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Showing posts from August 6, 2006

Stuart Markowitz is a Met

Well, not exactly, but Michael Tucker the ballplayer (not the "LA Law" actor) is now a Met, recalled to fill Cliff Floyd's shoes for a couple of weeks, as he ably did on Thursday.

Ricky Ledee may be one of "Willie's guys" but Tucker should find himself the preferred choice of a couple of teammates in the Mets dugout.

Tom Glavine would be one, as he earned career win #160 on May 24, 1998, when Tucker's walk-off single allowed the Braves to beat the Cubs. Tucker actually got both of his walk-off hits for the Braves in games that Glavine started (his other coming on May 30, 1997).

Carlos Beltran would be another, as he was a part of the 2002 Royals team on which Michael Tucker fell just a triple shy of hitting for the walk-off cycle. Within a span of two months, Tucker had a game-ending home run to beat the White Sox (July 18, two batters after a game-tying Beltran HR), a double to edge the Devil Rays (August 9), and a single to squeak past the Indians (Septe…

The Impossible Has Happened

The writer at "Them Mets" has intrigued me on several occasions, both with the on-site "Kudos Board" (definitely worth checking out) and with a series of queries in the comments section of a couple of different postings on this site.

This rather inquisitive person asked a dandy of a question a few days ago: Has there ever been a game that featured a walk-off double play?

Now, via my memorization of the Shakespearian work "This Date in New York Mets History" I was able to recall one possibility and sure enough, hit paydirt with the entry listed for June 21, 1973.

For those familiar with the "Ball on the Wall" classic against the Pirates later that season, think of this contest as its polar opposite. It came during a period in which the Mets were struggling, finding improbable ways to lose at every turn.

The gory details take us to the last of the 9th at Three Rivers Stadium, of a pitchers duel between since-removed Jerry Koosman and Luke Walker. Pitt…

Oh Ricky, You're So Fine

I was pulling for the return of Lenny Harris, but Ricky Ledee will suffice. It soothed me to find out that Ledee has a good walk-off history, with four walk-off RBIs to his credit.

Ledee's most memorable walk-off moment came during the summer of 1999 to conclude a rather ho-hum Yankees sweep of the Indians, in a series that included a 21-1 romp the day before.

It was a pitchers duel that was the primary appeal the afternoon of July 25, pitting a struggling Roger Clemens against Bartolo Colon and the nearly 55,000 in the stands were rewarded with a low-scoring affair.

Derek Jeter's home run in the fourth and Manny Ramirez's RBI single in the 6th accounted for the only scoring of the game. Clemens' success was one of the other storylines that day, as were Ledee's struggles.

Colon struck out only five, but on three occasions he fanned Ledee, than a rookie leftfielder. Ledee also struggled in the field, resulting in multiple misplays, though no errors were charged.

By the 9…

Welcome Back, Buddy

The Mets welcome back one of their baseball buddies on Tuesday night so it seems appropriate at this juncture to tell you about what happened the last time they did so.

We refer, of course, to the return of Mets quasi-legend Derrel "Bud" Harrelson, to Shea Stadium, on May 19, 1978.

For 1,322 games from 1965 to 1977, Harrelson was a "marvelous" (using a Bob Murphyism) Mets infielder. He was once a Gold Glove winner (1971), twice an All-Star (1970-71) and a three-time recipient, amazingly enough, of votes for MVP (1970, 1971 and 1973). He was a good-field, little-hit, occasional sparkplug who was a significant part of the first championship era. He played in 1,322 games, 2nd in Mets history to Ed Kranepool.

Near the end of Spring Training 1978, the housecleaning Mets dumped Harrelson, a sub .200 hitter the year prior, on the Phillies, for young second baseman Fred Andrews. It was a good move for Harrelson in that it sent him from a cellar dwellar to a division champ but…

Piazza Delivery

It has been nearly nine full years since Mike Piazza last played a game at Shea Stadium as a member of the enemy.

In that last contest, on August 21, 1997, he hit a home run. He also homered, off Dwight Gooden no less, the first time he came to Shea Stadium with the enemy, back when he was an unknown rookie on April 27, 1993.

As good as he was when he was a Met, Piazza has been 10 times better against the Mets. In 48 games against the Flushing 9, Piazza has a .341 batting average with 12 home runs and 35 RBI. Among active players with at least 200 plate appearances against the Mets, only Derek Jeter (.374) and Todd Helton (.362) have higher batting averages.

The one good thing about Piazza's return to Shea Stadium on Tuesday night. He can't beat the Mets in walk-off fashion.

But that doesn't mean he hasn't done it before.

We flash back to July 8, 1994, just prior to the All-Star Break, with the humdrum Mets closing out the first half in Los Angeles for four games. The pitch…