In researching Today in Mets History, I didn’t discover much besides Al Weis’ homer, but odds are there will be nothing more significant than tonight’s response to last night’s 11-1 embarrassment at Wrigley Field.
For the second straight game, a sloppy big inning did them in, but overall, they committed three errors, had their bullpen torched, watched Jon Niese struggle again, didn’t hit, and for good measure, had Jason Bay injure his right calf.
Bay isn’t expected to play tonight, assuming weather allows the game to get it. Maybe not playing will be a good thing for the Mets as it will give them another day to stew over owner Fred Wilpon’s comments. Wilpon, guarded for so long, called out his three best players and termed the Mets a “crappy” team, only with vulgarity.
Manager Terry Collins insisted Wilpon’s comments and the swirling controversy about payroll and who will or will not get traded had no bearing on last night. Perhaps they didn’t, but there’s no way if this continues that it won’t have an accumulative effect.
Do you remember Al Weis?
He hit a home run on this date – his first in three years – as the Mets routed Atlanta, 9-1.
Weis came over to the Mets from the Chicago White Sox along with Tommie Agee (for Tommy Davis and Jack Fisher) after the 1967 season.
Weis played on the 1969 World Series championship team, and drove in the game-winning run in Game 2 with a ninth-inning single and homered in Game 5.
Weis was released two years later.
In what best can be described as panic damage control, owner Fred Wilpon apologized to Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes in a conference call this afternoon. Wilpon also left a message to David Wright.
REYES: Biding his time.
On SNY, there’s a feature on the 1969 team, as if that will prove a distraction from today’s mess.
Meanwhile, at Wrigley Field this afternoon the Mets held a “let’s band together’’ team meeting in the wake of Wilpon’s comments and news the team will lose $70 million this season. Beltran said he’s 100 percent and not the 65 to 70 percent Wilpon claimed.
Reyes said all the right things, such as the owner Wilpon can say what he wants, and “I’ll give the team everything I can. … I’ll continue to do my job and play my game.”
Reyes will not talk about his future. He’s not lobbying to stay here.
After kicking away Sunday’s game at Yankee Stadium, the Mets are in Chicago tonight to face the Cubs.
When you look at Mets’ history they’ve have periodic rivals. In 1969 and again in 1973, the Cubs were a big deal on their schedule. There’s also been the Pirates, the Braves and the Phillies.
One of my favorite sports books is “The Year the Mets Lost Last Place,’’ which documented a three-series stretch in 1969. Every now and then I’ll pick up the book and start to read. It always is fresh.
Mets at Cubs used to be in the afternoon, but that’s another lost tradition. Night games at Wrigley Field? I still don’t like it.
Here’s tonight’s line-up:
Jose Reyes, SS
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Carlos Beltran, RF
Jason Bay, LF
Justin Turner, 3B
Willie Harris, CF
Ronny Paulino, C
Ruben Tejada, 2B
Jonathan Niese, LP
COMMENTS: The first game after Fred Wilpon threw Reyes and Beltran under the bus. Not inaccurate comments, but it does make you wonder what the agenda is here.
It’s not like Fred Wilpon wasn’t telling the truth.
Let’s face it, Carlos Beltran isn’t the player he thought he signed after the 2004 season. It’s true, injuries sapped his talent and forced him to move to right field in the final season of his $119 million contract, and the last two years have been a waste.
THE STRIKEOUT: Nobody forgets.
The contract and signing have looked more and more a bust as the team slid out of competitive status.
Wilpon called himself a schmuck for signing Beltran based on a strong playoff series while with Houston in 2004. Beltran had problems his first year getting acclimated to New York, but there was a toughness to him. Afterall, this is guy who played with a broken face after a gruesome collision with Mike Cameron in late 2005.
Beltran played hurt and for the next three seasons produced numbers, but no, they weren’t the numbers Wilpon had hoped for when opening his checkbook.
Beltran rebounded from his first year in New York to hit 41 homers with 116 RBI in 2006, but never reached that height again and slid to 33 homers and 112 RBI and 27 homer and 112 RBI in 2007 and 2008, respectively. Decent numbers, but more was expected for that kind of money.
And, as with most Mets, there was criticism about hitting in the clutch.