Freelance Sports JournalistSubscribe Now

A HOME RUN DERBY FOR THE AGES

hrderby

The annual Home Run Derby is for entertainment purposes only. But what's so exciting about watching a major league player hit moon shots against a batting practice fastball? Nothing. It's glorified BP -- with a lot of hype.

[Read more...]

JULY 4, 1985: NO END IN SIGHT

camp-rick

Thousands of baseball books have been published. Millions of baseball stories have been told, every one of them starts with the same basic understanding: two teams, nine innings, balls, strikes, runs, hits and errors. Along the way there are various twists and turns ending in perfect games, no hitters, walk off home runs and everything in between.

No two games are the same, but many are alike. They all come back to the final out. Strike three. Game over. But what happens when a game goes on and on and on … with no apparent end in sight? Then, when the moment seemingly arrives, hope is dashed by improbability. There was a major league game like this. It was played on July 4 (and July 5), 1985. This is the story, as told by those who played, reported, broadcast, watched and witnessed it.

[Read more...]

NO, NO, NO

santana

A pair of Chicago Cubs centerfielders, Jimmy Qualls (1969) and Joe Wallis (1975), stole two of Tom Seaver’s early bids for a no-hitter. One year after being traded from New York to Cincinnati, Seaver threw a no-hitter for the Reds. Nolan Ryan never pitched a no-hitter – as a New York Met – but after being traded to the California Angels in 1971 he nudged Mets fans every couple years, throwing seven no-hitters. “Every time he pitched you expected a no-hitter – or 15 strikeouts,” said Jay Horwitz, Mets VP/Public Relations, referring to Dwight Gooden. In May 1996, Gooden tossed the only no-hitter of his career – as a member of the New York Yankees. Even Duffy Dyer had to leave the New York Mets to catch his first no-hitter (John Candelaria, Pittsburgh, 1975), 11 years before Josh Thole was born.

[Read more...]

NEW YORK UGLIES

Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez should not be alone on the New York Yankees bench this postseason. Save room for Robinson Cano who is batting .063 (2-for-32). Curtis Granderson: .115 (3-for-26) with 14 strikeouts. Russell Martin is hitting .192. Nick Swisher is 4-for-26, or .154, this postseason. Those ugly numbers, combined with Derek Jeter's broken ankle, have the Yankees in a 2-0 hole in the American League Championship Series and headed for Game 3 in Detroit against Justin Verlander.

Good luck with that.

[Read more...]

TIME TO MUTE KINER

kiner

I love Ralph Kiner. I respect him for his for his contribution to the game of baseball – both as a player and, later, a broadcaster. If you’ve been a New York Mets fan for any length of time you certainly understand Kiner's importance in team history.

[Read more...]

A BAG OF BALLS, A LOT OF QUESTIONS

carter

Former New York Mets catcher Ed Hearn says he has a bag of baseballs in his cellar. They are all from 1986, all from the National League Championship Series and they are all evidence that Michael Warren Scott cheated.

[Read more...]

NO (STRAIGHT) JACKET REQUIRED

Wally Backman

No one played the game harder, and with more desire to win, than Wally Backman. Playing in the media shadow of Dwight Gooden, Darryl Strawberry, Gary Carter and Keith Hernandez, it was Backman who defined the heart of the New York Mets 1986 championship team.

[Read more...]

FROM DYNASTY TO DISAPPOINTMENT

johnson

The New York Mets finished the 1989 season in second place. Six weeks into the 1990 season Davey Johnson was fired. He won 1,012 games as manager of the Mets, one World Series and two division titles. Johnson's teams won an average of 95 games from 1984-1990. But, amidst all those wins, history defines the Mets as a disappointment.

[Read more...]

MEJIA IMPRESSIVE, BUT NO MO

mejia

The Jenrry Mejia story is accelerating faster than a defective Toyota without brakes.

Making his second appearance of the spring Monday, Mejia pitched three scoreless innings, allowing one single, against the Marlins. Last Friday, Mejia made his first appearance, allowing one hit in 2 1/3 innings pitched. Mejia's current line: 5 1/3 IP, 0 runs, two hits, 5 K's, 0 walks.

[Read more...]

WINTER BLUES FOR CLAIRE

Fred Claire

We all make mistakes. The problem with making a mistake if you’re Bill Buckner or Scott Norwood or even Fred Claire is, it happens on the world stage for all to see.

Coincidentally, Claire's miscues from the general manager’s chair have intersected at some point in history, with current or former members of the New York Mets. It’s like six degrees of separation, but not.

[Read more...]