MOST VALUABLE METS AS EXPRESSED VIA THEIR BEVERAGE EQUIVALENTS
1. Pedro Martinez is Jolt Cola: Twice the sugar. All the caffeine. Not only can’t you close your eyes, you won’t want to. The hum in your head is unmistakable. Your senses are tingling. Gotta have another blast of that stuff. A sprinkler could come on and you wouldn’t notice. A sign could get stuck in the wrong position and you’d just dance. That you might come crashing down at the very end of the night and not be able to do very much of anything before finally going to sleep shouldn’t detract from how this was everything it was promised to be. A more sudden Jolt to the doldrums was never felt.
2. Cliff Floyd is Miller Lite: Hits Great! Less Illin’! Hits Great! Less Illin’! It’s a new and improved formula that doesn’t leave you feeling weighed down by unmet expectations and isn’t so heavy that you can’t move around with surprising litheness. Yet it’s full-bodied. Now we’re living the high life. And there’s no doubt why we asked it to be on this list.
3. David Wright is Strawberry Quik: Quicker than Strawberry, actually. No milk drink had ever produced so much so immediately and this, unlike that, appears to be a genuine milk drink. Wholesome. Pure. Smooth. The only additives are the promise of getting even better and the hope that it will be served for another decade or two.
4. Jose Reyes is SoBe Adrenaline Rush: Need a burst of energy? Open it up, pour it down and get ready to run, not walk. Grab one every day. It’s available that often. Works fast. Side effects: You won’t want to stop; you’ll want to make things happen; your body may get ahead of your head. But is that really so terrible?
5. Roberto Hernandez is Old Forester Bourbon: Dates back to the 1870s, but can still deliver when called on. A rich, reassuring, robust flavor that won’t let you down when everything else has. Because it came with such a deep heritage, it was easy to dismiss at first in favor of trendier drinks. But there were days when this spirit that came out of the woods was all that stood between you and a terrible hangover. Quite a kick after all these years. Aaaahhhh…
MOST ENIGMATIC MET AS EXPRESSED VIA FIVE COCA-COLA BEVERAGE EQUIVALENTS
1. Carlos Beltran is OK Soda. Just OK. And what’s that supposed to taste like anyway?
2. Carlos Beltran is Fresca. They keep changing the labeling (a leader; quiet; moody; religious; disappointed; disappointing; injured; three-hitter; two-hitter; bound to break out), but it generally tastes the same. It has its fans but it’s not that popular.
3. Carlos Beltran is TaB. A $119-million tab. And in the hole for $17 million.
4. Carlos Beltran is Minute Maid. At least he was.
5. Carlos Beltran is Surge. At least we hope he will.
I JUST WANT TO CELEBRATE ANOTHER DAY OF LIVING IN 2005
2. July 14: David Wright makes a ridiculous diving catch. Cliff Floyd makes another one. David hits two homers. Mike Piazza hits an even bigger one. The Mets beat the Braves and the second half gets off to an awesome start.
