Thursday, June 21, 2012

All-Time Mets Team

I couldn't go to be there for the suspense last Sunday. I couldn't even watch it as it first aired tonight (Thursday). But I'm watching it now. It's the Mets 50th Anniversary All-Time Team. And I'm sharing a few comments about it.

First off, I like, and more importantly trust any panel that includes the "voices of the Mets" Howie Rose and Gary Cohen. I don't know who made up the rest of the selection panel, but those two were there. Howie and Gary were on the TV program with host Kevin Burkhardt. I like when Howie and Gary are working together like this panel. They did it on the radio for 2 years, and they did it again for a few minutes after the Mets first no-hitter 3 weeks ago tomorrow.

As I watch this program on "tape", I will break it down position-by-position. I also want to include my all-time first and second team. I hate to call it a "bench".

First Base
Ed Kranepool, Dave Kingman, Keith Hernandez, John Olerud
It went to Keith Hernandez. I think the nominees were a little thin here. I wouldn't have considered Dave Kingman with the other 3, but he was also before my time. I really liked Olerud (the only one I saw at an age that I was old enough to appreciate). But Mex was the leader and the piece that turned the franchise around. He's the all-time first baseman.

Second Base
Felix Milan, Doug Flynn, Wally Backman, Edgardo Alfonzo
It went to Edgardo Alfonzo. I never saw Milan or Flynn, so I can't say much about them. Backman was a gritty player, but Fonzie was was the best among them, but he was also a third baseman with the Mets. I'd have to think that counts against him just a little bit. Those couple of years when the Mets had Olerud, Fonzie, and Ordonez were a lot of fun to watch.

Bud Harrelson, Rafael Santana, Rey Ordonez, Jose Reyes
It went to Jose Reyes. I think it should have gone to Buddy. And I never saw him play. Reyes was dynamic, Rey Ordonez was a defensive wizard, but from what I've heard about Buddy Harrelson, I think he was better. I think the injuries have to count against Reyes. I also have a bit of a problem including players of the modern day under the label "All-Time".

Third Base
Hubie Brooks, Howard Johnson, Robin Ventura, David Wright
It went to David Wright. Ventura wasn't with the Mets long enough. Really, neither was Hubie Brooks. HoJo was a great player. Wright, another modern day player, and one who I've been down on at times, I think takes it because of being the "leader" and having the longevity at a position that I remember the Mets used to count the number of people who played it as it kept changing. But he's put up the numbers to back it up.

Right Handed Relief Pitcher
Skip Lockwood, Neil Allen, Roger McDowell, Armando Benitez
It went to Roger McDowell. I never saw Skip Lockwood pitch. I don't necessarily agree with including Neil Allen in this list. Benitez was just too scary for my taste. And I can't think of anyone off hand who should be on this list. McDowell was the best at this special position.

Left Handed Relief Pitcher
Tug McGraw, Jesse Orosco, Randy Myers, John Franco
It went to Tug McGraw. Left handed relief pitchers, at least at the top of the list, was much better than the top of the right handed relief pitcher list. Franco was with the Mets forever. He was the closer for some bad teams. And he's a Mets Hall of Famer. Myers was actually traded for Franco, and was the kid to replace Orosco/McDowell. I think Billy Wagner should have been on this list instead of Myers. Orosco was the guy who grew up with the 1980s Mets and of course was there for the last outs against Houston and Boston in 1986. I never saw Tug pitch, but I've heard a lot about him. He was a cut above the rest.

Jerry Grote, Gary Carter, Todd Hundley, Mike Piazza
It went to Mike Piazza. This may have been the most competitive position in 50 years of the Mets. Grote was the backstop of the 1969 Miracle Mets. Hundley was my favorite player growing up in the 1990s. Piazza was the piece that put the late '90s Mets on the next level. Piazza was the guy with the big HR in the first home game after 9/11. But there were times when I was down on Mike Piazza. Sorry. Gary Carter, for my money, was the best catcher in Mets history. His stay was shorter, but he was the last piece of the puzzle for the 1980s Mets championship team (should have been teams).

Despite Carter not winning at his position, I like that SNY had a Gary Carter tribute in the middle of their program tonight.

Left Field
Cleon Jones, George Foster, Kevin McReynolds, Cliff Floyd
It went to Cleon Jones. Foster was another one I never saw play, and I really never heard good things about him. McReynolds came to the Mets when I was just beginning as a Mets fan, but I always thought he was a blah player, despite the numbers he put up. Floyd was a modern-day player who was good, but not a "best". Cleon Jones was the best LF in Mets history.

