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The New Look Mets Remind Former Amazin' Stud John Franco of Yesteryear

Former Mets Closer John Franco
Former Mets Closer John FrancoAl Bello/Getty Images
Kyle McMorrowCorrespondent IJune 13, 2012

The new-look Mets have been given a new lease on life after pulling themselves out of the cellar they've been trapped in since 2008. 

In the four years since, the Mets have had more off-field headlines than accomplishments, but some young bloods have rekindled some of that Amazin' power fans have sorely missed. 

Guys like Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Lucas Duda, Ruben Tejada and Daniel Murphy have contributed early and often in this young season, helping New York's ugly stepsister to a respectable 32-29 record—good for third in the N.L. East. While most would scoff at a team only three games over .500, the Mets sit only five games in back of first, and former Met John Franco knows how these things go all too well. 

"It's early yet," Franco told keepingupwiththeathletes.blogspot.com. "This isn't a sprint, it's a marathon." 

Entering the season with so many new and young faces, not many would have guessed the Mets would be playing so well. 

Third baseman David Wright has rediscovered his swing, and may be playing better than any other corner infielder in the league. Johan Santana has bounced back nicely from shoulder surgery, and R.A. Dickey was the first pitcher in the league to nine wins. 

A team of misfit toys has banded together and opened eyes, a feeling Franco says he remembers all too well. 

"They kind of remind me a little bit of the 2000 team when nobody gave us a chance and we ended up going to the World Series that year, Franco said. "They are a little bit under the radar, and that's kind of how we were."

But there are reasons why people didn't have their sights set on a Mets comeback, and the franchise may be showing signs of why nobody payed attention at the start. Having lost eight of their last thirteen and four of six to division opponents over the past two weeks, the Mets may be coming back down to earth. 

Whether the Mets can keep pace with the rest of the division remains to be seen, but if they can continue to hang around until September, baseball fans know that anything can happen.

All quotes were obtained first-hand, unless otherwise noted. 

Kyle McMorrow is also a Correspondent for Bleacher Report, and a writer and producer for 1010 WINS Radio in New York City. He has also worked for the Big Ten Network and ABC-TV in New York City. Kyle McMorrow has interviewed numerous prominent athletes, such as Larry FitzgeraldJustin TuckEli Manning and LaDainian Tomlinson. Twitter: @Kyle_McMorrow

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