If your eye wanders down and to the left a little, you'll notice we've realigned some of our links, most notably the seating chart for BLOG PARK @ FAFIF YARDS (formerly The New Breed). You'll find a lot of good and great Mets bloggers in the house on every level. There's one site you have to visit immediately, though. That's not a matter of opinion, it's an obligation.
Metstradamus makes hate a beautiful thing.
Readers like myself love how Metstradamus expresses his hate. Every night he offers up a new hate list pertinent to the most recent Mets game or just stuff that's eatin' him. It's some of the most touching vitriol going. But the Hall of Hate is even more special. It's hallowed hate ground.
As no strangers to bile (by all means, revisit Faith and Fear's Met Hell, further down our sidebar when you get a chance), we take the subject of hate as it relates to our passion very seriously. That's why I respect what Metstradamus is doing so very much. It's a great public service.
Metstradamus' first Hall of Hate class, as chosen by The Seer himself, was inducted as an all-time detestment team. Much like the initial Cooperstown honorees — Cobb, Ruth, Wagner, Mathewson, Johnson — there could be little argument with the likes of Coleman, Bonilla, L. Jones, Clemens, Rocker, Harazin and the 1993 Mets home uniforms (“the official wardrobe of failure”).
If Metstradamus had left it at that, his work would have been monumental. But he saw greater things. He opened up induction to a second class of first-class jerks last August and left the decision to his readers. Five more mopes, morons and murderers (of franchises, anyway) were tapped on their shameful shoulders by immortality.
It's time again for the rest of us to choose.
It's time again for the rest of us to choose who belongs in the Metstradamus Hall of Hate.
It's time again for the rest of us to choose who belongs in the Metstradamus Hall of Hate because Metstradamus is going on vacation and he had to leave something on his blog to get us through what will be a long and winding week without him.
I've already voted. In the best tradition of self-important Sunday baseball columnists who walk you through their Cooperstown ballots every January, I will tell you who I voted for and why and who I didn't vote for and why.
Pete Rose: DIDN'T. Can't get worked up over Pete Rose after more than 30 years — and I'm pretty good about holding a grudge. He was just playing the game hard and all that when he slid into Buddy Harrelson. Too hard? Yeah, I suppose. Maybe if we had lost that NLCS or if Buddy had been damaged in some severe fashion. But it seems to have done wonders for Buddy's longevity on the public stage. He's the guy who stood up to Pete Rose.
Jeff Torborg: DID. I'm sure the reason the Braves have spiraled to the second division is they have hired this hollowed-out windbag as an analyst on Turner South. Likewise, the Mets became big-time turners to the south when he took over as manager in 1992. I hear his voice and the little hairs on my arm stand up on end. That's not because he's making excuses for Brian McCann in 2006. It's because he brings back that entire disgusting year of 1992 and the memories of how he piloted our ship to the bottom of Flushing Bay. How is he not in already?
Joe Torre: DIDN'T. Oh, he's awful and all that. And I understand there's a very basic crime where he's concerned, managing terrible Mets teams from 1977 through 1981 and doing what he's been doing since 1996. I didn't think the first part was really his fault and there have been so many others I blame first for the second part. I wish he'd go away, though.
Richie Hebner: DID, DID, DID. From what I can tell by reading his comments section, Metstradamus' demographics skew younger than Faith and Fear's. That's a problem where votes like this are concerned. It's the same reason a Gil Hodges doesn't make the Hall of Fame because after a while, those who didn't see him play make up a majority of the deciders. If you were around in 1979, you know “Hebner” should be a synonym for “Hate” in all manners Met. We have done what we can do to set the record straight by devoting the entire Sixth Circle of Met Hell to Richie Hebner. I can only ask you read the harrowing tale of the Windsor Hotel again and then go vote to condemn Richie Hebner to the Hall of Hate. He deserves it, trust me.
Jim Duquette: DIDN'T. On paper, he traded Scott Kazmir. But that's only because somebody else was grabbing his hand and forcing him to sign the dotted line. Jim Duquette did all he could in a very straitjacketed era of Mets general management to make Shea a marginally better place. I'm frankly surprised that he's on this ballot at all.
