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SI Extra

Joy Ride

Fueled by putdowns and cutups, the slaphappy Mets -- a franchise whose revival is way ahead of schedule -- are dominating the National League

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With plenty of clutch hitting -- such as this walk-off homer by Beltran (center) -- the Mets opened up a 12-game lead in the NL East.
With plenty of clutch hitting -- such as this walk-off homer by Beltran (center) -- the Mets opened up a 12-game lead in the NL East.
Kathy Willens/AP

Through the doors to the New York Mets' clubhouse enter the young and the ancient, the slow and the swift, the homegrown and the mercenary, the charitable and the thrifty, the beautiful and (by official team balloting) the ugly, but never, for goodness' sake, the easily insulted.  ... To get immediate access to this complete story you must be a SPORTS ILLUSTRATED magazine subscriber. If you are not currently a subscriber, see below for a special offer.

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