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The Off-Day Motivational Session

I wish it could be this easy, typing words in a blog post and having the Mets go out and do everything with everyone else's full cooperation, but it's not.

Say it was possible, though...

Make some Mets wishes, for the rest of this week, or rather from this off-day to the next (July 31, which is also the trading deadline).

The only wish for me and for the Mets is for burial in Atlanta.

Although vaguely reminiscent of 2004, another weekend in the hot Georgia sun where the Mets would decide their fate both on the trading market: bye-bye Kazmir, Huber, Wigginton, Diaz and Peterson, hello Keppy, Fortunato, Benson(s) and Zambrano, and on the field, as the Atlanta Braves thrust the murderous scabbard in once, twice, three times, 2006 is different. It has to be.

A sweep really can't do all that much to the Amazin' Mets. They'll still be nine games up on Atlanta with room to spare.

That being said, if anyone could destroy this season, it would be the Jones boys. Some current Mets helped ruin other teams' hopes: Tom Glavine's name is foremost among all those with Julio Franco also seeing Larry and Andruw to first-place finishes.

But here's one name most people won't remember in connection with Atlanta: Eli Marrero. Although he is pretty clearly the 25th man on this team and his Mets legacy will consist of him being traded for the biggest bust ever, he hit .320/.374/.520 for those Gravedigger Braves of twenty oh-four. Even though it was his only season in Atlanta, Marrero played in one of those games.

Sunday, August 1st. 2004. Eli went three for four against Tom Glavine and the battery of relievers that followed him: Ricky Botallico, Mike DeJean, Mike Stanton and Braden Pooper. While Andruw Jones' three-run shot made me forget the strange hope that season produced, Marrero did it all silently, while still complicit in the burying of the Mets. Julio Franco played a part as well, going two for four, scoring two runs and driving in another. Forget you not that Tom Glavine, ex-Brave extraordinaire, also helped the Mets bury themselves. He went five innings and gave up six runs on nine hits.

Maybe fortunes will be reversed, with Eli, Julio and Tom digging the grave for their former employers and on it helping the Mets to build new ground. Maybe even a new dominance in the NL East.

And that's where my Mets wish comes in. Maybe I'm selfish; I know I can be.

I don't want any doubt. Pedro's back. El Duque's here for the pressure. And, irony be damned, Tom Glavine is pitching the Sunday game just like he did two years ago.

The Braves are hot. There's no denying that. They got Bob Wickman, whose vast girth and copious facial hair is supposed to scare the Mets straight. Yeah, right. Smoltz saved Friday night and Sunday afternoon games last time these two met in this similar situation. Bob Wickman is not John Smoltz, who also will not face the Mets in this series. Thank god for that.

Instead, the Mets take on two lefties and a righty. First they face Captain Horacio Ramirez, who is basically Tom Glavine 10 years ago. Then comes the not-so-scary-anymore-are-we? Tim Hudson, who's scuffled to an 8-8 record on the season coupled with an ERA just shy of five. Then Sunday afternoon, in the finale, they see the new breed... I'm Chuck James, Bitch!

I think he plays Steve Avery in your old nightmares, or Mike Hampton in the shell-shocked 2004 flashbacks.

[[Mr. Lo Duca, if you're reading this out loud to the team, feel free to start here.]]

Now, the time has come for swift and decisive victory.

The Mets have to win this series to finally bury the Braves and make it the end of their dynasty.

And while a series win is just dandy, that's not what I'm calling for.

I'm calling for a sweep. And not just any sweep. A sweep where the Mets beat the crap out of the Braves every inning, never ceasing to rest or never lazily drifting behind a fly ball.

No bringing in Shingo Takatsu with the bases loaded and Miguel Cabrera at the plate.

No Takatsu either after Braden Looper blows leads in the ninth and the tenth.

Hell, why don't we just ban Takatsu altogether? I'm down with that.

The Mets need to do everything this series. They can't give up home runs to pitchers.

They can't let anyone on the tomahawk choppers play like Barry Bonds, circa 2001.

They've gotta throw the first no-hitter in the history of the franchise? How's that sound? Glavine, or Pedro maybe? Glavine's better for the storybook.

How about a twelve-run inning? How about a thirteen-run inning?

Why does it not make sense to make every Braves pitcher sweat like Ryan Dempster did in the ninth inning of Tuesday's game? Who cares if they lost? They played well for the first time in the entire game.

Every inning, let's threaten. Let's scare Andruw and Marcus and Smoltzie and Huddy and LaRoche and Wickman and Langerhans and Frenchy and all of those bastards. Most of all, let's get Larry.

He thinks he's such a hero, playing through whatever nagging injury he has this month just so he can try and ruin our season. Not this time, pal.

Let's sweep 'em, boys. Return the friggin' favor.

And then we'll talk about trading for Zito on Monday.

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