May 15

Today in Mets History: Another Tom Terrific Day.

SEAVER: One-hit Phillies on this date.

Tom Seaver had many moments as a Met, including on this date in 1970 when he threw a one-hit shutout with 15 strikeouts to beat Philadelphia, 4-0. It was one of five one-hitters during his Hall of Fame career.

It was one of Seaver’s 61 career shutouts, five of which were against the Phillies. Lifetime, Seaver was 27-14 with a 3.00 ERA against Philadelphia, averaging eight strikeouts per nine innings.

Seaver was 18-12 with a 2.82 ERA in 1970. Seaver worked 290.2 innings that season with 283 strikeouts and only 83 walks. He did all this for the bargain basement price of $80,000.

The most Seaver made in any season was $1,136,262 with the 1986 Chicago White Sox.

 

May 14

Will Martinez ever make it?

Fernando Martinez is 22, still young enough in the sport where he’s graded most on potential. However, the past few years have been rough on his body and he’s lost more gams due to injury than anybody his age should have the right to.

MARTINEZ: A glimpse into what was supposed to be.

At one time Martinez was part of a group of three Mets outfielders who were going to race their way to stardom. Lastings Milledge, Carlos Gomez and Martinez were three raw talents blessed with speed, quickness and the potential – there’s that word again – for power.

They represented a bright future for the Mets, young, athletic and talented. They would be something to see, and teams were always rebuffed when they called. Reportedly, the Mets said no to Manny Ramirez for the cost of Milledge.

However, the opportunities given Milledge and Gomez – especially the former – didn’t pan the the Mets relented and Milledge was sent to Washington for Brian Schneider and Ryan Church, and Gomez was part of the package that brought in Johan Santana.

With Santana’s injury, there’s nothing left to show for the trade. Once one of the top prospects in the majors, Martinez isn’t even one of the top five Mets’ prospects. Times have changed.

Martinez, called up Friday night as a patch in the Mets’ outfield, hit a two-run, pinch homer to remind us once again what all the fuss was about. But, did he show us a glimpse into the future or into what was supposed to be?

May 14

Today in Mets History: The Ryan Express nails 14 Reds.

RYAN: Seven no-hitters.

The Mets knew early there was something special about Nolan Ryan, he with the electric arm that threw thunderbolts that sizzled.

On this date in 1968, Ryan established a then club record by striking out 14 Cincinnati Reds. “I threw nothing but fastballs the last two innings,’’ said Ryan, then 21.

Ryan pitched in parts of five seasons with the Mets and compiled a non-descript 29-38 record with a respectable 3.43 ERA.

Ryan’s stay in New York was interrupted with stints in the National Guard, wildness, and blisters that required soaking his fingers in cups of pickle brine.

Above all Ryan never felt comfortable in New York, and the Mets, weighing all this and in need of a third baseman, dealt him to the Angels prior to the 1972 season.

The Mets were to receive All-Star shortstop Jim Fregosi, who was at the end of his career and would be shifting to third base. The trade sounded good in theory at the time, but a 27-year Hall of Fame career said the Mets clearly lost this deal.

However, the Angels let him get away, too, to Houston and then the Texas Rangers. When it was all over, Ryan had thrown seven no-hitters.

CAREER STATS

 

May 13

On where Wright should hit in the order.

Few spots are etched in stone in a major league batting order. David Wright hitting third should not be one of them. So, on the day after Carlos Beltran hit three homers batting third while Wright enjoyed a day off, things are back to normal. Wright will bat third tonight at Houston; Beltran will hit fourth.

Why?

Wright is hitting all of .234 and below .200 over his past seven games. He’s striking out bunches and not hitting for power. Third should be reserved for your best overall hitter, and clearly that’s Beltran over Wright at this time.

Beltran is sizzling well over expectations and the Mets should take advantage of that and hit him third. Without Ike Davis, there’s a gaping hole at four and five. For now, I’d go with Bay and Wright until Davis returns.

 

 

May 13

Unanswered questions about pending Mets sale.

There are more than a few things racing through my mind regarding the pending 49 percent of the Mets by the Wilpons. While the Wilpons will receive some financial relief, these questions remain:

Does the $200 million go to the Wilpons, or will it be put back into the team in the form of repaying the $25 million debt to Major League Baseball and to player acquisition?

Should the Madoff scandal go to court as expected and the Mets lose, what then? If the Wilpons are forced to sell, will the minority investor become the majority owner, or will the remaining 51 percent be sold piecemeal or in one unit?

What direction will the team take with the new minority investor? Can we interpret this to mean the Mets will be able to re-sign Jose Reyes, or will the team continue its austerity program?

What will the Mets’ new budget be for 2012 and beyond? We still won’t expect the Mets to be buyers at the trade deadline, regardless of how well the team is playing at the time.