Dumbfounded and yet not surprised.
I contemplate the fate of Great Pedro
Pedro the fastest horse in the pennant race
on many an occasion,
will not be posted this post season.
Pedro’s health issues have been getting worse and worse
with each passing week.
I am sad this rainy autumn day
because of our collective Queens dream
which is to see Pedro pitching in the World Series again
and in a Mets uniform.
This guy lives for the post season.
And we live
(at least some compartment in our lives)
to see him fulfill that destiny.
Was he concealing these injuries?
but its probably not a Carl Pavano situation
where the story keeps getting weirder and weirder
like the movie Larger Than Life
with Bill Murray
and oh by the way I forgot to mention
the cracked ribs
the sex model
(with more cracked ribs)
the 18 wheeler
the alcohol content
and the seven midgets
Its just Pedro, the frail, welterweight Pedro,
falling apart prematurely
and allowing the force of nature
to deprive us of a Hall of Fame pitching performance
in the Series.
This has been a tough week for Mets fans,
and heart-breaking at the same time.
Time for long walks in autumn leaves.
A time for reflection.
Both ankles injured?
Lucky he’s not a racehorse.
But he is a thoroughbred,
and like Stewball in the song,
they will let him drink wine not water,
and he probably won’t be
a short reliever
even in a long series.
The Kentucky Derby will race past him
crying in the dugout, forgotten.
We will feel a twinge of emptiness as they/we pass the finish line
flambouyant colors blurred by time
and we won’t know why.
Jose Reyes’ Heroic Next-To-Impossible Daring Drive To Break the 200 Hit Barrier copyright c 2006 Evan Pritchard
On Friday, September 22nd, Reyes was stuck at 185 hits with a long way to go. It looked like his chances at breaking the 200 hit barrier was slowly and painfully slipping away. It was then that I decided to post the Amazine article about Reyes and Jeter and 200 hits on this site, which I had been trying to sell to some major NY City-based members of the 5th estate. The word was out, Reyes was going to sit. No one wanted the story any more. At just before 5:00 PM I got inspired to send Reyes a hard copy of the article, express mail overnight to Shea Stadium along with a letter. At first I was told I’d missed the express mail truck, then the express truck encountered an unexpected problem and was there an extra half hour. The postal employees, amazed, said it had never happened before. I took it as a convenient sign from God to send the letter. I suggested he respectfully ask to play these next “meaningless” games and give them a great deal of meaning by becoming only the second player in a Met uniform to get 200 hits.
I don’t know if he ever got the hastily written letter, or read it, but he certainly has been lucky since Saturday morning as regards getting 200 hits, a dramatic turnaround, and most significantly, he has been playing and not sitting. I thought it would be appropriate to keep track of his success here at this posting. Because of last week, it is still a long shot, but he is catching up and now only needs two hits a day to keep pace.
On Friday, the Mets lost to Washington 3 to 2. Reyes did not start, but sat on the bench for the second time in a week. He pinch hit once and made an out. He remained at 185 hits.
On Saturday, September 23rd, starting time 1:20 PM, Reyes went 3 for 3 with 3 rbis (to bring his rbi total to 80) with one double (30) and 2 base on balls to regain his .300 average and lead the Mets to a 12-6 victory. This brought his hit total to 188.
On Sunday September 24th, Reyes went 1 for 3 with one base on balls, and two stolen bases (60) in a 5-1 loss the the Nats. This brought his hit total for the season to 189.
On Monday, September 25th, Reyes went 2 for 5 and stole two more bases (62) to bring his hit total to 191, and his batting average to .301.
We will continue to keep track of Reyes’ hitting this week to see how close he can come to 200 hits. He needs one more homer to become a 20-homer “slugger;” and only four more stolen bases to tie Roger Cedeno for the franchise record for stolen bases at 66, which by the way will tie them for 73rd on the all time stolen bases list in a season, together, and 40th on the list for modern baseball (since 1901). One stolen base more (67) and he will break the Mets franchise record and tie Joe Morgan’s record of 67 stolen bases, set both in 1973 and 1975 with the Reds, 66th on the all-time list (which goes back to 1883) and 35th on the modern-day list since 1901.
Reyes already has 80 ribbies, 30 doubles, 17 triples, 66 extra base hits, a remarkable year. He needs two hits a day to arrive at 201. This is going to go down to the wire. Let’s cheer Jose on, and also cheer for him to stay healthy.
By the way Jeter already crossed that particular finish line and now has 200 hits.
Tues. Sept. 26 Reyes was shut down along with the rest of the team.
Wed. Sept. 27th Reyes got one hit, (192)a double and stole a base (62)
Thurs. Sept. 28th Reyes got two hits (194) and stole two bases (64)
Fri. Sept. 29th: Reyes rested.
Sat. Sept. 30th. Reyes played in a high scoring game (13-0) but did not get a hit.
Sunday, October 1st, last day of the regular season. Reyes did not play, but again a high scoring game in which he might have gotten 6 at bats.
To find out why 200 hits are so significant, click this link to the Amazine Virtual Hall of Fame. amazinehalloffame.blogspot.com.
Announcement: The Amazine “You Gotta Believe It Or Not” Virtual Hall of Fame Opens its Electronic Doors on the Autumnal Equinox of 2006.
An historic moment in the annals of baseball to say the least! We would like to announce the creation of the new Virtual Hall of Fame at amazinehalloffame.blogspot.com. At this amazing website, you will find complete and partial listings for major league stats you never heard of, or perhaps heard of only through this website. We are sure that these unusual stats will make you see the game of baseball as you’ve never seen it before.
As these new lists are created, we will incorporate them here as they relate to current events in Mets baseball, and then migrate the Hall of Fame lists to the other site as time goes by. Left behind for your pleasure will be scattered links to the hidden hall of heroics that can be persued by baseball hounds who are interested in discovering the untold history of the game.
We know that these long lists that were previously incorporated into the main blog, tended to make it difficult to scroll down and find even recent articles, so for some of you this new format will make it more convenient to scroll down to previous Amazine articles.
