Sep 02

Today in Mets’ History: It all comes together on the Coast.

It was one of those games where everything clicked in all departments.

Keith Hernandez (5-for-5), Gary Carter (3-for-5) and Darryl Strawberry (2-for-5) went a combined 10-for-15 with seven runs scored and seven RBI in a 12-4 rout at San Diego on this date in 1985.

The Mets lashed 18 hits, including homers from Ray Knight and Hernandez to back Sid Fernandez’s complete-game effort.

With the victory, the Mets closed within one game of St. Louis in the NL East.


Sep 01

Losing Einhorn not the end of the world.

Much like their bullpen, the Mets’ deal with minority investor David Einhorn collapsed, and with it the $200 million infusion the financially strapped franchise was banking on to help them maintain as the Wilpons fight for their team in the fallout of the Ponzi scandal.

Naturally, there’s a difference of opinion of why the deal unraveled, with Einhorn claiming the Wilpons kept changing terms of the original agreement.

Reportedly, Einhorn was concerned about the language in the contract that would have allowed him to eventually assume ownership of the Mets in three to five years if the Wilpons didn’t repay the $200 million. Einhorn wanted a clear path to ownership and bypass the approval of baseball’s other owners.

Einhorn taking shots at the Wilpons won’t help him should he pursue ownership of another baseball franchise. This is a tight fraternity, and as unhappy as many fans are with the Wilpons, they have allies in Commissioner Bud Selig and other owners.

Fans might clamor for new ownership, but it isn’t happening any time soon.

The Mets, meanwhile, insist they aren’t in dire financial distress despite the lingering Ponzi scandal. In a statement released by the team, the Mets said they have the resources to cover the remainder of the 2011 season and to continue business.

It must be remembered it was the Wilpons who walked away from this deal, a signal they don’t believe they are desperate.

However, the Mets did not say whether business would include re-signing Jose Reyes or how active they might be in the free-agent market.

Reportedly, the Mets are still seeking investors, but will explore the piecemeal route rather than try to hook somebody for another $200 million. This might prove to be a quicker way to raise funds.

This is not good news for the Mets, but not the devastating news made out to be on talk radio. For years, the Mets’ problem has not been an inability or refusal to spend, but to spend wisely. All we have to look at is the Omar Minaya era, and it wasn’t much better before him.

It ultimately lies with the Wilpons, and they seemingly put a management plan in place with the hiring of general manager Sandy Alderson. It takes time for these things to develop, but there have been encouraging signs this season, including how the team is playing and chasing .500.

After the last two years, who would have projected that progress?

We were told this would be a rebuilding, learning year, and that is what has happened. There’s been some miserable baseball, but there’s been some sound play, including the Mets’ current streak.

I know Mets’ fans don’t want to hear about patience, but that’s the way it must be. For too long the Mets have gone for the quick fix that invariably put them in this current hole.

But, I don’t believe this hole is an abyss.

Aug 30

Today in Mets’ History: Casey, then Sandy bid farewell to Shea

Casey Stengel, who broke his hip five weeks earlier, announced his retirement as manager of the Mets on this date in 1965.

The following year on this date, Bob Friend beat Sandy Koufax and the Dodgers, 10-4, at Shea Stadium. It would be his final decision against the Mets as he retired after the 1966 World Series. Davey Johnson, then the second baseman of the Baltimore Orioles and the future manager of the Mets, would get the last hit off Koufax.

Stengel eventually had his number retired while Koufax is a frequent visitor to the Mets spring training camp in Port St. Lucie, Florida.


Aug 30

Greetings …. hope you’re all safe.

Hello all. I hope you and your families are safe after the weekend. Coming to you from an Apple Store, where I can briefly log on to the Internet to post this. Joe D. from Metsmerized will be posting on my blog. I’m in Connecticut and still don’t have power, phone or Internet.

I have to go to my car to power up my phone. Other than that, it is like being on Gilligan’s Island. Only there’s no Ginger or Mary Ann.

It was good to hear the Mets swept a doubleheader. They’ve won four straight, which isn’t hard to imagine considering their starter’s ERA in that span is 1.25. When this team pitches, it wins, which is par for everybody else, too.

However, their pitching remains spotty. Nobody knows from start to start what Mike Pelfrey will do. RA Dickey seems to have righted himself, but Jon Niese hit a slide. Maybe he’s shaken it, but we need to see it three, four times in a row.

I think Chris Capuano has been terrific in spots and is worthy of being brought back, especially since he’s a lefty. Dillon Gee is coming off a good start after a spotty month. Growing pains for him, but overall, I like what he’s done. He deserves a spot in the 2012 rotation.

I’m starting to look ahead to 2012, and I see questions in the rotation, the bullpen, at second, at shortstop assuming Jose Reyes leaves, right field and possibly center and left. I’m betting Angel Pagan and Jason Bay both stay, although unloading Bay’s contract would be an huge coup on Sandy Alderson’s part. Of course, not holding my breath.

In the interim, I would like to see .500 because it is a sign of progress. With three games left this week against Florida, Washington over the weekend and Florida again next week, it is possible. Being .500 can give an energy boost to a team that has struggled the last four seasons such as the Mets.

It is a sign of progress and development. Sure beats the past couple of years.

Have to run because the Apple people are looking at me kind of strange. Until I can log on again, all my best to you. There will be some kind of activity on my blog, so please check in. Best, JD