Well, Mets’ fans, we have endured another very difficult season watching our favorite team struggle night-in and night-out. Last night, the team saw their 2-1 lead be shattered by a 7-run Braves’ fifth inning, highlighted by Luis Castillo’s error on a routine double play ball.
With the big club basically going through the motions at this point, Mets’ fans can turn to another source to watch exciting, meaningful baseball. The Brooklyn Cyclones are New York’s other winning team, despite being the Minor League Single-A affiliate of the Mets.
Just this week, the Cyclones clinched their fifth McNamara division title of the New York-Penn League. For the year, they are 47-22, 12 games ahead of the second place team.
More importantly, this team is exciting. Yes, I know, it may only be the minor leagues, but I have never seen a team with more will to fight back than this year’s Cyclones. Maybe the overpaid superstars on the major league level can learn a thing or two about how the game should truly be played?
For example, last night the Cyclones trailed the Vermont Lake Monsters 4-3 going into the bottom of the seventh (it was only a seven inning game). First Basemen Jeff Flagg stepped in and crushed a walk-off 3-run homer to left to seal the victory for Brooklyn. The emotion and energy-level the Cyclones’ displayed shows just how much this team wants to win.
The Cyclones are managed by former Met great Wally Backman. Backman played an integral role as the second baseman and No. 2 hitter for the Mets’ 1986 World Series Championship team. Wally is the perfect skipper for this group of young men. Though he is fiery and vocal about his opinion, he possesses the necessary baseball knowledge to be successful, as shown by his team’s performance. Though rumors have swirled about Backman possibly replacing Jerry Manuel on the big club, Wally seems perfectly content winning consistently in Brooklyn.
Cory Vaughn, son of former Major-Leaguer Greg Vaughn, leads the Cyclones’ offensive attack. He’s hitting .304 with 13 HR and 50 RBI in only 66 games. He’s an offensive powerhouse just like his dad and plays a very sound right field. Center fielder Darrell Ceciliani leads the league with a .347 BA and is always fun to watch due to his all-out hustle and goofy antics. Chris Hilliard leads the pitching staff, racking up nine wins in 13 starts.
While time will tell if these players are able to rise through the ranks and someday make the majors, they are still much more exciting to watch than the Mets (even though some may claim that watching paint dry is more exciting than watching the Mets these last few weeks).
Brooklyn will enter the postseason September 7 in an attempt to capture their second NYPL title. Thanks to the Mets, the Cyclones will be the only “National League” playoff team coming out of New York.
The Cyclones have produced several major leaguers in their 10 year history including current Mets’ outfielder Angel Pagan, first baseman Ike Davis, and gas-throwing reliever Bobby Parnell, among others.
So when all else fails Mets’ fans and you still want to watch some exciting baseball, head down to Coney Island, grab a hot dog, and watch the Brooklyn Cyclones in the playoffs.
About the Author
Written by Jim Mancari
James (Jim) Mancari hails from Massapequa, NY. He graduated from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA with degrees in History and Kinesiology. Jim currently is pursuing a Master's degree in Journalism at Hofstra University (Hempstead, NY). He is a devout Mets fan and takes pride in his team, despite their lack of success over the last few years. Like all Mets' fans, Jim has plenty of hope. Jim also writes for the NJ Nets on this site. He can be contacted at email@example.com. He appreciates and respects additional opinions.