Ruben Tejada

MLB Replay Growing Increasingly Pointless

Back in 2015, Chase Utley tackled Ruben Tejada way outside of the baseline, broke Tejada’s leg, and he never bothered to touch second base. As Tejada writhed in pain and had to be carted off the field, MLB replay officials awarded Utley second base.

Think of the outright absurdity of that. The Mets couldn’t challenge Utley was out of the baseline. They couldn’t challenge interference. However, the Dodgers could challenge a player not touching the base was safe, and they’d actually win the challenge.

That should’ve been a seminal moment in replay. That’s where MLB needed to decide they wanted to get the plays correct and not make this a system about technicalities and perpetuating errors.

Unfortunately, that’s exactly what its become.

We each have calls over the years which have benefited and hurt our team where we thought replay was going to overturn it only for replay to just confirm the ridiculously wrong call. Perhaps it is just this season, but things seem to be at an all-time worst with the entire replay system.

The first call which comes to mind this year was Michael Conforto. In a tie game with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, Conforto clearly stuck his elbow out across home plate. Instead of his being rung up on what should’ve been strike three, he was awarded first base, and the Mets won the game.

Don Mattingly sought to challenge the call, and all the replay booth could do was confirm Conforto was actually hit by the pitch. For some bizarre reason, they were not permitted to see if Conforto put his elbow into the strike zone, or if he even bothered to try to avoid getting hit by the pitch.

Again, if the concept of replay is to get the calls right, they should have a system in getting the calls right. When you defer to just outright bad and blown calls, your system is failing. That’s not just the case with “judgment calls.” That’s with every call.

As an aside, calling some calls judgment calls and others not is just absurd. Literally every call an umpire makes is a judgment call. They have to judge if the ball is a strike or an out. It’s a judgment as to whether the runner reached the bag ahead of the fielder catching it and applying the tag. It is a judgment as to whether a ball was caught. The same goes for interference calls, hit by pitches, running in the baseline, or whatever calls fall under the purview of “judgment calls.”

However, you could see the reticence of allowing replay officials to handle that when they got the obvious calls right. Case-in-point was Elvis Andrus being called out on home in the game between the Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays.

It was a bizarre play where Tony Kemp hit a pop up which landed out of Joey Wendle‘s reach. The ball took one of those AstroTurf hops, and Andrus, who was running with two outs, tried to take advantage of all the confusion by trying to score from first. Home Plate Umpire Sean Barber ruled Mike Zunino tagged out Andrus. The only problem was he didn’t. That is what led to the Athletics challenging the call, which was somehow . . . upheld?

There is literally no replay which exists which shows Andrus out. It doesn’t exist, and yet, somehow, the play was upheld. It’s an embarrassment for Major League Baseball that this happened, and really, that this continues to happen. The only good thing we can say is it did not cost the Athletics the game as they would hold onto that 2-1 lead.

At the moment, replay has become Russian roulette. You really never know what is going to happen. There is no rhyme or reason. The clearly blown call stands because of reasons that confound reason. When you have a system that blows calls again upon review, and you cannot review other clearly blown calls, there is simply no point to having the system.

At the moment, Major League Baseball has two options. They should be overhauling the system top to bottom to ensure ALL CALLS are correct, or they should be scrapping the entire system. That’s the position they put themselves in when we see how this dysfunctional system is working.

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Split Bizarre Shortened Series

Due to the rain-out yesterday, the New York Mets split a series against the Miami Marlins. There was a lot which happened in the span of those three days, which is just an indication of just how bizarre the start to this season has been:

1.  Not calling a game which had zero chance of ever getting played was a very Wilpon like decision. Hopefully, this is something that we will not see happen again.

2.  Whenever there is a threat of rain, teams should just use an opener. It is not worth wasting a pitcher’s turn through the rotation in the hopes of a game being played. Instead of getting someone like Robert Gsellman some work, the Mets are going to have to wait until Friday to see Marcus Stroman again.

3. Aside from David Peterson, the Mets starting pitching has been quite good this season. The best surprise might’ve been Taijuan Walker who looked like the pitcher many thought he would be when he was once a top 10 prospect in the game.

4. Why bother reading the Wilpon owned Mets website, when you can come here and read it done first and better?

5. Jeff McNeil was swinging a good bat and ran into some bad luck before hitting that clutch homer. That bat flip was reminiscent of the Asdrubal Cabrera one.

