Jun 20

Today in Mets’ History: First Mayor’s Trophy Game.

On this date in 1963, there was no such thing as interleague play thankfully. There was, however, the Mayor’s Trophy Game, which was a one-game exhibition.

In the early years we knew the Yankees would crush the Mets, and many times that’s been true.

However, in the very first Mayor’s Trophy Game, played in Yankee Stadium before 52,430, Tim Harkness’ two-run single keyed a five-run third inning to highlight a 6-2 victory over the Yankees.

Jay Hook and Carl Willey combined for the win.

The Yankees held a 10-8-1 record over the Mets in the Mayor’s Trophy game.

Has anybody every attended one of the Mayor’s Trophy Games? Have any memories? Please share them.

 

May 15

Capuano goes against Astros today.

The Mets’ starting pitching was projected to be a concern this season and that has been the case, ranking 14th of 16 with a 4.74 ERA and 11-17 record.

Much of the problem has been with what was supposed to be two of the more consistent pitchers, R.A. Dickey and Mike Pelfrey.

Chris Capuano, a low-risk gamble signing like Chris Young, is 2-4, but has worked into the seventh inning in three of his last four starts.

With a victory this afternoon, the Mets would be 19-21, before returning home for two-game series against Florida and Washington at Citi Field, before interleague play begins Friday at Yankee Stadium.

If you’d like to weigh in during today’s game, click onto the Mets Chat icon to your left. Looking forward to hearing from you.

 

Mar 18

Mets drop Castillo like that pop-up

The inevitable finally occurred..

Luis Castillo, who wasn’t having a bad spring offensively, was finally released today. However, staying with the Mets, unless somebody picks him up, will be the $6 million the club owns him.

CASTILLO: The play that defined his Met career.

The Wilpons frequently have been criticized for refusing to eat bad contracts and there was speculation Castillo might stick. I thought he’d at least last the weekend.

However, in the end, the negativity Castillo brought, his declining defensive ability and the belief he wasn’t much better – if at all than his competition – were the overriding factors in ridding the organization of one of its most scorned players in its history.

Sandy Alderson made the announcement: “After a long evaluation during spring training, after consulting with [manager] Terry [Collins] and the coaching staff, I made a recommendation to ownership in the best interest of the organization and Louie that he be released. Ownership approved.’’

Indeed, the culture has changed.

Collins was never enamored with Castillo, starting for his failure to notify the manager he wouldn’t report early because of a family emergency. A simple phone call could have diffused things.

Twice Castillo reported to spring training out of shape. There were times he didn’t hustle, including this week when he failed to cover first base. His defense and range were in decline. He was injury prone. He had one good season with the bat, hardly enough to justify the four-year, $24 million contract former GM Omar Minaya awarded him.

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Jul 13

Steinbrenner passes; his legacy endures.

“It was a beautiful thing to observe, all 36 oars working in unison.’’ – late Cardinals announcer Jack Buck quipping he had seen George Steinbrenner’s yacht.

It is a timeless quote about a timeless subject, George M. Steinbrenner, the demonstrative, cantankerous and blustery owner of the New York Yankees, who died today of a heart attack at age 80.

STEINBRENNER: Always King George

Buck’s comment has long been the perception of Steinbrenner by the public through screaming headlines and video and audio sound bites. The man was positively driven to win and it didn’t matter the cost in dollars or whom he stepped on. The Yankees would throw millions at players, and if they didn’t win Steinbrenner was ruthless in his handling of his managers and front office staff.

It was that way from the day he purchased the Yankees in 1973 for less than $10 million from CBS and said: “I won’t be active in the day-to-day operation of the Yankees. I’ll stick to building ships.’’

What he did was rebuilt the dynasty – twice.

By the time I started covering the Yankees in 1998, Steinbrenner’s legacy was well cemented in that he revived a struggling team and turned professional sports’ most revered franchise to a billion dollar empire.

The Yankees Brand is world-renowned and that is Steinbrenner’s legacy on the grand scale, but for me I’ll remember him like most beat reporters for the exhilarating paces he put us through.

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Jul 11

The Voice of God meets God

Bob Sheppard, the longtime Yankee Stadium PA announcer called the Voice of God for his dignified and resonate tones, has passed away at age 99.

You’ll hear stories the next few days about how he would race to the elevator after the final out of games at the Stadium. I’ll always remember how nice he treated me when I covered the Yankees; he me treated with respect and kindness, the way he treated all people.

Bob Sheppard is being remembered for his work today, but it should be noted he was a people person. Bob liked people, but people liked Bob. That’s the highest accolade you can give anybody.