Dwight Gooden

Mets, Yankees Détente Isn’t Collusion

Collusion has been a very real thing in baseball history. That was no more apparent than when Andre Dawson signed a blank contract with the Chicago Cubs because no one would offer him a contract.

Ultimately, the Hall of Famer Bud Selig collusion efforts led to MLB paying $102.5 million to the player’s union. We’ve subsequently seen evidence of collusion, but the matter has not been subsequently taken to arbitration.

That brings us to the right now with Aaron Judge’s free agency.

As reported by The Athletic, MLB is requesting records between the New York Mets and New York Yankees regarding Judge. Specifically, they want communications between Steve Cohen and Hal Steinbrenner.

This goes back to a report saying how both teams “enjoy a mutually respectful relationship, and do not expect to upend that with a high-profile bidding war.” If you’ve been around New York baseball since free agency began, you knew this was going to be the case.

Typically speaking, the Mets and Yankees don’t pursue each other’s free agent players. That goes double for the higher profile players. Really, when you think about it, the Mets and Yankees never get into a bidding war over a player.

That’s not to say players don’t switch teams. We know Curtis Granderson signed with the Mets after four years in the Bronx. Pedro Feliciano signed with the Yankees after his second stint with the Mets.

What was notable about both players is their tenures with their previous team ended. To put it another way, the franchise was not pursuing their own player in free agency.

That may also explain the respective franchises historical obsession with their respective high profile players towards the end of their careers.

We’ve seen the Yankees sign players like Carlos Beltrán, Dwight Gooden, and Darryl Strawberry. The Mets made trades made trades to obtain El Duque and Robinson Canó in addition to signing players like Willie Randolph.

This just doesn’t happen when these players initially hit free agency and their team wants to keep that player. Certainly, a large part of that was the Wilpons unwillingness (followed by their inability) to spend.

As we look to this offseason, both Judge and Jacob deGrom are free agents. These are franchise defining players. They are future Hall of Famers whose numbers will be retired by their respective teams.

They also solve problems for both teams. It’s just going to come at exorbitant salaries. Even with the money both teams have, they likely will not be able to sign both.

That’s part of the reason there is a détente between these franchises.

These two teams could be running up the cost on the respective players. Eventually, one is going to be signed by someone. That doesn’t mean the other will get signed.

Let’s assume for the sake of argument, the Mets sign Judge. Let’s also assume, this puts them out of the deGrom market.

We’ve heard rumors deGrom is looking for money similar to Max Scherzer. Let’s say the Mets were in that neighborhood before signing Judge and breaking off negotiations.

It’s entirely possible the Yankees were never going to that point. That leaves them out on deGrom, and we’ve already heard other teams balking at what deGrom wants. In the end, this means deGrom eventually signs for less than what he would’ve had this détente not existed.

The simple fact is this détente is necessary for the franchises and players. It’s not driving down player salaries. It’s keeping them all high. It’s allowing Judge and deGrom get the highest possible contract they could receive.

Both the Mets and Yankees now they have an uneasy relationship. They’re rivals who share a city, but they need one another. They’re allies when it comes to revenue sharing and the CBT, and they both know they both do better financially when both teams are thriving.

So, the Mets and Yankees have this unwritten détente which has served New York baseball well for 30+ years. We will now soon find out if this unwritten détente is also unspoken.

Mets Ruining Old Timers Day With Reyes Invitation

One of the best things Steve Cohen has done in terms of fan engagement is Old Timers’ Day. The New York Mets now have their own history, and we now get the opportunity to celebrate it. Apparently, fans aren’t the only ones eager to celebrate it.

We have seen a number of players eager to return. Already on the docket are a who’s who of Mets greats including Mike Piazza, Keith Hernandez, Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, Howard Johnson, John Franco, Johan Santana, Pedro Martinez, Daniel Murphy, Mookie Wilson, and many, many more. Really, Mets players are coming out of the woodwork to try to attend this event.

With every name came more excitement and more fond memories. Then, the Mets announced Jose Reyes was returning.

