New York Mets: Boston Red Sox

Morning Briefing: Drew drama continues

February, 10, 2014
Feb 10
6:26
AM ET
Above, the Hefner family waits to check into its Port St. Lucie hotel, via Sarah Hefner.

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla.

FIRST PITCH: We’re baaaaaaaack!

Five days ahead of Saturday’s official pitchers and catchers report date, Morning Briefing has returned, and ESPNNewYork.com is reporting live from the Mets’ spring-training complex on Monday.

There are plenty of players already in camp, including David Wright, Zack Wheeler, Bobby Parnell, Jenrry Mejia, Anthony Recker, Jack Leathersich, Andrew Brown and Danny Muno. Eric Young Jr., Josh Satin and Jeremy Hefner tweeted this past weekend that they are due at the complex as early as today.

Of course, Terry Collins is ready to go. He has been in Port St. Lucie since the winter meetings in mid-December.

Monday’s news reports:

• Still hoping the Mets upgrade at shortstop from Ruben Tejada? Marc Carig in Newsday quotes a person with knowledge of the Mets’ thinking regarding Stephen Drew as saying: “There has not been much dialogue at all.” Carig quotes another source saying there has been “continuous discussion.”


Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe/Getty ImagesStephen Drew remains a free agent as spring training nears.


ESPNNewYork.com reported Thursday that agent Scott Boras has been looking for a multiyear deal for Drew with a player opt-out after Year 1 -- meaning the team absorbs plenty of risk if Drew underperforms or becomes injured, while potentially losing Drew after the 2014 season if he thrives. That’s not going to work for the Mets.

Overall, the Mets essentially are doing a cost-benefit calculation with Drew. Their conclusion: A contract costing $11 million to $12 million a year may not be worth one or two wins.

Nick Cafardo in The Boston Globe nonetheless labels the Mets the frontrunners for Drew. Writes Cafardo:

Even though there’s a sentiment he may return to the Red Sox, that has been dampened lately. Agent Scott Boras continues to indicate that he’s speaking to “multiple” teams concerning Drew’s availability. Drew still receives text messages from his Red Sox teammates who hope he returns.

“Stephen did an excellent job for us last year. He was a really solid player. He was a big part of our team. And so out of respect to him, we’ve kept a dialogue going,” Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington told SiriusXM, according to Ken Davidoff in the Post. “But at this point, we’re really focused on the guys we have on the roster. … I wouldn’t expect anything major to happen between now and when we report, at this point.”

Curtis Granderson has not checked into Port St. Lucie yet, but the ex-Yankee did swing by his former employer in Tampa, writes Anthony McCarron in the Daily News. Granderson visited the Yankees’ minor-league complex Friday while apparently visiting family nearby.

• Departing beat writer Mike Kerwick offers this spring-training preview in the Record.

• Michael Salfino in the Journal concludes that pitchers who have undergone Tommy John surgery produce nearly identical ERAs after returning from the procedure. That is particularly relevant to the Mets since that is the path Matt Harvey is now on. Salfino identified 15 high-profile pitchers who had Tommy John surgery since 2006. Their cumulative ERA was 3.82 and strikeouts per nine innings 7.1 before the procedure. Afterward, their ERA was 3.83 and K/9 innings was 7.9.

SportsNation

How many games can the Mets hope to win this season?

  •  
    21%
  •  
    23%
  •  
    33%
  •  
    14%
  •  
    9%

Discuss (Total votes: 6,148)

• Long Island native Steven Matz, whose pro career was stalled for nearly two full years early on because of Tommy John surgery, will be in big-league camp and is featured in Newsday.

From the bloggers … At Mets Police, Shannon wonders how the Mets not spending more on players became his problem. ... The Eddie Kranepool Society believes the Mets should forget about Drew and look to the Diamondbacks for a starting shortstop. … John Delcos at Mets Report asserts the Mets cannot afford to rush Harvey, who underwent his procedure Oct. 22 and is therefore likely to miss the entire season. ... Faith and Fear in Flushing speculates on why it's so hard to make Met things perfect.

BIRTHDAYS: Travis d'Arnaud turns 25. ... Lenny Dykstra is 51. ... Bobby J. Jones, who pitched eight seasons with the Mets, is 44.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Do you believe the Mets ultimately will sign Stephen Drew?

Source: Drew seeks opt-out after Year 1

February, 6, 2014
Feb 6
10:51
PM ET
Scott Boras wants an opt-out clause for Stephen Drew after Year 1 of a multiyear deal, a source told ESPNNewYork.com.

That's not going to fly with the Mets, who otherwise still remain in play for the free-agent shortstop.

The Mets would consider a two- or possibly even three-year deal for Drew, although there still appears a question of how much Drew is worth over incumbent Ruben Tejada.

In 2013, Drew had a 3.1 WAR and Tejada had a -0.9 WAR, suggesting Drew would be worth four more wins than Tejada. But that arguably is an extreme example. In 2012, for instance, Drew had a -0.4 WAR and Tejada had a 2.0. In 2011, they were even at 1.9 apiece.

So the question becomes: Do the Mets want to allot $11 million to $12 million a season for Drew when there is no guarantee the production in most years will result in more than one or two extra wins, at least as calculated by WAR?

As for the opt-out, that's a deal-breaker for the Mets, apparently. That's because Drew could again enter free agency after a good season in 2014. And with a poor season he would be locked in to one or two more seasons guaranteed -- placing all of the risk on the team side.

Drew 'possibility,' not 'probability' for Mets

January, 5, 2014
Jan 5
11:38
AM ET

Jim Davis/The Boston Globe/Getty ImagesThe Mets are open to signing Stephen Drew to a short-term deal, but not expecting it to materialize.
The Mets remain engaged with agent Scott Boras about free-agent shortstop Stephen Drew, but a source familiar with the process continues to portray Drew as more of a "possibility" than a "probability."

Team officials are divided about how valuable Drew would be to the Mets, who otherwise appear prepared to use Ruben Tejada at shortstop.

