Section 518

Where we endeavor to stay positive about the 2011 Mets…

Posts Tagged ‘Randy Johnson’

Another Season Ended

Posted by JD on September 19, 2010

Luis Hernandez fouled a pitch off his foot yesterday, then proceeded to hit a home run on the very next pitch. Think about that for a second. This is a guy who, prior to September 3rd, had hit just one home run in 233 major league at bats. A guy who managed just 17 home runs in 3,026 at-bats over nine minor league seasons (0.56 home runs per at-bat). The fact that he hit one off of Tim Hudson is amazing in and of itself, but when you throw in a broken foot it becomes absolutely unbelievable. I’m sure adrenaline played a large part in it (adrenaline that, judging from the pictures I linked to above, looks like it wore off immediately after his first step out of the batter’s box) but, at least in this fan’s mind, that home run will go down as one of the most amazing moments in an otherwise lost season (think Dae Sung Koo’s double off of Randy Johnson).

That being said, this season-ending injury is for the best. I hate seeing players injured, even those I don’t care for. Bench them, cut them, waive them: by all means, please remove ineffective players immediately. But the Mets’ failure to make any of those moves with Hernandez, combined with Jerry Manuel’s insistence on playing him, means that this was pretty much the only way that Ruben Tejada was going to earn the lion’s share of playing time at second base. I’m sorry that it came down to that, but at least Tejada will get a better chance to show us all that he can contribute at this level.

The Mets have been out of the race for weeks now: there was no reason to play Hernandez over Tejada*. The fact that a slam dunk roster move was decided by a season-ending injury is ridiculous and insulting. There’s eight games left at Citi Field and I have plans to attend seven of them, but I’m doing so hoping that next season we have a manager that can fill out a line-up call rationally.

*Actually, there’s NEVER a reason to play Hernandez over Tejada.

Posted in Jeff Francoeur, Jerry Manuel, Mets | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

I’m On A Boat!

Posted by JD on May 21, 2010

I was googling around the internet, prepping for this weekend’s Subway Series at Citi Field when I came across this tidbit in Baseball Reference’s BR Bullpen:

1880 – In Albany‘s Riverside Park, Lip Pike hits a ball over the wall and into the river. RF Lon Knight begins to go after the ball in a boat but gives up. Few parks have ground rules about giving the batter an automatic home run on a hit over the fence.

Ok, so the over-the-wall home run hadn’t been institutionalized at the time, but the mind races nonetheless. Just how close to the river was this ballpark? How slow was Pike that Knight actually thought that jumping the fence and hopping in a boat would still give him a chance to throw him out at home? Was this the fore-runner of the kayaks that currently patrol McCovey Cove? And what the hell kind of a name is Lip?

The BR Bullpen is an awesome time-killer and historical resource. Sure, not everyday is the 130th anniversary of some guying attempting to field a live ball in a boat. But the site is full of tidbits and well worth your time if you’re interested in baseball history. Another example, from 2005:

As Dae-Sung Koo stands in against Randy Johnson, Mike Piazza confides to David Wright in the dugout, “If he gets a hit, I’ll donate a million dollars to charity.”

You’ll have to click the link to get the end of that particular story. But when you do, bookmark BR Bullpen. You won’t regret it.

Programming Note: I was going to preview the Subway Series, but that’s been covered so well by so many others that I gave it a pass. If you’re looking for quality previews, I suggest you check out ESPN New York’s Series Preview, On The Black’s Mets vs Yankees Interview and, if you’re looking for video, SNY’s The Baseball Show’s Mets-Yankees Preview. I won’t offer a prediction, but I will say I’m excited to see how Hisanori Takahashi, Mike Pelfrey, and Johan Santana handle one of the best lineups in baseball. I think they’re up to the challenge, and I can’t wait to see how it plays out.

Posted in Flushing Frivolities, Mets | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Hey, Super Joe!

Posted by JD on March 18, 2010

There are a ton of Joe McEwing fans out there. We all know at least one. The super-utilityman who embodied grit and hustle and any other intangible you can think of endeared himself to many a Mets fan during his time in the blue and orange. Well, today is a big day for all of you Super Joe fans: on this date ten long years ago, the Mets acquired the mini-mite in return for Jesse Orosco (who had been re-acquired only months before). And so it came to be that Super Joe McEwing entered our lives, and all was well.

