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Greg Prince and Jason Fry
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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They Give Us Something to Talk About

Brandon Nimmo finally remembers how to steal bases and in activating his dormant skill aggravates a quad that merits exiting the game early, receiving imaging later and monitoring on a day-to-day basis.

But I don’t want to talk about that.

Jeff McNeil throws his body into every possible defensive play and has trouble getting up a couple of times, getting up anyway, yet leaving you worried he’d just lie there after one too many acts of all-or-nothing derring-do.

But I don’t want to talk about that.

Mark Canha keeps attracting pitches to his person and he establishes a franchise record for getting hit by them (24) and the team establishes a major league record for getting hit by them (106).

But I don’t want to talk about that.

Tomás Nido, a very good bunter but lately a quite decent hitter, attempts a bunt at a not particularly opportune time to do so — the Mets trail by one in the seventh with a runner on first and nobody out — only to bunt badly (twice) then strike out, signaling yet another rally that will fade into the Wisconsin ether.

But I don’t want to talk about that.

Drew Smith, off the IL after nearly two months, is brought in to face his first batter with the bases loaded. The batter, Mike Brosseau, responds with a grand slam.

I really don’t want to talk about that.

The Mets, down 1-0 to the Brewers in Milwaukee going to the bottom of the seventh, headed to the eighth down 6-0, and the score never budged from there. The Atlanta Braves had already lost to the Washington Nationals, an inverse of everything we’d expect from a sentence involving those two combatants, so the Mets, by losing, would lose only the opportunity to extend their first-place lead, not a share of first place. On the menu of undesirable choices, you’ll take one that isn’t a total loss.

But I don’t want to talk about Taijuan Walker keeping the Mets viable through six only to have stayed in a little too long; or David Peterson not fully solving the situation Walker bequeathed him in the seventh; or any more about Smith being tossed into the fire and Wednesday’s game immediately going up in flames; or the Mets producing only four hits all day after producing only four hits the night before, except two of the four hits the night before were a three-run homer and a grand slam, while none of the four hits the following afternoon were anything of the sort; or that after finally snapping their obscure/specific streak of not winning a penultimate game in a series at Milwaukee since 2008, the Mets find themselves not having won a final game in a series at Milwaukee since 2015.

Ah, crap. I guess I just talked about all that. Well, on to the stuff I’d prefer to talk about.

I want to talk about Willie Mays in the wake of the Mets disseminating photos of retired Number 24 having been installed in Citi Field’s left field rafters (rafters — a word you can’t necessarily define but you know exactly what it means) where it will greet fans for the final five games of the regular season, then every game they play in the postseason, then forever after. Willie sprinted to mind as Brandon left the game Wednesday. It would be understandable if center fielder Nimmo has to miss a little time, just as almost every Met has had to miss a little time this year, some more than others.

A daily if not everyday phenomenon.

Center fielder Mays, in his prime, almost never missed time. Citing his father working five days a week in an Alabama steel mill and then spending his weekends as a Pullman porter on a train that rolled to Detroit and back, Willie said in his 2020 book 24, “I was taught if you can go out there and walk around, you could play. I played every day.” His co-author John Shea added, “The easiest three seconds of a manager’s job was writing Mays’s name on a lineup card.”

From the beginning of 1954, when Willie was out of the Army (age 22), to the end of 1966 (age 35), the Giants played 2,048 games. Mays played in 2,002 of them, or 97.75% over a span of thirteen seasons. Some of that was no doubt luck. Most of that was Willie’s determination and his managers’ common sense. This was Willie Mays. You didn’t not play him — and Willie didn’t not play like Willie Mays when he was in the lineup, which is to say like a dozen Nimmos blended with a dozen McNeils. Said one scout who focused on him solely during one random game, “The man is never still out there,” not only on the move for the ball or an extra base, but taking charge of his teammates’ defensive positioning while playing the field. And that was with the demands of being Willie Mays to a general public that ceaselessly sought his attention.