The team would be more willing to consider a one- or two-year deal for Drew at the right monetary figure, while likely being averse to anything three years or beyond. But if Drew were to accept a shorter-term deal, the feeling is that he ultimately would just return to the Boston Red Sox. So there is some belief within the Mets organization that Boras partly is engaging the Mets in order to maximize the terms with Boston.

The Mets' first-round pick is protected in 2014 and the second-round pick has been forfeited to the Yankees for signing Curtis Granderson. So the Mets would lose a third-round pick if they were to sign Drew -- something they are not totally averse to considering.

The Mets partly are downplaying their interest in Drew because they do not want to get the fan base excited and then seem to fail in pursuing a player they believe ultimately will end up back with the Red Sox anyway.

A team insider does not believe the Mets would need to first shed payroll -- Ike Davis and/or Daniel Murphy -- in order to free available space for Drew.

Drew, who turns 31 in March, hit .253 with 13 homers and 67 RBIs in 442 at-bats last season with Boston.

'Red Sox Model' doesn't fit the Mets

November, 26, 2013
11/26/13
12:56
PM ET

USA Today SportsShane Victorino, David Ross and Jonny Gomes (l to r) were among the Red Sox's additions last offseason.
Earlier this fall, there was a lot of talk about how the Mets ought to try to follow the “Red Sox model” in the offseason.

For those unfamiliar, it looked something like this: Sign a few mid-level free agents without draft picks attached to them + All-Star core + Intriguing young players = WORLD SERIES!

Problem is that the Mets don’t currently have a core of position players nearly as good as the trio of Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz and Jacoby Ellsbury that the Boston Red Sox had a year ago, which is where the comparison begins to fall apart. Throw in the fact that the Red Sox still had a $150 million payroll in 2013, a figure the Mets are clearly not going to match, and this comparison is useless.

If Mets fans really want some sliver of hope for 2014 (and beyond), they should look to two other 2013 playoff clubs for inspiration: the Cleveland Indians and Pittsburgh Pirates.

In 2012, the Indians won 68 games, but over the winter they signed two prominent free agents -- Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn -- who had draft-pick compensation attached to them. As a result, their price dropped, and because the Indians had a protected first-round pick, as the Mets do this year, they were able to sign them each to relatively reasonable four-year deals while giving up their second- and third-round picks instead.

While Swisher and Bourn helped, the the Indians also got breakout seasons from the likes of Jason Kipnis and Yan Gomes, and surprising excellence from Ubaldo Jimenez and Scott Kazmir, and rode those performances to a 94-win season with a payroll of roughly $75 million.

If I had to guess, the Mets do plan on signing at least one “big-name” free agent to a multi-year deal, but it’s likely it be this year’s version of Bourn: A player whose value is crushed by that draft-pick compensation, such as Stephen Drew, Curtis Granderson or Nelson Cruz.

Even without Matt Harvey, the Mets do have a number of pitchers with significant upside -- Zack Wheeler, Jon Niese, Jenrry Mejia and Noah Syndergaard -- as well as some position players, such as Travis d’Arnaud, Juan Lagares and Chris Young, who are capable of giving them a lot more production than they got from those positions a year ago.

Now, I’m not saying it’s likely that the Mets will win 90 games next year. However, if there is a “model” of success that the Mets are most likely to mimic in 2014, it’s the Indians’, not the Red Sox’s.

In reality, the team whose path the Mets are following more closely is the Pirates. Like New York, Pittsburgh got virtually nothing out of the draft for a decade, and was regularly signing mediocre yet recognizable free agents to satisfy its fan base.

It was not until Neal Huntington took over as GM in 2007 that the club began to take a methodical approach to rebuilding, eschewing free agents in favor of a focus on the draft and player development. And it wasn’t until Huntington’s sixth season that this strategy finally paid off, advancing to the 2013 NLDS with a payroll right around $80 million and plenty of long-term financial flexibility.

Sandy Alderson is operating in a similar manner. The Mets have refused to sacrifice draft picks by signing free agents since he took over, and the club hasn’t been tempted to take “quick fix” college players in the first round, instead focusing on prep talent that will take longer to develop and that may have a higher upside.

When Alderson was hired following the 2010 season the Mets were in a similar position to the 2007 Pirates, with a mediocre big league roster, very few high-end prospects and a glaring lack of farm system depth. Whether you agree with Alderson’s tactics or not, there is no question the organization’s talent base has improved significantly since he took over.

Now, you could argue about whether or not a New York team should have to follow the model of teams in markets the size Pittsburgh and Cleveland, but that’s a separate issue. It’s clear the Wilpons' Madoff debt is still affecting the team’s ability to spend, but as I have written before, that is not the biggest reason the club is in its current condition. In fact, spending recklessly on free agents -- something fans seem to be begging for this winter -- at the expense of developing players is the main reason they are in this mess in the first place.

Instead of pining for the days when they Mets could throw money at the likes of Moises Alou and Jason Bay, fans should accept the reality of the current club and focus on its realistic path to success, one that, for better or worse, seems modeled more closely on the Indians and Pirates than the Red Sox.

Mets aim to follow Red Sox model

October, 2, 2013
10/02/13
9:00
AM ET

USA Today SportsShane Victorino, David Ross and Jonny Gomes (l to r) were among the Red Sox's additions last offseason.
NEW YORK -- A Mets insider suggested team officials intend to follow the Boston Red Sox's template from last offseason.

What does that mean?

Bringing in several players on one- to three-year deals for non-exorbitant sums rather than wading in the deep end for the free agents commanding six years or more.

After its mega-deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers freed up $262 million in payroll, the Red Sox had a 2012-13 offseason that included signing:

Shane Victorino, three years, $39 million
Ryan Dempster, two years, $26.5 million
Jonny Gomes, two years, $10 million
Stephen Drew, one year, $9.5 million
David Ross, two years, $6.2 million
Mike Napoli, one year, $5 million
Koji Uehara, one year, $4.25 million

Boston went 97-65, after going 69-93 in 2012.

