Gary Carter (Photo credit: AxsDeny)
In December 1984 I remember being shocked that the Mets could trade for a player as great as Gary Carter. The Expos got Hubie Brooks, Herm Winningham, Mike Fitzgerald, and Floyd Youmans in return. But Carter was great! I remember wondering why the Expos would trade a player of Carter’s caliber. He was a seven time All-Star in 10 seasons with the Expos. It still surprises me to this day.
In his 15 Major League seasons he made $13.3 million. He’d make more than that in ONE season if he was playing now.
The 2003 Hall of Fame inductee and 1986 World Series champion passed away today at age 57 from brain cancer.
Sadly, many media outlets had obituaries ready to publish today. Carter was in tough shape recently so it shouldn’t come as a surprise. But writing an obituary before some dies seems so disturbing to me.
I wanted to link to a few that I thought were worth reading:
Here’s some audio of Darryl Strawberry with Mike Francesa on WFAN today.
You won’t be forgotten Kid.
Image by Getty Images via @daylife
I had been reading up on the many different teams that Jose Reyes may be a good fit for joining in August and also in 2012. But the only one that got my interest was an article in the NY Daily News anointing Reyes the next Yankee shortstop.
So I’m thinking ahead to the worst case scenario and wondering what would happen here in NY if Reyes took over for Derek Jeter at shortstop either this year or next? It’s a logical “baseball” move but you could be damaging two franchises at the same time. This isn’t Darryl Strawberry or Dwight Gooden playing in the twilight of their careers being given one last shot by the Yankees. This is one of the best shortstops in the game, in his prime, crossing over to the dark side!
What Would Yankee Fans Think?
Yankee fans will not be happy if their beloved captain is benched in favor of Jose Reyes. Ok, Jose is clearly better right now but Jeter has meant so much more than Reyes ever will mean to the Mets in the last 10 years. At a very early age Jeter played with professionalism, class, and poise while keeping his head and his teammates heads in every game. It’s this discipline at an early age that allowed Jeter to be one of the greats of baseball who can show off 4 World Series rings. It’s this same discipline I wish Jose had.
At 28 years old and with only 10 weeks of prime Jose Reyes baseball to judge him by this year, Jose is clearly playing for a contract. He may be playing up the fact that he has finally matured but we won’t know until he plays at this level for a full year and not in a contract year.
Can the Yankees afford him? Yes, most definitely. Would they want him though? Yankee fans would murder Reyes for a typical Reyes boneheaded bobble or for watching the ball roll under his glove or even getting picked off of first base because he was working on seeing his reflection in one of his gold chains.
Yankee fans would boo him incessantly for every little mistake, he would never live down Jeter’s legacy, even if he won a ring or two and he would have to get a haircut. Odds are if the Yankees were to get Reyes it would do more harm than good with their fans but would that be enough to stop them from pulling the trigger on such a trade? Continue reading
Amidst a terrible roadtrip the ’86 Mets, who seem to cast a bigger shadow each season, were outspoken again. This time the whistle blower was Bobby Ojeda. “Bobby O” was once a far cry from the lighthearted commentator you can watch on the SNY pre/post game. In 1986, the former Red Sox starter was a rough around the edges pitcher and arguably the best of a staff of aces. One of his teammates joined the nudging when Darryl Strawberry, for the second time this year, had something to say about the latest installment of disappointing baseball. The last team to win a championship in Queens has been consistently vocal about the Mets’ clubs and their shortcomings. The arrogant and noisy ’86ers won with their ability to talk and back it up on the field. Their brash , no nonsense, say what I want attitude has continued to show up years since they have retired. It must be said however, that there is something about their blunt and impulsive action that still inspires New Yorkers. The shadow only grows with Jerry Manuel’s Mets skidding and Wally Backman hit and running teams to death with the Brooklyn Cyclones. Here are some verbal lashings from the ’86 Champs directed at Mets’ clubs.
Keith Hernandez – 2002
Dubbed by The Seattle Times as “Keith Hernandez VS Mike Piazza” the two traded verbal blows when the disappointing club looked asleep at the wheel. Hernandez, who’s job it was and is still to analyze, might have gone overboard with his quote “The club has no heart; The Mets quit a long time ago. Bobby Valentine could’ve chewed this team out in June when this stuff started creeping in”. Piazza, angered by the comment, shot back with “He’s just trying to make a name at our expense” he continued to add “like he’s a judge of character, who quit or didn’t quit?” Keith stood by his comments but admitted he could have found a better way to put it. Continue reading
Although you could fault the Mets and Omar Minaya on several fronts this offseason, one of the biggest glaring holes in the acquisitions was at starting pitcher. You could say that they should have gotten another first baseman or catcher. Personally, I think they’re fine at catcher. But I have been consistent in calling for a change at first base. Mostly, I hear from fans that the starting rotation is still a mess. Even Darryl Strawberry doesn’t like what the Mets have done, or haven’t done, this offseason.
Now that we’re only two weeks away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Port St. Lucie, you have to consider the Mets picking up a leftover starting pitcher. The obvious choices are Jerrod Washburn, Chien-Ming Wang, and Erik Bedard. At this point in the offseason there are pretty slim pickin’s.
