First off I would like to thank the man who makes the magic of the Mets radio broadcastson WFAN fill our cars, homes and personal workspaces for the idea of today’s column. That man is none other than my friend, ” THE IMMORTAL” Chris Majkowski !
Through the years there have been many players who have donned the Orange and blue pinstripes that make up the Mets uniform. Some players have left their marks in positive ways, ( Tom Seaver, Mike Piazza, Keith Hernandez come to mid immediately) while others have left under dark clouds of controversy – i.e. Vince Coleman, Bobby Bonilla and Oliver Perez to name a few . Some players may illicit a smile because you havent heard their names in eons such as Skip Lockwood, Dave Magadan or Duffy Dyer, while others may induce a eyebrow scrunching ” Who ?!?” such as Junior Ortiz or David Newhan.
Well today I pose a different sort of question for you to mull over. The answer you may come to you quickly- or you may have to search the vast recesses of your memory.
Who in your opinion is the craziest Met player ever ?
Is it Jimmy Piersall, the man who could truly be catagorized as crazy ? He did spend some time in a mental institution after suffering from a nervous breakdown back in the ’50′s while playing with the Boston Red Sox. It is Mets legend that after he hit his 100th career homerun, he ran around the bases – backwards in celebration ! He was released my the Mets the very next day at the urging of then manager, Casey Stengel !
Is it Roger McDowell, the one time stud Mets reliever who was known for his off the field reputation as the team joker ? During his tenure as a Met he earned the nom de plume as the ” King of the Hot Foot !” because he was able to distract every member of the team – especially hitting Coach , Bill Robinson ( who was on the receiving end of mane of the cleat melting pranks). For a overview of Rogers handywork I suggest you rent the making of the ” Lets Go Mets !” video where he is spotlighted !
Another candidate for “ Craziest Met Ever ” is the former middle reliever from ’97-’01, Turk Wendell. Turk was certainly a loose cannon. Whether it was him eating licorice and brushing his teeth between innings, talking to the resin bag or jumping over the foul line after the last out of the inning was recorded, mormal isn’t one of the adjectives that would gennerally be used to describe him. Whenever he pitched he wore a necklace made up from the teeth of the animals he had killed and eaten during his off season hunting trips. He also had the fixation on the number 9. According to legend, he insisted that during negotiations with the Mets that 99 cents would be included at the end of his yearly salary. For instance if he made 2 million dollars in a season, the contract would have to have read 9 million dollars and ninetynine cents ! – strange cat indeed !
Just in case if you are wondwering who my nomination for the Met most likely to be hauled away in a straight jacket, it would have to be none other than Carl Everett !
Carl was a solid player throughout his tenure as a Major League ballplayer – but he had a temper so short that he made Kevin Mitchell look like Mahatna Ghandi ! Who could forget that game back in ’00 when he was member of the Red Sox and he had to be restrained from killing umpire, Ron Kulpa after it was ruled that his batting stance was illegal? The game was against the Mets and it was broadcast on the Fox “ Saturday Game of the Week. It took about 15 minutes and both teams to keep him at bay ! During his tenure with the Mets he was just as unstable. He had many on field altercations with many players on the opposing team. Who could forget the time when his children were taken away by ACS after there were allegations of abuse by him and his then spouse ( charges were later dropped after a investigation I believe) But the crowning moment for me is when a reporter asked Carl a question about dinosaurs ( or something to that ilk). I remember Carl being quoted as saying:
” God created the sun, the stars,the heavens and the Earth. Then he made Adam and Eve. The Bible never says anything about dinosaurs. You can’t say there were dinosaurs when you never saw them !”
Carl went on to say that the fossils that are on display in museums are ” man-made fakes “. He has also questioned whether mad had actually ever walked on the moon.
Ok so who do you think should be dubbed the ” Craziest Met player ever” ?
And with that said…. HERE COMES THE INFAMY !!!!!
Mets alumni celebrating a birthday today includes :
Middle reliever from the ’00 season, Eric Cammack is 36(1975) .Cammack was the Mets 13th round draft pick in 1997. He would only pitch one season in the majors before fading into obscurity.
Reserve outfielder from the ’02 season, McKay Christensen is is also 36 (1975) .
The New York Mets signed free agent middle reliever, Barry Jones on August 14, 1992. In his lone season with the Mets, Jones was atrocious. He had a record of 2-0 with one lone save. Sounds good huh ? Well his E.R.A was a staggering 9.39 – probably because he gave up 16 earned runs in 15 and 1/3 innings !
And here is a question that has been gnawing at me for the last couple of days – Who would win in a sumo wrestling match – Mo Vaughn or John Kruk ?!? It’s definitely a question that makes you go hmmm.