Tuesday, May 02, 2006

It's Early, But I'm Feelin' a LOT Like '86!

Having been a Mets' fan for almost 40 years means that I am allowed to dream of better things without ridicule- it's hard enough just rooting for teams that were led by the likes of Willie Montanez and Steve Henderson (not to mention Roy Steiger & Juan Samuel)! So when I say that it's starting to feel a lot like 1986 where the Mets are concerned, friends and family are willing to overlook this and keep me away from the "funny farm." Willie Randolph reminds me of Davey Johnson, in that he is the first manager in a long time to have a united clubhouse. I love(d) Bobby V as our manager, because I felt that he was one of, if not the best, baseball mind in the game. Similarly, it's taken a long time for me to warm up to Willie as our manager, because so far I haven't had much appreciation for his game-management. On a personal note, Willie is my favorite Yankee of all time, and he went to the same high school (Tilden) as my dad and godfather, and he DID finish his career with us. I also appreciate that Willie learned at Joe Torre's side for so long and comes from a winning program. With the '86 Mets, Davey didn't have to worry too much about game-management, as we were the king of the 3-run home run and great pitching. Willie has to struggle with 2/5th's of a rotation (so far) and a bench that is not nearly as effective as last year's model. I am in NO way excusing the many questionable decisions that our manager has made in the past season and a sixth, but I am coming around to the thought that all of the good things that Willie brings to the table, particularly regarding team chemistry and clubhouse peace, outweigh the questionable calls he has made. Amazing what a record of 17-6 will to to a fan, huh? We'll discuss this topic again at the end of May when I see what our record is- because again, that's the right of a long-time, loyal Mets' fan!

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