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Greg Prince and Jason Fry
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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Riding Along on a Carousel

There have been 17 champagne celebrations for team accomplishments in New York Mets history. This was part of the 17th.

There have been 17 champagne celebrations for team accomplishments in New York Mets history. This is a scene from the 17th.

Indulge me, Mets fans who weren’t viewers of Mad Men, as I channel Don Draper delivering — à la Matt Harvey on Saturday in Cincinnati — the most impressive pitching we had ever seen from him. The product, in this case, is a glorious new iteration of what our baseball team is capable of producing.

It’s not called the Collapse. It’s called a Division Title. It lets us travel the way a champion travels. Onward and upward, and higher again…to a place where we know we have clinched.

For those of you unfamiliar with what is being played off of above, Don, the master ad man, was branding, on the fly, the Carousel, Eastman Kodak’s contraption designed to show off your boring family pictures (long before Facebook usurped that function). The company executives who were Sterling Cooper’s clients had tentatively labeled their invention the Wheel. Don, however, saw something different in what they were selling.

And now you, the consumer of all things Mets, are seeing something different in the team with which you so closely identify. You’ve been used to a situation where you weren’t so much certain something was going to go wrong as you were sure nothing would ever go right again.

You’ve just learned the Mets have other, better applications.

My allegiance to the New York Mets dates back to late in the Mad Men era, to 1969, when everything went right, and 1970, when markedly fewer things worked out. After those two personally seminal seasons, I got that the Mets didn’t always win it all, but understood just as well that wondrous achievements weren’t beyond their grasp. In case I thought the first glimpse I got in ’69 was a fluke, 1973 came along soon enough to reinforce how wonderful the Mets could be.

Later…much later, there was 1986 and 1988 and 1999 and 2000 and 2006, each of them spawning commemorative t-shirts and selling tickets to games not originally scheduled. They made sense to me. They were of a piece with knowing what I knew was possible. All those other years, when the Mets weren’t winning, those were the outliers in my estimation. I got used to not winning for long (long) stretches, but I didn’t take that as the way it was supposed to be, just the way it was.

I don’t play the generational card much, certainly not to hold what I have experienced over the heads of those who’ve lived through less. To me, you choose the Mets whenever you choose them and you’re one of us. You’re eligible for every Real Fan perk I have to offer. But coming down the stretch in 2015, I felt genuinely bad for Mets fans who hadn’t been immersed in all or most or even one of those seven playoff years. I felt genuinely bad for anybody who made — whether by choice or instinct — 2007 the organizing principle of his rooting life. I felt genuinely bad for anybody who couldn’t help himself from shouting “COLLAPSE!” in a crowded ballpark (or comments section).

That’s not who the Mets have to be. That’s not what the Mets have to be about.

And now you’ve seen it for yourself.

You have the 2015 Mets. You have one of the 17 celebrations in Mets history. Seventeen times the Mets have opened bottles of champagne and poured them over one another. Seventeen times the Mets have won something transcendent as a team. Eight times it’s been entry to the playoffs. Six times it’s been a division title.

This time was one of each of those times. When Jay Bruce took his place in the procession behind Joe Torre, Glenn Beckert, Chico Walker, Lance Parrish, Dmitri Young, Keith Lockhart and Josh Willingham and made the final out of a Mets clincher against Jeurys Familia (following in the footsteps of Gary Gentry, Tug McGraw, Dwight Gooden, Ron Darling, Al Leiter, Armando Benitez and Billy Wagner), this was no longer a team that lets us down. This became a team that lifts us up.

Actually, it’s been a team lifting us up most of the past six months, dating back to those initial unbeatable April days, through the pitching-powered grittiness of June and July and then making like a dynamo once August hit with the full force of a revamped roster. Nevertheless, it had to be official to feel official. You had to know that the Mets could not just take a lead and build a lead but that they could keep a lead.

You know it now, baby. You know these are your National League East champions, the sole denizens of first place from August 3 to eternity where 2015 is concerned. You saw it on TV, you heard it on the radio, you followed it on the Internet and you can buy it at Modell’s.