ESPNNewYork.com spoke with ESPNBoston.com's Gordon Edes about how the Red Sox went about their business last winter.

Was it a conscious strategy last offseason to spread their money over several players as opposed to focusing on one high-ticket guy?

Edes: "Absolutely. The one thing you have to recognize is they didn't necessarily go a cheap route. I mean, they overpaid for some of the guys that they signed. A lot of people mocked the three years, $39 million they gave to Victorino, for example. And they were going to give the same thing to Napoli until the hip condition surfaced. The biggest change was trying to avoid longer contracts in terms of years -- the [Carl] Crawford seven-year commitment, [Adrian] Gonzalez seven-year commitment. Both blew up on them so badly. That was a big part of their strategy. They were willing to pay a few more bucks if that meant they could go shorter term."

Were their offseason moves unpopular in Boston entering this season? Or people thought the Red Sox would be good because of the moves?

"Just look at all the ESPN experts in March. All 43 of them -- not a single one of them -- picked the Red Sox to win [the AL East]. I think even in Boston there was a fair amount of skepticism. People in the media and all were questioning why the Red Sox didn't go after a Josh Hamilton, for example, and thought that they overpaid for guys that were coming off of off seasons. I mean, Victorino didn't have a good year [in 2012]. Napoli didn't have a good year. Dempster didn't have a good year. And yet those are the kind of guys the Red Sox reached out for. And even Gomes -- nobody expected a part-timer like Gomes to get a two-year, $10 million deal. So I think there was a tremendous amount of skepticism, that this was going to be a mediocre team."

So was it good scouting? Or luck?

"I think it was very good scouting. I think they placed a huge emphasis on not so much character guys, per se, but guys who really wanted to play in Boston. I mean, Carl Crawford obviously didn't want to play here. He was miserable here. So getting guys who, rather than were affronted by the environment here, embraced it. That was a huge thing, too. A lot of it is attributed to the scouting, and a lot of it is just serendipity. Who gets to hit the reset button like that? If it hadn't been for that trade and taking $262 million off the books, who gets to do that?"

The Mets are in a similar positions in terms of payroll flexibility -- not because of a trade, but because they did not sign any big-ticket items for three straight offseasons and have watched their contracts expire.

I suppose the last question is: Given how successful the Red Sox were this season, and given how long-term deals look bad for, say, Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols, would you expect teams to pattern their upcoming winter after what Boston did last winter?

"Not when the first meaningful signing this fall has been the huge contract to Hunter Pence (five years, $90 million). I don't think people are all of a sudden going to fall all over themselves and say, 'Yeah, the Red Sox figured it out.' There will still be some huge, long-term contracts. You know, the Red Sox are going to be faced with an interesting one, too. They do make exceptions. They did give Dustin Pedroia an eight-year extension. It remains to be seen what they're going to do with Jacoby Ellsbury, although I think that is going to be the classic case of deciding to stick to their philosophy rather than giving him the years that Scott [Boras] is going to want for him."

Shoppach says he's not coup leader

August, 19, 2012
8/19/12
7:23
PM ET
WASHINGTON -- Kelly Shoppach, identified by the Daily News as a ring leader in a text message to ownership trying to undermine Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine, denied involvement to Mets reporters following Sunday's 5-2 loss to the Nationals.

Shoppach acknowledged he met with Terry Collins pregame to ensure his new employer had no misunderstanding about his involvement.

"I'm really disappointed that my name was even brought up in that," Shoppach said. "I wasn't behind any texts. I actually didn't even attend the meeting [with ownership]. It was on an off-day in New York and I stayed back in Texas with my family.

"I've already gotten a few text messages from former teammates apologizing that my name was even brought up in it. Everybody that is involved in that whole situation knows that I had nothing to do with it. So, like I said, I'm a Met now. I'm really excited to be here, around a fun group of guys. And I wish the Red Sox nothing but well. I had a great time while I was there. But I'm a Met now and I'm excited about the opportunity here."

Read the full news story here.

Bobby V's staff has Mets accent

December, 24, 2011
12/24/11
9:14
AM ET
Bobby Valentine announced his 2012 Boston Red Sox coaching staff, and it certainly has a lot of Mets influence.

One-time Mets prospect Alex Ochoa will serve as first-base coach and Tim Bogar will serve as bench coach. Bogar previously served as Boston's third base coach.

Holdover hitting coach Dave Magadan also played for the Mets. The staff also includes Jerry Royster as third base coach and Bob McClure as pitching coach.

David Waldstein of the Times, who covered Bobby V's Mets, tweets:

Funny thing about the Red Sox coaching staff. Valentine managed 1B coach Alex Ochoa and bench coach Tim Bogar with Mets ... Mets cut Bogar in spring training '97 which marked beginning of tension between Todd Hundley and Valentine. Hundley and Bogar were tight... and Hundley lashed out publicly, saying that it would never be forgotten (as Bogar sat on top of lockers and listened in)... They were mad that Bogar was cut so late in spring training making it hard to hook up with other team (he did, in Houston).

Read more at ESPNBoston.com.

Ravech: Bobby V to Sox 'imminent'

November, 29, 2011
11/29/11
6:21
PM ET
Looks like Bobby Valentine is getting back into major league managing.

ESPN's Karl Ravech tweets: "Sources say Gene Lamont no longer a candidate to be Red Sox manager. Valentine not yet offered job but appears imminent."

UPDATE: ESPNBoston.com's Gordon Edes tweets: "Bobby Valentine will become 45th manager of the Red Sox, according to sources. He is expected here midafternoon Wednesday."

Sox-Yanks rivalry needs Bobby V

November, 28, 2011
11/28/11
12:10
PM ET
Like seemingly everyone else around these parts, I know Bobby Valentine pretty well. When I was the Mets beat writer for the Post back in 2000 and 2001, Bobby V was the team's manager.