While the Mets were blowing Game 4 of the 2015 World Series, Reyes was in Hawaii grabbing his wife by the neck and throwing her into glass doors. The altercation was so violent, the hotel would need to call the police, and his wife would need to be taken by ambulance to a local hospital to be treated for her injuries.

The Colorado Rockies (who also had Trevor Story ready) were so appalled they released Reyes. There was a debate whether Reyes would ever play a game again. After all, who in the world would want someone like that on their team? It’s one thing to deal with someone on your roster. It is a whole other to proactively go out and sign that player (or acquire him if you are the New York Yankees and Aroldis Chapman).

Well, frankly, the Mets were cheap morons, and their third base plan for 2016 was David Wright. That lasted until May 27. After that, the Mets were trying to figure it out on the fly. Instead of looking to make a trade, they opted to do the whole dog-and-pony show of trying to rehabilitate Reyes’ image.

Reyes was decent enough, and he had a big homer against the Philadelphia Phillies. The media acquiesced with the Mets demands and wrote the necessary articles (yes, they are 100% complicit) to support the Mets bold move to cheap out and take bad a wife beater. Everyone was so happy the Mets brought Reyes back.

Well, third base wasn’t good enough anymore for Reyes. With Asdrubal Cabrera‘s thumb injury, Reyes pushed his way to short. It was a bad year for Reyes, and it was apparent to the Mets, they needed to pivot. Amed Rosario was called up at the end of the year to be the shortstop of the future, and in the offeseason, they had to sign Todd Frazier to play the third base Reyes no longer wanted to play.

Reyes agreed to be the utility player. Anything to help the team. Again, just talk.

Reyes didn’t really put the time in to succeed in the outfield. He was terrible, and he stopped playing there. Then, the sham of the narrative he was going to mentor Rosario was exposed when he whined to the media about it. This came at a time when the baseball world was wondering if he was done and would soon be ticketed for being designated for assignment. Instead, he was rewarded with more playing time.

Despite the beating of his wife and acting bigger than the organization, he was given a big send-off as part of the Wright festivities. He got to retire as the Mets leadoff hitter and shortstop. He deserved none of this.

After he beat his wife, the Mets had kept throwing him olive branch after olive branch. None were good enough for him. He showed a complete lack of gratitude to this organization. And now, he’s going to be rewarded by being brought back for Old Timers’ Day like he didn’t beat his wife and wasn’t a completely selfish jerk on his way out?

Seriously? This is Wilpon level garbage and has no place in the Steve Cohen era. In reality, Reyes has no business being at Citi Field for Old Timers Day even if he bought his own ticket.

May 20/20 Hindsight: Best Mets Team Ever?

The New York Mets have finished the first two months of the season in first place with a 10.5 game division lead. That is tied for the best ever lead on June 1 in MLB history.

1.  It doesn’t matter what happens with this team. They are perhaps the most resilient Mets team we have ever seen.

2.  Luis Guillorme has earned a job in the starting lineup, and he’s playing like someone deserving of an All-Star right now.

3.  Playing time may hold back Guillorme, but it should not hold back Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor, Jeff McNeil, and Brandon Nimmo. They’re not just having All-Star caliber seasons, but they are also building budding MVP campaigns.

4.  Lindor going around humming the Rangers goal song is awesome. That run is having a big impact on this Mets team, and it seems to be driving them all the more to have their own special season.

5.  Colin Holderman and Stephen Nogosek have earned a permanent place in the Mets bullpen.

6.  If Drew Smith is hurt, just put him on the IL. There is no need to mess around and have the chance he hurts his arm compensating for the pinkie.

7.  Trevor Williams has stepped up big time, and he has taken that last spot in the rotation for now. He might’ve been a throw-in last season in the Javier Baez trade, but he’s been a very importance piece for this Mets team.

8.  The pitching injuries necessitated Dominic Smith be sent down. The team needs the arms, and right now, Smith hasn’t made the case he should stay in the majors. Then again, J.D. Davis hasn’t either, but looking at everything, he is on borrowed time as well.

