Category Archives: Mets Jerseys 2020

Stephen Nogosek Jersey

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ATLANTA — It’s a good thing Mets manager Mickey Callaway pitched Robert Gsellman in an eight-run game in the ninth on Tuesday instead of sending rookie Stephen Nogosek out for his debut. As it turns out, Nogosek found out about his call-up too late for his family to book flights to Atlanta.

On Tuesday, he was at the Atlanta airport because Triple-A Syracuse was coming off a series against Gwinnett and had one in Charlotte next. The organization told Nogosek to stay put because he would be on a later flight to Charlotte. He was told he would receive a call with the official word.

“That was a few hours of stress and anxiety and telling the wife, ‘I don’t know what’s going on, don’t book a flight because I may be in Charlotte tonight,’” Nogosek said.

His family couldn’t have made it on Tuesday, but his mom, dad and wife will be at SunTrust Park on Wednesday.

Rookie Stephen Nogosek talks about finding out he was called up:
— Justin Toscano (@JustinCToscano) June 19, 2019

Nogosek, 24, was 2-0 with a 0.57 ERA over 31 2/3 innings in 19 combined games between Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Syracuse this season. That’s a large step forward because the right-handed reliever posted a 4.99 ERA over 52 1/3 frames last year.

“I think it was just a confidence issue last year,” Nogosek said. “I was scared to throw it in the zone and it led to a lot of walks. Once I got back to being confident in my ability and being confident in my pitches, that’s when everything started to roll nicely. I’m still working on getting better every day. There’s still a lot to improve on, but I think I took a huge step in the right direction.”

More: Three takeaways from a wild Tuesday with the Mets

More: Brandon Nimmo told to avoid baseball activities for a month

Nogosek said he overcame the confidence issues by doing what he once feared. He threw his fastball in the zone. He whipped his slider in there. He tossed his changeup in, too.

He suddenly realized, he said, ‘OK, these are plus pitches.’ He added that pitchers can tell themselves it’s a great pitch all they want, but at some point they have to try it, then trust it.

“It’s all about execution and learning and developing each and every day to get better,” Nogosek said.

OK, now Callaway can send Nogosek in to pitch.

“It’s fun,” Callaway said of calling up a rookie. “I can’t wait to see him pitch.”

Chris Flexen Jersey

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The Mets called up Chris Flexen in 2017 to make a start despite him having zero starts in Triple-A and only seven starts in Double-A Binghamton.

Shockingly, he didn’t go well for the inexperienced Flexen. After his pro debut on July, 2017 (three innings, three runs), Flexen would stay with the Mets making 14 appearances and nine starts down the stretch. He posted a 7.88 ERA in 48 innings.

Flexen finally got to Triple-A to start the 2018 season. Made eight appearances for the Las Vegas 51s before the Mets called him up. He would pitch poorly in relief on 11 days rest then get sent back Triple-A to start. He would continue to bounce back-and-forth between Las Vegas and New York before finishing strong in Triple-A with a 3.24 ERA in his last four starts of the season.

The 24-year-old had offseason knee surgery and came into camp this year noticeably slimmer. He made two starts in Triple-A this year before getting a spot start for the Mets on April 20 that didn’t go well. Back down to Triple-A for two outings before returning for one appearance with the Mets.

Flexen was finally able to settle in with six straight starts for Triple-A Syracuse starting on May 11. He posted a 3.15 ERA and 40 strikeouts in that span. Pretty impressive numbers in the International League, where runs per game have jumped from 4.16 in 2018 to 5.24 this season.

Then on June 12, the Mets did something interesting, they had Flexen pitch out of the pen for Syracuse. He pitched two scoreless innings, but more importantly he saw a velo spike with his fastball up to 96 mph.

The Mets needing a reliever – decided instead of letting Flexen settling into his new role – they would call him up after only one appearance as a strict reliever. The right-hander pitched the eighth inning of a tie game against the Cardinals. His stuff looked good overall, though he was a victim of Mets killer Paul DeJong‘s solo homer.