From 1954 through 1966, Willie Mays averaged 109 runs batted in annually. The last two Mets to drive in runs, Pete Alonso (three-run homer Tuesday night) and Francisco Lindor (grand slam one inning hence), have played in 150 of 151 games this season. They’ve driven in, respectively, 121 and 99 runs. And though we’re in an era when the phrase “load management” has entered the sporting lexicon, how often could have you seen Buck Showalter making the case for sitting either Alonso or Lindor? The DH is a compromise that didn’t exist for Mays, and maybe that’s helped a day here or a day there, but Pete and Francisco have both gone to the post daily, bruises, fractures and general soreness notwithstanding. I seem to recall Leo Durocher saying all Willie needed was a rubdown from the trainer and he was good to go. Conditioning has advanced a bit since the 1950s. Rest is sometimes the better part of valor. Yet the Mets lead the Braves by one game. Alonso knows it. Lindor knows it. Showalter knows it.

I want to talk about Max Scherzer winning his 200th game on Monday night. Under circumstances that didn’t include the clinching of a playoff spot, that milestone would have been the big story, or at least shared space with Max pursuing perfection. He threw six innings without allowing a baserunner before departing, and it was somehow no big deal that a shot at a perfect game was dismissed in the big picture Max has been such an enormous part of painting. Personal glory isn’t Max’s goal. He’s had plenty of that in a career that goes back so far that it included a stop at Shea Stadium as an Arizona Diamondback. Scherzer’s thrown no-hitters, won Cy Youngs and can brandish a World Series ring. He seems to like that last bauble most of all and considers adding to it his overriding priority. Preserving his right arm after a trip to the injured list was more important to him than attempting to join one of the most exclusive clubs in sports. Only 23 pitchers have notched perfect games. None has done it since Felix Hernandez in 2012. If this were a year like 2012 for the Mets, maybe Max Scherzer makes it clear to anybody who’s ostensibly his supervisor he’s not leaving before the seventh inning.

He’ll settle for being in the pretty exclusive company of those who’ve won world championships twice. His accepting a seat after six innings doesn’t guarantee that, but his distinctive eyes recognize the prize and what goes into attaining it. As for 200 wins as an afterthought, that, too, felt selfless. Max seemed way happier that the Mets had made it to the playoffs than that he’d made it to 200. Yet 200 is essentially the new 300, and deserves to be celebrated. Among active pitchers, only Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke have more wins than Scherzer. Nobody’s threatening to bump Randy Johnson from most-recent status among pitchers who’ve reached 300. Before Johnson, the most recent 300-game winner hit the round number in a Mets uniform. I’m fine not talking about him.

Only four Mets have had cause to handle these particular baseballs.

Before Scherzer, three pitchers won their 200th game in a Mets uniform. Like Scherzer, they were each varying levels of great before donning the orange and blue. Like Scherzer, we found ourselves grateful to have their services late in their careers.

• On July 22, 1999, Orel Hershiser clocked his 200th win while a Met. From the perspective of 1988, that would have sounded like a fever dream. In 1999, it added up beautifully. Since 40-/41-year-old Orel lent his veteran presence and what was left of his considerable skills to the Mets’ playoff push, I’ve never thought of him as anything but a Met, and that’s with full cognizance that Hershiser received the NLCS MVP for what he did against the Mets as a Dodger eleven years before. In 1999, that seemed like trivia.

Hershiser’s 200th win came in Montreal, included two hits of his own, and inadvertently touched off a uniquely 1999 Mets controversy. Orel’s milestone was reached in the same series as one for another veteran presence not automatically associated with the Mets, Rickey Henderson, who passed Willie Mays for fifth place on the all-time runs scored list. What Hershiser and Henderson accomplished was certainly worthy of celebration as soon as the Mets returned to Shea Stadium from Olympic Stadium. Instead, Shea hosted what amounted to Sammy Sosa Appreciation Night as they began their next homestand. Technically it was Merengue Night, which brought in a lot of Dominican customers whose interest in supporting the locals was limited, particularly when Sosa — the summer after he racked up 66 home runs as a Cub — was honored pregame, while — as Bobby Valentine noted — Orel’s and Rickey’s career achievements went unnoted by the home team’s upper management. This was the same homestand as Mercury Mets Night. As Cindy Adams might have said, “Only the 1999 Mets, kids.”

