I was a young kid when that infamous Mets trade went down in 1971 sending future Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan, Leroy Stanton, Francisco Estrada, and Don Rose to the Angels for the aging hobbled infield star Jim Fregosi. A trade that has since gone down over the decades as one of the worst trades in the history of the franchise. That is my memory of Estrada's time as a Met. Nothing. A footnote in a bad trade for a fading star player.
But thanks to your post I see that Francisco Estrada became a legend of Mexican baseball. He had a life on and off the field that went beyond the major leagues. RIP. When I wrote in my profile that I learn things here I wasn't kidding. Thanks for posting that.
The departure of Gregorius doesn't surprise me because he hadn't fully demonstrated he was all the way back from his injury. Giving him a big contract at this point would have been way too risky and this also lets Torres move to shortstop which is his natural position.
The third-base situation will be more problematic. I'd prefer to give Andujar a chance to come back and not use him as trade bait especially if the idea is to let him be the carrot to make another team take Happ's contract.
Bad enough the HOF lowered itself by picking Harold Baines a year ago. Now the broadcasters award for the HOF became meaningless for all time with the idiotic and disgraceful selection of Hawk Harrelson who is the WORST announcer I ever had to endure on a daily basis.
Ted Simmons was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame along with players rep Marvin Miller by this Modern Era committee.
An interview of Ted Simmons with Ed Randall from 1988 including some video highlights of Simmons career (beginning at 6:44) after the interview concludes.
Once again, just like the situation with Lee Smith if you look at Ted Simmons career stats at the time of his retirement he should have gone in years ago. Ted Simmons was built like a tank. And he always had that serious look on his face. I don't think I ever saw the guy crack a smile during the 20 years he played. But he was an extremely underrated catcher during his career given the era he played in. There were so many good/great catchers back then it was kind of hard to stand out with the career he had given the peers he played against. Bench and Carter to name just a few.
If Simmons played today he would be considered the best catcher in baseball. Today you have a guy like Realmuto getting a high salary who is considered an elite catcher but who is his competition? I think the most Ted Simmons ever made while he played the game for two decades was 1 million dollars. He certainly would be making a hell of a lot more than that today and deserves his place in the Hall Of Fame beside the best catchers of his generation. Congratulations. He should go in wearing a St. Louis Cardinals cap on his plaque. And a few years down the road after he retires fellow St. Louis Cardinal catcher Yadier Molina will join him in the Hall.
Well a sad note to start the New Year with the passing of Don Larsen at age 90. I saw him at last year's Old Timer's Day and while he was in a wheelchair he did get up and use a walker to get to a spot on the diamond where others had gathered in chairs.
It remains one of baseball's most iconic moments. And how even more iconic that he was present for David Cone's perfect game too and had thrown out the first ball that day!
He lived a long life and had his shining moment. And what a moment it was and still is.
I always looked forward to seeing him take his yearly bow at Yankee Stadium on Old Timer's Day. And as the years went on it obviously got harder for him to attend but he still did. And the fans loved him. He was one of the last of the REAL Old Timer's left. As the years go by and these older gents from a different time in the game's history pass away we start to look at our own mortality a bit more. RIP Don Larsen.
The World Series Championships of 2017 and 2018 are now permanently tainted and Yankee fans like me have every right to feel shafted as far as both years are concerned. But 2017 in particular is always going to hurt because that was a Cinderella team that deserved to go all the way and it was thwarted thanks to cheating by the Houston Astros who were a completely different team at home as opposed to the road. I went to Games 4 and 5 of the ALCS at the Stadium and the Astros had a lousy bullpen and their offense was kept in check. The MLB Report says the cheating continued into the 2017 postseason so that now explains why.
Hinch will never manage again since no team would be sane to hire him after the suspension ends and Alex Cora, the ringleader of this will soon be out of a job in Boston where he carried that cheating impulse to the Red Sox which accounted apparently for their phenomenal 2018 start that enabled them to cruise all the way to the division title. The Yankees were forced to play the pressure mode of dealing with an elimination game for months because of that.
I shouldn't sound this bitter and I'll add that I feel the Yankees defeated themselves in the 2019 ALCS to Houston but the 2017 team deserved better. Because of Houston's cheating, the Yankees lost a pennant, Aaron Judge lost an MVP award and Joe Girardi lost his job. That's the real disgrace.
