Friday, February 17, 2012
It's been almost 24 hours since I found out Gary Carter passed away from complications from Brain Cancer. I found out while driving home from work at about 6 PM. I was shocked... not so much because I didn't know he was sick (I had been half expecting it since it was revealed he had brain cancer last year)... but more so because it hit home in a way that very few celeberties deaths have ever hit me.
Gary wasn't my favorite baseball player... hell he wasn't even my favorite Mets' catcher (Hi Mike Piazza) ... but Gary held a special place in my heart due to the fact he was the first real SUPERSTAR to go to the Mets in their rise from basement dwellers of the late 70s and early 80s. I know that is strange to hear from me, since my favorite baseball player of all time is Keith Hernandez who was traded from the Cardinals to the Mets in 1983, but Keith's star was a little dimmed at the time and he didn't have the "SUPERSTAR!!!!" tag on him like Gary did in 1984.
I still remember getting the paper the day after the trade. I was fourteen years old and was a rabid Mets fan. Back in '84 there was no 24 HR sports radio or internet and I was not the type to watch the news at night, so I didn't even know about the trade until Newsday came the next day. I was totally taken aback. I had watched Carter win the 1984 All-Star Game MVP award with his home run and it never occured to me he could be a Met. I liked Hubie Brooks (who went to the Expos along with Mike Fitzgerald, Herm Winning ham and Floyd Youmans) a lot and thought he was going to be a great player, but to get Carter... wow.
I remember certain moments from Carter's career like they were yesterday. Of course two of the largest were his first game as a Met (the 19th inning homerun off of Cardinals closer Neil Allen) and his rally-starting at-bat with two outs in the 10th inning of Game Six of the '86 World Series (which overshadowed the almost equally as important Game Four Carter performace when he hit 2 home runs over the Green Monster).
There isn't much more I can say about Gary Carter than what has been said in the last 24 hours. He was a great baseball player, as well as a great role model. He was a great big boyscout on a team that partied hard in the '86 Mets. He was a family man who played the game right and led life right. I remember hearing how Carter was a guy the other teams hated, but once he was on YOUR team, everyone though he was great.
As a Mets fan, I obviously don't have a lot of great winning memories to pull out of the hat... so of course 1986 is highest on the charts. Carter was a huge... HUGE part of that. I remember sitting on the edge of my couch, watching the 10th inning of Game Six an dafter Hernandez made out, I was totally deflated. I kicked the tv off and stormed out of the room. But only seconds later I stormed back in and turned the TV back on. I didn't want to see them lose, but I couldn't stay away. I paced back and forth, in an aggressive stride as Carter battled and get on base with a solid hit. I paced back and forth for the rest of the inning and when it was over I exploded in a way I have rarely been able to explode. The joy I felt was incredible... and it wouldn't have been there is not for Gary's great at-bat and hit to start it all.
Gary's passing is something else to me. It's the death of a small part of my childhood. That sounds dramatic... maybe in an Emo way... but Gary, along with Mex, Doc, Straw, Nails, Mookie, El Sid, Darling and the rest was a huge part of my childhood. Especially in 1985 and 1986. I averaged watching about 145 games a year. Missed very few. Went to a few games a year but mostly watched on Sportschannel (HBO) and on Channel Nine. It was a great part of it... watching those games and learning so much about baseball... about life. The ups and downs of the game are like the ups and downs of real life... in were you have to learn to handle them both correctly and get balance between the two. Never be too up... never get too down.
Gary was a huge part of that. I'm miss him for a lot of reasons.
Rest in Peace Kid.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
You know what I get a kick out of? I get a kick out of the notion that every time I hear about how terrible the Mets are, they point to the last two seasons performance and say how the team isn't any better, so it cannot perform better. Then I hear about how other teams who had problems they year before or so will be able to rise above those issues.
I'll be more specific for one in particular. Mainly... why are the Marlins considered a team that can contend in 2012?
I mean, I know why people will say. But I don't understand WHY.
Last year the Marlins finished behind the Mets. The last two years the Mets were not able to contend in the second half of the season. The last two years the Mets HAD Jose Reyes.
So, why are the Marlins suddenly a possible powerhouse because they added Jose Reyes?
Yeah, I know they added Heath Bell and Mark Buehrle... But while those are good players, how much better do they really make the Marlins?
