“Ya Gotta Remember” The 1973 NL Pennant Winners the NY Mets

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I haven’t seen nor heard anything pertaining to the NY Mets having a day/night to honor the 1973 NL Pennant winners.   I really hope that there is something in the works to bring back the surviving members of that team for a celebratory remembrance.   It would an awful shame to let this 40th Anniversary of the “Ya Gotta Believe” Mets   go unnoticed by the organization the ’73 team’s season for its comeback ability should be given be revered and honored just like the ’69 and ’86 champions as the Ya Gotta Believe mantra of Tug McGraw was no showboat move it was what had this team come together to have one of the great runs not just in Mets history but baseball history as well.

The ’73 Mets were awful from May to July winning 32 games and losing 49 with the low make of the season coming on July 4th when the Mets found themselves 12.5 games behind the first place Chicago Cubs in the NL East. July was still a bad month for the team as they put up a dismal 12-18 record but from August on the Mets went 49-22 while all the other NL East teams went into the dumper no team hit the skids worse than the Cubs who went an astonishing awful 30-52 during that stretch.

This team was no offensive juggernaut that’s for sure with Rusty Staub the leading hitter driving in 76 runs on 12 HR and a .781 OPS. John “The Hammer” Milner lead the team with 23 HR and 72 RBI and surprisingly Wayne Garrett hit 16 HR as well. The club was in the bottom third of every offensive statistic in the league that year except for Walks where they had the 6th best rate in the NL.

What ran this Mets team in ’73 was the pitching especially a solid stable of left-handed pitching plus The Franchise. Jerry Koosman, Jon Matlack and George Stone supported the Ace Tom Seaver in the rotation , one of the best in baseball that year, along with swing man and veteran pitcher Ray Sadecki and of course their Fireman (that’s what the closer was known as back then) Tug McGraw.

1973 was also the swan song or Willie Mays who after a few embarrassing missteps in centerfield knew it was “time to say good bye to America”.

How great would a day at Citi Field be to honor this Pennant winning Mets team by having Willie Mays, Yogi Berra, Rusty Staub, Jerry Grote, Wayne Garrett , Ed Kranepool and of course The Franchise, Tom Seaver  etc. on the field for a pre-game ceremony?

Please, please, please we cannot let this anniversary go without a day of remembrance. It’s already a big disappointment that a Salute to ’73 day is not on the season calendar already.

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R.A. DICKEY TO RECEIVE THE YA GOTTA BELIEVE AWARD AT METS WELCOME HOME DINNER

The greatness that is R. A. Dickey, will be rewarded this Sunday night at the Mets Welcome Home Dinner, at the New York Hilton, as Dickey receives the Ya Gotta Believe Award. He is the press release issued by the Mets:

The New York Mets today announced they will hold their annual Welcome Home Dinner to benefit the Mets Foundation this Sunday, April 10 at 6:00 p.m. at the New York Hilton Hotel, located at 53rd Street and Seventh Avenue. 

Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson, Manager Terry Collins, coaches, and all 25 Mets players will be in attendance.

Pitcher R.A. Dickey will receive the Ya Gotta Believe award, named for former Mets pitcher Tug McGraw. The lefty reliever famously coined the phrase in 1973 as the Mets rallied to capture the National League pennant despite being in last place in August.  After being the first player cut during spring training in 2010, Dickey finished the season with an 11-9 record and a 2.84 ERA, seventh-best in the National League.  Dickey, who reinvented his career in 2005 with Texas by becoming a knuckleball pitcher, signed the first guaranteed contract of his career last winter, a two-year deal with a club option for 2013.

“It’s been a long journey for me,” said Dickey, Sunday’s winning pitcher who is scheduled to start the Mets’ 4:10 p.m. home opener against the Washington Nationals this Friday, April 8.  “My wife Anne always wanted me to continue to play. She didn’t want me to have any regrets.”

The Ya Gotta Believe award is given annually to an individual within or associated with the Mets family who has shown an exceptional commitment to the community, fortitude in overcoming adversity, and the spirit to believe that anything is possible.

For more information visit mets.com or by phone at (718) 803-4074.

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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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HOW DID WE EVER SURVIVE THE MINAYA REIGN OF ERROR

 

On this date in Mets historyin 1974, the Mets traded Tug McGraw, Don Hahn and Dave Schneck to the Philadelphia Phillies for Del Unser, John Stearns and the immortal Mac Scarce.

