Dec 02

Halladay: Is this good or bad for baseball?

There’s no question Roy Halladay holds all the cards in this situation. It’s not often that it’s that way, where the player holds the hammer, but Halladay does. The question I have stems from a comment in yesterday’s posts.

Is it bad for baseball for Halladay to go to the Yankees? If your answer is bad, should the commissioner veto the deal?

Bowie Kuhn did so a long time ago, vetoing deals that sent the likes of Vida Blue to the Yankees and Joe Rudi to the Red Sox. He did it under the “best interests in baseball provision” given the commissioner, something that routinely has been ignored since.

Nov 28

Of course he would ….

Roy Halladay said he would waive his no-trade clause to pitch for the Yankees. He’d probably to the same to pitch for the Red Sox. Either way, that’s not encouraging news to the Mets if they were banking on the Blue Jays being reluctant to deal within the division.

The Blue Jays, it seems, are willing to deal with the Yankees and Red Sox. Throw in the Phillies, Dodgers and Angels, and there are five teams better than the Mets with the resources to make a trade. I was never banking on Halladay to begin with, but this should end that kind of talk.

If the Mets are going to add a pitcher, it will be a middle-tier arm, and FA is the way to go so they don’t have to give up prospects.

Halladay isn’t coming here, and neither is Lackey. The Mets will be lucky to get a guy like Jason Marquis.

Nov 15

What would it take to get Halladay?

Roy Halladay in the Mets’ rotation sounds appetizing. With the Blue Jays willing to deal, there are only a handful of teams that fit economically, with the Mets among them, presumably able to come up with a $20-million per season contract.

HALLADAY: Would cost a fortune.

HALLADAY: Would cost a fortune.


So are the Yankees and Red Sox, who figure to be greater factors in trade talks this winter than at last July’s trade deadline because the Blue Jays appear more inclined to be willing to trade him within the AL East. If trading within the division is feasible, the main unanswered questions are whether the Blue Jays want to trade. If Toronto believes it is able to compete for at least a wild card, then the decision could be to hold him for this year knowing he’ll walk next winter.

As the Blue Jays prepare for 2010, dealing Halladay now would send the white flag message to its already shrinking fan base. The fallback would be to wait until the trade deadline and assess things then. That way, if they are struggling, they would get more than compensatory draft choices.
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Nov 07

This isn’t how the Mets should make a statement ….

While not in Jeff Wilpon’s mind, it isn’t hard to imagine an even greater sense of urgency to the Mets to make a winter splash in the wake of the Yankees’ World Series title.

CHAPMAN: A risky proposition.

CHAPMAN: A risky proposition.


That shouldn’t include throwing $60-million stone in the Aroldis Chapman pond. That’s the reported starting point for the hard-throwing, lefty Cuban defector. Chapman’s agent, Edwin Mejia, said he’s spoken with both teams, and Mets’ GM Omar Minaya is still listening.

Many scouting reports are high on Chapman, but there have been a lot of rave reviews about players who’ve never made it. And, these are players scouts have seen regularly in college and the minor leagues.
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Oct 25

TALKIN’ BASEBALL: Could Game #6 give us another classic?

The champagne was on ice. Baseball officials were setting up the congratulatory phone call from the President of the United States. A makeshift stage was set-up in the Boston clubhouse.

And, for a few seconds, the Shea Stadium scoreboard flashed the message, “Congratulations Red Sox On Your World Series Victory.’’

The Red Sox never tasted champagne that night because in the words of Mets catcher Gary Carter, in describing what happened and also the essence of his sport, said, “none of us wanted to make the last out.’’

``It gets through Buckner ... ''

``It gets through Buckner ... ''

Carter might not have meant it as such, but he acutely described the beauty of baseball seen in no other sport. Football and hockey have sudden death, but mostly their games have a foreseeable ending when clock winds down.

Not so in baseball, which only ends with a last out.

Game 7 is the glamour game, but there’s more a sense of urgency, of tension, of finality in Game 6. Tonight marks the 23rd anniversary of the night Mookie Wilson’s ground ball went through the legs of Bill Buckner in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series.

Eleven years earlier, Carlton Fisk’s homer in arguably one of the greatest World Series games ever, prolonged the 1975 Series with Cincinnati. The Mets played that night because they survived a memorable Game 6 less than two weeks earlier at Houston.

Whom will the fates choose tonight’s Game 6 between the Yankees and Angels?

Unfairly, but that’s how sports sometimes can be, today’s game could define a career as that play did the careers of Buckner and Wilson, who’ll forever be linked in time in the manner of Ralph Branca and Bobby Thomson.

However, baseball history is rarely that precise and measurable. The Red Sox lost that night for several reasons, including Roger Clemens leaving the game with a blister and manager John McNamara mis-managing, Bob Stanley’s wild-pitch and Calvin Schiraldi’s bullpen meltdown.

Let us also not forget, that the 5-3 lead Boston kicked away in ten innings was their third blown lead of the game.

``Here comes Knight ... ''

``Here comes Knight ... ''


Wally Backman and Keith Hernandez flew out to open the inning, and as the story goes, the latter, not wanting to see the Red Sox celebrate, retreated to the manager’s office to watch the rest of the game on television.

“When you’re down two runs in the last inning against their ace reliever, it’s not the most comfortable feeling in the world,’’ Wilson said that night. “But you don’t give up. Two runs is not a great deficit to make up. How did we do it? Mirrors, maybe. Whatever, but we did it.’’

But Carter singled to left, and Kevin Mitchell and Ray Knight followed with singles for one run. Enter Stanley, who promptly wild-pitched in the tying run.

Defeat for Boston was a formality, with Buckner’s slow roller only to delay the inevitable. Wilson still insists he would have beaten Buckner to the bag, and it was bearing down hard on the injured Red Sox first baseman, of whom it is often forgotten should have been removed for defense.

No, Buckner was not distracted by Wilson.

“I did concentrate on that ball,’’ Buckner said that night. “I saw the ball bounce and bounce, and then it didn’t bounce. It just skipped. It didn’t come up. I can’t remember any time I missed a ball like that, but I’ll remember that one.’’

So too, will history.

NOTE: This was posted early. I’d love for you to tell me what you remember from the Buckner game, the Houston Game 6, or anything on your mind. Then, keep it here for the Yankee game. Talk with you tonight.