Nov 19

Davey Johnson goes to work for Nats ….

Davey Johnson is back in the majors, hired as a front office adviser to GM Mike Rizzo. One of his specialties is recognizing and working with young talent. That would be minor league players. That would be a Mets’ weakness.

JOHNSON: Now with Nationals.

JOHNSON: Now with Nationals.


This would be about a lost opportunity. If the Mets are really serious about strengthening the ties with their past, Johnson would have been a good place to start. Johnson had previously worked with the Nationals before under Jim Bowden. You would think the Mets would have kept tabs on his baseball interests just in case.

All this talk about bringing Bobby Valentine back? How about a little love for Johnson, who managed the Mets’ last championship team? Valentine has a core group of media in his corner, but not Johnson.
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Sep 17

This Day in Baseball History

Looking Back

Looking Back

When things are as bad as they have been with the Mets, one might as well look back at a good time. Last night’s loss was typical of how this season has gone, from poor managing to inept playing.

However, on this date in 1986, the Mets clinched the NL East with a 4-2 win over Chicago at Shea Stadium on a Dwight Gooden 6-hitter. The Mets went on to win 108 games that season, the most in the league since the 1975 Reds.

The Mets survived the NLCS with a dramatic Game Six victory over Houston, and used Game Six in the World Series to stay alive – “and the ball gets by Buckner” – to beat Boston.

Two years earlier on this date, Gooden struck out 16 batters for the second straight start, but balked home the winning run in the 8th inning in a 2-1 loss to the Phillies. It marked the fifth straight start in which Gooden struck out at least 10.

I saw Gooden pitch several times and there was such an electricity at Shea whenever he took the ball. Every start you wondered if this would be the one where he’d throw a no-hitter. He never did for the Mets, but did for the Yankees.

If you have a favorite Gooden moment, or memory of the 1986 team, let’s hear them.

Sep 10

Doc back in baseball

There was a time when the nickname said it all. When you said “Doc,” everybody knew exactly who you were talking about. Dwight Gooden and the “K” corner was the best there was for several magical seasons at Shea Stadium.

Drugs took it all away, but he saved enough magic for one more night: A no-hitter while with the Yankees in 2006. The Mets’ franchise has never thrown one.

GOODEN: There was a time when he was special.

GOODEN: There was a time when he was special.

After bouncing around the Yankees and Mets in goodwill fashion the past few years, Gooden will now serve as a senior vice president of the Newark Bears, an Atlantic League franchise. Gooden will be the Bears’ community ambassador and work with youth baseball camps and leagues.

 

It is hoped Gooden’s story will sink in with more than a few kids.

I saw Gooden pitch several times and the feeling was always electric. The fastball sizzled and the curve fell off the table and there was always the feeling of utter domination.

Now is a good time to share some Doc moments.

Apr 21

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #13; The autograph edition.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

The Mets finally did the right thing and announced they will preserve Dwight Gooden’s autograph and try to procure others from players in their history. How this got to be an issue was embarrassing to the Mets. When one of your great players autographs a wall in your new stadium, you go with the flow.

I would be remiss if I didn’t comment on the lack of Mets memorabilia and appreciation for their history at Citi Field. There’s so much more they could have done to honor their tradition.

At Comerica Park there are exhibits by decade. Very well done. Honestly, I thought they’d have a Hall of Fame when they build the place. Right now the place honors Jackie Robinson more than the Mets and that’s not right.

The Rotunda is well done, but there should have been something similar for the Mets history.

Most teams honor their past. The Cardinals have statues outside Busch; there are photos of past players at Wrigley Field and in Cleveland; at Fenway, you just know that’s the home of the Red Sox.

Yes, I like Citi Field, but there’s more from a historical perspective that should be recognized.

Sep 26

Mets in the Afternoon: Pick tomorrow’s starter.

-He’s pitched a good game and he’s pitched a poor one. The Mets are hoping Jon Niese has another good one in him and the first one wasn’t a fluke. It looks as if he’ll go Saturday. It’s not official, but he seems to have the inside track over Brandon Knight or Nelson Figueroa. Who would you go with?

-If tonight gets rained out, the Mets will have a day-night doubleheader Saturday. Assuming, of course, the weather holds up. There’s no guarantee of that, either.

-Brian Schneider didn’t play last night because of soreness in his back. He can only benefit if tonight gets rained out. No word of his status if they do play.

-Damion Easley said last night he should be available to play in the field tonight. Sorry. Right now, I’m sticking with Ramon Martinez.

-The Daily News’ Peter Botte reports Dwight Gooden will be at the closing ceremonies Sunday.