Off season? What off season, there is more baseball news on this 32 degree morning in NYC than any other sports news.  Giants-Redskins? a murmur and some asshole comments. Jets-Pats? For such a big game the main topic is Tom Brady’s hair line. Knicks? Who gives a fuck.  Coach DiAntoni’s view of defense is when the opposition misses a shot.  NY Rangers, second only to the Mets in my fan affection but even with Gaborik’s hat trick and the fact the beat the lowly Fishsticks, not much buzz about the Blueshirts today. The big sports news in NYC, Baseball, Baseball and more Baseball:

The Mets non-tendered went as planned except for the curve ball Sandy Alderson tossed in by releasing Chris Carter.  As much as I like The Animal, and lobbied for more playing time for him last year, this is a very smart move by the Mets. According to Adam Rubin, Carter would have been given a minor league deal and would have been paid $200K but the real reason is Carter has no position on defense in fact you’d be better off signing Jack Cust than Carter.

Looks like the game plan on acquiring pitching will be of the low risk/high reward variety as reports are the Mets are looking to make a deal with injury prone LHP Jeff Francis and former Padre Chris Young. If both can stay healthy (a big IF) they are definitely worth t shot of signing to incentive laden deals.  Young would thrive in Citi Field as he is an extreme fly ball pitcher and to that fact I hope the Mets are looking at RHP Joel Peralta another fly ball pitcher for the bullpen and George Sherrill for the LOOGY spot if Perpetual Pedro proves to expensive.

WOW LMillz may be a LI Duck or a Lancaster Barnstormer  or an Orix Buffalo or maybe a KC Royal ?

Under the prior regime I’d say Joe Janish’s post aboutmoving Francisco Rodriguez to the White Sox would be a pipe dream. Under the Alderson reign, this post makes absolute sense and I could definitely see it happen.

Back in the day, I couldn’t stand Ron Santo especially back in 1969 when Santo would jump up and click his heels after a Cubs victory against the Mets. But I’m still sad to hear of his passing

So when will LeBron and the Heat go to Cleveland? Wait? What? It was last night? Shit. Who knew!

Looks like those cut throats running the Bronx Bastards will let El Capi-Tan save some face and juice up their contract offer today. No matter what happens, for now on Derek Jeter is Randy Levine’s bitch.

Good luck to Hisanori Takahashi on his signing with the Angels. A two-year deal for a 35 year old who can only pitch an inning of relief as the second time through the lineup he gets plastered may work in Anaheim but it sure doesn’t in Flushing .

Happy 62nd Birthday to the Prince of Darkeness. Hope you have bloody good fuckin’ birthday Ozzy!!!!!!!!!   

An Ike Davis Hanukkah, OH……MY…….GOD!!!!!!!

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R.A. DICKEY, IS READY TO JOIN THE “WHERE ARE THEY NOW” CLUB

Every casual Mets fan can rattle off the names of great pitchers in Mets history, Seaver, Koosman, Matlack, Gooden, Darling, but the die hard Mets fan has guys that when they  here the nam,e one of those cartoon clouds form over their head with reminisces of terrific performance of the past. The mention of their name is usually followed with the refrain “What ever happened to that guy”?

Don Cardwell was one of them, a journeyman who pitched for three full and part of a fourth season for the Mets back in the late 60’s and was on the ’69 World Champion team as a spot/starter long reliever. Cardwell was better than his record and was one of those guys who when called upon either won a game for you or at worse kept the team in a game.

Ron Taylor was another ‘69er who was key in the pen and today is a physician in his naïve Toronto and works for the Blue Jays.  His problem was he was overshadowed by a young, brash fellow reliever, Frank (Tug) McGraw

George Stone came to the Mets with Felix Milan in one of the most underrated deals in Mets history (Danny Frisella and Gary Gentry were shipped to Atlanta) and went 12-3 in 1973 and his misuse by Yogi Berra in the 1973 World Series still bothers me to this day. 

Rick Reed, Skip Lockwood, Craig Swan, Bruce Berenyi, Bill Pulshiper, Izzy and Neil Allen are guys who I think about now and then, about the contribution to the Mets teams they played or how some like Reed came out of nowhere or Stone who had the year of his life in 1973 or Lockwood an very underrated reliever or poor Puls’ one of the Titanic Trio along with Izzy and Paul Wilson, the ill fated Generation K. Craig Swan the Ace of some bad pitching staff of the late 70’s. Berenyi, a June 15th pick up in 1984 when the Mets were starting to turn things around and became pennant contenders. All these guys forever etched in my Mets fan memory of players. Now we have one more pitcher who I can add to that list, R.A. Dickey.

