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Mets Shouldn’t Be Retiring Any More Player Numbers

Mike Piazza perhaps let the cat out of the bag when he intimated the New York Mets may start retiring more numbers. Of course, this shouldn’t come as a shock when the organization announced Jerry Koosman‘s 36 was going to be retired.

Looking at the Mets franchise history, this is quite the Steinbrenner type of move.

After the simply bizarre act of retiring Casey Stengel‘s number, the Mets put the highest of standards for retiring player numbers. In fact, prior to the Koosman announcement, it was an honor solely reserved for Hall of Famers.

It’s a standard which frankly makes sense. Number retirement should be an honor presented to the true legends of your franchise. By definition, that’s what the Hall of Famers are.

If we sort through team history, if not for a completely and arbitrary application of an theretofore unenforced rule Gary Carter would be in the Hall of Fame as a Met. That would’ve led to the retirement of his 8.

It’s also quite possible we may one day see Keith Hernandez and Carlos Beltran inducted. With that should come their numbers being retired. At least with respect to Hernandez, that would be an extremely popular decision.

Past that duo, the only player who you can conceive of hitting that level is Jacob deGrom. That’s something that needs consideration.

When a number is retired, the franchise is putting a player at the level of Tom Seaver, Piazza, and quite possibly deGrom. Looking at the team history, they don’t have players at that level. They really don’t.

That includes David Wright who is an extremely popular choice amongst the fans. If not for injuries, he very well might’ve. By the same token, if not for addiction, Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry not only would’ve been at that level, but quite possibly, would’ve been a step above Wright.

Fact is Wright is a Mets great, but he’s not a baseball great. Yes, he deserves honoring by the Mets, but a number retirement is just too high of an honor. That should be reserved for the true legends to wear a Mets uniform.

Keep in mind, as discussed on the Simply Amazin Podcast, much of the case for Wright can dwindle over time. For example, if Michael Conforto re-signs, he should take over a good chunk of Wright’s records.

After that, we could see someone else surpass both players. Part of the reason is the records on the books isn’t particularly impressive for a franchise. Keep in mind, that’s not saying Wright’s career numbers aren’t impressive. They are. However, as a franchise leader, it’s not.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. The issue just is where you start drawing lines.

For example, for all the push for Wright, John Franco remains the franchise all-time saves leader, has the most saves of any left-handed pitcher in MLB history, and he was a captain. Despite that, there seems little to no push to retire his number even with his being a Met longer just as long as Wright.

Really, when you look at both, yes, they should be honored, but in reality, it should be short of number retirement. In reality, that’s why there’s a Mets Hall of Fame.

The answer should be to make the Mets Hall of Fame into a destination at Citi Field. Really showcase the Mets greats honoring them the way they should be honored. That’s far more fitting than trying to elevate players like Wright to the levels of Seaver.

In the end, there’s nothing wrong with not having many numbers retired. In many ways, that makes that honor all the more meaningful. It’s better to keep it that way while also finding an appropriate way to honor the Mets greats who aren’t in the Hall of Fame.

10 thoughts on “Mets Shouldn’t Be Retiring Any More Player Numbers”

  1. TheGhostofKelenic says:

    Beltran won’t be retired nor will he make the hall of fame. Hernandez should be retired in part due to his excellent contributions in the booth. I especially liked when he made fun of Hunter Pence’s bug eyes.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      I think Keith and Ron’s work in the booth could merit their numbers being retired

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Coming from you, that’s high praise.

      Thank you.

  2. David Klein says:

    Wright is the best position player in franchise history of course his number should be retired.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Strawberry was better and just being the best position player is a nonsense reason to retire a number

  3. David says:

    Yoke of the dumbest takes even for you

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Strawberry averaged a higher WAR, was a Rookie of the Year, had a better wRC+, was a better postseason player, and he won a World Series.

      Of course, you’d think it’s dumb to believe the better performing player was better.

  4. Carl Bauer says:

    Carter rightfully went into the Hall with an Expos cap. He played more than twice as long with Montreal. This was a no-brainer, not some “completely and arbitrary application of an theretofore unenforced rule.”
    PS That “rule” has been enforced many times in the past.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Ok, now do Reggie Jackson and Dave Winfield

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