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Thread: The Amazin' Mets

  1. #1

    Default The Amazin' Mets

    I wonder if the Mets will finish over .500 this year.

    I hope so.

  2. #2

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    July 5, 2004

    METS 6, YANKEES 5

    Mets Sweep Aside Years of Frustration Against Yanks

    By TYLER KEPNER


    Richard Hidalgo's home run in the seventh was his third in the series.

    There has not been much joy for the Mets since Bernie Williams dropped to a knee on the Shea Stadium grass, the final out of the 2000 World Series tucked safely in his glove. The Mets have hardly sniffed contention, struggling to stay relevant in George Steinbrenner's New York.

    For one dizzying weekend, everything changed. It took eight seasons of interleague play, but the Mets finally swept a three-game series and won a season series from the Yankees. They blew out the Yankees on Friday and outlasted them for one-run victories the next two days, proving a point across the boroughs.

    "We probably earned a lot of respect from those guys," the Mets' Cliff Floyd said. "Does it mean anything? Probably not. But it means a lot to us."

    On a weekend in which they deliberately did not use their two best starters, the Mets won with a relentless offense. Yesterday, they lost a three-run lead but won, 6-5, when Ty Wigginton's second home run of the game broke a tie in the eighth inning.

    "They probably wanted it more than we did," said Yankees reliever Tom Gordon, who allowed the game winner. "They played harder. We played good baseball. Don't get me wrong; we played hard. But they didn't quit. They absolutely did not quit, and they played winning baseball. That's a good ball club over there."

    The Mets are two games over .500 for the first time this season. They are heading to Philadelphia knowing that they will be tied for first place in the National League East if Tom Glavine and Al Leiter win the next two games there.

    "There's certainly some satisfaction and gratification in playing this series here and doing well, doing something we haven't done before," Mets infielder Todd Zeile said. "I think the good part about it is that we did it at a time when we need to continue to play quality baseball, because we've got a chance to make a move in this division right now."

    Yankees pitchers had an 8.88 earned run average for the weekend, allowing three home runs in every game. Richard Hidalgo hit one in all three, and Wigginton followed his Saturday homer with the first multihomer game of his career.

    He struck first in the second inning against Javier Vazquez, whose familiarity with the Mets might have worked against him. Vazquez, a control specialist, walked five in five innings, including the leadoff hitter three times. Zeile, who played with Vazquez in Montreal last season, said the Mets made sure to resist his high fastballs.

    "We made him bring the ball down into the zone, where we could hit it," Zeile said. "We had guys on base, kept him in the stretch, and stuck with that game plan."

    Jason Phillips walked to lead off the second, and Wigginton followed by stroking a slider over the right-field wall to give the Mets a 3-0 lead. Starter Jae Seo left with a 4-2 lead in the sixth, and after the Yankees tied it, Hidalgo homered to left off the left-hander Felix Heredia in the seventh.

    Manager Joe Torre's use of Heredia against a dangerous right-hander was telling. Torre's starters have not gone six innings since Wednesday and the bullpen was exhausted; yesterday was Paul Quantrill's day to rest.

    The weekend demonstrated why the Yankees want to trade for a pitcher to steady their inconsistent rotation.

    "You can never have enough pitching," Torre said. "I talked about that in spring training. That's one area where we're thinner than we've been in years here. Not that we don't have the quality, but when something goes wrong, it becomes a struggle."

    Gordon has been nearly infallible, but he blew a save on Saturday and was the losing pitcher yesterday. Facing Wigginton with the score tied, 5-5, in the eighth, Gordon hung his second pitch, a slider, in the strike zone. Wigginton walloped it over the left-field wall, and the Mets hung on.

    "In one way, it hasn't really sunk in yet," Wigginton said. "Right now, we're just thinking about winning a ballgame. Maybe later, I'll think about how great a day it really was."

    The Yankees will play the final seven games before the All-Star Game break at Yankee Stadium, where they may have to brace for an eruption from Steinbrenner, the principal owner.

    Steinbrenner had nothing to say last night, according to his spokesman, Howard Rubenstein, but Torre was not discouraged by the sweep.

    "You don't enjoy it when you lose," Torre said. "But I was proud, as I'm sure Artie was, with how hard the players played. That's all you can ask. The results aren't always going to be what you want them to be. We've been spoiled, because we've won a lot of those games where we've come back and come from behind. They bent a lot but they didn't break. You really have to give them credit."