In the outing, Flexen would strikeout out two including Jose Martinez on a 98 mph fastball. Yes, 98 miles per hour on a fastball (averaged 93 mph in 2018) from Chris Flexen. He was also throwing his slider 88-91 mph and struck out Paul Goldschmidt on a good changeup at 86.

Chris Flexen has shown increased velocity since moving to the bullpen, here he blows 98 mph by Jose Martinez.

— Michael Mayer (@mikemayerMMO) June 20, 2019

Flexen got his second chance as a full-time reliever in the big leagues on Wednesday night against the Braves. He came in with nobody out with a runner on second in the sixth inning, a runner he would end up stranding. Though his control was still not where it needs to be, he flashed better stuff yet again.

He would come back out to pitch the seventh inning and he was impressive, setting down Dansby Swanson, Freddie Freeman, and Josh Donaldson in order. He struck out Swanson swinging at a 92 mph slider and blew a 97 mph fastball by Freeman.

As I noted, control was an issue for Flexen with only 23 strikes in 40 pitches. However, his fastball in the 95-98 mph range and slider at 88-92 certainly makes him an intriguing potential bullpen asset going forward if he’s able to settle into controlling his pitches as a full-time reliever.

Jacob deGrom Jersey

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WASHINGTON – Jacob deGrom and the New York Mets could not be more committed to one another. And yet they struggle to coexist.

See, deGrom and the Mets agreed to a five-year, $137.5 million contract extension in March, a just reward for a Cy Young Award-winning season. Yet as deGrom zeroes in on a second consecutive Cy Young award, a pattern that began in 2018 has only worsened this year.

It goes like this: DeGrom creates magic with his right arm, blazing 98-mph fastballs past hitters, carrying the Mets deep into games and landing near the top of every National League pitching leaderboard.

And the Mets do all they can to lose – or, at least, avoid victory – on nights he pitches.

A mysterious pattern took a turn for the macabre on Tuesday night, when deGrom – who has received the worst run support of any starter the past two seasons – enjoyed the rare gift of 10 runs from his offense.

No matter. The Mets merely suffered one of the worst losses in their history, giving up seven runs in the bottom of the ninth inning in falling 11-10 to the Washington Nationals.

Given that the Mets fell five games back of the second wild card slot with 23 games to play, this was not your average gut punch.

Fortunately for deGrom, the only thing better than his ERA, WHIP and FIP is his ability to keep a stiff upper lip.

The 31-year-old confirmed that the club definitely “let one get away” and “felt like we had it,” and in a sense, he could’ve been talking about how the Mets are wasting two fantastic years from their ace.

He leads the NL in strikeouts (220) and rank fourth in the NL in ERA (2.76) and second in Fielding Independent Pitching. Yet the 70-68 Mets are just 10-18 in games he starts.

If the Mets merely played .500 ball in deGrom’s starts, they’d be 74-64, and one game behind the Cubs for a playoff spot. Instead, they must make up five games and vault four teams merely for a shot at the second wild card berth.

Whether it’s the 3.67 runs of support per game he receives – third worst in the NL – or a Mets bullpen that can’t carry his handiwork across the finish line, deGrom has mastered the art of compartmentalization.

“He knows that all he can do is try to limit runs,” says Mets manager Mickey Callaway. “And he does that better than any pitcher in baseball.”

Callaway, though admitting bias, believes deGrom is “hands down” the favorite for the NL Cy Young, and he might be right. For one, the pack has come back to deGrom.

Dodgers lefty Hyun-jin Ryu has hit a late-season wall. Nationals ace Max Scherzer – who gave up four runs in six innings opposite deGrom Tuesday – is a game but limited version of his best self as he manages a back injury. Braves righty Mike Soroka has sterling peripherals but just 152 2/3 innings pitched in his first full big league season.

Yet deGrom has also gradually put his grip on the award. He’s posted eight 10-strikeout games and since late May has a 2.41 ERA, best in baseball.

