Carroll's Corner: Yogi, Mets and Jets • Latino Sports

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Carroll’s Corner: Yogi, Mets and Jets

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Queens, NY – The timing of the Mets’ clinching the National League East title, coming a few days after the passing of Yogi Berra, started me thinking about the similarities between this Mets club and the 1973 “Ya Gotta Believe” Mets that Berra managed that came within one game of winning the World Series that year.

The fact that they lost Game 7 to the Oakland Athletics, a far superior team, has unfortunately relegated that team to a more obscure status than they deserve.

In 1973 the National League East was a rather weak division, with four of the six teams, including the Mets bunched around the .500 mark, with the Amazins prevailing on the last day of the season.

It can easily be argued that today’s NL East is even worse as three of the five teams: the Phillies, the Braves, and the Marlins having records far below the break-even mark while the Washington Nationals have hovered at just above it for most of the season. The Mets smartly took advantage of the situation.

Taking nothing away from what the Mets have accomplished so far, the key to them being NL East champs was the utter self-immolation of the Washington Nationals. Mets television play-by-play voice and Flushing native Gary Cohen even conceded this point during Saturday’s telecast.

I can’t remember a baseball with such a high payroll and so much talent squandering things to such a horrifying level. It’s one thing to just play poorly; it’s another to have such a toxic chemistry that teammates openly can’t stand each other.

On Sunday, the day after the Mets beat the Reds to clinch their division title, Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon verbally chastised and then threw punches at teammate, and probably National League MVP, Bryce Harper.

Harper had let it be known to the media on Wednesday night following the Nats’ second straight loss to the Baltimore Orioles that basically finished off their chances of catching the Mets, that he wasn’t happy that Papelbon had brazenly hit Orioles slugger Manny Machado with a fastball in the ninth inning.

Machado had hit a two-run homer two innings earlier that gave the Orioles a lead that they would not relinquish. Harper griped that he would probably get plunked with a fastball the following day.

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About Lloyd Carroll

Lloyd Carroll is the Senior Columnist for the Queens Chronicle, an award-winning weekly newspaper that has served the communities of Queens since 1978. This article as well as many future articles will also appear at Queens Chronicle. In addition, Lloyd also writes for our friends over at NYSportsDay.com. In today’s world of online publications, we at Latino Sports understand and value the importance of collaborating with other online publications in order to showcase and create awareness of each other’s work and dedication to our respectable communities.

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