9.  Eduardo Escobar is slowly but surely coming out of his struggles, and he is primed to have the same big June he has always had. To his credit, he has not let his struggles get the better of him as he was always out there hustling. That’s why he had the big extra innings catch followed by the walk-off hit.

10. The Mets are in a tough spot at the catcher position, and it seems like the problem isn’t improving as Patrick Mazeika just can’t seem to get on the same page as his pitchers, and he’s made some questionable pitch calls. Case-in-point was that Adam Ottavino fastball.

11. The most important move the Mets made all season was Chris Bassitt. While he was not pegged as such, he has been the team’s ace all season long. That’s because he has pitched that way and because he’s the last man standing.

12. There is not enough we can say about how Carlos Carrasco and Taijuan Walker have stepped up this season. This team is in first place because of them as any other reason.

13. With Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer coming back at some point this season, it is really difficult to pinpoint where this team desperately needs to make a move to make it a World Series contending club.

14. That said, Joely Rodriguez and Chasen Shreve at least have you wondering if the Mets need a left-handed reliever. Then again, maybe David Peterson can move there for the postseason and have a 2015 Jon Niese type of impact.

15. Having Johan Santana out there with Tylor Megill, Smith, Rodriguez, Seth Lugo, and Edwin Diaz was one of the coolest photos in Mets team history.

16. It is amazing hearing Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry will return to Flushing for Old Timers’ Day. It seems like all of the Mets greats want to come back to experience this.

17. Nick Plummer is what makes a season like this so special. He’s a former first rounder who was given the bust label before having a good year in Triple-A with the St. Louis Cardinals organization. It wasn’t enough to keep him around, and the Mets have been the beneficiaries for taking a chance on him.

18. It’s astonishing to think it took the Mets nearly two months to complete their first series sweep of the season. Of course, they may follow it with yet another sweep.

19. The Mets impending west coast trip isn’t really anything but a series of nine tough games. It’s not a litmus test because we know this team is good, and we also know they don’t have all of their pitching.

20. Starling Marte has responded to hearbreak by being great. If there is anyone who understands what it means to be a Met, it may just be him.

Mets No-Hitter Mattered

Baseball is different today than it was 20 or even five years ago. There was a time barring real injury risk a pitcher was never pulled with a no-hitter.

Now, there’s a premium put on pitcher health and the longevity of their career. Teams are looking to protect their investments.

That’s why Tylor Megill gets pulled after 88 pitches even though he held the Philadelphia Phillies to no hits over five innings. To some, it tarnishes the no-hitter saying it’s not the same, or it doesn’t count.

Honestly, if Johan Santana didn’t happen, there would’ve been some disappointment in it not being one pitcher. If it was another franchise, the excitement would not be at the same level. There, Jerry Blevins is right.

However, this is the New York Mets, and because of that, it just means so much more.

For me, it was memories of growing up. My dad would always allow me to stay up until the Mets gave up a hit because he didn’t want me (or him) to miss the first ever no-hitter.

To this day, I remember my mom urging my dad to send me to bed while David Cone had a no-hitter going. The fact the St. Louis Cardinals spoiled his bids twice makes me hate them all the more, and I’ll never forgive Felix Jose.

With Cone, we always rooted for him. We stopped everything to watch his perfect game. We did the same for Dwight Gooden‘s no-hitter. While they weren’t Mets at the time, they are forever Mets, and their heroics were worth celebrating.

The same goes for Tom Seaver‘s no-hitter. That glorious one came against the Cardinals.

For the Mets, they were defined by not getting the no-hitter. At times, you wondered if it was a curse emanating from them trading away Nolan Ryan.

But, then it finally happened. To some degree, because we’re Mets fans, we’re almost conditioned to believe it would never happen again. After all, how is it Jacob deGrom hasn’t come close to one?

For me, I got to experience this no-hitter in a completely different way. This time, I was the dad letting my kid stay up late. I was the one regaling him of stories of Mets greats and misses.