I was 25 when I got the job and covering Valentine was like going to graduate school for a reporter. You always had to know who he was talking to and what he was talking about. Any success I've had since, can be largely learned to the experience I gained over those two seasons.

It wasn't easy covering Valentine and we had that our moments when we didn't see eye-to-eye. He was nearly twice my age and felt he knew more than me about the sport (which, of course, he did), while I was an aggressive reporter from a feisty tabloid.

More than once, I had to remind him that asking a question is not not necessarily questioning a move. Over the two years, I never became "one of his guys," but I was also not in the smaller camp that hated him. We had what I would describe as a solid relationship.

It was relaxed enough that when he met my wife at the Thurman Munson Dinner that he held two fingers in front of her face. I was a little befuddled by this, but my wife was quick and said, "Yes, Bobby, I can see." I think Valentine's nature is playful.

He likes to be liked, which is probably his biggest drawback. If there are 10 people in a room and nine think he is a genius, he is concerned about the 10th. From my experience, the 10th person is usually wrong on Bobby V. But V can't let it go.

Valentine is the smartest manager I have ever been around. At The Post, my sports editor often wanted me to question moves that Valentine made, but there was a problem with that. From the press box in the seventh inning, what looked liked a bad move -- bringing in a lefty for instance -- was often explained with how it impacted three corresponding tactics. In my two years, I could only remember one time -- taking Glendon Rusch out in some random game in Montreal -- where I didn't feel Valentine's reasoning lived up to his decision.

Valentine was always getting into it with someone. He and Rickey Henderson had their moments, too, and brought me into their tete-a-tete. In May of 2000, Henderson hit one of his trademark off-the-wall singles. After the game, you first go into the manager's office. Valentine tried to cover for Henderson, as much as he could.

When Henderson spoke, he said, if given a do-over, he would have done it again. When I relayed this to Valentine to find out his reaction, he stood up from his desk and just went to the bathroom.

The next day, the headline on my story said: "Rickey: I'll loaf again." (In fairness, I wrote in the lede that Henderson "styled," but an editor changed it to "loafed" without asking me and then put it in the headline). Rickey was not happy with the story and wanted to talk to me about it. He got very mad, saying if he were not such a nice guy it would be me on my behind. It got so loud and heated that the Associated Press wrote about it, calling it a "shouting match," though all I did was listen. The Mets would release Henderson later in the day, which happened to be Valentine's 50th birthday.

Another time, the Mets were going to send down Jersey Bobby Jones. In trying to find out if Jones was going to Triple-A, I asked some innocuous question of Jones and he went on a classic rant, calling Valentine "a joke." Jones was sent down, but things were so dysfunctional between GM Steve Phillips and Valentine that Phillips would call Jones back to the majors later in the year.

You guys all know Bobby, too. He's been a part of New York for a long time now. If he is part of the Rivalry in 2011, it will be a whole lot more interesting.

Joe Girardi is probably the second smartest manager I've covered. But he is bland, by design.

Valentine is much harder to cover. And he would make the rivalry a lot more fun. It needs him. Gene Lamont would not bring the same buzz.

Steve Phillips endorses Bobby V.

November, 23, 2011
11/23/11
5:18
PM ET

Henny Ray Abrams/Getty Images
Steve Phillips and Bobby Valentine, circa their tumultuous Mets days in 2000.
A gracious Steve Phillips took partial responsibility for his sometimes-stormy relationship with Bobby Valentine during their shared Mets days. Phillips added that Valentine would be a stellar choice as Boston Red Sox manager.

“He and I, people always want to point to our relationship," Phillips, now a morning host on Sirius/XM's Mad Dog Radio, told ESPNNewYork.com. "There were times when it was really good. We had a lot of success together. At times our relationship wasn’t always the greatest, but I will say: Forever I kind of always blamed Bobby for that. And I recognize now that a big part of that relationship, I damaged with my stuff that got in the way of it. Forever I thought it was Bobby’s stuff. He brought whatever he did to the relationship, but part of the reason it wasn’t a good one all the time was my fault and I want to acknowledge that. I wasn’t the best manager for him sometimes.”

Read more of Phillips' comments, as well as comments on Valentine's candidacy from old friends Jim Duquette, Joe McEwing and Steve Trachsel, in the full story here.

Bobby V to meet with Sox

November, 17, 2011
11/17/11
5:26
PM ET
Bobby Valentine will meet with the Boston Red Sox later this week about their managerial vacancy, ESPNBoston.com's Gordon Edes reports. Writes Edes:

The news of Valentine's entry into the Sox managerial derby comes just hours after the Chicago Cubs hired one-time Red Sox candidate Dale Sveum, who was the only person to get a second interview with Sox brass.

"We're not dissatisfied with the candidates we have,'' Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said Thursday. "We feel like these are unique circumstances here. ... We're very happy with the candidates. Our next manager could very well come from among those candidates, but we're not ruling out adding candidates."

Read the full story here.

Where were you for Game 6?

October, 24, 2011
10/24/11
10:00
AM ET
Focus on Sports/Getty Images The Mets weren't the only ones jubilant when Ray Knight scored the winning run in Game 6 of the World Series.

We asked Mets bloggers, a couple of our ESPN friends and an ex-Mets employee to reminisce about Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. Feel free to share your stories in the comments section below.

Michael Baron, Metsblog
October 25, 1986 was my mother’s 41st birthday, so my father was obligated to take her out for dinner rather than go to the game. Instead, he sent me with my cousins to Game 6 of the World Series, which I knew was do-or-die.

We were seated in our usual Loge Box 472A at Shea Stadium, the first box in fair territory in left field. It was an emotional night through nine innings, but as Dave Henderson’s go-ahead home run hit the scoreboard just beneath us in the tenth, I had never heard Shea grow so quiet. However, just a few minutes later, I had never heard Shea roar so loud.

When Bob Stanley knocked Mookie Wilson down and Kevin Mitchell scored the tying run, strangers around us were yelling, screaming and hugging. By the time that little roller squeaked through Bill Buckner’s legs, those same strangers began to kiss each other.