    Art Howe, the Mets' manager, was happy to take it. He saved Glavine and Leiter and swept the Yankees anyway, and his team matters again.

    "It was a great weekend for us," Howe said. "It turned out the way we hoped it would turn out."


    The Mets swept Jorge Posada and the Yankees in a three-game series and won the season series, both for the first time.


    SPORTS OF THE TIMES

    The Nine Days That Shook New York's Baseball World

    By DAVE ANDERSON


    Ty Wigginton's second home run of the day in the eighth inning won the game and completed a series sweep for the Mets over their crosstown rivals.

    THESE were the nine days that shook the little world of New York baseball and even rattled windows as far away as Boston.

    They shook the Mets into believing that they really are contenders in the National League East, and they shook the Yankees into again doubting their confidence in their postseason rotation.

    They also shook the Red Sox into consternation over their wild-card chances.

    And now the question is, will the Mets' unprecedented sweep of the weekend series with the Yankees at Shea Stadium shake Fred Wilpon into renting another starting pitcher or a better bullpen setup man in order to overtake the Philadelphia Phillies and keep the Florida Marlins at bay?

    Wilpon has already approved one magical move: acquiring Richard Hidalgo, the right fielder with a homer in each of his last four games. But more reinforcements are needed.

    The Mets not only swept a three-game interleague series with the Yankees for the first time, they also won four of the six games between the teams for the first time.

    Before Alex Rodriguez bounced to third baseman Ty Wigginton - who made yesterday's 6-5 victory possible with two home runs, including one in the eighth inning - virtually all of the 55,437 fans at the game were on their feet, yelling, "Let's go, Mets!" and waving for closer Braden Looper to shut the door.

    And waving for Wilpon, the Mets' principal owner, to open his real estate vault again.

    Before the nine days began a week ago Saturday, when the Mets won, 9-3, behind Al Leiter at Yankee Stadium, Joe Torre, the Yankees' manager, used the word exhibition to minimize the importance of this interleague series that, to him, is mostly a nuisance. But to the fans of the Yankees and the Mets, it's more of a crusade.

    "Yankee fans, enjoy the sweep!" a sarcastic Mets fan on Shea's club level bellowed after the final out. "Enjoy the sweep!"

    As for the Yankees, Torre sat in the visiting manager's cramped office, answering questions calmly and patiently, as he always does, but none of the players were in sight. They had apparently disappeared into the privacy of the trainer's room. But as reporters waited to enter the clubhouse, Brian Cashman, the general manager, moved past them without a smile.

    Cashman's cellphone almost surely rang last night, and if it did, he didn't have to guess who the caller was. As delighted as George Steinbrenner was with the midweek three-game sweep of the Red Sox at the Stadium, as the Yankees' principal owner, he was most likely livid after his $180 million payroll was swept by the Mets.

    And after Friday night's 11-2 rout, they lost games that Steinbrenner pays the Yankees to win: 10-9 on Saturday when reliever Tanyon Sturtze made a late backhanded flip to catcher Jorge Posada as Kazuo Matsui slid home, and 6-5 yesterday on Wigginton's two homers.

    "Our starters struggled the last few days," Torre said, "and that played into our bullpen."

    If the Mets can shell Mike Mussina, José Contreras and Javier Vazquez, can those starters be trusted to get the Yankees, even if they run away with their division, through the American League playoffs and to the World Series? So look for Steinbrenner to put the hammer on Cashman to snatch a starter. The glamour choice is the left-hander Randy Johnson, toiling for the Arizona Diamondbacks deep in the National League West cellar.

    The Mets would also be interested in Johnson, but he reportedly has no desire to leave Arizona. Then again, Curt Schilling, who rode shotgun when Johnson won three games in Arizona's 2001 World Series victory over the Yankees, might persuade him to join the Red Sox for the opportunity to deflate the Yankees again. But only if the Red Sox can stay in contention for the wild card.

    As for the Mets, they open a four-game series tonight in Philadelphia; they trail the Phillies by two games and have Tom Glavine, their All-Star left-hander, going against Paul Abbott.

    Art Howe, the Mets' manager, chose to save Glavine for the Phillies rather than use him yesterday against the Yankees, because Howe thought the Phillies game was more important. If Glavine beats the Phillies tonight, the Mets, now two games over .500 for the first time this season, at 41-39, will be only one game out of first. After the Philadelphia series, the Mets go to Florida for a three-game weekend series before the All-Star Game break.

