There are two relief pitchers we’ve written about quite a bit in 2010. One is the incumbent closer, whose recent actions have gotten everybody’s attention. It also appears to have gotten him a torn ligament. Francisco Rodriguez, anger management candidate and apparent genius, messed up his right thumb while (allegedly) messing up his girlfriend’s father’s face. Probably out for the year — not for disciplinary reasons but because he (allegedly) got into a one-sided fight.
Turning to happier closer thoughts, you can watch Tug McGraw rise from star reliever to absolute icon when SNY airs Mets Yearbook: 1973 Tuesday night at 7. It ain’t just Tug, of course. It’s the whole team riding a late-season wave of crackling emotion, stellar starting pitching and incredibly timely hitting over a mediocrity-backed division until it qualifies for the postseason the day after the schedule was supposed to be at its end. Of course the Mets weren’t through then, either, as they slugged their way past Cincinnati (when we liked the idea of Mets fighting) and almost (sigh) past Oakland.
Much went on in that legendary 1973 stretch drive, but most resonant is the battle cry it left behind for the ages: YOU GOTTA BELIEVE! Tune into SNY at 7 PM tomorrow and find out why.
And as long as you’re considering the legacy of Tug McGraw, consider the efforts of FAFIF reader Sharon Chapman, who is running in this year’s New York City Marathon with Team McGraw to help raise funds for the Tug McGraw Foundation to help them in their ongoing fight against brain tumors. You can contribute those Amazin’ly worthwhile efforts here.
Image courtesy of “Mario Mendoza…HOF lock” at Baseball-Fever.