My Recap of The NY Mets All-Time Team Annoucement Show

Last night I attended the naming of the All Time Mets team at the 92nd St Y. The venue was terrific as was the host for the evening, Kevin Burkhardt  Mets voices Gary Cohen and Howie Rose who joined Burkhardt on stage to talk about voting for the team and to greet and interview the honorees who attended the event.

Although the show was announced as a sellout, there were many seats in the first three or five rows that were empty. Since this show was being recorded to be shown on SNY this Thursday night, a frantic SNY director was offering seat upgrades galore so there would not be any empty seats shown on TV. The Mets should implement this exercise at Citi Field.

For the most part the results of the voting went the way you’d expect, so let’s look at the nominees and the winners:

First Base nominees :

Ed Kranepool, Keith Hernandez, John Olerud, Dave Kingman

Of course my heart says Kranepool and Olerud was a great all around player but a short tenure as a Met and Kingman? I’d rather have seen Willie Montanez nominated. The winner of course was Keith Hernandez, who came on stage and as you might suspect, was quite engaging. His story on coming to Mets and why he stayed are classic. I won’t spoil the show for you folks so I won’t relay any of the stories but I’ll tell you this it’s a must see program.

2nd Base nominees:

Edgardo Alfonzo, Felix Milian, Doug Flynn, Wally Backman

No secret I love Howie and Gary not only because they are great announcers but they are also my contemporaries as a Mets fan.  After the nominees were announced, Howie mentioned Ron Hunt and how he was as worthy of being on that list with the other nominees. Gary then spoke about watching Milian and how he held the Mets record for hits in a season for the longest time. The winner here was no surprise, Fonzi.

Shortstop nominees:

Bud Harrelson, Raphael Santana, Rey Ordonez, Jose Reyes

Reyes is the winner but Gary told the audience how Harrelson was his favorite Mets player of all time and it took all his resolve to vote with his head and no his heart. By the way the voters were Howie and Gary along with Mike Vaccaro of the NY Post, Mike Lupica of the Daily News and Marty Noble of MLB.com

3rd base nominees:

Charley Smith, Roy Staiger, Lenny Randle, Felix Mantila

Do I really have to tell you who won this one?

Catcher nominees:

Jerry Grote, Gary Carter, Todd Hundley, Mike Piazza

This is where my middle aged head and heart becomes very stubborn.  I am a Jerry Grote fan then, now and always, so if I was on the voting committee I’d vote Grote and then leave the room. The winner was Mike Piazza who should be the next Mets player enshrined on Cooperstown. Now all of the players named to the Mets All-Time team were present at the event except for the one’s still active that sent their thanks and humble acceptance via video message, the only no show in person or on video was Piazza. I’ve not seen or heard a reason why Piazza didn’t show or at least send a video but as many of you know I am not a Mike Piazza fan and its things like this (and other’s) as to why I’m not.

Left Field nominees:

Cleon Jones, George Foster, Kevin McReynolds, Cliff Floyd

The winner was Cleon Jones. As I posted on Saturday, I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with Cleon this past Friday night at Citi Field so I was very happy he was named to the Mets All Time Team as the left fielder. Gary Cohen spoke of McReynolds as one of the most talented players to ever wear a Mets uni but his personality convened a guy who wished he was someplace else. Cohen was 100 % on point. The baseball cliché of the “5 Tool Player” fits McReynolds to a tee, but K-Mac had two huge flaws, he played the game like it was a job he didn’t enjoy and he hated NYC. That was a real shame as if he had a bit of passion for the game and opened his mind to what the city and region had to offer he may have been one of the best players in Mets history.

Center Field nominees:

Tommy Agee, Mookie Wilson, Lenny Dysktra, Carlos Beltran

If Beltran never signed with the Mets, this would have been a very interesting category as I bet they would have nominated Lee Mazzilli at which point I’d have gotten violently ill. Thank you Carlos. By the way, Beltran sent a video thanking the voters and fans for this great honor and he also wished he could have been healthier during his Mets career. Beltran is one of those players who won’t be recognized for his contributions until he retires . He’s kind of a Phil Simms of the Mets

Right Field nominees:

Ron Swoboda, Rusty Staub, Bobby Bonilla, Darryl Strawberry

Mets fans are not shy about showing their emotions. When Bonilla’s name was announced there was a loud grown of disgust from the crowd. It got me to think, who is the most hated Met of all time? Bonilla is right there along with Jeff Kent who was also a  world class asshole, Richie Hebner or Armando Beneitez  and I guess I’d put McReynolds on that list as well. Oh yeah Straw was the pick.

Right Handed Reliever:

Skip Lockwood, Neil Allen, Armando Benitez, Roger McDowell

I think Kevin Burkhardt was slightly embarrassed when he read Benitez’ name as I thought the crowd was going to burst into a BULLSHIT chant. Gary Cohen represented for us old guys when he spoke of how good a reliever Lockwood was but then he spoiled it by trying to justify Benitez on the list. The winner was McDowell who sent a nice video acceptance but no hot foot.

