Re: To Met Hell with them, Part Two. You're still not bringing me down.
EVERETT: That grand slam you mentioned? It's at the core of my No. 19 Greatest Baseball Experience ever. Can't vouch for his child-rearing skills, but man, that two-out grand slam which knotted the game at 6 in the bottom of the ninth when the Mets were hanging onto Wild Card hopes by their thumbnails was one of the best moments of my life. Nineteenth-best, actually.
MURRAY: Drove in 193 runs over two seasons (making him the 83rd Greatest Met of the First Forty Years) without really emitting a hint of interest in his surroundings. His care-quotient shot through the roof when his contract was about to expire. Then it was like, oh, you want to interview me? What time is convenient for you? A perfect if quiet complement to Bonilla.
MACHADO: Man, I loved this guy for a month. I was sure he would be our closer someday. Why does he stick in my mind? Because the first pitch he ever threw was high and tight to Tom Pagnozzi. Who knew he'd get even more dangerous?
SAMUEL: Confession — I wasn't aghast at this trade when it happened. Yes, it was wrong that Lenny Dykstra was no longer a Met, but Samuel had been a demon his first four seasons in the league. But the Mets, in their clever, time-tested fashion, scooped him up five minutes past his last effective week in the Majors. I don’t dislike him for that. No, I dislike him because at the end of that 1989 season, Davey Johnson, groping for news he could use in 1990, penciled him in at second for one game. One stinking game. Juan, who hadn't played his original position all year, refused to go in. Thought it wasn't fair to move him from the outfield back to the infield. Was afraid he'd embarrass himself. Well screw you, too, I thought.
KENT: This guy pisses me off way more in retrospect than he did in real time. When the '95 Mets clubhouse was itself a cheery day care center, all young and giddy with late-season success, I kept reading derisive snorts from the beat writers that morose Kent didn't fit in. (Long after he was gone, Fran Healy made a vague reference to Jeff “not wanting to play any of their reindeer games,” but he never explained what he meant; it was the only time I wished Fran had said a little more.) It had taken him all year to get it going at the plate and now that he was finally hitting, his personality didn't match the daily braintrust's expectations. The criticism struck me as piling on. As his post-Met career revealed, it was right on, though he kept hitting and his teams generally did well with him contributing, no matter what a snot he is universally acknowledged to be. I still can't get over the his being halted at customs en route to Montreal for carrying a handgun. Oh yeah, I forgot I had it with me, was his alibi. Who forgets they're carrying a weapon onto a plane? And, better question, why does a baseball player require a firearm for a road trip? Man, he must've been really unpopular in the clubhouse.