6. The umpires completely blew it when ruling Michael Conforto was hit by the pitch to force in the game winning run. The fact replay can’t fix that error is a failure of the system.

7. Just when you thought that was bad, on Sunday Night Baseball, Alec Bohm never touched home plate, was ruled safe, and the call was somehow upheld on replay. What is the point of the system when you can’t get obviously blown calls corrected?

8. By the way, Travis d’Arnaud did an amazing job receiving that throw and blocking the plate. There really is no one better in the game than him at doing that, and it is also notable the Mets have spent a ton of money on catchers who are no better than him.

9. These two plays are reminiscent of when Chase Utley went out of the baseline, tackled Ruben Tejada, never touched the bag, and was ruled safe on replay and awarded second base. By the way, the manager who asked for that review and wound up winning partially because of that absurdity was Don Mattingly, so he can save us from listening to his whining.

10. The booing of Conforto was ridiculous. Yes, he had a really bad four game stretch as all players are going to have during the course of the season. You would just think a player of his stature who has been a good Met for this long would have a longer leash than four games.

11. Dropping Conforto in the line-up was a pure panic decision. It’s not like he’s the only Mets player not hitting. For example, there was no booing of Pete Alonso despite his being hitless over his last 11 at-bats, and no one wants him dropped in the order. Remember, Conforto was great last year whereas Alonso comparatively struggled.

12. No, this is not a call to boo Alonso. It is also not a call to boo McNeil who has one hit this year. The same goes for James McCann and Francisco Lindor who have matching .176 batting averages with no extra base hits. It is was too soon to boo any of these players.

13. Conforto is eventually going to break out of his slump due to the ebbs and flows of the baseball season. His being dropped to fifth, sixth, or even seventh in the order will have nothing to do with hit.

14. If this was about rewarding the best hitters, Luis Guillorme would be playing everyday. That goes double when you consider J.D. Davis hit the IL. Guillorme is literally hitting .500 in his limited playing opportunities.

15. Brandon Nimmo has been phenomenal to start the season. He has flat out been the Mets best player with a 223 OPS+ and a 1 OAA in center. He’s been locked in to start the season. Yes, it is too soon to talk All-Star or even MVP consideration, but he looks like he’s poised to have a great year.

16. Of course, no one is better than Jacob deGrom. On the season, he has allowed one run over 14.0 innings while striking out 21. We are running out of words to describe how great he is.

17. We’re also running out of ways to describe just how terrible the lack of run support he receives is. It is beyond a joke deGrom is 0-1 to start the year. It’s really difficult to pinpoint the reason, but there is no rational explanation why this keeps happening.

18. Congrats to Joe Musgrove for throwing the first no-hitter in San Diego Padres history. Doing that for the team you grew up rooting for is like Mike Baxter making the no-hitter saving catch for Johan Santana‘s. On that topic, Anthony DiComo certainly showed his true colors.

19. People need to stop this over the top criticism of Luis Rojas. We are five games into a disjointed season with COVID cancellations and front office blown decisions on a rain delay. Like all managers, he is not the one setting the lineup or deciding whether or not to play the games. He is working with the front office on these decisions, including scripting out how long the starters go and which relievers pitch. He’s just the face and fall guy for many of these decisions.

20. The Mets already have four games to make up this season. The bright side will be those games will come when Noah Syndergaard and Carlos Carrasco have returned.

Dawn Of A Potential Mets/Dodgers Rivalry

The New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers have an interesting history. For fans of the original Mets team, many of them were originally Dodgers fans.

That includes Fred Wilpon, who built a ballpark in testament to those Dodger teams. Of course, that was resented by younger more modern Mets fans who have zero recollection of those Brooklyn teams.

For Gen X fans and younger, the history of the Mets and Dodgers is quite different.

There was the Dodgers upsetting the 1988 Mets. That was a painful series highlighted by David Cone perhaps riling up the Dodgers, Davey Johnson leaving in Dwight Gooden too long with the ensuing Mike Scioscia homer, and Orel Hershisers virtuoso performance.

The 2006 Mets got some measure of a payback in the NLDS sweep. That was a total beatdown with former Dodgers Shawn Green and Jose Valentin relaying to former Dodger Paul Lo Duca who tagged out Jeff Kent and J.D. Drew at home plate.

Things between these two teams really ratcheted up in the 2015 NLDS. That all began with Chase Utley living up to his reputation as one of the dirtiest players ever with his tackling Ruben Tejada at second thereby breaking Tejada’s leg.