You needed proof. I understand. We all need proof. Though it’s been obscured by the mists of time, there was a time I couldn’t believe a seemingly qualified Mets team could make it from September to October unscathed. In 1998, the Mets lost their last five games to ooze away from a winnable Wild Card. That was tough. In 1999, the significantly improved Mets lost seven in a row with two weeks to go and sent their fans and their fate into turmoil. That was tougher. As the Mets kept losing, I grew absolutely convinced the worst was inevitable. Neither the backstories of ’69 and ’73 nor the last-ditch rallies from ’86’s two Game Sixes could penetrate my consciousness. They choked last year, they’re gonna choke this year. That was my jam.

As you may know, the 1999 Mets got their act together on the final weekend of the regular season and, like the 2015 Mets, punched their ticket to the playoffs in Cincinnati. Before they could win that all-or-nothing showdown versus the Reds sixteen years ago, they had to beat the Pirates on the last day at Shea, which of course they did. That was the Melvin Mora Game, the one the Mets took when Mora scored the decisive run on a ninth-inning wild pitch. It was and remains my most cherished memory as a fan. The Mets had to do what they had to do and they did it. It wasn’t always going to be 1998. On the best of days, it could be 1999.

I watched that game in Loge alongside my friend Richie, who was kind of the baseball big brother I never had. We’re still in occasional touch via e-mail, but 1999 was really our year. Some years are like that, where you’re closer than ever to a particular person with whom you share a common interest. For Richie and me, it was the Mets and 1999. When Brad Clontz’s bases-loaded pitch thoroughly eluded Joe Oliver’s mitt and Mora raced home to give the Mets a season-lengthening 2-1 triumph and all 50,000 of us on hand went nuts, Richie had the presence of mind to grab me and stage-whisper over the din into my ear, “They didn’t choke.” It was exactly what I needed to hear.

To you who didn’t necessarily believe, I do for you what Richie did for me, albeit in the vernacular that overtook our consciousness following the unfortunate proceedings of September 2007.

They didn’t collapse.

I hope you heard that over the roar of the crowd. They didn’t collapse. They didn’t come close to collapsing. I didn’t think it was even an issue, considering they never led by fewer than four games from August 20 forward. I didn’t think anything needed to be said beyond “way to go,” considering the run the Mets went on between July 31 and September 14, playing 42 games and winning 31 times. Those were 1986-, 1988-type numbers. Those were being posted in the heat of what we called a pennant race, what I knew in my heart by late August was closer to a prohibitive runaway than a potential collapse.

A collapse wasn’t going to happen. And it didn’t. And it’s great. It’s great because we’re all Mets fans and it’s great because we’re all Mets fans who’ve experienced something like this now. I don’t have to dig deep and hark back. All I have to do is point to the standings and that lower-case “y” most outlets use to denote divisional champ. Links to video footage of the 17th champagne celebration in New York Mets history are fresh and plentiful as well.

You may still be tasting the literal and figurative bubbly from Saturday night. You may need to splash some cold water on your face. But if I could advise anything beyond, “they didn’t collapse,” it would be take how you felt in the moment after Familia fanned Bruce and put it somewhere where it will stay pristine. I don’t mean so you can take it out in the dead of winter or in some season down the road that doesn’t necessarily encompass a clinching. I mean, yeah sure, that too, but more immediately, I mean in case the rest of 2015 doesn’t match our fondest dreams.

I’m not suggesting this year won’t be the year. Heavens no, not while we are busy being N.L. East champions for the first time in nine years (or a million, in Met years). Alas, though, it’s worth noting that elsewhere on this continent, there are Cubs fans and Blue Jays fans and Royals fans and Pirates fans and some other fans who are convinced that this year is gonna be the year, based on the simple fact that their year has already been extended into the next month, just like ours has.

It’s a natural reaction. Just as bad results beget bad vibes, good results imply even better ones lie directly ahead. Last year at this time, there were 10 teams whose fans were feeling pretty, pretty good about their impending October appointments. In a matter of weeks, two; then six; then eight; and ultimately nine flocks felt significantly less good about the circumstances that had befallen the objects of their affection.

