Mets All-Time Team

Basically, the announcement of the All-Mets Team was a SNY/MetsBlog production, another way of saying it could have been done better. There wasn’t the build-up or suspense I would have liked to have seen. It would have been great to invite and introduce the team before a game, perhaps as part of a special ceremony.

When?

Perhaps there could have been a 50th anniversary weekend. Honor the great moments and players. It could have been done. The Mets surely did it on the return after 9-11 and the closing of Shea Stadium. During those events they proved they know how to throw a party.

All of a sudden, there was this announcement. To do it on a Sunday afternoon seemed like an afterthought. Could have been done with more flair.

Anyway, here’s the team:

CATCHER: Mike Piazza.

Comments: A no-brainer. Piazza might also be the author of the greatest regular-season moment in franchise history with his post 9-11 homer against the Braves. Gary Carter undoubtedly received consideration, but Piazza was an offensive force. Carter was a key piece in putting together the team of the 1980s, but Piazza carried the Mets while he was here and was still a player in his prime during his tenure here.

FIRST BASE: Keith Hernandez.

Comments: A slam dunk, no doubt. He’s arguably one of the great Mets of all time. There was no championship without Hernandez. Who else could be considered? John Olerud? Ed Kranepool? Make me laugh and suggest Carlos Delgado.

SECOND BASE: Edgardo Alfonzo:

Comments: I don’t doubt Fonzie’s numbers, but is he really the greatest at the position? There were significant Mets who played before 1975, for example Ron Hunt. Hunt was one of the first legitimate early All-Stars. He played during a different era, but when I think of Mets infielders, I think of Hunt right away.

SHORTSTOP: Jose Reyes.

Comments: Based on stats, but he wasn’t the greatest glove. That would be Rey Ordonez. He’s also not the greatest inspirational leader. That would be Bud Harrelson. Reyes reminds me of the list I recently read on greatest SNL characters, one that didn’t include John Belushi. Reyes was an exceptional player, but his definitive Met moment is still pulling himself out of the last game of the season after securing the batting title last year.

THIRD BASE: David Wright.

Comments: One of the greatest Mets ever. Don’t forget, the Mets used dozens of third basement before Wright stepped in. If there was any other possibility, it would have been Howard Johnson.

LEFT FIELD: Cleon Jones.

Comments: Jones had a good career with the Mets, but personally my pick would have been the widely unpopular Kevin McReynolds. McReynolds could hit, run and play defense and was a steady force on the teams of the mid-1980s. He was not an easy out. The Mets would kill to have a player like McReynolds today.

CENTER FIELD: Carlos Beltran.

Comments: A good choice. Had he been healthy during his entire Mets’ run, he might have gone down as one of the greatest position players in their history. He’ll still go down in the top five. Lenny Dykstra and Mookie Wilson were hugely popular, but were also part of a platoon. Unfortunately, and unfairly for Beltran, he’s mostly remembered for one checked swing.

RIGHT FIELD: Darryl Strawberry.

Comments: Outside of Tom Seaver, perhaps the easiest choice. Strawberry was one of the few players who made you think a home run was possible with every at-bat. The only other Met who had the same effect was Piazza.

RIGHT-HANDED STARTER: Tom Seaver.

Comments: Who else? Even had Dwight Gooden not tossed his career down the drain, he wouldn’t have touched Seaver.

LEFT-HANDED STARTER: Jerry Koosman.

Comments: The Mets have had several superb lefties, including Al Leiter, Johan Santana, Jon Matlack and Sid Fernandez. But, Koosman, who came a year before Seaver, was the first Mets’ pitcher to give the team a feeling of credibility every time he took the mound.

RIGHT-HANDED RELIEVER: Roger McDowell.

Comments: I have no problem with this choice. Don’t forget, McDowell pitched during a time when saves meant something. More than a few times he pitched two or three innings to get that save. What, you were thinking Armando Benitez or Francisco Rodriguez?

LEFT-HANDED RELIEVER: Tug McGraw.