Utley would go on to cowardly duck the Mets in New York. Ultimately, the Mets won that series behind the brilliance of Jacob deGrom and the postseason heroics of Daniel Murphy.

The bad feelings of that series carried forward into the next season when Noah Syndergaard was ejected during a nationally televised game after throwing a pitch behind Utley. Utley would get the last laugh with Terry Collins being revered years later when the ejection video was released.

After that, things calmed down. That was due in large part to the Wilpons ineptitude taking the Mets out of contention. During that time, the Dodgers became the model franchise finally breaking through and winning the 2020 World Series.

Now, with Steve Cohen at the helm, things promise to be different.

With Cohen comes real financial heft which arguably surpasses what the Dodgers have. We’ve seen early on what that means with the Mets already signing Trevor May and James McCann as well as being in the market for George Springer and Tomoyuki Sugano.

But, it’s not just the financial strength. It’s also the scouting and analytics. The Dodgers have used that to identify players like Max Muncy and Justin Turner who have become relative stars. They’ve also developed an enviable pipeline of talent with young players like Gavin Lux and Will Smith.

The Mets have started heading in that direction by bringing back Sandy Alderson. They’ve also hired Jared Porter as GM and Zack Scott as Assistant GM.

Of course, the Mets have retained perhaps the best draft scouting with Mark Tramuta, Tommy Tanous, Drew Toussaint, et al. That group is responsible for great talent like Pete Alonso, Michael Conforto, Seth Lugo, Brandon Nimmo, and Dominic Smith. That’s nothing to say of the talent still left in the system and traded away.

The Mets have the core, financial resources, burgeoning front office, and now the right ownership for the Mets to become a juggernaut like we haven’t seen from this franchise since the 1980s. They will very soon rival the Dodgers on and off the field.

That is going to lead to some more postseason run-ins. With that will be the heightening if tensions between these franchises which have already had their moments.

If the Mets make the right moves, we’ll see an epic postseason clash between these teams come October not just this year but in each of the ensuing seasons. The seeds are already there, and so, with more epic postseason series, we’ll see the makings of a bitter Mets/Dodgers rivalry.

Martino’s Latest Disingenuous Article Shows How Wilpons Use SNY To Show Disdain For Mets Fans

Remember that SNY is owned and operated by the Wilpons. It’s their network. If they don’t approve of the personalities or the coverage of the team, they can and will do something to change that.

After all, we have heard over the years on WFAN about different hosts relationship with the team over how the team is covered and how it impacts their ability to get guests.

The Mets are far from the only team who does that. It’s par for the course. As such when it comes to the Mets, the Wilpons have that same control over their own network which covers its own team.

So what type of coverage do we get as Mets fans? We’re told how awful we are.

Gary Apple, a Yankees fan, hosts Irrational Twitter Theater, where he mocks tweets from Mets fans. We also get Andy Martino, a Phillies fan, calling us awful people for our lack of empathy shown towards players who tested positive for COVID19.

We should note the complete lack of integrity in that Martino article. It paints the fanbase as unfeeling as a whole, which they weren’t. In fact, the vast majority showed concern.

It also does not have any attribution to the quotes. For all we know, he could’ve made it all up. We are also aware of the existence of trolls on the internet who make stuff up and say incendiary things just to rile people up on the internet. Those people are being treated as being genuine and representative of the fanbase.

Keep in mind, this was as disingenuous an article as you can write. Case in point was Martino’s article about the trades the Yankees should consider making with their injuries. You’ll note the complete lack of concern for the health of the players.

That’s all the more egregious when you consider what he wrote about Mets fans and the fact these Yankees players have to visit hospitals and medical facilities during a pandemic.

This selective morality for Martino should come as no surprise. There’s no article from him chastising Jeff Wilpon for firing Leigh Castergine. He also took no issue with the Mets bringing back Jose Reyes after he beat his wife.

But you know what Martino did write about? He wrote Mets fans were racists for booing Luis Castillo. He also wrote how a dirty player like Chase Utley, who broke Ruben Tejada‘s leg in the NLDS, should be more appreciated.

If you’re keeping track here, Martino has no issue with players who beat their wives or break other players legs. However, he really takes issue with fans.

The Wilpons and SNY knew what they were getting when they hired Martino. They not only hired him, but they continue to raise his profile within the network. They do it despite his dishonest work seeking to demean and antagonize the fanbase.