Center Field
Tommie Agee, Mookie Wilson, Lenny Dykstra, Carlos Beltran
It went to Carlos Beltran. I never saw Agee, but I've heard lots of good things about him. Mookie was always a favorite. Lenny was "nails". Beltran was good. I have trouble with this one, only because Beltran was a modern day player, a Met until last year, and I have trouble with that in general just because it's too fresh in my mind. There's a part of me that wants to say that Mookie was better.

Right Field
Ron Swoboda, Rusty Staub, Darryl Strawberry, Bobby Bonilla
It went to Darryl Strawberry. Ok, Bobby Bonilla? Seriously? Straw was the best. Hands down. Rusty is my guy off the bench to pinch hit. But I never saw Rusty play in 1973 with the Mets. Rocky Swoboda was another one from well before my time. But Straw is the best. He was my favorite Met growing up in the late 1980s.

Casey Stengel, Gil Hodges, Davey Johnson, Bobby Valentine
It went to Davey Johnson. Casey Stengel and the 3 managers who took the Mets to the World Series. Gil turned the team around for the first time. Davey turned the team around the second time. Bobby V turned the team around the third time. And Casey was just fun to listen to (so I've heard). Davey had a more talented team for a longer period of time than Gil Hodges or Bobby Valentine. But I've never heard players so emotional when talking about a manager than when the 1969 Mets talked about Gil Hodges. This may be the toughest call to make, but I agree with Davey Johnson. But Gil Hodges is right there next to Davey on the all-time Mets roster.

Left Handed Starting Pitcher
Jerry Koosman, John Matlack, Sid Fernandez, Al Leiter
It went to Jerry Koosman. Koos and Matlack were both before my time. I've always heard about Seaver (a righty) and Koosman. Leiter was the ace of the Mets teams I enjoyed around the turn of the century. Fernandez was the best lefty when I was first coming up as a Mets fan. But I can't disagree with Koosman.

Right Handed Starting Pitcher
Tom Seaver, Ron Darling, Dwight Gooden, David Cone
It went to Tom Seaver. Of course it did. He was "The Franchise". And the other 3 were in the same pitching rotation. How didn't they win a World Series (at least in the time Cone was there). Doc was electric. I wasn't around in 1985 or really in 1986. But Doc was my other favorite player from the late 1980s teams. Oh what he could have been. Maybe what Tom Seaver was.

So to recap...
1B: Keith Hernandez
2B: Edgardo Alfonzo
SS: Jose Reyes
3B: David Wright
LF: Cleon Jones
CF: Carlos Beltran
RF: Darryl Strawberry
C: Mike Pizza
LH RP: Tug McGraw
RH RP: Roger McDowell
LH SP: Jerry Koosman
RH SP: Tom Seaver
MGR: Davey Johnson

4 from the 1986 Mets
2 from the 2000 Mets
3 from the 2006 Mets
4 from the 1969 Mets

I will give honorable mention to a 7 Mets that didn't make the at their positions, because they certainly deserve to be part of the All-Time Mets team.
1B: Ed Kranepool
SS: Bud Harrelson
3B: Howard Johnson
RF/PH: Rusty Staub
C: Gary Carter
RH SP: Dwight Gooden
MGR: Gil Hodges

Leave a comment or drop me a line at DyHrdMET [at] gmail [dot] com. Your comments will fall into a moderation queue.
"Like" RememberingShea on Facebook (the function formerly known as "Becoming a Fan").
Become a Networked Blog

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Bob Murphy and the No Hitter

A thought went through my head in the few days since Johan Santana pitched the first No Hitter in Mets history. We heard Howie Rose's call on WFAN. We heard Gary Cohen's call on SNY. They are holding down the fort as the voices of the Mets.

Howie Rose's call on WFAN with Jim Duquette

Gary Cohen's call on SNY with Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez

On Monday, I suggested that Santana appear on Kiner's Korner.

And today, I want to think about the man that I call "forever the voice of the Mets", Bob Murphy. Bob Murphy was an original Mets broadcaster in 1962. He wasn't the "network guy". He wasn't the "All-Star Player". He was the voice of the Mets for a couple of generations, until his retirement after the 2003 season. We lost him in August 2004. He was known as a "homer", a broadcaster (in fact, a Hall of Fame broadcaster), but one who rooted for the team which he called.