2011 Closer Leo Nunez had 33 saves this past season (and 89 total since 2009). He wasn't flashy and he wasn't great, but he wasn't bad either. There has been rumblings about Bell not fairing as well pitching outside of San Diego. Bell experienced a drop in performance in 2011, and that drop, while certainly not encouraging, may not be a real cause for concern going forward for the Marlins... but even if he takes only a slight step downwards, he's still not a ton better. He's likely more consistant and dependable, but it's not like they had garbage there before. The upswing isn't dramatic.
Buehrle is basically going to replace Javy Vazquez, who may have been terrible in his first seven to eight starts of the season, but was fairly lights out the rest of the way with a 2.70 ERA in 153.1 innings. Is Buehrle really going to be much better than that? As with Bell, he's a very good player but he's not a big improvement over what they had before. He's averaged about 13 wins and an ERA about 4.05 the last few years. Yes, he should fare better in the NL than he did in the AL... but again... by much much better is he going to be than what they had in Vazquez for most of 2011?
The big thing with The Marlins is going to be the return of Josh Johnson, and the expectation (which is a fair expectation to have) that Hanley Rameriez will return to his normal self after a disasterous 2011 Season.
To me, the Marlins 2012 success relies heavily upon Johnson. If he comes back and is the same, the Marlins have an arm that can match up with the best in the MLB. Johnson is lights out and is on par with names like Halliday, Lee, Lincecum, Sabathia and Lester. If he's not the samee... say he's at like 75% of what he was, he'll still likely be better than a large chunk of other pitchers, which would still improve the Marlins from 2011. If he cannot pitch to anything close to his regular form or if he's unable to return at all or only makes like 10-12 starts for the season, it's going to hurt them. A lot.
Which brings us back to Reyes.
In 2010 the Marlins finished 80-82. At the time they had a great season from John Johnson and Hanley Rameriz and still had all-star second baseman Dan Uggla who hit .287 with 33 HRs and 105 RBI.
I know Reyes is a different player than Uggla... but the Marlins couldn't even finish at .500 that year.
In both 2010 AND 2011, the Mets were picked as a team who would not really be in contention. Yet, both years they had Reyes... and David Wright... and Jason Bay... and Johan Santana... and Carlos Beltran... and K-Rod...
See where I'm going here?
So.. I put the question again... why just by adding the three players they did, suddenly make a team that has finished below .500 the last two years suddenly a team that is expected to contend?
Cause I don't see it. In fact, I'll go one further...
The Marlins... with their question marks... and the brittle Reyes as their centerpiece (fair is fair... I had to listen ever year how the Mets couldn't fully expect Reyes to go the whole season without a DL trip or two) are NOT a team you can say is fully better than the Mets.
(And no, I have NOT forgotten about Carlos Zambrano. I don't think that was a good move for them and do not expect a lot from him.)
Saturday, January 14, 2012
Last night the Yankees, who have been so quiet this offseason that you had to wonder if they were actually awake, made two moves that seems to be the equivelant of the wild Sabathia/Teixeria signings back in 2008.
Or at least, everything I have heard and read this morning is putting that much weight into these moves.
First, the Yanks moved top catching rookie Jesus Montero to the Mariners for their 22-year old phenom pitcher Michael Pineda. Yeah there were other players involved also but overall that's the main jist of it.
They like, 40 minutes later they signed Hiroki Kuroda to a one-year $10 Million dollar contract.
And suddenly, the Yankees biggest weakness (the starting rotation) is a major strength.
Last night, driving home I heard the 1050 ESPN Radio host (Not sure who it was) say "The Yankees now have the best rotation in baseball."
Jason Stark on the ESPN website touted how great these moves where, calling both pitchers "high end". He considers Pineda the Yanks #2 pitcher.
On the boards of the ESPN and MLB websites, a majority of Yankee fans are cheering and pretty much considering the moves as a meaning the Yankees should be considered World Series favorites.
And all of this could be true.
Or then again, it might not.
These moves could certainly be winning moves, but I do think you have to step back a little.
Pineda does have a high ceiling, but please do not say he's the no-doubt future ace of this team. His second half last year and ERA away from home (Safeco) is something to be worked on. It looks like a good trade for both sides at the moment, but it's going to be a while before you can say for sure. Pindea could go 15-7 witrh a 3.57 ERA this year and Montero could hit .264 with 19 home runs and 67 RBI and it'll be "What a steal for the Yanks!" then over the next five years Montero averages 35 HR/115 RBI and Pindea goes 57-53 with a 4.49 ERA and then you'd have to reconsider that thought.