From those seats, it was hard to see the ball roll through Buckner’s legs, but as the Loge began to shake and the roar of the fans grew to the loudest I had ever heard in that building, all this six year old knew was something extraordinary had happened and the Mets were playing tomorrow.

Linda Cohn, ESPN anchor
Did I really think the Mets were going to do the unthinkable as I sat on my couch in my home in Astoria, Queens?

Yes, that’s where I was. Astoria, Queens, located just minutes away from Shea Stadium. Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t give up. I didn’t shut off the television. Hey, no matter how bleak I never shut off a game that involves one of my teams when there is always a chance.

I'll always remember my doubt and disappointment disappear when that ball went through the wickets of Buckner. So much for sitting on my couch. I jumped straight up and neighbors dropped by to peel me off the ceiling.

Taryn Cooper, KinersKorner
I just remember sitting at the edge of my mom's bed, watching the end of the game. I was 10 years old, my dad was actually AT the game, and my mom was sleeping or at least trying to (she's not a sports fan).

I was in charge of taping the games on the old VHS recorder, and I usually edited the commercials. Of course, I was in shock after the Red Sox took a 2-run lead, I forgot to reset the tape! I realized it after the rally had taken charge, then of course, the end. I was 10, so a lot of this was a daze. But I do remember that my dad called my mom a little bit later, to tell her he had met some people at the game who couldn't make Game 7, but had four tickets.

Guess who was going to Game 7? **THIS CHICK!!**

Dennis D'Agostino
I was the assistant PR director for the Mets then.

When Henderson swung and the ball passed over the infield, I knew it was gone and I remember saying to myself, “Hit something! Hit a plane, hit a bird (this was a year before Dion James did hit a bird!), hit something!!” What it hit, of course, was the Newsday sign beyond the left field fence.

When I got down there, Rick Cerrone of the Commissioner's Office called down to the clubhouse phone (remember, no cell phones, e-mails, text messages, Tweets or twits back then) and said that we were to bring Davey Johnson into the interview room as fast as possible (while the Sox were still celebrating), and that would take care of our interview room obligations (in other words, no players). Then the Sox would take it over.

I distinctly remember that when Gary Carter came up I remembered thinking that if there is a God in heaven that He won’t allow this guy, who played so hard and waited so long, to make the last out.

I think the whole Kevin-Mitchell-in-the-clubhouse thing is a bit overblown. Mitch WAS in the clubhouse, but if you watch the tape he’s on deck during Carter’s at bat, so it wasn’t like they had to hold up the game to go look for him.

What I will remember most of all was the scene in Davey’s office when Keith Hernandez came in after making the second out -- Jay Horwitz was sitting in front of the big TV set, cross-legged on the floor. Keith was behind him in the blue Adidas director’s chair, a Budweiser in one hand and a cigarette butt in the other.

Charlie Longo, one of our clubhouse kids, was sitting at Davey’s desk. Darrell Johnson, the old Red Sox manager who was now working in our minor league department, was sprawled on the couch.

I was hovering in the doorway. I saw the wild pitch (soundless) on a little monitor outside near the big bat rack, then raced into Davey’s office to see Keith and D.J. hugging and motionless in front of the TV, with me, Jay and Charlie jumping and screaming.

Then the phone rang again and it was Cerrone, this time screaming, "Mookie and Knight [in the interview room] if you win!!"

The rest, as they say, is history.

Howard Megdal, Lower Hudson Mets Blog
At age six, I actually saw Game 6 about 12 hours after everyone else. At my mother's behest, I was sent to bed while my father recorded the game on our VCR.
Obviously, I couldn't wait to see it in the morning, and he couldn't wait to show it to me. Two days later, I got to stay awake on a school night and see the Mets capture their last World Series championship. I still remember racing with my father up to their bedroom, jumping up and down and screaming to wake my mother. I like to think my daughter and I will do the same thing to my wife someday.

Greg Prince, Faith and Fear in Flushing
When Backman led off, I was filled with hope. He was Wally Backman, .320 hitter, and I trusted him to start a rally. After Backman made out, I remained filled with hope because Keith Hernandez was up and I couldn't imagine Keith not coming through in a desperate situation. When he made out, I gave up.

When Carter got his hit, I refused to believe it was anything more than a tease. When Mitchell got his hit, I thought it was just cruel to keep the tease going. I didn't buy into anything until Knight's hit, because I assumed Knight was going to revert to his 1985 self (.218) and make the last out.

When he didn't, I was fully invested in the possibility the Mets could come back, but I also decided Mookie Wilson was going to let me down in some kind of cosmic throwback to his rookie year when I waited for him to become the kind of player Tim Raines was and all he turned out to be was Mookie Wilson. While my dark cloud of foreboding grew ever wider, Mookie jumped out of the way of Bob Stanley's pitch, the game was tied, and I fully stopped expecting the worst.

For a fan who subscribed heart and soul to "You Gotta Believe," it took total apostasy toward the Mets' creed to find myself a born again believer.

Gus Ramsey, ESPN producer
I watched the game in the common room of my dorm at Rollins College.
When Mookie was up I remember saying to my roommate, and fellow Strat-O-Matic baseball player, Troy, “We really need a catch-x (Strat-O-Matic for potential wild pitch or passed ball) here.”

And moments later Stanley threw the wild pitch.

Then when the ball went through Buckner’s legs I jumped up and ran circles around the common room with my arms in the air.

I still get goosebumps and giggle whenever I see that moment.

Shannon Shark, Metspolice
My friend Jim and I used to call each other the second the other guy's team was eliminated. Islanders/Rangers or Mets/Yankees.

I watched the first 9.5 innings in the living room with my dad, and then went into my bedroom to be depressed and wait for the call. It never came.

The next day Jim told me he had my phone number dialed except for the last digit.