Left Handed Reliever nominees:

John Franco, Tug McGraw, Jesse Orossco, Randy Myers

When I saw the nominees I was hoping for either Tug or Jesse but I thought this was going to go to Franco. I was pleasantly surprised when it was announced that Tug McGraw was the winner. Tim McGraw sent a video of thanks and Tug’s son Mark and his brother Hank were both there to accept in Tug’s behave and Hank’s stories was outstanding.

Left Handed Starting Pitcher nominees:

Jerry Koosman, Jon Matlack, Sid Fernandez, Al Leiter

Had to be Koos.  Matlack, El Sid and Leiter were worthy Mets but Koos was as strong and as tough as any pitcher of his era as a Met. Koos was also a guy who earned the rep as a big game pitcher

Right Handed Starting Pitcher nominees:

Tom Seaver, Dwight Gooden, Ron Darling, David Cone

He was then, he is now, and he will always be THE FRANCHISE. It’s a shame they didn’t just do this as the All-Time Mets pitching rotation so Doc could have gotten the acclaim he deserves but it’s hard when you are in the same category as THE FRANCHISE! Seaver was in excellent form, as funny and animated as I’ve seen him in a long time. Seaver knows he was great and he knows he is still the greatest player in the history of this franchise and as he gets older he has taken on that role with a lot of pride. I know how much he loves taking care of his vineyard and how he loves to be home on the West Coast but I just wish he come around Citi Field more often like how Ralph Kiner is doing now. I can’t tell you how fortunate I feel knowing I watched Seaver pitch, same with Doc when both pitchers took the mound, it was a special event.

Manager nominees:

Casey Stengel, Gill Hodges, Davey Johnson, Bobby Valentine

How the hell did they get this wrong? Believe me I love Davey and I will never have a bad word to say about him but how could you not name Gil Hodges as the All-Time Mets Manager? When Seaver came out on stage his jovial mood changed when he started speaking about Hodges. Seaver was choked with emotion and said he knew he start crying once he started talking about Hodges and when he said how he wished “Gil was here with me right now” I have to say my eyes were a bit runny as well. It’s tough enough dealing with the disrespect Hodges gets from the Baseball Hall of Fame voters but to be snub like this for a Mets voting committee is even more disturbing.

 

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WALLY BACKMAN, STILL PART OF THE FAMILY

As expected, Wally Backman will remain in the Mets organization as manager of the Binghamton Mets. Although there was an outcry in the some parts Metsville on Backman getting the big league job as skipper, a jump from managing short season team to a Double A team is very impressive.

Nothing sparks debate better than a list of all time players and Mike Silva has stoked the fire of Mets fans hearts with his Top 50 All Time Mets list. I will be quite curious to read the comments on Mike site over this list as I found out with Kerrel Copper writing about retiring Ed Kranepool’s #7, there is a bit of a generation gap between the guys of my generation and the 20-30 something Mets fans. 2011 will be the 25th Anniversary of the 1986 World Champs, that means the twenty something’s have never witnessed a Mets parade down the Canyon of Heroes (my old ass has seen both Mets parades) and the thirty something’s  have a vague memory of the festive day on Broadway. I don’t blame the younger Mets fans for getting tired of old farts like myself waxing poetic about the Mets of yesteryear but then again don’t discount the players of the era either.  

By the way, I e-mailed Mike with my displeasure of John Franco being ranked higher that Ed Kranepool on his list.  Same with Johan Santana at #20, a bit high. Tug McGraw and Rusty Staub should definitely be ranked higher than Santana.  Jerry Grote at #30?  Com’on way tooooooooo low and by the way all you kids better get off my lawn. What about George Theodore, Joel Youngblood, Ron Swoboda, Ron Hunt and Dennis Ribant, okay Ribant is a reach.          

The best part about the end of the holidays is that the Mets front office should be open for business next week and maybe we can start seeing some signings or trades for pitchers. Yeah I’m beyond antsy.

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TAKE A CYBER MONDAY BREAK FOR SOME METS MUSSINGS

 

On this date in 1966, the Mets traded Jim Hickman and Ron Hunt to the Dodgers for the pride of Boy’s High in Brooklyn, Tommy Davis. Davis lasted one season with the Mets as he was delt along with Jack Fisher to the White Sox for Tommie Agee and Al Weis .

I think we can now stop with all the questions of Terry Collins about the 1999 Angels and his eight year old DUI. I give Collins a lot of credit and it shows he has patients as I would have told the media to go fuck off by now.  Collins has also shown he won’t throw players under the bus as in all the stories you hear about that Angels team, the main culprit in the uprising was Mo Vaughn, one of the biggest fucking quitters in baseball history.  

Nice to see Ollie Perez is the Tom Seaver of the Mexican Winter League. Maybe Sandy Alderson can work out a deal with any team in the Mexican League for Perez. I’d take a couple of roosters (for cock fighting purposes, of course) two cases of Bohemia Beer and an enchilada to be named later.

Ed Ryan makes the case that Carlos Beltran’s contract might not be so prohibited that he could be dealt. The way Ed puts it out there, with the Mets picking up $5mil of the deferred dough in the deal that would live Beltran owed $13 mil for the season.   Would Theo Epstein be an interested buyer?