In the end it'll likely be 2014 before you can really even start to evaluate the trade. Could be a great one, could be a disaster, could just be "Not bad". Just don't pencil Pineda in for greatness yet. Remember how good Fausto Carmona was in his rookie year and how he was the next Cleveland Ace? I'm not saying Pineda will be the same, I'm just saying it's not a lock he's a 16-18 game winner over the next seven seasons.
Montero had no where to play with the Yanks. I happen to think he will be an excellent and feared hitter in his career. A David Ortiz/Edgar Martienez type, but this move made sense for the Yanks who need pitching WAY more than hitting right now. I think there is a risk for NY here with this move, but it's a risk that makes sense when you consider they have another highly touted catchering prospect who will likely be ready in 2013 (2014 the latest).
Also, for all the talk of "There's a reason the Yanks kept dangling Monero in trade talks the last two years" you have to wonder... why would the Mariners be so quick to trade a 22 year old young power pitcher who was making no money what-so-ever?
You know, one thing I am getting a kick out of... for the last TWO YEARS I have had every Yankee fan I know and about 95% of the ones posting in forums on how incredible Montero's bat was and how great of a prostect he was and how he was going to be Miguel Cabrera/David Ortiz/Jason Giambi all over again.
Now he's traded and suddenly so many Yankee fans say he's a guy who can't play a position and you can't compare him to those guys anymore.
So have the last two years of touting been a mirage? Or is it just that once a guy is off your team he's suddenly no longer as attractive?
It's like the Mets fans who are "glad" Jose Reyes is gone because he was a DL/Injury riddled guy who celebrated too much and cheated to take himself out of the last game of the season last year to win the batting title.and wasn't worth the money.
Pineda looks to be a real good pickup, but c'mon... don't suddenly discount all of the building up on Montero just because he's no longer a Yankee.
You also have to take into consideration that Pineda will be under some pressure and have a spotlight on him this season. He'll be touted as the "Can't Miss" 22-year old Phenom future Ace. Especially in the New York media. Forget it he's already penciled in as the Yanks #2 starter. There will be a lot of spotlight and pressure to not be a bust after the yanks traded away their #1 prospect who they have been saying has the bat of a Miguel Cabrera for the last two years.
But that doesn't mean the kid can't handle it. For all we know he's a perfect fit for New York. We won't know for a while. You would have to say the future looks promising and bright. It's not definite, but there is no reason not to be optimistic.
But he will have a spotlight glare on him though. No way to avoid that.
As for Kiroda, his 3.07 ERA was excellent last year and throughout his four year MLB career his ERA has been pretty good. However remember he did lose 16 games last year, has only has one season in his career with a winning record (8-7 in 2009), has never pitched in the American League and he'll be 37 years old. The one year deal means there is little risk here, it's not like he got a three year $32 million deal, but he's also not exactly a "no-doubt" guy. I would kind of expect simular numbers to what you were getting out of Javier Vasquez in his second go-round with the Yanks.
So, yes, these seem to be good moves and the Yanks rotation looks miles better today than yesterday, but I wouldn't go TOO crazy just yet. I heard the radio host on 1050 ESPN radio last night say "The Yankees now have the best rotation in baseball" which is just a stupid comment. Relax a little
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Looking at the (expected) starting rotation for the Mets might bring a wince or sad head-shake. The concensis is that the Mets have the worst rotation in the NL East. I'm not here to try and convince you otherwise. However I do want to try and show how the rotation isn't exactly a disaster, like I'm constantly reading this offseason, either.
At first glance, here is your likely starting five:
1. Johan Santana
2. R. A. Dickey
3. Jon Niese
4. Mike Pelfry
5. Dillon Gee
Considering Santana missed the entire 2011 Season and is not expected to be the pitcher he was before his shoulder surgery then this rotation won't make anyone sweat too much. You have no-one that would be considered a "stopper", but the idea that the Mets rotation is BAD is incorrect.
You don't know what you will get from Santana, but you might be looking at the type of pitcher David Cone became after he was unable to blow fastballs past hitters in the latter part of his career. Many have said that 70% of Johan Santana is still going to be be better than a large chunk of other pitchers.
R. A. Dickey has had two straight solid seasons. His breakout 2010 was followed up with a nice 2011 where he had career bests in starts, ininngs and strike outs. His 3.28 ERA was 12th best in the NL. He keeps the Mets in games he pitches and his ERA over the last two seasons is 3.08.
