Looking Back ....
…. In 1998, the Mets dealt catcher Todd Hundley and minor league pitcher Arnold Gooch to the Dodgers for catcher Charles Johnson and Roger Cedeno. The Mets then swap Johnson to the Orioles for reliever Armando Benitez.
Benitez had a checkered career with the Mets, saving 158 games in parts of five seasons. Of course, what most remember about him was the games he didn’t save, particularly against the Braves. Benitez’s history was to unravel if something went wrong. A bloop or bad call could turn into a blown save, and it would start a string of three or four bad outings.
The Mets eventually traded him to the Yankees. Benitez would sign with the Giants and his last game was in 2008.
I covered Benitez with the Orioles and Yankees. I’ll always remember him spitting the bit in the 1997 ALCS, playing a significant part in at least three of the Orioles’ losses. The one moment that crystalizes in my memory is, when after giving up a homer, he plunked Tino Martinez in the back. Then he stood off the mound and gestured the Yankees to come get him.
ON DECK: What to do about Carlos Delgado later this morning.
There were some interesting comments late last night on the Manager of the Year post. I was asked whether I saw young guys seemingly not care after a loss.
I sure did. Saw it during the games, too. And, yes, Tom Glavine and Billy Wagner spoke out about it. I wrote it several times. Some guys, Lastings Milledge for one, and Jose Reyes was another, who came across as not caring at times.
GLAVINE: Quote misunderstood.
Although Carlos Beltran is quiet, I never got that impression from him. Carlos Delgado? Well, let’s just say he never wore a loss on his face.
As far as Glavine being a fraud? I don’t buy it. Never have and never will. Yes, he got shelled, and yes he answered a question by saying “this is not devastating.” Glavine’s problem was he was too literal in his use of the word. The rest of the quote, and I’m paraphrasing, “is losing a child or a loved one is devastating not losing a baseball game.”
In that context he’s right. Believe me, he was embarrassed and angry at his performance. He just wasn’t devastated.
I have a poll up on whether the Mets should bring back Carlos Delgado. You can still vote and comment. Also, I invite you to scroll down the page and re-visit some other posts if you haven’t already. Feel free to comment. I’ll know when you do and will respond.
When Carlos Delgado is healthy and hitting, there are only a handful of first basemen I’d take over him. You know who they are. Albert Pujols, Ryan Howard, Mark Teixeira. There might be a few others.
DELGADO: Should they or shouldn't they?
But, Carlos Beltran’s learned medical diagnosis aside, nobody knows for sure what Delgado can do following hip surgery. At 37, that’s a tough injury to rebound from, which is why GM Omar Minaya will be in Puerto Rico next month to watch him play winter ball.
In 26 games last year, Delgado hit .294 with a .393 on-base percentage, four homers and 23 RBI. Projected over a 162 games, that would be 25 homers and 143 RBI, numbers that would entail a no-brainer when it would come to picking up his option.
Wanna bet he would’ve kept that pace?
Delgado is 37, coming off an injury, and before that had a hot-cold 2008. He is not what the Mets need if their intent is to get younger, more athletic and pare salary.
Welcome to a new feature on the blog. This will be a thread with several items attached. Random thoughts, if you will. There are a lot of things happening, some directly relating to the Mets and some not.
* If you’re a season ticket holder, have you received your 2010 invoices? When is payment due? Is there a price break? I’m under the understanding there won’t be any increase. You tell me what’s going on.
* Bobby Valentine has been passed over for three jobs since returning from Japan. Cleveland, Houston and now Washington. Doesn’t that tell you something? Yet, there are those still on his bandwagon. Sorry, not happening, even if Jerry Manuel gets fired during the season.
* The Phillies are talking about Mark DeRosa to play third base. Would be a nice pick-up for them. They’ve already taken care of some off-season business. Adding DeRosa will make them that much better.
* Word is Atlanta might trade Javier Vazquez and/Derek Lowe. They must be sold on their young pitching to entertain those thoughts. You can’t have enough pitching. And, forget it, they won’t trade a starter inside the division.
* Carlos Beltran says Carlos Delgado is in good shape and said he’d love to have him return. No surprise there.