Of course, I was on the phone with my dad. First, calling him to make sure he had the game on. Next, to just share that moment only for it to be hijacked by his also wanting to share it with his overexcited grandson.

In a word, the moment was perfect.

That’s why I don’t care if Megill had to share the feat with Drew Smith, Joely Rodriguez, Seth Lugo, and Edwin Diaz. All that mattered was the moment happened.

It brought back fond memories of my youth and why I became a Mets fan in the first place. I got to share it with my son who will forever have this memory. In the end, it was three generations of Mets fans celebrating a moment no one expected.

In the end, not only did that no-hitter count as a no-hitter, but it also mattered to Mets fans. It mattered more than anyone will ever know.

Mets Players Who Deserved Will Smith Slap

The shocking part of The Oscars was when Will Smith responded to a Chris Rock joke about his wife by slapping him in the face and then yelling at him. Being a diehard Mets fan, Rock is obviously accustomed to unexpected slaps in the face.

In fact, through the years, there are just a number of players Mets fans just wanted to give the Will Smith treatment to for what they did on or off the field. To wit, here is the Mets all-time deserved a slap team:

SP Tom Glavine – Glavine was never truly appreciated by Mets fans after he had beaten them all those years with the Atlanta Braves. Despite his success, any goodwill he had unraveled as he did in the final game of the 2007 season. After the game, Glavine explained to devastated fans, he was disappointed but not devastated.

RP Guillermo Mota – How do you shake off Paul Lo Duca and then get beat by Scott Spiezio ? That moment forever changed the trajectory of that series. Also, why was he such a punk constantly throwing at Mike Piazza?

C Kevin Plawecki – When T.J. Rivera wore the crown after a Mets win (why was that ever a thing?), we saw the type of objects he kept in his locker. Making matters worse, he was a better relief pitcher than he was a hitter with the Mets (I kid, I kid).

1B Lucas Duda – Duda was an underrated Met, and he was a driving force for the 2015 Mets comeback to win the division, but that throw to home plate was one of the worst throws in Mets history.

2B Luis Castillo – How in the world do you just drop an easy pop-up which could end the game, and why did he have to do it against the Yankees? Consider he under performed his contract so much even the Wilpons were willing to eat money just to get rid of him.

3B Jim Fregosi – It’s astounding. The 1962 Mets were the worst team in Major League history, and yet, the first real instance we see the Mets mocked for is when the team traded Nolan Ryan in the deal for Fregosi. After the trade, Ryan became a Hall of Famer, and the Mets would eventually see Fregosi off to the Rangers. To make matters worse, we’re constantly reminded of this every single trade deadline when we hear about all-time worst trades.

SS Mike Bordick – In typical Mets fashion, Bordick went from career year to near career worst numbers when he went from the Baltimore Orioles to the Mets. Making this even worse is the fact the trade cost the Mets Melvin Mora who was both beloved and a future All-Star and Silver Slugger.

OF Vince Coleman – There should be no more reviled Mets player than Coleman. He was the enemy with the St. Louis Cardinals. He was flat out terrible with the Mets, and he would throw a firecracker at fans. He would even injure Dwight Gooden‘s shoulder practicing his golf swing, He’s literally the worst to put on a Mets uniform.

OF Roger CedenoMets fans were beyond excited Cedeno was returning in what we hoped was a retooling of the pennant winning roster. Instead, what we got was “The Worst Team Money Could Buy” Part Deux with Cedeno being flat out terrible.

OF Bobby Bonilla – He wore earplugs because he couldn’t handle the heckling. He was playing cards in the clubhouse when the Mets lost the 1999 NLCS. He became a perpetual punchline for a team who never spent money.

Keep in mind, this is not a complete list. We can go on and on and on. No matter where you wind up on any of these players and your suggestions for others, please keep in mind, no one deserves the treatment more than Jeff Wilpon. No one did more to hurt the Mets than him during his stretch of absolute embarrassing incompetence.

