Oct 08

Something with your morning coffee ….

This Day in Baseball History

This Day in Baseball History

Now, here’s something everybody should remember. In a playoff game at Shea in 1973, Rusty Staub homered twice in the Mets’ 9-2 rout of Cincinnati, but that got lost in the dust around second base.

Pete Rose, who played with the temperament of a boiling teakettle, slid hard into second base and came up swinging at Mets shortstop Bud Harrelson in a classic playoff moment.

The Mets would win that series and go on to lose to Oakland in the World Series.

Growing up in Ohio, Rose was always one of my favorite players, but even so I never saw the reason for him to go after Harrelson. But, you had to admire Harrelson, who despite being outweighed by over twenty pounds, held his own in the brawl.

I’m sure you guys have some thoughts on that day.

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They Said It

They Said It

Not a power hitter, Derek Jeter hit his 18th postseason homer last night to tie Mickey Mantle and Reggie Jackson on the all-time list as the Yankees beat the Twins, 7-2, in Game 1 of the ALDS. A point of clarification, however, Mantle hit all of his in the World Series, a record that should never be broken.

I covered Jeter from 1998-2005, and learned to appreciate his ability to perform under pressure. No question, Alex Rodriguez has more pronounced baseball skills, but if he had Jeter’s composure under the gun there’s no determining what he would produce.

Jeter is a very special player, one who’ll, if he stays healthy, get 3,000 hits and go into the Hall of Fame. Even if he didn’t play another inning, he’s already in Cooperstown.

Last night was another October moment for him, and he had the park buzzing.

Said Jeter: “It felt just like the old place. We couldn’t have drawn it up any better for us.”

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BY THE NUMBERS

$1.5 billion: Cost of the new Yankee Stadium

Sep 22

Should Reyes play again this season?

Jose Reyes is taking batting practice and continues to hope he’ll play again this season. I considered changing my mind with the thought that learning where Reyes really is with his hamstring is important regarding their off-season planning.

But, is it really?

REYES: Mets lost without him.

REYES: Mets lost without him.

If he’s not completely healthy now, he’s not going to be ready by Friday, or next week. He needs the surgery and as much time as possible to recover. That’s why this has all been wasted time for both the Mets and Reyes, and why there is the potential for another lost season.

I was thinking whether the Mets should trade Reyes, but it is a moot point. Only a dumb general manager would trade for a player whose game is about running and not knowing whether he’ll be able to run or not.

The rap on Reyes is he hasn’t lived up to his potential, that he loses focus and concentration. That he gives away too many at-bats, and for as gifted as he is in the field, he botches the easiest of plays. All that is true.

There is also concern he burns the candle at both ends regarding his penchant for the night life.

However, if Reyes has lived up to his potential, it’s still a pretty good player. If this is as good as it gets for Reyes, then what team wouldn’t want him? Right, he’s not as good as Hanley Ramirez, Troy Tulowitzki and Jimmy Rollins, and will never live up to the Derek Jeter comparisons – looking back, they were stupid to begin with – but, that’s still a good player.

Most any team would want Reyes – but that is a healthy Reyes.

Everything Reyes does is based on his legs, and now he has a flat tire. Because he can’t run he’s useless. And, we won’t know if he can run until next season.

Manager Jerry Manuel said of all the injured Mets, the one missed most is Reyes. If Reyes comes back healthy next season and doesn’t get any better, general manager Omar Minaya will have to decide if that’s something the team could live with or is he of greater value in a trade where he could fill two or three of the team’s many holes?

That decision will define the Mets for several seasons, but it can’t be made until next year.

However, if the Mets find a team dumb enough to unload three or four players now while not knowing if Reyes can run or not, Minaya needs to jump at that offer. If I’m the Mets, I can live without knowing if Reyes has reached his potential. But, I can’t live with not knowing if he’ll be able to ever air it out again.

Not only do the Mets have to face to prospect of Reyes not living up to his potential, but of not being a viable player of any kind.

Dec 23

Wright to play for Team USA ….

WRIGHT: To play for Team USA. PHOTO: Mets

WRIGHT: To play for Team USA. PHOTO: Mets

After Alex Rodriguez opted to play for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic this spring, and with Chipper Jones expected to be the DH, third base opened up for David Wright. Team USA will have an all-New York left side of the infield with the Yankees’ Derek Jeter at shortstop.

Wright will likely be the only Met playing for Team USA, but the Mets could also send Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado (Puerto Rico), Johan Santana and Francisco Rodriguez (Venezuela), and Jose Reyes (Dominican Republic).

I found it interesting that Phillies Ryan Howard, Brad Lidge and Cole Hamels said they preferred getting their work in during spring training and preparing for the season to play for the team that pays them. Yankees’ CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett said the same thing.

Yes, I am well aware a player can get hurt anywhere, but I’m especially wary about pitchers throwing in game conditions that early in the spring. But, that’s just me. Does anybody have a problem with players leaving teams during spring training to prepare for the WBC and exposing themselves to injury.