NEW YORK -- A smirk on his face,
They could certainly make a compelling pitch. The Mets go on exaggerated winning streaks. They go on exaggerated losing streaks. Their players and coaches scuffle with each other. Their script is never dull.
And should such a television show exist? "I think you'd find some comedy in it, and there'd be a hell of a lot of drama," Mets rightfielder
If only the folks behind
The Mets have the National League's best home record (18-9) and worst road record (6-14). Their schedule has been a series of streaks -- "a roller-coaster ride," Francoeur said -- in which they went from last place in the NL East to first place and then back to last in just 23 days. In a span of just more than three weeks, manager
It's safe again, at least for now. The Mets not only swept the Phillies this week but also shutout their rivals in all three games, their first such string of blanking the same opponent in three consecutive games since Sept. 26-28, 1969. That came on the heels of a series win over the crosstown Yankees, giving the Mets a 5-1 record against last year's World Series participants.
One can only hope the cameras have been running. Consider the Emmy-worthy episodes the Mets have produced in just the past two weeks:
Of course, those episodes don't account for the headlines produced before this recent fortnight, such as Santana's spring training assertion that he, and not the Phillies'
Nor does that glimpse include the historic collapses of 2007 and '08, the reports of the organization's vice president for player development challenging minor leaguers to fights in the clubhouse or the rising angst at the medical staff in the face of mounting injuries in '09.
One former Met thinks some of the drama from recent seasons was simply "blown up too much" because of the club's high profile. But that's how it goes in New York, and so the baseball diamond becomes an escape from the tabloid headlines.
"When we step on the field, it allows us to ignore all that," said starter
Manuel deals with the daily grind coolly. For instance, on Tuesday, Manuel faced another question asked under the presumption that his job is in obvious jeopardy. The bespectacled manager didn't angrily reject the premise. He didn't loudly defend his work. Rather, in his classically understated tone, Manuel dismissed the query with the assurance, "I'm good."
With Beltran's status in the air, Manuel has done well to diffuse the uncertainty, focusing on the players he has rather than the ones he doesn't. "For the most part this is who we are," he said of his lineup.
The Mets are reaping the benefits of very good starting pitching, even from unlikely sources
The Mets have played a bevy of close games but have lost most of them, going 5-11 in one-run games and 5-6 in two-run games.
"I'm not worried about the drama," catcher
Reyes, meanwhile, said he finally feels in form and that his timing is where it needs to be. It shows: In the past seven games, of which New York has won six, Reyes is 14-for-32 with seven runs scored. He had been batting .210 with a meager .256 on-base percentage before this hot streak.
"If he gets on base to lead off an inning, it's a run," first baseman
That exact scenario played out twice in the early innings of the series opener against the Phillies, which Francoeur called his "favorite game" of the season.
"We scored one in the first, one in the second, one in the fourth, one in the fifth, one in the sixth -- if you start doing that, you demoralize a team," he said. "When we score four and then don't score for five or six innings, all of a sudden that team feels like it can come back slowly. But when you score run after run after run, it kills the other team."
Morale for the Mets was high on Thursday night, not dampened by a two-hour pregame rain delay, nor a two-hour postgame flight delay before taking off for Milwaukee. What's in store for them on the road, no one can know, but it'll be worth tuning in. With this team, it always is.