Mets and Yankees Shortstops On Track For 200 Hits This YearDerek Jeter on familiar turf, but young Met Reyes may enter exclusive club for first time Copyright © 2006 Evan Pritchard
One really exclusive club is the 200 plus hit club. Other than .400 hitters, Cy Young Award Winners and pitchers with more than 300 wins, the 200 hit hitter is one of the rarest of animals in baseball. Ted Williams never did it. Carl Yastrzemski never did it. Mickey Mantle never did it. Roger Maris never did it. In fact during the 20th Century, 1901 to 2000, only 210 different players hit 200 or more base hits in a single season. Former Met Mike Piazza became the 195th man in the 20th Century to hit 200 plus hits in 1997 for the Dodgers with 201. The three years that followed were filled with hitting records that are now under suspicion due to revelations about steroid use, some of that stirred up by the publication of Juiced by Jose Canseco, and 15 more new names were added to the list before 2001 began. .But for most of baseball’s modern history, the 200 hit hitter was a rare breed, and most of their names are the kind that send chills of awe down your spine and a jolt of recognition to awaken your sleeping baseball soul; names like Shoeless Joe Jackson, Nap LaJoie, Ty Cobb, Rogers Hornsby, and Pie Traynor. These are the Beethovens, Bachs and Brahmses of baseball genius.
Not all are Hall of Famers like these, but the names of most of the non-Hall of Fame inductees who hit 200 hits a season one way or another became part of the Arthurian Romance of Baseball anyway, their names acquiring a certain musical ring. Guys who break the H2C barrier find that nicknames become attached to them and their deeds like bees to honey. They can’t help it. “Baby Doll Jacobsen, “Jigger” Statz, and “Cy” Seymour are not the biggest names in baseball, but they are some of the most colorful—and they all hit over 200 hits at least once. Add to that “Ripper” Collins, “Pinky” Whitney, and “Chick” Fullis and a few others and you get the idea that 200 hit hitters are a flamboyant crowd, and you’d be right. I think I was twelve years old before it occurred to me that “Babe” was an odd first name for a grown man, but many 200 plus hitters have handles that are much stranger. In fact, of the 210 players, there are about 40 whose names—at least to my ear—are almost unrecognizable without the nickname affixed to the left side of it on the page. Joe Medwick could be your grocer, but “Ducky” Medwick, now THAT’S a ballplayer!
Last night Reyes came to the plate in the bottom of the ninth, the Mets behind 6-3. The bases were loaded with two outs. Reyes already had two hits and two rbis on the night, and was looking for third hit, a walk off grand slam home run in fact. The count went to 3-2, the tension was unbearable. He fouled off pitch after pitch. Finally he got something he could hit, and yet he only managed a short fly for the last out of the game. But it was almost history. It would have been the Mets 93rd victory, and 6 more rbis for Reyes. It would have been his 186th hit of the year, bringing him to within 14 of the 200 mark for the year. Why is this important?
At the beginning of September, Mets shortstop Jose Reyes was leading the National League in hits, and on track to make 200 hits this year. As of Sunday morning of September 10th, Reyes had 172 hits, (batting .300) tied with Miguel Cabrera of the Marlins, Chaz Utley of the Phils and Freddy Sanchez of the Pirates, who have been neck and neck these last few weeks. They have now all been passed by Holliday of the Rockies (173) and Pierre of the Chicago Cubs (174).
Over in the AL, Derek Jeter was even closer, with 186 hits (batting .343) but he is one of those “names” already. He has made the grade many times, but now has a shot at 220, which would be his personal best record so far. Since the Yankees have only played 140 games, he is on track for hitting 215 (186 x 1.157).Jeff Mauer of the Twins who leads the league in batting average, only had 159 hits by Sunday’s deadline, and is not a serious 200-hit contender. Miguel Tejada of Baltimore had the same number of hits as Jeter on Sunday, but was batting .332, 11 points behind Jeter. M. Young of Texas is leading the AL with 189 hits, but his .312 average may allow Jeter to slide past him over the next two weeks.
As of Sunday (9/10/06) , the Mets had played 141 games, the Phils and Marlins had played 142, and the Pirates had played 143. Colorado and Chicago had played 142 also. To project Reyes full season totals, multiply times 1.15 (162 divided by 141 games played). Because of the difference in games played, to project Utley’s year-end totals, multiply times 1.14 and to project Sanchez’ year-end totals multiply times 1.13.
Based on this reckoning, Reyes will hit 197.8 hits this year. With a little hot streak, he could hit 200 right on the nose, or fall just short (like Babe Ruth did in 1931). As of the 10th of September, Chaz Utley was on track to hit 196 hits, and Sanchez was on track to hit 194 hits. Holliday was on track to get 197 and Pierre was on course to collect 198. Although Reyes chances of hitting the mark are a little uncertain, his chances are virtually tied with Pierre, behind by two or three tens of a hit, and ahead of all other NL players. If he does make it, he will enter into one of the most exclusive class of athletes in the world.
If Reyes makes it, and gets those two or three extra base hits that put him over the top, we’ll have to call him “Roadrunner” Reyes; it sort of makes him sound more “old-timey,” like “Skeeter” Bigbee, who got 204 base hits for the Pirates in 1921. Call it a tradition.
I made an in-depth study of this phenomenon and some of my findings may surprise some readers. For one thing, during the 20th Century, any time a man hit over 200 hits, it was better than even odds that he’d end up in the Hall of Fame. During the course of the 20th century (1901 to 2000) 210 players broke the bank for 200 plus hits; an average of just under two times per player, for a total of 413 times. 210 of those times, the player was headed for the Hall of Fame, better than half the time. (That’s not including switch-hitting Pete Rose who did it ten times, the Major League record, but who has been kept out of the Hall for other reasons. If he ever gets in, the number will be 220 for the century that a Hall of Famer broke 200.)
Of those 210 players, a total of 68 have already been inducted into the Hall of Fame, and many more will follow in the near future, as no player can be inducted until five years after retirement, and five years have passed since the end of the century. These numbers are skewed by the time lag of being elected to the Hall. All but one of those Hall of Famers broke 200 before 1990, when it had been accomplished only 372 times, so Pete Rose notwithstanding, that’s 67 Hall of Famers—out of a group of 180 actual players (37% went to Cooperstown) hitting 200 or more hits in a season before 1990. At that point, those 67 Hall of Famers had broken the mark 205 times (an average of 3.06 times per player, as opposed to the overall average of 2.06 times for each of 180, and 1.48 times each by the 113 non-Hall players, who did it a total of 167 times.) This is a meaningful percentage that should project through to the end of the century.
