2010 New York Mets: How Much of a Factor Are the 1986 Mets on This Team?

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2010 New York Mets: How Much of a Factor Are the 1986 Mets on This Team?
Al Bello/Getty Images

The 2010 New York Mets have definitely established themselves as a force to be reckoned with, and will likely have made their presence known for years to come.

Both for the good and for the bad, this team has an identity and has proven they are not spooked by Citi Field; they actually are playing better at home than on the road, unlike the Mets of the last few years.

Several members of the 1986 Mets are very much present—Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling are SNY broadcasters, Howard Johnson is the hitting coach, and Darryl Strawberry is a team ambassador.

Hernandez and Darling are valued and knowledgeable but how they speak about the current players on air has ruffled a lot of feathers.  They do have to report on the game, but a lot of what they say can be misinterpreted as undue negativity.  Even worse, is a lack of understanding that the families of Mets' players watch the broadcasts, so what is said to the extreme can get back to the players.

Howard Johnson has been the hitting coach and is a huge influence on David Wright, who played for him in the Minor Leagues.  It is a known fact that Wright confides in Johnson on the field and off the field, a "baseball dad" of sorts.  However, many fans feel that Wright is not getting the hitting guidance that he needs because of their relationship.

Recently, Darryl Strawberry paid a visit to the Mets while they were in Washington D.C. and gave them a talk that did not go over well with several players. Jeff Francoeur and Jason Bay were especially offended.  Yesterday a conference call that had participation by Strawberry, Wright, Bay and Francoeur has cleared the air and according to sources, there are no hard feelings.

In 1986, Gary Carter and Keith Hernandez were the co-captains, they were both established veterans who played the majority of their respective careers on other teams. Unofficially, David Wright is the Mets captain, but he is homegrown and 27 years old and entering his prime.

This current Mets team is definitely appreciative of the guidance and advice that the 1986 team is offering, but both teams have to remember that this is a different time and that things have changed, both in New York and in baseball.

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