Matt Silverman, MetSilverman.net
I had used the last of my savings to travel to New York from college in southwestern Virginia for the NLCS and the first two games of the World Series. Broke and preparing to be broken hearted, I sat in my friend's dorm room at Roanoke College in the bottom of the 10th inning, trying to think how I was going to make good on previously friendly bets I had defiantly doubled after the Mets went down two games to none.

Then bing, bam, boom, Kevin Mitchell scored on the wild pitch to tie it. Having grown up with the Mets in the 1970s, I knew that thoughts of impending victory usually resulted in crushing anguish. So I concentrated on Mookie Wilson. I'd always liked Bill Buckner as a Cub, but I liked him more on the Red Sox that evening.

Mike Silva, New York Baseball Digest
I fell asleep during Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. I woke up to hear my dad throw his Mets hat across the living room and talking to my mom about how they blew a great season. I was in that half asleep/half-awake mode, but the next thing I know is I hear my dad jumping after the Buckner error and saying "hello, Oil Can Boyd" after the play.

I can remember laying in bed and listening to my dad's emotions of the moment. I was just getting into baseball and that playoff run was what got me into the game.


What it was like to cover Game 6?

October, 24, 2011
10/24/11
10:00
AM ET
AP Photo/Rusty KennedyBill Buckner's miscue made for one of the great moments in Mets history.
ESPN's reporters remember what it was like to be at Shea Stadium for the Mets' amazing win over the Red Sox in Game 6 of the World Series on Oct. 25, 1986.

Tim Kurkjian
My game story for the Baltimore Sun was already in, and ready to go. And then the Mets made their miraculous comeback. I had seven minutes to rewrite the biggest game story I had ever written.

As if that wasn't hard enough, as I wrote from the auxiliary press box down the left-field line, and it was as if someone emptied a keg of beer in the upper deck above me in the celebration.

I threw myself on my computer to keep it dry, but I was dripping wet in beer as I replaced the first eight paragraphs of my story with eight new ones.

I had no time to craft some really cool lead, and my hair was all wet. I reflexively wrote the word "Amazin'" for the lead, and moved on.

Jeremy Schaap
I admit it. Like Keith Hernandez, I gave up. I didn't go into the clubhouse, light up a Marlboro and pop open a Bud, but, after he flied out, my hopes were all lost, too.

With the Mets down to their final out and trailing by two runs, my father and I got up out of our seats, turned our backs to the field and headed for the door leading out of the SportsChannel suite.

I didn't want to see the Red Sox celebrate on the Mets' field -- and he didn't want me to see it, either. I was 17 and the Mets hadn’t won a World Series since Oct. 16, 1969, when I was seven weeks old.

My father was 52 and he had never seen the Red Sox win a World Series. We were fine with that second streak continuing, but certain that it was about to end.

Then Gary Carter singled -- the Kid always seemed to come through -- and my father and I looked at each other, silently communicated a "Let's see where this goes," and returned to our seats.

Then there was Mitchell, then Knight, then the wild pitch/passed ball. And, then, finally, ludicrously, the Wilson grounder.

I wish I could remember what my father and I said to each other at that moment, but I can't. Probably just, "Wow." There was nothing else to be said.

What I do remember was the trip down the elevator to the ground level. We got on and were joined by the Honorable Raymond Flynn, the All-American guard from Providence College who had become mayor of Boston, and the eminent A. Bartlett Giamatti, the president of Yale who had become president of the National League.

On the elevator, though, Giamatti was wearing a different hat -- figuratively, at least -- that of devastated Red Sox fan. The president of the NL had just seen the team representing his league pull off the greatest comeback ever in a World Series, forcing a seventh game.

You might expect him to be gratified. Or at least ambivalent. He wasn't.

It is possible that I am misremembering his exact words -- but I would swear I am not. "F---ing McNamara,” the Renaissance scholar said angrily, loudly. "Where the f--- was [Dave] Stapleton?"

Barry Stanton, news editor
I was writing for the Journal-News. After Dave Henderson hit a HR off Rick Aguilera in the top of the 10th –- and jogged backwards down the first base line -- to put the Sox ahead, the fan came out in some of the Boston writers in the press box, almost understandably for the ones who had grown up cheering for a jinxed team they believed would never, ever win a World Series.


Amy Sancetta/A.P. PhotoMedia members thought they'd be writing about a Red Sox World Series title ...

The guy next to me even called his father to share the moment.

"Dad, can you believe it! Did you ever think we’d see it?"

Looking down at the Red Sox dugout, with Roger Clemens and Oil Can Boyd waving towels in celebration, I remember thinking that it just didn't seem fair because the other team -- the Mets -- had been, by far, the best team in baseball that year.

And then, down to their final out, things starting happening.

Carter. Mitchell. Knight. Mookie at the plate. Stanley's wild pitch. And then Mookie's roller through Buckner’s legs. Absolute bedlam.

In the clubhouse, we found out that Keith Hernandez, who had made the second out in the bottom of the 10th, spent the rally in Davey Johnson's office, drinking beer. And that Kevin Mitchell, naked from the waist down, was on the phone making plane reservations home when they called him to pinch hit for Aguilera, and that he'd quickly yanked on uniform pants (but no underwear) and run to the plate.

And I remember an angry Darryl Strawberry, storming through the happiest clubhouse I'd ever seen, because he'd been taken out of the game in a double-switch.

I still remember the column I wrote, played off the Dylan Thomas lines, "Rage, rage against the dying of the light."


Amy Sancetta/A.P. PhotoInstead, they witnessed one of the greatest comebacks in sports history.

And we stayed in the Stadium club that night until 4 am.

Remarkable night.

Jayson Stark
Some nights in October blend into all the other nights. But not this one. I vividly remember going to the park for the Philadelphia Inquirer thinking I was about to see something almost no living human had ever seen -- the Red Sox winning the World Series. And then there it was, happening before my eyes.