In 1927 all of the eight men who broke 200 hits ended up in the Hall. In 1932, all nine did. In 1930, 14 out of the 18 players who totaled 200 or more hits in that bumper year were later inducted at Cooperstown. The year before, 1929, had been even better for hitters; 19 men crossed the line, only 12 of whom later went to the Hall. In 1935, ’36 and ’37, 12 men crossed the 200 line each year. Half of those 36 times, the guy who did it was a future Hall of Famer.
When Babe Ruth entered the 200 plus group in 1921, he was only the 32nd player to do so in the century, and it was the 49th time it had happened. It was also the 32nd time it had been done by a future Hall of Famer, of which he was the 17th. This means that more than half of the 200 hit hitters to that time were bound for Cooperstown and each did it twice on the average, (the other non-inductee players averaged about once each) dominating the event 2 out of 3 times.
However, the feat of getting 200 hits does not guarantee a place at the Hall, even for certified non-gamblers. Steve Garvey did it six times and never made the Hall. Vada Pinson did it four times, no statue. Jack Tobin did it four times, no plaque in the museum. Johnny Pesky did it three times, during a dead-ball era, but some of those hits were homers into the short porch at Fenway Park. Don Mattingly did it three times, but is not in the Hall of Fame either. But those are exceptions, and many would argue that all of them should be in the Hall. After all, they accomplished at least three times what Ted Williams and Mel Ott never did once.
Another surprising thing is that many of those who make the grade were light-weight, skinny, short guys with fast legs, just like Reyes. But that’s a somewhat subjective description, and a subject for further study.
Another amazing thing is that a large number of them batted left handed, just like Jose Reyes does. Why is that? When you think about it, the left handed hitter is already a step towards first base while batting. The lefty is almost two feet closer to first than the righty, and as he swings, his momentum takes him toward first, whereas the bat pulls the righty batter towards third.
Most times the difference between an infield single and an out is less than a step, so that jump out of the box is more than enough to make a difference of two dozen or so hits, perhaps more. Lefties don’t dominate home run records, or even doubles, as far as I’ve seen. But they do dominate the 200 hit club, and that’s one pretty obvious reason.
There were 56 major leaguers during the 20th century who hit 218 hits or greater in a single season, many of them repeat customers. Of those 56, 35 batted exclusively left handed, three were switch hitters who batted left and right, and only 18 were exclusively right handed. In other words, only 32% were right-handed hitters, less than one in three. The other 69% could bat left. The total percentage of major league batters today who can swing from the left side tends to run just below 50%, far above the national average, but far below the percentage of lefties in the 218 and up bracket, about 20% less. I am sure Derek Jeter would find it amusing to know, as a right handed hitter who got 219 hits in 1999, that he was a minority.
The greatest right handed hitter in the 218 and up bracket was Rogers Hornsby, who broke the 200 barrier seven times. He and Al Simmons bucked a very strong trend; but the top numbers of hits in a season belong to left handed people like Ichiro Suzuki of our own century, who broke the all time record at 262 back in 2004, and to people with names like “Lefty” as in “Lefty” O’Doul (in1929 he hit 254). Ty Cobb, a lefty, got 248 hits in 1911, and spiked his way into the 200 club nine times, even lefty Lou Gehrig only did it eight times. George Sisler was another left-handed hitter who hit 257 hits in 1920 and broke 200 four times. Perhaps the most famous lefty of all, Babe Ruth, broke 200 only three times. It’s not an easy thing to do—slightly easier than throwing a no-hitter, accomplished less than 100 times in the course of the 20th century.
Bill Terry, Chuck Klein, Babe Herman, Heinie Manush, Wade Boggs, Jesse Burkett, Tris Speaker, and Richie Ashburn—all exclusively left handed hitters, all had 200 plus hits, all are in the Hall of Fame. Both Paul and Lloyd Waner of the Pittsburgh Pirates (“Big Poison” and “Little Poison” respectively, solid citizens of the Hall of Fame, (in case you’re not from Pittsburgh) were both left handed. Together these brothers graced the 200 Club eleven times.
Zack Wheat, Tony Gwynn, Stan Musial, Cecil Cooper, Ralph Garr, Cy Seymore, and Rod Carew were all left handed, not to mention lefty Wee Willie Keeler of the Brooklyn Superbas who broke 200 for the last time in 1901.
Until 1998, no Kansas City or Oakland Athletics players, Houston Colts or Astros ever did it. No Rangers did it until 1979, no Orioles did it until 1980 (including all those 60s and 70s World Series lineups!) . No Rockies or Mariners player did it until 1996. No Diamondbacks did it until 1999. The first California or Los Angeles Angel did it in 1970; the second one wasn’t until 2000. No one at all did it in 1902, 1913, 1914, 1952, 1960, 1972, 1981, 1990, 1994, and 1995.
No National League player did it between 1912 and 1919, between 1940 and 1942, or between 1990 and 1995. No American Leaguer did it between 1951 and1952, between 1956 and 1961, or between 1965 and 1970. But Reyes might just do it this year. He might get 200 hits…if everything goes right!
Half way through the century, Jackie Robinson did it for the first and only time in his life. In fact he was only the 116th man to do so in the 20th century. Reyes is starting to hear occasional comparisons to the great Jackie Robinson. Cracking 200 hits would put some weight behind those claims.
• Another surprise is that only one Met in history clocked over 200 hits in a Met uniform, a player named Lance Johnson, (1996:227 #186 on our list, presuming he was the first that year to cross the 200 line) and surprisingly few Yankees ever did it more than once, the notable exceptions being Don Mattingly (#173 on our list, who did it three times, in 1984:207; 1985:211; 1986:238) Babe Ruth (#32 on our list) who also did it three times, and just barely (1921:204;1923:205; and 1924: 200), the first Yankee on the list; Earle Combs (#51 on the list) (1925: 203; 1927:231; 1929:202) and Jeter who did it three times during the 20th century, (#201) (in 1998:203; 1999: 219; 2000: 201). Yankee legend Lou Gehrig (#56) did it eight times during his career, (1927:218; 1928:210;1930:220; 1931:211; 1932:208; 1934:210; 1936:205; 1937:200) which is why we named an important disease after him.
• Reaching the goal one time only during their whole career as Yankees were Joe DiMaggio (1937:215) , “Red” Rolfe (1939:213) “Snuffy” Stimweiss (1944:205) “Scooter” Rizzuto (1950:200) Bobby Richardson (1962:209) and Steve Sax (1989:205) On the other hand, before 1954, a player broke the barrier 24 times wearing a Cleveland Indians uniform, to the Yankees 15. (The St. Louis Browns had one less than the Yankees at that point in history!)
