Wednesday, October 11, 2006

2006 NLCS: Today is the Day [J. Mark English]

Why is Mr. Met smiling? Because like the rest of us Met fans, he's been waiting four days too many for the start of the NLCS. And after tonight, no more last the NLCS is at hand.

I will be heading to my first baseball playoff game tonight, and I can hardly wait any longer. The friend I'll be going to the game with wrote this when he heard we were going: "HOW MANY SAUSAGE AND PEPPERS CAN WE HAVE????? We'll be overexcited and our metabolism will be racing..... i bet one sandwich every other inning...."

Let us break down this series with the local sports coverage:

  • NEW YORK TIMES - Lee Jenkins breaks down the battle ensuing between Reyes & Molina. Ben Shpigel talks of the enormous task Met pitchers will face trying to take down Pujols.
  • NEW YORK POST - Mark Hale reports on the Met claims that winning the NLCS will be no easy task. Mike Vaccaro loves Shea in the same time Vaccaro tells us that the city now belongs to the Mets.
  • DAILY NEWS - Adam Rubin knows that the Mets are ready for their arch enemy. Mike Lupica says that the Mets cannot wait to rule.
  • NEWSDAY - Confidence is no long an issue according to David Lennon. Mark Herrmann ponders how strong the chemistry is with the team. Johnette Howard thinks that this will be the time for Glavine to be embraced.
  • NEW YORK SUN - Tim Marchman: Mets expect to win the pennant. Then Marchman proclaims that the Mets have the better pitching.
Now for a look at some of the blogs, and what they are saying:
  • Matthew Cerrone of Metsblog has the latest on the Mets final 25 man roster:

    the sense i am getting is that the team will carry floyd, who can hit, but can’t run…from what i can gather, the players on the team want him to be in that clubhouse, and as long as he can swing a bat that is good enough for them, that’s how popular cliff is…i think it comes down to either having floyd, who can hit, but not field, in the clubhouse with his teammates, or having Lastings Milledge or Ricky Ledee, who will not play all that much anyways, and cliff not in the clubhouse…

    …if the mets choose to carry floyd, it is sounding like they will drop Royce Ring and replace him with either Anderson Hernandez, making Chris Woodward an outfielder, or they’ll carry Mike DiFelice, who will allow Willie Randolph to use Ramon Castro as a pinch hitter without being short-handed behind the plate…

  • Greg Prince from Faith and Fear in Flushing knows the Mets will kick the Cardinals A$$: And that, mis amigos, is the essence of faith and fear as regards what might happen next in Flushing, St. Louis and potentially Flushing again. In 20 months on the beat, I've never had the opportunity to apply our signature concept in such stark, significant terms.
  • Alex Nelson of Mets Geek has a different spin:

    Everyone’s talking about the NLCS as if it’s a foregone conclusion that the Mets will win easily. I hate to play the foil to everyone’s expectations, but the Cardinals are a team capable of taking four of seven from the Mets. I’m not saying that I think it will happen, but they should by no means be written off.

    After all, remember how many people wrote the Tigers off and how that worked out.

    Anyway, here are four reasons why the Cardinals might give Met fans a sleepless night or two. Any one of these won’t be enough to save the Cards, and all four probably won’t happen. But some combination of these potentialities could result in a disappointing series for the Mets.

  • Steve Keane of The Eddie Kranepool Society just wants the frickin' series to begin: The waiting is killing me let’s get this NLCS going already as I know I speak for all Mets fans when I say we are sooooooooooo sick and tired of the bullshit that’s coming out of the Bronx. Enough! LETS GO METS!!!!!!!!
  • Mike with Mike's Mets explains that the Mets are unburdened by expectations: Our old friend Wallace Matthews is back, beating on the "anything less than a title is a total failure" drum. I'm sure there are at least some of you out there buying into this. While I understand the thinking, I would wonder why any of us would chose to be the equivalent of Yankees fans after all these years. Take this step, and you run the risk of turning the remainder of your 2006 playoffs experience into a joyless exercise where winning is something only to be expected and losing is agony.

    For Mets fans that have been around long enough to remember 1986, that should serve as a cautionary tale. After coming up short two years in a row, and then putting together such a dominating season, we all bought into that line of thinking. It turned out okay in the end, I guess, but I always had the feeling that I was more afraid of the Mets losing the NLCS and then the World Series than I was prepared to take joy in what they accomplished. To an extent, I cheated myself of some of the fun that I had waited so long for, simply by allowing myself to buy into that cheerless mantra. It took the Mets almost losing game 6 to get that crap out of my head, which made game 7 such a delight in contrast to what I had felt before.

That'll do it for now folks. I hope to have no voice by tomorrow. Just remember one thing: