Apr 08

Mets List: Home Opener Starting Pitchers

A feature I want to establish this year will be a Mets List, to run on Friday’s. Today’s topic is Mets’ starting pitchers for their home opener:

2015: Jacob deGrom

2014: Dillon Gee

2013: Jon Niese

2012: Johan Santana

2011: R.A. Dickey

2010: Santana

2009: Mike Pelfrey

2008: Oliver Perez

2007: John Maine

2006: Tom Glavine

2005: Glavine

2004: Steve Trachsel

2003: Glavine

2002: Al Leiter

2001: Kevin Appier

2000: Mike Hampton (at Tokyo)

1999: Bobby Jones

1998: Jones

1997: Mark Clark

1996: Jones

1995: Bret Saberhagen

1994: Jones

1993: Dwight Gooden

1992: Gooden

1991: Gooden

1990: Gooden

1989: Gooden

1988: Ron Darling

1987: Bob Ojeda

1986: Gooden

1985: Gooden

1984: Darling

1983: Tom Seaver

1982: Randy Jones

1981: Pat Zachary

1980: Craig Swan

1979: Swan

1978: Jerry Koosman

1977: Seaver

1976: Seaver

1975: Seaver

1974: Koosman

1973: Seaver

1972: Seaver

1971: Seaver

1970: Koosman

1969: Seaver

1968: Koosman

1967: Don Cardwell

1966: Jack Fisher

1965: Al Jackson

1964: Fisher (first Opening Day at Shea)

1963: Roger Craig (at Polo Grounds)

1962: Sherman Jones

ON DECK:  My favorite Opening Day.

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Apr 08

Mets In The Morning

The Mets’ home opener is a few hours away. There will be a lot on the blog this morning, with the items including:

* Mets List: A list of every Met pitcher who started a home opener.

* My favorite Opening Day ever.

* Jacob deGrom update.

* Pregame notes.

* Game preview.

* Lineups.

* Game wrap.

* And, of course, breaking news as it happens.

ON DECK: Mets List: List of Mets home opener starters.

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Apr 08

Today In Mets’ History: Last Opening Day At Shea

On this day in 2008, the Mets lost 5-2 to the Phillies – today’s opponent – in the final home opener at Shea Stadium.

In one of the great ironies in Mets’ history, the Phillies’ starter and winning pitcher that day, 46-year-old Jamie Moyer, was older than Shea itself.

Oliver Perez, one of the scorned names in franchise lore, started that day for the Mets. Another left-hander who would frustrate the team, Scott Schoeneweis, blew the save opportunity and took the loss.

The Mets’ combustible bullpen would symbolize the team that year as the club blew 29 save opportunities, tied for second-worst number in the majors behind Seattle.

The previous year the Mets blew a seven-game lead with 17 games to play. In 2008, they blew the 3.5 game lead they had as late as Sept. 10. And, for the second straight year, the Mets were eliminated on the season’s final weekend at home to Miami.

ON DECK: Mets In The Morning

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Apr 07

Mets Matters: Players Get Rings

The Mets received their 2015 NL Championship rings this afternoon in a low profile ceremony at Citi Field.

Mike Cuddyer came to New York at David Wright‘s invitation – the team should have made the offer – and the club flew up Zack Wheeler and Josh Edgin from Port St. Lucie.

Wright told reporters: “All of us will wear that proudly. But at the same time, it’s time to move on. After we get the rings, it’s officially last year. We need to start worrying about this year. So, I think, it’s a nice cherry on the top.
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“Obviously, we could spend all day reflecting on the success that we had last year and the run and how much fun we had on the baseball field. But I think the flip side of that is it gives you a little motivation. That second-place ring is not what anybody in here wants. It’s that’s first-place ring. So I think it reminds you that you’re still working for that.”

DeGROM STILL IN LINE TO START

Jacob deGrom is still on for starting Friday’s home opener against Philadelphia because his wife, Stacey, still hasn’t delivered.

The baby was due Tuesday when the Mets were in Kansas City.

If deGrom makes it, it will be his second straight home-opener start. He will be followed by Bartolo Colon, Matt Harvey, and Steven Matz Monday against Miami.

If deGrom returns to Florida, Colon will start.

PIAZZA’S DAD WANTS JERSEY

Mike Piazza’s father, Vince, told The York Post his family might buy back the jersey at auction and will donate it to the Hall of Fame.

“My God, it’s not right what is going on here,’’ Vince Piazza said. “That thing belongs in the Hall of Fame. It belongs to all the fans of baseball. That home run was so important, not only for New York, but for the entire country.

“When Mike hit that home run, it lit the whole city up again. The city was dark, and that turned the lights on again. It’s a historic home run, and I know how much it means to Mike.’’

Too bad the Mets didn’t when they let it get away.

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Apr 07

Mets Made Huge Mistake With Piazza Jersey

When you hear of things like this with the Mets, what immediately comes to mind is: How the hell could happen in the first place?

The jersey Mike Piazza wore during the first game back after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks is up for auction, and not by the team. Ten days later, Piazza authored one of the most dramatic events in franchise history that night with game-winning home run that beat the Atlanta Braves.

PIAZZA: Post 9-11 history. (AP)

PIAZZA: Post 9-11 history. (AP)

That jersey, which should have immediately been offered to the Baseball Hall of Fame, or at least placed in the Mets’ trophy case, somehow found its way to a memorabilia collector.

The jersey is now available – for a hefty price, of course – as it will be put up for auction, April 30, by Goldin Auctions.

We all know the Mets have been under financial duress in recent years, but I refuse to believe Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon sold it on his own, but the confirmed the jersey being sold.

“We made a mistake in selling the jersey, and Jeff called Mike to express our regret in so doing,” reported The New York Post.

However, that admission doesn’t get the jersey back and Piazza isn’t pleased.

“I’m very disappointed with the situation regarding my game jersey from Sept. 21, 2001,” Piazza told The Post. “I’ve expressed my feelings to [chief operating officer] Jeff [Wilpon] and the Mets. And while it never should have left Citi Field, they have assured me that contact with the seller has been made and they are making a concerted effort to get the jersey back.

“I’m hopeful that an agreement can be reached and we can give back to the fans and all New Yorkers a piece of that evening that was more than just a game.”

If nothing else, Piazza should buy it back himself and donate the jersey to the Hall of Fame and write it off his taxes.

The Mets have long been accused of not honoring their history and this is another example. Citi Field should have been designed with a team museum in its confines, but that only happened after the first year when there was an outcry from Mets’ fans about the franchise forgetting its history.

It should be noted Mets owner Fred Wilpon grew up a Brooklyn Dodgers’ fan and the front of Citi Field resembles Ebbets Field and the Jackie Robinson Rotunda was part of the original design while a Mets museum wasn’t.

The Mets have to make this right by buying back the jersey. It will cost them a lot of money, but it is the right thing to do. When they get it back, it must go to either, Piazza, the Hall of Fame, or the Mets Museum.

That’s the only way to make it right.

ON DECK:  Mets Matters: Mets Notebook

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