Jonathan Niese has been solid the last two years when healthy and has a lot of upside that could see him in this rotation for a long time, even when the young promising arms of Harvey and Wheeler get to town. He's a craft lefty who throws in the 90s, strikes out hitters and doesn't walk many, while getting a nice amount of groundballs. With a good defense behind him it's not out of the question for Niese to have a breakout 2012.
Mike Pelfry is an enigma. His last four seasons he has teetered back and forth between strong and infurating. In 2008 he went 13-11 with a 3.72 ERA. He had a great second half that year and 2009 looked promising, however he stumbled with a 10-12 record and a rough 5.03 ERA. Then in 2010 he bounced right back and had a great season in which he went 15-9 with a 3.66 ERA and at one point in June and July was without doubt the Mets best pitcher. Then in 2011 he dropped back again going 7-13 with a 4.74 ERA. At times he's dominating and other times he's maddening. This really is the "now or never" year for him I think. Which Pelfrey will the Mets get? If it's the 2008 or 2010 model He's a potenial #2. If it's the 2009 or 2011 model he's at best a #4 and likely more a #5.
Dillon Gee had a solid start to his rookie season, but faded in the last third of the season. He went 13-6 with a 4.43 ERA but at the end of June was 8-1 with a 3.32 ERA and at the end of July was 10-3 with a 3.69 ERA. He had a rough Sept but showed a lot of promise and poise. He had 114 strike-outs in 160.2 innings but did walk 71. If he can cut those walks down his upside can be high.
The entire NL East has a lot of quality pitching in it. The Mets may not be at the top, but this notion their rotation is terrible makes no sense.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
So each time I thought i knew what I was going to write about here, something else popped up. It's been quite a whirlwind last few days and instead of trying to overload about one particular thing or the other, let's just tackle it all head on... shall we?
ON THE REYES DEAL: Ok, plain and simple? This is a rough blow to the Mets and their fans. Looking at what the Marlins got him for (6 years, $106 million with a 7th option year that would be worth $22 million riding with a $5 million buyout which makes it a guarentee of $111 million) it's kind of hard to imagine the Mets allowed him to go when they were fairly close in a five year $85 million range. Frankly, the fact the Mets were unable (not unwilling, which they will say they were also) to match that offer or come fairly close enough to matter to Reyes is frightening. They are a New York team with a huge fanbase in a still mostly new stadium in a tremendous market. The fact this franchise is unable to give an extra year and $20 million to their BEST player to keep him is unacceptable. Yes, I agree he is a health risk, but the fact is this: over his career, when Reyes has been healthy and scored runs, the Mets winning percentage was HIGH. And to allow him to go to a HATED division rival? Unreal. Reyes saying the Mets never made an offer is kind of untrue, since his agents knew exactly what the Mets parameters were, but yeah, they could have showed him a little love and at least tried to dine him a little to let him know how important he was to the franchise. The freakin Marlins called Reyes EVERYDAY. The Mets had little contact. You have to know your own players and anyone who didn;t realize this would be a factor to Reyes dropped the ball. From what Sandy Aldersen has sadi, the mets and Reyes' sgents actually had a good conversation ojn Friday night and was positive enough to spur the Marlins to add a year and another $22 million to their offerand after that the Mets didn't even get the chance to counter since the Marlin's gave a take-it-or-leave-it to the Reyes camp. Well, they took it. Nice job there Sandy.
ON THE RAUCH SIGNING: It's not terrible, but it's not great either. Yes Jon Rauch is a very servicible arm and maybe last year was more of a blip than the way he's heading, but he has an ERA of over 5.00 last year. It's a one year deal for $3.5 million so it's not bad, and odds are he's better than most of what they already had, but this is more of an "OK, let's wait and see" deal then a "WOW!" deal.
ON THE FRANCISCO SIGNING: I can honestly say that the only closer i wanted to see LESS than this was Cordero. Listen, I know this guy has a great arm and packs serious heat. But he lost his closers job TWICE in the last two seasons. The Blue Jays has 25 blown saves last year (which is where Francisco and Rauch both are coming from) and as good of an arm as he has, Francisco is also prone to erratic periods. If this was a one year, $4 or $5 million deal I would be more impressed and happy. It being a 2-yr, $12 million deal? Too much, in my opinion. As with Rauch, yes he improves the bullpen, but I'm going to have to wait and see how this turns out. My prediction? He starts the year as the closer and is NOT the closer when the season ends.
