In the infancy of the New York Mets in 1962, Casey Stengel christened the team he managed as the “Amazing Mets”. And as only he could, he walked and clowned their way through one hundred losses that year. The city of New York could hardly care – National League Baseball was back!
Seven years later, the Mets would capture their first World Championship. Their next World Series title would not come for nearly two decades. What followed was a history most Met fans would like to forget. There was a ownership struggling with financial issues related to Bernie Madoff, ill fated and costly free agent signings, and general disarray along with ineptitude from the top down. When (Met fans rightfully asked) would they ever get it right?
Although he is locked away as a memory now, it was Omar Minaya, the team’s General Manager prior to current GM Sandy Alderson, who quietly began the process of signing and cultivating a string of young and talented arms. Alderson followed up by refusing to deal any of these pitchers, even when the volume of dissent in the media was loudest. Similar to completing a jigsaw puzzle, Alderson brought the final pieces in giving the team the look and feel we see on the field today.
It could be argued that the Cubs are equally as good as the Mets. And over the course of the season, they proved that they were by accomplishing the third most wins in the Majors (97). However, they chose to rebuild their team in a manner different by stockpiling position players as opposed to pitchers. Unfortunately, good pitching will always beat good hitting, especially in a short series. The Mets may no longer be “Amazing”, but they sure are good.