If the Mets go on to win a seat at the post season table, R.A. Dickey will have played a major role. Dickey is the kind of pitcher I’ve always wanted the Mets to have. He looks like a guy right out of Bull Durham. The long hair, three day stubble, the southern drawl, a real dirtbag and I say that with the utmost affection. Sometimes a guy starts to realize he has nothing to lose anymore and stops listening to others and just goes out and does things the way he wants, and it works, you just have to root like hell for him. I even like the fact that he knows Jerry Manuel wanted no part of him on the team and Dickey saying, He could care less what Manuel thinks as he doesn’t pitch for Manuel he pitches for himself and the team.

Who knows maybe in the year 2020 at Old Timers Day, R.A. Dickey will be welcomed with a huge ovation as he’s introduced or maybe he will be a guy that pops in my head when I see a homeless guy with a cap pulled down to his eyes and stubble on his face bringing cans and bottles in for nickel deposit and say “I wonder what ever happened to R.A. Dickey.”

Whatever happens, it’s a joy to watch this Mets team play. As we head toward the end of June, that Mets are a mere ½ game out of first place. Let the summer fun begin!

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BELIEVE IT, THIS IS A GREAT CAUSE!!!!!!

There are two thing Mets fans and Phillies fans can agree on, one is their hatred for one and other and the other is their love for Tug McGraw. Just the mention of the name of the great Mets/Phillies reliever could make two hated rivals smile and give each other a warm embrace; such was the charisma of McGraw.

Tug died way too early in life of a brain tumor but the “Ya Gotta Believe” sprit of McGraw’s lives on through the Tug McGraw Foundation which helps those with brain cancer and other brain related injuries. One of the ways the Foundation raises money is from having folks sponsor runners in different road races around the country. In a must read  post today on Faith and Fear in Flushing, Greg Prince interviews Sharon Chapman a true blue Mets fan who is looking forward to running in her first NYC Marathon this November and is using the occasion to raise money for the McGraw Foundation.

Please check out Sharon’s fundraising page and help out any way you can.

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“NEW YORK IS WHERE I’D RATHER STAY, I GET ALLERGIC SMELLING HAY”…..

 7 days until pitcher and catchers

The Mets off season reminds me of the old TV show Green Acres. Remember, Mr. Haney the guy who sold a lot junk to the residents of Hootersville? Well that seems to be who Omar Minaya has morphed into a purveyor of useless pieces.

The latest move that makes no sense is the signing of Mike Jacobs. Jacobs was cut loose by the KC Royals because for over $3 mil a year the Royals got a player who can’t hit lefties, has an aversion to getting on base, and plays defense like Edward Scissorhands. Brilliant let’s sign him up. Think about this, in 7 days you’ll have so many players lining up at first base it will look like an Italian bakery on Christmas Eve, get there early and take a number.

Great story on Johan Santana by John Harper who donned the tools of ignorance to catch Santana down in Florida. This is what, the third or fourth story on Santana this winter and each one Johan is sending a message to Mets fans that the season won’t be the disaster most of us think it will be. From your mouth to Tug McGraw’s ears, Johan.

As per Jon Heyman, the Mets are taking a Pasadena on Rod Barajas but have signed John Harper to a one year deal.

No PRO BASEBALL CENTRAL tonight but we should have a show next week to welcome in Spring Training.

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CHECK OUT FOLEY’S NY AND THEIR $19.69 “GIL HODGES MANAGER’S SPECIAL”

If you’re in the city and looking for a place for a great meal and watch a ball game then head on over to FOLEY’S NY at 18 W 33 St (across from the Empire State Building) as the celebrate the 1969 World Champion New York Mets with a  some special menu items :

New York, NY, August 14, 2009 — Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant, a popular destination for baseball players, team executives, and fans of the game, announced its menu available now through the end of August will honor of the 1969 Mets.  The “Gil Hodges Manager’s Special” offers soup or salad, an entrée and a glass of Bud or soda for fixed price of $19.69.

 

Foley’s will rename menu items after key members of the 1969 World Champions, including:

  • Grilled Chicken “Seaver” Salad,
  • Kranepool’s Krabcake Sandwich,
  • Tug McGraw’s Pulled Pork Po’ Boy,
  • Foley’s Burger with Tommy Agee’d Cheddar, and
  • Art Shamsky’s Pastrami on Rye. 

Desserts (not part of the $19.69 menu) include Wayne Garrett’s Carrot Cake and Ron Swoboda’s Ice Cream Soda

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AHHHHHHHHHHHH THE SUMMER OF’69………….

 

 

I was one miserable little 11 year old back on the weekend of August 16th 1969. I watched all the 20 something’s from my neighborhood pack up and head upstate NY for a music festival and knowing that there wasn’t a shot in hell I could ever go, pissed me off.

