And so the Washington Nationals left New York yesterday with the best record in the National league (needing just one more win to match their 2008 and 2009 win totals). In their wake, they left a reeling Mets team and billions of pixels comparing Davey Johnson's 2012 squad with Davey Johnson's 1984 squad, and the dual-phenom phenomenon of Harper-Strasburg/Strawberry-Gooden, etc.
Here's Dwight Gooden, quoted in this morning's Wall Street Journal piece "The 1984 Mets Reincarnated in D.C.":
"In '84 we were building chemistry and learning how to win close games. It's about coming together and understanding how to win. That's what the Nationals are doing now."
(Dwight Gooden, via WSJ.com, 7/26/2012)
But there are plenty of differences. In this ESPN NY piece ("Harper, Strasburg recall Doc, Straw"), Davey talks about the differences -- most notably the impending Strasburg shutdown, something he never had to deal with with Gooden:
"NAH, I'm not going to get into any of that spacing CRAP!" Johnson interrupted, his voice suddenly rising. "I'm not discussing anymore what's happening in a month! I know people are interested, but it's something that's seven, eight starts from now. Why even talk about it, you know?"
But what if you shut him down for a period of time now, the same reporter persisted a few minutes later, so you could have Strasburg back for the postseason?
"No -- no!" Johnson said. "You just don't do that. If you're trying to take care of an arm, you don't shut somebody down and then crank 'em back up. What we're trying to do is have him for a long time. So jockeying him around, putting him in as the fourth starter, missing starts -- that's not good for THAT."
(via ESPNNY.com, 7/25/2012)