Jul 30

Favorite Doc and Straw moment

Doc Gooden and Darryl Strawberry will be inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame this weekend. Both players brought a certain electricity to Shea Stadium.

Each player had the ability to grab the crowd by the scruff of the neck.

For Strawberry, it was the sense of anticipation with every at-bat. He was one of the few players who kept you riveted every time he came to the plate because there was the prospect of hitting a mammoth home run like the one he hit off the scoreboard clock in St. Louis.

For Gooden, during the summers of 1985 and 1986 there was a buzz at Shea whenever he took the mound. I remember how the crowd would rise and scream whenever he got two strikes on a hitter. Gooden had electric stuff, the kind that made you wonder if this would be the night he’d throw a no-hitter.

Eventually, he did. But, fittingly in the tormented history of this franchise, he did so for the Yankees.

Is there a special Doc or Straw moment for you?

Oct 16

Wright willing to help

Wright: Only an idiot would think of trading him.

Wright: Only an idiot would think of trading him.

David Wright said he wouldn’t lobby the Mets’ front office as to what free agents they pursue, but is willing to help out should he be asked.

“I stay out of the whole front-office decision making, who they go after, who they are trading for,” Wright said. “But if they ever came to me and asked me to speak to a free agent and show him around New York, I live there now, so I would be more than happy to do that.”

There are those who have foolishly suggested the Mets trade Wright, but he’s not going anywhere. He remains the face of the franchise.

I covered the Orioles for a long time and told him he reminds me of Cal Ripken in how the club promotes him. He said he was flattered, and like Ripken, wants to play his entire career with the Mets.

Quite simply, you don’t trade players like Wright.

Sep 29

Omar searching for answers ….

It wasn't a ``thumbs up'' day for Minaya today at Shea.

It wasn't a ``thumbs up'' day for Minaya today at Shea.

Mets GM Omar Minaya held court this afternoon. He stated the franchise’s mission statement, but said he had no immediate answers on the team’s most pertinent issues.

In summary: “Our goal is to get to the World Series, win the World Series, and continue to win it, but the bottom line is we can’t even get to the playoffs so we need to find a better way to work hard at this. … It’s been two years a row now, but we didn’t get over that hurdle. You never feel good when you get this far and don’t make it.”

This didn’t come out good, but I knew what he meant. He didn’t want to go into immediate rip mode.

On getting over the hurdle: “Why is it we can’t get over that hurdle? I don’t have an answer right now.”

On Jerry Manuel’s status: “We’ll review what we want to do. We’ll discuss his whole status. That’s going to take a couple of days. I don’t see it being done with a day or two. It’s going to happen sooner than later.”

No doubt the bullpen needs to be improved, but he didn’t lay all the blame on the pen:
“I don’t think it’s one area. To put it on one area wouldn’t be fair. You have to ask yourself how can you score five runs this weekend? It’s a team effort.”

Sep 25

About Last Night …. Say good-bye Ollie.

Perez: Gave a definable image of himself last night.

Perez: Gave a definable image of himself last night.

Let me get this straight. Oliver Perez, an underachieving pitcher throughout his career, is a free agent after this season and is seeking a payday reportedly of $15 million a year times five. That’s $75 million. Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if he comes out wanting more.

At his age, agent Scott Boras is likely to set the bar higher.

If I’m the Mets after last night, I tell him to take a hike.

Seriously, I don’t want Perez anymore. He’s been the “Bad Ollie,” the last month when the Mets needed him most. My feeling right now is it doesn’t matter who is the pitching coach, that Perez will always be like this.

Last night was one of eight games in which he walked five or more batters. That’s roughly 25 percent of his starts. If the Mets don’t make the playoffs, last night was Perez’s last start of the season for the Mets, and probably his last with the franchise.

It was fitting how he pitched, because last night is how he’ll be remembered.