Mets catcher John Buck continued his assault on National League pitching yesterday by blasting a garbage time home run to left-center in the ninth inning of a blowout loss. Yesterday the victim was Phillies pitcher Jeremy Horst. But Buck has been taking advantage of NL pitchers all month.
Buck started to tail off a bit over the last week, so I thought his storybook month might have come to an end. But he lit up Horst for a garbage time homer to keep the fairytale alive for one more day.
Buck’s now third in the NL in home runs and first in RBI’s. The Mets haven’t had a catcher with this kind of pop since Mike Piazza left. Sure, Paul LoDuca had some solid seasons. But what Buck is doing right now is amazin’. Continue reading →
I was at at the Mets-Cubs game last night with my father and I wanted to share a few images with you. As you know, it was another disappointing loss in a season filled with them so far. But the pre-game ceremony was more than worth the price of admission. The crowd was sparse as you would expect at this point in the season without playoff hopes. And the Cubs aren’t exactly a draw either.
There were representatives from pretty much every city service agency on the field before the game along with the kids from Tuesday’s Children. The NYPD and FDNY bagpipers and drummers were marching in a stirring ceremony that was filled with emotion. Continue reading →
A few of the Mets have started to arrive in Port St. Lucie over the last week. Pitchers and catchers will report by Tuesday. You can see the full spring training game schedule at the Mets site. Even though the full team hasn’t even arrived at PSL yet, there’s still plenty of news about the Mets over the past few days.
Here are a few of the stories that caught my eye this week:
The NY Times has a good article today by Joe Brescia about Mike Piazza. Basically, Piazza says that he wants to go into the Hall of Fame with a Mets cap on. That’s great to hear and I was talking about this recently with a friend of mine. We were discussing whether he will go as a Dodger or a Met. I think it’s a foregone conclusion that he’s in the Hall in 2013, his first year of eligibility.
There have always been rumors about Piazza using steroids during his career. But nobody ever found anything in his locker like Mark McGwire. And he wasn’t linked to BALCO like Barry Bonds. So I don’t think the unfounded rumors will keep him out like it will McGwire and Bonds. Continue reading →
There would be no other way to open Citi Field than to have Tom Seaver throw out the first ceremonial pitch to Mike Piazza. Two of the Mets biggest superstars are the only former players that make sense. Sure, Doc Gooden could do it but he had an acrimonious parting with the Mets in 1995. That acrimony is only beginning to subside with his appearance at the Shea Stadium final game last September.
There will be a game tonight at Citi Field. Its somewhat anticlimactic that the opening game in the history of the stadium will come against the lowly San Diego Padres. The scheduling gurus at MLB certainly didn’t do the Mets any favors with this pairing. Why would they pick a team from the west coast with no real ties to the Mets? At least they could have chosen the Los Angeles Dodgers to open Citi Field. The stadium is pratically a shrine to the Dodgers as it is.
Of all of the strange things that Fred Wilpon has done, and there are many things you can criticize him about, choosing Tom Seaver and Mike Piazza to throw out the first pitch was the right thing to do.
The official announcement about Mike Piazza’s retirement hit the media today. He hasn’t played all season so it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.
Since leaving the Mets after the 2005 season he bounced around to the Padres and A’s. He didn’t sign with anyone this season. I’m not sure if that was his choice, but I doubt it. Otherwise, he would’ve announced his retirement after the end of last season.
Piazza is a first ballot Hall of Famer due to his monstrous offensive numbers for a catcher. He wasn’t much of a defensive catcher… he only threw out 23% of runners stealing on him. I was surprised that the SNY crew during the game today mentioned that he played well defensively. I seem to remember the Marlins (Juan Pierre and Luis Castillo) running at will against Piazza.
I’m on my way to Florida for the road opener in Miami. It’s amazing how easy it was to get field level seats. $28/each to sit right behind the Mets bullpen. If I get there early enough I’ll get to see Johan Santana warming up right in front of me!
I’ve been looking at the weather for Monday and it’s calling for the usual south Florida mix of sun/clouds/rain. It would be the ultimate disappointment to have opening day rained out. I’ll keep checking the weather websites for continual updates. At this point, I should probably even put them into my browser’s favorites.
It’s a far cry from getting seats to the opener at Shea Stadium. The Mets only offer that game as part of a seven game package at minimum. Certainly, the Florida Marlins team is a far cry from the Mets. I’m wondering, after Hanley Ramirez and Dan Uggla, how many of their players that I’ll even recognize. There’s no more Dontrell Willis or Miguel Cabrera to see. The Marlins sent Cameron Maybain down to preserve another year without arbitration even though he’s one of the best young players in the organization. It’s a shady move, but I guess the Marlins have that luxury if they know they’re going nowhere this season.
I’ve never been to Dolphins Stadium before either. I’m thinking that it’s nothing special… The typical multi-purpose stadium built more for football than baseball. The Marlins have been talking about moving out of there for years. But I’m sure that it’s nicer than Shea Stadium. It’s only been in use since 1987. I’ll find out when I drive down Dan Marino Boulevard into the parking lot.
The best part about seeing the opening day game: I’m guaranteed to see Johan Santana’s first game as a Met! Santana’s presence here could transform the franchise the way Mike Piazza did when he arrived in a trade with the Marlins ten years ago. The next six or more years will be remembered as the Johan Santana years without a doubt.
I’ll be sure to take some pictures and post them on the site as soon as possible. If anyone else will be in Miami this week give me a shout. I’d love to hear from you.