3. April 10: Pedro Martinez assures us and the world that the Mets won’t go 0-6 to say nothing of 0-162.
4. August 30: Is that an explosion? No, it’s RA-MON! Watch out Phillies — we’re just a half-game behind!
5. August 24: What, you’ve never seen a team score 18 runs?
I JUST WANT TO REGURGITATE
1. July 9: Get me to a Pittsburgh hospital.
2. April 4: Ba Pen Drooler! Wouldn’t be the last time our easily anagrammed closer would leave the door ajar.
3. August 11: Ouch.
4. May 23: Every loss at Turner Field is discouraging. This one was outWright absurd.
5. July 28: You’re booing Beltran now, Houston, but let’s see you get to the playoffs without him.
THINGS THAT WOULD HAVE MADE YOU PLOTZ FROM NACHES IF YOU HAD BEEN TOLD IN ADVANCE
1. Aaron Heilman would pitch a one-hitter early and be the closer late
2. Jose Reyes would play 161 games
3. Jae Seo would go 8-2
4. Mike Jacobs would hit 11 homers
5. Tom Glavine would turn into Tom Glavine in the second half
THINGS THAT WOULD HAVE MADE YOU PLOTZ FROM SHREK IF YOU HAD BEEN TOLD IN ADVANCE
1. Kaz Matsui would have half as many stolen bases as Miguel Cairo
2. Doug Mientkiewicz would play 87 games
3. Kaz Ishii would go 3-9
4. Carlos Beltran would hit 16 homers
5. Tom Glavine would turn into Tom Glavine only after continuing to be Tom Filer in the first half
SPECTACULAR UPGRADES FROM 2004
1. Ramon Castro over Vance Wilson
2. Marlon Anderson over Karim Garcia
3. Chris Woodward over Joe McEwing
4. Juan Padilla over Ricky Bottalico
5. Willie Randolph over Art Howe
WHAT WILLIE DID WELL
1. Kept pressure off his young players
2. Connected with Cliff Floyd
3. Dropped Mike in the batting order
4. Experimented with the bullpen in September
5. Got everybody to run hard
WHAT WILLIE DIDN’T DO WELL
1. Play the alleged Willieball he was credited for
2. Connect with Kaz Matsui
3. Move Beltran out of the three-hole
4. Choose an opportune spot for Shingo Takatsu to throw his first Major League pitch in many a week
1. Joe Randa
2. Ryan Langerhans
3. Antonio Perez/Chris Burke
4. Chase Utley
5. Dioner Navarro
1. Marcus Giles
2. Alex Rodriguez
3. Vinny Castilla
4. John Thomson
5. Derrek Lee
MOST DISCOURAGING INDICATORS
1. 11-19 in games west of the Mississippi
2. 1-8 at Turner Field
3. 3-15 from August 31 through September 15
4. 0-5 to start season
5. 0-79 in games when the other team scored more runs
GET IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME
1. A Met led the National League in steals for the first time
2. Four Met outfielders reached double-digits in home runs (as outfielders) for the first time
3. The Mets increased their winning percentage for at least two consecutive seasons for the first time since 1986
4. The Mets were eight games above .500 (on August 26) for the first time since 2000
5. Two Mets were elected to start in the All-Star Game for the first time since 1988
2005 METS PITCHERS WHO WILL ELICIT A “THEY WERE?” IN ALL BUT THE SAVVIEST QUARTERS BY 2010
1. Felix Heredia
2. Mike Matthews
3. Tim Hamulack
4. Manny Aybar
5. Jose Santiago
2005 METS WHOSE PRESENCE WILL AT LEAST SERVE AS A CAUTIONARY TALE AGAINST HAVING GUYS LIKE THEM ON THE TEAM IN 2006, ONE CAN ONLY HOPE
1. Jose Offerman
2. Danny Graves
3. Shingo Takatsu
4. Mike DeJean
5. Brian Daubach
2005 METS WHOSE PRESENCE DIDN’T DISTURB ME NEARLY AS MUCH AS IT DID MANY OTHER METS FANS
1. Gerald Williams: His teammates can’t all be wrong about what a great guy he is.
2. Miguel Cairo: He just wound up playing too much was all.
3. Victor Zambrano: “Uncle!” on the trade that brought him here, however.
4. Kaz Ishii: He was worth a shot, if not such an endless one.
5. Dae-Sung Koo: The double and two bases on a sacrifice against Randy Johnson made his otherwise mysterious tenure here worthwhile.
2005 METS WHOSE ATTRACTION ALMOST COMPLETELY ELUDED ME
1. Heath Bell: I hope he deserves the kind of adulation he received in absentia real soon.
2. Anderson Hernandez: We could have gotten the same production from Anderson Cooper.
3. Steve Trachsel: If we’re intent on cleaning most of the pre-2005 bric-a-brac out of our closet, I’d sooner toss Trachsel than Piazza. Mad props for coming back from disc surgery, but the guy gave off vibes that a team in contention existed solely for the purpose of giving him starts when the five men in the rotation were doing all right without him. Sign him at his low option, but trade him as soon as you can. He really is a reminder of a crappy era.
CATS AND THEIR ROLES REGARDING THE 2005 METS
2. Hozzie: Couldn’t handle the celebration spurred by Cliff’s game-winner off Brendan Donnelly nor the ruckus attendant to what Floyd did to the Skanks’ upper deck two weeks later. Every time I cheered Cliff loudly, Hozzie hid under furniture. Like pitchers everywhere, I guess he’s more than a little intimidated by Monstas.
3. Avery: His September arrival coincided with the Mets rising from four games under to four games over. There’s a lot of magic in that kitten.
4. Casey (1990-2002): The first member of my All-Angel team.
5. Andres Galarraga: Didn’t make it out of Port St. Lucie, but having him around for a month classed us up by association.
GONE AND SORT OF FORGOTTEN
1. Al Leiter: He seemed so vital for so long. His final 2005 destination indicates how much pitchers must really like to pitch.