• Seven seasons and a seeming lifetime later, on April 17, 2006, Dominican icon Pedro Martinez won his 200th game as a Met, cause for cheers throughout Shea Stadium, where the opponent was the Braves and the evening’s promotion was simply the home team continuing its fantastic start. The Mets were 10-2 and burying their erstwhile tormentors five games behind them. Martinez was treated to a postgame presser in front of a “200” banner in distinctly Metsian colors.

• On August 8, 2014, in a year that was little like 1999, 2006 or 2022 in terms of the Mets going anywhere near the playoffs, Bartolo Colon made it to 200 wins as a Met, besting the Phillies in Philadelphia. Bartolo was 41 then and, really, just getting started on scaling the next level of his career. By 2015, he’d part of a postseason staff for the Mets. Before he’d leave Queens following 2016, he’d be a bona fide folk hero.

In all, twelve pitchers who’ve pitched for the Mets have won 200 games in the major leagues, even if only four won their 200th as Mets and none has won 200 for the Mets. Tom Seaver holds the franchise mark with 198, and you can throw a few extra darts at your M. Donald Grant dartboard if you like for depriving us of all the milestones Tom should have reached as a Met.

At the end of July, you might recall, we toasted the pitchers who made it to the not-too-shabby 100-win club as Mets after Carlos Carrasco, now up to 104, turned the trick. Because I went to the trouble of looking it up, I will now share with you the identities of the most accomplished pitchers to have logged time with the Mets without doing anything remotely like what Carrasco, Scherzer or anybody who ever won a game as a Met did.

There are eight members of the 100-win club who pitched for the Mets yet never won a single game as a Met.

They are…

Dick Tidrow
Dave Roberts
Ralph Terry
Chan Ho Park
Doc Medich
Aaron Harang
Dean Chance
Kevin Tapani

Tidrow was a reliever at the very end of his distinguished career when he came and went as a Met in 1984, just as the stars at Shea commenced to rise in earnest. Roberts’s arm could also be said to have been on its last legs in 1981; unlike Dick, Dave couldn’t say he was around for the start of something special, as the team Roberts joined was still wallowing at the bottom of its division. Roberts, as a Padre, finished second in NL ERA in 1971, a fact commemorated by a 1972 Topps card that places his head next to that of the league leader: Seaver.

Terry, as we mentioned in March, did something bigger than collect a Met W during his 1966-1967 Met stay. He taught Tug McGraw how to throw a screwball. Chan Ho Park was one and done in 2007 in terms of games pitched as a Met. The game was a 9-6 loss to the Marlins on April 30. Park’s ERA was 15.75 before moving on to several more organizations and seasons of pro ball. Medich’s lone Met appearance at the ass end of 1977, the year we lost Seaver the first time, amounted to a pre-free agency audition. Doc had already put in his share of innings for the 1977 A’s, who lost 98 games, and the 1977 Mariners, who also lost 98 games. On September 29, Medich lost to the Pirates. It was the 96th defeat for the 1977 Mets, who’d go on to lose…98 games. Medich was either a victim or a carrier. Either way, he’d sign with the Rangers.

Aaron Harang actually pitched pretty well (3.52 ERA) for the September 2013 Mets when warm bodies with loose arms were welcome to try and ply their craft. Four starts resulted in zero wins for the perfectly competent righty who went on to pitch two more seasons after he stopped by these parts for a month. Also in the category of September-only Mets was Dean Chance, once upon a time a Cy Young Award winner for the Angels. That time had passed by 1970, when Chance was picked up late to do what he could for the Mets’ rapidly faltering attempt to repeat as champs. Dean pitched in relief thrice to an ERA of 13.50. No wins, or he wouldn’t be mentioned here.

