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Giants/Mets Series Preview

I'm not saying that the New York Mets aren't interesting, but they remind me of the movie The Hunt for Red October. Not because that's an uninteresting movie, but because it's a movie that I'd rather write about than the Mets. Considering the source material, it's amazing that a functional, enjoyable 120-minute movie made it out of the maw of Hollywood. Do us 30-somethings have an appreciation for how John McTiernan shaped our youths? He did, you know. Makes Rollerball that much worse. Did you know it was the 10th anniversary of the Rollerball remake? That's probably more important than the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park, and …

Oh. Right. The Mets. I mean, they're not the worst team in the world. They aren't as bad as, say, the Astros or Pirates, even though they often get lumped in with those sorts of teams. But from the perspective of a Giants fan, the Mets don't mean anything right now. It's a dead zone of Mets/Giants relations.

The 2000 Mets were an especially traumatic team for me, mostly because that was the best Giants team I can remember. Maybe "best" is the wrong word. It was the most complete. The lineup was solid, one through nine. We used to complain about Marvin Benard because he was the worst hitter in the starting eight. He had a .342 on-base percentage! He would have hit cleanup for last year's team, and he was the big problem that everyone complained about. So spoiled.

More than that, the new park opened that year. It's still an amazing park, but for someone who grew up in Candlestick -- literally raised by terns who regurgitated digested garbage to me under the pull-out bleachers for the first 15 years of my life -- there's no way to properly explain the sense of awe and wonder that park gave people in 2000. And the Giants had the best record in baseball, looking invincible in the last half of the season. That was the team that was going to win it all, dang it.

Then there was Timo Perez. Benny Agbayani. Turncoat Darryl Hamilton. Mark Clark. Or was that Bobby Jones? Oh, god, there were two Bobby Joneses on that team. I hate the 2000 Mets. They absconded with the last tattered shred of my innocence.

But the years passed, and the Mets had ups and downs. The Giants had ups and downs. The ups and downs didn't overlap too much. There was no reason to care about the Mets. Even when they had hilarious financial issues, the Dodgers had more hilarious financial issues around the same time.

There's a decent chance that we're entering a new era of Giant-Metropolitan relations, though. The next great hope for the Mets, you see, is this guy:

Year Age Tm Lev ERA G IP HR BB SO
2011 21 St. Lucie A+ 2.00 6 27.0 0 5 31
2012 22 Binghamton AA 2.40 3 15.0 0 5 21
Provided by View Original Table Generated 4/20/2012.

That's Zack Wheeler since he was traded to the Mets. He will be the face of Giant-Metropolitan relations for the next ten years. The question is how? He could be a guy whose star rises right as the Giants' star declines, as the formerly pitching-rich franchise wonders what could have been. Or the Giants could keep on pitching like they have, setting up all sorts of Wheeler-related showdowns. Will the Giants defeat Wheeler in the eventual playoff matchup? Or will Wheeler defeat his former organization, like he was Worf or some crap?

Or maybe the Mets will continue stinking, and/or Wheeler will have pitching-prospect things happen to him. In which case, we won't hear from the Mets again, and we'll remember them as the team with which we swapped injury-prone center fielders that one time. They should have sprung for the extended warranty.

Hitter to watch
Remember when the David Wright/Matt Cain thing was a thing? Cain hit Wright in the head, and then when he left the field to resounding boos, he doffed his cap in mock tribute. And then Mets fans got irate because they thought that meant he didn't respect the gravity of Wright's injury? The important thing to remember is that people are stupid, and I hate them all. Except for Matt Cain.

But David Wright is starting the season hot after a (relatively) miserable season last year. That's the main point of this section. That and mentioning Matt Cain as much as possible.

Pitcher to watch
There is no way that a Giants fan can make fun of the facial hair on a guy on another team. That'd be hypocritical. So I'll just link to pictures of Dillon Gee.




I mean, what.

Brett Pill doesn't get a ball hit out to him in left all series. We'll wait and wait and wait, and it just won't happen. That's the curse of expectations.

Alternate prediction: Someone makes fun of my slow Internet connection for this ...

If you're on the Twitter machine, and you don't follow Ted Berg, do so. He's a funny man.