Pedro Martinez is sick and tired of this talk of a Subway Series. Don't you remember when he admitted the Yankees were his daddy? Pedro doesn't like the thought of having to play the Bombers without his midget friend from the D.R. watching in support. Look it up if you don't believe me: he had a dwarf friend as a good luck charm, I swear. Martinez has the all-time record for single season lowest WHIP to accompany his pair of Cy Young awards. Too bad he was in Boston and Montreal (RIP) when he earned these accolades. Hurt in Philly in mid-August, his bod should be recuperating for the important stretch - you know, those games in October? Always the skeptic, I wonder if after his time off he might have a little rust on the chains, a little buildup in the gun, possibly some dust on his shelves. After all, sitting out never helped fellow New York legend Willis Reed.
Julio Franco is so used to playing losing baseball that this 1st-place standing feels foreign. The ageless wonder's postseason career has advanced past the first round only once since 1982. After losing the league championship that year, he most likely got liquored up and proceeded to conceive Kevin Garnett. With Franco in the lineup (or even pinch hitting in the 5th, before his 9pm bedtime) the 2006 Mets are sure to appeal to the AARP crowd. The benefit here is two-fold: (1) many fans will naturally forget the collapse of the once Major League-leading Metropolitans, and (2) they can actually coax a few of the elderly to go to those "businessperson specials" on Wednesdays at 1pm. Either way, it'll be a win-win in retrospect, much like holding the title of professional ballplayer well into your 50's.
Paul Lo Duca has even gone so far as to gamble (albeit not on baseball) to keep entertained. Sure, winning games is a fun thing, but with a stingy AL, he might just be ahead of the curve. Put me down for $6000 on the American League in 5 games while you're at it, Paul. Thanks. Losing the lead in the East should be the least of his worries, as his pending divorce is set and investigators are continuing to probe him about his risky betting history. These off-field distractions dropped what was a .410 batting average during the month of July to a more pedestrian .295 in August.
Now even though a total meltdown is the worst that could happen from here on out for Mr. Met and Co., wouldn't it be fun for everyone else to see the Mets overtaken in the East? Newspapers eating their words, announcers cussing up storms, SportsCenter segments endlessly poking fun. Spiting both the critics and the country's largest city (by only allowing them one playoff team) is a fun hobby, and even more so when the possibilities open up the last NL playoff spot. Can the Braves finish out 35-3 and make Glavine proud? Can the Nationals restore faith in Pedro by advancing to the postseason without Youppi? Can the Reds hold off the ice-cold Mets in an intense Wild Card battle?
New Yorkers, it's time to wake up. John Rocker didn't like taking the 7 train to Shea, so why should you? Don't get too upset/angry/hopeful about the trip from Grand Central to Flushing, seeing as the home games should end around the first week of October.
Case in point: stop wasting my time with talk of a Mets pennant. Not only doesn't it matter who represents the National League in the Fall Classic, but many players on the preseason-favorite Mets are trying to ensure that the team's run of wins is - like Lo Duca's love life - neither lengthy nor fruitful.