Simply Amazin: Looking Bleak Podcast

Due to site difficulties, this is going up a week later than anticipated, but fortunately (or unfortunately), all of what was discussed remains relevant. Players discussed during this podcast included Michael Conforto, Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso, Melvin Mora, Mike Bordick, Brandon Nimmo, Mark Canha, Starling MarteBilly Taylor, Jason Isringhausen, Matt Harvey, Dwight Gooden, Darryl Strawberry, Josh Hamilton, David Wright, Ike Davis, Jake Marisnick, Blake Taylor, Dominic Smith, Robinson Cano, Eduardo Escobar, Shawon Dunston, Craig PaquettePedro MartinezCarlos Beltran,  and many, many more.

As always, thanks to Timothy Rider. It was an absolute blast. Please take a listen to the Simply Amazin podcast (by clicking on this link).

 

Matt Harvey Was Gooden, Strawberry, and Hernandez All In One

When Matt Harvey was with the New York Mets, there were some warning signs. The biggest might’ve been when he missed the postseason workout at Citi Field right before the Mets headed to Los Angeles for Game 1 of the 2015 NLDS. Of course, there was loud and unconfirmed speculation Harvey had a drug problem when he failed to show up to Citi Field leading to his suspension.

As we found out in his testimony in the criminal case involving Tyler Skaggs death from an overdose, Harvey has a drug problem. During his time with the Mets, Harvey was using cocaine while partying. This is just a sad reminder to Mets fans on how Dwight Gooden‘s and Darryl Strawberry‘s Hall of Fame caliber talent didn’t find its way to Cooperstown because of their drug abuse. Like with Harvey, neither Doc nor Darryl ever received the help they needed.

As we discovered, Harvey was using cocaine when he went to the Los Angeles Angels. Harvey also said teams never asked him if he had a drug problem. That does seem odd considering what people were very loudly whispering behind the scenes about him.

For Harvey, it wasn’t just cocaine. He also had a problem with painkillers. From his testimony, we never discovered the genesis of that abuse, and trying to play a guessing game here would be irresponsible and unfair. That said, Harvey did testify there was a culture where players used painkillers to try to stay on the field. The fact he received pills from a hockey player seems to point to a great issue across sports.

What’s astounding is Harvey saying he and other players, like Skaggs, would use/abuse the painkillers in the clubhouse and even the dugout. Make no mistake here. If Harvey and Skaggs were doing it, and they were getting pills from players in other sports, there is a much larger issue here. We do not know the full scope, and we may never find out. However, there is a significant problem when players have such easy access to these drugs, and they have no issue using them around other people.

We know it is something which led to Skaggs’ death. We know there are many players who have developed an addiction to painkillers. Former Packers QB Brett Favre is one of them. Some may have believed this was just an NFL issue, but apparently, it is much larger than that.

Now, reminiscent of Keith Hernandez in the infamous Pittsburgh Drug Trials, Harvey is testifying about his abuse and the abuse of a dead teammate. Hernandez estimated there were about 40% of players using cocaine back then, and we just saw Harvey testify about what he has seen with painkillers. Like Hernandez saw what happened to Doc and Darryl, Harvey saw what happened to Skaggs and perhaps other teammates.

For that matter, Harvey has his own what if story with his career. Ultimately, yes, TOS was what forever impacted Harvey’s career. However, we don’t know how much the painkillers and cocaine might’ve stopped him from getting the treatment he needed when he needed it. Fair or not, Harvey did testify he believes it all impacted his career negatively. There are those who will forever hold it against him no matter how unfair it is.

In the end, you can only hope Harvey is clean, and he has received or will receive the help he needs. You can also hope with new Mets owners there is an entirely different culture where players like Harvey get the help they need. As we look forward, you can’t help but wonder what this all means for Harvey as he will now publicly live the rest of his life as a known drug addict and as someone who is still looking to hold onto his fleeting MLB career.

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.

Noah Syndergaard, Jeurys Familia Poised To Make Mets History

Tom Seaver did something unique in New York Mets history. When he took the field for player introductions before Game 1 of the 1986 World Series, he became the first pitcher to stand on the field for three separate Mets postseason games.