This is what the Wilpons have made SNY. If the Wilpons are able to maintain control of SNY after the sale, it’s what it will continue to be, that is, until the owner of the Mets gives them the same treatment they’ve given other media over the years.

Much like how the Mets are operated, Mets fans deserve better than SNY. They deserve better than Martino.

Citi Bracket: (1) David Wright vs. (13) Wilmer Flores

(1) David Wright – The franchise leader in nearly every offensive category and is widely considered to be the best position player in franchise history. Only homegrown Met to be named team captain. Dubbed Captain America for his exploits in the World Baseball Classic. Once named by Bill James as the perfect baseball player. Seven time All-Star, two time Gold Glove winner, and two time Silver Slugger. Hit the first Mets homer in Citi Field, and he hit the first ever World Series homer in Citi Field. Had perhaps the most emotional good-bye game we have ever seen a player in sports history ever have. A lifetime Met who had a hand in helping ensure Jacob deGrom does the same.

(13) Wilmer Flores – Player who loved being a Mets player so much, he cried on the field when he thought he was being traded. Came back to hit a walk-off homer to beat the Nationals. That was one of many walk-off hits, and he would become the Mets all-time leader in that category. Handled shortstop well defensively after Chase Utley tackled and broke Ruben Tejada‘s leg. Joined Edgardo Alfonzo as the only Mets players to go 6-for-6 in a game. Played all four infield positions in effort to do whatever team asked of him to help them win.

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Citi Bracket: (5) Johan Santana vs. (13) Wilmer Flores

(5) Johan Santana – Had first huge moment of Mets career taking ball on three days rest to pitch a complete game three hit shutout to keep Mets hopes alive. Was the last ever Mets pitcher to win a game at Shea Stadium. Was probably cheated of Cy Young that year with his leading league in ERA and IP while being narrowly second in WAR and ERA+. All Star in 2009. Threw the only no-hitter in Mets history after coming off of shoulder surgery. Took 134 pitches to do it, and it was effectively the end of his near Hall of Fame career.

(13) Wilmer Flores – Player who loved being a Mets player so much, he cried on the field when he thought he was being traded. Came back to hit a walk-off homer to beat the Nationals. That was one of many walk-off hits, and he would become the Mets all-time leader in that category. Handled shortstop well defensively after Chase Utley tackled and broke Ruben Tejada‘s leg. Joined Edgardo Alfonzo as the only Mets players to go 6-for-6 in a game. Played all four infield positions in effort to do whatever team asked of him to help them win.

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Citi Bracket: (4) Jose Reyes vs. (13) Wilmer Flores

(4) Jose Reyes – One of the most exciting and dynamic players in Mets history. Set team records for single season and career stolen bases. Mets all-time leader in triples. By WAR, best Mets SS and fifth best position player. Only Mets player to win a batting title. Four time All-Star. Returned to Mets after domestic violence suspension to take over third base. Hit bit homer against Phillies to help Mets claim Wild Card.

(13) Wilmer Flores – Player who loved being a Mets player so much, he cried on the field when he thought he was being traded. Came back to hit a walk-off homer to beat the Nationals. That was one of many walk-off hits, and he would become the Mets all-time leader in that category. Handled shortstop well defensively after Chase Utley tackled and broke Ruben Tejada‘s leg. Joined Edgardo Alfonzo as the only Mets players to go 6-for-6 in a game. Played all four infield positions in effort to do whatever team asked of him to help them win.

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Best Mets Of All Time: No. 34 Noah Syndergaard

It’s rare a team can trade the reigning Cy Young Award winner and make the trade look like an absolute steal. However, that is what happened when the Mets traded R.A. Dickey to the Toronto Blue Jays for a package which included Noah Syndergaard.

After the December 2012 trade, Syndergaard would have a somewhat interesting path to the majors. It included him trying to push his way to the majors partially to get away from the environment in Triple-A Las Vegas. He would also be ambushed by David Wright and Bobby Parnell in Spring Training with the duo throwing out his lunch. That strange odyssey led to him being truly ready in 2015.

The Mets first called him up in May when Dillon Gee hit the disabled list. Syndergaard would have a very impressive start to his Major League career. In his fourth career start, he hit his first Major League homer. In August, he would be named the National League Pitcher of the Week. He’d set a Major League record by becoming the first rookie since 1900 to have consecutive starts with nine strikeouts and no walks. This was a pitcher not only ready to debut; this was a pitcher ready for the biggest of stages – New York and the postseason.