You could always throw in Pedro Martinez, but I doubt that the Mets would go back to him. I wouldn’t either. He was better than I thought he would be with the Phillies last year at 5-1 3.63 in 9 games. But that’s a really small sample. If you consider the fact that he effectively robbed the Mets of two and a half years of his contract, I can’t see the Mets going there again.
Bedard had surgery for a torn labrum and won’t be ready to start the season. Wang also has several months to go before he’ll be ready for the season too. But both pitchers have proven to be effective when healthy and neither is too old to make a comeback. The Mets should take a flyer on Bedard or Wang with an incentive laden deal. Washburn is looking old at 35, even for a soft-tossing lefty. With such limited options, the Mets need to take a gamble on Bedard or Wang.
The news about the Mets has become a trickle over the past week. There’s just not a lot happening 18 days from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training in Port St. Lucie. There are some minor signings to talk about that, hopefully, won’t have a big impact on the 2010 season. Here are the links for today:
- SI.com – Tom Verducci wrote an article comparing the 80’s and 90’s days of Doc Gooden and Darryl Strawberry to the steroid users. It’s hard to follow the premise that the off field activities that got Doc and Darryl into trouble are comparable to using performance enhancing drugs. But it’s worth a read.
- CBS Sports – The Brooklyn Cyclones are ending their stadium naming deal with KeySpan Energy. KeySpan was taken over and the company name doesn’t exist anymore. The original deal was supposed to run until 2020, so I wonder how much KeySpan had to pay the Cyclones to buy the rest of the deal out.
- NY Post – The Mets signed Long Island native Frank Catalanotto to a minor league deal. He’s not a bad offensive player but at 35 years-old it’s hard to imagine how much of an impact he’ll have in the big leagues anymore. I imagine he was signed to be a draw at Triple-A Buffalo more than he was to be in Queens.
- NY Post – Kevin Kernan did a good piece on Greg Jeffries. He was such an enigma with the Mets, coming up to a lot of fanfare in ‘87 only to prove that he was an average and immature player.
- Daily News – The active career leader in minor league home runs, Mike Hessman, signed a minor league deal with the Mets. Again, I think this is a move to try to improve the miserable Bisons team.
- Daily News – Bill Madden details the laundry list of moves that Omar Minaya should have made this offseason. The funny thing is, that it’s nothing that you haven’t seen written anywhere else over the past two months. Madden needs to work on some original material.
The biggest news this week is that the Mets finally announced the election of Doc Gooden, Darryl Strawberry, Frank Cashen, and Davey Johnson into the team Hall of Fame. They’ll go in on August 1 and that’s a date to mark on your calendar to be at Citi Field. It still burns me up that the team seemed to forget about the Hall of Fame, not electing anyone since 2002. You can see the entire list here. How is Johnny Franco not in the Hall?
On the same note, Remembering Shea has a good list of the nine greatest Mets, the next nine to go into the Hall, and the next nine to have their numbers retired. It’s a great post. Take a few minutes to read it. The lists are great but I’m not as high on Jerry Koosman. I’d move him down a few spots, but other than that the lists are spot on.
The Mets are holding a voluntary mini-camp in Port St. Lucie starting on Monday. It’ll be really interesting to see who shows up to that. There should be an announcement within the next day or so about which players will be there. If Oliver Perez doesn’t show up, I’ll be livid. Nobody needs the extra work more than he does.
Things are finally starting to heat up this offseason for the Mets. Jason Bay is in the house and due to be introduced tomorrow at a press conference. But that’s not the only action going on after a slow start for the Mets.
- NY Post– Bay passed his physical in spite of past knee and shoulder problems
- Mets.com– Former Met and current SNY broadcaster Darryl Strawberry will be in this year’s cast of “Celebrity Apprentice”
- Amazin’ Avenue– A tweet from Jerry Crasnick of ESPN has the Mets and Red Sox talking about a Luis Castillo for Mike Lowell trade
- Remembering Shea– A great picture of sunny, warm Tradition Field to get you fired up for spring training
Talk back in the comments below about the Castillo for Lowell trade. I like it. Although I think that I’d like any trade that moves Castillo at this point. Lowell could be a nice platoon at first base and we know he’s a solid citizen in the clubhouse who has overcome a lot in his life.
- Image by epc via Flickr
Demolishing Shea Stadium and building Citi Field was certainly unwelcome for some Mets fans. It marked a changing of the guard for the franchise and maybe even a sense for some of us that we would be left behind in history as fans of the “old” Mets that played at the “old” stadium. But I have to admit that before this season, I was really looking forward to going to Citi Field.
The surprise set in when we realized that Citi Field wasn’t really about the Mets, it was all about the Brooklyn Dodgers and Jackie Robinson. Sure, Robinson is an individual worthy of all the recognition that he gets, and more than we know. But there was something glaring missing from the new stadium… The Mets history!!! In building this new $800 million project, the Mets forgot that the Mets were going to be playing there and that they’ve had some history of their own. Continue reading