    "This week," left fielder Cliff Floyd said, "could go a long way toward what we're trying to accomplish."

    While the Mets try to climb, the Yankees, with their six All-Stars (Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Gary Sheffield, Jason Giambi, Mariano Rivera and Tom Gordon) are still sitting pretty, seven and a half games ahead of the Red Sox. But you know that Steinbrenner, receiving the worst possible present on his 74th birthday, won't take the Mets' sweep lying down. Or silently.

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

  3. #3

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    Ya gotta believe.

    This team has a chance if they take it.

    They have shown some promise.

    Time to make some acquisitions to stay in it.

  4. #4

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    Hidalgo's been great for the Mets. What he's played 15 games as a met and has already 6 hr. Acquiring him at his low, he had only 4 hr's untill the acquisition has since payed off big time!

    The Mets would be really amazing if they had acquired Vlad Guerreo instead of the virtual-flops Matusi and Cameron. But in other aspects the Mets have been better than expected.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stern
    Hidalgo's been great for the Mets. What he's played 15 games as a met and has already 6 hr. Acquiring him at his low, he had only 4 hr's untill the acquisition has since payed off big time!

    The Mets would be really amazing if they had acquired Vlad Guerreo instead of the virtual-flops Matusi and Cameron. But in other aspects the Mets have been better than expected.
    kaz is starting to catch on a bit. i will not give him much grief yet. cameron was fading and a gamble like hidalgo. vlad would have been a catch.

    i think the mets have a decent team they can build around.

    props to cliff floyd for the game he played tonight in the outfield.

  6. #6

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    IIII'mmm backkk. Well after my long hiatus I'm, and I'm happy to see a forum on my favorite team. I hope for the best for them, but that loss yesterday really crushed me, but I belive the Mets will be good enough to make a run for the East.

  7. #7

    Default the amazin mets

    lets go yankees mets suck

  8. #8

  9. #9

    Default

    2005 promises to be a better year:

    Beltran to be introduced Tuesday:


    NEW YORK -- Carlos Beltran passed his physical, and the New York Mets scheduled a news conference for Tuesday at 11 a.m. to announce his $119 million, seven-year contract.

    Beltran's agent, Scott Boras, and the Mets reached a preliminary agreement Sunday, and Beltran traveled from Puerto Rico to New York for the medical tests. The All-Star center fielder passed the tests, Mets spokesman Jay Horwitz said, and the team will hold a news conference at Shea Stadium to introduce their new acquisition.

    New York's contract calls for Beltran to receive an $11 million signing bonus. Tuesday is the last day before a change in federal rules makes signing bonuses subject to increased taxes.

    "I'm very satisfied because we reached a deal," Beltran told the Puerto Rican newspaper Primera Hora. "The Mets showed genuine interest all the way and were willing to commit the way I wanted them to.

    "I hope the Houston fans understand because I'm very grateful to them. This was a very difficult process. The reason we could not reach a deal with the Astros was because of a no-trade clause.

    "The Astros offered me a seven-year contract, but they would not give me a no-trade clause. At this stage in my career I want stability. To be in a city during all the duration of my contract. New York offered me that stability that Houston did not offer."

    Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

  10. #10

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    2006 should be even better:

    ESPN:

    Wednesday, December 14, 2005
    Meet the Mets
    By Bob Klapisch
    Special to ESPN.com

    NEW YORK -- After a flurry of delirious check-writing, appearances at glitzy press conferences and otherwise rerouting the road to mediocrity, has the unthinkable finally occurred in New York?

    Have the Mets become the city's best baseball team?

    No one would've dared pose the question in 2005, not even two months ago. But thanks to the Wilpon family's money and general manager Omar Minaya's near-compulsive need to make trades, the Mets boast a roster that's nearly as star-studded as the Yankees'. Even if the roster isn't as talented, the Mets still might have a clearer path to the playoffs than the Bombers.

    Says who, any Yankees loyalist will ask. None other than the Bombers themselves.

    One high-ranking official said this week, "There's no question the Mets are the best team in that [NL East] division. So go ahead, say they're favorites. Say they're the best team in the whole league. Put the pressure on them, for once."


    The Yankees official wasn't speaking spitefully or sarcastically, he was simply candid enough to tell the Mets: Welcome to our world, where even a two-game losing streak isn't tolerated, and five years without a world championship is the equivalent of a dark age.

