Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times: 50 Years From The Mets Junk Draw

Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times, has put together a 50 Years From The Mets Junk Draw column that looks at 50 of the best and most interesting moments in Mets history that are not the obvious choices, such as:

 May 2, 1963: Skipper Casey Stengel decides to do something different. He inserts catcher Choo Choo Coleman in the batting order’s leadoff slot. To this day, it’s still the only time any catcher has led off for the Mets. New York wins, 10-3

 WOW  who’da thunk that?  I would have bet either John Stearns or Mackey Sasser would have hit at the top of the order during their Mets career.   I bet Josh Thole hits in the leadoff spot at least once as a Met

Aug. 9, 1963: Jim Hickman hits a walk-off grand slam for the Mets, an achievement that’s extra special because it ends the 18-game losing streak of Roger Craig, the team’s best pitcher in their early horrible years.

Jim Hickman had terrific power and hit some home runs as a Met but the lure of obtaining Brooklyn born and bred (and Boys High baseball and basketball standout) Tommy Davis from the Dodgers was too strong so Hickman was shipped to LA for Davis. Davis by the way played one season for the Mets in 1967 and was dealt in the off season to the White Sox for Tommie Agee and Al Weiss.

Sept. 16, 1975: Since 1950, quite a few baseball games have ended on a walk-off walk, but none have happened as late as this one. The Mets top the Expos 4-3 when Montreal’s Don DeMola walks Del Unser with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 18th inning.

 

It has always seemed to me that the Mets have played more long extra innings games than any other team in baseball history

 

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THE METS KNEE-ED THAT ONE

 

photo courtesy of the NY Daily News

When you haven’t had a walk off win all season you take what you can get, and last night after Frankie Rodriguez came one strike away from saving a stellar start by R.A. Dickey (any of you dinosaurs out there still rely on won-loss record to evaluate starting pitcher’s?) but spit the bit and sent the game into extra innings. It wasn’t until Ginger Turner took one for the team in the 13th taking a pitch to the knee to force home Lucas Duda for the win.

What a game and what a day yesterday. First the news that Ike is not progressing well and we still have to wait three weeks to see if Ike will be back in August or February. Today we get more medical news on David Wright and with the way the Mets luck has been with injuries I wouldn’t be shocked to hear he’s done for the year as well. When you’re a Mets fan it’s “expect the worst and hope for the not so bad”.

All this medical talk has gotten in the way of Mets fans favorite past time, figuring out if Jose Reyes will be traded, re-signed or lost as a free agent. The subject it seems has not been beaten enough so let me give my opinion on the Reyes situation that changes daily:

I want Jose Reyes to stay with the Mets but:

If Sandy Alderson gets bowled over with an offer from a team that feels they are a World Series contender that includes a young ML ready starting pitcher or a top flight number one pitching prospect then he has to make the deal.

If there is no top offer like that then keep Reyes and take a chance you can match any offer he gets in the off season.

Again Mets fan this is not about you, you do not figure in any of the Reyes negotiation. It’s about Reyes and the financial security of his family, it’s about the Mets committing years and money to one player when this team is not one player away from being a winning team , it’s about Reyes making the biggest decision of his life whether to leave the only organization he has ever known to go to parts unknown. So does Reyes take in the old devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know adage, or does he say baseball is baseball and follows the money. Rally’s and signs and t-shirts are nice and shows ownership that there is still passion in the fan base so maybe a small part of the discussion to keep Reyes will be the fan reaction (a/k/a buying tickets) bottom line is Sandy Alderson has to do what’s good for the Mets and Jose Reyes has to do what’s good for the Reyes’s .

Right now it’s all in a holding pattern, check back on July 10ththe last game before the All Star break to see which way the wind blows in Flushing. If the Mets are still part of the Wild Card pack then they could be buyers (a catcher, reliever or if Ike is done for year a right handed bat for 1stBase) if they are also ran’s then the selloff will be on.

Right now let’s concentrate on the Mets beating the A’s today for a series win.

