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200 Miles From the Citi


December 25, 2011 12:15 AM

Top Ten Stories Of 2011

Sunday Paper (Year 3, Volume LII)

The tradition continues.

It's time again - for the fourth consecutive year at '200 Miles From The Citi' - to look back at the stories that had the largest impact on the blog.

It's an important distinction - impact on the blog from impact, say on the world.  Because a story like Penn State has more of an impact than any of the stories I'm writing about today - but it's not something I wrote very much about here.

So there are other places to turn to for that as a #1 story..here, it's about the stories that impacted the Mets, Jets, and us at '200 Miles From The Citi'.

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(Before we get going, let's not overlook the awesome artwork provided by the Southern Bureau in 2011, not the least of which is the Sunday Paper banner we've been using - though not today, thanks to the above, Christmas-themed Top 10 graphic - and the fact that finally we have some images that rival the competition's. OK.  On with the Top Ten.)

#10 - No Trade, But Departure As A Free Agent

I've written a lot just this month about Jose Reyes, but that's because it's still pretty fresh news that he signed with the Miami Marlins. I'll say it again - I resigned myself long ago to the fact that Jose Reyes would not finish his career with the Mets. I'm not surprised he didn't finish 2011 with them.  Earlier this year, in May, I wrote about how I expected him to be traded before the end of the 2011 season....and how conflicted I felt about it all.

#9 - Carlos Beltran Traded

There was a lot of writing on the wall in 2011 that the makeup of the 2012 team would be different than the 2011 edition.  Carlos Beltran's 7-year contract was expiring, and he, too, was expected to be traded.  This trade happened, and it led to a reflection on his Mets legacy. As 2012 inches closer, so too does the answer to the question, will Beltran's legacy be painted by the success of Zack Wheeler, who the Mets received in return?

#8 - Citi Field Changes

Not only will the Mets look different on the field in 2012, the field will look different behind them.  Again, I wish they hadn't done this so soon...or had thought of doing it before building the park, but as usual with new ballpark features - I can't wait to see what it looks like.

#7 - Brewers Don't Win The World Series

One of the highlights of 2010 for me was correctly picking the Giants to beat the Rangers in the World Series when I made my pre-season picks in March.  I tried to re-create that magic by picking the Brewers to win the 2011 World Series...I fell just short of a World Series appearance there.  (I did happen to correctly pick Ryan Braun as MVP...though that has since been tainted as well.  I'm usually terrible at those post-season award picks, though, which you can see with the rest of my selections. So performance-enhancers or not...I got it.) I picked the Brewers to beat the Angels in the World Series...might have been a year too early with those Angels.

#6 - BU Wins America East Conference

It's not often on this site that we've been able to celebrate a championship, so we'll take whatever we can get.  Dave in Brighton and I were lucky enough to attend (well, I suppose I was lucky enough to be with Dave - he's always lucky with sporting events) the 2011 America East championship, which Boston University won in dramatic fashion to advance to the NCAA Tournament.  Definitely one of the most exciting sporting events I've ever attended.

#5 - Jets In 2011

A season that started with such high expectations is drawing to a close.  After yesterday, it's looking like a disappointing close.  I'll weigh in on that as the week goes on.  Not today though.  For crying out loud, it's Christmas.

#4 - Last Day Of The MLB Regular Season

One of the rare overlaps between my end-of-year list and everyone else's.  And there's a good reason for it: We'll never see anything like it again.

#3 - Jets Lose AFC Championship Again

There was probably a time where I would have hands-down taken the Jets simply appearing in back-to-back AFC Championship Games, no matter the outcome...so long as the Jets would stop being awful.  Call me ungrateful, call me a sellout...but after another AFC Championship Game loss - this one to the Steelers - simply getting there is not enough.  The losses hurt too much.

#2 - Gary Carter

Hall of Famer Gary Carter always finds his way into this countdown, usually for his minor league managing successes.  I'd rather he didn't make it this year, because it's for his illness rather than baseball-related news. It's a hard truth to see your hero as vulnerable.  And it's been nice to see others rally around Carter, but I still don't think the Mets should be retiring his number. And it's simply amazing that I (and other fans) can keep up-to-date on his condition with this website kept up by his daughter.

#1 - The Mets Mess

The Mets were THE story of 2011 on the blog...whether or not I wrote about them all the time.  There was the beginning and the end of my boycott, a protest in response to the financial fallout of the Wilpons' involvement in the Bernie Madoff pyramid scheme..and the fact that the Wilpons said they were not going to sell the team.  Mix in Fred Wilpon's controversial comments to the 'New Yorker' and the ensuing fallout, and, well, the Mets were the blog's top story in 2011.

From a personal standpoint, 2011 also featured the birth of my third daughter.  It's been a busy year....as you might have been able to tell by the decrease in postings.  But I've tried to hit on what's been important...and I'll try to increase the production in 2012.  (No children scheduled to be born. That'll help.)

2012 will kick off with a Jets must-win - and must-get-help - scenario.  Maybe next year's top highlight will be the wild finish to the 2011 regular season...and the Jets lucking into a playoff berth.  Hey - I can dream.  It's Christmas, for crying out loud.

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