So how would Bob Murhpy have called the last out of Santana's no hitter? For argument's sake, let's put him on WFAN with his old partner Gary Cohen. That's how I grew up listening to the Mets, and that's where he was when he retired. This is how I think it would have sounded (you'll have to meet me half way and imagine his voice and emphasis saying these words). If you remember Bob Murphy, you remember the emphasis that he put on certain words and certain parts of words, so I am attempting to capture that with capital letters and extra letters.

now the crowd standing, roaring as loud as they can.
three and two, here's the pitch.
it's all over, the mets win it!
the first one by a METS pitcher.
they're all racing towards the mound, MOBBING Johan Santana.
they had gone over fifty years without one, and now a mets pitcher has thrown a NO hitter.
and we'll be back with the very happy recap in just a moment!

Especially here, feedback and alternate suggestions are welcome.

Leave a comment or drop me a line at DyHrdMET [at] gmail [dot] com. Your comments will fall into a moderation queue.
"Like" RememberingShea on Facebook (the function formerly known as "Becoming a Fan").
Become a Networked Blog

Monday, June 4, 2012

Kiner's Korner

Let me throw this idea out for the Mets and SNY to consider...

Johan Santana should appear on Kiner's Korner, and it's not for whatever the gift is up to these days.

Hopefully I don't have to tell you about Kiner's Korner, that we're all old enough to either remember it or have heard enough about it. But where did the player of the game always end up after a WOR/WWOR Mets TV broadcast from 1962 through 1997? Kiner's Korner with Ralph Kiner. Johan Santana had a feat worthy enough in the realm of Mets history that warrants an appearance on the ultimate Mets postgame show. Next time Ralph Kiner is calling a Mets game, SNY should set aside 15 minutes (or 30 if they want to go that long) on either the postgame show to do an old fashioned Kiner's Korner with Johan Santana as the guest. He's earned it.

Leave a comment or drop me a line at DyHrdMET [at] gmail [dot] com. Your comments will fall into a moderation queue.
"Like" RememberingShea on Facebook (the function formerly known as "Becoming a Fan").
Become a Networked Blog

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Hitting the Chalk

I wrote this piece 3 years ago, and after the bad call on the left field foul line during Friday night's no hitter, and while watching the French Open on TV (which does not have replay), I thought of re-posting this piece.

I like watching the big Tennis tournaments, so here's a thought with that in mind.

Imagine baseball's replay system (or even football's) if they used the technology and speed used for replays at Wimbledon & the US Open?

(Gary) "A pop up down the line. Sheffield over. It falls in fair territory. Utley to second standing. And Sheffield raises his hands asking for a review. Let's take a look Keith."
(replay system shows the ball landing just outside from the line, in foul territory, calling it "FOUL".)
(Keith) "It's called out, Gar. Good eyes by Sheffield out there in left."
(Gary) "So they'll replay the pitch."
(Keith) "Mets caught a break there, Gar. They didn't have that in my day."
(Gary) "Ronnie, as a pitcher, how does that affect you?"
(Ron) "Uh.... Just treat it like you would if it were called foul in the first place."

A few nights later, Gary and Ronnie on SNY had a play in a game against the Dodgers at was a candidate for this type of replay. Without mentioning this blog, or the specific (joking) example noted here, they did bring up the idea of the tennis replay in passing before having the thought put to bed by the showing of their sponsored replay.

Leave a comment or drop me a line at DyHrdMET [at] gmail [dot] com. Your comments will fall into a moderation queue.
"Like" RememberingShea on Facebook (the function formerly known as "Becoming a Fan").
Become a Networked Blog

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Some Website Front Pages

I captured these last night.

Leave a comment or drop me a line at DyHrdMET [at] gmail [dot] com. Your comments will fall into a moderation queue.
"Like" RememberingShea on Facebook (the function formerly known as "Becoming a Fan").
Become a Networked Blog

Eighty Twenty

I hope this is coherent. After all, a Mets pitcher has thrown a No Hitter.

It had to be Jo(han)! It had to be Jo(han)! He's the ace. He's coming back after more than a year off. He stepped it up tonight. Johan Santana threw a Mets No Hitter. His second straight complete game shutout. He's the guy who led us to the final day in the 2008 season with a win in the penultimate game at Shea...pitching that day with a bum knee and carrying the team on his back. That was known as "The Santana Game". Now he's thrown a No Hitter.

It was something that I could feel around the 7th inning when I put the game back on. I saw periodic updates with no hits, but I learned years ago not to get my hopes up. After the Baxter catch, I could feel it. I've always imagined how I'd react to it (with tears). In reality, I started breathing heavier and heavier starting in the 8th inning. So much that I couldn't take a phone call after the game ended. It was more hyperventilating than tears, but plenty of disbelief.