We are one of ten lucky batches of sumbitches. We have, at base, a 10% probability of winning the World Series. We can parlay that into 100%. Or we might crap out when pitted against another of the 10-percenters. Sadly, we can’t all be destiny’s children clear into November. If we don’t taste champagne again (let alone again and again and again) this year, I ask that you make a point of circling back to September 26 and remembering the night we did as your signature moment of 2015. Remember fiercely the 17th celebration in the event that the 18th, 19th and 20th don’t transpire exceedingly soon.

Remember 2006? What do you remember? If you say “Beltran looking at strike three” or words to that effect, I say reconsider. Remember beating the Dodgers in the NLDS. Remember beating the Marlins to clinch the East. Those touched off Celebrations Nos. 15 and 16. You see how long it took us to get to 17. As Monty Python might have put it, every celebration is sacred.

Don’t be that fan who, when presented a memory of anything that isn’t airtight success, says, “Don’t remind me.” You’re reading the wrong blog if that’s how you take your Mets. I make it my business to remind you of what our team has done, sometimes to make a larger point, sometimes just for the hell of it. But I don’t do it to make you feel bad or worse. When I invoke 1988, it’s not about Scioscia; it’s about 100 wins and a division crown. When I invoke 2000, it’s not about losing the World Series; it’s about winning a Wild Card, a Division Series and a pennant. When I invoke 2006, it’s not about one pitch that wasn’t swung at; it was about the most fun year I ever had blogging…until this one, which is just about as much fun to date.

Someday I will bring up 2015, the division title, the Saturday Duda and Granderson and Wright went deep and Harvey stayed in longer than anticipated and Familia finished up to clinch it. Regardless of what comes next, that — and everything that led to that — happened. It was beautiful. It will always be beautiful. Don’t let the course of Metsian events as yet unknown squeeze the context out of what you’re enjoying now and deserve to enjoy forever.

I’ll tell you one thing that has made 2015 unique among Met years that have included at least one champagne celebration, at least for me. You won’t find it in the standings, it doesn’t show up in a box score and I defy anyone who thinks it can be solved by deploying advanced metrics. The answer is all over whatever device you’re reading this on.

I got to enjoy this run toward glory with you. With you who visit this blog; with you who drop us a line via e-mail; with you who Like us like crazy on Facebook; and with you who I have the pleasure of tweeting back and forth with between every other pitch on what is sometimes derisively dismissed as #MetsTwitter. I don’t get the derision and dismissiveness, by the way.

• You know who composes #MetsTwitter? Mets fans who use Twitter to communicate their Mets thoughts to other Mets fans.

• You know who puts down #MetsTwitter? Mets fans who use Twitter to communicate their Mets thoughts to other Mets fans.

• You know who uses Twitter to communicate their Mets thoughts to other Mets fans? #MetsTwitter.

To paraphrase one of my favorite lines from the movie The Commitments, “Isn’t everybody on #MetsTwitter an arsehole? Except for management, that is.”

Anyway, when you’re a Mets fan online, you’re never by yourself. Nor would you choose to be. Taking in these Mets and what they’ve done alongside you — whether you always believed; you never believed; you didn’t believe until you had to believe; or you are unwittingly the embodiment of a human weathervane — has placed me comfortably inside a packed and jubilant stadium for every game. When we get a night that uncorks the best of our emotions, the celebrations we watch from the field and the clubhouse are more than matched by the joie de Uribe we engage in among each other. I swear the sensation is more real than virtual, whether or not you opted to pour champagne on your own home turf.

Which we Princes did, once the Jeurys-rigged ninth inning was completed and Stephanie and I emerged from our traditional post-clinch clench. We didn’t exactly don goggles and spritz Moet & Chandon around our living room and onto our cats. We laid in only enough to toast and sip, and that we took care of in a state of serene satisfaction. Unfortunately, I had a pre-existing headache that the surfeit of tweeting and the modicum of imbibing probably exacerbated a bit. I realized we hadn’t had anything substantive for dinner, which couldn’t have been helping, so I placed an order with a nearby pizzeria that operates under an agreeable enough family name and told them I’d come pick my order soon.

