Thanks to the Mets for a Great Season
What a wonderful time, probably the most fun I've ever had watching a team through an entire season, allowed to be a fan.Not going to let the last week get in the way.
They were admirable, playing for Collins even when he had AAA players and castoffs in the middle of the lineup, guys like Campbell and Recker, plus Colon and Niese, who made the Mets decent enough, bought time, emboldened the management to spend on better players.
Who will forget Wright’s first swing in Philly, and the perceived panic move of calling up Conforto from AA ball, and the arrival of Johnson and Uribe, plus Wilmer Flores’ tears, and then Cespedes, out of nowhere, looking like Willie Mays for six weeks. ("Sold his soul to the devil so he could play guitar" -- Lucinda Williams.)
They crushed the Nationals. They stunned the Dodgers’ aces. They swept the Cubs. Now they have lost to a better team that plays the game right, guys who learned lessons last year, and carried them out this year. Great energy. Skills. Make contact. Take the base.
No recriminations. Harvey challenged the manager in the dugout, in front of teammates, in front of the world.
On Sunday evening, I felt: Let him pitch til he puts somebody on base. Two-run lead. Then bring in the big guy. Collins stayed with him one batter too long, not two, but unless I was in the dugout, with the decision to make, I won’t second-guess Collins. He’s had a great run.
Murphy also had a great run, clubbing Chicago into submission. The Mets were going to jettison him anyway, for reasons of salary and age and defensive liability, his inner klutz. Back to Plan A.
As for Cespedes, my National League-centric brain wondered why he had been on three AL teams in his short time in the majors. Looking back, why did it take NL pitchers six weeks to learn to go up, up, up on Cespedes?
He couldn’t adjust. He seemed to get more nonchalant in the outfield and the bases as the pressure mounted. He went golfing on the day of a game in Chicago. I don’t think he was ready in center field for the first pitch of the World Series. He’s 30, time to keep moving. He just saved the Wilpons a ton of money, but what an epic jolt he brought for those few short weeks.
I spent the whole season watching personal favorites like Granderson, deGrom, Familia. Who knows about next year? But wasn’t it a great time?
Alan D. Levine
11/2/2015 02:30:26 pm
Amen. In mid-July, had someone told me we'd be having this discussion today, I'd have have thought him daft. It was a great year, and I'm hoping for more.
11/2/2015 04:46:23 pm
Alan, what if it was lightning in a bottle? G
Alan D. Levine
11/2/2015 05:08:46 pm
I'll remain grateful for it.
11/2/2015 02:38:51 pm
Yes, a season worth savoring and full of surprise. The post-Cespedes (post tears-of-Flores?) run was something else, but I really admire the team and Collins for the first 102 games. They were over 500 when they pulled the trigger on those trades. That was without Wright, largely without D'Arnaud (missing both his bat and steadying effect on the young pitchers) and I think Murph missed some games as well. Tremendous grit. Also, while the Royals were the better team and had strengths the Mets could not solve, very little separates losing the series 4-1 from being up 3-2. ,
11/2/2015 04:56:01 pm
Josh, thanks. As I recall, one of the 538 lot went on a year ago about how the Royals' third-base coach should have sent Gordon. My response is, pick up the ball in the OF, think about throwing ability, watch your runner, and make the call, in a heartbeat. No time to peck at the computer. As for Collins and Harvey,I split the difference and say I want the closer with the tying run at bat. Harvey could have blown away the Royals. Little had tangible evidence that Martinez was wearing down. These games are played in real time by athletes and baseball cadre. But 538 was great about elections. GV
11/2/2015 09:36:17 pm
George, bang on as always. Gee how I miss you in the NYT.
11/3/2015 08:35:44 am
Thanks. I did it a long time, and am thrilled to not be working, traveling. This site and writing books give me plenty of challenge. Best, GV
11/2/2015 10:51:48 pm
Win or lose, the Mets more than gave us a fantastic season.
11/3/2015 02:23:57 am
Indeed, this season provided some wonderful entrees. Now, however, I can resist the temptation to recite Grace After Meals before digesting the disappointing main course. I did not stay up all night to eat side dishes. Late inning home runs happen but how do DW and LD allow Hosmer to score from third?
11/3/2015 06:52:37 am
The Bee Gees had a song called "I Started a Joke," with the significant line, "But I didn't see that the joke was on me."
11/3/2015 08:41:56 am
Roy, I remember your comparison, and you were spot on. Cespedes was not the same player. Your Applegate probably reminded me of the Lucinda Williams lyrics:
11/4/2015 12:09:22 pm
The conventional wisdom is that Terry Collins managed poorly in that fateful ninth inning. I don't agree. The only person to blame for the Mets not going on to KC was Lucas Duda. He made the errant throw that would have meant a Mets victory had he got it right. David Wright is also blameless. He fielded the ball cleanly, looked the runner back and threw the batter out. Hosner took a calculated gamble because KC knew Duda can't throw. That
11/4/2015 01:17:11 pm
Melvyn: Astute analysis. (That is to say, I mostly agree with you.)
11/4/2015 03:51:24 pm
From Citi Field my dad described how the crowd was behind Harvey. Like George and Melvyn I say you gotta stick with your ace no matter how ridiculous his nickname is. And Duda surely blew the throw home. However, my 11 year old son wants to know why Wright did not leave the play for Flores while covering third? Anyone?
11/5/2015 10:03:00 am
Don, great to hear from you. It may have had more to do with Cespedes bottoming out, hitting his level, whatever the phrase is. Looking back, the Dodger and Cub series were amazing. Then again, the Royals all said they started off this season looking to win the Series this time. How many teams get the chance? Best, GV
11/9/2015 05:52:01 am
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“I don’t think people understand how Covid affects older Americans,” Mr. Caretti said with frustration. “In 2020, there was this all-in-this-together vibe, and it’s been annihilated. People just need to care about other people, man. That’s my soapbox.”
---Vic Caretti, 47, whose father recently died of Covid at 85.
---From an article by Paula Span, who covers old age for the NYT, which currently has 2646 comments, the majority criticizing the American public – and public officials – for acting as if the pandemic is “over.”
Classic wishful thinking, at a lethal level.