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Showing posts from April 2, 2006

Minutiae Break: Double Your Pleasure

In honor of the Mets reaching the 10,000 doubles milestone on Friday, we present the following tidbits...

* Ed Kranepool holds the all-time club record for career doubles with 225 (one was a walk-off). Bernard Gilkey set the Mets single-season record for doubles with 44 in 1996.

* The Mets have had 25 walk-off doubles (by mycount, I'vewrittenabout9ofthem). Of those, 16 have driven in one run, seven have driven in two runs, one has driven in two, and had the other score on an error, and one has driven in three runs.

* Among Mets pitchers, Ron Darling had the most career doubles- 20. Darling (1987) and Rick Reed (1997) share the mark for most in a single season.

* Choo Choo Coleman went double-less in 277 plate appearances in 1963, the most double-less performance by any Mets player in a season. Pat Zachry had no doubles in 252 career plate appearances for the Mets, the worst double-less performance by a player in his Mets tenure (Jeff Duncan was worst among position players, with 183 …

A Brief History of "Agony to Ecstasy Finishes"

Monday's Opening Day win ended in rather unusual fashion, even for the Mets, with Jose Vidro getting thrown out by Carlos Beltran trying to extend a single into a double.

The good folks at Retrosheet, led by David Smith, sent us a list of Mets contests that ended in a similar manner. Originally, I referred to the manner of contest conclusion as a "Slide-off" and then "tag-off" but hastily realized that in my request to Retrosheet, I left certain possibilities out of the equation (A runner could get thrown out attempting to advance on a flyout or groundout, which also could involve a tag play). Thus, in searching for a new name, I came up with the idea of the "Agony to Ecstasy Finish."

The definition of the "Agony to Ecstasy Finish" is a game in which your team won, in which the final out of the game came as the byproduct of a base hit. Agony to ecstasy seems like the ideal phrase to describe the emotions of the fan whose team emerges victoriou…

Things That Scare Me...

I don't usually do analysis of this sort, but I can't resist...

Commercials, repeated every other inning, in which a human television set speaks of painting toenails

Keith Hernandez, wearing a manfur that would have made David Puddy proud, referring to an opposing pitcher as a Wookie

Billy Wagner's velocity in Game 2 maxxed out at 92 MPH

Ryan Zimmerman's first major-league home run is a little too reminiscent of Chipper Jones', as are his Mets-killer 10-for-20 numbers.

That I'll do what I did this afternoon and post a blog entry under the wrong date, and thus no one will scroll down far enough to read it (See "Minutiae Break: The Debut")

In other news, David Smith of Retrosheet did me a nice favor and put together an all-time list of Mets "tag-offs," which I hope to fully review by the weekend.

If It's Such a Big Deal...

...to Yankees fans offended by Billy Wagner's choice of entrance music, then the solution is simple. Tell Mariano Rivera to pick something new

I haven't heard this much about the value of "theme songs" since Ally McBeal picked Tracey Ullman to be her therapist (most of you won't get that, but those brave enough to confess to watching FOX on Monday night's a few years ago will.)

Back with a new post either later this morning, sometime this evening, or early Thursday

Minutiae Break: The Debut

So I'm at work on Monday and it had been about seven hours since I had eaten. A colleague wanted to go get dinner, but something was holding me back. He was rather insistent about going. I was rather insistent about waiting. He went. I stayed. That's how I got to see Mike Piazza's first at bat with the San Diego Padres. I'm glad I delayed my dining.

I invoked what I'm now calling the "Stanley Jefferson Rule." This is in reference to a story I told a few days ago about how I remember Jefferson's first at bat as a Met. I was in the bathtub on that particular day, 20 years ago, when my father's voice beckoned. I indicated that I could wait. Then he said words that I remember to this day.

"If he hits a home run, you'll regret that you missed it."

Stan the Man struck out in his Mets debut, while I was drying myself off, but that's besides the point. The important thing here is to understand the value of the debut.

A player, whether it be …

Our Special Bonds: The Spy (Answers)

Answers to the quiz posted here on April 4, 2008

http://metswalkoffs.blogspot.com/2008/04/our-special-bonds-spy-questions.html

1) Who has more WS titles...Mets or Glavine. The Mets have 2, one more than Glavine has, or hopefully ever will have.

2) Name the 40 current or former Mets to hit .300 against Glavine.

Carlos Delgado (.588), Damon Buford (.500), Mo Vaughn (.500), Craig Shipley (.471), Paul Lo Duca (.464), Hubie Brooks (.440), Mookie Wilson (.429), Dave Magadan (.425), Richard Hidalgo (.417), Manny Alexander (.412), Cliff Floyd (.400), Rick Parker (.400), Charlie O'Brien (.389), Lenny Dykstra (.385), Luis Lopez (.385), Alex Ochoa (.385), Luis Castillo (.384), Shawn Green (.382), Xavier Nady (.364), John Olerud (.364), Butch Huskey (.357), Kevin Mitchell (.356), Gary Bennett (.353), Joe McEwing (.348), Mike Piazza (.343), Benny Agbayani (.333), Kevin McReynolds (.333), Melvin Mora (.333), Juan Samuel (.333), Jose Vizcaino (.333), Todd Zeile (.326), Eli Marrero (.316), Willie Ran…

Seconds, Please

OK, so what do you call a game that ends like Opening Day did for the Mets? A slide-off? The preference when I got up this morning was "tag-off." My best recollection of something like that dates back to August 27, 1986 and what Tim McCarver referred to as a "routine" 8-2-5 game-ending double play (Dykstra to Gibbons to HoJo) on Tim Flannery's potential game-tying single to centerfield in extra innings in San Diego, but I'm guessing there have been other instances since then.

It was also similar in nature to the scenario of September 14, 1997, a game I attended. In this case, it was the ninth inning (not the eighth) in which Todd Pratt (not Paul Lo Duca) got a major break from the home plate ump, with one out in the ninth inning (with the Mets up 1-0), after dropping Rey Ordonez's relay throw, while colliding with incoming Expos baserunner David Segui (and not Alfonso Soriano...follow all that?). That day, if my understanding is right, the errant ruling…

For Openers...

If I had to guess which Mets newcomer was going to make the biggest Opening Day impact in 2006, I think I'd pick Paul Lo Duca. We've written about why we like Lo Duca and think he'll be quite useful for this particular team. Today we write about the precedent for why we think he'll make a difference in Game No. 1.

The Mets have had three Opening Day walk-off wins. In two of the games, the winning blow was struck by someone who regularly played catcher and the third was by someone who was a former catcher. You can read about our perspective on the game-deciding hits from Gary Carter and Alberto Castillo elsewhere on this blog, and we like the Carter karma, especially considering that he's in the house on Monday to catch Jesse Orosco's ceremonial first pitch.

The other game took place on Opening Day, 1975. I was a wee tyke of three months and a week then and have no recollection of the game that took place that April 8th between the Mets and Phillies, but discovere…