With less than one hour to go here in Sin City as we turn the calendar to 2009, the Hot Stove coming down the stretch. I feel like it's really Ground Hog Day as it's only six weeks until pitchers and catchers report to spring training.
I am really excited to get to the coming season primarily after really three consecutive disappointing finishes for my New York Mets. Many of you are saying "three disappointing finishes?" Yes! Emphatically, THREE.
When you have the absolute best team for 162 games and roll through the first round of the playoffs and see an 83-win team standing in your way to the promised land, only to lose game seven of the NLCS with a called third strike and the bases loaded, plus your $117 million savior looking like Mo Vaughn, it was the beginning of a very brutal three years.
2007 has already gone down in the annals as one of the greatest collapses in MLB history. If I had to hear seven games up with 17 to play one more time prior to 2008, I think the next person to mention it again would be likely eating out of a straw, I couldn't wait to see how Willie's boys were going to do.
Well by June 15, we all knew Willie would be gone and Pedro was hurt, Delgado's career was over, and despite the fact Johan couldn't pitch 162 games, at least we wouldn't "collapse" again. Oh so wrong. Jerry turned the club around we went on a 10-game winning streak before the All Star break and the summer of fun was in full force for the last year at Shea.
What is it with September? Here we were again, although truly not expecting to be there and then we found ourselves 3 1/2 games ahead with 17 to play and our bullpen overworked, the anxiety of trying to get the last nine outs of each game an adventure more often then not ending in disaster.
Then to add absolute misery to the seasons end the little stepchildren from 90 miles south went on to win their first World Series in 28 years. How special.
Three years of ups and mostly downs was just like the old Brooklyn Dodgers "Wait Till Next Year" is now only 30 minutes away. There will be no bold predictions for 2009 from this Mets fan. I have already challenged all the Phillies fans to wear Mets gear after we beat them in 2009 (See Accept The Phillies/Mets Challenge). For all Mets fans out there, especially those who contribute to these pages, I wish you all besides a happy and healthy New Year, three things to see in person in 2009.
1. See a game in Citi Field against the Yankees or the Phillies.
2. Celebrate the first no hitter in Mets history.
3. Go to the First World Series Game at Citi Field (Preferably against the Yanks or the Red Sox)
Finished 11:44 PST 12/31/08.