Tuesday, he was at times dazzling, striking out six over seven innings and giving up just two runs through seven innings.

It was the 15th time in 28 starts he’d gone at least seven innings, but Callaway hoped to milk a few more outs from him. Alas, a dribbler single from Anthony Rendon preceded a two-run homer from Juan Soto, and deGrom’s night went from great to OK.

After the Mets scored five runs in the top of the ninth, the bottom fell out, and deGrom was left to ponder another no-decision, and another team loss on his night.

He remains 8-8 this season, one year after winning the Cy Young with a comically pedestrian 10-9 record that belied many of his historically dominant stats, including a 1.70 ERA and a 221 adjusted ERA.

His run support – 3.53 per game – was the very worst in the NL last year. Yet Mets coach Phil Regan, 82, believes an ace like deGrom can still derive pleasure out of his own greatness even when it doesn’t correlate to team success.

“Yeah, it’s a little disappointing when we mess up a game,” says Regan, “but when you do your job and know you’re doing your job, there’s a satisfaction to it. He never complains about the hitters or anything. That’s the game.

“He does his job. And does it real well.”

Even if his teammates can’t return the favor.

Pedro Martinez Jersey

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Pedro Martinez, born in Manoguayabo, Dominican Republic, on Oct. 25, 1971, grew up with five brothers and sisters in a one-room home on the outskirts of Santo Domingo. His talent – and that of his brother, Ramon Martinez – soon attracted pro scouts.

“Talent is God-given,” Martinez said. “I have my own style. And there have been many, many teachers.”

Ramon signed with the Dodgers on Sept. 1, 1984. Pedro followed Ramon to Los Angeles, signing with the Dodgers on June 18, 1988. By 1990, Ramon was a 20-game winner in the big leagues – and Pedro was one of the Dodgers’ top prospects, despite his 5-foot-10 frame that carried less than 150 pounds in those days.

“I know who I am and where I came from,” Martinez said in 2011. “And I will never forget.”

In 1993, Pedro got regular work in the Dodgers’ bullpen, posting a 10-5 record in 65 games while striking out 119 batters in 107 innings. But following the season, the Dodgers traded Martinez to the Expos for second baseman Delino Deshields. After harnessing his explosive fastball over the next two seasons – which included a June 3, 1995 game where he retired the first 27 Padres batters he faced before allowing a hit in the bottom of the 10th – Martinez was named to his first All-Star Game in 1996 and then exploded onto the national scene the following year. In 1997, Martinez went 17-8 with a National League-best 1.90 earned-run average and 13 complete games, striking out 305 batters en route to his first Cy Young Award.

His combination of a 97-mph fastball, devastating change-up and pinpoint control made Martinez nearly unhittable.

“Every fastball hurts, hurts badly,” Martinez told the New York Post in 2005. “Imagine throwing a ball at 90 miles an hour, over and over again. People don’t know that every time you pitch a ball, you break blood vessels. Which is why we get our arms iced – so that the circulation can continue.”

But the Expos, knowing Martinez could become a free agent after the 1998 season, traded their ace to the Red Sox just days after he won the Cy Young. The Sox immediately locked up Martinez for the next seven seasons, setting in motion a virtually unprecedented string of success for the team and the pitcher.

Martinez went 19-7 in 1998 and finished second in the American League Cy Young Award vote, then posted a season for the ages in 1999 – going 23-4 with a league-best 2.07 ERA and 313 strikeouts, winning the pitching Triple Crown. He became just the eighth pitcher to post two 300-strikeout seasons, set a new mark (since broken by Randy Johnson) with 13.2 strikeouts per nine innings and finished second in the AL Most Valuable Player voting.

By some standards, 2000 was even better. Martinez went 18-6 that year with a 1.74 ERA and 284 strikeouts. He allowed just 128 hits in 217 innings pitched en route to a WHIP (walks plus hits divided by innings pitched) of 0.737 – by far the best single-season mark in big league history. He accomplished all this in one of the most prolific offensive eras in baseball history and pitching on a home field (Fenway Park) that ranks as one of the most hitter-friendly in the game’s history.

