…and I don’t mean the one about Bobby Bonilla and the speeding bus. The Bergen Record’s Bob Klapisch attempts to determine who’d prevail in the mythical Superman Vs. Supergirl battle between the 1986 Mets and the 2006 squad.
The answer is obvious enough, at least if you ask Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez. They won’t actually say the ’86 team would prevail, but a suppressed, knowing smile spoke volumes.
“Well, I’d like our five [starters] against anybody,” Hernandez said. A moment later, Darling drifted over to the conversation and was even more candid.
“Who [among the 2006 Mets] would’ve hit Dwight?” he asked. “No one did for two years, so why would these guys be any different?”
Naturally, the two former stars were quick to temper their remarks. They are, after all employees of the team, and it’s part of their job as broadcasters to mingle with the very players they’re critiquing.
So it’s no surprise to hear Darling and Hernandez praise the 2006 team, even if they privately believe the Mets are slaughtering a watered-down National League. Still, that doesn’t change the fact that the Mets are loose and happy and happen to like each other. In that sense they’re strikingly similar to the ’86 team.
“Actually, they’re probably more mature than we were,” Darling said with a laugh. “I think this team reflects the personality of the manager, and Willie is a humble guy, very business-like.
“Davey [Johnson] was crazed, exactly the opposite. I guess you could say that was us, crazed.”
Hernandez likes the depth of the current Mets’ bench, which makes him remember Danny Heep and Ed Hearn, as well as the Wally Backman-Tim Teufel platoon, and Mookie Wilson and Lenny Dykstra in center, too.
The key difference, then? It’s like Darling says, pitching. Who would you pick to win a game with Armageddon looming — Gooden or Pedro Martinez?
Asked for a point-blank answer, Hernandez said, “Well, are you asking me if we could hit Pedro today or Pedro in his prime?”
Pedro in his prime, was the answer.
“Well, no, but no one could hit him,” Hernandez said. “But if we faced Pedro today, I think it would’ve been interesting.”
Though David Wright has made considerable progress as a third baseman, Mets fans sitting along the first baseline at Shea might still consider wearing helmets, face-masks or at the very least make certain their dental insurance is fully paid-up before venturing out to the park. That said, what he occasionally lacks in consistency, he more than makes up for with a flair for the spectacular. The 5-4-3 double play Wright turned last night against the Phillies on a Pat Burrell liner might not be on You Tube yet, but it is surely seared into the memories of everyone who saw it.