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Showing posts from August 14, 2005

More Fun Than a Trip to the Dentist

Most people don't like going to the dentist. I've become somewhat desensitized to it, as I've gone through enough painful experiences (4 wisdom teeth and I believe 8 regular teeth pulled in my days as a youngster) to know that a trip for a cleaning, like the one I'm making into NYC this morning, is a walk in the park. My dentist happens to be a baseball fan, which makes things a little easier. An excursion like this gives me the opportunity to ruminate on a Mets comparison. What is the Metsian equivalent to a trip to the dentist? I suppose that for some, the answer could be "Watching Keith Miller try to play centerfield." A couple of days ago I hinted at Miller's lack of skill in the outfield. Today I'll approach it in more of a full-fledged manner. Keith Miller was not a very good centerfielder. There you have it. I don't know why, but my most significant memory of Miller is watching him take a blooper of a 65 mile-per-hour curveball from Bob K

An Ode to Playgrounds and Egg Creams

I have been asked if I take "blog-requests" and indeed I do. My first request comes from the folks at " Faith and Fear in Flushing " who wanted to read my take on the walk-off of September 12, 1985. Since one of those bloggers works in the beverage industry, I think he'll appreciate my special twist on this story. First, some context. In 1985 I was 10, so the memories are a little fuzzy, but baseball moments tend to stick in my head, like watching Cesar Cedeno's two-strike home run fly over the left field fence, and John Tudor's whiff of Darryl Strawberry to end a 1-0 10-inning classic Cardinals win the night before the game we're referencing. I believe our seats that night were along the left field line and Cedeno's homer whizzed right past us. That allowed the Cardinals to tie the Mets for first place in the NL East. The night was historically notable because during one half-inning break, the DiamondVision showed us that Pete Rose had broken T

No Average Joe

I got into a lengthy discussion with a couple of Mets fans regarding Antonio Perez's no-hitter-ending triple off Pedro Martinez on Sunday. Among the things we wondered were whether Carlos Beltran or Mike Cameron would have caught the ball (For the record, I think Beltran would have and I think Cameron would have jumped and missed it). So then you start playing the mental game...Tommie Agee would have caught it, the oldtimers will say. Len Dykstra would have crashed into the fence going after it. Keith Miller would not have caught it. I don't know whether or not Joe Orsulak would have caught the ball, but it would have been interesting to see him try. I'm not sure why Orsulak's name came to mind (perhaps it had something to do with scanning the list of players in my database as I searched for something to write about), as he was primarily a corner outfielder during a career that began in 1983 and ended in 1997, with a 338-game stop with the Mets from 1993 to 1995. But O

Didja ever notice??

So I was sitting at work on Monday night, getting things done, when one of my colleagues at his desk flipped on ESPN Classic. The program that was on was "5 Reasons You Can't Blame Bill Buckner for Losing the 1986 World Series" (I must admit, that's rather catchy). This colleague, a Red Sox fan, watched rather intently, and I peered over his shoulder for a little while. A shot of Dave Henderson's go-ahead home run in the 10th inning of Game 6 appeared on the screen, with a quick cut to Roger Clemens giving high-fives to his teammates in the Mets bullpen. I pointed out to my colleague, that just behind Clemens, there was some grafitti on the bullpen wall. In big red letters, were the spray-painted initials "R.C." I casually mentioned that it was good to see that Roger Clemens was such a class act back then that he (or some other vandal) felt the need to leave his signature at Shea. That, of course, created the bad karma that caused the Red Sox to lose t

A Walk-Off Most Foul

Sometime around 1979 or 1980, a couple of Mets were working a local baseball clinic and one particular skinny teenager from Brooklyn bugged them the whole time they were there. "I'm gonna make the big leagues some day," the young man insisted. Little did those Mets know then how valuable the kid from Thomas Jefferson High, Shawon Dunston, was going to be to their team someday. In 1982, Dunston was the prize of the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft, selected with the No. 1 pick by the Chicago Cubs. He was in the majors as a shortstop and Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg's double-play partner by 1985 (he reminded those Mets from the clinic what he told them a few years before) and gained a reputation as a bit of a free swinger, whose golden arm was capable of throwing out a batter from anywhere on the infield (Joe Morgan said it was the best he ever saw), and who had potential to be a great hitter if he could cut down on the strikeouts. Prior to the Mets trading Roger M

A Perfect Walk-Off

There was one walk-off I was saving for a special occasion, and much to the dismay of Mets fans, the ideal circumstances for such an entry came up with Sunday's Mets-Dodgers game, in which Pedro Martinez lost his no-hitter and then the ballgame in the eighth inning of a 2-1 loss to the Dodgers. The diehard Mets fan is probably with some similar such games. Ron Darling had a no-hitter against the Phillies for seven innings before the Mets blew a 4-0 lead in horrific fashion. The folks at Faith and Fear in Flushing recalled seven innings of glory for Randy Tate against the Expos in 1975 before he too lost no-hitter and game. The Mets have been on the winning end of blown no-hitters, most notably one by Jim Maloney in 1965 that went 10 innings, before Johnny Lewis homered to beat him in the top of the 11th. The Mets have a history in regards to no-hitters on both ends of the spectrum, of famous breakups and near no-nos (I've been to a few), and while they've been no-hit, (mos