Martinez capped 2000 by winning his third Cy Young Award in four years. He battled shoulder problems in 2001, but rebounded in 2002 with a 20-4 record, again leading the AL in ERA (2.26) and strikeouts (239). He finished second in the Cy Young Award voting, becoming the first pitcher to lead his league in ERA, WHIP (0.923), strikeouts and winning percentage (.833) and not win the Cy Young.

After leading the league again in WHIP, ERA and winning percentage in 2003 en route to a 14-4 mark, Martinez began showing wear and tear in 2004 – posting a 3.90 ERA while going 16-9. But Martinez still finished fourth in the Cy Young Award voting – and helped the Red Sox end 86 years of frustration when they captured the World Series title for the first time since 1918. Martinez’s seven shutout innings in Game 3 on the road in St. Louis gave the Sox a commanding 3-games-to-0 lead and effectively wrapped up the title.

Martinez signed a free agent contract with the Mets following the World Series, going 15-8 with a 2.82 ERA in 2005 while giving his new team – which lost 91 games in 2004 – instant credibility. The following year, Martinez battled a nagging toe injury and was eventually shelved with a shoulder injury while going 9-8 – but was instrumental in a Mets’ season that featured an appearance in the National League Championship Series.

After two more injury-filled seasons – including the 2007 campaign that featured his 3,000th career strikeout – Martinez sat out the first part of the 2009 season before signing with the Phillies to help their postseason push. He went 5-1 in nine regular-season starts – becoming the 10th pitcher to win at least 100 games in both leagues – then threw seven shutout innings against his old Dodgers club in the NLCS before losing both his starts in the World Series against the Yankees.

He explored pitching again in 2010 and 2011, but never returned to the majors and announced his retirement on Dec. 4, 2011.

“Don’t ask me to be a pitcher in my next life,” Martinez told the New York Times in 2006. “It’s too painful.”

The eight-time All-Star finished his career with a record of 219-100, good for a winning percentage of .687 that is sixth all-time and trails only Whitey Ford’s .690 among modern-era pitchers with at least 150 victories. He won five ERA titles en route to a career mark of 2.93, captured six WHIP titles (his career WHIP of 1.054 ranks fifth all-time and is the best of any modern-era starter) and averaged 10.04 strikeouts per nine innings (third all-time behind Randy Johnson and Kerry Wood).

He is one of only four retired pitchers with at least 3,000 strikeouts and fewer than 1,000 walks.
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that Pedro Martinez WHIP (walks plus hits divided by innings pitched) of 0.737 in 2000 is the best single-season mark in big league history among pitchers with at least one inning pitched per team game played?

Tug McGraw Jersey

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Born Frank Edwin McGraw, August 30, 1944, in Martinez, CA; died from cancer, January 5, 2004, in Franklin, TN. Professional baseball player. The 2004 death of retired baseball player Tug McGraw from cancer at the age of 59 stunned legions of his longtime fans. McGraw was one of the sport’s most exuberant and popular figures during the 1970s and 1980s as a pitcher with the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies. In 1980, he led the Phillies to their only World Series victory. McGraw’s personal life was similarly mythic: late in life, he learned he was the father of a young boy, who went on to become country-music star Tim McGraw.

Born Frank Edwin McGraw in 1944, the future Major League Baseball legend grew up in Vallejo, California, where he played ball for St. Vincent Ferrer High School. His nickname dated back to infancy and his insistent feeding habits. After a stint on the team at Vallejo Junior College, he was signed to the New York Mets in 1964 as a free agent, and played with the Mets’ farm team for a season. He emerged as a top-notch left-handed pitcher with a good fast-ball and solid curveball, but a third throw was necessary to advance him out of the minors, and so McGraw perfected the screwball pitch, which would become his trademark.