So because I was in the newspaper business and we had this concept known as "deadlines," I had that tale all written, a story no one in that press box had ever written before, the story of the Red Sox winning the World Series. I'd sent it in. It was late on a Saturday night. I was practically done for the night. And then THAT inning happened. And everything changed, of course. So the story I'd waited a lifetime to write was never going to run.

I remember sprinting down the ramps at Shea Stadium, dodging fans, just about knocking people over, because I had to get to that clubhouse. I remember spending 10 minutes down there, grabbing anyone who appeared, and then sprinting back up the ramps and writing stream of consciousness for the next 20 minutes. And then it hit me what I'd just seen, a moment in baseball time we'd be talking about all my life.

But the other thing that hit me was: I was supposed to close on my new house that Monday, two days later. So I needed that World Series to be over. But of course, it didn't end that night. And then it didn't end the next night, because it poured.

And so I had to hustle back to Pennsylvania, go to the closing, then hustle back to Shea for an incredible Game 7. How 'bout that daily double? And all because of Bill Buckner, and Bob Stanley and all their Red Sox co-conspirators.

Willie Weinbaum, feature producer
I didn't cover it, but was there as a fan in the upper deck, with my dad, Sam (a Cubs fan).

As the Mets got hit after hit, everybody was on their feet. From the upper deck, far down the left-field line, when the grounder left the bat, it looked like an easy out. But for a split-second, when it got past the bag, because of Wilson's speed, I was thinking, maybe he can beat it out. Then it got through Buckner and everyone, it seemed, was screaming in unison, "I don't believe it! I don't believe it!"

Exhilaration replaced resignation -- how could the Mets have won the game and extended the Series, when Boston had wrapped up both? For my dad and me, it was tinged with sympathy for Buckner, who had been the definitive warrior for the Cubs.

We were also seated behind a friend and colleague, Ouisie Shapiro, who was the writer of the show "This Week In Baseball," for which I was later a field producer.

Ouisie, who has won Emmy Awards for her work as a documentary writer and producer, is a lifelong and devout Red Sox fan, born and raised in Boston.

With two outs, she was standing and crying in disbelief as the Red Sox fans' interminable wait was ending. Then it was simply shock as everything fell apart.

My dad and I will never forget -- and neither will Ouisie -- that in the moments after Mookie Wilson's grounder got by Bill Buckner, when we got on the No. 7 subway to head back to the Upper West Side of Manhattan, where all of us lived, Ouisie sat with her head down, in her hands, just above her lap, and didn't say a word the whole long ride home amid the jubilation on the packed train.

She had suffered a heartbreak that left her speechless. She has since appeared in documentaries about her beloved team and has experienced the team's redemption and the lifting of "the curse."

My dad and I didn't just feel sympathy for Buckner, but for Ouisie and all of the Boston fans.

My dad was to go in 1984 to the World Series in Chicago after the Cubs got up 2-0 on the Padres in the NLCS. Leon Durham's parallel episode to Buckner's and Steve Garvey's heroics ended that plan.

More than a quarter-century later, my dad still follows the Cubs with great passion and still suffers and still waits. Ouisie's team has won two World Series, while the team from Chicago's North Side hasn't even been in one since 1945.

Steve Wulf, ESPN The Magazine
I was with Sports Illustrated, but I was not at Shea that night because my wife and I were at a night wedding. Before we left the house, we had dressed our four-month-old boy, Bo, in a Red Sox onesie, and left him in the care of our baby-sitter, Agatha.

I followed the game on a transistor, and left the wedding in the sixth inning. When I got home to relieve Agatha, Bo was fast asleep. But as the game played out, and the Red Sox went ahead in the 10th, I thought to myself that some day he would want to know he watched the Red Sox win their first Series in 68 years.

I take him out of the crib and prop him up on my lap. As he blinks his little eyes at the TV, I look down at him and notice that Agatha, a Mets fan, had changed him into a Mets onesie. Before I could change him back into his Red Sox outfit, the wheels came off. (Agatha was from Barbados, where there is a culture of voodoo.)

So don't blame Buckner or Stanley or Gedman or McNamara or Schiraldi. Blame me. I lost the '86 Series because I was a sap.


This date in '86: A masterful win

October, 21, 2011
10/21/11
9:00
AM ET
Rusty Kennedy/A.P. PhotoA botched rundown play played a major role in Game 3 of the 1986 World Series.
Over the next week, Mark Simon will reminisce here about the 1986 postseason. The 1986 Mets won the World Series in an exhilarating fashion. Here's a capsule look at Game 3 of the 1986 World Series, played on this date, 25 years ago.

Game 3: Mets 7, Red Sox 1
Down two games to none, the Mets were in desperate need of a momentum shift in the early part of Game 3 of the 1986 World Series. They got just what they needed for their biggest win of the season to this point.

The best thing that could happen for the Mets was that they never gave Red Sox fans a reason to cheer. Leadoff hitter Len Dykstra hit a 1-1 pitch from cocky Red Sox starter Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd (who'd said the day before the game that he would "master" the Mets) a couple of seats inside Fenway Park's right field foul line and the Pesky Pole for a home run.

It was the Mets' first extra-base hit of the series (the NBC telecast noted they were only the third team to go without one in the first two games, joining the 1926 Yankees and 1939 Reds). They'd add a bunch more.

Ray Stubblebine/A.P. PhotoLen Dykstra's home run got the Mets offense going in a big way.

Wally Backman and Keith Hernandez each followed with singles and Gary Carter's line-drive double to left center field made it 2-0, with runners still on second and third and nobody out.

After a Darryl Strawberry strikeout (his 17th in 29 postseason at-bats) came the game's most bizarre play, an 11-second sequence of significance.

Ray Knight hit a ground ball to third and it looked like the Red Sox would squelch the Mets' rally.

Hernandez got stuck in a rundown when the throw came to home plate, and was retreating to third base as Carter was coming toward the same bag.

But the Red Sox completely messed things up. Rich Gedman tossed the ball to third baseman Wade Boggs, who was in front of the base and unable to make a play on Hernandez, who ducked around him and slid back into third base.

