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Series Twenty-Seven: Marlins at Mets

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As you most likely know, the Marlins are taking on the Mets this weekend at Shea Stadium. I'm even more excited about this than usual, as I'll be attendance at Shea. Even better than that, I'll be meeting Mr. Met this weekend - and so will a number of us.

In anticipation of that - and since we've talked to Mr. Met here a few times arleady this year - we thought that it would be a good idea to offer a little twist on our typical series preview. You all know about the Mets already. What we don't know all that well is Mr. Met himself. So today we'll do a pictorial review of Mr. Met to prepare us all for the man we're about to meet this weekend. I hope that even those of you who aren't able to make it to the ballpark this weekend enjoy the pre-series photo preview of the Mr. Met encounter...

As everyone knows, Mr. Met has been associated with the Mets throughout their history (that's over 40 years). He hasn't always been so stylish or so cool though. In fact, when he debuted, he was pretty dorky. Luckily, Mr. Met has some good friends, and they were able to help him improve his look. This was no easy task though, and many options were considered before Mr. Met settled on his current look.

Through the years, Mr. Met has served in various capacities (other than mascot, of course) for the organization. A few years back, when the pitching staff was particularly thin, the Mets considered using Mr. Met as a pitcher. The thinking was that Mr. Met's uniquely shaped head might make it difficult for hitters to identify the ball. This slight deception might - at least in theory - add a little perceived velocity to Mr. Met's pitches. Ultimately this idea proved to be flawed, and Mr. Met never saw action in a real game.

Mr. Met has also had a similarly unsuccesful foray into the world of free agent recruiting. Sadly (for the Mets), Mr. Met was not tipped off to Mr. October until Reggie was well past his playing days. The baseball world might be a wholly different place if Mr. Met and Reggie had struck up their friendship earlier.

Few folks know that Mr. Met aspires to be much more than just one of the world's best known and most beloved mascots. He has actually had a very diverse career. Back in the late-80s/early-90s, Mr. Met teamed up with a former rapper, turned TV-star, turned movie star, who you probably know today as Will Smith. In the early days of Mr. Smith's road to stardom, he teamed up with Mr. Met to form a formidable rap duo (unfortunately for Mr. Met, record company executives decided that Jazzy Jeff made for a better sidekick for the Fresh Prince than Mr. Met).

Mr. Met also brielfy pursued a career in bowling. Eventually he learned that he was no Pete Weber or Don Carter, so he stuck to his baseball work. Still, it's sad to think that he wasted that textbook form. At least his bowling form is better than his baseball bat selection - Mr. Met, that bat is far too small for someone of your size.

In the future, Mr. Met hopes to take his athletic talents to the hardwood. Rumors abound that Isiah Thomas is set to rework the Knicks roster this offseason. Because of that, Mr. Met has been working on his off-balance, fadeaway jumper. Are you looking at this, Mr. Thomas?

Those of you who will be at Shea this weekend should be aware that at times Mr. Met tries to go incognito. Granted, his efforts are about as well disguised as Bobby Valentine's (remember when he glued on a mustache and tried to come back into the dugout after he'd been ejected?), but others are pretty good. Check this out - no, that's not Elvis; that's Mr. Met.

Mr. Met has also asked that we inform all of our New York City visitors of one phrase that everyone in New York has to be comfortable with (note that the gestures are just as important as the words): "Are you talkin' to me?"

In conclusion, while I am looking forward to meeting Mr. Met this weekend, I hope that the Marlins beat up on the Mets all weekend and send Mr. Met (and his Mets) into a free fall.