McGraw went on to help the Mets win the 1969 World Series, but it was in the build-up to the 1973 post-season that his signature phrase, “Ya gotta believe!” was coined. In August of that year, the Mets were down more than eleven games, and after a particularly bad performance, Mets chair M. Donald Grant delivered a torrid locker-room lecture to the chastened team. Coming out of the meeting, McGraw was said to have uttered the phrase, poking fun of Grant’s pep talk, but his teammates burst out laughing and they went on to a winning streak that landed them in the World Series. Though the Mets lost to Oakland in seven games, “Ya gotta believe!” became the catchphrase of the season and would remain indelibly associated with McGraw’s high-spirited personality.

McGraw amassed a solid record as a pitcher, though he admitted that the pressures of performing as a relief pitcher occasionally unnerved him. “Coming into a game, my knees always feel weak,” he admitted to New York Times columnist Dave Anderson. “I have to push off the mound harder.” Known for his spontaneous quips and graciousness to his fans, McGraw became one of the sport’s most beloved figures of the times. “He wore his sandy hair long,” noted New York Times writer Frank Litsky, “and with his little-boy face and boyish enthusiasm he was a crowd favorite. After a third out, he would run off the mound, slapping his glove against a thigh. After a close call, he would pat his heart.” Traded to Philadelphia in 1974, he went on to help the franchise take East Division titles in 1976, 1977, and 1978, and the National League pennant in 1980 and 1983. But it was Game Six of the Phillies’ World Series race in 1980 that would define McGraw’s career and make him a hero forever in his adopted home-town: in the ninth inning, with bases loaded, he struck out batter Kansas City’s Willie Wilson, and the Phillies won the World Series pennant for the first time in Major League history.

The photograph taken just after that moment showed McGraw jumping off his mound, hands high in the air, and became one of the classic images in sports history. Another timeless photo was captured just seconds later, when Phillies third-base player Mike Schmidt jumped into his arms on the mound. Schmidt later said the two had planned it on their ride to Veterans Stadium that night. “Both of us knew whoever was on or near that mound for the final out would probably be on the cover of Sports Illustrated, ” Schmidt told the same publication. “Sure enough, it worked. Tug struck out Wilson and then turned to look at me at third base. Of course I came running and jumped on him.”

The 1984 season was McGraw’s last in baseball. He retired with a 96-92 record and a 3.14 earned-run average. He became a television reporter for a Philadelphia station, wrote three children’s books, and remained a fan favorite. The father of two sons and a daughter, he belatedly discovered his fourth and oldest child after an eleven-year-old Louisiana boy came across his birth certificate. Tim Smith was an ardent baseball fan, and was stunned to find the name of one of his heroes in the space on the document that listed the father’s name. Smith, who later took his father’s name, was the product of a romance between McGraw and Betty Trimble that occurred during his minor-league career, and McGraw had never known of the boy’s existence. McGraw and his long-lost son enjoyed a close relationship, and Tim McGraw grew up to become a country-music legend and husband of Faith Hill, another Nashville star.

McGraw was diagnosed with a brain tumor in March of 2003 while working at Phillies spring-training camp in Clearwater, Florida, as a special instructor. He underwent surgery in Tampa, after which his doctors—a team of top specialists assembled and paid for by his son, Tim—believed they had eradicated it completely, but a wait-and-see policy was in place when McGraw next appeared in public again on May 29. “I’m not fearful,” McGraw told reporters in a characteristically upbeat mood, according to a Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service report by Paul Hagen. “I have confidence.” He went to work on his autobiography, which carried the not-unexpected working title, Ya Gotta Believe! .

