Jun 21

Examining potential Beltran trade.

BELTRAN: Trade deadline approaching.

The question doesn’t appear to be “if,’’ but “when,’’ the Mets will deal outfielder Carlos Beltran.

The physical questions that followed him into the season have seemingly been answered in the positive, which means the Mets don’t have to think solely about dealing with the American League, although there are several interesting possibilities, including Boston, Chicago and Detroit.

The Red Sox could have inside leverage because executive Allard Baird – who interviewed for the Mets’ GM job – was the general manager at Kansas City when Beltran played there. That could help in Beltran waiving his no-trade clause.

In the National League, San Francisco needs offense, as does St. Louis with Albert Pujols injured and out from four to six weeks. Lance Berkman could move to first base to replace Pujols and make room for Beltran in right field.

To move Beltran, the Mets figure to eat a portion of his $18.5 million contract. How much they digest could make it substantially easier to move him. Unless they decide to make a serious run at a wild card – which would have to mean adding players instead of subtracting them – it does the Mets no good to keep Beltran because they would not receive compensatory draft picks as he is not arbitration eligible.

As badly as the Mets want to save salary and add prospects, don’t look for a crosstown move to the Yankees for two reasons, 1) the Yankees’ priority is pitching, and 2) there should be no inclination on the Mets’ part to aid the Yankees.

Should GM Sandy Alderson trade him to the Yankees, it would clearly indicate he doesn’t have a grasp on the lay of the land in New York. The Mets are struggling, both on the field and financially, and the last thing they need is to trade a key player that could put the Yankees over the top.

A trading of Beltran would raise a white flag of sorts, but don’t trade him to a prime antagonist.


 

Jun 21

Today in Mets’ History: Jim Bunning was perfect.

This date wasn’t one of the Mets’ most shining moments in their history, but it was memorable nonetheless when Philadelphia’s Jim Bunning tossed a perfect game at Shea Stadium on Father’s Day, 1964, winning 6-0.

BUNNING: Perfecto vs. Mets in 1964

Tracy Stallard, the pitcher who served up Roger Maris’ 61st homer three years earlier, was the losing pitcher for the Mets.

Pinch-hitter John Stephenson struck out to end the game. It was Bunning’s 10th strikeout.

BOX SCORE

Lost on that day was in the second game of the doubleheader, Rick Wise beat the Mets on a three-hitter, 8-2.

Bunning, a Hall of Famer and nine-time All-Star, also pitched for Detroit, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles.

Bunning also threw a no-hitter for Detroit, July 20, 1958, over Boston. When he retired after the 1971 season following a second stint with the Phillies, he had 2,855 strikeouts, second on the career list at the time behind Walter Johnson.

Bunning is also the answer to a trivia question, as he was the only pitcher to strike out Ted Williams three times in a single game.

After has retirement, Bunning served as a state senator for Kentucky.

If anybody has any memories of that day, please share them.

 


 

Jun 20

Santana resumes throwing; return not soon.

Johan Santana resumed his throwing program and told ESPN Radio he believes it is possible to return in late July.

SANTANA: Throwing again.

That falls under the I’ll-believe-it-when-I-see-it category. Athletes are always putting a positive spin on the return dates of their injuries, and Santana is no exception.

The most hysterical thing I’ve heard lately was on a call-in radio show when the topic was who Santana would replace in the rotation.

There’s no way of telling when Santana would return as evidenced by his setback in June when he complained of soreness in his shoulder. Santana underwent surgery last September to fix a torn capsule in his left shoulder.

The protocol in these things is to throw off the mound to build up this arm strength and work on all his pitches.  From there, it will be throwing to live hitters in batting practice, until graduating to rehab games.

It takes a pitcher a six-week spring training to be ready for the season and that puts us into early August. As of now, Santana isn’t even at the first day of spring training.

 

Jun 20

Today in Mets’ History: First Mayor’s Trophy Game.

On this date in 1963, there was no such thing as interleague play thankfully. There was, however, the Mayor’s Trophy Game, which was a one-game exhibition.

In the early years we knew the Yankees would crush the Mets, and many times that’s been true.

However, in the very first Mayor’s Trophy Game, played in Yankee Stadium before 52,430, Tim Harkness’ two-run single keyed a five-run third inning to highlight a 6-2 victory over the Yankees.

Jay Hook and Carl Willey combined for the win.

The Yankees held a 10-8-1 record over the Mets in the Mayor’s Trophy game.

Has anybody every attended one of the Mayor’s Trophy Games? Have any memories? Please share them.

 

Jun 19

Today in Mets’ History: Remembering Donn Clendenon.

We’re at the point of the season where much of the talk is about trades, so let’s look back on one of the Mets biggest deals.

CLENDENON: Big pick up for Mets.

On June 15 of 1969, Donn Clenenon was traded by Montreal to the Mets for minor leaguers Bill Carden and Dave Colon, Kevin Collins and Steve Renko.

The Mets were nine games back of the Cubs when the trade was made. Clendenon was hot down the stretch, hitting homers to beat Chicago and St. Louis, and continued to hit for power during the World Series, with homers in Games 2 and 4.

Clendenon played two more years for the Mets with limited success.  On this date in 1971, his homer gave the Mets a 6-5 victory over Philadelphia in 15 innings.

Clendenon was released after the season, played in 1972 with St. Louis and was cut after that year.

Clendenon’s father was a mathematics and psychology professor at Langston University in Oklahoma, and education was a big part of his life. After retiring, Clendenon returned to school at Duquesne University and practiced law in Dayton, Ohio.

Clendenon died at 70 in 2005 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

CLENDENON’S CAREER