He pitched well in his first postseason start, Game 2 of the NLDS, but he would get tagged with the loss partially because what should’ve been an inning ending double play was a blown call by second base umpire Chris Guccione when Chase Utley tackled and broke Ruben Tejada‘s leg. Syndergaard would get his revenge twice for this. The first time was his relief appearance in Game 5:

That relief appearance helped propel the Mets to the NLCS. Syndergaard would pitch again in Game 2 of the NLCS helping the Mets get a 2-0 series lead on the Cubs after striking out nine Cubs in 5.2 innings. He would not take the mound again until Game 3 of the World Series. With the Mets down 2-0, he would send a message to the Royals that he was 6’6″ away.”

The Mets would win that game and get back in the series. With that win, Syndergaard would become the first ever pitcher to win a World Series game at Citi Field. Unfortunately, he never got to take the mound again in what should’ve been an epic Game 7.

Instead, he took the mound in Kansas City for the second game of the 2016 season. In that game, he unleashed a wicked slider which would be a key to his having a great year, one which he was named an All Star for the first time in his career. Over his first two starts of the season, he tied a club record with Pedro Martinez and Dwight Gooden for the most strikeouts over the first two starts of the season (21).

In that season, Syndergaard developed not only that slider but also a chemistry with Rene Rivera. He would have a number of great games including his two home run game against the Dodgers.

That season, he would also get tossed from a game trying to exact revenge against Utley by throwing behind him. As if that moment was not iconic enough for Mets fans, it created the infamous Terry Collins rant video.

In that season, Syndergaard would lead the league in FIP and HR/9, and he would be second in the majors in pitcher WAR and third in ERA and ERA+. For some reason, he would only finish eighth in the Cy Young voting that year. Despite the voting, one thing was clear – Syndergaard had arrived on the scene as a true ace. The was the type of ace you wanted to give the ball to in a winner-take-all game, which is what the Mets did.

In the Mets first National League Wild Card Game, Syndergaard was phenomenal. Over seven innings, he actually out-pitched Madison Bumgarner, the greatest big game pitcher of his generation. Unfortunately, the Mets were not able to give him the support he needed, and ultimately, Jeurys Familia would allow a three run homer, and the Mets would be eliminated from the postseason.

One interesting fact about Syndergaard is he joined Al Leiter and John Franco as just the only Mets pitchers to pitch in elimination games in consecutive postseasons. Familia would join him in that feat as well.

After 2016, Syndergaard has had difficulty taking the leap we expected. In 2017, he had a torn lat, and as we recently discovered, in addition to the bone spurs in his elbow, he had a torn UCL. Despite the injuries, Syndergaard pitched like an ace level pitcher. For example, in 2019, he was 18th in the Majors in FIP, and he had the second best hard hit rate.

In fact, since his debut in 2015, Syndergaard has the 10th best WAR and FIP in the majors. During that time frame, he has also been etching his name onto the Mets record books. In fact, despite all the hand wringing some commentators have about his ability to strike people out, he has the second best K/9 in team history. He has also demonstrated exceptional control with the fourth best K/BB in team history.

In the end, he has the fourth best FIP in team history. He has also established himself as a big game pitcher who you can trust to take the ball with everything on the line. He has already established himself as the best Mets player to ever wear the number 34.

Previous

1.Mookie Wilson
2.Mackey Sasser
3. Curtis Granderson
4. Lenny Dykstra
5. David Wright
6. Wally Backman
7. Jose Reyes
8. Gary Carter

9. Todd Hundley
10. Rey Ordonez
11. Wayne Garrett
12. John Stearns

13. Edgardo Alfonzo
14. Gil Hodges
15. Carlos Beltran

16. Dwight Gooden
17. Keith Hernandez
18. Darryl Strawberry

19. Bob Ojeda
20. Howard Johnson
21. Cleon Jones
22. Al Leiter
23. Bernard Gilkey
24. Art Shamsky

25. Pedro Feliciano
26. Terry Leach
27. Jeurys Familia
28. Daniel Murphy

29. Frank Viola
30. Michael Conforto
31. Mike Piazza

32. Jon Matlack
33. Matt Harvey

Best Mets Of All-Time: No. 33 Matt Harvey

Right now, we are talking about whether Matt Harvey is able to be able to be an effective Major League pitcher again after he has struggled due to TOS. However, starting back in 2012, we talked about Harvey as the next great Mets pitcher, one who was fairly drawing comparisons to Tom Seaver, one who could lead the Mets to their next World Series.

