Thursday, March 21, 2013

This Week in Mets History 1-10: Jesse, Bud, Joe, Luis and Ollie

Mets pitching great, Jesse Orosco falls to his knees as he celebrates winning the 1986 World Series. Photo courtesy of NY Post

Frank Gray
MM Editor

This week, we visit with several playoff winning players. We catch up with a Big Unit killer, a player to named later, two overpaid veterans and talk about the "original" Subway Series. All that and more this week in Mets history.

March 18, 2000 - After acquiring him a second time a few months before, former Mets great Jesse Orosco was traded to the St Louis Cardinals. Orosco was a throw-in in the trade that saw Jerry Koosman part from the Mets years before. Orosco would be the last player standing on the mound in that special 1986 season.

As part of that deal, the Mets received Joe McEwing. McEwing was a platoon player deluxe for the team and an important bench player for the next few seasons. He would help lift the team into the World Series that year, much to the dismay of pitching great Randy Johnson who dominated everyone else that postseason except Joe McEwing.

Today, McEwing can be found manning the third base line as a coach for the Chicago White Sox under manager, and former teammate and Met, Robin Ventura.

March 18, 2011 - Under new GM, Sandy Alderson, the team looks to cut ties with several bad contracts. Among them is Luis Castillo, who was remembered more for his untimely error in the Subway Series and his injuries than his actual plate appearances.

On this day, Castillo was released by the team. The team would still owe him $6 million for the season after releasing him, but the message was sent that the team is going in a  younger and cheaper direction. In his four years with the Mets, he posted a .274 AVG and stole just 55 bases. Well below his averages prior to his stint in Queens. He has not played in the Majors since his release.

March 21, 2011 - In the wake of releasing Luis Castillo just days before, Mets GM Sandy Alderson continues his purging of the roster and cuts ties with southpaw Oliver Perez. Perez was signed to a $36 million deal and cutting him left the Mets owing him another $12 million for the season.

The team cited lack of command and velocity as their reasoning. Today, Perez is still pitching and with minimal success with the Seattle Mariners. In the bullpen. As a situational lefty. A role that at one time he refused to pitch in for the Mets.

March 22, 1962 - In the original Subway Series, the budding new team, the New York Mets defeated the New York Yankees in an exhibition game. Former Yankees manager and new Mets manager, Casey Stengel utilized his veteran bench in the later innings as Richie Ashburn delivered a game winning pinch-hit RBI single to lift the Mets to a dramatic 4-3 win. Despite helping them feel like they belonged in that moment, the inaugural season would be disastrous.

March 23, 1978 - In an unpopular move, the Mets traded scrappy short stop Bud Harrelson to the rival Phillies for a minor league infielder named Freddy Andrews. Harrelson would play just two years in Philly and leave just before the 1980 championship season. He proudly sports the only World Series ring he won with the Mets.

Harrelson later became the Mets manager, though not very successful in that venture. In his 13 years playing for the team, he was twice named to the All-Star game, but as a manager, he only lasted two seasons with two very bad teams.

To be fair, he followed a legendary coach in Davey Johnson and really never lived up to that. He failed to get the best out of the "worst team money could buy". He led the team to a fifth place finish in 1991 and the team would go looking for another option at the helm that off season.

Today, he can be found coaching with the minor league Long Island Ducks, a team in which he is a co-owner. He still makes appearances with the Mets organization on special occasions.

No comments:

Post a Comment