Jun 26

Today in Mets’ History: Looking at Rusty Staub.

Rusty Staub was one of the good guys in Mets’ history, not to mention one of their better players. Who can forget him playing the 1973 World Series with basically one arm?

STAUB: Pinch-hitter delux

Staub developed into one of the game’s great pinch-hitters. On this date in 1983, Staub tied Dave Philley’s then major league record  with his eighth consecutive pinch-hit in the first game of a doubleheader against Philadelphia.

Staub played 23 seasons in the major leagues, including nine with the Mets. He broke in with Houston in 1963 – the Astros’ second year of existence – then played with Montreal (1969-71); the Mets (1972-75); Detroit (1976-79), where he had three of his best seasons; another brief stint with the Expos at the end of the 1979 season; Texas in 1980; and finally five more years with the Mets.

Staub finished with 2,716 hits and 292 homers.

After his career, Staub worked on Mets’ telecasts, then own and operated two restaurants in Manhattan. He is a chef and wine connoisseur.

The Expos retired Staub’s No. 10 in 1993.

STAUB CAREER

Jun 24

Today in Mets’ History: Sweeping the Phillies.

The 69 Miracle Mets caught Chicago well after the All-Star break then sprinted past the Cubs, but there were earlier signs of this being a special summer.

A 20-5 run screamed the Mets would be a serious contender. That included a doubleheader sweep of Philadelphia at Shea Stadium on this date that moved them within 4.5 games of first place.

Tom Seaver pitched a complete game to win the opener, 2-1, backed by a RBI triple from Bud Harrelson and Cleon Jones’ single in the third inning.

Seaver struck out nine and walked only one to raise his record to 11-3.

In the nightcap, the Mets scored four runs in the fourth inning to back Jim McAndrew, who gave up two hits in eight innings in the 5-0 victory.

FIRST GAME BOX

SECOND GAME BOX

There were a lot of special moments in 1969 ranging from the black cat to Seaver’s near perfect game to the late-season pitching run. However, what signs were there that made you believe this would be a year like no other in Mets history?

 

 

 

 

Jun 19

Today in Mets’ History: Remembering Donn Clendenon.

We’re at the point of the season where much of the talk is about trades, so let’s look back on one of the Mets biggest deals.

CLENDENON: Big pick up for Mets.

On June 15 of 1969, Donn Clenenon was traded by Montreal to the Mets for minor leaguers Bill Carden and Dave Colon, Kevin Collins and Steve Renko.

The Mets were nine games back of the Cubs when the trade was made. Clendenon was hot down the stretch, hitting homers to beat Chicago and St. Louis, and continued to hit for power during the World Series, with homers in Games 2 and 4.

Clendenon played two more years for the Mets with limited success.  On this date in 1971, his homer gave the Mets a 6-5 victory over Philadelphia in 15 innings.

Clendenon was released after the season, played in 1972 with St. Louis and was cut after that year.

Clendenon’s father was a mathematics and psychology professor at Langston University in Oklahoma, and education was a big part of his life. After retiring, Clendenon returned to school at Duquesne University and practiced law in Dayton, Ohio.

Clendenon died at 70 in 2005 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

CLENDENON’S CAREER

 

May 15

Today in Mets History: Another Tom Terrific Day.

SEAVER: One-hit Phillies on this date.

Tom Seaver had many moments as a Met, including on this date in 1970 when he threw a one-hit shutout with 15 strikeouts to beat Philadelphia, 4-0. It was one of five one-hitters during his Hall of Fame career.

It was one of Seaver’s 61 career shutouts, five of which were against the Phillies. Lifetime, Seaver was 27-14 with a 3.00 ERA against Philadelphia, averaging eight strikeouts per nine innings.

Seaver was 18-12 with a 2.82 ERA in 1970. Seaver worked 290.2 innings that season with 283 strikeouts and only 83 walks. He did all this for the bargain basement price of $80,000.

The most Seaver made in any season was $1,136,262 with the 1986 Chicago White Sox.

 

May 06

New poll: No real surprises so far; expect more change.

Thirty-one games into the season and the Mets are 13-18, 8 ½ games behind Philadelphia. Only four teams in the majors have a worse record; only three have fewer home victories than the six scratched out by the Mets.

REYES: Flying away with a bunch of others.

About right? Could be worse? Should be better? Post your thoughts and vote in the new poll.

The Dodgers are in for three this weekend starting tonight, and the remainder of the month features three games each against Colorado, Yankees and Cubs on the road, and three at home against Philadelphia.

There’s potential for things to fall further apart before June. They could easily be double-digits behind the Phillies by the time they come in at the end of the month.

Are you surprised by any of this?

If I had been given five games below .500 at this point were it offered in spring training, I’m not sure I wouldn’t have taken it considering the questions the Mets faced.

Things have unfolded close to expectations when you look at the pitching questions; Jason Bay’s injury; the hole at second base; and concerns surrounding the health of Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes.

Realistically, the Mets are about where they should be with their deficiencies. Going in we were told this season would be about making evaluations in preparation for the building that would begin in 2012.

Things would change once they cleared the deadwood off the books.

When I scan the Mets’ depth chart, it isn’t hard to envision up to a dozen new names next spring with the following gone: Reyes, Beltran, Ronny Paulino, Chris Young, Chris Capuano, Francisco Rodriguez, Jason Isringhausen (at his age it wouldn’t be a surprise), Ryota Igarashi, Tim Byrdak, Chin-lung Hu (he could be gone when Angel Pagan returns this weekend), Willie Harris and Scott Hairston.

That’s half the team.

Some, like Beltran, Rodriguez and Reyes could go based on financial considerations, while others like Isringhausen, Young, Capuano, Harris and Hairston could leave because of age and other options. Still others would go because of talent.

Several of these players could help contenders at the trade deadline.

This was to be the year of change, and there’s a lot that could still happen. If it does and the Mets are still five games under at the end of the season, that should be looked at as a plus.