Skip to main content

Boone Boon?

So basically Bret Boone is Andres Galarraga without the goodwill vibe. It's hard to get excited about this guy, who who will be 37 a couple of days after the season opens. You can count the number of 37-year-old second baseman who had good years on your fingers (Nap Lajoie and Eddie Collins, he's not) and the number of 37-year-olds who had good years a season after hitting a rather pathetic .221 on your toes and you'll have, at the very least, your pinkies left over. That might be one of the weirdest sentences I've written on this blog, but I like it, as I'm not feeling particularly inspired by this move.

I guess the way that Omar Minaya looks at it like this. Maybe Boone's presence will push Msrs. Kaz Matsui, Jeff Keppinger and Anderson Hernandez in spring training. Maybe Boone will turn into this year's Roberto Hernandez and be the feel-good reclamation project of the summer. At the very least, it's a favor for someone's agent, and you can never do favors for enough agents in this business. It's the kind of move that, if it doesn't work, no one will remember it (except the obsessive bloggers) and if it does, it's like hitting a grand slam.

Oh, speaking of which...The date was July 19, 2004 and the Red Sox and Mariners were engaged in baseball matters at Safeco Field. Boston threw Bronson Arroyo that day and he pitched a brilliant game, to the tune of seven innings of one-run, three-hit, 12-strikeout ball. It looked like he'd live a winner when Jason Varitek's three-run home run gave the Sox a 4-1 eighth-inning lead, but Boston's bullpen went into gag mode. The Mariners scored an unearned run in the eighth, then got back-to-back homers by Miguel Olivo and Edgar Martinez off Keith Foulke to tie the game with one out in the ninth.

The Red Sox went rather meekly in the 10th and 11th, so this one went to the last of the 11th knotted at four apiece. That frame didn't start off well for Boston, as Olivo reached on an infield single against Curt Leskanic. Dave Hansen walked and Ichiro then sacrificed both runners into scoring position. This left Terry Francona a choice. Randy Winn was at the plate and walking him seemed the logical option to set up the double play, except that doing so tempted fate, curses, and all that other stuff that everyone liked to talk about. The on-deck hitter had the last name that had haunted the Red Sox about nine months previous.

It was at that time that Bret Boone was hanging out in the FOX booth during the American League Championship Series (no offense intended, but what he was doing wasn't broadcasting) when his brother just happened to yank a knuckleball into history. The inning? It was the 11th, of course.

So now, flash forward to the 11th of this contest where Francona does call for four balls, walking Winn and bringing the other Boone to the plate. Curtis Leskanic got ahead 0-1 but Boone cranked the next one. It was high. It was far. It was gone. The ball landed in the left field bullpen for what Mariners broadcaster Dave Niehaus would probably call a walk-off salami.

Red Sox outfielder Johnny Damon would refer to it as the worst loss of the season, which in hindsight held true, considering the way things turned out afterwards. It went all well for Boston after that, but not so much for Boone. He's still looking to recapture some of the magic from that night. You can count the good days he's had since on your fingers and toes, and still have your pinkies left over.

True Bret fans know...On May 2, 2002, Bret Boone became the 14th player to homer twice in the first inning of a game (Mike Cameron did it as well, and hit four home runs that day). The last player to do that before Boone was Von Hayes, who did so in a 26-7 win against the Mets on June 11, 1985.

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…