ON THE PAGAN FOR TORRES/RAMIREZ TRADE: I'm torn on this one. I was a big Angel Pagan fan. I know he had a rough 2011 and that there was a ton of reports his work ethic and baseball IQ was nil. I know there was a lot of unhappiness about the "dehydration" issues that took him out of a lot of games. I still liked him and thought he was a solid player. Torres and Pagan are very simular type of players. I know Torres has a much better rep as a hard worker and excellent clubhouse presence and he has much more pop. I also know Pagan is a few years younger and a much better overall hitter. Both have about 20 SB a year speed. The big cog here was getting Ramon Ramirez. Now HE is who I'm impressed with getting. In my opinion, he will be the Mets closer by mid-season and will be very solid in that role. He improves the bullpen a lot on his own, and with Rauch and francisco, yeah... the bullpen in twice as good, if not more, than last year, where the mets were pretty terrible for the most part.
ON THE POSSIBILITY OF TRADING WRIGHT: Listen, right now, the Mets have VERY little star power. They have Wright. They have Johan Santana. The have a budding possible star in Ike Davis. Aaaaaaaaaaand that's really it. The loss of Reyes changes things dramatically in people's eyes. I mean, Bay's star is so fallen I cannot see it ever rising even close to where it was five years ago. Daniel Murphy is a solid bat with a suspect glove that will be beloved by smart Mets' fans and mostly dismissed by anyone else. Lucas Duda is still no one and Dillion Gee and Jon Niese have a far way to go. So take Wright from this team, and exactly why are people going to come watch them? The attendance is bad. VERY bad. It will not get better if Wright goes. IT WILL GET WORSE.
ON REBUILDING: Yeah, at this point you have to say that is what the Mets are pretty much doing. Listen, unless they shock everyone and dive head first into the free agent market next year, the mets are likely to have a young team looking to be in contention around 2014. They have some serious arms in the minors that are likely at least a year and a half to two years away. They have some other very soild position players who could be ready in that time period as well. The problem is, the Mets have NOT said to their fanbase "We are in rebuilding mode" and without a real "direction" the fans have no idea what is going on. If the mets had kept Reyes, I do not think a rebuild tag would be placed on the team, but without him, you have to consider that the fact.
ON THE RUMORS THAT NIESE AND DAVIS ARE TRADE BAIT: I'm sure the Mets are doing due dilligance, and talking about everyone and everyone just to gauge the market and if someone offered something insane like a top five pitching prospect (a la them getting Zach Wheeler for Beltran this past summer) and a high position prospect for one of them I guess they would have to seriously make the move, but I cannot, just flat out cannot see them doing something like this. It makes no sense. Neither player makes any real money and both have shown some serious talent so far. Many people (myself included) feel Davis is a serious .290, 30/35, 105 RBI guy with a great glove. Many people (myself included) see Niese as a VERY solid, higher end #3 starter... maybe even a lower end #2 down the line. Both have showne they can handle New York. Trading either would only make the fans think the team has flat out lost it. Gain, if they get bowled over, I can justify it. Otherwise, it makes little to no sense.
It's hard to be a Mets fan right now. The immediate future is not very bright and 2014 seems far away. I DO like the Mets brain trust of Alderson and crew and i do thik it's smart to build up the minors to the point you are more like the Rays than the Mets of 2009. But I have a fear that as long as the Wilpons own this team that there are some serious dark days ahead.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Yeah, so I took the 2011 Baseball season off. There were a lot of reasons, and the inability to commit the proper time to the blog was the largest. However, I'm back and making a go of this. I actually started up and writing yesterday, which was the day the Marlins signed Jose Reyes, which just shows the type of wonderful timing I have. Yay.
Saturday, March 5, 2011
You know, there is a lot of things I don't get about the ownership of the New York Mets. I don't get why it took them so long to solve the Tony Bernazard issue. I don't get why they seemed to bungle so many public relation situations like the dismissial of Willie Randolph.
But first and foremost, I don't get why Mike Piazza's number has not been retired.
The Mets have very little history to be proud of. There's Tom Terrific and the Mets of '69. There's the juggernaught of 1986. There's the nice (but incomplete) Subway Series season of 2000.
Even when the Mets have what seem will be timeless icons in the making, it manages to go wrong (I'm looking at you Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden!)
So when you have an honest-to-goodness, sure fire, first ballot Hall of Famer with a strong tie to your organization you had damn well better make sure he's so entrenched to your team that no one doubts it.