When the time came, I grabbed my Superstripe-model Mets cap (it’s my favorite), proudly affixed it to my slightly aching head and stepped out into the cool September night. It was the kind of move I made just as easily, pizza or otherwise, in the early autumn of 2006 and 2000 and 1999 and 1988 and 1986 and 1973 and 1969. It was 2015, which by now had something permanently in common with all of those aforementioned banner years.

It was a year when being a Mets fan once more felt exactly the way it’s supposed to feel.

And after I picked up the pizza? I spent the rest of the night talking Mets — present and past — with the good folks of the Rising Apple Report, which you can and should listen to here.

39 comments to Riding Along on a Carousel

  • Steve2916

    Last night (after they clinched), I went back to read your post regarding the Mets last “low point” of 2015; the aftermath of the aborted Flores trade, followed by the blown-6-run-lead-rain-delay-game vs. San Diego.

    I could not help but chuckle about the clairvoyance you demonstrated by writing the following: I’ve boldfaced the most relevant sentence…

    On July 30, 1969, the Mets were getting blown out of a doubleheader at home against Houston. Gil Hodges didn’t like the level of Cleon Jones’s defensive commitment. Hodges marched out to left field and removed Jones at once. Long story short, a message was sent and from that nadir grew ultimate victory, with Cleon standing in the same vicinity of where he’d been unceremoniously removed, this time catching the year’s final fly ball.

    Thank you (and Jason) for guiding us through the valleys and peaks of this season with your eloquent posts.

    #LGM – 2015 NL East Champs!!!

    • Blind squirrels and acorns. Thank you.

      As far as prescience goes, I think my moment of clairvoyance came on June 25, when I stated, beyond a shadow of a doubt:

      “The Mets, losers of seven consecutive ballgames, will win again.”

      I didn’t mean will win in the divisional sense. I just meant they won’t lose every game for the rest of the year and the rest of time. That’s not always something I believe in the midst of seven-game losing streaks. That was my You Gotta Believe moment, long before Peerless Yo from (near) Manzanillo alighted upon our shores.

      • Steve2916


        Sometimes, it’s about living in the moment of a victory – no matter what the standings say. And, in some years, after enough of those victories, we realize that a special season may be unfolding…

  • Matt in Richmond

    You nailed it sir. I’ve been tying myself in knots trying to persuade the negative types that they should embrace this team and enjoy the ride rather than exist in a state of constant paranoia where every loss would bring about a feeling of dread and gloom. This team has met every challenge and overcome all manner of adversity. No matter what happens now they have earned our full throated support and made this a season to remember.

    • I thought a large lead and a good team spoke for itself. Eventually it did.

      • Eric

        The Mets had a large lead and a good team in 2007, too, when Matt’s view was common among us. The 2015 Mets even had the same record, 83-62, as the 2007 Mets at the point of 7 up with 17 to play.

        The point being a large lead and a good team didn’t speak for itself because this season hasn’t been unto itself. The 2015 Mets season has not stood alone as a typical division-winning season by any big-league club. It’s put to rest a distinct Mets era. We’ve watched these resilient Mets wrestle with their living legacy of the 2007 Mets collapse and subsequent LOLMets era in a season-long exorcism.

        The Mets fans who have only understood to “enjoy the ride” like this has been a typical division-winning season by a favorite ballclub have missed appreciating the special essence of this season for us, the redemption of the traumatic 2007 Mets collapse and exorcism of its mocking progeny. Worrying about the Nationals down the stretch like we should have worried about the Phillies in 2007 was an atonement. Clinching the division on Saturday with a strong clarified win on the field was the satisfactory resolution of long unfinished, not forgotten business.

        • vertigone

          Eric, just because you say the same exact thing every day doesn’t make it true. This season has NOTHING to do with 2007, except for in your head.

          You can go on about redemption and exorcism but I guarantee not 1 person in that clubhouse (including Wright) has been thinking about 2007 at all.

          And not every Mets fan is afraid of his/her own shadow. Confidence (and mathematic probability) does not equal hubris. I have “enjoy(ed) the ride” and haven’t “missed appreciating the special essence of this season” at all.