I thought I had jumped the gun a bit by starting to record on the DVR in the middle of the 7th. I recorded SNY for 2 1/2 hours. I'll record that to the computer later. Maybe I'll re-record the entire game when SNY replays it. That's a DVD for sure. In the 8th, I got out my audio recording equipment to record the broadcast on WFAN (for some reason, I pay for MLB.TV on the internet, and I have some basic wires and plugs in my laptop that lets me record audio). I recorded for about half an hour starting in the middle of the 9th and going until Howie signed off the game broadcast and switched to Mets Extra (when the MLB.TV audio shut off). I hope I can get Mets Extra later, even though I caught part of it on's live stream. I already uploaded the audio of the last batter from my recording. I saw that others have also.

It seems like a dream. Even though I'm watching the re-run of SportsNite on SNY, where they cover this and talk about it and I'm still reading Facebook statuses and tweets.

Howie Rose on WFAN and Gary Cohen on SNY both nailed it with their respective calls of the final out. Both were different. Both were right for their respective media (Howie on radio, Gary on TV). Both, I think, had some level of emotion in their calls. Both are lifetime Mets fans working in what some would call a "dream job" as a Voice of the Mets. I'm glad both were there tonight to make the call.

I can't wait to hear the beginning of tomorrow's respective broadcasts at around 4pm (WFAN for the radio and WPIX for the TV). I can't wait to hear Josh Lewin's remarks when he returns from his family weekend (there was a graduation in his family, so that lifelong Mets fan new to the club's broadcasts missed one of the greatest Mets games ever. I can't wait to hear the first interview with George Thomas Seaver ("The Franchise"), whenever that will be. I dreamed that this moment happened while I was at his winery and I could break the news to him.

I still don't believe it. Let's see what tomorrow brings.


Leave a comment or drop me a line at DyHrdMET [at] gmail [dot] com. Your comments will fall into a moderation queue.
"Like" RememberingShea on Facebook (the function formerly known as "Becoming a Fan").
Become a Networked Blog

Friday, June 1, 2012

Classic Howie

No, it's not from tonight, but I thought it's worth listening to once more...

Howie laments the loss of a no hitter in 2011

Leave a comment or drop me a line at DyHrdMET [at] gmail [dot] com. Your comments will fall into a moderation queue.
"Like" RememberingShea on Facebook (the function formerly known as "Becoming a Fan").
Become a Networked Blog

A little rule

A few years ago, I came up with a little rule regarding the "Voices of the Mets" and No Hitters. It goes like this...

At any given time in Mets history, there are either 2 or 3 designated "Voices of the Mets", and at least one of them has to be broadcasting every Mets game (not necessarily every batter, but one of them has to be there) just in case there is a No Hitter thrown. It's a very exclusive club.

Bob Murphy, Ralph Kiner, and Lindsey Nelson were the original voices of the Mets. Lindsey Nelson left in the late '70s, and there were just 2. When Ralph Kiner stopped doing play-by-play after the 1997 season, Gary Cohen was elevated (yes, he had been there for 9 season's not automatic except for the originals) to that status in 1998. Bob Murphy retired after the 2003 season and Howie Rose was elevated in 2004. There is no real rule that the "voices of the Mets" have to be radio broadcasters, but it's worked out that way. Gary Cohen moved to TV in 2006, but it's still Gary and Howie.

So as it stands today, we can't allow both Gary and Howie to be off for the same game, because what would happen if there was a No Hitter? I don't mind Josh Lewin, but look at last year when a lot of people didn't like Wayne Hagin, and there's a lot of people who don't like FOX announcers, so what if Howie had a weekend off when FOX was broadcasting a game, and a No Hitter was thrown? Neither of the "Voices of the Mets" would be there.

Get the idea? OK.

So now it's happened, and both Gary Cohen (with Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling on SNY) and Howie Rose (with Jim Duquette on WFAN) were broadcasting the game, just like it should be. It would have been a damn shame for either of them to miss it (sorry Josh Lewin).

Leave a comment or drop me a line at DyHrdMET [at] gmail [dot] com. Your comments will fall into a moderation queue.
"Like" RememberingShea on Facebook (the function formerly known as "Becoming a Fan").
Become a Networked Blog

No Words

Just listen.

Leave a comment or drop me a line at DyHrdMET [at] gmail [dot] com. Your comments will fall into a moderation queue.
"Like" RememberingShea on Facebook (the function formerly known as "Becoming a Fan").
Become a Networked Blog