Mets roll out some future stars, among them a Dykstra (no relation)
The Mets lost to the Milwaukee Brewers, 4-2, on Friday night after starter Carlos Torres surrendered first-inning home runs to Norichika Aoki and Khris Davis.
But enough about the present. What about the future, and whether it somehow might circle back to those exciting days of yesteryear?
Before the game, the Mets honored 13 of their top prospects in the minor leagues, including their organizational co-player of the year, Allan Dykstra.
Echoes of the 1986 World Series champs, no? An heir to that quintessential scrapper from the '86 team, Lenny Dykstra? A hint of dynastic possibility?
"My whole life I've been asked that," said Allan Dykstra, 26. "And when I got traded to the Mets . . ." Originally signed by San Diego, he was sent to the Mets' farm system in 2011, and to many fans, it sounded like fate.
"Because Wally [Backman] was my manager [at Binghamton in 2011], people were, like, 'Oh, Wally and your dad were friends on the '86 Mets.' "
In his first professional game, Allan Dykstra was playing first base against the Milwaukee affiliate, whose leadoff hitter that day was one Cutter Dykstra, who singled.
"Fitting," Allan Dykstra said. "At first base, I said to him, 'Good to finally meet you.' Everybody always asks, 'Are you Cutter's brother? Lenny's son?' "
The answer is no. They do not remotely resemble one another. Lenny Dykstra played centerfield for the Mets at 5-10, 160 pounds; Allan Dykstra is 6-5, 215. Lenny played with a gigantic chaw of tobacco in his mouth; Allan doesn't touch the stuff.
But people saw the last name and wondered about Allan's connection to the old Met, who went from a career of folklore dimensions, nicknamed "Nails," to landing in prison for bankruptcy fraud and money laundering.
"Some of the fans had a good time with it," Allan said. "There's been places where I'd step out of the batter's box and hear, 'Don't worry. We Googled you and we know your dad's not in jail.' Some people get a little carried away."
At the Eastern League All-Star Game, Allan said he considered marking his identification placard at interview sessions with "Allan (no relation) Dykstra" -- to "save everybody the trouble," he said.
On to the future, then:
Those 13 prospects, dressed in Mets uniforms and all wearing No. 13 to participate in Friday night's batting practice, included Dykstra, who hit .274 with 21 home runs and 82 RBIs for Binghamton and was named the EL's MVP, and Mets minor-league co-player of the year Kevin Plawecki, a catcher who hit a combined .305 for Class A Savannah and St. Lucie.
Mets manager Terry Collins made it clear that none of the 13 should be expected to make the big club next spring, but said: "The future is coming and it's going to be here fast. And it's going to start with pitching."
Prominent among the 13, in fact, were Binghamton pitchers Noah Syndergaard (9-4, 133 strikeouts in 117 2/3 innings) and Jeff Walters (38 saves, leading all minor-leaguers) and Savannah's Gabriel Ynoa (17 wins and the South Atlantic League's most outstanding pitcher).
"The future is bright," Collins said. "There's light at the end of the tunnel here."
He won't consider Mets success a form of mistaken identity.
Notes & quotes: David Wright, who was hit in the helmet by a pitch from Johnny Hellweg Thursday night, did not suffer a concussion, the Mets said. But Wright jammed his right thumb while falling from the pitch's blow. Unable to attempt batting practice, he was held out of Friday night's game.