• Jeter, by the way, will almost certainly hit 200 by the last day of this season, and it help him win the MVP if he does. If he and Reyes both make it, it will be the first time a Met and a Yankee have done it in the same year. Reyes has a chance to boldly go where only one Met has done before, and only eleven Yankees in a hundred years. Seems like a horse race to watch!
THE 200 HIT CLUB IN THE 20th CENTURY
In 1900, baseball was just emerging from the primordial ooze of 300 hit hitters and 400 inning pitchers. In 1900, Wee Willie Keeler of The Brooklyn Superbas got 209 hits. The same year, Jesse Burkett of the St. Louis Cardinals hit 203. Honus Wagner of the Pirates hit 201 and Elmer Flick of the Phillies hit an even 200. The American league was created on day one of the new century, in 1901 and things were beginning to settle down into recognizable life forms. The century that followed will always be the foundation of baseball history.
On our Virtual Hall of Fame 200+ hitter webpage you will find a complete list as far as I know of all the 200+ hitters during the century. Here below is a list from 1901 to Babe Ruth. As you read through the names on this list, notice how many have the resonance of ancient heroes of mythology and stir the ancestral blood of the true baseball fan. There is an unforgettable quality about a 200 hit hitter, and I believe Reyes has that quality and that he will make it into the immortal band, God and the ghost of Charlie Shea willing.
In each case I’ve listed the National League first, high to low, then the American. In 1914, a Mr. Somebody Kauff hit 211 for some team in Indiana for the Federal League, but that league went the way of the dodo.
An asterisk means the player was inducted to the Hall of Fame. The names in caps are players that were Mets at some time in history. The number at the end is their historical numerical order. Instead of trying to determine who hit their 200th on what day, they are numbered high to low, National League to American, by year. For example in 1920 Rogers Hornsby became only the 16th player in the 20th century to hit 200; In 1923 Pie Traynor became only the 40th.
1901 Jesse Burkett, St. Louis Cards 226 * #1
1901 “Wee Willie” Keeler, Brooklyn Superbas 202 * #2
1901 “Nap” LaJoie, Cleveland (Naps) 232 * #3
1903 “Ginger” (Clarence) Beaumont, Pittsburgh Pirates 209 #4
1904 “Nap” LaJoie, Cleveland (Naps) 208 *
1905 “Cy” Seymour, Cincinnati Reds 219 #5
1905 Mike Donlin, New York Giants 216 #6
1906 “Nap” LaJoie Cleveland Indians 214 *
1906 George Stone St. Louis Cards 208 #7
1907 Ty Cobb Detroit Tigers 212 * #8
1908 Honus “The Flying Dutchman” Wagner Pitts Pirates 201 * #9
1909 Ty Cobb Detroit Tigers 216 *
1910 “Nap” LaJoie Cleveland Indians 227 *
1911 Ty Cobb Detroit Tigers 248 *
1911 “Shoeless Joe” Jackson Cleveland Indians 233 * #10
1911 Sam “Wahoo” Crawford Detroit Tigers 217 * #11
1912 Heinie Zimmerman Chicago Cubs 207 #12
1912 Bill Sweeney Boston Braves 204 #13
1912 “Shoeless Joe” Jackson Cleveland Indians 226 *
1912 Ty Cobb Detroit Tigers 226 *
1912 Tris “Grey Eagle” Speaker Boston Red Sox 222 * #14
1912 Frank “Home Run” Baker Philadelphia Phillies 200 * #15
1915 Ty Cobb Detroit Tigers 208 *
1916 Tris Speaker Cleveland Indians 211 *
1916 “Shoeless” Joe Jackson Chicago White Sox 202 *
1916 Ty Cobb Detroit Tigers 201 *
1917 Ty Cobb Detroit Tigers 225 *
1920 Rogers “The Rajah” Hornsby St. Louis Cards 218 * #16
1920 Ross Youngs New York Giants 204 * #17
1920 Milt Stock St. Louis Cards 204 #18
(father in law of Eddie Stanky)
1920 Gorgious George Sisler St. Louis Browns 257 * #19
1920 Eddie “Cocky” Collins Chicago White Sox 224 * #20
1920 “Shoeless Joe” Jackson Chicago White Sox 218 *
1920 “Baby Doll” Jacobsen St. Louis Browns 216 #21
1920 Tris “Grey Eagle” Speaker Cleveland Indians 214 *
1920 Sam “Man O’War” Rice Washington Senators 211 * #22
1920 “Buck” Weaver Chicago White Sox 208 #23
1920 Jack Tobin St. Louis Browns 202 #24
1921 Rogers “The Rajah” Hornsby St. Louis Cards 235 *
1921 Frankie Frisch (The Fordham Flash) New York Giants 211 * #25
1921 “Skeeter” (Carson) Bigbee Pittsburgh Pirates 204 #26
1921 Jimmy Johnston Brooklyn Dodgers 203 #27
1921 Austin McHenry St. Louis Cards 201 #28
1921 Harry “Slug” Heilmann Detroit Tigers 237 * #29
1921 Jack Tobin St. Louis Browns 236
1921 Gorgeous George Sisler St. Louis Browns 216 *
1921 “Baby Doll” Jacobsen, St. Louis Browns 211 #30
1921 Bobby Veach Detroit Tigers 207 #31
1921 “Babe” Ruth New York Yankees 204 * #32
We will end here with Babe Ruth, the 32nd player to make more than 200 hits. To see the complete list of all players to make the mark, click the link to the Amazine Virtual Hall of Fame. www.amazinehalloffame.blogspot.com.
METS CLINCH NL EAST PENNANT, DANCE AROUND, JUMP ON EACH OTHER, YELL, AND SO FORTH(and so you should too!)
copyright c 2006 Evan Pritchard
Willie Randolph announced the victory of the Tao of Mets baseball way of life over Atlanta Braves Machiavellian philosophy today in a special dispensation from the mound at Shea. With both Roshashana and Ramadan starting on Friday, and recognizing the significance of a lunar eclipse at the advent of the autumnal equinox all at the same time, he has asked that the millions of expatriate Mets fans around the world and from Orlando Florida to Seattle WA rejoice in victory but to remember to celebrate peacefully over the next 13 days. He especially invoked them not to use bully language such as “Willie Randolph’s grandmother could play better than you,” etc. and “Eat my Met dust!”
