What do these three players have in common ?
If you had guessed that the three of them were quite proficient with a bat you are partially correct. If you had said these are three players that the Mets let get away, you get a gold star !
But try your best to remember what happened after the Mets let these three high caliber players go. Do you remember the losing ? Do you remember a empty Shea Stadium ? Do you remember the war of words between the former players and the Mets ? Do you remember the damage control by the Mets after these devastating bombs were dropped ?
When Seaver was traded to the Cincinnati Reds, we received four top flight prospects in return. All four played with the Mets in one capacity or another, three of them have become beloved in Mets lore ( Zachry, Henderson and Flynn). But none of these players – individually – or as a whole could replace the leadership or productivity that Tom Seaver brought to this franchise.
As we know, Strawberry bolted the Mets for the Los Angeles Dodgers after a ugly ’89 season . It wasn’t ugly in terms of Strawberry’s numbers . He had one of his finest years. The Mets just balked on his contract demands, essentially low balling Straw, which forced him out of Flushing. I can’t say I remember who the Mets got as compensation for him in the ’90 draft, but I think it is safe to say that whoever it was never made an impact with the Mets.
Mike Hampton was the key to the ’00 season. Yes he came across as an aloof player. Yes he didn’t have one of his best seasons with the Mets. Yet he was the glue that held together the Mets rotation, essentially he helped the Mets into the World Series for the first time since ’86. When he was traded from the Astros to the Mets after the ’99 season for Roger Cedeno and Octavio Dotel, Hampton made it well known that he desired a contract extension. The then General Manger of the Mets, Steve Phillips, tendered him a low ball offer, which Hampton rejected outright, and contract talks were suspended until the off season.
After the Mets lost the World Series to the Yanks in five games, Phillips offered Hampton the same contract offer. Hampton turned it down and bolted to the Colorado Rockies for more pay and ” a better school system for his children”.
The Mets did get a good rookie prospect for him in the ’01 draft – David Wright- but we know in this case David is the exception – not the Norm !
The fact of the matter here is we can’t predict what the future will hold for the Mets if they trade Jose Reyes – or if they are either unable ( or unwilling) to meet his contract demands. Sandy Alderson really is caught between the proverbial rock and hard place here.
Let’s just hope against hope that this time next season Jose is sliding into third after legging out a triple – IN A METS UNIFORM !!!!
And with that said…. HERE COMES THE INFAMY !! !!
Mets alumni celebrating a birthday today includes :
The first General Manager in Mets history, George Weiss would have been 106 today (1895). George was the brain trust behind many of the dominant Yankees teams from the ’40′s and 50′s. He had enough foresight to litter the original Mets roster with aging starts in order to fill the ballpark with fans. He has a reputation for being frugal, but unfortunately there were allegations that he was a racist because the Yankees did not have a black player until 1955 – when Elston Howard made his Major League debut.
Emergency starter from the ’94 season, Juan Castillo is 41 (1970).
Sadly on this date in 1994, the legendary Mets first baseman from the early ’60′s, Marv Throneberry passed away. He was a profile in futility, but years later you could still see banners at Shea Stadium that read ” Raspberry, Strawberry – Bring back Throneberry !
The New York Mets signed free agent outfielder, Jerry Morales on June 23, 1966. Morales would be drafted by the San Diego Padres before he would ever play a game with the Mets . He would finally don a Mets uniform when in he was traded along with third baseman, Phil Mankowski from the Tigers for clubhouse cancer, Richie Hebner in October of ’79. I wish that I could say that Morales was a fine player in his lone season with the Mets, but he hit just .254 with 3 homers and 30 RBIs in 94 games in 1980.
Mo Vaughn is contemplating whether he should try out for the WFAN ” Fantasy Phenom” contest. He feels like he could be the next Mike Francessa ( Face it he does have the same amount of Girth as Mike – so maybe there is the same amount of hot air to be spewed by Mo ) !!!