March 08, 2010
Veteran New York scribe Bob Klapisch filed one of the weekend's best stories with a look at how Darryl Strawberry's presence at Mets camp is proving to be a cautionary tale for today's ballplayers.
The Straw is at his honest best in the piece, owning up to all of the mistakes he made during his career.
But he also expresses a great deal of self confidence and it's that bravado that served up a fun debate when Strawberry was asked to pick a winner between the '86 Mets and '09 Yankees.
From the Bergen Record:
[Said Strawberry:] "'Doc would've destroyed them. We would've beaten them. They're a great team, but we wouldn't have been intimidated. We could hit, we could pitch and we could definitely fight.'
"Strawberry meant no disrespect toward the Bombers, to whom he owes the second half of his career. And to be technical about it, Darryl knows the '86 Gooden wasn't nearly as overpowering as the '85 edition, which skews his prediction. But it's all part of a harmless journey into the past. All you have to do is ask him."
My main impulse was to say that the '09 Yankees lineup would have too much power for the '86 Mets pitching staff to handle and the quick simulation I ran on WhatIfSports — giving the 108-win Mets homefield advantage and using the three-man rotations from their respective World Series — confirmed that. The Yankees took the imaginary series in five games, jumping to a 3-0 series lead with a 13-5 win in Game 3. Even Klapisch's point about a diminished Doc rang true, with Gooden taking the losses in Games 2 & 5.
This simulation isn't concrete proof, of course, but I do always enjoy queuing up a couple of teams and seeing what comes of it. Any Mets fans out there care to disagree with the result?
A big BLS head nod goes to Bronx Baseball Daily for the tip.