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The Baseball Calendar Turns To 2007

Mike SteffanosSaturday, October 28, 2006
By Mike Steffanos

The baseball season ended last night with a whimper, as the representative of the "superior league" couldn't even find it in them to muster up a good fight. I no longer have to hear for the one zillionth time how Cardinals fans are the best in baseball. They can go back to their insular little world where all of their players are saints that the rest of the baseball world is out to get them. Good riddance to all that wore the red this October -- including Mr. William Hayward Wilson.

Yes, I know. Mookie is cute and cuddly. He's mad at the Mets because they didn't choose to pick up his son, and they haven't offered him the job he wants. However, Mookie has never been shy about making a buck off the continued love of Mets fans. I never held that against him, but if there is anyone who should have been careful not to alienate Mets fans, it's Mookie. I don't begrudge him cheering for his stepson's team to win, but his choice to wear all the St. Louis gear while cheering him on is somewhat of an insult to Mets fans who supported him all these years. I don't hate him or anything, but I'll honestly never look at him the same way again, and I wouldn't pay a dime for a Mookie appearance or piece of merchandise.

As we move into the hot stove season, one expert after another will tell you what Omar Minaya will have to do this off-season to bring a championship home to Queens. Chances are that they will be every bit as wrong as they were this season, yet they will stridently condemn him if he fails to make the move they advocated. The worst thing they will do, however, is work hard to convince you again next year that anything short of bringing home a title will be total failure. They basically want to turn you into the same joyless, entitled fans who populate the other side of town. But if we've been reminded of anything this post-season, it's just how much of a crapshoot a best of 5 or 7 series really is. The Yankees have spent themselves silly trying to buy themselves a guarantee of success, and it still hasn't worked.

We all have our pet ideas about what we'd like to see Minaya and the Mets do this off-season. We all want to be crowing about our own championship this time next year. Today baseball's calendar has officially turned from 2006 to 2007, and I want to see this one end with the joyous celebration that washes away more than two decades of frustration and disappointment. My advice to all of you, however, remains exactly the same as it was going into this past season -- enjoy the ride. Don't let anyone tell you differently. Going into a season with a realistic chance of winning it all is truly as good as it gets.

This post is being discussed in the MetsMerized Mets Talk Forum.

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Comments (12)

More guys like La Duca... team guys with a fire to win.....

You are so right! The joy is the ride of the regular season and getting into the playoffs; after that anything can happen and it is nice to know you have a realistic chance of winning it all. however, I will take six months of domination than a few weeks of what should be. If we win in the post season its a bonus - if not a dissapointment but life goes on and than until next year. Viva la Mets!!!

So true:

"Don't let anyone tell you differently. Going into a season with a realistic chance of winning it all is truly as good as it gets."

That's is the quote of the day for me. Thanks Mike.

I don't see any problem with Mookie wearing Cardinal red. If he's going to support his son, he's not going to show up in a Mets jacket. Ballplayers change their allegiance all the time -- often when traded -- and there's no reason to hold it against anyone who chooses to wear another team's paraphernalia.

Agree with you wholeheartedly with the "all or nothing" fans out there. This was a great year for the Mets, and if the next year has the same results, it will also be a great year.

Anonymous - Good point. I wouldn't mind seeing at least one more guy with a lot of fire to balance out the "calm" leadership a little.
Bob - I swear some of these guys want to take all of the joy out of being a fan, making the season one joyless death march to the playoffs.
Jon - You're welcome.
RealityChuck - I'm careful to say that I don't hate Mookie, and I'm not trying to tell anyone else how to feel, but he played for those Mets teams that had disappointing second-place finishes to the Cards in the '80s. I don't blame him for rooting for his son, but the Cardinals gear changed the way I feel about him, and I can't help that.

After I wrote this I read a quote from the Eddie Kranepool Society on Can't Stop The Bleeding that was even stronger than mine:



I guess we all react differently to things, but as I said, Mookie is still cashing in on how strongly some of us felt about him as a Met, and maybe should have been more careful. I'll honestly never look at him the same way.

Two free agent names I'll throw at you for your comments. N.Y.Y. Octavio Dotel and Sea. Gil Meche. I know Dotels history and I know we talked about him last year. Meche was 11-8 with a 4.48 in 186IP, 84bb,156kk last year.What do you think?

I don't know, Rev. With the bullpen a lot will depend on how many Omar can re-sign. As for Meche, we've always heard there was some interest in him, but I've never seen him pitch. The free agent filing deadline is Nov 11, I believe. I'd like to see the full list before I start doing Omar's job.

Dotel, I loved and was sorry to see traded away back when. Who knows how durable or effective he would be today, but as a project I'd be all in favor of bringing him 'round.

Gilgamesh has pitched pretty well for Seattle, but he is roughly 2300 years old. Pitchers that old are risky investments.

Man, I didn't think he was that old.

dd - If he's willing to take a contract with a bynch of incentives I could see it, I guess.
Rev - He turned 28 in September.

What I think everyone forgets is that the minute Mookie showed up, he stopped being our Mookie Wilson and started being Preston's dad.

I posted this on Metsdradamus and I still feel strongly about it: we don't own these people. We need to evaluate his actions based on him being a father and not on his role in our myth.

If he had to think about who to let down - his son, or thousands of Mets fans? I'm not a parent, but I'd be destroyed if my father took the side of his former employer over me at one of the biggest moments in my life.

I understand loyalty. I have a fierce, old-fashioned concept of what that means. And if you can prove to me beyond the shadow of a doubt - and that would have to be a quote from Mookie himself - that Mookie donning Cardinal red was some kind of f-u to the mets, I'll climb on this bandwagon.

Mets Grrl - I'm certainly not looking for anyone to climb on a bandwagon. I'm going to write a longer post explaining this since so many seem to have misunderstood the way I put it here.

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