Wednesday, November 25, 2009
1. When did you start following the Mets?
1975 (age 6)
2. What is your favorite Mets memory?
Games Six & Seven, 1986. It's my first year in college (in Virginia), and I'm feeling homesick for not being in NY now that the Mets were good after the team had been so bad for my entire youth. I was sure the Mets would win the World Series, and was getting some heat as an arrogant NY'er / insufferable Mets fan. When the Sox went up in the 10th, I left the large group (mostly non-fans, or anti-NY'ers) I was with and went to watch the end by myself and drown in my tears.
I am convinced that my moving rooms was the whole reason for the turnaround in the bottom of the tenth.
Someone wandered into the room I was in; he was from Norfolk, so he was nominally a Mets fan as that's where our AAA club was at the time. Once the ball got by Buckner, we both started shouting and throwing empty beer cans around the room (all that we had available).
After we won Game Seven, on October 27th, I went downstairs in the dorm to give my (polite) condolendces to a girl I had met who was a Red Sox fan. While doing so, I met her room-mate for the first time; that room-mate is now my wife, and has been for nineteen years.
For me, that is what makes sports so special in all of our lives - the 1986 World Series represents a watermark in my life - although I didn't know it at the time, I look on it now as closing one chapter of my life - before it I was NY-centric, naive, and everything that being a teenager is all about; mere minutes after they won I met my future wife who took me away from NY and beyond my youth. While none of that was a consequence of the Mets winning the World Series, it represents all that for me.
3. What is your worst Mets memory or experience?
Beltran looking at that curveball. After Endy made The Catch, I was sure they would win. It was destiny. Any time a catch like that is made, it leads to the team winning. Right?
Close second and third would be Kenny Rogers walking in the winning run against the Braves, and Armando Benitez giving up a critical HR in the last inning to the Braves in 2001.
4. If you could change one off-field thing about the franchise what would it be?
More appreciation of the rich history of the franchise. I feel the fans have an identity - underdog, more avid baseball aficionados than the fans of our neighbors in the Bronx, never say die attitude - but I don't feel that is fully understood by management. Embracing the history of the franchise - the amazing-ness of 1969, the 'you gotta believe' feeling of 1973, the winner-take-all-attitude of the 1986 team, as well as charactersitics of lots of other players who were on non-winning teams (Rusty Staub, Jerry Koosman, Jon Matlack, John Franco, Mike Piazza, etc.) - would go a long way to reinforcing that identity.
5. If you owned the team starting tomorrow, what is the first thing you would change?
There's a lot - some of it above in #4 - but rather than a laundry list of player additions, or a managerial change, the very first thing I would do is adopt a policy to not adhere to the slotting requirements for the first year players' draft. We need to build an exceptionally strong farm team, and I see that as the one single thing we can do to jumpstart that.
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