He has asked that Mets fans restrain themselves from violent revelry such as cow tipping, pushing over Don Zimmer, or setting cars on fire in a circle around Yankee Stadium, and dancing themselves into a trance by their rosy light.
Amazine agrees wholeheartedly; “Save it for the World Series!” (Just kidding)
These are to be considered taboo in the newly emerging New York Mets religion, “The Tao of Mets” which will take its place in spiritual history besides the Red Sox “Seventh Game Adventists,” the Cubs ancient “Bear-Cult Society,” the Senators’ “Cellar Dwellers Anonymous,” the Yankees “Sacrificial Ring-Worship Cult ” (recently supplanting Berra’s Integral Yogi) the Red Sox BLOHARDS “Benevolent Loyal Order of Historically Astute Red Sox Diehards,” the Braves “Southern Ressurection Church,” the Dodgers “Laidback Waycool Path of Wow,” and of course the White Sox “Field of Dreams Church of Baseball Salvation.”
After the great Mets diasporah from Queens during the first years of this century, (after the World Series loss to the Yankees, followed by the tragedy of 9-11) Mets believers spread far and wide across this great land, and have remained scattered until this time. They struggled to find unity before today. DLP and I have walked the highways and byways of this land and have found throngs of expatriated and exterpated Mets fans in every stadium in America. Long underground, they are now sprouting up like armies out of the desert, ready to do battle with rude and rowdy Yankee fans or whomever, wherever the clash happens to take place.
It was a great game today for the Mets. Steve Traschel pitched his best game since September 28th, 1998, when he also pitched 6. 1/3 shutout innings to give the NL Central wildcard to the Cubs and offer hope to Chicago that the Cubs might break their goat-infested World Series championship curse. In fact, he did not pitch in the ensuing playoffs, brief tho they were. It looks to us like he is gunning for a chance to play in real playoffs before the Big Train that takes tired pitchers eventually to their eternal home takes him as well.
The plucky Traschel gave up only 3 hits and 1 walk, to bring the Mets their 5th Eastern Division championship in 45 years and seventh postseason berth. The Mets drew 46,729 tonight in attendance and passed 3 million for the year. Did I mention the Mets won 4-0? It was fitting that Trax won us the pennant because he is tied for second in the NL for wins. After giving up the “pitch that no one will remember who threw,” (Steve Traschel, oh yeah the guy who threw that pitch to Mark McGwire) its fitting that he is now known around Corona Park as Mr. Lucky!
The Braves will not win anything this year. They had won 14 consecutive division pennants, but have only been in the NL east the last 11 years. The Mets will face them again September 26th-28th. The Mets are .500 or better against all National League teams.
The Mets have scored a total of 123 first inning runs this year, thanks alot to Jose Reyes, who also has a stunning total of 6 leadoff homers to start a game. The Mets have won 29 out of 44 one-run games played so far this year. They are now 91-58, and have a shot at 100 wins with 13 to play, that is if they go 9 and 4 or better in the remaining games.
Jose Reyes had two hits, and now has 183 hits on the season, and needs 17 hits in the next 13 games to enter the 200 hit club, a very suspenseful situation for those who realize the significance of this mark. Here at Amazine, we will keep track of those 17 hits as they come down the pike during the next two weeks against weak (read: Braves) pitching.
One very fine sign was that Jose Valentin broke out of his lumber-slumber and hit his 16th homer in the 3rd, a two run shot, and then his 17th homer in the 5th, a solo shot. Just three more homers and he will reach the rank of “Slugger” in the Amazine Hall of Fame, and if Reyes hits one more, that will give the Mets their “Fearsome Fivesome,” if just barely, joining a very select group of teams through history that had a lineup with five “sluggers” in it. There have been a number of teams with two 30+ home run hitters AND three 20+ hitters the same lineup, rarely the other way around.
The 1964 Twins did it and added one; 49, 32, 32, 25, 23, and 20. In 1986 the Twins had two 30+ and three 20+ sluggers, like our Mets.
The Rangers have been the slugging sensation for a while; In 2003 their lineup had 47, 38, 29, 26 and 24 home runs, respectively, two 30+ three 20+. In 2004 their sluggers had 38, 32, 28, 26 and 22 home runs, again two 30+ and three 20+, like our Mets just might.
The 1979 Red Sox had 39, 39, 28, 21, and 21 and the 1984 Red Sox lineup had 43, 32, 28, 27, and 24 home runs, while the 1998 Red Sox had 40, 35, 29, 23 and 23, all three years two 30+ and three 20+.
The 2003 Red Sox, one of the great homer-heaven ball clubs, had only two sluggers with 30+ homers, but 4 of the 20+ variety; they hit 37, 31, 28, 28, 25 and 25.
Let us also mention the 2004 Yankees, who had three 30+ homer hitters but also three 20+; 36, 36, 31, 23, 22, and 21 respectively.
The 1976 Red Sox had a slugging lineup with 39, 33, 30, 28 and 26 homers respectively, a rare combination of three 30+ with two 20+ sluggers. That was the year of the Carlton Fisk Spoon Bending Demonstration in the World Series at Fenway. (Scientists say he actually bent that foul pole back 6 inches with his eyeballs, aided of course by the special hand gestures that moved the ball six inches to the left by sympathetic magic. It was the same technique I used to make Bill Buckner miss that grounder.
Valentin now has 17 homers, Reyes now has 19 homers, Wright has 24, Delgado has 38 and Beltran has 40. (One more to beat franchise record in case you’re interested, Todd Helton. Look out!) Now if we added those 11 or so homers that Wright hit in the Home Run Hitting Contest, that would make THREE 30+…well never mind!
In any case, let us enjoy the moment and celebrate this historic season.
The Mets have not been able to attain supreme victory for several days and are asking all of you for your prayers, even if you are the Dalai Lama. Please pray for the removal of all obstacles for them, in their quest for the supreme attainment. Pray for stainless virtue in the field and at the plate, so that they main not be detained in what passes in the National League for enlightenment. May we all enter into Nirvana on Monday night at Shea after overcoming the Samsara of Pittsburgh for three days.
Paul Lo Duca notwithstanding, there’s been way too much Dukkha (suffering) down there, and not enough Lila.
