Man, 2006 feels like so long ago now. That season was the most exciting one I have witnessed since the World Series run in 2000. The Mets were a juggernaut. We had swagger, power, pitching, speed. We had a attitude and everyone hated us, especially when Reyes, Delgado, and others would dance on the field.
Remember the slogan?
“The Team. The Time. The Mets.”
Remember how much we loved Willie Randolph? We thought he was our savior, and everything he touched was gold.
The 2005 off-season was Omar Minaya’s second season at the helm. He spared no expense, and left no stone unturned as he built a powerhouse of a team.
Notable moves from the 2005 off-season that helped lead us to the 2006 NL East Crown.
November 18, 2005: Xavier Nady was traded by the San Diego Padres to the New York Mets for Mike Cameron.
- November 24, 2005: Carlos Delgado was traded by the Florida Marlins with cash to the New York Mets for Mike Jacobs, Yusmeiro Petit, and Grant Psomas (minors).
- November 29, 2005: Billy Wagner was signed as a Free Agent by the New York Mets.
- December 5, 2005: Paul Lo Duca was traded by the Florida Marlins to the New York Mets for Dante Brinkley (minors) and Gaby Hernandez (minors).
- December 12, 2005: Julio Franco was signed as a Free Agent by the New York Mets.
- January 22, 2006: Kris Benson was traded by the New York Mets to the Baltimore Orioles for Jorge Julio and John Maine.
The pitching staff was headed by long time nemesis Tom Glavine, Pedro Martinez, Steve Trachsel, Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez, while Oliver Perez and John Maine filled in when injuries hit.
The starting lineup boasted supreme talent across the board from the youngsters Reyes and Wright, to the veteran sluggers Delgado and Beltran.
This team had a great bullpen led by all-star closer Billy Wagner, Pedro Feliciano, Duaner Sanchez and Chad Bradford.
Despite the season ending in an utter letdown, 2006 was a wild ride. We had some of the greatest moments in our history during that season.
Remember the double play at home versus the Dodgers in the NLDS?
With nobody out and runners on first and second base, Russell Martin drilled a single toward right field. When it hit off the wall, it seemed definite that Jeff Kent and J.D. Drew would score. As Lo Duca looked up to see home-plate umpire John Hirschbeck call Kent out, he almost didn’t see Drew sliding headfirst toward the plate. But with one quick motion, the veteran catcher turned his head back toward the field and applied the tag that completed an improbable double play.
Remember Endy Chavez’s catch versus the Cardinals in the NLCS?
Endy made arguably one of the best defensive plays in Mets history, and it will be forever remembered as “The Catch”.
I’ll let Gary Cohen refresh your memory in case you forgot exactly how it happened.
“Edmonds at first and one out, and Perez deals. Fastball hit in the air to left field, that’s deep, back goes Chavez back near the wall…leaping, and…. he made the catch! He took a home run away from Rolen! Trying to get back to first, Edmonds… he’s doubled off! And the inning is over! Endy Chavez saved the day! He reached high over the left field wall, right in front of the visitors bullpen, and pulled back a two run homer! He went to the apex of his leap, and caught it in the webbing of his glove, with his elbow up above the fence. A miraculous play by Endy Chavez and then Edmonds is doubled off first, and Oliver Perez escapes the 6th inning. The play of the year, the play maybe of the franchise history, for Endy Chavez and the inning is over”
The Mets had so many memorable moments from that season, but now it just feels so long ago.
How does a big market team like us always find a way to fail?
We have so many resources, but fail to build a complete team. The 2006 team was the strongest we have had in a very long time.
It’s just really sad that we have to think back seven years to remember what it was like to really enjoy watching our favorite team. The Mets have had their moments over the past few seasons, but they always end in disappointment When will it end? When Harvey and Wheeler get here? I know they will help, but as my dad said the other day, “how awful would it be to have Harvey and Wheeler here and no team around them?”.
That would be awful, but it would also be typical of the Mets. I just really hope I get to stop saying that one day…