Tony Fernandez: DIDN'T. Considered by some a jaker for the way he was suddenly hurt when he came to a very bad Mets team and suddenly wasn't when he was sent back to a very good Blue Jays team. I'm not one to doubt one's claims of ill health. Maybe Tony Fernandez really did spend his two Met months passing a stone. Even if he didn't, Dallas Green intensely disliked him, and you know what they say about people Dallas Green intensely dislikes…they can't be all bad.
Eddie Murray: DIDN'T. For all his choruses of The Duke of Surl while he was here, he did manage to hit now and then. Maybe he was, as Bob Klapisch recently recalled, the instigator of the antisocial tendencies of the Worst Team era, but I've gotta think you bring a surefire Hall of Famer in here, it's you (Harazin, Torborg, Bonilla) bringing him down to your level.
Anthony Young: DIDN'T. Aw, that's just mean.
Gene Walter: DID. Great insight by Metstradamus to put him in this elite company. Gene Walter was the single most depressing relief pitcher this team has ever had, and that's going a ways. Maybe he'd slip into the abyss of decidedly unspecial lefty specialists with the Paul Gibsons and Lee Guettermans and Eric Gundersons except Walter came with a label. The front office, delighted with itself for ridding the organization of troublemaker (and future MVP) Kevin Mitchell for talent (and future sack of potatoes) Kevin McReynolds, hyped throw-in Gene as “death on lefthanders”. Geno still needs to work on his grim reaping.
Alejandro Peña: DIDN'T. Was effective against us. Was ineffective for us. Was traded and became effective for somebody else. When we start Hating players for that, we start being mad at caterpillars for evolving into butterflies.
Guillermo Mota: DID. A close call. I almost didn't vote for him because he hardly seems worth our disgust, but he did throw at our most important player and then run and hide like a…well, like a Guillermo Mota.
Mel Rojas: DIDN'T. Mel Rojas seemed more pathetic than hateful. We know his pitching was disastrous, but I don't remember him beating his chest à la Armando or hiding an injury like Looper or coming here of his own free will like Billy Wagner (who's great, of course; why even bring him up in this conversation?). He was supposed to be better than he showed. He wasn't. Bobby Valentine used him a few times too many and learned from his mistake. I'm willing to abide by deploying Mel Rojas as an example, as in “Jorge Julio reminded me of Mel Rojas except Julio straightened out some,” but that's as far as I'll go.
Steve Phillips: DID. The Steve Phillips Wing of the Metstradamus Hall of Hate must be erected at once to dishonor all arrogant, self-loving, two-faced, creepy slimebags who actually got to make personnel decisions that adversely affected millions of loyal fans.
Mike Francesa: DID. I'm not sure if he goes in for his nearly two decades of patronizing, condescending, ill-informed anti-Met cage-rattling or his two innings of dreadful play-by-play. I think it says something that the Blowhard is on the ballot but his partner, the Retard, is not. It shows that Francesa is seen as the brains of that outfit, and if you've listened to a single segment of Mike & The Mad Dog, you know that's a pretty hard slap at Chris Russo.
Dick Young: DID. I think we've got another demographic gap working against the historical record here. As with Hebner, Metstradamus' readers may not have been sentient in '77 when this once-vital, then-vile columnist was doing M. Donald Grant's dirty work and running Tom Seaver out of town. He attacked Seaver every day in the Daily News. He attacked Seaver's wife, the beautiful Nancy. He attacked Seaver's motives. He attacked Seaver's priorities. He attacked the man who brought more pleasure to more Mets fans than any man who has ever drawn breath. It was a concerted effort to cleanse the clubhouse of intelligence and free thinking, something Young had taken up as his wider cause from the late 1960s on. If you are a Mets fan and you have it in you to hate at all, you must hate Dick Young.
Independence Day is at hand. Our forefathers did not put themselves on the line just so we could barbecue and complain about the Pirates on Tuesday. Voting is a sacred obligation all Americans and all Mets fans are blessed to possess. Go then to Metstradamus and cast your ballot.
As John Adams declared in 1776, it's your duty, damn it.