Crowd and Player Reaction in Party Pooper Pittsburgh Reminiscent of Good Times After Bobby Thompson’s Home Run
copyright c 2006 Evan Pritchard for Amazine
There was no walk off home run on Saturday or Sunday for the Pirates, but the crowd and player reaction to beating the Mets was similar to the pandemonium for Bobby Thompson’s home run that beat the hated Dodgers in 1951.
I didn’t hear the Pittsburgh broadcast but as the Pirates’ players mobbed each other on the field after spoiling the Mets pennant-clincher on Saturday, I could just imagine what they said:
THE METS DONT WIN THE PENNANT!!!
THE METS DONT WIN THE PENNANT!!!
THE METS DONT WIN THE PENNANT!!!
And the crowd (in Pittsburgh) is going CRAZY!!
That was almost what they said on Giants radio that day, when Bobby Thompson hit the “shot heard round the world.” My father was in Alaska on that day in 1951, and listened to that broadcast on radio. It was literally a “shot heard round the world.”
The Pirates players were acting as if they had won the pennant: one might say they were mocking the Mets in some way. Let them mock. The Pirates have had a lousy season all year until they acquired Nady, and are now feeling their Quaker Oats. The music at PNC Park is too loud anyway. Who needs that? I like that old guy with the wurlitzer at the old stadium, with the musical puzzles.
The Pirates scored two in the first off of Maine, and then one in the seventh off Bradford, and that was it. the Mets mighty bats were silenced again. They left 24 men on base, more men than you could fit onto a freight elevator. Those men are still out there, standing around, milling, wondering what to do. Let’s get them back to Shea and clinch the pennant on the 20th anniversary of the day they did it in 1986. I was at that game in 86, and it was very crowded, but a wonderful evening. They handed out Mets wall pennants before the game. That seemed to help their luck. My cohort DLP was there at that game too, in a biological manner of speaking. He was born 6 months later, already a Mets good luck charm. Wish I could get him down to Shea on Monday night to help them clinch on the 20th Anniversary, but he’s a busy man these days.
It was the fifth Pirate win in six games, so some credit is due; but also we have to give credit to the Phillies who seem to have forgotten how to lose.
Mets Battle Back to Beat Florida 7-4; A Scoring AnalysisA Look At The Mets Playbook
Wednesday September 13th: In this game, Florida went out ahead in the 4th 2-0. Then the Mets came from behind in the 6th to lead 3-2. Then the Marlins went ahead with two in the 6th to go ahead 4-3, then the Mets tied it in the 9th, and it remained 4-4 and went into extra innings. No one scored in the 10th, but in the top of the 11th, the Mets came from behind with three runs to go ahead 7-4, and Billy Wagner held on for the save. This is a zig zag pattern in scoring, or “see-saw battle.”
In this pattern, the Mets came from behind to tie once and to go ahead twice.
Here is a study of Mets scoring strategies and patterns since August 1st, going backwards from today to August 1st. In that period of time, the Mets came from behind in 16 games! Of those 16, the Mets won 13 and lost 3.
Tuesday September 12th:
Florida scored in the first to go ahead 2-0, then 4-0. The Mets got one in the 7th, then came from behind to go ahead 5-4, then 6-4. They came from behind once in this game to win.
Monday September 11th
16-5 game. The Dodgers led the whole game.
Sunday, September 10th
The Dodgers went ahead 9 – 0 before the Mets scored their one. They never held the lead.
Saturday September 9th
The Mets took the lead 1-0 in the second, then the Dodgers went ahead 2-1 in he 6th, then the Mets came back with two to go ahead 3-2 in the bottom of the 6th and that was the final score. A Zig zag, Mets lose lead then come from behind.
Friday September 8th,
The Dodgers went ahead 2-0 in the first, the 4 then 5 to nothing. No come from behind.
Thursday September 7th
Mets took a 2-0 lead in the first, then 3-0, then won 7-0. Score early, hold lead.
Wednesday September 6th
Atlanta scored first in the 2nd, 1-0, then the Mets came from behind to tie, the went ahead 3-1 then 4-1.
Come from behind to tie then gradually win.
Second half of doubleheader
The Mets scored in the first and went ahead 2-0,then 6-0 then 8-0 which was the final score.
Score early and hold lead.
Monday, Sept 4th; Braves went ahead 2-0 in the 3rd, then added 3 more gradually. Mets never held lead.
Sunday, September 3rd Mets and Braves scoreless through 5 1/2. Mets go ahead 1-0 then 2-0, hold lead. Pitcher’s duel, then score first and hold.
Saturday, September 2nd Mets go ahead of Houston 2-0 in 4th, then its 2-1, then 3-1 then 3-2, then 4-2 and then the closer. Score first (tho not early in this case) and keep one step ahead to the finish line.
Friday September 1st Mets score first, go ahead 2-0 in 2nd, then 3-0, then Houston comes from behind to take lead 5-3, then Mets go ahead 6-5 in to of 5th, then Houston comes from behind to tie in the bottom of the 5th. It remains 6-6 until the Mets go ahead 8-6 in the 8th. Houston scores 1 to make it close, 8-7, but Mets hold on.
Score first, increase lead, opponent takes lead, Mets come from behind to take lead, then opponent comes from behind to tie, then Mets go ahead and hold on. Come from behind zigzag model.
Thursday Aug 31st, Mets go ahead 2-0 score early top of the 1st, then Colorado goes ahead 3-2 in the bottom of the 1st, then 5-2, then its 5-4 then 7-4 Colorado then 8-4. Mets blow lead, can’t quite catch up.
Wednesday Aug. 30th, Mets take early lead 5-0, then 8-0, then 10-0, then its 10-1, 10-2 11-2, 11-3, but Mets hold on to win.
Tuesday August 29th, Mets score early with 2 in first, Colorado makes it 2-1, then Mets get insurance, and make it 4-1, Colorado comes back to make it 4-3, then Mets blow it open in the 5th, make it 7-3 then 10-3 and hold on to win in spite of 2. Lagging zigzag pattern, where Mets need to keep adding insurance runs.
Monday August 28th, Mets score 6 in third, bat around, then hold on to win 8-3.
Saturday August 26th; Mets score early in 1st, 2-0 lead, then Phils come back from behind to take a 5-2 lead, then Mets close the gap, make it 5-4. Then in the 7th inning the Mets come from behind with 7 big runs and win 11-5. Zigzag, gain lead then lose then come from behind.
