Wednesday, April 14, 2004

'86 Mets vs. '98 Yanks 

I'm on a Bronx Banter kick this week (which is a great blog, even if it is focused on the Yankees) and noticed that Alex mentions the Jeff Pearlman book The Bad Guys Won and quotes and interesting response Pearlman made to a question from Jeremy "Barbara Walters Aint Got Nuttin On Me" Heit in his recent interview.

JH: The '86 team has been called one of the top 10 teams of all time by some... Do you agree? If not, in what range would you put them?
JP: I agree. I've been saying for several years now that the '86 Mets were a much more complete team that the current Yankee dynasty. Their starting pitching was so deep, and they were very well balanced all the way around. I think they'd really give a lot of teams trouble at the top of the lineup. With the exception of the Marlins, who today has three guys like Dykstra, Backman and Mookie-guys who can get on and really mess with a pitcher's head.
What hurts the Mets, dynasty-wise, is that they only really lasted one year. So it's a poor comparison to, say, the Big Red Machine or the A's of the 70s. But for one season, one game, you've gotta like that '86 team.

This gets Alex thinking, "Were the 1986 Mets better than the 1998 Yankees" and even gets Rob Neyer's thoughts on the issue. My response was,

What a great question. The '86 Mets vs. the '98 Yanks. Hmmm? We could go back and forth all day long comparing stats but the essence of that '86 team was magic. Yeah yeah yeah I know, you can't quantify it in MBP (Magic Base Percentage) but it was there for the Mets in 86 nonetheless. They just wouldn't lose. If the '86 Mets squared off against the '98 Yanks the ball would roll through Derek Jeter's legs instead of Buckner's and the Mets would win. It's just how things worked out for the Mets that year.

Head over to Bronx Banter and give them your thoughts on this. And remember Mets fans to mind your manners and play nice.
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