Sunday, August 1, 2010, started as a nearly perfect day for the Mets and their fans at Citi Field in New York. The Mets organization honored some of the key members of the 1986 World Series Champions by elevating them to the team's Hall of Fame. On hand to accept the honors were Darryl Strawberry, Dwight (Doc) Gooden, Davey Johnson (Manager), and Frank Cashen (GM).
It was a golden moment for the fans as they vigorously cheered the heroes of '86, but it also seemed incongruous that the current team, watching with perhaps a bit of envy from the dugout, could not expect to have similar adulation coming its way any time soon. Predictably, the current Mets (53-52) went out and got crushed 14-1 by the Arizona Diamondbacks (39-66).
The legendary sports cartoonist Bill Gallo created Basement Bertha, a kind of sympathetic figure who helped fans who felt down in the dumps. Bertha cheered up Mets fans through all the tough years, but it now seems like Bertha needs to be brought back, because the 2010 team is starting to look an awful (emphasis on awful) lot like the hapless Mets of long ago.
Who in the stands couldn't help but wish for Doc Gooden to pick up a ball and stride out to the mound? All of us were wishing so. Wouldn't it have been even more grand for Doc to look over his left shoulder and see the lanky and reliable Strawberry standing in right field, basking in the shouts of "Darryl! Darryl!" as he always did? I personally would have loved to have seen Davey Johnson walk into the dugout, suit up, and stand on the top step as he used to do while the Mets' brass showed Jerry Manuel the door.