Today, at Citi Field, the Mets unveiled new Left Fielder Jason Bay. After Bay made an opening remark, Rod Gilbert, a New York Rangers Hall of Famer presented Bay with a New York Rangers “Bay” number 44 Jersey (Two Times Bobby Orr, as Gilbert said.) Here are some quotes from Bay.
- “There was a short-list of teams that I wanted to go to and the New York Mets were on that list.”
- “[Citi Field] had zero factor in any of my decisions.”
- “I’m by no means Tori Hunter out there.”
- “Since after the Winter Meetings there wasn’t a 48 hour window where we didn’t talk… They were very persistant.”
- “We actually agreed in principal before Christmas.”
- “I heard about [Peter Gammons’s Statement that Bay would rather play in Beruit than Queens]….no one knew my oppinion on anything except my family and agent…. it couldn’t be farther from the truth.”
- “I actually never hurt my shoulder… I had surgery on it in 2003 and it’s been great ever since. It’s just another one of those things that kinda took on a life of it’s own. No concerns ever.”
Omar Minaya went on to say that “There is never a day that goes by that we don’t look at improving our pitchers.”
After the press conference Bay spoke with Kevin Burkhardt of SNY.
- “Right from the get-go they were the team that showed the most interest”
- “If this wasn’t the place that I wanted to be, then I wouldn’t be here.”
- “During the season last year I spent a lot of time on the back of the plane talking to Billy Wagner and his thoughts on [The Mets], Xavier Nady loved [his time here], and I had a conversation with Alex Cora.”
- “Everyone said that they are a first class organization and i figured that out over the last 2 days.”
- “The park size was never a factor in anything.”
- “I don’t consider myself a home run hitter…. I pride myself in driving in runs.”
- “If they want to hit me ninth, then hit me ninth.”
Written and Complied by Matt Grasso
Picture by mike stobe of getty images
I wondered who would win in a Best-Of-Seven World Series: the 1969 Mets or the 1986 Mets. I decided to play this series out in my head.
Home Field Advantage was decided by a coin-toss.
Without further delay…..
GAME ONE (1986 Shea)
Tom Seaver vs Dwight Gooden
Game One started off with two of the all time great Met pitchers matching zeros through the first 4 innings. In the top of the 5th, Gooden gives up a lead-off double to Tommie Agee. Wayne Garrett strikes out swinging. Cleon Jones comes up to bat a hits a line drive past the thrid base bag. Agee scores after Mookie Wilson comes up firing, holding Jones to a single. The game continued to be 1-0 until the bottom of the 8th. With the heart of the lineup leading off, Keith Hernandez draws a walk. The next batter is Darryl Strawberry. The Seaver fastball on a 1-1 count is driven deep over the right field wall. 2-1 is the score now, and Davey Johnson brings in his Righty Specialist Closer Roger McDowell to face the 6,7,8 in the ’69 order. After Donn Clendenon flys out to Lenny Dykstra, McDowell walks Jerry Grote on five pitches. Bud Harrelson strikes out, and with two outs in a 2-1 ball game, Gil Hodges decides to pinch hit for Seaver with Ed Kranepool. McDowell hangs a 3-2 slider and Kranepool rockets one to left field. Mookie chases it back, but to no avail. 3-2 game in the bottom of the 9th. Tug McGraw comes in an gets the 86’ers in order.
Winner: 1969 Mets (3-2)
Winning Pitcher: Tom Seaver
Losing Pitcher: Roger McDowell
Save: Tug McGraw
HR: 1969: Kranepool- 9th inning off McDowell (1)
1986: Strawberry- 8th inning off Seaver (1)
Written By Matt Grasso
Today, Mike Francesa said at the top of his show, “I think you’ll be getting some more Mets news here later in the week, but we’ll get to that later in the show… Jason Bay press conference is tomorrow, but there’s more to come.”
Now, at almost 6:30, he finally explains his “news.”
“Tomorrow…. we will have Omar Minaya with me, Bay with me, and [possibly] Jeff Wilpon….”