Of course, Seaver was wearing a Boston Red Sox uniform, and he never did pitch in that series. To date, no Mets pitcher has pitched in three separate postseasons for the Mets . . . yet.

Back in 2015, Noah Syndergaard and Jeurys Familia were big pieces of a Mets pitching staff which not only led the team to the postseason but also a pennant. They’d join Addison Reed as the only members of that 2015 staff to pitch in the ensuing postseason when the Mets lost the Wild Card Game.

That trio joined a number of the 1999-2000 Mets pitchers to pitch in consecutive postseason. That list included Armando Benitez, Dennis Cook, John Franco, Al Leiter, Rick Reed, and Turk Wendell.

They are just part of a group of Mets pitchers to pitch in multiple postseasons. The other pitchers in that group are Rick Aguilera, Ron Darling, Sid Fernandez, Dwight Gooden, Jerry Koosman, Roger McDowell, Tug McGraw, and Seaver.

That’s a total of 17 pitchers who have appeared in two postseasons for the Mets. However, none have appeared in three.

If Syndergaard can return from Tommy John, and Familia can stay healthy and productive, they’re going to get that chance because this is an excellent Mets team. This is a team which should get there, and maybe this time Syndergaard and Familia can celebrate a World Series.

After that, with both being pending free agents, the question will be whether they’ll get the opportunity to get to pitch in a fourth postseason. Time will tell.

Mets Should Retire Davey Johnson’s Number

With the scare of Davey Johnson being sick in the hospital with COVID19, the Mets were in danger of losing their second franchise great in less than a year. Tom Seaver will never be around to see his statue, but Johnson could be around to see his number retired.

The Mets standards for retiring numbers is all over the place. Casey Stengel was the first for, well, it wasn’t his performance as manager. That’s for sure.

Then, it was Gil Hodges. His number was posthumously retired a little more than a year after his tragic death. His guiding the Miracle Mets certainly factored into this decision.

After that, for the longest time, only Hall of Famers had their number retired. Yes, Seaver’s number was retired before his induction, but his induction was a fait accompli. For his part, Mike Piazza had to wait for his induction.

Things have changed with Jerry Koosman now getting his number retired. With that happening, it’s hard to ascertain where the line now is. Wherever it is, one thing should be clear – Davey Johnson should have his number retired.

Johnson is arguably the best manager in Mets history. In fact, in the 59 year history of the Mets, he remains the only manager to win two division titles. That’s a record which will stand for at least two more years.

That’s not the only records Johnson has. He’s the only manager to have never finished below second place. His .588 winning percentage still rates first. The same for his 595 wins.

He’s the only Mets manager to have five consecutive 90+ win seasons.He’s the only manager to have multiple 100 win seasons.

In fact, his 1986 Mets are one of the best teams of all-time. In fact, since World War II, no National League team has won more games than that Mets team won that season. As we all know, the Mets won the World Series that year.

With that, he joined Grote as only one of two Mets managers to win a World Series.

The way Johnson did it was truly unique. He was one of the first managers noted for what we now deem an analytical approach. Before games, he used to scour over computer printouts to not only try to maximize his lineup, but also to try to find an edge. As his record indicates, he was very successful.

He also was unique in that he was not always beholden to veterans. In fact, one of the reasons the Mets were so successful early on is Johnson went with the talented Mets core. That included his pushing Frank Cashen to call Dwight Gooden up for the 1984 season.

That was a very bold decision which helped deliver the Mets a World Series title three years later.

Johnson did his part getting the most out of those young Mets on the field. Although, there will forever be the question if his laidback style managing personal lives had a negative impact. To be fair, it’s hard to pin substance abuse issues on just a manager. That’s an unfair criticism.

Overall, Johnson wasn’t just the winningest manager in Mets history, he’s also a revolutionary figure in the game. He’s as important a figure in team history, and in many ways, he’s the best manager in Mets history.

Really, it’s hard to imagine anyone can do what he did. The winning. Changing the way the game is managed. All of it. And that is exactly why the Mets should retire his number.