Introducing the new kings of Queens

Chris Duprau

“Meet the Mets, Meet the Mets, Step right up and greet the Mets! Hot dogs, green grass all out at Shea. Guaranteed to have a heck of a day.”

Ah, to sing that song again with pride is something I thought may never happen again. There is joy in Flushing once more as the Metropolitans seem to moving back towards the top of the baseball world.

“A gust from the gods.” That is how Kevin Costner put it in the movie “Tin Cup.”

It was a gust that kept Roy MaCavoy’s ball from staying on the 18th green in the U.S. Open. It was also a gust from the gods that kept the Mets from making my life complete and beating the Yankees in the World Series. A ball off the bat of Todd Ziele hit the top of the left field wall in Game one and instead of bouncing over, bounced back into play. A single gust of wind kept that ball from being a decisive home run. Instead Timo Perez who was on first ended up getting thrown out at the plate and the opportunity to slay the demons was gone.

For five years since then, the Mets and their fans have been in baseball hell, excluding a month at the end of the ’01 and the beginning of the ’02 seasons. There has been nothing to cheer about.

However, being the eternal optimist, one day I just yelled out the words, “It’s okay. Mets in ’05.”

Why ’05? I don’t know it just gave me something to look forward to, something to hope for. Now, as unbelievable as it sounds, the “Mets in ’05” dream is coming true.

Since the end of the season, the Mets have picked up free agents Pedro Martinez and Carlos Beltran, arguably the two biggest free agents the team has ever picked up.

As a long time die-hard Mets fan, I am still in shock about all of this. I just can’t believe all of this is happening.

Now, some people seem to think that Pedro, or as I now refer to him “P-Money,” is over the hill, but the friendly confines of Shea Stadium are going to rejuvenate his career.

In the National League the eight and nine batters are no where near as good as the American League. That will cut down on his pitch count by as much as ten pitches, and with Pedro, every pitch counts.

Shea is also a pitcher’s ball park. It is consistently one of the toughest places to hit a homerun. If Mike Piazza played in another stadium, he’d easily have another 50 to 75 homeruns.

People also believe that the Mets overpaid for Carlos Beltran. Well, that may be true, but the facts don’t lie. He is one of the best five-tool young players in the game. He has tremendous upside, especially when you look at how his power numbers have improved.

In addition, getting him got the Mets fans excited. Every Met fan was bitter and depressed last year when Vlad “the Impaler” Guerrero won the MVP award. The Mets could have had him had they been willing to pay a few more million.

This year we got the best player thanks to the persistence of GM Omar Minaya and the all of a sudden generous Fred Wilpon.

The lineup for this year looks like this: 1. Jose Reyes, SS; 2. Kaz Matsui, 2B; 3. Carlos Beltran, CF; 4. Mike Piazza, C; 5. David Wright, 3B; 6.Cliff Floyd, LF, 7. Mike Cameron, RF; 8. (At print time Carlos Delgado was about to sign with the Marlins, so this spot is still open. Personally, I’d love to get Olerud back.)

That’s a lineup that’ll make you stand up, cheer and raise a glass. Throw in a pitching rotation of “P-Money,” Tom Glavine, Kris Benson, Steve Trachsel and Victor Zambrano, and wow, I’m salivating at the mouth just looking at this.

When you’re a Met fan, you have a bit of an inferiority complex. For basically the past generation, the Yankees have dominated the market and we just want our time in the sun. As the old Celtic saying goes, “Chalie Me La” which means “Our time will come.”

Well, for Mets fans our time is finally here, so strap on your seat belts and hold on tight. Pitchers and catchers report in 21 days. If by chance the Mets let me down again this year, I will be able to be found at the bottom of the Hudson River.

On a side note, I’d like to congratulate all you insane Eagles fans for finally crossing the threshold and making it to the Super Bowl. You guys earned it (although I still would have loved to see you lose).

However, let’s not go crazy and start thinking you’re going to win the Bowl. The Red Sox already won. Hell isn’t freezing over twice in four months.

To preview the game, though, I’m going to do a something a little different and let Madden ’05 decide who will win the game. I’m going to simulate a game between the Eagles and Pats and give full commentary on all the big plays next week.

So get ready, get pumped, and grab a few cold ones for The Dupes’ Madden Bowl ’05.