So, thank you Mike. I spent all afternoon listening to your show because you promised us Mets news. And did you give us news? No. Instead, I was lectured on how the Jets will lose on Saturday (because the Sports Pope says so). I witnessed Francesa constantly cut off callers midsentence.
Please Mad Dog, come back.
Written by Matt Grasso
Tonight, is the first of many “What If’s”. The inaugural What If is one that I have been wondering for a long time; what if Duaner Sanchez gets into a different taxi cab?
Duaner Sanchez had be lights out as the set-up man and bridge to Billy Wagner. At the time his stats were:
5-1, 2.26 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 44 K’s, in 49 Games and 55.1 Innings.
Then, Duaner decided to get into a Taxi Cab in the early morning hours of July 31, 2006. The taxi crashed and Duaner injured his shoulder. In a hurry to get a reliever, the Mets traded Xavier Nady to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Oliver Perez and Roberto Hernandez. Aaron Heilman was named the new set-up man for the rest of the season.
We all know what came next. Ollie pitched in 7 games for the Mets in 2006. He went 1-3 with a 6.38 ERA and a 2.4 K/BB ratio.
In Game 7 of the NLCS against the Cardinals, Yadier Molina came to bat against Heilman with a tie game in the 9th inning. He hit a two run home run. The Mets went on to lose that game, and Heilman never recovered.
So, what if Duaner doesn’t get hurt?
Here’s how I picture it:
· Duaner finishes the season in the set up role and continues his lights out pitching.
· Xavier Nady (who already had 14 homers) has a career year as the Met Right Fielder.
· The Flushing Faithful never see the likes of Shawn Green.
· Aaron Heilman isn’t put into the setup role.
· Not being the setup man, Heilman never faces Molina.
· Duaner puts the Cards in the Deck in the top of the Ninth.
· Mets win the NLCS and go on to win the World Series.
· Mets do not have to deal with the hangover of losing that game and there is no 2007 or 2008 collapse.
· Aaron Heilman doesn’t have “Brad Lidge Syndrome” and is still a productive reliever.
· 2008 Mets bullpen is much better and Mets make the playoffs.
· Oliver Perez is never a Met, and Derek Lowe is now the Mets second starter. And, with Ollie never a Met, there is no huge contract that prevents the Mets from signing free agents.
But sadly, there are no mulligans in life. Duaner Sanchez DID get into that Cab. Aaron Heilman DID give up that Homer.
What If Duaner Sanchez doesn’t get into the cab? We will never know.
-Written By Matt Grasso
Unfortunately, I am probably the most pessimistic contributor to Defensive Indifference. I do think it’s more realism than pessimism, but I love this team nonetheless. This offseason has really bothered me.
Since 1966 (and winning the Tom Seaver Lottery), the Mets have built their team around pitching. The 1969 team won the World Series not because of hitting; they won it because they could pitch. Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Gary Gentry, Nolan Ryan, Don Cardwell would go out there and win. When every team was bad, they always had good pitching.
The 1986 team was missing one last piece from 1985. What was that piece? Bob Ojeda. A Pitcher. Now, yes, the team could hit the ball too, but they had a rotation that some could compare to 1969.
But in recent years, the Mets have turned away from that. They have been more concerned with getting hitters than pitchers. They go out and build a stadium that caused the leading home run hitter on the team to be Daniel Murphy with TWELVE. That’s the perfect place for a pitcher right? They should go out and get a pitcher? No, they get Jason Bay.
I like the Bay signing, but, is he fit for the stadium? I think Angel Pagan was a perfect fit for Citi Field. Instead, pitchers are getting signed left and right now. And where are the Mets? I think this goes back to Omar Minaya. He has to focus on one thing at a time. That’s fine, but there’s a reason why he has assistants. Let John Ricco find a pitcher, be it through trade or free agency. Ricco did a great job orchestrating the Francoeur trade.
It will be tough for this team to go into the season with just Johan and then Pelfrey, Perez, Maine, and Jon Niese. FOUR question marks.
For a team with a history of pitching, how can you even compare this staff to that of ’69, ’73, and even ’86?
Written By-Matt Grasso