          As far as LOLMets is concerned, it is the work of tiresome, hacky, keyboard “comedians” and it hasn’t gone anywhere. You can be sure that the next dopey situation or front office misstep that occurs on the Mets watch, LOLMets will again be rolled out with the freshness of “take my wife, please”.

          I’m glad 2015 has resolved this obvious psychic trauma for you, but please understand that we don’t all believe in ghosts. The Mets won because they are good, not because some of their fanbase worried about the Nats down the stretch.

        • dmg

          this is in keeping with the “baseball exorcism” theme.

          weirdly, it was sent a couple weeks ago to me by a mets tickets representative. i told him i wasn’t really sure it should be used as a sales prop.

  • SkillSets

    But, Wilpons.

  • Dennis

    Great piece Greg! I toasted with a Yards Brawler beer while my son texted me from a wedding he was in that he and fellow Mets fans there were celebrating with a shot each of Jameson. What a season this has been. My weekly trip to the supermarket today was a bit longer due to congratulations being dished out to other fans. LGM!

  • eric1973

    All that’s missing is “The View from the Balcony,” by Bill Gallo, with Yogi, Gil, and Casey looking down upon TC and the Mets, and saying, “Ya Done Splendid, Kid.”

  • Steve2916

    Speaking of toasting…

    I have, on one of my computer desk’s shelves, a souvenir beer bottle from Shea’s last week of existence. It displays the “SHEA STADIUM 1964 – 2008” logo. Last night, for the first time since taking it home, I drank from it. (Admittedly, I inexcusably did not have any booze in the house – champagne or otherwise – so I settled for water, but it’s the thought that counts. :) )

  • Bob

    Met fan since 1963-Polo Grounds-
    Thank you Jason & Greg for your writing about our 2015 National League East Champion Amazing Mets.

    Just watched DC Expos fight each other in dugout–karma?

    It’s just Amazin’!

    Let’s Go Mets

  • rich porricelli

    I thought of the past as those innings crept along last night..Mostly of all the past clinchers, all of which I witnessed, 2 in person..But mostly I thought of people and Greg you where certainly one of them..My eyes moistened for all of us, the fans..Regardless of how long you followed this club.We are all united in a fellowship..
    Congratulations Greg and all!!Its a great bunch of guys..They will give the Dodgers hell I’m sure..Now I need to knock off another bottle of champagne..

  • Eric

    Greg, you and Jason ought to write a book chronicling this rollercoaster season and its redemption of the LOLMets era that began with Beltran’s backwards K and bloomed with the 2007 collapse.

    I feel best for Murphy because he played well down the stretch as a late-season call-up in 2008, better than Conforto this season. 7 years later in likely his last chance to do it as a Met, Murphy finally has his first chance to take his inimitable game to the play-offs. Parnell and Niese were rookies in 2008, too, but they didn’t play as big a role in the 2008 run as Murphy did. I feel good for Niese, too, and bad for Parnell.

    Harvey’s smile when he came off the mound in the 7th inning said it all. The smile said he felt he had done the right thing by nixing the innings limit, at least for the division-clinching game. Staying in the extra 1-2 innings wasn’t frivolous, either, even with a 7-2 lead, given the shakiness of the middle relief which had blown up in Harvey’s last start.

    Niese and either Colon or Matz (more likely Colon) going to the bullpen is key because the middle relief needs reinforcement. If the middle relief is not shored up, it can lose play-off games. Reed, Clippard, and Familia all seem to struggle with inherited runners, too, so the less fuss there is from the middle relief, the better. I hope the veterans and the young stud starter realize that while going from starter to middle relief is a demotion, the role is important for the play-offs.

    My candidate for turning point of the season is the July 23 game where Kershaw effortlessly brushed aside a pathetic line-up:

    The chief characteristic of the 2015 Mets has been their resilience. They bounce back. In this rollercoaster season, the highs have followed the lows, so it fits for a low point to be the turning point. The July 23 game was the epitome of the mid-season Mets that fielded tantalizing contender-level pitching yet neutralized by the worst offense in the big leagues. The next day, the Mets called up Conforto and traded for Uribe and Johnson, followed the next week by Clippard then Cespedes.