Mentioned here but different from all the other oh-and-sorry Mets is Kevin Tapani. Tapani indeed won 100+ games in the majors, 143 to be exact. Unlike the aforementioned characters, Tapani’s 143 victories came after, not before, he was a Met. The righty appeared in three games as a rookie in 1989, barely enough time for his arm to clear its throat before he was thrown into a deal I seem to invoke at least three times a year, the Frank Viola deal, also known as the Rick Aguilera deal, at least once known as the David West deal. It was five-for-one, the one being Twins superstar lefty Viola, the five being Aggie, West, Tim Drummond, Jack Savage and Tapani. Aguilera, winning pitcher of Game Six of the 1986 World Series, merely the most dramatic game the New York Mets have ever played (don’t ask to see his line), was the best-known quantity going to Minnesota, but the Twins definitely saw something comparably appealing in Tapani. Within a year of his leaving the Mets, Kevin would be a staple of the Twinkie rotation. A year after that, he’d be a 16-game winner and, oh by the way, a world champion, alongside Aguilera and West. Viola was leaving for free agency by then, having won 20 games in 1990 and making the All-Star team twice as a Met, but not taking his new team any farther than a little shy of the gates to the promised land.

Had Viola had the two months we hoped for in 1989 or a second half on par with his first half of ’90, and the rest of the Mets done slightly greater things, too, we might still talk about Sweet Music and that trade today. Or had the collective output of Aguilera, West and Tapani measured up to that of Nolan Ryan after 1971, we might be reminded regularly to rue it with relish. Instead, I seem to be the only one who brings it up on the reg. I don’t do it to condemn it. I think it was worth the risk. Frank wasn’t bad as a Met. He just wasn’t great.

Good on Aguilera (and his fortuitous birthday) for converting himself into an elite closer. Good on West (and his fortuitous name) for cobbling together a lengthy career as a lefty reliever. And good on Tapani, a lad of 25 when the Mets decided he was disposable, for notching those 143 wins in a career that extended into 2001. Kevin also lost 125 games. One of those came when he was a Cub, at the hands of the Mets, on July 23, 1999.

You might recognize the date as the Merengue Night Sammy Sosa was feted lavishly at Shea Stadium.

I want to wind down my avoidance of the Mets’ 6-0 Wednesday loss in Milwaukee by talking about the only Met in the 100-win club to have won exactly one game as a Met. That was Rick Porcello, who notched a pretty fair round number while calling Citi Field home, Win Number 150 in a career that would have no more wins beyond that and no more years beyond his one Met season of 2020.

I’m not exactly looking to dwell on Rick Porcello, a former Cy Young winner in the tradition of Chance and Viola, other to remember his Met tenure in the context of that most recent spate of years we put behind us on Monday night. Porcello was one of the unlucky Mets. He was a Met when the Mets didn’t qualify for the playoffs. There are a lot of those in our history. Porcello may have been triply unlucky, because he grew up a Mets fan in New Jersey and really cared about the Mets making the playoffs for more than the standard competitive reasons — and because 2020 was inarguably the worst year to pitch in front of the home crowd as a Met because there was literally nobody in the ballpark when you pitched. Chalk it up as a symptom of pitching amid a raging pandemic.

Porcello’s record of 1-7 with a 5.64 ERA isn’t what I remember when I think of his Met tenure. I remember his Zoom-delivered remarks after his final outing and loss, following the doubleheader that officially eliminated the 2020 Mets from contention:

“I’m sorry we could haven’t done better for you, and given you something to watch during the postseason. I wish I could’ve done better for this ballclub. Unfortunately, we’re out of time. I gave it my all and it wasn’t good enough for us.”

Usually when the Mets emerge from one of their playoffless droughts, I think back on the players who toiled without proximity to the ultimate reward, and think, too, about the players who endured in those seasons and made it to the season that certifies we’ve arrived in another timeline. When the Mets clinched their postseason berth on Monday, I wasn’t really that moved to think in that direction. It had been long enough from 2016 to 2022, but it hadn’t been that long. Not 1973 to 1986 long, or 1988 to 1999 long, or 2006 to 2015 long. It didn’t feel remotely as long as 2000 to 2006, even if it was the exact same number of years.

