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The Spirit of '86

By Scott McCarthy

The Spirit of ’86 needs to be revived in this franchise, by that I mean they need to stop forcing the outright neutering of personalities, this organization cares way to much what other teams think of us. Who cares if the Phillies or Marlins hate the Mets, what are they going to do beat the Mets and prevent them from making the playoffs, guess what that has been done two seasons in a row on the last day of the season and you know what it will continue to happen until the front office allows the players to be ballplayers instead of forcing them to be uptight stiffs like the corporate suits that will no doubt infest Citi Field in the up coming season.

This team needs to get it’s respect back, it was only a few weeks ago Cole Hamel’s was on WFAN and told the entire listing audience what they think and what undoubtedly the entire National League East thinks the Mets are and that is a group of choke artists, and the sad part is they are right, but that is not the point. The fact of the matter if this were the mid 1980’s nobody would have dared said that so publicly even if the season ended the way it has, because they knew there would be retribution of some kind, do you think Dwight Gooden, Gary Carter, Lenny Dykstra or Keith Hernandez would have let something like that go by unanswered? Nobody would want to give the Mets of that era any extra motivation.

This is a franchise that dismantled the core of what could have been a dynasty due to the personalities and a few personal demons, this is a franchise that sent Lastings Milledge packing after showing he would not conform to something he was not, even though they did all but deem him untouchable as he made his way up through the farm system, and so far it seems like this is a franchise who will not even entertain the thought of acquiring Manny Ramirez in a free agent market that will have him available at a discount price because the suits do not want the headaches. So I guess failing to make the playoffs on the final day of the season for two years in a row is more to their liking.

What this team needs is to be let off the leash and to bring in some players who not only play a good game, but talk a good game too, this team needs an infusion of confidence and some swagger, I am not endorsing the blind spending of the cross town Yankees. I am asking for smart spending and for ownership to show some damn guts and take a chance, because guess what you can play nice and do all the right things and finish another season watching the playoffs, or you can piss some people off, show some life and give these other teams an actual reason to hate us, and that reason being that the Mets are running roughshod over the division like they did back in 1986.

I agree with the order of priorities the Mets seem to have, first improve the back end of the bullpen which they have done with the additions of Francisco Rodriguez, J.J. Putz and Sean Green, next in line needs to be starting pitching and it seems all but a lock that Derek Lowe will be opening up the 2009 season as a New York Met, but why stop there show the division you mean business and will not stop there, spend that stadium naming rights money and bring back Oliver Perez, that would easily give the Mets the best starting five in the NL East and maybe even better then the entire National League, my inner GM is dying to come out, so lets take the reigns of the Wilpon's checkbook and see what else we can do, while trying to stay somewhat grounded in reality.

Now with the Rotation and bullpen remodeled, it is time to shake the offense up a little, sign Manny Ramirez, there is no need to sign him to a long term deal, the market favors the Mets, nobody seems to be biting and the Mets may be able to convince Manny to sign a one year deal for $25 Million, that way he will be playing for another big free agent contract in 2010 and he will most likely be the biggest name available, they could easily spin it so they would be doing him the favor.

If the team does in fact sign many Ramirez, I can live with Luis Castillo at second base, but if a team so much as offered me a Twix bar for him, he would be gone. The consensus of Mets fans seem to want Orlando Hudson at second base, and he is a great player but why bring in another good player with a long injury history. I would rather them make a slightly cheaper investment in the younger Aaron Miles, he is an above .300 switch hitter who could add a lot to the team.

The final piece of the puzzle would not pay dividends for the Mets for a few seasons, but to truly restore the Spirit of ’86 in this club, they must get Milwaukee Brewers General Manager Doug Melvin on the phone and by any means necessary the must deal for Cutter Dykstra, that is correct Lenny Dykstra’s kid is a top prospect in the Brewers farm system, why the Mets did not make him a first round priority remains a mystery to me, but the kid so far looks to have a playing style that is a mirror image of his Father’s. The Brewers have lost C.C. Sabathia and very well may lose Ben Sheets, so maybe they would be in the market for some good young arms, maybe Jon Neise straight up could be enough to get Cutter, or if more is needed maybe Neise & Parnell. Cutter has played Short Stop and is now playing quite well in the center field, this could be Carlos Beltran’s heir apparent, I could not imagine a more eagerly awaited prospect then Cutter Dykstra, all of us fans who remember the Mets of the mid and late 80’s would be looking forward to his arrival the way we use to look forward to Christmas morning when we were kids watching Cutter’s dad play.

The Wilpon’s cannot change what has already been done, but they are in the position now to make decisions that could change the balance of power in the National League East for years to come, give Omar the green light to land the player he has coveted for years now and for the benefit of the fans let the Mets be the Mets, high five celebrations, dancing and all.

On Deck: Check back on 12/31 for my take on the two overlooked acquisitions RP Sean Green & OF Jeremy Reed


  1. First of all, that 86 Mets team was cocky, not confident. Remember, they DID need the Red Sox to choke in Game 6 or they would be the ones we would have been lambasting for the past 20 years, not Bill Buckner.

    Swagger only works when you have a team that can win games in many different ways. This current Mets team just isn't that talented. It has nothing to do with talking a good game. It has everything to do with getting people out in the late innings.

    Cutter Dykstra? For Jon Niese? You must want Omar to lose his job.

    Manny is not coming here. Burrell, maybe, but not Manny.

  2. Hey John, thanks for the feedback, I agree they were cocky,because they could be. Game 6 was more then just a ball getting by Buckner, there was Mookies epic at bat, Jesse Orosco pitching as if his life was on the line while having almost nothing left in the tank, it was the wild pitch that allowed the Mets to tie the game, which is were I knew the Mets had the game won.

    The best part of it, they had already put up on the scoreboard "Boston Red Sox 1986 World Series Champions", maybe they were cocky, but it was not just an attitude that helped them win games, it was heart.

    With that said, Bill Buckner needs to be the third peron put into Citi's Monument Park, the first two being Tom Seaver & Mike Piazza.


    Thanks for reading.