  • Rob E

    That lineup wasn’t as good as today’s regular lineup, but it’s not fair to call it pathetic (especially against Kershaw). They won today’s game handily, 8-1. Both lineups featured Lagares, Campbell, and Recker. The lineup vs. Kershaw had Granderson, Tejada, Flores, and Duda — all of whom are still starters. In today’s lineup, those guys were replaced by Nieuwenhuis, Johnson, Herrera, and Plawecki — a step-down across the board, yet today’s game was over by the third inning. The only guy in that lineup not on the team now is Mayberry, replaced by Conforto, which is a giant upgrade, but not a 10-run swing worth of upgrade.

    That “pathetic” first half lineup took too much crap for what they were: injury replacements that got overextended, but played hard. While I wouldn’t want those guys as starters for a whole season (or even half), none of this would have been possible if they had folded the tent and not kept our heads above water (and they did come back to split that Dodger series, which helped give them the tie-breaker over LA — and they didn’t have Cespedes for ANY of the Dodger games). The Nationals’ death spiral certainly helped a LOT, but those “pathetic” lineups NEVER fell out of the race, and that made everything possible. If they had fallen even five games under .500, we’re not making any of those deals.

    So here’s a cheer for THOSE guys who held just enough of the line long enough for the reinforcements to arrive and mean something (cue Tom Hanks at the end of Saving Private Ryan).

    • Dennis

      Great points Rob. Some were also part of that 11 game winning streak in April that gave the Mets a nice cushion to weather any inevitable slump that all teams go through.

  • eric1973

    Those earlier lineups were indeed absolutley pathetic, perhaps rivaling all-time ineptness. It was the pitching that kept us in vitually every game. Revisionist history at its best.

  • eric1973

    Right you are, Eric.

    Fans like Matt in Richmond have an attitude that’s generally reserved for Yankee fans.

    True Met fans have a humble, endearing quality, like our franchise itself.

    • Rob E

      Matt in Richmond…don’t worry, there is NOTHING “Yankee” about your attitude. That’s about the WORST insult that can be hurled on this blog! Keep fighting the fight, man. You too, Dennis! You guys believed all along and you were right…redemption comes in more than one flavor. Enjoy the rest of the ride!

    • Matt in Richmond

      Thanks Rob. Eric1973, I was right and you were wrong; about TC, about Duda, about Robles, about the Captain, and about the team as a whole. I could go on a lengthy diatribe and refute you point by point, but I’ll just settle for this; “True Met fans”, as you claim to be don’t mock our beloved Captain as you have on numerous occasions. I enjoy a healthy debate as much as anyone, and have no problem accepting that intelligent people can see things differently, but please stop trolling me.

  • Arch Stanton

    “It was beautiful. It will always be beautiful.” Preach. It’s taken me years, but this is how I’ve come to regard Endy Chavez’ catch. Like Gary Cone called it in the moment, it was perhaps the play of the franchise. A moment of Indelible perfection regardless of what happened (and failed to happen) thereafter.

  • sturock

    It’s a whole day-plus and it still feels amazing. Nice win today too. Just keep it going. This team has been a whole lot of fun the past two months– and it makes all the agony we suffered earlier this season worth it. Whatever happens from here on in– and there is no reason why this team can’t go far into the playoffs– this is one of the all-time great Met teams and one of the all-time great Met seasons.

  • Usha

    I first came to the US in 1985, watched the ’86 World Series at my Massachusetts college fairly dumbly (having been a lifelong cricket fan); and met and eventually married a lifelong Mets fan in NYC. My first game at Shea in 1989 blew me away. It was a beautiful sight…comparable to the mighty Eden Gardens cricket ground I grew up with. It was easy to fall in love with baseball, and challenging to root for the Mets till 99 and 2000 came along to validate my fanhood and break my heart.

    Last year, I felt the team was different. I could see the glimmering of this year’s coming attractions so I’m not really surprised. Frazzled by the ride but not surprised. And this summer has been very hard on the personal front — the one constant relief has been watching the Mets.