    Harsh as it is, the Mets are loving the limelight. They're the hottest team in town and certainly the busiest. Their projected $110 million payroll is still some $70 million lighter than the Yankees', but they have All-Stars in four starting positions (first base, catcher, left and center field), an elite-caliber Opening Day starter in Pedro Martinez and the game's hardest-throwing lefty reliever in Billy Wagner.

    Many baseball officials believe the Mets now project to a 90-win season, even if Minaya doesn't make another move before April.

    Finishing at 90-72 might be good enough to topple the Braves. At the very least, the Mets have surged past the Phillies, Marlins and Nationals, none of whom has significantly improved this winter.

    The Yankees? They're a year older, slogging through a crisis in center field, trying to pass off Bubba Crosby as a suitable replacement to Bernie Williams. The real crossroads, however, will be the moment Johnny Damon decides he'll accept less than a seven-year deal. But the question is for whom.

    While the Yankees wait out Damon and his agent, Scott Boras, the Red Sox and Blue Jays both have upgraded their starting rotations, prompting Toronto GM J.P. Ricciardi to boldly say, "We've closed the gap" on the East's power brokers.

    It's conceivable a three-way race will ensue, and the Yankees could find themselves out of the playoffs for the first time since 1993. It's a long shot, but Yankees GM Brian Cashman is desperately looking for help. Still, as long as the Yankees are committed to Robinson Cano and Chien-Ming Wang, and further refuse to trade Carl Pavano, they look inert compared to the Mets.

    Cashman admitted as much, wearily saying, "It took me four days just to trade [Tony] Womack" during the winter meetings.

    Of course, George Steinbrenner can't possibly allow the Mets to outright steal the Yankees' place in the universe. The Bombers are poised for an intense courtship of Roger Clemens beginning in January, and are so intent on stealing Damon away from the Red Sox, Joe Torre personally called the free-agent center fielder on Tuesday, according to Newsday.

    But the Mets aren't finished with their own upgrades, either. Minaya continues his pursuit of Manny Ramirez, having tried to hatch a three-way deal with the Rangers and Red Sox that would've landed the slugger at Shea.

    According to one National League official, the Mets wanted to trade Kris Benson to the Rangers for Juan Dominguez and Laynce Nix, then package them with Carlos Beltran to Boston for Ramirez.

    The deal never got past the Rangers, however, and Minaya has back-burnered Ramirez -- for now. In the meantime, the GM is low-key about his chances of outdistancing the Yankees, refusing to rule out the possibility of finishing second to Atlanta.

    "That's the best young nucleus they've had in a long time," Minaya said of the Braves. "They lose [Rafael] Furcal but they replace him with someone who might be even better [Edgar Renteria].

    "We haven't won anything. The value of winning as a team, as a nucleus, that's insurmountable. The Braves have that."

    Clearly, Minaya is trying to take pressure off his newcomers, like Wagner, Carlos Delgado and Julio Franco. But the Mets front office is gearing up for a long, loud summer in Flushing, Queens. There's a new cable network, SportsNet New York, coming in 2006 and to help cover the cost, the Mets have raised their ticket prices by 7 percent, including prime seats that now cost $96 apiece.

    The Yankees moved even faster than the Mets in raising prices. Two weeks ago, they announced the Stadium's best seats will cost $110, after selling for $90 last year.

    Not that the two teams are actually competing for revenue. The Mets and Yankees have their own distinct fan bases, so the who's-better question is more likely to impact street corner debate than attendance or TV ratings.

    But the Yankees and Mets are clearly aware, if not wary, of each other. When the Bombers were looking for a center fielder last summer, they knew the most logical place to look was Shea Stadium, where Mike Cameron was unhappy after being shifted to right field.

    The Mets could've made a deal. They could've taken the Yankees up on their offer of Gary Sheffield for Cameron. But the trade was nixed at the highest levels in Queens, where one Met executive told a go-between, "Why should we help the Yankees get over the top? Why?"