Carter was a step away from third, but turned and dashed back to second base at the last possible moment. Boggs made a short throw to shortstop Spike Owen, who was unable to do anything about Hernandez, so he chased Carter back to second.

Owen ran Carter back three-quarters of the way, but then stopped, turned and looked at Hernandez. That gave Carter just enough time to dive back into second base ahead of a late throw from Owen to second baseman Marty Barrett.

Instead of being an out away from getting out the inning with two men on base, Boyd had to deal with a bases-loaded situation.

He got flustered, and gave up a two-run single to center to designated hitter Danny Heep two pitches later. It was 4-0 after half-an inning and the Mets had all they would need.

It took starter Bob Ojeda, who was traded by the Red Sox to the Mets that offseason, seven pitches to get through a 1-2-3 first inning and his success in that frame carried through the next six.

Ojeda give up a run-scoring single to Barrett in the third, but with two men on base, struck out Bill Buckner on a high fastball (via NBC, Buckner was toughest in the majors to strike out in 1986, statistically) and got Jim Rice to ground out on the next pitch to end that scoring threat.

Buckner would get another shot as the tying run at the plate in the fifth inning, but Ojeda coaxed another ground out to end the inning.

Boyd settled down, but the Mets got to him again in the seventh inning. Carter singled in two more runs to make it 6-1 and an RBI hit from Knight in the eighth inning against reliever Joe Sambito completed the night’s scoring.

Ojeda gave the Mets seven very good innings, the second time he’d won a big game for the Mets this postseason.

Turning Point
The turning point of this game actually took place the day before when manager Davey Johnson gave the team the day off rather than have them go through a between-games workout and media day at Fenway Park. Players said afterward that this move took much of the pressure off the team and made them a more relaxed group for Game 3.

What They Wrote
"When Dennis 'Oil Can' Boyd takes the mound, he likes to think of himself as Satchel Paige. But on Tuesday night, he looked more like a page out of Red Sox history."
-- Lisa Nehus Saxon, Los Angeles Daily News

"Call it whistling past the graveyard.

"Just as old elephants trundle off into the jungle to be all alone and lemmings hurl their little bodies en masse into the sea, left-handed pitchers with a death wish usually come to Fenway Park.

"Usually.

"But Bobby Ojeda, discarded less than a year ago by the Boston Red Sox, who thought that he would forever be haunted in this southpaw's chamber of horrors, a lefty's graveyard, returned to tame the beast."
- Fran Blinebury, Houston Chronicle

"The old place was so quiet you could hear the ghosts of Babe Ruth, Tom Yawkey and Eddie Collins walking about."
- Ray Sons, describing the late innings, Chicago Sun-Times

Quotes of the Day
"The only person who got mastered tonight was Boyd."
-- Len Dykstra
"He made a big mistake saying what he did. We wanted to stick it up his nose. We want him to pitch Game 7, too, so we can stick it up his nose then, too.”
-- Darryl Strawberry

""I just screwed up. I heard the crowd roar when I first turned to second. I looked back. By the time I turned back, it was too late."
-- Spike Owen, describing the botched rundown.

"Those were the Mets you saw out there tonight. The real Mets."
-- Davey Johnson

For Further Reading/Viewing
"Batting Stance Guy" Gar Ryness was able to impersonate the stances of 14 members of the 1986 Mets in under a minute. You can check out his impressions here.

Stats To Remember
1-- Dykstra is the only leadoff hitter in postseason history to have a four-hit game, with one of those hits being a home run. Dykstra, who never had a five-hit game in his major league career, had four four-hit games in 1986, most on the Mets and tied for second-most in the NL behind Padres outfielder Tony Gwynn’s five.

2-- The Mets have had four leadoff home runs in their postseason history. Dykstra’s is the only one to come on the road. The other three were by Tommie Agee (1969 WS Game 3), Wayne Garrett (1973 WS Game 3), and Jose Reyes (2006 NLCS Game 6).

Despite their minimal postseason experience, comparative to some teams, the Mets four leadoff home runs are tied with the Indians for second-most in postseason history, trailing only the Yankees, who have six.

3-- Ojeda had five ROAD starts during the regular season in which he pitched at least seven innings and allowed one run or fewer, tying him with Mike Scott, Rick Rhoden, and Tom Browning for the most such starts in the NL.

B-Mets will play at Fenway

February, 4, 2011
2/04/11
11:56
AM ET
The Binghamton Mets will play the Portland Sea Dogs, the Double-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, on Aug. 20 at Fenway Park.

Here's the announcement:

The Boston Red Sox announced today that their Double-A affiliate, the Portland Sea Dogs, will host the Binghamton Mets at Fenway Park Aug. 20 in the sixth annual Futures at Fenway presented by Xfinity minor league doubleheader. The B-Mets will play the Sea Dogs in the opening game of the doubleheader beginning at 1:05 p.m. and will be followed by a Triple-A matchup between the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Syracuse Chiefs.

Tickets and concessions will be significantly discounted in comparison to the Major League pricing to accommodate fans of minor league baseball. Ticket prices will start as low as $5 and range up to $30. Tickets go on sale to the general public through the Boston Red Sox Saturday, Feb. 12. Fans can visit www.redsox.com or call (877) REDSOX-9 beginning at 10 a.m.

The event, which began in 2006, brought minor league games back to Fenway Park for the first time since the 1977 Eastern League All-Star Game. The last known regular season minor league contest played at Fenway up until 2006 was in 1966 when Pittsfield (Red Sox) hosted Pawtucket (Indians).

The B-Mets will embark upon their 20th anniversary season April 7 at Akron. Binghamton will celebrate its home opener Thursday, April 14 at 6:35 p.m. versus the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Mini-packs and season tickets for the upcoming 2011 season are on sale now. To purchase or for information, call the B-Mets at (607) 723-METS or visit www.bmets.com.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Daniel Murphy
BA HR RBI R
.289 9 57 79
OTHER LEADERS
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
WB. Colon 15
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187