In September of 2003, McGraw reprised his 1980 World Series moment at the closing ceremonies at Veterans’ Stadium in Philadelphia, which was slated for demolition in March of 2004. He had hoped to be there for the demolition, but on December 31, 2003, he suffered a seizure, and died six days later at a cabin in Franklin, Tennessee, near the home of his son, Tim, and family. His former Philly teammate Schmidt told Sports Illustrated that McGraw accepted his fate with the same attitude that had made him such a favorite among players and fans alike. “Publicly, he never let on that he had gotten a raw deal,” Schmidt noted. “As he always said, ‘I front-loaded my life, just like my contract.’”

Darryl Strawberry Jersey

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Darryl Strawberry doesn’t crave for the nightlife like he did throughout his 17-year Major League Baseball career.

He’s no longer in and out of substance abuse rehabilitation centers for repeated cocaine use or wrecking his life from parole violations, domestic violence to solicitation to failure to pay child support.

Finally, he has turned his life around though it took a while – he’s 56.

″Most people kind of look at my life and they believe it’s my fault because I had everything but my home was broken before I put a uniform on,″ Strawberry said. ″My dad was an alcoholic and used to beat the crap out of me and said I would never amount to nothing. So I had pain before I ever put the uniform on. My pain led me to my greatness and my greatness led me to my destructive behavior and that’s the reality of life.″

From trouble man to redemption, Strawberry has found a purpose to help people by speaking about his past struggles with drug addiction and alcohol abuse. He admits it wasn’t an overnight process, but took time to get where he is now.

Strawberry was in Jacksonville last week for the City Rescue Mission’s 4th Annual Difference Maker’s Banquet, sharing advice that he didn’t follow as a former eight-time All-Star and four-time World Series champion.

″The rescue is a phenomenal organization and I’ve done previous events with them,″ said Strawberry, who is twice divorced and has six children. ″They love those that can’t love themselves and until they can love themselves. The assumption is that these people are not going to make it. Who are we to say they’re not going to make it. We don’t really have the last say. Just my life, they had written me off. ″

Though a recovering addict, Strawberry has been clean for almost 14 years. An awakening came in 2000 when he met his third wife, Tracy, at a narcotics anonymous convention in Tampa. She had been battling drug addition but had been clean for a year before meeting Strawberry for the first time.

While Strawberry continued to have problems, which included serving 11 months at the Gainesville Correctional Institution in 2002 for violating probation on cocaine possession charges, she stuck beside him and eventually got him to become an active church member so he could seek faith to change.

In 2006, Strawberry and Tracy married, and a year later they both became ordained ministers. He’s stayed on track, sticking with his faith instead of reliving his past baseball accomplishments.

″God uses people to help people and it was my wife,″ Strawberry said. ″I watched her joy and it meant everything because I wanted that. I didn’t want anything else because I already had money, fame and already knew that doesn’t work. So I knew there was something greater inside that I needed to receive.″

In 2014, Strawberry founded a drug rehabilitation center in St. Cloud, near Orlando, and opened another facility in DeLand in 2015.

Last year, Strawberry said he made 214 trips to speak to various groups and churches. In November, Strawberry said he spoke to the Buffalo Bills players before they played the Jaguars and pulled out a 24-21 victory at New Era Field.

Strawberry says he no longer speaks much about baseball or his career. He said that chapter in his life is dead, even though he hit 335 home runs, was the first overall pick in 1980 by the New York Mets and won World Series titles with the Mets (1983) and New York Yankees (1996, 1998 and 1999).

″It was baseball but life still was not fulfilling,″ said Strawberry, who has overcome both colon and kidney cancer. ″We can all dress ourselves up and look well on the outside but who am I on the inside? That’s what really matters at the end of the day. All the stuff that I accomplished doesn’t mean anything at the end of the day if I didn’t get well. I think that’s the message we need to carry across the globe.″

Gary Carter Jersey

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Gary Carter earned the nickname “The Kid” at Expos training camp in 1973 at the age of 19.

“I tried to impress everybody that spring, you know, being the first in line for sprints,” Carter said. “Running hard to first base all the time.”

A few big leaguers began calling him the kid – and the nickname as well as the style of play stuck with him throughout his 19-year career. The 11-time All-Star was an enthusiastic and resilient backstop for the Expos, Mets, Giants and Dodgers who helped his teams behind the plate and in the batter’s box.