Comments: Was he named for his numbers or because he coined a phrase? I would have gone with John Franco based on the save totals.

MANAGER: Davey Johnson.

Comments: I’ve heard a lot of people waxing for Gil Hodges, which is understandable, but based more on heart than head. Yes, the Mets first won under Hodges, but their longest run of success came during the time under Johnson. If Mike Scioscia hadn’t hit that homer in the 1988 NLCS for the Dodgers, the Mets might have had a dynastic run.

 

 

8 thoughts on “Mets All-Time Team

  1. You’re gonna bang that drum about Jose forever ain’t you John?

    I’m a little young to have seen Bud Harrelson, but I have seen Ordonez and Reyes, and the other cast of characters that have manned short. Jose stands head and shoulders above them all.

    If you want to talk about all around play, Jose had a good stick and is pretty good in the field.
    Bud could field well, but, like most shortstops of that time, couldn’t hit that well.

    It’s probably close, but Jose should get the nod.

    The team did do this poorly, they should have done a grander announcement. Instead, they left it to a couple of News guys, a Post guy and announcers to put the list together. Wish they had done something better to announce it than at the 92nd St Y and at SNY studio today.

    • Hi Ed: Yeah, I guess I’m wearing out that drum. Ordonez and Harrelson excelled Reyes in some areas, but Reyes is the most complete shortstop in franchise history. There’s really no debate to that and you’re right. And, I promise to band the drum a little less in the future. Thanks, Ed.-JD

  2. Good review of the all time list. I am not sure I agree with you on Ron Hunt (I am old enough to remember Ron Hunt) or McReynolds, but I see the point. The one argument I strongly disagree with is the one in favor of Davey Johnson over Gil Hodges. It is not a decision of the heart over the head. Hodges took a team that never won 70 games in a season. In his first season, they won 73 and, I recall, people thought that was a sign of something special. The next year, of course, they won 100 games and the World Series. They never repeated after that, but Hodges had the team playing above itself. Johnson was a great manager, but I think Hodges deserves more recognition. Johnson was a great manager, but I think Hodges deserves more recognition.

    • Silver99: Thanks for your input. I hope you’ll drop by again. … Regarding Hodges vs. Johnson, I went with Davey because he had the longer stretch of winning. But, you’re on to something with Hodges. He instilled an attitude into the Mets that previously never existed. There’s no question he turned the fortunes of the franchise around.-JD

  3. I can’t comment on most of this list cause I don’t know the players.

    but here goes.

    Catcher – Gary Carter wasn’t a Met as long I think but he was the cleanup hitter and the catcher who managed the game. He was the complete package. He was the last piece to the puzzle and was an inspirational leader. Piazza had the stats but was he a leader? He got thrown at and walked to first. He had a bat thrown at him and meekly walked away. Somehow that leaves me wanting more. If Carter was thrown at he would have met at the mound and his teammates would be there too.

    First Base – Keith. Case closed.

    Second – Alfonzo was good. I don’t know those other guys.

    SS – This is tough. Jose is the most talented. But he was injured, took plays off, was lost, etc. The thing is no one else brings the package he does. You will get a lot of flack for your comments on him.

    3rd – DWright. Hojo just was not as good although he didn’t throw the ball away nearly as much.

    CF – Beltran – He had talent and heart. He grew into the position. He could always play the field, but he could not carry the load at the plate until after Delgado left. Delgado was the leader of the team. Beltran couldn’t take the pressure at that time.

    RF – Darryl was not the complete player. Gun for an arm, bad defense. He could carry the team on his back for a month or so while everyone else got it together.

    RH Reliever – Roger was great. Best set up man we ever had.

    Pitcher – Seaver. Hall of Famer. I didn’t see him so cannot compare. Doc was great for a short while. Johan is good. Not as good as those guys and he is old. RA is having a great season.

    El Sid. Are you serious? He was the 5th starter! Nice stuff but no stamina.

    • dave: You’re right, I heard from Ed about my comments regarding Jose. As far as Sid is concerned, he was a good pitcher, but Koosman is my choice.-JD