Today, Dec. 23, marks the celebration of Festivus. Today, we will go through the many rituals of Festivus, of course dealing with the Mets, so why don't we just call this "Metstivus."
Break out your aluminum poles, and let us begin with the Airing of Grievances:
Luis Castillo: Your albatross of a contract has weighed on the team since the day you signed. You may have been a necessity to get Johan Santana to sign long-term, but if you backed up the money you're being played with "decent" play, I think people would look the other way. Instead, you miss tons of time with your bum knees and slap your way into double plays. You are the biggest waste of money on the Mets and since Aaron Heilman is the newest resident of Seattle, you will become the fans new personal scapegoat.
Left field: Yes, I'm airing my grievances toward the entire position. It seems to be cursed. Let's start with 2008. Endy Chavez saw the most games in LF -- he's now a Seattle Mariner. Follower up by Fernando Tatis -- he missed the end of the season with a shoulder injury. Daniel Murphy seemed to escape the curse, as did his rookie counterpart Nick Evans. After them was Marlon Anderson, who struggled mightily at the plate all season long. Then Angel Pagan, who lost most of the season to a shoulder injury. Behind him was Moises Alou, who only appeared in 14 games for the Mets in '08.
Looking to 2007, Alou led the list, and again missed lots of time to injuries. Chavez was behind him, and also lost time to a hamstring injury. In third on that list was Carlos Gomez, who was traded in the off season to the Minnesota Twins.
Now to 2006 and Cliff Floyd, who suffered many injuries throughout the year, none more memorable or heartbreaking as in the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Floyd held his own from 2003-2005. 2004 featured Roger Cedeno as the almost everyday left fielder, with Timo Perez a distant second. Let me just list some left fielders the Mets have had "recently" (these are the players who saw the most games in LF that year): 1995 - Joe Orsulak, 1994 - Kevin McReynolds, 1993 - Vince Coleman, 1992 - Daryl Boston.
Maybe -- hopefully -- the move to Citi Field rids LF of it's apparent curse. Only few have escaped it since the early '90s.
Ryan Church: Stop running into things.
Luis Aguayo: Good riddance!
Willie Randolph: See: above.
Aaron Heilman: See: above.
Scott Schoeneweis: See: above.
Ambiorix Burgos: Get a safe, get a chauffeur, get anger management and get a lawyer. Also, see: above.
On to the Festivus Miracles!
It's a Metstivus miracle Omar Minaya signed Francisco Rodriguez for that price. Sign of the economy or just good dealings by Omar?
It's a Metstivus miracle he also helped sure up the 8th inning when he dealt the embattled Heilman and others away to land J.J. Putz.
It's a Metstivus miracle what Carlos Delgado did in the second half of the season.
It's a Metstivus miracle the Mets got Johan Santana earlier this year. (That was this year?! Geez.)
And finally, the Feats of Strength.
The Mets newest feat of strength will be when they flex their power in the 8th and 9th innings next season. I'm truly excited to see the day when Santana pitches seven strong innings and then has no fear or regrets as Putz shuts them down in the 8th and K-Rod comes in for the 9th. "Santana to Putz to K-Rod, the first Mets perfect game!" OK, I'm dreaming a little here, but still.
Another feat of strength, which also made last year's Festivus celebration was Shea Stadium. Holding up all those years, especially after Game 6 in 1986, is truly a feat of strength. You will be miss, Shea.
And finally, the fans. After having to put up with two heartbreaking collapses in two seasons, the fans will come flocking back to the team like nothing ever happened. With a renewed attitude and vigor, anxiously awaiting the chance to wash away the past two years and watch their team play baseball again. I can tell you I am among these fans. Spring training can't start soon enough.
Happy Holidays, everyone! Let's go Mets!
Please go check out Scott Proctor's Arm for a Yankee Festivus (featuring appearances by yours truly!)