Here is something we can all agree on, we can’t stand Joe Buck and hate when his new gravel voice comes on the FOX Game of the Week. So it is your duty to sign the petition put forth by Matthew Falkenburry of The Daily Stache to have FOX give the World Series play by play job this season to Vin Scully. Since the day I subscribed to MLB Extra Innings I’ve found a new appreciation for Scully doing Dodger games solo. His play by play and storytelling are still spot on. I don’t know if Scully would be up to doing another World Series as he doesn’t travel past Denver to do Dodger games plus we’re dealing with FOX here, a place where closed minds are pre requisite for employment but it’s worth a shot to show FOX and MLB that a change is needed in the national broadcast booth and to send a message to Vinny that baseball fans still love him.

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ROD BARAJAS GETS PAROLED

I don’t know if you heard but the Mets are rebuilding…………shhhhhhhhhhhhhh keep it on the downlow.

Rod Barajas has been emancipated and is on his way home to LA and the team he rooted for as a boy, the Hollywood Bums. This wavier deal works out for everyone as Barajas had a great month or two as a Met and Josh Thole has earned an everyday promotion with Hank White as the sage back up. Too bad Barajas couldn’t sneak Ollie Perez in his suitcase.

Apparently there is a bit of dissension in the Mets clubhouse. First, a few players were upset with HoJo taking them to task and now when Barajas was waving bye-bye, an unnamed Mets player wished he was joining him. When “One Met says” and “an unidentified player” show up, you know the end is near.

“Dant-dadant-dadant-dant-dant, dant-dadant-dan-da” (Flag of Victory) KINER’S KORNER is back!!!!!! Pay attention kids, pay attention!!!!!!

F-Mart is hurt again (you don’t say?) what makes me happy about this is at 52 years old, I’m in better shape than the 21 year old Martinez.

Good bye Sweet Lou, you had a great run.

Vin Scully will be back for another season so that means at least another year of late nights for me watching and listening to Dodgers games via Extra Innings.

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OMAR MINAYA SAYS “THE METS CAN BEAT THE NATS WITH TWO PLAYERS TIED BEHIND THEIR BACKS

A game like last night’s  could only be won against at team like the lowly Washington Nationals. NINE WALKS!!!!!!!!!!! What is this Little League? Even the usually on target Bobby Parnell was off his game last night as he could not place his fastball down and off the plate.

 

I give J- Man credit for he has much more patience than I’d ever have with the way the front office keeps making him play short handed to the point that Livan Hernandez and Mike Pelfrey wore spikes last night in case either pitcher would be needed to pinch run or hit. How embarrassing would it have been if the Mets went to extra innings with a chance to win the game and the choice of the bench to hits was either Livan or Big Pelf?

 

I’m trying to figure out the rational for not DL’ing Reyes now instead of waiting until Friday? Does Omar feel the Nats are so bad he only needs 23 players to beat them? Does Omar feel that Reyes is not hurt as badly as he is letting on and wants him to “man up”? I hope that’s not the case because one thing you can say about Jose Reyes is he never comes out the lineup so he really must be hurting not to be back on the field. As far as Reyes calf injury and now Ryan “The Red Headed Step Child” Church with a hurtin’ hammy maybe it’s time to review the Mets training staff and the stretching routine they’re using.

 

Carlos Beltran is going for an MRI today and lucky for him the Mets are home as the only place they can go for MRI’s is in NYC

 

Of course the red caps that were worn around MLB were for a good cause in helping veterans through the sale of the caps to baseball fans but did all the players have to wear them? Red does not go with everything especially blue and orange. The Mets uni last night looked like an explosion at the Dutch Boy factory.

 

Even the most critical Omar observer (Rich?) has to admit he hit a gold mine by signing Gary Sheffield. But just how long this will last is the question.

 

Rumor has it, there was a kid on the NY Thruway this morning with his thumb out and a cardboard sign that read $iti Field on it.

 

Congrats to Sonia From The Block on being named to the Supreme Court. Judge Sotomayor as you remember she issued an injunction back in 1995 against MLB to stop the owners from implementing a Collective Bargaining Agreement and then opening camps with replacement players saving the game from embarrassment.

 

 

 

 

 

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