Skip to main content

On the Other Hand...

If we're going to talk about violent swings, as we did yesterday, former Met Tony Clark's was one that got my stamp of approval.

It probably helped that I had an experience with Clark that shaped my viewpoint. During the 2002 season, I was at Fenway Park, gathering some information for my real job, and it just so happened that Clark had a terrific game. My familiarity with Clark came from his early days in the minors, with the Tigers Double-A affiliate, the Trenton Thunder, where he became famous for his long home runs.

The media gathered around his locker after the game, but Clark wasn't there. Maybe he had ducked out, but that seemed unlikely since he played well. The wait got to the point where most of the other Red Sox were on their way out. Finally, Clark arrived fresh from a long shower.

"Ladies and gentlemen," he said deliberately to the reporters he had kept waiting, "I would like to apologize."

That was a new one for me. A player apologizing to the media. That's pretty rare. Clark proceeded to answer every question, his answers profound and intelligent. Clark likes to pause before he speaks, and though this writer is not a big fan of players who sprinkle religion into baseball conversation, Clark did it in a manner that was not bothersome.

Clark became a Met in 2003, signing with the team as a free agent that January. Though the best days of his career were behind him (the tops, a .291 BA, 34 HR, 103 RBI campaign in 1998), Clark was a useful player, primarily as a bat off the bench and sometimes starter with a respectable glove. He was prone to slumps and strikeouts, but tried hard, and when he did make contact, the ball tended to rocket off his bat. He's 6-foot-8 so his cuts always look pretty big.

Clark had two walk-off hits for the Mets. The first came on May 21, 2003 against the Phillies, a contest in which the Flushing 9 rallied from a 4-2 seventh-inning deficit. Clark walked with the bases loaded to bring in a run in the seventh, than singled home Marco Scutaro with the winning run in the ninth, after the Mets had tied it on Cliff Floyd's home run in the eighth.

The second came on July 1, against the Expos, in a game in which the Mets blew a 6-3 lead. But with the score even and two men on base with two outs in the ninth, Clark singled down the right field line, bringing home the winning run in a 7-6 victory.

Clark hit .232 with 16 home runs in his lone season as a Met, but it was evident that he was a positive influence based on his signing with the Yankees the following season. He's with the Diamondbacks now and has been one of their best players in 2005. Entering the weekend, he's hitting .330 with 16 home runs, 52 RBI, and apparently, no more apologies.

True Metheads know...The 2003 Mets were the first Mets team since 1991 not to have a walk-off win in either August or September.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Mets Top 100 Home Runs: From No. 76 (Alex Ochoa) to No. 80 (Dom Smith)

In 2009, I did a project for my website, Mets Walk-Offs and Other Minutiae, celebrating the best home runs in Mets history. I selected the top 60 regular season home runs and the top 15 postseason home runs. The reason I picked 60 was because it represented the top 1% of home runs in Mets history (and 15 just felt right for postseason, giving us 75 overall).
This was fun to do, but it was imperfect. I had one egregious omission. I tended to favor oddities.
It’s time to give that project an update. And why not do it as a top 100?
The Mets have hit 7,671 regular season home runs. The top 80 represent about the top 1%. And the top 20 postseason home runs get us to an even 100 to celebrate.
Come along for the ride. Hopefully you’ll enjoy the reminiscing. 
Hopefully you’ll find it Amazin’.
80. Dominic Smith’s season-ending walk-off 
(Sept. 29, 2019 vs Braves) True story: I pulled into a parking spot right in front of my apartment as Dominic Smith came to bat. Rather than stay and listen to the ra…

Mets Top 100 Home Runs: From No. 16 (Carl Everett & Bernard Gilkey) to No. 20 (Tommie Agee)

In 2009, I did a project for my website, Mets Walk-Offs and Other Minutiae, celebrating the best home runs in Mets history. I selected the top 60 regular season home runs and the top 15 postseason home runs. The reason I picked 60 was because it represented the top 1% of home runs in Mets history (and 15 just felt right for postseason).
This was fun to do, but it was imperfect. I had one egregious omission. I tended to favor oddities.
It’s time to give that project an update. And why not do it as a top 100?
The Mets have hit 7,671 regular season home runs. The top 80 represent about the top 1%. And the top 20 postseason home runs get us to an even 100 to celebrate.
Come along for the ride. Hopefully you’ll enjoy the reminiscing. Hopefully you’ll find it Amazin’. 


The rest of the list can be found here.


20. Tommie Agee reaches new heights 
(April 10, 1969 vs Expos) Tommie Agee set the tone for a new beginning in the first week of the 1969 season. Agee had a dreadful 1968 that began in spring t…

Cliff Notes

Alright, so it's 2 days later and the challenge for me now, after reading through about a dozen game stories and listening to talk radio, is to provide a fresh perspective on walk-off #324. If you're going to be a serious reader of this blog, you know what happened already, so let's look at what made this particular walk-off stand out.

It would seem that the place to start is with the idea that everything broke just right on both sides of the ball. Particularly, I'm talking about Carlos Beltran's catch in the 7th inning, where he went over the center field fence to rob Jose Molina of a home run. Every no-hitter seems to have one defensive gem that makes it possible and perhaps that's true of great walk-off moments as well (We'll be looking into that!)

Marlon Anderson's home run required a remarkable combination of events. It was only the sixth inside-the-park home run at Shea Stadium by a Met and the first since Darryl Strawberry in 1989. It required that…