But, like I said, it had been long enough. So I thought a little more and I thought of Rick Porcello and his lone win and heartfelt apology for his team and him not winning more. I thought of Michael Wacha, who I pair with Porcello as veteran starters who in 2020 were seeking to recapture what once made them stars elsewhere and neither of them finding it. I thought of Todd Frazier, maybe the signature Veteran Met of his day, which included the one year in the five barren seasons between 2017 and 2021 that encompassed a genuine playoff stab, even if the stabbing fell shy of its target in 2019. I thought a little of Jed Lowrie, who probably worked harder than we’ll ever know to take a few at-bats in 2019, yet all we remember is he never played an inning in the field while under contract to the Mets through 2020.

I thought of how quickly the door spun in 2017 and 2018. I thought of the final game in 2017, an 11-0 thrashing at the hands of the Phillies that pointed Terry Collins to the exit. Five Mets played their final major league games that day. One, Nori Aoki, was here out of Aaron Harang circumstances, a veteran who was available when injuries otherwise swallowed a chunk of the roster. Aoki went home to Japan and is still playing ball. Four were rookies, one of whom, top 2012 draft pick Gavin Cecchini, at least got a sip of celebratory champagne as a 2016 callup. The other three, relievers Kevin McGowan and Jamie Callahan and outfielder Travis Taijeron, were new to the bigs in 2017. All they tasted with their cup of coffee was the dregs of a 92-loss season.

I thought of Austin Jackson, who had a solid career, and Jose Bautista, who had an outstanding career. Nobody thinks of them as Mets, but I did, because they were among us in 2018. Ditto Adrian Gonzalez.

Anybody remember Jack Reinheimer? AJ Ramos? Tyler Pill? Tyler Bashlor? Neil Ramirez? Jose Lobaton? Buddy Baumann? Hector Santiago? Brooks Pounders? Donnie Hart? That once we wondered how to fit Brad Brach and Brad Hand into our bullpen? That Dellin Betances once loomed large in those plans? That there was a Bench Mob and Cameron Maybin was briefly a part of it, an entity anchored by Kevin Pillar and Jonathan Villar and personified by Patrick Mazeika? That when 2021 wound down, we faced the loss of Noah Syndergaard, Michael Conforto, Marcus Stroman, Javier Baez, Aaron Loup and Rich Hill and you could have made a reasonable case for bringing any of them back?

When was the last time you thought about those guys? Outside the main team store on Sunday, where they have the discount rack, the SYNDERGAARD 34 merch was abundant. And untouched.

It wasn’t really one of those droughts where when it’s over we congratulate ourselves for making it at last. It wasn’t a period when we got to know terribly well too many of the short-timers and day players who filled out too many losing box scores. But we’re Mets fans and they were Mets, whether they were Mets in a good Met year or not.

This has been the kind of Met year we would have killed for in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 or any year that hasn’t resembled in the least 2022.

This has been a very good Met year. A very good Met year in which a bunch of Mets who endured all or some or one of those previous arid Met years have merged their abilities with Mets who were somewhere else altogether before 2022 and in unison they became the 2022 Mets, one of the best Met teams that’s ever been.

A very good year. One of the best.

Three Met teams have spent as much as a day 40 games above .500. One of them is this one.

Ten Met teams have qualified to spend as much as a day in the playoffs. One of them is this one.

We want this one to be a division champion, a league champion and a world champion. We’ll see what happens on those counts.

In the meantime, what they’ve done and what they’re doing is really something worth talking about.

A new episode of National League Town is out. Jeff Hysen and I celebrate these 2022 Mets having the pre-Jamaica portion of their postseason ticket punched and pay tribute to a few members of the Mets family we’ve recently lost. You can listen here or on your favorite podcast platform. Honestly, you should listen anywhere you can.

18 comments to They Give Us Something to Talk About

  • Ken K. in NJ

    Sorry you had to type all that for me to have only one takeaway: Kevin Tapani won 143 games??