Harvey dazzled right from the beginning. In his Major League debut he flashed a slider like we’ve never seen, and he set a new Mets record by striking out 11 batters in his debut. In that start, we saw someone who could be the next great pitcher in the game and in Mets history:

That first season was just a glimpse. The 2013 season was the stuff of legends. In 2013, Harvey captivated Mets fans, New York, and eventually all of baseball.

Starting with the numbers, his 2.01 FIP led the league. It is important to keep in mind that was better than Clayton Kershaw, who was back then in his prime and legitimately in the conversation as one of the best pitchers in baseball history (he still is). Between his greatness and the fact the game was being held at Citi Field, Harvey started the All-Star Game pitching two scoreless innings.

There are just so many great stories from that 2013 season. There was the “Harvey’s Better!” chants directed at Stephen Strasburg. There was the bloody nose game(s). There was the almost perfect game spoiled by Ruben Tejada not playing an Alex Rios grounder properly. To sum up how the Mets were then, Harvey didn’t even get the win despite allowing that one infield single over nine innings while striking out 12 because the Mets couldn’t score until the 10th inning.

That 2013 season remains one of the best in Mets history by any pitcher. At the time it happened, his FIP was the third best in team history, and his WHIP was the best ever. He was subsequently passed in both by Jacob deGrom. His K/BB is the best out of any non strike shortened season in team history. To put it succinctly, Harvey was absolutely dominant and pitching at a level only deGrom, Dwight Gooden, and Seaver could replicate.

Unfortunately, Harvey’s season ended with him needing Tommy John surgery. He resisted initially but eventually opted for the surgery. He pushed to pitch in 2014, but he would instead be held back and was ready to go in 2015.

Once again, Harvey taking the mound represented hope for the Mets franchise. While there may have been some early trepidation from fans, he quickly assuaged them by shutting out the Nationals over six innings in his first start of the season. It was the beginning of a strange and great year for Harvey and the Mets.

With this being the Mets and Scott Boras being Scott Boras, it was not one without controversy. First, there as Harvey uncomfortable with the six man rotation. Then, it was Boras trying to enforce previously agreed upon innings limits only for the Mets to get amnesia and try to prod Harvey to pitch anyway.

So Harvey continued to pitch, and he pitched more than anyone else has in their return from Tommy John surgery. He pitched and picked up the win the day the Mets clinched the National League East. He pitched and won a pivotal Game 3 of the NLDS. He pitched a great game against the Cubs to open the NLCS:

Over 7.2 innings, he allowed two earned on four hits and two walks while striking out nine. In that start, he set the tone. The Mets pitching was going to dominate the Cubs, and the Mets were going to sweep their way to the World Series.

In Game 1, even with Yoenis Cespedes completely misplaying a routine Alcides Escobar fly ball into an inside the park homer, he pitched well enough for the Mets to win, and they almost did that coming within a Jeurys Familia blown save and Bartolo Colon 14th inning meltdown of doing that. When Harvey took the mound again in Game 5, he gave everything he had to keep the Mets alive:

This was the moment Mets fans foresaw in 2013, and Harvey delivered with the type of game you expect from an ace. He pitched like an all-time great pitcher. At that time in history, it certainly seemed like Harvey was that and/or was going to be that.

Little did we know at the time that was going to be it for the 2015 Mets, their World Series window, and Harvey’s career. Things were just not right for Harvey in 2016. We eventually found out he suffered from TOS. That began a sad downward turn in his career, and it eventually led to his being traded to the Reds for Devin Mesoraco. In his limited time with the Reds, Harvey pitched well giving us all hope he has one more act in his career.

Before the TOS, Harvey was all over the Mets top 10 lists for pitchers. As it stands, he is still in the top 10 in BB/9, K/9, and K/BB. While not an official category, he is among the Mets leaders in giving a fan base hope and providing them with huge moments. Overall, he is the best Mets player to ever wear the number 33.