Friday, August 27th; Phils score in 1st, 2-0 lead, the 4-0, then 4-3, which is the final score.
Thursday August 26th; The Mets take the lead with three in the 3rd, Phils close the gap with 2 in the 5th, then Mets add runs to lead making it 5-2, then 1 more for 6-2.
Wednesday August 23rd. Mets score in 1st, with 4, then its 4-2, then Mets move ahead 7-2, then 10-2. St. Louis plays catch-up but falls short and it ends 10-8 Mets. Strategy is early lead then keep one step ahead.
Tuesday, August 22nd, Mets score in 2nd, lead 1-0. Cards come from behind to take a 3-1 lead, then 7-1 then Mets close the gap, still behind 7-5 then 7-6. They remain one behind until the bottom of the 9th, and they score twice to come from behind and beat the Cards 8-7. Strategy is to take lead, lose lead play catchup, then walk off 2 run hit come from behind.
Sunday August 20th, Mets take 2-0 lead and hold on.
Saturday August 19th, Colorado takes 4-0 lead in middle innings. Mets come from behind with 6 in the 6th, to take lead, add one and hold on to win 7-4.
Friday, August 18th, Mets score first, with 1 in 3rd,then lose lead, as Colorado takes a 3-1 lead in 4th. But Mets come from behind to tie 3-3, then go ahead in 5th, 6-3, final score.
Thurs August 17th, Mets score early, take 1-0 lead in 1st, go ahead early 4-0, then its 4-2 then 6-2 then 7-2. Mets hold on, never lose lead.
Wednesday August 16th, Phils go ahead 2-0 in 2nd add one in 6th and hold on. No come from behind.
Tuesday August 15th, Mets lead 1-0 in top of first, then Phils come from behind 4-1, then 6-1 then 6-2 then 9-2 then 11-2. Mets add 2 for final score of 11-4. Mets lose lead and don’t catch up.
Monday, August 14th Phils go ahead 6-0, and keep adding.
Sunday August 13th Washington takes 1-0 lead in 4th, but Mets come from behind to tie 1-1 in 7th, then go ahead 2-1 then 3-1 in the final two.
Saturday August 12th Mets go ahead 3-0 in 3rd, then its 3-1 then 4-1, then Washington comes from behind to tie in 6th. Then Mets go ahead with 2 to make it 6-4, final score. Pattern is Mets lose lead to tie, then go ahead to win.
Friday August 11th, Mets go ahead with 1 in 1st, then Washington comes from behind with 2 in 2nd, and no more scoring occurs.
Thurs August 10th, San Diego takes lead in 1st with 2. Mets come from behind early to make it 3-2 Mets. San Diego comes from behind to tie in 7th, then Mets take lead with 4 in bottom of 7th, making the final score 7-3. Zigzag.
Wednesday August 9th: Mets take 1-0 lead then 4-0. San Diego plays catch up and gets within one, but Mets hold on.
Tuesday, August 8th, San Diego takes early lead with 3 in 2nd, Mets come from behind to tie in 2nd and 3rd, and then go ahead in 4th, 3-2, which is final score. Come from behind.
Sunday August 6th, Mets score 7 in 4th never lose lead, final score 8-1.
Saturday August 5th; The Phils take a 3-0 lead in first, Mets get 1 in 1st to make it 3-1 Phils. Mets come from behind in 6th to make it 4-3, final score. Come from behind.
Friday August 4th, Phils score 1 in 2nd to take lead. Mets come from behind to take 2-1 lead in 2nd, then Phils come from behind to tie it 2-2, then Mets go ahead 3-2, then Phils tie it 3-3 and add 2 to win 5-3. Come from behind to lead, lose lead, take lead, tie, then lose. Zigzag.
Thursday August 3rd, Florida scores 1 in 6th, then Mets come from behind to tie 1-1, then Florida goes ahead 4-1 which is final score. Come from behind to tie, but then lose.
Wed. August 2nd Mets score 4 in first to take an early lead, add two more. Florida plays catch up but falls one run short.
Tuesday August 1st Mets score first 1-0, then Florida comes from behind to tie 1-1, the Mets take 4-1 lead, then Florida comes from behind to tie it 4-4, then Mets go ahead with one in 7th, 5-4, then Florida comes from behind with 2 in the bottom of the 9th, win 6-5. Lose lead to tie, take lead, lose lead to tie, take lead, lose lead in the 9th. Zigzag.
UPDATE: The 2006 Race for the Amazine Virtual Hall of Fame for Starting Pitchers
Right now it doesn’t look too good for any of our current crop of starters, as far as making into the Amazine Hall of Fame. To do so they would have to break the 100 GLAVine point barrier, and none are close except Santana. If Santana pitches another 33 consecutive scoreless innings this year (with two weeks left-that’s four 8-inning shutouts plus one inning, or three 11 inning shutouts so don’t tell me its not possible) he would break 100 GLAVine points. The problem is no one in Minnesota ever heard of GLAVine points, and so he’s sitting there in the dugout NOT EVEN KNOWING how close he is to getting into the AMAZINE Hall of Fame!!!! It’s so sad!
Tom Bussler, if you’re out there, tell your friends in the Twinkie’s Organization to go to a three man starting rotation, so Santana will have a shot at 100 points. With Liriano out, they may have to!
Remember that Walter Johnson hit double GLAVs (over 200 points) 5 times! Here’s the breakdown as of Thursday morning, September 14th, 2006.
1. J. Santana Minn 212.2 innings 65 earned runs 76.9 GLAVine points
2. Chris Carpenter St. Louis 199.2 innings 63 earned runs 69.8 GLAVine points
3. Brendon Webb Ariz 207.0 innings 69 earned runs 69.0 Glavine points
4. Roy Oswalt Houston 200 innings 68 earned runs 65.2 GLAVine points
5. Bronson Arroyo Cin 213.1 innings 78 earned runs 64.4 GLAVing points
6. Halladay Tor 207.2 innnings 74 earned runs 64.4 GLAVine points
7. Jason Schmidt 195.2 innings 75 earned runs 56.4 GLAVine points
8. F. Liriano MN (final due to injury) 121 inn 29 ER 55.9 GLAVine points (a 4.17 IPR!)
9. C. Zambrano Chi C 193 innings pitched 75 earned runs 55 GLAVine points
10. B. Zito Oakland As 200.1 innings 86 earned runs 51.7 GLAVine points
11. M. Mussina NYY 180.2 innings 72 earned runs 50 GLAVine points
12. J. Weaver LA Angels 101.2 innings 26 earned runs 43.6 GLAVine points
I guess they don’t make em like they used to, which has something to do with pitch counting. Did anyone count Walter Johnson’s pitches? Like **** they did! He was expected to pitch til he was bleeding, but maybe baseball players have more normal lives now and that’s a good thing. It is sad that Liriano is injured, because he had one of the best IPRs (innings per earned run scored) in baseball! 4.17! That’s Cy Young territory. At least now he can’t blow that average!
