I moved to Texas in 1986 so I watched the Mets win the World Series all the way from Texas. I was 8 and didnâ€™t get to go to many Mets games by that point in my short life. The Texas Rangers were a somewhat decent substitute since fans were allowed access to the team that would be unprecedented in New York City. In March the Rangers held what was called â€œThe Winter Carnival,â€ much like the Mets â€œWinter Caravanâ€ which was held at the Old Rangers Stadium, now a parking lot. Fans were let into the dugout, clubhouse, Press box and ownerâ€™s box. My Dad even took my picture taken in trainer Bill Zeiglerâ€™s (no relation) leather chair in front of his locker inside the clubhouse.
Ranger players were made accessable for free autograph sessions and the team brought in other stars to sign for a fee. I met Tom Seaver one year, but thatâ€™s another story. My heroes played 1,384 miles away and never came to town; the Rangers were the next best thing.
I spent nights, birthdays, trips with friends in that old crumby stadium (anyone who complains about Shea likely has a short memory or never took in a Ranger home game between 1972 and 1993) watching a team that wasnâ€™t half bad. Correction, a team that wasnâ€™t as bad as it was for the past decade or so.
I cheered those players as my second favorite team. A wise man once wrote:
Choose A Second Team With Care. Stay out of the National League. Calculate the Interleague odds of clashing. And when we do come face to face with your No. 2, always look out for No. 1.
I hadnâ€™t met him or read his work yet, hell blogs werenâ€™t even thought of yet, but somethingâ€™s you just donâ€™t have to be told.
The Mets were always number one in my heart.
I find myself thinking back from time to time when I sit in the newly monikered Ameriquest Field in Arlington.
Hey, make fun of it if you want, just remember what you said when eating a â€œCiti-Dogâ€ and washing it down with some Citi-suds sometime around May 2009.
I think back to those days of cheering my number two team to what usually ended up being a loss and not a whiff of the pennant chase. But it was baseball. I think back not only to the stadium there, but the men that took the field in the home whites. The Man who led that team, would pop up later in my life around the Millennium. Players like Gary Ward, Scott Fletcher, Juan Guzman, Gino Petralli, Larry Parrish and Toby Harrah.
For bonus points, besides Steve Buechele- likely a fan favorite due to the BOOOOSHELL chant that accompanied his every at bat, can anybody name me the two biggest stars of that Ranger era from 1986 to 1986?
Iâ€™ll give you a hint, oneâ€™s a Met and the other may be on the 2007 Mets.
Yes itâ€™s hard to believe that Julio Franco AND Ruben Sierra will likely be playing together in Port St. Lucie in little over a month.
(I realize that was a darn long way to go for a somewhat small payoff but, hey itâ€™s December, what else am I going to do, talk NFL playoffs? Please.)
Tom Hicks likely didnâ€™t want to foot the bill for an old timerâ€™s day, as he is currently bringing in a team cancer, so our dear Omar Minaya figures he step up and honor those great Ranger teams.
Thatâ€™s all Omar could be doing. Why would you bring in Sierra to go with the already ancient Julio Franco? The Mets have veteran leadership in spades as it is.
Why are the Mets intentionally getting older? El Duque, Ruben Sierra, Julio Franco and Moises Alou and Tom Glavine; what do those four have in common? I was all on board for Glavine and El Duque- with the state and cost of pitching today they were wise choices. I begrudgingly accepted the Alou deal. I didnâ€™t want to see Cliffy go but I forced myself to accept the logical conclusion that Iâ€™m sure forced Omarâ€™s hand. Sure Alou would likely protect David Wright against left handed pitching; something Wright struggle mightily with in the second half of 2006. I checked his splits if you were thinking, â€œSierraâ€™s probably coming in to help against left-handed pitchers.â€ If you believe that, you have much more faith than I do.
Does it seem that Anderson Hernandez, who is currently lighting up winter ball should be given a spot to lose. I think A-Hern is this yearâ€™s Jeff Keppinger.
The only logical conclusion I can come to is Omar is nostalgic for the late 80â€™s/early 90â€™s Ranger greats of old. I canâ€™t wait. Maybe Geno Petralli, the man who was a mediocre hitter at best, but that would tee off on Roger Clemens, will be brought back for the Astros or Yankee series. Scott Fletcher would compliment Jose Valentin nicely at second. Gary Ward could surely provide Carlos Beltran much needed days off.
NOTE TO READERS: I am being facetious
But look at it this way, doesnâ€™t if feel good to complain about the 2007 Mets rather than mourn the 2006 Mets? I canâ€™t wait for April.
Letâ€™s Go Mets!
Posted under Uncategorized