    This summer, we went to Citifield more than ever before, watched tv, listened to the radio, followed them online at odd hours while 9 time zones away, read about it all over again in blogs and newspapers; and, mercifully, there is yet more to come.

    That pretty much sums it up for me right now…I want to watch them till the very last minute, before I have to accept that baseball season is over. That’s not a very erudite reason, but I can’t bear to get off this endearing, exasperating, elevating Mets ride till we have to. And the best consolation when it is over, is that we are the last ones off.

    And if not, I’m booking our tickets to Port St. Lucie early…

  • eric1973

    Gotta get HFA over LA. No guarantee of victory, of course, but Islanders are Exhibit A.

  • eric1973

    Sandy’s moves turned the tide, and TC is lucky to be the manager during this period of time. His reasoning has always been a bit off.

    A strong case can be made that the Mets did not need the Captain’s return and would have done all this without him anyway. And his contract is really really bad.

    As for the others I’ve mentioned, all are having poor or uneven seasons: Cuddyer, Robles, Parnell, Legares, and, of course, Duda.

    So, onward and upward, non-hubris-like.

    LGM, indeed!

    • Matt in Richmond

      Hubris is calling this team underachievers, as you did about a week ago. Hubris is being so openly contemptuous of Robles that you mock his name. As an unheralded rookie, the man has a 1.01 WHIP, a 3.33 ERA, and 58K in 52 innings. That’s a remarkable accomplishment. I could go on and on, but everyone sees the truth. My stance is one of support and optimism not sarcasm and cynicism. That is not hubris. That is bleeding orange and blue.

  • Loren Prince

    As a recent member of the Mets fans universe, I have innumerably appreciated the work of you and your colleague, Jason, in providing me a context for my understanding of the Mets. For me this is my first year of full fledged support for the Mets, but they’ve been on my radar for years. I will forever and always be first and foremost a Detroit Tigers fan in my heart of hearts. What I appreciate too about your words in this article in particular is your acceptance of Mets fans no matter how they came to join you.

    I have one question as a novice Mets fan: what does #LGM stand for? I’ve seen it on a few blog posts and comments on this website and I’ve been curious as to its meaning.


  • mikeL

    two beautiful pieces in one day, on top of the game of the season in the (late) midst of a season of so many incredible, magical, i-can’t-believe-how-much-i-love this-team sorts of games…
    a dream season was put on the platter for us and still so much fear. we are quite the lot,
    but yes this season has been one for the ages and whatever follows i feel truly lucky and happy and satisfied.
    now we can look at this team as the bad-ass juggernaut they are. the collapse is over. the future is bright and yes, ,on sunday, the season is not over!

  • dmg

    parents weekend at my son’s college in ohio was skedded the same time the mets would be playing the reds. i saw this early on and thought it might be fun to take in a game at great american ball park. when it became clear this would be clincher weekend, well, how could you not go?

    on-campus events took precedence on saturday. so sunday, my son and daughter and i drove to cincy, two hours west, in time to enlist in the metsian legion taking over the stadium. on an unseasonably warm afternoon, the day-after-clinching was almost as enjoyable as the clincher must have been, and reminiscent of spring training: an aggressively playful lineup; de grom pitching to prove his acehood; absolutely no pressure on a team that had gone through its share of challenges. the park was sedate enough that the players could hear whatever jokes were yelled at them; many times you could see them laughing.

    every season is rich with storylines, but this one has epic written all over it. my son is one of those fans who has only know mets failure (we attended the last game at shea): this is redemption. my daughter came with me to a playoff game in 2000; while she doesn’t follow the team closely, she knows this year’s special. we’ve only been to spring training twice, in 2006 and this year; let’s savor this season — only great things await. good times.

  • Marios

    Actually, the Mets, along with the other division winners, have a 12.5%, not 10%, if everyone is even. The wild card teams have a 6.25% chance until they win their matchup and advance to the divisional series.

  • […] grow. The Mets appeared to be the opposite of a living thing since departing Cincinnati with a division title stuffed in their luggage. Perhaps they were under the impression they had entered the […]