THE AMAZINE “YOU GOTTA BELIEVE IT OR NOT” VIRTUAL HALL OF FAME: THE GREATEST SEASONS EVER PITCHED
FOR STARTING PITCHERS ONLY
Copyright © 2006 Evan Pritchard
Here is something different for all you statfreaks, the AMAZINE Virtual Hall of Fame, Hall of Records, Best GLAV Years Ever Pitched for Starters, in score order.
The word GLAV stands for Games x Logarithmic Average = Value. The use of this stat is to calculate the actual value of a given starter to his team, combining quality and quantity into one number for comparison’s sake. It is also designed to be a tribute to Tom Glavine, a long-innings starter with a low ERA (in other words, a high IPR). You will only find this stat at Amazine, the home of the Glav stat.
Here is the formula for calculating GLAVine points; innings pitched divided by earned runs = IPR (innings per run). Innings pitched divided by 9 = G or 9 inning games. IPR x G = GLAVine points. 100 Glavine Points for a season is One Glav, and earns you an entry into the AMAZINE You Gotta Believe It or Not Virtual Hall of Fame. (see previous article of August 21st) Here is our Starting Pitcher’s Virtual Hall of Fame list, starting with the best years. If you know of a major league starting pitcher in history who broke 100 Glavine Points in a season, let us know, and we’ll add him to the list. We will also look at who has the best shot this year for the AMAZINE Virtual Hall of Fame in a later update.
This system is very useful for determining how good a legendary season in pitching really was in comparison to other legendary seasons. It helps unboggle the mind in grasping the difference between two mind-boggling seasons.
For example, Babe Ruth’s 1916 pitching season was one of the greatest; how great? Well, taking ERA and innings pitched equally into account, it was better than Christy Mathewson’s 1904 season by a nose, but not quite as good as Carl Hubbell’s amazing 1933 season for the Giants, by a thread. How good was Denny McLain’s 30 game winning performance in 1968, the Year of the Tiger and the Year of the Pitcher as well? Just a bit better than Bob Feller’s 1946 Season of the Unhittable Fastball, but not quite as good as Cy Young’s 1907 season, which was far from Cy’s worst year. How good was Pedro in 1997? Better than Cy Young in 1893, better than he himself later pitched in 2000, and even better than Nolan Ryan did in 1972. How great was Christy Mathewson? He pitched the second best year ever in 1905, and also the fifth best as well, in 1909. Was Ojibway pitcher Chief Bender really good enough for the Hall of Fame? Well in 1913 he gave a run every 4.08 innings, (that’s Cy Young territory!) and had a total of 107.3 Glavine points, proving he could go long distance. How hot was Fernando Valenzuela when he made a big comeback for the Dodgers in 1985? A tenth of a Glavine point behind Bob Feller’s legendary 1947 season for the Indians.
How good was Steve Carlton in 1972? Only five men have ever pitched better! And no one had had a better season since 1933. How good was Walter Johnson in 1910? The best that ever was! In fact, Johnson scored double GLAVs (over 200 Glavine points) on five occasions. Cy Young only did it three times. Walter Johnson had less post-season exposure in the Fall Classic, but during the long days of summer, Walt “The Long Train” was better than “The Cyclone” by a mile. Walter had 5 seasons in the top 10 and 10 in the top 27. Cy Young had only 7 seasons in the top 27 by comparison, using the GLAVine point system.
These stats do not include post season play which in fact do add alot to the legendary character of a given season in the mind of the erudite baseball fan. We’ll work on that.
(Note: In an earlier posting you can view these stats chronologically.
IPR means “Innings Per Run”
G means “9 innings” or game
IN SCORE ORDER, HIGH TO LOW
1910 W. Johnson 370 innings 56 earned runs; 6.61 IPR x 41.1 G = 271.67
1905 C. Mathewson 338.7 innings 48 earned runs; 7.06 IPR x 37. G = 265.46
1912 W. Johnson 369 innings 57 earned runs; 6.47 IPR x 41 G = 265.27
1918 W. Johnson 326 innings 46 earned runs; 7.08 IPR x 36.22 G = 256.44
1909 C. Mathewson 275.3 innings 35 earned runs; 7.86 IPR x 30.59 G = 240.44
1908 Cy Young 299 inn 42 earned runs; 7.12 IPR x 33 G = 234.96
1892 Cy Young 453 innings 97 earned runs; 4.67 IPR x 50 G = 233.50
1901 Cy Young 371.3 innings 67 earned runs; 5.54 IPR x 41 G = 227.14
1915 W. Johnson 336.7 innings 58 earned runs; 5.80 IPR x 37.41 G = 216.98
1914 W.Johnson 371.7 innings 71 earned runs;5.23 IPR x 41.3 G = 215.99
1919 W. Johnson 290.3 innings 48 earned runs; 6.05 IPR x 32.26 G = 195.17
1916 W. Johnson 369.7 innings 78 earned runs; 4.74 IPR x 41.07 G = 194.67
1933 C. Hubbell 308.3 innings 57 earned runs 5.41 IPR x 34.3 G = 185.6
1916 Babe Ruth 324 innings 63 earned runs 5.14 IPR x 36 G = 185.0
1904 C. Mathewson 367.7 innings 83 earned runs; 4.43 IPR x 40.85 G = 180.94
1972 S. Carlton 346.3 innings 76 earned runs 4.56 IPR x 38.5 G= 175.6
1905 Cy Young 320.7 innings 65 earned runs; 4.93 IPR x 35.6 G = 175.50
1907 Cy Young 343.3 innings 76 earned runs; 4.52 IPR x 38 G = 171.76
1968 Denny McLain 336 innings 73 earned runs 4.60 IPR x 37.3 G = 171.60
We will stop here for now. To see the rest of the listing of above-100 points starters, click the link to the Amazine Virtual Hall of Fame; amazinehalloffame.blogspot.com.