One man's choice for the All '00s Mets team. I don't claim to be right, and this is just for fun. If you'd like to suggest alternatives please do!
A decade that started with a World Series and ended with the worst season in Mets history.
1B: Carlos Delgado (2006-2009). 5th in hits for the decade, .267 and 104 Home Runs. Appreciated more once he left, turned down Omar's "but we're all Latinos!" overture the first time....and given the state of the lineup might be worth a risk for 2010.
2B: Edgardo Alfonzo (2000-2002) Hit .324 in 2000 and .308 in 2002 (with a .243 stinker in the middle). Loved in a way Luis Castillo will never ever be. We thought he'd be here longer, that seems to happen a lot with beloved Mets. 2nd best average by a Met in the '00s.
SS: Jose Reyes (2003-2009). I've said many times that I wish he could maximize his potential, but there's no denying that he's #2 in games played, #3 in average, #2 in hits, top 5 in runs. No brainer.
3B: David Wright (2004-2009). If there's going to be a Second Franchise he's the one. #1 in games played, average, hits, top 5 in runs, RBI and homers. Let's hope 2009 was his one off-year.
C: Mike Piazza (2000-2005). #3 in games played, #4 in average, #4 in hits, top 5 in all the power categories, and a Hall of Famer who has decided he's a Met not a Dodger...yeah I used to argue he was a Dodger but since the Shea Closing I decided if he wants to be a Met, fine by me. We could use some heroes.
LF: Cliff Floyd (2003-2006). Someone has to play left. I took a long look at Benny Agbayani who was more of a gritty overachiever type.
CF: Carlos Beltran (2005-2009). Another no-brainer. Top 5 in all the major categories, and if you have eyes you know he's good.
RF: Considered Richard Hidalgo who led the team in RF starts in 2004 (I must have missed that). Xavier Nady? Ryan Church? Shawn Green? Derek Bell? Jeremy Burnitz (not as good as your brain remembers), Roger Cedeno? Victor Diaz? Hell given those choices I'm going with Jeff Francoeur! Hit .311 and 10 home runs in 75 games. He nearly led the team in home runs, I'm going to hope that the Church-Francoeur trade turns out to be one of the great swipes of all time.
Rotation: the name of the game is wins, so I will go with 4 of the Top 5 in wins: Steve Trachsel (2001-2006) 66 wins led the decade and there's something to be said for eating innings. Al Leiter (2000-2004) 65 wins and a rare example of a "Yankee" becoming a Met, at least for a while. I can't put Tom Glavine on this team. He's a Brave and that end of season meltdown was the worst ever. A true Cylon. Glavine was third in wins. I will give his spot to Johan Santana (2007-2009) because I have eyes and I know a great pitcher when I see one, and unlike Cylon he man'd up when we needed big starts to save seasons. The other two are less exciting....Pedro Martinez (2005-2008) was good for one season, then kind of "stole money." Look up the numbers before you argue. Finally fan favorite John Maine (2006-2009) who we all really want to love, let's hope the talent matches our hopes.
Closer: I don't feel like building a full bullpen, and I'm going to use my eyes on this one. Armando Benitez was the decade leader in saves, and K-Rod had a good first half....but if I needed a save in the 2000's I would (be forced to) trust Billy Wagner (2006-2008). Wagner is one of those players best judged by his absence. If someone (anyone) could have saved just one game in 2008 we might be having a very different conversation about the decade. Benitez I trust as far as I would trust me in the bullpen.
Manager: Jerry Manuel (2008-2009) I think Bobby V never had his teams prepared out of spring training, Willie always seemed to have a chip on his shoulder and his teams should have done better, Art Howe, or Jerry. I'm going with Jerry for one reason: threatening to stab Jose Reyes in his very first inning as manager. Jerry kept the team hanging around for a while in 2009 before the wheels totally came off, but hard to blame him for '09. 2008's choke was partly Willie's fault, partly Jerry's responsibility, but if someone could have saved just one game. I hope to see more gangsta out of Jerry in 2010.
General Manager: The choices are Steve Phillips, Jim Duquette or Omar Minaya. Wow. Well, I can't pick Duquette because he's in the permanent Kazmir doghouse. I'll get ripped for this but I think in hindsight Steve Phillips (2000-2003) is starting to look better. Sure he put together some awful teams, but at least the Mets saw a World Series in his reign - not many can say that.
There ya go...feel free to discuss, nitpick, or point out that I totally missed someone because I'm an idiot.
Tomorrow: the player of the decade.
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