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Burgos King, Let Go of the Bannister, and Clint Metswood

Considering how bad Ambiorix Burgos has been over the past two years, it was actually somewhat surprising to me that he'd only allowed one walk-off hit. Albeit this one was a doozy, a three-run triple to Indians centerfielder Grady Sizemore this past August 11, which turned a 3-1 lead into a 4-3 defeat.

You might remember from past readings that I was very much in favor of keeping Brian Bannister, but I don't really have any qualms about this deal. To get a young power arm for the bullpen, you have to give up something of value, and if Bannister is going to be starting on Opening Day, better that he do it for the Royals than the new Mets Triple-A franchise in New Orleans. Bannister was slated to be behind young arms Mike Pelfrey and Phil Humber, among others, in the Mets pitching plans for 2006.

Bannister was also likely behind Clint Nageotte, who was recently signed to the Jose Lima Exemption (oops sorry, wrong sport) and, in a best case scenario could morph into a righthanded version of Darren Oliver.

Nageotte was 1-6 with a 7.30 ERA in 15 appearances for the Mariners spaced out between 2004 and 2005, but his claim to fame for me is much more significant than those numbers.

On August 6, 2004, Nageotte was the pitcher in one of the most bizarre scenarios in walk-off history. With his team tied at one with the Mariners in the last of the 10th, Nageotte put himself in a bad spot, loading the bases with one out. Devil Rays first baseman Tino Martinez hit a fly to left, likely not deep enough to score the run, except that Mariners shortstop Jose Lopez decided that this was the appropriate time to sneak behind Rays baserunner Carl Crawford (perched on 3rd base) and prevent him from seeing when left fielder Raul Ibanez caught the ball.

Third base umpire Paul Emmel, much to the dismay of Mariners fans, awarded Crawford home on the basis of obstruction, giving the Devil Rays the bizarre victory. That happens to be the only game in which Nageotte has pitched to end in walk-off fashion.

Anyway, thought you'd appreciate that humorous anecdote while you're waiting for the latest results in the Barry Zito sweepstakes.

True Metgos know...The Mets have only had one walk-off triple in their history. It came on September 10, 1970, and you can read about Cleon Jones' game-winning hit here

http://metswalkoffs.blogspot.com/2006/06/triple-through-time.html

The Mets have allowed two walk-off triples. The first, by Lee May of the Reds on June 24, 1968, and the second by Jack Clark of the Giants (against Neil Allen) on June 19, 1980.

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