The Mets HAVE made some nice moves when it's come to Piazza. He got a great celebration when he broke the all-time record for homeruns by a catcher. He got a very nice send off when he left the team and got a nice mini celebration when he returned as a Padre the following season. He was part of the last pitch at Shea (with Tom Seaver) as well as part of the first pitch at Citifield (also with Seaver).
This is all nice. It's not enough.
Let me tell you a story about my friend Tom.
Tom is a big baseball fan (he's a Yankee fan, but let's not hold that against him). He's big into the history of the game and he and I have had endless debates about the Hall of Fame. Tom covers the Yankees (and Mets) for Newsday (first as a photographer and lately as a Videographer for the website) so he's been around both organizations quite a lot.
So for years, he's been trying to get my (and my kids, including his Godson Alex) to make a trip up to Cooperstown.
However I refuse to go. Yet.
We started having the talk about going as long as 13 years ago. I was holding out.
"I'll go," I told him, "the next time a player goes in as a Met."
"So we're never going?" he replied.
My thought was this: Gary Carter was going on the ballot for the Hall of Fame that year (this was 1998). Carter had made it no secret that he wanted to go into the Hall as a Met. At the time, the Hall didn't decide what team's cap the players wore when they went in and generally allowed the players to choose if they had a preference and it wasn't a ridiculous one (like Wade Boggs going in as a Tampa Bay Devil Ray for example). I figured Carter would get in in his first or second year... go in as a Met and we'd make the trip to celebrate.
Ah, the best laid plans...
So first off it takes the voters six years to elect Carter in (which was ridiculous in itself. A year wait yes... two I could see... MAYBE three... but the fact he had to wait six was unreal) so he doesn't go in until 2003.
And second, Dave Winfield and George Stienbrenner changed the whole way the Hall of Fame worked.
2001 saw Dave Winfield go into the Hall of Fame (something he very much deserved). However, he chose to go in as a Padre instead of a Yankee. This, after the Yankees were to give him a 'Dave Winfield Day'. This irked George Stienbrenner to no end and rumors that the Padres paid Winfield a million dollars to choose a Padre cap circulated. Winfield actually had spent more time as a Yankee, it was argued, so why would he choose the Padres? Steinbrenner raised a huge stink about it and the Hall of Fame committe responded by taking the choice away from the players. 2001 would be the last time a plaer could choose the cap that would be on his plaque.
Why is this relevant? Because the Hall of Fame ignored Carter's request to go into the Hall as a Met and placed him in as a Montreal Expo instead.
So of course the trip never happened. Tom brings it up every year.
Back to Mike Piazza.
In 2013 Piazza will be on the ballot for the Hall of Fame. As the greatest hitting catcher of all time (with apologies to Johnny Bench, Yogi Berra and Carlton Fisk), I cannot imagine he will not go into the Hall in his first year of eligbility. Even if he doesn't by some bizarre reason, he'll make it in 2014.
And when the time comes, Piazza woud like to go in as a New York Met. He has been quoted (more than once) as such.
Unlike Carter in his Expo/Met split, Piazza actually played for the Mets longer than he did for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
He played six and a quarter seasons for the Dodgers (of course he only had 69 at bats in 1992 so he was only a Dodger for Five full seasons and a half really).
He played seven and a half seasons for the Mets.
He never won a playoff game as a Dodger, making the postseason only once.
He won a number of postseason series with the Mets, including going to the World Series in 2000.
If you look at his overall best seasons they were 1995-97 with the Dodgers and 1999-2001 with the Mets.
He hit 169 HRs with 563 RBIs for the Dodgers.
He hit 220 HRs with 655 RBIs for the Mets. (and that was with missing half a season in 2003 to injury).
(Yeah. I'm trying reassure myself. Shaddap.)
In any case, there should be no reason Piazza will go into the Hall as a Met... but stranger things have happened. So why take chances?
The Mets need to take total possession of the image of Piazza. Right now, when you look at Tom Seaver, you think "Mets". You don't think "Reds". The same has to be with Piazza. Have a Mike Piazza Day. Retire his number. Offer him a position in the front office or the Broadcast booth (he's actually pretty good) or as a scout or a coach or something. ANYthing.
Make sure that when the HOF committe has to choose that cap, they think "Piazza? Met. All the way."
With all of the issues the owners have... with the doubts about the on-field team most people seem to have... isn't this the perfect time to start garnering some good vibes? Wash away the crap for a while and do something the entire fan base will not only get behind, but will love.
My God. What are you waiting for? Do it already.