It's Miami in 1986, and a young Alex Rodriguez spends countless hours tuning in to WHN, then the Mets' radio home, to root for his favorite team. He'd try to stay up and watch Kiner's Korner, too, but that was harder to sell to his mom, who said, "Kiner's Korner is important, but we've got to get you up for school."
Twenty-nine years later, Rodriguez, 40, is on the Fox broadcast team as the Mets attempt to win their first world championship since '86.
The similarities between those Mets and this year's team are fascinating, A-Rod said on Monday. He's just not 100 percent sure the result will be the same.
Asked for his prediction, he said, "I'm still thinking about that. You think about corner infielders David Wright and Keith Hernandez being captains. You think about the star power and buzz at Citi Field. An electric place to go to, much different than in past years . . .
"The one thing that resembles the most for me is the once-in-a-lifetime power pitchers that the Mets had in '86 and in 2015. If you ask people who watched the '86 Mets, they say these guys are probably going to win three or four championships in the next five years."
So it's all settled, then. Matt Harvey can play Dwight Gooden and Jacob deGrom can do his best Ron Darling, and history will repeat itself, right, A-Rod? Not so fast.
"The other night [Eric] Hosmer hits the base hit to rightfield and you have Lorenzo Cain flying around third base. If you blink for a second, you can see George Brett with that base hit and Willie Wilson running around third," he said. "The Mets are going to be pushed and challenged in a way they haven't been pushed before."
Play-by-play man Joe Buck tends to agree. A lot has been made of the Royals' ability to hit power pitching, and they had a major league-low 973 strikeouts. The ball will be put in play. The Mets, Buck noted, lost shortstop Ruben Tejada. And for all of Daniel Murphy's feats, "before October rolled around, Mets fans were moaning and groaning about his defense."
The only prediction Buck would make: "To me, this is going to be a long series."
That's good news for A-Rod, who said he took the Fox job once he realized he was going to watch every game and talk back to his TV anyway.
"We're very lucky in this World Series,'' he said. "It's not often that you get the best two teams and the hottest two teams to play in the World Series. This is fascinating."