Monday, January 04, 2010

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Five Questions For An Average Mets Fan (Bonus Fan)

I was checking the email before heading to bed (man this whole "real job" thing is exhausting.  I liked last week with the video games and the blogging) and discovered a new "5 Questions" rolled in.   Tomorrow I'm posting mine and that will wrap the series.  The new series will be "Meet the Mets...bloggers" and I'm sure we'll bring back the 5 questions next off-season.    Speaking of which, I read one one of the other blogs (my apologies I forget which one) that today marked the day where we're closer to the 2010 season than 2009.

While I'm typing...Jon from mtbn, got your note I'm saving it for another day or two.

Here's Bob our bonus Mets fan:

1.     When did you start following the Mets?

My first Mets memory was being in the upper deck at Shea when Willy Mays was playing.  I was 5 or 6 and when people around me starting calling his name, I assumed they were cheering for him.  My parents told me later they were mostly drunk guys making fun of how old he was.  Welcome to being a Mets fan.

2. What is your favorite Mets memory? 

Game 6, 1986 World Series, watching in the TV lounge at a dorm in the University of Michigan.  5 minutes before Ray Knight scored I had tears rolling down my face.

3. What is your worst Mets memory or experience? 

Game 6, NLCS, 2006.  I can still see Adam Wainwright’s curve buckling Beltran’s knees from where I was sitting down the right field line.  As I walked out of Shea I had a sinking feeling in my stomach that this wasn’t just a crushing loss, but was the start of something really bad.  I walked to work the next day (about 50 blocks) because I was afraid I’d pass out on the 6 train. 

4. If you could change one off-field thing about the franchise what would it be? 

ONE?  Sorry, I can’t do one.  Here’s a list:

a.     Get rid of the entire baseball ops department and bring in one well respected, smart, organized baseball person who knows the business inside and out to run the show (Pat Gillick, Billy Beane, Stick Michael).  He would not be the GM but serve more as president.  Then hire a GM long on organizational skills and common sense, who respects both scouts and statistical analysts (but is neither – see Brian Cashman).  Then get a manager that would not only manage the big-league club, but establish a tone throughout the whole organization of how the game would be played (think of Tom Kelly’s impact on the Twins).  Then get the hell out of their way.  It defies logic that in Major League Baseball, a league without a salary cap which governs a sport that is very individualistic (which is another way of saying that team chemistry isn’t as much of a factor in building a successful team), that a team from New York, with huge revenues and oftentimes a large payroll, can make the postseason 3 times in 21 years.  The only explanation is bad management.

b.    Establish the Met identity and stick to it.  I always feel that as a franchise, the Mets are a perpetual expansion team.  Different uniforms, dumb promotions, the signing of over-the-hill “names”.  They’ve never settled into being an established organization, which they should be, with a pleasant, if not overly successful history, and a (unjustifiably) loyal fan base.  It always feels that they are trying to become something else, and insulting their fans in the process. 

c.     If you’re not going to get rid of the dumb black uniforms, at least have a schedule of what is worn when.  I always feel they wear whatever is clean.

5. If you owned the team starting tomorrow, what is the first thing you would change?

Can’t do one again.  Sorry.  Here’s another list:

a.     See (a) from #4.

b.    Get rid of black from the uniform scheme.

c.     Move home plate out 3-5 feet.  This does two things.  First it shortens up the fence dimensions but second, it also alleviates some obstruction problems that you have in the upper deck at Citi Field.  The bottom line is they were so obsessed with intimacy, they put the upper deck stands too close to fair territory.  Even behind home plate, you feel the batter is too close to the stands and you have to lean forward to see him.

d.    More Mets stuff around the park – more blue and orange (but I agree you’ll never see orange or red seats for the same reason they are no longer at the garden – they show up when empty on TV).

e.     Two statues – Tom Seaver and Mike Piazza, before you enter the Rotunda.

f.      Retire Doc Gooden’s number 16.  There are allot of arguments for other people, but his dominance between ’84 and ’86 and complete body of work (11 years, 157-85 record), even if diminished by abuse, still makes him worthy of a retired number.  Why ahead of Hernandez…Hernandez only played more than 100 games 4 times with the Mets.  When I retire numbers I really like to see decent performance over ten years (or close to it).  Also, in my opinion, he was the leader of a team that in many ways under-achieved.  They should have won at least 2 WS, but didn’t due to a propensity to take things to excess (women, drugs, booze, cigarettes)…like Keith.  I just think that goes on his record too.  Piazza?  2 and ½ phenomenal years, and two excellent ones, but three really lousy ones too.  Again, when I retire numbers I really like to see decent performance over ten years (or close to it).     

I've made a rule of not commenting on "5 Questions" since I get to pop-off all day long and the idea was to let other voice be heard...but man I like lots of these ideas.

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