I wouldn’t be looking for John Maine Bobble Head Day on the 2011 promotional schedule.

R.I.P. Frank Drebin and don’t call me Shirley.

Joe Janish brings up a name from the past RHP Pedro Beato, that at one time had my blood boil. Beato pitched for Xaverian H.S. in Bay Ridge and was drafted by the Mets, who due to their lock step way with the Used Car Salesman, were talked out of going over slot to sign him. Beato went back into the draft the next year, and was drafted by the Orioles who had no problem going over slot to give the right handed putcher the same $1mil bonus the Mets were told they couldn’t give out. Well, Beato could be a Rule 5’er and maybe an interesting pitcher to place in the Mets bullpen for 2011.

Who has December 1 in the “When will Pat Riley take over as coach of the Heat”?

Finally an athlete figures out that God doesn’t give a shit about a sporting event.

Javier Vasquez signs a one year deal with the Fish for $7mil with a no trade clause (duh!) and a provision that the Fish cannot offer Vasquez arbitration. Not bad for a suck ass pitcher.

Tom Brady is the NFL MVP and the best QB in the game and one of the three best of all time (Johnny Unitas, Joe Montana, then Brady who is ready to move past Montana) if you want to argue this, talk to the hand.

Joe Posnanski hits another blog post out of the park, this time taking on the “closer”. I’m really, really hoping that the new Mets brain trust thinks like Posnanski and uses Frankie Rodriguez (if he’s still with the team) in the 7th and or 8th inning.

Tonight is hockey night as I’m headed to MSG for Rangers-Penguins. If you are not of the hockey fan persuasion, the NY Rangers are what we could hope the Mets will be in 2011. They have a lot of young, talent and dedicated players, who while learning the ropes of the NHL, grind out game after game. They have two superstars in Henrik Lundqvist  and Marian Gaborik and two young players in Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan, who are having break out seasons on the ice and in the locker room as the new leaders of this team. The team also sticks up for one and other (something that has not been seen with the Rangers in years) and are becoming a tough team to play. Cindy Crosby better have some vagina protection on tonight.

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ON AUGUST 30TH 1964 THE METS PLAYED THE CUBS AT WRIGLEY FIELD JUST LIKE TODAY BUT WHICH METS LINEUP WAS BETTER ?

Here is the lineup Jerry Manuel wil send out against the Cubs today:

Pagan, cf
Castillo, 2b
Murphy, 1b
Francoeur, rf
Reed, lf
Tatis, 3b
Schneider, c
Hernandez, ss
Figueroa, rhp

Here is the lineup that Casey Stengel used on this date in 1964:

Bobby Klaus 3B

Ron Hunt 2B

Ed Kranepool 1B

George Altman LF

Joe Christopher RF

Chris Cannizaro C

Roy McMillian SS

Denis Ribant P

At 1B Murphy or Krane? I’m a big Murphy fan but really who where my alliances lies here,

2B-Ron Hunt was THE MAN back then. The first Mets All Star when All Star meant something his numbers in ’64 .303/.357/.406  and was as tough as they come

3B- Tatis big over Klauss

SS-Roy McMillan couldn’t hit but had a great glove. AHern can’t hit and used to have a great glove. Roy Mac for me.

LF Jeremy Reed get a rare start from Manuel why this guy got burried with all the injuries is a story that should be told. I know the guy is no ball of fire but who  did he piss off to get burried as he has on this team. George Altman spent one year with the Mets. He was traded to the Mets from the Cardinals for Roger (Hum Baby) Graig. I’ll take Reed as a pity pick

CF Jim Hickman had some very good season with the Cubs once he left the Mets. Angel Pagan seems to have gotten the message that he needs to play ball to the wall baseball everyday if he wants to stick around that’s a credit to Jerry Manuel . I’ll take Pagan as this is Jim Hickman 1964 not Hickman 1970

RF-Joe Christopher and Frenchy Francouer. Believe it or not Christopher hit .300/.360/.466 with 16 HR and 76 RBI for the Mets in ’64. This was tough but I’ll take Christopher

C-Not even close Chris Cannazaro BIG over Schneider

P-Nelly Figs has done well and Dennis Ribant was just a rookie with a 1-5 W/L and a 5.15 ERA Go with Figgy

So my score card reads 5-4 1964 Mets

what do you think?


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I’M OFF TO $ITI FIELD

Going to root for the Good Ollie today and hopefully a sweep of a team in the Nats that make the 1962 Mets look like world beaters. I thought I had a tough time drumming the “Fundies” of baseball into the head of 13 yr olds my heart goes out to Manny Acta with that group he has.

The Mets Police has done it again and exposed the Skill Sets as clueless. First he reports that he paid $25 bucks for ar $15.00 seat at the $iti Field box office (this is a Marx Brothers Night of the Races scenario as Chico sells his tuti fruty ice-a cream at the track ) and then shows the gall of the Mets to charge Ron Hunt the first All Star in Mets history $869 for two seats from Shea that he asked for.

The Clueless Skill Sets strike again.

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