Wednesday, November 25, 2009

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Top New York Mets Turkeys Of All Time (Part Three)

Parts one and two of this series were from 2008, however 2009 was just so special that some new additions to the Mets Turkeys have made it.

Last year I forgot one of the all-timer turkeys (which in turn makes me a blogger turkey) in Jim Fregosi.  If you watched Mets Yearbook 1971 you know how excited the Mets were to get him.  In 146 games across two seasons he hit .243 with 5 HRs and 43 RBI.  Never mind how annoying trading Nolan Ryan for Fregosi was, the Mets sent him to Texas for a player to be named later.  Nolan Ryan for "send me someone when you get around to it."   Awful.

Another suggestion came in, and it's a good one.  Vince Coleman.   Like Bobby Bonilla and our next turkey was from the "if you can't beat 'em sign 'em" Mets philosophy (under this philosophy Chase Utley will be a Met around his 39th birthday).   Hit Dwight Gooden with a golf club, check.  Throw a firework, check.  Suspended?  Check.  Ever see a Coleman jersey at Citi Field?  Keep waiting.

Speaking of "if you can't beat 'em sign 'em" say you needed to win one game to save your season?   Seven runs in 1/3 of an inning to complete the 2007 choke.  61-56 as a Met but my lasting memory of Tom Glavine will always be that last day.

 Jeff Kent.  I'm pulling out of field 6 at Jones Beach and I put on WFAN.   The Mets have traded David Cone for Jeff Kent and Ryan Thompson.   What???    Thompson was a turkey but didn't play enough to be an all-time turkey.   Kent managed to win an MVP (elsewhere) and maybe even accumulate enough stats to make the Hall of Fame, but he'll always be hated around these parts.  He didn't like us and we didn't like him.  We won't see Jeff at too many Old Timer's Days not that we have those...I mean the team has only been around for 50 years.

Dan sent some over:

Steve Chilcott – The Mets had the first pick in the 1966 amateur draft.  Their scouts had focused on a young outfielder attending Arizona State University.  The kid had power and speed – he was a sure bet to advance though the system.  Yet as the draft drew near, the Mets changed their plans and drafted Steve Chilcott, a catcher out of Lancaster, CA.  The supposed reason?  The young OFer was black and his girlfriend was white.  Chilcott never played a game in the majors.  The young OFer is in the Hall of Fame – Reggie Jackson.

Frank Viola – In 1988 Viola won the AL Cy Young with the Twins going 24-7.  After starting 1989 at 8-12, the Twins traded Viola to the Mets for Rick Aguliera and a cast of others.  Viola spent 2 ½ years with the Mets going 38-32 before departing as a free agent.   Even though his record wasn’t that bad, he never really lived up to his hype.  Meanwhile Aguliera spent 11 years in Minnesota racking up 254 saves.

George Bamberger, Jeff Torborg, Dallas Green, Art Howe – All managers with winning records brought to the Mets to try an invigorate them, only to fail miserably.

Shawn Abner, Tim Leary, Jason Tyner, Terry Blocker, Billy Beane et al – Yeah, every team has their stories about draft picks that didn’t make it, but this is a blog about the Mets.  For some reason these guys were all hyped more than others and never quite did anything

Mike weighed in with this one:

Jeff Torborg:   Anybody who sat through the daily Mike and the Mad Dog interviews with Torborg knows how bad a manager he was.  For those who don't remember, Torborg signed a contract with WFAN to do a daily spot with Mike and the Mad Dog and by June it was the most painful thing to listen to--the radio equivalent of not being able to turn away from a massive car crash.

The person most grateful to see Torborg fired was the sponsor.

Now on to 2009.  Doesn't this picture make you mad?  No the Yankees didn't just win the World Series in this photo, they just won a Subway Series game because Luis Castillo can't catch a pop-up.  We'll be talking about that one 50 years from now.  Congrats Luis, you are an unforgettable Met.

The Promenade.   I'm tempted to go all-in and name the entire ballpark a turkey, but it has some nice aspects...but the upper deck is a turkey.  How you could sell someone this seat and expect not to lose a customer is beyond me.   I don't know how this happened, but the Promenade is a terrible place to see the game, and in left field you can't see the left fielder.   They made better ballparks 100 years ago.

David Howard.   I don't think he's actually a Batman villain, but I have no idea what he looks like and pictures of him on the intertubes are rare.   Dave makes our list because he's a spinmeister.  Although he scored some rare points with me over the weekend, it's really hard to un-turkey.   Dave makes the list because of this:   Mets Today did a great recap of his interview with Francesca, from which we excerpt.

The way we characterize “obstructed” is if you have an obstruction, something in front of you — a beam, a pillar, something that’s blocking your view. That’s not the case here. It is a function of the geometry of the building. And it is a conscious decision that we made along with the designers and the architects, that we wanted people to be lower and closer to the field, and have great views, and great views of the action
Wait, so you're saying it was deliberate not to be able to see the game?

Yes I understand the issue in the left field promenade reserve, I understand the issue with the Pepsi porch, that was, again, intentional, to bring the seats low and close, and overhang the field, it’s a great perspective, it’s very cool, it’s very popular, we understand the concern, it’s the lowest-priced seat in the building, it’s still a great seat, and we still feel we’re delivering a tremendous value to our customers.

Gobble gobble.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  (Still more to come today, and all weekend, we're not packing it in.)

Part one of this series.

Part two of this series.

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