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Showing posts from August 28, 2005

Minutiae Break: The McRae List

OK, so you liked "The Tidrow List," and there seemed to be enough clamoring for a "hitters version" to make doing one worthwhile. The Mets have certainly had their share of mediocre position players, historically speaking. Many a good player has donned the jersey only to have his skills turn to jello. Many a bad player has shown off his wares, or lack thereof, while donning a Mets jersey. You may have read my bashing the play of Brian McRae, whom I dubbed "The Rally Killer" for his ability to turn good situations into bad ones (witness wandering off first base during a game-winning sacrifice fly against the Yankees and his stumbling around third base as the potential winning run in the 14th inning on Opening Day, 1998) and his inability to come through in clutch situations (statistical evidence lacking at the moment, but anecdotal evidence remains in the memory banks). It is in his honor that I have compiled this list, one that isn't necessarily of the

Next post, slightly delayed

Howdy post is slightly delayed due to other obligations. We should have something interesting up over the weekend. I'm contemplating doing a hitters' version of "The Tidrow List" in honor, perhaps, of anonymous backup catchers (Ronn Reynolds, Junior Ortiz, Mike DiFelice) or below-average batsmen (same guys make the list) but am still figuring out some of the particulars. Feel free to comment on any suggestions you may have. In the meantime, why not check out an old post via the Table of Contents

Didja ever notice, signs, signs, everywhere signs?

Part III of an ongoing series regarding Game 6 of the 1986 World Series Some people believe that signs exist that a team is going to win a particular game. On October 25, it was kind of hard to miss. They were everywhere. Signs have been a ballpark staple at the Polo Grounds and Shea Stadium since the Mets played their first game in 1962. There's something about this team that makes them so prevalent. One fan, Karl Ehrhardt, even became known as "Sign Man" because his work became quite popular. There were 55,078 people in the stands that night and it seems like a lot of them felt the need to express their feelings in writing on what some might call 'Placards.' Banner Day was never a favorite of mine, but I've always had an eye out for creative endeavors and there were plenty on display. There was bedlam on the field that night and bedsheets off the field, mostly hanging from the facing that separates the loge from the box seats. I paused my VCR for one crowd s

Grand Theft Baseball

Sometimes the home team leaves the ballpark feeling like it basically stole a victory, maybe a once or twice a year occurrence, such as what happened to the Flushing 9 on August 30, 2005. I like to call that Grand Theft Baseball (not meant to be a tribute to the popular video game, Grand Theft Auto). I suppose if I wanted to be literal , and wanted to write about the Mets "stealing" a ball game, I could write about this one . Or if I wanted to pen something on Ugueth Urbina giving up a big home run, I could write about this one . We like to keep things fresh here, so I'll tell the tale of another game today, even though I like the fit of this one , which you'll note was pretty recently published. Greg from " Faith and Fear in Flushing " steered me in the right direction by suggesting that I stick with the Philadelphia theme, so I shall do so. The 1990 Mets were at the midpoint of an 11-game win streak and at the crossroads of their season on June 24 when the

Fat Albert(o)

It was thought that the Mets were bringing back one of their good-luck charms when it was announced last week that they had signed Alberto Castillo to a minor-league contract. Alas, Castillo backed out of the deal at the last moment (after it had already appeared in your newspaper's transactions section) and instead inked on with the Oakland Athletics. Somewhere, a Phillies fan with a good memory breathed a sigh of relief. It was March 31, 1998, an Opening Day in which the feeling in the air was optimism rather than chills (game time temperature was in the 80s), even though the starting lineup for the Flushing 9 featured Tim Spehr as the starting catcher (stump your friends with that one!) in the pre-Piazza era. It was a catcher who would make the biggest impact in this game, but that would take a little while to develop- four-and-a-half hours, in fact- because Mets starter Bobby Jones was busy matching zeroes with Phillies ace Curt Schilling. The bats were weak on this day, as thi

Mr. Ed

For old postings, check out the Table of Contents in the links section, an easy-to-read reference guide for previous stories. A colleague of mine is a big Phillies fan and an umpire afficianado (kinder than saying groupie), so in hunting for a topic this week, I thought of something clever that might appeal to him, as the Phillies return east (as does he) and come to Shea Stadium for a three-game series this week. "This Date in New York Mets History" tipped me off to Ed Sudol's unlikely place in Mets history, though I'm guessing most fans of the Flushing 9 aren't familiar with the man, who died last December. Sudol has the distinction of having umpired the three longest games in Mets history. In fact Sudol was behind the plate for all three occasions, a 25-inning affair with the Cardinals in 1974, a 24-inning contest with the Astros in 1968, and a 23-inning marathon with the Giants in 1964 (he missed a 19-inning Mets-Dodgers affair in 1973, leaving the city a day