Previous

1.Mookie Wilson
2.Mackey Sasser
3. Curtis Granderson
4. Lenny Dykstra
5. David Wright
6. Wally Backman
7. Jose Reyes
8. Gary Carter

9. Todd Hundley
10. Rey Ordonez
11. Wayne Garrett
12. John Stearns

13. Edgardo Alfonzo
14. Gil Hodges
15. Carlos Beltran

16. Dwight Gooden
17. Keith Hernandez
18. Darryl Strawberry

19. Bob Ojeda
20. Howard Johnson
21. Cleon Jones
22. Al Leiter
23. Bernard Gilkey
24. Art Shamsky

25. Pedro Feliciano
26. Terry Leach
27. Jeurys Familia
28. Daniel Murphy

29. Frank Viola
30. Michael Conforto
31. Mike Piazza

32. Jon Matlack

Best Mets Of All Time: No. 11 Wayne Garrett

For many Mets fans, the number 11 is associated with Tim Teufel and the Teufel Shuffle, or Ruben Tejada, who went from frustrating player to folk hero when he was attacked by Chase Utley at second base in Game 2 of the 2015 NLDS. That said, when you go through Mets history, Wayne Garrett is the Mets player who wore number 11 who stands above the rest.

Garrett was first obtained from the Mets because the team felt they needed an effective backup to Bud Harrelson, who was dealing with knee issues in the offseason. As a result, the team obtained him in the Rule 5 Draft. As a Rule 5 pick, the Mets had to use him or lose him in 1969, so they would up using him.

During that 1969 season, he would bounce all over the infield. Ultimately, he would find himself in some sort of a rotation at second with Ken Boswell and Al Weis at second, but mostly, he played third where he split time with Ed Charles.

Over the first two months of the season, he was a sensation, and he would prove himself defensively. After the year wore on, he regressed significantly at the plate. In the game before the famous black cat game, Garrett broke the tie with a go-ahead RBI single in the sixth. As great as that was, his best work was in the postseason.

 

In the Mets shocking three game sweep of the favored Atlanta Braves, Garrett hit .385/.467/.769 with two doubles, a homer, and three RBI. It was his two run homer in Game 3 which put the Mets ahead for good and sent them to their first World Series. Garrett didn’t have much of an impression in the World Series, but he was a key part of that team nevertheless.

Garrett’s career from that point was marked by the Mets looking to bring someone over him, like Jim Fregosi, and Garrett outplaying and outlasting that player. The Mets were lucky that was the case as Garrett was one of the best players on that team. In fact, by WAR, Garrett was the best position player on that team.

In that 1973 season, Garrett hit .256/.348/.403, and he had a career best 4.3 WAR. More than that, he rose to the occasion. He hit leadoff and was a sparkplug. He would also lead the team in game winning hits. That included four in September when the Mets needed every last win they could get to win the division.

Garrett didn’t have many hits that 1973 postseason, but when he got them, he made sure they counted. In Game 2, he homered in the Mets victory. He would hit a lead-off homer in the next game, one which the Mets unfortunately lost.

Overall, Garrett would set what was then a World Series record with 11 strikeouts, and he would pop out to short to end the series. Still, there is no way the Mets ever get to that point without Garrett.

One interesting note to consider with Garrett was when he came to the Mets, they went from perennial loser to World Series champions. In his eight years with the Mets, they had a winning record in seven of those years. That’s a remarkable feat considering the Mets didn’t have a winning record in the their first seven years.

After the Mets traded him in 1976, the Mets would not have a winning record again until 1984. In fact, they’d finish in last place in five of the ensuing seven seasons. You can’t put all of that on him, but certainly moving on from a versatile player and leader like Garrett took its toll on the franchise.

By the time Garrett left the Mets, he was the all-time leader in games played at third. He was also fifth all-time in WAR among position players. He was also the all-time leader in walk rate, and he was second in OBP and walks. Today, he is still fifth all-time in walks, and he still has the best walk rate out of any Mets player who has played at least 500 games.

Overall, Garrett was an important player in Mets history, and to a certain extent, he was the first ever player who represented an answer to a murky third base position. He was a leader, could get on base, and ultimately, was the best Mets player to ever wear the number 11.

Editor’s Note: This is part of a series highlighting the best players in Mets history by highlighting the best Mets player to wear a particular uniform number. In this case, this is not saying Garrett was the 11th best player in Mets history, but rather the best Mets player to wear the number 11.

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1.Mookie Wilson
2.Mackey Sasser
3. Curtis Granderson
4. Lenny Dykstra
5. David Wright
6. Wally Backman
7. Jose Reyes
8. Gary Carter

9. Todd Hundley
10. Rey Ordonez