2. John Franco: I don’t think he ever officially retired. Good for him.
3. Eric Valent: Had one big hit in Chicago and then melted into the Norfolk crowd. I could think of worse guys off the bench.
4. Jason Phillips: I’d be more excited about Mike Jacobs if I hadn’t been so excited about another catcher turned first baseman who hit really well when given the chance.
5. Matt Ginter: Wasn’t he going to be our fifth starter?
BLOGS A BLOGGER ADORES
1. Metstradamus: He sees the future.
2. Mets Walkoffs And Other Minutiae: He sees happy endings.
3. Mets Guy In Michigan: He sees DET people.
CO-BLOGGER’S CHOICE: MY FAVORITE JASON POSTS
1. No Scrubs
NOTES FROM THE LOG
1. Passed 300 games lifetime (167-134)
2. Attended three consecutive shutouts (2 for, 1 against) for the first time ever
3. First year since ’95 with at least one win yet no losses versus Atlanta
4. Holding a .500 or better record against every N.L. opponent except Atlanta
5. Space for no more than 99 games remain before I have to buy a new steno pad — been using this one since 1981
FAVORITE GAMES ATTENDED
2. July 14: In addition to the victory over the Braves, I meet FAFIF’s first recurring commenter whom I didn’t already know; no knives were pulled.
3. April 14: Pedro’s first home start, Al’s return and a lot to shout about.
4. August 6: Seo sunny, Seo surreal.
5. October 2: I won’t remember the loss — I’ll remember the bye.
CULTURE AND BASEBALL YIELD MIXED RESULTS
1. April 14: Aaron Heilman pitches a one-hitter while Stephanie and I are at the Matt Bianco featuring Basia concert at Westbury. We manage to catch a half-inning between sets.
2. May 8: The umps screw up a sure caught-stealing in Milwaukee after Glengarry Glen Ross
3. May 29: Mister Koo gives up the game-changing homer to Carlos Delgado just as the curtain is rising on Spamalot.
4. June 12: David Wright misplays a grounder against the Angels before intermission at the ballet.
5. September 22: Carlos Beltran shuts up the heckler I had just been mocking for insipidly heckling Carlos Beltran. Dat’ll teach da joik some cultcha.
I CAN STILL SEE
1. David’s one-handed catch against the Padres
2. Cammy sticking his glove out against the Diamondbacks
3. Carlos fully extending himself against the Nationals
4. Woody morphing into a leftfielder against the Marlins
5. Jose standing at third seconds after standing at home against the Dodgers
I CAN’T BEAR TO PICTURE
1. Victor in right
2. Kaz at second
3. Looper in the ninth
5. The calendar for the next several months
Fastball driven in the air toward right-centerfield…chasing back is Finley…on the track, reaches out…CAN’T GET IT! Kicks it away! It’s rolling toward the corner! Anderson around second! He’s on his way to third! Finley’s tracked it down! Anderson is being…WAVED AROUND! He’s comin’ to the plate…the relay throw…he slides…SAFE! It’s an inside-the-park-home run! And it ties the game! Marlon Anderson with an inside-the-park home run…he is shaken up…Jose Molina arguing the call, Mike Scioscia out as well, but Marlon Anderson has tied the game at two and two with an inside-the-park home run. Finley tried to field it on the warning track, kicked it toward the corner, and Anderson came all the way around ahead of the relay throw by Adam Kennedy…Anderson still down on his knees as Mike Herbst and Willie Randolph look after him, but with his FIRST home run as a New York MET, Marlon Anderson has tied the game, and as he gets to his feet, he gets a ROUSING ovation from the crowd at Shea Stadium!
—Gary Cohen, 6/11/2005
Bell is the lead run. He’s on second. Alfonzo at first with two out. Eight to eight, bottom of the eighth. Incredible. Mulholland ready to go. The pitch to Piazza…swing and a drive deep down the left field line…toward the corner…IT’S OUTTA HERE! OUTTA HERE! Mike Piazza with a LINE DRIVE three-run homer! Just inside the left field foul pole! The Mets have tied a club record with a ten-run inning! And they’ve taken the lead…eleven…to eight! Piazza drives in a run for a thirteenth straight game, and for the first time in twenty-one years the Mets have put up a ten-run inning. They’ve done it against the Atlanta Braves, they’ve come from seven runs down…here in the bottom of the eighth inning. They lead it eleven to eight. Incredible!
—Gary Cohen, 6/30/2000