Jul 02

Today in Mets’ History: Boswell, Garrett pace win over Cards.

Yes, there was Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman. Cleon Jones and Tommie Agee had good years. The 1969 Miracle Mets weren’t void of marquee players.

However, they were also a team comprised of role players. Donn Clendenon was a late season addition. Ron Swoboda, Ed Kranepool and Al Weis had their moments.

On this day in 1969, Ken Boswell and Wayne Garrett – two guys probably not recognizable if they chose to take the subway to Shea Stadium – contributed in a 6-4, 14-inning victory at St. Louis.

Boswell singled in a run in the 14th against Ron Willis and Garrett drew a bases-loaded walk.  They combined to go 6-for-13 with five RBI and three runs scored.

BOX SCORE

Koosman started and worked 7.2 innings and Tug McGraw pitched six innings in relief to pick up the win.

Jul 01

Reyes sizzles in June. Will he stay to sizzle past July?

Jose Reyes had one of those dream months in June when he hit .385 (45-for-117) with seven triples, 11 stolen bases, 29 runs scored and a .425 on-base percentage.

REYES: What's going to happen?

The only other player to reach those numbers in triples, runs, steals and hits was Ty Cobb in 1912.

How can he not be the player of the month? But, will he last another month in Flushing?

I’m beginning to think he will, even though I am not sold on him being here next season.

Things could fall apart in July and by the end of the month there could be the fire sale we’ve expected, but figuring for a minute the Mets remain competitive I can see them holding on to him and making an offer during the winter.

Doing so will act as a diversionary tactic to focus away from the Wilpon’s financial problems. If the Mets made a solid offer, and I define that being over $100 million for the package, they can always say they tried and blame the market.

I believe $100 million over five years is fair, but it probably won’t be accepted. The Mets must think long and hard about seven years for the following reasons:

* Reyes is a player who does it with his legs and how much running will he be doing at 34 and 35?

* He’s having a superior season, but this is his walk year, and there must be the thought he won’t produce like this again.

* This is the healthiest he has been in two years.

I believe the Mets already know what they will offer Reyes in terms of years and money, and barring a complete collapse for the rest of the month will keep him as to not alienate the fan base.

Should the Mets remain competitive, they will have much harder decisions to make on Carlos Beltran and Francisco Rodriguez, players they would prefer to unload because of their finances.

If the Mets remain around .500 and have a half-dozen or more teams they must hurdle, they might see it too difficult to contend and deal. However, should they make a serious run in July despite a difficult schedule they might go for it.

Jul 01

Today in Mets’ History: Leiter routs the Braves.

The Braves have long been the yardstick the Mets measure themselves by, but not on this day in 2000, the last season the Mets appeared in the World Series when they routed Atlanta, 9-1.

LEITER: Ace of 2000 staff.

The Mets clubbed three homers – Derek Bell, Benny Agbayani and Mike Piazza – to back the solid effort by Al Leiter, who outpitched Greg Maddux at Shea Stadium.

Agbayani and Piazza connected off Maddux, who gave up seven runs in two innings. Leiter improved to 10-1 as he gave up a run in seven innings.

With the victory, the Mets moved within one game of the Braves for first place in the National League East.

The Mets finished second to the Braves that year, but defeated San Francisco and St. Louis in the playoffs before losing to the Yankees in five games in the World Series.

BOX SCORE

 

Jun 30

Hot Mets still need David Wright.

I am not saying this hasn’t been fun to watch, but Justin Verlander will start this afternoon for the Detroit Tigers against the Mets.

WRIGHT: Still need his stroke.

The Mets have won four straight games – scoring a franchise record 52 runs in the process – and six of their last seven to climb to two games over .500.

All teams go through stretches like this where they seemingly score at will. They’ve been scarce for the Mets, who should be enjoying it while they can.

However, this is not to say the Mets have turned some kind of offensive turner and evolve into another Lumber Company or Big Red Machine. Amazingly, some suggest David Wright’s return might gum up the works.

Hardly.

Wright started swinging the bat yesterday in a pool and could hit off a tee today. If all goes well he could play rehab games in a week and possibly return after the All-Star break.

Yes, the Mets are hot now and playing with a degree of chemistry, but they are only two games over .500 and five games behind in the wild card. After Detroit, they have the Yankees for three games and a long West Coast trip to Los Angeles and San Francisco.

There’s a lot of season left, but an even smaller window where the Mets must prove they are players and worthy of not having the plug pulled from their season. A lot rides over the next 31 days, and it would be foolish to suggest the Mets would be better off without Wright in that span.

Jun 30

Today in Mets’ History: No-hit by Sandy Koufax.

On this date in Mets History, the Mets fell to one of the great ones in 1962 when Sandy Koufax threw the first of his four career no-hitters, winning 5-0, at Dodger Stadium.

KOUFAX: Said to have had the ``left arm of God.''

To illustrate the strange nature of the sport, the previous day the Mets drew 16 walks to win 10-4.

Koufax issued five walks and struck out 13 Mets, including Rod Kanehl, Cliff Cook, Elio Chacon, Chris Cannizzaro and Ray Daviault twice each.

BOX SCORE

In 20 career starts against the Mets, Koufax was 17-2 with a 1.44 ERA, including 14 complete games.

KOUFAX CAREER

Koufax had a dominating six-year run from 1961-66, when he was named the National League MVP in 1963, and won the Cy Young Award in 1963, 65 and 66. His career was cut short at the age of 30 with arthritis.

At 36 years and 20 days, he was the youngest entry into Baseball’s Hall of Fame.

Koufax played basketball at the University of Cincinnati, and played for the baseball team in 1954. He was scouted by the Dodgers, but the report was lost.

Koufax later tried out for the Giants and Pirates – neither of which offered a contract – and the Dodgers again. This time, he was signed for $6,000 with a $14,000 signing bonus.

A close friend of owner Fred Wilpon, Koufax is a frequent visitor to the Mets’ spring training facility in Port St. Lucie, Fla., and tutors the pitchers most every spring.

After a long drought, Koufax is back in the Dodgers’ family. The Dodgers hired him to be a minor league pitching coach in 1979, but he resigned in 2000, the departure blamed on an uneasy relationship with then Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda.

Koufax severed ties with the Dodgers in 2003 when a New York Post article wrote of his sexual orientation and implied he was gay. Both the Post and Dodgers were owned by Rupert Murdoch at the time. Koufax resumed his relationship with the Dodgers when Frank McCourt purchased the team in 2004.