feel free to respond or start your own topic.


Mets Will Win The World Series If…

…Daniel Murphy and Wilmer Flores play league-average defense.

Y’know, if you had told me at the beginning of Spring Training that Sandy Alderson’s failure to land a bona-fide major league shortstop wouldn’t be an issue until the World Series, I probably would have been thrilled. Now, with the start of the Game One less than 36 hours away, I am somewhat less thrilled. I admit I have paid zero attention to the Kansas City Royals until Saturday morning, but from all accounts I’ve heard since, they are a contact-oriented offense, far less prone to the strikeout than any of the Mets other opponents so far this post-season.

If that is indeed the case, then the Mets’ most potent weapon, those power arms, is at least partially neutralized, as the big strikeout in a key situation will less likely than it was during the regular season and the playoffs. There could be a lot of balls put in play. While the Mets corner infielders and the outfield are certainly competent enough, the up-the-middle infield duo of Murphy and Flores does give one pause. And thanks to Chase Utley, the Mets have no real alternatives here, especially at shortstop, unless you really believe that Matt Reynolds could actually make his major league debut during a World Series game.

This season has certainly had more than its share of twists and turns for the Mets. Flores and  Murphy have been major stories, Flores’ July tears and Murphy’s NLCS tear (see what I did here) figuring prominently in the narrative. Right before our very eyes, Alderson morphed from a smirking jackass to a baseball genius. Winning covers a multitude of sins. A couple of big errors by Wilmer will certainly take some of the shine off the season and will no doubt return us to the narrative of why Sandy couldn’t find a big-league glove at short.

I believe that the key to the Royals’ success in this series is to get men on and then move them over, disrupting the rhythm that the Mets young arms got into these last two series. Balls put in play will have to be played or they will be able to implement this strategy, causing the Mets pitchers to throw over and pitch out more, or worse, attempt to be too fine and put a meatball or two over the plate.

Unlike the Cubs, I expect Kansas City to be partially successful here. If the Mets can limit KC’s opportunities by not providing them with extra outs, I believe the Mets can win this series in six. If not, its Royals in five.

Your turn in this World Series Edition of Mets Today: What’s your prediction for the series? Does the clock strike twelve on one of this pair of Met Cinderellas? Is there another unlikely hero waiting in the wings? How much fun is this?



Daniel Murphy Hits For Ireland


How hot is Daniel Murphy right now? How many hits do you think he’ll get in the World Series? Five? Seven? Ten? More?

Maybe you’d bet on six — would you put your money where your mouth is? Would you put that money toward something awesome? Like making a difference in the lives of youngsters? Here’s your chance.




Thanks again to Joe Petruccio for the artwork above, and please check out his fantastic work on his Facebook page and Instagram.

Watching Jeurys Familia drop to his knees after sealing the sweep almost made me do the same. As a very long suffering Mets’ fan it felt more likely that Familia would get beamed up by aliens and replaced by a turnip who’d give up the lead run. I thought the Mets would beat the Dodgers… but the Cubs? And to never trail for a single inning? This time we’ve really entered The Twilight Zone.

The Invasion of the Body Snatchers pod replica of Daniel Murphy did everything right AND managed to come across as humanoid in interviews. TBS Back to the Future’d to my June 29th post and finally said that Steven Matz looks like Rory McIlroy. Lucas Duda went from Wall-E to The Terminator with his 5 RBIs. And TC finally morphed from Ol’ Potato Head into an adorable version of E.T.

I watching both series with my mouth open as I marked my Film students’ screenplays into the wee hours. The kids who struggled with names now have Murphy, Wright, Wilmer, Curtis and others as their characters. A guy named Familia now captures a serial killer. Thank you, Jeurys.

Let’s try to break down the insanity of the Mets success:


We knew the Mets’ pitching would be good and they’ve met those expectations. If you take Tyler Clippard out of the equation, the Metsies have been kinda great. Sure, they’ve had to grind it out at times – deGrom’s win in the LA decider, Familia with a couple of runners on base – but the power pitching of the Mets has proved as suited to the playoffs as we had hoped.

I’ve been trying to figure out some sort of different angle as to why power pitching works in the playoffs. So here goes…

The Mets power pitching plays in all conditions… but it’s ideally suited to cold weather ball. From the jarring foul balls and broken bats that make your hands sting for 10 minutes, a power pitcher has an advantage over a shivering hitter.

