With the beginning of the year for making plans for improvement, let’s take a look at some of the resolutions the Mets should be making today.
THE WILPONS: You are the proud owners of a major league baseball team worth close to a billion dollars – that includes Citi Field and SNY – so act like it. With attendance steadily declining along with the yearly win total, the Wilpons should resolve to start spending to upgrade their team of sell it. Enough is enough. Start writing checks to clean up this mess.
WRIGHT: Just ease up when it gets tough. (AP)
SANDY ALDERSON: You were brought in to straighten out the Mets’ financial problems. Now it is time to bring in the talent to make this team competitive. You did it in Oakland and San Diego, now comes your biggest challenge. Reportedly, Alderson has been given a bigger budget, now don’t treat it like it is your money.
TERRY COLLINS: You were brought in change the culture, but that hasn’t been the case. Collins has been a little spotty in the accountability department and that has to change. He must resolve to kick some butt when it comes lapses in concentration, thrown-away at-bats and poor pitch selection from his pitchers. The culture can’t change if Collins doesn’t demand more from his players.
DAVID WRIGHT: OK, you’re getting your long term commitment and enough money to last 100 lifetimes. There have been too many times when Wright takes it upon himself to carry the Mets on his shoulders when the team slides. When things are going to hell for the Mets, Wright needs to resolve to shorten his swing, shrink his strike zone and go the opposite way. Wright must realize he’s little help to the Mets when he’s trying to hit a five-run homer.
It isn’t as if the Mets want to trade Jon Niese, but he’s one of the few valuable chips they have to deal. Left-handed starters are always a premium and the Mets are hoping to bring back a starter, catcher and infielder. Niese ended the season on the disabled list, so his health is a concern making it doubtful they’ll get that much.
And, if they don’t, what’s the point considering pitching is their biggest need.
Reportedly, the Yankees, Boston, Toronto, San Diego and Colorado inquired. If this is the fire sale it seems to be, I don’t see them dealing with the Yankees unless they overpay.
It didn’t take long for the suspects list for the vacant Mets’ bench coach position to start growing.
Four former major league managers are interested in working next to Terry Collins next season, including Jim Riggleman, John McLaren, Bob Geren and Larry Bowa.
Riggleman resigned as Nationals manager 75 games into the season in a salary dispute and was temporarily replaced by McLaren.
McLaren briefly managed Seattle while Geren managed in Oakland, with neither establishing an impressive resume.
Bowa is the most high-profile of the group having managed six years with San Diego and Philadelphia.
If the Mets want to instill a fiery presence, Bowa would be the logical choice.
It was one of those games where everything clicked in all departments.
Keith Hernandez (5-for-5), Gary Carter (3-for-5) and Darryl Strawberry (2-for-5) went a combined 10-for-15 with seven runs scored and seven RBI in a 12-4 rout at San Diego on this date in 1985.
The Mets lashed 18 hits, including homers from Ray Knight and Hernandez to back Sid Fernandez’s complete-game effort.
With the victory, the Mets closed within one game of St. Louis in the NL East.
Special reached a milestone on this date in 1985 when Dwight Gooden became the youngest pitcher in major league history to win 20 games in a season.
GOODEN: Super nova.
At 20 years, nine months and nine days, he was a month younger than Bob Feller when he won his 20th game in 1939.
Gooden won 17 games in 1984, then had his best season in 1985 when he went 24-4 with a 1.53 ERA and 268 strikeouts.
It was a wet, dreary day that Sunday afternoon at Shea against San Diego, but backed by Darryl Strawberry’s homer and four RBI and three hits from Gary Carter, as the Mets prevailed, 9-3, to give Gooden his 14th straight victory and improve his record to 20-3.
Roger McDowell worked three innings for the save.
Gooden helped pitch the Mets to the World Series the following season, but his career derailed because of substance abuse.