Astros owner Jim Crane went above and beyond by canning both manager Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow. They will have to start all over again. He was probably mulling this over long before Manfred and MLB came down with the one year suspensions as punishment. Crane did what he had to do. He had to mop up his own house of the stench. Those players (remaining and elsewhere) from the Astros 2017 World Championship team can never wear their championship rings with pride ever again. The Astros also were stripped by baseball of their first and second round draft picks for the next two years thereby hamstringing the organization from rebuilding itself in the near future. And the Astros fans who supported this team over the years through the bad times up until the recent years of remarkable success are now left staring at the floor.
The fact that the Astros players were excluded from any punishment at all is a joke IMHO. And it was a joke when the decision came down yesterday that although MLB stated they weren't going down any rabbit holes chasing down the players involved they in fact named Carlos Beltran who was an Astros player at the time as being implicated in the scandal. Wonderful. So Beltran, who has not even managed his first game for the Mets now has a huge dark cloud over his head which in turn affects the Mets who had nothing to do with this mess until they hired Beltran as manager. Don't get me started on Joe Girardi. He could have (and should have) very easily been the Mets new manager in 2020 and all of this could have been avoided. And this is not to take Beltran off the hook. Not at all. Did his time during the second go-round with the scandal ridden Astros come up in his job interview with Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen? And if not, why not? Did they check his hearing by banging on a garbage can during the interview?
Van Wagenen and Hinch are buddies. You know those two spoke at some point during the hiring process. Beltran and the current Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora are the best of friends and were both members of that Astros ball club in 2017. Beltran has been touted for years around the game as an "expert" at decoding pitchers habits and movements on the mound to gain an advantage both as a hitter in the box and in the dugout. Cora was directly named in the report as the audio visual equipment skills "whiz" for his role in setting up and arranging the sign stealing. Is anyone dopey enough to think Beltran didn't know what was going on?
Alex Cora should be fired. Given the extreme punishment ultimately dealt to A.J. Hinch the Red Sox now have no choice. He will at the very least be suspended by MLB for a much longer period than Hinch. And with Hinch and Cora both gone it will leave Beltran as the only still active manager implicated from the mess. Where's Joe Girardi when you need him? Yep, he's in Philly and is the new manager of the Philadelphia Phillies.
It had to happen. Beltran would have been a target for derisive chants all over MLB and charges of double-standards if he didn't suffer the penalty of being out as a manager even if he received no sanction because he was a player at the time. From a PR standpoint, the Mets couldn't afford to keep him.
Of course he had to go. And what you stated above is the exact reason why. The Mets were being dragged into a bad situation that had nothing to do with them except for hiring Beltran. And I agree, he would have been the target of boos everywhere he went and Mets fans like myself know he was never a media person or a person who handled negative reactions very well to begin with. We all knew this in his time as a ballplayer with the Mets. And believe it or not this thread is so old it goes back to Carlos Beltran's first years as a young player after signing with the Mets.
The question is why was this situation concerning the Astros was not discussed during his interview for manager, because it was certainly being discussed among baseball executives well before Beltran was even hired. He released a statement yesterday expressing deep regret about his actions involving the scandal yet also stating "this is not who I am". Which is it Carlos?
And can baseball organizations please stop using the touchy feely language "it was mutually decided by both sides to part" crap and just admit that they FIRED the guy? Boston pulled this same crap when when Alex Cora got fired. Enough already with this stuff.
With Beltran's departure the book is now closed on this with the Mets. My fear is that they will bungle it up once again with their next managerial choice because at this point I have no faith in Jeff Wilpon and Van Wagenen once again being in charge of picking a replacement. This team needs an experienced steady hand at the helm. And although there are a few of those guys still out there I doubt the Mets will make the right choice. How much longer before Steve Cohen takes over? It can't come fast enough because like most Mets fans I can't stand this current ownership.
And believe it or not this thread is so old it goes back to Carlos Beltran's first years as a young player after signing with the Mets.
My real time posts of that unfortunate NLCS finale. (and a few days before that you and I were having an exchange about whether Girardi was the right guy to be a future Yankee manager one year BEFORE he got the job!)
Posted: Oct 20, 2006 - 4:41 AM By: Eric Paddon (Member)
Wainwright vs. Beltran. Who will prevail?
Posted: Oct 20, 2006 - 4:43 AM By: Eric Paddon (Member)
NEVER would I have thought that it would end on a called third strike. That has to be an awful feeling out there for all Met fans to have seen it end like that.
