Old news:

On this day [Spetember 15, 2006] two years ago, the Mets’ lineup card included Jason Phillips, Eric Valent, Wilson Delgado and Jeff Keppinger.

The manager, Art Howe, was about to be fired. The general manager, Jim Duquette, was about to be demoted. The team was 20 games under .500, having endured the worst homestand in its history and the kind of ridicule now reserved for the Knicks.

The Mets’ top prospect, Scott Kazmir, had been traded for an injured pitcher. The top young player, Josť Reyes, was out with the seventh injury to his lower body. One of the relievers, Mike DeJean, was out because he had been allowed to pitch on a broken leg.

Left fielder Cliff Floyd summed up the state of the Mets at the time when he said, ”There isn’t any light at the end of the tunnel right now.”

Two years later, the Mets can see all the bright lights of the postseason. They are on the verge of clinching the National League East and winning their first division championship in 18 years. As they head to Pittsburgh, their magic number is down to 1.

No matter how the Mets fare in the playoffs, they will be defined by the speed of their turnaround. Major League Baseball has seen teams go from last place to first place in a year, but rarely has an organization recast itself so thoroughly in such a short time.

But doesn’t Jim Duquette ’88 deserve at least a little credit for the good season that the Mets had?

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