Dec 12

Another look at Bay ….

BAY: Is he the right fit?

BAY: Is he the right fit?

The offer is out there, four years at $65-million, which I don’t believe is enough to bring Jason Bay to the Mets. I may have overestimated in an earlier post on Bay’s asking value, but hold fast the Mets’ initial offer won’t get it done.

Before jumping on the Bay Bandwagon, let’s kick the tires a bit and look at some of the reasons to be cautious with him.

* He’s a dead pull hitter, which everybody is saying fits the style for Citi Field. That said, don’t you think pitchers know that and will give him nothing but breaking stuff over the plate? I can envision another David Wright dropoff.

* What does it say to you that the team that knows him best prefers Matt Holliday and is holding firm at four years, $60 million. Posturing? Perhaps. But, it must be considered.

* At 31, he’ll be 35 at the end of a presumably back-loaded contract. If the Mets make it five years, he’ll be 36. There are reports in Boston the Red Sox would have to move Bay to the DH slot at the end of his contract for concern of him being a defensive liability.

* Bay is a strikeout machine, fanning 162 times last season and not less that 129 in his career.

Dec 10

Baywatch?

Reports out of Boston has the Mets interested in Jason Bay. Why wouldn’t they be? However, interest and willingness are two different things. Omar Minaya said they are in contact with agents and general managers.

This would include the agent for Bay.

Because Bay would be the cheapest of the Big Three – John Lackey and Matt Holliday – he would be a more probable signing. Even so, the reported numbers are still steep at $!6 million a season for five years. That’s an $80 million chunk of change, and my impression is if the Mets spent that kind of money they’ll spread it over several areas.

Bay is a good player, but not that good.

Nov 30

Roberto Alomar deserves the Hall ….

It was one moment of uncontrollable action in an otherwise stellar, steady career. Roberto Alomar’s moment came in Toronto, Sept. 27, 1996, while as a member of the Baltimore Orioles, in a flash of blind rage and runaway temper, he spat on umpire John Hirschbeck.

ALOMAR: In better times.

ALOMAR: In better times.


It was stupidity and immaturity, and the moment hung over him the rest of his career, which began in San Diego, and included stops in Toronto (where he won two World Series rings, Baltimore, Cleveland, the Mets and Tampa Bay.

However, it shouldn’t keep him out of the Hall of Fame, nor should his brief, unproductive, seemingly mailed-in performance with the Mets.

I covered Alomar for two seasons in Baltimore, and this was a five-tool second baseman who could dominate a game as well as any slugger.

In a game against Boston, he homered, beat out a bunt and stole a base, made a scintillating back-handed diving catch of a line drive, and made a throw I still envision. He was about 70 feet down the right field line for the cutoff, but knowing he had no chance at the runner at home, threw behind the runner rounding third to nail him.

ALOMAR: Ten Gold Gloves.

ALOMAR: Ten Gold Gloves.


He made plays like that all the time and with the game on the line I wanted him up as much as anybody.

Said former teammate Pat Hentgen: “He was just so good at everything. He ran the bases well, he was a clutch hitter, he hit for power, he played tremendous defense, and he made everyone around him better defensively. Just a clutch performer. He always rose to the occasion.”

Except that day in Toronto.

There are several criteria for being a Hall of Famer, but they are subjective to the voter. Alomar gets mine because he dominated his position for over a decade. There was no better second baseman. He went to 12 All-Star Games and won ten Gold Gloves.

Numbers wise, among second basemen, he ranks first in steals, sixth in hits and seventh in runs scored. Just numbers, but when the game was in the balance he dominated.

He’ll get my vote.

Nov 29

Would you empty the shelves for Miguel Cabrera?

The name stares at you from the computer screen. Miguel Cabrera.

CABRERA: Should the Mets take his baggage?

CABRERA: Should the Mets take his baggage?


The Detroit Tigers, in a payroll cutting-mode, will listen to offers for the enigmatic first baseman. This guy would fill a lot of holes for the Mets. He’d take care of first base for the next six seasons and provide a potent right-handed bat.

But, he won’t come without a price.

In 2010, Cabrera will be entering the third year of an eight-year, $152.3 million deal. Here’s the breakdown: $20 million the next two seasons; $21 million in 2012 and 2013; and $22 million in 2014 and 2015.
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Nov 04

Game 6: Where history is made.

Game 6 is more than a count of what has been played, more than a bookmark to the World Series. Game 6 has its own mystique. The most dramatic World Series usually go seven games, but it can’t get there without a Game 6.

Fisk's homer.

Fisk's homer.


One way or another, it ends after Game 7, which takes away part of the suspense. However, there’s a sense of urgency, of desperation, for the team behind entering Game 6.

It is why many of baseball’s most dramatic moments are born to that game. I’ve chosen five, with the criteria being I saw the game and it produced a seventh game.

One of baseball’s most enduring images, and perhaps its greatest game, came in the 1975 World Series on Carlton Fisk’s game-ending homer in the 12th inning as Boston beat Cincinnati, 7-6. Fisk’s homer was made possible by Bernie Carbo’s three-run, two-strike, pinch-hit game-tying homer in the eighth inning.

Fisk’s moment just delayed what Red Sox fans would call the inevitable, as Boston lost Game 7 at Fenway Park.

Buckner a picture of dejection.

Buckner a picture of dejection.


Another moment etched in time is the ball that got by by Bill Buckner in the 1986 World Series. Down to their last out, the Mets rallied for three runs to beat Boston, 6-5, with the game-winner coming on Mookie Wilson’s dribbler through Buckner’s legs.

The Mets went on to win Game 7, and overcame a three-run deficit to do it.

That game was made possible because the Mets prevailed against Houston over 16 innings in Game 6 of the NLCS. Keith Hernandez called it a crucial victory as it kept the Mets from facing Mike Scott, who beat them in Games 1 and 4.

This year’s playoffs have been marred by terrible umpiring, but one of the game’s most infamous calls came in the eighth inning of Game 6 of the 1985 World Series that might have kept St. Louis from winning. Facing elimination and down 1-0 going into the ninth inning, umpire Don Denkinger ruled Kansas City’s Jorge Orta safe at first on a play in which he was clearly out.

The Royals went on to win that game, 2-1, then rout the Cardinals, 11-0, in Game 7.

The Call.

The Call.


In Game 6 of the 1991 World Series, Minnesota’s Kirby Puckett’s 11th inning homer off Charlie Leibrandt kept the Twins alive, 4-3. They would win Game 7 on Jack Morris’ ten-inning shutout. single run, four games decided in the final at-bat and three games going into extra innings.

Often forgotten, perhaps because the game wasn’t decided on a game-ending hit, Anaheim rallied from five runs down in the seventh inning to beat San Francisco, 6-5. The Angels scored three in the seventh and three in the eighth to win, then won Game 7.

Another came in the 1971 World Series, when the Orioles, facing elimination, beat Pittsburgh, 3-2, in 10 innings on Brooks Robinson’s sacrifice fly.

I invite you to reflect on these moments and any other you might have about Game 6 in the World Series.