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The Last of the Old Guard

Omar Minaya has really put his stamp on this team.

It's worth noting that, with the exception of internal products Jose Reyes and David Wright (who were in fact drafted/signed when Minaya was still on Steve Phillips' staff) and a few other potential 2007 Mets (like Milledge, Humber, Bannister and Soler), this team is all Omar Minaya.

That has been made even more apparent by the likely departures of Tom Glavine and Cliff Floyd, both of whom were signed by Steve Phillips before the 2003 season.

This was our time, we were told, and it wasn't unreasonable to believe that Glavine could continue the stellar output he's shown for his entire career. And Floyd, despite some injury problems, was an excellent combination of power and speed.

However, the ensuing season was one of the ugliest in recent memory. Glavine slogged along to the tune of a 4.52 ERA, with Jeff Duncan (yes, you read that right) logging more innings than any other Met in centerfield.

You all might remember that as the year where the team was disbanded midseason, how in a span of two weeks, Burnitz, Alomar, Rey Sanchez, Benitez and Graeme Lloyd (remember him) all found new homes. They truly were the dark ages.

And the season saw uglier things as well, with Mike Piazza falling victim to a freak muscle tear, and a bunch of washed up utility men were there to see the whole thing, like Joe DePastino, Jay Bell, and Mike Glavine. He might have been there just as a favor to Tom.

Floyd, however, had a Met career cut far too short by injuries. I always praised the guy for his hustle and his grind, even when Achilles tendons were getting the best of him. I can't really argue about whether or not he delivered what we were looking for in the contract, given that he only had one really productive season.

Glavine, though, was something you'd like to forget during that first year. Regrettably, everyone remembers the 15-2 home opener loss to the Cubs, where Glavine threw an impressive 3 2/3 innings of 8-hit, 5-run ball. The game was made a hint uglier by Mike Bacsik's two innings of work, where he allowed nine runs, including two homers to Corey Patterson.

The rest of the season wasn't much better for Tom Terrific, as he really failed to look like that impressive ace we were hunting for. If he leaves (Floyd and Trax are essentially gone anyway), I hope you are aware of who becomes the longest-tenured Met. Yes, kids, it's Pedro Feliciano.

But if you look at the fact that Feliciano threw in Japan for 2005, your longest tenured Met is Jose Reyes. That's right-- all twenty-three years of him. I think that says something about Minaya's reign, and that he is constantly changing the team, leaving only the young and great athletes to remain part of the core.

This offseason, pending Tom Glavine's choice between money/no-trade clauses and his kids, your Mets will lose two players, and with them the memories of the failed season in 2003 are swept out the door.

With Glavine we also might lose the traditional tension that came with his signing. We'd forget the notion about whether he's a true Brave or a Met, or whether or not he actually called John Schuerholz panicked about joining the Flushing squad.

I'm not sure it's time to say good riddance, but for the Mets, the notions of seasons long ago played will be no more, which is nothing to argue about.


Coming on Saturday: Rangers wrapup, Jets/Packers preview, and maybe a little bit more about Tom Glavine?

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