One caveat: don’t bother bringing up how he “owned” Randy Johnson. It turns out that it’s a myth that was largely created by one game. Here’s my post from last June addressing the McEwing/Johnson dynamic:

Randy Johnson just became the most recent member of the 300 win club, a fraternity that all but guarantees he’ll be enshrined in the Hall of Fame. Ken Davidoff and Joe Posnanski (with Bill James) have much more detailed takes on Johnson, both well worth reading. Posnanski is of the school of thought that we’ll see other 300 game winners (though it may be awhile). I tend to agree. While we, as baseball fans, should take time to appreciate the greatness of Johnson’s career, we shouldn’t overdramatize it to the point that we call him “The Last 300 Game Winner”. Though that does conjure images in my mind of an aging Randy Johnson popping open a bottle of champagne every time a pitcher retires close, but just shy, of 300 wins.

But I digress. Watching Randy Johnson wrap up his 300th victory yesterday made me reminisce about “Super” Joe McEwing, the utility man who played for the Mets from 2000-04. McEwing had some memorable at-bats against Johnson, to the point that it was said that he “owned” him. This was more than a little unusual because, at the time, Johnson was one of the most dominant pitchers in the league.  It isn’t often when a little-used utility player “owns” a multiple-Cy Young Award winner, so I decided to look at the match-up more closely.

All told, McEwing had 44 at-bats against Johnson which, interestingly enough, was the most he had against any pitcher. Somewhat surprisingly, his career line against Johnson was only .250/.244/.432 (BA/OBP/SLG), with one home run and four RBI. Digging deeper, however, revealed this interesting fact: in 2000, McEwing went 4-for-6 against Johnson, producing a .667/.571/1.667 line. Those four hits were three doubles and one home run, and he hit two of those doubles and the home run in one game (on 5/21/00). So, his reputation as a Johnson-killer primarily came from one single game.

Just goes to show how far popular perception can be from reality. McEwing was a fan (and personal) favorite so I don’t begrudge him anything. But the numbers show his reputation for “owning” Randy Johnson was in fact much ado about nothing.

And so it goes, even for Super Joe.

Posted in Mets, On This Date | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

The Case of McEwing v. Johnson

Posted by JD on June 5, 2009

Randy Johnson just became the most recent member of the 300 win club, a fraternity that all but guarantees he’ll be enshrined in the Hall of Fame. Ken Davidoff and Joe Posnanski (with Bill James) have much more detailed takes on Johnson, both well worth reading. Posnanski is of the school of thought that we’ll see other 300 game winners (though it may be awhile). I tend to agree. While we, as baseball fans, should take time to appreciate the greatness of Johnson’s career, we shouldn’t overdramatize it to the point that we call him “The Last 300 Game Winner”. Though that does conjure images in my mind of an aging Randy Johnson popping open a bottle of champagne every time a pitcher retires close, but just shy, of 300 wins.

But I digress. Watching Randy Johnson wrap up his 300th victory yesterday made me reminisce about “Super” Joe McEwing, the utility man who played for the Mets from 2000-04. McEwing had some memorable at-bats against Johnson, to the point that it was said that he “owned” him. This was more than a little unusual because, at the time, Johnson was one of the most dominant pitchers in the league.  It isn’t often when a little-used utility player “owns” a multiple-Cy Young Award winner, so I decided to look at the match-up more closely.

All told, McEwing had 44 at-bats against Johnson which, interestingly enough, was the most he had against any pitcher. Somewhat surprisingly, his career line against Johnson was only .250/.244/.432 (BA/OBP/SLG), with one home run and four RBI. Digging deeper, however, revealed this interesting fact: in 2000, McEwing went 4-for-6 against Johnson, producing a .667/.571/1.667 line. Those four hits were three doubles and one home run, and he hit two of those doubles and the home run in one game (on 5/21/00). So, his reputation as a Johnson-killer primarily came from one single game.

Just goes to show how far popular perception can be from reality. McEwing was a fan (and personal) favorite so I don’t begrudge him anything. But the numbers show his reputation for “owning” Randy Johnson was in fact much ado about nothing.

Posted in Major League Baseball | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

 
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