    One other note. The only game I ever saw at Candlestick Park was August 9, 1969, on my Post-college US Grand Tour. And Willie Mays didn’t play. He was out for two weeks (except for one rare appearance in Right Field during that period). Granted, it was a knee injury from a slide into home, not a quad injury, and he was 38 at the time, so not in your prime period, but still…

    PS: The Giants lost 5-3 to the Cardinals, basically on a Willie McCovey late inning error.

    • A 19-game winner for the 1998 Cubs who beat us out for the Wild Card, too.

      Sorry your Candlestick visit and Willie’s durability didn’t quite intersect. For what it’s worth, the Seattle Mariners played 112 games in 1994, Ken Griffey played in 111 for them and I saw them once — the day Lou Piniella chose to rest his superstar.

  • Curt Emanuel

    Travis Taijeron. I remember him finally getting a callup. For years when we weren’t contending – and even when we were, heck, there were 40 spots, I was hoping he’d get a shot.

    Yes, they all said his swing wouldn’t translate to the majors and based on his month you couldn’t argue. But year after year he yanked 25 in the minors. Some of those years we weren’t very good. I was glad he finally got a chance. Always figured it was a reward for sticking with it rather than hanging it up to go do whatever it is he’s doing now. Anyone know what that is?

    And hey – he yanked one in the Majors too and that ball can always rest on his mantle.

    Tough game last night. On to another candidate for worst team in baseball – I think the Nats win this title but Oakland is only 3 games out. Here’s to us helping them pick first in next year’s draft. And here’s to Philly doing some damage.

  • Bob

    ANOTHER Excellent entry!
    And thanks for photo of #24 being installed
    GOOD Karma!

    Let’s Go Mets!

  • Seth

    Interesting — so any number that has both a 4 and a 2 in it, can no longer be worn by any Met.

  • Eric

    “David Peterson exacerbating the situation Walker bequeathed him in the seventh”

    That’s unfair. Peterson did okay. Megill, too. Smith failed. Peterson came in with 2 runners on. Control iffy, but he only gave up a sac bunt and got a strikeout. Intentionally walked the Brewers’ best hitter who scored on the 2-out grand slam off Smith.

    Showalter’s choice of Smith in that spot was questionable. However, the Mets offense yesterday gave no sign of waking up whether the Brewers scored 1, 2, or 6 runs. Might as well build up data for the pitchers auditioning for a playoff bullpen role. There are only a few games left for that task, not counting the Braves series, which I assume will be managed like a playoff series.

    Wasted opportunity to pull ahead of the Braves in the loss column. The Mets loss may be profitable nonetheless if the Brewers win motivates the Phillies against the Braves. The Phillies are 3 up in the loss column on the Brewers and own the tiebreaker. However, the Phillies have a tougher remaining schedule on paper with 7 combined versus the Braves and Astros. The Brewers only have 2 against the Cardinals, who seem content to coast into the wildcard round. At the same time that the Phillies are playing 4 against the Braves, the Brewers are playing 4 against the Reds. If the Phillies are steamrolled by the Braves again, they can be even with the Brewers by Monday. So with the Brewers win yesterday, it behooves the Phillies to treat this Braves series like a playoff series.

    The Nationals taking 2 from the Braves like they did from the Mets would have been better, but I’m glad for the 1. It’s also a reminder that the season-ending series is no guarantee.

    Similarly, I’m wary of the A’s. Of late, they’ve beaten teams in contention: Mariners, Astros, White Sox, Orioles, Yankees. They haven’t won series, Mariners excepted, but they’re not rolling over. The Mets have Bassitt, deGrom, and Scherzer scheduled in Oakland, but that’s no guarantee. With the Mets injuries, bullpen questions, and chronically narcoleptic offense, the Nationals, Cubs series repeat potential is there. Maybe not a jarring series or sweep loss this time, but every loss to the A’s or Marlins ahead of the Braves series will hurt.

