What’s that sound?
BEEEEP! BEEEEP! BEEEEP!
That’s the unmistakable noise the Mets express makes as it backs into a magic number of 15. Unpleasant loss for us in Colorado but a crushing defeat for Philadelphia in Washington. The Nats’ hero was Marlon Anderson, tagging up from second to third and then practically stealing home on the passingest of passed balls. I guess all that experience Marlon Anderson received as we got our spoil on last September is paying off.
Thanks to him (and no thanks to Oliver Perez), I have 15 things to do right now.
15.01: Paging Mr. Warhol. How big will our roster be by next week? In the near future, everybody will be a Met for 15 minutes.
15.02: Give Us 22 Minutes. As long as WINS has been all-news, we’ve always been able to rely on sports at 15 after and 15 before the hour. The same could be said for WCBS, I suppose, except they air Yankee games, so WCBS isn’t listened to much here.
15.03: Grab Some Pine, Bench. No catcher was better at catching than our No. 15, Jerry Grote. Threw runners out, grabbed every popup, cultivated one of the Terrific staffs of the era. Didn’t hit on the level of The Great J.B., but that’s hitting, not catching.
15.04: Move Over Jerry Grote. Carlos Beltran is making 15 all his in the Met uniform pecking order. He’s making everything else his, too.
15.05: Stay Where You Are George Foster. Was there a bigger disappointment in Mets history? How the hell did that happen? He was so great wearing 15 in Cincinnati, then he was so awful wearing 15 in New York. Why, why, WHY does that ALWAYS happen to us? Oh, except with Carlos Beltran, I mean.
15.06: Why He’s Talking To Us Now. Ron Darling won 15 games in 1986, a year after he won 16. Ron Darling becoming a Mets announcer in 2006 still feels as weird as Jerry Koosman becoming one out of nowhere around 1989 would have. Out of sight, out of mind, suddenly on SNY. He’s getting better at it, though.
15.07: More Than Enough. The 1986 Mets carried 15 position players into the postseason, using only 14, with Ed Hearn lingering as god-forbid insurance for Carter. That means only 9 pitchers. There’s no telling how many we’ll carry this year. Seems we’ve never had less than 12 at any given moment.
15.08: A Little Cliqueish. Remember how in the spring of ’87, the Mets starters got together and decided it would be way cool if they all wore numbers in the teens? Doc, Ronnie and Bobby O were already there. El Sid went to 10 and Rick Aguilera wore 15. Alas, Fernandez couldn’t be anything but 50 once the season started. Would have you guessed Aggie would go on to have, arguably, the most successful long-term career of the five?
15.09: Positively Gumpy. Two baby boomer touchstones converged on October 15, 1969: Moratorium Day, dedicated to protesting the United States’ involvement in Vietnam, and the fourth game of the 1969 World Series. Tom Seaver started against the Orioles. He was also recruited by peace organizers to speak out against the war. Seaver stuck to pitching, going 10 and defeating the Orioles 2-1. The Mets won the Series the next day. America wouldn’t withdraw from Vietnam until January 1973.
15.10: New Sensations. By going 15-10, Jon Matlack earned the National League Rookie of the Year award in 1972. John Milner finished third. And if you knew Dave Rader finished between them, you’re a crazier motherfucker than I am, Gunga Din.
15.11: Whither the Moonmen? MTV’s headquarters is 1515 Broadway. The MTV Video Music Awards were Thursday night. I completely forgot they were on. I used to know stuff like that. I used to know who was nominated and who was presenting and who was doing the outrageous stunt. I used to be young.
15.12: Watching The Mets Wake Up From History. It was 15 years ago that Jesus Jones had a big hit celebrating how the world was changing for the better. Heard it the other night and was impressed how it was really a song anticipating the 2006 Mets: “I was alive and I waited, waited. I was alive and I waited for this. Right here, right now, there is no place I’d rather be.” Bob Dylan never blogged about this.
15.13: Let’s Never Party Like It Was 1991. At this moment 15 years ago, any combination of Pirate wins and Met losses adding to 20 would eliminate the fourth-place Mets from contention.
15.14: Except For One Thing. Our 15th wedding anniversary is this November. I wanted us to wait until November because, honey, the Mets could be in the World Series again in October.
15.15: Encore For Andy. Gotta go. Warhol says my 15 minutes are over.