“He’s a horse,” said Mets Manager Davey Johnson. “He’s in great shape. You try to rest him during the season, but he won’t stand for it.”

Born on April 8, 1954 in Culver City, Calif., Carter played baseball, basketball and football in high school, but rejected dozens of college scholarships to sign with the Montreal Expos. Used primarily as an outfielder during his 1975 rookie season, Carter came in second in Rookie of the Year voting before earning the full-time catching job in 1977.

“I was out of position. I was running into walls and hurting myself,” said Carter about his experience in the outfield.

A three-time Gold Glove Award winner, Carter set a record for fewest passed balls in 1978 and paced all National League catchers in total chances (1977-82), putouts (1977-80, 1982), assists (1977, 1979-80, 1982) and double plays (1978-79, 1983).

“He was a human backstop back there,” said former teammate Keith Hernandez. “Early, before his knees went bad, you couldn’t steal on him in Montreal. When he wasn’t able to throw because of his knees, that never affected his performance. He was running on and off the field after three outs. This guy played in some pain and it was hustle, hustle, hustle.”

Carter was traded to the Mets in 1984. He led his team to a World Series Championship, hitting .276 with two home runs and nine RBI in the Fall Classic. His two-out, 10th-inning single ignited a three-run rally that resulted in a Mets’ win to even the series. New York went onto win the Fall Classic in seven games.

Slowed by injuries, Carter played for the Giants and Dodgers before returning to Montreal to end his career in 1992. He had a career .262 batting average, belted 324 home runs and knocked in 1,225 runs to earn four Silver Sluggers.

“It is a grueling position (catching),” said Carter. “I can look back at it and say it’s worth it to be enshrined in Cooperstown. I don’t have any pain in my knees right now.”

Carter was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003.

David Wright Jersey

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The New York Mets have made a reputation of making a spectacle out of organizational moves, the latest instance being their managerial search. Names like Joe Girardi, Eduardo Perez, and Carlos Beltran have emerged as finalists to replace ex-skipper Mickey Callaway. Yet the cloud looming over the baseball world and the Mets fan base is the new and mysterious “bombshell” candidate.

One of the most linked names to the mystery role is former third baseman and team captain David Wright. While he’d be a popular choice of those who take the 7 Line to Citi Field, we’re here to tell you to pump the brakes.

MLB insider Jon Heyman texted Wright about whether he’s the “bombshell” candidate, and like Alex Rodriguez, Wright replied with “hahaha,” before giving an emphatic negative.

So much for that idea.

Wright was the Mets’ face of the franchise once Mike Piazza left Flushing. Nicknamed “Captain America” for his contributions to Team USA in the World Baseball Classic, Wright was a seven-time All-Star for the Mets, where he won two Gold Gloves and two Silver Slugger awards.

After his career ended due to spinal stenosis in 2018, the team named him as a special adviser under team COO Jeff Wilpon and general manager Brodie Van Wagenen.

Despite the obvious link, New York Mets fans can officially cross David Wright off the managerial candidate list.

William A. Shea Jersey

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William A. Shea
Biblical Research Institute

Ron is an SDA [Seventh Day Adventist] nurse anesthetist in Nashville, TN, with a strong interest in various archaeological projects in the Middle East. Some of these projects have some validity to them and others do not necessarily have any factual basis to back them up. Thus, each one of his projects needs to be judged upon its own merits.

The one project that is most possible is the one with regard to the arkshaped formation in the Tendurek mountains of eastern Turkey. It is located at the 6300 foot level in those mountains about 20 miles away from the volcanic peak that is known as Agri Dagh, the traditional Mount Ararat. During the last four years (and for many years before that) quite a number of expeditions have gone up the mountain in search of the Ark but no one has ever brought down any convincing evidence for its existence there. Indeed it would have been a poor place for it to have been preserved because it is a volcanic peak and the volcanic eruptions and earthquakes on that mountain could well have destroyed any evidence for the ark if it landed there. Some wood has been brought down twice from that mountain, in 1955 and 1969, and that radiocarbon dates to the ninth century A.D. so there is little likelihood that it comes from the original ark.