And who would have thought Adam Wainwright would STILL be a Cardinal all these years later! He's still there and pitching well for his age. Yadier Molina is also still there and he killed the Mets back then as well. And I've brought both those guys up here more than a few times since over the years. All of that was so long ago now but looking back at the old posts the raw emotion is there. To Beltran's credit he will go down as one of the best clutch post season performers in MLB history on the various teams he played on during his career. Just not that year with the Mets.
And that at bat standing at the plate looking at strike three against Wainwright would indeed haunt him (not to mention us Mets fans) for years until he was on a playoff team that actually made it to and won the World Series. The 2017 Houston Astros during the deep twilight of his playing career. And we all know where that stands now. You look at that footage from just a few years ago in 2017 of guys spraying each other with champagne celebrating and hugging and screaming and yelling with joy in the locker room all the while knowing full well that they cheated. And Beltran was one of them.
As far as Joe Girardi is concerned, coming from managing the young impressionable Florida Marlins of that time I thought he'd be better at handling younger players than the older set in their ways veterans who were on the Yankees back then. I think that's what you're referring to. Girardi would go on to win the one World Series with the Yankees and adjust to things in the Bronx over time but to me he seemed an old school type of manager from a different era who also wanted to teach. I enjoyed watching him mold that young Marlins team that had some really good talent in those days. I remember posting about that. And he won a Manager of the Year Award in Florida doing so.
Girardi always spoke his mind and that's certainly the reason why he got shown the door out of Florida. And history would to an extent repeat itself in his career with the Yankees. He got on some of the younger players like brooding catcher Gary Sanchez in an attempt to light a fire under him and it backfired. And his personality began to clash with others in the organization as time went on. Times were changing, and what teams were looking for in managers was changing. He was now many years removed from that 2009 Yankees World Championship as well. And then there was the crushing loss to the Houston Astros in the playoffs in 2017. The World Series Championship team that has now gone down in baseball history as cheaters.
This past year though demonstrated that Girardi got a lot more out of Sanchez than the coddling approach has. I looked at some of my 2017 postseason recordings and Sanchez was such a better hitter than he's been the last two years.
It was sad to see Greg Bird looking so productive and showing the potential of what might have been. The Yankees from that 2017 team who are gone now like Bird, Frazier, David Robertson and Girardi are the ones I'll regret not seeing be part of the next Yankee championship team if it's finally going to happen (but my heart does not bleed for Jacoby Ellsbury!)
Girardi will never be in the top tier of Yankee managers because he didn't get that second title. As it is, his career is similar to that of Ralph Houk who has never been recognized among the great Yankee managers despite his longevity and being manager of the 61 team. But he was IMO the right man for the job. I just don't see Mattingly being more effective and because Mattingly was a Yankee legend I think there would have been too much pressure for him to succeed in his first managing job. Perhaps Mattingly could handle it now but we'll never know since Boone is in for the long haul, for better or worse.
Congratulations to Derek Jeter on his forthcoming induction into the Hall of Fame. That five year waiting period after his retirement went by quickly didn't it? Jeter will be enshrined along with Larry Walker this summer at Cooperstown. As I mentioned a few posts up, Ted Simmons (elected by the New Era Committee) will also be inducted into the Hall this year as well.
Well deserved, and if you are a writer that had a vote this year how could you not vote for Jeter on the first ballot? It boggles the mind how somebody could thumb him down. Jeter was one of the greatest complete shortstops ever to play the game. He was not Ozzie Smith defensively but he was solid in the field. And he could hit. Yes he did. Ozzie probably wishes that he had half the offensive skills of Derek Jeter.
It appears that 70 year old Dusty Baker will be the Astros choice as their new manager to help move their organization forward from scandal. If so it would be a wise choice. Dusty is a well respected old school baseball man who has had a lifetime of experience in the game and with dealing with players at all levels. He was a very good major league player himself. The Houston players still on the roster who were involved right up to the stars on their caps will still be there though. And the fans around baseball will not let them forget it. The Astros were not the most popular team before the scandal and now they are certainly the most hated. Obviously, hiring Baker is not a move with an eye towards the future but a move made for the present to stabilize a ship which has taken on enough water to almost sink it.
Orange Coast College coach John Altobelli along with his wife and his young daughter were tragically killed in the helicopter crash which also took the life of basketball legend Kobe Bryant and his young daughter. Altobelli was credited by the Yankees Aaron Judge and the Mets Jeff McNeil (both MLB All-Stars) as having a huge influence on the development of their baseball careers. RIP to all who lost their lives in that tragic event this past Sunday.