    With Alvarez hot at AAA, I wonder how many more ABs Vientos will be given to audition for righty DH.

    • Yeah, it wasn’t Peterson’s fault; I forgot the walk he issued was intentional. Language above edited to reflected his lack of culpability. I certainly don’t mean to be “unfair” to anybody. Thank you for saddling me with the guilt.

      • Eric

        Yours is the Mets blog of record.

        Setting aside the need to build up situational data on relievers including Smith ASAP, the mistake with Peterson was taking him out for Smith after he got 2 outs like he’s a LOOGY instead of a moonlighting starter.

        Thank you for reminding me of Glavine as a Met.

        And that Seaver not only should have won his 200th as a Met, he should have won his 300th as a Met, not to mention whatever else his addition might have won for the up-and-coming 1984-1986 Mets. Tack a Frank Cashen pic onto the M. Donald Grant dartboard.

        • Curt Emanuel

          At least Cashen’s was just a blunder. Grant’s was deliberate sabotage though I’m sure he didn’t view it that way.

          Not even sure the Cashen move was a mistake – who would predict that someone would give up a comp pick for a 39-year-old pitcher whose best days were behind him, whatever his name is? But it happened and for Mets fans, including me, it hurt.

  • open the gates

    Wow – nice trip down memory lane. It’s fun to do from the vantage point of a team that is finally playoff-bound.

    I remember Buddy Baumann. He was one of those ancient rookie pitchers that would be a feel-good story no matter what year he pitched in. As for some of the others, I remember Neil Ramirez as one of the worst pitchers to ever deal for the Mets, and Jose Lobaton as one of the worst catchers. I thought Tyler Pill was an excellent name for a pharmacist, Jack Reinheimer was an great name for a corporate lawyer, and Tyler Bashlor and Brooks Pounders were damn perfect names for ballplayers. I really liked Nori Aoki – a pro’s pro – and was sorry he didn’t stick around. On the other hand, Adrian Gonzalez is yet another example of a Met arriving to the team with a huge fork sticking out of his back. (Here’s hoping that Robinson Cano retired that fork for good.)

    I could say more about some of the other guys you mentioned, but I’ll leave it at that – other than to say that part of me is sad that Michael Conforto couldn’t stick around long enough to enjoy this. And that we might be a few more games up on the Braves if Aaron Loup were still in our pen. Quibbles, but there you have it. Mostly, though, looking back at the last few seasons is a good reminder of how enjoyable this season has been, and how rare. It should be savored.

    • Eric

      Agree on Aoki, just a solid all-around outfielder, and Conforto, though he may been injured working out in the off-season whether under contract or not. Loup hasn’t had a good season for the Angels.

  • eric1973

    Of course I know what the rafters are!

    They are those ummm… things up there, where, you know, you can hang things, and, well… look at the wind blowing around, and stuff… and, oh yeah, they are usually filled with dust and cobwebs.

  • eric1973

    Lucky for Seaver that he was traded when he was, as the Mets were horrible from 1977-1983, and he would never have won 300 otherwise — not with that ownership. Looking back, be satisfied about that, at least.

    Had he stayed, he may have even lost 20 in a season, like Koosman did. And as soon as Koosman was traded, he again won 20.

    • Eric

      Right. Personal dramas aside, there’s at least a normal rationale in the 1977 trade: Jumpstart a rebuild of a team that won’t foreseeably contend for years by trading the team’s best player who’s still in his prime but arguably slipping from his peak. Nowadays, we expect it, eg, Seaver to the Reds is comparable to Scherzer to the Dodgers.

      Maybe Seaver needed to move on to a better team than the Mets to reach his career numbers. But after the Mets reacquired him, he foreseeably would have reached 300 with the 1984-1986 Mets. Leaving Seaver unprotected so that he won his 300th game for the wrong team was just careless and callous by Cashen, at best valuing the all-time Met less than a middling prospect.

  • dmg

    i actually remember being excited when the mets got dean chance.
    it was 1970, and i was still in the post-69 miracle glow.
    i was also 12, and an idiot.