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The Mets Walk-Offs Player of the Year

I have no interest in awaiting the results of the weekend's games, so I'm declaring the winner of the First Annual Mets Walk-Offs Player of the Year competition right now.

This year's recipient is Omir (President) Santos.

Being named the most valuable player on this team is an honor of which VERY few are worthy, but I find that Santos is the most deserving.

Santos received four fistbumps this season, with those being awarded to the player whose contributions were extremely valuable to a walk-off, walk-up (bottom of 8th) or walk-down (top of 9th/extra innings) victory.

Santos made his 2009 debut in the Mets first walk-off win of the season. With runners on first and second and one out in a tie game on April 17 against the Brewers, Santos did the best possible thing he could, without getting a hit. He dribbled a grounder too slow for the Brewers to start a double play. Milwaukee could get only one out, and the Mets subsequently won the game on Luis Castillo's base hit. The next day, Santos finished off a 1-0 win by completing a strikeout-throwout double play with an impressive peg to second base. A new star was born.

Too often this season, the Mets were rally killers, specializing in making nothing out of something. Santos, for the most part, was an exception to the rule- a guy you could count on to get the runner home with a runner on third and less than two outs. He enters the weekend tied for the team lead with six sacrifice flies.

Entering Friday, the Mets were 33-40 in games that Santos started. They were 34-52 when he didn't start, so the benefits to his presence were significant.

The Mets had one month in which they were a worthy baseball team. In May, they went 19-9 and Santos was an important reason why. They went 12-3 in his 15 starts at catcher. It was a month in which he hit .278 with 14 RBI.

David Wright, Carlos Beltran, and Gary Sheffield all had better numbers that month, but that's something you would expect. The emergence of Santos was totally unexpected.

It's rather frightening when the best thing you can say about a season is that the Mets found themselves a decent backup/platooning catcher for 2009, but that is the case in this season of horrors and hardships.

So we congratulate Omir (President) Santos. He gets our vote for 2009 Mets Walk-Off Player of the Year.

Be advised, our next edition in our series on the top 60 Mets Regular Season HR may be delayed until Tuesday/Wednesday. Thanks for your patience.

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