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16 For 16
Posted By Greg Prince On August 31, 2006 @ 8:12 am In Main Page | Comments Disabled
The world’s our Rocky Mountain oyster.
Hits don’t lie. Neither does endlessly errorless fielding.
I particularly liked Valentin’s second homer. It smacked square off the CR on the Rockies cap billboard above the right field fence. That’s a message hit.
In handicapping the Wild Card race, don’t put your money on the Astros, the Braves, the Dodgers or the Marlins. Why not? They all still have to play us.
With our 82nd win, we secured a winning record for the second straight year, about as suspense-free a milestone as we’ll ever achieve. With nine more carefully chosen wins (one over Houston, one over Atlanta, two over Los Angeles, three over Florida, two over Washington), we’ll have managed to have won or split every season series with all our National League opponents.
Gotta stay motivated. Then again, I ain’t ‘fraida no coast. But if the Mets don’t do something well, it’s coast.
Phillies won, so we move magically by but one.
16.01: Present at the Creation. Faith and Fear in Flushing was founded on February 16, 2005. The very first words I wrote: When is Omar going to get off the stick and sign Jose Valentin, Endy Chavez, Darren Oliver, Guillermo Mota and Dave Williams? We’re never going to win until we have guys like those!
16.02: Doc. On July 30, 1985, Dwight Gooden, No. 16 in your programs and No. 1 in your hearts, raised his record to 16-3, shutting out the Expos, striking out 10. Joel and I heard the score on WINS driving back from Boston having watched Tom Seaver raise his lifetime win total to 299.
16.03: No Scrubs. Unlike the neglect he has piled on the Hernandez legacy, Charlie Samuels has protected Doc’s. Since Gooden left in ’94, 16 has been issued only to experienced players with a legit claim to it: Hideo Nomo, Derek Bell (Doc tribute), David Cone (Doc tribute), Doug Mientkiewicz, Paul Lo Duca. I’d like to think Charlie made up an ’86 model for its proper bearer a couple of weeks ago just in case.
16.04: Another Fallen Idol. For my high school graduation, I was given a baseball shirt with a Mets 16 insignia on the left breast. It was to honor the Mets’ only marketable player, Lee Mazzilli. I wore it in 1981 for Mazz. I wore it in 1982 and 1983 for nobody. In 1984 it became my Doc shirt.
16.05: It Still Adds Up, But Not For Us. Kaz Matsui wore 25 as a Met because 7 was taken and 2 plus 5 equals 7 in any language. As a Rockie, he’s No. 16. And we’re still better off without him.
16.06: Turn Around Now…Switch! Felix Millan wore 16 in 1973. Then he grabbed 17 from Teddy Martinez and Martinez took 23 in 1974, which Dave Schneck wore in ’73 before going with 16 in ’74. In 1976, John Stearns wore 16 and Lee Mazzilli wore 12. In 1977, John Stearns wore 12 and Lee Mazzilli wore 16. Names were added to the backs of Met uniforms in 1979 when everybody in one would have preferred anonymity.
16.07: Chuck Berry. Sweet Little 16. She’s just got to have. About half a million. Framed autographs. How much of her allowance did she spend on framing anyway?
16.08: Dream Date. I’ve never picked up an issue of 16 magazine, but 35 years ago in late August I will cop to a copy of Tiger Beat because David Cassidy was on the cover and the Partridge Family, briefly my favorite show, was inside. These days, I’m swooning over David Williams, who must think he won a contest. In 200 words or less, tell us why YOU deserve a promotion to the best team in baseball! If you win, you’ll get to pitch with AWESOME defense behind you and GROOVY offense supporting you! You even get to RUN THE BASES! The contest has expired, as Williams has been sent down, but he’ll be back next week. And speaking of Tiger Beat, isn’t that Craig Monroe dreamy?
16.09: Lucky Cat, Lucky Us. On September 16, 2005, we adopted a kitten and named him Avery. Before he showed up, the Mets had been dragging through their traditional August-September slide, 3-16 at that point. On the first night of Avery, Pedro beat the Braves, sparking a 12-4 finishing kick that clinched a winning season and augured better things for 2006. Since Avery made his debut, the Mets are 94-53. He hasn’t slowed down either.
16.10: Quickly Consistent. The first 32 victories of Tom Seaver’s career came in two sets of 16 — 16-13 in ’67, 16-12 in ’68. More than 10% of his lifetime victories (311) were earned on teams that finished a cumulative 56 games under .500.
16.11: Up The Dial. On Friday, Air America Radio moves to 1600 AM, WWRL. WWRL was my favorite station between 1997 and 2000 when it played soul classics. Then: Al Green. Now: Al Franken. Elusive: Al Schmelz.
16.12: Dr. Hook. She was only 16, only 16, but I loved that girl so. We were too young to fall in love and I was too young to know.
16.13: Where Was Jay Hook? When I was only 16, only 16, the Mets won only 63, only 63. The Mets’ deadline deals were for Dock Ellis and Andy Hassler, both more comfortable over the hill than on it. I ran into a Mets fan that hideous summer who told me he loved those trades and that in five years we were gonna be real good. It was 1979; he was half-right.
16.14: Where Was The Humidor When We Needed It? That infamous 26-7 rout at the Vet makes our nightly blowouts in Denver look like we’re in the Year of the Pitcher. On June 11, 1985, the Phillies ran up a 16-0 lead after two innings. I think I’m gonna call the FAN right now and fret that we haven’t done that yet.
16.15: Prove It All Night. Everybody remembers that on July 4 and 5, 1985, the Mets and Braves played 19 innings and until 3:55 AM in Atlanta. Does anybody recollect the final score? We won 16-13. The Braves were so embarrassed, they vowed to eventually build a new stadium and beat the Mets senseless for nearly a decade.
16.16: Ringo Starr. You walked out of a dream, peaches and cream, lips like strawberry wine. The Mets are 16 from clinching, they’re beautiful and they’re mine. And yours.
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