It's only a long season if you don't break it into shorter ones. Thus, the idea behind our co-opting of Joe Gergen's old Short Season Awards concept. He did it in the early '80s for Newsday when strikes loomed early in the year. We did it for the first sixth of the season and liked it so much, we decided to treat each sixth of the season as a unit — a small unit — unto itself.
Enough ancient history. On to some recent history. The short season in question is the fourth sixth of the 2005 season, encompassing games 82 (July 4) through 108 (August 4). The abbreviated time span allows us absolutely no perspective, which is what makes it fun.
Kings Of Queens
1. Pedro Martinez: His shoulders aren't even sagging after carrying this team every five days for four months.
2. Mike Piazza: BOOOOOOO…we mean YEAAAAAAA. Who's fickle?
3. Ramon Castro: Nice of him to let Mike play once in a while.
4. Jose Reyes: Is there anything this kid can't do? Besides get on base a lot?
5. David Wright: He completed his first year in the big leagues as if he were a six-year veteran.
1. Carlos Beltran: Seriously, you were a starter in the All-Star Game? Which year? This year? REALLY?
2. Kaz Ishii: Curse you Rube Walker and your vile five-man rotation.
3. Roberto Hernandez: He pitches like an overworked 40-year-old in 95-degree heat.
4. Braden Looper: His ERA, which started at infinity on Opening Day, dipped below 3.00 for the first time since June 23 on August 2. And bounced right back up the next night.
5. Cliff Floyd: Even Monstas need to recharge their batteries.
Topics Recently Relevant But No More
1. Should we trade for Manny?
2. Should we trade for Soriano?
3. Should we trade washed-up Mike to some unwitting American League stooge team?
4. Should we hail the Nationals on their unstoppable march to the playoffs?
5. Should we clear our schedules for October?
Unassailable Facts That Have Revealed Themselves
1. We're suddenly unbeatable on Sundays (4-0).
2. We're just as suddenly impossible to lose to on Fridays (0-4).
3. Willie doesn't have confidence in 29% of his bullpen.
4. Trade rumors get under players' skin.
5. The Mets don't like games west of the Mississippi (2-5 lately, 3-10 overall)
1. Curtain Calls
3. K Signs
4. Visits from the Padres
5. Pitchers who say they feel good and are thus allowed to pitch
Jose Reyes Nicknames
1. Tom Triplehorn
2. Do You Know The Way To Third Jose?
3. On-Reyes Percentage
4. Three Times Fast (JoseReyesJoseReyesJoseReyes)
5. David Geddes (run Josey run Josey run…)
Six Feet Under Episode Titles Most Pertinent To The Mets' Situation
1. Ecotone (where two worlds overlap, such as being at or around .500 and in the wild card race)
2. Falling Into Place (in our case, last)
3. Out, Out Brief Candle (remember when we were 3-1/2 back?)
4. A Coat of White Primer (which is all we could've realistically expected from the trade deadline)
5. I'm Sorry, I'm Lost (poor Victor)
Scarier Than Any Six Feet Under Death Scene
1. That ninth inning in Pittsburgh
2. The Astros' pitching
3. Carlos Lee
4. Not scoring much at Coors Field
5. “Warming up in the Mets' bullpen, No. 17…”
Ex-Mets Who Got Our Attention
1. Jeff Kent
2. Brady Clark
3. Dan Wheeler
4. Al Leiter (figures)
5. Carlos Baerga (cleanup????)
My Own Commandments That I Broke
1. Think Before You Think (I predicted a Beltran HR in the tenth the other night and compounded the sin by lending voice to thought)
2. Manage Your Quirks (I can't shut up about “my record”)
3. Don't Root For Injuries (call it the Rafael Furcal exception)
4. Sweat The Small Stuff (I stopped worrying about Brian Daubach as soon as he disappeared)
5. Believe In A Place Called Hope (after yesterday, I just don't know)
Still And All, This Stuff Ruled
1. The cast of characters, on the field and in the mezzanine concourse, that made July 14 a very special evening
2. Coming back on Milwaukee one, two, three…FOUR times Tuesday night
3. Cameron & Co. busting loose in Houston as the clock said everybody was staying
4. Sticking a pin in Washington's balloon