Sunday, December 18, 2011
Mets ornament of the day: 1988, so close
Well, I fell just short of obtaining something recently. I was so certain, so close. It had to happen.
Except that it didn't.
I remember feeling this way exactly once before.
I was so sure the Mets were going to the 1988 World Series, and that they'd win it. It was in the bag.
The 1986 championship season was followed by a year devastated by injuries. But the 1988 Mets were incredible. Dominating. The team finished 100-62, a full 15 games ahead of the second-place Pirates.
David Cone went an insane 20 and 3 with a 2.22 ERA. Darryl Strawberry should have won the MVP, with 39 homers and 101 RBI.
And the team headed off to the playoffs to play the Los Angeles Dodgers, a team they'd defeated in all but one game. The playoffs were a formality.
Except that Bob Ojeda had an accident with a hedge clipper, future Met Orel Hershiser was playing out of his mind and Mike Scioscia earned “Bleeping” as a middle name. And like that, it was gone.
I keep the ornament on the tree as a reminder that a division championship is something to celebrate. And, it's a reminder to never, ever think that anything is a sure thing. As a very, very wise former Mets player, coach and manager once said, “It's not over 'til it's over.”