Monday, March 1, 2010
If you grew up in the late eighties and early nineties, you remember the movies Major League (1989) and its sequel Major League 2 (1994). It was centered around a ragtag group of no name, little talent athletes playing for the Cleveland Indians. The team concept swept through the clubhouse when it was revealed that their first season would be their last. The team unity and drive helped them overcome enormous obstacles and win their division with hilarity ensuing along the way.
We have had our own ragtag crew over the years right here in Queens, New York. They are known more commonly as the New York Mets. I believe it's time to recognize our 'Major League' characters. Let's introduce them, shall we? First, leading off Willie Mays Hayes, better known as Roger Cedeno, and as his understudy, Jose Reyes lately. I chose Cedeno, because his career with the Mets had injuries and highlights. It was short lived. He was always dealing with something. Last season, Jose Reyes has become a closer version of Willie Hayes, as he too has been hurt. In the words of Ricky Vaughn, "That limp is the best acting you've done all season".
Next up, Mike Piazza as the wily veteran Jake Taylor. I know Piazza's numbers would crush Taylor's head to head, but keep in mind, Taylor was always hurt and playing through the pain while being the standout leader. That is Mike Piazza in a nutshell. He was the leader and he always played through pain, so much so that he tried to change positions, just to stay in the lineup longer. At second base, we have Roger Dorn, played by Luis Castillo. This is probably the best fit, because neither one had any range in the field or pop in the bat.
Tsuyoshi Shinjo will be playing the part of the fan favorite "kamikaze"Tanaka. Shinjo was solid in the field, but not much power in the bat, his effort made him a favorite. As, Rube Baker, we have Paul Loduca. He, like Baker, couldn't thrown anybody out, but had the heart you want in a player. Last, but not least for the lineup, is Pedro Cerrano. The Cuban crusher with a bad attitude will be played by Carlos Delgado. Why? It's simple, my friends. Since Delgado has lost all of his range, he is most likely the most eligible to pray to Jabu for a job.
Moving on to the pitching. The over the hill, crafty veteran who is in love with Jesus, Eddie Harris will be played by Al Leiter. I chose Leiter in a narrow vote over Pedro Martinez and Tom Glavine. Leiter didn't have much heat and he used what he had to get batters out. The part of the young fire baller, who often gave up monster home runs, Ricky "Wild Thing' Vaughn will go to Braden Looper. Looper was a closer for the Mets, but found some success as a starter elsewhere. He could give up some moonshots, but at times could get the job done.
I'm sure those reading may have their own list and may completely disagree with mine. That's okay. It's not the point. The reason I bring up Major League is to show that the Mets are in the same position as the Cleveland Indians were before that movie came out. Between 1980 and 1994, the average season record for the Indians was 70 wins and 83 losses. That's with two strike shortened years thrown in. After that movie, they went into a up slide of success. It didn't happen immediately, but it happened. They made the playoffs a few times and even managed to make it to the World Series before blowing it.
Another example, the Anaheim Angels. They had several seasons of heartache and bad play after 1986. After the remake of 'Angels in the Outfield' came out, they made the playoffs a few years later and then won a World Series. Even the Chicago Cubs can brag success after 'Rookie of the Year'.
It is time for some of these New York celebrity fans to convince Hollywood to make a Mets movie. What's Kevin James doing now? He and Jerry Seinfeld are the biggest celebrity Mets fans in the world. Maybe they can get together. Is it a coincidence that the Mets collapsed the same season 'King of Queens' was canceled. I don't believe so. Come on Hollywood, pitch in. It's time for the Mets to shine on the big screen and hopefully then on the big stage too.