  11. #11

    Default Mets

    They will win the east, no doubt about it. - Ari Orakciyan

  12. #12
    Forum Veteran TREPYE's Avatar
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    September 9, 2008

    Wagner’s Year Finished; Met Career May Be, Too

    By BEN SHPIGEL
    Four months ago, after a numbing 1-0 Mets loss to Washington, Billy Wagner lashed out in the clubhouse at teammates who, in his mind, had been too quick to depart after the game.
    In his expletive-laced comments, Wagner did not cite anyone by name. But he seemed, by the direction of his gestures, to be singling out the empty locker of Carlos Delgado, who had been playing dismally and who had indeed dressed and left without speaking to reporters. It was an emblematic moment of what was shaping up as a sour season and a month later, with the Mets still playing lackluster baseball, Willie Randolph was out as the manager.
    A lot has happened to the Mets since then, and to Delgado and Wagner, and little of it could have been foreseen. Under Jerry Manuel, the Mets are now atop the National League East, trying to hold off Philadelphia, the team that embarrassed them in 2007. Delgado has dramatically rebounded to become the team’s most formidable hitter and a somewhat improbable candidate for National League Most Valuable Player honors. In his third season with the Mets, he is also finally assuming a more active role as a team spokesman and seems certain to be back with the club in 2009.
    But Wagner, a 37-year-old closer, has probably thrown his final pitch as a Met, and perhaps as a major leaguer. The Mets announced Monday that Wagner would need season-ending reconstructive surgery on his left elbow to repair his medial collateral ligament and flexor pronator muscle. With one season left on Wagner’s four-year, $43 million deal with the Mets, and with the recovery period expected to last a full year, the Mets will now move on without him.
    In Wagner’s absence, the Mets have gone 22-10 by employing an ever-increasing hodgepodge of relievers. Still, despite his struggles this season — his seven blown saves were already a career high — Wagner was clearly the team’s best reliever, and Monday’s announcement made the Mets’ postseason quest a little more precarious.
    Out since Aug. 3, Wagner had hoped to be activated as soon as Tuesday. But he cut short a simulated game at Shea Stadium on Sunday night, and an evaluation on Monday at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan revealed the tears.
    “Surgery was always a possibility in case things didn’t get better,” General Manager Omar Minaya said in a conference call. “We’re at the point where they did not get better.”
    For now, Luis Ayala will continue to serve as the team’s impromptu closer, with Brian Stokes and Aaron Heilman as options should Ayala falter.
    Minaya said Wagner’s injury, and his unavailability for probably all of 2009, would definitely change his approach to the off-season. He was not expecting to spend money on a new closer, but now he may have to do so. One potential — and very expensive — option would be Francisco Rodríguez of the Los Angeles Angels, who through Sunday had 55 saves, two short of the major league record, and would be a free agent at the end of the season. But Minaya may prefer to have someone grow into the job rather than get into a bidding war for Rodríguez.
    Wagner’s departure underlines the risk in giving older pitchers multiyear deals. Orlando Hernández (foot troubles) will not throw one pitch for the Mets in the second year of his two-year deal and Pedro Martínez (rotator cuff surgery and hamstring injury) has given the team only one good season out of the four he signed up for.
    Back in May, when Wagner lashed out in the locker room, he had yet to allow an earned run for the season. Delgado, meanwhile, was batting .222 with nearly as many strikeouts (30) as hits (32). Entering July, Delgado was still batting .228, but in the 60 games since then, he has hit 19 home runs, driven in 55 runs and posted an OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging) of 1.010, ranking him among the league leaders over that time.
    His clutch hitting has been on full display in the Mets’ last two series against Philadelphia. In each of the two games that the Mets won, he blasted two homers. In between, he hit a game-winning homer on Labor Day off Milwaukee’s Eric Gagné.
    Delgado’s performance at the plate has helped make up for the fact that David Wright has been struggling in key moments with runners in scoring position. And in the clubhouse, Delgado now seems more inclined to help out Wright as well, after a long period in which the much younger Wright seemed to carry much of the burden to speak on behalf of the team.
    On Sunday night, after the doubleheader split with the Phillies, it was Delgado, not Wright, who emphatically stated: “We think we’re the team to beat. We think what happened last year is not going to happen again.”
    The Mets are almost certain to exercise their $12 million option on Delgado for 2009. In a true twist of fate, he will be around in the weeks and months to come to talk about his team while Wagner, the most quotable of all the Mets, will not be.


    Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company

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    Now that the games get more important and bigger, losing Wagner is addition by subtraction.

    We all knew his deal...
    The bigger the game higher probability of him blowing it.

  14. #14
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    Loosing Wagner hurts! We're 2 up on the Phills as of today, and the Mets have been playing great in the past month or so, though I don't see the Mets going deep into the post season with out a solid bullpen. Thankfully, our SP has been off the wall. Santana looks like, well Santana since mid-summer.

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    Going to the game tonight with my Met-fan-friends if this rain clears out. Last visit to Shea!

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