 

It was right around that time I was getting an appreciation for rock music. Sure I saw The Beatles on Ed Sullivan when I was six but that didn’t stir me like Woodstock. Right around this time FM radio with it’s free form rock play lists were on the scene and the days of listening to MusicRadio 77 WABC and Cousin Brucie and Top 40 hits, were replaced with Scott Muni and the Night Bird Allison Steele on WNEW-FM  playing full albums by the Rolling Stones, The Kinks and The Doors.

 

After watching the footage from Max Yasgur’s farm I decided at 11 years old, no more hair cuts, no more listening to the man,  I was going to be the world’s youngest revolutionary. That lasted about three days when my father laid down the law and gave me a real good attitude adjustment.

 

So here it is 40 years later and I still listen to rock music, I still don’t take orders well and I always question authority. The biggest difference is I get what’s left of my hair buzzed every two weeks. Three out of four ain’t bad!

 

I wish Ed (Grey Goose) Coleman gave his Mets reports as well as he writes his blog on WFAN. This entry on Easy Ed going to Woodstock is a must read. 

 

The Mets did very well on this weekend back in ’69, sweeping the expansion San Diego Padres in back to back doubleheaders. Seaver, Koosman, Gary Gentry and Don Cardwell got the wins with Koos getting a complete game win and Ron Taylor collecting two saves and young Tug McGraw the other.

 

Last night on Pro Baseball Central we discussed whether Omar and Jerry Manuel will be back next year and the possibility of the Skill Sets selling a part of the team due to the Madoff fall out. Listen to podcast here by clicking out the icon on top or at our Pro Baseball Central site.

 

For more of the Skill Sets money woes, checkout the chat that Post beat man Bart Hubbuch conducted yesterday. Get ready for a payroll lower than $100 mil next season.

 

I can’t understand how Daniel Murphy went from a guy we all rooted for to someone folks are ready to kick to the curb. 

 

John Sickels has a late season update on the Mets top prospects. It seems any one who is worth anything in the system is Latin and 18 years old.

 

I still have a big problem with Michael Vick not just for the cruelty he committed on those dogs but also in my opinion before this I felt he was very overrated. I don’t get all the hoopla over where he will play and now that he is with the Iggels as a Giants fan am I supposed to be impressed? Well, I’m not.

 

I’m going to $iti Field tomorrow and I guess I’ll bring the camera to see the additions of Mets Memories that supposedly have been added and the Throwback’s the boys will be wearing. My question is, I’m guessing they will wear matching cream color pants but what about the caps? I will laugh my ass of if Charlie Samuels sends them out with the awful black/blue billed caps. If you’re going to Throwback, throwback all the way!

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

R.I.P. Les Paul

THE LEDGEND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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A FEW WORDS BEFORE I GO OUT AND HIT SOME FUNGOS

A few quickies as I head out the door and enjoy this unseasonably warm weather:

Mike Silva has a link to the Transaction Guy site that tells of the SF Giants releasing three relievers one is ex Met Tyler Walker.

Here is a quote from Tim Mc Fullofshit in today’s Philly Inquirer that compeers the Mets 1986 World Series parade to that of the Philletes of 1980:

{You’ve spent a lot of time in Philly. What would a championship mean to the city if the Phillies pull it off?

I remember the parade in 1980. I remember Tug McGraw holding the Daily News up, and it said “We Win.” Five letters. There were 105,000 people at JFK Stadium. It was extraordinary. And I was at the Canyon of Heroes with the Mets after the ’86 season, and they had four million people there. I wouldn’t say it took a back seat to Philadelphia, but it wasn’t any better.}

Add Metsgrrl to the growing number of Mets fans who are tired of bailing out the Skill Sets and what their ticket refund NOW!!!!

Please Jerry Reece Make this happen!!!!!

For the fourth game in a row the Rangers Victory Song played as the Blueshirts held on to a 4-3 win in Cheesesteakville last night. I wonder if Brandon Dubinsky could join the Mets in the summer? By the way we need a name for the Dubinsky-Zherdev-Voros line, I submit the “Dubi-Do’s”   

The Wee Columnist of the NY Daily News has a rant today telling the Mets and Highlanders to stay away from Manny Ramirez as he is a very, very bad man. Unlike Little Luppy  who is universally despised by his peers for his nasty attitude and never leaving his compound in New Caan to cover a sporting event he bloviates on in his rag, oh and yes Luppy tell us again that you didn’t throw Lisa Olson under the bus and steal her Super Bowl story?

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