The Bible does not say that it landed on that peak, it only says that it landed in the mountains of Ararat. That includes a much larger territory and it also includes the location across the valley where the shipshaped formation is located. It was discovered first in 1960 by aerial photography as read by some members of the Turkish military for NATO. Elder George Vandeman led a group up to see it at that time but because it did not meet their expectations of what the ark would look like at that stage they did not pursue it further. After looking at the aerial photographs of it in 1975 I wrote an article on it published in 1976 suggesting that this might be the remains or not [sic] the full intact ark. In 1977 Ron Wyatt began his explorations there and the two main contributions that he has made have been to take soil samples (which show twice as much organic carbon as the field outside the formation) and to go over it with surface instrumentation, mainly subsurface radar. This type of equipment tends to show a subsurface pattern in a crisscross direction–long lines along the length of the formation, and cross lines across them. If these lines detected beneath the surface do have something to do with the ark then they might represent the petrified timbers of the hull of the vessel. The process of petrification deposits minerals in the wood which might give these readings. That is one possibility anyway.

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Coming into the 2019 season one of the biggest questions for the Mets was at the catcher position. There were lots of options, most of them tried and mediocre. The plan of staying with d’Arnaud and Plawecki one more time seemed unappealing at best.
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There were several free agent catchers available at various price points. The top option was Yasmani Grandal and the Mets offered him a reasonable contract which he rejected for a higher one year deal with the Milwaukee Brewers.

The next best option was Wilson Ramos, an injury prone offense-first catcher coming off a career year with the Tampa Bay Rays and Philadelphia Phillies. The Mets offered Ramos a two-year contract for $19 million assuming the Mets buy out his option for 2021.

As we know Ramos has had a below average (for him) offensive year measured by OPS+ (95) compared to his career OPS+ of 103. Still good for a catcher but with his defensive shortcomings not great especially for a team that relies on a sometimes dominant starting rotation to play its best.

The Mets traded Plawecki for Walker Lockett and tendered d’Arnaud a contract. Many people (including me) expected him to be jettisoned due to his slow recovery from Tommy John surgery and his general offensive unreliability. That money could have been better used in any number of ways.

In Spring Training the Mets had Ramos penciled in as the starting catcher with a competition for the backup spot between Travis d’Arnaud and Devin Mesoraco.

Through a series of semi-predictable happenings and Metsian decision-making d’Arnaud “won” the job, Mesoraco decided to go on strike (framing at its finest), and somehow Tomas Nido ended up as the backup catcher to open the season until d’Arnaud was d’ArYes.

d’Arnaud was sent on a rehab assignment on April 4 and activated on April 7 with Nido being sent down to Syracuse. On April 28 the Mets DFA’d d’Arnaud and recalled Nido.

Nido has been the backup since that day starting 25 games at catcher.

Tomas Nido is a better defensive catcher than Wilson Ramos. We all know this. How much better though?

Check out this list from Baseball Prospectus ranking catchers by FRAA_ADJ. Please see this explanation for those of you who are not familiar with this overall catching statistic.

And this for Blocking Runs.

And this one for Framing Runs.

And this one for Throwing Runs.

Switching to Baseball-Reference, Ramos costs the Mets -11 Rdrs/yr while Nido saves 10 Rdrs/yr. Using a statistic like that eliminates the effect of Ramos catching more innings. That difference of 21 runs is worth 2-3 extra wins according to various theories of the relationship between runs and wins.

This nifty chart from Fangraphs gives a clear (i.e. non-technical) idea of the defensive quality of Ramos and Nido.

Not to mention that both Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard prefer throwing to Nido even though his offense is below average (OPS+ 70).