200 Miles From the Citi

December 30, 2012 12:07 AM

Top Ten Stories Of 2012

Sunday Paper (Year 4, Volume LIII)

Believe it or not, this is the fifth straight year I've done a year-ending list of the top stories at 200 Miles From The Citi.

It was a pretty eventful year, considering the narrow scope of this list: Remember - you're not going to find huge stories here - just the ones that made news on the blog in 2012.

A highlight of the year for me? When I was in Washington to watch the Mets play the Nationals this year, and I took my middle daughter to the middle game of the 3-game series. It went so well we were able to talk my oldest daughter into attending a game at Citi Field in August. Easily the best part of 2012 for me - my sister, brother-in-law, nephew, and my parents were there too - I hope we can make this a new family tradition...and make it so that my brother can join us too.

But that doesn't make the Top 10 for the site. Here's what did.



Wait - before we start, allow me an honorable mention: These weren't part of a huge story for the blog, but I came across them and rather enjoyed re-reading them. In 2012 Fenway Park celebrated its 100th anniversary and I wrote about what the Park means to me, highlighting my first visits to the Park and illustrating my experiences with some pictures. OK, on with the Top 10: 

#10 - The New York Rangers

Hockey doesn't get a ton of play on the blog, but last spring was pretty fun, as the Rangers flirted with the Stanley Cup Finals before losing to the Devils in the Eastern Conference Finals. Of course, part of the reason hockey doesn't get much play on the site is because it's a boneheaded league, illustrated by the fact that I haven't been able to see the Rangers play again this year since then thanks to the lockout.

#9 - Jets Get Tebow

This could have been a huge deal. When it happened back in March, it certainly brimmed with possibilities. Unfortunately, the naysayers were right - Tebow turned out to be more distraction than asset. He's as much an afterthought on this list as he's been in the Jets offense.

#8 - Washington's Run

Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, the saying goes. And I suppose that my baseball picks are slowly slipping away from "close" - after predicting the World Series matchup and winner in 2010, my Brewers pick lasted until the NLCS in 2011 and my Nationals pick this year fizzled in the NLDS. But, come on - no one had the Nationals winning the East. (Just like few had the Brewers like I did last year and fewer had Giants-Rangers the year before like I did.) So I think it merits mentioning as a highlight of the year. When you watch the Nationals make a (probably deeper) post-season run in 2013...remember I was in on the ground floor. (I guess here is where I can throw the link to my visit to Washington for the aforementioned series with the Mets.)

#7 - Injuries To Revis And Holmes

The next two entries on our list are pretty much the Jets' season in a nutshell. The 2012 season in and of itself isn't worth a number...but the major contributing factors are. The tone was set in September when in consecutive weeks the Jets lost both Darrelle Revis and Santonio Holmes (I'm so disenfranchised with Holmes I didn't even write about him, I don't think) to injury...

#6 - Rex Finally Benches Sanchez

...And it continued straight through the benching of Mark Sanchez this month. This came in a year when I certainly doubted whether Sanchez could be effective at all anymore. I'm afraid he lost one of his biggest defenders in me with his performance this season. Although there is plenty of blame to go around on this team, that's for sure. And it's only fitting that in today's season finale, it's Sanchez again getting the start under center. What a disaster of a season.

#5 - The Debut Of Matt Harvey

Had Matt Harvey had a pedestrian call-up for the Mets, one of those "Let's just see what we have here" type call-ups, this would not have been an event that merited mention here. But Harvey was electrifying in his Major League debut. And he was exciting right through his final start when the Mets shut him down for the year. One of the bright spots for the 2012 Mets.

#4 - A Met For Life

Another bright spot came after the 2012 season ended, when the Mets announced they had signed David Wright to a contract extension that will most likely keep him with the team for the rest of his playing career...and, both sides seem to hope, beyond. 

#3 - R.A. Dickey

Any other year and the season R.A. Dickey had would have merited the top spot on a countdown like this. But a lot happened this year. And a lot happened involving Dickey. It started with his memoir, which I finally got around to reading this summer. That was after some amazing pitching by Dickey, a season which culminated in his winning the Cy Young Award (it's a bullet point in the Sunday Paper I linked to). Well, regular season, I should say. Because in the off-season, he was traded to Toronto. Mets fans will remember Dickey's 2012 season mainly because he was so fun to watch, but the lasting legacy may in fact turn out to be how his trade brought back young talent that contributed towards future success.

#2 - A Mets No-Hitter

In the season in which the Mets celebrated their 50th anniversary, they finally had a no-hitter. And, again, any other year and this most certainly would have been the top story of the year. Funny enough, in late April I was going away for a week for work, and I laid out the conditions in which I would not want a Mets no-hitter to take place (and introduced the phrase: "Did you have lima beans for lunch?") A little more than a month later Johan Santana made history for the Mets. It may not have been exactly the way I wanted it to happen, but a Mets pitcher finally threw a no-hitter. Now we wait for the second one.

#1 - Gary Carter Dies

It partly seems unreal that I'm writing about this again, and partly it seems like it was so much longer than 10 months ago that Gary Carter passed away. We remembered him on the site through much of February, both virtually and with a visit to Citi Field. And then his memorial service was streamed online and I became a huge fan of Johnny Bench

Hopefully the number one event of 2013 will be a little happier. I certainly have a front-runner for that position::

But I may not be writing about it here. I think I'm going to take a break from the blog. I'm excited about another project for 2013, and it will occasionally incorporate sports, but I can't keep this going at the same time. (Perhaps you are not all that surprised, as regular postings here have dwindled down to just the Sunday Paper.)  If the Mets turn out to be great in 2013, who knows if I'll end up writing about it...but I'll let you know if that happens. (And faithful readers know, I tried to say goodbye to the blog once before - that lasted less than two months. So you never know what will happen.)

You can keep tabs on me and my new project here, and I'll be posting updates about all of that on Twitter @jsucich. I'm excited about it, and I'd be happy if you came along for the ride. It starts on January 1st. Thanks for reading all these years.

Happy New Year.

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