You can also see another effect by comparing R.A. Dickey to these guys. Dickey’s knuckleball is ineffective at the start of the season and – seemingly – indoors. He needs the baseball seams to “bite” the air to create movement. I played cricket and a cricket ball also “bites” more when the weather is humid. The heavier the atmosphere, the more swing you get (Argonbunnies, insert your choice of innuendo here).

The Mets threw some excellent breaking stuff, but they also knew they could rear back and throw the fast stuff at will. Meanwhile Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester didn’t quite have the gun speed. Arrieta actually looked a little ill, too.

Familia has been staggering. No wonder he caught that serial killer. He seems utterly fearless, which is easier to do when you have a 94mph split finger to fall back on. Never mind swinging at the pitch, I’d just run away.

And wasn’t it great to see Bartolo Colon trundle out of the bullpen? I don’t care whether it’s ice or cholesterol in his veins. He saunters in and out-chickens the opponent. What made Kris Bryant swing on that three and two pitch sinking way down? Because Colon spent the whole season throwing strikes. Big Bart will double up with The World Series of Baseball and Poker.


The Mets offense – bar a couple of breakout games – did just enough. Travis d’Arnaud and Yoenis Cespedes haven’t exactly caught fire, but they’ve popped a few homers. It was nice to see all of the lineup (including the pitchers) working at bats… and that started with the excellent Grandyman.

Curtis Granderson keeps grinding out two-strike at bats and he’s reined in his home run swing. He’s opened up his stance a little bit against lefties, and is fiddling around with some bunts too. The key is he’s making contact… striking out only five times in nine games. And for all of David Wright’s struggles, he still knows how to take a walk. Which was lucky given who’s batting behind him… SuperMurphy.

Daniel Murphy – The Metsiah – is aiming to match his usual 162 game homer total in the postseason alone. These are not cheap home runs either. Most of the shots have traveled over 400ft. What did they do with the real Murph? He’s been nicely humble in interviews and doesn’t really know what’s going on either. Kevin Long has apparently been helping him “get his foot down earlier” but, right now, Murph would probably hit a homer while bouncing on a pogo stick.


While the Mets defense hasn’t been infallible, it’s failed a lot less than in the regular season. And its effectiveness starkly contrasted with the Keystone Cubs outfield in the last series. Kyle Schwarber might be the next Babe with the bat, but he was channelling The Dude in the OF with his glove.

SuperMurphy has excelled here too – of course – with some nice diving grabs. But credit also to Duda at his natural first base position. He’s done a sweet job picking up tough hops and skidding throws to first base, and he’s justified his inclusion over the increasingly ossifying Michael Cuddyer.


The Mets baserunning might be the greatest deke of all time.

The Mets spent the regular season being mostly inactive on the bases. They were last in stolen bases. They left their best basestealer (Eric Young, Jr.’s speed is his one lonely tool) off the postseason roster. They also made comical gaffs on the basepaths, led by Lieutenant Dan “No Legs” Murphy.

It was all a clever ploy. SuperMurphy was setting up the NL. My most indelible memory of the post-season so far was watching – mouth wide open again – as Murphy nicked third base on Duda’s walk. That stolen base played a huge role in beating the Dodgers. And it took my breath away.

Murphy was seemingly in standard mode… a cross between a nervous squirrel and a hyperactive meerkat. He desperately looks around him as he takes a little lead. His head is spinning everywhere and he sees threats in all directions. Uncle Terry – as if warning his great-nephew to behave at a swimming pool – has rightly told Murph: “If you run, only bad things will happen.”

And yet Murphy went. And I cursed at the screen. And Murphy made the right decision. And SuperMurphy had proved me wrong. Again. At the start of the postseason, I wanted Kelly Johnson in the lineup instead of him… (Gulp).

Winning the World Series

On a personal level, I’m having a blast. The games finish between 4-6am here but I’m there for every minute. Dayjob be damned. I’m a diehard (and we are hard to kill) Mets fan but also one who appreciates this set of players. Most of the team is developed from the Mets system and the vets like Grandy, Wright and Cuddyer are very affable. Even SuperMurphy has only played the pious card once and he’s been charming and funny in interviews.

The other twist is that I like the Royals too, primarily because they play the best defense in either league. The Royals pitching is fun too… either terribly good or flat-out terrible.

I desperately want to Mets to win, of course, but the thought of this pitching strong team of destiny facing off against a superb AL team is a doozy in itself.

The Greatest Show On Earth? It’s up next…

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