Dec 09

Joe Torre Goes Into Hall Of Fame; Joined by Tony La Russa And Bobby Cox

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -  Joe Torre hoped it would happen, but he never dared think it would. The former New York Mets player and manager, who later carved his legacy as four-time World Series manager of the Yankees, was selected to the Hall of Fame today by the veteran’s committee.

The announcement was made at the Walt Disney Swan resort hotel in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Torre will go in with fellow managers Tony La Russa and Bobby Cox. All three won over 2,000 games and World Series titles. All three are incredibly deserving.

TORRE: Former Met goes into Hall of Fame.

TORRE: Former Met goes into Hall of Fame.

Also deserving, but left out were Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, whom Torre said, “changed my life for giving me that opportunity,’’ and Marvin Miller, the former director of the Players Association.

As much as friends told Torre – who currently works in the commissioner’s office – his nomination was a given, he never let his mind wander there.

“That’s what they said when we were up 3-0 against the Red Sox, and looked what happened,’’ said Torre of the Yankees’ infamous collapse in the 2004 ALCS. “As much as I would have like it to happen, I never obsessed over it.’’

Torre has little to say about his time with the Mets other than, “I started with the Mets when they weren’t spending anything,’’ and that he wasn’t the manager for two weeks when the club dealt Tom Seaver to Cincinnati.

Torre, a lifetime .297 hitter, finished his playing career and was named manager shortly thereafter.

Torre, who managed the Mets, Yankees, Braves and Cardinals, won 2,326 games, fifth all time, along with six pennants. He wore his 2003 World Series ring.

While he credited Steinbrenner for the opportunity, he saved his greatest gratitude for his players.

“You can’t win the Kentucky Derby unless you are on a thoroughbred,’’ Torre said of the team that won titles in 1996, 1998-2000. “They had so much heart and backbone.’’

Cox, a former Yankee, managed Toronto and Atlanta, and won the World Series.

“When you’re voted into the Hall of Fame, your life changes,’’ Cox said. “Hopefully, two guys who helped get me here – Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux – will be there with me. … They are the guys who got me here.’’

Glavine – a former Met – and Maddux are 300-game winners, traditionally an automatic ticket to Cooperstown.

La Russa began his managerial career at age 34 with the Chicago White Sox, and blossomed to dugout stardom with Oakland and St. Louis.

“The best way to describe the feeling is `stunned,’ ’’ said La Russa. “I’m not sure I will ever feel comfortable in that club.’’

ON DECK: A trade the Mets should make.

Sep 17

New Chat Room; (yawn) the Braves are in.

Game #148 vs. Braves

To access the New Chat Room, click onto the Mets Chat icon to the left.

The Braves in town in late September was supposed to mean something. For the Mets, beating their long-time foe and finishing the over .500 could help salvage what has become a disappointing season. For the struggling Braves, they need to wake-up if they are to make the playoffs in Bobby Cox’s last season.

As the Mets seek to rebuild next season, one of the cornerstones will be outfielder Angel Pagan. For those who are waiting for Pagan to stumble, keep waiting because it doesn’t look as if it would happen. Pagan did have a poor stretch, but has rebounded and is finishing strong and is the Mets’ MVP.

Oct 23

Quote of the Day: Gillick: Hatred for Mets spurred Phils.

Gillick: Hatred of Mets spurred Phillies.

Gillick: Hatred of Mets spurred Phillies.

Retiring Phillies general manager Pat Gillick told Bill Madden of The New York Daily News at the World Series his team’s hatred for the Mets, coupled with the disdain other teams in the NL East had for the Mets, acted as inspiration. Teams just didn’t like the celebrations and their swagger, perhaps sense of entitlement, they’ve had since 2006.

Said Gillick: “If you want to know the best thing we had going for us this year, it was the fact that all the other teams in our division hated the Mets’ guts. It started with Atlanta and all the hostility they had with the Mets through the years. Then Fredi Gonzalez left Bobby Cox to manage the Marlins and he didn’t forget everything that went on between the Braves and Mets. Look what Florida did for us the past two years (beating the Mets two out of the three in each of the last series of the season to prevent them from making the postseason). Washington doesn’t like them very much either, and all those teams seemed to really get up for the Mets.”

Both Jose Reyes and Carlos Delgado took the celebrations outside the dugout, but each said they weren’t hurting anybody. In the end, they may have just been hurting themselves.

Hey, it’s not a shot at Reyes, but when an executive of your bitterest rival says the perception of your team is poor, you’d better listen. If the Mets are listening, they should realize Gillick is doing them a favor.