May 19

Today’s Mets lineup: May 19 vs. Washington.

They got the game in last night, but I wonder if it is worth the risk when I hear Jon Niese had trouble gripping the ball.

Teams have a huge investment in players, but it isn’t a stretch to figure out why they put them at risk by playing in such rotten conditions. If you must use blowtorches to dry the field, it isn’t worth playing that day.

The Mets clearly didn’t want to play a doubleheader today to tax their bullpen prior to the Yankees series, and didn’t want to play one later in the season.

There aren’t as many off days as there used to be because of interleague play and the unbalanced schedule. And, most teams don’t want doubleheaders not because of the impact on pitching, but because they don’t want to give up the gate.

Anyway, it is better today than it was yesterday, although the field is still soggy. Here’s the Mets’ lineup today behind Dillon Gee:

Jose Reyes, SS

Josh Thole, C

Carlos Beltran, RF

Jason Bay, LF

Daniel Murphy, 1B

Justin Turner, 3B

Jason Pridie, CF

Ruben Tejada, 2B

Dillon Gee, RP

COMMENTS: Terry Collins floated the idea to the media last night about hitting Jason Bay second, but he hasn’t talked to him, yet. That explains why there’s been no move. Theoretically, hitting Bay second should present him with more fastball opportunities.


May 19

Today in Mets History: Agee goes deep twice.

I remember when Shea closed going up to the higher reaches of the upper deck where the No. 20 was painted in recognition of Tommie Agee’s monstrous homer.

AGEE: Had big day vs. Expos.

Agee first popped into my consciousness when he played for the Chicago White Sox in the mid-1960’s, when I rooted for the Cleveland Indians.

Agee was a tremendous fielder and will always be remembered for making two game-saving catches in Game 3 of the 1969 World Series to save a potential five runs. What people forget, however, is Agee also homered to lead off that game.

On this date in 1970, Agee homered twice in a 7-4 victory at Montreal. Agee had a 20-game hitting streak, April 16-May 9 of that season.


Unfortunately, chronic knee pain slowed Agee’s career in 1971 and 1972, and he was traded to Houston after the 1972 season. The Astros traded Agee to St. Louis in August of the 1973.

After the season, the Cardinals dealt Agee to the Los Angeles Dodgers. In one of those twists, Agee was released by the Dodgers in spring training and never played for the team. However, his final baseball card showed him as a Dodger.

Agee relished being a part of the 1969 Mets and appeared as himself in a 1999 episode of “Everybody Loves Raymond.’’

He suffered a heart attack, Jan. 22, 2001, and died at Bellevue Hospital Center. He was posthumously inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame the following summer.


If you have any Agee memories, I’d like for you to share them. Thanks.


May 18

Today in Mets History: Hundley has tainted career day.

Not even chemistry would make Todd Hundley the player he was supposed to be. On this date in 1996, Hundley homered from both sides of the plate and drove in a career-high seven runs in a 14-5 victory at San Francisco.

HUNDLEY: Enjoyed career day on this date.

Hundley would hit 41 homers that season, but never again had a year that approached those numbers. According to the Mitchell Report, Hundley started using steroids that season after never hitting more than 16 prior to that year.

Hundley, the son of former major league catcher Randy Hundley, hit 124 homers in nine seasons with the Mets, and after stints with the Dodgers and Cubs, finished with 202 career homers when he retired after the 2003 season.


Former Mets manager Bobby Valentine and Hundley feuded after the manager suggested his catcher needed more sleep, in reference to his late-night party image.

After Mike Piazza was acquired in May of 1998, it was apparent Hundley was done with the Mets and was traded to the Dodgers after that season.

Four years after his retirement, Hundley was named in the Mitchell Report along with another Mets catcher, Paul Lo Duca, for using performance enhancing drugs.



May 17

Wright, Mets messed up injury.

Yes, David Wright’s desire to stay in the lineup and play is an admirable quality, but it isn’t a testament to common sense. And, it didn’t do any good as Wright will be placed on the disabled list tomorrow.

WRIGHT: Should have taken MRI weeks ago.

Wright sustained a stress fracture in his lower back in an April 19 game against Houston, and nearly a month later the severity of the injury was revealed. In discussing the injury yesterday, Wright admitted the Mets wanted him to have a MRI on his back, but put it off.

Although still in discomfort, Wright said he eschewed the MRI because he was feeling better. Not completely better, but enough to where he could still play.

That wasn’t sound thinking on Wright’s part, and not a good play by the Mets, either.

Wright must know his value to the Mets, and there’s nothing to be gained by putting off the exam. Although the injury isn’t deemed serious, we didn’t know that at the time and it is possible Wright exposed himself to further injury. From the Mets’ perspective, why didn’t they just order the MRI and insist Wright be examined?

Why didn’t Terry Collins just refuse to pen him into the lineup until the MRI?

Both parties should have been smarter in the handling of this situation. The Mets have long been criticized in their handling of injuries, and shouldn’t have let Wright call the shots here. And, Wright, as much as he wanted to play, needed to take care better care of himself.